Can You Make A Living Making Music For Audiojungle? – Diva Production Music Interview

When it comes to creating and selling royalty-free music online, I must admit that, until recently, I was only vaguely aware of the concept. 

But, as a musician and someone who is always trying to explore new potential money-making ideas, there comes a time where such ideas enter your awareness and you ponder them.  Sometimes even act on them.  

Such was the case when I came across Diva Production Music, a Youtube channel that talks in depth about this very topic of making a sustainable business out of producing sought-after royalty-free music for the corporate world. 

Back to him in a moment, as he is the subject of today’s article and interview.  First a bit of context, if I may.

So, everyone who is of working age knows something of the “corporate world”, like it or not.  As a musician, for a long time, just those two words together equated to “sellout”, and made me cringe slightly. 

Same with my friends, too – we all hated the idea of the corporate world, and wanted to avoid it at all costs.  To be honest, for me personally, that has equated to making music independently and seeing no income for my efforts for the past 20 years. 

I also taught music, because, as they say, those can’t do, teach.  A reductive definition to be sure, but somewhat true, I’ll admit.

But here we are in 2018, and, lets face it – everyone needs to make a living.  Also, the music business has changed tremendously in the past 20 years.  If you don’t know that, you must have been living under a rock.  

Then

Starting with the onset of the internet in about ’95, and then on P2P and file-sharing platforms like Napster and Limewire at the turn of the century, the control was forcibly taken away from those who run the music business, and “given back” to the people. 

File “sharing” AKA theft (Lars was right all along) was in vogue and has been ever since. 

The big music labels had to watch as everyone started simply taking everything that they had previously put a pricetag on, for free.

This of course went for movies, games, and everything else that could be turned into a file, and the entertainment industry tried their best to stop it.  And continually failed.

Now

Fast forward almost two decades.  Independent musicians are now simultaneously more empowered to enter the world of entrepreneurship on their own terms, while at the same time far less attached to the idea of becoming a famous rock star one day. 

This, I think, is not only because the “rock star” model was always somewhat of a lie, but also because there are many more options for starting actual legitimate online businesses open to individuals now that the age of the internet is beginning to mature slightly.  

This is essentially where people like Daniel Carrizalez (AKA Diva Production Music) comes in to the story.  Daniel is a musician, and has spent years honing his craft, composing songs and using all the gear he has at his disposal. 

There came a point where he had to make a choice between using his skills as a musician to earn a living online, or earning his living in some other way (ie. a “real” job in an office or factory, perhaps). 

The “rock star” notion was not something he was interested in, since it really is just a dream that comes true only once in a blue moon.  It is not a viable career choice to a man with a wife, an 8-yr old daughter and a new baby. 

So he began taking his music making abilities more “seriously”, if you will, in that he wanted to make music, but also he needed to earn a living. 

Emphasis on the word need.  Becoming aware of the new wave of internet marketing types, and jobs related to that field, Daniel began to explore his options.  

One site that stood out to him in his search for potential job opportunities was Audiojungle

Audiojungle is a sub section of the Envato Market, which is a much broader business that offers a multitude of services, one such being offering website themes and options to business owners. 

The overarching concept of Envato, to my understanding, is to be able to hook up an online business person with whatever they need to help improve their own services.  

Audiojungle, specifically, is a service that offers music to anyone who needs music for a commercial, or product of any kind, but lacks the musical element. 

On Audiojungle, the music is pre-made by professionals (such as Diva Production Music ), and sold to those who are willing to pay for the license so that they can make use of it. 

Without the license, if a person were to use this music, it would be considered stealing.  With the purchase of a license (and there are various types), the buyer can now use the music they’ve purchased to use in their own project.

After watching some of Daniel’s content, I became more and more interested in the idea of using Audiojungle to make money with my music, and so I contacted him. 

Luckily, he was willing to answer some of my burning questions on this matter.  So, here is our interview.  Enjoy!


Q: How long have you been making music?

A: I’ve been making music since I was a teenager, but composing and producing stock music only the last 4 years.

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?

A: I enjoy all sorts of music, especially rock, alternative rock.

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy making?

A: I enjoying making a lot of acoustic guitar music and experiment with different elements. At the moment, I try to focus on making corporate music, the one that is required and is most popular for media projects.

Q: When did you become aware of Audiojungle?

A: In 2014, I did an extensive search on making and selling music online, and Audiojungle was one of the top marketplaces for that.

Q: Was it difficult to get started on Audiojungle?  What’s the basic process for doing that?

A: Yes, it was difficult. I had no idea what stock music was and even though I knew all about music composition and production, I’d never done commercial music before.

The basic process involves setting up and author’s account and uploading your track. The music that you are uploading should reflect your strengths and ability to create more, quickly and effortlessly.

Q: What type of music do you specialize in making for Audiojungle?

A: I specialize in inspirational and feel-good music, particularly in the genres of rock, pop, folk and/or corporate.

Q: What type of gear setup do you have to make the tracks you make?

A: I am running ProTools on a Macbook pro laptop, use different WAVES plugins for the production of the music, an Eleven Rack as an interface, a SansAmp as a base preamp and a microphone preamp to record acoustic guitars. I also have a midi keyboard and a selection of different guitars, both electric and acoustic.

Q: How big is Audiojungle, community wise?

A: The community of Audiojungle is quite big and growing very fast.

Q: Is it competitive at all?

A: Yes, it is but the key here is not to compete but to create the best product for each and every project.  I am a creator, NOT a competitor.

Q: Do you ever hear form Audiojungle for any reason or Envato for that matter?(ie. do you talk to a rep or is it hands off mostly)

A: There are no reps involved but if you need to contact support, there is a system available. But each author is on their own, and it is up to you to decide on your presentation and marketing of your music.

Q: How much of your work for Audiojungle is inspiration, how much is work work?

A: Inspiration comes after I start working on a new project. I believe that work is a good thing and inspiration comes from working on your craft. Inspiration, like motivation, will always let you down. One that creates cannot wait for inspiration to arrive; you find it only through working!

Q: What are their basic standards for whether a track is suitable for their platform?

A: Over the years, the bar has been raised higher and higher, both in composition and production. That means that the tracks uploaded and accepted back in 2010 most likely, will not be accepted now. The review process is very thorough nowadays and an author must continue to improve and polish their skills. The final result should be broadcast quality, like the music you hear on a TV commercial or YouTube ad.

Q: Who reviews the tracks submitted and how long does that process take?

A: There is a group of reviewers in Audiojungle and the review time varies depending on the number of submissions. It can be anything from 7 days to 15 days for a song to be approved and up or sale.

Q: Who uses Audiojungle from the customer side, as far as your experience tells you?

A: Costumers are video-makers, film-makers, advertising companies and of course, YouTubers!

Q: What’s the price range of songs on Audiojungle?

A: A song can be sold based on the length of the music, starting from $12-15 to $19 for a standard license. The price will directly depend on the license purchased, for example, ie. broadcast license or film license.

Q: Does anyone try to pirate Audiojungle tracks that you know of?

A: Yes. I have personally heard and informed Audiojungle on tracks being used with the watermark.

Q: What kind of musicians do you think would be good authors on Audiojungle?

A: A good author on Audiojungle is any musician with the right mindset to be at the service of others, in this case, the other media makers and content creators.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: In order to become a successful stock music composer, we must be aware of the market’s needs, without comparing ourselves to other composers.


And…that about wraps things up here today!  To learn more about Daniel and Diva Production Music, visit his Youtube channel here, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Should I Make An Album or EP? The Pros and Cons of Each

When it comes to releasing music, musicians (especially new ones) occasionally face the difficult choice of whether to put out an EP or a full length album.

In case you’re not familiar with these terms, an EP (Extended Play album) is usually a compilation of around 4 to 6 songs released mostly for promotional purposes, especially in the case of a new artist.  An example of an EP would be Come On Pilgrim by the Pixies.

come on pilgrim ep pixies

In contrast, an LP (Long Player) or full length album normally constitutes 10 plus songs.  I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of them.  Walk into a music store and most stuff on the rack is an LP.  Here’s a famous LP – Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.

should i make an ep or lp?

LP vs EP

Most bands and musicians tend to release LP’s, to satisfy the demand of music-hungry fans or to show people they are capable of being a true artist.  Or, they produce singles, which feature one song (A-Side) and maybe a B-Side.  Or – they do an EP, which you can think of as a mini album.

The digital age has changed the game quite a bit, as some people have said the LP is dead, and with it all manufactured physical media, such as vinyl, and EPs.  However, vinyl is making a comeback, and the compact disc is not dead yet, as in LPs and EPs.

pavement watery domestic

So this begs the question for recording artists – why make an EP or album in the first place? Let’s look at the pros of both.

The EP (Extended Play) – Pros and Cons

  • Can be the perfect solution for an artist who wants to release more than just one single but is not in a position to create a full album (budget friendly).
  • Is a great way to release songs that were created but did not fit the theme or style of an album.
  • Is a great tool for a new artist to gain recognition and build a fan base.

Here’s an EP you may or may not know, called the Tigerbomb EP by the band Guided By Voices.

Art Vs. Commerce

Now the thing about this EP is that it plays like a mini album, and even the lead off song, “My Valuable Hunting Knife”, isn’t even the same version you find on the LP it’s pulled from, that being Alien Lanes.  From there, you get another song, Game of Pricks, which isn’t the same as the album version either, followed by four more songs that aren’t on the album.

So, what we have here is a work of art that stands on it’s own.  For fans of the band, this has the effect of making the album richer, because it’s like taking a detour from the album they already know to explore some different avenues (or lanes, as it were).  You might say it’s for hardcore fans only, but it has another purpose, which is to offer more content to anyone who might take an interest in the band.

record-vinyl-microgrooves01-1500-8b2e708f451a13551c070c62005a3b65LP’s 

So what are the reasons for making an LP, which, I must say again, is the standard out there, vs. an EP, which has the benefit of being cost effective and doesn’t require as much of a listener’s attention.

  • The revenue could be huge if the album sales take off – LP’s are priced higher than EP’s.
  • An artist is perceived as “established” if they have an album in their portfolio.
  • An LP allows musicians to fully explore a sound or concept, and this is why LP’s sometimes end up being “concept albums”.

Let’s take a look at an LP called Inspiration Information by a musician named Shuggie Otis, and maybe you can see why he needed to record this many songs and present them in this way, rather than truncate the listening experience.

Now let’s look at each option in detail.

The LP or Full Length Long Playing Record – Pros and Cons

The full length long player record is the sought-after prize amongst new artists because, well, who doesn’t love albums?  Most music fans are of the “give me more” variety, when it comes to their favourite artists, although some industry folks have been saying the album is “dead”, as I said.  

Part of the reason for this, but not the entire reason, is that an album is expensive to buy for a fan. It costs more than a single or EP on iTunes, but you can easily argue that this is for good reason, as it offers much more than one song, or even a handful of tunes.  It offers an entire listening experience.  

Still, LP’s are costly to make for the artist, and costly to buy for the fan.

the stuff that dreams are made of

Hypothetical #1 – You Have Your Own Studio

If you’re a producer, the cost of making an album will be significantly reduced as you already have a studio.  Even if you’re a musician who’s acting like a producer, you’re significantly reducing costs.  With a home studio, the only money you’ll spend will be in hiring a mixing/mastering engineer and that’s only if you’re not good enough to carry out these tasks yourself.  

home recording studio

Many amateur recording artists take it upon themselves to tackle mixing and mastering anyway. My overall point is, the main cost of an album is studio time, and if you have everything you need at your fingertips, then maybe an LP isn’t too wild of a proposition.  An EP would be even easier, if you are all set to record.  

The Time Factor and ROI

Obviously, money isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to making an album. Time is another important resource exploited when crafting your LP. Most albums take, on average, a year to create.

It would be such a waste if you spent the better part of a year recording your album only for it to flop in the end.  Whether it flops or not is a whole other conversation, and I hate to bring up the possibility that it might.  But say you make an album over the course of a year, have your album manufactured, and then…silence.  The customers are not lining up to buy your $20 album that you’ve priced as such to make some of your money back.  Reality slaps you in the face ,and you will have wasted a lot of time and money, and you’ll have a bunch of cds or vinyl sitting there that will take you a while to sell to people.

cds printed and manufactured

Ok, You’re A Big Deal…Now What?

If, on the other hand, your album is successful, you will earn a lot of cash and score hundreds of new fans – but that comes at a price. The general public doesn’t really understand the amount of time, money and preparation that goes into an LP. And people forget easily. One month your album is the sh**, and the next they move on to something fresh. When the dust finally settles, your newly found fans will be pressuring you for new material and when you don’t provide it soon, you will slowly fade away.  So you have to keep on top of things.

But this rule only applies to new musicians. For instance, Calvin Harris just recently released a new album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, and even though fans have already heard it and moved on to other things, they know that they can expect good stuff from Mr. Harris and won’t forget about him so quickly.

EPs – Pros and Cons

At the moment EPs are once again gaining in popularity for various reasons. For new musicians, this is due, in part, to financial reasons. No one is going to listen to, let alone buy, 12 songs from an artist they know nothing about.  3-4 tracks would be enough to let the listener decide whether they are digging your vibe.

EDM producers prefer EPs mostly because it takes less time to create and this allows them to release new music more frequently. An EP is also a great way for an artist to experiment with a new style. They can create an EP that revolves around that style without getting a lot of blowback from the fans.

dyro artist

I remember Dyro once saying that he’d like to experiment more but the fans were not very welcoming to this and so he saw the EP as the perfect solution. He could create the music he wanted and then throw one track in there that fits the style the fans are used to. True to his word, his Set Me Free EP featured a variety of styles.

My Opinion

An EP it is!

Yup! I bet you thought I’d give you some “on the fence” advice and tell you to follow your heart, right? Nope! I am, in clear terms, telling you that if you’re an EDM artist and you wanna do more than just a single, an EP is the best option. Even if you’re not an EDM person, an EP is still I think the best way to go. An album will drain you (and your resources) completely if you’re not careful.

However, if you’re an established musician and you really feel like a full length album is your cup of tea, then go for it. Just plan, plan and plan! Is it worth it? Are you going to recoup the money you spend creating it? If the answer to these questions is no, then you need to reconsider. An Extended Play Album may just be what you need. 🙂

DAWs For Home Studios On A Budget

magix-music-maker-premium

For the modern musician, the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is the hub of any recording setup.

Whatever genre of music you put out, you require a software program that brings together the processes of composing, recording, mixing and mastering your tracks.

There are many who shell out on studio time to have this step taken care of for them, and there are even some who rely on old-school recording techniques – whether for effect or for money-saving – that sometimes even includes analogue equipment.

The rest of us examine our options regarding a DAW to install on our computers so that we can get to grips with these step ourselves.

fl-11-workflow1

Our options are quite varied; typically, we look to Logic if we are Mac users, or we look to Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason or Ableton to learn and work in the music making process.

This is fine, as these are the most widely used industry standard programs in the majority of professional studios.

The problem is, Avid’s Pro Tools will cost in the region of $600, while FL Studio, with all the plugins, will cost upwards of $1000.

What bedroom producer, still learning the craft of music production and recording, would risk such a hefty up-front investment in something that might never really take?


Magix Music Maker Premium

To sidestep this problem, I would like to posit an alternative DAW for your consideration: Magix Music Maker Premium.

magix-music-maker-premium

This software comes out swinging in its competition with the heavy hitters, and offers enough features to produce songs that many might find difficult to differentiate from hits made on the more expensive alternatives.

With the inclusion of 12 Soundpools (comprising 8,000 sounds and loops in various musical styles) plus numerous VSTi synths, VST plugins and the capability of running any other VSIs and VSTs you want to install, there is really no limit to what you this program can do.

Feature Pick

Magix Music Maker 2016 Premium

Buy On Amazon

The User Interface

The UI of Magix Music Maker Premium is simplistic and similar in its functionality to that of Logic.

You can place, or draw, blocks of prerecorded sounds or MIDI loops into the on-screen grid, with a summary of basic channel effects and dynamics on the left, and the option of bringing up a more advanced mixing station at the bottom of the screen.

There are a number of built-in channel effects for you to use, including EQ, Compressor, Reverb, Delay, Stereo Enhancement and Filter, with the option of adding up to 2 VST effects to a block, and a further 2 to a channel.

While this limits you to a maximum of 4 plugins to use per channel on the grid, in most cases you will find that this, plus the built-in effects at your disposal, is sufficient for your mixing needs.

Here’s the official Magix video tutorial for the software.  This should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for with this software, if you have 15 minutes to spare.

More Features Of Magix Music Maker

The mixing board can feature up to 99 channels running simultaneously, and includes a master controller with its own dB limiter and built-in mastering suite that has some genuinely strong features.

MIDI composition screens and synth controllers open in mini windows as you activate them, so you can tweak and experiment with the individual controls for them.

The footer window on-screen has a range of tabs to move between virtual instruments, mixer, file browser and Soundpool library.

Everything is intuitive and easy to find, and the features are surprisingly rich.

magix-music-maker-vita-solo-instruments


Upgrading and Longevity

Once you have purchased your software, there is really no reason to ever buy something different. All downloadable VSTs can be run in Magix Music Maker, and there is no limit to how many you can add to the library.

Put it this way: I started out with Magix Music Maker 2013 Premium, and I still use it now as one of my main avenues for recording. With a suitable USB audio interface, you can record through microphone or any electronic instrument, and MIDI controllers are supported as well.

The software runs well, as long as your computer has the necessary processing power to keep up with everything.

Any latency problems that arise can be fixed by tweaking the settings, and the occasional glitch can be fixed by restarting the program (these are very rare).

It is advisable to regularly backup your projects as you work on them, to ensure you don’t lose anything. There is a built-in feature that usually does this anyway, but there is the occasional inexplicable failure of this feature, so it’s best to stay on top of it yourself.

Here’s a sample of what you can do with Magix musically…

Limitations

Earlier I mentioned the restriction to a maximum of 4 external plugins that can be assigned to a single channel. Another glaring limitation of Magix Music Maker is its lack of a buss channel assignment capability – buss channels are completely absent from Magix Music Maker, and this can be problematic for more advanced mixing procedures.

It is possible to improvise your way around this, for example by bouncing 2 or more channels into a single wave file, then applying further effects to that wavs file on a separate channel.

This isn’t ideal, but can be sufficient during mixing. Alternatively, you could look into purchasing the professional Magix program Samplitude, which is a more advanced and rather more costly piece of software that truly does stand alongside the heavy hitters mentioned at the start of this review.


Conclusion

Magix Music Maker Premium, for its price and relatively low profile, is a superb piece of software for beginners to middleweight producers/recording artists.

It is an excellent starting point to learn the craft of music production, and its beautifully simple UI is matched in brilliance only by its impressive upgrading capabilities.

In the long term, its limitations will probably push the most dedicated of musicians to go for its big brother Samplitude, or else one of the other mainstream programs, but with enough dedication you will be able to make professional quality tracks with the low upfront investment Magix requires.

If you are taking your first steps into the music recording world, I highly recommend Magix Music Maker Premium as the perfect DAW to get your feet wet and keep using right up to the point of becoming an advanced music producer and sound engineer.