16 Effective Music Production Tips for Beginner Producers Who Want to Excel Quickly

Aug 23 / Max Porcelli

1. Choose Your DAW

music production tips

As a producer (or aspiring music producer), you probably already know this acronym Digital Audio Workstations, the software where you can create, edit, mix, and master your music.

There are plenty of products to create good music. At HTMEM, my 1st choice is Steinberg Cubase, one of the most powerful DAW in the market.
Look here if you want to Start Learning How To Produce Music With Cubase Now.
BTW, being included in this course, you will also be entitled to download our free sample pack with more than 350 royalty free samples included...

Anyway, even the music genre you want to produce is not influencing this choice, whether your taste is hip hop, beat making, house, techno genre, and so on...

If you aren't aware of what the market offers nowadays, here's a list of the most popular Digital Audio Workstation available now:

Steinberg Cubase or Nuendo | Ableton Live | Presonus Studio One | Reason | Bitwig Studio | GarageBand | Reaper | Maschine | Digital Performer | Ardour | FL Studio | Logic Pro | Pro Tools

Over the past year, I had the opportunity to try and produce and publish music with many of the DAWs above. In my experience, with some exceptions, I can say that all the DAW "more or less" are similar.

The same function in Cubase is available on Logic, Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, Maschine, and Reason... but simply in another menu.

So, I believe that music production is not a DAW matter. Instead, how you create your original sound, how you mix it, and how you find your signature sound.

This last connection leads us to the next point in this post.

Step 2: Master Your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

daw music production tips

One helpful suggestion is to use the same software as a friend who produces music using specific software. This way, you can benefit from their expertise and gain valuable insights and techniques directly from them. It's like having a free source of advice and a chance to learn from their music production skills

Otherwise, decide the DAW you want to work on,  find and start your music production course, get all the music production tips you need, and begin the production process correctly.

Even though there are plenty of YouTube channels with tons of YouTube Tutorials and fragments of knowledge you could find on the WEB, The music production process can be tricky. If you want to save time, money, and effort, you'd better start an electronic music production course and go for it. You will gain insight into music theory, how to create your own sound, your own melodies, and good production skills.

This is because a course has a logical structure and development, and the learning flow is not totally random and not time-wasting like youtube or blog post seeking.

3. Choose The Right Audio Interface

audio interface

Regarding the audio equipment, a Laptop or PC-integrated sound card won't work at all. Quality music production also requires decent hardware. The interface connection type determines the capacity of the interface itself to record multiple sources at once.

Without breaking the bank, if you don't need to take multiple recordings at once (like a drum, for example), you can choose a USB Interface ranging from about $130 to $200:

Audient EVO 4 | M-Track Solo | Universal Audio Volt | Focusrite Scarlett

if you need to record multiple sources at the same time, you need to opt for a Firewire or Thunderbolt Interface, where the cost is higher:

If you also plan to connect a MIDI device or a MIDI controller to your setup, ensure the audio interface is equipped with MIDI IN and OUT ports.

4. How to Enhance Your Music Listening Experience

acoustic foam good sounds

Avoid using shitty headphones or laptop speakers. Invest in good quality headphones or studio monitors to accurately hear and mix your music.

If you can correctly listen to your music, you can mix it correctly. 
Then, chances are your music will perfectly translate even on more extensive sound systems, cars, radio, etc...

Remember that mixing your music 100% on your headphones may be unreliable because the room is not involved in the listening experience. Instead, mixing your track and listening to it without both a couple of monitors and fine tuning it on your headphones, too, could be much more effective than using only the headphones.


The choice here could be oriented on Closed or Open Back. I prefer the closed back as the sound results are less compressed than a closed back. On the other hand, an open-back headphone is subject to external and ambiance noises, and if you mix late at night, your girlfriend or wife could hear you much more than with a closed back.

The product list could be very long. Talking about headphones, the range may vary from $80 to $150:

Beyerdynamic DT-770 | AKG | Sennheiser HD-25

Studio Monitors

Monitor choice depends on how big your environment is. Small woofers like 4'' to 5'' work better in small rooms. Big woofers up to 8'' need a more extensive background to do their job.

Pay attention here because if, while listening to your music via your headphones, the room is not involved in the listening experience, with a couple of studio monitors, the environment can color the sound reaching for your ears, altering the perception and making your mixing choices changed by the room's acoustics (without proper acoustic treatment).

Here's a post on how the room can compromise your listening experience and music production tips.

Talking about Monitors for your Production Studio, the range starts from $90:

Presonus | Gelenec | KRK | Yamaha

Now let's talk about the production process...

5. Practice Regularly

training and practice

Practicing regularly will help you become a top music producer by improving your skills and music production process, familiarizing you with different plugins, virtual instruments, and techniques, and honing your craft.

With dedication and commitment to practice, you can become faster and more efficient at finishing music in the studio, create great music, discover new production techniques, and increase your creative output.

Finally, you'll be ready and prepared to take on the challenges of the music business and set yourself apart from other music producers with your own style and signature sound.

6. Experiment with Different Genres and Styles

music eperiment

As a music producer, experimenting with different genres and styles is the key to developing your own music and signature sound.

By exploring new sounds and music elements within various genres, you can combine disparate musical elements to create something truly individual and unique - undeniably you! Take risks and challenge yourself creatively. Don't remain on the same sounds.

Get out of your comfort zone and produce music you never considered before. You never know where you might find spark inspiration for your next track!

7. Use Reference Tracks from Professional Producers

music industry records

Spending several hours on the same mix may be counterproductive for a music producer. This is because, after many hours, you lack attention as you listened too many times to the same track...

You basically lose objectivity, and bye-bye, fresh ears.

To help guide your mixing and mastering techniques, a great music production tip is to use a reference track. Use your favorite songs from professional producers in the same genre. Put the track on your master bus and start comparing the stereo width, the dynamic range, the level of the snare drum, the synth lead, the sub-bass, the kick, and so on...

This comparison will give you honest feedback about the right direction to take during your music production process and great guidance while making music, like having a professional producer as your mentor and ensuring your production is on the right track.

But, pay attention!

You must listen to your mix and the reference track at the same volume; otherwise, the comparison will not work. To do that, use a classic vu meter and fine-tune your volumes.

Chances are that your reference track will be louder than your mix, so you will probably need to lower the reference track volume instead of your master bus.

8. Develop a Solid Workflow

solid workflow

A solid workflow is not just a benefit—it's a necessity—for anyone serious about music production. Introducing structure and organization into your workflow can significantly elevate your music production capabilities.

Organizing your project files for you and sticking to it. Create templates with tracks already set up, create an organized folder hierarchy, and save presets for plugins and instruments.

Your workflow should be built around the stages of music production:

  • Composition

  • Arrangement

  • Mixing

  • Mastering

  • Distribution

Also, grouping samples and recordings on a category basis can make a difference, eliminating unnecessary searches and ensuring every tool you need is always within reach. Incorporating these music production tips into your daily routine will reduce the cognitive load, allowing you more time and mental energy to focus on the creative aspects of your music production.

I personally adore the practice of organizing tracks by category and assigning them a specific color scheme - a clever method I employ in every project. This color-coding strategy makes your project visually appealing and increases efficiency and productivity.

For instance, if you always color your drum tracks red, your synths blue, and your vocals yellow, you'll instantly know where to look in your project for each component. This way, you spend less time scrolling through your project and more time actually creating music.

Maintaining this color scheme consistently across all projects creates a seamless workflow where your mind automatically associates certain colors with specific sounds or instruments. This can significantly improve your speed and efficiency in the studio.

Moreover, the aesthetic aspect should not be neglected. A neatly organized and color-coded project is more enjoyable to work with. It provides a feeling of order and control, which can contribute positively to your creative process. So next time you start a project, try it out - it might transform your music production workflow!

9. Don't be Afraid to Collaborate 

9. Don't be Afraid to Collaborate

Step out of your comfort zone and collaborate with other musicians and producers to learn, grow, and exchange ideas. This is one of the most valuable music production tips I can offer. Opening yourself to collaboration fosters creativity and exposes you to different approaches to making music, which can immensely contribute to your skills and expertise.

In these collaborations, you might delve into more complex music theory areas or discover innovative electronic music production techniques. This can provide you with new insights and perspectives, broadening your understanding of the music industry.

Moreover, these collaborations can be a platform for you to share your unique production tips and learn from those of others. Through this mutual exchange of ideas, you can enhance your music production workflow, making your time in the studio more efficient and productive.

No man is an island, especially in the music industry. By fostering relationships and collaborations, you will harness a wealth of knowledge and experience to further your growth as a music producer. So, don't hesitate – start reaching out to fellow musicians and producers today, and see how these collaborations can transform your music-making journey!

BTW - Our HTMEM Exclusive Community is the right place to reach out and collaborate with other music producers. 

10. Develop a Robust Foundation for Your Tracks 

Foundation drum and bass

One of the essential music production tips for creating compelling music is to focus on developing a solid foundation with bass and drums before incorporating additional elements into your track. The bass and drums are the backbone of your music - they drive the rhythm and provide the base for all other components to build upon.

In the realm of music production, it's easy to get excited about layering and experimenting with sounds. However, having a solid foundation of bass and drums ensures you have a strong rhythmic and harmonic structure in place. This makes it easier to add intricate elements later, resulting in a more cohesive and well-rounded track.

Consider the fundamentals of music theory during this stage. The relationship between the bass and drums often dictates the groove and vibe of your track. Understanding this interplay can elevate your music production to new heights, helping you create tracks that resonate with your audience and stand out in the ever-competitive music industry.

Mastering the art of bass and drum composition not only complements your electronic music production skills but also broadens your understanding of making music in general. This step, though sometimes overlooked, is crucial in refining your music production workflow, saving you valuable time and effort as you progress.

So, it's time to delve into the depth of bass and drums, and see how this focus can transform your music-making journey!

By the way, in the Cubase Course, I will delve into a range of thrilling music production tips. One such technique is the elimination of dynamic and harmonic conflicts that may arise between the bass and drums. Join me as I unveil the secrets to harmonious blending in your music.

11. Sound Design and Synthesis

sound design

Comprehending the importance of sound design and synthesis is pivotal in creating distinctive and original sounds, serving as a backbone for any successful music production. This is especially true in electronic music, where the unique merger of different sounds forms the core identity of the genre.

For music producers, mastery of sound design provides an edge, allowing them to rise above the crowd and inject a personal touch into people's music. It enables them to write music that captures their unique style and innovatively interpret musical ideas.

Furthermore, to truly excel in sound design, learning music theory is essential. This foundational knowledge aids producers in understanding the interaction of different sounds and how they can be manipulated and combined to create new, compelling tones.

Imagine having the ability to create a symphony of sounds that convey your musical ideas and thoughts—sounds that make listeners feel as if they are in the same place with you. It's an unparalleled experience that connects the composer and the listener profoundly.

Sound design and synthesis are more than just technical skills; they connect your imagination to reality, enabling you to create music that truly resonates with your audience, profoundly.

12. Enhancing Tracks with Automation Techniques

tracks automations

In the quest for creating mesmerizing tracks, music producers often utilize automation techniques to add movement and variation, bringing dynamic life to their compositions. As a mastering engineer, these techniques are not just tools but integral parts of the mix that make your music stand out, keeping it engaging for listeners.

To explore the potential of automation, let's consider electronic music. With its layered, complex textures, and the sheer variety of sounds, electronic music benefits immensely from automation techniques. For instance, automating filter sweeps or reverb can give your track an evolving, shifting character, keeping your audience hooked.

Automation is also a secret weapon when you're working on other people's music. As a producer, you want to respect the artist's vision while adding your unique touch. Automation allows you to subtly enhance and augment their tracks, creating depth and interest without overpowering the original composition.

Moreover, understanding other producers' work can give a new perspective on the use of automation. By dissecting tracks that sound good, you can learn how these successful producers use automation to bring their musical ideas to life. This knowledge can then be applied to your future music, enhancing your sound design and helping you write music that resonates with your audience.

Learning music theory is also an essential part of this process. Knowing how different elements of a track interact, including rhythm, melody, and harmony, can guide your use of automation, ensuring that each change serves the song.

In this way, mastering automation techniques can help you create music that feels alive, as if the listener is in the same room with the performers. It's a powerful way to connect with your audience and leave a lasting impression.

13. Take Breaks while Producing

take a break

Just like any meticulous craft, music production requires precision, focus, and a discerning ear. Hence, it's essential to take regular breaks during the production process.

Continuously listening to the same track can lead to ear fatigue, a condition where your ears become desensitized to certain frequencies, impairing your ability to make accurate judgments about the mix.

In addition, these breaks can also help maintain a fresh perspective on your music. Stepping away from your work allows your brain to reset, preventing the development of "audio blindness," where you become so accustomed to the track that you lose objectivity.

When you return, you'll be better equipped to identify any elements that may need tweaking or changes.

Therefore, taking intermittent breaks isn't just a recommendation—it's a vital practice for any serious music producer who wishes to create high-quality, well-balanced music.

Learning to understand and utilize the frequency spectrum is crucial to producing a well-balanced and sonically pleasing track.

14. Understand and Utilize the Frequency Spectrum for Effective Track Balancing and EQ

equalizer, beat, music

Learning to understand and utilize the frequency spectrum is crucial to producing a well-balanced and sonically pleasing track. Every sound we hear exists on the frequency spectrum, ranging from low (bass) to high (treble). Effective use of this spectrum in music production can lead to clear and balanced tracks.

Every instrument and sound in your mix occupies a particular range within this spectrum. For example, a bass guitar predominantly occupies the lower end of the spectrum, whereas a cymbal crash will occupy the higher end. Understanding where different elements of your mix sit on the frequency spectrum allows you to make judicious decisions while EQ'ing (equalizing) your tracks.

Equalization is the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components. With knowledge of the frequency spectrum, you'll be able to recognize if a track has too much or too little of a particular frequency range and adjust accordingly. For instance, if your mix is sounding a bit muddy, you might find that there's an excess of frequencies in the lower-mid range that need to be cut.

Furthermore, understanding the frequency spectrum can help avoid frequency clashes between different instruments. If two elements occupy the same frequency range, they can compete for space and result in a mix that sounds crowded or confused. Recognizing this, you can adjust the EQ to carve out a distinct space for each element, ensuring a clear and harmonious mix.

In essence, mastering the use of the frequency spectrum and EQ not only improves the clarity and balance of your tracks but also enables you to create a mix that feels alive and dynamic. It's an essential skill for any music producer wishing to take their music to the next level.

15. Experiment

experiment comfort zone

Experimentation is an essential part of creating unique and compelling music. By applying different effects and processing techniques, you can add depth and character to your sounds, making them more engaging and immersive.

Consider exploring a variety of reverb or echo effects that can provide a sense of spaciousness to your tracks. Use modulation effects, such as chorus or flanger, to create interesting, dynamic changes in timbre.

Set Compression Goals can help control the dynamics of your tracks, making the quieter parts more prominent and preventing the louder parts from overpowering the mix.

Moreover, don't shy away from trying unconventional processing methods.

The use of distortion or bitcrushing, for instance, can add a gritty, lo-fi character to your sound that could serve to distinguish your tracks from the rest.

Remember, the key is to experiment and push the boundaries.

The more you explore, the more you'll learn about the vast range of possibilities available to you, helping you to develop your distinctive sound and style.

16. Studying Song Arrangement and Structure

16. Studying Song Arrangement and Structure

Song arrangement and structure are critical components of successful music production. By analyzing the form of successful songs, one can gain deeper insights into how they generate tension and release - two of the most potent emotional reactions music can evoke.

When studying a song's arrangement, focus on the pattern of verse, chorus, and bridge. Notice how these sections transition from one to another, creating a natural flow. Observe how the dynamics, melody, and rhythm change between sections, adding contrast and interest.

The structure of a song often follows an arc of tension and release, which forms the emotional backbone of the music.


It is built through the introduction of musical elements - whether it's a driving rhythm, a compelling melody, or a dramatic chord progression - that elicit anticipation in the listener.


On the other hand, the payoff to this buildup is often fulfilled in a catchy chorus or a resolving chord.

Incorporating these elements into your own work can significantly enhance your music's emotive power.

As a producer, understanding how to manipulate musical elements to create tension and release will enable you to craft compelling sonic narratives that resonate with your listeners.

Wrapping Up

Embarking on a journey toward becoming a successful music producer is no small feat, but with these powerful tips and strategies, you're now equipped with the knowledge to fast-track your progress.

From understanding the nuances of song structure to developing a robust workflow, each step you take forward is an investment in your musical future.

Remember, your unique perspective and creativity are the most potent tool you'll ever have in your arsenal.

Let these guide your path as you venture into music production.

In closing, I encourage you to continue refining your skills and deepening your understanding of the craft.

There's a whole world of knowledge out there waiting for you to explore, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Consider enrolling in one of our comprehensive music production courses to truly 'crush it' and expedite your growth.

Each course is tailored to equip you with the tools, techniques, and insights required to elevate your music to the next level.

Don't wait for the perfect moment; the time to start is now. Join us today and step into your potential as a music producer.

free audio compression course
About the Author

Max Porcelli

Steinberg Certified Trainer, DJ, and Producer with 29 years of experience. He owns 989 Records, an Electronic Music Label based in Italy. Every Saturday he hosts an exciting Radio Show called 989 Records Radio Show on air on Patchouli Deep Radio, London. 
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