Loudness in Production Music – What You Need To Know

‘The Loudness War’ is a hot topic in production music circles. For those who aren’t familiar, loudness involves the way that music is compressed and limited at the mixing and mastering stages. This allows the music to sound LOUD!

Apart from being weary of giving the listener ear fatigue, regulatory standards (such as R128) impact the way loudness relates to music production. New measuring metrics, including LUFS, compete with older RMS measurements. All of these factors make loudness a potential minefield for anyone looking to produce professional, high-quality audio.

Find royalty free music for your next project.

production music waveform
The whole premise of ‘loudness’ in music comes down to the way the ear perceives the quiet and not so quiet passages within a piece.

The history of LOUD

The idea of making your music sound loud is nothing new. Making sure that your album out enough volume was essential back when records competed with each other on jukeboxes in bars. The actual mechanics of mastering records required various tricks to make things sound louder and more bassy. Meanwhile, physical limitations of making sure the stylus stayed in the groove meant that loudness could only go so far.

These limitations no longer applied after the introduction of CDs and DAT in the 80s. Mastering engineers realized that boundaries could be pushed to make releases sound louder than ever before.

Mix and master

Essentially, loudness comes down to the way the ear differentiates between loud and quiet passages. (Dynamic range is the difference between loud and soft.) A listener percieves an overall boost in volume by squashing peaks and boosting quieter sections.

Compression and limiting tools in mixing and mastering often achieve this effect. However, dynamics can be lost (essentially the difference in volume peak levels), and an ear-fatiguing, ‘brick-walling’ is the end result.

Loudness and Production Music

It is important for production music to stand out from the crowd. Yet, making it too loud can mean end-users suffer in the long run. Most broadcast platforms, including online services like Youtube, apply their own normalization processes. This makes sure everything sounds similar in terms of volume. So, highly compressed pieces of music end up sounding thinner and less effective than those that maintain dynamic range. This is especially true when extra layers of modifications are used.

Moderation and balance are key when it comes to deciding how loud to make production music tracks. Composers and producers should learn this lesson if in order to stand up against the competition.

How Using Royalty Free Music Can Increase Online Ad Income

Royalty free music providers make creating content affordable and easy. Timely, more engaging content paves the way for increasing your online ad income. Source music for your videos and advertisements to boost your bottom line.

New online services make it possible for everyone to create an online income stream by using advertisements. In the past, you could only generate ad revenue by running a publication or broadcasting network. It was also possible if you were a celebrity who could command fees for sponsoring products and brands.

Today things are very different. Third party online ads can be placed on your website. You can even use popular social platforms such as Youtube. Content you create can be monetized by the addition of ads. These ads usually offer your own user base products and services that are targeted towards your audience.

royalty free music playing on television set
Royalty free music helps get your video online faster to help you boost advertising revenue.

No traffic, no click throughs

There is one obvious snag to this attractive business model. If people don’t visit your content, no one will view and click on your ads. This means that you have to make your content as professional, attractive and unique as possible. Quality content appeals to the widest internet audience and pulls in enough traffic to make your ads work for you.

The internet is a visual medium. You must create content that is engaging and competes on equal terms with everything out there. Thankfully, companies like Productiontrax make producing great content easy.

Royalty free music and visuals

One of the big secrets of the film and TV industries is now out in the open. It doesn’t cost a fortune to use visual and audio created by experienced professionals in order to make your own unique content.

Royalty free music, also called library or production music, allows you to buy professional standard music for a small one-off fee. It can be used indefinitely in your own work without incurring any further costs. You can usually find music to fit any kind of video or content. Once you’ve put your content together, you’re ready to drive traffic and serve up ads.

Many talented individuals in the realm of both the film and music industries now make a good living by creating this type of content, which helps others bring their own projects to realization.

So, by taking advantage of this type of service, you can achieve your own goals of making money from ads that are carried alongside the work online.

by David McCarthy

Royalty Free Music for Hibachi Food Truck Promo

Creating promotional trailers for restaurants and small businesses requires high quality content at affordable rates. Kissi Media produced this great promo for the NYC Hibachi food truck Hibachi Heaven using royalty free music from Productiontrax, allowing them to stay on budget without sacrificing quality.

Hibachi Joe, New York City from Kissi Media on Vimeo.

To capture the energy of grilling and chopping, Kissi Media used the stock music track Metal Drum and Bass 170BPM DM by Mykola Odnorog. Their selection of production music for the video helps to introduce Chef Joe and his food truck to the masses in NYC.

From the video description:

“Operated by Johansen Oliva, a Brazil native and New Yorker by way of Miami, Oliva (also known as “Chef Joe”)? serves hungry New Yorkers and foodies alike from the Financial District to Midtown (east/west) and Harlem, where loyal fans and diners flock to the corner of 99th and Madison Ave. Every Monday, employees at Mount Sinai Hospital are treated to the only hibachi dishes in the city available outside an established restaurant.”

We think Kissi Media’s choice of music and food closeups really makes our mouth water for some of Joe’s Yum Yum sauce.

Six Incredibly Useful Royalty Free Music Tracks for Creating Film Soundtracks

Every filmmaker knows that their soundtrack can make or break their entire film. For video production professionals in particular, the quality of the music being used can either lead to dissatisfied clients or to life long customers. Finding the right music for the right moment can be a tricky process. Luckily, royalty free music libraries like Productiontrax can make the search for the right track easy, providing music that covers a wide range of genres and emotional quality, even from the same piece of music. Here are six incredibly versatile pieces of royalty free music that will change the way you use stock music.

1. Sweet, Sweet Success. From motivational corporate videos, to tech advertising, to children’s projects, this piece by Don Swanson could become your next go-to music track whenever you need something light and positive. Evoking feelings of hope and joy, the track gently evolves into a series of sparkling and beautiful sounds, interweaved with a full string ensemble.

2. Dub Step of Terror. This track by Robert Neary escalates and intensifies, gradually building and incorporating elements of traditional dub step with sounds of horror, adventure, and modern drama. Perfect for a wide range of uses from horror to superhero trailers to science fiction to commercials.

3. Pirates – Action Adventure. Whether you need something dramatic for a vacuum cleaner commercial, or you’re actually sailing the high seas, Igge Scoce’s royalty free action adventure music track will help to create the soundscape that sounds like it was created by a film score orchestra, all without the budgetary drain. Also great for video games, and cinematic sequences.

4. Adventurous Beautiful Majesty. From Christian Andersson of Craze Music comes this lush stock music track that is perfect for heroic epiphanies, fantasy titles, video games, documentaries, travel, nature, science, and gentle, lush underscoring.

5. Clocks. Serene, reflective, yet with constant motion, this piece by Adi Goldstein captures the essence of passing time, internal reflection, sadness, and can be used for montages, television dramas, opening titles, and much more.

6. Rays of Happiness. Quiet piano and strings works for anything. We don’t know why — it just does. This production music track by Filip Halon is perfect as a romantic love song, or as the backdrop to a peaceful scene. We think it works great for PSAs and other narrated commercial spots where a little human authenticity is called for.

Expanding Your Production Music Library

Ideas for composers for increasing the number of clips in their music library.

Would you like to have or need more clips of your production music along with a wider range of time lengths and potential applications for your music? Here are some relatively simple and good ideas.

One thing you can do is to use pieces of music that you already have as completed works. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a five minute film score with a spacey ambient string section intro, a main full instrumental chord progression, a catchy melody theme, an energetic driving drum break, and a calm serene melodic interlude. It is not very difficult to have all these related individual sections edited into separate stand alone music clips. If you were to take for example the percussion break, this can easily be edited and turned into two individual clips, one as a percussion phrase with a distinct resolute ending and the other one as a loop.

Production Music EditingAlways remember you must be sure to check that the loop loops seamlessly before making it available for lease. All too often what sounds great in your audio editing software will have noticeable seams when actually looped. These loops can have noticeable clicks, timing errors, artifacts, or dynamic inconsistencies. It is always a good idea to make sure and check the rendered file before making it available for licensing! The same technique holds true for the chord progressions, ambient interludes, and melodies.

Two more benefits of this are:
1) the producer who is licensing your music can now have more options for time lengths and choices for dynamics of the original piece to use in their related project, and

2) you will have many more clips for a wider range of applications even if they are not related to the same end production.

Another way to have more clips can be by using different dynamics for the same passage. For example, one version can have only chord changes, another will have the melody line, and another without any percussion.

And yet another way is to make different time lengths of the same piece. One easy way to do this with MIDI produced tracks is by increasing or decreasing the tempo. For instance, a sixty second track at 60 beats per minute will become a thirty second track at 120 beats per minute. Yes, it will speed up the tempo but it does work for some things like ambient and certain kinds of melodic ambient and can have some interesting results. Of course there is always “copy and paste” too.

Well, I hope these suggestions will help a bit because they have worked for me!

Zoid Proteus “Interstellar Music”
http://www.productiontrax.com/profile.php?id=8215&sentby=13561

Mystery Groove – Stock Music loop for Detective Shows

This week, we dive in to the genre of detective mysteries. Our royalty free music pick of the week is a short little stock music track by Matthew Anklan called Mystery Groove (track ID 387379). Without sounding dated, this production music track features four trumpets and rhythm section, complete with note bends, harmon mutes, and a delightfully funky beat and bass line.

The looped groove is perfect for comedy, mystery, and investigative shows, and immediately gave us images of the Pink Panther, Inspector Gadget, Mr. Monk, Sean Spencer, and other famously wacky television detectives. We combined this track with a stock footage clip ID 74853, which is a shot of a forrest road winding through some pretty dense fog. The video, also available for download at Productiontrax, adds to the mysterious yet almost comical flare of this music track. We think this piece will work equally well as a soundtrack for children’s projects or advertising.

License the audio: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/387379
Get the footage: http://www.productiontrax.com/stock-footage/74853

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.

Great Expectations – Wintery Royalty Free Production Music

Winter might be on the thaw, but you can instill that icy chill into any multimedia project with this week’s royalty free production music pick of the week, Great Expectations. With choirs, bells, and orchestral strings, this track has a layer of intrigue and motivation that combines with sounds traditionally heard during the cold winter months to create a character all of its own.

It sort of reminds us of a Harry Potter sequence — a dark sinister stroll through enchanted woods, or in the deep recesses of a medieval castle. A suitable theme for an evil villain, sorcerer, or fantasy role playing game, this piece has moments of huge muiscal epic-ness and quiet contemplation (or brooding). But don’t let that pidgeon hole you to the fantasy genre. Ad campaigns for companies ranging from security systems to banks and insurance companies could find creative use for these tracks. We feel a sports car commercial would probably make great use of this production music track.

For our pick of the week video, we paired this short piece with stock footage of nighttime snow and fog filmed from a moving car in an eerily empty parking lot. Notice how the creepy feel transfers over to the second stock footage clip, establishing a winter scene haunted farm, demonstrating the music’s versatility.

Get the stock music: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/341353
Get the driving stock footage: http://www.productiontrax.com/stock-footage/304231
Get the winter farm footage: http://www.productiontrax.com/stock-footage/304737

Overlooked Production Music Categories for Composers: Australian & Digidiroo

For our next installment in examining the the most overlooked production music categories, we’re turning to world music. Specifically, Australian & Digidiroo. Royalty free music libraries around the globe tend to be lacking in the extremely useful and oft neglected compositional genre, representing a huge opportunity for composers involved in stock music production.

australian digiderooAustralian music has a long, rich, and diverse history, and spans a diverse range of tastes and cultural sounds. Heavily influenced by European colonization, Australia’s classical music and folk music mirror the styles common to Europe in their respective eras, while modern day pop and country genres are largely consistent with trends in the United States.

But most notably, and probably the most recognizable, is the use of digidiroo in aboriginal and folk music. Similar in sound generating function to the trumpet, the digideroo is a long wooden wind instrument that creates that quintessential drone pipe sound. If you’ve ever seen a film with a chase scene through the jungle, or a pan across a hot desert, you’ve likely heard the low, buzzing drone of the digigeroo.

Why is Australian music so useful in production? The characteristic digideroo sound can be used in a wide variety of film and video genres, most effectively to set foreign scenes in harsh environments. Commonly, the sounds tytpical to Australian folk genres create excitement in advertising, hinting at the new and different. The drone can be used to create tension, either in concert with other tribal percussion, symphonic strings, and brash brass stingers, or on its own as a minimalist score.

The Art of Dreaming Up an Ambient Royalty Free Music Film Score

Texture is a necessity in your audio when creating quality film scores and soundtracks. This week’s royalty free music pick of the week is a beautifully horrifying collection of sound and stock audio layers that could easily be a track of all trades (so to speak). Whether creating a mellow, hypnotic soundscape or something a little more scary, this nifty little piece of production music has the texture you need, adding depth and suspense to any project.

For this week’s pick, we’ve paired The Art of Dreaming by Russell Harris (track ID 388196) with a serene stock footage clip of a sunset over the ocean (footage ID 234247). The piece is a sad and reflective contemporary piano track, evolving into a dreamlike mood of isolation and confusion with haunting strings and electronic textures. The pristine and calming nature of the footage matches the ambient and spacey soundscape provided by the first 45 seconds of the track. Like any good soundtrack, however, the music turns dark and foreboding at 0:45, and we highlighted this with a quick shift in the video effects (ok, so we used the same effect again… but it looks so good!). The result, however cookie cutter, is haunting.

We heartily recommend this production music track for reflective underscores in TV drama, fantasies, and games. It would also fit well in documentaries and mysteries.

Get the track: http://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/388196
Get the footage: http://www.productiontrax.com/stock-footage/234247