How to make money with music

The opportunity to make money with music started over 200 years ago. You could promote yourself and your music locally, by performing it. If it was any good and if the right person heard it, you could have even been asked to perform for important people, even royals have always loved musical entertainment. With modern day technology, the opportunities in the industry expanded in a lot of ways. Now, there are multiple services that music can have. The most known service is probably when an artist makes a song and releases it. It is no secret how rich some artists can become if they release the right hit. But how do they make the money after the release? There are a couple of ways, and these are some of them:

Earn the royalties

Royalties in the music industry is the money you make if your music is being used during, for example, an event, in a movie, on the radio etc. The more royalties you get, the more money you make. You can only get the royalties if you have copyrights or master-rights on the song that you released. This is a permanent way of earning money. Mariah Carey, for example, still earns about $250.000 in royalties every year with her song ‘All I want for Christmas is you’, because it is played a lot of times every year around christmas time.

Buy the song services

You can also release the music you make on Spotify, Itunes, Soundcloud and a lot of other platforms that require people to buy your song in order for them to listen to it. This money can go directly to you, or it goes to the recordlabel if they own the rights. These platforms use royalties as well. Let me give you an example of the power of buy-the-music platforms. Ed Sheeran’s shape of you has been streamed 1,5 billion times in one year. Spotify pays
about $0,006 in royalties per-stream. Adding up the numbers, I think we can all agree that he probably won’t have to
go back to perform on the streets again any time soon.




Not that there is anything wrong with performing on the streets. Like I implied, the most spotify-streamed artist started of on those. The corner of a street, a bar mitswa, weddings, a festival, a world tour… There are a lot of places where you can perform a songcover or a song that you released yourself. The more popular you (and the song) are, the more people will ask you to perform somewhere. Organizations usually pay you to do so. If they don’t, you can still earn money with, for example, the ticket sales to your performance or through sponsors of your performance.



Views and advertisements

Ever heard of YouTube? Yes? You’re not the only one. With over 3.3 billion views the most viewed video on this platform is a music video of the song ‘When I see you again by Chalie Puth ft. Whiz Khalifa’. Not saying that you have to make an expensive and visual music video with story line and heavy production in order to gain views on YouTube. You can also make a lyric video to your song and post that. Even though it is free for people to watch videos on YouTube, you can still make money off of posting something on the platform. You can place advertisements on them. You can make approximately $o,18 for every view your video gets through advertisements on your video. So, the more views you get, the more money you make.
Depending on several factors you could earn up to €1.000,- or more for 2.000.000 views of a video that uses your music. If you uploaded and/or made the video you could earn several thousands of euro’s for those views. Not to mention the sponsors that pay you to promote their brands.


Add feeling to film

Besides being an artist, there is another way to earn money in the music industry. I personally make most of my earnings at my own post-production company. I have always loved the music composition of movie tracks. These are created during the process of post-production. In the post-production of movies, series, games, commercials etc, the sound score for that project is created. This includes the official sound track, background music, ADR & Voice-Over, and Foley. After working in Madrid (Spain) and London (UK), I started my own company in the Netherlands called ‘Soundgram Post’. Here my job description is: CEO, TV and Film Music Composer, Sound Designer and multi-instrumentalist. With these jobs I pay my bills. In post-production there are also multiple ways of earning money with what you created. One way is if you put your music in a music (publishing) library. If a movie wants a score, they can get it by looking in one of these libraries and search for a track that they seem fit. If they find one, they can buy that track for their project. Another way is if these project makers look for a very specific sound. With this they can call you and ask you to write, record and produce a score personally.

And a lot more

But it doesn’t end there. Let’s speed things up a little bit, because there is a lot of information to share. Here is another list of jobs that you can have in the music industry:

  • Record producer
  • Recording engineer
  • A & R Coordinator
  • A & R administrator
  • Personal manager
  • Program director
  • Music director
  • Radio DJ
  • Tour manager
  • Stage manager
  • Sound technician
  • Booking agent
  • Concert promoter
  • Publicist
  • Music journalist

But most importantly, there is one thing you need if you want to make it in the music industry. That is called ‘passion’. If you don’t love what you do, it will be extremely hard to be the best in the job, and the competition is stiff. You can have setbacks, a lot of competition and things in your path that you won’t like (like taking care of the administration). The way that you deal with these setbacks, is what will define you as an artist, music director, record producer or any other job in the music industry.

I wish you the best of luck!

And who knows we’ll meet one day in our studio.



How to build a high end recording studio on a low budget

As the CEO of my own music production company, I have gained a lot of experience in recording studios and building these while on a budget. After all, the studio that I built didn’t just fall into my hands. Ever since I started getting into music when I was a kid, I dreamed of having my own workplace. Where I could visualize my dream. I spent a lot of years and money on realizing that plan. In this blog I will tell you in just a few steps how I did it and how you too can realize this dream. And the best part about it? I will tell you how you can do it if you’re on a budget as well.

What you should know and do

Plan everything

Building without a plan is like cooking something new without a recipe. With this thought in mind, I didn’t start building my studio right away. Matter of fact, I didn’t start building directly at all. I worked at four other music studios in Utrecht, Madrid, London and the Hague before I started to realize this post-production studio. I learned a lot in my time there. This was important for me. Starting off being in a professional environment, before I started hopelessly experiencing by myself, has helped me with making my own goal more realistic. I gained experience and got inspired by the places I visited. In London for instance, I visited Abbey Road, Air, The strong Room and manny others.

Since I am a perfectionist, this learning process did take a couple of years. Luckily for you, I am willing to share the knowledge I gained in my experience. This will save you some time and effort I had to put into it. Just get to the end of this blog and the knowledge will also be yours.

Know where to go

It is important to remember that having the most expensive materials, won’t get you more jobs. It’s the quality that you can produce with the resources you have that will help your brand. I have made music for a lot of different projects, which I produced with samples that I also saved money on. The most efficient way of saving money is buying something at the right time and doing research. For example Black Friday Sales. These don’t just apply to clothing and a new TV. Things like software are also available against very low prices on that day. The same can also be said about things like instruments, desks, stereo’s and a lot more. So, before you click on that order button, first make sure that this is your best option. All it takes is a little patience and you will save a lot of money. I bought the fabrics for my studio in a little shop that only sells to business. My secondhand movie seats came from a company that installs new seats in movie theaters. Most of my synths come from and most of the decoration is found in Dutch pawn shops! We also sell some of our stuff now on which means we do get some of our money back as well.

I did a lot of work looking for the right instruments as well. I decided to travel abroad in order to find them. For the perfect sound, and for the perfect price. I collected a Spanish laud during my time in Madrid, a Turkish saz in Istanbul during my visit and traveled to Dublin to get the best deal on a Mandolin. It took time and effort, but the outcomes are definitely worth it considering I still use these instruments to this day.

Don’t have the means to travel so much? No problem. There are a lot of possibilities online. I for example bought a big road case containing electrical equipment. Besides having the equipment, I also got to keep the box, which was great for the containment of my foley materials. The double purpose of something is a great way to save money as well.

I got a few more materials to help achieve that. You can read more about this sphere in step four of this blog.

How we did it

Step one – deciding the look

Finding the place

After I came up with the concept I wanted the studio to portray, I started to put the plan in action. I began by deciding where I wanted my studio to be. This decision was made very quick. I wanted to be in the place to be. I decided to be located in the center of the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht. I knew that I wanted a space in this city because there are so many creative people and places here and Amsterdam is very crowded and focused on brands and commercials. Utrecht has its canals too but also the Dutch Film Festival!


Deciding the vibe

Before deciding on the final look I collected pictures of other studio’s from magazines and put them in my scratch book.One of the
most important things I wanted to have in my studio is a good atmosphere. I wanted it to be professional
and yet not still and boring. And I found that an easy way to give the space you’re building in an interesting and yet
comfortable look is by using vintage objects. I’ve personally always had a thing for vintage. The materials are really
great eye catchers and besides that, it’s not expensive to get. You can read more about how I incorporated vintage in
my studio in step four as well.


Planning the space

Once the place and the vibe were decided, I started figuring out what I could do with the place. There’s a website that really worked out for me called ! You canvisualize the plan that’s in your head with such ease, and besides that, the first two tries are for free. So if you’re as hectic as I am and want to save money on floorplans as well, I would definitely recommend this website.

Keeping it simple, avoiding uselessness

Perfection is having the best quality there is. Not having the most stuff or having your stuff be the most expensive. Like I implied earlier, I have made soundtracks for over 60 projects including Feature films, crime scene TV music and commercials for companies like McDonalds. All in my own studio. And I started with a Apple mac Pro, Logic Studio a few mic’s, some sample libraries and my guitar. This goes to show if you would have a look in my studio today. Besides extras to give the studio a nice feeling, it is filled with necessary essentials, for me to do my job. It also helps to have a concept in mind. I wanted to make a studio where there was a nice atmosphere and with a modular setup so I could not only handle music recording sessions but also foley and ADR. So I got the necessary objects to do so, and that was enough for the vision.

Step two – Getting everyone involved

People who have always supported me in my music career were my parents. After all, they are the ones who bought me my first guitar when I was eleven. This is what got me into music in the first place. I am thankful to say that they still continue to support me until this day. My father helped me to make the studio. He already had certain experience in building and in business. With his experience, he helped me making the right decisions. Not saying that you can only build your own low budget studio if your father has experience in business. But if you want to make sure you make the right decisions while starting your own business, I advise you to find someone who understands that world. There are also people you can pay to advise you. Then just look up ‘Business Consultant’ on the internet and find someone you seem fit! I also had help refining my business plan.

To this day, I surround myself with people helping to envision my dream. I make sure thatthe people I work with are hardworking, non-complaining and driven workers and friends.Having people around you with a certain expertise that can help you make the best of your studio, is one of the most important things you can have to be as big as you can be. Now, of course it is possible to do everything alone, but definitely consider how the people in your life can help you. You will quickly notice that having people help you, will motivate you, teach you and make you happy when things get rough. And they will. Building is hard work!

Step three – Deciding the materials

Building the company

Now, how did we build it. We started by getting essentials for music studio standards. At first, we collected what we needed and put them in the space, as you can see on the pictures. Then we started putting up the walls with essential material such as rockwool, metal U channel, placeholders and plasterboard. A lot of plasterboard, which we ended up buying at Knauf insulation, which is an international company. We compared the prices for these materials online to make sure we got the best deal. We also went to the cheapest (but still with some of the best quality) stores for the installationtools of all these materials. After this we could start putting in the floor. This was a tough process since there are so many options to choose from and besides that, this was a great way to save money if you found one for the right price, so we had to be really carefull while making this choice. We ended up putting in a parquet floor with timer yard. We also built in a window between the studio and the mixing room. This is not just glass you can find in someones house. It is speciall layered glass with an insulating layer, which we put on last.

Step four– filling the rooms

Now that we had our base set up ready, we could start filling the space. We used a couple of materials I already had in my possession. For example on the back wall of the studio you will find a painting of a woman’s face. This, and some other paintings here were made by my mother! I also re-used a lot of stuff from my own past in this studio. For the studio geeks, the flat services of the paintings scatter sound waves that we combine with self build absorbers.

The idea of having eye catchers in general is a good idea, since this will prevent the space from looking empty while not having it filled up with too much stuff. I for example used a certain type of red velvet to contribute a total look for my studio (inspired by Hans Zimmer). I applied this color to all of the walls and I can honestly say that this really makes the look of the studio. See the results for yourself! Best part is, it does help in absorbing some high frequencies too.




We decided to give the studio a calmer look, since playing an instrument does require a lot of focus. This is why we put the timber yard floor in and decided to put dark grey industrial on the walls.





After that we started carpeting the floors of the office space and we put up the same red velvet color fabric up on the walls. We decided that painting these walls would be more fitting for the professional sphere that the room represents. We did want to give this space a nice feeling as well which is why it nowadays has a lot of attributes hanging on the walls. Including posters of two of my favorite movies ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Star Wars’.

Bringing the big guns

Besides all of the vintage here, you will find another, even greater eye catcher which you haveprobably already noticed on the featured image. This one was so important to me that I actually built a lot of the stuff in the studio, so that it would practically fit this item. This is a giant projector screen on the back wall of the studio. This was built to order, and a big part of the budget. We also thought regular chairs were a bit overrated, so we decided to place an eight piece of cinema chairs facing this screen. These items were specifically placed for a couple of reasons. One of which we have already discussed, the atmosphere that comes with it. Here at our studio we sometimes all gather to watch one of the projects we made together. This screen, our dolby 5.1 surround speaker setup and these cinema chairs really help with the total package feeling when film directors have to evaluate the finalmix and music. We also have meetings in this room, making those as comfortable as we can. Another reason why the screen really helps is because post-production is a very detailed process. It requires a lot of attention to the details, which turned out to be a lot easier to do with such an emphasize in height of the screen. This is one of the things that make us stand out as a company. Which is why this all makes it so that these purchases weren’t only affordable because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, but also very much worth the cost.

Finishing touches

We also live in a decade where DIY’s are on the rising. I am proud to say that I might be one of the trendsetters here, since I designed and made my very own desk. This type of desk would usually cost around € 2400,- and it would still not be exactly what I need. By making it myself, I not only saved money, but the desk is also right up to what I needed and fitting for this room. So definitely look out for DIY stuff, and don’t underestimate yourself! Here is a great Forum to learn more tips! For this desk in particular, I used MDF timber. I painted this black and made two separate spaces at the backends of the desk for equipment. I also put in subwoofer stereo boxes. Also the .1 from our 5.1 system also known as the LFE channel (Low Freq Efects). The one seen on the photo is the cheaper version of the KRK from Germany. This saved money as well. I bought a lot of red chairs as well, to fit in the theme of the studio. Besides all of this I bought officesupplies and brought a big collection of DVD’s. Which makes the space even more professional and personal. Both in once.


Step six – start realising the dream

And with that, my vision came to life! I am thankful to say that I get to do what I love to do every day. Sitting in my own studio and making music and sound-design for films, TV and games. This has been my dream ever since I was a young boy. And because of all the hard work I put in, I was able to realize that dream. I have been working in this studio for over three years now, and every day I go to work excited for the day and what it has in store. Are you interested in making your own studio, or maybe you already have your own company and are interested in meeting, contact us! We have free coffee that you can enjoy while sitting in our comfortable seats, while listening to our tracks.



How Safe Sailings became the company motto for Biglift

Staying safe while working has become more and more important. It’s so important that the company ‘BigLift Shipping’ has made it into one of their company mottos. Together with specialised companies, we made sure that people know this.

BigLift is instructing their own sailors on this safety importance with a campaign they started called ‘Safe Sailings’. This campaign was in need of a strong trailer video.

In their new campain video, BigLift created an instructional video titled ‘Safe Sailings’. In the video they want to convey the important message of safety on the sailing workplace. Emphasizing the need of wearing a helmet, gloves, safety goggles and taking breaks, was their mission. A few companies came together to help put this message out in the world. Soundgram Post being one of those companies.

A trailer announcing the start of this campain was a good start. Because of it’s strong ability convey a message, the video itself had to be just as strong. With this mentality, Spliethoff started creating content for this video. A mix of imaging, speech and sound was a must.

For the imaging Saskia Scholte and Aafke Kleppe worked on creating the content. When a multimedia specialist and an experienced art director come together, you can expect something impressive. The content they created was a strong basis. A mix of close up imaging and graphic effects that control the focus, was a great way of giving sailors the right impression. Now we needed an equally as strong voice-over.

This is where Jack Luceno stepped in. With a voice that you might recognize from ‘Enemy Mine’, ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Brothers Keeper’, his deep voice was a perfect fit. While in New York City, he made time in his busy schedule to help us create a voice for Safe Sailings. It’s safe to say that the way he conveys lines like “Safe Sailings, anywhere, any time. A way of working, a way of living”, gives the already strong message the right intention.

Now, there is another indispensable factor that plays a really important part in this message of course, the music! Images give people an impression, a voice–over makes people register the message, music adds a feeling of urgency. Soundgram Post took the time to understand what the video needed, and composer Johan van der Voet provided the right mix of modern and orchesteral sounds. The strong background track incorporates a motivational feeling together with the feeling of greatness to really accentuate the importance of the message and the company BigLift.

We hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we did making it!

Gezocht: Stagairs Marketing en Studio-Assistentie

Wil jij stage lopen bij een succesvolle muziek en opname studio gevestigd in Utrecht? Soundgram Post, een postproductiebedrijf gespecialiseerd in audio en muziek, is op zoek naar 2 stagiairs!

Marketing & Backoffice

Stagair(e) Soundgram Post

Functie: Marketing Stagiair
Bij: Soundgram Post Production Utrecht
Vanaf: Per direct/oktober 2017
Duur: 3-6 maanden
Uren per week: 24-40


Soundgram Post production is per direct op zoek naar een creatieve stagair(e) die o.a. onze marketing voor zijn/haar rekening kan nemen.
Vind jij het leuk om naast het bedenken van marketing plannen ook zelf foto’s en video’s te maken? (Daar helpen we je bij) Vind je het leuk om kennis te maken met acteurs en regiseurs en vind jij het leuk om achter (en wellicht voor?) de schermen te helpen bij de realisatie van onze film scores, popmuziek, studio opnames en CD’s? Dan hebben wij een leuke stage plek voor jou!


Als stagiair(e) hou je je onder andere bezig met de volgende werkzaamheden:

– Implementatie en verbeteren van marketing-/bedrijfsplan
– Bijhouden en ontwikkelen websites, social media, Print, Blog e.d.
– Ondersteuning bij diverse bedrijfsactiviteiten
– Bellen en mailen met klanten, leveranciers, muzikanten, pers.


– Georganiseerd en Zelfstandig
– Beheerst software als Excel, Word en social media.
– Engels kunnen lezen en schrijven
– Kennis en/of interesse in de muziek- en Film/TV industrie
– Bij voorkeur ervaring met WordPress, html en photoshop (hulp beschikbaar)
– Hbo-student met relevante studierichting marketing/communicatie)

Rijbewijs benodigd: nee

“Soundgram Post” is een Audio- en Muziek-Post-Productiebedrijf o.l.v. componist en sounddesigner Johan van der Voet. Soundgram is een bedrijf dat professioneel geluid en originele muziek creëert voor film, tv, games en commercials, in samenwerking met een scala aan professionele freelancers.
I.v.m. uitbreiding van onze bedrijfsactiviteiten op korte termijn hebben we iemand nodig die ons helpt het marktsegment te vergroten en ons bedrijf als naam definitief te vestigen. Eerste indruk:

Reageren /

Een stage vergoeding voor deze functie is bespreekbaar.


Composer – & Studio-Assistentie

Soundgram Post is per direct op zoek naar een stagair(e) die de opname- en productiestudio komt versterken.

Als studiostagiair(e) houd je je onder andere bezig met de volgende werkzaamheden:

–           Op- en afbouw in de opnamestudio, opbouw microfoons en assistentie in opnames

–           Administratie van muziek, editen en masteren van muziek

–           Kantoorwerkzaamheden m.b.t. onze muziek publishing activiteiten

–           Compositie, pre-productie, arrangeren, scores maken

–           Sound design, mixing, foley-opnames

Momenteel werken we aan de score voor twee speelfilms waarvoor ook live opnames gemaakt moeten worden, dus hier zou je veel ondersteunende werkzaamheden bij kunnen doen. Het doen van een afstudeeropdracht behoort tot de mogelijkheden. Ervaring met Apple mac en Logic Pro is een must.


Info opvragen?

Stuur een mail naar Maaike van der Wel:


Stuur je CV en motivatie naar

Soundgram’s Happy New Year update

What if I told you this is gona be a great year?!

These next months we will work on two feature films, we are working on songs for various artist and we just launched our very own Media Music Library!

Release ‘Poedersuikerplein’
The song ‘Poedersuikerplein,’ written by Johan van der Voet and Leonie van der Klein, was picked up by Dutch singer Paul de Leeuw. It is featured on his new album ‘Land Van Mij,’ which was released at October 31st.




Feature film Kristen


The feature film ‘Kristen,’ which premiered last year at the Dutch Film Festival, has been released on dvd and video on demand. It also will premiere abroad, as it’s selected by the Festival de Cine de Terror de Molins de Rei in Barcelona. Congratulations to director Mark Weistra! Click here for the trailer.


Music use abroad

Some of Soundgram’s tracks have been used again by TV abroad! You could hear our music on ‘The Voice van Vlaanderen’ en ‘Familie’ in Belgium. In New Zealand our music has been featured on TV One’s ‘Rickey Smiley for Real’ and in the US we had a track in HGTV’s ‘Masters of Flip.’ Our Crime Scene Investigation music is also very popular in the USA. Check our new IMDB soundtrack credits to see all the details… and, just in: We have a placement in James Cameron’s “Atlantis Rising” 

So, what if I told you….

Succes for Dutch Songwriter Leonie van der Klein

Songwriter Leonie van der Klein has been working hard together with songwriter/producer Johan van der Voet to record demo’s of their new Dutch songs.

(please click this news item to listen to the demo reel)

leonie van der Klein


From the songs written these past few months, one is already recorded and released by Andre Hazes Jr. and currently at no. 2 position in the Dutch radio charts.

Several songs are now being pitched to artist. Here is compilation for you to enjoy. Please leave your remarks or contact us direct if you need any further info.