Mark Lewis

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Viewing 13 posts - 226 through 238 (of 238 total)
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  • in reply to: Why Music Tracks Get Rejected #8611
    Mark Lewis

    “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 think you are taking what has been mentioned in this thread the wrong way. No one is advocating over-compression or volume wars.

    Using a compressor at the end of a mix along with many other mastering plugins is a normal, standard and I would go out on a limb and say required thing to do to create an acceptable mix.

    From wikipedia in regards to the mastering process:
    The source material, ideally at the original resolution, is processed using equalization, compression, limiting, noise reduction and other processes. More tasks, such as editing, pre-gapping, leveling, fading in and out, noise reduction and other signal restoration and enhancement processes can be applied as part of the mastering stage. This step prepares the music for either digital or analog, e.g. vinyl, replication. The source material is put in the proper order, commonly referred to as assembly (or ‘track’) sequencing.

    I was simply telling the ML composers who are obviously not using any kind of mastering software in their final mixes that they should probably invest in some plugins.

    Not sure where a debate about the use of compression is even required in regards to mixing music.

    in reply to: Self Licensing via website for Royalty-free? #8610
    Mark Lewis

    “…with his catalogue and tracks  hosted on ML”

    No, the package would be something you download and install on your own server and it would become your own website. You would need access to php/mysql and you would need a good amount of disc space to host your own audio files. A dedicated server would probably be needed for all options (like automatic audio watermarking) but the basic package would probably work on a shared server as well.

    Also, just to be clear, this package would have nothing to do with WordPress. It will be a completely stand alone custom solution.
    I just mentioned WordPress because I would like the package to be as easy to install on a server as the WordPress platform is. That would be the goal anyway.

    in reply to: Self Licensing via website for Royalty-free? #8609
    Mark Lewis

    Since the above comment from me was a bit stream of consciousness I have cleaned up the ideas here and added some others, open for your comments and suggestions:

    Licensing Options
    In the admin area of the white label music licensing project we would have a default licensing setup where you can choose the different types of uses from a multiple choice menu and enter prices for each use. These would then be applied to each song you upload.
    You would also be able to go into to each track individually and edit the prices in case you want to charge more or less for a certain piece of music.

    On the customer side they would listen to a song in a track page and if they like it they would click the ‘add to cart’ or ‘license this music’ button and then be presented with a pop-up window with usage/price choices so that they never leave the page they are looking at, and most likely listening to, when they are considering their options.
    They then click on the option they want and the item is added to the cart.

    Any comments, suggestions or links to other examples of licensing systems you like (or don’t like) are welcome.

    Multiple Composers
    I think someone mentioned the need to be able to represent multiple composers. The composer site admins on ML already have the basic ability to represent multiple composers but more features would need to be added to make it work really well.
    However I think this would have to be available as an upgrade version as this type of platform would move beyond a composer using the site to represent himself and would move more into the realm of distributing software that would create direct competition for ourselves at So a full ‘multiple composer’ upgrade would be a considerably more expensive option.

    Audio Watermarking Plugin
    I have created an automatic audio watermarking script that runs on the server at ML. I am thinking I would make this available as a separate plugin to provide an integrated one button solution for audio watermarking the MP3 previews.
    Otherwise composers would do this locally on their computers or leave out the audio watermark altogether.

    Bulk Upload Plugin
    The basic site would have a media bin type upload system (ML composers know this system and seem to really like it) where you upload all your WAVs and MP3s and then create tracks from the media bin. This would come standard with the package.
    I am also thinking of offering a bulk upload system driven by csv files. We have a great system on our sound effects site that could be adapted for the music site as well. This would be an extra fee as again this would appeal more to bigger companies and publishers.

    Subscription Fee?
    Would composers be interested in a subscription fee option where the customer gets access to all music in the catalog for one price for a limited time?


    HTML5 Player Plugin
    We can also provide a version where the site will automatically detect when it is being accessed via a mobile device and would then show an HTML5 player instead of the flash preview player which doesn’t work on most mobile platforms.

    in reply to: Self Licensing via website for Royalty-free? #8605
    Mark Lewis

    Would composers be interested in licensing options as complex as this?

    In my experience this type of complex licensing presentation makes customers hit the back button in less than a second


    the composer who might be interested in a white label site like this may not be going after exactly the same market as I am so maybe they need all of these all of these options and tons of pull down menus?

    youlicense on the other hand has a much more user friendly page where you can see the uses and the prices, although again complex, in a single glance, no multiple menus and complicated decisions…

    I think I’m answering my own question,
    maybe a multiple choice system in the admin area where you can click on usage types you want to present to the customer for your tracks and then enter your price.

    Also, since not all music is priced the same maybe you enter one price and the other uses are automatically calculated from that main price. So that you are not entering 20 different prices for each track you upload.

    And there would be an overall default setting for usage and price so that you only have to enter that info once for your entire catalog but if you want to go into individual tracks and change the use options/price you can do that as well.

    For the customer the options would then appear in a pop-up window after the client clicks on the ‘add to cart’ or ‘license this music’ button so that they never leave the track page they are looking at (and most likely listening to) and can quickly see what the pricing options are in a list and then either close the window and move on or choose an option and add it to their cart.


    If you have any other examples of licensing option presentations that you really like please post them here.

    in reply to: Self Licensing via website for Royalty-free? #8473
    Mark Lewis

    And yes. A flexible licensing tool. Since one size does not fit all.
    Have to think about that one.

    in reply to: Self Licensing via website for Royalty-free? #8472
    Mark Lewis

    Great. Thanks for the feedback. That’s inspiring.
    The package is basically built. Just need to make it slick and easily installable.
    I will keep you posted on progress.

    in reply to: Hope For Primarily Electronic Composers? #8360
    Mark Lewis

    Another electronica genre that continues to be popular and sell pretty well is ‘Big Beat’ (is that what everyone else calls it?)
    Styles like Crystal Method and Fatboy Slim, etc.

    That sounds like a great collection your publisher has requested from you 🙂

    in reply to: Public Forums #8208
    Mark Lewis

    “Being a jerk is actually subjective.”

    But being professional is not.

    “People are just too sensitive these days.”

    This has nothing to do with having sensibilities offended. It has everything to do with assessing the personality of a composer that I will potentially have to deal with on a daily basis for the rest of my professional life. If he is calling people names and seemingly  out of control right out of the gate then I definitely do not want anything to with him professionally or financially. I’ve learned to be very careful who I accept into our library based on past experience and as suggested in Advice’s original post I do google all potential composers to see what their internet presence might be.
    Some composers can be very scary when they feel they’ve been slighted in some way. Even simply rejecting a track from inclusion in the library can be the reason for an email filled with hate and vitriol.
    I try to avoid having hate and vitriol in my life whenever possible and I generally avoid people who have a tendency in that direction.

    “If a person goes against the grain and gains favor from the influencers or power holders, most other people will agree and fall in line with that train of thought.”

    Can you expand on that? I’m not understanding your meaning here.

    “There are a million more important things going on than getting rejected by a library or getting a low PRO payment!”

    Again.. what?  Should we be discussing Syrian refugees on a music library website?

    in reply to: Do you have a Music Lawyer? #7722
    Mark Lewis

    Sorry, but in business things sometimes need to be black and white.

    Out of our 130 composers I have had 4 composers enter their music catalog into CD Baby to “diversify”.
    When they do this I am immediately hit with complaints from all of our customers who have licensed their music in the past that their youtube accounts are now showing copyright flags and they are no longer able to earn revenue from their video content that contains legally licensed music.
    I have had to hire lawyers to contact CD Baby.
    I have had many dealings with the legal dept at Orchard Music because of it.
    I have had to give refunds to loyal customers who trusted us that they have the legal right to use the music they’ve licensed from us.
    All because a composer wanted to “diversify” and earn a few more pennies from their catalog.

    I don’t need that hassle or expense, I don’t need the loss of time, energy and most importantly a customer’s trust. I don’t have to deal with it so I don’t.
    Believe me, there are plenty of great production music composers out there that have no intention of trying to sell their music for $0.99, there is no shortage of them and there is no reason to figure out how to work around a “diversified” catalog just so a composer can join the library. There are plenty of libraries out there that don’t care what composers do with their music and that is where diversified composers should go.

    And Michael, my comments were meant in the most general sense possible, I was in no way directing them at you personally. I would have hoped that a few composers might have learned something from what I said, whether they take my advice or not is inconsequential.

    This will be my last response to this thread as I think it has gotten way off subject.
    Sorry about that Art.


    in reply to: Do you have a Music Lawyer? #7720
    Mark Lewis

    “but wouldn’t someone who’s willing to pay a licensing fee know better than to simply buy a track on Amazon and then try to use it on their video?”

    My answer would be no, not always. You’d be surprised at what people do and the complete ignorance of copyright laws that a substantial percentage of people have out there.

    Also, simply un-checking an option that you checked when you signed up with CD Baby doesn’t mean that Rumblefish will immediately and diligently go out and remove your music from the Youtube ContentID system, quite the contrary.
    Once it is in there it is difficult to get it removed. Uploading your music to Youtube is the easiest way to see if your music is still being flagged by the contentID system.

    But in the end it is up to you what you do with your music, I’m just stating what we have found in our experience of licensing music for the last 14 years.

    At we don’t accept any composers that have their music available for $0.99 elsewhere. To us it means that they are not serious about creating a valuable catalog of production music and there are plenty of great composers out there that do value the integrity of their catalog so there’s no real need to deal with a music catalog that has the potential of causing us problems.

    in reply to: Track names too long? #7703
    Mark Lewis

    Well, originally I thought that the letters Q and X weren’t popular enough to be included in my algorithm but now that you have brought the unfairness of that decision to light I will reconsider our current 24 letter policy.


    in reply to: The Wrecking Crew – A Great Film On L.A. Session Musicians #7462
    Mark Lewis

    Tommy Tedesco was one of my instructors at the Guitar Institute of Technology back in the day (now Musician’s Institute). Learned a lot of cool tricks from him.


    in reply to: My first year, the numbers game and the long game… #7369
    Mark Lewis

    As usual, very well put Michael L.

    And thanks to everyone, it’s very nice to be considered one of the top RF libraries by a group of great composers (or is it top-lower-tier libraries?) .

    Just wanted to point out that our top composers are currently earning just under $20,000 a year from the site alone. That does not include earnings from our network of sites and partnerships,, our Spanish site at and our partnerships in Germany, Poland and the UK as well as with other music distribution companies.

    I’m only posting this to say that the plan that Del Synth proposed in his original post is a very good one and will no doubt lead him and his group of composers to a very steady income in the long term.
    Go for it.

    – Mark Lewis

Viewing 13 posts - 226 through 238 (of 238 total)

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