The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Advice on the music Industry from people with experience Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 14th January 2012
  #31
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

Love Your Day Job

Here's a bit of counter advice: love your day job!

But before I get to that, a bit about my experience in the music industry. I work outside of the typical field of commercial music: that is, I do not score for TV/Film/Commercials but rather for non-profit arts organizations (e.g. ballet and modern dance/theater companies, radio theater, etc.).

The ups and downs of working with clients is similar in terms of deadlines, the need for networking, flexibility, willingness to compromise, good communication etc., but instead of guys in suits, I'm working with choreographers and theater directors who are generally very open to experimentation and unconventional music. Over all it is a very rewarding experience: not so much financially, but artistically.

The beauty of working with dance and theater is that almost anything goes when placed in the proper context. That is, a composer can be incredibly free once the boundaries (if there are any) are set. A single production can contain anything from a quiet string quartet to a hard-core punk rock inspired electro track -- a dream gig for composers who enjoy crossing genres. Although this same kind of freedom can be found by some (lucky) film composers, the much lower key nature of dance/theater productions, and the absence of the need for commercial success generally translate to far less intrusion upon the composer's territory.

Still, I cannot support myself entirely with these gigs. I still have to have a day job to pay the rent.

Which brings me back to my first bit of advice: love your day job!

The beauty of not needing to live directly off the fruits of your creative labor means that you are free to enjoy those fruits yourself. This is an incredible privilege that should not be taken for granted: music making without compromise. You are free to express yourself in any way you so choose!

Even those composers I know who work in the TV/Film/Commercial music fields tell me they would die if they didn't have their "pet projects" ... their moments of complete freedom. In this sense, commercial music making is also a kind of day job!

So, love your day job... if you can... whatever that may be... because that's oftentimes your only ticket to artistically rewarding creative expression.

Old 14th January 2012
  #32
Good advice - there's nothing worse than doing a job that doesn't afford you the time nor inspiration to create your own music.

Even if you *think* it's your dream job.
Old 14th January 2012
  #33
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo555 View Post
... there's nothing worse than doing a job that doesn't afford you the time nor inspiration to create your own music.
Indeed! Finding the right job is, of course, the tricky part. Not just any day job will do: ideally it should be one that allows just what you said: the time and inspiration to create your own music. Oftentimes a day job totally unrelated to music can be more motivating than one that does involve music.
Old 20th April 2012
  #34
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilon View Post
I open this thread because I think we can all benefit from people who really are pros with some experience on their back and they can offer their thoughts on the industry , the way one has to work to make money out of music and gain respect from his audiance.

If you are this kind of person, and you are not feeling comfortable opening a new thread and posting your opinion, use my thread as an excuse to share your experience and offer your advice. You can talk here for anything you like , is bothering and interests you as long is music releated .

Does not matter what type of musician you are and what type of music you make, sharing experience can benefit any of us.

If you are not this kind of person, you can still post your questions to those poeple and invite them to join the discussion in this thread.

Please support this thread because I think it really deserve to be long enough to be a sticky.

Thanks on advance.

Following this is a post by the forum member gongbass

"

I'm lucky in that I've been able to make a living in the music biz for the last 10 or so years (I'm 36). I'm not a name many would recognize however I've composed hundreds of jingles and scored lots of TV/docs, etc... As a session drummer I've again played on hundreds of recordings, from "ghost drumming" on major label releases, sideman on hundreds of indie, grassroots, soundtrack releases.

I was a "staff composer" with a private boutique music production house in NYC from 2001-2006. It was the greatest job I've ever had. Comfortable weekly paycheck, work from my home studio and "comfortable" deadlines. Learned so much in terms of what works and what doesn't scoring to picture. Also learned the ropes as to how you deal with the creative team of an advertising campaign or producer/director of a show you are doing music and cues for.

Eventually I left that job for the horrendously difficult world of freelance. There are many that make their living this way (and as a session drummer I guess I do still freelance) but its a hard road. After a few years of that I became a partner in a start up music licensing/custom music company (FlikTrax Home - Premier Production Music Licensing -). We have a vast online library that is constantly updated and "meta tagged" as well as a team of in house composers to handle any custom scores, jingles or sound alikes that come in. We built the company the right way and have had surprising success with the current state of the industry. That being said its a "sh!tload of work", we want to do right by and for our artists so we are constantly marketing ourselves. We do as many industry conferences as possible, we meet with respected industry supervisors and network producers but happily deal with local advertising companies for local ads as well as independent film makers.

I've learned more than I'd ever thought I'd know about this business and for better or worse this industry will be what I do for the rest of my life. I continue to gig a bit, teach and as I mentioned do session work as a drummer (mostly from my home studio or Fliktrax's larger facility) but the production music and music licensing biz is my life.

When I mentioned artists "giving away" their music I was referring to what so many young composers and songwriters are forced to deal with when trying to get their work heard and licensed. If the composer or artist isn't working with a larger concern and doesn't have representation than they are often if not always faced with "licensing" their tracks for next to nothing or at best "copy and credit". On one hand I know that every artist needs to build their resume and get experience. Trust me I've done my share of freebees but whats happening now is production budgets are getting slashed and that means little $ for music. Especially original, non "library" tracks. On the other hand, the more musicians give away their tracks and services for free, the more those that used to pay for it, will expect it for free.

The market is saturated with young composers, some are talented folks that don't have any "real" musical education or experience. Many create amazing tracks in their home studio and these tracks get used in certain niche areas of media. Electronica (that's covering a lot of bases for the sake of not breaking into genres) is still a huge style that gets "bought" for TV/Film/Ads.
However once "in the industry" many of these composers learn that if they can't expand they don't get that much work. So they are still trying to pitch to the same markets as the veterans but when an ad guy says "actually we're scrapping the BT (used to be Moby) sound-alike and we want to go in a Americana, rootsy direction... oh and we need it tomorrow at 3. Make sure you hit :23 when the girl smiles and your reverb tale has to be out at exactly :29.5" I know a handful of DJ type composers that are crazy talented but have gotten dropped form ad companies rosters because they can't meet the technical demands.

I went to music school and after I graduated took a few classes on SMPTe and locking music to picture. Those classes helped but its really work experience and learning to pick up on the most ambiguous and esoteric requests from those on the visual side of the project. We are lucky as a company that we have a few experienced guys ready to go at a moments notice. We literally can get a call at 2am from a producer that needs a :60 to
become a :45 and "change the drum n bass loop to a Indian Tabla thing" and have it ready by lunch. That is my big advice to anyone that wants to get into this business. Be good and be fast. If you are lucky enough to work on a full length film or documentary than you get to enjoy a much more relaxed creative pace. The director will "spot" the film with you and you can bounce ideas off them as you write. However the "film" industry is an extrememly difficult one to break into. I haven't in terms of ever scoring a major hollywood release but I've been fortunate enough to work in almost every other area.

"
Interesting post dear, i like it.
Old 1st May 2012
  #35
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo555 View Post
Good advice - there's nothing worse than doing a job that doesn't afford you the time nor inspiration to create your own music.

Even if you *think* it's your dream job.
Yes it gives a bad feeling that because of your job you can not give time to your music life .
Old 1st May 2012
  #36
Lives for gear
 

I spent five minutes in the ad industry world. I would honestly rather not make music than ***** my self out like that. You cannot have any musical integrity if you work in such an industry (dont mean to hurt anyone's feelings) Its not making music its being told to carry some boxes from one end of the room to the other and put then in an exact form then the guy changes his mind and wants one tiny box reshaped that no one on planet earth is going to notice.. Worst job in music is in the ad industry and your treated like ****.
Old 1st May 2012
  #37
Lives for gear
 
Ned Bouhalassa's Avatar
 

I have a FAQ that some of you might find useful: Scoring for Film and TV FAQ
Old 4th May 2012
  #38
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bouhalassa View Post
I have a FAQ that some of you might find useful: Scoring for Film and TV FAQ
Yeah these are quite useful , and all these answers make a proper view of thinking in our mind.
Old 4th May 2012
  #39
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
I worked as an assistant engineer at a jingle studio in midtown for a few months after I got out of college, and I got to know the engineers, producers, writers, and talent there pretty well. I decided fairly quickly that if this was what my future looked like, I would be pretty happy to just work at McDonalds instead and play music and engineer for my friends bands for fun.

The highlight was definitely assisting on a track where Bernard Purdie layed down some beats. To this day, I still measure sessions drummers up to that standard of him playing whatever they wanted in one take, perfectly.
Old 4th May 2012
  #40
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Haarp View Post
You can't change the world sitting in your house sending facebook pm's to record labels.
Damn! Time for a change of plan
Old 4th May 2012
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by controlvoltage View Post
Damn! Time for a change of plan
This makes me rethink going back to school.

Perhaps the way to make music is to find the easiest, highest paid, shortest hours, job you can and then enjoy your freedom and cash. Where's that job?
Old 5th May 2012
  #42
The good job aspect certainly makes the music-creation management easier.

I have every evening, weekend and holiday free to make music. The day job is linked to music so I truly have the best of both worlds.

And despite my background and discography, my chosen career is semi-frowned upon (sadly because there's a great many "wannabes" who give my latest profession a bad name - but there ARE some very good examples: myself included).

Education.
Old 5th May 2012
  #43
Lives for gear
 



Here's a bit of industry advice from Dizzee Rascal..
Old 21st May 2012
  #44
Lives for gear
 
kilon's Avatar
 

Any interesting article here, with also very interesting comments

Why Music Venues Are Totally Lost: An Open Letter from a Professional Musician | DIY Musician

and an interesting interview with abit extreme ideas but overall it makes sense

Old 4th July 2012
  #45
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
Amen!

Old 16th December 2013
  #46
Here for the gear
It's not easy...

It is a long and arduous road trying to "make it" as a composer/musician in this industry... and I guess for people wanting to get in to it, don't expect to be made for life and rolling around in money after your first well paid job as they can be few and far between but extremely rewarding when you deliver a signed off project that you're proud of and subsequently see the $$$ come through in your bank... It's a great feeling!

A little bit about myself... I'm the studio manager and senior engineer for a recording studio in central London and own my own production company that make jingles/music beds/sonic branding. To be honest I do feel quite lucky with the hand that I've been dealt but that still doesn't mean that I think I've "made it" and have to continuously network and seek out the next opportunity to keep the financials growing. People who say "music isn't about the money man... it's about expression" unfortunately will have a hard time convincing a bank manager that they are a worthy investment if they don't have anything but expression to show for it!

I believe the key to success/happiness in this industry is having mixed economy and so for me, having a monthly paycheck from a day job is essential for my upkeep. I'm lucky that my dayjob is in the music/audio industry so it means I'm constantly honing my skills and critical listening so it keeps me sharp and enthusiastic when I do come to work on my own stuff (in my own time... which is A LOT!)

I guess in terms of my advice on getting in to the industry and staying there is... keep the dedication and focus on what you are good at and stay true to what your main goals are! If you have to stray in to unknown territories (and by starting your own business you are bound too) network with people who are dedicated and focused in those areas... Being "successful" in the business after all isn't what you know... it's who you know. Remember, nepotism can be a good ally if you let it.
Old 16th December 2013
  #47
Here for the gear
Standard... only a year too late on this thread!

I might get the hang of this forum one day!! :(
Old 16th December 2013
  #48
Deleted User
Guest
i would like to quote Alane Moore here if you don't mind:

" There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A g r i mmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman.

I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. "

end of quote
Old 23rd November 2016
  #49
It's nice to read so much wisdom here. Though I don't have interested in becoming a composer for everything and I see what I do as a hobby, I do feel that having good relationships with people helps a lot. I think I'm pretty much a nice guy, but not for interest, but because I like to have a nice time doing things I love.

About two weeks ago I was invited to play live on a radio anniversary. I never asked for money, because I wasn't interested in money, I just wanted to have a nice time and show my music. It happened that after I played, the radio host told me: "We are going to pay you a small fee for playing here".

There is a tale I read some days before going to play there, I will try to write in english, though english is not my main language:

There were three men starving on the streets. The three went to a house a knocked the door.
A woman opened the door. They told her: "We are starving, we need food".
"What are your names?" the woman asked.
"I am Love, this is Success and the other one is Wealth". Love replied.
The woman told them: "Ok, I ask because only one of you can dine with us, let me ask my family what they say".
So, the woman went back and asked her husband who she should invite to dine with them.
"Invite Love, is good to have Love in our house".
So the woman yelled: "Love, come in".
And then, the three guys entered the house.
The woman asked, surprised: "Why did the three of you came in?"
And Love answered: "If you have called Success... or Wealth, they would have entered alone. But when you call Love, the other ones come too".

I hope I could write it properly, but... I think when you just love and flow with what you do, many things will just appear for you.
Well, maybe I am an idealist, but it has been happening to me and I'm grateful for it.

Greetings!
Old 23rd November 2016
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MesS!eR35 View Post
i would like to quote Alane Moore here if you don't mind:

" There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A g r i mmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman.

I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. "

end of quote
Man, that was very interesting... and Magical too!
Old 23rd November 2016
  #51
Lives for gear
 
patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Here's a bit of counter advice: love your day job!

But before I get to that, a bit about my experience in the music industry. I work outside of the typical field of commercial music: that is, I do not score for TV/Film/Commercials but rather for non-profit arts organizations (e.g. ballet and modern dance/theater companies, radio theater, etc.).

The ups and downs of working with clients is similar in terms of deadlines, the need for networking, flexibility, willingness to compromise, good communication etc., but instead of guys in suits, I'm working with choreographers and theater directors who are generally very open to experimentation and unconventional music. Over all it is a very rewarding experience: not so much financially, but artistically.

The beauty of working with dance and theater is that almost anything goes when placed in the proper context. That is, a composer can be incredibly free once the boundaries (if there are any) are set. A single production can contain anything from a quiet string quartet to a hard-core punk rock inspired electro track -- a dream gig for composers who enjoy crossing genres. Although this same kind of freedom can be found by some (lucky) film composers, the much lower key nature of dance/theater productions, and the absence of the need for commercial success generally translate to far less intrusion upon the composer's territory.

Still, I cannot support myself entirely with these gigs. I still have to have a day job to pay the rent.

Which brings me back to my first bit of advice: love your day job!

The beauty of not needing to live directly off the fruits of your creative labor means that you are free to enjoy those fruits yourself. This is an incredible privilege that should not be taken for granted: music making without compromise. You are free to express yourself in any way you so choose!

Even those composers I know who work in the TV/Film/Commercial music fields tell me they would die if they didn't have their "pet projects" ... their moments of complete freedom. In this sense, commercial music making is also a kind of day job!

So, love your day job... if you can... whatever that may be... because that's oftentimes your only ticket to artistically rewarding creative expression.

This reminds me somewhat of Philip Glass who used to work as a taxi driver, a plumber and other jobs before he got to finally live of his music alone. He was in his 50's by then.
Old 23rd November 2016
  #52
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliosMusic View Post
Man, that was very interesting... and Magical too!

thanks for reminding me, you just did it in a perfect moment!!
Old 24th November 2016
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MesS!eR35 View Post

thanks for reminding me, you just did it in a perfect moment!!
You're welcome
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
kabukin141 / Post Production forum
14
Gordon -10 / So much gear, so little time
30
quietdrive / So much gear, so little time
24
Renie / So much gear, so little time
27

Forum Jump
Forum Jump