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Library music and writing what you want to write

Chr!s

Active Member
Wow dude. :grin: Sounds like an absolute horror scenario. Also sounds like a typical thing which "studies have found" - usually a reliable indicator for bullcrap and nonsense.
Also, most of the people in that category tend to be insufferably boring personalities and often petty-minden jerks. So, I don't know man ...
The point of the study is that married people with children are happier than those who aren't, and cool jobs don't make up for it.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
The point of the study is that married people with children are happier than those who aren't, and cool jobs don't make up for it.
There's another very valuable long term study which started in the 80ies and was conducted for 10 years. It states the exact opposite.

It's called "Married ... With Children." Never heard of that one?

Seriously, how do you measure "happiness". It's a ridiculous idea to begin with. Anyone who conducts a "study" on "happiness" is a buffoon with an agenda. Besides, many of those orderly married people never seemed particularly happy to me ...
 

Chr!s

Active Member
There's another very valuable long term study which started in the 80ies and was conducted for 10 years. It states the exact opposite.

It's called "Married ... With Children." Never heard of that one?

Seriously, how do you measure "happiness". It's a ridiculous idea to begin with. Anyone who conducts a "study" on "happiness" is a buffoon with an agenda. Besides, many of those orderly married people never seemed particularly happy to me ...
Well I don't know, but whatever you're doing seems to only lead to bitterness.

 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
I have chosen to do music on the side while I work in something different for my main income. Do I sometimes wish I was a successful and famous film composer? Sure! But, I also know that if I was a full time composer I would sometimes wish I was doing something else. Being a rock star would be cool, right!
Like yourself, I have a successful non-musical career while I compose/perform professionally part time (I have done this for many, many years). I have literally lived the touring "Rock Star" life...granted, it wasn't successful in terms of big $$, but enough to realize it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest my life. Bottom line is, continue to pursue your passions, even if it means realizing it's going to be a part-time thing. As long as you are happy and content (and without resentment of the past), you are 100% successful IMO. My advice is.....give your "Rock Star" dreams an honest shot while you are young and carefree, don't wait!!!!! And trust me, you won't regret it because you'll know you gave it your best shot.

As others have mentioned, at some point you have to cut your losses and decide what's most important....being piss-poor with a false hope, or getting a proper job while continuing your musical journey on the side? I have many friends who are still delusional, and have missed the boat on starting a family and building up some sort of net worth (they literally live on sporatic musical gigs and temp day jobs). That is not a situation you want to be in later in life, and they are setting themselves up for HUGE regrets which are irreversible. Nothing worse than a 50 year-old guy with a skullet and bad (or no) credit, no net worth, and no assets.
 

Vonk

Member
It would be good if this thread would return to the subject of music libraries, and appropriate music styles for them. We can decide lifestyle consequences for ourselves thanks.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
A few composers make tons of money writing for libraries, but they are really good.

Not "friends and family" good;

not "It sounds weak in places, but if only I had every library" good;

not "it would sound so much better with live players" good.

How Good?

People who get numerous placements and high fees write "outstanding" good, defined as something that really grabs people, that they "just think is cool" or "just like" the first time and every time. Music people wish had never been licensed before so they could be the first to have it; music they wish they could have exclusively for their movie / company / show / product.

That's what one has to aim for, even though we might fall short. I'm not saying it has to be super-expensive to produce, either. Although I've had most success with quite expensive tracks (that is, large orchestras with plenty of mixing etc.), some have been far less expensive and still earned well.

Aim to write music that YOU think is absolutely killer / cool / love to hear it again. Something you'd be willing to hire players to perform. Learn to orchestrate and mix if you don't know how; even a little incremental skill there is helpful.

If you follow your instincts and taste, at least if nobody else likes it, you have honoured what's inside you, what makes you unusual or special. And chances are if it's really great to you, there will be others who will agree.

Don't Do This

A pale, sample-based imitation of someone else's work is only going to attract bargain hunters and sink in the morass of "other."
 
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Wolfie2112

Senior Member
A pale, sample-based imitation of someone else's work is only going to attract bargain hunters and lost in the morass of "other."
Totally! And I'm the of those few who feels that a composer in this market should be as versatile as possible. In other words, don't niche yourself into a certain genre. I consider myself quite solid in a handful of genres, but rarely turn down work if it's outside my comfort zone. In fact, one of my best relationships came as a result of an obscure track on my website that was purely experimental on my part. So in the OP's case, don't focus so much on a certain style (neo-classical in his case), but produce solid, well orchestrated tracks in any genre you feel inspired by. Once you get your foot in the door with a good library company, you are already in the right direction.
 
OP
dexterjettser

dexterjettser

Member
Totally! And I'm the of those few who feels that a composer in this market should be as versatile as possible. In other words, don't niche yourself into a certain genre. I consider myself quite solid in a handful of genres, but rarely turn down work if it's outside my comfort zone. In fact, one of my best relationships came as a result of an obscure track on my website that was purely experimental on my part. So in the OP's case, don't focus so much on a certain style (neo-classical in his case), but produce solid, well orchestrated tracks in any genre you feel inspired by. Once you get your foot in the door with a good library company, you are already in the right direction.
Thanks for the awesome advice everyone. I think as long as I’m writing something orchestral or cinematic I’ll be content. Better to be more versatile, makes one more marketable
 
OP
dexterjettser

dexterjettser

Member
A few composers make tons of money writing for libraries, but they are really good.

Not "friends and family" good;

not "It sounds weak in places, but if only I had every library" good;

not "it would sound so much better with live players" good.

How Good?

People who get numerous placements and high fees write "outstanding" good, defined as something that really grabs people, that they "just think is cool" or "just like" the first time and every time. Music people wish had never been licensed before so they could be the first to have it; music they wish they could have exclusively for their movie / company / show / product.

That's what one has to aim for, even though we might fall short. I'm not saying it has to be super-expensive to produce, either. Although I've had most success with quite expensive tracks (that is, large orchestras with plenty of mixing etc.), some have been far less expensive and still earned well.

Aim to write music that YOU think is absolutely killer / cool / love to hear it again. Something you'd be willing to hire players to perform. Learn to orchestrate and mix if you don't know how; even a little incremental skill there is helpful.

If you follow your instincts and taste, at least if nobody else likes it, you have honoured what's inside you, what makes you unusual or special. And chances are if it's really great to you, there will be others who will agree.

Don't Do This

A pale, sample-based imitation of someone else's work is only going to attract bargain hunters and lost in the morass of "other."
This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!
 

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
maybe its obvious but library music is for media production so prodcuers and editors can use it for their tv, ads, movies and trailers. They are used to specific sounds for specific scenes and products and therefore that demand is offered by different music libraries and within those music libraries the tracks follow specific form and styles within those genres. So if you write that style, find a few tracks or libraries that sell those, see the ratings etc and try to adapt. But no, you wont be able to write what you want... kinda like a job, you have to write for whats needed. Unless what you like falls within that style and form. Sometimes is changing a few things, getting used to it and within those limits you can get creative in other ways.
as for a full time job.... no. at least not for a while if you see you are getting placements. takes a long time. Its also a matter of practice and being able to write fast. 1-4 good tracks a day fast. IF thats the style you like, and you can hit the form publishers and media producers want then you should be able to write fast and also earn enough.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
You've got a pretty bleak outlook on LIFE there bud, good luck...
Reality tends to be that way: There is, at the end of the day, no difference between plugging away for 9 hours a day at your computer screen making music for Viacom than there is being in a office cubicle for the same company aside from the fact that you romanticize one and not the other.

That's not to say there's anything wrong with wanting to do that, but it's an unlikely job to get and

As others have mentioned, at some point you have to cut your losses and decide what's most important....being piss-poor with a false hope, or getting a proper job while continuing your musical journey on the side? I have many friends who are still delusional, and have missed the boat on starting a family and building up some sort of net worth (they literally live on sporatic musical gigs and temp day jobs). That is not a situation you want to be in later in life, and they are setting themselves up for HUGE regrets which are irreversible. Nothing worse than a 50 year-old guy with a skullet and bad (or no) credit, no net worth, and no assets.
You know what's more bleak than not becoming a pro composer? Becoming a catlady.

;)
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
Something I wish I realized sooner. We actually have a very limited amount of time in which doing things like traveling, getting married, starting a family, and stuff is really feasible.

I know guys who, after 20+ years of trying and working dead-end jobs are finally making a living at music. Composing or otherwise.

These guys are crazy cat ladies basically. They missed the boat on becoming fathers and stuff so long ago that they've taken to filling that void with materialism. I'll go over to their houses, see pictures on facebook etc. and it's like a 16-year-old lives there. It's a giant "mancave" where they've stuffed it with video games, nerd things, posters and buying tons of instruments and VSTs with any disposable income. Most of them are unmarried or divorced. Single at least.

But hey! Look on the bright side! They get to slave away for 8+ hours a day in a darkened studio making music for soulless corporations! Worth it. #Living the dream.

Don't get me wrong, composing for a living can be great, but it's not worth the sacrifices so many seem to be eager to make.
That does not sound like a bad life to me.
 

StevenMcDonald

stevenmcdonaldmusic.com
Reality tends to be that way: There is, at the end of the day, no difference between plugging away for 9 hours a day at your computer screen making music for Viacom than there is being in a office cubicle for the same company aside from the fact that you romanticize one and not the other.
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.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
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.
I hate to pull the materialist card here, but it's applicable:

That's nothing more than your subjective feeling about it. But the objective truth is, it's just another cog in the machine. What about the office employees who like their jobs just as much?

Anyway, OP just needs to be realistic: Saying something like "I could make 30k work" it's like...yeah, I think most people could. Problem is, most people never will make that kinda money with music though.

There are only two options here: You either become a gainfully-employed musician who can make a living doing what you love early enough in life that you can raise a family on it, or you don't — You just become a male catlady.
 

StevenMcDonald

stevenmcdonaldmusic.com
I hate to pull the materialist card here, but it's applicable:

That's nothing more than your subjective feeling about it. But the objective truth is, it's just another cog in the machine. What about the office employees who like their jobs just as much?

Anyway, OP just needs to be realistic: Saying something like "I could make 30k work" it's like...yeah, I think most people could. Problem is, most people never will make that kinda money with music though.

There are only two options here: You either become a gainfully-employed musician who can make a living doing what you love early enough in life that you can raise a family on it, or you don't — You just become a male catlady.
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 cat lady thing. I am a family man, but I acknowledge that not everyone else is. Settling down and raising kids isn't everyone's objective.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
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.
And I never disputed that.

Settling down and raising kids isn't everyone's objective.
It isn't. But the thing is that more and more scholars, psychologists, and the like are taking note of the fact that people who don't have them wind up with greater depression in life despite career and financial success.

and that is the idea I wish to communicate here: There is more to life than music and you should not put off things like family so that you can get a job you'd like to do just because you like that job. You could very easily wind up with, as wolfie put it "irreversible regrets".

and in the case we're discussing, getting that job at all is very much in the hands of fate.
 

ionian

Member
There are only two options here: You either become a gainfully-employed musician who can make a living doing what you love early enough in life that you can raise a family on it, or you don't — You just become a male catlady.
It seems like your vision is hampered by your (lack of) experience, maybe?

There's plenty of people like me, and my fiancee. I'm a full time mostly session musician who does some orchestration, who makes a very good living. My fiancee is a first call session flutist who's also very successful. I own my home, she owns her condo. Both of them are paid off. (We live in NYC so it wasn't cheap!). Our late model cars are paid off. Yet somehow neither of us have a desire to have kids but we're both successful (and became successful early on) and are very happy. I'm in my 40s, she's in her 30s.

The only other people we know are also full time, professional musicians because of the circle we work in and the majority of them are in their 40s and 50s and married and childless and very happy. They're all pretty successful. It's not uncommon.

I get that maybe you don't work in that circle so you don't see that side - the successful musician who makes a very good living, who's married and childless and happy, but it does exist. The fact that you keep trying to shoehorn your views into two sides - the happy, married, successful family man with a good day job or the lonely cat lady/man who's a struggling musician is far from the only two options out there.

In fact, when my fiancee and I got engaged, our engagement party guests consisted only of full time professional musicians since those are the only people we socialize with and we had at least 80 people at our party and they all make good livings and are successful at what they do. I keep hearing the stereotype of the musician who struggles and is poor but again, that's not the only way you can end up. There are a large amount of very successful, full time musicians.
 

SimonCharlesHanna

Senior Member
It seems like your vision is hampered by your (lack of) experience, maybe?

There's plenty of people like me, and my fiancee. I'm a full time mostly session musician who does some orchestration, who makes a very good living. My fiancee is a first call session flutist who's also very successful. I own my home, she owns her condo. Both of them are paid off. (We live in NYC so it wasn't cheap!). Our late model cars are paid off. Yet somehow neither of us have a desire to have kids but we're both successful (and became successful early on) and are very happy. I'm in my 40s, she's in her 30s.

The only other people we know are also full time, professional musicians because of the circle we work in and the majority of them are in their 40s and 50s and married and childless and very happy. They're all pretty successful. It's not uncommon.

I get that maybe you don't work in that circle so you don't see that side - the successful musician who makes a very good living, who's married and childless and happy, but it does exist. The fact that you keep trying to shoehorn your views into two sides - the happy, married, successful family man with a good day job or the lonely cat lady/man who's a struggling musician is far from the only two options out there.

In fact, when my fiancee and I got engaged, our engagement party guests consisted only of full time professional musicians since those are the only people we socialize with and we had at least 80 people at our party and they all make good livings and are successful at what they do. I keep hearing the stereotype of the musician who struggles and is poor but again, that's not the only way you can end up. There are a large amount of very successful, full time musicians.
You can adopt me if you want a man baby. I wipe my own bum
 
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