Saturday, December 3, 2022

How Do You Own Your Masters In Music

You Make It Sound Boxy

How to own your Masters and own your Publishing in the music business.

Compression is important, but EQ is an essential component of any mixing or mastering chain.

The EQ used in mastering is different from the EQ youll apply during your mix. When you add processing to your entire signal chain, it affects every single element of your mix.

Using EQ in broad strokes like this is hard to get right. Go too far in one direction and you can completely throw off the balance of the mix.

Pro mastering engineers use some of the most expensive gear out there to evaluate the frequencies of entire mixes.

Im talking about speakers that cost as much as a new car and listening rooms tuned to acoustic perfection by expert acousticians.

This is how theyre able to get the incredible extension in the highs and lows that you hear in the most well-produced tracks.

When you add processing to your entire signal chain, it affects every single element of your mix.

You can try to use your EQ plugins to do the same thing, but achieving it without making the mix sound shrill or boomy is extremely difficult.

On top of that, changing the EQ like this will affect the other processing in your mastering chain in ways you might not be able to predict.

For example, even a gentle boost in the low end can change the way your gain reduction reacts and throw off your headroom at the master bus.

With all this working against you, a master that you do yourself is much more likely to be boxy and midrange-focused with harsh upper mids and highs that dont extend.

Music Copyright Designates The Ownership Of A Particular Song Or Recording

If you create a recording yourself, or if you pay for studio time and session fees, you own that sound recording. If you work with a label, theres a good chance the label controls the copyright to the recording at least for some set duration.

If you wrote a song by yourself, you alone own that composition. If you wrote a song with one or more people, you each own a portion of that song. You and your collaborators would then want to draft a document determining the splits , and register your copyright accordingly.

Why Own Your Masters

If you own your masters, this means you have the legal right to make money out of your recordings through collecting royalties and sync licensing your recorded music to film, TV, adverts etc.

Any public use of the recording, be it a CD or vinyl sale, a Spotify stream, film sync all of these involve the recording being licensed by the holder of the master. Not holding the masters means you forfeit control over where the recordings are used, and also not being able to reap the full amount of royalties from use of the masters.

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Whats The Difference Between Clipping And Limiting

Simply put, soft clipping chops off the peaks, while limiting squashes the peaks.

Clipping adds harmonics and subtle distortion to the peaks, making them sound more aggressive . Clipping doesnt affect the rest of the sound, only the peaks are clipped.

Limiters react to the peaks by squashing down the overall level of the track whenever a peak crosses the threshold. The good ones do this so well that you can hardly notice it , but its still affecting everything.

In most cases, limiting is the better option. However, if youre mastering an energetic, upbeat style of music, and you want the absolute most volume possible, soft clipping can help to do that without losing as much percussive attack as you would using only a limiter.

What Is A Master Recording

Mix &  Master your Song Professional for $35

Before we get into the importance of owning your masters, we must first define master recordings. A master recording is the final recording of your song. Pretty much, the finished, beautifully produced, fully polished, mixed, and mastered song. The version that you end up putting on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Sound Cloud, and other streaming platforms.

Now the origination of this term. Or why it is named that is because back in the day was the MASTER version of the song in which all of the cassette tapes, vinyl records, or CDs were made from.

For example, if they wanted to clone you because youre so awesome, you would be the master version that they made all of your clones from. Get me?

Before we go on and I explain a ton more that might actually blow your mind about the importance of owning your masters

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What Is The Master Recording

In the music business, a master recording is the official original recording of a song, sound or performance. Also referred to as masters, it is the source from which all the later copies are made.

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Master recordings can be distinguished as tapes, discs, pro tools session files and digital formats such as MP3s. Owning the master recording is smart business it is an important aspect of a deal you cant afford to ignore if you want to hit it big in the music business.

That is not to say that without owning the masters, you do not get a healthy income, just not the lions share.

Prince: If you dont own your masters, the master owns you.

Create A New Project And Import Your References

Open up a new project and import your mix into it. Then import your references on a track beneath it.

Im going to take this opportunity to get on my soapbox and preach for a second. Reference tracks are one of the biggest secrets to a successful mix and a successful master.

You need something to compare to while youre doing your work. Otherwise you might be making mix moves that sound great in a vacuum, but fall apart when compared to other mixes in the real world.

Having professionally mixed music to listen to every so often while you work will keep you focused and making the best decisions for the song.

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Does It Mean To Own Your Masters

recording is an official recording of a song or sound. It is also known as masters and it is the source of all subsequent copies.

There are many things that can confuse because artists may not write their songs, but they perform the song using their voice and music style.

The producer or composer who make a creative beat, and the songwriter who wrote the lyrics may owns the rights to the entire song. However, the rights to the recording would be owned by the artist who recorded their vocals onto the song.

The copyright to the composition or beat will usually be owned by the composer, along with any contributors. Copyright would be held by performers for recordings of the composition.

This is what Im trying to convey. Most rappers dont really care about such things because they want to make great music, not care about the business side.

To be truthful, I wasnt interested in this stuff for a long timeuntil I began writing songs for major artists. I was writing songs with platinum producers and songwriters who have written songs for stars.

Next, I needed to understand my rights in those rooms as well as what I should get when I added my skills so I didnt get screwed or walk on.

You know ? I dont like being walked on.

Who Usually Owns Masters

What Does ‘Owning Your Masters’ Mean In Music?

Here’s where things get kind of complicated. The traditional music industry often structures deals so that the label, not the artist, owns the masters of all songs created during that record deal. In exchange for signing over the master rights to their recordings, artists are often given an advance and a royalty percentage from all profits made off the music. The royalties only begin coming to the artist after they’ve earned back their advances . In her Tumblr post, Swift pointed out how the ownership deal put her in a no-win scenario: the only way the label would let her buy back her masters was if she signed a new contract promising to create new albums that would “replace” the old ones â selling the masters for new music in exchange for the old ones back.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.”

Image Source: Getty / Kevin Winter

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What Kinds Of Sync Placements Has Cd Baby Secured

Weve gotten music onto shows on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, all the big TV networks, studio films, ad campaigns for major brands such as Amazon, and much more. Its a really long list, but here are some of the recent sync licensing placements weve secured for independent artists like you.

Want us to place your music in TV, film, ads, and more?

How To Own Your Master Recordings

Gauta Lenake Email

Just a few weeks ago I was surfing the net until I came across a DJ Maphorisa tweet about masters. Of course, I knew what he was referring to. So I decided to read the timeslive article to gain more clarity on how this topic came up.

Maphorisa had claimed that hisIndustry colleagues, Prince Kaybeeand Lady Zamar did not own their master recordings. Most people ontwitter didnt really understand what he was talking about in the first placebut it trended for over a week.

If you are not in the music industry and someone starts throwing around jargon such as master recordings chances are you wont know what that person is referring to.

In this article, I will explain what the term masters mean in a musical context and how you can own your master recordings.

So without further ado, lets dive in.

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Dont Music Supervisors Want To Break New Songs And Artists

While many music supervisors pride themselves on having great taste and setting trends, ultimately their job is about choosing the RIGHT song, not the newest song.

That means your WHOLE catalog should be available for sync licensing.

Unlike other aspects of the music business, sync licensing success is not based on age or freshness. In fact, the age of your catalog might be the very thing that wins a placement. For instance, CD Baby was able to license a ton of music to CBS Aquarius because we had an artists period-appropriate music that was actually recorded in the 1960s.

Your Music Should Be Unique Not Syncable

Should You Mix Your Own Music?

Brett Byrd of CD Babys Sync Licensing Team shared some advice that might sound contrary to a lot of conventional sync wisdom: Be yourself.

Hes noticing that as the usage of independent music increases, and as modern film and TV viewers get exposed to a more diverse range of genres, songs no longer need to be universal or vague in order to get placed.

Granted, you can still get a lot of mileage out of a great song with a universal theme and lyrics that are both evocative and non-specific. Everyone can relate to heartbreak, winning, worry, and fun.

But quirky songs, story songs, location songs theyre all in play these days. As Brett says, Dont change your music to be more syncable the strange element you remove from the music in order to play it safe couldve been the very thing that a supervisor loved you for.

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How To Master Your Music In 7 Simple Steps

If you want your songs to sound their best and to compete with the commercial productions out there, mastering is absolutely essential. The fact is, learning how to master your music properly will dramatically impact every song you put out there.

Im sure youve had the experience of comparing one of your tracks to a big commercial song and being shocked at how weak, thin, and soft, your song sounded in comparison Ive been there!

Learning how to master your music properly will dramatically impact every song you put out there

When I was trying to learn this stuff it was so frustrating because no one could tell me how to actually master a track. I found plenty of opinions, advice, and technical jargon-filled books, but no simple step by step guide to mastering a song from start to finish.

Long story short, after years of trial and error trying to figure out how the pros do it, I eventually distilled everything Id learnt into this simple system that finally got me the commercial-quality results I was looking for. I call this my 7 step mastering formula.

In the video above and the page below, I show you how to master your songs using this exact same 7 step system. It doesnt matter what style of music youre doing, or what plugins you may have or not have, the steps are universal.

Im going to show you how to master your music to sound just as full, fat, and loud as the commercial records that you love.

Contents – How to Master a Song



Why Is It Important To Own My Masters

As an artist, owning your masters gives you the legal rights to freely appropriate and maximize your money-making opportunities. With a master recording, you can license the recording to third parties, like TV shows, films, commercials or even for sampling use by other artists. If your master belongs to someone else, like the record label, the music producer or sound engineer, then they have the right to license out the recording .

“A lot of artists, especially in the early days of their career, dont realise that signing away your masters means selling the rights to their own work – sometimes for all future, says Diego Farias, CEO and co-founder of Amuse. That doesnt always feel like a priority if you havent had your breakthrough yet, but even Taylor Swift and Kanye were beginners at one point in their careers. For Taylor, not owning some of her masters meant losing power over where and how that music was used, as well as kept her from performing songs live.”

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Have What It Takes We Teach It All

We teach you everything it takes to overcome the mastering process so you can get Grammy-Winning quality in your music.

Loudness War
Getting Organized
Tuning your ears
Unpacking your mind
Setting Up your DAW
Tuning your Room
File Preparation
Gain staging
Become a Wizard
Finalizing your Master
Building a Business

How To Master Music

How to Master Your Music in 5 Simple Steps

So now that you know what audio mastering is , lets learn how to do it!

The most important thing to realize is this:

The secret to a successful master is preparation.

I use the Sharpen the Axe approach to mastering

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln

The first 8 of these 14 steps are ALL preparation! Without it, youll be mastering blind.

So without further ado, heres the 14 Steps to Master Your Mix:

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Optimize Your Listening Space

Mastering is a subtle art. Extremely small moves can change how your entire mix sounds.

Because of this, you want to make sure your listening space is as accurate as possible.

Lets think of it this way. If you were to master your song PERFECTLY with perfect balance, loudness, and excitement but your room is poorly tuned, it doesnt matter!

Your song might sound amazing in your space, but it will fall apart everywhere else.

If, for instance, your room has extra bass build up, then your low end will seem louder than it actually is. So if you get your low end to balance perfectly in your room, whats it going to sound like everywhere else?

Thin. Lifeless.

Obviously, you dont want that.

Now, theres a few things you can do to fix this. First of all, you can properly treat your mixing room with acoustic panels. I cover how to do this in my ultimate guide to setting up a home studio.

If you dont want to spend the time or money to treat your room, you can also just take the room out of the equation by using headphones.

I recommend the Sennheiser HD600s. Its also worth using a headphone compensation software like Sonarworks Reference and Waves NX. These help to balance your headphones and make it sound like you are in a real room, and less like you are in a vacuum.

Who Am I To Talk About Master Recordings

Im Rob Level a music artist who started from the dirt just like you and this is Smart Rapper the number 1 place upcoming music artists to get smarter and turn it from a hobby to a career. I release videos almost every day on here so hit that subscribe button and click that bell or the least click that like button for me really quick, I appreciate you. In return, Im gonna help you get Smarter, Right after the intro.

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Ways To Get A Sync Placement

There are a handful of ways youre likely to get your music placed for sync:

  • Your music is matched to a stated sync need

In this case, a music supervisor would submit a creative brief to CD Baby describing the kind of song theyre looking for. We search our catalog and send the supervisor a few good options for them to consider.

  • A supervisor searches our sync catalog directly

Many supervisors access CD Babys sync catalog directly to locate the perfect song themselves.

  • A supervisor already knows the music they want to sync

Supervisors sometimes stumble across the right song while listening on Spotify or YouTube. If that track is in CD Babys sync licensing program, they come to us to negotiate the terms of usage.

  • You pitch your own music for sync

If you control your rights, theres nothing stopping you from making your own sync connections and pitching music you think is a good fit. If you get interest in a potential sync placement, CD Baby may be able to negotiate a higher fee for the use.

  • You compose custom music for sync

If youre proficient as a composer, instrumentalist, and recording engineer, you might be able to bang out good music thats made specifically with a sync placement in mind, finding opportunities on services like Taxi or ThatPitch.

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