Category Archives: Music Industry

Josh Bess shows us “How Drum Grooves Control the Genre of Music”

Percussionist and electronic performing artist Josh Bess is the author of Electronic Dance Music Grooves: Techno, Trance, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, and More! , just published by Hal Leonard Books. In the video, Bess takes us behind the scenes as he creates drum grooves!

00128989Electronic Dance Music Grooves provides creative insights to help you understand how to build exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves. Whether you’re into techno, trance, dub-step, drum ‘n’ bass, garage, trap, or hip-hop, author, Ableton Live Certified Trainer, and noted EDM performer Josh Bess helps you take your skills to the next level with an extremely efficient and intelligent groove-making system. And, as an added bonus–providing a valuable basis for your own creations–this book describes the history behind the development of multiple electronic music styles.

A MIDI map, designed to make it simple to use the included grooves and samples with virtually any modern DAW, accompanies each styles. Whether your preferred DAW is Ableton Live, Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, or almost any of the other popular music production and performance software applications, you’ll quickly be equipped to incorporate these grooves and samples into your own creative workflow.

Electronic Dance Music Grooves includes over 300 professional-quality drum and FX samples, more than 300 drum grooves and MIDI files, 17 Ableton Live Drum Racks, and much more, all provided to support your creativity and electronic dance music production. Samples and sessions are delivered online to ensure access to all content, whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

The 5 Biggest Things You Really Need to Make It as a Band

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician is always ready to help out a fellow musician. This time he’s letting you know what you really need to make it as band. Check out his top 5 below.


With so many blog posts and books about “how to succeed in the music business,” it’s easy to get confused about what and what not to do. So let’s take it back to the essentials: make sure your band’s got the following five things covered before you move on to anything else!

1. Have amazing songs that convey your unique sound and style

Nothing will be more important to the success and longevity of your career than having well-crafted, original songs that stand out from the rest of the pack. No matter if you’re self-writing or co-writing songs with other professionals, your career might be short-lived or nonexistent if you sound exactly like everyone else in the flooded marketplace.

00124611While exploiting your inner strengths and staying true to your artistic integrity, strive to be both unique and relevant. Pay attention to where music is today, as well as to where it may be heading (or needs to be heading) in the future. In the best case scenario, strive to find a market need or void that aligns with what you do as an artist, and an opportunity to fill that need or void better than anyone else.

To sum things up, hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky once commented on the key to success: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Believe that!

2. Deliver unforgettable, standout live performances

There is a live performance element that is a crucial part of selling your songs. Not gimmickry, but a complete auditory and visual live experience that’s aligned with your brand and is positioned uniquely among the competition. The idea is to deliver a live performance that your fans will remember.

Consider hiring a professional sound and light man, having dancers joining you up on stage, using interesting instruments, projecting a film on a screen, or engaging with your fans by allowing them to text in requests real-time while you’re performing. And don’t forget about throwing those amazing afterparties, too. Whatever you do, just be amazing!

Read the rest over at Sonicbids Blog!

Sponsorship and Endorsement deal tips with Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. But that isn’t all there is to the music business, endorsements and sponsorships are an important part of getting your music out there. Bobby wrote an article for Disc Makers Echoes Blog explaining how to properly and correctly choose your endorsement deal or sponsorship. Read more here.


How to align with local and national sponsors

00124611A sponsorship or artist endorsement is a symbiotic relationship between artists and product-based companies. You can receive free merchandise, cash awards, recording time, promotional items, assistance with promoting local shows, distribution through CD samplers, and exposure from company advertisements. You can appear more credible in the eyes of the public, as well as the eyes of club bookers who might be interested in having you perform at their event.

Through artist endorsement deals, companies can creatively expose their brand name and products to their target demographic audience and increase public awareness and sales. Everybody wins! Though sponsorships are usually reserved for artists already creating a small buzz in their community, everyone can benefit by checking out the following tips

Know the products and brands associated with your fans
The first step toward getting local and national sponsorships is to understand what products and brands your target audience is attracted to. Survey your fanbase – as well as the fans of groups you sound like to get ideas. Pay attention to your fans’ clothing, footwear, headgear, sunglasses, and what they drink. They might be drawn to Quicksilver clothing, Vans shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Gold Coast skateboards, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Rockstar energy drinks. Whatever the products and brands your fans enjoy, this information is essential in helping you home in on which businesses and companies are worth approaching.

Put together a local target sponsor list
Research local businesses that sell the products associated with your target fans and compile a local target sponsor list. Gather each business’s name, owner, address, phone number, and even store hours. Don’t be afraid to include small mom and pop stores on your target list in fear that they won’t have the money or interest in sponsorships. One Los Angeles band approached a hip and fashionable clothing boutique on Melrose Avenue and got free merchandise to parade onstage and give out to fans. Furthermore, the band’s CD was made available for sale in the boutique while select tracks blasted over the sound system daily. It’s not too difficult to find interested businesses willing to form alliances with you. Artists right in your very own city may already have relationships with local stores and they’d be willing to share contact information with you.

Compile a national sponsor list
Research the companies that manufacture the products associated with your target fans and compile a national sponsor list. Gather each company’s name, marketing director, address, phone number, and also its submission policies. If alcohol is a product associated with your fans, add companies like Jagermeister and Jim Beam to your target list. These companies have long reputations for supporting up-and-coming bands with rewards of cash, recording time, and musical gear.

Read the rest over at Disc Makers Blog.

Explore Electronic Dance Music Grooves with Josh Bess!

Hal Leonard Books has published Electronic Dance Music Grooves: House, Techno, Hip-Hip, Dubstep, and More!, Josh Bess’s guide to building exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves.  Josh introduces his book below, and provides audio content examples at his website, www.joshbess.net.  Check it out!!


 

00128989Electronic Dance Music Grooves is a book designed to help anybody and everybody learn to program a wide variety of electronic dance music drum grooves with the use of MIDI programming. It will help somebody starting out from the most basic levels all the way to advanced producers, musicians, and programmers.

Electronic Dance Music Grooves teaches you more than mapping out beats and grooves; it will hopefully become a stepping-stone to a new way of thinking and creating. The main purpose behind Electronic Dance Music Grooves is to introduce new styles of music and grooves that you have possibly never played, programmed, or even heard of before, along with tips and tricks to create something new for yourself.

Throughout the book, you will easily see how powerful and important a drum groove is to music styleidentity. Understanding what creates a specific genre’s groove, from the rhythm and dynamics to the choices of individual sounds, plays a huge role in identifying a tune’s style and genre. As there are currently thousands of electronic music subgenres, rather than covering each and every style there is, we’ll cover the main foundational styles of Electronic Dance Music, which have stemmed to create new styles, subgenres, and categories. With the grooves learned throughout this book, you will gain the necessary understanding, techniques, and knowledge to create the rhythmic structure and patterns for any of your favorite electronic music styles.

Four Smart Ways To Use Your Press Materials Better

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes ways to improve usage of press materials in his latest article from Hypebot!

Most musicians know that songs, biographies, one-sheets, photographs, videos, press releases and interviews can all be used to help get gigs, blog reviews, radio play, endorsements, and so much more. But in what formats should these materials be submitted? Let’s review 4 possible options together with feedback from a few industry pros.

1. Physical Press Kit

This involves gathering your bio, press release, cover letter, business card, and CDs into an attractive two-pocket folder (such as one you customize using services like Vista Print), stuffing these items into a padded mailing envelope, and shipping them off via services like FedEX or The United States Postal Service.

Says Jeff Weber (Music Producer, Label Owner, and Author), “While I don’t care to receive anything other than the CD and a contact number, physical materials are the preferred method of delivery for me. A high quality CD allows me to evaluate the artist’s songs and performances in their purest form.”

Says Fred Croshal, former general Manager at Maverick Records and current Vice President and founder of Croshal Entertainment Group, “When I’m considering a band for management, I much more prefer to review and listen to materials that I can hold in my hands. It’s a more personal experience. “

2. Personal Website Link

This involves creating a customized destination on the web that includes music, videos, pictures, and bios, and then emailing a link (or links to different pages on your site) to your professional contacts.

Says Christian Stankee (Artist Relations for Sabian Cymbals), “I prefer an external link to the artist’s personal website. I want to see what the public sees. An artist’s site is a true tell of an artist’s ability to market their brand and to potentially market ours.”

Says Attorney Sindee (who helps license copyrights), “I also like an email with an external link to the band’s personal website. There’s no clutter on my desk or floor, it’s simple and easy to view, and I get a sense of what the fans and general public see of the band.”

Click here to read the rest!

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Michael Beinhorn Featured at ChandlerLimited.com

Record producer Michael Beinhorn, author of the new book from Hal Leonard, Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art, is the subject of a three-part interview at chandlerlimited.com.  Here’s Part One 1!

00122314Shell Rock, IA – JUNE 2015 … It’s been just over three decades since a young keyboard player in Bill Laswell’s group, Material, made the jump to production as co-producer for Herbie Hancock’s Grammy® award-winning album, Future Shock. Many of the tracks on Future Shock including the hit “Rockit” were co-composed by Michael Beinhorn.

Future Shock was hailed as groundbreaking, and it’s only fitting that Michael Beinhorn’s production aesthetic and career have continued on an exciting arc of energetic, boundary-pushing records.

Michael’s artistic journey has seen him play many roles: producer, engineer, composer, arranger, performer, technical innovator, and shepherd to some incredibly rocking recordings of the modern era. A review of Beinhron’s discography is eye-popping, including, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Sound Garden, Aerosmith, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, and a host of other artists. With Michael’s place in music production lore firmly in place, he can now add Author to his resume with the release of his book Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art.

Beinhorn’s seasoned audio palate, and strong desire to bring to fruition the sounds only he hears, has led him to not only stretch the limits of pro-audio gear, but literally create a new audio format along the way.

Michael has been a longtime Chandler Limited user, and we were fortunate to catch up with the ever-busy producer when we provided additional gear for his Courtney Love session (Wedding Day EP) at Tommy Lee’s studio, The Atrium, in early 2014.

In this three-part interview, we’ll cover Michael’s thoughts on today’s music industry, his production methods and gear, and a dissection of the Courtney Love ‘Wedding Day EP’ sessions, which used a lot of Chandler Limited gear.

CL: Okay, we’re convinced you’re not only a music producer, but a time traveler too. When we were coordinating with you seemingly across multiple time zones and airports for the Courtney Love session, you were in the middle of another production in Europe, and jetting back and forth. So many records in now, what keeps the creative flame burning for you?

MB: I’ve always believed it was an unquenchable lake of fire located near the Islets of Langerhans. Seriously, the one thing that gets me going is this crazy idea that a recording project can still be an exposition of creative ideas. That all of us together, the artist, engineers, producers, etc can become a team of artists working toward a unified common goal which is potentially so much greater than what would be accomplished by just one artist alone. That fusion, when it’s present, is the most addictive substance and the most potent source of energy I have ever encountered. I suspect it also might be the fountain of youth.

CL: You were stationed in Europe for a lengthy session, and relocated most of your gear there too, including your Chandler Limited Mini Rack Mixer. Can you tell us more about that project?

MB: I was working in Copenhagen with Mew, who I also worked with in 2004. We cut tracks in a recording studio (STC), but all the overdubbing was done at the band’s rehearsal space (which had been an auto repair shop in a previous incarnation) and the singer’s apartment. It was a real undertaking just to get these places acoustically sound for recording and playback. The band’s rehearsal space had plaster walls, a front and back room and, having been a car repair shop, there were two holes cut in the wall which separated the rooms, presumably to accommodate cars being fixed. The band were initially skeptical about improving separation between the two rooms until the guitarist set up an amplifier in one room, ran a cable to the other and began playing, whereupon, he realized that the amplified guitar was nearly as loud in the room he was in as it was in the room where the amplifier sat. Needless to say, a lot of similar adventures took place. Since I knew the singer’s apartment and the band’s rehearsal space were immutable parts of the recording equation, I brought along some gear I knew we’d need. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Chandler Mini Rack Mixer.

Read the rest of Part 1 here!

 

 

7 Uncommon Music Career Investments That Are Surprisingly Smart

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandetails smart music career investments in his latest article from SonicBids!

Most indie artists don’t have a lot of money in the bank, so if you’re going to spend your valuable savings or that money you raised crowdfunding, you’re obviously going to want to make sure it’s a wise investment. Outside of the typical things musicians have to shell out cash for, though (quality gear, recording, mercy, publicity — you know the drill), there are many less obvious investments you can make to enhance your music career. From hiring a songwriting consultant to getting a dedicated sound tech for your live performances, here are seven smart ways to invest your money that you might not have thought of — assuming you’ve saved up the money to spend, of course!

1. Songwriting consultant

Just because you can play your guitar doesn’t mean you can write a well-crafted song. Songwriting is a skill all its own that takes years of practice to perfect. A seasoned songwriting consultant can offer objective advice about your songs adn improve them significantly. It makes no sense to spend zero dollars on the most important aspect of your music career — your songs — and hundreds (or thousands) of dollars recording and promoting your music. People like Robin Frederick and James Blume are just two people off the top of my head who may be available to work with you in person or via the internet. Check them out.

[How to Write Songs That Get Stuck in People’s Heads]

2. Focus groups

Some of the most important people related to the success of your career are the very people to whom you are trying to appeal: your fans. Yet, it surprises me how most bands don’t spend the time or money to conduct research and get feedback from them. By rounding up two groups of 30 people, inviting them to your rehearsal studio, serving pizza and drinks, performing sets of your music, and having your fans discuss/rate your songs (or sound, stage presence, look, etc.), you’ll gather some crucially important information that can help save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

My band did this when we were planning our next recording project, and it worked great. We played 15 of our songs and let the fans pick the six compositions they wanted on our record. After all, if it’s the fans who you’re trying to satisfy with your music, doesn’t it make sense to see what they think before spending thousands recording your EP or album?

3. Photographer

Anyone with a camera phone in their bedroom can think they’re a photographer. While camera phones are quite impressive these days, an experienced pro who has access to amazing locations, knows how to arrange a shot, understands proper lighting, knows about hair and makeup, and understands fashion can give your band the real visual edge it needs. Look, if they say that a picture is really worth a thousand words, and you agree with this statement, then why not spend at least that much in getting some really professional photos done? Your brand depends on it.

[Photo Shoot Essentials for Musicians]

4. Graphic designer

Your band’s logo serves as the stamp of your brand. It’s what’s put on your drummer’s bass drum heads, your banners, your road cases, your mercy, and — you never know — it could even become your tattoos. While you might feel fairly confident playing around with Adobe Photoshop yourself, an experienced pro can really make a difference. Hire someone who has an outstanding portfolio of band logos and several years of experience to back it up. Remember, you want to have a badass logo that can become part of that badass T-shirt that people will gladly be willing to pay $15 to take home. So let the pros do your logo and design.

Click here to read the rest of the article!

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Hal Leonard Books Presents Unlocking Creativity

Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art is now available! Below, Michael Beinhorn provides an introduction to what his new book contains!

00122314I am utterly and thoroughly chuffed, thrilled and delighted to officially announce the release of my book “Unlocking Creativity” this month by the very lovely people at Hal Leonard.

Since it is subtitled “A Record Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art” (and was written by someone who has been known to produce records—me), you might well suspect this is a book about record production (and, in many respects, you’d be right). However, instead of framing record production in the context of recording equipment and recording technique (as other books have done), this book attempts to define it relative to the principles, consciousness and intent behind the process.

It also addresses interpersonal interactions in creative situations, some of the psychology and methodology associated with those interactions and a bit of philosophy regarding the creative process in general.

One goal of this book is to conceptually reframe record production as a vehicle for creative expression and not merely as a technical function or as an occupational choice. Viewed in this context, record production (and music creation or any art form) can be seen as mere exterior shells- vessels that the creative process manifests itself through (and mediums that a creative person can- and must- use to the fullest).
My greatest aspiration is that someone who reads this book will be inspired- not merely to make record production (or any artistic endeavor) their job, but to make it their life- to embrace it, excel at it and to find the absolute joy in it. in that case, the book will have done its job and the title will then be self-explanatory. 

7 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Recent Music College Grads

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciangives advice for recent music college graduates in his latest article from SonicBids!

7 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Recent Music College Grads

Probably the scariest thing about going to music school to become a more competent musician is graduating and having to find a paying gig. The pressure is on to start repaying those student loans and prove to your friends and family that you haven’t wasted the last four years of your life. While there are no surefire tips to take you from being a student to a celebrity, these seven invaluable tips will help set you and keep you on course for many years to come. Pay attention.

1. Locate yourself in the most opportune city to succeed

New technologies have made it more possible than ever for you to get discovered from virtually any part of the world. However, big cities are where the action is 24/7, and living in or near one is more likely to lead to networking opportunities and big auditions unavailable in small towns.

Research the city that makes the most sense to you given your goals, and then plan out a short visit. Utilize your school’s resources (such as the alumni outreach department) to get a few numbers of people who may be willing to meet up with you and provide some advice. Attend jam sessions. Visit the local musicians’ unions. Thoroughly check out the scene. Just don’t rush your decision. Once you move to a new city for your career, you should prepare to stay there and put in the work for several years.

[Top 10 Cities in North America Whose Music Scenes are Exploding Right Now]

2. Prepare for the long haul by becoming financially sound

Whether it’s New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, or somewhere else, there are countless stories about people who move to the big city and give themselves six months to “make it” while living on their friends’ couches. Needless to say, that’s a completely unrealistic plan.

Be prepared — both financially and mentally — to spend several years pursuing your goals. Look for work immediately to help cover your basic expenses and settle in by joining a local songwriters’ organization or networking group that will bring you a sense of belonging. Just remember that success won’t happen overnight, so be prepared for the long haul.

3. Bridge long-term goals with short-term goals

While finding work to meet expenses is crucial, stay as close to the music business as you can. Look for music-related opportunities such as private instruction, music transcription for educational books, equipment sales, equipment repair, or even stage production.

Who would have ever thought that one of my buddies would end up with a huge touring gig by setting up and moving equipment for SIR studios in Los Angeles? A band was holding auditions there one night and his boss and the music director were cool with him giving it a shot. He nailed the audition and his career took off from there. Moving gear wasn’t fun, but it paid off.

4. Don’t lose touch with your college friends

Remember that the majority of the work you do will be based on word-of-mouth recommendations. The genuine relationships you form today can lead to the gigs of tomorrow.

After graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, I got hired to play weddings by my former teachers with whom I kept in touch. Within one year, I got hired onto my first pro session in New York City by two college buddies that I contacted all the time — this gig led to joining a band on Atlantic Records. Bingo! I was in!

Today, I run into friends from school all the time who are playing with some of the biggest rock groups and working on the biggest films. We still all help each other out in small ways. Remember that connections are one of the biggest reasons why people invest in school.

To read the rest of the article, click here!

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Creative Music Product Pricing – Eight Strategies that Paid Off

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, provides examples of creative music pricing strategies that paid off in this post on the Discmakers blog!

These eight examples of creative music product pricing might just change the way you think about pricing your merchandise and services.

For many young and developing artists, music product pricing is usually the process of arbitrarily coming up with a number, slapping it on your product or service, and forgetting about it. However, as illustrated below, pricing is something that can be far more strategic. While you won’t be able to pull off all of the following strategies, these eight examples will get you thinking about price like never before.

1. Kid Rock rocks

As concerts are costing anywhere from $65 to $150, and as much as $300 to $1,250 on the secondary market, Kid Rock charged a low $20 for his “$20 Best Night Ever” tour. By taking the exact opposite approach of what other artists were doing, Rock created quite a buzz among fans and the media. In fact, the strategy apparently worked so well, rock is repeating this idea on his US city tour to support his album, First Kiss.

2. Wu-Tang Clan got a plan

Upon release of its double album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, Wu-Tang Clan announced that it would release only one album (i.e. one single unit) that fans can pay to hear in art galleries, museums, and festivals. Since people, in general, love exclusivity, the group received bids for the album for as high as $5 million. The concept was that music should be treated as a valuable and respected piece of art, not something people download at no cost. Clever!

3. Nipsey Hussle does an impressive hustle

Unsigned rapper Nipsey Hussle pressed 1,000 units of his album Crenshaw and sold them at a price of $100 each. Under a campaign he entitled Proud2Pay, customers were also rewarded with concerts, priority access to new material, and one-of-a-kind gifts, such as an old rap notebook or signed photo. Nipsey’s intention was not necessarily to sell out the units to his target audience, but to attract the attention of a few big wigs in the music business. And it worked! Jay-Z swooped up 100 copies of the rappers music.

4. Prince creates a triple win strategy 

On his Planet Earth album, Prince cut a deal with British tabloid The Mall on Sunday, distributing three million copies of his record in its Sunday edition for free (all it cost was the $3 price of the newspaper). Prince was paid a flat fee by The MailThe Mail made money from all the advertisers that wanted the extra exposure, and fans got a free CD. Everybody won.

To read the rest of the article, click here!

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