The AMI trains students for many carreers and for more than 90 professions related to design and production of electronic music, film music, management in the musical industry, musical IT production, and performance : sound engineer, musician, manager, performer…
- Electronic Production and Design:
- Sound Designer: Sound designer develops a sound library of synthesized original sounds and effects for artists/bands, production and multimedia companies, and music equipment manufacturers.
Film/Video Sound Designer: The film/video sound designer designs creative sounds for images.
Digital Audio Editor: Most of the audio, music, sound effects, and spoken word that we hear in TV and film productions are edited on digital audio systems. Digital Audio Editor works with sound designers, composers, and directors to put all these elements together in a highly controlled environment.
Performer: A electronic production and design performer utilizes music technology and MIDI for live performance.
Studio Musician/Synthesis: This person plays and often programs synthesizers and other contemporary musical instruments within a studio context.
Synthesist/Producer: The synthesis/producer has the ability to creatively produce and incorporate his/her own sound design into the production process. The producer functions as the creative leader of any studio, film, television, or radio recording project.
Composer: The composer in the Electronic Production and Design field has a particular specialty in using computer and MIDI technology throughout the entire composing and arranging process. Composers create instrumental pieces, either to stand alone or to be combined with lyrics. They may compose for a specific situation, such as film/TV composers who score/compose music to enhance videos or films, or they may compose for live performance and/or recording situations.
Arranger: An arranger in the Electronic Production and Design field provides musical arrangements of a musical composition or song for an artist, band, orchestra, or other ensemble, using computer and MIDI technology. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song or composition, based on the artist, producer, or conductor’s specifications.
MIDI Pre-Producer: Whenever a film/TV composer is trying to be hired for a film scoring project, they will attempt to convey their ideas or musical themes to the film/TV director. In order to communicate their musical ideas effectively, they will often hire a MIDI pre-producer to prepare their compositions in a MIDI studio where the orchestration can be economically realized. This is much more cost effective than hiring an entire orchestra to record your musical ideas and themes.
Jingle Writer: Jingle writers are songwriters/composers/lyricists who specialize in writing music for radio and television commercials. Synthesists in this field have the ability to creatively produce and incorporate (his/her own) sound designs into the production process. They are responsible for representing their client musically as directed. They must be skilled in all styles, be strong arrangers, and be able to compose well for a very short form.
Educator: An educator in the Electronic Production and Design field would almost always teach in a higher education, college, or university program.
Consultant (Other: Manufacturer Representative, Technical Support, or Sales Representative): A consultant in the field of Electronic Production and Design usually is employed by companies that manufacture and design technology-based musical instruments and software. These music technology companies desire to have consultants with musical and technological backgrounds and perspectives.
Multimedia Developer (Interactive Multimedia Specialist): Multimedia developers specialize in formatting and producing audio content for CDs and websites. They primarily combine two or more of the following formats—text, still images, video, animation, or sound—and prepare them as part of an interactive software package.
Product Representative: The product representative tours and demonstrates the latest audio/MIDI software and musical instrument technology available to musicians and producers.
Computer Music Researcher: The computer music researcher works at a graduate-level institute of higher education and researches computer languages associated with algorhythmic composition and sound synthesis.
- Film Scoring:
- Film Composer: A film composer scores music to accompany a motion picture for film or television.
Music Editor: A music editor is responsible for mixing and synchronizing the music with the film and mixing the music with the film soundtrack.
Programmer (Sequencing): The programmer utilizes music sequencing software and sometimes notation software to produce MIDI keyboard/synthesizer tracks for inclusion in the film score.
Orchestrator: The film music orchestrator is responsible for writing scores for an orchestra, band, choral group, individual instrumentalists or vocalists.
Music Supervisor (Theme specialist: Film/TV): The film producer hires the music supervisor, who may act as an A&R (Artists and repertoire) scout to find and license popular songs.
Contractor: A film/TV music contractor is responsible for hiring the musicians and tending to all the necessary contract obligations through American Federation of Musicians.
Film Arranger (Adaptor): A film arranger provides musical arrangements of a musical composition or song for film and/or TV usage. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required as he/she determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song.
Film Conductor: A film conductor’s main duty is preparing an orchestra or ensemble for the finest performance possible in a film scoring session.
Copyist (Music Preparation): The copyist transfers musical parts from a score onto individual parts. This position requires strong notation and transposition skills, training in music theory, attention to detail and neat and accurate copy work.
Assistant to the Composer: An assistant to the composer acts as a liaison between the composer and various other entities in the film, television, and music industry.
Sound Designer: A sound designer designs synthesized music and sound effects to complement and aid the music score.
- Music Business and Management:
- Personal Manager (or Artist Manager, Agent): Personal managers represent one or more musical groups or artists and oversee all aspects of an act’s career. They deal with and advise the act(s) on all business decisions, as well as many of the creative decisions an artist must make, and attempt to guide the artist’s rise to the top.
Booking Agent (or Talent Agent): Booking agents work to secure performance engagements for musical artists and groups. They work to find talent to book and may be involved with developing the talent toward a goal. They must possess good communication skills to sell talent and develop contacts in the music industry. They often work closely with an act’s manager and may be involved in setting the fee and negotiating with promoters or clubs. A booking agent is paid a percentage of the negotiated fee for an act’s performance.
Concert Promoter: The concert promoter presents, organizes, advertises, and in many cases, finances concerts at performance venues such as arenas, festivals, clubs, church buildings, auditoriums, etc. The promoter often secures money for the concert by finding others to share in the profits/expenses. However, it is often times the concert promoter who absorbs all the financial risk.
Independent Radio Promoter: The independent radio promoter (IRP) has a similar role as that of a promotional staffer at a record label, except the IRP is usually employed by an independent radio promotions company or works freelance. Often, a record label, artist/band, or manager will hire the services of an independent radio promotions company to generate airplay of a particular song or record. The IRP contacts radio station program directors, music directors, and disc jockeys in a local, regional, national, or even an international market. They set up appointments with these station people and bring a number of new album releases as well as a supply of promotional or press material relating to the artist or band. An IRP may socialize frequently with program directors and music directors to help improve the chances that a radio station will add a song to its playlist. An IRP often will often take key radio station personnel out to lunch, dinner, or for drinks. They may also bring a program director to a club in order to listen to a group play songs live and gauge audience response.
Entrepreneur (Music Business): A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a music business venture. Some common businesses started by music entrepreneurs are: recording studio facility, private teaching practice, performing band, booking agency, artist management, music retail, music publishing company, record label, etc.
Retail Sales Management: A retail sales manager works, runs, and operates a retail music store. Duties would include employee supervision, training, ordering, coordinating the timing and arrival of distribution shipments to the store, budgeting and financial planning, and coordinating sales promotions for specific CDs.
Entertainment Attorney: An entertainment attorney handles any contractual matters conceivable within the entertainment industry. Entertainment attorneys can be freelance, hired on retainer, or an employee of a company or business within the entertainment industry. Entertainment attorneys generally specialize in one of three separate fields within the entertainment industry: sports, film and television, and music. An attorney that specializes in the music industry usually has a solid depth of understanding with regard to copyright laws and artist/band agreements with managers, publishers, record labels, booking agents, etc. Successful completion of law school and a state bar exam are requisites for being an entertainment attorney, as well.
Business Manager: The business manager handles the financial affairs of musicians and entertainers. Most have degrees in business administration with concentrations in accounting or management. The business manager should have knowledge of negotiating, accounting skills, investments, and tax laws.
Music Supervisor (Music Licensing/Clearance): A music supervisor may act as an A&R scout to find and license popular songs (as source music) for a film, TV soundtrack or other media format.
Music Business Consultant: The music business consultant advises his/her clients, who are generally artists, music industry professionals, or entrepreneurs, on music business strategy for their career or business.
Contractor (or Leader): A contractor is responsible for hiring musicians or road crew staff and tending to all the necessary contract obligations through the appropriate union organizations. It is in the contractor’s best interest to procure the best talent possible while working within given budget guidelines.
Record Company Executive: This person would usually be employed at a record label and be a director, vice president, or president of any of the various departments or areas therein.
A&R Coordinator: The main duty of the artist & repertoire coordinator is to find talent for the company to sign. A&R coordinators search for new talent by visiting clubs, going to showcases, listening to tapes and demo recordings, and watching recordings of acts performing. He or she is often responsible for helping find songs for the artists signed to the record label.
A&R Administrator: The artist & repertoire administrator works in the Artist & Repertoire Department along with the A&R coordinator. In large companies, the A&R administrators are responsible for clerical functions within the department, planning budgets for artists signed to the label, and working on the annual or semiannual budget for all artists’ expenditures. They must analyze previous budgets and prepare a budget proposal with projected cost estimates for recording current acts. They also monitor the budget in relation to the expenses throughout the year. Staying within a budget means that the A&R administrator is doing his or her job. The individual might work exclusively with one or two studios in order to build up a great volume of studio time. With this volume, the A&R administrator can often receive discounts on time. They also keep track of all money spent for recording studio time, session musicians, talent, and miscellaneous expenses.
Director of Publicity (or Public Relations Director): The director of publicity supervises the record label publicity department and develops and oversees publicity campaigns. As director, this person oversees all the work that is performed by the staff of the department.
Publicist (or Staff Publicist, Press Agent): A publicist handles the publicity and press needs of acts signed to a label. Publicity helps the label sell records and produce income. A publicist must be able to get an artist’s name in the news (magazines, music trades, TV, radio, etc.) as often as possible. This is accomplished by writing press releases, sending them to the correct media, talking to media about acts, and arranging interviews. The publicist often arranges a series of print interviews, radio interviews, and TV appearances in conjunction with the release of a new record. Staff publicists spend a lot of time on the telephone and are usually the first to send out promotional copies of new records and other important materials to the media. After a new record is released, a publicist may work with the A&R or promotional departments on a showcase booking of the group, and make arrangements for a press party.
Assistant Publicist: Assists the publicist, compiling press kits, writing press releases, and double-checking information for accuracy.
Artist Relations Representative (Artist Development Representative): The artist relations representative’s responsibility is to represent the label’s interest to the artist/band and the artist/band’s interest to the label, and maintain proper communication, cooperation, and mutual understanding between the two entities. This person’s job is to make the artist feel appreciated by the label by thoughtful gestures such as buying flowers; writing letters; and arranging promotional appointments that coincide with a new tour, album release, or career milestone such as having a certified gold or platinum album. If there is a problem or concern that the label or artist have with the each other, the artist relations representative will seek to mediate the situation. The artist relations representative may also advise the artist on creative/performance-related issues, as well.
Promotional Staffer: The prime function of the promotional staffer is contacting radio station program directors to generate airplay for the label’s records. Promotional staffers will work closely with program directors, music directors, and disc jockeys in these markets. They set up appointments with these station people and bring a number of the label’s new album releases, as well as a supply of promotional or press material relating to the artist or band. A promotional staffer may socialize frequently with program directors and music directors to help improve the chances that a radio station will add a song to its playlist. Promotional staffers often take key radio station personnel out to lunch, dinner, or for drinks. They may also bring a program director to a club in order to listen to a group play songs live and gauge audience response.
Advertising Account Executive: An advertising account executive develops advertising campaigns for a record label’s products. This person must be creative and aggressive, have good sales skills, and have a strong knowledge of music. They may also have advertising experience in another area.
Salesperson (Record Label): A record label salesperson establishes a relationship with various accounts to sell the company’s products and provide continuing service to the accounts. Accounts may include retail stores, rack jobbers, and one-stops.
Regional Sales Manager: The regional sales manager is responsible for supervising the sale of the label’s records to wholesalers and/or retail outlets in a specific region, creating sales campaigns and policies, and overseeing sales staff.
Marketing Representative: The marketing representative is responsible for overseeing specific markets and reporting sales of records to radio stations and trade publications.
Field Merchandiser (or Merchandiser): The field merchandiser is in charge of distributing and explaining merchandising promotions to record stores/departments in specific markets.
Consumer Researcher: A consumer researcher researches and analyzes consumer-buying practices for the record company. This person should have knowledge of research and analytical methods, the ability to write reports, and knowledge of the music business and record industry.
College Representative (or Campus Representative): College representatives are responsible for promoting a record label’s products to students on campus or perhaps to music retailers. They are students working toward a degree who have an interest and/or skill in the music industry, and often are a music business major in college.
Music Publisher: Music publishers are responsible for acquiring the copyrights to songs and publishing them. They may work for a very large music publishing company and perform one or two specific duties as a music publisher. They may work for a relatively small firm and fulfill a variety of functions. Many individuals in music publishing or songwriting become independent music publishers, running their own music publishing firm. The goal of the music publisher is to find and acquire potential hit songs (copyrights) and songwriters, promote them for financial gain, and serve as copyright administrator whereby tracking, licensing, and payment collection can be done efficiently. A good music publisher has knowledge of all facets of the music business, an understanding of music industry dynamics, an ability to hear hit tunes, knowledge of copyrights laws, and contacts in the music business.
Song Plugger (Professional Manager): Song pluggers or professional managers work for a music publisher and perform the administrative functions of music publishers. They also work to add new possible hits to the publisher’s catalog and to find acts to record these songs, generating income for the publisher. Professional managers seek to have a song covered and recorded by as many artists as possible and attempt to make the tune a “standard.” Song pluggers rely heavily on their contacts in the music business to accomplish their job and must have great communication skills. The song plugger may provide creative input into a band or artist’s demo since they have a good understanding of what the industry is looking for.
Tour Coordinator: The tour coordinator is responsible for coordinating the many facets of an act’s tour, including travel, lodging, arranging for services, and budgeting for expenses.
Road Manager: Road managers handle the problems that occur while an act is traveling. They supervise equipment, sound, and lighting personnel.
Tour Publicist: The tour publicist is responsible for publicizing an act’s tour to both fans and the media through press releases, press conferences, and special promotions.
Advance Person: The advance person is responsible for arriving ahead of the act to prepare for a concert and assisting the tour coordinator or road manager with details prior to the show.
Sound Technician: Sound technicians are responsible for high-quality sound during the live performance. They usually arrive at the concert site before the performers and are involved in unloading and setting up the equipment and instruments along with the road crew. The sound technician supervises the placement of equipment and works with the talent during the sound check to achieve the best sound. They may even work a soundboard during the actual performance.
- Music Production and Engineering:
- Producer: The producer functions as a creative leader of any studio, film, television, or radio recording project. Producers work mainly with recording acts and record labels to produce records. They also work with composers and produce sound recordings for film, TV and other forms of multimedia, as well. The producer supervises all aspects of the recording process, including contracting session players and overseeing the recording budget.
Engineer: The recording engineer operates the soundboard and other electrical equipment during the recording of music. Recording engineers run the recording session with oversight from the producer. They may also be responsible for setting up equipment in the studio prior to the session, and discussing with the producer or musical act what they want the end product to sound like.
Assistant Engineer: The assistant engineer works in the recording studio and is responsible for assisting the recording engineer with set up, recording tracks, and mixing. He works as directed by the recording engineer.
Production Assistant: As the producer’s right-hand person, the production assistant handles details for the producer such as contracting talent (musicians/vocalists) for sessions, scheduling studio time, placing phone calls, sending emails and more.
Studio Manager/Owner: The studio manager/owner is the person responsible for running the business of the recording studio and may be a sole or partial owner of the business. Studio managers are responsible for booking acts to record at the studio, scheduling engineers, marketing the studio, and budgeting and providing for all the needs of a professional recording studio.
Sound Technician: Sound technicians are responsible for high-quality sound during the live performance. They usually arrive at the concert sight before the performers and are involved in unloading and setting up the equipment and instruments along with the road crew.
Acoustic Consultant: services for performance spaces such as concert halls, arenas, stadiums, studios, convention facilities, clubs, churches, and synagogues. Acoustical consultants can provide an acoustical analysis of a particular venue, identify acoustical problems, and make suggestions for equipment or interior design changes for fixing any problems.
Audio Engineer for Videos: This engineer’s specialy is making certain that the audio tracks are synchronized and equalized with the video.
Digital Remastering Engineer: This engineer’s responsibility is to take older analog masters, which are on vinyl, 8-track, or audiocassette formats, and remaster them for release on CD or other digital mediums.
Live Sound Engineer: This engineer’s primary responsibility is to operate the soundboard during a live performance. The live sound engineer is also involved in sound check and the placement of equipment in preparation for a live performance.
Recording Equipment Manufacturer’s Representative/Customer Service: A recording equipment manufacturer’s rep will usually work at the company’s headquarters in a customer service/tech support role. They will also represent the company at trade shows or conferences and potentially serve as a product demonstrator.
Mastering Engineer (Post-Production Engineer): This engineer is responsible for taking the final mixes of recordings that have been sent by a studio, band, or artist for finishing touches such as EQ (equalization), overall effects, and possibly compression.
Multimedia Developer (Interactive Multimedia Specialist): Multimedia developers specialize in formatting and producing audio content for CDs and websites. They primarily combine two or more of the following formats—text, still images, video, animation, or sound—and prepare them as part of an interactive software package
Rerecording Mixer: If a film or business wants to use a particular song for a commercial or movie, they will often rerecord the song or composition again in order to avoid having to negotiate and pay a hefty master-licensing fee to a record label for use of the actual (master) recording.
Record Company Staff: Many times successful producers and engineers who have a track record of working with and identifying successful artists and bands will be tapped for an executive level position at a record label, to oversee artist development, production, or A&R.
Recording Studio Setup Worker: This person is generally charged with the responsibilities of setting up for a recording session by arriving early before the session musicians, artist, or band and setting up any necessary musical equipment, such as amplifiers, drum set, microphones, running microphone cords, music stands, etc. This person is also generally the last person to leave, since he/she is left with the responsibility of ensuring that all equipment is returned to its proper place.
Studio Designer: Studio designers provide complete audio, video, and acoustic design services for recording facilities. Studio designers can serve as consultants for designing or renovating studios for select and distinct purposes.
Studio Technician/Maintenance: The studio technician is extremely knowledgeable in the field of electrical engineering, circuitry, and audio electronics. This person may work within the audio manufacturer’s headquarters and/or conduct fieldwork, such as visiting a client’s studio for customer service–related issues or product repair.
- Performing Artist (Recording Artist/Group): Performing artists specialize in the performance of music, either original or cover material. Their performing skill defines their marketability. The performing artist may work as a solo act with or without backing musicians, or be packaged as a group.
Vocal/Instrumental Solist: A vocal/instrumental soloist is similar to a performing artist and may perform in much the same capacity. But this artist may also work as a contracted performer with a group or in a recording situation. For example, an orchestra, church group, or a recording ensemble may hire a soloist. When performing as a contracted soloist, the artist has a responsibility to rehearse and perform the selected music as directed by the group or project leader.
Session Musician: The session musician may be known as a studio musician, a session player, a sideman or woman, a freelance musician, or a backup musician. The main responsibility of the job is to back up the leader of a group in the recording studio, or possibly during a live performance, and play in a style or manner that the leader of the group or the producer desires. In addition to being a good musician, the session musician must be responsible, reliable, and easy to get along with. It is also important to know how to sight-read, be familiar with a number of different styles, and preferably be proficient on more than one instrument. Session musicians are usually hired by a contractor and paid an hourly fee set by the union (AFM). A session musician may work on various types of projects, including television and film scores, records, demos, jingles, and other music industry gigs.
General Business Musician: A general business (GB) musician may work as a freelance artist or perform with a general business group. These groups maintain a widely varying repertoire to allow them to perform in almost any situation, including weddings, bar or bat mitzvahs, private parties, corporate functions, and dance clubs. GB musicians cover material by well-known recording artists in many different styles, and tailor their repertoire to clients’ expressed desires. Many general business gigs may be formal dress occasions, so tuxedos and formal dresses are a necessity. The largest amount of work can be found in performances of this type, and pay is generally very good. A general business band may work through one or more booking agencies and/or book themselves.
Orchestra/Group Member: An orchestra/group member plays a supporting role in a musical group as an instrumentalist. A vast knowledge of repertoire, musical skill, reading, and doubling ability are important qualities to develop, especially in the orchestral environment. Also important is the ability to play with a group, and to prepare and know the material before rehearsal. The responsibility of the orchestra/group member is to follow the directions of the group leader or conductor and perform prepared music, in performance and recording situations.
Background Vocalist: Background vocalists back up other singers and musicians on recordings, jingles/television commercials, or in live performances. They may work full-time or on a freelance basis, or travel with a performing act, holding responsibility for learning repertoire and attending rehearsals. Background vocalists must be versatile and flexible; those performing on recordings, jingles, or television/radio will need the ability to read music quickly and record it quickly with a minimum of errors. Harmony and improvisation abilities are a plus as well.
Floor Show Band: Floor show bands work in nightclubs, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, cafes, bars, and concert halls putting on show for patrons. They not only perform, they entertain! Show groups may perform many different types of music in their act. Show groups must have pizzazz, and usually involve extensive planning and rehearsal to appear professional at all times. Floor show groups may work in one place for a few days or even weeks before moving on to the next gig, and they travel frequently.
Theatre Musician: A theatre musician is an instrumentalist that plays in the pit orchestra of a music theatre production.
Theatre Performer: A theatre performer is a singer/actor or actress who performs in a music theatre production on stage.
Accompanist/Rehearsal Pianist: The accompanist/rehearsal pianist primarily works with vocalists and/or music theatre groups for rehearsals, live performance, or audition settings.
Cantor: A cantor is a song leader in a Reformed, Conservative, or Orthodox Jewish Synagogue/Temple Service, or Catholic or Christian Orthodox service. The cantor sings liturgical prayers and leads the worshippers in attendance to sing in a precise and measured “call and answer”-type response to his/her own sung part or line.
Church Musician: Choir Director, Worship Leader, Praise & Worship Band Member, Organist, and Soloist: A musician or vocalist that plays, sings, or conducts during the musical portion of a worship service.
Product Demonstrator: A product demonstrator is a musician that is employed by a music equipment manufacturer to demonstrate the company’s product line at trade shows and conferences. Usually, someone with strong playing ability as a musician is selected for this role.