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“You need to find your own sound!” Yeah thanks captain obvious, we know. How do we find our own sound? How do we create music that stands out from everybody else’s? I’ve got a few tips that might help.

Make all sorts of genres

Obviously everyone reading this is at a different stage in his or her production career, so it’s hard to give blanket advice – but before worrying about your musical direction I do recommend spending a considerable amount of time making ALL SORTS of music, in all different genres. Even (especially) genres you don’t listen to.

The skills, habits and knowledge you’ll pick up from each style (even subconsciously) will stick with you and shape your sound into the future.

It happens by itself

Most artists will tell you they didn’t really think about creating their own sound, it just happened. There are so many steps involved in making music that you will develop your own habits, strengths and weaknesses along the way. Most of the time you won’t even notice these things, but everything you make is going to sound like you made it (because.. you did).

Everybody develops their own approach to melody, harmony, rhythm, drums, percussion, sound design and mixing. There are so many moving parts that it’s almost impossible to sound like somebody else.

You can give it some extra sauce

Your sound is your musical brand. Branding = repetition. Just look at the strongest brands in the world (Coke, Red Bull, Cadbury). They follow a strict style guide when it comes to colour, imagery, logo placement etc. It’s not boring, it’s branding 🙂

Over time you should be building a library of your favourite sounds – samples, patches, and other snippets. The more unique these sounds are, the better.

The next part is simple! Start using them throughout all of your music! I know this can feel counterintuitive as an artist, it can feel like being lazy, boxing yourself in, being too repetitive. You should always be as creative as you can with each song, but you should also tie them all together somehow.

There’s a few quick examples that come to mind – San Holo’s “swirl” sample, Skrillex’s growl bass, Oski’s “is that Oski” vocal tag.

It’s worth noting that each of these artists also has a recognisable music style, most likely developed through much experimentation like I covered above. They’re not just throwing gimmicks on top.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Get experimenting and start building that library.