Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring!
December 2020 Vol. 8, No. 12
* Happy Holidays! We've almost made it through 2020! I am sincerely looking forward to 2021.
* My classes through North Seattle College are on hold until next fall, but I am continuing to do classes on Zoom. Next class is January 16, 2021. Please share with anyone that is interested in getting into music licensing. If you want to do a follow-up session with me, please let me know. I've done a LOT of them lately, and they have been incredible.
* The TAXI Rally was GREAT! There's a number of sessions that are available for anyone, even if you are not a member. I seriously recommend checking them out.
I will hopefully see you in LA next November. I will likely be on a panel, too!
* NEW FB page about licensing: (Please like to get more info in between emails)
Get Your Music in Film and TV: (please like!)
* 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) If you have an idea for an article, please feel free to let me know.
* II'm considering doing some FB LIVE Video discussions. What do you think? Watch my FB Page for details.
Feel free to support this newsletter through my Patreon page.
ONLINE Music Licensing Classes available:
I am doing a LOT of individual sessions!
Brand New Short 3 minute video about Music Licensing Lessons:
Whether you are new to getting your music in film and TV, or would like a refresher or follow-up, I can generally help. I can get a LOT done in a session!
Classes taught on Zoom (free app) via private invite.
I can share tracks, videos, documents, chat, etc., all while I teach. It's actually pretty cool and easy to use (download zoom.us for phone, tablet, or desktop - best). I'll send you an invite. I will email an invoice (Paypal) or CC.
Next class is January 16, 2021 - Email for information, special pricing and registration.
One-on-One session: $70/hr; $100/ 1.5 hrs./$120 2 hrs. (Email to schedule)
(ZOOM-best, FB Messenger, Skype, Phone)
Prerequisite: None. Beginners or experienced composers, songwriters & producers welcome.
This is an extremely targeted and efficient class that can focus on tracks, metadata, organization, marketing, PROs, copyright, libraries, royalties, etc. You can send tracks to me for review, and get ideas on improving your licensing game.
Email to get more information.
* I was on the Seattle Film Summit Music Scoring Panel, Monday, Nov 16 ,2020. It was a wonderful panel with some great film composers! Sorry, you need a ticket to see it. If it becomes available, I will put a link in a future newsletter.
* interview with Tom Cridland. This is pretty wild. This series interviews some amazing musicians in it. (It's extremely humbling). The first half is about favorite music and musicians. The second half is about music licensing.
* interview with Mark Frieser, talking about adventures in music licensing!
* Interview with Michael Laskow (CEO of TAXI.COM) about film scoring!
"Sunday Songwriters in the Round"
(2-hour online panel discussion/performance with other composers and songwriters (Ed Hartman segments are at about 25min 50min, and 2hr into the program)
Ed Hartman Scoring and Licensing News:
* It's looking like I have two new short films to score in the beginning of 2021. One is a documentary and the other is a drama. These came from watching emails about crew-calls, and Facebook.
* I just created this filmmaker page on my site. It has excellent resources for connecting to the film industry. Get out there! (PS: Email me links if you have them)
* The Seattle FIlm Summit had some excellent Zoom Networking events. About 50 folks got thrown into rooms of 4-5 with other filmmakers, actors, etc. for 5 minutes, and then pulled back into the full group. I have a keyboard connected to my computer and was able to play some music, occasionally and add sound-effects to add the atmosphere. This is how you meet filmmakers.
* Variety "Music for Screens" Virtual conference this week (FREE!). These are normally VERY expensive events in LA (I went to a media conference last year). This morning, I just listened to Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) talking about their quasi-period score to "Mank". Even those guys wake-up at night wondering if they are faking it!
* There was another FREE virtual event: "The Music of THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT with Carlos Rafael Rivera (composer) and Tom Kramer (music editor)". Incredible scoring - wonderful series!
* FREE Bear McCreary Interview:
"As the Earth Turns" Update:
* I may start another newsletter on Filmmaking! I am working on a biopic and documentary about the director of "As the Earth Turns". I have learned so MUCH being a producer of the film. I own the film-estate and am working with distributors, etc. I am waiting on clearances for some stills from Disney. Hopefully, a DVD will be available soon!
(I am composer and producer)
I can really use YOUR help: I am looking for retirement communities, schools with film programs (HS, College), Film history clubs, NW History Groups, Theatres, Activity centers, etc.) to do ZOOM screenings (in-person in the future). They can be anywhere in the world. Thanks!
“It was my pleasure to participate in a Zoom screening of "As the Earth Turns" with Ed Hartman. Ed had a wealth of information at his fingertips about the film and director Richard Lyford's life and other movies. "As the Earth Turns" is a real rarity and a remarkable rediscovery. Ed ran the program masterfully with live commentary and video clips, answering the audience's questions and adding spontaneous additions (including live music!) to the pre-planned portion of the program.”
Dwight Swanson Center for Home Movies
Reviews and interviews on:
After 80 years, this amazing SCI-FI film can is now available for the entire world to see!
Please use good speakers or headphones for the film. The music IS the dialogue!
122 festivals, 135 awards/nominations
(including 34 for best score!)
"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
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM:
"As the Earth Turns" will be on Turner Classic Movies in the Fall of 2020!
You can get the original poster - no laurels (& mugs, t-shirts, etc.) here:
Upcoming confirmed screenings of "As the Earth Turns":
(Click poster for full size)
My soundtrack album is available! (Amazon, Itunes, etc.)
Nominee: Independent Music Awards!
Recent adventures in licensing:
I am connecting with more music supervisors, using events in this newsletter. I send them a carefully worded, short email with a box.com link that features a few tracks for demo. You neer know!
I finished my 5 track exclusive percussive album for a library (with a 5-year reversion clause). The music was drumline and junk-percussion (a la Stomp). The contact person I originally talked with, stopped working there, and the new person passed on the mallet percussion tracks I created. No problem though, I'm happy to keep them for other non-exclusive libraries! I quickly finished the other percussion tracks in a few days, and they were accepted!
My saved templates from those sessions really made multiple tracks a LOT easier, especially the mastering plugins,and individual track settings for the instruments. The very low priced plug-ins from Izotope and others have really made my tracks a lot better. Hit a few buttons and see what happens. The tracks will "pop"! A lot of it is to keep the bass in the center.
Songtradr: ve been pitching quite a bit. My only placement so far has been direct from someone using a track in a small business use - not from opportunities. It paid OK, though!
You may be getting a few more emails about clients taking your music. I believe that is regarding Monetization opt-ins. Monetization (overhead music) may start to pay a little per month, now. I've generally opted in for everything except: Youtube, Mechanicals collection (see below), Twitch (promo only), Stock Music (YT). I don't see a downside for anything else, though. I have over 200 tracks on the site.
There have been so MANY free virtual events lately! I am watching a free Variety Music for Screens sessions with artists, music supervisors, and ad agency folks talking about sync for ads. Ryan Tedder, Lead Vocalist, OneRepublic was talking about his track, "Better Days". He wrote it at the beginning of quarantine, posted it on Instagram, and then it got in FIVE ads within 10 days! Incredible. He was very aware of sync before Covid and really took advantage of the time. He said he has tripled their sync gigs in 2020. Inspirational stuff.
There are ALWAYS ways to see this stuff free. You need to connect with the producers of the event, and they will figure out a way to get you in, especially if you can offer support or help in any way. The music industry (and media, in general) is very tribal. Be part of the tribe!
I had quite an adventure with Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and the Mechanicals Licensing Collective (MLC), regarding the new push to get "Mechanicals" royalties together. Mechanicals are royalties for physical or digital downloads. Also, it relates to interactive streaming (where the consumer hits a button to do something) vs. non-interactive - like digital radio streaming. There was a tremendous explanation about it on the Taxi Rally. I hope it will be released to the public.
In any event, I recommend that you look into HFA and the MLC. HFA is the main US agent for the MLC. Basically, I joined the HFA as an artist (FREE), uploaded info for 100s of tracks (grabbed from my BMI catalogue), and hopefully, before I die, I get some money. The bulk uploader was a major pain. Support did help. It took about a week to figure out how to do it (Format issues with XLS sheets, not sure about information to put in the fields, what thing mean, etc.). I hope they simplify it. This is all very new, and a LOT of artists are going to get on board. Look into it, and get moving on it. There may be money here! You can have other companies collect this, but there can be issues with them and music libraries. I recommend doing all collections directly with your PRO (be cautious with "Royalty Administration") Songtradr is now collecting this for you, if you want. My concern is that they will take a %, and then you really need to maintain your membership for it (or pay a higher %). That's one reason I will likely use CDBaby for releases. I do not recommend CDBaby for any royalty collections, either.
Can you really make money on Youtube, Dept:
This video features a track of mine at the beginning and end. It is paying decent money each month. Adrev collects and pays me quarterly. (see previous newsletters for the story).
Fatal Exposure: Tragedy at DuPont
Honey, your royalties are in, Dept:
My track, "In Love with You" in Lucifer (via Crucial Music - non-exclusive, retitle) continues to pay quarterly royalties (some direct from the library. I do get other royalties from BMI, too.).
Looks like Getty (Pump) checks are wrapping up. (they moved their music library to Epidemic Sound. My last check: 60 cents!
New Videos and Music: (Please share!)
(Videos are a great way to promote your tracks, too)
Moving Forward With Grace
Positive piano track from 2019. The video was shot from my phone, when a ton of seagulls were flying in a steady on-shore wind off the Puget Sound. It has very little editing, and the track seemed to make sense.
Instruments for sale!
(These are not my instruments. Email me to connect you to the seller)
TWO Ludwig Timpani. Excellent condition.
Straight out of Ludwig's 1975 catalog, No. L-891 called the "Standard Symphony" models. They are also the more valuable "Copper Bowl" models.
* Comes with the nice shallow drop covers and one set of mallets.
They are the 26" and 29" head size. The catalog says the 26" note range is A to F, and the 29" is E to C, and they sound nice!
* I can also offer delivery in my truck if needed after the sale is completed.
Chakra Realignment Tubes made by Tama-Do - $650.00
[sound clip within the link]
Meinl Floatune Live Sound Series Congas - $999.00
10" Nino, 11" Quinto, 12"Conga, 13" Tumba
(please note, the 10" Nino is missing two of the metal bands)
Egyptian Mazhar Riq Tambourine - $99.00
made by Alexandria
The Egyptian Mazhar is a very heavy, tunable frame drum with large cymbals. It is designed for heavy pounding in a loud and diverse rhythm section, such as the one used in a Zaffa (wedding procession), where Iqa‘ Zaffa is featured. Could also be used for belly dancers.
You can see two mazhars, just like this one, being played in this clip:
Bass Darbuka Drum - $99.00 -SOLD
Pearl MS1440 14" x 4" Marvin "Smitty" Smith Signature Copper Snare Drum $325.00 - SOLD
4 Vintage Timpani
The timpanis were used in The Boise City Band.
The bodies show signs of wear with chipping and smalls dents but are still perfectly functional.
Ludwig 23" Timpani/Kettledrum - $349 - SOLD
Ludwig 25" Timpani/Kettledrum - $349
Leedy 25" Timpani/Kettledrum - $349
Leedy 28" Timpani/Kettledrum - $299
(Note: the 28" timpani is missing one of the wheels and the head is split and needs a new one.)
Items available by seller in Seattle.
If you are interested in any of the above please email me.
Tales from the Tech-Side:
What Bit and Sample rate should I mix out of my DAW:
It has been said that in the 80s when CDs were invented Philips went with 16-44 because Beethoven's 9th Symphony could fit on one CD (74 min). Up until computer DAWs, most folks recorded at that rate.
Now 24-48 is more standard (no longer locked into physical media). My feeling is you should mix out of your box as high as you can, for the future. One day, fidelity will likely increase in quality and demand higher resolution recordings. I would rather be ahead of the curve than behind. Thus, I mix at 24-96 for my master and then create lower-res versions. If you have older tracks like me, you might agree.
One more aside: When I transferred a vinyl recording to digital, an engineer friend (who did the original recording) the most amazing David Miles Huber ("Modern Recording Techniques, etc.) asked for a few actual virgin vinyl pressings, rather than the reel-to-reel master. Besides possible tape bleed, vinyl is THAT good. The transfers were tremendous. I would ask David about this question. He is a hi-fi Yoda, and knows all, regarding audio, including state-of-the-art recordings.
What kind of virtual orchestra do you use?
I use EastWest (EW) Hollywood Orchestra (60% OFF RIGHT NOW). Many like orchs that work with Kontakt. (EW has it's own engine, Play. It is a bit of a hog size-wise). I like the different mic settings. Also, the higher-end pianos are very good. Whatever you get, I recommend keeping your instruments on additional drives, if nec. , Ideally SSD. EW has an option to come on a drive, pre-installed. There is an installer, for updates, too). Along with the orchestra, I do recommend getting a solo violin and solo cello to highlight strings (ORCH AND SOLOS SALE). This BBC orchestra is cheap or free. It's a good way to start. https://www.spitfireaudio.com/bbcso/
What kind of headphones do you use?
Ultrasone. I love this company. It's pricey. Superb design. I recommend closed back. Mine has a velvet type interior. Whatever you get think about durability and how long you wear them. Mine have lasted for many years. Model 750 - not sure what is similar now. I think this is the same model: https://ultrasone.com/product/ultrasone-pro-750i/?lang=en - This model is still available at a discount (about $200!!) Think Mercedes.
Articles from Readers!
Please email me if you would like to submit something for this newsletter. It can be about anything in music licensing and scoring. I would love to hear about your personal adventures with music libraries, PROs, music supervisors, directors, etc. You are already an authority on something. Just dig in and share. Thanks!
"Know Your Genres, Dept:
Questions from the Audience...
(Please email me. I will try to answer quickly. Any questions I use in future newsletters will always be anon.)
What are the first steps in music licensing and scoring?
Regarding music licensing, you have to understand the business side. You need to be affiliated with a PRO (BMI, ASCAP, etc), understand publishing, music libraries, music supervisors, metadata, copyright, ownership, etc. For film scoring, You need to know about scoring to picture, orchestration, mixing, reference tracks, underscore, networking with directors, producers and film people in general.
I graduated many years ago with a music degree and was never taught anything about business. There are many ways, and many organizations to connect you with clients. Marketing your services and meeting people in the industry is the key. If you want to understand the media business, think like your potential client. Where would they hang out in person or virtually? We are tribal. Musicians hang with musicians. Media folks with media folks. Who do they have to know? Filmmakers work with film festivals. Understanding film fundraising, production, post-production, marketing and distribution helps a lot, too. Mentoring (or becoming an assistant) with a film composer is another way in.
For licensing, the many links on my resources page will get you started. In any business, you have to learn the terminology. In licensing knowing about exclusive vs non-exclusive agreements is critical. With all of these things you have to be able to speak the language, so when you do connect you won't make mistakes.
The resources for connections are all around you. How many film composers, directors, producers, music supervisors are you friends with? On FB, LinkedIn, IMDB? Etc. Do you know how to email these people? There are details to understand. My success is due to my attention to detail. In fact, as much as I know about this, there's an incredible amount they I don't know. I constantly pick up new information daily. That's the other key. Be patient, humble and open to ideas.
Do you have advice on "blanket deals" with libraries?
I have received placements from blanket deal libraries. Most have been for TV, usually reality. Those types of tracks usually need alts (minus melody, stings, beds, etc.). I believe that library tends to go for buyouts with networks. That can be problematic, because there may not be any upfront. There can be decent royalties on the back-end though. The real problem is if a library offers their library to a network that doesn’t pay royalties through your PRO, composers could be out of luck.
In any event, I do work with them and appreciate their brief blasts looking for specific tracks or requests.
I can say that the name of the game is quantity with this kind of library. You will likely succeed in this business when you have many, many, many tracks. Think 100s, if not 1000s. Not kidding. Placements are getting very competitive, so you have to increase your odds, exponentially.
Crucial Music is a quality control library. Tracks are hard to get in, but they do pay and keep the placement syncs up there. It can take a long time, but you never know when you will hit a good one that will pay up-front and decently in royalties for years to come. They show you who you are pitching too (do NOT contact those companies, though!)
I wouldn’t shy away from any non-exclusive library. Some have gone more exclusive (although they occasionally will take non, for some things). I would be careful with exclusives and go with them if they have a reversion clause (3-5 years - watch for "auto-renewals!")
Is sampling a good idea?
Generally, sampling is a no-no for any track that makes you money. Imagine someone using part of your original tracks and putting them in their own project (especially without permission or credit). Warner Bros. would not be happy and could sue you. If a music library pitched your track to a client (like HBO) for use in a film or show, that could create a tremendous problem for everyone, if the track was used. Libraries may ask you point-blank if samples are used in your tracks. They may reject them if you say yes.
My recommendation is to use only in the box sounds and loops that are licensed to put in your original projects. I use Logic on Mac, and all of those sounds are OK, as long as they are not used by themselves and sold as samples, etc.
In the end, I am not a lawyer. For specific answers, you would need to explain exactly what you are sampling and how you are using it.
Does jazz help your film-scoring?
It's all the same to me. Jazz is improv. Jazz is songwriting. Jazz is modern harmony, blues scales, rhythm (syncopation, back-beats, swing, Latin, world) & popular culture. I've done quick public domain tracks using classical fake charts the same way I read jazz charts. Mozart is jazz. Bach is jazz. Bernstein is jazz. Bebop is jazz. Just some stylistic differences. Jazz is fun, too.
For me, jazz is not a blues scale. Jazz is not a saxophone solo. Jazz has brought in nearly every style in the world, including classical music. Classical music is I IV V. Blues is I V IV. Jazz for me, is a living music. It is where improv meets performance. It is live composition. Bach and Beethoven improvised during their concerts. Figured bass is the same as a fake chart. I sit down and improvise baroque counterpoint endlessly. (Since college many decades ago). It is the same as improvising blues. Listen to Modern Jazz Quartet performing "Django." It's nearly Bach. I play Bach on vibes and marimba. Does that make it not classical music, because it's not performed on traditional instruments? Music is not static. Every style changes and evolves even in one person's lifetime.
I think the question was does Jazz help your film composing? Yes, absolutely. I tend to figure out a melodic theme, create underlying harmony, and then build an orchestration. That's exactly how I create jazz or any type of music. My definition of jazz allows me to experiment and explore music freely without worrying about style or genre. Is Gershwin jazz? You tell me! Good question in any event!
"If music is a place - then jazz is the city, folk is the wilderness, rock is the road, classical is a temple."
Are festivals worth attending?
YES. If you want to meet filmmakers that are active, it is essential. With Covid, many are virtual and can be FREE - no excuse. It's funny about local events. I've found with anything local, I generally take events for granted (I don't think anyone will take any events granted after Covid!). When I go out of town, I am much more likely to get to as many related events as possible. I have no distractions.
In the end, what you get from any event, networking-wise can vary considerably. Some virtual events lately have gotten me better connections than in-person. It can be quite intimate, especially one-on-one zoom. The art of networking is something to be studied, as well. Most composers are introverts (IMO). We also tend to be tribal. Musicians will hang with musicians and film-people with other film-people. I would guess that even actors hang with actors, directors with directors, etc.
A composer friend of mine used to wear a "Filmmaker" badge at events, rather than a “musician” badge. He said he was part of that tribe. It was an interesting twist. For me, by becoming a producer, it has been a game-changer to get closer to other filmmakers. My recommendation is to create your own projects and submit them to festivals (I use Imovie quite a bit!). You will have another experience, entirely. Most people in filmmaking wear many hats, so a composer/director/filmmaker is not out of the question. You get invited to festivals as a producer, too. You get into events for producers, etc. You learn the language of filmmaking (rather than only composing).
All of this can help open doors to meet other people in the industry. Whether you generate business with other filmmakers is probably going to be a result of follow-up. You have to do the work after the festival, and stay on top of your contacts. You have to research other filmmakers and know what they do and are looking for. IMDB helps a lot. A festival, in-person or virtual just opens the door. You have to go through the door to get the gig.
On the political front - Should composers have a union?
There was an attempt at a composers union in 2009 but it fell apart due to legal issues if I remember correctly. The concept of collective bargaining seems like a great idea, but with so much of what composers do being independent contractor oriented its a tough sell.
I was in the musicians union for many years. That union works best on the local level, with symphonic membership and large ensembles where there is a group mentality. Previously, during the big band era, large groups toured and played union dance halls. As bands got smaller and became more recording oriented unions lost power. There's less to negotiate with. With the film industry, unions work with musicians because they play in groups (not so much right now!) Even they're fighting with remote orchestras overseas. Composers are generally individuals or owners of a music production team. The pay scale range is absurd from nothing to million dollars per picture, with or without the audio production or recording fees. In fact, the musicians union has been in a bit of a war with music producers that don't hire union musicians. This got hot in my home town of Seattle a few years ago with threats to sue musician union composers that don't hire union players for films ($50K - no joke).
In any event, the era of unions may be disappearing in favor of the "gig" economy. Unions are great when you have thousands of members and one employer. Now you have tens of thousands of employers (filmmakers) and 100s of thousands of composers. Even an LA-based union would have issues in the modern streaming-based business models. My recommendation is to work together with ideas and plans of action to make sure composers are not taken advantage of. Pros need to behave like pros and not charge too little. I recommend composers learn about music licensing as much as possible and create a wide portfolio of clients. I have a lot of experience with this and even teach it. Licensed music feeds the media industry and it is a fine line between it and scoring.
Videos of the month:
Favorite TV THEMES!
Man from Uncle (original 5/4 theme) Jerry Goldsmith. Of course, Mission Impossible by Lalo Shifrin can't be overlooked. Jetsons, Adams Family, Beverly Hillbillies, etc. The Golden age of t.v. themes.
One more. Mod Squad. Earl Hagen (the king of TV themes) Harve Bennett was a relative of mine. He produced it (along with many other shows incl Six Million Dollar Man and pretty much saved Star Trek with 2 thru 6. My family met the Mod Squad cast. We saw the pilot at Paramount and got a personal tour. Harve was a genius and knew music very well. He was the one that brought James Horner into Star Trek. You know the rest.
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
Izotope: noise reduction plugin (great for filmmakers too)
MusiclibraryReport 50% off! Code: HOLLY2020
FREE Epic Orchestra sounds Demo:
Sync Licensing is BIG!
Guild of Music Supervisors:
FREE Industy contact lists:
Syncsummit - FREE daily chats about music licensing, music supervisors, etc.!
Meet Music Supervisors in person! ($$)
CDBaby DIY Convention ("Plague Permitting")
KEY WORLDWIDE MUSIC INDUSTRY & SYNC EVENTS LIST 2020:
http://edhartmanlessons.com (Lesson info, etc.)
http://edhartmanmusic.com - (Studio information, music, bio, links, calendar, etc.) FREE listening. Lots of music for soundtracks, movies, TV, commercials, etc.
My recordings on CD Baby:
Shameless self-promotion Dept:
T-Shirts and SWAG!
Sale $12 T-shirts! 11-25 until 12-7-20
Check em out!
Greeting Cards! (Get set for the holidays, birthdays, etc.)
Send me a pic of you with your EHM Swag!
Thanks Carl Christensen
with the "Keyboard' mask)
Thanks, student Joelle Eneboe
(sporting the "Vintage Drummer" Mask (different drums available!)
...and yours truly sporting the Vintage American Drummer mask (and matching T-shirt!)
The mixing board mask is coupled with the Mallet Artist T-shirt.
Ed Hartman Patreon Page: (This is a FREE newsletter. This is the closest thing I have to a subscription!) Is this newsletter worth at least $1 to you? Honestly, this newsletter takes HOURS to create! I'm not complaining, but it has been getting bigger. If you can support this newsletter, that would be wonderful!
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.
Classic Quote or Joke:
"The beauty of jazz is that it's malleable. People are addressing it to suit their own personalities."