What resources do you guys like to use for stock music?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by tysonjm, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. tysonjm

    tysonjm Guest

    Hi, just wanted to open up a discussion with those of you who use
    music of any kind in your small-to-medium sized multi-media (web, tv/
    film, video, software/games, marketing, PPT, etc.) projects.

    Do you just use an existing library of CD/DVDs you've invested in, or
    do you go find something for instant download/licensing online for $30
    or less? Or do you commission musicians to write things? If a combo of
    all these, which do you prefer and why?

    For online stock music, what do you like or dislike about what's out
    there if you use it? Seems like there are a lot of sites, but wonder
    how well they meet your creative and budgetary needs.
    tysonjm, Jan 28, 2007
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  2. tysonjm

    Bill Guest

    I'm not sure how many people even pay attention, but one of the first
    things I notice about a documentary or video project is the music. Most
    of the the time, it's easy to spot the generic-sounding library music.
    After a while, it starts to gnaw at you.

    Some people will say they don't care. I can't believe that people
    don't, on some level, respond to the kind of vacuous blandness of it.

    If what you're doing isn't important, it's probably not an issue. If
    you want your work to stand out, go hunting for some of the local
    musicians who are always hungry for work and capable of creating and
    recording some original music tailored for your production. It would
    almost certainly cost more. Maybe not as much as you think, since a lot
    of musicians have their own mini-studios in their homes and can play
    multiple instruments. Is the additional prestige it adds to your work
    worth it? Maybe.
    Bill, Jan 29, 2007
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  3. tysonjm

    Larry in AZ Guest

    I agree with you, but it's not just the direct costs, but also the time.
    First, you may need to locate the musicians, then you can spend many hours
    listening and tweaking.

    With little budgets, production music is sometimes the only choice...
    Larry in AZ, Jan 29, 2007
  4. tysonjm

    tysonjm Guest

    I'd agree too. So is there a happy medium in there between the
    "canned" stuff and the original music approach? i.e., is a service or
    website that offers a collection of high quality clips that could be
    customized to a dregree help cure the blandness of the generic library
    music sound? I know some sites offer alternate variations of their
    clips, but what if this went a step further: Say you find a clip
    that's close to what you need for a project in style, tempo, texture,
    etc., and you download it in it's original form for comp purposes.
    Then, working with the very musicians who actually wrote/recorded the
    music clip, you "customize" it to your specification. It wouldn't be
    commissioned music starting from scratch, so the cost and time
    requiements would be less.

    Is this a better scenario, or if we back up here, is the real need
    just to have a better selection and higher quality (real instruments)
    music available online and in CD libararies? Not the prestige of a
    Hollywood film, but more professional, nonetheless...

    I ask because I've been interested in creating a stock music service/
    library online, but don't want to just reinvent the wheel. I want to
    know what people desire, who don't have Hollywood budgets. :)

    tysonjm, Jan 30, 2007
  5. tysonjm

    Steve King Guest

    How so? The composer would still have to spend time 'customizing' the
    music. The arrangments (unless you're in Nashville) would have to be
    written. A studio and engineer would have to be hired. The musicians would
    have to return to the studio, at least some of them. Now, instead of from
    $20 to $150 per track a producer could be looking at well into four figures
    or more, unless everyone's working for free.
    I find that there is a wonderful variety licensable music available. Much
    of it using real instruments. Admittedly much of it all electronic, too.
    And dreadful. But, if one cares to look among the many, many libraries
    there is quality music to be had. For me, the real cost of a good library
    music track is in my time spent making the choice .

    I've heard a few sound tracks created by "my neighbor's kid has a rock band"
    types. The recordings were not something that would add any prestige. Much
    the opposite, in fact. My experience is that composer-arranger-musician
    types who can create tasteful, high impact scoring for film and video are
    about as scarce as proverbial hen's teeth. Add to the desirable qualities
    of such a person the ability to work to a deadline, and they become even
    more rare than that. I know a few. They are awesomely talented. They have
    fortunes invested in high-end music making and recording equipment. And,
    strangely enough, they want to be paid comensurate with their talent and
    tools. Such people are absolutely the right people to call if the project
    has very long legs, that is, when the video will be seen by either very
    large numbers of people or by a smaller audience of highly influential
    people with the expectation that the film or video will have a large,
    positive monetary impact on its sponsor. With this kind of project, I
    begin at the earliest stages discussing music and sound design with the
    client. I have often pointed out with good effect that the typical
    corporate video budget includes more for cast, crew, and client
    representative meals than it does for the sound track. I find that budget
    allocations made early are easier to protect than if considered later in the
    pre-production and budgeting process.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Jan 30, 2007
  6. tysonjm

    Ty Ford Guest

    Amen on the hen's teeth. We do have one or two of those guys here in
    Baltimore. I just did a session last week for a corporate show where we used
    a karaoke version of Baba O'Rielly and relyriced it for the sponsor. We also
    had several short "stab" cues and a 4:40 original rock piece.

    My bill for studio services was close to $600. I don't know what the
    composer/player got. He built all the tracks with a demo e. guitar track and
    MIDI drums. We used my BFD drum and sample software here. We mixed here and
    they also paid a quite good electric guitar player to replace the demo guitar
    sounds on the 4:40 piece. We recorded him here. Then mixed.

    I think you have to go into that sort of thing knowing there's a guy who can
    do the job and then figure out how much you want to spend.

    If you want to talk to my guy, he's David Zee. http://www.davidzee.com/
    Don't let the web page fool you. He's really good and has been doing the
    corporate music thing a long time in addition to his own personal music and
    playing out. He's a full time musician.

    5Alarm music is what I'd use otherwise.

    I think I still have a list of stock music vendors up in my OnLine Archive.
    Hang on.....

    Ah, a bit dusty (some of these folks are gone) but here they are.



    Music And

    Abaco Music Library

    Advance Audio Productions

    AirCraft Music Library
    162 Columbus Ave.
    Boston, Mass. 02116
    Mr. Mark Cuddy
    (617) 482-7447
    1 800 343-2514

    Edmondton, Alberta

    Alan Ett Music Group

    Arcade Music Productions

    Arpeggio Self-editing music library

    Associated Production Music
    6255 Sunset Blvd.
    Ste 820
    Los Angeles, CA 90028
    800 543-4276
    (213) 461-3211

    Audio Action
    4444 Lakeside Dr. Suite 340
    Burbank, CA
    800 533-1293

    Susan McArthur
    1011 Western Ave. Suite 506
    Seattle, WA
    (206) 283-4733
    Sells music drops& SFX from APM,

    Axcess Broadcasting Services
    4801 Spring Valley, Suite 105-B
    Dallas, TX
    (800) 766-2033
    (214) 386-6847

    255 Glendora, Unit 1
    Long Beach, CA
    (800) 258-7570
    buyout $69/disk

    BLC Productions
    448 Lafluer
    Vaudreeuil, Quebec
    Canada j7V 6N4
    (514) 424-2827
    buy out

    The Blue Ribbon Soundworks, Ltd.
    1605 Chantilly Dr., Suite 200
    Atlanta, GA
    (404) 315-0212

    Brian Bennett Music

    BRG Music Works

    Broadcast Music Library
    Richard Loth (Julie) Gerry Mosby Cr.
    Dir. Players Music
    Suite 300
    216 Carlton St.
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    M5A 2L1

    The Broadcast Results Group
    The Positioners
    Drop in spots with skits and all
    Andy Mark
    (800) 600-6165

    Brown Bag Productions
    4134 S. Eudora St.
    Englewood, CO
    (303) 756-9949
    Market Exclusive:

    Cambium Development, Inc
    P.O. Box 296-H
    Scarsdale, NY
    (800) 231-1779
    100 CD-ROM library
    Wav and MIDI

    Canary Productions, Inc.
    PO Box 202
    Bryn Mawr, PA
    800 368-0033
    Buy Out CDs
    Andy mark

    Capitol Production Music
    6922 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 718
    Hollywood, CA
    (800) 421-4163

    Cathedral Sound Productions
    PO Box 3474
    Capitol Heights, MD
    20791 (301) 350-3181

    CD Underscore

    Century 21 Programming-(214) 934-2121
    CD Prod library 30, 60, sfx
    Laser lightning 30, 60 for rock stations

    Chameleon Music
    Heawam, MA
    (800) 789-8779 ??
    buy out CDs

    Chess Media Unlimited

    Chicago A/V Studios-(312) 280-9433
    Market exclusive
    Signature Series

    City Tunes Production Music
    311 Austin Rd.
    Mahopac, NY
    (914) 628-7231
    Buy Out 17 CDs

    Comprehensive Video Supply

    Clean Sheets:
    1501 N. Vermont
    Royal Oak Mich.
    (313) 544-0405

    ConTempo Music Library

    Crank City Music
    Columbus Ohio

    Creative Sound Design

    Creative Support Services
    1950 Riverside Dr.
    Los Angeles, CA
    Buy Out (800) 468-6874

    Otis Connor (214) 386-6847

    DAV David Walker (818) 918-2438

    Davenport Productions
    3610 Piney Grove Rd.
    Chalotte, NC

    DeWolfe Music-(212) 382-0220
    25 W. 45th St.
    New York, NY 10036
    Marcie Jacob/*Fred Jacobs/Andy
    Mitch Greenspan
    (800) 221-6713

    Digital Programming Inc.
    PO Box 8008
    Van Nuys, CA
    (818) 780-9780

    Dimension Music and Sound
    P.O. Box 992
    Newnan, GA
    (800) 634-0091

    Disney IDEAS

    Don Great Music

    DSM Productions

    Earwax Productions

    East West Communications

    ELS Productions

    Energetic Music
    PO Box 84583
    645 S. Massachusetts
    Seattle, WA
    (800) 323-2972
    (206) 467-7101
    Buy Out

    Eye and I Productions

    Fandango USA

    Films for the Humanities and Sciences
    PO Box 2053
    Princeton, NJ
    (800) 257-5126

    13747 Montfort Dr.
    Ste 220
    Dallas, TX
    (800) 858-8880

    First Son Productions
    Kingsville, Texas

    Flying Hands Production Music

    Fresh Music Library
    80 South Main St.
    Hanover, NH
    (800) 545-0688

    From The Top Productions

    Gefen Systems
    Hagai Gefen
    6261 Variel Ave.
    Woodland Hills, CA
    (818) 884-6294
    (800) 545-6900

    Gene Michael Productions
    Buchanan, MI
    (616) 684-0633
    (800) 955-0619
    Buy out

    GMI Media Group

    Golden Plains Publishing



    Manhattan Production Music
    800 227-1954

    Hollywood Edge
    7060 Hollywood Blvd.
    Ste 1120
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    (800) 292-3755
    Buy Out

    Hollywood Film Music Library
    11684 Ventura Blvd.
    Ste 850
    Studio City, CA
    Buy out & lease

    Horizon Music
    Cape Girard, MO

    Impact Music
    P.O. Box 67
    Dale, WI
    (800) 779-6434

    Innovative Media Corp.

    Invision Interactive

    Jam Media Productions
    Dallas, Texas

    James & Aster Inc.
    115 East 23rd St., 3rd floor
    NY, NY
    (212) 982 0300
    (800) 572-2236

    Killer Tracks
    6534 Sunset Blvd.
    Hollywood, CA
    (800) 877-0078

    Leonardo Software
    12421 W. Olympic Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 820-2868 $495.00

    David Lieder Music Library
    800.4 buyout

    Liquid Audio
    Redwood City, CA

    Loud Neighbors Music

    1349 Regal Row
    Dallas, TX
    (800) 527-2514

    Manchester Music Library
    6 Halfmile Rd.
    Norwalk, CT
    888 846-3745

    Manhattan Production Music
    P.O. Box 1268
    Radio City Station
    NY, NY
    (212) 333-5766
    (800) 227-1954

    Mark Haffner News Packages

    Match Production Music
    800 MATCH01

    Media General 1 800 527-2514 Zack
    Hernandez. Carl Reynolds National
    Sales Manager. 2714 Union Extended,
    Memphis Tenn. 38112. Network
    FirstCom Century 21. Three CD

    Megatrax Production Music

    Metro Music Productions
    645 West End Ave.
    NY, NY 10025
    (800) 697-7392
    (212) 799-7600

    Multimedia Soundtracks

    The Music Bakery
    660 Preston Forest Center
    Suite 300
    Dallas, TX
    800 229-0313

    The Music Bank
    14567 Big Basin Way
    Saratoga, CA
    (800) 995-1645
    (408) 741-4780

    Music Services Media Group

    Musicrafters, Inc.
    PO Box 595
    Montgomeryville, PA
    (800) 468-8863
    (215) 368-7488 Buy Out

    Musi-Q Productions
    Sunrise, FL
    (800) 749-2887 ??
    Buy Out

    Narrator Tracks
    303 E. 4th St.
    Marshfield, WI
    54449 (800) 448-6467 Buy Out

    Network Music
    11021 Via Frontera
    San Diego, CA
    619 451-6400
    Bruce Tucker
    800 854-2075 ??

    Network Sound Productions
    345 Sprucewood Rd.
    Lake Mary, FL
    (800) 487-7746
    (407) 321-3702
    Buy Out

    NFL Films

    Non-Stop Music Library

    Northstar Productions

    Nuestro Ritmo

    OGM Production Music
    Hollywood, CA

    Omnimusic-(516) 883-0121
    6255 Sunset Blvd, Suite 803
    Hollywood, CA
    52 Main St.
    Port Washington, NY
    (800) 828-6664

    Nashville, TN

    Onyx Music

    Opus 1

    480 Portrero Ave.
    San Francsico, CA
    (415) 252-0460

    Philadelphia Music Works
    PO Box 947
    Bryn Mawr, PA
    19010 (800) 368-0033

    Polygram Records

    The Producers Sound Effect Library
    8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 289
    Hollywood, CA
    (800) 826-3379 Sound effects only Buy Out

    Production Garden Music Library
    2411 NE Loop 410, suite 126
    San Antonio, TX
    (800) 247-5317
    Buy Out or lease

    Alain Leroux
    (800) 322-7879

    2820 Honolulu Ave., Suite 268
    Verdugo City, CA
    Music Bytes for windows and MAC

    Q Up Arts
    PO Box 1078
    Aptos, CA
    (800) 454.4563 Buy Out

    QCCS Productions
    PBTM Music
    1350 Chambers St.
    Eugene, OR
    (541) 345-0212
    Buy Out


    Radio Potato
    (800) 468-6874

    Raymond Scott Archives

    Redman Productions

    River City Sound Productions
    PO Box 750786
    Memphis, TN
    (800) 755-8729
    (901) 274-7277

    The Rubber Dubbers
    626 Justin Ave.
    Glendale, CA
    SOUND Effects Only
    (818) 241-5600

    RTV Communications Group

    Saturn Studios

    The Raymod Scott Archives
    PO Box 6258
    Hoboken, NJ
    (201) 653-1063

    Scharren Studios

    Screen Music
    11684 Ventura Blvd., Suite 850
    Studio City, CA
    (818) 985-9997

    Second Generations Productions

    Signature Music Library
    PO Box 921
    Chesterton, IN
    (800) 888-7151
    buy out

    Sonic Boon
    2453 East Virginia Ave.
    Anaheim, CA
    800 735-4366
    714 535-3344 SFX Only

    Sonic Science
    119 Spadina Ave., Suite 767
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5V 2L1
    (416) 351-9100
    (800) 26-Sonic Sound effects

    Sonoton Recorded Music Library
    6255 Sunset Blvd. Suite 820
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    310 397.5499

    Sopersound Library
    PO Box 498
    Palt Alto, CA
    800 227-9980
    Buy Out or Blanket

    Sound Dogs
    LA, CA

    Sound Ideas
    105 West Beaver Creek Rd., Ste 4
    Richmond Hill
    Ontario, Canada
    L4B1C6 (800) 387-3030 (905) 886-5000
    Buy Out SFX Only

    The Sound Patrol Ltd.
    6 East 39th St.
    NY, NY
    (800) 766-4748

    Sounds Interesting Productions

    Soundstage Music Inc.

    Southern Library of Recorded Music

    Sweetsong Productions

    Sweetwater Sound Inc.


    Toby Arnold Productions
    3234 Commander Dr.
    Carrollton, TX
    (800) 527-5335

    TM Century, Inc.
    14444 Beltwood Parkway
    Dallas, TX
    (800) 937-2100
    (972) 406.6800

    Tone International

    TRF Production Music Libraries
    747 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
    Chestnut Ridge, NY
    (800) 899-6874 (music)


    Unapix/Miramar Productions

    Valentino Inc.
    Tom Valentino
    500 Executive Blvd.
    PO Box 534
    Elmsford, NY
    (800) 223-6278
    Buy OUt SFX, Lease Music

    Vertical Music Library
    425 42nd St.
    Brooklyn, NY
    (718) 436-1587
    Buy Out

    Videohelper Inc.

    Voyetra Technologies

    Well-Tempered Music Library

    Who Did That Music

    Josef Weinberger Ltd.
    12-14 Mortimer St.
    Buy Out

    Windswept Studios
    P.O. Box 1095
    Springfield, VA
    (703) 256-3279

    Wink Music Group
    Chicago, Il

    1010 Huntcliff, Suite 1350
    Atlanta, GA
    (770) 992.7500
    CD, CD_ROM buy out

    World Sounds

    Montclair, NJ.
    201-678-4277. http://wfmu.org.

    Zedz Music-
    The Production Music Boutique
    49 Hanover St.
    Malden, MA
    (617) 324-1989
    Buy Out

    --Audio Equipment Reviews Audio Production Services
    Acting and Voiceover Demos http://www.tyford.com
    Guitar player?:
    Ty Ford, Jan 30, 2007
  7. tysonjm

    Bill Guest

    Fair enough. I know a lot of musicians, so I have an advantage. The
    musicians I know also happen to write music, and are capable of
    developing an idea, improvising, etc., and recording to very good
    digital equipment.

    If you don't know people in that area, it would be more difficult.

    But every time I hear generic background music, I think it's worth it.
    Bill, Jan 30, 2007
  8. tysonjm

    Bill Guest

    All sounds very corporate and institutional to me. If that's what you
    feel you need to go to to feel safe, so be it.

    However, the idea that you need a studio, a producer, and engineer, and
    a team of session musicians is ridiculous. That's what you do if you
    have lots of money to spend and want to take a committee approach. It
    certainly doesn't guarrantee that the resulting product will by any more
    distinguished than downloadable tracks.

    I know some local musicians-- and this is not a big town-- who have
    their own digital eight-track recording equipment and are highly capable
    of creating distinctive original music with a bit of flavour and
    personality to it. All of the money you could put into having the
    arrangements "written" and hiring an engineer and producer could buy
    these men and women more time to develop their work.

    If I was doing a lot of productions in this area, I would develop some
    relationships with these people.

    But I grant you, it might be possible to find some interesting music
    available in the libraries if, as you say, you avoid the electronica,
    and spend enough time searching and listening.
    Bill, Jan 30, 2007
  9. tysonjm

    Bill Guest

    Reading my own message over again, I think I sound annoying. Don't mean
    to. Let me just say that I think you can work with local musicians, but
    Steve is right to point out that there are advantages and disadvantages,
    and it might depend on if you're lucky enough to know the right people.

    I do like the idea of supporting local musicians where you can because
    life is better when we nurture our own communities.
    Bill, Jan 30, 2007
  10. tysonjm

    Steve King Guest

    I like that idea, too. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of hanging
    out with my musician friends in the hope that they can come up with a score
    that lifts my video to another level. The likelihood of success seems
    pretty slim to me. My perspective is influenced by my own experience. I
    spent almost ten years of my life as a recording studio engineer in Chicago.
    The studio I worked with was busy. We did jingle commercials all day and
    R&B and R&R all night. The day-clients, commercial music producers,
    typically booked one hour of set-up, one hour to do music tracks (often with
    larger groups with percussion, horns & strings), and one hour to do vocals.
    Mixes took one to two hours. The composer/producer, the musicians, and the
    singers were thorough professionals. Often the music house received an
    assignment one day and recorded the next. As a contrast, I have spent
    countless hours watching bands struggle in the studio to work out
    arrangements and to get their "sound" from live performance to jell in the
    studio. The percentage that came within a country mile of the skill-level
    of the commercial music producers and the session players was very small.
    So, for commercial film and video projects, where it makes sense, I try to
    get the budget from my clients for original music. Then I go to people who
    do that for a living. On the other hand, I recently worked with some
    friends on an independent short feature. For that the producer did put the
    arm on a bunch of musician friends and a studio owner. We spent the better
    part of two days trying this and trying that, playing footage over and over
    in the hopes that it would inspire wonderfullness. For the most part that
    didn't happen. In the final edit about three-quarters of the film score
    ended up being created from library music. It might have happened
    differently. But, it didn't. So, I remain a skeptic. My advice to video
    producers, if one cannot afford professionally produced original music,
    still is to rely on library music. And, to spend enough time in the
    selection process so that the dreadful stuff can be avoided.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Jan 30, 2007
  11. tysonjm

    Bill Guest

    You're right. Point well taken. I can see this happening very easily,
    especially with younger musicians.

    I would think the feature director might have had better luck with older
    musicians, especially with some jazz grooves.

    And I do remember being shocked, when I was a young teenager, to hear
    that Dylan had recorded an album in Nashville using session musicians.
    The article I read pointed out that these guys were cracker-jack pros
    who would appear at 3:00 in the morning, if called, in a pressed suit
    and tie (!), wait patiently to be called in, and then lay down the
    superb tracks quickly and efficiently. I believe one gentleman played
    bass and horns on the same take.

    As an aside, there's a great story about a long Dylan song, "Sad Eyed
    Lady of the Lowlands", which apparently was recorded in one take after
    practising just a few verses. All the session musicians thought it
    would be verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus. It went on for
    13 minutes! You can hear the band going into a big finale at the end of
    every verse after 3 minutes, then, surprised, continuing into the next
    Bill, Jan 31, 2007
  12. tysonjm

    tysonjm Guest

    So, that said ("that" meaning everything mentioned above about the
    reasons and obstacles faced when hiring musicians for original music),
    if you're going to use the alternative and spend time searching for
    some decent and workable library music, what about that process could
    be made easier for you? Since it's time-consuming to wade through
    endless samples, is there anything that might make it faster or more
    efficient? Is it just about having to wade through the crap to find
    the gems? Or is the challenge more about wading through crap AND
    quality, but finding just the right track(s) that will work
    creatively? It just sounds like the biggest problem with this option
    is the time it takes...

    If you could create your ideal music library site, what are some
    things you'd look for that would keep you coming back again and again
    and refer others to it? Lots of questions, I know, but I'm genuinely
    interested in what everyone's looking for when using stock music.
    tysonjm, Feb 6, 2007
  13. tysonjm

    Steve King Guest

    I have found that an old-fashioned telephone call to the staff people at
    music libraries is the most effective search tool. "I'm looking for a piece
    of music similar to that used in X movie during the 'falls off the cliff'
    scene. The scene I have to cover is 43 seconds long. Whaddaya got?" It's
    low tech, but nothing replaces the brain of someone who has listened to
    every cut in a library. There was once a time, when I had a strong sense of
    every cut in the DeWolf library, a library the studio I worked for owned in
    its entirety. My music searches went far more quickly after I'd worked with
    the library for a couple of years, which was nice for clients but of mixed
    blessing, when the studio charged by the hour ;-)

    Steve King
    Steve King, Feb 6, 2007
  14. tysonjm

    BlahDiBlah Guest

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for mentioning the DeWolf library.
    When this topic was originally raised I was hoping to see some mention of specific libraries. I'm not sure anybody else has been specific so far?
    I have looked(/listened!) at the stuff at http://www.smartsound.com/, but wasn't *that* impressed.
    So, any other specific pointers would be much appreciated.

    BlahDiBlah, Feb 7, 2007
  15. Richard Crowley, Feb 7, 2007
  16. tysonjm

    BlahDiBlah Guest

    Hey, thanks for that. Looks like some very useful links!
    BlahDiBlah, Feb 8, 2007
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