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Why You Need to Treat Your Music as a Business

You don't have to wear the monkey suit, but you get the point...

If you want to succeed in today’s music industry, you need to treat your music as a business. There’s no two ways about it; If you aren’t willing to put in the work to promote and market your music, you may as well give up now. In order to be successful, you need to do what works. And what works right now is getting off your butt and putting the work in to the right places.

In this article we will be looking at the business of music, and why you need to learn this side of things if you want to do well in your music career. Whether you do independent music or you’re signed to a record label, you need to learn what it is that makes people successful, other then their vocals.

Knowledge is power, so read on and see how much of this you can apply to your independent music career today.

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Why You Need To Learn The Music Business

So, why do you need to treat music as a business? Simple, because without you carrying out proven marketing and promotion methods for your songs, people won’t even know you exist. And the people who are aware of you, may not take to you as well due to ineffective or inconsistent branding.

Learning the music business involves learning how you promote yourself, how to build connections within the industry, learning various selling tactics, learning how to get gigs, planning out all the steps you need to achieve your goals, and much more. As someone who makes independent music, you haven’t got someone who will do all these things for you. You in effect have to do all the jobs a record label team does on your own.

Why you obviously won’t be able to get the same mass reach as a wealthy record label, it is possible for you to get out there using the right music business strategies.

The bottom line is this: If you learn what business practices work in the music industry and put them into practice, you will greatly increase your chances of doing well with your music. I tell no word of a lie.

Do You Treat Music As A Business?

Ok, so enough about the general advice for everyone who does independent music. Right now, I want you to look at how your music career is going. Ask yourself:

  • Are you simply recording songs and putting them out for free, or are you sticking to a set release and revenue generating plan?
  • Are you doing gigs as and when they come up, or are you actively seeking out new shows to do?
  • Are you sitting at home all day ‘promoting’ your music on social networking websites, or are you working on getting your music mass broadcasted on radio and TV?

If you answered yes to any of the first options, you are not taking your music as a business as much as you could be.

You need to ask yourself how far you want to take your music. If you are simply making music for the fun of it, then carry on doing what you’re doing. It’s a hobby for you, so only make music as and when you want. If however your aim is to make a career from your music, then you need to start re-evaluating how you handle things.

Top 5 Recording Studio Tips

(via independentmusicadvice.com)

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Twitter Tips for the Music Industry

Tweet Your Music!

Twitter doesn’t come with a rule book, and the most common reaction for a new Twitter user is, “um, what am I supposed to do now”? Overwhelming though it may be when you start out, Twitter is becoming more and more important for the music industry. It’s a great place to promote new releases, connect with fans and stay on top of the latest music news. Want to maximize your Twitter success factor? These tips will help:

  1. Be A Real Human Being: Don’t expect to set up a feed from your site to your Twitter page and wait for the followers to flock to you, and don’t be afraid to mix a little personality in with your business stuff. Business connections on Twitter tend to thrive with a little help from the personal connections, so let people know who you are. That’s not to say that feeds are a bad strategy – in fact, if you have a blog, a feed can be an important part of promoting your work on Twitter. Just don’t sit back and let your feed do all your talking.

    While we’re on the subject of feeds and automatic updates, most people on Twitter aren’t fans of automatic direct messages, either. Don’t do it.

  2. Be Nice!: Twitter is set up for fostering conversation and debate, and you don’t have to be a blind cheerleader for whatever people say. However, remember that when you’re using Twitter for your music career, you’re in a “business casual” environment. Stay professional. Tweeting “I think @soandso is the biggest idiot on Twitter” makes you look bad, not them. I’m not saying you won’t THINK that from time to time, but – and this is especially important if you’re working on the business side of the music industry rather than an artist – resist the temptation to engage in public humiliation. Who wants to work with someone who lacks discretion? Plus, the music industry isn’t as big as you think. You don’t know what bridges you’re burning when you’re a Twitter bully.

    If you see something you disagree with and want to know where that person was coming, ask them. Politely. If what you have to say could potentially embarrass them, direct message them instead. Again, conversation – good. Belligerence – bad.

    The best recording studio prices in Los Angeles

  3. Build Relationships: The great thing about Twitter is the way it connects you to other people who are trying to accomplish the same thing you are. Reach out to them. See how you can help each other. Tweet each other’s shows, link to each other’s sites, let your followers know when one of your colleagues does something cool – it all helps.
  4. Avoid the Numbers Shuffle, The Follow Test and Other Twitter Mind Games: A lot of people spend a lot of time on Twitter checking out how has the most followers, who is following more people than follow them back, culling their own follow list and so on and so forth. Other people follow someone, wait for a set period of time, then unfollow them if they aren’t followed back. This kind of stuff is exhausting, counterproductive, and more than a little bit third grade.

    Remember that you’re on Twitter to further your own projects and learn from others. The relationships you cultivate there can’t be quantified by a number on the screen, and you’re better off working on connecting with like minded folks in your network than frantically trying to manipulate your volume of connections. Just keep your eye on your own project and contribute to the community as best you can. The rest will fall into place.

  5. Let People Hear from YOU: Retweeting what other people have written is a great thing, and you should do it. Tweeting quotes that have caught your ear, song lyrics and so on is cool, too. It gives people an idea of who you are. But don’t forget to just jump in there and say what’s on your mind. Your words, your stories, your life – people in general respond more when they feel like that know you as a person, and if you’re a musician, this is the kind of stuff your fans really want to hear from you. You don’t have to air your dirty laundry in 140 characters, but being yourself is a good business decision in the Twitterverse.


  6. Don’t Get Spammy: Setting up a Twitter account and randomly tweeting people to promote your new project is not effective – at all. In other words, “@randontwitterperon Check out my song!!!! bit.ly” repeated 200 times on your Twitter page is not winning you any fans. In fact, this is one of those attempted promo moments that not only fails to make an impact, it can actually actively make your LOSE fans. Ditto for formulaic direct messages to all of your followers.


  7. Relax!: Twitter is useful, but it’s also supposed to fun. Don’t get all wrapped up in developing the “perfect” Twitter formula. It doesn’t exist. Sure, you’ll see a lot of people spending a lot of time critiquing Twitter approaches. You know, it’s just not that deep. Getting too sucked into in any of these social networking tools can be counterproductive when it comes to actually making progress with your music career, if you let it. Just use Twitter the way that feels right to you – you’ll figure it out, and people will respond.


    Find Musician Booking Agents

    (via musicians.about.com)

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Building a Home Recording Studio? Follow These Basic Rules…

1.  Don’t skimp on microphones!
Start out with at least one good condenser microphone that you can use to capture vocals and acoustic instruments.

Home recording studio microphone.I recommend the AKG 3000B. If you can’t afford $300 for the 3000B mic, then go with the Rode NT1 or the AKG C2000B (~$200 each) or the low-end Rode NT3 ($150). If you can afford more than $300, then see the book text for recommendations. If you are going to be recording high sound pressure levels (e.g., guitar amplifiers), then you can’t beat the Shure SM-57 dynamic mic for about $80.

2.  Spend your effects dollars in this order:
first a good reverb, then a stereo compressor and finally a stereo noise gate. For a multi-effects processor, you can’t go wrong with any of the Lexicon units.

3.  If you have a home studio, then you should have a FMR RNC-1773 stereo compressor in it.
Nothing can compare to it sonically for under $1000, yet the unit only costs $180. It has a special mode called Super Nice Compression that serially connects 3 separate compression elements within the unit to avoid the typical noise pumping problems common to most compressors. This is a great tool to use during your mastering stage. You can buy the RNC-1773 directly from the manufacturer at www.fmraudio.com. RNC stands for Really Nice Compressor!

4.  Don’t skimp on audio cables!
If you do, you will forever be chasing phantom noises, crackles, pops and intermittent connections around your studio instead of making and recording music. I have found that the best source of relatively low-cost cables is Gateway Electronics (seewww.gatewayelex.com/audcable.htm). The Gateway Electronics audio cables are so good that they can pass video signals into the MHz range! You can actually use them for video cables to send composite video from your DVD or VCR to your TV.

5.  Invest in an audio patch panel.
Audio mixing and recording equipment racks.A patch panel is a central point to which all audio cables connect in your system. As you change connections around in your studio, you just move patch cables on the patch panel instead of chasing cables around your studio and crawling behind equipment to find the proper connection points. This is an incredible time saver and a great way to troubleshoot signal flow problems in your system. See the text for various troubleshooting techniques.

6.  Use multiple monitoring methods when mixing down and mastering your songs.
Invest in a good set of headphones. You want a pair that is as neutral as possible and that is made for the studio. Headphones made for consumer listening will color the sound, so avoid them. Also, set up a pair of close field monitors as explained in the text. This will allow you to reduce the coloration effects of your studio room. When you mix down or master your songs, listen to the mixes on a wide variety of transducers (your headphones, the close field monitors, your living room stereo, your car stereo, a cheap boombox in mono, etc.). This will allow you to get the best overall mix that works in most situations. Check your mix in mono (not just stereo) to make sure that elements of the mix don’t simply disappear due to cancellation.

7.  Should you buy analog recorders or digital recorders?
The bottom line is that you can make excellent recordings using either format. Analog recorders have more maintenance headaches and tape hiss to contend with, but you can find used analog recorders all over for great prices now. Many people prefer the “warmer sound” of analog recordings. Refer to the book for used equipment sources.

Digital audio recorders.Digital recorders can be standalone units or they can be incorporated into your PC or Mac computer. Recorders integrated into computers usually have software applications that provide fantastic editing capabilities that are hard to do without once you get used to them. Digital recorders in computers also usually allow various plug-in software applications that provide huge functionality and flexibility options, and they allow mastering and CD generation without ever leaving the digital domain. Clearly, the market is headed in the digital direction. Make sure you have a capable computer before you head down this road, however!

8.  Want to learn more about tape recording?
Get yourself a free subscription to the magazine Tape Op. Yes, I said free. Tape Op is a well-written magazine that discusses all things related to analog recording including equipment, techniques, musician and engineer interviews, music reviews, plus they preach the do-it-yourself approach. Direct your browser to www.tapeop.com and get signed up now.

9.  When initially recording your tracks, always print the hottest (loudest) signal possible to the track, but avoid distorting the signal.
This will allow you to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal. You want the signal to be loud enough to mask any noise in the system but you don’t want it to be so loud that the signal distorts or clips. There is most definitely a way to optimize all of the signal levels throughout your system; it is called gain staging. If you don’t know about gain staging, see the book text (it is too lengthy to explain here).

10.  Don’t immediately reach for the EQ knob, and don’t overdo it with the reverb.
These are two of the biggest newbie mistakes. Rather than fiddling with EQ (equalization) if you don’t like the way something sounds, try changing the source. If you are miking a guitar for example, try moving the mic around to alternate positions relative to the acoustic guitar (or amp, if it is an electric guitar). Small adjustments can make huge differences in the sound. If you have a synthesizer sound that is dull, try opening up the filter a little or change the synth patch in some other manner to get the effect you want. To add a nice sweetening to your final mix or to add emphasis to a solo instrument without using EQ, try using one of the BBE Sonic Maximizer or Aphex Aural Exciter processors.

(via soundrecordingadvice.com)

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How to Pick a Recording Studio


Click the Pic to find out how to book this top rated studio!

Picking a studio could be one of the most important decisions youll make in your music career. In todays extremely competitive music industry, your CD is your calling card, and the right record could be a tremendous asset in opening doors and furthering your career. A poor sounding or poorly produced disc could be a huge detriment and set you back irrevocably. It is important to make sure you put your best foot forward. Here are a few tips to help you know what to look for when deciding upon a studio.




Make sure you are recording on pro-grade gear. In todays world of accessible technology, more and more consumer product floods the market, targeting the weekend warriors and at home recording set ups. Recording is a complexly woven, fine-tuned art form with many components. Each component in the daisy chain affects the final outcome of the sound quality. Mixing consoles, microphones, pre-amps, outboard processors, analog/digital converters, monitors, even headphones – everything counts! Be sure to pick a studio that offers quality, professional grade gear to get the best sounding results.

Have questions about getting your music mastered? Click Here!




You will be spending A LOT of time in the studio so it is important to make sure it can accommodate your needs. Make sure it is big enough and efficiently laid out so that you and your band are comfortable. Look for basic amenities such as a bathroom, refrigerator, and microwave to enable you to hunker down and work for extended periods of time. Is the studio clean, tidy, and well organized? This is often a reflection of the people running the studio, how they treat their gear, and how they like to work. How does the studio sound? Has it been sound-proofed and acoustically treated? Walk to different parts of the studio and clap your hands to check for room tone. Does the studio have more than one tracking room? This is important if you want to achieve complete track separation while recording simultaneous parts. And finally, does it have a good vibe? Will you be focused yet relaxed while working there?




Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the personnel behind the recording studio. These are the folks who will play a major role in helping you achieve your desired goals. Studios are often on relatively level playing fields in terms of gear and space, so then it comes down to personalities, know-how, and ears. Make sure you like the engineer and producer you will be working with. Do they seem easy to communicate with? How much experience do they have and are they familiar with the kind of music you play? Look for a place that views you as more than just a paying customer. Ideally, a studio should be interested in seeing you take your music to the next level. The better your CD does, the better the studio does. Make sure the people you are working with approach your project this way. How many other projects are the producer and engineer involved with at the same time as yours? Are their plates too full? Do not pick a studio if you do not feel you will be given a high level of individualized attention. Look for a place that goes beyond the call of duty. Find a studio that views your project as a partnership of sorts a production team that is willing to put its all into making the best project possible as well as willing to promote it even after it is completed.

Tips on getting the right EQ for your mix.




Don’t pick a studio without visiting it first and meeting with the people you will be working with. Be sure to get recorded samples of the studios work and a list of references. Be sure you like the tone and production style of the recorded samples. Talk to others who have recorded there and get their take on their experience.

(via offthebeat-n-track.com)


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How to Become a Music Producer

Music producers can be scary.

Music producers are really the heart and soul of any recording. They’re the great, unsung artists working behind the scenes. Bad production can make a great song sound terrible, while great production can elevate songwriting. Becoming a music producer and spending all day working on music in the studio may be your life-long dream. If so, here are some pointers.

 Get tips on how to Copyright your music.

    • 1

      Start at the bottom. Most producers start off as engineers, or even setting up mics around a drum set – not actually giving a lot of input on an actual recording. In this capacity, you might be able to be an apprentice to a top-flight producer.

    • 2

      Get a degree in music production. A music production degree is not necessarily a prerequisite for getting a job in a studio, but it helps. It also helps to know about the different technologies – both analog and digital – that you’ll learn about in a degree program. But “street knowledge” – actual recordings – can be just as good as a degree.

    • 3

      Set up your own studio. If money’s an issue, you can record using software rather than buying up a bunch of rack mounts. You may start recording your friends’ bands first and work up from there. You might have to charge a low fee or even charge nothing to bring in new bands. The more equipment you have, the better. One band might only want to use vintage equipment, so if possible it’s a good idea to have it on hand.

    • 4

      Network. Once you’ve got some recordings under your belt, you need to network. Create a mixed CD of a number of different kinds of recordings so listeners can get a sense of your range. That is, unless you want to create a niche for yourself – like being the top metal producer in the area. It depends on what you enjoy doing most of all. Recording a wider number of genres is a good idea because it will bring in more business. Don’t be a snob about certain types of music. Work will improve your resume, bring in money and you’ll likely learn something new.

    • 5

      Make a website for your services. Go to social networking sites, forums or blogs to get the word out. Always have business cards and even CDs on hand. This also means networking with musicians who might play on a recording in the future. It’s not always easy to find an oboe player on short notice. Also very important – network with A&R people, managers and publishers so they’ll hire you in the future.

      Find a Music Producer in Los Angeles


(via ehow.com)

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Selecting a Microphone for Home Recording

Selecting a microphone for home recording can be a difficult decision to make. It all depends on the following:

a. Budget
b. Your Room
c. Your Recording Commitment and the depth of your project
d. Your existing recording gears

Basically, there are two types of microphones:

a. Dynamic Microphone
b. Condenser Microphone

Recording Studio Prices

The above microphone photo belongs to a condenser microphone type, and it looks obviously different from the dynamic microphones.

During the selection process, below are the recommended guides.

Guide 1: If you have the budget and your home recording studio is using high end gears with good room acoustics. For example you have vocal booth. Then use a condenser microphone, it will produce the best results.

Guide 2: If you have the budget but you do not have the vocal booth, then use high end dynamic microphones such as Shure. The reason is that, dynamic microphones are not as sensitive compared to condenser microphones.

If you do not have a vocal booth, there could be noise during vocal recordings. And it can be isolated easily if you have dynamic microphones since it is not super-sensitive.

For those that do not know a vocal booth, it is a sound proof enclosure where the vocalist will record the vocals. The purpose is to avoid catching noise from other sources in the studio. See picture below:

Picture of Shure SM 58 Dynamic Microphones.

Guide 3: If you do not have the budget , dynamic microphones is cheap. Just make sure that you do not do recording during noisy hours, or else you will be disappointed.

Also, if you have a mixer, consider the connectivity of the microphone you are going to purchase. For example, you should not be buying XLR based microphones if you do not have XLR inputs in your existing recording gears.

Also if you are building a home recording studio to produce commercial projects, the recording commitment and the depth of your project is high and therefore, secure a more expensive microphone like the condenser ones.Once again, if your room does not have good acoustics, then settle for dynamic microphones since it is more flexible compared to condenser microphones.

Always buy from quality and reputable suppliers, do not buy from unknown stores, there are a lot of stores nowadays claiming they sell genuine microphones but is indeed a fake one.

More Music Marketing and Recording Tips

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