Basic Broadcast Quality for Film & TV

If you’re pitching your songs to the fast growing film and TV song market – or thinking about it, which you should be! – there is one challenge that seems to overwhelm a lot of songwriters: Broadcast Quality recordings. It may seem like big a deal but it really isn’t. Read on!

For the film & TV song market, your song (or instrumental track) will be used “as is.” Production schedules don’t allow for time to remix or request changes from you. While they will edit the track to fit a scene, that involves only cutting or repeating sections of the song. So, in terms of recording quality, your track needs to be competitive with other tracks that are being used in this market

Also, to really be successful as a film & TV songwriter, you want to create a constant stream of new material. Does that mean you have to hire a pro studio and session musicians, then spend more $$$ and hours mixing every song you want to pitch? It does if every song has to sound like that fully-produced Electro-Dance-Pop track on the radio! Luckily, you don’t have to do that! Continue reading “Basic Broadcast Quality for Film & TV”

Can You Pitch a Home Recording?

Q: Do you think it’s okay to pitch a home recorded version of a song or should I have the song professionally recorded?

A: It depends on how good your home studio is and your skills as an engineer/producer. There are very few limitations on how good a home studio can be if you have good gear and you know how to use it. But it will be harder if you’re recording a cutting-edge Electro-Pop-Dance track then it will be if you’re working on an acoustic guitar and vocal singer-songwriter song.
Continue reading “Can You Pitch a Home Recording?”

Universal Lyrics for Film & TV

Songs for the film and TV market need to enhance the emotion in a scene without drawing the viewer’s attention away from the story. Lyrics that are too specific or feature their own story lines can be a problem.  So Music supervisors look for songs with what are called “universal lyrics.”  But just what does that mean? Continue reading “Universal Lyrics for Film & TV”

PLAYLISTS: A Film & TV Songwriter’s Secret Weapon!

When I asked successful music supervisors how they manage to find just the song they’re looking for among the thousands of song links, mp3s, and CDs they collect every year, they all told me they keep “playlists.”

If you use iTunes, you’re familiar with playlists. And, in fact, the iTunes playlists are the very ones that many music supervisors use. When you open the iTunes window, you’ll find “PLAYLISTS” in the left hand column. You can add playlists of your own and name them according to artist, genre, mood, or anything else you want. Here’s how they can be helpful if you’re writing songs for film & TV.


Let’s say you have an opportunity to pitch a song to an ad agency looking for  “quirky, playful, upbeat songs about falling in love.” (TAXI has run many listings like this!) What does that kind of song sound like? Do you have a song that sounds like that? You could take a guess. You could spend hours searching for ideas.  Or you could go to a playlist of “Love Songs” that you’ve created and search for those you’ve tagged as “quirky” “happy” and “upbeat.” Maybe you’ve even put one of your own songs onto the playlist.  Continue reading “PLAYLISTS: A Film & TV Songwriter’s Secret Weapon!”