Have you always dreamt of becoming a music producer? Well, in the present time, executing what you want to become is the call for the hour. Don’t muse your favorite songs inside your bathrooms or in front of the mirror. Your talent of adding a tune to verses both happy and sad need a platform to emerge out as a star. So, what are you waiting for? A magic lamb? Get all setup and produce music that becomes balm to a broken heart and soul of the party. Here is a guide on how to become a music producer and chase your dream career.
Who is a Music Producer?
A music producer is a music industry professional who’s work includes:-
- Composing music
- Managing an artist
- Hiring musicians
- Mixing and mastering the song
and all those components of music that results in producing a good song. If doing any of the above things have always been in your wishlist, becoming a music producer is the best you can do. If such an art fascinates you, you can also try your hand at becoming a bartender. But, if music is your first love, get it now.
Steps to Become a Music Producer in the US
Getting into the music industry is a hard nut to crack. But, if you’re passionate, no one can stop you from fashioning a successful career. Preparing for this field will ask you to do things from learning a musical instrument to completing a degree in music production. Introducing yourself to the right people is another crucial fact. What follows are some necessary steps and instructions on how to become a music producer.
Learn to Play an Instrument
The best and most successful music producers are also musicians themselves. Learning to play one or more musical instruments will provide aspiring producers with a better ear for music and music theory. For example, producers not only be able to read music but that they can also grasp the subtle differences in tempo, crescendo, and rhythm. Also note that the earlier a person starts to learn an instrument, the easier it will be.
Practice Sound Engineering
Besides being able to play an instrument, a music producer should also know the ins and outs of sound engineering. Many music producers begin their careers as sound engineers and then work their way up in the business. Those looking to become a music producer should start their training by mixing music with the latest programs, such as Cubase. It is best first to offer to record and engineer their music.
Go to School
Several degree programs can provide the training, guidance, and skills for the profession. Those looking to become a music producer can enroll for a music production degree at NYU, Georgia State, etc.
They can also opt for degrees in audio or communications departments. All these programs also offer internships, which provide invaluable experience to the aspiring producer.
Network, Network, Network
The importance of networking is the most crucial takeaway point for anyone who wants to become a music producer. While a degree and some self-instruction can be great ways to get started, the best way to move ahead is to meet other people in the industry. Startup a website with samples of your work, create business cards and post ads. Carry business cards with contact information and CDs or examples of production work to give away as needed.
Not all music production job, some needs advanced degree, but they need experience. If a degree is out of the question for financial reasons, make sure to follow the rest of the above suggestions for how to become a music producer. Networking and practice are critical tools for success. Since the industry is always changing and growing, it is also essential to stay abreast of the latest music technology.
Becoming a Music Producer: Job Description
A music producer wears many hats, and the various duties of the job will change day today. On some days, producers may work with sound engineers and audio technicians, while on other days, they busy with managerial work. Additionally, the primary job description or a producer may also differ depending on whether he or she works by self or for a giant conglomerate.
Working with the Band
One of the jobs of a music producer is to work with the recording artist. A producer will listen to a band’s collection of songs, and help them determine which ones would work best on an album and then release singles. On becoming a music producer, the next up is to spend some time working on various arrangements, enhancements, and tuning. After detailing and the tweaks to songwriting, a producer will schedule recording time with artists.
Mixing and Engineering
When people refer to the production quality of a song, they are, in part, referring to the layers of instruments and the mixing of sound in the track. While the sound engineer takes care of many of these details, the music producer will often do mixing and engineering processes as well. The music producers will oversee the recording for various changes to volumes, instruments, beat, and rhythm. They also spend time with the band and the engineers polishing each recorded track.
Technical Responsibilities and Digital Knowledge
Advancements in the music industry also need producers to work with various digital technologies daily. In fact, with the traditional mixing and engineering processes, they also oversee the digital mastering of any tracks. This might involve running the recorded music through a software program or using the now famous “auto-tune” effect to alter a track. Producers may also use programs like Apple Logic Pro or Cubase to add effects and digital sound to a pre-recorded track.
Independent vs. Corporate Producers
The day-to-day responsibilities of a music producer will also vary according to the particular company they work for. Independent or self-employed producers are being hired by musicians, or, though more rarely, by a label. Also, they will often have a hand in most aspects of a recording session, depending on the contract drawn up. Producers who work in-house for a particular record label will generally only work with those artists signed to that label. Also, After becoming a music producer, they’ll follow the rules set by the company
In some situations, music producers will also get involved in the managerial or promotional aspects of a band’s day-to-day business. This is most often the case with independent producers who work with lesser-known bands, failing to afford a separate PR officer. In any scenario, yet, it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure that every track mix well. In turn, mixes with the mastered and that it coheres with the band’s image and original sound.
Music Producer Jobs: Where to Make Music
When people think of a music producer job, they may likely picture Pharrell Williams, T-Bone Burnett, or Dr. Dre—significant producers. These men are ones who head their own production companies and manage a variety of different artists with the aid of their employees. This is not the only avenue for music producers. Here are many different options that might be more realistic and attainable for becoming a music producer.
Recording Studio Owner and Manager
Those planning a music production career might want to consider opening their independent studio. Becoming an in-house producer won’t be profitable. A studio owner will have to recruit artists early on to establish the business. In fact, they will likely have to take on a multitude of recording duties at first, ranging from sound mixing to PR. On becoming a music producer, there is also a significant financial risk involved in opening a small business. But in the end, it can be far more rewarding—and the job security can be even better since you are your boss.
Independent Label Producer
Another job option for music producers is that of the indie label producer. Acquiring one of these positions is a great way for budding producers to make names for themselves within a specific niche or genre. While it is still vital for any producer to familiarize themselves with a variety of musical styles, they need to try hands at many things. A production job at an independent label will allow producers to put their more specific musical talents to use. This may not always be possible at a larger label that caters to the pop music genre.
Music Production Teacher
Those with a Master’s degree in music production or a related field can also opt to teach courses at a college or university. Individuals are not relegated to teaching music production classes alone. But, they can teach digital music software, composition, musical theory, or sound engineering. This can be a great option either for those who decide teaching is their vocation or ones having difficulty breaking. But the fact is, they can’t seek admission into other avenues of the industry to bring in a salary in the interim.
Composer and Songwriter
While all music producers will work with recording artists, some end up focusing more on the composition and songwriting, this aspect of becoming a music producer of the job brings many producers on the side and end up writing music for some of the bands signed by their labels. Many musicians, for instance, have incredible vocal ability but lack compositional skills. In these cases, the producer can double as a composer or writer.
According to a recent Payscale study, there are currently close to 170,000 music producers employed in the United States. This expected score can rise in the next five years, though not as it has in the past. While job growth in this industry increased by over 30% between 2006 and 2010, it is only estimated to be about 1% over the next five years.
Music Producer Salary: How Much Money Do They Make
As is the case with most professions, the salary of a music producer varies according to many factors. These include:-
- type of corporation or business for which a producer works
- the location of that business
- the visibility or prestige of a particular label for which a person produces
- the caliber of the recording artist in question.
The annual average salaries also vary depending on the education and experience of the producer. Your talent can not only help you win hearts but will help you become a billionaire someday.
Recent Salary Growth
The median salary of a music producer hovers around $50,000, give or take $500. According to the Payscale, this salary is 12% lower than the median salary for all jobs in the United States, which is just over $68,000 per year. The music production industry but has seen steady growth in recent years. In 2006, the average median salary was $43,000, indicating an increase of $7,000 over four years, which is equal to a 16% salary growth. The growth will continue in the coming years, though the percentage may be somewhat diminished.
A Wide Range
An estimated median salary, of course, is not always the best indicator of what a music producer can make in a year. Some producers who are getting started, for example, can make as little as $20,000. The salary package for an established producer working for reputable companies can make over $1 million each year. Some of the most famous producers are currently making over $50 million per year, but that is out of the ordinary. To a certain extent, salaries are also at the mercy of the music industry; the less an artist sells, the less a producer might make.
How Much Money Does a Music Producer Earn?
Music producer in many ways. Some producers who work in-house for a record label or a certain studio will receive their salary in the typical American fashion. As per the fashion, they’ll generally get it in the form of 2x monthly paychecks. Independent music producers are more likely to receive their payments on a per-project basis. In general, they’ll receive a percentage of this money in advance of the actual work. Some larger music labels will also keep in-demand producers on retainer. That is, the producer can, despite working on a project, as long as they make themselves immediately available when necessary.
Record Label Points
Besides basic salaries and flat fees, music producers can also make money by receiving points. The points to be precise amount to a percentage of the royalties on the album or track they are producing. For example, a producer who makes five points on an album will receive 5% of the album’s royalties. Some producers agree to reduce their requested fee in exchange for album or song points, which can often add up to a bigger paycheck if the album is a hit.
Music producers can also charge more in production fees or request more points on a track or album. But, the condition of becoming a high-paid music producer is to have an advanced degree in music production. Of course, those producers who have set their brand name can charge more for their services based on the quality of their past work.