For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

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Lipskimusic
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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Lipskimusic » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:10 pm

Hi Casey,

I agree but what seems to be missing sometimes is a sentence as to what they expect us to replace the vocal part with (if at all). I would find it much more helpful if they would say 'use a very simple melodic line on top of your instrumental' OR 'no specific main melody is required' (i.e. groove and chord changes are sufficient). If you look at Adele 'Hello' for example (which has been used as a reference in a number of instrumental listings) you will see that there is nothing but a piano with 3-4 chords statically moving underneath the vocals. It is the vocals that make the song and with little instructions it is difficult to guess what the music supervisor has in mind when it comes to an instrumental version. At the end of the day it is better for all of us if there is as little waste of time involved for both composers and screeners. And, last but not least, and slightly off topic :) it would be best if they were able to outline the actual scope of application (the 'scene') in a few simple words. It is slightly frustrating to get feedback which reads "great track but does not fit the scene".... well if I had known what the specific scene is actually about, I would have written a different track in the first place... I appreciate that there are certain limitations when it comes to the degree of detail which can be provided in a listing but maybe it is something that Taxi can feedback to their clients as a matter of 'continuous improvement'.

Just my five cents.

Cheers,
Matt

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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Len911 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:13 pm

A chord is essentially 4 melodies stacked vertically. Counterpoint is a horizontal perspective of the melodies. You could also view it as SATB. You could probably say that the main melody is the one that changes most often. Adele could possibly be the alto melody, however, it's also possible there is also a static alto melody in line with the rest of the chord notes. Even unpitched drums
are technically pitched and supply melody. I prefer to call a vocal melody the primary melody, and all others secondary melodies.
The primary melody is going to change more and have more non-chord tones and non-scale notes, than secondary melodies that make up a more static, harmonic chordal backing type structure in general, or a slow harmonic progression, changing maybe once or twice per bar or two. An arpeggiated chord might supply interest as well, though probably not thought of as SATB, because it might cross part ranges. Your piece will be very boring if you only have "chords" or all the melodies are in line with the same note timing and no passing tones or neighboring tones, counterpoint, etc. What you can do depends upon the arrangement. It's probably easier to know what they don't want, than to limit your composing. Hope that helps.

Only groove and chord changes are BORING! :lol: There isn't such a thing as a solo rhythm guitar, they need a lead guitar or vocal or lead something.

It might be interesting if there was a scene with no director, and there were several composers writing music for the scene.
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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Casey H » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:18 pm

Len911 wrote:Only groove and chord changes are BORING! :lol: There isn't such a thing as a solo rhythm guitar, they need a lead guitar or vocal or lead something.
It really depends on the specific situation and what the listing (and client, of course) is looking for. For example, in some situations, a simple rhythm guitar by itself followed by layering in bass and light percussion can be a very marketable cue. We've seen many times where less is more. Too much can interfere with dialog. All we can do is read the description carefully, listen to the reference tracks, and try to give them what they asked for. Combine that with watching TV and listening to the BG music.

:D Casey

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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Len911 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:16 pm

Casey H wrote:
Len911 wrote:Only groove and chord changes are BORING! :lol: There isn't such a thing as a solo rhythm guitar, they need a lead guitar or vocal or lead something.
It really depends on the specific situation and what the listing (and client, of course) is looking for. For example, in some situations, a simple rhythm guitar by itself followed by layering in bass and light percussion can be a very marketable cue. We've seen many times where less is more. Too much can interfere with dialog. All we can do is read the description carefully, listen to the reference tracks, and try to give them what they asked for. Combine that with watching TV and listening to the BG music.

:D Casey
That's true! Sometimes boring is what's wanted although it's doubtful it would ever be described as such in the listing, however, those might be the only listings where I may see my own compositions used as an example! :shock: :lol: :lol:
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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by philsmith » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:35 am

But they do go WAY out of their way to give listing descriptions and 'a la' references FAR BEYOND what you'll find in listings ANYWHERE else that I know of.
That is SO true! Just check out some of the other services. But there are still some cryptic parts to figure out. I just got a return where the screener said I shouldn't have used pads. But at least one a la had pads. So just because something is in an a la doesn't make it acceptable.

Still working on this...

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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Pvgeldrop » Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:00 am

philsmith wrote:
But they do go WAY out of their way to give listing descriptions and 'a la' references FAR BEYOND what you'll find in listings ANYWHERE else that I know of.
That is SO true! Just check out some of the other services. But there are still some cryptic parts to figure out. I just got a return where the screener said I shouldn't have used pads. But at least one a la had pads. So just because something is in an a la doesn't make it acceptable.

Still working on this...
I think that's an important point right there: the references are, I believe, used to give a sense of style, mood, genre, et cetera, not to lock down what you can or cannot do. Sometimes, this is made explicit in the listing (thou shalt not use pads), sometimes it's not, so it's always a bit of a gamble. I find myself making short notes when listening to the references; tempo, mood, style, production, instrumentation, etc, trying to find common elements that I wanna keep in mind while writing, but it's not an exact science.
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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by mikehamm123 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:16 pm

Just wanted to point out that Aqualung is one of Tull's few songs that did not contain *any* flute :o

That being said, sure the listings can be cryptic, and sometimes don't match the examples listed, but I imagine its hard to distill what the producer is asking for.

Maybe Taxi can post a list of keywords and guides to help us interpret things better.

Mike
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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by Casey H » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:05 pm

mikehamm123 wrote:Just wanted to point out that Aqualung is one of Tull's few songs that did not contain *any* flute :o

That being said, sure the listings can be cryptic, and sometimes don't match the examples listed, but I imagine its hard to distill what the producer is asking for.

Maybe Taxi can post a list of keywords and guides to help us interpret things better.

Mike
There is always room for improvement, but having been around the block a lot and submitting to music requests from quite a few sources, I think Taxi does a great job of providing very detailed guidance in their listings. I know for a fact that Michael and his A&R team, spend a lot of time hashing things out with listing parties to help define what they are looking for. You have to remember that the listing parties themselves, especially music supervisors, are often awful at describing what they want. Many music sups don't know a la's themselves, the right musical lingo, etc. Before listings get published, Taxi's team does a ton behind the scenes to narrow down the listing, references, do's and don't's, etc.

Contrast this with SOME other services which slap some vague description together, post it, and charge money for submissions.

I've had quite a few phone conversations with Michael about what goes on behind the scenes before a listing gets published. If you ever have a chance to chat with him, it's quite an eye opener.

Now, does this mean everything is perfect and they could never do anything better? Of course not. Nothing in life is 100% perfect except my wife. ;)

BTW, if you feel a listing isn't or wasn't clear enough, give them a call and talk to someone about it. I've seen first hand whereby improvements are made based on member feedback.

Best,
:D Casey

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Re: For some of these listings, it's hard to know what they actually want

Post by mikehamm123 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:19 pm

no arguments here, I think they do a great job.
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