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  1. StevenMcDonald

    Wife argues with me because I don't like the 'trailer' type music she just got

    Not being able to hum it doesn't mean you've forgotten it. There is more to music than melody. Rhythm, harmony/chords, emotion, memory associations, overall vibes. Stuff you can't just reduce down to one voice and hum.
  2. StevenMcDonald

    Wife argues with me because I don't like the 'trailer' type music she just got

    It's definitely a husband problem, unless his wife also made a thread on some other forum complaining about him liking different music.
  3. StevenMcDonald

    Wife argues with me because I don't like the 'trailer' type music she just got

    Congratulations, you have discovered subjective opinions. It's perfectly okay if your wife likes music you don't like, and no it's not "as simple" as you described.
  4. StevenMcDonald

    SSO Mockup - "Leaving Hogwarts" from Harry Potter

    Sounds awesome. And in record time, too! ;)
  5. StevenMcDonald

    Reaching for "the next level"

    I'm definitely not against live recording and playing in any way. I was in wind ensemble all through middle and high school, and did some live orchestra composing and recording (to picture) in college. But the work involved in doing it all is so intense! If I had a project with the budget for it...
  6. StevenMcDonald

    Elder Scrolls: Legends DLC trailer custom music.

    Thanks Jdog. Don't worry about my feelings though. I've officially "made it".
  7. StevenMcDonald

    Elder Scrolls: Legends DLC trailer custom music.

    Here's the official trailer for the "Moons of Elsweyr" expansion for Elder Scrolls: Legends. It's definitely on the lower budget side of things for the trailer industry, but I am particularly proud of this placements because I love videogames, and it's all original music that turned out really...
  8. StevenMcDonald

    Library/Production Music Contracts

    I appreciate this post, and relate as well. I know most would throw a fit about this, but my main publisher relationship is similar, and the royalties from that publisher alone have supported me the past 2 years. It's not for everyone, but it works for me because I can write very fast, they take...
  9. StevenMcDonald

    Library/Production Music Contracts

    That's not what the clause is saying. They have all the tracks mastered regardless, when they first take in the album. They only recoup the £25 if the track is licensed and there is a sync fee to recoup it from. So if a track is never licensed, they've lost the money they invested in mastering...
  10. StevenMcDonald

    Library/Production Music Contracts

    I don't think you understand this. The £25 is only taken out of however much money the track makes. You aren't paying to submit. It's a recoup. If the track never gets licensed, the library loses the money they spent on the mastering. If it does get licensed, they get £25 of it back. I wrote a...
  11. StevenMcDonald

    Library/Production Music Contracts

    I think this forum in general has a tendency to over-aggresively jump at any kind of company/corporation and try to call out "scummy" things, even when they're not there. This deal isn't weird, and nobody is forcing you to take it if you don't want to. £25 for mastering is nothing, and that only...
  12. StevenMcDonald

    Using Show cues for Website / Self Promotion

    I've always just asked whoever I wrote the tracks for. Sometimes I get a yes, sometimes no, but pretty much every time they say "Thanks for asking." People seem to be appreciative of direct and open communication. They'll let you know!
  13. StevenMcDonald

    Library music and writing what you want to write

    Ah, it all makes sense now :rofl: Regardless of terrible "advice" from people with no actual experience, there's no reason not to give a music career an honest try. You just need to have a backup plan and understand it might not work out. We're all (mostly) adults here and can make the judgment...
  14. StevenMcDonald

    Library music and writing what you want to write

    I didn't say this at first, but the more this Chris guy goes on, the more he comes off as someone who is bitter about not having a music career and is trying to justify it to himself, while also pushing some political views/values. Killing two birds with one really weird and out-of-place stone...
  15. StevenMcDonald

    Library music and writing what you want to write

    Yes, and how you subjectively feel about your job is a big deal and makes all the difference in how much you can enjoy life. So that is very important. No reason to just write it off as subjective. Subjective feelings are a major part of being a human. Also you're weirdly hung up on this whole...
  16. StevenMcDonald

    Library music and writing what you want to write

    There's a HUGE difference in those two things. If you enjoy writing music and care about the industry, that makes working for 9 hours a day infinitely more sustainable than doing the same in some "normal" job that you only do for money, whether its in a cubicle, a restaurant, or a construction site.
  17. StevenMcDonald

    Library music and writing what you want to write

    That's kind of the worst case scenario, or looking at it in a very pessimistic way. It definitely can take years to get rolling, but ideally you'll live a balanced life and have a good relationship with one or more publishers who tell you what music is needed, and are very active at shopping it...
  18. StevenMcDonald

    What's the future of streaming royalties? specifically hulu, netflix, amazon?

    My last statement had 37 pages of Amazon VOD royalties for a grand total of... $90 :thumbsdown:
  19. StevenMcDonald

    Some year-end statistics! Feel free to share yours!

    Three long and very impatient years as a side hustle for me.
  20. StevenMcDonald

    Some year-end statistics! Feel free to share yours!

    Thanks for sharing! The RF market has always fascinated me, but I always do so much better writing tracks for specific shows/requests from exclusive libs with references and such. I would struggle to keep up a good output with the total freedom of RF.
  21. StevenMcDonald

    Some year-end statistics! Feel free to share yours!

    Gonna need to see a pie for that please.
  22. StevenMcDonald

    Some year-end statistics! Feel free to share yours!

    Hey you never know! That could be 82% of $700 for the whole year. I'd personally love to get my up front payments to make up 50% or more (as long as the royalties don't fall down). I get bad career anxiety waiting for quarterly checks that make up the vast majority of my income.
  23. StevenMcDonald

    Some year-end statistics! Feel free to share yours!

    First off - please don't take this as a brag thread, and if you decide to share yours, please don't use this as a brag thread. I'm not going to share specific numbers, just a percentage breakdown here. When I was first starting out as a composer, I always loved seeing things like this...
  24. StevenMcDonald

    Just another production music album thread :)

    Heyo! I know we get these threads a decent amount, but I'm pretty proud of this new album I got released today. Here's a link: https://harmony.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?b=5654052 Fairly minimalist stuff with modern textures, retro synths, and simple organic instruments. Hopefully it'll get...
  25. StevenMcDonald

    Not sure what to do...

    I don't disagree with that. But if you have to get a job to pay the bills, then that's what you need to do. If I hadn't worked a normal job I hated for 3 years while I built up my music catalog, I would have been homeless. That's just life.
  26. StevenMcDonald

    Not sure what to do...

    This is poetic and all, but not good advice for the original poster. Don't whine about work being meaningless or whatever. Do what you have to do to survive long enough to keep trying to reach your goal. Especially if your family depending on you.
  27. StevenMcDonald

    What Epic Drums Are You Using?

    I tend to layer 3 or so drums to fill the spectrum up, then bus them all together and treat them with EQ, saturation of some sort, compression with a slower attack time for some attack/transient emphasis. Also a good plate reverb can add some bright presence. Whatever you have to do to get them...
  28. StevenMcDonald

    What's on your Master Bus ?

    1. Cubase Compressor for a light glue compression. Considering trying TDR Kotelnikov for this instead though. 2. A1 Stereo Control for the safe bass feature. 3. (Optional) Xfer OTT. Usually at about 10% depth for some light hyping on heavier tracks such as trailer music, action/drama...
  29. StevenMcDonald

    Song "Relentless" from upcoming album - Hard-Score genre

    Man this is pretty cool and not what I expected. I really enjoyed it. There were a couple times where the instrumental started to overtake the vocals. I understand it would be hard to balance such a busy and cool instrumental with lyrics, but that's one thing I'd look out for. Good stuff!
  30. StevenMcDonald

    Chillbot's template

    Cool template. Feels like my "everything template" but with way more options per instrument/family. I hate dealing with opening/closing folders and having a bunch of empty tracks bothers me, so I like having several smaller templates geared toward different genres: Pop/Hip Hop, Hybrid, Rock...
  31. StevenMcDonald

    Any body two steps from hell

    1. Why is this in sample talk? 2. What does meggers mean? 3. I've never seen an online community more eager to express how refined and intellectual their tastes are and how they're too smart for anything mainstream like superhero movies or loud hybrid music. Different people have different...
  32. StevenMcDonald

    Something a little different - "Daydreamer" Inspiring Hip Hop beat

    I write a lot of music in a lot of styles, with trailer music being my most common lately. But I decided to finally write an entire album of my own (instead of contributing to multiwriter albums) combining elements of Hip Hop (which I learned from my wonderful music supervisors doing reality TV)...
  33. StevenMcDonald

    SSO Mockup - "Dartmoor, 1912" from War Horse

    I know I did nothing but hassle you through the entire process, but this is impressive as hell. Good work! Glad to see it finally came together. You will soon join the mockup hall of fame.
  34. StevenMcDonald

    Working With Multiple Trailer Libraries

    I believe it's pretty much understood that 99% of trailer composers will work with multiple publishers. As long as you aren't ripping yourself off across different pubs you're good. I've only talked with one library that wanted full exclusivity. You kinda need to try out different ones anyway to...
  35. StevenMcDonald

    Would tattoos effect my ability to have a successful career in media composition?

    I feel like a career in music is one of the ones where it's considered weird not to have tattoos of some kind. I should get more.
  36. StevenMcDonald

    PREMIUM BEAT

    Same boat here. Got the rejection email today, but everything I sent them forever ago has been signed exclusively elsewhere since then :) Either it was an all hands on deck A&R day or they decided they're good on tracks for a while and hit the "reject all" button! Now to try again!
  37. StevenMcDonald

    Sync Libraries - Thoughts?

    I wouldn't say it's the way to go, but it's certainly a way to go. I'll just give a simple list of pros and cons based on my life. Pros: Very few hard deadlines No scoring to picture (I'm not a huge fan) Good passive income Very little hustling. Libraries handle the businessy stuff, I just...
  38. StevenMcDonald

    Mix feedback please (trailer piece)

    Karel mostly expressed what I was feeling. Good overall track and composition, but my ears definitely want more processed sounding drums and sound design. Saturation, distortion, compression. The sample quality, performance, and composition (aside from structure) is good. It just needs to sound...
  39. StevenMcDonald

    Musicians & Mental Health

    I feel like this post is kind of narrow minded and only takes one personality type into account There are plenty of composers who work in the shadows and enjoy it. For me at the very least, none of this stuff about striving for global recognition or writing the perfect masterpiece rings true...
  40. StevenMcDonald

    PREMIUM BEAT

    Just so you guys know, the "a few hours" thing was just a hypothetical. I have never submitted music to Premium Beat so I don't know how strict they are with quality control, and obviously people work at different speeds. I'm accustomed to working very quickly due to time constraints from having...
  41. StevenMcDonald

    PREMIUM BEAT

    It's just a value proposition. If I can spend a few hours on a track and get $600 plus writers royalties down the line, that's a nice hourly rate. I'm not saying everyone should do this and this is the future. But considering how rare it is to get paid up front for a track at all in the library...
  42. StevenMcDonald

    PREMIUM BEAT

    I have to agree with those saying it doesn't sound like a bad deal. You can't get too emotionally attached to your tracks if you're playing the library quantity/volume game. I'm finally making a living off of royalties now, but the ability to make $600 or more in between those quarterly checks...
  43. StevenMcDonald

    I hired Jdiggity1...

    I approve of this odd couple.
  44. StevenMcDonald

    My Video Response to the Hans Zimmer Strings Debates

    (insert name) is wrong and I agree with (insert name). I am angry about this.
  45. StevenMcDonald

    Deleted

    The more flutes, glockenspiels, and harps in a piece of music, the better the production has to be for people to enjoy it online... Someone should make a chart/graph for that too.
  46. StevenMcDonald

    Deleted

    I suspect that part of the reason traffic is low is because your music is highly classical. Most people, myself included, just don't care for "classical" music. Soundcloud, in my experience at least, has more users among the edgier and younger crowd. Throw some sick hip hop beats on one of those...
  47. StevenMcDonald

    What do you look for in a composer's website

    I was working on mine today. I got it to where you can see a short bio, contact info, some top credits, a photo, and a 3 minute demo reel that quickly runs through various genres all on the home page. That should be enough for most, since I use it as sort of a resume that I send to people. Not...
  48. StevenMcDonald

    Transitioning to Composing Full-time . What has been your experience?

    I'm very new to the full time thing but I seem to be afloat still, so I'll share a bit 1. I got lucky but was able to capitalize on it. Someone who works for a small TV music library found my stuff on youtube and invited me to contribute to their library and custom music requests. After a year...
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