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Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

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Top 5 Music Production Schools to Check Out!

I get allot of questions about getting into music production. You can learn yourself through trial and error, take individual classes or go to school to get a degree. Some colleges also offer programs in the music industry which is a great compliment to production training.

Below is a listing of the five of the top 5 Music Production Schools I know of. Courses include everything from audio engineering to sound design and mixing. While they are in no particular order, it is safe to say that most people would agree that the number 1 spot does belong to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Berklee College of Music in Boston is considered the top school of music. Berklee began its mission in the teaching, training and educating in the field of jazz but has expanded to now include other types and styles of music to include hip-hop and rock along with jazz. They offer three types of degrees in music, including one in production and engineering.

Berklee guarantees a hands-on approach in each of their music degrees. Some of the more famous names that have graduated from Berklee include Kevin Eubanks in 1979; Keith Harris of the Black Eyed Peas in 1998; Quincy Jones in 1951; Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks in 1995; Branford Marsalis in 1981; John Mayer in 1998 and so many more.

Needless to say the college helps create extremely talented artists in the performing field but also behind the scenes names that don’t necessarily get top billing but whom the well-known names would be lost without.

The Steinhardt School of Music within NYU is where the music industry gets some of its top trained production people. NYU’s Steinhardt School offers one of the few Masters Degrees in specialized divisions which include the technical and computational aspects of music.

Anyone graduating from NYU Steinhardt School will definitely have the training and contacts needed to rise in the music industry field of production with their degree. Steinhardt School has a very strict and stringent entry process which accepts only the most elite and talented individuals.

The Recording Connection Audio Institute is one of the less traditional types of schools and is known in the industry more so than by the press and public. Although the school has been around since 1983, in terms of colleges and universities that makes it a fairly new school.

The basis of their learning is a hands on approach in the industry, providing training that will not only get students directly into the business and handling all aspects related to their desired degree but making connections that most colleges and universities simply don’t get their students out into the real world to make.

There is a course curriculum that is actually taught one on one to the student, making it a very personalized and individualized learning experience in the industry itself. There is no actual brick and mortar school to attend but instead a base office in Hollywood, CA with satellite professional studios in numerous cities. Students begin and work with professional studios and professionals in the field in an apprenticeship style program.

Its validity is questioned by some who are used to the brick and mortar style school settings; while others liken the experience to a “tech school” or apprenticeship, with minimal “book” style learning. While this is truly one of the more different styles of professional recording career colleges because of it’s “beyond the brick and mortar” school type; one has to only look at today’s cyber schools that are graduating students left and right with valid, legitimate and proper degrees and diplomas.

You’re not going to see as many “big names” come out of this college as you are “real working people” who are in the industry, behind the scenes. While colleges like Berklee and NYU have big names behind them, this is simply because they offer aspects of performing along with the behind the scenes of the music industry. The man who was the head engineer in producing the Black Eyed Peas album isn’t going to be well known to most people while the name of the band will be.

Indiana University Bloomington’s Jacobs School of Music is also one of the most well known schools of music and the largest overall school, enrollment wise, to offer specialty music degrees ranging from Associates to Masters Degree programs. Opening in 1910 the Jacobs School of Music has a substantial history and past associated with its music program and offers degrees in everything music from the performance end to the engineering and production aspects of the industry.

The Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University is mainly known for their performance degrees; however they are known as one of the top colleges offering a Masters of Art in Audio Sciences which covers most aspects of musical production and in particular the technical aspects. This degree is not for the faint of heart as one can only be considered for entry once they have obtained their BS and then apply for admission.

Most people that choose The Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University do so for their performance degrees as opposed to their technical and production aspects. A Masters in Music (MM) from The Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University is an impressive looking addition to a resume but that’s not always what is looked for when applying or working in the true music production industry.

Schools such as this and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University are examples of spending money on education that could be seen as “wasting” time on non-music classes. Taking courses in science, mathematics, history and such are not really useful for a career in music production.

For example, I have a two year degree from the Hartford Conservatory of Music where we only studied music. I found that much more useful that the 4 year music business program I then went through at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford.

Where To Find Television Production Music

A pie chart showing the average licence fee sp...

Image via Wikipedia

Are you looking for information on where to find television production music? Music plays a pivotal role not just for bands, singers and the radio, but for television and can be the difference between an killer program or film and a mediocre one.

If you have checked out my music library and can’t find what you need, there are many other companies who specialize in finding the right type of music genre and tone for television productions and scenes within specific programs and films.

Who does this type of production?

There are quite a few companies in the industry who have a huge database of music in their library and can offer the expertise required to give the correct associated music for the beginning or the end of a project.

FocusMusic.com is a highly regarded company in the television music production field and have a huge selection of music at your disposal and can be credited for their involvement in adverts like Stella Artois and TREsemme.

Audio Network.com has a huge database of music and have over 38,000 tracks to choose from. This particular business has been involved in work with the BBC, Channel 4 and MTV and have most of their music specifically designed for TV shows.

Royalty-Free.tv has built up a library of royalty free music, so there’s no payments or commissions for artists to think about. With their database of music and you can enjoy high quality tracks at good prices without the concern of licensing costs with normal music.

New Production Music Downloads Website

production music downloads

Cinephonix started out in 2006 as an agency for composers that specialize in film, commercials and TV. It has grown over the years and just launched a large music publishing site with production music downloads. They also have a staff of composers that produce custom music.

Their site lets you search for instant downloads, with licenses for a variety of uses. The music is exclusive to Cinephonix so you will find unique original high quality material there.

I went to their site and really liked their music player, look and feel and overall vibe. Cinephonix is a UK firm but they also operate in Sydney Australia, New York City in the US and Los Angeles, CA. All the music is of course pre-cleared for film, television, commericials and websites. If you need help improving your website, then make sure you call SMR Digital, it is very important to have a web development company helping you grow your site.

Very beautiful moving vocal production music download from Cinephonix…

Free Uncopyrighted Music from Public Domain 4 U

free uncopyrighted music

Finding tracks that are really free uncopyrighted music that suits your video, film, game or presentation is very difficult but not impossible. The songs on my site here for instance are free, but I do still own the copyright and I ask that you credit me or donate.

With public domain music however, you don’t need to credit anyone or pay for it to be legal. In many cases the musicians and composers have passed away. In some rare cases the owner is still alive but offers the music under public domain.

Music expert Joel Selvin is curator of public domain music at his site Public Domain 4 U. You can simply right click on the links and download songs that he has found that have no copyrights.

Just remember, no matter where you find Public Domain music, that you should still do a bit of research on the piece before you use it. This is just to make sure that the audio really is Public Domain.  Also, if the free uncopyrighted music is for commercial use you should run it by a lawyer. But if its just for personal YouTube videos or student film this may be a great alternative.

Video: How to Search for Free Uncopyrighted Music on Public Domain 4 U

Sound Effects News: 25 Free SFX Downloads

I usually create full instrumental tracks at about 3 minutes long. But I get allot of requests for production sound effects for podcasting, videos, powerpoint and online radio.

So when prosoundeffects.com contacted me about an offer they have to give away 25 free sound effect downloads, this struck me as news folks might like to know about.

The sfx are a part of a complete high quality MP3 library and you can listen to the demo below. Its sounds great to me. You can find the free sfx downloads here.

Podcasting Sound Effects Demos by ProSoundEffects


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Best Voice Over Actors for Video and TV Commercials

Since I provide background music for allot of videos I get asked often if I can recommend voice over actors for commercials.

You can get some incredible voice over deals on Fiverr.com if you are on a super tight budget. But there is not that much choice of talent and the format is limited.

Also, I’d like to mention two gentlemen who helped me do the voice over for the sounders on my site. Will Wilson at WillSpeakforYou.com and Bill Hewes from the “The Hillbilly Yank Show“.

I set out to find out the best reliable source of voice actors that I could recommend to folks and I narrowed it down studiocenter.com. They are big time into radio commercial production and all around audio production for video and television.

Another reason I am recommending Studio Center is because they have studios in many major cities across the US so this may be helpful to people.

You can check out the video below for their top 10 male voices and see their YouTube channel. Go to their website for samples and to search for voice over acting talent.

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Music Resource Sites for Teachers: Naxos Music Library Review and Tutorial

I get allot of educators coming to my site to use my free creative commons music  for students.  That’s why I thought I would write about the Naxos Music Library which is one of the most tremendous resource sites for teachers online.

This music library has tens of thousands of classical, jazz and world music tracks. You can browse recordings by composer and read discographies as well as biographies about them. You can also browse by genre and record label as shown in this video.

One of the best resources for teachers on the site is the preplanned music curriculum outlines. Ideally as a teacher, you would request your institution to sign up for a subscription for the service so your students can log in and listen to pieces in the educational programs.

Video Overview of the Naxos Music Library – One of the Best Sites for Teachers

This is a very professional tutorial video showing how to search, play and download tracks. Visit the Naxos Music Library.

Production Music Library for Video and Film at The Blue Mask

I found Film Composer Simon Wilkinson online at his site www.TheBlueMask.com and I was compelled to mention him because he is also composing royalty free music.

I love his music, the promo videos he does and the way he has packaged his tracks as MP3 or wav downloads at his own production music library.

Simon offers a range of services and specializes in dramatic and atmospheric instrumentals. For more information, check out his site, IMDB page, and follow him on Twitter @thebluemask72.

Check out the very touching piano pieces in this video:

Production Music Library Promo Video from “The Blue Mask”

Music for On Hold | The Revolution in Background Tracks

There is a huge change taking place in the music for on hold industry. It has become easier than ever to get music to broadcast at your place of business and not have to pay a performance royalty license to ASCAP, BMI or PRS. Of course you can download the songs on my site and play them for free if you play the credit sounder or  link to me from your Website. More info: click here.

Another service, I just read about in this article MusicRevolution Launches Internet Music Stream For Businesses. For a fee that is the fraction of the cost of a performing rights license, you can get an Internet stream of high quality music from selected artists in the music revolution library. This way you can get unlimited background tracks for a basic monthly fee.

Music Revolution also has royalty free songs in genres like blues, world, Christmas and anything else you can think of. So they are another good option for licensing production music rights for your videos, films, Web and TV programs.

Here is a silly video about the importance of using music for on hold, however it has some good points such as “studies show” that without music on hold callers will hang up after one minute:

Here are some other interesting articles about the performing rights organizations that will charge you for using their artists’ music:

Appeals Court Tells ASCAP: A Download Is Not A Performance

How Do Musicians Get Paid When The Music Is Played On Pandora or Sirius Radio

Appeals court tosses ASCAP fees

ASCAP Loses Its Anti-Digital Music Lawsuit

Free Commercial Music for Advertising Jingles at Tribe of Noise

Tribe of Noise is a service that provides free commercial music from independent artists that you can use under a creative commons share alike license. Its a very elegant site with allot of international composers.

You have to register to listen and download Mp3s. Additionally, make sure you understand the creative commons share alike license, which is different that the more simple attribution licensing, like I use.

So if you need some background music for a video advertisement or jingle, and can not find what you need on my site, then check them out. The music spans many genres like rock, jazz and hip hop.

Tribe of Noise Free Commercial Music: Introduction Video

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