Your Music in the Film Industry

Written February 28th, 2014 by
Categories: Music Industry

Maybe you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, fascinated by the way every slapstick action is musically described. Maybe you discovered the magic of John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, or Ennio Morricone, and the haunting melodies never left your auditory daydreams. Or perhaps you played one of the blockbuster video games (Medal of Honor, anyone?) and the possibility of writing music for a video game/movie crossover excites you more than a percussionist in a Hans Zimmer score.

However your foray into the monde musicale began, you’ve now arrived at the point of no return- you long to hear your music and see your name in an award-winning film.

So how feature your music in the film industry?

Right off the bat, let’s just say that there is no one way of breaking into the world of music and film. There are many different paths that people take in their pursuit of this dream. Remember that “Medal of Honor” score? The composer, Michael Giacchino, eventually went on to score such hits as Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”. He found a way into the film industry via the business side of things, becoming a publicist for Disney’s feature film department. Jerry Goldsmith, who scored such memorable works as “The Planet of the Apes” (1968) and “The Secret of NIMH”, started out as a typist for CBS.

Some of the more common paths to get your music in the film industry are:

  1. Become a composer’s assistant – Sometimes, composers will put up advertisements for an assistant. Duties might include anything from the usual coffee runs and correspondence to notating and orchestrating. More often than not, you will start out with the mundane office work and progress to creative production.
  2. Find quality student films/film festival submissions – The amount of films being produced by college seniors is astounding. Search for work using sites such as Mandy.com. It’s usually no or low pay, but you might get lucky. These films have the potential to garner some decent exposure, which is everything.
  3. Submit work to a music library/music licensing agency – The way that the industry is going, more and more TV networks are looking to the small music libraries and music licensing agencies as a quality, cost-efficient option. The ability to put down on your professional website that your music is aired on major TV networks is a huge plus.

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you get your music in the film industry and you become the next Williams, Morricone, or Goldsmith. I leave you with these words of wisdom from Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables: “Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.”

The Grammy Effect

Written February 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Music Industry

 

For musicians attempting to break into the recording industry in a serious way, it is a bitter irony that selling a lot of albums is easiest once you’ve already sold a lot of albums. Success begets success and that is perhaps one of the biggest lessons we learn from the Grammys.

“The Grammy Effect,” Continues to Remind Us of the Recording Industry Catch-22

The Grammys are the biggest awards ceremony for music and only the biggest and the best are a part of the festivities. While categories do consider rookie superstars, you’re not going to see Tom Neighborly, (the incredibly talented singer/songwriter from your local bar’s open mic night), anywhere near that stage. It’s a ceremony for those at the top, and they are the ones who benefit.

However, the internet has done wonders to open up the musical market for those who might have never have had a chance otherwise though, because it has become so much easier for an artist to distribute his or her work to the masses. Artists like Justin Bieber and Lorde jumpstarted their careers using the internet and even established mega stars like Beyonce nod with respect to its power. The word-of-mouth capability the web brings to undiscovered musicians and bands allows their music to spread quickly and dramatically.

In addition, the web is also causing traditional album sales to fall annually. However, there’s still an inherent prejudice against those just starting out. Most digital sales still occur because people are buying already-popular music. As a matter of fact, a huge portion of Grammy bump sales occur online. In 2011, Mumford and Sons reaped the benefits of a 133% increase in digital sales (through iTunes and other such programs) during the week after the Grammy’s.

Okay, then, so the formula seems to be: Make millions, get to the Grammy’s. Get to the Grammy’s, make millions?

Meh.

Among those artists that can expect a Grammy’s sales boost this year are:

Lorde
Daft Punk
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Bruno Mars, and
Michael Buble

However, at least things have improved somewhat. If Tom Neighborly establishes a solid web following then, maybe next year, Tom; maybe next year.

How sampling technology has changed music forever

Written February 6th, 2014 by
Categories: Music Industry

Technology has touched every realm of modern life from the way we communicate to how we move around using GPS navigation or even how we enjoy food (think Instagram??), but one of the least talked about, yet more influenced areas is: artistic expression.

In particular, Modern Music has been completely changed by the use of technology. Today we can listen to music everywhere at almost any moment, stream it on our phones, share it with the world, make our own music videos etc. But perhaps the most important change is how music is made today.

Sampling Technology – Making Something New Out of Something Old

The use of sampling technology has allowed musicians and DJ’s around the world the luxury of having any sound or instrument they want to play at their fingertips and this has spawned the creation of entirely new music genres using sampling at the center.

At the beginning, samplers only had a few buttons that triggered a single sound at a time, so you could have a drum loop or an instrument riff as the base of your track and that gave life to genres like gangsta rap. Now with computer based software samplers as ubiquitous as they are there is almost an unlimited array of instrument sounds that have been recorded, sliced, tuned, dissected, and packaged for every musician and DJ with a computer at hand and some creativity.

We found “The world’s most important 6 seconds drum loop documentary” on YouTube and it goes into great depths explaining the use of sampling in modern music. We hope you enjoy…

 

Audio Mastering & How To Avoid Bad Mixes

Written January 30th, 2014 by
Categories: Mastering

 

 

Audio mastering is a real aural art form on its own, even though some people find it a mysterious process. Those who master audio always have to be astute to the nuances of sound that an artist might not readily notice. When an initial mix is brought in by an artist for mastering, the person may not even hear some of the sound balance problems that provide challenges for the audio mastering engineer.

It’s why when you bring a recording in to have it mastered, consider doing a couple of things first so the mastering process can improve upon the quality of your recording.

Make Sure the Mixes are Done Right

When mastering occurs, there’s little that can be done to fix the balance of a bad mix. While specific instruments can sometimes be brought out in the mastering process, a bad mix without the right tone or balance between instruments can become a major issue. Only those trained to listen for such things might be able to scope a bad mix out when an artist can’t. Fortunately, an expert in audio mastering usually advises the artist to make sure the mixes are done right before any further mastering is done.

Understanding the Role of Audio Mastering

An artist bringing a recording in for mastering might not completely understand what the mastering engineer does to help create a better sound balance. Even if the artist fixes the first mix, he or she may have only heard the results on a smaller sound system that may sound different when played on larger sound equipment.

In audio mastering, the engineer can tell when there’s too much bass or a mid range that doesn’t sound crisp and clear. These are the areas that mastering can fix after having a decent mix to work on.

The engineer will also work on more subtle aural situations like the comparison between the loudness of instrumental sounds and the vocal. Sometimes a mix sounding overly bright will end up sounding a little different after mastering. Nevertheless, a top mastering engineer will have a studio that’s designed to give the best fidelity capabilities during playback. This can help the engineer scope out the best overall recording balance in specific areas like stereo separation, plus how the recording sounds acoustically in a room.

Mostly, you should trust your audio mastering engineer in their audio guidance. One with considerable experience will have a bank of knowledge in their heads of how certain musical genres are supposed to sound.

Here at CD Depot Stores, we can do custom and affordable audio mastering for your recording with a very experienced team. We even master one sample for you free if you’re an indie artist on a budget.

Let us be your one-stop multimedia source that also includes distribution and replication services. Whether it be video or audio projects, we’ll bring quality design to everything, including audio mastering engineers who understand what people want to hear.