What Makes a Beat a Beat?

Beats tend to consist of four to five elements of music. In that way they really are no different than any other genre of music. You have the drums, the bass, the harmony, and the melody. Maybe some little transition sounds and springs but in general the core part of the music is the same.…

Beats tend to consist of four to five elements of music. In that way they really are no different than any other genre of music. You have the drums, the bass, the harmony, and the melody. Maybe some little transition sounds and springs but in general the core part of the music is the same. So then the question is, what makes a beat a beat? What's the difference between a body of music that is the background of a soul song and a body of music that is in the background of a rap record? They all contain the same elements but one is referred to as a beat and one is not. At first glance you could say that a beat is recorded with synthesized sounds such as keyboards, drum machines, and softsynth plug-ins for your computer. A soul music bed would contain all live instrumentation. Live drums, live bass, live strings etc. While this is true there are plenty of examples of beats that utilize either parts of live instrumentation or are recorded entirely live. Producers like Kanye West and J Dilla routinely would hire out musicians to add a live element to their music. Also groups like The Roots record beats that are one hundred percent composed with live music. So why would their music be referred to as beat while music of other genres would not.

The main thing that classifies a beat as a beat is the repetition within the music. Beats tend to repeat themselves every two, four or eight measures. The chorus and chorus build up tend to just add layers on top of the foundation of the beat that stays constant. Beats have more of a driving energy that the listener consciously recognizes. That's the thing; beats are not only in reference to rap music. There are plenty of examples of beats within other genres of music. Funk music has funky loose beats or grooves, house beats and many other kinds of electronic music all refer to their music as beats.

The main thing that differentiates the beats from non-beats is what is the main driving element of the music. If it were the groove of the drums and the bass then you would probably refer to it as a beat. If it has no drums then you most certainly would not be referred that way. Music like classic rock would have a heavy groove to it but the focus is not in the way the drums and bass work the focus is in the harmonies and melody. The groove of the drums just compliments that.

At the end of the day what a beat is and is not really is open to interpretation. I feel this way, others may feel a different way and really there is no right and wrong. All we should really be focused on is how the music makes us feel. If it strikes the right chord with our minds then who really cares what you call it.

Exclusive Versus Non-Exclusive Tracks

When buying or selling beats many artists are trying to make the choice between exclusive and non-exclusive beats. There is a huge difference in the two. Non-exclusive beat means that you are leasing use of the track. This means that others may also be leasing use for that same track. This is why it's called…

When buying or selling beats many artists are trying to make the choice between exclusive and non-exclusive beats. There is a huge difference in the two.

Non-exclusive beat means that you are leasing use of the track. This means that others may also be leasing use for that same track. This is why it's called non-exclusive. Why would anyone use a non-exclusive beat? Because they are cheap, usually a non-exclusive beat will sell for about $ 20 to $ 100. They are usually targeted to underground or up and coming artist who does not have a lot of money to spend. It is a quick and easy way to get a beat for your project. Buyer beware there are usually some constants on the number of copies you can sell with no exclusive beats. Some allow 2000 and others may allow up to 20,000, it depends on the producers. Non-exclusive tracks can be used for other projects such as film, TV commercials, video games and many other uses.

Exclusive tracks means that you are the only one to use the beat. This does not mean that you are buying the copyright to the beat. For example, there could be a time limit on how long you could use the beat exclusively. The producer may resell the beat in one or two years. It is important to look at the website or company policy when buying an exclusive beat. The copyright owner can change the tempo, the drum track or something very minor about the beat and call it a different beat. This means that producer can sell the beat again. Exclusive beats can cost anywhere from $ 200, to $ 200,000 depending on how established the producer is. Usually only more established artist will buy exclusive tracks because they have already made some money.

Which one is better? For a producer it is more profitable in the long run to sell non-exclusive beats. The producer can make a good living off of a catalog of 50 to 100 beats with this method. For the rapper or singer exclusive instrumental are better if you have the money. If you do not a non-exclusive instrumental is OK. Remember you can alter the form of the beat if you have the skill. Either way the online producer has helped lower the bar for many aspiring rappers and singers. Online beat buying is a win / win for both artist and producer.

Getting Hands on Control of Your Modern Home Studio

Control surfaces are a marvel of DAW technology. These devices act as the physical relationship between the features of a digital mixer, and the tools of your DAW software. They are not an essential piece of gear, meaning they are not “required” to use the features of your DAW software, rather they are an extension…

Control surfaces are a marvel of DAW technology. These devices act as the physical relationship between the features of a digital mixer, and the tools of your DAW software. They are not an essential piece of gear, meaning they are not “required” to use the features of your DAW software, rather they are an extension of physical control and offer the convenience of not having to rely on your mouse and cursor to control the functions of your software.

Having hands on control of compatible DAW software is a novel idea that uses modern technology to combine the assets of DAW software with the satisfaction of hardware.

  • Do they do this?
  • Do they do it well?
  • Are they practical?

The control surface is a reliably new addition to the home and pro studio gear line-up, and has been creatively developed to be an affordable luxury available for hobbyists, yet intuitive enough to supplement professional studios. In fact many professional recording studios are using large control surfaces in place of a massive analog mixing console.

Control surfaces look and act in a similar manner to that of a digital mixer. They are however, some distinct differences in how these two devices function.

Digital Mixers:

Digital mixers mix digital audio from within an external mixing board.

A digital mixer does its mixing onboard, using its own effects, and can output the mix to hard-disk or recorder for mix-down and mastering.

Control Surfaces:

A control surface, in its raw, standalone form, is a midi controller that simulates the faders and adjustment knobs of an analog or digital mixing board – with physical midi controls. These controls are able to function in a versatile way, and can even be customized to compliment the individuals' production style.

It synchronizes with compatible DAW software and allows real-time control of track levels, panning, third party plugins and other mixing controls. A control surface has given us the feeling and functionality of a digital mixer, for half the cost.

The control surface is a pretty basic idea of ​​adding hardware pleasure to control your music production software. The overall performance of control surfaces is currently very satisfying to use, and they are still progressing.

Firmware updates from developers keep adding more compatibility to more programs. Pro audio software and hardware developers have realized the key to this-products potential through the coordination of software programs and their midi hardware.

Controllers today are capable of upgrading with drivers / firmware etc. So the technology advances, right with your control surface. Tally another point to the score for the digital recording studio.

Once again, a control surface is just a bare bones controller for your DAW / music software. The beauty of this is that you have yet another option that gives you faders! This is huge, because clicking a mouse or moving a curser is just not quite the same thing, or almost as rewarding as moving real faders and knobs …

Hybrid Control Surfaces:

There are a growing number of (hybrid) combination units as well.

These are controllers that include two or all of the following: audio interface / midi interface / preamps / a / dd / a converters.

These combined units can be very convenient. For the most part, these control surface combinations can wrap up the digital and analog hardware needed for a competent home or project studio.

These hybrid units extend beyond the transfer of midi data to control mixing parameters of your DAW software.

Controller / Audio Interface Integration

These are combo units that integrate the controller functionality with the features of the audio interface.

Digital Mixer / Control Surface Combinations

These are the most expensive units and combine the features and functions of a digital mixer, which includes onboard processing, an array of in / outputs, and the functions of a control surface.

In Conclusion:

Remember that when combined as a hybrid unit, always look at a control surface as a separate device. Controllers talk to the software mixer and transport of your sequencer, they do not talk to a mixer, keyboard, or audio interface.

Research the compatibility and integration between the DAW software in your home studio with that of a prospective control surface. If there is a problem here, you will be in trouble and wish you had done your homework.

Control surfaces and their hybrid combinations appear to be the future, especially for the home studio. I expect the market competition to increase significantly as technology and manufacturing costs become more efficient, universal formats are agreed upon between hardware and software companies, and music technology companies can produce more faders and more options with greater precision and effectiveness, for less money.

The Year Music Changed Forever

For the first time in history, digital music purchases have surpassed that of physical cd sells. The revolution that everyone has envisioned for the last 10 years has finally arrived. This is good news for both independent artist and record labels. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music purchases accounted for 50.3% of…

For the first time in history, digital music purchases have surpassed that of physical cd sells. The revolution that everyone has envisioned for the last 10 years has finally arrived. This is good news for both independent artist and record labels. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music purchases accounted for 50.3% of music sales in 2011. Digital sales were up 8.4% from the previous year, while physical album sales declined 5%. The sale of digital albums rose as well, making it the first time in 7 years that total album sales were up. The death of the music industry as reported over the last few years may have been premature.

Digital music is now much easier, convenient and cost effective for the consumer. Consumers can preview music before they buy it. When you think back to the old days of physical albums it was always risky. People would spend 16 dollars for a cd and only get 2 songs they like. Now if you spend 16 dollars on iTunes or Amazon you get 16 songs you like. The new business model is a win for everyone. Indie artist can now record and sell albums without the help of labels and no longer have to wait for a record deal. Labels can now reduce cost, make money on their existing catalog and have greater profit margins. Consumers can now get the music they want and only the music they want, when they want it. This is the dream of most consumers and merchants.

New technology such as iPhones and iPads have made it possible for consumers to purchase music any time any place. In the old days a person would have to visit a record store to by music. Even when digital music took off in 2004 people still had to be home on their computers to by it. Now you can be anywhere in the world almost and by digital music. What were the labels so afraid of and why did they resist the digital revolution for so long? Only now can the world see just how inefficient the old music buying system was. Imagine buying something and not being sure about what you are getting. There will be no turning back, the world has changed for every when it comes music and everyone is better off. Sure the companies that produce cds will need to find another business but you can not put the gene back in the bottle and who would want to.

How To Release Music and Start Your Own Record Label

I have noticed quite a lot of confusion of how to actually go about releasing your own music these days. I have also noticed a lot of confusion on how to start your own record label too. I have recently done both after many countless hours of hard work and tears. To me music is…

I have noticed quite a lot of confusion of how to actually go about releasing your own music these days. I have also noticed a lot of confusion on how to start your own record label too. I have recently done both after many countless hours of hard work and tears. To me music is a passion and starting an independent record label was my main priority in life and something that I could not just let go of. It was something I had to peruse in order to feel that I've at least given it a shot in life.

Depending on what your intentions are as a musician, actually releasing your music is not something that's that hard at all! I admit that starting a record label can be hard work, but the hard work is worth it if you can have the mindset in place of doing it for the love of your music and passion, rather than to simply make money out of it. By releasing your own music you will ever gain exposure to a worldwide audience and be able to reach out to the people who will also enjoy your music just as much as you did making it.

I have many friends who enjoy making music like I do. My friend is a guitarist and singer and good at it too. He always used to say to me “Oh I've got an album finished but what's the point, no one will ever hear it, blah blah blah”. Then I say to him why do not you get an album done to the best you can and try sending that out, he replies “there's too much competition blah blah blah”. Maybe in a sense it's true, but with the change in the music industry and the tools we have at hand on the Internet these days it hasrely made releasing your very own music the way forward! There is no reason that you can not release your own music today. You do not need to be signed to a record label in order to do so but so many of us are unaware of this. Some of us know that it's possible to approach iTunes independently to release our music, but there's so many more digital download stores out there on the Internet to push your music out to even though iTunes is accountable for probably around 70% of all downloads. This is where the music distributors come into the picture. You can get your music distributed to a large number of stores worldwide by using the correct distributors that are available to us online.

The new digital age and the Internet have made it possible for people like me, my friend, and most of all you, a chance to release our own music worldwide independently. Best of all it has made it possible to release your own music without actually being signed to a record label. Only until recently I never released how this was even possible. My friend did not even realize how this was even possible. We can now use online music distributors to release our music and cut out all the middlemen. There are many music distributors available on the internet that are all very good to use, many of which will work in a different principle on how they take their cut from your music releases. Some of these music distributors will just take one one off yearly payment and charge you a fee per song you upload for release, whilst others may want a 15-20% share from every release sold online through them as well as a small distribution cost from every release depending on how many download stores you want to distribute your song to. Many of these distributors offer good customer service, as well as the necessary ISRC codes that will identify your song and make it chart eligible. Most of these distributors even have online software in which you release your songs with, along with online tutorial videos on how to release your music with the software to make the process much easier such as music distributor Rebeat for example.

My favorite distributors are a German based distribution company called Feiyr. I mainly use them for my record label releases as they have great software imbedded into their online online which makes it great for releasing tracks for my record label. They also have a large list of digital distribution stores that they use to distribute your music too, as well as a large popular amount of record labels using their services.

If your thinking of starting a record label then it is not easy I'll be honest. I never imagined it being easy either and as frustrating as it has been for me, I have not given up either. It could have been a lot easier if there were more information that I managed to find available online, but I never found it unfortunately. It has been one big trial and error mission for me, but the mistakes pay off in the long run. Any articles I found on the subject were never continued or about a page long. The best way that I found to learn was to just chuck myself into the deep end and get on with it. As soon as you start using your first music distributor to release your music and see your first release, everything will start to fit into place nicely. If you can use a computer and are familiar with the Internet which I'm sure you are, then you have no excuses not to get started now. It seems that perseverance is your best friend, so please remember that and do not give up. Once you hit that brick wall you must keep going. Countless times we have all felt like throwing in the towel and giving up, but remember that's just the easy way out, that's because it's true! If you have read this far then you will be determined, if not more determined than me with a fire in your heart to succeed. You want to start a record label or you want to release your own music. You want to test the waters with yours and others music and there is no better opportunity than to start today. You at least owe it to yourself! Today's digital age and the Internet have made it possible for you to do just that, so no more excuses!

Expect failure along the way and take it with open arms, as you'll soon be one step closer to reaching your goals!

Thank you for reading this article and I hope you get your music out there!

Start Selling Digital Downloads

Without you have been in a coma the last 10 years you know how much the world has changed when it comes to the way we view media. These changes have affected the way we listened to music, take photos, read newspapers and magazines and watch movies. 15 years ago it would have cost an…

Without you have been in a coma the last 10 years you know how much the world has changed when it comes to the way we view media. These changes have affected the way we listened to music, take photos, read newspapers and magazines and watch movies. 15 years ago it would have cost an independent artist $ 100,000 to record an album. Also long gone are the days that have to wait for a publisher to pick you up after you write your great American novel. High speed internet, digital audio work stations, tablet computers, digital cameras and video editing software has created a hold new type of business for many talented individuals to start making money now.

Starting a digital media business has a relatively low cost of entry and low overhead. For example, a singer may want to start a digital music label. You can record an album, use a digital distributor and sell your music on popular sites such as iTunes or Amazon. If you are an artist or photographer, you can sell vector art or digital photos. If you are a writer, you can sell ebooks. New items such as iPhones and Android phones have created a whole new business model for selling apps for these phones. Here are a few steps to getting started selling digital media

1. Know what your talents are. Some people will be composers, some will be writers, others will be artist or programmers.

2. Get the proper equipment, such as computers, cameras, digital audio workstation, word processors or graphic design software and a high speed internet connection.

3. Start developing media.

4. Copyright whatever type of media you develop.

5. Set up an account to accept online payments. PayPal or something similar would be the easiest solution.

6. Find the proper platform to sell your media. For example, if you develop apps then you should try the iPhone or android app store. If you made an album try iTunes. If you are an artist or composer trying to sell your media on sites that sell stock photos, music, art and video footage.

7. Promote your products

Although nothing is free or guaranteed, there has never been a better time for talented individuals to make a decent living with their skill and talents. For an investment of a few hundred or a few thousand, less if you already have a computer, you can get started. You probably will not get rich but you can supplement or replace your income.

The Effective Ways to Start Your Music Career

Many people who have ability to play music or to sing, want to pursue career in the music industry. The problem is, they simply do not know how or where to star. They consist of solo singers, bands, vocal groups, and so on. It will be very unfortunate for these people not to be able…

Many people who have ability to play music or to sing, want to pursue career in the music industry. The problem is, they simply do not know how or where to star. They consist of solo singers, bands, vocal groups, and so on. It will be very unfortunate for these people not to be able to get a chance to show their music talent and be recognized by people. If you happen to be one of those people, you should know the effective ways to pursue career as a musician and put yourself in the spotlight. If you take the wrong steps, your chance of becoming a well known musician or singer might be gone forever.

The first thing you need to do is to really master your skill. You can not just be the so-so singer or musician. No record labels are willing to hire a so-so singer or musician. You should put yourself through music school and learn professionally. This will also benefit you in terms of creating a network with valuable links. After you have earned the skills, record your demo. The recording needs to be really good, and there before you should not do it yourself in your room using tape recorder. You need record the demo in the recording studio. If you already have decent recording software, you can record it on your own. Next, send your demo to the recording companies and wait for the response. Do not just wait as it can take for months for the company to look at your demo and listen to it. Instead, create a video of singing or playing the song you are very good at, and post the video on the Internet. This is considered as the most effective way, as everyone today goes online. You can take a look at many examples of how famous talented singers began their singing career by posting their videos on the Internet. The videos can be in the form of simple video clips with you sing to a song and guitar accompaniment, made at home in the bedroom changing all the way up to videos that may be very well made, or hire a video production company. For instance, there is a young singer in the USA whose videos are very interesting, as the audio and the videos are produced in a single take.

Another way is by uploading your music to major sites where many independent singers and musicians upload their music. The music will be viewed by many people and if they like it, they can download it. You can also create your own website consists of your music and maybe a bit of biography. The better idea is by doing the three techniques together, uploading the videos on the free video websites, uploading the music to the major sites, and creating your own websites.

Does a Band Really Need a Label to Be Successful?

Almost every band and artist I have talked to or read about; or stumbled across on the internet seem to have one major thing in common – they are looking for a label to sign them. My question is always this; why? The answers, although obvious, still baffle me. The common answer? To get out…

Almost every band and artist I have talked to or read about; or stumbled across on the internet seem to have one major thing in common – they are looking for a label to sign them. My question is always this; why? The answers, although obvious, still baffle me. The common answer? To get out there in front of people and sell music!

In today's age, the internet creates a completely different playing field than any other of the past. Almost all people know this, but yet they do not act on it. Most of the websites available for artists and bands seem to entice musicians into creating a profile with the promise of the “ability” to gain a fan base. These sites show numerous “Fan” profiles, and to the musician this looks like the “best place” to be. Well it ALMOST is! But why almost?

Sites like ReverbNation.com, MySpace.com, SoundClick.com, and even Facebook offer the idea of getting in front of lots of people. And for the most part, that is possible, but it will take a lot of work and money from the band to accomplish something. On top of that, it's the focus that is also wrong. And I mean the focus of the BAND or ARTIST. The web sites that an artist use already have their focus. It's to get as many people surfing their sites as possible so they can increase their AD REVENUE. They kindly on a musician's thirst for “the label” to sign them. These sites know bands and artists are hungry for recognition solely for the purpose of getting a label to sign them. But again, WHY? I mean, why would a band work so hard ON THEIR OWN to get fans, traffic to their profiles and websites, and build a “consumer base” – all of which is handily done by using tools that they PAID FOR from some of these sites – just to get the recognition from a label?

Think about it … a band works up several thousand fans by paying a site to use a fan building utility, the social site connection of fans bringing more fans. The band continues to brand itself (spends more money) and more fans follow. The next thing you know, they have two million fans traveling their site profile on a site like Facebook, MySpace, or ReverbNation … and now you want a label to sign you? For what? All the work has been done! The band in question has enough followers to have not one, but TWO platinum albums! Not to mention they have generated an awful amount of revenue already for the sites that house their content. Remember the AD REVENUE part of this story? Two million unique visitors to a web page can yield about $ 5,700 to $ 10,000 a month in ad revenue from impression ads and click through advertising. That is not exactly “rags to riches”, but it certainly creates buying power to continue the brand building process. But does the band see ANY OF THIS their profiles? NO! And what the hell is a label going to do for the band now?

The fans and followers are already in place! All the label does is sign the band and start taking 75 to 80% of everything the band makes. They do not need to promo the band very much at all, that has already been done. Do you see it? Maybe you do, but then you still have the question of, what about the BIG money? Well, when you have enough followers that want to hear you, they will be willing to buy music from you, or at the very least ATTEND A SHOW AND PAY TO SEE YOU. You do not need a label to do that, you have iTunes and other mediums for the sale of your content and you can post show dates and locations on your own site or profile. What a band needs is a way to do all of this in the beginning without having to spend a ton of money, and sometimes even receive some financial rewards in the process. Let's face it; making music and recording it does take work!

The entire industry still makes musicians think they need a label. What they really need is a partner of sorts. Specifically a website or online group that can offer all the things the others do, but with a twist. A couple of twists actually. Here is a list of some things that would help:

1. A website that provides the tools to build a fan base by allowing a band to directly introduce them to a large audience, for free.

2. The ability to share in ad revenue from their profiles. (Heck, it's their content to begin with, right?)

3. A website that allows the band to “broadcast” a show or gig date and its details to a certain (and possibly rather large) demographic of fans, for free.

Some of the things an artist needs to consider:

1. Giving away your music for free. YES! Give it away for now. Am I crazy? Well, are YOU famous yet? The answer to both is NO. Although people can listen to your music on a website (but only while they are on the website), you should allow downloads of your songs. You would be surprised at how many people listened to music from their smart phones and iPods. And they do it while other people are in ear shot. Give them a few of your BEST mp3's.

2. Do live shows at local bars and establishments, and while doing so, let the people who are watching know where you are online. Easy access makes for more fans.

3. Listen to negative comments about your sound. Yes, you are a professional and you “know what you are doing”, but do people actually like the result of your work? Do you really sound all that good? Do the songs you write have a “hook”? Put in the work and listen to what people say about your music. And I do not mean your friends and relatives … I mean people you do not really know. Which brings us to the last piece of advice.

4. ALWAYS OFFER a place and a way for those visiting your profile to leave comments. This does two things. 1) it gives you a true insight to what passing strangers think of your sound. And 2) it sparks social conversation between you, your fans, and the fans to each other. Almost everyone loves a little controversy, and let's face it, voicing their opinion. Viral elements on the web get going at blazing speed based on that promise alone.

Basically, all most bands need a web site or web group, or even a group of websites (as a combination) that does not charge for anything, but offers everything. The sites are out there. It simply takes a little creativity and awareness of your true goal. A band should NOT be focused on getting signed by a label. Their true focus should be on their music, their brand, and the fans that show interest. If you please the fans consistently, the rest will follow. Good luck, and keep jamming. The fans are out there … somewhere.

Electronic Press Kits – Why Every Artist Needs One And How It Helps Boost Promotion And Sell Music

A salesman needs a business card. A job applicant needs a resume. In the same manner, an artist / musician / band needs an artist profile. In music industry circles, artist profiles are called press kits, and now in this digital day and age, an Electronic Press Kit or EPK would always come in handy.…

A salesman needs a business card. A job applicant needs a resume. In the same manner, an artist / musician / band needs an artist profile. In music industry circles, artist profiles are called press kits, and now in this digital day and age, an Electronic Press Kit or EPK would always come in handy. An EPK is every musician's business card or resume, and what does it aim to do? The bottom line is to SELL. It is a vital promotional tool that could help sell music online.

If an artist is signed to a music distribution deal, an EPK is one of the resource materials used by music distribution aggregators to pitch to online music stores such as iTunes, Amazon, among others. For concert and event promoters / organizers, club and show venue booking agents, an artists' EPK could make or break a potential gig or event booking. And for music fans seeking more information about an artist, an EPK could establish that connection that could eventually build-up to a fan base.

What makes for a great EPK?

1. Artist Information
a. Bio or Profile = a brief yet concise write-up about the artist and his / her music. Include some personal background about your hometown, your childhood, your hobbies, your musical influences, etc., but make sure to tie it up on how these background information affected or framed you as an artist.

b. Music work experience = if you are an artist who has done gigs in clubs, halls, local events, or even done some audio recordings like compilation albums, EPs, digital tracks, and the like, be sure to include these in your general artist information .

2. Music Listening Station or Samples / Previews / Music Streaming Links
Online EPKs are mostly built-in with facilities to host music files that could have been used as listening or preview stations. Take utmost advantage of this facility. This is your chance for your music to be heard. Upload a snippet or even a full version of your song / s. At the end of the day, your music is worth more than a thousand words.

In line with this, music streaming links are often positioned along with “buy” or “share” links. In a music distribution point, these 'buy' links give your audiences direct access to where they can buy or download your music. Once a listener likes what they hear, you should be feeding their impulse to buy. In the same manner, 'share' links are of equal importance. Statistics have shown that peer recommendation also propels a fan's buying instincts.

3. Photos
It's a blatant reality that music sells partly because of imaging. With the dawn of the MTV, fans are always curious and eager to see how an artist looks like. Photos also serve a professional purpose of providing news write-ups, album reviews, blog features, and the like, an accompaniment image of the artist.

4. Press Section or Links
Sometimes at one point or another you have been written about by a music blogger, or a music site reviewed your album or song. It is best to provide a link to the site where the write-up was published, and / or place a quote or a section of the article where the writer put in a good word about you and your music.

5. Gig Sked / Calendar of Events
It has been said that one gig leads to another. Keep your fans updated where, when, and what time they can catch your live shows. Also keeping a reference of your previous gigs show potential promoters and booking agents that you are an experienced and bankable live performer.

From here you can connect the dots that EPKs facilitate for music distribution in online music stores, establish partnerships with event and show venue organizers for booking and gigs, and enrich a music fan's experience in connecting with the artist and his music. All these touch points are avenues to complement your music distribution channel to monetize or sell music online for you. Your music distribution partner could also help you put together an effective EPK that reflect your objectives and translate to Sell ​​Music online.

For music distribution to work even further, choose an aggregator that has a reach of over 600 retailers and mobile partners across 100 countries.

DIY Recording: Do It Yourself Recording for Serious Musicians

The mystique of the recording studio and album-making still remains a highlight to those in and out of the music industry. However, Indie musicians and hobbyists recording themselves in their homes are quickly closing the gap and removing the mystique of the recording studio with DIY Recording setups, utilizing the secrets that made classic recordings…

The mystique of the recording studio and album-making still remains a highlight to those in and out of the music industry. However, Indie musicians and hobbyists recording themselves in their homes are quickly closing the gap and removing the mystique of the recording studio with DIY Recording setups, utilizing the secrets that made classic recordings classic.

The basic premise of digital recording is that the most important, expensive and sizable facets of s traditional recording studio, such as recording / mixing console, or mixing board, tape machine acoustic, or “live” room have bee marginalized by their digital successors , the DAW, or digital audio workstation (faster personal computers running software like Logic, Protools, or Nuendo ). People are so adept at digital recording that even the remaining analogue studios have all but integrated digital recording into their traditional tape and console-based recording systems.

Now computers use hard drives to store recordings instead of magnetic tape and retain them in a computer system where they are almost infinite manipulatable. Many people will appeal, aside from the sonic advantages of tape recording that digital recording has removed the need for well rehearsed, “live” sounding recordings and there is now a lower threshold for the quality that people will allow to be recorded than only a decade Egypt 2 earlier.

However, if you are an artist or a band, you know how important your recordings are to your music, image and reputation. Let it suffice to say, all analogue / digital arguments aside, you can still self-produce high quality, market ready records in a home studio IF you understand the fundamentals of recording.

If you have access to a home / project studio, or want to build your own. Here's what will be your most important purchases to look for:

1. A / D, D / A Converter: Most of the problems with digital sound quality arise the instant the sound becomes digital. A quality Analogue-Digital converter will minimize the harsh, sterile and latency problems (the difference in what is uttered / played and what is heard / monitored) of your recordings. This will be among the most expensive purchases if quality is in mind. However, paired against buying a good tape machine (expertise and cost of maintenance aside), you'll save thousands in the long run.

2. The Computer itself: Mac vs. PC does not matter so much as having a “fast” computer with lots of CPU capability and RAM (memory), which directly affects your system's ability to track and playback audio. A computer with good processing and memory needs only a discrete drive (hard memory) for recorded audio and it will run very well for you.

Nearly everything else that follows in your recording quest can remain as close to budget, or professional analogue recording as you like. Needless to say, there are many things that contribute to the sound of your recordings and the hierarchy often goes as follows:

1. Musician / performance: Nothing is more important to a quality recording than a quality performance. A musician, no matter what instrument needs to have a strong understanding of the song, good timing and pitch reference and the ability to get through a large part, if not all of the “take” without making mistakes.

2. Instrument: No matter how much gear you accumulate or how well you can mix, industry standard sounds start at the source. Whether you're using a microphone or not, the instrument or voice should sound the way you want it to before you attempt to capture it. Poor sounding instruments rarely take the place of more than a brief novelty in pro recording eg even the average DIY Recordings will be made with at least one nice guitar and amp.

3. Microphone / Technique: “Micing” is an art in itself and remains the greatest talent a recording engineer can have. Microphones are expensive and a large collection is great, but having at least one good dynamic and one good condenser (especially for vocals) microphone will put you on the right path quickly and still allow you to surprise the pro's.

4. Microphone Preamp: Taken from the 1st section of the mixing console, it is a huge influence on the sound that a microphone receives, by being the first stage of amplification giving detail and life to sound. They can be bought as stand-alone units, pairs (recommended for starters) or in larger modules of 5-8 separate preamps. You'll boast your palette of pres as much as your microphone collection in time as you'll need one for each mic you plan to use at once.

5. Room / Ambient sound: With a properly rated room that does not cost much, you can control unwanted echoes and bass traps and give yourself a clean place to make acoustic recordings (that will involve micing moving sound).

Why Are There Errors in Sheet Music?

When you play commercially-available sheet music, you probably have noticed that they get it wrong, often. Why are the chords sometimes wrong, or the lyrics sometimes wrong, or the melody sometimes wrong? Who creates sheet music for recording artists who can not read / write music notation? There is a good reason why, even if…

When you play commercially-available sheet music, you probably have noticed that they get it wrong, often.

Why are the chords sometimes wrong, or the lyrics sometimes wrong, or the melody sometimes wrong? Who creates sheet music for recording artists who can not read / write music notation?

There is a good reason why, even if there is no good excuse why.

There are countless hit singers and hit bands who have written Number One hits and yet also do not know a lick about how to write down their song into a written form.

Two good examples are The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. They just write down lyrics and chords. They jam (ie, they rehearse it). And they're done.

Another good set of examples are the singer-songwriters, like Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan. She / He writes down the chords and the lyrics, and calls it a day. They already know their own melody, so they are not going to be bothered writing down what they do not need written down.

The technical term for learning a song without written music is “woodshedding.” It is the old old-fashioned “rote method” – just repeat it, with some tweaks every now and then, or with some error correction every now and then, until you memorize it. When bands do woodshedding, they call it something else – jamming.

When a band does woodshedding, the resulting whole is called a “head arrangement.” A head arrangement is a fixed way of playing in unison and in harmony without the help of a sheet music or a handwritten sketch score of some kind. There may be chords written down, like “E – A – B”, or “I – IV – V”. And the lyrics may be written down. But you will not find a staff line with key signatures and time signatures. No quarter notes or eighth notes. It's all in their heads, memorized – when to solo, when to lay back, when to accent, what kind of ending (abrupt or drawn-out).

And that is the flow, for countless recording artists:

(a.) jam awhile;
(b.) find out what works and what does not;
(c.) woodshed the good parts, like the harms, and the solo breaks;
(d.) final result is a head arrangement: everyone knows their part in the song.

Where does sheet music come from, then, for such “pencil-free” recording artists?

The secret is on the publishing side. The publishing company hires a staff musician to transcribe the music, from a recording, onto paper, or nowdays, onto a computer screen.

The technical term for doing an audio transcription of music is a “take down.” To do a take down is to write down the notes being played.

The publisher will then print the take down into nice sheet music, and make the sheet music available to the distributors who serve the retail establishments, like music stores or on-line sheet music web sites.

The publisher may have arrangements made for different instruments. One common example you should know by now if you play an instrument, the publisher may create a simplified piano arrangement for beginners, even if the original song never used a piano or any kind of keyboard in the released recording.

Other instruments are possible candidates for arrangement, too. For one example, I can confirm that there is an accordion arrangement for Mason Williams' guitar and orchestra recording of “Classical Gas.” (It is a good one, too.)

The publisher may have the staff musician do a marching band arrangement, so that the arrangement can be sold to high schools. And why not? There's serious money in selling the identical arrangement 1,000 times, for the next 5 years, 10 years, 30 years. – How many football games have you gone to where the band plays “Na-Na-Hey-Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” (by Steam, 1969), “All Right Now” (by Free, 1970)? Royalties are still being generated.

The publisher may print the guitar part (s) in tablature (“tab”) notation, where there are six lines representing the six strings on a guitar, with fret marks, and a mark to indicate which finger presses a given string, and which string is strummed or not strummed, picked or not picked. You do not have to learn music to read tablature, since the graphic representation is just a kind of “map” matching one physical part (eg, a string or a finger) with one kind of marking on the paper. It's almost like looking into a mirror of another guitar player's fretboard. Nothing complicated like quarter notes or rests to deal with.

That is the secret. And that may explain why so many songs have errors in their sheet music – there is no proof-reading; there is no quality control. The original recording artist can not read music notation. The transcriber's best guess is what ends up on the sheet music. And, like any profession, any given transcriber might not be as good as the other transcribers in the business. Some transcribers are better than others. And some transcribers are worse than others.

And we pay the price – full retail – no matter how far off the transit was.

How to Market and Sell Your Beats

Selling beats and licensing music can be a very lucrative business for someone with a significant amount a tracks. The problem that many composer and producers face is that not enough of the right people are listening your music. Most beat selling website of are mainly used by other producers trying to sell their beats.…

Selling beats and licensing music can be a very lucrative business for someone with a significant amount a tracks. The problem that many composer and producers face is that not enough of the right people are listening your music. Most beat selling website of are mainly used by other producers trying to sell their beats. Stock music and production sites have thousands of composers and producers that you have to compete with to be heard. Even if you get heard you have to give up half of your earning if you sell anything. These sites will present you with different promotion techniques that are designed to make them money not you. All of the promotion you have to do on beat selling and stock music sites you can do it yourself from your own website. This does not mean that you should not use beat selling sites. The more places you have your beats the more likely you are to sell them.

You have to look at your beats as a product. Software companies have their own websites but they sell their software in as many places as they can. This the way you should sell your beats. Here are a few tips for marketing your beat site.

1. Make hot beats, this has to be said because some producers just do not get it.

2. Post as many YouTube videos as you can, post your music on any website that allows individuals to view your music.

3. Blog, blogging with leave backlinks to your site and will establish you as an expert.

4. Release instrumental albums, many producers do not understand that there is a huge market for instrumental music. Particularly new age and jazz. But many electronic musicians and some hip hop artist can release instrumental albums because DJs love them. Just go through a digital distributor and you can have your music on iTunes in no time.

5. Participate in forums, please do not try to sell your on the forums it will be considered spam. Stay on the topic and leave a link to your website. If you appear knowledgeable people will click on your link. Forums will also leave backlinks to your website.

6. Use social networking sites such as face book, my space and tweeter. These sites have hundreds of millions of users and will in able to you to develop a following.

7. Use site like Yahoo groups, participate in groups and start your own. This will allow you to communicate with artist, leave backlinks to your site and show your level of knowledge.

There are many ways to market you beats and your website, these are just a few to tips to get you

Get Started Licensing Music

Music licensing is probably the easiest way for independent artists, sound designers, producers and composers to earn a living. I would challenge anyone to watch TV, listen to the radio, watch a movie or a commercial without hearing some form of background music. With all of the recent budget cuts most companies can not afford…

Music licensing is probably the easiest way for independent artists, sound designers, producers and composers to earn a living. I would challenge anyone to watch TV, listen to the radio, watch a movie or a commercial without hearing some form of background music. With all of the recent budget cuts most companies can not afford to hire a composer to write customer music for their project. Stock music and production music libraries provide a nice option for new composers to license their music. Usually there are no upfront fees with these companies but it will cost you 50% of whatever fees you and royalties you receive. If you have a significant library (500 tracks or more) you may be better starting your own website. If you can license the music yourself you can keep all of the money. You will have to spend a lot of time and effort on marketing and promotion if you chose to take this route.

Music Licensing has several forms, most composers who license music think in terms of getting their music in TV or films. There has been a big focus on developing relationships with music supervisors and music production libraries. One area that seems to have been missed is licensing music to unsigned indie artist. There are hundreds of thousands and millions millions of artist who need instrumental tracks for their projects. Although there are some companies that focus on leasing hip hop beats there are many types of artist who need instrumentals. These can include Jazz, soul, rock, pop, electronic, folk, alternative and many others. There are plenty of website that allow indie artist to promote and sell their music. By going to these sites you can see many artists who may need your tracks right now.

To maximize exposure, the composer should have multiple versions of their tracks so that it would fit into different types of projects. For example, if you compose a folk song, you may want to have a full song version for an indie artist, a 1 to 2 minute version or even a 10 second or 30 second version for film or TV and a version without drums. Make sure that all of your productions are broadcast quality. This is easy to do with today's HD Digital recording work stations. Remember not to limit your options by only focusing on one avenue to license your music.

Hardware Versus Software Synths and Instruments?

If you go back 2000 years ago most beats were made using hardware like Akai MPC, Motifs, Korgs and Roland. Fast forward to 2012 and most beats are now made using software sequencers. DAWs such as Logic Studio, Pro Tools, Motu, Cakewalk, FL studio, Reason and Ableton live have come a very long way in…

If you go back 2000 years ago most beats were made using hardware like Akai MPC, Motifs, Korgs and Roland. Fast forward to 2012 and most beats are now made using software sequencers. DAWs such as Logic Studio, Pro Tools, Motu, Cakewalk, FL studio, Reason and Ableton live have come a very long way in the last 10 years. When the power of the new computers are taken into account one has to ask what role does hardware samples and sequencers play into today's music production scene.

What's better hardware versus software? Some say say it depends on who you talk too or your personal taste but facts are facts. First software is much cheaper. For example, Logic pro is now $ 199 but a MPC, Motif, or Triton can run as much 2 to 3 thousand dollar. For that amount a new composer or producer can get a computer, DAW software, speakers and a midi controller. Software sequencers provide a much better value.

Some hardware purist will tout sound quality as the reason to stick with hardware. Once again facts are facts. Companies such as Apple computer and Native instruments make software instrument with equal or better sound quality and some of the hardware counterparts.

What about the features? Well DAWs have more features than software sequences. Most DAWs are full fledged recording studios. They are scalable, you can add more plugs than it ships with. Some DAWs like logic pro can covert midi into sheet music. The editing possibilities are also endless with many of these products.

So why still use hardware sequencers at all? The main use for hardware synths and sequencers is for performing live. Today even the most power computer can freeze and crash. In the studio it's something a composer can deal with but this would be a disaster in a live performance. Also nothing beats the sound of live instruments rather it's live or in the studio. It really depends on the type of music you record. Urban music can be done via software exclusively. Orchestral, rock and some other genres may require live or a hardware synth.

Both hardware and software will always have their uses and their fans, if you are a new composer on a budget than stick with software, if you establish and can afford a thousand dollars to get you a high end hardware synth. Both will enhance your live and recording experience.

Issue Your Own Contract

Here's the big secret about contracts, the one who issues the contract is in control of the situation. A contract written for the issuer, benefits the issuer and not the receiver. So if you issue the contract, it benefits you, your needs and your requirements. It tells the party receiving the contract that this is…

Here's the big secret about contracts, the one who issues the contract is in control of the situation. A contract written for the issuer, benefits the issuer and not the receiver. So if you issue the contract, it benefits you, your needs and your requirements. It tells the party receiving the contract that this is the way you want things done. The information in your contracts stipulates your terms.

On the other hand, if you receive a contract from a venue, then that contracts, is written to benefit them and not you. A typical situation that exemplifies this is when a record label issues a contract to an artist about to be signed. This is one of those situations when an artist never issues a contract to the label. Upon reviewing a record label contract, you'll note this to be an excellent example of how the language or the contract benefits the label and not the artist.

In the case of performances though, it is always best to issue your own contract, no matter what. At times you will play gigs at colleges, festivals, government run events, (like city or county fairs), major performing art centers or promoter gigs. These are situations where they will most likely issue their contract. That's fine. In these cases, issue yours as well and insure that it be made part of the whole contract. This way your needs will be taken into account and your instructions followed and incorporated into the overall contract.

When you issue your own contract you are able to include clauses that stipulate how you'll be paid, your preferred rehearsal and sound check situation, your needs in the dressing room, how else do you want to be billed and who else may or may not play on the bill. You will have the opportunity to spell out, for the purchaser, how to best present and stage your event.

When creating your contract, it would be to your advantage to work with an entertainment attorney. This ensures that requirements of your state or country are included in the appropriate clauses of the agreement.

Remember, whoever issues the contract is in control of how things are worded and who benefits from the content of the contract. Start immediately to issue your own contract for every gig. You will not be sorry you did.

If you do not have your own contract, you may take a look at my contract forms package and decide if some of those contract forms may suit your needs to get you started.