Why Music Tracks Get Rejected

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  • #8349 Reply

    @ Mark

    1. I prefer Maybelline

    2. I’ll stick to Love Story, better yet, Feelings.



    #8350 Reply
    Mark Lewis



    #8352 Reply

    I always say I’m still new at this as it is a part time passion for me (hopefully full time some day) but I had deduced a lot of this advice on my own over 3 years and it’s nice to see I am at least thinking in the right direction. I’ve learned to use more hand played purcussion and less drum tracks. I’ve been sticking to a certain style although I do try different things at times which work out such as a Ukulele and an Analog Synth track that got picked for an exclusive deal. Most importantly I try to learn as much as I can as the main reason I produce is because I love it.

    #8353 Reply

    another thing to add..right music…wrong style for a particular library

    This is definitely something I’ve run into a lot, with libraries that are paying upfront or are just plain ol’ picky. I’ve had an epic track get rejected by one trailer music library, and then get accepted by another, who went on to license it for five figures. Sometimes libraries have a very specific need, for whatever reason (perhaps a themed album they’re working on), and it will prevent them from taking your music, no matter how good it might  be.
    Great thread!

    #8354 Reply

    #3  @Davy….sorry studies have shown that when played side buy side listeners prefer the music that is perceived to be louder, even if the music itself is not as good as the softer choice. There are a number of processing options available, like the Oxford Inflator, that increase perceived loudness without over compressing dynamics.

    Why are you sorry?  My point remains that if people believe that their music needs to be louder than the next persons to be chosen then we are in the exact same position as commercial pop music.  We have all heard many great records ruined with over limiting/compression.  I would like to give music supervisors a bit more credit when it comes to this important issue.

    Mark – I totally take your point that this relates to extreme cases, good stuff.



    #8355 Reply

    First off, kudos to Mark for posting this. I have had the opportunity over the past few months to be mentored, if you will, by a friend of mine who runs a music library. He’s given be a look “behind the scenes” on the approval process and what Mark has written is spot-on.

    I’ve learned a lot by listening to what is out there in certain genres both good and bad, and has changed the way I am writing to the extent of does this track sound as good, or better than what is out there? And it has made me focus more on the genres that I can do well, which are more guitar oriented tracks. I still like to experiment with different styles, but unless I can make it sound real I stay away from it.

    Only been at this close to 3 years, so I am continually learning,writing, and trying to get better. And taking rejections better………..

    #8509 Reply
    Dave Yowell

    All the above is mostly correct from our point of view.
    As Michaell, and Wildman said, it’s a huge market and one man’s gold is another man’s lead.
    All our composers are pretty professional and sound quality / loudness isn’t an issue.
    Telling library music composers to enter the “Loudness race” that is current in the pop industry is also a bit dangerous. Music supervisors and VT editors that I know hate over-compressed music.
    I just rejected some tracks today that were cheesy copies of “big” blockbuster type orchestral film scores, done via virtual MIDI orchestra – Don’t bother trying that, most libraries will probably reject this type.
    Too much MIDI=No soul / no emotion.
    if you are going to use only MIDI, then make it as weird and electronic as possible. Don’t do virtual brass, orchestra or standard “rock drums” via MIDI.
    Try and always add as much “real performance” – real playing on a real instruments as possible.

    #8516 Reply
    Rob (Cruciform)

    Yes, here’s an example of how soulless and emotionless midi orchestration is:  http://www.virtualinstrumentsmag.com/down/6-7-06/From_Sketch_Score/Mojo_Madness.mp3

    #8527 Reply
    Mark Petrie

    too much MIDI, hmmm I’ll have to go back to the drawing board then!

    #8528 Reply
    Rob (Cruciform)

    Mark P, maybe just lower your expectations a bit!

    #8529 Reply

    Hi Rob,

    the example sound for me like Kevin Kiners work for the Clone Wars. It`s a bit of another level what the usual production music composer is capable of doing 🙂

    #8531 Reply


    it´s my norwegians friend work. Hva en flink gutt 🙂

    #8533 Reply
    Rob (Cruciform)

    Hey Wildman, yep, that’s him. 😉

    True, the quality doesn’t get any higher than that. But that’s what’s possible with midi so the kind of blanket statements I was responding to don’t hold water.

    #8534 Reply


    mad what can be done with good programming. But I doubt that it´s possible to reach all alone. You need a little team of extremly talented programmers and mixers around you to get such a sound out of vst sample libraries. But again, it`s high level trailer music and not production music and that is a big difference 🙂

    #8537 Reply
    Art Munson

    Too much MIDI=No soul / no emotion.

    I’m always amused when someone makes sweeping statements with the implication that they are the final word on the subject.

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