Who Can Learn
If you are in anyways connected to music, however remotely it pays to learn how to program a song or a musical piece on a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) in today's times. The world of music production software has evolved considerably over the last few years resulting in immaculate and precise music production workflows and processes which were unthinkable 5 years ago. The quality of softwares and hardwares to aid music production have improved dramatically while at the same time, they have become easier to use and cheaper to acquire. If you are trying to learn music production today, let me tell you you have it far easier than say someone who was trying to learn it ten or even five years ago. You will learn faster and your output will be far more professional than anytime in the history of recorded music. Let us look at the candidates who can and must learn to produce music:
1. The Music Composer
You could be a qualified and erudite composer or you could just be the casual songwriter composing on guitar or piano. Learning to quickly translate the musical ideas in your head on a recorded format will help you stamp your individual mark on your artistic output without having to rely on someone else to arrange and program your music. If you value individuality and artistic integrity, knowing how to program music will help you embark on a new chapter in your musical journey and give you an unprecedented amount of freedom in expressing your vision and emotional ideas.
2. The Instrumentalist
If you play piano, guitar, woodwinds or even a brass instrument, consider yourself already half there when it comes to music programming. Because you have musical virtuosity and posses theoretical as well as practical experience, learning to program songs and musical pieces will come easily to you because you understand the emotional quality and feel of music. Music is all about 'CONNECTION' and you are already connecting with audiences however small or large, when you play your instrument either solo or in a group. It will then just be a case of learning to use the software at your disposal and knowing which knob to turn and which buttons to press to unleash your musical creations upon the world!
3. The College Graduate
College graduates pass out of college every year with music etched on their hearts and blaring out of their headphones and speakers 24 / 7 much to the consternation of their parents! What a tragedy it is that they abandon this passion for music that could turn out to not only be satisfying but also highly lucrative only to turn to boring professions that they will hate and accept begrudgingly for the rest of their lives. Youngsters live music and their musical influences are varied - a perfect recipe for creating fresh new sounds on the musical landscape! Besides these are a breed of people who are enthusiastic about art, are quick to learn technology and update themselves, can work day and night without a break, have ample amounts of enthusiasm to make a difference to the world and - they are not cynical! If you are a teenager or in your twenties, start to learn music programming now! Within a few years you will be a master of your craft, a highly coveted artist and music producer if you work sincerely and creatively that is. And if you buy that penthouse before you turn 30, let us use your bathroom sometimes when we are in the vicinity of Carter Road!
4. The Singer
A good singer who can program music does not have to wait forever to get 'picked' by hot shot music directors and music producers. We all know the wasted years of life that this struggle entails. You can script your own success, much like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon did by writing the script of 'Goodwill Hunting', finding a producer, acting in it and then getting an Oscar for 'best screenplay', thereby launching themselves into Hollywood A-list stardom. You could follow the same do-it-yourself model in the world of music if you can program a song and release it independently. Your demos will be much better than all those other struggling singers out there and you will be more in control of your future. Of course you could always hire a music composer and a music arranger to do this for you but be ready to sell your father's flat to do so, because these services don't come cheap. It is far more cheaper to set up a home studio and learn to do it all yourself. And even if the public rejects your voice, you have in the process acquired a skill that is much in demand in the marketplace and in a short time, you could start charging all those fat cat Bollywood Music Directors for arranging their tunes. Remember - Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans. I did not say that - John Lennon did!
5. The Music Enthusiast
This is again an ideal candidate for learning to program music. The music enthusiast maybe in his 30's, 40's or even older is stuck in a job somewhere or he maybe a successful professional or businessman. But an overriding love for music runs as a parallel track to his life. He has spent a huge amount of time and money in life in buying music and music equipment to listen to all that music. This makes our music enthusiast highly knowledgeable about world music or even a particular genre of music and this ultimately makes him an ideal candidate for the hallowed 'music producer' status. Because he has been listening to great music all his life, he is intimately familiar with artists, song structure, style, rhythm and genres of music. The music enthusiast is a veritable encyclopedia of music and knows the history of music and the great artists associated with each genre like the back of his faded Levis! It is a fact that artists who have followed the work of previous generations and know the history of art are best equipped to create the best works of art. A good film director is an avid movie buff and film addict. A good painter or sculptor is well acquainted with all the historical movements in art and the great artists of the past. Similarly the music enthusiast due to his knowledge of music history can create fresh, original and inspiring pieces of music provided of course that he gets up on his ass and starts to learn the nitty gritties of music production! Because he is older and more world weary, laziness, pessimism and procrastination has set in, and it would take a huge amount of effort to take the first step. If you are a music enthusiast reading this, let me advise you - Take the first step. You have nothing to lose except some money that you are earning very easily at this point in your life. And let me warn you - once you start creating the first strains of music, it will become an all consuming passion. And pretty soon, you will be working so hard, you wont even have time to listen to some good ol' music! Damn!
- Atin Dasgupta, Founder, Leveljam