How minimalist music production can maximize your hit song potential

Many musicians might think that in order to record a smash hit song, they need to have a complex, full production complete with lush string sections and layers of stacked vocal tracks.  But the arrangement isn’t the part of the song that makes it a hit–a great song should really speak for itself, no matter how many instruments are added to the recording.  The most important aspect of music production when trying to record a hit song is the quality of the recording, from the drum programming to the final mix.

An example of minimalist production

Take Lena, a contestant in the Eurovision 2010 songwriting contest.  Here is her song “Satellite:”

You might notice a few things about it right off the bat.  For one thing, it’s pretty darn catchy.  That’s probably a big part of the reason it got so far in the competition.  But you may also notice that there’s not a whole lot going on in the production.  You’ve got your drum track, bass, a little acoustic guitar and some synthesizers.  There are some background vocals in the chorus, but overall that’s about all that’s backing up the lead vocal.

Fans will notice if you don’t sound great

The main thing that you’ll notice when listening to “Satellite” is something that most people don’t even realize they notice at all… It sounds GREAT!  You might ask yourself why people generally don’t think about how good a song sounds when they listen to the radio.  The answer: because all hit songs have to sound great.  Therefore, the only ones that stand out are the ones that sound bad–and that’s not how you want your song to stand out!

So what is the key to taking your catchy tune and turning it into a great sounding recording?  Here are a few tips:

Great drum programming is essential

In today’s pop music, the drum track truly is the heartbeat of the song.  People want to dance, and they can only dance to a drum beat that makes them want to dance.  Because of this, it is extremely important to have a drum track that sounds like it was programmed professionally.

The easiest way to do that is also the most obvious: have your drum tracks programmed by a professional.  At Studio Pros, we offer a royalty-free drum programming service that will get you the exact sound you want at a low price.  Not only that, you will get it in 48 hours or less!

Don’t compromise when it comes to synth sounds

Along with the drums, the sounds you choose for the synthesizer parts in your songs can make or break its potential as a hit.  You may have a brilliantly catchy synth line in your head, but if you don’t have the right sounds available to you, the worst thing you can do is compromise and choose something that sounds “good enough.”  The funny thing is, “good enough” is almost never actually good enough–you need GREAT.

But there’s no need to go out and buy thousands of dollars worth of synthesizers and software programs just yet.  Instead, you can simply use Studio Pros for all your keyboard tracks.  We’ll help you pick the professional synths that your song needs, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not your gear has all the latest “in” sounds!

Save the best for last: mixing and mastering

The last step in the songwriting and recording process is by no means the least important.  You can record the greatest sounding instruments in the world and your song still won’t hold a candle to other mainstream hits if it isn’t mixed and mastered like the best of ’em.  In order to be radio-ready, your song needs to be able to seamlessly blend in with the competition, so the mix needs to be pristine and the mastering needs to have the song at a volume level and quality equal to a major label production.

A great song simply doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to its production quality.  It just needs the elements that it has to be top quality–just listen to Lena’s song again!  So don’t sell your great song short: decide today to record it with the professional quality it deserves!
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