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Monday 21 August 2017
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Making a career in music production

Rangapriya Goutham, Feb 5, 2015, DHNS 22:28 IST
A music producer dons many hats, starting from that of idea generation, song selection, training artistes and musicians, controlling recording sessions and overseeing the process of mixing until the final production is complete.

For an aspiring musician to make a career in music production, he would need to learn an instrument (especially undergo ear training), be well-versed with the technology of music mixing, be exposed to various forms of music, observe the interaction of different sounds and genres, create music and associate with other producers to get hands-on training from professionals.

But being technically sound and gaining the know-how will not be enough, until the producer networks and make maximum use of the relevant information available to him/ her.

Music production has entered all spheres of entertainment. Gaming and new media is one such industry which has begun to hugely depend on music.

Game Audio refers to the sound effects, music and dialogue that are placed in video games. Audio is a huge part of the storytelling and fun factor for games. From the beginning, it was an important, interactive element in the game play.

Originating from 1970s till date, the gaming industry has seen a rapid growth. Gaming, led by over 214 million internet users and 130 million mobile users, is one the fastest growing industries in India, with massive potential in the years to come, research says. Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi/ NCR are the main centres for this industry.

Opportunities

Composers and producers are hired to create music for these games. Sound effects are another category altogether that come under sound design. This is usually also done by a musician with experience in synthesis.

In terms of producing music, it’s not different from film scoring. However, the terms of employment resemble that of a regular job. Unlike most freelance work and studio employment, hours of work are clearly defined and standard HR practices apply.

Since these game developers are organised professional companies, working even as musicians or sound designers ensure financial security. The standard holidays and time off gives you the opportunity to work on your own music too, so this makes it a great option for budding independent artistes. Salaries start around Rs 15,000 for inexperienced composers and programmers and can go up to Rs 50,000-60,000.

There are always new avenues opening up in the dynamic digital world. Electronic music is a huge field which is extremely active, diverse and also very profitable. Some of the largest concerts in the world today are for electronic dance music (EDM), and digital sales of electronic music are through the roof.

What is interesting about this is that electronic music removes geographic barriers, making it a lot easier to go international. The software and instruments are available to everybody and in that sense, it levels the playing field.

Commercial brands have realised this and are backing electronic artistes all over the world and investing heavily in sponsorship of electronic music events. Even at local clubs, DJs are well paid and enjoy steady employment.

Globally, there are a lot of courses available in music production in gaming and new media. They are in various formats like short term certificate programmes, online courses, diploma and degree courses.

The essential point is that there must be some sort of training before a producer plans to start functioning and producing music independently.

Internationally, institutions like Berklee and Full Sail have brilliant courses for Music Production. In India, Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, ILM Academy, KM Music Conservatory etc could be considered good options for a course in music production.

The need for video game sound and music is also on the rise. Now, game music is being sold as soundtracks, and orchestras or live bands are part of the recording and performance. It is an exciting time for people who want to make it big in the field of music production for gaming.

Networking and people skills, continuous passion for learning, urge to always be on top of the trends in the relevant industry, never-say-never attitude are some of the softer key aspects that should be inherent in a successful music producer.

Music is a vital part of cinema making, particularly for Indian films. So go ahead and take a step into music production if you are fully sure of yourself.

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