You'll develop your own music production process as you practice your craft.
You'll discover the core stages of the basic production process below so
you'll have a big picture idea of what you'll be doing when you make
your own music. Making music has a creative and technical aspect and each requires a different mind-set from you.
Let's take a look at the music production process...
You can divide the process of making your music up in to five basic parts of which you will only do the first four yourself unless you plan on mastering your own music. Let's take a quick look at each aspect of the music production process and then also the basic electronic music production process.
You will first come up with a basic idea or theme. You then try as be
as clear as possible in your own head as to what you want to create with
your song. You want to imagine what it will sound like once you have
completed it and which instruments you'll use to create the sound you
This is when you create and choose your sounds, decide on your theme and create the basic sketch of the production. This can include your main melody, chord progressions, loops and basic beats.
This is the stage where you "get it down". Dance music producers will build the track up from samples, loops and MIDI. Music producers who work with bands and musicians will record the different parts of the track at this time.
In this part of the production process you create your full track arrangement and finish the musical aspects of the track.
You will in this stage drag, drop, cut, trim, copy, paste, quantize and
nudge the various programmed or recorded parts to fit together well and
produce the completed raw song.
This part of the process where you ensure you have no clicks and pops, that all your transitions work well and any unwanted audio or MIDI is removed. You want to also make sure your timing is tight on all parts.
Mixing or mixing down is the final stage in which you use levels, EQ, panning and effects to create the stereo image and final sound you want.
You have a choice to do this yourself or send your session to a professional mixing engineer.
A good mastering engineer will take your mix
and finalize it into a master ready for public use. They will use
various techniques and tools to make sure the track is loud enough, has a
good stereo image and sounds professional.
Now, it's possible to master at home and this could work fine for mixes you want to play out in a hurry.
Professional mastering is however the best choice for
commercial releases meant for distribution.
Mastering studios will also have professional equipment for mastering which you won't find in normal project or bedroom studios. This is one place where it's best to leave it to those in the know!
So, there you have the basic music production process.
Remember, nothing is set in stone here! Your actual process will probably look like some chaotic mutant-child of the above process. Some producers, for example will mix as they go along and not have much of a dedicated separate mix-down session because they feel this is important to keep the vibe going. Hey, if it works, keep it!
The point of a structured production process or workflow is to help you finish tracks so as long as you accomplish this you're on the right track.
You are ready to send your track for mastering once you've completed step 10.
I will now give you a little secret to how you can create momentum to get through the music production process and complete your tracks...
You will experience a burst of energy when you're inspired with a new musical idea (stage 1) for a track. You should use this energy to drive you through the work you have to do while recording, tracking and editing (stages 2 and 3).
You will then be ready to mix (stage 4) which means completion is in sight. This creates a new burst of energy which drives you towards the completion of your track.
The final trick is to know when to stop and avoid the dreaded overkill. You want to be clear in your mind about the result you aim for so you know when the track is completed. This makes the music making process so much easier.
I hope this post helped to clarify the
basic music production process for you! Remember to download the 25-step checklist and access the step-by-step video walk-through of the checklist here.
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