As revenue and visibility become more scarce within the music industry, credits are still a major concern for any music industry professional looking to earn money.
Here’s some of the typical players involved a music production:
Composer– This person generally writes the music arrangements and instrumentation. This could be the actual producer, but in many cases outside of the hip hop domain, the composer is not necessarily the producer. In the context of hip hop music, I would call this person the beat maker or programmer.
Songwriter– This person creates the lyrics and vocal melody for the song. In many cases today, this person is not the producer.
Musician– This person has an expertise in a certain instrument that is required for the execution of the production. The musician’s role is to play what was written by the composer using their own instrument.
Performer/Artist- This person is usually the main attraction of the song. The performer or the “Artist” performs the music written by the Composer and Songwriter. For instrumental electronic music especially, it is often the case that the Composer, Songwriter, Musician and Performer are all the same person. The “Artist” is typically positioned as the “most marketable” and most visible person involved with the final mastered version of the song.
Recording Engineer– This person is often responsible for capturing the all of the elements of the song in the best manner possible. In today’s home studio based recording, this is often the producer, however outside of the home recording context this is a different person altogether. This person may have sound design related tasks as they are responsible for what the record sounds like when it’s captured.
Mix Engineer– This person is responsible creating the overall balances of levels, frequency and space within the production. This person may have some sound design tasks as well in creating spatial effects, modulation effects and creative editing.
Sound Designer– This role is not a common role in music production, as it is more closely related to the film and television industry. The sound designer essentially creates the recorded sound bites that are used to represent real world sounds on a motion picture. This role has become a bigger part of modern music production because many artists and producers are using synths, one shot samples and sample based instruments in their productions. In the context of music production, a sound designer creates the sound bites that a producer or artist will use to represent instruments within their productions.
Editor– This person is responsible for organizing and cleaning up the captured content from a recording session. This person may be required to delete, group, label, rearrange and structure content so that it is in a final state ready for mixing.
Music Producer– This person manages the overall music product to make sure that it qualitatively communicates the vision and intention of the music. The producer is a manager of resources, having the technical understanding of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and who needs to do it. In today’s home recording culture, the music producer may now be doing all of the aforementioned roles as well, but in a professional production and in the most general sense of business this is not the best way to handle productions.
Mastering Engineer– This person specializes in putting the final sonic touches on the mixed audio product before it hits the public for consumption. Not to be confused with mixing, the mastering engineer typically is dealing with the element of an audio production after the mixing is finalized.
In this stream we discussed difference between Music Producers, Composers, Sound Designers, Engineers and Artists. We also did a great Q&A session on topics such as: The Best Bass Synths for Moog Style Bass, Ways to Make Money as an Audio Producer, The Best Sample Rate and buffer size to use with an audio interface, The Best Software to use for G-Funk Music, When to use Co-Production Vs Work for Hire, How to find software developers and other skilled technicians for music production and more.
Here’s a breakdown of the live stream:
4:53 – News from www.altruwest.com
14:09 – The Differences between Music Producers, Composers, Sound Designers and artists.
32:26 – My favorite synths for Moog Style Basses
36:42 – Ways to Make Money as an audio producer
41:37 – The best sample rate and buffersize for your audio interface
49:18 – The Best Software for making G-Funk music
51:04 – When to use Co-Production or Work for Hire
1:00:22 – How to find people do to develop software for your music production needs
Recommended Reading (I receive a commission when you purchase using these links so please consider this as a way to support the site if you found this information valuable):
“Start & Run Your Own Record Label” by Daylle Deanna Schwartz
All You Need to Know About the Music Business: 10th Edition by Donald S. Passman