Gig Etiquette – Set-Up and Breakdown Habits To Live By

Nearly every touring musician has at least one story about load-in or breakdown gone awry — that emotionally scarring gig where the venue promised a full drum kit but only delivered a broken snare drum, the festival slot when you expected fifteen minutes to set up but only got fifteen seconds, or that sickening post-gig moment when you realized your vintage Les Paul had grown legs and walked out of the club, all by itself. Read more.

Signal Processing For The Home Studio Owner: Part 1, Compressors, Limiters, and EQ

In addition to your microphones, DAW/console, and room, an essential part of any home studio set-up is your signal processing gear. These tools are necessary to create a professional-sounding final product. But for the new engineer, these effects can be fairly mysterious, and a tendency to overuse plug-ins and outboard gear is commonplace, especially for someone just learning the nuances of the art of recording. 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.

How To Ace The Music Audition – Ten Tips To Make You Shine When It Counts

Whether you’re auditioning for the biggest pop act in the world or the smallest band that nobody outside of a five-block radius has heard of, treat all auditions with the same level of rigor. "If you can’t be professional on a small scale, then you can’t be professional on large scale," says Kern Brantley, bassist for Lady Gaga. "If you come into a wedding band audition wearing the wrong clothes and hitting wrong notes, you’re going to do the same thing when you get the chance to audition for a super star." Read more.

Re-amping and Your Home Studio

ampRe-amping is a recording technique that can salvage or spruce up tracks recorded in a home studio or less-than-ideal recording environment. It’s also a great way to experiment with sounds and tones without having to constantly re-record a part. You can even totally reinvent a part without compromising the original track. The basic idea is to take a recorded track, send the signal to studio monitors or an amplifier, set up a mic, and record the “re-amped” track. Read more.

How to Record a Saxophone – Recording tips for the home studio and beyond

saxophoneWhen considering how to record brass and reed instruments – and when recording saxophone in particular – the player and the tone he’s able to get from the instrument are vitally important. If you’re recording a professional with a lot of studio experience who knows how to get certain tones out of the instrument, you’re going to have a very different approach than if you’re in a home studio recording someone who’s new to the instrument and playing stacked notes.

“Take Grover Washington, Jr., for example,” says Jon. “I had the good fortune to record sax with Grover on a session in the mid 90s. He was as good as it gets. His tone was amazing. You could pretty much put a mic anywhere and it was going to sound good because he could resonate his sax really well.” Read more.

press release

Press Kit Fundamentals – Press Release Writing Tips

Whether you’re announcing an exciting new collaboration on your latest album, or telling the world about that great festival gig you just booked, every artist’s marketing strategy needs to include a plan to spread the word to press, booking agents, promoters, club owners, music industry, and ultimately, fans. Enter the press release, the all-powerful written announcement that broadcasts the vitally important 5 Ws – who, what, where, why, and when – on your big news. Read more.

Press kit fundamentals – more band bio writing tips

As an artist or band, you’re going to be repeatedly forced to explain yourself. And you’re not going to go far if you’re unable to use words to communicate who you are, what you sound like, and why someone should care about you. In short, you’re going to need a press kit that includes an artist bio. The most important thing to remember is that a band bio is a professional sales tool that is part of your press package. 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.

Press Kit Fundamentals – How To Write A Compelling Artist Bio

Samson MicAs creative and expressive musical artists, we’d like to believe our music speaks for itself. It does, of course, but a well-crafted artist bio is still a necessary part of your press kit and promotional efforts. In addition to giving the reader a glimpse into your musical career/journey/accomplishments to date, an engagingly written band bio can increase the chances of your music getting heard, whether you’re approaching music journalists for press coverage, creating an electronic press kit, or just trying to draw in casual visitors to your website. Read more…

The Tip Jar Effect

The Tip Jar EffectRemember the Seinfeld episode where George goes to give the guy a tip at the pizza place, but the guy doesn’t see him put it in the jar and he tries to reach in and take his money back?

It’s funny because most of us can relate to it (well, hopefully not the part about reaching back into the jar!). If we’re being totally honest, when most of us give someone a tip we want them to see us doing it. We want them to feel like they’re getting hooked up and a part of us wants to be acknowledged for making a contribution. Read more…