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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more


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Music Producer!!!

Chandorkar offers expert tips on achieving a good recording with details about room dynamics, good microphones and their placement, and more.

Music Producer - one of the most attractive posts for every music enthusiast in today’s time. Every one wants to become a music producer. So in today’s article let’s learn what music producers do, or where this term derived from. To understand it really well, lets go back and understand how it used to happen in the good old days.

A musician is the one who plays some instrument, be it a percussive instrument or a melodic instrument. A professional musician is the one who plays his specific instrument with a high level of proficiency and for which he is paid to perform. Rather that’s what he does to make his living. Now who will be willing to pay a musician and hire his talent for a specific time? It can be the one who values his art and will be willing to pay him to perform either live, or record his performance. Generally, a Composer, who has composed a song and needs to record his composition for a film or an album. So what does it take a musician to be a professional? It takes years of dedication and practice to hone his art and master physical control on the given instrument. A musician generally can master instruments from similar categories in a minimum time of one decade if not more. When a musician masters his instrument, he is now aware of the different sounds that specific instrument can produce and he has the physical control on playing that instrument.

What does a Music Composer do? A music composer has spent enough time in understanding and learning music, which can be either an instrument or vocals. In our country, the commercial music scene has always been dominated by film music and a composer can be hired to compose music for a film. When a scene is shot, based on the story, it needs some kind of dramatic music support to enhance the effectiveness of the scene and help the scene translate in to an emotional experience for the viewer. This task is of the music composer, the one who composes a musical melody or piece, which effectively supports the scene.

In Indian cinema, songs have played a very important role in moving the story ahead in a faster pace. For example, to show a scene wherein, a boy and girl fall in love and eventually get married, it may take 20 minutes to convey this to the audience whereas a romantic song can convincingly convey the same in maybe 3 minutes? This is how songs were made in the yesteryears; they used to take the story ahead. Hence as per the need of the story a lyrics writer would write words, which could be composed into a song (musical melody). These words would specifically be apt for the story of the film and would also make a lot of sense if heard independent of the film.

Once the words are finalized the composer is supposed to create a hummable tune, which will have these words fit in to it. The composer has to also take in to consideration the meaning of the words, their feel and the mood of the scène in the film. The tune is finalised when it matches all of the above while also sounding pleasing to the listener’s ears, and has the potential to be simple hummable tune for the common listener.

Once the tune is finalised it needs the support of the musical instruments. Now what will the musicians play? They need to have a beat, melody lines, harmony charts etc. to play. This complete design of the musical screen behind the song has to be also supportive to the film scene, as the story needs to move ahead. Also whatever melody lines will be played by the musicians need to be simple, musical and memorable to the common people. It’s again an equally complicated task to design the musical screen, which would be apt for the tune composed, words written, feel of the scene and the lyrics, while being supportive to the story, which moves ahead during the song.

The person who can understand all these aspects and convert them in to music via the sound of the musical instruments with the help of professional musicians is called an Arranger.

The arranger has to have full knowledge of all the orchestra instruments, their musical ranges, their beauties, and their drawbacks., while also understanding, Music, Poetry & Sound balance, Frequencies and dynamics.

In the old times there was no technology for recording or even playing music. An orchestra of 100 odd musicians would assemble in a large studio with their instruments. They were handed sheets of music written by the Arranger. He would have composed this music sitting at home, using a piano or a harmonium. Different musical and rhythmic notes were divide to different musicians and they all played that music in sync, to create a huge sound. This is the first time the film director, music director and others would listen to the sound of the song, which was only in the arrangers head till now.

Till now every one was imagining and visualizing the music and the scene. After hearing this music, the studio engineer would place microphones to capture this music. There was no technology available back in the golden days. Limited amount of microphones were available to capture the huge orchestra. Once the placement was done the arranger and the composer would hear that sound in the control room via the Studio monitors. Now if some tweaking, like Eq or dynamic tweaking was required, the musicians did it themselves, as there were no gadgets available. Here the arranger would use his audio knowledge and tweak musically on his sheets. Not to ignore the process of singing done by the singers while using there own dynamics and Eq within their throats. And finally the music would be recorded on one single mono track.

In today’s time the music producer is the one who does the job of everyone mentioned above but the singer and the composers (mostly). Most of the times they themselves compose and sing it too. Now with the help of technology you can have the tools to recreate the sound of an instrument, tweak it up to your satisfaction, but how can we get the human feel of that musician who played it? Do we really understand the feel of that musician or do we even know that all the above is needed to make a music piece? Technology manufacturers proudly market products with - “our technology you can create your own track”. But what about the experience and the emotions? Are they lacking? Do we have a plugin for them? Are we lacking soul in the music we hear today? Is that the reason why we still feel fresh when we hear old classics? These questions arise in my mind; I am still looking for answers.

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