Trailer Music Labels (Music Libraries for Licensing)

Hello Composers, Mike here! :smiley:
I am, like many of you composers in here, interested in getting into the Trailer Music niche as a composer. Why? The money is amazing if you can get placements. :stuck_out_tongue:

I did some research to find what Trailer Music Labels and Music Libraries are out there, and came up with this list. But I would love to get more tips on music libraries specialising in trailer music from you.

I would also love to hear from all of you who have experience working with trailer music labels, even if you have’t got any placements or even got your music accepted to an album release yet. =)

List of Trailer Music Libraries (Labels/Publishers)

Again, please share more Trailer Music Labels that you know, and any experience you have working with them! :slight_smile:

Sincerely,
Mikael “Mike” Baggström
Founder of professionalcomposers.com

So the big ones that are top of the industry are 2WE, Siix music and sound, Audiomachine and Giant Apes.

The ones who don’t take on composers are Giant apes and 2WE. You have to reach a certain standard to get on the books with those guys, and even then they contact you, not the other way around. This is because nearly every track they publish is actually synced :crazy_face: madness I know. You’ll find composers such as Mark Petrie and Alex Moukala on those books. Alex does YouTube tutorials, definitely worth a watch! Also Mark is a lovely guy and recently had 6 tracks synced in a month and 2 didn’t even have any amendments. That’s unheard of and basically shows the standard we’re talking about here. Plus, he wrote this track and then just for giggles, booked an orchestra to perform it —> https://youtu.be/i7nHc1wIWhY

So I’m basically working with Siix, they take on composers but they have a ladder system. You work up the ladder through stringent amendments. This usually takes around 3 years to get a placement. Plus I warn anyone getting into this that any feedback you get is extremely harsh. Especially off Siix as they’re a new company with even higher standards than most at the top of the industry… they are currently top of the industry and have only been going three years.

I would approach a company such as Gargantuan first, they take on trailer music that around average… get a name for yourself and at the same time do amendments for one of the bigger trailer libraries. Remember that just because gargantuan don’t give much feedback doesn’t mean your up to the standard… you’ll need to be working towards a placement with the big guys too. :slight_smile:

Few tips to get peeps started.

  1. Trailer music is episodic. At its most basic form it’s intro, rising section, climax. Though you’ll hear mid sections either between intro and rising or rising and climax, stings at the end and boom hit bramms to finish.

  2. After your arrangement is well established your elements need to be good. Don’t base your ideas off youtube material… epic youtube isn’t the same. Either learn from the piece I shared above or the aquaman trailer piece linked here —-> Sidewinder Ghosthack

That’s possibly my favourite trailer piece.

  1. Don’t include melodies. Think of your trailer as a backing track… only rhythmic ostinato.

  2. You’ll hear trailer guys say your realism is off… their version of realism is different to ours. Your dynamic range needs to be smaller with subtle variation in your mid, vib and expression… that’s what they actually mean.

  3. Lastly, your piece should feel extremely dense by the end… this isn’t down to processing so don’t go compressing the crud out of stuff to get the sound, they’ll just reject your piece. It’s just the sheer amount of layered instruments that are systematically picked to fill the gaps in the frequency graph. There’s lots of EQ carving that goes on to make these 100+ instruments sit well. Above all though your drums should still be the loudest… so if they’re being overshadowed then you still need to carve more out.

Top tip - you’ll have this but your strings EQ should be cut with a high pass at around 150hz and ducked 2/4db around 600/700hz
Just so you can hear everything else.

Hope all this helps. Went a bit OTT :crazy_face:

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Just a slight correction here that 2WEI are not a publisher, they are composers. Most of their trailer work goes through Position Music.

I’d dispute that Siix are the ‘top of the industry’ there are many other labels and pubs that could claim the same thing, some that have already been mentioned and others that work more behind the scenes but still pull in huge placements.

I’d also say to aspiring trailer writers that a big publisher doesn’t always equal placements for you and that the more composers they have the less time time they will have to develop each of them as a writer.

My three biggest tips for anyone looking to get into trailers would be one, you need to be patient, from contacting a library to getting placements and then being paid can take 1-2 years.

Two, only go into it if you love the style, otherwise you will burn out very quickly.

Finally, take the time to find the right publisher for you, your working relationship with them will be key, look at how much they are willing to invest in you and don’t just give away all your music to the first one that says yes.

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Yes they are composers and your right the do go through another library dis. I agree there, and yes any one of these could argue that they’re top of the industry. From what I’ve observed this is what I believe and it’s totally subjective. Just like most of the industry! :smiley:

100% agree with you on only go into it if you love it. It’s a huge commitment otherwise!

I’d hasten to add that yes you have too find the right publisher, but I’d pick a popular style too that you know gets regular syncs first… then pick the best publishers afterwards… though tbh I’d get my foot in the door with a slightly weaker publisher first, that’s just personal opinion though as at least your making progress that’s visible with your music. Plus you’ll hopefully make money from some unexpected syncs as tryout progressing. This is turning into a really interesting thread!

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