Making music is a rewarding and creative experience that can be both challenging and fun. However, as a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start and what mistakes to avoid. From not having the right equipment to over-complicating your production process, today's blog covers five of the most common mistakes music producers make when they’re first starting and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents:
1 - Goals
One of the most important things you should do when producing music is set goals for yourself and your project. Having specific goals in mind will help keep you focused on the task at hand and ensure that you’re making progress in the right direction. Without clear objectives, it’s easy to get lost in the creative process and end up with a muddled product. So take some time to decide what kind of sound you want to create, what instruments you’ll use, how long it should take you, etc., before beginning your project. Don't get me wrong, just jumping right into it is definitely important too since that is what keeps your creativity up. Just if you're right at the beginning it can sometimes be useful to create some boundaries to stay focused.
2 - Equipment and Plugins
Before diving into a project, it’s always important to test all of your equipment first—especially if you’re using new gear or software. Not testing everything could lead to unexpected problems while recording which could cost valuable time and money down the line. Make sure that all of your cables are plugged in correctly and that each of your devices is communicating with each other properly before pressing record! Especially when working with new software I highly recommend understanding at least the basics of it. You can do that by watching YouTube tutorials for example. When I first started out, I didn't know how to use compression and it really destroyed some of my projects in the beginning. So make sure you know what you are doing.
3 - Backup
Another common mistake is not backing up your work often enough — or at all! It’s easy for something unexpected to happen during production which could lead to lost data if not backed up frequently enough beforehand. I personally use the auto-save option from FL Studio but I would recommend saving as often as possible on your own too. I just switched to a new M1 Macbook and when I first started producing on the new machine, FL crashed pretty frequently because there were some unsupported plugins. So make sure to save regularly.
4 - Mixing
One of the biggest challenges in music production is getting the mix just right, but it's also one of the most important steps in any music production process. Poor mixing technique can ruin a great track, so take extra care when mixing your tracks. A good mixing technique will give your tracks clarity and space while creating a balanced sound that compliments each track nicely. In the beginning, you don't need to overcomplicate the mixing and mastering part. For me, it was something I learned over time. I would even say that as a beginner the best thing you can learn is proper balancing!
5 - Overdoing Effects
The use of effects plugins can really enhance your track but too much of it can ruin its quality as well as its overall sound. Too many reverb plugins may leave your track sounding muddy or washed out while too many EQs could lead to unbalanced frequencies in certain areas. Use effects sparingly- think quality over quantity- so that each effect has its own purpose rather than just throwing on whatever sounds cool at the time.
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