As a musician, one of your biggest and most powerful weapons to have is knowledge.
Investments don’t always come cheap and a bad decision regarding music production can sometimes be very costly in the end, with nothing to show for it.
One of the biggest problems with musicians is that they are too far-focused on trying to “make it” in the music industry, they fail to see that there are many ways in order to achieve that same sense of “making it” without being on pop radio or a billboard chart. Here are some great inside secrets on how to become a true professional musician in music production.
MUSIC PRODUCTION LIFECYCLE
Musicians need to be involved in the entire process of production when it comes to developing, creating, and launching music for the public. This includes composing your very own tracks, laying down the music, and actually being a part of the editing process. This gives you complete control over your own music since you made the entire lifecycle.
SOFTWARE AND EQUIPMENT
The creative process in terms of vision and execution should come directly from you, the musician – and now it’s easier than ever to be able to set up an in-home studio for yourself.
There are some specific types of equipment that you should obtain if you don’t have them already that are the main basics for an at-home music studio:
- Laptop/Desktop/Tablet Computer
- Audio/Digital Recording Software
These things are essential to creating a decent at-home workspace for you to lay down your music into tracks that you can produce. The key here is to do your research and make sure you are getting the best quality for your expenditures. Look up other types of musicians like yourself to see what they use at home to create.
Side note: Make sure that you don’t overspend and stick to a budget, since equipment can be costly, and you don’t want to purchase the equipment you have no use for. Keep in mind as a musician you can also deduct this equipment (as well as your workspace at home) during tax season.
LEARNING THE DIGITAL MUSIC PROGRAMS
There are many online tutorials that you can find (and some for free) on how to do certain things when it comes to producing your tracks, such as splitting the music from vocals in editing. Make sure you refer back to your original sound design – as in, what you hear in your head and how you want the music to sound so that you can produce that when in production. Take some time to familiarize yourself with your equipment so you can use it the most effective way.
STRATEGIZE FOR MAXIMIZATION
In order to have a successful music career, make sure you separate your goals of making it big in the music industry, from the reality of how you can tactically do so. Short-term goals you set for yourself, such as gigs/live shows, getting reviews for your music, and building your website would fall under this category.
Actual strategy comes into play by taking all of these short-term goals and putting them together to achieve the ‘big’ one. Being organized and seeing the big picture is what is going to get you to that long-term success. You have to be incredibly focused and ready to set yourself up for victory. Every action that you take needs to be in line with that big goal. Don’t fall into the category of ‘keeping options open’ and looking down every single avenue. Figure out where you want your music career to go, and stick to it.
VISIBILITY AND MARKETING
Building your music as a business means that you have to have a brand. This includes creating a logo with a specific color scheme, maybe some sort of ‘catchphrase’ to go along with your logo that people can associate with your band or you as a musician.
Marketing is also a huge part of building your fanbase. This is where you will want to look to invest in having your music promoted by places other than your website. Types of marketing tactics you should apply include building your website, creating social media accounts on various platforms (and also upkeep those accounts), and setting up your email list. The email list, though last here, is actually one of the most important pieces when marketing, since this gives you direct contact with those that sign-up for things like an e-newsletter.
MUSIC LICENSING & PRODUCTION SERVICES
Now is the time to put some of those plans into action. Besides getting an email list and visibility in social media, your music has to go somewhere. You can start with just your website but ultimately you’re going to want to have your music available for purchase through other locations. One of the best ways to do this is by going through a music licensing company.
Look for opportunities where others can use your music at your discretion. Marmoset’s music production service is a great way of getting your tracks out in public. Marmoset is a licensing company that specializes in cultivating independent artists who produce “one of a kind” music that can be used for commercial licensing by various creatives. Though it may not be your end game in terms of where you want to be in your music career, it can definitely be a huge stepping stone to take to invest in music licensing, so that producers, directors, and other businesses will have access to your music tracks for their needs.
One of the best-kept secrets that apply to all of the above: keep a positive mindset. You have to keep a clear focus on your goals and continually be working towards them. It is easy to fall into the ‘failing’ mental capacity of not being able to make it, which will work hard against you. Making music as a full-time musician is very possible, and your biggest hurdle can sometimes be yourself. As a musician, it’s time to take full control of your music and the power you have over its release out into the world.