Where do Music Producers work?
Today’s music producer can be found at raves, nightclubs, recording studios, radio stations, behind their computer, in their car, at a coffee shop, on the phone or taking meetings at record label offices, or music gear shows, or networking with potential sponsors. Basically, they are wherever they have to be to keep current with the music scene, find new artists, develop their existing artists, and generate revenues.
Since the Internet transformed the music industry, the role of the music producer has changed. Where once the music producer was primarily responsible for how a song sounded, their responsibilities have dramatically evolved.
Back in the day, the record labels had an A&R department to find and nurture their artists. These days, A&R departments at record labels have been reduced if not eliminated entirely. Enter the music producer.
Back in the day, record labels had their own distribution department to get their artists great placement in record stores and radio playlists. Neither the distribution department nor record stores exist today. Enter the music producer.
Back in the day, record labels handled the manufacturing of the software—vinyl records, cassette and 8 tracks and CDs all required big plants and lots of money to manufacture. Today, even a bare-bones computer can crank out digital copies of a song, and they can be directly downloaded by the consumer to their phone or computer.
Back in the day, record labels worked with concert promoters to setup tour schedules for many of their artists. Today, record labels are still involved with concert tours for their artists, but the concert market has expanded and even this pillar of the old-school record label business model has changed. Concert promoters, sponsors and even artists themselves are now involved in setting up concert tours and events, often bypassing the record label. Enter the music producer.
Just as the computer and the Internet forever changed the structure of the record label, so too has the scope of what is now possible for the music producer to become involved with changed.
The music producer, working from the comfort of their home or from wherever they happen to be at the time can search for new talent. Thank you, YouTube and SoundCloud! After finding a talent they are interested in they can reach out to them via Facebook or Instagram. Upon reaching an agreement, the music producer and the artist can interact with each other through Facetime, Google Hangouts or Zoom meetings and go through creative concepts.
Once it’s time to hit the recording studio, the music producer can hire or rent a rehearsal hall, recording studio, audio engineers, session players, instruments and food without ever leaving their computer or smart phone. When the recording process is complete, mastering services are available online. Graphic art and band promotional material can be custom created by professionals offering their services online. Distribution services now live online, there’s a multitude to choose from. Even concert schedules and sponsor deals can be negotiated online.
Another benefit of the Internet is the ease of networking. Hooking up on the Internet is easy. It can be done in bulk and on your time schedule without any expense. Good music producers understand the concept of “it takes a village” and strive to build an excellent network of studios, labels, sponsors, promoters, musicians, etc.
The growth of the role the music producer plays in a hit song has evolved and grown in the last two decades. As the record labels’ participation in A&R, manufacturing, distribution and concert tours has waned during this period, the role of the music producers has expanded—nature abhors a vacuum. In and of itself, these are all good developments and have been vital to the growth of the music business. There is a caveat that pertains not only to the music producer or the music business but to any business that has been impacted by the Internet. Just because the computer and the Internet have made communication and tasks easier, doesn’t obviate the need for personal relationships. In fact, the case can be made that personal relationships are more important now than ever. As more and more relationships go online, the music producer who makes a point of meeting in-person will stand out, be remembered, and likely be the first person the artist, the concert promoter and others in his network call when they want to do something.
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