With only minutes to get the right message across, the soundtrack has a lot of heavy lifting to do.
And its job is never the same.
Sometimes the music is front and center – driving the creative.
One perfect lyric could be the tagline for a client’s entire campaign.
Sometimes its job is more subtle — but just as vital.
Like music layered quietly under a voiceover to create the perfect vibe for an entire piece.
Whichever its task, it always drives a narrative.
It always tells some story.
And it always evokes emotion.
When you hire professional musicians to create a custom soundtrack, you’re inviting them to help tell your story.
It’s a big responsibility. And it’s an honor to be trusted with the job.
It’s also smart of you. Because musicians are great storytellers.
Why We Want to See Your Face: The Benefits of Doing A Music Search Together
For us to help you, first we need to understand your story. And we need to understand the way you want to tell it.
How do we do that?
We’ve found that hands down, there is one way that works best.
It’s the fastest, most efficient, and most rewarding way to collaborate on a composition with a client.
What is it?
The simple act of listening together, In Real Time (IRT).
It’s not always possible to meet IRL (In Real Life). But we do have the technology to meet face-to-face — no matter what.
And that’s one of our biggest secrets for success.
Clear and Honest Communication Wins Every time
It may sound quaint, but there really is no substitute for one-on-one communication.
A little human contact goes a long, long way…
Ever regret having an important conversation via text?
You can’t read tone. You can’t see facial expressions. You waste time going back and forth trying to clarify what you mean. Usually, at least one person ends up frustrated, dissatisfied, and unheard.
That’s what doing a music search without “IRT” is like.
There’s no reason it has to be that way.
We can say that with complete confidence, because —like much of the world — we’ve become recent Zoom pros. We’ve found time and time again that you can collaborate faster “in person” — even online.
That’s because communication flows more easily when you and your music team do a music search together.
You can fine-tune that perfect message… that ultimate tagline… that certain vibe… until it’s tweaked *just* right.
There’s a flow of creative energy that ebbs and builds when you work In Real Time.
Opus Orange has just released their incredible new single, Breaking Mirrors. Mixed by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, Sufjan Stevens, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Neko Case and more) and Masterd by Doug Van Sloun (Focus Mastering), Breaking Mirrors is a true indie-rock anthem. Directed by Bernard Chadwick (Loud Forest), the video puts the usually camera-shy frontman, PB, front and center. In Bernard’s own words, the video is “a poetic montage of what it feels like to try to break free from a certain kind of anxiety.” Watch the video below and make sure to like, comment, and share across all social media platforms.
Katie Hampton: Vocals
James Neil: Drums
Alex Strahle: Electric Guitar
Carlen Walth: Bass
Tucker Martine: Mixing Engineer
Doug Van Sloun: Mastering Engineer
Tanner Teale: Artwork
Can You Really Nail the Right Creative on “Just A Demo?”
We’ll be blunt: Nope.
Not with the “traditional” way most people work anyway.
First off, it’s never “just a demo.”
Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Unless of course you like to waste time, throw money out the window, and dwell in a frustrating swamp of miscommunication.
But are there some concrete ways to squeeze the most juice out of the initial discovery session for a new project?
We’re so glad you asked.
Because we’ve fine-tuned super successful strategic hacks that save our clients time, money, and frustration.
Through careful planning, and a meticulously crafted vision…
Oh, who are we kidding.
Through trial and error, a whole lot of wasted time, and a bunch of expensive mistakes― we finally figured out what works.
Since PB needs a break from belting misquoted 80s lyrics in the bathroom and Schultz is waiting on his espresso delivery, we figured we’d take a minute to share a few insights.
Hopefully this sneak peek into our process helps you the next time you’re ready to collaborate on a custom composition for your next project.
We hope these tips help you in the quest for conceiving the perfect creative. We think they can make music-making more productive, more economical, and less frustrating.
They certainly did for us and our clients.
How one tweak changed everything
Once we made this one, small change in how we approached a project, everything else kinda fell in line.
In hindsight, it should have been more obvious.
But since we constantly see so many others still making the same mis-step, we figured it was time to speak up and share some insight.
Hack #1: Shift the Communication Model
Maybe you’ve already heard this famous quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Kinda sums up round after round (after round… after round… after round…) of passing digital files back and forth with a new client.
Being able to translate words and musical descriptions into someone’s actual creative vision is mostly an art. But what if you could turn it into a science?
You can. In fact, that’s exactly what we did.
We created a process so simple, it’s almost silly.
Look, it’s unavoidable that creating the right custom soundtrack for someone else starts out by playing some twisted musical version of Marco Polo.
But if we only took stabs in the dark, we’d create a lot of unnecessary grief for the whole team. And likely a lot of frustration for our clients.
That’s why we threw “industry norms” out the window and started following our gut instincts.
How? We skip the back and forth demo bullshit and work together with our clients from the start.
Because as you’ve probably experienced yourself, *trying* to interpret what another human means can take a lot of time-consuming trial and error.
Why not start making music in real time, and give instant feedback ―before your hired gun runs miles and miles down the wrong road?
We’ll go a little deeper into our process in our next blog, so keep your eyes peeled for more specific tips on how to start benefiting from this tweak yourself.
Honestly, we’re kinda surprised someone else didn’t think of this before us. It’s a game changer.
Hack #2: Trust Your Composer’s Genius – It’s What You’re Paying Them For
If you wanted some generic, pre-packaged, boring filler, you wouldn’t have hired a pro in the first place.
After all, with today’s technology it’s not like you don’t have a hundred other options.
(It goes without saying your go-to team needs to check their egos at the door before they even think about walking into the studio. After all, they’re not creating their own personal opus. Their #1 job is to bring your vision to life. This should be a given.)
But remember, you did reach out to a bona-fide artist for a reason.
Never underestimate their unique ability to help get you where you dream to be. They have a trained ear and particular skill set lost on non-musicians.
Look for someone who owns that. Humbly.
Hack #3: Don’t Sweat Having the “Perfect” Musical Lexicon.
It’s impossible, so don’t spend too much time stressing over it.
When it comes to describing music, there really isn’t one right or wrong way to do it.
One person’s “brighter guitars” is another person’s “can you make this more pop-y?”
Very few folks share any common definitions when it comes to talking about their musical vision.
We guarantee your composer has heard the same words you think are vivid, specific, and clear to describe pretty much the opposite of what you actually want.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to stress over finding the perfect descriptive adjective.
Remember, our unique gift as musicians is that we’re blessed with the ability to hear things differently than other people.
It’s how we bring your artistic vision to life. We have the power to read through the musical lines and dig out that sonic gold you’ve been trying to mine.
Once we get to know your particular vocabulary, we’ll have a shortcut to getting you the sound you want – faster and more accurately.
But we never make the fatal mistake that any musical lexicon is universal. To get the right track, we figure out our client’s unique dictionary every time.
Want More Words of Wisdom from Emoto Music?
We hope those three tips help you birth creative visions faster, easier, and cheaper.
Want more insight on how to get the best custom commercial music made? Have a mistaken 80s song lyric you need corrected? Need tips on brewing the perfect espresso?
Make sure you’re on our mailing list. We’re gonna be coming at you with more hard-learned tips, unsolicited advice, and commercial music-making gold.
If you’ve been watching the new PeopleTV show, then you’ve heard some Emoto magic! PB worked with Warner Chapell Music on the new intro theme for PeopleTV. It’s funky, it’s fun and it’s just *perfect* for the show. Make sure to catch it streaming for free, weeknights at 7:00 PM ET.
Here’s something cool from 2020 we at Emoto can reflect back fondly on – Emoto Alumn (both intern; then staff composer), Ryan Elder, keeps taking the torch higher and higher. We’ve always known his work on Rick and Morty was award-winningly stellar, and in 2020 the show garnered more accolades with it’s 2nd Emmy win for Outstanding Animated Program. We’re just waiting to see what more the Academy has in store for Ryan in the years to come. Congratulations Ryan!
Columbia Sportswear new “Warm Smarter” campaign was a tight collaboration between Emoto Music, 740 Sound and San Francisco-based, 215 McCANN. Produced in real-time on a Zoom final recording session, these spots feature various curious critters crashing on your favorite campsites.
Clif Bar & Company and Emoto Music have partnered again to create Clif’s new “Sustained Energy” campaign, featuring tennis phenom Venus Williams and USWNT legend, Megan Rapinoe. Written by Stuart Rau and arranged by Paul Bessenbacher, the music puts viewers right in the middle of the action. These spots are sure to get you out of your seat!
Emoto Music teamed up with Merkley + Partners advertising agency to develop “Fortune Teller,” as part of Mercedes-Benz USA’s 2020 ad campaign. Co-written by Alex Kovacs and Paul Bessenbacher, with sound design by 740 Sound, Emoto’s contribution fully captures the mystery of the car buying experience. Check out the spot below!
When we’re not closing down Sunday brunch’s, mixologizing (made up) variations on the Vieux Carre or baking sourdough bread from hundred-year old starter, you’ll likely find us at any of the local farmer’s markets. Local, in season and keeping small farmers afloat is one of our many passions. So imagine how thrilled we were to have the opportunity to work with Serena Creative on a package of public service announcements for Food Forward – “fighting hunger and preventing food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need and inspiring others to do the same”.
Check out the :60 spot directed by Ric Serena, music by PB, mixed by Durand Trench, location sound by Stan Gonzales!
Artist Robert Townsend, subject of the latest documentary from director Ric Serena, was featured in the March 30 issue of LA Weekly. The three-page article highlights the recent success of the documentary on the film festival circuit and details Townsend’s background and career.
“The unveiling of serendipitous events surrounding the project, coupled with the film’s original score (composed by Paul Bessenbacher of Opus Orange and Matt Bowen)… touches on inspiration, connection and the journey of our belongings after we’re gone.”
The documentary, which features an original soundtrack composed by Emoto Music’s Paul Bessenbacher and Matt Bowen, has already won the Audience Award for Best Short Documentary at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and will be showing at several other film festivals this year, including:
Beverly Hills Film Festival: April 6, 7:15PM
NYC Independent Film Festival: Producer’s Club Theater S, May 10, 4:45PM
American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs
Florida Film Festival
Read the full article, starting on page 15, here at LA Weekly or check out the trailer to the documentary below.
Emoto Music worked with TBD Advertising in San Francisco to develop an emotive and building score for the TV spot supporting the new Nokia Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch.
Take a look at the spot below.
Executive Music Producer: Paul Schultz Music Creative Director: Paul Bessenbacher Composer: Kari Steinert Agency Producer: Ben Latimer Creative Director: Rafael Rizuto Art Director: Roz Romney Copywriter: Mark Krajan
Emoto Music’s featured artist, Loud Forest recently enjoyed their first airplay on the World Famous KROQ for their song “True Love/True Love” during Rodney On The Roq, hosted by the legendary KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer! Listen to Loud Forest’s “True Love/True Love” below and check out the full playlist from the July 25 show here!
But that’s not all from our favorite rockers, their self-titled and self-released debut album “Loud Forest” recently charted at number 6 last week on FMQB’s Submodern Album chart! See the full chart from the week of August 3 below.
Emoto Music featured artist, Opus Orange‘s song “Queit, It’s Naptime” was used in the short video “Year of the Goat (1991) directed by Chad Rea for New Belgium Brewery Company! This is the second video collaboration between Opus Orange and Chad Rea, the other being the official music video for “Anatomic.”
Emoto Music featured artist, Opus Orange, recently recorded an acoustic EP, Lost Canyon Recordings, on an iPhone while in Sequoia National Park! The EP features three tracks from their album Anatomic and is available exclusively on Curensea.
Check out a preview of the album below with the track “Radio Silence.”
Emoto Music’s featured artist, Loud Forest, recorded a 360 music video for their song “Loneliness Is Making Us Wild” at their album release party in May 2016! For the optimal 360 viewing experience, check it out on your smart phone!
Emoto Music is excited to share a collection of photos of the LIA 2015 edition of “The Book.” We are honored to have our Silver Award for Original Music Underscore for the GE “Ideas” commercial documented along with all the other award-winning work from LIA 2015.
For this project, we teamed up with BBDO NY Creative Director Greg Hahn, SVP Director of Music & Radio Production Rani Vaz, and Executive Producer Diane Hill to create this sentimental spot for General Electric focused on the evolution of ideas.
The arrangement, composed by Steve Hampton, features a full orchestra led by Mark Robertson of Allegro Entertainment.
Check out some tracks from Emoto’s Composers & Featured Artists that are currently available for licensing!
Emoto featured artist Opus Orange has released “Stars Collide”, an original song composed for Adobe MAX 2015. The song is now available to stream & download for free on Soundcloud – click the image or song title above to hear it now!
Emoto is thrilled to announce that GE “Ideas” has made the shortlist in the 2015 London International Awards for Original Music Underscore! The arrangement, composed by Steve Hampton, features a full orchestra led by Mark Robertson of Allegro Entertainment.
We teamed up with BBDO NY Creative Director Greg Hahn, SVP Director of Music & Radio Production Rani Vaz, and Executive Producer Diane Hill to create this sentimental spot for General Electric focused on the evolution of ideas.
View the complete shortlist here! Winners will be announced November 10th – we’ll keep our fingers crossed until then.