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I’d asked for clarification as to whether you can leave registered cues with them as “legacy cues” and then move to a different PRO and continue registering new cues with the new PRO.
Yes you can do this. I moved to BMI about 7 years ago. You can leave your ASCAP titles behind and ASCAP will still pay you. You can even re-title the same non-exclusive/RF titles with BMI if you keep the titles completely different.
ASCAP Title: Road to Victory
BMI Title: Path to Glory
If you still work with any RF/non-exclusive libraries who handle publishing you need to notify them you’re moving and ask them if they prefer to keep the titles with ASCAP or re-register them with BMI. (They may very well prefer to re-register through their BMI publishing entity so the writing and publishing match-up, but ultimately the choice is theirs to make…)
- In case a similar question comes up that I had recently:
You can also register with any foreign PRO in addition to your domestic PRO. I.e. I’ve been writing for a UK trailer label this past year. I want to sign up for PRS in order to be paid directly vs waiting longer, and avoid both PROs eating my revenue by siphoning off an ‘administrative’ fee… So in this scenario any future cues specific to that library, or another exclusive UK-only library get registered directly with PRS. Any BMI titles will not be re-retitled, only new cues exclusively published in the UK will.
I’ve gotten a bunch of snail mail letters as well. I haven’t followed through as, at least to me, something doesn’t seem above board.. Considering others here are cautious, for now I’m going with my gut which says it seems like I could potentially be giving something up in the process by opting in.
Also Just received an email that says:
Clicking on the above link will constitute your agreement to treat the Offer Materials as highly confidential information that may not be shared with any persons or entities, except your own employees and professional advisors who have a need to know to assist you in evaluating Twitch’s license offer.
To me this reads like a carrot on a stick kind of opt-in with an arbitration clause. Unless I hear differently I’m going to assume they’re questionable… I also suspect a certain A library is the source… Personally this library soured my taste a while back but that’s another thread!
Thanks for clarifying. The concern came from how aggressive they were… They got a hold of my number and left tons of voicemails. Emailed a bunch of times. Sent me multiple messages on linkedin, etc..
With the market in turmoil I found it hard not to view their aggressive pursuit through cynicism-tinted glasses… Either way, assuming they’re the same overall thing it seems like it would be a moot point since I do purely production music… Thanks again.
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Matt’s reply is actually quite sensible. I’ve certainly heard my share of tracks that were overcooked by the composer, and depending on the usage there are level standards that crushing your music offers no benefit to.
It’s like cooking, you can always re-heat something undercooked, once it’s overcooked it’s overcooked… Basically it’s easy to add loudness, but restoring an overcooked track will never sound as good as something that wasn’t overcooked in the first place…
That being said, there was a thread here not too long ago that found that louder music tended to sell better on non-exclusive marketplace sites. But I suspect that phenomenon is part age/loudness bias, and part smaller projects where the editor or creator isn’t familiar with level standards, or doesn’t have too much experience working with sound…
EDIT: Thanks @TerlinguaMusic. Although it took some time, I’ve only been at this full time for 5-6 years… If I managed to make it work I’m sure you’ll get there with persistence… best of luck and hope things are going well for you!
Great concisely written advice from Art…
Realize you can’t do everything at the same time. As the saying goes, jack of all trades master of none… Some skills/tools will take you longer to adapt than others so don’t sweat secondary stuff like mixing/mastering/the latest greatest software…
Hone your writing chops and time management skills first. Develop a workflow and adapt the secondary stuff when you’re ready to cross that bridge… (Mixing for example improves with repetition…) But definitely don’t think of metadata as part of the highwire act, it’s just book keeping…
It seems like a lot of balls in the air at first. Just learn how to break your work up into areas of focus, and give yourself ‘you’ time or you will wear yourself down. (I’ve been there, as I’m sure others have…)
As far as sanity? What works for me is Meditation. For others it might be exercise, shooting hoops, or yoga… Just find something to you pay yourself with in the form of ‘you’ time…
Hey Sabal, I’d call ASCAP and be a thorn in their side.
I had a similar situation in 2015. After some nosing around and phone calling I found out that cue sheets for an entire season weren’t in BMI’s database. From what I understand, (and I have every reason to trust the library as they’ve always done right by me), it was essentially due to a monumental failure by the production company. (Not typical of them either. They’re a well established production company and had always submitted cue sheets previously… I’m pretty sure they handed off the cue sheets to the wrong intern :p)
You may not have, or be able to get enough info depending on your relationship to the library, but you should certainly follow up with ASCAP and ask them what their policy on paying retroactively is…
Case in point: I was almost ready to talk myself into assuming it would work itself out. But after BMI told me there was only one more quarter to go, (they only pay so many quarters retroactively), I got in touch and asked if they were aware that cue sheets for an entire season weren’t showing up in BMI’s database. Ultimately it wasn’t just good for me, it was good for the library as they have a lot music in the series and that would have put them in a bad spot as well… Everything fell into place.
That being said, if you do have the means of reaching out to the library or production company it’s an issue you should approach with care. I have a fairly strong relationship with a few guys at the library above and this kind of thing hits a sensitive nerve if you approach them with the wrong attitude, even if you’re in the right…
They routinely field emails from upstart composers who either don’t understand how PRO income works, or fail to understand that these things just happen sometimes, typically can be fixed, and are equally in the interest of the library to straighten out… They need to pay their mortgages and staff as well…
Anyway, if you have the means of contacting someone just ask if they were aware of it and if not, how they can correct the situation. Most likely the bells will ring and they’ll realize its a financial problem and make it right fairly quickly…
The moral of the story is find out what ASCAP’s policy is, don’t assume anything will work out, and most importantly, don’t assume it’s the library or production companies fault, at least in the sense of it being deliberate negligence… These companies often have so much on their plate they’re just treading water and clerical mistakes can slip by…
Hope you get it worked out!
Sabal, do you mean in general, or specifically once they’ve been placed?
(Just trying to understand if you’re asking based on placements vs expectations…)
Thanks daveydad! I’ve been submitting to libraries since 2009 but went full time about 5 years ago… (I wasn’t bringing enough in to justify it, but after losing a pretty cushy gig I decided I might as well go all in and see if I landed on my feet…)
The first two and a half years were a rough ride, I was basically getting by by treading water… The last two were much better, and last year exponentially so…I hit a personal goal where backend made up the bulk of my income, and honestly I thought those days were behind us.
Anyway… despite 2016 being a strange year overall, financially i did very well and was surprised to see you can still earn with backend. I am concerned about where streaming is taking that revenue in the next few years, but that’s a whole other conversation and for the moment I’m doing pretty alright…
2016 Was my best year to date. I finally hit a place financially where I’m genuinely comfortable calling this a career… My backend went through the roof and I landed music in many hundreds of episodes of various shows. (I’m guessing somewhere near 1000 unique episodes spanning 50-75 shows. I haven’t tallied yet, but should be in that ball park…)
I had a nightmare film project that went south which is in the midst of legal action, but all should work out in my favor and I should come out driving the ship once all is said and done with that… (Special thanks to Art for helping me with some technical issues posting at the time… and thanks to the folks that weighed in with positive words and wise advice.)
On an unexpected note I wound up converting the second story of my loft into a production studio, and somewhat feasible mastering room. (I did the “room in a room” thing and spent 3 months building all the acoustic treatment). It was grueling to put it mildly, but a few folks with some pretty great rooms have said it’s one of the nicest home studios they’ve seen which meant a lot. It’s the crowning jewel of 2016 for me… May launch a site offering reasonably priced mastering this year, but have to think about whether that’s really a road I want to go down…
Either way the studio made up for the film experience and the year ended off with me being offered another short to score. (Not the same folks!) Although it’s a small budget it’s something I’m looking forward to since the score they want is off the beaten path for me, and I’ll be doing music in the vain of a few favorite artists that I’ve never had the opportunity to work in the style of outside of some personal pieces…
Oh yeah! I also had the pleasure of testing Neutron for Izotope and had a chance to drop by their office and meet some of the programmers… That was just plain fun and what a bunch of great people!
Hope everyone has had a fantastic year, and even if still climbing your way uo, you’re closing 2016 feeling like you’re on your way to great things… To a fantastic new year regardless of however things may look for some… Just keep pushing forward!