Digital Audio Amplified How Do You Become a Music Producer? By Jennifer Martin | May 13, 2020 Are you asking yourself, “How Do I Become a Music Producer?” Becoming a music producer is more than a job, it’s a career that has many different options and paths. Are you creative and have an ear for music? Are you able to communicate your thoughts clearly so others understand what is expected of them? If so, becoming a music producer may be the career you have been look for. First you may ask yourself, what does a music producer do? What skills benefit a music producer? Does someone need to go to school to become a music producer? After getting the answers to these questions, you will know once and for all, whether you want to become a music producer. What Does a Music Producer Do? Music producers write, arrange, produce and record songs. Music producers lead musical groups during performances and recording sessions, typically in a music studio. They setup and monitor instruments, amplifiers, speakers, microphones, mixing boards, and other musical equipment in the studio. A music producer: Oversees all aspects of the creation of a song or album Chooses songs, musicians, instruments, and vocalists Arranges existing music into new compositions Writes lyrics for music or works with a lyricist Studies and listens to music of various styles for inspiration Works with musicians to record their music What Skills Benefit a Music Producer? There are many different skills that benefit a music producer. They include passion, creativity, an ear for music, organization, attention to detail, communication, and patience. You may already have these skills, but if you don’t, you can always learn them while attending a music production program at a creative arts college. With this set of skills, you can become a successful music producer. Passion A music producer must be passionate about music. There will be long hours and late nights, so being passionate is important. If you are passionate about music, then you never work a day in your life as a music producer. Creativity Creativity is key to any successful music production career. An active imagination for original ideas can help create new sounds, verses and vocals. Standing out in the music industry is about creativity and finding new ways to play sounds different than anyone else has before. Ear for Music Great ears are an important part of being a good music producer. Some part of having great ears is innate, but a lot of it just comes down to good training. It can be the slightest tweak of the high end on a mixing board that can make all the difference between a pleasurable experience for a listener and an underwhelming one. Organization Many things will happen at the same time when working as a music producer. Organization allows you to transfer your ideas into a song so you can manage the vocalists, instrumentalists, music technicians and other music colleagues during a session. Attention to Detail Many times, it is a slight off beat or missed note that makes or breaks a good song. A successful music producer can keep their attention to detail when creating and editing a track, so it sounds its best. It is about the nuances of the music that make it unique, the ability to take a beat and make it your own. Communication Strong communication skills are vital to success as a music producer. You will be dealing with a large number of personality types that will need to be communicated with in many different ways. Active listening also comes in handy when working with colleagues, performers and music executives. By knowing exactly what is said, you have the ability to respond properly. Patience Creating a music masterpiece takes time and hard work. This is not something you should do quickly. Without patience, you may start to cut corners. A successful music producer will have the patience to try different notes, sounds and filters to make the music sound its best. Sometimes you will need to record the same track over and over, until it is perfect. Patience is a virtue in this situation. Does Someone Need to go to School to be a Music Producer? There are some definite advantages to gaining the skills in music production through a learning institution. A music production program offers support, networking, job placement and externships. Music Production Support If you are attending a music production program, you are surrounded by others that share the same interests, passion, and drive. There will be fellow students and staff at your disposal that can help if you get stuck on a music project. Collaboration is part of any successful music producer’s skill set. Bouncing ideas off of fellow students can make finding the right sound easier. Networking Your fellow students will have access to people at various stages of their career. This leads to invaluable networking opportunities that can be a major benefit. Social media is another great place to network in the music industry. Many music producers, performers and artists sites like MySpace, Facebook and TikTok offer you the ability to network with other music professionals to further your career and collaborate on music production. Job Placement Many alumni from your music production program will need to hire-on help for their projects. They are likely to hire from students at the program where they received their own education. People that work in such institutions also work in the industry, so they could be helpful in referring a graduate to opportunities in the field. There are also job placement departments in the administration of music production programs that are well-connected to available options. Externships Externships at creative arts colleges give graduates hands-on experience working in real music studios and in on-campus labs. Why is this important? Graduates of music production programs need to get real-world experience before they graduate. This will help them look for a job in the music industry. Having experience from an externship can be invaluable for you to get your first job in the industry. Attending an accredited creative arts college provides you with an actual certificate or degree. A cursory look on sites like Indeed will show that many available positions prefer candidates to have this along with real-world experience. Music Production Equipment in Studio & At-Home When becoming a music producer, it is important for you to understand the different music production equipment for your studio. The gear and equipment that music producers use can either be static or portable. If you use portable gear, you can carry it to any recording site. If you are a music producer that has a studio, you will leave all your gear in the same place. This will dictate the type of music production equipment you ultimately purchase for your studio. Music production equipment can include microphones and instruments, and cables that connect all these devices to the soundboard. You should have long cables that will connect to any microphone or instrument to the soundboard of your choice. You need to have microphones to record various types of sounds. A full collection of microphones will include several vocal mics, a few for spoken word, and a few for instruments. You also need a special set of microphones for drums. Mic stands are needed because performers do not want to hold their microphone while recording. There need to be speakers that will help performers hear what they sound like during recording sessions. The speakers could be placed in the room for playback purposes especially if the artist is not wearing in-ear monitors. You will need quality headphones that transmit sound from the recorded track to your ear. These headphones help you listen while recording is taking place. Final Thoughts Now you know how to become a music producer. As a music producer, many skills will help you become a success. The right music equipment will make your studio complete. With all this knowledge, you are now ready to take the leap into the music industry and become a successful music producer. Did learning about how to become a music producer interest you? Cogswell College empowers aspiring audiophiles to master their craft. Our Audio and Music Technology Program students are exposed to new ideas and industry-grade equipment and are presented with challenges designed to unlock their creativity. Cogswell College is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.