Understanding the Roles in Visual Effects – Part 2

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Visual Effects, VFX for short, is a big ocean and covers numerous jobs. Last time, in part 1, I explored several roles including previs artists, data wranglers, research & development, math moving, compositing, roto/paint artists, and technical directors. Each plays a smaller part towards a larger goal. I’m here to help make sense of all those roles to give you a better informed decision if you plan to heading into VFX, or at the very least, offer some clarification to some of those more obscure sounding roles. So with that, let’s start with the fur groomer!

*Take Note* Each role header is a link that leads to a related creative reel or article going more in depth on the material. Enjoy!

Fur Groomer

This title kind of makes me giggle whenever I read it, but actually this name is quite apt given their role. A grooming VFX artist is the person who specifically focuses on fur, hair, and feathers. Designing them in 3D, controlling how they move throughout the elements, and all other physical parameters surrounding those points. Most grooming artists are well versed in Maya and similar 3D modeling and shading programs.

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Modeler

This artist, as you might have guessed, is the person who creates the 3D models of people, creatures, etc. using various 3D modeling software such as Maya, Cinema 4D, or 3DS Max.

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Environment Artist

Similar to the Modeler (and most modelers market themselves also as environment artists), this artist develops the digital 3D landscapes found in some CG films, TV shows, and video games.

Texture Artist

As the title sounds, this artist creates the textures that go on the 3D models and environments. This can be anything from human skin, scales, cobblestone roads, or a brick and mortar castle exterior.

Matte Painter

A matte painter creates digital paintings of a landscape or set and is then composited into the background, giving the illusion of an environment that did not exist at the time of filming. Sometimes, the scene could have been shot in a green screen room, and an environment artist could develop the 3D foreground. Then a matte painter would create the 2D painting composited in the background. Sometimes, instead of flying to Paris for that one shot, a matte painter will develop a French landscape that is then composited into the background of a live action shot giving the illusion the actors are sitting at a café in Paris with the Eiffel Tower perfectly positioned in the background.

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Rigger

The rigger then takes the 3D model created by the modeler and creates the skeleton – the physical structure, joints, flexibility, range of motion, etc. – that defines how the model moves and interacts with its world.

Animator

The animator then takes the rigged model and breathes life into the object by moving it around as required for the specific scene. This can be anything from walking, talking, blinking, breathing, pointing, or any number of specific movements and actions. It is not uncommon to have a team of several animators working on a single model to create the most realistic motion.

Motion Capture

Aside from an animator, motion capture is another process to breath life into a rigged model. This process is a bit more physical as a performer wears a motion capture suit that is covered in marker points that correspond with similar marker points on the models rig. Therefore, when a motion capture artist moves their arm in real time, the model moves its arm. This method has been gaining popularity over the last decade with memorable performances from actors like Andy Serkis playing the role of Golem in Lord of the Rings.

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Visual Effects Supervisor & Coordinator

Visual Effects Supervisors work directly with the director on and off the set to ensure planning and execution of the final image is achieved. The coordinator works directly under the supervisor and makes sure the artists work smoothly and coherently with the same vision the director and supervisor are working towards. For instance, the supervisor works with the director to create the physical space with all the correct markers and camera movements to have a dragon destroy a village. The supervisor then has the coordinator coordinate the team of artists to execute that vision (environment artist creates the town, matte painter designs background, modeler designs dragon, texture artist designs the scales, rigger builds the dragons skeleton, etc. etc. …).

I hope this post has helped educate you on some of the most crucial roles in the big machine that is visual effects. Each role is a small cog in a much larger working device – each equally important and necessary to reach the final goal. If you have any questions or comments about any of the roles I mentioned, or if I’ve forgotten a role you wanted to learn more about, then leave a comment below!

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Understanding the Roles in Visual Effects – Part 1

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Visual Effects, VFX for short, is a big ocean and covers numerous jobs. I am here to help make sense out of the plethora of names and titles out there so you can make a more informed decision as to what avenue you would want to explore as a visual effects artist. At the very least, maybe I can explain some of those weird credits you see scrolling at the end of the movies that make you say, “Data Wrangler?! Is a cowboy hog tying numbers on a movie set?!”

*Take Note* Each role header is a link that leads to a related creative reel or article going more in depth on the material. Enjoy!

Previs Artist

Previs is short for previsualization – this artist will work collaboratively with a team to develop the director’s image for specific physical or digital shots. These are taken from the script and recreated digitally as a quick rough animation. It is no mystery that movies cost money – and tons of it! By spending a small percentage of your budget on developing previs shots of key moments in the film in order to figure out the logistics, you can potentially save yourself thousands – if not millions – come time for the shoot and you know exactly how every moving part goes together (camera, lighting, scenery, explosions, etc).

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Data Wrangler

Also known as a Data Loader. This person works with the camera crew, post production editors, and VFX team to ensure all camera information is accurately recorded and stored on multiple hard drives (never erase anything without at least two copies backed up first! Redundancy is key). This not only includes the raw data itself, but also settings, frame rates, etc, that would be essential for editors and VFX artists to match with their own work.

Research and Development

There are people on the VFX team that are dedicated solely to R&D. For example, a VFX artist needs to create a medieval village. These people will research everything about a shot and will provide necessary sample shots, textures, settings for basis, and anything else necessary for the artist to create an accurate depiction of what was requested of them.

Matchmoving

Also known as Camera Tracking. This is the process of producing a 3D digital camera that matches the exact movement of what a physical camera has shot. It is essential for the VFX artist’s work to fit in a particular shot when the camera is rotating, panning, and moving around. A digital element needs to match each of these movements in order to not float off into space.

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Compositor

A compositor takes all the digital effects, environments, video, and images and combines them into a final rendered image.

There are two types of compositing: node based and layered based. Node based creates a “node tree” where each branch links a new media file or effect. The most popular node based software currently is NUKE by The Foundry. Layer based compositing manages media files and effects through a stacking system – bottom layers are at the base and everything layered is built on top. The most popular layered based compositing software is Adobe’s After Effects.

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Roto/Paint Artists

Rotoscoping is the process of creating a matte for an element that can later become composited into another background. For example, an actor might be shot on green screen, would need to be cleanly keyed out, and then sent to the compositor to be composited into a background shot. Sometimes, an actor may be wearing wires or some form of harness for a particular shot, and the artist would then need to go frame by frame and paint out those wires to seamlessly match the background. This role is generally looked at as an entry level position for aspiring compositors.

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Technical Director

He is regarded as the department ‘expert.’ They are equal parts artist and programmer. In a film studio, this is commonly for camera, animation, and lighting. “But I thought the Director of Photography was the expert cameraman?” You are correct, however, this is about Visual Effects roles and so the Camera TD in VFX is for all digital cameras implemented in virtual and digital environments. This also applies for the Lighting TD who is the expert at digitally creating realistic and accurate lighting in any given scene. This can be an entirely digital scene or digital lighting can be composited – by a compositor – created by a lighting TD – into a physical scene.

Additionally, some TD’s can program new software implemented in pipeline flow specific to that studio (pipeline is the term referred to the flow in which a post production VFX shot is created), developing character rigs, or any number of detailed oriented technical tasks in the VFX world.

These are just a few roles in the sea of visual effects. If there is a specific VFX role you would like to see me explore next, leave a comment below!

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Creating a 3D Opening Card in After Effects CC

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The image of an opening book or card in a movie, TV show, or commercial is nothing new. With the advancement of visual effects, this can now be created in a variety of dedicated 3D modeling programs or, in this case, advanced compositing programs such as Adobe After Effects CC.

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I will show you how to achieve this effect in three simple steps:

–       Source Images and Setup

–       Creating and Rigging the Card

–       Animating the Movement

SOURCE IMAGES AND SETUP

First, you will need to find images that can be combined together to create the final look of your card. Therefore, since a card is paper, you will need an image of paper. You can source your image by doing a quick GOOGLE search, or if you are working on a professionall project and need royalty free images, you can take a photograph of the paper you will be using yourself or join a royalty free stock image site such as thinkstockphotos.com or photobucket.com.

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In After Effects, once you find the images you will be using, create a new composition (I made mine 1080 HD and five seconds long). If you have a background image, you will place that first (scale and position to fit) and possibly add a light vignette to the overall composition.

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CREATING AND RIGGING THE CARD

At this point you can place the first paper image (scale and position as needed) into your composition.

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It looks a little flat so why don’t we first add a black solid (LAYER>NEW>SOLID). Use the rectangle masking tool to create a shape slightly larger than the paper image, feather the edges, and place it underneath the paper to give a subtle shadow effect.

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This first page will be our inside page. We can add now add some text (Use the text tool in the toolbar > color and font at your own preference).

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Now we can create the top cover page that will be animating open in just a moment. Simply duplicate the first page (Command+D on the image layer) and move it to the top in the layer panel.

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Create more text that will go on the cover, and then you will be ready to move towards animating the card.

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ANIMATING THE MOVEMENT

Turn both the cover page and cover text into 3D layers. We will be controlling the cover page for the animation, so go ahead and parent the cover text to the cover page using the pick whip.

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With the cover page selected, you will see the page has an XYZ axis in the middle.

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This is the anchor point of the image and it will act as the hinge where the page will bend. Using the Anchor Point Tool (From Toolbar or shortcut key ‘Y’) move the anchor point to the far left of the page (place the green Y axis arrow right along the edge of the page).

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Open the rotation controls on the cover page (have the layer selected and hit ‘R’), and key frame the Y axis increasing over the time of the composition in order to create the visual effect of the card opening to reveal the inside contents.

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Spooky Sounds and Terrifying Tracks for Halloween

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There are lots of reasons why I love October. The air is getting cooler and the colors are changing. Football is in full swing and the World Series is within sight. I can finally start using Rocktober on my social media feeds. I never pass up a chance to get my German on at Oktoberfest while indulging in beer and brats. And, of course… pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING.

But the real reason to celebrate this time of year is the one night when you can dress up in not-safe-for-work attire and no one cares… Halloween! Before you hit up your costume parties as Bret Michaels or Bon Scott (Yep. I’ve done both. Bret Michaels was a bigger hit. Can you believe that?), you probably need to put the finishing touches on that creature feature and slasher flick you’ve been working on. Or maybe you want the perfect background royalty free music track to scare the kiddies as they venture on to your porch while trick-or-treating. Now is the time to take advantage of our top Halloween music and sound effects. We’ve already set aside our favorites here:

Hottest Halloween Music

Hottest Halloween Sound Effects

I love anything involving Zombies, so make sure to download the “Single Zombie Snarl” sound effect. It would go perfect with “Movie Homicide” and would even make George Romero proud.

And what’s scarier than a creepy little kid in a horror flick? That’s right. Nothing. “House of Marionettes” seems sweet and innocent, but there’s definitely something sinister going on. It makes me shudder just thinking about it. Juxtapose that with “BANSHEE, SCREAM” and you’ve got yourself a heart stopper.

We all know that picking the right song or sound effect can make or break a project. The right file could be the difference between making the next “Exorcist II: The Heretic” and “The Exorcist.” Keep the evil spirits at bay and choose wisely… you might just be able to sleep at night.

‘Tis the Season for Certified Holiday Hotness

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With the Holidays just around the corner, ’tis definitely the time to introduce you to some holiday hotness from some of AudioMicro’s top contributors. We have everything from classic arrangements of your favorite holiday tunes to fresh, contemporary renditions as well (and a few sound effects to round out the selection).

Our music and sound review team has worked hard to put together the following fantastic collection of royalty free Christmas music and sound effects for your holiday videos.

FreddieHangoler is one of our favorite artists. He most often composes gorgeous and emotive orchestral pieces suitable for epic film trailers. Here is his take on “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”:
                  

EasyAccessMusic is a long standing AudioMicro contributor. His productions are versatile and always top quality. “Holiday Bells” has an uplifting, happy feel perfect for your Holiday productions:

Cinematone produces top notch orchestra music. Here is their take on “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”:

What would a Holiday playlist be without “Jingle Bells”? Not much of one I suppose. AMAH delivers with this fun, jazzy version driven by a great stand up bass line:

You can see the Elves bustling about making last minute gifts in Santa’s workshop in this fun, children’s focused track “Christmas Eve” by Fortefill:

Dreaming of a White Christmas? This elegantly composed version of “Let it Snow” by PPaul3 is the perfect tune for you:
                  

If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, with a little urban appeal then WeAreAA‘s hip hop take on “Deck the Halls” is perfect:

That does it for music tracks. Let’s move on to some appropriate sound effects for your holiday videos and multimedia. For starters, you gotta have sleigh bells! Wills.theatresound provides:

Here is a nice group vocal shouting “Merry Christmas” by Blastwavefx:

And here are a few takes from Santa himself by Csproductions:

And lastly, Soundjay provides us with some very well sampled footsteps in snow:
                  

That does it for this year’s Holiday Hotness. Of course, we have thousands of other royalty free music tracks and sound effects geared towards the holidays, so if you didn’t hear what you’re looking for, be sure to drop us a line and our support team will be glad to assist.

Have a great Holiday season and upcoming New Year. Cheers!

 

Happy Halloween – AudioMicro Certified Spooky Sounds and Tracks

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Time to pick out your costume, decorate the yard, and add some sweet sound effects and tracks to your Halloween sound track.

Our ace review team has passed along some fantastic gems to keep everyone on top of their Halloween sonics this Rocktober. We have a flurry of scary sound effects and some very eerie royalty free music tracks for use in your Halloween videos, productions or haunted houses. We take great pride in always making sure you get the freshest sounds and tracks for any aesthetic or occasion and I’m confident you’ll find no exceptions in this month’s selections. Without further adieu, let’s get into it.

Certified Spooky Sound Effects:

Certified Spooky Royalty Free Music Tracks

 

That does it for this month’s installment of AudioMicro Certified [Spooky] Hotness. If for whatever reason you didn’t find what you need for Halloween in the above tracks, please email us with the sound effects or royalty free music track types yuou’re looking for and we’ll have our review team find some appropriate links for you.

 

 

 

AudioMicro Certified Hotness – Dubstep Anyone?

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Ever since Skrillex walked away with 3 Grammys in early 2012, the use of Dubstep has fast become a mainstay in media sync music. From Infiniti commercials to The Championships at Wimbledon, it seems every ad agency has jumped on the bandwagon and rightfully so. It is ideal for high energy media with definitive visual hit points. Here’s why…

Dubstep is a very heavy variety of EDM (electronic dance music), crafted through very intense “momentary” arrangements. Screeching high pitch sounds are often followed by gasps of sonic space, only to be refilled with huge bass “wobble” sounds – glitches, white noise, and other EDM production archetypes are used throughout as well. These dramatic sonic changes, coupled with the brief rests and restarts, keep listeners’ heads nodding at a frantic double timed pace. These rests and restarts also make for great hit points when synced to video.

Skrillex pulled in over $15,000,000 last year, with sync fees for his more popular tracks reaching well into the 6 figures range. Lucky for you, AudioMicro has a rapidly growing arsenal of top quality dubstep tracks and producers that you could license for any use imaginable. With prices ranging from a mere $29.95 to $279.95 (check out our License page for more details on the cost breakdown).

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WARNING, Dubstep is not for the sonically faint of heart.

Here are 5 of my favorites we have received thus far – courtesy of DubStepKings, MakeSomeNoise and Artmel.

DubStepKings

Rebels Attack – A nicely arranged, musical dubstep track with a nice verse/chorus/bridge feel. Super glitchy and crazy.

Eroded Sun – an almost classical sounding intro compositionally speaking, evolves into a cool, trippy dubstep jam with a nice bridge and outro section

MakeSomeNoise

UpStep Dubstep – all I have to say is WOW – progressive, musical, intense. This guy is on top of his wobble game for sure.

Dubstep Intro – MakeSomeNoise strilkes again with this 60 second cue. Heavy wobbles are preceded by a cool little intro build to get it started.

Artmel

Dubstep Loop – this is a really cool loopable piece from Artmel based on a very jazzy progression, I really dig it – super unique vibe.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week. Have an awesome weekend everyone.

 

AudioMicro Certified Hotness – World Class Composers

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Here at AudioMicro we spend a lot of time talking about the tracks that send us to another level of sonic enjoyment, and the fantastic composers who take us there. So this week I thought we’d give some love to three of our favorites that make it all possible. The following composers each bring their own blend of rhythm and originality, from alternative rock to salsa flare to otherworldly sound design and production elements. Check out the individual tracks below or click on any of the bolded/underlined headers to go straight to their entire portfolio.

Nashvillecomposer
NashvilleComposer might be new to our platform, but its obvious he’s been in the music making business for a long time. A smooth integration of classic instrumentals with modern themes provide the listener with an expansive, and always aptly titled and themed, listening experience:

Warm Memories – Orchestral

Upbeat Trainbeat – Country

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Easy Americana – Contemporary and Pop

Bhzimmy
Bruce Zimmerman’s music has been found in over 500 commercial projects from network TV to major motion pictures. His wide variety of sounds and intrumental skills are sure to have something for your next project, whether its a high energy sports scene or a corporate training video.

Positive Energy – Corporate

Executive Decision – T.V. Drama

Love Your Mom – Folk

NeilCross
The perfect mix of rock and synth, Neil Cross’s music dances around the globe in terms of aesthetic and appeal. His ear for infusing a cultural or themed vibe into his music is astounding, and the pieces below exemplify this perfectly.

A Spanish Affair – Latin

Delicate Space – Ambient Soundscapes

Come Dine With Me – Cool Jazz

These three professionals are are as diverse as they are talented, each a master in a diverse set of genres. We hope you enjoy the above tunes and look forward to checking in soon with some more AudioMicro certified hotness. Have a fantastic weekend!

AudioMicro Certified Hotness – Club/Urban

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Its been a little over a week since we last checked in with some AudioMicro Certified Hotness. Keeping with last week’s trend of celebrating a truly American genre of music, today I’d like to highlight a few of our best urban/club producers and tracks.

The artists below all have diverse portfolios, but common strengths in contemporary sequencing and programming, creating heavy rhythm beds, and composing tracks with definitive club/urban appeal.

SBTracks

SBtracks has been featured on our blog and in newsletters a few times.  He’s a long-standing AudioMicro contributor and honestly, we couldn’t possibly feature him enough. The “hype-ness” he brings with each of his productions is through the roof. Of his 200+ tracks on the site, over 100 have been added to users’ favorites.

Here are a couple of ours:

Check out the entire portfolio here.

WeAreAA

WeAreAA joined the platform in late 2011. Since then they have compiled a flurry of pop, hip hop, and urban cuts, along with myriad beat and synth production loops. Recently, they have uploaded a couple very pointed progressive, orchestral urban cues in varying spot lengths. Check them out here:

Looking for some urban with a little more world/international appeal? Hip Hop Middle Eastern is one of our most popular cues for the job. Check it out:

View their entire portfolio here.

DVient

Dvient only recently joined the platform.  A small portfolio of 7 tracks is growing steadily. The quality of these tracks is fantastic. My current favorite is Jazz Club. Check it out here:

Or take a few minutes to listen to his diverse portfolio here.

That’s all for now. We’ll check back in next week with some more AudioMicro Certified hotness.

Thanks for reading.

 

Happy Independence Day!

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Happy Birthday to the United States of America! Ahhh the 4th- good friends, barbeques, cold beverages, music, and yes of course – fireworks.

Few things are as definitively awesome and American as a butt kickin’ Fireworks show on the 4th of July. That said, if you’re shooting video of the show, catching the sound isn’t always the easiest thing to do – especially considering fireworks shows don’t necessarily take place in the most confined of sonic spaces. How about adding some whistles to round out the scene? Still not quite there? Not to fret because this awesome grand finale fireworks sound effect will fill the void in your 4th of July video’s sound mix perfectly. Check it out.

So we’ve got a couple great sound effects for America’s birthday, now how about some tunes?

Celebrating a nation’s birthday without a sweet rendition of their national anthem would be terribly unpatriotic – good thing AudioMicro has the goods. Check out this fantastically performed National Anthem, and don’t forget to join in the fun by hooting and hollering starting at “the rockets red glare.” It’ll sound just like Dodger stadium.

Lastly, on a more personal note, two genres of music really defined my formative years in the States, and those were Hip Hop and Rock.

There are some fantastic hip hop and rock composers on the site, many of whom also fly the American flag! One of my personal favorites is RCummins. His style is truly classic American hip hop, and the track “Good for the Soul” is an awesome mellow background track for the barbeque scene in your video. Check it out here. Or check out R’s entire portfolio here.

Now, its time for rock! This one’s easy – just yesterday we added tunes from KJrecords, many of which make up some of the best rock tracks the platform has ever seen. Check out:

All Night Blues in E and Swampdog Blues in D – to get a taste. Or check out the entire portfolio of world class studio productions here.

Have a safe, fun and musical 4th! Until next time…

 

 

 

Enjoy an Epic Weekend with some Epic Tunes

 

The weekend is upon us, woohoo! We hope yours is epic.

Speaking of epic, recently we have received a flurry of new tracks in the epic/dramatic trailer realm, and thought we’d share with you. If you have any adventure or outdoor/dramatic footage you need some music for, look no further. Or perhaps you should go shoot some this weekend, because these tracks are begging to be synced with some gorgeous and or heavy footage!

Heroes by arthur.varkvasov

The Epic Journey Begins by  freddiehangoler

Time to Save the World by freddiehangoler

All well worth a listen.

We’ll be back next week with some more AudioMicro Certified hotness.

Have a great weekend all.

 

October Update- Hot New Royalty Free Music Tracks

Hi there music lovers, media producers, youtubers and the like. We hope you had a great summer and are looking forward to another exciting fall season of production. We’re sure you’re beyond busy again with TV and Webisodes, commercials and all that good stuff…and so wanted to share some awesome sonic goodies to help you along.

DaveLayne (music)

Dave joined us only a couple months ago and has already amassed over 90 fantastically high quality tracks. Dave is a great guitarist, and it shows in his diverse collection of tunes ranging from Surf rock to Big beat. Take a few minutes to check out his diverse selection of tracks here.

Wills.TheatreSound (sfx)

Will has been with us for some time and has some very specialized ambiences and shorter sounds as well. He really provides a lot of the in between material that is difficult to find but oh so important for a great sound and foley mix. Check out his collection here.

MartynHarvey (music)

Martyn has been with us since the early days and has a broad range of tracks. He has a definitive fun vibe to his music but also is not shy to go into more emotive realms as well. Everything he produces is pristine, quality sonics with top-notch composition. Check out his portfolio here.

We hope you find the above portfolios beneficial for your upcoming projects. Please note we’re gearing up for a super holiday season here so if you are looking for anything in particular, drop us a line and let us know and we’ll be sure to include it in our next update.

Royalty Free Music – Hot New Artists and Tracks

The month of May, per usual, saw a flurry of world class compositions uploaded to the AudioMicro platform. Some of the contributions came from longtime AudioMicro composers, while others came from a couple composers brand new to the platform who are already bolstering robust portfolios. Without further adieu, here are some our recent favorites.

Neilcross

Neil’s been with us for a while, but recently uploaded some fantastic new material, with genres ranging from Hip Hop and Rock to Mystery, Suspense, Romance and Horror. Neil’s music is frequently licensed to film, tv and commercial productions in Hollywood and worldwide. His credits include the motion picture, “Hostage” starring Bruce Willis, “Religulous” starring Bill Maher and “Bruno” starring Sasha Baron Cohen and numerous television scores including “American Chopper.” We are lucky to have such an illustrious and accomplished composer amongst our ranks, so if you haven’t heard Neil’s work yet, we strongly recommend you take some time to check it out here.

MrTrWillis

Tramel Willis has also been with us for quite some time but really began ramping up the contributions this month with some fantastic new uploads in the Hip Hop, Electronic and Pop realms. Tramel has been composing music for 8 years with a focus on creating catchy and rhythmic tunes that drive straight to the point. Many styles and influences abound in his work but the sounds of Hip Hop and Pop dominate. Check out his constantly expanding portfolio of royalty free music tracks on AudioMicro here.

LLMillerMedia

Laura Lee Miller is a producer, composer, and multimedia artist located in Santa Barbara, California. She only joined us recently but has already amassed almost 100 tracks on the platform, with many more on the way, ranging in many diverse styles from Rock to Horror. Her excellent guitar work coupled with a keen ear for tension make her tracks fantastically interesting, all the while maintaining a sense of space and openness that is so important in commercial/sound track music. Check out her rapidly growing portfolio of tracks here.

IdiomMusic

UK based composer Keith Holden has TV credits with BBC, ITV, ESPN, Fox and CBS. Keith is also relatively new to the platform and just keeps hitting on all points with diverse uploads ranging from Electronic to Dramatic Film Scores. Keith currently has just over 45 tracks and continues to add tracks weekly. Keep an eye on him as his portfolio of great production music continues to grow here.

All told, May has seen over 1,000 new uploads in music categories, one of the most active user upload months to date. Enjoy…

I’ll check in again soon with some more sound effects and royalty free music goodies for you to listen to, thanks for reading.

10 Quintessential Christmas Tunes

We here at AudioMicro are very excited that the Holidays are upon us, because with that comes all the wonderful things that go along with them, including of course awesome Holiday Tunes. We thought long and hard, talked to friends, clients and artists to come up with a 10 Quintessential Holiday Tunes list.  So without further adieu, here they are:

1. Deck the Halls
2. Joy to the World
3. Silent Night
4. Winter Wonderland
5. The First Noel
6. Jingle Bells
7. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
8. White Christmas
9. We Three Kings
10. Let it Snow

And what would a royalty free music blog post about Christmas tunes be if it didn’t tell you where you could license them all royalty free…? If you click on any of the links below, you will be taken directly to the licensing page for that track. There are some truly unique renditions here.

Awesome acoustic guitar version of Deck the Halls
Amazing more traditional Christmas style version of Deck the Halls
Super cool folk/rock version of Joy to the World
Neat funky contemporary version of Joy to the World
Fantastic orchestral version of Silent Night
Very cool Mallets based version of Silent Night
Gorgeously produced and mixed Jazz version of Winter Wonderland
Brilliantly Orchestrated version of The First Noel
Fun folk version of Jingle Bells
Great male vocal version of White Christmas
Excellent classical version of We Three Kings
Fun jazz version of Let it Snow

You can also use the below search results links to view the advanced search results for each title that we have multiple cuts of, and find the perfect version for your project:

Deck the Halls
Joy to the World
Silent Night
The First Noel
Jingle Bells
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
We Three Kings

What did we miss? Drop a comment with some of your favorites that don’t appear, and we’ll be sure to add them to next year’s Christmas tunes post.

From everyone here at AudioMicro, we wish you many Blessings and much Peace and Love for you and yours during this Holiday season.

The Soundtrack to Your Thanksgiving: 3 Essential Selections

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means all the glories of family, football and good times combined with awesome amounts of overeating (obviously the best part) are upon us. And while the original Thanksgiving dinner in 1621 may have lacked the necessary means to play a soundtrack in the background of the dinner, rest assured many of us today enjoy some appropriate tunes during our Thanksgiving day feasts. Here are our top 3 selections:

Thank You For Being a Friend by Andrew Gold (The Golden Girls Theme): a quintessential Holiday time recording and even more perfect to help celebrate a great Thanksgiving dinner. This song encapsulates friendship and understanding very well.

We Are Family by Sister Sledge: a fantastic tune about family bonding and sticking together. Perfect for any Holiday soundtrack but perhaps most appropriate for Thanksgiving.

That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick:  this is another one of those songs that even if it isn’t your favorite style, you have to appreciate what the song is saying. The chorus is both simple lyrically and in its message, but that somehow makes it all the more profound in its impact on the listener, and also what makes it an essential Thanksgiving day tune:

Keep smiling, keep shinin’,
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times, and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Thanksgiving is a really neat time of the year, where everyone slows down for a few days to take some time to pay attention and homage to things that matter most – good family, good friends and good food and health! The three tracks mentioned above should certainly lend a hand in providing the appropriate vibe for doing just that. If you want some holiday time sound effects to go along with the soundtrack to your evening, we have got you covered there too. Any registered user can download them for free here. Enjoy your Holiday.