If you can, you should always produce your own music. This will save you money and help you develop your creative voice rather than just singing or rapping over someone else’s work. However, there are also plenty of incredible artists who don’t produce their own music.
Producing Your Own Music
If you are an independent artist, it can be tough to decide between producing your own music or hiring a producer.
You probably want your work to be as good as it can be, and trusting in your music production skills can take a lot of work.
Over time, I have learned to trust my gut and my production chops. It has allowed me to further my music career as a composer/producer and develop my own creative voice.
Let’s see if you should produce your own music or hire a producer.
Should You Produce Your Own Music?
In my opinion, you should definitely produce your own music if you can!
Not every artist has what it takes to be a music producer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Still, if you are decent at music production and are somewhat tech-savvy, there is no reason that you should not be your own music producer.
Some advantages of working with a producer include the following:
- Freeing up time for lyric writing/focusing on the vocals
- Bringing another expert in on the process
- Building hype for the project (if the producer is somewhat notable), etc.
However, the benefits of producing your own music definitely outweigh working with a producer in the long run.
Besides, you can still collaborate with people and feature other artists/producers in your work while producing your own tracks. This will help you gain insight, feedback, and expertise from hiring a professional producer.
Learning how/mastering the craft of producing your own music is an excellent long-term investment in yourself as an artist.
Why You Might Want To Produce Your Own Music
Here are some of the main reasons why you might want to produce your own music:
- You will save yourself money, especially if you are working on a full album
- You will save yourself the hassle of trying to explain your vision to someone else
- You will develop your unique style as a producer, contributing to your reputation as an artist
- You will learn valuable skills in music production, making you a more well-rounded musician
- You will have complete control over how your music sounds
As you can see, there are many great reasons to produce your own music!
Is It Hard To Produce Your Own Music?
Producing your own music can be very hard!
It takes time and dedication to learn music production, and it can take even longer to produce something that you feel is release-worthy.
When it comes to producing your own music, it will also take a while to develop your own creative voice that will allow you to produce tracks that match your musical style.
Although it may not be easy, learning to produce your own music is well worth it.
How To Get Started With Music Production
Let’s dive into the process of getting started with music production.
Keep in mind this is a quick guide meant for music production beginners.
How To Record and Produce Music At Home
Recording music and producing at home means acquiring a basic home studio setup and dedicating a place in your home and some time in your day for it.
Learning how to properly use your gear and produce quality music will take a while, but the sooner you invest, the sooner you can get started.
Your music production rig can be simple at first; it just has to be enough to get you started on the path of learning music production!
What Do You Need To Produce Your Own Music?
Here is a list of what I recommend you have for a beginner music production setup:
- A laptop or desktop computer with at least 8GB of RAM (Random Access Memory)
- A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)- This is the music production software that you will use to produce music
- An audio interface
- One or two decent microphones
- Headphones/studio monitors (having both is optimal)
- A MIDI keyboard
Although this would be a pretty basic music production setup, it’s enough to get you started. There’s always room for expansion/upgrades down the line!
Setting Up Your Home Recording Studio
Setting up your home recording studio is a matter of finding a good place in your home to do so and getting to it!
If this is your first home studio setup that you will be doing, it doesn’t have to be complex at first.
All you really need is a desk that you can use to set up your computer, audio interface, and MIDI keyboard. From here, you need to connect studio monitors/headphones to your system and stage your microphone(s) somewhere else in the room.
Later down the line, you will want to upgrade your system, add gear to your setup, and invest in acoustic treatment for your room.
Still, your first home recording studio can be pretty stripped down. You need the means to get going with music production!
Should You Mix and Master Your Own Music?
Remember, producing and mixing/mastering are two different steps of the same process: music production. There is no shame in hiring a pro to mix/master your work to help it sound as good as possible.
You should only mix and master your own music if you really know what you are doing and can deliver a professional quality finished product. Even then, plenty of artists can mix and master but still pay someone else to do it for their work.
Sometimes it’s hard to trust your gut when mixing/mastering your own music, so it can be best to bring someone in on the process.
It depends on the individual music producer, but in any case, you should only mix/master your own work if you can achieve a professional result!
How Long Will It Take To Learn To Produce My Own Music?
You might surprise yourself with how quickly you can start producing your own tunes at home. If you are diligent and hardworking, you will know a thing or two about music production in a few weeks/months.
Keep in mind; however, it will take years and years to actually master the craft and be able to produce anything worthy of release.
What Are The Most Popular Modern DAWs For Music Production?
Here are some of the most popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations)that you should check out if you are looking into getting into music production:
- Logic Pro – Logic is an incredible modern music production DAW that includes everything you might need to produce pro-level music.
- Ableton Live – Ableton Live is another outstanding DAW for music production. Ableton is great for producing EDM and hip-hop/rap in particular.
- REAPER – REAPER is an incredible DAW that is also very affordable. REAPER is my personal DAW of choice, but it could be better for modern music production/beat-making right out of the box.
- Pro Tools – Pro Tools has been around since 1989, and many professional music producers rely on it daily.
- Cubase – If Hans Zimmer trusts it, chances are you can too.
- Studio One – Studio One is a relatively newer DAW, but more and more people are using it to produce music.
- FL Studio – This one is definitely my last pick on this list, but there are tons of producers who use it.
There are lots of different options regarding what DAW you should use. It all just depends on your specific needs.
Can I Learn To Produce Music Without Going To School For It?
Absolutely! While going to school can be a great way to learn music production for some people, I don’t think it is necessary.
The best way to learn something is by doing it, failing at it, and learning how to improve from this failure.
It will definitely take some time to find reliable educational resources and hone your skills, but you can certainly learn how to produce music without going to school for it.
As I have shown you, producing your own music is an incredible route to go down if you are able to do so.
Producing your own music saves you time and trouble, and it also lets you experiment with and grow your own individual creative voice instead of relying on someone else to produce what you really want to hear.
Not everyone has what it takes to produce their own music, and that’s okay! You will always be able to find talented music producers that you can collaborate.
Still, I recommend that every aspiring artist at least try to produce their own music.
Check out this other article answering is music production hard, along with tips on making it easier.