- Many students considering careers in recording engineering might be interested in pursuing a career as a music producer. A music producer’s job is to oversee the creation of music. Some music producers work for record labels, while others produce sounds for movies, television, music videos, commercials, or video games. Becoming a music producer often requires skills in arranging, composing, songwriting, or playing a musical instrument. A music producer has to have a good ear for music in order to make the necessary adjustments to ensure a project’s marketability. Becoming a music producer can mean discovering and aiding new talent in their success. If not for producer George Martin, The Beatles may never have had their big break. Before Martin, they had already been turned down by three different record labels.
- Musical history and theory
- Ear training
- Copyright law
- Artist and product management
- Music publishing and distribution
- Marketing and advertising
- Finance and accounting
The music producer has many responsibilities, including helping to select songs, contracting with session players, selecting the studio and engineers, booking studio time and overseeing the recording budget. Becoming a music producer requires musical skills and performance experience, as well as a thorough knowledge of musical genres, and music and sound production in a recording studio. A future music producer may start out with a love of music and a skill in some kind of musical performance, but he or she will need to develop other skills in order to make it as a music producer. A music producer must understand songwriting, how music and sound production works, how to set up and operate audio equipment, and the roles of the engineers and others who work to produce recordings. Music producers may also need to help the audio engineers in the mixing, mastering and recording process. Becoming a music producer requires an understanding of how the recording industry works, including the legal and business aspects. Music producers must also be familiar with the current digital equipment and computer software used in the creation of music.
Becoming a music producer requires education, training, and experience working in the recording industry. In addition to a degree in music production, music business, or recording engineering, students interested in becoming a music producer should consider studying any of the following subjects:
How to Begin
Often, music producers start their careers as sound engineers. Sound engineering doesn’t require a college degree, but courses in subjects such as sound and music production as well as the use of recording equipment are useful in this field. In order to move up in the business, hard work, skill, and a certain amount of luck are required. Making connections with as many people in the business as possible is always a good idea. Consider branching out; many music producers make a career producing for movies, television shows, music videos, advertising, or video games. Be flexible and willing to perform many duties until you’ve established yourself as a music producer.