How to Make Music for Production Libraries

Music production libraries provide news agencies, department stores and film and television companies with music to create ambiance and add theatrical flair to productions. Production libraries can be created through the use of electronic music or acoustic music. Electronic music is created with a computer while acoustic music uses live players. Choosing between computer-based music samplers or acoustic music will depend largely on the skills you already possess. If you are unfamiliar with creating electronic music, purchase sheet music and hire musicians for a recording session.

Electronic Music 

Step 1: Attach your MIDI keyboard to your sound card using a MIDI cable. Most sound cards have a MIDI input and output connector. This connector is about the size of a dime and makes it possible to connect a MIDI cable, allowing audio signals to pass through to your computer.

Step 2: Open your audio editing program. Audacity. Sonar and Peak Pro are some options you can use. Each of these programs have very similar and, in many cases, identical editing functions.

Step 3: Press the "Record" button at the top of the audio editing program. The "Record" button looks like a red dot inside of a circle.

Step 4: Improvise by playing the keyboard. If you don't have piano skills you can use the "Step Record" feature if your audio program supports it. "Step Record" allows you to enter one note at a time. If you make a mistake and play the wrong note, simply highlight the note in the audio editor and delete it. With enough practice, your piano skills and your ear will improve, and you will learn to improvise in real-time.

Step 5: Modify the music by using the options available in the "Effects" menu. You can increase or decrease the speed of the music by using the "Change Tempo" option, create a dramatic fade in or fade out using the "Fade" options or create an echo using the "Echo" option.

Acoustic Music 

Step 1: Select music that is no longer protected by copyright law. Generally, this is music in which the composer has been dead for 70 years. However, check with the publishing company to ensure you can use the music freely. Classical and Romantic period music from composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert are all good options. If you want a more diverse library, hire a composer to create music for you.

Step 2: Hire the performers that are needed to perform the music. Check the local musicians union to get a list of working performers. You can also advertise and recruit performers from local colleges and universities. Hang fliers in music stores and approach musicians after local performances at the reception that follows most concerts.

Step 3: Book time in a recording studio. If you have one hour of music to record, plan on scheduling four hours of recording time. It takes time to conduct a sound check and you may need more than one run-through of the music to ensure all of the notes are played correctly. The recording engineers will help you select the right microphones for each instrument. Miking is a complex process and must be completed by a professional.

Step 4: Record the music and pay for the recording studio to provide you with an edited and mastered recording. Mastering is the process of running the music through audio filters and ensuring that the music does not have any distortion or wrong notes in the mix.

Save money in the long-term by taking classes and learning how to record acoustic instruments professionally. You can also take courses in audio editing and mastering to improve your ability to make a music production library. Hire a composer to write music for you if you want original music. Alternatively, take some music theory classes and learn to write your own music.


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