How to Become a Music Producer without School
First of all, a music producer must be very fond of music and listen to an incredible amount of music of different genres and styles. This is necessary in order to find new ideas, to get inspiration, to notice technical details and techniques in mixing and of course to follow the trends and novelties of the music industry.
As a producer, you have to love music with all your heart so that you can listen to it for many hours every day without getting bored with it. If you really have a passion for music, it will allow you to be productive and achieve good results and come up with a lot of creative ideas. At the same time, in order to become a producer, there is no need to graduate from an educational institution. In this article, we will tell you what you need to do to do this.
What you need to get started
The first point you need to complete is to purchase the necessary software and musical equipment in order to organize for yourself a studio in which you will work.
To get started, you need: a laptop or desktop computer, an audio card, headphones and studio monitors, a MIDI keyboard, a music production software (DAW), and sound samples. This is a basic set, which is enough to get you started already.
Today on the market there is a huge number of equipment and programs to choose from at a price, so you can choose for yourself everything you need based on your budget. If you have the opportunity to initially buy more expensive and high-quality equipment, we advise you to do so. In any case, it will be useful to you for a long time and will pay for itself if you seriously decide to achieve success and become a music producer.
Listening to music as a daily ritual
Listening to music will be one of the key tasks for you every day. Analyze the songs you like the most and try to understand why you like them. What’s so special about this song is that it makes you feel special. The more you do analytical work, the better you will understand which methods influence the success of a particular song and which ones. You can borrow the information received and practice applying similar solutions in your projects in order to better absorb the experience and understand how it works.
You definitely need to train your ear so that you can hear the effects used in the song, how the mixing and mastering was done, what sounds were used. If you learn to hear and understand how professionals use different techniques and learn to recognize and apply it, you will rapidly begin to improve your skills and the level of your work will be higher with each new track.
For example, you really liked the keyboard part. You start to listen to how the timbre sounds, how the reverb sounds and what its level, what other processing effects are there and what pan settings for this instrument, if any. After each analysis, consolidate the information and practice with your tracks. Each time it will become easier for you to process such an instrument in your mix and make it sound interesting.
The key to being professional is doing something consistently and consistently. You need to create your own music and devote as much time as possible to this process. Let it be two or three times a week for two hours, but it should be on an ongoing basis. This will allow you to move and develop without stopping, to absorb new experiences and form personal experiences.
If you are creating your own song, try comparing it to a song that is similar to yours. What can you improve, and most importantly, how? There is a huge amount of open and accessible information on the Internet, and you can find the answer to almost any question. Do not be lazy to find a solution for your problem, whether it is vocal processing or how to record a double track correctly.
Popular DAWs have built-in signal analysis tools. With their help, you can get information and compare it with the reference song, then look for information about what settings you need to make so that your instrument sounds exactly like in the reference song. Remember that each solution you find adds another coin to your experience box.
The final stage of processing
In order for our song to sound cleaner and more holistic, it is necessary to mix all the recorded tracks (instruments). This means that each instrument needs to be aligned in terms of volume level, panorama, processed with the desired effect, and compression applied. Also use an equalizer to separate instruments from each other and avoid conflicts with each other.
Next, you need to master the entire song in order to even out its overall sound. As a rule, at this stage, very minor corrections are made to the mix: EQ, compression and dynamics processing, in order to eliminate errors that were made during the mixing process.
Don’t stop learning
In fact, all the information you need to learn any skill has long been available for free. Most often, it is scattered all over the Internet in small parts and it will take more time to find and study it than if you went to study at an educational institution or courses. We can say that this is how your payment for knowledge looks like – you pay with your time. So if you have chosen the self-study path, take it seriously and with discipline so that the time spent will bring you results.
Another thing is if you can afford to study for money, it will be a wise decision. You will receive only the most necessary information, which has been prepared for you by professionals. The information is systematized and ready for use in practice. You will be able to achieve the desired skill level much faster. Be based on your capabilities. Let us remind you again – do not stop learning. It doesn’t matter if it’s paid or free, consistency is the key to success!
It is important to hear what people think about your work. Share your demos and finished songs on social networks and ask your fellow DJs to test the song in public. You need to hear how it sounds on a concert stage or in a club, how the audience reacts to it and what people think of it. This invaluable experience will help you understand what still needs to be worked on and also find your style and sound.
Where to go?
If you apply our tips and study and practice regularly, you will quickly get the skills you need to make good music. The first way that will allow you to make money on your tracks can be a platform for guest producers, such as ours. The catalog of our site contains hundreds of tracks from different producers, who send them to us for sale. You can also become one of them and get decent money doing what you love. Join us and get income from the sale of your music!