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!

 

 

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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9 Quick Tips to Get to That Next Level of Your Music Career

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides quick tips to advance your music career in his latest article from SonicBids!

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.

[5 Money Management Tips for Indie Musicians]

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.

[3 Music Career Responsibilities You Can Start Delegating Today]

Click here to read the rest of the article!

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Now available: Getting Started with Music Production

Getting Started with Music Production

How to record, edit, and mix music using a digital audio workstation

 by Robert Willey

Website

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).

$29.99
8.5″ x 11″
186 pages
9781480393790
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.

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