Category Archives: Digital Video

Interview with Rock Guitarist and Soundtrack Producer Dan Morrissey

Some of our favorite tracks at UniqueTracks.com have been written and produced by Dan Morrissey.

Based in London, Dan has been a full-time guitarist, musician & composer since the age of 18. Recently his work has been licensed by Molson Coors Brewing Co., ESPN, BBC Radio 5 Live, and Eurosport Network.

We talked recently about his musical experiences, his background and how he conceives of the tracks he produces. A brief excerpt from that conversation is featured below.

You mentioned that one of your songs was covered by Jeff Beck on his 2006-2009 world tours. How did that relationship come about?

I met Jeff Beck at an Imogen Heap concert in about 2006. I plucked up the courage to quickly go and say hello to him and asked if he’d mind if I sent him a CD of my music. He agreed and gave me the details of his manager.

About 5 weeks later I got a call at just after midnight. A female voice told me that Jeff Beck would like to talk to me. He came on to the phone and I was almost speechless. He told me he’d really enjoyed all of the CD but there was one track called ‘ Scottish One‘ that he really loved. He asked if I’d mind if he played it during his impending tour ‘to relieve the boredom’ of playing all his old tracks. Of course, I was gobsmacked and told him it would be an honor. He went on to play ‘Scottish One‘ round the world, as his encore for the concerts over the next 3 years.

What musical experiences did you have that made you want to pursue music as a career?

After studying classical piano for 5 years until age 13, I gave up music for a few years to concentrate on playing football, I got back into music through my school friends, who all liked ‘70s hippie music – Cream, Hendrix, the Doors etc. This was entertaining but when I heard harder bands like UFO and AC/DC, my world of possibilities suddenly expanded infinitely and I knew that I had to learn the electric guitar and in that style.

So from the age of 17, I was in bands playing original music. Cover or Tribute bands were never my thing. I’m not sure I ever really decided to make music for a living. It was just my obsession and I simply could not stop.

What is your favorite thing about performing? Least favorite?

The best thing about performing live is the rush and the reaction of the audience. It makes all those hours of driving to venues, loading gear and waiting around to soundcheck all worthwhile, no question.

How do you conceive of your tracks? Can you elaborate on your recording/producing process?

Tracks can come into being in a manner of ways for me. Sometimes I sit down with a guitar and play until something pops up that I can envision developing into a full blown track. Sometimes I go through various synth sounds until a spark appears and that leads me on to gradually build upon it. Other times I get an idea just as I am about to fall asleep and decide that life is too short, that I simply have to get up and start recording, lest it be lost in the ether forever. Quite inconvenient!

But inspiration cannot really be ignored. Sometimes though, ideas have to ground out and crafted. To be really worked at until they take shape. I’m very fortunate not to suffer from writer’s block. Recently I was very generously passed on an ear infection by my two-year-old daughter, Minnie. I was half deaf for 3 weeks. When I finally regained my hearing, it was like the dam walls had burst. Ideas came at me tumultuously for about a month solid. Nothing inspires like absence, I’ve found. I rarely take a day off from music. My brain won’t really allow it.

ENERGY WAVE by Dan Morrissey
www.uniquetracks.com/energy-wave/
Soft piano builds towards a huge uplifting rock chorus. Positive with great energy.  Big guitars! Perfect for business presentation, video marketing, on hold marketing, video production uses.

DISTANCE by Dan Morrissey
www.uniquetracks.com/distance/
An example of a PSA or Documentary style using the soundtrack DISTANCE composed by Dan Morrissey. Longing, want, separation, hope, being alone… These are the moods conveyed in this dramatic track. A heartfelt piano is the lead instrument.

ADRENALINE by Dan Morrissey
www.uniquetracks.com/adrenaline/
Raw energy, big guitars, conveys strength, winning, an achievement attained through effort. Post Punk Foo Fighters style mixed with strong, mucho shredded lead guitar lines.

UniqueTracks Production Music Library prides itself on the quality of its music.

We know you don’t have time to sift through pages of unfocused search results. Instead, we show you stock music selects that quickly satisfy your soundtrack needs.

We feature a limited number of professional composers whose music we believe is licensable and useful to music supervisors and media creators searching for a stock music solution.

Our experience has led us to believe that the greatest challenge for customers on sites like ours is managing the speed of the search process. Reducing the time it takes to find workable music is the main thrust of our site.

To that end, we do not offer a library of hundreds of thousands of tracks. Rather, our library is somewhat narrow, with each track having to pass an ‘ear test’ as to its functionality as a soundtrack. We hope that by raising the quality/functionality bar at the outset, you will reduce the time it takes to find the track you need.

Game Composer Andrew Aversa featured at UniqueTracks

UniqueTracks is very proud to represent three albums by game composer and electronic music producer Andrew Aversa (a.k.a. zircon).  We started licensing Andrew’s music back in 2008 and are happy to say that his tracks are some of the most popular music we have available.After studying piano classical piano for several years, Andrew began writing and recording music.  His first electronic works were video game music remixes created for free distribution at the online community OverClocked ReMix (The relationship with OverClocked Remix had an unforeseen, surprising benefit as he would later meet his wife, Jillian through his association there).

After studying piano classical piano for several years, Andrew began writing and recording music.  His first electronic works were video game music remixes created for free distribution at the online community OverClocked ReMix (The relationship with OverClocked Remix had an unforeseen, surprising benefit as he would later meet his wife, Jillian through his association there).

Those initial successes led to professional work.  Andrew has written video game soundtracks for Soulcalibur V, Super Street Fighter II, Dungeonmans, Globulous, Phineas & Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, Monkey Island 2: Special Edition and much more.

As zircon, Andrew has released 10 albums of electronic music in progressive breakbeat,  trance, dubstep, drum and bass, atmospheric downtempo, and many other highly rhythmic electronic subgenres.

UniqueTracks owns publishing rights to license 36 zircon tracks from these albums.

  1. Impulse Prime
  2. The World Circuit
  3. Mass Media Constant

Here is the complete listing of zircon’s music available for licensing at UniqueTracks.com

These videos feature Andrew’s music.  You can see how well it sync’s up with visuals.

Star Trails by zircon (Andrew Aversa) can be licensed directly from UniqueTracks.com.

This movie features the zircon song Nimbus which can be licensed here at UniqueTracks.com

The Koto Chill (Nipponica) is available to license here at UniqueTracks.com

Shadows pairs Andrew with his wife, vocalist Jillian Avera.
Shadows can be licensed here at UniqueTracks.com.  There is also an instrumental version of this song.

ABOUT ZIRCON: zircon (Andrew Aversa) is an EDM / electronic music producer, remixer, and game soundtrack composer. He has released over a dozen albums and soundtracks in styles ranging from breakbeat, big beat, dubstep, and drum n’ bass, to epic orchestral, atmospheric, chillout, and vocal trance. He frequently collaborates with his wife, vocalist Jillian Aversa and has written for such soundtracks as Soulcalibur V, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Monkey Island 2 SE, and many others.

Here is the complete list of zirconMusic tracks available for licensing at UniqueTracks.com

High Impact Sound Effects

For many years UniqueTracks sold sound effects series directly on its home website.  Starting this month, we are launching a new site dedicated only to sound effects and motion video backgrounds.  The site is called High Impact Sound Effects.

High-Impact-Sound-Effects.com is dedicated to bringing you the best in big-value, low-priced, professional sound effects, royalty free

High Impact Sound Effects Series

The High-Impact Sound Effects Series is a four volume set of audio imaging sound effects. Each volume includes over 300 effects. This specially-priced Sound FX package will deliver just the right shot of audio adrenaline for your media projects.

 

High-Impact Sound Effects Series

Volume 1 Radio Imaging
Volume 2 TV Production
Volume 3 Multimedia Elements
Volume 4 Game Design FX


Blastwave FX is a major supplier of professional sound effects to Hollywood and the game production industry. Its design and engineering teams push the sound envelope with innovative product formats, rich metadata, multi-channel libraries and the highest resolution audio that technology allows.

Blastwave FX Premium Sound Effects

Podcaster – Podcast Production FX and Music Loops
Webtones – Buttons, Clicks, Beeps, Sounds for Flash Production
Spoilers – High Definition Commercial Beds
Drones – Expressive, Dramatic Low Register Sound Beds


Each volume in the ArtLoops series presents 40+ broadcast quality animated backgrounds. The set is geared towards International Relations, High-Tech and Business projects with a series of volumes offering animated national flags, globes, and world money. There is also a unique set of all alpha elements.

ArtLoops Video Backgrounds 6 Volume Series

Volume 1 High-Impact Tech
Volume 2 National Flags
Volume 3 All Alpha Channel
Volume 4 World Money
Volume 5 Subtle Expressions
Volume 6 Global Connections

 

Top 15 songs for Thanksgiving Projects

Wedged between Halloween and Christmas projects,  media creation for Thanksgiving can often feel rushed.  If you’re working on a Thanksgiving presentation or ad campaign, whether setting scenes for the holiday feast, the parade, the church service or the big football game, we have a soundtrack that will lift your project and strike just the right tone.

The following soundtracks will contribute a heartfelt and hopeful mood to your Thanksgiving production.

Also listen to:


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.

Top 10 songs for Halloween Projects

A major element of any successful horror film or Halloween ad campaign won’t be found in ghoulish effects, frightening make-up, or inspired casting. The music, the soundtrack of a horror scene, from a scorching main theme to an eerily quiet atmospheric rustling in the upper strings, can transform a good scene into a great one.

A wide range of scary soundtracks from the UniqueTracks stock music library is listed below.  More can be found on our page devoted to Halloween music.  Here, you’re sure to find the evilest, spine-tingling music you need to take your project to its ultimate fiendish perfection.

Our top ten horror/mystery soundtracks for the Halloween season:

  1. Queen of the Vampires
  2. Out of the Ruins
  3. Mysterious Passage
  4. Big Horror
  5. Dark Forces
  6. Destructive Impulses
  7. Dimension Unknown
  8. Dark Clouds
  9. Anatomy of a Nightmare
  10. Creature Feature

Also, see:


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.

Top Classical Music Scores Used As Movie Soundtrack

The great 1970s-era film and TV composer, Jerry Fielding, said something that I have always tried to remember when approaching the music for a film or for any type of soundtrack.

Most of us are aware of and do not like the kind of bad film music that intrudes and italicizes moments that have no need of such emphasis.” ***

Fielding is saying that using background music too obviously, or too literally, can throw off the balance of a scene by over-emphasizing the moment. Because it contributes to and reinforces the emotional atmosphere of the scene at hand, background music has great power to affect an audience’s perception of the film. When done with taste, it elevates the emotional experience of the film. When done poorly, it can add an inflated sentimentality or become overblown and bombastic. In a bad film, I often get the sense that the soundtrack is being used as a crutch. The director doesn’t believe the scene is working and feels it can be saved by adding a lot of extraneous music.

The great majority of film soundtracks comment directly on the scene at hand, For example, in a chase scene, the music usually tries to elevate the audience’s pulse with strong, invigorating music. It echoes the action on screen. However, some of the greatest soundtracks use a much less direct approach. The title sequence to Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull provides a great example of another, subtle, scoring technique.

The movie begins with slow-motion footage of boxer Jake LaMotta (played by Robert De Niro), shadow boxing inside the ring while the movie’s opening credits appear.  The classical background music accompanying this scene is Interlude from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by the Italian composer Pietro Mascagni. Scorsese chose a piece of pre-existing classical music to form the opening soundtrack to Raging Bull.

Unlike standard underscore, this music doesn’t enlarge or highlight what is happening on screen. Instead, it plays against the scene, creating its own dimension, its own personalized color or texture. The use of Cavalleria Rusticana elevates the scene into a dreamlike, almost religious environment, evoking a sense of the tragedy that we, as audience members, are about to experience while watching the story of Jake LaMotta unfold. This is a much more interesting use of background music. It’s less obvious, more poetic and very powerful.

What is it about classical music that makes it so well-suited to such powerful artistic statements in a film?

The main reason is the music itself. There are no stronger themes than those found throughout the classical repertoire. Add to that the fact that this music is already established in our culture and we, in some cases, have built-in associations with it. Also, the music is hundreds of years old. It has survived the tests of time and we subconsciously experience it as existing on another plane, like a voice from above.

Here is a list of some other movies that use classical music to play against the events transpiring on screen. These scores operate as an overview, revealing the elemental, spiritual core of the movie’s meaning.

Platoon (1986) – The music is Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings – here again, this background music provides the spiritual heart of the film – a saga about the struggle between good and evil faced by soldiers newly-recruited to serve in Vietnam. This same theme is used to produce virtually the same effect in The Elephant Man (1980).

Godfather 1 (1972) – It’s one of the greatest sequences in film history – while attending the baptism of his niece, Michael, the new Godfather, has all his enemies massacred. The scene is scored using J. S. Bach’s music Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor.

Breaking Away (1979) – A coming of age film about a teenage boy so in love with cycling that he adopts all things Italian, including opera, in order to fully emulate his racing heroes.   The film’s most memorable and endearing scene contains no dialogue at all. In it, the main character reaches an incredible speed on his bike by cycling in the backdraft of a large truck. It’s a moment akin to the scene in Rocky 1 when Rocky victoriously leaps up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum. (Gonna Fly Now) except in this scene, the underscore is Mendelssohn’s Allegro, 1st Movement from the Italian Symphony.

2001 Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s visually stunning masterpiece uses the composition Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss as its main theme. There is also an incredible sequence using the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss.

The Killing Fields (1984) – Features a recording of Pavarotti singing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma near the end of the film when the main character (Sam Waterston) has returned to the US after witnessing and surviving the ethnic cleansing in Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

Philadelphia (1993) – Tom Hanks as Andrew Becket comes to grips with his own impending death from AIDS while describing Giordano’s aria La Mama Morta (sung by the great Maria Callas) to his lawyer. The lawyer (Denzel Washington) finally gets beyond Becket’s homosexuality and sees him as a human – sees his humanity. Heavy stuff, also extremely powerful.

Manhattan (1979) – In the famous opening sequence, Woody Allen portrays the New York cityscape in a stunning black-and-white montage. The underscore is Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

The UniqueTracks Production Music Library contains over 200 hours of classical production music. Try searching our music library for classical background music to support your next production.

*** Jerry Fielding is best known for the following film soundtracks spanning the late 1960s through the 1970s: The Wild Bunch, The Outlaw Josie Wales, Straw Dogs, Semi-Tough, The Gauntlet. He also composed the main themes for two pretty famous TV shows – Hogan’s Heroes and Barnaby Jones.


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.


Royalty Free Music, Sound Effects, and Animated Video Backgrounds

New stock music – Hollywood Action Adventure soundtracks

Stock Music for Action Adventure Projects

UniqueTracks is proud to release a new collection of Hollywood-style action/adventure stock music soundtracks. This set features orchestral movie soundtracks perfect for battle scenes, chase scenes, and subject matter relating to military, conflict/war.

The collection features a big orchestral sound featuring powerful horns, strings, and eerie choir textures. The music reflects the Spiderman or Iron Man franchises for a big orchestral style.  Also, think of big epic Hollywood films like Gladiator or Braveheart.

The collection contains thunderous orchestral soundtracks in Hollywood’s powerful action-adventure style. This volume can be used to underscore heroic emotions like victory, battle, bravery, combat and discipline. There is a martial quality to these soundtracks which make them perfect for projects dealing with the military or patriotism.

Stand-out stock music tracks include:


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results.  UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.

How To Use Music Legally In Your Work

When do I need a license to use music in my work?
You need to acquire a license when you want to take music that you have not personally created and use it as background music soundtrack in your production.  Acquiring a license gives you the legal right to include someone else’s copyrighted work as a part of your own work.

What is a Copyright?
Copyright is a federal law that protects creators by giving them exclusive rights to their works for a period of time.  Once a work is under copyright, it is considered copyright infringement (illegal) to use the work without the permission of the copyright owner.

How does copyright affect my decision to use music?
Music that has been recorded and issued on CD is protected by 2 copyrights.  To use a recording of a musical composition in your work, you need to get permission from both copyright holders.

The first permission you need is from the music’s publisher.  The music publisher holds the copyright for the actual written music – the melody, the lyrics, the accompaniment, the actual music as it would appear in sheet music.  This copyright is shown by using the familiar © symbol.

The second permission is for the recording itself.  To get this, you would approach the record company that released the recording.  The record company holds the copyright for the actual performance of the song captured and mastered on tape and released on CD.  The symbol for this copyright is the letter (P) inside a circle. (look on the back of your own Cds, you will see these symbols in use)

The fact that music is protected by copyright doesn’t mean you cannot use it, it simply means you have to seek permission to use it.  To receive that permission you will typically have to pay a licensing fee.

What licenses do I need?
Here are the licenses you need for the right to use music in your media project:

Synchronization License – This license is issued by the music publisher.  The Synchronization License (often abbreviated as “sync” license) gives you the right to “synchronize” the copyrighted music with your images and dialogue.

Note: Having a sync license means you have permission from the publisher to use the music but it doesn’t give you the right to use a specific recording of the composition.  For that, you need the following…

Master Use License – This license is issued directly from the record company. Fees can range from several hundred dollars to millions of dollars depending on the popularity of the music.

Once you have paid the music publisher for a Sync License and the record company for a Master Use license, you have the legal right to use the music in your production within the terms of the license you negotiated.

Sidebar
This article is about music that is under copyright and NOT in the public domain.  In the United States, music written before 1933 is in the public domain and can be used without having to acquire a synchronization license.  However, you will still need a master use license if you use a recording of a piece in the public domain.  Music written after 1933 is still under copyright according to US law.  Public Domain is defined and interpreted differently in Canada, Europe, and the UK. Here is an article with more detail about using public domain music.

How do I find out who owns the song rights?
If you don’t know the publisher of the song you want to license, you should contact the major Performance Rights Organizations like BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC.  These groups have large databases of composer and associated publisher song titles.  Another place to try is The Harry Fox Agency. This company mainly grants mechanical rights (for recording and existing song), but their database is also huge.

Music Clearance
As you can see from the process described above, licensing music can be a time-intensive, form-laden, and expensive process.  There are companies that just specialize in finding and processing the paperwork to get you the rights to a song. If you enter the term “Music Clearance” in a search engine, many music clearance companies will appear.  If you have a music supervisor on your project, he or she will also be experienced in music clearance.

A Licensing Alternative – Production Music
Using Production Music (also referred to as Stock Music), is the easiest way to quickly license music to use legally in your work. Production Music fills a niche for producers who don’t have a million dollar music budget and can’t afford to license a major hit song.  Production Music gives the smaller, independent producer the ability to use music soundtracks in his or her production.

Is Production Music under copyright?
Production music is protected by both the (C) and (P) copyrights.  When you buy a track from a production music library, you’ll receive a license agreement which grants you both synchronization and master use rights. It’s simple and easy to do.  For instance, at the UniqueTracks Stock Music site, your license and recorded master track can be downloaded right to your computer upon purchase.

Stock Production Music is not copyright-free as some have termed it.  It is fully protected by copyright law. With production music, you get the ease of licensing.  You don’t have to contact several sources to seek sync and master use licenses.  These licenses come bundled together and the rights granted are very wide.  A typical stock music license grants you permission to use the music in TV broadcasts, TV & Radio advertising, Internet streaming (great for YouTube videos) music-on-hold, apps & video games, in-store broadcast, and as corporate trade show products and giveaways.  Here is an example of a typical stock music license agreement.

Can I license a famous song from a production music library?
There are no production music pop hits.  You won’t find an Eminem track in a royalty free production music library.  To use an Eminem cut you would have to negotiate a license with Interscope Records.  That’s not to say you can’t find Hip Hop tracks in production music libraries but you won’t find current or past pop hits.

Unlike a pop song, production music is composed to be used specifically as background music. It is usually instrumental, with no vocals or lyrics, and is similar to a film soundtrack.

The simplicity of licensing makes it a perfect choice for corporate videos, Flash animations, Game apps, Music-On-Hold, PowerPoint presentations, independent film, multimedia applications, – virtually anywhere where music is helpful but where the project budget doesn’t include hundreds of thousands of dollars to license expensive songs.


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results  UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.


Royalty Free Music, Sound Effects, and Animated Video Backgrounds

UniqueTracks stock music in action

Eric Wyatt and the video production creatives at e-media, in Ft. Myers Florida recently produced a promo spot for Bedslide which featured some tracks from the UniqueTracks Production Music Library.

Bedslide makes a unique sliding utility for loading and unloading trucks. Basically, it turns your truck bed into a sliding drawer.

As Eric told me recently,

“The marketing department [at Bedslide] wanted to use something with a hard rock sound for music. Thankfully we had your stock rock music tracks.”

Here is the spot, shot for under $3000. Neat product.

The songs licensed in this video are:


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results.  UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.

Retro Hollywood Movie Soundtracks – New Stock Music

UniqueTracks has just released new stock music soundtracks written in the style of the grand Hollywood films of the past. This collection was composed by Emmy Award-winning film composer Misha Segal.

Included in this set are grand orchestral fanfares, underscores for suspense thrillers, film noir themes, a good helping of early Dixieland jazz, action adventure, and cowboy western scores, spy movie themes and romantic comedy cues, all performed in a retro orchestral style from Hollywood’s glorious past.

Retro Hollywood Movie Soundtracks is a collection of film scores that captures the Hollywood of bygone eras from pre-war black-and-white movies up to the movies of the 1970s.

Highlight Stock Music Tracks include:


Premium Stock Music for Film, TV, Advertising and Interactive. Editor-selected, Easy Search, Fast Results.  UniqueTracks has a vast library of music loops and grooves plus a large selection of classical production music available for licensing into your production.