If you’ve ever been involved in music production then you would know how much work is required to get a final product that is of studio quality.
A standard recording studio is a feat of architecture. To achieve studio sounds, you must ensure that the room has next to no echo (otherwise called a dead room) so that the sounds do not bounce around the room and affect the recording.
Then, there’s the task of getting professional studio gear such as condenser microphones, mixers, amplifiers and, of course, studio engineers. The good thing is that music technology has progressed tremendously over the years so much so that recording can happen on a smartphone.
With a spark of creativity, anyone can learn, produce and share music using the mobile applications available. Just as you could make short films on the smartphone, sketch or code, you could also create an entire song using your smartphone as a ‘studio’.
Just ask Steve Lacy, the 18-year-old hip-hop producer who made his smartphone his personal studio since he started creating music. It might not be the most conventional studio setup, but Lacy is a Grammy award nominee for his work as an executive producer – some of which was done on his smartphone!
One of the biggest game changers in music production is digital software. Digital audio workstation (DAW) applications like Apple’s Logic Pro and Avid Pro Tools, have enabled musicians to write, record and produce their songs to studio quality standards.
For mobile, music making apps like Garageband (available on iOS) allows anyone to start making their own songs using only their smartphones or tablets. There are countless other apps available for multitrack editing on the phone, such as Stagelight, Music Maker JAM and Loopy.
Additional equipment like microphones and audio-interface tools, which connect an instrument to the phone or tablet, are also affordable and user friendly. IK Multimedia is one popular brand that makes affordable audio equipment and accessories exclusively for home or mobile music production.
As soon as musicians are done with a song, they can upload their work on digital streaming services such as Soundcloud, Spotify or even Youtube, and reach targeted or wider audiences with the click of a button.
It’s worth noting that the way we consume music has changed which is why music production is now so easy. We are more likely to stream music online than to buy a whole album. With this new medium, independent artists can gain a strong following online and get discovered by major distributors in the process.
To get discovered, the social aspect of music is equally as important as the creative process. Apps like musical.ly and Smule are outlets for musicians, singers and creative individuals to share their talents to millions around the world. And because of how connected social media is, there are stories of artists that have found success after labels found their music performances on Youtube or Smule.
Of course, conventional methods of music production and distribution will still be around for the time being but we also think that having new technology enriches the production experience and maximises efficiency.
With the availability of easy-to-use music creation tools and the power of social media, there isn’t much to hinder underground or bedroom musicians to make it big.