Free Sound Effects: Cannon Battle

One of my latest uploads to www.FreeSoundEffects.com is called Cannon Battle.
It is a recording of the revolutionary re-enactment group here in Gracia (Barcelona, Spain).
All of the actors have a gun called a Blunderbuss. The guns are enormous and enormously loud and the revolutionary soldiers roam through our streets with them firing at will.
It is an awesome sound to wake up to.
So, I woke up and took my NAGRA out to record the Blunderbuss Battle.
When I got back to the studio to edit the sounds I tried pitching it down without changing the length and it accidentally turned into a Canon Battle.

Right-click (control-click on a Mac) and choose save as:
cannon_battle.mp3

I’m making this available royalty free to my blog readers and especially to Machinima producers as I have been talking to some of them recently and they seem to be having a hard time finding high quality music and sound effects for their productions (for free since most of them are broke).
I will posting more free stuff every week.

Free Royalty Free Music Clips: Purple Planet

I found some more free royalty free music clips today available from Purple Planet.
They have a variety of genres available like calm, dramatic, jazzy, blues, mystery, horror and comic.
Their website states:
"All the music here can be used essentially for free (though we appreciate a small donation) for any type of film production or web presentation (youtube, podcasts, blogs etc). This includes revenue-generating, commercial uses."
Check them out if you need free music, it all sounds pretty good.

Royalty Free Music Composer Tip: How To Build A Catalog

I have been selling royalty free music for more than 10 years now. I receive composer submissions and demos on a daily basis. I also see what sells and what customers are requesting everyday.
I don’t often give advise to composers but thought I would post some basic observations in case it is of any use to composers looking to get into the royalty free music industry.

1. Be Prolific
If you want to make a living at selling your production music the first thing you need is a large library of music.
The composers who have large catalogs on our sites earn the most and earn very consistently. 75-300 tracks and up is considered a large library.

2. Create edits and loops with your full length tracks.
The customers on our websites love the fact that we offer not only full length tracks but edits, loops, underscores and alternate takes. You can also sell the whole package of full length track, edits for a higher price than the full length track alone.
This coupled with a large library will practically guarantee steady sales (as long as the music is top quality of course).

A typical package would be:
Full length track 2 to 3 minutes
60 second edit
30 second edit
15 second edit
2 or 3 loops.

3. Write What You Know
Professional production music composers are a very versatile lot. They can write music in many styles and can do it convincingly. However many of the demos I receive are from composers who are trying to be all things to everybody, writing in as many styles as possible with the majority of the track coming across as mediocre. We pass on these types of demos 99% of the time.
If you are an excellent New Age Music composer don’t try your hand at Nu-Metal just to fill out your catalog, write more New Age Music instead. Write the music you love to write, not what you think will sell.

4. Add Something Real
In this day of laptop studios, garageband and reason it seems that everyone is now trying their hat at being a “composer”. I may be old skool but back in the day musicians used to practice their instruments for hours everyday and went to school to study harmony and composition. Today it seems that anyone who can download some free drum loops from the web calls themselves a composer.
All this to say when you compose try adding something real to your compositions. Instead of only relying on your loop library (the one that thousands of other people are using) try adding some real guitar parts, or a weird vocal part, or a sax, get your friend to play harmonica, pick up any simple percussion instrument, even a tambourine, and record it live. Give your standard loop library composition a soul by adding something real.

5. Melody
Just like in popular music melody plays a big factor in royalty free music. Sure there are lots of instances where you want the music to sit in the background and not attract too much attention but according to our sales stats music with a good, strong, uplifting melody outsells all other types of music.

6. Holiday Music
Would you like a Christmas bonus every year in your royalty free music paycheck? Then do Christmas and holiday music in whatever style your composition skills are strongest. A hip hop version of Jingle Bells, an ozzy osbourne version of The First Noel.
This would go for all types of public domain music, a Nu-Metal version of God Bless America, a jazz version of the Star Spangled Banner, drum n bass Auld Lang Syne, etc.
Our customers just love this kind of stuff.

7. Structure
Make sure to think about the listener when you’re are putting together the structure of your royalty free music tracks.

a. Don’t have a 2 minute intro before getting to the main melody. You need to grab the listener quickly, get to the point as soon as possible (within reason of course).

b. Give them an ending. No fades. Give them a proper ending with a chord and cymbals that ring out. This is very important for the ends of commercials and radio spots.

c. Give them a B section, also known as a bridge. You can do the same thing with a breakdown if it is dance music. You need to give the customer some variety in the track, something to play with in editing.

Hope this helps. Let me know what you think.
I’ll be posting more tips for royalty free music composers in the coming weeks.
-Mark

Partners In Rhyme Sponsers The Indie Short Film Competition

For the 2nd year in a row Partners In Rhyme has agreed to sponsor the Indie Short Film Competition with a big line up of prizes including collection of music and sound effects from our catalog.
If you are a filmmaker and think you might be interested on entering you can visit their website here

IndieShortFilms.net

Welcome to the 2nd annual Indie Short Film Competition. This innovative international short film and video competition is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to advance their career, gain recognition and receive international exposure in the filmmaking industry. Entering this filmmaker friendly competition gives you a shot at being discovered by the right people and opening the right doors to get your short films seen by top industry professionals in the filmmaking business.

Enter your short films and/or videos in any of our 10 Categories: Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, Animation, Action/Adventure, Family/Children, Sci-Fi, Documentary, LGBT, and Music Video. Winners will be selected by a judging panel of top industry professionals who are seeking the next generation of creatively talented filmmakers out there. Winners will receive awards, cash prizes , sponsored merchandise & services and also international exposure!

Royalty Free Music Composer Tip: Keywords & Descriptions

Here’s a great question that I found on the Film and Game Composer’s Forum from a member who is a roylaty free music composer:

"Does anyone have any kind of knowledge about keywords and descriptions on royalty free sites? Does it REALLY help sales? I mean considering the extra time required to think up and input these terms…"

I believe I have extensive knowledge in this area and yes, there is no doubt that good descriptions and keywords for your tracks have a big impact on sales.

"If it is a helpful tool, then what are some of the more popular techniques that are generally employed by composers and producers on Royalty Free websites…"

Here’s a list of general concepts that will help you to fill out your descriptions. If you answer most or all of these questions in your description plus add a little flare and creativity you will end up with a great description that compels the customer click on the play preview button.

Things to convey to the customer
what genre(s) it is:  jazzy, fusion, latin, rock, speed metal
what tempo: uptempo, slow,
type of feel: funky, laid back
instruments used with descriptive adjectives: real guitar, swirling synths, majestic strings
emotion: sad, lonely, happy, soulful, lost,
what type of use: children’s show, wedding video, corporate presentation, hollywood blockbuster
structure: is there a bridge, is there a chorus, is there a breakdown, etc?
sounds like?: name some bands that the music might be similar to.

Examples:

Michele Vanni writes great descriptions

Rearview
The road lies ahead, a new adventure, and in the rearview mirror we see familiar
places fading in the distance. The radio plays this happy and somewhat nostalgic
tune driven by 12 string acoustic guitars. The main theme is played with more energy
and additional electric guitar the second time around.

Dan Morrissey also writes great descriptions

Exit : Stage Front
Twisted synth sequences get this pitbull of a track moving, then massive guitar riffs
crash in with drums and bass to form an irrrestistable groove. Imagine a cross between
White Zombie and Kraftwerk. Contains drums, synth ,bass and lots of guitars!

Bjorn Lynne also knows the value of a great description,

Spellcraft
Depicting a magic fantasy world of fairies and deep forests full of magical creatures and
ancient adventures. Otherworldly, pastoral. Piano, vocal pads, tremolo guitars, mysterious
sounds and hand drums.

Customers love descriptions! It makes it easier for them to browse and gets them interested in the tracks before they even hear it. Remember that customers more often than not use the search function of royalty free music websites. If your description says "rock song" it will probably never be found or purchased.