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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 Music- Tempo, articulation & Dynamics

Music is a language that everybody seems to understand - uniting soccer moms, club kids, indie rockers, hip-hop devotees, and everybody else, around a common groove. Taste is notoriously more fragmented than ever these days, thanks to the multitude of options available. Still, every once in a while, a song manages to connect with the masses and set everybody’s feet tapping — Be it “Baby ko Bass Pasand Hai” sung by the singer Vishal Dadlani from the movie Sultan, or the title song “Ud-da Punjab” from the film Udta Punjab, again sung by singer Vishal Dadlani and Amit Trivedi. While these songs tickle you to dance, other romantic melodies like “Sab Tera” from the action packed movie Baaghi, or the melody of Atif Aslam in the song “Tere Sang Yaara” from the film Rustom sways your heart and sets your mood for the day. The list can go and on as there are many more tracks that qualify off the top of the head.

What do hit songs have in common over the years, and how are they changing? What makes a song reach the Top 10? What is the age of a song and its spread? What are the sources of revenues and the problems related to it? And what does it all say about who we were, and who we’re becoming? This column takes a sneak peek into this stream of trending chartbusters, and the latest news regarding it.

Let’s first look at the trending graph of the chartbusters from the various music channels. “Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai” from the movie Sultan, recorded and mixed by Vijay Dayal at YRF studios is holding its place at the top, with “Chitta Ve” from Udta Punjab, trending at #2. Recorded at Mumbai studios - A T Studios and The Click Studio, “Chitta Ve” has been recorded & mixed by Shadab Rayeen (assisted by Abhishek Sortey & Firoz Shaikh) at A T Studios and New Edge studios, Mumbai and mastered by Donal Whelan, Masteringworld, U.K. “Sau Tarah Ke”, a track from the movie Dishoom sung beautifully by Jonita Gandhi and Amit Mishra is at 3rd position. This chartbuster has been recorded by Ashwin Kulkarni, Kaushik Das, Himanshu Shirlekar and Atif Ali and mixed and mastered by Eric Pillai at the Futuresound of Bombay, assisted by - Michael Edwin Pillai & ‘Lucky’. The soul-stirring “Jag Ghoomeya”, again a track from the movie Sultan, sung melodiously by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and recorded and mixed by Vijay Dayal at YRF studios is at number 4. On 5th position is “Sab Tera” from Baaghi - song mixed and mastered by Eric pillai at Future sound of Bombay (Assistant mix engineers-Michael Pillai, Lucky) and recorded by Uddipan Sharma & Julian Mascerahnas at Enzy Studios.

The other songs that make it to the top 10 on the chartbuster list include “Tere Sang Yaara” a romatic melody by Atif Aslam from the film Rustom at #6, “Bol do na Zara” from the film Azhar at 7. Currently trending at #8 but swiftly climbing up the charts is “Tu Hai” from Mohenjo Daro sung and composed by the maestro A.R. Rahman himself. Title song from Dishoom, “Toh Dhisoom” is trending at number #9. Finally on 10th position is a song from the movie “Junooniyat” by Armaan Malik.

There is no definitive prescriptive judgment on the production of “hit” songs. To know the formula for a song to be successful, we need to study the anatomy of top songs and determine whether there is, in fact, a formula for a hit. With so many releases every week, there is no definite age of a song too. But yes, today songs have a wide spread and offer multiple avenues of generating income - be it

ring tones or radio or downloads, public performances etc. — and the value of these new revenues generated from the new “Digital” industry can’t often be calculated upfront.

Making music a success is a team work of singers, composers and lyricist and these creative artistes also now want a share of this future upside. The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) has demanded a remunerative right to all songs converted to ring tones or even if they are played on radio. A new tariff rate card has been recently issued by IPRS for various forms of usage and issuance of performing licenses. In fact legal cases have been also been filed by radio broadcasters against the copyright societies, e.g. ENIL (Radio Mirchi) Vs. PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd.) due to the increase in rates.

According to the IPRS’ new tariff, the revenue share royalty they demand from radio stations varies from 3 to 10 percent of gross revenue of the station and is proportional to the percentage of musical works broadcast by the station from the repertoire of the Society. This royalty is then split between record companies, composers and lyricists in a pre-determined share. Singers can be added to this list but that move will come at a cost. Singers need to understand that their upfront payment will come down. According to back-of-envelope calculations, their upfront fees will be almost halved; the rest of the money will come in over the time as revenue share royalty.

A few years ago a body of singers led by the legendary Asha Bhonsle, demanded that they be given royalty from the sale of sound recordings. They formed a performers’ body called Performers Syndicate Limited (PSL). The 76-year-old diva’s clamour is more understandable in the context of the changes in the music market. Revenues from physical sale (CD and music cassette) of music albums are dipping, but the caller tunes and ring tones market is on the way up. Industry experts estimate that this accounts for almost 50 percent of revenue for some record companies. The launch of FM radio channels across the nation too holds a new lifeline to the music fraternity, as stations also pay royalty for the songs they broadcast.

Experts like Atul Churamani, Vice President of Saregama India, has given the views and believes revenue share is indeed the way to go. But the devil is in the details of the contract signed between artists and film producers or even music companies. The way radio stations share revenues with the government to launch new FM stations, instead of paying a one-time license fee, may be the way ahead to resolve the royalty issue with the music fraternity.

After analysis what we believe is that finally, forming various bodies such as PSL, IPRS and PPL to collect revenues is a duplication of effort and complicates the matter. One body that deals with all forms of music royalties can reduce administrative expenses and increase efficiency of revenue collection. This entity will have to monitor sales diligently so that no one is taken for a ride.