All posts by admin

About admin

My name is Mark Lewis. I own a few popular royalty free content websites. I have been helping musicians distribute their music for over 17 years now and wanted to use this forum to share thoughts and experiences and hopefully spark some discussion in regards to the distribution of royalty free music and royalty free content in general.

The Challenge: Write and Record 30 Guitar Riffs in 30 Days

Last year I bought a new guitar and set a challenge for myself. I wanted to really learn what the guitar, and I, had to offer at that point in time so I set out on a mission to write, record and mix 30 guitar riffs in 30 days. I posted each riff on my facebook page everyday when I was done with each mix so that my friends could comment and encourage me, and also so that I wouldn’t miss a day.
While writing the riffs I tried to get in as many styles as possible with lots of nods to my favorite guitarists of the 70′s like Jeff Beck, Django Reinhardt (not from the 70′s but he was awesome), Jimi ‘friggin’ Page, Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie Montrose, Ted Nugent, Robin Trower, Paco De Lucia and Al DiMeola.
It was an incredible learning experience for me and lots of fun. The thing I really got sorted were my mixing chops with multiple guitar melodies, solos and chunky rhythm.
In the end I only got up to 25 fully mixed tracks in 26 days then my health gave out. I was sitting in a strange position while recording and playing and I twisted my hip and could hardly walk for the next three weeks.
I am posting some of the best takes here if you are interested in hearing them. I also want to show that I am not just a business owner / web developer, I have always been a musician first and that is why our company cares so much about our composers. We know what it is like to try and eke out a living doing the thing you love to do.

Anyway, enjoy, or complain, or cover your ears but here’s what I love to do more than anything in the world, play guitar.

PS- The pic in the player is me from the old Hollywood days and is not an accurate representation of how I look now.

When Composers of Royalty Free Music Die What Happens to Their Music and Earnings?

This article is for royalty free music composers specifically but is good advice for anybody in business.

Composers who are distributing their royalty free music catalog via online websites like ours need to take into consideration the frailty of the human condition and the fact that anything can happen to you and it could happen to you today. I actually had a good friend of mine get killed when he got hit by a bus, he stepped off the curb at the wrong time and bang, that was it. ‘Getting hit by a bus’ is a such an overused cliche but it really makes you think about life when it actually happens.

The issue with composers of royalty free music catalogs is basically…
Does your wife/husband know your Paypal password?
Does your wife/husband know which websites you are distributing your music through?
Does your wife/husband even know that you are making money online with your music?

The Partners In Rhyme Family of Composers
We have been distributing music online for 17 years. Some of our composers have been with us for over 15 years. That is why we always refer to our roster of composers as the ‘Partners In Rhyme family of composers’ and that is why we are so careful about who we let into our family of composers.
In that amount of time we have seen many of our composers have major ups and downs, get married and divorced, lots of them have had children and we have also unfortunately had two of our composers die.

I will explain the importance of this issue by telling you a couple of very personal stories involving Partners In Rhyme composers.

A Long Time PIR Composer Disappears
A few years ago I had noticed that one of our composers who had been distributing his royalty free music catalog with us since the very early days had not contacted me with new music or questions in a very long time. I had sent him a few emails to see how he was doing with no response. I finally figured he must have changed his email address and I started searching online for his name.
The first thing I found was a Myspace page full of condolence messages. I was shocked. Our composer had died a year before and we had been selling his music and making payments to his paypal account during that entire time.
It took a lot more digging, almost like digital forensic work, but I was finally able to find his wife’s email address via another Myspace page and contacted her. I wrote to her to explain that her husband had been earning, and was being paid, all this money and we had no idea that he was dead. After a few back and forth emails I finally made clear what the situation was and we started sending his payments to her Paypal account instead. I don’t think she ever understood the situation regarding the previous year’s payments though and to this day I think the composer’s original paypal account is sitting there with close to $10,000 in it, unclaimed.
She is, at least, still earning money to this day and the composer’s music is still being used in all kinds of projects.

Musicloops.com Composer Disappears
The same situation happened more recently when I couldn’t get a response to a request for a 1099 form from one of our musicloops.com composers and I ended up doing another web search only to find condolence websites instead. I was able to contact his wife but in the end we had to delete his music catalog because she simply did not want to understand or deal with what I was telling her about her husband’s earnings and that we were distributing his music.
I understood that it was a difficult time for her but I think her husband would have wanted her to have the monthly earnings and also would have wanted his music to live on and be used in projects for years to come.

Take Away Advice
This is kind of a depressing article but it is something to think about.
Let your significant other or a trusted family member know what you are doing with your music, give somebody the password to your paypal account and let them know the email addresses of the people you are dealing with in regards to your royalty free music catalog.
If you get hit by the proverbial bus you will probably no longer care what happens to your musical legacy but your loved ones probably will.

Let me know what you think about this issue, post your comments and suggestions below.

Thanks,
Mark

What Royalty Free Music is Not…

In the article ‘What Is Free Royalty Free Music’ I explained what royalty free music is and how it can be used but I think it is also important to explain what royalty free music is not. Many people have ideas about what they can do with royalty free music after they license it that are simply not true. I would like to dispel a few of those misunderstandings below.

1. Royalty Free Music is Not Free.
Just like sugar-free candy is not free and fat-free yogurt is not free, royalty-free music is not free. It is something you have to pay for but it is free from paying royalties. See below regarding the proper term “Free Royalty Free Music”.

2. Royalty Free Music is Not Something You Own After You Purchase It.
You cannot upload the music by itself and sell it to other people as if it were your own. It is only licensed to you to use in conjunction with a media based project like a video or film.

3. Royalty Free Music is Not Copyright-Free Music.
Far from it, royalty free music is copyrighted and protected by the composers who created the music. They are only allowing people to use their work by selling them a license to use the music.

4. You Cannot Sing Over Royalty Free Music and Call It Your Own
Many singers mistakenly believe they can buy royalty free music, write some lyrics, record their vocal over the music and then call the results their own song and distribute it as they wish. This is completely not true and not allowed under any royalty free music license I have ever seen.
To create a song like that you need to hire a composer to write music for you. Or learn how to play piano and write your own music.

5. You Cannot Sample Royalty Free Music
You cannot take bits and pieces of the royalty free music you license and create your own music out of it. There are sample libraries available for this purpose and sampling bits of royalty free music is just like sampling bits of music by your favorite artist, it is not allowed without proper clearance.

6. You Cannot Redistribute Royalty Free Music to Your Users
Many people mistakenly believe that when they license royalty free music that they then have the right to create a new business with the music they have licensed by allowing other people to use the music. An example would be a company with a video creation site that makes a menu of music available for their users to place on the videos they create in the web app. This type of use is not allowed and is a form of redistribution.
Another example would be a company that creates on hold music, they would not be allowed to use royalty free music to redistribute to their clients.

Free Royalty Free Music
‘Free Royalty Free Music’ is the proper term to search for to find royalty free music that is available for you to use in commercial projects without paying any kind of fee at all. All of the above criteria still apply but there are many composers that make their music available for use for free in commercial projects.
Check out our Free Royalty Free Music web page here
http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/pir/free_music_loops.shtml
and our new SoundCloud.com channel with free royalty free music here
http://soundcloud.com/partnersinrhyme
and the Free Royalty Free Music section of this blog where I post and review all free royalty free music sites that I come across
http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/blog/royalty-free/royalty-free-music/

If you have any questions or comments please post them below.

How to Add Music to Your iMovie Project

iMovie is one of the applications included in the iLife suite for the Macintosh. It is an easy-to-use video editing software that even beginners can use without a problem. iMovie versions 2.0.3 and earlier can be installed in Mac OS 9, while iMovie 3 and later can only run in Mac OS X. There is also iMovie HD, which was released in 2005, to be used for editing high-definition videos.

Adding Music to Your Movie
While editing your home video in iMovie, you might also want to add music to it. Music, when done perfectly, adds more feeling and emotion to the movie. It also helps your edits to have smooth transition. There are several ways of adding music to your project in iMovie. The first one is through the use of the menu on the toolbar. Simply click on File > Import then browse through the different folders on the window that comes up to locate the desired audio file. Highlight the file and click Open to import the file.

File Import
The file types that can be imported to iMovie are those that also run in Quicktime, such as MP3 and AIFF files. Those unsupported file types may be grayed out in the folder to indicate that it cannot be imported to iMovie.

A new track is added below the video track once the audio file is imported. The current location of the playhead is where the imported audio will begin playing. So make sure that your playhead is positioned correctly in the timeline before importing the audio file. The mode will automatically switch to “timeline viewer” mode once the track is already added since audio can only be edited in the timeline.

Two Audio Tracks
iMovie allows you to work with two audio tracks at the same time. That is why you will notice a space between the video track and the audio track that was just created. When another audio file is imported, it will most likely overlap the previous track. This does not edit nor cut the overlapped track, though. You can click on the track and drag it to the gray space in the middle for you to be able to edit both tracks. When both tracks are turned on, i.e. the box to the right of the timeline corresponding to the track is checked, the two tracks will play simultaneously but at different levels depending on the settings done to each of the track. You can turn off a track by unchecking the box.

iTunes and iMovie
Another quick way of adding music to your iMovie project is by clicking on the Audio button on the iMovie media menu. Once Audio is selected, a list of all the files in your iTunes library will be displayed on the right side of your iMovie window (on top of the media menu). Position the playhead where you want the music to begin. Choose your desired music then click on the Place at Playhead button to add the music to your project. If you are unsure of which to select, you can preview the song by clicking on the play symbol button just below the list.

Drag ‘n’ Drop
Yet another quick way of adding music is just by simply dragging the audio file from the CD, folder, or your desktop and dropping it onto the timeline. This will automatically import the file and create a new track.

Free iMovie Plugins, Free iMovie HD6 Download (full app)

Plugins and iMovie ’08 and ’09
Here’s the deal with iMovie plugins and the newer versions of iMovie.
iMovie ’08 is a complete rewrite of Apple’s movie editing sofware and does not support plug-ins. It is made for easy editing and uploading of videos to the web but is not meant for professional editing capabilities and effects available in earlier versions of iMovie.

For your video projects that involve more than a standard dissolve transition, iMovie 6 is still there and available for you to use. You can download and install iMovie 6 and use it in conjunction with iMovie ’08 and ’09 if you’d like. That way you can take advantage of all these free plugins for editing and then move to the later version of iMovie for upload and general editing.
Download iMovieHD6.dmg to Use These PluginsThis file is 149 megs and is a full application, not an update.

This install will ask that iLife 08 be present on your hard drive. Since many of you may not have iLife 08 installed (like me) there is a simple solution;

Open a terminal and type “touch /Library/Preferences/com.apple.iLife08.plist”

Then install as usual. I just did this on an old mac laptop that had absolutely nothing on it, no version of iMovie and no iLife and it iMovie 6 installed just fine after using the solution above.

Free iMovie Plugins from Apple
for older versions of iMovie only

iMoviePlugin_Pack_2.1.1.smi.bin

This iMovie Plugin Pack 2.1 includes the following new effects, transitions, and titles:

Effects

Flash

Ghost Trails

Mirror

Mirror Advanced

N-Square

Transitions

Circle Closing

Circle Opening

Radial

Warp In

Warp Out

Wash In

Wash Out

Titles

Subtitle

Subtitle Multiple

Zoom

Zoom Multiple

Jerry’s Free iMovie Plugins
for older versions of iMovie only

JerrysPluginPack1_1.3.sit

This pack contains:

* Color Mangler (color controls) UPDATED FOR 1.3!

* Eric The Plugin (4:3 to and from 16:9) UPDATED FOR 1.3!

* Funky Monkey (solarization)

* Monkey Brewster (lithograph and posterization)

* Rhesus Pieces (pixelizing, anonymizer)

* Sleepy Time (dream mist)

* The Matrix (matrix convolutions)

* Ye Olde TV (scanlines, etc)

JerrysPluginPack2_1.0.sit

This pack contains:

* Auto Saturation (over, negative and automatic saturation)

* Blueprint (blueprints and other related color mistakes)

* Color Slide (move R,G,B around independantly of eachother)

* False Color (turns the image into a color-cycling image)

* HV Hold (adjust horiz,vert hold and position)

BKMS Free iMovie Plugins

bkms_sampler_1_installer.sit
bkms_sampler _2_demo.dmg

Totally Tiger plugin demo

Sampler 1 contains a selection of transitions taken from the Melt Through, Melt Away, Pixelate, and Soft Wipes sets, download the free BKMS iMovie plug-in samples.
Sampler 2 contains demos that work with newer version of iMovie
Below are some individual demos from BKMS.

To go straight to BKMS online store
http://www.bkms.com/

SlickSampler 20 Free iMovie Plugins

SlickSampler.dmg

Slick Sampler includes 20 fully functional plug-ins for iMovie

Supports iMovie HD 6, 5 and 4
Universal Binary for Intel and PowerPC Macs

Requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, including Leopard 10.5

Visit Slick’s website:
http://www.geethree.com/slick.html

CityListBuilder for iMovie ’09 1.2

citylistbuilder_1200.zip

Allows users to add new cities to the list of over 4,000 locations provided by Apple to create powerful animated travel maps. Although most large cities and popular tourist destinations are included, most users are likely to find out at some point that their destination is not available.

CityListBuilder fixes the problem by making it very easy to add new cities by leveraging Google’s powerful geo-location web services.

ImageIP iMovie Plugins

Plugin Bundle with 7 Packs with 56 Effects

Paint and Draw Effects V1
Colour Effects V1
Picture in Picture Pack V1
Pop Effects Pack V1
Distort and Morph Pack V1
Format Converter Pack V1
SteadyZoom Pack V1

Suitable for iMovie 2.1.2 and above, and Mac OS 10.2 and above