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How do i begin a musical career?

I want to learn how to make music my profession or even where to start.
#music #music-production #music-industry #music-recording #music-education #music-composition

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Michael’s Answer

First thing I would recommend is COLLEGE and home recording experience. If you play an instrument or have a friend that does, buy an audio interface, decent microphone, and a DAW (digital audio workstation) such as Mixcraft or Reason (or whatever strikes your fancy). I would recommend a college that specializes in music/music production, such as Berklee. Regardless of at-home experience, you will gain a whole lot of knowledge from the college. They would also be able to prepare you for the industry. From there I’d say find an audio engineering position at a local indie or large label.

Now, if you want to strike out on your own, decide first if you want to solely offer a recording studio or a label with an in-house studio. You could do both too. Find some bands that want to be recorded, and charge for studio, mixing, and mastering services (each a separate charge so the band can decide which or all they want to use) for their demos. And, if you find a band that you would want to sign, make sure you build relationships with promoters and radio stations.

For a studio: high quality microphones for vocals and instruments (condenser, dynamic, ribbon, drum), high quality audio interface with enough inputs for a whole band (or a higher quality mixer with a built-in audio interface), and plenty of mic and instrument cables. Buy extra cables. And of course, mic stands. Now, you’ll need a computer and studio monitors. And finally, construct your studio like a studio: sound absorbers and diffusers. You don’t necessarily need a fully enclosed vocal booth, unless you have the money for it, but there are other viable options that are cheaper.

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Bridget’s Answer

Hey Juan! Wanted to offer some alternative suggestions here to what other folks added. I've been an award-winning professional musician for 5 years now - but I never attended Berklee or any music school, and neither have any of the engineers I work with who are legendary down here. So I wanted to say real quick that while going to music school could be an AMAZING opportunity, it's also not the only way to do it!

First, if you're interested in learning how to build a home studio and wanna work more on the technical side of music, there are a LOT of community organizations and online schools that teach how to enter those fields! I'd start with Omni Sound Project - they're based in Austin and offer classes year-round with scholarships available, as well as mentoring opportunities with professionals. Check em out here: https://www.omnisoundproject.com/. Also, don't be afraid to follow record labels on Instagram and Facebook, and even reach out on occasion to say you love the work they do! Check what labels and producers work with your favorite bands and follow, follow, follow. I connected with a producer through LinkedIn once because he'd worked with my drummer before. If you're nervous about reaching out, just know that mentorship in the music industry is super important, and anyone who makes you feel bad about that is just being a grouch.

If making music is more your thing, and you don't have a ton of funds or you're just starting out, I would start by building a LOT of playlists with music you like. Figure out what their sounds are. Then go on YouTube and watch interviews and rig videos with those bands - they'll detail what equipment they use, they'll talk about their process, and also you'll get to learn even more about the people whose music keeps you company every day. To set up a home recording studio, there are a TON of videos on YouTube that walk through what gear is most budget-friendly and what a home recording studio really needs (spent a lot of years recording in my literal closet, anything works as long as you get the sound you want!). Audacity is a free tool that'll let you mix your recordings and publish them as mp4s.

When you're ready to put stuff up on Bandcamp and Spotify, there's lot of stuff you can Google - just be aware that Spotify BARELY pays musicians, but *is* useful for giving you visibility with other bands, being added to playlists, etc. Bandcamp will give you the most bang for your buck - people can directly pay you and there are fewer fees involved. It's up to you and how you wanna market your work.

I hope this helps! And if nothing else, remember this: making a career in music is all about talking to other people and finding what works for you. If people aren't kind to you, that's their problem. I've never felt annoyed or weirded out by a fellow musician or music techie reaching out to me to ask for advice, connect, or even ask to open for us! Good luck out there, friend!