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Experience with Catch the Moon Music & Others Like This
Old 21st August 2017
  #1
Experience with Catch the Moon Music & Others Like This

I am a long-time record label owner, producer and recording engineer with pretty high-end recording studio at my finger tips: https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio . Also have many amazing artists to work with that are interested in sync. I have signed up for a year long course through Catch the Moon Music. Here is a course they offer: 6 Figure Songwriting | Cathy Heller: Do What You Love The one I signed up for this: Six Figure Songwriting 2.0 : The | Cathy Heller: Do What You Love

I am looking for input from people in the business about these kind of courses and maybe more specifically experiences with Catch the Moon. I am excited with their attitude and inspiration to pursue Sync. My over 40 years of experience has been mostly been with creating music for albums although I went to video school. Thanks for your help and insights into the business of sync!

https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio

Last edited by AudioSoundzz; 21st November 2017 at 05:16 PM..
Old 21st August 2017
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
Thanks for your help and insights into the business of sync!
FREE Truth that won't cost you $997 :

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...-you-cash.html

Read the whole thing. Carefully. A lot of commentaries seem to be comprehension challenged.

Bottom line : if you have to pay for it......<sigh>.....don't expect much. Other than a $1000 smaller bank account that is....
Old 21st August 2017
  #3
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drBill's Avatar
FYI :

I'm sure you checked this but......

Cathy Heller - IMDb

9 credits. Total.

You can get free info right here from guys who have hundreds to thousands of sync placements. For free.
Old 21st August 2017
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
FREE Truth that won't cost you $997 :

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...-you-cash.html

Read the whole thing. Carefully. A lot of commentaries seem to be comprehension challenged.

Bottom line : if you have to pay for it......<sigh>.....don't expect much. Other than a $1000 smaller bank account that is....
Dr Bill I am so glad you personally took note of this and responded. I just read your thread and one of the things that stands out for me is: "2. You learn to be prolific. Write 2+ songs a day, 5 days a week for a year. THEN, throw out the crap and start marketing the good stuff." So your saying have a VERY serious amount of content before even pursuing licensing... Can you elaborate on why its needed to have so many song first? It seems like it would be hard to know if the content is what the industry is wanting into the future. Also on how many song you have to date and approx revenues that generates .. If that private I understand.

Dang how do you keep sanity making 2 songs a day? Thanks for sharing your wisdom here!

https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio

Last edited by AudioSoundzz; 21st November 2017 at 05:17 PM..
Old 21st August 2017
  #5
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drBill's Avatar
Audiosoundzz -

A few things....

- I honestly believe it's disingenuous to suggest making 6 figures in sync licensing in 2017. For essentially unknown artists. Yeah, it's possible. So is winning the lotto.
- Sync amounts have been in steady decline (for the most part) for the last 15 years. To the point where many publishers are giving away their sync fees (and often their publishing or part of their publishing) in hopes of backend royalties.
- Backend is dropping with streaming taking over. To keep your backend growing steadily, you have to put out EXPONENTIALLY more material into the market.
- I think "selling" secrets and workflows is for those who can't do it themselves. Otherwise, why sell your secrets instead of doing it yourselves. If you can't do it yourself, then that is a predatory occupation IMO. The time tested way for those who want in is to just get out there and do it. Make the mistakes, learn, try again. There are no secrets worth of paying $1000 for. IMO of course.
- I have hundreds of placements on IMDb - probably pushing towards 1000. Not 9 like Cathy Heller. That's not even counting foreign, which is difficult to quantify with foreign sub-publishers. Take it for what it's worth....
- I've got close to 2000 songs (unique individual pieces of music) generating income. With publishing retitles, and sub publishers retailing again, sub-sub publishers retitling yet again....alt mixes, etc., BMI has over 35,000 pieces of music credited to my account. Actually, they don't ALL generate income, but they are all in the marketplace.
- I consider a "song" any piece of music I put out into the sync market. It may have lyrics, it may not.

The reason I suggest writing for a year is that this is a radically different business than the "artist / record" biz. If you can't sustain that kind of writing schedule, in all probability, you won't have any long term success. Success in this biz is about diversity, longevity, and prolific output. Good luck.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
I am looking for input from people in the business about these kind of courses
Dr.Bill as ever speaks with wisdom.

Talking about these kind of courses in general...

They are completely bogus ***IMO***. Please understand, as I have said before I think, that you are the business model. This is not some altruistic activity on their part developed in order to help composers. It will not help you. It will only cause your bank account to diminish whilst making them richer. That money would be much better in your bank account wouldn't it?

I don't know what you can learn on a course that you cannot learn from Google and looking through this forum.

These things have been around for years. I have been around for years too - a professional composers for 17 years in fact and never, ever, ever, ever, heard anyone say anything along the lines of: "yay! I made it and it's all down to that online course".

You are more likely to hear the phrase: "they just discovered Mars is made from Salami".

I am happy to report that I do 6 figs every year and I ain't never done an online course. Furthermore, I don't know of any successful composer that has.

The '6 fig songwriting' promo vid made me quite nauseous.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 

i heard her interview from a cdbaby podcast before i knew anything about the course or these forums. she had a lot of great tips to vocal songwriters which i was focused on before and how to implement lyrics to fit whats in demand in the sync world. she gave her email and mentioned shes willing to listen to submissions and would consider promising tracks to be invited to her publishing co. i shot her an email and got a canned reply stating her course as a prerequisite. unfortunately (or fortunately) i couldnt afford it so that was the end of that. thats my 2 cents..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 

What I am wondering is would these numbers be different for orchestral music? Writing 2+ tracks of orchestral music a day is probably possible, but then the tracks are crap. Little use in producing lots and lots of mediocre tracks. Stephen Reese writes outstanding orchestral music, and he mentioned somewhere that he aims to write and produce one track per week. He seems to be doing extremely well. Is he just a huge exception, or can writing one track a week be sustainable depending on the genre and publishers?
Old 22nd August 2017
  #9
Mrx
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
What I am wondering is would these numbers be different for orchestral music? Writing 2+ tracks of orchestral music a day is probably possible, but then the tracks are crap. Little use in producing lots and lots of mediocre tracks. Stephen Reese writes outstanding orchestral music, and he mentioned somewhere that he aims to write and produce one track per week. He seems to be doing extremely well. Is he just a huge exception, or can writing one track a week be sustainable depending on the genre and publishers?
Obviously the more music you have out there the better chances of placements. I think that's Bills point.
No point in writing/recording/mixing/mastering 2 tracks per day if they're crap, much better to slow down a bit and find a tempo you're comfortable with. Everyone is different.

On top of that, every library has different requirements. As an example reality cues can be much quicker to write than say a 2:30 min track with lots of impact, changes and detail. The less detail the quicker it is to write.

To the question of how a writer can do 1 track per week and earn a good living. My take on it is that certain high end publishers matched with a particular writer is just sometimes a good combination. The library can place the music they write and the writer can write the music they like (that almost sounded like a catch phrase)

Some libraries like tracks that sound like 'hits' or the kind of tracks that would stand out in an advert whereas others are in the underscore business or both.

I think a good question to ask when writing is: 'what is this' and 'who is it for'.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Audiosoundzz -
The reason I suggest writing for a year is that this is a radically different business than the "artist / record" biz. If you can't sustain that kind of writing schedule, in all probability, you won't have any long term success. Success in this biz is about diversity, longevity, and prolific output. Good luck.
From what I gather from listening to Cathy Heller at Catch the Moon she says "do not submit any music to any libraries". From what I understood her reasoning is that it is a bargain basement kind of environment that attracts low quality music that sells at a low price. She recommends only working with agents or going directly to the music directors wanting the music. Makes sense to me but what do I know? At this point very little except knowing how to create great and sometimes not so great music by myself or with a team. Working with others is much more fun / synergistic.

https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio

Last edited by AudioSoundzz; 21st November 2017 at 05:17 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #11
Gear Addict
 

What the heck, she actually sells that kind of 'advise'??? Sorry, but it seems like she has no idea what she is talking about. Maybe one of these days she should take the time to browse one or two of the top tier exclusive libraries and listen to the 'low quality music' that 'sells at low price' there.

Thanks for your input Mrx. That sounds reasonable. I guess everybody has to find their own way in this jungle.

Last edited by goodkeys; 22nd August 2017 at 03:29 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 
noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
.

- I think "selling" secrets and workflows is for those who can't do it themselves. Otherwise, why sell your secrets instead of doing it yourselves. If you can't do it yourself, then that is a predatory occupation IMO. The time tested way for those who want in is to just get out there and do it. Make the mistakes, learn, try again. There are no secrets worth of paying $1000 for. IMO of course.
I also feel very strongly that some people offering expensive online courses are somewhat disingenuous. There is a substantial supply of information to discover online (for free), and here on GS you get the added benefits of 'sage' and genuine help and direction from some incredibly generous experienced members...

Everybody it seems has now turned their attention to sync media and thousands are rushing to get onboard the cruise to cash Island.

'Meet the gatekeepers' 'access to private groups' 'access to producers' 'access to real-time searches'.

The course sure is all about access. - How much access will $1000 get you? - you even get to feel that by 'auditioning' you are specially qualified and chosen to get to pay $1000.
Quote:
Prerequisite: Enrollment open to students from past classes (6 Figure Songwriting or Money In Music) or by audition.
All I can say is God save Gearslutz. And I really mean that. Seriously. Read these forums, ask earnest questions - garner the treasure of information, sincerity and experience offered here. Keep your $1000 and invest it more astutely.

If you are looking for honesty and access - you came to the right place. And (paid nothing), but respectful attention.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
she says "do not submit any music to any libraries". From what I understood her reasoning is that it is a bargain basement kind of environment that attracts low quality music that sells at a low price. She recommends only working with agents or going directly to the music directors wanting the music.
Hm.....that's probably the worst advice I've heard. True, there are bargain basement libraries, but there are also libraries who's writing and production level is at major label quality levels.

As for an "agent" shopping your songs...... LOL.... That's rich. I will be laughing all day long on that one.

Last edited by drBill; 22nd August 2017 at 05:01 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #14
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
What I am wondering is would these numbers be different for orchestral music? Writing 2+ tracks of orchestral music a day is probably possible, but then the tracks are crap. Little use in producing lots and lots of mediocre tracks. Stephen Reese writes outstanding orchestral music, and he mentioned somewhere that he aims to write and produce one track per week. He seems to be doing extremely well. Is he just a huge exception, or can writing one track a week be sustainable depending on the genre and publishers?
Crap? I disagree. Your average A list film composer is writing between 3-6 minutes a day to make their deadline. It may not be completely finished (overdubs, mixing, etc.) but it's "written". If you can't make two 1.5 to 2.5 minute pieces a day, you need to speed up your game. There is a line between crap and diminishing returns. As professional writers, we have to find it. That's one of the most difficult things for me - to figure out how much is "enough" and when to move on and quit polishing.

There's no doubt that certain genre's and ensemble types take longer than others. But spending a week to make a single track? Unnecessary in all but the most extreme circumstances IMO.

As for ultimately what is crap, what is mediocre, and what is amazing.....I can only say this : we are not the judges of our music. The licensing "public" is. My greatest works that I toiled endlessly over sit (for the most part) unused. And crappy little pieces that I would have thrown away get used over, and, over and over again. Who is the arbiter of what is good? Me or those licensing my music? Something to think about....
Old 22nd August 2017
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Something to think about....
Indeed. There is no question that I need to get faster, but the tracks produced must be good enough to place them in an exclusive library. 2 Tracks a day seems like pretty steep for full orchestral tracks. I guess that and one track a week are the two extremes then.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #16
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
but the tracks produced must be good enough to place them in an exclusive library.
Why would you want to do that? Serious question.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
As for an "agent" shopping your songs...... LOL.... That's rich. I will be laughing all day long on that one.
Being the beginner in sync that I am a thought that agents who usually take what - about 20% to connect your music for a company who needs it is pretty customary.

https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio

Last edited by AudioSoundzz; 21st November 2017 at 05:16 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #18
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
Being the beginner in sync that I am a thought that agents who usually take what - about 20% to connect your music for a company who needs it is pretty customary.
Truth : Agents do take around 20%. In this biz, very rarely do agents shop out songs for you. Suggesting that that is their primary goal shows a disconnect in understanding how this biz works. At least for those starting out. If you want to place your catalog, take a look at how that is done for real. 98% of the time it's not done with agents. I suppose if Bono wants to place U2's catalog, he might contact his agent.

Again, check IMDb and see how successful your teachers are. Are they out there getting it done, or at home playing with their kids.

Last edited by drBill; 22nd August 2017 at 05:54 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #19
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Amber's Avatar
 

As for write 2 tracks a day vs 1 track a week. I find however long I've got is how long it takes me.

Start getting contracted for multiple albums at a time, all with deadlines, map them all out to see how many mins you need to do a day, allow time for revisions, mixing, stems, cut downs. Libraries release albums in batches usually. So you ideally want to be doing a few tracks or albums for each batch and for various libraries.

You'll get the work done and quickly realise what slows/speeds your workflow. Paid $50 for a plugin that keeps crashing Logic X? Delete it and move on. Idea not quick working? Delete, start again. Sink full of dirty dishes? Bin them and buy new ones.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Truth : Agents do not shop songs for you.
I have gotten numerous calls from a licensing company needing music for film. They called me because our record label has music in certain styles that have on occasion been of interest. Are you saying they will not shop your music but if some sync is needed and they like your track they may contact you about getting a deal? Think I am a bit confused on this one! Is not some kind of service being filled by a licensing company. This is what I am calling an agent as being.

https://www.invinciblemusic.com/phoe...cording-studio

Last edited by AudioSoundzz; 21st November 2017 at 05:16 PM..
Old 22nd August 2017
  #21
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
I have gotten numerous calls from a licensing company needing music for film. They called me because our record label has music in certain styles that have on occasion been of interest. Are you saying they will not shop your music but if some sync is needed and they like your track they may contact you about getting a deal? Think I am a bit confused on this one! Is not some kind of service being filled by a licensing company. This is what I am calling an agent as being.

I wouldn't call licensing companies "agents". But now I get where you are coming from. Yeah, I can see you seeing them as "agents". They do "represent" your songs.
Old 22nd August 2017
  #22
Gear Nut
 
SpikeWolf's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
As for ultimately what is crap, what is mediocre, and what is amazing.....I can only say this : we are not the judges of our music. The licensing "public" is. My greatest works that I toiled endlessly over sit (for the most part) unused. And crappy little pieces that I would have thrown away get used over, and, over and over again. Who is the arbiter of what is good? Me or those licensing my music? Something to think about....
THIS + THIS with a little side of THIS!
Old 23rd August 2017
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Why would you want to do that? Serious question.
Good question. I am new to the business, and I am trying to figuring out what directions to take as I go.

What I liked about the exclusive libraries I worked with:

Awesome distribution network. Good subpublishers worldwide.

The library takes care of the titling, artwork, meta-tagging, PRO registration etc. That's a nice help if you are new to this, plus it is time you can spend composing instead of managing your tracks.

I know that they are going to actively market my tracks, not just have them sitting in their catalogue.

Great interaction to create an album concept that we both wanted to do. If you are new and don't know yet what sells thats an important help.

Great feedback on the tracks sent in.

The downside is that you run the risk of sinking your tracks. If you sign them away exclusively and they don't get placements, there is nothing you can do about it.

With non-exclusive libraries, the composer seems to have to do a lot of this work himself/herself (titling, meta tagging, managing your tracks, keeping track of where you placed your songs under what title). But you keep more control over your tracks. Is that about right?

I have had some good experiences working with exclusive libraries so far. But maybe I am missing out?
Old 23rd August 2017
  #24
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
Good question. I am new to the business, and I am trying to figuring out what directions to take as I go.

What I liked about the exclusive libraries I worked with:

Awesome distribution network. Good subpublishers worldwide.

The library takes care of the titling, artwork, meta-tagging, PRO registration etc. That's a nice help if you are new to this, plus it is time you can spend composing instead of managing your tracks.

I know that they are going to actively market my tracks, not just have them sitting in their catalogue.

Great interaction to create an album concept that we both wanted to do. If you are new and don't know yet what sells thats an important help.

Great feedback on the tracks sent in.

The downside is that you run the risk of sinking your tracks. If you sign them away exclusively and they don't get placements, there is nothing you can do about it.

With non-exclusive libraries, the composer seems to have to do a lot of this work himself/herself (titling, meta tagging, managing your tracks, keeping track of where you placed your songs under what title). But you keep more control over your tracks. Is that about right?

I have had some good experiences working with exclusive libraries so far. But maybe I am missing out?
Your assessment seems right. I've had trouble with what I bolded above. I'm in a couple of the "bests" libraries out there, and had them completely drop the ball on my music. Nothing I can do about it. Some of my best work - a huge portion actually - essentially gone forever. Making pennies at best. The paradigm of signing away my music exclusively is less and less appealing at this point. I'll still do it from time to time, but there are a lot of other horizons that I find more appealing at this point.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for your help drBill, much appreciated. I have a lot more tracks to write before I'll start to see what works for me. For now I feel the exclusive libraries I currently write for take good care of me and my tracks. But if the tracks get no placements I'll have to readjust. As drBill wrote diversification is probably key. Not only in the styles you write, but also the libraries you write for.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #26
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
For now I feel the exclusive libraries I currently write for take good care of me and my tracks. But if the tracks get no placements I'll have to readjust. As drBill wrote diversification.
Also, important to note : Exclusive libraries (generally speaking) operate on the old school "back end" royalty principal. The libraries themselves may take INCREDIBLY good care of you, but if the PRO's don't pay out fairly......you're hosed. We're definitely seeing this happening with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.. IME, that old school paradigm is fading out for composers - although not for the libraries themselves, as they still have their front end - although they are certainly taking a hit as well.

In 2017, libraries are 1.) doing mostly blankets for TV, 2.) giving away content, 3.) not only giving away, but sharing publishing with one time "buyers", and 4.) giving away content and then, THEN, giving away 100% publishing - and taking writers shares so they can make a percentage. Those scenarios are hard to compete with in old school library scenarios. They are going to change the face of how music is acquired and compensated for. All these "new skool" scenarios are happening and thriving in 2017. Holding on to old school paradigms and hoping for better days is awesome, but will we ever go back????

Success in writing for libraries is in having a crystal ball and not writing for what works today. It's writing for what will be working in 5-10 years.

In 2017, if you do not share in up-front sync's, be aware that streaming is taking over - and will kill your backend in a few years. Their back end royalty payout is minuscule compared to network / cable payouts of past. I don't know how this will all pan out over the years, but it does not look good, and putting yourself into a locked down old school paradigm with no room to negotiate is not wise at this point IMO. Just my opinion though.....

Diversification is certainly the key to longevity. Maybe PRO's will get it together and be forced to use their Netflix income to payout their Netflix composers instead of their pop superstars..... But I'm not holding my breath.

That's about all I'm willing to share at this point.... Best of luck.
Old 24th August 2017
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Loads of information to take in and process. Sincere thanks drBill, you are incredibly helpful. I am doing this part time and don't have to earn my living with it. So I can afford to be idealistic (I won't work with libraries that give away their publishers share, but in turn take a part of the composers, even if it would earn me money. It's just not right), and focus on the parts I like doing. I was even lucky enough to find a top tier exclusive library that shares the sync fees 50/50 with me. For the backend, if we are incredibly lucky, the PRO's will get their stuff together in the future and streaming will generate the income to composers that it should.
Old 20th April 2018
  #28
Here for the gear
 

You are SO right! Thank you! <3
Old 20th April 2018
  #29
The service is based out of LA? Of course they are going to sell the dream! That is how they make their money. The few that win generate hope for the many that lose.
Old 21st April 2018
  #30
Gear Nut
 
SpikeWolf's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
The service is based out of LA? Of course they are going to sell the dream! That is how they make their money. The few that win generate hope for the many that lose.
Similar to the lottery?
Topic:
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