Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring!
October 2020 Vol. 8, No. 10
pdf: (Best to get images and formatting)
* Boy, September was fun in the Pacific NW. Let's add SMOKE to your bingo card! A little more has just blown in this week, but it's pretty high up, and not causing difficulties, this time. Fingers crossed!
This video was from Labor Day on the coast: just before the really bad smoke came in.
* THREE new interviews below. More coming!
* NEW FB page about licensing: (Please like to get more info in between emails)
Get Your Music in Film and TV:
* Future Warning:
I will be on the Seattle Film Summit Music Scoring Panel, Monday, Nov 16 ,2020
* If you haven't seen the film I scored and produced, "As the Earth Turns", please check it out on Amazon Prime (Free). I can really use your help by giving it a star or written review. The film is only 45 minutes long, and is a very fun to watch silent sci-fi film with my score! (Please use good headphones or speakers). It's great for all-ages, too. If everyone receiving this email watched this film, it would move up the Amazon ranks massively. Thanks! (see below for more info) https://www.astheearthturns.com/
* 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:
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.
Interviews! You can NEVER have enough Press, Dept.:
* 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)
"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!
More 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 (& 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 working hard on a 5 track exclusive percussive album for a library. The music will be drumline and mallet percussion oriented (a specialty of mine). I'm having a fun time doing these. There are ALL acoustic tracks (some midi sounds to boost the bass drum tracks). See "Tales from the Tech-Side": below for my process. I don't usually go after exclusives unless they are by request. This library is somewhat new, but big in the news, lately. I will report in the next few months how it goes. I haven't seen contracts yet, but I believe there is a 5-year reversion clause.
Honey, your royalties are in, Dept:
• BMI day in September. Again, BMI pays EARLY! Since Covid, they've done a great job of helping musicians by paying the quarterly royalties a few days earlier. By contrast, ASCAP has been late. Lots of folks are upset about that!
The Blind Side (2009) is still paying well. ABC took over a lot of the distribution, so it's been on FREEFORM (ABC) and put on regularly. The 20-second clip of my piece, "Football Funk" (https://edhartmanmusic.com/track/2027879/football-funk) still pays pennies up to about $9/per broadcast, depending on where and what time it is on, and this film is now over 10 years old! It was originally placed through Musicsupervisor.com (I get the publishing as well. Mutliply all royalties x 2!) Interview: https://musicsupervisor.com/ed-hartman-interview/
A few tracks in Discovery shows are paying well (up to $2-3/broadcast)
Streaming can pay, if the show is popular. A track in Brooklyn Nine-Nine generated some good revenue from HULU (over 1M views), and around the world on multiple outlets.
Can you really make money on Youtube, Dept:
• If you have been following this newsletter, you would know about a track in a documentary that has done very well. The doc continues to rack up views (over 1.5M!). My quarterly revenue from https://adrev.net/ is getting more consistent. I can be hundreds of dollars. It does vary (not sure why). I do keep track of the views on the video that pays. My track, "Rivertrance" is at the beginning and end of the film. I have had to fight to make sure the monetization is correct. It has been worth it!
Recent track for a pitch:
"The Simplest Gift" - Simple piano and strings, warm and optimistic build. 90 sec, appropriate for a commercial (Apple, Google, etc.)
New Videos and Music: (Please share!)
(Videos are a great way to promote your tracks, too)
"Sunset Reflections" (newly added video to piano/strings piece). Video is from a recent trip to the Washington coast, using my phone, and Imovie.
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:
Putting together a 'drumline" track: (Logic)
Because I play percussion, I really want to be able to use as much live acoustic instruments as possible.
* I start with a midi-snare to play in the snare drum part (no rolls). I play the track in (slower), quantize, print from Logic, and then use it as sheet music to play the actual snare with. I'll manually add rolls, dynamics, etc.
* I record the snare at least 2x and put the tracks wide R an L. This can be challenging at tempo! I have used a single track with a wide-chorus effect if time is short.
* I create a bass drum midi track (cymbals tend to play with the bass drum)
* I record real bass drum (my 24" Yamaha bd from my set, with a large hard bd mallet, and use my 14-16-18 floor toms (muffled) as other melodic bass drums (generally improvised with hard timpani mallets)
* I use my small concert toms (8-10-12) on my set for "quads". This was something I discovered when I created "Football Funk" that was used in "The Blind Side" (see Adventures above). I generally improvise around the snare part.
* I add two cymbal passes with a set of orchestral 18" crash cymbals. I de-tune one of them to create a smaller crash sound.
I then mix, add plug-ins (a bunch of newer ones, some free from Ozone and others). They really beef up the mix. I do a lot with EQ, compression, expander, etc. I'm still searching for a way to really punch up the toms more (any ideas?). My mics are not close. I only use 2 overheads, a snare/hh, and a bd mic.
I put everything through Space Designer Reverb (Outdoor stadium) for a live sound.
A recent drumline track: (non-excl)
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:
Chillwave is a music microgenre that emerged in the late 2000s. It is characterized by a faded or dreamy retro pop sound, escapist lyrics (frequent topics include the beach or summer), psychedelic or lo-fi aesthetics, mellow vocals, low-to-moderate tempos, effects processing (especially reverb), and vintage synthesizers. The term was originally synonymous with "glo-fi" or "hypnagogic pop".
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 a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, etc.)?
You do have to join a PRO somewhere to get royalties if a track is placed in a film. Here’s the process...
1) You register your music with a PRO. (no upload, just information about the track).
2) A “cue sheet” is created by a production company. That is sent to the PRO by the production company. You can check on this, and make sure. It will have a list of all music in the production including score, and any licensed tracks.
3) When the production is in overseas theaters* and worldwide onTV, the PRO tracks the “performance” of how long it is, what kind of placement (background music, featured, over credits, when it is on (Primetime, etc.), what kind of network (cable or broadcast), etc. You will eventually see these performances on your royalty report.
4) 9 months after a performance, the royalty is sent to the writer and publisher (typically 50/50). Overseas royalties take up to 2 years.
* Overseas theatrical revenue is collected for US PROs only. ASCAP lost domestic (US) theatrical revenue in the 1930s in an anti-trust case.
If you join your own country's PRO that is usually best. An American PRO (BMI, ASCAP) may take a long time to pay you for anything performed in your own country. Payment might be tricky, too. You can be a member of more than one PRO, but you have to exclude the territories of the other PROs you are in. You could join an American PRO, with the exception of your own country, or others. I probably would not recommend this. It’s usually done by composers that are very successful (and large publishers) that have a lot of revenue in other countries. Keep in mind, that each country collects domestic and overseas royalties. Everyone takes a cut. Also, it is possible to change PROs, but it can take up to a year.
Do you recommend BMI or ASCAP:
My recommendation is BMI, especially if you are doing vocals. ASCAP decreased background vocals royalties a few years ago. Also, ASCAP has been late with quarterly payouts, BMI has been early due to COVID. Whether that holds, who knows. BMI is free as a writer, but is $150 as a publisher. (I tend to recommend, especially if you are direct licensing to a filmmaker, etc., and to make sure you get overseas royalties when you keep your publishing). ASAP is $50/writer $50/publisher. Those are one-time fees, though. ASCAP does seem to be a bit more transparent with cue sheets. Overall, I am generally satisfied with BMI (since the early 90s)
Are there FREE libraries to submit to?
Nearly ALL libraries are free to submit music to. Most of the ones on my list are a good place to start (https://edhartmanmusic.com/resources-for-composers-and-songwriters)
One exception is Songtradr which has both a free and pay component. It started out like TAXI to connect you to libraries, music supervisors, etc. It has evolved into a working library. It still has opportunities, but clients can license directly from the site. My profile: https://www.songtradr.com/user/profile/ed.hartman
I have over 200 tracks on the site. I am paying about $50/year, which is pretty inexpensive. I have gotten some deals directly from clients purchasing music for license (rather than an opportunity).
I recommend that you start with the free subscription to feel it out. The potential splits for revenue are less and you have limited opportunities to go after, but there is no risk. In fact, most opportunities have been somewhat free because of the pandemic. Songtradr does have a distribution component (free), although you have to maintain your membership to keep the more favorable splits. (I tend to recommend CDBaby for distribution, although they have gone through some less than great changes, lately, like getting rid of their store).
I do recommend looking into Crucial Music (very picky, though), Musicsupervisor.com (you keep your publishing), Audiosocket (in Seattle) and others. https://musiclibraryreport.com/category/1-to/ can also be a great tool to check out libraries (with reviews by composers). They usually have a 50% off in the summer and around Christmas. (about $100/year regularly, you can do a “free peak’ and shorter periods of membership at a lower rate.
Do I need "metadata' in a track for a film-placement?
You need meta in your tracks to send to music supervisors, filmmakers and anyone directly, so they don't lose the tracks in Itunes, etc. Your contact info (PRO accounts, phone, email, etc.) should be in the "comments". I use metadatics to add metadata. Once a track is in a film, meta is no longer there The track is now part of the mix. There may be fingerprinting in the future, but I don’t know of any currently. If you want to know where your film and track are playing on TV around the world, you can use tunesat.com (50 tracks free) etc. The tracks are found by their audio-fingerprint. It’s not perfect, especially when the track is underneath dialogue, sound effects, etc. You may need to upload the track embedded into the score to get it to find it. You would need to get the soundtrack from a DVD, I've done this for big movies. You can rip the audio from a DVD using free software like https://handbrake.fr/
To get paid for a placement, the tracks on a production are sent to your PRO. I believe a lot of sampling goes on for radio. Your music has to be played at certain times to catch the scan, too.
Soundexchange.com pays for some digital streaming radio, etc. I believe they use IRSC codes, but I am not sure how they catch them. Because it’s digital, maybe there is something embedded.
Video of the month:
One of my favorite movie scores!
A masters thesis of theme and variations. Caution: earworm! The movie is wild and has every comedian they could find in it. Crazy, fun, and extremely entertaining, especially if you can see it in a BIG theatre! There's Entr'acte, Intermission and Exit music, too! Great classic 60's title sequence, too.
"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
World-class songwriter classes:
How to find Music libraries:
Music Licensing Community: ($)
Creative Ways To Find Music Supervisors:
A Film Composers Guide to Dealing with Rejections:
Chords and Modulations:
Great video about string sounds:
FREE Industy contact lists:
Best practices for music licenisng emails:
Good books on songwriting for TV and film by Dean Krippahaene:
Demystifying the Genre
Demystifying The Cue
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!
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:
“Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down."
All contents © 2020 Ed Hartman
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