There are no stupid questions when you start to make music. So let’s tackle one of the simplest of all: what does music production mean?
Music production seems like a complicated and intimidating subject for a beginner, with hundreds of technical terms to learn and techniques to master. It’s time to slowly relax.
What is music production?
Music production is about making music using digital tools. It is the journey of a song, from the initial idea to writing, recording, arranging, mixing and mastering the music.
Beatmaking and recording of instruments is usually done in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The song is put together piece by piece into parts called tracks, one instrument or one sound at a time.
Music software like Pro Tools or GarageBand are both DAWs – basically a recording studio on your computer. Each DAW contains virtual instrument plugins of all types that you can image, from drum kits to synths to gongs, and effects like reverb to manipulate the sound design of your tracks.
Starting to produce music has never been so accessible or cheaper. In reality, all you need is a computer, a microphone, and your ears. Free DAWs are available for download; the popularity of loops and samples means that you can create rhythms and click notes in a piano roll to create melodies and chords without any prior musical knowledge.
Online platforms like BandLab make the process even easier and more social, and YouTube is full of music production tutorials for beginners no matter what software you use. You can even produce music just using a smartphone app.
What exactly does a music producer do?
In a classic studio, music producers oversee the recording process. They organize what musicians and singers do in the studio and make sound design choices.
Nowadays, “producer” means different things in different contexts and genres. When it comes to electronic music, the producer does everything in the creative process; in hip-hop, the producer is the one who makes the beat.
So if you’re making music in your bedroom, record all the instruments and vocals yourself, or beats in a DAW for rapping later, congratulations; you are a producer. If you help record your mate’s song while he is playing guitar, you are a producer.
Music production is a broad subject, covering techniques such as presetting to hardware like audio interfaces. But you’re just getting started, so pick a DAW, take it step by step, and enjoy the feeling of getting creative and making music.
Once you get started, find more music production tips here:
Just as it has never been easier to make music, it has never been easier to release music. Previously, you needed a recording contract to sell your songs, but now you can upload your songs to Spotify and other streaming platforms using a digital music distributor.
RouteNote offers unlimited music distribution, helping independent artists post their songs to streaming services for free. We make the process quick and easy, and you are in control of your music, free to come and go at any time. Once people start streaming and downloading your music, you earn royalties and keep 85% of the income; or you can choose to upgrade to our Premium music distribution and keep 100% of your earnings for a small fee.
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