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6 Tips for Success in the Art of Film Scoring

So you're scoring a film or short feature—you've been tasked with creating an immersive and memorable soundscape to accompany your client's story. It's up to you to set the tone, evoke deep emotion, and breathe life into a production at its most vital moments. 

The art of film scoring is not just about composing beautiful music; it requires a deep understanding of the film and its characters, an ability to craft music that interacts with these elements in just the right way, and a mastery of the technical aspects of music production.

In this list, we’ll share the talking points we hear more than any others from successful composers discussing best practices and techniques to help you achieve success in this exciting field.

  1. Study the film and its story

It's tough to overstate the importance of this essential preliminary step. Before you start writing music, familiarize yourself with the intricacies of the film and its story. Many film scorers take detailed notes on the key plotlines, characters, and moods over the course of several viewings. This will provide you with a much-needed, clear understanding of what the feature needs from a musical perspective.

  1. Maintain proper communication with the production team

Good communication is a must in just about any career, and on a film, it's typically in your best interest to work closely with the director to understand their vision for the film. Communicate your sonic ideas clearly (they’re not usually not going to know what that extended voicing jazz chord with the #11 sounds like), and listen to the director’s feedback as things come together to ensure that your music serves its intended purpose: to enhance the film.

  1. Experiment with expressive sounds and textures

Be bold in your sonic experiments! Film scorers employ a wide range of musical textures and sounds to create the perfect mood for each scene. From delicate strings to driving percussion to FM synthesis to SFX straight from the field, don't ignore the vastness of the palette at your disposal.

  1. Use recurring themes and motifs

A well-written film score often uses musical themes and motifs to connect different scenes and create a cohesive musical landscape. Consider using recurring themes for characters, locations, or recurring emotions to give your score depth and meaning.

  1. Work with an audio engineer

If you don't have all the expertise you'd like to on the technical side, a good sound engineer can be just what you need to bring your musical vision to the next level. It’s also important to know the fundamentals so you can work closely with the audio engineer, so check out our posts Optimizing Effects Order in Your Signal Path, Audio Production Essentials: How to Mix Sub Bass, An Introduction to EQing in Mixing, and A Beginners Guide to Mastering Audio.

  1. Take inspiration from other film scores

Finally, don’t be afraid to take inspiration from other film scores. Study the work of great film composers to see how they have approached similar scenes or moods. By building upon their techniques, you can find yourself on the fast track to success, greatly enhancing your own work, and leveraging everything together to develop your own unique style.

Thursday, 9 February 2023
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All Your Favorite Production Music Libraries in Your Agency’s Own Branded Interface …and It’s Completely Free

Reach out to SourceAudio for a free music buyer site, and aggregate all the music your agency will ever need into one intuitive library interface.

Here’s how it works:

SourceAudio hosts over 25 million tracks from over 1000 of your favorite music library companies all over the world, and hundreds of agencies leverage SourceAudio to access this music through their own SourceAudio sites.

Now it's your turn—try out a SourceAudio buyer site to…

· Search from the largest collection of music for licensing anywhere
· Connect with only the music sellers your choose
· Audition and download tracks with ease
· Try out our Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition extension

…and see what all the hype is about!

Prefer getting pitches over running your own searches?
We’ve got you covered.

Send off pitch requests through SourceAudio to any of your connected seller sites. With your agency’s buyer site, you’ll never have to download tracks to listen again, and with our Adobe extension, you can audition the track in context with just a few clicks.

Your agency’s SourceAudio site comes with all these in-demand features:

» Advanced search tools
» A sleek, branded interface
» Full-time customer support
» Unlimited user account logins
» Cue sheet tools
» Second-to-none web security
» Our proprietary Sonic Seach tool that allows you to search for audio using audio

Contact us here

and aggregate all your music suppliers into one searchable library now!

Wednesday, 1 February 2023
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Protecting Your Music Online: Strategies for Safeguarding Against Copyright Infringement

In 2023, millions of new videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. The existence of copyright infringement is an unavoidable reality on the web, but with the right tools, you can take control of these streams and ensure proper compensation for every play of your tracks.

1. Leverage YouTube Content ID to Collect Royalties from Anyone Using Your Music

Without YouTube Content ID, anyone can use your music in their video, and YouTube has no way of knowing that you are its rightful owner. Upon enrolling in Content ID your music is ingested into YouTube’s database of registered, protected assets, and you can be certain that any use of your music on YouTube will be subject to their detection systems. Then any time your must is streamed in a video, you receive royalties from YouTube. In addition to that, SourceAudio’s YouTube tools, make it easy to ensure your clients who have rightfully paid for the use of your music never receive asset claims like unauthorized users of your audio.

2. Use SourceAudio Detect if Your Tracks May be on Broadcast Television

If one of your tracks is aired on broadcast television, you are entitled to royalties from that! Cue sheets and PROs are not without human error in documenting every single track usage that hits the air. Instead of relying on antiquated systems, digitally watermark each of your tracks with an infallible audio watermark. No matter how dense a mix your track is used in, our systems consistently detect any usage of your track at least two seconds in duration on any of our monitored channels. Schedule a demo here!

3. Enroll in SourceAudio Collect to Earn More Performance and Mechanical Royalties Worldwide 

For complete control over your performance and mechanical rights royalties, enroll in SourceAudio collect. For an in-depth guide to the many reasons why SourceAudio Detect is the clear choice for rights holders, check out our full breakdown here.

4. Only Host Your Music on Secure Websites

Don’t entrust your valued assets to insecure, faulty web security. Whether you’re selling blanket licenses or subscription plans, trailer music or sound effects, a SourceAudio website allows you to build a secure online storefront for your clients to browse, download, and even place your music all from one ecosystem when they activate our Adobe Premiere Pro extension.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial now, and take control over who can view, play, download, and earn revenue from each one of your tracks!

Thursday, 26 January 2023
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Why Go With SourceAudio Collect for Your Global Performance and Mechanical Royalties?

SourceAudio Collect actively works to maximize your royalties with the most thorough and efficient service on the market.

There are many sources of foreign income that local PROs (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) don’t collect.

Mechanical royalties for digital and physical audioMechanical royalties for broadcast/cable transmissionsMechanical royalties for audio-visual productions

Publishers that rely upon local PROs alone are losing this money that you’re entitled to.

Led by PRO veterans and publishing experts, SourceAudio Collect uses a team of royalty trackers to actively identify missing royalty payments and pursue collections.
The SourceAudio Collect team has access to the same shared databases and resources the local PROs have but uses them proactively to ensure your works are properly registered and uses of your works are documented and paid.

There are good and bad sub-publishers…
» The good ones actually make you more
money and earn their 50% split.

» The bad ones take 50% of the money
you’re already owed from the work
you did without their help
Hopefully, you’re using the good ones! If not, don’t pay 50% for bad service, and don’t leave money on the table by leaving it to your local PROs.

» SourceAudio Collect is your best alternative to these inferior options!

» We are the first global publishing administration service focused on collecting royalties for music used in audio-visual productions.

» We collect all income streams, provide the most streamlined and accurate registration of your catalog directly into the foreign collection agency databases, and ensure your payments are accurate and on time—all for just a 15% commission on what we collect!

Contact our Collect team to get started with SourceAudio Collect today!

Friday, 20 January 2023
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A Guide to Managing Site Navigation Tabs

Our tools for managing your site tabs make it simple to link your users to any page you’d like!

Standard Tabs

After first creating your SourceAudio site, your navigation bar displays three tabs: Tracks, Albums, and Artists. You can add or remove tabs from this bar by clicking the wrench and screwdriver icon in the top right to access your admin panel > edit site settings > tabs. Here you’ll see each of your tabs’ settings listed out as a row where you can make adjustments or add new tabs by clicking the create new tab button towards the lower right. 

On each tab listing there, you will see the essential elements of the tab listed from left to right. First, on the left, is the Home bubble, which is only filled in on one tab, and designates which page your site will land on when the bare URL is visited. Next, in the Type drop down, is where you select the content that the page leads to. Each main page of your site is listed in the drop-down as an option for where the tab can lead, and at the very bottom is the option you can select to create a custom tab. More on that below along with the URL column, which you can ignore when implementing a standard tab. The Name field is where you can customize the text displayed on each tab, and finally, the tools under the Options column on the far right allow you to re-order your tabs or delete them by clicking their respective red X icon. 

Once your tab settings have been implemented to your preference, click to save in the bottom right, refresh your browser, and you should see your changes go live immediately.

Custom Tabs

While standard tabs lead to different pages of your SourceAudio site, custom tabs allow you to easily link your site visitors to any page on or off SourceAudio.

For instance, if you have a single album that is central to your library, navigate to that album so that you are viewing its contents, and copy the URL from the URL bar when viewing it. To create a custom tab that leads there, head to your tab settings, create a new tab, set its type to Custom (the bottommost option), and you’ll notice the URL text becomes editable. Paste in that URL there, name the page according to your preference, save in the bottom right, and you will have a tab that leads straight to that URL. 

The exact same steps apply to a webpage off of the SourceAudio platform. Create a custom tab with any URL in the URL field, and your site visitors will be led to that page upon clicking the tab.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023
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