Have you ever watched a silent movie? The absence of sound in the movie brings lack of emotion and leaves one with a sense of wanting more. But thanks to music producers this has forever changed. There job has brought music to cinema, giving the film’s audience a deeper connection to what they are viewing. And music producers do not just work in film, they are instrumental in video games, music, broadcasting and live sound production, such as theater and concerts. But what do music producers do exactly? Music producers wear many different hats and play many different roles when it comes to their job.
Cameell Hanna, who has been a music producer for Adele and Justin Timberlake best defines the work of a music producer when he stated “Today’s music producer is handling every role that we had 5 different guys handling 10 years ago. They are engineering and mixing as they are writing the songs. They are playing the instruments, choosing the co-writers, supplying the studios and even balance the finances of project. Many of today’s producers have even absorbed the A&R roles that historically fell on the shoulders of the record label. He’s finding the artists, spending the development time nurturing them and then bringing them into the label on a silver platter.”
Though many have a dream of working in music as a profession the thought can be terrifying. Music producing seems like a pipe dream for most and if one is lucky enough to become a music producer it seems as though it would not be a lucrative career path. But this is not the case. On average music producers can make a median salary of $48,330 annually. A typical salary for a senior music producer is $87,970. Aside from the money, music production is a career that is constantly changing with the times, so one will never be afraid that their job will be outdated.
How to Become an Audio Engineer
To become a music producer one has to go to school for it, either physically at a campus or online. But as online programs are coming out of the woodwork for a degree or certificate in music production many may be compelled to go this route. But there are clear disadvantages of going to school for music producing through an online venue compared to a school that you physically are a part of. Below is a list on how online campuses are not equal in experience to on campus music production schools like ours.
- Lack of preparation for the business side of music production: Online courses for music producing gives students no preparation in the business of music. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), ninety percent of production companies that release music will go out of business. Thus, to be a music producer you have to be savvy with budgeting, promoting and financing not only with yourself but also the artist you represent. By going to a physical campus you will meet people that understand the business causing better preparation and marketing skills to help you understand the dynamics of the music industry.
- Absence of a “hands on” experience: Online classes make it hard and sometimes impossible to utilize the tools and equipment that you need to become a successful music producer. Being physically interactive with your environment in order to best learn about music is stated best by Carvin Haggins, a Grammy-nominated producer. Carvin Haggins has said “What type of experience is needed when coming into the industry? I am a firm believer that you have to do it and be hands on. You have to do it. The books can tell you some things and the knowledge is great. It’s a great foundation. Don’t throw that away, but when you sit in front of these speakers and you touch Pro Tools, your ears are going to tell you something different.”
- Higher dropout rate: Online institutions have a higher dropout rate. A reason for this is that people tend to be less disciplined when it comes to finishing online courses than completing a school that they physically go to. Furthermore, going to a on campus schools makes you more accountable, partly due to not wanting to disappoint your teachers and peers that you have face to face interactions with.
- Networking: To be successful in music it is a must to make connections with like minded individuals as well as people that are already working in the industry. When you go to a school that’s focus is music you are placed in an environment that is aim is to create a community of individuals with the same passion. This in return fosters your own growth and passion. When you are taking courses online it is easy to lack inspiration by not having the opportunities for socializing and developing lifelong relationships with individuals that would help you get further in your field.
- One size fits all: Online courses are not made with you in mind but rather they are created with the intention of profit and teaching the masses.They cannot teach to the individual because online classes lack the knowledge and understanding of one’s needs and wants from their teacher and their course work. Also, online teaching strategies are made for visual and solitary learners. Too often their coursework ignores the majority of us who learn based on social interaction, and need to have courses that engage us through verbal and kinesthetic approaches.
- Less time geared towards actually producing music: When taking online classes one has to dedicate more time to reading and written assignments, where on average online courses tend to be more work than that of on campus schools. With students focusing more on textbooks through online classes they will in return neglect their creative side of actually physically learning how to make and produce music.
- A need for guidance: When going to school it is hard to understand what courses one should take and what direction one should go in after they graduate. There is a lack of support when comes to online schools which leads to students struggling with what classes they should take to pursue their degree. Furthermore, students who take online classes lack direction when graduating because they do not have the guidance and relationships they need upon entering the workforce.
Choosing to go to a music production school is a great step towards actually living what many consider a dream job. Through the experience you’ll gain and the contacts in the industry you’ll meet, you can be confident that you will not only find a job once you graduate, but you’ll find one you’ll love.