Music & Production Theory:
Basic music theory: Time signatures, beats & bars, notes, scales, intervals, chords, chord progressions.
basic music theory vocab is all you really need to get started. That bit of music producer know-how is essential. It will help you go
from competent to proficient as a music producer, faster.
Do you need
advanced music theory to produce most styles of music? Hell no! It
cannot however hurt to know as much music theory as possible though. So, keep
stacking the music theory skills while you continue to develop as a
producer. I've written about the basic music vocab producers need here.
Basic arrangement theory: Song structures, sections, lyrics and melody.
arrangement is another one of the most important music production skills you need to add to your stack. The
easiest and best way to do this is to study and analyze commercial
releases that already work. It's also helpful to learn about different
types of popular song structures and figure out why they work.
production theory: Audio, MIDI, synth programming, equalization, reverb, compression,
gating, delay, phasing, distortion, editing, programming, mixing.
terms of digital music production theory you want to make sure you have the basics of
acoustics, analog and digital audio and digital audio processing down. You must have digital audio skills like audio editing and processing in your stack. The same goes for MIDI skills.
You want to delve into synth programming if you plan to produce decent level of electronic music. Yes, one can use and abuse presets. To really use synths for fun and profit you want to work on your own ability to program your own instrument patches. Check out Syntorial because it's the best way to learn synth programming and sound design from the ground up.
is of course a skill you cannot leave out of your stack. It's a bread
and butter skill right up there in terms of importance along with
compression. These two skills will take a while to master as you can imagine, but master them you must!
Then there's FX skills like using reverb, delay, phasing, distortion and other processing. All essential music producer requirements if you want interesting, dynamic, polished and exciting mixes.