The music industry has various facets and opportunities for anyone to pick a career path. Amongst these careers are music production and composing.
You may wonder then, are music producer’s composers?
Some music producers do having composing abilities and some do not.
By definition, a music producer or record producer handles the technical aspects of making a song and is the creative leader that coaches artist’s, provides studio time and is responsible for creating the very structure of the song. A composer on the other hand is a person that writes music, which includes vocal, instrumental and electronic music. Composers create music in various genres and often able to express their music in written form as a musical score using musical notation.
Roles of a Music Producer
Provide Studio Time
Music producers usually own studios within which they operate. They may sometimes have assistants and may not in some other cases.
They are able to provide studio time to artists of which they charge a particular fee. This fee is usually separate from the production fee and may in most cases be paid separately.
Another role of music producers is to coach artists during the process of song creation.
This may include suggesting ways to make the end product sound better. The fact is that Not all artists know what it takes to make a good record and some coaching from a producer can help them navigate better and actually create a better record.
Coaching is part of production at any level and may be prominent in certain situations and more subtle in others. This is the role of producers, which is to basically facilitate the creation of the music.
Having Knowledge of Music Production
Another role that a music producer is expected to play in order for them to carry out their work properly is having adequate knowledge of music production.
Think of a music producer as a film producer, the only way that a good movie can be made is if the film producer has knowledge of film production.
The same applies to music production. To ensure that all processes of production are carried out well, the producer has to have adequate knowledge in order for them to stir any project towards the right direction.
Knowing how to use a Digital Audio Workstation
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) are the software that is used to compose, record, mix and master music.
Seeing that we are now in the digital era where technology is more prevalent, knowing how to use a DAW is a requirement because it is the tool with which music will be made.
Almost all processes will be carried out in DAW and the producer will usually have a preference for the specific DAW in which they are comfortable.
Part of the coaching part of music production is basically creating the right structure within the music.
This may consist of creating good Hooks/Choruses, bridges and verses. It will be the role of the music producer to give the direction with regard to what should be composed of these various structures.
A music producer should be able to carry out various technical aspects of song creation.
This may include recording, mixing and mastering. Granted there are times when a producer may have a team of sound engineers to deal with this but it is of absolute important for the producer aswell.
Music producers will know some if not all of the technicalities that go into the production of music because it is very vital skill for anyone that is directing the overall direction of a song.
This is important because a music producer with technical knowledge can be able to easily guide engineers and anybody else working on the song.
Music producers also possess knowledge of music because it is quite vital to the process of production.
This knowledge becomes the guiding principle for the directing and coaching of artists.
Knowledge of music doesn’t really entail knowing music theory or the intricate parts of compositions but it basically means having an understanding that is good enough to work with.
This is important because a music producer should be able to have a vision for a song and be able to direct the artist and anybody else working on that song in the right direction.
Roles of a Composer
Writing music basically means writing lyrics to song, a piano solo, a score, a symphony etc.
Composers are best known for their ability to develop and write original music from scratch employing various musical techniques.
For example, music and other aspects of music that accompany video games is what is popularly known as video game music.
Video game music is usually original music that is written by a composer for the accompaniment of a video game. This is considered writing and composers usually undertake this type of role because of their musical composition capabilities.
Even writing a ringtone for a phone manufacturing is another form of composing and the overall idea is compose something that is unique and can fit the standard that is set.
Composers are known for writing music but once they put their writing into audible form, they essentially perform it.
This is why composers are paid a performance royalty when they perform a song or whenever their song is played on a public station. Most musical artists are able to create compositions and perform them. This is why they essentially get credit and royalties for the composition and the performance of the composition.
Scoring music is basically creating and composing music that is meant to accompany other media such as video and imagery.
Scoring is mostly known in film where composers compose various pieces of music to accompany the scenes of the film.
Sometimes scores are done for advertising company’s trying to promote a product. In this case, the advertising company will have media which is usually in video or image format for which the compose will create a composition around in order to complete and accompany the description of the ad.
Composers are also able to direct compositions, this is common in symphonies where the composers directs how a particular piece of written music is to be performed and executed.
Arranging music is also another aspect of composing that is important. It basically involves the structuring of the composition in order to give it order full meaning.
Most music producers are also able to arrange music because it is quite vital in the song creation process because a song is only as good as its arrangement.
Sometimes a composition may need to be completely rearranged to give it a better end result.