It takes more than inspiration, abilities, and technical know-how to be a great music producer in the studio.
It’s also about navigating the music industry and finding your position inside it, and teamwork is at the heart of this journey. Few well-known producers work alone, therefore your success as a music producer will be determined in part by how well you collaborate with others, how you offer value to joint projects, and how you conduct yourself in the studio.
This post is for you if you’re ready to move beyond composing music alone and enhance your creative process in ways that go beyond the DAW—below are eight ideas for how to thrive as a music producer in the studio when working with others.
1. Establish a network
Music production is a team endeavor. Even producers who have mastered every talent imaginable don’t tend to accomplish everything on their own. For one thing, they’d be better off focusing on what they’re good at and delegating the rest. More significantly, when musicians collaborate and offer what they’re greatest at, the ultimate result is far more original, rich, and polished than anything any of them could have produced alone.
As a result, a great music producer should have a network of people with whom he or she may collaborate. Other producers, instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, sound engineers, and anybody else with relevant abilities can be included.
It will take time to build this network, but it will be well worth it. You’ll have a group of individuals you can turn to if you need support or have an idea for something that may take your music to the next level. Similarly, these individuals may contact you whenever they require your particular set of abilities or know someone who does, presenting you with a continual supply of fresh possibilities and connections.
2. Maintain a level of professionalism
Collaborating with other artists might feel a lot like hanging out with excellent friends, which isn’t always a negative thing. However, this does not negate the necessity for you to act and treat others professionally.
Simple actions like replying to emails promptly, appearing at the studio on time, being dependable, and using decent manners are examples of this. Acting professionally, in general, entails displaying emotional intelligence, appreciating other people’s time and skill, and giving your all to the production for the benefit of all parties involved.
You hold yourself and your work to the greatest standards when you operate professionally. This helps you and your partners to produce your best work by establishing good, efficient, and productive connections.
3. Be explicit in your communication
The number one item that will help you succeed as a producer is having effective communication skills while dealing with people, whether in person or digitally.
You and your collaborator(s) may have completely different experiences, thoughts, expectations, and ambitions when you first meet. Then you must collaborate to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This entails expressing yourself clearly, actively listening to others, and devising solutions that will help you achieve both your shared and individual objectives.
Try to discover opportunities to’sync up’ with your partner or team at every stage of the production process. You may accomplish this by asking them how they feel about your progress so far, informing them of the milestones you want to reach next and when, and asking if they have any input.
Being proactive in this manner will aid in the smooth running of the project and keep everyone pleased, motivated, and inspired. This will also help you prevent any misunderstandings or wounded emotions if you’re ever dealing with someone whose personality conflicts with yours.
4. Be flexible
As a producer, you probably have your own set of tools and workflow. This is fantastic and may save you a significant amount of time. When you’re dealing with other people, though, you must also be adaptive.
When you enter a new studio, you may encounter software or equipment that you are unfamiliar with. You could get a chance to work on a project in a genre you’ve never worked on before. Perhaps you’ll find yourself dealing with someone who has their own favored method of doing things and refuses to try anything else. Perhaps you receive a text from your bass player informing you that they have an emergency and must withdraw from the project.
It will benefit you in all of these scenarios to remain adaptable and adapt to whatever position you find yourself in. When you can, stick to what you know, but be ready to chuck it all out the window at times.
5. Work well with others
Being a team player is another important part of working with others. When it comes to music, this means focusing on the final product rather than on how much of it you can claim credit for.
If someone else comes up with a wonderful concept, don’t dismiss it just because it doesn’t suit your initial vision. Maintain an open mind, be flexible, and be grateful of others’ efforts. In the same line, be open to other people’s feedback without taking it personally.
As a producer, you may need to take the lead in bringing out the best in your team members on occasion. You may aid someone who isn’t sure about their ideas or talents by encouraging them and encouraging them to attempt new things.
Keep in mind that you’re all working together to produce a song you can all be proud of, so it’ll need a team effort.
6. Maintain your organization
Regardless of where you are in your career as a music producer in the studio, you must handle it with the same amount of attention as if it were a full-time job or a company.
To accomplish each job effectively, you’ll need excellent project management abilities and the ability to stay organized. Setting objectives, making strategies for how to achieve them, keeping track of deadlines, creating contracts, maintaining an effective filing system, and keeping your funds in order are all necessary tasks.
All of these administrative activities may seem dull and superfluous, but scheduling them can help you work more efficiently, focus more on the creative elements of your job, and communicate more effectively.
7. Maintain your discipline
You probably have instances when you feel very motivated and eager to get into the studio. When attempting to meet a deadline, however, you are likely to lose motivation, love for a project, or attention. Under both of these circumstances, successful producers are able to generate the same high-quality work.
This entails remaining disciplined and working in the studio even when you don’t feel like it. It involves remaining focused and patient, giving each music the time and attention it deserves, even if you aren’t particularly fond of it at the time.
This is an extremely important discipline to acquire, especially if you’re working with and producing music for other artists. It’s no longer just about you; they’re betting on your success as well.
8. Continue to study
Even the most competent and experienced producers consider themselves to be lifelong learners. You can’t afford to be stationary in an industry that is always changing and evolving.
Try to learn something new from the folks you’re working with on each new project. Keep up with trends by listening to new music, experimenting with genres you wouldn’t generally listen to, taking classes to bridge skill gaps, or shadowing a more experienced producer.
Finally, keep up with the latest news on new software, equipment, tools, and procedures. Something new is continually coming out that has the potential to take your music to new heights. Continually learning and improving your talents will make you a far more appealing collaborator and help you create great music.
Did any of these suggestions surprise you? Do you have any more tips for working well with people both inside and outside the studio?