EMusic Tips offers a list of
Top 10 signs your electronic music is amateur.

Many of these things are worth thinking about … although ‘amateurs’ who make a lotta bread (!) are doing them. You can do anything you want IF you know why you’re doing it. (First learn the rules, then break them.)

The rule about factory presets is a red herring that’s been around too long. Ever heard the acoustic presets called ‘Violin’? ‘Piano’? ‘Flute’? Moral: a sound isn’t bad because 100,000 people own it … it’s how you use it.

The same goes for “Looping too much”. What’s too much? If pro means sales, most of the top-10 hits are, and have always been, all about repeats. A great hook is a great hook. Most folk songs that have been around for centuries… lots of repeats. But today there’s no reason for *identical* repeats … it’s just too easy to copy/paste a segment and modify it.