7 Things EVERY New Music Producer Should Invest In ASAP
So you've decided to be a producer. Welcome to the club... I have to warn you this is not an easy path but if you're set on it then I have some advice to give you. It's all good to have a dream. It's great to have a plan to go with that dream. But, in order to make that dream happen you have to take action. To take action means you believe in what you're about to do and trust me... You're about to do great things. I just want to let you know that in order to get to those things you're going to have to invest in yourself. Time, money and frustation is the cost to be a successful producer. All worth it though. I put together this short list of things that will help you along your way.
1. BeatStars.com - If you make beats you don't want to just have them sit in your computer or hang out on your IG page. You want to get them out and hopefully make some money with them. BeatStars is where you want to be. This is a beat selling site but it's so much more than that it's a community that provides resources for producers that if used wisely can put you in position to win. They have 3 different subscriptions options that range from free if you just want to get your feet wet to 20 bucks a month if you want to go all in. For free you can post 10 beats and BeatStars takes a % of each sale. You get an embeddable player and a place to showcase some of your work. Not bad for free. With a paid subcription you get so much more including a website AND they don't take anything from your sales. Check them out at the link below.
2. SongTrust.com - SongTrust deals with admin and royalties in a way that just makes sense. They basically manage your musical portfolio and make sure you're getting paid. There's a one time fee of $100 and a 15% royalty commision but it's well worth it for what you're getting in return. You keep your rights, control and get paid 100% of your negotiated sync fees and not have to do all the work. Don't know what any of this means? It's cool I'll have an article about all of that for you soon. They also have a bunch of educational resources to make sure you don't get the short end of the stick when dealing with this side of the production business. If you don't want to wait for the article I definately recommend checking out their site and signing up.
3. Website - While a beatstars shop can double for a website having your own site where you can point people to first will serve you greatly as far as controlling and retaining your traffic, fans and customers. Having your own URL is a great value and not too expensive perfect for pointing potential clients to your work. grab a url for cheap on godaddy and share your work with the world.
4. Marketing - Organic growth doesn't happen with out some kind of marketing. How are people that have never heard your work going to know they like you? This is a tough one though. There's a lot of trail and error involved and could get costly but the reward is worth the investment. I suggest picking up some books on marketing OR hiring someone to handle this for you. If you don't have the funds then do invest time into gorilla marketing which is often low cost. Get in them DMs or work something out with the folks you network with but know that with out this part of the business of producing you're limiting your self greatly.
5. Mix With the Masters.com Subscription (for at least 1 year) - There are a ton of free youtube tutorials out there for mixing and mastering but not many in depth session walk throughs that show the work flow and techniques from the folks making your favorite commercial records. It's worth spending the money (trust me) tapping in with your favorite mix engineer is valuable.
6. Photoshop or Canva - Producers wear many hats when starting out. Graphic designer is one of them. I recommend picking up one of these subscription based platforms for graphics. It will come in handy. Canva isn't as flexible as photoshop but also doesn't come with much of a learning curve. I use them both it makes life easy.
7. At least 1 good all around mic. I picked up an Oktava Mk-319 a few weeks back on reverb pretty cheap and I'm really impressed by it especially when stacking vocals. It's a little dark but it works on a good range of things and takes eq pretty well. I suggest finding an all arounder that meets your needs and budget. Doesn't need to be a Sony C800G to get great results.
8. Yourself: This one is immeasurably important. You have to believe in yourself enough to spend money on what you're doing yes but aside from the above mentioned you want to make sure you become confident enough in your skill and have the ability to withstand the test of time. You have to hang in there, so you have to invest your energy and patience as much as possible. It takes a toll on us mentally sometimes but the frustration will one day be worth it. But if you don't believe it. No one else will.
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Just to circle back to the real theme of this article, which if you haven't picked up on it is to believe in yourself. Don't listen to the nay sayers. If you're not good now... so what? practice makes perfect, repetition, experimentation, patience and dedication will take you where you want to go. So when things look bleek... don't give up. Push through, keep doing it and believe in yourself enough to lay it all out on the line. Learn as much as you can and apply that knowledge.