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how to make libary tracks more interesting
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

how to make libary tracks more interesting

Hi guys,

I though it would be nice to have a thread where we all share tips and things we've learnt from doing our libary tracks.

Just following on I just want to share some things I discovered recently and what I notice when guys post their tracks of various forums for feedback ect...

I've been producing libary music for a few years now and just want to share some tips. Essentially, like how you can make your music more interesting. Basically just doing something totally original and thinking in a completely different way can literally bring a track to life. Kind of think of it like thinking out the box but not literally. For example this can be -

1-using totally ancient instruments (hurdy gurdy / sacbutts / bagpipes with a strident flange and loads of reverb for drones ect..)

2-trad instruments 'with a twist'

3-strange time signatures (5/4 / 2/2 3/4 ect..)

4-tastefull fx fused with non-tastefull instruments (flange on a horn ect.)

But let's focus on '2' - 'trad instruments with a twist'.

So I have just finished getting my track 'Move Yer' professionally mastered. This is from a soon to be released libary album that I'm contributing to called 'Dead Beats' (yeah, we like the ironic title as it's just kinda breathing life into the Drum 'n Bass format which is literally making a comeback). The track also uses top session vocalist Jane Smith (who comes in in the second half). I am a big Pendulum fan so you might spot the influence.

Anyway, my mum has been playing loads of Baker Street recently when she's been cooking (she loves Jeff Lynne's voice) and it kinda got me to thinking. I thought what would be cool would be to just use sax in a literally contemporary context. Let's face it, sax has almost disappeared from all of library music over the last decade.

So one day I just kinda figured why not use it in a D 'n B context and mix it up with '4' (see above)? As far as I'm aware this hasn't been done before. So I got top sax session player Dave Jones in to do a solo. He improvised cos we basically wanted that freshness and to keep it real and he really nailed it on the 6th or 7th take. It was very difficult as there's all kinds of fast scales and stuff.

But it was still kinda dry so I added 2 stereo delays which makes it sound like 3 or even 4 sax players at the same time! Multi-stereo delay is great as you can literally have 4 sax players going at once when you've only used the one. I used a really big reverb too as our kitchen (where Dave recorded the sax solo) is fairly small. On top of this (as in '4' above) I also used some flange on the guitar riff. The rest of the guitar I kept dry as it's great to juxtatapose wet with dry. This helps add a little variety and keeps the listeners interest for the second half of the tune when Jane starts singing.

Here is the completed track. I am very pleased and think it is quite catchy. Hope you guys post some tips to share too!

Chirbit - 'Move Yer' (Mastered Mix) - LibaryMusicTips - share audio easily
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

I know where you're coming from.
My very first library album had that sort of thinking. It was called 'Around the world in 18 beats', with each track representing a different world music genre (Flamenco, Klezmer etc.) combined with Electronic beats and synths. I thought it was a great idea, and took me forever to complete, bringing in various flutists, a violinist and a guitarist. But at the end of the days it flopped rather badly. It was simply all over the place musically and it took me quite a while to find somewhere to place it.

Anyway.... I think you can overthink the whole 'be unique' aspect. It's great if you have your own sound, but I think there's a reason why for example, sax solos are not in anymore. We've had enough of Kenny G
Library music is about pleasing the masses, not about inventing the new big thing in music. We leave that to the artists.

I had a listen to the track. No offence, but with 'top session vocalist', 'top session sax player' and 'professionally mastered', it was not of level I expected.
I'm a bit baffled that you'd actually hire a vocalist to sing what is essentially 1 line.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 

true. ^^^
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Please conform and make music that will sell.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Sound Aesthetic

Hi librarymusictips,

I think you can make great library music, using a Laptop with a DAW a simple MidiKeyboard and a pair of Headphones (Dt770 for example). You don't need
all the Polish of SeassionMusicians and Stuff, if your Track lacks a Strong Foundation.

Get your MainLoop right, get it working, get it round so you can listen
half an hour to it, without getting annoyed!

Listen to the Music which is used in Placements you want to get yourself into.
I think the Sound Aesthetic is one of the most important Issues here.
Does your Track sound modern, do you use Technique & Sounds which are
around right now??

Your Track is based on a Drum&Bass Break/Beat, which sounds to me like the
Foundation and SoundAesthetic of the early 2000s. Think FutureBass, Trap,
Indy, ModernCinematic, Epic, BluesTrailerStyle (made this One up :D),
for Example, when you want to meet some of the Aesthetics of Now (2018).

And if you love the fast pace of a 172Bpm-ish DnB Break, then you could accomplish this, using the Techniques of NeuroFunk or Liquid DnB, which still have a huge FanBase, even in the US. Check Tracks from NOISIA and Alix Perez
to get some inspiration, in this direction :D

Keep up the work and challenge yourself, whenever you can,
If you keep on working you will develop yourself more and more to the Place
where you get to the point, at which you can realize what's playing in your head.

Cheers Ookami
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
007
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by librarymusictips View Post

So I have just finished getting my track 'Move Yer' professionally mastered. This is from a soon to be released libary album that I'm contributing to called 'Dead Beats' (yeah, we like the ironic title as it's just kinda breathing life into the Drum 'n Bass format which is literally making a comeback). The track also uses top session vocalist Jane Smith (who comes in in the second half). I am a big Pendulum fan so you might spot the influence.
Hey there and welcome to the community.
Your first post, which dates back to nearly 2 years ago, was deleted (by you), but you never explained why, but anyway, lovely second post you have here!

So, I just listened to your track "Move yer" - indeed that vocalist is something else.

I'm curious though - as I think many of us would be after hearing your track - which libraries are you submitting your music to and are they doing well with placements? I thought this could further expand on your well-intended explanation of how to make library music more interesting. There's always room for more library suggestions, especially from experienced and seemingly successful library composers such as yourself. ie: like which are the good ones to send your music to, etc.

Do you think this track will do well in the library and hopefully get picked up for a big advert or film?

Furthermore, the track you have posted here is actually the mastered version?
Oh, and do you get your tracks mixed professionally?
Curious.


Best of luck to you!

Last edited by 007; 3 weeks ago at 04:45 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

1-using totally ancient instruments (hurdy gurdy / sacbutts / bagpipes with a strident flange and loads of reverb for drones ect..)

Usually will not work. Remember - we are doing television underscore here.

2-trad instruments 'with a twist'

Trad = traditional? Well, yes, you would use instruments, that's a given I think, no?

3-strange time signatures (5/4 / 2/2 3/4 ect..)

At times can work - but usually not. Harder to edit to, generally.

4-tastefull fx fused with non-tastefull instruments (flange on a horn ect.)

Usually will not work. Remember - we are doing television underscore here.

Anything else?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

OP, good effort at a wind-up but you gave the game away too early with the Baker Street/Jeff Lynne comment.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetM View Post
OP, good effort at a wind-up but you gave the game away too early with the Baker Street/Jeff Lynne comment.
Yeah, my bad. I realised soon after I had got that wrong. Of course it's Jerry Rafferty. Doh!

Thanks for the feedback guys. There's alot to think about here and to be honest some of it is tough reading. But I do appreciate the comments. You sure have to be resilient in this industry!!

All as I'm trying to do is help the community with some tips. Just things I picked up at college and whilst developing my libary catalogue. Hey, don't shoot the messenger!

Anyway - some more tips for you. Here's a video I did which went viral across YouTube. This was my first post a while back (which I deleted) but I repost seeing as this thread is about sharing and exhanging ideas.

So, have I always done D 'n B music? Well no! For years I literally cut my teeth on uplifting/inspirational indie! Which is kinda how I came to doing the vid. Basically, someone asked me 'how do you make uplifitng/inspirational music?'. Yeah, there is an art to it for sure because you want the climatic point to be right at the end with a strong reverb tail. This is the key fundamental to this kind of music. One of my favorite quotes here is 'don't try and land the plane too early'. Well yeah! Cos if you do, you are probably gonna miss the runway right? Right.

I hear alot of 'uplifting' tunes where the climatic point is like halfway through - which is cool but imagine this under some sporting scene say, where a javelin thrower is running up about to throw. You want that climatic moment to hit just as he releases the javelin right? (and a final 'hit' as the javelin sticks in the ground maybe). Any earlier and you have completely lost the mood. If the climatic point happened during his run up, he is going to be releasing to a calm outro and reverb tail. Which is not going to be very effective right? Right. When scoring to a sporting scene you have to literally 'think like an Olympian'!

This is the kinda thing I'm talking about. Basically, just thinking about how the music works with the picture more. If you are trying to write music for picture, try and imagine the picture! Yeah, it's kinda obvious but alot of composers just don't hear visually. That's a great tip right there - 'learn to hear visually'. By essentially 'listening to the pictures' your music is going to be more appropriate for the scene.

Anyway, I'm waffling! Hope someone finds these tips useful.

'Creating an Inspiration Track':



Me and my buddy are now dedicated to rebooting our LMT video series (which kind of came to a standstill due to my college exams) so be sure to catch the next LMT video 'The Art of Mastering' which is coming up in a couple of weeks. We also want to do an interview series so will shortly be contacting some of the leading lights of this forum for an interiew.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

LMT
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Easy.

Just keep it interesting & make it sound good.

That's MORE than enough.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Ah yes. I remember that Library tips video. Long intro, guitar solo and fade out. Pure gold

Looking forward to the next one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
007
Lives for gear
 
007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by librarymusictips View Post

'Creating an Inspiration Track':



be sure to catch the next LMT video 'The Art of Mastering' which is coming up in a couple of weeks.


Phenomenal.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

...waiting for ashton kutcher to come out of the bushes....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Head
 

i take back everything i said in my deleted comment. will definitely keep an eye out for your next tip!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Oh, this is a joke thread. Had me fooled...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Oh, this is a joke thread. Had me fooled...
Not jokey enough. It's only funny if you suggest absolutely ridiculous stuff, then you make incredible music following your own suggestions. Good satire requires an aire of authority and subject mastery. Making crappy music based on mediocre, somewhat acceptable tips doesn't work.

Take Krispy Kreme for example. The reason one had to pay attention is because his raps were good enough to make people truly question if the guy was for real. If the current OP had come in making outlandish suggestions then actually executed them well, we'd still be baffled and more than mildly entertained, methinks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
007
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
Not jokey enough. It's only funny if you suggest absolutely ridiculous stuff, then you make incredible music following your own suggestions.
I'm not sure how that would make it funnier.
There is a constant in whatever formula you devise that will inevitably flatten out the entire scheme, that being the "incredible music" that follows whatever theorem it is prefaced with. We can all interpret it differently of course, totally cool, but personally, I think the punchline here, be it the "move yer" track or the little youtube clip, is the real kick in the gut that took us aback and got most of us scratching our head, if only for a minute or two.

In my comment above, I'm truly baffled by this, ahem, "mastered" track, hence my serious inquiry about the library that sadly decided to take it on.

Quote:
Good satire requires an aire of authority and subject mastery. Making crappy music based on mediocre, somewhat acceptable tips doesn't work.
Personally, I think his approach was effective, but that's just my opinion.

Well played, sir.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
"How to make library music more interesting"?

I dunno...

Write better music? It's always worked for me. Then again.....some of my crappiest tracks get the most usage. So what do I know.

Nevermind. Carry on.....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
...some of my crappiest tracks get the most usage. So what do I know.
The number of people who say that about whatever line of work they're in is amazing.

My dad was a commercial artist and he'd drive the long way to work to avoid seeing a specific billboard.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
I know where you're coming from.
My very first library album had that sort of thinking. It was called 'Around the world in 18 beats', with each track representing a different world music genre (Flamenco, Klezmer etc.) combined with Electronic beats and synths. I thought it was a great idea, and took me forever to complete, bringing in various flutists, a violinist and a guitarist. But at the end of the days it flopped rather badly. It was simply all over the place musically and it took me quite a while to find somewhere to place it.

Anyway.... I think you can overthink the whole 'be unique' aspect. It's great if you have your own sound, but I think there's a reason why for example, sax solos are not in anymore. We've had enough of Kenny G
Library music is about pleasing the masses, not about inventing the new big thing in music. We leave that to the artists.

I had a listen to the track. No offence, but with 'top session vocalist', 'top session sax player' and 'professionally mastered', it was not of level I expected.
I'm a bit baffled that you'd actually hire a vocalist to sing what is essentially 1 line.
Very emphatic, constructive and upliftig post.

Me thinks that emphaty is the first and foremost necessity to really get a step into (library) music and to deal with clients succesfully.
Old 5 days ago
  #24
Gear Addict
 

I'm confused. Is this a wind-up? The music suggest it is but the text suggests it isn't.
Old 5 days ago
  #25
Gear Nut
 

It is quite obviously serious I think. Yes, done slightly tongue in cheek but the tips have been very useful for me in my inspirational music. I would add that cymbal 'whooshes' and fast clarinet scales also help convey that inspiring feel.
Old 5 days ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornemalvo View Post
It is quite obviously serious I think. Yes, done slightly tongue in cheek but the tips have been very useful for me in my inspirational music. I would add that cymbal 'whooshes' and fast clarinet scales also help convey that inspiring feel.
Hahahaha! I wouldn't say "quite obviously." Pretty funny stuff, though... just wish the posts here were as outrageous as the videos. That would drive it home for me.
Old 3 days ago
  #27
007
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornemalvo View Post
It is quite obviously serious I think. Yes, done slightly tongue in cheek but the tips have been very useful for me in my inspirational music. I would add that cymbal 'whooshes' and fast clarinet scales also help convey that inspiring feel.
Oh my.

Not sure what's funnier, the video itself or your comment above.
Old 3 days ago
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Oh my.

Not sure what's funnier, the video itself or your comment above.
I will have you know I've had alot of success with fast clarinet scales (well, GM clarinet but the same thing). In fact, I have sold 4 downloads of 'clarinet inspiration uplifting corporate motivational No.3b' on Pond5.
Old 3 days ago
  #29
007
Lives for gear
 
007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornemalvo View Post
I will have you know I've had alot of success with fast clarinet scales (well, GM clarinet but the same thing). In fact, I have sold 4 downloads of 'clarinet inspiration uplifting corporate motivational No.3b' on Pond5.
Well done, sir.

I'll probably sleep a lot better tonight knowing this.
Old 3 days ago
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Well done, sir.

I'll probably sleep a lot better tonight knowing this.
That's really wonderful.
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