The Art of Music Production is the first book to comprehensively analyze and describe the role of the music producer in creating successful music recordings. Now in its fourth edition, it is the definitive guide to the art and business of music production.
Author and producer Richard James Burgess distills this complex field by defining the distinct roles of a music producer.The first part of the book outlines the underlying theory of the art of music production. The second focuses on the job's practical aspects, including training, getting into the business, and--most importantly--the musical, financial, and interpersonal relationships producers have with artists and their labels. The book is packed with insights from successful music producers, ranging from the beginnings of recorded sound to today's chart-toppers and across genre lines. It features many revealing anecdotes, encompassing both the daily and overarching career-related challenges that a producer faces. Burgess addresses the changes in the nature of music production brought about by technology and, in particular, the millennial shift that has occurred with digital recording and distribution. His lifelong experience in the recording industry as a studio musician, artist, composer, producer, manager, and marketer, combined with his extensive academic research in the field, brings a unique breadth and depth of understanding to the topic.
Richard James Burgess is Director of Marketing and Sales for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Smithsonian Global Sound and Director of Resource Development for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He also runs his own artist management company, Burgess Worldco. Prior to coming to Smithsonian Folkways, Burgess managed major label artists with top ten chart hits and international touring schedules, including Spandau Ballet, King, Colonel Abrams, Five Star, Living In A Box, Shriekback, and New Edition.
Table of Contents
SECTION ONE: THE THEORY
Types of Music Producers
SECTION TWO: THE PRACTICE
Becoming a Music Producer
How Do You Become a Music Producer?
The Musician or Artist
The Audio Engineer
Examples of producers from these backgrounds:
Qualifications and Training
Are Qualifications Necessary?
What Is Helpful?
How Much Technical Knowledge Do You Need?
How Much Musical Knowledge Do You Need?
What If You Have Neither Musical Nor Technical Skills?
Making the Transition to Music Producer:
The Door Is Open, Your Foot Is In, Now What?
Being a Music Producer
The Day-to-Day Responsibilities and Process:
The First Meeting:
The Production Phase
Some Session Specifics:
Recording Musicians Live In The Studio
Recording an Orchestra or Big Band
Overdubbing Live Musicians
The Programmed Session
Which Method Makes a Better Record-Live, Overdubbed or Computer?
What Are 'They' Going To Expect Of You?
The Record Company?
The Artist's Manager?
What Are the Timeless Ingredients in a Hit?
The Song (or Material)
How Important Is The Mix Really?
Are These Rules To Which There Are Exceptions?
What Can You Expect From a Career As A Producer?
How Is Your Health?
Why Do A&R People Hire You?
If You're Hot?
If You're Not Quite There Yet?
If You Were Recently Hot?
When The Night's Closing In?
What Prevents Them From Coming Back To You?
What Is The Best Way To Get Work?
Branding, Marketing and Sales?
The Practicalities of Branding, Marketing and Sales
What is the Definition of the Term "Manager"?
What Does A Producer Manager Do?
What Does A Manager Cost
Do They Earn Their Percentage?
How Do You Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Manager?
Could You Lose Work To Other Producers On The Manager's Roster?
How Do You Define 'Best Manager' For You?
How Can You Find Such A Person?
How Do You Persuade Them To Take You On?
The Producer's Relationships
With the artist?
Able To Fit In?
Hang After Hours?
Professional or Aloof?
How Do You Tell Them Something Is Not Working?
Where Does Your Responsibility Lie?
To The Artist
To The Record Company
To The Project
What About Drugs and Alcohol?
In the Studio?
Outside of Working Hours?
What if the Artist Does and You Do Not?
What Do You Do When The Artist Becomes Difficult?
What Do You Do When The Record Company is Unhappy?
What Do You Do When The Artist's Manager Is Difficult
What Changed to Make Hiring Attorney Less Viable For Producers
How Much Will They Cost You?
How Much Do You Really Need Them?
How Much Should You Depend On Them?
What Happens When They Get It Wrong?
What Other Kinds of Things Can Go Wrong?
What is a Typical Legal Process Leading Up to the Production?
What Can Be Done To Protect Producers?
Challenges and Controversies
Differences of Opinion
The Endless Album
Lack of Vision
The Singer Is Not Performing Well
The Musicians Are Not Performing Well
One of the Musicians Is Messing Up Every Take
What Is Demo-itis or Rough Mix-itis?
Near the End of the Album, Suddenly the Artist is Having Doubts
The A&R Person Does Not Like the Record
What Makes It Seem Like Hard Work?
How Much Loyalty Can You Expect Within The Business?
From The Artist
First Girlfriend Syndrome
From The A&R Person
Final Word on Loyalty
Success And Money
How Are Producers Paid?
How Much Can a Producer Make?
How Are Producer Royalties Calculated?
Payment From Record One
Where does the money come from?
Digital Download Royalties
Sound Recording Performance Royalties
Producers Who Also Write the Songs
How Many Producers Make Millions?
Do Producers Earn Their Percentage?
Major versus Independent Labels
How will producers make money in the future?
Can You Increase Your Chances Of Success?
Additional Production By
Multiple Producer Credits
Vocal Production or Vocals Produced By
Compilation Soundtrack Album Producer
Strings (or any other instrument) Produced By
What Is The Secret To Longevity?
Add entrepreneur to your portfolio
Why Are There So Few Women Producers?
What we know
Women Producers Today
Some Women Producers in History
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Is Learned; How Much Is Natural Ability?
How Do You Pick The Right Project?
Should You Share in Song Writing Royalties?
New Versus Established Artists?
What Is Involved In Being An Independent Or Freelance Producer?
What About Being a Staff Producer?
What Are The Best Moments?
Can You Successfully Genre Hop?
Advantages And Disadvantages
Who Has Done It?
How Stable is a Producer's Career?
How does a production career end?
Making Plans And When?
What Do Producers Do When Work Starts to Slow Down?
Why Do People Want To Produce Records?
Why Do People Want To Make Records At All?
Do You Know When You Have Produced A Hit?
How Do Producers Feel About Remixers?
What's The Remixer's Point Of View?
How do A&R People View Remixes?
What Is The 'Sophomore Slump'?
Digital versus Analog
Working Outside The Mainstream?
Traditional, Folk, Roots And World Music
Where Are We? How Did We Get Here? Where Are We Going?
Will Mobile Modify the Internet That Crippled Cable But Vivified Video Which Killed the Radio Star?
How Did We Get Here?
The Revolution Continues
What Does This Mean To The Professional Music Producer?
Where Are We Going?
Revenue Streams Are Multiplying
Will We Even Need Labels In The Future?
Will Music Producers Survive The Revolution?
The Final Cut
About the Author