Made with love


Simon Marett# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Simon Marett
Issue 89 - May 2014

It can wash over you, hardly heard but intensely felt. It can convey a mood without a word being spoken. It can jar and jangle your nerves - in a good way, if its a thriller. Or it can make you cry. The choice of music is a crucial component to the overall feel of many TV programmes - as important as the grade, the edit, even the script - yet it is often an area where budgets can be scrimped or squeezed. But have you ever thought about where the music comes from or how it is produced?

As a music company, creating original music for TV, film, broadcast and commercials all over the world, we understand budget demands, but we also know the importance of quality music to a production. An authentic piece of music, created by a professional composer using real instruments can make a real difference to any production and evoke the emotion desired by the production team. The great thing for producers is that high quality music doesnt necessarily mean high cost and theres never been so much choice available.

We recently launched a campaign, Made With Love, to demonstrate the passion, time and care that goes into our music. Our catalogue of well over 75,000 original music tracks is created by a team of 500 international composers, from major orchestral recordings Abbey Road Studios to Country music recorded in Nashville. We work with household names such as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Dame Evelyn Glennie DBE, the late Sir John Dankworth CBE but also developing relationships with new and emerging composers such as James Brett, Bryce Jacobs and a number of commercial artists including Bimbo Jones, Annie Drury and Brazilian Drum n Bass duo Drumagick.
You might be surprised to know that, far from simply receiving a CD from a composer and popping in into the archive, an Audio Network track can take three to six months to make it through our stringent production and QC process.

Every one of our 75,000+ tracks goes through the same meticulous process:

1. Composition

The Audio Network music team regularly brainstorms ideas for new music, taking into account customer feedback, music trends, gaps in the the market, and so on. We actively carry out A&R searches for particular genres for instance, due to our current growth in the US market, we are currently collating authentic American music such as Nashville country, New Orleans jazz and LA hip hop. Established composers are also encouraged to send in ideas and compositions if we have a particular requirement.

2. Recording

For the recording session, we use renowned studios such as Abbey Road Studios, or, if the quality is good enough, a composers own studio. Up to six or seven tracks can be recorded during a three hour recording session.

3. Feedback and refinement


The music team listens to the mixed tracks and sends back any that dont meet their production standards. Once approved, there is a formal acceptanceof the track, release forms are signed and the music is assigned to Audio Network. Composers are paid a small one-off fee for each track, then retain a 50% copyright on their track for royalties. Audio Network pays the production costs and retains the other 50%.

4. Coding

This determines how customers find music in our catalogue and each track can take anything from 40 mins to two hours to code, with many layers of metadata added to make searches easy. Tracks are listed with main mixes and all variations 60 sec and 30 sec stings, etc. Audio Network also offers a human search engine if a producer needs help finding exactly what they want.

5. Mastering and final checks

The team checks the tracks again thoroughly, concentrating on glitches, making sure the versions are exactly the right length and getting them cleaned up for mastering, essential for making the music consistent throughout our catalogue.

6. Album registration

This can take a day per album, depending on the number of tracks and involves the tracks being registered with the relevant collection societies around the world. This ensures both the company and the composer get paid the performance royalties due to them when the tracks get used and broadcast.

7. Final release

Once all the above is checked, approved and working, the tracks are finally released into the catalogue some three to six months after commission.

As much time and passion goes into creating a piece of our music as it does into a whole television programme it is truly Made With Love.


Tags: iss089 | Audio Network | composition | recording | feedback and refinement | coding | mastering and final checks | album registration | final release | music | Simon Marett#
Contributing Author Simon Marett#

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