Producing good music is probably the dream of every musician. Modern music allows for flexibility in almost all aspects, leading to a no-rules scenario when it comes to production. This, however, doesn’t mean that it should be done aimlessly. Just like the kitchen scenario with the chef, with similar ingredients, one could either deliver a delicious dish or some obnoxious meal. Music production as well requires a series of steps to get to excellence.
Songwriting is the first step of the way. As easy as it may sound, this is an extremely important step. It is actually an art that involves a systematic arrangement of words into a melodious form and tune. Some artists also involve poetry in their writing. Wordplay, the use of sarcasm and humor are also features that characterize top songwriters. But with all the flexibility involved in music, even simple memorable lines could turn out to be a great tune.
Arrangement is the next stage. This being a little understood concept, it sometimes ends up getting neglected. This is what makes a song entertaining. It involves systemizing the words into verses, chorus, pre-chorus, and even a bridge. It is here where the appropriate instruments for every part are chosen. The voice backups are also determined at this stage. If done well, music at this stage could end up being melodious tunes.
Then there is tracking and editing. Tracking is the process of recording the music into something tangible. In most cases, each track is recorded separately. It is sometimes referred to as multi-tracking. Editing, on the other hand, should be done after the tracking process. It entails cutting out the unnecessary parts to leave only the sweet melody. In some cases, editing is not necessary since the recording could be flawless. The step is important and ought not to be skipped nonetheless.
Mixing is the step that follows. This is where the final output of a song could go all wrong. It is important to have top quality speakers when undertaking this step. The instruments and vocals volumes are balanced at this level. Producing of vocals and some instruments into the left-right or surround system is also done here.
The final stage is known as mastering. It is highly recommended to let a mastering engineer take care of this. It requires fine skills and software to do this. It is sometimes considered as part of mixing as it largely involves the final harmonization of all sounds.
Each of these stages needs to be taken seriously in order to come up with a high-quality track. Some experienced producers sometimes combine a number of steps but they never negate any of them.