Staying Positive & Productive As a Music Producer During COVID-19
In the past weeks, the number of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases has exploded, with the world in lock-down mode. Almost every industry is affected, let alone the music & recording industry – with canceled shows, gigs, events, album launches and more.
If you’re breathing and reading this, consider yourself lucky. This is not another post to poke fun at the growing pandemic.
But one to address what’s important and hopefully, give music producers and musicians – hope, to stay strong, creative and productive.
What’s going on.
Depending on where you live, your government may soon order a lockdown or a movement restriction order.
That in fact is a good thing – as when we practice social distancing, we slow down the spread of the disease. This post explains why social distancing is more crucial than ever. (Please read it, it’s important.)
Source from CoronaTracker
And we only see the official cases, not the true ones. The actual number of cases and spread behind then numbers you see online is in fact really more.
What you can do as a music producer
In light of the ongoing pandemic, how can you turn crisis into an opportunity? No, don’t buy 17,700 hand sanitizers and sell them at 8X the price on Amazon. Look at ways you can value-add at this time.
In fact, we home music producers are trained for this. It’s time to stay home and produce every idea you’ve had.
Jokes aside, in every crisis, there is always an opportunity. Let’s get started.
1 – Keep yourself safe
Firstly, keep yourself safe. If your health or family is affected, seek professional help immediately.
Follow the guidelines set by the WHO. Protect yourself and the people around you.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cough into your elbow.
- Don’t touch your face
- Practice social distancing
- Stay home.
And for the music producer, know that your equipment and gears (if you do lots of live performances) could be where the COVID-19 virus could be exposed on. Here’s what to do immediately.
- Clean and sanitize your tour equipment.
- Produce music at home (more on this below).
- Don’t forget to exercise.
Staying at home means more screen time and less moving around. But the truth is a healthy body equals a healthy mind. Set up systems to exercise and workout consistently.
One of the best ways I found to do this, is to set up a Zoom call with friends – and yes, exercise with them.
2 – Produce music at home.
Take this time at home to produce more music.
In this moment of crisis, how can a music producer add value to the situation? I thought about this a lot during the start of the pandemic, and here are some answers:
- Raise awareness through your music.
- Inspire listeners to take the right action to battle against this pandemic.
- Create music to help people ease, during this tough time.
Our friends at Sound Constrains have created a COVID-19 inspired sample pack – filled with sounds inspired by the pandemic.
This would come useful if you’re forced to be on lockdown at home. Instead of getting anxious and restless, put your creative minds to work and produce music.
And of course, this is not to make fun at the seriousness of the growing pandemic. From the words of Aaron at Sound Constrains:
On a serious note everyone. I am not trying to downplay what is currently going on in the world. In times like these, we all need to do the things we love to keep our minds at ease. Humor and music are my ways of coping. So this is my offering to people who share those interests.
Here’s what you find within the COVID-19 sample pack:
- High-quality, Corona Virus Samples for EDM.
- 17 devastating Serum Presets
- 30+ Sound Fx
- Spooky Atmos
- Donald Trump
- And other sounds for the apocalypse.
Download the sample pack here: www.soundconstraints.com/products/corona-virus-sample-pack
3 – Learn a new skill.
You’ll be surprised at how much time you have when you’re being quarantined at home. No more traffic jams, commuting on the road or going out for meals.
That said you’ll have time. But don’t succumb to watching Netflix all day. Instead, watch something that will help you become a better music producer.
Here are some suggestions, online.
- Masterclass, which has some good courses from producers such as Armin Van Buuren and Hans Zimmer.
- MacProVideos. A site with a large collection of music production courses and creative lessons for the music producer.
- Udemy (30% off) – You can find tons of good music production courses here as well.
But learning something can quickly become counter-productive if you don’t put it to use. So, here’s a tip towards putting what you’ve learnt to use.
Immediately after learning something new, put what you’ve learnt into practice. For example, let’s say you learnt a new production trick through a video tutorial, launch your DAW and begin experimenting that new technique immediately.
Consuming tutorials and content is easy. But it’s the doing that makes us retain what we’ve learned.
4 – Build Your Library of Music Assets
How do rich people or artists get richer? One of the ways they do it is by building money-producing assets that give them returns over time.
But what can a music producer do?
One of the ways is to create assets for yourself is in the form of stock music and sound effects, that you can monetize from. One of the best sites to monetize from your music, soundtracks and sound effects is AudioJungle.
Being in a lockdown is causing businesses to have cash flow issues. But instead of sitting idle, use the time to build up a music portfolio and publish them on stock music sites. Sure, you won’t instantly become rich from doing this. But over time, the revenue you generate will aid your business and your journey of producing music.
Here are some popular stock music sites you can list your music on:
- Audiojungle by Envato – One of the more active sites to get sales for your music.
- Pond5 – Royalty-free library for stock video, motion graphics, photos and music.
- AudioNetwork – Royalty-free music for TV and media.
How do you start producing stock music?
First, understand who purchases stock music in the market. These are usually people who need music for TV, videos, games and multimedia projects. This includes sound effects as well.
Next, think about how you could create creative music assets that will fit that audience. So pop, EDM or artist-styled music might not fetch lots of sales for royalty-free music.
This is also an opportunity where you can pull out music arrangements, ideas and half-done projects that you have left, and rework them into usable music tracks that you can monetize from.
5 – Work on Building A Fanbase
What is everyone doing currently? A safe bet would be them being at home, spending more time than ever online and on social media.
With all your potential listeners putting their attention online – this is simply the best time to promote your music and your work online. People are bored at home and looking to consume entertaining content and music!
Here’s what you can embark on:
Build Your Own Producer/Artist Website
You don’t exist today if you don’t have a website. Whether you are a music producer, artist or business owner – you need a website to display your work and as a platform to update your fans and customers.
You don’t need to learn programming to start building sites.
Start with a web platform such as WordPress.
WordPress originally started as a blogging platform, but through the years has grown into a full-fledged CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to build full-scaled websites. In fact, AudioMentor.com is built on a WordPress platform.
To build a WordPress site, you’ll need:
- Domain Name – Register for a good domain name from domain registrars such as Namecheap.com
- Hosting – Hosting is where your website files and data are stored at. Namecheap also offers pretty affordable hosting.
- WordPress – WordPress is open-source and most hosting companies can help you install it.
To get started fast, I recommend you to get a WordPress Theme from Themeforest
Go Live on Social Media
One of the things you can do to get closer with your fans is to create content on social media – or even better yet, show the behind-the-scenes of your workspace, music creation process or daily life.
Adam Sang going live on Facebook
With so many content being created on social media every day, the only way to stand out is to create unique content. And the easiest, best unique content to create would be something about yourself.
Doing this can also build your likeability and authority – thus building your personal or business brand even through the lockdown period.
Conclusion – Emerging stronger from the pandemic
The current situation with COVID-19 affecting the world is affecting everybody. But rather than sitting idle, the reason I wrote this post is to hopefully inspire you to make the best out of this time.
Remember that in any disaster, there are always opportunities lying. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our mindset towards it.
What other worthy tips did I miss in this post? I know there are tons I probably missed, so do let me know by commenting below. Stay safe and stay home.