Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Royalty Free Christmas music round-up...


Dear reader,

Every year around late September / early October, we see the same pattern -- our customers start to buy royalty free Christmas music from our online stock music catalog. This keeps on pretty much until the 24th of December, when all goes quiet and hardly any Christmas tracks are sold until the next late-September again.

With the Christmas season now upon us, at least as far as stock music production goes, we thought we'd take a quick overview of the different types of Christmas production music on offer here at Shockwave-Sound.com. Since 2000 we have added some new fresh Christmas material each and every year, so the selection is getting pretty varied and we should have something to cater for just about any type of media production -- be it something simple like an online interactive Christmas card, photo gallery, a Christmas themed casual game, a holiday film or music for a Flash presentation for the x-mas season.


Here at Shockwave-Sound.com we have divided our seasonal music library into three different main genres:
  • Traditional Christmas music: This is where you'll find old favorites such as Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night and other classics that everybody knows and loves.
  • Choir singing Christmas hymns: Our arrangements and recordings of classical and traditional hymns, such as Ave Maria, Bach's Christmas Mass, The Angel Gabriel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and many, many more. These are real live choral recordings, no computerized fiddlery. :-)
  • New and Fun Christmas music: My personal favorite section, this ever growing collection contains tracks that aren't actually famous or traditional Christmas themes, but instead, original tracks composed and arranged in a Christmas music style by our contracted composers and producers. These tracks are really great if you're going for a Christmas mood, but you want something a bit fresher, funkier, and more original, rather than the same old traditional melodies. 
Which ever style you go for, you can be sure that we have some great music for you, and as with all of our music, a one-time purchase gives you a lifetime license to use the music commercially within your projects, as much, and for as long, as you want. And as with our entire production music library, all the Christmas tracks can be downloaded instantly in MP3 or WAV format.

Remember that, in addition to our individual music track downloads, we also have ready-made Christmas music collections, where you can typically get 10 tracks, including all versions, edits, cuts and loops, as a pre-packaged product, at a greatly discounted price. Try these royalty-free Christmas CD's (Click on the covers for more details and audio previews):



Merry Christmas! from all of us here at Shockwave-Sound.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Article writing opportunities at Shockwave-Sound.com



Shockwave-Sound.com are looking for talented people to write articles on the subject of media production, video production, post production, audio production and music composition, for our website.

We will pay US$ 150.00 for each published article. Plus, each published article contains an "About the author" blurb at the bottom including a permanent link to any website of your choice. Shockwave-Sound.com gets almost 4,000 unique visitors per day, and frankly, that web link is probably worth more than the $150 cash payment, if you look at it that way.

Articles must be in well written English, should preferably be somewhere between 1,000 and 2,500 words in length, and each article must include a few illustrations or photos -- just to make the page look more interesting, not just text, text, text.

We can also publish video articles, video tutorials, video reviews etc. We can make the video play in a window on our website. If we do this, we need to also print a transcript of the video on the webpage, underneath the video player. So if you want to make a video article, be sure to also type out the words spoken in the video and hand in this text along with your video.

Subjects for the articles can be anything to do with video production, media production, post production, audio production, mixing, composing, editing, etc. It can be about music use, music composition, sound development, etc. but also, it doesn't necessarily have to be about music or sound. It can be about other video- or media production aspects. Filming, film editing, dubbing, video effects, etc. It can be a tutorial of some sort, a review of a product, or anything else that may be of genuine interest for people who work in media production.

A couple of examples of existing articles:


Should you be interested in this opportunity, please get in touch with Shockwave-Sound.com through the contact us page.

Feel free to forward this page, or a link to it, to mailing lists, forums, groups, twitters, or anywhere else where you feel somebody could be interested in it. Thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New tracks from Dan Phillipson

Dan Phillipson has been a "signed-on" Shockwave-Sound.com composer/producer (which means that his music is always exclusive to Shockwave-Sound.com for a minimum of one year, before being made available anywhere else) for a couple of years now.

Hailing from the outskirts of Manchester, England, Dan is a popular producer whose music is some of the best selling stock music here in our royalty-free music library. His no-nonsense approach to composition seems to produce music that is rich on melody and emotion, rather than a million clever production tricks. His music goes straight to the heart and works extremely well as background music, or theme music, for film, video and other visual presentation.

This month we have added another 12 brand new tracks by Dan Phillipson to our catalogue, so we thought it would be a good time to conduct an interview with Dan for our website, so you can get to know this young, talented musician a little better.




What is your musical background? Did you just grow up playing in bands like the rest of us, or do you have a musical education?

A bit of both really. I went through a quite conventional musical education through school, college and university but also learnt an awful lot from playing in bands and with other good musicians. I find it useful having the balance of both backgrounds really - I think it gives me a bit more to ammunition and variety when writing music.

Is writing and producing Stock Music your only source of income from your music right now, or are you also doing other things like bespoke music composition “to order”, writing pop songs for mainstream release, or anything else?

Yeah the majority of stuff that I do at the moment is for music libraries/stock music but I do occasionally do custom projects when they come along. Lately I have been working with a singer on some pop songs which has been fun. I am concentrating on writing stock music at the moment, I suppose with the aim of maximising what I can do in this part of the industry and then hopefully moving on to new things in the future.

It seems to me that your music has a quintessentially British sound. Is this something you’re aiming for, on purpose, or is it something that just turned out that way?

I definitely haven’t consciously tried to create a British sound, maybe it’s just because I’m British! I think it’s fair to say that I have definitely been influenced by British bands  which does have some effect on what my music sounds like.





Dan, with Shockwave-Sound.com founder/CEO, Bjorn Lynne


Who would you say are your major influences, now and in the past?

I definitely can’t mention them all, but some of the most prominent influences are bands like Coldplay, U2, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Mogwai just to name a small handful.

Listening to your music, it’s obvious that you are a competent guitarist as well as keyboard player and programmer/producer. Which instrument would you say that you master the best, and do you have a favourite instrument in your arsenal?

I would definitely say that I am a pianist/keyboard player and not really a guitarist, however in the last 18 months or so I have come to use the guitar a lot more in my music, which naturally helps in become a more proficient player.

On what hardware/software do you record, and do you have any particular, or peculiar, methods or processes that you do when you record, mix and produce your music?

I use a Mac/Logic Pro setup  with various other software instruments and effects. I’m not sure if I do anything peculiar other than tapping my fingers on my desk an awful lot! I would say I’m definitely not ‘Old School’ when it comes to production in general – I do everything ‘In the box’ so no big analog mixers or racks and racks of outboard stuff for me – although it would be cool to have a play with that kind of gear!

Do you always work entirely by yourself, or do you sometimes bring in other musicians to participate or to co-write with you?

I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to my work and tend to do everything myself really, but sometimes it would be great to use other musicians to get a sound that software doesn’t always emulate that well. I definitely hope to use more musicians and hopefully even co-write some music in the future.

Of course, the music you produce for Shockwave-Sound.com is all instrumental, but did you ever work with vocalists, singers? If so, how did that go?

As I mentioned previously, I have been doing some work with a singer lately, which has been good fun and a nice change. I think it’s gone pretty well so I may be doing more of that in the future.

Is there another style or type of music that you’d like the chance to work with, in the future?

I hope that I always try new things throughout my career but one thing that does excite me is the thought of working with a full orchestra. Composing music for film is something that I would like and aim to get into more in the future .

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to walk with my wife, usually to take our 10 month old son to the park but it’s nice to get out as a family and just wander around. Eating out is another pastime that I enjoy and enjoying a nice bottle of red wine with a meal. I play football occasionally (that's soccer to the rest of you) – in an attempt to keep fit and I’m also a bit of a Formula 1 fanatic!

------


And that's where we left it off for now. We hope you'll take the time to check out some of Dan's music. Here are direct links to his 12 latest tracks, just added this week:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to nature -- Ellett & Montgomery touch wood

We've just added a whole new collection of royalty free tunes by Gayle Ellett and Todd Montgomery, so it seemed like a good time for us to conduct an interview with this rather special musical duo. Through their "Fernwood" music project, Todd & Gayle writes and plays instrumental music 100% by hand - exclusively on instruments made out of wood!


As you can imagine, this gives their music a very "earthly" tone. It has something of the ancient, of the mysterious, of the true, natural and homely about it - that you could probably never reproduce with more modern instruments or electronics.

We are happy to be able to offer 9 brand new tracks by Gayle Ellett & Todd Montgomery (aka Fernwood) on our site this week, so we decided to speak to them about their music and their methods:

Can you tell us a little bit about your musical backgrounds? And how the two of you got together?
(Gayle): I started with piano lessons when I was about 5 years old, and then I learned electric guitar and joined a band when I was 13. For the past 35 years I’ve been playing and composing music for bands and ensembles, TV and film, corporate applications, and other uses. I met Todd a few years ago when we were in a 10-piece improvisational psychedelic band here in Topanga. Todd played sitar, and I played monophonic analog synth. Then the band imploded. But Todd and I remained friends, and awhile ago we started working together, and we formed Fernwood.
(Todd): I began with guitar lessons at age nine learning radio rock tunes of the 70’s. When I got an electric guitar I started performing in a band at school functions around age 12. In High School my focus drifted toward playing psychedelic rock covering songs by Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix. My musical direction changed in college when I first came into contact with a mandolin. This began a long journey in which new instruments pulled me along into learning various cultural styles. The mandolin led me to bluegrass, the Irish bouzouki led me to traditional Irish music, and the sitar led me to classical Indian music. I wanted to work more with Gayle when I realized how much he was helping our large improvisational band by playing a supportive role on the synth- gluing all the chaos together. And then I learned that he had already recorded and released 16 or 17 records with another band. (At that point I didn’t even know he was a guitar hero!) I had never met another musician who was able to see so many projects through to the end. We were lucky because we both like to work hard. We both can play lots of instruments. And we enjoy hanging out and creating cool tunes!


How did you get the idea to license your music through Shockwave-Sound.com as stock music?
(Gayle): I’ve been composing traditional World music, and licensing it through Shockwave-Sound.com for many years. So it seemed like a great idea to submit it to Shockwave-Sound and see if it was right for the royalty-free music collection.

(Todd): I didn’t know anything about Shockwave-Sound or any other music libraries until I met Gayle!
The concept of playing only by hand on instruments made out of wood, is an original and interesting one. Are really all the instruments you use on all your recordings entirely made of wood?
(Gayle): Its not really an “original” idea, it’s more of a “tradtional” idea. For me, it is about coming full-circle, from learning on acoustic piano as a kid, then spending decades playing electrified music like Rock, Jazz and Electronic styles, and now finally coming back to our roots, with a huge appreciation of the natural goodness and warm sounds of real acoustic instruments. I believe that using modern technology to help you make better recordings is a great idea. But I think that using technology, such as computers and samplers, to play your music, is a bad idea. And no, not all of the instruments are made entirely out of wood…some have strings made of steel! Just kidding. Basically they are all made out of wood, except the Indian jaltarag which is a set of small clay bowls that are filled with water to tune, and then struck with felt-covered sticks. And there is a small amount of rhodes piano and B3 organ on some of the tunes (but even these have cabinets made out of wood!)

(Todd): My tenor banjo and Gayle’s dilruba also have goat skin, but otherwise everything I play is made of wood. In Fernwood, we are trying to stay out of the way of the instruments. We often let notes and strums ring for a long time in order allow the beautiful tones to shine. It’s a natural sound. Nature is good. This is the main pleasure for me with Fernwood. Listening to how all the various tones merge, meld and harmonize.


Where do you get all these cool instruments, and who made them? Do you actually make some instruments yourselves, or make modifications to them?

(Gayle): I’ve been composing and performing traditional World music for many decades. My brother gave me my Japanese koto thirty years ago. When we formed Fernwood, I knew I’d need a few more instruments to help fully realize our compositions, so I used the internet to help me find luthiers from around the world. My Indian dilruba was made for me by a nice guy in New Delhi, and then shipped to me here. I don’t make any of them, and I only rarely modify them.

(Todd): I had my Irish bouzouki made for me by an excellent maker from Canada named Lawrence Nyberg. My mandolin is an old Martin from 1922. My sitar was made by Hiren Roy who was during his lifetime (or so I hear) the best sitar maker in India. I am presently trying to make my first instrument, which will combine elements of an African Gimbri, banjo, and have sympathetic strings like a sarod.
I notice a lot of location names in your track titles. Are these track titles mostly “random” or are the tracks actually written specifically for that location, i.e. “Helen Island”, “McKenna Beach”, etc?
(Todd): When I make up a new tune it’s often out somewhere either around my house in Malibu or while on a trip. For example, Makena was created when I was at Makena beach in Maui using a Hawaiian tuning on my guitar. Sometimes I feel like the tune came out of how I was feeling while being in these beautiful places. Other times we listen to how a tune sounds when it’s finished and then find a place or image that seems to match. Although, we must admit that a few titles are random. 

Do you guys play this stuff live? And if so, how do you manage to cope with all these different instruments on stage, changing instruments all the time? It must be difficult if it’s only the two of you up there on stage?
(Gayle): When we play live, we perform as a 7-piece. I’d be even happier if we could perform as a 10 or 12 piece ensemble. Our first Fernwood release, “Almeria”, was the “#4 album of the year” on John Diliberto’s Echoes Radio, and we did a special performance for his show.
(Todd): Gayle lives in Topanga which is a town full of musicians, and we are lucky because many of our friends are excellent musicians. So, on the rare occasion when we do play live we gratefully get the help of our talented friends. 
Can you tell us a little bit about your composition process/method? Is it based a lot on jamming and improvisation?
(Gayle): Not for me. My method is very deliberate. Before I start I usually think about what qualities I want the composition to have, what instruments will play, what key and rhythm I’ll use. And there are things I am trying to avoid in Fernwood, like playing fast solos over everything, or playing in too much of a Pop or Blues style. I try to write only about one half of a composition, so that there is room for Todd to contribute to the composition and arrangements. That way, we can work together to make music that is much better then we could write on our own.

(Todd): One of us will start a tune with a foundational picking or chord pattern, and then we build upon it. The only improvisational aspect is that I don’t know what Gayle is going to add, or how it will change through the recording process. However, our tunes always come out much better than I imagine they will be at the beginning. It’s also really fun to know that whatever part I come up with Gayle is going to add something amazing that I wouldn’t think of myself. The whole of Fernwood is greater than its parts.


What would you say is your most “different” or “unusual” instrument that you have in your arsenal?
(Gayle): My Indian dilruba is a very unusual instrument. It is somewhat like a sitar, but it is bowed like a cello, not plucked. The bulbul tarang is an odd little instrument, somewhat like a weird autoharp. And the jaltarang is also rather unusual. Basically, the Indians make a lot of unusual and interestin instruments!

(Todd): I would say that my sitar is the most unusual instrument that I have only because it’s rare. We can all identify it, but it’s hard to find a sitar player if you need one! In Fernwood, the way our instruments blend it can often sound like we are using a new and unidentifiable instrument, but it really is the result of layering sometimes up to 20 instruments at one time!
Are any of them particularly difficult to play?
(Gayle): The dilruba is, for me, a very difficult instrument to play. All of the rest are fairly easy.

(Todd): The sitar is by far the hardest to play for me due to the practice it takes to bend the string accurately to pitch and to play ornaments that are semi-authentic to the classical Indian style. Not to mention, it’s really hard to sit on the floor for long periods of time with your legs folded under you!
You are both still involved with other musical acts, besides Fernwood?
(Gayle): Yes, I just got back from performing in France with my progressive rock group Djam Karet where I played organ and synths. I also play electric guitar in a blues band, piano in an improvised jazz ensemble, Greek bouzouki in a Americana bluegrass band, and electric guitar & keyboards in an Electronic synth band.

(Todd): Other than Fernwood, I am often recording and arranging traditional Irish music in new ways.
What is your best selling track through Shockwave-Sound.com? Or do you even keep track of that kind of stuff?
(Gayle): I don’t follow it too closely. But I also think that, oddly, it changes over time.

(Todd): I don’t know, but I probably should pay more attention to that!
And with that, we thank this authentically acoustic musical duo for their time and recommend you all have a listen to some of their tunes! The best selling tracks here at Shockwave-Sound.com are probably McKenna Beach and Crane, whilst their 9 brand new tracks they have just added to our catalog are:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Interview with Jeremy Sherman

Jeremy Sherman was one of the first composers who joined up with the Shockwave-Sound.com team back in 2001 or so. We immediately took to his music because it was so acoustic, so natural, so real. In the world of online stock music, there is a lot of electronic and loop based music, but Jeremy's music was all guitars, all played by hand - and it made his music stand out.

Today, many years later, we have a lot of acoustic and played-by-hand music in our catalogue, but Jeremy's tunes still have that special sound. He can do Americana, folk, country, blues, retro rock, jazz and more. He is completely self-taught on guitar and other stringed instruments, and he lives near Brighton on the south coast of England.



Jeremy Sherman is a "signed-on" composer here at Shockwave-Sound.com, which means that his tracks are always exclusive to Shockwave-Sound.com for a minimum period of one year, before they are made available on any other sites.

This week we've had the pleasure of adding 19 new tracks by Jeremy Sherman to our catalogue, and we thought it would be a good idea to conduct an interview with Jeremy for the benefit of our visitors -- so we gave him a call...:

You’ve been a musician for a while. What made you decide to start composing for library music / stock music? 
I had been writing material for years but I realised that I was hopeless at lyrics and because I like so many different types of music the material was too diverse. So, library music seemed the ideal solution... no lyrics and I could do  whatever style I liked.
Your music has a very earthly, acoustic tone, heavily based on stringed instruments. Which ones are your favourites among these instruments?
An acoustic guitar with a new set of strings is hard to beat but my favourite stringed instrument is the pedal steel or the non-pedal steel guitar. I love the harmony of chords and a lot of steel playing is just that.
How many different stringed instruments have you got? Any of them particularly interesting or unique sounding?
2 Fender Strats (one for slide), Fender Tele, Ibanez AR300, pedal steel, 2 acoustics (one for slide), dobro, classical guitar, 5 String banjo, mandolin and an ESP bass.

Do you ever compose music “to order”, i.e. get hired by a company to produce bespoke music especially for their project?
Apart from a few requests for a particular style to fill a niche in a library I have'nt had any commissions yet.
Would you take a commission for bespoke music composition, if it was offered to you?
Certainly... I think  it would be good sometimes to see If I could successfully write to a client's brief and deadline.  
Can you tell us, in short terms, a little bit about your recording setup and techniques?
I use Sonar Studio 7 on a PC with another slave PC handling the VST's - BFD Drums & Percussion, Native Instruments Classic Keyboard bundle & Sample Modelling's Trumpet and Mr Sax. I use an M-Audio Pro 88 controller keyboard and my trusty old Korg X3 synth. Microphone wise I use a Rode K2 tube mic and an Audio Technica AT4033. The various electric guitars and pedal steel go through a Line 6 Pod. Everything goes to Sonar via a Yamaha 01v96 VCM mixer and 24 Channels of ADAT and comes back to be mixed on the Yamaha. I know one can mix on the PC but being old school I wanted to have the hands on feeling of real faders rather than mix with a mouse. It's all monitored on a pair of Alesis MK II active speakers.
As far as techniques go I know there's a hell of a lot of features on Sonar and the Yamaha that I haven't used. Basically I just treat it like an old tape recorder with the added benefits of cut and paste and settings memory. I usually start with an idea on guitar or keyboard and record a guide track then add drums which I play in real time with seperate passes for kick , hi hat and then snare and toms. I never use grooves or patterns as doing it in real time accidents/mistakes  happen on fills etc that turn out be great, and besides I haven't the patience to write or program in step time. Given the type of stuff I do a fairly loose, haphazard approach to the drums is probably best.
Then it's just a case of bass and other overdubs and sometimes going back and changing the feel on the drums as the track progresses.



Do you ever experiment with mixing down different versions of your tracks, say, a “bass and guitar only” version or “version with banjo instead of guitar”, something like that?
Occassionally. I should do it more to perhaps give tracks a different slant or take them off in a different direction to that originally intended but I have a tendency to impatience so as soon as the main mix is done I'm raring to go on the next composition. I should slow down a bit and make sure I've got as much out of a track as I can.
How many tracks have you composed in your lifetime?
Around 400, I guess
Listening to your music, I’ve always felt that your music has something quintessentially American to it – even though you’re in fact British yourself. It kind of makes me think about when the British director Sam Mendes directed “American Beauty” to such critic and public acclaim. Any idea where this comes from? Why the “All-American” sound from a British composer such as yourself?
When I started off I was listening to all the UK bands around at that time (and here I'm showing my age!). Cream, Led Zeppelin, Free etc. But then I heard the brilliant Steely Dan and that pointed me across the Atlantic. Whilst they were mostly sophisticated "pop jazz" they sometimes used pedal steel and the sound of that took me off in search off other bands who used it and that lead me into Western Swing & Country which lead onto Bluegrass, Appalachian, Cajun etc. Taking in the modern exponents on the way such as Ry Cooder and the Band.  I love the complexities of jazz but equally I love the raw simplicity of the American "roots" music. I do like the UK's and Ireland's own roots music but it is mostly set tunes whereas the American music to me is looser and more open to improvisation.
Speaking about Ireland – I really love your Irish track “Lanagan’s Ball”, with Irish flute. I assume you got a chance to work with a flute player on that occasion, and did you ever consider doing more of that Irish, Celtic stuff? We’d love to feature some more of that in our catalogue.
Yes... we have intended to do more but never got around to it, but we shall put that right and get some more going. We do gigs together so we know plenty of tunes.
Apart from the obvious – royalty payments from Shockwave-Sound.com – what would you say that composing stock music for Shockwave-Sound.com has meant for you?
Having it accepted and appreciated in the first place was great... One is never sure at the start whether it's good enough. And then to see it sell and get used all over the world , especially if it's been on TV, is like a shot in the arm... a confidence booster.
Have you ever stumbled across your music playing in a TV program, unexpectedly?
Yes ..quite a few times and it's a real buzz. It always takes a few seconds to sink in, I'll think I know that from somewhere... oh yes, it's one of mine.
If you had to pick only two tracks that you’ve composed for Shockwave-Sound.com that are your two favorites… which two tracks would that be?
Difficult question but I think it would have to be Lonesome Cowboy and Mayfly. both have that simple earthiness but coupled with wistful melodies
I’ve heard that you’re about to get married. Congratulations! Is she a fan of your music? Does she play any instruments herself?
Thank you... yes she is very encouraging but she doesn't play herself which perhaps is just as well as she'd probably be telling me how to play something or do I need that much boost at 500 hz! (Laughing)
What are your plans for the future, with regards to your music? Just keep on producing more quality stuff and enjoying the ride?
Yep, just keep on going I reckon. I love recording... though having written so many tracks and delved into lots of styles it is sometimes difficult to come up with something new and not to go back one self too much, but if I am struggling I'll usually leave it alone for a week and then when I pick up the guitar or sit at the keyboard something usually comes out. My ultimate hope is that the income from music allows me to give up the day job. We have to wait and see, but even if it doesn't it is still so satisfying and allows me to buy nice equipment etc.
Ah yes, equipment shopping is nice, and can be very inspiring for making new tracks, too. What nice equipment is next on your shopping list? 
From a practical viewpoint, a 12 string guitar and some lesser known instruments such as Bajo Sexto, Balalaika, Mandola, to add more colours to the pallette and open up new avenues of composition. On the luxury side, I have hankering for a Neumann mic and  I can't seem to get a cherry red Gibson 335 out of my mind!
And that's where we left it off. We hope you'll enjoy Jeremy's music here on Shockwave-Sound.com. For your reference, here are Jeremy's 5 most frequently licensed tracks from our stock music catalog:
And here is a link to all Jeremy Sherman tracks.
We hope you enjoyed this special artist feature here on our blog. If you did, let us know. We'll probably continue with more artist special features in the future.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shockwave-Sound.com supports Camp Laurel

 
This week, Shockwave-Sound.com was asked to donate some royalty-free music for the charity Camp Laurel, and we were happy to do so. Based in Pasadena, California, and credited by the American Camp Association, Camp Laurel helps children, youths and their families living with HIV/AIDS. They arrange summer- and winter camps, education and various forms of support.

We are only too pleased to donate some of our stock music for charities, so if you have a registered non-profit charity with credentials, feel free to contact us if you need royalty-free music for non-profit charity work.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

11 new exclusive tracks from Dan Gautreau

Dan Gautreau is one of the most popular artists here at Shockwave-Sound.com. His crisp, open sound combined with touching melodies and catchy hooks make some of his tracks extremely suitable for use in film, tv, web, presentations and other media.

This week we have just added 11 new tracks of his to our catalog, so we thought it was a good time to showcase his tracks and point out some of the best of Dan Gautreau.

Dan has been with Shockwave-Sound.com for about 3 years since back in 2006 and we currently have 133 of his tracks in our catalog. He spends half his time writing library music for us, and the other half of the time writing, producing and recording pop, rock and R&B music with established pop artists in the UK and other countries. Among other things, Dan co-wrote a number 1 hit in Italy, for the winner of the Italian "Pop Idol".

Dan is a Shockwave-Sound "Signed-on" composer, which means that his music is always exclusive to Shockwave-Sound.com for minimum 1 year before it can be found on any other websites. 
Dan's 5 best-selling royalty free music tracks:
This week we have added the following 11 new tracks by Dan:
Dan's full name is Daniel Alan Gautreau (PRS) and he is published by Lynne Publishing (PRS) - the company that owns www.Shockwave-Sound.com

We love Dan's music here and we're looking forward to bringing you more of his music in the future.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting discounts on royalty-free music

Here at Shockwave-Sound.com we regularly get asked this question: "Do you offer bulk discounts or educational discounts on your royalty-free music?" -- or variations on that subject. So I thought I'd post our answer to this here in the blog.

Affiliates get 10% off everything:
First, there is the 10% affiliate discount, that anybody with a website can get. Basically, you sign up with our Affiliate Program under which we pay you 10% of the value of all orders placed by anybody who has followed a special affiliate link from your website to ours -- including your own orders! When you sign up, we will give you a unique link that you place on your website. If somebody follows that link and ends up buying a product on our site -- no matter how small or large the order -- we will pay you 10% of the order value. Many of our regular customers use this program to basically earn themselves a 10% discount on all their orders. Before placing an order on our site, they arrive at our site by following their own affiliate link - thus effectively getting back 10% of their order value, with the added bonus of also getting 10% of any orders placed by anybody else who might follow that link and end up placing an order with us.

I should add at this point, that whilst you are welcome to use our affiliate program for your own orders to earn yourself the 10% discount, we do require that you actually place the link on a public page on your website, so that other people can use the link, too. You can't just keep the link only for your own use.

To become a Shockwave-Sound.com affiliate, just go to our Affiliate sign-up page and fill in the form there.

Bulk discounts on ready-made collections:
Now, as for larger discounts and bulk discounts. What is "Bulk order"? Unfortunately, we don't consider 3 tracks to be bulk. Nor 5 tracks, really. Nor even 10 tracks. If you're placing those kinds of orders, please consider using the affiliate program described above, to get yourself 10% discount on everything.

However, if you buy 5 or more ready-made collections, we would accept that this is a bulk order and we are prepared to give the following discounts:


Number of collections
with Standard License:
with Mass Market License
* Any 5 collections:
US$ 439.00
US$ 999.00
* Any 10 collections:
US$ 799.00
US$ 1999.00
* Any 15 collections:
US$ 1049.00
US$ 2499.00
* Any 20 collections:
US$ 1299.00
US$ 2999.00
* More than 20 collections:
contact us
contact us

These collections are normally either $99/$129 each with Standard License, or $249/325 each with Mass Market License. Each collection typically contains 10-15 tracks, plus all the different edits/versions/cuts of every track, to give you options in editing (such as 60-secs version, 30-secs version, Loops, Stingers etc.) You can see a complete list of our ready-made collections here: http://www.shockwave-sound.com/collections.html

The collections can be delivered to you as physical CDROM/DVDROM’s, on an external USB hard drive or a USB memory stick – whichever you prefer.

Should you be interested in taking us up on either of these offers, please get in touch with us. These "bulk orders" of 10-15-20 or more ready-made collections are not available to buy through the shopping cart on the site. You'll have to talk with, us or email with us, to discuss your selections and arrange payment.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We welcome Ori Vidislavski to Shockwave-Sound.com

We have been fortunate to work with many talented composers and musicians here at Shockwave-Sound.com over the years, and this month we have the pleasure of announcing the release of 103 tracks by Israeli master composer, Ori Vidislavski.

Like the other 8 or so composers who are "signed-on" to Shockwave-Sound, all of Ori's music is always exclusive to Shockwave-Sound.com for a minimum period of one year before it is made available anywhere else.

Ori is probably the most sought after drama composer in Israel. He has composed for more than 150 different film, theater and dance projects. Hailing from a religious family, he was influenced early on by religious and classical music, while inspiring him to compose music to heal and comfort the world around him throgh music.

Ori has composed for a huge number of theater productions, including "Richard III" and "The Merchant of Venice". In film, he has composed for "Angels in America", "A View from the Bridge", "The Cucible" and many, many others. His work also spans childrens plays , dance choreography, TV shows, commercials, installations and events.

Unknown to most, Ori is the composer of the song "Winter of 73", a number one hit in Israel and one of the most influential songs in Israeli culture. In 1980 he was awarded the "Israeli Oscar" for his compositions in the films "Sheure" and "Aretz Hadasha". In 1993 the Israeli Composer Association honored Ori with the "Composer of the Year" award and throughout the years 2003-2009 he continues to compose for a number of film and media projects, and now, for the Shockwave-Sound.com stock music catalogue.

Ori Vidislavski has always tried to tie people together through his music. In 1995 he founded the live band "Deiwan", an ensemble consisting of five Arab and four Jewish musicians. He likes to blend various aspects of life in Israel, Jewish and oriental motifs, eastern, american and European influences in his music. We're glad to have him. :-)

Look for more of Ori Vidislavski's music to show up in the Shockwave-Sound.com royalty free music catalogue over the next months and years.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Article that explains the copyright situation with Public Domain music and Classical music

Many users of our stock music library have been somewhat confused about the copyright situation with regards to Classical music and Traditional music. Many know that a musical composition becomes Public Domain 75 years after the death of the composer -- or indeed if the composer is unknown, like in traditional music -- but few understand why these are still under copyright and can't be exploited at will, without buying a license from the copyright holder, usually the Publisher. We have tried to explain this in our latest article: Copyrights in Classical music and Public Domain music. We hope it's useful to some of you. Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shockwave-Sound are aiming for exclusive quality with first year at shockwave-sound.com only


Ferenc Hegedus music
exclusively at Shockwave-Sound.com
Here at Shockwave-Sound.com we have been lucky to work with some extremely talented music composers and producers over the years. Since we started this website all the way back in March 2000, a lot of different producers have contributed to what is now a superb catalogue of professional stock music.

We are acutely aware of the need to avoid the "canned music sound", and that's why we are constantly seeking out new and exciting composers. We aren't afraid to give a new guy a chance, perhaps some young new producer who can offer a new and different sound.

Our composers and producers come in two "categories"; There are the non-exclusive guys who write and produce great music, and then aim to have that music sold through many different royalty-free music websites. That's fine, we ask no exclusivity and we do our best to sell their music as much as we can, paying them royalties, as other companies do.

Arjun Sen music exclusively at
Shockwave-Sound.com


Then there are the guys who are signed-on to Shockwave-Sound.com. This is a smaller group of extremely talented young producers who are actually signed to our parent company Lynne Publishing. We are the publishers of their music, and whilst we do sell their music through other stock music sites later, their music is always exclusive to Shockwave-Sound.com for a minimum of 1 year, before being made avialable on other websites.

Composers such as Dan Gautreau, Dan Phillipson, Jeremy Sherman, Wesley Devine, Pierre Langer, Bjorn Lynne, Arjun Sen, Ferenc Hegedus, Adam Skorupa regularly send us batches of new tracks that they have produced. They're doing this full time, so they have plenty of time and opportunity to hone their skills.

Dan Phillipson music exclusively
at Shockwave-Sound.com


Whenever one of these signed-on composers have sent us a new batch of music tracks, we start selling these tracks immediately at www.Shockwave-Sound.com. Here the tracks remain exclusively for a minimum period of 1 year. After a year has passed, we will have their tracks distributed through other royalty-free music websites. It may take well over a year before you'll actually see their music on other sites, because the distribution to other companies, setup and configuration on other sites, often take weeks or months, and this process is only started after the track has been exlusive on Shockwave-Sound.com for one year.

Here at Shockwave-Sound.com we post the latest, new music tracks on top of the genre listings. Here's where you can find our latest additions, many of them by our signed-on composers.
At the time of writing, we have only this week added 10 new tracks by Dan Phillipson and 10 new tracks by Dan Gautreau. These new tracks can be found only at Shockwave-Sound.com for a minimum of 1 year from now. Enjoy!

Bjorn Lynne music
exclusively at Shockwave-Sound

Jeremy Sherman too



And Ori Vidislavski

Pierre Gerwig Langer too

As well as Wesley Devine

And Dan Gautreau

Adam Skorupa ... among others.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Choosing the right burning speed when creating a CD in your own computer


We occasionally get this question or comment: "I created an Audio-CD from the downloaded WAV or MP3 files, and the CD doesn't have a high enough sound quality."

 

Here at Shockwave-Sound.Com, we deliver music files either in 44.1 khz uncompressed WAV files, or in 192-kbps mp3 files. 

The WAV files represent the original CD master recordings, untouched and uncompromised. They are, byte-for-byte, the same as what is put onto a commercial music-CD.

The mp3 files are encoded in 192 kbps format, and this is of sufficiently high quality to be nearly indistinguishable from the original recording, for all but the most exacting listeners. Not only are our files encoded to this high bit-rate, but they have also been encoded by the encoding-engine in Sonic Foundry (now Sony) SoundForge, which is widely known to be the best sounding mp3 encoding engine in existence today. The bottom line is that, when you create an Audio-CD from our WAV or MP3 files, it should sound every bit as good as the original master recordings.



In the event that the Audio-CD you produce does not have a high enough sound quality, this is most likely caused by too high burning-speed when you burned the CD. Most CD-burners in computers today are capable of burning CDs at extremely high speeds, like 40x or even 52x speed. This is good for data storage, but for audio-CD format, it is not recommended, because the Audio-CD format has less advanced error correction than the data storage format. At high burn speeds for audio, errors (called jitter and C1 and C2 errors) may be introduced during recording. Such errors can usually be corrected, but sometimes they cannot. Regardless, the process of correcting errors may in itself cause audible sonic degradation. Try re-burning the same files into an Audio-CD at 4x or 8x burning speed, and see if this helps. Here at Shockwave-Sound we always burn audio-discs at low speeds; certainly never any higher than 8x, usually slower.

Other factors that may also affect the sound quality of an Audio-CD are: Media quality, Playback equipment, and any CD-authoring software settings such as "filtering", "volume normalizer", "noise removal", "eq", "hiss removal" etc. We recommend switching OFF all such features when you burn an Audio-CD.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Royalties and performance rights - a "must read" if you use music on hold

Before you use music in public, there are some things about music copyright and performance rights that you need to understand. This article is meant to give a simple, clear overview of the issues involved in this process.

 

Royalty free music for telephone
on-hold... What you need to know.

Performance rights:


When music is used in such a way that other people than yourself and your immediate family/friends can hear it, this is called a "performance". For example, if you are in a supermarket and they are playing the radio over the loudspeakers, that is a "performance" of that music. The same goes for music-on-hold. If you have music playing on-hold for the people that call your company, that is a "performance" of the music.

Most composers are members of the "performance affiliation" for their country. These are sometimes referred to as "performance organization" or "royalty affiliation". Each country has such an organization. In USA they are called ASCAP or BMI. In the UK they are called PRS. In Sweden STIM, in Germany GEMA... and so on. These organizations all exchange information and work together, so that a composer who is a member of ASCAP in USA is automatically represented by GEMA in Germany, by STIM in Sweden, by PRS in the UK, and so on.

In order for any company to publicly perform music by these organized composers, it must have a license from their country's performance affiliation. If you are a shop owner in Germany and you want to play music by an American composer so that your customers can hear it, you need a license from the German performance affiliation, GEMA. GEMA will collect the license money from you, and through a longwinded system, distribute a part of the money to the millions of composers who are members of these organizations.

The price for this license is not calculated "per play" or "per song". It is a set annual fee. Once you have your license arranged, you can play as much or as little music as you want. The amount you have to pay depends on the number of people who can hear the music when you play it. For example, a national TV broadcasting company pays an annual fee that is much, much higher than a dentist who uses music in his waiting room.

But what happened to "royalty free"?


Okay, so you want to play music in public, and you want to avoid having to pay the annual license fee to your country's performance affiliation. You seek out some "royalty-free music", and want to play it on your telephone on-hold system or in your shop, or wherever other people can hear it. But here is where it starts to get complicated: Music that you have purchased as "royalty free music" is usually NOT free from the need to have a license from your country's performance organization.

Most music offered up as "royalty free music" was composed by composers who are members of a performance affiliation. The music is offered to you as "royalty free" because, frankly, it is assumed that every company that publicly performs music already has the annual license in order -- in which case it makes no difference, and causes no extra costs, that the composer is a member of his affiliation. Of course, it matters to the composer, because he will then get a tiny fraction of the money that you have already paid in your annual license fee.

So in what way is it then royalty-free? Well, in the traditional way, before "royalty-free" was an option, you would have to pay a royalty to the composer, producer, or company that licensed the music to you, in addition to your annual license fee to the performance organization. The composer would get a small sum directly from you for each time you used his music and he would also get a tiny fraction of your annual license fee, after it has gone through the performance affiliation. When some composers started offering their music as "royalty-free", the idea was that: "You pay me this one-time sum for my music, you can then use it as much as you want without paying me any royalties...". This, however, doesn't mean that you don't have to pay an annual license fee to your country's performance affiliation.

You can't really blame the composer for this. His assumption is that you also use other music -- in which case you already have your annual license from your country's performance affiliation, and he is then right to say that there are no royalties to pay on his music.

Another thing to consider is that often, the producer of a product is a different company from the one that ends up broadcasting it, or performing it in public. The most typical example is a TV-program. One company produces the program. If they use "royalty-free music", they do not ever pay any royalties. They don't publicly perform or broadcast the program, so they don't need an annual license either. Another company, a broadcasting company, broadcasts the program. They already have their annual license fee in order, so the music doesn't cause them any royalties to pay, either. In this highly typical case, the music caused no new royalties to pay by anybody, and as such, it is fair to call it "royalty free". If the music obtained was not royalty-free, the producer would have to pay the composer a royalty for each time his music was used.



So how can I get completely royalty-free music?


The only way to avoid the annual license fee to your country's performance affiliation is to use only music composed by people who are not a member of any performance affiliation, anywhere in the world. This can be hard to get hold of. It makes sense for composers to be a member of their performance organization, so most self respecting composers are.

If you are searching for music to use in public, on telephone on-hold, in your shop, on your radio station or wherever other people can hear the music, and you want to avoid having to pay the annual license fee to your country's performance affiliation, you need to seek out music composed by composers who are not a member of any such organization. At Shockwave-Sound.com we call these "Non-PRO composers" and their music "Non-PRO Tracks". Note that "PRO" in this case does not stand for "Professional", but for "Performing Rights Organization".

When browsing the music at Shockwave-Sound.com, take note of the option displayed to you at the top of all track listings: Display "PRO and Non-PRO Tracks", or "Non-PRO Tracks Only". If you select the latter, all tracks that were composed by composers who are members of performing rights organizations are removed from the list. You are left with a much smaller list of music tracks, that are all "Non-PRO Tracks". These tracks are completely royalty-free. You can broadcast them and play them in public as much as you want, without paying any fees to any royalties collections agencies.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Independent review of the Sennheiser 450 Noise Canceling Headphones


As a music composer, producer and sound engineer, I need a good pair of headphones. I’ve been using a pair of Sennheiser headphones for years that I was always quite pleased with, but with the number of computers, fans, servers, external hard disks and even hard disks in hardware outboard samplers around me, frankly, the noise level in my working environment was beginning to get untenable.

I saw a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones at an airport, and it occurred to me that most people who buy this type of headphones do so because they want something to use while on flights. Frankly, I don’t fly that often that I feel the need to pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of headphones used especially for in-flight use, but I do spend hundreds, thousands of hours working on music and sound effects in an environment filled with noisy computers and hard disks, so I found I wanted to invest in a pair for use in my office/studio - not primarily for flights.

I spent some time getting to know a few different models, and in the end I decided to go with these Sennheiser PXC 450 Noise Guard Noise Canceling Headphones. They were among the more expensive noise reducing headphones on the market, but since I was going to use these for hundreds and hundreds of hours, I wanted to invest in something of very good quality and not simply get the cheapest.

Background on noise canceling technologies


For those who don’t quite know what this "noise canceling" stuff is all about, there are basically two types of noise reduction used in headphones: Passive noise reduction and Active noise reduction.

Passive noise reduction simply means the physical blocking out of external noise. Headphones can be made to fit so snugly around your ears and the ear muffs can be made with a material that blocks out noise.

Active noise reduction / noise canceling, on the other hand, is a lot more complex. It involves tiny microphones on the outside of the ear muffs that actually keep a digital footprint of the sound waves that can be heard on the outside, and then uses clever technology generate an "opposite" noise footprint which is then broadcast/played inside the earmuffs, to "counter-act" the noise. Depending on how well this technology is implemented, it can be quite baffling and very impressive. This technology is also used inside some cars, to cancel out the noise of traffic from the outside.

First impressions


The Sennheiser PXC 450 headphones feel very exclusive, expensive and classy 2 I mean that both in the sense of holding them and handling them, and how they feel when you’re wearing them. The padding around your ears is very comfortable and overall it feels really nice to wear them. They fit softly and comfortably. You can wear these for hours without feeling any discomfort. Great work by Sennheiser here.

Having said that, the first time I put these on, I was surprised and a little discomforted by hearing a low "hum", like a fan running at 50 Hz or so inside. I felt it was really quite loud as well. I adjusted the position of the headphones a little bit on my head, and the hum disappeared. I’m not sure what that’s all about or what’s causing it, but occasionally when I put them on, I have to adjust them a little bit by slightly changing the angle at which I’m wearing them on my head, to get rid of that nasty low humming sound.



         

Sound quality


As a pair of headphones, the PXC450 sound really good. Listening to music, the music sounds very crisp, warm, transparent and clear. Quite simply, they sound like pure class. The bass is nicely defined and sits perfectly in the mix. The mid-tones and treble are tremendously clear and at the same time, relaxed, natural and clean. All in all, it’s a tremendous pleasure to listen to well recorded and well produced music in these headphones.

The noise canceling


Let’s talk about the actual noise canceling qualities of these headphones - and I’m afraid this is where my enthusiasm takes a downturn. I read on the distributor’s website that these headphones would block out 80-85% of all outside noise. I’m sorry, but personally I simply find that to be untrue. Sitting in a room with several noisy computers, I can still hear these computers even when wearing these phones. And if somebody in the next room talk, I can hear their voices. In fact, even if somebody downstairs is talking, I can not only hear them, but I can hear what they are saying. And if a car drives up on the outside of the building, I can hear it. That’s not what I was expecting from these rather expensive noise canceling headphones.

In my estimation, I’d say that the true noise reduction percentage from these is about 35-40%, not the promised 80-85%. It’s hard to put a number on it, but if I had to try, I’d say that I probably hear about 35-40% less from the noise around me, when wearing these phones switched on in noise canceling mode.


Other features


Like other noise canceling headphones, the PXC 450 requires a battery. It uses a single AAA battery which lasts for several hours. I like the fact that it doesn’t use its own special battery type which must be charged all the time. Instead it uses a standard battery which means that you have the choice of simply buying regular batteries, or to buy a rechargeable one.

Unlike some other noise canceling headphones, these also work as normal headphones, even without a battery. So if you’re somewhere without access to batteries, at least you’ll still be able to use them as normal headphones, without the noise canceling feature. I feel this is a valuable feature, as some other noise canceling headphones would simply be completely useless without a battery.

Talk-through feature


On the right earmuff there is a "talk through" button. You press it, a little green light comes on, and the little microphones on the outside of the earmuffs actually record the sound and play it back into the headphones. Useful if you’re listening to music and somebody just wants to say something to you, or you want to listen out for something for a couple of seconds - without having to remove the headphones and/or stop the music. You press the talk-through button and listen to the outside world for a couple of seconds, then press the button again to return to your music.

Packing/transporting


The headphones come with a nice little "briefcase" like box with room for the actual headphones, the cable, and a few spare batteries. Again, it feels solid, classy, expensive and durable. A feature I like is the ability to pack/wrap the headphones in two different ways - one way to get as flat as possible, and another way to get as small as possible. Check the video above to see how that works.

In summary


To sum up, I like the Sennheiser PXC 450 very much as a pair of headphones. I take them with me everywhere I travel and I love to listen to music in them because they sound, and feel, so good. However, I’m disappointed with the actual noise canceling. There’s no way that these actually cancel 85% of the noise - no way. 35-40%, yes. But not 85%. And given the rather high price of this product, I guess I’m a little disappointed that the core functionality - the noise canceling - is not as good as advertised.

Positives:

  • Feel very comfortable.
  • Sound great.
  • Use a standard battery.
  • Work as normal headphones without battery.

Negatives:

  • Noise canceling simply not as effective as advertised.
  • Occasional strange low-frequency humming sound which can usually be got rid of simply by adjusting the position of the headphones on the head.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quick explanation of terms relating to music copyrights, music licensing and royalty-free music

In the world of music rights and commercial or in-public music use, there are a lot of terms and expressions that may be confusing to non-musicians. In fact, some of these are confusing even to musicians. In this article I will try to explain some of these terms and what they mean.


Copyright Free Music


This is a frequently misused term. There is extremely little "copyright free" music around, if any. As soon as a composer has composed a piece of music, it is automatically copyrighted to him/her, regardless of whether the composer actually takes any practical steps to "copyright" the music. If the composer gives somebody permission to use the music in a project, that doesn't mean the music is copyright free. Even music that you obtain from free music web sites, from a music library, from a royalty-free music source, etc., none of this means that the music is "copyright free". You should never assume that a piece of music is "copyright free", because it almost certainly is not, even if somebody tries to tell you that it is.

Music Library


A Music Library, aka Stock Music Library, is simply a "collection of existing music". People who are in a hurry to obtain music for a project will often use a Music Library because the music is already composed and immediately available. This term says nothing about what costs are involved with using the music. It may be subject to a one-time license payment, a monthly license payment, a per-sale royalty payment, or a combination of these. All this term means, really, is that the music already exists and will not be composed especially for you.

Royalty-Free Music


Royalty Free music means that you will only pay a one-time fee to use the music, and you will not pay a per-use or a per-sale royalty to the composer and/or publisher.

License Free Music


This is a bad term, because it actually means that the music doesn't need a License for use. This is never the case, though, so when people say "License Free", usually what they really mean is "Royalty-Free".





Buyout Music


Buyout Music (or Buy Out music) is a term that usually describes when a company or person pays the composer, producer and/or publisher a one-off sum of money, and then obtains all rights to that music. A lot of the time, music buyout is misused or misplaced. For example, a company might think that they need a total buyout of the music, but all they really need is a License to use the music for whatever puposes they want, forever. This would serve the exact same purpose, but leave the composer with his basic rights intact. If you are looking to obtain buyout music, most likely you are really looking for Royalty-Free music.

Some web sites or music libraries claim to sell Buyout Music, but what they are really selling is royalty-free music. If what they really sold was Buyout Music, then they would sell the music to you, then delete it from their own harddisk, never use it for any other purpose or sell it to anybody else -- they they would sign the copyright of the tracks over to you and retract it from anybody else they have ever given the track to in the past. That is a buyout. So really, what they are selling isn't buyout music, but royalty-free music, or other forms of non-exclusive music licences.

Podcast Safe Music


Podcasts are audio recordings made available for individual downloads or subscriptions. Some podcasts are pay-to-listen but most podcasts today are free. Podcasts are a great way to download audio recordings made by other people, because you can "subscribe" to them so they are automatically downloaded to your computer or iPod, without you having to download each programme/episode individually. Podcasts can include talk shows, reports, music shows, news bulletins and basically anything that can be delivered as an audio file.

Lately, Video Podcasts are also on the rise - which is the same thing but includes video as well as audio.

Podcast Safe Music means music that you can safely and legally use in your Podcast, without having to worry about being sued by the music copyright holders. Bands and artists may give their music for free to use in Podcasts, just in return for some promotion in the hope of getting some new fans. More often, Podcast Safe Music is found in music libraries such as the Shockwave-Sound.Com stock music library.



Copyright Free Music


This is a frequently misused term. There is extremely little "copyright free" music around, if any. As soon as a composer has composed a piece of music, it is automatically copyrighted to him/her, regardless of whether the composer actually takes any practical steps to "copyright" the music. If the composer gives somebody permission to use the music in a project, that doesn't mean the music is copyright free. Even music that you obtain from free music web sites, from a music library, from a royalty-free music source, etc., none of this means that the music is "copyright free". You should never assume that a piece of music is "copyright free", because it almost certainly is not, even if somebody tries to tell you that it is.

Music Library


A Music Library, aka Stock Music Library, is simply a "collection of existing music". People who are in a hurry to obtain music for a project will often use a Music Library because the music is already composed and immediately available. This term says nothing about what costs are involved with using the music. It may be subject to a one-time license payment, a monthly license payment, a per-sale royalty payment, or a combination of these. All this term means, really, is that the music already exists and will not be composed especially for you.

Royalty-Free Music


Royalty Free music means that you will only pay a one-time fee to use the music, and you will not pay a per-use or a per-sale royalty to the composer and/or publisher.

License Free Music


This is a bad term, because it actually means that the music doesn't need a License for use. This is never the case, though, so when people say "License Free", usually what they really mean is "Royalty-Free".

Buyout Music


Buyout Music (or Buy Out music) is a term that usually describes when a company or person pays the composer, producer and/or publisher a one-off sum of money, and then obtains all rights to that music. A lot of the time, music buyout is misused or misplaced. For example, a company might think that they need a total buyout of the music, but all they really need is a License to use the music for whatever puposes they want, forever. This would serve the exact same purpose, but leave the composer with his basic rights intact. If you are looking to obtain buyout music, most likely you are really looking for Royalty-Free music.

Some web sites or music libraries claim to sell Buyout Music, but what they are really selling is royalty-free music. If what they really sold was Buyout Music, then they would sell the music to you, then delete it from their own harddisk, never use it for any other purpose or sell it to anybody else -- they they would sign the copyright of the tracks over to you and retract it from anybody else they have ever given the track to in the past. That is a buyout. So really, what they are selling isn't buyout music, but royalty-free music, or other forms of non-exclusive music licences.

Podcast Safe Music


Podcasts are audio recordings made available for individual downloads or subscriptions. Some podcasts are pay-to-listen but most podcasts today are free. Podcasts are a great way to download audio recordings made by other people, because you can "subscribe" to them so they are automatically downloaded to your computer or iPod, without you having to download each programme/episode individually. Podcasts can include talk shows, reports, music shows, news bulletins and basically anything that can be delivered as an audio file.

Lately, Video Podcasts are also on the rise - which is the same thing but includes video as well as audio.

Podcast Safe Music means music that you can safely and legally use in your Podcast, without having to worry about being sued by the music copyright holders. Bands and artists may give their music for free to use in Podcasts, just in return for some promotion in the hope of getting some new fans. More often, Podcast Safe Music is found in music libraries such as the Shockwave-Sound.Com stock music library.