Adventures in Music Licensing March 2020

Ed Hartman's 

Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring! 

March 2020 Vol. 8, No. 3 

For pdf with images: (& Easier to read!)


*  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) 

*Man, this newsletter is taking HOURS to do!  I'm not complaining, but it has been getting bigger.   If you can support this newsletter, that would be wonderful!  If I got enough subscribers, I would start a podcast, too. 
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? 

* Please feel free to submit articles, questions, links, etc. to this newsletter. 

* The next licensing class is Sat, May 9, 2020. 
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 (Phone is fine, too, in these viral times!).  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 testimonials you have about the class or individual sessions. This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below). 

*  "As the Earth Turns" Update: 

"As the Earth Turns" will be on Turner Classic Movies in the Fall of 2020!  Other distribution TBA. 

*  I am now working on a biopic about the director, Richard Lyford.  A whole new world is about to open up!  As the new owner of the Lyford film-estate, I am going over his films with a 16mm film viewer.  Back-to-the-Future! 

I am still busy with the film, and looking for opportunities to show it (Retirement communities, Schools with film programs (HS, College), Film history clubs, NW History Groups, Theatres, Activity centers, etc.).  If you know anyone that might be interested helping make that happen, please let me know.  Thanks! 
Ad in "Variety":  (similar one was in "Hollywood Reporter") 

You can get the original poster (& mugs, t-shirts, etc.) here: 
PS:  I am considering a limited run of the poster (signed, with all the laurels) friends and fans of the film.  If you are interested, please let me know. 

Upcoming confirmed screenings of "As the Earth Turns": 
* Speculative Film Fest - Pacific NW!  July 2-5, 2020, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport (SWOC - Seattle Westercon Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention).  (Ed Hartman will be in attendance) 
Beach Cities Inspirational Film Festival, April 25, 2020, San Clemente, CA (Time TBA).   "As the Earth Turns" won the "Crystal Wave Award" (Outstanding Recognition) in 2019. 
115 festivals!, 131 awards/nominations, including 33 for best score! 
About the film: 

My soundtrack album is available. Any sales support this newsletter! 

Recent adventures in licensing and scoring: 

*  Tons going on! 
*  The track I submitted last month to a library for a TV show theme, hasn't materialized yet, but it is another track in my library.  The request was for a recognizable piece, but with a Roman flavor!  Beethoven's 7th Symphony, 2nd movement, in a Middle-Eastern style.  As usual, another op appeared elsewhere, where it is still in play (Songtradr). 
The Seventh Sin: 

* A very fast request came in for an Art Tatum style piano track.  I was able to turn this one around in 2 hours!  I used every trick in the book.  The pitch is for a film, where the actor plays the piano.  If I get the gig, it would pay big-time royalties with an "on-screen" sync'd performance.  The publisher was very happy.  The film looks pretty big.  Fingers crossed!  I'll tell you my secrets next month.  Watch for a track release on Itunes, etc. 
Arthouse Jump: 

Day-to-day stuff: 
* My website ( on Bandzoogle is working out pretty well.  I got through most of the kinks, and the website migration from Hostbaby went fairly well.  Support was excellent.  Check out the new site! 

* The game of Tunesat: I just got a detection of a track that was used in an Australian film, "Spirit of the Game" a few years ago (retro newsreel theme). It was just detected on a Swiss Public TV channel, RSI la 2, dubbed in Italian. As if that isn't enough, the detection shows it's from "La via del West" ("The Way West") a 1967 film with appropriately, Kirk Douglas. Talk about 6000 degrees of separation. 
Track: (I've also used this track in my own film and trailer, "As the Earth Turns"!) 

* I connected with a filmmaker on FB recently that was looking for church music for a short comedy film.  The temp was a classical organ and choir piece.   I was able to create a track in a few hours.  In the end, the director to a different track of mine that fit better.  (The older track was from a Songtradr pitch that went nowhere.  Direct license!  Boom!  Paypal works!  Non-exclusive, too. 
Old track used in the film: 
New track: 

* I connected with another filmmaker on FB recently.  His film was done, and he needed some music.  I sent a track (originally created for a publisher pitch that went nowhere).  They loved the track and then requested more.  I would up scoring more of it, and am waiting to see if they are using the new soundtrack.  Social media works! 

*  I should see my feature score start in the summer of 2020.  Can't wait.  It will be a holiday film. 

Honey Your Royalties Are In Dept.: 
Next royalty payment coming in March!  Stay-tuned. 

There's more of us than them, Dept: 
* AB5 is wreaking havoc in California.  It has to do with the "Gig-economy".  He wasn't that a musician"s term?) self-employed folks and tax-classification.  Get to know the issues.  There are rumors about similar national legislation.  Folks are fighting, and things are starting to look a little better.  Anyone with music in California music libraries could have issues. 
Folks are fighting back: 

Tales from the Tech-Side: 
I looked into this company when I had the store, and got some for customers and one for myself.  Ultrasone.  These are the best headphones I have ever had, and truly comfortable with a soft velvety kind of cushion.  I have the 750Pro.  (You should be able to find a pair for around $200 - Worth it!) 

Newly acquired software: 
EastWest Solo Cello.  I recently added the Solo Violin to my strings.  Adding a layer of solo instruments REALLY makes your strings sound better!  Think of the first chair players. 

I added this plug-in:  Mongoose.  it was on sale for $19.95 (keep an eye out!)  It magically cleans up the mix, but putting low frequencies in the center, without disturbing the stereo imaging!  Very cool! 

Annoucing a new feature for 2020:  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.  Thanks! 

Questions from the Audience... 

The director of the independent film (that I thought I was doing for free) asked me the other day what would be a good pay range for a low budget indie film. I think he may be getting some more support from someplace and would like to pay a few of his people. What would you suggest as a good ballpark figure for a 90 minute $200K film? LG 

Whatever you can get.  In the end, finding out the music budget is best.   1-10% of the film budget can be the music budget.  (1% for low budget, 10% for super high budget, where you will be putting the entire soundtrack together yourself, including hiring an orchestra, etc.) 
 When you give a low number, you're stuck with it.  When you give a high number you might price yourself out.  Giving a range:  “Film scores can range from $1000-100K+” is a starting point. 
I just googled and quickly got: 
Lots of composers break it down.  Basically, it depends on the time it takes, the amount of music, type of music (easy simple piano, med electronic, hard full orchestral), and whether other musicians will be needed to play (a few string and wind players vs. hiring an orchestra). 
90 min film can take a week to a month to score.  How many hours at ?$/hr are you willing to work for? 
Keep your publishing can save the director money.  They probably aren’t a publisher and couldn’t collect royalties anyway. 
my take: 
When in doubt, ask what they can afford and negotiate. 

What do you use for your keyboard? 

I use a M-Audio Oxygen 61 (about 10 years old?)  Works great.  I do have a larger Yamaha weighted keyboard, but it has some weird issues with midi (pretty old).  Great for live play-along for students.  I do use it if I am doing more wider scoring that has low and high sounds together. 

I'm a bit confused about exclusive vs. non-exclusive libraries:   If I sign a non-exclusive agreement but I am not getting any of the publishing AND sign the same tune to another non-exclusive, do I have to let them know of the other publisher correct? as they will have to split the publishing if they are different? 

If it is non-excl they will not own the publishing.  That would make it exclusive, and the publisher owns the master at that point.  You cannot add publishers yourself unless THEY want to spit it with you or another company This can happen, with or without your consent.  It’s generally OK, though.  When registering a track, either you will register it yourself with your OWN publishing company, and offer it to non-exclusive libraries, etc., or a library/publisher will register it themselves.  (they may split pub with you, according to their contract).  You will almost always get the writer's side. (unless you let someone totally buy you out.  Possible, but very rare.  It would have to be a TON of money.  Work for hire) 

If it is non-excl “retitle” then they will re-register it with a different name to your PRO, and them as publisher.  That way publishing royalties that are from placements only they get, will go to them. 
You can have the same track registered to multiple retitling libraries.  You do not have to tell any other retitled library that it has been retitled.  You can NOT retitle an exclusive track.  It IS a good idea of keeping track of any retitles (see your BMI songlist) so you can keep track of placements and royalties (I find tracks I don’t recognize, and then find them on my BMI songlist). 

Occasionally libraries will have you give create a retitle, so they don’t use one that is already taken. Most retitle libraries are now using a code for retitle  (Blue Sky becomes CX295-Blue Sky rather than “The Sky is Blue”) so retitles aren’t duplicated, and you don’t have crazy names for a track that might confuse a music sup.  I do have both types on my BMI list.  I don’t worry about it. 

What different methods do u use 2 find out if yer song gets used somewhere ? 

Good question.  Most of the time, if you get a track placed in a library, they will tell you where it is placed, and possibly when it will air.  TV is best for this, because placements can be very late in production.  I’ve been told about a placement a few days before the show was to be aired.  There are times when it is difficult to find out, especially with films.  Producers and directors notoriously cut scenes after test screenings.  Even if you have a “sync-master” agreement to allow the production to have your music, it is always their option to use it.  I have had very nice agreements that never went anywhere.  With some libraries, especially that are dealing with overseas placements, you may never find out from them, or at least until they pay you for it.  Payments can be months later, because of agreements with producers, and different payment periods (quarterly, bi-annual, etc.).  I had a track in a major network TV show that didn’t pay out until a year after broadcast, and after I had received royalties (which are usually 9 months after broadcast, themselves!).  This is not a get rice quick scheme!  It is closer to a slow-growth investment fund! 
Regarding tracking, I use a free subscription to  You can upload up to 50 tracks, and it will detect when your track is on air, around the world.  It is not perfect, and can make mistakes, and miss a lot.  I have a track in a film, where the music was so far down in the mix (Muzak in a shopping mall), that it wasn’t tracking it.  I had a DVD of the film, and extracted the soundtrack with my track (along with dialogue, sound effects, ambient, etc.). found the track from that point on.  It is not always easy to get those mixes, though.  You have to have some pretty good tech to record off your TV, etc. 
There are other pay companies that will track your music.  I would guess large publishers (Warner Bros, Universal, etc.) use them, to make sure they are getting their publishing royalties around the world. 
I occasionally google myself with a track name, and do find things out there.  Some are legit, others are not.  I don’t worry about the bad stuff, though.  There’s really nothing I can do about it, and I don’t believe it is destroying my brand in any way.  Someone in Russia is making a few rubles a year. 
Services for TV and radio play  (some have fees):  (I’ve never used them.  Most of my music is for TV and film) 
For Youtube: (Advrev collects revenue when others use your tracks on Youtube.  This is free, there may be minimums to get started now.  See older newsletters about my adventures with Adrev) - (Google owns Youtube, and will collect revenue on your own channel, and optionally others - I make a little $ a year, but it all adds up!) 

I'm thinking that Sibelius is a great program to compose and arrange with, but if I want to create tracks for TV and movies, I'll need to get a Portastudio. With a Portastudio (like a Tascam that Amazon carries,) what else will I need to get started? 

Skip the portastudio.  Just get some kind of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation(. You need to be able to edit, etc. You should be able to move your midi files from Sibelius INTO your DAW to create sounds.  If you have a MAC use garage band, and Logic is best.  I don’t know PC: 
There’s a lot of instruments in Logic and others.  You will eventually get extra instruments (EastWest for orch, etc.)  It’s another world! 

Vocal Mic:  One condenser: ($150) for vocals, instruments 
Condenser Mics:  One or two of these: (anything similar) for instruments 
Interface:  Interface 

Mastering/Finishing program:  MAC - Soundstudio,  MAC or PC Audacity 


Great new track by reader Barbara Graff: 

Music licensing secrets! 

Music Licensing Class: (FREE!) 

Top Ten Music Licensing Tips: 

DAW Tricks: 

NEW PITCH COMPANY: (Get a free submission with an Instagram post.  Free sign-up to get briefs) NOTE:  This is a per-pay pitch. 

A fun site to pick countries on a map along with decades to hear music!  Could be of use when trying for find vintage reference tracks! 

Definitive Guide to Spotify Royalties 

LA Academy of Scoring Arts event: 

Upcoming Events: 
Synckeepers, LA 

Top DIY Musician Podcasts: 


CDBaby DIY Convention ("Plague Permitting") 


Youtube, FB Monetization collection: (Be careful if you are in music libraries!) 



I just put this track "Out On the Town" (in the Mancini tradition) from a few years ago out on Youtube against cityscape images ( - free to use!)  Why wait for a placment?  Make your own content.  I use Imovie. 

Hey-I gotta make money, too!   If you have learned anything from these newsletters please check out my SWAG!   (NEW:  "As the Earth Turns" SWAG!) 

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? 

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 month: 

"I do not admire a musician who just plays good music, I admire a composer who shows his music through his life." 
Youngjun Choi