Free Loops and Stings Download Packs

In case you didn’t realise – we posted our first “Free Audio Pack”  at various software download sites at the end of 2008.
This pack contains 8 completely free loops and stings in high quality WAV files.
These free music loops are simple to download and import into any multimedia production and are completely free for use in non-profit productions. The pack also contains information, links and license terms.
We’ve now made this pack available for download directly from the SMARTassMusic website on our updated “free royalty free music” page. From here you can access members only free music or download our free audio packs without the need to register.

We’ll soon be releasing our second Free royalty free music audio pack which should contain 12 high quality loops and stings. We’ll update you first from the blog, so watch this space 🙂

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Production Music for TV, starts the year.

Our blog’s been quiet over the holiday period but while many of you have been putting your feet up, we’ve been really busy behind the scenes.

We’ve upgraded our servers, improved our payment system and added lots of great new music.

We also managed to fit in a TV ad commission from Miami. The company had found a track they liked but they needed something very specific. We recreated the style and then changed it to fit the video exactly. The 24 hour  turnaraound made life quite interesting but Tedi and Debi were a pleasure to work with. Thanks guys 🙂
We’ll post shortly with details of new music, new composers and more free music!
Have a good 2009 🙂

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Podcast and Podsafe Music

If you create your own podcasts then you will certainly need great music to accompany your fabulous new show.
There’s actually a great choice of music available on the Internet for podcasters but there’s two vital things to watch out for: is it legal? and is it good quality?

To be sure that your podcast music is “podsafe” or legal, you really need to buy music from a royalty free music library or independent musician who specifically gives you the rights to use his or her music.
The SMARTassMusic standard license gives you the right to use our music as much as you like in your podcasts and many other projects too!
And did I mention….there’s free tracks too and yes, you’re welcome to use these in your podcasts absolutely free.

The other important point is that of quality. Our music is crystal clear audio quality and available for instant download as both WAV and high quality MP3 files (192kbps).
You shouldn’t sacrifice quality for bandwidth when producing your podcasts and any audio compression less than 128kbps containing music, is going to be noticably poor.
Good luck with your podcasting!

Posted in: General, Podcasting

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Great Jazz Night Out

I had a great night out on Wednesday with a Jazz gig at The Woodman, in Sevenoaks, Kent. They put on regular evenings of Jazz with top name players and on this occasion we had the great Roger Beaujolais on vibes (a much neglected, wonderful instrument),  Jo Fooks on sax, Bobby Worth on drums, Pete Ringrose on bass and myself (Jim Treweek) on piano. A personal thanks to everybody involved in setting up these gigs, including the audience who  really support the venue and the musicians.

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Royalty Free Music Collection-Dark Underscores

 Tv and Film composer Alex Khaskin has produced a set of royalty free underscores for our library.
These tracks are available to license and download seperately but we’ve compiled 10 of these underscores into a “Dark Underscore” collection.
This collection is perfect for media producers, saving well over 50% by purchasing the track package as opposed to the individual tracks.
The collection contains a variety of dark background music tracks with a similar production style so that you can use them throught a single program or film or use them individually as many times as you like.

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More-Royalty Free Christmas Music!

As the Holiday season rapidly approaches we’ve added some more production music tracks to our royalty free library.
Here at SMARTassMusic this is our very first Christmas!

From experienced TV production music composers Liz Radford/Gavin Courtie we have the superb, fun “Have a Merry, Merry Christmas“. This is a wonderful vocal arrangement available in various edit lengths.

Another favorite of mine is “Ding Dong Merrily on High“-a great rock version of this Christmas/Holiday classic and  “Rock the Halls (Deck the Halls)

We’ve also put together  Christmas/Holiday production music tracks into a “Christmas Handbells Vol 1”

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Jazz Harmony Tutorial

 Today I’ve posted a more advanced tutorial on harmony and in particular the harmonic extensions and voicings used in Jazz.
The “pretty notes” as Charlie Parker called them, are the higher notes of the chords (9th,11th,13th) which are vital to contemporary Jazz but also familiar to classical musicians from the works of Debussy and Ravel.

download jazz harmony pdf

It’s important to be able to instantly recognize these larger intervals in every key as well as to utilize them properly by means of good “voicing”.
To Jazz and commercial musicians “voicing” is the way that one places the notes of the chord across the keyboard (or among the instruments if arranging) and really, is of more importance than the simple choice of notes in the chord.

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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Basic Harmony PDF download

Learning harmony can be daunting for many musicians but I believe that if you understand harmony well it simplifies most musical styles so that you can gain a greater understanding.
It’s also invaluable for Jazz or commercial musicians.

You can download the PDF introduction to Jazz hamony below. Understanding this single sheet is probably more important than any of the more advanced lessons that you may come accross. It’s easy to skim over this thinking that you know it, but beware, you must understand it!

download “Basic Harmony” PDF

This sheet deals with the naturally occuring diatonic (major scale) chords (3 note chords) as well as the 5 qualities of chords that we encounter in Jazz playing (based on 4 note chords).

Thinking in numerals (or Roman numerals as here) is important because you can change key easily with refernce to only a single chord sequence (II-V-1 as opposed to Dm7-G7-Cmaj7)

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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Piano Scales PDF Download

piano scales download
I’d like to start a series of piano/jazz/harmony/arranging tutorials so I thought it would be best to start off with the basics.
You can printout the PDF below which is all major scale for practise at the piano. Here I’ve organised them in groups of fingering rather than keys. There are 3 groups and it’s easier to learn a particular finger pattern and apply it to the group rather than learn each scale separately.

Download piano major scales pdf

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Royalty Free Kids/ Comedy Music

We’ve added some more great music from our new production music composer Alex Khaskin.
The tracks are all kids or comedy style tracks which have been very cleverly composed for use with video. We’ve compiled a collection of 10 kids tracks to our “Packages” menu. Remember, with these packages, you only require a single additional license (if required) rather than a license for each track.

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