Music Production: Frequently Asked Questions

music production in south africa

The following blog post will answer some of your music production related frequently asked questions.

If you are an aspiring producer this is for you.   

What is music production?

Music production involves the creation of music from start to completion.

Do I need to go to school to learn music production?

No you don’t need to go to school for it but the basic music education and understanding will help.

What’s the best production school?

In South Africa there are plenty of music schools which offer production courses.

Some of the notable names include Emendy in Pretoria, Soul Candi via Boston Media House and the Academy of Sound Engineering just to name a few.

Is it expensive to produce music?

Yes and No.

Yes depending on the genre of music and the equipment required to produce the music. And no because you can invest a few thousands and set-up and a mini recording at home.

How can I learn music production online?

You can enrol to study music production with a highly reputable college such as Berklee. They have a wide range of course music related courses.

But Berklee might not be ideal for everyone from an economic standpoint. And if that is the case, Udemy music course is also a good option.

What’s the best music creation software?

It’s hard to say because it is a matter of preference. But having said that the most popular and common DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) are Pro Tools, Albeton Live, Cubase and FL Studio.

You just have to find the one that works best for you.  

Who is the best music producer in South Africa?

Again this debatable because you can’t compare a gospel and a hip hop producer. It’s like comparing an apple and a banana.

But South Africa has talented mainstream producers such as DJ Cleo, Prince Kaybee, Kabza De Small, and DJ Black Coffee on the house music scene.

Is Mastering part of music production?

Yes. Mastering is the final step in the production process before the song or recording can be considered completed.

Do I need to know how to mix in order to be a music producer?

Not really but it helps. Mixing is usually done by mixing engineers. Most producers prefer to mix the records themselves and some work alongside an engineer.

How is mixing related to music production?

Mixing will make sense when your start recording and working with software. This is the process were you take the recorded tracks and blending them together into one.

For example a piano, a string, a baseline, vocals are all recorded as tracks in separate channels.

When the recording phase is completed, all these tracks have to gel and sound well as a collective.

The engineers add effects; eliminate sounds during the mixing phase.

Is music production for everyone?

No it’s not for everyone. This job requires a passion for music first and most producers work for long hours for little to no pay at all.

What’s the difference between a beatmaker and a producer?

The words are used interchangeably but have different meanings. I wrote a blog post previously explaining the beatmaker vs. music producer role.

Do I need to know how to play an instrument to be a producer?

Although it’s not mandatory, but learning how to play an instrument especially the piano or keyboard will give you an edge.

Where can I study music production in South Africa?

You can read the following article:

Music production schools in South Africa

Do music producers make a lot of money?

Some do but most don’t. This is also depends on your location, business and networking skills. 

What is a midi controller keyboard for?

A MIDI controller keyboard is an instrument which you connect to your Personal computer or Mac via USB.

This hardware device is used to send MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) data to the music creation software.

Is music production a good career?

It can be a good career if you are getting work on a regular basis. Most producers are freelancers.

Unless you are employed as an in-house producer somewhere don’t expect to earn a salary from this profession.

How much does a beat cost in South Africa?

This differs from producer to producer and the music genre. For example if you make hip hop beats, all you need is software like FL Studio and a computer. So your costs to produce an instrumental track might be lower.

On the other hand, in order to produce a rock beat the producer has to book a decent studio, hire an engineer, a keyboardist, a drummer, a percussionist, a guitarist and so forth. And the cost to do all of that can be astronomical.

How much do music producers earn in South Africa?

Most producers are freelance workers so it’s hard to say or even estimate an amount.

Is Soul Candi a music production school?

Soul Candi is an entertainment company. But they do have a music creation course which is licensed to Boston City Campus.

Who is the best hip hop producer in South Africa?

It’s debatable. South African Hip Hop has young talented producers such as Tweezy, Gemini Major, Makwa Beats and Lunatik just to name a few.

Conclusion

If I missed anything, please drop your questions and comments below.

Thank you for reading.

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