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How to get started as an indie producer

The very basics of what you need to know to get started as a producer of indie music.

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You need to know how to get the best out a band. You start with the personnel - replacing the drummer is often a good course of action. Then you make sure that everyone in the band is making the right kind of contribution, whether it is music, lyrics, playing, visual style or performing ability.

> Record labels view Indie bands as a commodity. There will always be a market for this kind of music, and currently there are thousands of bands that could satisfy the market - yet only a few will get the chance. You have to be able to present the band, at least in their recordings, in a way that record labels will find easy to market.

You need to know your way around a studio, but not necessarily the equipment. A recording studio is an environment where creativity can blossom, and as a producer you have to encourage and nurture that. Get an engineer to work the controls.

The equipment you need...

Hah! You don't need any at all! If you think you will be making anything other than a pig's ear in your bedroom studio then you are oink oinking up the wrong tree. You have to record a band in a proper studio. A cheap one maybe, but one that is comfortable, has a creative ambience, and where the work can be done efficiently without worrying about annoying the neighbours.

If you like, you can get a portastudio for messing about with ideas in a rehearsal room. Just get a basic one so you don't start worrying about the sound.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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