What's up everybody? I'm Phreeze and my man Fade put me on with an opportunity to just talk about different topics every week involving everything from production and the music business to random musings about various topics. About Me and Starting in The Game I'd first like to give you some background about me - I'm a 22-year-old computer programmer/producer/indie urban record label owner from Nashville, TN - Music City USA. I'm a DJ/Producer/Artist with classical musical training as a percussionist/drummer throughout my schooling, writing drum line books for high school marching bands, playing in state jazz ensembles, and other various musical ventures as well as interests in pop, rock, and urban music with the possibility of pursuing a career that somehow involved any type of music in any way. Then somehow I'm trying to make money as a music producer I'm going to sort of kick off this first column talking about where my personal interest in production started and some advice to newcomers. Well to start the whole thing, in college I decided to start DJing to make some extra money, since I started getting an interest in the club culture during college. I got a few good gigs, and started really liking being involved with "THE BUSINESS." Even though I was small fish for quite a while and still know I have much more to accomplish in this business, I was thrilled with the technical aspect of music and touching my peers. Then I said, I'll try this production thing - I can make tracks. I started on Impulse Tracker for DOS using samples and step recording. One piece of advice I have is to start on your home computer, get a tracking program, find some killer WAV clips (which I hope you know are plentiful on the 'Net but I didn't say that - wink, wink) and try to piece 'em all together one track at a time. I had previous musical background and was majoring in computer science and music theory in college, but I think downloading a tracker and giving it a go is the most cost-effective way of getting your feet wet and evaluating yourself. Once you are sure you really, really want to take production more seriously, take the following actions: Get a job. Make money. Save money. Buy hardware, whatever you can. Practice Upgrade It's crazy, there are so many mediocre producers making a lot of money at the local and regional independent levels, that a good majority of them are in this great position by hard work - and not an abundance of talent. Now We're Knowing We're Good So we've got our equipment and we're pretty sure about ourselves what next? Well I would like to side step and say - make sure you listen to a lot of different music, I would encourage you to think of yourself as a "producer" not a "beat maker" or "rap music producer." By expanding your horizons and influences you will naturally create your own conglomeration of your favorite musical styles. Next, draw the line between hobby and possible career in your mind, don't quit your day job though! ) If you decide hobby, that's cool - you can still make money at it, but if you choose career you should realize that you will need to very seriously want to learn about the business and the industry in general. Find some artists, just one or two to make tracks for and collaborate with. See how you work with people and handle tough and gentle situations when talking about ideas and the artist's vision.