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How to get attention as a producer

You might be producing great tracks in your home studio, but how do you get to the next level - to get your work released?

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A question received from a Audio Masterclass visitor...

"I am a programmer/producer trying to solicit clients in the realm of artist/songwriters, managers, and labels.

"Once I have their curiosity piqued to hear some tracks I am at a loss on how I should approach the situation as far as licensing goes and rates and things of that nature.  "

Would it be wise to send snippets of my music at a lower freq rate and with crossfades to let them hear the music?"

I'm guessing that you compose and record instrumental tracks that might be suitable as they are as a backing to a rap song, or instrumentals that demonstrate that you have the ability to produce the backing track to a song.

The first thing I recommend is that you produce finished work. Get yourself a rapper or get yourself a singer/writer to work with. Or write finished songs, if you can, and hire in a singer to record.

Don't rely on anyone you play unfinished material to to be able to imagine what it could sound like, given additional 'polish'. Everyone has their own studio these days and there is really no such thing as a demo recording any more - everything has to be of a releasable standard.

Regarding promoting your work to artists, managers and labels, you simply can't beat quality. Your work really does have to be right up there with the top of the market. If your work isn't as good, and needs development, there really isn't any reason why anyone should be interested.

An astute manager, label boss or A&R manager should be able to recognize true quality from a recording, but there is no doubt that the personal touch also helps. If you can find a way to meet these people, your chances are increased significantly.

Regarding licensing, this really only applies to the recording. The actual music is rewarded through the established system of performing and mechanical rights. See ASCAP or BMI for information on that.

At this level it is likely that you would receive a fee as the producer of a track. Don't expect more than $5000 and be prepared to hand over your work for peanuts simply to get yourself known. Top producers do receive royalties, but there's a long way to go before you get to that stage.

Regarding 'lower frequency rates' etc., don't drop below CD quality. You need to get physical CDs into people's hands. Industry execs can play a CD in the car. Try that with an MP3 on a website.

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By David Mellor Wednesday June 22, 2005
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