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”

7 Tips to a Great Vocal Performance

There is no rule that says every songwriter must be a good singer. But, as the writer of a song, you can bring emotional authenticity and insight that a hired vocalist might miss. You don’t have to be Celine Dion or Josh Groban. Many times it’s more about phrasing and presence than hitting the pitches perfectly. Still, you can give yourself some help when writing your song and recording your track with these tips.

1) Figure out the highest note that you sound good on. Then figure out the lowest note. Try to keep your melody between those two notes. Sing your song while your write it and notice when you’re getting too close to your top or bottom notes. You can easily change the melody at that point.

2) Emphasize your strongest vocal notes in your melody. If your high notes are weak, use them as passing notes only; don’t try to sustain them or use them for important words. Continue reading “7 Tips to a Great Vocal Performance”

Respect the Rough Demo

by Robin Frederick

What is a rough demo?

A rough demo can be as simple as a guitar/vocal or piano/vocal recording made on an iPhone. Or it can be as elaborate as a concept for a complete track with drums, bass, vocal, keyboard, and guitar recorded on multiple tracks. Simple or elaborate, to be truly effective it has to convey the essential energy and feel as well as the complete melody, lyric, and chord progression of the song. (See “U.S. Copyright Office” below for demos without chords.)

Why you need a rough demo

> 1. To test your song ideas. One of the most important uses for a rough demo is to record your structure, melody, and lyric ideas so you can hear them as a listener would. When you’re involved in the effort of writing, singing, and playing your song, it’s impossible to step out of your songwriter role. Recording a rough demo allows you to walk away then come back later to listen with fresh ears, as an audience member would hear the song. Continue reading “Respect the Rough Demo”