How to Be a Music Producer: Easy to follow guide that will help you achieve your dream of becoming a music producer.
If you sing well or play a musical instrument, I’m sure the thought of taking up this career would have come across your mind.
But is it easy to make this a full-time profession? How do people go on to become a music producer?
Obviously, it needs hard work, dedication, and even a bit of luck.
Here’s what all the pros seem to agree upon:
- You need to record as much music as a musician
- You need to work hard
- You need to have patience
- You need to take full advantage of each & every opportunity that comes your way
But then there are other things that you can do to take you closer to that goal, and also perhaps make you lucky.
Table of Contents
- Ground Realities
- So for those who like to spend all their time in front of the computer, probably its time to go outdoors and catch-up with real people.
- Sharpen the Saw
- It could easily take a few years to master the craft
- Producing Your Own Music
- Skills to Acquire
- Create Promotional Stuff
- Will a Audio/Sound Course Help?
- How Much Can you Earn?
- To Conclude
So even though you may be excited about becoming a music producer, here are some facts that you need to consider.
- You get all the hardware to get started in one easy to use packages nowadays. PC, sound card, control surface, keyboard and monitors, built with all the software you need to run a full studio.
- This is the job almost everyone wants as more & more people can produce their own music at home these days, but the field is competitive and you need to offer something really special in order to stand apart and attract business.
- Without knowing key people in the music industry, it can be difficult to be a music producer.There are probably thousands of producers on YouTube alone. Here’s an interesting read on this topic.
I’m not trying to discourage anybody here, but these are some of the facts that you need to consider before you decide to go into this full time. This is true of most fields nowadays where technology plays a major role, including photography.
There are many who are knowledgeable about creating music, music licensing, and other topics, who have several videos on YouTube. They’ll find it really hard to get noticed and are looking for that elusive chance.
So for those who like to spend all their time in front of the computer, probably its time to go outdoors and catch-up with real people.
Sharpen the Saw
On the other hand of the spectrum are novices who probably have spent a few weeks on software such as FLStudio and think they are ready to be a producer.
I’m not blaming the tool here, but the fact is that you need to spend a lot more time to be able to use the tool well, and create music across a wide genre of music.
It could easily take a few years to master the craft
This is true of more than 90 percent of the so called music producers. There’s a lot more to be learnt than just making a few beats in a music software.
There are many who like to blame external factors, even their financial conditions, for their lack of work. But most of the time, the fact is that they are not ready.
Then there are some 15-16 years old who just spend hours making beats / mixing music without increasing their knowledge of music theory. It might be fun and you might be thinking that you’re capable of creating music, however the fact is that you need some knowledge of music theory to work with harmony and create good music.
Once you have the technical/musical skills, you need to worry about looking for work, how to get commercials and other assignments.
With the right skills, you can get noticed (online to begin with) even using a simple studio setup.
Producing Your Own Music
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether:
Working for others can take care of your bread and butter for some time if you are good at your work; however being independent is what everybody strives for.
In case you want to be independent you need to decide what sort of music you want to produce as that will also help guide you to get the right gear for your studio.
Skills to Acquire
If you think just by buying expensive stuff you’ll be able to create good music, you’re far from the truth. There are many who buy a synthesizer and then have no clue how to make a melody or a beat or tune whatever. You need to put in the time, acquire some skills and put them to use.
Here are some skills that will help you find work and also increase the possibility of becoming a music producer:
Ability to Play an instrument
Keyboards and guitars are used a lot to create song parts such as synth and bass lines, so if you can play these instruments it does give you an advantage.
Learn How to Record Live instruments / Vocals
Most music producers start by using beat making software and most of the stuff they produce are without vocals or live instruments. They usually know how to program synth sounds, use the mixer, and use effects and processors such as compressors and reverb units.
But the live recording part is one area where they are lacking. So you need to get good at recording with microphones.
Learn to Use Multiple DAWs
If possible, try to become an expert with multiple DAW software programs. It will help you increase your assignments. Also, work on improving your knowledge of music theory, especially chord progressions.
Practice & Create More
I am assuming you are already doing this; this is a must-do if you want to make a profession in music production.
You also need to learn the art of finishing the projects that you start; most of us start work on something when you hear something that is inspiring, but then leave it midway. Learn to finish, and you will learn more from it.
This is what will land you most of your assignments. Unless you go out and meet other musicians, producers, studio owners, you are not going to get a lot of work.
Get active online, make a website, hand out business cards, create posters for local live venues, and you will see people trying to get in touch with you.
Create Promotional Stuff
You will need something that will showcase your talents so that people know what you are capable of doing.
You could try remixing well-known songs, or you could record and produce local bands, either in your own home studio or renting a small professional studio. Make sure the end result sounds good.
That, along with continuous networking, will ensure that the music and production community gets to know about you.
Here are some videos that provides more useful information on this topic:
Will a Audio/Sound Course Help?
It depends! If you do a course from a top college, you might find yourself working on a commercial once your course is over. But then you need to ask if it justifies the high tuition fees.
And not everybody might get a break. There are many who find it hard to get in this industry, even after training from a school (especially if its not a renowned one).
So do some research before enrolling for a course in a music audio/sound recording school.
How Much Can you Earn?
Again, a tricky question. The ones in the top league earn in thousands, with some of them even making million dollars every year.
But when you’re getting started, be prepared to earn for a few dollars an hour. If you’re assisting someone, you may not even get paid. Eventually, you should get paid more.
Most bands get a manager to manage their marketing and promotional activities. And if you’re really good you can expect to get paid a decent amount.
As you can see, there is hard work but it is doable. Some might even get lucky and get great assignments from the beginning; for others it may take time. But if you are looking for ideas on how to become a music producer, these tips should be handy.