9 Jun 2013

5 tips on how to succeed on SoundCloud

With over 10 million users worldwide SoundCloud is the best service right now for music producers who want to reach out to the world with their music. But how do you reach out to the very people who you think will like your music? Here are some tips that I have collected over the years.

SoundCloud, the only cloud that you actually enjoy in the summer.
  • Tag your songs with the correct description.
If I would like to have a song that sounds chill and instrumental, I will be able to find your song easier if you've tagged your calm and instrumental song with the correct tags. Use the tags as much as possible to describe your song, you take the time, it's worth it!

  • Always let your listeners get to download your songs for free.
I know there is many who will not agree with me now. You surely want to make money from your songs one day, but that day when a record company contacts you, they will want to have unreleased songs from you. The songs that are already out there on your SoundCloud is uninteresting to them. If you let your songs be free of charge, they will spread more to more people: for who does not love things that are free? And when they have spread enough, you may be offered gigs and a record deal sooner or later.

  • Comment on other people's songs.
In order to receive criticism and build contacts with other producers, you must show that you are there in some way. And the best way to do that is to appear on their activity feed - Like their songs, comment on those and try to create a dialogue. What you should avoid is writing that the person should listen to your tunesas this may be interpreted as spam.

A proper comment could look like this: "This song is amazing, what program did you use?"

A poor comment could look like this: "Wow, that sounds great! Check out my songs on my SoundCloud, blablalba.soundcloud.blablabla, GIVE ME SOME COMMENTS"

  • Upload your songs in good quality.
It goes without saying. If you upload your songs in good quality, preferably 320 kbps, they will also be listened to on the quality that make your songs justice. Never let your songs be ruined by sloppiness and poor quality! Always render your songs in 320 kbps if they are in MP3 format.

  • Be patient.
Success does not come instantly. Slowly but surely you will get followers and more listenings as you continue to be seen and post comments on other people's songs!

Over to you

How would you describe the best ways to succeed on SoundCloud?

5 Jun 2013

Do's and don'ts

So, you want to become a music producer and create tomorrow's music? Here are some basic tips on what you should and should not do when you've decided to become a music producer.

Do's

  • Find the producer software that suits you.
To create the music, you must have a program that is created for that purpose. However, there are lots of different software, but I recommend you start with something that has a large user base and thus a strong community. The program that I started with, and still uses, is called FL Studio. What you should do is to download the demo versions of the software that you can find. I know it can be difficult to choose the software when you are a beginner, but it is something you must do. Always keep in mind that if you are not satisfied with the program you are using, you can always switch to something else. The programs that I recommend that you check out is FL Studio, Ableton Live and Reason. (Click the names to get to each software's website.)

  • Create an account on SoundCloud.
SoundCloud is a fantastic website for music producers and music lovers worldwide. You can easily share your music to everyone without paying anything at all. You can even upload unfinished songs if you feel like it. When you upload your creation, it is not unusual that you get comments on what you have just created. Do not worry about hurtful words, users usually understand if you are a beginner or if you have chosen to upload an unfinished song.

  • Try to reproduce the songs that you like.
When I learned how to make electronic music, I learned the most when I tried to recreate the songs that I like. By doing so you'll learn how to put up the song's structure, and perhaps some useful tricks along the way. The song that I first tried to recreate was Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s song Dawn Of The Dead. Even though the result did not sound so good, I was really pleased to have created a whole song.


Don'ts

  • Do not be afraid to fail.
In order to become a better producer, it is necessary that you dare to experiment and get constructive feedback on your music. Do not try to avoid criticism, welcome it instead.

    Music making can be frustrating at times;
    but fear not, my guide is here to help you
    .
  • Do not give up.
Starting to learn how to produce electronic music can seem as challenging as climbing a high mountain. But fear not, the more you practice, the more you can, and the easier it becomes to make music. Would you get stuck with your music making, you could always take a break and continue later.

  • Do not get bored.
Something that is very important when learning something difficult is to always have fun. Having fun when trying to learn something hard will make it feel much easier: to learn to make music without having fun is like trying to lift weights at the gym without using your muscles. Have a TV in the background when you make music to facilitate breaks.

Over to you

What do you think is the best beginner tips for producing music? Share your thoughts!

And it begins!

Hello, my name is Oskar Helander and I have been producing electronic music for over four years now under my DJ name "Hellander". Like many other music producers in the world, I am 100% self taught. I do not know how many hours I've spent in front of my computer, frustrated that I have not managed to get to a particular sound or effect, until I have found the solution through a bit of trial and error. Sometimes I have had tremendous help of various forums, but I've always had to search long before I have come to find a solution. So that's why I chose to start up this blog - to teach YOU the noble art of music creation.

Even a god like Poseidon needs help with making music.

In this blog I will cover everything from how to program drums to how to finalize a song. I will also discuss topics such as how to be creative when everything feels harsh, where you can find the best drumsamples and how to reach out to the world with your music!

Tomorrow I will write my first real post, it will be about how to start your career as a music producer - what to consider and what you should do before you start to create your music.

Stay tuned!