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Archive for Music Industry RoundUp

The Music RoundUp is packed with brief summaries of what’s happening throughout the entire music business. From industry news to tips & tricks on production techniques, the RoundUp will help guide you to becoming a better musical artist.

Music Industry RoundUp – April 12th, 2012

 

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ARTIST EDITION

 

Finding the right manager

By, Bobby Borg

Peter Grant

Peter Grant

In the classic concert film The Song Remains the Same, there’s a famous scene where Led Zeppelin’s manager Peter Grant, a 270-pound former wrestler from East London, is backstage screaming at one of the promoters at Madison Square Garden. Needless to say, the promoter is backed in a corner and shaking in his boots! Many artists may think that an intimidating personal manager is exactly what they need. But…
Jeffrey Jampol, current manager of The Doors says, “The days of the Peter Grants in this business are over.” People in the music industry prefer to do business with nice guys. A manager must be able to nurture and maintain numerous relationships, while at the same time standing firm, being sensible, and demonstrating a strong knowledge of the business. (It’s a fine balance between ticking people off and not being a push-over.) If a manager walks into the record label and starts pounding desks, insisting that things get done his way, HE’S BOUND TO GET ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE!

So what are the most important qualities to look for in a manager? In addition to being powerful, well-connected, a good negotiator, enthusiastic, committed, and accessible, a good manager should be one who overall inspires your TRUST AND RESPECT.

This is from "Choosing the Right Manager" over at nimbit.com.

Bobby Borg is the author of “The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Music Business” which is available now in a store near you.

 

Vocal Health Basics – How to Properly Care for Your Voice

by Keith Hatschek over at Disc Makers blog, Echoes

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.

While we don’t normally think of singers as world-class athletes, some medical professionals are making the case that the demands put on one’s voice when singing one to three hours a night is as intense as those made by an Olympic marathon runner on his body. Additional factors such as nutrition, smoking, drug use, noisy environments, and proper voice training (or the lack of it) all play a role in a singer’s ability to hit the stage night after night and perform at their best.

Like many health-related issues, prevention is much easier and less expensive than having to undergo surgery, so it’s important to understand how to keep your voice in good health.

Superstars Losing Their Voices
During the last half of 2011, three major recording artists dropped out of circulation due to vocal health issues. Each developed a slightly different voice problem that required rest and eventually surgery.

Adele

Arguably, the most valuable voice in pop music at the moment, that of the talented British pop singer Adele, whose sophomore album 21 has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, was silenced when she was required to cancel seventeen US dates mid-tour and have laser surgery due to the condition of her vocal cords. While she is expected to make a full recovery, her condition is just one example of a high profile artist facing problems maintaining their vocal mechanism. Adele’s condition, reported in the press as two hemorrhages of the vocal cords (the terms vocal cords and vocal folds are often used interchangeably), was likely exacerbated by the stresses of touring.

 

You can find the rest of the "Vocal Health Basics" article at Echoes

 

Shredding is Great, But Know How to Play Melodies

by Ron Zabrocki, writer for Guitar World magazine.

 

Hi, gang! I'd like to preface this blog post with a statement:

This is being written from a studio player's point of view. I love shred. I love metal in every form. Some of my favorite guitarists are Greg Howe, Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan and Brent Mason.

Slow down. Melody is the key.

However, I've been noticing a trend amongst younger guitarists on YouTube and elsewhere; it's a distinct lack of melody. Speed, blazing technique, sweeps and taps are all fine and incredible and have my deepest respect. I know the hours of practice and dedication it takes to acquire these techniques. But in the studio world, the place where people hire you to play the way THEY want, these styles are rarely used.

I have asked many of my students to simply play "Happy Birthday" on guitar. MOST COULD NOT! It was a struggle from note to note. Here's something else I used to do in order to check how I was doing: (And this was wrong, I know, because I had no intention of joining ... but I did it anyway ... I was young and foolish and had an attitude.) I would audition for bands.

To learn how to play with more melody check out the rest of the article at Guitar World

 

Mixing tip: During the chorus, push the master fader.

 

Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin

Here’s a tip that I believe came from Rick Rubin.

We all know to push the elements in the chorus, right? It’s kind of a no-brainer. When mixing we usually bump the lead vocal, or whatever instrument is the main melody of the chorus, to separate it from the rest of the track and establish the hook. This is mixing 101. Well Mr. Rubin has gone one better…

The chorus is the money part of a song. Without a good hook in the chorus the listener won’t be inclined to stick around so now your “hit” song will would be just another song that they skip. Well Rick has a little trick up his sleeve that helps push the chorus even further…. He bumps the master fader!

You can finish reading about Rick's technique here on CrazyEye.com

 

Online Radio... Jumps 30 Percent in Past Year

A new study conducted by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research entitled "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms" found that the online weekly radio audience is now at an estimated 76 million Americans. The figure represents a more than 30% increase from a year ago and s 29% of the U.S. population.

"We've been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year's increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we've ever recorded. said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron, in a statement. "The increased demand for online audio content, and the ever-expanding variety of that content, shows that online radio continues to be a resilient, adaptive media for the changing needs of today's consumer,"

The new data also shows that Americans increasingly own smartphones (three times as many in the last two years), use Apple products and engage in social media (especially adults aged 45 and older).

Other specific takeaways from the study can be found at Billboard.biz

Music Industry RoundUp – March 22nd, 2012

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INDUSTRY NEWS: EMI Sues Cash Money Records.
EMI has sued Cash Money Records over late payments. According to a complaint filed by the major in the U.S Federal Court in the Southern District of New York, Cash Money has failed to make payments due to the major for undisclosed music it licensed, which apparently was connected to "Tha Carter III," the only Cash Money release named in the complaint.According to the court documents EMI first sued Cash Money on Nov. 29, 2009, for "direct, contributory and vicarious inducement of copyyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract," in a case that was ultimately settled on Feb. 17, 2010.
Read the entire article at Billboard.biz.

Kid Rock with Carson Daly

Kid Rock & Carson Daly

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT: Fan Friction - How The Internet is Failing Artists.
“Where the f*ck am I gonna go now to sell my records?”
That’s a musing from Kid Rock, as quoted by Carson Daly, after the final episode of TRL. Most people would instantly reply “the internet.” The internet, however, despite being a great tool for music discovery, has been poor, at best, at turning that discovery into actual fans.

The way things are set up now with Facebook and Twitter, very few artists have fans. Artists have plenty of “likes” and “followers,” but they don’t have the artist-fan relationship that’s needed to be as big as the acts of previous generations. Fans buy albums, concert tickets and t-shirts. Fans tell their friends about artists. The person who “liked” a Facebook page, who are they in relation to the artist? Are they really a fan?
Read the entire article at Adam's World.

The Rise of Indie Bands in Advertising

MUSIC MARKETING: The Rise of Indie Bands in Advertising.
While musicians and brands have long had a symbiotic relationship, the use of indie groups in advertising seems to be fast on the rise. Call it a marriage of convenience. Marketers in search of millennial currency, their growing need for digital content and a music industry still in chaos have helped create a scenario in which two once polar opposites are now happily attracted. And it's not just for flashier categories like auto and fashion. Indie artists (read: obscure bands connected or not to major labels) are now peddling life's less-sexy products, like hardware, detergent and health insurance.

Mega corporations using under-the-radar acts in TV spots is not a new phenomenon. During the 2000s, Apple, for one, cultivated a countercultural image when it became practically synonymous with breaking new artists, such as Feist with her "1234." But that was the exception, not the rule.
Read the entire article at Billboard.biz.

Music Industry RoundUp – March 3rd, 2012

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INDUSTRY NEWS: Grooveshark Files for Dismissal of Copyright-Infringement Case, Blasts Major Labels' Lawsuit
Music streaming service Grooveshark has reacted strongly to the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by three major labels. In an 18-page motion to dismiss, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Grooveshark's attorneys, Rosenberg & Giger P.C., call the majors' lawsuit "among the least informative and substantive pleadings imaginable."
Escape Media Group, Inc., parent company of Grooveshark, and Grooveshark's managers were sued for copyright infringement by Universal Music Group in November. Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment joined the lawsuit in December; EMI joined in January, although it is not named in the response.
Read the entire article here.

MIXING TIPS: Surround Sound Mixing. Guest post by Unne Lilijeblad
It’s been six years now since I took the plunge and invested in a complete Dynaudio Air 5.1 surround sound monitor system. At the time, I though that Surround Sound on DVD-Audio and SACD discs was going to take off among music consumers. That didn’t really happen.
Read the entire article here.

Music Industry RoundUp – February 23rd, 2012

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INDUSTRY NEWS: Roger Mincheff Named President Of Myspace Entertainment.
Myspace (www.myspace.com), a leading social entertainment destination that connects artists and fans with the content they crave, has tapped Roger Mincheff to lead Myspace Entertainment as president. Myspace Entertainment will be Myspace's internal production and entertainment division responsible for original programming and content.

MIXING TIPS: Walk Away From Your Mixes.
If we’re being honest, most of the time the best thing we can do for our mixes is to walk away. Whether you’re mixing for a client for your own material, we need to not only take breaks, but have a system in place that allows some separation to occur before we give our mixes the final seal of approval and “print” them. Start Your Mixes Fresh.
Read the entire article here.

MASTERING TIPS: 20 Tips On Home Mastering.
This isn't the most current article is this RoundUp, but the list is still very relavent.
Now that so many musicians are completing the entire album-making process in their own studios, mastering is becoming an increasingly important skill. Paul White offers a few pointers to becoming a Master of mastering.
Read the product specs here.

MUSIC PRODUCTION: Traditional vs. Fast Parallel Processing In Logic Pro.
Using parallel processing can be a great way to gain control over extreme effects and use them in your mix without worrying about over-cooking your signals. In Logic Pro (and many other DAWs) there are usually a few ways to set up parallel effects mixes. Here’s the lowdown.
Read the entire article here.
To learn more about parallel processing, namely parallel compression check out this Logic video on Mixing Electronica. That genre thrives on this technique.

MUSIC MARKETING: Branding vs. Positioning. Guest post by Cliff Zellman.
Lately, there has been an over abundance of self-injected philosophies on Branding... What I rarely hear being discussed is Positioning. Why? Maybe it’s not as sexy as branding. BRANDING! Wow that’s a cool word, so instant and so final at the same time. It sounds so powerful. This is MINE!

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT: Musician Press Kits (Some Suggestions to Get Them Opened).
The first step to creating a good press kit is to package what you've got in a way that it will be opened. I've gotten some pretty "extreme" packages over the years, and those work, but there are also more subtle ways to stand out, which is what I'll be looking at here.
Read the entire article here.

THE LISTENING ROOM: Music Recommendation - Lucky Soul "A Coming of Age"
I've been a fan of this band for quite some time now. They have a 60's vibe going with all of the elements of a classic Motown group. They have the horns, twangy guitar, nah-nah singsong breakdowns and that unmistakable lead vocal slap delay. Having been in advertising for more than 15 years now I can't figure out why "Get Outta Town" was not in more ads. It's a perfect fit for any brand looking to promote a great time. And let's not forget about "White russian Doll" and "Woah, Billy". Both are good time jams, indeed. (Disclosure: The links in the Listening Room for Lucky Soul are affiliate links.)

Lucky Soul "A Coming of Age"

Lucky Soul "A Coming of Age"

Wishing you all the best and happy music making.
-dave

 

Music Industry RoundUp – February 16th, 2012

Here's your CrazyEye Music Services, Music Industry RoundUp for February 16th, 2012.


INDUSTRY NEWS: Grammy gala to celebrate Branson's music achievements.
Virgin Group's Richard Branson will be honoured at a pre-Grammy Awards bash next month, receiving the Recording Academy's President Merit Award at the Pre-Grammy Gala dinner hosted by the Academy and veteran US record industry exec Clive Davis.

MIXING TIPS: A case for mixing at a lower volume.
Joe Gilder of Home Studio Corner sits down with Graham Cochrane of The Recording Revolution to talk about how mixing at a lower volume really can make for a better sounding mix. In the latest podcast Joe did with Graham, one of their 5 mixing "hacks" was to mix at lower volumes.

MASTERING TIPS: iZotope's OZONE 5 is out! Get a look at the latest features.
iZotope's complete mastering system in a single integrated plug-in includes eight essential mastering tools: Maximizer, Equalizer, Multiband Dynamics, Multiband Stereo Imaging, Post Equalizer, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Reverb, and Dithering.
Ozone 5 Advanced adds 6 additional component plug-ins, extended features in every module, and an entire suite of configurable meters. Read the product specs here.

MUSIC PRODUCTION: Create a Drummer Friendly Audio Click Track in Logic Pro.
There's an excellent range of drum synths and drum instrument plug-ins out there, not just for electronica, but for acoustic and 'guitar-based' rock and pop. This makes it quite possible to program your own drum patterns with most of the frills, intricacies and nuances that a real drummer brings to the table. And while that's great when you're sketching out an arrangement in the studio, when playing live or recording your final song, it's more than likely you'll want to have a real, human 'stick twirling' drummer to rely on.Read the entire article here.
To learn more about Logic you can view this video for its core functions.

MUSIC MARKETING: Twitter Tip for Musicians: 'Slow and Steady' Joins the Twitter Race.
For musicians that want to use Twitter in order to promote your albums and shows, here's one very important tip that often gets overlooked: stick with it!Picture this- an album is finished- YOUR album- you've been recording in the studio for months, wrestling each note into its right place, sweating over every detail; in short, you've created a masterpiece and it's ready for the world!

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT: The Reality of Artist Development Deals at Major Labels.
Owen Husney is a musician, artist manager, and concert promoter based in Minneapolis. He was Prince's first manager, and the person who arranged the famous contract with Warner Brothers which allowed Prince nearly unprecedented creative control over his music. Read the entire article here.

THE LISTENING ROOM: Music Recommendation - Seth McFarlane "Music is Better Than Words"
I am a huge fan of Seth McFarlane and this album puts him a few levels higher. This record is reminiscent of the days when Frank, Deano and Sammy ruled the scene. McFarlane and the production team did such a great job on this that the Grammy's took note. If you're into dames, martinis and great arrangements this one is for you. It's a solid modern-throwback.


Wishing you all the best and happy music making.
-dave

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