Schools Training

Controlling Your Craft – Why Understanding Music Production is the Key to Artistic Independence

28 JUN 2012
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

We can all name our favorite bands and artists, and probably name the first few albums that transformed us into die-hard music lovers. However, not many of us know what exactly goes on behind the scenes. What happens before the album hits the cyber shelves and before the video reaches our screens? One word: production.

Whether or not artists work with or independently from a record label, every single musician needs to have their music produced. This is a vital and inescapable part of the music-making process.

But what exactly is music production? Ultimately, the act of producing music is an in-depth and complex process, and, like many production processes, involves orchestrating the execution of everything that needs to get done. From guiding musicians through the recording phase, to organizing budgets and schedules, a music producer makes sure everything from A-Z is taken care of.

Typically, music producers exist within a record label. However, there is a long history of labels influencing artists to alter their music so it could appeal to the mainstream, thereby perpetuating an industry that thrives on a homogenized sound. For this reason, many musicians prefer to work independently or with independent labels—hence the term “indie”—which can mean that they will need to play a big part in the production of their own music. While this is a more laborious route, it provides the artist with the liberty to guide their own vision without any external interference.

If you are an aspiring musician, you should take the time to understand the entire production process as best as you can, either by shadowing industry professionals who do not mind taking on a protégé or by taking classes at a music production school. As you gain a solid grasp on the production side of things, you will also get a better understanding about the music industry as a whole, and the more you understand, the more control you have. This control will stay with you regardless of whether you sign onto a label or decide to go indie.

Keep in mind that this article does not claim that all record labels are run by evil profit-chasers, or that all musicians should veto the prospect of working with a major label. Although some artists do prefer to work as independently as possible, working with a label will not necessarily undermine the musical craft. What is important is that a music producer, be it yourself or someone else, needs to believe in your art and encourage you to bring it to incredible heights.



Visit Trebas Institute for more information on various audio engineering and production programs.