You are here

How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Aidan324 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 am

[Sorry that I'm bad at english]
:SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS: :SOS:
I've been making music for a year, and i think my tracks sound shits. I can't find a way to make my tracks sound like a pro. I'm still stucking around this prom and I want to move forward to satisfy myself...
These are the questions that I want some answers:


1. Is there any plugin that i should use to make the tracks better?

2. Most of the sounds are made by myself, I just learn the basic of creating sound. Is it better to use the preset and buy more preset? (I use sylenth and sytrus to make sound and some turn the presets)

3. Or, is it the sounds make the tracks became garbage?


I hope you understand what I mean and please tell me the ways of making my tracks better that sound like a pro.

I love music so much. It would be great if you(pros) can give me some suggestions and answers!!! Thanks!!! :cry: :cry: :cry:
Aidan324
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:47 am

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby BJG145 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:23 am

Hi Aidan - welcome to the forum. There are so many factors involved here (songwriting, arrangement, performance, tracking, mixing, mastering) that people would need to hear some examples to offer advice. Can you get a couple of tracks up on Soundcloud or somewhere...?
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3655
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:02 pm

Also remember 'the pros' have all been at it for years, you are still at the beginning of your musical journey so don't expect too much so soon.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9339
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:05 pm

I could glibly tell you to send your music to professional mix engineer, but, as has already been said, there are MANY factors to getting a 'professional' sound, and it starts from the moment you make a noise. A year really isn't a long time to hone recording, mixing and mastering skills to a 'pro' level. I'm often called in to rescue mixes created by people who have been doing this for decades!

Assuming your performance and material is up to scratch then I would suggest you find and employ help beyond that point. If your skills aren't currently up to it then will realise it very quickly, and you will have both something to aim for and experience under your belt.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12203
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Dave B » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:32 pm

In answer to your questions :

1. No.
2. Possibly. But probably not.
3. Possibly.

There's no magic bullet. Some of us are still learning how to improve after decades of working on music (even professionally). There's no 'make it sound pro' plugin out there I'm afraid. Programming your own sounds is great - and whilst you might get some fresh sounds from other presets, you run the risk of sounding like everyone else. If you can build your sounds from scratch then that's great.

But to know whether they are the weakness, we'd need to hear some examples.

Why not post a link to an example and we can help you understand what could be done to improve it?

:)
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5107
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:24 pm

A year is a very short time to expect results in mastering multiple disciplines. If you desire to make great music, then spend the time to learn, practice and grow so you can create performances you believe in. Same goes for audio engineering which is at least three distinct sub disciplines: recording; mixing; production/mastering (even though for many, production starts before recording, and ends at mastering, I see it as one discipline involving "vision").

Best to temper expectations and work your ass off.

Kudos for asking for feedback though. That's an excellent habit to develop right away so you're off to a good start!
User avatar
Watchmaker
Regular
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Wonks » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:45 pm

I'd suggest having a go at trying to reproduce tunes you like. Experiment with how to get the sounds on the track and listen to the arrangements.

Look at what the DAW meters are telling you about overall levels and the dynamics of the original tracks. Some tracks are very obviously compressed and limited to the nth degree, but if that's the sound you are after, then that's what you'll need to do in the mastering phase to get a similar sounding result.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby The Bunk » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:05 pm

Well I suppose you're off to a good start in a funny kind of way; accepting that your material is poor is far better than thinking it's great when it's not. And the latter was a trap that I fell into when I started on this journey years ago. Listening to some of my earliest efforts now has me cringing.
It might be a long journey but don't let that put you off. If you love music as much as you say you do, it is a great journey. And the folks here are great by the way; you've come to the right place! Good luck!
User avatar
The Bunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:00 am
Location: SW London
2 answers; 799 questions and about 58 "Mornington Crescent" posts.

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:37 am

Surprised no one has asked Aiden for some links to his productions....

Upload some tracks we can listen to please. It's impossible to advise otherwise.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 7745
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Still Vibrations » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:05 am

Watchmaker wrote:A year is a very short time to expect results in mastering multiple disciplines. If you desire to make great music, then spend the time to learn, practice and grow so you can create performances you believe in. Same goes for audio engineering which is at least three distinct sub disciplines: recording; mixing; production/mastering (even though for many, production starts before recording, and ends at mastering, I see it as one discipline involving "vision").

Best to temper expectations and work your ass off.

Kudos for asking for feedback though. That's an excellent habit to develop right away so you're off to a good start!

+1. That is perfect advice.

After decades of composing and studying I remember my girlfriend (now wife) said after she heard one work "hey, this sounds like real music".
User avatar
Still Vibrations
Frequent Poster
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:02 am
"It’s like the whole thing about punk is that you do brilliantly ambitious things very stupidly."  - Maria Damon (I think!)

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:52 am

Zukan wrote:Surprised no one has asked Aiden for some links to his productions....

Upload some tracks we can listen to please. It's impossible to advise otherwise.
2nd post dude! :)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6793
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Wonks » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:53 am

I think Zuke was being ironic.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:57 am

Too tired for irony this morning! :headbang:
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6793
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Wonks » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:58 am

I'm too ironed for tyrany.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:07 am

blinddrew wrote:
Zukan wrote:Surprised no one has asked Aiden for some links to his productions....

Upload some tracks we can listen to please. It's impossible to advise otherwise.
2nd post dude! :)

Monday issues. My bad.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 7745
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby OneWorld » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:36 pm

If I were to suggest one single piece of advice it would be to mix at lower levels - we all get off on our own music and the temptation to crank-up the levels to stadium band level is compelling, but the louder it gets then the more subtle elements of the music get drowned out.

And now I'm on a roll I would also suggest getting the basics down first and scrutinize them, eg drums, bass, guitar/piano/keys - those 3 represent the essential components - rhythm/melody/harmony, go through them phrase by phrase, bar by bar and make sure they sit well together. It is a tedious exercise but you might well come across notes that are say a half beat or so out, you could get away with that with say a string part, but not with the basic elements, it'll sound slushy, additionally listening carefully to those elements you can experiment with different arrangements - for example if you have a F1 note in the bass, why repeat that note in say the keyboard part, consider inverting it, or adding say a 7th etc. This widens your musical vocabulary, just in the same was as just saying something is 'sh*t' you'll have the notes to express yourself more effectively.

Once done look at the engineering side EQs/Compression etc - and well that's one of the dark arts, I am still lumbered with the logic of More's Law - if more is better then too much is just right, I still tend to think if wazzing some control up to say position 1, and there is some enhancement, then by default I crank the control up to full, then come back the following day and wonder why what previously sounded encouraging now sounds like a 50 oil gallon drum full of ball bearings falling off the edge of a cliff, bouncing it's way to the bottom, accompanied by the sound of a cat scraping its way down a blackboard and the lot coming to a horrendous clash at the bottom when I play my final chord.

If only I could listen to my own advice when I say there is something to that "less is more" wisdom :-)

Listen a lot to the sort of music you hope to be inspired by. I did one piece of music that I tried to improve by adding more parts (instruments) then one day I was noodling about and decided to reduce the tune to just finger picked guitar, bass and 2 voices, one lead, one harmony and that improved the tune no end. Stripping the song back focused my attention on the vocals, the alliteration, the phrasing, the dynamics etc the guitar part, not being smothered by keys, strings, pads etc came out much more convincing and because the bass also stood exposed, it provided for a more lyrical contribution instead of just plodding along playing root, third and fifth. I was playing the instruments instead of just adding notes, the musical equivalent of painting by numbers I guess.

I guess from your post you are writing your own stuff, so are you asking how to improve your compositions or are you asking how to produce the tunes, or asking how to engineer the result? It's a big ask, being an expert in all, but some people do come up with very convincing results, so it's not beyond the bounds of all possibilities.

One of the problems of writing on the computer is that we produce the 'breeze block' equivalent of music - how many of us have hard drives festooned with 'kule' 2/4/8 bar loops, but none of them ever finished. Resist the temptation to compose at the computer, unless you are doing say EDM where the phrasing and structure is more predictable.

I suppose the whole thing is like baking a cake, the icing etc only ever goes on last, but if you got a 'soggy bottom' all the icing in the world won't save it.
OneWorld
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2528
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby The Bunk » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:28 pm

OneWorld wrote:If I were to suggest one single piece of advice it would be to mix at lower levels - we all get off on our own music and the temptation to crank-up the levels to stadium band level is compelling, but the louder it gets then the more subtle elements of the music get drowned out.


+1 to that. I remember having a Mastering "training" session with one of the esteemed regulars here and the first thing he did was turn the volume right down and it really did make everything a lot clearer. And my band then took to rehearsing in my house which meant obviously having to keep the noise down. The drummer just had one snare, guitars amped at volume 1 and no mic on the vox. It was amazing how much more you could hear and we learnt an awful lot more rehearsing that way.
User avatar
The Bunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:00 am
Location: SW London
2 answers; 799 questions and about 58 "Mornington Crescent" posts.

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:36 pm

Perhaps you should have a word with the OP on this thread :smirk: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=64585
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9339
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:58 pm

OneWorld wrote:If I were to suggest one single piece of advice it would be to mix at lower levels - we all get off on our own music and the temptation to crank-up the levels to stadium band level is compelling, but the louder it gets then the more subtle elements of the music get drowned out.

Great point. If you make it interesting, compelling and exciting at low volume, when you turn it up it's usually awesome.
User avatar
CS70
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3521
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: How make my track sound like a pro??? I've been making shit for a year!!! ToT

Postby Wonks » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:59 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Perhaps you should have a word with the OP on this thread :smirk: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=64585
But to be fair, that keyboard amp is woefully underpowered for vocals, given the presence of drums.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users