Careers in Culture – Careers in Music and Sound Recording

> Know the lingo: A music biz primer

ADR (automatic dialogue replacement) supervisor
Re-records dialogue that wasn't recorded properly during the shoot.

Advance
The money an artist receives from the record company to record their album. Most times, this sum is actually an advance on royalties – in other words, a loan against future sales.

Airplay
When a radio station plays a particular song.

Artist
A person who writes or performs music or songs.

Broadband
A wide band of frequencies that can send more information – data, audio, video, multimedia – over the wire or through the air in a given amount of time.

Chops
The technical skill with which a musician performs. Or, in the case of brass or wind musicians, it’s the embouchure (strength of their lip setting).

Cover band
A band that doesn't create its own songs but covers other bands’ songs.

Crossover
When a song or artist crosses over from one musical genre to another, for example, from the country to the pop charts.

Dual disc
A 1.5 mm-thick double-sided hybrid disc that contains CD content on one side and DVD content on the other.

Enhanced CD
Also called a "mixed-media CD”. This is a sound recording that is listened to just like any other CD, but it contains one or more tracks which are computer files containing interactive presentations of sound, text, and still or video visuals.

Exposure
A euphemism, probably coined by a booking agent, which refers to gaining recognition. As in: “I know it's only two hundred bucks and I know it's three hours north of Moose Factory ... but it's great exposure”. Too much exposure can be fatal.

Film composer
Composes the background and thematic music in a film, be it orchestral, synthesized, or performed by a small group of musicians.

Foley artist
Creates sounds that cannot be properly recorded.

Gig
A performance or job.

Gold
A CD that sells 50,000 copies in Canada (500,000 copies in the U.S.).

Hook
The particular part of a song, usually the chorus that is the most catchy or memorable and therefore repeated ad nauseam.

Indie (short for Independent)
A catch-all phrase for products and organizations that are outside the commercial mainstream. However, many Canadian indie record labels and concert promotion companies are very well run and successful.

Music editor
In collaboration with the music supervisor and composer, performs editing on the score, live vocals, songs and source music for a movie.

Music supervisor
Coordinates the work of the composer, editor, recording engineer and sound mixer.

Payola
An illegal payoff made to get radio airplay for a record.

Platinum
A CD that sells 100,000 copies in Canada (1,000,000 copies in the U.S.).

Podcast
A web feed of audio or video files placed on the Internet. Podcasters' websites may offer direct download of their files, but the subscription feed of automatically delivered new content is what distinguishes a podcast from a simple download or live broadcast.

Points
Percentage of total royalties earned from sales of a record. The record label, artist and producer each have points. Point distribution is negotiable.

Product
Industry term for the CD. At various times, it will also be referred to as the “property”, “cut”, “side”, “release”, and hopefully a “hit” and not a “bomb”.

Production sound mixer
Records sound as it plays live, and determines the types of microphones to use and their best placement.

Re-recording mixer
Combines individual dialogue, music and special effects tracks into their final form.

Record producer
Supervises both the artistic and financial/business side of making a recording.

Recoupable expenses
All the expenses that a record label will pay on behalf of the artist are then recovered or “recouped” from the artist's share of the royalties.

Royalties
Revenue generated over a period of time from sales or airplay.

Royalty artist
Derives remuneration from royalty payments alone (usually a well-established artist).

Sample
A digitized file of sound tracks.

Scoring mixer
Records, mixes (adjusts levels, effects and tone), and places the microphones in a recording studio. Also known as a Scoring Engineer or Recording Engineer.

Shop
When an attorney or manager is trying to get a band or artist a recording deal, it is said that they are “shopping” the artist to the labels.

Sound designer
The conceptual mastermind of a movie's soundtrack, who designs and creates the audio component of a film.

Supervising sound editor
Directs and coordinates the postproduction sound staff and handles all related administrative functions such as scheduling mixes.

Venue
Another term for a club, concert hall, arena or stadium.

Webcast
To use the Internet to broadcast live or delayed audio and/or video transmissions, much like traditional television and radio broadcasts.