Musician Pro: Mix, Record, Repeat - How to [AVOID] Crappy Music

Example of a professional production environment

Don't Let Your First CD Become a Coaster! 

Let's say you are aspiring to be the most memorable singer/songwriter/performer of all time, but it's the first time in that you have been in the studio and you are creating your first masterpiece.

Whether you are slamming together some sweet dance beats, crooning out a ballad, trippin' on rock n roll, composing your first string quartet, or trying to be the next American pop diva, there are some things that will guarantee that your latest CD will end up at the bottom of the discard pile.

So here you go, in no particular order:

20 Tips on How to Create Crappy Music

  • Make sure that your demo tape sounds like you recorded it at a construction site. The extra racket from the bulldozers and jackhammers will add a little bit of finesse to your delicate lyrics.
  • Make sure every lyric rhymes with the word "blue".
  • If you can't afford a real musician to play the sick guitar solo, practice Guitar Hero until you are blue in the face and then record your new soloing skills, too.
  • Make sure the drummer is either stoned or dead. Being able to keep regular time throughout a song is overrated.
  • New Recording (album)
  • After the piece is sixty minutes long, add another sixty minutes, just to be sure that your audience appreciates your artistic genius.
  • Repeat the same section over and over and over.
  • Repeat the same section over and over and over.
  • Repeat the same section over and over and over.
  • Steal someone else's music, budge it up a half-step, and give it a new title (that just makes you an all-out jerk).
  • Never stay in the same key as the band. Always keep them guessing with your out-of-tune virtuosity.
  • Make sure your ego is bigger than your talent.
  • Your song's harmonic structure must only float between I and V, the entire piece!
  • Never change keys, after all, you might lose them.
  • Be sure that your score keeps the conductor on their toes. Leave out metronome markings, time signatures, and make the parts as creative as possible (coffee stains are a PLUS).
  • At the recording session, hand the musicians a blank sheet that says "ad lib". Oh, and be sure to hammer them when they don't understand your musical vision.
  • Use the McDonald's jingle "Mmm.mmm.mmm.mmm.mmm. I'm loving it!" as your sole inspiration.
  • Be sure to mix down your master using those headphones from the dollar store.
  • Make sure every instrument is panned CENTER.
  • The person you are currently dating is the best musician EVER and should be FEATURED on your new album.
  • And finally, only get creative advice from your your deaf grandma.

Composer Sabrina Pena Young tries not  to create crappy music and instead loves to write awesomely epic electroacoustic music. In 2013 Young created the virtual sci-fi Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, the world's first original animated comic book opera. 

She released the Libertaria Soundtrack: Special Edition in 2013, an awesome cinematic masterpiece and cast recording. 

Young is a sought after lecturer and composer on electronic music and multimedia production. Find out more about Young.


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