Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

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tordenspyd
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Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by tordenspyd » Mon May 30, 2011 3:58 pm

I am asking because I dont know, not to be the smart guy.

Am I safe to assume that what this listing ask for is a backing track that somebody could put a vocal over? - [a BACKING]
(Not a track that can stand on its own without vocals (instrumental) )

Further.
Is the submitted track primarily to be considered as something to impress this company?, as they are likely to use the submission to pick an efficient production fascillity for that type of music when they need it in the future.?


NEW LISTING -- CONTEMPORARY POP/ROCK COMPOSER/PRODUCERS a la Daughtry, P!nk, The Script, and Avril Lavigne needed by a Hollywood Film/TV Publisher with a solid track record. They want Go-To Producers who can turn out tracks on an as-needed basis so you must have excellent playing, arranging, and recording chops in the style of the referenced artists. For the best shot at this listings, submit tight, well-recorded tracks with plenty of energy - the kind that will add Big Emotional depth to a film scene! The Boring Stuff: Tracks must to be at least 1:30 in length, not more than 3:00. Button endings are required for this listing. (No fadeouts.) Submissions must be Broadcast Quality (great sounding home recordings are fine). This company pays a $125 Buyout Fee per instrumental track and the publisher keeps the copyright. Composers get 100% of the writer's share, but do not receive any sync or master fees. This type of Production Music Library deal may be seen as a little unorthodox by some folks, but we know many members who have signed with this company over the years, and we've not been able to dig up one complaint. Our members are happy due to the relatively high volume of placements they get from this very active publisher. Please submit one to three INSTRUMENTAL cues online or per CD. (NO VOCALS.) All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS - NO CRITIQUES FROM TAXI - and must be received no later than Thursday, June 16, 2011.
TAXI # Y110616PR

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by mazz » Mon May 30, 2011 5:45 pm

I would say no. The fact that they mention film scenes and instrumentals specifically says to me that they are looking for instrumentals that stand alone, not backing tracks.

That's the way I read it.

Good luck!

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by Casey H » Mon May 30, 2011 6:08 pm

I read it as mazz does...

That being said... IF you had backing tracks for songs that were dead nuts in the style of the referenced artists and you had a section of 1:30 or so that stood really well on it's own, it COULD be a fit. Many backing tracks are dull and don't have enough melodic elements. Others stand alone well. Sometimes re-mixing and/or adding additional instrumentation to provide more melody can do it.

The first key is having or making music that really sounds like those artists in the first place.

Best,
:) Casey

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by tordenspyd » Tue May 31, 2011 12:16 pm

Thanks Casey n Mazz

You saved me and the company some unnecessary work.

Now I dont know how to make an Instrumental a la those artists mentioned, and when I dont I am not the guy they are looking for.
Good luck to all others.

xolv
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http://www.taxi.com/xolv

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by tordenspyd » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:10 pm

OK , so I am hoping to not appear as the smart guy again :mrgreen:
But I think I would like to understand this even if I'm not the guy they are looking for ( I could become 8-) )

I have posted a track called

Diffidence

on my Taxi page where I made an attempt to accomodate some of the listing text and the advices above. If anybody listen, it would be greatly appreciated if you make a keyword remark why it fails.

[EDIT] Trying to to put a direct link to the song, it should play in your default audio stream app, such as iTunes
http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... tream=true



Here are my own thinking and problems.
What makes the artists mentioned good and popular is their ability to communicate emotions. I would say in particular in Avril Lavigne's case. It is much more due to the perfomrance than ito the compositions.
So I tried to put some emotion into playing on the track. That does not make it sound as those artists, but have some of their qualities( at least thats what I attempt)

However, singing or too attention-grabbing playing may steal from the action in the movie and may not be desirable. My track may have that problem :?: , and a pure backing track might work better - depending upon the scene etc.

I have made a complete track which comes in under the 3 min limit. However I may have made editing/cutting difficult. I could have open space at transitions instead of drum breaks.( but really, why can't the film producer just contact the composer and ask him to make the edit as needed? )

xolv
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Last edited by tordenspyd on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by Eric Bolvin » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:10 pm

I agree with what everyone says but have come to some realizations regarding instrumental listings that I think are appropriate to share here.
I was watching one of the Taxi TV things with a guy that was screening for TV. He played a song ( I think it was the first one they listened to) and it was a nice enough track but
was really what I call a vamp. It sounded like an intro to a song, a setup if you will. Really just a piano comping figure over a simple progression was all it was.
So the Taxi guy says "It had a nice melody". But TO ME it didn't have a melody. So what does this mean? I think it's ok to have an instrumental that has no melody because that may be what they are looking for.
In fact at the beginning of this episode of Taxi TV, there was a car commercial. Instumental rock in the background. A three-piece band playing three chords. Coulda been an intro or vamp to a million different tunes or a song with the vocals muted. In fact this seems to be really common in ads now. Just take a listen to the ads on TV.
So I went and wrote some blues tunes with no melody and got them signed to the first library that heard them.
Now, I'm not saying this is the case with this particular listing, but it's some food for thought on instrumentals.

Eb

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by Casey H » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:13 am

Eric Bolvin wrote:I agree with what everyone says but have come to some realizations regarding instrumental listings that I think are appropriate to share here.
I was watching one of the Taxi TV things with a guy that was screening for TV. He played a song ( I think it was the first one they listened to) and it was a nice enough track but
was really what I call a vamp. It sounded like an intro to a song, a setup if you will. Really just a piano comping figure over a simple progression was all it was.
So the Taxi guy says "It had a nice melody". But TO ME it didn't have a melody. So what does this mean? I think it's ok to have an instrumental that has no melody because that may be what they are looking for.
In fact at the beginning of this episode of Taxi TV, there was a car commercial. Instumental rock in the background. A three-piece band playing three chords. Coulda been an intro or vamp to a million different tunes or a song with the vocals muted. In fact this seems to be really common in ads now. Just take a listen to the ads on TV.
So I went and wrote some blues tunes with no melody and got them signed to the first library that heard them.
Now, I'm not saying this is the case with this particular listing, but it's some food for thought on instrumentals.

Eb
Hi Eric
There are many different film/TV applications with different requirements so there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Sometimes it's all about groove. Maybe for a 30 or 60 second voiceover, they just want a cool groove behind the voice and melody isn't as important. Other times the application requires the music to stand alone better as it was a "real" (for lack of a better word) instrumental with some melody. In those situations, too boring or repetitive such as with some backing tracks doesn't cut it. I agree, groove can go a long way. ML will tell you that in the recent ad agency listings, groove often is the king.

I've had a number of cues from backing tracks placed on TV. One thing I noticed is if the track has an interesting intro, that goes far. One track of mine has some driving guitar riffs as the intro and it provides 90% of my placements. The cues used are usually 15-30 seconds in length.

To go with what you said in your post, I'll add that sometimes just when you think you know what "the rules" are, you learn otherwise. Years ago I signed a bunch of backing tracks with no edits to a library. One of these sat unused for a long time. Later on, I got "smarter", and started editing out the intro bars to tracks like these if they were the same as what's behind verse 1. It sounded way too repetitive to me. I provided these alternates to the library. Over the past year, the non-edited, very repetitive orignal version got placed twice! Once that was for over 30 seconds.

So, you never know... But I will say that there are "trends" based on different types of applications.

Best!
:) Casey

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by BruceBrown » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:50 am

Casey,
I recall that episode of Taxi TV and had the same thought. I didn't hear a melody.
When I think of instrumental music it is a full song. Including a melody. In my way of thinking the melody would be top priority in an instrumental track.
So I'm having to read between the lines a bit to figure out what it is they really want.
Removing a vocal from a song and leaving just the music to me is a track, not an instrumental.
It seems to be a difference in terminology.
Later
Bruce

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by mazz » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:01 pm

I think we may need to expand our definition of "melody" with production music.

If we define melody in an instrumental like a blues or jazz genre we might say:

A line that is played on an instrument that is in the same musical and sonic space that a sung melody would be in a song with lyrics.


In production music we might say:

A line that weaves through the texture of the piece and may or may not be "featured" the same way it would be as in the definition above.

In other words, sometimes the chords may have a melodic flow defined by the top notes of the chords when they change, or the pizzicato strings may be playing a line that feels like texture but could actually be considered a melody in the context. The melody wouldn't be as overtly stated, either by virtue of the mix, the arrangement or both.

Another way to think of it would be: What types of counterpoint and counter lines would an accompanist play behind a singer or instrumentalist singing/playing a melody? Take away the melody and make the counter melody the actual melody. This way it leaves space for the real melody, which would be dialog or narration.

Often in production music, we are asked to deliver alternate mixes, so even if the piece is composed with a featured melody, there is often also an "underscore" version which would be the main mix with the melody instrument muted. These alt mixes, in my experience, are what end up getting used more often than the versions with melodies.

I've also seen guidance from experienced production music folks that advises to mix the melodic elements further into the texture than one might for a "listening" version of the piece.


So I guess what I'm trying to say here is to expand our definition of melody so we have more options open to us.

Just some random thoughts,

Mazz
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imagine if John Williams and Trent Reznor met at Bernard Hermann's for lunch and Brian Eno was the head chef!
http://www.johnmazzei.com
http://www.taxi.com/johnmazzei

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Re: Y110616PR INSTRUMENTAL vs BACKING

Post by BruceBrown » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:48 pm

Thank you Mazz for those thoughts. I find them very helpful. I've never thought of the narration as the melody, but it make good sense to view it that way.
It also brought to mind The Beatles Love CD. Eleanor Rigby minus vocal, the strings stand alone and created a separate tune altogether.
Thanks, I'll take this to heart and rethink my preconceived ideas as to what a melody can be.
Bruce

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