/ Rohit – Album Due 2012

April 19th, 2012 - No Comments

Rohit Rohit   Album Due 2012

Rohit combines contemporary and new age grooves with a backdrop of lush ambient sounds, fused with rich melodies. Working within a range of styles, he often composes tracks that are meditative and dreamy. Rohit’s cinematic cues will add excitement and zip to almost any TV, film or travel documentary.

“Everything from Bach to BT, Chopin to Chicane and of course traditional Indian music inspires me every single day. I believe that music is proof of man’s spiritual nature and sound is at the very core of existence.”

Rohit has been a producer and sound engineer for almost six years. Following extensive training on the sitar, Rohit’s main focus now is on his piano playing and music production.

For more information, previews of the album tracks and to keep up to date with everything Rohit related please visit http://www.rohitmusic.com

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/ Tips for Tackling Music Piracy

December 13th, 2011 - No Comments

Tips for Tackling Music Piracy

Our friends at Kahua Music, recently ran an article on how to fight music piracy which we thought would be relevant to readers of this blog as well. The advice is aimed mainly at record labels, but there’s information that will also be relevant to artists and publishers.

The impact of music piracy is a topic that has been done to death over the last few years, so we aren’t going to weigh in with our opinion; but we will gladly provide a few pointers as to how to fight it if that’s the approach you’ve decided to take.

The war on piracy is now mostly against ‘cyberlockers’ such as zippyshare and mediafire; who will pay money to anyone who hosts a file on their sites that achieves a certain amount of downloads, whether it is legal or not. Because of the high volume of traffic going to these files, they are highly rated by search engines, so any member of the public searching for a new piece of music is likely to see matches for illegal download links in among the results for legitimate download stores. Often the links to these cyberlockers will appear on multiple websites and blogs, so by tackling the problem with the host you can render the links on individual blogs useless

A range of services are available to record labels and artists that can help track the physical music files, and ultimately help remove illegal links. We’ve provided a brief overview:

INDUSTRY BODIES
BPI
For the UK, the BPI is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business – 90% of all recorded music in the UK is sold by BPI members.

Members have access to the BPI’s anti-piracy unit (among many other services), which can help to take down material that is being distributed illegally. As well as being able to inform BPI directly of new releases and promos, if your music is registered with PPL then BPI use their database when their software is crawling the web for illegal links

For independent labels, annual membership costs £67.50 plus 5% of PPL UK distribution, plus VAT.  Members of other industry associations in the UK (such as AIM) can often access the BPI’s services for free as part of their membership.

IFPI
While the BPI is UK based, the IFPI is an organisation concerned with the global policing of recorded music. The IFPI works in partnership with national associations like the BPI – see all of the associations that come under IFPI’s umbrella.

PRIVATE COMPANIES
Audiolock
Audiolock specialise in the watermarking of tracks. In short, to ‘watermark’ a track is to embed a unique code within an mp3/wav file – this can then be automatically tracked afterwards. The aim is to protect your music at source form piracy – identify the pirates and remove them from your distribution. The most obvious use for this would be for a record label, who could assign a watermark to each file they send out during the promo stage… if this file then re-appeared illegally the label would be notified of the pirate and the file would be removed immediately. Of course watermarking doesn’t effectively deal with piracy once the music is on general release to the public.

Ripblock
Ripblock provides a similar service to Audiblock but instead of using automated watermarking, they employ staff to manually check for all instances of pirated music which would apply to music once on general release as well as in the promo phase.

TID Protect
As well as being one of the major online dance music retailers, Trackitdown operates a successful anti-piracy service. Like Ripblock, it has a dedicated team of people searching for illegal copies of their clients’ music, and will request that the offending site removes them immediately.

MUSO
MUSO offers a few different grades of service, tiered depending on the number of file removals allowed and how actively managed the removals are. See: http://www.muso.com/home/overview/

There are several more services out there, so it’s worth doing a bit of research. It is also worth weighing up the relative amount of time and money it will take to police your music – while piracy is without doubt a frustrating and negative part of the industry, if you have limited resources we think its always worth considering whether your time and money could be better used to persuade more people to buy your music in the first place.

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/ Lisnmusic Artist Profile: Joel Garnier

December 13th, 2011 - No Comments

Lisnmusic Artist Profile: Joel Garnier

We caught up with Lisn artist Joel Garnier – responsible for some fine ambient and atmospheric pieces on the Lisnmusic site. Originally from Strasbourg in France, Joel now lives in Menasha, Wisconsin.

Listen to Joel Garnier’s catalogue available through Lisnmusic

What is your musical background?
I began by playing a banjo that was left behind at our house between age 10 and 15. I also had a nylon string acoustic that was decent. Later I stumbled upon the McNally Strum Stick. He also designed the Martin travel guitar which is similar. It’s funny that I began to take playing music seriously with a toy. After borrowing a very fine classical guitar at college I finally purchased a Guild Jumbo. With that I adapted my older finger picking techniques and learned by myself taking step by step. I simply played to learn and enjoy.

Then I moved back to the home town and discovered early techno. Old friends taught me to use Fasttracker and Soundforge to take a diversion from just playing guitar. Finally I bought a recording computer and set off on that journey. I combined the improvisational guitar work with the electro in a DAW. I helped other artists record. I worked at a youth center teaching recording techniques. Now I like to make ambient music for myself and produce whole records with friends.

Joel Garnier – Lisn Music Sampler by LisnMusic

How would you describe the style(s) of music you make?  Do you focus on any specific instruments or equipment in your work?
I like to learn from experiments on my own and apply what I know when I record others. I have a certain range between noise and beauty. I usually begin with a guitar improvisation or a Reason track. In the end I have done my best to innovate and sound good.

What successes have you had in the music/synchronisation industry so far?
Aside from one DC Comics internet promotion Lisn is my first licensing contract.

Have you been involved in any exciting projects?  Do you have anything new (music or projects) in the pipeline?
All I have in the pipeline are locals and friends trying to make time for the studio. I have other income so I can afford to help people.

What are you goals for the future?
I simply hope that I sell via Lisn. I have changed course to do so. I have many ideas like any artist. I do what I can.

Anything else you would like us to know?
I am also a painter. I have worked an art foundry (dirty, nasty but awesome), worked at glassblowing (awesome!), and a few other skills and arts.

To license music from Joel Garnier’s catalogue for TV, film, advertisements, games, corporate or other media projecst please visit the Joel Garnier page on Lisnmusic. If you are interested in Joel Garnier creating a bespoke composition please contact us.

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/ Lisn to November: New Music Added this Month

November 28th, 2011 - No Comments

Just squeezing in before the month is out, here’s a selection of the new music added to Lisn in November, including tracks from Rohit Bhusan, Thomsonaudio, JSL, Preybird and Ethereal Motion.

Lisn to November by LisnMusic

To talk to us about licensing music from any of the Lisnmusic songwriters and composers please contact us.

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/ Lisnmusic Publisher Profile: Ethereal Motion

November 28th, 2011 - No Comments

Lisnmusic Publisher Profile: Ethereal Motion

Ethereal Motion is the personal music project of Scott Ross, an accomplished recording engineer/producer/composer based in Seattle. The sounds and songs of Ethereal Motion blend melodic grooves, real drums, live drum loops, tasteful keyboard layers and real horn sections. Here’s what Scott had to say when we caught up with him for a chat…

Ethereal has a diverse catalogue of music – how would you describe the style(s) of music you release?
I record and produce in a large variety of styles, including rock/hard rock, jazz, new age, pop, dance etc. Most of my songs are instrumental, as I am predominantly a horn player (sax and trumpet).

What is your musical background?
I’ve been playing the saxophone (alto and tenor) for many years now, along with the clarinet. I picked up the trumpet about 10 years ago, as I wanted to be my own horn section!!

How would you describe the style(s) of music you make? Do you focus on any specific instruments or equipment in your work?
Being a horn player, a lot of my music tends to have big horn sections and be more pop/jazz oriented. I own a commercial recording studio in Seattle, WA, so I use the studio as a home base for all my personal recording.

Ethereal Motion – Lisn Music Sampler by LisnMusic

Do you have plans to bring other artists into your publishing company?
When I can’t play the various instruments the way I want, I’ll bring in other people (drummer, bassist, guitarist etc.) to enhance my songs and add a little variety.

What are your biggest achievements in the synchronisation industry so far?
As a recording studio owner, engineer and producer (see Elliott Bay Recording Company), I have recorded over 500 songs for Muzak, and 150 for Pioneer America, which have been played all over the world in restaurants, airports, on hold music etc. My own music has played on various reality shows, indie productions, radio spots etc.

When creating music what is your inspiration? Do you make music with specific ideas and projects in mind?
When I start a new song, I generally don’t have a specific idea in mind! I’ll start with an idea, go somewhere with it, and it generally changes many times before it’s finished. I might start out trying to do a hard rock song, and in the end it will have a complete horn section and be more of a pop jazz song!

Do you have any specific goals for the future?
I will continue to produce music for the rest of my life. It’s my life’s work and my hobby. I enjoy producing and engineering for other artists and I certainly like working on my own music too. I continue to try to get my music out into the world!

Anything else you would like us to know?
I’ve been producing and engineering for over 25 years now. I’ve recorded over 400 records for various artists around the world. 8 records have been certified gold so far. I’ve worked with a wide variety of artists throughout the years and will continue to do what I do for as long as possible.

To license music from the Ethereal Motion catalogue for TV, film, advertisement, game, corporate or other media projects please visit the Ethereal Motion page on Lisnmusic. If you are interested in Scott Ross from Ethereal Motion creating a bespoke composition please contact us.

If you’re an artist, record label or music publisher interested in licensing your music for media projects please get in touch to see how Lisnmusic can help you.

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/ Lisnmusic Label Profile: Downstream Records

November 23rd, 2011 - No Comments

Lisnmusic Label Profile: Downstream Records

Downstream Records say of themselves, “We’re a label dedicated to bringing you ‘electronica’ in all its forms. From downtempo to minimal techno the aim is to deliver the best music we can, with both consistency and regularity.” With a steadily increasing catalogue of music available through Lisnmusic we thought it was about time we caught up with their top man Damon Vallero for a chat.

Listen to the Downstream Records catalogue available through Lisnmusic

When was the label created, what was the reason for setting up your label, who is behind it and what is your musical background?
The label was started in 2004 and was a means for me (Damon Vallero) to release different styles of music to that which I had previously been producing. I had/have been running the Electracom label since 1996 which was predominantly hard techno and it was difficult to vary too much from that style when releasing.

My background is that I grew up in South Africa where I started out on a musical path dabbling in synth based music in the 1980s. I formed a duo with a friend and we got signed to Warner Bros for two singles which didn’t really achieve any widespread success. In the late eighties I joined with another friend and formed The Swanhunters who released an anti Apartheid single in collaboration with the Sheffield band Chakk, of whom Mark Brydon of Moloko was a member.

Moving to the UK in 1988 and after a break of three years or so I began producing dance music, predominantly techno and started the Electracom label in 1996. I produced a number of releases for the label as well as releasing other artists and in 2001 began DJing and playing live around Europe. In 2004 I started Downstream Records to allow me to produce other styles of electronic music under different guises.

Downstream Records – Lisn Music Sampler by LisnMusic

How would you describe the style(s) of music you release?
I have released a number of different styles of music on the label. Downtempo/lounge music under the Admon name resulted in the 2005 album “4AM Life”. Following that I released “Let The Trend Be Your Friend” as Megatrend which had elements of broken beat, techno, dubcore, glitch, ambient and most points in between. The next album I released was as Displayaz called “Control The Event” and incorporated elements of Dubstep and Drum & Bass. In between these albums I have released singles mainly in the tech/deep house genre. All the releases have been my own projects and I have not worked with any other artists on Downstream to date.

Your output covers a number of different styles within electronic music when many other labels tend to stay close to one sound they can be identified with. What was it that made you take this broader approach?
With the proliferation of music genres and the advance of technology, I found that producing one style of music was becoming quite restictive. In the electronic field it is much easier to be able to produce under different names and so I wanted to experiment and explore areas I had never tried before. Latterly more and more labels are diversifying their music style which can only be a good thing for artists and listeners alike.

What successes have you had in the music industry so far, and in particular any in synchronisation?
My tracks have been played out by the likes of Ritchie Hawtin, Dave Clarke and many others and my music has also been aired on Radio 1 a number of times by John Peel years ago to more recently Mary Anne Hobbs. I won the 2002 Diesel U Music competition in the house category playing at Fabric in London and was interviwed on MTV. Three of my downtempo tracks were used by a US company to launch a new product.

What are you goals for the future?
The goals for the future are to keep releasing a diverse range of music that is both enjoyable and challenging and try and reach as wider audience as possible.

To license music from the Downstream Records catalogue for TV, film, advertisement, game, corporate or other media project please visit the Downstream Records page on Lisnmusic. If you are interested in Damon Vallero from Downstream creating a bespoke composition please contact us.

If you’re an artist interested in licensing your music for media projects please get in touch to see how Lisnmusic can help you.

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/ Lisnmusic Release Various Artists Compilation ‘Lisn & Sync Vol 1′

November 18th, 2011 - No Comments

Lisnmusic Release Various Artists Compilation 'Lisn & Sync Vol 1'

Lisn & Sync Vol.1 is the first in a new series of compilations that brings together a unique blend of music from independent worldwide artists who specialise in creating music for film and television. The project is compiled by Lisn Music – a UK based publishing and licensing company who focus on connecting their catalogue of music to media opportunities. The album represents an opportunity for a wider home-listening audience to directly access and enjoy the music and aims to shine a spotlight on the creative talent at Lisn.

The compilation contains 14 tracks from Lisn Music’s ever growing catalogue of independent artists. The selection on the album covers a wide array of genres ranging from the laid-back vibes of emerging homegrown talents ‘The Broken Orchestra’ and ‘Emma Shaheen’ to the unique blend of ethnic electronica from Mumbai-based producer ‘Rohit Bhusan’, to Floridian hip-hop courtesy of Beef Wellington and the epic instrumental dance music of Ecstasio.

Artists involved have featured on adverts and promotional films for global brands such as DC Shoes, Mercedes Benz, Suzuki, MTV and Microsoft.

Lisn & Sync Vol 1 is available from iTunes, Amazon and other online retailers.

Lisn & Sync Vol 1 – Various Artists by LisnMusic

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/ Lisn to October

October 25th, 2011 - No Comments

Below are a selection of tracks brand new to the Lisn Music catalogue in October.

If you are interested in licensing any of these tracks please click on the buy buttons and you will be taken to the relevant location.

Lisn to October by LisnMusic

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/ An Overview of Audio Branding

September 20th, 2011 - No Comments

An Overview of Audio Branding

For our latest industry insight article we ask the question ‘What is Audio Branding?’

Also referred to as sonic branding, sound branding, or in more common terms ‘jingles’ the area of Audio Branding is concerned with short passages of music that identify a brand.

Prime examples of strong audio branding can be seen being used by organisations such as McDonalds, Intel and Direct Line.

Audio branding is very different to music composition and scores, and while on the face of it the jingles sound simple you can be sure that a lot of research, production time and money has been spent getting them spot on for the client.

As well as the fairly simple examples highlighted above, more complex yet equally effective audio branding can be heard in work such as the Lloyds TSB and the 20th Century Fox fanfare.

So why is this all important?
Well, research shows that appropriate sound can increase retail sales by over 30%*. Not a percentage to be sniffed at and one that every company would want to pick up if it was available to them.

Audio branding is everywhere and companies are always having to think about “how their brand sounds” right down to precise details like what sound plays when your download finishes or when you start your computer up. All these things contribute to a brand’s public image.

Audio branding gives a brand a unique identity, which can be utilised in ways visual advertising cannot achieve. Once your audio brand is an ‘established trademark’ you can tap into peoples minds without even needing to have a visual representation, opening up low cost and more interesting/creative advertising opportunities. More creative also generally translates to more memorable.

There are four areas that need to be considered when creating an audio identity:

- Length – The piece needs to be short enough to stick in the mind, but long enough to allow a sense of melody.
- Familiarity – On the first listen you need feel like you have heard it before, creating the image of an established and trustworthy brand.
- Distinctiveness/Uniqueness – You need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. It’s easy to make something unique but unique AND effective is trickier.
- Relation to product – Think about what is being branded. If it is a company then the values of that company need to be considered and brought out in the audio. A young, forward thinking company with a new product would require different instrumentation and approach to a firm of lawyers for example.

*Treasure, J. 2010, Sound Business, Management Books 2000 Ltd.

To find out more about how Lisnmusic can help with audio branding for your organization please contact us.

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/ Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for ‘MTV at the Movies’ Advert: A Production Diary

July 22nd, 2011 - No Comments

Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for 'MTV at the Movies' Advert: A Production Diary

Recently a client approached us at Lisnmusic to supply music and sound design for a forthcoming animated advert. The advert was for ‘MTV at the Movies’, a weekday show on MTV reviewing the latest releases, running interviews and lots of other film related bits and pieces. The advert will run in 60 countries worldwide.

Below is a short diary to give an insight to how we approached the project and what is involved with this type of work – it runs through how the brief was interpreted, the stages of production for the audio and how things changed throughout the process.

PHASE 1
The project kicks off with us being supplied with a rough animatic from the animators.

Lisn MTV Image1 700 Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for MTV at the Movies Advert: A Production Diary

The animatic is a low-resolution version of what the animators are creating. Not much character animation at this stage but all the key timings are there for us to sync up the sound design and identify key moments in the music. We identified four key moments in the animation section of the advert.

For this first draft we decided to only concentrate on the SFX elements. We made a list of all SFX required, then recorded everything where possible and the remaining sounds were sourced from our library. We then moved on to syncing it all, up after which we went to work on getting good continuity across all the sounds. This fix draft is sent over to the client as a WIP (work in progress) to make sure things are heading in the correct direction.

PHASE 2
Once the second animatic comes in we also have the feedback from the client and are ready to crack on.

Lisn MTV Image2 700 Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for MTV at the Movies Advert: A Production Diary

You can see from the screenshot that the resolution of the video is now much higher and smoother. At this stage we started working on the composition. This particular project required cinematic orchestral at the start and then something more contemporary for the video montage at the end. As mentioned earlier we identified four key moments that should be highlighted in the composition. We created a composition based around this concept, but quickly realised that four changes in such quick succession made the piece far to frantic. Instead, we decided to work towards having a single large event in the composition in the middle (the romance section) and highlighting the other key moments with minimal sound design, so for example car crash, ogre noise, and lightning.

The WIP is then sent across to the client for approval and feedback.

PHASE 3

Lisn MTV Image3 700 Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for MTV at the Movies Advert: A Production Diary

From this screenshot you can see that the project is now running at 55 channels. The colour coding on the groups defines each section of the production, animation, action, fantasy, romance, horror and montage (which is the last 15 seconds where the voice over occurs).

PHASE 4

Lisn MTV Image5 700 Lisnmusic Provide Sound Design & Music for MTV at the Movies Advert: A Production Diary

Above is the final render of the animation, this is the version that we receive on delivery day and once our WIP has been approved. The remaining work consists of minor re-syncing of sound design to tighten everything up, final mix down of the composition, mastering to -10db and export of the various versions that the client requires. In this case we were required to deliver full mix @ 30sec, full mix @ 15sec, no music mix and no sfx mix in aiff format.

And the final video – seeing all the hard work come to fruition!

MTV at the Movies from Lisn Music on Vimeo.

In total the project took approximately 5 days, spread over a seven day period while we waited for feedback from others involved in the process.

If you’re interested in talking to Lisnmusic about creating bespoke music for your project, please contact us.

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