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How To Produce Music: Nine Steps To Success

Here are nine tips on how to produce music and improve your skills quickly. If you want to know how to make dubstep, drum and bass or glitch hop that is going to get signed, read this. To make your own dubstep, drum and bass or glitch hop sound more original and more professionally produced, these tips will help you.

1. Listen to more music from outside of your focus genres.

Henry Ford is famous for many things including the invention of the car assembly line. He got this idea by looking at how pork products were made in factories and thought that the idea might work for making cars. These days all mass produced cars are made in this way. From looking outside of your genre, you will find new ideas and be able to take the ones you like the most and adapt them into your own form of EDM. You may want to listen to rock, jazz, funk, RnB, or completely different types of EDM that you would never normally consider listening to. Try it! It works!

2. Branch out and discover more artists within and around your focus genres.

Some who subscribe to the idea of listening to completely genres also preach that you shouldn’t listen to your own genre so as not to get influenced by popular trends. I can see the logic in this, but I personally think it would make more sense to listen to both, and branch out within your genre to get a more holistic view of what kind of music is being made. By doing this you will open your mind up to the vast array of possibilities that exist within your chosen genre.

3. Reduce distractions when working on your music.

Disconnect your internet connection so that Facebook and porn don’t eat up your precious time. Turn off your phone. Get yourself ready – eat a meal and ask your loved one to leave you in peace for the next 3 to 5 hours. Get yourself in the right mindstate for writing melodies – decide the emotion you want to convey with your song and then spend some time to think of memories of times when you felt that emotion. By spending 10 minutes on this exercise, the melodies that convey that emotion and those memories will flow out of your mind more easily. Focusing on writing decent musical material is more important than trying to get the EQ of that wobble exactly how you want it to sound!

4. Stop trying to learn every VST plug-in under the sun!

Instead, focus on getting to know a few key synths and FXX plug-ins like the back of your hand. Only tackle a new plug-in once you have mastered how to use all of these. Another point to mention here is that as much as we all love Massive, it does have a very easy-to-spot sound, and it wouldn’t hurt to get to know some other synths and make your music sound a little more unique now, would it?

5. Experiment with out-of-the-box thinking

Try new ways of morphing sounds. One great tip here is to play a long note, bounce it out and put it in a sampler, then start morphing it in ways that weren’t possible using the original synth that produced that sound. You’ll discover some real gems of techniques through more trial and error. Timestretching, looping, speeding up and down, pitching up and down, using long chains of FX, rebouncing and many other experimental things will help you get to new pastures. Experiment with new rhythms and chord progressions, new melodies and so on as well, and taking samples from places you wouldn’t normally take them (recording real-world organic sounds is a great place to start!)

6. Invest in one or two pieces of hardware

Consider investing in a 2nd hand piece of kit such as an old analog synth or filter box. You’ll be able to bring your music to life in ways that weren’t possible by doing everything in the box. Although it can be a bit cumbersome to record sounds through a hardware filter onto a recording device, the results can be extremely rewarding! Another piece of hardware to invest in is decent studio monitors if you aren’t already using them. The results will be instantly gratifying and with correct positioning, your mixdowns will dramatically improve over time.

7. Learn to play a real instrument.

Be it the saxophone, guitar, drums, ukulele or any instrument that tickles your fancy, learning an instrument will definitely improve your understanding of music and help with your songwriting abilities. You’ll even be able to incorporate your own playing in your bass music songs, giving them new dimensions from real-life instrumental sounds, recorded in any way you want (giving you more control over your music than relying on samples of instruments).

8. Learn sound design through synthesis.

Now, I’m sure you’re probably attempting to do this already, but consider studying your synths of choice in more detail by watching Youtube videos, experimenting more and asking questions to other producers in forums. Try reverse engineering sounds that you want to recreate by putting another artist’s song in your DAW and selecting the sound or section you want to recreate. Your ability to master a wide range of sound design techniques will help you a huge amount!

9. Share this article!

Spread the word about this article and help us to reach more producers who you know! This doesn’t help you but it will definitely help me out! If you found this article useful please share it with friends by clicking any of the buttons below.

Until next time!

Luke