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TV/Film Music Composers


ProfD

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For the most part, recorded music and performance-oriented KB players over various styles/genres are discussed here.

 

TV/Film music is a very lucrative business. Since the 80s, it has been KB-centric even if it is not the composers primary instrument.

 

Considering their contributions to TV/Film music, I certainly know Mike Post, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, etc. :laugh:

 

Who among us produces music for TV and film?

 

I can understand wanting to remain below the radar i.e. no need to divulge credits. OTOH, don't be shy either. ;)

 

Seriously, it would be cool to know the music for a TV program or Lifetime movie was composed by one of our own. If it is not an Area 51 secret--dish. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I've had two teachers that were big into this. I would think that this is kind of regional as music would be demanded from specific places like LA and NY. That kinda limits your forumite scope there.

 

It's the nature of the beast as they have to place music tracks on existing video. Thus, they have to be locally and quickly accessible (due to timelines).

 

These two individuals that I know have done specific things like movies and TV but don't do this day in day out. They're usually hired on a project basis. Usually they're not shy about promoting what they've done ;)

 

This is truly something specific to the KB world. Non-keyboardists would have difficulty breaking into this field. Plus you have to know every musical style.

 

High stress work apparently, due to tight deadlines. But from what I've heard about the pay, very nice business.

 

 

 

 

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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I've been composing library music for most of the '00s. I won't bother to list my credits; but, as always, anyone can follow the link to my homepage.

 

I can't imagine doing what I've been doing without keyboards. My orchestration background also helps.

 

The deadlines for library music are much more reasonable than they are when scoring to picture. It's less glamorous, but it's nice to work on your own timetable.

 

I do expect to score my first film early next year, however. :)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I've heard a couple of library tracks I've done used on some TV things, like on the E channel for instance. Nothing big, but still fun to hear your stuff being used in a fairly visible place. I have friends that do lots of TV work and it's something that I'd love to do someday along with making records, like everyone else I guess. I'm lucky enough just to be able to support my family writing music for ads and such. That's not easy either. I don't know how many I've done, but somewhere around 2000. Writing 2000 pieces of music, even though nonsense, is a hard gig and with tight deadlines and even harder is getting 4000+ people to go "yes, I love it.Here's your $$ " That's nothing compared to some of the guys I hang with. Some of them are easily in the 6k range and write/produce really good stuff.
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I've done several things for Italian TV, both for specific things, and music libraries (for their exclusive use). I can only confirm what others have said, maybe adding just one thing: I've seen the quality of music libraries rise quite a bit in the last 20 years. More and more often, I hear tracks recorded with real instruments instead of samples (I wonder if sometimes, they're just modern supergiga samples, good enough to fool my ears... :freak:).
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check out www.firstcom.com That kind of stuff.

 

Thank you kind sir.

 

I visited that site, but couldn't get the music to play. I imagine I have to register and sign in before I can sample the goods.

 

:)

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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What is library music/tracks?

 

There are two kinds of music involved in television and films -- music composed specifically for the show or movie and music that's pulled in from another source ("source" music). Say for example, your composer John Williams is creating the score for your film, but you've got a scene in which a car drives by with hip hop music blasting through the window. At that point, you don't turn your composer and say, "John, I need a slamming hip hop cue." Instead you talk to your music supervisor, and instruct him or her to find a hip hop cue. If the budget allows, you'll use a song from a release by an established recording artist. Otherwise, you'll probably ask your music supervisor to search through music libraries created by publishing companies that specialize in source music. (S)he finds a music library collection entitled Slamming Hip Hop from a company like Linwood mentioned; and within that collection, (s)he finds the perfect song for the scene. The song gets licensed and money gets paid to the publisher and the composer/songwriter.

 

For the publishing company, this income represents a return on the investment it made when it paid to commission the library from the composer. For the composer, this is additional income.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I've done both library music and custom scoring. Back in the late 80s I partnered with my guitarist pal and we started a business with our own music library and did pretty well. I left 10 years later to focus on custom scoring. But it's true that the pace is more relaxed with library material.

 

I've done several independent features, lots of corporate videos for such folks as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Princeton University, Cisco Systems, etc. Television themes too. Currently working on a new TV pilot. It's more stressful but I've been fortunate to work with folks who understand the composer's challenges. And while they know what they want, they are supportive.

 

Used to do computer games quite a bit back in the 90s but prefer film/video.

 

I LOVE doing it. The SMPTE thing was very intimidating back in the day as you had to use external SMPTE boxes to synch your sequencer to the time code coming off the video tape. Ah not-so-sweet memories! Now it's much easier with software like Sonar and importing digital video.

 

I guess I love it because I was a film/video major at the University of MD and I also produce, shoot and edit videos for clients. Been shooting films since I was 13 and have been drawing/painting for even longer. It's very rewarding to combine all these artistic approaches.

 

Hey Geoff, doing your first film is exciting!!! Keep us posted please!

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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I did a few radio jingles and background music.

 

My friend has a studio. He'll call me when he gets a radio commercial request. Sometimes we script the entire 30 second spot. Usually I'll bring in the Triton and provide SE or some kind of theme or ambience.

 

I also did voice-overs or reads.

 

Nothing great. Never got paid for some of the ads.

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I started in the mid eighties with music for radio dramas, for the RAI, the state broadcasting company in Italy, a wonderful period because the Naples (I was there at that time) production center was one of the most experimental ones in my country and my weirdest stuff was the most requested.

Now I mainly make music for documentaries, the last one is on a motorbike voyage from Paris to Tokio that has been done to collect money for the young Ukrainian with problems for the Chernobyl disaster. It was nice because I've been asked to make mostly hard rock sounds and I could use my Strat and go back to my youth...but also they needed ambient soundscapes, which is what I'm usually asked to provide. The end titles track was provided by Coba who is a famous Japanese "crossover accordionist", who gently wanted to contribute for the cause. It's not out yet.

 

Basically this work needs the ability to cover a wide range of musical situations, many have a lot of sample libraries, I don't really have any of the commercial ones but I like to sample some acoustic sounds on my own, especially percussive and then I use guitars and dsp synthesis to achieve what I want. If something more traditional is required the acoustic and classical guitars give me enough possibilities, I found that people love the sound of guitars. But having the ability to design sound and to synthesize really helps a lot, it's not what you find in most works, but for some jobs it is definitely a plus.

 

After all I think that a good soundtrack has to be good music, with some emotional commitment and sincerity from the composer, not just a clichè played by virtual performing instruments, but most of those who work on soundtracks think different.....of course all the bigs do real music, you can hear quality and emotions.

 

:)

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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ProfD,

 

I haven't had any direct dealings with them, as I'm not a writer, but 2 of the artists I've worked with over the years signed up with Windswept Pacific division. Here's the linky - Windswept

 

If you're interested in them I can tell you that yes it does pay if your placed. Of course they're mainly looking for completed songs(lyrics & vocals etc) for soundtracks, artist placements etc. They have other offices and many many connections to music supervisors across the industry, you just have to find the right soul... Look on there 'about us' page for contact info.

 

I'd call there pacific ofc and just ask a few questions, make a friend. Do the same thing for there Nashville,Bug, Hitco(atlanta), and finally NY offices. By the end of that day, you'll know who's who..

 

Couldn't hurt.

TROLL . . . ish.
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Yes, Geoff please keep us posted. I'd be most interested in the progress/process. I've only done music for one movie that you can actually buy. I did some bg music in Frankenpenis starting J W Bobbitt. A good friend of mine, who use to be the female singer in my band, was "acting" in it and asked me to do her scenes.
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I've done some scoring for students films as well as some video games which never were picked up by publishers. I've also done alot of sound sampling over the years and met a some key people in this industry. Unfortunately I don't have the money or time required to dedicate myself to this industry. If your interested in getting involved in this industry, I can offer a few insights which I believe to be important.

 

1. Think of everyone you know even remotely involved in TV or film and contact them with a polite letter, email, fax, phone call ect.

 

2. Be a sponge and read things online and some books I can suggest are Kohn on Music Licensing", 2nd ed. by Al & Bob Kohn (Aspen Law & Business, 1996); On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring.

 

3. Create a presentation to have ready to show people. Have it in a variety of formats and ready for the asking. TV and film need regular vocal songs and instrumental music.

 

4. Understand the terminology and publishing aspect with things like synchronization rights, performance rights, blanket rights, public domain rights, master use license ect.

 

5. Find the people who can help and know who they are, in other words source people. A few ways are to watch the credits and get the The Film/TV Music Guide published by SRS Publishing (800-377-7411). Here you'll find full contact information on Music Supervisors, Music Publishers specializing in film and tv placement, and record label personnel involved in the same.

 

 

Good luck. Its takes some patience and luck.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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