Music production bill a beat away from passing Indiana House

An Indiana Senate bill, in the process of being heard by the House, will look at bringing more music production to the state.

Senate Bill 323 would create a music production incentive program through the Indiana Destination Development Corp. The IDDC, in partnership with the Office of Management and Budget, would provide a report that looks at what other states have done for music production incentives and provide a recommendation for how Indiana should create an incentive itself.

SB 323 was up for first hearing on March 2 and then was sent to the Ways and Means Committee, where it has yet to be heard.

“This is something unique, and if we’re going to play in the music industry, this is a program we need to have,” said bill author Sen. Justin Busch, R-Fort Wayne. “Otherwise, we’re really getting overlooked when we have a hidden robust music ecosystem in our state.”

Indiana would join 32 other states, including bordering states like Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky, in having a music production incentive program if the bill passes.

Similar programs that have passed in Atlanta and Toronto have shown economic success. According to Busch, Toronto has seen an $11 return investment for every dollar spent.

Last session, Bush tried to pass a similar bill that would have created a film and media incentive in the state; however, the bill died in the House. Busch said this year he chose to narrow the incentive down to specifically music because it is more cost efficient. Currently, Indiana has an $8 billion music industry that supports about 50,000 jobs.

Ryan Adkins, owner of Azmyth Recording Studios in Indianapolis, said the studio has seen an increase in interest in music production in recent years due to the accessibility of home studios.

“There’s a lot of talent here; we just kind of get looked over on the national scene. We’re trying to bring more talent to the city,” Adkins said.

Noah Palmquist, a student at Azmyth School of Music Technology at Azmyth Studios, said he plans on staying in Indiana to work as a music producer or engineer.

“Since it is becoming bigger in Indy, I think I will want to stay and help out the next big artist in Indy,” Palmquist said.

His favorite part of getting to be in the studio is having his peers and teachers, who are music producers and engineers themselves, listen to his music and like it.

It is creative people like Palquist that Busch says bring a “funness” to a community that he would like to keep in Indianapolis.

Busch also talked about Indiana’s “rich history of music,” which he hopes SB 323 will help enhance. He mentioned Sweetwater Studios in Fort Wayne, which he said has been recognized by people at the Grammy Music Awards for its instruments and recording. Indiana is also home to Ruoff Home Music Center in Noblesville, which was ranked the No. 1 amphitheater in the country in 2018.

“We all appreciate music. Even when we had a downturn last year, we all kind of turned to music,” Busch said. “It’s a universal language.”

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