What are tracks in music production

Process of music production

Process of a music production
Produce a song from A to Z.

The process of a music production in simple terms: Get an overview of the different phases in music production in this article. How do you produce a song step by step? What do you mean how? What do you have to pay particular attention to in the individual steps? Here are the answers.

The proven process: Music production - what happens when and why?

By Lino Dumont

Phase 1: songwriting

1.1 Song idea / inspiration

In the beginning there is the idea. Be it a melody, a text passage or a rough topic. Even a stylistic idea. Whatever your inspiration may be - it won't work without it.

Tip: Never lose sight of this "original impulse". Otherwise a “patchwork song” could emerge at the end, which consists of many great elements, but the common thread is missing.

Typical process: music production is based on songwriting

1.2 First elaboration

Once a good idea is born, we have to make it concrete, build the song. Elements are written or composed, variants are tried out and worked on until the rough framework is in place. That includes the approximate duration of the song. By the way, you can read how such a song framework can be structured in this article on delamar: Song structure in the charts.

1.3 Fine tuning

Once the scaffolding is in place, the fine-tuning continues. At this stage, chords can be refined, the vocal melody can be adjusted or individual text passages can be revised.

Also read: Audio Engineer Training

Phase 2: pre-production

Before going into the studio, the most important design questions should be answered. Which sounds are used with the synthesizer? How should the two guitars sound and who is playing which part? Is the singing made up of one or more voices? Does the drums have to adapt to the riffs or vice versa? The fewer questions there are unanswered in the studio, the better and cheaper the result will be.

Playing the song in front of an audience is helpful in gauging its impact. A first recording in the rehearsal room will help you hear the song from your audience's perspective.

This is where it pays off if you have your own home studio and are already familiar with the basics of music production.

A little checklist for your first songs? This is exactly what awaits you in the course of a music production!

Also read: Make music yourself: Advice & instructions

Phase 3: Recording - recording studio & process

When everyone has mastered their parts, it's off to the recording studio. This is where the actual recording of the song begins - the recording. The desired direction should be clarified in a (preliminary) conversation with the sound engineer. Perhaps the sound engineer still has ideas or tricks in store that give the song a special touch.

Those who can or want to afford it take a producer with them to develop the song. Ideally, he should have already participated in the preproduction. In the recording studio he will ensure that the band and the song develop their maximum potential.

Tip: The instruments should all be working and re-strung, the singer should be in full health, and all uninvolved people should be sent home. This enables a stress-free, creative recording. If all goes well, there may even be some budget left over for experiments in the end.

Everything about recording

Phase 4: editing

Timing & Groove are also optimized in this step

Audio editing is mostly the job of the sound engineer. He looks for the best recordings and takes, removes interference, unwanted breath in the vocals and, if necessary, cuts a perfect track from several recordings.

The timing and groove are also optimized in this step. Some bands prefer to do this rather time-consuming job in their own studio.

Either way: only those who are really supposed to be involved in the editing and later in the mixdown stay in the studio. Usually these are the sound engineer, producer and maybe a member of the band.

How do you produce a song? Of course, this also applies to mixing - the individual instruments, voices, etc. should be interwoven into a coherent whole.

Also read: Music making apps for Android, iPad and iPhones

Phase 5: Mixing

Mixing is about mixing the many tracks and instruments of a song together in such a way that the song becomes larger than the sum of the individual components.

The sound engineer makes sure that instruments don't get in the way, that the important elements come forward and can prevail. Above all, important: the singing should be easy to understand at all times, because it is precisely the words that appeal to people emotionally.

In this step, additional effects may be placed on individual tracks in order to get closer to the sound of the role models or to further strengthen the mood.

For this step you should have chosen a reference song. Regardless of whether you do the mixing yourself or leave it to a professional in the recording studio: the reference should set the bar high.

Reading tip: Mixing

Phase 6: Mastering

Even if some sound engineers might contradict this: Mastering is no longer about being creative. This is the final intervention in the audio material in order to bring it to the appropriate loudness and to make any minor changes with the equalizer.

Mastering is no longer about being creative

It gets more creative when it's not about a single song, but rather an entire album is mastered. Here the person in charge makes sure that the songs are all about the same volume or that they develop over the entire duration of the album in such a way that the listener is taken on a journey.

During mastering, the song or album is prepared according to all conventions (e.g. Red Book CD Standard) so that the so-called glass master can be made.

Phase 7: Export - Final in the course of a music production

Finally, a master file of the song or album is exported, from which the copies are made on CD, vinyl or as MP3. Depending on the planned publication, different versions of the master can be created in the previous step (for CD / iTunes / MP3). The process of a CD production therefore only differs in the last few meters when producing a song.

So much for an initial overview of the typical process of a music production, for more details on the individual steps, please refer to the numerous articles on delamar. And now have fun producing and above all: a lot of patience!

Also read: Create music Guide: This is how it works