Tag Archives: Soundtrack

Jane Creating Sound for Video: Creating as a composer and filmmaker

jonathanochman

SoundClouder Jonathan Ochmann is a freelance filmmaker and composer from western Germany. Jack of all trades, Jonathan writes screenplays, has directed short films and is a visual effects artist. He also dabbles in composing music for video.

Jonathan uses SoundCloud to showcase his experience in both composing and directing. When he connects with a filmmaker interested in his work, Jonathan also offers help with visual work advice. “That way, I’m pretty much always ending up doing work on both ends and not getting enough sleep.”

Being able to juggle both work as a sound and video creator comes down to finding creators who are even more successful and hardworking as inspiration to improve his work. “I’m always looking for people who work harder than myself, who are smarter and more creative and most importantly more critical of my own work than I could ever be due to the inevitable lack of objective distance I have to it. Obviously it becomes increasingly harder to find these people when you keep pushing yourself and try to work 15 hours every day but when you do it’s really rewarding. Very few things are as much fun as working with people who have similar work ethics but hopefully completely different backgrounds and interests that expand your creative and personal horizons.”

Stumbling across a vast network of creators was Jonathan’s biggest surprise when he signed up for SoundCloud to have a place to store his compositions.

“After I saw that beautiful waveform player on a science blog, I totally judged it by its cover, which led me to sign up with the sole intention of hosting some compositions that I had written, not knowing that there was a whole community of creators and listeners behind that initial appeal of the user interface,” he said. “And it turned out that a lot of filmmakers and game developers were already using SoundCloud to look for new material and I was approached by a number of different people who asked if they could either use my existing music for their work or if I would be interested in composing original music for projects,” Jonathan said.

In light of this, Jonathan points to personal connections that he’s made with people on SoundCloud as the best part of his SoundCloud experience.

“When you live in a digital realm almost 24/7 like I do and are almost exclusively interested in super geeky stuff, it can be a little hard to find people in your physical surroundings to bounce ideas off of, or just have a good chat without boring them to death. And I guess that extension of one’s reach is a quality of the Internet in general, but for me specifically, SoundCloud has provided a platform and an interface to connect with a bunch of really talented people.”

This wraps up our series of hearing from creators who have experimented with video. Have you ever composed or created music for video? Let us know in the comments. We’ll be sharing more stories from the community so stay tuned.

Brendan New Group Connects SoundCloud Creators To Buzzfeed

BuzzFeed+SoundCloudLast month, we told you about how BuzzFeed soundtracks videos using compositions from SoundCloud creators. Today, we’re excited to let you know about the launch of a new group via BuzzFeed’s SoundCloud profile that will make it even easier for you and BuzzFeed to work together: creators can now submit instrumental songs directly to the group for consideration to soundtrack BuzzFeed videos. Compositions must be licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution license in order to be considered.

Click here to submit to the group.

We’ve heard from creators like Steven O’Brien and Rob Collins, but we were curious to hear more about the BuzzFeed side of the story, so we had a chat with BuzzFeed video producer Henry Goldman.

“We started using SoundCloud…when our Video Department started our new channels. It’s been over 6 months and in that time, we’ve probably used over 200 different tracks from the SoundCloud community” Henry says. “Generally, we start looking for a song right when we start editing a video. The point is to find something that feels right for the piece, be it live action, still-based, or mixed-media.”

Because the scope of topics that BuzzFeed covers is so wide, we asked Henry about what the video producers generally look for in a song. Henry thinks, ” ‘chill’ is probably our most used search term. We’ve used all kinds of instrumentals, from punk rock to surf to orchestral. It just depends on what will make the piece better. Sometimes you need to give the video energy, sometimes the beat just needs to lay back in the cut and not get in the way. We’d love to use more live-band instrumentals, with real instruments, especially stuff with an indie pop or live band electro feel. But it’s hard to find that stuff [with a] Creative Commons [license and] without lyrics.”

Henry says that BuzzFeed’s interaction with SoundCloud creators has been: “Super positive. If we notice there’s a producer we really like, we’ll reach out to say hello. The creators have been overwhelming responsive and happy for the promotion.”

We’re looking forwards to watching the relationship between the SoundCloud community and BuzzFeed grow further.

 

Brendan SoundCloud Creator Profile: Steven O’Brien

Steven O'Brien soundtracks BuzzFeed videos

Exposure, plays, even commissions. Classical composer Steven O’Brien’s music was first used as a soundtrack last December, for the BuzzFeed video True Facts About The Angler Fish. The outcome of having his work used by BuzzFeed? “Fantastic,” Steven says.

Steven released his song Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor with a “Creative Commons – Attribution” license, so the producer of the video, Ze Frank, included a link to the Steven’s SoundCloud profile in the description of the video. Steven saw results: within a week, the song gained 7,000 plays and attracted 200 people to follow his profile on SoundCloud.

Frank has continued to use Steven’s music in other videos. The effects of the wider exposure have been gradual but significant. Some videos impact his SoundCloud follower count and plays more. Others open up new avenues for further distribution, exposure, and networking. Speaking from his home in Clonmel, Ireland, Steven says the exposure he gets from the viral videos “…[attracts] others to start using my music in their videos, but it also attracts commissions from game developers and filmmakers who want me to write music for their projects.”

Aside from the ease of distribution that using a Creative Commons license enables, Steven feels a moral reason to use it. “I strongly believe in the freedom of information and art, and I personally feel uneasy about demanding people to pay to listen to my music, perform/record it, or use it in a project. I see myself as a sort of street performer…everyone [can] stop and listen…If people like the music enough to want to reward me with money, the basket is there for them to drop a coin or two into.” (Many of the video makers who use his music for free end up sending donations via Flattr.)

Regardless of the fact that his songs have been heard millions of times, Steven manages to keep a great perspective on things. “If you’re writing music for the sole purpose of seeking fame or fortune…you’re probably in the wrong line of work. Write music for yourself…write whatever comes naturally to you,” he says.

Here’s a set of some of Steven’s great instrumentals. Steven groups them by the mood or feeling the songs evoke. This one is “Calm/Beautiful”. Enjoy!


Next week, we’ll be profiling another of the many creators that have had their music featured in a BuzzFeed video and exploring Creative Commons in depth – right here on our blog, Tumblr, and via Twitter.