A subculture is a smaller cultural group within a broader mainstream culture often holding interests, practices or beliefs at variance with those of the larger group. A subculture has a common way of doing things which is similar across the board. This could be their lingo, the way they dress up, their manner of speaking, places and manner of socializing, among others that bring out a commonality and a distinction to that subculture. Music producers form a subculture in the larger group of entertainment in the category of music. The roles of music producers in the United States and across the globe are similar. This essay will discuss the subculture of music producers, analyzing their roles, how they do them, the features that make them a subculture, as well as how they see their world.
The music producer has the biggest role in the production of a song. First, he or she can be in charge of writing the material for the song. Secondly, he is in charge of organizing the written material and make it sound like a cohesive song. The producers dictates on what is played, when it is played, how it is played, the sounds that are used, and determine whether the vocals that are recorded are either correct or not. In short, the producer is in charge of making a person's song sound the way he (music producer) thinks that it should sound depending on the experience he has gained out of being in the industry for quite some time and working on similar songs. Out of the experience, he knows the features in a song that can make it competitive in the market with other songs of the same genre. Historically, the music producer would work with other people like vocal producers who helped on the vocals, the mix guys in charge of putting vocals together, and beat makers who would take samples and put them together with other samples to make a song. Presently, however, with the technological revolution, the music producer is carrying out all those roles and more as an individual.
As mentioned above, the roles of a music producer are varied yet clear in that they are all geared towards making a song that that will be competitive in the market. All the activities in the production of the song follow a certain process and must be done in a certain way. However, the number of activities conducted by the music producer will depend on the level of involvement in terms of the number of activities he is able to carry out. Ideally, the music producer carries out his duties by supervising and managing all aspects of the recording process which includes helping in gathering ideas about the song/project, composing the songs, selecting songs, the studio, booking studio time, co-write with the singer, propose changes to the song arrangement, coach the singers and musicians in the studio, as well as control the budget of the whole recording process of the song or an album. The producer may choose to carry out all these roles on him or herself or may choose to select an engineer and offer suggestions to him or her on how to carry out the roles. Due to the huge responsibility that lies on the shoulder of the producer, he or she is expected to have vast experience in the field as well as be a competent songwriter.
The subculture if music producers is a distinct one, revolving around the entertainment industry. They have a particular jargon and vocabularies which can only be interpreted and understood in the context of music recording. Different vocabularies are used in the different stages of recording thus drawing the different meanings. For instance, the term "absorption" is used in the sound recording stage to mean what happens when sound waves are absorbed by a surface as opposed to the bouncing back off the surface, commonly known as reflection. In the control room, absorptive materials are used to "deaden" the sound of the room since the sound energy is absorbed rather than reflected. The term "chase" is used to mean the automatic adjusting of the speed of a recorder or sequencer to keep time with another recorder. A "chord" represents three or more musical pitches played or sung together. "Close miking" is a way of placing the microphone such that it is placed close to the source of sound to pick up the direct sound and reject ambient sound. The term "layering" refers to any blending of similar multiple musical parts or sounds at once mostly combined on one channel or assigned to one controller. "Lead" is the musical instrument that plays the melody, including the vocal. Normally, these terms would have different meanings when used in other fields. However, they have particular meanings when it comes to music production. Music producers use this lingo to communicate musically and only those in the sector can comprehend. Since the language is distinctive, it also defines the manner of speaking. This explains the distinction in the music production subculture.
The entertainment industry, and particularly the music sector has a certain way in which different players dress. This is at times determined by the occasion such as if there is a performance or not. For music producers, their usual dressing is often casual wear. The casual wear mostly comprises of jeans trousers, t-shirts or casual shirts, and often leather jackets or blazers. Producers may step out in sneakers or a casual pair of shoe. This is when they are in unofficial duties such as recording tracks in the studio or coaching the musicians and singers. During official events, the music producers wear official clothing, mostly well-cut suits, ties, and excellently polished shoes. They give a sharp look that portrays the lucrative nature of the entertainment industry at large and the music sector in particular. They are the people who would be behind the scenes of excellent performances although the performances are done by the artists.
There are particular places in which music producers are likely to be found socializing. These are joints that the rest of the people in the entertainment industry go to relax, have a good time as well as exchange ideas. These places include high-end clubs mostly associated with the high class people in the society. They will be found taking drinks, playing pool table, or simply listening to the music playing in these places. These places are also areas in which they meet with people who want to contract them for business. Most music producers spend their weekends in the studio which apart from being a working place, also serves as a socializing space after the schedule. In other instances, producers will be seen holidaying with families or friends in different holiday destinations.
Music producers can be described as part-time enthusiasts. This is because they will only be engaged if they have a project they are carrying out. The project could be an artist they are helping with a song or an album, a band they are working with, or a production in a certain film or advert that includes the use of music. In the case where a music producer is not signed up for any contract, they may not show up in the studio since there will not be anything to produce. This alignment of the job makes the nature of their job to lean on the part-time category. However, it is good to note that with the expansion of the entertainment industry and the large number of musicians and artists, it is hard for a good music producer to be idle without some songs he or she is recording in the studio. Most of the music producers are working round the clock to make productions that become hits for the artists in the industry.
In summary, a subculture is a group from the mainstream group of a culture that has particular practices and a way of doing things. Music producers form a subculture in the entertainment industry specifically in the music segment. They have a particular lingo composed of vocabularies that can only be comprehended by them. Their areas of socializing is in high-end clubs and restaurants and in the studios. They are behind the great performances although their work is behind-the-scenes.
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