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The Story Behind a Royalty-Free Music Track

Creating an outstanding piece of music takes a mix of technical skills, strong emotion, and the ability to turn that emotion into sound. Here’s how a music track is born.

In a recent conversation with Mike Meehan, known as Sunshine Music on PremiumBeat, we learned what it takes him to compose a royalty-free music track. In the video below, we’re sharing an edited version of our conversation, with some choice visuals to match the emotion Meehan brings to his approach.

It’s an insightful conversation whether you make music, or you’re simply selecting music to use in a project. Now when we listen to Meehan’s Rainy Day Reflection track we hear it differently, knowing the story behind its creation. All of a sudden, this is not just a royalty-free track. It is a complex set of choices and personal influence from the artist himself, reflected in the instruments and sounds of the song. Let’s break it down.

How Sunshine Music Makes an Orchestra Track

The piano sketch is one of the most difficult parts, confessed Meehan. Why, though? After all, piano is one of the easier musical instruments to learn how to play. The reason isn’t musical prowess, but the weight the piano carries in the song. Any music track needs a skeleton, like the outline to a good novel. Coming up with this backbone is what takes a music composer so much mental effort and time. The other elements of the song fall into place alongside the piano. Being a seasoned musician, Meehan knows the drill. He has over 150 tracks in his audio editing software, each linked to a different instrument of the orchestra. If he needs flute or trumpet sounds, he uses his keyboard to produce the sample inside his template.

The tactile idea of texture might seem out of place in music composing, but this is how Meehan describes the feeling and sound of his music. It’s all what the musician is feeling in the moment of writing a new track, and with practice he has become more attuned to which textures will produce certain emotions. Professional musicians like Meehan feel when the moment is right to have a rough texture and when it’s time to move into a quieter mode. They play with the sound’s intensity and quality: crisp, washy, rough, smooth.

Like in photography, where film has been gradually replaced by digital production, music composition has evolved technically. Full orchestras have been replaced by digital composition. Similar to film photography, orchestra music involves more resources, more time, and more active players. But orchestra also offers more layers and variations that give a track personality. Meehan’s thorough approach to music creation is what distinguishes PremiumBeat’s artists, whether it’s digital composition or live music.

Need more exclusive music for video projects? Here are tracks from Mike Meehan, plus more orchestral music:

Want to try your hand at music making? Here are some resources to consult:

Cover image via SunnyGraph.