Reverbnation, Tunecore, and CDbaby

Posted: February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

So I personally have used all three of these tools, and they can help a musician out tremendously. Reverbnation is great for connecting with new fans, and other bands from around the country, and the world. This is very helpful for those musicians/bands that are setting up tours themselves. It gives you the platform to network and do show trades with these bands. They set you up a show in their town, and you in turn set them up with a show in your home town. So many bands/musicians fail in this area because they don’t realize the power they actually have at their finger tips. They get it into their heads that the record labels are the only people that can help them put together a tour. With the power of the internet, there is really no need for the labels. Thanks to great tools like Reverbnation, CDBaby, and Tunecore, you can distribute your music, and set up tours. You will gain fans through these wonderful tools, and you can network for years. The great thing about networking with other bands in different cities, is they will introduce you to all their fans, and promote you as a touring act. This gets people in the doors at these shows all over the country, and even the world. These tools can work just the way you want them to, but you have to actually be willing to put the time in. It only works if you are willing to put the time in, if you only get on there a few times a year, you won’t really go anywhere. But if you spend a few hours a day contacting people, are really trying hard, you can go somewhere with these tools. The great thing about them, is your future is completely in your hands.

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Since the invention of electronic music, a lot of musicians talent in this day and age, has gone drastically downhill. This doesn’t mean that all electronic artists are untalented, but in my opinion, there are a lot that are. If you take bands like NIN, they are a truly talented band, but if you look at people like Kanye West, he doesn’t have true musical talent. NIN actually plays real instruments, but they add in the electronic stuff, whereas Kanye relies completely on computer programming to make his music. You can have zero musical talent these days, and make a living labeled as a musician because of computer programs. You also have musicians like Justin Bieber that can actually play instruments. I am not a fan of him or his music, but I can’t deny the fact that he knows how to play more than one instrument, and can write music on them. Then you have someone like Kanye, where is his talent?? Can he actually sing, or does Melodine take care of that also. I would be REALLY surprised if I found out that he had an actual singing voice.

These days you have the whole DJ trend, and so many of them have zero musical talent. You do have those few that actually know how to write on a real instrument, and choose to make their music in this electronic world of music. I consider them, true musicians along side a musician that plays guitar, bass, keyboard, etc, etc. But there are so many DJ’s that can only take another musicians work, and add it to another musicians work. Then they add some computer generated things so they can call it their own, but let’s face it, that isn’t very difficult. The world sure has accepted this new trend in music, but as a person who plays a real instrument, I struggle with them being called musicians.

So this comes more from my opinion, than scientific research. Now if we shift into the whole Pop world, you have so many talented musicians. Most of them are musicians because they have a singing voice, but there are a lot that also play a musical instrument. They work on the piano, or guitar, and write out their idea so they can then create it in the digital world. I can accept them as musicians. If they actually have a voice, but can’t really play an instrument, they are still musicians because their voice is their instrument. It does take true talent to sing, but those that rely on Melodine, are just frauds.

This subject could obviously be argued in so many different ways, but this is just from my perspective.

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           So you might be asking who this person is, it is Trent Reznor from NIN (Nine Inch Nails). So there are a lot of people that would say his whole Connect With Fans (CwF) + Reason To Buy (RtB) model is a stroke a genius. I have to agree with that statement, if more bands would follow his model, they could do so much better than they are now. Yeah there are people who say it is only a good thing for big name acts, but they are dead wrong, and most likely lazy.

           So reading this article from Techdirt (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090719/2246525598.shtml), I found it interesting that they took this model and used it in their industry. You could even say that this was a smart move on their part, because so many business models can be used in different fields, and have just as much success.

           As I read the article I had a thought pop into my head, what do bands have to loose by trying this? I mean, the bands that are on a local level, not any prospects to go anywhere outside of a dive bar once every few months, how could it hurt them to try this? In my opinion it can only hurt them NOT to try this. But these bands go out and play a show, have one person come up and tell them that they are awesome, and they think they are big rockstars that will be in an arena playing a show 6 months from that date. All because some drunk jack ass told them he liked their music. But lets face it, only those bands that say thank you, and keep their head down busting their ass, can MAYBE go somewhere. But to make it, you have to have a strong business plan, and market yourselves to appeal to everyone. That’s where this model can help those bands that are willing to work hard for it. I can’t give any guarantee, but if your not going anywhere, why not just go for it, and try this?

So the WWW has both hurt musicians, and helped them. The way that it helped them is they can have their music reach more potential fans. This is turn can increase their album sales, merch sales, and help bring more fans to their shows. Through hard word, they can create profiles on all the websites geared to exposing more artists, and musicians. You have websites like, garageband.com, reverbnation.com, myspace, facebook, indie.com, itunes, tunecore.com, etc, etc. People looking to find new music and bands, can go to these websites and explore them and listen to artists/bands. Through these websites people can be directed to the website of those bands/musicians to learn of tour dates, album releases, and buy merchandise. They can also be directed to their music on itunes or spotify. They can also contact the bands/musicians directly for more information (as long as the band/musicians post contact info).

Bands/musicians can have their music heard from people all over the world, thanks to the WWW websites. No longer do bands have to walk the streets in every town they want get exposure in. What normally takes years to get fans, can now take week to months, just by uploading their music to different websites. This also can help the bands bypass the record labels, and make it in the music industry. They no longer are going to pray to have a record contract presented to them. This means the music industry in both hurting, and growing, These websites give people exposure to more and more bands/artists, but it also means the competition is also accessible.

So as you have read this, you may be asking yourself how this is hurting bands/musicians? Well, that is pretty easy to answer. Bands/musicians are so accessible, that it is harder for people to find your music. If you go onto any of the above websites, you can spend weeks if not months, finding more and more bands. The WWW has made it so any band can go on and upload their music. So people have to sift through hundreds, if not thousands of bands, before they find you. As you gain popularity, you will move up in the ranks, so it gets easier and easier to find your band.

It also makes the bands lazy, and they only communicate through the web, so then when they are playing a show, they won’t know who you are. So many bands communicate so much online, when they are playing a show, they can’t communicate very well because they don’t have the social skills. Plus, because of the bands becoming more and more lazy, they aren’t working as hard to promote their show, and music. They think a simple post on Facebook will bring fans to their shows. Some people will see those posts, and make it to the shows or buy your new album, but most will never see those posts, and never make it to the shows, or buy your new album. Bands/musicians are relying heavily on the WWW to make it, and get mad that their 2 minutes a day promoting, doesn’t make them rockstars. Those that spend hours and hours every day, have a better chance of getting big, but thats still no guarantee. Also websites like itunes, can hurt your album sales because people only buy 1 or 2 songs. When you spend thousands and thousands of dollars on recording an album, and then people only buy 1 or 2 songs, it takes those songs selling 10x’s over, to make back your money. But if they only sell albums in full, it is so much easier to make your money back, so you can start turning a profit.

So as you can see, the whole WWW has been amazing for musicians, but it is also hurting them. I personally have had great success because of the WWW, but it has also turned around and hurt me. The fall of myspace was a huge hit for my band, and so many other bands. There are no guarantee that these websites will always be there, and so many bands don’t realize that. So this WWW can truly make and break bands/musicians. It is up to you to find the happy medium between actual footwork, and web promoting. Nobody can tell you what bands/musicians will make it off the WWW, or if they have a better chance going out and physically introducing fans to their music. All I can tell you is, good luck!!!

The First Project I Did At BEAU

Posted: January 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

My first semester at BEAU I took Desktop Productions I, and we were tasked with making a 6-10 minute video for our final project. We could work alone, or team up with 1-2 other students. So I teamed up with Judith and Alex, and we worked on making this video. We took something that is from my life, which was the ordeal me and my son (more my son) went through after he was finally able to tell me why he was bruised all the time. It wasn’t an easy project, but I think it came together pretty nice. Since I was coming to BEAU for audio, I wanted to write and record the music that would play in the video. So I contacted a buddy Jason, and we wrote and recorded the song. It seemed more fitting than just grabbing a song from a band, and putting it in the video.

Recording the video didn’t seem like it was very time consuming, but editing it was. We had a lot of cool ideas, but as you all know, sometimes those ideas don’t fall into place. But the overall product turned out pretty solid.

Here it is.

The Spawn of the Internet

Posted: January 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Since the spawn of the internet that we all use everyday, the world has drastically changed. Some would argue it has changed for the better, and some would argue it’s for the bad. For me, I see it as both good and bad. I remember 25 years ago, there was no such thing as cyber bullying, or online dating. You couldn’t buy things from a computer, get emails from friends and family, look up news, or just surf the web for anything. Yeah there were computers, but they weren’t anything like what a computer is today. I remember only seeing a computer as something to type up something in a word processor. There were no games, or a way to download your pictures to your computer.

If you would have told me that one day computers would replace movie rentals, or stream music & movies, I would have told you that you were off your meds and needed to get back to the looney bin for jello Tuesday. Consumer computers have become such the norm these days, it’s hard to imagine those days when there was no internet, google, and no Facebook. Yes there was a life before Facebook, and it was awesome.

If you wanted to know how somebody was, you would call them, or go over to their house. Nobody knew what Farmville or Candy Crush Saga was (just that made it a better life, no Facebook game invites). But now, the internet has put so much information, and accessibility at our fingertips. You can have face to face conversations with someone on the other side of the world using your phone, and the internet. You don’t have to leave your house to go shopping for anything. You can even surf the internet sites, and find a date or mail order bride. The internet has even caused divorces (Facebook, Porn, etc, etc).

It’s is crazy to look at everything, and realize that the internet we know today, was introduced in the mid 90’s. In the 50’s, ARPA was created and linked computers through a network, but I am talking about consumer internet. I still remember how strange the whole “You Got Mail” things was. People talked about how futuristic it was. This became so hot, they made a movie about it with Tom Hanks.

Now we just send and recieve emails from our phones, and don’t think twice about it. Just imagine what it would be like with no Google or Bing. Back when I was a kid, if you had a question about something, you went to the library, and/or looked in an encyclopedia (those are a book that has information in alphabetical order, and a set was 20+ big heavy books). It was basically a printed version of Google. There used to be salesman that would go door to door and sell these sets, now you just grab your phone and open up Google Chrome.

So when I said that the internet was a good thing, I am talking about the vast knowledge at our fingertips, and accessibility of things. As stated above, the negatives are, people have become lazy because of the access to things, and kids just type a what they are looking for into Google, and have the information in seconds, and they loose the hard work aspect that searching and reading did for you. Think how much harder people would work these days, if they actually had to work to do school work. Yeah we work hard studying, but back in my day, you really had to put time and energy into studying.

As with most things, there are pro’s and con’s to things. The internet is no exception to that, hell if it wasn’t for the internet, you wouldn’t be reading this awesome blog 🙂 I guess your taking the good with the bad with reading this, but you will be the judge as to which of those this blog is. Just try and unplug from the internet, and go see the beauties of the world in real life. Then you can google to recall those precious memories.

So that is my little rant on the internet, and what it is doing in the world.

Who am I?

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

Well it sometimes isn’t easy to talk about myself, but I will give it a try. I am 38 years old and am a single parent of an 11 year old son. I am a major hockey fan (GO KINGS GO!!!!!), and played hockey most of my life. When I was younger and getting into hockey, I chose to be a kings fan because of the great Wayne Gretzky. I am also a Detroit Rewings fan, and Nashville Predators fan.

I love riding motorcycles, and spending time in my garage staring at my bike trying to think of what more customization I can do to it.Those staring sessions have gotten really expensive, but it is almost finished. Then I will just buy another bike, and begin the process all over again.

I normally wouldn’t consider myself a gamer, but in all reality, I am a gamer. I love playing games like Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto V, and  NHL 15.But since I started school a year ago, I don’t play as much as I used to play. On my breaks though, I play the hell out of those games.

I love to travel all over the world, and see what the world has to offer. I have lived in 4 countries in my life, and I enjoyed every minute of those parts of my life. I love taking my son to different places, and seeing his reaction to different places.

I love to watch movies, and listen to music. I love all kinds of movies, and all kinds of music. Some people hate it when I have my Ipod going, because it can go from Slayer, to Chris Ledoux, to Enya. I have pretty much every style of music, except Opera. I am NOT a fan of opera or musicals.

I have hazel eyes and brown hai……………………(Why does this feel like I am writing a dating profile???)

So that is a little bit about me, and my life.

Later!!

It is crazy how different the world is coming from being recorded and doing live sound, to stepping behind the scene and now doing the recording. Recording was always something I was intrigued with, and always asked a lot of questions when I was in a recording session.
I really thought for a long time that live sound and recording were similar, and the knowledge I had doing live sound would transfer into recording. Some things did transfer, but overall it was totally different. But then again after 20 years of playing in bands, I can use that and interact with bands better, because I was once there, and remember those experiences.

I am going to school at Broadview University under the Broadview Entertainment and Arts University or BEAU for short. They have a pretty solid program, and a nice studio to learn in. After being here for a year, I am feeling more and more comfortable about Audio Engineering. It was a little overwhelming at first, but I am very willing to learn all I can.

Since I played drums for over 25 years, I am am used to having to listen really hard to hear the rest of the band, I think that is one advantage I have in learning to record bands. If you have ever played out in a bar or club, you know how crappy the monitors are, and for drummers, it is the absolute worst. I think club/bar owners think that drummers don’t need to hear anything, because we are in the back, and they just don’t understand what the drummer actually does. The sad thing about this, is when a drummer can’t hear the band, the band doesn’t sound good, and so people don’t spend much money, causing the bar/club to lose money. How many times would you keep going to a bar to listen to a band, when all the bands sound like shit? Even though the bands could be really good, you won’t know unless you hear them away from that bar/club.

So sound is key, to any successful recording or live show. If you are wanting to learn this field, really pay attention to every concert, every band on the radio, or every CD you listen to. Really pick apart each instrument, what they are doing, why is it sounding good, and what happened to make it sound good.

Also I want to share one last little thing, if you want to get into either recording, or live sound, take some psychology courses. Band members can be really difficult to deal with, so learning to stroke their ego to get better performances, and thig big thing, make your job easier.

Good luck!!