Last week I sent out a very personal email to my clients here on 300 Monks. It was about how September 11 changed my life. At the time, I was in a job I really did not find fulfilling. The events of September 11 caused me to re-evaluate what I was doing with my life. A few years later, I started 300 Monks providing custom scores, music supervision and royalty free music to advertisers, filmmakers, animators and even independent authors.
There was a lot of great response to that email and one of our customers shared her success with me and how it linked to 300 Monks.
I just opened this email and I have to say, it is a wonderful reminder for many of us to do the important life work we came here to do. I am a middle school teacher and though I have found my work to be important, over the years I have realized there is more for me. I wrote a book and with the music I purchased from 300 Monks, I made a book trailer and that was what peaked the interest of a literary agent and eventually a publisher. My dream of holding my own book in my hands will happen in the spring.
Thank you for following your passion, so that it could lead to me following mine.
Here is the book trailer that she made and got her publishing from. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story!
We have a confession to make. This whole thing started as an accident.
The Head Monk had been creating music for Fortune 500 advertising clients at his job as a Creative Director at FCB.
The music was received wonderfully well and really added the extra emotional oomph needed to bring in more eyeballs, attention and sales.
He started putting some music, that was not selected for these projects, on a homemade website.
Soon, fellow creatives in advertising, marketing and film were finding us a great source for music that was somehow different – because it was made to accompany a visual or tell a story, there was an inherent narrative structure that made it work better than just any old pop music or dance music.
Other composers soon joined us on our quest…to share the wonder and beauty of high quality music made for picture.
Over the years, the site has gained it’s share of loyal users with very little in the way of advertising or big budget marketing. Thank you for your loyal support!
After eleven years, and phone discussions with many of you, we’ve finally implemented changes that you have asked for:
1) We’ve created a new preview music player that shows a visual waveform of the music. This allows you to see the sound and know in advance that there are dips and changes in the music and whether it’s a hard stop or fade out. You can skip around and play whatever part you want.
Here’s what the player looks like. After you click on a track, it pops up at the bottom of the window. Pretty cool, eh?
2) You can still download a watermarked version to try out in your FinalCut or Avid rig in front of the client. We were among the first to do this. Just click the down arrow.
3) You can see the Total Running Time for each track right in the Preview Player.
4) We have adjusted our rates to keep them affordable for our indie clients and yet keep them in line with professional music libraries. This is important as many of our composers were balking at the low prices. You can see the new Web-only license is now $47 and covers streaming video, YouTube and other web video. The Standard license which covers most needs is now $77. Read the full licensing agreement here.
4) You can always ask us to do a custom audio edit for you. Many of our composers would be happy to custom edit their tracks to fit your pieces. Our rates for these custom edits begin at $200. Be sure and get in touch if you find something so close, but just needs a tweak.
It has been a true pleasure to work with so many great companies, creatives and our monks, aka, the composers.
Feel free to browse our site. And for you newbies, here’s a good place to start.
An interview with Soundtrack Composer Geoffrey Wilson
Geoffrey has been a part of 300 Monks for several years now. We did a quick little interview.
How did you get started composing/producing?
I have been a guitarist, pianist and composer since I was a kid and I began making my own recordings at a young age in other people’s studios. I eventually got a degree in composition really emphasizing technology and learned how to produce on my own. Out of school I was a struggling musician but made a living performing, teaching, and doing sound engineering gigs which really helped me hone in my producing chops. I eventually started scoring low budget projects and got signed to some music libraries. That was the beginning of my career.
How do people describe your music?
I write in many, many genre’s but the most consistent descriptions I hear are “cool”, “great”, “stylish”, “spirited” “positive” .
– What do you feel makes your music uniquely your own?
A number of things. I’m trained in many styles including classical, jazz and world music and I draw from many musical traditions. I’m also a very spiritual person and I like to be a conduit and allow the music to write itself. Experiences from being in nature and the human condition in all it’s facets are major influences.
What 3 pieces of your own are you favorite tracks and why?Is there an interesting story creating them?
A Call to Heroes – It’s heavy and it’s a call to the warrior spirit in all of us. I’m a martial artist and a Buddhist and there’s a saying “We learn to destroy so that we may preserve.”
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Jig of Life – I love the guitar part. I wrote this piece for my Mother’s retirement. It reflects life’s changes in a positive way.
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Alien Zygote – I’m a science fiction buff and I love the concept and programmatic aspect of this track.
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Who are your influences?
Prokofiev, Bach, Yes, North Indian classical music, Miles Davis, Michael Hedges, Jeff Beck, Brian Eno and David Byrne, Nature, Silence
What is your composing process?
I hear the color and texture first and then parts emerge.
Have you had any notable placements or custom scores?
I was asked recently to write some cues for a Ron Howard and Brian Grazer produced National Geographic show called “Breakthrough”.
Where would you love your music to be featured/placed?
I would really like my music to be a part of any programming that can influence the world in a positive way.
The bigger the production the better.
Here’s some of Geoffrey’s latest additions to the 300 Monks Music Library.
Julian just added some rocking authentic and certified bonafide heavy rock tracks to the 300 Monks Music library. Here’s a profile.
How did you get started composing/producing?
I have been creating song ideas in my head way before I actually started playing an instrument. I taught myself how to play the guitar at the age of 15 and managed to transfer my ideas to that instrument about a year later. Ever since I’ve been constantly working on ideas – in the studio, in my car, during shopping with the lady, everywhere and everytime…
How do people describe your music?
Too loud, too fast, too heavy for their film productions (laughing).
What do you feel makes your music uniquely your own?
I do what I love, because that’s what I do best. My music sounds very authentic. I know exactly what Hard & Heavy music is about and I don’t try playing styles I have no clue about.
What 3 pieces of your own are you favorite tracks and why? Is there an interesting story creating them?
I like “Roadkill” as it was the first Heavy Metal track I recorded for use in film and television.
It has one hell of a drive. Another one is “One For The Knockout”,
I’ve always had something going with wrestling entrance music.
And, of course, there is “Chaos” which is way too fast, too wild and too crazy – but just the right choice for extreme sports and overturning cars.
Who are your influences?
I have grown up on Hair Metal and guitar virtuosos such as Steve Vai, George Lynch and Yngwie Malmsteen. Although Hard & Heavy is my favorite genre I’m also into artists like Prince, KMFDM and Frank Zappa. Anyone with a great attitude and a good story to tell can be an influence, be it Arnold Schwarzenegger, real estate rock czar Frank McKinney, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister.
What is your composing process?
I start with rough ideas in my head. Then I record – okay, I admit I program – a drum beat and actually jam along on my guitar until the song fully comes together. I drink lots of iced coffe while I play.
Where would you love your music to be featured/placed?
I’ve already had it placed in a few action films with Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Steven Seagal and I think that genre is a perfect fit. A tv series like Sons Of Anarchy would be great as well.
Here’s Julian’s current music tracks at 300 Monks
A Note From the Head Monk: If you like Julian’s music, and want him to make a custom edit or create a custom score, please give us a call and we’ll set that up.
If you are into marketing, you are probably aware of how difficult it is to raise conversion rates. It takes time, it takes testing, and it takes a lot of work. Fortunately enough, there is one thing that you can apply that will help you with your marketing endeavors and that is nothing else but music. Here is why music is one of the most powerful tools that you can use in your video marketing campaigns:
Music Recreates Emotions
If you can reinforce positive emotions and connect them to your product, you will make sales. One of the best ways to do it is through music. I am sure you have watched a trailer of the movie with great music that sticks with you. Music doesn’t have to only relate to trailers but also video campaigns. Remember that what you hear and see together is more powerful than each of them by itself.
Music Drives Loyalty
Music fans are one of the most loyal fans you can come in contact with. They will travel to the other side of the world in order to see their favorite artists. You can capitalize on their passion and fan loyalty to the specific artist by implementing their music for video. Unfortunately, most well-known music by famous signed artists is unusable without a lot of upfront payment and bureaucratic red-tape for licensing. Better to stick with royalty-free music like the tracks at 300 Monks.
Music Is Social
If there is anything about music that makes it powerful is that it is social. It brings people together, it connects them, and it gives them something to talk about. If you complement your video with the right music, you will guarantee great results. It will give people something to talk about. They key here is the right music, which is not that easy to find. But if you find one, there is nothing more powerful.
The Bottom Line
What you hear and what you see will either play as an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to video marketing. If you are creating a video to promote your product or service, make sure that you include music that converts. Make sure that the music that you will use won’t ruin your marketing campaign. Remember that music is a powerful marketing weapon that can either play for you or against you. With 300 Monks Music, all copyrights have been cleared so you are guaranteed a legal way to improve your sales. Whether you are looking for royalty free music, product music, music for power point or even music for trailers, we got it all. We are the best place for stock music that will take your marketing to the next level.
Here’s 10 Random Tracks From Our Library of Royalty Free Music
We compiled a list of some of our favorite staff picks for those upbeat, bright and positive soundtracks that would work well in any marketing effort. So enjoy and download this dozen for your next commercial, powerpoint presentation, or web video or trailer.
Positive music for marketers. Use the force, Luke!
We’ve been enjoying the Olympics in the last few days and really loving the sweeping vistas of Sochi. That got us monks to thinking, well, maybe we should feature some of our favorite recent additions to the library that can really do well for the slow-motion replays or action shots filmed from a GoPro helmet cam. Here’s a dozen tracks that we really like and think will bring emotion to your video.
So with Halloween coming up, we were in a spooky mood. Here’s a few of our favorites from our collection. These should be useful for your horror film moment or even in a Powerpoint that scares the pants off your boss.
You can either Browse for Music by Using The Navigation Menu – Or you can Search For Music (more on this below).
Browsing Through Navigation Menu
If you look up at the new Top Nav Bar (drum roll please), you can see that there’s handy pulldown menus to browse through our music categories:
a) Browse Music By Genre
This is the fancy name music programmers (and the Head Monk) use for style as in like Rock or Hip-Hop or Country etc.
b) Browse Music By Mood
This is like how filmmakers think when they’re setting a scene. Or like when you’re searching for a movie to watch at Netflix or iTunes, things like Action-Adventure or Horror or Romantic Comedy. Some of us monks think it would be cool if you could put Horror music to a Romantic Comedy!
c) Browse Music By Setting
This is describing what type of project you are working on such as a Wedding Video or a Documentary or a Trailer. Did you know that Book Authors are making trailers all the time now? That’s nifty!
Search For Music
There’s actually 2 search engines on this site. One is up to your right on the top of the site. This one is an overall site search. You can type in band names or songs or moods to get these kind of results:
Lady Gaga http://300monks-music.com/?s=gaga
or a famous piece like Ride of the Valkyries. http://300monks-music.com/?s=valkyries
Product Specific Search
The following Search Box is specific to the product catalog. This can be useful in finding the track you previously downloaded and you only have the name of the file.
Download a Preview File
After you find a track or many soundtracks that you like, you can easily download a preview file to try out in your project. This way you can really sense if it’s working and even show it to your client, producer, mother, significant other or even your cat.
Here’s what our tracks look like in the store. See the download link?
After you have finalized your music choice, come back to the site and purchase the license for the use you need. There’s a handy dropdown menu that you can use and it updates the price as you select. If you need a fast way to find your track again, type in the name of the preview file you downloaded. For example: GeoffreyWilson5 or jean_paul_zoghbi30.
We use both PayPal and 2Checkout to process payments. You can choose either one. After checkout you will be returned to the 300 Monks site for a download link. You will also receive a link in your email that is valid for up to 48 hours.
A Note About Errors in the Music Categories
Now we did a lot of work, but still the Head Monk has been hitting some of us poor lads with his stick and yelling “This is in the wrong category!” Yes, we know, very un-mindful of him to be yelling and hitting us with a stick! But it was just a light bamboo one. Anyway, there will be times when music is in the wrong place, and we’d appreciate it if you told us. We may even be able to send you a little gift or reward for doing so. Just don’t bother the Head Monk. Send it to us regular brother monks (and sisters) here: errors (at) 300Monks.com – That’s of course the @ sign. We did that so the spam robots wouldn’t deluge us with junk mail.
Just in time to scare your friends. These fifteen tracks are perfect for the budding filmmaker looking to add some tension, suspense, creepiness so that no one minds that your hand held camera angles are making us dizzy.
1.Slowly building creepiness. [wp_eStore_fancy1 id=240]
2. Some big things are happening in this action packed soundtrack.
3. Useful for so many types of scenes where suspense and tension are needed… robberies, chases, behind enemy lines, zombies rising, bad dates…
4. Need big crash? Search no more.
5. The town is run amok with the dead. (The preview music is low resolution but final download is high quality)
6. Ghostly – yet understated and minimalist. Sounds perfect for the establishing shots of the ghost town or the new strange neighborhood.
7. Evil is lurking here.
8. Modern, cinematic scary suspenseful music from the hinterlands.
9. Perfect for a Tim Burton style animated dark and creepy tale.
10. The suspense builds as you provide the visual clues as to what the climax will be.
11. Sebastien’s creepy soundtrack seems to conjure up a dark mad man in the bowels of some bunker building a bomb. (Now that’s an alliterative title!)
12. This is a bit bombastic and over the top, but definitely lends well to a great climactic chase scene involving zombies, werewolves or just crazed slashers. Makes your indie production sound like Hollywood! Thanks Marinho!
13. Short but quite useful in a creepy ambiguous way.
So let’s talk about another Wes Anderson film you worked on, “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which is a wonderful animated film about a family of foxes, and when – who are endangered both on the dysfunctional family level and on the enemy animals out to get them and enemy humans out to get them level. And at the end of the film, you use a great recording called “Let Her Dance” by The Bobby Fuller Four. It’s from the mid ’60s, and that group was most famous for the iconic song “I Fought the Law and the Law Won.”
How did you decide to use this record at the end of the movie?
POSTER: Well, this is one of those sort of special scenarios. That song that I played for Wes probably 10 years ago, and when we played it, we basically, we were listening to it, he said, you know, let’s put this one away, let’s lock it up in the safe. And so we had it and we’d been carrying it all these years and then finally there was the opportunity at the end of the movie to use Bobby Fuller. So Wes and I, we’re always working, and so – and we’re always sharing music and we find something and we sort of tag it and say, OK, this is something that we know we want to use somewhere, some day, and good fortune smiles upon us and we find what we think is the perfect moment. And so that’s how Bobby Fuller’s “Let Her Dance” ended up in “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
GROSS: So I want to play it. And I’ll just like describe the scene. This is the end of the movie. Mr. Fox, played by George Clooney, in a voice by George Clooney, is in the supermarket and all the rest of the family foxes are there too. And so, you know, Mr. Fox is toasting about how they’ve survived and they’re going to survive, and even all the supermarket food that they have to eat now is fake food…
GROSS: …they can make it work. And then they just all break out into this dance in the supermarket. And, of course, it’s all animated. It’s all beautifully animated. And so here is the song they dance to. This is The Bobby Fuller Four.
In our constant search to improve our offerings, we’ve been reviewing how to make things easier for our clients. One of these ways is to simplify our licensing terms. We’ve done that today by granting an in perpetuity term, in other words, a buyout term on our music licenses. This means you can purchase our license and then use it forever in your project.
Ambience is that special touch of something. It’s a Je ne c’est quoi, the special atmosphere in the room, the space. Ambience is invisible, but you can hear it and feel it. If you think of those special spaces where you felt deeply connected, there’s an aural element, whether it’s the sound of the reflected noise or the wind or colored by a slight music that is just ever so there.
These are some of our favorite tracks out of our many handpicked curated collection of ambientmusic. They pay attention to NOT draw attention to themselves. They make your visuals absolutely fabulous, invisibly.
An Overview of 6 Historic and Indelible Movie Soundtracks.
By Isabella Woods
In a world where CGI and 3D seem to dominate every movie, many modern moviegoers have forgotten just how important film scores are for creating mood, atmosphere and effects. While whiz-bang special effects have their place, often some of the most tense, memorable and emotional scenes in movie history are the result of the right music at the right time. Whether it’s a Hollywood production, a local commercial, or a YouTube video promoted by a viral marketing agency, the right music score can turn a piece of action or drama into something memorable, emotive and engaging.
For some films, while the images and drama have long disappeared from our memories, the score remains, awakening memories of what we’ve seen whenever we hear the film’s music. On some occasions, the music score becomes even memorable than the actors and plot and is Just as integral.
Perhaps the most famous use of music, John Williams’ shark theme was incredibly simple, just alternating E and F notes played on a tuba. The result was not only suspenseful, but in Spielberg’s own words, “without it the film would not have been half as successful.” For most of the film, the score was the only representation of the shark. Special effect problems plagued the set, with the shark’s animatronics not functioning the way Spielberg had hoped. For most of the movie, Williams’ score was the shark, and the tempo of the two alternating notes generated all the suspense and terror that made the film a worldwide hit and launched the careers of both Stephen Spielberg and John Williams.
In Hitchcock’s most notorious thriller, Bernard Herrmann’s famous score also provided terror and suspense. The infamous shower scene, which at the time had audiences fleeing the theatres in horror, is a testament to the power of a good film score. The reason audiences found the scene so disturbing was nothing to do with the visuals – the actual onscreen action only depicts the flash of a blade and Janet Leigh screaming – but Bernard Herrmann’s use of a screeching violin, which generated the true terror of the scene.
Hermann also helped generate the film’s pace and general atmosphere with the main music he composed for the film. A tense arrangement of two melodic lines, the music generates a threat of violence that while not actually present through the first twenty minutes of the film, keeps the audience anticipating it, which maximizes the suspension for when the action eventually does occur.
3. Lawrence of Arabia
Music not only generates tension and emotion but it can also invoke a sense of majesty and location. David Lean’s classic historical drama was one of the most picturesque movies of all time. Maurice Jarre’s magnificent film score, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, accompanied the epic landscapes and stunning cinematography to such an extent you can almost feel the desert heat and shimmering landscapes.
4. The Good the Bad and the Ugly
Another score that befits its setting perfectly is Ennio Morricone’s, who used gunfire, whistles and native Mexican chants to invoke a sense of time and place. Using different instruments to accompany the presence of the three main protagonists, Morricone’s score also helped generate character in Sergio Leone’s classic western, making viewers only too aware of who the good, the bad and the ugly were.
The Nina Rota score in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime drama is another of cinema’s most memorable pieces of music, and one of the most controversial. The operatic feel of the music fitted the movie perfectly. However, some of the score was not originally made for the film. Rota’s Love Theme, now so famous with its haunting violins and distinctly Italian feel, was originally used in a 1958 comedy called Fortunella. The music, however, has now become so synonymous with Godfather it would be hard to imagine the film without it.
6. Star Wars
Using a classical orchestra soundtrack in a science fiction action film was an odd juxtaposition, and yet John Williams’ music is now one of the most famous film scores of all time. While the film’s dialogue and characterization lacked depth, the music provided the much needed emotion, which helped shaped the warmth of the protagonists and the foreboding nature of Darth Vader and the Empire.
Documentary Films have a different process than a fictional narrative. Most of the time, the filmmaker has a story outline they are trying to tell, but as shooting commences, life happens! Unexpected events arise and what was going to be the dramatic climax is eclipsed by something more interesting or unusual.
To use music to score the film, you can hire a composer to start developing a library of musical themes for the story. This is something I’ve done several times and it works quite well. Because of the fluid nature of documentaries, you can provide the only constant to the whole process which is a consistent emotional tone with the music. Documentaries come together in the editing process and by having a library of thought out music to tell this story is extremely helpful.
You can also do this by carefully selecting similar pieces of music in a production music library like 300 Monks. Sometimes you can get great results by using several different pieces by the same composer or even different sections of the same piece. By the way, you can tell if a piece is by the same composer by the visual icon which are assigned to each composer.
You can also wait until a rough edit of the picture is done and then score the piece with a composer or by choosing from our music library.
Ways to Use Music In a Documentary
Create a memorable theme that becomes the audio mnenomic and branding for the film. This is what every television series and commercial tries to do, why not you?
Create musical themes for characters to unite the storytelling
Create musical themes for sections of the story
Background emotional shading – music is pure emotion and can often lead the audience to a heightened feeling that was impossible without it
Foreshadowing of something to come
To unite a montage of pictures, video
Covering up the sound of bad production audio
Masking location audio which you have no rights to, such as the radio is on in the background
Ironic or strange juxtapositions – You can do what Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Cameron Crowe famously do, put music emotionally is the opposite of what we would expect.
Here’s a video that goes over some of the basics of music for a documentary. He forgot to mention that you can license music through a website like ours for affordable and legal clearance.
This is a portion of a panel from the Music In Film Summit 2010. Obviously this case study example, Despicable Me, is out of the budget range of almost all independent filmmakers, but it does give an idea of all the behind the scenes things that are necessary to select and create music for a film.
Unfortunately, we don’t see the shot with and without the music, but listening to the discussion gives a broad overview of how composers and music supervisors approach storytelling aspect. I always think of scoring film as sort of like taking a big gigantic AUDIO HIGHLIGHTER through the script which I use in multiple colors to draw attention and manipulate the emotions of the audience.
This is mostly about the relationship aspect of making a film work with building a good creative team which includes Director, Producer, Composer and Music Supervisor.