Planning your album: get permission for art, text, and cover songs

planning your album guide Before we can mass produce copies of your disc, there are a few legal issues to clear first. You are required to sign a release form declaring that all the music on your album is original and “owned” by you. If all your music is original, you’ll check that box and move on. However, if you record any cover songs or incorporate any copyrighted samples or loops, you have to provide proof that you received the proper permissions. Read more.

Audio repair and restoration: tools of the trade

Audio repair and restoration with RX 3 When you hear the words “repair” and “restoration,” you might be inclined to think of dusty vaults filled with aging master tapes and records. Some audio repair and restoration projects involve taking old recordings and reviving them, and the same methods and tools used for those projects can be used for a wide range of scenarios. Every time you record audio, there’s always the chance of encountering unexpected and unwelcome audio “guests.” Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik

Songwriting tips from John OndrasikFive For Fighting’s John Ondrasik exploded onto the music scene with the release of “Superman” in 2000. Having written thousands of songs in his youth, the public adoration of “Superman” stunned his mother – a way to actually make money songwriting and playing music! Ondrasik’s father was less surprised, recognizing he had dedicated 45,000 hours into honing his craft. Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Byron Hill

Tips from hit songwriter Byron HillOriginally from North Carolina, Byron Hill has been a professional songwriter in Nashville since 1978, with his songs generating more than 700 recordings, 77 RIAA certified Gold and Platinum awards, 10 ASCAP awards, and 31 US and Canadian top-ten chart hits. Hits Byron has written for major artists include “Pickin’ Up Strangers” (Johnny Lee), “Fool Hearted Memory” (George Strait), “The Pages Of My Mind” (Ray Charles), and “Born Country” (Alabama). Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Kent Blazy

Songwriting tips from Kent BlazyGrowing up in Lexington, KY, Kent Blazy became musically inspired when he heard Roger McGuinn playing “Mr. Tambourine Man.” By the mid-70s, Kent was band leader, playing guitar and touring with Canadian legend Ian Tyson. A first place win in a national songwriting contest persuaded him to move to Nashville in 1980, and in 1987, Kent was introduced to Garth Brooks. The first song Garth and Kent penned together was “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” which became their first #1 song. Read more.

‘Tis The Season (To Sell CDs)

Make CDs and sell CDs this holidayThe holiday season, especially the golden month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the most lucrative time of the year for retail sales. As an independent musician, it can be a time for you to move a ton of product – professionally manufactured CDs, merch, and more. There are many ways to take advantage of this time of the year, and our new guide answers questions about how to prepare your order and make your new release something special for the holidays.
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The Mantra of a Successful Recording Studio

How to run a successful recording studio Our latest recording studio guide, The Art of Running A Successful Recording Studio: Advice and Insights From Studio Pros, focuses on how professional studios can better navigate the waters in the new music industry. Eight of our esteemed Disc Makers Studio Partners offered excellent content for the guide, including what they see as the qualities to success in the recording studio business. Read more.

Get Our Most Comprehensive Home Recording Studio Guide Ever!

The Home Studio Handbook home recording studio guide The Home Studio Handbook includes material from our popular home recording studio guides – plus we’ve added a wealth of additional recording tips. Our new guide starts with vital information on how to make your own home recording studio – whether it’s a professional A-room or a budget-conscious home recording studio setup – and ends with creating a great mix. The 40-page Home Studio Handbook is free and available for download now! Read more.

Dithering – adding “good noise” to improve your home recordings

DitheringWhat is dithering?
In your English class, to "dither" means to act nervously or indecisively. When we’re talking about digital audio and home studio recording, dithering is the process of adding noise to the audio signal. Adding noise, you say? Why would you want add noise? Basically, it’s a trade — low-level hiss in exchange for a reduction in distortion when you convert 24 bit to 16 bit audio to transfer to a CD. Read more.

Music career killers!

You can spend your whole life learning music marketing and still fail if you don’t have great music to promote, but you can suck at marketing and still do well if your music is on point. The ideal is to find that perfect balance between marketing and music creation. Commit to working on your music skills for an hour a day, and do your marketing in any additional time that you can spare. Read more.