How to Start Producing Music?

How to Start Producing Music?
Posted on: April 20, 2023
10 minute read
Last updated on: April 20, 2023
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Master of Sound: how to start producing music from zero and create your first track

Making music might appear to be a difficult endeavor, especially for people without any prior expertise. But everyone can learn it because it’s a simple and satisfying creative activity. For people who have no prior experience making music but nonetheless desire to produce their own tunes, we will offer a thorough guidance in this post. Providing you with the information and tools you need to successfully start your career as a music producer is our mission. So let’s learn how to become a reputable sound master and produce your first track, whether you’re a total novice or have some musical training.

What is music production?

The process of composing, recording, and editing music to create a finished product that is ready for distribution is known as music production. From composing and arrangement through recording, mixing, and mastering, there are several phases and duties involved.

The producer performs a crucial part in the creation of music. The producer is in charge of overseeing everything and collaborates with the artist. He might participate in each stage of the production. Additionally, the producer plays a creative part in the music’s sound and promotion.

High-quality recordings are the responsibility of the recording engineer. He arranges the recording tools, modifies settings and levels, and oversees the recording process. The engineer’s objective is to create the most precise and pristine track possible.

The mixer creates a single mix out of all the different tracks that were captured throughout the process. To produce a well-balanced sound, the engineer modifies the levels, panning, and EQ. A mix that sounds well on a range of playback platforms is the objective.

Finally, the mastering engineer takes a track that has previously been mixed and uses a variety of methods and equipment to prepare the finished music for release. The procedure involves level adjustments, compression and limiting, and frequency spectrum balancing.

Music creation equipment

Getting Started: Hardware and Software

You must have the proper tools and software before you can begin to create music. What you’ll need to get started is as follows:

  • Any contemporary computer will work, however a strong PC with a quick CPU and lots of RAM is advised. While a desktop computer will give you more processing power for large-scale projects, a laptop is a good option for portability.
  • Workstation for digital audio (DAW). You may record, edit, and mix music on your computer with this software. There are several DAWs available, ranging from free (Audacity) to high-end applications. (Ableton Live and Logic Pro).
  • A MIDI controller. You may use this keyboard to perform virtual instruments in your DAW. It’s not necessary, but in the right hands, such a component may make making music more enjoyable and natural. There are other choices, including the Novation Launchkey Mini and the Akai MPK Mini.You may link your computer to other audio devices via the audio interface. It transforms analog audio impulses into digital signals that a computer can process. For novices, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 seems like a solid choice.
  • Studio monitors or headphones: You’ll need to listen to the music you’re making. It is recommended to utilize studio headphones or monitors rather than conventional speakers because they are made for accurate sound reproduction. For instance, the JBL Professional 305P MkII or the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.

Think about your budget and the kind of music you want to produce while selecting hardware and software. Look for solutions that are reasonably priced, simple to use, and offer the functionality you need to produce the music you want. Don’t believe you need to invest in the most costly equipment to begin started; many prosperous producers began with a minimal setup before moving up. You may build your own tracks from the comfort of your home with the correct tools and software.

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Music theory and composition basics

Anyone who wishes to compose their own music must have a basic understanding of music theory. The basis for composing melodies, harmonies, and rhythms is knowledge. You will be able to compose music that is aesthetically beautiful and elicits an emotional reaction from listeners if you are familiar with theoretical principles.

Here are some essential ideas that are crucial to initially understand:

  • the series of noises and silences that make up a song’s beat. It’s crucial to comprehend this if you want to make a groove that makes people want to dance or stamp their feet. For the music to have a sense of tension and release, rhythm is essential.
  • A recognized theme is created by a succession of notes performed one after another that make up the melody. It is the section of the song that most listeners sing along with and retain. To write a chorus that people will remember, you need to understand the melody.
  • The chords that follow the song’s melody are referred to as the harmony. The emotional environment and track’s depth and richness are created by it. To write progressions that complement the melody and evoke motion and tension, one must have a solid understanding of harmony.
  • The song’s many components are integrated into the arrangement. It’s crucial to grasp how to build an effective arrangement since good work can generate a masterpiece and bad work may sabotage the best-laid plans.

To make tracks, you don’t need to be an expert in music theory, but a fundamental knowledge of rhythm, melody, harmony, and arrangement will provide you a strong basis on which to develop.

Making and Recording Sounds

One of the most thrilling phases of making music. Here, you may let your imagination soar and experiment with various sounds and textures. Here are some methods and equipment to aid in sound creation and recording:

  • For recording acoustic instruments like guitars, drums, and voices, microphones are necessary. There are several varieties, including as dynamic, condenser, and ribbon. Each has distinctive qualities of its own and is appropriate for various uses. Finding fascinating and distinctive outcomes might come from experimenting with microphone placement.
  • Software-based sound-creation tools, such as synthesizers and samplers, are available with digital instruments. They’ll be a fantastic approach to produce beats that are impossible to obtain with conventional acoustic instruments. There are sometimes built-in virtual instruments in DAWs, but you may also utilize plug-ins from other companies.
  • Sampling is the process of taking a small portion of an existing recording’s audio to produce a new composition. This method is frequently used in a variety of musical genres. There are several sample libraries available, both free and commercial, including anything from acoustic instruments to sound effects.

Aiming for great quality while capturing sounds is vital. This calls for the use of quality microphones, calm recording environments, and careful equipment positioning. Effects and plug-ins can be utilized to create sounds with digital instruments or sampling while giving the beat the proper form. Effects like EQ, compression, delay, and reverb are all often utilized in music production.

It’s important to remember that recording and making sounds are essential components of music creation. You may make original and captivating tunes by playing with effects and plug-ins or mastering various recording techniques. It’s so much fun to experiment and push the envelope of what’s possible, which is why making music is.

Music producer with a guitar

Assembling and blending

Using the many components of your song—melody, harmony, percussion, vocals, etc.—you must arrange them into a logical framework. This entails selecting (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.), deciding on, and producing transitions between sections. It’s crucial to keep the song’s overall structure in mind when arranging a song so that it transitions seamlessly from one section to the next and captures the listener’s attention.

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To get a balanced and seamless mix, you must alter the levels, panning, EQ, and other effects of each component of your song. Here, you put the track’s component sections together to make the final result. It’s critical to pay attention to the levels of each component while mixing a song to prevent overpowering one another. To provide a sense of depth and distance, panning is utilized. You may alter the tonal balance of each part with the equalizer.

The following advice will help you produce a seamless and expert-sounding arrangement and mix:

  1. Keep things basic. Don’t attempt to pack the composition with too many pieces. Make sure they work effectively together and concentrate on a few crucial ones.
  2. Establish contrast. The listener’s heart can be won through variations. To add interest and contrast to the song, experiment with different dynamics, instruments, and harmonies.
  3. You may utilize automation to add movement and variety to your mix. One way to produce tension and release is, for instance, to automate the levels of specific components.
  • Take pauses. It’s crucial to take regular rests when organizing and combining. This will enable you to maintain concentration while sparing your ears.
  • Make use of additional tunes. Compare your mix to other tracks in the same genre to ensure that it sounds professional. Take note of each element’s levels, panning, and EQ and utilize them as a guideline for your own song.

Completing the project and exporting

The latter steps of music creation are the finishing touches on the road to success and fame for your mix. Here are a few approaches and steps that may be used by beginners.

  1. The process of creating music ends with mastering. To enhance the final mix’s sound and get it ready for distribution, it entails using several processing methods (EQ, compression, and limiting). If you’re new to mastering, it can be worthwhile to hire a mastering engineer to assist you in producing a final version that sounds professional.
  2. Putting the composition together. It’s crucial to listen to the music again after a productive mastering session and make any required modifications. This may lead to small mix modifications, level changes overall, or arrangement tweaking at the end.
  3. Taking the track outside. It’s crucial to export your composition into a format that can be shared after you are happy with the final version. The two most popular file types are WAV and MP3. The best quality is provided by uncompressed WAV files, which have a smaller file size than MP3 files.

Here are some expert recommendations for improving your music:

  • Check that the track sounds fine on all platforms by listening to it on headphones, speakers, a vehicle audio, etc.
  • Include the album name, track name, and artist name in the metadata when exporting your music. When you release your track, this will guarantee that it is correctly credited.
  • Select the appropriate format. Keep the chosen export platform in mind while exporting music. While MP3 format is preferable for streaming services, WAV files are more appropriate for high-end distribution.

In conclusion, you may make music that sounds professional from beginning by comprehending the fundamentals of music theory, selecting the appropriate tools and software, recording and producing sounds, arranging and mixing, finishing the piece, and exporting the finished output. It’s a never-ending journey of discovery and development, so don’t be hesitant to keep learning and trying new things. You may bring your musical ideas to life and share them with the world if you work hard and persistently. Start today by taking the first step toward creating your own music!

Author Maxim Hetman
Highly skilled sound designer with over 15 years of experience in the field.
Maxim Hetman