Edit Number 4: I'M BACK and severely hung over to answer your questions again!

Edit Number 3: I'll answer any other questions in the morning! I have to make a polite appearance at a party now! Thanks for all the questions tonight, Reddit! You guys are awesome! I'll answer/try to listen to everything tomorrow!

Hey Reddit!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I am a music producer who delves in the realms of hip-hop, pop, R&B, electronic and very recently dubstep.

Feel free to ask me questions about anything music related! The industry, composition techniques, etc!

I'll provide proof as soon as I get home!

Edit Proof: http://imgur.com/skE6J

Edit Numero 2: Still haven't been asked the 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck question. I was looking forward to that one, Reddit :(.


Comments: 497 • Responses: 106  • Date: 

IhaveSomeQuestions5624 karma


MusicProducerAMA35 karma

1) Sex. Never seen it. heard of it, never seen it. Drugs. On occasion. Boozing. I've been known to have a Whiskey neat while in the studio, nothing overboard

2)Usually tend to treat them like children.

3)More than $30k less than $200k haha

4)Youtube. There's a goldmine of tutorials

5) Perk: Travel! I love to travel! Downfall: People from my past "suddenly remembering" we're best friends

6) A lot of people laugh at that illuminati bullshit. A lot of artists play it up, just to get people talking about their video. It's honestly just a marketing gimmick at this point

7) HARD motherfucking WORK. There's no way around it. You need to spend hours mastering your craft before you'll even be considered.

8) Cash: 500k at once. Drugs: I honestly try my hardest to stay away from all that shit.

9) 2 Chainz & Tyler, the Creator

10) I've had girls from my home town offer me untolds amount of sexual favours to have me let them meet their favourite singer/rapper/musician. Girls can honestly be the worst.

labelgirl25 karma

9 - - I totally agree with you!!! I work for an indie rap/hip-hop label that represents an artist out of Miami. He is working his butt off as are we to get him out there. The market is so overly saturated with lackluster talent such as 2-Chainz, Chief Keef, Trinidad James, etc. It's like the industry has just forgotten how to find ground breaking talent. Anyone can be make a record.....but sustainability in the industry seems to be no longer part of the equation.

MusicProducerAMA17 karma


Dontwearthatsock10 karma

Here's the sad part: I'm gonna go look up this 2 chains guy/thing now.

MusicProducerAMA9 karma

Birthday Song.

Don't ask me why. Just do it.

Dontwearthatsock3 karma

By mr. 2 chainz I presume?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

That would be correct, my good sir.

vsky6 karma

I wonder if r/hiphopheads has seen this...

Couldn't agree more.

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

If I knew how to cross post, I would have posted in there.

ionlyposttwice13 karma

2 chainz (tity boi) has put his time in though, he's been around since Luda came out with dtp. Say what you want about his music (he has put out some good songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBx-M2oRBLg ), he's no overnight success.

MusicProducerAMA5 karma

Have an up vote for facts.

CappyPig5 karma

I would like to ask you the question #3 again, because as a musician this is actually a line of work I'm considering.

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

I'd rather not put my income out there.

For the first 10 years I made really jack shit. A few decent placements here and there, but nothing I could fully live off of. Now I can help my parents out, pay for my school, and be comfortable.

Dontwearthatsock3 karma

6) o_-

MusicProducerAMA2 karma


mylowe1 karma

Dont you think Tyler's earlier work was good? I do agree that his new stuff is pretty awful.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

I've just really never been a fan of the guy in general. Just my own personal preference I guess.

mark021014 karma

What is it like working for such a large label? Would you rather work for someone else? How did this come about?

MusicProducerAMA12 karma

First, thanks for the first question! I was getting weary that this would get buried!

This is my second label I've worked with directly (through a contract). The first one I was young, naive and signed a stupid contract that did more harm to my career than good. Working for Atlantic is exciting in all honesty. I've never been more comfortable with a major label! I really can't say enough good things about how they've treated me.

Would I rather work for someone else? By "someone else" I'm assuming you mean "another label". That being the case, if the terms of the contract were better than what I currently have with Atlantic, I would not hesitate!

The gist of how this came about is I've been producing music for just over 10 years, and their A&R department eventually contacted me after hearing an earlier placement of mine. They liked my ideas and my sound and offered me a contract to produce in-house. Luck mixed with a lot of handwork!

Hope these are clear and concise enough to answer your questions!

superdude8854 karma

So the label sought you out themselves? I interned for a bit at UMG and have been trying to find a way back into any label but I haven't even been selected for interviews. I've applied to several jobs on the WMG site without so much as a peep.

I was a marketing major but I'm really fascinated by A&R and other aspects of the business as well. Do you think I should just send out my email to a bunch of indie labels and see if any bite? The online job apps for the majors seem to be a dead end.

MusicProducerAMA13 karma

Follow Mike Caren on Twitter. He's always Tweeting out when A&R jobs are opened up and various labels. Don't bother going through their websites, they honestly are a dead end.


Atlantic is currently looking for an A&R Assistant! Here's the link!


Best of luck my friend!

superdude8853 karma

Thank you so much!

MusicProducerAMA4 karma

Not a problem my friend!

Man-o-rama10 karma

What do you think about "trap" producers such as Southside, Lex Luger, Sonny Digital, etc. I know they are successful (plaques on the wall, radio hits, Grammy nominations) and I personally like the sound. But sometimes I feel like they are copy cats of each other, and sound way too much alike. Opinion?

MusicProducerAMA12 karma

I'm hot and cold on trap producers. Their sound is too easily duplicated and they literally all sound the same. I'm usually good at picking out who produced one song, but with them, it's literally like they have the same project files.

I'll never knock their success, however. They're doing something right and appealing to the masses.

Man-o-rama4 karma

While I have you here, another question. Ever work with Mike Posner?

MusicProducerAMA5 karma

No! But he's an amazing writer! Amazing singer. Definitely doesn't get the exposure he deserves. Him and Mason killed Bieber's Boyfriend.

BenTheManatee8 karma

Hello B - S! Greetings from a past Falcon ;)

MusicProducerAMA10 karma

Looking through your post history, I know exactly who you are. Hope all is well in T.Dot my friend. Hopefully see you around over the holidays!

Dajaun3 karma

Up votes all around from T.Dot

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

The most loved/hated place in Canada. Hahaha.

MusicProducerAMA4 karma

I have two guesses who this is ;). Good to hear from you sir.

sixth_motors7 karma

-Have you discovered anyone? -Ever had to babysit performers?

MusicProducerAMA26 karma

"Discovered" - No. I've worked with people before they were famous however. Notably - The Weeknd and Conor Maynard (although that was only mixing and mastering some records).

Babysit. Oh God. I've been waiting awhile to tell this story.

One of my jobs in high school was a studio technician at a local studio in my home town. As a studio technician I was basically there to work all the cable running and mic set-ups within the studio. One rainy night (gotta set the mood ;) ) I get a call from the studio manager telling me the normal studio engineer is out of town and they need me to take over for him for this 13 year old girl whose daddy was paying good money to record her demo. So, I raced to the studio, set-up the session and began the recording process. The records were all demo'd and done for her before hand, she literally just had to go in and lay vocals. Now even in my youth I had a good ear of what sounded good and what was terrible (I'm blessed with perfect pitch to top it off). Every take, this girls father would be bouncing around in the studio shouting "THATS THE TAKE! THIS IS THE ONE!". To the point of it becoming incredibly irritating. Now anyone who works in a studio will tell you, singers will rarely ever get it on the first take. After 5 hours of dealing with this, I eventually kicked them out of the studio for the night because I simply couldn't deal with her father.

TL;DR - Father was a Prima Donna - got his ass kicked out of the studio

BlackSpidermanIsReal11 karma

Was the girl's mother a Ma'Donna?

MusicProducerAMA15 karma

Ba dom tisss

Omnilatent4 karma

Was her name Rebecca Black?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Hahahaha. Nope!

JCSwneu3 karma

5 hours?? I commend your patience. He would have been gone after 5 minutes if I was in there.

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

The worst part is they had booked 3 more sessions. I refused to work with them.

ArtyBoomshaka6 karma

You wrote earlier about your mobile set-up, I'm curious and as a hobbyist producer who's likely to move a lot I'd love to know what you use when you're on the go. Any MIDI controllers, audio interfaces?

Also, I know it's not the purpose of the AMA, but if you have time, maybe you could give some advice about my work https://soundcloud.com/arty0/ Of course, no big deal if you don't.

Cheers for the AMA, anyway. :)

MusicProducerAMA9 karma

Checked your stuff! You have a really interesting sound, nice clean mixes! I enjoyed Obsessed a lot!

As for the mobile set-up. For me, I keep it fairly simple. Just my external and a laptop with the sole purpose of holding all my sounds, FL studio, Pro Tools and secondary copies of my VST's. It's tedious painting in the notes, but its better than being without anything!

ArtyBoomshaka4 karma

Ha! Thanks a lot!

Also I was wondering about the process from music production to track release, do the artists choose from a range of various beats from the label producers (I think I read that somewhere) and lay down vocals on them or do you work with some of them collab style?

MusicProducerAMA7 karma

For Hip-hop/R&B/Pop modern genres, you'd be hard pressed to find an artist who just doesn't get flooded with beats and just pick and choose.From either in-house or independent producers.

There are still a few great artists out there however who sit down with the producers and churn out really meaningful songs!

ArtyBoomshaka2 karma

Oh ok.
Thanks a lot for your answers!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Not a problem, my friend!

gwhite45 karma

What do you think would sound better, 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

MusicProducerAMA18 karma

If we could line the 100 duck sized horses in a choir line, and have them attend weekly practices. We might have something.

Although, the 1 horse-size duck might have an amazing baritone.

I'll take the choir.

Edit* I'm a retard at spelling apparently

lsg554 karma

Biggest up and coming producer in your opinion ?

MusicProducerAMA13 karma

I love Clams Casino's work! Right now I'd say him!

E-Pirate3 karma

Do you come up with the sound or are you told what kind of sound the're looking for ?

Do you think the top dj's today get help with their mixing and mastering ?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

1.) Depends. I really like to just sit down with the artist and bounce songs ideas around and go with a vibe were both feeling. But sometimes yes the label tells me what I need to do.

2.) Most definitely. I do it for a close DJ friend of mine currently.

lsg553 karma

DAW of choice?

MusicProducerAMA8 karma

FL Studio for actually creating the the work. Pro Tools for mixing and mastering!

jakec0ll3 karma

What type of car do you drive?

MusicProducerAMA11 karma

Yesterday I was whipping around in a badass Mustang...............on my great grandparents farm..........it was a horse is what I'm trying to say haha.

And nothing special! I like to live unassuming, BMW 323i - 2008!

simplisticwonders3 karma

Hello. This has been hugely useful for me. I'm a sophomore in the Production Studies in Performing Arts, Audio Technology program, at Clemson University in South Carolina. I'd love to be pulled into the studio world or the live sound world. Other than work hard and network like crazy, what tips do you have for me to get into the industry?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Interning is always a good way to get a real look at what the industry is like. Other than that. Depending on what you wanna do, you need to build a brand around yourself and develop your own following. Eventually labels will come knocking.

pemble3 karma

my perceptions of music producers is they are all guys in the 50's with graying ponytails, a coke habit and drive around in sports cars. how accurate is that?

MusicProducerAMA7 karma

Well. Very inaccurate. If you see me walking down the street or on campus, unless I'm wearing my watch, you'd have no idea I make music. I look like your typical athletic college kid.

lowClef3 karma

As a producer, what do you actually "do" in the studio? You're obviously not the tracking engineer or the mixing/mastering engineers ... so what are you doing in the studio?

MusicProducerAMA6 karma

Step 1: Sit down in front of keyboard Step 2: Put sounds together Step 3: ????? Step 4: PROFIT!

In all honesty, I make the music that you hear. Whether it be through playing live instruments, or synthetic sounds (mostly synthetic for me).

lowClef1 karma

Thanks for the response. I'm a musician myself, though have never (and likely will never) get to the point where a producer becomes involved, so thanks for the clarification.

Some follow up, if you dont mind:

1) Since you're making the sounds/instrumentation, does that have any effecgt on songwriting credits? If so, what sort of litmus test exists for this (kind of hinting at the screenwriters' type deal)?

2) How does the role of a producer with a real band (think Mumford & Sons) contrast with that of a producer in your position (sorry if i'm assuming too much, but it seems you're a pop/hiphop/electronic leaning producer)?

3)Favorite Chord?

4)Favorite chord progression?

Again, thanks for your time!

EDIT: Formatting.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

  1. In modern music, you can get a song writing credit for simply being in the studio and saying "yeah that sounds good". It's all really messed up. Unless I'm asked, I never really delve into song writing duties. There's no real "test" that I'm aware of.
  2. A producer for a band, someone like Mutt Lange, kind of gives the band direction and ideas for the entire record. Where as I make individual tracks.
  3. Any C chord really
  4. Progression: I-IV-V7

lowClef2 karma

RE: #4

If you had said I-V-VI-IV I would have /threaded the shit out of this thread.


MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Hahaha, I knew that was coming. I debated saying it just to see the reaction :P

Stump_Hugelarge3 karma

What's your educational background, and how did you get your start in the industry?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

I have two degree's! Oddly enough neither are in music. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in International Business and a Bachelor of Commerce.

Edit: Currently completing my second degree!

I got started making music when I was in 7th Grade. Received my first major label placement when I was 16 with Akon's Konvict Muzik. After that I've just been building a catalogue and networking hardcore!

svenniola2 karma

thats not odd.

the number one difference between talented musicians who have made it vs the talented musicians who never did.

business sense. (or degree. :))

its a money world.

MusicProducerAMA4 karma

Honestly, my degree's and education are definitely what have kept me level headed and smart in this industry. I can't undermine the importance of education!

labelgirl3 karma

Who would you list as your top three artist that are relevant right now? (someone may have asked you this already and if so I apologize)

MusicProducerAMA4 karma

Hmmm. Bieber. Minaj. Rihanna

E-Pirate3 karma

Do you ever think about making an album of your own? If not, why?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Funny you should ask.

I'm in the process of finishing a full-length instrumental album! I've always wanted to create an album of my own and have always been fond of concept albums! Unfortunately I wasn't born with pipes to sing.

E-Pirate1 karma

What genre of music ? Would you start doing sets ?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

It's a blend of a lot of genres. Very piano and orchestra based. Although I produce mostly modern music, I'm in love with orchestras! I'll be conducting one in LA this January!

As for sets. Maybe. One of my best friends is a DJ and usually when I have a new record, he spins it to test the record out in a live setting. That's about as close as I think I'll go to live sets!

Dsvkb3 karma

What would you have to say to anyone that wants to get into the music industry right now as a musician?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

In what context of a musician?

Singer? Producer? Guitarist? Pianoist?

Just need some clarification my friend!

Dsvkb1 karma

Well, in any capacity, but mainly as a band member looking to make it with a group.

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Watch for open calls for musicians. Or start a band now!

DIGE873 karma

First, congrats on the awesome job! Second, I've been an amateur producer for about a decade now. I'm ready to take it to the next level and become a professional engineer. What do you recommend?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Upgrade your home studio.

Get some high quality studio monitors. High-end computer. Solid mixing board (although not needed with a good DAW). Start beginning to try and master every major DAW.

And something I like to do. Especially now a days. To keep your ear sharp. Listen to as much mainstream music as possible and pick out the faults in the mixing and mastering. It'll help tune your own ear when you're working!

IYGFAA3 karma

How does a musician these days get signed up for a label? I've heard that they look more for image than talent.

MusicProducerAMA13 karma

Building a brand around ones self is crucial. Basically. If theres something you can do that you think a record label would have to pay money to have done, do it before the come looking. You'll be more attractive to them. Build an image, brand, fan base, personality, sound etc.

TL;DR - Labels are lazy.

thehollowearth3 karma

What do you think the music of the future will sound like?

MusicProducerAMA11 karma

More inclusive. Hip-hop doesn't take anymore talent other than being clever with words (and even thats a stretch for some artists). I think you'll see Hip-Hop transform into the one genre that transcends race, gender, orientation, etc etc.

Mechanically. I think it'll start to sound more and more electronic influenced. I think a lot of genre lines will be very very blurry within the next 10-15 years.

E-Pirate3 karma

Do you usually finish a song before starting another one? How long does it take you to finish a track for an artist ?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

At any given time, I have about 15 songs on the go. Some are for artists. Some are for my catalogue.

And honestly depends. Sometimes I get on what I call "Highs" and I can churn out 2-3 songs a day (not full mastered mind you).

E-Pirate2 karma

Mood is a big factor for me. I find it hard to create something that i'm not in the mood for at that time. Does this ever happen to you ?

Example: It's a sunny day, shits poppin off outside but im making a down-tempo beat, Just not in the mood for it.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Yes and no.

Sometimes I can put myself int he mindset of what I want to create even with the external circumstances. But 95% of what I create is based on my current mood. If I feel like getting crazy, I'll churn out a nice party record. If I'm feeling in the dumps, I'll churn out a sad slow piano piece.

Mood does dictate a lot of what I do. But it doesn't 100% control what I create.

E-Pirate1 karma

Dude i just want to let you know. I took my pre work out like 30 minuets ago thinking i was going to the gym. Now i'm bouncing off the walls.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

I drank my pre-workout before each exam this semester. I wrote a 12 page exam in 45 minutes. I know exactly what you're going through. Best of luck sleeping tonight my friend ;)

Mellyrox2 karma

I'm in school to be an audio engineer, not a producer, but can you please tell me how hard it took to find a good and steady job? How long did you work to get to where you are today?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

I've never been an audio engineer. I'm not sure I'm the best one to answer your question. However, for me personally, it took me 10 years, and one shady ass contract with another major.

Deepsea872 karma

1)Favorite salad dressing

2)Top 3 artists who make/made great producers? ex-dr dre and the like

3)Have you listened to any music by Allen Stone? He seems to break up the "bland talentless" bunch nowadays with some serious soul!

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

1) Thousand Islands 2) a. Eminem b. J.Cole c. the OLD will.i.am 3)Can't say I have!

Deepsea871 karma

awesome Thanks bud!

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Not a problem! Thank you! :D

BlondeFlip2 karma

Have you ever worked with Simple Plan!? And how are they as people if you have

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

HA! When i was younger, I went to a Simple Plan concert! I met them too. Great people! Never worked with them though!

BlackSpidermanIsReal2 karma

How many times a year do you get mind-fucked?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Hahaha, I'm not sure what you mean!

thehazardsofchad2 karma

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Holy shit I forgot about this movie!

Mind you the last time I watched it was piss drunk with my rugby team. I get it know :D

thehazardsofchad1 karma

Getting drunk with a rugby team sounds like a great story as well.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Oh. I have plenty.

Smuggling a beer pong table onto a coach bus in pieces. THE GIRL from the Bronx. The reason why I'm not allowed back at numerous clubs. Playing games drunk. Strip club in Montreal. Subsequently losing our Coach at a strip club in Montreal. Finding our Coach the next morning, with a girl, from the strip club.....in Ottawa.

I miss rugby......

thehazardsofchad1 karma

I know you are answering a lot of questions, but if you want to expand on any of these stories (THE GIRL in particular), please do so.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

The GIRL from the Bronx.

In my second year of varsity rugby at my college, we did a 7's tournament down in New York. After the first day of the tournament, ritual boozing took effect. Had fun. Partied it up. Hit on some of the women's teams. Normal shenanigans. Until one of the teams invited everyone out to a club. The names escape me of what clubs, most likely due to my level of intoxication. However, we all happily agreed. And the night began. One of my good friends, who when he's drunk, loves to hit on girls of the.......heavier variety. Not to mention we loved to egg him on. Are we horrible friends? Probably. Anyway. Night goes on and said friend disappears, along with the girl. We assumed he went home with her and was having himself an evening.

Next morning we all wake up to panic messages from him on all our cellphones. We all panicked thinking our friend was shot or something (we're Canadian, our perception of New York is a little sideways). With no context, we run down stairs from our hotel, to find him there, clothes ripped apart and blood coming down his forehead.

Turns out, he got this girl back home, nailed her, and her boyfriend walked in who proceeded to guy apeshit. In my friends exact words: "I busted as soon as he walked in, ducked a punch and peeled as he was looking for his gun". Turns out he only busted his head open by tripping down the stairs.

thehazardsofchad1 karma

Well hell. That is more than I had expected. Thank you for taking the time to share.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Not a problem! It's a great story to retell at parties haha!

[deleted]2 karma


MusicProducerAMA4 karma


elmo19962 karma

Any chance you could check out my demos? I was also wondering what you you thought of MPC's or maybe using software for drums... Thanks! https://soundcloud.com/liamryan96

MusicProducerAMA5 karma

You have some solid compositions here, my friend! The recording is a bit shotty, but as for content, there's definitely emotion and talent here. Keep it up!

MPC's? I've used a few MPC's in my days. They're great! If I remember correctly, Just Blaze still uses an MPC for just about every record he does. I primarily use software or synthetic drums, if you will. If you have the technological know how, and musical knowledge, a good producer can make fake drums sound like they were played live!

elmo19962 karma

Thanks Man! I recorded it using a really cheap amp and garage band so that probably explains the extreme Lo-Fi sound... What software would you recommend for synthetic drums?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Mostly VST's of Midi drums the Virus has a lot of amazing drums that I love to use. Other than that. Big name producers won't tell you this, but, you can find every kind of drum you want floating around the internet. After that, it's all about how you process them!

E-Pirate2 karma

because of your success is it a lot harder to make genuine friends? Do you have a set core of friends you only go out with? Do you have a hard time trusting people now ?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

I try to stay away from telling people about my career until they get to know me. Me being in school, it makes it a lot harder. Word travels fast. I do have a great core of friends who have been with me since the beginning, they definitely keep me grounded and humble.

In particular, I find it hard to trust new women (I'm currently single because of this.......ladies ;) ) as soon as a lot of them find out what I do, who I've worked with, my bank account, etc etc, it's like the crazy gene kicks in and they see me as a piggy bank.

However, I have met a lot of new people that are really cool and don't just like me because of my success and what I do!

It's definitely the catch-22 of this job.

E-Pirate1 karma

Do you work in LA?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

No sir! I'll be there in January, however!

Im_Tripping_Balls2 karma

  • What tips would you give an aspiring music producer/DJ/vocalist?

  • Is it really true that, if I'm a female, it doesn't matter how good my music is because "nobody cares about that, you just have to be hot and know people?" I've been told this by a lot of promoters and agents.

  • Would it be annoying if I replied with my Soundcloud link and asked what advice you could give me on my vocals and production (if you have time)?

Thanks for the AMA!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

1.) Don't let anyone compromise you. But also don't be a prude and accept that change is inevitable.

2.) To an extent. Labels will use the attractiveness of a female artist as a giant marketing gimmick. It's sad really.

3.) If you produced and wrote and performed everything on your sound click page. I commend you. You have an amazing talent. There is a serious lack of female producers out there. Please change this for me!

namelessblob2 karma

Hope you're still around; I finally got to my computer since the beginning of the weekend.

Few questions:

1) DAWs; I read you use a lot of Pro Tools and FL. I was wondering what you thought of the free/incredibly cheap Reaper. I've heard it compared to the big name DAWs, and I'd like the perspective of one working for a major label.

2) You commented replied to me earlier that you might be releasing your orchestra-heavy instrumental stuff. Well, here's mine! http://threadsoftheair.bandcamp.com/track/looking-for-arrows-preview

It's my first try at doing everything on my own. I don't have studio monitors, so I'm sure it's less than great (even if this is just a rough demo, and a preview of it at that). If it's sonically bad, let me know what could be better. You're welcome to mix the files and such once I'm done with the whole album. ;)

Which actually leads me to a couple more questions:

3) If a friend wanted you to work on his project he's doing out of his house, totally on his own, are you contractually obligated to not work on it? To what extent are you allowed to work on other projects with other people?

4) And finally, can you give us concrete, industry-applied definitions, and the differences between, mixing and mastering?

Thanks for the AMA; it's really insightful and has been fun reading.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

  1. I've never had any experience with Reaper so I couldn't answer this properly for you.

  2. Dope Sampler

  3. I have to get "permission" as it were from the label, and the "friend" would have to pay my commission fee. Atlantic is usually really good about letting me work outside the label however. I haven't had any problems as of yet.

  4. I can't give you CONCRETE definitions because like most things, different people define them differently. FOR ME however, Mixing is where you make your levels fit properly and mastering is geared towards sound quality.

Debaser972 karma

Question about the industry: To what extent does a major label sign someone based on how marketable they are? How difficult is it for an unmarketable but genius musician to get signed? Really hoping for a non-depressing answer here, as an aspiring musician who would never sign to a label if I was only getting signed as a marketing tool.

MusicProducerAMA7 karma

I'll try and make this as least depressing as possible.

Everybody is marketable. Everybody. It's about finding your market. And labels will rarely sign anyone these days (ignore the manufactured pop starlets) without any sort of established fan base. It's not worth the risk anymore.

If you're a musical genius. I'd say you're light years ahead of most. But work independently finding your niche.

Kamarandi2 karma

Where's the future of music producing heading? Is your job threatenetend by the likes of Spotify and other companies similar to it? What's changed since it (Spotify) has come around?

MusicProducerAMA11 karma

The future of Music is bleak and exciting all at the same time. It depends on what perspective you look at it from.

Bleak: Everybody and their Mama is a music producer now. Which has really watered down the quality of music out there. Labels can now by exclusive licenses to records for 19$-35$ then turn around and make a $1,000,000 profit off that song. Not to mention, you can see in a lot of songs out there, mixing, mastering and general creativity is almost stagnant. A prime example of this is the recent song "Pop That" by French Montana. Listening to that song actually hurts my soul if you listen to it with good headphones. The mixing is absolutely horrendous.

Exciting: EVERYBODY CAN BE A PRODUCER. The thing about technology becoming so readily available to everyone to create music, is it gives the people who generally didn't have an avenue to create to put their music out and show the world. I personally benefitted a lot from this aspect. Furthermore the need for a label is slowly diminishing. Meaning, artists can now make a sustainable living off being independent. See Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

I don't think Spotify or similar companies threaten MY job. Because no matter what there will always need to be people who make the music that will be listened to.

tr7v9 karma

Manager gets 20, booking agent gets 10, so shit after taxes me and ryan have seven percent, TO SPLIT!

MusicProducerAMA7 karma

That songs on my workout playlist.

Honestly. A lot of what he says in that song is 100% accurate. I feel bad for artists nowadays :(

Kamarandi2 karma

If the need for a label is slowly diminishing, do you think they will try to have more control over artist tours? I don't know how much they have, I've just always been told that artists only ever make their money from merch. So feel free to prove me wrong if that is not the case.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Go look up what a 360 deal is.

But essentially yes. Unless you're a high name artist (Drake, Kanye, Lady Gaga, etc.) who owns most of their publishing and a large chunk of their royalties. I can tell you first hand, the industry is panicking with the internet and piracy (See RIAA suing EVERYBODY). As a knee jerk reaction, yes labels are moving towards controlling more and more of what an artist does.

InfernalWedgie2 karma

Who haven't you worked with, but would like to?

sorry, awkward grammar.

MusicProducerAMA12 karma

Haha, I understood!

I would LOVE to work with Eminem. Would sacrifice a small Brazilian boy to get that opportunity.

fckyocouch2 karma

Hi, I have a couple things to ask! 1) I use fl studio for everything , what vsts do you use? 2) Why Pro Tools over fl studio for mastering? 3) Would you rather fight 100 duck suzed Trinidad James' or 1 Trinidad James sized duck?

MusicProducerAMA7 karma

1) Magician never reveals his secrets. However. I'll tell you Nexus is a great tool. One of my favourite despite its commonality.

2) I originally just used it in the infancy of my career to help myself feel more professional. When it comes down to it, I honestly believe FL has the same power as Pro Tools if you know how to use it properly. At this point it's more habit and familiarity.

3) FINALLY. 100 Duck sized Trinidad James. When I was a kid, my parents always had a problem when we went to ponds where I'd chase and try and kick and punch ducks. I'm a seasoned pro.

thesk8rguitarist2 karma

Do you play any instruments? Does it help you in the studio? Do you ever lay tracks or dubs for your projects?

MusicProducerAMA6 karma

I taught myself to play the piano when I was 14! And yes! Immensely. With midi technology it's essential. I can literally play any instrument through my midi board. I do both, depending on the project/genre. Never try to limit myself

herrafrush2 karma

How do large labels generally look at more underground genres? Do you ever get bummed out because you really just can't stand the music you're producing, when you know that this person will make boatloads of money off of no talent?

MusicProducerAMA15 karma

I haven't come across music that absolutely breaks my heart to make. I'm a fan of all genres and sub genres. Except country. Fuck country. Don't ask me why, but the twang just kills my insides.

But. I guess to try and answer your question. There are songs out there that I sit back and think "Uh....wtf is this shit?". In terms of a mechanical stand point.

I like to think of myself as a musician who holds a lot of integrity and love for music so when I see that stuff, I feel it devalues what I do.

HellaJewKangaroo2 karma

So, I Dj mainly Electro House, and want to learn how to produce. I have purchased some midi controllers and am having a hard time mapping them etc. I know nobody that has any experience with these things, and i'm having a hard time teaching myself. What would you recommend I should do?

Also how hard is it to get into the industry?

MusicProducerAMA5 karma

YOUTUBE. Youtube is a godsend for up and coming producers.

It took me 10 years to sign have my first contract offered to me. 6 for my first placement. It's about persistence. I'd say it's as hard as making the NFL. You need to pay your dues and put in the work. There's no real set formula.

HellaJewKangaroo1 karma

Thank you for your response. It is greatly appreciated!

Also i forgot to ask, Did you go to school for this, or did you come up from Youtube?

MusicProducerAMA4 karma


I went to school/still going to school for business (working on my second business degree currently)

I was however accepted to 3 music schools in the US but chose to decline there offers for a normal education. Never regretted the decision!

A lot of it has come from working with other producers, yes Youtube, and trial and error!

E-Pirate2 karma

have you ever stepped on someones toes to get where you're at right now ?

MusicProducerAMA4 karma

I've always tried to maintain some sort of professional and friendly attitude in my journey through this industry. Have I sent very strongly worded emails to people, yes. Have I intentionally thrown someone under the bus to advance my career, never. That's just not the type of person I am.

borez2 karma

As per most major labels I've ever worked for ( here in the UK ) are you too just making music to order i.e. if dubstep or say electro house is the flavour of the month then the A&R just want you to jump on that bandwagon with every electronic act or vocalist they throw your way regardless of if it suits that act or not?

Personally I hated this, it's kinda why I no longer play their game.

Edit: Actually I don't know why I asked this question, I already know the answer.

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

Hahaha. Have an up vote for figuring out your own question!

enferex1 karma

Awesome date, November 16... my birthday. But 30 years prior to 2012.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

That was a typo. I signed in October facepalm but got so excited I wrote November 16th. We had to go back and make an amendment to the contract because of it.

I tried my best guys, I tried my best.

E-Pirate1 karma

What was the last non work related show you were at ?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Like concert?

Wiz Khalifa's 2050 Tour. About an hour after I got out of the studio with him.

E-Pirate2 karma

is there smoking in the studio? some people might think its a dumb question but i do know smoke isn't that good to be around equipment

EDIT: and the amount of smoke coming from that dude is crazy.

MusicProducerAMA5 karma


Wiz Khalifa......left the studio 3 times because I couldn't breath. I'm not exactly sure how bad it is for the equipment. According to Reddit, it voids Apple warranties. Soooo, there's that.

earthhouse1 karma

Don't know if people are still posting to this, but what college(if any) did you have prior to music production?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

If you're asking if I went to school for music. I didn't. I'm self-taught. I have a business degree and am currently working on a second one!

SleepingGiant701 karma

If you could De-Fame one artist that's HUGE right now, who would it be, and why?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

I feel like a lot of people want me to say Bieber. But, according to my economics prof. he accounts for a significant portion of Canada's GDP. Soooo, not fucking over my country for ya'll Reddit! I won't do it!!!!

Probably Chief Keef, I honestly can't listen to his music without saying "WTF did I just listen to?!"

rockyali1 karma

Thanks for doing this!

Who are you favorite three artists you have worked with? I read most of the thread and didn't see this one.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Big Sean Wiz Khalifa The Weeknd (before he blew up)

E-Pirate1 karma

Besides work, Do you have a home studio? If so, can you post a pic? I'm curious to see what kind of gear you have.

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Currently visiting my parents back in my hometown so I don't have it readily available. My apologies :(

E-Pirate1 karma

what are some of the pieces you have at your home studio?

EDIT: Thanks for this AMA : )

MusicProducerAMA5 karma

My midi board. Nothing fancy. M-Audio. Few different yamaha racks. Rockits. Love love love love lovvvve my rockits.

E-Pirate1 karma

I know friend. I'm waiting for my current monitors to die so I have an excuse to buy a pair.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Honestly so worth it. Best studio monitors in my opinion.

E-Pirate1 karma


MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Have an up vote!

JBONE191 karma

I myself am an upcoming producer as well. I work very well with Propellerhead Reason and I'm currently learning Ableton and Pro Tools. Is there any advice you would have on making a name for myself in the industry?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

First. Make sure all your music is in someway tagged or copy written (google search poor mans copyright)

Second. A lot of producers rise to fame by attaching themselves to artists. See 40/Drake, Ryan Lewis/Macklemore.

IF that isn't an option, then my friend blast your music on every medium. Youtube, Soundcloud, Soundclick, everywhere. And perfect your craft as much as possible.

duffluff1 karma

How important is variety in the music? Is it frowned upon when an artist wants to try something completely different than what they've previously done?

MusicProducerAMA3 karma

For producers, not so much. Keeps us more employable in a sense. For artists, it really depends on how big they are. Some can get away with it because of their status. See Kanye West's 808's and Heartbreak.

However, I think with the emergence of artists like Drake that can both sing and rap, this concept is sort of changing.

ImNotAnnoying1 karma

Have you ever worked with Taylor Swift or Benny Blanco?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Taylor Swift. No. I'd love to though as her style moves more and more towards a pure pop artist.

I've met Benny Blanco. Incredibly talented and nice guy. Never had the chance to sit with him in the studio however!

RightOnThatAss1 karma

What's the most eye-opening experience (whether good or bad) that you've had while working in the industry?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

When I got screwed over by my first label.

I tell people enough, the industry is a horrible place if you're not mentally tough. In royalties alone, I've lost close to 200,000$ because of my previous label, not to mention my name not being credited on every song I did for them.

Makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

RightOnThatAss1 karma

I'm currently working towards a Music Industry minor and in one of my classes we've spent a long time reviewing copyrights and contract clauses. Our professor always discusses the importance of the specific "Termination Rights" that allow an artist to re-obtain their copyrights after 35 years. He's shown us that many major artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, etc. are due for this reversion. It may not be your particular area of expertise, but I wanted to know:

How do you think the music industry is going to handle this situation (potentially millions of dollars in loss for record labels)?

(Chart of artists with Termination Rights coming up) http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/08/15/arts/term-chart.html

Thanks a lot for doing this AMA!

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

I feel like someone's asking me to answer a homework question ;).

I'm vaguely knowledgeable on this subject. But, in my personal opinion, I think you won't see much of a ripple in the industry. Just based on the fact the bulk of those artists have sold as much as they can before those 35 years. The only thing you'll see it hinder is when they die and the labels try and cash in on their death by re-issuing the albums.

RightOnThatAss1 karma

Hahah I figured that's what it'd come off like, but I'm on winter break, finals got done last week. I'm just really interested in the topic and just wrote a paper about 360 deals for the final assignment. Couldn't they technically get their copyrights back and then sell it right back to the same labels that originally owned them?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

In theory yes. This kinda relates to one of my classes this past semester. I'm sure for certain artists, Jackson, Springsteen, etc. it would be worth the labels while to purchase the rights backs. But for every artist as a whole, it's just not worth their time if the content will never be bought again.

Supply and demand my friend.

RightOnThatAss1 karma

Haha sounds less catastrophic for labels now that you put it that way.

I noticed you didn't necessarily approve of 2 Chainz, but this is the first thing I thought of when you drove the point home about labels buying back rights in the short run to see profits later.


MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Hahaha, I love it.

Don't get me wrong, I'll listen to 2 Chainz when I'm partying or in a group. But, I don't see his appeal to the masses. He's not lyrically excelling or providing anything new to the industry.

RightOnThatAss1 karma

Haha I think it's his obnoxious punchline/one-liner catch phrases that "gets the people going?!" so to say. Plus just the amount of work he's put out and the tracks he's been featured on this year.

This article, whether you read it as a satirical piece or not, pretty much lays out a calendar of his 2012 career.


MusicProducerAMA1 karma

"She got a big booty, so I call her big booty".......thank you Mr. Chainz.....thank you.

E-Pirate1 karma

Did you read any books that helped you alot?

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

There was a great one I read whilst I was getting my first degree all about the music business. And the name escapes me right now! Let me look in my bookshelf for you friend!

E-Pirate1 karma

Sweet. Thanks!

MusicProducerAMA1 karma

Not a problem, my friend!

thesk8rguitarist1 karma

Pro Tools or Logic? One really good tip for newbies? I am an engineer of 3 years and about to begin an internship at an artist's home studio.

MusicProducerAMA14 karma

I'm born and bred on Pro Tools, but I can never undermine Logic. Still a very powerful program.

I'm a big supporter in it doesn't matter WHAT you use, but HOW you use it. If given the option, I'll still rock FL Studio for production then export to Pro Tools for final mixing and mastering (Yes it's tedious, but it's just my style haha)

dartaneal1 karma

Do you ever reach a stage where you've lost all confidence in what sounds good or bad because you've been working in the studio for so many consecutive hours? Common amateur problem, wondering if it still happens to pros!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Sometimes yes. Sometimes I'll get all the way through creating something and feel like the record is complete trash. It's a very common problem!

guitarman5651 karma

Always wanted to be a producer, it's my absolute dream. How did you get into that field? What skills did you require along the way?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

I started making music when I was 11 and have just slowly experimented and gathered knowledge over the years. Knowing to play an instrument is very important, but not a deal breaker. I've met a lot of producers who couldn't operate a keyboard buy still could make something hot, they have what I call "the touch".

Patience and perseverance are very important i'd say in this game.

Bananashirt1 karma

Wish I saw this AMA sooner, but in the event that you come back to this: what's the trick to finding a studio internship? (Follow-up question: Do you need an intern?)

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

A lot of internships come about by simply working at a studio as a job completely non-related to the music. A lot that I've heard anyways.

I do not! I do most of my stuff from my home studio!

lolstebbo1 karma

I was wondering if I could get some feedback, too.....

What are your thoughts on MIDI and software instruments?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

I wouldn't have a job without MIDI and software instruments. I made an orchestral record once that I had an artist think I actually conducted an orchestra and got nervous because he thought my price would double for the track.

If you know how to use them. They are a godsend. Mixing becomes that much more important though.

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Checked some of your stuff.

Your vocals need some work, my friend. To me it sounds like you're trying to push your not singing fully from your diaphragm. If all else fails. Google search melodyne. It's auto tune for big boys haaha.

E-Pirate1 karma

what is your work schedule like?

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Wake Up Gym Class Work Work Work Work Sleep

Rinse and repeat

C3G01 karma

Are you gonna be at the Grammy's this year? This'll be my first year in attendance!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma


However I just got my Juno invitation (Canadian Grammy's)

MKMusic1 karma

Hey, man! Glad you did this, thank you very much. I've learned a lot from your answers! Music production is my life! I don't want to do anything else. I'm coming to the end of my high school career, and I'm going to be starting college soon and I need to do something with music or I'll go insane.

So how do I get working in the studio? I don't know how to go about doing this or what I should show people and who to show. I already have a pretty decent amount of production experience. Short film scores, and a lot of songs that I make to gain experience and have fun.

Also, If by some chance you get an opportunity to listen and give feedback, here's some stuff I made. It would be extremely appreciated if you give me some constructive criticism.



Again, thanks for doing this, AMA! Glad to finally see someone doing an AMA on something I want to do!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

Go to local studios, ask them if they need a studio tech or someone to do odd jobs and build up your credibility with them.

Man, your tracks are dope. You have a bright future ahead of you!

freeto_bandito1 karma

1) Have you had a chance to work with labelmate, Snow tha Product? 2) Would you consider it a joke to receive a degree from Full Sail in music production? 3) Whats the best way to seek getting signed as a in house producer for a major record label? Thanks and looking forward to your answers!

MusicProducerAMA2 karma

  1. Nope!
  2. Yes. They offered me a scholarship when I was still in high school. I still had the sense to say no. Save the 30-40-50 grand you'll spend there and buy equipment.
  3. Build your following man. Thats how 98% of people do it. Don't rely on luck.