Post # 1
im looking to record my singing voice with instrumental music to play at my wedding! For eg I am looking for a minus-one (karaoke instrumental version) to record my voice with for my walk in and background music during my wedding! I’m thinking of songs like Shania Twain’s “From This Moment” and Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” just to name two.
Can anyone advise on how I can do this legally without breaking any intellectual property laws and without ripping songs off the net or something. I don’t want to break the law or misuse intellectual property. It’s a tough situation to be in but this has been my dream to use my own voice for the songs. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
p.s. I live in Australia!
P.p.s. I’ve got a good voice so don’t worry about the voice quality, thanks!
Post # 2
The karaoke producer should already have an agreement going on with the music publisher (allowing copies of the music) so perhaps that box is already ticked at least. The main issue is that you’re playing it in a public place with yourself added, so you might need a public performance license of some sort. I suggest contacting the royalty collectors of your country.
(It may be that if there are under a certain number of people attending etc, this may influence things. But every country is different and you need to ask.)
In any case, it should be possible, it is probably just a question of paying the price.
If you know the name of the karaoke company whose version you are using, such as Ameritz you could include that in your email to these :
MUSIC RIGHTS AUSTRALIA
Post # 3
I’d call someone at a music studio (presuming you’d be using a studio to get a decent recording) since they must deal with this all the time. Do you have a backup band to do the instrumentals for you?
Post # 4
nataliesue: I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing there is not any legal way to do this. At least not for a reasonable amount of money. Usually with popular songs, you have to pay an annual fee to even gain access to then buy the rights to use a particular song — it’s crazy expensive.
Why not do it illegally? You and every school in the country will be in the same boat. Nobody turns in the local primary school when they illegally perform popular music (which almost every school does, constantly) or use bits of famous songs in their school plays. Nobody’s going to turn you in for copyright infringement at your wedding. I remember you originally wanted to sing a song down the aisle, right? That would also have been illegal. But this is a much better idea if you’re still wanting to perform at your wedding!
If you want to do this, try to find a karaoke version of whatever songs you want on YouTube or iTunes. Just google the name plus “karaoke” or “instrumental”. Try to buy the song, but if it’s not possible to buy then you could download it (there are websites that will rip the song from a YouTube video).
Then of course you’ll need either a recording studio, or a decent microphone (you might be able to rent one, since the most basic decent mic will cost a few hundred dollars at least) with a computer and as padded a room as possible (a closet might work) to actually record. You probably know this already, but just in case: your voice should be overlayed onto the music *after* recording, using software — don’t play the song aloud while you’re recording your voice.
Let us know how it works out!
Post # 5
Is this even an issue if it’s not being used for commercial purposes? If anything, you might have to buy sheet music or something similar if digital, or simply purchase the track. If it’s just for your wedding, I don’t see how it’s any different from playing a song on an iPod — you’d just be singing on top of it. I had an acoustic version of “A Thousand Years” played during my entrance, and the guitarist just purchased the music. Either way, I doubt the copyright police will come after you. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but you’re not that important 🙂
Post # 6
nataliesue: Also, this is obviously a personal taste thing, but if I were you I’d try to find a song or songs that aren’t quite as overused as the ones you suggested (unless those ones have a special meaning for you)…those are very popular wedding songs and I think they loose their power because of the cliche factor, they’re like wedding elevator jazz. Idk, maybe something like ‘True Believers’ by Darius Rucker or ‘Future Days’ by Pearl Jam…maybe even ‘The Book of Love’ or ‘I’m Yours’ or some old Bonnie Raitt stuff (‘Feels Like Home’?), which are cliche themselves but not quite as overused as the ones you mentioned. I suggest looking up romantic comedy movies and seeing what songs they have, often they find songs that are a bit more unique but are still really moving. ‘To Build a Home’ is one of the best love songs I’ve heard lately, but I’m not sure it would work for your purposes.
Post # 7
I’m a doctoral student in music and we have actually had to attend conferences on copyright law. From what I understand, it isn’t breaking any law for you to sing a well known song and even record it. Covers are considered a new version. Anyone can make one, record one, perform one without the permission of the original artists- if not it would be a MESS if you consider the number of covers out there.
Where you DO go wrong is using an already recorded version of the songs as backup. Musicians and producers do own their own versions of a song (even if it is karoke), and taking their version and using it for another recording (with you voice on top) is technically breaking copyright law unless you have permission from the musicians on the instrumental background recording. As long as you aren’t making any money from the recording, it is highly unlikely that anyone would legally care.
If you wanted it to be 100% legal you would have to record the instrumentals yourself. While you probably wouldn’t get in any legal trouble, walking down the aisle to yourself singing karoke to “From this Moment,” is incredibly cheesy and distracting to what is really important (the marriage). Your voice might be great, but as a guest I would have a hard time not laughing (sorry). If it were actually done right with freshly recorded instrumentals with a bit of a different take than the original, I might think that is slightly self-indulgent, but I would definitely take it a lot more sersiously.