Are You Getting Proper Credit For Your Studio's Projects?
Have you ever heard an incredible mix that was so remarkable you just had to find out who mixed it?
How hard was it to find out who mixed the song? Well if it was Nickelback, it probably wasn't very difficult (damn, they have some good mixes).
The process behind A-list artist's credits seems to be consistent, as all sides have money and manpower to spare (which helps keep everyone honest).
Unfortunately that's not the case for the rest of the music industry. If you're not an A-list producer/studio, good luck getting proper credit where credit is due.
I have heard songs in my niche (heavy music) where it was impossible for me to find out who produced/mixed/mastered a song. There have been numerous times where I've just given up while searching for the source of such a wonderful mix.
If I can't even find out who mixed a song, how are potential clients supposed to find this mysterious mixing engineer?
Something I've been thinking about lately; and it's something I feel needs to be changed within the music industry.
This one is for all the recording engineers, producers, mixers out there in this crazy business we call the music industry.
My big question is, how do we get credit for the work for we have done on a record in this day of digital media?
Gone are the days of the physical copies where our hard work is credited physically, on a piece of paper where people can hold it and read it.
Nowadays most music is showcased and released via iTunes, Spotify and especially via YouTube. Let's be honest, I don't think I've been on any artists YouTube releases lately and have seen any credits for who worked on the actual music.
I see credits for who worked on the video which is absolutely fair (nothing but love for my fellow creative people) as you guys deserve the credit for your work. But in an age where videos for the songs we have worked on are released on a video media platform, which is probably one of the biggest mediums for a release these days, where are the credits for the music, the lyricists, the writers, the producers, the engineers, the editors, the people that bring the song to life prior this release?
What about Spotify, iTunes? It's amazing that you can purchase music and hardly know who worked on said music these days.(please don't tell me to look it up on Wikipedia)
I think it's time for the big dogs who run this industry to make a change and start figuring out a way to platform the people behind the scenes. Movies to this day still credit every person involved in the making of said movie. Where is the credit for the people behind the music industry
Via Sonny Truelove
After reading this, I spent an hour looking up credits for some of the larger artists I've worked with. Websites like AllMusic credited me for less than half of my work, and Wikipedia was only slightly better.
Now that physical CDs are becoming a thing of the past, there's no great place for potential clients to find proper credits for work you've done.
Where do people listen to music now? I'd boil it down to about 3 major places.
The problem here is that NONE of these three places include credits. Where, then, are we supposed to be credited for our hard work? Where can someone go to learn who produced/mixed/mastered their favorite songs?
The “middle class” of the studio world is getting shafted, and it's time to change that. Word-of-mouth only goes so far.
While it's quite easy to see the problem, it's much harder to find a solution.
What You Can Do About The Death Of The CD
It can be easy to play the “victim card” with this sort of thing. You can pretend the “big bad labels” are out to get you, but that's not the case.
No one is consciously screwing us over. The reality is that the industry has been rapidly changing, and we haven't quite kept up.
Here are 4 steps you can take to getting proper credit where credit is due.
Step 1: Be Proactive
One thing I've started doing is requiring all bands to credit me on their youtube description. Ideally, this brought up in advance, before the deposit has been sent to you. Here is how I ask for this.
The only additional request I have so that I'm credited in the “YouTube description” of any music videos they release. This is one of the few vital sources of marketing I have, and a relatively small request on my end. It can be the very last thing in the description, if necessary.
Let me know if this is doable on your end!
I just paste that into the end of my quote requests, and that's it. Surprisingly I've never had one single issue of pushback with this.
The truth is that no one is actively trying to screw you over. It's simply a changing market that hasn't quite adapted yet. When you ask bands or labels to credit your work, they're usually more than happy to.
Keep in my that just because they agree to do it doesn't mean it will get done as it should. I've had to email bands/labels/managers numerous times to get the proper credit that was agreed upon in advance.
Keep in mind that you are not their priority, so this should come as no surprise. Those people have more than enough to worry about, so stay consistent but be kind when following up with an agreement.
Step 2: Be Scrappy.
It sucks, but sometimes you're the only one that can help yourself. I've gone out of my way to edit wikipedia to properly credit my own work. I've even started submitting credit corrections to AllMusic.
Here is a quick guide to submitting corrections inside AllMusic (for those who hustle).
Via their FAQ.
Here's a single I mixed/mastered without proper Credit on AllMusic. Time to follow the instructions and click the “Submit Corrections” button on the bottom left of the screenshot.
Now I just need to fill in the form and submit! I could link to the Wikipedia credit, but I believe the YouTube description is a bit more credible since it was posted directly from the label. You have to be thorough when sending your corrections in, so make sure you have a credible source to prove your submission isn't just BS.
I know you probably didn't need me to hold your hand through that, but I figured you're more likely to go out and do this on your own if you saw how easy the process is.
The amount of time it takes for the correction to post can vary, and as far as I can tell, they never tell you when (or if) they post it.
Step 3: Be Creative
The greatest thing about being a scrappy home studio is that we get to be creative in all things. There are very few consequences that come with trying something new.
What am I talking about here? Well, there are no rules with this, but you can be as creative as you want.
Here's an example:
One thing I've tried experimenting with is negotiating a mention of my studio into all social media posts the band makes when announcing new songs.
This means my name and studio name are mentioned (and tagged) any time new songs are released. You can get quite creative with these deals.
Sometimes bands are happy to do this for free, and sometimes you need to negotiate a small discount somewhere along the process (the amount can vary depending on how large the social media following is for the band).
One thing that works extremely well is offering to pay for part (or all) of the band's “boost” on Facebook in exchange for a “shoutout” to your studio. If done right, it can be a win/win for both parties involved.
Step 4: Stay Consistent
It's easy to get excited and/or pissed off about this and try to change the entire industry in a day. Unfortunately that rarely happens.
Typically, most major changes are made by consistent action taken over a long period (insert obligatory quote about Rome not being built in a day).
It's up to people like you and me to keep your credits updated (as much as that sucks), and it's up to all of us to find creative ways to get our name out there so potential clients are aware of our past work.
The death of the physical CD just means we have to adapt to the new future, and if you've been in this industry for any number of years, you know that you either adapt or die (side note: my next article is about this very subject).
What Has Been Your Experience With This?
Have you experienced an issue with not being properly credited? If so, leave a comment below and give me the details!
If you've found any other solutions for this, please share it with the community in your comment. I built this website as a resource for all home studios, but I'm not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. I'm sure there are even better tips and strategies from you that I haven't even thought of.
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