General Questions


If you have general questions or comments about the music library business please leave them here.

1,729 Replies to “General Questions”

    1. No, it’s a little slow here, but I haven’t any any trouble getting there this week.

  1. Anyone use YouLicense? I can’t seem to get into the comment section of YouLicense It comes up “comment section protected”.

    1. Hi Johhnyboy. I use Youlicense and I don’t have any problem getting into the blog comment section. Are you using the free package or one of the paid subscription packages ? I don’t know for sure but maybe you have to have a paid subscription package. I’m probably wrong but just a thought.

      1. Thanks Artist R, but I meant I couldn’t get into Music Library Report’s comment section of YouLicense. I posted a comment on the thread and now I can see the comments.

        Best, John

  2. I found this app for capturing gear settings and thought I’d share it. I’m always on the lookout for stuff like this to make life easier.
    It’s called ReKawl by Sahe Audio where it basically takes images and notes I guess you using your devices camera and exports them as a track sheet. I hate losing those golden mega hit gear settings I slave over and have scribbled all over the place and can’t find them half the time so I think I’m gonna try it. $5 but if it works better than what I’ve been doing, it might be worth it.

  3. well I think Art is perfectly entitled to charge whatever he wants to allow people to join the site, as everyone is perfectly entitled to decide not to join or to organize something else on a free basis, a forum for example.

    as a paying customer what I would argue about is the functionality of the service provided, the ‘general comments’ section for example is almost impossible to navigate.

    1. #tag said: “the β€˜general comments’ section for example is almost impossible to navigate.”

      Yep, I agree and this has come up before. Some would like a forum setup but splitting the site into two separate sites (one for questions and one for listings) would be even more confusing. Porting everything over to a forum isn’t possible, at least I haven’t found a solution. I’m open to suggestions though.

      1. Reading this post just reminded me that I’m no longer getting that jerky problem I was having for the longest time when I slide the scrolling side bar up and down. Man was that a headache. Don’t know what happened to fix it but it’s fixed.

        1. Glad to hear that Pat. I’m not sure I even know what fixed it, I just kept trying different things!

      2. You could have sub forums for general questions, newbie question and for each library. Library sub forums could have a sticky post at the top of each with the library’s details. Each library could also have a stick post that is a poll. That way users can vote/rate the library.

        Lots of forums us vBulletin forum software. One I visit regularly is the gear page (

        The only thing I would take the time to convert from this site would be the library detail. All the rest could start from scratch. I would leave the old site as a link somewhere for searching/reference.

        1. I agree with gdomeier, it shouldn’t be too hard to have a forum section, perhaps external, and leave the library ratings here

          1. The biggest problem is that there is a lot of valuable info in the current threads that would/could get lost in the transition. That is the biggest stumbling block for me.

            I’m looking at BBPress which integrates with WordPress, still the same problem though.

            1. Perhaps you could find an outsourcing company in India or the Phillipines who would do the laborious job of converting the site into a forum fairly affordably. Once you get a good quote, you could then raise funds for it – sounds like there are a lot of composers who would be motivated enough to pay money to see the site switched over to a forum style layout.

                1. Art
                  You may already have checked into this but… Have you looked at creating a free forum using proboards? Anyone can create a forum in seconds for free. You have to pay a few dollars a month to keep it ad free– you could probably take a few donations to cover that.

                  phpBB is another vendor of free “instant forum” software.

                  Question: Does your current software for this site support export everything to Excel or comma-delimited format? If so, there MIGHT be a way to import that to a forum in proboards or phpBB software.


                2. Thanks Advice. I’m going to fire up bbPress here in the next couple of days and see how that works. It’s tightly integrated with WordPress so I can keep it all within the existing MLR shell.

  4. I agree that it’s time for Art to give back. I don’t care about the free site. I want my share of the 50k! Lets see, 50k divided by the number of MLR members, lets see, carry that over, borrow from the 5,….28 thousand dollars for my share anyway. The rest of you guys can work it out

  5. This is not fair to Art or Synth.

    Art can defend himself..which he did.

    I think everyone here respect Art.
    But everyone is entitled to their opinion
    Otherwise this site will just be for cheerleaders of the same team and nothing
    in this game changes.

    That is what good debating does.
    It brings out the REAL arguments to an issue
    for others to decide

    Don’t be cheerleader just cause Art owns the site.
    Respect Art and the game

  6. I don’t know what I would do without Art and his site. So he want to get some of his investment back, who are you to tell him not to? Who are you to decide if 50k is enough for him? Maybe he need to support somebody? you never know, dont ever Judge someone else.

  7. I have been following this conversation for the last few days and want to jump in, I really think it does take time for art to manage this site, look how many comments there are and how much he must have to edit and adjust things. he’s tried getting advertisers to pay on the site and he had to come up with a decision to either leave the site or charge for it. He’s done a good job with the site and maybe at some point there will be a time when all the libraries dig deep and pay for the site. But you know synth man, do you have time every day to host a site, edit comments, correct information , in the aft and eve ? Would you synth man or anyone else be willing to do that for free ? I work on music all day and I know I would never have time to do it. You really should think about being an individual and making music then also running a site for no profit , I think from the little I know that Art is a really nice guy, and it’s easy to make flippant comments saying he should spend hours a day on maintaing a site for free, making sure spammers and people lying from companies do not post untrue info on their companies. I’m sure during the year this site takes quite a lot of work and has taken many hours of arts life, it’s ok not to want to pay, infact I don’t , but I would never question the decision he has had to make. Respect Art !

  8. FAUXMUSICSUPE does often make valid points. But I guess his delivery could be deemed offensive to people without a tolerance for profanity and crude language.

    I read his posts and I can tell that he means well. I guess that people who are having a hard time licensing music will be offended. Also, libraries with bad business practices will be offended as well. I am glad that FAUXMUSICSUPE doesn’t hold any punches. He has not told one lie.

    1. I don’t have any problems with FAUXMUSICSUPE’s points and I agree with him. It’s his delivery I have a problem with. Look, I spent four years in the Marine Corps so there is nothing about profanity that anyone can teach me or that I haven’t heard before, especially from Parris Island drill instructors! I just choose not to take that road when having a conversation or trying to make a point. I also think that it makes for a more civil discourse to leave out the profanity.

      BTW Synth Player your comment: “I guess that people who are having a hard time licensing music will be offended.” is about the silliest comment you have made yet.

      1. Art, I agree.

        He said that you cant make a living licensing music non-exclusively, do you agree with that?


        1. I guess I should have been clearer but it was very hard to read through his points while wading through all the non-essential clutter. I agree with many of his points but as far as “making a living” you first have to define that phrase. This has come up many times here on MLR. What is your definition of making a living? Mine will most likely be different than yours.

          I believe I can. I think I will hit $50k this year (it’s been going up every year and I started about six years ago). To me that’s not enough as I’m shooting for $100k but to some $50k may be plenty.

          1. Well, I think 50K is the minimum for making a living, so yes, you can make a living out of non-exclusive music. Can I ask, with how many tracks?

            1. Haven’t counted lately as my database includes all the alts. I’m guessing about 400 tracks and many have two to three alts, sometimes more. Also not all libraries have all tracks.

          2. Just to be clear about that $50k number. The key phrase in that statement is “I think I will”. It’s based on my first two PRO statements and RF sales. That number can easily change and at the end of the year I will happily share that number to those who ask. I think most folks appreciate hard numbers.

            1. “I think most folks appreciate hard numbers.”
              I do! AND I appreciate you sharing that number with everyone, that is a very personal thing to share, sorry you had to get some flack for sharing it.

              It helps for me to judge where I could be in 5 years. Thanks Art!!

      2. My comment may seem silly to you, but it makes sense to me.

        Not trying to argue, but I think composers can definitely learn something from FAUXMUSICSUPE. Whether his delivery is appropriate is besides the point. He is teaching valuable lessons the best way that he knows how. He is getting the attention he needs to be heard. The best part is that the information is free!!!

        Of course he could have written a book that goes into specific details and pointers. But there are many books out there with that info. Why pay for info that should be free?

        Even this site went from free info into a pay-to-play model. I understand business, but why hide imfo by making people pay for everything? It is hard enough for most musicians to make a dollar. I just do not see the justice in discrediting a free source of valuable info. Everyone else is so caught up with hiding info and charging money. Whatever happened to helping people? The obsession with money is kind of annoying.

        1. I’m not hiding FAUXMUSICSUPE because I don’t agree with him. I do disagree with his delivery method and do not want that tone on MLR.

          And as far as paying for info. I try to find a balance here between free and pay. There are numerous ways to attain free access on MLR. I doubt you have ever developed and run a website or you would understand how many hours it takes every day to maintain one. Time is all we have and what you choose to do with your time is your choice. You certainly expect to be paid for the time you spend making music, working a job, etc. but you seem to resent my being paid for my time. Really?

          1. This site used to be free. Why can’t it stay free? I know sites cost money to run, but you really do not need money. All you have to do is let people post stuff and make donations. You were just bragging about how you are going to make $50,000 a year. That is in passive income.

            Most musicians have never made $5,000 a year. People with college degrees are barely making $50,000 a year. I just do not see how a site can be free one day, then charge money when the money is not needed. You should open the site back up as a service to the music community.

            Musicians share their knowledge here for free and you are making money from free info. What part of the game is that? You are doing very well for yourself. It is time to give back. With great power comes great responsibility. You hold the power. How are you going to be responsible with it?

            1. synth said: “but you really do not need money.”

              How presumptuous can you get! Who are you to say or dictate what I need or how I run my life? You really need to grow up and get a grip. I would never in a million years presume to tell someone how they should live and for you to do show only illustrates your lack of maturity.

              If you are so upset with MLR why do you continue to keep coming back? I have an idea, why don’t you go ahead and start your own site. Oh, I forgot that would take real work on your part, something you are probably not willing to do.

              BTW, this conversation stops here. I should know better than feed the troll!

            2. “…but you really do not need money.”

              oh man. That’s quite a conclusion.

            3. @ Synth Player

              I make it a point to not post/reply to the rants on this site. I prefer to read and learn. But you really annoyed me with your childish comments. “This site used to be free. Why can’t it stay free?” I would guess you are a twenty something producing tracks in moms basement for a comment like that. “But mom, I used to live here for free, what do you mean I have to pay rent and buy my own food?”

              Sorry for that personal attack, but when you attack Art and MLR, you attack me because I need this site.

              Let me tell you why this site is valuable, Synth Player.

              In 2009, at 45 years old and making my entire living (supporting a family of 5) in music, I began this pursuit with a goal to become a semi-pro music library/TV composer. I had invested in a DAW and an Online certificate through Berklee. I didn’t know ANYTHING about what to do next. My only experience was in the 1990’s when I sent CD’s to libraries listed in the “Songwriter’s Market.” I had five tracks accepted in DSM, never heard from them again.

              So, I start writing music and Googling. Who do I submit to? Is this a fair contract? I had a million questions and absolutely no one to ask.

              Then I stumbled on this FREE site called MLR. All this information! Answers to all of my questions plus answers to questions I hadn’t thought to ask yet. Industry pros willingly giving insider information to the “competition” (HA). I lurked and read and took notes and learned for free.

              I found great libraries that didn’t show up in “Music Library” searches.

              I learned about non-exclusive libraries, sync fees, blanket licenses, blah blah blah.

              One of the most valuable lessons was that this is a long, slow road.

              I chose my submissions carefully, I did not submit blindly to every library on the list (only 11 for me).
              My first sale was one of the great moments of my musical life, comparable to by first paying gig. The first TV placement, WOW!

              Guess what Synth Player, without MLR, IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED! I’d still be stumbling around blindly submitting to the RF sites at the top of the Google searches.

              I gladly donated my 1st small payout to MLR … and my 2nd, because I knew the value of what MLR GAVE me.

              The day my Gratis 6 month membership expired (thank you Art)I gladly PAID for a lifetime membership, Synth Player. AND, if the site closes tomorrow, I got my monies worth!

              As of now I stand at 19 TV placements for 2011. I owe that to MLR. Yes, that is a laughable number to the seasoned pros, but that number started at 0 and is growing thanks to the info I get from, you guessed it Synth Player, MLR.

              One final thought young Synth Player. Think before you speak.
              -Ask Art how many hours he puts in per week managing this site.
              -Multiply that number by the 150+ WEEKS he’s been doing this.
              -How many cues could he have written in those hours?
              -What is his motivation for that work? -Would you be willing to put in that much time to help me find a place to sell my music for free? I didn’t think so, Synth Player.

              Why don’t you take this Friday’s gig money, pay Art for a lifetime membership and thank him for what he does.


            4. “You were just bragging about how you are going to make $50,000 a year.”

              @Synth Player

              WHAT???!!!! Where does that stuff come from? Art was asked a question and he answered it. He gave INFORMATION, the very thing that you accuse him of hiding.

              Here’s some free information:
              Rule #1, that trumps a composer’s talent and skill level: Be a professional. “People skills” are the most important thing that you can develop in this business. The higher up you go in the library food chain the less they will tolerate “attitude,” unless you are a superstar. They don’t have time for it.

        2. @ SynthPlayer – why should information be free? It always costs someone, somewhere, time and money to acquire it to start with. It’s the choice of who has the information, whether or not to pass it on for free. And when it also costs time and money to operate a website like this, Art has every right to charge for it. He’s providing a valuable service.

          The beauty of a free market economy is if *you* want it free then *you* can start your own website and publish information and attract top notch professionals, and manage site traffic and content and offer it for free. But you don’t get to demand that other people accede to your wants.

  9. @bigg rome.

    I deleted the rant you posted from FAUXMUSICSUPE. No matter how valid his/her points are, anyone who writes like a spoiled five year old who just discovered every expletive ever uttered has no place on MLR.

    1. @ Bigg Rome…from Merriam-Webster

      1: a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
      2: trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

      The question is whether fauxmusicsupe is satirizing sleazy shallow hollywood stereotypes or desperate composer stereotypes, or both. Very convincing job on all fronts. One can almost see the lines on the mirror.

      As with any good satire, there’s enough truth to keep you wondering.

      1. “Prius”….there goes the stereoype.

        You can update your FMN post (loved it BTW). Just got this from them.

        “Music needed immediately for short film already selected for the Cannes Film Festival in May. The original composer is no longer attached to the project, and they are looking for new music to either be composed, or they will consider licensing existing tracks. There is no budget available for music.”

        Now they’re charging 6 bucks for the privilege of being “considered” for a short film “already selected for the Cannes Film Festival.” NO MONEY, but oh wouldn’t that look good on my resume?
        SAYS: “The original composer is no longer attached to this project.”
        MEANS: He got a paying gig.

          1. FMN has been helpful to me as well.

            I think people get too bent out of shape about music licensing these days. I see it as coming from not being able to compete. The game has changed. It is up to composers to adapt.

            Libraries are not going to change to benefit the composers. They are there to benefit the clients that they have. Composers have to be beneficial to the libraries. It definitely is not a 50/50 relationship all of the time. But a good library will do more good in the long run. Composers just have to be patient and stop attacking companies.

        1. I wouldn’t be that tough on FMN for running this listing. They do run a lot of good library listings and I’ve gotten deals and placements because of them.

          No one is twisting anyone’s arm to spend 6 bucks to submit for this. And, as a member, for me it would only be 2 bucks. One can always just hit “delete” and wait for the next one. I agree, however, that they’ve run a lot of low budget listings lately.

          Though it’s very long odds, a gratis placement with an unknown filmmaker, still at the festival stage, MIGHT one day lead to something more. Contacts are always good. If I had a perfect track for that listing, I’d probably have thrown the 2 bucks at it.


            1. I get that, Blind… But the listing does say they will also consider existing tracks. So, my take is for SOME folks, it might not be a bad idea to pitch 1-2 existing tracks and see what happens. A much tougher decision would be whether it would be worth the hours to do custom work for $0 on such long odds that anything will ever come of it. There are composers who will find it worth it just for the experience. If someone has never written custom cues before, there MIGHT be a lot to learn from it.

              And again, no one is twisting anyone’s arm to submit. That’s what the “Delete” key is for.


          1. My original comment was in response to a post on fauxmusicsupe’s blog, that was connected to something Bigg Rome posted here (now deleted).

            I’m neutral on FMN. If you want to pay to play that’s an individual decision.

            1. And ther you have IT.

              Getting your feelings hurt… you deleted the post.
              This is a business, Art.
              Let the reader decide.

              If you really want this to be a fair forum.

              1. @bigg rome. I have no idea what you are talking about. My feelings are not “hurt” at all. I deleted the rant you posted from FAUXMUSICSUPE. My sandbox my rules.

              2. @ Bigg rome,

                I’m not sure what you’re talking about either. Yes, there is A LOT of truth in fauxmusicsupe’s position.

                But NO, you’re not going to hurt Art’s feelings or anyone else’s by by agreeing with fauxmusicsupe.

                I’m not going to put words into Art’s mouth, but I think the issue was with Fauxmusicsupe’s delivery (choice of words) more than his message. And as far as letting the “reader decide” goes, this IS Art’s website. HE makes the rules.

                The exclusive / non-exclusive issue has been discussed here ad-nauseum. There are supporters of both sides of the issue.

                So what are you bringing to the table that’s new?

  10. “Have $500 budget for this drop. Found cue in re-title library…looked in a few more libraries found the cue 2 more times. HOW LOW$ CAN U GO”

    – @FauxMusicSupe

    1. Well, I wanna see him trying to make a living with one non-exclusive library as a composer. He is only seeing his side, “the poor supervisor who get the same cue twice” OK, you don’t wanna see the same cue twice? fine, work with exclusive ones, and pay up [email protected] Please do not complain rich music supervisor, I don’t have time for that, I need to make more music for the 10 non exclusive libraries I work with, so the production company that hire you can get 20000 cues with no money.

      The composers are not the only people responsible for that situation, its the production company fault as well for not wanting to pay for music. We as a composers need to make a living somehow and that’s from multiple “no sync fee because its a blanket deal” placements made by multiple non exclusive libraries, so yes, sometime you will see the same cue twice, please, don’t kill yourself.


      1. Strangely, you can go into any number of stores and see the some product on the self. Shockingly, they are not always priced the same.

        Go figure.

      2. FMC,

        I think you’ve missed his point. FMS would probably rather see the full sync paid out. He doesn’t like libraries that offer their catalogue for no sync fees and he thinks artists who do gratis licenses and spread their work everywhere are only hurting themselves. A past tweet in point was something to the effect of he’s not going to go and pay to see a band who offer their track to a large company/network for free when a license opp comes their way. His point is, the writer in question is hurting themselves because no one is going to pay $500 if they can find the same cue for $50, even when the $500 budget is available!

        1. mmm….I didn’t explain that very well. It’s more like, “Why should I pay to see some band if they’re prepared to let a big company use their music for free?”

          Still not quite right, if I have the time to find that tweet, I’ll post it. It makes perfect sense.

      3. You said “We as a Composers” Are you a composer ? Similar grammatical errors in the rest of your post. Strange. Kinda like bigrome possibly.

        1. I am not from the USA. So I have some grammatical errors.

          bigrome is not a friend of that music sup?

          Anyway, all I can say is that I am someone who is making a living doing non-exclusive music and I am tired of everyone bitching about it. Because there is so much “composers” right now, the price of the music is going down, so you need to adapt.
          Its a matter of supply and demand and right now, there is more supply then demand then ever
          Because everyone can build a home studio easily and there is so much “music schools” out there.

          No one want to buy my 1:50 min of Hip Hop instrumental music for 500$, so what other thing I can do with it? Spread it around as much as I can.

          Maybe we need to blame all of the gear manufactures for giving us such a way to make music at low costs? Maybe we need to blame Cuebase, Protools or Logic?

  11. Anybody know where I can get an original logo? Just had some tracks put up on Soundtaxi and was thinking it’d be pretty cool to have my own logo.

  12. Can anyone remember what the name was of that site where you could upload your music and they would upload it to other stock audio sites for you? ie. you upload once, provide your metadata and they import into other libraries when you join them?

    1. Hi Emmett Are you thinking of iSyndica? Art and Bobby Cole were using it but it closed down, there are some comments in the RIP section

  13. I have had tunesat for about a month and thought I would report back my experience. I have a found the service to miss a significant number of cues.

    It has been good to see detections for cues I wasn’t aware had been used, but the problem is tunesat isn’t catching all occurrences of those cues.

    I have had the same cue placed on two different episodes of the BBCA show, No Kitchen required. Out of around 10 airings of the two episodes, tunesat only detected one airing of one of those show. It completely missed one of the shows. That one, the cue is actually more clear that the other show. There are a number of future airings for these shows, so I will keep track and see how many more misses happen.

    I have noticed other airings of shows I already know have cues in them that were missed also.

    I did contact tunesat to report it. They looked into it, but basically said they don’t know why they were missed.

    I am going to keep using the server for a quarter or so. For it to pay off though, it has to catch enough cues that are not reported to my pro. Time will tell, but my confidence isn’t high.

  14. Is it possible to see cue sheets for shows you don’t have any cues on? My pro is ascap, if it makes a difference.

  15. @ J3h43f4 said: “Do you guys have more rock or Orchestral tracks for all these cable shows?”

    I have a little of everything. Country, Urban, Pop, Rock, Latin, Orchestral, etc.

    1. @ J3h43f4

      What do you mean by orchestral…John Willams cinematic and classical, or hybrid music, like Hans Zimmer, movie trailers and reality TV, using orchestral sounds? The latter probably gets used more.

  16. Music Xray & Broadjam have the same listing for a greater submission price.

    What is going on…

    I noticed the listing ‘edgy rock’ on Broadjam.

    Then I went to Music Xray the same listing is thier for a $20.00
    submission fee.

    It says Southern Soul Records…but when I researched the label. They barely have any info on the web as far as music licening goes?

    Why would a person put a listing
    try to milk the people submitting to them. by making them submit for different prices?

    Any thought?

  17. For those of you who write for exclusive libraries (I’m thinking B & C list libraries, not Extreme, DeWolfe, etc.) AND also have cues in multiple non-exclusive libaries, which do you find the most profitable.

    Recently, a couple of C-list libraries have wanted me to write whole albums for them, sometimes they’ll pay production costs and sometimes not, but of course they want excl.rights in perpetuity. I write modern classical music so production costs are significant (musicians mainly).

    I’ve only just started working with non-exclusive libraries so I really don’t know whether I’m better off:

    a) recording & funding albums myself and then place them with the A-list Non-excl libraries (such as Crucial Music) or
    b) recording albums for C-list libraries who work on the “old-school” production music model

    Any comments from people who are active in both circles ?

    1. Right now its half and half for me. But I think I remember reading that Art makes more from all his Non-exclusive than he does from all his exclusive.

      Both are dangerous, because I have a lot in non-exclusive libraries that later was offered a deal in exclusive. But once you go exclusive, you might never make a dime off that song.

      One thing I wouldn’t do rajay is sign your songs in an exclusive deal with a non-exclusive library.

      1. I would try exclusive in a non-exclusive IF, as a non-exclusive, they had gotten a lot of placements for me and IF there was a reversion clause. I would not accept a low income threshold on that reversion clause. I probably wouldn’t go longer than two years.

  18. I’m curious how many placements you guys have a month.

    I’ve only had 2 this month.

    1. I guess you have to define placements.

      I have anywhere from five to ten a day running on various TV shows. Mainly cable networks with a few majors. This is after five or six years of doing this. But if you go by dollar amounts, a couple of well placed placements a month could easily surpass the dollar amount of what I’m earning.

      1. Hey Art,
        Are you making enough to earn a living on placements or do you have to play live and do a ton of other things? Trying to get a feel for what’s possible in say 5 years very generally speaking of course.

        1. Hi Pat,

          First you have to define “earn a living”. I think I might hit $40k to $50k this year from music. Robin and I couldn’t live on it but fortunately we have sources of passive income that allow us to take a more relaxed approach to making music.

          At this point in my life I have a narrow comfort zone for making music. I’m not interested in episodic TV or film work. I am also not very aggressive at promoting my music. At my age (71) my outlook on life is much different than when I was younger. Point being is that those who are younger would probably have a very different approach and could be more successful at the five or six year mark.

          1. Hi Pat, I’m less than Art; two to three a day on various shows compared to his five to ten. I’ve been doing it longer but at the same time I did custom composition work not library related, engineered sessions for clients and etc. I created library tracks in-between these projects so my output is less.

            1. That’s great Michael. Just sounds like you took different approaches but have the same potential to make money one way or the other doing music which is what it’s about to me. I envy you guys but I’m working on it.

          2. I’m glad for you Art and anyone else able to do that. $40k to $50k to me is making a living. Not rolling in riches by today’s standards but if I were making that doing music, I’d be rolling in riches in spirit that’s for sure.

            1. Hey Pat,

              I’m at 16 …..
              for all of 2011

              HAHA, we have a long road ahead of us my cyber friend
              Back to the DAW

              1. Hey Alan!
                Is that $16.00 or 16 placements? I’ll take the 16 placements. I got the $16.00. I guess I could settle for $8.00 and 8 placements. lol

                1. @Pat,
                  10 different shows
                  16 episodes (a couple of episodes had more than one cue used)

                  My most recent cue sheet was for :16 on Saturday Night Live back in Dec 11. It aired again in Jan too. I didn’t even know they used library music. That one made me feel almost important, HA!

                  I also had 2 cues used in Last Call With Carson Daly for a total of 1:34. I’m curious about what that will pay.

                  The rest were cable shows.

                  I only have about 55 tracks so far though. Baby steps, right?

                2. You’re way ahead of me Alan. That’s impressive. We both have roughly the same number of tracks. I got my first BMI statement ever last month and there were two shows on it the AMsale Girls and MTV Extreme Cribs for a few seconds. I’m hoping the next statement has something on it to surprise me since apparently you don’t know till you get the statement.
                  Not alot of placements but you’re right, baby steps.

                3. Do you guys have more rock or Orchestral tracks for all these cable shows?

                  My library of about 100 tracks is mostly orchestral.

  19. I am a complete newbie, is there any posting describing the steps in order to begin. Things that make a library more marketable. The number of tracks for a beginner library?

    1. A good start for you might be in the Newbie FAQ. Go to the tab up top named Newbies and then in to the Newbie questions. Your answers may lay in there. Regardless, there is some good info and incite for you there.

  20. @woodsdenis
    “By what you guys are saying over there it seems that your rates are well below what they are in Europe.”

    Not sure why the difference. It must just be that these are the numbers the PRO’s have negotiated with the cable stations?

    1. @Michael Nickolas

      Probably right, In UK and Ireland mainly big commercial stations and state funded ones BBC and RTE. Any cable we get here is US not home based.

  21. I’ll throw this one out for advice,

    Looking for a decent 49 key midi controller. The 2 top candidates seems to be Akai MPK49 or M-Audio Axiom V2. Both seem to have issues. Any body using them or any other suggestions.


    1. Hey Denis! Sorry I can’t help with the midi controller question but thanks for your input on my stereo question. I couldn’t respond to it on the site for some reason. Very useful info.

      1. Tx mUSIC

        I have actually tried them both, they are what they are, however there are numerous reliability issues surrounding both of them hence the question. There doesn’t seem to be any alternatives or are there?

    2. Hey Denis
      Check out the user reviews here.
      I googled “49 key midi controller reviews” and got a bunch of reviews from people on the amazon site who own the different ones.
      I didn’t think it would be appropriate to post the actual link here since that would, in my view, amount to spamming here so google it under those terms for some input.

    3. Hi Denis,

      Make sure you check out the velocity curve specs of the M-Audio. I have an M-Audio Keystation 88 and really do not like it, except that it was extremely cheap. The keyboard feel is nothing like my old Fatar, and you have to hit the thing with a sledge hammer to get a velocity anywhere above 105-110.



    4. Denis,

      I’m using a Behringer UMX490 and couldn’t be happier with it. Have had no problems across a wide range of synths and DAWs. Multiple velocity curves, assignable knobs and buttons etc. Really great controller.

      Course, the Akai has drumpads which puts it in a different category.

  22. Hey Art! I know this is probably way off base but I thought it’s at least worth asking…Gearslutz has an ipad app for that site. What say you?

    1. Not off bass at all. I got into an iPhone and Android app awhile back and posted it somewhere here. It was basically an RSS feed and that’s easy enough to do (I think) without an app. One of these days I may dig into it again.

  23. Hi all: 2 questions.

    Firstly – what are considered the very top of the top music libraries? Id assume its DeWolfe and KPM and what else?

    Also, what are libraries that operate in the same fashion as PremiumBeat and have had similar payouts for you?

    Thanks a bunch

  24. One more question for the day. Anybody using a delta1010 soundcard or similar? I have a couple of peaces of outboard gear left over from before I started doing music in a DAW gathering dust because I haven’t yet figured out how to integrate it into my setup without getting some sort of feedback loop or just weird quality sound happening. I have a DBX 160sl compressor,the original Waves L2 hardware limiter and a vitalizer Mark2-T and a Apogee Rosetta 200 and a couple of distressors. Just not sure yet the best use fr them if at all ( I know the Rosetta and DBX are useful) just haven’t figured out the best use yet.
    If you had this stuff or equivalent, how would you integrate it?
    My workstation is an original Neko 64 by openlabs with the Delta1010lt soundcard.

    1. you have distressors? Blimey!
      From what I can gather from your questions I would sell all the -nice- hardware you have (bar the rosetta!) and just mix in the box with good plugins.. it really makes no sense to overcomplicate things for you.

      1. I’ve sold most of my hardware. Had a Maney Slam, Avalon eq’s and finalizers and all that and bought my Neko and some stock with the money.
        I know I’m always looking for new ways to use what I have so until I’m pressed for money where I really need to sell it, I’ll hold off and experiment with it. I’ve sold stuff in the past I wish I had kept.
        I’m not using this stuff for right now for the very reason you stated. I wanted simplicity but who knows, I may find a nice simple way of getting the best of both worlds without pulling my hair out doing it and integrate this stuff in a way that suits me…..or not then sell it.

        1. pat i want to know your hardware advisor πŸ™‚ … you got the best stuff for the wrong reasons.
          Distressors, hardware L2s are for mixing pros… not composers. composers buy other things first.

          Avalon on the other hand is just the stuff dreams are made of.. if you have an avalon pre amp keep it… a magical pre amp it’s not replaceable with any plug in as it’s not a good mike. Those two you should have.

          1. “you got the best stuff for the wrong reasons.”
            How can you say I bought the gear for the wrong reasons when I never stated the reasons?
            Fact is, I always preferred hardware till a few years ago when the Neko workstation came out. At the time I wasn’t impressed with software at all. It’s come a long way since.
            “Distressors, hardware L2s are for mixing pros… not composers. composers buy other things first.”
            Hey bio! Those sounds like “RULES” to me.:)
            I think we covered that. Besides I never said what else I have so maybe I already have the “other things first” composers buy. Not sure what other things you think I don’t have. Like what?
            I’m glad I bought what I did when I could because I can’t now and it’s good enough for whatever I decide to do maybe even become the pro you say it’s really meant for. lol

            1. If you want to learn how to drive would you buy a rocket ship first?

              Pat i’m not trying to prove any point here just to help you out and save you some valuable time, and money perhaps.

              From the question you asked here it’s clear that before learning how to use an exotic piece of gear you should get some basics covered first.

              Personally, I’m happy when someone more experienced than me take his/her time to give me any advice.

              And yes, when you start out rules are very good thing to have πŸ™‚

              But hey, to each its own… I wont bother you or anyone else here with more thoughts on mixing. all the best.

              1. Cmon now bio. Don’t take offense. None was intended. Put it this way. What’s a kid want when he starts out? A brand new kent guitar or what everybody else says is the snitt like a fender or Gibson Les Paul? I’m not saying they were the wises purchases I ever made but it sounded it good at the time in my life where I thought the most expensive and popular equipment would help make me well, expensive and popular. lol and better than the knowledge I didn’t want at a price I could afford…then.
                Not all my musical purchases were steeped in wisdom. Not all my purchases in anything were steep in purely logical terms. If I was that reasonable, I would probably be trying to do something else for the money I eventually hope to be doing this for.
                Your input is always welcomed and appreciated bio. No worries man.

  25. Stereo or mono for soft synths?
    Do you guys record soft synths on mono tracks or stereo. I’ve always used stereo tracks for recording all software synths like Omnisphere but after checking out some tracks on some of these library sights, I found that while my mixes are pretty ok but they lack some thickness, bigness and separation so I thought it it’s most likely some mixing 101 I’m lacking.
    I use Cubase which gives you the choice of setting up a stereo or mono track to record on. I think the general consensus on recording things like direct guitars or base is mono sources should be recorded to mono tracks for better panning clarity. I recently read that big stereo synth pad plugins are hard to pan because they are pretty much set up to sell more so than being the ideal preset for actual recording which makes sense to me.
    I’m wondering the same thing about vst drums like Superior drummer where they’re already recorded in stereo (I think) and I’ve always used stereo tracks for those BUT, I also read that the individual kit pieces for real drums like kicks should be in mono. Is all that already taken care of in plugins?
    Sorry for the rant but thoughts on any of this or even references to some decent explanations would be appreciated.

    1. library “sights”? “base” guitar? oops
      I just realized that it’s the audio tracks that give you a mono stereo choice not the midi tracks. I guess the midi tracks are automatically stereo by default. Now I’m really confused.

      1. hey pat midi per se has no mono or stereo.. you have to send the midi data somewhere eg a soft synth.
        If the target instrument is mono the midi channel will playback a mono sound, if the target instrument is stereo, then a stereo sound will be the outcome.

        1. “midi per se has no mono or stereo”
          Excellent point. I never realized that until I noticed this morning after posting the stereo mono thread that there was no mono stereo option given in Cubase like there is when setting up audio tracks.

    2. Hi Pat,

      First rule is: There are no rules!

      I always record in stereo but don’t necessarily always pan that way. I may pan to the center (stereo), left, right or in between. By recording in stereo I have options. I may also alter any effects and EQ that are on the patch (almost always).

      Real drums are always going to have a certain amount of stereo built in just from the bleed of the overheads, other drum mics or room mics. Lots of times those may be gated to cut down on bleed, especially mics on the toms. Once again no rules just your preference and every mix is different.

      Kick and bass, generally mono and center. Guitar mono but you might add a slight delay effect for the opposite pan position.

      I’ve engineered, produced and mixed literally hundreds if not thousands of live sessions and mixing can still drive me a little nuts!

      1. Hey Art,
        Thanks for the input.
        Yeah, I’ve always done things pretty much my way realize there are basically no rules in a broad sense but I also realize there are some basic self imposed rules (things we would do and things we would never do) that we establish for ourselves over time in order to get consistent results every time. Maybe I’ve established some crappy habits that is a never do for someone getting better results than me.
        Just feeling out what some of that might be. Cumulatively,that could be the difference between my results and your results. I want some of somebody elses results as well as my own. I’m greedy for better quality. Could be just little things adding up like rolling off low frequencies(or not)for more head room or louder clearer mixes just for example if you know what I mean.Things like that.
        I just picked the stereo question as a starting point plus it’s an easy fix if my way is the optimal way to get the best results (subjectively speaking ofcourse).

        1. “I just picked the stereo question as a starting point plus it’s an easy fix if my way is “NOT” the optimal way to get the best results.” sorry

          1. >Do you guys record soft synths on mono tracks or stereo.<

            As always, the answer is "it depends" which is not helpful at all. πŸ™‚ I find stacking stereo synth tracks can muddy up a mix and take away definition. So like Art I pan some stereo tracks. I find converting them to mono before panning can help a mix breathe.

            Art – I'd like to point Pat to a few articles I've published recently about mixing. If that's okay let me know. If not, just delete this part of my post. Thanks, Michael

            1. Hi Michael,
              Thanks for the input. Useful stuff.
              If posting the links is a problem maybe you can pm me.

              1. actually the answer is a resounding ‘yes’:) if you are recording Atmosphere always use stereo or the fx will be downmixed to mono which is horrible, you don’t want that…never convert to mono a stereo source, that’s a false solution.
                REAL analog synth it’s another matter altoghether they are mono from the outset most of the time so it makes no sense to record them stereo.
                In brief stereo source: keep it stero.
                Mono source: eg voice, bass, guitar analog synths keep it mono and add stereo with fx… this is just for starter the weird unorthodox stuff come later

                1. Ah yes biomicro. A yes and a why.Thanks. While I do subscribe to the no rules philosophy, an open mind is a virtue on both sides of the argument. Open mind to experiment and not restrict myself hence, no rules,but also an open mind to accepting tried and true methods that in a sense, become rules because they are tried and true. As long as it helps me create something better than I’m getting now, yet doesn’t stifle creativity or load me down with much more than I want to know at this later stage in my life I’m for it.
                  You can teach this old dog new tricks just don’t try and make me roll over. lol

                2. no worries… no rules is a rule only people that have followed the rules for a while can afford to take πŸ™‚

              1. Cool. An article I wrote called “Mixing and the Stereo Field” was published in Recording Magazine the November 2011 issue. And one called “Mixing Live Drum Tracks” was in the January 2012 issue. If you don’t subscribe here are links to purchase those back issues. Recording doesn’t provide back articles for free unfortunately.



                Also, check out “Mixing the Ultimate Guide” from the makers of “Computer Music”. I did not contribute to this but I have a copy and would recommend it.

                1. Nice Michael. You also just reminded me that I have a bunch of old Computer music and Music tech mmagazines probably close to 75 of them I had stored away when I quit doing music for a while some time ago. Time to dig them back out. The products may be dated but most of the recording articles are still relevant.
                  I completely forgot I had them. This’ll be like new again.
                  On top of that, I’m going to Red Lobster. I, I’m overwhelmed!

    3. Hey Pat,
      @Stereo or mono for soft synths?

      While I’m not really qualified to contribute here, I’m happy to share some things I picked up from one of my Berklee online instructors that works pretty well IMHO.

      -It is a good idea to limit your mix to one true stereo synth patch. You may have 2, 3, or 4 great sounds going on that are all great in stereo, but they will likely clutter up the mix and get muddy. Keep your favorite one centered in stereo and make the others mono. Then give each mono synth it’s own space in the stereo field.

      -We also analyzed some different pop mixes and learned that while drum kits are usually in full stereo (in either drummer perspective or audience perspective), it is also not uncommon to put drums/loops center/mono to make more room for vocals or instruments in the stereo field.

      Once again Pat, your post are right along the lines of where I am in this game. Thanks for your posts, and thank to all those responders that teach me so much.

      1. Good to hear from you Alan,
        Thanks for sharing that. This is THE site for this stuff. Bunch of people here willing to share without some of the condescending attitude I got sick of on some of the other blogs. The guys here (and girls) seem to respect that we’re not all at the same level in this business.
        Thanks folks. I don’t have to decide if my questions are good enough for the members here.

        1. Like most advise bio, you take what you can use and throw out the rest. Whether or not it does any good in my hands we’ll see but I’ll try it for free.

        2. @biomicro. “That berklee advice is really nonsense…”

          There are no hard and fast rules but dismissing it out of hand is “nonsense”. It also shows little respect for Alan’s well intentioned comment.

          1. @Art well why should alan be offended?… my comment was on berklee’s advice not alan’s

            and if you think about it you’ll see we’re saying exactly the same thing.

            no disrespect here, just trying to save the one of us who have less experience in the field of mixing a bit of time…

        1. convert to mono what exactly? that’s way too generic.. if it’s a softsynth VERY probably has fxs attached to…never convert to mono if you don’t know exactly what your doing.
          Letting a mix breathe has very little to do with how many stereo instruments you have and a lot to do with your mixing skills… πŸ™‚

          1. ” softsynth VERY probably has fxs attached to…never convert to mono”
            I actually ran across that statement in my google mix searches this morning that it could do some unwanted things in mono.

    4. Hi Pat

      I will answer your question about soft-synths hopefully.

      1. Record a stereo instrument in Stereo, even better let it run live in the mix if possible (see answer 3)
      2. Its not a question of mono or stereo, its about placement in the stereo field. I will use the Protools mixer channel as an example. On a stereo track you have a pan pot for each side L/R. This in enables you to narrow or offset the perceived stereo position. It may end up as a mono sound or any width of stereo you desire at any point in a L/R field.
      3. If a stereo soft synth “collapses” when you change its stereo width/field there are phase problems there. Not good. At this point if running live you can alter the source soft-synth as you change its stereo position.
      4. As Art said, there are no rules to this, if a stereo soft-synth it works in mono then it works in mono, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. This is a pointless debate.


      5. Experience has taught me over the years that more than a couple of stereo soft-synths playing at the same time usually will require positioning them at different places in the stereo field.

      I too have bought a few totally useless pieces kit LOL, Who hasnt?

  26. What I’m saying Pat is that a lot of these libraries waste huge amounts of composers time, as if our time in their eyes is useless.
    I’m sick and kind of offended seeing hords and hords of these non-exclusive libraries act like they are legitimately moving music and they aren’t getting any traffic at all on the internet. Your music will just sit there forever, and they don’t give a rats A that they just wasted your valuable time.
    A semi experience library composer says to himself,…
    “hey this library is making a killing off of my stuff and doing nothing, why don’t I just start up a library and waste stupid composers time that will submit and do all the dirty work of filling out metadata and I can site back and get 50% of their hardwork.”
    This is honestly what they think, so they start up a library and find out its incredible hard work, and they have not contacts or business. So they don’t do anything with it.

    Brand new non-exclusive libraries need to offer compensation for the time you spend uploading and data entering.

    Its composers screwing composers time when a new non ex library comes about.
    So all I was saying is its most likely not worth the effort.
    Even if this library has been around for ages its not moving music.
    But who knows, maybe all of a sudden it will strike a deal with Universal right?

    I just joined a non-exclusive library and he is just starting out. I thought what the heck I’ll send him my non-ex library because I don’t have to fill out data. But THEN…he writes back and is seriously picky about 15 of the tracks and very politely asks if I could edit them. Probably a whole days worth if not more of editing. I should’ve said…well are you going to pay me, because no offense but you have no track record, do you think my time is useless and I’ll work for you for free???? I wish I could say this library’s name, but he was a nice guy at least. But clearly thinks composers will work for free!

    1. I hear what you’re saying J but that’s wasn’t where I was going with my inquiry right now. I may or may not follow through after they’ve listened to my tracks but it would have more to do with pricing and splits than anything else right now.
      This is what their traffic is looking like.
      I like to do a little due diligence when I can on the sites I’m checking out then come here if I can’t find it or don’t understand something.

    2. There’s a trend on this forum that is troubling — library bashing by discontented writers. The current myth is that library owners just sit back and collect money from writers’ “hard” labor.

      Here’s the sad reality J3h43f4…composers ARE a dime a dozen. Actually, let me clarify that writers trying to license music are a dime a dozen and, depending upon the genre, perhaps five cents a dozen. The current market conditions exist simply because of the number of writers competing for a finite amount of work.

      There is far more music out there than there is need, and much of it is not useable.
      Why would you not want to “waste” a whole day of your time if it would make your music more marketable?

      1. Well said Michael. My post had nothing to do with the state of the library business. All I asked was if a libraries adoption of this technology connecting it with sites like YouTube and Vimeo would somehow cause problems with composer rights. That’s all. The response to me did not seem to be even the slightest attempt to answer my question but rather an opportunity to vent in general terms. Most would almost call it high jacking where you change the subject to make it your own.
        Not saying J3h43f4 did or didn’t have a valid point but it definitely was an irrelevant one based on my original question.
        I just didn’t feel like going there and instead waited for a more helpful and relevant answer to my question which I got.

        1. Hi Pat,

          I understood what your question was, and it seemed to me that J3h43f4 was venting in the wrong direction.

          Despite all of the competition it IS possible to do well in this business. Just look at a writer like Mark Petrie. But, when people don’t do well they blame the libraries. Composers rarely look at their own work and ask themselves if it is useable or if the quality is good enough.

          You have sought to increase your knowledge and to improve your product from day one. That’s something that’s I really respect about you Pat.

          Best of luck,


      2. Library bashing for the sake of it is pointless, There absolutely no definitive answer to the exclusive/non exclusive debate. The great thing about this site that it has given info on ALL libraries. There are great RF/non exclusives out there as well as terrible ones. We all should know this by now from a brief reading of this site alone.

        It is only common sense, with the proliferation of cheaper recording that there is loads of music out there. The question every composer needs to ask him/herself is what can I do to improve and make myself stick out from the crowd.

        IMHO the libraries to go for, whether they be exclusive or not are the ones out there already with a track record. They have a huge advantage over others, its called clients. Like any business you build up a client base. I know for a fact on Audiosparx I have sold to the same client multiple times. This kind of operation takes time and effort.

        Either way Pat, keep asking questions its the only way to learn. I think the most dangerous assumption anyone can make, in this fast moving business is that they definitively know the answer, or worse, to make a blanket judgement on something.

        1. “The question every composer needs to ask him/herself is what can I do to improve and make myself stick out from the crowd.”

          You are exactly right, Denis. To that I would add..that writers need to do their homework. If dance music only accounts for 3% of library’s sales, and all that you produce is dance music don’t blame the library if your tracks don’t sell. It’s a reflection of the market (their client base). That goes for any genre.

      3. Michael you only skimmed my post and didn’t really understand what I was saying.

        You missed my point completely.

        If you read my post again you’ll see that your actually agreeing with my post.

        My post was against composers trying to start brand new libraries and asking for composers time for free.

        You thought I was just library bashing when it was more specific than that. True I shouldn’t have derailed Pats request but I was just trying to save him bloody time.
        Woods agrees with me…
        “IMHO the libraries to go for, whether they be exclusive or not are the ones out there already with a track record.”

    1. They have no internet activity, and they only accept submissions through snail mail. They are from Greece.

      1. Actually, they do accept by sending a link which I did but I was more concerned about the connection with them and the link I posted an what it means.

        1. Hey Pat, It looks like new software they have that connects youtube(or similar site) with their site, which allows the client to test songs in their productions. I don’t think it has anything to do with contentid or similar services. That’s what I got out of it.

          Audiosparx has something called “studio download privileges” not exactly the same but the same concept.

          I don’t think it would devalue the music, just a tool to help the end user.

  27. When a company in general whether it’s exclusive or non-exclusive, gives a brief for a pitch, is it typical you just submit with what you have or should one be asking for demo fee? Or now day and age, is this unheard of asking for a fee? Or is this something you ask when you are just freelancing on your own and dealing directly with client yourself? Just trying to get a feel on this area.

    1. I never heard about anyone asking for a demo fee.
      Usually when you see a brief you send what the that brief is asking for.
      Non-Exclusive/Exclusive is a non issue.

  28. Hi!
    I have a question regarding rf libraries… I’ve had a couple approach me asking for my full catalog but I had been submitting only instrumental pieces or public domain covers to the royalty free libraries. Most of my catalog is singer/songwriter stuff. I didn’t know if it lowers the value of my songs (that are in non-exclusive libraries) to have them in rf collections or if those licensing companies are catering to an entirely different audience. Anyone have any advice on this?
    Thanks so much!!

    1. Emma

      All RF libraries are not equal. AudioJungle is NOT remotely the same model as Audiosparx for instance. If you are talking about selling songs or intrumentals for $1 then yes it does devalue your music in liisencing terms. This is why the bigger RF sites won’t use tracks from the “bargain basement ” ones.

    2. “I didn’t know if it lowers the value of my songs (that are in non-exclusive libraries) to have them in rf collections”

      That is a tough question. Are the songs that are in non-exclusive libraries earning decent sync license fees?

      My thinking is this, lately, sync fees have dried up. Non-exclusive libraries are making blanket deals with production companies and the only money composers see is backend royalties. My average royalty for a blanket cable TV placement based on the ASCAP statement out a few days ago is $1.56. If I sell the same track on a RF site say for $40.00 and keep 1/2 of that or $20.00 I make more than ten times the $1.56. My reasoning may be flawed and I would want to be the LAST person to devalue music, but the math seems to say that the value favors RF. And, music sold at an RF site could also earn backend money.

      I did have a couple CBS placements earning much more than $1.56. But that was via an exclusive contract. And I do still get the occasional decent sync fee. In the case of those fees, I suppose I could have lost out if they found it on a RF site for $40.00. And I DON’T want to devalue any music by offering it cheap. But until all composers and libraries insist on collecting sync fees, this is where we stand. Isn’t it? Does a track earning $40.00 at an RF site have more value than a track earning $1.56 for the writer and $1.56 for the publisher?

      1. @ Mike:
        I’m agreeing with you here.Remember these publishers are making
        deals and getting front end fees as well.None for the writers.
        I’ve seen some articles recently about more royalties for writers though.
        PRO’s have agreed to pay out more.
        I don’t know how many more pennies will be added to writers share of the pie.
        And so the micro money goes.The pennies metal is worth more than the penny itself.

        1. @Dan and @Michael – thanks so much for the answer! That makes a lot of sense. I’ve had a handful of good placements from the non-exclusives but nothing very steady. I am pretty new to the whole royalty-free thing so I truly appreciate your input.

          1. Hello michael sync fees have dried up for everyone, majors or esclusive included.

            Everyone does blanket licence, every major brodcaster has one, so if you are published by anyone else than you, you will fall into it.

            the only tiny pasture left is royalties (which in my opinion shouldn’t be called backend royalties), one time usage fee (hence the retitling business models) and perhaps the more promising one, fees attached to single downloads through apps…

            Roaylties are dieing a slow death unfortunately

      2. Hi Michael

        $1.56 is the reality. (you should know, you wrote the book). Why so many writers see licensing as a path to riches, or even earning a living. I don’t know why.

        About 10 years ago, I placed a cue on Good Morning America, and they used the WHOLE TRACK. It paid a few hundred dollars. However, with a lot of shows today, editors use only snippets of a cue, maybe 10 or 15 seconds. That only pays pennies. The shortest cue that I’ve been paid for was ONE SECOND in Jesse James Hidden Treasure on the History Channel.

        That is why I’ve said, and other have said, it’s a “numbers game.” If you want to make 50K per year, you need 1000 cues that each generate $50 per year. That’s sort of a crude formula, but it’s the general idea. Individual cues that make a lot of money are rare.



        1. “About 10 years ago, I placed a cue on Good Morning America, and they used the WHOLE TRACK. It paid a few hundred dollars”

          I’ve probably mentioned it here before but 10 years ago it was the soaps for me. A minute or more feature placement with vocals could earn eight or nine hundred. We can’t live in the past but the $1.56 for 10 seconds reality is depressing.

          “That is why I’ve said, and other have said, it’s a β€œnumbers game.” ”

          It’s kind of ironic. Part of the problem of devaluation is there is too much music out there but the solution is to create more music…

          1. @ Michael Nickolas

            Have the PRO rates gone down or is it just less music is used in the States. By what you guys are saying over there it seems that your rates are well below what they are in Europe. I understand you have a lot of cable channels etc.
            An interesting fact is that a big Saturday night show in the UK will get 15 million plus viewers. I dont think your biggest shows (excluding The Superbowl ) get those kind of numbers despite being 5 times the population. Too many channels ?

          2. HI Michael,

            There’s a huge difference between 60 seconds on a soap (network broadcast) with vocals and 10 seconds of non-vocal background music on cable.
            1) Network pays far more than cable
            2) Music with vocals pays far more than non-vocal background music
            3) 60 seconds, obviously more than 10 seconds

            60 seconds of vocal music on a network broadcast probably still pays 100’s of dollars. And 10 seconds on a cable channel may be only $1.56.
            I looked at some old statements :01 in Jesse James Hidden Treasure on the History Channel paid from $.01 to $.40, depending on the time of day. :20 in Four Weddings on the Learning Channel paid $.94 to $1.88, depending on the time of day.
            That’s the reality of it. So, if a show airs 10 times, you might make $20.

            1. Another reality of this business is that catalogs “age.” Some music has a shelf life. As such, royalties for some music, particularly “trendy” music will diminish over time as tastes change. 10 years from now Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars soundalikes will be gathering dust. Changes in technology will also result in a catalog sounding “old.”

  29. Just got my best ever ascap statement today and just had a quick question. At the end there’s a section called ‘symphonic concerts.’ I have one song listed under here and under performer/orchestra it says ‘Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.’ Does that mean the orchestra actually performed my song during a concert? Or that my song was played before or during an intermission at their concert?

    1. Depends on the production company who is producing the show for TLC, if are you talking about the in house shows, that I don’t know.

    2. What I do know is a lot of shows on TLC use library music. I’ve had placements on TLC through Scorekeepers and Jingle Punks. My placements have been via library blanket deals. I can’t speak to anything else… Don’t know enough.


  30. How about web detections? I thought I would be getting a ton of those when I signed up for web detections but so far nothing. Its only been about 2 weeks.

    1. None for me either. I think it may go by file names (don’t quote me). As mine are titled differently than Tunesat maybe I’ll never see any. Been meaning to e-mail and ask them.

  31. [mUSIC: “Even if it misses some unique performances, you will have a nice surprise in your PRO statement.”]

    True, but the main reason I am paying for the service is to detect the cues that don’t get reported to my pro.

    Like everyone said though, it’s not perfect, but much better that not monitoring at all.

    1. Yes, I agree.
      But what can you do? You have to go with the flow.
      I myself not using their services anymore because it was too pricey for me (over 300 cues).

  32. Just curious if anyone finds that tunesat misses some performances? I had a new detection for a bbc america show called no kitchen required.

    I went to get a little more info on the bbca website and see that the episode aired three times before the one tunesat detected.

    What have your experiences with tunesat been?

    1. I really love Tunesat, but it got some bugs and sometime not all is detected. Its normal.

      1. Thank you both. I am not concerned about the missed dupe performances, but I would expect that if it misses some dupes, it may miss some unique performances also.

        Good thing, most shows are played many times, so I guess the chances of them being detected are good πŸ™‚

        1. i had a track placed multiple times on a few episodes of “The Voice” (NBC) this season & last, Those episodes played and replayed numerous times through the week up until a couple of weeks ago- TuneSat didn’t detect any of them. Could have been the crowd noise mixed in with the song, but TuneSat claims that won’t have an affect. Seems that’s not always the case.

        2. Even if it misses some unique performances, you will have a nice surprise in your PRO statement.

          1. Yep- the cue sheets are all there, so I’m good with that. I find, like most, that there are so many factors to licensing- it’s not perfect, and may never be, but keeping the numbers up and continuing to create and branch out are the keys to “success”. It’s all about “failing your way to the top!”

            1. Yep, just keep writing new music and everything will fall into place(ment) πŸ™‚

              1. By the way, seanm, can I ask what kind of music The Voice used?
                I hear a lot of score type of music that get played forever, man…those are a lot of royalties on NBC.

                1. I received an email from Jingle Punks that some of my tracks were pitched to the voice and *may* be used on the series.

                  My cues are rock, electronica and roots types stuff.

                2. I have one piece that has been used a few times on The Voice that’s dark rock orchestral with a 4 on the floor kick drum. They use it on a segment called The Battles (according to Tunesat).

                3. I think I heard that Art!
                  Very good stuff.

                  I’ve also received this email from JP, but no placements yet, I make mainly Pop Dance and RnB…if anyone heard anything please tell me. Thanks!

  33. With most music libraries nowadays.

    Your music is only good for Cable Tv Shows and Free Promos.
    Thus the lovely ‘blanket license deal’. How sweet it is!!!!

    But for whom is the question I ask.

  34. sure.

    Just for kicks..

    Here is a major supervisor going under an ‘alias’
    But all the music supervisors know who …
    They interact with him all day long.!/fauxmusicsupe

    Actually kind of cool since he is alias.

    He holds no punches and gives good insight on the other sight of the coin.

    Most other supervisor tend to speak indirectly on their twitter feeds when they are frustrated at library practices.
    Cause the accounts are under there actual names

    Nevertheless they are speaking out.

    1. Okay, I read through a bunch of his/her tweets. So that’s my alternative? Dealing with someone that’s so full of themselves and tweets peppered with profanity. Uh, no thanks, I’d rather sit it out.

      1. Art,

        Which would you have

        A person who curses and tells the truth about the business

        or someone who tweets nothing and says placement
        $40.00 after waiting 9 months.

        $40.00 for 9 months wait is crazy.,lol

        How can you defend it.
        That is backwards hustling

        You will defend it, cause you accept it.

        Once enough composers realize it isn’t worth the meta data time & effort
        to “SOME” of these so-called libraries. Then things will change.

        As long as you continue to just accept the status quo… then you deserve what you get.

          1. I reworked my strategy. It is effective too.
            I would suggest you do the same.

            Everyone take is different. But there are ways. You have to do your research and stay consistent.

            Remember this is the age of the internet
            The opps are out there, you just got to find them.

            Ther is a difference in the reward/payoff.

            It ain’t waiting for $40.00 Bucks

            1. Ok, so you reworked your strategy and suggest we do the same. The same as what?
              If you wrote half as much about your strategy as you did for your criticism, maybe we could do what you did as you suggest. So how about some bullets outlining what the plan is that’s working so well for you and we can pick out what we can use.

              1. and this is why the ole saying goes…

                “THE GAME IS TO BE SOLD, NOT TOLD.”

                Cause, you can help people all day to the fact
                of reality and they will STILL do what they want.

                Called a troll and everything else in the book simply cause you are showing them why the biz is messed up, Crazy!

                Good luck.. No hard feelings. I’m a Keep it moving
                Do you!, peace

                1. “β€œTHE GAME IS TO BE SOLD, NOT TOLD.”
                  Sounds like a cop out but good luck.

        1. When you have high profile companies like Bank Robbers paying attention to him/her that ought to tell you something..

          So who cares if he curses. Curse away. Just tell the truth!

          1. cool,

            He just asked me to send some tracks on his twitter, But I don’t think it is wise for me to expose myself either too much. lol

            I guess people were watching the convo yesterday.
            Good talk indeed.
            It really is a small world

            But glad you taken that position.Art
            Just trying to help, even if it is not popular.

    2. @bigg rome

      1) I suspect that you’re actually a troll.

      2) Is this really news to you? There have been numerous discussions on this forum about non-exclusive licensing companies doing blanket deals from which writers profit very little. It is a well known occurrence.

      4) There has been many discussions about the negative side of re-titling on this forum. So, now that you’re seeing what a purported music supervisor actually thinks about re-titled music AND the quality, or sometimes lack thereof, it’s a shock to you?

      5) You appear to be lumping all non-exclusive libraries into the same category. Royalty free libraries, like Music Loops, Partners in Rhyme, AudioSparx, Shockwave etc., should be outside the
      scope of your diatribe. Blanket license deals aren’t part of their model.

      6) From my perspective, I never refer to a company like Jingle Punks, or Music Dealers as a “Library.” I think of them a licensing agents. BIG DIFFERENCE.

      1. Tomato / Tomato… u want to be so smart, but you sound ignorant.

        They are libraries PERIOD, You know it. I know it.
        Cmon stop with the games

        also I said Some,

        This is worse than the conservative /liberal fights.
        This country is a mess. lol

        1. “Tomato / Tomato… u want to be so smart, but you sound ignorant.”

          No Bigg Rome. IMO, they are not Libraries. A traditional library owns the music in its catalog, and usually pays the writer upfront.

          Companies, like Jingle Punks, Crucial, etc ARE licensing agents. That IS what they do, they represent, but DO NOT OWN, your tracks.

          I have not put any music in retitling companies. I prefer to maintain ownership / control of my catalog.

          1. Technically Jingle Punks is a retitling company as they add JP to the end of all your track titles πŸ™‚

            1. There seems to be some terminology confusion IMHO. A library (or licensing company) offering a blanket license to a client is not a “gratis” deal. It many cases such as with JP or Scorekeepers, the writer does not share in any upfront fee. However, the writer does get the full Writer’s Share of PRO royalties.

              It is the same as a deal such as with MTV where $0 master/sync is paid to the writer and it’s all on the back end.

              “Gratis”, in theory, would mean the writer gets absoultely nothing for the placement.

              I’m not saying it’s GOOD that so many deals involve no upfront money. But laws of supply and demand have driven licensing fees downward. Many times a placement is back end only to the writer. Higher end placements (prime time network, feature films, ads) still have license fees but run of the mill cable TV BG instrumentals often don’t.

            1. just for these comments i am about to reach out to him.
              Never know what can happen. lets see.

                1. FauxMusicSupe
                  Hi I’m PJ Von Golubic. If you’re not smart enough to realize this is satire, there’s a job opening for you at Jinglepunks. DM me some jokes

                  Has nobody noticed this is at the top of his twitter feed, this is all a joke !!!!!

                2. wooddenis

                  If he/her is Fake. It will be found out here.

                  If he/her is Real.. It will be found out here.

                  There is a saying..

                  The “STREETS IS WATCHING” -Jay Z

                  lets just relax & see what happens.

    3. I agree, it’s reading what all the supes are saying that has me rethinking a lot. I, for one, would be interested in hearing about your reworked strategy.

      1. This is what he told me when I asked the same thing above.

        Cause, you can help people all day to the fact
        of reality and they will STILL do what they want.

        How’s that for sharing his strategy?

  35. I posted a question on the JP site asking for clarification. The link is

    Copy and paste below.

    I understand that in some cases JP has offered gratis licenses to certain clients. To better track my music, I recently subscribed to Tunesat. The service has been effective, and I am getting reports of various places my cues have been used, but have not shown up in my PRO statement.

    My question is this. I believe there will be some placements that fall under the gratis licensing that may not be required by the client to submit a cue sheet. Is that correct?

    If so, how would I know which client may be part of this deal, so I do not contact my PRO to report the discrepancy between the PRO statement and my Tunesat detections?

    This isn’t a question about the pro’s and con’s of gratis deal, just a logistical question.

  36. This is THEFT!

    Composer should be compensated for their copyrwritten work.
    Play the game ..please

    That is why nothing changes cause – scared money don’t make money.
    Some of these so called non exclusive libraries are getting away with murder.

    Yet all the real money opps go to them and thier own composers.


    In the coming more composer realize they aren’t getting any money
    They are gonna leave these libraries thus making them go out of business.

    There has to be a new model coming. esp with TuneSat now being in the picture.

    I call a major foul on all these bottom feeding libraries.

    I spot the game .

    1. Collect a whole bunch of songs

    2. Get a blanket license deal

    3. Sit back and relax collecting the dough

    4. Composer gets screwed.

    I think it time for an awakening, Folks!

    1. copyrighted,
      not “copywritten”.

      and I didn’t know I was just “sitting back and relaxing and collecting dough” as you so eloquently put it.
      It sure feels like a full day of work for me everyday.
      And when I pay out more than $27,000 to our 122 composers every month it sure feels like they are earning money.

      Good luck rallying the troops for your “awakening”.


        don’t catch feelings, cause I’m calling out what many know to be true.

        slang = copywritten

        Please, by the time the splits happens composer are not getting much.

        Tell that to a novice. Music Supervisor are laughing at some of you so called libraries.,lol

        A quick twitter search will show this

        1. Can you post a link to some twitter statuses that show them laughing at particular libraries?

  37. Many networks pay between $200 – $800 per use to put a “cue” (not song) on a promo. This is to offset any possible lack of PRO reporting. Not saying any monies were paid to JP whatsoever, just wanted to add some information…

  38. Tunesat detected that same promo and another track of mine on fuse. The second track was used twice. Funny thing, those same two tracks are the ones I know have been placed in actual shows.

    It seems like only those two songs are getting any traction, showing up on shows like Moonshiners, American Stuffers and Flipping Out.

    I guess this brings up another question. With a service like tunesat, the power of information is slowly coming to the composer. How do I know which detections should be pursued with my PRO if they never show up on a cue sheet and which ones are part of the blanket gratis deal and to let slide?

    1. Just because they are blanket deals it doesn’t mean you will not get paid PRO monies. It’s the promos you might not get paid on. I listen to them on Tunesat and you can usually hear if they are promos for other shows. Also, many times, the very short detections on Tunesat are promos. Then again it depends on the network on whether you will get paid. BMI will tell you which ones they are collecting on. Don’t know about the other PROs.

  39. let me get this right ? ….. no payment at all ? [ assuming it’s the JP blanket license ]. If JP gets paid royalties for the blanket license that involves Greg’s track that was actually used , promo or not , shouldn’t Greg get something at least ? especially if JP gets royalty payment for that ? Or maybe I don’t understand what’s happening here ? I havn’t dealt with a blanket license before.

    1. I am not sure JP getting paid for this blanket either.
      This is something composers should take in account with JP.
      JP says that because they use it for a promo, that is more likely they gonna use other tracks of your for in show placement (that pays) because they noticed you and love your tracks. I think it is a reasonable price to pay.

      1. I’ve been encountering that ” carrot on a stick ” for 40 years , some things will never change, LOL ! And that carrot has been used longer than I ‘ve been alive and longer. I hope you snag that carrot mUSIC , and if you do, good for you ! But like I said, I never been involved with a blanket license before so maybe that particular carrot does get a few bites taken out of it. Yes Art , games games games , isn’t it πŸ™‚

        1. I think blanket is good for instrumental music, if you have a lot of tracks, like libraries do, its a good deal. But if you are a composer with only 20 tracks, I can understand…
          Anyway, Art is right, you need to play the game, they have the power (production companies) so you do what they like to do, especially now, where there’s so much music out there.

    2. Unfortunately a lot of games are played to get on some of these shows. Sometimes the libraries get caught between what the production companies demand. That could mean giving some freebies for some shows to get paid placement on others.

      A couple of years ago I gave up half writers because the production company wanted all the publishing income. I ended up splitting the writers with the library but only for that show. Fortunately that show runs constantly and generates some decent money.

      This kind of stuff goes on all the time in the record business and has been for years!

  40. Yep, this is a JP placement. I suspected this type may never generate any $ for me, based on comments I have read here and on the JP help forum.

  41. I’m confused. He had a track played on the Fuse Network and he shouldn’t expect money? I think he’ll get a little at least.

    1. Its depends where the music came from, if it came from Jingle Punks , Jingle Punks got a blanket (royalties only) agreement with Fuse that allow Fuse to use any track they like to.

  42. I had a tunesat detection that came up during a Fuse show called the top 100 sexiest videos (episode 6). Listening to the clip, it sound like a Fuse promo/interview thing. Something about Michel Buckley on special assignment for digitour.

    Sounds like a promo useage and not actually in the show. I am registered with ascap and was reading a bit on their page about how commercial and promo placements work, but am not totally clear.

    I am not sure if I need to register my work as a commercial (which it isn’t right now). I am also not sure if this type of use doesn’t always get detected/payed via the PRO. I think they only monitor for commercial and promo use during specific periods.

    If anyone has experience with this, I would appreckate any advice.

    1. Are you with Jingle Punks? Sounds like the placement came from them.
      I had a lot like those, promo placements. Don’t expect any money out of it.
      You do not have to register anything like this.
      And yes, ASCAP do survey’s at specific times, I don’t know if Fuse are part of their survey’s, but again, don’t expect any money.

    2. I had a bunch of placements on Fuse with no PRO money. They were promos and BMI does not collect on promos on all channels. They are adding more all the time though.

  43. ” adapting to how the game is at this time and moving forward ” ….. I think what has to be done is that artists have start playing the game more by saying ” no ” as what this thread seems to be saying right now , which is good to see. Yes, IF there is enough ” NOs ” the artists can change the playing field a bit. I was recently offered an exclusive deal from a reputable library for some of my tunes , the typical deal, no upfront , blah blah blah ! I said NO and gave the reasons why which coincides with what some are saying on here. I told them if they can find me a crystal ball that actually worked I may consider it. They took that statement well and decided to use the same tracks and others on a non exclusive deal. I know it’s wishful thinking having artists take a stand but I feel good about doing my part by saying ” no ” because it’s a crappy deal for the artist. “Adapting to the game and moving forward” is just a way of having everything fall right into their lap without a worry on their part , they know this and take advantage of it and that type of philosophy is one of the reasons why we’re in this particular situation. I was seriously thinking about going exclusive with some of my material but I’ve decided not to because it’s simply a crappy deal [ the type of exclusive deals we’re talking about ]. Just my opinion about this and how I’m dealing with it.

    1. This is good to see.
      I’ve turned down a few exclusive deals with no up front fee as well and I think that this need to be done by others too. Unless you are scoring to picture and know 100% your music will be on, than OK.

      Guys that are new to this will take any deal offered to them, and I understand it, but if you are experienced composer, you cannot agree to this.

      I will love to see a response from an exclusive library owner here, but I think its far from happening.

  44. I get upfront money from a couple of exclusive libraries but was recently branching out and I can’t believe the number of exclusive libraries that don’t pay up front money.

    What are they thinking? You write a phenomenal epic trailer piece just to stick it in ONE library with no upfront money and no guarantee its going to be used.

    With upfront money you know the exclusive library is going to license that track because they want to get that money back.

    Why are there so many exclusive libraries that think we are all suckers?? Is it because most of us are suckers? We need to stop giving tracks to exclusive libraries without an upfront production fee.

    People say audiojungle and istockphoto are ruining the market, but come on have you heard the production quality on these sites? Music directors know this and stay clear of low tier sites…I say whats devaluing our market is giving your music to exclusive libraries without upfront money.

    Lets say you have 50 cues in an exclusive library. You think the library is good because they have had about 100 strong placements.
    Yet they have 3000 cues in their arsenal. That gives you a 1.6 percent chance of getting a placement. Which means if they’ve been in business for 10 years, and you’ve been with them 10 years, you will only get ONE good placement in 10 years! The numbers vary from library to library as you know, but my point is….

    Why are you putting your cues in exclusive libraries if your getting no upfront production fee? Clearly a lot of you are doing this as I see these exclusive libraries have a plentiful selection.

    1. J3h43f4,
      I’m relatively new in the business, 50-ish cues in a handful of non-exclusives. Thank you for this post. I hope to give some exclusives a try in the next year or two and this is good food for thought if I every get accepted into one.

    2. Thanks for that comment. I couldn’t agree more and why I usually stay away from any exclusive contracts that do not pay upfront monies unless it’s short (2 years) and with a reversion clause. Even at that I’m very leery.

    3. My understanding, is that some of these exclusives are offering a sync fee split, in lieu of upfront money.

          1. Something we should understand is that even if you do get upfront money from an exclusive library, there is still no guarantee that it will get placed. The libraries know this all too well, which is why more of them are turning to 2 year reversion clause instead of paying anything upfront.

            I’ve also seen a number of non-exclusive libraries moving towards the exclusive model simply because more of their clients just don’t want to deal with non-exclusive (retitling ) libraries. Many of these libraries are at least offering you the choice to either go exclusive or non-exclusive.

            1. Non-exclusives are not going away IMHO. Of course all these Non-exclusives are offering exclusive. Why wouldn’t they, in doing so they are building up their database while starving the competition. And they use the excuse that “one of our clients has a problem with non-exclusive”, and “everything’s moving to exclusive.”

    4. Some of the exclusive libraries that I am signed to offer sync fees, but I have not made any money that way yet. Many libraries now offer blanket licenses to customers willing to spend a few thousand dollars. This increases the chances of a placement since the customer has access to a larger pool of tracks. But this also means no upfront money for composers.

      I have given up hope for making a sync fee these days. I have also given up hope for making an upfront fee from an exclusive library. Many customers do not buy single licenses as much anymore. This means that many music libraries do not have the money to acquire songs for a fee or even give out a sync fee to composers.Β 

      I know that composers feel that working with exclusive companies that only offer PRO royalties is bad. But I personally do not know of any other way to make money from licensing music. I plan on adding 50 cues to exclusive libraries by the end of the year. Not one pays an upfront fee, but they do offer 50% splits for sync fees. I do not have the power to change things. I am just adapting to how the game is at this time and moving forward.Β 

    5. I agree with you 100%!!!

      I’ve just offered a ridiculous deal: 50$ per track and only 50% writers share. What people are thinking? And this is for a library that supply music to a major network show.

      I think that if a library want to be exclusive and offer music to the high end clients, even if no sync fee is involved, they need to pay up-front money. If they work good they will get their investment back in the form of royalties.

      They need to earn the right to be exclusive and that’s to pay an up front fee. So see what happen, exclusive library that do not pay an up-front fee to the composer, have their cake and eat it too because:
      1) They get the major clients NBC CBS ABC (bigger royalties)
      2) Music that no one have
      3) Do not pay for the music

      Non-exclusive library:

      1) Low end clients-cable networks (less royalties)
      2) Music that other companies have
      3) Do not pay for the music

      See, who you think is making more money?
      We need to be smart.


      1. “Non-exclusive library:

        1) Low end clients-cable networks (less royalties)”

        Uh, not necessarily true.

        I have non-exclusive music running on major networks and higher paying cable networks!

        1. Yes me too, but now it seems that major networks are avoiding non-exclusive libraries.

          I love the non-exclusive model, I think its the most fair model after the exclusive up-front fee model.

          Jingle Punks for example are one of those non-exclusive libraries that gets major network placements all the time.

      2. $50 a track and 50% writers share? I don’t understand, are you writing it all, or are they writing some?

        1. I am the only one writing.
          Sometimes companies will want some of the writer share in order to make more money.

          1. I’ll have to eat my words on this as I had said I would never do a split writer unless it was a big name artist.

            I realize I did do that a couple of years ago to get on a show. Fortunately it worked out well as the cues get used constantly and the split is only good for that show. What a legal morass that could become, though the contract is very specific.

  45. Hello I’m with PRO libraries so I can’t sell on Audiojungle or istockphoto? These libraries get huge traffic. What if I do?

  46. Hi Alex

    If you mean by sell, to give up your entire copyright and interest in them, I would never ever do that.
    If a library owner is interested then surely you can do a deal. Always retain at least 50 % of publishing pot unless its for Adele,Beyonce or Katy Perry. TBH deals like this always sound dodgy unless you are talking about a LOT of money.

  47. I am a music composer and musician with almost six hundred songs in my personal library.My question is this. I have a deal with a music library for all my songs, but the owner is interested in a buy out of all my music. So, how much is my library worth. I write much psybient, ambient, space music, industrial, and Persian electronic music.
    I just would rather sell out, because for almost five years I have been promoting my music every where, and ran out of options, should I sell out. How much would my songs be worth?

    1. If by “buy out” you mean publishing AND writers, think long and hard. That’s not a great deal.

      Even If you’re just selling the publishing rights alone you’re talking about a number in excess of
      six (6) figures. If they’re not offering that kind of money for 600 tracks, you’re being ripped off,
      and they’re not serious, or hoping that you are a fool. IMHO.

      Get a lawyer, BEFORE you get taken for a ride.

    2. If you are a writer in it for the long term and do not want to cash out then never give up your writers share. I have received this advise from quite a few professional writers with many number one hits under their respective belts. If you are selling one song and giving up the entire pie, both publishers and writers share, then $500 to $1000 is what I have been offered in the past. BUT, I have never sold a song lock, stock , and barrel. Consider how much time you put into your great songs. Is it 20 hours for the music, 20 hours for the lyric, 10 hours for the recording? $500 is a steal and the publishers/music libraries know it. Based on that formula you are working for $10/hr.

    3. That is an easy question to answer. If you are in love with all 600 of your songs then you should not take the deal. If you only love 200 of your songs, keep.those and sell the rest.

      Many people here will tell you to take the long term view of your music career before signing over any music. That is great advice. But you should also diversify by doing quick deals that net upfront money. I can guarantee you that all 600 of your songs are not the best.

      I have a few hundred songs in music libraries. I already know that half will never be licensed. Many that are licensed will net a few bucks. A handful will pull in most of the money. I would have loved to sell a hundred songs for a $20,000 gain. I would have used that money to reinvest in equipment, join some music organizations, attend some workshops to network with other professionals, and saved a few bucks for a rainy day. Waiting for a royalty check isn’t the only reward in the music business.

      Think about selling some of your catalog outright and investing your money back into your music career. Corporations sell off assets and invest those profits back into the business. That is a better long term investment than holding on to the asset while it isn’t making money. You as a composer are a business. You have to invest in yourself.

      Congrats on your deal!

  48. First off, thank you all so much for your comments and, Art, for this library in the first place!

    I am pretty happy with the libraries I’m in right now but they all seem to be more geared toward internet, film and t.v. Are there any that do more ad work that you would recommend looking into?
    Thanks so much!

      1. Thank you, Art! I’d started to upload music to them but had issues with their system and got overwhelmed. But I think I’ll try again, in light of this! πŸ™‚

  49. Does anybody happen to remember which library it was that wanted HGTV sounding stuff? I remember coming across it here and the owner I guess it was came on and stated that he wanted stuff that sounded like it belonged on those types of cable channels but I can’t remember who it was.

  50. Observation based on anecdotes: to what extent are libraries and lic.cos. partly responsible for driving down the synch value of music? Reading comments from music supes, some of them are annoyed at libs that try to market themselves on the basis of offering cheap or no upfront fees. These libs are not perceived as working hard for their writers. When we have allies in the trenches battling against the devaluing of music, we ought to pause and think about how our personal choices increase or decrease the value of music overall.

    And it appears that quite a few supes are baffled/irritated at receiving the same track under different titles from multiple libs at different rates. This has been stated before and judging by the supes who comment on it as well, it most definitely is NOT just protectionist propaganda from exclusives. There’s a definite downside to retitling. Think carefully about your goals before jumping in.


      1. Synth, I know that you don’t want to hear what I have to say. But…

        It’s supply and demand economics. The more places that you put your music and the more cheaply that you sell it, the less it’s worth.

        Supply and demand also means genre. If a million writers are producing dance-based tracks, you’ve got a million competitors. If the market is saturated with whatever genre the value of that genre goes down. So, increasing the value of your music catalog is like increasing the value of an investment portfolio — diversify.

        If a writer does not want to, or cannot, diversify then they have to raise the bar on the quality of what they’re doing above the competition.

        I truly wish you all the best Synth. It’s a tough game and I know you’re putting your heart into it.

        1. Writng GREAT tunes is really the secret. If only we knew the secret to writing great tunes!

      2. My 2c on the personal solutions… and I can’t add anything that Michael hasn’t already touched on.

        1) work genres that aren’t saturated

        2) if 1 isn’t an option, become better than the masses in your genres. Make the quality of the music impeachable

        3) Be professional and be easy to work with. Repeat business and juicier business is more likely if the lib/supe/ed has confidence in what you bring and the way you bring it. This is still a people business.

        4) Don’t devalue your own music by spreading it everywhere. Retitling has some pros but plenty of cons so be thoughtful about it

        5) Don’t sign to libraries that devalue your work eg. offer their catalogue for no sync fees

        Of course there are valid exceptions to all of these but this is my personal philosophy.

        1. So typically, do you get upfront sync fees from all of the songs that you have licensed?

          Are you signed to only exclusive libraries?

          Do you usually get paid a buyout fee when your music is acquired?

          What percentage of the music that gets placed in libraries actually gets licensed?

          When do you know if a deal is a bad deal?

          How often are your songs rejected by a music library?

          Out of the songs that are accepted, how long does it take for you to learn that you have been accepted?

    1. Different libraries may vary, but I think that for most it doesn’t matter if it’s been released as long as it isn’t available for licensing elsewhere.

  51. Hello, I’m glad I found this forum two weeks ago. I have learned a lot already.

    My specialty is recording instrumental tunes with a band. I have released two CDs that are available on CD Baby, iTunes and other venues, and my music has gotten some radio airplay on non-commercial stations.

    I’m looking at licensing opportunities and looking for a music library that would be a good fit. Since my music is already “out there,” would that prevent me from being represented by an exclusive library?


  52. Art and all,

    Just wanted to say I always find this community a breath of fresh air. I don’t see ego, arrogance or condescension from participants. There are disagreements but they tend to remain markedly civil. It’s a stark, stark contrast to a number of other very well-known and populated forums. I had to come here to be reminded of how it can be after spending some time tonight on one of those places. :-/

    Kudos to you and all for cultivating such a culture.

    1. Thanks Rob,

      I am constantly amazed at the lack of civility in this world. It seems to be getting worse instead of better. It’s one of my pet peeves so I will do my best to keep MLR as civil as possible and thank all who have chosen to be so.

      1. Lol @ Pat! πŸ˜‰
        I couldn’t agree more, finding this community was a big and important step for me and I’m always amazed at how helpful and nice everyone is!
        I bought the lifetime subscription here and it says it ends on DECEMBER 9, 2211: That’s gonna be a bad day for me! πŸ˜‰

  53. I am a music composer and musician living in Okeechobee, Florida USA I have almost six hundred songs in my personal library, and was wondering if your company would be interested in what I have. My songs are on ebay, up for sale. I have contacted every music production library known, and record labels, to no prevail.
    If interested, please let me know. Thank you

    1. Mr. Jenkins,

      The Music Library Report does not license or sell music.
      It is forum where composers and songwriters share information about production music, production music libraries and music licensing. If you want to learn about the production music business, this is a great resource.

      I don’t know about selling music on eBay. You may want to consider selling downloads on CDBaby.

      Best of luck in your endeavors.


    2. You should try to get your songs on Audiosparx. I think you could sell licenses for your songs by adding them there. You should definitely take all of your music off of Ebay and focus solely on licensing your music through Audiosparx. You have an eclectic sound that would get more attention and make more money from licensing. Don’t give up!

  54. I sent a regular CD to soundtaxi. They said it is in “.cda” format which is the wrong format. They want a “Data Disk” with 16bit 48.1khz wavs
    Is .cda format just another way of saying I sent a standard audio cd instead of a data cd?
    I’ve never had to send anything other than standard cds before. They weren’t very happy to say the least so I don’t want to screw this one up again.

    1. Pat

      On a Mac, Insert blank cd or DVD into drive. Wait, you will then see a cd icon titled “untitled cd/DVD . Drag the files you need to send into this. Double click in cd icon. You will see aliases of all the files you have dragged into it. Click BURN in title bar. Voila.

      1. Hi Denis,
        Thanks for responding. I should have clarified that I’m on a pc and there’s a program on my computer called CDBurnerXP and you can choose “data disk”
        Am I correct that I have to buy a cd that specifically states “data CD?” on the label instead of the regular audio cd’s I’m used to submitting?

        1. Pat
          On a mac you can put data on a CDR/CDRW. I don’t think windows could be different. To check burn one, and then open the cd, you should see a list of the files. To double check , put cd in a cd Player. It will NOT play.

  55. I need to submit cues in 48 khz, 16 bit aif format and from what I can see, my daw software (FL Studio) doesn’t support aif.

    Do any of you know of a utility I can use to convert my 44.1 wav files to 48 khz, 16 bit aif format?

    1. I believe you have to make a comment first but you can make a “test” comment and then delete it.

      1. Just downloaded the pdf as it’s exactly the sort of thing I was looking for- I have looked like a real amateur in the past when asked what do I charge. But no more, I hope πŸ™‚ Great information to have even if not in the US. Nice one Michael!

  56. Hi abc123 this gives you an idea, a license fee can be from $2-$200,000

    American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) US Revenues, 2003-2006 2003 ($668 million), 2004 ($699 million), 2005 ($749 million), 2006 ($785 million)

    Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) US Revenues, 2003-2006 2003 ($630 million), 2004 ($673 million), 2005 ($728 million), 2006 ($779 million)

    Worldwide Synchronization Licensing Revenues, 2006-2011 2006 ($2.1 billion), 2007 ($2.2 billion), 2008 ($2.3 million), 2009 ($2.4 billion), 2010 ($2.4 billion), 2011 ($2.5 billion)

  57. Hey guys: I am fairly new to the licensing side of things and was trying to learn more about statistics from the industry. Like whats the average price of a licensed piece of music, how many pieces of music get licensed every year, etc. I haven’t been able to find anything online. Any suggestions where I can find these kind of stats would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance..

  58. Hey guys,
    Wondering if anyone here has had any experience with the PR/Licensing company: Working Brilliantly. I was informed by Music Clout that they were interested in one of my songs, but before I get into adding anything to their library, I’d like to hear some third party opinions of them (if there are any on here). Thanks!

      1. Hey johnnyboy, thanks for the reply. Yes, Musicclout doesn’t handle any licensing itself–they seem to mainly act as middlemen to A&R’s, agents, producers, libraries, and publishers at this point–I suppose somewhat like Broadjam. But at the moment, I’m curious about Working Brilliantly’s reputation, not so much MusicClout’s.

    1. Since Art deleted my comment.

      Here from JP themselves.
      Next time don’t be so quick to delete the truth.

      Download Metrics

      As a result of regular Artist inquiries and general feedback, we’ve realized that we need to address and explain the download numbers that we provide on our site.

      The number of downloads reflected on our site does not equal the number of placements that a track has received. Downloads occur for many reasons, including a client reviewing a song for consideration, when Jingle Punks is pitching to a client, when Jingle Punks is testing/updating music in our database – and this is to name just a few of the overall reasons. None of these equal a placements and can result in an inflated and misleading total.

      The number of downloads does not translate to a specific dollar amount in placements. Again, this download number does not reflect anything more than activity that occurs for a multitude of reasons. Download numbers cannot be used as a way of estimating the number of placements, nor payment amounts. As a result of Artist feedback, we’ve realized that this is extremely confusing and providing these numbers has proven more negative than positive.

      Royalties will always be paid out directly to you, by your PRO. When applicable, up-front sync fees will be paid to you directly by Jingle Punks. We pay these fees quarterly after we receive payment from the client. There are set timelines involved and sync fees vary from project to project.


      1. Steven, I don’t recall that your deleted comment was about this. I do recall it was not presented in a way that was worth leaving on the site.

  59. Site has got really slow especially when scrolling down through comments, On Safari. anyone else?
    Fastish 20 meg broadband here

    1. Sorry about that. I had set the comments to 10 per page. I thought maybe it wouldn’t be a problem but I guess it is. When you factor in 10 parent comments and up to 10 replies per parent comment the load per page just gets too big. I just reset it back to 5 parent comments. I’ve been hesitating using a cache plugin as they can be problematic but I think I will try one.

      Hopefully it will be better now.

  60. Hey guys – Im wondering if there are any similar libraries to Premium Beat, in terms of income and ‘model’. I had great experiences with PB and would want to have some of my tracks with another company like that. Sorry for not renenweing my membership yet, Art, will do soon. Hope this post is ok..

  61. Does anybody know if royalties are paid in the US for a radio commercial? Also, what about a TV commercial in a foreign country?

    1. Euca, I’m trying to figure the international commercials out as well. One of my tunes is being used in a very popular current TV ad in India. The producer is a very well known and accomplished, but he had never heard of a cue sheet before! We got a decent upfront on it. From what I’ve heard, India does not currently pay royalties on television programming or commercials. We may get royalties in some of the other countries it may air in. Good luck!

    2. Hey euca,

      Sorry, no royalties for radio commercials, but that may change.

      I’ve done a ton of music for Clear Channel that has been used in radio commercials. If they paid royalties, I’d be a rich man. πŸ™

      I have gotten royalties for foreign radio and TV ads (a few years after the fact)


      1. Thanks Steve and Michael. Bummer on the radio ad! I guess time will tell with the tv commercial. I had a cue picked up for one that will run in China, maybe a couple years down the road I’ll see something. I did get a decent sync fee for it, so I’m happy.

  62. Just a heads up US based composers.
    I’ve been advised that the IRS is cracking down on underreporting of income via third party sources, like Paypal. Because many of libraries pay with Paypal or a similar service, this is likely to effect us.

    They are specifically including “hobbyists,” whose extra income might normally not be reported.

    PLEASE check with your accountants.

        1. Just curious, what accounting software do you use? I just use a spreadsheet which I give to my book keeper at the end of each year?

          1. Hi Emmett, I use Quicken Home and Business. Once a week I make sure to enter all my receipts and any income. I make sure every transaction is assigned a category. When tax time comes I can easily tell what I spent in any given tax deductable category.

            1. Same here. Been using Quicken since the 80s and do exactly as Michael does.

              My only complaint with Quicken is that now that they are pretty much the only one left for this type of software it’s gotten a bit flakey and tech support is not very good. My automated download of PayPal transactions stopped working and I have to enter them by hand. The other automated downloads work fine though. Still it makes tax time so much easier!

    1. How much money do you have to make before you have to pay taxes? Does paypal issue an annual earnings statement like the PROs do?

      Say you make $100 from a royalty free site. Would you pay $20 to the government? What about state sales tax? Is the government really trying to crack down on those earning less than $1000 a year in sales?

      1. Hey synth, I’m not sure what paypal needs to submit if you receive money from a library or a PRO but I do know if you get paid from credit cards and e-checks they need to report anything over $20,000.

        I would assume it’s $20,000 total for any payments received.

      2. Paypal sends you a 1099 (misc income) at the end of the year and they report that to the IRS. Doesn’t matter whether you owe money or not you still need to file, AFIK.

      3. It’s a 1099-K form they send you. I just checked my email from paypal and it is anything over $20,000 including goods and services.

          1. Yes Art correct. I should have been more clear on my post. I meant that Paypal sends the forms also to the IRS for anything over 20k. You are correct, all income should be reported, better safe than sorry! I apologize for the confusing post.

          2. Well how do you document that you got money through paypal without a statement from them? If I got paid cash for producing a song, how would I document and report that? It just seems unreasonable that the IRS would tax such a low amount of money. A few hundred bucks really isn’t significant income.

            I would never suggest cheating on taxes. But I do not understand how the tax laws work for undocumented income. It would be a good idea to talk to a tax person, but that costs a lot of money. I usually do my own taxes with Turbo Tax and I don’t want to pay some tax attorney hundreds of dollars just to end up paying less than $100 in taxes. Just seems unfair. Sorry about the rant, just frustrated. πŸ™

            1. “Well how do you document that you got money through paypal without a statement from them? ”
              You do, you can download a statement from Paypal just like any bank showing all of your transactions for any specified amount of time.

            2. Login into to PayPal and click on My Account-> Overview. To the right under Quick links is “Tax Documents” but 2011 is not up yet. Also under Report they have a new one called 2011 Summary. You can also download a CSV file, import into Excel or Open Office and use the SUM function. If you have any transactions that can be deducted, such as transaction fees, deduct them from your gross.

  63. Would anyone care to recommend a successful library that specializes in or has a heavy focus on “Meditation” style music? I have a top notch composer friend with a recently completed project…

      1. Thanks Art. I thought of that one but was turned off when I read “Can not register the tracks with a performing rights society”. I just looked closer at the MLR comments and now it appears this isn’t true?

        I don’t think I could recommend a library with that as a restriction. Can anyone say for sure? I looked on their website but that information wasn’t available. Thanks.

        1. Another option might be Audiosparx. I think they may have that genre.

          Also Cari Live knows a bit about Ambient. You might try to PM her or e-mail Guy at Ambient.

    1. Hey Michael,

      Ambient Music Garden specializes in that kind of music. We discussed their “NO PRO” policy in a few other threads. They market mainly to non-broadcast users, like massage therapists, doctors offices and spas. They are one of the libraries that guarantees their customers that their music is TOTALLY royalty free. If you’re looking for backend this is not the library for you. If you are a PRO member you can put music into AMG if you agree enter into a direct license with their clients, i.e., waive your PRO royalties. This is not much of an issue, as I mentioned, because their client base is non-broadcast.

      That being said, they are still promoting Christmas music on their home page, and have not answered recent emails. I would be concerned about the inactivity. Perhaps they are just backlogged. You may want to PM Cari Live. I think she does well there. Maybe she knows whats going on.


  64. Alan, still can’t respond directly to your reply but I’m glad you brought up Muziko. I just finished a new piece and tagged the mp3. I wasn’t aware Muziko doesn’t want that. I’ll have to make an mp3 without the tag for them. I think I’ll just skip the tags.
    Thanks for the info! Glad I posted the question if only for the Muziko info.

      1. Hi Art,
        I wanted to respond to Alans post this morning. I saw it in my emeil so I clicked the link which took me to the MLR site. Once here, I saw his reply on the left side under “recent posts. I clicked his name like I’ve done many times in the past to take me to the actual posting but it didn’t appear.I still can’t find it. However, I also received your post in my email box, clicked on it,was taken to the MLR site as well but once I clicked on your name it did take me to the actual post. Strange.
        Still can’t find Allen’s post though.

        1. Yes odd. One of the things I checked a number of times (with this new theme) was the ability to click on the name under “Recent Comments”, on the left hand side, and make sure that it would take me to the right comment. It’s worked every time for me, at least so far. There may still be a conflict between the “Recent Comments” plugin and the “Edit Comment” plugin. Hopefully not.

          I have noticed from time to time if the comment you are trying to go to is on a new page (only ten comment per page) it might not take you there. It’s always something! πŸ™‚

  65. Do you guys always (or never)insert id tags on your mp3 submissions or does it conflict with whatever libraries that only take mp3’s do with it? The MLR jukebox is really the only time I ever inserted did it but made me wonder if there’s any real advantage since most libraries want .wav anyway. Apparently there’s no way to do the same thing with .wav files that I can see in Cubase. Just thought it’d be better to find out now than after I’ve done a large amount of cues.

    1. @ Pat,
      I only put Title, Author and Genre. Mainly because my name will show up in a browser (though that my be bad in my case, ha). I put a few tracks in Muzico and they specifically state no mp3 tags of any kind. The mp3 only go to the submission process for most of the libraries I work with, wav fils for the accepted cues.

  66. I’m curious about how some of you approach giving titles to your cues. It has been stated that something descriptive can help to get a supervisor’s attention, which makes perfect sense.

    However, I’m wondering if that could sometimes work against you. For example, say you have a piece that you think evokes a romantic mood and title it to suggest that, but to someone else it might be perfect for a funeral scene. Could you miss out on a placement because a supervisor looking for the funeral scene either doesn’t listen to the piece or hears it differently because of the title?

    I would appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

    1. Most music I think is searched by subject not title.
      I try and title a cue that helps describe the mood best I can. You can’t give it 50 titles because there are 50 possiblities of how others interpret it. People aren’t searching by titles anyway. They usually search by category. That said, it’s possible sombody will bypass your cues even in the correct category because your title sucks so bad. Even than it might not be that your title actually sucks but that someone elses is more of an eye catcher. So to your question, you have control over how catchy your title might be but not how other people see it. Just come up with a suitable one and if it’s creative too, that much better. I sometimes have more trouble putting in the best category a cue than I do the best title. jmho.

    2. I try to include style and a mood but it’s a best guess and I think my guesses get better the longer I do it. I have a track called “Happy Hip Hop” that I’ve sold over and over again but only on one particular RF site. It’s a nice little track but there are plenty of those out there. Is it the title? I don’t know but something is working for that track.

  67. You gotta love kids. I was telling my 13 year old daughter about my latest sale. It was on revostock and I told her my cut was only $2.50

    She thought that was great. When I asked her why, she said that most songs cost only 99 cents (iTunes).

    I guess it’s all in how you look at it πŸ™‚

    1. ” It was on revostock and I told her my cut was only $2.50″

      πŸ˜† that’s a great story!

      Question though….Revostock sells that low?

      I guess they’re off my list.

      1. They tier each cue into limited, standard and wide usage. You can change the cue price if you wish.

        1. So your $2.50 cut came from a limited usage license?

          Just trying to figure out how you only ended up with $2.50



          1. Yes, that one is priced $5, $15 and $35. Most of my other tracks there are priced $10, $20 and $40

            1. All of my tracks are priced at $30, $40 and $60 (the different licenses). I don’t sell much at all at those prices.

                1. At any level. If I have any it’s at the $30 price. Last spring started off pretty good but between May and December only four sales with about 300 tracks up there. Had a couple of sales last month.

  68. What is a “microstock” library? I noticed some libraries don’t want to deal with you if you’re in a “microstock” library.
    What’s different about a microstock library. How do I know if I’m in one or not?

    1. Since no-one has answered, I’ll take a wild guess πŸ™‚ Maybe they mean the real cheap RF ones like Audiojungle.

      1. That’s kind of what I was thinking. These libraries that sell tracks for $9, even $5 and you can buy photograghs and id cards too. lol

      1. Again I agree. I’ve seen pond5, audiomicro, istockaudio and jewelbeat as microstock libraries. Guess I’ll have to check them out just to see the differences between them and the “other” libraries.
        Thanks for the input guys.

          1. mmm. Must be another characteristic tht makes it a micro I guess.
            I think I’m going to email this library and ask what they consider a “micro” to be.

          2. I emailed Soundtaxi and they answered that they consider micro libraries as “very cheap music libraries.” They didn’t realize you could set your own price at pond5.

            1. I’ve set my prices from $39 to $49 at Pond5. One cue in particular sells a lot there and has made it into shows on ESPNU, NBC and CBS Sports because of the sales there.

              1. @Art, How did you find out what the uses were? I’ve had several recent sales on Pond5 and can’t find info on how or where they were used. Thanks

                1. It’s my best guess. I use different titles for RF sites, that cue is only on a few and that title showed up on cue sheets. I’d had about 30 sales on Pond5 for that cue and very, very few on the other sites (maybe none).

                2. I’m pretty sure that placement came form Pond5, Art. I have also had placements on those programs from Pond5 sales.

  69. Hi!

    Is anyone here a member of Writertap?
    I’ve been contacted by them and asked to subscribe. Their site looks very proffesional.
    But I’d like to hear from anyone who’s actually using the service if it actually is.

    1. I was contacted by them too. I don’t know anything about them (sorry), but I’m not interested in paying any fees right now, so I’ll pass. I actually thought that their website – while pretty to look at – was rather sloppily written, with lots of typos. It didn’t create a very good impression for me.

      1. Looks like another company like Taxi and Broadjam, both totally useless imo.
        Never pay for a lead or so called opportunities.. they’re fake, they’re only after your money.


        1. Erwin,
          What is your opinion on paying $2-$5 to submit to a Film Music Network opportunity. I’ve done a couple of them. One of them sent a automated responses telling me my track was listened to by the client.
          I’m just curious of your take on FMN

  70. All non-exclusive writers, Do you register your original cues with your PRO’s? Or do you just let the libraries register them?

    This keeps popping up over on the Jingle Punks forum. I always felt you should always register your original titles and let the libraries register the re-titles. But it seems that many people feel it would confuse the PRO and they don’t feel they should do it themselves.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Euca,
      Yes, I register mine with my original title. I’m in 10 non-exclusives. One oc them, Music Supervisor, does not take publishers share, only 50% of licensing fees. That combined with the fact that some libraries are very slow to register, made me start doing it recently. Now I just make it part of the cue process. I don’t want to lose any back end. I need every penny πŸ˜‰



    Music & Brands Partnerships: Coca-Cola & Music Dealers – midem 2012

    1. He mentioned there main focus is on upcoming indie bands.
      Bands they feel are the “Next Big Thing”.

      This would explain where the direction for them and why it some may not being getting placements with them

  72. Hi everyone.

    Those that have their own publishing set up with the PRO, what is a typical procedure after registering a title. If a track gets licensed and music library has their own publishing, do you just remove your own publishing from PRO? Also in your experience, is it worth having your own publishing besides being able to collect 50% after all the admin work?

    1. If a track that you’ve registered gets licensed by a music library that takes the publishing it is most likely a non-exclusive re-title deal and you don’t have to do anything. You probably wouldn’t want to register any cue you will be shopping exclusively.

      >it worth having your own publishing<

      Sure, at least it doesn't hurt anything.


  73. Couldn’t find a thread on FMN (Film Music Network). So I’ll ask here…

    I’ve been submitting to FMN’s listing for the last several months without one listen by the client. I’m starting to wonder if these are done deals that they’ve been posting the last year.

    You would think out of all my submissions in the last year at least one of them would have been listened to. Anyone else noticing this?

    1. I submitted to five FMN music calls since September 2011. My most recent, job #5288 was listened to within 3 days of my submission. Nothing else though.

      1. Thanks for your reply Alan. I’m about ready to drop them. It seems rather silly paying money to listings that never get listened to by the client. Actually those clients are rather inconsiderate as well.

    2. I have actually mentioned them a number of times here. I made a number of deals using FMN though only one has panned out. BUT, that one deal has netted me tens of thousands of dollars over the years and continues to do so to this day.

  74. Questions regarding cymbal rolls:
    Hey guys,

    I recently completed my first full length soundscape/new age/ambient/yoga cue (ha). I put cymbal mallet rolls and wind chimes at the end of most phrases.
    My question, is it a bad idea putting these across phrase lines? IMHO, it works musically and is important to the song. From an editors standpoint, it makes it about impossible to edit or loop the songs because there is a cymbal tail hanging over.

    When I make a :60, :30 etc, I need to go back to the original and move all those shimmery tinkly things for each edit.

    Any of you have a standard way to treat this?

    Part 2, I hear a lot of cymbal mallet rolls at transitions in BG TV cues. Can I ASS-U-ME that the show audio editor is adding those to hide the cross fade between 2 cues? Should I avoid putting them in my stuff?

    1. I use cymbal rolls in a lot of my tracks to transition between phrases/sections. In the loops/edits I create from that track though, I remove all of these cymbal rolls.

      I think the ones you are talking about are all added by music supervisors to make all the music they use stick together

    1. So Jingle Punks is providing gratis (free) blanket deals for networks? I thought that at least Jingle Punks got paid a flat fee from the networks. But then again, I heard MTV does not pay upfront fees for music unless it is from an artist signed to a major record company. Wow!

  75. Does anyone else have a problem with the social bar on the left? Sometimes there isn’t a tab to close it. Then even when it closes I still can’t click on anything in the left pane (as if it’s still there invisibly blocking it).

    1. Working okay here on Firefox and IE but I just checked Chrome and there is no icon to close. I’m going to move it back to under the posts. Thanks for the heads up!

      1. FYI Art, I’m using Firefox V9.0.1 and it is stuck on the left side blocking the recent comments. I’m not able to close it or move it either.

      2. Thanks Art. I’ve also been having the same problem as Euca, with some comments not showing up on the main page although you can see them on the left pane.

    2. Yeah, it gets hung up sometimes for me. Works on Firefox but doesn’t on Safari.

      Hey Art, the new comments seem to get hung up also.
      They show up on the left but not under the posts, it seems like they get
      hung up until a new comment is made, then the older one moves into the post.

      Does that make sense? That’s using safari also, and sometimes with Firefox,
      might be on my end though.

      1. I’ve seen this before and I believe it has to do with the “Edit Comments” plugin. Now that it’s working it’s presented a new problem. Argh!

        1. I disabled comment editing and that is indeed the problem. I will leave it disabled for now as I think the functionality of being able to click directly to a comment from the left hand column is more important.

    3. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I just killed the “Sociable” plugin. All these different plugins are just potential problems waiting for a conflict. I’m going to try and weed some of those others out.

      1. I just joined MLR. Thanks for taking care of this Art. Wasn’t aware others had the same problem.

  76. Anybody using Toontrack EZmix? Got an email about version 2, it looks interesting but I have to wonder how well it works.

    1. I have the first EZMix. Never used it much since basically to me it’s pretty much an eq preset plugin and I have eq plugins but the second version looks better but then considering the 2nd version price it should. If there was a demp version I’d try it but I’ve pretty much gotten all the plugins I need unless it blows me away which I doubt this one would.

      1. Thanks Pat, That’s what I thought. Looks like it is geared towards the beginner. I have plenty of plug ins, well, you can never have too much!!

        BTW, congrats on your Audiosparx sale!! I got my first about 3 months after I joined, it was a great feeling seeing that “you’ve made a sale” email.

      2. “it’s pretty much an eq preset plugin”. Really? I checked out the video the other day and other than eq it has compressor,reverb & delay settings. They also sell preset packages for several different genres.

        I think the difference between the new one coming out will be tweakability. From what they show, you don’t have much control to tweak the settings in the current version. It seems like it would be handy to get you to a quick starting point though. I was actually going to purchase it so that if I like it I can get the crossgrade for much cheaper. Has anyone else used it that has gone further than just the eq settings? More curious to see how decent the reverb and delays are.

        Here’s the vid I watched, you can see more on toontracks site. Seems to be more than just beginner eq presets though.

        1. I stand corrected Musicman. I said eq preset because that is all I used it for when I bought it till I came to the conclusion that, for me, my compressors are better, reverbs are better and delays are better. It’s basically got all the things I already have including eq. It’s ok, but I prefer my other plugins. I give it points for convenience though which I’m definitely into but sometimes the ears of thepeople doing presets don’t suit what I want to hear. I wouldn’t take it off the table by any means but I have alot of plugins and like I said,if I spend another almost couple hundred on a plugin, it’ll most like have to fill some kind of void.

          1. I was just deleting old emails and came across the exmix email I got and took another look and realized It would only cost me $50 since I have the first one. I’d be willing to take take another look for that price.

            1. Thanks for clarifying Pat. I got the email about the upgrade as well, which basically said if I buy the first one now for $69 (less than dinner for 2) I could get the discounted upgrade when it comes out.

              I’m going to try out the demo next chance I get. I know not to expect it to be a high end bundle or anything, just seemed like a convenient tool to have.

              I have Toontracks Superior Drummer and one of the things I like most about it is that I can really tighten up the drums using their presets in their mixer before I even begin my mix within my daw. That said, I’d expect EZ mix to be a similar tool, quick go to to get started.

  77. I know noticed a few dependencies with TuneSat lately.

    Wanted to see if anybody had the same issue.

    I noticed songs will appear for a show,
    then say it is for another show later
    but the audio is the same as the first show but now has another show listed.

  78. Any suggestions on more Jinglepunks type libraries?
    So far, they’re the only ones who have been securing deals for me.

    1. I think ‘JP’ has gone into a league on their own. The other seems to be playing catch when it comes to just consistency.

      Some one mentioned ‘MD’ is different though. I do agree.
      They tend to have a knack for Commercials.
      Whereas, JP has the ‘blanket license’ thing on lock.

      1. I don’t know what MusicDealers has a knack for but so far I haven’t seen anything with any of my tracks.

        1. Hi Pat,

          I’m in the same boat – nothing happening at Music Dealers. I do like their site and check often on opportunities. I have my few favoritte library’s that I check daily, but otherwise I try not to “go there”.

          Enjoy reading the posts – its helpful to see what you all are up to and how things are going. Back to writing!


          1. Hi Cari,
            I noticed they made their site look alot better. I wonder if they push their music like a Jinglepunks does and maybe just not ours for whatever reason or if maybe they’re jst a completely different animal. Funny how different some of these libraries are. In either case, I seldom go there though I have tracks there. At least it’s easy to post music there as far as metadata goes so no big deal time loss uploading music.

      2. I think JP is really pushing the commercials also. I had some good commercial placements last quarter with them.

        Not long ago they took the hipster orchestra to a bunch of ad agencies in the states and Canada. Sort of like a live business card.

        They sure think out of the box, and it seems to be working. I think they are great!!

    1. Did you just receive the mass email from Pump asking you to be patient, or have you seen your latest statement from them?

  79. Has anyone received their latest Pump Audio statement, or have they still not sent them out yet?

    1. After reviewing the Pump Audio website, I have come to the conclusion that Pump Audio is a lackluster music library.

      I have tracks with them and made some money with them. But they seem far too large and unorganized. I tried a basic search of instrumental electronic music to see what came up. The songs were not bad at all. The problem is with the setup of the site. The site is flooded with music!

      I know for instance that a number of exclusive publishers/libraries have hundreds of songs signed to Pump Audio, which is a non-exclusive library. I also noticed that a huge exclusive publisher, Sony/ATV, has a large number of songs on Pump Audio. Pump/Getty has the site set up where Sony/ATV and other exclusive libraries have their music added as “premium” songs. Now ask yourself this: would a music supervisor go with Sony/ATV songs or my songs?

      If you have anything less than 500 songs on the site, you stand very little chance of getting even one song licensed.

      1. @ Synth:
        I know how everyone feels about pump but for the few tracks I have there
        We consistently make Money from the first time we submitted but it takes a while to
        get into their system.I’ll echo the sentiments of most though and especially those
        exclusives that take your music and register it with pump.Their excuse is you don’t have to do any of the work involved with tagging and entering at the site.a One time event.When it comes to years of possible business you have yo go through that door.

        1. Same here, consistently make money with a small amount of tracks. The statement I got a few days ago is for two grand and my last ASCAP statement had about $600 worth of backend from pump placements. Their split though is really unfair, if it weren’t for the fact that artists get 50% of publishing (most companies take 100%)I’d be out.

        2. I do not think Pump Audio is an ineffective or dormant library. They are actually huge. Their site is better than many library sites that I have visited. But as a composer, I would rather have my songs signed by Sony/ATV itself as supposed to trying to compete with Sony/ATV on the Getty/Pump site. I have made money through them. But the site is really becoming a parking spot for tracks.

          You need to have one or more of these things going for you to make money from Pump Audio.

          1. You have to either have hundreds to thousands of tracks in the catalog.

          2. You need to have your tracks signed by one of the exclusives with music in the Pump catalog.

          3. You need to have new songs added on a weekly basis.

          If I were seeking something very particular, I could probably find it. But I could probably find the same music at a library with less clutter. I cannot really blame the library, as it is pretty succcessful. By I do not think many new composers could be successful unless they came with a ton of tracks or made something very, very particular.

  80. Quite a contrast between Jinglepunks and MusicDealers by most accounts here so the next question for me is more comparative. What non-exclusive library could be best compared to JinglePunks in terms as all around equivalent alternative when it comes to licensing efforts, ease of getting in, processing time etc?
    If I had a few more Jingle punks type libraries, that would help alot.

  81. Hey guys, I just have a question about placements. I’m new to this but I checked my ASCAP cue sheet work online and it says I have a placement on an episode. I checked the episode out to see if I hear the song that they used but I don’t hear it. Do they use all the music that is on a cue sheet? Thanks for your help.

    1. Your cue sheet should tell the duration of your music used. Often the client will slice & dice. Funny, “The Voice” used one second of one of my tracks. I don’t think that will be too noticeable. πŸ˜€

      1. Thanks John for shedding some light for me. It says 23 secs for duration, but I didn’t hear it. It’s not the fact that I can’t hear it. I just want to know if I’m in the cue sheet does that mean I officially had my 1st placement on tv? Because I don’t want to get too excited and tell all my family and I didn’t get a placement. LoL!

          1. Thanks euca! I really apreciate it! I know cue sheets have just the info. But I googled the episode to check it out. LOL. I’m don’t mind if I didn’t hear it. John told me that they can edit your track however they please. I just wanted to make sure I had my 1st placement before I said anything to anybody. πŸ™‚

            1. No problem! Maybe you missed it in all your excitement! Sometimes they do put the music down pretty low if dialog is going on. Congrats again, may there be many more.

              1. I know, seeing it in my ascap cue list was exciting! I sure hope there’s more to come. Just have to keep making music and not give up. Thanks again!

                1. Jay- I have known this to happen: a piece of music showing up on a cue sheet even though it is no longer audible or present. No offense to interns, but interns, (or assistants only partially involved with editing) are often the ones filling out cue sheets. a cue might have been in the episode but was taken out last minute or it might have been mistaken for another. It is chaos in tv production land.

  82. “Most of those cues had Jingle Jared as a writer too.”

    Your cues had someone else added as a co-writer without your knowledge or permission???

    If so, that is BAD VERY BAD…. and not legal.

    Please clarify.

    1. No MichaelL, I’m very sorry to all that I wasn’t clear. I meant that:
      -Jingle Punks supplies the majority of the music for the shows I have been place on. Very good for them.
      -Jingle Jared is a composer on many of those cues. Very good for him.
      -I got a few minutes worth of my music on a few TV shows. I may make a couple of hundred bucks in back end over time. Good for me for a beginner.
      I feel bad that I put his name out there in a way that may be perceived negatively. That was unintentional. He is a talented writer and seemingly a talented entrepreneur.

      JP is the only library that has proven to me I have the skill set to compose music for TV. I am very appreciative of that. For me the next step is find out if I can make a living composing music. I suspect it will take a long time to find out, but I am in this for the long haul.

      p.s. Thank you, MichaelL for the wealth of information you have provided on MLR

  83. Ok Guys- You Decide!

    – Jingle Punks vs Music Dealers –

    Who get the crown thus far?

    My vote is JP

    1. Definitely Jingle Punks!
      So far Music Dealers has done nothing for me at all. Nice people but nice only goes so far when you’re trying to get placements. Just got my 3rd placement with JP after a little over a year. I’ve been with Music Dealers a little longer and nothing.
      At least you can see how many downloads you’re getting with Jingle Punks. Music Dealers just seems like another parking garage for tracks but somebody who has had luck with them would paint a different story I’m sure.

      1. I don’t really see why being able to track downloads or listens is a good thing. If a song is downloaded 200 times and placed 0, then doesn’t that just get your hopes up for nothing? Music Dealers has a bit of tracking system in that when your music makes it to a client, they notify you by email (at least in most cases). I try not to check things like that too often, it feels like I’m wasting my time on something over which I have no control.

        1. Tracking listens and downloads helps to give composers hope! πŸ™‚ Sometimes those listens or downloads are the only thing that keep most guys going. Most would quit without that piece of information.

          With a listen, I know that someone at least took the time to pay attention to my music. With a download, I know that someone considered my song good enough for a possible placement.

          I am a bit more advanced than some folks here, but I remember how excited I used to get from those sorts of things. For some, getting one song placed is a dream come true.

          Not all want to or can make a steady living getting music licensed. Some just want the satisfaction of knowing that their music was featured on a show. A royalty check or license fee is a bonus to them. πŸ™‚

          1. You said it much better than me but exactly how I was thinking it. We’re not all robots just waiting to scan the statements.
            For many of us, there aren’t any statements to scan so we count downloads. lol

              1. JP for me also. They placed me on The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Nothing from Music Dealers.

              2. You could make that Music Dealers 0 if you are really counting. I was just pointing out that Music Dealers has a bit of a tracking system. It wasn’t meant to be an endorsement.

    2. Steven,

      I feel like this is an apples to oranges comparison.

      JP: They seem to get LOTS of placements. From my very limited window into what they do, the majority of the placements are gratis, back end only. I’ve only had 7 cue sheets from them so far, typically 30-40 second of music each. None of them had licensing fees. JP was listed a sole or partial publisher on about 60-80 percent of the cue sheets (more if JP is SPIRITUAL RAISE MUSIC under BMI, which I suspect). Most of those cues had Jingle Jared as a writer too. So JP is doing very well I think, and we are all getting nice little slices of that pie.
      Yes, I love that in less than 2 years I’ve gone from a beginner to multiple TV placements. As a newbie it is very exciting and only JP has done that for me. But I don’t expect significant income until I have 300+ cues (in 5 years or so)

      MD: To the best of my knowledge, our music is only heard by a client if MD gives it to them. Customers do not have direct access to our music. In 2 years I have submitted to over 50 opportunities. I’ve only gotten 2 emails telling me a cue was added to a playlist. One of those was from an unannounced music call, so they actually pitched without me submitting.
      However, their placements are pretty big. Some are under $500 or gratis, but many are $5K+

      My point, JP will probably win this survey until one of us gets a single $2.5K+ license fee from MD. But if we do? How many cue sheets will it take to make $2-5K from JP?

      My vote today – JP
      But I hope I need to change my vote to MD someday soon πŸ™‚

      1. Customers actually do have access to the MD library. It is only the listings on the deal board that are chosen by the MD staff.

        1. euca
          “Customers actually do have access to the MD library”
          That’s great to hear. I’ve only seen this on their site:

          “we listen closely to your brief, connect you with the best music”

          That quote, combined with reading MLR posts, my playlist notifications and no song rejections made me assume wrongly.

        1. Pat
          “What do you consider significant income?”

          I’m not sure Pat. I’d like to have people “occupying” my front yard, HA!
          Like you, I have dedicated much of the past 2 years to chasing this dream. I am very fortunate to have a small pension (retired military), a small live sound business, and a spouse with a good job. I can get by doing a couple of shows a weekend and dedicate 20+ hours per week writing.

          That’s a lot of time for a hobby, but I HAVE to write, for money or not.
          I hope to make $2K+ in 2012, $5K+ in 2013, $10-$20K per year in 5-8 years.

          That seems like a pretty modest goal to me. If I’m not on that track in 18 months or so, I’ll probably cut back on the time I put in and treat it as a hobby.

          Time will tell ….

          I really need to get back to the DAW now πŸ˜‰

          1. “I’d like to have people β€œoccupying” my front yard”
            That’s funny.
            Coincidently, the way you described it is pretty much how I’d like to see it play out but I made a grand total of $125 in 2011. Exciting for me but it’s hard to imagine $2k this year though I’m trying to.
            Keeps me going. Check out my two cues on the jukebox. Finally put something on there.

            1. Jingle Punks has paid me a few up-fronts.
              Considering this was my first year doing this.

              Music Dealers I don’t feel connected to them.
              It feels like I have to be in Chicago or L.A. to get their attention. Feels distant.

              Jingle Punks forums at least keeps you somewhat close

              There are also other so called ‘libraries’ that can’t place even back-end royalty deals, Been with others for a year and nothing happens. Dead

              So Jingle Punks at least get props for that.

    1. Thank you Barbie πŸ™‚ Good ole’ Suze, she’s a Taxi compatriot.

      Yes, Bub inspires music in me, now if I had the time to get it all out!

  84. Hope everyone is well and had a great holiday season. Been pretty much out of action for a few months as our first baby arrived 8wks early. She’s doing great and we’ve now had her home since Saturday.

    Hope all you guys and gals are still rocking it. πŸ™‚

      1. Ha! Thanks Art, and I sure will pass on some more hugs. She doesn’t care where they come from, she just likes getting them πŸ™‚

    1. Congrats Rob!
      May I suggest a Korg with mid sized keys to get her started. And read her lists of keywords as a bedtime story. I used to love those. πŸ™‚

      Your first baby girl… Oh how life will change for you (for the better). Awesome!

      1. Cheers JD! She was played plenty of Thomas Bergersen and Jo Blankenburg whilst inside – hoping that will give her a good start! πŸ™‚

        1. Big congrats Rob! Nothing like your first child. I have two girls, the
          youngest is 2. Never a dull moment to say the least!

          1. Thanks euca – yes, dull moments or even ‘nothing to do’ moments seem to have completely disappeared but it’s all good!

    2. Congrats again Rob!!!!!

      I’m so glad to hear that she’s doing well.

      I’ve wanted to share your news for a while, but thought it best for Dad

      to make that decision.

      I wish you and your wife all the best with your new arrival!

      Cheers Mate,


      1. Cheers Michael, it wouldn’t have worried me if you’d shared the news but I do appreciate you leaving me the option. πŸ™‚

        Mostly going well, little bit of reflux to deal with but otherwise lots of goodness in such a small parcel.

          1. Ha! I know the custom but it’s pretty sparsely practiced over here. At least I’ve never actually known anyone who’s done it. But in a virtual world the thought counts! πŸ™‚

    3. Great news Rob. Best to all of you. I would
      get her started in GarageBand immediately to
      give a grounding in DAW basics. She should then be
      a certified Logic/Protools operator by 3. LOL.

      1. Thanks Denis! I’m sure she will head for my wife’s drumkit as soon as she’s toddling! πŸ™‚

    4. Congrats Papa Rob (Cruciform)!

      My unsolicited advice, enjoy every minute, the good and the bad. Choose carefully when putting an instrument in her hands. My 1st born little girl is now a 2nd year college music major. Time flies and violins are expensive!

  85. Hi guys, can’t remember if this was asked already on the thread (1227 comments!) but just curious how much you guys write in a 40 hour week? I’m composing full time now, and write almost two full tracks a week (3 minutes each). They’re pretty much written and done, but need to spend half a day the week after to touch them up.

    Just curious how much everyone else does in a week? I’ve found templates REALLY help! Never realised how much time you spend loading up instruments and figuring out what else to put into your track – makes a big difference!

    1. I probably average about one a week but it seems that I just can’t find enough time to write more than 2 or 3 hours a day.

    2. In no particular order:

      1) What’s a 40 hour week?

      2) It depends on how much time I waste debating the merits of content ID
      programs on MLR πŸ˜†

      3) About the same.

      There are variables depending on the complexity of the music. But…when you’re writing to film or for TV, be prepared to do several minutes per day. Library music is a different animal, because you have all of the edits, etc. And then, there’s the time that you need to spend uploading and tagging etc.



      1. I’m writing averaging 2 a week now but I base it on a five day week that could be all hours of that 5 days. I do it till it gets done to make my self imposed quota.

    3. I’m writing full time for a living now too (not making a living at it, just writing full time for it).
      I’ve recently gotten to where my goal is two a week including alts and I save the weekends for metadata, uploads and submissions etc. I have a template setup in Cubase that I spent alot of time on and am now seeing that for me, it saves a huge amount of time. All my vst instruments are loaded and routed as well as mastering plugins on the buss. It works great for me. Of course, nothing is carved in stone since the cues themselves can dictate where to go with all that but it’s a template default setup that always gets me up and running instantly for every new piece.
      Just fyi if your interested, Art put one of my pieces on the MLR music player. Maybe check it out if you get a chance.
      I do other type music but it was the only one I had around 2 min.

  86. LOL ! That comment from Alan from Norwich is actually very funny , I’m still laughing ! Just some good natured humorous sarcasm , that’s all πŸ™‚ It is a tough biz πŸ™‚ Alan must be up to 4000 cues by now πŸ™‚

  87. Hey guys!

    For all of you who is affiliated with BMI, can you see your statement on your member area already? for the 01.13.12 distribution.

      1. Oh lol
        Well, its use to be showing 2 days before the date, but now its not. I hope I got something…

        1. I’ve never gotten a royalty check for my own music before so if and whenever I do, they’ll probably tell me I can’t have it until it’s at least $50.

  88. Hey yall. Doing a search on this, I expected more discussion about these question – Im sure this has been done before , but couldn’t find any threads dealing with the topic. The only reference is the poll. So, here it goes, apologies for being too forward.

    1) Do you make a living doing this/How much do you make working in library music?
    2) How many exclusives/non-exclusives do you work with?
    3) Do you make more in royalties or license sales?
    4) How long have you been doing this?
    I’ll start

    1. – No. Probably around 7-8 thousand last year. Should be more this year, hoping for over 10 thousand US..
    2. – 6 exclusives, 6 non-exclusives.
    3. License sales – haven’t received a royalty check yet.
    4. One year and 4 months.

    1. What ratio exclusive to non-exclusive, i.e., how many tracks in each?

      Exclusive as in “have their cake and eat it too” exclusive OR did they pay you money up front?

      To answer your question: at this time 99% of my income comes from writing and publishing for television. The bulk of my existing library tracks are from the 80’s and 90’s and have run their course. I’m just starting to “upload” new tracks, renew exclusive library relationships and make new ones.

    2. It is a bit embarrassed to say this…I have 35 tracks signed to exclusive and non exclusive libraries for almost a year but havn’t gotten any placement. I wonder if it is typical.

    3. 1. Between writing and performing I made around $30k last year compared to $18k in 2010 so things are looking up. 2/3 of that is from libary placements and 1/3 from gigging with bands.

      2. I have music in 1 exclusive and 8 non-exclusives.

      3. I make more in license sales but the royalties are starting to grow thanks to jingle punks.

      4. I started in 2008 so about 4 years now. I have around 350-400 tracks.

      1. That’s pretty encouraging Stuart. Thanks for sharing that. I needed it while I wait for my first royalty check whenever that may be.

  89. A Big Congrats Alan! You must be extremely happy. This could be the turn around point for you. Glad to see somebody enjoy a moment of success. I hope you have many more.

  90. Hi MLR-ers!

    Great news I though I’d share. I have been writing library stuff for 13 years and never had much success until this week. In the past 2 years I have uploaded 3,349 tracks to various Royalty Free libraries and this week I got my first placement on the ‘Welsh Recreation’ channel in the UK in the show ‘Where Have All The Sheep Gone’ – a welsh programme about the decline of sheep farming in Snowdonia presented by Welsh TV legend Glynn Thomas.

    It’s great and certainly bodes well for the future. I put this particular success down to detailed tagging. My track was a trip-Hop underscore so I intend to do more in this style from now on.

    Shows there’s opportunities still out there for the right kind of track.

    1. “In the past 2 years I have uploaded 3,349 tracks to various Royalty Free libraries”

      Congrats Alan!!!…. not only for your placement, but for uploading almost 5 tracks per day, plus doing detailed tagging! When do you eat, sleep and find time for bodily functions? And, with all those tracks have you made money other than this placement?

        1. I suspect that “Alan” is pulling the “wool” over our eyes, while poking fun at people who earnestly upload a copious number of tracks in the hope of getting placements.

          Maybe not, but my BS radar says it doesn’t add up. There’s more than a bit of sardonic wit going on, at the expense of “royalty free” writers.

          What say you “ALAN” ???

            1. But I love the concept… “decline of sheep farming in Snowdonia.” Hold on to your Wellies.

              Of course, for all we know, “Alan” could have uploaded another 10 tracks in the time it took us to read his post. πŸ˜‰

    2. I think I may haves sussed that Alan from Norwich is indeed a well known Tv and radio personality called Alan Partridge, who over the years has turned his considerable talents to many different media ventures. It was only a matter of time really before he entered the library music arena, as this is one of the few areas of show business is considerable talent hasn’t reached yet. If you google him you may get some of his iconic performances still on YouTube. Either way welcome to the MLR Alan.

  91. “In any event I do think it should be in the open so my choice is a forum. ”

    I agree on that. I’ll be curious to hear their answer.

  92. Do all Scripps network channels not pay royalties? Or is it just some of them?

    I see that Travel Channel does pay royalties and they are under Scripps.

    I was wondering if The Food Network does or not.

      1. Thanks Art, that’s what I thought. I just saw on The Jingle Punks Blog that they supplied most of the music for a new show on The Food Network, hopefully there will be at least some sync fee’s for the composers, but probably not.

        1. I just left this on their support forum.

          “I noticed that JP is placing music on The Food Network. It’s been my experience that Scripps Networks do not pay PRO monies. Can you clarify please?”

          You might do the same.

          1. So does this type type of placement fall under gratis.
            If so, we should be compensated for our music.
            Who wants to work for free.

          2. So JP doesn’t have an artist rep/liaison? I guess that’s one difference with the exclusive world.

            I can pick up the phone and speak with someone, or send them an email directly.

            More food for thought before I jump onto that world.

            1. I don’t think there’s a problem calling them. I’m just too lazy. πŸ™‚ In any event I do think it should be in the open so my choice is a forum. They are usually pretty good about responding.

          3. Hey Art, I did click on the same question option in their forum. I also sent an email with no response.

            I think EJ may be off this week, have not seen him answer any questions this week, so……I am giving them the benefit. Hopefully we can get an answer soon.

  93. I need to send my tracks to a library by DVD in the post. Some of the tracks are in 24bit 48khz and some are in 16bit 44khz. They want both types. Is it possible to make a dvd with songs that have different bit depths and sample rates? Do I make a data disc or an audio disc?

    1. Still blowing a gale down here, stay safe up there. (Irish weather!!!)

      Make a data disc, an audio disc can only be 16-44. I always send data discs unless the specifically require a CD that they can play.

      1. Our bins are flying all over the place! Was blowin a gale here too last night. Not too bad at the mo tho. Thanks for the tip Denis. Ill make a data disc. thanks.

  94. Question for Art & the Gang.

    When is the right time to proceed with ‘collecting royalties’ after a period time has gone by. No Cue Sheets.

    Say 6 months? – Since the airing of a song.

    You should take action.

    1. That would be too soon if you are talking PRO payments. I would say at least a year. Have you contacted the library that placed it?

      1. Yes, P.R.O.

        The library response is the typical
        “Wait for it to appear on your P.R.O. Statement.” response

        It has been a year on a few of them.

        1. I have a couple of those myself. I would track down the production company and try to find out what’s going on but it really should be the library’s job.

        2. The same thing happened to me a while back. Libraries are not very good about dealing with these things. It would seem as if libraries would take the initiative in instances like this. But for some reason, many libraries feel as if they may ruin a relationship by asking questions.

          Like Art said, contact the production company. They are the end user, so they should have the most pertinent information. Also, you should actually try to pitch your songs directly to the production company. It may not work, but it is worth a shot. I am in the process of gathering up the contact info for some companies and will be hitting the phones soon.

          1. I would only contact the production company as a last resort after it’s obvious for a very long time that the library isn’t doing it. Production companies can get easily annoyed with composers contacting them. (I’m not saying don’t do it, just really make it a last resort).

            First, I assume you are sure that there really was a placement and an airing? How do you know? If there was a usage, are you sure which library made the placement? Is the track only in one library? Is it a library that shares in performance royalties? (Most do, a few don’t)

            The normal process is everything is 2 calendar quarters behind the quarter in which the show was aired. However, sometimes shows are late filing cue sheets and this slips to 3 quarters. And, of course, sometimes things slip through the cracks– your cue wasn’t properly referenced on the cue sheet, or other error.

            Please let us know more about how you know your cue was aired and the other info. Also, before I called the production company, I might discuss it with someone at your PRO and see if they can help.


            1. I found out about this placement through an online database. The placement was made back in 2010. I contacted a few libraries that I had the track with: no help. I contacted my PRO: no help. It only made sense to contact the production company.

              I know many composers are risk-averse. But this fear of contacting companies is usually from a lack of experience. Most composers do not have the experience talking to music professionals. I just started cold calling libraries with a script I prepared. All the libraries I contacted were respectful and I even landed some new deals.

              I believe that since I have more songs placed in more shows, I have value. I kind of enjoy talking on the phone more than shooting off an email. It is a huge psychological boost to get ideas from working professionals. As great as this site is, there is no comparison to talking directly to the companies that make the decisions.

              If you are serious about getting more placements and avoiding issues, get on the phone and contact someone. You will feel much better and learn much more than visiting websites. Please, I beg you: make the call. It can change your life!

              1. Thanks Synth for the reply ;), but I was asking Steven because he raised the question and I wanted more info on his scenario.


  95. Thought it a good time of year to wish everyone good luck with the coming 365 days of music production and to ask what peoples goals are for this year ?
    I think its fairly important to set some goals with timelines for them as you can fall into doing work and it staying on a hard drive for longer than it should.

    My primary 2012 goal is to get on more exclusives. Last year I spent a lot of time doing non exclusives and I learnt a lot about speed of writing / making music that is not to fancy – too clever for its own good / what earns money for the best people in royalty free sites.

    I began doing exclusive and the few tracks I have on those sites have been paying regularly via PRS. If I had the same amount of royalty free tracks I did last year on exclusive sites then I would be doing quite well financially. But the standard they expect is 10 times higher than I did as RF.

    So the challenge for me this year is to work some fast speed into my exclusive stuff – to get a good sound – to def reference my stuff constantly against their catologues and chart stuff and to most importantly not get in hole of saying my stuff is not good enough and also v.importantly not get bored or stuck and to be thankful I am not working in a call center and doing the only thing I love and am vaguely any good at.

    Oh and also expand my RF tracks but for this year try to get it to tick over itself whilst I concentrate on making exclusives.

    Like to hear anyone elses plans for this year.. ?

    1. My goal for 2012 is what your goal was for 2011 which you stated well,”…spent a lot of time doing non exclusives and I learned a lot about speed of writing / making music that is not to fancy – too clever for its own good / what earns money for the best people in royalty free sites.”
      Good luck! I narrowed down the time on my pieces from a week and a half to 1 or 2 days but not as consistently as I want. I want to average at least 2 to 3 cues a work week and spend the weekend doing metadata, submissions and non music stuff. Kinda there but not quite.
      Good luck and happy new year!

      1. Adam, Pat and everyone else:

        Best of luck in reaching your goals for 2012 AND,

        Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!


    2. Adam,
      I’ve already set my goals for 2012 and I’m happy to share.

      1. Increase my tiny library to 100 cues. My goal for 2011 was 50 cues. I made it to 47 with 3 started, but I’m a freelance sound guy and I had a lot of gigs in December. Those actually pay and Santa has to pay the elves πŸ˜‰

      2. Thou shalt not rush thy cues! I must make my cues better. I MUST NOT submit a new cue until it sits unheard on my hard drive for 7 days. I hate when I hear issues in a mix a week after I submitted it.

      3. Record more real instruments in my cues. Santa brought me a nice Cascade ribbon mic for recording my horn. I also need to practice guitar more so I don’t need 50 takes to record each lick LOL
      Happy New Year all!

    3. Same 100tracks per year) in my next year plan!
      (It is ~3,5days for 1 track = quite possible when write full time:))

      Sad but true – exclusives are hungry for the quality tracks – I am always stay with my outgenre stuff (~40tracks already).
      Thought if I had all the tracks I produced (~80 for the last 1,5year) – it might be MUCH better for my wallet.

      So, eternal dilemma – “NOW and LESS” or “MUCH but LATER” πŸ˜‰

    4. Our goal is to get to 100 tracks and we are just over 70+ right now.
      I have plenty of ideas to work up sitting on my hard drive and of course
      trying to figure out how to keep increasing the royalties.
      2 items for the studio,lexicon reverb,and a virtual string section will unleash
      a bit more sonic potential.

    5. Happy New Year gang!

      Since my piano solos seem to get the most placements, I’m going to give more attention to them this year. Maybe compose 2 piano solos with every 3 new tracks.

      Best to all, John πŸ™‚

      1. Well, this has been a great year if only for the fact that I got paid for my first license BUT it was for what I considered to be a crap piece.Therefore, my new years resolution is to produce loads of crap all year long!

          Depending on who you ask, music libraries are either awesome or they suck. I have a love/hate relationship with the whole music library thing, so I’ll throw out info supporting both sides in this thread. They take away some opportunities, but they give other opportunities. If you have experiences with music libraries, please add to this thread: it’s an important one, and everybody’s experience counts!

          To start with, production music libraries (“libraries” from here forward) have been around for a really long time. Back in the 50’s libraries actually engaged composers and small orchestras to create classical-ish film-ish music. They’ve changed a lot from what they were in the 50s and the 80s and even the 90s: they used to be very looked-down-upon by TV producers, but that changed as the business models for libraries began changing in the early 2000’s. It used to be that there was only 1 business model for libraries: a composer was paid a fee to write some music, and library then owned that cue (it was a straight-up work-for-hire); the composer retained the writer’s share of the performance royalties, but didn’t keep any percentage of fees that that music earned over its lifetime with the library. As a result, composers weren’t inclined to give their best work to the library because they were sacrificing ownership of it, so the pool of music was considered only so-so. It worked in a pinch, but wasn’t always a first choice of producers.

          The emergence of more music libraries occurred at the same time that music technology began to proliferate: and that means everything from Garage Band to Logic to Cubase to ProTools. This was also a time when TV music in general got less stodgy and stuffy and became much more high-energy and cinematic. No longer did a composer need to hire an orchestra to create really cool music – and this opened up the playing field for more composers and more music libraries.

          The main business model also changed: instead of most libraries being work-for-hire, the industry saw a ton of new libraries pop up that were non-exclusive deals for composers. The library essentially became an agent for a composer’s existing catalog, placing the music into TV shows, ads, etc., and keeping a percentage of the fee and a percentage of the performance royalties. This was great for composers because we didn’t have to give up any rights, and could therefore let a library have access to your best tracks. If you didn’t like the library anymore, you could take that music back with just 6 months’ advance notice to the library. This also meant that the composer could give the same tracks to multiple libraries, and let each of those libraries exploit them.

          What are the downsides of music libraries?

          First and foremost, libraries have replaced composers in the world of cable TV. So many libraries have cropped up in just the last 5 years that in order to gain a foothold, the new ones began offering themselves to some of the major cable networks (AETN, Discovery, History, MTVN) for free. And you can’t compete with free, can ya. They do gratis deals for music because they’re in it for the performance royalties via ASCAP and BMI. How does this filter down to composers? Here’s a great example: History Channel’s programs used to use composers much more often than libraries. Small production companies delivered programming to History, and those production co’s had composers who were their go-to people to score shows. If a composer got in with one of those production co’s, they were pretty much guaranteed ongoing work, which then also generated ongoing performance royalties. Back in 2008, right after the financial crash, cable nets started to pinch pennies just like everyone else, and this quickly trickled down to the budgets they would give production co’s to produce programming for them. The first line item in the budget to go? Music. It started with, “We can’t give you $5000 for a composer for this 2-hour doc, so find a library that’ll give you music for $1000.” The result in this situation was that a dozen libraries lined up at the door to get that $1000 fee. Then things went one step further: music libraries began pitching themselves to History with this offer: we’ll give you full access to our library — unlimited music use in unlimited programming – completely free. All you have to do is guarantee to use our library exclusively for the next (X) years.” It’s a tempting offer for a network: they could eliminate the music line item from all of their budgets for the next X years. What did History end up doing? They took up 2 libraries on their offer, and entered into a 2-year deal with DeWolfe and Audio Network, two very popular libraries in the world of production music. The deal: History would use only these 2 music libraries in all of their programming for a 2-year period, and would provide cuesheets for every program. There would be no license fees but there would be hundreds of thousands of dollars generated in performance royalties, so the library would get the publisher’s share of those & the individual writers would get the writer’s share of those if their cues were used. In a time when music budgets were disappearing, this move guaranteed that income would still be coming in for these libraries and their composers, and History was saving money in the short-term because they got to eliminate music budgets from all of their shows. (This deal isn’t public knowledge, but I found out about it through a friend of a friend, who called after it happened to say, “You’re not gonna believe this, but….”)

          A move like this has implications, both good and bad. Composers who made their living on these shows now had no work anymore. But if they had music in any libraries, then they stood a chance of still making a couple bucks. A network taking this strategy will save a lot of money in the short run, but they also lose out on the opportunity to recoup some of their ASCAP and BMI license fees (Networks pay blanket license fees to ASCAP and BMI, and that’s what a composer’s performance royalties come out of: when a network commissions a work-for-hire from a composer, the network retains the publisher’s share of the music, and therefore collects performance royalties on every broadcast — thereby recouping some of the license fees they’ve paid to ASCAP and BMI). This scenario has put many composers into a predicament: libraries have taken away most of their work, but the only way to keep making money is to be part of a library. So do you join the enemy that stole your work, or do you hold out and not play the game? It’s a tough choice and is totally up to you.

          You’ll find a lot of library discussion on music biz internet forums: some people are vehemently opposed to them and some take the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach. And a small handful of them do really really well with libraries, pulling in 6 figures a year just from having a lot of music in multiple libraries. My original approach was this: I have a lot of music sitting here on hard drives gathering dust, when they could be out there in the world making me some money. So if the choice was between having that music just sit there, or having someone actively exploiting it and gathering license fees and performance royalties, I wanted it out there making me some money. There are a couple rules of thumb you should keep in mind if you’re considering giving music to a library:

          – it takes 1.5 to 2 years before you start seeing any license fee income from your submissions if your music is accepted into a library. There’s a time lag for a slew of administrative reasons: libraries update their clients’ hard drives a couple times a year, then it takes time for your music to turn up in a show, and then it takes time for the producer to report usage and generate a cuesheet… that’s just how things work. Just remember that if a library only updates their clients in June and December, and if you’ve submitted music in January, that music will sit in a pile until June when the next update takes place.

          – having a couple cues with a library won’t make you any money. You really need to have a LOT of music in a library to better your chances of landing placements. The more cues you have in a library, the more placements you’ll get. If you need a goal for yourself, aim to have 100 cues in a library, but aspire to create 200-300 cues. It sounds like a lot, but if you wrote just one single 2-minute cue each week, at the end of 1 year you’d have a library of 52 cues just sitting there waiting to be exploited. These cues don’t need to be high art: they need to be useable in the context of cable TV. You can spin a catchy hook into a 2-minute piece easily.

          – Be very aware of each library’s business model. Be aware of what the fee splits are and what the performance royalty splits are. Every library is different. One truism that applies across the board is this: a library doesn’t have interest in pitching you as a composer, they have interest in pitching themselves as a whole in order to land that upfront fee, and to land the accompanying performance royalties from the broadcast of that show. With a library you truly are just another cog in the machine, but the more music you have in a library, the bigger the cog you are! And this means that you’ll make more money. It truly is a numbers game.

          – If a library’s contract ever has language about copyright assignment, or about exclusivity (the TRF libraries do this), I’d walk away. An agreement might say “you agree to grant exclusive rights in perpetuity for X songs” – which is essentially a copyright assignment. You’re giving that music to a library to exploit and sacrificing your ownership of the works, and that’s a bad thing. But bear in mind that there are some high-profile libraries out there (APM, Killer Tracks, Audio Network) who pay composers an upfront fee to write something and that piece is then treated as a work-for-hire.

          – Library income tends to grow over time. It’s discouraging that you’ll have to wait a year or two to see any money at all, but by the 5-year mark you will have seen some growth (again, assuming you have a lot of cues in the library). I always thought of it like this: 5 years goes by fast, and 5 years from now I’ll probably be really glad I just took the plunge and got the whole library thing into motion.

          – Temper your expectations about income for the first couple years. And when you start to see money coming in, it won’t be a lot. Here’s a typical scenario:

          1) production company pays $2000 to Library for music for an Animal Planet 1-hour show
          2) Library has a 50/50 split on license fees, so Library gets $1000 and the remaining $1000 is split up among all composers who had music used in the show.
          3) The show used 60 cues, so each composer’s cue earns $16.67. If you had 1 cue used in the show, you’ll make $16.67 for that cue. If you had 10 cues used, you’ll nab $167.

          This isn’t a lot of money, but remember that more money is usually made in performance royalties than in upfront license fees. So that $16.67 cue can rack up a lot of money if that show gets played to death over the next couple years.

          – There are tons of libraries out there and people have mixed feelings about all of them. A great resource is Take inflammatory or hyperbolic comments with a grain of salt… sometimes people aren’t savvy about the ins and outs of how library deals work and they vent their rage on forums like this.

          The Wrap-up

          – If you have music sitting around gathering dust, a library might be a great outlet for you. That music can make you some money in the long term and can get the performance royalty machine moving for you. Just be careful what you sign, and pick and choose libraries wisely.

          – Avoid exclusive deals completely. You lose the ability to place that music with other libraries, and also remember that if you place the cue somewhere yourself, and that cue is signed to an exclusive with a library, you then have to split the income with the library even though they had nothing to do with the deal. Doesn’t that kinda suck? Yes it does. So don’t do it. Or at least try to negotiate a “modified exclusive” agreement, whereby if you place the cue yourself, you don’t need to pay the library. Some of the boutique libraries are open to this sort of deal as long as your contract states that only you & that library will be pitching that cue: this alleviates their concern that your cues will turn up in a dozen different libraries (which is a concern of music libraries recently because the same music is turning up everywhere and it’s in a library’s interest to remain as unique as possible).

          – Make sure your cues are all registered with BMI or ASCAP so that having the cue on a cuesheet will trigger a performance royalty payment.

          – If you wrote songs with lyrics, libraries like to have non-vocal versions of that music as well. Giving them both versions increases your chances of placements.


          1. Nice article. Looks like it was posted about a year ago. The info about the History channel is not correct. I have had a number of cues placed there and I’m not with either of the libraries he mentions.

            Also his implication about not getting a royalty payment if your song isn’t registered with BMI or ASCAP is not true. The performance will get picked up off of the cue sheet (if filled and filed correctly) and you will get paid.

            Nice to see he plugged MLR!

            1. The more I research and ponder. The more blanket licenses and gratis deals that non exclusive libraries are doing. It is really start to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

              Something about just doesn’t sit right with me.
              I can’t fully explain it, but it feel sort of one-sided.

              The libraries make the deal
              then get a piece of publishing
              also on the back end part of deal.

              I have no problem with the upfront sync type placements I think that is fair across the board.

              But the lowest bidder blanket and gratis deal just feel weird.

              If someone else can pick up on what I am trying to say.

              1. Unfortunately that’s the state of the business. You don’t have to accept it. You can always try getting into a high end exclusive library (with it’s own set of problems) or contacting music sups, networks, shows, etc., directly. Personally I don’t have the personality to cold call folks.

                I also think of every cue placed as a business card that will spread the word about my music and maybe garner me some custom work.

                1. I would cold call any company in a heartbeat if I knew I had a chance to get direct placements. Libraries are going to continue to outbid one another with the broader economy being bad.

                  Direct placements sound better than any library deal that I can think of. I need to find companies and do more cold calling if I want to boost my PRO income. That is my ultimate goal for 2012.

                2. The only problem with that is often clients, supervisors, etc, only care to deal with people they know and trust. An established music library acts as a cushion to possible lawsuits.

                3. There has to be a way.
                  Otherwise, It is gonna end up
                  like how the record companies did so many artists.

                  Performing for pennies.

                  I say it doesn’t hurt to try.
                  But should be done with proper discretion

                4. If I were a music supervisor, I wouldn’t work directly with an unknown musician begging to get songs placed either!!! I would consider that person an amateur who would cause more trouble and ask too many questions. But on the other hand, a composer that has a catalog of songs licensed already has an understanding of contracts, licensing fees, music publishing, PRO representation, writer’s splits, and a track record of quality music.

                  I believe that I can build that trust simply by highlighting the work I have done. Since I already have music licensed in several shows, a music supervisor will be more likely to hire me. All I need to do is contact the correct music supervisors. I will be far more successful by targeting the music supervisors that work on shows that license the type of music I already create.

                  I am no longer an amateur. I do not have decades of experience, but I possess the technical skills of licensing good music and the people skills to communicate effectively. I would not recommend that most musicians even try to directly license music. It just isn’t for everyone.

          2. Great article and how things have changed.
            at one time I had written hundreds of infomercials,92-2008.
            Back in the day when we did whole soundtracks and before BMI/AScap
            reduced royalty rates by 2/3 rds,thats alot,the checks were unbelievable,in the 10’s of thousands per show of which we had anywhere from 10-30 shows on air at any one time.
            NOw like the article says its the numbers game.Even with music on a whole show its not alot
            but adds up when played all over the country.

    1. Used to use them, again, you have to pay.
      They hook me up with a few libraries…not something you cant do by yourself here.

  96. Wondering if anyone has taken the time to check all 400+ libraries here for non-exclusive verses exclusive? I’m thinking the non-exclusives out number the exclusives 5-1 or better.

  97. For those of you on Linkedin, how to you list your music licensing job in your linked in profile? What title do you use, and how to you list your accomplishments?

  98. oneluv
    “There are only a small few being active.
    I think we all know who they are.”

    Actually, been hanging around MLR for quite a while but I have no idea on what libraries are actually active in their pitching. Maybe you can enlighten me?
    I’ve been trying to ask this on other threads here but I always get quite evasive answers like “what works for me might not work for you” without naming a single library.


    1. Chris, though you may think the answers are vague. They are quite true. For example Audiosparx works well for many people and the top sellers on AS visit MLR regularly. I, for one, have not had much success with Audiosparx. I don’t blame Audiosparx as they have given me a tremendous amount of time and help to try and boost my sales. I have had much more success with Then again many composers can’t get into or might not have the same success. Also much of my income comes from TV placements and a lot of that is from Jingle Punks. Once again top sellers on other sites might not have the same success or be able to even get into JP.

      There is no EASY path! It’s taken many of us years of trying different libraries to find out what works for us. I have probably gone through 15 to 20 of them to find the few that generate any kind of income. Patience and persistence is the rule!

      1. That’s interesting.
        I’m encourage that you could actually earn some decent money at Jingle Punks. I have about 40 tracks there so far some of which I don’t think are very good but that’s the one they licensed.
        They’ve only rejected one or two and house cleaned a few.
        I was turned down by MusicLoops and It’s too soon to tell if Audiosparx will work for me since I’ve only just upload my 30 minimum tracks though they have named a couple they thought had a decent chance of selling in their opinion and who would better know?
        Sorry for getting off subject. Just wanted to respond to your post.

      2. Art,

        I just looked at the for the first time. This was in the FAQ:

        “3. We do not accept any composer who distributes their music through the Audiosparx websites.”

        Is this a new exclusion or do they mean on an individual track basis?

            1. Yes, a Merry Christmas, happy holiday season, and Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year
              to all.


      3. Art!

        I absolutely understand that there’s no “universal” library for everyone. That’s not what I’m asking for. Maybe I’ve been vague in the way I’ve put my questions earlier (hell, I AM from Sweden πŸ˜€ ).

        But in your answer here you give me exactly what I’ve been looking for, big thanks for that. Namedropping a few libraries that has worked for you tells me one very important thing, they’re active.
        There’s a LOT of libraries out there just piling up music hoping that someone will stumble upon their site and start buying.

        I don’t think anyone here wants to waste their precious time on submitting music to dead or half dead libraries.

        To conclude, finding out what libraries are active, or even better, actively pitching their music is crucial knowledge.

  99. Oneluv said: “It is becoming clear. That the majority of libraries are all hype.” This statement rings true. I will not name any names but I have added music to about 20 libraries over the last three years. I have only had placements from 3 libraries, with one library accounting for 80% of my placements.

    Last month, I pulled my music out of all libraries except those three. I even got an exclusive library to terminate the contract and give me back the rights to my music. The problem with many libraries is that they have poor business plans. They do not have the clientele to market songs to. I hope that those of you who have been at this for a while take notice.

    If anyone wants a few pointers, let me know.

  100. My daughter and I were watching the latest episode of Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel when I recognized one of my cues. It took a couple of seconds for me to realize it, but it felt awesome once I figured out what was happening.

    It’s been about 8 months or so since I have been getting my cues out there. I noticed my first cue sheet in my ascap account and now this surprise. Haven’t seen any money yet, but just getting cues placed is a dream come true.

    1. Congrats!! That really is a great feeling hearing your music for the first time, and when you’re not expecting it makes it even better!!

  101. I’m experimenting with a cue that really sounds like music for a fast moving arcade video game. Video game music isn’t a specific choice in the library drop down menus.
    Anybody have any leads to any libraries that specialize in music for video games?

  102. Not sure what section to post this but, Iv been offered an exclusive contract for 25 tracks with a UK library, the deal is sort of standard, 50% of all money generated and they have listed beside each track what project it will/could be used in. Thing is iv been working on these tracks for about 1 year and as Im skint I want money upfront if im to put all my new eggs into one basket. but im afraid to ask for a recouplable advance incase it p*****s them off. They are nice guys. Should i just ask? How much should I ask for?

    1. Never concern yourself about p—ing publishers off. Any legitimate publisher will answer all your questions in a professional manner. If they don’t, it would be a good sign to pass on them.

    2. Hysteria
      Does the contract have a reversion clause? 2, 3, 5 years?

      25 tracks is a lot to commit to one library exclusively unless you know a lot about the potential. I wouldn’t suggest signing over tracks for life with no reversion unless you were paid something up-front. Even with reversion, you may want to start out with a smaller number of tracks, maybe 10.

      If it’s a library you’ve had placement success with before or know a lot about their track record, weigh that more.

      Best of luck.

      1. OK thanks for the pointers Other John and Advice. Ill check the contract for a reversion clause now. I want to ask for a recoupable advance as I dont know too much about them but they have had placements with BMW amoungst others and recently Land Rover. I was informed by another MLR member to expect Β£100 upfront per track if a recoup is granted? That would total at Β£2500 for the full 25 tracks but iv a feeling that might be askn too much

        1. That’s a totally fine starting point from my experience. They can always negotiate with you, but that’s a fair amount per track.

  103. I’ve got question for everybody. I was working on an instrumental tonight and just didn’t feel it was that interesting. I’ll probably finish it, but I was just wondering what others do when they write something they aren’t that crazy about. Do you try to find a place for everything you write, or do you throw anything that isn’t your ‘A’ or ‘B’ material out?

    1. I keep a rough ideas folder for stuff that I started and for whatever reason either not in the mood or no immediate ideas etc and put it in there for another time. I find that when I go back to all those rough ideas, I can either finish what I started or they act as a springboard for a whole new idea.
      Also, I found that sometimes interesting is exactly what library supervisors don’t want depending on the use so I don’t throw out anything. I just put in my rough idea folder for another time. Everything has a potential for use.
      My only license this year was from Jinglepunks on a song I had left for dead while I got nothing so far on what I thought was crap and was sorry I had uploaded it thinking it didn’t have a chance. Sometimes the more interesting you make it, the less useful it is for being in the background. Never know. Throw out nothing.

    2. I NEVER throw anything away. I’ve got Performer files going back to Performer 1.0, circa 1985,
      about 2500 cues. I’ve got additional cues on PAPER, going back to the stone age. πŸ˜†

      1. LOL! I know what you mean. I never throw anything also. I have boxes of song starts, on cassette, that I know “someday” I will get back too! They go back to the 70s!

        1. I’ve got cassettes from the 70’s too.

          I transferred them to digital files for really LONG storage –just in case! πŸ˜†

            1. I found a big bag of cassettes but I need a damn pencil to stick in that hole so I can twirl the tape hanging out back into the cassette!

              1. when im writing something that im not too keen on i will finish the track anyway for the sake of building my catalog and also cos sometimes the ones you werent keen on sell more than youd expexted.

  104. Question: Would it fair to now say that majority of Jingle Punks backend placements are gratis-type deals.

    I am getting some feedback from other composers that is looking like the outcome.

    If so, is this considered fair to indie composers.

    1. I’ve received a number of license fees from JP. More than any other non-exclusives I’m with. That being said, many placements are back end only.

      1. I’m a little concerned about the gratis deals…
        It would seem that more of those deals are done.

        I do not doubt that royalties are earned, also.
        I just feel it is not fair to composers to give music away for free. When the company still gets paid somehow.

        Hope I explained it right.

        1. A true gratis deal would mean that the library doesn’t get paid either. Both the composers and the library would only earn back end money. A friend of mine works directly with a lot of MTV supervisors and its all through gratis deals. They pay him nothing up front and he only gets back end.

          I think you are thinking of something like a blanket deal where a network or production company pays the library for access to their catalog. Like $2k per year or something and they have access to the entire music catalog. I completely made that number up but the real numbers I have heard for deals like that aren’t all that impressive TBH. So, even though it seems unfair that the composer isn’t getting anything on a deal like that, in reality a library with 10,000 plus cues doing a deal like that would most likely mean pennies for each composer. Or maybe even fractions of pennies. I say let the library keep the $2k or whatever and use it to help pay their overhead.


          1. thanks for the reponse.
            The gratis deals were explained by Jingle Punks.
            The concern was over composers not having a say in the matter.

            It would seem that not just JP. The best deals go to the guys that work at the office. Not all , but the majority.

            One would argue it is their right since it is their company, so now the composer has to also compete with the label per say.

            Not just other composers.

            1. While we are on the subject of compensation, is there a thread here discussing making money? I would like more objective information on how to maximize income from music licensing. I just do not think anyone here is sharing or even willing to talk about making money. I think a good conversation would help composers to have realistic expectations about how to make a living from their songwriting. Any thoughts?

              1. Nobody is withholding secret information from you.
                There is no simple formula to share.

                Most of us learned by trial and error over a long period of time, and then succeeded by a combination of luck and hard work. What worked for one person might not work for another, because we all write and produce differently.

                Here’s a general book about the business that purports to tell you how to make money.


                Here’s a “how to” license website:


                In the end it comes down to you and your music, whether or not there is a buyer for what you do, and whether or not there is anything about you that stands out from the next person.

              2. But… to answer your question directly regarding maximizing your income from music. The writers that I know, including myself, who earn a living, do several different things.

                Michael Nicholas, writes for libraries, he just published his guide book, he owns/operates a studio, he does custom work, he plays live and he does session work (feel free to chime in Michael).

                Erwin (50 styles), as he explained in another thread, writes a lot of custom music for advertising and does live corporate shows.

                Jason Livesey writes library music, and custom music for film and TV, AND he has a live act.

                I write for TV. I write for libraries that pay upfront, I upload music to libraries that sell online, I have commercial CDs for sale on CDbaby, iTunes etc., I have a CD on Pandora that will generate some royalties through Soundexchange, I have an older catalog of library tracks that still generates some royalties.

                I can’t speak for others, but for me, networking and meeting people face to face has been invaluable. Every person that I met led to another connection, another job, another step along the path.

                I can’t speak for others, but IMO you need to invest in the best sounds and instruments that you can afford.

                As daverock put it in another thread, “can you afford to have no income for 2-3 years, while you crank out 100 tracks per year?” I think that is as realistic a statement as any that you’ll see here. The question, after that is how long does it take to earn a living wage?

                Stephen (slideboardouts), I think gave a pretty good break down of how long it took him and how many tracks he had before he could quit his day job and anticipate 50K in earnings.

                Maybe some of the writers that I mentioned will chime in to give you a clearer picture.

                Good luck.


                1. Hi euca,

                  Sorry, I can’t remember maybe in Newbie Questions, but if he reads this, I’m sure that he can point you toward it.



                2. im not sure where that post is or how to find it. But here is the gist:

                  It took 3 years to start seeing money that was of any consequence. It took 4 years to make a decent living. And by decent I just mean “not poor”.

                  At first I worked a full time job and wrote music as a hobby. Then for about a year I worked a full time job and then wrote music full time when I got home and on the weekends. So basically I had two full time jobs with only one full time salary. I saved as much money as possible while having a full time job.

                  I then got laid off and decided to get a part time job and use my savings so I could focus more on music. Then I basically just weened myself off of the part time job as my music income grew.

                  One thing that’s important to keep in mind when thinking about how long it will take to make a living is what YOUR financial needs are. I will make around 40k this year, which for me is great, but for some people that is an “unlivable” salary. I remember one time hearing some guys saying that they will need to make 80k before being able to quit their day job. Unless you lucked out and landed a theme song, 80k is going to take a while. Especially if you plan on working a full time day job the entire time.


                3. Thanks for that Steve. Excellent post. I too am pursuing this full time since getting laid off. About how many songs in a year did you average before your first year of “decent” income?

                4. Hey Steve,

                  Thanks for responding, and providing an excellent post regarding your experience.

                  Congrats on your success.



                5. @Pat

                  I can’t remember exactly but I think my total catalog was in the neighborhood of 300. So I was probably averaging a little under 100 tracks per year when I started making a decent amount of money. But that “decent” money still wasn’t enough to make a living off of. I had to have a part time job and do various filler work whenever I got a chance. I’ve got somewhere between 600-700 right now, and write anywhere between 100-200 tracks per year plus commercials.


                6. “feel free to chime in Michael”

                  Replace session work with writing articles for “Recording Magazine” and you’ll have it.

                  “help composers to have realistic expectations about how to make a living from their songwriting”

                  Realistically, at least for me, it was easier five years ago. I had a lot of good paying custom work! I say composers now have to expect competition that didn’t exist five years ago. And expect the competition to underbid you or even work for free. Which you can’t compete with. Hmm… as I read that it sounds like a Catch 22! So I agree with Michael. Expect to work hard at several different (music related) things.


                7. HI Michael,

                  Do you teach too (guitar)? A while back, I taught a music biz course at a local college.
                  Oh, and there was that dark period where I practiced law. πŸ˜‰



              3. These are not exactly the types of conversations that I was
                looking for. But thanks anyway. If anyone else can help , I ams looking for stats and hard data such as:

                -Size of catalog
                -Quarterly PRO payments for the last 8 quarters
                -Number of upfront license fees
                -Typical amount earned per license fee
                -Typical earnings per sale on royalty free sites
                -Names of networks/shows that pay the best money

                I guess I am trying to compile a database and set up a plan of attack. I am successful in getting licences. But I know that I may be missing out on something. I know that I could be earning more. I am looking to get more focused to increase my earning for 2012. Thanks anyway.

    1. Well, disclaimer – the computer in my studio is not connected to the internet so I’m listening on computer speakers in my office. Not the ideal setup to judge production. So just from bouncing around a few of your tunes I say that I like the cues that use real instruments but the ones that are more MIDI based are less exciting. The MIDI parts don’t have a real feel or sound to me. For example, the horns in the latest Samba. One production technique is to bring in just one real player and blend in their performance with your MIDI. Imagine the difference it would make say with just one real trumpet overdubbed a few times! Another technique is to work in some loops. Loops are usually recordings of real instruments, not MIDI, and can add a sense of realism.


      1. Michael:
        Thanks very much for the comments, and I say I have to agree with you on the horn parts. Before I got this new MacBook pro, I was using Kick-Ass Brass, which were great samples, but KAB is not compatible with MAC OSX, so I have been using the brass setting on my Yamaha S90 RS Synth, and they are not that good. Very synthetic sounding. But I can only use what I can afford now…as you know.

        I would like to use some real horn players but don’t know any here where I live

        I do use loops for all of my World music tracks for the ethnic instruments and they do sound great.

        Thanks again, and I appreciate your taking the time to listen.

        1. You’re welcome Gary.

          “But I can only use what I can afford now…as you know”

          I do know. It’s a shame that music industry based income is so low these days. In many cases it just doesn’t allow for purchasing upgrades and the “latest and greatest”.

          Loops are good for World, but with a little practice can be used for any type of piece. Check out my orchestra version of “O Come All Ye Faithful”. –
 Melody is real nylon string guitar, the backing track is made up entirely of orchestra loops I manipulated to fit my arrangement. No MIDI used at all. The loops are recordings of a real orchestra so I hope it brings a sense of realism.

          1. The loops sound great! Nice treatment of the song as well. I see what you mean. I’ll have to experiment with this.

  105. Thanks for the responses guys. I had been leaving these long gaps open and it started bugging me being so I decided to email Ryan at Scorekeepers since it does make sense that rather than being an industry standard, it would depend on what they want.

    1. Hi Pat
      Its important to differentiate between Alt Mixes and Stems when delivering, Stems ARE the whole individual tracks/tracks with gaps if they exist. These enable the client to reconstruct a mix and delete a part as required if they want. Alt mixs are just that, usually with lead instruments deleted or drums and bass only etc.

      1. Hi woodsdenis, thanks for explaining the difference between alts and stems. I was never clear on that.
        This library
        Now since I’m not being requested to send separate tracks but “alt” versions, I’d been sending the stereo .wav minus whatever instrument which sometimes leaves that large gap. That is the question. To close or not to close the gaps created by removing certain instruments in alt versions.

        1. I was always under the impression that Alts were just edits of the original track, as in :60, :30, :15, etc… I always try to edit the entire track, with all the instruments in the mix (unless something didn’t work in the edit). In that case, you would edit out the gaps. I would email the library and ask specifics, anything on the web will be just a guess.

          1. I believe edits are the 30, 60,1min whatever versions with all the instruments and alts are the no bass, no lead, no drums etc versions. I think editing out the gaps would sound better but as previously mentioned maybe they want the gaps in. I emailed Scorekeepers and asked them what they want. I’ve never gotten any feedback from them about my edits but that could just mean they didn’t decide to used them without telling me what they want.

            1. My Understanding of the terms are

              Stems: Tracks or generally a collection of like tracks from beginning to end of cue which would enable the sound-mixer/Client to dropout,lets say the drums on a particular section. Usually Drums,bass,Keys,BVs Vox, FX,Strings etc. each grouped as a stereo pair.

              Alts. Alternative mixs of the main cue, maybe an instrumental of a Vocal cue or with a lead element taken out, sometimes referred to as Underscore if it is just chordal based with no discernible melody.

              Edit. Cut down versions of the Main track that comply to the length of Advertising for TV. Generally 30sec or 60 sec. There are different standards for this though, in Ireland and UK a 30sec TV commercial is in fact 29 secs of sound . There is a 15 frame blank at start and end so that commercials dont run into each other.

              1. Great definitions. My edits thus far are 30sec 60 etc with all instruments. My alts (no bass, bass and drums etc) are full length only.

                1. Yes, good definitions Denis. One reason for having alts is so that the music editor can drop out the vocals or lead instrument at any point so that it will not compete with dialogue in a scene. In that case, the sound mixer will have one track with the full mix, and one track with the underscore (mix without the vocals of lead instrument), and he can switch between the two. Those two have to match up perfectly. So no, you would not edit out the gaps.

                2. Alt versions have to make sense of course, this is where you use your own judgement, sometimes a Drums and Bass version might really work, for a lot of TV work this is what they need. Dont forget for TV/Film underscore,loud melody really isn’t as important as in a main cue.
                  Listen to underscore work on mainstream TV drama, its not meant to stand out, its there to enhance a scene. A simple chord seq on a synth might do the trick or maybe one note!!!
                  Remember Twin Peaks Cm+5./Cm/Cm7/Cm on a stock synth pad Brilliant. I think I have the key right (MichaelL correct me) but you get the idea.

                3. “Alt versions have to make sense of course, this is where you use your own judgement”
                  Great post and that’s pretty much what I was looking for woodsdenis because my alts could be slammin and then for 10 bars you could hear crickets then out of the blue all this music throws back up on you.
                  I think I was being a bit too ridgid thinking there were some standard industry hard and fast rules I wasn’t following and instead of the libraries telling me different, they’d just discard my alts which is also disgarding chances to get licensed.

  106. Alt version question for you guys.
    I’m doing some alt versions like drums and bass only, no lead etc. Do you still make the alt version the full version with only those items even if there’s a big empty space where maybe the synth alone would play only now it’s muted because it’s a drum and base alt? The drum and bass sound great until it hits that 80r 16 bar blank where nothing is heard.
    Just wondering how supervisors handle that.

    1. Hey Pat,

      I haven’t been in that situation, but I would edit out the gap. You’re describing a “bed” mix, usually the rhythm section without the melody. The “bed” doesn’t have to be the same length as the full track, especially if it doesn’t make sense. Nothing is written in stone.



    2. If they are really light mixes I would leave them in. That way everything lines if someone wants to “mix” their own version.

      1. +1

        If they are really light mixes leave them in, but if you mean silence for 8 to 16 bars close the gap.

  107. Ok gang. Need some constructive criticism on the production quality of my tracks. Anything I can do to improve etc. I have only been at this for a couple of years, and done pretty well, but need some feedback from some of you that have been at this for while. Think I may be getting a bit over-critical….

    You can hear my tracks by going to my website and click on the Music page. Soundcloud would probably the the best, as they are MP3’s with no watermarks.

    Any comments would be appreciated!! Good or bad..


    1. I can tell you what is wrong with your music. I will tell you exactly all.of the things that you are doing wrong thus far. I see that your biggest problem is that…just kidding!

      Your music is awesome to me. Any library would be lucky to have you as a composer. Keep workng hard. You have the gift.

    1. GaryW, the guiro is real. I played it, a clean recording through a decent condenser. I’m going to try bringing the level way down on the mastered mix next.

      1. Getting rid of the loudness maximizer helped a lot. I normalized to -0.1 after the mp3 conversion. I still hate the sound of a 128kbps mp3, but at least the mood of the cue is conveyed now.

        I would appreciate any insight if anyone has ideas. I’ll be glad to email a snippet of mp3 and wav versions so you can hear what’s happening.

  108. Help!

    I’m finishing up a cue that has a guiro. When I convert to mp3 the sound gets destroyed. Much worse than other stuff does. I’ve notice similar symptoms when converting synth tracks with square wave based patches, but this is unacceptable.
    I mastered in Ozone, loudness to -0.1, not squashed. It’s crystal clear as a wave. I’ve tried the LAME converter in Sonar and the converter in Sound Forge. SF is a little better. I need to make it 128kbps so Crucial can reject it (sorry, I couldn’t resist)


  109. Does anyone know of an online resource that lists all dates a particular tv show has been aired?

    I just found out about my first cue placement. It was on a Discovery Channel show called Hillbilly Handfishin. I am curious how many time the show has aired.

    All I can find is original air dates.

    1. Congrats! Discovery is one of the best paying cable networks that I have seen so far. Even with only 6-8 showings in a quarter a discovery placement often pays pretty dang good.


      1. I got a placement on the same episode. Does it air on Discovery Channel too? I thought it was only on Animal Planet. I know they are affiliated though with Discovery owning Animal Planet.

        1. Hey Gary, I see that you have a lot of songs in Audiosparx. How is that working out for you? I am not quite sure if my stuff would sync well with their site. Just curious.

          1. Synth:
            I have been with them since July of 2010, and have done pretty well. They tend to charge more for their tracks, so I don’t do a huge volume with them, but when I do make a sale it is more dollars than other sites.

            In fact this quarter has been my best with them since joining.

            They are great people to work with as well. Barbie and Lee are extremely helpful in getting the most from your tracks. They also have quite a few distribution partners which also helps to bring in some extra money. All in all, I highly recommend them.

  110. Yeah, it would be cool. Probably pretty tough though since everyone is spread out.

    No I’m not, I’m an east coast boy. Philly area.

  111. Synth,

    Sorry you feel that way.

    I’m very busy — currently writing for 5 television shows (6 or 7 next year), and writing and reviewing tracks for our library. I’ve tried to offer concrete and practical advice on how to advance in this business, based upon my experience as a television composer, library composer, publisher AND attorney.

    Some of my answers were based upon what I would expect from, and look for, in choosing to work with another writer for our television shows and library. My expectations are not likely to be very different from any other exclusive library or publisher.

    It takes a lot of time to provide thoughtful answers, especially if there are legal issues involved. I don’t gain anything by taking the time to answer those questions. however, I think that doing so has reached a point of diminishing value.

    Best of luck in your career.


    1. Hey Michael, I deleted synth’s comment you are responding to. Really counter-productive and when people get into name calling I have no use for them. If he keeps it up he will be banned. I for one appreciate all the time you take to willingly share your knowledge and expertise.

      Have a Happy Holiday!


      1. Hey Art,

        No worries. And, no problem with Synth. He’s young and passionate which is generally a good combination.

        The hardest thing to convey here is the intangible. We can talk about music, exclusive, non-exclusive, royalty-free, until we’re blue in the face. But, how do you communicate professionalism, protocol, decorum — the stuff that is essential for making it in the business world? These things can be as important as your musical chops.

        All the best,


    2. @ Michael:
      Looks like you have a lot going on.
      My co composer and I would love to help out.
      Love to submit! How does that work since you’re
      always looking?!!,,,,

      1. Hi Dan,

        “My co composer and I would love to help out.
        Love to submit! How does that work since you’re
        always looking?!!,,,,”

        Thanks. I do have a lot going on, but see my response to daverock below. One of the reasons that I choose to stay semi-anonymous is that I do not want to be deluged by submissions. Our library is exclusive and I have one other hand-picked writer working on the shows. He’s great, but it takes a lot of time to review just one other person’s work. So, for now, we’re not accepting submissions. Sorry.

        All the best,


    3. I think the great thing about this site is the broad range of views and experience on here. I find it easy personally, to distinguish the people whose advice and comments I listen to and take in and those I don’t. If someone makes a blanket comment, they get called on it quite rightly.

      There is no right or wrong , Exclusive v Non exclusive. retitling v sole copywrite control etc. But there are many different issues to be aware of whatever you do, and this is what this great resource is about.

      And of course you can disregard whatever I say too, it’s all part of it. I can only answer based on my experience ( of which I have a lot of considering my age LOL).

      And finally “Music is in the ears of the beholder” in this game. Your opus may never get licensed but your
      30 second version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star may make your mortgage payment.

  112. Thank you Synth Player πŸ™‚ I do understand ” exclusive ” in most part , it’s just that I’ve read and been told from more than a few exclusives about the point I brought up , just wanted other artist’s input for some clarification independently from the influence from the library.

  113. Thank you everybody , sincerely appreciated, it all helps. Michael πŸ™‚ , It wasn’t my intention to start anything negative.

    1. JS, you asked some great questions. There can never be anything negative as long as people speak from experience. All of our experiences are a bit different. Please feel free to call out people on information if it sounds or feels strange. I myself have no problem discussing my success/failure. Others will feel differently about revealing their progress.

  114. Also, some non-exclusive libraries may actually be exclusive. Read the contracts carefully. Some non-exclusives only allow their composers to personally sell their music, but not be signed to other libraries. It would be nice if the terms exclusive and non-exclusive had more concrete meanings.

    1. We usually call those “semi-exclusive”. That is where it’s either exclusive to film/TV pitches only -OR- just as far as other libraries are concerned.


  115. Hello ! Just a question and observation about exclusive libraries ? example … if Co.A licenses a track can Co.B also license the same track from that exclusive library ? If so, what really is the purpose of exclusive as they explain it, besides the idea of only them having the track in their library ? They say that one purpose is so a client doesn’t have to be concerned about someone else using the track, if so then their reasoning then doesn’t add up, or am I missing something ? I apologize if this appears in an existing thread, I’m hoping it’s a new topic, it’s my first posting. Thank you.

    1. Hi JS
      I think we need to clarify things a bit. When we talk about library exclusivity, we are talking about them being the only ones who REPRESENT that track to end-users (film/TV sups), not with respect to the end-users themselves.

      If you sign an exclusive contract with a music library, depending on the contract wording, they are either the only LIBRARY who represents your track to film/TV sups or the only ENTITY that does that. The idea is, there won’t be conflicts with a music sup getting the same track from multiple sources.

      However, the exclusive library can license your track to as many end users as possible (unless a deal they make prohibits that which is not that common and might require your additional approval). It’s not at all unusual for an exclusive libary to place your track in multiple places.

      Am I making sense? Does that help?

      1. An exclusive library can also add a composer’s music to multiple non-exclusive libraries. Don’t be fooled by exclusivity. Only a handful of exclusive libraries are worth the hassle. Exclusivity is in the best interest of the library, not the composer.

        1. I have to disagree with the broad, sweeping statements about exclusive libraries. There are some excellent ones out there making good money for composers. Many of these have high end clients that won’t deal with non-exclusive/re-title libraries. Remember, some major networks are already balking at taking any tracks from non-exclusives.

          That doesn’t mean all or any exclusives are better for anyone than non-exclusives. Not at all. It’s case by case, situation by situation.

          Also remember that in the exclusive domain is custom work to spec. Here you often get an upfront fee (not always) but the publishing goes to the library for life. You collect writer’s share.

          It’s important that none of us judge libraries (myself included!) by how hard it is to get our tracks accepted by them.

          1. +1

            Art…time for the reality filter. There are a lot of potentially harmful opinions and often bad advice coming from writers with relatively little experience.

            Many writers have strong opinions, that’s OK. But, thoughtful and measured answers, not blanket statements, are most helpful.


            1. “Art…time for the reality filter. There are a lot of potentially harmful opinions and often bad advice coming from writers with relatively little experience.

              I agree that there are some potentially harmful opinions on here, especially in reference to exclusive libraries.

              I tell you what I object to most though, is people dishing out supposedly ‘expert’ opinions when really there is no evidence to suggest they know any more than the next man. Fine, be an expert but then post some recent stuff and let’s see what you’ve got to back up the words. This is such a common thing on music forums – everyone’s an expert but then when asked “OK, show me what you can do” things go a bit quiet.

              An old Chinese proverb once said: “Before speaking from a great height, it is necessary to have first climbed the mountain”. With some people on here I’m getting rather a ‘base camp’ vibe.

              In general guys, I say consider your posts. You want to find out about exclusives? Go and listen to some! Do the research. Look at some cue sheets, see what’s being used in films.

              Compare and contrast to non-exclusives. Consider the merits of each. Trust your ears. What do you want? Usage? Money? Just some recognition and someone to accept a track or two? Enough to leave the day job? A hobby? What do you want in the long term? Are you prepared to pump out 100 trax a year with no income for the first 2-3? Can you offer something new and unique? or are you another one doing dance music with long intros?

              Consider all these and plan accordingly and don’t be swayed by what people post on here, which is sometimes helpful and occasionally not.

              1. Hi Daverock,

                What kind of evidence I can produce that will satisfy you? Simply posting a current track is meaningless. But….I’ve written hundreds of tracks for 8 exclusive libraries. I currently write for, and publish, music for 5 television shows. My theme music alone will air over 100,000 times next year. I am a composer, publisher AND an attorney. If that’s not expert enough for you….what is?

                I am not semi-anonymous because I have nothing to show. It is because I do not want be deluged by submissions.

                You’re advice below is right on target.

                “Compare and contrast to non-exclusives. Consider the merits of each. Trust your ears. What do you want? Usage? Money? Just some recognition and someone to accept a track or two? Enough to leave the day job? A hobby? What do you want in the long term? Are you prepared to pump out 100 trax a year with no income for the first 2-3? Can you offer something new and unique? or are you another one doing dance music with long intros?”

                We’re on the same page.



            2. Art, I see that daverock responded to this post, but I cannot read his entire post (maybe it’s awaiting moderation).



  116. Art put this up as a poll (Thanks Art!) but I’d also like to post it as a question to hear what a lot of you have to say.

    Do you put your tracks in multiple re-title libraries or do you treat each non-exclusive for a track as if it were exclusive?

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Right now, as I am relatively new to this, I am in 8 non-exclusive RF libraries. I don’t re-title my tracks and not every library, except for two, has all of my tracks. Have not had any exclusives as of yet.

    2. Bump…. I wanted to bump the question:

      Do you put your tracks in multiple re-title libraries or do you treat each non-exclusive for a track as if it were exclusive?


      1. Check the Poll results (link on navigation menu). Currently 4 votes to 1 that composers do not treat non-exclusives as exclusives.

  117. Has anyone here ever had much trouble with tinnitus? Iv had tinnitus for about the last 8-9 years. Im at a point now where im starting to get a little worried about it as it seems to be getting slightly louder over the past year or so. maybe cos im mastering my own work now and the audio level is louder when i master. Its only noticeable when its quiet and when i go to bed but Im 28 now and im worried that by the time im say 35 ill be tortured with it.Has anyone here been through any experiences with tinnitus?

    1. Yep, I have it. Mine is always there, sometimes worse than others. Mine is more of a hiss than a ringing. That website that Art pointed you to is great. Caffeine and ibuprofen really seem to bring it on.

      A friend of mine has it and he gets his ears cleaned out by a doctor, he says it helps but I’m not sure I want my ear flushed out, just a little nervous it would do more harm than good.

      Did you have your wisdom teeth pulled? This can also cause it.

    2. Hi Euca,
      my boyfriend (who is also a musician) has tinnitus too. He says it helps him to stand next to running water, cause it has a similar frequency and somehow makes the tinnitus sound go away.
      Personally I never tried it, cause I thankfully dont have tinnitus. But I thought I share this little trick, maybe it helps a bit!

      1. I bet he pees a lot, Ulla. πŸ™‚ Just kidding. Seriously, whatever works! I don’t have the condition but I hear it can be very delibitating.

          1. Thanks Art ill check that link out. @ euca No havent had any wisdom teeth out but i do drink loads of tea when im writing so maybe the caffiene in there is having an effect(never knew that). Iv had a stuffy head recently aswell which seems to have coinsided with the hightened tinnitus. when writing, sound seems to resonate more in my head when its stuffy/sinusy.

            Thanks for the comms.

            1. @hysteria-yep, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol all make it worse. But l do drink coffee when I’m writing. I know what you mean about the stuffiness, last year I got an ear infection that actually blew out my ear drum, took about three weeks before I could even listen to music. All this right after I upgraded my studio, it was killing me not to write.

              @ulla- thanks for the tip. It does seem to help a bit!!

              1. I spend on average 6 hours a day in front of speakers. It used to occur often when I was working as a full time engineer, along with iritability and fatigue. Since making the switch from coffee to green tea a few years back, I’ve only gotten it a few times. Also, keep your mixes at 85db and try to work with less volume unless
                setting up tracking eq/comp and mixing.

  118. anyone know a good WAV to AIF converter? Is there any auido quality difference between the two? Iv heard that when converting WAV to MP3 that audio loops dont loop properly anymore. Is there anything to look out for like that when converting to AIF from WAV? Is there a freebie that does the job well?

    1. Audacity on a Mac. No difference in sound quality, double check wether the recipient needs aif or aiff. They are the same just append the file suffix. MP3 dont loop correctly beacause they add a tiny piece of blank space at the start of the file.

    2. I’ve been using “Switch”. I’m on a PC. I like at as you can “batch” the files. BTW JD can iTunes “batch” the files? In other words, more than one at a time?

      1. Hmmm? I usually do one at a time, but I think you can create a “playlist”, highlight (select) all of the tracks and convert them all at once. You just have to setup your “import settings” first. (BTW, I’m on a mac.)

    3. I don’t know if this addresses your issue exactly, but I am seriously looking at the Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec plug-in that was recently introduced. The Sonnox website has a video on it.

    4. Yes, I use itunes for all conversions. You can also change the bit rate and the sample rate. It’s easy.

  119. Looking for advice.
    I don’t have a website for my music yet and think it’s about time. I have a pretty lame site for my small (one man) Sound Reinforcement Company with a domain name through Yahoo Small business. I did put up a page on it that could only be accessed directly, no links from the live sound site. Unfortunately the cues were downloadable and I really don’t want that. I don’t see an option in my Yahoo site builder program that can prohibit downloads. I’m considering watermarking my cues with “sample” or something every 15 seconds, but that seems kind of lame/paranoid to me. Ideas?

    I just opened a soundcloud account but haven’t put any cues up there yet. Would using soundcloud for my “artist page” seem to amateur?

    Any other ideas for a non-HTML’n composer that are fairly painless, professional looking, and won’t cost me a fortune or a month learning web design?


    Your Cue Demo Reel page is great. What playback system is that?

    1. Hi AlanF,

      I build all my sites using WordPress (free). I’ve finished my own music library site and just uploading the music files now. If you are willing to learn WordPress it’s all pretty low cost. The web hosting is about $10 per month. I’m using Amazon S3 servers to store all the files which (at this point) is pennies per month. The shopping cart plugin was $40. All the other functions use plugins that are free. The audio plugin (where that demo reel is) is called AudioPlayer. Of course you need to be running a WordPress site to use it.

      The only real cost I will have (which I could not find a plugin for) is a Playlist feature that a client can use to build multiple playlists. That will cost me $500 but I think it’s worth it, though not necessary.

      1. Art – as always thanks for sharing.
        Would love to see your music lib site when it’s done. as I’m looking for a viable solution myself.
        Could you please post the URL?
        A step by step tutorial would be so valuable, guess I just got to dig in and learn wordpress.

        1. At some point I’ll do a basic tutorial and also post a URL when it’s finished.

          You should also learn how to work with a spreadsheet and the basic functions of phpMyAdmin. You can usually find it in your cPanel in your hosting account. It’s a great way to quickly upload and update data into the WordPress MYSQL database.

  120. Not worried… I think my participation in the bottom end of the food chain is safe for now, LOL! πŸ™‚

    But you never know… A computer won a Jeopardy tournament. I’ll take “Car Chase Scenes” for $40, Alex!


  121. I need some advice on foreign movie placements. A fairly major motion picture in Brazil licensed an instrumental of mine and as far as I know they will be using the entire piece (4 + minutes).

    Fortunately usages in movie theatres in foreign countries do pay royalties. I’m pretty confident about my PRO(SESAC) handling the writers share thru the Brazilian affiliate PRO (UBC) but I am also administrating my own publishing and have never had to handle the publishing. I’m thinking it may be in my best interest to find a Brazilian sub-publisher to handle the publishing.

    Anyone have experience with foreign movie backend from a publishing vantage point (or for that matter writers royalties as well)? If so please weigh in. Thanks!

  122. It’s so funny that as soon as I saw this email about Juke-bot(and watched the video), I quickly jumped to MLR to post a question about this, but you’ve all beat me to the punch.

    I must say it makes me nervous. Do you guys really think we don’t have anything to worry about?

    1. I don’t think so. As I mentioned Sony had a similar program a few years ago but I don’t think it caught on as I can’t find it searching the net.

    2. I was half joking. But…I think that writers whose skill set and sound sources do not exceed what juke-bot can create, and who mainly sell cheap tracks (like for $1.00) may have some concerns. In other words, IMHO, it’s most likely to affect the bottom of he market, if at all. I do not think that juke-bot will compete effectively with higher quality material.

      Plus…there are a lot of editors who pride themselves on selecting and editing music.
      It’s part of their creative process.

        1. Hehe, I was waiting for this answer! πŸ˜‰

          What I meant was of course – how did they get my and your email addresses? What list are we all on that we get that email? Who gave them our email – a PRO, a music library, the illuminati or the freemasons?

          Anyway, not a big deal, I was just curious πŸ˜‰

  123. Have you guys seen this yet?

    It sounds a little primitive right now, and I don’t really understand exactly how it works, i.e. is it just finding appropriate music, or actually generating new music?

    This kind of technology might be the future of music for low budget projects… all the more need for composers to create original, fresh and unique sounding music (that an algorithm or AI could never come up with).

    1. I got one of those e-mails this morning also. Sony had a program like that a few years ago. I had a demo copy and it was pretty interesting.

    2. Interesting, but flawed. I could think of a dozen different ways to score a scene of people riding horses and none of them would be as simplistic and/or repetitive as what the algorithm spit out. Not to mention that the program is not likely to contain the thousands of dollars worth of high quality sounds that we use,

      Of course, the bottom of the food chain should be a little nervous. It will appeal people who are looking for cheap, not necessarily good. I could see some library writers using this software to flood the low end of the market with $.99 tracks.

      Don’t look for the hipster and his pal on Oscar night. They can’t tell the difference.

      Just MHO.

    3. If you scroll down you will see that this will be available for iPhone and Android. This kinda gives
      an indication of how low brow this will be. The video was deliberately vague as to how this works. Does it just take existing tracks and time stretch them to fit?

    1. Hi Steven,

      This is actually nothing new or ground-breaking. The Turtle Island Quartet and the Kronos String Quartet have been covering rock and jazz tunes like this for 20+ years.

      Here’s a video of Kronos doing Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze”
      in 1991.

      I guess the ad guys are just catching up.


  124. Not sure where to post this one but: I watched a bit of a documentary by Adam Curtis called All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace. It was aired on the BBC. I would love to name my new track with the same title. Im not sure if that’s allowed. Would I be breaking copyright laws? I would be intending on making money from the song through licensing. ( i have a feeling its probably not allowed )

      1. Art’s correct. There are no copyrights for titles or short phrases. However, trademarks are a different story. Trademarks distinguish one product from another. I remember when “Friendly’s” moved into our area. Many of the eateries in that vicinity started advertising they were the friendliest restaurant. They all had to remove the word Friendly from their signs.

          1. Be careful MichaelL. Some VIP from Friendly’s may be lurking. πŸ˜€

            I couldn’t believe those businesses weren’t allowed to use that common adjective. They weren’t using “friendly” as a name, only as a way to describe their establishment.

      2. Okay thanks for the comms guys. @ Art, can you exlplain what you mean by karma wise it might be a different story? I hadnt thought about that side of it. I just assumed that if the creator happened to hear my song he would possibly enjoy it and be happy that id been inspired by his work? I love the title and thought it would be a great song title.

  125. Anyone using a tablet computer for uploading
    new music to sites they are on,Ipads,and the rest,
    or are you sticking to a tower/laptop?

    1. Hi Dan

      A lot of sites are iPad unfriendly. Audiosparx crashes it if you try to edit and a lot of sites use flash mp3 players which of course don’t work for iPad. All in all, bearing in mind that that the tracks were created and reside on my tower I use that to upload.

      1. @Denis:
        Like I figured,one has to do a bit of research
        before jumping into this game.
        I know audio sparx is more pc friendly than mac
        but change is constant for sure.
        My guess is its another way to get into a business that has
        growth potential. The app-mosphere!!happy thanksgiving!

  126. Ok I’ve paid for a month’s subscription. Now what? I don’t have any option to log in. I need a password sent to me, money has left my account.


    1. @ James are you in the US or somewhere else?

      If you’re in the US: Art is on the west coast, so you’re on the east coast there may be a delay in getting your password.

      If you’re not in the US, tomorrow is a holiday that we call Thanksgiving. Many people spend today traveling to be with family, which could also result in a delay in the issuance of a password.

      Rest assured that Art will provide you with a password.



    2. Hi James,

      You should have received an e-mail with instructions on completing your registration. They sometimes get trapped in a spam folder so please check there first. If you don’t have it then e-mail me, via the contact link in the navigation menu, and I will take care of it.

      Thanks for signing up!


    3. Hi James, I just checked further and you paid by eCheck on 11-21-2011, via PayPal. It takes 6-8 days for the funds to clear when paying by eCheck. When it does, you will receive the e-mail to complete the registration. Sorry for any confusion.


      1. Ok no problem, but for the record, the cash has left my account that’s why I thought it’d be sorted. Happy Thanksgiving!!

        1. Yeah, sorry. It’s just the instructions that PayPal sends me when I get an eCheck payment. Credit cards are instantaneous.

          Happy Soy Turkey Loaf day! πŸ™‚

  127. I am new to MLR and would like to ask the best way people are embedding metadata into their WAV audio files. I would like to include lyrics as well as basic information so that if I save it in iTunes it can be transferred to a hard drive and put in another computer and come up for someone else accurately. Which method works best when dealing with these music libraries?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Chris
      Welcome to the MLR. I use Audacity for a Mac. It’s free and I embed just my name and creation date. I know ther is a notes section, I am not sure how much info you can put in ther though.

      1. I have read that the tagging system in wide useage for WAV files is the Broadcast Wave Format, which is stored as a RIFF chunk. Is any body using this?

        1. I always use BWAV files to record any audio. BWAV files imbed their position on a timeline in a DAW
          Therefore say you import an audio file from Logic into Protools all you have to do is spot the file and voila it’s in it’s correct position in session. Can be a lifesaver.

          When working to picture, assuming your editor is working off the same time code, it works perfectly for syncing a mixed cue to a cut.

          Always use then as a preference.

          1. Hi Denis:

            Thank you for responding to my question. It sounds like you use the BWAV files for everything audio, including MP3 128k audio. I would like to ask you which chunk you use to record your metadata. Do you use the ‘bext’ chunk, the ‘LIST INFO’ chunk, or some other chunk?


            1. Hi Chris

              TBH I havn’t a clue. All my audio files are BWAV. I take my 24 bit BWAV file and use Audacity to make it 16/44. I then just add composer info with that. Which chunk it uses I really dont know.
              Most all DAW let you choose BWAV as the default record file. I do so for many reasons, its probably he standard file format at this point and especially for the sync issues I mentioned above.

  128. OK – this is sort of a rant. When I check out some of the “hip-hop/urban” samples of some libraries, I have to scratch my head. I do hip-hop/urban (haven’t shared any of that – just industrial on here) and I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m “too hip-hop” for some libraries? Its like half of the hip-hop is done by people who don’t do hip-hop but decided to try and do it and got in anyway.

    What a finicky industry! Ok, I’m done. I feel better. thx for reading. Moving forward… πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Sanktifyd,

      You’re not imagining things. Many libraries want music that is totally mainstream –“safe” that appeals to the widest possible audience.

      Keep in mind that the majority of library music is not a record deal where you’re trying to sell hip hop, or metal, or country to fans of those genres. It is often used in the background, to sell products, and create an image for those products. The advertisers do not want to alienate buyers with music that they don’t like. Something that sounds “like” hip-hop will convey the message that the product is cool without driving away “average” buyers. Real hip hop is too gritty and too many people do not identify with it , so you get the watered down variety. It’s used all the time in the shows that I write for.

      What I assume you think of as real hip-hop might get used in marketing targeted directly at the hip hop audience. How much of that music gets into libraries, would depend on the size of the demographic and value of the market.
      I read one music supervisor’s blog, where she stated that neither hardcore hip-hop nor real country music would ever get used in mainstream ads.

      That’s not to say that there aren’t some libraries that pride themselves on offering the real deal. You might call them “anti-library” libraries…sort of niche marketing. How that will do in the long run — I don’t know. It will probably work until their music, like the hipster look goes mainstream. When you’re dad starts wearing big plaids and black-framed glasses — it’s over.

      Look for libraries that get placements in “urban” programming and sports like wrestling and boxing. I think that Jon Fulford can address that, or point you in the right direction.


      1. This single response alone is well worth the price of subscription to this website. Thank you very much for the candid response. Everything you stated makes total sense.

        Sounds like what I’ll probably need to do is make “hip-hop” for TV vs. the “keep it real” stuff which I can see be classified as too urban. Great advice.

        So much to learn going from producing music for artists vs tv/film.

      2. Great advice and so true.

        I do have to question that music supervisors blog. I guess he never heard the phrase “never say never”

        I don’t know about hip-hop but I do know that there are many mainstream ads with “real” country.

        Another Day Another Dollar was used by a major car company, very real Bakersfield sound country and I know that Hey, Good Looking has been used many times, can’t get any more real than Hank Williams Sr.!!

        1. Hey euca,

          You’re right…never say never. I did find the absolute nature of her statement a bit extreme.

          There are exceptions. Do you remember if the ad for a major car company was for a pick-up truck? That’s a natural combination. You’d be surprised how many country songs mention a truck. Even “city slickers” like to feel like cowboys when it comes to their trucks. If Ford is trying to tap into truck buyers’ “inner cowboy,” sure they’ll use country music.

          “Hey Good Lookin” has iconic status that exceeds genre. Just those three words work in so many situations.



          1. Yes, Hey Good Looking is very iconic and you are right, Hank Williams music does cross many genres.

            Actually the car commercial was for a typical sedan of some sort,it may have been Honda but I can’t remember exactly. It was the commercial itself that really stuck, really well done.
            It was basically someone working many odd jobs to save up to purchase the car. The song worked on many levels in that ad. Not just that the car was affordable but it was a sign of our economic times.

            It was the Wynn Stewart version, and from what I read his estate saw an influx of record sales.

  129. Ok – I did a search on the site for “broadjam” and it came back with two hits but I couldn’t find any more info when I clicked on the links. Anyway, my question is what is the general consensus on these sites? The *ONLY* reason I ask is because there is a posting for “Slow, melodic, dark songs and instrumentals similar to Nine Inch Nails.” I’m thinking “ok, I think I got that”, but of course its like $10 a pop to submit. what I don’t know is if Broadjam is just acting as a broker and just sending music to the same music libraries listed on this site. The problem is I have no idea. I did Taxi years back so I’m not crazy about having to “pay to play” but I was curious to know what the “vets” on here though about services like broadjam? (again, I did search the site first so if I missed it, please feel free to correct me!)

    1. I had broadjam but I quit paying people to forward or listen to my music. At You could go broke doing that.
      I’m steering clear of libraries that will accept anything as long as you’ve got the money. I go to libraries that will sometimes say,”We listened to four of your songs and one of them sucks!” instead of,” you got the money? You’re in!”
      I let my Taxi expire this year and no more making sure everybody gets paid whether I do or not. Period. Having seen my first check,though not much, from a “free” library, I realized I definitely don’t have to keep paying people so they can keep paying somebody who rejects my music while he letting others pass. There are plenty of libraries that do that for free.
      These libraries make money off people with dreams like you. That’s not to say Taxi or Broadjam is bad, I believe they do what they say they’ll do which is to submit to music libraries that you most likely can’t submit to directly but probably in 95%+ of the cases a license won’t pay for all those fees that led up to it.
      It’s not the principle, it’s the money of the thing. lol

      1. Yeah – I think I’m inclined to agree with you. I tried searching Google to see if I could find the same posting on another site (in hopes of finding out who the library is) but that didn’t work. LOL. I *would* consider submitting one or two songs if it meant I knew who received it (basically use it as a networking tool) but my guess is that they do their best to shield that info to keep you coming back to pay for more “opportunities”.

        It would be cool if someone wrote a program that would attach itself to an MP3 and send you information regarding who had that MP3, how many times it was forwarded, etc,. Oh wait, I guess that would be a virus? But still, it would be cool..

        Thanks Pat!

          1. I appreciate you sharing. I think I’m going to go with my gut and not mess with them. I have a better chance of submitting my music to the libraries I discovered on this site (that rated high in my analysis). I’m trying to distinguish myself from the “masses” (so to speak) and working through Broadjam doesn’t really lend itself to that.


  130. I hope this requeset is ok? Would you take a couple of minutes and check out the following soundcloud link? I would like to know what you would classify this music as. I’m just calling it “electronic” but is there something better I should tag it as? Also, are there groups/artists that these tracks remind of you of? That would help me immensly as I work to get all the meta data around my catalogue built up.

    (I would have done the “critique” thing but at this juncture, I just want to know how to classify this – not whether or not it is any good… not yet at least!)

    Thank you in advance…

    1. I don’t know if this is a recognised genre, but I’d call it softcore industrial. It’s a bit like Psyclon 9, Grendel, Android Lust et al, on valium. Of course, that description won’t work for marketing purposes. :-/

      Maybe there was a period when Trent Reznor sounded like this. Not sure. A lot of it sounds like it could have come from the first Quake installment.

      Not saying it sounds dated, just trying to think of what it sounds like.

      1. Yeah, i’d go with Rob on that – industrial but not full on. I’ve just wrapped up an album that uses some of these elements as a base, though what I’ve done is a bit more out there.

        Industrial Electro might be your tag ????

        and BTW – nice tracks πŸ™‚

    2. Very difficult to tag songs. I try not to be to clever about it. Industrial and sounds like NIN and Muse. This gives your average client, who lets face it, is probably not a muso the best idea idea of your track

      1. @Rob, @woodsdenis – thanks!! I think I’ll keep with the “industrral” tag and leave it at that. I had actually forgot that label so thanks for mentioning it.

        @ Rob – No offense at all. Honestly, some of it reminds me of video game music I heard when playing on my commodore 64 back in the days when I was a kid. Also reminds me of demo music I used to listen to on my C64 too. Of course the sound isn’t the same but the “vibe” is real similar (so I get the Quake comment).

        Thanks again; both of you have helped me. Being in rap/hip-hop so much, sometimes you lose touch on what else is happening out in the world. πŸ™‚

          1. thx! I have a habit of mixing genres and dubstep is one of those things I like too πŸ™‚

            Again – appreciate the feedback (all). really trying to do this film/tv thing right. Went through all the reviews, got my list of 30 or so companies – got my music “identified”.. now its a matter of the submission process.

            Patience is a virtue… πŸ™‚

            1. Mixing genres can be a good thing. It contributes towards *your* sound for starters. I know there is a lot of business in ‘sounds like’ and ‘close but not too close’, however if you find a way to market your sound, personally I find that way more fulfilling.

              1. I co-sign 100%. As I heard one successful platinum producer say… listen to the radio to hear what NOT to produce.

                1. Most times on Broad-Jam, they will ask for a certain sound and pick something totally different that what they are asking for.

                  It is a lottery in the truest sense.

                  There was a submission recently for a current Dr. Dre sound and they picked something that sounded like Simon and Garfunkel.. no kidding.

  131. Hello all! I just joined the site, hoping to gain some wisdom and insight since I would love to get some of my tracks in TV/Film. I have two major questions that I’m hoping someone can help me with?

    #1 – if im doing non-exclusives, does that mean I can have the same 40 songs placed with multiple music libraries? I’m guessing the answer is yes (unless a contract states otherwise). I ask because I was greenlit to send material in to pump audio but based on the comments, that will be a long process to get in their catalogue. Might as well sow the same seed (songs) as many times if possible?

    #2 – I read on another comment (another topic) where someone suggested trying to match your musical style with the appropriate music library for a greater chance of success. I thought that was good advice. I primarily do urban instrumental (hip-hop, r&b, neo soul, trip hop), as well as some darker electronic sounding stuff (think Resident Evil / tomandandy -esque). Based on your experiences and knowledge, are there particular music libraries that may be a better fit for said genres? I’m going through the list of music libraries but it’s really hard for me to ascertain something like this right now (with all the info coming at me!)

    I would really appreciate any info/advice that can be shared. This seems to be such a hard industry to “crack” into because the few people I know who have had placements simply don’t want to share how they did it. I’m not sure why (maybe they are lying? lol) but I’m really hoping this site will help me finally break through! πŸ™‚

    Thank you (in advance)!


    1. I found the Copyright Questions thread so I *think* I’m good on #1 – sounds like the key is to NEVER transfer your copyright (which I knew) and keep everything in the non-exclusive domain. At least that is what I got. Great info!

      Any takers on #2? πŸ™‚

    2. Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for joining.

      On question #1 there are varying opinions on exclusive versus non-exclusive. I spread my music around a bit but many people don’t agree and treat non-exclusives as exclusive. In other words one piece of music to only one library. That being said either way you should not give up your copyright unless someone is willing to pay you good money for it ($800-$1000?) and they have a good track record of placing material.

      #2: Hard to comment on which libraries are good for your music. There’s a lot of trial and error to find the libraries that work for you, there are no shortcuts. As said here many times before… Patience and persistence!

      1. Thank you Art!

        I will take your advice to heart on #2 (and #1). I’m going through every one of the music libraries and just reading the feedback and making decisions from there. Then I’m going to try and figure out which mode works best (in relation to exclusive vs. non-exclusive). Since I’m early in the game (to tv/film), at this point I just want good exposure but not at the cost of selling out (i.e. never sign over copyrights). I do like the idea of having certain tracks for certain libraries. For instance my dark-electronic sounding stuff may be great for [fill in the blank] but my hip-hop will be better with pumpaudio (or something like that.)

        Thanks again and loving the site. This is exactly what I needed! πŸ™‚

  132. Anybody here a Kontakt user? Im using version 4. Im in the middle of a track where im using the Kontakt 4 grand piano. Its set automatically that lower notes are panned to left and higher notes panned to the right but I can for the life of me find out how to ‘unspread’ the samples so that every note is played panned centre. anybody here know?

      1. ill chek that on kontakt then thanks. i put it thru ozone and set it to mono but it sounded poor so maybe it will sound better if kontakt does the monoing onboard. thanks Art.

  133. Anybody had any dealing with True Talent MGMT.

    Jennifer Yeko supposedly owns the company, but according to a quick google search, the reviews have been kinda shaken of other composer dealings.

    Any thoughts?

      1. hmm….
        that seems to match what others have said when I searched for reviews on the company.

        According to her, she takes the exclusive publishing but it is not specified.

        The address goes to some random P.O.Box in L.A.

        Also on her website, the placements are from all shows that have long been canceled. 90’s period

  134. Re: using loops and samples is ‘lazy’.

    I decided to be lazy with this one. It’s arranged to brief, not a library track. If someone else comes up with something just like it, good for them. Some things just make it easier with deadlines. And of course, if the production company don’t go for it, I can always bag it, tag it and upload it to JP. πŸ™‚

    1. Really nice work Rob!

      Is the trumpet CB? Just got CB.

      Really like the way the track evolves.

      Cheers Mate,


  135. Does anybody know how much a composer is likely to get paid for a UK television sync, channel 4 documentary or drama background music? Iv had an offer from a library that makes some UK TV placements but im finding it very difficult to make my mind up wheather to go exclusive with them with all my new work. I have no experience with exclusive libraries so I cant tell if it will be worth my while putting all my eggs in one basket. Any information would be helpful as Im at a decision making point, wheather to move to exxclusive or stay with non ex libraries.

    1. There are guidelines from the MCPS. I think it’s now handled by “PRS for music”. These are just guidelines but would probably give a good indication of sync fees.

  136. What do you do when you get a ‘major ad placement’ and the licensing company does not pay you according to their agreement terms for payment?

      1. I bet that’s what some of these guys count on. Not hiring a lawyer who costs more than you’re owed.

    1. There may be a breach of contract. I do not know, because I haven’t read the contract. There may be some conditional “if and then” clauses, like thresholds, that haven’t been met. In which case, there may not be a breach. You should consult with an attorney.

      However, the measure of damages in a contract case is generally the difference between the contract price (what you’re supposed to be paid) and what you were paid.

      Thus, if you were supposed to be paid $1,000 and you only got $500, the amount of damages is $500. It is often not a question of whether you can afford a lawyer, but whether or not you want to spend a few thousand to recover a few hundred.

      One of the things that this forum does is provide you with an opportunity to inform others of this kind of conduct. You may want to let us know which library you think is not abiding by its contract, as Art did with Audiotrove. That will give them an opportunity to set the record straight and maintain their “goodwill” among composers.

      Good luck,


      1. Thx everyone.

        I got them to finally do it.

        I am a lucky one…

        I will be giving up names if this happens again though..
        Composers need to stand together against any scam or misuse.

  137. Anybody using Alchemy? Downloaded the demo. I really like it but it’s also pretty expensive when you consider I have Omnisphere that has like 7000 sounds for about $100 more. Alchemy just sounds different in a way I like though but after you buy it you still have to buy sounds for it.

    1. Alchemy is great! But Omnisphere is great also. Definitely each one has its own color. I think there are two approaches one faces while buying new gear/samples/VSTs:

      1) The more samples/VSTs u have, the wider colors palette you can choose from.

      2) The less samples/VSTs u have, the more creative you become (and the better you know what you own already).

      Choose which approach suits you best personally, I guess..

      1. I aleady have Omnisphere which is nice but I don’t use it as much as I thought I would but the fact that it’s multitimbral is to me one of the best features besides the sound.
        With Alchemy, I want it but my finger seems to freeze on the “$250 plus more for sounds” button. Going through therapy to fix that now so I can press the buy button.

        1. Hi Pat,

          The thing with Omnisphere is that it’s really easy to modify the sounds to make them your own.
          Plus, there are so many features that you could spend a lifetime digging into it.

          I highly recommend downloading and watching all of the video tutorials from the Spectrasonics website.

          If you have Stylus RMX, you can groove lock RMX, Trilian and Omnisphere. It’s very cool.



          1. I actually have all three though now that the Trilian sounds are in Omnisphere, I don’t use Trilian to save resources. The thing that kind of put me of is the load times not really helping my quick sound search workflow but now I’m thinking about breaking out all those videos and getting back into it. I even bought the MacproVideos tutorials for it as well.
            I might pick up Achemy as well which I think some of Camel Audio’s atmospheric sound packs they sell would work great for sites like Ambient Music Garden.
            Talking about it here has made it all sound kind of new again.

        2. Hey Pat,

          Just my 2 cents. I own both and think both are great. Very different sounds. Omnisphere is VERY deep, much more so than I’ve been able to utilize. I’ve been very happy with Alchemy as well and would definitely give two thumbs up to Camel Audio. They are constantly running promotions for sounds, donating proceeds to worthwhile charities, very responsive. Top notch imo.


            1. It’s worth adding if you’re a registered Alchemy user, they frequently do special offers and deals on soundpacks.

              The latest guitar mutations and steamworx soundpacks are superb, worth every penny.

  138. I love you all ! ha good conversation, and one which will always come up time and time again in this buisness. for my input I will say, the most important thing is to get that track out… in a place for people to listen to. Quality is important, because everyone knows a catchy song that sounds good over one that doesnt. Quantity is important also as youve got little chance in having a small portfolio getting listened to. A mixture of both, ok quantity and ok quality, middle of the road. Ah I am going all Zen on you, yes, the turtle loses race from speed, the hair makes bad music but the lion how moves steadily creates a solid output.

  139. Most composers are not successful because they do not make enough songs. Quality is not really that important. Just crank out music, upload it, and repeat. It sounds crazy but it works.

    There are a good deal of composers that are making steady incomes solely from music just because they have the persistence to crank out 500 songs/beats/loops/etc a year. This isn’t music that is meant to top the charts. It is meant to be background music for video.

      1. I just don’t understand the either/or part of that debate.
        Who doesn’t want to produce as many good tracks as possible?

        1. To me, it is not an either/or issue. I know that my songs have a default level of quality based on my experience and the samples that I use. So all I have to do is cook up my beats fast and send them out.

          I am no Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, or other big shot composer. If I was at that level or even close, I would not be posting here. I am an Average Joe putting in work to make extra scratch from my ability to make songs. I have the skills to make songs and I am making a little money here and there. Nothing else really matters.

  140. “Definitely Gary. Quality tracks can be produce very quickly using samples, loops, and a DAW.”

    Quality tracks aren’t produced by using samples and loops. Quality tracks are produced by hiring orchestras and great musicians.

    If you use a sample, someone else can use that sample so it’s lazy and of course, you’re not creating bespoke music.

    This is why there will always be room at the top for those wishing to go the extra mile whilst everyone else seemingly strives to crank up Stylus and Omnisphere, knock out a quick ditty, tag it, snag it, bag it and upload it to JP.

    And then complain 2 years later why their music never gets used.

    My motto, do it properly or not at all.

    1. “Quality tracks aren’t produced by using samples and loops.”
      “If you use a sample, someone else can use that sample so it’s lazy…”
      Using samples just lazy? really?
      So if we don’t hire an orchestra we can’t make any quality music?
      Glad I do electronic music for whatever it’s worth. Pretty stuffy on the other side where the only true greatness is. I like JP too.

    2. So not true! Evidently you have massive amounts of money to be able to do that.

      Also interesting that you have posted a number of times here under different names but the same IP address with conflicting information.

      1. I think he’s full of crap saying basically if you don’t do what he does how he does it, you’re not doing it right and couldn’t possibly be making “quality” music. This guys laughable. Just shows if your attitude stinks no matter how much money you make you can still be a failure.

        1. I hear a LOT of Stylus and Omnisphere stuff on TV… plus if you know how to orchestrate you can do some good stuff with Vienna Symphonic or East West.
          I think the clients dont care much about your hardship and your costs creating the music, why would they? If it sounds right to them, the price is right and they need it urgently (and they always need it yesterday!) – they gonna buy it. No matter if you used samples or a whole orchestra.

    3. @Roger

      Here’s a reality check —all samples, not a live orchestra — from Thomas Bergersen.

      And, check out this thread from Mike Verta. Listen to the mock-ups in his first post, especially the ones where he was speed writing.

      Still think that you can’t make quality music with samples?

      It’s the carpenter my friend — not the tools.



      1. If he had said samples were capable of producing quality music in only the most capable of hands, I still wouldn’t have agreed but at least I could see his argument but he was completely dismissive. Then added if you use samples you are simply lazy. That’s a pretty broad paint brush.

        1. “If you use a sample, someone else can use that sample so it’s lazy and of course, you’re not creating bespoke music.”

          @ Roger, so, if you hire a violinist, and someone else hires the same violinist is that lazy too? Is the music lacking individuality?

          That’s problem with Beethoven and Mahler you know. I can’t tell them apart. They used the same darn instruments. Lazy SOBs!

          Wait didn’t the Stones and the Beatles both use bass, drums and guitar? Lazy unoriginal buggers!

          @Pat read Roger’s post again. He didn’t say that you could create quality music with samples. He was quoting John (the other John’s) reply to Gary, not agreeing with it.

  141. Ulla:
    I so agree, it (technology) has made the composing and recording process so much easier. I’ve come a long way from my Tascam 4-track 10 or 11 years ago!

  142. I have a question for those of you that have been around this part of the business for awhile.

    Do you think that the accessibility to home recording for just about anyone, is causing a glut of product, good and bad out there and making it more difficult to get into libraries, and more difficult to get sales than say a few years ago? And causing more and more selling on the cheap?

    I’d like to know what this was like say 10 years ago. Less or more competitive?

    Looking forward to hearing from some “vets” out there!!


    1. “Do you think that the accessibility to home recording for just about anyone, is causing a glut of product, good and bad out there and making it more difficult to get into libraries, and more difficult to get sales than say a few years ago?” Gary

      Definitely Gary. Quality tracks can be produce very quickly using samples, loops, and a DAW. 20 years ago I recorded tracks in a pro studio ($85 an hour). I was lucky to add a track once every couple months. Now I produce about 5-6 tracks a week. I just finished a piano solo CD (10 tracks in less than two weeks). In the past signing one track at a time was the norm. Now as many as a thousand tracks are loaded into libraries at a time. I wonder how much quality filtering can be done with that amount of tracks.

      It will be interesting hearing from others.

      1. Even in the pro recording industry this is now the norm. Nobody uses SSL studios to record in, unless they need multi mikes or need a the big room. Big name producers have home studios with a high quality recording chain to record vocals. Most records are mixed in the box aswell. The proliferation of the high quality home studio affects all areas of the biz..

    2. Interesting discussion! I try to see this in a positive light, I think it really comes down to skill, perseverance and flexibility. I definitly think you got a point there Gary, but after all it does take more than just glueing together some samples. I started making music about 15 years ago with hardware and to be honest… I think its great to have a more portable studio and being able to rely on samples here and there to speed up the creation process πŸ˜‰

    3. “Do you think that the accessibility to home recording for just about anyone, is causing a glut of product, good and bad out there and making it more difficult to get into libraries, and more difficult to get sales than say a few years ago? And causing more and more selling on the cheap?”

      That, and the fact that people are putting the SAME music in 10 different libraries.

      1. I think the accessibility of home recording gear is a two edged sword, it removes the barrier to entry for many talented producers but it is also filling the libraries with a ton of sub par material. My experience has been that in an odd way the sub-par material can help you. Buyers look for tracks that have sold in the past and start there, they also look at portfolios of tracks that are produced well to avoid trolling through the muck.

        I live in Nashville -music city USA and think the music business as a whole is going through dramatic changes. On every level, budgets and prices are getting squeezed – I think it is just where things are at today.

        1. @Tim:
          I think Napster/ Itunes really did in the record business.
          These days the only deals out there in the media business are licensing deals
          of which some here are a part of. The Digital landscape has yet to be conquered by the
          biggest companies.Technology is moving too fast to see where it all settles but along the way
          some will find ways to make money from their content.

  143. Anybody also use Soundclick to try and license songs that are at other libraries?
    In have a Soundclick account but just use it to send audition links to my music but you can designate prices (I think) for anybody wanting to license your music. Just never really thought about it.

    1. I’ve had Soundclick for several years. Basically use it as my main site to host my music I have set my price on it but I haven’t had any direct licensing request through the site.

        1. Hi Pat, I priced them at a medium rate, but I don’t put too much weight on music supervisors or clients visiting these types of websites to license music.

  144. Do I have to register my songs with ASCAP(my PRO) before they get licensed/placed?

    I’m confused why I have to register when ASCAP doesn’t even have a place where I can upload my track. I’m essentially just registering a name, not a piece of music.

    Also what should I put under publisher when registering these “names” when the material is non-exclusive?

      1. Royalty-free as in “no PRO royalties” Slideboardouts, or royalty-free as in a one time licensing fee? Just curious…

        1. royalty free as in “a one time license fee.” I don’t do any business with companies who want me to give up my PRO membership and royalties since my PRO royalties dwarf what I make in “royalty free” sales.

          1. jingle punks and audiosparx…are they royalty free? I thought they weren’t but someone on here said they were…

                1. Yes, very true. In fact, I sold an 8 second rock bumper on a “royalty free” site that has been placed in the World Series of Poker on NBC, men and women’s triathlon collegiate nationals on CBS, and multiple sporting events on Versus and Fuel. I’ve received PRO payments from some of these placements on my last statement and should see more on my next statement or two.

            1. Audiosparx is, Jingle Punks is not. Although these days it seems that most libraries are operating like a “royalty free” library in a way because they just do a blanket license or gratis license instead of needle drop. The main difference anymore seems to be that a royalty free site is mostly focused on the non-broadcast market whereas a library like Jingle Punks mostly focuses on the broadcast market.

              1. Well then why is there a place to put your CAE # on each song? Audiosparx has Royalty free radio, maybe that is what is royalty free.

                1. @J3h43f4, you are getting confused by the term”royalty free.” Royalty Free does not mean that you DO NOT get backend PRO money.

                  There are three ways writers of library music get paid 1) upfront money to write tracks, 2) sync fees, and 3) backend money (royalties from your PRO).

                  Generally speaking, the term “royalty free” is a misnomer. Libraries use the term to mean that the buyer only pays a one time SYNC FEE to use your music as many times as they want. It has no affect whatsoever on backend money, which is paid by the network that broadcasts the program, NOT the producer.

                  Royalty Free libraries do this for the most part because many of their customers do not produce broadcast programming. They produce things like corporate videos, documentaries, wedding videos, etc. The PROs do not collect money for these types of productions. These producers are simply looking for a buyout. It makes the customer feel better, even though it is totally irrelevant, with respect to PRO money.

                  That said, some “royalty free” libraries, like AudioSparx do sell tracks to producers of broadcast material. In that instance, AudioSparx requires its customers to file cue sheets, so that you can get paid by your PRO. That is why they ask for the CAE#.


                2. Thanks for explaining MichaelL, I figured royalty free was a misnomer. I find following the money to be complicated.

                  I’m taking a guess here, but does the music follow one of these 2 paths?

                  me -> publisher(such as audiosparx) -> producer
                  (producer pays)


                  me -> publisher(such as audiosparx) -> producer -> network
                  (producer and network pays)

                  Thanks for your patience.

                3. With respect to the RF model:

                  your music > goes to RF site (for free)> RF sells to non- broadcast customer (like corporate)

                  then RF > pays you a percentage of the “sale” (sync fee / license) > end of story.


                  your music > goes to RF site (for free) > RF sells to broadcast customer (TV producer / film producer) > then RF pays you a percentage of the “sale” (sync fee /license) FROM HERE OUT IT”S DIFFERENT: then > TV show/film airs AND producer sends cue sheets > to your PRO, the NETWORK pays an annual blanket license to the PRO (based on a lot of things, including advertising revenue, size of audience etc.), > your PRO receives the cue sheets showing how much of your music was broadcast, what time of day, in what markets etc., AND then they (your PRO) take out their magic eight ball and secret decoder ring, enter the cue sheet data AND figure out what to pay > YOU.

                  This is one of the reasons why it’s good to have your own publishing company. In those rare occurrences where you get a broadcast placement from an RF site, if you do not have a publishing company the publishing money goes into what is known as the “black box.” So why not get the money that you’re entitled to? Of course, if you let the RF site act as your publisher then they get the publishing money. However, a word of caution: administering publishing can be a part-time job, so some writers would rather let the RF library handle the publishing and CHASE the cue sheets. But, thats’s another story and why Art uses tunesat.

                  NOTE: this IS NOT the same business model as other non-exclusive libraries, like Jingle Punks and Crucial.

                  Edit: quick response to Denis. With BMI, a writer can designate that they get the publisher’s share. Art confirm? I don’t know about ASCAP.

                4. “if you do not have a publishing company the publishing money goes into what is known as the β€œblack box.” This what I find as totally unfair for US composers. If i dont a have publisher assigned to a track I get 100% of the income.

                  This is in Ireland and I am nearly sure the UK is the same.

  145. Question I should know the answer to but don’t – are the sync license fee amounts charged by music libraries in the UK set by PRS? In other words is a standard fee rate set by PRS that all must follow? Thanks.

  146. BMI International Distribution Summary?

    Just got my first royalty check from BMI 2011 first quarter. Decent placements, I was happy with it. The statement also came with a document “International Distribution Summary”. A spreadsheet with countries and dates and international PRO’s.

    Is this a statement of international placements of my music? BMI’s site says international cues usually pay 1 or 2 years after placement. Should I expect royalties from all of the dates listed on this spreadsheet? There’s a lot so hopefully so.

    I’d highly appreciate any veteran BMI affiliates who could chime in.


    1. The sheet is stating what time periods were collected for and what media. You will only receive money if you had any placements for those time periods and media.

      1. Thanks Art.

        So this shows the international collection schedule for all BMI artists? The dates have nothing to do with me specifically?

  147. Should I file with my City/State to start a business for my compositions? Is that how you get a tax ID #?

    If I start a business do I get some sort of tax benefits like rent, gas or production equipment right offs? I don’t even thoroughly understand what a right off is.

    1. front page for applying for EIN (employer id#) takes about 10 minutes or less. List yourself as sole proprietor. You don’t need to start a company.

  148. When I register my songs with BMI there is an optional field, that I could fill out, which reads:

    “Was the work created for an Audio-Visual Production or Music Library? If the answer is yes, complete the following section.”

    Do you guys usually fill this out? Looks like its more for Libary CDs anyway… Thanks!

  149. What is the difference of a work registration as BG-Cues (like: ‘show title’-BG Cues) to a usual work registration with a library/publisher suffix?

  150. I’ve used FMN several times and landed with a nice library through them. My question however is, how do you know if the library/publisher you’re submitting to is not someone you are already working with?

    1. I’ve signed many library deals thru FMN which resulted in placements at least as good as any others I’ve had– mostly BG on cable TV shows including MTV, TLC, etc.

      You really don’t know if the listing is from a library you are already working with. It’s one of those things. My take is FMN is so inexpensive, if I end up paying to submit to a library I’m already with, I don’t care. This happens sometimes with Taxi leads as well. BUT there are times whereby if it weren’t for the listing in FMN or Taxi, I wouldn’t know that library was suddenly looking for that specific type of track. So, to me… it’s all good.


    1. Hi Gary,

      I’ve used them for years and made a number of deals through them. That said, only one of those deals proved to be worth anything. But that one deal was well worth it and still paying. I continue to use FMN.

      1. Art:
        Wow! Yes well worth it. I have been submitting tracks to them for the past few weeks or so, so we’ll see what happens. Can I ask what the placement was for you that ended up being so profitable?

        1. My only beef with them is that two out of every three listings I submit to, never gets listened to. And I usually submit immediately after receiving the email. Don’t understand why a supervisor doesn’t listen, especially when it’s submitted within an hour of the email. Makes me wonder sometimes if some of these listings are already closed.

          1. I feel the same way about not getting listened to, I asked Robyn about that one time. I politely pointed out that other “pay to submit” services guarantee you a listen for your money, and wondered why FMN didn’t. I don’t think FMN will mind if I post the answer here- it was “Our function is that of a delivery platform” and “listening to some or all the uploaded submissions is completely at the discretion of the job posting companies themselves”. Robyn added “We have a feature implemented within SubmitDIRECT that notifies the job posters twice a week via email, advising that there are submissions waiting to be reviewed. This has helped tremendously with increasing the numbers of submissions being listened to.”

            About your wondering if sometimes the listings are already closed, it does happen as I was also told “In some cases, a job poster for one reason or another will choose music before listening to all the submissions. This doesn’t happen frequently, but does happen sometimes.”

            Hope that helps.

            1. Yeah, I understand there are no guarantees. But I’ve submitted sometimes as quickly as 5 minutes after the email and no listens. Unless 20-30 submissions are sent within the first five minutes, I don’t understand it. Unless… The poster doesn’t listen for a couple days and that quick 5 minute submit just becomes one in a large pile. I guess first come, first serve doesn’t work there. πŸ˜€

              Oh well, all part of the business.

  151. Watch out for this scam site, make sure you scan it for your library catalog, just in case:

  152. Has anyone come across this before? So a client of Pond 5 licensed one of my tracks and tried to upload his project on YouTube. He then got an email saying the video was being removed because the audio content is owned by Warner Music Group! I’ve certainly never had any deal with Warner, hey if they want to give me a publishing deal thats cool but at least let me sign something before you start claiming copyright on my music.
    Just wondering if anyone else had this problem.

    1. I uploaded a video of my three year old for her grandparents to see in which ” Single Ladies ” was playing on a radio way in the background, and received something like that. It could be a similar thing.

      1. It certainly showed how good their detection system is. I did nothing as I was advised by youtube and heard no more.

    2. If that same piece of music was on another RF site (say Rumblefish) and/or they made a deal with GoDigital, you could run into that problem.

      1. Oh yes I know all about that and it did cause problems with a few clients. This is the first instance where Warner have claimed ownership of my music though. I ch ecked with the client and they said mine was the only music in the video.

        1. Then maybe it was just quirky digital fingerprinting. Your publisher should get the details from Warner Music Group or YouTube so you don’t run into further problems down the road.

          Darn big shots. They think they own everything. πŸ˜€

  153. @Michael:Yep you let the video lead the way.I drop beats off of measures to make it fit
    and also give a little surprise to your music.

  154. What’s the average length of a track that would constitute a “full” track for most libraries? Sometimes I feel like track is done when it’s only say 1:30 but add stuff to make it at least 2min but doesn’t necessarily improve the track.

      1. That’s what I’ve been doing. I had a criteria that 2min was the minimum, 2.15 was very good and 2:30 was excellent.
        I hate when I run out of ideas at 1:50. Sometimes repeating bars gets old in a song real quick.

        1. Pat:
          I have really had to learn to write shorter pieces, and get to the point quicker. Some of my first tracks from a few years ago were running 4 and 5 minutes, with long intros etc. But I think if you are going to write a full length track, you need at least 2 minutes to get the point across. Again IMHO….

            1. Pat:
              Most of my stuff is around 1:30. Like you I don’t like to repeat too much.I feel if it is done at 1:30 then it’s done. All my vocal stuff is over 2:00.

              But, if you look at Audiosparx you can run reports by edit type. 2-3 min. has more sales than 1-2 min.

              huh….. I guess that is why I do better with placements than I do on RF sites. Maybe I should start stretching them to over 2:00.

              1. Now that’s interesting. Then I’m on the right track. I’m not really comfortable with cues under 2 minutes though I do have a couple.I also find that once they get around 3min, forme, it usually means I have too much repetition or too many changes that drift away from the main theme. 2:00 to 2:40 seems to be my comfort zone.

                1. Pat :
                  Very true what you said about repetition. At that point you are usually not adding anything new, but just repeating what you already wrote. I used to be guilty of that as well.

                2. I’d go with that, around 2:30 is my norm, though I am working on an album at the moment that specified 3 to 3:30 as full lengths. Kind of hard to keep it going to 3 and half minutes with just looping chunks of an arrangement.

              2. The editor on the shows the that I write for likes tracks to be between 2 and 3 minutes.

                He used to edit several shows on HGTV, where, ironically, they may only use 15 seconds of a track. Essentially, the editors are acting as “composers,” taking 15 seconds here, 30 seconds there and piecing together a “score.” The object for this TV type stuff is simply to keep things moving.

                I had one cue rejected because I took the drums out of the bridge, and the editor lost the “beat.” I put the drums back in they loved it.

                I hate to say this, but remember that in most cases this isn’t “listening” music. It’s function music. Keep that in mind. What you think is interesting may get in the way of how the track has to function.

                1. “What you think is interesting may get in the way of how the track has to function.”
                  I had to really train myself to think “theme” instead of putting in tons of chord changes and twists and turns.
                  I remember years ago I submitted to a big library, DSM possibly, and they said,”We love your music but we don’t know what to do with it.” I didn’t get it then but I get it now.

                2. Good point MichaelL. What you were saying about function vs listening music. It’s really challenging for me to write music to fulfill a fuction as opposed to writing music for listening. For some reason, I always felt I had to write something that other musicians would appreciate. Somehow, I thought if I could do that, then I could write anything. Since I’ve gotten into this music library business, I’ve realized that holding on to that perspective simply doesn’t work. It’s difficult to not write music for its own sake, but for some other function. I realize now that to develop the craft of library music, I must really concentrate to make this happen. As time goes on, it gets a little bit easier. Just keep on trucking.

                3. Maybe the ultimate challenge is to compose functional listening music. πŸ˜€

                4. And thats half the battle for library music. You need to create something that on one hand is non-intrusive but on the other is capable of fitting a variety of moods and uses.

                  One of my best earning tracks crops up on everything from homestyle, to nature documentaries. It’s bland but evocative πŸ˜‰

                5. Violinbow:

                  Very well put. You really have to re-think your writing. I , like you, started writing for the same reason, to get other musicians to appreciate what I could do. Now writing for function…

                  The hardest thing for me is that once a piece is written, and I have to post it in the libraries, is describing it. Genres, moods, keywords etc. So many times now before I write a track I have to think of where, and how is it going to fit in.

                6. The beauty in being a composer in the old USA is that we’re free to compose anything we want. So compose a couple functioning tracks one day then a couple meaningful tracks another.

                  Maybe it’s the genre, but I’ve had good placements with my well-written tracks.

                7. To me, a functional track is a track that was not created to be listened to on its own, but something that sets a mood or a feeling to some visual medium. Not that it couldn’t be listened to on its own though. For example I’ve always loved Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra album. Not everybodys cup of tea, but I love it.

                8. >It’s really challenging for me to write music to fulfill a fuction as opposed to writing music for listening.<

                  You're right about that, it is a challenge! I spent five years freelancing for a major educational company, I wrote songs they used as part of learning programs. The songs were on CD's included with the textbooks. They would give me the lyrics and suggest the style of music for each song. The lyrics were teaching vocabulary and not a single word could be changed! The challenge was fitting their lyrics into a usable song. There could be five line phrases, or a different amount of syllables from verse to verse. I wrote over 130 of these!

                  Anyway, one tip to make writing to fulfill a function easier is to analyze examples. Reference some music that you aim to emulate. Pick them apart. What's the BPM and instrumentation? What is the feel and how is it being achieved? What makes up the arrangement? Start with a page full of notes on your examples, get started on something and see where it goes!

                9. @M. Nickolas
                  Good points here. Having a set criteria actually is easier.
                  When you work to video,you let it lead the way.
                  These days creating the underscore that floats along
                  is artistically stimulating since its so subjective.
                  A little can go a long way.

  155. I’ve written some music that has 5/4 and 7/8 bars in it and it’s metal/rock. I’m not sure if there is a demand for this kind of music. It is sort of like Tool if I were to make a guess. But, since most of the rock I’ve heard in libraries is in 4/4, maybe I should stick that instead? Basically I’m writing music I personally enjoy, but I’m also aware that this stuff annoys some non-musicians (at least the ones I know). Am I wasting my time with this if my plan is to get as many songs into libraries as possible?

    1. Personally speaking I’ve always liked odd time signatures, as long as it’s musical. Then again I guess it’s a matter of who defines “musical”. I’d try some out on some libraries and see but I would not limit myself to only odd time signatures. I also like 4/4 riffs that appear to turn the beat around but don’t.

            1. Starland Vocal Band never sang it. The composer, Jon Carroll, was a member of that group and has gone on to have a composing/solo gig/back-up gig kind of career. A gifted musician (and really nice guy).

        1. My favorite odd time sig song is “Nine” performed by Dianne Reeves. It’s in 7/4, but it’s a real natural 7/4, you don’t hardly notice it. This song is also lyrically one of my favorites. It’s about her being nine years old. She does some great ad libs on the end. Anybody familiar with it? Check it out, it’s on an album called “Quiet After the Storm”.

          1. Yes!! Tight piano jazz from 1959! Thanks, Art, for reminding me of this great track. (But, hey, I thought this was a young man’s game?!? Oh, wait, that was yesterday’s topic.)

      1. Use it in moderation. Ok. That makers sense. Maybe just use for transitions. I like your idea of using 4/4 ‘s that sound like they’re odd, but not. Love those too.

        ps: just read a previous post. Could it be that I’m too old to be playing anything but 4/4? I’m probably too old to be playing metal too. Oh well, it was knowing you. ; )

      2. Okay, I’ll pull up an old story.

        I always liked Burt Bacharach and his ability to write pop songs with odd time signatures embedded in the song. When I was doing studio work I got called to do a few sessions for Burt. But my greatest thrill was when he called me to do a double album with him and about a dozen other studio players, plus the Houston Symphony, for A&M Records (only one was released, titled “Woman”). I was really out of my depth but I wasn’t going to turn down working with a 100 piece band! πŸ˜‰

        The point of this story is that the keyboard player was a guy named Milcho Leviev. During the breaks he would sit and play pop 4/4 tunes in odd time signatures off the top of his head. He could also solo like the bar lines didn’t exist. Really quite amazing to see and hear.

        I believe he was Bulgarian. Maybe the music he grew up with was much more complex than our music and helped give him this amazing ability.

        1. Art:
          You must have been reading my mind, I was just going to post about Burt. His time changes were very subtle, but very effective ,and really set his songs apart. Great that you got to do a gig with him. He was one my favorite composers back then.

        2. @Art:I remember Milcho being on fusion records of the 70’s.I would go over to my boss’s house and we listened to music all night,all new records that came out then especially hot players.
          Milcho was modus outrageous.

    2. I, like Art, have also always liked composing in odd-time signatures. I have a couple of 5/4 pieces, one jazz, and the other a dramatic orchestral piece, and another of the same genre in 7/4. Odd time can really give the song a whole different vibe, but use it sparingly…

      1. When you’re writing to picture (and I don’t mean HGTV or MTV), you have odd time signatures all over the place. You do what you need to to make it fit.

        1. Good point Michael. Same goes with adding bars of the same time sig, maybe having to make an 4/4 eight bar phrase into a 4/4 nine bar phrase in order for it to fit.

  156. “From reading this forum and a few others, I can almost imagine a stereotypical library music composer. This composer would more than likely be a white male, between the age of 45 to 55. He would probably have a good 20 years of experience making music and would know how to play one or more instruments.”

    @Synth, you sometimes overgeneralize. That’s kind of like saying I can imagine the stereotypical football player, “they’re over 6 feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds.” Yes, there are certain characteristics that successful players have in common, but skill is a determining factor.

    There are also certain characteristics that successful composers have. I don’t think, however, that age and race are relevant. Yes, there are library writers that play multiple instruments, there are writers that have degrees in music. Learning is a life long process. A composer’s skill and ability generally improves with age. Unlike football, you’re not washed up at 30. You continue to develop both your musical AND your business skills.

    Someone asked film composer David Newman, “do I really have to study music” To paraphrase his reply, he said “I can’t imagine more knowledge being a bad thing.”

    If you want me to tell you that you can have a 30-year career as a library writer making beats, or shredding nu-metal riffs, I can’t do that, because I don’t think it’s possible. At some point, you’ll have to expand your horizons.

    ” I kind of wish that younger people had more knowledge about this side of the music business.”

    Uh…that’s what we’re here for.

    1. “Someone asked film composer David Newman, “do I really have to study music” To paraphrase his reply, he said “I can’t imagine more knowledge being a bad thing.”

      Funny MichaelL, that quote made me think of a Doc Severinsen interview. He said that he was playing these unbelievable trumpet runs & solos before he had formal lessons. After finding out how difficult they were, he couldn’t play them anymore. πŸ˜€

      1. Yeah, there’s a similar story about Coltrane. Somebody transcribed one of his solos then gave it to him to read, and he allegedly said “I can’t play that!”

    2. No need to worry. I wasn’t trying to knock anyone because of race, age, or gender. But you did get bent out of shape by Daverock’s comment pretty easily. You do have great experience, but maybe you can learn some new tricks by studying younger composers and modern sounds.

      I am no guru but my little beats and riffs are starting to generate royalties for me. Younger composers have to start somewhere and making ‘flavor-of-the-month’ music is how most composers get started.

      Now, when will the older composers and younger composers start collaborating?!? πŸ™‚

      1. @Synth, I’m not worried. I’m not “bent out of shape” over daverock’s comment. He just missed the point.

        As Denis observed, IT IS a sample from 1999. The point was to show 18 different writing styles in 3.5 minutes, along with a bunch of sound design elements. The writing styles included, old school library, old horror film, kitscky 1950’s, sports, smooth jazz, Mexican, Irish, Christmas, orchestral, novelty, etc.

        The problem is that Dave missed the ball, by focusing on “sounds.” It’s my personal belief that you need to be able to write in a number of styles to have a long term career in the library business. You go to any top writer’s website and you will hear samples in many categories: cinematic, sports, poignant, Americana, urban, dramatic, etc.

        For example:
        Click on the link to :go: music.


        Jason has tracks on AudioSparx.

        Younger writers that got caught up in just “sounds” and beats (probably because it’s THEIR favorite music) are missing the big picture.

        What are YOU going to do when you’re 50?

        Are you in it for the long run?

        The you’ve got to think past just “sounds” and “beats.” IMHO

        Good luck in your endeavors.


        Art, if you’re out there, please take down my 1999 sample, so no one else confuses it with my current work. We were afraid that would happen!

  157. Hi

    On the whole a very good site with some nuggets of info that is very useful.

    Just a general observation here though, because I’m seeing a few regular guys giving out advice to newbies – but I click on the sound samples and it sounds like something from the 80s/90s so I’m wondering if they were perhaps in library years ago but aren’t anymore? The business has changed somewhat and I think alot of advice given here is completely off the mark. It really is a young persons game these days – sad but true.

    I am a firm believer that it’s fine to talk the talk, but at the same time you should be prepared to walk the walk. Otherwise, how do we know the value of the advice being given?

    I think there’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “when speaking from a great height, it is necessary to have first climbed the mountain”.

    Let’s have all this advice by all means, but if certain members wish to play the role of forum ‘library oracle’ you should be prepared to show us what you’re doing now and for whom!!

    1. @daverock….OK grasshopper, I’m going to guess that I might be one of the “oracles” to which you refer.

      So let’s start with the sample that sounds like it’s from the 80’s/90’s, if you’re referring to the MLR jukebox. It IS a sample of work from the mid-90s that was put together in 1999. That’s why it says “Sample from 1999.” I put that up so that writers could hear a wide variety of library tracks, not just hip-hop beats and nu-metal riffs (which will fade faster than yesterday’s flowers).

      However, If you’ve been hanging out here long enough, you’d know that I took ten years off to become an attorney and practice law.

      What am I doing now? I write full-time again. I currently have theme music on three television shows… two on FOX and one on CW. I am also creating a new library for the producers of those shows that will be the source of music for all of their shows. I am one of the publishers. In the next few months, I will have three publishing companies, one ASCAP and two BMI, so that I can publish works of both BMI and ASCAP writers. You could compare what I am doing to the Vanacore model. Are they high profile, primetime shows? No, but they are on FOX and CW every week, 52 weeks per year.

      Since returning to the “library” world, I’ve been paid upfront to create a collection for one exclusive library, and I’ve been given an open invitation from three other exclusives to submit tracks any time.

      I have a catalog of over 2000 tracks that I’m in the process of recutting to current standards, many of which I will distribute online.

      So, Daverock, how about you, what are you up to?


      One of the tired old Oracles

      @ Synth…not it’s not harsh. It’s just a young guy hoping it’s a young man’s game.
      Art I’m sure would have something to say about that. πŸ˜†

      1. @daverock

        Apart from making an obvious mistake of criticizing something called ” Sample circa 1999″ as something that sounded from the 90’s, your demeaning comments about composers who are not young is insulting and arrogant beyond belief. What is young in your books BTW.

        Lets see now Dr Dre is 46 jeez defo over the hill by now. I could go on embarrassing you but I will refrain. It is totally irrelevant what age you are to be good at music composition, or anything else for that matter.

        However the one thing most successful library composers have is experience. Gaining experience takes time and one never stops learning. Experience means that I can write in more than one style and if pushed could pastiche many. This is my job, I am not creating records here I am primarily creating music to go with a visual element. This is not an easy thing to do. Library music is secondary to the Film/Tv show/Commercial 90% of the time. You obviously think that this becomes impossible for composers to do over a certain age.

        I have had a relatively successful career in the Record making side of the music business. I decided to start in the library business a little over a year ago and in that time have turned it into a 5 figure per annum business thanks to this very site. I would not of had a clue where to start but for the free advice of many experienced library composers here. If you feel there is little to learn here fair enough but that is my real world experience.

        Also to finish it doesn’t matter whether you like my music or find it dated/old fashioned/not cool trendy, the people I want to impress are my clients, they pay me.

        1. Thanks Denis.

          Well said. Now if I could just get up from this dang walker, I’d stand and applaud! πŸ˜†

          @DaveRock –sorry to come down on you, but it takes time to answer questions, and to offer what advice I can, based on 30 years of experience writing library tracks. And, time is a valuable commodity. FYI, Pat, who I was responding to, is another “old” man.

          Too add to what Denis said, google Ron Fair.

          Now back to mixing my first tracks for one of those new fangled RF libraries — AudioSparx.



      2. Very well put Michael. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing I hear from many (not all) younger people getting into this. The ones that are “making beats in Pro Tools”. And I am quoting that for them…..
        I am not putting down that genre by any means, but that is not the end all…IMHO

    2. “I think there’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “when speaking from a great height, it is necessary to have first climbed the mountain”.

      So tell, us…have you “climbed the mountain”???? How about your placements, successes, etc. Please share that with us

      1. Me or DaveRock?

        Watch out Gary. You’re just another old guy trying to horn in on this “young mans’ game.”



        I see that you answered my question while I was writing this. Thanks

        1. Guess I’m going into forced retirement at 58……I wish someone would have told me it’s a young man’s game a few years ago, so I wouldn’t have wasted all this time and money…….oh well…..

            1. My father wrote “I love you for Sentimental Reasons” which is what is called a “standard.” Pretty unheard of from the younger crowd.
              He’s no longer with us but I’m collecting the royalties still being generated to this day from the 1940s. Most of today’s artists don’t write material that out lives them…unless they die young.
              Couldn’t resist adding my little 2 cents to this thread.
              I found it amusing.

                1. Thanks Guys.
                  I’m playing at the senior center this weekend. Got a new roadie to carry my ipad and I’m leaving the oxygen tank home. Yep, live and unplugged. Gonna be a stone gas honey so climb aboard the OOOOLd Train!

          1. Yeah, but you can load your tracks onto one of those ipod thingys
            and relive the memories of your glory days, as you sway back and forth in your rocking chair!

            1. My most successful track is a Chopin knock-off… long live the old, classical style.
              Oh, by the way, how does one dub-step?

              1. Syncopated electronica, with a grimy wobbly bass. A little on the dark and grim side.

                Oh wait…I’m too old to know this.

    3. @daverock: Ah, you have so much to learn Grasshopper! You might start by looking up the definition of “hubris”. Then again, because of “hubris”, you might not. Here is the short form:

      “Hubris, also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities.

      As many people have already responded to your remarks I don’t need to say much more except, I would venture to say, that most of us have been guilty of hubris, particularly when we were young. Hopefully you will live long enough to realize how absurd your comment was.

      1. Even though Daverock came across as arrogant, he did open my eyes a bit. From reading this forum and a few others, I can almost imagine a stereotypical library music composer. This composer would more than likely be a white male, between the age of 45 to 55. He would probably have a good 20 years of experience making music and would know how to play one or more instruments.

        But this stereotype is not a bad thing. What it shows is that a library composer can leverage his experience to become successful after other musicians have come and gone. As long as a composer is still open to learning, age is not a restriction. I kind of wish that younger people had more knowledge about this side of the music business.

        1. I only got into the library business because I’m too old to haul my gear up steps!
          Now there’s an age limit!? Damn, where did I store my Korg DSS-1 and Ensoniq SQ2?

  158. Rob:

    “The Taxi mantra is “write, submit, forget, repeat”. Nice in theory and works for a lot of them, but it’s just not me. The process is always psychologically interrupted at the ‘forget’ stage. Once the music is signed and submitted, then I can forget it and move on.”

    I agree 100% with you on this. Does it then become quantity vs quality in the writing process?

    1. Quality vs Quantity? No. It’s really about quality times quantity. At least for me, I got better at making songs through hard work.

      I didn’t keep tweaking a few songs to make them perfect. I created a lot of mediocre songs and sent them in. Once I got songs accepted and rejected, I gained a little more insight as to what works and what doesn’t. It sucked being rejected but it actually helped me to make higher quality songs.

      Library music is a bit of a commodity. It does require a lot of songs being licensed in order to make a living solely from licensing. It also demands that a musician makes songs in unfamiliar genres and create music in a machine-like fashion. This is a reason why most people get frustrated and give up.

    2. That mantra is mainly for Taxi submissions because of the screening and time lines associated there. Not looking to start a Taxi debate, please NO! With Taxi, it takes a few weeks to find out if your submission was forwarded and then from weeks to years to possibly get contacted by the listing party. So successful Taxi members developed that mantra to stay sane and focused. The idea is to not get a forward and think you should stop marketing that track.

      Regardless of how you write and market music, it’s best to keep lists or spreadsheets so you know what you submitted to whom, dates, versions, etc, etc. If you keep good documentation and a reminder system of any kind, the “forget” thing shouldn’t really be an issue.

      When you write a new track, nothing says you can’t submit to multiple libraries, Taxi listings, etc all at the same time. Then if you get any bites you can choose at that time.

      Often with a new track, I’ll try the higher end libraries first. If no interest there, I’ll try the libraries I’m already working with. I think Gus mentioned this elsewhere. πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Advice, how are you keeping track of what you’re submitting/responses etc? I have a notebook which is getting sloppy and I’m probably not being the most organized. Not because I don’t want to, just trying to figure out the best way to do it efficiently. It’s ok now since I don’t have hundreds of tracks. Would like to find some kind of music library template computer program if one exists.
        Also, what high end libraries are you submitting to first that are accepting and how long do you wait for a response before going with the non-exclusive route?

        1. I don’t write that many tracks but when I need to keep records of things I usually fall back on a spreadsheet. I don’t think you really need a template if you are minimally literate in Excel or similar. Just make the columns for the info that you think is most important. Sometimes when I make a special mix for an opp, I put a “readme.txt” file in it’s folder with the DAW files that ID’s the new title to mix notes and which opp.

          If someone is generating dozens, hundreds, or thousands of tracks, I can’t imagine how they can survice without something akin to a spreadsheet. With my output, it’s not as much of an issue.

          As far as higher end, I’d probably say Crucial is the main one I try, even though they reject almost everything. If there is an applicable Taxi or FMN listing for an exclusive library and it’s a new, unsigned track, I’ll try those routes.


          1. Thanks for the input advice.
            I thought you were meaning you send your track first to a high end exclusive library first since it doesn’t matter when you send it to Crucial since they’re non exclusive.
            I’ve tried to send a new track to an exclusive library first before Crucial in case they take it but to be honest, I don’t have enough tracks for me to sit around waiting for an exclusive to get back to me (or not)so until I have enough tracks, I’m sending them to non-exclusives for now.
            There is one exception and that’s Supatunes.
            They accepted my only two exclusive submissions but I think of all the non exclusives they would have been a great fit for.

            1. Hi Pat,

              You should read Ron Mendelsohn’s (Megatrax) advice in the recent retitling thread.

              High end exclusive libraries are not likely to be interested in single tracks. The want music in their “format” i.e., full collections, with all the edits and mixes. A full collection would be 10+ different tracks, usually with a common theme like all sports, all trailer, etc. You need a full length version (2+ minutes), :60, :30, :15, plus a bed mix. They’re not interested in demos either, They just want finished product.

              I believe the Matt said roughly the same thing in another thread. Libraries like a complete well produced collection.

              Understanding this protocol will give you a goal, and/or prevent you from wasting your time sending out single tracks.

              Hope that saves you some grief.



              1. I appreciate that Michael. That will save me alot more than “some” grief. It’s hard enough going forward without wasting time and energy submitting to libraries where it’s dead on arrival.
                Any exclusives I aim at will specifically state they’re accepting single submissions or whatever it is that makes me think I have it.I won’t waste time with them at least for now.

              2. I second that MichaelL! That thread changed my way of thinking. Working on a 40’s piano solo CD now. Made to order – destination the exclusives. I’m wearing my midnight blue peacoat to get in the mood. πŸ˜€

                1. I guess I should have said something before.

                  This is not revolutionary news. It’s the way that I’ve dealt with exclusives from my first
                  “LP” for NFL in 78 or 79.

                  The only exception that I’ve come across is when the library is producing a collection and hiring different composers to contribute x number of tracks. I’ve been in that situation a number of times, but that’s usually after they’ve already done business with you and they assign the tracks to you.

                  I did get into an exclusive once, based on a demo, and then they told me what they wanted me to write….two dramatic tracks for a collection along with other writers.

                  It’s a completely different mindset than uploading tracks to 25 different libraries. AND, there’s no quick turnaround. The tracks go through their production cycle and schedule, so it can be a long time before the backend shows up.

                  Good luck…keep writing!


              3. In the context of Ron’s comments I thought this was worth sharing. Apollo Live have just updated their goals and given clear briefs for album concepts they’re actively looking for:

                See their MLR entry for more details about their deal.

        2. Pat,

          Like you, I don’t a lot of material and I’m only in a few non-exclusives, but that is quickly changing. I’ve been putting off putting together an organized spreadsheet, but I think I need to get it started while my library is still small an manageable.

          Emmett Cooke (sorry if it’s misspelled) posted an nice excel spreadsheet template for tracking cues/submissions to non-exclusives some time ago. I can’t remember how I got it, (is on on the site Art?), but I would be glad to send it out.

          1. Hey Alan,
            Not having a lot of material is only half of it for me. From what I take from that is that your production quality has to be like major label. I think I make clear clean recordings but they don’t sound like master quality major label stuff.
            The term “demos” is used. Not sure if I fit in there or not but it sounds like I do as fare as the big exclusives go though good enough for non exclusives and maybe some exclusives that aren’t that high end.
            As far as a template, if there’s such a thing that’d be great if you got a hold of it.

            1. “From what I take from that is that your production quality has to be like major label. I think I make clear clean recordings but they don’t sound like master quality major label stuff.
              The term “demos” is used. Not sure if I fit in there or not but it sounds like I do as fare as the big exclusives go though good enough for non exclusives and maybe some exclusives that aren’t that high end.”

              @Pat .. you’re jumping around from templates to “demos.” By “demo” what I mean and what I believe Ron Mendelsohn means is sending in a sample of your work and hoping that the library hires you to write for them, based on what they hear. That’s as he put it a “long shot.” With a finished product they know what they’re buying.

              As far as “major label” sound is concerned…YES, when you’re talking about top exclusives. When you get up to that level your competing with top level writers and top studios. If you’re writing trailer music, for example, it’s got to sound “cinematic” on the level of a Hollywood feature. Sometimes they take an orchestral mock-up and hire an orchestra to record it. In that instance, you need to know how to “write” and orchestrate on paper (usually using notation software like Sibelius or finale)

              YES, there are smaller exclusives, but the finished product still needs to sound very good.
              “Clean” is not the issue if you’re using samples. It is one of the issues if you’re recording instruments with a mic, or taking in a direct from a guitar. What matters, if you’re using samples, is the quality of the samples, how you use them and your level of mixing / mastering skills. I hear a lot of tracks where people use good samples, but they don’t use them well. Horn and string parts for example, should live and breathe. If you don’t use your mod-wheel and controllers to put dynamics into acoustic instruments they sound mechanical, fake and lifeless…a dead giveaway.

              MIxing and mastering are critical. Understanding compression and EQ are a must. There’s a lot to it!

              Now….I know that you’re going to ask me if it matters in Royalty Free libraries. My answer to is to look at, and listen to, the top sellers. At AudioSparx you’ve got Erwin and Denis 1 and 2. These guys use top stuff, like Protools and the know what they’re doing when it comes to recording, mixing and mastering. So, I’ve gotta believe that the customers can hear the difference. They stand out, above the other 100,000 tracks.

              Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, but there is no easy or short cut way to make a living at this.

              1. Thanks Michael. No, doesn’t sound like a lecture to me.
                I’m here for input and that’s what I’m getting. It helps me keep expectations on a realistic level.
                I’m just soaking in the info whether it sounds good to me or not.

              2. “Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, but there is no easy or short cut way to make a living at this.”

                Amen brother!

      2. Hey Advice,

        I’m not into a Taxi debate either. The mantra also applies if one gets a forward through Taxi or for submitting directly to a library if you think about it. My original problem is that the ‘forget’ part doesn’t work for me and thus the more unsigned music I have the more time I spend looking for homes for it all.

  159. I would agree .

    Sometimes the meta data stuff gives me a bad headache.

    Spending all my time uploading to only be rejected by some libraries.

    Is also disappointing.

  160. Back catalogues:

    I find having too much unsigned music sitting on my hard drive leads to low productivity as I spend more time marketing and waiting for replies than expending that energy creatively. Ideally I’d rather work on commissioned collections, of which I’m now on my third.

    The Taxi mantra is “write, submit, forget, repeat”. Nice in theory and works for a lot of them, but it’s just not me. The process is always psychologically interrupted at the ‘forget’ stage. Once the music is signed and submitted, then I can forget it and move on.

    How do you all approach this aspect of the business?

    1. Hi Rob, I guess it’s a matter of time management. I only spent about 3 hours a week on the marketing/submitting The rest of the time is spent writing and producing.

      The only time my music will sit on a hard-drive is when I’m pitching to new exclusive libraries. In those instances, I will write about 5 songs and send them out. I’ll give it about a month to hear back. If nothing happens within that time, then I’ll submit them to libraries I’m already working with.

    2. The best time for me to deal with my back catalogue is when I get writer’s block or have trouble faliing asleep. It’s a good use of time when my creative juices are not flowing.

  161. So a question about using Apple loops. I have used the Apple loops included in Logic for parts of quite a few of my tracks. So I went on to Macloops to see what they had to offer, I found this:

    “All of the Apple loops that Macloops offers are free for you to download and use in your music. If you wish to use our apple loops in any type of professional or commercial capacity you must purchase those loops from the original sample source to be licensed. We provide links to the original source of all the loops available on Macloops.”

    I take it that the reason for this is that these loops are from 3rd parties.

    Any thoughts or experience with these?


    1. I don’t use Apple Loops or Garage Band. Some libraries do not like them.

      I’m guessing that if you’re going to make money with the product, Apple wants you to pay for a license –plain and simple.



    2. Gary

      It looks like that site (Macloops) is a separate commercial entity that sells the Apple loops format, some of which are free. Like any loop library some restrictions may apply.

      The bundled Apple loops library is definitely royalty free without restrictions. Some of those loops have been on Usher and Rhianna tracks.I even heard one of the music tracks on a major telecom commercial here in Ireland.

      1. Denis:
        That is what I thought, but wanted to be sure. Yes, I too have heard many Apple loops from Logic on a few different TV shows, and docs.


        1. “Some of those loops have been on Usher and Rhianna tracks.”

          I’m surprised. You learn something everyday.


            1. Thanks for the link Denis.

              I guess I spend too much time hanging out in another forum, where everyone seems to write for film & TV, and Garage Band and Apple Loops get dissed all the time.



              1. TBH most of the Logic ones aren’t great and the
                Time strtching algo is not in the same league as Stylus RMX

                1. I find them (Apple Loops) very useful in writing World music ( Indian, Middle-Eastern, Latin etc.) and really do not use many of the others.

                  The quality of the loops are very good, but as Denis said time stretching is better with others. Also, if you try to record in 24/48, there is a bit of “phasing” that goes on with them.

                  Still pretty useful for me, and have had no negative comments.

                2. Gary

                  Yep the world ones do have a use, and I have used them. Bearing in mind they are free
                  I am not complaining , I just find the others catagories lacking.

                3. For world loops I use Stylus RMX (check out the new taiko drums from 9volt) and MOTU’s Ethno.
                  The time stretching /syncing with Ethno is pretty good.
                  For world sounds, I use RA, SIlk, SD2, and Gypsy.

  162. What are the back-end royalties for Q3 from.

    Some say they are from a year behind.

    Is this true?


    1. September 23, 2011 BMI writers’ distribution was for 1st Q 2011

      Upcoming October 7, 2011 ASCAP writers’ distribution is for 1st Q 2011

        1. It says on your statement, usually at the top, what “reporting period” the statement covers.

          1. There can be other quarters on your statement. As an example on my last BMI statement under the period column most say 20111 (1st quarter 2011) but also in that column were payments from 20104 (4th quarter 2010).

            1. So if a cue sheet has not been filed..

              It is safe to safe there will be no royalty distribution, correct?

  163. Do Libraries do something to keep their online music at the same volume? Some of my cues could be a little louder but when I try and push it it gets a big smeared, loses some definition and I like it better but sometimes am concerned about whether the volume wars is alive and well in library music.

  164. I’ve got a cue that reminds me of elevator music. Any particular libraries come to mind? Not my favorite type of music to write but if I can license it, it will become my favorite type real quick.

    1. Hi Pat, a particular library doesn’t come to mind but one tip is if it sounds like elevator music to go with that and eq it as if it were being heard in an elevator. Cut all the lows, and highs, give it a real small midrange speaker sound. Then call it Elevator Music Cue One or something like that!

    2. LOL Pat, you and I think a little too much alike! AudioSparx has a deal with Muzak and a few other similar music services. I think I’ve seen your name in AS right? If so, go to the knowledge base (“KB” tab under “My AudioSparx”) and search “Muzak” the Artist Communique’ for more info.

        1. No Pat, I think I started with about 10-15. I had a sale in my first week, then nothing for 10 months. I’m hoping my luck will change though (aren’t we all). Read up on them here though. All the great comments about what great people they are to work with a true.

          1. Thanks for the input Alan. I wrote this cue. It’s corny but sounds like something you’d hear while waiting in a waiting room to get your tooth pulled. I remember some guys here saying if you really want to make money doing this, it’s a good idea to have some non-exclusives,exclusives and also some Audiosparx kind of stuff out there so maybe I’ll try that as well.

        2. Pat,

          You can submit demos directly to Muzak. Don’t bother with sub-publishing through another library if you don’t need to. Nothing against AS, but your first responsibility is to yourself and there’s no point losing cuts through sub-pubbing if it’s not necessary.

          1. Thanks Rob! I’m embarrassed that I hadn’t looked into that. I remember when I first started arranging (with pencil and paper!) I would think “I know I could write for Muzak if I only I could get my foot in the door.”

            Well, here’s the door:

            Anyone out there have any experience or advice regarding direct submissions to Muzak?

            1. No worries Alan. It’s hard enough to build up a solid income in this business without unnecessary cuts being taken πŸ˜‰

              To your question, I have no experience with Muzak though.

            2. Yes, I submitted to Muzak last year. I sent them an email asking if it was alright to send music. They said yes so I mailed in a CD. Unfortunately my material was rejected. It took a few months for me to get a response. Give it a shot.

              1. Hi Synth player. Thanks.
                I sent an email last night. I’m wondering if they would be most likely exclusive or non-exclusive. I don’t have enough material to not shop while waiting months for a response. Otherwise, I’ll give it a shop

                1. I do not think they are a traditional music library. I may be wrong but I think they make their money from blanket fees and single license fees. I think the writer(s) get 100% of the writer’s share and the publisher(s) gets 100% of the publisher’s share from PROs. At least that is the impression that I got.

  165. I have a song recorded that I did in 2 different genres. The original is an Indie rock track with mostly real instruments. I also recorded an electronic/hip hop version of the same song. The instruments are different but the melody and structure are the same. I wanted to see how it sounded the second way. Well, I like the way they both turned out.
    So, my question is, how should I title them? Should the original be xxxxx and the second be a variation, like xxxxx-electronic ver. or should I just treat them as two different songs?
    They would be going into non exclusives.

  166. Recently I was accepted to audiosparx. According to their site, I have 30 days to commit to a list of sale types before they lock it up for good. The only one I’m sure about is that I don’t want to do exclusive yet.

    My question is this: I can read all of the documentation that they provide. I am just curious if anyone here would turn any of these options down. The 30 day limit makes me a little anxious. I don’t want any regrets, if you know what I mean.

    The options are:

    EXCLUSIVE ARTIST – This artist is selling all tracks uploaded here exclusively at the AudioSparx family of sites (enable if true)
    To learn more info about this topic, please read this KB article.

    ENABLE LICENSING ON AUDIOSPARX.COM – Check this box if you wish to sell this artist’s audio content online at For additional details about this, click here (pop-up). By checking this box you agree to the terms of the AudioSparx Vendor Agreement (pop-up).

    ENABLE LICENSING ON STOCKMUSICSITE.COM – Check this box if you wish to sell this artist’s audio content online at For additional details about this, click here (pop-up). By checking this box you agree to the terms of the Stock Music Site Vendor Agreement (pop-up).

    ENABLE LICENSING ON CUSTOMLABELMUSIC.COM – Check this box if you wish to sell this artist’s audio content online at For additional details about this, click here (pop-up). By checking this box you agree to the terms of the Vendor Agreement (pop-up).

    ENABLE SALES VIA EXTERNAL RINGTONE & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD PARTNERS – Check this box if you wish to sell this artist’s audio content as ringtone, ringback and digital download content via external partners of AudioSparx. For additional details about this, click here (pop-up). By checking this box you agree to the terms of the External Digital Distribution Agreement (pop-up). Make sure to NOT participate in this option or any of the sub-options below if your tracks here are already involved in an exclusive digital distribution deal with some other company.

    ENABLE EXPORT VIA COMPILATION ALBUMS – This option allows your music to be selected for inclusion in music compilation albums containing music tracks from multiple different artists. The albums are then distributed for sale as digital downloads at over 300 retail outlets around the world including iTunes, Amazon and many others. The music is only for personal listening by end clients, not for any type of commercial use whatsoever. You earn your standard prorata share of sales revenue for each track or album that is sold at any of the retail outlets.

    ENABLE LICENSING VIA AQUASOFT – This partner sells software to create slideshows. They have a base of several hundred thousand clients. They are developing in-app music licensing for both personal users and commercial users of their software. Much like iTunes, personal license uses will be around $1.00 per track, and commercial royalty-free licenses will be sold at the same rate we charge for the tracks at Aquasoft may create small bundles of a few tracks to allow clients to easily purchase a few tracks at once. You earn your standard percentage of net revenue for all sales.

    ENABLE LICENSING FOR CONSUMER/RETAIL MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES – Check this box to include this artist’s music in consumer-oriented retail music streaming services which can include music streaming subscriptions, on-demand music streaming over the Internet, mobile devices, radio and TV. Note: This usage is ONLY for personal listening, NOT for business music services to play at business or store facilities. You earn your standard percentage of proportional net revenue based on uses of your tracks.

    ENABLE EXPORT TO CLEAR CHANNEL iHeartRadio – This partner sells on-demand music streaming subscriptions with an option for clients to purchase individual tracks for immediate download in MP3 format. You earn your standard percentage of proportional net revenue based on track usage and your standard percentage of net revenue for digital download sales.

    ENABLE EXPORT TO KIRUSA – This partner sells pay-per-track and subscription services for music for mobile phone clients, and also distributes content for sale as ringtone and ringback content. You earn your standard percentage of proportional net revenue based on track usage (for subscriptions) and your standard percentage of net revenue for per-track, ringtone and ringback purchases.

    ENABLE COMMERCIAL MUSIC SERVICE (CMS) USES – Check this box if you wish to have this artist’s audio content be monetized via commercial background music deals. AudioSparx is engaged with multiple external partners to monetize music for commercial background music uses. This can include in stores, restaurants, hotels, theme parks, on-hold music and all types of commercial facilities needing background music.

    ENABLE EXPORT TO MUZAK, LLC – Muzak is the world’s leading CMS provider
    ENABLE EXPORT TO SUBWAY RESTAURANTS – Subway is the world’s largest restaurant chain
    ENABLE EXPORT TO PLAYNETWORK – Playnetwork is a large CMS provider
    ENABLE EXPORT TO DMX – DMX is a large CMS provider

    ENABLE INTERNET ROYALTIES – Check this box if you wish to have this artist’s audio content monetized when possible to earn Internet royalties. This happens in relation to the use of music by clients in videos which are deployed to various sites around the Internet, including at YouTube and other similar sites. For additional info about this program, click here.

    1. Paul:
      I am on Audiosparx myself. I have opted-in to all of these options, except the last one, and I am non-exclusive with them.

            1. I know Crucial has a problem with using Rumblefish, but not sure if any of the non-exclusive have a problem with collecting Internet royalties.

              1. JohnTOJ,

                If you read AS’ knowledge base article KB2316, it explains their policy on the internet royalties programme.

                1. From what it reads Rob, I don’t qualify for Internet use anyway. It states that one must have an exclusive licensing relationship with AudioSparx, which I don’t.

    1. Hi AlanF, Been using them for years and have made a number of deals. Only one really paid of but it was well worth it for that one.

      1. I get the job postings via email, but I cancelled my membership. If there’s a members only posting that I’m interested in, I’d join again.

    2. I’ve made two good contacts through FMN. I submit now and then to listings that grab my attention. The people who run it, Mark and Robyn ( ? – my memory fails me), are very helpful and approachable.

  167. Can any of the more knowledgable members help me with understanding what “moral rights” means? As in ‘Writer waives all so-called “moral rights”.’ Any help or feedback is appreciated.

  168. A friend of mine asked me today, if I had any idea home many people are recording at 48Khz or 96Khz. I told him I’d put the question out there.

    So…anyone recording at 48Khz or 96Khz?



    1. Most of what I do is 44 or 48. It depends on what I am using on the track. If it’s software instruments (MIDI) and real instruments I will usually record at 48. But if I am using loops of any sort I record at 44 because the loops can get a bit phasey at 48. I only recorded at 96 one time when I did an all acoustic guitar track, and to be honest with you I could not tell the difference…


    2. Thanks guys.

      I’ll send him a link to the thread. He’s recording a lot of acoustic guitar



    3. I record everything at 44, and I bounce out a 48 aif or wave file since most libraries want 48/16. That might not be the best thing to do, but I’ve had a ton of placements and several commercials and never received a complaint. And, to be honest, I can’t tell the difference either way.

      In fact, now that I think about it, I have had several network and cable placements that used Mp3’s. So I don’t think its that big a deal what you record at as long as its at least 44/16. At least in the production music world.

    4. I work in 48/24 when recording.
      Also, I bounce all midi tracks in project to 24/48 audio wavs (trying to use 24bit libs – esp. orchestral ones).
      Then mix them all creating an additional project (in Pro-Tools actualy).
      I think the 48/24 quality can be heard primaly on live instruments or vocals – where the capturing process is essential.