Producing Music - Where to start

Producing music is something that takes time to craft and comes with lots of experience. If you're one of the gifted few that can just produce w/o experience, you may still get some insight from this post.

Producing is the construction of music. You have to make choices about the project as a whole and this will include things like EQ, panning, compression, lengths of the delay, when to delay, when to chop up the vocals, when to add guitar solos, how the song begins and ends, and everything else that happens in between. This is not an easy task, but it does have huge rewards that are long-lasting if you do it right.

To achieve this goal, you need to do a bit of homework. Start by listening to some of your favorite music. Pay close attention to all the little details. Take notes on when each instrument comes into the mix and where it is panned in the stereo spectrum. Then pull apart the mix in small bits as you explore every aspect of the sound. A well-produced mix has many layers and when you examine each layer, you will understand how the producer constructed their masterpiece.

To keep you on the right track, start reading some books about producing that have been written by the masters. "Behind the Glass" is a great perspective of what it's like for producers working in the world's biggest studios with some of the most famous musicians. Gain some insight on what will be ahead of you before you cross that bridge.

Once you think that you have a good grasp on how to produce, go and find a small band that is just starting out and see if you can produce them. If you can produce a band that has very little experience in the studio, then you're ready to start your career as a producer. It is no easy task to work with musicians that have never worked with a producer. If you succeed, that is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. You've got a lot ahead of you and the rest will fall into place as you move along. You may not succeed right away. In fact, it will take time to get settled into the role. Keep plugging away at the challenges that arise and you will find ways to overcome them.

If you want to start even smaller, just try to produce one song on your own. Do some MIDI composing and get some samples together. See how long it takes for you to come up with the melody and rhythm. This will give yo some insight as to how long it will take when you work with other musicians on their production.