In today’s unique economy there are so many reasons you might need to hire a composer. For example, maybe you need the sound for an app, or you’re a game designer. Maybe you’re making a commercial or some other type of marketing. Regardless of why you need a composer, you may not need someone full-time, in-house, but instead just for a one-time project.
Some of today’s best composers work independently and use resources like Cymatics, and digital tools to create music in a completely distinctive way.
The gig economy offers access to outstanding talent on a freelance basis, but hiring a freelancer composer can be tough if you don’t know where to begin.
The following are some tips that can help:
Have Some Samples of What You’re Looking For
Sometimes when people are hiring a composer they might think it’s better to let the artist take the creative reigns completely, and of course, you do want creativity, but it can be helpful to provide potential freelancers with some samples of what you like, at least generally.
Composers may not be able to grasp what you’re going for based on words alone, and there are subtle things that you might be able to show them through samples, such as the mood, tempo and type of instrumentals you’re looking for.
By doing this, you may be able to narrow down the field of potential candidates more easily as well because some composers might say they aren’t able to work within the aesthetic you’re after.
Decide on Budget
Before you start even looking at candidates, you’re going to need to think about what you can spend. If your budget is tiny, you’re going to have to accept the fact that the person you hire is probably just going to be starting out. If at all possible it can be better to up your budget because the impact the music is going to have on the tone of the entire finished product is significant.
If you want someone with a strong portfolio and a long career, your budget is going to have to be in line with their expectations.
Have a Conversation
Composers are at the end of the day artists, and you want them to be able to understand your vision.
Providing samples is a good starting point to show what you’re after, but having a face-to-face or Skype chat should occur after you hire someone. You want to be able to talk about the experience you’re trying to create, and the emotions you want to evoke.
Be Ready to Provide Feedback
Finally, once you do hire someone don’t be shy about providing feedback. Composers typically thrive on feedback, and even just the slightest comments from you can completely shift the direction of the project.
A lot of composers will tell you that one of the most difficult things about working with clients is their lack of feedback, so don’t be intimidated or worried you’re going to upset them. They want to get the project right if they’re a professional.