June 26, 2017

Get Shorty

A Discussion of CSS Music’s Intros & Endings

Just to be clear: this blog in no way references the 1995 Barry Sonnenfeld film. Instead, we’ll examine some of the great short cues found in the CSS Music library. If you look at our Hand Picked Genre/Category Hot Lists menu you’ll find Intros-Endings. Click the Go button and start auditioning!

These tasty little morsels can save you tons of time when you need a short piece of music that has an abbreviated beginning, middle and end. We’ve labeled these as intros and endings, but there are also short music cues that can be utilized in a number of situations like cross fades, bumpers and transitions.

If you’re producing a Sport or Sporting show, a track like “Hello Beautiful” (Powertrax Vl. 30) will make an excellent bumper or scene change. Have a paranormal show? Give “Great Caesars Ghost” (Project Platinum Vl. 15) a listen. Maybe it’s a cocktail lounge scene where actors enter just as the band is concluding. You’ll find “Lounge Trio Groovin’” (Repo-File Plus Vl. 39) is absolutely perfect. How about creating your own film opening logo with a huge orchestra? “All Purpose Opener” (Digital Ditties Vl. 3) will really make a statement! Can you use a cute little chromatic piano scale up and down for a graphic underscore? Check out “Spin Cast.’ (Repo-File Plus Vl. 17)

CSS Music currently has 25 pages of these super handy tracks that have been culled from our Repo-File Plus, Powertrax, Digital Ditties and more recent Project Platinum albums. We’re aware you guys/gals are doing a lot more music changes and the requirements for music—particularly for reality television—have changed a lot in the past 10 years. And we will continue to expand this genre with upcoming volumes so you can quickly drop in music without having to perform major music editing surgery.

Please let us know if there’s something you need, or frequently use, along these lines and we’ll do our best to add to future updates!

Oh, by the way, check out the music effects in the CSS E-EFX library.

June 20, 2017

To Cry, Sigh or Smile, That Is The Question

What Makes Music Emotional

The wonderful thing about music is how it affects our feelings. And CSS Music has music that can evoke just about any emotion you’re trying to achieve. Whether you want a sad song, something wistful or a track that elicits laughter, we believe you will find an excellent selection from which to choose. Let’s take a look at what goes into making music move us.

Foremost in creating emotional music is setting the mood. A piece of music that’s sad, sorrowful or wistful can be created with a solo instrument. How many films have you seen where a piano plays a simple melodic line to carry the most crucial scenes? You may not even be aware that strings are subtly being added as the scene evolves, moving to its conclusion. Sometimes upward key changes are incorporated to “lift” the emotional impact.

The next element is melody. If you happen across a movie from the 1980s you may notice that melodies were much more prevalent than they are in films today. In fact, some current underscores rely solely on a chord progression and perhaps percussive elements—there’s no leaving-the-theater humming a tune. Not to say that the masters like John Williams, James Horner and Hans Zimmer aren’t writing incredibly lush, evocative scores with terrific melodies!

Finally, orchestrations and production are the glue that binds. And not every piece of emotional music needs to be played by an 80-piece orchestra. Look at unsettled simplicity of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s “Twin Peaks Theme” with the eerie vibrato guitar, or the layered synthesizers Vangelis used in “Blade Runner.” More often than not, a well-composed piano piece will always win the day.

Yes, we here at CSS Music love a piece of music that heightens our emotions. And we believe you’ll find a surfeit of wonderfully emotionally tracks in our library for your next production. Type a few keywords like “emotional” or “heartwarming” in our Build-A-Search menu and get out your hankie. 

June 12, 2017

Lights, Camera, Music!

Exploring The Cinematic Music in Super Themes

Whether you’re producing an A/V show, reality television or maybe a low budget film that you want to sound like a major motion picture and you’re seeking true film score music, we have you covered. We’re blessed to have David Wurst, a world-class composer with a number of films under his belt as well as the creator of the Super Themes library, developed exclusively for CSS Music.

If you want to dig into David’s work, click on the Search by Library button and select Super Themes. You’ll immediately notice that Volume 1 is called The Big Screen. On that disc you’ll find everything from adventure with “Super Hero” to Western vistas with “Westward Ho! to the evocative and inspirational “Echoes Of America.” You’ll find Volumes 11 and 12, Super Cinema and Big Screen II are also packed with incredibly well produced music. One of our favorite cuts is on Volume 12, “The Homecoming” that practically paints a patriotic scene in your mind. While there are other excellent film music discs, David’s latest album, Big Screen Xlll is a tour de force with epic themes and extraordinary orchestrations.

But not every film today—or television show or AVpresenation--requires large orchestral scores. That’s why you’ll find volumes like Exotic Destinations, Just For Kids, Light Jazz, Country/Bluegrass, Best of the Blues and Modern Vibe which features some really cool tracks like “Lover” that sound like it just sashayed off the runway at Fashion Week in New York.

David is also a master of all genres of Rock and you’ll find everything from Rock & Rebellion to X Rock to Rock and Urban Muscle, to name a few. Just about any scene you may need to underscore with rock music can be found in one of these discs.

We at CSS Music are proud to represent David (and his brother/co-composer Eric) Wurst and the cinematic quality of Super Themes. We highly recommend you take this library for a test drive with your next show. We believe you’ll find exactly what you’re after and will enjoy the accolades you’ll receive for using it! J

June 02, 2017

Digging Deep For Treasure

Finding Gems in the CSS Music Library

We’ve frequently discussed using our search engine and the three convenient ways to find music. And in most situations, simply using our Hand Picked Genre/Category Hot Lists menu will quickly get results.

But what if you’re looking for something particular that’s a wee bit off the beaten path? Maybe you need a track specified by a client or your Music Supervisor in less-than-clear terminology? Well…this is where both the CSS Music Keyword Alpha Lists and Build-A-Search by Keyword search engines shine.

If the directive is simply like “Action” and “Hip Hop,” you’ll find the dropdown menu in the Keyword Alpha Lists engine will swiftly yield treasures. Even if you add the additional parameter “Rap” you’ll get results, albeit a single track. While we’ve conveniently used examples that work with the Alpha Lists alphabet constraints, you will probably find workaround words to fit your needs.

When you’ve been asked to find something more esoteric with words like “Energy” and “Action,” you’ll find the Build-A-Search delivers excellent results. Even a more obscure description like “Nature, Gentle, Soft” will lead to just the right choices. If you want to see the Build-A-Search really perform, type in “Cinematic, Action” and enjoy 14 pages of our terrific film music.

Our goal at CSS Music is to make your work go faster and to make the process of finding music as easy as possible. While many music libraries use just one search system, we believe our constantly evolving keyword search methodology will be the process you’ll choose to use time and again!