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Topic: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

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  1. #1

    Banjo Music?

    Hi All,

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I'm the music coordinator for a new reality TV show (because, you know, there aren't enough on TV as it is) and we need banjo music for a specific scene. I'd be fine with anything from good ol' knee slapping Deliverance-esque music, minus the squealing pig, to Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas. And yes, suffice it to say, that's pretty much the extent of my banjo related music references.

    I don't know of any decent multisample libraries, nor do I know of any locals who play banjo. The preferred approach would be to find someone who already has a banjo track they'd be willing to license for a low flat fee, but I wasn't sure which forum, if any, was the most appropriate to ask in. We have next to no music budget, but we're paying what we can and the exposure is pretty substantial. The deadline is fast approaching, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for your time!

    Regards,
    Scott

  2. #2

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    You may want to check out the "Vintage Jazz Guitars and Tenor Banjos" collection from Bardstown Audio. We have many demos featuring our sampled tenor banjos on the mp3 demo page of our web site.

    Kip McGinnis
    Bardstown Audio
    www.bardstownaudio.com

  3. #3

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Seriously, Lee, I appreciate what you're saying, though I would have preferred a more adult approach to it seeing as how you know absolutely nothing about the production, the people involved, or the budget details. In the words of Felix Unger, "When You Assume"...

    I'm a composer, too, and I know first hand how incredibly frustrating and often depressing it can be trying to make a living doing what you love...especially when your main competition for food money is a music library.

    The irony is that when the network allocated our music budget, it gave us the right to use their library music for free rather than contract original music. Therefore, we have no budget for original music, save the intro theme, and that's mot much even by my lowly composer standards. You wanna yell and scream? No prob, I'll be right behind you with a megaphone. But that's what we have, so the next step was trying to make it work.

    We're trying to reduce the use of library music with the non-exclusive licensing of pre-existing tracks from up and coming artists. Every cent of that is literally coming out of our pockets. I've been 100% straight up with every artist I've talked to as to the situation we're in, just as I hope someone would speak to me if I were on the other end (which I have been many times).

    I'm certainly not looking for handouts, and I take offense to you insinuating otherwise. Serious offense. I'm bending over backwards to try and get as much for our artists as I can, these are people I like and respect, and hope to develop long term relationships with.

    We're also trying to put together a quality show within the budget we have which is a tremendous effort, and as long as all parties involved are perfectly clear and upfront about that, I think your anger and frustration would be better focussed elsewhere.

    And thanks, Kip, I'll give the demos a listen on your site.

    Regards,
    Scott

  4. #4
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    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    The trouble is that there are thousands of enthusiasts and hobbyists who would love to supply Scott with a suitable piece for next to nothing just for the pleasure/pride of it. If I had the time I'd have a go myself! There are many like me who would actually welcome an opportunity like this. Of course, I do understand and sympathise with the position of the professional musicians.

    Personally though, and selfishly, I would like to see more requests like this as it gives us amateurs a chance and as such should be encouraged. Maybe these reqests would benefit from a dedicated website where budding musicians could respond to such needs posted by producers.....until then though.......

    BTW Scott, you can find an excellent banjo at an excellent price $40 (download) at http://www.frontporchbanjo.com if you want to have a crack yourself. Don't turn your nose up, but Band in a box (http://www.pgmusic.com/) also has bluegrass/banjo styles which you could use and modify. With a bit of intelligent modification they are better than you might imagine.

    Frank

  5. #5
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    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    You're certainly right. There are undoubtedly many people that would jump at the chance, and some of them will be thoroughly competent to execute the job. There's not much risk for the producer, because they can audition tracks until they find one that nails it. There are lots of people who are quite skilled in a niche or two, and they'd be thrilled and honored to have their music in a high profile production -- so much so that they'd be willing to do it for free. Take this situation, for instance. Somewhere out there, there's a really good banjo player who has a well paying day gig (let's say the guy works as a highly paid surgeon, and plays banjo to relax). He has a nice daw set-up, decent mics, and an adequate room. Scratch off one more paying gig for a professional musician attempting to make a living with music.



    I think your wish will be granted. Producers are realizing that really good music can be had cheaply. They're just beginning to test the bounds of how far things can be pushed and how little needs to be paid. The old principles of supply and demand are at work. Many talented people are willing to work for nothing (for experience, exposure, etc.). I'm sure there will be websites established to facilitate this sort of thing (if they don't already exist).

    This should be a harsh wake up call, however, for those dreaming of any kind of career doing this sort of work. Producers can always find other places to spend money, so if they can find talented people virtually tripping over each other to supply music for next to nothing, they will take advantage of the situation. It will ensure that not many people will advance beyond being amateurs into actual careers.

    Lee Blaske
    You and Bruce are such eloquent SOBs!!

    Frank

  6. #6

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    I'm sure there will be websites established to facilitate this sort of thing (if they don't already exist).

    Lee Blaske
    They do indeed exist, and competition (allegedly) is fierce in order to land a gig. I have been told that there are usually up to 100 submissions for each tiny, insignificant film. Is it any wonder that earning a living composing is getting more and more difficult for many established professionals.

    Daryl

  7. #7

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Scott please check your PMs!
    I think a favorite gag in medival times was to sneak up behind a Knight and stick a "kick me" sign on his armor with a magnet.

  8. #8

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske

    Realistically, I don't think there's any way in the world to stop this. It's going to happen, and happen more frequently. The quality of music will also continue to improve.

    Lee Blaske
    I actually think that the quality of music is getting much worse :>) Unfortunately technical know how has become more important than musical ability in many cases. I know that what I am hearing is often rubbish, but the hirers and firers often don't seem to know the difference. Maybe it doesn't matter... :>(

    Daryl

  9. #9

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    OT:

    Hardy, thanks for the banjo link. Got any good fiddle links? Looking for something with a decent bite at higher velocities. I layered the Whole Lotta Country samples but I'm not happy with the results.

    I presume you are aware that their banjo samples are available for download at a very cheap price.

    TIA

    Ernie

  10. #10

    Re: Banjo Music and Music Licensing

    Great link, Hardy. Thanks!
    Scott

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