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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

Mood Media (and DMX)

Spring 2013 Site Review

Position: Music Design Intern
Student: American Studies Junior

A day in the life as a music design intern for Mood Media begins with arriving at the West 5th Street headquarters at 9:30AM.  If you like coffee, or didn’t have time to make breakfast, you can help yourself to something from the common area (snacks are 24 cents, coffee is complimentary).  The first order of business is to report to Jose Brown, the intern coordinator.

As an intern, there is generally no set pattern for a work day.  Typically, Jose will ask the music design department if they need any intern assistance.

More often than not, someone will ask you to come up with a list of songs to add to one of their playlists.  This sounds easy enough, but sometimes it can be pretty challenging; the songs often must meet a certain criteria (e.g. no profanity, clear with the licensing department) and it can take hours of listening through various albums and researching artists’ catalogues to come up with the necessary amount of music.

Other times, music designers will ask you to research licensing and publishing details about songs they have added or wish to add to the playlists they’ve been working on.  This involves looking up each song on the ASCAP or BMI website and finding out who the songwriters are, who the publishers are, and how the royalties of the songs are divided.  It’s a pretty cool assignment if you’re interested in how the business end of the music industry operates.

If designers are not in any need of intern assistance, often Jose will have you write a piece for the Mood blog or do an exercise utilizing some of the software programs used by the designers (specifically two programs called Studio and Selector).  The blogs are generally really easy and fun to write; for example, he might ask you to write a piece about all new indie rock releases from the previous week.  Again, it’s a really cool assignment if you are interested in the entertainment business.

Spring 2012 Site Review

Position: Music Design Intern
Student: English Senior

DMX was aquired by Mood Media in March 2012.

This spring, I was a Music Design Intern at DMX Inc., an experiential branding company. If you’ve ever walked into a store and heard a song playing, got a waft of a good smelling scent, or seen a video playing on their huge screens, there is a chance that a designer at DMX created one or more of these services for them.

In the Music Design department, experts in a variety of genres contribute to both the generic music stations that DMX offers as well as create customized, “signature” services for clients who want a curated playlist to represent their brand identity.

As a Music Design Intern, each day I would work from either 9am-12pm or 1pm-5pm. I would start the day by encoding newly received music into their software program, Studio. In addition, we were often asked to lyric check and perform quality checks. We checked lyrics by listening to songs on client playlists and noting profanity, suggestive themes or references to competing brands. Quality checks involved locating songs within Studio that were imported at a low-quality and finding high-quality replacements. Since none of the interns had ever used Studio before, our internship coordinator trained us from the ground up and by the end of the internship I felt quite proficient with the program.

Each week, we created a newsletter detailing recent news in the genres that we were assigned (rock, indie, country, latin, etc). These were intended to keep the music design department informed of news in the various genres. Our coordinator also invited us to contribute to the company blog for their “New Release Tuesdays” and she encouraged us to write concert reviews if we went to a show.

There was also a contest for which we developed a mock proposal presentation for the business of our choice.  pitched them a signature music service that we developed. The whole department voted on the best presentations and first and second place won a small prize.

The environment is very laid back and several times bands actually played in the foyer for the employees to enjoy. Also, 25-cent vending machines. The internship coordinator is very understanding and genuinely wants to see you learn and succeed.

Summer 2011 Site Review

Position: Music Design Intern
Student: English Senior

DMX was aquired by Mood Media in March 2012.

DMX, Inc works with their clients to create a unique experience for their customers. They incorporate music, scent, video, and messaging to create a unique brand for each of their clients. Music designers at DMX create playlists specific to different businesses in order to create a mood or experience for their client base. They also create satellite radio channels that are available through DirectTV and on the SonicTap website, which is like an iTunes program for DirectTV playlists. DMX, Inc is located downtown in Austin on west 5th street and provides free parking for interns.

A typical day as a music design intern starts by checking email. Computer space is limited at DMX, so interns work at different times to ensure that everyone gets a space. Music design interns work on a variety of projects. One of the most common daily tasks is encoding new cds into the Studio computer program so that music designers can use the new music in their playlists. Interns also check lyrics on existing playlists for explicit words and occasionally the audio quality, making sure that the song volume doesn’t differ across the playlist. Each intern is assigned a genre for music research, releasing a weekly ‘This Week In” newsletter to the department, keeping the designers updated on new releases. There is a playlist associated with each genre that interns also update as they research so that designers have easy access to music. Other projects include creating playlists in SonicTap for holidays or underrepresented genres or helping music designers find music in a specific genre for a client. The office is friendly and laid-back, and interns are able to work with a variety of different designers and choose projects that interest them.

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