Acoustic guitar underscore

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AlanHall
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Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by AlanHall » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:38 pm

listing S210801AG

ACOUSTIC GUITAR-Based UNDERSCORE INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a very successful boutique Music Library that's distributed by Universal and has tons of credits in Big Films, Countless TV Shows, and Commercials!
NOTE: We previously ran this request as TAXI Dispatch Listing #D210710AG, but the Library didn't find what they were looking for. If you submitted to listing #D210710AG, please send different material this time around.
This is a catalog you want to be in! Please listen to the following examples the Library gave us to get yourself in the ballpark of what they need:

Instrumental Examples

Quoting the Library: "We're looking for filigree pattern-based Cues featuring acoustic guitar/stringed instruments that are underscore-friendly. Ideal for storytelling on daily TV and advertisements."
Please send well-produced, underscore-friendly Cues that feature well-played, finger-picked Acoustic Guitar as their focal point. Light percussion, synth pads, soft strings, etc. could be nice touches, as well! Craft your Cues around on clear pattern/motif, and create a sense of forward momentum and dynamics by layering instrumentation in and out as they progress. Your production should be competitive with the references. Please be sure that any virtual instruments or samples you use are modern and high-quality.
TAXI Tip: Although this Company wants pattern-based instrumentals, please keep those patterns on the simple side. Remember, you're not trying to show off what an amazing guitar player you are, so much as creating a vibe, feeling, and emotion, while leaving plenty of room for dialogue to be the focus.
All submissions should be about 2 minutes long, give or take. Good edit points and non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings are required. Do NOT copy the references in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, texture, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.
NOTE: This company has a strong preference for composers who understand music licensing companies and how typical music library deals are structured. If that's not you, they politely ask that you don't submit to this request.
This Music Library offers an EXCLUSIVE deal with a cool twist. You’ll keep 50% of all gross income generated by your music, plus you’ll get 100% of the Writer’s share income generated by your PRO. In other words, if the company licenses your music under a blanket deal, you’ll get income. If they license it for a YouTube video, you’ll get income. Not all music libraries pay you for things like that! The Publisher will get 100% of the Publisher’s share.
Because this is an Exclusive deal, the music you submit for this pitch cannot already be signed with other Libraries or Publishers. You must own or control 100% of your Master and Composition rights. Please send as many Instrumental Cues as you’d like, online or per CD. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59 PM (PDT) on Sunday, August 1st, 2021. TAXI # S210801AG


still need some mixing time on these but wanted to get some feedback if you are so inclined. I imagine I will add some hand percussion to "rain forest" before the night is out (to evoke the birds and insects found in an actual rainforest). EDIT: instruments added.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I'm trying to capture an 'epic' vibe.
Last edited by AlanHall on Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by Telefunkin » Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:37 am

Hi Alan, I really like the first track, where the guitar and vibes are excellent. I'm a little less sure of the percussion though. The timing is out on some of the hits, but by moving them a little closer to the grid you could easily correct that. I'd be very careful with the beginning too because the frog and snake sounds come across as foley rather than perc, and sort of 'typecast' the scene it would fit. Good track though.

The second one is also good but the background layer, although interesting, is a little forward and takes the attention too much I think. My suggestion would be to keep the guitar as the central focus by sitting the rest back and out the way as just a textural layer, using some EQ and perhaps reverb. Ref 3 does that very well but they all do, so that's what to aim for. Also, watch you don't cut off the final ring-out. Its another good track though.

Best of luck for a couple of forwards with these two after a bit of minor tweaking.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by Zaychi » Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:40 am

Sounds like two solid tracks to me!

I'd also be very careful about the frogs and crickets... it is typecasting it very narrow. A while ago, I submitted a song containing a section with thunder rumblings... got criticized because that's the kind of stuff a supe can add himself if he wants it to be there, but he cannot take it out if he doesn't. It is limiting his options.

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:39 am

Thanks to both of you for listening, and the kind words :)
I will definitely cut the sonic/ambient noise before the guitar comes in, comb through the timing, and assess my levels when I start to mix today.
Alan

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by irthlingz » Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:22 am

Hi Alan -

One other question I have is about the pacing. The listing specifies "filigree pattern-based Cues". My understanding is that "filigree" implies notes coming at a fast pace. (Not a fast tempo in terms of bpm, more likely a moderate tempo with lots of notes per measure.) See this youtube video. Listening to the references, they all have at least significant portions that feel significantly faster paced than yours.

I also have a feeling that "filigree" and "epic" may be somewhat mutually exclusive, epic being huge, larger-than-life and filigree tending towards the delicate, decorative side.

So I wonder whether these might be great cues but not right for the listing. Maybe add a faster-paced section or two to "Rain Forest"?

JM2C
===
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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:42 am

irthlingz wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:22 am
Hi Alan -

One other question I have is about the pacing. The listing specifies "filigree pattern-based Cues". My understanding is that "filigree" implies notes coming at a fast pace. (Not a fast tempo in terms of bpm, more likely a moderate tempo with lots of notes per measure.)
Michael
Yes, I agree. The intensity level of my cues are noticeably lower than the refs, which may well be a deal-breaker. Another thing the listing says is "Ideal for ... advertisements" which definitely would be looking for faster-paced, more emotionally 'up' pieces, which my cues are.. NOT. Sigh.

They may still be appropriate for daytime TV scenes of melancholy or wistfulness, though. So, why not submit?

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by irthlingz » Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:19 pm

AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:42 am
They may still be appropriate for daytime TV scenes of melancholy or wistfulness, though. So, why not submit?
True, the listing also says "Ideal for storytelling on daily TV ..."

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:13 pm

I have updated what might be the next to final mix... some overall track gain adjustments still needed. See links above.

edit: final mixes are on the member page (link below). Thanks all for your comments and suggestions :)

So, topmost in my mind right now is how much time should a professional composer spend on a track like this to be viable? I can tweak for hours and hours (yes, building technique that will help speed me up later), but that's not really a sustainable business model, is it?

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by irthlingz » Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:03 pm

AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:13 pm
edit: final mixes are on the member page (link below). :)
Hi Alan - Listening to Rain Forest, I get "magical" and "spooky" starting at around 0:50, maybe more than melancholy. I also notice you couldn't resist keeping a little bit of rain forest sound effects at the beginning!

If Ancient Lair doesn't get a forward for this listing, I won't be surprised if it it finds an epic home later on in life!

Good luck with both of them!
AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:13 pm
So, topmost in my mind right now is how much time should a professional composer spend on a track like this to be viable? I can tweak for hours and hours (yes, building technique that will help speed me up later), but that's not really a sustainable business model, is it?
Seems like the consensus is it's a numbers game. You need to get 100-150 placements and then keep putting more out there - whatever that may imply about efficiency or time spent per submission. (See here and here.) I do believe that it's not necessarily about how much time I spend tweaking, but more about how well I read the listing and listen to the refs and learn to hit the target! That also probably has something to do with figuring out what I'm good at, or what comes most naturally.

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Re: Acoustic guitar underscore

Post by AlanHall » Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:50 pm

irthlingz wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:03 pm
AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:13 pm
edit: final mixes are on the member page (link below). :)
Hi Alan - Listening to Rain Forest, I get "magical" and "spooky" starting at around 0:50, maybe more than melancholy. I also notice you couldn't resist keeping a little bit of rain forest sound effects at the beginning!

If Ancient Lair doesn't get a forward for this listing, I won't be surprised if it it finds an epic home later on in life!

Good luck with both of them!
AlanHall wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:13 pm
So, topmost in my mind right now is how much time should a professional composer spend on a track like this to be viable? I can tweak for hours and hours (yes, building technique that will help speed me up later), but that's not really a sustainable business model, is it?
Seems like the consensus is it's a numbers game. You need to get 100-150 placements and then keep putting more out there - whatever that may imply about efficiency or time spent per submission. (See here and here.) I do believe that it's not necessarily about how much time I spend tweaking, but more about how well I read the listing and listen to the refs and learn to hit the target! That also probably has something to do with figuring out what I'm good at, or what comes most naturally.
Thanks for the links, good stuff to be sure! I've watched Matt talk about the 5-yr plan, I don't think I've seen this set of videos though. A good watch now that I don't have anything on the burner (of course that can and probably will change tomorrow!).

I appreciate the listen, and the comments. I'm afraid I can't stop myself from adding a "B" section to a 2-minute cue. Should probably go with a less contrasting structure. If what I put down causes a 'mood shift', then I'm not helping myself at all.

I read somewhere that 500 cues in libraries is a good number to hit. Whether that equals about 100-150 placements, I don't know. It might. If I could write 2 cues a week, it'd take me 5 years just to write 500 tracks. Multiply that by the rejection/acceptance ratio, and I'm writing cues for Saint Peter before I get to that milestone :o

So while I agree with you wholeheartedly it's about reading and understanding the listing (like it will be about understanding the briefs that your libraries send you when they want music directly), the number of cues you or I are able to crank out (before burning out!) is a real and relevant limiting factor. Of course - as you point out - what we're good at and what comes naturally both improve the effectiveness of the work spent on the cues. ML is always talking about focusing on a specific genre, to improve our odds of surviving a face-to-face chat with a library owner or other music industry pro.

While I'd really love to hear some frank discussion with quantitative measures of how prolific some of the successful and semi-successful Taxi members are, I do realize there's a certain amount of grindstone to be nosed. "write.submit.forget.repeat" and "do the work" come to mind as motivational slogans... well, anyway, I know it's not easy. But I think will be worth the effort. At least my wife doesn't have to wonder where I am or what I'm up to :lol:

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