• Hugh Webber

WOMEN MAKING WAVES - REFLECTION

A report released in 2018 looked at the Grammy nominees; it revealed that only 2% of professional music producers are women - WHAT?!


In response to this I ran a popular guest blog series which you can still read here in the blog posts.  I wanted to offer my own thoughts on this.

How did we get into this?

It was interesting to read that most of the contributors got into music production from necessity or accident.  I really aligned with that myself, in that I know from experience how expensive professional studios can be.  Nothing wrong with that, but when you are starting out, that is a big obstacle and a daunting environment for any musician or singer to get into.


You are putting me off

Money certainly was an obstacle to most, but by far the main reason was Imposter syndrome - just not feeling like you should or could even give it a go.  Further to that, when you did give it a go and were actually doing the job really well, it was difficult to accept that or acknowledge it.  Unfortunately this was often accompanied by men putting you off or putting you down.  Lisa even described being interrogated by a guy on the gear she was using - shocking.


I got into recording myself after being told to just get a 4 track and record stuff.  I would really encourage anyone to still do that now.  There is also a lot of free music recording gear out there, so I also encourage anyone thinking about music production - to just go for it - play around with it and get hands on and learn what the controls do by just trying them for yourself.


Rise to the surface

The feeling was that there are actually a lot more than 2% of women in music production, but this goes back to the Imposter Syndrome factor.  Men can do a lot by seeking out and promoting good women music producers.  Start with the five great producers I featured!


Here are another two amazing music producers you need to know about:

Nina Nesbitt, and Rachel K Collier


How do you start?

It’s certainly worth considering getting a formal qualification, but don’t let that stop you just finding a local studio and asking to shadow a producer.  You could also look for some 1:1 tutoring if that feels easier.  Look for someone who is encouraging and not patronising.  Better to be encouraged at a local small studio than be put off at some fancy top end place.


Also find some online groups that support women music producers.  Here are some:

Instagram: @sheisthemusic @musicproductionforwomen @prodbyher

Facebook: @femalemusicproducersworld


Get yourself some basic recording equipment and just start playing.  The more you produce the better you get.  Again I have found this true for me too.  The more you practice any skill the better you get.  There is absolutely no reason why women and men cannot be equal in terms of music production skills.


What’s so tricky?

Interestingly all the articles pointed to mixing being the biggest challenge.  I wonder if that’s because it can often feel like the least creative activity?


What’s fun!

Everyone enjoyed the initial stages of creativity, forming the early ideas into shape.  I particularly liked Kaity’s ideas for recording BVs and home made percussion sounds.  I think the important point here is that music production can be a load of fun. 


How can guys help?

Start by reading report by former BASCA CEO:

Vick Bain - “Counting the music industry


Then get out there, and find some of the great women producing music, and hire them for your next project.

Today I help singers and songwriters explore their own potential.  I encourage them to see new ways to view their creative ideas, working alongside to transform them into fully finished songs they are proud of.


Stay in touch by subscribing to my site, or contact me via one of my social media connections.

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