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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Music online for productions and that little issue of rights

Bob Burnett: I remember a time when music and sound effects for productions meant cueing up vinyl LPs and transferring selections to audio cart or reel to reel. Don't believe me, huh? I have photographic proof of yours truly circa 1980 wearing Buggles-like glasses doing just that exercise.Later on with the advent of Avid digital editing technology we were able to (in real time) transfer CDs to videotape and digitize them into the system. It took time, but it was a nice step.
Now, everything transfers directly into the edits and into sound design as a digital file.

In addition to maintaining a rather huge library in-house of CD's, we're also able to audition and download music for productions online from many different libraries. It's also possible to get alternate versions of selections from an online source beyond the CD we keep in house.

The big factor now isn't availability and ease--it's licensing music use. Many of the productions we work on end up online--and as is the case with actors and narrators, there are additional fees for internet usage. That includes youtube. Just because its a no-rules free for all doesn't mean you are legally allowed to "call" youtube uploads don't count as part of your production licensing. It does seem the marketplace is getting more savvy to the needs of their clientele. Many music companies now feature blanket agreements for usage as not-for-sale DVDS or for internet use. The only word of caution is that it's very easy to "get what you pay for" with blanket-style libraries.

That's where we come in---we're happy to work with you when music is something that's desired for a production but in the past had seemed unreachable due to budgets. If you are perplexed by the whole process just give me a quick shout out and I'll help make something happen for you.

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