How to make YouTube work for you

The playbook will help you build an audience on YouTubeOnce you dive into learning the proven techniques that have helped bands to dramatically boost their fan base and build an audience on YouTube, you’ll begin to understand how to develop an overriding video strategy and leverage the power of the platform. The best place to start learning is the YouTube “Creator Playbook” that spells out how successful creators conceive, produce, publish, and promote their content. Read more.

Retaining your master rights is smart business.

Retaining your master rights is smart business

Songwriters – or more correctly, copyright holders – have always been compensated for the use of their songs, whether it was via traditional radio or new streaming services. With the rise of more and more new outlets for music consumption, master rights are an essential asset to leverage for artists and labels to earn money. Read more.

great live music performance

A Great Live Music Performance Requires More Than Being Rehearsed

In part one of our interview with live performance producer Tom Jackson, we learn that most artists never learn to see themselves from the audience perspective. Once a record is done, the focus shifts to hitting the road. When that artist hits the stage, adrenaline is pumping, the band sounds tight, everyone is locked in, so it’s natural to think, “Everything is good.” That’s not always the case. Read More.

vintage guitars

Vintage guitars for fun, profit, and a little piece of history

Take for instance the Kalamazoo line of student instruments from Gibson. Manufactured in the 1960s, the KG-1 (single pickup) and KG-2 (dual pickup) solid body guitars first featured a Fender Mustang style body and then morphed to an SG-style body. They featured a Fender style headstock, rosewood fretboard, and maple neck, with all the tuners on one side. They were built using regular Gibson components as a budget line instrument to hook young players on the Gibson style and sound. Nearly 24,000 of the KG-1 and -2 were manufactured, so they are not so rare as to be impossible to find. Read more.

How Taylor Guitars are made

How Taylor guitars are made

How many million guitarists pick up an acoustic guitar and use it to perform, compose, practice, teach, or simply to relax in a single day? But most of us never really stop and think about how the guitar in our hands was actually transformed from a tree into a musical instrument. Read more.

Home Studio: Gear from Shure, Mackie, and PreSonus That Won’t Break the Bank

MackieMR5The dividing line between what used to be referred to as “home studio” vs. “professional” recording gear is barely discernable – and the performance and specs of nearly all of the contenders in the home recording marketplace are now near parity. As a result, the differences that distinguish one model from another are often the user interface, the quality of tech support, and whether or not there’s an established user base that can offer ideas and tips for how best to use any particular system. Read more.

Performance Contracts: For private events, weddings, and special performances, a band contract is key.

Imagine this scenario: Your band agrees to play at a private event at a local hall for a healthy fee. You learn six new songs requested by the person that hired you and are counting on the gig and the fee you will earn. Two days before the show, you get a text message saying that the gig is off because of a mix-up between the person throwing the party and the owner of the hall. What do you do? Read more…

Copyright basics

Copyright basics: exclusive rights, licensing lingo, and more

So you’ve written a new song. It may have the potential to be a hit, but one thing is certain: it makes sense to properly protect your song if you hope to profit from its recording and public performance. How do music copyrights work? What is required to have ownership of your song’s copyright? Why should you register it with the Library of Congress? What are some of the common music licenses that generate income for songwriters? Read more

Do You Need a Direct Box for Home Recording?

01_HosaSidekicksmVirtually all of today’s home recording digital audio interfaces allow easy connection of microphones as well as various high impedance sound sources such as an electric guitar, bass or keyboard. But are you really getting the best possible sound quality plugging your instrument directly into these interfaces? This month we’ll do a test recording of bass guitar using a typical digital audio home recording interface, and then add a direct box into the equation to see what difference, if any, such a device makes in the quality of the sound. Read more…

Are Dynamics Dead in Popular Music?

Since the earliest compressors were conceived and built, the ability to modify, control, and maximize the dynamic range of a musical performance has been the quest of many an audio engineer. In the early days of audio, limits on a recording’s overall dynamic range were dictated by vinyl – the state of the art in music delivery until the CD’s debut in 1982. Today, with virtually all music being recorded and massaged in a digital environment, it’s become standard operating procedure to limit, compress, or maximize the dynamic range of a track or an entire mix. Read more…