Hello All! It has been a little while since we’ve given you something new to read…I assure you its because we’ve been busy making calls, making deals…and listening to new music. Listening to new music, in fact, is the reason for today’s entry. Most of you reading this site are musicians and producers associated with the Soundtaxi family, and as such we want to bring you useful information we hope helps you as an artist.
In the past few weeks, we’ve been going through the catalog submitting individual tracks to ad agencies, video game companies and music supervisors for film and television. When it comes to multi-media advertising (TV commercials, online marketing, etc.) you’re typically talking content that lasts 30-90 seconds. This is of course much shorter than your average full-length song. When commercials use a big top 40 or indie pop “hit” they tend to go right for the hook, grabbing the most dynamic and memorable piece of the tune (similarly, with a genre like dubstep they may edit a song to start just a few seconds before the drop).
So here’s the thing, (and we’ve mentioned this before…but it is significant enough to mention again): producers and composers out there developing music specifically for commercial use need to consider the time constraints of music used for this purpose. If an ad is 30 seconds long…and your intro is 20 seconds you may run the risk of losing a music supervisor’s interest. Remember, these guys listen to hundreds of pieces of music dozens of tracks daily.
It is, of course, easy to market a 3-minute piece that’s already on the charts. If you’ve created an electro-house masterpiece…but nobody is familiar with it or your name hasn’t gotten out there as a buzz producer yet, you want to sell your track in those first ten seconds. Soundtaxi can afford to evaluate an entire composition. A music supervisor may not be so kind. Imagine having to go through hours of music to satisfy a 30 second ad. Trust us when we say many supervisors are only going to skim a track.
So… if you’re specifically producing a piece intended for commercial use (ads for products & services, movie trailers, etc.) you may want to watch those 30 second-build-ups. Those long and winding roads until we hit the drop, that beautiful 20 second long arpeggio…may wind up being all the music supervisor hears. Its nothing personal, but a professional may not get past those first 30 seconds of music so they can listen to the other 100 tracks they are auditioning. If all they hear is intro, well you can imagine the rest.
This is actually good advice for most modern production…if you can get someone hooked in the first ten seconds, you’ve got a fighting chance of creating the ever elusive ‘hit’. In short…long introductions are cool….but sometimes its nicer to get to the point.