Adventures in Music Licensing November 2020
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Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring!
November 2020 Vol. 8, No. 11
* Well folks, the election is over (kind-of). As of this writing, we know nothing. I hope you are doing well emotionally and physically. I recommend that you take walks, relax, and focus on things you can control (like MAKING music!). As composers and songwriters we are actually very lucky that we can do a lot of this work at home in our own studio. If you don't have any leads, make promotional videos, add your music (I use Imovie -easy!)
Please check out my YT playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuihzQ3nbkeQisTXrSz0ojyfmnbQ7s0qz.
There' always something to do. Keep lists of things to do, and steadily go through them. (I have a simple text doc on my desktop that has 1000s of potential tasks to do). KEEP BUSY! ...and LISTEN to music!
* NEW interview below! - It's a really interesting one, too.
* I am doing a LOT more Zoom licensing sessions (see new video below!)
* STOP THE PRESSES! The TAXI Rally is THIS weekend - It's virtual! (there are FREE Youtube "Prequel" sessions this week!) I just watched today's session - all about music law! There are some great ones about mixing and mastering.
Because the Rally is virtual this year, everyone can attend! If you do decide to join TAXI (see below) please contact me for some freebies.
* NEW FB page about licensing: (Please like to get more info in between emails)
Get Your Music in Film and TV:
* Coming up:
I will be on the Seattle Film Summit Music Scoring Panel, Monday, Nov 16 ,2020
* 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.
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.
Next beginners class TBA Feb, 2021. Note: I may put another class together, myself outside of North Seattle College. If you are interested, please let me know.
* NEW 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.
* NEW interview with Mark Frieser, talking about adventures in music licensing!
* Brand new 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:
Coming: "Saving District" - New score for Portland film (Short)
Portland Film Festival Interviews with cast/crew: https://youtu.be/htZpsOQBHu4
"As the Earth Turns" Update:
(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!
* ONLINE "HOME MOVIE DAY" EVENT was a lot of fun! Crazy zoom presentation of the film. Good reception and test of virtual screenings!
“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 almost done on a 5 track exclusive percussive album for a library (with a 5-year reversion clause). The music will be drumline and mallet percussion oriented (a specialty of mine). I'm having a fun time doing these. Save your sessions as new templates!
* I did a CRAZY-FAST custom request for a solo piano track (advertising) to a music library/publisher. The call came in at 9am, and I had 30 minutes to finish! Wow. I use EastWest pianos (the premium version, with 4 mic positions). It was mostly improvised based on a chord progression. There was a reference, and after listening to it for a minute or two, I was off to the races!
* I did a few more Irish tunes for a music supervisor I met through a Slack channel! These tracks were done in two days, a few hours a piece. They were acoustic instruments, along with orchestral elements. They came out well. I did have a reference video to work with, and was able to more closely "score" the music to the video. It' a documentary, so the music doesn't need to be synced to action, but needs to have certain builds, instruments, style, dynamics, orchestrations, etc. That makes three possible tracks for this project. Fingers crossed!
Can you really make money on Youtube, Dept:
More money arrived from Adrev.com for the doc with my "Rivertrance" track at the beginning and end (see last month).
Fatal Exposure: Tragedy at DuPont
I generally have been pretty cool about submissions though Broadjam. I believe it's OK, but has some issues. I did submit a few free submissions (I get them occasionally from the company). No risk. I will report if anything comes through. You can't beat FREE - keep your eyes open!
New Videos and Music: (Please share!)
(Videos are a great way to promote your tracks, too)
The Red Planet (Rencent Mars/Moon alignment & NASA)
Instruments for sale!
(This is from another newsletter I send out to fans of "The Drum Exchange" my old store- R.I.P. Please let me know if you are interested in any of these items. I am not the seller but can put you in touch with the seller. You can negotiate. Items may no longer be available.
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
by Music Syria
20" Tall x 11" Head
Pearl MS1440 14" x 4" Marvin "Smitty" Smith Signature Copper Snare Drum $325.00
This drum sounds incredible! It is a 10-lug solid copper shelled drum with gold plated hardware. This is especially worth checking out if you are in the market for a versatile snare. This drum delivers a great fat back beat, they feel great to play and are a great middle ground between metal and wood shells. Now out of production, these snares are highly in demand.
(Here is a video of one being played)
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
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:
Unforeseen Consequences Department:
I'm not sure who's figured this one out.
1) Zoom allows you to record sessions.
2) You can share your screen (with any link to a website, etc. open on a browser). It can be a private session, just with you (for testing).
What this means, is that if someone sends you a video link (Vimeo, Youtube), you can capture it, and use it for future reference to score, etc. The video is not yours, of course, but it does open up possibilities of "test" scoring a scene, or getting scenes you have scored or placed music in, for your own archives (that you never had a version of). I have used Handbrake (https://handbrake.fr/) to rip DVDs. This is a LOT easier, though.
On the flip side, BE CAREFUL what video you have out-there!
How do you write for percussion?
I'm also a percussionist and might be able to answer some questions. Some quick tips: Timpani are not bass instruments. They are beat used to underline tonic areas. Classical music was more limited to tonic and dominant (tuning limitations). I hear them closer to cellos range-wise.
Bass drum and cymbals: I consider them lighting and thunder. They tend to work well together. Cymbals by themselves can be thin. (Same with a drumset) A pulsing bass drum can get overwhelming if not dampened correctly. Sizes can vary from 20" on a jazz drum Set to 40" in a large orchestral setting. In HS I played a 60" bass drum as a cannon in the 1812 Overture.
The snare drum is an instrument that really can highlight staccato passages. Its history has embedded a military feel. Find a list of "rudiments" to discover it.
Bells and xylophone are very high pitched similar to the piccolo. Bells are best for highlighting melodies. They can ring and get out of hand. The xylophone seems to always be a thin and humorous sound. It's great for fast passages. Seek out novelty xylophone solos from the 30s.
Chimes always bring majestic or solemn sound. Like bells, I use them sparingly. Sometimes a single note can be chilling.
With all percussion, mallet choice is rarely available with a sampled orchestra. Typically, percussionists have soft medium, and hard mallets. A lot of "epic" percussion these days has tom-toms with a raspy mallet (hot rods made of dowels wrapped together) Sampled timps tend to be with very hard mallets. Rolls for almost all sampled percussion are the hardest to simulate. Crescendos tend to be a very specific length. Same with cymbal rolls.
I do remote so if anyone wants the real thing, I can probably do it (I have a lot of percussion including timpani, marimba, vibes, bells, xylophone, toms, bass drums, cymbals (including orch crash) triangles, tambourines, congas, hand drums, etc) Personally I do occasionally use some sampled percussion especially when I am in a hurry. I love real timpani though. There is a sweetness that can really create an elegant classical sound to an orchestra. I love Beethoven and Berlioz for percussion. (I even have Berlioz' orchestration book!) His Symphony Fantastique is essential listening IMHO. Listen to my score for "As the Earth Turns" for my live-percussion arrangement and performance (all me!) https://www.astheearthturns.com/
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:
Crust punk (also known as crust or stenchcore) is a form of music influenced by English punk rock and extreme metal. The style, which evolved in the early-1980s in England, often has songs with dark and pessimistic lyrics that linger on political and social ills. The term "crust" was coined by Hellbastard on their 1986 Ripper Crust demo.
Crust is partly defined by its "bassy" and "dirty" sound. It is often played at a fast tempo with occasional slow sections. Vocals are usually harsh and may be grunted, growled or screamed. Crust punk takes cues from the anarcho-punk of Crass and Discharge and the heavy metal of bands like Venom, Trouble, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath and Motörhead. While the term was first associated with Hellbastard, Amebix have been described as the originators of the style, along with Discharge and Antisect.
Questions from the Audience...
(Please email me. I will try to answer quickly. Any questions I use in future newsletters will always be anon.)
Should I join TAXI? (this is a quick answer because the Rally is coming up. See my recent interview with Michael Laskow, the owner of TAXI https://youtu.be/vcNzi50dSxA.
* If you are thinking of joining TAXI, I always recommend doing it before the annual TAXI Road Rally (VIRTUAL, Nov 7-9, 2020 FREE events NOW) I believe the convention is worth the membership, itself (especially considering you get 2 tickets for FREE!) Because it's virtual, there are no travel expenses (airfare, lodging, food, etc.) saving a lot of money. The Rally is a tremendous event dedicated to licensing. Your membership enables you to watch panels, workshops, music supervisors, music libraries, record company execs, etc. Many of my successful connections have come from TAXI. I can't say you will be successful with pitching there, but the educational benefits are worth every penny of membership, IMO. You will also get motivated to write a LOT of music based on the requests.
Please contact me if you are interested in joining. I can get you some FREEBIES!
Should I work with a "Sync-Agent:
I don’t work with sync agents, myself. They are good if you want just one person to handle everything. It is tempting, but you are putting your catalogue in only one persons hands.
In the end, working with libraries is similar, although you can work with multiple ones. Once your tracks are in place in a library, you are pretty much done. There’s no management, except feeding more music to them. All of this is dependent on whether you are affiliated with a PRO, etc.
What I can recommend is:
Mark Freiser runs Syncsummit. (see my recent interview with him: https://www.facebook.com/644750573/videos/10164145905220574) He is really inside everything that is going on. I did an interview with him recently (see a link in this newsletter) He is also a sync agent and has supplied a list:
Note: Musicgateway is like Songtradr, or TAXI. I don’t think of them as a sync-agent.
Indigi Music is an exclusive library. I work with them, although since they are now exclusive, less.
Another sync summit article:
Interesting, Here Mark puts Songtradr in. Again, I don’t see them as a sync-agent. They are the easiest type portal to work with. Free (they take 40%), $50/year (they take 20%). In the end, they are a place to put all of your music for instant licensing. It takes time to upload each track. Some libraries are like that too. DIY.
If a sync agent takes 20-25%, and the deal is split with another publisher, your % might be a lot less.
If you want to look into a sync-agent, I would start with Mark. At the very least, he’s been a great help with his free sync-cafes every week.
Another option might be to find someone that you can pay per hour to put your music in a variety of places.
I'm thinking of submitting my music for Stock Music and YouTube Licensing Resellers. But does anyone know if this will conflict with YouTube Content ID I already have through CD Baby?
I use Adrev for YT monetization (one particular track and video make this worthwhile.) They have whitelisted a channel before for me, although the last time I asked they said they couldn't because there were other tracks on the channel that they work with. In any event, unless you have a track on a video that has a LOT of views (like a million) monetization is debatable. I do have monetization on my own channel through Google (owns YT) and again due to one video, it's worth it. In the end, monetization can have issues with some libraries that sell to small uses like photographers, etc. I generally recommend NOT using CDBaby PRO, or monetization agreements (or any music library. I have left libraries that wanted me to sign up for monetization due to the Adrev revenue.
What kind of music does well with licensing:
My road into licensing has been for the most part, instrumental music of all kinds. I do love to challenge myself into different genres. For me, percussive tracks always seem to be the ones that have the best success, which makes sense. My recommendation is to go with whatever acoustic instruments you play, at least as a focus for tracks, if possible. It’s not essential, but anytime you can add real instruments into the mix, the tracks tend to come alive. I also have learned that the music I really like tends to do best. If I try for styles that I’m not that crazy about, the tracks usually aren’t that great. It can happen, but overall my enthusiasm for a track is definitely related to it’s success. Tracks have to “pop”. Tech is important along with metadata, and understanding the business, so if there is interest, you are ready. (you have a PRO, publishing, etc.)
In the end, jazz, Latin and world music have been successful for me. Classical, if it something I am good at creating can be successful, too. The Christmas album was music that I had been performing live for years before recording. It was an assembly-line in the studio. The entire album was created in the early 90s in about 2 weeks, including mix. I played all parts, had an excellent engineer and producer in a very good, early digital studio. It was a lot of fun, but very challenging. The tracks continue to get used for sync to this day. Quality does make a difference!
I wrote a score for a film. The production company wants to own the master and any music I produce for the short. Should I try to keep my publishing?
Unless the producer has a publishing entity with a PRO the royalties will be lost. Of course, that's assuming the short is broadcast which is doubtful. The contract can be exclusive regarding music being only used in that film. Cues are usually pretty hard to reuse in other films anyway, especially if they are synced to picture. I did write an article recently on this. https://www.stage32.com/.../Music-Licensing-vs-Music-Scoring
Videos of the month:
Wild video of drums with a string quartet piece. Intense!
A little late for Halloween, but...My favorite piece!
If Berlioz were alive today, I believe he would have written for movies!
5th Movement: Dance of the Witches Sabbath! 43:11
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
AMA Episode #20 - How Your Music Makes It On Screen Part 2B with Alan Meyerson
(1) Is it BETTER to Sign with a SYNC AGENT or MUSIC LIBRARY?
DO'S and DON'TS - How to be PROFESSIONAL and PREPARED When Your MUSIC Is SIGNED!
How to Write Scary Music
3 More Quick Tips for Your Rough Recordings
Basics of Music Copyright
Film Composers – Your Attention Please! (Part 1)
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!
$15 T-Shirts until 11-13-20
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:
““There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”
John F. Kennedy