Think you need a fancy studio for music production? Think again!

With so much emphasis on music production value these days, people think that an expensive studio and lots of equipment is the key to making a great record. So, you’ll be surprised to learn that the man responsible for Kendirck Lamar’s music production did it all on a phone.  Kendrick’s music producer, Steve Lacy needed to make the beat for hit single ‘Pride’ (Damn, 2017) was an iPhone and a gadget called the iRig. 

When his request for a MacBook was denied every Christmas, for four years straight,  Lacy finally gave up and started exploring beat-making apps on his old iPod Touch. When he discovered apps such as GarageBand, iMPC and BeatMaker 2, he realised that the process of making music on the phone was actually rather nifty and convenient. Without having to worry too much about the final sounds, he could capture the essence of the idea and get into the groove of things. A guitarist, he wanted to ideate by recording guitar lines and soon got himself an iRig, a small, cheap device that lets you record audio into your Apple device using the iPhone’s lightning connector. In a recent interview, Lacy revealed that he loved to make music wherever he went, like in the car while driving (not recommended and very dangerous!), so the iRig gives him great flexibility. 

But Lacy also does this to prove a point to an industry that’s increasingly obsessed with gear and production. He wants people to start focussing on the music and the performance more than the gear that was used to record it (I’ve been guilty of this in the past but have since realised that a great song is a great song, no matter how its produced).  

The most important thing is the music. Does it move you? Does it move others? Sure, in an ideal world, we would all love to have unlimited access to Abbey Road Studios and the opportunity to spend months working on our albums there. But look at the silver lining–technology means that you can start working on an idea the minute you have it! You can capture the essence of your song, the very thing that makes it special, in the moment and freeze it so that it will always be special. 

That being said, once the initial song has been put down on a portable device, it is best to finish it off using a computer with proper gear. Music production skills are a must-have in a world where musicians have to be their own recording engineers, producers and marketers. Without adequate production know-how, it’s almost impossible to survive in the business. 

Steve Lacy’s inspiring story has a lot of takeaways, but the most relevant for me were:  ;  

  • BE READY : Inspiration can strike anywhere; in the shower, while walking, driving or simply going about life. We need to be ready to capture it and, for that, you should familiarise yourself with music making apps such as GarageBand to make sure a great idea is not forgotten (it’s very irritating, trust me).
  • BE OPEN : Keep yourself open to new ideas and don’t disregard something just because its simple. More often than not, the simplest way is the most effective. 
  • KEEP WRITING : Write every day, even when you’re not inspired so that when inspiration does strike, you know where to take it. 
  • STAY RELEVANT : With technology advancing so quickly, learn about all that is new and don’t ignore where the world is going. It’s easy to get comfortable with what you know, but if you don’t know what’s current, you’re going to be left behind in an industry that changes too quickly. 

Learn how to produce your own music on anything from an app to industry-standard software by signing up for our EMP capsule at www.projectmynt.com where we provide experiential learning that’s taught by professionals. 

Did you download GarageBand or any of these music making apps and start tinkering about? I hope this inspired you to write music and if it did, I’d love to hear your thoughts and your music. Mail me at srijan@projectmynt.com and I shall write back to you as soon as possible!

What does it take to compose your own music today?

Does your body respond to the rhythm of a song? Do you zone out into a different world when you listen to music? Wouldn’t you want to become the next AR Rahman or the next Ed Sheeran of the industry? Well, if you cannot imagine your life without music and getting into this super competent industry is your one & only dream, then you should read this! The journey of becoming a successful music composer can be challenging, but not as hard as you think. All you need is – an utmost passion for music, some sense of playing or composing music, and enough confidence to share your work. Thanks to technology, we’ve got numerous tools and platforms to listen, get inspired, build networks, and make our own music.

Also read: Are you a teenager in India who loves electronic music? Read this!

Here are a few tips that’ll come in handy for all the aspiring music composers to ace their dream:

1. Be Inspired and Inspire

Start from scratch – take lessons from experts, pick up your favourite instrument, get your pen and paper and kick-start your musical journey. There are two kinds of people in this world, people who learn from their own experiences and people who learn from other people’s experiences. So, one can either start working on himself or can get to know about other legends in the industry and learn from their mistakes.

Trust your instincts, gain knowledge in your genre of music, and look up to your idols who inspire you to be brilliant at your craft. Write your own lyrics and record your songs – the more, the better. You might detest your work first but that’s how everyone starts, right?

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses

For any musician, it’s important to learn the basics of music but to know what he/she is best at is more important. It can be singing, playing musical instruments, writing lyrics of songs or even having a sense of composing music. You don’t necessarily need any degree or certification but music training is something you should definitely look forward to. Experiential learning and training in your kind of music will just make your journey simpler.

If stage presence is your weakness, then try working on it by performing in front of your friends and family or at school/college, make videos and upload them on YouTube. Look up for guidance from music professionals who can help you set realistic goals and make you aware of the actual scene since grass always seems to be greener on the other side!

3. Say hello to music tools & technology!

99% of the music we hear today is from the digital realm. In today’s time, one does not need to know how to play an instrument to actually make music. One can simply produce music with the use of a laptop and a pair of headphones. Technology has come up with various DAW or Digital Audio Workstations by which anyone who has a sense of music, can compose music. Sadly, bands today do not need instrumentalists to perform a song. They can simply create anything by using these DAWs which already have different sounds in them. The most popular feature ‘auto-tune’ can’t be missed here! Even if you’re not confident about your voice quality but have a ‘music sense’, then you can take things forward with ease

Thus, with so many tools to make music with ease the market, it’s hard to avoid the itch of learning the music production process. Digital enhancements and progressive tools are now in demand more than ever. It’s time you start leveraging these for who knows, you might end up creating sounds similar to your favourite music producers! Some free online tools to kick-start your creativity include Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Ambient-mixer, Audacity, Beat Maker, Chrome Music Lab, etc.

4. Practice makes a man perfect.

Create your own band, join a society, or collaborate with others. Participate in gigs to boost up your confidence and test your songs out live and see how your audience reacts to it. By performing on-stage, you’ll be able to gain experience and learn a lot more from reality checks. It’ll also help in boosting up your confidence.

5. Unleash the power of the digital world.

Using the power of the Internet can be a game changer for you! Create your account on music apps like SoundCloud or upload your work on social media accounts to amplify your compositions via real-world feedback from your peers. This will definitely help you build networks, connect with influential people, and establish new relationships. Connections might work wonders for you never know when your audio/video goes viral on online media! So, keep streaming and sharing.

6. A positive attitude will lead you to your goal.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller

Your music is a reflection of your innate thoughts and creativity! Keep faith in your skills, work hard at improvising them, and stay focused. Just be optimistic because no one wakes up putting their famous pants on. If you’re confident about it, the world will follow! Don’t be afraid of rejections because nothing in the music industry happens overnight.

MyNT and Music – Combining the two elements together

Project MyNT gives you an opportunity to create your very own music on industry standard software under the supervision of some of the most renowned artists hailing from the core music industry, who mentor students with a direct emphasis on immersive learning experiences.

Talking about the curriculum, students will get to learn – how to make music in the digital realm, the basics of music theory, how to build a song from scratch, recording and production techniques, creative mixing, and much more!

If you need help structuring your songs or want to know-it-all about notes, strains, tones, chords, and sound, then we are here to help you. Good luck!