Music is one of the prime story drivers in video.

Especially for commercials.

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. 

Here’s why…

 

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.

 

Can You Really Nail the Right Creative on “Just A Demo?” 

We’ll be blunt: Nope. 

You can’t. 

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. 

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!

Having to keep this hush-hush during production, we are now thrilled to share our Twilight Zone Super Bowl promo for the upcoming reboot with Jordan Peele, premiering on CBS All Access. With the internet all atwitter immediately after it aired, the video racked up over 1M views in under a day.

Directed by Ric Serena with sound design by Durand Trench, PB’s mysterious score alludes throughout to the iconic Twilight Zone theme, culminating at the end with the original theme as we all know it.

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’s Paul Bessenbacher partnered with LA drummer John Robinson (Daft Punk, Quincy Jones, Micheal Jackson) on this latest spot for Cox Extreme Internet from Doner Detroit.  Cartwheels, backflips, hoverboards, trampolines and banister slides all in one continuous take.