Post Magazine

March 2012

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FirstCom represents BBC Production Music, offering cues from TV shows, docs and more. Competition among sound library providers is fierce. Not only do companies have to offer high- quality music and/or effects — in HD or 5.1, too — but they also have to make these cues easy to find and deliver via well-thought out, user-friendly Websites. This month, Post spoke with a range of providers that specialize in music — with and without lyrics — and those offering high- quality sound effects. Here, they discuss trends, competition, deliv- ery options and new releases planned for the year ahead. FIRSTCOM Carrollton, TX-based FirstCom makes a point of updating the look of its Website ( regularly to highlight music that's well suited for different seasons and applications. The com- pany addressed the return of the NBA season this winter, and when Post visited the site in late January, it featured patriotic imag- ery reflecting the 2012 presidential campaign season. FirstCom uses its Website for preview and delivery purposes, as well as to introduce clients to themed playlists that are designed to aggregate tracks of a similar style. Executive producer Ken Nelson says the company puts consid- erable effort into improving the FirstCom site, which can be a challenge because of the number of labels the company repre- sents. He's pleased to note that all of FirstCom's music is currently online and searchable, and that represents somewhere around 140,000 music cues. The FirstCom site is easy to use. I performed two searches for "Heavy Metal" and "Political" music and was impressed with the assorted results that were instantly returned. Also nice is the fact that I didn't have to register in order to preview music. "We're trying to resist that," says Nelson of the registration process. "There's been some discussion that maybe getting an email address might be important. We realize that there are peo- ple who will try to use our music without paying for it." FirstCom has been delivering music digitally for two years now and has done away with the manufacturing of CDs. It still has an inventory of discs for those who might need them, and also offers a hard-drive solution for clients that may be working in studio environments protected by firewalls. "We try to be very flexible," says Nelson, adding that the com- pany is looking into new delivery formats to benefit its clients. FirstCom recently became the exclusive US and Canadian rep for BBC Production Music, which Nelson describes as offering "spectacu- lar music from the BBC and BBC programming, documentaries and television shows. They have a very deep and long history of producing incredible music, and we're fortunate to represent that catalog. It's an excellent source for filmmakers [and] documentary producers." Nelson points to the 15-album collection's environmental themes that would work well with content focused on the planet, oceans and cinematic landscapes. In addition, the BBC collection includes period music. FirstCom also recently entered into a deal with DJ Skee and Build Destroy Music, which cultivates young hip-hop and pop art- ists. This expands FirstCom's hip-hop genre and gives Build Destroy Music exposure to film and television producers. OMNIMUSIC Doug Wood is the president of Port Washington, NY's Omnimu- sic, a music production library that has been in business since the mid 1970s. The company has approximately 19,000 tracks in its collection, and visitors to their Website ( can take advantage of an easy-to-use search engine that allows them to Hollywood Edge delivers 5.1 & HD effects HOLLYWOOD — The Hollywood Edge ( has released several new titles, including Segue Surround HD 5.1, a sound effects toolkit featuring more than 1,100 whooshes, stingers, impact effects, atmospher- ics and other transitional elements created in 5.1 surround. The collection was recorded and designed in 24-bit/96kHz. In addition to 5.1 effects, the collection includes stereo versions too. Mechanical Morphs is another recent title from The Hollywood Edge. The release features the work of sound designers Richard Devine and Jim Stout and is well-suited for sci-fi and fantasy productions with its metal smashing and gears grinding effects. Each sound was recorded and processed at 24-bit/96kHz for HD fidelity. Mechanical Morphs comes with over 1,300 sounds on five audio CDs and two DVDs. Post • March 2012 27

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