What should I focus on first??

Discussion in 'Production' started by bcwarlock, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. bcwarlock

    bcwarlock New Member

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    Im pretty new to making this music,and to production in general but I was wondering what aspect of making a track should a beginner really be focusing on to start out?Should I worry about structure and maybe just focus only on one segment of a song at once instead of a whole track?And how much should I focus on eq,effects,and overall "fine tuning" of a track at this point?Basically what should I focus on first? Thanks for your help!!

    Also I read the getting started but was still confused where to begin,hence this post :)
     
  2. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    Firstly, you need a DAW, right?

    Then, you're gonna read it's manual, and start messing around with it, to get the feeling of it, and to be confortable with how things work.

    Then, you're going to watch tutorials on youtube, on how to achieve the sound the pros get.

    Sometimes you'll have a tutorial that is based on the DAW you've chosen, sometimes not. But you'll keep in mind that any DAW is capable of doing the same things, even if people say "this DAW" is better than "that DAW". So you can watch a tutorial made on Ableton, while you're using Cubase, for example. And you'll understand it, and you will replicate it on your DAW, as you have already read the manual, and you know how things work inside it.

    Then, you're going to search for breakbeat loops to chop, and create your own breaks. Or you'll create them from scratch. And this, obviously, following tutorials on youtube.

    Then comes the biggest problem: how do the big names get this clean, punching mix? You, again, will search youtube, or any other website that contain valuable info on how to clean your mix.

    Then, you're going to practice, and practice. And post your efforts here, for feedback from the most experienced users.

    While doing all this, you're going to study some theory too, as it'll help you get that medoly you have in your head, and transform it into music.

    I hope my answer helped you (and you should check the links I posted)
     
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  3. bcwarlock

    bcwarlock New Member

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    Thanks man...the Berklee courses are teaching me how the program basics works(Ableton)but as far as making a track and that process we haven't covered much yet...but I feel like I can use Abletons basics well enough to branch out on my own at this point(Im three weeks into the class)and try to make a basic track so here goes.
     
  4. DosLambos

    DosLambos New Member

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    Awesome to see that you're looking to get into the production scene! Music production has two major "streams" of knowledge that grow with experience: technology and style.

    Stream 1 - Technology: All the DAW (music making software, like Ableton or FL Studio) and equipment related knowledge. As DarkYsidro correctly pointed out, you need a solid understanding of how to use your DAW. Just think of a DAW like a real instrument. It takes practice to really get your DAW to produce the sound that's in your head. Now add in all the equipment (midi keyboards, controllers, etc) and you're looking at a slew of buttons that each affect your sound differently. Now, you don't have to learn 100% of your DAW to make good tunes. You just need to get "good enough" to produce sounds you enjoy. Your level of proficiency with your DAW is determined by how well you can translate the sound in your head into DAW-speak. From experience, this takes at least 3 months of frequent DAW usage before you move from the "What the hell is going on?!" phase to a "Alright, I kinda get it now" phase.

    Stream 2 - Style: Style refers to your specific method of making music. What sounds do you use? Where do you put your kicks? Do you even have kicks? Do you make the whole song first or do you work on it piece by piece? Such questions are related to your style. Over time, you will find the style that is more comfortable for you. It's best to experiment with various styles and even to study other artists' styles (see youtube videos of how other artists make their mixes.) There is no "correct" style, and the best way to develop your own is just to start creating.

    So start creating!
     
  5. Optimal Prime

    Optimal Prime Specialising in the arts and crafts of Drum & Bass

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    Might be worth while hunting down something like Computer Music Magazine if you're able to get hold of it. It's good for reading anyway, but you'll also find free software plugins and always a new bunch of samples to legitimately do what you want with.
     
  6. teenious

    teenious Member

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    Hey bcwarlock,

    I'm quite new to producing too, I have "released" 3 original compositions and a remix so far, but I think I can give you two useful tips to get started.
    First, don't work too long on a single piece of the song you want to write. You kinda have to have an approximate idea of the whole track from the beginning. For example I once produced an elaborate 1 minute intro to a liquid song, with lots of pads and instruments, complicated automations to make the sound change over time...and after that, I just couldn't write a cool main drop to follow that intro. The completely polished intro didn't fit with my main parts because those were just raw ideas...so I really suggest you write multiple parts of your song before you work out the details. That's just my experience though.
    Second, I feel like one of the biggest mistakes I usually make is that I throw too many elements in a track altogether. Once you have a good idea for a lead melody or a specific lead sound, use that and stick to it. I know it's hard because while working on other parts you will have that melody playing hundreds of times and at some point you are going to ask yourself "does this really sound any good at all", but my advice for this situation is to stick to the original impression you had when you wrote it down first (of course that means if your original impression was not very good you should probably throw that idea away, instantly). The worst thing you can do is write a song with 3 sawtooth leads, two kinds of basslines, string and brass pads, an African percussion loop and a guitar sample of a Grunge song because you keep thinking "maybe this makes the track better". Either the original idea was good enough to keep going through the song or it was bad from the start. Also, for this point, listen to professional productions you like and count how many different instruments, melodies, whatever are used in there. You will often find that the best productions really work with the simplest ideas (and no, I'm not talking about songs on the radio that need to stick in people's heads, this really applies to all kinds of music).

    Well, those are my two best tips to get you started. From a technical point of view, you will have to watch dozens of videos, read hundreds of tutorials, and you'll still learn new stuff every day ;)

    have a nice day

    teenious
     
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  7. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    Very good tips here, man. When you said about the intro you have done, and it didn't fit the rest of the song, in my head I was like: "well, this happens to me all the time", but I normally use this part (let's say, the intro) to another song. I even had this one intro, that came out as a full dark ambient song, you know?

    Anyways, my point is: before throwing something away, keep in mind that you can use it to another project.
     
  8. bcwarlock

    bcwarlock New Member

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    Thanks guys this has been massively helpful!!!!
     
  9. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    You are welcome, man. Anything you have doubt, just ask.