Hello every one in the AJ community.
I am Music Wanderer, another composer over here in the market. I don’t have a big activity in the forums, but after seeing many posts about being hard rejected, I wanted to give my personal point of view and help, and add something from me to the community, directed mostly, as basic help to newcomers. Just to mention it, I have no hard rejects till now, and even if my numbers are still small, I’m getting close to level 3, and it has costed me my effort. I thought about enumerating a series of things that come to my mind, in no particular order, but that I believe worth considering, hoping I can help. If you wish, you can add something to the list.
Many times I see a hard rejected track, comes the issue of the “notes out of time”! The art of quantize is very important. You must be able to detect when a note has to be on the line, or a little moved. Then If you quantize everything, you will sound like a robot. But if you have many notes, too early, or too late in the grid, you are subjected to rejection. I admit here, that mastering this, implies to have created a lot of music, and having spent many hours burning out your retinas. But it is what it takes.
Many times… the mix. We see sound cloud examples where the mix is wrong enough, to be hard rejected. If you don’t have enough “flying hours”, you’ll need to gain consciousness about the equilibrium of your song. And this again means to listen a lot of music. But not just listen, but try to detect, where the instruments are placed, the levels of each instrument, the EQ, the grade of compression. Something that works always fine, is to use a music reference of what you’re trying to do. Have it on your DAW, and try to learn from it.
Its very important to know in which way an instrument is played. Its no use, if you have a nice strings sound, and you play it like its a toy keyboard, ignoring the characteristics of the sound. The attack, the release and so. To gain realism, think of strings when you’re playing strings!
Lately, several tracks that are “ok” are also being rejected. Consider that when there’s many track of the sort, you are not adding something different to a market already saturated. The track may be ok, and it still can be hard rejected, so don’t loose your spirit. Don’t lose the chance to be yourself and believe in what works best for you. This takes us to a last point.
Know your strenghts. It is very important, to know what are you best at. Try to know your strongest music style for example, and explote it! It is important to answer to the needs of the market and what is selling most, but sincerely, who knows if you´ll end selling more, if you put yourself, and personality into it, doing your thing (provided it also fits with this market). A good balance on that is my advice, always knowing that this is not an exact science.
If you have difficulty, detecting some of the point above mentioned, it may mean that you have not long time in music, and you will need time to basically, meet a lot of mistakes, which is precisely where you are going to grow! You can go that road, or you can deliberate, if you think that you are better in another discipline. Maybe one that you have been for years. It’s about being honest to yourself. Its not the same if you started with music at home at the age of 6, that if you started a little “late”. Yes! Its never late, but for some things, it can make a huge difference to have started with 23 and try to sell right away. It’s true, that like in many things, its not a speed race, it’s a long marathon. Enjoy the road!
My thanks to the community, and all the countries, for all the things I receive and learn here. Keep that music rolling.