Music Glossary N

Music Glossary N

Music Glossary N is a collection of music industry terms, words, and phrases, that begin with the letter “N”, from Nearfield to Normal Retail Channels.

Music Glossary N

Music Glossary Navigation

Music Glossary N Terms


Nearfield monitors are specially designed to be placed close to the listener, typically within 1 metre/40 inches.

The intention is that sound from the monitors will reach your ears first, so that what you hear is uncolored by interference, distortion, and any other inaccuracies caused by early room reflections.

Nearfield Monitors are ideal for both tracking and mixing. Their sound profile tends to be accurate and clear, with a pretty flat sound response, but because they are almost always small in size, some models can have a poor bass response.

Needle Drop This is a digital recording created from a source analog recording. Specifically, where the source analog recording is a vinyl or acetate disc.

The resulting digital recording is likely to be an unlicensed copy.

Neighbouring Rights

Generally speaking, Neighbouring Rights apply to recordings, not to the published content. Neighbouring Rights do not apply to a song, but they could apply to a recording of a song.

Performers and broadcasters have Neighbouring Rights to recordings of their work.

As an example: When a performer performs on the recording of a song, the performer will have Neighbouring Rights to that recording. Unless they wrote the song, or they otherwise own the copyright on the song, they will have no rights relating to the song itself.

Net Artist Rate

see Retroactive to Record One.

Net Publisher’s Share/NPS

The gross income collected by, or credited to, a music publisher minus any royalties to be paid to writers, performers and others who are due a share of those royalties, such as co-publishers.

When buying a publishing Catalog (musical compositions), the NPS is used to help calculate the value of the Catalog.

Net Receipts

Net Receipts are usually defined within recording agreements as the gross income minus a number of deductions.

Gross Income is determined by the receipts relating to the explicit use of the Masters.

Deductions include the Label’s expenses:

  • Collection costs
  • Taxes, shipping, and insurance
  • Fund contributions
    • AFM Phonograph Record Manufacturers Special Payment Fund
    • AFM Music Performance Trust Fund
    • AFTRA Pension and Welfare Fund
    • Any similar fund created in relation to a collective bargaining agreement
    • AFTRA Contingent Scale Payments
  • Mechanical Royalties or other payments to Copyright owners etc.

Net Sales

Net Sales are defined as relating to Records sold by the Label/Distributor to 3rd parties where payment has been made, or a credit line has been established, minus any Returns and any Reserves set against Returns.

New Technology Records

A term often found in recording agreements. The term is a catch-all. With reference to Records, its intent is to cover all current forms of technology and all future forms of technology for the storage of music, which does not at that time make up a substantial percentage of Record sales.

For example, DAT, DCC, and DVD Audio Records.

Record Labels nearly always pay a lower Artist Royalty in relation to New Technology Records. The Artist Royalty then remains low until the format becomes a significant percentage of sales.

For a long time, Digital Transmission sales were treated as New Technology Records. Most Record Labels have stopped treating Digital Transmission sales in this way.

Artist/Band - Songstuff Music Community Join

Noise Gate

This is a device that allows the user to automatically fully attenuate or turn off an audio signal when it is below a preset threshold amplitude. Using a Noise Gate will reduce the noise contributed by an individual track to the overall mix. See our article Gates, for a more detailed description, by following the link below.

Songstuff Gates Article


Elements of a record contract that cannot be recovered from the artist by the Record Label.

Non-Registered Parameter Numbers (NRPN)

These are undefined, assignable, MIDI Controller Numbers.

Normal Retail Channels

This relates to the Net Sales of Records sold as Top-Line Records through both real-world Brick and Mortar Stores and Digital Downloads.

Physical Record sales and Top-Line Records sold as Digital Downloads are assigned the full Artist Royalty rate in most Record Contracts.

The term USNRC Net Sales is a common way to refer to Net Sales of Records as Top-Line Records through Normal Retail Channels in the United States, in Recording Contracts.

The highest rate of Artist Royalty that a Record Label will agree to in the United States is for USNRC Net Sales of albums.

Making Suggestions

All suggestions are very welcome. We ask that when you suggest a term, you also suggest a description for that term. As a regular contributor, we ask that you follow the instructions on becoming a contributor set out below. You are also welcome to make suggestions in our music community forums.

Become A Contributor To The Songstuff Music Library

Contributors Wanted

Are you a qualified entertainments lawyer? Or perhaps you have in-depth knowledge about tour management? Are you an experienced band manager? Or perhaps a booking agent? You could be a studio Engineer or a music producer. Would you be interested in helping musicians to build their skills and understanding by contributing definitions to the Songstuff Music Glossary? We rely upon musicians, and people working within the music industry, being willing to contribute to our knowledge base.

As well as contributions to our music glossary, we feature contributions to our music library, in our site blogs and social media portals.

In particular, we add video contributions to the Songstuff Channel on YouTube.

Please contact us and we can explore the possibility of you joining our contributors asap.

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If you would like to listen to some awesome indie music while you browse, just open our media player. It opens in another window (or tab) so your playlist can play uninterrupted as you browse.

Open the Songstuff Media Player.

Playlists are curated by SSUK for the Independent Music Stage and Songstuff.