The future of music production is looking more independent by the day, namely due to artists like Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, and others who’ve attained success without the resources of big record labels. It can certainly be tempting to embrace independent music production when you consider just how many artists from across the globe got their start on small-scale stages and makeshift home studios. But how do you enter the world of independent solo artistry? Read on to find out.
Tools of this particular trade
There are a number of reasons why big-name hardware like Maple guitars and the Alesis Strike series have garnered quite a positive reputation amongst independent solo artists, and it’s not just limited to their superior sound and production quality alone. It’s because the best tools of the trade are designed to deliver multiple functions within one device. For instance, Maple Fusion Guitars boasts a 20-watt switching amplifier built into a beautifully crafted world-class electric guitar. This beast of an instrument is also fully equipped for seamless digital integration because the guys at Fusion know exactly what independent artists want and need. Similarly, the Alesis Strike Multipad is being praised as Alesis’ best percussion pad to date, specifically because it allows users to sample, edit, loop, and create whole performances on the one simple interface. These multifunctional products allow independent artists to keep their home studios small and efficient and ensures that home-made musos aren’t spending frivolous amounts of money on an egregious amount of tools just to get their start.
Using music production hardware will inevitably walk hand-in-hand with getting to grips with music production software, and software is where most independent artists find themselves in uncharted territory. But why are our first steps into music software usually tentative and foreboding? Let’s ignore the fact that there are well over a dozen quality DAWs to choose from for the time being, and look instead at the fact that software operates in a totally different realm to traditional non-digital music production. Some DAWs still allow for easy notation, like Pro Tools with their ‘Score Editor’, but if you’re using MIDI controllers, there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve that you’ll need to get your head around before you even try to produce tracks. And taking these first steps can be incredibly frustrating! It can often feel like starting totally from scratch. But rest assured, if you’re able to keep at it and find your comfort zone, using production software will feel just as natural as playing. Or just natural enough.
Community and collaboration
Finally, it goes without saying that nobody accomplishes anything on their own. Making your own music is all fine and good, but you need to make sure that you stay active in your local community of artists and musos. Stay connected by attending local gigs, following local artists online, sharing music on online forums like Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud, and using community apps like the Muso App, which links bands and independent artists to hirers and venue spaces. If you’re actively looking for shows and events where you can perform, or at least make connections with other artists, you’re ensuring that you’re surrounding yourself with like-minded people and gifted collaborators. This industry can be quite substantial, and there are a lot of highly specialized musicians out there who may be able to bring extra dimensions to your personal sound. It’s important for your personal artistic development that you stay open and keep on making these valuable connections.
It’s also good to keep in mind that innovation is all about experimentation and having fun. And yes, there’s a lot of technical knowledge that needs to be developed on this pathway that you’re on. But take comfort in the fact that challenging yourself only means that you’re learning and growing, and soon enough you’ll be able to take your musical self-expression to whole other levels!