November 30, 2016

Energy for Energy

Rebuilding An Industry With CSS Music

New President, new policies and the re-emergence of America’s energy industry mean that you video guys will once again be busy. From training films to product demos to investor presentations, we at CSS Music predict there will be a boon in energy-related shows. Be it coal, gas or the Keystone Pipeline out of Alaska, video will play a huge role in the energy industry.

As we’ve said before, we’re the guys that built our music library primarily for the corporate-industrial AV/Video crowd. Back in 198? when CSS Music founder Mike Fuller began Creative Support Services, the mission was to “support” the in-house or freelance corporate show producer with a steady diet of quality music designed for presentations. In fact, we’re one of the few libraries that offer long form (five minutes or more) music with our MaxTrax library. And this library was born via requests from our AV/Video clients!

Corporate-industrial music has of course evolved from the early years of Creative Support Services. Yet our continued commitment to service your industry hasn’t waivered. If you click on the Business/Industrial link from our Hand Picked Genre homepage, you’ll see that CSS Music has kept the “pipeline” flowing with over 2,000 tracks in this genre. Of course you may have a specific idea on what your show needs. Using our Keyword Alpha List you can hone your search quickly by using the drop-down menus. We also highly recommend trying our Search By Library feature to audition the music from Super Themes, PowerTrax and the aforementioned MaxTrax.

If we’re right and the energy sector of the American economy explodes, you will find a “well” of “energy music” for your next show right here at CSS Music!

November 22, 2016

Cute or Comical?

Do You Want Comedy or Dramady?

You’ve got a scene that is, or has the potential to be funny.  All you need is the right underscore music to hit the mark. At CSS Music we’ve made distinctions between Cute, Comedy, Cartoon, Fun, Humorous and Quirky. In fact, we just released a new PowerTrax disc entitled “Funny Ha Ha and Happy.”

So what’s the difference between these styles? A track like “Drunk Clown” on the “Funny Ha Ha…” volume is somewhat explanatory—circus music with touches of cartoon punctuation. This track is great for those comedic scenes where you speed up video 2X or 4X ala Keystone Cops. Or like on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

But what if you need something subtler? Maybe a scene where someone is up to no good and your audience knows it? Project Platinum’s volume 19 “Light ‘n Easy II” contains “Sneaky Senorita” featuring pizzicato strings and Spanish guitar—perfect for just that scenario. This type of track is now being referred to as “dramady” since it only hints at comedy. While we haven’t yet included the term in keywords, you’ll find what you’re after within our other search words.

If you DO need more of a cartoon vibe, we suggest you scroll down our Keyword Search page to the Keyword Alpha List and select Cartoon from the A-G dropdown menu. There you will find 15 pages of some very creative cartoon music from a number of our composers. From “Cartoon Crazy” in Digital Ditties to “Inspector 12” and “Comedy Animals” in RepoFile Potpourri to “Cat Burger Lar” and “Plucky Pleasure” in Project Platinum, CSS Music has music to make you and your viewers smile! Our goal is to offer the styles of music you most often need and in the right balance to your overall production schedule. We hope you’ll give the tracks we’ve mentioned a listen!

November 15, 2016

Come Hear The Softer Side of CSS

The Wonderful World Of the Solo Instrument

When you’re faced with the quandary of finding “something different” to underscore a scene, CSS Music suggests an idea often used in motion pictures: the solo instrumental. Be it a solo trumpet evoking a sad battlefield moment, a scratchy, poorly played violin for humor or an acoustic guitar capturing the mood of a sleepy Mexican town, the power and intimacy of a single instrument will offer your shows a unique color palette.

What does the solo instrumental have over a more fleshed out piece of music? The first thing is emotion and identification. Think about the movie “The Sting” and Marvin Hamlisch’s excellent score that revolved around Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” played on an out-of-tune upright piano. From the opening credits, you know immediately you’re watching a tongue-in-cheek period film. The other powerful aspect is your ability to ride the gain more easily. You never have to worry about a big drum fill or dweedle guitar solo interrupting a mood you’ve established. Finally, depending on the length of your scene, you can fade, edit to ending or loop this type of track in a myriad of different ways.

If you would like to explore the CSS Music library of solo instruments simply scroll down our homepage to Keyword Alpha List. Under the Keywords R-Z you’ll find Solo Instrumentals with 14 pages of various instruments and moods. The solo instrument track won’t work in every situation. But when you want to perk up your viewer’s ears with something more emotionally focused that immediately establishes mood, nothing does it like a single instrumental!

November 10, 2016

The Corporate Conundrum

What Music To Use Today

What exactly is a corporate presentation today? Is it Apple introducing a new product with hip alt folk music? Or Northwestern Mutual presenting their annual stockholder’s report using traditional orchestral music? Or maybe Harley-Davidson introduces a new motorcycle via a walk-through video utilizing a Southern Rock influenced underscore? What exactly makes these different music styles “corporate?”

The tried and true formula of the typical corporate track is a big intro that quickly drops to a rhythmic groove with a slow melodic thematic over the groove. The reason behind this is simple: most shows open with graphics followed by narration. Oftentimes, key changes are written into the arrangement to allow the narration to change bullet points or moods. The corporate track usually closes with a big build allowing closing graphics. Wham bam thank you ma’am, hope you enjoyed the show!

We at CSS Music want to take a moment to brag: we’ve been supplying corporate-industrial music for over 30 years and feel this genre of music sometimes gets short shrift. What used to be “tympani and French horn music” has now evolved into a genre as diverse as the colors of the rainbow. While we continue to refine the traditional “corporate sound,” CSS Music is also developing hybrid styles that incorporate elements from hip hop, house, rock, electronica, dubstep and many others.

If you look at our Hand Picked Genre/Category Hot List on the CSS Music/Zero Fee/Dawn Music websites, you’ll notice we have only one category, Business/Industrial that links to the type of music you’d typically choose for corporate presentations. But you’ll notice there are 175 pages for your corporate presentation pleasure. You’ll find a plethora of styles all having the commonality of working well in corporate/industrial/business presentations.

For you as an editor or music supervisor we encourage you to explore our website. With various search options, we think you’ll discover music that will enhance your presentations quickly. But if you want to confine your search to strictly corporate-industrial, using our Search By Library will yield tons of great tracks from all our libraries! Happy hunting!

November 02, 2016

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Which Style of Rock Is Right For Your Project?

Remember the good ol’ days when Rock ‘n Roll meant (usually) a four piece band with guitars, bass and drums? Introduced by Bill Hailey and The Comets, Elvis, Buddy Holly and later refined by the Beatles and the Stones, Rock became an integral part of our lives. Then came the psychedelic era introduced by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix and bands like Jefferson Airplane. As the 1970’s matured, a new Soft Rock sound became the staple of Pop radio. And while this was happening, the musician-centric Progressive Rock style was being heard on the expanded FM radio band along with a Hard Rock sound from the likes of AC/DC, Cheap Trick and Arrowsmith.

Through the 1980’s and into the late 1990’s more and more styles of Rock appeared on the scene. Punk, Electro, Grunge, Alternative, Speed Metal and Heavy Metal are only a handful of the new brands introduced to the world. And all styles being as different as can be!

So you have a project that needs some energy and you need to decide which Rock style will best serve your scene. Hmmm. How long is a piece of string? Seriously, you might be surprised that a track from CSS Music’s Super Themes Volume 59 “Rock and Urban Muscle” might work great for a fashion show…or fishing show! Or a track from Project Platinum’s Techo Meat Rock might be a perfect match to a number of action scenes. It will probably boil down to tempo and arrangement. If your scene has a lot of dialog, something groove oriented will make the most sense. If you’re cutting together action, go for that track with the screaming guitar solo!

CSS Music pays homage to many great Rock styles as well as keeping up with the new trends as they appear on the scene. When you’re looking for Rock, we suggest you check out our Keyword Search page and Hand Picked Genres. With selections from various Rock genres, we think you’ll find the perfect track in a matter of minutes. Rock on, Wayne! J