So you’ve decided to make beats. It’s an exciting time. There’s so much to learn and absorb. Yet one problem that many beginner producers come up against is how to stand out from the pack. It can be difficult to do, especially when trying to make music that fits into a certain genre. One thing that all professional dance music producers share is their own unique sound.
Here at DJ Master Course, we’re all about honing that edge – whether it’s for DJ mixing or producing. Here’s our quick guide to creating your own signature sound while producing dance music.
1. Learn Music Theory
If you’re already a musician, skip this step. If you’re not, and you don’t know your MIDI keyboard from your VST, then you’re going to want to invest some time in learning music theory. You don’t need to go and study at a University or College, but it’s well worth learning about keys, scales, phrases and chords. The most accomplished producers are also virtuoso musicians. Learning and applying some basic music theory to your production will make your sound stand out from the crowd. This way your music will really move people.
2. Learn Sound Design
Although even the big names use presets from time to time, many pro producers push their own unique sounds. Learning sound design can take time, and can also get frustrating. Yet it’s worth pushing through the frustration and investing some solid hours learning basic synthesis. That way when you’re composing and arranging you’ll have a decent selection of basses, leads, pads and FX to spice up your song. A good place to start is YouTube, or Syntorial. Eventually your sounds will have your own unique flavour to them and you’ll stand out from the pack.
Creativity breeds in proximity to creativity. Sometimes the best ideas happen when there’s more than one brain in the studio. Find some other producers who are pushing a similar vibe and arrange collaboration. Chances are that you’ll both learn something new which will be beneficial to your individual productions. If distance is an issue, there are ways to collaborate remotely, such as Splice.
4. Be Patient
Magic doesn’t happen overnight. Great producers develop their unique flavour over time. In between starting and getting to a level where you sound unique is a good deal of time, sweat and sometimes tears. It’s well worth the wait though, because eventually your own sound will emerge.