The history of modern music industry can be dated back to the early 1900s when radios became widely available to families and became the predominant entertainment source. This marked the beginning of an era where music could be paid for by the radio stations for advertisement sake.
By the late 1960s, music production technology had evolved to live mixing which despite being difficult and expensive created a new source of revenue for both artists and producers. For many decades, music production relied on this tech until the birth of modern multi-track recording which unlike the live mixing allows the artists to record multiple tracks at separate times and then combine and mix them later.
Generally, the current recording technology together with a multitude of modern gadgets has completely changed the landscape of music production industry. As a musician, you no longer need to spend hours at an expensive recording studio in order to get that perfect recording that you have always dreamed of. Instead, you should think of producing your own music since it is now in your hands and not that of record labels to do it. This may sound overwhelming but the following guide will help you get started.
Start with the right approach
The role of a producer has so much evolved over the years from the person who booked the studio sessions and controlled recordings to the one responsible for making the beats as many do today. More musicians are now taking the production role into their own hands but that does not mean that it is an easy thing to do. It is about taking the full control and responsibility of your music production and this means investing your time and dedication in mastering this art.
So, how do you want your music to sound? In other words, what do you want to hear out of your production? When you have an idea about this, you will be able to know where to apply all your production effects. This is because you will only need to adjust the vocals, layer the guitars and manipulate the drums and so on until you achieve your desired beat.
This will become easier if you have a strong musical background or have been around or worked with musicians before. Nevertheless, you can always get it right if you use the relevant information, have the ability to learn and surround yourself with the relevant group of people.
Create your own studio
It is now a common practice for producers to have a home studio in addition to the one in their business premises. When creating your own home studio, it is important to choose a place that will enable you to work in silence and free from interruptions and distractions that could be happening outside the room. Many home studios are located in the basements that are usually soundproofed.
Equipping your studio
After finding the right room for your studio, you need to equip it with the right musical and production equipment. This is where tech meets music production and unlike in the past, you can easily get any tech gadget without breaking the bank.
The following are the things you need to equip your studio:
The most essential equipment for any modern musician venturing into music production is the computer hardware. In this case you should invest in a good quality computer with either Mac or Windows operating system. Some of the favorite computers among many music creators include Apple MacBook Pro, MusicXPC M series and HP Envy 15 among many others. The computer that you use should have a good processor, enough memory, easy to use, durable and upgradable.
In addition, you will need the Digital Audio workstation (DAW) which is basically the canvas upon which you will make your music production. The choice of the DAW that you choose will highly depend on your experience, budget and how you intend to use it. Some of the best DAWs include Pro Tools, Ableton Live and Logic Pro X but if you cannot afford them, there are also free ones that include GarageBand and Reaper.
This is an external sound card that gives you a variety of facets where you connect your instrument, mic, USB, XLR and others. Audio interfaces are digital and basically the same but you will need to pay more if you need better pre-amps and more ports. The most affordable audio interface is around $70 but others can go for as high as $2000 or more.
If you need a superior sound quality for your music production, it is important to invest in a good microphone. This is not necessarily to say that you buy a thousand-dollar microphone but with advancements in tech, there are a variety of decent options out there that you can choose from for your home studio.
A good microphone for recording vocals, guitars and drums is the one with a large diaphragm condenser. You may need a variety of mics depending on your music and type of production but you should always ensure that you use a good microphone stand whenever it is needed. We recommend the Bumblebee Pro Audio RM-6 ribbon microphone, available assembled or as a kit.
Headphones and Studio monitor speakers
Your music production requires a pair of quality studio headphones that will ensure that you receive accurate frequencies of your tracks. This is very important when you are recording, mixing and producing music in your home studio. However, you can also use studio monitor speakers which are also good for the accuracy of frequencies especially for mixing and mastering and when you need something that is less expensive.
With all the above preparations you are good to record and produce your own music. The remaining step is to market your music by uploading them to popular video sharing websites for people to get to know about your work. Music is a communal art and as such you will need to foster relationships with other musicians and producers as well as other like-minded people. As a modern musician you can now deal directly with your audience by eliminating the record labels thanks to advancements in tech.