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Topic: Music is becoming an 'oil change'.

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  1. #1

    Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    Hey everyone -

    Starting to get slightly \'dismayed\' at what I am seeing as the commoditizing of music in film and games. The idea is this: music is starting to become a \'commodity\' in films, and to a lesser extent, in games, in that the producer/filmmaker know they need music. They want it cheap. There are thousands of people out there that will do it cheap. Quality may or may not be a factor, depending on the requesters ability to discern quality.

    It sounds like music is starting to become an oil change - you know you need it, you go to the cheapest place, because it\'s something that just \'needs to get done\'.

    Case in point - Apple\'s new \"Soundtrack\" software. I love Apple. But now they have released a tool for filmmakers who work in FCP (and soon to be stand-a-lone) that will enable them to compose music for their film. Now, you and I know that the originality of said pieces will be lacking. It might not even be scored/tempo\'ed/etc to picture exactly.

    But filmmakers don\'t mind - it\'s a commodity - and cheap wins out here.

    Check out this snippet from a review of Soundtrack at this site. :

    Hiring a composer for film and video projects is becoming more rare as budgets shrink and the popularity of library music and music composition software grows.

    Depressing to say the least...

    Thoughts?

    Eric Doggett

  2. #2

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    You\'re right - my bad. I should have looked it up in the forum history first. I guess I got all fired up for a few minutes. Perhaps it was the coffee [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Still, soundtrack or not, the overall trend seems to be \"quick, cheap, library-ish if possible\" [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Eric

  3. #3

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    The kind of movies that would use Apples silly soundtrack is probably not the kind of movies you would score anyway.. so I wouldn\'t worry too much. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    /Tobias

  4. #4

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    Tob,

    Although I appreciate your musical snobbery and I envy anyone who is in a position to turn down work, more and more projects out there are falling into the \"soundtrack\" category.

    In smaller markets like Orlando, big companies like theme parks, tv shows filmed here and regional and even national advertising budgets are getting shrunk. So it\'s not uncommon for someone to ask me to score a regional 30 sec. spot for $200 or less. I generally turn it down, but you\'d be surprised to hear the names of the clients that are tied to such non-existing budgets. These guys are starting to be the prime candidates to use Soundtrack....and they are the \"big boys\" around here....yes, even the big D.

    Sorry to sound like I usually do, see what happens when somebody gets me started with Soundtrack.


    For what it\'s worth, the only issue that should be noted about Soundtrack is that it\'s not as easy to get good stuff on it as the ads make it sound. I have it, I play with it, I even made loops and custom pieces for it. It\'s a pretty neat piece of software, but it\'s essentially Acid or Live, so some sort of musical knowledge is required to get something decent out of it. Plus, since generally the loops are only 2-4 bars long, things tend to sound a bit repetitive after a while, and most video editors are not tuned enough to music composition to know how to structure a song. It is ideal for MTV or ESPN type of shows, for quick bumpers it\'s a great tool.

  5. #5

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    Who is the Big D? [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    It\'ll be used for the sort of junk that deserves it. 80% of TV is ephemeral rubbish and much of the other media often requires quick-impact brain-dead artless material. If that\'s your corner then fight for it, but you\'ll lose bit by bit to this sort of software. Why?. Because it doesn\'t really take much ability or talent to put together such music in the first place. The sheer wealth of loops available to consumers now means that anybody can stitch together a track after half-hour\'s tuition on such software. I say good luck to those who want to use it. It\'ll hopefully get rid of the mass of talentless morons who claim themselves to be composers when they no ****-diddly about composing and mainly just undercut and undervalue those that do.

    Quality requires quality. A sensitive TV or film director with cash who wants to bring the best out of their movie isn\'t going to sit there and mess around with loops in some gimmicky software anymore than he\'s going to pick up a flimsy saw and build his own filmset.

  7. #7

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    Quality requires quality. A sensitive TV or film director with cash who wants to bring the best out of their movie isn\'t going to sit there and mess around with loops in some gimmicky software anymore than he\'s going to pick up a flimsy saw and build his own filmset.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Good thoughts there Jon....well, that accounts for about .0001% of the music business out there....meanwhile back in Metropolis, Clark is getting ready for a date with Lois.


    As far as the big D reference, I though it was pretty obvious when you pair it up with Orlando, Florida....maybe I should have said W.D. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    Originally posted by midphase:
    well, that accounts for about .0001% of the music business out there....
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I think that\'s being a tad cynical!. That really isn\'t the case.

    I guess it depends how much a composer values their art.

    If music is very much an art to you (and not purely a business) just don\'t kiss your life away writing junk music for junk TV and radio stations. Seek out directors and agencies who will offer quality work - they DO exist. Turn down insulting offers (and there are plenty of those about from supposedly reputable companies who\'ll want you to work for peanuts and a beer) and remember there\'s always other ways to make money in music than simply prostituting yourself to the lowest of the low through scoring (I\'ve long balanced out composing with performing and teaching to make sure I have a decent annual income).

    If you don\'t, then I\'ll guarantee you\'ll look back in years to come and wonder why the hell you wasted all that time having to provide junk for junk - I\'ve seen it happen to a lot of older colleagues.

    Of course, you might already be a super succesful composer, in which case feel free to slap me down in your next post [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    What about our valuable musicians? I don\'t understand why you guys complain about technology when brilliant sample libraries came out and nobody complained about musicians getting no jobs! Are you saying that it is ok that sample libraries kill the musicians and it is NOT ok that soundtrack-like software take away composers\' jobs? Or do you think that it is fair that the advance of DAW systems bring down many big studios?

    The reality is - technology often leads to a much lower production cost.

    (Sorry for my poor English)

  10. #10

    Re: Music is becoming an \'oil change\'.

    What about our valuable musicians? I don\'t understand why you guys complain about technology when brilliant sample libraries came out and nobody complained about musicians getting no jobs! Are you saying that it is ok that sample libraries kill the musicians and it is NOT ok that soundtrack-like software take away composers\' jobs? Or do you think that it is fair that the advance of DAW systems bring down many big studios?

    The reality is - technology often leads to a much lower production cost.

    (Sorry for my poor English)

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