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Recording Music for a Commercial

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RadioactiveGuy4, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    My band had the opportunity to record some original music for a 30 sec ad. There is no a guaranty that our music will get picked but it was a fun experience.

    Basically our singers sister works for an advertising agency and when they need music for a commercial she will sometimes contact him and see if we can put something together for it. They have previously done music for a alarm company in the San Francisco area but this would be the first time for a national brand's commercial.

    We didn't have a whole lot of lead time for this project. We got the message on Friday and we had a deadline of noon on Monday.

    We got together on Saturday night and put together drum and bass lines for 3 different versions and recorded the rough ideas. Version one was a kinda funky groove, version 2 had a surf feel, and version 3 was more progressive sounding.

    Sunday we met back up and recorded the actual parts into studio one and timed them to the actual commercial. One of the main requirements of the ad was for the music to start at the at the beginning of the commercial and then have a very sudden stop in the middle and then come back in again at the end to close it out. I recorded my parts going directly into an interface and then we added an amp sim with some slight EQ and a little compression. We decided to use synth drums given the time constraints so our drummer had to play drums on a key board but he did a fantastic job. Next we layered on some synth and electric guitar parts.

    We got done about midnight on Sunday and sent our versions off to the ad agency. Now we wait to hear back.

    Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm going to hold off posting what we did for now but once we hear either way I will post some samples.
  2. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North

    So how did the business side of this work, out of curiosity?

    Were you commissioned to record the music (with payment guaranteed upon delivery) or did you do it on spec (get paid in the event they decide to use it)?
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Good luck, and glad to hear that it was enjoyable for all. But to @DirtDog's point, just be sure everyone in the band is on the same page regarding the relationship with the agency and your expectations (if any) on potential remuneration. From a financial and legal standpoint, it's one thing to compose a background musical bed for a small local advertiser, but quite another to do a track for a national campaign. For example, the client and/or agency could be signatories to union agreements requiring that all session musicians be union members. "The good news is: We loved your demo and we're going with version '2'! The bad news is: We're going to have it produced in New York City with AFM musicians. Thanks again for your help."

    – garp
    (Madison Avenue refugee)
    Bunk McNulty and DirtDog like this.

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