Guidance?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Daniel 3 weeks ago.

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  • #23537 Reply

    Carles
    Participant

    Hi MLR people!

    Perhaps I’m asking more for guidance than critique, but of course any kind of feedback will be very appreciated.
    I did ask about something similar in a forum (I see some people from there also here 🙂 but couldn’t reach any conclusion as the answers were few, too broad about style and even contradictory at times, so I’ll try to be more specific here.

    I do produce two types of music only, and that’s a quite hard restriction I know, but I have no experience on other styles and not sure if I’ll be ever any good on these so my best bet so far is this.
    – My own pure orchestral music
    – Classical renditions (never done for commercial purposes but as practices. However since are done I could try to monetize them a bit).

    I might be wrong but I’m trying to avoid RF libraries (not sure about the future is looking for these) so I guess I’m targeting to exclusive libraries.

    I’m trying with some big publishers since a few weeks ago with no answer from any so far (one very big one apparently did open a door but suddenly slammed it on my face), so I think I should give a try to not so big ones (anyway mostly of the big guys do not provide links for submissions and I have no contacts yet, so it will be very hard for me to get in currently).

    My own music:
    Is -not- trailer music but pure orchestral, not necessarily cliché but neither too modern.
    I guess more suitable for fantasy-adventure but also there is an obvious emotional load on all my tracks (can’t avoid that so far, still learning how to).
    Here my most recent album

    What libraries in your experience would be a good fit for this style?

    I know things are not always what they look like.
    For instance someone I know has a full album in Position Music, which seems to be a good seller, but… it’s a fantasy album (similar to what I do) while their best is trailer music only. As result, no matter the Position reputation he’s not making money with them.
    So rather than looking for “famous” libraries I’d be rather interested on those with a more realistic chance to get my (too specific) music style placed.

    Classical renditions:

    No way that any famous library will take these as they have already everything recorded with real orchestras, so I do believe that I should go for libraries that still haven’t covered much their classical catalogue, but honestly no idea where to look at.

    I’m talking about super-accurate renditions so is not profitable to produce these for libraries (it takes weeks of work each) but since I have quite a few of them already done, why not to give a try?

    Here an example for these:

    https://soundcloud.com/carles-piles/sets/the-nutcracker-suite

    Please any guidance will be great help.

    Cheers,
    Carles

    #23538 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    G’day Carles! (I grew up in NZ)

    Your music is INCREDIBLE. I would pay for an album of your work just for listening pleasure.

    Your problem is that you have top notch, A-list level writing (and really good production) but the structure limits the commercial opportunities for it to be exploited. I think it’s an easy problem to remedy though.

    ‘Trailer music’ as we know it is much more cliched, and less sophisticated than what you can write, but it is structured in a very client / project friendly manner.

    I think if you were to tailor your writing to the format of trailers, you would do very well. That basically means a 2 to 3 minute piece in 3 acts:

    act 1 (:30 – 1:00) – mysterious, brooding
    act 2 (:30 – 1:00) – more energy, some percussion, more melody and harmonic movement
    act 3 (:30 – 1:00) – balls-to-the-wall energy with a ridiculous finale
    outro (:15 – :30) – similar material to act 1

    Don’t worry so much about the Position Music experience your friend had. There can be long waits between licenses in the trailer business. I had to wait two years before one particular track finally got used, and then it went on to be one of my most used. These days, over enough time (say 3 years) I probably get a hit rate of around 3 licenses for every 5 tracks. So 2 never get used in a trailer, but with the right library, they still generate royalties from other use like TV shows.

    The trailer licensing business is tough, especially for people just getting into it, not least because the demands are so high (but your music is definitely up to par). If you get a track used on a trailer, it can be up to a year before you are paid. This is why it’s wise to have other income streams keeping you going. Once the licensing does kick in, and you’re getting tracks placed on a regular basis, you can comfortably transition to doing that full time.

    I would spend less time on the classics – you’re right, most major libraries already have that taken care of, as do a lot of RF libraries. I know Audionetwork recently went as far as to create stems for new recordings of well known classics. What might be a cool, potentially lucrative thing to do would be modern or alternative renditions. You hear these on commercials all the time.

    #23539 Reply

    Musicmatters
    Participant

    Hi Carles,

    Your music is of exceptional quality, both in terms of composition and production. I would agree with Mark 100%. Your music is very well suited for trailers and you should give it a try. All you need is a little patience and a thick skin. 🙂 Publishers can be very difficult to work with and there is a flood of music in the market but I have always believed that good music will rise to the top. Your sounds are very impressive, if you don’t mind sharing your virtual instrument selections. Thanks and best of luck

    #23540 Reply

    Buzz

    I have to agree with Mark. I was pretty much in the same situation had my orchestral tracks and everyone thought they were great etc. Put them out there in an exclusive library, even did edits 30, 60, stingers and …crickets. Not one sale. Then started to look at the trailer format. didn’t go the whole epic thing, still kept them orchestral and…sales.

    Got into a few top tier libraries and others like you just don’t want to know me, simply because they have enough good composers.
    Do I still write my orchestral music, yep. Do I expect anything more from them but an album release and penny’s as income, no. The bottom line is no matter how good your stuff is, if it doesn’t meet the current needs or follow a existing and working formula then don’t loose your day job. Another thing is Carles as good as you are there are many more just like you around the corner and the top tier libraries know that all too well. All I’ve been told when asking the same question is network, but it’s hard to do when everything comes out of the US or UK. I guess it comes down to luck and persistence in the end. Good luck.

    #23541 Reply

    Carles
    Participant

    Thanks Mark! (btw I’m only 5 years in NZ so far but surely I’ll miss it the day I’ll leave).

    I think I get what you mean. My tracks are ready for 30 and 60 sec cuts, (although it requires myself doing that via midi in many cases) but based on what you say I see that’s not a matter of timing only but mostly structure/style.

    That’s certainly no good news for me because trailer music is precisely what I’m trying to avoid (meaning that style where all pieces sound like the same no matter who wrote it, you know what I mean, that particular “epicness” heard nowadays even on toilet paper advertisements).

    But is true that I have to listen more what’s in the trailer libraries. Perhaps not all trailer music have to follow exactly -that- sonic scheme.
    No problem with the structure part of it, is -that- sound what I cannot digest very well as between pieces there are no variances in color, or dynamic or anything but always replicas of somebody else’s sonic formula, which is fine when you listen for the 200 first times, but really boring and fatiguing to me after that. Ironically given my too traditional writing, I find that so called “modern music” cheese as hell!

    Regarding the classics, sure, never intended as a profitable thing (it takes too long to produce any detailed piece) just trying to monetize what
    have been my practices (learning/practicing is the only reason for producing these).

    What’s a pity is that feels like the only way to go if you want to do orchestral stuff has to be writing that “epic” trailer music only and I barely can consider that as orchestral 🙁
    On the other hand I know people making a living by writing orchestral fantasy only, but to achieve that is compulsory to have tracks in the very top libraries and I’d need truly a miracle to achieve that as there is no manner that they will listen to my stuff first, and later that they will like it and consider it profitable, so in a few words, it won’t happen.
    I know 99% sure that I will give up at some point. I know that stop writing music will break my heart but I have no many options. Is not a matter of willingness only but also a health matter.
    My day job at Weta Digital is very time-demanding and I have to write music by the night after 10-14 working hours up to 3:30 AM, so I’m living always exhaust and sleepy, which is still fine but what’s beyond my control is that my immune system begins to fall apart because the lack of rest and sleeping and I’m having some issues already. The only formula to have some rest is leaving my musical activity completely (even like this still remain very long working days!).

    I know that trying to write music full time is a lost battle for me, but I love music so much… I have to try to give a last push before giving up.

    #23542 Reply

    Carles
    Participant

    Thanks Musicmatters!

    “if you don’t mind sharing your virtual instrument selections”

    Sure thing, it’s a relatively simple template and a variant of it.
    – Woodwinds are mostly VSL with additional soloist from BWW (1st flute) BWW Exp B (oboe and English horn) and again another flute (from the old EWQL Symphonic Orchestra).
    – Brass is mostly Hollywood Brass and Spitfire BML with some contributions from other libraries as necessary, but usually works fine with the former
    – Percussion is mostly Spitfire Redux, but also with some important contributions (to me, as a matter of personal taste) from other libraries.
    – Strings are the most complex part because I’m layering libraries very often. The base sound comes from Spitfire Mural and the detail sometimes from another ensemble library but dry (VSL, LASS) and practically always also 1-2 layers from solo strings (VSL, Spitfire).

    The template variant is very similar to the above but the strings base-sound is coming from Hollywood Strings.

    #23543 Reply

    Carles
    Participant

    Thank Buzz!

    ”had my orchestral tracks and everyone thought they were great etc. Put them out there in an exclusive library, even did edits 30, 60, stingers and …crickets. Not one sale.”
    Exactly the same thing.

    ”Then started to look at the trailer format. didn’t go the whole epic thing, still kept them orchestral and…sales.”
    That sounds optimistic. If is more a matter of format rather than “modern epicness” I could give a try, even introducing some synths is okay to me as far as I can skip that so abused color/pattern that I’m finding so cheese (you know what I mean).

    ”The bottom line is no matter how good your stuff is, if it doesn’t meet the current needs or follow a existing and working formula then don’t loose your day job. Another thing is Carles as good as you are there are many more just like you around the corner and the top tier libraries know that all too well. All I’ve been told when asking the same question is network, but it’s hard to do when everything comes out of the US or UK. I guess it comes down to luck and persistence in the end”

    And that’s the discouraging reality unfortunately. Also no network and neither US or UK here, so only good luck will tell (persistence unfortunately is not an option, mind wise music is refreshing to me but physically speaking is literally killing my health).
    Indeed I keep my fingers crossed :S

    #23544 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    But is true that I have to listen more what’s in the trailer libraries. Perhaps not all trailer music have to follow exactly -that- sonic scheme.

    It’s definitely not all ‘BWAAAM – BIG THUD – BWAAM – strings ostinato on D minor pedal’, but that’s the cliched sound that some clients want.

    There’s room for really great music like yours to get licensed – think Disney / Pixar trailers, adventure films.

    You might be familiar with Thomas Bergersen’s work. If not, you should look him up on YouTube and iTunes. He’s an incredible composer / producer and has had huge success in the trailer world with music that isn’t all mega horns and epic hits. 🙂

    You don’t have to stoop to the level of all the cheesy cliches to make a living from this. It might just be matter of making your endings bigger, to satisfy the needs of the client (trailer editor). BTW edits aren’t as important for trailers (compared to other advertising) – we generally bake in easily editable sections with pauses and rises.

    #23545 Reply

    Carles
    Participant

    Again Thanks Mark.

    Yes, I know about Thomas Bergersen but firstly this guy is extremely talented and second he’s got the LA/Contacts part of the formula, while I wish I could have half his talent and no chance for networking 🙁
    Also concerning about TB is that his later work is not reflecting what I have in mind when thinking about his work (I met his work through EWQL demos, pieces from his early albums if my assumption is correct) and I have to confess that when he shared one of his latest works in certain forum I couldn’t stand listening that for more than 45 seconds, not because of a lack of quality of course but because such saturated mass of sound with no sense of dynamic at all.
    Honestly based on his early music I’ve found at that moment that he cannot have such a bad taste as per forgetting that expression is essential for any creator, so why on earth he wrote something like that.
    I guess that even such a talented guy has to work dictated by the market requests.
    I really hope that his writing “evolution” has more to do with a lucrative interest than a need to pay basic bills because it would mean that his more “classical” music still has a place in the market as per making a basic salary, which would suffice in my case as I´m not after popularity or reputation (I already got some of that as CG artist and it doesn’t makes me happy) but just to make a humble living by doing what I really love, writing music.

    #28072 Reply

    Stein_Thor
    Participant

    Just found this thread, hope you have made it in the soundtrack world, love your music, really well done.

    #28074 Reply

    PeteJ
    Participant

    Very much enjoyed your music, Carles, which actually sounded like music. I know what you mean about the modern ‘epic’ sound. These days even cookery shows have this overblown generic ‘by the yard’ style of dramatic music going on, as if the rise of a souffle is a matter of life and death.

    I’m not any kind of expert but I’d question your decision to avoid RF libraries. It may depend on what you mean by RF. Even on a quick visit to the lowly AJ I’ve heard some wonderful violin pieces and an album of Scriabin piano pieces. No idea if they make sales but I think there’s a lot of room for different styles in the general market.

    #28078 Reply

    Dannyc
    Participant

    Carles announced a while back on another forum that he was attempting to pursue music full time. hopefully we can be updated by him on his progress and wish him ever success.

    #28084 Reply

    Daniel
    Participant

    Mark Petrie,

    I really enjoy your music.

    Can you possibly tell us what your average track count is for one of your pieces? The reason I ask is that I am wondering if it makes sense to utilize my time to work on a HUGE sounding piece before I have the proper channels to market it. I have a “Day job” and trying to balance ques with a few Exclusive libraries.

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