How to impress music supervisors and get your music synced

Delicious Digital give us their essential tips on how artists can be successful with music syncs...


With live music not currently an option for artists (at least not in its traditional form), many are looking for alternative income streams.

Music sync could potentially be an avenue to explore. Sync deals take place when music is used as a soundtrack to a TV programme, film, advert or video game and are arranged by a music publisher and a producer or music supervisor. 

A group of ICMP students recently had their original music featured on a Channel 4 's TV show 'Ramadan in Lockdown'. The BMus in Popular Music Performance students spent three weeks working with their tutor Ben Jones and sync agency Delicious Digital on a choice of music sync briefs.  

Following this success, we went to Delicious Digital to find out more about music sync and get their essential advice on how artists can win over music supervisors to get their songs featured...

For any songwriters or musicians looking to get their music synced, where should they start? How should they begin? 

Listen carefully to what features on various TV show, films and commercials. Often music is chosen because of a specific mood or emotion that it portrays or sometimes it can be the relevance of a lyric. Always consider whether your music fits a particular area before sending it to anyone. It helps the process and saves time for all parties.

Also, do your research as to who you are sending music to. Is it a Head of Music at a TV company, is it a director, is it a Head of TV at an agency? Find out the projects they have previously worked on and show them that you understand who they are and what they do. There's no point in sending thrash metal to a producer at 'Countryfile'!

Could you talk a little about the process of getting music synced? Who or what is involved?

This really depends on where your music is to start with and what syncs you are trying to achieve.

Some people choose to put their music into production music libraries, some are individual independent composers and others may be signed to recording and publishing deals. Music supervisors are generally the gatekeepers as it’s their job to find the right music for the right project but, along with them, the choice is often in the hands of editors and directors. Do your research and find out what supervisors want and who is choosing the soundtrack.

Consider how well your music works in sync situations. Just because you love it and think it’s the greatest piece of music ever doesn’t mean to say that it will do the right job to picture." 

What skills or attributes do musicians need to work on to be successful in sync?

Try not to be too precious. Remember that sync is about the perfect music for the perfect moment. Sometimes clients will ask for changes you might not agree with, sometimes they’ll ask for instruments you did not plan for. Find a balance between creative flair and understanding and be flexible in your approach. 

If a musician hasn't worked to brief before, what would you advise them?

Make sure you tick the boxes needed for the emotion and reason for the music. Then bring your own style and ingenuity to the project so that it stands out from the crowd. In many cases, less is more. Ask yourself if the music you are making is too busy, too complicated, over produced? Does it do what the client wants? Remember that there are many many composers competing for work so put your own passion into it and give yourself an identity.

How can artists make a good impression on a music supervisor? Are there any do's or don’ts?

Do your research. Respect the projects they have done in the past. Be collaborative and flexible. We always like to see that people are doing things for themselves too. Build a website, write a biog, showcase yourself and your music in a concise way. No one has time to listen to 100 tracks. Present the music that you make from the heart and show how it can work for sync. There are so many people who say they can make anything in any style so consider what makes you different. 

Are there specific musical trends you're seeing within the music sync world at the moment? 

This really depends on the syncs you are looking for. The small screen has become the big screen. There is a trend for cinematic soundtracks in television promos and drama, yet cute acoustic delights are always popular in advertising.

At Delimusic, we look for musicianship in our sync artists. Technology has provided a way for many unskilled people to create music in many ways. Play your instrument and showcase your skills and talent."

Could you talk about an example of a successful recent sync? 

We’ve just licensed a Delimusic track to an agency for a food brand advert. The production company shortlisted some tracks, we shortlisted some tracks and then the brand themselves did the same. Everyone had their own reasons for the music they chose; from the vibe of the creative, to the tone of the voice-over and eventually the brand went for something that conveyed the perfect balance of feel between the brand and product. Ultimately there are many reasons why people feel music works. 

What would be your ultimate piece of advice for musicians looking to writer/make music for sync?

Think about what makes you different. Consider how your music compares to other tracks. Be flexible and collaborate. Be nice! There are a lot of people involved in the chain of synchronisation and your reputation is important.

Don’t forget how getting one sync is hard, getting a follow up is even harder and building a career takes a lot of hard work and a massive dose of LUCK.

Visit to find out more. 

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by Jim Ottewill
July 26, 2020
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