How to Communicate when You Hire a Music Composer

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Sometimes, there will always be a miscommunication between the client and the music composer that hired in the music making process. This makes the music composer misinterpret what they client intend to achieve and leads to create a music track that doesn’t reach the expectation of the client. Because of this, it is unavoidable to do revision for the track and unfortunately revision is not always free.

From the client point of view, this might be the music composer’s fault but from the composer’s, it is the opposite because the bad description and explanation from the client. So miscommunication is a loss for both parties. Yes, sometimes it is unavoidable but there is something that you can do to minimize the chance of this things to happen. Here’s how you do it :

1. Describe the Feel or the Vibe of the Track

The first thing you need to do to direct your music composer to make the track you want is tell him/her the overall feel or vibe of the track. For example, you have a film project and you want to make a track for a scene where there’s a man and woman is talking in a restaurant. Then because the scene is not ready yet, you just tell your composer about the scene which is “a man and woman is talking in a restaurant”. Some music composer (including me) might assume the feel for the track is mellow and romantic because it’s like a date couple, but in this case that is not what you wanted. You want to make the music feel more intense because instead of dating, they are arguing to each other. Of course the track doesn’t fit and this leads to a redo or revision. 

So, describe the feel or vibe of the track clearly to your composer. Tell him/her that the vibe is not romantic but it is more like an intense track. This way you can prevent more miscommunication that will read to more revisions that will waste your money and time.

2. If Possible, Show the Scene or Event to Your Composer

After you describe the feel or vibe of the track that you want, you can help your composer more by showing the scene or event visually. For example, in the scene above when “a man and woman is talking in a restaurant” you can show him the  picture of the restaurant. In this case, say the restaurant is actually a Chinese restaurant and the composer will not know that unless you showed it to him. By doing this, your music composer can give a little bit of Chinese touch to the music he’s about to make and will make it to fit better to the atmosphere of the corresponding event.

3. Tell Your Composer if You Want Some Specific Instruments

Sometimes, you as a client already have a kind of image of the music that you want to make. You can also tell your music composer about this but instead of rambling with vague words, you can tell him if you already want a musical piece with a specific instrument. So for example, you have the song in your head to be epic when there will be a lot of strings, brass, with a lot of drums that will make the situation more intense. Just tell your composer about this and i guarantee it will help him a lot when making the music that you want.

4. Give a Reference Track

Giving reference track for describing the music that you want to create is really a huge help for your music composer. By giving reference, it will help your music composer understanding for what you intend to create the music for that scene. Giving him/her reference from another movie or game soundtracks via Youtube or Souncloud is always a good idea. The more the references, the better and it will minimize the chance of more misunderstanding. Don’t be shy and communicate more to your music composer.

5. Respect and be Considerate to Your Composer

You know that you are paying your music composer to do his job and you are in control. But sometimes, human makes mistake and it is unavoidable that some tracks are fail to achieve what it’s intention either by the music composer lack of skill or the client lack of explanation. Either way, your composer is working hard for you to create the music, so be considerate and respect what he did for you. Give respect and be considerate, you will get more out of it.

So that’s all for the “How to Communicate when You Hire a Music Composer”. Hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful day !

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