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How to Prepare Your Music for Synch Licensing

It’s All About The Synch (Part 2) – By Joey Stuckey

Last time, we learned about what synch licensing is and what synch licensing is not. In this article, we’ll explore how to get your music into film, TV, and other kinds of placements.

If you haven’t read the first article and aren’t sure what synch licensing is, check out part 1 of the article HERE.

Now, I will provide you with your synch checklist, which includes:

  • How to start the process of getting your music placed
    And
  • How to find and communicate with those magical guardians of synch:  the music supervisors.


Before you are ready to pitch your music, you’ll need to do a few things:

 

  1. Make sure you have a professionally recorded and mixed song.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t do it yourself at home on your laptop. It just means that you are honest about what you can do yourself and where you need a pro to step in to take your music to the next level. Rough demos are NOT what is needed here. While that might be fine to pitch to a manager, traditional music publisher or booking agent – in the world of synch, you need to have a FINISHED product.

Typically, electronic music like EDM and some hip-hop can be done well at home. Even recording vocals and guitars can work well with a home studio. Home studios are not usually up to the challenge when recording drums, strings, and horns. Sometimes, depending on the genre, a slick production like Katy Perry isn’t what you want. Sometimes lo-fi is what the genre calls for so you’ll need to truly understand your music and work at home or in a pro studio accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to admit when you are in over your head. You need to make sure you are getting a great performance from all the musicians and sometimes, your best friend that plays sax isn’t the right choice for the session—you might have to pay for a guy that is a master player. Similarly, you might not be ready to mix your song yourself and might need to hire someone that just mixes records. This can be expensive, but in the end -will be worth it.

Now, I am not suggesting that you spend money outside your means. You need to come up with a budget and stick with it. You don’t want to lose a lot of money and have that negatively impact your career long term. Just do the best you can with the resources you have.

There are a lot of ways to get free recording time and/or mixes by working with colleges or universities that have recording programs. Their students need to learn and are looking for bands and artists to work with and this can be a great way to up your game without spending your money.

 

  1. You need a professionally mastered project.

For demos, the online mastering services that use an algorithm and are automated is fine, but this is not sufficient in the world of sync licensing. You’ll need to go to a real person that understands mastering. It isn’t about just making the music loud. Mastering is an entirely misunderstood process that I can’t fully address here. Suffice it to say, you need it done by a pro, not a program.

Mastering ranges from $25 per song to $400 an hour, but I promise you – if you use a real mastering engineer, your song will be much better for it.

 

  1. It’s all about the metadata!!!

What is metadata? It is all the info you need to provide so that busy people in the music biz have critical info about who you are and about the song – at the click of a mouse.

A couple of important things about metadata:


First, MP3’s and AIFF files are the best candidates for music file types that can hold metadata. You’ll want to have both available when pitching your music for synch placement.

You’ll want the MP3’s for the initial submission and the AIFF when your music is accepted for placement.


Next, you’ll want to include the following (at a minimum) when tagging your files with metadata.

  • Song title
  • Artist/band name
  • Record label (if any)
  • Publisher (if any)
  • Complete name of the songwriter(s)
  • Date of copyright
  • Genre
  • Mood (happy, sad, etc)
  • Tempo or BPM
  • Mix version (we’ll get more into what this means in just a sec.)
  • Are you a one stop? This means do you own all the rights to your music. This is important so the music supervisor knows if you can make all the deals for your music. This can be a deal-breaker because if there are too many people with rights to a song, it can take more time than the music supervisor has to clear all rights and they’ll move on to the next artist that is a one stop -even if they like your song better. It is really about who has all their ducks in a row and is professional when it comes to synch –  moreso than who has the best song.

     

  1. Have lots of extra versions or alternate mixes of each song.

So you should have available not only the main or “full mix” of each song –the one you would release to radio or on your album/EP – but you should also have an instrumental version without vocals. If you produce instrumental music, be sure to have a version without the melody.

You should also do other versions that make sense, for example, an acoustic version with just guitar or piano. For my most recent song “You Know My Name,” I did a version with and without horns, another version just instrumental, and another version without the horns and lead guitar. This version also only used the room mics on the drum kit instead of the usual thing I do with drums which is to have both close mics and room mics combined. This gave the track a more alt-rock vibe and less of the southern blues vibe that the track had before.

You should also make sure to have stems available as well as the raw multi-tracks for each song. You might ask, why do you want stems if I can deliver the raw multi-tracks. Well, the stems have all the E-Q, volume, compression and other effects that you used in the full mix. You are providing stereo mixes of each grouping of like instruments and in this way, the synch gurus can quickly re-assemble your mix and make edits.

 

  1. You should have all your files available for download via link by a service like DropBox.

This allows you to provide any or all of your files and mixes at a moment’s notice, wherever you are. I can’t stress enough that timing is everything and music supervisors are busier than you can imagine. They need what they need at a moment’s notice.

 

Okay, now you are ready to pitch your music so how do you figure out who to speak to and if they need the kind of music you make? We will cover that in our next article, stay tuned!

 

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5 Ways to Gain Super Fans with Your Music

Many wish to attain stardom and be in the spotlight, but it is not easy to catch the attention of a large audience just by your art. Sure, your talent counts a lot in such cases. More than that, you also need to know the tactics that will weave a solid connection between you as an artist and your fans.

The question is: how do you to create Super Fans?


5 Ways to Gain Super Fans with Your Music

Well, of course, it goes without saying that you have to make sure you are making good music. You also have to ensure that you play live music as often as possible and release your music online.
Besides this, there are many other ways you can keep your fans updated so that their enthusiasm levels stay boosted and they become supportive of you no matter what.

So, how do I get super fans? How can I promote my music more?


1. Increase Interaction (Engagement)

You have no idea how massive the effect of interaction with your fans can be. While you are waiting for a delayed flight or riding on the train, open your social media accounts, and start interacting with your fans! There is so much that a reply, like, reshare, or retweet can do for your fans. They will feel more connected with you and your music, which will help you gain more Super Fans.

You can also have a weekly hour-long Q/A session to show your followers and fans that you value them. Take the time to listen to their suggestions and answer their questions. This will surely increase the odds that  your followers and fans can move towards becoming super fans.


2. Live In-Person Gigs With Less People

This is one way to “make the best” of Covid-19 when it comes to live in-person events. The smaller your crowd is, the more intimate gigs are, which allow you to feel a strong connection between you and your fans.
This gives your audience a greater chance of hearing you close and also forming a unique bond with your music. Your music will reverberate through the room, and with that, you’ll see that you gradually capture everyone’s attention.


3. Hang Around After Gigs

Another impressive way of increasing the number of Super Fans you have is to hang out after the gigs are over. You can meet and speak with your fans this way. This will increase the respect they have for you because they will start viewing you as an individual who is down to Earth.
Another tip is to hang around the merch table after the gig is over. In this way, they will also be more likely to buy merch in order to get your autograph. Therefore, you could also see your merch sales rise.


4. Include Them In A Music Video

For your next music video, plan to include snippets of your fans from around the world. You can create a campaign for a cause that will also create a nice reputation for you as an artist. The fans would love to see themselves in your video and would therefore be more likely to share with others. 


5. Arrange Giveaways For Merch

Another effective way of increasing engagement on your music posts and tweets is to have giveaways for your merch. It won’t cost your brand much to spare a few T-shirts for dedicated fans. This will create a strong bond because the fans will feel special, which could increase the likelihood that they will turn into super fans.

You now have 5 Ways to Gain Super Fans with Your Music.
Let us know in the comments if you used one of these 5 ways and how it worked for you!

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24 Social Media Content Ideas for Music Artists

It is now more important than EVER to focus
on your digital presence.
ARTISTS:
Reflect internally on how you want your audience to perceive your brand.
Then, shift your focus to convey your brand on your
social media platforms.

We have created a list of 24 Social Media Content Ideas to inspire you during this time.

Click below to download!
Social Media Content Ideas

Check out this video by Shamon Dae featuring our Social Media Content Ideas!

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What Major Labels Look For When Considering an Artist

As an artist, have you ever wondered what you need in order to gain major label attention?
Check out this video to learn more.

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What Exactly is Synch Licensing?

It’s All About The Sync – By Joey Stuckey

 

Want to make money with your music? Keep reading!


Okay, let’s dispel two myths in the music business.


Myth #1: You can be rich and famous overnight. 

Wrong! These “overnight sensations” are many years in the making. It just seems like it’s overnight because one day their efforts finally paid off and you and everyone else suddenly knew their names. It is a hard business that requires the following:

  • A good work ethic
  • A good attitude
  • A good plan
  • Musical talent
  • Belief in yourself and your music
  • Lots of time and money invested.

 
Myth #2 : Being an artist is synonymous with being poor!

No way! Just because you have chosen to do something that is hard and an art form, doesn’t mean you have to be the stereotype of a musician/artist–broke!

You can be successful and make a good living for you and your family.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all of us will be Dr. Dre or Adele and sell millions of records and pack 80,000 seat arenas, but we can make a good living, be happy and do something meaningful!

So, how is that done?


Well, with retail sales of albums—both physical and digital—being down and streaming royalties being a joke, and, of course, live performances and the merch sales that come with those being almost nonexistent in the age of COVID19, our options right now are more limited than usual. However, there is a great way to make good money and it isn’t expensive to do. It just requires time and know how.

Welcome to the world of synchronization licensing—“synch licensing”


This revenue stream is a great way of gaining more exposure for your music, and, perhaps more importantly right now, a way of bringing in cash!


So what is sync licensing?

It is placing your musical creation into film, TV, video games or other media where your music is combined with other content.

While getting into sync can be difficult regarding high profile ad campaigns, there is a great way to break into film and TV that doesn’t require you to be a high profile artist or to spend lots of money in marketing.

The best thing about sync is that no matter what kind of music you make, there is a place for it out there somewhere.

What film and TV producers have realized is that it is less expensive to pay an artist(s) a sync royalty than to pay for a composer, studio musicians, and/or an orchestra to record music just for their project. The people that find and license music for TV, film, video games and other media are called music supervisors.

Remember, whenever you hear music in a film, tv show, etc, someone is getting paid for the use of that music. It can be anything from a song that is playing on the radio in the background of a scene – to the closing credit theme. Someone made that music that helps set the scene and you should be that person. Of course, the more prominently your music is used, like as a theme song or for a car chase montage, the more money you can expect to get paid. The money can range from a few hundred dollars to $50,000.

Sync royalties, unlike mechanical royalties, are totally negotiable with higher-profile artists able to command more money. When you start getting lots of music placed, not only will you get more promo for your music and brand, but you will start having a trickle of revenue that turns into a waterfall.


Stay tuned for my next article where I will provide you with your sync checklist which includes how to start the process of getting your music placed and how to find and communicate with those magical guardians of sync, the music supervisors.

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4 FREE Apps to Boost Your Social Media Content

Many may have heard of these apps, we just wanted to discuss the ease of creating quality content. Don’t hold yourself back thinking that you need to have super high quality equipment before you can even get started!!

With all the resources available to us, we can no longer use lack of money as an “excuse.” Although money always helps, there are people with money who do not optimize their social media.

Play Video

Here are the 4 apps that we discuss:

1. Unsplash
Purpose – For quality pictures you can download and use

 

2. Canva
Purpose – For creating graphics, flyers, business cards, etc.

 

3. Buffer
Purpose – For scheduling content to post on your social media

 

4. iMovie – available in App Store on Apple products
Purpose – For editing video content

 

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Your Artist Name May Be Unavailable!

We recently met with an artist whose name was very unique. . .
or so we thought.

He had worked hard to build his brand and was finally ready to start his clothing line to help promote his name.
As soon as we checked his name with the Trademark Office, we found that the name he had built his entire brand upon…

WAS TAKEN!

He chose a new name based on our suggestions, used our Trademark Attorney connect to register his name so this would not happen again, and was able to rebrand with confidence.

Let us make sure that this doesn’t happen to you!

What You Get From Our Report


If Your Name IS Available:

We provide you with a Trademark Attorney’s information – (the same attorney we used to Trademark GigMerge)

If Your Name IS NOT Available:

We will provide you with information that you need to consider when changing your name/rebranding and how to convert your audience to adjust to your new name.

Artist Name Availability Report

If you aren’t 100% sure that your artist name is available, fill out the form below to have us check!


Submit
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