So you’ve mastered your instrument to a solid point and right now you’re looking to take things to a whole new level. The best way to do this would of course be to make your music sound professional.
There are several crucial points in acquiring a top notch audio output, and we’ll do our best to cover them all. This guide will therefore cover instruments, production tool, gear, recording environments and overall approach.
It might seem intimidating, but the entire process isn’t really that complicated. We live in the information era after all, so acquiring the tools isn’t the issue, the biggest hurdle lies in the fact that everyone has an access to that very same amount of information. In short, it’s about utilizing the tools in a unique way that will resonate among people and make you stand out of the rest. But enough chit-chat, let’s get down to those steps.
Master Your Instrument
Over the years, you’ve probably heard musicians and producers from all walks of life raving how “it’s all in the hands of a musician.” And truth be told, they are right to a great extent. Every guitar legend eagerly points out that they could make just about every six-string sound the same way.
So what you should do after covering the basic and intermediate technique that will allow you to express yourself without a hassle is to find out what suits you the most, which scales, which style, which vibe. Then in comes the ole “practice, practice, practice” and you just might be ready for step two.
Master Your Gear
You need to know how to press, strum, bend, and jam your instrument, but you also absolutely must know how to make your gear deliver the sound you’re aiming for. And this is where we reach a bit of a crossroad.
On one hand, you need to know how to make the instrument sound professional live in concert, and on the other, you need to know to deliver the goods in the studio. It might sound the same to a beginner, but there’s a world of difference between the two.
For professional live sound, you need to know adjust your output to fit the given venue. And this means mastering the EQ and the mix table. There are fine learning tools for this, and we wholeheartedly advise to stick around the sound guy during gigs as much as possible and soak in the knowledge.
Then, there’s the studio gear. You need to know to tweak the amp to deliver the sound you want, but on recorded tape. You’d be surprised how minor sound alterations make all the difference here, so for starters, learn how extra bass, middle and treble frequencies affect the sound. After that, focus on sound effects and proceed to get the bigger picture of the whole.
Master Your Software, Get a Good DAW
This just might be the most crucial step in the whole matter, getting a proper Digital Audio Workstation, aka DAW. There are many DAWs available on today’s market, whether it’s ProTools, Cubase, Fruity Loops or many others, but when you open a DAW for the first time, the experience can be intimidating.
So many knobs, adjustments and tweaks that might seem ever so minor. Well, welcome to the intricate world of music, where the slightest difference can lead to an entirely new tone.
To master a DAW, you absolutely must record. Compose, gather musical ideas all the time, record, record, record, and then produce. You should get a hang of it fairly soon. Actually, that’s what it’s all about – expressing yourself. You shouldn’t look at instruments, gear and DAWs as a chore, but as audio tools for getting your musical expression recorded.
This brief guide covers all the basics steps of beginning to master your audio output and making your music sound professional. But it’s only the start, as it takes years upon years of training, reading, practice and hard work to get to a pro level. Don’t worry, though, it’s far from unattainable, you just need to get off your bum (actually you can stay on it just stop procrastinating) and focus on the audio aspect. It’s a beautiful world of sounds, utilize it.