Last week we engaged in conversation with Greg Savage of The rang of conversation went from sarcastic, but funny, assaults on FL Studio to the difference in beat making vs. composing. This week continue the conversation with Greg Savage on everything from advise for newbies to the woes of social networking and marketing.

Let’s dig in…

So, let’s jump in and address your FL Studio comment from part one of this interview. Why do you hate FL Studio so much? Is it really, in your opinion, the worst program ever?

Oh, I just wanted to get a rise out of the Fl users. I have no problem with the application, it’s users or the creators… I did get over 70 emails about that comment… 5 of those death threats 🙁

LOL… Well, I think you got the rise you were looking for there. Let’s move on into some info on Being that you are the man behind, what advise do you have for aspiring producers, beat makers and “composers” (and perhaps even FL Studio users)?

1) Learn how to market yourself.

Your marketing campaign should be comprised of more than: Soundclick, Dat Piff and twitter spamming.

It also makes no sense to share or exploit your music on a producer/beat maker based forum….

2) Stop Relying On Others

3) Listen To & Understand The Market

There’s a market for everything and every market tells you exactly what it wants. SO LISTEN AND DELIVER!

If you’re a boom bap producer trying to make a living from your craft and you’re still relying on US clientele…. You need to be cut open and bled to death.

If you’re whining about people selling their beats for $5.00-$10.00….Then you have absolutely no idea where the money has shifted in the game. You didn’t  have a ‘true’ business plan to begin with. You’re just sitting at a random pond with your pole in the water.

Interesting. So would you advise folks to “not” use or to stop using forums or social based communities? if so, Why?

I had a member who was complaining about his sells. He told me that he get’s a lot of traffic, but no sells. So I took his site and went through this traffic analytics and noticed that mostly all of his traffic came from forums.

I dug into the forums a little, some were well known, like and others weren’t, but they all had 1 thing in common….They all catered to beat makers….Do you see where I going with this?

You’re posting links in a beat making environment….Your visitors are checking out the competition/looking for a source of inspiration. Why not target someone who’s more likely to purchase your music?

Common post “Let’s all exchange Facebook/twitter” – What the !@#$ for?!

I’m not trying to sound like an ass, but let’s be honest most of these people aren’t going to be passing you any projects. If anything you’re going to get spammed with a stream of non sense and beat prices/discounts etc.

Now, I’m not saying you should ‘never’ connect with like minded people or that you shouldn’t post on forums, I’m just saying make sure you’re targeting a buying audience.

I can dig where you are coming from… I think the things to consider when posting in forums should be 1.) Are you looking for respect, approval and/or feedback from your so called peers or 2.) Are you looking for work? – Does that sound about right?

Yes, that’s exactly right! You summed that up a lot better than I did.

What do you find is the biggest mistake beat makers and aspiring producers make in their quests to break out ahead of the pack?

No marketing, drive or people skills. Anyone can create ‘good’ music. Not to be confused with ‘great’ music, but it’s not rare anymore.

Good point. I find that now a day with the latest technological advances, the playing field has been leveled. Everyone can get some sort of set up and make music. That has created, for lack of a better term, a saturated market where it is tough to stand out. How would you suggest that aspiring producers go about marketing themselves more effectively in order to stand out?

Oh this is an easy one!

  • Good photography
  • Good graphics
  • Buy Twitter followers
  • buy Facebook fans
  • buy all the fans you can
  • Spam on twitter
  • Write a check to Dale and Brennan for 10k
  • etc.

No seriously, there’s a market for everything, the best way to market yourself is to just put yourself out and test what’s working vs. what isn’t.

The problem I see with aspiring producers and their marketing is tunnel vision.

When I hear ‘saturated market’… My 1st thing I question is “what market?” I ask this because every ‘hip-hop’ producers that claims the market is over saturated don’t know where the money is

It’s also a huge cop-out IMO (in my opinion).

“man it’s too many producers out there” “the market is saturated, can’t do shit” “Everyone is selling tracks for $1.00… It’s saturated”

They only know of 1 way to profit in the business and that’s ‘working with an artist’.

The more open-minded you are the better. Not everyone can work with artists and truth be told… not everyone is meant to.

There are tons of things outside of ‘artists’ that require music to bring their project together….  Could you imagine if you only had 1 outlet in your home…. that would be cluster fuck…

That’s how I see online producers and their marketing plans.

I’d put time into building a follow via site or social media platform. People don’t and can’t argue with numbers and your fan base will market you a lot better than you can in the long run.

Study ‘ok’ – ‘decent’ or ‘horrible acts’ there marketing and online following is nuts

Oh and one more thing. Yes technology has made it so anyone can make music, but most of those people are collectors and aren’t serious about what they do = no real competition so chill out 🙂

You are also the man behind Boom Bap Phonetics, correct? How did this sound kit come about?

Guilty as charged!

You know, to be honest, I was just tired of hearing all shitty kits that people were releasing. Everywhere I looked it was like “Dilla me this.. Kev Brown me that”. Seriously there wasn’t 1 forum or hip-hop site where someone wasn’t selling or sharing tacky sounding Boom bap kits.

90% of the time these kits were drums people already had or they were chopped from a track, tossed in a folder titled “insert iconic 90s producer’s name here” and sold….Really?

Granted, when you purchase someone’s kit, you’re purchasing what ‘they’ use so…if they use something that you already have… Can’t really be mad at that… It’s what they use. But don’t take ‘Vinylistics’ and rename it then pawn it off…

Is there a Boom Bap Phonetics part 2 coming?

YES! It’s been put on the back burner for a while. Every time I get into it I wind up getting contracted for another sound job – Priority 1st I guess. But, I’m looking to complete it as well as others real soon.

In composing for film / video what do you find most challenging?

Film scoring is a different ball game. It’s not structured like standard songs. You’re writing music to set the mood of the scene. You can take a scene where someone is getting murdered and make it comical with the right music.

Same goes for a scene where kids are selling lemonade. Put the right music behind it and people interpret it completely different.

Also, with songs you’re typically working in a 2-4 minute time frame. In film, you need to cover hours of footage. This turns into a huge collage because each scene brings forth a different mood. Sometimes the same scene evokes different moods and you have to create and bring forth those emotions.

It’s not uncommon to hear 4 or more cues in a quick 2 minute scene. In hip-hop music for example, most of the work is loop based, everything is built off a 2-8 bar loop. You build the loop, copy & paste/solo & mute parts… maybe add some elements to add a little spice and that’s that.

In film you have to make people believe what they are seeing and you have to compensate for the other elements: Sound FX, Foley, dialog etc… Lots of tempo changes in this line of work as well.

What has been your biggest hurdle in the music business?

I’d have to say finding a good workflow. Being in the right environment with the right tools is important and it just took a little time before I figured out what worked

Are you a “less is more” sort of producer/musician or do you prefer loads of gear and tools for production?

I’m a minimalist for sure. I’m not very proficient when I have a lot of options. Here’s a post on just how simple I go –  Minimalist Production Setup

What’s in the future for Greg Savage and

Near Future:

  • Setting up a free membership section on my site
  • Completion of 2 new drum kits (Boom Bap Phonetics 2 being one of them)

Long Term Future:

  • More TV/Film Placements
  • More Sound Design Projects
  • Continuing building this site into a power resource
  • Start outsourcing
  • Expand my knowledge of music

Keep up with Greg via the links below

Twitter @DiyMBiz


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