We got super lucky with our first library gig, or we were super tactical. I don’t really know.
Back in 2017, we decided we needed a solid album that summed up our composition and sound design style in 10+ tracks. They were created as proof of our abilities as writers and mixing engineers, and we were proud of them! The album at the time was called ‘Push’, centered around high-intensity sports orientated tracks.
More than anything the target at the time was to create work for ourselves, what with Christmas around the corner and companies packing in for the year, and it was effective and most definitely was a useful exercise at the time.
The next phase of our master plan was to use this handy collection to get REAL work, fancy that! We were not the most knowledgable about libraries at this point, but a number of composer friends in Liverpool admitted that some great placements have come for them through this route. Why not give it a shot, we had already shown ourselves we can make tracks quickly and this was no different.
By narrowing down our search, using the MCPS directory as our database, we eventually got ourselves a set of 10 libraries that might like our style.
The first, we sent our new album on Soundcloud (ugh) and just hoped that they might let us make something for them, or just let us know that they admired the work, or just let us know something. At this point we were very used to being ignored. Before even trying our second contact, back comes the first. Must be automated, along the lines of ‘you’ve reached ***** library [insert jargon] we haven’t listened to more than 10 seconds but we deal with real composers not you small time lot’.
But it didn’t go quite like that, in fact it went a way we weren’t at all expecting. ‘Thanks for sending this over. Yes. These are all good, we’ll take them.’
We weren’t looking to sell?
Without even realising, we had adapted our approach from the hopeful opportunity seeker to the product-speaks-for-its-self salesmen. We were businessmen.
Of course we weren’t! We were lucky. BUT. It does show something about approaching libraries. Libraries appear to appreciate the hard work and brief creation being done by someone else. If you have an idea for an album and you know of a library it would match to, make that thing before you start typing any emails. While we have been asked to contribute to specific albums now, I truly believe that we had impressed this company solely by giving them absolutely no legwork. After 2 new mixes, and one song name change, the album was up.
And of course, nothing happened.
Many sources will tell you that you won’t see any activity or money for the first five years of adding to music libraries. That is pretty true most of the time. This beautiful album we worked so hard to make was now sat gathering dust in another person’s cabinet.
From 2017 to 2019 nothing happened. Aside from some usage in art galleries and museums, the catalogue was untouched until maybe March time this year. But then finally, a breakthrough! It only took three years, suck it music library experts!
So maybe there is something to gain from submitting to libraries, maybe there’s nothing. All I know is that, like everything it seems, there’s always luck involved. Our little feature was for the channel advert for BBC Four, played across the BBC and iPlayer for the last 3-4 months. It’s not much, but we weren’t expecting anything, so this is amazing to us!
Stay safe, and stay positive! It’d wild right now, but we can make it through together.