If you’ve been paying attention to pop radio, anything online, or even popular award shows like the Oscars, you’ve heard Pharrell’s latest number one hit, “Happy.”

This song is everywhere – but unless you’ve looked into it further, you may not have known that this track was in fact created for the popular children’s animated film, Despicable Me 2.Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.29.14 PM

Why is that interesting? More importantly, why does it matter to those using music in their videos, films, and other media?

The use of “pop music” in other forms of media has been on the rise. We looked at the use of this music in commercials with the SuperBowl Ads. We’ve even looked at the ways in which placement in an ad or film can create a hit song. But what about combining the power of custom music with an otherwise worthy pop track?

That’s what Pharrell has done so well with this track. It fits perfectly in the film, and the fact that it works as a solo pop track makes it even more effective.

While traditional jingles and soundtracks have proven effective, this is yet another way to hook your listener instantly and get them to tune in.

This can be especially useful for those looking for video game music – having a pop-style song as your main track can hook a consumer in instantly. Some will even play the game just to listen to the song. That is, if the song is good enough!

Platforms where you can choose from several incredible tracks will allow you to choose the absolute best music for your media. The next time you’re in the market for custom music, consider using a catchy, radio-ready track to pair with your product or video. As long as it fits your overall brand, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor!

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the ‘awards season’, you’ve probably heard a lot about movies and films that were pretty incredible.

But if you’ve only kept up with the smash hit Hollywood blockbusters, you’re only seeing a small fraction of the scene.

There are plenty of independent film makers out there – and at events like Sundance, they get to really shine. Some of these films are truly incredible works of art. And just like any other form of video, whether it’s online or on the silver screen, custom music plays a huge role.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 10.23.36 AMThis past festival saw some amazing talent and film, but one of my favorites was the incredible sounds of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. The Octopus Project, the composers in charge of this sonic masterpiece, picked up an award for their work on the score, and they did it in a pretty interesting way.

In an interview on hollywoodreporter.com, the film makers opened up about how they collaborated on the project:

THR: Your composers, Octopus Project, picked up an award for their work on Kumiko. How did you settle on a sound for the film?

David Zellner: We’ve been very close friends for over a decade and worked together on everything from shorts to features. We hang out all the time socially. They partnered well with the sound design. Nathan does the sound design. We do films where the sound design and score blur together, instead of feeling like they were cut off and were made by two different people. So it was fun having them create elements and having Nathan craft them into the film.

Nathan Zellner: We had a dozen to 15 music cues when we handed off the edit to them. We talked through what we were looking for in terms of the music. They would give us music beds and broken music stems, 40 or 60 minutes of hums and amp cracks, elements we could start playing around with. That helped us a ton. We do a lot of the sound work during the cut because it helps us with rhythm and timing. Sound is such an important part of the picture, we do them at the same time so we can see the edit as it should be. When we get close to a first cut, it’s pretty refined.

David and Nathan Zellner mention the importance of collaboration when creating sound and music for an independent film. This is the case with just about all films today. And what better way to get the best possible custom music and sounds for your project than by working with countless talented songwriters and choosing your favorites along the way. That’s what MusikPitch strives for, and we’re confident that your video or film project will get the best custom music possible.

Whether or not you saw this on Super Bowl Sunday, give it a minute of your day and watch through it.

Not only does the ad look great (in terms of colors, shot selection, and scenery), it sounds incredible.

We talk a lot about the music used in advertisements, but this time we’re actually taking it one step deeper. We’re going to be looking at the sound effects and “foley” used in this commercial and why it rocks.

You see, the music fits the ad perfectly. It’s a great song and has the perfect feel for the commercial. But what really sells this commercial sonically is all of the foley (or sound effects that match the picture).

All of the sounds are very warm and pleasant – even ones that could be thought of as unpleasant. For example, the puppy’s bark. A dog’s bark is not one of the most pleasant sounds I can think of, but in this commercial, it sounds warm and inviting.

Listen to the sounds of the barn – the door being opened, the rain falling on the roof, and even the door being opened to the farm house. All of these sounds match the picture and are very warm and full – perfect for drawing the emotion desired from the ad.

We don’t think about it enough, but the right foley is very important in creating a great video presentation. Custom music is one way to do it, but having the perfect custom sound effects to match your picture are almost just as important.

We talked last week about the importance of sound in video games and apps. This week, we’re getting to look in to the mind of a master – Ari Pulkkinen. A couple of years ago, Ari did an interview about his work on the wildly successful game, Angry Birds.

The interviewer, Stephanie Ciccarelli, asked some very insightful questions about how the game was put together and how it worked with lines of dialogue and sound effects.

“SC: The average console game has around 8,000 lines of dialogue. Epic console games, such as Spider-man 3, have upwards of 70,000 lines of dialogue. If you had to estimate, how lines were recorded for each character in the first Angry Birds and how many voice overs were recorded for the original Angry Birds iPhone app as a whole?

AP: For the Original Angry Birds there were many voice overs I wanted – different birds making idle, attack, flying, hit, dying, taunt voices and pigs had also similar emotions including also laughing and insults. I’d say that in the game we had over 70 different sounds for birds and the pigs including variations. Because of the HD limit, we had to cut additional pig vocals from the game, but it worked really great only with a large generic pig soundgroups. In the future, different pigs will have distinctive voice acting too as people have witnessed from the new trailers and videos.”

This is so important when it comes to app sound design – creating iconic sounds that match the pictures will enhance the overall experience for the end user, ultimately creating an even more successful game.

As we continue to look into the ways to get a great piece of custom music, it is important to remember the power of a simple yet recognizable sound, audio effect, or melody. Ari does it all with this game, especially when it comes to the melody. It has been recreated numerous times by YouTube musicians and orchestras alike, and this iconic custom music has helped propel Angry Birds to the top of the list of most popular apps of all time.

Check out this video to see Ari in his element and hear him speak about the process and the importance of sound design for apps.

 

If you’re into video games, you know that sound plays a huge part in the user experience. It can make or break your experience with a certain game, so it’s important to have the right sounds and music playing during the right scenes.

As songwriters and music composers, we often know what to play, write, or sing in order to convey an emotion successfully. We know that we need the right instrumentation and voicing in order to complete the perfect sonic experience for our audience. And with video games, this couldn’t be more true.

ID-10068180However, if you’ve played enough games, you’ve probably run across the “RFM” games. And no, RFM doesn’t stand for “rapid-fire mission.” It stands for “royalty free music,” and it can really kill the experience for a user.

Whether it’s a simple iPhone app or a full blown XBox One game, the use of royalty free music often means two things: the music doesn’t match the visuals perfectly, and the game seems lifeless overall.

There are very console (PS3, XBox) games that suffer from this, but there are a lot of app based (iPhone, Android, Windows) video games that seem to fall prey to this less-than-stellar approach.

For this reason, it’s important to have the perfect music in your video games. When you have the right music, everything seems to click. The scenes seem snappier, the colors more vivid, and the game more addicting.

Custom music is the best way to go about this – and MusikPitch offers video game designers the best deal around. You’re getting tons of content to choose from to make sure that you’re getting the absolute best music for your project. It makes sense to choose the perfect music for your video game to make it the next viral game or smash hit app !

For those of you looking for a wild ride, “The Wolf Of Wall Street” will surely provide it – and then some!

But the most interesting part of Martin Scorsese’s comic masterpiece was certainly the soundtrack. Randall Poster, the film’s music supervisor, did an excellent job of choosing exactly the right music for each scene.

And although there was no “score,” the music truly aided in telling the story. It brought crazy scenes to life. It helped express the glitz and glam. It even made the audience despise the “wolf” himself.

Which is exactly what good music should do in a film, television show, or even advertisement. In the case of this film, there are almost no limits on what can be afforded and what emotion can be expressed through classic hits and indie secrets. In this article, Poser goes through some of the tracks and shares a little bit about why they were chosen.

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 9.55.34 AM“I do mostly period films for Marty. You reflect on the period, capture some of its spirit, but Marty knows where to go back further in time, to reveal a certain character element — all these classic R&B and blues tracks with that rebel spirit that are inspirations to rock and roll.” – Poster reflecting Elmore James “Dust My Broom”

The way that Poster and Scorsese were able to weave so many different genres of music together was truly a treat to experience. But it also brought to mind the importance of choosing the right music for each scene. And sometimes it’s difficult to really find the perfect music, which is why custom music is such a great option. Whether you’re making a feature-length masterpiece or a 5-minute indie short, the right music can make all the difference.

According to Amy Swanson, TV advertisements can either hit the mark or fall far short. In her list of the 11 Best and Worst Music in TV Advertisements, she goes through a list and thoughtfully comments each commercial. She hits the nail on the head most of the time, finding the best (and unfortunately the worst) music in TV advertisements – something we can all learn from.

In one of her comments, she notes that, “When I first learned about the Jeep wave a few years ago, it blew my mind that something like that existed! Unwritten rules like that always fascinate me, so when I saw this commercial for Volkswagen’s Beetle I instantly wanted to go and give a high five to a VW Beetle owner. Shirley’s Ellis’ song, aptly named, ‘The Clapping Song,’ is catchy and perfect for this ad. You’d swear it was written specifically for this ad and not recorded back in 1965.

This is an extremely interesting statement – because it truly does seem like this song was written and recorded just for the advertisement. Check out the commercial below:

Advertisements are so much more powerful when the music seems as if it were written for the commercial. It can add a great hook to an entire marketing campaign if used carefully. And now that custom music is so easy to get and affordable through MusikPitch, there’s no reason not to have an amazing ad campaign for your business.

-Dean Palya Jr

Back in 1982, something very cool happened. Gerald Gorn was able to prove something that changed the face of marketing forever.

He said that consumers can be conditioned to like (or dislike) a product simply based on the music that is associated with it. He did a lot more than just say these things, however. He actually proved them:

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Here was his experiment. He presented a colored writing utensil (one at a time) to a test subject. While presenting these different color options, different styles of music were played. Some were “pleasant” and others were not. After doing this repeatedly on many different subjects, the results were somewhat shocking.

Gorn found that people were much more likely to choose the color pen that was associated with the pleasant music than was associated with the unpleasant music.

Meaning that, if advertised effectively, the music alone can influence a consumer to be for or against  a product.

This means a lot for advertisers, music supervisors, or even just your dating life! (Don’t play unpleasant music in your car on the way to dinner!)

Since people are so heavily affected by the sounds and music that they hear, it is very important to remember that choosing the right music for a film, television show, or advertisement is critical.

If you’re trying to portray a character on the big screen as a friendly, likable guy using only a soundtrack, there’s no better way to do so than to choose the best “pleasant” song you can. Or maybe you’re trying to vilify a character in a television series? Unpleasant music will help to turn any audience against him.

And what better way to set the stage for a character than with custom music? It can create an even stronger connection that is much more complex than simply “pleasant” or “unpleasant.” It can create a deep character with exactly the emotion, feeling, or connection needed.

 

 

 

If you’ve been connected via social media, TV ads, or even just been in the right place at the right time, you’re probably familiar with the brilliant marketing going on right now for the new film “Anchorman 2″.

The reason why it’s such a great campaign is because they are using the familiar recognition of Ferrel’s character, Ron Burgundy, in promoting the film. Check out this article to see some of the creative things they’re doing.

People know what he looks like right away – and even just his presence puts a smile on many faces. It is this recognition that we can learn from when it comes to getting the perfect custom music.Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.50.15 AM

So how can you use this when you’re looking for custom music to perfectly fit your brand? In many ways, actually!

1. The instruments used can instantly put your audience in the right frame of mind. Think about the music used in Christmas season shopping commercials on TV and the radio. With the great ads, the first thing you hear are sleigh bells. This sets the mood instantly, giving your audience more information on what your advertisement is all about.

2. The style of music used can instantly make someone like or dislike your brand. If someone saw Anchorman and hated the film, chances are that they are disgusted when they see Ron Burgundy all over the place. However, if your target audience loved the film, seeing him can instantly give you a good feeling about the brand. The same is true for music – using loud heavy metal music can turn off – or on - your audience almost instantaneously.

3. The “fit” of the music. If you’ve got a voiceover that you need music behind, it is extremely important to have music that fits the voice. If you’ve got a low voice and a bunch of low instruments, it can muddle up the words. Matching these elements is extremely important, and something that custom music can do wonderfully.

With these points in mind, it’s easy to see the importance of custom music in your advertising campaign.

Online advertising is nothing new. We see ads online all the time. But only a few ads can really capture our attention and keep us entertained while also showcasing the brand of the company.

This article (which you should read in full here), is a great demonstration of the real importance of digital marketing in today’s world – especially for SMBs. There are two key facts that seem to pop out of this article:

1. The average SMB spends $400/month on marketing.

This may not seem like a lot – and $400 a month can’t go very far in some of the more traditional outlets. But for a lot of businesses, this is exactly what they need to create great content and put it in front of the right audience. We’ll come back to how this money can be wisely spent after we look at the next key fact.

2. SMBs spend an average of 46% of their marketing budget on ‘digital’ marketing.

This means that almost $200 of those dollars are being spent on digital marketing techniques. This means that more and more SMBs are realizing the power of the digital realm – but not all are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Piano HandIt is imperative that an incredible first impression be made on any online web surfer so that the brand sticks. Ads on YouTube are most successful if they are catchy, fun, and leave the viewer hooked. And what better way to hook a listener than with the perfect jingle?

This is something that SMBs generally don’t have room for in their budget – custom music to go with their digital advertisement. Library music seems to be the only option – until now.

At MusikPitch, SMBs can put up a contest, and for just a fraction of the cost of hiring a producer, musicians, and the team to make custom music happen, these businesses are able to choose from a long list of great songs to represent their brand best in this new digital marketing era.

The numbers are there – SMBs are finding the digital space more and more effective, and great custom music can help to engage your audience and keep your marketing costs efficient.