The world of music production is extraordinarily competitive. There are plenty of people out there with talent, but unless you back your talent up with a good work ethic and an efficient workflow it is hard to compete. Below, we reveal six habits that can help you to stand out from the crowd.
Good organisation is primarily a huge time saver. Have you ever spent an hour looking for an audio file on your hard drive? Effective producers don't waste time on this kind of task because they have an organised file structure and they label things clearly. This becomes doubly important when you start to collaborate.
If you want somebody else to mix or remix your work then you can't send them a session file that is disorganised or they will be reluctant to work with you again. Sometimes a client may come back to you, years after they have worked with you and ask you to revisit a session. Can you find that session? Is it saved in a way that your newer software version can still read it? If not, you will be kissing work goodbye.
In a competitive environment, people that put in the work will prosper. You don't become an expert overnight, so put the hours in and become skilled in your craft. Other people are doing it, so if you aren't, you will be left behind.
It's no secret that trends in music emerge and disappear all the time. As an effective producer you need to stay on top of what is happening – and more than that, you need to know how to replicate the sounds of the moment. Keep listening, and keep teaching yourself new techniques.
Become an expert on your DAW. It doesn't matter which platform you choose to use, someone who knows all the shortcuts, all of the hidden workflows and all the time-saving features will be able to produce a new track much, much more quickly than someone who doesn't have that knowledge. Really dig around 'under the hood' and master all of the intricacies of your software.
You can save even more time with templates, and these come in different forms. You could save a template session that contains your favourite VST instruments and most often used drum samples - all loaded up so that you can jump in and immediately start creating when the mood takes you. You can save chains of FX so that you can pull up everything you need to process a vocal or a guitar in one go. Don't forget to save plug-in presets if you find yourself often using similar settings.
Success doesn't come quickly, but if you work hard and are consistently creating new music you will get better and better at what you do. Eventually that hard work is going to pay off!
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Audio Ear Training for Music Producers and Sound Engineers