It’s easy to become routine-blinded. You aren’t really able to decide wether a production is hitting the right nerves or running slightly below expectations.
Getting a track just right requires a multitude of different factors, and fundamentally also involves an application of just the right mindset.
Having produced a multitude of tracks, we gathered some thoughts on how to do a track diagnostic check wether a piece of music is on the right track, hitting sweet-spots the way it could and should.
Let’s start with an easy, perceptional challenge:
Low dB – high intensity
A most natural tendency of any avid musicians is cranking up the dB. They just let that thing go wild and enjoying the intensity.
While it’s indubitably fun, a better way to discover strengths or weaknesses of a track is lowering the volume to see how the dynamic range really affects the overall listening experience.
Are the peaks and lows still just as much fun? How about listening to the track across a variety of speakers and headphones.
Your goal is to achieve a constant level of track performance – no matter how the volume context is set up.
You’ll be a lot more honest with yourself and the production, if you refrain from listening to everything hella-loud all the time. Try it out.
A solid track complements a certain mood, maybe acting as theme-music to certain moments.
An incredible one reaches beyond that, elevating you from a given mood or at least being resistant to it – delivering an exceptional musical experience, no matter how the listener is vibing along.
Getting more than friend-fives
Bathing in friendly remarks is not necessarily the way you want to go.
This means – while getting friend-fives, solid encouragement by your crew and supporters is definitely a motivational boost, it shouldn’t be the basis of your overall assessment.
Try getting more outside feedback, from people who are not obligated, or don’t feel obligated to give you a „soft touchdown“, if you know that I mean.
The way people listen to music is quite diverse – that’s obvious, but often overlooked upon.
Quite a number of musicians I know chase certain aesthetics. They use the same manoeuvres over and over, because 1) they like them 2) they know they work.
A great, versatile production is more than a one trick pony, though.
It contains a multitude of take-aways, across various levels. This can be things like unpredictability, great audio quality, engaging hooks, solid storytelling, an intense narrative arch, immense craftmannship.
The more take-aways a production contains, the higher potential of reaching a disperse audience by matching varying tastes and demands.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!