This is the first installment in a series of articles on TikTok’s top tips for indie musicians. If you don’t already know, TikTok is an ocean of amazing content for producers, songwriters, and musicians who need help with the business and promotional side of things. So to kick off this series, here are the best music production tips I’ve seen on TikTok…
Produce music for yourself
All independent producers know Rick Rubin. If you don’t, Now you do. He has direct advice on how to “do things you love”. Making music you love is reward enough in itself. But if you like it, other people will like it too. Keep that mindset when you’re in the studio.
Run Producer Drills
If you want to push your creativity to the limit, try what this producer calls “executing producer drills.” Create for just five minutes. Then bounce it. Then start a new project and try to recreate the exact same sound. Rinse and repeat.
Voice Production Tip
Follow this tip for a richer vocal sound. This involves doubling your voice and then casting those doubles. In addition to this trick, try layering your voice several times. So all you have to do is record a new take of the same melody on a new track, then move it to the side. Then do it several times.
Get ethereal ambient sounds
Musician and producer John Mark Nelson shows you how to use a plugin called sound changer to get ethereal ambient sounds in your production. You’ll also need a decent reverb plugin (it uses Valhalla VintageVerbwhich I love) and EQ.
Bounce your MIDI to WAV
Why convert your MIDI sounds to WAV files? There are a few reasons. First, it forces you to commit to your chosen sound. Second, it future proofs your project as you risk losing access to a plugin or your DAW crashes. Also, you can more easily edit and affect the sound of a WAV than a MIDI.
10 mixing mistakes to avoid (verified by FINNEAS)
You must see this list of 10 mixing mistakes. And then avoid them. FINNEAS, producer and co-songwriter with his sister Billie Eilish, commented on this video saying, “I do these 10 things and they are literally the secrets to my success.”
RELATED: How to Use a Reference Track During Production and Mixing
Obtain a balanced mixture
The next time you mix, turn down the volume on your interface. Then lower it further, almost until you can’t hear the music anymore. What elements stand out? Is everything equally audible?
It’s a good idea to make sure you can hear vocals at that super low level. A good place to start is to make sure you can hear vocals, kick and snare when the mix is turned down.
RELATED: 5 Things That Make Mixing Music Easier
Trust your ears the most
Grammy-winning engineer and producer Greazy Wil insists you have to trust your ears. If your production sounds good, then it’s good. And allowing too many cooks in your kitchen can lead you to think you need to change something when you don’t need to.
RELATED: How to Make Money as a Music Producer