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A few questions for beginners

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A few questions for beginners

Postby ProducingTekk » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:53 pm

Hey everyone, I’m currently trying to find out how one could make the lives of beginning producers a lot easier ;)

Which is why I have two very simple questions:

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

Thanks so much in advance – looking forward to reading your answers! :)
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:29 pm

ProducingTekk wrote:1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?
2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

I wouldn't consider myself a 'beginning producer' but thinking back and answering in a general sense:

1: a) Lack of experience, b) distinguishing good advice from bad.
2: Time.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Arpangel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:39 pm

1 Getting work, and building a reputation, why would people want "you"?

2 I would wish for people to want me because I can do things, and make things sound, like no one else can.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:52 pm

I'd first clarify what you mean by 'producer', as it can cover a wide range of activities.

You can make it easier for people to knock out tunes by using AI to add a lot of extra musical elements around a basic theme, but that doesn't provide any guarantee that the end product is good, or will have a unique quality that will make it interesting to listen to and will get other people's attention.

But there's nothing like hard work and putting in the time to get a proper feel for what you are doing.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby PKRain » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:16 am

ProducingTekk wrote:Hey everyone, I’m currently trying to find out how one could make the lives of beginning producers a lot easier ;)

Which is why I have two very simple questions:

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

Thanks so much in advance – looking forward to reading your answers! :)

Not really a beginner but I remember when I was.
1:) Such a broad topic, but for me, it was learning the ins and outs of my daw, completing projects was a HUGE obstacle to overcome. Learning how compression worked was a stumbling block. Honestly like panning everything right was hard too. It’s pretty daunting when I first started out. Great idea!

2:) I would wish not to be a perfectionist lol. Producing is all about quality and speed, it was way too easy to get sidetracked.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby info@markdek.nl » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:35 pm

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

2 biggest issues:
1 - Moving from the production stage to the mixing/mastering stage. It's been about 10 times now that I thought I was ready for mixing and mastering, but ended up going back all the way to core parts of my production.
2 - Trusting my ears. Not having any experience, I find it very hard to say what works and what doesn't (this is especially true for the mixing stage: Compression, EQ'ing, Panning, Vocal treatment, I hardly hear what I'm doing, let alone if it's any good).
bonus: knowing how rendering works in my DAW (especially when rendering parts/ stems: what gets rendered with specific rendering option to inform me which types of VsT's to use in which stage of my production)

What would I wish for:
A sparringpartner / mentor / friend with similar interests. I love that I can find out about everything I need to know on Youtube. I've learned a lot about how (digital and analog) synths work, music theory, production workflow, mixing and mastering just by watching video's during my daily commute, which is wonderful. I do miss just hanging out in a studio with someone who either knows his/her way around a studio, OR is as obsessed as I am (might even be better, because you find out new stuff and challenge each other to do creative stuff with it.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:07 am

In these days of programmed and produced loops, orchestral/instrument samples that are beautifully recorded, plus an infinite supply of grooves and auto composition software in general, are producers really necessary anymore? I can see the concept of producer dying out eventually like the studio has done over past years.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:24 am

I guess this is where we get into the question of what a producer actually is and how they add value.
I would expect the role to morph a bit but I don't think it will disappear.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:29 am

blinddrew wrote:I guess this is where we get into the question of what a producer actually is and how they add value.
I would expect the role to morph a bit but I don't think it will disappear.

Don't you think engineers, in the traditional sense, have a more emerging role these days? than a producer, but as you say, what exactly is a producer, it's all very vague, whereas you've really got yo have quantifiable tangible skills that not many people have to put mic's on an orchestra or a drum kit etc.
I think a lot of musicians now at the the more mainstream end, do more or less everything themselves.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:38 pm

ProducingTekk wrote:
1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

1. First big issue, distinguishing chaff from wheat when it comes to online information, especially in facebook groups and the likes. It often becomes an issue of the blind leading the blind, or at best the one-eyed (with a blurry monocle) :) One wrong pointer can send a budding producer in a totally wrong direction, and recovering can take years of frustration.

A typical manifestation of this is over focus on gear as opposite to skill.. questions like "what's the perfect vocal plugin chain" abound and reveal a huge misunderstanding of what recording and mixing is... and they often get answered!

Second big issue, is to truly have a good recording and monitoring space. Both for cost reasons and since it's very uncommon, but mainly because for most people, unless you're specifically directed to it, it's not something that you would think about or are accustomed to think of.

It's as removed as thinking that a particular scent is needed in the air for recording.. :D
In most rooms we hear regular sounds and even music reasonably well, as our brain adjusts to the overall sound, so it's not intuitive at all that you need to do something special in a room before recording or mixing. Even the "good sounding room" is not a commonly grapsed concept.

It doesn't help that the jargon used by people who actually know how to record and mix properly is often far from precise or illustrative - everybody in the circle more or less know what it is, so it's not needed, but a beginner has a hard time figuring out what's what.

2. Well, obviously addressing these issues. Hammering in that skills and context are far more important that whatever hardware and software you have. Removing myths and misunderstandings due to confirmation bias and group thinking. Explain stuff in a simple manner but without distorting it. And so on.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby ef37a » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:55 pm

Been said a few times "what is a producer?"

'In The Beginning' there were musicians and recording engineers (in the true sense of the word) You then needed a 'producer' to negotiated between the two and decide what gets done and in what way. Prod'bod would also have the final say at the final cut?

At least that is the impression I got from my readings of the record industry over the last 60 years or so.

Now, any Silly S** with a guitar or keyboard and mic can, for the outlay of well under half a bag, make recordings to a technical standard George Martin would have killed Ringo for. So, what do you have to have to be a 'producer'? A studio of good size and acoustics? Several grands worth of top kit? Are you not then studio owner/musical director/repair tech/tea boy and more?

Or nothing and HOPE people ask you to use their kit and pay you?

Why would they do that unless you had a string of hits inder your belt? Catch 22.

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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:07 pm

ef37a wrote:Been said a few times "what is a producer?"

My understanding is that the meaning has not changed much? The producer is whatever guy that is responsible that the product (album, single) is actually getting to the distribution channel in a form he/she believes will sell. That implies solving any issue that comes along, from artistic ones to administrative.

It's just that nowadays it's more common that the artist himself takes that role or large chunks of it.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Dave B » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:04 pm

As a producer :

1.a) Getting hold of the right musicians for the music to be made
1.b) Getting them all together in the same place at the same time
2) Time

I mean ... you do mean producer in the truest sense don't you? Not producer as in 'some geek in a bedroom with a copy of fruity loops' ...
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby blinddrew » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:12 pm

CS70 wrote:
ef37a wrote:Been said a few times "what is a producer?"

My understanding is that the meaning has not changed much? The producer is whatever guy that is responsible that the product (album, single) is actually getting to the distribution channel in a form he/she believes will sell. That implies solving any issue that comes along, from artistic ones to administrative.

It's just that nowadays it's more common that the artist himself takes that role or large chunks of it.
I think that's a very good definition actually. And when you think of it like that it's easy to see why it's actually a really difficult job to do well.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby The Bunk » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:04 pm

ProducingTekk wrote:Hey everyone, I’m currently trying to find out how one could make the lives of beginning producers a lot easier ;)

Which is why I have two very simple questions:

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?


If I can sort of answer only question 1 and even then only 1 part of it...
The main issue...OK, let's be honest, mistake...for me was recording something, listening to it back and being so excited with the fact that I'd recorded something in the first place that I paid no attention to the quality of what I was listening to. And I still occasionally do that...I just get too carried away thinking I've nailed it, only to go back to it weeks later and think "crikey, that's all over the place". That is unless some of the good, helpful folks on here have a listen to my work and tell me first ;) :thumbup: ;)

Edit; note to OP. Are you still with us :bouncy: ?
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby discospring » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:32 pm

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

Mine are the typical issues that stem from being a
ef37a wrote: Silly S** with a guitar or keyboard and mic
... One is technical ignorance, (eg. not understanding basics like gain-staging, dBVU/dBFS, phase, realising tracks can sound awful on the radio that sounded fine everywhere else) and the other is the consequence of the processes of writing, playing and recording being practiced as a single activity. (eg. I'm so used to them being under my control that I struggle to take up offers of recording in treated rooms through nice outboard, but it's so hard to be disciplined with stages of production, resulting in lots of faffing and left vs right brain tussles).

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

Identical ears - much younger ones. Self-discipline. A treated space solely that activity. A much better computer.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:26 am

It is easy to produce complete cr4p in a treated room (trust me, I'm an expert at this ;) ), it's impossible to produce professional recordings in an untreated one.

Certainly agree with

discospring wrote:Identical ears - much younger ones. Self-discipline. A treated space solely that activity.

but not

A much better computer.

:thumbup:
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Arpangel » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:09 am

Dave B wrote:I mean ... you do mean producer in the truest sense don't you? Not producer as in 'some geek in a bedroom with a copy of fruity loops' ...

Maybe bedrooms and loops made by some geek are the home of most of today's club music and up and coming stuff.
I don't think these people are just geeks either, exactly the opposite, they are extremely serious turned on people, well aware of what's happening, often have little money, and make the most of what they have.
A guy I know who's close to me, he has Traktor, a laptop, and an old 80's music centre to monitor on, but he's making some very interesting music, and his knowledge of music goes way beyond what I expected, I get playlists from him regularly.
He doesn't have much cash, or equipment, never been in a studio, or hired a producer, and I judged him before knowing anything about him or his music.
He's making music a lot of his friends and party goers enjoy, and I'm learning all the time, and things are changing beyond recognition from the world I come from, I waver from a reactionary dismissal, to actually just saying my time was then, and this is now, things move on, and we can't hold on to the past, I'm like a ship dragging its anchor, I have to let go and take it all on board, it's not my music and it's not my culture, I don't pretend it is, but it's there, and it's happening, and I can learn a hell of lot from it, and it's creators.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:01 pm

Just to be clear, 'producer' in the hiphop world has a very specific meaning ie the person who makes the 'beats' that rappers write their words/tunes to. It's not necessarily a producer in the sense that some people here are using — the George Martins etc. And by 'beats' I mean the ready-made, finished tracks, over which the rapper will write and perform. These producers might get involved in recording the vocals etc and mixing/mastering the track, at the more pro end of the marketplace, but very often they'll simply sell their beats as stereo files, stems or individual tracks. Don't know if the OP meant this kind of producer but to young hiphop artists that's what they'll recognise as a producer these days.
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