Tag Archives: music creation

Reorganizing The Production Music Studio

Every now and then I get a little antsy. Lately, I’ve been thinking of updading my home studio with some new music production gear, software… or even just rearranging the room a bit. I’ve always wanted the studio to be an inspiring space, something that lends itself to hours of work comfortably, while also giving me that spark of creativity. For me, the studio needs to be fun and inviting — I have to want to go in there! Otherwise, I won’t be creating much new production music, or doing my work for that matter.

I stumbled on this swank set-up: http://www.desktopped.com/featured/2010/11/home-av-recording-studio-and-tv-room/

A bit lacking in music gear, but pretty sweet nonetheless. It kind of reminds me of my office, but there’s something about it that screams I can be creative there. Or I can get some work done there.

Maybe it’s just the clean desk.

What’s your setup like? How do you keep your music production space fresh and inviting and inspiring? Do you have a dedicated room for your home studio, or did you throw all your music gear in a corner or closet. Or do you work in a dungeon?

Free Sound Effects Exchange Sites – Are They Good For The Sound Designer?

It’s not new — there are tons of free sound effects sites out there that give away sound files. The idea is simple, sound designers can upload their collections to these massive libraries, and then the masses flock to the site to download them. Perfectly legal, and perfectly free.

It seems like a win for the consumers, and the average joe looking for a quick booooiinng, but where is the sound designer in all of this? It’s quite surprising to see several big name sound designers giving away their product for free because it’s “good advertising.” Sites that database and archive sounds and allow free downloads by the masses seem to think that they are doing the world a huge favor, when in fact, they are merely hurting the artists and creative production professionals that they’re building their audio file archives upon (leaving sound effects pirates out of the mix here, no pun intended).

Sound designers invest a lot of money into buying expensive audio recording equipment. They spend years training, and more years perfecting recording and editing techniques. If a user is not willing to shell out a few cents for a sound effect, or even a couple of dollars to use royalty free sound effects in their projects, they should have to record the sounds themselves. They’ll quickly realize the hard work it takes to create a sound.

Selling Royalty Free Music: Are You Giving Up Too Soon?

The following is a real life email from a real life customer on Productiontrax.com:

Hi Dave,

Last week I found some great music tracks on your website. The track ID numbers were 1234 and 5432. I tried out the free low-res demos and they worked perfectly in my film, and now I’m ready to license them and download the hi-res versions. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find them anymore on Productiontrax. Can you help?

Sincerely,

Joe Customer

It never fails. A composer puts some music up on PT looking to make a quick sale, and then hides or removes the track completely after only a couple of days, disappointed and frustrated that it hasn’t licensed yet.

Granted, there are many good reasons to pull tracks from your account: you signed a deal with an “old skool” library, you’re changing careers, you just licensed the same track to another customer on an exclusive basis. But what we tend to see are composers who get impatient, expecting customers to immediately buy tracks within minutes.

So what should you do? What is a reasonable amount of time to give a track to sell before considering other options? I suggest these following rules of thumb for selling royalty free music, sound effects, stock footage, and photos on Productiontrax:

1. Know your audience, and their buying habits. This is true for any business. Multimedia producers are just as finicky as you are, and they’re more of a perfectionist than you are. They want the music they buy to be perfect, and every hit, pulse, and beep should line up perfectly with all their edit points. They want free comps to test out for days, weeks, months, until they get the rough draft just right. Then they buy.

2. Diversify and build your library. It’s true, the more you have on PT, the more you sell. But you don’t need as many as you think. Don’t upload 37,000 garbage files, because then no one will buy your stuff, and you’ll just be flooding the marketplace with useless media. Focus on quality, and create media in a wide variety of styles and genres. Challenge yourself in new areas, maybe weekly, or even daily. Take each track you write, and make a :15, :30, and:60 cut. Make a stinger. If you write one song a week, you can make it into 5 useful tracks. That’s 20 tracks a month. That’s 240 tracks a year.

3. Be patient. Building sales consistency takes time. Consider leaving your files up indefinitely – you will see the return. What is it to you anyway? It’s not like you have to sit there and stare at the screen. Just upload and forget about it. The most successful contributors have racked up tens of thousands of dollars in sales over the course of just 2 to 3 years. They simply upload a lot of good useful music, describe and keyword their files well, and then they leave it up there whether it sells or not.

4. Be aware of seasonal dips and quiet production months.Many of Productiontrax.com’s clients tend to be professional media creators, or work for businesses. This means they go on vacations. They take holidays. Think of the times of year when you’re not working, and expect those few weeks to be slow for you – but don’t think it’s a sign that you need to move on. All good things take time.

5 Cool Music Production Apps for iPhone

As phones and mobile devices get smaller and smarter all at once, the nature of electronic music production and audio production is changing dramatically. Even more groundbreaking is Apple’s iPhone. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of the iPhone (I don’t leave home without mine). And now I’m an even bigger fan, as more and more apps are being developed for the iPhone that are geared towards music production, writing, and recording. Here are 5 seemingly random super-cool apps to get your iPhone rocking.

1) Studio Devil – The makers of the Virtual Guitar Amp tube modeling plug-ins have teamed up with Quixonic to create an authentic tube amp modeling app for the iPhone. (coming soon)

2) Quixpin DJ – Yeah, so Quixonic makes a few — this one’s a true DJ app that allows you to mix and beatmatch music without all the heavy equipment, and then output a stereo mix to use at parties, or even cue and beat match songs while another is playing. ($1.99)

3) Noise.io Pro Synth – by Amidio, has a deep learning curve, but gives you countless waveforms and processing tools to create your own sounds. Custom sequencer and effects processor make this one an awesome mobile instrument and production tool. ($14.99)

4) VoiceBand – so this isn’t really a pro app, but it is pretty cool stuff. Using your voice, this app plays a real sampled instrument that files what you sing. Control 10 virtual instruments at once using only your voice. ($2.99)

5) Xewton Music Studio – this is a complete music production studio in the palm of your hand. Full 128-track sequencer, 21 pro-quality sampled instruments, realtime effects, sustain, reverb, eq and more. Track settings include tempo and time signature, measure level copy/paste, delete, repeat, transpose, MIDI import and export…. This one is pretty wicked. ($14.99)