Record Producers Guide To Saving 306 Lives

This is a guide to being respected, feeling valued, and creating personal brand ambassadors. In PART ONE, we went over how to identify the problem clients. In PART TWO, we discussed how to hack the primal brain using dogs, Ben Franklin, and elevators. In PART THREE we focused on diffusing initial tension with an honest and forthright introduction. I promised to start giving you the silver bullets for the record ruining monsters that you see in the studio. The first monster we will deal with is reactive thinking.

Reactive thinking is a skill taught to athletes, pilots, and marines. It’s the reason they can make split second decisions when they encounter a change. It’s how professional baseball players decide what pitch is being thrown, if it’s a ball or strike, and how to best hit the pitch in less than 4 tenths of a second! Reactive thinking has also caused airplanes crashes, surgeries deaths, and your recording sessions to fall apart.

First, here’s how to train your brain to make reactive decisions:

1. Make a mental picture of how things should be. Consider the baseball player. He would picture the perfect release of a fastball that crosses perfectly in the center of the strike zone.
2. Consider the alternatives. The baseball player may picture a poor release that will guarantee a ball. He may also consider a release that causes spin on the ball. Go through every alternative to the perfect mental picture that you originally had in your head, and tell your brain what you should do in each situation.
3. Run the situation in real life as much as possible. Your brain will now process new alternatives to the perfect mental picture and attempt to come up with the proper reaction to it.

This is a skill that can make you incredibly valuable in high-pressure situations that need split second analysis. It can also cause catastrophic failures.

Air Transair Flight 236 was in danger of crashing due to reactive thinking. This airplane, carrying 306 people, had a fuel leak in the line leading to the right engine. The fuel there was leaking at a rate of a gallon per second. The onboard computer alerted the pilot that there was a fuel imbalance. This was not a part of the perfect mental picture he had in his head. Reactive thinking told him to correct it the way he had so many times before. He diverted fuel from his working engine, into the leaking engine. This caused both engines to flame out due to fuel starvation.

This seems like an illogical decision to make. But, reactive thinking isn’t based on logic. It’s more akin to muscle memory. And, if you’re wondering, the pilot recovered from this and was able to make an emergency landing by gliding his massive plane to the closest runway and doing what’s called a “dead-stick” landing. He was a very skilled, experienced, and smart pilot.

What does this have to do with your recording session? Everything! This type of thinking doesn’t just happen when you need to make split second decisions. An artist almost always has a mental picture of how their song should sound. Sometimes they have a mental picture of how the session should go, and how you should do your job. If something does not fit into the perfect picture the artist has in his head, he will attempt to remedy that.

Before I explain how to break this cycle of reactive thinking, you’ll need to understand something very important. It will not work if you’re trying to manipulate the situation in your favor. I have used this method before and it works extremely well. But, only in situations where it is in the artists best interest. I once had a band in for a preproduction session that hit a wall. I pointed out a transition that was destroying the lift of their chorus. The drummer was starting the chorus on a downbeat while the rest of the band and the vocal came in on the previous upbeat. They were literally starting to play the part at different times! After pointing it out to the drummer he told me that was how it’s supposed to go. Of course, he was referring to the mental picture in his head rather than the actual song. He was sure he was right, and would not even attempt to play it properly. Here’s what I did.

How To Break Someone Out Of A Reactive Thinking Cycle:

1. Ask for a temporary change for experimentation. Instead of saying “You’re absolutely wrong!” (Even if the person is.) Ask the person to consider it a different way.
2. Ask why he can’t try it differently. If you still get pushback ask the person why he won’t attempt it a different way. Remember that his brain is holding him hostage, and he won’t have a logical answer.
3. Show your human side. If you’re still met with a storm of no! Make a grandiose statement to diffuse the tension he’s feeling like “I’ve been known to be stuck in my ways from time to time. Truth be told, I’ve been in this situation before. It feels like some imaginary person is holding a gun to your head and telling you any change is wrong. So, you don’t try any of it. When I get that person in my head, I try to remember I’m in control. Then, I dress the imaginary person up like Wilma Flintstone and imagine that Stone Age cutie cheering me on.”
4. Explain the psychology behind his feelings. This is a last resort. People generally don’t like being told how their own brain works. Soften the blow by telling the airplane story. Don’t forget to explain how talented and smart the pilot was when he stopped thinking reactively and assessed the situation properly. If this doesn’t work on the person thinking reactively, it has a good chance of convincing his band mates to continue the conversation for you.

Now that you know how reactive thinking works, consider if you may think reactively as a creative professional. Do you cringe when you so the cheap guitar the artist brought in for the recording? Do you hear it out on the setup that he apparently thinks sounds great before starting to defend the affront to your perfect mental picture?

Ready for the next monster?

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Six Tricks for the Perfect Mix

This article will not make you a perfect mixer. There’s not one (or six) trick(s) that can give you a “perfect mix”. If there was, we’d all already sound just like Chris Lord Alge and life would be boring. Every mix sounding the same. This is meant to help you out with a few things I’ve learned along the way. So please read on and hopefully you’re able to take something positive away from my ramblings.

1) Record it Right in the First Place

Personally, I will never take on a strict mixing gig. One of the reasons I avoid mixing projects is because you never know what you’re going to get. Some recordings are straight up unsalvageable. It’s tough to deal with tracks that were played without a metronome, or where a vocalist is out of tune. At these points, you’re talking about doing more editing to save the song than actual mixing. If you do it yourself, make sure you do it right from the get go. Otherwise, you’ll be doing your best to fix someone else’s mistakes and your name will forever be tied to the stinky turd you’ve volunteered yourself to polish.

2) Nothing is Set In Stone

…until it is. That means get funky, get experimental, and get weird! Your mixes are not final until they’re up on iTunes. So have some fun and try out some different effects. If your clients are digging them, fantastic! If they don’t like all the flange you threw on their guitar, that’s an easy fix – just bypass the plugin. Simple as that. Don’t limit yourself because you’re afraid something might sound off-putting. What’s done can just as easily be undone.

3) Hold the Compression

Something I learned very early in my career is that even a light touch of compression can make a world of difference in a mix. You don’t need to slam your drums or vocals with compression, just give it a little tap tap taparoo. You’ll be impressed with how much you can do with so little.

4) Practice Your Craft

Yes of course you should be reading blogs, (cough cough, like this one), but what you should really be doing is practicing every chance you get. Just because someone loves one technique doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Look at my compression example – it’s something that works for me in most cases. I never go too heavy on my compression. But if you go through my catalog of songs, there are a few tunes I’ve doused with heavy loads of it. The more you work your craft, the better you’ll become at it. Practice makes perfect.

5) Edits Make Perfect

Practice makes perfect, and so do edits. You’ll be amazed at how much better a mix will sound when the vocals have been properly aligned with Melodyne, or the drums have been quantized perfectly with elastic audio. Even editing out mic bleed can dramatically improve the quality of your mixes (especially editing your toms on your drums). I know some people are more traditional with their approaches, but if you don’t like the way your songs sound after some finely tuned edits, revert back to #2.

6) Make it Your Own

No one ever told me when I first started that I could do whatever I wanted. Well, here I am telling you that you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. You don’t have to take my advice, I’m just telling you some things that have worked for me. If you’re using some techniques that are completely unheard of, but you’re making your clients happy and making a name for yourself, you’re obviously doing something right. There is no right way and wrong way to do this, it’s all about what sounds good.

I hope you’ve been able to get some sound advice (oh boy I love a good pun) from this article. And honestly, if you’re using some obscure methods that your clients love, please hit me up and tell me what you’re doing. I’d be pumped to hear about it!

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5 Key Points You Need To Hit During Your Introduction With Your Artist

How To Convince Your Client That You Know What You’re Doing (Part 3)

This is a guide to being respected, feeling valued, and creating personal brand ambassadors. In PART TWO, we went over the primal brain and first impressions. Now, we’re going to talk about your introduction. A good introduction can set the tone for the entire record. If you do this properly, you’ll establish that you are a professional and the client will feel that you are a valuable part of his recording process.

Your introduction should have one main goal. Clarify Your Role. This will go a long way to change your client’s expectations. Artists bring their musical prejudices with them to each session. When they first see you, it may remind them of a bad experience they had in a different studio. Your presence may induce fear from a client who wants to protect the integrity of the song. Or, your client may have seen too many Metallica documentaries.

Here’s how to properly clarify your role:

1. Start with “I – You – I”

Before explaining what you can do for the client, introduce yourself, and explain why you’re looking forward to working with them. Sample introduction…

“I’m so glad to be working with you. You have some fantastic grooves and melodies that I can’t wait to be a part of. Before we get started, I want to tell you a little bit about myself, and my process as a producer. I’ve been producing records for ___ years.”

2. Qualify yourself.

Add some quick resume highlights. Even if you have little to no resume, you need to find a secondary way to connect with the client. I would personally say something like this…

“I started out as an artist, so I see everything from that perspective first. But, I’ve also done A&R for an indie label, so I know how those guys think.”

(And, if you feel you have little to no resume highlights at the moment, you can use your drive and excitement as a qualifier.)

“I’m obviously a music lover, but I’m also an incredibly hard worker. I care deeply about the record we’re about to do.”

3. Tell the client how to think of you.

As strange as it sounds, telling the client how to think of you is the most important step. Here’s how you can do that…

“I want you to think of me as part of your team. We both want to make the best possible record. I’m going to give you my professional advice to help facilitate that.”

4. Default to the client’s decision.

This little piece of reverse psychology is very disarming. Letting the client know that she can overrule you will stop the power struggle before it gets started. It will also tip the power towards the producer! You just qualified yourself, then told the client you’re going to do anything you can to make the record better. Now, throughout the session you can say things like “Hey, just give this a try. If you don’t like it after we hear it this way, we’ll go back to the old way.” In my experience, the client will at least try the vast majority of your ideas. Here’s how I would add that to my introduction…

(“I’m going to give you my professional advice to help facilitate that.”) “But, I was an artist, and I understand that you need to love your music. It takes a lot of drive to go out and tour on a record. I don’t think I would have gotten through it if I didn’t love what I was playing. So, if we try out an idea and you don’t like it, I want you to feel comfortable telling me that. We can try other ideas or head right back to the original way it was played.”

5. Get to work.

End your introduction by actually starting to work. You may want to show the client how you’re planning to mic the drums, or talk to the client about her tempo changes. Show the client that you care about the record by talking audio while you set up the session. Say something like…

“So, lets get this record started. Could you come inside with me and make sure these drum microphones are in good spots for you? Drummers play differently, and I don’t want you to adjust your style to my microphone placement.”

Remember that this is likely to happen in conversation form. So, learning this monologue is not as important as understanding what points you want to make during this introduction discussion. Here is the entire introduction…

“I’m so glad to be working with you. You have some fantastic grooves and melodies that I can’t wait to be a part of. Before we get started, I want to tell you a little bit about myself, and my process as a producer. I’ve been producing records for ___ years.

I started out as an artist, so I see everything from that perspective first. But, I’ve also done A&R for an indie label, so I know how those guys think. I want you to think of me as part of your team. We both want to make the best possible record. I’m going to give you my professional advice to help facilitate that. But, like I said, I was an artist. I understand that you need to love your music.

It takes a lot of drive to go out and tour on a record. I don’t think I would have gotten through it if I didn’t love what I was playing. So, if we try out an idea and you don’t like it, I want you to feel comfortable telling me that. We can try other ideas or head right back to the original way it was played.

So, lets get this record started. Could you come inside with me and make sure these drum microphones are in good spots for you? Drummers play differently, and I don’t want you to adjust your style to my microphone placement.”

I hope that this introduction will convince your client that you are a valuable part of the team. If you do this properly, you’ll avoid butting heads with the client for the majority of the record. In PART FOUR of this series, we’re going to talk about handling problems and disagreements that come up during the record. These situations can turn into record ruining monsters! But, I have silver bullets ready for you.

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How To Hack The Primal Brain Using Dogs, Ben Franklin, And Elevators

Part two of our “How to convince your client that you know what you’re doing” series.

This is a guide to being respected, feeling valued, and creating personal brand ambassadors. In Part One, we went over how to identify the problem clients. In Part 2, we will discuss how to make and change first impressions. Here’s how to hack the primal brain using dogs, Ben Franklin, and elevators. Note: These tactics are very powerful. Only use them if it benefits both you and your client.

1. Why your dog seems to know what you’re thinking

We’ve all been in a situation where we know we’re being judged. Opinions are constantly being formed, and they are most commonly formed based on feeling. Consider how illogical that is.

In a split second, the brain makes a primal decision. Friend or Foe? This decision is made by a part of the brain that we do not fully control. We actively read body language. But we passively read faces. And we’re very good at it.

Have you ever wondered why your dog seems to know what you’re thinking? Dogs and humans look at human faces the same way. We look at each half of the face separately from left to right while searching for that person’s intent. Face’s are NOT symmetrical. Expressions work across our faces. So being able to read each side separately is powerful. Perfection is alien. That’s why when you symmetrically invert Sylvester Stallone’s face in a photo… [images style=”0″ image=”https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myrecordinginternship.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F04%2Fa75XWVA_700b.jpg” width=”700″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

He looks like an alien!

We consciously look for symmetry and ignore imperfections in that symmetry. This leads us to believe things are symmetrical. It’s also the reason we recognize face shapes while looking at craters on the moon or mountain structures on Mars. The imperfections in symmetry is what shows that persons emotions.

I will explain how to train your face using elevators in a moment. But, lets go over a much simpler way to hack into the primal brain.

2. The Ben Franklin Effect

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” – Benjamin Franklin

A person feels obligated to do favors out of kindness. Completing a favor gives that person a sense of pride, accomplishment, and completion. The brain is pleased by these feelings and the brain attaches you (the person who asked for this favor) to these feelings.

As a music producer, I ask for something that will help me produce the record I’m working on. Simple requests do work, but leading requests work more consistently.

Simple request: “Could you bring that guitar you mentioned?”

Leading request: “That guitar is going to be a huge help to me. I need it for the record. You can bring it, right?”

Leading requests are more exciting. The favor sounds larger than it really is. This will correlate directly with the pleasure your client feels when she does you that favor.

3. Elevators – The rise of walking emoticons

Training your face to display the proper intention cannot be done alone. A mirror is of no use to you. You need someone who does not have a set opinion on you to read your face. So, you cannot practice with friends or family. That’s why you should use elevators.

In an elevator, you will meet people who have no intention of talking to you. Start by engaging people in the elevator in conversation. Use your face to say things silently. Show surprise, concern, joy, pain, and other emotions without saying a word. Keep mental notes on which faces worked to move the conversation in the direction you wanted it to go. After you begin to really understand how to use your face in conversation, start conversations using only your face.

I personally thought this was a fun exercise. After getting the hang of it, I would enter a crowded elevator and stand towards everyone. I would be the only person facing the back of the elevator. This afforded me a lot of eye contact with people who were unsure about my intentions. It’s amazing how different the reaction will be when you change your face emotions. I was able to make people laugh without speaking! They’d smile and even laugh if I was displaying the right amount of surprise and happiness in my expression. I would be asked if I were okay if I displayed sadness with my face.

If you happen to be a fan of the television show “The Office” than you’ve seen this in action. Those actors do single camera candid shots and talking head style shots that move the story along without any dialogue.

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Look at the lips from left to right. They show a slight curve up at first and a straightening towards the right. This person has mixed emotions in his lips. It leads you to believe he is concerned about something. Of course, when you look at it as a whole you can tell by this expression that he is very troubled or concerned at the moment. But remember, that’s just your brain doing all the work for you.

So… dogs know your intentions, Ben Franklin is a brain hacker, and elevators are a great place to meet new people.

In the next article, we will speak about convincing a client you’re valuable while you work with them.

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How to convince your clients that you know what you’re doing (Part 1)

This is a guide to being respected, feeling valued, and creating personal brand ambassadors. Music producers work with artists from all walks of life. The artists have different skill sets and varying levels of experience. But, you’re the producer. You have A LOT of jobs to do. You manage the sessions, help structure the songs, place the microphones, get the tones, supervise the performances, edit the audio, stop the artist from making mistakes that they’ll regret later, and that’s just scratching the surface. Even with all of that in mind, I still see this as a dream job. But, there’s one thing that can quickly turn this dream into a nightmare.

Your clients!

Part 1 of this series explains how to spot the problem client.

Identify the person who will give you the most trouble. The problem clients come in several forms, but they are very easy to spot.

Here are the archetypes I most commonly see:

1. The know it all. This person has went to school for music. They have their nose up in the air while they explain their grasp on music theory.

2. The know it all audio student. This person is going to or has went to school for audio. He is probably the person telling you how to use the microphone you’ve owned for 6 years in a room that you spent months fine-tuning.

3. The hobbyist. This person will quickly say something like “That’s not how I do it in garage band.” Or “I read an article on what you’re doing. I should forward it to you.”

4. The idealist. This person will tell you how the record has to be produced with absolutely no real knowledge on the subject. Watch for statements that contradict themselves like “I want the drums to sound like they do on that Taylor Swift song, but there’s no way we’re using any drum samples. We have to record it live like Rage Against The Machine!”

5. The quiet leader. This person hides in plain site. The entire band defaults to his decisions, and look at him every time you ask a question about their music. He is comfortable being king of his small group, and he is waiting to see you fall in line so he can secretly run the session himself.

6. The too cool. This person has worked with other producers that he considers more high-end than you. He’ll spend most of the session telling you how good the other producer was while second-guessing everything you do. You may even hear something like “I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but I’ve been in the studio before.” Followed by him telling you how to do your job.

Have you dealt with any of these archetypes? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section.

Now you know how to spot the clients who are most likely to mess up your workflow, turn the band against you, and ruin what can be a great record. In Part 2, we’ll learn how to disarm these record ruining time bombs by gaining their respect and confidence.

If problem clients are a real worry for you, you’re not alone. I originally spoke about this subject with the interns I’m currently transitioning to producer roles. They’ve worked on dozens of records with me and are very capable of doing the job. What they’re worried about is dealing with difficult clients. Here’s what I told them…

Please check back for Part 2 on April 14th.

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Pros and Cons of Recording Yourself

If you’re anything like me you beam with pride when you tell somebody “I’m a musician!” Some people may mistake your sentiment for arrogance, but let’s be honest, playing an instrument is frackin cool. (Just like that sweet Battlestar reference right there.) Almost every producer I know started out playing in a band and recording their own music – including yours truly. The experience of playing the role of artist, producer, engineer and mixer gave me a unique perspective that was both awesome and horrible – and if you’ve ever done the same, I’m sure you’re nodding in agreement.

Let’s go over some Pros and Cons of recording yourself.

Pro:
You get to do things your own way.

There’s nothing better than having the final say on every aspect of the music. You can write the melodies, the lyrics, hell even the bass lines. Anything goes when you’re in charge. You want to write an 8 minute song? Do it. No one is going to stop you. You’re the only person you have to answer to, and hot damn that’s an empowering feeling.

Con:
You get to do things your own way.

It’s amazing to have such control over your music, but sometimes a little outside perspective can go a long way. Having someone there to reel you in when you’re going over the top may be exactly what you need. Some grandiose ideas may sound great in your head, but if you’re in a room with 10 other musicians and you’re the only one who’s digging a particular idea – you’d better rethink your strategy. If you’re writing the music purely for your own enjoyment, you may be the only one to ever listen to the record.

Pro:
You have all the time in the world to get it right.

You don’t have to worry about about an engineer milking the clock to make a few extra bucks. You don’t even have to worry about punching in to nail that guitar solo you were hoping to rock in one full take. If it takes you 5 hours, it takes you 5 hours. Time is of no importance when you’re working solo.

Con:
You have all the time in the world to get it right.

This may be your downfall. Sure you’re aiming for perfection, but having too intense of a focus can lead to obsession. Maybe you spend 5 hours trying to nail that solo and you still aren’t amped about it. So you try again in the morning, only to realize you hate the part and want to rewrite it. Now, a project that should’ve taken a week will last a month – 6 months – or maybe even a year – if it even gets finished.

Pro:
The songs and mixes are all yours.

It’s very impressive that you were able to play everything and mix it all yourself. This isn’t an easy feat to accomplish after all, and it absolutely takes a ton of talent. Show your parents, show your friends, and share it anywhere you can. You did this, and you should be proud.

Con:
The songs and mixes are all yours.

There are a lot of talented people out there, and everyone should know what their strengths are. Some people are amazing at guitar, while others are wizards at mixing. If one persons talent lies strictly in vocals, they’d be better off letting someone mix their record who has just as much talent at mixing as they do at singing. Splitting the load with other talented people can really help the overall quality of the final product.

Pro:
You will notice every nuance.

This means every time you hear yourself sing a flat note, it’s going to stick out like a soar thumb. The benefit of this is that now you know what areas need some personal improvement. If your drumming sounds sloppy, you know you need more practice with that metronome. This will help make you a better overall musician, I guarantee it.

Con:
You will notice every nuance.

Not just while you’re playing, but long after all the mixing is done. So if you really didn’t like those guitar tones, and you’ve already released your record, guess what. You’re stuck with them. They will haunt you forever. You wanted to add a little more reverb on that bridge? Again, it will haunt you. Forever.

Try to keep some of these pros and cons in mind while you’re tracking your own material. There will always be give and take, so I hope you take something from all this. What are some of the positives and negatives you’ve experienced from tracking your own record? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading.

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Alternate Jobs to Consider for Record Producers

Is your life as a Record Producer getting dull? Feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, unhappy? Of course not! Being a music producer is awesome. It’s quite possibly the best job there is. Other than ice cream taster. Or lego player wither. But alas, they’ll probably never respond to the 6,000 messages you sent them. So get back to the music! And when you do, remember, you do so much more than just produce. Let’s take a look at what other jobs record producers would be great at:

Teacher

Record producers are always teaching. Our artists are our students and we’re constantly feeding them knowledge. We teach about the circle of fifths, proper singing techniques, why we’re cutting out certain frequencies, and so much more. Something that comes naturally to us is eye opening for our bands. So we share what we know because that’s the right thing to do. It’s in our nature.

Babysitter

As with any good teacher, we also need to hone our babysitting skills. A ton of bands will goof around and get off track during a session. And though we like to have fun, we still need to be on top of things. If we only have 6 days to track an EP, we need to make sure the whole operation runs smoothly. That means keeping everyone focused, and making sure nobody cries.

Psychologist

We play the part of the psychologist a lot more than you’d think. It’s amazing how many people will open up when they’re recording. Maybe it’s the environment of pouring emotion into the music, but it really gets the feels flowing. Singer/songwriters divulge their innermost secrets about why they wrote a particular lyric and you’ll be shocked at some of the stories you hear. You just need to be there and be a good listener. Give them encouragement/support when they need it, and hopefully when you’re done you won’t need a psychologist yourself.

Businessman

As a record producer, you’ll learn it’s about more than just the music. Business decisions need to be made. You’ll need to maintain your equipment, handle your finances, and upkeep the calendar. You’re in charge of your own bills, so you’ll want to know how to best handle your overhead and workflow. But the benefit is that you don’t need to wear a suit. Unless you want to. Then do it.

Salesman

Guitar leads aren’t the only leads record producers should concern themselves with. You’re going to need to up your negotiating skills if you want to make it in this business. You need to be able to close a deal in order to make that money, so brush up on your sales chops and be prepared for a lot of persuasive chit chat. Have confidence, and don’t sell yourself short.

Garbageman

Bands won’t clean up after themselves. They just won’t. You’ll need to scrub toilets, take out garbages, clean up wrappers and vacuum the floor. Keep your studio tidy and you’ll have a much nicer work environment. The cleaner, the better.

The morale of this story is don’t quit your day job. Because your day job is like, at least 10 jobs. Nothing beats being a record producer, and I personally wouldn’t change it for the world. I love going into work and knowing I need to have such a vast skill set to make it through the day. It keeps things exciting and fresh. I’m grateful music production is a thing. Otherwise I don’t know what I’d do. I guess I could always take up blogging… Anyway, thanks for reading. Please feel free to share our content and take advantage of our entirely free site. Peace and rock on.

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Music Producer Pages

Music Producer Pages

The Importance of Facebook Music Producer Pages

Last week I finished my How to Land a Band series and got a ton of messages from producers telling me that my article was extremely helpful. (I love to hear that, so keep em coming!) Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite working so well for them. After a few conversations, I found myself giving out similar advice and figured I might as well write an article on it, and here we stand. Or sit. Or lay. Whatever.

The first question I kept asking people was “do you have any Facebook music producer pages?” The common thread was “yes, but it doesn’t make much of a difference”. Well, honestly, that’s because they aren’t using it correctly. Let’s go over some things.

Take it Seriously

When you’re creating your music producer pages, make sure you’re professional. Look at your page as a billboard for yourself. Include a picture of yourself so people can see you’re a real life human. For your banner, include a picture of gear, or your studio name. Add pictures, and create tabs that link to your YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Outside Website, and most importantly songs you’ve actually produced. That’s the best area to send bands who want to hear the quality of your work.

Post Often

If you haven’t posted in 5 weeks, it makes you look lazy. Once a week is a good amount to post, and the more, the better. Make sure you stay on top of this. Potential clients want to know they’re working with a diligent producer, and not some deadbeat who doesn’t even have the time to update a simple Facebook status.

Write Posts with Significance

It’s your wall. Write anything you want. Want to write an inspirational quote? Do it. Want to add a picture of cats, do it. But try to keep it musically oriented. Writing about what your favorite band is up to is great, and posting articles about industry trends is even better. It makes you look like an authority figure when you post about audio. Bands take notice and they want to work with someone who has a passion for what they do.

Promote Your Artists

Make sure you’re promoting your artists. If you’ve got a band in the studio, promote them. You’ll get them a few likes, they’ll get you a few likes. It’s win win. Plus it shows that you CARE. And that’s what this is all about. So share their show announcements, talk about their upcoming release and endorse their new album on iTunes. It makes you look better, and your clients will love you for it. This will also help to promote repeat business.

Promote Yourself

Talk about your accomplishments. Brag a little. “Just finished an 18 hour day, but the guitar tones sound AWESOME #worthit”. Maybe you’ll only get 2 likes, but here’s a little tidbit of advice, add a picture and you’ll go from 2 likes to 14. It’s ok to be a little egotistical, but don’t overdo it. Be proud, but not arrogant.

Answer Messages

Whenever someone sends you a message, make sure to respond. Firstly, you don’t want your respond rate to be 2 weeks. Secondly, occasionally you’ll get a really good lead that you weren’t even expecting. So make sure you’re constantly checking that inbox and keeping up to date with it.

This isn’t as easy as it seems, it takes time. And for the first few weeks you aren’t going to notice any results. But if you’re consistent and you make a point to keep at it, I guarantee you’ll see results on your music producer pages. I hope this article has helped, and if you’d like to see me cover something next week, please let me know. As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below. Peace and rock on.

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The Process of Attracting Paying Clients

Paying Clients

By now, I hope you’ve gotten the best out of this series. Landing paying clients isn’t that hard, especially once you start to get the hang of it. It actually becomes a lot like crafting a mix – you learn what to do, what not to do and how to improve your techniques. It really can be a roller coaster ride, so let’s conclude our series with the up and down factors of band messaging.

That Initial Message:

Ups: The feeling you get when you see a band has responded is almost like the feeling you get on Christmas morning. It’s exciting! Who was it, how are they responding, are they interested? The anticipation is palpable and you can’t help but pump your fists.

Downs: There are really only two downsides to your first received response. The first is that the band took offense to your message and refuses to work with you. (But hey, that’s not a band you want to work with anyway.) And secondly, they just plain aren’t interested. It’s disappointing, but there are other fish in the sea.

The First Conversation:

Ups: You strike up a positive conversation. The band is really digging what you can offer and you both hit it off. They want to head into your studio to meet you in person and see your space. It’s rare, but in the absolute best case scenario, the band will book session time right then and there!

Downs: For whatever reason the band just doesn’t like you. This doesn’t happen very often though. More likely to occur is the fact that either the band doesn’t have the time or the money to work together. (But a few techniques from our previous article can help with this.)

The Waiting Process:

Ups: After talking to the band on the phone, sometimes they’ll set up a meeting to see your studio. When they do, there’s some down time and you’ll want to keep them pumped up. If they’re texting their excitement, posting on their social media pages, or even calling again to go over some fine details, these are positive signs.

Downs: Sometimes the initial phone call goes well, but for some reason the follow up isn’t so great. Bands are pushing back meeting dates, or worse, not even responding to texts/calls. Don’t get discouraged, I’ve seen this a lot. Bands will talk a big game on the phone, but when it comes down to reality, sometimes life gets in the way. Don’t waste too much time focusing on bands that lose interest – it will only frustrate you and you’re better off spending that energy elsewhere.

The First Face-to-Face Meeting:

Ups: The artists love your studio. They love the gear, they love your personality, they love the “vibe”. So. Much. Love. The bands will start talking about timetables that work for recording, and sometimes they’ll even book time right then and there.

Downs: Sometimes only one band member is interested (most likely the one you spoke with.) The other members sit there begrudgingly, texting on their phones. In these cases you’ll feel like you’re pleading to a jury that has already found you guilty. It’s uncomfortable, but hey it happens. Another thing that happens will be the same as the waiting process mentioned above. They seem interested at first, but then disappear off the face of the earth once they leave.

We Got Em:

Ups: They said they want to book a session with you as their head producer! This is even better than Christmas! They give you a deposit, you set up some days, then you keep in contact with them until they come in to lay down some tasty jams. Sorry if that sounded weird, but shut up, I don’t care, I just landed the band!

Downs: The band wants to book dates 9 months from now. It’s annoying, and when they book so far out, it’s honestly about a 50/50 chance they come in at all. Another terrible thing that happens is a band books dates then bails on you the night before they’re supposed to come in. (This is why you always take a deposit before setting anything in stone.) Even more infuriating than this is when a band gives a deposit, and STILL flakes out on you. It sucks, but it’s all part of the process. We’ve all been there, it’s just about persevering through the tough times. This is what separates the professionals from the hobbyists.

I’m glad you’ve stayed with me through these articles and I sincerely hope they’ve helped you land some paying clients. If you have anything you’d like to see covered, I’m an open book and I’ll do a series on any questions you have. I’m very easily accessible, so leave a comment below and the next series could be one you specifically asked for. Please like us on Facebook, subscribe to our Youtube, and follow us on Twitter.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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