“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Gone are the days when the only career options seemed to be engineering, medical and CA. Now, there are a wide variety of fun (and successful) careers that you can opt for so that working becomes enjoyable and less like a chore.
Love tapping your feet to music and dancing about to rhythmic beats?
Creating such music requires an entirely different level of skills, creativity and artistry, and they are ones that DJs and Sound Producers possess.
An offbeat career that may have seemed an odd choice a few years past, it is now fast gaining popularity.
To make your mark in the highly competitive music field, be sure that you have the passion and spark to turn music into a successful career. The income you will make will be entirely dependent on your skill and dedication to the work.
Who are DJs and Sound Producers?
The term DJ began as a short form of disc jockey and refers to those persons who play recorded music (or discs) professionally at events such as parties and clubs. A sound producer, on the other hand, is a person who records music, with or without singers, in a professional studio, producing sound which can then be played later on.
Both roles are based on a love of music, but while DJs play pre-recorded music, sound producers create fresh music. These days, DJs can also be sound producers and vice versa, so you can choose which role suits you or if you would like to combine the roles.
Both roles involve creativity; if you are a DJ you would be mixing and combining music in a creative manner, while as a sound producer you can combine a variety of sounds for your finished product.
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What are the Differences Between a DJ and a Sound Producer?
The major difference between becoming a DJ and being a sound producer, apart from the creative expression, is the audience.
If you become a DJ, you will need to tailor your music and performance based on the audience and their needs. As a DJ, whether you perform at gigs or in clubs, you would be required to play music that suits the needs of the concerned hiring party, for example, whether they want background music or dance music. Each category of music further has numerous styles, ranging from club music to Indian styles for dance, or jazz and blues for lounges.
If you are a DJ, you would need to have a thorough knowledge of the various music genres and be able to understand the mood of the audience so that you can create a popular vibe and keep them interested.
In comparison, a sound producer develops and arranges for music over a period of time, and does not perform directly in front of an audience. As a sound producer, you would be involved in the recording of music and in the arrangement of the different components required, such as musical instruments, sound effects and/or singers. Sound producers are also known as sound engineers, sound technicians, audio engineers, and recording engineers.
However, if you are interested in both the roles, you can become a DJ and sound producer. Despite their differences, the work of a DJ and a sound producer complement each other. As a DJ, you can play music that you have produced, thereby both promoting your work and getting live feedback. Also, by working as a DJ you will have a better understanding of your target audience, which will help you when you produce music.
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DJ/Sound Producer as a Career in India
The career options for a DJ/Sound producer are based on employment type and end-user segment.
As a DJ, you have the option to work with clubs, lounges, event managers and radio stations, playing regularly for audiences in a specific style based on the event for which you are playing. Another career option as a DJ is entrepreneurship, where you independently create your brand name and directly take on events to perform at. While working with an establishment offers stability, you have more chance of fame and higher salaries if you build your own brand.
You can also release albums featuring your work, further bringing you fame and recognition as well as an additional source of income. Regardless of whether you are self-employed or employed by a company, you will be surrounded by music and excitement in a career that is upcoming and fun. There are many famous Indian DJs like Ritwiz, Nucleya, DJ Chetas, DJ Sartek, etc.
As a sound producer (or sound engineer, as it’s more commonly known in India), your career options will be based on the format for which the sound or music is being recorded. For example, whether you are recording individual songs, background scores for movies or TV shows, or music for stadiums/theatres.
You will be involved in each step of the music production process, whether it’s organizing the creative angle or the final production. Employment options are available with known recording studios or audio production houses and you can also work independently as a contractor. Although employment with a known recording studio or audio production house would provide more stability in your career, you would likely have more creative freedom while working as a contractor.
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How to Become a DJ/Sound Producer in India
The main criterion to become a DJ/Sound producer is to have a passion for music. To learn the specialised skills for working as a DJ, there are a variety of short-term courses available, which you can pursue directly after Class 12 or after completing your graduation in any field.
To become a sound engineer, there are several institutes which offer diploma and degree level courses.
Institutes offering courses to become a DJ include:
- Global DJ Academy (Mumbai, Thane)
- Skratch Dj & Music Production Academy (Delhi, Chandigarh, Nagpur)
- Spin Gurus (New Delhi)
- PartyMap (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat)
- Electronyk Academy (New Delhi)
- I Love Music Academy (Gurgaon)
Institutes offering courses to become a sound producer/sound engineer include:
- National Institute of Film and Fine Arts NIFFA (Kolkata)
- Government Film & Television Institute (Bangalore)
- Film and Television Institute of India (Pune)
- Department of Music, University of Mumbai
- Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism (Pune)
- Mumbai Music Institute – [MMI]
- Crypto Cipher Academy (Delhi)
After you complete your respective course, you will most often be settled into an internship from where you can pursue job options.
What is the Scope of Being a DJ/Sound Producer in India?
The scope for DJs and sound producers in India differs. While there is considerable scope in the field of sound producing or sound engineering, there is more competition if you want to become a professional DJ.
The concept of DJs is relatively new, popularized more in urban cities where there is an established party culture. Since the market is limited, breaking into the field is not easy. However, if you are confident and have a good knowledge of music as well as an ability to understand the interests of an audience, success will surely follow.
In comparison, there is plenty of scope for sound producers/sound engineers and the field has been an established one for years. Any and every music or background sound is recorded with the aid of sound producers who manage the recording, mixing and reproduction while maintaining quality.
Due to strides in technology, the field of sound engineering is continually evolving. As the process of sound recording becomes more accessible, hobby musicians and singers are also having their music recorded, increasing the demand for sound engineers.
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Music is a popular hobby for many of us, but if it’s more than just a hobby for you and you want to turn your love for music into a profession, becoming a DJ or sound producer are popular options. There are a variety of career options in each of the fields, and you can also become a DJ and sound producer both if you want.
Entering the field of music professionally is a risk, so if you have any doubts, consider career counselling to finalize your choices.
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