Anyone using untraditional/low budget setups and getting placements?

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  • #7294 Reply

    I agree with Michael, That’s a great use of a non traditional instrument. I love it, very resourceful!! George Martin would be proud.

    #7295 Reply

    The point to take away from Jay’s story about the pitch pipe is that doing something other than using the same old loops, samples and synths gets attention, because it’s creative.

    Kudos Jay!

    #7298 Reply

    thanks guys..that pitch pipe was given to me by my dear late grandfather who was the only person in my immediate family who played an instrument and had any passion for music (my grandmother,his wife plays the organ as well) – the rest of my family had nothing but disdain for my music and made that “face” whenever I mentioned it at a family function or if I mentioned anything pertaining to music for that matter –

    I went through a rough patch a few years ago – lost my business of 10 years,went through a bankruptcy,lost my car in bankruptcy,couldn’t find a job (2 years) was on food stamps and walked the streets  in Buffalo,Ny (I don’t have to tell you it’s cold there do I ?) – but during that period I did nothing but write,record,develop relationships with libraries and hone my skills.I was in my mid 40’s too – I had no internet so I had to walk a half hour to the public library to upload music and for the libraries using FTP I had to use one of my 2 sister’s fast connections – everytime I did that of course I would get that “look” and whispers from another room saying “why doesn’t he just give up on this” -” why does he waste his time with this garbage?” – “he’s almost 50 what’s wrong with him?”

    Well fast forward a few years…I’m still struggling but I’m living on the beach in Fl with a great view of the water out my window (where I record) – I have had SEVERAL placements to date,done some film scoring and ever quarter my ASCAP royalties double – I’ve completed about 20 new recordings,created about 50 stings/bumpers from existing tracks (sold one last night) and compiled a couple hundred sound effects that sell weekly – My sisters are now BRAGGING that their loser brother is getting his music in Tv & film (it’s ridiculous) – gotta push on if this is your dream – I’ve never wanted a record deal or to be a rock star – just wanted to write songs and get paid for it quietly – I don’t play live (used to) and I’m not the guy who grabs the guitar at the party – most people don’t even know I play an instrument – if this is your path you know it inside – I’ve been writing songs for 25 years and it’s been one of the most important and gratifying things in my life – the fact that this Film/Tv thing has opened up for people like us is a Godsend but if it didn’t I would still be writing songs in my room..Jay

    #7299 Reply

    Dude I love your story – sounds like mine – I’ve had a tough year of it and just keep plugging away – I dont know if effects and all the latest do matter but I guess tbh to me they do but sheer talent is great – you sound passionate and full of pure intention – totally hear you on the whole want to be in the background and just make music. Beach view sounds amazing – I guess you don’t need to stress over latest plugs – I mean I do HEar lots of people who can’t afford it simply download 20k of gear online in one night alone – terrible hey that it’s possible so easily and to get turbo sound overnight. I find my back against the wall at mo that I must make some serious cash immediately – Ive given myself 6mths to be a good position – I know it’s just blips and blobs of music pasted together – I know for myself the worst person can be myself / the most critical etc. When I began I started with universal and they said they will take anything I do – Im so diff etc – then they rejected one my demos – the only one I didn’t put a limiter on nor compression ! I was so thrown by rejection I started making non exc then it’s just spiralled – I realise now that I had a serious issue with self esteem – I think I no longer have – I’ve seen both my parents diagnosed with cancer within a month of each other this year which really threw me big – both ok now – thank god – but guess totally relate to the whole low fi thing – I mean how mad that my laptop is worth 3-400 quid ! Got good Pmc speakers tho – on my crappy journey I have encourpoarted fitness – I now go 6-7 days a week to gym and work hard – really hard and it’s done so much for me ESP whilst parents ill and I was so down – really hoping it helps translate into self belief in rest of life workwise.  I love your story as it sounds a bit magical – I got serious eye strain at mo from to much working – using liquid tears as my eyes are so dry – hope u get magic luck and me also

    #7306 Reply

    Jay you’re my hero…  I started this thing seriously about 3 years ago and have just over 100 tracks in over 15 libraries but have only sold 10 tracks and I have no placements that I know of.  To see what you have overcome and accomplished will make me work a little harder. I ‘m about to reach 52 so yes it is nice to know there is a place for our music in this world of Brittneys and Biebers.


    #7307 Reply

    Working with what you have, and what you feel comfortable with is the key. As long as you are getting a good sound that will sell …it’s all you need.  The person listening to or buying your track is not really concerned if you did it in Pro Tools ,logic, or ADAT,or if you used that latest plug-in. As long as it sounds good, and authentic it makes no difference what you use to get the final product. IMHO…



    #7238 Reply

    Hey Jay,

    I always thought it was the carpenter not the tools. George Martin case in point!! I have a few tracks I did on an old Tascam 388 that do pretty well.

    Bret Alexander from The Badlees recorded one of their albums on a hard disc recorder back in the 90’s and when they got signed to A&M the label just released his recording which has their biggest hit on it.

    I guess you never know. The best part about a daw to me is the ease of use and the workflow.

    #7296 Reply

    Like many on here I started with a Tascam 4 track and graduated to a midi setup with and Atari 1040st, Sansui 6 track and a Casio FZ1 sampler (I wish I still had it as it was great for drums!)

    Then I went on to Cubase SX1 which I used for many years along with an Edirol UA 700 interface (great because it had mic and guitar modelling). Most of my sales have been achieved using this setup. In the last year I have had a more professional setup with Cubase 6.

    When I listen back to my old recordings the thing that stands out for me is that I worked hard to get the sounds right at source as after recording the options were limited.

    As my equipment has improved the speed at which I can make music has improved but the care taken with what I do hasn’t. Now I don’t worry so much if a vocal is a bit out as I can tweak it in the DAW. I think there is some sort of inverse law that should be coined as ‘DAWS Law’ which states that the effort taken to produce music with good quality performances, decreases in inverse proportion to the increase in facilities available on each new version of the software!

    #7314 Reply

    This has been a fun and informative thread…I’m glad my story inspired a few of you….hang in there Adam & Denbo…just to clarify I’m hardly driving a Bentley from my music $ but it’s finally happening after a lot of hard work and proving the naysayers wrong – just a mere 6 months ago I hadn’t had a placement (I had sold tracks on RF sites though) – I felt like a 49 year old loser living in a hotel room with a hot plate and some cheap gear – all the experienced guys here will tell you you have to be patient (you need good material as well) and that’s the TRUTH –  I’ve had success with a bunch of songs now but the song that recently popped for me wasn’t one I thought much of – I was surprised it was even accepted – I’m also a recording pack rat and save out takes from old sessions with my bands and older studio projects.My first placement was something I wrote and recorded in 92 with my first band….ironically called Perseverance (No BS) it was a rerecorded version from 06 but my second placement was a song off that same CD from 92 and that was recorded in a friends basement on an 8 track reel to reel – hang on to EVERYTHING – you just never know what will get past the gatekeepers and get a placement..Jay

    #7316 Reply

    Great story Jay, and it only goes to show in Life as well as music you never know what is around the corner. Art had a great saying which is something like ” your next gig is only an email or phone call away” Art please correct this !!!!!

    I have borrowed this and used my paraphrased version many times over the last couple of years.

    #7317 Reply

    Amazing story.

    The thing is that every carpenter has to know his tools. Know your equipment and make it sound great, and people will see you as a genius 🙂 I`m still touring a lot with an late 70`s Korg BX3 hammond clonewhell and a leslie. Not the best gear in the world, but I promise you I know how to make it sound better than every young hipster “wanna be organ player”, with their red flashy modern Nord keyboards. I guess that’s the reason why I still have a lot more gigs than these well educated guys that for sure can play better than me 🙂

    A bit off topic I know, but it proves the point that you don`t need the latest modern stuff to do well in music business. Know you tools and make it sound great !

    #7318 Reply

    Not really off topic Kenny……I was just about to mention that not only am I a pack rat of songs…I also save all kinds of instruments and musical things that are old or broke in some way (and won’t sell) – My korg D8 (my first DAW) has broken faders,scratchy headphone jack and some other issues BUT it has a ton of cool effects in it (like 100 or so) some are cheesy but some are neat and combining them with my other processor gets me to a new place entirely – I also have a Hosa punch in pedal from my fostex 4 track cassette recorder that still works (1992) and I use it all the time with my korg D888 – if it works don’t fix it (or buy the latest thing @ Guitar Center because it looks cool) – Jay

    #16262 Reply

    It’s not about the gear, it’s about the ear. 🙂

    #17014 Reply

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this thread! .. Great story, Jay.

    On a related note: Last year a friend gave me an old 4-track cassette recorder he’d found in a bin. I didn’t have much use for it (I generally record on a laptop & Logic Pro) so I decided to sell the 4-track on Ebay.

    I made a short two minute recording on it just to demonstrate the sound quality on the ebay page .. a couple of tracks of acoustic guitar and a couple of cello parts.

    Anyway, I ended up submitting this piece to one of the libraries I work with and it’s just been licensed for use in a promotional video .. 🙂

    #17015 Reply

    ..I should also add that the 4-track in question had most of it’s knobs ripped off and looked like someone had spilled coffee all over it!

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