So, as many of you reading this are Producers, I’m sure these items are something that you guys can all relate to.
You ever have that moment when you’re meeting a new group of people, or you’re meeting your girl’s friends, and they ask you what you do, and you as proudly as you can tell them, “well, you know… I’m a Music Producer” and then they give you this look…
It’s either that look that says, “I don’t really know what that is…” or even “Oh, I see, so you’re unemployed then, right?”
Or maybe somewhere in between. People are very quick to judge and jump to conclusions, especially if it’s something that is outside of their reality. I was having my haircut last week when the nice lady asked me ‘So, are you working at the moment then?’ to which I replied ‘Yeah, well I’m self-employed so I’m always working, ho ho’ (because you know, I’m just funny like that…) to which SHE replied ‘Oh… so no then?’ WTF.
Or perhaps it’s the fact that you’re constantly beatboxing along to stuff, or making up sounds and then putting together beats in your head instead of sitting enjoying a nice dinner with your lady. I’m told that’s pretty annoying.
Either way, sometimes being a Producer can be annoying as hell, either for us personally or for those around us. But would we change it for the world? Hell naw.
Anyway, here are my top 5 most annoying things about being a Music Producer (most of these are supposed to be funny btw, but I’m sure you’ll have heard, or experienced, at least one of them in your life….)
1. Nobody knowing what a Producer actually is, or what they do.
This is the usual response, quite often followed by one of the other things mentioned on this list, but this is their first reaction. I have my speech down and perfected these days and tend to give the same response over and over. “You know when you hear songs on the radio? And you hear those backing tracks that the singer is singing over, or rapper is rapping over? Yeahhhh, I make those”. Simple and straight to the point. Yup.
2. “Have you worked with anyone I’d know?”
Well, that depends, are you into jazz-punk-house-rap-trap? You are?! Awesome, well then yes you might have heard of some of my work. I’ve also had music played on national radio and racked up millions of views on YouTube. But no, I’ve never produced for Taylor Swift, if that’s what you’re asking. Also, in the same way that not every teacher works their way up to be a Professor at Harvard, not every Producer can be Timbaland.
3. “Oh, so what do you play? Do you play in a band?”
Well, I play the computer actually. The computer is my instrument. Aside from the fact that I can play Piano, Drums, Guitar, Bass etc. that’s not really what being a Producer is about. Nah, Producing’s not really like playing in a band, I mostly do “studio stuff” (beware of this ‘studio stuff’ phrase, it makes you sound like a dick…) these days, which primarily consists of me sitting alone in a dark room at 2am clicking away at my mouse whilst scrolling through Sylenth presets.
4. Wanting to make a beat out of everyday sounds that people don’t even hear & not being able to get it out of your head.
I’m sure you all know exactly what I mean with this one, I do this to my Mrs. all the time and it drives her nuts because I am constantly tapping along or beatboxing to any number of random noises happening in the world that she hadn’t even noticed. Transport is the best for that, if you’re in a car or on a train, and you have that constant, repetitive groove happening and you just get it in your head & start beatboxing along. Or if you hear the pans in the kitchen rattled a certain way, or the door squeak and you immediately have to either rush to your studio, or create a voice note on your phone so you don’t forget it. It can be tiring!
5. The Loop Function – playing the same 4 bars over and over until you get that Snare EQ perfect.
This is not so much an annoyance for the Producer as it is for anyone and everyone around them. Hearing the same 4 bar build up over and over because you want to get the Automation on the sweep FX just right, or playing the same one bar drum fill over and over and moving the notes slightly each time to get the groove of the drums perfect. Either way, for your family, friends and neighbors, trust me, it’s annoying. People don’t respond well to the same shit just looping over and over again, it drives them nuts because they’re not listening for what we’re listening for and to them it’s like Chinese water torture.
Anyway, hope this gave you a cheap laugh if nothing else, and all those Producers out there reading this can at least relate to some of the things on this list. This was meant to just be a little tongue in cheek humor on a grey Thursday afternoon, but I’m sure that it’s something you have all experienced at some point in your life!
What do you think is the most annoying thing about being a Music Producer? Hit me up on Twitter @theaspiringprod or leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts.