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Library music and writing what you want to write

Chr!s

Active Member
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
Overwhelmingly the minority
 

T-LeffoH

#CitizenSleuth
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."
John has the best feedback so far on this thread. Particularly in the area of what not to do - and listen to a lot of royalty-free music sources if you want to find out what not to do.

I am interested in contemporary orchestral and neo-classical music. Stuff like olafur arnaulds, johan johansson, any Andy Blaney SF demo, etc. If I could compose music like that for libraries I would really enjoy it, but I’m not sure how much use my tracks would get. Perhaps music you’d find in nature documentary or something. I’m not sure.

My question is basically, could someone make a full time income writing library music in sort of a niche style such as neo-classical? I’m fairly new to all of this so I figured I’d reach out. Many thanks
The short answer is maybe. If you really think your music could be targeted more in the area of documentary, I'd suggest researching recent popular TV docu-series on PBS, Netflix/Amazon or elsewhere to see where they source their material. Then write some of the best music you think could accompany those types of series and reach out to those libraries directly if they accept unsolicited music.

In a greater context in the grand scheme of production music, I would suggest to consider not approaching it with the expectation to be able to succeed in doing just one thing. You will automatically reduce possible outlets & opportunities to write music even if you've gotten works placed into a library's catalogue.

I've more often found myself in circumstances writing for a library to briefs in a style/genre I don't particularly enjoy but forcibly put my own instincts & taste into the writing - so I'd personally want to listen to the work by the time I was done. That doesn't necessarily mean I would've preferred using the time to write something else, but like any job - a willingness to respond to what's being asked for at the moment does help in getting placements.
 

dannymc

Senior Member
That's how I imagine uploading to royalty-free libraries can be like. It's quite a bit different when working with exclusive libraries. Then you'll work together with A&R-people, developing concepts for new albums, discussing tracks and how to improve them etc. Building good working relationships plays an important part. It also involves contacting libraries you'd like to work with, following up, frequently being turned down or not hearing back. But if you are in with a good library it can be very rewarding.

You can write the music that you want to write. You can work at your own pace - no crazy deadlines. It takes time to build a steady stream of income, but if you stop writing music the tracks that you have out there will still generate money for some time. The libraries take care of the admin work (titling, meta-tagging, registering tracks with a pro, artwork), and will promote your tracks, so you can focus on writing music.

It's certainly not for everyone. But for me it is a very nice way to create some income from writing music. It gives you a lot of freedom, both creatively and in terms of workload. It's work that easily integrates with other jobs because you get to choose when and how much you work at any time. And, apart from generating royalties, seeing placements for your music can be highly motivating.
yeah i totally agree. as someone who is coming from a day job environment rather than a trained educated musician i can honestly say after 4 years in this game the production music business is no different to the world of traditional business as in its all about the relationships you form with people that will help you have a career. that's why i would only advise working with exclusive labels that work on albums and concepts. you will be working with actual people who know you as a composer and not just a wav on a website and they will get to know your strengths and weaknesses as a composer. this can lead to custom work if you're lucky or collaborations with other composers to improve your skill set in those areas you may be weaker. i would still be very positive about this industry but maybe people may need to manage their expectations a bit. start with smaller goals such as maybe this becoming a part time income and then go from there. personally i think people getting into library music for the first time this year probably wouldn't be able to earn enough to survive in a modern western country such as the US (anything $50k or more) but i think if you're planning to be a full time musician you should be diversifying anyway.

Danny
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
that's why i would only advise working with exclusive labels that work on albums and concepts. you will be working with actual people who know you as a composer and not just a wav on a website and they will get to know your strengths and weaknesses as a composer.
Yes, this is good advice.

But don’t throw away the songs that get rejected. Some songs are good but don’t fit the mood of a particular release.

Save those songs for the royalty-free sites. You should be making money from all your music.
 

Valérie_D

Active Member
No, instead they pursued a meaningful family life.

Studies are showing time and again now that childless and unmarried people, especially women, wind up unhappier even with successful careers.

Breastfeeding and having more babies is found to cut the risk of depression in women significantly, especially later in life. Studies have also found that the happiest demographic is as follows:

  • Male
  • 39 years old
  • Married
  • Household income between $150,000 and $200,000
  • In a senior management position
  • 1 young child at home
  • A wife who works part-time
Least happy

  • Female
  • 42 years old
  • Unmarried (and no children)
  • Household income under $100,000
  • In a professional position (doctor, lawyer, etc.)
As the kids say: "oof".

Selling your soul to corporations and "careers" is not more virtuous and fulfilling than getting married and raising a family. Something becoming increasingly difficult on traditional jobs.

Trust me, you think it will, but the time will come where you'll realize that the fact you do X for a living doesn't fill this hole inside your life that comes from failing to fulfill your biological purpose and have a successful home life.

If you have to choose between dream job and happy family life, pick the latter.

But we're off topic. Join me in arguing this in the politics section if you like.
*I think time can't be bought back, choices are made, sacrifices are made one way or the other, but please, oh please just stop being a walking internet cliché : for instance : I am 36 years old, I have 2 sisters and a brother and we get along famously, I spent my life between music, the family business, taking care of my brother when he had cancer then taking care of my dad when he was sick, has been for 10 years, I do library music because it's more flexible, doing all this while being ask every single year ''Why don't you have kids, etc etc, cat lady, yada yada'' Meanwhile, a lot of my friends have kids, bundle of joy : divorce, battle for custody, etc, some make it, some don't, a friend of mine has not slept for 3 years and is in burnout because of the baby.

So : my point is : internet gives you the feel of ''studies have found, path in life, idealism'' perception of a huge check list like you did earlier.

Reality : we do our best everyday, stick or don't stick with our choices and go into the unknown with resulting consequences, etc. I don't know if I am clear it's just your little study might have made me smile and muse when I was 20 but know, I'm bewildered that these little boxes to trap people in actually exist. .....That being said, not ever getting out of a man-cave has consequences too, I'm aware of that.

...and yes! There is a cat in my life too, they quite enjoy music! :)

Blue_11-001.jpg
 
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ghostnote

Vincit qui se vincit.
I've worked 2 weeks on a track, blood, sweat and tears. Very well tought trough and with a massive orchestration involved, with the mindset that it'll hit like a bomb. Well after finishing, many libraries decided to reject it. It got licensed 1 time.

One year before that I wrote something just with a piano and a string ensemble. Without any tought and with a light tone. Just for fun. Took maybe not more than 4 hours to finish. It got licensed over 1500 times.

So, the only advice I can give you is: Find your space in which you can evolve musically, don't get distracted. Just find your voice and things can happen.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
Meanwhile, a lot of my friends have kids, bundle of joy : divorce, battle for custody, etc, some make it, some don't, a friend of mine has not slept for 3 years and is in burnout because of the baby.
The subject of divorce, which the system ostensibly encourages or at least makes it extremely easy for women to cut and run with absolutely no collateral damage to her, and why the divorce rate is high, is a subject for an entirely different thread,

but

So : my point is : internet gives you the feel of ''studies have found, path in life, idealism'' perception of a huge check list like you did earlier.
This argument holds up when you have a one-off or small sample size, but the problem is that data yields repeated results, from different and large sample groups; meaning the trend is a real phenomenon. Time and again. It's also very easy to find plenty of examples around you.

That's what we're basically arguing here: There's a rule, people here provide exceptions to it, and then suggest that the rule is therefore worth basically no consideration.

Some people may be happy with nothing more than their job and some will become professional composers for a living. But for most of us, that will simply not happen and happiness is found with other people. This is something that hit the millennial generation especially hard as their friends moved away and they were left with no SO or children in that wake; most of my friends getting married can't find a flower girl for their wedding because no one has any kids.

That being said, not ever getting out of a man-cave has consequences too, I'm aware of that.
Well, that's good

...and yes! There is a cat in my life too, they quite enjoy music!
 

Valérie_D

Active Member
[QUOTE=" most of my friends getting married can't find a flower girl for their wedding because no one has any kids.[/QUOTE]

..........................................................................................................
........What in the world is a flower girl.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
[QUOTE=" most of my friends getting married can't find a flower girl for their wedding because no one has any kids.
..........................................................................................................
........What in the world is a flower girl.[/QUOTE]

Ever been to a wedding?
 

Valérie_D

Active Member
..........................................................................................................
........What in the world is a flower girl.
Ever been to a wedding?[/QUOTE]
Ah ok, sorry, didn't mean to sound abrasive here, english is a second language, you mean like a maid of honor.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
Ah ok, sorry, didn't mean to sound abrasive here, english is a second language, you mean like a maid of honor.
I'd not have guessed, since your written English is just fine.

Young girl from the extended family who walks down the aisle and throws flower petals.

 
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Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
The subject of divorce, which the system ostensibly encourages or at least makes it extremely easy for women to cut and run with absolutely no collateral damage to her, and why the divorce rate is high, is a subject for an entirely different thread
Wimenz running away from you and the system is helping them too! Such a scandal.
 

Valérie_D

Active Member
[QUOTE="



[/QUOTE]
Ah ok, sorry here, did not read the whole thread and the obsession over the cat/man lady. If the image is a joke : haha, if it's not and it's contempt because I have a cat, it's like the internet itself is replying to me at that point.
 

Shiirai

Avian Member
Cats are great, children are annoying and time-consuming, marriage is a broken
system and my partner feels the same on all points.

We are happy and as such all the 'studies' in the world can tell us it ought to be
otherwise, they are still irrelevant to our situation.

Statistics are nice and all, but numbers are only numbers.

And numbers don't mean a thing out of context.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
Statistics are nice and all, but numbers are only numbers.

And numbers don't mean a thing out of context.
Just because those numbers don't apply to you, or at least not yet, doesn't mean they don't apply to most. That's what everyone keeps missing in this conversation.

And a lot of people think they're the exception to the rule until they're past the point of no return. Which is why I again say: OP needs to check his expectations. "I could make 30k work", yeah well...good luck even ever making that much.

So for everyone who is willing to let all these ships sail for music, we'll meet back here in 10 - 20 years and see if "Mittens" is still enough for you. I've seen it more than enough to doubt it.

children are annoying and time-consuming, marriage is a broken
system and my partner feels the same on all points.
A conditioned attitude preached to the masses since the dawn of the baby boomer generation.
 

Shiirai

Avian Member
Just because those numbers don't apply to you, or at least not yet, doesn't mean they don't apply to most. That's what everyone keeps missing in this conversation.

And a lot of people think they're the exception to the rule until they're past the point of no return. Which is why I again say: OP needs to check his expectations. "I could make 30k work", yeah well...good luck even ever making that much.

So for everyone who is willing to let all these ships sail for music, we'll meet back here in 10 - 20 years and see if "Mittens" is still enough for you. I've seen it more than enough to doubt it.



A conditioned attitude preached to the masses since the dawn of the baby boomer generation.
See, to me, *that* is a conditioned attitude.

A lot of people *think* that because 'studies have shown', the studies will probably apply to them.
I've seldom seen a study that actually illustrated my situation, so I often wonder who the hell
they are asking for their studies.

It's funny that you seem to think I'm indoctrinated while you seem to operate from an equally
indoctrinated viewpoint. I'm simply speaking from experience, which I will forever
trust more than any random study, because who actually funded that study and why?

You've seen one thing, I've seen different. Apparently, a lot of people have seen
different.

I firmly subscribe to the 'Whatever Works' mentality, anyway.
 
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Chr!s

Active Member
Yeah, except the thing I've seen is repeatedly backed up by mountains of real data. Which makes it more sound advice.

It's like, imagine you're in the passenger seat, and your friend in the driver's starts texting. Then you're like "Dude, stop! You're gonna get us killed!" and he's like "Oh, lighten up! I've done this a million times, you just have to be careful!" Then when you say "Yeah, but like, statistically speaking a huge number of car accid-" and then he interjects with "Neeerrrrrrrd"

That's this conversation, and I'm in the passenger seat.
 

Shiirai

Avian Member
Yeah, except the thing I've seen is repeatedly backed up by mountains of real data. Which makes it more sound advice.

It's like, imagine you're in the passenger seat, and your friend in the driver's starts texting. Then you're like "Dude, stop! You're gonna get us killed!" and he's like "Oh, lighten up! I've done this a million times, you just have to be careful!" Then when you say "Yeah, but like, statistically speaking a huge number of car accid-" and then he interjects with "Neeerrrrrrrd"

That's this conversation, and I'm in the passenger seat.
You're absolutely right, I've been living my life wrong. I'll go knock up my partner, get rid of our
cat and force her into marriage next week, because god forbid we don't conform to your 'mountains of real data'.

Talk about a passenger seat. I've been having to listen to nonsense like this since since I became cognitive.

It makes me wonder what you make of all the other statistics. You know, like suicide and divorce rates. Or the numbers of young adults who need fucking mental help for growing up in disfunctional families because 'parents' felt obliged to spawn children they didn't know how to raise, or the number of people who are proscribed anti-depressants because they suffer from suicidal tendencies because don't feel like they have a place in the world, mainly because of asshats who keep yelling about what 'normal' is supposed to be.

You know *nothing*.
 
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