So… Very few artists’ touch the subject of Free Mp3 Music downloads but I believe it’s important to understand this from an artist’s perspective. Not to get you scared or bored, I agree with giving away music for free to a certain degree, as you may have checked out, I even give some of my tracks absolutely free on my website.
What is important to understand is that most material that an artist puts out there is something that doesn’t happen over night, there are many hours, long and hard ones to be more precise, to bring a song from the raw instrumental piece, to the full blown production you hear on the radio or listen to on the internet. Putting together so many pieces of a puzzle is an extremely difficult task, more so when its done on a professional or even semi-amateur level, specially for independent artists, that have to go and work hours and save up to pay musicians, studio costs, producers, mixing engineers, marketing costs and so many other factors to allow the music to reach the right listener in a competitive way.
You see, sometimes years can go by before a song gets the chance to be fully produced, but it is very hard to understand this if you haven’t lived the process yourself, its like a doctor when he performs surgery, to us as people on the outside we may think, “oh he did it in half an hour”, that’s absolutely true, but how many years of study where required to accomplish the right amount of knowledge in order to perform a successful surgery in half an hour. The same goes with a song, so to shed a little light on the subject I will explain a little on the normal and known process of creating a song and its production:
An artists sits down and write’s or co-write’s a pool of -oh lets say- 10 songs (it can be more). These songs are played and Demo recorded with a single instrument to see how strong the composition is, because if it’s a good song it will sound good with just one instrument or with a million. This process can take a while… in many cases it can take months or years for an artist to develop that “hit song”, sitting down to write music is a thing that no one has defined, some people can come up with a song in an instant, others can take months, the process varies , but what is almost always true is that you never select a song on an album from just one song, you choose it amongst several songs. In most cases
After one of these songs is selected it goes into the production stage (If you have a producer, if not the process of finding the right producer can also take a while). Producers are all out there and when you have the right budget you can get almost any producer to work with you to a certain degree, but the hard part is finding the one that will be able to sync with the music you are trying to deliver, that is a process that some artists do not define immediately. Once the right producer is found he will probably begin to look for the best way to bring out the potential of that song and at the same time to project the artist ‘s image in the right way and as the artist is looking to accomplish in their own genre of music.
Then comes the recording, which means organizing the drum session, guitar session, bass, keyboards, background vocals, strings and brass if needed and additional recordings like percussion. This implies coordinating the recording sessions with each musician, booking the studio or waiting for the recorded tracks to be delivered, then tweaked, sent back and delivered again. To do everything and to lay down a good musical support to sustain the main aspect which are the vocals can also take a while.
The next step is to lay down the main vocals, where an artist can spend several days if they need to repeat song phrases over and over until the right one comes along. There are very talented singers, which many times can record a great track on the first shot, but in most cases, little bits, or lots of bits, of tweaking will need to take place. Then ( pardon me if I get industry people mad) but most vocals have to go thru a tuning stage, yes most artist nowadays are tuned in the studio so the voice sounds in the right place with the instruments. There are several tuning tools like Celemony Melodyne or Autotune, used to make Vocals musically “perfect”.
After that comes the Mixing stage where everything that’s recorded gets EQ, compression, reverbs, and blended together in order to sound in harmony. Mixing engineers are extremely attentive to detail and know their craft very well. But once you get your mix, there are often instrument levels you want higher, lower, etc. everything depending on the producers and artists personal taste.
After the mix comes the Mastering where the song is brought up in volume to sound as best possible in the different reproduction systems like a car or a small radio, also a very refined part of the process. Some of the most recognized mastering engineers can charge up to 1000 dollars per track others 150 to 200 dollars, it all depends on who you are working with.
Then you receive your song ready and warm out of the oven and as you can see, the work of producing a song is not that simple.
I once heard a certain doctor mention how music should be given for free, and he set an example of an e-book he had just written that he was giving away for free at the time, and how that was serving his marketing purpose. Not to criticize but I believe the example would have been an accurate comparison if he would of compared 10 of his surgery’s for free, which is what its like to bring a song to fruition.
The value of a song has changed in modern times because times change, and we evolve into new things, but the intrinsic value that a song brings to life is inarguably a high one. If you think of a vintage wine, or a good meal, or even the best coffee, which are things we spend money on a regular basis, and sometimes a lot of it, the value we give these things comes from the enjoyment we receive, because the physical and tangible aspects go away after the consumption, to only be flushed down the toilet a while after. A song and music is completely the opposite. Whenever you buy a song you can consume it and enjoy it as many times as you want, and with modern technology, it’s something that can last forever. So for a very reasonable price, which is in most times less than a dollar, you can enjoy the benefits of a song as many times as you can count. But even though it’s a long lasting product, nowadays people value it less than many things they flush down the toilet.
Tastes are like belly buttons they say, everybody has a different one, and every song has its magic, and yes I do believe that listeners can and should receive music for Free and enjoy artists work because at the core that is an artists goal, to reach as many people as possible and to share our music, but once you have listened and enjoyed the songs, it’s important to understand that the artist will be able to continue to make music for you only if you show some level of support, by buying albums, a t-shirt, going to a concert or being part of our musical journey in any way.
A wise pianist once told me that music only happens when three things come together: the writer, the interpreter and the listener. Only then does music really come to life, so yes you, the listener are a crucial part of an artists success, and changing the cultural perspective of the value of music is something all of us artists must strive to create in our environment, so the Music business s that feeds many families can regain its balance through the free Mp3 music downloads and the legal purchase of artists music.
So to you the listener I hope that this gives a little perspective on the value of a song, and that it opens your eyes to support the hard work of the artists you admire and listen to by supporting their careers. In my case it would be a huge gift to allow me to share some of my songs with you, songs that have gone thru a very long process to be created, so if you would like to listen to some of my recent work where you will be able to download some FREE songs, just CLICK HERE.
All The Best !!!