Personal Experiences With Copyright

Creating something is a rewarding and sometimes challenging process. From my own experience, the music I create comes from very deep within me. I draw upon my past experiences, musical influences and combine that to tell story or evoke an emotion. For someone to use something that I uniquely created in a way that copies or plagiarizes my work (without permission) it would really piss me off. Since commencing my audio degree, I have gained a deeper appreciation for copyright laws and how they protect intellectual property and creators.

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APRA logo

The IRSC

I recently attended an information session about copyright that was presented by APRA AMCOS. The session was very informative and if I am to be an audio engineer and studio owner/manager, then I needed to apply for an International Standard Recording Code (IRSC). The processes were simple, just send an email to the Australian Recording Industry Association and they sent back information on how to apply for the IRSC as a third party. I followed the next step and now Hired Gun Recording Studio is able to allocate IRSC for rights holders. This code identifies songs to APRA AMCOS so that they are able to collect royalties for the rights holders on their behalf.

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hgrs.com.au trademarked logo

Copyright

My logo was created by Freesoul Design Studio, a graphic designer that I have worked with numerous times before. He delivered my logo designs and I sought to have them trademarked to prevent anyone else stealing the logo. Trademarking was done by registering it through the Australian Government IP site using the online application. Shortly after applying for my trademark, I received notification that my application was registered. Within a week, received two letters from two separate companies claiming to be part of a World Trademark organization and they said that they would register my trademark internationally for a large sum of money. I was so very obviously a scam and I just ignored the letters. It makes you wonder how many people simply pay it without even checking.

 

The Significance of Social Media in Audio Engineering

As a creative professional, having an active and engaging social media presence is extremely important. It is an outward facing image of you and your brand and is an avenue for fans or future clients to engage with the content you create. If someone wants to find out about a person, they usually turn to google and social media, so having a solid social media game can give you the edge. Luckily, as an audio engineer it matters less with how I look but more important with how I sound and the audio products I create.

 

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Social Media Strategy

 

Social Media Strategy

Generally, I don’t really have a social media strategy. The way I use it is more as a public journal and sharing things that are relevant to my industry. For instance, I recently started recording with my friends Stayplton Street again, so I posted about it. It is a way of engaging with them and getting their band name out there as mutual promotion that costs me only a few minutes to post. With my posts, I try to just be myself. It feels more natural to post like that and people can relate more to the content I create. When I am looking at other professional’s social media, it is nicer to read when it comes from the heart.

 

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Instagram vs Snapchat

 

Don’t Waste Time

If I find that I spend any longer on social media than 30 minutes a day, I stay off for a bit. It really is subjective but I find that my posts aren’t bombarding people and the quality of interaction with my audience increases. Quality > Quantity. Not all social media platforms are created equal and trying to manage my time effectively reduces the amount of accounts that I use. I limit myself to facebook, soundcloud, instagram, linkedin and twitter and I don’t use twitter that much because it is a shitty platform. It is confusing for new users and it really doesn’t have that much long term appeal IMO.

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The Governator approves of this post

 

What I Like About Social Media

Soundcloud is fantastic for sharing my portfolio of audio that I have worked on and it is easy to embed on my website. Facebook has a great way of telling a story and incorporating a range of different media assets. Lastly, Instagram is a quick way to tell a story with pictures, very simply and efficiently.

I anticipate that social media will be a part of my life for a long time to come and an important aspect of any creative professional’s online image.

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instagram.com/hiredgunstudio

twitter.com/hiredgunstudio

https://soundcloud.com/hired-gun-studio

How to Maintain Artistic Creativity Whilst Getting an Income

When working with others to a common goal, a shared vision of the project outcome is not always possible. Some people have a very clear direction that they to take, and others know what they want but have difficulty articulating it. My aim as a producer/engineer is not only to provide a refined and robust audio product but also to accommodate the wishes of my clients.

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Negotiating an agreement

Negotiation
In any interaction between two parties, there must be a shared goal and communication is essential in negotiating the vision of a project. The expectations of both parties should be discussed during this phase, to ensure that the outcome is achievable and within the scope of the clients budget.

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“Shut up and take my money!” – Phillip J. Fry

Expectation
In the studio production/engineering industry, people generally know what type of recording they are trying to make and will seek out a suitable engineer. Most recording engineers will have credits on previous audio projects and an online presence in various forms, such as blogs, social media and portfolios, so the clients should have some expectation of what product they will be getting. Some people can be notoriously hard to deal with irrespective of the industry that they are in and if my military career taught me anything, it is that 5% of people will require 95% of extra effort.

Finding balance
Working in a freelance capacity enables me to cherry pick the projects that I like. If I am going to be spending the time listening to the audio over and over, it can’t be a genre that I don’t like. I once did an 18-hour session on a country song, and I am not a fan of country music, so that was well outside of my comfort zone. Comparatively, similar sessions on hard-rock songs, I was still pumped at the end and had to drag myself away from the desk.

Lesson learned
These two scenarios taught me that money was fairly low on my priorities but being enthusiastic about the project rated at the very top. I guess I won’t be the guy who will ever compromise creativity for $$.