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AAA Music | 31 October 2020

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Things To Consider When Compiling Music Credits

| On 21, Sep 2020

Multiracial music band performing in a recording studio

When producing, writing, or composing an album, there tends to be a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. There are usually a lot of artists involved, and in many intricate capacities— sometimes not even directly related to composing the actual music. Therefore, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of who contributed what and where!

If you’re getting ready to release an album or just beginning the creative process, be sure to keep comprehensive notes about who’s contributing to what. Anyone involved, either directly or indirectly, should be noted specifically. That way, when it comes time to issue your music credits, you won’t miss anyone. When keeping track of every songwriter, using an official music credit site like Jaxsta Music will help you come album release time.

At first thought, it might not seem like a completely pressing part of the album process, but if you end up forgetting to credit someone for their work, there may be consequences. These could range from legality issues to losing an integral music contact, or even alienating another artist. Use this handy six-part checklist to verify you’re keeping tabs of every single credit. 

  1. Studios

Maybe the most obvious on this list, but certainly the most overlooked: where have you recorded? Whether you’ve booked yourself studio time, recorded in your room, hotel, or the back of your car, you’ll want to keep track of where you’ve recorded and where exactly your final editing/cuts have been made. 

You don’t need to get incredibly intricate here, this is more-so fan service. Some people love to know where their favorite songs have been recorded. So, to satisfy those fan cravings, be sure to include this information!

  1. Producers

For producer credits, these largely depend on how big of an act you are. In some cases, the sole producer might be you and you alone. This isn’t always the case, however. Anyone who directly or indirectly assists in creating your music may be a producer. This could mean the person at the studio where you cut your album, or someone who directly worked on each singular track, or several tracks, from an album. When composing a song, be sure to credit every individual who contributed lyrics, melodies, instrumentation, percussion, etc. 

If it’s just you and the band, you each can singularly decide if you want to keep the producer credits track-by-track or simply credit the whole band on the entire record. But, if anyone outside of you or the band is involved with the music, you need to give them due credit. 

Multiracial music band performing in a recording studio
  1. Songwriters

While mentioned previously, it should be noted that any outstanding lyrical input should be properly credited. In fact, this is the most integral component when it comes to the crediting process! What proper accreditation does, is it ensures that if there’s payment involved, everyone will receive their due process. 

Historically speaking, this has always been a fascinating facet of all musicianship drama in tabloids and the like. You’ll frequently see lawsuits arguing for misplaced credit in the news. Don’t be a part of that crowd.

If you’re a bandmate, check with all other members of the band before crediting. Take a group consensus and see what your bandmates each want, whether it’s separate individual songwriting credits or credits as a band. Opening an avenue of communication with all collaborators will make sure there isn’t any miscommunication down the road.

  1. Engineers And Mixers 

Again, it all depends on how commercial your album process is. However, if you’re recording at a studio, even if you don’t meet the engineers and mixers that add the final polish to the album, they’re very important artists in their own right, and should be properly credited on each track. They’re the ones who perfect and clean your sound, after all, so you owe them more than just gratitude. 

In fact, finding a good mixer and sound engineer is no easy task. Few in the industry possess this fine skillset, so they’re in constant demand. You’ll definitely want to include the whole team in your linear notes.

  1. Other Musicians And Singers

Any other artists that contribute to your record have to be noted. Performers such as backup singers, instrumental musicians and the like should all be properly noted, credited, and thanked. A lot of big bands and artists began their careers in jobs like these; many of the backing musicians are very talented. You don’t want to cross them over some minor credit issues, as you never know who’s going to explode onto the scene next. If you pay your dues to them, you’ll ensure you remain on good terms. As with any industry, never burn any bridges. 

  1. Labels And Publishers

If you’re working with a label, they’ll usually take care of all of their proper accreditation. In fact, they’re usually on top of making sure their brand is accredited and properly noted in all credits. Not only that, but they usually also manage and research all corresponding copywriting issues. If you’re working independently, you may not need to worry about this. Either way, it won’t do you any harm to make sure your noting their involvement, and giving proper gratitude for their services.

In some cases, though, certain songs will be owned by different publishers, depending on their involvement. Noting this is particularly important, as sometimes it has to do with account payable to each publisher. Be sure to keep track, as it’ll be easier when you’re preparing for release.

Conclusions: 

At the end of the day, it’s always important to ensure everyone receives credit where credit is due on your musical endeavors—no matter the size or scope of your project. All artists, including producers, engineers, mixers and more, play key roles in the recording process, and deserve credit for their hard work and dedication. By keeping a comprehensive list of collaborators, it’ll make crediting and choosing the right music credits format much easier upon album completion.