A cautionary tale

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Gael MacGregor 4 months ago.

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  • #32024 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    I agree with all the above, but especially with this :

    If you truly love making music, there are far better ways to make music and much easier ways to make money.

    #32025 Reply

    b1nrybl0ke
    Participant

    Great to see a nice blend of positivity and pragmatism here.

    …that’s the kind of music that will be easy for AI to do first

    “Authenticity” is a word I’ve been seeing bandied about recently in creative circles.

    Keep the faith brother….

    Many thanks, LAWriter and right back at you…

    #32081 Reply

    MCR

    I totally agree with what mark petrie said. But I’m not as worried about AI as many. Having just finished some beta work with an AI company ( I know I know…sleeping with the enemy, but best to know first hand what you’re up against) I can say with surety, AI is a long way out from supplanting a skilled composer, especially in the dynamic orchestral hybrid styles. Where they might make inroads is in the bottom rung of generic loop based, construction set music, but that doesn’t pay anyway. So yeah! Invest in yourself.

    Of greater immeadate concern I think is the continued erosion of royalty and copyright by the big players: uTube, Google, Amazon and now Apple. They just don’t want to pay.

    #32082 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    Where they might make inroads is in the bottom rung of generic loop based, construction set music, but that doesn’t pay anyway.

    I’m not standing up for anyone, or any specific genre. But, to say that a “major part of Pop-Culture & Modern TV/Media doesn’t pay anyway?”

    The major factor to something making money in this industry is what library/catalog it is in, and how good their team is at licensing/selling your products.

    I personally know 6 Figure a year Composers/Writers doing Loop-based music.

    #32085 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    In regards to Artificial Intelligence, It basically is already here on so many levels. For example, all search engines in every stock music site are designed, not to artificially compose a new piece of music, but serve the buyer with a track they are searching as fast as possible. Type in “strings, sad, emotional, cinematic”…and the buyer should get a relevant playlist within 2 seconds. Is that not “AI”? The last thing this world needs now is empowering video editors to type keywords and then a software AI based program “composes” something based on those keywords. Why would anyone invest energy in designing such a concept? to avoid back end royalty payments? It’s ridiculous. We’re already there. The world has every piece of music it needs already ( for the visual media business). The main difference is how certain tracks just rise up and cut through and move and entertain people on an emotional level more than others. Those sell more often. Or the bland corporate tracks just hit the sweet spot for a corporate explainer type project and sell over and over.

    I don’t think video editors and creative people will ever want to “dance” with artificially created music. The tracks that do best for me are the one’s where every single note in the composition is coming off of my own brain, hands, and fingers. Yes, I use drum loops and percussion loops for convenience on some tracks, but I can not help to notice how my best performing tracks come from real human performances and human brains.

    #32086 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    AI is a long way out from supplanting a skilled composer, especially in the dynamic orchestral hybrid styles. Where they might make inroads is in the bottom rung of generic loop based, construction set music, but that doesn’t pay anyway. So yeah! Invest in yourself.

    For sure, that’s exactly what I suspect as well. But… as BeatSlinger noted, that ‘construction set music’ – or any very loop based genre for that matter – makes up a huge amount of what’s on TV and is probably easily replicable by a basic AI or even clever set of code. Once someone has that figured out, the clock will be ticking on practically every other genre – true AI (if that’s what we’re talking about0 learns from its experiences. Not to mention, as the easy work gets gradually eroded by automated music making software, it will likely put pressure on the rest of the library scene, as people out of work try their hand at other genres.

    My hope is that while library music might get completely upended by all this, there will be lots of new opportunities for AI- assisted composing to actually get composers more work. Here are some utopian scenarios:
    – films become game-ified choose-your-own-adventure experiences, much like how Netflix has started doing. The score goes from being 45 minutes – 1 hour to over 4 hours to cover all the options the user can choose. AI helps a composer stretch out their music by generating cues based on a set of themes and palette the composer establishes for the whole project.
    – augmented reality real time, real life scoring – human composers create a pool of assets – themes, palette, different emotional content, and the AI draws from all those in real time for someone who wants to put on their AR googles on experience life scored like a movie.

    #32087 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    For sure, that’s exactly what I suspect as well. But… as BeatSlinger noted, that ‘construction set music’ – or any very loop based genre for that matter – makes up a huge amount of what’s on TV and is probably easily replicable by a basic AI or even clever set of code. Once someone has that figured out, the clock will be ticking on practically every other genre

    There’s still to me a couple of things that are needing to be mentioned.
    AI/Artificial Intelligence, at this time and for quite some time will be “mainly” used for “taking information about what you need: Algorithms, Mood, Genre, and other information” Then, searching databases/meta/tagging to find material with your (for lack of better words) requirements & preferences. This has already been in place for a good few years, and we bought into this by doing and/or agreeing to metadata/tagging, etc.

    If it is something that will start “generating actual compositions from data received. No time soon would this fly in the professional markets, and would be probably geared towards consumer-based media & non-professional usage”.

    Now, THE REAL threat for “Standard” Production Music Composers that is looming, and gaining FAST. Is the HUGE migration of Singer-Songwriter/Artist Producers that are running from the record side of the business (that is just about officially dead) They are now bringing in a TON of “Pay-Per-Use/Made for Media/Pre-cleared & ready to license Albums”. No computer will be able to touch Singer/Songwriters.

    As well, unless you know something I don’t “AI-composers can’t do complex Custom-Music, 1 Off’s, and Singer-Songwriter”.

    If you get eaten up by a computer-generated cue(s) it means you were holding on to this industry by threads anyway..

    #32089 Reply

    Kubed
    Participant

    +1 for your last sentence BEATSLINGER.

    There are other things to worry about in this industry before we even start considering AI a possible future threat.

    #32090 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    There are other things to worry about in this industry before we even start considering AI a possible future threat.

    YES! Like getting some “International Laws in place!”
    1) Guidelines that “completely separate Consumer usage from Professional Usage”.
    2) Mandatory Cue Sheet filing!
    3) Uniform, or MUCH better guidelines with regards to Statutory Rates for Television & Film
    4) Mandatory bonuses for Streaming content, that give US payments or “tiered rate increases” once any media receives certain amounts of views, (not wording this right, but you get what I mean)

    and SO MUCH more!!

    **ALSO** I get a lot of “what is the real difference between Lower/Mid Tier and The Top-Tier Libraries?”
    The Top Tier goes after that money, and cue sheets get filed!! They have VERY aggressive teams in place, and they watch like Hawks!!

    #32094 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    “Top Tier” is all a matter of perception. I have some reports coming from the NAB show that the so called “top tier” libraries are quite envious of the so called “low tiered” libraries who are more do it yourself upload platforms and seem to be wanting to enter that arena.

    I define top tier as the place sending me the most amount of money in an entire year. I am not interested in a 25/ 75 deal just because the so called top tier place may fetch two or three 5 to 15K licenses from higher end clients willing to spend some money.

    However, I do agree with your points about chasing after cue sheets, getting google, and apple, and facebook, and netflix, spotify, etc to pay more in the streaming arena, and really just taking broadcast TV spot licensing more seriously. The drawback is that they want the publishing credit in exchange for that info to writers. They do not want to just hand that to us as a courtesy. Just my opinion on this issue.

    #32095 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    “Top Tier” is all a matter of perception.

    I define top tier as the place sending me the most amount of money in an entire year.

    Hi there Music1234! I start this by saying, that I truly hope everyone gets the results they are needing & looking for in this business. If you are finding it on “Any Level” I commend you!!

    (Answering the Quote)
    To me, Top-Tier= Top of The Production Music Food Chain: The largest portions of the market-share, the most outreach & exposure, and the most opportunities to get its product placed. These are companies “Like” Universal Music Group, EMI, Warner Bros, etc..

    I have been in this industry for “closer” to 20 years, and I would not say this to steer anyone wrong or mislead them. “There is a HUGE difference I have seen being a part of The Higher-end of this industry!!”

    I am not interested in a 25/ 75 deal just because the so called top tier place may fetch a two or three 5 to 15K licenses from higher end clients willing to spend some money.

    Just so that I am clear. That was a completely different conversation. I was basing my response in thread to/on “My findings, and the findings of a small group of people I share information with”. I didn’t say it was “normal” (didn’t say Top-Tier) I just said it was possibly a good opportunity. Everyone will get different results.

    #32096 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    “Top Tier” is all a matter of perception.

    Agreed 100%. What has traditionally been considered “top tiered” is slipping. Dropping the ball. Loosing marketshare. In many cases, they are more aggressive about stomping down the little guys than they are about aggressively pursuing decent paying situations for their business.

    Times are a changing….. Wish I could have made NAB, but things are too busy in the home camp.

    #32110 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    Agreed 100%. What has traditionally been considered “top tiered” is slipping. Dropping the ball. Loosing marketshare.

    I have looked all over to find where this is true. Can you point me to this?

    Right now, it looks like Universal, and EMI are their strongest ever.

    In many cases, they are more aggressive about stomping down the little guys than they are about aggressively pursuing decent paying situations for their business.

    Actually, the Top Distributors are being “pursued more than ever by smaller Libraries/Catalogs”.
    That also “seems” to be one of the main reasons that so many of the smaller libraries are going exclusive..

    #32115 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    I have looked all over to find where this is true. Can you point me to this?

    That’s my personal experience – that’s all I can point to.. I’m not touting it as an industry-wide “truth”. For me, the traditionally defined “A team” (PMA A Teamers, International conglomerates, etc.) are dropping the ball, hell….they can’t even FIND the ball half the time. And it’s being picked up and rallied by smaller companies that you wouldn’t think of giving the time of day to under normal circumstances. It’s all upside down from my perspective. And I’m living it, not just commenting from the sidelines….

    YMMV.

    #32182 Reply

    Jean Anfossi

    Royalty free music and direct licensing is killing the synch licensing business. And its not a David vs Goliath feel good story. I warned composers fior years about this. If you give your music away don’t expect people to respect your art. They will treat it like it’s worth nothing. Acting desperate never helped and never will. Say hi to your new bosses at Getty and Shutterstock! They never care about you, your family and your art and never will.

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