A few questions for beginners

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1 posts since 2 Dec, 2019

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:54 am

Hey everyone, I’m currently trying to find out how one could make the lives of beginning producers a lot easier ;)

Which is why I have two very simple questions:

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

Thanks so much in advance – looking forward to reading your answers!

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354 posts since 4 Jun, 2018 from The UK

Re: A few questions for beginners

Post Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:53 pm

Hey, welcome to KVR!
I would say I'm an intermediate now, but the biggest issues for me are, and have been rather nebulous:

1 - making stuff sound good/in-tune; layering the lead, melody, bass and percussion so stuff sounds good together - music theory I guess. Also making bass and melody that goes together, and melody that doesn't sound sucky. Getting the balance between repetition and novelty.
2 - arranging a track so it flows well and keeps interest, how to turn a loop into a full track, and how to evolve/change the piece over time.
3 - how to mix a track so all the elements sit well together without things being too loud/quiet or too muddy etc. Also how to make a good 3D sound stage instead of something that sounds flat.
4 - how to master a track so it is loud enough without killing the dynamics and making stuff sound clipped/distorted.

As for learning to produce music, I think the thing I would like is... more time to learn stuff? Or get better at translating ideas I have in my head before they disappear. Or make music that I'm proud enough to share.

230 posts since 1 Jun, 2005 from Zwolle, Netherlands

Re: A few questions for beginners

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:35 am

Sorry to not limit myself to your 3 points..

1 As a beginner, I mostly struggled with
a the distraction of endless possibilities .
b everything Ranoka said.. and still do too

2 My main tips I got from professional artists are a mostly abstract but so true nonetheless:
- Limit yourself. Better to master little than to struggle with a lot. This goes for plugins, track count, layers, synths, guitar pedals.. even the people you work with ;-).
- Find sounds/instruments that move you. If you start with great sounds, you'll need less to make your productions sound good. Shit in shit out. The dilemma here is it will take a while to learn to recognise good sounds. Oh and good sounds does not mean expensive!
- Music is like painting. Find something or someone that inspires you. Try to create with intent and emotion, not just ratio. Constantly take a step back to look at what you are creating. Sometimes inspiration is absent. Accept it and take a break, be it an hour, a week, a month. A painting is never finished (to you)...so...
- ....force yourself to finish stuff, you'll learn infinitely more, feel more statisfaction and progress faster when finishing 10 mediocre tracks than to struggle forever to make that one perfect track.
- Make music YOU love.

Sorry if these are not really beginner tips (and in my experience they will only really start to make sense to you after you have had you own journey for a while) but I hope they will help you make better decisions along the way. They guide me on a daily basis but struggling to live by them is part of the journey. Sometimes the stars line up... things fall into place and I find myself in a state of flow where music pours out and the song writes itself... THAT I dearly wish for to happen more often.. Got to have goals

Last one.. more suitable to a beginner: Copy your hero's music. Learn from their layers, chord progressions, mixing, composition. I learned good music is often (deceptively..) simple.

Be patient and enjoy the ride!

6 posts since 5 Dec, 2019

Re: A few questions for beginners

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:14 am

I absolutely am a beginning producer, so this thread speaks to me.
1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?
First off, the amount of available options. I can totally see why some people decide to go purely analog. Not because I buy the "analog synthesis is better" argument. I stopped believing that when I saw the comparisons between MS-20 and iMS-20 - they're closer in terms of sound than the MS-20 and the MS-20mini are... Rather, I see why people want to reduce the number of available options in order to not be too overwhelmed. Even if I now see that I want to focus on just one software synth at first - without having seen the OSC on these very forums, I'd probably still be undecided between Serum and Phase Plant, even after narrowing down the vast field to these two I want to decide between (at first).

The second biggest issue is knowing whether my sound is any good, and whether there's any things a more experienced craftsman and engineer of as wonderful as possible tunes would immediately find. Like I already do with my earlier tracks. It's hard to find both honest and constructive feedback. And while there are places I start to find for that, there's still the obstacle of "do I really post here or would that be considered rude?". Of course I don't actually expect to be good yet, after all I've only just started learning music again and only published my first thing on Soundcloud not two months ago, but I do want to know whether I'm on the right track or whether I'm digging myself into holes.
2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?
More time. That's all. The possibilities for creating music in terms of very neat software and hardware are abundant, and there is also a huge number of available tutorials for all those neat things, and for the entire process of creating music. And the neat things (software in particular) are all pretty affordable or even free, and the advice is mostly free and only requires time (again) for digging through all the not-as-good stuff in order to find the really-really-good stuff.

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