History of music production
Music production dates right back to the 18th century. The barrel organ has many types such as: bamboo organ and chord organ. This instrument works by air being pushed through pipes as the crank is turned. English and American patriotic songs from the 1800s were played on this instrument. It is unclear about where this instrument was developed as historians would argue about its origins.
The first radio advert aired in 1923 and four popularity during world war ll. This lead to an increase of budget for the production of music. As popularity grew, music started to be commercialised. Record labels soon took the opportunity to sign people up. As a result, the hope of a successful recording artist.
Audio tape and CDS in music production
The magnetic tape was created in 1928 for the storage of audio. The tapes were mainly used by production companies. People who didn’t have good technical skills would benefit from the recording tape. It was simple to use and very efficient in music production. When it was first released, it didn’t have the best sound quality and was a little chunky. These issues were soon corrected. As a result, the audio tape had higher sound quality and noise reduction. Aside from these corrections, a new compact size audio tape also evolved.
From the 1930s- 1980s, the magnetic tape was quite popular. Around the end of the 1980s they took a back seat as digital CDS were about to be born. Compact discs or CDS were introduced in the 1990s and were the first product to hold music in digital format.
The co-founder of Sony (Akio Morita), insisted that the CD be extended to seventy four minutes playing time. This was because he wanted the CD to accommodate Beethovens 9th symphony. Audio tapes have been around for past city five years, constantly evolving with new technology today.
Click here to see Sony’s first CD commercial
Twenty first century music production
One of the big changes in music production is that studios are not as essential to record music in. Artists choose to record and produce their music at home however this isn’t the best environment. Although, it has worked well for artists such as: Lewis Capaldi during the pandemic. Professional recording studios are treated with an acoustic material that improves sound quality. This helps producers achieve the right frequency for sound quality. A bedroom won’t have good sound insulation for you to achieve good quality.
Nowadays companies such as: Apple and Sony have some of the most advance technology to date. MacBooks and Hybrid audio amplifiers are just two examples. A number of artists record and produce their own music using these or similar products on the market. Software such as: Apple logic Pro X is a recording studio but right from your laptop.
Although Logic Pro X is a very convenient way of working. Statistics reveal that in 2018, the US Census Bureau estimated that the revenue of US music publishers was $6.12 billion.
What is a music producer?
A music producer is in charge of the whole creation of a project. Similar to a director of a film. A producer will sit back and analyse a project. Producers are responsible for: who gets paid, musicians, location for recording and instruments to name a few. I think of Producers as a coach because they help artists turn their idea into a reality. They are a huge influence because producers oversee the concept and see what works and what doesn’t. It is about achieving what will work and sell. A producer brings perspective and contributes ideas that may have not been considered before.
Sir George Martin was one of the best music producers of his time. George was involved in world war ll but he saw no combat. After his time in the war, he enrolled in the fleet air arm of the Royal Navy when he was seventeen.
George came from poverty and was keen to to get out of it. After his time at the navy, he used his veterans grant to put himself through Guildhall Music and Drama school. At Guildhall, he played two instruments. The piano and oboe. Ironically, his instructor was Margaret Elliot, mother to Jane Asher. Jane Asher became Paul McCartney’s long term girlfriend.
Brian Epstein (manager of the band) contacted George in the hope they would get a record contract. First impressions weren’t great! He had listened to their demo and was unsure about signing them. After several meetings and a great effort convincing George, The Beatles were signed. Although George admitted in an interview that it was their comedy that won him over. The Beatles were born.
He produced music for the famous Beatles band and is considered ‘The Fifth Beatle’. George was known for playing the piano harpsichord piece for In My Life. George also orchestrated yesterday with Paul McCartney as a solo.
Dr Dre is one of the most influential producers in hip-hop history. Born as Andre Romelle Young, he has a musical family and influenced from a young age. His father was part of an R&B band which is was named after. His mother quit her band before Andre was born. Andre’s parents divorced fours years after they got married. He went from school to school not content with academic subjects. It soon became clear that he wanted a career in music when he received a music mixer for Christmas one year.
In his teens, Andre got a job as a DJ performing in hip-hop clubs. At the age of nineteen, he formed an electro-hop band in 1984. A few years later Andre met O’shea Jackson, also known as ‘Ice Cube’. The pair started writing lyrics for Eric Wright, also known as Eazy-E. As a trio, they were known as N.W.A and went on to write songs about their experiences with street violence and how that life can affect your life. This change the hip-hip game.
After years of creating his albums, he created his own record label called Aftermath. He signed aspiring rappers such as: Eminem, Snoop Dog and 50 Cent. Andre signed Eminem in 1998 and got so much bad publicity for signing a white rapper. He was determined to prove everyone wrong and produced some of Eminems most established work to date. This includes The Slim Shady LP. Today Eminem is labelled the most successful white rapper in hip-hop history.
There are two sages to a demo. The first stage is making a work tape at the end of writing a song. This is basically a draft to capture your ideas while they are fresh in your mind. Usually it is an acoustic vocal. A demo is taking that draft and turning it into a piece that can be shown to a music producer. Recording and mixing the song makes the demo better quality. This will encourage producers to see the potential it has. If the piece is successful, the artist will then land a deal with a record label.
Sleeping At Last
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Sleeping At Last is an American band that consisted of three band members. The band was formed in 1999. Brothers Ryan and Chad O’Neal and friend Dan Perdue. Ryan is the lead singer and guitarist, Chad played the drums and Dan was the bassist. The band started out as an Emo band, doing small gigs in order to gain recognition on social media. Songs quickly became popular including Turning Pages which is feature in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 1. Other songs are featured on popular shows such as: Grey’s Anatomy, Jane The Virgin and The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Around 2009, band members Dan and Chad left the to pursue different career paths. Ryan adopted the band name and has gone on the achieve great success on his own. Sleeping At Last has a website where Ryan posted three EPS every month for a year in 2010. Todays, Ryan is currently working on the release of his Atlas: year two album.
This is my favourite band because the music is very tranquil. All of the songs produced focus on human emotion and senses. I have the band on shuffle as I work because it keeps my mind clear and makes working peaceful. As well as amazing music, they have produced one of the most beautiful music videos I have ever seen!
Nostairway creative has over fifteen years experience in producing professional quality audio. We specialise in creating top quality video production, audio production and photography. In our time, we have worked with talented voice artists who have brought video quality to another level. Working with popular broadcasting companies such as: ITV and BBC, we have the experience to ensure you product is amazing!
Music production has evolved in many ways for centuries. Music producers are one of the most influential factors in the process of making music. I’m curious to see how music production will evolve further in the next thirty to forty years. Will there be even more advanced technology? Who knows, let’s wait and see!