The process of capturing sound from a microphone to releasing a finished recording is a complex, iterative one. Every stage in this cycle can lead to new audio creations, be they a new composition, a new guitar track, a new mix, etc. The figure below shows an exemplary diagram of the process that leads to the production of two masters that may find their way into a music product.

In each of these “studio events”, there are a number of metadata elements that may be important to capture. Who performed which musical work? Who played which instrument? When and where was this performance recorded? Who was the sound engineer? Which recording components (or, in studio parlance: tracks[1]) were used to create a specific mix? And which sections of these recording components have been used? These pieces of information are important for several reasons, including:

  • It is only possible to attribute credits and distribute royalty payments to the correct people if the appropriate metadata is captured, and communicated to those organisations that need to have that metadata. Amongst these are music publishers, labels and rights societies for musical works, sound recordings and performers; and
  • The richer the data provided to retailers, the better they can market their products. That can  increase the audience and, thus, the revenue a sound recording may generate. For instance, the information that Elton John was a studio musician on some of The Hollies’ recordings would allow the retailer to include the relevant Hollies’ songs on an Elton John artist page. This may lead to Elton John fans also wishing to listen to and buy some of The Hollies’ songs.

It is thus important to include essential information on all recording components, mixes and masters and to communicate this information, together with the music they describe, into the supply chain.Process leading to two masters (exemplary)Figure 1 – Process leading to two masters (exemplary)

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[1]  DDEX decided to not use the term “track” as this term has different meanings in different parts of the music industry and may, thus, lead to confusion. It will, however, be up to the user interface of the RIN-enabled application or equipment to use a term suitable for its audience.