Adventures in Music Licensing December 2019 Vol. 7, No. 12
Adventures in Music Licensing& Scoring!
December 2019 Vol. 7, No. 12
Announcements: * Welcome new readers! Please feel free to email questions about music licensing (and scoring). I will answer you by email, and add your questions (anon.) in the next newsletter. (see below)
* As we quickly finish off 2019 (the end of the teens!)I hope everyone is having a great year in music!
* The next licensing class is Sat, February 29, 2020. 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 will be taking 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! Can't make the class? I have been doing a lot of "one-on-one" sessions with folks. It's a great way to answer nagging questions about licensing, and help organize your process for pitching, etc. We can take a listen and analyze at your music for licensing potential. I generally do sessions in my studio in Edmonds, WA. A band can come together to share the cost. Otherwise, I can skype, phone, or FB Video with you.Email for info.
* I would very much appreciate any testimonialsyou have about the class or individual sessions. This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below).
The ULTIMATE Film Festival -The Oscars! "For Your Consideration" Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have access to view the film right now! http://www.richiesolomon.com/screeners/ DVDs have been sent out to members. (see pic below) The big question: Will Spieberg view the film? "Had Steven Spielberg been a 16-millimeter camera-toting teen in the 1930s, his home movies might have looked like “As the Earth Turns.” Michael Rechtshaffen, LA Times
I was at the Seattle Film Summit, in Renton, WA (south of Seattle), November 19, 2019 on a film scoring panel along with some great local composers!
*Songtradrjust went through a crazy upgrade. I have 187 tracks on the platform (some success). Most of them needed attention, and I finally gave up. The copyright, master information is pretty hard to understand, even for me, and I know this stuff! I did get help from the staff. The fixed the lion-share of it, and I was finally able to get the last 20 tracks fixed. There are a lot of folks sounding off about it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/786199044895237/
* Honey Your Royalties Are In Dept.: Got a very nice payment for"In Love with You"(a la Bacharach) for My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fromCrucial Music. They have been extraordinarily consistent this year! The owner of the company spotted me at the TAXI convention and asked if I had any Mancini or Bacharach. You have to make things happen! (I originally got the deal through TAXI, too).
* Also got some small fun money fromTriple Scoop Music. Officially, I am no longer with them (Youtube issues). They are a great company, though. They do a ton of micro-licensing with photographers, etc. Also,Audiosparxpaid a small amount, as well. I'll take it all!
* I connected with a very interesting company that is creating relaxing music and environmental sounds into beds, etc. Hopefully, this will lead to some new revenue streams. I may get involved in finding music for them, too. Hopefully more in the next few months...
Good confirmation of a placement (see last month, "The Turkey Bowl"
Tales from the Tech-Side:
Here's how I mix my final tracks available for clients for licensing. I put them ALL in a folder for future reference. Add metadata (ID info like title performer composer, genre, etc. you see in Itunes to the right of the title) on you first, highest-quality, master, and make copies from there (meta will transfer). To make meta: I useSound Studio(Mac) for individual meta, and making wav from aif. I also useMetadaticsto do multiple track meta, and check all files at once (files don't move, only the meta is added!) This program is great to view your files and make sure they are balanced (R?L) and normalized (brought up to a good playback volume). I use this program for simple editing, too. I edited my "As the Earth Turns" soundtrack with it! To make copies: I useSound Studioto make WAV from AIF, etc.) I use Itunes to make mp3 from AIF or WAV (make sure you put a high res file into Itunes, and have it set for that). You can set the resolution for mp3s under "Import Settings". Custom is 320. FULL RESOLUTION TRACKS (need for actual usage by editors): Notes: The higher the numbers the better. AIF was originally Mac-based. WAV for Windows. Everyone reads everything. You may notice metadata in a WAV file doesn't register wav that well in Itunes. 24 96(24 bits and sampled at 96kHz) is your master. (Excellent) Most clients won't want this, but think ahead. Resolution standards go up as playback systems get better and storage is easier and cheaper. 24 48(very good). Typical for video soundtracks. 16 44is typical of you are making CDs (good) That use to be a high standard. Originally, that was set to accommodateBeethoven's 9th Symphony on a CD! I always mix high, assuming resolution will be better on the future. (Storage space is cheaper) Mp3s are compressed files (for easy transfer on emails, and storage on phones, etc.) Mp3s can have different resolutions, too. 192 is medium (320 high, 128 low ). 320- I have had clients use this for television! Yikes. It is a pretty hi-res mp3, but come-on! 192- Pretty standard for demos, submissions, etc. 128- low res - avoid. It may be requested from libraries as a demo, though. Important: Label your files. It can be hard to see resolutions, otherwise. (you can guess based on the size of the file) Typical folder: (Title of track: The Way Home) The Way Home 24-96.aif (insert meta in this file first, and make all copies from it) The Way Home 24-48.aif The Way Home 16-44.aif The Way Home 24-48.wav (other WAV, as needed) The Way Home 320.mp3 The Way Home 192.mp3 The Way Home 128.mp3 More... https://www.head-fi.org/threads/what-does-24-96-mean.626936/
Next time - Alt versions!
Questions from the Audience...
Do you recommend BMI or ASCAP? BC
The eternal question... BMI vs ASCAP: There are technically 3 PROS (Performance Rights Organization) in the US, and another 80+ worldwide (most countries have their own). You can only be in one, although you can be in a US PRO and one or more outside the US, as long as your US PRO doesn’t collect from that country. (You exclude it). Large publishers do this, especially if you have a lot of artists or tracks in many countries. For most of us in the US, you have ASCAP, BMI or SEESAC. SEESAC is by invitation. All of the US PROs collect worldwide revenue (it can take a while for overseas income). BMI and ASCAP are very similar. There are some organizational aspects that are different. ASCAP is a non-profit with a board of directors (there are some political issues about that). BMI is private. Both collect over a Billion per year in royalties (another 1.5 billion is collected around the world). As they say, "There can be only one!" You can only be in ONE PRO in the US.
I absolutely recommend joining as a publisher even it is optional. Technically all of your royalties will get to you without a publisher, but, overseas royalties may get missed. Also, if you licensing direct or work with a library that lets you keep your publishing, you will need your own publishing. If you have released any recordings, you are a publisher already. Writers are responsible for the music, and the publisher owns the physical/digital recordings (“masters") There was a big change recently. ASCAP now pays less for vocal tracks, when they are used in background situations (not featured, or with someone singing). BMI pays a lot more, potentially. There are ASCAP members moving to BMI over this. It can take 6 months or more, to make a switch between PROs. ASCAP does have a cool annual convention, although I believe the TAXI Rally is as good or better (and FREE with membership). You can still go to the ASCAP event as a BMI member (a little more expensive). ASCAP does a bit better job of reporting throughout the year regarding “cue sheets”. BMI works fine, but you tend to see your results when you get your quarterly royalty statement.
Both ASCAP and BMI have a history of strong-arming small local bars and cafes regarding royalty payments. As a writer and publisher, I do understand that my income can be at stake, but the tactics both orgs have used is questionable and can put working gigging musicians at risk. It’s been a historically controversial issue for a long time.
I am with BMI, and I am happy. I recommend them, in general. Most of my music is instrumental, but if I was writing a lot of vocal music I would seriously be careful of ASCAP at this point.
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 month:
"Life is like a trumpet - if you don't put anything into it, you don't get anything out of it."