Adventures in Music Licensing
April 2018 Vol. 6, No. 4
* The rainy spring continues in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had a few days in the 60s, but not enough! More sun.
* New videos on Youtube, below. There's a Mancini tribute ("Penguins on Parade", a romantic theme ("Our Love"), and cinematic jazz ("Swinging in the Starlight"). All with interesting images and video (Imovie!) If you have a cable TV provider with voice control, say “Ed Hartman, Yutube”. It works! Channel ID: https://www.youtube.com/user/edhartman1
* Welcome new readers! Please email any questions about licensing. I am always happy to respond (and it will go into the next newsletter)
* I have had a number of individual consultations. Thanks to everyone. It's amazing how many folks are seriously getting into music licensing!
* I am teaching my next Music Licensing Class on Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9am to noon. (https://www.campusce.net/nscc/Course/Course.aspx?c=2117). Please share this with any musicians, bands, songwriters or composers you know in the Pacific Northwest. If you live outside of the Pacific NW, I am going to take my class on the road. Please email me, if you have any connections with music schools in your area. I can offer a combination morning Licensing Workshop, and afternoon Percussion Clinic!
* If this newsletter has helped you, please consider becoming a fan: I did start a Patreon page. This is very new to me, and I have a lot to learn about it. My page is (https://www.patreon.com/edhartman) Feel free to support the effort! Call it a voluntary subscription to this newsletter!
* I am doing more and more one-on-one consultations (in person, skype or phone). If you are not in the Pacific NW, and would like to get info, please email me (email@example.com) Let me know what you are interested in talking about (licensing, contracts, exclusive vs. non, writing, tech, etc.) and we can schedule a time to talk. My fees are below. If you just have a short question, you can always email it for a general answer in the next newsletter. Please let me know if I can be of help!
* I would very much appreciate any testimonials you have about the class. This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below).
Recent adventures in licensing:
I am happy to report a great placement! One of our favorite Critical" libraries placed “Football Funk” in NBC’s Rise last week. I only received a few days notice before it was on. The payment is good (although I probably won’t see it for a bit) and the royalties should be excellent, considering it is primetime. Here’s the link for the episode: (“Victory Party” S1, E4) The music comes in 13:07-13:28 during the football game, as the students are telling each other about the party. It’s in the background, about 20 sec.
Here's the episode:
Here’s the track: (for reference)
The scene is really close in style, editing, dialog as the football scene in “The Blind Side” My track is nearly in an identical place in the scene, too. The track was also featured in the film "Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins", (both Warner Bros.), Capital One (ad), and an ESPN fall radio promotion leading up to the Super Bowl. Talk about a payoff!
New film-score coming! Film is almost done. Preview screening in a week! More coming.
This is the best time of year for BMI. Quarterly payments happen a bit faster!
Latest BMI payday highlights:
“Cold Light of Day” (tepid 2012 thriller, a la “Taken” with Henry Cavill (pre-Superman) continues to pay well around the world, in spite of a horrible theatrical run.
Good $$ from reality programs (Ultimate Homes). They may not pay anything up front, but watch for the royalties!
A track of mine is in “Killjoys” (S3, Ep 1: “Boondoggie”) a Canadian production, now on SYFY. It’s just starting to pay off. Note credit under "Soundtracks". I add these, myself to IMDB, when necessary. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6072892/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt
Stay in touch with libraries. I needed to check on a payment with a library, and also asked about what they need. I got back a few links of music that are especially in demand. Ask and ye shall receive!
Songtradr.com(free or membership) I did go after a 70K ad listing. Here’s my track: https://www.songtradr.com/user/catalog/master/edit/overview/1407964
Musicgateway.com (tier membership) Not a lot of new ops. I have gone after quite a few, waiting.
Tales from the Tech-Side:
After getting battered pretty well about some solo piano tracks, I invested in EastWest Pianos when there was a 50% off sale! (Thanks for the tip, Doug!) The four pianos included have a ton of ways to mic, add special reverbs, added pedal options, and incredible sampling depth (The full version comes on it's own HD) Well worth it, considering how often piano is needed in music. The Steinway in Logic is very good, but has fairly noticeable changes in velocity. Some pretty harsh tones come up (more intense harmonics). I did throw the problem out to FB, and one person called Logic's piano settings as either bright or super mellow! I was able to tame it a bit, by using the “Velocity Limiter” in Logic. You can bring down the higher velocities as a group, rather than going through the notes one by one. In an ensemble, you don’t hear this as much, but as a solo piano, it can be quite problematic. One recommendation: If you get it, get the best version from the start. I got the cheaper one, and then wanted to upgrade. I had to contact EW (it took a lot of emails through support and sales). The upgrade path would have cost me quite a bit more, compared to the sale price. Anyway, be careful about prices. The website doesn’t show differences in versions on every page, too. I love the software, but it can be a bit confusing to purchase.
Also: I added a 2nd screen to my set-up! I had an extra LCD, and just needed to get the correct Mini-displayport to VGA adaptor. My Mac Pro has enough slots for 6 screens! Once I got the screen reset to the correct source (a bit mystifying without the remote), I was able to set preferences, and viola, I just move the curser from one screen to the other. I can't believe it took this look to do this. It gives you a ton more screen real-estate. You put your DAW on one screen, and video on the other for scoring, etc. Heartily recommended!
Questions from the Audience: (please email!)
When someone tells you they're sending you a "schedule" of your song, in the licensing world what does that mean? (B)
Typically a "Schedule A" (like in taxes) from a library is a list of your songs with pertinent information. When you sign a contract, that allows the library to license your music, in general. It usually says, "See Schedule A". Libraries can then have you send additional Schedule A's as you add songs, rather than redo a contract for each one. It is extremely typical in music libraries.
What is your experience with these folks at Music Dealer currently? Are they still working well for you? (B)
Music Dealers liquidated in 2017, but came back. There were stories about composers not getting paid, etc. I just started to look at them myself. I know of a number of writers that did ok with them. There may be reasons to be careful with them, though. My lists are not necessarily endorsements. Things change too quickly in this biz!
Does TubeBuddy have things for your channel that boost traffic and subscribers or is it just advice on how to do it yourself? Wasn't sure what you meant about optimizing. And do you have a link to the free version? (B)
Tubebuddy is a web-browser plug-in that assists your Youtube channel. I'm just using the free version. The subscription has a ton more things. I've been using TB mostly analysis. It has great tools to help with meta (seaches other channels and raids the meta!) There's a simple checklist that pops up to tell you if you are doing basic stuff. I may go to their membership, if my channel gets re-monetized.
Where do you store files? (B)
Besides my own website, I use box.com (FREE - larger files for a fee). Basically I store mp3s on box and send aif, wav, and video on wetransfer. You can create folders, and have others either listen or download files by invitation. It’s ideal for private and personal communications.
CD Baby has on their site that licensed music can't contain samples (including bird sounds etc.), royalty-free loops, or other loops. I've also seen this on licensing sites. I called CD Baby and they said they're including things like Garage Band, which people thought gave you the right to use royalty-free loops. I had my music friend check with her lawyer, and he interpreted it a little different, but I do know I've seen on licensing sites that you can't use bird sounds, etc. that you got elsewhere. What info do you have on this because you mention taking samples from Logic EX24? (B)
It sounds like this is CD Baby's licensing option. I stay away from it, because of issues with music libraries. Usually, samples mean other peoples tracks, like when folks sample music from another source, like an old record,etc. Even sound effects need to be public domain or creative commons to use. For my alien tracks I did found creative commons sounds to use. I know that libraries and PROs will ask this question. Music sample libraries like EastWest or samples within Logic are meant to be used in the composers project. You would have to eliminate every sampled sound out of the box in a program. That would make most composers music unusable. It has to mean samples of copyrighted material incorporated in your project. You are not allowed to sell samples from your software by themselves. You have to do something with them, and make them part of another work. That may be what they mean, too. In other words, you can't take a bird song, and just mix it as a bird sound, to sell as finished work. Your license agreement with Garageband, Logic and any DAW or library will state this as well.
Keep the questions coming, and I will answer as best as possible. (I may use them in my newsletters, anonymously)
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
Ed Hartman Music SWAG! https://edhartmanmusic.threadless.com/
Speaking of SWAG - Ever listen to Harry Shearer’s Podcast, Le Show? Fantastic stuff. His alter-ego, Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap) just released this:
Check out “Gimme Some (More) Money". Gotta have that merch!
How to Correct Vocal Timing Issues Using Flex Time
Music Production Tutorial: How to Remix a Song Effectively - Part 2
Never give up your writers share!
Production Companies Benefit When Composers Keep their Royalties
* New Podcast Interview: (In depth interview. A bit more about my percussion side.)
Ed Hartman Consultation
I am always available for one-on-one consultation, in person or via phone or Skype (call or email to set up)
One hour: $70.00
Two hours: $120.00
Groups: contact for price
I will be happy to critique your music, make recommendations for marketing, suggest libraries to put you music in, help figure out studio configurations (although I am not a heavy tech person. I can recommend people, though), and give you general career advice. If you are interested, please call or email.
Joke/Quote of the week:
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”