Ted Laderas is a sound engineer and an amateur cellist from Portland, Oregon. A track called “Silhouettes” he submitted for the “Instagr/am/bient” weekly challenge from communal sound-making SoundCloud group Disquiet Junto has landed in different videos through Creative Commons. See the videos in which “Silhouettes” has been used here.
“It’s incredibly energizing to see that people like your music so much to include it in their video,” says Ted, who says “Silhouettes” has led to opportunities to work with dance choreographers and more video producers. “It provides me with new contexts with which to think of my music.”
SoundCloud has become a tool for Ted to showcase his portfolio of sounds easily. “SoundCloud has been incredibly useful as a way to show my work to others, especially video producers. I keep a wide variety of tracks available on my page, and one of the people I worked with who produced a video for Stumptown Coffee discovered a track he wanted to use in the video.”
Beyond using SoundCloud as a tool to upload and maintain his work, connecting and being inspired by the community has compelled him to continue to create music. From participating in SoundCloud groups like Disquiet Junto or fuelling feedback from track comments to create an album, Ted finds that putting your work out via Creative Commons means more people can hear your work.
“Hone your craft,” he says, “Put it out there for people to hear, even if you’re not completely finished. Listen to audience feedback, but don’t be a slave to it. Encourage like-minded people and share their work with others. Be grateful for what you’ve achieved. Your positivity will drive you forward.”
We’re continuing to profile more creators involved in creating for video and film. Stay tuned on the blog, Tumblr and Twitter this week.
Last 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.
“My [SoundCloud] notifications suddenly went haywire,” Rob Collins says. That’s how he found out that his song Crevice had been used to soundtrack the BuzzFeed video “How to Piss Off Every New Yorker in 36 Seconds“.
In his mind, all he’d done was “write a catchy tune and tag it ‘instrumental’ and ‘punk’.” But by tagging his songs, he’d made them easier to discover. And discoverability can go a long way. Rob says the exposure led to “a lot more plays and comments from people that aren’t my friends,” on SoundCloud.
Rob made his songs easily distributable by using a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. In addition to being a musician, Rob is also a photographer (which explains the amazing self portrait he sent us to use for this story). He’s been using Creative Commons for his images “for years.” It just made sense that he would also use it as a means to control how his songs are used and shared: “I’m a big believer in sharing creativity but also more than aware that sometimes trust can be abused. Creative Commons is a great way of making it clear how I would like my work [to be] used…[it] gives me a feeling of some security.” The attribution component drives traffic back to his SoundCloud profile.
Although he misses the collaborative aspects of being in a band, Rob “currently just make[s] music at home for himself.” When asked about the act of creating, he echoes fellow creator Steven O’Brien’s sentiments: “My advice for music and most things is, if you like doing something, do it because of that – then everything else is a bonus.” Even if his song hadn’t been used, he’d still “like it… and be happy about it.”
Here’s a set Rob recently uploaded. It’s a fantasy punk album, but needs vocals. Drop him a message if you think you can provide some: