Music in Projects
  • It’s that time of year I get the itch to update my reel. The hardest part is always choosing the right music. I've previously done what most people do, search through my iTunes library and pick out my favorite tracks, then see which one works best. Unfortunately, strictly speaking, this isn’t legit. Copyright is copyright, no matter how small the project.

    I'm just wondering what others feel about the use of copyrighted/unlicensed music in personal works? Personally, I’m going to try and use royalty free or licensed music in my pieces, though I know it will be difficult.

  • I will admit, I am guilty of the same thing, and I share your sentiments. Recently I've been trying to do the same thing, and use more original music. I've been toying with audio programs such as Fruity Loops, Garageband and the like.

    I also think this is something that a lot of up-and-coming designers don't consider as much as they should.
  • My Mograph & my VFX reels (admittedly out of date and in need of a refresh now) both use commercial tracks, but I contacted the artists beforehand and asked their permission. Of course I credited them below the reel, and they seemed fine about it, in fact they seemed very grateful that I had even bothered to ask their permission. Of course, if you have a composer friend who can benefit by getting their music out to the world at the same time as your visuals then all the better, I hope to do this when I get around to updating the reels.
  • My reel doesn't often see the light of day so I haven't bothered to obtain rights etc - but the official work reel at www.themediagroup.tv has a licensed track which we've paid for. I would have a word with the artist/management if you want to include a track you like - the prices are often surprisingly cheap.
  • @Rostenbach said: I will admit, I am guilty of the same thing, and I share your sentiments. Recently I've been trying to do the same thing, and use more original music. I've been toying with audio programs such as Fruity Loops, Garageband and the like.

    I’ve been doing this for motion tests I render out. It’s fun to create a sound-bed from scratch.


    @dazpix said: […] both use commercial tracks, but I contacted the artists beforehand and asked their permission. Of course I credited them below the reel, and they seemed fine about it, in fact they seemed very grateful that I had even bothered to ask their permission.[…]

    I’m considering going this same route, too, since the music I’ve used in the past has always been from non-big-label musicians.


    @dan_hin said: […] the official work reel at www.themediagroup.tv has a licensed track which we've paid for. I would have a word with the artist/management if you want to include a track you like - the prices are often surprisingly cheap.



    I would expect (hope) that any commercial post/design house would use licensed music. But it’s good to know going direct to rightsholder can be affordable sometimes.


  • I usually use stuff from newgrounds audio portal and occasionally some commercial tracks . I'm guilty of using a track or two from the library we got at work . 

    There's a great resource for music I used to check : OCremix .. Which is basically Video game music remixes and some amazing original stuff . They release albums regularly and have a very creative community , usually their music is licensed under creative commons or something like that where you just need to give credit to the composer .

  • I don't think any designer who doesn't work for a huge agency worries about copyright infringement for the music in their demo reels, actually this is the first time I've heard the issue brought up.  I also haven't heard of anyone having to take down music in their reel because of that issue either.

    I'll have to check out that OCremix site, love remixed video game music!
  • @eyedesyn It's less worrying about infringement and more wanting to do right by the artists. After all, that's what we aspire to be, right?
    Obviously it's not going to work for everyone, nor would I ever expect everyone to go out an license music for their personal demo reels. I'm just at a point in my life/career where it's something I want to start doing, and wanted to see what others thought of the practice.
  • It's the honorable practice. Although I've only had to do that twice, both times the artists seemed more than happy to let me use the track. 
  • conigs said: @eyedesyn It's less worrying about infringement and more wanting to do right by the artists. After all, that's what we aspire to be, right?
    Obviously it's not going to work for everyone, nor would I ever expect everyone to go out an license music for their personal demo reels. I'm just at a point in my life/career where it's something I want to start doing, and wanted to see what others thought of the practice.

    Respect , Its something every designer should do at some point .. Its like giving bacK to the people who made you who you are

    @eyedesyn ... OCremix is very pro ... I used to download full albums from there , its just greaty




  • @conigs @Rostenbach Hats off!!
    I agree if able make your own. Granted I used Killer Tracks... err I know I hate too but I shelled out for it. Creatives ultimately need to respect each others creations. Creative Karma ( I just copyrighted that BTW) is what its about. In this digital age where obtaining images and sound is a click at most doesn't mean it's yours. Ok if you don't have the $$, make it fruity loops, cakewalk, etc. It will be better and more personalized. Or hell colaberate with someone who can spin steel wheels. But be creative... Always.

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