All Posts by _bayland

About the Author

_bayland brings years of recording studio experience to Studio 411. He has worked with numerous independent artists, major label acts and been fully immersed in the music business since graduating from Full Sail University. Other than his experience, Chris brings great conversation, wit and a strong enthusiasm for Peaky Blinders.

Jul 25

Music Distribution: A Guide To Get Your Music On Spotify

By _bayland | Music Marketing , Tips

Music Distribution: A Guide To Get Your Music On Spotify

 

Spotify playlist’s are one of the top opportunities for an artist to reach a new audience. It’s no wonder so many artists are pushing to get their music on Spotify and other streaming services. We will talk a little bit more about how to place yourself in the best position to be selected for a playlist on a future blog post, but for now just know that you’ll always benefit from affordable mixing and mastering by Studio 411. For a limited time try them free here.

One of the biggest questions we get asked is our opinion on what distribution service is the best choice for them. We will just give you the facts. There’s a lot of factors to choose from so we decided to lay things out in a way that was easy to understand. That way, you can make the decision on what the best solution is for you.

The only one take away from all of this information is to choose one and try not to switch to another one in the future. That will cause all kinds of trouble in branding, profiles and well everything else. Lets get started:

AWAL (Artists Without A Label)

AWAL might be for you if you’re trying to get your music on Spotify playlists. They don’t take any fees for putting up your music on streaming services, but charge a 15% commission (15% of everything you earn goes to AWAL). Also, they offer one of the best analytics report tools of all.

+ Possibilities to get your music on playlists

+ No additional fees

– Must be accepted to get in

Pricing: 15% commission

 

Distrokid

Distrokid allows you to upload as many tracks as you want for a yearly membership fee. The cool thing about them is that they don’t make commission from your music – you get all the money you earn from your music. Unfortunately they don’t offer marketing help or playlist plugging possibilities.

+ No commission (you get all the money you earn)

+ You can upload as many songs as you wish for one yearly price

+ They’re about to introduce SMS message marketing tools for artists

– No additional marketing help for artists who gain traction

Pricing: $20 per year membership fee

 

Tunecore

Tunecore is the service for you if you’re interested in proper revenue and analytics reports. They’re very easy to use, detailed and helpful. Although they take no commission the price is a bit higher compared to Distrokid.

+ No commission

+ Very good revenue and analytics reports

Pricing: $30 first year, $50 next years

 

LANDR

LANDR is a company which offers an automated mastering service. If you’re already their subscriber you can distribute your music to all streaming services for free. They also offer you possibilities to get your music on Spotify playlists which is very nice.

+ No commission

+ Possibilities to get your music on playlists

+ Free for LANDR Mastering subscribers

– Does not provide mechanisms for you to release a cover song

Pricing: $1/month ($12/year) minimum. $3/month ($36/year) gives you access to all streaming sercvices

BTW before you use LANDR for mastering, read our blog: Don’t Try Landr Without Reading this First

 

CD Baby

CD Baby was one of the first ever services to let DIY musicians release their music in a physical format like CD or Vinyl and get it to record shops around the world. Nowadays they also let you release music on streaming services and you can do it all in one place.

+ It’s a “one stop shop” to get your music on streaming services as well as physically in stores (CD, Vinyl)

– No marketing help for artists who gain traction

Pricing: $5 per single, $20 per album + 9% commission

 

Jul 01

5 Little Known Ways To Build Your Music Career

By _bayland | Music Marketing , Tips

5 Little Known Ways To Build Your Music Career

 

Every artist wants to know how to “make it” big in the music industry. There isn’t a secret formula to make it happen, but there are definitely proven ways to get you there. Here are our top tips for independent musicians to skyrocket their success. Follow these few steps and you too will see massive results in your music career.

Stop waiting for a record label

Many musicians who sign to a major record label never actually end up releasing music. Some artists end up getting “shelved” and the artist can not release those songs through another label. Labels can drop an artist as quickly as they signed them.

I don’t know a single person that will give away millions of dollars in cash and resources on a single gamble. Too many artists rely on the hard work of someone else to get them where they want to be. No one is going to do the hard work for you. Concentrate on doing your own thing and don’t worry about chasing a deal. Nowadays, major labels hardly ever sign an artist without a successful independent career behind them.

Don’t assume that major labels know the secrets of the industry, or that signing a record deal is even a good idea. There’s no guarantee you’ll get “famous” if you sign a record deal. Many artists owe record labels money after all is set and done.

Marketing, Brand Identity & Awareness

Develop a system to put yourself and your music in front of a new audience. Whether that’s through live performances or social groups, getting your music in front of as many new people as possible will increase the likeliness of them following your career.

Get yourself some professional graphics that you can use across all your promotional channels; from your website and social media accounts, to your posters, flyers, business cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse mats and more! Creating amazing graphics is cheaper if you’re a professional at Adobe Photoshop. If not, you’ll be better off hiring an experienced graphic designer.

You want your logos and branding to become recognizable. If they look great, people will be more willing to buy your t-shirt when they’re browsing through your merchandise. A strong brand identity will help develop a strong brand awareness.

Connect with fans

There is no substitute to building a strong relationship with your fans. It is the most important aspect to build your success as an independent artist. As you grow your fan base, you’ll need to sustain and connect with your listeners both online and in person.

Your amazing live set is a must have for an great first impression. It’ll help you win over new fans and keep them interested in your upcoming music. Remember that the show is key, but connecting with them off stage is just as important.

Online, you’ll need to make sure to post regularly and interact with your audience as often as possible. Not only should you post interesting content, but replying and interacting with your fans is crucial.

Play to your strengths

If stage presence is your strong suit, you could try and secure a residency at a local venue. A regular gig slot puts your music in front of new people every week, and earns you extra cash to fund your career.

If you’ve got a creative mind and know your way around a camera and editing software, why not focus on a Youtube Channel/Vlog?

Maybe you’re a great writer and want to feature your music on your blog. The possibilities are endless!

Do not ignore streaming

Getting playlisted on Spotify and Apple Music is an invaluable (and free) way to put your music in front of new listeners. Some artists have reservations about putting their music on streaming platforms, but it’s a fantastic way to get known and reach new fans as an unsigned artist.

Jun 24

How Putting in Your 10k Hours Will Find Your Niche

By _bayland | Music Marketing , Tips

How Putting in Your 10k Hours Will Find Your Niche

 

Everyone is curious to know if they’re truly found the right audience for their music. We put in a lot of time to perform and refine our sound. We put ourselves out there to see if it really sticks, but how do we really know if we’ve truly found our niche?

A lot of what defines our niche is a balance between our creativity and the audience that follows the music we create. If the music changes, so does the audience. How do we find our place in the market so to speak? Here are a few things to think about:

 

1. Where have you invested your time?

 

If you want to know where to invest your time, simply look at where you have already invested your time. Lets say, for example, in the last few years you might have learned how to play an instrument for one or two hours a day. Or you might have wrote songs in a certain style. Or you might have spent a lot of time on production.

Those are good signs of where you should invest your 10,000 hours. You already invest part of that 10,000 hours so you only need to invest the rest. The difference is now you do it consciously and deliberately. You will be more effective that way.

A key thing in finding your niche is putting in your 10k hours. If you want to work on a your marketing skills and songwriting skills, you’ll need to invest the same amount of time on both to reach those 10K hours. For example, if you spend 1 hour on production, and 1 hour on marketing 5 days a week, you’ll reach your 10k hours in 41.6 years. Here are some more examples:

2 hours/day x 7 days/week = 14.8 years

4 hours/day x 5 days/week = 10.4 years

(you get the point)

 

2. What are your passions?

 

10,000 hours is an astonishing amount of time. Finding the motivation to stick to one thing for that amount of time is vastly difficult. Actually, that’s the reason why 10,000 is the magic number for world-class expertise. Most people never even reach that number. Only a select few actually reach the 10,000 hours mark and that’s why they become world class.

If you’re doing something you love to do, reaching the 10,000 hours mark will be a lot easier.  You’ll be able to get through the tough times, and earn some grit. It will help you overcome complacency. If you’re not doing something you love, it isn’t likely that you’ll ever reach the 10k hours mark.

 

3. What opportunities does the age give you?

 

In the book, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, he shows that your birth date has significant influence on your success. Gladwell shows that being born in mid 1950s is great if you want to be a computer entrepreneur. In the mid 1970s when the personal computer came to fruition, you’d be in good position to hedge that market. You wouldn’t have been too old that you already had an established job with older generations of computers. Neither would you have been too young to have the necessary skills to take advantage of the opportunity.

What opportunities does your birth date give you? What opportunities do you have right now? What opportunity is currently open for you?

Answering these questions is not easy because it’s difficult to see whether or not something will be hot. When Bill Gates did his 10,000 hours of practice to learn programming, he might not know that it would eventually put him in a perfect position to be a software mogul. You need to have faith in something and believe that the dots will eventually connect. In Steve Jobs’ words:

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something ”” your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

 

 

Jun 19

You Too Can Grow Your Fan Base In Record Time

By _bayland | Music Marketing , Tips

You Too Can Grow Your Fan Base In Record Time

 

Lets face it, you’ve spent months refining your music. The release is only the beginning and you need an audience to release it to, but the question remains. How do you grow a fan base? Here’s a few tips that will get you started on how to grow your fan base in record time.

It’s all too common to spend months working on your EP, carefully crafting every detail of your musical masterpiece. The marketing dilemma is this: When it’s time, you set your release for digital distribution, stoked for the world to hear what you created. A few days after the release; no one knew, or had any clue that you’d made an album.

When artists start their recording projects, “marketing” is often overlooked. Many artists don’t even think past the initial release. As you start working on your release plan, the most important question to ask yourself is “who cares?”

In the traditional marketing world, it’s known as your “target” – your target demographic is the group of people who will value the music you’re releasing. In the music industry, this group is more commonly known as your fan base; they’re the ones who care the most.

Your family and your friends aren’t always a part of your fan base. It’s important not to factor them in too much as you think about your target fan base. When you’re just starting out, absolutely invite friends and family to support you, but don’t stop there. As you begin to meet new people who love your music, the key will be to give them good vibes that actually resonate.

When it comes to your fans, there are two key things to consider: how to get them & how to engage them.

 

How to get new fans

 

Start by thinking about how you discover new music and artists… is it online? Is it through friends? What sources do you trust, and where do you go to find new music? Write a list of places you like to discover new artists, then flip it around and consider how people can find you.

No matter what genre describes your sound, there are people who love the type of music you’re creating. Think about where those people hang out. You’re trying to give them music that matches their interests. What blogs or playlists do you think will reach the people that might listen to your music? Is there a Facebook group for the best indie folk metal?

Once you know where your fans hang out online, there are *free* things you can do each day to get in front of them. In marketing, an effort-based approach is called “earned media” & it typically shows up as things like press coverage, or social media posts.

You can also push your music through ads or paid services like hiring PR, advertisement or marketing firms if you have the money for it. Growing your team will split the workload and help you reach more people at an exponentially faster rate.

 

How to keep your fans

 

Once you have your audience’s attention, don’t let go. Keep your social media posts and releases active and set a schedule for everything. The easiest way is to schedule posts weekly so that you don’t forget. Possibilities are endless. There’s something advertisers do called a “Competitive Analysis” which looks at what others are doing in a given industry. Draw inspiration from it by doing a quick search of artists you admire, ideally within your genre, you’ll be amazed how much you can learn.

For social media it is helpful to test different types of content to see what works best for you – you can check out your top-performing posts on social platforms through their “Insights” tab. If you see a pattern (maybe people really like video posts), do more of that; ultimately, the best strategy is the one that works best for you. If you have some go-to posts, and if you learn to schedule your posts out in advance, you can test engagement while you’re sleeping… literally.

Keep a email list and try to re-market to your fans as often as possible. Keeping their attention is the most important part. The more loyal the fan base, the more likely they are to share and engage your content. Give your email subscribers more value by giving them special releases, and private videos that only they can access.

Your live show experience is another place for you to test fan engagement. As before, you might look to artists you love for inspiration. If you’ve ever been to a show that moved you, think about what they did and how you might replicate that concept in your own way. The stage, your merch table, your set list & the way you speak to fans are opportunities for you to leave a good impression.

Give your fans a reason to care, deeply. Whether you’re putting yourself out there in a new way, testing out different engagement methods or simply doing some research to learn more about fans in your genre, there are people out there waiting for something to care about… maybe that thing is your music.

Always re-evaluate your strategy and keep trying to find new ways to connect with new fans as well as engage with the ones you have. Making the music is only the first step.

Jun 06

Top 5 Mistakes Artists Lose Money On In Recording Studios

By _bayland | Recording , Tips

Top 5 Mistakes Artists Lose Money On In Recording Studios

Lets be honest, studio time isn’t cheap. Even if you’re rolling in cash you probably won’t have many opportunities nail the best take. Inexperienced artists are more likely to make a lot of mistakes, and as you can imagine, this could lead to a lot of time and money wasted.

(Big tip: We’re offering a FREE trial of our mixing and mastering services for a limited time. Click here for more information.)

So, lets get to it:

Be On Time

There is no room for being late to a recording session. Neither the studio or the engineer will lose sleep over this. Studio time is booked on a block basis and if you don’t show up on time, there’s a good chance you’re paying around $5 every minute you’re late. The studio may even give your block away if they don’t think you are going to show up. Always get there 10 to 15 minutes early to warm up so that you can get started recording as soon as possible.

Have a Goal

Lets push the 20 minute planning session to a few days before booking your studio time. Ask yourself, what do you hope to accomplish for the day? The answer is always going to be different, but make sure that you do this before walking in the studio. It’s all too common to have a planning session and realistically, the less time you waste the more you’ll get out of your session. Remember, time is money.

Don’t Waste Time

Many musicians want to learn their parts or treat a recording session like a practice session, but recording a song isn’t the same as performing it live. It’s a completely different process, and a lot of time takes a different type of practice. By the time you start recording, you need to know just how every part of the song goes. There are times that inspiration may hit, and you want to add or try something new, but those decisions need to be taken with caution. That 10 second part can quickly turn into an hour or more if you’re not careful. Rule of thumb: if it’s not working in the first 15 minutes, it isn’t meant to be.

4K Magic

The best way to explain a high quality recording is comparing it to video. Lets say you’re browsing for a TV at your local electronics store. You’ll might see some old 1080p and maybe the new 4K TV’s. You’ll get a pretty good idea of how much better the 4K looks when it’s placed side by side with a 1080. The microphone is basically like putting a big magnifying glass over your instrument or voice. Every imperfection will be heard in high definition (including your performance). If you don’t have great equipment try to borrow it or rent it from someone that does.

Listen to Your Sound Engineer

Your sound engineer is in charge of making sure you sound like a million dollars. It’s probably a good idea to make sure he/she does the best they can do for your project. Be respectful, and open minded to their advice. It’s not always wise to insult the cook that’s making the food you’re going to eat. In this case, the engineer is the cook making the food you’re fans will be eating. Unless you’re a seasoned engineer, it’s best to let them do their thing.

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Jun 03

Don’t Try Landr Without Reading This First

By _bayland | Mastering , Tips

Don’t Try Landr Without Reading This First!

With the rise of automated mastering software, many artists are opting for the quick and easy solution to mastering. We tried to be as objective as possible, so we decided to interview up and coming hip-hop artist and rapper NATE about his experience with the service. He also offered to let us use the one of his tracks so you can hear how and why he does and doesn’t use the service.

Before we get to the interview, for a limited time we are offering a free trial of our mixing and mastering service so you can hear the difference for yourself. Click here to learn more.

Here’s the interview:

_B:  What’s your overall experience with mixing and mastering in general?

NATE: Well, I’ve been on all sides of the spectrum when it comes to mixing and mastering. There’s tracks that I’ve recorded and had mixed and mastered in studio, tracks that I’ve emailed to get mixed and mastered, and tracks that I’ve mixed and mastered myself. For me, the mix is the most important part of a song, it can make or break a record in terms of being a hit. Mastering is just the polish after all the details have been tweaked to near perfection.

_B: When it comes to the business side of music, what prompts you to want to outsource the post production of your music?

NATE: For the most part, my main motivation to taking a DIY approach is money. Sometimes you record a track and you feel as if the performance you gave in your home studio can’t ever be replicated, as an artist, if we make a song and feel like the performance is great, then we feel entitled to take charge of the mixing and mastering. Why? Because we know exactly how we want it to sound, and as masters of our craft we are willing to sit at a computer for hours tweaking and twisting virtual knobs to mirror the exact sound that we hear in our head. It may not be the same for all artists, but those are my reasons.

_B: Which do you think is more important: mixing or mastering? Why?

NATE: Mixing is definitely the most important part to a song. Like I said in my answer to the first question, the mix can make or break a record. People don’t want to hear distortion at the high end of a vocal, or wait for a beat drop just to hear that the drums are non existent and hiding behind the bass. In order for an artist to give the listener a complete experience of any song, the mix of that song has to be spot on. Mastering enhances some dynamics and adds depth to certain elements, but if the mix isn’t great, then the master will not help the song. There’s a reason why the word mixing comes before mastering.

_B: I remember you mentioned using Landr before. What prompted that decision?

NATE: Well back in 2016, I wasn’t working yet and couldn’t afford any studio time. I recorded my album on Garageband and bounced everything without any knowledge of mixing or mastering. I remember someone telling me that mastering my music could help get me on the radio. The word radio was enough for me to look up different mastering sites, and Landr seemed to be the most affordable. Although the mixes were straight up awful, the mastering gave me confidence in the music I was releasing. That was pretty much why I started using the instant mastering service.

_B: What are the pro’s and con’s of Landr, in your experience?

NATE: I’ll start with the pro’s, Landr is quick, you can pop your mix in and it’ll have the master ready in less than 5 minutes. Landr, is affordable for the most part, a high quality WAV file is 9.99, and a low quality MP3 is 2.99. Another pro is that Landr’s a website, the masters are always available no matter where you are. As long as you have access to a computer, you can sign in and download your masters at any time. Now as for the cons, Landr doesn’t allow you to tweak the master beyond the loudness. Sometimes you want the bass to hit harder, but there is no way to alter that unless you go back to your mix and alter it through compression and EQ. Landr also charges you a whole new master price for wanting to higher the volume of the master. Lets say you purchased a master and downloaded it with a medium intensity, if you go to your car and realize it wasn’t loud enough, you choose the high intensity, but you’ll have to spend another 10 dollars to get it.

_B: Do you trust Landr? Do you think you get what you’re paying for?

NATE: Well, it’s really hard to say whether or not i trust robots and computers, for a short answer I’ll say no to your first question. As far as the second question, I do think I am getting what I’m paying for. If i go to a professional mastering engineer with platinum credentials, and Grammy nominations, my guess is I’m going to end up paying an arm and a leg for just one song to be mastered. With Landr, I’m paying $10, I’m really not expecting a Bob Katz sounding record, but it’s good enough to get the average listener to tune in.

_B: When you’ve decided to hire Studio 411 for mixing and mastering, why did you choose to do so?

NATE: I think I started working with Studio 411 on the last leg of 2017. Other than the head engineer being my go to for any of my major releases, I felt like the studio could be a staple in my career. Somewhere that I could go and get the best sounding product, something that I can represent and promote. I wanted to work with Studio 411 because I saw the potential that it has to be the best and most credible recording studio in the city of El Paso, and even the state of Texas.

_B: There’s obviously a huge price difference between Landr and Studio 411. Why would you choose one over the other?

NATE: Here is the answer that I give people when they ask me why I spend money on recording at the studio: “I can mix a single, as best as I can to match something that’s dominating the charts for the time being. I’ll throw it into Landr, and the track will be ready for release in a couple weeks. Great art takes time, from the production, to the lyrics, and especially the post production. I haven’t had the experience needed to trust myself in engineering an entire project. I feel like there would be a lot of inconsistencies within tracks, and I don’t believe in releasing something that doesn’t sound like it was carefully crafted. I would rather take my project that I have been working on for 2 years to someone who knows their craft better than they know anything else for those 2 years of my hard work to be reflected in their mixes and mastering.

_B: Have you hired anyone else to mix and master your music before? What was the result?

NATE: I remember hiring an engineer on Fiiver to mix and master one of my tracks, the end result wasn’t bad, but the track was missing warmth, and key elements that I get from Studio 411.

_B: How difficult is it to find a qualified engineer or studio you can trust? 

NATE: I feel like finding a great studio is very hard. It’s easy to be influenced by the bigger stars and going to record in the studios that they record in because you feel that if they got a hit record, then you can too as long as you record in that studio. In all reality, only the artist has the capability of creating a great record, but the environment around them can affect the performance and execution. Artist’s lose confidence because of  these external factors and in most cases, never release the record. Sometimes engineers can give the artist suggestions and tips, the artists who take it are interested in making the best sounding product if they’re taking other people’s advice, but these comments can also make other artist’s feel uncomfortable and can also instill a sense of doubt in their art. I feel it all depends on the artist, they have to find an engineer that they feel comfortable with, once they have that go to person, then at the point the studio doesn’t really matter since the chemistry has been established between both parties.

_B: If you can give an artist any advice on the subject of mixing and mastering, what would you say?

NATE: Please get your tracks mixed and mastered. Shop around, talk to people, visit your local studios, I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to a song and 10 seconds in I end up closing the tab because of crazy distortion or a piercing high frequency hitting my ear drum. People who love listening to music love to listen to quality, and that includes the mix. Mixing and mastering can give the artist confidence in whatever they are releasing which can drive them to continue making art.

Conclusion

Landr has it’s spot in the industry as a quick solution. There’s no doubt about that. The best way to find out whether or not it’s the right solution for you is by hearing the difference for yourself and deciding if your project needs a better solution. Lets get on with the comparison.

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Please listen using headphones

The song was recorded and mixed by NATE. Mastering was submitted both to Landr and Studio 411. Tracks are labeled so you know which one you are listening to. Post what you hear the difference is on the comments!

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May 31

Why 90% of Musicians Outsource Their Mixing and Mastering

By _bayland | Mixing , Tips

Why 90% of Musicians Outsource Their Mixing and Mastering

I wanted to go into depth with this one because it’s apparent that in today’s industry everyone wants to be a master at everything. I won’t go as far as saying that it isn’t possible, but like a good friend of mine said before, “People overestimate what they can get done in a day, but they underestimate what they can get done in a year.”

It’s so common today that everyone is a, “Singer/Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer, DJ, Mixing and Mastering Engineer, Record Label Owner, A&R, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author, Humanitarian, Mother/Father of 3, and leading innovator under 30.”

There’s a small percentage of people where that most certainty applies, but for a lot of people that’s not the case. The rest of us are just trying to make our way through the world just like everybody else. So let me explain:

If I wanted to to have a killer flute or violin solo on my song, the last thing that would come to mind is, “I need to learn to play the flute.” I can play the guitar and I’m a solid keyboard player, but I know the limits to my ability. I’m aware I probably could learn to play the flute, but it would take me a lot of time to be able to play well enough to finish the project. There are a lot of people that understand this simple yet fundamental flaw in humanity that we simply can not know everything.

Master Mind Group

Henry Ford was known to have a row of buttons on his desk that by pushing the right one he can summon someone that had all the knowledge he could need about the business he devoted most of his time to. He called those people his Master Mind Group, and is cited as saying,

“Why should I clutter up my mind with general knowledge for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”

Practicality

Outsourcing is a major time savor on many projects. Whatever your release schedule is, outsourcing your mixing and mastering will let you work on the release and marketing plan and focus on the important business aspects of the job.  Many professional engineers don’t own a recording studio. Why, you ask? Well what good does it do someone to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions on going into business as a recording studio, when they can rent it from someone else that already has it? An engineer can move to any city and go right to work because someone has already done the work on starting up the studio. The engineer will make the studio some money and help keep them in business and the studio will continue to thrive. It’s a win/win. The same is true with with a musician that’s outsourcing their mixing and mastering. It’s more practical to rent someones knowledge and experience for a small fee, than fuss with it for hours, days, or in some cases even years!

Focus

Bruce Lee is famous for saying:

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

Lets be honest, the most important and valuable assets we have in life is our time and our mind. Every successful person in the world understands the value of time. It’s important to focus your mind on the things that you value most in life.

There’s a huge difference between a musician/singer/producer and an engineer. They are two completely different professions. It’s important to understand that there can be a lot of parallels between them but it’s most certainty not the same. Let me explain.

A real estate agent is not a real estate investor. An agent buys and sells homes for a fee, whereas an investor buys properties to turn a profit. Can they be the same person? Probably, but does an investor want to deal with clients and showings and phone calls? Probably not. Does an agent have tenants living in the houses he/she sells? Sometimes, but they probably aren’t paying him rent.

As a musician, singer, songwriter, or producer is it your job to mix and master your music? Not necessarily. Sometimes you might choose to do so because you have the time to do it. Instead of trying to juggle everyone’s job as your own (especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing), focus on your post release marketing strategy. That’s one of the most ignored parts of the process. Many musicians work on the release and throw it on CD Baby and forget about it. It’s expected that by some supernatural phenomenon the song will get discovered and “blow up”.

Conclusion

All in all, it isn’t a bad thing to work on your own music. Take the time to focus on your craft by working on the practical and important business aspects on how to get your art off the ground by building a Master Mind Group. Have a team of people that will help you on your journey and will make the process easier for you. Always be on the lookout for great talent and be mindful of the people in your circle. Consider adding us to your circle: for a limited time, try our online mixing and mastering service absolutely free. Learn More

May 23

Little Known Ways to Better Your Home Recordings

By _bayland | Recording , Tips

Little Known Ways to Better Your Home Recordings

 

In this era of DIY and information, the craft of engineering has become neglected and seen as unnecessary. Today, it’s easier than ever to have world class sounds at your fingertips. Now that anyone can get the gear, modern recording seems to be an easy feat, but the truth is, the gear cannot do anything by itself. It’s not as simple as plug this in here, throw that on there, and magically it sounds like a hit record. Just like in anything, practice makes perfect and as a veteran in this industry, I can tell you it takes years of practice, so let me help you get started by giving you some tips to avoid as a beginner.

 

Patience

 

When it comes to anything in life, patience is key. In engineering, giving yourself time to learn is key. Just because you have the latest gear, doesn’t make you a pro. Educate yourself by watching tutorials, practice capturing good sounds at the source, and focusing on one element at a time. Rest easy if you don’t have very much gear starting out. Use what you have and make sure you know your setup inside and out.

 

Getting a good start

 

When it comes to any project, whether it’s photography, sound, or any type of art, what you begin with makes all of the different. Sure, editing software can make a difference, but make no mistake in thinking that it is a magician. Getting a good, clean sound from the beginning makes your project easier to work with and you will find yourself meeting little to no bumps in the road. And as an added bonus, it leaves more room for you to get creative.

 

Fear of Mistakes

 

As a beginner it can be daunting to jump into using EQ or adding compressors. As humans, we have a fear of not getting it right, but in order to become a great engineer, you need to commit to using effects often in order to become familiar with them. Sure you’ll make some mistakes at first, but like I said earlier – practice makes perfect, and by playing with effects, you’ll become confident in your use of them when you need them.

 

Organization

 

Organization is good in any field, but more especially when you are working on a project that will be handed off to a mixing engineer later. It will make their life easier when they receive your session. Make sure that everything is labeled properly, so that the person receiving it will know what goes where. For a limited time we are offering a free sample of our mixing and mastering services. Learn More Upload Files Here

 

Improve Your Vocal Recordings in 5 Easy Steps feature photo

Mic Placement

 

Microphones are like ears – they listen to the instrument. Their placement makes a difference in how the instrument will sound to you and on record. It is vital to focus on becoming familiar with mic placement by moving the mics around and playing with them. More often than not, your problem is the mic placement.

Tuning

 

 

Before putting your microphones through the feat of listening to the sound of your instruments, make sure they are tuned and working harmoniously with one another. This means moving people around, swapping instruments, replacing drum heads, etc.

After you have assured that all the instruments sound good, then you can decide where to put the mics.  

 

Phase

 

Phase is a relationship between two or more frequencies. I’ll say it again.

Phase is a relationship between two or more frequencies. It’s not Polarity. We will talk about polarity in a different article all together.

The most common phase problems people have are in recordings with multiple microphones recording the same source. The problem is that one microphone may be closer than the other and although the source may sound good, when the recording is captured you’ll have something that looks like this:

The red line = y1 + y2. It is the sum of the two waves at different point in their wave cyles (or phases).

I don’t want to complicate this too much, but phase has the ability to completely cancel out your frequencies (more often than not your LOW end frequencies).

Now that we’ve established what that is, let’s get to the point.

It is crucial to develop a technique for a good phase relationship – in order to do this you must familiarize yourself with the basics of phase. When you get your technique down, you’ll be able to get great sounds with multiple microphones.

 

Until Next time,

guys in front of computer fl
May 21

How to Export Stems in FL Studio

By _bayland | FL Studio , Tips

How to Export Stems in FL Studio

First thing you need to do is make sure each track in your song is connected to a separate channel in the mixer.

This is the most important part of exporting stems in FL Studio and you should do this slowly and carefully.

In the image below, you can see we’ve connected this track named “Lex808_1” with channel 9 in the mixer.

To do this all you need to do is click on the track and on the box on the right labeled FX, change the number to a free channel on the mixer.

Now you just have to connect every track to a different channel in the mixer.

Pro Tip

A good idea is to give each track it’s own channel in the mixer and don’t send two tracks to the same channel unless you’re consolidating them (for example: the vocals), which we’ll explain how to do next.

Don’t worry it’s really easy.

How to Consolidate Vocals For Export in Fl Studio

When I say consolidate the vocals what I mean is separate the main vocals, ad libs, doubles, chorus lead, chorus backing and chorus ad libs into their own tracks.

So when it’s all said and done, you’ll have these tracks all in separate WAV forms.

  • Main Vocals
  • Ad Libs
  • Doubles
  • Chorus Lead
  • Chorus Backing
  • Chorus Ad Lib

For example, you can send a main vocal for verses 1, 2 and 3 to the same channel in the mixer.

You can then do the same for the other vocal tracks as well (send them to their own channel in the mixer).

This way when you export them there will be one track with all your main vocals in it, one track with all the backing vocals in it, one track with all the main chorus vocals in it, you get the idea.

Another good thing to do is name each track correctly.

For example, if you have a main vocal track, name it “main vocal” in the mixer by right clicking on the channel and going to rename.

This way it’ll be easier for you to assign tracks to the correct channel and when the file exports it’ll be called “main vocals”.

Also you’re audio engineer will love you because you saved him time from organizing your stems.

Export Stems

Now you go to File > Export > Wav file

Next a dialog window will pop up asking you to name it and save it.

The beat I’m exporting is called “Tropical Trap” (don’t ask me why I named it that).

This is where you’ll want to create a new folder and name it your songs name.

You can right click and go to “Create new folder” and then you can name it accordingly.

I will usually title the folder the song’s name and put (stems) beside it.

For example, if the song is called “Tropical Trap”, I’d have a folder called “Tropical Trap (stems)” and it would contain all the exported stems from Fl Studio in it.

Don’t forget to select this folder and click “save” as this is where you’re telling FL Studio to export your stems.

The Final Part

Finally, this window will pop up, all you need to is select “Split mixer tracks”.

You can also copy the same settings I have used here as well.

Once you’ve done that, click “Start” and let the magic happen.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll have a folder with all the tracks from your song separated.

Exporting Stems Mistake: Don’t Worry Everyone Does This

A common problem, I still do even to this day, is forget to link one track to it’s own mixer channel, so it’ll be missing from the folder! Ouch.

Remember up above I said to do it slowly and carefully.

You can double check to make sure every track from your song is in the folder by exporting your tracks back into your recording program and making sure they’re all there and lined up correctly.