The Top 3 Greatest Sound Brands on YouTube

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The Top 3 Greatest Sound Brands on YouTube

And Tips to Create Your Own Notable YouTube Video Style

There is one thing that all famous YouTubers have in common whether it be vlogging, tech reviewing, sketch comedy, cooking or just about any other genre or sub genre on YouTube that has found mass audience appeal –  a sound brand. In this entry, let’s take a closer look at the Top 3 YouTubers whose sound branding absolutely is on point.

But first, what is a sound brand? Well take a moment and think of your all time favorite YouTuber and ask yourself “Do they have an intro and outro with a notable music loops or sound effects?” “Do they have background music or regular sound effects that you have come to recognize to be synonymous with the show?” Those are all prime examples of a sound brand. Sounds, effects, and music loops all easily obtained from websites such as AudioMicro.com but utilized and regularly fed back to the audience in a way that the sound or loop itself becomes iconically entwined with the show. The overall ability that even if you just heard the music and sounds commonly used in your favorite YouTube series without seeing any visuals that you would immediately be able to identify the show is evidence of successful sound branding and what helps make the biggest youtube channels.

#3 Casey Neistat – 10 million subscribers

The man who invented the vlog – Casey Neistat. Easily one of the most popular youtubers on the platform these days. He understood early on the importance of creating a prominent sound brand within his vlogs and he quickly incorporated his skateboard grunge esthetic into everything he possibly could; especially so in regards to sound. Each vlog will kick off with his intro and original track followed by a series of background grunge loops and tracks he’s curated and compiled over the years and will use when he needs to subtley convey different emotions he is trying to evoke in sections of his vlog. The background music content he uses has become so popular as his sound brand that you can even search on YouTube playlist mixes of Casey’s Neistat that they too has millions of listens. Without his sound branding Casey Neistat’s vlogs would lack the emotional punch and drive they so inherently carry. Check out some of his vlogs and see how skillfully sound branding can enhance your project.

#2 Game Theory – 11 million subscribers

Video games are always – ALWAYS – all the rage, and YouTube is no exception. Close on the heels of live Twitch streams comes a dedicated bunch of gamers on the YouTube platform with incredibly sizable fan bases. One particular YouTube gamer, Mat Pat at Game Theory, has found a niche of researching a games lore and developing new and sometimes unexpected theories about the games we all hold near and dear. From his branded musical intro followed by him toting off his notable slogan “Hey Guys! Welcome to Game Theory” altogether creates an incredibly recognizable and powerful sound brand. It’s this one-two punch of branding that I find so effective that I’ve even caught myself humming along to the intro and matching Mat’s slogan as a new episode comes on.

#1 Good Mythical Morning – 14 million subscribers

The singing and variety series comedic duo, Rhett and Link, who host Good Mythical Morning have been mainstream YouTubers since the very beginning of the platform. Early on in their career they realized the importance of creating a premium sound brand. Nowadays their primary show is a daily variety comedy series called Good Mythical Morning. Each episode may cover a new subject and content but in each episode their is a clear and recognizable opening and closing bumper along with notable transition sounds and background music. They recently just started their 15th season (Wow!) and following their trend the only thing that changes between seasons is their intro and outro sound branding which I find to be a refreshing way to audibly cue the listeners into feeling the show has a new layer of renewed energy even after so many seasons.

There you have it! You know realize the best YouTubers are in part the ones who know how to create a memorable and lasting sound brands for their fan base. Now you know it’s not just what you show the audience, but it’s also how you sound to the audience that can a leave a lasting impression that goes far beyond after the video is over. If you’re in the market to develop your very own sound brand and don’t quite know where to start may I humbly suggest checking out AudioMicro.com for all your sounds, effects, and music loops needs to get up and running quickly and sounding amazing!

What do you think? Are these the freshest sound brands on Youtube at the moment? Do you know someone with a better sound brand or think we missed one? We’re always down to check out new and amazing talent on YouTube. Let us know in the comments below!

Tips for Making Post Production Tutorials

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I’ve been watching video tutorials for almost six years now, and making them for three. In this amount of time, I’ve been able to assess what makes for a good video editing/post production tutorial. There are many services that offer video training; such as Lynda, PeachPit, Digital Tutors, and others. However, some of the best training has come from random contributors who decided to share the knowledge to the masses. In the last three years, I’ve learned that there are quite a few ways to make concise and strong video editing/post production tutorials. In this article, I will highlight some tips you can use when constructing your own content.

Know your audience

This is obvious and very important. When you decide to make video tutorials, you have to know who you are trying to reach. Making a video tutorial and hoping for the best won’t yield the strongest results without understanding your audience. For example, Videocopilot makes visual effects and motion graphics tutorials for After Effects. They show you techniques and skills that you would have to go to film schools to learn. They receive many views and a strong audience by understanding that there are people who want to create cool stuff in AE, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. They also show you ways to get a better understanding of the software. Understanding your audience will help establish a direction for your video tutorial.

Show the audience the demo of your technique

If you want someone to invest their time watching your video tutorial, you need to show them what they are in for. That will make the difference between whether they watch the video from start to finish, or tune out within a few seconds. There is nothing worse than a tutorial author not giving you a glimpse into the final product, and you feel you’ve wasted your time watching something not beneficial. This After Effects/Cinema 4D tutorial from After Effects guru Eran Stern shows what the final result so that the viewer has the choice whether or not to invest more of their time.

This is a technique that I’ve used many times on my tutorials and have had subscribers make note of how beneficial it was to them. Overall, give your audience a reason to keep watching.

Inject production value

If you want to stand out from the crowd, inject your own brand of production value into it. Have an intro and an outro for your tutorial, insert a logo bug at the bottom third of your screen, and any other items that may enhance production value. It also helps to record with a good microphone (like one from Blue Microphones) and screen recording software (like Screenflow). Tools are important to your quality. Invest time in adding production value, an aesthetically pleasing look, and good hardware.

Maintain good pacing and focused presentation

In this day and age, a short and concise video is vital to getting a lot of views. People don’t want to watch anything over five minutes long… unless it has a lot to offer. Tutorials can bypass this rule if they show something intricate, like creating a lightsaber effect or a complex motion graphic. If you followed the aforementioned rule of demoing your finished result, you can get away with having a tutorial that lasts 10 minutes or more. You can generate more content by breaking up a long video into multiple parts. You can also turn a long lesson that may consist of 20 minutes of content into four separate five minute videos. This generates at least a month’s worth of content from one lesson. This is a technique used a lot by the authors of Lynda.com when there is training on a particular subject. Instead of one long tutorial, they break things up into multiple sections and a playlist worth of videos. Overall, these are just a few of the tips you can use to create strong post production tutorials. You can learn other tips by observing what successful authors have created, but if you plan to create your own, you should be aware of the following: know your audience, demo your skill/technique, inject your own brand of production value, and have a focused and concise presentation. I’m the NLE Ninja asking you to stay creative.

Sound Effects

Create the ‘Annoying Orange’ Visual Effect

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Hello AudoMicronites. This week I’m going to be explaining how you can slap your mug on an inanimate object and make it talk. This effect was first popularized on YouTube with the ‘Annoying Orange’ video series created by Daneboe. Don’t know what I’m talking about?! … well …you should. Each video averages around 10 million views per video. Here’s one for example:

In fact after seeing this effect I became curious how I could do it myself. After some trial and error I figured it out and found the process to be quite simple. To show you how I did it, I have both a video tutorial detailing the process and also a written step by step guide. Both go over the same material and both are great references to use while attempting this effect.

Now let’s get down to business. To create this effect I will break the process down into 3 steps:

  1. Shooting the Scene
  2. Stabilizing the Footage
  3. Editing the Effect

 Step One, Shooting the Scene:

You will need 2 separate pieces of footage. One of you talking and another of the object that will eventually be doing the talking.

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When recording the dialogue place a single black dot on the tip of your nose. We will be using this dot as a marker to track later using After Effects.

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It is paramount that you keep your head as still as possible as you are recording the dialogue (I actually chose to lean up against a wall to help keep steady). Now you are ready for …

Step 2, Stabilizing the Footage:

The purpose for this is to make sure your facial features (eyes and mouth) look connected to your object and don’t float around aimlessly. So to get started, import the dialogue footage you should now have into After Effects. In a new composition, right click on your dialogue footage and choose ‘Stabilize Motion.’

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Now from here let’s focus on one facial feature at a time. Let’s start with an eye first – make sure the inner box of your stabilizer is around the entire eye from corner to corner, and the outer box wraps over the eyebrow.

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Track forward using your tracker controls and hit apply once finished. Your dialogue footage should now revolve around the eye you just stabilized. From there you are going to want to pre-comp your footage by going to layer >> pre compose (‘move all attributes’ should be selected). In your pre-comped layer you can now take the masking tool and create an oval mask around the eye and feather out the edges.

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You are going to be repeating those steps for the second eye  as well. For the mouth, the idea is the same, but this time you will be tracking that black dot you drew on your nose instead of the mouth itself.

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After that you will be ready for …

Step 3, Editing the Effect:

Now with all the heavy lifting out of the way, this step should be a breeze! Simply drop in your object footage and line up your facial features where you want them.

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In order to have the facial features appear to match your object, go into each of the feature layers and turn the blending mode to ‘Luminosity.’ From there add the ‘brightness & contrast’ effect and adjust the settings until everything blends nicely.

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To help me put this effect to the test, production company Indie Machines brought me on board to help out with one of their ‘5 word film challenges.’ Check it out to see how I made a pizza talk.

Until next time this is Garrett Fallin with AudioMicro telling you that no matter what life throws at you, you can always ‘fix it in post.’

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Google to Launch Cloud-Based Music Service?

Google is looking to expand its already incredible reach into the music industry.  It is reported that the search giant/smartphone maker/insanely lucrative business will roll out an on-demand music service by November or December of this year.  What will make Google Music different – and can it succeed where so many others have failed?

According to Wired.com, Google will begin offering a paid on-demand system (because licensing companies are no longer that enthused about ad-supported music sites), as well as a free streaming service, similar to Pandora.  Wired’s sources say that Google will play 10, 15, or 30 second ads when music is streamed to Android devices and possibly, with the aid of an app, to anyone with a connection and a browser.  The source also indicates that Google’s ad-supported stations may become available on YouTube, extending the appeal to millions more viewers.

CNET reported on a possible Google Music service, saying, “Launching a music service would be simple if all Google intended to do was offer digital downloads or a subscription service. But Google has more ambitious plans to strike an unprecedented cloud-music licensing deal with the four major record companies.”  It has been reported that Google has been engaged in talks with the Harry Fox Agency, which holds the rights to thousands of producers’ materials.  Google has brought in lawyer Elizabeth Moody, who has vast experience dealing with licensing issues, to help guide them through the process.

A cloud music service would allow users to access their music, movies, and e-books from anywhere with internet access.  Google is, apparently, much closer to launching a cloud music service than their rival, Apple.  The key, though, is successful talks with licensing companies.  Without their ok or an agreeable payment arrangement, the launch could well stall for months, if not years.

More Music News From Around the Web:

Spotify Restarts U.S. Label Negotiations, Or Not…

Vanilla Ice Delcares Himself Lamer Than Before With Unnecessary Stunt

Class Actress Do Two Unreleased Tracks For Daytrotter

The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ (Colton Harris-Moore) Back on U.S. Soil!

Nneka’s European Tour Diary Part 2

Beyonce Infringing on Her Own Copyright?

Sony thinks so.  The company, which owns the rights to Beyonce’s wildly popular, award-winning music, has pulled Beyonce’s videos from her YouTube channel, citing copyright infringements.

When fans reach Beyonce’s YouTube channel, they’ll get to see an ad for the House of Dereon, a banner congratulating the artist for winning six Grammy awards, and links to her most popular videos, including “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”  Click on that last link, which won MTV’s Best Video of 2009 and a Grammy for song of the year in 2009, and you’ll get a message reading, “This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”   Sony’s move to pull the video is the first time a record company has blocked one of its own artists.  A move that may seem counterproductive as Beyonce’s channel gets millions of hits, with “Single Ladies” leading the way.

You can still watch the “Single Ladies” video and others with Beyonce: they are perfectly accessible on Sony’s own channel, Vevo.  Sony appears to be trying to contain the viewership to its own channel.  A post on Gawker.com says that the move, “Defies belief.  Until you realize record companies are ridiculously out of touch, scared, and would much rather get back to selling 12-inch vinyl from record stores and snorting expense-account coke with the bands in hotel suites like the old days.’

Apparently, Beyonce’s official channel became Vevo in December; fans are more puzzled about why Sony or YouTube didn’t provide a simple redirect to the official site instead of issuing a warning for each video, which does nothing to guide users to Vevo.

Incidentally, this week, Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s video for “Telephone,” broke a record: it was the first video to have over 1 billion views (even Twilight clips didn’t quite break the billion mark).  To have any confusion surrounding Beyonce’s videos would seem to be coming at a bad time when searches for her songs and videos are at a peak.

More Music News From Around the Web Today . . .

Prince Charges Fans For Closed Fan Club

MGMT To Rework Some Hits For Live Shows

Future Islands – “In The Fall” (Feat. Katrina Ford) (Stereogum Premiere)

Refused are NOT reforming despite what NME says, members have NEW band!

GLC “I Left My Mark”

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.

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.

Adding music will attract 100% more viewers to your online videos.

Here is a YouTube video we randomly pulled today called “scacchi clay stop motion – chess clay stop motion”.  This video has close to 250,000 views on YouTube, undoubtedly earning rev share money for it’s creator.   It’s a great example of how the music makes the video (or phrased a better way, the music is at least 50% of the entertainment value of this video or more).  Wonder if they legally licensed this track?  Likely so as it came from the YouTube music libary that allows you to overlay certain public domain tracks.  The popularity of videos like this one serve as a powerful reminder of the entertainment value of music when pared with a visual production and the need for a viable outlet for appropriately securing sync licenses for consumer generated videos such as those on YouTube.

Wallmart’s DRM-Free Music Store and AudioMicro Licensing Mantra

Let’s start out by giving credit where credit is due. We’re neither professional writers nor “news breakers” over here at AudioMicro and we reach out to other outlets from time to time for stories. We first read about this “Wallmark DRM-Free Store-y” on TechCrunch.com, a fabulous tech news site that AudioMicro predicts will be acquired within the next 2 years by CBS Interactive or FOX Interactive for $50 million plus. Word on the street is that TechCrunch’s revenues aren’t huge (less than $5 million and we have no idea if that’s accurate or not) but if they can venture more into the tech trade show business on the side, they can get the top line to rise and thereby a better valuation. We certainly hope so.

So anyway, we learned that Wallmart has ditched it’s DRM music store in favor or a DRM Free music store. Now that’s a step in the right direction. The DRM model seems to be dying but Apple is able to hold onto it as they have a stranglehold on the personal use market. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see outlets like WallMart licensing music. Wallmart.com is one of the top 25 most trafficked websites in the world. The site gets over 27 million monthly unique visitors and channeling that traffic to a digital goods store make a lot of business sense.

From time to time, from a few select parties, AudioMicro has been criticized for it’s pricing model. How can you sell a sync license for $1 a minute for general use when other outlets charge $20 a track? Please explain.

The answer comes down to fundamentals of retail pricing. Why does “The Gap” sell clothing made at the same factory, with the same material for $250 at Banana Republic and $10 at Old Navy? Because certain consumers just don’t shop at Banana Republic because they just want a simple T-shirt and not the designer version with the designer price tag. It all comes down to consumer purchasing behavior. We believe strongly that the AudioMicro material is used primarily in online creative audio-visual projects and that they purchasers of the designer material are not turning to AudioMicro to place work on network television.

We closely monitor the sales transactions coming through today they are PayPal receipts from “ABC[at]GMAIL.com” and “ABC[at]HOTMAIL.com” and not George.Lucas[at]LucasFilm.com. Simply put, what we mean is that the high end of the commercial music licensing market is not going anywhere and the traditional production libraries and publishers should view this platform as a positive opportunity. Every micro stock music sale is not a lost customer for a traditional library. We are not making light of the music licensing industry by simply undercutting the larger, established libraries. What we are doing is getting exposure for unknown, unsigned artists by placing their work in creative audiovisual projects that are produced by every day consumers on shoestring budgets.

If consumers do not have an outlet where they can get easy access to affordable, pre-cleared music for creative projects, there are two major implications:

1. the customer will simply not use music for their projects,

2. they will make unauthorized use of the content that they have purchased (or illegally downloaded) for personal use

Micro stock music opens up commercial music licensing to the masses and offers an affordable, easy solution for licensing music for use in audio-visual media. There are approximately 10 videos uploaded to YouTube every second. Everyone with a cell phone is a producer. With so much video content circulating the web today, it’s only natural that a platform for clearing and licensing music, royalty free sound effects, and production elements to accompany these videos (and any video project, not just YouTube) will emerge and thrive.

EMI sues social network Hi5 and VideoEgg

AudioMicro read about Record Label EMI suing social network Hi5 and video distribution platform VideoEgg over the weekend. Records labels suing websites has become a common thing these days and we all need to accept the fact that the labels have the upper hand in the situation. They are just trying to protect thier IP. If you read the comments on that TechCrunch post, you will see that despite the fact that everyone likes to make fun of attorneys and point fingers that litigious folks when a lawsuit is filed, it’s simply a fact of life in the music business that if you steal music, you are liable for prosecution and the larger a company you are that continues to broadcast or facilitate the broadcast or distribution of music that’s not appropriately licensed, you may find yourself shelling out cash to your attorney and having a tough time defending your position against the deep pocketed labels. It’s just not a good idea for a social network like Hi5, Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, etc. to allow it’s users to post videos without the appropriate sync licenses secured. This TechCruch stirred up a great deal of comments, particularly for such a simple, editorial post. Video creators can purchase sync licenses for one dollar per minute at AudioMicro and then they, as well as the platforms that desitrubute thier videos – including, but not limited to YouTube, Hi5, MySpace, Bebo, Revver, and Daily motion won’t get sued. These sorts of legal actions by the record labels, which will not stop but are easy to criticze (as we are all programmed to hate lawyers), validate the micro stock music sync and performance licensing market. It’s exciting to see the micro stock sync and performance licensing market come to fruition right before our eyes.

Breakdown of the buyer side of the commercial music licensing market

The buyer / customer side of the commerical music licensing market breaks down as follows:
1. The Existing Commericial Music Licensing Market – a $3 billion market according to the Wall Street Journal in July 2007. Fun insert here – according to AudioMicro’s own internal number crunching, that it’s a $3.4 billion market
2. The Expansion of the Market Due to New Customers that were previously in the following groups:
A. Pirates / Theieves who steal music to sync with videos and broadcast without licenses
B. People who were priced out of the Rights Managed and Royalty Free Market because $1,000 to $25 per tracks is too expensive / not democratic pricing and negotiating usage is a huge hassle / time suck
3. Growth in the overall audio market as the overall video and online video markets continue to growth and proliferate the following areas:
A online video – YouTube, Revver, DailyMotion, Hulu, etc.
B film – including features, short films, etc.
C TV – both episodes, shows, & commercials
D Radio – both internet radio, satellite radio, and traditional
E mobile – video, ring tones, ring backs, etc.
F SMS, instant messaging, and text messaging
G podcasting
H amateur videos, home videos
I Corporate – e.g. Powerpoints, Google Docs, and SlideRocket presentations
J Websites incporating audio to engage visitors – e.g. most fashion sites already incorporate audio in the shopping experience – it’s like elevator music at “The GAP”

As one begins to segment the market and look and the growth potential, which is undeniably in an uptrend, the micro stock music market begins to look more and more attractive as it becomes clear that a market leader will emerge and rule this space within the next 3 to 5 years. AudioMicro aims to be that market leader.

What have you got to lose?

With micro payment, artists may think they are underselling themselves; however, the reality is that with micro payment, you are actually opening up your library to an entirely new group of content purchaser that never before would ever think about paying for a sync license – the YouTube crowd. As video continues to proliferate the internet, as internet video quality continues to improve (we can now watch HD videos and audio on free sites like Pluggedin) and video proliferates every website and blog, it’s obvious that audio becomes increasingly important in the equation. The importance of Audio is easy to overlook, but just try watching a movie without any sound, or try watching a video with only dialogue and no background music, sound effects, or other audio-visual goodness. It’s much less stimulating, if not totally unbearable. Without Audio, Video would be a dull boring and arguably meaningless mess. Licensing your content on AudioMicro opens up your portfolio to an entirely new audience, and and entirely new customer base. The market for online audio is going to continue to grow well into the foreseable future. Even bloggin softwares, including WordPress are incorporating one click audio (and video) insert options into all blog posts. Will bloggers be stealing (pirating) content or legally licensing in through a micro payment desination like AudioMicro. We believe that 90% of folks will “play by the rules” and do the right thing and purchase an AudioMicro subscription or credit package in order to properly secure the sync license required to add the meaningful, important, crucial audio content to their editorial and commercial projects, both online and offline.