From the category archives:

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Designing for vinyl: make your album cover pop

by Michael Gallant October 31, 2014

vinyl album coverEven though CDs and vinyl records both make use of similarly-proportioned circles and rectangles in their design templates, each format presents unique opportunities to create graphics that your fans will love. Here are some tips from experienced designers and album manufacturing product managers to help you craft an album design worthy of the music enclosed therein. Read more.

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The musician’s social media checklist

by Jon Ostrow October 28, 2014

music social media marketingMarketing your band and your music on the digital landscape, it’s easy to get lost focusing your time and efforts on the wrong sites and connecting with the wrong people. Ideally, you’d take the time and have an opportunity to think through the who, how, what, where, and why so that all of your efforts are connecting you to potential fans and influencers within your niche from the get go. Read more.

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Test your music products before you go to market

by Bobby Borg October 27, 2014

Test your music productsTesting and feedback should be part of the process of getting your music products into releasable form. Testing material on your most likely fans, and making necessary improvements and decisions before committing your time and money to the recording, manufacturing, distributing, and promoting it. Without market research, you could easily spend hundreds (or thousands) of your hard-earned dollars recording music that’s unmarketable to music supervisors, labels, radio stations, and even your own target fans! Read more.

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Three giveaways from Disc Makers top $12,000 in prizes

by Disc Makers October 24, 2014

Disc Makers giveawaysDisc Makers announces the return of our bi-annual sweepstakes — with a twist. This time around we’ve got three separate giveaways: one for guitarists, one for drummers, and one targeted to home recording enthusiasts. Co-sponsored by CD Baby, Sweetwater, Cakewalk, TASCAM, Auralex, Audio-Technica, Godin Guitars, Roland, Taylor Guitars, Bold Face, and Ernie Ball, these giveaways each feature over $4,000 in prizes. Deadline for entries is November 30, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random for each giveaway on or before December 10, 2014. Read more.

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A study in record production: Miranda Lambert and Beck

by Keith Hatschek and Jeff Crawford October 22, 2014

Morning Phase record production As you prepare to self produce your next recording project, take time to study record production that inspires you. The role of a record producer is critical to any successful recording project, it’s the creative guidance and vision of what the finished recording will sound like that makes a producer most valuable. We take a look at tracks by Miranda Lambert and Beck. Read more.

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The case of the lost bass

by Andre Calilhanna October 17, 2014

Reasons to have instrument insuranceBassist Malcolm Gold’s story about the benefits of MusicPro instrument insurance doesn’t involve theft or damage. It was just a momentary lapse of focus on a long commute. “It was a very stressful time in my life. I was traveling on a train with a beautiful 1966 ice-blue metallic Fender Jazz bass. It’s a custom color, and worth a considerable amount of money, to say the least.” Read more.

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How to launch a music publicity campaign

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan October 14, 2014

planning a music publicity campaignMost bands do a traditional media campaign (newspapers, magazines, radio), as well as a new media campaign (podcasts, music blogs, MP3s). Music publicity is not just compiling lists and following steps mechanically, it should be fun and is a chance to channel the same creativity you put into your music to build a buzz. Read more.

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If you ain’t measuring, you ain’t marketing

by Bobby Borg October 9, 2014

Measure MarketingMake no mistake, marketing your music – in fact, any marketing – is not about “doing things,” it’s about “doing the right things.” This is the essence of marketing measurement and why it is so important to your career. Measuring is the process of creating systems to collect, analyze, and act on information that is relevant to the goals of your marketing plan. Read more.

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Set goals for your vocal lessons

by Cheryl B. Engelhardt October 8, 2014

Set goals for your vocal lessonsSo you’ve decided to take voice lessons and you’re anxious about your first lesson, wondering what to expect and how to prepare. Here’s the good news: this isn’t an audition! Take a deep breath (you’ll be doing a lot of that in your singing lessons), and focus on these seven tips to prepare for your first voice lesson. Read more.

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Five things you can do to be better at social media marketing

by Jon Ostrow October 7, 2014

Hoodie Allen's social media marketingIt’s easy find an excuse to take a vacation from an otherwise consistent social media presence. Events like a tour or a new album release present opportunities to make you even better at social media marketing. There are several principles of social media marketing that can be found rather naturally from your tour schedule, which can help to give your presence and engagement a nice boost. Read more.

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Make music your career: seven rules to put you on track

by Keith Hatschek October 3, 2014

Music Career RulesHave you ever been a starving musician? It’s no fun. Wondering where this month’s rent money is going to come from, scrounging up change in the sofa to put gas in your car, hoping that a string doesn’t break during the gig. No one goes from a little known performer to self-sufficient artist overnight. Here are seven rules to help you transition from someone with talent and a dream to someone with talent and a career in music. Read more.

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Format options for your audio master

by Disc Makers September 30, 2014

audio master formatsWhen deciding how to prepare and submit your audio master for CD manufacturing, there are several format options to choose from. A complete body of work on a CD-R, individual audio files such as WAV or AIFF (with any variety of bit-depths and sample rates), and DDP 2.0 file sets are the most popular formats. An analog reel to reel master or DAT (digital audio tape) also provides high quality, though used less frequently with the advent of newer digital options. Read more.

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Don’t limit your songwriting to 4/4 time

by Michael Gallant September 29, 2014

AllYouNeedIsLoveJust because 4/4 is an easy and popular time signature in which to write, it doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice for you and your music. Many highly successful songs have been written using time signatures that don’t strictly adhere to the standard one-and-TWO-and-three-and-FOUR-and vibe. Here are a handful of examples of music written in different time signatures — and tips on how playing with the meter of your own music can help you get it to the highest level. Read more.

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Disc Makers is the official vinyl pressing sponsor of Record Store Day!

by Disc Makers September 24, 2014

record-store-day It’s official! Now that we’re back in the vinyl LP game, it’s only natural that we’d be the official vinyl pressing sponsor of Record Store Day, a celebration of the enduring importance and coolness of the independent record store, held on the third Saturday of April every year. Read more.

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Limit your takes and make better recordings

by Graham Cochrane September 22, 2014

make better recordingsThe moment I was first introduced to computer-based recording, I saw the potential for recording millions of takes. At first it made sense to me to just record as much as you can and then pick the best takes later. But over the years I have come to realize how much of a hindrance this philosophy was, rather than a help. Read more.

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