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Becoming a record producer

An explanation of what it takes to become a record producer.

You love music.

No, wait a minute, you really love music.

Music is your whole life and you think about little else. But you don’t just love listening to music, or wearing the hair style or T-shirt of your favourite act, you want to create music and give to others what gives you most pleasure yourself.

You could consider becoming a singer or songwriter, or a musician, but you realise that to become an artist in your own right you have to become involved with a lot of things that are not music - creating an image, photo sessions, promotion, interviews. And to become a musician is only ever to take part in the creation and performance of music - but taking part just isn’t enough.

If this description fits you, then there is only one possible choice for your career in life - to become a record producer. To be a record producer is to be the one person who moulds, shapes, masterminds and oversees the creation of music from raw chords and lyrics, through performance and creation in the studio, to a finished album ready for the world to hear and enjoy.

The record producer is the ultimate musician and the recording studio is his or her instrument. The world’s biggest, most complex and most expensive instrument in fact - and the most difficult to master.

Fortunately, it’s easy to set out on the path towards being a record producer. All you need are a couple of musicians to work with, and a friend with a simple four track recorder. Make a recording, then figure out how you can make it better.

If you have the ears, you will hear something new every time you record, and each experience will bring you one step closer to being able to get people to pay you for doing what you enjoy most. Be warned however, that it is a steep path to success, and you will need every ounce of determination you can muster.

Only hard work and experience in real studio situations can teach you how to make a record, any producer will tell you that - and they will also tell you how they got into production because they had the talent and they got lucky. This section of Audio Masterclass explains how producers work and who they work with, and also tells you the best ways to get into the business.

So there’s no need to record purely for your own amusement and only dream about doing it for a living. Fire up your enthusiasm and determination and read on, and you will learn how to bBecome a record producer.

By David Mellor Thursday March 20, 2003