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Articles July-August 2020

Bay Owl Studios – Not Just Music by the Bay

Launched in February 2020, Bay Owl Studios was founded by Varun Parikh who is an audio engineer and had no significant musical influence while growing up. His first exposure to music came when he was in high school..... read more

Harman all the Way

India’s First Domestic Hotel Chain – the Luxurious MAYFAIR Lake Resort – hires Qubix Technologies to provide state-of-the-art, end-to-end Integration with HARMAN Professional Solutions. PT reports..... read more

ANGRIYA Cruises the Seas with Bose

Latest cruise ships are teaming with audiovisual technology designed to keep passengers awed and coming back for more. In this feature PT reports on the audio installation of one such cruise ship - The Angriya Luxury Cruise Liner..... read more

Sennheiser 75-year Milestone

June 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Sennheiser, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Through these 75 years, Sennheiser..... read more

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam Continues to Raise Standards

Since it’s unveiling in 2019 by the President of India Shri Ram NathKovind, the Adiyogi Divya Darshanam has enthralled spectators from across the globe. In May this year, this one of its kind projection mapping..... read more

Shankar & Siddharth Mahadevan’s Lambodara Studios

In the March-June 2020 issue of PALM Technology, PT did a cover story on Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan’s new studio Lambodara. Here are some more images of the new studio..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we defined a small room, introduced the concept of sound waves as they relate to phase shift and comb filtering, and even touched on the Haas (precedence) effect. In this article, we will talk..... read more

IRAA 2020 Goes Virtual

PALM expo’s concern to ensure safety from ongoing pandemic mandated cancelation of the 2020 edition of PALM expo and in the best interest of the industry and business, decided not to move forward with the expo in 2020, carrying forward the show to May 2021..... read more

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Bollywood today has become synonymous with song and dance. In fact songs today can make or break a film.

Week after week music charts are witness to new songs peaking to the top five within days of its music release.

Some songs are instantaneously declared ‘Love Anthems’ finding a place in the hit playlist of Disc jockeys playing at discotheques. But the question remains – who’s to decide which song will reach the top of the music charts? Is it really the music aficionados? Or is the radio jockeys or the video jockeys? Or is it the music labels themselves who decide? While a couple of songs bank in on their position on the chartbusters, there are many other who are not fortunate enough to even have their albums released. These songs go unheard, unnoticed because they do not find a slot on radio or television channels? So are good songs at the mercy of radio and television channels?

Well, while you ponder on these questions, let’s take you on the journey of songs trending on the music charts these days. ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ from the Karan Johar directorial movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is sitting comfortably at number 1, while ‘Kaun Tuje’ from the movie, Dhoni and ‘Bulleya’ from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ are rotating at number 2 and 3. The leading songs that are entertaining you these days while driving, eating or sleeping (as listed on Saavn - another ‘Mecca’ for songs aspiring to reach the ‘trending list’) include ‘Afreen Afreen’ at no. 10, mix & mastered by Eric Pillai, with Himanshu Shirlekar as recording engineer; ‘Nachde Na Saare’ at No. 9, mixed & mastered by Shadaab Rayeen and recorded by Abhishek Sortey; ‘Beat Pe Booty’ at No. 8, mix &mastered by Eric Pillai; ‘Sau Aasmaan’ at No. 7, mix & mastered by - Eric Pillai. ‘Besabriyaan’ at No. 6, mixed & mastered by Eric Pillai and all Live Instruments recorded by Shantanu Hudlikar, Vijay Dayal, Abhishek Khandelwal, Manasi Tare & Chinmay Mistry at YRF studios. ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from the movie, Rustom still at no. 5, produced & mixed by Aditya Dev, mastered by Shadab Rayeen; ‘Kala Chasma’ which took the country by storm is again mixed & Mastered by Eric Pillai, Vocals Recorded at YRF studios by Shantanu Hudlikar, Abhishek Khandelwal & Manasi Tare; ‘Bulleya’ at No. 3, Sound Design by Dj Phukan, Mix & Mastered by Shadab Rayeen, Recording Engineers are Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Kaushik Das, and Sujith Sreedhar; ‘Kaun Tujhe’ at No. 2, again mix & mastered by Eric Pillai. Live Instruments for this song is recorded by Vijay Dayal & Chinmay Mistry at Yash Raj Studios; ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is currently at No. 1 - maybe till Arijeet churns out another ‘cracker’ of a song this Diwali. Sound Design for this ‘Love Anthem’ is by Dj Phukan and Sunny M.R., Mix by Sunny M.R. & Shadab Rayeen, Mastered by Shadab Rayeen, Recording Engineer’s for this song are Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Kaushik Das and Lee Slater. No surprises here why Eric Pillai is really the ‘Future Sound of Bombay’.

Most are familiar with Bollywood songs, but how many of us know about the trending bands of India and the artistes working tirelessly under the radar – unnoticed. Okay! for a moment let’s just unwind the wheel of time. Hope we all remember Dr. Palash Sen, the front man of the indie-rock band Euphoria, known for their peppy numbers like ‘Dhoom Pichak Dhoom” and “Maaeri’, or Suneeti Rao whose husky voice seduced the listeners for many years when we all hummed together “Pari hoon main”. Not to forget, ’Made in India’ trendsetter song singer, Alisha Chenoy, who took the country by storm with her song, ‘Baby Doll’. Where are they? Have they all succumbed to the age old saying - out of sight, out of mind because they are not trending on the Music Charts anymore? Do we care to know about the sound engineers and technicians who make the songs, what they are? No, we do not. This is probably because the Indian music industry is at its best disorganized to the core! In fact do we even have a “Music Industry” in India? There is no real industry where the bands, artistes, playback singers, sound engineers, technicians and everything else related to music production can co-exist and thrive. Dr. Sen, of Euphoria rues that that there are very few platforms for independent and non-Bollywood artistes and releasing non-Bollywood music becomes a struggle. This is one of the reasons why Euphoria’s ‘Halla Bol’ launched on world Music Day (June21) was the band’s first single in 15 years.

“We have been making music. But the truth is a lot of music that we have made has never reached the audience. Except MTV and Fever FM, not a single TV or radio channel is willing to play our latest song. Their slots have already been bought, and taken by Bollywood music, and there is no platform for non-film artistes to get their music heard,” laments Sen. He adds, “It is not that non-film artistes are ignored. They are not allowed to be heard. People will only listen to us if they get to hear the music in the first place. Unfortunately, they don’t have that choice. This is one of the aspect that I’m trying to highlight in ‘Halla Bol’ — the freedom to raise voice against injustice and demand your music”.

According to Amaal Mallik the Bollywood Music Industry is a “vicious cycle” and he has every reason to believe so. According to him the music which is promoted heavily tends to become an earworm and eventually a super-duper hit. He quotes, ‘Jo Dikhta Hain Woh Bikta Hain, and Jo Bikta Hain woh Aur Dikhta hain and the cycle continue.....And we all think ‘Yeh Hain Naya Hit Gaana...’ “Whoever makes noise gets noticed,” echoes Sen.

The National Award winner, Sonu Nigam who has been enthralling fans in India and abroad with his soulful voice for over 25 years, says, “Music is becoming more international. From hip-hop, jazz to EDM and rap songs, the Indian music industry is in interesting times when native music is getting a heightened tough of western music”. He however believes that India’s own music genres should also be rightfully given a respectable space to flourish. He further adds, “As a musician, I value classical Indian music and I am of the opinion that genres like ghazals and bhajans, besides pure classical music, need respectable space to flourish”.

Are we as listeners all stuck in the new social trappings like YouTube views, iTunes downloads and Radio play. These cannot be the only yardstick to measure the success of a song or music.

Today most of the artistes (read Bollywood singers) are part of a particular camp (read music companies) who manage their talent. The motive behind music companies managing singers is very clear. Once the song is a hit, the singer will then perform the song at concerts and various other events, and a certain percentage of monetary shares will go to the company. Is this the formula for a vibrant Music Industry? Or does the formula lie in having an industry in which independent music can be taken in the same spirit as that of Bollywood music.