Posted in : Forum : The Music Business
Discuss anything related to the business side of things. getting signed, starting your own label, contracts, distributing your music, licensing tracks, getting paid for gigs etc
No this isn't an excuse to kick urban music around so keep your shirts on, Why is the word "Producer" so freely used by the urban genre when in reality what their doing is essentially "Beatmaking" or creating "Instrumentals" a Producer is someone who is responsible for the financial and managerial aspects of the making of a film or broadcast or for staging a play, opera, etc. Who actually started using the term in it's (incorrect) modern day context and why, it doesn't make anyone any cooler to mix discrepancies with established nomenclaturee.
Words always change context. Just look at the word 'gay' hahaha.
Lol..as a kid there was an icecream called a "Golden Gaytime" I doubt it's creators could market it now..or maybe they could!
i still have a nice chuckle when people say im a producer.
wanna split one of those ice creams?
This is a ripe topic that I have seen argued many times. PJB let me start by pointing out that your definition above is missing the word "film". A music/record producer is somewhat different from a film producer. I'm not sure who started using it or when but it has been a common reference in the music industry, in specific regard to the recording end of things, for a long, long time. I have formal study in music and have spent a lot time around recording studios and producers are a relevant and integral part of the process. In some cases producers work for the record company but they can actually be employed by the artist or in fact can be the artist him/her self. In very pragmatic terms, the music/record producer is a ‘project manager’ for the recording, mixing and mastering process. Their degree of involvement varies depending on contractual agreements between the artists and the studios. Brian Wilson was the producer for the Beach Boys, he was of course also a Beach Boy. Another quite famous or notable producer was George Martin. Look on the back of many early Beatles albums, you'll see...Producer - George Martin. He was so instrumental in the arrangement and sound aspects of their early music some considered him the 5th Beatle. He went quite a bit beyond the normal job description having mentored the Beatles, expanding their experience into various styles of music. But he was a genius and his use of sound effects, multiple takes/tracking and arrangements on “Strawberry Fields” for example, gave birth to remixing and sampling long before the terms were even thought up.
But, I think the modern use of the term is soley based on the idea that anyone who now owns a DAW, in essence a recording studio, has the capability to record, mix and master. So therefore they are essentially music (record no longer applies) "producers".
The "Producers" just provide evidence by that title of their lack of knowledge of the music industry structure & the roles of those in it......
I remember when what is now called "Old school" was some new fangled contraption based music "production" thing. Hardware based. Stand alone. Long before home PCs. I remember the guy in the music store saying how he thought "OH NO... now everything is going to sound the same."
I also remember him being astonished at just how varied the resultant music "produced" on such systems was. How in the end it was still all about the individual's vision.
Then along came the Atari and the birth of music software.
I remember my cousin's partner had one and while studying music, did the sound for a short film produced by a film making student at Swinburne Tech (Melb Aust.) back in the 80's. He has since gotten a degree in music and teaches Bass and Music Tech at the local TAFE. (college?)
He was instrumental to my getting serious about music. I studied 2001-3 and have maintained an interest in the Tech side since. I now have about 50 years of guitar and 15 years of music tech behind me.
I think the current use of the Label 'Producer' is the product of those who have come onto the scene since computer based recording/production.
I think in the current context it is a valid label as they ARE in control of all those aspects once in the hands of George Martin etc, but in a home studio based environment.
It's true that a lot of these "Producers could not play a note on a (pre) Old school instrument but how many 18 year olds could these days drive a manual car?
I think not only has language changed but the changes in music production systems in my time is enormous. Times change. So does language and technology. Get over it and have a Gay old time Y'all.
Good points one and all!...quite frankly people can call themselves what they like and it doesn't bother me in the slightest however that doesn't mean I have to use or accept it, when the Beboppers like Charlie Parker (a true musical genius) overtook Swing jazz it was a whole new ball game, a whole new lingo, a whole new attitude...So it's only a matter of time before all these 'Producers' get pushed aside by something new and equally precocious.
I don't know PJB but think the tittle "Producer" is more derived from the technology than from the genre. There are after all many styles within the whole "Producer" genre. D&B, 50 shades of House etc etc. The shift in styles in the jazz world: Trad-Big Band-swing-Be Bop-Cool Jazz-Free Jazz etc parallels the shift in styles in classical music from late 18 hundreds to early 19 hundreds.
I think this whole "Producer" thing is more about the technology than the style of music. I also think there are very influential and innovative musicians working under the "Producer " banner.
I recently bought a Maschine MK3 and soon after a Maschine Jam. I find both to be musical instruments in their own right. They are just NEW instruments, the type of which has not been seen before.
I suspect the ratio of guitars in the world to people who are actually good at playing them has a parallel in modern high tech instruments. That does not lessen either in my view as instruments, or the players ("Producers") as musicians.
From that perspective I totally agree with you Steve, however I get the feeling the term is used more as a banner these days than as a working title, but hey I'm a dinosaur walking through a meteor dust cloud. ;)
Lol, I can empathize with your cynicism PJB, and I especially love your sense of humor man ! Steve elaborated my point very well in that technology is the driving force behind this. The very same thing happened with computer graphics editing. When Photoshop hit the shelves, everyone suddenly became graphic artists. I think we all agree, it doesn't matter what you call yourself, the true testament of your worth will always be based on the quality of your product.
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