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!
Electronic 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.
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!!
Electronic 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.
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.”
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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!
Shell 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 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.
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!
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 Mail, The 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!
9 Quick Tips to Get to That Next Level of Your Music Career
Musicians have no problem creating master plans to “rule the world,” but they often fall short of seeing these plans through effectively. What an unfortunate waste of talent! As Ralph S. Larsen, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said, “The best-thought-out plans in the world aren’t worth the paper they’re written on if you can’t pull them off.” Here are nine tips that just might help you accomplish your goals and get to that next level of your career. While these aren’t groundbreaking, sometimes we all just need a little reminder!
1. Stay proactive
Attract the attention of those who can help you by first promoting yourself. Remember that no one – not a personal manager, agent, or A&R rep – is going to come save you and whisk you from your garage to superstardom until you’ve accomplished some things on your own. Light as many fires as you can, and people will see the smoke.
2. Plan your funds
Plan wisely so that you don’t run out of money. You might use your own money that you’ve saved up, get fans to invest in you via crowdfunding services like Kickstarter, get interested parties (such as family members and friends) to front the cash, or arrange “barter” deals where you pay for services with your special skills.
3. Schedule efficiently
This means that you prioritize your tasks and schedule the most important things first, find ways to accomplish tasks simultaneously to maximize your resources, and allocate enough time to complete each task on time and on budget.
4. Delegate the workload
Assess your team’s special talents and capitalize on them. The drummer can be in charge of booking, the bass player might do all the social media, and the guitarist can be the one who seeks out music placements. If you’re a solo artist and don’t have other members to depend on, then try enlisting a reliable fan to help you.
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Getting Started with Music Production
How to record, edit, and mix music using a digital audio workstation
by Robert Willey
Hal Leonard Books, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, has published Getting Started with Music Production. Written by Dr. Robert Willey, recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award 2013 from the UL Lafayette Foundation, this book will help readers quickly learn how to record and mix music with a digital audio workstation (DAW), understand basic audio principles, and will help more advanced practitioners hone their music production skills.
Getting Started with Music Production‘s logically structured, hands-on approach works well for self-guided learning and for activity-oriented courses. The illustrations and examples are built around Studio One from Presonus (most exercises can be done with the free version), but the fundamental concepts and techniques transfer seamlessly to any modern DAQ, such as Logic and Pro Tools.
As digital technology has fundamentally changed the way music is produced, Dr. Willey strives to teach musicians and budding audio engineers how to take full advantage of the new tools and unleash their creativity.
“The students have to know what’s behind it. How analog to digital conversion works, how computers represent sounds, and the principals of recording, where to pith the microphone, and things like that,” he says. “The more knowledgeable they are as students, and the broader they are as musicians, the more they’ll be able to adjust to the future changes in the industry.”
To help the reader apply what they learn, Dr. Willey includes a wealth of practice exercises; quiz questions, activities for all levels, and complete mix sessions. Audio and video examples further explain and expand on the concepts presented. All supporting media is provided online for easy access from a computer or mobile device.
Getting Started with Music Production is intended for college music majors, high school students, and independent learners. It is the perfect guide for those who produce music at home, and the ideal textbook for teachers. The first ten chapters can be used by schools on the quarter system, with an additional five chapters provided for those on the semester system.
“What Robert brings to the table is so unique: the ability to make the connection between all the different technologies and true musicianship,” says Gordon Brooks, Dean, College of Arts.
John Mlynczak, the Education Market Manager for PreSonus, talks to Dr. Robert Willey about the book at http://onstageandbackstage.libsyn.com/robert-willey-chats-with-john-mlynczak (podcast).
8.5″ x 11″
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert Willey is a keyboard player, composer, and music technologist with a long background in higher education. After earning a PhD from the University of California, San Diego, he spent two years in Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor of computer music composition and performance, chamber music, improvisation, arranging, and distance education course design. He returned to the United States to teach popular music theory, computer literacy, and rock band at the State University of New York College at Oneonta; later, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he taught music theory, music technology, synthesis, recording, live sound, music appreciation, music industry, and jazz combo. He is presently the director of the Music Media Production and Industry program at Ball State University. His publications include Louisiana Creole Fiddle, Brazilian Piano, and the DVD From La La to Zydeco: Creole and Zydeco Music from Louisiana. He lives in Muncie, Indiana.
Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, was featured in the spring issue of Berklee Today, the Berklee College of Music’s alumni magazine!
Marketing is the complete process of creating products and services to satisfy your target audience, build awareness, and make sales. It includes researching, goal setting, strategizing, and executing. In this article, we discuss three aspects of DIY marketing that are often overlooked by musicians who believe that marketing simply involves social media and YouTube videos. Here we focus on building a brand identity with slogans, testing products among fans, and measuring marketing efforts.
1. Building Your Brand Identity with Slogans
What do Apple, Ozzy Osbourne, and hundreds of other successful companies and brands all have in common? They all employ brand slogans to build their identity. Slogans provide further information about a brand, communicate an overall philosophy, and increase memorability. They can even become part of your brand’s logo or be used to market a specific product or service, such as your own album or concert tour. Cypress Hill branded its Smoke Out Festival with the slogan, “An all day mind altering event.” And Bring Me the Horizon (a British metal-core outfit) branded its album Suicide Season with the slogan, “A perfect soundtrack to a life spent on the edge.” No confusion there.
What follows are several tips for creating a slogan that can make a lasting impression with your intended audience. Remember, slogans don’t have to be grammatically correct; but they must be pithy and direct.
Reflect the identity that you want to project. To better communicate what you do and who you are, suggest the personality and culture you want to project within your slogan. To emphasize his punk roots and to pay homage to icon Iggy Pop, for example, Henry Rollins used “Search and Destroy” as a slogan to accompany his logo. In fact, Rollins even tattooed the logo on his back and uses it on T-shirts and other merchandise. The Los Angeles indie metal band Clepto, which has Saudi Arabian roots, uses the slogan “Thrash Punk Gypsies,” which sums up the band’s sound and spirit.
Speak to your audience. When creating your slogan, consider whom you are trying to appeal to. Understanding your likely target audience is crucial. Get a sense of your audience members’ age, gender, education level, and income. Also, research their activities, interests, and opinions, and understand behavioral issues and the things that motivate them. Also consider the regions where your audience is located. The band House of Pain uses the slogan “Fine Malt Lyrics” in its logo to pay homage to its home city of Boston and to the Irish community there. Harley Davidson uses “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice” to pay tribute to the proud and loyal group of riders in the United States and the free country in which the brand was founded.
Stand out from the competition. Study your competitors, who may share a similar audience, so you can highlight what makes you unique. The musical group Pink Martini, which has an expansive musical style, uses the slogan “Music of the world, without being world music” to stand out. The metal band Manowar is listed in The Guinness World Book of Records as the loudest band in the world and has had that fact as its slogan for many years.
Stress the benefits. Create a slogan that draws attention to benefits that are important to your target audience and that you can honestly provide. Apple, undoubtedly one of the biggest companies in music, used the slogan “1,000 songs in your pocket” to promote its first-generation iPod and emphasize its large storage capacity. Recently, Apple used “Any kind of file, on all your devices” to promote the cloud. And guitarist Slash recently used the slogan “With everyone, from Ozzy to Fergie” to promote his new solo album that featured numerous guests. In all cases, note how these slogans all sell the benefits. They answer the customer question “What’s in it for me?”
Make it memorable. Making your slogan rhyme can be an advantage. Big-band legend Benny Goodman used the slogan “The King of Swing” throughout his career, and it was often used to introduce him on radio and television shows. His slogan was short and catchy.
Keep it short. Limit your slogan to just one or a few simple words. Also consider what might look cool and be adaptable on your products and marketing tools, such as your business cards, websites, e-mail signatures, etc. For instance, Bruce Springsteen used “The Boss” interchangeably with his own name.
Be believable; don’t exaggerate. Your slogan should not be perceived as out of proportion. Using language like “The greatest band on earth” when you’re starting out is just silly. Yes, jazz legend Jaco Pastorius called himself “The World’s Greatest Bass Player,” and the Rolling Stones adopted the slogan “The World’s Greatest Rock Band,” but both artists could back it up.
Offer an explanation. Use a descriptive tagline that tells people exactly what you are. For instance, the classic rock band ZZ Top uses the tagline “That lil’ ol’ band from Texas” throughout its website and on other PR materials. Billy Joel used “The Piano Man” in all his publicity and released a record of the same name.
Don’t confuse your audience. The whole point of a slogan or tagline is to educate your market about what you do, so don’t make the message confusing for your audience. The members of the Beatles, four in total, whose music was no doubt fabulous, adopted the clear and direct slogan “The Fab Four” for use in their publicity posters and other media. In contrast, the band Green Jello (renamed Green Jelly for legal reasons) used the slogan “Green Jello Sucks.” The name is confusing: Did the group’s music really suck? Was it taking a stab at the makers of the Jello? Or was it something band members did on stage? Yikes! In any case, it’s not a flattering, legally smart, or clear slogan. Don’t be confusing.
Look to your fans. Ask your most-likely fans how they might sum you up in a word or phrase, how they think you’re different, and what they feel is most important to them. You could even hold a contest and offer a prize. Not only can you form a closer bond with fans by getting them involved but also you may find a cool tagline to brand your band.
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Also, Bobby will be speaking at Berklee College on June 20th! He will be teaching “Ten Steps of the Marketing Process.” In Borg’s “Ten Steps of the Marketing Process,” students will learn about tried-and-tested concepts used by the world’s most innovative companies, including: describing a vision, identifying a market need, analyzing target fans, learning from competitors, demoing products and services, setting marketing plan goals, and finding the perfect mix of new marketing strategies ranging from branding, product, price, place, promotion, and marketing information systems. Following Borg’s keynote, he will be signing his book Music Marketing For The DIY Musician at the Berklee Bookstore.