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Finders, Keepers: How to get your production music into the right hands via music libraries?

Tips for music producers

Production music libraries have become the
go-to music tool for many producers and music teams looking for the right music
to match their picture. A great deal of production music work used to be custom
work for hire, but that’s changing as projects face ever tighter timelines and
budgets–and as more and more people and organizations are creating video and
seeking out licensed music for it.

I’ve been working as a composer for much
longer, but ten years ago, I started uploading cues to libraries like Audiomicro,
which has become one of my favorites. It started out as a way to fill my time,
to keep writing for fun between scoring gigs. Revenue from libraries now makes
up 60% of my yearly revenue. I keep writing and it keep growing and to keep
building my rep. Like many dedicated production composers, I write all the
time, as much as I can.

Search is key to making the most of these
platforms, and that means you need to understand how to communicate what your
cue’s all about in a few short words, tags, and other features. A little
thought and common sense can go a long way to getting your cues found and kept
by producers.

is a numbers game

Production music is a numbers game. Full stop.
You have to produce a lot of music. It is a biz for people who write well and
efficiently without a lot of torment. You can’t spend three days on two minutes
of music. Do that for your own compositions, but not for production library
use. These catalogs are growing every day. You can’t write 20 pieces of music,
submit it to Audiomicro, and then complain about your lack of revenue. You need
to produce.

out what it really sounds like

I think my experience in working with real
producers and doing custom music has permeated my sense of how to describe
things. If I’m writing a few sentences, I try to think about what my friends in
video or film might be looking for. How can I give them a sense of what this
is? No need for long description, no need to implant metadata. I want my reader
to understand what to expect. Match the mood of the music.

Is it moderately paced or driving? Is it
quirky or contemplative? Take up the space with the word. That list will be the
descriptors that make someone go, “Yep, that’s what it is, thank you!” Then if
you’re allowed, use reasonable synonyms to improve your chances of discovery.
For example, optimistic and positive mean the same thing in tags. Don’t know
exactly what people are looking for.

Give it
a title

Titles are metadata, hints to what the piece
is about. It needs to really sound like that title. It’s a mistake to give
something an abstract or very specific or personal title. It may be important
to you, but it won’t mean much to a producer.

When I start writing, I start with the title.
If someone is browsing via genre, like say, folk or pop, my titles need to
convey something. If they see “Warm Spring Morning,” and it sounds like a cold
autumn night, they won’t listen to anything else you’ve put out there. But if
it sounds like its title, you develop trust.

Often, I’ll come up with 10-15 titles before I
write a note. I want to come up with the pictures and images, words the evoke a
feeling or sound to me. I jot them down. I can write to that title. The music
and title need to have a real connection.

away from the computer

Hear me out. It’s easy to get caught up in
data and dropdowns, but sometimes you need to take a few moments away from the
screen to sit and listen. Jot down a few adjectives or genres or other words
that come to mind as you do. You’ll have a clearer, more honest reaction to
your work, and you’ll save yourself the trouble when you need to add tags to
your cues when you upload them to a library.

the temptation to overtag

A cue with a ton of tags looks suspect. If you
have dozens of different mood tags, you’re likely seeing diminishing returns.
You’re likely stretching. You may win a battle by getting in search results,
but you’ll lose the war.

Producers with limited time want tags to let them zero in on their options as quickly as possible. When they see the word “pretty” and the cue is not really “pretty”, they are going to get frustrated. If you’re overloading pieces with every possible tag, you’re out of bounds. That will make producers not want to go back.


One client I worked for always wanted three
versions of cues: 60 seconds, 30 seconds, and “a thing.” (Don’t ask.) I’ve kept
to that approach, as it helps with the numbers game. You’re submitting three pieces
instead of one. You can legitimately fill up more data space and get bigger

It also helps clients who have a wide range of
needs. Lots of clients don’t want to do a lot of editing so 60- and 30-second
cues are helpful.

That said, don’t take shortcuts. You have to
do a good edit. Don’t fade out, anyone can do that. When you’re writing and
you’re in your DAW, if you have a sequencer say, when you finish the full
piece, make nice smaller pieces. Cut and paste and snip. Then add the final
ending you imagine for the piece. Producers don’t want to hear a chop; they
want to hear the last four seconds that would be the same as the end of the
full track.

There is no perfect or right way to make music, of course, and there’s no single answer to how to get that music to come up in an interested producer’s search. However, if you take a few extra moments to think through your tags, titles, and cue lengths, you’ll expand your repertoire and make its essence instantly recognizable, building trust and radically improving your chances at a placement.

Bruce Zimmerman

Zimmerman is the composer
and owner of Sound Productions, a film scoring project studio located in
Windsor, Connecticut. Zimmerman began his career over 20 years ago, after
attaining a Doctorate of Music from the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford,

Zimmerman has scored over 500
programs for clients such as AT&T, IBM, PBS, History Channel, Connecticut
Public Television, FOX Network, The Learning Channel, MasterCard, Pratt and
Whitney, Random House, Sony Kids Music, Simon & Schuster, McGraw Hill and
Warner Brothers. Zimmerman has won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual
Achievement in Original Music Composition for his work in Public Television. He
is a member of ASCAP and the International Documentary Association (IDA).

Congratulating 2019 Grammy Winners: The Complete List

Congratulating 2019 Grammy Winners: The Complete List


Album of
the Year

(This award is given to an entire album and all of its songs.)

  • Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B
  • By the Way, I Forgive
  • Scorpion, Drake
  • H.E.R., H.E.R.
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys, Post
  • Dirty Computer, Janelle
  • Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
  • Black Panther, Kendrick

Record of
the Year

(This award goes to the overall production of a single song and
is awarded to the artist who records it.)

  • “I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin
  • “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
  • “This Is America,” Childish Gambino
  • “God’s Plan,” Drake
  • “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • “All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar, Sza
  • “Rockstar,” Post Malone
  • “The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey

Song of
the Year

(This award goes to the songwriters of a song.)

  • “All the Stars,” Kendrick
    Duckworth, Solana Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears, Anthony Tiffith
  • “Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson,
    Joelle James, Ella Mai, Dijon McFarlane
  • “God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham,
    Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels, and Noah Shebib
  • “The Middle,” Sarah Aarons,
    Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael
    Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski
  • “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile,
    Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth, and Tim Hanseroth
  • “In My Blood,” Teddy Geiger,
    Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes, and Geoffrey Warburton
  • “Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark
    Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt
  • “This Is America,”
    Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson

Best New

(This award is given to artists who have released their
breakthrough recording during the Grammy eligibility period — October 1, 2017,
to September 30, 2018, in this case — not to artists who made their first
recording during that time.)

  • Chloe x Halle
  • Luke Combs
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • H.E.R.
  • Dua Lipa
  • Margo Price
  • Bebe Rexha
  • Jorja Smith


Pop Categories

Best Pop
Solo Performance

  • “Colors,” Beck
  • “Havana (Live),” Camila
  • “God Is A Woman,” Ariana
  • “Joanne (Where Do You Think
    You’re Goin’?),” Lady Gaga
  • “Better Now,” Post Malone


  • Camila, Camila
  • Meaning Of Life, Kelly
  • Sweetener, Ariana Grande
  • Shawn Mendes, Shawn
  • Beautiful Trauma, Pink
  • Reputation, Taylor

Best Pop
Duo/Group Performance

  • “Fall In Line,” Christina
    Aguilera featuring Demi Lovato
  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,”
    Backstreet Boys
  • “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and
    Bradley Cooper
  • “Girls Like You,” Maroon 5
    featuring Cardi B
  • “Say Something,” Justin
    Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton
  • “The Middle,” Zedd, Maren
    Morris, and Grey

Traditional Pop Vocal Album

  • Love Is Here to
    Bennett & Diana Krall
  • My Way, Willie Nelson
  • Nat “King” Cole & Me, Gregory
  • Standards (Deluxe),
  • The Music … The
    Mem’ries … The Magic!
    , Barbra Streisand

Dance/Electronic Album

  • Singularity, Jon
  • Woman Worldwide, Justice
  • Treehouse, Sofi
  • Oil Of Every Pearl’s
  • Lune Rouge, Tokimonsta

Best Dance

  • “Northern
    Soul,” Above & Beyond featuring Richard Bedford
  • “Ultimatum,”
    Disclosure (featuring Fatoumata Diawara)
  • “Losing It,
    “ Fisher
  • “Electricity,” Silk City
    & Dua Lipa featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson
  • “Ghost
    Voices,” Virtual Self

Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • The Emancipation
    Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
  • Steve Gadd Band, Steve Gadd Band
  • Modern Lore, Julian
  • Laid Black, Marcus
  • Protocol 4, Simon


Urban, Rap, and R&B Categories

R&B Album

  • Sex & Cigarettes, Toni
  • Good Thing, Leon
  • Honestly, Lalah
  • H.E.R., H.E.R.
  • Gumbo Unplugged Live, P.J.

R&B Performance

  • “Long As I
    Live,” Toni Braxton
  • “Summer,”
    The Carters
  • “Y O Y,”
    Lalah Hathaway
  • “Best Part,” H.E.R. featuring
    Daniel Caesar
  • “First
    Began,” PJ Morton

Traditional R&B Performance

  • “Bet Ain’t Worth the
    Hand,” Leon Bridges (TIE)
  • “Don’t Fall
    Apart On Me Tonight,” Bettye LaVette
  • “Honest,”
  • “How Deep Is Your Love,”
    PJ Morton featuring Yebba
  • “Made for
    Love,” Charlie Wilson featuring Lalah Hathaway

R&B Song

  • “Boo’d Up,” Larrance
    Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane
  • “Come
    Through and Chill,” Jermaine Cole, Miguel Pimentel & Salaam Remi
  • “Feels Like
    Summer,” Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson
  • “Focus,”
    Darhyl Camper Jr, H.E.R. & Justin Love
  • “Long As I
    Live,” Paul Boutin, Toni Braxton & Antonio Dixon

Best Urban
Contemporary Album

  • Everything Is Love, The Carters
  • The Kids Are Alright, Chloe x
  • Chris Dave And The
    Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
  • War & Leisure, Miguel
  • Ventriloquism, Meshell

Best Rap

  • Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B
  • Swimming, Mac Miller
  • Victory Lap, Nipsey
  • Daytona, Pusha T
  • Astroworld, Travis

Best Rap

  • “Be
    Careful,” Cardi B
  • “Nice for
    What,” Drake
  • “King’s Dead,” Kendrick
    Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake (TIE)
  • “Bubblin,” Anderson
    .Paak (TIE)
  • “Sicko
    Mode,” Travis Scott, Drake, (Big Hawk) & Swae Lee

Rap/Sung Performance

  • “Like I Do,”
    Christina Aguilera featuring Goldlink
  • “Pretty
    Little Fears,” 6lack featuring J. Cole
  • “This Is America,”
    Childish Gambino
  • “All the
    Stars,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA
  • “Rockstar,”
    Post Malone featuring 21 Savage

Best Rap

  • “God’s Plan,” Aubrey
    Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels &
    Noah Shebib
  • “King’s
    Dead,” Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny
    McKinzie, Axel Morgan, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn &
    Michael Williams II
  • “Lucky You,”
    R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet
  • “Sicko
    Mode,” Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean,
    Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, Chauncey
    Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young
  • “Win,” K.
    Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson


Rock and Alternative categories

Best Rock

  • Rainier Fog, Alice In
  • M A N I A, Fall Out
  • Prequelle, Ghost
  • From The Fires, Greta Van Fleet
  • Pacific Daydream, Weezer

Best Rock

  • “Four Out Of
    Five,” Arctic Monkeys
  • “When Bad Does Good,”
    Chris Cornell
  • “Made An
    America,” The Fever 333
  • “Highway
    Tune,” Greta Van Fleet
  • “Uncomfortable,”

Best Rock

  • “Black Smoke
    Rising,” Jacob Thomas Kiszka, Joshua Michael Kiszka, Samuel Francis Kiszka
    & Daniel Robert Wagner
  • “Jumpsuit,”
    Tyler Joseph
  • “Mantra,”
    Jordan Fish, Matthew Kean, Lee Malia, Matthew Nicholls & Oliver Sykes
  • “Masseduction,” Jack
    Antonoff & Annie Clark
  • “Rats,” Tom
    Dalgety & A Ghoul Writer

Alternative Music Album

  • Tranquility Base Hotel +
    Arctic Monkeys
  • Colors, Beck
  • Utopia, Björk
  • American Utopia, David
  • Masseduction, St.

Best Metal

  • “Condemned
    to the Gallows,” Between The Buried And Me
  • “Honeycomb,”
  • “Electric Messiah,” High
    On Fire
  • “Betrayer,”
  • “On My
    Teeth,” Underoath


Country Categories

Country Album

  • Unapologetically, Kelsea
  • Port Saint Joe, Brothers
  • Girl Going Nowhere, Ashley
  • Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
  • From a Room: Volume 2, Chris

Country Song

  • “Break Up In
    the End,” Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite
  • “Dear Hate,”
    Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris
  • “I Lived
    It,” Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip
  • “Space Cowboy,” Luke
    Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves
  • “Tequila,”
    Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers
  • “When
    Someone Stops Loving You,” Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori

Country Solo Performance

  • “Wouldn’t It Be Great?”
    Loretta Lynn
  • “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,”
    Maren Morris
  • “Butterflies,” Kacey
  • “Millionaire,” Chris
  • “Parallel Line,” Keith Urban

Country Duo/Group Performance

  • “Shoot Me
    Straight,” Brothers Osborne
  • “Tequila,” Dan + Shay
  • “When
    Someone Stops Loving You,” Little Big Town
  • “Dear Hate,”
    Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
  • “Meant to
    Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

New Age and Jazz Categories

Improvised Jazz Solo

  • “Some of
    That Sunshine,” Regina Carter, soloist, from Some Of That Sunshine (Karrin
  • “Don’t Fence Me In,”
    John Daversa, soloist, from American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope,
    Music Of Freedom (John Daversa Big Band featuring DACA Artists)
  • “We See,”
    Fred Hersch, soloists
  • “De-Dah,”
    Brad Mehldau, soloist, from Seymour
    Reads The Constitution!
     (Brad Mehldau Trio)
  • “Cadenas,”
    Miguel Zenón, soloist from Yo
    Soy La Tradición
     (Miguel Zenón featuring Spektral

Best Jazz
Vocal Album

  • My Mood Is You, Freddy
  • The Questions, Kurt
  • The Subject Tonight Is
    Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz, Gary Versace
  • If You Really Want, Raul Midón
    With The Metropole Orkest Conducted By Vince Mendoza
  • The Window, Cécile McLorin Salvant

Best Jazz
Instrumental Album

  • Diamond Cut, Tia Fuller
  • Live in Europe, Fred
    Hersch Trio
  • Seymour Reads the
    Brad Mehldau Trio
  • Still Dreaming, Joshua
    Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade
  • Emanon, The Wayne Shorter

Best Large
Jazz Ensemble Album

  • All About That Basie, The Count
    Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart
  • American Dreamers: Voices
    of Hope, Music of Freedom, 
    John Daversa Big Band
    featuring DACA Artists
  • Presence, Orrin
    Evans And The Captain Black Big Band
  • All Can Work, John
    Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
  • Barefoot Dances and
    Other Visions
    Jim McNeely & The Frankfurt Radio Big Band

Best Latin
Jazz Album

  • Heart of Brazil, Eddie
  • Back to the Sunset, Dafnis Prieto Big Band
  • West Side Story
    Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
  • Cinque, Elio
  • Yo Soy La Tradición, Miguel Zenón featuring
    Spektral Quartet


Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music

Gospel Performance/Song

  • “You Will
    Win,” Jekalyn Carr; Allen Carr & Jekalyn Carr
  • “Won’t He Do
    It,” Koryn Hawthorne
  • “Never Alone,” Tori
    Kelly featuring Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin & Victoria Kelly
  • “Cycles,”
    Jonathan McReynolds featuring DOE; Jonathan McReynolds & Will Reagan
  • “A Great
    Work,” Brian Courtney Wilson; Aaron W. Lindsey, Alvin Richardson &
    Brian Courtney Wilson

Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • “Reckless
    Love,” Cory Asbury; Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver & Ran Jackson,
  • “You Say,” Lauren
    Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram & Paul Mabury, songwriters
  • “Joy,” For
    King & Country; Ben Glover, Matt Hales, Stephen Blake Kanicka, Seth
    Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
  • “Grace Got
    You,” MercyMe featuring John Reuben; David Garcia, Ben Glover, MercyMe,
    Solomon Olds & John Reuben, songwriters
  • “Known,”
    Tauren Wells; Ethan Hulse, Jordan Sapp & Tauren Wells, songwriters

Gospel Album

  • One Nation Under God, Jekalyn
  • Hiding Place, Tori Kelly
  • Make Room, Jonathan
  • The Other Side, The Walls
  • A Great Work, Brian
    Courtney Wilson

Contemporary Christian Music Album

  • Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle
  • Hallelujah Here Below, Elevation
  • Living With a Fire, Jesus Culture
  • Surrounded, Michael W.
  • Survivor: Live from
    Harding Prison
    Zach Williams

Best Roots
Gospel Album

  • Unexpected, Jason Crabb
  • Clear Skies, Ernie
    Haase & Signature Sound
  • Favorites: Revisited By
    The Isaacs
  • Still Standing, The
  • Love Love Love, Gordon



Best Latin
Pop Album

  • Prometo, Pablo
  • Sincera, Claudia Brant
  • Musas (Un Homenaje Al
    Folclore Latinoamericano en Manos de lost Macorinos), Vol. 2
    , Natalia
  • 2:00 AM, Raquel
  • Vives, Carlos

Best Latin
Rock, Urban or Alternative Album

  • Claroscura,
  • Coastcity, COASTCITY
  • Encanto Tropical, Monsieur
  • Gourmet, Orishas
  • Aztlán, Zoé

Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)

  • Primero Soy Mexicana, Angela
  • Mitad Y Mitad, Calibre 50
  • Totalmente Juan Gabriel
    Vol. II
    Aida Cuevas
  • Cruzando Borders, Los
  • Leyendas de Mi Pueblo, Mariachi
    Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez
  • ¡Mexico Por Siempre!, Luis Miguel

Tropical Latin Album

  • Pa’ Mi Gente, Charlie
  • Legado, Formell Y
    Los Van Van
  • Orquesta Akokan, Orquesta
  • Ponle Actitude, Felipe
  • Anniversary, Spanish Harlem


American Roots Music Categories

American Roots Performance

  • “Kick Rocks,” Sean Ardoin
  • “Saint James Infirmary Blues,” Jon Batiste
  • “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
  • “All On My Mind,” Anderson
  • “Last Man Standing,” Willie

American Roots Song

  • “All the
    Trouble,” Waylon Payne, Lee Ann Womack & Adam Wright
  • “Build a
    Bridge,” Jeff Tweedy
  • “The Joke,” Brandi
    Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth
  • “Knockin’ On
    Your Screen Door,” Pat McLaughlin & John Prine
  • “Summer’s
    End,” Pat McLaughlin & John Prine

Americana Album

  • By the Way, I Forgive
    , Brandi Carlile
  • Things Have Changed, Bettye
  • The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine
  • The Lonely, The Lonesome
    & the Gone
    Lee Ann Womack
  • One Drop of Truth, The Wood

Bluegrass Album

  • Portraits in Fiddles, Mike
  • Sister Sadie II, Sister
  • Rivers and Roads, Special
  • The Travelin’ McCourys, The Travelin’ McCourys
  • North of Despair, Wood &

Traditional Blues Album

  • Something Smells Funky
    ‘Round Here
    Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
  • Benton County Relic, Cedric
  • The Blues Is Alive and
    , Buddy Guy
  • No Mercy in This Land, Ben Harper
    And Charlie Musselwhite
  • Don’t You Feel My Leg
    (The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blue Lu Barker)
    , Maria

Contemporary Blues Album

  • Please Don’t Be Dead, Fantastic Negrito
  • Here in Babylon, Teresa
    James And The Rhythm Tramps
  • Cry No More, Danielle
  • Out of the Blues, Boz Scaggs
  • Victor Wainwright and
    the Train
    Victor Wainwright And The Train

Best Folk

  • Whistle Down the Wind, Joan Baez
  • Black Cowboys, Dom
  • Rifles & Rosary
    Mary Gauthier
  • Weed Garden, Iron &
  • All Ashore, Punch Brothers

Regional Roots Music Album

  • Kreole Rock and Soul, Sean
  • Spyboy, Cha Wa
  • Aloha From Na Hoa, Na Hoa
  • No ‘Ane’i, Kalani Pe’a
  • Mewasinsational – Cree
    Round Dance Songs
    , Young Spirit

Reggae and
world music category

Reggae Album

  • As the World Turns, Black
  • Reggae Forever, Etana
  • Rebellion Rises, Ziggy
  • A Matter of Time, Protoje
  • 44/876, Sting & Shaggy

Best World
Music Album

  • Deran, Bombino
  • Fenfo, Fatoumata
  • Black Times, Seun Kuti
    & Egypt 80
  • Freedom, Soweto Gospel Choir
  • The Lost Songs of World
    War II
    Yiddish Glory



Children’s Album

  • All the Sounds, Lucy Kalantari &
    The Jazz Cats
  • Building Blocks, Tim Kubart
  • Falu’s Bazaar, Falu
  • Giants of Science, The Pop
  • The Nation of Imagine, Frank
    & Deane

Musical Theater Album

  • The Band’s Visit
  • Carousel
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
    Live In Concert
  • My Fair Lady
  • Once on This Island

Best Score
Soundtrack for Visual Media

  • Black Panther
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Coco
  • The Shape Of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

  • Call Me By Your
    Artists), Luca Guadagnino, compilation producer; Robin Urdang, music
  • Deadpool 2 (Various
    Artists), David Leitch & Ryan Reynolds, compilation producers; John
    Houlihan, music supervisor
  • The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman (&
    Various Artists), Alex Lacamoire, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Greg
    Wells, compilation producers
  • Lady Bird (Various
    Artists), Timothy J. Smith, compilation producer; Michael Hill & Brian
    Ross, music supervisors
  • Stranger Things, (Various
    Artists), Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer & Timothy J. Smith, compilation
    producers; Nora Felder, music supervisor

Best Song
Written For Visual Media

  • “All the
    Stars,” from Black
    , Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Alexander William
    Shuckburgh, Mark Anthony Spears & Anthony Tiffith (performed by Kendrick
    Lamar & SZA)
  • “Mystery of
    Love,” from Call
    Me By Your Name
    , Sufjan Stevens (performed by Sufjan Stevens)
  • “Remember
    Me,” from Coco,
    Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez (performed by Miguel featuring
    Natalia Lafourcade)
  • “Shallow,” from A
    Star Is Born
    , Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew
    Wyatt (performed by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper)
  • “This Is
    Me,” from The
    Greatest Showman
    , Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (performed by
    Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble)

Comedy Album

  • Annihilation, Patton
  • Equanimity & The
    Bird Revelation
    , Dave Chappelle
  • Noble Ape, Jim
  • Standup For Drummers, Fred
  • Tamborine, Chris Rock

Spoken Word Album

  • Accessory to War (Neil
    deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang), Courtney B. Vance
  • Calypso, David
  • Creative Quest, Questlove
  • Faith — A Journey For
    , Jimmy Carter
  • The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany

Best Music

  • “Apes***, “ The Carters
  • “This Is America,”
    Childish Gambino
  • “I’m Not Racist,” Joyner
  • “Pynk,” Janelle Monáe
  • “Mumbo Jumbo,” Tierra Whack


  • Alpine
    Dreaming: The Helvetia Records Story, 1920-1924
  • 4 Banjo
    Songs, 1891-1897: Foundational Recordings Of America’s Iconic Instrument
  • The 1960
    Time Sessions
  • The Product
    Of Our Souls: The Sound And Sway Of James Reese Europe’s Society Orchestra
  • Trouble No
    More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Deluxe Edition)
  • Voices Of Mississippi:
    Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris

The Sounds Of Horror

T H E   S O U N D S   O F   H O R R O R –
The History of Horror Sounds & Techniques in Film.

Whether it be creaking floor boards in a dark deserted hallway, the ominous sounds of unsettling whispers, or the aggressive revving of an old rusty chainsaw; some sounds are synonymous with horror. It is this genre that utilizes sound design the most, and relies so heavily on what the audience hears – or in some circumstances, doesn’t hear. Understanding what types of sounds and in what combination can most effectively unsettle and sink deep into your audience’s psyche will help any creator develop a more memorable horror film, television show, or web series.


In fact, the notable horror cliche of the “quiet… quiet… BANG!” method is derived from the technique known as the ‘Lewton Bus.’ Producer Val Lewton famously developed the technique back in 1942’s Cat People, of lulling the audience into a false sense of security as the scared protagonist proceeds in silence for a moment of time only to be jolted by the sounds of something rather innocent.

Even though aspects of this technique have evolved with time, you can see the ‘Lewton Bus’ method now used in nearly every horror film to date and is a valuable tool for any creator to utilize in their own horror masterpieces.


Also known as the ‘ocean harp,” is an odd looking percussive instrument that creates all those eerie and ethereal sounds used in countless horror films including Poltergeist, Aliens, Let the Right One In, and even non horror films alike. The sounds itself is tough to describe so give it a listen and you will instantly recognize it’s spine tingling qualities.


Unless you’re a lumberjack, for most of us the guttural revving of a chainsaw invokes thoughts of dread and dismemberment. This in part started back in 1974 with the Texas Chainsaw massacre and has been since remade, mimicked, and turned into several homages. The chainsaw sound is just so loud and violent that it cannot help but invoke a sense of chaos and confusion as the deafening sound itself grabs the viewers complete attention, puts them on edge, and does not let go.


Whether it be Freddy Krueger’s claws opening, Jason’s machete scraping against the wall as he meanders towards his victim, or Sweeney Todd sharpening his straight razors before he begins a shave to close for comfort. The sound of metal scraping inherently flags as a warning sign to the audience. You may not even see the object itself but hearing the sound tells you something bad is going to happen. We commonly identify metal scraping as a knife, blade, or weapon of some sort and hearing the sound triggers something basic in us screaming DANGER!


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Jack’s slow descent into madness throughout 1980s The Shining has a intensely unsettling musical score to match. Letting the music indicate the tone and mood of your piece is paramount and is just as an important character as even your protagonist that needs to have its own arch and development. Using The Shining as our example Jack at the start of the film is an aspiring writer who took an off season caretaker job with his family; The music meanders along at a lulling pace. By the end of the film he’s chasing his own kid through a hedge maze with an axe and the music is just pure chaos!

What do you think?
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on all the horror sounds that make your skin crawl.  Let us know your favorite and most iconic horror sounds in the comments below!  And if you are looking to spice up your horror piece with some memorable sounds – whether it be eerie atmospheres, screams, shocks, creaking, cracking, breaking, or just good old fashioned gore – then be sure to check out AudioMicro.com for all your horror sound needs!

We’re always here to support you in your creative endeavors!



Meet A&R Manager – Joshua Priest

T E A M   M E M B E R   P R O F I L E :

At AudioMicro, we’ve got a commitment to the high quality of music we provide, and our A&R Manager is at the heart of this mission.  Meet the man, behind the man, behind the man, Joshua Priest.

– Thanks, Josh, for interviewing with me today.  So you are the resident music expert and A&R manager for AudioMicro!  How long have you been working with the company?

Answer: I’ve been with the company for four years, and I’ve been managing A&R and the ingest contracts for artists for the past two years.

– Very nice. What’s your background with music?

Answer: Well, I’ve been playing guitar for 14 years. And I’ve always been into music ever since I was a kid.  I mean, basically, music has just been a big part of the journey in my life. Because, you know, when you play an instrument, you’re forever learning and struggling with things that you don’t know. Your music within itself is a language, so you’re always kind of learning, every single day. And it’s great. I deal with other people’s music every day as well.  I get to kind of get a snapshot of their musical journey as well.

– So it’s almost like music is a teacher in a way.  And what’s your background before working in the music industry for AudioMicro?

Answer:  I used to work in TV, for  G4 TV, which is now defunct, unfortunately, and I also worked for a year with NBC. I started off as a production assistant for about a year and half, then became a producer myself.

– Ok, so you have a background in music and in producing. With that experience under your belt, what are some top things that you’re looking for as far as the quality of the tracks that you’re ingesting for AudioMicro’s library?

Answer: Well I definitely want to listen to how things are mixed.  We want to provide top-quality music so mixing is very important.I also want to listen to how the melodies fit into the genre that they’re trying to achieve.

Then I also like to listen to the quality of their plugins. Say with a song that has flute, you can basically tell when they have a really good plugin because you can’t tell the difference between a real flute and a really good plugin of the flute.

Sometimes I hear a film score, and I can’t tell if the artist recorded an orchestra or just on his computer doing this?  Either way, it doesn’t matter because it sounds amazing.

I can hear their level of professionalism and effort within the first 30 seconds.

And then there’s timing.  Sometimes people will upload tracks, and you can just hear that the drums are off, or the rhythm guitar is going at a certain beat per minute. But then, the lead guitar is playing way too quick, or way too slow compared to it. And you can tell that it’s not something that they’re actually trying to achieve.

And, one more thing I’d like to add. When you listen to someone’s music, if you can close your eyes, and you can see the song that they’re making being used in some sort of production, like I can see this being in a movie, or I can see this being the background of a blog on YouTube or something like that, then you know that you’ve got something good.

– So the way that it’s mixed, the melody fitting the genre, the quality of the sounds and plugins, and the timing, those are some of the things that you look for when you’re rating.  And, because of your background and TV and music, you need to imagine where it could be used, and it may need to evoke some emotion in you?

Answer: Yeah. Actually, I won’t lie. There’ve been a few times I’ve uploaded contracts to AudioMicro and I was going through a new artist’s music that were just very sad songs. And I felt a very strong reaction, my heartstrings were getting pulled, and I was like, “Oh, I better stop listening to this. I don’t want to start crying at my desk!”

Some of these artists they are really good at what they do. And if I can listen to music and feel emotional, that’s a winner right there.

– I think a lot of video production is telling a story; and that could be a happy story or a sad story, or many times to inspire, right?  Especially motivational videos on YouTube, they’re definitely telling a story, but also evoking some positive, motivational, or inspirational feelings, right?

Answer: You’re absolutely right, because when it comes down to it at the end of the day, if you have a video with audio, the audio is 50% of your video’s impact. If you have a video with audio that doesn’t match what you’re watching, it takes you out of the experience- 100%.  But if you have audio that matches what you’re watching, it can make the impact of the video 100 times better.

– It’s almost as if the measure of a well produced movie or video is that when you’re so involved in the story, that you don’t even notice the music, because it just corresponds so well, it all goes together.

Answer: Yeah, that’s what we hope for at AudioMicro. Content creators for YouTube,  production film houses, or for people that do podcasts. We’re here to help provide music to compliment your visual aspect to make your production the best it can be.  To Complement and Enhance your project.

– Do you ever get requests to help people find music or suggest music for their production?

Answer: Yes, I’m always more than happy to help our customers if they need assistance.  They can just write in to us with info like, “Hey, we’re doing like a little podcast about history and science, that we kind of want something that’s mellow acoustic.” I’ll point them in the right direction or put together 5 or 10 tracks of things that I think they might like.

– It’s great to know you all are there to help!  So, what’s something about AudioMicro that people probably don’t know.

Answer:  It’s a really great working environment at AudioMicro – We all have each other’s backs.  We’re all very chill & casual with each other- I could go talk to my supervisor or CEO and could talk about work or I could talk about something personal.  When you have a work environment where everyone meshes together so well, the productivity and the company morale becomes so high that it feels like the sky’s the limit.

We also have a room that is dedicated to chilling and taking a break.  We have an acoustic bass, a piano, bean bags and couches, and a PlayStation 4 for people want to play video games.  Throughout all hours of the day, you can hear someone in there either banging on the piano, plucking on a guitar, or playing a video game.

I think that is the best way to blow off some steam and clear your head, like if you’re working on something and you kind of hit a brick wall. You can go in there for 10 or 15 minutes, noodle around on the guitar to get some creative juices flowing, and then before you know it, you might be in the middle of playing a song and you go, “Oh, I got it!”  And go back to what you were working on.

– That’s perfect, because they say human beings can only focus efficiently for so long, and then they actually need to take a break and shift into something else.  So last question Joshua, what kind of music are you into right now?

Answer: Right now I’ve really been into Lo Fi Hip Hop to work to.  It’s kind of jazzy, there are a lot of samples from old jazz musicians and they tweak them to create some interesting sounds, and then I’m also really into classical rock and bands I grew up with like the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd .

And also, I normally don’t tell people this, but I have a guilty pleasure… I like to listen to Korean Pop Music or K Pop.  My best friend from elementary and middle school was Korean so I’d always be at his house and that’s what him and his sister listened to all the time. So I learned about it back in 1997 and have been listening to it off and on for a long time, but more recently I’ve kind of gotten back into it.

I’m really digging this girl group called Black Pink.  They’ve been around for a couple of years but recently put out a new album and their sound is pretty different.. It’s like Korean girl rap trap music. Here’s the link to my favorite video.

Awesome Joshua, thanks for your time!


T O D A Y ‘S   T A K E A W A Y S

Takeaway 1:  Joshua’s A&R rating is based on track mixing, the melody fitting the genre, the quality of the sounds and plugins, the timing, and if the sounds help to evoke emotion or could help tell a story.

Takeaway 2:  It’s essential to find background or production music that matches your creative project in order to complement and enhance its impact!

Takeaway 3: Joshua and the team at AudioMicro are there to help if you need assistance in finding the right sounds for your production project.  Just write in Here.

Takeaway 4: AudioMicro promotes a work environment that is friendly, supportive, and honors their employees need to express creativity and take breaks!

Takeaway 5: Joshua secretly loves K-Pop! 😉



AudioMicro Royalty Free Licenses 101

A U D I O M I C R O   M U S I C   L I C E N S E S   1 0 1






Want to know more about what our Standard License for Music Track covers?
Let us give you the 411.

We’ll cover all the music licensing types in this article, but will focus on our tried and true- The Standard License for our Royalty Free Music Tracks.

We’re stoked to offer you the most affordable Standard License price in the industry, not to mention our HUGE library of HIGH QUALITY tracks, all for just $34.95 per song.  Woot!

So where can you utilize these tracks?  Let us count the ways…

  • In any free apps, podcasts, software, and games, utilized on iPhone, iPad, Android, & Facebook.  As long as it’s free, you’re free to use these songs as many times as you’d like!  Score!
  • In any non-downloadable casual games played exclusively via a web browser, both free and paid.  Live Games = Game on!
  • In any creative project videos that are non-advertisements, for TV, Radio, Wedding Videos, and Corporate Videos.  No Ads = No Problem!
  • ANYWHERE on the world wide web (we like to call it the Interwebs), including on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Websites, Web Videos, & Slideshows.  That’s right, anywhere on YouTube land – so create away!
  • In any Film Festivals projects, both student and professional.  We love making big screen debuts!

And what about Reproduction?

The Fine Print :: The Standard License includes the reproduction of up to 1,000 copies of your project in physical, tangible products like CD’s, DVD’s, VHS tapes, Blu-rays, toys, and console games.

So, in sum, the Standard License is all you need, unless of course, you are using the music in the following scenarios. ::

  • For Ads- In an Advertisement to be run on Television or Radio
  • For Films Not at Film Festivals – In a commercial film release or theatrical presentation (excluding film festival screenings)
  • For large-scale Paid Games- In a paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android app, podcast, or downloadable software/game where more than 1,000 copies will be downloaded. Notice: Apps and games that offer “in-app” purchasing by the user are considering paid (i.e. not free) and require the Mass Reproduction License if more than 1,000 will be distributed.
  • For large-scale Reproduction- In over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of a product like CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-rays, toys, and console games.

So there are the In’s and Out’s of our Standard License, and all for $34.95!
Quite the steal, wouldn’t you say?  And just a reminder that your dollars are supporting the very deserving and talented musicians and artists who spend countless hours providing you with premium sounds!

Now remember, these deets cover our Music Tracks only.  Interested in Sound Effects SFX Licenses, click here.

Didn’t cover your intended use?  Keep reading for increased coverage.

Here’s a run-down of ALL the MUSIC LICENSE options – depending on your use:

B) MASS REPRODUCTION – $134.95 for up to 10,000 copies to $284.95 for unlimited.

This license is ONLY required if you wish to make over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of your product or utilize the music in a paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android/Facebook app, podcasts, software, and/or games where more than 1,000 copies will be downloaded.

Notice: The Standard License allows up to 1,000 downloads of both free and paid software/games as well as unlimited downloads of free (and not allowing in-app purchasing) iPhone/iPad/Android apps, podcasts, softwares, and games. Therefore, you do NOT need to purchase a mass duplication license unless you’re distributing over 1,000 physical/tangible reproductions of videos, softwares, games, toys within media such as CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and the like OR using the music in paid (i.e. not free) iPhone/iPad/Android apps and podcasts to be downloaded more than 1,000 times.

Mass Reproduction license prices:

  • The standard license price of $34.95 plus $100 for up to 10,000 reproductions
  • The standard license price of $34.95 plus $250 for unlimited reproductions



This license is ONLY required if you are using the music in an Advertisement run on either Television or Radio.
Television / Radio Advertisement License prices:

  • For Music used in Local/Regional advertisements played on Television or Radio (with a range of 250 miles in all directions from the broadcast center), the price is the Standard License price of $34.95 plus $100 ($134.95)
  • For Music used in Nationwide/Worldwide advertisements played on Television or Radio, the price is the Standard License price of $34.95 plus $250 ($284.95 total)


D) THEATRICAL / COMMERCIAL FILM RELEASE – $284.95 for worldwide rights.

This license is ONLY required for commercial film releases and theatre presentations. Utilization of the music in non-commercial, educational, and editorial projects, like student films and contest submissions, is included in the Standard License. Please be sure to credit “Royalty Free Music by AudioMicro” in your project.

Theatrical/Commercial License Price:  The Standard License price of $34.95 plus $250 per track

All of our licenses allow you use the music solely in your own projects. You cannot resell the music as a standalone product or create a derivative work that primarily contains just the music and the resell it as your own, such as a meditation CD with your voice running over the music. If you’d like to use the music in such a manner, please contact us for a special license arrangement.

We offer a bonus of 20% on purchases over $500 and in the form of store credit to be used with your next purchase. Simply contact us after you have made your purchase and we’ll place the bonus into your account. We also offer bonuses for verified charities and nonprofits.

So that’s AUDIOMICRO’s Licensing 101 friends.

Let us know if you have any questions, and Go Forward and Create!

~The AudioMicro Team

Light and Shadow Masks

AudioMicro user C Pic Michael was kind enough to share this wonderful video of her students who had recently completed a project on light and shadow masks. The video incorporates music licensed from AudioMicro and chosen by the students themselves to highlight their creations.. If you are working on any non-profit or education related projects, please be sure to contact us to enquire about royalty free music for educational use packages, specials, and discounts.

Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON) and The Hollywood Music In Media Awards

sound effects free sound effects

The AudioMicro Team will be attending the Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMCON) on November 20th through 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, CA. If you are interested in attending the conference and networking with music supervisors and industry insiders, we are pleased to present you with conference PROMO code “SPECIAL199”, which will get you into the 3 day event for just $199 (regular $295).  You can also submit your music for awards consideration anytime prior to October 15th.  There are still a few days left to be considered for an award, so be sure to submit your music here for the judges to review.

On Saturday November 21st, AudioMicro founder Ryan Born will be hosting a session on licensing royalty free music into alternative media including websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, and iPhone Apps.   The entire conference has a great line up of speakers, sponsors, and attendees.

For more info on The Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON), log on to http://www.hmmawards.com

The Music in Media Interactive Conference (MIMICON)
Friday-Sunday, November 20-22, 2009
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa
1755 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood CA 90028

The Premium Collection – 13,000 New Production Music Tracks

royalty free music,royalty free music,sound effects free sound effects,stock music,sound bits

We have just added over 13,000 record label owned, production music tracks to AudioMicro. The new offering is being called “The Premium Collection“. Historically, this entire collection has only been available to major television networks and feature film producers in a rights managed licensing format. We are please to offer this material to you and hope that you will enjoy all the great new tracks. All Premium Collection Tracks have a special flag that appears in search and browse results to let you know that you are listening to premium material. Please note that with this great new collection carries a more limited, royalty free music license. The main restriction is that the tracks cannot be used on network / cable television or in any project with a budget over fifty thousand dollars. For full license details, please be sure to check out the Premium Content License Agreement. If you need to use tracks in a manner outside the scope of the Premium Content License Agreement, our standard collection is still available with over 24,000 tracks and suitable for nearly any audio visual production imaginable.

500 Top Music Artists of All Time

Creating to 10 lists can be tough. We found a new site that makes it as easy as ever. Not only can you create top 10 lists easily, but you can even create top 500 lists with a few simple clicks. The embedded widget below came from our friend’s over at Ranker who have compiled a nice list of the top 500 Music Artists of All Time. To make your own top 500 list, head on over Ranker.com and create your own.

55,000+ New Sound Effects by The Hollywood Edge Now Available

The Hollywood Edge

Big News! We have just added over 55,000 new sound effects from The Hollywood Edge, the world’s most widely used sound effect library.   These sound effects were created by the Academy Award-winning sound studio Soundelux, whose credits include such films as Kill Bill, Braveheart, and Fast and Furious.  The Hollywood Edge and Soundelux are part of the CSS Studios group of companies. CSS Studios is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA) and provides creative services to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, and advertising agencies. CSS services are marketed under the brand names Todd-AO, Sound One, Soundelux, POP Sound, Modern Music, and The Hollywood Edge. This content partnership is a big step forward for AudioMicro and brings our total track count to over 150,000 and growing.

In addition to our superb collection of user-generated content, we can now deliver, on-demand, thousands of sounds created by the world’s most talented sound professionals.  Our users should be impressed with the unprecedented quality, size and scope of The Hollywood Edge collection.  Under the terms of a new licensing agreement, our members have access to The Hollywood Edge’s library of professional-grade sound effects royalty free and under the same pricing and terms as our user generated, crowd-sourced sound effects. Prices for individual sound effects are as little as $1 per minute, while subscription packages start at just $9 per month.  End users are permitted to use the content for all digital media, including websites, short online films, motion pictures, feature films, flash animations, radio advertisings, PowerPoint presentations, live performance, remixes and other purposes.  Historically, The Hollywood Edge library has been available only in the form of large sound effects packages on hard drives, CD’s and DVD’s and aimed at the professional market.

For additional details on the deal, check out the full sound effect press release here.  Thanks again for your support as we continue on our quest to be the web’s leading stock audio distributor.

SlideRocket Teams with AudioMicro Adding Music and Sound Effects

Royalty Free Slide Show Music

This week we teamed with slide show presentation platform SlideRocket and added stock music and sound effects to their marketplace. SlideRocket is a revolutionary new approach to presentations. It’s the only presentation software that allows users to create stunning presentations, manage them intelligently, share them securely and then measure the results. SlideRocket also includes an online marketplace where users can find all the content and services they may need to make their presentations more compelling, including photos, illustrations, and now audio. SlideRocket goes beyond traditional presentation tools by harnessing the power of the Internet and making everything available to users in an integrated and intuitive online interface. SlideRocket is provided in a software-as-a-service model in a variety of price points starting at free.

SlideRocket’s beautiful design and powerful communication capabilities made a natural fit for the AudioMicro music and sound effects library. At least 50% of the entertainment value of visual media comes from the audio. With over 125,000 tracks to choose from, SlideRocket users are now able to create more compelling, attention grabbing presentations, using AudioMicro music and effects to engage their audience. This newfound parternership provides both increased exposure as well as an an immediate boost in licensing opportunities our artists.

TechCrunch Readers – Receive 3 Free Download Credits

TechCrunch readers are in for a special treat today.  In response to YouTube’s muting of millions of videos containing unauthorized music from the major record labels, AudioMicro will be giving away complimentary download credits to new customer registrations from readers of TechCrunch, including those affected by YouTube’s silencing.

To raise awareness about the benefits of royalty free music licensing, readers of this particular post are in for a treat: the first 100 readers to sign up for an account at AudioMicro will receive to 3 free download credits, a $15 value.  Simply register for an AudioMicro account and send us an email at audiomicro@audiomicro.com titled “TechCrunch” and reference your AudioMicro user name in the body of the email and we’ll place the 3 complimentary downloadcredits into your account.

YouTube videos across the web were spontaneously muted last week in response to take down requests from major record labels, including Warner Music Group. Millions of videos were silenced, as the creators had not secured synch licenses to place the music into their productions. Stock music libraries such as AudioMicro serve to bridge the gap between unauthorized use and traditionally burdensome rights negotiations, allowing video producers to download music for use in any creative project, with prices as little as $1 per track, depending on the size of the credit package you purchase.

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference – Music by Mark Hewer / SOCAN / AudioMicro.com


AudioMicro helps artists both established and unknown place their music in creative projects. For the past 6 months since our launch, the platform has generated numerous music placements including educational videos, websites, and online games. This promotional web video, created by the good folks at the Metro Atlanta Task Force For the Homeless serves as a powerful reminder that a small donation and viral message can really make a difference in the lives of millions. The track, “Revelation” comes from AudioMicro artist Mark Hewer.

YouTube Mutes Thousands of Videos Containing Unauthorized Music

Today was the day.  YouTube finally came around and decided that videos with copyright infringing music need to be taken down.  Instead of removing the videos entirely, they just muted all of the audio.  The story is all over the web, and folks are pretty mad about the “mass muting of millions of videos”.  This issue at hand is that for years now, users have been uploading videos to YouTube that contain major record label music and the video creators have never appropriately secured a synch license to use this music in their productions.  Synch licensing has typically been reserved for feature films and major television production companies and anyone that needed music for a small YouTube production had to choose among the following options:

1.  Make unauthorized use of their music collection,

2.  Pay a hefty synch fees to be used in their unmonetizable productions, or

3.  Turn to royalty free music libraries, like AudioMicro.

As of today, for the millions of YouTubers, there are now only 2 choices – either purchase stock music (easy, painless, and affordable) or try and legally license a track from a label (nearly impossible).  Copyrights are being protected and despite the chants of “boycott YouTube”, it’s likely that the other online video communities will eventually cave under RIAA pressure if they are to allow videos with record label material to be posted.

The future of music copyright online seems to be unfolding in 2009 – you can listen to music online for free, if you are willing to deal with advertisements; however, you can no longer synch music to your videos without secure a proper synch license.

Two People Write a Song Together, Who Owns the Music?

Suppose you and a friend sit down and compose a music masterpeice together?  Who actually owns the music?  Because you composed it together, both parties have some rights to the composition; however, there is way more to it than that.   Copyright Law states that the parties have created a “joint work” and when it comes to control, either party can deal “non-exclusively” with the “entire” work, so long as the other party is compensated.  This means that you can go and give all of the non-exclusive licenses that you want, as long as you don’t forget to give your writing partner his / her share (and they too can give out non-exclusive licenses).

Now let’s make things a little more complicated.  Let’s say your in the studio and you write a groove and your buddy (John) sings over it.  Later on, you decide that his lyrics are really not helping out the track, and you want to take your music and find a better vocalist.  Can you do this without any obligation to John, your original partner?  The intuitive reaction is to think, that since you wrote the music, you should be able to get anyone you like to sing over it; however, because at the time of creation, your partner John sang over the work, you actually created a “joint work“, whereby you own half the music and John owns half the lyrics and vice-versa.

Music copyright issues can become even more complicated of course, this post is just to serve as an example of a few of the issues at hand.