If you love music more than life itself, you may want to consider a career in music production. After all, it’s not easy to find a fulfilling day job nowadays. While passion is a crucial tool, music production is not “a walk in the park.” To be successful, you need to have the right skill set and be able to market yourself. This article shares some excellent insights about how much music producers make, how to become one, and so much more.
How Much Can You Make as a Music Producer? On average, a music producer makes $55,000 annually. However, this amount may vary depending on the genre of music produced and the number of songs created. Music producers like Pharrell and Brian Eno are also musicians; they make money from music production and royalties.
Music production is not an attractive field, but the few who manage to crack the nut can earn a lot of money from it. You cannot directly put an average income on a music producer. Music production is not like medicine or HR: there is a significant difference between top earners and less than average earners in the industry. However, if you would like to start a career in music production, this guide will help you get started. Continue to read to understand more about the field, the secrets of industry, and how to succeed as a music producer.
What Does a Music Producer Do?
Respected music producers such as deadmau5 and Tre Jean-Marie use different methods to produce music. Some are pioneers of classic rock while others are experts in digital music. The role of a music producer continues to change as the technology for producing and recording music reshapes the industry.
For the ordinary person, the definition of a music producer is not the same as the definition from a person who understands music. To some, music producers are the experts who apply effects, tweak sound levels and add the perfect reverb to vocals: while for others, music producers are like project managers who oversee artists’ careers. According to Rick Rubin, a pioneer in heavy metal and rap, he rarely touches any production tool in his studio.
A music producer handles all the sound production and recording projects, which may in involve recording a song or an entire album. A music producer plays many roles during a recording session. They may come up with song ideas, work with other musicians to choose original songs or produce songs. Also, a producer may help in co-writing songs, change a song arrangement, and coach musicians during a recording session.
A producer primarily oversees the entire preproduction process: from sound recording and mixing to mastering. A producer may do all these things by themselves or seek help from an engineer. They may pay engineers or session musicians to make sure projects are completed within the stipulated period.
How Do You Become a Music Producer?
The music industry has evolved over the last 20 years. Before music production seemed a perfect career to pursue but it is now a dead end. Similarly, new opportunities have risen for aggressive producers to enter the field through unscrupulous means. With the evolution of digital production, anyone can become a record producer. You only need to be creative and possess the right skills to produce music. You can start your career in music production from scratch.
Likewise, the existence of popular websites such as SoundCloud, where you can share your music to the world, has made it easier for upcoming producers to share their music with the world. As a result, today’s music can be described as purely meritocratic. If you have a sellable sound, skills, and creativity, you can become a successful record producer in no time. For this reason, aspiring producers should learn digital music production.
There are many platforms where you can study music production. A good example is the Essential Music Guide: Learn Ableton Live. Ableton Live is one of the best music production software on the market. Additionally, there are many untapped opportunities for music production in genres such as jazz, rap, and rock. With recording software, you can make beats, record, mix, and master songs. Some courses teach you how to produce and record your songs at home with live instruments. From beat making to mastering tracks, you will learn every skill required to produce music.
What Do You Need For Music Production?
Once you have all the skills and knowledge to become a music producer, you will need the following tools to get started:
A PC or laptop
Today, music producers use computers to record, create, and mix songs. You can either use a laptop or a desktop to make music. Most PCs and laptops on the market can be used for music production. So, the computer type you choose will depend on your budget and preferences.
A digital audio workstation
A digital audio workstation is perhaps the most crucial tool to have. It is the hub of music production, audio editing, mixing, and mastering. It is also where you plug all your other gears, but mostly, where you will be arranging your sounds.
An audio interface
An audio interface is somewhat mysterious. It does nothing else other than to connect your gear to your computer, right? Well, it does more than that; it enables the music production software to communicate directly with other gears such as pianos, guitars, and microphones.
Have a pair of high-quality studio mixing headphones
Quality is essential when it comes to music. You need quality studio mixing headphones to hear what you are doing. Headphones are going to be necessary for listening to vocals and instrumentals when mixing and mastering songs.
Look for a pair of powerful studio monitors
A good pair of studio speakers is important for creating and editing audio. However, you should purchase studio headphones before the speakers if you are on a tight budget.
Buy quality studio microphone
You will need a quality microphone if you will be recording instruments and vocals. However, there are instances where you won’t need a microphone, especially if you are a film scorer or a beat maker.
How do you make a good song?
To be a world-class music producer, you have to learn how to use your spectrum meter or equalizer. If you don’t have a spectrum meter, you can use plugins in your music software instead. You need to analyze the Equalizer and check how it responds. Adjust to a frequency range that does not jump high and ensure that you plug-in sound with the right frequency. Also, you can use the EQ to boost low frequencies.
Too many sounds will ruin the rhythm of the song
Do not bombard your song with many sounds of the same frequency range as it will mess up the sound. Listen to your song carefully and choose plugin effects that produce a desirable sound. Remove unwanted sounds in the mix.
Label instruments and vocals
Label every project that you create when producing your songs because there are high chances that you will come back without a clue of where you left things. If you are working on one song at a time, use masking tape or sticky notes.
Save each project as a new version
Save each phase of song production so that if the record starts to sound bad, you can revert to the previous version. This important because you can always retrieve backup files if you lose the main recordings.
Take some time off
Hearing the same song over and over again can be painful to the ear. If the song starts to numb your ears, take some time off. It’s advisable to have a listen with fresh ears.
Work under reasonable volume
Lower your speakers’ volume while working on your song and raise it once in a while. This will ensure you maintain your interest in the song.
Save your projects
Create a backup folder for all your recording sessions because hard drives tend to crash at times when you least expect. Save your files on CDs. Also, ensure all your files are marked to help you retrieve them when doing the final mixing.
Don’t stop making new music; you always learn something new after recording every song. It’s about finding that one melody that catches your ears attention.
Which is the best software for music production?
Impeccable music production is what separates successful producer from the rest. The following are some great music making programs that can help you become the next Joe Meek or Skepta.
Ableton Live is one of the best music production software you can freely use to make music. It is compatible with both PCs and Mac. The premium package costs slightly more but, comes with an additional 4GB worth of sound. The free version gives you eight recording tracks to use. It also comes with several instruments and effects to help you create quality audio. You can also connect MIDIs such as keyboards and guitars. Ableton is easy to use if you know music making software. Many established musicians and producers use Ableton to create and record music.
Audacity is a simple music production software that you can download for free. It’s a digital workstation that is compatible with both Mac and PCs. It is similar to Ableton only that it lets you edit songs, create songs, process and export audio files into different formats like AIF, WAV, and MP3. It is excellent software for those who are new to music production, thanks to its simple interface.
Garage band is by far one of the most accessible tools to create good music. However, it is only compatible with Mac for free. The software has up to 255 channels for music creation. It also lets you tweak the audio timing. However, users cannot change the tempo within a track. Plus you only get two layers of effects on your tracks: quite limiting. Nevertheless, it is still a great tool for amateurs, and once you gain skills and experience, you can advance to Logic Pro.
How do music producers become famous?
Music producers become famous just like the way musicians do. They invest all their time in mastering their craft. Also, networking is vital in establishing a lucrative music production career. The musicians that you work with are the first stepping stone to building a vast network. While your main focus should be learning the basics of making music and modern music production software, networking is equally vital if you want to succeed in the music business. So, attend music concerts, forums, workshops, and socialize with anyone within the music industry vicinity. There is a possibility you could meet the right partner.
Learn how to build a professional network to connect with the key players in the music industry. If you genuinely want to become a successful music producer, then the importance of networking cannot be overstated.
How do I get clients for my new studio? Publish samples of your work on your website so that potential leads can hear and decide if they can approach you. Your sound should be as good as or better than your competition. Contact musicians you have worked with and other local acts: send them a proposal to make them aware of your services.
How do I package and promote myself as a music producer? Establish a strong online presence for people and companies to see your work. Start by signing up accounts social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, create a website or a blog to showcase your work and share it on your social channels.
Who are the top paid music producers in the world? Currently, the top paid music producers in the world are The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and the Neptune. These producers have banked millions and maintained their reputation by creating new songs and albums.