If you had to pick one thing, what do you think most contributes to a person producting sub-par music?
For me, I think it mainly has to do with people wanting the listener to hear too much. And what I mean by this is, I hear so much music where the kick is thumping, all the synths are loud, everything is just...loud. That's why their music sounds muddy. Some sounds are meant to be heard subconsciously, not shoved in your face. If you listen to professional or big-name artists, usually they have one or two things that stand out and focus your attention, such as the main melody and a punchy kick. But there is SO much more going on in their music, way in the background that you'd never notice if you didn't listen for it. And that's the way it should be. Those background sounds are meant to be compliments to the main focus.
Likewise, some people's music sounds bare because they don't have those background sounds. They produce the bare minimum: Kick, melody, bass, snare/clap, and maybe a high hat. This makes their music boring, bland, and lifeless. It's so important to have your background sounds at the correct levels so that they are nearly unnoticeable (unless you specifically listen for them) yet add positive elements to your track.
So it's a good idea, if you're having problems getting your sounds right, to figure out which of these two things applies to you and try to focus on it.
5 days later:
Good talk, guys.
The kick is important espescially as a driving force so I can see why this is pushed to the front -
for me sometimes the bass is overwhelming or out of key tho the chords - while I have a huge problem with this, it might be the artist intention to be original this way.
Saying that there are some beasts of tracks out there on IDL land that just rocks off your socks...
Its all about layers, music is being churned out as quick as possible without much thought for anything else, get the kick bass and synth in and we have got a number 1 hit. good music will always be popular with those that appreciate it. Generally Beatles fans don't like beyonce, the same way Rihanna fans wouldn't like the Moody Blues. If you can appreciate and listen to a song and say "Wow that really faint synth blows my mind i didnt hear that the first few times, how did the artist think to put that in?" music rather than "like it because it is catchy and i can dance to it" these people are 2 separate groups and will never change
most people say the kick is the most important and the bass is the backbone of the track. im going to try to prove everyone wrong by making a track with neither of those. going to be hard. prob will fail. but i let u people know.