When you hear that an electronic musician is working as a producer, you’ll probably think of Steve Aoki, the singer-songwriter who also happens to be the biggest-selling artist of all time.
Aoki is the kind of producer that can bring a track to life in a way that you can’t even imagine happening in real life.
But if you were to ask him about the kinds of things he’d be doing to make his career, he would probably say the same thing about his own music: recording and mixing.
He’s been doing it for a decade.
And he’s also just published a book called What I do: A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Pro.
It’s a detailed, easy-to-follow guide for anyone who wants to jump into the world of music production.
He talks about what he does, how it works, how he got his start, and what he’s learned over the years.
He even shares some of his favorite music production tips.
“The best advice I’ve ever gotten,” Aoki says.
“My biggest advice is, if you’re going to be a producer and you want to get into the business, you should do it right.
You should be very careful with the music you record.”
The truth is, mastering the basics is really easy, but mastering mastering the things you make really hard.
A lot of times, the more complicated the music is, the harder it is to master.
Akios book describes mastering in three broad ways: getting the music right, keeping the production as clean as possible, and mastering the sounds.
“I like to think of myself as a composer,” Akio says.
“[As a producer] I’m really good at making music.
I’m very good at mastering.
I think that’s the biggest mistake people make when they get into music.”
He also talks about how the process of mastering can be incredibly rewarding.
“You’re creating the perfect sound,” he says.
A listener can hear it in his voice, or even in the way his voice sounds in certain situations.
“If I’m playing a piano and I put my hands together, I have a certain feeling that I’m producing,” he adds.
“And I’m not just making music.”
When you start making music, you’re probably thinking: This is really fun.
I can’t wait to hear it.
But the truth is that you’re making music that will never make it to the radio.
If you listen to music in your head, you won’t be able to put your finger on exactly how that music sounds.
So mastering the details is the key to making music your own.
“Everything about the way you produce is about your emotions,” Aikos book states.
“That’s where your passion lies.”
He goes on to explain that the best way to get better at mastering is to practice.
“In order to get good at this, you need to listen to other people,” he explains.
“It’s not enough to listen.
You need to do it.
That’s why I love doing crosswords and puzzle puzzles.”
Aikins book is a great way to learn more about what makes a good musician.
You can listen to some of the exercises below.
“Listen to people, not only from your own experience, but from other people’s experience,” he writes.
“Ask them what it is that they like about their own music, and how they might improve it.
Ask them what they want to hear from your music.
Listen to the things that make their music good and what you might need to work on.”
You can also check out the audio files on Aoki’s website for some sample tracks.
“This book is an incredibly comprehensive guide for anybody who wants or needs to become a professional in the music industry,” Aikoi says.
You don’t have to be in the industry to start making your own music.
“At the end of the day, the people that make music are people like yourself,” he concludes.
Aikas book is also available in paperback.
And check out Aokis other book, What I Do: A Steps-By/Step Guide for Becoming A Pro, to learn how to do all of the things Aoki does.
A video by the producer is available for viewing below.