Music is mostly about anticipation.
Anticipation of a drum fill, anticipation of a chord change, anticipation of a breakdown. And half the fun of making music is playing with people’s anticipation; making them expect one thing only to give them another. The other half is giving them exactly what they want.
But, what is one thing that RUINS anticipation? Knowing what is going to happen next. And you, as the producer of a piecer of music, know very well what is going to happen next. This is bad enough. But looking at your sequencer, which has all of the upcoming events laid out in glaring colors? My god, that’s like someone telling you what happens in the last episode of Lost before you watch it (hint: they were all zombies).
When listening to your tracks, you must be able to switch seamlessly between hearing the track as a producer and hearing the track as just another listener. This is extremely hard! Do not underestimate how difficult this is.
And one of the most important differences between a producer and a listener is that a listener doesn’t know how a track or a part of a track is “supposed” to sound. While you, the producer are constantly comparing the actual track to the track of your dreams, the listener is (to a certain extent) taking it as it comes.
Trying to rid yourself of your preconceptions is key. But it’s very difficult to do that while staring at a blinking screen with huge purple boxes representing what is about to happen.
So, for the love of all that is holy, turn off your screen every once in a while and listen to the mix blind. It will help you get out of “producer mode” and into, “Hey, I’m just another bro at the club mode” (if that is your target audience).