Resources

Here is a list of things we use as composers, ranging from hardware and software, to books and web hosting. This list is updated every few weeks when we have read a book or used a service we feel is useful as a composer. If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments!

Books

If you want more in depth information on these books, we’ve given some short reviews of each on my Essential Reading for Composers page.

Also, check out an eBook called “The Business of Music Licensing – Generating Revenue Through Your Music which is a 72 page eBook on the music licensing industry.

Scoring

Mixing

Orchestration

Composition

Business

 

Software

  • Evernote – the best note taking software out there. Its cross platform, so you can take notes on your iPhone/Android phone when you’re out and about, and its synced up when you hop back onto your PC at home.
  • Helium Audio Converter – I was using a couple of audio converters that range in price from $2.99 to $24.99 and this one outdoes all of them…and for free! Handy for converting .wav to .mp3 when you’re in a rush (rather than opening up your DAW and exporting it manually as .mp3).
  • Teracopy – best description of this from their website: “TeraCopy is designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed“. Useful for new windows installations when you have to transfer lots of files from one hard drive to another, or from DVDs to a hard drive.
  • MP3Tag – Free and easy to use metadata tagging software for mp3s. Useful if you don’t want to use iTunes!
  • Dropbox – Online storage thats super easy to set up and also cross platform, so you can have it on your PC/Mac aswell as your iPhone/Android. Handy for backing up DAW source files (on the basic account you get 2GB free and another 500MB per person you refer)
  • Flux – “During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.” Its free and helpful for those of us who are night owls!
  • Filezilla – Free FTP program for uploading files to servers – handy for uploading to music libraries especially.
  • Rocketdock – Basically gives you a simple task bar like on a Mac with editable icons to drop into it. Saves you time on a PC by having all your most used icons in it, and not cluttering up your desktop.
  • Truecrypt – Free disk encryption software. Keep your spreadsheets/files etc. safe by using this – also works on USB keys!

Services

  • Soundcloud – Pretty much one of the most used online audio players out there right now with a big community. Many composer use soundcloud to send tracks to music supervisors, as well as embed the player on their website.
  • Music Library Report - If you’re interested in selling your music online through music libraries, MLR is a hugely valuable resource. Its a directory of hundreds of music libraries that are out there, with comments and ratings from composers who sell through them.
  • Session ExchangeHire remote session players for your compositions – get a guitarist for a rock track or a cellist for a cinematic cue. I’ve used this a few times and the performers on here are incredible – well worth it for adding life to your tracks!
  • Google Drive – An alternative to dropbox and cheaper – I use both.  10GB of storage for free and 25GB of storage for $2.50 a month! Incredibly cheap in my opinion and simple to use (although upload speeds can be quite slow)
  • Sync Toy – Handy little piece of software from Microsoft that lets you sync folders. Setup an automated folder sync daily using Sync Toy and you’ll have your files backed up automatically each day without having to worry about it.
  • Tunesat – Tunesat is a service that lets you track your music on TV. They take a audio fingerprints of your cues, and add them to their database, which then detects any usages on hundreds of channels. Useful if you know you have some tracks that are being used a lot and want to make sure your PRO payments are right! Pricing here
  • RescuetimeIf you find yourself constantly getting distracted during the day with Facebook, Twitter etc. this is for you. Rescuetime logs your productivity throughout the day and gives you a really useful report on exactly what you do for the majority of your working day. Warning: Its actually quite scary when you look at your first daily/weekly report – you are a lot less productive than you think you are. I use it to block websites for the first 4 hours of each day and check my weekly productivity to make sure I’m not wasting my time. The Pro Account is totally worth it!
  • Bluehost - Cheap web hosting and domains for composers. Unlimited online storage with massive traffic allowances monthly.
  • ThemeforestThemeforest has thousands of great templates for websites. For around $20, you can pickup a great WordPress or HTML template and edit it yourself – you can make your own website from these templates within a couple of hours.
  • CodeCanyonI always find myself looking on CodeCanyon for some addons/widgets etc. for my websites. There are some great pieces of code on here that you can add to your website easily, like social networking widgets and newsletter plugins.
  • We Transfer - Transfer big files of up to 2GB in size for free. Handy for sending big audio files to mixers or producers when required.

Other

The following is a list of random bits and pieces that don’t really belong in any category, but I’ve found really useful.

Have you found any useful books or services worthwhile reading/using? Please let us know in the comments!

Film and Game Composers

www.FilmandGameComposers.com offers a wide range of interviews, reviews, guides and tutorials for composers and musicians who are interested in writing music for film, TV and video games.

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