Writing a guest post for us this week is Marc Plotkin, an American Songwriting Award-winning artist, Grammy short-listed Producer and Assistant Professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. He regularly collaborates with clients worldwide on their music via SoundBetter. We’re excited to welcome him to The Daily Rind to share his knowledge.
It’s said that you become the average of the five people you most associate with. If that’s true, why are you limiting yourself to collaborating with the musicians and music production pros that are right next door? Let’s explore a few of the benefits of making music with talent around the world.
1) Work With the Best
When I was growing up, I used to devour every word written on the liner notes of my favorite albums. Eventually, I’d start to notice patterns of repeated names on many of my favorites. The same producer or mixer would show up over and over again. I’d dream about making music with people like that, but it felt impossible since I had no connection to them. Thankfully, it’s a brave new world. Search for some of your favorite artists on a service like SoundBetter and you’ll find that many of the people who worked on your favorite albums are not only easy to get in touch with, but they actually want to hear from you. SoundBetter has convinced top music production pros to make themselves accessible by providing a safe and convenient platform for working remotely. With this knowledge, why wouldn’t you try working with the best people in the world as opposed to the only decent engineer/songwriter/bassist in your circle? Why go to a studio that ‘does it all’ if you could work with top specialists? If the talent available blows you away where you live, that is great. But if not, open yourself up to working with top pros remotely. Most well known artists don’t sit in the same room with the top mixers who mix their tracks. They work remotely. Most DJs don’t record the singers that are featured on their tracks themselves. They send the singers their track, and get great vocals back that they then mix in. This is how it’s done today. Join the revolution.
Living in New York City, there are countless talented people I’d love to work with. That said, not every project I work on has the budget for top New York talent. I know that an average New York budget may be considered high in a place such as Minneapolis, a town that also has fantastic talent. So why not get the top mixer in a location where the cost of living is lower and where the budget goes farther? Author Tim Ferriss calls this idea “geoarbitrage,” and it’s regularly used in the real estate and investment worlds, so why not utilize it when choosing professional talent for your music?
3) One is the Loneliest Number
Almost everyday, I see artists creating in a vacuum. Technology has made it too easy to work on an album for two years, alone in your studio, without playing it to anyone before it is released. This is comforting to artists, I’ve done it too, but it’s missing a big part of what makes great art: great collaboration. If you don’t have anyone you’d like to share your music with where you live, utilize pros to get feedback and improve on your creation. It will still be your creation. There’s another nice benefit here; when you add professional collaborators of any kind to something you’re creating, you actually empower them to want to share it with the world. That’s a marketing asset that doesn’t happen when you only make music by yourself.
4) Grow Your Network
Since I’ve started collaborating with artists around the world via SoundBetter, my network has grown from a handful of musicians in New York and Los Angeles, to include a popular rock band in Indonesia, singer-songwriters in Houston, San Francisco, Omaha, a classical composer in London and the list goes on. The enrichment and friendships you make from taking the plunge and working with remote talent is far more rewarding than sticking with those you see day-to-day.
SoundBetter has made this process easy and safe. I believe it’s making the music industry better, and I hope you’ll join me and try creating music with someone brand new on the other side of the world.