How To Become A Music Producer
An article from a music producer to beginners with easy steps, simple tips and how to get to the next level.
To analyze the most out of this huge topic, it cannot be done in just a couple of posts, articles or tutorials. With a little help from my colleague DJ/producers, radio producers, promoters and my personal experience in those years I gathered all the valuable and important information you need to become an electronic music producer.
I guide I wish I had when I was starting. I’m sure it will save you months or even years of researching, studying and money spending on unfortunate equipment. Besides in this guide for beginners, you will also find relative subjects, digital tips, news, music production tutorials and free sound libraries.
Subscribe to learn first our latest news and get free useful tools to get you started. In this article, I have five separated areas to better understand the process and steps from the beginning until your first track release.
- BASIC INFO
- HOME RECORDING STUDIO EQUIPMENT
- STUDYING & LEARNING
- MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
- MUSIC DISTRIBUTION
1. BASIC INFO
I remember the first time I played one of my productions in front of a live audience. The track wasn’t ready at all. Without a proper mixing and mastering neither accepted in any record label. But I couldn’t wait a single more day to try it out. My feelings and emotions were indescribable the moment I introduce the song to the crowd and saw people’s reactions on the dance floor. An unforgettable and unique moment for every DJ/producer that will motivate you to achieve your dreams.
To learn how to DJ and produce electronic music is the easiest part. To become a professional musician requires many actions, talent, and spiritual strength. Once again, a DJ and music producer are two different professions. You can be the one without the other and it works both ways. If your passion for music is limitless, you can achieve A plethora of advantages that will be extremely beneficial in the near future.
Why become a DJ and a music producer
First of all, you expand your social network by meeting and collaborating with a plethora of artists and it will get your name up faster along with high references. And secondly and most important you will improve your skills. Having experience as a DJ, you have a better idea and knowledge of what the crowd wants. It’s a great advantage to know the beats and sounds that intrigue the people when you start making music. From the other side, learning to compose a track, and the parts of which is structured (kick, snare, h-hats, bass, synth etc.) will have as a result to master counting beats and bars. And this is how you make your mixes sound professional.
2. HOME RECORDING STUDIO EQUIPMENT
The investment you will have to do for a home recording studio now compare to the one needed a few years ago is minimum.
Electronic music is innately tied to the technology used to create it – as the tools evolve, so will the art. The sector of recording studio equipment changes rapidly and that means you need to be constantly updated with the latest news, releases, tips, and tech. When I started music production and wanted to build my own home recording studio I wanted to buy all the possible equipment I could afford. High-end PC, pro-DAW, MIDI controllers, synthesizers, top recording devices and later on a room with premium sound isolation. Eventually, I did it, but the reality is that is not necessary to buy tools that you are not ready to use them properly and get the most out of them. The number of studio relative products in the market is large, resulting in big competition, great quality and at very good prices.
Let’s see now what you need to start making electronic music
To start off you need a desktop or laptop where will run your DAW(Digital Audio Workstation), monitor speakers, headphones and an audio interface to interact with your PC. A MIDI keyboard or/and controller can be very useful, with which you will be able to produce sounds with a more natural way using keys and knobs rather than a mouse or PC keyboard buttons. This is the basic setup to start music production, on other articles you will find new additions for your home recording studio such as synthesizers, drum machines, external modules, plug-ins, microphones etc.
If you already own a powerful desktop or laptop you escaped from the biggest spend in a new home recording studio. If not, pick a PC with high characteristics, bigger display as possible, and keep it only for music relative work only.
1.APPLE IMAC RETINA 2.MAC MINI APPLE 3.APPLE MAC PRO 4.DEL XPS 8900 5.HP ENVY 750 1.APPLE MACBOOK PRO 2.ACER ASPIRE V15 NITRO 3.ASUS ZENBOOK PRO UX50TVW 4.DEL XPS 15 5.ASUS ROG GL551
DAW is the software you will be running in your PC to compose music. There are many quality options out there for all available budgets. You can always avoid to buy any and instead download a crack version illegally, something that I wouldn’t recommend doing it for a couple of reasons. Instead, download a demo version of the software of your desire and if you are satisfied you move it to your shopping cart.
1.ABLETON LIVE 2.LOGIC PRO 3.CUBASE PRO 4.FL STUDIO 5.PRO TOOLS
Check here reviews for the best music production software.
The tool that will connect your inputs and outputs to your computer. In the beginning, you connect your PC, headphones, speakers, and MIDI to your interface. Later on, you connect inputs like synths, sound modules, guitars, vocals and more, as well as more outputs for more than one pair of studio monitors.
1.FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2I2 /2I4 USB 2.PRESONUS AUDIOBOX ITWO 3.STEINBERG UR22 /UR242 MKII 4.NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 5.FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 6I6
Check here reviews of the above recommendations.
You should first identify your need in a pair of studio headphones and then choose one. Options many, brands as well and all models below will deliver the job professionally.
1.AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-M50X 2.BEYERDYNAMIC DT-770 PRO 3.AKG K-702 4.SONY MDR-7510 5.SENNHEISER HD 600
The choice of studio monitors speakers mostly depends on the size and formation of your studio. You keep this in mind to pick the size of the woofer (5″,6″,8″ etc.)
1.YAMAHA HS 5/7/8 2.KRK ROKIT G3 RP5/6/8/10 3.JBL LSR 305/308 4.FOCAL ALPHA 50/65/80 5.GENELEC 8010A
Find more info for the best studio monitor speakers.
From 25 key models to 88 you have a big variety to pick according to your needs, space, comfort, and budget.
1.AKAI MPK2 25/49/61 2.NOVATION IMPULSE 25/49/61 3.ARTURIA KEYLAB 25/49/61/88 4.M-AUDIO AXIOM AIR 25/49/61 5.NEKTAR PANORAMA P4/P6
Check here reviews of the above recommendations.
For more find out how to Build your Home Recording Studio with under $600.
3. STUDYING MUSIC PRODUCTION
How many times have you heard phrases like “DJs and producers are not musicians” or “electronic music producers are not real composers” or “making music with a computer it’s easy and anybody can do that”. Well, any intelligent human being could understand that is not true at any point. The are many professional music producers with diplomas, expert knowledge of multiple musical instruments and previous career in music. From the other side, there are also musicians with no papers at all but with superb productions that have made them well established into the music scene. This rule applies to all musicians. Many singers, rock stars, key players, vocalists and others have never been in music schools, instead, they had the urge to learn, study, practice and experiment for years to achieve the desired level of knowledge.
My point of view is that if you have studied before, have a basic knowledge of music theory or play an instrument it’s a big advantage when you start music production.
On the other hand, if your experience with music is nearly zero, I strongly suggest to read basic music theory, participate in online courses or watch youtube lesson by specialized users. Important to learn about the rhythm and meter, scales and key signatures as well as intervals and chords. Basic music theory to help you adjust and build your track with the fundamentals of music.
Here are some free resources for you to start:
After you get the basic and feel ready to dive into deep waters, there are plenty of great opportunities to get you to the next level. There are free of charge or paid courses that justify the money and time spent, and you have the opportunity to attend to schools with pro equipment or watch online courses from the comfort of your home studio and use of your own equipment.
4. MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
Music is an amazing thing, don’t try to force it because it won’t happen. Sometimes, under different circumstances like stress, timeframes and other can cause a lack of inspiration. Better stop your project and do some irrelevant, watch a movie or go out with friends(note: producers don’t have time for datings). Composing music is affected by how you feel and therefore your creativity depends on it.
Another way to keep your motivation and raise your creativity is to listen to a different genre of music. Jazz and disco I find that drive my interest to the fullest. Rock, blues, new age and of course classical music and symphonic orchestras are also amazing inspirational genres. During that time try to divide the instruments of the song that is used to composed. Drums, guitars, bass, keys, vocals, brass as well as mixing techniques and patterns.
Sometimes, the cooperation with another artist can be extremely beneficial and motivated, helping you to see a project from a deferent perspective.
5. MUSIC DISTRIBUTION
After you complete your track -composing/mixing/mastering- and you have also created a full online presence on social media and sound platforms, you are ready to get your work available to people and promote it. Important is not to rush and start behaving recklessly by giving away a non-release production. Make it available to selective people to get the proper feedback. If a record label sees your track on an audio platform with download and shares it’s very possible your track will be discarded.
Start by creating a good press release, including a small description of your production with style, BPM, key and duration of the song. Add photos, previous works, collaborations, diplomas, experience and contact information to find you. Search on Beatport or any other online store, record labels that you follow and make sure your productions are similar in style. Most record labels offer an email for promo submissions. It is important to follow the rules of submission like audio quality, duration, and others.
When your track has been accepted by a record label, you have only left to do the promotion of your work. The label will do the rest of the job by delivering your album or single to online stores ready for people to buy. Some record labels cooperate with digital distributors that offer a plethora of services such as promo lists to professionals, articles on websites or advertise on stores. In a case that your label doesn’t offer promotion services, you can hire by yourself music distributors.