Tips For Young Producers Trying To Enter ‘The Game’

In this day and age, it feels like everyone is trying to become the next famous rapper. That’s not true, almost everyone wants to be a producer too! In all seriousness though, some would say that production is the most important part of the rap game and there have been a plethora of hot new producers like DJ Mustard, Mike WiLL and many others making their way into the music scene. With easy to use programs such as FL Studio (which was used by famous producers 9th Wonder and Lex Luger), all you really need is a basic computer and a MIDI keyboard. But it will take a long road of hard work and dedication to become the next Drumma Boy or Mr. Collipark, and many producers tend to make many mistakes that will hinder their success. Figured we would offer some tips for young producers trying to enter the music industry.

Some people might think that all it takes to make a hot instrumental is to be able to make a catchy melody and a hot drum pattern, but they couldn’t be more wrong. One mistake in music production that is often made by beginners as well as those who have been making beats for years is not properly mixing and mastering their instrumentals. Even if you make a beat that sounds spectacular, failing to properly master it can greatly degrade the sound quality and may even make that great instrumental sound down right horrible. The beat may sound great through headphones, but the finished product may end up sounding very different through heavier speakers that you might hear in a club or a car stereo. That is why it is important to not only be familiar with your equipment, but also make sure you know exactly how to mix and master your sounds in order to obtain satisfactory quality. You don’t have to go to classes or buy books to learn how to master your tracks, especially if you use computer programs like FL Studio and Reason to make instrumentals. One can easily learn all of the tricks of the trade by looking up tutorials on Youtube and dedicating a little time to learning how to properly mastering their beats. This is something that must absolutely be learned if you plan on selling your beats, which brings me to my next point.

Many people in the music industry will tell you that it is 90 percent business and 10 percent music. It seems as if there are a lot of producers who either forget or just don’t learn this important lesson until it is too late.  I will tell you, that is one of the most important tips for young producers. Knowing what you need to know about the business side of the music industry will not only prevent unnecessary headaches, but also keep you from getting played. First of all, you must be a great salesman when it comes to your music. You must know the worth of your music as well as how much people are willing to pay and come to a reasonable middle. Set your prices too high for your quality and people will not want to do business. Set your prices too cheap and you might end up giving away that one track that would have made you the next Mike WiLL for less than $50. Also, learn about publishing rights and copyrighting your work if you plan on really making money. If you plan on someone making a hit song on your instrumental, BMI and ASCAP will be your best friends if you actually want to get your royalties. It would also be beneficial to an upcoming producer to learn the pros and cons of publishing deals and getting paid in advance. Learning about these things as well as having talent will greatly help you reach success as a producer in the music business.

One of the most important parts of making a name for yourself as a producer is also one of the main areas in which people make one critical mistake. That area is promotion. Of course, a great way to promote is to use social networking sites, but one must remember, there is a reason Facebook and Twitter are both called “social networking” sites, and not “promote by spamming” sites. When you have your music online, twitter can be a great tool if you know how to use it to promote. Simply tweeting the link to your music over and over again isn’t as effective as you might think. It may even cause potential fans and colleagues to look at you as more of a spammer than a professional. So instead of just tweeting to random people and sending friend requests, use the social network to actually network. Use Twitter and Facebook to connect with fellow producers and upcoming artists who would like to collaborate with you. People are more likely to become interested in your music if you have worked with someone that they know about or who is from their hometown. Using this technique to promote your music will have much better results than simply spamming over and over again.

There are many great producers waiting to break out into the big leagues. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to become the next Swizz Beatz or Timbaland, but many will manage to find some level of success or make money through their dreams even if they start at the bottom. As long as he or she remembers to have quality mastered tracks, learn the business side of the industry and use social networking sites to promote the right way, a producer can begin the climb to the top.  Hope these tips for young producers were helpful.

Originally published on May 29, 2013.

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