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music for the jingles or adds

hi there every body i wan to know that how do you make music for jingles and adds do you always need visuals for that first or is it music first and than later they shoot a vdo. i need a general idea for if some company wants me to make a music ident for them what should i ask them ?


JoeH Tue, 03/18/2008 - 10:09
You can't often tell up front. It depends on the client(s) and their needs. Sometimes they really DO want "word-painting" and have the visuals match the music every step of the way. This is often VERY big-budget stuff, and the music (if it's entirely original) is composed to the video.

Other times (think: Apple Commercials), they'll take an existing song and use it as the basis for editing the video clip. (The new thin-line Apple Laptop comes to mind; GREAT song, but it was written independently of the commerical, I believe. Ditto for the one for their iphone last year...)
Target seems to have someone re-arranging & re-recording Beatles songs
(Hello/Goodbye) to match their newest sales campaign. I suspect they first created the audio to fit into 30 and 60 second clips before anything else happened.

In the best of all worlds, if a client is willing to pay you to work up some stuff, then it comes down to talking about what they need, what they'd like it to sound like, etc. and doing temps for them. (Sometimes it makes sense to ask them to compile a bunch of things they already like from exisiting ads and campaigns. See what they're talking about before you spend a lot of time working on something on spec, etc.)

In the worst of all worlds, you're stuck coming up with ideas and getting paid for the ones they DO like, and you have to eat the rest. (Of course, these can all go into your portfolio/catalog for future projects...)

If you're trying to build up a catalog of stuff independent of any particular gigs, you'll probably want to organize it by style or genre, and by 15, 30 and 60 second versions of each musical tag. (actually, I'd go with 14, 29 and 59 seconds to make sure it all fits.)

Check out some online source-music/music library catalogs. Digital Juice has a lot of stuff that you can probably demo short samples of, and get an idea.

You may find it's cheaper to act as intemediary with your clients and just get the music library stuff instead. I used to slave over one-of-a-kind compositions that never really paid for themselves. It was fun, but I was going broke fast. Deciding it wasn't where I wanted to go, long-term, I invested in some music libraries and it worked out great.

If you're looking to compose music for hire exclusively, just be ready to starve and slave for a while, until you get well known, and the big breaks come along. You may find success in this, or you may find it's not worth the hassle.

Good luck, either way.