The job of a music production writer entails creating music for sale or music that is licensed to a Production Music Library.
The library, depending on how big it is, might have connections with broadcast networks or advertising agencies which can use the music for their shows, radios, and advertisements.
For this reason, these libraries need new music of all genres and style.
Writing production music is quite different from writing commercial music. The commercial music complements elements such as visuals and voice over and while production music is written to be listened to and appreciated in its own right.
Therefore, as a production writer, it is essential to keep this in mind so that you can write something that fits a specific production requirement.
Production music writing is quite the lucrative job as you can earn a 5 or 6 figure salary depending on the production library you are working with.
However, it requires you to be passionate and dedicated to your career. Learn your instruments, practice your skills often and above all be patient.
It can take a few years before you become good at it and start earning much from production music writing.
Here are a few tips to guide you on how to become a music production writer:
Find a Good Production Library
When starting out, big libraries are the best option for you
Large libraries have high-quality standards and are the preferred place of choice for a lot of music producers.
It is possible for you to get the feeling that your music could end up being watered down by the library’s voluminous catalogs. However, it is important to note that it is indeed possible for you to make your voice heard.
Music supervisors often times need music and they normally require it almost immediately.
They like to be in a position to license songs immediately, making it a great plus to working alongside libraries.
This is also the main reason why they tend to detest working with boutiques and independents.
Exclusive or Non-Exclusive Licensing
Which licensing deal will you go for?
The question of whether to sign a publishing deal with exclusive or non-exclusive libraries has been around for quite some time now. Music supervisors, music libraries and musicians have tried to answer this question and most of them are always in favor of exclusive licensing. However, it is best to know your options before making a final decision.
With exclusive licensing, the writer gives the library exclusive rights to license their songs and albums. Often times, the library then pays for the production of the tracks then in return they take half the sync fee and the publishing.
Therefore, no other company is allowed to publish your music. On the other hand, in non-exclusive licensing, the production library takes all or part of the publishing. With this, you have the choice of uploading or removing tracks at any time.
You also have the opportunity of exploring other licensing companies in the future.
There are numerous pros and cons associated with both exclusive and non-exclusive licenses.
Therefore, it is up to you to do your research and make an informed decision on which system to go with.
How Much Will You Charge?
Price is an important factor to consider!
Some music libraries give you the option to price or alter the prices of your own songs.
Before pricing, find out the pricing range of the highest selling tracks in your genre to get a clear picture of how much you should charge.
Often times a track can have different prices ranging from USD$1.00 to USD$500 so it is up to you to come up with a sensible range.
Other libraries do not give you this freedom but instead price the track for you. Some prices could be on the high end while other lower end.
Others prefer to pay their musicians in commission with some of the rates ranging from 7% to 10% or even more.
Produce Lots of Music
It’s a numbers game!
Composing production music is purely a numbers game. The more tracks you write and circulate to music libraries, the higher the probability of appearing on online searches and selling your music.
The best method of approach is to write music regularly and produce exceptional quality music.
Take breaks in between your writing to prevent a burnout and allow yourself to be productive and be more creative in your writing.
Production music should not be repetitive or looped even though it sounds like that on TV. This is because the editors have to make the track work to picture to suit their needs.
As you produce your music, have 15 seconds, 30 seconds and 1-minute edits along with a couple of loops that could be added into the track to keep it interesting and provide useful change-ups for the editor.
Believe in Yourself
Believe in yourself and in your ability to create great sounding tracks
Writing production music is as important as script writing, editing or acting. Therefore, you have to master the art of film scoring if you want to have a successful career.
Believe in yourself and in your ability to create great sounding tracks. With this, you will have no trouble telling your clients that you are worth a certain amount and that they are getting an excellent value for their money.
In the world of music, being a music production writer is one of the most tasking jobs there could be.
However, with a good framework at hand, it is possible for a person to have a good grasp on the dynamics of how to become an exceptional music production writer.
This article has outlined some pointers on how to become a top-notch music production writer.
Has this article been of educative value? If you have any questions or additional tips feel free to add them to the comment section.
About The Author
Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer for eliteessaywriters.com.
During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.