Invest In Time – Habits For Music Producers

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I take that because you’re on this website and you want to become a better producer. You want to make better music and you have long term goals.

Things that we think “If I do this it will be a waste of time” It is mostly because there is no immediate reward. But if you do it anyway it will pay you in long term and you will enjoy fruits of your “Not that cool” activity.

Invest in time activities are sometimes those which are “boring” while you are doing it.

So what are the best habits to become a better music producer

1. Remaking

Remaking seems the waste of time sometimes because you are not creating anything new, you are just recreating another’s song. But doing this you will learn a lot. chord progressions, song structures, DAW techniques, Beat making, Making synth patches, Basslines it is endless. It is the No.1 practiAny kind of effort brings tension, and this is bad in long run, so make your workflow as effortless as possible so you will go much much further.ce if you want to improve your production.

2. Synth Patches

The track you are making is going just dope, the groove is so right, and chord progression is from like heaven! and above that the synth patch you’ve just made after two and half hours of experimenting is totally killing it. So! Save it. Not just in that session but in that synth also. If you got free time, use that time and save patches.

3. Making Templates

This will help you when you just got an idea and want implement in session as quickly as possible. not wasting time on creating tracks, routing, adding effects ( Delay, Reverb Etc.)

It will sure take time to create the template with all instrument loaded, tracks routed with and basic inserts like eq, compressor, but take the time and make it, an hour? two hours? you just saved a hell lot of time on setting up the whole session from blank – EVERY TIME!

4. Making / Using Keyboard Shortcuts

We all know our DAW or any software’s basic shortcuts. Good! Learn more! and if your software allows you to make the new ones, then take some time to figure out where you waste time or wat to speed that part and make a shortcut for that. the time you spent figuring out and making the shortcuts is invested time for the future time waste.

5. Practicing Your Instrument

This is not a new thing and it’s very obvious to say that practice your instrument daily.

But practicing your instrument is the best investment you make in time.

It will help you improvise new melodies, harmonies when deadline is very tight. When you regularly practice you will find easy to improvise and stretch your boundaries of playing and composing music in general

No doubt music theory helps and you need to apply that on musical instruments. So with time it will become easy to create new chord progression, new melody, new scale for particular mood.

It is the best investment of time.

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Any kind of effort brings tension, and this is bad in a long run, So make your workflow as effortless as possible.

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1-Minute Tutorials

Hello, everyone, NotesAlive Music has started 1-minute tutorial series on YouTube, Showing various topics like mixing, songwriting, production techniques under 1 minute. currently using Cubase for these tutorials, but you can try these techniques and tips with your DAW or any other DAW. So stick with us and check other videos on the channel, and don’t forget to like and subscribe. Have fun!

Here’s the recent one on Creating Templates.

 

 

 

 

Limit Your Options

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Too much plugins, softwares will not only take your hard drive space but it will also create huge mental clutter. At some point you will find yourself stuck choosing which plugin to use, This is happening because you have given yourself too many options. Limit your options so you don’t have to worry about anything else besides creating great music. Yes you can have countless pieces of gear, but sometimes that amount of gear becomes a problem.

There are two main areas to declutter.

  1. Software Plugins/tools: keep one or two plugins to serve the one purpose e.g. One plugin for compressor, one or two for EQ, and so on for the reverb, delay and other inserts. Don’t waste time to go through every tool every time, you would never get any work done. Try this, pretend you have hardware console, you can’t change new effects every time. Use this idea in your DAW, if you have console you will not go and buy new hardware effects for every new project. Treat your DAW as console. You install countless tools just because you can, is pointless. Keep few but best tools.
  1. Hardware stuff: Same thing goes for your physical stuff like your instruments. Keep your signal chain simple. Too many stuff is too much hassle. Limit your instruments, effect pedals, amps, cables. This will also help your studio look more clutter free. Use less but use it fully. Use one hardware tool and tweak every possible combination to create a tone rather than having 10 and never touched any button on them. With simple signal chain you’ll make decisions faster.

Minimal mind-set: Minimalism is lifestyle. It helps us focus on what’s important. If you take a close look in your system and your studio you will find that we unknowingly own things that we’ll likely never use. Strive for a minimal setup and you feel light because now you don’t carry so much junk, you don’t own so much junk and you can focus on what’s really important to you. By keeping your choices limited you can use all your energy for the most important thing, “creativity”.

My 3 Favorite “FREE” synths.

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Noisemeker by TAL 

(click on name to get download page)

Very much warm sounding traditional analogue-modeling synth.and also easy to use, it has  2 oscillator and 1 sub osc square with 3 LFOs, and effects are chorus and reverb. and with plenty presets to start with. highly recommended and one of the best free synths.

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superwave_p8 

It has that typical software synthy type sound. good for techno, trance. With multimode filter oscillator and two panoramizables oscillators individually with a good assortment of waveforms basic convertible all in Dual (two forms of the same wave oscillator).bring back the era of 70s and 80s.

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Beat zampler

Industry stranded beat and sound shaping its best. you can make your sound with integrated multi-mode filter types lowpass, highpass , bandpass and bandstop filters.it is not only produce beats it got powerful engine to create ambient cinematic effects. This was very quick and technical and Why i am talking about only three? because talking about free synths could take my whole blog. But dont stop reading yet, i am giving a small list of names of free synths for you to check out. So download and enjoy music making.

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Introduction to composing for Production Music Libraries

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It is not that different than writing normal music. It has certain criteria you have to follow, balancing with your creativity.

Production music used for visual mainly, for TV ads, corporate videos like training videos, company profile video, YouTube videos, games, which is huge industry for music. Short films, animated films or other visuals.

Production music’s purpose is elevate the content. it should go with the feel and match the vibe of the content. Watching some TV is good idea to know where and how it is used.

Reading the points below will give you basic idea of how to approach composing for Production music. 

  1. Quantity matters when you write music for libraries. Write maximum number of tracks in every possible genre. Make schedule of composing like 3 track per week or 2 track per week, whatever suits you. But do it regularly don’t procrastinate on schedule.
  1. Edits are very important. Make 30 sec, 60 sec and 1 minute version of each track. Also make version of muting some instruments e.g. same track available with only drums or only melody or any particular instrument solo only. This can give client good options so that he can buy exactly what is suitable for his project. Making Loops is also a good idea. 
  1. Listen to other artist’s music. It helps a lot listening to lots of music by people who are actually making it or to understand what markets trend is, learn the genre and master it. Composer should not bound by any particular genre, Yes, having personal favorite genre is not a bad thing but you should be good at composing in different genres. 
  1. Market yourself make a website to showcase your tracks. Make soundcloud, YouTube channel, Facebook page work for you. Work on promoting your music and show your work as much as possible.

This was very brief post of the topic. I will write more in depth on composing techniques especially for library music. Till then keep composing and write lots of music.

What Is Production Music?

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As on Wikipedia

Production music (also known as stock music or library music) is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media Oftentimes, the music is produced and owned by production music libraries.

We hear production music everyday on TV or radio ads,documentaries,short films. the music used in movies is called “Background Score”that is totally different genre i will write the dedicated post on this subject. The purpose of this music is to support and elevate the content.