Music Industry


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…

 

Digital Distribution: The Golden Age of Music Recording

Written January 16th, 2014 by
Categories: Music Industry

Digital Distribution Tips

 

The Golden Age of Music Recording

Digital Distribution is to the recording industry what “Golden Age of Radio” was to radio in the early days. Our current age has even been called “The New Golden Age” due to the advent of internet radio and other platforms, and the ease by which musicians and publishers can promote and publish their ideas and musical works to the world. But how do you do it? Where do you start? With so many new sales platforms emerging, it is hard to know which ones to use.

Digital Distribution

Here are a few tips for the budding musician or recording artist to take advantage of this new golden age of music recording and effectively distribute your works:

  1. Don’t try to be all to everyone. In other words, don’t try to get on every single platform just because they are there. Instead, focus on one or two which are proven to work. In the old days of record album distribution, you didn’t see musicians all trying to get on every label, did you? The same is true of digital distribution. While it’s true that being on more platforms gets you more coverage, you can cover most of the same ground with one highly effective platform that reaches millions, rather than five that reach only a few.
  2. Consider your budget. Think about how much you can spend and how big you want to go. Think of your music career like a business. Only spend what you can afford at first, then increase marketing efforts as you grow.
  3. Focus on the “big guys.” If you had had a chance in the 1970′s to have been on Arista Records, MCA, or RCA, would you have done it? The same is true today.  You need to go with the big labels, that is, the big online digital distribution channels that know how to move your songs and get people interested.
  4. Make a professional mix. Before you start distributing, make sure you have a great mix. You do that by practicing professional recording techniques, either in your own studio, or by hiring someone who knows what they are doing, and the subtle nuances of professional audio mixing and recording, to accomplish this for you. So, before you start petitioning iTunes and Amazon to sell millions of copies of your mp3, make sure the quality is outstanding.
  5. Network with other musicians. By contacting others who are trying to do the same thing you are, you can build a network of fellow artists who can help promote you on their blog or social media. You may also learn valuable tips that will help you with your music career.
  6. Decide on types of media. You may only want to promote and distribute mp3s, or you may opt to also have CD’s created. While CD’s are on a down slide lately, they are still a popular option. And this allows you to create unique artwork for your “album” and offer a hard copy version to your fans. You just need to decide if you want to make the investment to include hard media.

When working up an effective digital distribution plan, start with a good mix. Decide what your budget is, whether you will house both CD’s and mp3s, or just digital files. Network with others, and find a professional duplication service. When you start trying to promote yourself on a larger scale, you may find your budget increasing. Be ready for this by planning ahead, and asking the advice of the experts.

If you need advice on how to get started in your digital distribution plan, visit us on the web at www.innercatmusic.com or at www.cddepotstores.com We are experts in CD/DVD duplication and distribution. We love to see musicians thrive!