Interest in the music production arts, recording technology (software and hardware) and artist branding is at an all time high and is slowly revitalizing ‘music making’ in the industry.
It’s hardly unexpected when you think about it. The old model was based on control. The powers that be purposely limited things on the supply side, which naturally increased demand for new music by a handful of branded artists and bands.
The result…limit the supply and human nature kicks into high gear. We instinctively want a piece of what we can’t have! Scarcity rules!
However, digital music changed this and for the past 10 years there has been a veritable online digital orgy of the masses converging on new technology to become the next big thing or simply get hands in on a small piece of the free pie. And to the dismay of powers that be, you can’t limit supply in a digital world.
Eventually the laws of economics (supply and demand) decided to crash the party, bringing order back from the grips of chaos. Now in an oversaturated market, where much of the music has very little value (or is free), many artists are now faced with a conundrum. How do we make music profitable again?
The realization then becomes… the corporate industry did more than just make records; they also invested heavily in marketing campaigns and branding while creating a real demand for their products. And over that hundred year span, they were quite proficient at it. At least until the technology disruption.
Now it’s like… we have taken part ownership of the supply side – but Dammit! As an artist, how do I write music, produce it, record it, perform it, promote it and create a real demand for my music while spending money out of my own damn pocket – getting little in return? In other words we still suck at creating demand.
The good news is there is and will always be a demand for high quality music. And as long as there is a demand, there will always be a group of people who will be up to the challenge.
The Audio & Music Producer
There is one category of artist (but not exclusive) that seems to be consistently up to the task at making some noise. Introducing today’s audio & music producers.
Some of their skills and duties may include:
- Understands basic music theory
- Applying elements of music theory to create musical and tonal structures.
- Knowledgeable about the inner workings of the music industry
- Guides musicians during rehearsals, performances, or recording sessions.
- Keeps up with new music technologies and understands the tools of the trade
- Experiments with different sounds and pieces of music, using workstations, synthesizers and DAWs
- Confers with other producers, composers, artists, musicians and engineers. Knows when to delegate.
- Has a game plan and understands the big picture
- Skilled in multiple artist disciplines – Musicianship, Songwriting, Composing, Live Performance, Engineering, Recording, Branding, Babysitting, Peace Keeping etc.
Acquiring new skills that apply to today’s music industry.
- Blogging, Writing and Authorship
- Public Speaking and Seminars
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social media expertise
- Graphic designing, web designing, & web programming
- Artist branding & publicity expertise
- How to video expertise
- Production Companies ownership
- Independent Music Labels & Record Company ownership
- Artist Management
When you think about it…it is the producer who helps artists capture the musical vision from beginning to end. The arranger of all artist’s types; stepping in when necessary to offer every skill imaginable to the music production process, even when he/she must delegate, hire & fire, turn out the lights or take out the garbage to get the job done.
It is only natural to think that in today’s environment, music producers are leading the way in becoming tomorrow’s problem solvers. If you take notice of some of the skills sets of independent producers, you might begin to see a trend. In addition to their music duties; they are bloggers, writers, authors, designers, mentors, programmers. Some start independent labels and others own production companies.
Just a few producer sites I have recently stumbled on:
Michael Woodrum – Michael Woodrum Productions
Jim Bond – The Be A Better Producer Blog
As emerging artists begin to catch up with technology on the supply side and master the process of incorporating new skill sets on the demand side, there will be a new resurgence in the music industry. It is only a matter of time. And from the looks of things, it is today’s independent music producers that are already leading the revitalization.