UK production duo Sigma - Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie - have managed to tread the fine line between achieving commercial success and sticking to their drum ‘n’ bass principles, and have collaborated with singers such as Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah and Paloma Faith.
2 Hearts, their latest track, is a collaboration with Sam Feldt, and also features Gia Koka, and Sigma are also gearing up for a series of live shows.
First things first, though: here’s Joe Lenzie on the five things he’s learned about music production.
1. Be creative
“One of the most important aspects of music production is being able to come up with unique ideas that will hopefully connect with a larger audience. Record crazy sounds in the studio, make your own patches and carve your own unique lane. Individuality is key.”
2. Learn music theory and play instruments
“Musicianship is one of the most important aspects of being a successful producer. Learn to play an instrument, and then learn another. When you have done that, learn how to sing. Watch YouTube tutorials on music theory. Once you get your head around the basics of it, you have the keys to create whatever you desire.”
3. Jot your ideas down as and when
“We are lucky enough to live in an era where we have the tools to be available to record our thoughts and feelings on the fly. Record a voice note at the coffee shop, or when you’re at the gym. The more ideas the better. When you eventually sit down to be creative, you have a number of different starting points to begin with. It helps you to maintain your excitement and enthusiasm.”
4. Learn your plugins and develop your ears
“The journey to becoming a great producer is a long road! Master your sequencer and key commands, learn your plugins and signal chain, have a good understanding of the different types of synthesis and learn how to create your own sounds. Understand how to use a compressor, an EQ and then get creative with it.”
5. Love the process
“If you're not in it for the right reasons, unfortunately this industry is way too competitive to succeed. It’s not always easy to love what you do every second of every day, but if you want to be a producer, you’ve got to love making music. That way it makes it a lot easier to sit through those 14 hour days earning very little money. That way, if you have any kind of success or triumph, each of these is simply a bi-product of the love you have for your work. Did I put you off? No? Good - now get to it!”