Music Studies: Making a Record

It all seems so simple when you turn on the new ‘New Music Friday’ playlist on Spotify. Every week and everyday tens, hundreds, thousands of new songs. “That must be easy to do then”, is often thought. That is still somewhat disappointing in practice. There is still a lot of work to do before a new song can hit the airwaves.

Songwriting

It may sound a bit redundant, but of course it starts with songwriting. And while a lot still needs to be done before a song is released, this is the most important step. You can do as much editing and promotion as you want, but if the song isn’t hit quality it won’t work. So, take your time for this. Many artists also write several songs before releasing them so that they can choose the best song.

Production

This isn’t something you necessarily have to do yourself unless you’re a good producer. Think carefully about what you have in mind for the song; what kind of sound should it get? It is important that you approach the right producer to produce your song, you will also hear his own sound.

Will the song be recorded with live band or live elements? Think carefully about this before you choose the musicians.

Mixing and Mastering

Once the production is done and you’re happy with it, the song needs to be mixed and mastered. Mixing is done to ensure that certain annoying frequencies do not take over and you can hear all elements of a production well and clearly. This is done per track of the production, so each element separately, so that it sounds good together.

Mastering is finishing the mix as a whole and ensures that the track gets a constant overall sound. After mastering, a track is ready to be broadcast on radio, TV and streaming services.

Promotion

As soon as your track is ready to be released, the ‘promotion’ part will come in. Today streaming is a very important part of bringing the track to the attention of the public. Make sure you’ve submitted your track to Spotify a few weeks before the release date, so you have time to pitch to the playlist curators.

In addition, you can consider hiring a radio-promotor to pitch your song to the various radio stations.

And of course; make sure you have a good live show ready. Nothing is more annoying than suddenly getting a hit, but not being able to play a show. Be prepared for that!

To read more about Music Studies and how to improve the process of developing, creating and refining recorded music visit our knowledge base page about Music Studies Education.

NederlandsFrançais