The Best FREE Online Resources for Music Producers - Part II
In Part I of this series we looked at Free resources for Samples and Tutorials for Music Producers. In Part II we will focus on some of the best free online resources to help music producers bring their production to the next level, alongside overcoming some common issues.
There is no doubt that being a music producer can at times be a rather isolating endeavor; it takes vast amounts of time and effort, with what can seem like very little in return, as attracting the attention of large labels and bigger audiences is very difficult. This can lead to a lapse in productivity, and many half finished tracks, which can be problematic due to the self motivated nature of this venture.
However, we have all been there. Below are some completely FREE resources that can not only provide you with the inspiration to get those tracks finished, but also get you involved in thriving producer communities while bringing you to the attention of some major labels.
P.S There is a surprise at the end
ONLINE PRODUCER COMMUNITIES
SKIO is an online marketplace and community for DJs and producers.
Massive labels such as Warner, Empire and Atlantic records regularly host remix competitions on this platform completely for free. Simply download the stems, remix the track and upload it to the site before the deadline - very straightforward and simple.
Winning such a competition not only exposes you directly to A and R representatives from these labels; you also receive incredible prizes, and support from major artists and labels on social media, which can go a very long way. From experience, it is best to upload your remix with plenty of time before the deadline, as people are much more likely to listen while the contest is active.
First off, their Facebook group for music producers brings people of all different levels, styles and nationalities together to trade tips, ask for advice and give each other support in a friendly and creative environment. For example ,I learned a lot on how to approach making the high-mid range synths really stand out in a mix, simply using a bit of saturation and subtractive eq.
They also regularly host massive producer contests to correspond with the launches of their sample packs. If you win one of these contests you receive very high calibre prizes that have a direct, long lasting positive effect on your career as a producer. These prizes include audio hardware, consultations with industry professionals and very strong social media features from Cymatics themselves, exposing you to their vast following of producers and artists.
Splice is a cloud platform for music creators to collaborate and share.
Alongside serving as a distributor of sample packs and a means of allowing artists to collaborate remotely, they also regularly host similar contests, many of which are completely free to enter, see here
These contents vary from remixing an existing commercial artist’s track, to creating an entirely original track of your own. They also host beat contests for Trap and Hip-hop, many of which are held by huge labels, such Universal Music Group.
SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE + INSPIRATION
Andrew Huang is a Canadian musician and producer who has a thoroughly unique music production channel on YouTube.
This channel is bursting at the seams with highly original and imaginative music creation ideas, such as; making an entire track only using sounds from Mars, four producers flipping the same sample and what it sounds like to record vocals on a frozen lake. Andrew also does product reviews, tutorials and gives solid, very helpful musical advice to other producers.
I highly recommend giving the series ‘4 Producers Flip the Same Sample’ a watch. It allows a very rare glimpse into the vastly different creation processes of different producers; which is something you can learn a huge amount from. For example, after watching this series I became much more aware of the huge variety of sonic results you can achieve with just one sound, which resulted in me finishing up a lot of productions quicker, because I wasn’t constantly searching for new samples.
Sound on Sound
Sound on Sound is an independently owned monthly music technology magazine published by SOS Publications Group, based in the United Kingdom.
Sound on Sound itself is not free, however there is a massive archive of past interviews with industry professionals, in-depth product reviews and mix techniques that you can view online for free.
The interviews mentioned provide direct insight into the processes used by producers and engineers who have worked with the world’s biggest artists. My approach to mixing was never the same after reading their interview with Derek Ali - the man who mixed Kendrick Lamar’s groundbreaking album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’at the age of 25.
Another invaluable section is Mike Senior’s Behind the Track column, in which he uses his impeccable ear to reveal the production and mixing techniques used in the world’s biggest tracks.
All of these principles you learn from this resource can be applied to your own tracks and mixes, which will directly help you develop both as a professional and as an artist.
Leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer-based audio production Native Instruments have an entire collection of instruments, effects and samples that are completely FREE. One of my favourites is Kinetic Treats - an instrument consisting solely of samples of old children’s toys.
Get started here
These are just some of the best FREE online resources for producers, if there is anything you would like to add, let us know in the comments!
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