The initial excitement before you start your next song can be hard to contain. You might have an amazing idea and want to jump right in or there is a melody playing in your head all day long that you know is an instant hit.
Whatever the reason, you need to consider a few details before diving in head first.
Hardware vs. Software
For starters, I make all my music using only software on my PC, otherwise known as “In the Box”. This applies for using a laptop or mobile, although CPU issues can occur. You will need a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). There are a bunch of great products you can try if you are in the market. Find the one that works for you. I won’t get into detail about which one is the best since the top ones are very comparable.
Hardware is the use of physical equipment. It comes in various shapes and sizes and can get really expensive pretty fast. These include synthesizers, drum machines, keyboards, and all other sorts of gear. If you are making music using a hardware setup, also known as “Out of the Box”, you can still gain a ton of insight from this guide.
Before we start making a new song, let’s prepare ourselves and our work area.
Maintain a Clean Workspace
You want to keep things neat and organized as best as possible. Remove any clutter, discard any trash, all the basics really. I find that a neat and organized workspace allows me to remain focused on the task at hand.
Disconnect from the Outside World
Distractions come from all over. Silence your cell phone to avoid calls and texts. Close web browsers and sign off or go into Do Not Disturb if using online communications. I have heard from some producers that they will even lock themselves in their room/studio, but that is up to you. Also, if you live with family or friends, let them know you will need privacy while you work on your new song.
Take Care of Your Basic Needs
Sure, this may sound silly for some, but it is critical. Use the bathroom, get something to eat, and have a drink always nearby. The last thing you want is distractions from your body while putting together a dope beat or masterful melody. Also, get plenty of rest. I notice I am more productive when I am energized.
Now you have all the basics in place to move forward. It’s time to get our equipment in order.