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Soundproof Studio Professions: Production Music Writer

In this blog we continue our series that explores professions that benefit from outstanding recording studios and soundproof home recording studios. You’ve probably heard that it’s tricky for movies and TV shows to “get the rights” to well-known songs. Whenever anyone wishes to use another person or band’s music to make money in their own creative work, payment must be paid to the owner of the rights of the original music. More often than not, it is cost-prohibitive to obtain the rights to use popular music. The solution to this problem is to use the “stock imagery” of the music world. During this round of our series, we take a closer look at the environment, technology and know-how it takes to become a Production Music Writer.

Origin of Production Music Writers

As we hinted previously, Production Music Writers essentially compose and sell music that is to be included in the creative works of TV shows, films, radio ads and commercials. Production music is also known by the names of stock music and library music.

These specialized composer-performers often write and record the music in home recording studios and then sell or license the work to a Production Music Library.

Wikipedia plainly lays out the background of production music libraries when they say:

“Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, production music libraries own all of the copyrights of their music. Thus, it can be licensed without the composer’s permission, as is necessary in licensing music from normal publishers. This is because virtually all music created for music libraries is done on a work for hire basis. Production music is a convenient solution for media producers—they can be assured that they will be able to license any piece of music in the library at a reasonable rate, whereas a specially-commissioned work could be prohibitively expensive. Similarly, licensing a well-known piece of popular music could cost anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the prominence of the performer(s).”

The first production music library dates back to 1927 where it was created by De Wolfe Music (Wikipedia). Their library took off as sound started to be included in feature films.

Production Music Writers often live out their careers without ever receiving recognition for their work. This is even true when the composer-performer’s music gets used in a popular TV show or film. One notable exception is the group, the KPM All Stars. Within their ranks are Alan Hawkshaw, John Cameron and Keith Mansfield whose works have been relentlessly sampled by DJ’s, record producers and the like.

Professional Production Music Writers will make $24,000 per year on average, but they have been known to make as much as $240,000 a year (CareersinMusic.com).

Do you recognize any of these popular tunes coined by members of the KPM All Stars?

How about this song made popular by a certain sports organization?

Get to Work in Your Soundproof Home Recording Studio

Production Music Writers don’t need college degrees or professional music recording studios in order to make money. That said, the music they produce, whether it’s for TV, film, ads or commercials, the production quality must be “broadcast ready” if the composer-performer wishes to sell it to a production music library. Broadcast-ready music has been written, recorded and mixed to a level of quality that will satisfy the shows, movies and ads that will use them.

In previous articles in this series, we talked about how Mix engineers and audio engineers use skill, technology and effective recording studios to accomplish their difficult work. Likewise, Production Music Writers benefit from our acoustical steel doors, recording studio windows and our other results-driven studio soundproofing products.

Getting your production music to the level of broadcast-ready quality requires a production facility that meets your talent. Our products keep your studio, whether it’s at home or somewhere else, quiet as can be. It’s a huge mistake for amateur composer-performers to submit their music to production music libraries before it’s ready.

Soundproof Studios will not only help you out with soundproof windows and doors, but we’ll also help you design your entire home recording studio. Our custom-made solutions will help you ensure that your production quality will meet the rigorous standards of production music libraries.

Call Soundproof Studios at 877-438-7843 to request your free estimate!