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Is there a market for classic rock/soul instrumental music?
Old 11th May 2017
  #1
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Tomdavids's Avatar
 

Is there a market for classic rock/soul instrumental music?

This question isn't exclusive to motion picture licensing, but is there any revenue to made today in making instrumental music that could pass as if it were made in the 70's?

think steely dan, brand x, lonnie liston smith (live drums, piano, guitar,bass) no trendy spins on it, pure classic sounding instrumental records (3-4 min long). Is there a market for this anywhere?
Old 11th May 2017
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
This question isn't exclusive to motion picture licensing, but is there any revenue to made today in making instrumental music that could pass as if it were made in the 70's?

think steely dan, brand x, lonnie liston smith (live drums, piano, guitar,bass) no trendy spins on it, pure classic sounding instrumental records (3-4 min long). Is there a market for this anywhere?
Probably not a huge market, but the opportunities can arise from time to time. See if you can find any music supervisors out there who are looking for this kind of music.
Old 11th May 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
Probably not a huge market, but the opportunities can arise from time to time. See if you can find any music supervisors out there who are looking for this kind of music.
Just making sure I understand...

there's a market for sequenced music made by kids using pirated software on a computer, but nothing for grooved based recordings incorporating live instruments played by seasoned musicians.

is that correct?
Old 11th May 2017
  #4
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There's plenty of market. It's not going to go gangbusters, but if authentically done, it's always wanted/needed. There's a never-ending call for authentic classic rock, which is surprisingly difficult to make/remake.
Old 11th May 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
There's plenty of market. It's not going to go gangbusters, but if authentically done, it's always wanted/needed. There's a never-ending call for authentic classic rock, which is surprisingly difficult to make/remake.
you would think.

I understand there being not as much of a demand as in decades past but I would think there would be even less of a supply? that being with the over -saturation of sequenced music and the era of the "1 man band" you would think there would be a real desire for authenticity again.

And I get it, the vintage thing has been vogue for almost a decade now, but I mean absolute 100% retro authenticity. Not catering at all to whats trending.
Old 11th May 2017
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
Just making sure I understand...

there's a market for sequenced music made by kids using pirated software on a computer, but nothing for grooved based recordings incorporating live instruments played by seasoned musicians.

is that correct?
to some extent yes. But you are looking at it the wrong way... you are looking at the front end of the entire process. you need to look at the other end of the process..

WHERE does classic rock make sense in TV shows, films, advertisements, etc? What kind of emotions does classic rock conjure up? What kind of sentiment? What demographic does classic rock appeal to?

You are more likely to see classic rock in a viagra commercial than you are an iPhone commercial. The music used in any spot is a factor of two things... the emotion and sentiment trying to be conveyed in the spot, and the demographic the spot is trying to appeal to. Period. Who made it, how it was made, when it was made, etc is irrelevant.

That being said, I produced a classic rock album last year and it has seen tons of use. BUT!!! It was not the classic rock you are talking about. It was late 70's rock along the lines of old ZZ Top and Old AC/DC, Old Bob Seager, etc. Not that more slick 80's productions that those groups did... but the 70's more raw productions. Where is it seeing the most use? Sports. Sports in-show (racing broadcasts, baseball broadcasts) promos. It has also see some use for promos and in-show with car remodeling reality shows as well as some travel shows.

Unfortunately, every time I have ever seen/heard or worked on a classic rock albums or track that sounds like steely dan, brand x, mahavishnu, Zappa, King Crimson, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Dixie Dregs, etc or any sort of jazz/rock fusion or funk/soul fusion... it doesn't get licensed. Why? Because the music itself is more about the experience of listening to it, than it is about a certain mood or emotion in the music. Me and several people that i work with at libraries are HUGE Zappa, Dixie Dregs, Weather Report, Steely Dan, fans... don't get me wrong. I'm such a huge Zappa fan that I try to hire Joe Travers to play drums on my projects as much as I can. And I'm psyched because a producer I work with, I just found out, is good friends with Chad Wackerman and I'm going to start trying to hire Chad for drum sessions now!! And I just started working with these two composers who have been friends with Steve Morse for decades and they do a lot of Film and TV music WITH STEVE?!?!!!? You would never know it because it doesn't sound anything like what he does on his own in his solo career or in the dixie dregs. I am trying to see if I could get him to play guitar on some of my projects. :-) BUT!!! As much as I wish the style of music those artists do/did on their own would work for music licensing... it doesn't for the most part.

There are two things working against you if you are trying to do that kind of music for licensing... first is that style of music just doesn't get licensed that often because it is a fusion of styles and emotions. Fusions of anything are hard to license because they are never extremely strong in any one direction. A Rock/Jazz fusion track is not going to be "rock" enough for a rock placement and it is not going to be "jazz" enough for a jazz placement. The dixie dregs and Bela Fleck do bluegrass/rock/jazz fusion and it's AMAZING to listen to. But, it's never bluegrass ENOUGH for any scenes that are set in the south and need bluegrass music. It's never rock enough for a scene that needs that rock attitude, and it's not jazzy enough to work for a scene where jazz music is needed. What made it so ground breaking as an art form is the very thing that makes it tough to license. Make sense?

And two... when there is a need for one of these bands, the license fee the original artists will charge is VERY reasonable and so they are just going to license the original, instead of licensing something similar from a library. It's not like Steely Dan or Weather Report or Zappa's estate are charging $250,000 to license one of their songs... for the most part it's a couple thousand dollars. So production companies will just license the real thing at that point because it's the same price or just a hair more expensive than going with a library.
Old 11th May 2017
  #7
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Tomdavids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
to some extent yes. But you are looking at it the wrong way... you are looking at the front end of the entire process. you need to look at the other end of the process..

WHERE does classic rock make sense in TV shows, films, advertisements, etc? What kind of emotions does classic rock conjure up? What kind of sentiment? What demographic does classic rock appeal to?

You are more likely to see classic rock in a viagra commercial than you are an iPhone commercial. The music used in any spot is a factor of two things... the emotion and sentiment trying to be conveyed in the spot, and the demographic the spot is trying to appeal to. Period. Who made it, how it was made, when it was made, etc is irrelevant.

That being said, I produced a classic rock album last year and it has seen tons of use. BUT!!! It was not the classic rock you are talking about. It was late 70's rock along the lines of old ZZ Top and Old AC/DC, Old Bob Seager, etc. Not that more slick 80's productions that those groups did... but the 70's more raw productions. Where is it seeing the most use? Sports. Sports in-show (racing broadcasts, baseball broadcasts) promos. It has also see some use for promos and in-show with car remodeling reality shows as well as some travel shows.

Unfortunately, every time I have ever seen/heard or worked on a classic rock albums or track that sounds like steely dan, brand x, mahavishnu, Zappa, King Crimson, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Dixie Dregs, etc or any sort of jazz/rock fusion or funk/soul fusion... it doesn't get licensed. Why? Because the music itself is more about the experience of listening to it, than it is about a certain mood or emotion in the music. Me and several people that i work with at libraries are HUGE Zappa, Dixie Dregs, Weather Report, Steely Dan, fans... don't get me wrong. I'm such a huge Zappa fan that I try to hire Joe Travers to play drums on my projects as much as I can. And I'm psyched because a producer I work with, I just found out, is good friends with Chad Wackerman and I'm going to start trying to hire Chad for drum sessions now!! And I just started working with these two composers who have been friends with Steve Morse for decades and they do a lot of Film and TV music WITH STEVE?!?!!!? You would never know it because it doesn't sound anything like what he does on his own in his solo career or in the dixie dregs. I am trying to see if I could get him to play guitar on some of my projects. :-) BUT!!! As much as I wish the style of music those artists do/did on their own would work for music licensing... it doesn't for the most part.

There are two things working against you if you are trying to do that kind of music for licensing... first is that style of music just doesn't get licensed that often because it is a fusion of styles and emotions. Fusions of anything are hard to license because they are never extremely strong in any one direction. A Rock/Jazz fusion track is not going to be "rock" enough for a rock placement and it is not going to be "jazz" enough for a jazz placement. The dixie dregs and Bela Fleck do bluegrass/rock/jazz fusion and it's AMAZING to listen to. But, it's never bluegrass ENOUGH for any scenes that are set in the south and need bluegrass music. It's never rock enough for a scene that needs that rock attitude, and it's not jazzy enough to work for a scene where jazz music is needed. What made it so ground breaking as an art form is the very thing that makes it tough to license. Make sense?

And two... when there is a need for one of these bands, the license fee the original artists will charge is VERY reasonable and so they are just going to license the original, instead of licensing something similar from a library. It's not like Steely Dan or Weather Report or Zappa's estate are charging $250,000 to license one of their songs... for the most part it's a couple thousand dollars. So production companies will just license the real thing at that point because it's the same price or just a hair more expensive than going with a library.

this makes a lot of sense. thank you for weighing in!
Old 11th May 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
Just making sure I understand...

there's a market for sequenced music made by kids using pirated software on a computer, but nothing for grooved based recordings incorporating live instruments played by seasoned musicians.

is that correct?
Huh?!?
Old 12th May 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 

I guess there's a small market for that style. Check out Vik Sharma's music for 'Hello Ladies' for a kinda similar vibe. Slightly reminiscent of Steely Dan's 'Aja' in parts.
https://soundcloud.com/audiobuffer/sets/hello-ladies
Old 12th May 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsherP View Post
I guess there's a small market for that style. Check out Vik Sharma's music for 'Hello Ladies' for a kinda similar vibe. Slightly reminiscent of Steely Dan's 'Aja' in parts.
https://soundcloud.com/audiobuffer/sets/hello-ladies
Really? I didn't hear that reference at all... That sounds nothing like Aja to me.



To me the "Hello Ladies" track sound more like a feeble attempt at Sade

Old 12th May 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Really? I didn't hear that reference at all... That sounds nothing like Aja to me.



To me the "Hello Ladies" track sound more like a feeble attempt at Sade

I meant more the rhodesy vibe...it could be that the show has that fish out of water in LA theme that I associate with that album - probably from watching the Classic Albums episode a few too many times
Old 12th May 2017
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Tomdavids's Avatar
 

Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Really? I didn't hear that reference at all... That sounds nothing like Aja to me.



To me the "Hello Ladies" track sound more like a feeble attempt at Sade

Agreed. I was at least expecting live drums
Old 12th May 2017
  #13
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
to some extent yes. But you are looking at it the wrong way... you are looking at the front end of the entire process. you need to look at the other end of the process..

WHERE does classic rock make sense in TV shows, films, advertisements, etc? What kind of emotions does classic rock conjure up? What kind of sentiment? What demographic does classic rock appeal to?

You are more likely to see classic rock in a viagra commercial than you are an iPhone commercial. The music used in any spot is a factor of two things... the emotion and sentiment trying to be conveyed in the spot, and the demographic the spot is trying to appeal to. Period. Who made it, how it was made, when it was made, etc is irrelevant.

That being said, I produced a classic rock album last year and it has seen tons of use. BUT!!! It was not the classic rock you are talking about. It was late 70's rock along the lines of old ZZ Top and Old AC/DC, Old Bob Seager, etc. Not that more slick 80's productions that those groups did... but the 70's more raw productions. Where is it seeing the most use? Sports. Sports in-show (racing broadcasts, baseball broadcasts) promos. It has also see some use for promos and in-show with car remodeling reality shows as well as some travel shows.

Unfortunately, every time I have ever seen/heard or worked on a classic rock albums or track that sounds like steely dan, brand x, mahavishnu, Zappa, King Crimson, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Dixie Dregs, etc or any sort of jazz/rock fusion or funk/soul fusion... it doesn't get licensed. Why? Because the music itself is more about the experience of listening to it, than it is about a certain mood or emotion in the music. Me and several people that i work with at libraries are HUGE Zappa, Dixie Dregs, Weather Report, Steely Dan, fans... don't get me wrong. I'm such a huge Zappa fan that I try to hire Joe Travers to play drums on my projects as much as I can. And I'm psyched because a producer I work with, I just found out, is good friends with Chad Wackerman and I'm going to start trying to hire Chad for drum sessions now!! And I just started working with these two composers who have been friends with Steve Morse for decades and they do a lot of Film and TV music WITH STEVE?!?!!!? You would never know it because it doesn't sound anything like what he does on his own in his solo career or in the dixie dregs. I am trying to see if I could get him to play guitar on some of my projects. :-) BUT!!! As much as I wish the style of music those artists do/did on their own would work for music licensing... it doesn't for the most part.

There are two things working against you if you are trying to do that kind of music for licensing... first is that style of music just doesn't get licensed that often because it is a fusion of styles and emotions. Fusions of anything are hard to license because they are never extremely strong in any one direction. A Rock/Jazz fusion track is not going to be "rock" enough for a rock placement and it is not going to be "jazz" enough for a jazz placement. The dixie dregs and Bela Fleck do bluegrass/rock/jazz fusion and it's AMAZING to listen to. But, it's never bluegrass ENOUGH for any scenes that are set in the south and need bluegrass music. It's never rock enough for a scene that needs that rock attitude, and it's not jazzy enough to work for a scene where jazz music is needed. What made it so ground breaking as an art form is the very thing that makes it tough to license. Make sense?

And two... when there is a need for one of these bands, the license fee the original artists will charge is VERY reasonable and so they are just going to license the original, instead of licensing something similar from a library. It's not like Steely Dan or Weather Report or Zappa's estate are charging $250,000 to license one of their songs... for the most part it's a couple thousand dollars. So production companies will just license the real thing at that point because it's the same price or just a hair more expensive than going with a library.
Chad!! This post made my week... I have a chad story that I'll never repeat, but it makes me chortle everytime I think about it... So thank you!!!!
Old 12th May 2017
  #14
Well I just posted a tune I did in the last month that has a very 80's vibe to it. Not a single person commented on it after posting it in two different places on GS. I guess everyone here hated it.

But I am here as witness to tell you that there is still a market for it, because it is getting internet radio play as we speak. And I am getting likes and fans. Haven't made all that much money yet, but it's only been out for about a week. It seems to be spreading, and plays are picking up, not decreasing. So I guess it really depends on what "market" exactly you are going after. I am finding out very quickly here that this is more about connecting with particular listeners, who are my target "market" for the song. Some people want to hear new music, even if it sounds like it came out of the 80's. Others do not. Only choice is to create your own market.

I've always thought that if you make something and like it, the chances are high that someone else will like it too. And those people that like it are your market. You just gotta reach em. And that can be difficult- no argument there.

Also, I have had an instrumental record out for nearly ten years, which has seen plays in just about every single country. Interestingly I have made more money from that than anything else so far- but there is no question that the pop/rock market is 1,000 times bigger- so I am giving pop/rock a try.
Old 12th May 2017
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
This question isn't exclusive to motion picture licensing, but is there any revenue to made today in making instrumental music that could pass as if it were made in the 70's?

think steely dan, brand x, lonnie liston smith (live drums, piano, guitar,bass) no trendy spins on it, pure classic sounding instrumental records (3-4 min long). Is there a market for this anywhere?
Guardians of the Galaxy --- I and II

Major blockbuster movies, and chock full of 70s and 80s and 90s hits.

Brian Tyler did a great job scoring the movies, but the songs really carried the show. The original songs ... the stuff that resonates with everyone above a certain age.

Not sure that a "sound a like" would work equally well.
Old 12th May 2017
  #16
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bgood's Avatar
Any decent sized budget feature is gonna have the bread to stay out of the whole sound alike... In the spirit of Xyz deal... As they should... These tunes are evocative.

I post what we do on our soundcloud and I notice that the classic rock and Jackson Browne Americana type stuff gets listened too a lot. The jazz or otherwise instrumental stuff not so much... But, the 70s headhunters/funky Herbie instrumentals do get a few spins, too

The game is all about numbers and the size of your catalog, right? So, be grateful that you're able to write/play organic music that you dig!

I try not to knock one note cats, but, you mentioned the electronica "kids." I feel sorry for anyone trying to "make it" who hasn't spent the time learning how to play/write. Those cats are throwing all their eggs in a basket that's as big as the earth. Making beats or twiddling knobs on a virtual synth over "construction kits" or loops is something ALL of us should know how to do... But if it's All you know how to do the chances of really being successful as an enterprise is shockingly small. Too many chickens all over the planet dropping eggs in that basket.

IMO
Old 12th May 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
This question isn't exclusive to motion picture licensing, but is there any revenue to made today in making instrumental music that could pass as if it were made in the 70's?

think steely dan, brand x, lonnie liston smith (live drums, piano, guitar,bass) no trendy spins on it, pure classic sounding instrumental records (3-4 min long). Is there a market for this anywhere?
Can i get a link to some tracks?
Old 12th May 2017
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

On a similar note, would any of the "vets" (I think it's clear I'm not talking about skills in animal care here) see that Chic disco/funk sound as being one with potential licensing wise?
Old 12th May 2017
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Tomdavids's Avatar
 

Now, I don't know a ton about the business side of things...

Is there money to be made in 2017 and beyond going other routes besides licensing for organic rock/soul/jazz instrumental music?

Is it one of these things where I'm going to have to start from ground zero (start posting tracks on soundcloud, youtube, spotify etc..) and build an audience and hope to start collecting streaming revenue?

I have other brands that I have been building online for years and they have done pretty well on youtube and soundcloud which has led to sales for my website, and also good ad revenue from youtube.

But those are electronic, softsynth/hip hop/pop based programmed stuff.

This new project that I'm working on is the real deal, 4 piece band, classic sound, great musicians playing real instruments...

So I'm looking for realistic expectations as far as the business side is concerned for this.

Thanks yall!
Old 12th May 2017
  #20
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Would Bach tell Stevie Ray Vaughn he's not a "real musician"?

Last edited by JohnFulford; 12th May 2017 at 06:50 PM.. Reason: Extra vowel in Stevie
Old 12th May 2017
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

I heard that Stevie's teeth, when chattering, somehow had the ability to replicate the infamous Little Fugue in G minor perfectly, whilst Stevie surprisingly never quite got to grips with playing it on the guitar. Indeed, his Bach was worse than his bite.

Thanks, I'm here all week.
Old 12th May 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
Brian Tyler did a great job scoring the movies
Correction: Tyler Bates scored both GotG films.
Old 12th May 2017
  #23
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
So I'm looking for realistic expectations as far as the business side is concerned for this.

Thanks yall!
Realistic expectation is that you will have to work your a** off to make any amount of headway. This is a very competitive and oversaturated market.

I have a lot of music in the vein you describe, and it is far from my best selling (licensed) tracks. I did it because I wanted to, not because I knew it was going to sell a lot.
Old 12th May 2017
  #24
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFulford View Post
Would Bach tell Stevie Ray Vaughn he's not a "real musician"?
I want to know what Stevie would have said to JS. Maybe they are having this very convo in heaven right now.
Old 12th May 2017
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
Correction: Tyler Bates scored both GotG films.
You're right, I got them mixed up.
Old 12th May 2017
  #26
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foamboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
You are more likely to see classic rock in a viagra commercial than you are an iPhone commercial.
^^^^^THIS^^^^^^ is exactly the kind of inside and insightful info I always hope to find on GS!!!!


fb
Old 12th May 2017
  #27
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GS is so predictable in so many ways... Why would an edm/electronica dude mosey into this particular thread and clutch his pearls when a compare/contrast an edm-only guy's skillset with a proper musician?

There are approximately 135,000 edm threads here... Go there!

I get that everybody's a special snowflake and is protective of his turf, but, come on.
Old 22nd May 2017
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
it doesn't get licensed. Why? Because the music itself is more about the experience of listening to it, than it is about a certain mood or emotion in the music.
That's gold - thanks for that.
Old 22nd May 2017
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
GS is so predictable in so many ways... Why would an edm/electronica dude mosey into this particular thread and clutch his pearls when a compare/contrast an edm-only guy's skillset with a proper musician?

There are approximately 135,000 edm threads here... Go there!

I get that everybody's a special snowflake and is protective of his turf, but, come on.
Yes, a proper musician's skill set......
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