How Hits Are Born
Music producers have different types and styles in creating music from scratch—there is no single method— but the core process will always be the same: song creation, compose, edit, mix and master.
1. Song Composition/Concept Creation
People involved in this process can be the artist, the composer or the producer, sometimes all of the above.
At this stage, you may want to decide which instrument will be used to create the sound that you want. The theme, lyrics, beat, melody, progressions are often conceived on this part. It’s mostly an intangible process at this point.
A full track is now starting to take shape in the music production process, together with the arrangement and the detailed musical aspects of the track.
Base tracks are tracks that set the tempo of the music or which is sometimes called a scratch track (once the tempo has been set, the scratch track can be deleted).
Recording the rhythm section, music producers & sound engineers will want to start recording the drums or bass as these instruments set the beat per minute of a song. In other cases where in the music won’t be using either, they may base the BPM based on that chosen instrument.
The producer then moves on to recording the harmony and melodies using a multi-track recording methodwhich allows the sound engineer and producers to shape the sound of each musical element.
In this process, some other fills can be made such as background vocals, percussion, piano fills and sample effects.
The same people from music conception are involved in this process plus other musicians you may require.
Softwares such as Ableton, Audacity and countless other music editing applications are used in this process. This is the time to clean up your track, correct the mistakes that in the recording process and correct the timing for each element.
Arrangement, comping, noise reduction, time editing, pitch editing are some of the things you have to look into when editing, as Lynda says.
A mixing engineer’s task is balancing faders, panning, equalization, compression, reverb and automation.
The goal is to have every element blend as one unit and making sure that no instrument is too loud or too soft, special effects used mesh well with voices and instruments, no two sounds compete with each other and the three-dimensional space added isn’t overpowering the entirety of the song.
5. Mastering the Tracks
A great mastering engineer will make sure that your final product is ready for public consumption. Techniques and tools are used to make sure that the track is loud enough and that it sounds professional.
All tracks must be bounced or re-recorded to a single stereo file when mastering.
Once this is done, the engineer will then move on to maximizing volume, balancing frequencies, stereo widening and later on converting it to it appropriate sample rate or bit depth.