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Upcoming Online Music Industry Events and Resources – Summer 2021

Check out our handpicked list of the best online resources for composers and music businesses in the coming months.

AIMP Global Music Publishing Summit 2021 – June 7-9

The Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) will host its fourth annual Global Music Publishing Summit this summer, a three day virtual event full of keynotes, panels and creative forums for the independent music publishing community. The event will begin with Creator Day on June 7, followed by The Business of Publishing on June 8, and wrapping with International Day on June 9. The 2021 program will include keynotes from songwriter, producer, and Big Loud founder Craig Wiseman in conversation with musician, publisher, and ASCAP Executive Vice President of Membership John Titta; and from Gadi Oron, Director General of CISAC; panels such as with singer-songwriter Andrew Jannakos and his team on Tik Tok success; as well as talks with Richard James Burgess (A2IM), Mitch Glazier (RIAA), Bart Herbison (NSAI), David Israelite (NMPA), Teri Nelson-Carpenter (Reel Musik Werks/AIMP), Tony Alexander (MIME), Neil Gillis (Round Hill), Mike Molinar (Big Machine), Jim Selby (Concord Music), Kathy Spanberger (Peermusic), John Ozier (Reservoir), and many more!

Register to attend at aimp-nyc.square.site.

North American Conference on Video Game Music 2021 – June 12-13

NACVGM brings together professionals from all over the world to discuss music in video games. Segments from the 2021 program include “Rethinking Diatonic Rhythm through RPG Battle Music”, “A Succession of Pitches and Witches: Musical Constructions of Madness in Final Fantasy VIII”, “Seeing Musical Rhythm: Audiovisual Disruption in Thumper”, “Video Game Sound as Educational Space”,  “Composing for Chinese Instruments”, and much more!

Most segments are publicly sourced, and while the deadline for submissions for the 2021 conference passed in February, reach out to the NACVGM program committee at nacvgm@gmail.com if you’d like to submit content for the 2022 program.

Register to attend at vgmconference.weebly.com.

A2IM Indie Week 2021 – June 14-17

A2IM Indie Week is a four-day international conference and networking event aimed at maximizing the global impact of independent music. Featuring keynotes, panels, exclusive networking sessions, and more, Indie Week has historically drawn an attendance of over 1200 participants from over 30 countries. This year’s events itinerary includes segments on NFTs, data driven marketing, consumer listening trends, Spotify, Bandcamp, and Amazon workshops for artists, the future of live music, neighboring rights, metadata management, building and scaling your independent label, elevating underrepresented voices, the future of streaming rates, and a fireside chat with SoundExchange President and CEO Mike Huppe.

Register to attend at a2im.org/indieweek.

Midem Africa – June 28-July 1

Midem Africa is the first pan-African digital music event dedicated to the continent’s most vibrant music markets – accessible to all, free of charge. Embark upon a four-day journey that will map out the African music industries, highlight the most exciting trends and opportunities, and provide key insights and practical tools to foster networking and accelerate careers and business among key local music players and their regional and international counterparts. Africa is poised for tremendous growth in the global music marketplace.  With increasing streaming volumes and revenues, all eyes are focused on the continent to see how music grows and exports. Through a series of panels and keynotes, leading artists and executives from all corners of the continent will share their insights into the key trends and the most exciting stories from their markets.

Register to attend at midem.com.

Friday, 4 June 2021
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The SourceAudio Adobe Premiere Pro Extension is Now Available in the Adobe Exchange

Music hosting libraries can now send their clients to the Exchange where they can download and start using the extension, free of charge.

Download the extension here.

We’re thrilled to announce our latest step forward integrating with Adobe to provide creatives with the most powerful media production tools available anywhere.

The SourceAudio Adobe Premiere Pro Extension provides Adobe users with access to the largest collection of premium-quality music for licensing in the world, over 60 million tracks from the SourceAudio platform, all without ever leaving the Adobe interface.

Our integration allows users to audition and implement music with a more streamlined workflow than ever before. 

  • Open the panel, log in, and access every library the account is currently registered with
  • Run searches and stream tracks from the cloud all within the panel
  • Build custom playlists to organize audio assets
  • Drag and drop tracks into the project timeline to immediately initiate a download and audition the audio within the production
  • Download entire albums to save in your SourceAudio folder in Adobe Premiere Pro

Export cue sheets from inside the panel with the click of a button. We’ve transformed the time-consuming, manual process of cue sheet creation into a fully automated export tool by leveraging our robust metadata infrastructure. Instantly populate complete cue sheets without ever leaving Adobe, and ensure proper royalty distribution for every project.

It’s one simple solution for music providers and video editors to directly connect with each other where all their tools converge.

Send your creative clients here to download the extension from the Adobe Exchange.

Friday, 28 May 2021
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NFTs Are Providing High-Value Music Placement Opportunities

NFTs have made headlines in recent months after the medium went mainstream when a single jpeg sold for $69 million in March.

Creators everywhere are having a field day with the high-value, low-friction nature of NFT commerce, which offers music producers an equally extraordinary licensing opportunity.

An NFT, the acronym for “non-fungible token,” acts as a certificate of authenticity for both tangible and virtual assets. “Non-fungible” means the NFT file is unique and unable to be duplicated or replaced by any kind of copy. The NFT file is stored within a worldwide blockchain network, and any ownership changes are verified and recorded in a log that can be accessed by the public. 

While there are no limits to the assets that can be tied to an NFT, short-form videos are top sellers, and some music libraries have seized the opportunity to secure high-value placements.

One such library belongs to SourceAudio client Abel Okugawa Music, LLC. Founder Abel Okugawa explains the nature of NFT music licensing is a perfect complement to the boutique music library business model and his SourceAudio library.

Okugawa also relays that collaboration with an NFT artist ultimately demands quality over quantity, while a branded, well-organized library interface allows him to shop his tracks to NFT collaborators and utilize references to create bespoke audio assets.

NFTs featuring Okugawa’s music and sound design have sold for tens of thousands of dollars on Makersplace, one of the most popular NFT marketplaces. The company’s self-proclaimed goal  is to “[empower] creators to better protect and sell their digital work to a global audience.” Makersplace also actively works to curate their platform by reviewing and approving seller accounts. Additionally, their marketplace offers creators a unique value add wherein they receive a 10% royalty for any resale of their work.

Other NFT marketplaces include Foundation, Nifty Gateway, OpenSea, SuperRare, and Crypto.com, where you can find drops (NFT releases) from music industry leaders like Beatport, a platform that recently released a series of short-form audio-visual collaborations.

Check out some of the NFTs that feature Abel Okugawa’s music here, here, and here, or browse his works on his SourceAudio library and Foundation page.

Friday, 21 May 2021
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Client Feature: Indart Music Talks Latin Music and his Tireless Work Ethic

We recently spoke with Daniel Indart, CEO of Indart Music and Latin Music Specialists,
who shared the details of his rise to success through his relentless pursuit of quality.

How did these companies first start out?

Indart Music began out of my very first opportunities to make jingles and music for commercials.

I got started in the business right after I graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, when I moved out to Los Angeles and really struggled in the beginning, but that started to change once I finally got my music into the hands of an agency creative. After they heard a sampler of my music, they called me up and asked me if I could make something for a Coors Light Christmas advertisement, and that was what started it all.

That job was a big success, and I reinvested all the money in equipment, an office, and formally started the company as a jingle house. We were like Killer Music, Who Did That Music, HUM, they were all jingle houses, the same as Indart Music, but we were unique because we specialized in Latin Music.

How were you producing your music back then?

Production has changed so much over the years. In the beginning in 1984 when I first graduated everyone was working with drum machines, and I was the same, I had a DMX.

Right after that, everything started moving into sampling, so there was a lot of learning and growing to do there. I bought the Akai S900, my very first sampler, and I did a bunch of great commercials with that thing. My commercial spots were very catchy because I was a strong songwriter so with the help of this new technology, making those 30 or 60 seconds spots was easy for me. I was able to work very quickly, and for a long time I did everything in Digital Performer until we finally moved into Pro Tools, which was even better, and Pro Tools is still my axe today.

Can you share any events or turning points in the company’s history that have had a lasting impact or shaped how you approach your work?

The first one was definitely the first break I had, because before that I was doing anything I could just to break in. The Coors commercial took me on a run of four or five years where I was doing all the scoring for Coors’ national campaigns for the Latin market. That opened me up to other work and other agencies started noticing me because I could now bring in a demo that showed all the styles I had worked on.

The Latino market in the United States is very particular because it has many subcultures. The music for Latinos in Texas doesn’t sound like it does in LA or New York or Miami, so for every Coors spot I had to make four or five versions, one for each region of the United States. In a single day I would be recording Norteño, pop, commercial Latin, salsa, merengue, and reggaeton, all for different versions of the same 30 second spot for Coors. That definitely made me an expert in all these Latin styles which segues into being a music expert of Latin music for films and TV; it gave me so much experience production-wise.

With commercials you really have to be on your chops because they'll call you at noon and they'll want something for tomorrow morning totally finished, arranged, with singers, everything. When I got one of those requests I would sit down and just get to work, I wouldn't eat, I wouldn't sleep, I would just work, and the next morning I would deliver something amazing. I had to do it, because otherwise I would lose the job. Every job was a competition; I was competing against the American jingle houses, and I didn't want to lose. I just kept pushing my chops more and more and more so that I was really efficient and really good at what I did.

What would you say is the most important change you've seen in the industry over the years and how have you adapted?

I came to LA in 1984, and from then to today the major change was the move to digital MP3s. That changed everything completely, it was like two planets, seriously.

Before that change, I was sending motorcycle messengers carrying reel-to-reel tapes and D.A.T.s to agencies for approval. Then they would call me back with adjustments for the track, so I would make changes and send another reel. I can’t tell you how many overnight packages I sent to New York or Texas or Chicago, hundreds and hundreds. And if the session didn't end on time, like if it went until 10 at night, I would have to go to the airport and find some service for it to get there at 6 in the morning in Chicago. When MP3s came along it was unbelievable, but MP3s actually came with their own set of problems. The transition was not always smooth, so it took five or six years I would say before everything settled into digital.

Where did you learn the ropes of the licensing industry?

Everywhere. After I got that first job I knew this was what I wanted, so I just ran with it and never looked back. Berklee didn't teach me business, what that place gave me is the confidence in myself to solve any musical problem, but business-wise, nothing from my undergraduate. I took business courses at UCLA extension for many years. Every couple of years I would go and take a semester, and the teachers were incredible. I learned business administration, taxes, budgeting, networking, everything that makes a business run. I always applied what I learned immediately and then closely monitored the impacts of these developments on the business.

I remember once after three of four years where I got a ton of work, I had all these major accounts from Disneyland to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Toyota, but I finished the year and I had to pay all these taxes and I ended up with no money. Literally from six figures to nothing, so obviously I knew I was doing something completely wrong and I had to learn how to fix it. That’s when I started in on financial courses that immediately changed the way I was doing my managing, finances, and budgeting. The next year was totally different. I had a ton of money left, I could invest it, I bought my first home, but if I wouldn't have gone and invested in an education, forget it, I would still be in the street. You just have to go out and learn. The information is out there.

Can you tell us anything else about the evolution of the Latin sector over the years? Does your business follow those trends closely?

Yes, I have to be up to date with the trends and the trends are changing constantly, so the end product is changing constantly.

For a while it was all the Mexican styles and then it changed to reggaeton and reggaeton itself changed so many times over the years and now it's a fusion. Actually for a while it was hip-hop, everything was hip-hop, so that changed into reggaeton and everything else. I have to be on top of all industry changes all the time and keep adjusting the music, as well as any technical business aspects, I have to keep track of new clients, and keep track of old clients retiring. The business side and the music side both need to stay completely current.

Synch can be a crowded space, do you make it a point to stand out, or do you just stand out by doing the best job you can?

The latter. There are many music providers but the quality of what I come up with is superb. Nothing leaves my office or my studio without being approved, meaning it's the very best we can do at any given time, not only production and sound wise, but compositionally, commercially, every performance from every performer has to be top-notch. That consistent quality keeps clients coming back.

What’s the best way to get a music supervisor to listen to your tracks?

My business has grown mostly from word of mouth, meaning recommendations from one supervisor to another. 

When we get a call from a new client, we ask how they heard of us and typically it’s from another supervisor. I would say more than 80% of my total clientele came through referrals. Once I’m in contact with a supervisor I make sure to keep in touch by sending out a monthly newsletter to all my contacts where I’ll discuss a specific topic like “the difference between salsa and mambo”, or “what is cumbia great for”, or “how merengue is used in films”, something to perk their curiosity and get them interested.

I don’t want to make a hard sell, I just want to give them something of value because that’s how you build a brand.

Any all time favorite placements that you are especially proud of?

I'm constantly proud of the latest thing that we've done, it's just this year's been quite interesting because of the pandemic. We've been hit just like everybody else so that we’re only doing about half of what we were before, but gradually it’s coming back and more is happening. Before last year, there was a ton of stuff happening, a lot of movies and television that I enjoyed working on and that I feel very proud of, including a long-standing relationship with CSI. NCIS is another one that we did a ton of work on. The Sopranos was another one, it was an incredible show to be a part of; we created recorded music for the show as well as any music that was played by live musicians on the show. Dexter is another one where I did a ton of music and it was all in Miami, so it was very contemporary, hip Miami music and I really love Miami.  There are many projects to choose from where I had a lot of fun in the process.

Friday, 14 May 2021
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VR Music Production is Providing the Best of Both Worlds from Software and Analog

Virtual reality technology brings together the convenience of soft synths with the tactile experience of analog hardware.

VR music production has hit the market, offering music producers a whole new production experience. These programs provide a 3D, virtual space wherein users can interact with a wide array of full-scale synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, and a variety of effects.

One of these programs is Synth VR, a fully virtual modular synthesizer developed by 42Tones. Just like plug-ins in a DAW, the program makes it easy to instantly create modules. However, in this case they float in a VR space and are connected with drag-and-drop patch cables. Synth VR currently offers over 30 synth modules, including oscillators, LFOs, mixers, sequencers, effects, and more. Among many program highlights, users can slave units into one another, utilize “spectral speaker mode” to set panning in 3D VR, and create multitrack recordings from a virtual set up.

SynthSpace, developed by Bright Light Interstellar, is another VR program that offers similar tools to Synth VR but features more realistic graphics and a more true-to-life experience, generally speaking. Sample importing and the ability to customize environment graphics are two additional features, enabling you to work from the middle of a virtual forest just as easily as from a virtual state-of-the-art sound studio. Head over to GitHub to find the SynthSpace Audio Layer source, released by the program developers, which allows program users to code their own custom modules. 

Korg’s move into the VR space comes in the form of their Gadget program development, a self-described “all-in-one music production software and plugin collection” originally designed for the iPad. Many other VR music creation programs exist, but for now, the market for professional-grade VR production software remains very small compared to the larger world of soft synths and effects.

These programs are compatible with a growing number of VR headsets including the Oculus Rift and Quest, HTC Vive range, and Valve Index.

Friday, 7 May 2021
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