Whether you’re an experienced producer or just starting out, there are always ways to improve your workflow and sound. The following tips, techniques and insights will help you create more powerful music-making experiences!

Music-making requires a combination of creative intuition and disciplined work. These skills are honed through time spent on your craft, but also by adopting certain habits that can boost your creativity in the studio!

1. Listen to Your Favorite Artists

When starting out as a producer, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with how your favorite artists structure their music. You can do this by listening to their full albums in sequence. This will help you understand their vision and how their songs ebb and flow in an engaging way.

This also helps you understand how to utilize different instruments and sounds. For example, if an artist uses a guitar riff to introduce their track and then transitions to drums, it will give you an idea of how to use similar techniques in your own productions.

Additionally, you should look into their visuals and if possible, attend one of their live shows or even subscribe to their YouTube channel! Doing so will help you gain a deeper connection with your listeners. This is the key to creating a dedicated following that will be excited about your music and support you throughout your journey.

2. Keep Your Curiosity Sharp

It’s a good idea to maintain a curious mindset when it comes to music production. This is because curiosity improves problem-solving skills. It also allows you to be more open-minded when it comes to learning new techniques and production styles.

If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a creative rut, try something different. Whether this means producing at night instead of during the day or trying a new genre for a while, you’ll be surprised how much it can re-ignite your creativity!

When you get that musical “spark”, it’s important to take advantage of it. This could mean writing down your initial ideas, even if they’re just MIDI files at this point. Then, when you listen to your project later on, you can fill in the details and make it sound complete. This will help you realize the song’s potential.

3. Don’t Overbuy

It is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on music gear to start making your own. In fact, it is a good idea to only purchase what you need and learn how to use it before purchasing any more. Making music can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it is a worthwhile endeavor if you enjoy the rewards that come from creating something meaningful and unique. You will have a hard time enjoying the process if your metrics for success are based on money earned or Facebook likes. Find success in the process first and build your audience from there.

4. Take a Break

Taking a break may sound counterproductive to your music-making goals, but it can actually be an effective way of revitalizing your creative spirit. Whether it’s working on other artistic projects, finding another great musician side hustle, or just having fun with friends and family—your break should be something you want to do.

When you return to your studio, you will likely have a clearer vision of your future as a producer and more creativity than before. Plus, you’ll have a much better perspective of what your music is truly about. Taking a break will also help you to avoid burnout and boredom. This is a very real threat to musicians, and one that can quickly derail a promising career. Avoid it by being mindful of the time you spend away from your music-making goals. A good rule of thumb is to make your break a part of the plan from the start.

5. Don’t Monitor Your Tracks Too Loud

When you monitor your tracks too loud, they tend to sound thin and lifeless on Spotify. This is because Spotify normalizes the track to -14 integrated LUFS, which squashes any dynamic changes in the audio waveform.

Also, listening to music at high volumes can cause hearing fatigue. It is much better to work at a reasonable level and take frequent breaks.

However, it is important to remember that you may need to make some parts of your song quite loud to stand out on streaming platforms and radio. If you want your tracks to be heard, it’s best to have an experienced mastering engineer optimize their levels. A bad master can ruin the listener experience. Loudness wars have dominated the music industry in recent years. Check out this informative YouTube Video on The Loudness Wars to learn more.

6. Set Goals

Many musicians will tell you that it is important to set goals. Setting SMART goals will help you stay focused, hold yourself accountable, and quantify your success just like what is Featured on MSN.

When creating your goals, make sure that they are controllable, meaning it depends entirely on you to achieve them, and not on any external influences. If you want to produce an EP, for example, start producing for at least an hour a day.

Music production is not a skill that you can learn overnight, no matter how talented you are. It takes a lot of time and effort to master. Having a clear goal will help you stay motivated, eliminate distractions, destroy limiting beliefs, and build up your skills. Staying healthy is also incredibly important. Avoid sleeping poorly, putting your body through processed foods, and consuming unhealthy substances. All of these factors will impact your productivity.

7. Be Strict with Your Deadlines

It’s important to be strict with your deadlines, but you also need to make sure they’re reasonable. If you find that you’re not going to hit your initial deadline, then either raise it or figure out a way to get the work done before the end date.

For example, Braginsky has students break larger projects down into smaller tasks and then mark each task with a start and finish date. This gives them a clear sense of the timeline and will help them better judge if they’ll be able to meet their original goal.

It’s easy to fall into a cycle of setting goals, missing them, feeling bad, and then not trying again. But by keeping these tips in mind, you can set realistic deadlines that will actually increase your productivity. Then you can focus on getting better at music production.

8. Don’t Let What You Don’t Have Limit Your Creativity

When it comes to creating music, it is important to try new things. This will help you break out of your production rut and get inspired again.

Changing your workflow is also an excellent way to inspire yourself. This could mean trying a different genre or even an unconventional technique.

It’s also important to remember that you should never let trends dictate your sound. You should always follow your inspiration and trust your own taste above what is currently popular.

The best musicians and producers know how to stay focused, work efficiently, and avoid distractions when creating music. Taking these tips from the pros can help you improve your productivity and get more creative. Then, you can create a killer track in no time!

9. Try a New Genre

When artists stick to one genre too much, they can start feeling boring and uninspired. Trying new sounds and genres helps keep things fresh.

For instance, a few years ago, Vaporwave was all the rage—but that didn’t last long. The next year, a micro-genre called Simpsonwave emerged that blended this style’s obsession with 1990s internet aesthetics (heavy doses of pastel Tumblr colors) and elevator muzak with YouTube samples and nods to other genres like New Wave and Cyberpunk.

This shows how important it is to not limit your productions to your favorite musical genre. You never know what new inspiration you’ll find. Besides, every genre has its own unique sound that should be explored. Just be sure to research genre conventions before experimenting with them in order not to sound too generic. (For example, folk music uses specific instruments and lyrical themes.)

10. Take a Break

Taking a break from music-making can be hard, but it’s often necessary. Even if you’re not on a vacation, taking some time to spend your energy on something else can help refresh your mind and spark new ideas when it’s time to get back to work.

Learning a new skill can also help you come up with fresh musical inspiration. Adding a new tool to your producer skill-set can open up more possibilities, which can lead to increased creative potential.

It’s important to never stop trying to improve your skills, no matter how good you think you are. That drive to learn more is what makes great producers great. It’s what keeps them wanting to push the boundaries of production and explore new genres. And it’s what helps them to keep creating tracks that sound great.