If you have never produced a complete song before or this is the first time you are looking into music production then this is the best article for you as I will walk you through all the steps of the music production process and guide you to understand how making a song works.
Some people think that you can just make a song in a day and can finish it as well. Some people think the opposite where it will take months to complete one song. Nobody other than a music producer knows how long it’s going to take to complete a full song.
The idea of asking someone who isn’t a music producer will yield you numbers that aren’t true at all. In this article, I will go through how long it will take to produce a song from start to finish. I will also walk you through the different phases in making the song so you can understand which parts you can make it to happen faster and which ones you can avoid spending more time on as well.
Before we start if you are in a hurry, here is your short answer,
A song will take at least 3 days to complete starting from writing the lyrics to completing the mastering to publish the song. It varies depending on the genre and how it is being recorded as well.
Let’s look at various phases that are involved in producing a song to understand how long it will take,
The writing phase
This is the first phase or the starting phase where the songwriter might sit with the producer or by himself and write the genre as well the lyrics to the songs that he has in mind. This is the crucial step in a song production as it carries so much weight in making the song a hit. I would say a skilled songwriter can come up with a song in a day some can even do it within an hour.
Some people are faster and some are not. But quality songwriting can make or break the song. Take your time to write down the lyrics as it is going to be the hero of your song. if you skip this step without taking care of the lyrics, you will have a nice beat at the end with a garbage song.
So be careful when you are writing your lyrics.
The idea phase
This is the step where you sit down with the producer no matter if you sat with your producer during the songwriting phase or not and discuss the ideas and the elements of the song. This is a crucial phase as well if you have an idea for a small section that is inspired by a song you drop it all with the producer because after this phase of idea generation gets over. You can’t go and waste his time saying tweaks that to change that.
You should be able to convey how you want the song to be then and there itself so that the producer can take your ideas and make a song.
This is the phase where the producer has completed the beat and would call you for the recording of the vocals and the other parts of the song including adlibs.
This part of the song making process has a huge weightage to it as you can’t change the way you sang something in terms of tune so you should give your best performance in the recording session.
If it’s a small song you can finish it within a day, if not you might take one more day to properly complete the recording process of the song.
The mixing phase is where the producer gets to work and puts the song together. This is the phase where the effects whether it’s auto-tune or some reverb whatever it is happens.
The funny thing about this phase is that, if the producer is not good at mixing even though you might have sung well the song will not sound good as you wish. This is why whenever you work with a producer you should ask their demo first and see if that’s something that you are going after before working with them
This is another crucial phase where the song is polished and made ready for the world to hear it. Most people don’t even consider this step as a crucial step. In simple words, mastering is a phase where your song is processed to be loud and clear in all audio systems and it’s polished so that it doesn’t annoy anyone when they are listening to it.
A solid 40 minutes is all that is needed for a producer to master the song.
One funny thing that I have noticed is that people ask the song immediately after recording it thinking that it’s done. They don’t know that there are two more processes to it. I hope this article brought more knowledge and behind the scenes on how a song is made.
Don’t worry too much about how long it takes to make a song. Instead, worry about how good you can make the song even if it takes loads of time. The more time you spend making your first song you will understand so many things about music production and making music.
Maslin JE is a Music Producer/Composer Who has been working in the Music Industry for over 10 years. Having an evolution from being a church keyboardist to becoming a full-time entrepreneur he has gained an abundance of experience in music production and entrepreneurship.