Why should artists invest in their sound? Is it To pay engineers?
A friend of mine Artem Volgin, Russian DJ and Producer asked me this question on Instagram and I decided to pick it as the subject for this article.
Artists need to invest in their sound to succeed!
We hear this phrase a lot by many people in the industry — most of the time by music producers, engineers or music promoters. We can generate different types of meanings out of investing in yourself. Like hire a manager, buy great sound systems and gear, pay for placements, etc. to get heard and be shown on the scene?
Well, that doesn’t make sense to me. Let me dive into the details from my standpoint and see if that phrase still does make sense or not.
What is investing though?
To my standpoint, investing is pretty much anything that we do or spend in order to achieve something we desire. I am right now investing in my social presence by writing this article for you.
Investing doesn’t necessarily have to be spending money. It can be spending your time on something, your energy, your credit, your knowledge and so on.
The act of using something or somebody’s advantages to achieve something can be called the investment itself. For example, you may spend $5K on buying Bit-Coins, and when I ask you why you did that? You’d say because I am investing in Bit-Coins to earn more money.
I still would ask why though?!
Does investing always pay off?
The point is, investing is the only way to get things to pay off. You can’t read without spending your time. And if you’ve previously spent time on learning how to read faster, you can now invest less and earn more! So your previous investment is giving you the ability to invest more efficiently by now.
Though, there are millions of ways to invest for various purposes! It’d take less time to spend on knowing a new drive-way direction by using Google Maps, than going to store to buy a paper map and find it out yourself!
Sometimes the investment for your purpose would work but there may be some wiser ways to do it.
Now let’s relate!
You’re an artist. You’re planning to make a living out of your music. What can you do to make that?
Maybe selling records? Streams? Shows and gigs? Selling Merch? Etc.
How can you do that if no one knows who you are and what you do? Well, then you’d say it’s time to find ways to get your music heard by people so that they begin to know who you are. Your main product and advantage to people need to be prepared which is your music. It would make people invest in you to enjoy your art!
It gets tricky when there are millions of other artists that try to do the same. A vast competition you’ve entered. Now every single step you make has to be chosen wisely.
Nothing is free!
After all the other aspects and musical factors, to put your music out, it needs to sound good right? How can we make a production sound decent to ear? By mixing it. Then, we need to make sure it translates well enough in different sound systems by mastering.
So now you know what your aim and purpose are at this point. According to my previous sayings, there are different ways to make that happen. You should consider everything and choose the most suitable one.
To hire a professional, as well as spending a bit of time to find one, you have to pay an amount of money to get this aim done. Another way I’d think of is to go and learn everything by yourself by spending tons of time, energy and money to get it done by yourself.
Considering your current moment, you’re planning to keep up with the pace and be the next artist on the scene. Due to that, it would just make sense for you to focus on the main priority things an artist should do. They would be Recording Techniques, Performing on Stage, Musical Skills, etc.
These would be the main factors you’d need to spend your time and energy on. No matter how much money you spend, you won’t achieve those without time and energy paid. Knowing audio mixing and mastering (which are very time-consuming and technical skills themselves) wouldn’t be called as a priority for a singer or rapper.
But you can keep those investment time and energy for more essential principles and get that mixing/mastering stuff done by a professional with just spending an amount of money.
Now if you’re an artist, it’s all on you to decide whether if you’d still want to pay a professional audio engineer for investing in your sound quality.