Posts tagged with "Deborah Fairchild"

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

The Unsung Heroes Behind Your Favorite Songs

By Deborah Fairchild

Maybe you commute to work listening to The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears,” or you make chores around the house more palatable with a little assistance from the sounds of Drake or Billie Eilish.

If you follow popular music at all, you almost certainly are aware of those performers as well as many other big names in the business, such as Post Malone, Lizzo and Ariana Grande.

And when you think of their songs, you likely think of them.

But recorded music is not the work of just one person, no matter how talented and charismatic that person is on stage. Backup musicians, producers, songwriters, engineers and others also play significant if often unheralded roles in coaxing into existence those tunes that, as some have said, become the soundtracks for our lives.

To get an idea of the plethora of people whose efforts go into your cherished songs, take a journey through the credits for country singer Luke Combs’ album “What You See is What You Get.” Roughly 40 people earn a mention, from drummer Jerry Roe to engineer Alex Gilson to mastering assistant Megan Peterson. Luke may be the focus for country music fans who listen to the album’s songs, but it becomes clear pretty quickly that he is not doing it all by himself, as he likely would tell you.

That list of names connected to the album is more than just a formal acknowledgement to those who lend their talents to the final product. In the music industry, credits are part of the resume, so building an accurate record of who contributed to what is crucial for everyone involved. If, for example, you do digital editing, you want to be able to say you worked on Luke Combs’ album – or Drake’s or Taylor Swift’s – and you want to have the credit listed to prove it. That will help pave the way for more job opportunities down the line.

And, of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of the paycheck. Most people are drawn to the music industry because it’s something they enjoy, but they need to pay bills like anyone else. Yet, unless someone is keeping an accurate record of who contributed to the work, that pay might not make its way to the correct and deserving person’s bank account.

So, credits are important on many levels and they are something I take seriously, as you might imagine since my company, VEVA Sound, helps musicians store and organize their projects through our VEVA Collect digital platform.

But I’m also confident that the average music fan doesn’t spend as much time as I do contemplating the many, many people who deserve some credit for popular – or even obscure – songs. In fairness, the tendency to overlook behind-the-scenes people is probably true in a lot of other industries as well.

Books often include an acknowledgements page, or pages, where the author names editors, researchers, literary agents, librarians or anyone else who helped make the book a reality. Many readers, though, just skim the acknowledgments or skip them altogether. Movies end with not just a cast list, but an extensive cataloging of anyone who remotely had a hand in creating the movie, from key grips to gaffers. Unfortunately, moviegoers often mosey toward the exit as the credits begin to roll rather than stick around to check out all the names. That is, they leave unless they suspect the director included a bonus post-credits scene, as the Marvel movies tend to do, and even then they may pay little attention to the names.

Such realities may leave people thinking, “Who cares about credits anyway?”

Plenty of folks, that’s who.

But it was thinking along those lines that got those of us at VEVA Sound to begin wondering if there was something we might be able to do to create more awareness around music credits to make sure they – and the people behind them – don’t get overlooked.

What came out of that was a Credits Are Cool™ campaign that raises money for charity while at the same time emphasizing just how important those people behind the scenes are to the songs that keep music lovers humming, dancing and smiling.

To pull off the Credits Are Cool effort, we collaborated with a number of musical artists to create hoodies, t-shirts and sweatshirts with the name and image of a song on the front. On the back is a list of people who contributed to the song. In a sense, we are trying to create a movement, proclaiming that we should celebrate everyone who was involved in making music – not just the performers whose names are on a marquee.

Artists whose songs appear on the Credits Are Cool clothing include Sam Tinnesz, Wendy Moten, Sonia Leigh, Hailey Steele, Right Said Fred, Ty Herndon, Jamie O’Neal, Shelly Fairchild, Teke Teke, Whiskey Wolves of the West, and Tayla Lynn, granddaughter of Loretta Lynn.

Maybe through this initiative, in some small way, those who listen to music will take a moment to think about the fact that recorded music is a much more collaborative effort than they might ever have imagined. It could even open up career ideas for young people who love music and would like to work in the industry, but didn’t realize that there’s room for people other than the talented vocalist and the guitar hero.

Yes, credits really are cool because they are not just about seeing your name in lights. They are about how you get work in the ever-competitive music industry.

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound, started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions.

How To Maximize Productivity In Music Production

Technology continues to change the face of music, affecting how it’s created, produced and recorded.

But whether all musicians working in their studios are getting the most out of the opportunities technology affords them is another question altogether. In many cases, they may be missing out on technological tips – or at least technological shortcuts – that could help them increase their productivity.

“There are so many ways these days that musicians can increase the amount of quality work they are doing, but people sometimes miss basic shortcuts that can significantly improve their workflow,” says Deborah Fairchild, president of Nashville-based VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), which verifies and archives projects for clients in the music industry.

But with the right tools, instead of getting bogged down by minutiae, the musician (or producer) can concentrate on the more creative aspects of the work by taking advantage of methods for doing things more directly and more quickly than would be the ordinary procedure without the technological help.

Fairchild says the engineers at VEVA Sound have provided a few tips to increase productivity in creators’ music workflow:

  • Create, and then work from, custom templates. Within a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), users have the option to create templates that can help speed up the workflow and eliminate repetitive tasks that can drain the creativity out of you. “By creating templates, you gain the ability to start each project from a familiar setup that best accommodates your individual workflow, while keeping best practices in mind,” Fairchild says. “This also fosters continuity between projects so that they will be easier to revisit in the future.”
  • Create custom keyboard shortcuts.  Most DAWs give musicians the ability to create custom keyboard shortcuts.These shortcuts can increase your efficiency exponentially, Fairchild says. “Because there is so much functionality in each of these platforms, creating custom shortcuts will give you quicker access to the functions you use most,” she says. “The result will be that you can produce your desired results with little or no wasted time and effort.”
  • Label everything accurately. Make sure that every track in your project is labeled correctly, Fairchild says. “Is that line an acoustic guitar? Note it,” she says. “The same goes for project files.” Instead of naming something “final mix final final edits 2,” come up with a naming convention that accommodates each improved version of a project in your workflow, such as “My Song_Final Mix_Ready for Master.” Correct labeling can be especially important when you are collaborating because you want everyone involved to know what a track contains without having to guess.

“Ultimately, the right workflow can give musicians a break from fretting over all the little details that slow them down, and allow them to put their imaginations and original ideas front and center in the production process,” Fairchild says. “The result is musicians can be more productive and more creative all at the same time.”

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions.

guitar, rock, strum, tabs, strings

How Women Can Overcome Music Industry Challenges

By Deborah Fairchild

If someone were to ask me how I managed to thrive in a male-dominated industry and rise to the position of president at VEVA Sound – and how other young women could similarly succeed – here would be my response:

For me, it has always been about focusing on the work and knowing that if you just do that, everything else will take care of itself. When something needs to happen, just get it done. 

Get it done even if it seems like a menial task. Get it done even if there’s no immediate reward being dangled in front of you. And get it done even if there is no clear indication that what you’re doing will result in a promotion, a raise, or other good things happening somewhere down the road.

Putting in the time and effort doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the music industry (and likely not in any industry). But success can’t happen without that time and effort.

This approach to the working world goes all the way back to my first studio internship. Whatever task was placed before me and needed to be accomplished, I would do it – right down to the unfulfilling but necessary job of cleaning the toilets. (And yes, I actually cleaned toilets. The music industry isn’t always a glamorous world.)

I think that I knew, even at a young age, that if I just kept my attention on the work at hand, and concentrated on what I was doing versus what everyone else was doing, success would find me.

That proved to be true, and this approach continues to pay dividends for me to this day – and maybe could do the same for young women who are probably much like I was several years back, cultivating dreams and ambitions.

In my case, I always loved music and I also had a technical mind. It was a matter of taking those two things and mixing them together, which is why I got my degree in audio engineering. Once I finished college, working as an archival engineer gave me a steady income and allowed me to be around music all day. The rest is history.

Of course, all of this still leaves the question of whether it Is more difficult for a woman than a man to achieve success in the music industry. Certainly, women are underrepresented in our industry, as they are in many others. To give you an idea of that underrepresentation, a study released in 2019 by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looked at 700 popular songs. What that study found was that women accounted for only 21.7% of artists, 12.5% of songwriters, and 2.7% of producers. 

I also can report that over the years I have encountered situations where a man could do or say one thing, but I know it would be unacceptable for me to do or say the same thing.

So, yes, a young woman with ambitions to enter our industry will face challenges, but those challenges shouldn’t deter you. 

After all, the music business is hard for everyone – male or female. Breaking in is tough. Then navigating the business once you’re in is difficult. Finally, it can be extraordinarily challenging to continue to succeed in the business over time, even after you’ve had your initial success. 

The key is to set aside any negative thoughts about all those challenges and focus on what you can control. Be determined to do the work and strive to learn everything you can from everyone you can. 

People are fond of saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s true only to a degree. Who you know may bring opportunities initially, but what you know gives you staying power in this business. 

Ultimately, knowledge and determination have been the two most important factors in my success. They can be for others as well.

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years, she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions. 

Cash and wallet illustration for 360 Magazine

4 Tips For Ambitious Young Women’s Careers

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a double whammy for young women eager to launch their careers.

Young people in general have had their job searches stymied by the recession. Meanwhile, women of all ages have seen their careers impacted negatively more than men by the events of 2020.

But despite the challenges, there is hope for ambitious young women just starting out who want to make a mark, even in male-centric industries, says Deborah Fairchild, president of Nashville-based VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), which verifies and archives projects for clients in the music industry.

“That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy,” she says. “But if you can avoid becoming discouraged, and can face the world with firm determination, the opportunities will be there.”

Fairchild, who started her career with VEVA Sound as an archival engineer in 2004 and rose to lead the company in all facets of the business, has succeeded in an industry in which women are still underrepresented.

Just as an example, a study released in 2019 by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looked at 700 popular songs and found that women accounted for only 21.7% of artists, 12.5% of songwriters, and 2.7% of producers.

Fairchild understands the challenges today’s young women face, and she offers a few tips for those who are just now launching their careers and hope to move up in their organizations:

  • Be prepared to clean toilets. This could be viewed metaphorically, but in Fairchild’s case it was also literal. “When I started as an intern at a studio, I did everything they asked – even clean toilets,” she says. “To pursue a professional career in the music industry, you have to be prepared to pay your dues, starting at the bottom and working your way up. I imagine that’s true for a lot of other industries as well.”
  • Learn from everyone. Formal education is great, and it’s wonderful to have a college degree, but once you’re on the job you will discover how much more there is to learn from watching and listening to other people, Fairchild says. Just about anyone in an organization – from the lowest-paid employee to the CEO – has skills or knowledge they can share with you that will prove useful in your career journey. “Whenever you meet someone,” she says, “always assume they have something to teach you until they prove they don’t.”
  • Networking is a key, but not the key. Who you know is important. So is what you know. “A strong network will give you opportunities,” Fairchild says, “but your knowledge and capabilities will be what give you a long-lasting career.”
  • Know when to pivot. At every stage of your career, stay sensitive to when it’s time to pivot, Fairchild says. “The interesting thing about the music industry is that some things take generations to change, while others change on a dime,” she says. “The ability to discern when to move on or when to double down will set you apart.”

“The pandemic has made things tough for those just trying to launch a career, which means it’s more important than ever to stay positive and persevere,” Fairchild says. “Grab the opportunities that are there, and then make the most of them.”

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville.

Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions.

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Music Business Article for 360 MAGAZINE

VEVA Sound X Quansic

VEVA Sound announced Tuesday that users of its platform are now able to register for an ISNI number for free.

An ISNI is an International Standard Name Identifier, a number uniquely identifying an individual in the music industry.

VEVA Sound verifies archived projects for clients. By partnering with Quansic, a leader in ISNI services, to facilitate registrations, it is now easier for creators to get credit and payment for their work.

FX Nuttall, the founder of Quansic, said the partnership made perfect sense for the company, as both Quansic and VEVA Sound share a vision that creators should be able to be identified easily and early in the creative process.

“As this partnership continues into the future, we are enthusiastic about introducing VEVA Collect’s users to our products — starting with ISNI registration before addressing the allocation of ISRC for Recordings and BOWI for Works,” Nuttall said. “We at Quansic are focused on enabling 100% identifier coverage for all, and our friends at VEVA provide an unprecedented opportunity for the independent creative community to do just that.”

President of VEVA Sound Deborah Fairchild said she is excited about the partnership and for the new opportunities for artists and creators who use VEVA Collect for payment for their work.

“FX Nuttall is widely respected in our industry, and we are proud to avail his expertise to our users through Quansic,” Fairchild says. “We believe it is imperative that we empower creatives with every resource available to receive authenticated credit for their work.

VEVA Sound was founded in 2002 and works to spearhead the movement to define, create and implement the standards for how sound is preserved and monetized. They now have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and London where they work with clients to verify and archive audio and metadata.

To learn more about VEVA Sound, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about Quansic by clicking right here.

image by VEVA SOUND featured in 360 MAGAZINE

Protect Music Credits with VEVA Sound

When a violinist in lockdown because of the pandemic was asked to compose music for a secret project, the agreeable musician went to work, even though he had no idea where the finished product would turn up.

As it happened, he was working on Taylor Swift’s new Folklore album – and his name and contribution appeared appropriately in the album’s liner notes.

Someone, clearly, was keeping proper records to make sure credit went where credit was due.

That’s not always the case in the music world, though. Efforts to store recording files and credit notes can be at times haphazard, leaving some musicians and songwriters to learn too late that their hard work went unrecognized and uncredited, says Deborah Fairchild, president of Nashville-based VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), which verifies and archives projects for clients in the music industry.

“The bottom line is that without accurate credits, you cannot be paid for your participation in any project,” she says.

Whether musicians are in a studio or sitting on the sofa at home during the pandemic, they need to make sure careful documentation is kept of what they write and record, and that the documentation is safely stored, Fairchild says.

“As the industry evolves in this new normal, remote recording has become more of a trend,” Fairchild says. “That makes it perhaps more important than ever that everyone who creates music should have a streamlined way to ensure that their credits are accurate and their files are safe at every stage of the creative process.”

VEVA Sound, through its VEVA Collect platform, is one of the companies that provides a way for those credits to be collected and stored. In addition, VEVA Collect allows those musicians to safely share unreleased work with collaborators by providing storage for such files as sound demos and mixed-and-mastered projects.

“When people hear music, they probably think mainly about the performer,” Fairchild says. “But lots of people can be involved in a project, whether it’s a performer, songwriter, producer, or engineer, and all of them should want to ensure that their credits are accurately submitted at the session level.”

Because credits are valuable – on occasion worth millions of dollars – they can become the subject of major conflicts when someone feels their contributions to a project aren’t duly noted. Sometimes the disagreements end up in court, where the legal system must try to untangle competing claims about who deserves credit and who does not.

This year, Post Malone found himself in a legal battle over whether another songwriter deserved a writing credit on one of Malone’s songs. The songwriter said yes, Malone said no. Just recently, a judge dismissed a lawsuit in which two songwriters claimed they deserved credit on singer and rapper Lizzo’s hit song “Truth Hurts.”

Fairchild says one mistake often made in the collecting and storing process is waiting until after the fact to compile the credits, which creates the risk that someone’s contribution will be left out.

“We believe the best way to manage the nightmare of file and credit management is to collect the information at the time you are creating, whether you are writing a song or making a recording,” she says. “If there is a process in place to easily collect files and credits from the beginning of a project, the chances of inaccurate credits or missing files decreases drastically.”

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions.