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Another thing you can do to put life into your tracks is to customize style. Depending on how good you are with your software and its capabilities, you can create your own riffs and mix them into song. Also, vary similar styles throughout song to break monotony. And, again, don't underestimate drum fills!
Creative use of layering is a very effective technique. When all tracks play all time, it can be very boring. Wait to bring in some instruments till later in song. That creates a "building" feel. Then, at some point towards end, take them out again briefly to create a "break" or "bridge". When you bring them back, it is very powerful.
Finally, don't allow any perfection. Yes, you read that correctly. If your music is perfectly aligned rhythmically, it will sound artificial. Live musicians are never precisely on beat. Almost all programs have a "humanize" function which corrects this automatically. Otherwise, take time and slide some notes in piano roll editor window. If you need quantize (rhythm correction) on recorded tracks, set it to less than 100%.
When you've got your MIDI file, there are two ways to convert it to audio (wav, mp3) for CD burning. The quicker way is with a dedicated program that renders wave files from MIDI files directly. Most software synthesizer programs that have a stand-alone playback feature can do this. Otherwise, open an audio recording program, play MIDI file, and simultaneously record output. Make sure your audio recorder is set to receive from correct input.
If You Play Nothing, and Don't Know Chords or Theory or Anything
Guess what? You are one who should hire a musician. Yes, I know that some programs will offer both a chord progression composer and even a melody composer. All you would need to do is choose style. If you are considering going this route, I have one request for you.
Sorry to yell, but think about this. The melody is composed by a computer, chords are composed by a computer, band is composed by a computer. It is music that is completely composed by a computer. Oh my gosh! How revolting is that?
No, my friend, hire a qualified musician. You sing song to them, they create magic. Do not sell yourself short. Your song is important -- it's part of you! Show it greatest respect and make it as beautiful as you can.
Seth Lutnick is a singer, songwriter and arranger. Visit his website, www.getitdone.biz for more on creating and using a home recording studio, and personal action planning.