Check out an interview I conducted with Jacques Franko, a blind musician whose primary source of income is through music licensing. We discussed everything from What is music licensing and who uses it, to how to get started and moving up. There’s even a discussion on how to handle rejection, and how to use it to network and grow. Other topics covered includes, how to get started with learning logic or your DAW of choice. How to handle learning Logic and VoiceOver. What we think of the Komplete Kontrol eco system, logic stock plug ins, along with What are some of our favorite stock logic plug ins.
Below is some background on Jacques and notes on music licensing in his own words:
My earliest endeavors in music production were in 2006. The program was Fruity Loops and I was using Zoom Text to enlarge the screen. It was a pattern based sequencer and was a grueling task to accomplish with a screen magnifier. The next great stride in music production came in 2011 with the purchase of my first iPad. I had just become familiar with Apple voice over and I was elated to find that it was compatible with Garage Band on IOS. After spending a year or two learning the basics of recording composing and arranging, I was ready to bite the bullet and invest in a Mac and Apple’s Professional DAW known as Logic.
At that time, there was no Logic.band, or any accessibility groups that I was aware of that could really guide me in the right direction. So most of learning really came through reading and studying, and the most important part… practice!
After becoming familiar with the basics of mixing and music production, I set my sights on the music licensing market. I began to upload music on royalty free sights such as Pond5 and once I started to make some sales, it really gave me the confidence that I needed to stay on the path. The more I worked, the better I got, and the better I got, the more I invested.
There are so many variables to staying relevant and competitive in the world of music licensing, but if I had to generalize them into a few areas, it would be as follows…
- Dedication to the art of music production (i.e. Composing, mixing, and mastering).
- Keeping up with the trends of the music industry (i.e. styles, sounds, and techniques that shape modern music).
- Learning the formulas of editable production music In order to support visual media (i.e. TV, Films, content creators etc…)
A dedication to these three areas is how I’ve been able to write albums for major publishers such as;Get it Done Music, Epitome Music, Pink Shark Music, Absolute Music and have many other tracks featured in the library’s of Scorekeepers, Jinglepunks, Spidercues, and Mibe Music.
I personally feel that this field can absolutely be a viable career option to the Visually Impaired community if it is met with hard work and dedication. Having said that, here are a few guidelines to get you started.
- Know all of the different ways to monetize your music through music licensing.
- There are several different levels to the production music game. Know about the different tears and what role they fill in the world of production music. From royalty free sights who supply content creators, to the high end publishers who supply the world of Hollywood. Every company is different and regardless of your experience, there is probably a company out there now where you can start monetizing your music today.
- Be familiar with the legal terminology that comes along with the territory.
- Terms like “exclusive”, “non-exclusive”, “non-exclusive rights managed”, “exclusive in perpetuity”, and what a “reversion clause” is. These words, along with many others are vital to ensuring you do not infringe any copyrights, and will make sure you take the proper actions to receive all of the money you are owed.
- Decide whether or not you are going to be PRO aphilliated.
- In the world of licensing there is a new path emerging whereby one can monetize his/her music. This is with copyright free material. In order to partake in that market, one must be unaphilliated with a PRO (Performing Rights Organization). The role of a PRO is to keep track of your registrations and pay you for the royalties you are entitled to world wide. If you are not PRO represented, you could be missing out on hundreds if not thousands of dollars. But that all depends on what avenue you decide to take in the music licensing business.
- Know the quality of your content.
- If you are a beginner, don’t shoot for the stars. Find the companies that supply the product that you are capable of providing and just work on your craft. As your quality increases, so will your opportunities with higher end companies.
- Be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked before.
- Even though making music is fun, music Licensing does not always feel that way. It is truly a game of numbers, so you have to consistently be composing new music even when you do not feel like it. After all, if it were a simple path to take, everyone with a laptop and a DAW would be on it.
In light of all that, let me leave you with a few parting words. There isn’t only “one” way for someone to monetize their music through the world of music licensing. What works for one may not work for another. The important thing is that you get out there and see which avenues will be the most profitable for you.
If anyone needs further guidance, You can reach me via e-mail..
Happy Music Making!
Links to Tools and Resources
Check out the Logic Books And Manuals that Jacques mentioned..
- Pensado’s Place
Audio &MIDI Interfaces and Studio Monitors
- Behringer 404HD Audio Interface
- Probably the best value going for an inexpensive audio interface, this 4 input/4 output Usb Interface packs an incredible amount of sound quality, features and stability for the price, and features MIDI I/O as well. Also see the 202HD if you only need a 2 input/2 output version.
- Presonus AudioBox iTwo Recording Bundle
- The one Jacques mentioned using, this package includes a 2 input/2 output Interface, Headphones, and Microphone.
- Scarlett 2i2
- This popular audio interface is a simple and straight forward affair, and is probably the number 1 selling inexpensive 2 input/2 output interface.
- Kali Audio lp-6 Studio Monitor Speakers
- As I said when Jacques mentioned he was using these, Everyone keeps raving about how good these are and especially how good they are for the price!
- Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor Speakers
- Popular not so much for their sound, but for how well they translate, and despite their inexpensive price point, these have been spotted in major studios.
- Native Instruments M32 MIDI Controller
- The least expensive way to get into the Komplete Kontrol eco system and it still supports the Komplete Kontrol self voicing accessibility mode. This is an incredibly playable 32 key portable MIDI controller that will also open up access to the world of Native instruments and 3rd party NKS compatible libraries. Includes Komplete Start to well, get you started..
- Yorkville Sound Studio Monitors
- Also for the Canadians the Yorkville Sound YSM8, YSM6, and YSM5 I mentioned as inexpensive yet high quality monitors. These are available in an 8 inch, 6.5 inch and 5 inch variant respectively.
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