Academic areas of knowledge

Discussion in 'Production' started by jarjarbinks, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Hello producers.

    This is a kind of poll. Besides the "obvious" music and technology training,
    What are some academic areas of knowledge key to your work as a producer?

    In what areas you wish you had more formal training to perform better as a producer?

    My best take is:
    • Critical & divergent thinking
    • Problem solving
    • Creative thinking, conceptualization
    • Project management
    • Human resources management: how to look for, hire and manage professional services
    • Marketing research
    • Product development and analysis (applied to musical products of course)
    • Behavioral psychology principles
    • Negotiation and workplace politics
    • Networking (managing and developing contacts and connections in the business)
    • Music industry contracts and how to negotiate them
    • Self employment: career planning and development
    • Self promotion
    • Artistic coaching in the studio
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    I'd like a training who shows people that having a usb mic isn't qualifying there bedroom as a professional studio.
    I guess it should include some training ears exercises so they can make the difference between the results I get with pro gear and their amateur setup !!
    jarjarbinks likes this.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    i don't like it but the truth is that's where it's at. the only thing that keeps me from chucking it all and just buying a DPS24 is for me, i don't see the benefit of throwing any more into it.

    i'm still struggling with letting it all go ........ but i just can't think of any reason not to. there's no money left in it and i'm not going to produce anything that the modern market would consume.

    if i were younger and getting into it, i would buy a DSP24. i think that makes the most sense currently.
    audiokid likes this.
  4. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Thanks kurt,

    But whats your opinion regarding my original question?
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    it's a whole lot of effort for zero return.

    everyone's a "producer". all you have to do is produce something.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    BC, Canada
    Home Page:

    However just for clarification and giggles on this ^#$%ed up business... ... I'm guessing you didn't mean the ST Audio being the name adopted by Korean-based Hoontech, who claim that their DSP24 Media 7.1 is "the world's first true 24-bit/96kHz PCI full-duplex .. ?

    I would stick with RME cards as they seem to me really stable and their drivers are second to none.
    On a budget and as a musician who simply wants to lay down tracks "good enough" I might just use a StudioLive console, grab a PC and be done with all the fuss.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    probably this one for those who are actually in need of a reality check.

    as all the others do nothing for what music is all about. Without creative skills, you are pretty much sunk. All the rest of what it takes to run a business are basic cut throat or smart business skills. Like common sense.

    So, if you know how to manage and bring out the most creatively positive in a person, you can pretty much hire the other skills as your creative business evolves.

    Artistic people are a breed of their own. Takes one to know one... imho. :love:
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Home Page:
    It was indeed quite a questionable boast, even in 2002 when the product was introduced.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    These two as well. But they fall into the basics of business and dealing with people.
    Networking and understanding behaviors is everything.

    Some missing:
    Rich parents and dancing skills would be two you have missing.
    Pretty hard to get anywhere in this business without the moves and a wad of cash lol.

  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Hold be back on this thread!

    Kind of like all you need is a Wok, oil, vegetables and MSG and you can cook Chinese food.

    Wok = DAW
    oil & vegetables = software
    MSG = business skill.

    I hope I'm not killing this thread. I feel it deserves a good punch of old school experiences in various directions to really take it to the best level.
  11. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Home Page:
    Being a producer isn't something you can really categorize.. Yes those skills from your list apply, but really people who produce on a money making/career level are there from building real world experience in those areas,..not training from a school.

    It comes down to.... you hire a producer because of their past experience. At the very least a project they did themselves and self produced..

    I can't think of a scenario where someone goes...... lets hire Bill to be our Producer.. he has no experience, but he's a cool guy and I trust him to make sure our stuff is great...

    Maybe that has happened.. I dunno, but I've never heard of that. Nor hiring a producer who graduated from a school with a checklist of things he or she has learned.. Unless you have less knowledge than they do.. Then at that point in time it's all about all of you building life experience..
  12. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Sydney, Australia
    I'd rather hire someone with real world experience who actually knows what they are doing as opposed to someone with a 4 year graduate degree and zero experience.

    And there are 50,000 + of them worldwide entering the industry every year...all being sold a pup...signing up to find that in the end most likely 1 in 100 will probably get a job that pays half decent somewhere in the industry.

    Hands-on real world experience trumps a piece of paper with a gold seal and the Deans' signature at the bottom every time.

    Give me someone who knows what they are doing in practice, not theory, and they can produce my record.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    In my mind, producing is being able to bring out the best in the performers, and, making your song sound as good as it can sonically as well as commercially, if that's the end you are shooting for.
    Arranging parts, adding and subtracting, finding the artist's sweet spot and making sure that they have a rock solid foundation to perform to, as well as giving them a safe place to be themselves.
    I think it also takes a certain knowledge of music, as well as the recording and mixing process.

    To that end, anyone can "produce"... shuffling tracks and parts around on a DAW, and mixing to a certain genre or media can qualify as such these days - while there are very few are true producers in the classic sense; the George Martins, Gus Dudgeons, Alan Parsons, Quincy Jones, Hugh Padgham's ...and the other similar geniuses of that caliber, who were involved with projects from step one all the way through to the final release.
  14. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    I know this is an older post...

    I have formal training in all the areas below. In some of them, quite a lot. Nothing that amounts to a degree, I didn't attend school in that format. I just want to learn, or someone has wanted to pay for me to learn. And companies don't pay for you to take pre-req's lol.

    But I've opened restaurants (two), written and had hospital contracts for my other biz, I've hired well over 100 people, I've fired probably 20. I've gone to many classes to learn how to manipulate all kinds of people. They call it management lol. I've worked in human resources before. A lot of marketing classes. A LOT of financial classes. I needed to learn how to read budgets, maximize profit/loss, read where the BS line items are etc. For a large part of my professional career (I'm mostly disabled now) I was shown how to take a failing biz, and make it profitable again. And I've done it, successfully, every time. Towards the end, I employed myself as a consultant for failing co's, and I did well with that too. All w/o any degree (no paper certificate, just training in the appropriate areas)

    • Human resources management: how to look for, hire and manage professional services (this one is hard w/o some training. You have to know what Q's to ask for what job)
    • Marketing research (you can get a few books for this and do your best. The Immutable Laws of Marketing is good. And a book on e-marketing, as that is where it's at now)
    • Behavioral psychology principles (same)
    • Negotiation and workplace politics (Negotiations would be covered with a good management book. Work enviro you as the owner set yourself. You want to run it loose, run it loose. You want to run it tight, make it tight. The most important thing is to learn your people. At it's core, running a biz is about people management. Learn how to motivate and make a place people want to come and work. People take a job for a paycheck. People stay at a job bc they enjoy it. & the less turnover for you, the better)
    • Networking (managing and developing contacts and connections in the business) (this has become very easy with social media, it's not like before. Although, it's been so long that maybe I'm not remembering that someone did in fact show me how to "woo" people. But the concept of Karma plays a huge role in biz contacts. Or should I say the Golden Rule - treat others as you want to be treated. In very short order, you will figure out who will help your cause, and who will hurt it. But ideally, you would be out there at all times making new things happen (or delegate it to someone)
    • Music industry contracts and how to negotiate them (Personally, I would just buy them and alter as needed, I'm sure there are several co's selling such a thing. You buy several templates, and fill in the blanks)
    • Self employment: career planning and development (This one is not my strong suit, yet it's fairly simple. Small goals = big goals. Figure out what your 30 year goal is. Where you want to be in 30 years. I was told Jessica Alba's bedroom is not an answer. But then you figure out where you need to be in 20 years to accomplish the 30. Then 10 years to accomplish the 2o year goal. And you just keep breaking it down until you have smaller bite size goals to work on with deadlines. I've always just enjoyed the job for the job and when you do that, you seem to just climb the ladder naturally)
    • Self promotion (I don't know anything about this one ;^)
    Anyway, if I was healthy enough to be prolific, all of that would come in handy. I'm actually not sure how people are running their own studios w/o a business degree of some sort. I suppose you can get books for some things, like The Immutable Laws of Marketing for that...I'm sure there are psych books based around people management. But the "bizzie-biz" side of it may be a little daunting. Payroll, profit/loss, incentives, taxes, all the accounting stuff. It's a lot. Plus, working for yourself is it's own animal entirely. You gotta work twice as hard to make a living. And you never get to stop thinking about it. For this reason, if at all possible, I think partners is the way to go. If you don't have that buffer, so that you can have some time off, you burn out quickly.

    But I agree with @Sean G , I'd sooner hire someone like myself (if I was healthy) than someone with a 4 year degree. I forget the book but it's a woman who worked for Nasa all her life. Launching space rockets and hitting target trajectories etc. She put people on the moon. All during a time when a calculator was a luxury and they did the math with pencil and paper (literally). Sometimes while the rocket was in flight! shoot a space ship...and land it safely on the moon....she did that.

    After 18 years of doing that with complete success, they pulled her from the program...and replaced her with people who had "degrees." Space and Rocket Engineers etc. And then space shuttles starting blowing up. One of them I remember, our who school had gathered to watch it live (the Challenger?) and it blew up in front of all of us. Then they put that woman back in the "calculation" room, and everything was fine again. The older woman, with no degree, saved Nasa. All she had was a high school diploma and on the job training. I think some people just naturally have the knack. And I'd rather have that, then someone who is forcing it.

    Anyway, I think a degree is fantastic. I'd love to have a several of them. But it's become overblown how much education you need to do a job well. It's great to have...but I think in the majority of cases, it's completely unnecessary. How did we possibly run companies before MBA's existed? We did...and you know what? The worker's got treated a lot better, paid a lot more, and there wasn't a gargantuan gap in pay between management and workers. So, this "you need a degree" rule has actually been quite detrimental to the masses.

    Is there a degree to be a producer? That's the part I need to learn lol....

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