The art of music producing could be compared to life – you learn it when you are through. Luckily for new producers, there are some shortcuts created by the professionals. Here, we help to kick start your career as a producer with the 5 most common mistakes new producers make.
1. Young producers often disregard the value of music theory
Most of them start by downloading a Digital Audio Workstation and jump right into producing. Many have an unrealistic idea that producing music is just a matter of pressing a few buttons and you are done.
Solution: Discover online resources on notes, scales, harmonies and chord formations. Read audio forums and magazines by audio professionals and study the tutorials of producers like Seamless R, Barely Alive, Distance, Virtual Riot, Varien, Savant, Dodge and Fuski, Rogue, and High Maintenance to get you around the concept of producing.
2. They think they need the best gear to succeed
Young producers tend to think that the success of production is purely dependent on having the best gear and production software. Therefore they tend to use every instrument and every plugin they have in a single record.
Solution: The key is to use plugins for a specific purpose, understanding their purpose in detail. And remember - less is more. Same goes for the instruments. Fewer instruments will sound more natural and will leave more space in the frequency spectrum of the mix.
3. Young producers tend to overuse samples and presets.
Technically there is nothing wrong with using them, as they are meant to help producers, but there should be some limits. The main problem is that by using samples and presets, producers do not learn to construct the sound themselves, which is a crucial skill of producing.
Solution: Try to design each and every sound from scratch as this is ultimately the best way to understand audio design. Use VST oscillators, modulations and filters to create sounds based on your own ideas. Don’t worry if your first sounds aren’t technically perfect. You will improve over time.
4. They think volume is key
Nowadays young producers tend to think that volume is the key to the ultimate punch and energy of a track. Audio engineers often refer to this phenomenon as “loudness wars” - a competition for the loudest record possible.
Solution: In reality the loudest is not always the best. A final master should be well compressed, clean and crisp, but also avoid any clippings or exaggerated distortions as a result of inappropriate use of compressors and limiters. Keep in mind that the audio signal of the final master should not be over the -1 to 0 dB range on the master volume gain.
5 Impatience, they think they aren't getting better
Young producers often expect to achieve professional results too rapidly, and then give up without fully discovering their potential.
Solution: Be aware that becoming a successful producer might take years. It all depends on your passion, commitment and musical talent. Stay motivated, learn from your mistakes and take time to develop your technical knowledge.