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Music Licensing Course: Get Your Existing Tracks Placed In TV/Film

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Diymb Blog | 8 comments

Music Licensing Course: Get Your Existing Tracks Placed In TV/Film

  Aaron Davidson took my advice and lengthened his music licensing course to 180 days. This gives students more time for improvement, placements and negotiating time with music supervisors and licensing companies. The original 90 day music licensing challenge was good, but a little frustrating because most of the companies took 30-60 days to get back to you. Course Opens July 6th. Sign up today and receive additional bennies   What’s Included In The 180 Day Music Licensing Challenge: – One hour of phone 1 on 1 consultation with Aaron – Monthly Conference Calls – Daily Licensing Leads – Training Videos – Email Coaching – Member’s Forum – Facebook Group Coaching (weekly) – The 2015 TV And Film Directory – Advanced Music Licensing Strategies – The A To Z Of Music Licensing – 20 Bonus Audio Interviews – And more! What I’m Offering On Top Of Aaron’s Course Aaron is offering some great value here, but there needs to be more, so here’s what I’ll toss in to those who sign up within the next 2 weeks – Unlimited track reviews – Unlimited 1 on 1 consultation – 20 extra leads (I use personally) – Google Hangouts Meetings – Advanced Lead Generation Strategies – Music cue editing techniques – Full access to my membership program So, essentially what you’re getting is help from 2 experienced music professionals instead of one and as many 1 on 1 meetings and resources you need for the the duration of the course.  ...

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Rolling Stones Facts: 58 Instruments Used In 100 Hit Songs (Infographic)

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Diymb Blog | 1 comment

Rolling Stones Facts: 58 Instruments Used In 100 Hit Songs (Infographic)

The kind people at Berkelee Music have gone through The Rolling Stones discography diligently listening for instruments outside of drums, guitar and bass and put together this wonderful infographic displaying 58 instruments used within their top 100 hit songs. Please re-share this...

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Join My Songwriting Challenge: 1 Song Per Day For 31 Days

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Diymb Blog | 4 comments

Join My Songwriting Challenge: 1 Song Per Day For 31 Days

  One song a day may sound like a lot. It’s a little intimidating at first, but totally achievable with a little discipline and inspiration. Songwriting Challenge Sign Up It generally takes me 1-2 hours to put something together from scratch. Even less (30 minutes) if I’m inspired and or working from templates. This was my method for surviving the music licensing case study I conducted in 2013. If you struggle with writing or you’re looking to get back on track, then this challenge is right for you. The idea behind this challenge is to help you develop a habit of creating music on a daily basis. For the next 31 days, you’ll be creating one song per day regardless of how inspired you are. The goal isn’t to create the next big hit; it’s to create a catalog of work that’ll serve multiple purposes. A pool of inspiration to make your writing easier. A catalog of music you can shop to industry professionals. Prepare you for creating music on short deadlines So, if you want to be part of this, continue reading. Here Are The Rules Create 1 song a day for 31 days Don’t worry about Mixing/Mastering, just create Check in with me on a daily basis (G+ or Twitter) Be Positive. Don’t disrespect anyone’s music or genre of choice   How The Songwriting Challenge Works Sign Up Here – it’s free of charge Create daily, and keep track of your progress. Join my G+ Group for encouragement, feedback and accountability. You can also engage via Twitter by using the hashtag #1songaday. After 31 days, we evaluate the techniques that worked vs what didn’t. Click Image Below To Sign Up? That’s right, it’s that simple! See you all...

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Music Licensing Placements: Last 7 Months Of 2014

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Diymb Blog, Music Licensing | 10 comments

Music Licensing Placements: Last 7 Months Of 2014

  Here’s another music licensing update for you. As mentioned in previous licensing success updates these placements and payments have come from the results of my efforts throughout the music licensing challenge Before reading this update: Review the music licensing case study , it will give you an understanding of how all of this has progressed overtime. This post outlines all profit made made from June 2014 – December 2014. Placements From Music Libraries June 2014 – $329.89 (before fees). This was a combination of 2 mid level libraries. I call them B grade or mid level because they tend to price reasonably. $100 and up per license (non exclusive). July 2014 – 9 transactions totaling $269.91. August 2014 –  This was the month I began dropping libraries (well pulling music from them). Spent a little time building my team. Profit for this month was $149.97 – 3 transactions. September 2014 – 17 transactions, the most I’ve had in a while, but the profit?…. $169.83. This is a result of being affiliated with low balling libraries. Low prices = more transactions Surprisingly, one of the customers was Walmart. They can use the track in their store for as long as they want and I get no residual. Sucks, but it’s the business model I agreed to (royalty free). Oct/Nov 2014 – During these two months I was in the process of removing my music from a lot of libraries in order to conduct business with a major TV network. This was a pain in the ass because most of the libraries require written requests, and it takes months, sometimes even longer Am I killing off sources of income? Yes, temporarily in hopes of a better business relationship and returns. I’ll keep you updated. December 2014 – 1 Placement for $49.99. Not the my best once, certainly not my worst.   Music Placements From Music Supervisors And Personal Business Relationships I didn’t make very much money from my direct contacts, but there was lots of progress. Here’s the breakdown of active months: June/July 2014 – $0.00 I did a lot of going back and forth with Judy. What I was trying to do is get a deeper understanding of what genres she could pitch within her networks. She was nice enough to forward me tracks and producers to study, but I needed more information. The info that was missing: Types of tracks that were being licensed Which tv shows or companies were licensing the music Which vehicles were being used to find the music (licensing company or personal connections) This type of information is crucial when mimicing another composer’s footsteps.   Sidenote: For those who don’t know Judy, she’s a music supervisor I met during the challenge who has assisted with a few placements (Retail stores/reality tv etc). I took a gig as an audio editor for a few game companies. I mentioned this briefly in one of music business goals post series. I’ll be lined up with work the last week of Jan 2015. So for any of you looking for place music in games… I’ll be able to help out. Oct/Nov 2015 – Negotiations! I spent a lot of time began negotiating with media companies. The goal was to find a platform I can push my fans, readers and subscribers to. Basically, finding ways for...

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2015 New Years Resolutions (Jan/Feb Month Goals)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Diymb Blog, Monthly Goals | 4 comments

2015 New Years Resolutions (Jan/Feb Month Goals)

  I want to apologize for not posting November’s/Decemeber’s Music Business Goals. I’ve been smothered with a lot of unexpected changes in life as well as projects/deals. We’re back on track now. This Year’s focus is geared toward creating more “How To” guides, launching a more robust site and adding a chapter onto the music licensing challenge. Lately, I’ve been busy relocating my recording studio. As a result, I’ve had to rely on my mobile production setup: MacBook Pro, Saffire 6, Akai 25 Key, Headphones and Reason (now Reason 8). That’s more than enough to get things done, but not enough for the projects I was getting contracted for. So there was a lot of struggle, lessons learned and a huge appreciation for people I have within my circles. Without them, I probably would have upset a lot of clients. Music Licensing Updates What’s new? What’s working? Did I leave all music libraries? Am I still making money from the course? Do I still recommend The 90 Day Challenge? There are a lot of questions in my inbox, I’ll update everyone before the months ends. There has been a lot of change in my licensing business. I’d say I’m probably working with half of the libraries and I was in the beginning of 2014, but again, I’ll get into detail about this next week. New Diy Music Biz I’ve wanted to redo my site for over a year now. Everytime I start, something comes up (like a project) and it gets put on the back burner. I wish I could stop time for 1 month and catch up on months of unfinished plans. Anyway, the focus is to restructure Diy Music Biz so it’s loads faster, easier to navigate and to re-launch the membership sections. I know people have been inquiring about the Diy Music Biz membership since November of 2013. I just didn’t have the time to dedicate, but now, that’s onboard. There will also be a spotlight section for up and coming musicians/artists/producers etc. I’m open to ideas on the spotlight section, so if you have any, share them with me! Create And Pitch Albums Not Songs This is a goal I had last year, but wasn’t able to accomplish. I’ll be pushing a little harder to finish this up. What I need to do is categorize my music by genre tempo and theme. I’d say it’s about 40% done so it shouldn’t be too hard to complete given the 12 months, but I want to get it done sooner so I can start seeing results from my efforts before 2016. Learn Music Theory I’m still a huge cheater in this area. My understanding of music theory is minimal. I sit with chord, progression and scale charts in front of me. If I hear a song I like, I remake and save it as a template (key/scale/progressions). My creation processes is rather easy imo, but maybe that’s because I’ve been working this way for so long. It would be nice to be able to listen to a song and know exactly what key I’m hearing as well as the progression without having to hunt and peck. It would definitely make snagging vibes a lot easier. Music Marketing Organization I would say that I’m pretty good at marketing...

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Pitching To Film and Video Game Companies: Here’s What To Expect

Posted by on Dec 27, 2014 in Business Of Sound Design, Diymb Blog | 1 comment

Pitching To Film and Video Game Companies: Here’s What To Expect

This is the last and final post of the business of sound design series. Here’s a few things to expect after you make your pitch to film and game companies No Response No Budget Low Budget NDA’s FRUSTRATION and a new learning experiences. No Response Having patience is important. Some companies won’t get back to you for weeks, months, even years. This is typical in every industry. These clients (indie/commercial) have a lot on their plates. Projects Negotiations Taxes Staff etc There’s a lot of stuff that happens behind-the-scenes that keep companies tied up. What they’re doing currently is probably more important than you, keep that in mind. When you do hear back from the company there are a few things that you’ll need to discuss in order to make the business run smoothly. What Is A Non Disclosure Agreement? Whenever a client mentions the NDA, they’re talking about a non disclosure agreement. This a signed document between you, and the client agreeing that you will not leak or share information about the project. Leaking information about the project could cripple your career, word spreads fast and you can get sued. Also, if an NDA is handed over to you, it’s likely that the client is interested in working with you. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t bother going into detail about their project. Something to smile about 🙂 Once you’ve signed your NDA, the client will send you a contract and project outline (brief). Depending on the project and client, this could be a very detailed or extremely vague. Sometimes you’ll get a contract after you sign the NDA or they’ll send them together it depends on the client. There have been times where I’ve received my NDA 4 months into a contract. A little on the late side, but it happens. I’m not a person who likes to share what I’m working on anyway so they weren’t at risk. In the event that you’re not given an NDA, be professional about it. Don’t go blabbing on the Internet about what you’re working on and yada yada yada, it’s highly unprofessional. The Outline (Aka The Brief) This is where you’ll find out exactly what the project consisted of, what’s expected of you, the team etc. The outline will include the following. Needs (sounds/music) Length of music How many sounds Type of sounds Deadline(s) – Yes more than one! Meetings Budget etc. Notice budget was thrown in the outline. I put that there because sometimes clients will merge their outlines and contracts together. Project Outline (Brief) Examples Now, I want to share two project outlines I received within the past six months. Some of the details have been changed to keep the integrity of the project as well as the client(s). ======================== Greg this is what I need from you. 1. I need 22 sound fx for (name of video game) 2. Sound fx must be layered with instrument notes to keep in key with music theme. 3. Deadline is 2 weeks 4. My budget for this $200.00 ======================== There’s a lot of detail missing from this brief, for an example. What type of game? Which instruments would you like? How much memory do I have to work with? What format would you like the sounds in? What kind of sounds...

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How To Find Good Leads and Clients (With Budget)

Posted by on Dec 14, 2014 in Business Of Sound Design, Diymb Blog | 5 comments

How To Find Good Leads and Clients (With Budget)

  The biggest problem for any professional (in any field) is finding leads and clients who can afford to pay for your services. You spend all this money and time perfecting your craft, but making no money from it. Well, good news, in this post, I’ll show you exactly how I find clients and leads who pay. Figuring Out What Kind Of Projects You Want Think about what type of sound design you want to get into. As stated before, there are different types, each requiring different levels of education. The best thing to do is pick an area that closely relates to what you understand. I’m not saying avoid broadening your horizons, I’m just saying start with something you’re familiar with so you’re not overwhelmed. For an example: If you have experience recording vocals, it would be wise to jump into VO If composition is your strength, aim for loop libraries If you like recording interesting sounds, take a stab field recording I’m just throwing out some ideas only you know what’s best for you. Doing this will help you get the ball rolling and get paid (faster) – you can learn the rest later. Or, if instant gratification isn’t your thing, pick an area of interest and roll with it. Finding Clients Who Pay In this part of the series I’m going to disclose how to find promising leads and paying clients. The best place to find leads is right in your own backyard. Where there’s a community college with a film course, there are dozens of clients. Think about it, film students do what?…They learn to shoot film. Guess what every film needs to bring it to life….SOUND. ….There’s a market right there You can walk into any college and run into at least 20 clients easy…. It’s important for you to build with the students. When I say “build” I mean a solid friend and business relationship. A good percent of film students graduate outsource to people they know once they move on to bigger things. Family Owned Food Chains, Gift Shops Etc Most of them have no idea what they’re doing. Some think they can use a T3i to record their video and audio for budget commercials. They can, but the sound is going to be terrible. Reach out and offer your assistance for a reasonable fee. Be Captain Save Em… Seriously, thats what motivates a local business owner to work you you. The fact that you’re A) Local (reachable) and B) You can solve the issue inexpensively. Franchise Stores Like Guitar Center Or Mike’s Camera Hangout in camera stores. They’re full of potential clients. True, a lot will be interested in just photography, but some will be interested in video as well. Those are just a few examples, but it applies to everything. Go where the market is. Over 50% of the time when I go to guitar center I walk out with connections. People working on stuff. It doesn’t cost me a dime to walk in, look at gear and mingle…It’s free… do it. Here’s a good story I shared on Google plus about a trip to guitar center that lead to work. Opportunities are everywhere Theaters And Venues That Host Plays If you’ve never been to a plane go to one. I’m...

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The Business Of Sound Design: How To Make Money

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Business Of Sound Design, Diymb Blog | 2 comments

The Business Of Sound Design: How To Make Money

Now for what everyone wants to know of course which is how to make money with sound design. I can’t tell you the best way, but I can share what works for me. Take these gems and tweak them to work for you. 1.Don’t Be a Snob Work with any Budget If a client has a budget of $72.00, don’t blow them off, work with them. Most people work for free trying to come up and others don’t work at all when they cling to a specific price point. I’ve done work for free, lots of it. I didn’t ask for credit, optin or anything. I just wanted to be apart of the process. I’ve found that the best connections I have in this industry are those I’ve built with. 2. Say Yes! and Accept Any Gig This is where I make the most money There will be times when you’ll be offered projects you’re not passionate about. Rather than rolling your eyes or trying to convince the client otherwise… just do the damn project. Beating the dead horse (expanding on point #1) What’s the worst that could happen? You get some experience, some money, another connection and someone who can vouch for your skills? Doesn’t sound to bad Imo. My first projects as a sound designer (field recordist) weren’t to exciting. I wanted to dive into video games, but had to settle for supplying nature sounds to a fancy hotel. The pay per project wasn’t much $47.00-$60.00 for my time. It was easy, so I took on 40+ sub-contracts through the same client. Estimating…each project took 2-3 hours between recording, editing and finalizing. Doing the math, I collectively made $2,950. That’s over 100 working hours between all contracted gigs. It might sound like too much, too little, but we easily spend the same amount of time engaging in non productive activities. Some of us spend hours doddling on Facebook, not making a dime. All in all, this wasn’t too bad. Bottom line, saying “yes” keeps you working. 3. Build Your Sound FX or Sound Library Setup an online store, and drive traffic to it. Creating a website is extremely easy these days. All you need is a host, a theme and WordPress. You could be up in running in 30 minutes, no coding experience needed. Again, that’s 30 minutes to get the site up. You’ll spend at least 5 hours a week tweaking and monetizing the site. I can hear the moaning and groaning now, but it’s a business, treat it like one. The upside to having a site is the ability to do business 24/7. You wont have to find people, they’ll be able to find you (easily). This is done by using social media and understanding how to rank in search engines. Very easy to do these days when you have something of value. 4. Have A Payment Processor Without a payment processor it’ll be rough getting paid. Clients can use check or MO, but why should they? Have a Paypal or something similar available. This is crucial for working with clients online. If it’s too hard to pay for your service, the customer will go somewhere else. The two payment processors I use are Paypal & Square. 5. Connect & Familiarize Yourself With The Industry I...

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How To Become A Sound Designer: 3 Ways You Can Accomplish This Goal & How I Learned

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Diymb Blog | 2 comments

How To Become A Sound Designer: 3 Ways You Can Accomplish This Goal & How I Learned

  Being a Sound Designer is most rewarding because it opens up a lot of opportunity. Whenever I consult musicians, and mention sound design as an alternative way to make money, I get hit with tons of questions. How do you become a sound designer How much does that cost How do you get into that My answers are very simple, so simple I think it discourages the people I’m consulting. There are three ways to become a sound designer. Go to school Find a mentor Teach yourself All three methods work, it’s your job to figure out which works best for you. Should I Go To School For Sound Design? Going to school can be expensive, but I feel that schooling gives you the tools you need to become a great sound designer. One thing I want to point out is schools don’t typically offer this course unless they specialize in it. For an example: Berklee, FullSail or Point Blank etc. Most of the time Sound design is merged with a recording arts, film or multimedia degree (BA). Rarely do they offer sound design alone. As an alternative, you can find some tech schools or companies that specialize in this skill set. Finding A Local Mentor This is a great way to learn. If you look around in your own city you’ll find people who do this line of work for a living (like me). I’ve found that most are more than willing to share what they know. Good places to look are recording studios and your local news station. The guys holding the microphones over the reporters are called sound mixers and or boom operators, and chances are, they record more than dialogue. They’re working in film, they’re doing whatever they can to make money in their field, they know what they’re doing. Teach Yourself: Diy Recording & Sound Design This is primarily how I learned. I had the tools, I had books, there was no YouTube. I sat there, and I experimented. I learned my gear, I learned what it did, and I put it to use. If you have a recording set up … experiment! You can use your microphone to record sounds around you, bring them into your DAW and tweak them. Make them sound the way you want them the sound. If you have synthesizers, learn how to use them. They come with manuals. To lazy to read? Go on YouTube. Learn about gain staging, the recording chain etc. These are the core elements you need, the rest is how you use your knowledge and your imagination. Not to mention, if you’ve been creating music for a while chances are you’ll be okay as it’s the same stuff just for a different “type” of client....

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Microphone Buyers Guide: Things To know Before Buying A Microphone

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Music Gear | 0 comments

Microphone Buyers Guide: Things To know Before Buying A Microphone

  Microphones come in many different colors, not visually, but sonically. Think of microphones as audio lenses. There are lens that are good for wide angle shots, narrow and there are those that have a vintage feel to them. The same is true with microphones. There are different pick up patterns, colors and tones etc. No mic/pattern combination works for everything. Before buying a mic, there are a few things you need to consider. Your budget, what you plan on recording and your current setup. Mic specifications, Understanding the Lingo Having a basic understanding on the lingo is good to have when looking for a mic. Most people just look at other studio’s gear list or blow $1,000 on a mic without understanding what they’re buying into. Frequency Response: Meaning the range of frequencies a microphone can pick up. A microphone with a frequency response of 80hz – 15khz wouldn’t be ideal for recording a bass drum, but would be good for recording vocals Response Curve: This is how the mic performs based on the frequency response. When you look at the curve, there with be peaks and dips in certain ranges indicating what the mic specializes in. For an example, vocals mics may peak a little more in the high-mid range frequencies, thus giving better vocal reproduction. Sound Pressure Level: On the back of the mic packaging you’ll see this as SPL. The SPL is how quiet and loud of a signal the mic can capture and accurately reproduce. Understanding Mic Polar Patterns This is the mics field of view, that’s the best way I can describe it. Cardiod: Mics with this pattern capture sound best when positioned directly in front of them while rejecting sounds coming from the sides and rear. This is the most popular pattern you’ll run into while shopping.   Omni: Omnidirection mics equally captures sounds from all directions. Great for capturing room tone and ambience.     Figure 8: This pattern allows for equal capture from both the front and rear positions of the mic. Also good for capture background and amb try sounds, much like the onmi pattern     Super/Hyper Cardiod: Very similar to a cardiod mic, but more directional. It’s as if they zoom into the subject you’re pointing them at while rejecting sound from the side. Also, unlike the regular cardiod, it doesn’t reject as much sound from behind making them a little difficult to work with. Different Type Of Microphones Dynamic Mics: Good for loud sounds and stage performances. They’re inexpensive require no additional power built like tanks Shotgun Microphones: Typically hyper-cardiod and super-cardiod patterned. Excellent for voice overs and field recording. These mics work similar to a telescope by focusing on the sound in front of them and rejecting unwanted sound behind and on the side of them. Condenser Microphones: Excellent for capturing detail in recordings. There was a time when condenser mics were too expensive for home studio musicians, but these days, they’re more affordable. Side note – must be powered via phantom power USB Microphones: Not ideal to a lot of professionals, but one can’t deny there growing popularity and ease of use. I find these microphones great for quick recording projects. Microphone Diaphragm Sizes Mics come in two sizes large and small diaphragm. Both...

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