Let’s Pay Music Artists Less – The Fight for Internet Radio Fairness Ain’t Done Yet

Late last year, at the urging of Pandora radio and other tech industry players, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) co-sponsored the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA). The bill got such a late start that it failed to make it out of committee during the 2012 Congressional year. It also fared poorly at a Congressional hearing in late November 2012, but sources such as Billboard warn that the bill isn’t dead so much as “hibernating.” 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.

music licensing

Music licensing and leveraging your songs

If you are an aspiring songwriter, the promise of earning a steady stream of music royalties from the use of your songs is just that – a promise. Assuming that you’ve written songs that have the potential to attract an audience, and likewise a potential user of your songs (a licensee), understanding the numerous avenues available to license your original song is the next step on the road to earning money from your compositions. Read more.

To capture the tone of Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Tom Petty – stay out of the way

Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersRichard Dodd is a transplanted Englishman who marches to the beat of a different drummer. Known and respected for his work with artists such as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Green Day, Jeff Lynne, Clannad, George Harrison, Keith Urban, and The Traveling Wilburys, he spends most of his time at his studio in the Berry Hill suburb of Nashville mixing and mastering a wide variety of artists. His work on Petty’s 1995 album, Wildflowers, earned the Best Engineered Recording Grammy, while 2001’s Nothing Personal by Delbert McClinton earned the Best Contemporary Blues Recording Grammy. 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.

NAMM Notes, Day 3: Peavey’s auto-tuned guitar, a new ribbon mic from AT, and another awesome stomp box

BC RIchBy Saturday, many of us are moving a bit more slowly than we were on the first day of the NAMM show. Evenings are filled with friends, live music, and a libation – or two. By day three, experienced NAMM attendees have made up a short list of products that we may have heard of from another attendee or read about in the NAMM daily, which is packed with new product announcements. Read more.

NAMM Notes, Day 2: Vintage Vibe’s Rhodes coup, LouderLogic app, and a DJ revolution in the Emulator DVS

EmulatorMy final product for Day Two is something called the Emulator DVS. The Emulator is a whole new way to look at MIDI control, especially for the DJ market. Whatever combination of mixers, turntables, CD players, video, or DAW programs you’re using, the Emulator combines them on a display with a fully customizable touch screen that can withstand the rigors of nightly performances. This is one of the coolest products I saw at NAMM 2012. Read more.

Notes from NAMM 2012: Day 1, Apps, Harpejjis, and Delays

Delay LlamaIt’s January 19th. It’s 65º and sunny and I’m standing in line with a few thousand other musicians. Ah, Anaheim. Time for the annual ritual known as NAMM.

This year’s show drew 95,000 attendees and more than 1,400 exhibitors. Amidst the sore feet, schlepped shoulder bags, and (too tight) spandex on some of the aging rock stars in attendance, it’s a heck of a party and a real look ahead at what music products will be making waves in the coming year. So what products caught my ears and eyes at this year’s NAMM? Read more.

Vocal Health Basics

Vocal Health Basics – How to Properly Care for Your Voice

It seems that hardly a month goes by where a top singer isn’t forced to interrupt a tour, take a break, or undergo a medical procedure due to problems with their voice. Vocal health is often taken for granted, but once problems develop, they can stop a singer dead in his or her tracks, and in some cases require surgery and a lengthy post-surgery period of rest and recovery. Read more…

2012 Gear Guide: Four pieces of music gear priced under $300

Samson Mic Time for our year-end round up of music equipment for your wish list that’ll offer outstanding value without breaking the piggy bank. We’ll take a look at music gear that includes an innovative router to help you make maximum use of your guitar pedals, a great USB microphone, an eight-track recorder, and a dock to help convert your iPad into a recording hub. To help me select this year’s picks, I consulted one of my own music tech gear gurus, Bob Furlong, Sales Engineer at Fort Wayne, IN-based Sweetwater Sound.
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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…