Shockwave-Sound Blog and Articles

New Stock Music highlights for September 2017

We hope you’re well and that you’re working on some great projects. Here at Shockwave-Sound we have – as ever – been busy with developing new albums and tracks of Stock Music, now available for immediate licensing and download.

Action Thriller, Vol. 8:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/753/action-thriller-vol-8
12 aggressive, tension filled blockbuster tracks for thrillers, armed conflict, special operations and more.

Christmas Choir, Vol. 1:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/757/christmas-choir-vol-1
It’s not quite Christmas yet, but it’s a great time to work on Christmas projects. We hired a small Welsh choir and recorded 19 favourite Christmas carols.

Relaxation & Meditation, Vol. 9:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/752/relaxation-meditation-vol-9
Introspective, relaxing, soothing and reflecting tracks for yoga, relaxation, chilled “me-time”, or for use in reflective, ambient media.

The 1950’s and 60’s, Vol. 3 :

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/759/the-1950-s-60-s-vol-3
11 fun and charming retro tracks that will take you and your project back to the golden era of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Tracks of Inspiration, Vol. 9:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/758/tracks-of-inspiration-vol-9
11 tracks with an inspirational, motivating and heartening/uplifting feel. Build communities and build futures to these tracks.

Planet Apocalypse, Vol. 9:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/756/planet-apocalypse-vol-9
Tracks to help illustrate a dystopian future, perhaps a dark future, otherworldly dangers and bleak horizons….

Feelgood Trax, Vol. 21:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/755/feelgood-trax-vol-21
A collection of uplifting, energizing, happy and motivating tracks, with elements from pop, rock, electronica and folk.

Easy Days, Vol. 5:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/754/easy-days-vol-5
Easy-going tracks with a natural flow and a care free, trouble free approach. Great for use in media or on-hold.

This is not a complete representation of all the new music we’ve released since our previous newsletter. We’re always busy releasing new tracks and recording new projects. Not all of our tracks end up on CD-collections either.

With all of our “CD collections” (as above), each track can also be licensed individually. Just click on the track title in the audio player at the bottom of the page, and you will be taken to that track’s individual track page, where you can license the track or any sub-version of it.

Please remember to “Like” our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/swsound/. And if you have any questions, issues, suggestions etc., please get in touch with us through the Contact page on our site. We are here and always happy to hear from you.

All the best from all of us at Shockwave-Sound.

Royalty-Free Christmas Carols Choir

Royalty-Free Christmas Carols Choir

Anybody who’s been working in media production for a while, whether it be TV commercials, corporate presentations, videos, greeting cards or what ever the platform, will know the feeling of working on a Christmas project in high summer. It feels a little odd, but there’s no better time for it. And here at Shockwave-Sound, we spent some of our summer working on a really wonderful new project; a collection of 19 beautiful Christmas songs, sung and recorded exclusively for us by the Bobby Cole Chamber Choir, from Wales UK.

Here at Shockwave-Sound, we spent some of our summer working on a really wonderful new project; a collection of 19 beautiful Christmas songs, sung and recorded exclusively for us by the Bobby Cole Chamber Choir, from Wales UK.

It was a wonderful project to work on, with such dedicated and talented singers, and working alongside conductor and project manager, Bobby Cole.

There are of course different types and sizes of choirs, and the choir used on this project was a relatively small one, resulting in a nice and intimate choral sound. Besides the 17 choir tracks, the album also features two vocal duets (“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” and “O Holy Night”).

Like all our music, these wonderful recordings of Christmas songs are available to license for use in your own media productions, such as YouTube videos, in-public play, telephone on-hold, TV commercials, online / web projects and more. See our “License” page for full details.

The full album track listing:
  1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing

    Piano keys decorated with golden Christmas decorations, close up

    Christmas music

  2. O Holy Night
  3. The First Noel
  4. We Three Kings
  5. Away in a Manger
  6. 12 Days of Christmas
  7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  8. Joy to the World
  9. O Come All Ye Faithful
  10. Silent Night
  11. Deck the Halls
  12. Once in Royal Davids City
  13. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  14. Good King Wenceslas
  15. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
  16. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  17. Jingle Bells
  18. I Saw Three Ships
  19. Auld Lang Syne

As with all our music collections/albums, all tracks are also available to license individually, if you don’t need the whole album. You can just search for the track title in the “Search” box top in the left-hand corner of our website, or click on the track title in the audio player at the bottom of the screen, while a track audio preview is playing.

We hope that some of you will find this album suitable for use in your projects, and we hope that you’ll enjoy it. Here is a link to the album:

https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/757/christmas-choir-vol-1

August 2017 new royalty-free music selections

August 2017 new royalty-free music selections

It’s been almost two months since the last time we sent out one of these newsletters, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. 🙂 Okay, we took a couple of weeks of summer chill-out, but for the most part, we have been working on our music catalogue, in order to be able to provide you with the best stock music available, carefully curated and produced to the highest standards. Here is just a small selection of our latest additions:

Sweet & Flowery, Vol. 1:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/736/sweet-flowery-vol-1
The music here is all about candy, soda, cute little kids and summery fun.


Fantasy Worlds, Vol. 15:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/737/music-collection-fantasy-worlds-vol-15
The “Fantasy Words” series is some of our most popular and powerful music, suitable for grand adventures and grave dangers, in an adventure or fantasy setting.


Classical Chamber Strings, Vol. 2:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/738/music-collection-classical-chamber-strings-vol-2
A live performing string quartet, playing 16 of the most famous and loved classical pieces by Händel, Mussorgsky, Bach, Brahms and more – recorded live in the studio.


Classical Favorites, Vol. 7:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/royalty-free-music-collection/739/music-collection-classical-favorites-vol-7
16 more timeless, classical jewels by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Strauss, Grieg, Mozart and more – with a full, large orchestra.


Vacations & Fun, Vol. 2:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/740/music-collection-vacations-fun-vol-2
Uplifting and refreshing sounds with a sense of adventure, exploration, fun and discovery.


Dark Cues, Vol. 10:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/741/music-collection-dark-cues-vol-10
15 tracks of cold, dark, eerie and disturbing music for horror flicks, thrillers, mysterious tales…


Emotional Underscores, Vol. 15:
https://www.shockwave-sound.com/stock-music-collection/742/music-collection-emotional-underscores-vol-15
Music to tug at the heartstrings: These subtle, tasteful, fragile and reflective pieces lend themselves perfectly to stories on the human condition.


This is in no way a complete representation of all the new music we’ve released since our previous newsletter. These are just a few highlights. 🙂 We hope you enjoy them.

With all of our “CD collections” (as above), each track can also be licensed individually. Just click on the track title in the audio player at the bottom of the page, and you will be taken to that track’s individual track page, where you can license the track or any sub-version of it.

Please remember to “Like” our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/swsound/. And if you have any questions, issues, suggestions etc., please get in touch with us through the Contact page on our site. We are here and always happy to hear from you.

All the best from all of us at:
Shockwave-Sound.com

Writing good descriptions and keywords for your stock music tracks

Writing good descriptions and keywords for your stock music tracks

This article is meant for the many talented and wonderful music composers / artists who regularly submit music for publishing by Shockwave-Sound.
One thing that we all have in common is that we want our music to be heard, licensed, and used in media. Media producers these days are looking for music for a wide variety of different projects; from casual games, video games, little YouTube clips, amazing nature videos, up to full production feature films and TV commercials. 
How do media producers (customers) find the music they need? There are millions of tracks out there. Some are great, some not that great. But even if your track is really great, what good is that, if your track just disappears in an ocean of other tracks — or even worse, in a soup of mediocre tracks presented on a page with annoying titles and bad descriptions?
Making headway as a composer/artist, producer, contributor of music tracks to the music licensing business, relies on spending a little bit of thought into how your tracks are presented to potential listeners, before they have even heard the first note. From the very title of the track, through to the on-screen description and the behind-the-page Keywords that make up the track’s ability to be found in user searches, musicians these days are forced to not only be good at writing and producing music – but also to understand the basic psychology of customers looking for music tracks.
Let’s start with…

Track descriptions

Too braggy:

“This feel-good dance track will have you going in no time! Packed with energy and loaded with awesome sounding synths, this is a really great energy super-pack that will really get your audience going! Huge drums kick and drive behind sizzling layers of synths and bass. This track will be suitable for lots of different media projects!”

If you’re writing like this, you are spending too much energy on trying to make this a really great description and trying to convince people reading it that it’s the right track for them. With a good track, the music will brag enough for itself – you don’t have to brag in the description. Instead, be neutral, short and to the point: “This electronic dance track has a high level of positive energy throughout. Feelgood / Dancing / Celebration”. THAT IS ENOUGH. 🙂

Too specific:


“Imagine yourself on the white beaches of a paradise tropical island, with a cocktail drink in your hand and the sun setting behind the ocean waves….”

Don’t try to weave exact images for the readers, because you are only distracting the customer/user from the possibility of imagining this piece of music in their own production. By writing something like the above, you are setting your music in connection with a very specific visual image, and this image will 99.999% certainly not be the scene that the customer needs a music track for. So you are in a way excluding your music from being imagined inside the scene that the customer is actually looking for a track to go with. Instead of the above, just write “A romantic track with a sense of relaxation and natural beauty. Hint of tropic / island paradise.” This way, you are leaving it open for the user/reader to imagine the track within their scene – not yours. 

Too descriptive:

“This track starts with a simple choir melody. Then the strings join in and play in unison with the choir. Then some big drums start pounding and after a while they rise in intensity. The energy then drops and a mystical harp starts to play. Then the drums come back in and start to play a faster rhythm…”

Well, you get what I’m trying to show here. This is a description that quite literally explains and describes what the track does as it goes along, and it’s just no good. There’s no point to this. I mean, if something very drastic happens at a certain point in the track, you are allowed to mention it. For example, at the end of the description you can add one sentence such as this: “The intensity picks up and reaches a climax at about 1:30.”

Examples of good descriptions:

“Quirky and humorous, yet hard hitting Hip Hop piece, with cheeky samples, big beats and cool cuts.”

“Modern and uplifting indie soundtrack piece, with airy wordless vocals and positive strings. Builds strength and power to a rousing finish. World fusion feel.”

“An uplifting pop-rock track with multiple guitars, drums, bass and subtle piano melodies and a very slight country feel. Inspiring / Heartening / Motivational.”

As you can tell from the above examples of good descriptions, actually, these are easier to write than the more fanciful and flamboyant descriptions that some of you are trying to write. Keep it simple. Keep it neutral. Short, to the point. Notice at the end of the last example, it’s not even a sentence. You can add something like this to the end of your description: “Inspiring / Heartening / Motivational.” If you feel that you simply want to describe the track with a few more words than you have written, but you don’t wish to actually write any more full sentences. I often do it like that. Here’s another example:
“Pop / Drum’n Bass track with a reflective synth and piano heavy track with a fast, uptempo feel. Light and springy. Soft, but also active. Dreamy, Heavenly, Positive.”  — Note the additional three descriptive words added at the end, after the full sentences are done.

Keywords:

Please supply at least 30 different keywords / key phrases for each track. 
After we receive the materials from you, we here at Shockwave-Sound will also add to these. We spend 5-10 minutes listening carefully to the track and write down everything we can think of, that you haven’t already written. We then end up with a keywords / key phrases field that’s the result of two people trying to think of everything that customers will search for, when it will make sense for them to find this track — and usually the result is pretty good. 

Don’t list common instrument names in the keywords field

Even if your track contains guitar, bass, drums, synth etc., do not write “Drums, Guitar, Synth” etc. into your Keywords field. There is no point. There are 20,000 tracks and nearly all of them contain drums, synth, bass, etc. There is no chance that a customer will come to the website, type “bass” into the search field on the track, and this will bring up your track, which turned out to be the perfect track for the customer because he searched for “bass” and your track contains bass. Try to “think like the customer” a little bit and imagine what you would search for, if this track is what you’re looking for. It’s not going to be “bass” or “guitar”.  
You can write instrument names into the keywords field if the track is truly defined by the sound of that one instrument. An example of this can be “hang drum” which has a very specific sound, or perhaps “bagpipes” or “didgeridoo”. These are special instruments which, conceivably, a user could come to the site and make a search for. And even then, don’t include it in the keywords if it’s only just used in the background, as part of the overall orchestration of the track. The only case in which it will be right to bring up your track in the search result after a customer has searched for “didgeridoo” is if your track really features the didgeridoo, prominently. Because somebody who comes and makes a search for “didgeridoo” is actually looking for a music track where the didgeridoo is very dominant. 

Don’t just copy your keywords from one track to the next

Most of you will submit a batch of tracks that are a bit different, and even though you’ve found a few keywords that you think are nice (like “corporate”, “advertise”, “beauty”, “background”), don’t just automatically include these with every track. Consider each one for every track and consider if it’s suitable for that track. I mean, the entire concept of searchable keywords will simply fall apart if “advertising” is added as a keyword to every single track. What point is there then, in anybody searching for that keyword?
The only circumstance in which we accept keywords just being copied from one track to the next is if you have worked on a batch/collection of tracks which really are very similar. For example, we hired you to produce a collection of deep-house tracks. All have exactly the same mood and feel. In this case we will accept some “copied” keywords fields.

Don’t forget to include alternate forms of your keywords

If you write “Motivating”, don’t forget to also include “Motivational”. If you include “Inspiring”, don’t forget to also include “Inspirational” and “Inspired”. Same with Happy -> Happiness. Joy -> Joyful. Cheery -> Cheerful -> Cheer -> Cheery. Celebration -> Celebrate -> Celebratory. Victory — also include “Victorious”. And so on. Some “combined words” will be spelled in one word by some users, but in two words by others, so include both. Examples of this will be “Feelgood, Feel good, Carefree, Care free, Lighthearted, Light hearted”. And so on. 

Feel free to include “music” after some of the keywords

Some customers come along and they do searches like: “feelgood music”. This will not be found if you simply have “feelgood” in your keywords. So, within reason, feel free to include something like this:
“feelgood, feelgood music, dancing, dance music, exciting, excited, exciting music, pumped, pumped music”. If somebody comes along and searches for one of these words with “music” after it – in this example, maybe somebody searches for “exciting music” – your track will be found. Use it.
Conclusion
I hope this has been helpful. We’ve all seen stock music websites with an “open for all” track upload and track configuration policy — where anybody, amateur or professional, English speaking or not, can just upload their own music, provide their own description, and it just goes out on the site, in front of customers. It’s like taking any musician off the street (talented as he may well be!) and put him behind the counter in your store, in charge of presenting products to customers. Madness. 🙂
Shockwave-Sound.com is not such an open, “free for all” type of place. Everything that goes out in front of our customers here is actually checked, heard, descriptions read and corrected, keywords looked and and added to as needed. Having said that, we too require our composers/artists to submit Descriptions and Keywords (along with BPM tempo and writer information) along with their track submissions. And the better content you can deliver — musically and description wise — the more sales you will achieve.
Good luck!
Harnessing the Power of Sound: Behavior and Invention

Harnessing the Power of Sound: Behavior and Invention

Sound is a force of nature that has its own special and unique properties. It can used artistically to create music and soundscapes and is a vital part of human and animal communication, allowing us to develop language and literature, avoid danger, and express emotions.  In addition, understanding and harnessing the unique properties of sound has resulted in some surprising and fascinating inventions and technologies. Below are some interesting notes on the behavior of sound and some novel technological uses, both as a weapon and in contrast in medicine and health care.

 

The Speed of Sound
Sound exists when its waves reverberate through objects by pushing on molecules that then push neighboring molecules and soon. The speed at which sound travels is interesting as it behaves in the opposite manner of liquid. While the movement of liquid slows down depending on the density of the material it is trying to pass through, for example cotton as opposed to wood, sound actually speeds up when faced with denser material. For example,sound travels in Air (21% Oxygen, 78% Nitrogen) at 331 m/s, 1493, m/s through water, and a whopping 12,000 m/s through Diamond. 
This sound behavior is also evident in how quickly it can pass through the human body, which is generally around 1550 m/s, but passes much more quickly through skull bone at 4080 m/s which is much denser then soft tissue. Interestingly, the average speed through the human body is very similar to that of water, which makes sense because human beings are 90% made up of water.

Sound in a Vacuum

 


Not only does the density of objects increase the speed ofsound, sound needs material to be present in order to “make sound” inthe first place. Because, it exists when sound waves reverberate through objects. Without objects present, sound does not exist, such as is a vacuum. his makes as a vacuum is an area of space that is completely avoid of matter and therefore has no molecules. This video demonstrates the effect of a vacuum on sound. As the air is sucked out of the bell jar, the bell can no longer be heard.
Sound is in the Ear of the Earholder

 

For humans and animals, the perception of sound waves passing through their ears, depends on the shape of the ear, which influences that vibrations. The shape of an animal’s outer ears determine the range of frequencies that they can hear. Elephants have flat and broad ears, which allowthem to hear very low frequencies, which they use to communicate. Lower frequencies are associated with large surface areas, such as bass drums, so this makes sense. Mice have ears that are round, which allow them sensitivity to sounds that come from above. Again, this makes sense as they are tiny and close to ground and all threats would be coming from above: hawks wanting to
eat, cats hunting, humans screaming and jumping on chairs, etc. The tall ears of rabbits make them sensitive to sounds flying around horizontally, obviously so they know when to jump. Owls work their famous head pivot to create a precise sound listening experience while checking for prey and threats. Deer work to avoid predators with muscles in their ears that allow them to point in different directions.
Sound as a Weapon
 The Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) is a machine used to send messages and warnings over very long distances at extremely high volumes by law enforcement, government agencies, and security companies. They are used to keep wildlife from airport runways and nuclear power facilities. The LRAD is also used for non-lethal crowd control. It is effective in crowd control because of its very high decibel range which can reach 162. This exceeds the level of 130 decibels, which is the threshold for pain in humans. It is very precise and can send a “sound beam” between 30 and 60 degrees at 2.5kHZ and will scatter crowds that are caught within the beam. Those standing next to it or behind it might not hear it at all. But those who do report feeling dizzy with symptoms of migraine headaches.  This is called acoustic trauma and depending on the length of the exposure and it’s intensity, damage to the eardrum may result in hearing loss. Since 2000, the LRAD has been used in many instances of crowd control throughout countries in the world, and even on pirates attempting to attack cruise ships.
Almost humorously, high pitched alarms can also be used to deter teenagers from loitering around shops or engaging in vandalism and drug activity. The “teenage repellant” has been used throughout Europe and the US. Since teenagers have a higher frequency range of hearing than adults, it targets them specifically, while adults are spared the annoyance of the 17.4KHz emission. There are critics that state these devices unfairly target specific groups (youth) and are therefore discriminatory.
Sound Levitation
Sound levitation, or acoustic levitation, uses sound properties to allow solids, liquids and gases to actually float. It uses sound wave vibrations that travel through gas to balance out the force of gravity and creating a situation in which objects can be made to float. Dating back to the 1940s, the process uses ultrasonic speakers to manipulate air pressure and points in the sound wave that counteracts the force of gravity. A “standing wave” is created between a “transducer,” such as a speaker and a reflector. The balancing act occurs when the upward pressure of the sound wave exactly equals the force of gravity. Apparently the shape of liquid such as water can be changed by altering the harmonics of the frequencies that result in star shaped droplets.
 
 
In terms of practical uses of sound levitation, they do improve the development of pharmaceuticals. When manufacturers create medicines they fall into two categories called amorphous and crystalline. The amorphous drugs are absorbed into the body more efficiently than crystalline drugs. Therefore, amorphous are ideal because a lower does can be used so they are cheaper to create. So, during evaporation of a solution during manufacturing, acoustic levitation is because it helps prevent the formation of crystals because the substance does not touch any physical surfaces. Acoustic levitation, in others words stops substances from crystallizing, thus creating a much more efficient method of drug creation. In addition, sound levitation creates essentially a zero-gravity environment and is therefore an excellent environment for cell growth. Levitating cells makes sure that a flat shape is maintained which is the best for the growing cell to absorb nutrition. It could also be used to create cells of the perfect size and shape for individuals.Sound behaves in its own fashion and is a phenomenon that can be used in force and in healing. It taps into the physics of the natural world and through its interaction allows for all sorts of human invention. Surely, sound will continue to be researched and pursued as a powerful natural element to be used in a myriad of new ways.