August 23, 2016

What's In a Name?

A Look At The History of CSS Music Libraries

Back in the old days--meaning the 1990’s through the early 2,000’s—CSS Music was servicing a clientele known as Corporate A/V. While these folks still exist today, their needs have changed and we’ve bobbed and weaved to meet those needs. You see, back then the corporate A/V person wanted a buy-out royalty-free library with specific criteria—meaning music of a particular genre--AND one that would work with their budgets.

Repro-File Potpourri is the oldest ancestor of CSS Music’s first library, Repro-file.  The music is primarily industrial in nature with a sprinkling of other styles here and there. It served the A/V community responsibly for years and some fine pieces of music can still be found in Repro-File Potpourri.  Now there’s Repro-file Plus offering volume specific genres, PLUS short mini-tunes that relate thematically in addition to the usual :60’s and :30’s.

Then along came PowerTrax ushering in not only the alternate mix, but it also provided multiple 60 and 30 versions of each track. Again, the music was written primarily for the A/V crowd looking for industrial music with more flair and muscle. The PowerTrax library is still alive and kicking although the music has grown into inclusion of the popular genres you guys use today. Also, the more contemporary PowerTrax volumes only deliver a 60/30 versus the original multiple mixes but adds a tag version.

Next came the “I need long cuts” problem with Max Trax. Billed as “Tracks 5:00 or longer,” this (now 52 disc) library was the perfect cure for those scenes that just went on and on. Be watching for some changes to this war horse soon.

Things really soared for CSS Music when David Wurst introduced the A/V world to Super Themes. Marketed as a premium library, David brought the first true film score music to the table. And now, all these years later, Super Themes boasts an amazing 79 (and growing!) discs of some truly outstanding music.

The final full service library introduced into the CSS Music family was Target Trax. This (now) 65-disc library was offered to the A/V community as a budget-friendly product.  Some really great material in this package—much better than the price would indicate.  Owner, Mike Fuller, believes in giving an extra measure whenever possible.  You can hear it.

We’ll cover the specialty libraries in the CSS Music stable in another post. In the meantime, we want you A/V guys to know that we thank you and are still here when you need us! J

August 15, 2016

The Positive Accordion Player

The Funniest Instrument Makes A Comeback

You’ve probably heard the joke, “What do you call an accordion player with a beeper?” Answer, “An optimist.” While that quip may have elicited a laugh 20 years ago, the accordion is now quite hip! With bands like The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Counting Crows and a number of Cajun influenced bands strapping on the weighty squeezebox (or less cumbersome concertina,) this keyboard is now all the rage. And CSS Music has music that utilizes this instrument in the best ways possible. For example, a track like “Bayou Backwaters Boil” on Powertrax AV Volume 33 captures the steamy swamp music that you guys always ask for to add heat to your shows. Or get down with “Zydeco Party” on Super Themes Volume 17.

What’s that? You want a polka?!?  No problem. Use our Redi-Trax search system, click on Keywords (or enter “Polka” in the search window) and you’ll discover everything from “The Clarinet Polka” to TexMex flavors to a comical track entitled “Stinky Poo Polka.” Of course if you want the romantic styling of the accordion, there’s “Paris At Night” on Digital Ditties Volume 2 and “Paris Street Song” found on Super Themes Volume 17.

Yes, the accordion has been a much-maligned instrument. But for particular color in certain scenes, there’s nothing like the squeezebox to evoke many moods. And we at CSS Music will proudly parade our inner geekiness to get you guys the music you’ll want for your next show!

August 10, 2016

Exploring The World

What’s The Right Music For Unusual Locales?

While a lot of the music you’re currently using is most likely specific to your show—be it a hot rod car show or an outdoor nature program-- there are times when you may need something more exotic. To underscore a stock shot or photo from a far away land, or when you want to create a tongue-in-cheek send-up using World music to help punctuate a visual joke, CSS Music has a wide selection of music that spans the globe. Be it a Parisian cafĂ©, the plains of Africa, a beer garden in Germany or a street market in Bangladesh, we believe our library of World music will fill your travel itinerary.

Our Super Themes library features four excellent albums with World music from nearly every continent. (We’re not sure what Antarctic music sounds like but we’re working on it.) Just Volume 46 alone covers music from the Mayan ruins to the Australian Outback to The Orient to a Flamenco dance in Spain, then all the way to a Celtic Glenn in Scotland! You will find each of these tracks captures the flavor of the region(s) using authentic instruments native to the music genre. You will also find a selection of traditional World music selections on Digital Ditties as well on most of the other CSS Music libraries.

Need Latin music for your next show? No problem. Besides the various Latin cuts disperse throughout the Super Themes albums of World music, we have entire CDs in our Target Trax, Max Trax and Hot Spots libraries devoted to a variety of Latin styles. Ole! If there’s a region of the world we missed, please let us know and we’ll make every effort to include in one of the CSS Music updates!

August 01, 2016

Zeroing In On Your Music Quest

A Quick Tutorial On Our Search System

We know how busy you guys are getting product out the door as quickly as possible. That’s why CSS Music and Zero Fee Music offer three ways to find what you’re looking for—fast! Perhaps the most expeditious option is to utilize our Hand Picked Genres page. We know that probably 90% of the time you’re looking for a track in a particular genre and don’t need to get into a deep search for something distinctive. The broad-based choices on this search will quickly get to the best of each category.

But if you do need to get specific, we have two other systems for you. Our Keyword Alpha List allows you to hone in on your choice of style, emotion or just about anything running around in your mind. Say you just want something “happy.” Using the center alphabetic row, Keywords H-Q and choosing “Happy” you’ll have pages of options available to you.

Finally, we have the CSS Music Multiple Keyword Search a/k/a Redi-Trax. This system allows you to type in your own multiple keywords or you can use our own compilation of pre-screened words. At the top of the page on the right hand side you will see a drop down menu, Keywords. Simply click on that and you will open a window with hundreds pf choices--categories like “animal chase” all the way to “zany.” Or you can type your own keywords in the space at the top of the page.

Finding the right music quickly is essential when time is ticking and your Production Manager wants this week’s episode, now! CSS Music is always striving to make your music selection as painless as possible.