A lot of times, I read articles, forums, and watch videos, and one thing a lot of people stress is to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. While I have no argument with that, should you focus more on Quality, or Quantity. I know the better you get, the faster you can compose, get more music out, and your finished instrumentals sound better, with time. But whether you’re a beginner, or seasoned composer, which do you feel is more important…the overall Quality of your portfolio, or the Quantity of music you have in your portfolio?
Great question, and I think it depends on the context. For example, let’s say you focus on quantity. Well the more we do, the better we get, it’s a fact of life…and applies to all areas.
However, I would not want to show my worst tracks in my portfolio. So perhaps you can take the best 10% of your final tracks and put into your public portfolio that is supposed to ‘sell you’ a a composer/artist. Just my thoughts.
i think in your portofolio just put the best track you think it is
and you can keep to produce or to write a lot because it maintains creativity, research of new sound color, new texture, new melody , quantity can be training if i can say that
Yes exactly, and if you are going to pitch to a job or label etc. I would just use 3 tracks which represents me as a composer and has super high quality production.
Good question. I am an amateur doing this for hobby. For me it’s to much quantity at the moment. When I’m in a flow I can create new melodies in a high speed but since I don’t have the proper skills they don’t get mixed and master to a good finish quality. So for now I have slowed down a little and read courses like Mike’s here(it’s how I found this forum) to get the skills to get my projects finished at the right quality. That’s my view from an amateur prospective.
a never-ending discussion – especially in the production music area. I give you my thoughts, as I have read a lot on that topic from super seasoned composers.
When you look at Audio Jungle and co., you most likely will never find “amazing” tracks in terms of “production quality”. I think there are definitely good sounding tracks out there, however, too little of them. What is the reason for that? The reason for that is quite simple. I take Ivan Torrent as an example. When you read interviews, and this “caliber” guy says: “Sometimes I need 4 months to make a track sound perfect…”, you have the answer, why most of the tracks at this kind of sites are not quality orientated. They put 100 tracks out there in a short amount of time. How can these tracks be perfect in any way?
First: 99% of these people don’t know what quality is. Quality is not: “Hey, I know what an EQ is, I heard the term “side-chain” compressor…”. Quality is: “I know, what my music needs to make it sound like another amazing act…”. Quality is as well: “I need time to figure things out…what works and what doesn’t.” These so-called composers don’t figure things out. They put together 4 chords, crank up the limiter and call them “I am a composer…”. Most people out there never had any education in composition at all. Are there talented people out there? Yes. Less than 1% and may be less than 50% of that 1% had good compositional education and make music for more than 10 years. (Education doesn’t mean it guarantees you anything…we all know…but it gives you at least some sort of foundation you can build on!) Hollywood-Quality means: We speak about the most serious people out there, who compose, produce and record music for decades for the top projects out there. So in terms of competing with these calibers, you first need to have the right mindset as these guys have. If you don’t have this mindset, you most likely will never compete with these people in anyways. As I said before, 99% don’t have this mindset.
Second: Who are the people who buy/license the tracks there? I never heard of a Marvel Movie to have licensed a track for their new trailer from Audio Jungle. Somebody?
The people who license these tracks are as professional as the people who are making these tracks. Quantity is always suffering from Quality, as you didn’t find time, or you didn’t want to find the time or you just not experienced enough how much time it takes, in general, to make a track sound as perfect as it potentially could be. That’s the point. It doesn’t mean you need to spend months to make a track sound perfect, but you need to know what your track needs music-wise and production-wise to get to the next level. And when you are there, you are still not there, where most of the Hollywood guys are. The only question is: Do YOU want to be “average” or do YOU want to be “great”!
If you want to be great, you need time. Not even the greatest talent on earth made anything great without spending time to do and practice the craft. As you see I speak in general now.
Last thoughts: People think even today, if they put 1000s of tracks into a library, they will earn all the money, more tracks generate more money/revenue and bla bla…That is true to some extent, however, these tracks will NEVER end up in serious productions, so will never earn thousand of alone. However, tracks like Two Steps from Hell will earn 1000s of on only one sync, these tracks are well produced, they are special, they are kind of recognizable as well AND the greatest bonus of all is, these people who create this kind of tracks will get HUGE opportunities in the long run which will generate them the best deals plus a serious and successful career.
If I want to, I can write 3 tracks a day. After a year I will have 1000+ tracks. Wow. It’s possible. 3 tracks a day. Even if only two. Still a lot in the outcome…But I ensure you that none of these tracks will ever make me happy, proud and professional. Even if one of them will get a placement somewhere which will make 20000$ for example, people will definitely get back to your catalog and will see that you don’t have any quality tracks at all. Do you want your brand is associated with “stay away, poor quality and music…” or “Oh, look! He got some serious tracks which we like and put into our next production for sure!”
Even if you create a pseudo, people will find out and it can close tons of doors for you.
It’s always your decision, which direction to go.
WOW Alexey, those are some really insightful, eye opening points. I appreciate the advice. This is what I need in my learning toolbox. Thanks.
@jlx_music Alexey is pure gold to have as a great member of this community, a knowledge bomb indeed!
Thank you so much for your appreciation! Look, if I see that people who are engaged and super interested in something, I feel like I need to help out, at least try to give something useful back. I personally hate it, if someone who came so far in his career doesn’t help people, doesn’t give any valuable advice or concrete answers back. Seriously, what are these people hiding? There is no formula to be successful or to be rich, or whatever, only because you know more little hidden secrets…what I see and what the most professional guys always say: be yourself, be kind, be professional, be confident and be grateful for everything you get. You don’t need to be the best, to get things rolling. You need to stay focused and willing to learn and adapt. Everything else like talent is second place.
I agree. Sometimes I go to the Music Library Report website, and one thing I notice is that when you go on the forums to discuss things and get advice, some of the more “experienced” composers refuse to help the “newbies.” They’ll respond with comments like “do your own research…I paid my dues…no free advice, etc., etc.” I’ll just read the comments and SMH. It’s not like people are asking for their bank card info and pin number. But there are also people willing to share experience, and advice.
There you go. And this is one of the reasons why the industry is flooded with music that doesn’t fulfill the standards, as people who fulfill the standards stay in their bubble and hold everything they’ve learned for themselves. It’s that simple: If I give you some advice, you can give the advice back to someone else. Any tip here and there makes the industry a little bit better, as the people become better, due to others who help them. These people think that if they will give any advice or tip, they will potentially lose their “job on the next project”, kind of “competition” thinking…I mean seriously. There are so many opportunities and projects you can work on, that this guy will never be able to make them all at once. Simple math. As I said, people will most likely work with you, because you are simple guy to work with, not because you are the wisest dude on planet earth. Lately, I was chatting with some of the best trailer music composers out there, and no one of them said to me: “Dude, this is top-secret! I can’t tell you due to…”. Once again, you can know everything, however, it’s up to you ONLY how you are able to make use of that. I remember the time when everyone was hiding back the “parallel compression” technique…the secret sauce in mixing. I mean, for sure, great technique, however, it’s doesn’t necessarily mix you hits, only because you use it on every single instrument like Andrew Scheps for example.
Some great guys said once:
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
– Napoleon Hill
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
– Booker T. Washington
“Stand up for someone who is in need so that it will build confidence in you to stand up for yourself at times when required…”
– Adil Adam Memon
“When you help someone, you also help yourself. Instead of worrying about how much you get in return, you are better off helping as many people as you can.”
– Tapan Ghosh
“You can raise your potential, when you help someone to reach their potential.”
– Amit Ray
“Success comes in direct proportion to the number of people you help.”
– Will Craig
“A truly successful person is not one who achieves his highest ambitions, but one who enjoys helping others reach theirs.”
– Charbel Tadros
“If you are truly concerned about helping people and creating value for them in your business and life. God will take care of you, and the universe will reward you.”
– Bernard Kelvin Clive
Beside that, i think sharing the knowledge is the best way to learn and retain knowledge for ourself!