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Erwin Steijlen – Production Music Composer

Erwin Steijlen – Music Composer

If there is a great all rounder within the production music sphere, it’s got to be composer Erwin Steijlen. Not only is he a sought after music composer for advertising but also an in demand session guitar player. With a list of clients such as BMW, Microsoft, Mercedes, Audi and Yamaha under his belt, Erwin has established himself as the go-to composer for music for TV commercials. Erwin also supplies music to a number of production music libraries including Muziko from where his track have appeared on countless TV shows. He has worked with some top music artists such as P!nk and Freddie LeGrand to name but a few. But not only that, as he is also a songwriting teacher where he gives lessons at the ArtEZ Academy in his native Netherlands.

All of Erwin’s production music tracks on Muziko can be found here.

Erwin Steijlen - Music Composer Extrodinaire

Erwin Steijlen – Music Composer Extraordinaire

Erwin’s musical accolades go on and on but we caught up with him to ask him a few questions about his music and how he got started:

You obviously have a great love for making music and being a music composer. How did you get started?

I started playing guitar at age 14 and got into bands right away. Always writing my own songs and trying to be the next guitar hero .-)Always been a big Jeff Beck fan but also Michael Schenker, Neal Schon and Brian May of course! He’s the one why i started playing guitar in the first place.
I mostly did rock and hard rock, later I joined jazz-rock and pop bands. After school i was in professional bands for a while, playing parties, weddings and discotheques.. making money but hated it because it felt like a waste of time. I learned a lot though about how people respond to live music, songs and musicians..I even meet my wife in that period.

Later I started playing on albums of Dutch and German artists and learned how to work in the studio. I also played with more famous Dutch artists and got to know really good musicians who became my friends.

In 2001 I got my first music composer writing job and this one was for Cirque Du Soleil!! Incredible first job for an amateur music composer of course… they liked my tracks and used it for a big show with a 10.000 people audience.
The composer for that gig got sick and somebody at the agency thought that I could replace this guy.
So, I called my dad and asked for a loan. I got myself a PP, Pro Tools, a Rode mic and a pair of headphones and started writing. had no idea what i was doing… took me 3 jobs before i learned what “grid” was so i guess my beats weren’t really tight in the beginning..
That music composer  job got me a lot of money, more than I was used too as a guitar player anyway so I could pay my dad back and even better, I got five more of these jobs that same year.
The biggest event company of the Netherlands at that time loved what I did and asked me to write for his clients. These clients were VW and BMW.
They flew me to Berlin, South-Africa and Spain and I was introduced as the “great composer” when all the time I had no idea what I was doing actually!
I bluffed my way in but also worked really hard. A writing job like that took me about three months, something I now can do in 1 week!

I learned how to write something that would fit the brand but at the same time would fit the show or presentation for that product. When for instance the new BMW5 series came out I needed to write for a live orchestra, dancers, laser show, film, flying acrobats, opera-singers etc… They would get a crazy idea of how to put this thing in the market, sell this idea to the heads of BMW and then get a team together that could pull it off.
I got to work with the best choreographs for dance, best directors and singers money could buy but the most important always is the music.
Music is the thing that gives people goosebumps and gives the brand a feeling. So I got and still get all the pressure on my shoulders…. something you never really get used to.

Also right now I’m writing three jobs at the same time knowing film directors, brands, choreographers etc… are waiting for my first version of the music before they can start their work.
never get used to the feeling after submitting my track and waiting for their response.. which can be harsh at times unfortunately

You do a lot of music for TV and advertising – how did you get into this?

I guess I was lucky at first getting in by chance. But to keep getting jobs has nothing to do with luck. That’s just hard work, always delivering at deadline and being able to communicate well. When you do your work well, people will notice and you will get new jobs through them. Your network builds and that is what you need in this business.

A lot of composers starting out will wonder how you get these great gigs such as music for car commercials – any advice for them?
My advice would be to be more pro-active. Make a SHORT showreel and try to get an interview with somebody at a advertising agency, event agency or film/video company.
It’s difficult to do this and I admit I don’t do it enough myself but you need to be more pro-active and it has proven to be effective.
Just sending an email has no use, you need to speak to the important people and show them your face, let them know you want in!
Keep the showreel short. These people have no time to listen to 20 minutes of music. Choose your best stuff and try do make it two minutes max.
If they like what you do they will ask for more!

Also, change the times you work. I start at 6 or 7 o clock in the morning. Reason for this is that I have a long day to work before submitting my music to a client. I need the hours to be productive. These are not audio professionals that can listen through a demo, they need it to sound like the last Queen album or Lady Gaga or whatever to understand my ideas and music.
Also, starting early gives me four hours before the phone starts ringing!

You travel sometimes playing guitar for presentations, etc. – how do you balance your studio work with this?

I do still work as a guitar player and as a musical director for artists, projects, brands etc.. I like the balance between playing live and working in the studio.
I have so much fun playing live with other musicians, it’s what making music is all about.

What can we expect from the Erwin Steijlen, Music Composer, and his projects in the future?

Working on an album right now! Wrote and recorded some awesome tracks which I am really proud of.
All real instruments and real playing. Also in a great pitch right now for the theme song for the Winter Olympics in Sotchi, would be super if i nail that one!

Erwin is obviously a serious composer who has worked hard and knows how to get places with his music. It is sure to see that with his skills and work ethic he will continue to be one of Europe’s finest music composers for advertising and TV.






Published by Alan Killian, on July 26th, 2013 at 12:13 pm. Filled under: Music ComposerNo Comments

Win Free Stock Music – Competition with Wavebreak Media

Free Stock Music to be Won in Conjunction with Wavebreak Media


We have an interesting announcement to make folks in that we are running a competition with our friends Wavebreak Media where lots of excellent prizes can be won including free stock music. The challenge is to take some footage from Wavebreak’s video library and to turn it into an excellent advert.


Entrants can also download production music preview files from and add the right stock music to their video entries. As Muziko provides stock music for advertising, their tracks should be a perfect accompaniment to the video footage provided by Wavebreak Media.

While is giving away €100 worth of production music from its library, other prizes include a Canon Powershot camera as well as Storyboard Quick Software.


More details can be found here.


We have featured Wavebreak Media before on the Muziko Blog. They provide all kinds of video and photo stock for all kinds of media such as advertising, film, TV and corporate video. they provide the media to the UK and Ireland and to many other customers around the world.

For more information on how to add stock music to your entry, please contact Alan at

Best of luck!




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Published by Alan Killian, on July 1st, 2013 at 12:57 pm. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments

Radio Jingles and Custom Music for Advertising | Muziko

Radio Jingles Still Doing the Business

Though Muziko is a production music library, that is not the only service that it provides. With a background in radio jingles and custom music for advertising, the team has continued to produce unique compositions for clients too. “It’s all part of the territory”, explains Alan of Muziko. “Sometimes clients require something special and this is something we can also cover”. In the past Muziko provided custom tracks for some major brands in TV and radio advertising campaigns. Vodafone, Nestle and McDonalds were such brands. Today they continue this work creating radio jingles and custom tracks for the like of Kia Motors and SMA foods.

So Why Still Radio Jingles Today?

Radio Jingles are very much alive and well it seems. Advertising clients are interested in it, especially for branding and introducing a new product to the market. It is probably the most simple way to get the name of a brand into people’s heads. It uses music, something the vast majority of use enjoy, to send that message across. This might be annoying to some(!) but it seems that Joe Bloggs consumer sometimes even likes certain jingles. You will often even hear people discussing certain music messages, which ones they like and even why.

A big jingle written by the guys at Muziko some years back was for a large chain of Irish book shops, Easons. This jingle had a fantastic run on radio in Ireland and was a very successful campaign. So Many Reasons to Shop at Easons, went the sung phrase. Easons were moving more and more towards products other that books and wanted to let customers know this. Things like back to school items, stationary, and other goods were advertised. They were mainly targeting the homemaker and so the jingle style had a light and fun based classical instrumetation. Pizzicato strings were used amongst other instruments. And, a female vocal. Other phrases came about too such as Seasons Greetings from All at Easons for the Christmas version along with sleigh bells. Versions also went to TV. You can learn more about creating a jingle and what is required in this article from the Berklee School of music here.

The Easons Jingle:

Easons Jingle Used for TV Commercial

Custom Music Today by Muziko

Recently Muziko has had a number of requests to make more radio jingles and custom music for advertising. At the end of 2012 the advertising agency, RLA Ireland, approached the guys at Muziko to create a custom track for Kia Motors. They wanted an edgy rock track and were very happy when presented with the piece below:

Radio Jingle Kia Muziko

Another jingle was for, an online insurance broker. This client wanted to target young and first time drivers as their aim is to give them the best price possible. Again, they needed something edgy which spoke to 17-25 year olds, something that was ‘in your face’ and a bit of sizzle too. Muziko employed the vocal talent of a young Dublin singer Ayesa, and this is the result: Radio Jingle

 More Custom Music for Ads

Custom music for advertising was very popular when times were good some years back. The financial crisis has certainly had it’s effect on advertising and any of the associated creative forms such as the music end. But it seems now that agencies once again are requesting custom music and jingles. This is a good thing as it give brands a unique identity and feel and helping them to stand out.

Published by Alan Killian, on June 20th, 2013 at 11:39 am. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments

Stock Music – Editing for Commercials

Working With Stock Music for Online Videos and Commercials

With being an online stock music library, the guys there also get requests to produce radio commercials. So, on this occasion we will endeavor to give some tips and advice on working with stock music tracks when putting together the audio for an online video or for TV and radio commercials. Plenty of voice over artists often double us as audio engineers within these difficult financial times. Hopefully these tips will help the less experienced guys get a handle on editing and producing radio commercials.

Tips on Editing Stock Music for Online Video or Commercials and Ads

So you’ve picked your stock music track – you’ve got a funky or quirky number that represents the brand and which the client has approved. You’ve got your voice over down with the right feel, tone and timing. All you have to do now is edit your stock music track to bring it all together…

1. Timings: With commercials there must be a half second of silence(12 frames for TV) in each production(some stations allow music and sound FX right from the start, however). The reason is obviously that you do not want the voice in the end of one ad and the start of the next sounding like one single ad. For example “..if you like chocolate, buy RoantreeCadbury make great chocolate…”. Obviously, two different voices will be heard but that would not sound good at all. The client certainly would not be happy! Regarding radio stations, they are a bit more flexible with stretching the length of commercials beyond the allotted time – they might allow a 30″ to be 31/32″, etc, however TV stations tend to be more strict.

2. Parts of a track: Some stock music libraries will provide various cuts of tracks for advertising. But audio engineers will invariably tend to edit a track around the voice over. They might pick out parts with less lead instruments which will give more space for the voice frequencies. It is always a good idea to listen to a track the whole way through so as to see which parts it has. Sections which are more basic might provide a better background music bed for an ad.

3. Tempo: It can be a good idea to add a a bpm grid when editing music(you can just add some markers to keep you within your commercial’s time length). There are lots of bpm counter tools out there. But you can just turn on your metronome, start your track from 0:00 on the time line and keep resetting the DAW’s(Digital Audio Workstation) tempo until you have matched the bpm with that of your track. Then turn on the ‘snap to grid’ feature and just cut exactly at the beats or bars. Some will blend nicely, some will not. Just experiment and use crossfades where required.

Stock Music for advertising and online video editing

Pro Tools is a popular choice of software for Editing Stock Music and Voice

4. Start and End: There are various ways to start and finish a commercial. Just starting with a line of voice can grab the listeners attention, then follow with music. The start of your track could have a slow build up, so maybe fade in with a later part of the music such as a drum fill. For the second part of an ad, try using a different part of the track, a different section or a ‘middle 8′. It usually gives a good feel to end the ad with a proper stop, or ‘button’ ending of the track, as opposed to a fade out. Use your grid to drop in the last bar of the track allowing for the natural fade of the final beat/note/chord of the music. Sometimes you might need to cut a bar in half for it all to fit – just experiment! You can of course leave space for a final line of voice with no music such as the company’s phone number.

5. A few works on Mixing: Mixing your ads is worthy of a new blog post. But a few basic tips are… Cut down the bass. You do not want to particularly exercise the bass capacity of a radio or stereo. Most smaller radios will not reproduce the very low frequencies anyway. Remember that ‘dialogue is king’, so boost the area abound the VO frequencies a little and reduce that same frequency in the music. Regarding your levels, TV in the UK and Ireland will require a mix peaking at 6ppm(again, part of another future post on mixing) but radio stations will often accept mixes up to 0dB on your DAW. Compression is essential too as this is radio’s middle name. And then they will add more squashing!

So that’s it. Some basic yet essential tips on mixing stock music for commercials. Hopefully this will help you on your way to creating clean, fresh and polished radio ads.

Alan Killian is an audio mixer with several years experience working in audio post production for TV and radio. He is also one of the directors of, the online stock music library.
Published by Alan Killian, on May 31st, 2013 at 3:59 pm. Filled under: Production Music,Stock Music UKNo Comments

The Art of Suspense Music – Music for the Crime Genre

Creating Apprehension with Suspense Music

Creating a mood of suspense, intensity, fear an apprehension is all part of giving an audience a thrill when it comes to crime in TV or film. However getting this genres of music right can be quite a task. It is not just a case of placing a track into a scen and in creating the right mood. Suspense music requires the right timing, pace and rhythm in order to make a scene come alive. For a film where scenes intensify and tensions build, it is often a good idea to hire a composer to work to picture. Audio professional Spencer Sternberg discusses writing music specifically for a production here. But when the budget does not allow hiring a composer to write suspenseful music then there is always the option to use production library tracks. In many online music libraries there are a range of tracks that can be easily edited to a TV or film scene to great effect.

Choosing a Suspense Track

The first thing to do is choose the right style of suspense music. If the production has an investigation theme, them a track with a more suspicious feel can work well. There are modern electronic style tracks. There are also the more traditional style jazz numbers with double bass and of course flute which gives that slightly mysterious Dick Tracy feel. For the more fearful sound required for the horror genre then more intense music is required. One of Hitchcock’s composer’s Bernard Herrmann wrote some very intense pieces for films such as Psycho, Vertigo and North by NorthWest. Some of his scores can be heard from this article. So, when choosing music for horror, often strings, drums and crescendos work best. Many music libraries have these kinds of tracks and often can be edited to picture effectively.

Suspense Music for FIlm and TV

Alfred Hitchcock Employed Suspense Music Masterfully

Simple is Often Best

With the range of suspense music from production music libraries available today, there is a huge choice. There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from with complex mixes and textures. But thing quality over quantity of sounds and instruments within a track. Often a piece of suspense music that is nice and simple with only three, two, or, even one instrument and be very effective once placed well into the production. Whatever tracks you choose within the suspense feel, make sure to build the mood and create that essential fear and suspense!

Published by Alan Killian, on May 29th, 2013 at 6:30 pm. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments

Music for Corporate Video

Music for Corporate Video

When it comes to production music, probably the most required tracks are for corporate video and communications. Everyday, companies are creating videos with which to promote their businesses online. Larger companies also create internal communications for their employees in order to update them on new developments within large businesses. Once a video has been shot and edited, it is them time for music for corporate video to be selected. A broad range of styles of production music can be chosen depending what the online video producer requires. One such user of music for corporate video is producer AppleSauce.

Music Library Websites with Music for Corporate Video is a large production music library in the UK and Ireland. It provides tracks in various styles and genres. This music is used for corporate video, online video, advertising and TV use. Some of the production music styles are Quirky, Corporate, Inspiring Rock, World Music amongst others.

Music for Corporate Video

Music for Corporate Video and for Travel Productions

Online video is expanding at a huge rate at present and more and more companies are looking to have a presence on the web. For almost every corporate video out there, there is a production music track required to go with it. There are various production music libraries out there. But has a broad range of tracks in many styles and is confident of fulfilling any need that a video production company would have for music for corporate video.

Published by Alan Killian, on May 8th, 2013 at 5:46 pm. Filled under: Music for Corporate VideoNo Comments

Production Music Library

Collaborations – Voice Over Artist & Production Music Library

Being involved in a production music library is always an interesting pursuit. For one, there are always interesting projects to work on. Secondly, one gets to work with a range of interesting people from the media industry. There are advertising agencies, TV and radio production companies. And, of course, there is more often than not, a voice over artist involved in the process of media creation. Muziko recently provided some tracks for their client Marc O’Neill voice over artist who runs the busy studio.

Voice Over with Production Music Library Tracks

Production Music Library

Marc records his voice overs at his own SoundBite Studios

Marc O’Neill Voice Over has been working as a voice over in Ireland for a number of years now. His work can be heard heralding a range of brands including Unilever, Vodafone, Aerlingus, Viva Healthcare, Discover Ireland, Bord Bia, Lidl,, amongst many others. Marc simply puts out plenty of quality work often. If you have ever spent any time listening to Irish radio or TV in recent years it is highly probable that you have heard his work. Marc’s voice over tone is enthusiastic and engaging and commands the listener’s attention in a positive way. The Muziko production music library was very glad to work with Marc on some recent projects. Marc had some advertising spots that he had voiced for one of his retail clients. He needed a range of production music library tracks for the client to hear and so the guys at Muziko got to work and provided him with some quirky tracks as well as some more corporate themed production music.

Irish Voice Over Artist on Facebook

Marc has recently been using the power of social media in order to create an engaging presence on the web. Mark runs a group on Facebook called Irish VoiceOvers which can be found here. The group is an excellent resource for Irish Voice Over artists to talk and to exchange ideas and work. The group is growing all of the time and its members find it very useful.

Marc O’Neill is the director of and can be contacted on +353 (0) 87 9500 288 or marc[at]

Published by Alan Killian, on May 1st, 2013 at 5:10 pm. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments

Stock Music Library UK

Supplying Stock Music library UK Clients

As the Muziko business grows and develops it is finding new customers for its Stock Music Library UK. Now there are a number of UK based client to whom Muziko supplies stock music for promotional video, online video and corporate filem and communications. Online video as a means to promote a new production or service is growing monthly . The majority of video producers feel that music very much enhances their productions and so they add some stock music to their film. Certain companies now study data about online video use. One of these is comscore and it has published this report about online video watching in the UK, here. Comscore has described online video us as ‘booming’.

Use of Stock Muziko Music Recently

A recent customer of Muziko was Jump Films. They created an online video for Mulranny Park Hotel in Mayo. It features food producers dressed as cowboys and is a good humored take on some old wild west movies. You can check out this video here at Mulranny Park. The stock music library track shows some of the diversity in the type of music that Muziko holds in its stock music library. It has many tracks with an American western feel.

Production Music Library UK

Stock Music Library UK at

Published by Alan Killian, on April 22nd, 2013 at 4:20 pm. Filled under: Stock Music UKNo Comments

Background Music for Video

Background music for video

Like a DJ, choosing the right kind of background music for video is very important

Background Music for Video

As video online gains evermore popularity, more and more producers are needing background music for video. They want to create the right mood and feel with their production. And background music can really help this and give their video a great lift. An online video is definitely less engaging where it only has a voice over and no background music.


Choosing the Right Background Music for Video

Obviously the subject matter of a video and the message that it is trying to get across will determine what kind of background music should be used. Is the video of a positive promotional kind? If so, instead of using the usual corporate style of music, try something new such as quirky production music. There are lots of tracks which have a fun and light feel such using instruments such as ukulele, glockenspiel, marimba. This background music for video creates a fun and engaging theme within a production. Further discussion on background music can be found on The Warrior Forum here.


Editing Background Music for Video

Once you have chosen the correct tracks for your project, then it is time to get editing. Many background music tracks for video come in different versions which will suit projects. Some have just the bed of music which will probably be less intrusive than the full track on a voice over. Sometimes the full track will have a lot of lead instruments which might interfere with any dialogue. Usually in library music there will be different cuts of the track as regards the length. There might be a 30 second version and a sting version which are good for advertising slots. In order to change the feel of a vido at a certain time it is a good idea to consider using two different tracks. This can create even more of a dynamic in the tone of a video. Some background music for video libraries price music per 30 seconds and so give better value for this lind of option.

Published by Alan Killian, on April 11th, 2013 at 2:42 pm. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments

Production Music Library Tracks – Our Environment

New Production Music Library Tracks – Our Environment

The team at has been adding yet more tracks to its production music library. One of the most recent collections is an album of tracks entitled Our Environment. This collection of production music tracks contains music that will suit subjects such as science, eco related scenes, environmental issues and more. This album has proved popular so far as a production music library set of tracks with a range of clients.

Production Music Library

Our Environment – Tracks for Science and Environmental Issues

Uses for these Production Music Library Tracks

Many TV and video producers are shooting video now based on environmental issues. This subject has a lot of interest at present. In today’s fragile economy, people and businesses need to be efficient it all aspects of work and life with the resources that they use. These Production music tracks have a combined feel of nature and scence and will have a broad range of uses.

The Muziko library is also listed on the Irish Film and Television News website here.

Looking at various media today it is clear that the environment will always be a popular subject in news and other programs. There is always the question of where wer are going in relation to how we treat our planet. From pollution to over fishing and anything that can damage our earth, these problems will be studied and reported in media. The Muziko library has the necessary tracks for these productions in this new collection of music.

Published by Alan Killian, on April 9th, 2013 at 4:10 pm. Filled under: Production MusicNo Comments