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Library music and writing what you want to write

D Halgren

Senior Member
Good luck raising a family on a temp. day job and the occasional beer money from music. It's not 1970s anymore.

For most us, it will wind up being one or the other.
First of all, I do raise a family, although you never answered whether you had one or not. I assume in this family of yours there would be more than one adult that could earn money, or are women not allowed to hold jobs in your world view? Also, we are talking about library music, which can be done in ones spare time, and built into a career as you go. Thoughts?
 

Chr!s

Active Member
Look, Chris, I think you've made your point: you think people are happy living a traditional life with 2.2 kids and a picket fence. Yes, the arts are saturated and most people don't manage to make a living as a composer. Got it, intellectually and personally (having spent ten years as an only intermittently successful composer/orchestrator before landing a job in my other calling, journalism).

Can we move on? Nobody is going to give up because you've converted them to your perspective, and it's just creating rancor.

Thank you in advance.
Yeah
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Got it, intellectually and personally (having spent ten years as an only intermittently successful composer/orchestrator before landing a job in my other calling, journalism).
By the way, I didn't mean to imply that I'm all through as a professional composer, as we professionals call it, just that I don't rely on it for my supper or spend 85% of my waking hours hustling for work.

Better straighten that out!
 

LamaRose

Gato Mighty!
Off topic: I'll have to give Chris a little love here as I have two older brothers who have been earning full-time salaries in the music biz before they graduated HS... one is in his 70's, the other in his 50's. Both are pretty cynical about the opportunities in the music biz, and have been since the late 80's. They have reason and can proffer countless rise and fall stories of countless individuals dating back to the 60's. And really, at this point in time, every profession is becoming so competitive that cynicism can derail the best laid plans of any career.

But I have to ask Chris, since you are so into social stats and studies and whatnot, what do the studies reveal about the greatest regret that people have as they are nearing the end of their respective lives... if they could change one thing about their lives, what would it have been? Do tell!

On topic: I think @JohnG pretty much nailed it... find what you're passionate about, hop that 10,000-hour train, and ride that mother until you're the absolute best you can be at what you're doing... and maybe end up being one of the best in the world. Personally, I think the niche route is the better track... find an area underutilized or out of vogue and become the go-to guy for that style, sound, skill-set, whatever.
 

Chr!s

Active Member
I'll have to give Chris a little love here
Back at ya!



But I have to ask Chris, since you are so into social stats and studies and whatnot, what do the studies reveal about the greatest regret that people have as they are nearing the end of their respective lives... if they could change one thing about their lives, what would it have been? Do tell!
The first two things I could find:

The first states "not becoming your ideal self". The stupid link to the actual study itself won't open, but it does not make mention what percentage of these people stated they were unhappy with how their lives actually turned out.

This was the second, interviews with hospice patients, topping the list is: "I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter the most." #3 is a wish that you hadn't "Spent so much time working". "I wish I had chosen work that was meaningful for me." is on the bottom of the list.

So yeah, this all so far seems to line up with my position. Which is essentially about the divine economy of goods; the things we ought to love and place greater importance upon. There's no such thing as a regret-free life, but some regrets are a lot bigger than others.

As you were

 

Greg

Senior Member
Wow sorry to see your thread got hijacked by the drama! First, ignore everything Chris said, his attitude is pathetic and I'm not even sure why he is posting in this thread.

I love the neo classical style too. I think there is actually a growing demand for it in trailers. Check out this trailer, it sounds more like Max Richter than trailer music. Really cool neo classical hybrid:

I've always had this idea in my head too that I could maybe write what I kind of wanted to write but turn it into trailer music cues as well. That is a huge mistake. If you're going to write library music, you must create EXACTLY what they want and only think about serving the client. Otherwise you will be in this one foot in one foot out sort of world and in my experience it just wont work out well.

Take John's advice to heart. You have to go through that harsh realization that your work MUST be at least as good as the best of the best to have a real chance with trailer placements. Sometimes people get lucky with a lame cue landing in a big trailer but that isn't going to create a career. It is really fucking hard to create trailer music with a good shot at licensing, and even if you do, many others do it too on a weekly basis.

Write the kind of music that you love. People can always tell when someone is faking it, especially music supervisors. If they hear your work is unique and inspired, they will gravitate towards it.
 

Jonathan Sharp

Heartwood Soundware
I'm totally out of the loop with this stuff. "Writing for libraries" - how does that even work? You sit in your house somewhere like a hermit and write an endless stream of some hypothetical media music, day in, day out, never talking to anyone, and upload it to some place and hope to make some money off of all that a few years down the road? Is that what people do? It can't be just that, right?
Thats pretty much it, in a simplified nutshell.
Works for me.
 

Jonathan Sharp

Heartwood Soundware
How do you keep motivated/inspired? I imagine it's very difficult when you're kind of composing into the aether every day, without being connected to the end product or working with others and kind of bouncing off of that.
It's rarely composing into the aether, mostly working to briefs or on themed albums. It's not for everybody and it's not the easy gig people imagine it to be.
You're basically writing for publishers who's job is the selling.... so in that respect, yes you're kind of removed from that final part of the process.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
By the way, I didn't mean to imply that I'm all through as a professional composer, as we professionals call it, just that I don't rely on it for my supper or spend 85% of my waking hours hustling for work.

Better straighten that out!
Me neither. I count myself as supernaturally lucky to be able to (at times barely) pay the rent with music. Supernaturally because with the rent paid I can handle an easy, eighteen hour a week part time computer job and still have tons of time to compose music I really care about...which is comprised of my (mostly) uncommissioned concert works.

The independent/trailer/commercial stuff I do takes very little time for me to write. Conversely, my concert pieces can take months, and most of that is editing.

Geez, I guess if I put in as much time toward my commissions as my personal, concert material I'd have more money lol! Nah, can't stop the art (forgive if that last word is too Can-of-Wurmy for some).
 
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jmvideo

Senior Member
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.
That genre would not be a big seller. The biggest buyer for sites like AudioJungle and Premium Beat is the corporate video market, and the top sellers are usually upbeat motivational rock tracks.

The melancholy neo-classical stuff might lend well to one-off buys from TV or indie films, but unlikely to sell in volume.
 
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