Music producers, stop comparing your music to the music you hear on the radio and from your favourite producers. Let me tell you why I’m bout to make a case for that right now.
Music producers, it’s very natural, have no fear. It’s very natural for you to compare your music to the music you hear on the radio, to the music producers that you look up to. It’s a very natural thing, I did the same thing. In the very beginning, I used to listen to my beats and man, I used to say like why do my beats not sound like, they knock, but why don’t they knock, like how the radio beats knock. Why don’t my drums knock the way Timbaland’s drums knock? And what I came to realise over the years, and I hope that I can you know, save you some heartbreak on your journey, is that first and foremost. It’s unfair for you to compare your process to their process. It’s unfair for you to compare your particular beats to their particular beats, because they go through different processes.
Now, here, first and foremost. When you’re comparing your music to the music on the radio, understand the radio music, the process alone that it takes for a song to go from a studio all the way onto the radio, you’d be amazed, how many hands touch that song. You know, some people like to outsource their music to be mastered by certain companies that there only purpose is not to mix a song, it’s just to master it. So, when they, you know, bounce the song out of engineer, bounces the song out, and they leave head room. What they do, is they send that over to a mastering company to basically you know, kind of like, almost like pull the strings like Geppetto of the different sound scopes they wanna pull more out of you know. It’s a lot that’s going into that process and you know, something that somebody told me that was very helpful in addition to that was that you know, what you have to realise is that when you’re dealing with 100,000-dollar equipment, like an SSL board, those big boards you see in the studios. They’re $100,000 for a reason, right? They’re expensive like that because you can’t get that sound in any other thing that you’re using and that’s not to say people are not using cheaper things and getting on the radio. No, by all means, it’s happening you know, cause what it comes down to is the connection with the people.
What I’m saying is, when you’re comparing your music to music that you’re hearing or people that you’re looking up to. If you don’t know all the tools that went into it, it’s unfair to you and your process, unfair to you and your growth. What you’re gonna end up doing is, what I ended up doing. I started comparing myself way too early and you know, what I didn’t acknowledge was the fact that. 2 things. 1. They had this very expensive equipment and I had limitations based upon what I had, cause I didn’t have that equipment and 2, what I overlooked was that. No matter how great a beat sounds, it all has to start with something. Maybe it’s a kick, maybe it’s you know, a melody, maybe it’s a very simple melody, maybe they don’t know how to play the keys, maybe they just know how to play a few keys and then they build it into chords and it becomes what it becomes. Every beat has a beginning. When you understand that every beat has a beginning, you start to look at your beat and say, you know what. It may not necessarily be there right now, but I’m making improvements. And as long as you’re improving upon the model of what you were yesterday, you are winning.
Don’t get yourself caught in a mindset that man, my beats just need to be sounding like this person’s or they need to sound like this or I’m not gonna make it. That’s not the way to go about it. What’s gonna happen, is you’re gonna hit chasing and chasing other producers as opposed to just, you know, being the best you possible. We need you, we need your sounds, we don’t need another Sonny Digital or another Metro Boomin, we need you. It’s great if those are your influences, it’s great if you’re using it as a learning tool and you’re learning different techniques, but guess what, you got techniques that we gottta hear from.
You know, I’ve done some amazing things with you know the very stock sounds of FL Studio in the very beginning and people were like, what drum kit is that? And I’m like the one that came with FL Studio. They’re like nah, no way, no way. I just learned more about my skill set, more about technique and really I made the focus not how can I be you know, how can my music sound as good as the ones on the radio. I said how can it be better than what it is already? How can I improve upon that? Are there things that I can learn from them, cause you know, keep in mind, there’s a lot of resources out here, you know, more than when I was coming up.
When I came up, the only thing we had was really scratch magazine that would sell you sort of you know, the equipment that certain producers use. But keep in mind, they didn’t tell you all the equipment, they just kinda tell you just enough. They can’t tell you their trade secrets, right? But for other producers you know, or not other producers. Producers nowadays, we have resources like just different websites that will tell you all the equipment they’re using or at least what’s been featured in videos they’ve been doing and going from that process and saying okay, I need to improve upon what I already have. If you’re not at that level, you know, and you wish to attain to be at that level, you gotta focus in on what you got right now, maximise that right there. Right there where you’re at, if you’re in a patio, if you’re in a closet, if you’re in you know, your bedroom, you need to maximise upon what you have right there. You know, before you worry about you know trying to sound like you know the stuff that you hear on the radio, how about you just get some studio monitors first? You know, why don’t you, you know, get some sounds that actually have a higher quality, cause they’re certain BST’s that although they may sound great in your headphones, soon as you get in the car, that’s like yo, these are trash. You know, you just have to understand that every song goes through a process before it gets to the radio. Every producer starts from something, they start from square one. What is your square one, how can you improve upon it, how can you maximise upon what you already have. My friends that is the way to approach it. Stop comparing yourself to the stuff you hear on the radio and your favourite producers. You need to make your stamp on this earth.
Once again, this is Curtiss King of airbit.com, have a good one.
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