April 7, 2023

10 Music Production Hacks That Will Change Your Life (Or At Least Your Workflow)

Intro: Are you a music producer struggling to make the most of your creativity? Do you spend hours in your studio without any significant progress? Fear not, fellow audiophiles, for we have compiled a list of music production hacks that will transform your workflow and make you the next Dr. Dre (or at least a better version of yourself).

  1. Use Reference Tracks (But Don't Copy Them)

The first music production hack is to use reference tracks. You should listen to music that is similar to the sound you're trying to achieve, especially when mixing & mastering. When you’re looking to gain creative inspiration, let the tracks influence you, but don't copy them! That's called plagiarism, and it's not cool, bro.

  1. Organize Your Sample Library (Without Losing Your Mind)

The second music production hack is to organize your sample library. Label your folders and subfolders in a way that makes sense to you. But don't go overboard and create 100 subfolders for one sound. That's just madness. This is where an App like StemPort will come in handy… instead of manually listening, labeling & organizing thousands of samples, simpy drag & drop into StemPort, and the work is done!

  1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts (Don't Waste Time Learning Every Single One)

The third music production hack is to use keyboard shortcuts. Learn the shortcuts for your DAW and plugins to save time, but don’t treat it as a test that you have to study for. Find the shortcuts that are uniquely helpful to YOUR workflow. After all, music making isn’t a competition for who is the fastest & most knowledgeable, but rather who enjoys the process the most. Enjoying the process = better music, always. 

  1. Limit Your Options (But Not ALL the Time)

The fourth music production hack is to give yourself healthy limitations. Too many options can be overwhelming and hinder creativity, while too few options can be stale & boring. Instead of applying this to your overall music making process, try implementing subtle limitations when you are feeling stuck, bored, uninspired or curious. Some of the most unique & mesmerizing pieces of music have come from working within limitations. 

  1. Save Presets (Future You Will Be Thankful)

The fifth music production hack is to save presets on tools that you use often. Saving presets can be a great way to hone in on your unique ‘sound’ while also making your workflow quicker and more effective. But don't be lazy and use the same presets for every track. That's just unoriginal. 

  1. Collaborate With Others (While Still Taking Time for Yourself)

The sixth music production hack, however obvious it may seem, is to collaborate with others. Collaborating with other producers or musicians can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your work. Not only can collaboration provide new insights, tricks and hacks; it can speed up the music making process significantly. Everyone has their own unique skill sets, and combining strengths when making music can feel like magic. Consider your collaborator to be your co pilot who’s got your back, and vice versa. 

  1. Take Breaks (In Healthy Moderation)

The seventh music production hack is to take breaks, both physically & mentally. Taking breaks can prevent burnout and keep you fresh and focused. Take a walk, sit in a dark room, meditate , but don't be a couch potato and binge-watch Netflix all day. That's just lazy.

  1. Keep Learning (To Avoid Being ‘Left Behind’)

The eighth music production hack is to keep learning. Continuously educate yourself and learn new techniques. Social media can be a great way to keep up with the latest tools, tips and tricks to keep your music sounding and feeling fresh. 

  1. Practice Consistently (But Don't Be A Perfectionist)

The ninth music production hack is to practice consistently. Practice makes perfect, right? Maybe, but music isn’t about ‘Perfect’, it’s about what feels right. Practice the things you most enjoy doing, and how that makes you feel. That way it won’t feel like practicing at all, and you can still grow those ‘Music Muscles’ without losing joy. 

  1. Have Fun 

The final music production hack is to have fun- bask in the process!. Music production should be enjoyable and fulfilling. But don't be a clown and waste your time goofing around in the studio. Or maybe you should. Who knows, maybe ‘Clown Core’ will be the next big genre. 

Conclusion: We hope these music production hacks help you become a better producer. Remember, music production is a journey, not a destination. So have fun, be creative, and never stop learning!