The music production process is a complicated one full of many different steps: setup, recording, collaboration, mixing, mastering, distribution.
Musistic aims to help musicians through all the steps but there are still many problems that can arise during the process. Those production mistakes can have a detrimental effect on your end result.
While it’s impossible to predict all problems that could arise, you can set yourself up to avoid the most common mistakes in music production. Planning to avoid the music production mistakes listed below will help you keep you project on track and successful.
Music Production Mistake: Wearing too many hats
When you are making music on your own it is tempting to do everything yourself.
With a tight budget you decide to save money here and there by taking on the roles of musician, recording engineer, producer, mixer, mastering engineer. It can feel easier and cheaper to do everything yourself in the music production process.
However, when you are doing it all you typically get less than stellar results. It is easy to miss critical details and you make mistakes because you are trying to do everything. You lose a critical set of second ears capable of catching flaws and improving your music.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, hire experts to help you through each part of the recording process. If you can’t afford to hire anyone then at least get help from friends or interns knowledgable about music production. It will help you catch those tiny mistakes you wouldn’t notice after listening to your track a dozen times.
Music Production Mistake: Skimping on monitoring
What you hear when you create music and play it back through monitors will affect every decision you make. Because of this it is incredibly important that you purchase decent monitors for music production.
Saving money by relying on old or subpar monitors will cost you more money in the long run because you’ll have to deal with a mix that doesn’t sound as good as it should. You need to hear what the music really sounds like through good monitors so you can make any needed adjustments.
Quality monitors should be one of your first investments in a home studio. For monitoring a decent set of headphones is a good place to start and you should expect to spend at least $100 on some decent studio headphones like the Sony MDR-7506 Headphones.
Music Production Mistake: Planning to fix it in the mix
The phrase “fix it in the mix” is an old joke but we still hear musicians and new producers saying it. Planning to fix anything that doesn’t sound right later in the music production process is a mistake.
While there are many tools out there to help correct sound it is not the best approach. You should aim to record your track as perfectly as possible from the beginning instead of later relying on tools like auto-tuning and time-shifting. Having the best possible recording of your track lets you focus on other necessary processes later rather than devoting time and energy into corrective measures.
Instead of working to fix mistakes, avoid this music production mistake by striving to get the best quality music possible right at the source.
Music Production Mistake: Mixing right after recording
Whenever possible avoid doing separate music production processes on the same day. Mixing right after you’ve finished recording doesn’t allow you to distance yourself from the previous task and get in the right headspace for mixing.
When mixing you need to focus on the big picture. Getting farther away from the technical details of recording allows you to switch gears to this bigger picture focus. You’ll be better equipped to hear the full arrangement and make the right adjustments for a great blended sound.
Giving yourself just one day between recording and mixing can help you avoid music production mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise catch because you are too focused on details. If you don’t have time to wait a day then find a way to clear your head by taking a walk or playing other music. Clear your head so you don’t make mistakes when jumping immediately from recording to mixing.
Music Production Mistake: Mastering your own mixes
As we mentioned in our Mastering 101 blog post, mastering your own mixes is usually a mistake. If possible you should not master your own mixes. Mastering is the last chance to fix problems with your track so it is important to catch any final issues and having outside perspective helps you catch things you might miss on your own.
Ideally finding a mastering engineer that can bring experience and expertise to your mix is the best choice for mastering. It is better to have a fresh set of ears or a service that can help you through that final stage of music production.
If you can’t afford to hire a mastering engineer we recommend using an online service like LANDR rather than going at it alone. You can try out mastering a track for free inside your Musistic account. Login to your Musistic account to see how LANDR can help you master your mixes.
Hopefully you will be able to avoid these mistakes now that you know about these music production mistakes.