I don't see any benefit to say anything positive because I don't like the song, I already find it hard to seek out pros, I'm naturally inclined to be blunt regardless of feelings, and I'm willing to admit I'm negatively biased towards AOTY and AOTY musicians (having denounced my own status as one). BUT I'm going to do it ANYWAY bc I sincerely want to treat Matt respectfully, and this is his first song. It's only fair, sincere and respectful to give support, and I want to practice being less self-centered because that's a problem of mine.
So instead of focusing on what I hate about the song, I'll give general suggestions that can help anyone who wants to be a musician and/or Matt:
- If you don't have a DAW and don't have money, use REAPER or Audacity. I prefer Audacity because it's simple, straightforward, and surprisingly powerful once you get the hang of its rather dated UI and tools. It does have support for VSTs. But if you are planning to get a more serious DAW like Ableton in the future, go ahead and get REAPER (technically its free).
- Listen to your favorite music. It's okay to be influenced by artists or bands, do what you want. As much as I shit talk about influences (you can find my comments in the comment section), the ultimate realization I had is everyone is influenced by everything. What matters is taking what you like and running with it.
- Practice composing and arranging music. Not everything is gonna sound 100% like you imagined even w experience, but practicing will get you closer to what you want. Play with chords, rip off a chord progression you like, fuck around with drums, go crazy with synths. Just make sure you have a detailed goal of what you want.
- If you're doing vocals, sing to yourself every day — preferably alone. Work on basic technique like singing from the diaphragm and not your throat. Work on pitch.
- Get a pop filter.
- Do not mix anything until you're satisfied with the composition as is. It's all dependent on what you already have. If it sounds shit altogether now, it's still going to sound shit when you mix. It's POST-production, so it's ideally after you produce everything. You can def toy around with things, just don't ham with the EQ or work on making things clearer than they already are. Regardless of quality, if it sounds good together to you, it's good.
Good luck Matt. Good luck everybody.