A new set of goals that will improve your electronic music production skillset and teach you new things. Here, at accusonus, we’ll help you set them straight and suited to your music creation needs.
As an electronic music producer, this probably involves getting your music on par with the big names, in terms of quality and popularity. Sometimes, this seems unachievable to the beginner and a lost game to the intermediate. Breaking down the qualities that separate a professional sounding track from an amateur one, we gathered tips that will help you laser-target your goals and work them out!
Electronic music has a history strongly bonded with its instruments. Sound generating machines defined genres, communities, and were often geographically linked with regions around the world. Three-numbered named drum machines and various synthesizers continue to dominate a lot of productions to-date. It is wise to spend considerable time, critically listening to samples and trying to recognize their distinct sound character and aural characteristics using your ears and not _filenames_. This will help you better choose which sample pack or virtual instrument is best suited for that banger tune you have in mind and train you on how to reproduce them using your synth of choice.
Few things are more powerful for your electronic music productions than having a complete understanding of how music works. Music theory, like modal scales, for example, will guide you through choosing notes that work well with others in any context. Circle of fifths, different keys, and chord progressions will help you set a mood for your track and define a strong melodic and rhythmic structure. You can look for educational material on these subjects on the web. In cnx.org, we found some interesting articles about scales. Also, having a clear understanding of arrangement from the beginning of the writing process will help you decide your melodic lines faster and more efficiently.
Try to decide about the personal sound you want to achieve and remember that when you write a new track. EMDPROD has a great article on that subject. Don’t get stressed about it, though, as it would easily get you into what’s called the “writer’s block.” Experiment with sounds outside your original aesthetics, play with them, discover new melodies and instruments, have fun and gain experience! After that implement these experimentations to your “signature sound” without losing inspiration. It might sound difficult, at first, but if you decide on what your “signature sound” will sound like early, it will become second nature to you as you fiddle with your synths’ sound design settings.
4. Experiment and copycat
Being original with your ideas doesn’t mean you can’t use other’s tracks for self-awareness. Having a reference track loaded into your DAW project will help your inspiration and guide you when you need help with structure and arrangement. So, don’t be shy but you shouldn’t copy it identically. Load several of your favorite tracks in your DAW session and set timeline markers based on the track’s arrangement. Try to focus on individual elements and recreate them in the same session, constantly A/Bing to get a true sense of timing and timbre of the original sound. Then, having that as a basis, study ways you can further develop them, adding your signature sound design characteristics.
5. Study your DAW manual
Undoubtedly, the most powerful tool in your toolset as an electronic music producer is your Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW). Getting to know all the features and hidden glimpses of a modern DAW system may take years of hands-on experience. The bad thing is there is no shortcut. The good thing is there is a huge amount of educational content on the Web, covering every aspect of every major DAW in the market. If you are not sure which one is worth trying, check out some recommendations:
Then again, there is a thing, hidden in your hard drive, called the user manual. You’ll be surprised at how many things a user manual can teach you about your DAW’s features and intended workflows that you’ve never known.
6. Finish fast and finish often
Even if you’re the most charismatic person on Earth, you won’t be able to produce a decent track without dozens and dozens of unsatisfying results first. Getting stuck in the middle of a track production shouldn’t make you feel you have to work your way out from there. Scrap the project, save anything interesting you’ve made so far, and create a new session. You should never lurk in a track idea and never finish it because, most of the time, it just won’t work. Finish as many projects as you can, as often as you can. No matter how bad or funny they sound. Getting a habit of finishing tracks often will help you better digest the things you learnt while producing but remember to distance yourself from the output or ask your friends for opinion - there is nothing worse than making a tonne of tunes with same mistake.
From all of us here at accusonus,
Have a great year!