With over 300 thousand tracks already on the marketplace it can be a challenge to stand out as a musician on AudioJungle. But, having surpassed 10 thousand sales, US author, SunChannelMusic, has managed to figure it out.
Yoo Soo Kim, the man behind the avatar, began studying music as a child. By the age of six he was playing the piano. He played the viola in the school orchestra, and continued playing through college.
It was there that he got his first experience as a sound engineer for live shows. “In school there was a […] venue on campus called, The Canopy Club,” he tells me. “I stopped by one day to ask if they needed any help running live sound, and they brought me on without even looking at my resume.” Loosely qualified for the job, it was there that he learned how to really do what his resume claimed: making live music sound good on the fly.
He worked a few part time jobs to save up for recording equipment, then began producing music of his own. He played in orchestras, bands, and was introduced to some basic ways of making money from his music. Going on tour, and selling merchandise were really the only ways he knew how to do it. Then, one day, a bandmate introduced him to AudioJungle, and the world of stock music.
“I decided to check it out, and upload a few tracks,” he says. “And, to my surprise, they sold right away.”
Encouraged, he decided to upload more; his point of difference being making each layer of instrumentation sound ‘realistic’.
Over the last four years, Yoo Soo’s approach to writing and producing has evolved. “I try to think more now about how to keep music interesting at all times,” he says. Whereas previously he’d be okay writing a verse because basic song structure dictates it, he now thinks of how to make even the standard parts of a song interesting. “For commercial music I think more about how the music can pair with a visual, and try to sometimes make decisions that might be easier for editors. For example, I do a lot more straightforward endings because that seems to be easier for editors to make cutdowns.”
“I do a lot more straightforward endings because that seems to be easier for editors to make cutdowns.”
When I ask Yoo Soo about his favorite track he tells me, “It’s hard not to think that Upbeat Indie isn’t my favorite. I think it has an emotional attachment. When it became a featured track I was able to more successfully make a living as a musician. It let me have the income to improve my music gear, software, plugins, etc.. And that freedom let me spend more time improving myself and my music.”
“I was able to more successfully make a living as a musician.”
With a day job that depends entirely on creativity, it can be hard to stay inspired. But, Yoo Soo has developed a strategy for when he’s struggling. Between walking his dogs to clear his head, surfing AudioJungle or Spotify for inspiration, or just going down a rabbit hole and making some ‘crappy’ music until he comes up something good, he’s equipped himself for the times he’s creatively blocked. “Setting limitations can help lead to ideas. For example I can say that a song has to be a certain genre, and vibe, only using these certain instruments. But […] More often than not I’m fiddling around with instruments until I am playing something that I like. Then I start shaping a song from there.”
The hardest thing about working in the world of stock music for Yoo Soo is the idea of your work sitting buried between hundreds of thousands of other tracks. “You wonder what the possibility is that someone will ever listen to it. Will they license it? Did I just waste a bunch of time making a song that no one will use or like?” Which is why, on the side, he needs a break.
“Did I just waste a bunch of time making a song that no one will use or like?”
Having had his band, Hemmingbirds, recently break-up after six years, he’s looking to start another side project that doesn’t involve him shaping music to fit the needs of a market. And thanks to the foothold SunChannelMusic has established on AudioJungle, Yoo Soo now has the freedom to do more of what he loves.