This is an Excerpt from a review by SOUND on SOUND of the dbx 160S Compressor/Limiter

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan98/articles/dbx.htm

Is the dbx 160S pure technology, a work of art, or a little of both? PAUL WHITE puts it to the test.

You can always tell when a valuable product comes in for review — it turns up in a flight case, not a cardboard box! The 160S is dbx’s top-of-the-range analogue compressor/limiter, and it’s pretty clear that the heavy, sculpted front panel and chunky metal knobs have been influenced by Focusrite’s high-end ‘Red’ styling, but the design aim seems to have been to capture the sonic signature of existing dbx classic products, rather than to go all out for sonic neutrality or attempt to create a new compressor characteristic.

INTRODUCTION

Housed in a 2U rack-mounting case, the 160S is a 2-channel compressor/limiter with the addition of dbx’s proprietary PeakStopPlus limiter on the output. Metering is via moving-coil meters rather than the more usual LED ladders, and full side-chain access is available. The heavy aluminium front panel is blue anodized, and all the controls, buttons included, have a heavy, smooth feel that inspires confidence.

Before going further, it’s probably helpful if I explain the presence of the PeakStopPlus limiter in a product that can already function as a limiter in its own right. The most obvious reason for including a separate limiter after a compressor is so that the user can apply gentle compression to the signal using the compressor section, but still have the limiter keeping watch for peaks that might otherwise exceed the safe limit for the next piece of equipment in line. This is particularly important with digital equipment, which doesn’t tolerate any overload. However, even if you were to configure the main compressor as a limiter, by using a high ratio and a very fast attack time, you’d find this setting less than ideal for low-frequency sounds, which are treated more kindly if the compressor attack time is set a little longer. Of course, setting anything other than the fastest attack time allows brief peaks to slip through the system unchecked, which is why a separate, very fast output limiter is so useful.

PeakStopPlus is actually a two-stage limiter designed to arrest excessive peaks with the minimum of side-effects, and it does this by first employing what dbx describe as their Instantaneous Transient Clamp, which controls the level using a soft logarithmic function to avoid harsh-sounding clipping effects. This effectively prevents overshoots of more than around 2dB above the set threshold, but then stage two comes into action, introducing another new dbx term — Intelligent Predictive Limiting. I interpret this as a type of look-ahead system that monitors the input level, providing a very short but still useful warning that a peak is about to hit the limiter. Apparently the top couple of dBs of the limiting process provide soft clipping rather than simple truncation which, again, helps produce a more natural sound. PeakStopPlus is provided as a kind of peak level safety net, so under normal circumstances the compressor output level would be set so that the limiter rarely operates (if ever). If desired, however, the limiter can be provoked into more frequent action, allowing its use as a creative effect.

dbx® 160 Plugin Overview with Eddie Kramer

Watch renowned producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones) present the Waves dbx® 160 Compressor/Limiter, an authentic-sounding plugin version of the vintage dbx® 160 compressor heard on countless hit recordings from the 1970s, 1980s and beyond.

For more on this great product check out this link and learn more!

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan98/articles/dbx.htm

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More tips on getting music placed

I have been enjoying the feedback and questions from the previous posts I thought I would elaborate a little more and share a few more thoughts with you. Now before I begin I must say that you may not think what I share is perhaps a tip, but these have been things that have and still do help me out. These thoughts and ideas have come from experience and from certain folks I know in the business who are either A&R people, other Music Supervisors, Composers and if I may GATE KEEPERS Muahahaha!

Now some of this MAY hurt your heart and get you angry, but if you are sick you go to the DR to find out whats wrong. If you are trying to get music placed or make some money in the music biz you are reading this humble attempt at a BLOG. I do NOT have all the answers NO ONE does but here we go…

Ok so you have made some music, you are trying to be FAMOUS, you are trying to share with the world your most incredible song that has ever graced the ears of man….now what do you do? How do you go about trying to get it to the right people? Some of you who read this may have years of experience and this will all seem silly or maybe a review of sorts.

To some this will be strange and you have never heard of these things or even contemplated them. Some of the terminology may seem foreign and strange but if you take the time to learn and read up on  these things they will benefit you in years to come.

How do you explain something that has taken a life time to learn and put into practice with in a few senteces? How does one reveal the truth to someone when they do not want to hear it? Wait a minute what? Yes thats right many people do NOT want to hear what I am saying. You want OTHER people to do all the work for you but you want to reap the rewards of THEIR labor? Yes Mr Anderson this is true. I have seen it time and time again. On one hand there are a group of people who will bust their butts and do what ever they can to try to make it in the busness and then there are those who will go half way and expect the same results. Does not happen.

You have to do your homework no matter what you have to study, force yourself to do things you would not neccessriy do as a musucian such as read, educate yourself. I cannot begin to tell you how many people will email me or call and they have NO clue as to how things work and how this business end works, they think that you make the music place it on itunes, or make a youtube video and people will stop in there tracks. Not that there is anything wrong with not knowing for we are all learning. It is the fact that this is all they think needs to be done. That some one beyond the great expanse will hear them and sign them and their music as in the days of old, or the movies.

Ask yourself a few of these questions, and write them down on paper or on your laptop….

Where do you want to be in a year?

Where do you want to be in 5 yrs?

How do you get there?

Who can help you get there?

Why do you want it?

These are your goals, your blue print for what your trying to do.

Where is music used? EVERYWHERE

Who provides them with that music? How can I get my music to them, or that person?

Why do you write your thoughts and ideas down? If you do not have some form of direction YOU WILL NEVER go anywhere. You have to set out a course a plan. You have to put yourself in the right places at the right times. I believe it was Walt Disney who said  “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

You need to identify and try to start meeting filmmakers and music supervisors. A few things to try to remember when meeting and establishing ANY new relationships with in this business are as follows;

Composing is primarily a relationship-driven business. If you are not one who likes to work with people you may have trouble working in this field. Not impossible just something to work on. Be seen as a solution NOT a problem.
Be someone who’s easy to do business with and approachable. Do not be arrogant be a little humble. Like with in ANY relationship building, remember to consider others time and thoughts not just YOURS.

Respect their time – when you call, get to the point and always listen. Don’t take anything personally. If someone gives you their thoughts or ideas (like this BLOG) do not trip out just realize that it is just their views. RESPECT, relax, do not stop making music because you got rejected EVERYONE gets rejected.Edison the dude who helped discover the light bulb failed like hundreds of times I think even 206 times!
Always inspire confidence in you and your music. Always remember the unique aspects about you and your music.
Do your homework – learn as much as possible about the person & projects.

I will always share when I can to try to help out everyone. I would humbly ask that if you like this posting and have benefited from it that you write us back share your music with us if you want. I am always looking to network with people of like mind and collaborate so feel free to email. I would also like to ask that you share this with anyone you feel would benefit. It is like we are trying to put into practice what I have been writing about these past few articles. Lets build relationships. ROCK ON!

Tips on getting music placed and listened to

A lot of people email me and ask questions about how to get their music heard, do I have some time to listen and perhaps can I give them some advice? So I decided to put this together as a little posting to try to pass along some VERY IMPORTANT info. I hope it helps it is very basic but sometimes that is all that is needed to do. .

Do your research, find out what shows fit your music. Check the credits. Some of us may respond to Linkedin, Facebook, etc. If I have heavy metal or hard rock songs and cues I am not going to send them along to a show that primarily uses Hip Hop? or Reggae?

You may think this is silly that I say this but I cannot begin to tell you how many times I might post a listing or song search and I get back the totally opposite results. I will post something like I need Hip Hop, or Urban rap tune and someone will eventually send me a singer songwriter or jazz, even once I got a classical score piece. I am not mocking you or making fun of them for I have done that even in the past a long time ago but you need to do your research and find out what shows use what or what have they licensed before. Nothing will get the Music Supervisor to NOT listen to something more than when someone says, “I know your not looking for this at the moment but I feel this will be the best fit for your show…”  Not tripping but if the director wanted something other than what is listed we would have asked for it.

When sending someone an email asking them to listen to your music be sure you make the process as simple as possible. Links to stream with a link to download next to it. Keep it clean and accessible. Something like SoundCloud or Drop Box You Send it, Reverbnation EPK something easy.

Try to think of it like a million folks are trying to get the Music Supervisor or A&R agent to listen to their music. If the one listening needs to fill out forms or go searching on some website then that is NOT going to happen.

“What is the best way for me to get your attention to their music or take a moment to listen?” Be honest about presentation. Be professional yet humble. Try not to tell me you’re the NEXT so and so..Let your music and image do the talking. You maybe working out of a garage or a one room apartment or you may have a great band rocking out every night. THe thing is that if you have great music and great attitude you WILL be heard, your music WILL get you to where you need to be. Might take a while but it will. LOL

Finally BE ENCOURAGED!! and Keep on keeping on. No ONE believes more in your music than YOU! No one will promote it as hard, talk it up as much or try to sell it more.If you send a package out give it some time say 4-6 weeks. I cannot tell you how many times I might have sent something out and not heard nothing back then WHAM when you’re not thinking about it like sometimes months later you get the call, “We LOVE YOUR MUSIC!!” So just because someone does not call you or email you with in a month or so does not mean you’re not being heard.

We live in an age of FAST..somethings take time and for the RIGHT time. If you hold steady and do not quit and believe, make great music SOMEONE WILL notice.

With that I say CHEERS and have a safe summer, stay in touch.

Wolfie’s Music Publishing

The music players on here are from Wolfies Music Publishing and Mark Allan Wolfe

Music Fans Are Prepared To Spend Up To $2.6 Billion More Annually For Premium Content

Nielsen has unveiled the findings from “The Buyer and the Beats: The Music Fan and How to Reach Them,” an unprecedented music study created especially for the 2013 SXSW conference attendees that provides beneficial insights about music fans, defined as those who are passionately invested in music. Co-presented by Nielsen and SXSW during this year’s conference in Austin, the report explores how music listeners engage with music and technology, utilize their smartphones, tap into free content, and engage in crowdsourcing; as well as how companies, artists and fans can be better served.

“The Buyer and the Beats: The Music Fan and How to Reach Them” reveals that 40% of U.S. consumers � those classified as “Fans” � are responsible for 75% of music spending. These Fans, who spend between $20 billion and $26 billion on music each year, could spend between $450 million and $2.6 billion more on music if compelling content is made commercially available. Additionally, the study finds that that the most avid of “Fans” have downloaded the most tracks for free–approximately 30 digital songs per fan over the course of a year.

“It’s encouraging to see such strong demand for content from music fans,” says David Bakula, SVP Client Development & Analytics for Entertainment, Nielsen. “We are finding that there’s a lot of untapped demand for additional content, which can translate into beneficial and profitable opportunities for artists, labels, and advertisers.”

A majority of “Fans” want greater engagement with their favorite musicians and would be willing to pay considerably for that access. They want to know more about what they’re like as people, and get a better understanding of the creative process. These “Fans” are prepared to pay more for exclusive or premium content, autographed products, and special merchandise. In addition, these fans would consider paying about $30 for an “online ticket” to view an exclusive live webcast.

Neilson data on music fans

Nielsen identifies the difference between a casual music consumer and a music “Fan,” and the best way to reach them. The core music fans include “Aficionado Fans,” “Digital Fans,” and “Big Box Fans.” Fans who don’t meet the criteria to be classified as one of Nielsen’s core music fans are the “Occasional Concert Consumers,” “Ambivalent Music Consumers,” and “Background Music Consumers.”

* Aficionado Fans (14% of respondents) – the most avid and engaged music fans are spending about $400 per year on music, concerts and artist merchandise through retailers such as iTunes, Amazon and independent record stores. These fans prefer alternative rock, are active social network users, attend live concerts and listen to music via computer.
* Digital Fans (13%) � the smartphone is the entertainment hub for these fans, who discover music via technology and listen to music via Facebook. They spend over $300 per year on music and share music more than other fans, giving music as gifts and sharing their playlists.
* Big Box Fans (13%) – these fans shop at mass retailers, are partial to pop and country music, and listen to music through a CD or mp3 player. They are highly influenced by bargains, respond well to brand endorsements, and spend about $200 per year on music.
* Occasional Concert Consumers (14%) and Ambivalent Music Consumers (22%) are less engaged with music than the “Fans,” and they spend less (about $100 and $70 per year, respectively). Nonetheless, the Ambivalent Music Consumer is open to discovery (60% use Pandora) and expressed some willingness to pay for exclusive content.
* Background Music Consumers (24%) are the least engaged of all music consumers, spending only $40 per year on music.

sxsw LOGO

“The Buyer and the Beats: The Music Fan and How to Reach Them” presenters included Barbara Zack, Chief Analytics Officer, Entertainment Measurement for Nielsen; David Bakula, SVP Analytics for Nielsen; Benji Rogers, Founder & CEO of PledgeMusic; and Shawn O’Keefe, Interactive Festival Producer, SXSW. During the panel, Bakula projected On-Demand streaming to exceed 100 billion by the year’s end.

Data for “The Buyer and the Beats: The Music Fan and How to Reach Them” was collected via 1,000 consumer surveys using Nielsen’s proprietary, high-quality ePanel in the United States; 1,800 PledgeMusic contributors; and 1,200 SXSW attendees.

Music Start Ups

I thought this was a great article and wanted to re post it to share with my followers and anyone else out there.

visit markallanwolfe.com for more

Music Startups and the Licensing Drag

by

It is surprising that, to date, most of the conversation around the music licensing challenges faced by new music services has centered on cost rather than friction — the specific prices of royalty rates and the dollar value of advances, instead of the complexity of the process. When that complexity is addressed, it is spoken of in very general or anecdotal terms: music licensing is “complicated,” requiring a “long time,” because negotiations take place among  “countless copyright owners with different perspectives.” Furthermore, it is often argued only broad changes to copyright law — regardless of the impact of other factors — would be sufficient to overcome this friction.

In May of 2012, Sean Parker, an investor and board member of Spotify, claimed the firm’s US licensing efforts required upwards of two-and-a-half years before completion.1 Reuters had reported it spent at least eighteen months attempting to license the service in the US2, while Forbes wrote it had taken two years in Europe.3

Turntable.fm launched a beta version in late May of 2011. While still an invite-only platform, it announced a license from Sound Exchange covering performances of sound recordings, as well as blanket licenses from ASCAP and BMI for the broadcasting of musical works.4  Eight months later, the firm would announce direct licenses from EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner music.5

In August of 2011, the Financial Times reported that the negotiations between the record labels and Beyond Oblivion, while nearing conclusion, had been ongoing for upwards of eighteen months.6  Four months later, the FT reported that Beyond Oblivion would close shop before launching its Boinc music service. Licensing agreements had yet to be completed.7

These accounts suggest different problems. Spotify was rumored to have spent nearly four years seeking music licenses. Instead, Turntable.fm, launched without them, then obtained the requisite compulsory and blanket licenses within sixty days, and, within ten months of the service becoming available, negotiated directly with the record labels. Finally, Beyond Oblivion was a non-starter after apparently two years of discussions.

Research and Disclosures

This brief was prompted by the concern that there may be a far wider range of factors beyond the law that contribute to the current friction in music licensing. We need a better understanding of how technology firms and copyright holders navigate the intersection at which these two parties meet. For this reason, attention will be given to licensing timelines, process maps, and logics — indirect measures of the transaction costs and the frames within which these negotiations take place.

An expanded description of this research can be found in a report from the same author, released jointly by the National Association of Record Merchandisers and DigitaMusic.org (available at http://bit.ly/Innovation-Paradox). No third party other than Washington and Lee University, through a Lenfest Grant, provided funding for this research. DigitalMusic.org provided the ideal partner for the release of the larger report — not only is their charter “to advocate, educate, and organize on behalf of the entire digital music ecosystem,” but also their various advisory boards include representatives of both copyright owners and technology companies.8

A combination of publicly available and privately obtained data were gathered from more than twenty interactive music services launched or attempted to be launched in the United States, between 2000 and 2012. Published news stories and company statements were inputs for the data. Also, semi-structured interviews were conducted with more than twenty individuals who had been directly involved in music service licensing efforts over the period. In addition, and in order to gain as holistic an understanding of the licensing process as possible, private data was gathered from individuals who had represented both so-called “sides” in these negotiations: technology companies and copyright owners.

 

Importantly, individual sources for this research have been and shall be kept confidential. The direct mention within this article of any particular service does not mean that anyone affiliated with that service provided private data for this project. This writer was not given access to private contracts or any deal terms, and any privately collected data is addressed in the aggregate and/or without attribution.

Legal Background

Any service that makes musical recordings available to the public, whether as downloads, internet streams, or some combination of the two, likely needs to secure licenses from two types of copyright owners: the owners of the sound recording and the owners of the musical work. Sound recording copyrights exist in the music you hear when you hit “play.” Copyrights in the musical work exist in the words and notes (i.e., the lyrics and composition) expressed in what you hear. Record labels, featured artists, producers, and performing musicians have their stake in the sound recording. Publishers, administrators, composers, and lyricists, have their interest in the music work. A single individual might be the performing artist, label, songwriter, and self-publisher. Alternatively, different individuals or entities might play each of these roles.

 

Most interactive services will need to pursue licenses that cover some combination of reproduction, distribution (or publication), and performance rights granted to copyright owners. Two types of entities predominantly license these rights for the use of sound recording and musical copyrights in the US: copyright holders themselves and rights collectives (or aggregators). Rights collectives — such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SoundExchange — represent specific rights or sets of rights on behalf of their members or stakeholders. Copyright holders, or their appointed representatives/agents, can directly negotiate license for the rights they hold.

Key Findings

First, and most importantly, the licensing process unfolds as it does for reasons far more complex than one party ‘gets it’ while another party does not.

For example, startup founders and investors may express different attitudes toward uncertainty and failure than those expressed by incumbent firms or copyright holders. These differences in attitudes are reflected in clear differences of opinion and outcomes in the negotiation. While startups are encouraged to defray the cost of uncertainty as long as possible, copyright holders have an incentive, if not a fiduciary responsibility, to address this cost upfront. As a result, the parties end up pricing particular uses of music before the value of those uses may be fully understood. Furthermore, for some of the parties involved, failure is seen as a normal part of the innovation equation — a somewhat positive badge, earned pushing the edge of what is possible — while for others failure presents a legitimate threat to professional advance — a negative brand, signaling the lack of procedure or credible analysis.

Second, the directly negotiated licensing activities of interactive music services have required, at the median, roughly eighteen months of effort before service launch.

The majority of licensing time is spent completing deals with major record companies who are also major publishers, while the remainder of time is spent completing deals with rights aggregators and collectives. Between ten and fifteen sound recording deals, across major owners and aggregators of these rights, are believed to be necessary for initial service launch. After initial launch, however, the number of sound recording owners with whom negotiations unfold has expanded from between 20-50 to greater than 500.

For example, one firm spent upwards of six months discussing potential features and pricing with rights holders before even beginning to build some version of the service. While some individuals expressed the belief that ‘familiar’ services might be licensed within six months, almost all services were self-described as ‘groundbreaking’,” or ‘never been done before’.  And so, while some standardization of service characteristics might hasten the licensing process, most operators are looking to innovate in some way, leading to an expansion of the time spent both coming to an agreement over service features and pricing those features for a license.

Over the past decade, the length of time spent negotiating prior to launch does not appear to have significantly changed (the decrease appeared to be no greater than three months). What has changed is the number of tracks services license before launch. As examples: both Pressplay and MusicNet launched in December of 2001 with approximately (or less than) 100,000 tracks.9 In May of 2005, Yahoo! Music Unlimited, powered by MusicNet, launched with roughly one million tracks.10 Rdio launched in August of 2010, claiming upwards of seven million available tracks.11

Third, as noted earlier, interactive music services obtain licenses that cover both the reproduction and the performance rights in musical recordings and works. The sound recording licenses are obtained directly from the appropriate copyright owners. The musical work licenses often engage a combination of both collective and direct (or voluntary) licensing, involving discussions with not only performance rights organizations, but also the copyright owners themselves (or their appointed publisher/representative).

The point is that consent decrees obviously and significantly hasten the amount of time it takes for a new service to be licensed by the core performance rights organizations in the US. When rates cannot be eventually agreed upon, however, the resulting rate-setting proceedings can and have extended for years. Simply stated, due to the terms found in government-established agreements that cover the licensing activities of ASCAP and BMI, a service can operate as licensed (for public performance rights) by simply requesting a price for a license with characteristics not covered by the standard license terms published by these collective rights organizations. The result is a situation wherein a service can operate as licensed, yet the rate for that license has yet to be agreed upon.

Fourth, the amount of time it has taken to obtain a sufficient collection of licenses covering what are called the mechanical (or reproduction) rights in the interactive use of musical works has decreased over the last decade — from what once was years to less than 90 days in some cases.

This new found expediency can be had only as long as the service’s features fit within the categories outlined by a 2008 agreement covering interactive services, and the service chooses to license via what is known as the ‘notice of intent’ process. Essentially, this agreement requires that a service give written notice to the appropriate copyright holder, or their representative, of the intent to operate under established terms before the right to operate under those license terms can be enjoyed. If the service characteristics are outside the bounds of those prescribed terms, the service has had to directly negotiate with each copyright owner, or their representative, whose work might be used within the service.

 

This intent process is not necessarily efficient or affordable, however. Estimates of the number of points of contact for direct licensing or ‘noticing’ musical work copyrights vary substantially: from as few as 500 points, to as many as 6,000, to in excess of 30,000 potential points of contact. This variety depends upon how these rights holders are aggregated and how large the catalog of licenses is. That said, it may be no coincidence that a new cohort of music services were licensed and launched after 2008.

Fifth, the pathway through which innovation unfolds is largely similar across the services studied. Whether there is a right way or a wrong way to travel through the licensing pipeline, there is little variation in the way in which services make this trip. Furthermore, at any point over the last decade, it appears that no greater than two or three law firms, or individual lawyers and their staff, were most central in brokering directly negotiated licensing transactions.

For example, most services began the licensing process in discussions with one or more of the major labels. This initial stage might best be described as a ‘getting to know you’ conversation, during which both personal connections and basic service ideas were discussed. After a few months, the conversations shifted to more specific discussions of service features, pricing, if not also more technical white papers. The final months involved discrete discussions of licensing agreements, which saw between four and nine revisions over a span of one to four months. Once these major agreements had been negotiated, services shifted their attention to other aggregators of independent labels and artists.

Finally, while new services face an expectation to be novel — from the perspective of consumers, investors, and even copyright owners — service characteristics among competing services after launch seem quite similar. The variety in service characteristics that arrive at the table to be licensed appears to be somewhat greater than the service characteristics offered by services that launch as licensed. It is difficult to tell what would happen and what could be learnt by the industry from a much-expanded range of service characteristics.

Conclusion

While technology has historically paved the way for new developments in the music industry, it has both disrupted old business models and transactions over copyrights. Negotiating over music rights has become very complex, and the cost is not just measured in the price paid for a license. All the parties spend too much time, effort, and resources clearing every legal aspect in trade of recorded music. The cost for music startups is arguably large, and music right holders pay a hefty price too measured by the opportunity cost of losing new business.  Whether the party is a copyright owner or a technology company, the process for procuring a music license weighs heavily all round.

 

By David Touve

 

Endnotes:

1.  Isaac, M. 2012. Sean Parker: Why Did Spotify Take So Long to Get Stateside? It Could Have Been Apple. All Things D, May 30, 2012.

2.  Reuters. 2011. Spotify to launch in US after long wait. Reuters, July 14, 2011.

3. Bertoni, S. 2012. Spotify’s Daniel Ek: The Most Important Man In Music. Forbes, January 4, 2012.

4. Popper, B. 2011. Turntable.fm hits 140,000 users in its first month. BetaBeat, June 22, 2011.

5. Van Buskirk, E. 2012. Turntable.fm goes ‘legit’ with licenses from all 4 major labels. Wired, March 13, 2012.

6. Bradshaw, T. 2011. Beyond Oblivion reveals its Boinc service. FinancialTimes, August 23, 2011.

7. Water, R. & Garahn, M. 2011. Beyond Oblivion crashes before launch. Financial Times, December 30, 2011.

8. For further information, see: http://digitalmusic.org/about/

9. See: Garrity, B. 2001. RealNetworks bows subscription service. Billboard, December 15, 2001. Also: Kusher, D. (2001). The digitabt beat: Musicnet doesn’t rock. RollingStone, December 12, 2001. Available from: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-digital-beat-musicnet-doesnt-rock-20011212

10.  Yahoo!, Inc.(2005) Yahoo! premiers Yahoo! music unlimited. Yahoo!, Inc., May 10, 2005 (company press release). Available from: http://docs.yahoo.com/docs/pr/release1237.html

11. Rdio, Inc. (2010). Rdio takes the wraps off social music service. Rdio, Inc., August 3, 2010 (company press release). Available from: http://www.rdio.com/press/rdio-takes-the-wraps-off-social-music-service/

Some Musical Business Terms

Good day my fellow musician and or music lover!

I was reviewing a few things with a client of mine the other day and I was sharing some basic terms often used with in the music business and I am one who is always endeavoring to learn and thought I might share a few terms with those of you who may just be starting out, or review for those of us who have been at this for some time.

I found some of these terms off of another website and felt that it would be fine to recycle some of these with the hopes of maybe encouraging those who take a few minutes to stay in touch. I will be adding more info and news updates very shortly once the ink is dry on a few agreements that are pending. I do hope you enjoy and feel free to share what ever you find here on this site and the others I own.

Music Administrator

Ostensibly, their duties should be to handle all the paperwork for the music supervisor and/or coordinator. In reality, they often have to handle a lot of the duties most often associated with being a supervisor and/or coordinator because of budget, time or personnel constraints. They may not be in the room as negotiations are in process, but after that meeting, you can bet that they’re the one who actually types up the contract!

Music Breakdown

While this can happen at the rough cut stage of a film, ideally the music supervisor is brought on before shooting, at which time they’ll read the script and note every place where music would be appropriate (i.e., club scene, romantic montage, car radio, etc.). This does NOT take the place of a spotting session (although it may include some ideas for where the bigger score pieces might work), but is merely a heads-up for the director with a ballpark idea of how many source cues might be needed and, perhaps, a rough budget. The supervisor will note the scene, type of music — or even a song title/artist if they have a specific song/recording in mind. They’ll also note how the music will be used (visual vocal — such as the band playing as everyone screams “Rock on!” — or background or whatever).

Music Clearance

Before using a piece of music and/or its recording in a film or TV program, it must be “cleared” with the respective publisher(s) and/or master rights holders. This means you need permission to use the music and/or its recording — and this means whether it’s “only” for a student film or festival uses, for TV (of any kind and anywhere), foreign or U.S. theatrical, or for Dolly Dinkle’s Dance Academy’s local cable ad. There are TWO parts of music clearance & licensing: A synchronization license is issued by the publisher for the use of the song/composition, and a master use license is issued by whoever holds the rights to the specific RECORDING of the song/composition. For famous/known copyrights and/or recordings get an expert or become one. It’s not brain surgery, but the ins-and-outs and “who knows who can get what at a good price and fast” can be really important — meaning you may get your “yes” or “no” answer in a couple of weeks as opposed to a couple of months. Suggestion? Go indie artist/label instead. They usually hold all rights to their own music and are more likely to make a deal that fits your budget. You’d be surprised at the variety of indie music available — it’s not all angsty chicks or moody dudes, but retro ’80s, big bands & 1940s swing, ’70s disco and old & new folk music from all around the world.

Music Coordinator

This differs greatly, depending on whether they’re on staff with a TV network or a full-service music company or an independent person who works with specific music supervisors. The Music Coordinator’s duties can be as simple as creating and filing cue sheets for the project and making sure all the dollars and cents add up at the end of the day, or may be as complex as working hand-in-hand with the music supervisor on all aspects of the project. Sometimes, if there is no supervisor, the Coordinator will work with the director and assume many of the duties a supervisor would normally handle. A Music Coordinator’s primary functions are normally to make sure the music the supervisor is suggesting for particular scenes is properly cataloged and delivered to the director, film editor and/or music editor (as directed), and all credit information (songwriters, artists, labels, etc.) is readily available. They are also responsible for coordinating the compilation of all information for cue sheet preparation, and may actually prepare the final cue sheets, based on the composer and music editor’s notes from the final mix of the film. Basically, the budget often dictates their duties.

Music Copyist (aka Copier, Music Preparer or Music Prep)

The Music Copyist (“Copier”) prepares the printed music charts and/or lead sheets the musicians use at a recording session. These are extracted from the overall music score the composer provides so that everyone is looking only at the part they play, and have their music in the right key for their instrument (kind of important). In the past (as those of us who had the stained fingers to prove it), such charts were done by hand, with India ink, and done one by one in a rather painstaking process. Today, with the advent of some great scoring software, those who prepare music for sessions most often will do it via the computer.

Music Editor

The Music Editor, along with the composer (and sometimes the music supervisor and/or coordinator) organizes, documents, and times all the music cues used in a project. He/She is the obsessive, retentive type and will often drive the director crazy with almost indistinguishable cuts in/out of a piece of music, but that’s why we love them. They will often make suggestions as to the best start/stop points, and can make a song “fit” into the scene, dodging dialogue and enhancing poignant moments by “cutting and pasting” a song. They also work with the composer on timing, length, type and placement of music that the director, composer and music supervisor have discussed during spotting sessions. If the music is being recorded live (not a Synth Score), the Music Editor will often be at recording sessions to document, time and name each cue, and will often generate the click used to keep everything exact. The Music Editor also cuts all music (source, score or source) into the film — although here is where the director and/or producer may return the “he/she’s driving me crazy” favor. The music editor also notes the correct SMPTE Time Codes for the cue’s in/out placement and provide that info to the music supervisor, coordinator and/or administrator so that official cue sheets can be prepared for filing with the respective performance rights organizations (PROs).

Music Publisher

A Music Publisher works with songwriters & composers to promote and market the writers’ songs/compositions. They pitch them to the folks who use music (movie/TV producers, record labels, video games, etc.). In return (and PLEASE NOTE: The Publisher will own this for the LIFE of the song/composition’s copyright — otherwise known as “in perpetuity”), the Publisher takes a percentage of the publishing half of a song (up to 100%). Publishers license the right to use the song (not to be confused with the recording of the song/composition), collect fees for the usage and split them with the songwriter/composer.

Music Supervisor

Regardless of whether they’re a “biggie” (meaning “I have a staff”) or an “indie” (“I get to do it all for less money”), the Music Supervisor’s main duty is in choosing music & licensing it for the project, and — as importantly — making sure the music they provide to the director/producer enhances the action/mood on screen, and helps the director/producer see their artistic vision realized. The Music Supervisor oversees all of the creative and business aspects of the music for a project. This includes helping to develop a music budget, assisting in the search for a composer, helping the director in his/her choice of songs, coordinating the soundtrack recording, “spotting sessions” (with composer & director), etc. It may or may not include doing the music clearance/music licensing paperwork, and can also include some (or all) of the duties of a music coordinator and/or music administrator. The earlier the Music Supervisor is involved, the more time they have to be creative — both with the music itself and with the budget. When a “famous” song, or a “classic copyright” is desired by a director, but the project’s budget does not allow for its use, the Supervisor will suggest (and often negotiate) budget-friendly alternatives from various sources, including independent artists and/or music libraries.

 

 

Helps for Composing a TV Commercial

I was surfing through the web the other day and I found this article felt it was pretty col. I feel it shared some very practical advice and thought I would share it with you. Please let me know what you think and also let the author know what you think as well.
5 Unwritten Rules For Composing a TV Commercial, Ident or Title Sequence
Written by Tim Rabjohns & Fridel for Music For TV Masterclass – July 25th 2012

As TV composers and course leaders we come across many unwritten rules that are simple but sometimes forgotten when working as a TV composer.  Some of you will agree that these are very simple but it sometimes make sense to go back to the basics.

1) When you read the brief try to understand what’s written in between the lines. Remember that most likely it was not written by a musician, and so they do not have the same way of expressing music as you do.  Try and think of the brief that describes the emotional journey that sets the mood of the piece, rather than always just the style of the piece.  Always ask as many questions as you can, (preferably to the person making the creative decisions) before starting to compose.  It also pays to ask for specific examples of existing music – this can save a lot of time and make things clearer..

2) Many people only submit a single option when they are pitching.  We really think it’s worthwhile trying to submit  more than one option. (some of them may be from pitches that you have done before).  We normally send one version that is exactly what the brief asks for, one that is a bit more extreme and one that follows your gut feeling (ie how you think it should sound).

3) Although it is a short piece of music a piece of music this length (ie 10 – 30 secs) it will often need to have a ‘Narrative’ of some sort. By this we mean a short intro, a middle or body and then a build towards the end and a finale.  We find it helpful to think of it like a song – with different “sections” – although much shorter.

Obviously not all jobs will require this format – especially some TV commercials which want the soundtrack to sound like a slice of a song.

4) If the job needs a “mnemonic” (a memorable melody line at the end – think “Intel Inside”) make sure it is a clear memorable melody and better if it appears in more than one place in the music.  Nowadays a mnemonic can also consist of a signature “sound” rather than a melody – so it’s always a good idea to ask the client what they want.

5) Subtle sound design can give lots of life to your ident composition. There are lots of sound design libraries full of sounds, so it is very easy to do.  It’s worth noting that you will always score more cred points if you create your own sounds – that nobody else has.

Good luck on your next pitch submission and we’d love to hear about your experiences and any other unwritten rules that you may have…

Written by Tim Rabjohns & Fridel for Music For TV Masterclass

Tips for making better home recordings

Always experiment! The only way to know what sounds good in your home studio and what to avoid is to try different approaches to the same thing you have always done. So much of your ability to create comes from trial and error and constantly honing your ears and your technique. As well as your skills of engineering, producing, and listening to other recordings you have done. So do not be afraid or as I say LAZY to try new things you maybe surprised at what you find.

Markallanwolfe.com

markallanwolfe.com

Focus on your instrument.
If you’re a vocalist preparing to record, warm up and do your vocal exercises. Maybe a throat spray to lubricate your vocals will help (though be wary of the sprays that desensitize your throat). Wear a scarf around your neck for a couple of days prior to entering the studio to help keep your pipes warm. And just do the basic stuff (avoid smoking, no dairy) to keep your throat moist and phlegm free.

If you’re a guitar player, change your strings before going into the studio – especially if it’s an acoustic guitar. If you’re a bass player and you don’t change your strings once a month, you need to change those strings before you bring that bass into the studio. It’ll help the tone, the output, and you’ll stay in better tune.

If you’re a drummer, change the drum heads. If the heads have been on for too long, they’re going to sound dull and they’re not going to stay in tune. Also, take time to tune the drums correctly – you may even want to tune the drums differently for different songs.

Move around the room
Physically move the instrument or amplifier to different parts of the room. It can make a big difference in the tone you get. If you’re recording an acoustic guitar, violin, piano, sax, or any acoustic instrument, and you have it up against a wall with a lot of glass and wood, you’ll get a more reflective sound than if you’re up against a baffle. If you’re recording an amp, don’t just turn the amp on, stick a mic in front of it, and hit “record.” The amp can sound totally different in different parts of the room, so play around with different spots until you get the right tone for the track.

For any performer, vocalist or instrumentalist, lighting control can also help set a mood. Recording a slow, sultry track? Dim all the lights, light up a candle, and get in the groove.

Move around the room
Physically move the instrument or amplifier to different parts of the room. It can make a big difference in the tone you get. If you’re recording an acoustic guitar, violin, piano, sax, or any acoustic instrument, and you have it up against a wall with a lot of glass and wood, you’ll get a more reflective sound than if you’re up against a baffle. If you’re recording an amp, don’t just turn the amp on, stick a mic in front of it, and hit “record.” The amp can sound totally different in different parts of the room, so play around with different spots until you get the right tone for the track.
Angle your amp
Raising an amp off the ground or angling it so the face of the amp is at 45 degrees can have dramatic effects, depending on the room and the amp. If you’re angling the amp, essentially you’re decoupling the amp from the floor. The floor may be wood, and it may have a resonant cavity below it that’s sucking away your low end, or adding more low end because it’s vibrating. By pulling the amp off the floor, you’re decoupling it. Even if you’re angling it, only part of the amp is touching the floor, so you’re basically removing the floor from the equation in terms of the tone you’re getting.Also, if you have an amp perpendicular to the floor, all the energy is going forward, and low to the ground. Let’s say you’ve got an 8′ ceiling. You’ve got many more options if the amp is kicked up at a 45º angle. Now you can put a mic up in the corner to get a little more of the room. If you’re going for a really tight sound, you might just want to leave it on the floor. Remember, in a studio they’re going to have a dead floor. They’ll have that under control so you wont have these pockets of resonance under the floor. Chances are, your home studio won’t be as predictable.

Mixing board

mixing board

Play with mic placement and angles
Mic placement and mic angles go a long way toward capturing different tones from the same source. For example, to help record a very sibilant vocal performer, try angling the mic up toward a 45º angle and you might find a lot of that popping and hissing goes away.

Mic placement

It’s been said before, but bears repeating—the best way to find the optimum placement of a microphone is to find the spot where the instrument sounds best. Do this by putting a finger in one ear and listening to the instrument with the other, moving around until you find the spot where it sounds best to you. Then put a mic in that spot.

I rarely use eq when tracking acoustics—so many tones can be achieved by placing the right microphone in the right spot that electronic equalization is usually unnecessary. For example, you might put a microphone 6 to 8 inches from the guitar, pointing at the neck about mid-way between the sound hole and the 12th fret.

When you listen to the signal, you may decide that the mic is picking up too much of the guitar’s low end—it sounds boomy. If this is the case, you could either point the mic farther up the neck and away from the sound hole (where a lot of the low end comes from), or you could pull the mic back another 6 or 8 inches (which will lessen the proximity effect of the mic). If the sound of the mic is too bright, you can move the mic closer to the sound hole or closer to the instrument. This isn’t an either/or choice; the character of the low end created by proximity effect is different from that attained by moving the mic closer to the sound hole.

Another approach is to use the off-axis frequency response of a mic to your advantage. Earlier I mentioned that cardioid microphones are more sensitive to sounds coming from in front than from the side; that’s true as an average, but many microphones exhibit a decreased sensitivity to certain frequencies as the source is moved off axis (that is, away from the front of the capsule). As an example, at 30 degrees off axis, a specific mic may be 2 dB less sensitive at 1 kHz, and 4 dB less sensitive at 10 kHz. For the user, this means that one way to change the sound captured by that mic would be to point it slightly away from the sound source.

Studio Mic

Studio Mic

Using Mic patterns to your advantage

Most microphones sold these days have a cardioid pickup pattern, which means that the mic is most sensitive to sounds coming from in front of the capsule, and is less sensitive to sounds coming from the sides and the rear. Most cardioid mics have a pronounced proximity effect, which means that the low end response of the mic is increased as it is moved closer to the sound source. But don’t forget that both omnidirectional mics (which are sensitive to sounds coming from all directions) and figure 8 mics (bi-directional mics which are more sensitive from the front and back and less sensitive to sounds coming from the sides) can be enormously useful, as I’ll detail in a bit.

Studio ambiance

You know, we’ve all read about those singers who recorded their hit song while surrounded by their necessities—their lava lamps, their incense, their ginseng tea and their aromatherapy candles; they want the darkened room, along with (I suppose) their bunny slippers, their spiritual adviser and the studio to be at 71.5 degrees and 42% humidity. Although this is cool to a degree somethings need to be and others are just personal preference. like if your just recording the music portion then yes I totally dig the whole lava lamps and stuff. I have them as well as different things to help stimulate the whole atmosphere.

With the singer I want light—enough light so that the singer can see their words, and, if they’re singing with a band, enough light so that all concerned can see each other. I’ve never been able to see that building a womb for the singer results in a performance any better than their performance while standing in the middle of a well-lit recording studio.

During the course of my years of recording I have taken a slightly different approach to things by experimenting in many different ways and encourage you to do the same.  I have sang and recorded my guitar in closets, bedrooms, laundry rooms and bathrooms. And you know what? They sounded great! I pretty much make sure that the vocalist has someplace to set their water (tea, coffee, or whatever), a music stand, a chair to sit on while they listen to playbacks, and off we go. Don’t misunderstand, though—I will try to make myself comfortable, but I have never seen the need to be straight by the book always. Sometimes the best recordings come by accident as well.

I will post more on this subject as time goes by, in the meantime I would be thankful for you to share some of your experiences if you would? What works for you? Where have you found the best ideas that work? Why not share them with the world for maybe someone can benefit from your experiment make a hit record and owe it all to you. Also all of the tracks submitted on this blog were recorded in my home studio,

Mark Allan Wolfe–www.markallanwolfe.com —wolfiesmusicpublishing.com

Mark Allan Wolfe

Mark Allan Wolfe

ASCAP Initiates Multiple Infringement Actions Against Nightclubs, Bars & Restaurants to Heighten Awareness About Performing Copyrighted Music Without Permission

NEW YORK, NY, Jun 25, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced today that it has filed multiple infringement actions against nightclubs, bars and restaurants in several states across the nation.

In each of the cases filed today, the business or establishment has publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP’s songwriter, composer and music publisher members without obtaining a license from ASCAP to do so. These establishments then refused to acquire a license and continued to perform ASCAP members’ music without permission, resulting in the filing of the infringement actions.

ASCAP manages the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. Those licensed by ASCAP include any establishment or business that wants to perform copyrighted music publicly.

“Music plays a crucial role in attracting customers to restaurants, bars and various other establishments. Our membership of songwriters and composers are, in essence, small business people, who must invest in the tools of the trade that allow them to create music the world loves. They deserve to be fairly compensated when others benefit from the fruits of their labor and talent,” said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing. “It is both ASCAP’s right and responsibility to collect licensing fees from these venues in order to protect the livelihoods of our members.”

Any business using copyrighted music has the opportunity to obtain permission to do so lawfully, through acceptance of a license covering the use of the more than 8.5 million copyrighted songs and compositions in the ASCAP repertory. Nearly 90% of the license fees ASCAP collects are paid as royalties directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers. The balance covers ASCAP’s operating costs, which are among the lowest of any performance rights organization in the world.

“ASCAP only takes legal action as a last resort — after several attempts to provide the necessary permission have failed,” added Candilora. “Like a liquor license, establishments require a license to play copyrighted music. This is a basic cost of business recognized in hundreds of thousands of venues across the country. By filing these cases today, we hope to raise awareness among music users and the public that it is a Federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission.”

Frequently Asked Questions about licensing can be found on ASCAP’s website at http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html .

The establishments that have performed publicly the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP’s songwriter, composer and music publisher members without receiving their permission to do so, resulting in lost income for these music creators, include:

Establishment, City, State Anthony’s Lounge & Ristorante, Murrieta, CA Romeo Cucina, Laguna Beach, CA Smuggler’s Bay Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, FL Younger’s Irish Tavern, Romeo, MI Coyote’s, Hillsboro, OR Bud’s Sports Bar, Chattanooga, TN Ixonia Pub, Ixonia, WI

About ASCAP Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world’s largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 435,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. For more information, please visit http://www.ascap.com .

        
        Press Contacts
        Tim Hayes
        ASCAP
        (212) 621-8414
        thayes@ascap.com

        Bobbi Marcus
        Bobbi Marcus PR & Events, Inc.
        (310) 889-9200
        bobbi.marcus@bobbimarcuspr.com 

SOURCE: ASCAP

A few other videos

An acoustic melody mixed with a variety of piano,string orchestra as well as some synths. A nice meditative song that has helped me find rest every time I play it in the studio. I do hope you enjoy it. For more about the music please visit http://www.markallanwolfe.com or http://www.wolfiesmusicpublishing.com

http://embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/vp1&e=1336839606&f=XN7sGrC417TeSeFy1mDpMA&d=149&m=a&r=240p&volume=100&start_res=240p&i=m&options=

A beautiful song of love inspired by the thoughts of children and the love they offer. This song was made by Mark Allan Wolfe and has been an inspiration to many. it is a simple acoustic melody wrapped around keyboards and a small ensemble. The choir and child singing were especially interesting to record and perform. We hope you enjoy it and if anything else we would invite you to visit these website below to hear more and perhaps comment? Thanks

Wolfies Music Publishing
http://www.wolfiesmusicpublishing.com
http://www.markallanwolfe.com