The path to becoming a skilled music producer is long and arduous irrespective of whether you want to carve out a career at a reputed studio or are just attempting to extract the best from your home setup. While there are multiple ways of honing your skill to reach your desired level of accomplishment, there are some common methods that you can follow to significantly improve the quality of your output.
Know About Compression Techniques
One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is that they do not fill the “box” when it comes to setting the volume, frequency, and panning. They find the audio beginning to clip as more sound layers are put together and this leads them to turn down the gain of each of the mixer channels. However, this leads to a loss of volume. To fix this issue, newcomers need to learn about sound compression as well as mixing techniques. When properly executed, compression can decrease the variations existing between the lowest and highest gain levels on the track in one audio channel. This allows the sound recordist to increase the volume without running the risk of the sound clipping.
Use Equalization to Reduce Muddy Sounds
It can be a very good idea to remove all frequencies below 30-40Hz from your track as these contribute nothing to the sound mix other than a rumble that will soon clog the mix up with the addition of more sound elements in the specified frequency range. With the use of an equalizer, you can roll this range off from each of the elements in the track to yield more clarity and space. When there are too many overlapping frequencies, the overall sound in the track gets muddy. You can prevent this by being alert regarding the frequencies that are being added by you.
Many music production courses may not teach you that irrespective of your instrument choice, the frequencies will inevitably begin to overlap and interfere with each other. This will also create phasing issues that sound really weird. You need to be able to use the EQ to clear the mix when overlapping frequencies are generated by the use of two or more instruments in the same frequency spectrum. You will only be able to clean your sound mix if you ensure that your track consists of a number of different parts covering different frequency ranges. You should make it a point to get to know how to use a spectrum analyzer so that you can roll off or notch out space wherever necessary in the sound mix.
Music Production Courses May Not Teach You to Be Careful of Using Presets
When you are a beginner, the availability of presets can be a real boon. However, while you can have many presets in VST instrument plugins that sound really great on their own, the problem arises when they are used in conjunction with other presets. This happens because a number of the presets being used fill up large portions of the high and low end of the spectrum as well as abnormally fill up the stereo field. You are liable to end up with a muddy and muffled sound or a stereo spread that sounds abnormal unless using EQ tocarefully separate the clashing frequencies that are a result of using too many presets simultaneously. If you are really keen, you should take time out to learn how to program a synth- it can take a really long time of continuous experimentation to be able to fine-tune the sound as you really want it to be.
Be Wary of Too Much Emphasis on Reverb
A mistake that novice music producers often make is using too much processing and special effects. When executed methodically, this can be quite creative, but going heavy with the effects serves only to yield a soundtrack without appeal due to too much muddling and unnecessarily busy elements. An effect that is misused quite commonly is the reverb; the right way is to tone it down to a level where it is barely noticeable. According to experts, you know when you have got it right when your audience doesn’t know of its presence till you remove it.