Song Structure related tips -
1. Learn to write in Sonata format.
It's a basic format for song writing (story telling?). Here's a very helpful guide. You will write much more beautiful music once you know this.
2. Work in chunks of 16 bars.
It's one thing to create the kick and bass loop with 1 bar looped but its another frustration when you get stuck in those 4 odd bars for hours. Move on fast, its not absolutely critical to perfect your small loop, its a very small part of your song (which isnt even written yet).
Stick in the loop for 64 bars I say! then seperate it at the 32nd bar. Give a 4 bar break.
You have your "post-intro" (intro to the percussion) section ready in minutes this way. Now work on the 1st 32 bars by adding percussion and pad loops. Maybe leave the 1st 4 bars with just the kick and bass. In this way build progression throughout the tracks. Mess it up and give the "screwed up" or "transcending" feeling with your sounds in each break of the song.
After each of these well timed and spread apart breaks, its a good moment to introduce new moods or sounds into the track).
4. Understand timbre.
There are 3 types of timbre your sounds can have. They can either be hollow, clean or distorted. You can now make sounds (or groups) of each timbre and have a track with a fuller sound.
Production Tips -
1. Hell no to Red!
Never ever let your master clip and never ever use a limiter and eq on your mixdown track.
A lot of people think louder is better, it probably screws up your sound completely beyond any repair for the mastering engineer. Make sure you mix your channels so well that they never need to clip. Pump up the volume of your monitors if you wish to listen at higher levels. However, once pumped, keep checking the sound by lowering monitor levels as well, to see if the sounds remain clear or start getting lost. Same is true for your individual track levels. If they clip even at -8-10 db, you seriously need to open your instrument and control settings from there. That way the sound remains crystal, does not distort and occupies much space in the mix.
2. Throw away quickly the shit that don't sound absolutely keelar!
Yep, stop messing around and find something else. Chances are from your hard drive of millions of bites you will find something better to work with and create that creak you actually desire. Download loads of patches for vstis and ofcourse have a database of atleast 8 GB of samples. (make sure you have the required license to use any of this stuff is a very honest way to work. You reach success faster this way).
3. Group xxx is really cool!
Org your sounds into groups. 100% needed in each and every million layered psychedelic track out there.
Group your sfx, bass & kick, and also all the groups feeding one more group!
You can then have a lot of fun with your psychedelic sounds. Leave out a few tracks from any group at all. During the breaks, you can be twisting the hell out of the grouped tracks while sending a crazy sample clean by introducing "the channel without any group" here, loud and carrying energy of the break. Also bass n kick can twist off in wierd manners with so many cool vstis out there while rest of the track is playing. Last hint is that use the grouping shits after making atleast 3 mins of audio, so you where the song is headed and how you can guide it with your new powers.
4. EQ Everything.
EQ each and every channel. It's important to have a light weight eq with atleast 32 bands on it.
As you start eq tracks, you should make sure each major element occupies a powerful presence in atleast one band and gives more space to other bands in other bands. This is just a raw starting point. Sounds themselves can have heavy frequencies with need to be cut or subtle frequencies that need to be boosted. EQ the tracks so that sound good in solo, group and all tracks.
Artistic Tips -
1. It's a hobby that needs loads of time.
Yep, its a maddening life ahead living in world of sound. Spending atleast 10 hours a week in the studio is critical to getting ahead in production. Mood is a big factor, so don't be afraid to come in the studio with your favourite music and listen to music before making music. Forget your worries or intentions and come into the happy musician vibe.
2. It's good to learn how to create sounds similar to some reference song.
It might sound like you are copying another persons work, but if you totally get out there researching how to do that particular effect, you learn so much about your own tools that you can make many variations of those effects and their relatives. That's your own work buddy.
That's all for now. Time to make tunes!
Here's an excellent tips document from Freeform human.