Cue Tips


No this is not about cleaning your ears out! Well maybe in a metaphoric way. Matt had mentioned “editor friendly” library tracks and MichaelL had asked for clarification. Matt’s response was:

I think most editors would say that an easily editable track has these characteristics:

– a short intro, getting to the main idea quickly (no slow fade up)

– sticking to one emotion, idea, genre

– stays in one key (some editors like modulation, but it’s easier to edit when the music’s all in the same key from beginning to end)

– for TV, ‘A-B-A’ is a useful format, with the last A section being a bigger version of the opening. For longer tracks it could be ‘A-B-A-B-A’ (each time getting bigger) or ‘A-B-A-C-A’

– breaks in the music between sections, so that the editors can cut from those points to the end easily

– a nice solid, final ending, with a long ring out (there are always exceptions of course).


Seems to me this would make for an interesting thread. Basic tips and tricks for writing library music. I have moved the comments that started this discussion to here.

29 Replies to “Cue Tips”

  1. Hey Matt,
    I completely agree… if you have the motivation to write outside of a deadline, you’ve got it made in a lot of ways.
    I run a boutique library that’s expanding quite a bit right now. I’m a composer myself, and I’m also trying to guide my group of composers to write the most effective cues that the editors can really use. If you’re interested, I’d love to pick up the conversation with you.
    rpossum at gmail

    1. Greetings,

      I’m listening to library tracks in the style that I’m shooting for and I’m not hearing breaks in between sections. The tracks seem to run from start to finish. When listening to shows that use the same style I do hear exactly what is being referred to with the quick cuts that have button endings, but are these your cutdowns that you deliver? Do you build them into your tracks?


      1. I’m listening to library tracks in the style that I’m shooting for and I’m not hearing breaks in between sections.

        It depends on the library and the market. RF site don’t usually have those breaks but there are more traditional libraries that do. Then again, times do change.

        1. Thanks Art – Do you find yourself putting in those breaks in the track? I was looking at traditional libraries that place on tv/cable.


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