EP15 - How to Produce for Sync

Producing your music to license to TV & film doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some tips if you are doing a stripped down production approach for sync.


  1. If you want more tips and ideas on how to get your music into tv and film:
  2. For my free cheatsheet that shows you how to connect with the right people in licensing:
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So, I recently got a question, "What's the best way to produce your music to get it into shows, movies, and ads?"

So, here's the deal. The production itself honestly doesn't matter, but here's what does matter. The thing that matters most is that you do not want to distract from what's going on on the screen. 

Super, super important that you don't get in the way. It's not your show. It's their show, right? You're there to support that, and the idea is that you want to be able to get into a situation where your song is supporting what's going on on the screen, so that it emotes the greatest emotion, the greatest sort of concept that the director or the showrunners had for whatever media that they're doing.

And that it turns out in a way that the audience feels like they're one thing. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, or whatever comparison you want to make. So that is really the key. 

So, when you're targeting your music, you really want to make sure that that's actually going to happen where your music fits in with what they're doing, the concept.

And again, always thinking about just a beautiful pairing, you know, great wine with great food. 

So, the bottom line when you're in your studio thinking, “How do I produce my song? Does it matter if I have 48 tracks going or compared to maybe two?” (You know, what about a guitar and a vocal, not even recording the guitar and stereo? You might just have one mic on it.) - It really doesn't matter. 

But here are some key things that you need to remember when you're recording something that is stripped down. One of the easiest things to do is you can hide behind production sometimes. I've certainly done it as a music producer. I've done it for 20 plus years, and there are tricks and ways that you can kind of… if I'm remixing someone's song or something, I can pull faders down, I can tune things. I can put things in the back. I can do all kinds of little trickery delays and things to kind of add to something that may be not performing as well.

So, when it comes down to just you and your instrument, what is super critical is you have to get both of those things right. There's no hiding, right? 

Your vocals sitting there and your guitar is there, and if you record them together, you're not going to be be able to easily tune your vocal, for example. So even with tuning aside, the emotion that you have in your voice carries everything that you do. The way that you finger pick your guitar, the way you play your instrument carries the whole spectrum of what you want the listener to feel and to think. So, when you're recording things, especially stripped down, always think about drawing a picture, something that is going to evoke exactly what you're trying to say.

And you're going to do it with nuances. You're going to do it with the way that you hold your vibrato, the breath that you add in, the softness or the loudness in which you sing, the melody and how you climb into the melody. 

All of those things that could get lost in a big mix are forefront. They're things that can hurt you if you don't do them right. But the other side is they're things that are so beautiful when you can nail it.

And again, you don't have to be the best singer. You don't have to be the best player. You just have to know your voice, have confidence in it, and emote that. And that is the thing that's going to attract music supervisors to put your music into their shows, movies, or ads.


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