Sound Credit — Music Credits Enter the Digital Age

By in Audio Post, Music Creation, Pro Mixing

Music credits are the modern industry’s biggest problem

If you work in the music industry, you know that missing credits have been a painful problem.  We put up with lost opportunities, damaged relationships and $1.4 Billion in un-paid music royalties, year after year.

In the digital revolution, most industries moved forward.  Meanwhile, the music industry faced peer-to-peer sharing, record store closings, and the demise of physical CDs.  We were concerned with survival rather than progress.

Credits, liner notes and album art were part of the experience.  In the past, we had large printing on vinyl album covers.  Later, it was made small to fit on cassette and CD inserts.  In the age of streaming, the information went away completely, leaving us with one thumbnail image.

Now, as streaming matures, Goldman Sachs forecasts the recording industry will double to $41 billion by 2030.  Our broken system for music credits means we are missing an important foundation needed for growth.

These trends have to end, we have to move forward.

Enter Sound Credit — the credits, liner notes, and cover art platform for the modern music industry.  Now, everyone in the music industry can get access to proper tools that make it easy to publish to Sound Credit.


Sound Credit gives credit where credit is due

The platform includes a database website and two products — a plugin for collecting credits and a desktop portal for editing and uploading them.

Sound Credit uses the RIN format, a non-proprietary format for credits developed by a group of companies called DDEX.  Members of DDEX include the makers of Sound Credit and industry leaders like Apple, Amazon, Spotify, Warner, Sony, ASCAP and over 30 others.  For 10 years, virtually every major force in the music industry was involved in creating the standard.  Sound Credit created the first-ever implementation, and brings it into your studio and workstation.

The Sound Credit Pro plug-in was designed for sound engineers, producers, artists and musicians.  Credits and details can be captured live, during studio sessions.

Now, as streaming matures, Goldman Sachs forecasts the music industry will double to $41 billion by 2030.  Our broken system for music credits means we are missing an important foundation needed for this growth.

Forgetting details at the end of a project is avoided by collecting credits in the moment.  Also, it is easier to collect more detailed information for each participant when it’s done right there in the studio.

We recently sat down with Nashville producer, Marshall Altman who mentioned “Setting Sound Credit up for each song takes me less than 30 Seconds”.  In those seconds, hundreds of lines of metadata are generated in the background.  It takes about as much effort as labeling tracks as guitar, vocals or drums.

Use the Sound Credit Portal to upload

The Portal is the cornerstone of Sound Credit.  It’s a powerful desktop application for editing and uploading credits to Sound Credit.  This includes the option to add artwork and liner notes for individual songs and the album.

After a few steps an entry can be published to the Sound Credit website.

The Portal was designed for engineers, producers, labels and anyone else that that needs to publish credits.

In the past, music artwork and packaging was always sent off for printing to be published.  Sound Credit is the way for digitally publishing a project’s art and information in the modern age.

The Sound Credit website was built with sleek design and flexible integration with 3rd party platforms.


Send the RINs

Going forward, there are two things to remember.  First, send RIN files every time you deliver audio files.  Second, if you receive audio files without RIN files, contact the sender and request them.  There is a free version of the plugin that allows basic RIN creation so there is no barrier to start.

This simple practice will end the music credit problems our industry has faced for decades.  It’s in your hands — showing leadership will leave a lasting impression on everyone you work with.  With a movement like this, you may want to be known as one of the first to get started, not the last.

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Hi, I’m CEO and Co-Founder of Soundways, makers of Sound Credit. I began my journey into the music industry as a mastering engineer and later authored Complete Audio Mastering published by McGraw-Hill. After licensing a plug-in design to Plugin Alliance and Universal Audio, I founded Soundways to serve the music and my community.