At 3 hours ago, silkng wrote:
Yeah I guess until I make myself known I can't really ask for exclusivity, I get that. But I would want some assurances that the music hasn't been used in another publicly released game, and like you said, a grace period to give the game a chance to take off and if it does, a mutual agreement that I can buy the rights to the audio.
It's not so much how well known you are, more like whether or not you're willing to pay an arm and a leg for exclusive rights. That's a hell of a lot for an artist to lose: they would have to license the music back from you if they wanted to release the soundtrack, they'd never be able to publish the music and make money from licensing or ad/film/tv placements, they couldn't even use the music for demonstration purposes (e.g. on their personal website) unless they got permission from you.
It's especially bad since there's no money up front, and, hell, you didn't even guarantee payment after: "If the game ends up a major hit, then I'll be passing some profit on to you..."
Even for non-exclusive music, I'd say you're looking at a few hundred dollars per track. IF you want professional-sounding audio (as in, professional-level composition, proper mixing, etc.). Otherwise, you can probably find people willing to do it cheap or free, but it probably won't sound as good.
We're not trying to bankrupt people here. But our society has completely devalued music. To the point where suddenly it becomes okay for people to expect exclusive rights for free. People seem to forget that musicians have to eat and have bills to pay, as well.
Some of us do occasionally work for free or limited payment. It's a good way of expanding our portfolio; other times, it's just because we love the premise of the work -- I'm doing voluntary work on a project, for example, because I love the idea of the game, and I think it deserves high-quality audio.
I have a motto that I picked up from other working composers: "Fast, cheap, or good. You can choose two. If you want it fast and cheap, it won't be good; fast and good, it won't be cheap; or cheap and good, but it won't be fast."