Do you have a different vision for the songs you hear on the radio? Have you ever dreamed of seeing your masterpiece hit the top ten? Want people to recognize you for your work? Read on to see how to become a music producer !
Learn an instrument. You don't have to be a virtuoso to be a music producer, but training your ear and learning musical theory will hugely benefit your career. You should also try to compose your own songs, master tempos, or perhaps even learn to play from sheet music; understanding music from the other side of the soundboard will make you much better equipped to hear its full potential. Consider these basic instruments.
Master the technology. To create and manipulate music, you’ll need to learn how to use a soundboard and as many music-processing programs as you can. If you don’t already have some background in sound production, a good sequencer program to start off with is Cubase.
Know the basics of mixing. Know what it means to mix a track: how to blend all the disparate sounds together into one mellifluous mix.
Become a student of music. Take your scholarship seriously. Music producers are in the business of making music, often with the help of other songs. Hip-hop producers in particular, whose job it is to take samples from other songs and rework them into a different beat, need to be voracious music students. If you're not a student of music, you'll soon find that you're limiting yourself unnecessarily.
Think about what sounds would fit well together. You job as a music producer is to make fascinating, intriguing, soul-shattering music. Often, this means taking exploring the way that different sounds and different genres interact.
Create some music. Try doing whatever feels best: Punk, Ska, Rock, Rap, R&B, Country, Funk, Jazz, and the like. In the beginning, focus on mastering one style of music. This will allow you to make a name for yourself in one particular genre before eventually moving onto different musical styles. Because they often involve less instrumentation, Hip-Hop, R&B, and Pop are the easiest to start off with.
Rework an old favorite. Take a known song — preferably one that has been minimally engineered — and give it your own flavor. What kind of potential does it have? How can you make it better? What new vision do you have for the song to transform it into something utterly different?
Collaborate with other music producers. Collaborations have produced some of the most memorable music in the canon. Don't be afraid to go up to a producer you admire and ask him or her if they'd like to work with you. Collaborations succeed because you can use the other producer's strengths to mask your weaknesses, and hopefully use your own strengths to mask theirs.
Start networking. Tell your family and friends you're producing music. Create business cards. Post bulletins around your neighborhood. If your prices are reasonable, you’ll get clients in no time. Charge cheaply per hour or per song.
Get an internship at a production company. Sure, it's tough work, but you might get some free time in a real recording studio. In the meantime, you’ll make friends in the business (and bring home that paycheck).
Get an education. Take night classes to earn your degree if necessary. If music production doesn't work out, you have something to fall back on.
Harness the amazing power of the internet. It used to be that you had to forge personal connections in order to get your music heard. Now, if you use the internet adeptly, you can quickly make an impression both locally and globally, if that's what you want.
Save up. Now that you have a working knowledge of the business, a steady source of income, and a sizeable client base, you can start your own studio. If your sights are set higher, you might even move to a different city to try out for the big league.