Why And How To Mix In Mono

Believe it or not, you hear a lot of music today basically in mono. When you're walking around your kitchen listening to your stereo, you're basically listening the song in mono, unless you stand on front of the stereo perfectly. Many small radios only have the ability to play in mono. Most clubs and bars…

Believe it or not, you hear a lot of music today basically in mono. When you're walking around your kitchen listening to your stereo, you're basically listening the song in mono, unless you stand on front of the stereo perfectly. Many small radios only have the ability to play in mono. Most clubs and bars that play music almost always play it in mono. Wide and rich stereo sounds sound attractive at first but your music simply will not always be sounded in perfect listening environments to appreciate or notice it.

Mixing in mono will help you get a truly balanced mix. While mixing in mono, you are getting a very clear and concrete idea of ​​how loud or quiet things are in a mix. If you are sitting on front of you speakers with Pro Tools open for the last 30 minutes or listening to your mix with headphones for a while, your ears go tired and do not perform well and you get an incorrect idea of ​​how loud or quiet individual elements of the song are. You may pan a guitar 55% to the left and it will separate itself from the rest of the track and seem of a good loudness level, but when you hear the mix in mono somewhere else, the guitar will disappear.

“Hey it was loud enough when I was mixing it!”

That's why it is so important to balance your track levels in mono. Because you are hearing the mix in it's averagely heard condition and you know in reality how loud or quiet something is. Also, mixing in mono can bring to light any phasing issues that may be there for you to fix. Mix in mono, I can not stress it enough.

So now I will go through how I mix a song, using the 'mixing in mono' mindset.

Mixing a song is all about balance. To start off the mix I get a good balance of my faders and my panning. I usually have a pretty wide guitars and keys signal which is why mixing in mono helps me a lot. I then do my gating, equing, compression, saturation, etc, etc. Everything to get my mix sounding like a song that I can bop my head to.

What I do next is put my master fader into mono. In some DAWs there's a button for this, sometimes you can pan the left and right panning to the center and other times you may have to throw a stereo spread plugin that can put stuff into mono into you master fader effects chain. Every DAW should be able to make the master fader mono so find out how to do it in your DAW.

Now I listen to my song back again and see what just got lost in the mix. I almost always say “Woah where the hell did the guitar go?”, Or something along those lines. So I move up and down a few faders so I can hear everything again. To achieve that balance again.

Next I usually get a reference track and make sure that's in mono too. Always make sure to get a reference track that you know is an awesome mix and has a good balance of instruments and sounds good in every listening medium. I then bring the level of the reference song down to match the level of the song that I am mixing. In this reference track that I know is well mixed, I get a clear perspective of the levels in which instruments should be, so I balance my own mix accordingly, usually starting with the bass drum. I usually have a pretty damn good balanced mix at this stage.

Now listen to your mix in stereo again. It'll sound amazing.

So I hope this article has shone some light onto why people always talk about mixing in mono.

I hope you have a nice day.

Look forward to more mixing tips.


Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Process the Master Fader And Why You Should Mix With Your Ears

As a mixer, your final result is not a group of multi tracks, it's a song. Your final product is just a stereo wave form. With that in mind, you should know that it's okay to process the mix bus. As long as it makes the final stereo mix sound closer to a song and…

As a mixer, your final result is not a group of multi tracks, it's a song. Your final product is just a stereo wave form. With that in mind, you should know that it's okay to process the mix bus. As long as it makes the final stereo mix sound closer to a song and makes your head bop to the beat, it should be okay.

Mixers these days tend to be more attracted to the control they have and precise tweaking they can do to the individual soloed out instruments. And they feel that throwing an EQ or compressor on the master fader is too much of a general step in the mixing phase.

You should try your best to come out of this mindset as soon as possible and come to the realization that a decision you make while mixing is a good one as long as it makes the final waveform sound better, more like a song. And that you should not make mixing decisions because you feel a certain cut or boost on these certain instruments would look good rather than sound good.

Its time to start trusting your ears and not your shiny expensive processing plugins.

Yesterday while mixing a song I recorded for fun, I straight away put an EQ on my 2 guitar tracks, ready to cut away the low end, most likely remove some of the 250-500hz range and add some highs for more presence. But I realized that I have not even listened back to the edited song since I opened up Pro Tools.

I just jumped to conclusions without putting my ears to use. I did not even plan out in my head what kind of guitar tone I wanted with these tracks.

Surprisingly enough the second guitar track had a lot of intentional low end that I liked in the final song, the final stereo waveform. And it also had a small boost at 500hz which brought out something special in the guitar.

If I had gone on and jumped to conclusions in the beginning, I would've never found the true potential that I found in my guitar in the mix and I would've never realized that above par final mix, final waveform that I achieved

And that my friend is because I used my ears to mix and not my eyes.

So in conclusion, I hope this article has enlightened you to why it is okay to processes the master fader. I hope this article has also opened you up to mixing more with your ears than your eyes.

Look forward to more enlightening mixing tips.

Have a nice day.

– Evan

Play and Record Like the Mixing Stage Doesn’t Exist and Get a Great Sound From All Your Instruments

I was recording a cover of Pink Floyd's “Breath” the other night with a few buddies of mine. I was on bass for this one. On versa of the song I wanted a really picky mid range sound on the bass, and then for the breakdown of each verse I wanted to have a smoother…

I was recording a cover of Pink Floyd's “Breath” the other night with a few buddies of mine. I was on bass for this one. On versa of the song I wanted a really picky mid range sound on the bass, and then for the breakdown of each verse I wanted to have a smoother more low passy sound to the bass.

On the first take, I just played the same way through the whole song and knew in my head that I was gonna just get the bass sound idea I had during the mixing stage. (The bass was DI'd straight into Pro Tools by the way)

Great idea right ?!

No actually not really.

When I processed the bass inside Pro Tools, I thread on an amp simulator. This alone felt a bit 'meh'. It felt kinda fake and lifeless, but I proceeded nonetheless. I then directed the mid range at the versa, and then adjusted a low pass filter at the breakdowns.

Damn, did this sound bad. Everything about it sounded extremely lifeless and really overprocessed. So I said “screw it, let's do this again a better way,”

This time around I knew in my head that I should be recording this bass sound as if the mixing stage is not an option. So instead of directly injecting my bass into my interface, I decided I should mic up my bass amp instead. Oh god when I did that it sounded so beautiful.

So when micing up the amp, at first I did not really take much care on where on the amp I should put my microphone, I mean all that can just be done with an EQ later. But then I remembered, it's always better just to get the sound at the source instead of processing the crap out of it later. Same went for dialing in the settings on the amp, I did not leave everything on default, I tried to get as close as I could to the bass sound I wanted so I had the bass knob at 4, the mid knob at 3.5 and the treble knob at 0.

Another big contribution to the final bass sound is how I played it. I wanted a more picky sound at the versa, so I mean, it's a no brainer, I'll use a guitar pick this time around! And so I did, and I plucked it good when I needed that plucky sound. And as I wanted that smoother low passy fingered bass sound at the break down, I simply put the pick on my lap and played the bass closer to the neck then before and gently plucked it to get the exact sound I needed.

The end bass sound was amazing. 1 million times better than the original DI'd sound that I had, and that's all because I got the sound the way I wanted at the source, before I touched an EQ.

So in conclusion, play and record as if there is no mixing stage, it'll work wonders as to how good your song will sound and the emotion your song will convey.

Look forward to more mixing tips.

Thanks for reading.

Have a nice day,


How to Make Bass Guitar and Bass Drum Cut Through the Mix

TECHNIQUE 1: COMPRESSION AND GATING. For bass, you can really squeeze the signal and still have the audio sound good and healthy. With a lot of compression you may bring up the level of unwanted noise at the parts the bass is not playing, so remember to edit those parts out or use a gate…


For bass, you can really squeeze the signal and still have the audio sound good and healthy. With a lot of compression you may bring up the level of unwanted noise at the parts the bass is not playing, so remember to edit those parts out or use a gate to silence them.

For the kick drum, especially with a live recorded drumset, you can really tighten it up with a gate. Try setting the ratio to 100: 1, having a pretty short attack time and have a 200 millisecond release time. (It varies per song.) It's important to blend this once long decaying kick drum into the overhead mic (s) to have a natural drum sound and not to make the drums sound too gated and dead. After using a gate on my bass drum I usually do not apply compression but if you want, throw on a compressor and use a slow attack time and fast release, and then visa versa, see which one makes your particular kick drum sound punchier and cut through the mix more.


When equing instruments, especially the important ones like bass and bass drum, be subtractive about it. Try to cut more than you boost. It's a mindset you should try and obtain as soon as possible as a person equing an instrument. As for boosting, try to limit yourself to a less than 4db boost, just a little tip.

With that in mind, let's throw the stock Pro Tools EQ on our bass guitar. Stock plugins will always be able to do the job. I started by making a low and high pass filter. I highpassed up to 70hz as I wanted to clean up the low end and free up some headroom. I lowpassed down to 1500hz as I did not need anything above that. Also the recording had a fair bit of noise which was mostly removed by making this low pass cut. I next cut away around 7dB along the 240hz to 420hz area. This cleaned up the bass phenomenally and removed the unwanted muddiness. Lastly, I added a 3dB boost to the 1100hz area. This thought out the high mid sound of the bass which helped it cut through the mix.

Okay, keeping up so far? Good.

For the bass drum, kick drum whatever you want to call it, I started by making a similar cut that I did to the bass around the infamous 240hz – 420hz area. The muddiness was cleaned up by doing this. I then added a generous 4db boost at 2000hz which brought out the beater of the drum and helped it cut through the rest of the mix nicely. After this I knew the bass drum needed more oomf, more thump, so I made a good old R & B mixing trick and made a 4dB, narrow Q boost at both 40hz and 70hz. Play around with where these boosts are in your bass drum and see what sounds most effective. It instantly hit me right in the chest. But I did notice it was interfering with my bass a bit too much, so I rolled forward the high pass on my bass guitar to remove a bit more low end. Easy peasy. Sounds perfect. This narrow Q bass drum boosts are a good old R & B trick but in my opinion they work in any genre. Try it out today!


This part is really the key to bringing out instruments and making them cut straight through the mix. This is what can make the beater of your kick drum and high mids of your bass cut through on your crappy laptop speakers or your tiny earphones.

For the bass, I generously detected it using the stock Air distortion plugin that comes with Pro Tools. Remember, stock plugins can get the job done as properly as anything. This distortion made my bass sound a lot warmer, it added a whole new sound to the high mids which I found it completely unacchievable with compression or equing. It saturated the high mids which made it cut through the mix amazingly. The bass sound on its own did sound a bit unnatural though, when it was soloed. But remember, it's all about what the final stereo waveform sounds like. So I unchecked the solo button and it sounded perfect. It sat in the mix perfectly and cut through with the help of the saturation.

For the bass drum, I used the Air harmonic distortion plugin. I turned up the low end knob and tuned it to 70hz. Boom, more low end energy. I then turned up the high end knob and tuned it to 1500hz. Boom, more presence. It cut through the mix better than ever.

So in conclusion, compression, EQ and distortion are my three best solutions to make bass and bass drum cut through the mix. Mess around with the order in which these plugins are in your plugin chain. I usually go, from top to bottom, Gate, EQ and Distortion for bass drums and for bass guitars I have Compressor, Gate, Distortion, EQ. This chain can vary of course.

I hope you know more about making your bass guitar and bass drum cut through the mix now!

Look forward to more mixing tips.

Have a nice day.


Handel: A Musical Life of Devotion

Handel: A life of Musical Devotion A great gift to music entered into the world on 23 February 1685 in Halle, Germany. A life of great musical interest; one filled with an unbelievable talent that would become a beacon to many through the European continent and span centuries past its lifetime. It is a life…

Handel: A life of Musical Devotion

A great gift to music entered into the world on 23 February 1685 in Halle, Germany. A life of great musical interest; one filled with an unbelievable talent that would become a beacon to many through the European continent and span centuries past its lifetime. It is a life that would become centered around a great mystery of how the musical talent would blossom into a recognized and celebrated gift; a life that would alter the musical landscape and the spiritual worship real in a short 24 days, and a life that would become so influential that it would dictate musical compositions for many years afterwards.

A musical life that in the beginning would find itself struggling to exist; a life that will be forever known in George Frideric Handel. It is through Handel that we credit many great musical accomplishments; accomplishes in the mixture of homophonic and polyphonic textures, through the creation of his own unique works through the process of combining German, Italian, French, and English musical traditions into his highly successful English Oratorios. And most importantly through the lasting effects of Handel's single greatest gift to the world, and the world of music: The Messiah. But how does the work of this single musician leave such a strong impression on the music that we have today? What could possibly make the music of Handel something that would be hailed as electric, memorable, unique, and even cutting edge? And most importantly how could one person alter the musical idiom through a single twenty-four day creation of a setting of Christ's life? Through these questions I will explore Handel's impact on music in a way that sheds light on the significance of Handel as a musician, a teacher, and inventor and as a religious preserver. It is with Handel that we credit a great deal of musical advancement.

Adversity in Handel's life was something that he encountered early on in life. At an early age Handel found himself faced with a father that did not support a career in music, in fact his father was a person that greatly hated music; stating that it was a pastime that served the sole purpose of casting a light on the weakness of character found within a person. It was his father that wished he would strive to obtain a career as a lawyer, a position that would come with a great deal of security in position and financial stability. This was something that Handel himself would have come to terms with, because he himself was born with “signs of a fiercely ambition, born of an awareness of his superiority as a musician, and with a determination to maintain his independence.” This determination to advance his musical skill became a task that took a great deal of hard work and convincing; though it was Handel's mother that provided access to a clavichord hidden in the family's attic. The hours spent hiding from his father in the attic, covering the strings of the clavichord with cloth to dampen the sound, allowed young George the time to practice his musical development and eventually the knowledge of how to play both the clavichord and the organ. This early study is most likely what saved the musical career for Handel, because it was during the time stuck in the attic that a young Duke passing by hear young George playing in the attic and was so moved by what he heard, that he stopped to listen. After hearing young George play the organ, the Duke pleaded with George's father to allow him to travel to Berlin and begin to take music lessons. The young Handel began taking lessons at the age of eight, and was easily able to conquer learning the violin, composition and theory techniques, harpsichord, and reinforce the organ playing skills. By the age of 11, there seemed little that any music teacher could teach George; it was at this point that George's father began angry and again expressed his desire for George to cease playing in the music, and to return home and do as he wished. Handel at the request of his father did in fact return home, only to arrive at his father's deathbed. This was a dark period of struggle for the young Handel, compelled to honor his father's wishes, George determined that it was best to keep to his studies in law; though during this same time he continued to also sharpen the musical skills that he knew he possessed. It was during this time that Handel began to write cantatas for the various churches that he was serving in as an organist. It was the service in music that called out to Handel, and by the time he reached the age of eighteen, Handel had realized that it was in fact his destiny to become a great musician announcing that he was destined to improve his musical abilities and his knowledge of music.

Leaving his birth city of Halle lead him on a series of travels that would shape the musical aspect of the outlook that Handel would have on music. The various travels and cities that Handel was to visit would begin to influence every aspect of music that Handel would come to know and appreciate, and it was his first destination in Hamburg that would lead Handel on the path of musical greatness. It was during his time in Hamburg that Handel was really introduced to opera, and it took no time before Handel was given a position in the orchestra on second violin. The time at the opera house playing violin was a period that would bring the birth of what people would come to see as a man that was described as a “large and very portly man”, one that was full of a short temper and one that had a general appearance about him that was “something heavy and sour.” The personality of Handel would be something that many really would see as a double edged sword, in one aspect he was a intelligent man that had a good sense of humor, one that show a remarkable sense of integrity, reliability, and absolute honesty in all aspects of his life; but at the same time Handel was a person that possessed a short fuse, and hot temper. He was a man that was short temped and vocal about is opinions of life in general, and especially music. This personality would be a defining part of Handel's musical career, as it was shortly after he started working in Hamburg at the Opera house, that George was given the opportunity to display his tremendous talent at the harpsichord; though it was also this talent that caused young George (now approximately age 22) to vocally disagree with composer Johann Mattheson on a composition Mattheson had written. It was this short fuse of Handel's that nearly ended his career, and life; though this spunk Handel exhibited alsoave him the opportunity to catch the eye of a young prince, Prince Ferdinando de 'Medici, which would have impressed with the music Handel was performing. This lead to Handel being asked to leave his home, now Hamburg, and make the journey to Italy where he would again be placed in a situation of being surrounded by new composers and styles of music.

The move to Italy was an exciting time for Handel, as Handel was at a point of where his primary motivation for traveling to new areas was that of gaining experience, and in the case of the opportunity to visit Italy, the objective was to learn as much as he could from the composers of Italy, and their wonderful operas. It was in Italy that Handel made significant strides in his musical career and overall development. For when Handel made it to Italy he was exposed to the world's greatest forms of music maintaining of compositions of the likes of Opera, Cantatas, oratorios, chamber cantatas, concertos, and sonatas. This was a period that Handel began the task of refining his knowledge and really defying the compositional talents he had been using to this point.

Handel was afforded the luxury of being able to set no limit on the boundaries of which his music would take because of the generous gift of being surrounded by people that were able to support Handel and his daily needs. As a member of Prince Francesco Ruspoli court, Handel was given the freedom to explore compositional aspects and dig into the music that so highly intrigued him, though it was not until 1710 that Handel's musical world would come to full realization, and would establish Handel as one of the greatest musicians of all times. The year 1710 came with Handel's move back to Germany where he would fall into the role once held by Steffani in Hanover as Kapellmeister to the Elector, George Louis, who eventually became King George I of England. Once in Hanover Handel was quickly persuaded to travel to England with Prince George to scout out the music scene in the country as Prince George's mother Sophia was married to the English Elector, meaning that Prince George would eventually assume the Throne of England (which happened in 1714). During the early visits to London, the young Handel became very intrigued in London's newest opera house, the Queen's Theater, and it was here that Handel decided that he would produce an opera that was Italian in nature and composed specifically for London. The opera Rinaldo was that first produced in 1711, and associated of slightly over a dozen performances, all of which were considered a huge success; thus paving the way for Handel's move to England, and what was to become the foundation for the overall success of Handel.

The move to England was a positive move for Handel overall, leading to his ultimate desire to become a British citizen. Once he was finally settled into his life in England, Handel was offered and accepted the role of music director for the Royal Academy of Music when it opened in 1720. The academy was the center for operational studies for many years after opening; credited greatly to the presence of Handel himself and his ability to attract the best singers to perform the works he had written himself. Because as with any worthy project dealing with the largest and brightest stars, the academy began to see a decline in stature and operation; attributed to the high demands the singers were placing on the academy both performance wise and financially. This was only fueled by the internal conflicts among performers, patrons, and rival composers. This was a time when Handel's short fuse and hot temper did not help, as Handel himself was part of many of the quarrels that took place, though he was clever enough to lighten the situation and make the tensions eventually come to an end through humor and quick wit. This did not help the academy in the long run as it was ever forced to close its doors, but at the same time it only freed Handel to focus on his career, and ultimately gave him the time to prepare for the needed shift in musical direction as the opera itself had reached a point to where it was no longer a viable musical performance option in England.

The shift from opera was one that Handel himself was easily able to undertake, for the ambition and determination to succeed in the music real allowed Handel to develop an internal motivator that he looked for for resolve to win fame and fortune and to make money; honestly if you can, but-make money. ” This was something that would serve Handel himself well because it is Handel's personality and desire to serve the music and the people thatave him the title of “musician of the people.” This afforded Handel the ability to see a great deal of success with his music and career while in England going through the period of shifting from the Operational style to that of composing English Oratorios. This also only assisted Handel in popularity because may people saw Handel's music as “property of the people, familiar, understood, and loved” and this was related to many English subjects as to the “work of not other great master the wide world over. ”

The overall history of Handel is able to show that the experience and cultural exposure of his various travels, wave Handel himself a wide range and palette to work from. It is through the exposure to these cultures and musical styles, compositions, composers, patron, and musician employers that Handel was given the tools needed to succeed in the music world, but the experiences themselves did not create a unique character that was what was approved in Handel. It was the personal experiences that Handel possessed that afforded him the opportunity to be loved by many and respected by all. The personality of Handel was a unique blend of every imaginable aspect one could possibly think of, he had a drive; a determination to succeed, the ability to make people laugh, a sense of quick wittedness, a familiarity aspect, devotion to religion, honesty, integrity, and an incredible love of music. But most importantly Handel never let anything stand in his way of doing what he loved: serving the people, the music, and his religion. An example comes in the form of theability of anything to stand in the way of Handel's success. In 1737 Handel suffered a stroke that for the most part threatened to end everything. The stroke had left Handel's right arm paralleled and thus preceded him from being able to perform and also had an affect on his mind. It was during this time that Handel fought to remain active, and did through the writing of Italian operas though the public no longer favored them. Handel pushed through all obstacles that he encountered including occasional blindness that took a toll on his compositions and ultimately left Handel performing his music for organ from memory. It was ironic that Handel had a determination to succeed, because it was this determination that left him a person that was totally withdrawn from life and society, though loved by all. He did spend most of his time and life locked away from society and the daily life in order to focus on his music and then never married nor had any children. He was a man that truly devoted his life to the people, his music, and changing the world of music.

The Influence Handel had on music was immense, the style and techniques that he was able to incorporate into the daily musical vocabulary was a blending of the major European styles that Handel had experienced in his travels from Halle to Hanover, to Hamburg, Italy and England . Simply put, Handel took the best of all the styles and created one Handelian style that would become a standard for the musical world, allowing him to “mature as a composer in England, the country then most capable to foreign composers.” Handel had a solid foundation from the early Lutheran church music that he was around growing up, this attention to the harmonic structure and counterpoint of the music he was able to adapt a rich lush style in the compositions that he wrote from the sacred cantatas through the opera, and later into the English Oratorios. One defining feature of the style that Handel possessed is that he was ever aware of the changing trends of the time, though his style of writing remained pretty much the same and did not need much altering for he has such a gift for writing melodies that one would never realize that many times a harmony was not present under the melodic line. The melodies were bold and self-sustaining and so needed no support from a harmonic progression to carry it through. A strong feature of Handel's compositional style was the process of “borrowing” materials. It is clear and evident that Handel borrowed musical ideas from others during his life as a way to create a new melting pot of musical ideas. But Handel also employed the technique of borrowing musical material, or re-use of musical material, from his own work; however he did like to use material from other composers better. He did this in a way that varied, one method was simply to take away pieces, or moves, from one work and reuse them in another, or to borrow material from a composer and then rework it to create an essentially new compositions, as seen in the Choruses from Messiah and Belshazzar's fever; using the Italian duet “for us a child is born.” The use of the borrowing technique is one that is unique to Handel, because it was in the 1930's that it seems as if the practice ceases, though this could be because Handel found the need to shift composition styles, and then opened himself to a wide range of materials to now pull from, thus making the reference of music harder to pin point. But the fact remains that the “borrowing does not affect his status as a composer” because Handel himself never based his career on any single piece of work that utilized music that was credited to the creation of another person. Thus it is not known if any single composer influenced Handel himself, however it was obvious that Handel left an obvious influence on the composer that appeared during his time and certainly after his death in 1759.

But it was in the 1930's that Handel really would begin to affect and alter the trajectory of music and musical composition through the creation of the new genre of the English Oratorio. The English Oratorio was much like the Italian form of the genre as it set dialogue in lyrical and recreative versions, but then was combined with foreign elements from the French drama, Greek tragedy, German passion, and most importantly the English masque. These characteristics combined together was enough to solidify the fact that Handel was to be the greatest musical figure of all time, and one of the most respected people in all of London and England. One of the most important contributions the Oratorio made was to the vocal setting, and through the addition of the chorus. What made this kind a huge success for Handel and for the popularity of his music was the sheer fact that Handel was able to create unique effects with the orchestration of the vocal score to create a simple form that alternated in the written passages of versions from an open fugal style to that of a solid harmonic sound. This added with the orchestra, who was normally scored in a way to support the vocal parts created a work that was not only easy to sing, but also made it accessible to the general public, making it established that “Handel is the musician of the people. ” This form of music was never meant to be suited for the church, the Oratorios were meant for concert hall performance settings and then even though the Messiah, one of Handel's most well known piece was written as an Oratorio, it was actually seen more as a “sacred entertainment” piece.

But Handel's contribution did not stop at the creation of the new style of music in the English Oratorio, but he actually found a great deal of success in writing instrumental works. The instrumental aspect of Handel's musical output was one that garnished him with a great deal of extra income and was a major factor in keeping the name of Handel fresh in everyone's mind and in their daily musical dealings. Although true to the nature of Handel, he was dedicated to being as successful as he could in all writing aspects that he undertook. Thus the two of his works in the instrumental category best know were written for the King, and were meant to be for the public pleasure during the various outdoor performances and social gatherings. The first, Water Music was written in 1717 and was accompanied by three suites for winds and strings that was meant to be played from a boat on the river Thames for the king's pleasure while he was entertaining socially that he wished to stay in good graces with. The later of the works written in 1749 is the Music for the Royal Fireworks, a staggering piece written for an intense wind section with strings later added in, meant to be played in an outdoor London park during a fireworks celebration. The work was written for many military instruments and was a work that excluded the use of stringed instruments, something that Handel initially had objections with. These two works directly play into the desire of Handel to continue to push the boundaries of what music was, and what it could do for the people, and how it could be enjoyed for all, in all aspects of life.

The most profitable work that Handel ever wrote, one that would become the model work in the sacred realm of composition; one that would receive a great deal of homage by composers from all areas of Europe and for many decades, is the now infamous, Messiah. The Messiah is a remarkable piece simply from the process in which Handel took to write it. In a short twenty-four day span the work would come to existence from a mere thought. A large part of the ability for Handel to become so traditionally genius was the way in which he typically broke, or even stretched out traditional styles of composing music in order to make a dramatic impact on the work he was involved with. He was able to do this through the way in which he personally lived his life and through the enriched skills he had developed through his intensive travels. He had acquitted the ability to take a raw talent and to polish it up into something of pure beauty and wonder. Since Handel himself typically chose various religious themes for many of his compositions, more and more of the British citizens began to approve using his music as a method of worshiping their god. It was fitting that Handel made his home in England, because it is the English that “have always been a Bible-reading … god-fearing nation, with strong religious instincts and a reverence for sacred things”. Messiah is Handel's most well known work, and it is the best example of a work that can be used as a creative worship piece. The work is divided into three segments: The coming of the Messiah, The suffering and death of Christ, and the Resurrection. This work was composed and contained various features thatave way to a wide range of emotions: joy, sadness, fear, excitement, love, compassion, dramatic, and hopefully; but no matter what the need or feeling that way to be expressed Handel found a way to do it, and the Messiah was the catalyst to showcase those talents.

The Messiah composed in 1742 is seem by many as the best-written oratorio that has ever been written. The extension piece contains some fifty sections of music and performance that takes nearly three hours to fully perform and celebrate. The most impressive aspect of the piece is the fact that it was composed in a mere twenty-four days; accomplished by Handel locking himself in his home refusing to be interrupted by anyone. During this time it was reported that Handel barely ate anything and slept very little. This was yet another nod to the dedication that Handel was known to have, and also played into the aspect that Handel had simply become part of his work, and that always made sure that his full attention and thought were put into the music as it was composed. It might have been odd for Handel to write such a religiously piece considering that he himself was not a very religious person until the later part of his life; although there are accounts that lay claim to a “divine source” as the inspirational and motivational factor for the composition of the work. So profound was the work that Handel himself self described that “I did see Heaven before me, and the great God himself” when he had finished the widely recognized Hallelujah chorus. The work has had a lasting effect on not only the composer's reputation as one of the greatest advancers of the musical composition spectrum, but also on the works of composers who have been inspired by the works of Handel; Mozart being someone that had become extremely influenced by Handel and in particular the Messiah. But there also have been effects of this wonderful composition on the tradition of the work, and the performance aspect of how it moves people to feel something nearly spiritual every time it is heard. It is reported that during the first performance of this composition in London, that the current King of England, King George II, felt so moved and religiously assembled to stand during the singing of the Hallelujah chorus that others fell in step with the king (as was protocol of subjects to their king) and stand as well. This is a tradition that continues to this very day during the performances of Handel's Messiah.

As you can see Handel had an enduring legacy on music and the compositional aspects of music. The dedication that Handel should have to his life of music and the preservation of a lasting nationality has allowed Handel to really never leave us. His effects have been felt to this very day through the standing of the audience during the Messiah, to the compositional nods that composers give to Handel in their works. Handel is someone that proved to many that as long as there exists the desire to achieve, the object of their desire can be reached. Handel's life there seemed to be filled with adversity from the beginning. From his father not wanting Handel to participate in a career filled with music, to his struggles with changing musical styles, the sometimes-awkward positions that Handel found himself in as it relates to arguments; Handel persevered through it all. It was not until the end of his life that Handel showed signs of a frail individual not able to continue on. Blindness was a severe blow to Handel's career being that the production of, and revision of large-scale works was something that could no longer be done. Handel continued to do what he had done all of his life and find new ways to stay relevant and current with the musical needs, and did so through the use of trusted friends that did most of the dictation work for Handel, however everlasting total blindness left Handel in such poor health that even had had to come to an end. It was finally on April 14, 1759 that Handel left his body form and that was not the death of Handel, but was the birth of an enduring legacy of Handel on the musical styling of what was to come.

Lawrence V. McCrobie
December 2014

Cash And Creativity – Making Money With Your Music Skills

The music industry has gone through some major changes in the last few years. Fame does not necessarily mean fortune and getting a record deal that does not guarantee that album sales will follow. For musicians to be able to survive it means more than just putting out a CD and hoping it will sell.…

The music industry has gone through some major changes in the last few years. Fame does not necessarily mean fortune and getting a record deal that does not guarantee that album sales will follow.

For musicians to be able to survive it means more than just putting out a CD and hoping it will sell.

For most of us it means finding other ways to pay the bills.

Fortunately we creative types are known for our resourcefulness and sideways thinking and this is a good thing because money opportunities are often discovered this way.

Below are just a couple of ideas to get you inspired.

Make use of your equipment.

If you have been recording and producing your own material at home, then it is probably likely you have more than enough recording gear to help other people put together their own demo or audio archive.

There are people out there who would love to record their own music, but may not have the time or big dollars to book a big studio just to record vocals and guitar or a child's recital during piano lessons at home. Your solution? Offer a mobile recording service for your customers at an affordable price and go and find your customers.

Do not limit yourself to just recording music though. Special events, sentences can all be recorded for memories. Why not even include video recording in your service?

In the case of recording basic demos all you need are a couple of decent mics, audio interface and a laptop with a couple of headphones and you are good to go.

If you have a mixer and can hook up a 5 piece band then even better.

You can advertise online, local notepadboards in the universities and schools and make contact with music teachers who may want to offer the service to their students.

I have worked directly with my customers, but you may also want to offer the music teachers a percentage as an effective so they will be making something out of it and their circle of student customers are likely to tell others.

Note: Make sure you are proficient at setting up mics for various acoustic instruments (guitar, piano, flute etc). Bring along some CDRs so you can mix and burn on the spot and add this to your service.

If you are a skilled keyboardist, or bass player and have the software to put together some beats – then offer this too at an extra fee to help them create their masterpiece.

Another way is to hire out some of your gear to trustworthy people. I have done this with some of my condenser mics and this has paid for them.

Go online and offer your musical services.

Fiver.com is a site where people are willing to do jobs or “gigs” of various descriptions for $ 5 dollars. It is free to join and has become a very popular site for people wanting to get different things done cheaply and for people who want to make a few extra dollars ..

Creative types can benefit from this online marketplace by offering their musical services. For example there are artists who have offered to create a short song for a special occasion such as a birthday. Others have put together beats or created soundtrack for an advertisement or presentation.

I have seen guys advertise their mixing and mastering skills, offer voiceovers, vocals, produce lyrics, perform a beatbox, create a rap etc.You can also make use of this service to sell your music advice and tutorials.

Drop by the site and similar ones (do a search for alternatives to Fiverr) to see what is being offered and requested to get an idea of ​​what you can provide.

A good starting point is to ask yourself and others what problems can you solve for others using your musical knowledge and skills and then develop your ideas and experiment.

I hope this article has given you some inspiration and encouragement that your musical enjoyment can also help to pay the bills and more.

10 Simple Music Marketing Tips For Indie Artists

We live in a strange time. With the internet exploding in exponential chaos, we find almost all aspects of our lives are splintering to take new shapes and forms because of this hyper-connectivity. The music industry-and the artists creating within it-finds itself in a place of constant change. Finding target demographics is now a breeze…

We live in a strange time. With the internet exploding in exponential chaos, we find almost all aspects of our lives are splintering to take new shapes and forms because of this hyper-connectivity. The music industry-and the artists creating within it-finds itself in a place of constant change. Finding target demographics is now a breeze with the multitudes of analytic software available. Music has changed from primarily physical product to almost completely digital. Traditional marketing has turned to social media marketing and branding for guidance.

Thanks to Spotify and other instant music streaming services putting music literally a click away, record labels barely beat out indies for total revenue in 2014. Now is the perfect time for artists to forgo the backing of a major label and tread through the murky waters of the music industry alone-away from sometimes hiring out services like social media marketing and merchandise. Indie artists traditionally have much more creative freedom than their major label counterparts and usually get a much higher cut of any income they bring in. If artists are paying out of pocket for these types of services, they will sometimes want to take a stab at social media marketing themselves. Check out our list of 10 simple music marketing tips for indie artists.

1. Connect with your fans – Fans like to know what their favorite artists are up to. This simple concept is one of the reasons why interviews are a huge step in a band's promo. Take the time to tweet something about yourself or post a quick video of you in the creative process. One step further: retweet and respond to your fans-it makes them feel even closer to you. Take the time to give your fans a peak behind the red curtain.

2. Keep Social Media Up To Date – Nothing is worse than going to a band's Facebook or Twitter page and their tour schedule is from last summer. You should be editing performance dates and venues the day you confirm them. Give people time to work around their busy schedules and allow them to make it out to your shows. Beyond tour schedules, ensure that content is updated frequently so that fans have something to look forward to each time they visit your page.

3. Connect All Your Social Media Accounts – You should be utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and each of them should have accessible links to the others. Do not bite off more than you can chew, however. There are 100's of social media websites-you do not need to use every single one.

4. Do not Sound Like A Generic Advertisement – We all know That band who has a social media account that sounds like they are selling you something on every post or tweet. Be genuine! If there is something you hate about a band's social media page, learn from their mistakes.

5. Visuals, Visuals, Visuals – People get bored of plain text all the time. Pictures and videos stand out and will make visitors stop and check out what you have to say. Instagram's entire model is based upon visuals, and it's worth $ 35 billion. Take a picture in the studio or shoot a video with a quick message to your fans. In fact, photos and videos get a higher organic news feed ranking that pure text posts on Facebook.

6. Post Regularly / Stay Active – Nothing says “we do not care” quite like a band what last tweet was two years ago. Every waking moment does not need to be sent on social media, but frequently posting is a great way to keep fans interacting with your band.

7. DO NOT SPAM – Keep content original! Posting the same status or tweet with the same text and same link every day is a huge no-no. Never let your fans question whether it's the artist or a robot controlling their social media page. However, reusing highly engaging posts down the road is totally acceptable.

8. Give Out Exclusives – Giving out exclusives is a great way to give fans a reward for subscribing to your social media pages. Upload an MP3 online and post a link where fans who like your page can download it and put it in their music library. This is also an effective method for growing your email database.

9. Automate What You Can – Automation is not always a bad thing. Do some research and find a good tool for you that can help streamline your social media activity. There are some great apps out there that help you schedule tweets and your posts on your Facebook page.

10. You Can not Rely Only On Facebook / Instagram / Twitter – This one is a little outside of the realm but still very much a social media tip. Social media can not be all you do! You're a musical artist, not a “Twitter Pic Of The Day” collective. Network with people in the industry, book shows, and do not put all your eggs in one basket. Social media is an amazing tool for indie artists, but it is not the be-all end-all.

BONUS TIP – Email marketing is not dead! As much as you can, be sure to capture data for a mailing list. ALWAYS collect at least email AND Zip Code or location, so that you can geotarget concert messages.

FKA Twigs: 10 Things You Should Know About UK’s Up and Coming Singer

FKA Twigs is unique in more than just her looks and style, but her creativity is like no other. She dances the fine line between weird and artsy, her music video concepts can be hard to understand. In one video, she's an Egyptian goddess, in another she's in bondage. It can be hard to keep…

FKA Twigs is unique in more than just her looks and style, but her creativity is like no other. She dances the fine line between weird and artsy, her music video concepts can be hard to understand. In one video, she's an Egyptian goddess, in another she's in bondage. It can be hard to keep up but her talent speaks for itself. Her music may not be your cup of tea but her name is on a lot of people's lips. I prefer her without the overdone make up, as she's a beautiful girl. I've included one of her best songs (in my opinion) at the bottom that I feel the most people will like. I'll warn you now, if you're not into alternative sounding music and open minded, this may not be for you She's pretty mysterious but we were able to find out a few facts about her.

1. FKA Twigs' real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett. She was born January 16, 1988 in Gloucestershire, England. Her father is Jamaican and her mother is English and Spanish. Her mother was a former gymnast and dancer. She did not meet her father, who was a jazz dancer until she was 18. She was raised by her mother and stepfather.

2. She attended private Catholic school, St. Edward's School, Cheltenham, on an academic scholarship. She came from a low-income family.

3. She began pursuing her interest in music at the age of 16, and moved to London at 17 to pursue a dance career. She moved there on her own, sometimes working three or four jobs to support herself. By the time she hit her early 20's, she was performing as a backup dancer in music videos by Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, Taio Cruz and Jesse J.

4. She earned the name Twigs for the way her joints crack. She added “FKA” to her name when another artist who was also going by the name Twigs complained.

5. FKA Twigs' genre of music is described as trip hop, experimental, alternative R & B and electronic. She loves experimenting with different sounds. She's a singer, songwriter, producer, dancer and now a music video director. She sings, plays the keyboards, the synthesizer and the drums. She co-produced every song on her debut album.

6. She self-released her debut, EP1 on Bandcamp on December 4th, 2012. She also filmed a video for each song.

7. She has been awarded BBC's Sound of 2014 prize and was chosen by Spotify for their Spotlight on 2014 list. She has been featured on Billboard's 14 Artists to Watch in 2014, she's Grammy nominated, Brit Award nominated and she has won a YouTube Music Award. She has even directed and starred in an advert for Google Glass.

8. Her early musical influences were Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye.

9. She got her big break at a bondage party, when she met Tic Zogson, an A & R rep at Young Turks record label.

10. She is currently dating Twilight star Robert Pattinson and has been since August 2014. She has been the subject of intense cyber bullying by diehard Twilight fans.

How to Get Your Music Featured on Music Blogs

Finding quality promotion can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task for new artists who have only just begun to get a grasp on how to build their brand while remaining truthful to theirselves and their music. Often artists are tempted to do anything they can to get their music heard by more people but…

Finding quality promotion can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task for new artists who have only just begun to get a grasp on how to build their brand while remaining truthful to theirselves and their music. Often artists are tempted to do anything they can to get their music heard by more people but most of the time, the practices that they engage in end up having quite an undesired effect.

In today's world of social media, artists have an almost innumerable amount of resources right at their finger tips for them to share their gifts and talents with the world. Popular sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Facebook, have all played major rolls in making aspiring artists into the next big thing in music. But how do you get people to find your music and actually click play once you put your material out on these sites? One very good place to start is music blogs and websites that accept music for review.

This article will provide a few very important tips to keep in mind when looking to have your music reviewed on music blogs to create buzz around you and your brand.

Tip 1. Present Yourself Professionally.

Not many popular and established blogs appreciate receiving music from artists who do not take the time to put together an organized submission package. If you're looking to be taken seriously as an artist then you need to make sure you come off that way way at all times when approaching blogs or promoters. In your emails or during any communication, you want to use proper grammar and spelling, especially in your own Press information.

Tip 2. Follow the Directions.

Often music sites that accept submissions from artists to have their music reviewed have provided detailed instructions on how you can go about it. Find and read through these guidelines carefully before submitting any materials to ensure that you do not give them any reason to disregard your submission the minute they open your email.

Tip 3. Have Good Music.

Of course, if you want people to listen to your music, it needs to be good. Choose your blogs and promoters carefully. Consider the types of music they already favor and try to find those that consider the type of music you make to be in their prioritized list. For example, if you're an R & B singer it would be wise to find blogs that not only accept, but prefer those types of submissions. This way you can be sure that this blog's review will be beneficial to you because people who are already inclined to listen to music recommended by the blog, will be likely to press play for your tracks as well.

Tip 4. Be About Your Business.

It's very easy for most artists to focus on the creative end of their craft but remember that what you're doing, if you expect to make money with your talents, is in fact conducting business. You need to understand the variables at play on the business side of your music. Learn how to market yourself and how to talk to people about your music. Create a brand that demands the attention of your prospective audience as well as those such as music blogs and promoters. It's not enough to get people to hear your music, you need them to WANT to hear your music.

Tip 5. Beware Scammers.

Do not throw caution to the wind when it comes to how you promote your brand. It's not uncommon and in many cases, is to be expected that artists will be required to pay small fees for some promotional services. Some blogs charge submission fees and some do not but keep in mind that most of the time, this decision is based on the blog's desire to avoid being associated to promote your material. Basically, those that do not charge will retain the right to refuse your submission whereas those do, will usually be glad to review your music as long as your submission meets their guidelines.

Tip 6. Beware Bots

One thing to watch out for is people who offer to submit your music to X amount of music blogs, radio stations, etc. for any fee larger than a few dollars. Often these types of promoters are not as well connected as they claim and are just out to make a quick $ 50 + off of your talent and naivete. Also, never take an offer that guarantees the impossible. For example, one million views on your video, ten thousand comments on your new song and for only $ 20! This is a scam, and though it may seem legit for the first few days, it will absolutely hurt you because the robots completing these tasks will not continue to visit your music as would a real person who actually enjoys your music.

Let’s Get Radio Ready: Tips for the Indie Artist To Get On FM Frequencies

Radioactivity and the Indie Artist! I am a DJ at a community station in Denver / Boulder (among other media outlets), about 2-4 time a month. Community radio operates differently than commercial radio, but everything that hits the FM frequencies has to be compatible with FCC regulations or be fined or even be denied access…

Radioactivity and the Indie Artist!

I am a DJ at a community station in Denver / Boulder (among other media outlets), about 2-4 time a month. Community radio operates differently than commercial radio, but everything that hits the FM frequencies has to be compatible with FCC regulations or be fined or even be denied access to the airwaves. Community radio stations are SO important in that they are supported by listeners and organizations rather than commercial and allow the DJ to create and broadcast.Community radio provides organic taste-making and letting the DJ do what the DJ should do. its magnificent and allows opportunity for the Indie artist, presuming that the Indie Artist's music is radio ready

In my Inbox, not only do I have a lot of music from indie artists, not so many well written bios, EPKs, press releases etc., and a good majority of this music is not radio ready. I DJ mostly on an FM frequency so if I play that “dirty” music, I risk the station's license and I will not be invited to DJ on an FM frequency again. Nobody wants that. It is paramount to effectively interact with the FM radio aspect of your promotional mix: Let's talk about having music that is ready to be on FM frequencies.

If you are an indie artist, being on radio is probably one of your goals. Internet Radio play is more attainable, and mostly has far less rigid language and content standards due to they are not FCC regulates, but an artist can not live on internet radio alone.

Not Radio Ready? What Did You Say About My Mama?

Please do not get offended when a DJ says your song is not radio ready. It is not an insult. Anything on an FM frequency has to be in compliance with the FCC, which means that if your music is very graphic and profane, has poor production quality, and / or contains one if not all cuss words, there is NO chance that your music will be aired.

Being radio ready is a level of professionalism and it pertains to more than your music. Radio radio also includes your press materials. It's more than just good look when you send dope marketing material to your press list. It lets media people know that you are serious about your craft and put in the necessary investment, work and research and that you are ready to be laid on their show / station immediately.

Radio Ready Tips:

Quality Production

The basement / closet studio recorded in the basement or worse yet in the shower, is convenient and inexpensive. Most of the time the result is not the best quality. Quality production is important for DJs and media people alike, so when this aspect is executed well, you are that much more appealing. No one wants to listen to poor quality music.

Cuss Words

You have two options in this regard. Do not use them, which is asking a lot of some artists, or bleep them out. I bet the engineer that records your song can help you out with that if you ask … and hand him / her more money.

Graphic Content

Sex, drugs and violence are common reasons why music does not make it to the FM frequencies. This is where the artist can be extra creative with metaphors and similes. I'm not saying everything needs to be conscious and positive message based, but make the effort not to be crass.

Fish where the fish are

In listening to corporate radio that last tip may not be identical, however, there are different hoops to jump through to get on those stations and my gut feeling saying it has something to do with money and prior existing relationships between stations and record labels .. and MONEY

As an independent artist, you may want to set your sights on outlets other than corporate radio that are more receptive to the music you make, like college, public and community radio. Corporate radio will play you, but not on air. Trust you are getting played.


Just because you are the brand, that does not mean you have to do everything. Outsourcing is always a great option so that you can focus on the artist and things like radio edits are taken care of by people who are more familiar with what's necessary to get that done properly. There are DJs, publicists and other media professionals who you can hire to do that.

Happy music marketing friends.

Audio Mixer Signal Paths, Routing and Grouping

Much of the mixer's power lies in its ability to interrupt, route and re-route signals for practical or creative purposes. Each channel strip has a pan control, allowing a sound to be 'positioned' between the left and right speakers, replicating instruments' locations on a (virtual) soundstage. To achieve this, each channel's output is divided into…

Much of the mixer's power lies in its ability to interrupt, route and re-route signals for practical or creative purposes. Each channel strip has a pan control, allowing a sound to be 'positioned' between the left and right speakers, replicating instruments' locations on a (virtual) soundstage.

To achieve this, each channel's output is divided into two 'left' and 'right' outputs behind the scenes. If a pan control is set fully left, the right side's gain will be reduced, and output of the left side will be raised by a certain amount to compensate for the overall drop in level (usually + 3dB). This means a stereo sound is not really moved across the stereo field, so an external plugin must be used if you want to truly'position 'a stereo sound without just turning down one side of it.

Insert pun

Insert slots allow you to place a plugin effect at a certain point in the channel's signal flow to alter the audio's characteristics at that point. When positioned pre-fader, the effect will occur before the channel's volume fader in the signal path, so level changes will not affect the inserted device's effect. This is the most common insert type and is useful for level-dependent plugins such as compressors, noise gates or distortion.

When a plugin is inserted post-fader, changes to the volume slider's position affect the input level of that effect. This can be useful, say, if you want a frequency analyzer's display to alter when that channel's volume is changed. Be aware of this difference, otherwise you may painstakingly tweak a compressor post-fader, then turn up the fader, causing it to be compressed much harder and ruining the effect you carefully dialed in.

By default, each of a mixer's channels will travel directly to the master output fader, but sometimes it may be more practical to take a group of similar tracks for processing together using one channel strip. Drum elements, for example, are often processed as a whole. Some DAWs can now create a group channel at the click of a mouse, but a more hands-on method is to create a new channel and set its input as the outputs of the tracks you wish to group. The exact method varies from DAW to DAW, so again, break out that manual and read up on it.

Grouping tracks becomes even more flexible when routing groups to other groups. Route ten vocal channels as appropriate to two groups named 'Lead Vocals' and 'Backing Vocals', then send those two groups to a final 'Vocals' group.

Sends and returns

Another feature of a mixing desk is the auxiliary send. This creates a 'copy' of your signal either pre- or post-fader, routing as much or as little of it as you wish (controlled by the send knob) to a return channel. This routing can be sent from multiple channels and is commonly used to apply reverb, delay, etc, to a mix.

We could, say, send vocals, guitar and snare to Buss 1 in varying amounts, and set Buss 1 as the input to a new return channel. This channel will play the three elements balanced in relation to the send levels we set.

If we add a reverb insert effect to the return channel, and set that reverb to 100% wet, the return channel enables us to adjust the reverb signal for the vocals, guitar and snare using a single channel strip.

Recording and Selling Music 101

“Aside from the creative and technical aspects of recording an album, there are legal and contractual issues that must be considered before even entering the studio. fees and / or royalties are to be paid and, if so, how much is to be paid to each party. ” –Howard Hertz, Entertainment Attorney Depending upon the…

“Aside from the creative and technical aspects of recording an album, there are legal and contractual issues that must be considered before even entering the studio. fees and / or royalties are to be paid and, if so, how much is to be paid to each party. ”

–Howard Hertz, Entertainment Attorney

Depending upon the individual focus of their practices, attorneys may take cases that involve Intellectual Property and Contracts in respect to the music industry. Very often, composers and performing artists are neophytes when it comes to the economic and legal issues of this industry. Therefore, in this article, we will address the basics of recording, manufacturing, and sales to break even on a CD of recorded music. I (Dr. Sase) will address the economic issues.

As well as being an economist, I am a musician who has released original music and has produced / engineered the music of other artists. In addition, I own and operate a small recording studio. For the legal elements in this article, we welcome Howard Hertz, Entertainment Attorney at Hertz Schram PC in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

For the benefit of our readers, we will keep the techno-speak and accounting math to a minimum. Instead, we will present the big picture and will offer a basic understanding of what is involved in this market. In this way, we hope to help attorneys to educate clients, family members, or friends who may wish to attempt a career in this field. (Some of our readers may be interested in putting out CDs, vinyl, and downloads of their own music.) Therefore, without ado, we present “Essentials of Recording Music” for your reading pleasure.

Producing Recorded Music

In starting, it is good to make a “low-fi” recording at every rehearsal and gig. Often, performers use a pocket digital recorder, the type employed to record lectures and meetings. As the newer digital models can hold six hours or more, one can turn it on and let it be. If the material and its performance sound acceptable under such primitive conditions, the recording passes the 1960s pocket-transistor-radio test. Importantly, any verbal notes about changes to song structure or arrangements will be included for future reference.

A digital video recorder serves well for the same purpose. In the world of the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), the video recording also provides an excellent scratch track. Being able to watch and follow movement and changes frees musicians, producers, and engineers from the old mechanical-sounding click track and helps to achieve a more natural and expressive feel in the multi-track overdubbing process.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page acted as the band's producer. He got massive drum sounds from drummer John Bonham by recording him in the hall of Page's medieval home, Hedley Grange. Forests, beaches, living rooms, practice rooms, bathrooms, and other places provide wonderful places to experiment and develop new musical parts. Typically, the recording studio does not. Even if you have your own studio that allows you to work off the clock, it is usually best to do the work-up somewhere else, just to maintain perspective.

In the early 1950s, guitarist Les Paul invented multi-track, sound-on-sound recording – with the assistance of his friend, crooner Bing Crosby – in Paul's garage. In an interview, Paul emphatically stated, “I never walk over to that machine until I know what I'm going to do and I never use the machine to find it. never let the machine tell me. I tell the machine what to do. ”

Therefore, prepare all of your instrumental and vocal parts in advance and develop a work schedule that includes contingency plans when you enter the studio, which is the final place in which you may be able to maintain creative control. If you need to make last-minute changes, you can keep them to a minimum in order to avoid excess pressure and confusion during a session.

We can borrow a good parallel of detailed planning from the motion-picture industry, the one that interfaces the most with recorded music. Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock worked as a director in the studio system. He was responsible not only for his own time but for the time of many other professionals working together on the same project.

In advance of shooting, “Hitch” storyboarded every shot of a scene before stepping onto the sound stage. For example, in the famous shower scene in the film Psycho starring Janet Leigh, there are fifty-two individual shots in the course of three minutes and ten seconds (Famous Shower Scene from Psycho (1960) Dissected in 52 Shots, on YouTube).

The master storyboardist worked out every detail, including chocolate syrup for blood, and framed each shot in advance of rolling the cameras. A major part of Hitchcock's greatness came from his ability to maintain creative control in exchange for tight management of budget through planning. Planning pays when time is money.

Returning to the recording studio, it is a good idea to have more material prepared than you intend to record. Life happens. Sometimes, with a bit of good fortune, you move through the tracking faster than expected. At other times, a piece does not come together satisfactorily. When this happens, the piece needs to be shelved until it can be reworked. Given the time and physical cost of preparation, travel, and coordinating the schedules of the producer, recording engineer, musicians, and other participants in a session, contingency plans institute a valuable asset.

On this point, the Time-Is-Money factor spills over to the matter of equipment by having spare cables, batteries, and fuses available on short notice. One of Murphy's Laws states that such items have the notoriety to fail at critical times.

When it comes to recording, experience remains one of the best teachers. Practicing against previously recorded tracks that one will hear during the actual recording session is often the most economical way to prepare for a take. Usually, sound-on-sound projects will gel best when they are built upon percussion that is recorded against a scratch and / or click track. Then, the track is followed up through the spectrum of pitch (lowest to highest frequency) with the addition of bass, keyboards, guitars, background vocals, and other instruments before the lead instrument or vocal is tracked.

Offering an instrumentalist or vocalist a copy of the best mix to date without the scratch or click tracks (ie, the one that s / he will record against), saves confusion, frustration, and time. This work mix allows the musician to develop parts creatively and to get acclimated to nuances of tempo, rhythm, and volume before the session. Typically, these results in more productive takes and fewer of them. The additional cost to the project for this preparation is the minor cost of burning a CD or making an MP3 copy of the mix. The benefit of time saved for all involved far outweighs this cost.

Whether or not you are paying out of pocket for studio time, you are making an investment of your own time as well as the time of other musicians, producers, engineers, and techies working together on the project. Therefore, everyone should show up, should arrive on time, and, if possible, should get there a bit early.

The studio is a professional work environment. Please give the other music professionals the same respect and courty that you would give to your attorney, medical doctor, or dentist. If you must delay, postpon, or cancel, please do so in a timely manner.

Professional time for postponements or cancellations is usually twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Equal to the importance of showing up and starting on time is to know when to stop work on individual tracks as well as on the session as a whole. Tiredness is a vague and relative term. However, sensing the point at which the marginal net benefit of tracking an additional take reaches zero is a professional trait worth developing.

If you are not acting as your own producer and / or engineer, make the time with this person (s) to share your vision, needs, and concerns in advance. Use this time to go over production notes, equipment requirements, and other mundane items before the session commences. Everyone involved should understand the depth and scope of their responsibilities before the session begins. Delays eat up time for all and … Time Is Money. Therefore, make sure that you are on the same page with your producer and engineer.

Furthermore, note the limitations of the studio and its equipment. It is wise to know the kind and amount of tracks, microphones, signal processors, and other essentials. If you plan to use any unfamiliar equipment, make the time to research it. If possible, work with this equipment beforehand. A recording session is no place for unpleasurable surprises. For optimal planning, you should know of any limitations in case you need to simplify your planned mix.

When the red recording light goes on, it is important to be technically prerequisite in performance in order to remain within budget. However, bear in mind that we are making art. Playing with feeling and emotion from the heart is of paramount importance. Producing art commercially requires walking a fine line between the pragmatic and the ethereal. As a result, the genius in producing music is 99% perspiration.

Work with the technology, not against it. Generally, it is best to keep playing through a flop rather than stop and start over. Part of the art of recorded music is “punching in” a short section of retake or digitally copying and molding a few notes into the track in a seamless manner. As long as most of the take has the necessary artistic integrity, the pragmatism of “time is money” works out.

In shaping the sound, remain focused on the lead line that prevails at the time. Typically, the vocal takes the lead except during intros, outros, and solos. Developing the accompaniment against a preliminary take of the lead line is a way to achieve a fluent and natural sound. Also, such an accompaniment provides a solid understructure that gives flexibility and independence to the musician who is rerecording the final takes of the lead lines.

This being said, it remains most economic to achieve a desired sound during the original tracking. Usually, it is more costly to return to a mix in order to rebuild or repair parts of it before the final mix-down to stereo. It is better to record clean and then to add effects and other “sweetening” afterwards.

Treat the production of recorded music with the same regard with which any other successful professional or business entrepreneur would treat their concerns. As in many competitive markets, the revenue per downloaded track or CD collection remains reliably constant across the span of all artists. The album Born This Way by Lady Gaga, one of the top-ten sellers of the year, hit the market at an equivalent retail price as the album MDNA by Madonna, one of the bottom ten.

As a result, the economic task of controlling the profit per unit falls completely on the cost side of the equation. Since music production is mostly about time cost, any action that can safely shave cost without destroying the integrity and quality of the product should be considered seriously. Note: these actions include keeping guests out of the session, making backup copies of takes frequently, and keeping thoroughly written notes through the course of the project.

In order to finish a good product, expect editing, mixing, and other post-production work to take the lion's share of borrowed time. When we add together all of the production and post-production time, we should anticipate an investment of forty to fifty hours per track. In other words, a total of 500 hours for the entire album can be considered the norm. This is why having access to a home studio for most of post-production is highly valued.

Part of this value comes from the fact that ears tire easily; consequently, prolonged post-sessions that require acute listening produce diminishing returns. Any work beyond mundane cutting, splicing, and adding fades and plug-in effects demand the perspicacity of fresh ears. Tired ears usually result in a substandard mix that will require costing reworking.

When do you know when the mix is ​​done? This question is like asking a chef if the soup is done. It is a matter of knowing. We could define that point in a commercial recording as the one at which a constrained optimum is reached. It is the point at which the artistic vision is achieved subject to practical budgetary constraints; you know that the soup is done.

For some engineers, this point comes when they play it through a pair of crappy old car speakers. For others, this point may be defined as when you play the recording for others who have not heard it previously and it feels right to them as well. In any event, you will have gotten the best vocal and instrumental takes, have used your studio wizardry to achieve maximum sound, and feel that the music is ready to be unleashed on the world.

Complements the technical and economic side of recording is the legal perspective. My guest contributor Howard Hertz explains that a tangible contribution to a recording (known as the master) or song (the composition) may result in copyright ownership or performance rights being held by any person contributing to the work.

In order for the artist or the record label to emerge from the studio with an album that s / he or it fully owns and therefore may distribute for sale to the public, agreements should contain proper “work-for-hire” language. (Essentially, a work for hire means that the contributor relinquishes ownership claims on the master or composition by stating that all work was performed for equitable compensation.)

Hertz emphasizes that these agreements must be signed by all producers, engineers and side-person musicians who have worked on the project. Typically, the artist or label should own the copyright to the master records contractually. On the other hand, the copyright ownership in the underwriting composition may be owned by multiple writers of that piece of music. However, if agreed to in writing by all parties involved, the artist or label may “buy out” these rights.

Often because of the potential complexity of such agreement, a “split sheet” for each work is filled out after the recording of the composition. This sheet lists the determined percentage of the song or instrumental that was written by each contributing party as well as the percentage of the publishing rights that is owned by the publisher of each party involved. Then, the split sheet is signed by all of the contributing parties, thus making the determined, assigned split a binding agreement.

This is a very important point. It is often overlooked by many casual or informal musical groups that lack the understating of business law, which will treat them as a General Partnership. Operating as such an entity implies that all partners are held to have equal shares if no written agreement exists. In respect to the business of music, Mr. Hertz iterates that, if there is no written and signed agreement to the contrary, then a composition is owned in equal shares by each writer who contributed words or music irrespective of the percentage of their actual contribution.

Hertz provides this illustration: “[I] f three writers contribute to a work and have no sign to the contradiction, they each own one-third of the copyright, even if one of the writers only contributed one line of lyrics and might have likely agreed to a five or ten percent share of the song if it was put in a split sheet. ” A word of wisdom to all musicians and audio producers and engineers: have a qualified entertainment attorney on your side to guide you through these choppy waters.

Replicating and Marketing the Final Product

The 500 hours of time, energy, and artistic angst discussed that far buries itself as a sunk cost, which is the non-returnable fixed cost associated with producing recorded music for sale. In producing recorded music, most of the cost is upfront, fixed, and sunk. This includes all costs incurred to the point of making the glass master and cover artwork that is used to replicate the CDs commercially.

The amount that an artist needs to invest to get to this point depends upon the location of the studio (New York or Los Angeles versus everywhere else in the country), its amenities, and its reputation. Reportedly, the current high end is about $ 3,000 per hour. Ignoring incidentals, this would necessitate a project budget of $ 1.5 million (500 hours x $ 3,000 per hour). Based upon sales expectations to recover this cost, there are not many artists who would go “Gaga” over this price tag.

The average studio cost per hour in urban areas outside of New York and LA sees to fall in the monetary range of $ 75.00 to $ 150.00 per hour. This brings the average cost down to about $ 50,000.00 for the project, assuming that the artist (s) does double duty as producer / engineer.

If an artist is also a producer / engineer, s / he may be able to get the music out for around $ 20,000.00. This can be done by either using a budget-conscious studio priced at $ 50.00 per hour or by investing the $ 20,000.00 in his / her own Digital Audio Workstation, some good microphones, pre-amps, and acoustic sound-control material.

For many musicians entering the field of recorded music, the latter has become a very viable option. Given the simplicity of the style of music and the musical arrangements that they use on their records, some artists do manage to get their music ready to go out the door for about $ 10,000.00. For the sake of comparative discussion, let us work with these last three figures and assume that the artist works as an entrepreneur and manages the entire release.

The replication of CDs has become a highly competitive business. The price per 1,000 copies has dropped to around $ 1,000.00 depending on the type of packaging chosen. This gives us a unit fabrication (making the physical CD) cost of $ 1.00 per CD. However, there are promotional costs involved. A major but effective promotional cost is giving away free copies strategically to radio stations, clubs, and individuals as a way of priming the proverbial pump. Also, using social media like YouTube and Facebook is “free” advertisement.

For the sake of simplicity, let us assume that the promotional cost for a CD that contains ten songs averages $ .50 per CD. The more CDs that are manufactured, promoted, and sold, the more money that must be invested in the project. In other words, the manufacturing and promotion costs vary with quantity. Therefore, we refer to these costs as variable costs that, on average, total $ 1.50 per CD.

In our example, let us say that the artist averages net revenue of $ 10.00 per CD. This suggests that the CD could be priced at $ 14.00 for sale through one of the popular online stores, distributed as digital downloads, or sold at live performances. We can translate our economic question as a break-even analysis. In the business world, a break-even point of three to five years is considered reasonable. Therefore, looking at our artist as a start-up business, let us expect a break-even point at four years, forty-eight months.

What we want to know is this: How many CDs will our artist need to sell over the next forty-eight months to break even? How many CDs will s / he need to sell per month to achieve this goal? As the variable cost per CD is taken to be $ 1.50, the key determinant in this calculation is the upfront sunk / fixed cost of producing the master recording. If we take this fixed amount and divide it by the difference between the price at which the CD is sold and the combined cost of manufacturing and promoting each CD, we will arrive at the break-even quantity that must be sold.

If the recording costs amount to $ 50,000, then a total of 5,882 CDs must be sold at a rate of 123 discs per month. If our artist economizes or sets up his / her own project studio for $ 20,000, then only 2,353 CDs must be sold at a rate of 49 discs per month. If our artist is able to achieve a product of marketable quality for only $ 10,000, the break-even amount drops to 1,176 CDs sold at a rate of 25 per month, about one per day. If an artist has sufficient musical talent, and recording skills, and experience, s / he may be able to achieve this goal at a barebones studio that charges $ 25.00 per hour.

The Great Beyond

We have focused on what may be called an Entrepreneurial Indie Label, one in which an artist or group does everything from production to direct sales (eg merch tables at gigs) except for two chores. The first is fabricating the CDs through a company such as Discmakers, Inc. The second is selling some of these CDs with the help of a music-marketing service such as CDBaby Inc. These CDs will then be sold online, as digital downloads, and at brick-and-mortar stores.

The next step up the ladder is for the small entrepreneurial music company to sign with a major or minor label. At this point, a good entertainment attorney to represent the artist (s) becomes indispensable. As Mr. Hertz stated in our opening quote, “The artist or label paying the expenses of recording must be sure that everyone is on the same page regarding whether fees and / or royalties are to be paid and, if so, how much is to be paid to each party. ”

Currently, the record industry is reinventing itself in the Digital Age. This age has bought affordable means to artists in order to accomplish what only million-dollar recording studios could do previously. Online distribution has become feasible and preferred to many artists through CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and other venues. What these turns in events leave to major labels is what they continue to do best-finance, promote, and distribute product to large markets.

In her blog, recording artist Courtney Love, Love's Manifesto, she states, “If a record company has a reason to exist, it has to bring an artist's music to more fans and it has to deliver more and better music to the audience. undiscovered artists benefit from the huge promotional break a major has to offer. It takes a ton of funds to break a new artist – funds most artists do not have on their own. ”

In determining which artists to sign, labels consider the sales potential of an artist. This decision usually is based on what the artist completed before. A rough rule of thumb remains that major labels sign artists who have made verifiable sales of at least ten thousands albums on their own. In addition, labels consider plans for touring in order to market product to a wider audience as well as feedback received on the artist's music through social media.

Rerecording / mastering, fabrication, distribution, tour support, and other promotional investments all require capitalization. Nonetheless, the business is comparable to a roulette wheel. A wheel has thirty-six black-and-white numbers plus a green “0” and a “00.” The gambling houses win on these last two. Their odds of winning are 5.26% – the two green numbers divided by the total of thirty-eight numbers on the wheel. In the record industry, only 10% of all records released made it to the break-even point. Only about 5% of releases turn a profit. This subsidizes the 90% that lose money.

Therefore, cash advances bestowed upon artists are determined by the ability of the artist, the costs that may be recoverable from an artist, and the probability of success in a marketplace that extremely relations on the 5% of releases that would eventually become profitable. An advance is an ADVANCE. Essentially, it is a loan that is repaid through royalties (percentage of the sales) that hopefully are earned on future record sales. Under their contract with an artist, the record label is going to want to be paid back, and paid back first.

The label will keep all artist earnings from sales until the various costs are repaid. Furthermore, in multi-album deals, the repayment can be recovered across multiple albums and advances. This method of securitizing the investment made by the record company is known as cross-collateralization. Apart from a few exceptions, every cent invested on promoting an album, from video-production costs, radio promotions, and billboard signals to tour support, is recoupable from artist-royalty points. As a result, most artists make $ 0.00 from their royalty points until recoupment by the label is complete.

So, how do artists go about making money from their records? Very simply, they can achieve this goal by remembering that what they are involved in is a business. Furthermore, this business takes place in what economists refer to as a perfectly competitive market-the market sets the price for similarly positioned products and that price is relatively constant at any point of time.

Due to this market quality, revenue increases at a constant rate as greater quantities of a recording are sold. As a result, there are only two ways to increase profits. One is to sell greater quantities of the product and the other is to decrease the costs of production, manufacturing, promotion, and distribution.

We hope that we have edified our readers about the physical, economic, and legal aspects of the recorded-music business. Thank you to my guest contributor, Howard Hertz, for his enlightening contributions to this article.

Music, Economics, and Beyond

“The whole point of digital music is the risk-free grazing” –Cory Doctorow Cory Doctorow, Canadian journalist and co-editor and of the off-beat blog Boing Boing, is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to…

“The whole point of digital music is the risk-free grazing”

–Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, Canadian journalist and co-editor and of the off-beat blog Boing Boing, is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. Doctorow and others continue to write prolifically about the apocalyptic changes facing Intellectual Property in general and the music industry in specific.

In this article, we will explore the cataclysm facing US industry through the portal example of the music industry, a simple industry in comparison to those of automotive or energy. However, in the simplicity of this example we may lack some lessons that apply to all industries.

In his web-article, “The Inevitable March of Recorded Music Towards Free,” Michael Arrington tells us that music CD sales continue to plummet alarmingly. “Artists like Prince and Nine Inch Nails are flouting their labels and either giving music away or telling their fans to steal it … Radiohead, which is no longer controlled by their label, Capitol Records, put their new digital album on sale on the Internet for whatever price people want to pay for it. ” As many others have iterated in recent years, Arrington reminds us that without effective legal, technical, or other artificial impediments to production can be created, “simple economic theory dictates that the price of music [must] fall to zero as more 'competitors' (in this case, listeners who copy) enter the market. ”

Without sovereign laws that subscribe to the Universal Copyright Convention take drastic measures, such as the proposed mandatory music tax to prop up the industry, there is virtually no economic or legal barriers to keep the price of recorded music from falling towards zero. In response, artists and labels will probably return to focusing on other revenue streams that can, and will, be exploited. Specifically, these include live music, merchandise, and limited edition physical copies of their music.

According to author Stephen J. Dubner, “The smartest thing about the Rolling Stones under Jagger's leadership is the band's workmanlike, corporate approach to touring. The economics of pop music include two main revenue streams: record sales and touring profits. Record sales are a ) unpredictable; and b) divided up among many parties. If you learn how to tour efficiently, meanwhile, the profits – including not only ticket sales but also corporate sponsorship, t-shirt sales, etc., – can be staggering. You can essentially control how much you earn by adding more dates, whereas it's hard to control how many records you sell. ” (“Mick Jagger, Profit Maximizer,” Freakonomics Blog, 26 July 2007).

In order to get a handle on the problemsrought about by digital media in the music industry, we turn to the data most relied upon by the industry. This data comes through Neilsen SoundScan which operates a system for collecting information and tracking sales. Most relevant to the topic of this column, SoundScan provides the official method for tracking sales of music and music video products through the United States and Canada. The company collects data on a weekly basis and makes it available every Wednesday to subscribers from all facets of the music industry. These include executives of record companies, publishing firms, music retailers, independent promoters, film entertainment producers and distributors, and artist management companies. Because SoundScan provides the sales data used by Billboard, the leading trade magazine, for the creation of its music charts, this role effectively makes SoundScan the official source of sales records in the music industry.

Quo vadis? According to Neilsen Soundscan, “In a fragmented media world where technology is reshaping consumer habits, music continues to be the soundtrack of our daily lives. According to Music 360 2014, Nielsen's third annual in-depth study of the tastes, habits and preferences of US music listeners, 93% of the country's population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes. ”

For most Americans, music is the top form of entertainment. In a 2014 survey, 75% of respondents found that they actively chose to listen to music over other media entertainment. Music is part of our lives through all times of the day. One fourth of music listening takes place while driving or riding in vehicles. Another 15% of our weekly music time takes place at work or while doing household chores.

It has become no surprise over the past five years that CD sales have diminished while download listening and sales have increased. Bob Runett of Poynter Online comments, “Start waving the cigarette lighters and swaying side to side – the love affair between music fans and their cell phones is getting more intense. Phones with music capabilities will account for 54 percent of handset sales globally in five years, according to a report consulting firm Strategy Analytics Inc. The report suggests that we keep watching the growth of cellular music decks (CMDs), devices that deliver excellent sound quality and focus on music more than images. ” (“A Few Notes About Music and Convergence,” 25 November 2014)

Stephen J. Dubner summed up the mess quite well almost a decade ago. “It strikes me as ironic that a new technology (digital music) may have accidently forced record labels to abandon the status quo (releasing albums) and return to the past (selling singles). made was abandoning the pop single in the first place. Customers were forced to buy albums to get the one or two songs that they loved; 20? But now the people have spoken: they want one song at a time, digitally please, maybe even free. ” (“What's the Future of the Music Industry? A Freakonomics Quorum,” September 20, 2007).

Like many of us, I (Dr. Sase) also have worked as a musician / producer / engineer / indie label owner releasing esoterica since the 1960s. While occasionally made an excellent living off my music, I also developed my talents as an economist, learning a doctor in that field. Therefore, I comment from this dual perspective of an economist / musician.

The post-future, as many music pundits call it, does not really differ that much from the past. How and why folks obtain their music continues to reflect at least three related decision drivers. We can summarize the three most relevant as 1) Content, 2) Durability, and 3) Time-Cost. Let us explain further.

1) Content

When I started to record music in the early 1960s, the market was filled with “one-hit wonders.” It was the age of AM (amplitude modulation), DJ radio. It was also the age of the 45 RPM record with the hit on the A Side and usually some filler cut on the B Side. It was not uncommon for anyone with a 2-track reel-to-reel to “download” the one hit wanted from their favorite radio station. There were a few groups that offered an entire twelve-inch LPs with mostly great songs. The first such LP that I purchased was Meet the Beatles by those four lads from Liverpool.

During the late 1960s, the industry turned more to “Greatest Hit” collections by groups that had previously turned out a string of AM hits and to “concept” albums. During this golden age of LP sales, the Beatles, the Stones, the Grateful Dead, Yes, King Crimson, and numerous other groups released albums filled with solid content. Bottom line: consumers do not mind paying for product if they feel that they are receiving value.

2) Durability

Why would someone buy a twelve-inch LP when they could borrow a copy and tape record the songs to a reel-to-reel or, later on, to a compact cassette? The answers at that time were simple. First, it was “cool” to have a great album collection, especially one that a member of the opposite gender could thumb through in one's dorm room. Let us simply say that one of album collection could inform another party about one's tastes and possible sub-culture and personality. Therefore, an attractive collection provided a certain degree of social currency. Might this account for the resurgence of
vinyl in recent years?

The second part of the equation came in the form of actual product durability. Like current downloads, self-recorded reel-to-reel and cassette tapes generally suffered from some loss of fidelity in the transition. More importantly, the integrity and permanence of the media also left something to be desired. Thirty to forty years ago, tape would flake, break, and tangle around the capston. Without one backed up their collection to a second-generation tape, many of one's favorite tunes could be lost.

Today, computer hard drives crash. Without the expense of an additional hard drive and the time involved to make the transfer, the same durability issues ensue. What about CDs? As most of us who use CD-Rs for multiple purposes know, the technology that instantly burns an image leaves a product that remains more elaborate and subject to damage in comparison to a commercially fabricated CD, stamped from a metal master. Will the Internet clouds provide the same level of comfort for music producers and listeners? We will just have to wait and see.

3) Time-Cost

This third element basically reflects the old “tape is running / time-is-money” economic argument and may explain why younger music-listeners prefer to download songs either legly or illegally. It echoes the same economies that led listeners in the 1960s to record their favorite hits off of the radio. The substance of the argument has to do with how an individual values ​​his / her time. If music-lovers works for a low hourly wage (or often no income at all), they will value the time spending downloading, backing up, and transferring cuts in terms of what they could be earning during the same time.

Let us consider the following example. Assuming that twelve downloads or a comparable CD costs $ 12.00, a baby-sitter earning $ 6 per hour could afford to spend as much as two hours of time ripping music to achieve the same value. However, someone with a skilled trade or a college degree may be earning $ 24.00 or more per hour. Spending more than one half hour at ripping would exceed the value derived. The counter-argument of the time-cost of traveling to a brick-and-mortar music store gets offset by a person's ability to log-on to Amazon or elsewhere in less than a minute and possibly receive free shipping. The market will always change as the primary market demographic ages. It happened with the Baby-Boomers of the 1960s and 1970s and it will happen with Generation X, Y and Z in the current century.

The bottom line of all of this debate rests in the fact that a consumer will choose the mode of deliverable that optimizes his / her bundle of values. This bundle includes quality and quantity of content, durability, and time-cost effectiveness. These remain the lessons that music makers and music deliverers must understand to survive. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

“When I'm drivin 'in my car, And that man comes on the radio, He's tellin' me more and more, About some useless information, Supposed to fire my imagination, I can not get no, oh no, no, no. “ -Michael Philip Jagger, British Economist, London School of Economics

In conclusion, we recognize that certain values ​​motivate consumers as well as businesses. These values ​​include content, durability, and time cost. It does not matter whether the good or service under consideration exists in the form of real, personal, or intellectual property. The promise remains the same for making music, building automobiles, teaching economics, and providing legal services.

The British economist Adam Smith summarized this phenomenon 229 years ago in his concept of an invisible hand at work in the marketplace. In effect, markets work because all market participants seek to optimize their own self interests. As long as both parties involved in a transaction perceive that they will emerge better off after consummating the transaction, they will participate. If one (or both parties) does not share this perception, no music, automobile, education, nor legal services will change hands. In effect, the market fails to produce a satisfactory outcome.

How To Pay The Bills With Your Music

Have you always wanted to pay your bills from music? You can definitely do it. Here are tips on how to do it: Have Multiple Streams Many musicians get into music looking for “a job.” Most of the musicians join the music industry planning to make money through only one source such as performing or…

Have you always wanted to pay your bills from music? You can definitely do it. Here are tips on how to do it:

Have Multiple Streams

Many musicians get into music looking for “a job.” Most of the musicians join the music industry planning to make money through only one source such as performing or recording music. While there is nothing wrong with making money through this way, you can not make it big. For you to pay your bills you need to have multiple streams of income.

For example, in addition to recording and performing music, you can also start teaching other people how to do music. You should also seek endorsements from big brands. Having multiple streams not only makes it easy for you to meet your bills, it also makes your career more secure.

Be Of Value

There is no one who will pay you if you are not of value to him / her. In addition to being of value, you also need to offer something extra that is not provided by other hundreds (if not thousands) musicians. A great way of being of value to the people you are working with is to always be ahead of other people. For example, you should be able to research and find the style of music that is trending.

Manage Your Music

Your music is your business and you need to manage it for you to be successful. The cool thing is that there are many resources both online and offline that you can use to learn how to manage your business.

If you do not have time or you are finding it hard to manage your music, you should consider hiring a manager. The manager will be responsible for finding gigs for you to perform or record. He / she will also negotiate your salary when you get the gigs.

Have A Plan

You need to have a plan of how you will be able to make enough money to pay your bills. This calls for you to specify a number of things. For example, you need to specify the amount of money that you are intending to make in a year, the streams that will make it possible how to put these streams into motion and how to add value to the industry.


These are tips on how to pay your bills with your music. When you put these tips into action you will not only be able to support yourself in music, you will also be famous and happier in life.

The Fastest Way for a Singer to Form A Band

You're a singer-songwriter with a new CD and a CD release party to plan, and the musicians on the CD are not available. Or you're a jazz [or pop] singer with a polished repertoire, ready to play some gigs, have some fun and make a little money. You need a band, so you hook up…

You're a singer-songwriter with a new CD and a CD release party to plan, and the musicians on the CD are not available. Or you're a jazz [or pop] singer with a polished repertoire, ready to play some gigs, have some fun and make a little money. You need a band, so you hook up with some part-time musicians [probably friends or friends of friends]. Rehearsal space is expensive and, with amateur musicians, the rehearsal process is too inefficient and frustratingly long. But it's feasible to form a band with limited rehearsal time and space. First, you need to hire an experienced music arranger to assemble a “book” of written charts [sheet music] of your songs. Then you need to find competent, professional musicians who can sight-read your charts.

Putting The Book Together

The music arranger will listen to records of each song in your repertoire [MP3s, YouTube links or CDs] and transcribe the form of the song, including the chords, rhythm section shots or punches, important bass or melody lines, intros and endings, metronome markings, visual cues and any other information necessary to the performance of the song.The music should be transcribed to notation software [Sibelius and Finale are the most popular] and can be exported to PDF files and delivered to you electronically. Once saved to software the charts can be easily modified by the arranger [changing key, for example]. For a rhythm section-only band [guitar, bass drums, keys] a single rhythm section chart is often sufficient and far less expensive than scanning separately for those instruments. The arranger will send you one copy, and you print one for each instrument in the band.

Although many musicians can scratch out a chord chart, it's important to find an experienced music arranger to write your book. An arranger needs a good working knowledge of the instruments he's writing for, so as not to write something the instrument can not play. It's also important that the chart is easily playable for most professionals … too much info can make the chart hard to play.

A poorly written chart can be a disaster. Take care to find the right arranger. Ask for references, listen to audio samples of his / her work. Most music arrangers charge by the hour for custom music arrangements. An average rhythm chart should cost between $ 40- $ 50 Canadian.

Finding Qualified Musicians

First decide on the instrumentation of your band. I recommend you keep it small, ie a duo, trio or quartert. Start by finding a qualified pianist or guitarist as music director / contractor [to hire the reminder of the band]. Consult with him / her regarding the style of music you wish to play and the budget for the musicians. A jazz singer will often play as a duo with only the piano or guitar as accompaniment. This person will direct rehearsal [if there is one], and, on stage, count in the tunes, direct endings and lead the band through the performance [so you can just sing]. He / she may also be helpful in finding a suitable sound system to rent, if need be. Your music director should have paid a leader's fee, Your local musicians' union can help you determine fees for the leader and sidemen.

Where to Find Your Musicians

Ask the union. The Canadian Federation of Musicians [or American Federation of Musicians] has a local office with jurisdiction in your region. Contact them for a list or referral of qualified players. Tell them what style [s] you're playing and what instruments you're looking for. They can also tell you what the pay scale is for rehearsal and the type of gig you've booked. Sometimes you can get away with an unpaid rehearsal, it does not hurt to ask your music director. In my region [Eastern Ontario / Western Quebec], side men pay is $ 100-ish for a 3 hour call in a bar or restaurant, $ 160 or more for a private function.

Hiring Musicians

Once you've found your music director / contractor, it's time to book the band. You can let your contractor make the calls to the side men or do it yourself. You can have them pencil it in until the date is confirmed [signed contract and 50% deposit with the client]. Until it's official, the players are not committed to your gig, and you're not obliged to pay them. But when it's signed and sealed and you've confirmed with the band, you're on the hook for their pay.

Ready to Go

Once you have your book together and have established a relationship with the musicians, you'll be ready to gig at the drop of a hat. As you play more shows the band will become more comfortable with the repertoire, and new songs can be added easily as your arranger charts new tunes for you. Of course, the musicians you've used in the past may not always be available, but they should be able to book qualified substitutes if they can not make a gig, and you'll get to know many of your area's best musicians.