Music Licensing and Production Blog

A more flexible checkout!

 

| July 17, 2013

At Million Ducks Music, we are constantly striving to improve our client’s experience by providing new tools to make their music search, licensing and purchasing process even better.

 

Here are some changes to the checkout process we rolled out during our latest update:

Let’s say you need music for a 60 seconds TV commercial for which you will also need a 30 seconds version. You go to our website, do a couple of searches, apply some filters and find the perfect piece of music. During the checkout process, you will be asked to select the usage but also, with the new update you’ll be able to specify how many additional cut-downs (or versions) you will need to license. The more cut-downs you need, the greater your discount rate.

 

CutDowns sample screen

 

Easy, right? Check it out for yourself!

 

 

 


 

Archie Peña: Going Back to Basics

 

| August 23, 2012

When and how did you get into music?

Archie Peña


I got into music when I was very young, about 4 years old. It was back in Texas during a party and a band there had a drum set… I began to play and they just followed my rhythm. They later called my mom and asked if I’d had lessons and she said “this is the first time I actually see him play the drums…” I was a four year old kid playing with a band… I’m sure it sounded like “crap” but hey I was playing and my mom loved it. At 7 years old I returned to Venezuela and I would go to festivities with my grandmother, unfortunately at the parties my uncles became a little inebriated and someone had to take over the drums…. That was me. The party had to go on!


What artists did you play / record with?

In Maracaibo, I played with artists such as Guaco, Yordano, Franco De Vita and many more… Until I returned to US and I began to play with Nestor Torres, Roberto Perera, Arturo Sandoval… around 1988 (I was about 20 years old)… In 1993 I went to Emilio Estefan’s studio because they were producing Gloria Estefan’s album Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors). I did a mix of Brazilian and Latino percussion… I went in to the studio and I never left!


How did you get into writing and producing?

During the time I was in Estefan’s studio, he asked if I could write songs. I signed a deal to write, produce, and perform at that time. It was the first time someone had signed a three-time deal like that (songwriting, producing, and performing). That led me to write songs for Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and countless others.


What was it like to get your first hit?

My first hit was with an artist named Shalim and the song was titled “Se Me Olvido Tu Nombre” (I Forgot Your Name)… It was a REALLY big deal for me because I had no idea what it was like to have a big hit… That led me to receive more calls from artists which led to co-writing “Hips Don’t Lie” with some of the biggest names out there, including Wyclef Jean and Shakira. It became one of the biggest radio singles in history.


Archie, that is AWESOME!! Tell us, how do you usually approach the writing and

producing process?

Before anything I create it begins with a groove, a beat. I have to feel the rhythm before I begin to produce anything… I believe it’s feeling the pulse of whatever I write. I really do not consider myself a songwriter [per se], even though I had two BMI songs of the year… I consider myself a musician who is able to write songs. I ended up producing music almost by accident, getting into the
studio and attempting to create something different… I love it so much now, I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life.


How do you see the music business now and where do you think is headed?

The music business right now, in my experience is at it’s worst level in history. When any artist would sell back then, 10,000 records in a day, today they are not even selling 10. How do you make a living from that? How does a business stay afloat with those figures… That is a big question mark. I think the way this is going to happen is by going back to the basics. Basics for example, like in the 50s or 60s when bands would release singles and do gigs based on those singles. It wasn’t necessarily because of an album, but because of that radio hit. And that’s what we see people doing nowadays. People are putting out singles on iTunes and try to do as much as they can with it because there’s no money to produce entire albums anymore. We go back to basics by having real artists make real music. Not “wannabes” anymore. People who can really sing, and can really craft their music, their instrument, be real. Starting all over again.


What advice do you have for composers who are starting in the business?

First you must write what you feel. Also, know who you are writing for. What is the need for that song that you are offering? You can come up with great ideas and great sounds but great ideas are just great ideas not songs. You have to establish exactly what is that song talking about from the first second. In movies you have 2 hours to tell a story, in a song you have 2 and a half, 3 minutes. So really say what you mean and mean what you say. Songs have to have a strong meaning, this is an industry about songs not necessarily about artists or sounds or productions. It has to be about the song, the song is the one that lives. For example, how many times have you sung a song over and over without even knowing who the artist is? It is about the song. The art form needs to remain pure. The main thing is to keep it simple, keep it real and keep it true to yourself.


Archie, what are you working on right now?

I’m working with an artist named Jocelyn, who is on her way to “The Voice” as we speak. I also have a single hit on the radio right now that I wrote and produced for another artist named Norka. I am also working on a new young artist from Mexico Vadir Dervez which I am sure people will start hearing about soon. I also direct the Miami Heat Rhythm Section, and have been writing for the Miami Marlins, and for the show Glee, TV commercials, etc.


… And that is Archie Peña.


Thank you Archie for interviewing with us! If you want to read more about Archie Peña

you can find this article by Dan Kimpel on BMI: http://www.bmi.com/musicworld/entry/archie_pena_rides_the_pulse_of_the_global_groove

 

 


 

Q&A with Music Supervisor Todd Porter

 

| June 28, 2012

Todd Porter

Music Supervisor Todd Porter

Todd Porter, Music Supervisor/Producer, Goodby, Silverstein, & Partners

Todd Porter is a music supervisor and commercial producer who has been working at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners for the past ten or twenty years. After placing music in many many spots, interactive pieces and pitch videos they created a department and gave him the additional title of Music Supervisor, (the first in the agency’s history.) Recently he’s been working on Chevy and Frito Lay, where he’s placed Fun’s “We are Young” in a super bowl spot that was the beginning of their ride up the charts to 6 weeks at #1 and 4.8 million copies of the single sold after the Chevy spot debuted. He was also the music supervisor and part of the team that produced the Doritos JACKED stage at SXSW in 2012. His mission is to help bands by giving them money from multi national conglomerates.

 

How and when did you get into music?

Birth, my father was a musician and my bedroom was his band’s practice space, from there I went deep into punk, then hip hop, then over to the dark side of dance music, DJ’d a lot of parties, was a Dj in college, and then a music director at my college radio station, had a small electronic/dance music studio, did a lot of bad remixes for my friend’s bands. Music has always been the driving force in my life.

 

How did you land your music supervisor gig at Goodby, Silverstein, & Partners?

Pretty organic process really, I’m a producer too, and over the years I was the person that helped with music on everyone else’s jobs, this got to be a bigger and bigger role for me, and then we got a massive car account and they needed to make things more official, and that’s when I got the title of Music Supervisor.

 

Do you have a method for selecting music for a specific project or does it differ from project to project?

It’s pretty different from project to project, I try to start with the stuff in my library, or songs that are top of mind, and then I reach out to a number of trusted labels/publishers/bands/reps, but it’s all contextual, the way I search for indie rock is totally different than the way I search for classical or vintage recordings.

 

Do you ever use music libraries as a source of music? If so, what specifically do you look for in terms of quality?

Yes, all the time. My mantra for any project I work on is, “would you have this playing at home?” So, I really listen for tracks that are played and produced well, pieces that could have a life beyond the :30/:60 parameters of the project I’m working on. If you listen to a lot of music (and specifically a lot of library music) you’ll know what I mean.

 

What style of music would you say is the most used nowadays in advertising?

Well, we are at a bit of a crossroads here,it’s been a lot of Big licenses from BIG bands, but  licensing is catching up to the EDM thing a bit, so I think things are heading a bit more in that direction, we’re also seeing a bit of a move towards original recordings of American music.

 

What are you working on right now?

Chevy, Google, YouTube, NBA, Specialized Bikes, Corona Light, Frito Lay, Comcast and Hacking Autism. There’s some personal work too, check out “The Goodwin Project” it’s going to be amazing!

 

What advice do you have for composers who are looking to place music on ads?

Well, the first thing for me is don’t try to knock off what’s already been done and licensed, look to where music is going, do your research on the state of advertising and try to stay ahead of the curve. There’s plenty of sites out there that wil let you see and hear what’s happening, and most agencies will have sites you can check out.

I mentioned this earlier, but listen to your own stuff and ask yourself, would this be viable outside of a short sample in a spot or internet piece?

 

Thanks Todd!

 

Here you can check out some of Todd’s recent work:

 

Chevy Sonic “Stunt Anthem” | Chevy Super Bowl XLVI Ads | Chevrolet Commercial – YouTube
The Doritos JACKED giant vending machine @ SXSW – YouTube
BIG- Miami Heat Playoff Promo – YouTube
BIG – Kevin Durant – YouTube
See what it’s like to go Google – YouTube
BIG – Dirk Nowitzki – YouTube
Rajon Rondo Commercial – Big Plays – YouTube
Corona Light STAN – YouTube
Goodwin Project Teaser – YouTube
I Want to Say Documentary Trailer – YouTube
Chevrolet Cruze- Shine – YouTube
Chevy- Rainy Day – YouTube
NBA Hugs ShaqPietrus – YouTube
Dickies PBR – YouTube
Chevy Silverado- BRMC – YouTube
Chevy- Birthday Party – YouTube
Camaro- Reaction – YouTube
WTA- Countries.mov – YouTube
CHEVROLET VOLT Gas Money – YouTube