5 Ways to Make Your Music Sound Better

Whether you’re a beginner musician just starting out or an experienced player, chances are you could stand to make your music sound better. After all, the more experienced we get, the better our ear becomes and the more we start to notice things that don’t sound quite right. Even if you are a seasoned pro who has everything figured out, there’s a good chance you could improve your sound.

Improving your sound means making sure every note you play sounds clear and that you’re not sacrificing musicality for technical accuracy. It means tackling issues like unbalanced volume levels or lack of resonance in your instrument. It also means learning about practical things like mic technique and how different musicians adjust their playing style depending on the genre they specialize in or the repertoire they prefer to perform from.

If your goal is to create musically rich and expressive music that captivates listeners with its naturalness and emotional depth, then reading on is probably going to be worth it too!

Play Back Your Tracks to Hear What You Need to Improve

A common first step to improving your sound is to play back your tracks and compare the sound quality to how you recorded them. This will give you a sense of the technical issues you might be having that are holding you back from sounding your best. If you’re playing back your tracks on a high-quality interface or recording device, you’ll immediately notice if your instrument or microphone volume is too low, or if your track is sounding thin or muffled. This will be apparent even if you recorded your track in a polished studio setting. If your track is too low in volume, you risk losing important details in your mix because they will be too quiet to be heard. If your track is too loud, you may be damaging your instrument or microphone.

Try Playing Along with a Song You Love Before Recording New Tracks

A great way to improve your sound is to record yourself playing along to a song you know really well. When you do this, you’re stepping away from the track and listening to how it sounds without any of the distractions of a recording environment. This can be a great way to improve technical issues like squeaky or muted notes, unbalanced volume levels, or unmusical playing styles. You may also notice a more accurate representation of the music that you’re playing. If you’re trying to get a better sound when playing guitar, you might notice if you’re playing with a particular style in mind that isn’t quite present in the song. This can be a great way to identify the sources of technical issues in your own playing.

Practice Until You Don’t Have to Think So Hard When you Play

There’s a fine line between having plenty of technical prowess and sounding musically dull. If you’re walking that line, you may find that adding in a little practice time is all you need to improve your sound and make your playing more expressive. You don’t need to spend hours in your practice room, and you don’t need to go all the way down the technical rabbit hole either. Even relatively simple practice exercises can add up to a lot when it comes to improving your sound. For example, learning how to mic your instrument naturally or to place it at a comfortable distance from your playing position can go a long way towards making your sound more clear and balanced.

Get the Right Instruments for the Music You Want to Create

Every musician has a different repertoire that inspires them. Some prefer to play jazz, blues, or classical music. Others gravitate toward rock, pop, or country. These styles of music can have very different sound conventions, and you might find that you’re playing on an instrument that doesn’t quite sound like you expect it to. If you’re trying to sound like one of your favorite musicians or you want to create a distinctive sound of your own, you may want to try out a different instrument or even a different style of music altogether. Different instruments have different sound characteristics, and you may find that switching to a different instrument helps you achieve the tone you were wanting to create. Playing on an instrument with different timbre can also help you notice if you’re having issues with an instrument’s tone.

Record and Edit in Pro Tools or a Similar Software

Many musicians start off with a simple microphone, a laptop or desktop recording software, and a pair of inexpensive headphones. While this may work for some, it’s likely impractical for most. Recording in a professional studio isn’t necessary in order to make your music sound better and it can even be detrimental to your sound. Many of the factors that can affect the sound quality of your recording are technical and can be easily managed with a little practice. Recording in a professional studio may give you a false sense of security, making it much harder for you to identify and solve these issues.

Final Tips

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, your sound can be much better than it is now. Practical issues like instrument volume and mic placement can be easily fixed, and a little practice can go a long way toward improving your technical ability. If you want to sound better, break the cycle of hoping to get there by simply being better than you are now.