This is a question that many artists ask themselves when they are just beginning their music careers. It is a well-known fact that to make your song popular, you need to have something special in its music that will catch the ear of the listeners and make them want more.
At the beginning of this article, I am going to share with you 3 key areas to make sure your song sounds like a hit.
1. Song arrangement.
If a piece sounds professional, it has a great arrangement. I have worked with many artists who do not know how to arrange a song and they always want to make a complicated arrangement, but this is not the way to make the track great. A good song needs a simple structure and good placement for all instruments.
It’s important to have an intro, verses, choruses and bridges, but it has to be well thought out so it doesn’t sound too tiring on your ears or repetitive. Your music should also have a natural flow. If you are able to do this then I assure you that your audience will love it!
2. Your Recording Quality.
Many artists believe that the recording quality in their studio is fine and they do not need to upgrade it. But without a good recording, you cannot achieve a professional music sound.
A good way of comparing the quality of the recording is when one person speaks into a microphone and another person speaks in the same room without a microphone. If you can easily make out from which source the voice came, or worse, if the first voice sounds unclear and distorted, then the quality is low. They should differ only in volume.
Therefore it’s important to invest in a good recording studio that has high-end equipment for better results.
3. Mixing and Mastering.
Mixing and mastering are something that can make or break your track. It’s very important to find a professional who has worked on top chart songs in the past because it takes years of experience to know how to get your music sounding really good.
The audio engineer should not add too many effects, but should only add subtle effects using reverb, delay, compression, etc. The audio engineer takes the mix to a new level by balancing out all the frequencies and working with overall loudness.
The development of music has consistently gone through all stages of growth, just like a person. Therefore, for music to sound professional, it is necessary to treat the process of writing the composition responsibly and pay maximum attention to all the steps that are involved in the production of music.
Make your song sound interesting
You have probably noticed that many tracks consist of several main parts (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, and others). It would be great if each of these parts was noticeable for the listener, that is, it would be great to make each part of the track interesting and different from the others.
For example, if you want someone to listen to your song at least twice, you need to make sure that the first time he listened, he heard something new in it. The same can be said about the second time, but now you need to show something else.
With repeated listening, the person will discover new details in your track each time, because it’s practically impossible to notice everything immediately.
Sometimes artists do not understand this idea and so it’s recommended to listen again to the song, find the main parts of the track, analyze them and try to play something different. That’s what makes a song interesting.
You may not have planned something like this, but it is worth thinking about.
If you want your music to sound professional and interesting, first of all, be original!
This means, do not repeat what other artists have already done or do something completely different from the current tendencies. Do not be afraid to experiment with elements that are unusual for traditional music production.
If you listen to tracks of other artists, you will notice that sometimes they use sounds and passages that are far from their genre to enrich the composition.
Give your song a unique story or feeling
You can not hope for a miracle and expect a good track as a result, without making additional efforts.
The whole process of professional song creating is focused not only on making a master record that can meet the music market standards regarding the music sound.
Every track that you release, must have a story or a certain feeling. If your track does not have this effect on the listener, he will not listen to it for a long time and will probably choose other songs instead.
It is difficult to explain in words how exactly it works, so I recommend listening to the tracks from different artists. You will definitely notice that famous songs all have a “story” the listener can relate to.
What the song will sound like from the very beginning of your track is crucial. But music is not just a louder sound, it’s also communication.
In order for your music piece to convey this idea, you need to understand and put work and effort in this direction.
Create a catchy melody
In addition to writing a good track with a story, you also need to write a catchy melody. Sometimes, the lyrics also is done to catch the attention and it can be remembered from the first listening.
If you listen to the songs that are currently being played on radio stations, then very likely you have noticed that at present there is a trend to simplify the music, but nevertheless, special attention is paid to the catchy melody and lyrics.
It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Try to work on it, explore the ideas, create melodies you would dance to, and you’ll soon come up with pretty good variants.
Make your music sound professional
The first step in professional song creation is considered to be composition. A complex piece of music is based on several basic themes that could allow you to achieve the desired emotional effect.
What is a professional sound?
The professional song is characterized by:
- High quality
- The right amount of details
- Sounds, fitting together
- A clear structure
- Expert performance
In order to make your songs professionally, you should know as much as possible about the subtleties of its creation.
Before writing tracks and full-fledged albums, it is worth understanding the basic rules of harmony in music, for this a novice artist can undergo basic training in the musical direction. This will help them identify the gaps, learn basic information on chords and their interactions and understand what to focus on when developing your own music.
The whole fundamental of the music industry depends on the composition, which will subsequently affect further points of songwriting, so an additional piece of advice will be listening to different tracks on an ongoing basis. Analyzing them will help improve your skills in this area.
For example, listening to music in a certain genre allows you to learn more about it and create better songs in this style.
Within a professional song, there is an integrated musical background, which can be clearly heard. In a non-professional song, on the other hand, the listener hears only one tune at a time and this tune makes him feel bored after some time. The professional composition has details, it will sound like a complicated and complete musical piece even involving only a couple of instruments.
The created musical motives are repeated from time to time, which allows the audience to relax and helps them remember the melody.
In a nonprofessional music piece, there is no such effect. All music themes pass one after another without leaving a trace in the memory of a person.
Using virtual instruments and samples
You will have to select the right melody, samples of instruments, which will give your composition full success.
Of course, the creation should be interesting and original, but to achieve this it’s not necessary to make completely new samples.
The sound quality of each instrument is crucial, so be sure to carefully check the samples of virtual instruments, and then choose those that fit into your sounds.
If you want your tracks to be truly unique, however, you can use your own samples or music loops.
Work on the arrangement together with the producer
The arrangement is considered to be the refinement and creation of new instrument parts and the definition of a genre for a future song.
The sound at the final stage will depend on how the instrument parts are written.
The arrangement should make sure that the sounds don’t pile up one over another in the same frequencies. Otherwise, in the end, no audio engineer will be able to mix or master this track into a piece that can compete in the music world. There should be balance from the beginning.
Arranging your song means seeing how it will move from one part of the creation process to another. You can either do this with pencil and paper or you can use technology to help you.
When producers are using technology, it is important to make sure that the sound created by the software is as good as it gets so that your song will be professional and of high quality.
The task of the arrangement is to choose the right style for the composition, composing instrument parts so that they complement the vocals, or the leading instrument, and reveal the original idea without interfering with each other by creating high-quality and memorable parts.
How many instruments should be in my arrangement?
The advice that can be followed at this stage, and many producers agree with it, is to do everything minimally. A good mix can be 20-30 tracks, which are quite enough, and no more than three instruments besides drums is quite enough.
In the modern world of music, most often preference is given to compositions that are not overcomplicated.
You can choose from guitars, pianos, saxophones, and violins. These are good choices because they don’t have to compete with each other’s sound which makes them together very clear and pleasant on the ears.
Record the song efficiently
After writing a song with a catchy melody and good lyrics, it’s time to record the material. Obviously, this stage is one of the most time-consuming in working on the track.
There are several aspects that can help you to achieve professional results in your recording. Among them are:
- Using a metronome, which helps with rhythm and tempo
- Good studio equipment and software
- High-quality instruments and microphones
- Experienced musicians who will play the composition
Every instrument and part is important. Let’s look at some of them.
Have you ever heard people saying that drums can “make” a mix? Well, it is true! If you have bad drums in your track, the entire mix is ruined.
Make sure they are clear, without any noise or unwanted sounds.
Bass is what ties everything in the mix together. It’s an important piece, so make sure to spend some time on it. Make sure it sounds professional.
Guitars are another important part that needs to have a place in the mix. Every single one should be heard clearly creating the music sound, so if you have to prioritize them, do it.
The lead instrument
Last but not least is the lead instrument. This would be your vocals if you’re singing, guitars if you’re playing them, etc. They are an important part of the mix, and everyone listens to them.
The vocal part is the part of the mix that is more important than everything else. When your vocal is good enough, then if something else in your mix is not perfect, the audience might forgive you.
Everything will depend on the quality of the mix. Be ready to spend a good amount of money and turn to professionals who will help you. Approach this responsibly and in no hurry, otherwise, you will spend much more time, effort, and money on the work of an audio engineer in the end, and still, the shortcomings will not be corrected completely.
If you don’t trust outsiders, or you want to record completely on your own, you can refer to the article from Major Mixing, where special attention is paid to planning your own home studio.
Perfect the details with editing
The editing process for musicians is an opportunity to correct the performance. This is an effective way to achieve the best results. Previously, editing was much more difficult than in the modern world of digital technologies.
However, despite the seeming simplicity, this is a rather dangerous process, due to the fact that the line between improving the mix and spoiling it is quite thin.
It is necessary to observe complete order in the mix, the absence of clicks, unnecessary signs, noises.
Pay attention to the songs in the music charts, there is never anything extra in them, due to the correct and accurate editing work.
in the modern world, where there are many audio engineers and producers who are ready to help you create the perfect musical balance by eliminating even noticeable sounds.
It is worth noting that it is necessary to eliminate only those sounds that spoil the track so that later it will be more lively and pleasant to listen to in your audio.
Mixing and mastering, the last but a very important stage
After arranging, recording the material and editing it, the musician enters the stage of mixing and mastering.
Mixing is the beginning of post-production, where individual segments are balanced during the session so that when played together they sound good, with great dynamic range, on any device for each listener.
Mastering is the final stage and allows you to put the finishing touches to the mix, improving its overall sound, making it louder, and also fully prepares the material for distribution.
Songs that novice musicians, due to their inexperience or unwillingness, do not subject to this stage, sound amateur and unbalanced.
Mixing and mastering include working on creating additional audio effects, working with dynamic range, highlighting strengths, and eliminating shortcomings.
The music should be made according to all the modern streaming standards. When your song sounds like a hit, it has a chance of becoming one.
Currently, musicians do not have to worry about this last stage of production, because there are many services that will help them mix and master their work and create a beautiful and high-quality track to listen to.
Our Major Mixing studio is a service that has been working in this field for many years. For a decent price, you will get a result that will exceed all your expectations. And if you want to make revisions and changes, they will be done for you. Our communication is friendly and open, to make sure we make it sound exactly the record you wanted.
How to make your song sound professional – final tips
As you see, there’s no stage of work on music creation that deserves negligent treatment, each should be taken seriously.
Having good equipment helps but is not enough. You can buy expensive equipment but if you are not a skilled engineer, producer, and artist, it won’t make the music better than the pieces you started from.
Develop your skills, find like-minded people, find the genres that interest you, and create your own artistic image and personality that will lead you to success!
To make your music sound professional, you need to have skilled engineers helping you with the recording, mixing, mastering, and other processes of song creation which you are just learning. Feel free to ask us any questions, we’ll be happy to help!