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Tips & Advice – An Idiot’s Guide to Music Synchronisation

By March 14, 2018Music

In this month’s Tips & Advice we’ve asked our Music Supervisor, Dave Philpot to share some insight on how musicians can get their music out in the world of sync.

So you have your new release, it’s up on digital streaming services, and you would love to get it out on vinyl but you need an injection of cash. You’re probably thinking: “I will get a sync, my music is perfect for sync, I’m surprised it’s not happened already”.
Well if you want this to happen, here are a few points to help you achieve this, as it’s not always as easy as it appears.
1. Record Your Music to the Best Standard
Make sure that your music is recorded to the best standard that you can achieve before sending it out to the world, no one wants to hear your demo or almost finished mix.
Make something you are proud of and would be happy to play to anyone and everyone and then start the process.
2. Place Your Music and Do Some Research
Listen to your track and watch films / adverts / games / trailers / TV shows etc, and see where similar music is being used; even go as far as checking out similar artists and see if they are posting about any sync’s they have secured recently. This kind of knowledge of where your music can be used is key to you and what you do next.
3. Who to Send It to
You now have a good idea how and where your music fits into the sync world, so now it’s a case of getting it to the right people who work in these areas.
Option 1:  Go and find a good sync agent who has a good track record of working with independent music and has worked similar project in the past. There are a lot of us about and most of us are good at what we do. Do some research and try and find someone who you think fits your music well, then get in contact telling them why you think they will like your music, and send them a few tracks to listen to.
I would suggest a streaming link is probably best at this stage (Spotify , SoundCloud , Apple Music, box, Disco are all good options).
Option 2:  Do it all yourself, which is not impossible but it’s tough out there so you need to make sure you have the time, energy and a thick enough skin to do it.
Working your own music is a lot more precious than being one step removed from the work.
With the knowledge from your research, use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google etc. and find out who the right people are who work on brands, shows and films etc that you feel your music is right for, and send them a link to listen to music with a message telling them why your music could work for them and a nice description of who you are.

The above is based on you being either self-releasing or on a small label without a sync person / team.

BUT
If you are lucky enough to be signed – make sure you know who the sync person / team is at your record label / publisher and make sure that you are keeping them updated with news on your release, any blog posts, radio plays, Spotify playlists and so on.
DO’S and DONT’S:
NEVER send too many tracks (3-5 maximum).
NEVER send DEMOS or UNFINISHED MIXES.
If you send download links:
ALWAYS send MP3s and ALWAYS tag MP3s with your contact details, artist and title (having an MP3 without your artist details or contact is as good as useless for a supervisor).
ALWAYS send your best tracks.
4. Chase Them Up
If you hear nothing after a few chases, then move onto the next one. If they do like your music, make sure you have a conversation with them and feel you have the right rapport to be able to work together. Then you need to make sure you are doing the deal that is right for you.
Now when I say update, I don’t mean hassling them, I mean bi-weekly update on all that is going on with your music and a gentle prod to ask if any briefs have come in which your music would be suitable for, as again there is a lot of music out there and it’s very easy for your music to get lost. Find out if they like vinyl and send them a copy, all these things help to keep your music at the forefront of their mind.
5. Research the Best Deal for You
There a lot of deals out there : exclusive / non-exclusive, 50/50, 75/25 , 1 year, 3 year perpetuity – make sure you are aware of what you are giving away. Ask around to get advice – this is very important, these are YOUR rights.
If you take on an agent make sure that you are in touch with them regularly, as you need to help them sell your music, without your updates and your input your music can easily get lost.