Music producers have one of the most prestigious jobs in the hip-hop industry, and many people assume that becoming one is out of reach because of this reason. But becoming a hip-hop music producer is not that complicated. If you have an ear for music and talent, it’s very possible to make a name for yourself as a producer either at the local, national, or international level.
All you really need to do is learn the basics of music production, build upon these basics, and get some practice until you’ve perfected your track. Everything else is about networking and getting your name out there. Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to become a hip-hop music producer.
Know What a Producer Actually is
A lot of people don’t truly understand what a producer is. They often assume that producers have to know how to play instruments, for instance, or that they’re the ones who do the beats. But a producer is simply the person who puts musical compositions together and you can be a producer without playing a single instrument. You have producers like DJ Khaled, for example, who simply assemble session musicians and artists and wing ideas until tracks come to form.
With that being said, you should know that these non-playing producers usually made a name for themselves before they got into the industry, so you should at least consider learning how to play the keyboard. This will allow you to use things like midi controllers later on which is really all that you need to make professional beats from scratch.
Get the Right Initial Setup
Next, you will need to build your initial setup. You can start with nothing but a simple DAW like Fruity Loops and a few plug-ins. One plug-in in particular that we suggest you get is Auto-Tune unlimited. Learning how to use auto-tune will really set you apart as a hip-hop producer as it’s really common in the genre. If you want to pick up the plug-in and learn how to use it, you can check out these auto tune educational resources.
If you want a more complete setup, then you will need to add a midi controller or a full keyboard, a few sound banks, and consider getting an audio interface as well. We also suggest that you get professional external speakers and a condenser mic if possible.
Start Looking at Tutorials and Consider Enrolling on a Course
As a hip-hop producer, you won’t necessarily need to go to a music production academy to start producing, but it could definitely help. Many of the top producers in the business have a very thorough background and went through formal training, and you should consider it too as it will help you master production techniques easier and will make your production more technically sound and melodious.
If you don’t want to go to a music academy, then you can watch tutorials on YouTube using the DAW of your choice. This should give you more than enough to get a good a start.
Start Making Your Own Productions and Look for a Manager
The next step is making your own tracks. You can start by reproducing popular tracks, then make similar tracks or completely original tracks if you want to. Once you have a few tracks under your belt, you can start shopping for a manager. You can always try to find clients on your own, but a good manager will have connections and will help you get jobs you may have never considered or have access to otherwise, so think about getting one.
This is all you need to know if you want to start a career as a hip-hop music producer. The harder you work on your craft, the greater the chances you’ll get discovered, as long as you have the talent needed to begin with.