Tag Archives: business

Recording Public Domain Songs for Production

Classical music and other public domain songs make for excellent source material for production music. But utilizing these compositions and then legally licensing your recordings can get tricky. With a little forethought, research, and knowledge of copyright rules, you can avoid inadvertently infringing on another composer’s copyright. Give your tracks a copyright tune-up. Here are some things to consider:

copyright1) Research the song. First and foremost, you need to know exactly when the song was written and published. Take careful note of this, as copyright terms expire after a specific time, as determined by where the music might be used. In the United States, works published prior to 1923 are currently public domain. For example, the common song Happy Birthday was written and published after 1923, meaning that song, as common as it is, is still under copyright and cannot be used. There are some caveats, however. So…

2) Research your composer. Know some basics about your composer. Is he still alive? This is important as copyright status depends largely on the composer’s date of death. Find out when the composer died. If he or she is still living, chances are you cannot license any of their music. In the United States, for all works published after 1922, if the composer is no longer living, the copyright expires 95 years from the date the song was written and published. That means that any work published in 1923 will enter the public domain in 2019.

3) If there are lyrics, the lyrics must also be in the public domain. This makes operas, arias, and classical songs a royal pain. You cannot reproduce a song with its lyrics unless the lyrics are also in the public domain, as the lyricist still has rights in the piece. Research this carefully if you are considering producing a recording of any popular operas. Puccini operas are a prime example of this — depending on the lyricist, some operas are now public domain, and some are not.

4) Never, EVER, sell or license a recording you did not make. Period. Don’t do it. Because of the complexities of copyright law, absolutely NO SOUND RECORDINGS are currently in the public domain. Sound recordings have their own copyright, so all recordings must be licensed from the producers or owners of the recording, i.e. the record label that produced them.

Considering producing a classical work for your next round of library music tracks? Be sure to carefully research every aspect of a song before you dive in. This will save you huge headaches, legal trouble, and lots of time.

Achieve: Corporate Production Music

Our production music pick of the week features the royalty free corporate music track Achieve by Dan Foster. Modern and emotional, this track is uplifting and motivational. Ideal for commercial work, and perfect for times when presenting a positive corporate image is key, this brave and encouraging piece is a must-have for producers creating multimedia projects and videos for businesses and organizations.

We selected three stock footage clips to accompany this corporate track. As the soundtrack opens with a determined tone, prominently featuring electric keyboards and a percussion loop, we chose business stock footage clip 194408, which is a simple 3D animated clip of entering a business through glass doors and a modern, clean hallway. This matches the modern, clean feel of the music, with the movement of the video mirroring the forward motion of the track.

As the production progresses, our video changes to a clip of what could be a busy call center or online support center (video ID 288622), showing numerous workers at computer terminals. The leading, encouraging feel of this corporate music track brings energy and a sense of focus and determination, highlighting the motivational yet professional nature of the track.

We close this week’s royalty free music pick of the week with a pan of a city skyline at dusk, showing the track’s versatility as a potential candidate for business montages and scene establishment. The pulsating rhythm and modern harmonies come together with this city skyline stock footage clip (ID 155156) capturing the motion and life of a city at the end of a hard day of work. The addition of strings into the mix at this point also reminds us of some detective or action-drama productions.

License Achieve for your next corporate video: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/384525

How Royalty Free Music Can Boost Your Video Marketing ROI

If your creative agency like most businesses, you know that getting the most bang for your buck from your marketing dollars is crucial to success. If you use needledrop or custom production music in any of your marketing, making the switch to royalty free music in your marketing activities, whether on social media or at live events, can save you thousands of dollars per project, making switching to stock music an effective strategy for increasing your bottom line.
royalty free music for video marketing
If you market using video on social media sites, creating videos for YouTube or other video agregators is key to your success. However, professional production can cost tens of thousands of dollars, from actors to equipment, to full out production companies, editors, script writers, and more. Adding to this expense is custom music, which can run you anywhere from several hundred to several thousands for a couple minutes of music, especially if you’re looking for exclusivity. In fact, many production houses build in music licensing fees anywhere from $5000 to $20,000 depending on the project’s overall budget. All this for an online video?

You can trim the fat, thereby increasing your video’s overall effectiveness and increasing your ROI by switching to inexpensive royalty free music. Sure, it’s not exclusive, and sure, you’re not going to have Miley Cyrus’s latest twerk. However, finding something similar sounding by a professional musician in a royalty free music library will save you tens of thousands in licensing fees. If you can avoid needledrop libraries, where they charge you a fee per use, you can even make your project even more cost-effective. At productiontrax.com, you can get a professionally produced pop soundtrack for your next YouTube video for less than $50, with no needledrop fees, and no royalties to pay.

By cutting out unnecessary licensing costs, you can remove bloat from your project’s overall cost. If you could lower your marketing spend by $5000, and still get comparable results, it seems like a no-brainuh. Let’s face it, it’s the internet. No one is going to care (or even remember) that you got the exclusive rights to Twerkatwerk, 2013’s top pop smash, for your viral video. Royalty free music is a perfect substitute: it’s plenty cheaper, and sounds just as good.

5 Ways To Record Better Sound Effects

sound effectsRecording sound effects or building a catalog of sounds to sell on some royalty free music or stock audio library sites? Follow these five tips for maximizing your library’s size and overal success. You’ll find that, with just a little careful planning and organization, you’ll be able to curate the sound library that your production business needs to succeed.

1) Make a list in advance. Just as film producers create a list of shots they need to complete a scene or a video, and optimize their lists to minimize shooting time (equipment rental is expensive, man), so should the professional sound designer. Whether your goal is to get a single animal sound, or a collection of city ambiences, know what you’re going for before you get on location. Make a list, and be specific! Do you need footsteps? Howling? Traffic? Once you’ve got your list, you can then optimize your locations — for example, you can get footsteps on a sidewalk, and at the same time get some traffic sounds if you record on a busy street. You can save time, and at the same time, get creative with your catalog. A little pre-planning can go a long way.

2) Invest in a high quality microphone and DAW. While technology is getting better and better, and cheaper quality equipment is becoming increasingly available, it’s still important for sound effects producers to invest in great gear. Do your homework, because just like quality gear is becoming cheaper, cheap gear is becoming more and more prevalent. Find microphones that have excellent reponse at all frequencies, a solid hard disk to store your takes to, and don’t skimp on your editing software. A quality digital audio editor such as ProTools or Logic can save you time and make your audio sound great.

3) Edit, Edit, Edit. Getting rid of extraneous noises is key in creating quality sound effects that are ready to use in production. No one wants footstep sounds with dogs barking in the background when they’re searching for footstep sound effects. Cut the extra sounds, and your clients will thank you for it. Reduce the ambient noise as much as you can, as this will allow your sound effects to be used in as many different projects as possible without much editing. Separating your sounds this way will also pay off big in the size of your catalog.

4) Master your recordings and create high-resolution mixes. Invest in some quality mastering plug-ins. This will make your recordings have the loudness they need, along with the equalization required to make them sound their best. But remember, don’t over-master. Chances are that whoever is purchasing your audio is likely to edit the effects to suit their specific needs. You can coun’t on them adjusting volume, changing reverb, or mixing with other sounds. The key is to give them the best base material possible. Along these lines, don’t forget to bounce to uncompressed formats like WAV or AIFF, which have far superior sound quality than a highly compressed MP3.

5) Tag and Describe your Sound Effects accurately. When you’ve completed your mixes, don’t just label your files Car 1, Car 2, Car 3. That doesn’t tell your customer anything about the sound they’re looking at, and wastes their time. If you’ve recorded a Ferrari Testarosa revving up it’s engine, label the file that way. People searching sound effects libraries have tons of material to go through, and need help finding things quickly. Similarly, you can save yourself numerous headaches when you need to dig up a file from your archives a year from now. With a little forethought and organization, you can build a better sound effects library with minimal effort.