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Becoming a Music Producer

Posted on May 8th, 2013 by Jenny Frankel
    music studio146760417Many 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.

    Required Skills

    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.

    Required Education

    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:

    • Musical history and theory
    • Composition
    • Songwriting
    • Ear training
    • Copyright law
    • Artist and product management
    • Music publishing and distribution
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Finance and accounting
    • Entrepreneurship

    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.

    Written by Jenny Frankel

    Jennifer is the Director of Financial Services at Envisage International. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Chile, Costa Rica and London, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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One Response to “Becoming a Music Producer”

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