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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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What is Production Music?

When I tell people I run an open source production music library, I often get asked “What is Production Music?”. Its a bit complicated, but I’ll try to explain it here : )

While popular music publishers hold about 50 percent of the copyright in a typical compositiona production music library usually owns the entire copyright of their music. This means the music can be licensed without the permission of the composer.

Many media producers like to use music libraries as it’s a convenient solution for them. They can license a piece of music quickly at a good rate and they don’t have to spend the thousands required to license more popular works.

These libraries contain all styles of music and various genres so the producer or editors can find the types of music they want to use. Libraries can have several hundred tracks or many thousands of tracks. In 1927 De Wolfe Music created the first production library for use in silent films.

Examples Of Production Music

In radio, television, and film, the background music often comes from a production library. British T.V. shows like BBC’s Grandstand, the Benny Hill Show, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus all used production music as a background during the shows. American T.V. has used production music too such as in Monday Night Football, The People’s Court as well as The Ren and Stimpy Show.

The performers who work in production music are usually anonymous and they aren’t known outside of their professional circle. Some composers have achieved cult status such as Keith Mansfield, John Cameron, and Alan Hawkshaw. There’s a bigger interest in their production music from the 1970s, and 1960s. Some of these production composers have given performances under the name KPM Allstars in recent years.

The Business Model

There are two income streams in production music which are:

License or synchronization fees—these are paid to the library upfront to synchronize the music to video, audio, or film. The fees for this vary greatly from country to country.

Performance Royalty or Performance Income—When the music is publicly performed this type of royalty is generated. The broadcasters give these fees to performing rights organizations who distribute the income to their members. A library can receive about 50 percent of this income and the performer the other 50 percent.

Libraries

Some libraries are affiliated with large publishing and recording companies like EMI, or Universal Music Publishing Group. However, there are both large and small music production companies in the UK, US, Canada and other locations.

Some smaller libraries don’t charge customers for licensing music upfront. The customer will purchase a CD where the content is licensed to them to synchronize when they wish. These libraries get royalties from performances for the bulk of their income.

Some libraries are non-exclusive which means the library gets the composer to sign a non-exclusive agreement which allows the artist to license the piece of music to other clients and libraries. The composer can’t have exclusive contracts with other companies, however.

So to sum up, when people ask me “What is Production Music?” I explain that the main difference between what I do on DanoSongs and what a record label does, is that I sell music to people to actually use and not just to listen to.

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Hollywood Movie Plot Ideas (and Clichés to Avoid) for Scripts

English: The Hollywood Sign, shot from an airc...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m brainstorming ideas for sub plots in a feature script I am co-writing for my sci fi film Zedic and the Crimson Born. So I am going through some blogs and articles about movie plots and I will make notes of interest.

Of course I know some people are incredibly opposed to writing films based on previously proven plots, so I apologize for that. However, this is my first full length film and I need to learn the basics of what works.

This article The Top Ten Standard Hollywood Movie Plots is funny but true! I realized that for my film I like the plot the author calls “The Twist”. One of the best twist movies I have seen recently is “Salt” starring Angelina Jolie, and this had a huge impact on my vision for my Zedic film. In fact, I would like to have at least 3 twists along the way, like Salt.

The other plots I like in the articles are  the “Epic War” and “Underdog” theme— both of which interestingly enough are present in the Harry Potter series. 5 Movie Plots That Hollywood Has Officially Done To Death also has a some great examples of underdog plots and is just really funny to read! In Guide to Hollywood’s Mainstream Movie Formulas I like the plot idea “Edgy Supernatural Thrillers” which also fits in with the paranormal themes of Zedic.

So those are the three best (or perhaps worst) basic plot lists I found online. Hopefully that might help you with ideas and or show you what may be some common clichés.

If you like this you might be interested in my other posts:

Funding Your Film! Using Film Finance Basics

High Concept Story Plots: How to for Hollywood Screenplays

7 Indie Film Digital Distribution Companies You Can Submit to Online

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High Concept Story Plots: How to for Hollywood Screenplays

I’m co-writing a feature length alien sci fi screenplay based on my short film Zedic and the Crimson Born. To improve my knowledge of screenwriting I decided to watch a few how to videos. This first video I came across is a guide to coming up with the main story for the movie which can be called its “High Concept”. This concept can then be the summary you use to pitch your film.

The author of this video explains that if you are pitching your screenplay to Hollywood producers and agents, you should stick to a proven high concept—but with an original twist. He says formatting using examples, templates and software can be helpful, but it is not as important as the high level story. The idea is to follow some basic rules, but still be creative. Check out this very informative video!

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The high concept is essentially the main super cool original idea behind your script. In the video he gives the example that for the movie “The Minority Report” the high concept is the idea that a small group of psychics can see into the future and you can get arrested before you commit the actual crime. Here is a post that discusses the Titanic’s high concept as well.

So one of the ways to come up with a new high concept as a writer, is to take the idea of a previously successful film and put a spin on it. For instance, take the the same idea but use it in a different genre.

I’ll come up with my own example now.  How about the idea behind the Bourne Legacy —a government experiment of creating super spies gone wrong. Well what if you put that story in space and make it funny. So now you have Bourne Identity meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Not bad, I may use that : )

If you like this post you may be interested in my other article “7 Indie Film Digital Distributors You Can Submit to Online“.

Also this week I released a new piano and guitar track called “Come Alive” that is free to use in your film or video.

The Best Electronic Music Blogs

I have been doing electronic music for years (listen here) and I can tell the genre is definitely getting more popular. I have seen a huge increase in the number of people listening to the style online. A major reason for this is because each year electronic artists invent fresh new styles. Electronic music is very interesting and fun!

Blogs have popped up everywhere to cover all the innovative music making out there. They provide the latest news, information about events and offer free or paid downloads of the latest songs. This selection of the best electronic music blogs is based on the number of hits they receive, what they offer, popularity and freshness.

Discobelle

One of the most visited blogs is Discobelle. The blog is based in Sweden and has been in existence for the past 6 years. Over this period it has managed to get allot of fans.

Content is posted regularly about a wide range of sub-genres. They have posts on single tracks, remixes and new videos. They also have exclusive guest mixes.

Feel My Bicep

Feel my bicep, is a blog based in London. The owners of the blog have a electronic music project which is well established and they tour extensively.

The blog has a wide selection of tracks that are of great quality, and that is why it is preferred by many fans.

Salacious Sounds

Salacious sounds is a very popular blog. It has new and fresh electro, dubstep and house music. The layout is great and simple – enabling a user to easily navigate the system.

Allot of the music can be downloaded for free. There all also lots of “best of” lists, news and articles.

Fresh Beat

Fresh beats has a collection of really amazing music.

The blog has a great design. It has information ranging from the latest news and music to a bunch of interviews and fresh promos.

 

Resident Advisor

This unique electronic music blog publishes reviews, features and news. Thousands of label profiles and artists are also featured.

You can view the club listing and user-generated events, applicable for both club-goer and clued-up music lover. Users are also free to join competitions and other activities by browsing their forums.

Bacau House Mafia

This electronic music blog offers previews and downloads of quality house music.

The blog often posts entire sets of tracks at once you can download. It also has a clean, nice and simple layout that is very easy to manage.

Just beware that tracks are on file hosting sites that are hosted on cheap hosts like BlueHost – so you will have to open new tabs to listen and download.

Electro Station

This electronic music blog specializes in daily posts with quality tracks from different music genres.

Every post is tagged and sorted for fast and easy browsing. As a visitor, you have the ability to preview tracks without leaving the blog.

 

Lorraine Grula’s Video Production Tips Site

Hi, I was recently introduced to the site videoproductiontips.com which is a massive library of tips for helping people create videos.

The site includes information on editing, audio, lighting, video conversion and storytelling. Plus you can find reviews of the latest camcorders and other equipment. There is even a section about marketing your business with video.

I found out about the site because the Webmaster Lorraine Grula created a really professional “how to” video about DanoSongs for her visitors (see here). I signed up for her tips and found them very useful so far, since I am producing a new video myself : )

Beat Making Software: Why DUBturbo, ACID and Soundation Change Everything

DUBturbo, ACID and Soundation are complete set ups for making professional rap, techno r&b, hip hop or any other beats. This is easy software that is fast to use and it makes broadcast quality beats like a pro DJ, for real.

Any level artist, producer or DJ can use the software and create hit style music. It really does lower the entry in terms of cost and skills. Plus DUBturbo includes video training. So you just need a great ear and a vision.

If you have played around with basic drum and beat machines you know that most of them sound really bad. That is especially true if the beat maker uses poor sound quality files like Mp3s. You have to always build your beats with wavs like DUBturbo, ACID and Soundation do.

When you have the right software and high end samples you will be surprised to see just how easy it is to create tracks that are radio-ready. Previously the problem here was the cost of the software and samples. However now these beat-making programs solve that problem.

The real bottom line here is the ability to make music that is high enough quality for people to want to pay you for it.

 

5 Production Music Libraries to Try [ Video Samples Included ]

I could write music 24 hours a day and never keep up with all the varied needs of folks who visit Dano Songs. So here is a continuing list of production music libraries. I like to include the ones that have really nice videos!

Killer Tracks

Killer tracks is a production library that has a wide variety of tracks as well a multitude of other resources to use including animations. They also offer many pre made tracks and play lists that range between acoustic guitar and workout. The older tracks can be browsed for or you can check their What’s New section for all the freshest releases on the market.

The website that they use is very streamlined and user friendly, making it an easy place to find what you are looking for and rather quickly. They have staff on hand for questions and concerns as well as offering any help and advice on making your track choices.

615 Music

With more than 40,000 tracks listed, it is almost always possible to find what you are looking for with 615 Music. An all original music list is broken down into easy to search genres; all are available for viewing after a simple registration process.

They keep a client area, press releases, and a newsletter to help keep you up to date with all of their music while on their site. Music and library samples are also available for listening prior to sign up and registration.

Audio Network

Audio Network keeps a vibrant site to match their upbeat view on their music library. Their search engine can not only break down their selection by musical genre but by how you are looking to use it. Amongst the options available to choose from are Youtube, documentaries, gaming, and radio advertisements.

They offer flat rate fees for one time buys as well as monthly packages, allowing you to pick whichever suits your needs best. Their licensing program also gives you the comfort of using your newly acquired tracks on whatever platform you need it in as well as in any and every country.

Extreme Music

With a fast paced view on the industry, Extreme Music likes to put a strong emphasis on why it is you are there; the music. A track player along the side bar is a constant as you browse their offered tracks allowing for easy previewing. And it isn’t a forty second clip they offer you, but full tracks for listening.

Listing their locations with an interactive map, visitors can see all the dealers that are used by them. An intriguing and artistic website awaits those who turn to Extreme Music for their auditory needs, just keep in mind that their website can be a little hard to maneuver at first.

Megatrax

While they keep an interesting set of genre and playlist names, Megatrax houses a large variety of musical and sound effect files for any and all need. They keep a long list of quality tracks and their reach is global being sub-published in over forty countries.

They offer a multitude of options for your music delivery needs as well as the ability to edit your newly received tracks. If you do discover an issue that you are not able to resolve on your own, they keep a dedicated staff on hand to either walk you through it, or solve it for you all together.

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.

The Best Stock Music Websites for YouTube Channels and Partners

Here is a great video that explains in plain terms the reasons you need to use royalty free music if you want to become a YouTube partner or have a channel. Its from DearNaptural85’s YouTube channel who says she previously had big issues with using copyrighted music.

You need to own all you content in your YouTube videos if you want become a partner. She explains that buying music from iTunes and Amazon does not give you the right to distribute and display the music – just to listen to it.

But using my music or music from a site like RoyaltyFreeMusic.com allows you to not only buy the music, but to also include it in your videos, websites and other projects that you can improve if you get the right seo company to optimize your sites. She likes some tracks on Beat Suite even though the downloads are not cheap. Pond 5 is her favorite saying the music is incredible and cheap.

DearNaptural85 also gives tips on how to handle the YouTube web forms regarding the use of music in your videos, in order to ensure your video does not get deactivated.

Tips on the Best Stock Music Websites for YouTube Channels

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…

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