Most Important Music Production Skills
1. Song Writing
If it isn’t a good song, it doesn’t matter how good anything else is… it will still be a bad song.
2. Great Vocals
Doesn’t need to be a full acapella - even a simple phrase can work. A vocal is what takes a track from being an instrumental or beat…to being a SONG. A good vocal also gives your track remix potential.
Track arrangement is one of the MOST OVERLOOKED skills in music. An interesting arrangement with good transitions/changes is how you can get a label/DJ to listen to your demo for longer than 10 seconds and be hooked.
Mixing is MORE IMPORTANT than mastering because without a good mix, you can’t have a good master. In fact, usually the master will make it worse, because mastering makes your track louder and will emphasize your mixing mistakes.
5. Sound Selection / Design
Sound selection is having the ear to find the right sounds/samples that will fit with your track. I think it’s a very important skill. A lot of people ask where I get my samples from, and I usually tell them from Splice, and they can’t believe it. Well, that’s why it’s a skill. We all have access to the same samples, but what it comes down to is having the right ear and knowing how to rework samples to make them UNIQUE/your own.
Sound design is a great skill to have, but I think too many beginner/mid-level producers spend too much time focusing on it and not enough time focusing on the rest, so they end up having cool sounding leads, but average sounding music.
I put mastering at the bottom because again, if you don’t have the above 5 first, it doesn’t matter how good your master is. It’s still a great skill to learn though!
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