929 posts Go Acoustic!
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jhunger says

I have experience with another royalty free stock site and they did automatic watermarking. One of the greatest disadvantages that when the audio got rerendered the sound level increased a bit which made tracks clipping from time to time. So it looked as if you did a horrible job mastering the song when it was mastered well. Sol -1 for automatic watermarking.

+1

I get less percentage of revenue on AJ than anywhere else because of my non-exclusive status, but this is where I point anybody interested in my music, largely because most everywhere else I post does the automatic watermarking and the end result sounds so bad even I don’t want to listen to it. Having control over the watermark means I can produce a listenable preview file.

I’m not going to say that manually watermarking isn’t a pain – it is, though not too bad if you’re looking at no more than one upload per week on average like myself (I’d have more of a complaint if I did sound effects, like others have touched on).

But, as has been said, it’s doubtful that this will be changing anyway, so…

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TheRedGiant says

I’m 100% against dumb, simple, automatic watermarking, after listening to lots of clipping tracks on other sites in the past.

Mostly though, I’m against it being a forced automatic thing (if they’d make it just an option, then sure, go ahead) because I actually ride the watermark’s amplitude level, to diminish its level in the soft parts of my tracks, and so on.

I mean: 1. Drag watermark loop file to new track on your DAW . 2. Repeat watermark region to cover whole track. 3. draw level automation changes.

Whole process never takes me more than a minute or two. And if you’re not a maniac about keeping the watermark’s levels as low as possible in the soft parts of your tracks like I am, then you can even skip step 3, in which case the whole process would literally take you what, 15 seconds? Come on.

Now, that’s from the perspective of making final bounces of music tracks, of course. If you upload a bunch of SFXs per day, then I understand your need.

In that case I’d recommend (while you wait for AJ to offer the option) FFmpeg, which is an amazing and incredibly useful open source tool that lets you mix audio tracks with other audio (or video) tracks with simple commands, meaning you can easily make a script that goes over all files in a directory and mix each file with the watermark.

Coincidentally, FFmpeg is also (most likely) the tool AJ’s servers should delegate auto-watermarking to (as opposed to making AJ’s developers reinvent that wheel).

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TJMusic says
I think manual add of watermark helps to avoid frivolous authors, who upload one or two tracks for the sake of interest and wait sales for years

I think it helps to avoid people who doesn’t know anything about music production, just steal some tracks they don’t own and upload them. Such people might not even know how to mix the watermark into the file.

30 seconds? Nah. The looped version of the watermark doesn’t work in Ableton for example, so you have to manually add it by hand every 10 seconds – which takes a good few minutes, especially on a 3 min track.

You’re joking, right? Manually adding it every 10 seconds? What’s so hard in creating a few minutes long WAV file with repeated watermark, by copying and pasting it in a basic sound editing program like Sound Forge, and mixing it into every new track you make?

This is how I do it, and it takes one click to open the watermark, one to mix (0dB watermark, -1dB source), and one to cut it to the length of original track. It takes less than 10s unless I got a bad luck and the track ending happen exactly in the middle of watermark, in such case additional editing takes 10s more.

And when making a file with repeated watermark by copying and pasting, you don’t have to paste 60 times for 60 repeats, because after pasting second watermark, you can copy both again, so after next paste you have 4 watermarks, then 8, then 16, and in 6 steps you got 64 which is enough for 10m long track.

I have ready template for create preview file with watermark. it contains short version watermarks. But it still takes a long time for create. You need open template, put file, tune it, export it, check it…... It isn’t long so much, but I prefer spend this time for create music.

It seems you guys like to complicate things. Why bother with template? You got a WAV file with the new track, that will go to ZIP file, anyway. You can make another WAV file with just a watermark. Mixing these two files is just opening both, copying one, then mix-pasting to another. Cutting the length and saving as new. If this is still too much work, it might be possible to write a script using SOX to do it all with one command, but come on? Mastering the track takes much more work with audio editing software, so just adding the watermark is unnoticable work in compare.

Why doesn’t anybody suggest automatic mastering feature? That would be funny ;)

If you have a lot of difficulty adding watermarks to your demo, it may be an audio skill you need to be working on to improve.

+1 exactly

when you are working f.e. with 400 tracks and you need to add that watermark… it will take long

And adding a watermark to 400 tracks is more work than composing them? I can’t imagine having 400 tracks to upload, unless they are not obtained legitimately. Unless somebody produced them for years and didn’t publish, what doesn’t make much sense, but is not impossible. However, even if somebody really created 400 tracks in let’s say 20 years, it’s impossible that all of them are high quality.

Actually, this task could be automated with SOX -based script, but from the marketing point of view, it makes no point to upload 400 tracks at once. Take a look at the threads about AJ promotion hints. For optimal front page exposure, 400 tracks should be uploaded at rate 1-2 per day at most, and watermarking 2 tracks won’t kill anybody.

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TheRedGiant says

Why doesn’t anybody suggest automatic mastering feature? That would be funny ;)

Haha, yeah! Have the server automatically pass all tracks through one of those “Multi-Platinum Pop Album” mastering plugin presets that never, ever, sound good :D

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W3llm4n says

It’s really a work for AJ not musicians, but it has some good sides. It prevents us from mass import of whole SFX banks and other music libraries. This site is for really hard working contributors :)

+1 that’s what I have done… And I don’t have any trouble creating the preview file… BTW I wanna ask, do you guys use side chaining for the watermark? With soft settings of course?

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StudioEtude says

Personally, I do not touch the watermark, well may be slightly louder / quieter, but no plug-ins and effects with him do not use and do not understand why? The rules says not to use effects and not to change it … Good luck to all!

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wadim251185 says

I did that, too, about the consistency of automatic watermark … but over time saving disagree), I celebrate the watermarks on the track takes a minute)

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abbaspremjee says

It would make life much easier… think about it…. :)

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RFPML says

-1

I like to do it yourself. Because all the tracks are different. Now you can adjust the watermark to the structure and dynamics of the track. Although this process takes time

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philmccarty says

Hi guys, I just read this thread, and I hate to stir it up (3 months later), especially since someone mentioned that it comes up every now and then, but I think I might be able to help.

I’m a musician-turned-software developer, and my current project is a watermarking/music transmission system for songwriters/producers/etc, it embeds a unique inaudible watermark, so if you send a song to 30 people, and one of them puts it on YouTube you’ll know whose copy it was. (We can also track geography, listening stats, etc)

Now this doesn’t sound like the exact same application that you want, partially because your watermark is audible, and repeating but… Based on what you’ve described, I think I could build something like this, or make it a feature on TrackTrack.it

Is this a pretty big problem in this industry? I’m fairly unfamiliar with it, but if there are a number of people that are suffering from it, and there’s a super affordable way to deal with it, would that be compelling? Anyway, I don’t mean to be spammy or anything like that I’m just curious…

—Phil

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