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Topic: Writing a TV Jingle

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  1. #1

    TV commercial writers please help...

    Calling all jingle experts,

    I was just wondering if you could give me any tips on producing/mixing music for a TV& radio Ad campaign. It looks like i might have landed my first...

    I need advice on things like:

    Is it common for me to provide the mixed and mastered cue?
    If so, do i master as loud as a commercial track?
    Are there known problematic frequencies in ads with dialogue (ones that aren't obvious at time of mix of course!)?
    Do you do the track before they throw you the voice over?

    Any other common mistakes to look out for???
    Any questions i should ask them (other than creative direction)?

    I want to look like i have a few clues!! All thoughts and tips from people in the field would be most appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Last edited by evaclear; 05-31-2005 at 07:59 AM. Reason: title
    evaclear
    Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm...

    My Stuff

  2. #2

    Re: TV commercial writers please help...

    Quote Originally Posted by evaclear
    Is it common for me to provide the mixed and mastered cue?
    If so, do i master as loud as a commercial track?
    I always master my tracks, especially when pitching (to gain a competetive edge.) I suppose some post engineers don't want you to EQ or compress, but I've never heard one complain to me.

    One thing to watch out for when mastering your demos (I do a quick mastering of EVERYTHING that leaves the building) is to keep your final volume fairly consistent. Otherwise, if demo 4 is a little quieter than demo 3, it may not "rock" as much and they may think demo 3 was better.

    Quote Originally Posted by evaclear
    Are there known problematic frequencies in ads with dialogue (ones that aren't obvious at time of mix of course!)?
    Good question. I never worry about it and again, I've never heard complaints, but who knows? The real answer, of course, is "It depends . . . "

    Quote Originally Posted by evaclear
    Do you do the track before they throw you the voice over?
    I rarely get a voiceover ahead of time. But I'll usually put down a scratch VO on my own to see how things fit. It keeps me from over-writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by evaclear
    Any other common mistakes to look out for???
    Any questions i should ask them (other than creative direction)?
    The only question I always ask is "How much are you gonna pay me?" And the truth is, with clients I know, I often don't even ask that. It shows my priority is working with them as opposed to dollar signs.

    I would avoid asking too many questions. It's easy to appear to be an over-eager PIA. I don't think I'd even ask the mix engineer what format he wants your mix. If they don't tell me otherwise, I waltz in with an audio CD, even though I know they usually prefer 48k. If you want to look slick, arrive with both . . . without them asking.

    The one issue you do need to be clear about ahead of time is sync. A typical solution is to put a 1 frame blast of a 1k sine wave at exactly 2-seconds before the first frame of the spot. This is called a "2-pop." Or, if your music starts at exactly the beginning of the spot and has a hard percussive start, you can skip the 2-pop.

    I hope you get the gig. I love jingles even though I don't get as many as I used to.

    - Mike Greene

  3. #3
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Question Re: TV commercial writers please help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Greene
    A typical solution is to put a 1 frame blast of a 1k sine wave at exactly 2-seconds before the first frame of the spot.
    Hi Mike,

    Can You describe it a little more clear to me ? I don't understand...
    is it 2 seconds of sine wave sound or is it 1 frame which is 1/25 of the second....

    BTW: Do You know what frame rate is used in TV spots ? 24.97, 25, 30 ??

  4. #4

    Re: TV commercial writers please help...

    Quote Originally Posted by lukpcn
    Hi Mike,

    Can You describe it a little more clear to me ? I don't understand...
    is it 2 seconds of sine wave sound or is it 1 frame which is 1/25 of the second....

    BTW: Do You know what frame rate is used in TV spots ? 24.97, 25, 30 ??
    The pop is only 1 frame long (1/30 second or even 1/25 second . . . it doesn't really matter). In a pinch, you can use any percussive sound like a side-stick or clave, though.

    Most tapes you'll get will have a spot start at what's called "one hour," which, appropriately enough, is 01:00:00.00 in SMPTE code (hours:minutes:seconds.frames.) So the 2-pop would occur 2 seconds earlier, which would be at 00:59:58.00.

    The television frame rate in the U.S. is 29.97 frames/second, but for short pieces like commercials, you could just say 30 frames/sec. There are a bunch of other countries with the same 29.97 rate. The TV spec (which includes this frame rate) for the U.S. and a few other countries is called "NTSC."

    The are many countries, including most of Europe, which use an alternate television standard called "PAL." The PAL frame rate is 25 frames/second.

    24 frames/sec is film. For all countries.

    - Mike Greene

  5. #5
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    Thanks Mike, now I'm smarter


  6. #6

    Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    Hi Mike, I heard once that TV stuff should be mastered at -12 or -18db (cant remember which) do you do that? Or just make the music as loud as possible?

    TIA,

    Scott.
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    www.sca-soundstudios.com
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  7. #7
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cairns
    TV stuff should be mastered at -12 or -18db (cant remember which)
    Hi Scottie,
    What do You mean ?.... it should be clipped or something ? I'm not good at mastering stuff...
    Can You describe more clear to me ?

  8. #8

    Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    tv stuff can be as loud
    (or quiet) as you like. it's the job of the dubbing (re-recording) mixer to deliver to spec. you deliver the music to a soundstage or post house that will mix and deliver all the audio components.

    also here in the USA, in the mixing of tv shows, all of the networks have their own delivery spec that must be adhered to.

  9. #9

    Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    Thanks Mike. Very insightful!
    evaclear
    Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm...

    My Stuff

  10. #10

    Re: Writing a TV Jingle

    Sorry if this is going to piss some people off, but I'd like to get this off my chest.

    I think this thread (and the post which started it) exemplifies one of the big issues affecting our industry these days which is the increased number of newcomers who underbid themselves to get the gig, and then have no freaking idea of what they're doing or what they got themselves into.

    The clients apparently don't really seem to care a whole lot (until the ~~~it hits the fan) and I get this sinking feeling in my gut that the whole industry is going to the dogs.

    Once again, sorry to bring this up, but everytime I read post to this effect I have to wonder if the only way that these guys got the gig is because they underbid themselves so low without really knowing what the work involves.

    If this is not the case with this particular thread then I apologize for insinuating otherwise.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

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