Schools Training

Why Musicians Should be Their own Producers

30 MAY 2012
Career Path : DJ Training


Dedicating your life to an artistic craft is both rewarding and frustratingly difficult. Aside from focusing on creating the best possible art that your mind can create, you also have to confront everyday industry challenges, including exposure, management, and production.

It is true that a lot of the creative industries have producers, or the equivalent to, to help with the logistics and allow the artist focus on their work. Writers, for example, will turn to editor and publishers for guidance on the production of their book. However, there are advantages to self-producing your own work. And while it may not be an easy feat, the reward is in the end result.

Now, before we get into this any further, let us not confuse self-producing with micro-managing, or equate self-producing artists with high achieving trivia masters. Admittedly, there is a level of appeal carried by those freakishly smart people who can answer trivia question on the spot. Somehow, in the most random situations, they are able to remember Babe Ruth’s batting average by year in consecutive order, or the zodiac signs of each member of the Beatles, or the name of the astronaut to first land on the moon.

While this is impressive, trivial knowledge may not do you so much good, nor will micro-managing. As the old saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” meaning that a person may know a lot of things but he is doesn’t know any of those things inside out.  The alternative to diving into a hundred different disciplines would be to zone in on a particular craft. This level of focus allows one to group their best talents together and directing them towards the same goal.

But in regards to musicians, production is so deeply embedded in the construction and publication of their music that it can actually be considered a facet of their craft. Take, for example, a sample of courses offered at a music production school:

·         Songwriting

·         Audio for Film and Television

·         Sound and Recording Techniques

·         Multitrack Recording Techniques

·         Practical Studio Applications

·         Orchestration

·         Live Sound

·         Acoustics

What we notice from this curriculum is that a music producer is first and foremost a musician insofar as he or she must know the intricate details of instrument sound, songwriting, and recording. Likewise, a musician can only hone their craft if they are able to master each layer of the creation of their music, from jotting down lyrics to controlling the tempo in the studio.

Gradually, and with an increase in experience, musicians tend to move towards the production side of things. New and aspiring musicians, be they singer-songwriters or those who just started DJ training, may also want to consider looking into the realms of production despite being new to the game.

Ultimately, being a self-producing musician does not make you a jack of all trades, nor does it distract you from perfecting your music. Instead, being able to produce your music gives you a level of control that you would otherwise have. Decisions regarding the sound, the band members, the pitch, and even the packaging will all come down to what you think is best.