You ask, I answer! Remember, I make monthly Q&A, so send me your questions and I’ll try to answer every one of them!

 

I’m trying to make a living out of my music. What was the biggest challenge when you decided to make music full-time?

Unfortunately, I am not currently making music full-time, as I’m still studying in uni. I’m still at the beginning of my music career, but the drawbacks are already obvious. The main ones are very little time for myself (or my friends), constant worrying about what I need to do next and if I am ever gonna make it. But I wouldn’t exchange this for anything in the world!

When you contacted me, you also asked me what are the best ways to make money as a producer, so here are a few:

  1. ghost produce or do beats on commission (I hate this, but it’s a legitimate way to make some very good money)
  2. record and produce bands/songwriters
  3. sell sample packs
  4. do music production lessons
  5. manage other artists Instagram profiles
  6. play gigs/weddings

 

How can I add analog warmth to my vocals with plugins? (Can’t afford a nice preamp)

I used to think a preamp could bring so much color and warmth to a recording like nothing else could… not anymore!
Yes, having a nice coloring preamp can make your life easier, but fortunately for us, today there are far cheaper ways to obtain the same result.

Every audio interface has its sound, some call it sterile… I call it CLEAN. This gives you the opportunity to later add color to the recording. The main way an analog preamp adds color is through a slight saturation of the signal. So, the best way to obtain this with plugins is by using a saturation plugin.

Even your stock DAW plugin probably can give you nice results, but if you want to make a cheap investment which will add the magic of a nice PRE, I highly suggest you check out these plugins.

The guy is a genius. Basically, he created a super clean sounding hardware preamp, and then he developed 3 different preamp emulations (Neve, API, and REDD). I own the first which adds a nice smooth vibe to everything I put it on (quite a lot!) and the tube one (REDD) which makes everything louder and punchier, without actually increasing the volume! They make my life A LOT easier when mixing, and they are my go-to saturation plugins.

 

What are your main genres and what else do you like to make?

Well, what I can do and what I’d like to do are unfortunately two very different things! XD
Having started my music journey as a guitarist, I’m more comfortable making melodic-focused genres, like future bass, chill, pop, and progressive house.

I’ve tried making more rhythm-focused (and currently more mainstream) genres like future house (which I enjoy A LOT), but every attempt has proven shallow at best up until now.
I’d love to collaborate with other producers and release a bass-house/future house track in the future though!

 

M-Audio Keystation 49 or NI Komplete m32?

I’m not familiar with either of those but based on the number of keys and price alone I’d choose the M-audio. If you want to play chords, 4 octaves is the BARE MINIMUM in my opinion. If instead you just need to play leads or basses, 2 octaves are enough.

The knobs on the NI one are nice to automate parameters, but put simply, you don’t need those or the useless silly transport buttons you are never gonna use anyway. On the other hand, the NI has portability, design and Massive bundled with it, so itt depends on what you need the most.

 

Did you have trouble with discipline/consistency in the early stages? How did you solve it?

Absolutely! I still find extremely hard to consistently create content, be it from music and artworks or blog/socials posts. Since I make so much stuff it’s often difficult for me to keep track of everything and consistently deliver what I need to deliver in order to grow as an artist.

But still, even if I sometimes miss a deadline, I’m now MILES AHEAD from how I used to be: lazy, unfocused, perfectionist, worried about what others might think, etc.

I think if you want to improve discipline, the most important step is realizing NO ONE will give you shit in life, so if you want anything, you have to build it. Then you need to find a way to stay focused on the tasks at hand, for me this was keeping a to-do journal.

I’ve talked previously about this on my blog, but in essence, what I did was buying a small journal or notepad (don’t bother using your phone notes app it’s worthless). Then every single morning, I write down what I need to do that day, and put a + sign in front of every task I ABSOLUTELY need to complete by that day. I can assure you’ll feel like shit when you don’t actually finish at least those “+” tasks and that way you’ll progress much quicker towards your goal!

 

What do you do for a living?

I’m a computer science student and work as a freelance web developer. I also manage Instagram pages for some artists and give production/marketing lessons to producers.

 

How old are you and where are you from?

At the time of writing this, I’m 25 and I live in Italy.