Steps to start producing music tracks
Yes I know, looking at the photo you have a crazy desire to open your own recording studio and live on music, or rather, on your productions.
I just want you to understand that this is absolutely NOT an IMPOSSIBLE goal. And you are told by someone who as a job sells custom backing tracks online to emerging singers and rappers. Plus it helps musicians and music producers create their careers in this world.
Ah, if you haven’t understood it yet, that person is me!
1/4: BECAUSE THEY TELL YOU TO BUY THE EQUIPMENT IMMEDIATELY
Surely, if you are here, you have a great passion for music.
A bit like it happened to me 10 years ago, I imagine the day when you thought: “Enough, from today I swear that I will put myself under and produce something serious, something MY!”
And immediately after you said to yourself.
So you started looking online and found all kinds of tutorials and you discovered that many tell you to buy the equipment immediately: sound card, headphones, speakers, PC, etc. etc.
They leave you a link in the description with all the equipment to buy on Amazon, so some poor guy buys it and when he gets home, he doesn’t even know what to do with it !!
Unfortunately for you, I know you now have misconceptions about what you really need to start producing. Or, in any case, you are very conflicted whether to buy the equipment or not.
The truth is that most of the guys who are in this world for the first time think that it is enough to buy professional equipment to become Producers.
The answer is simple: after so many years of working in music production, I can assure you that at first you have to focus ONLY on your skills.
And, why not, admit your starting point.
If you don’t know what a sequencer is yet, admit it. Then inform yourself and study as much as possible.
It makes no sense to buy the brand new Pro tools for € 500 if you don’t even know how to create a melody.
I know, it’s strong as a sentence. And I’m sorry if I’m destroying some of your beliefs, but it’s all true!
SO CAN I START PRODUCING TODAY?
How? You will find out in the next steps
And you will think about the equipment later, when you have acquired the right skills.
Oh, I forgot… don’t even buy a program to produce!
“What aa ???”
“Are you crazy? And how can I start producing if I don’t even have a program? ”
Wait, wait… I didn’t say the production program is useless. I said you don’t need to buy it NOW.
Because maybe you realize that it is not for you, or is too complex, or has few functions! And by now it will be too late to ask for a refund …
But there is good news and it is this: download some free demos and you will soon realize which programs are best suited to your needs!
2/4: TEST THE DEMOS:
I told you, don’t waste your money, you should first download some Demos. Many sequencers offer this possibility: don’t miss it.
Give yourself a couple of hours to find the right Daw for you and don’t settle for the first one that happens to you.
Don’t underestimate this choice, because the program you will most likely purchase will be the one you will work on for the next few years.
And also, you will study all the functions in detail to improve your skills even more.
You don’t want to study for months and then decide to suddenly change Daw because it doesn’t convince you, right?
Okay, so … make your choice.
YOUR DEDICATION AND YOUR SKILLS MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
One of the biggest fears in choosing the Sequencer is to make mistakes.
“What do you mean?”
Many are afraid of choosing a sequencer and do you know what they do? THEY DON’T CHOOSE OWN.
Here, DO NOT make this mistake yourself because you risk throwing away many projects and lots of good music .. and who knows, maybe even an excellent musical career!
But this, in principle, will not change the level of your productions and the sound of your bases very much: the difference is your desire to learn and the skills you will develop.
The harder you work, the sooner the results will come. The more you practice, the sooner you can call yourself a great Producer. The more you study, the sooner you can create custom foundations and sell them online, like me and many other guys who are already doing it.
At this point you just have to move on to the next step, which he says
3/4: PRODUCE YOUR FIRST BASE
So far I have revealed the false myth about equipment and we have seen how to choose a program that suits you.
You just have to create your first “draft”, your very first musical project.
WOW, it’s one of the best moments.
I still remember when I downloaded the FL Studio Demo (I don’t know exactly how many years ago) and I started reading that very long PDF in order to better understand all the features.
Well, after hours and hours of reading I knew what I could create.
But in practice?
In practice I could not put two sounds together and make sure that everything was at least “catchy”.
Yes, I certainly had an advantage over others because I had been playing the piano for 10 years and music theory was not one of my obstacles.
I knew best notes, chords, minor and major scales.
if you are looking for the digital piano here you should read the review first.
My head was full of ideas and I was not lacking in creativity.
But somehow I had to let her unleash all this creativity!
I admit, I made MANY MISTAKES and MANY ATTEMPTS to create my first “serious” project. But in the end by dint of trying I succeeded. And to date I have created hundreds of backing tracks!
If I had a time machine now, I would go back to the day of my first project and explain to myself some fundamental points to understand 100% production; let’s see some of them together
A – There are several ways to produce
One thing you need to keep in mind is this: you can produce in different ways, there is no standard. There is no road, there are several.
By production methods I mean these:
-Produce with VSTs: “draw” the notes starting from scratch on the piano roll (virtual keyboard in the music program).
-Produce with Samples: import pre-recorded sounds into the Sequencer.
B – You don’t need to add many instruments to make the base full of sonority
The most common mistake that is made at the beginning is to add many tracks, where each track does not actually have a precise meaning.
I often added 20/25 tracks, but none of them created a “musical theme” and none of them accompanied that theme.
Very few tracks are needed to produce your first projects, but they must all have a precise meaning.
“Is that piano the theme of my base?”
C – It’s not enough to copy and paste to finish the base
Eeh, you would like it !!
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, every musical genre has a pattern to follow.
Where each sub-scheme (pass me the term) must respect a timing: I cannot create a 48-bar intro!
Therefore, copy and paste is always not recommended. When you like a musical phrase you have created, you choose whether to keep it as an intro, as a verse or sketch it along with another instrument for the chorus.
Every few bars remember to change the rhythm or melody to give “character” to your first base!
D – If you have little inspiration use the Samples!
In point one I briefly explained the difference between Vst and Samples.
Vst you have to see them as virtual instruments within your music program. Vst’s often contain whatever type of instrument you want, just select it and then come up with a melody that makes sense.
The Samples instead are in a different format: no longer MIDI but AUDIO.
Because they are sounds and melodies already recorded, already produced by others.
If you are in a moment of little inspiration, little creativity … then you just have to play with the Samples. You can import a Kick (Kick) and a Snare (Snare) and start making a drum set by setting the project tempo (BPM) and creating the beat of the backing track.
You can also import melody samples, such as a guitar sample or a violin sample. Surely in this way you will have overcome the obstacle of inspiration: you will not have to create your own melody from scratch by “drawing the notes” on the piano roll.
E – Start from rhythm or harmony
Nothing complicated: the rhythm is the drums, while the harmony is the melodic part.
If you create a piano track, then some drum cymbals, then a bass and finally the kick… you are mixing rhythm and harmony.
This can be confusing at first, so my advice is to get used to starting EITHER THE BATTERY OR THE MELODIES.
I forced myself to start from the drums in the past… and I admit that I still start composing the drums today (based on the genre that is requested of me) and then I move on to the melodic part. Do not underestimate the importance of the rhythm of your bases!
Different drums create totally different bases, while keeping the same melodies!
4/4: THE KEY TO PRODUCING YOUR FIRST BASE: BE A CHILD
I’m not kidding: you have to do like the kid in the picture above. You have to experiment, experiment and experiment – it’s your first time!
“Yes, I know that I have to experiment like a child starting to play an instrument … but what if I don’t know how to use the Daw I downloaded?”
Well, do as I have done in the past: first study the Daw manual you decided to download.
By reading the manual you will understand pretty much everything you can do with that particular program. Plus you’ll understand if it’s really for you or not.
Knowing the features is essential, as is putting them into practice at a later time.
You must be thinking that I make it easy. No, it’s not a walk in the park, but if you really want to produce TUE backing tracks, you have to go from there. There are no alternatives: experiment!
Okay, but what am I left to do now?
You have to experiment! Did I already tell you?
Joke, obviously I have created more in-depth articles to help you in the best way and follow you step by step in your first productions.
Among these, there is one that explains a specific topic in detail. Take notes because it’s really interesting and we’ll talk about important techniques for producing!