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MikeRobinson last won the day on June 2 2016

MikeRobinson had the most liked content!

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165 Amazing

About MikeRobinson

  • Rank
    Lead Player

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    Composer, Scoring. Computer programmer.
  • Musical Influences
    Zappa; Metheny; Enya; Ray Lynch.


  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested
  1. Ferrick vs. Spotify class action

    These lawyers are distributing those postcards everywhere – and it really isn't hard to see right through their scam. I'm the registered owner or co-owner of certain revenue-producing US Copyrights which are registered with the US Government and with two PROs (Performing Rights Organizations), ASCAP and BMI. At least every quarter, I receive a check or a direct deposit from one or both of them. If "someone not-innocently made use of [my] copyrighted materials without a license," they committed a criminal, not a civil, offense. If a lawsuit has been settled in Federal Court (all issues concerning copyright are a Federal matter...) such that revenues and/or damages have been collected, then Federal Law already says that I must receive my share, and the PROs are already out there dealing with that process on my behalf. (In fact, since my copyrights are registered, I am entitled to triple damages.) I don't have to do a damned thing. My legally-perfected title to the intellectual property is a matter of US public record. Every now and then, my checks are a little bit fatter because someone won or settled a lawsuit somewhere. I never knew about it. I didn't have to. Also: your copyright registration includes (confidential) contact information, and your PROs have all the details in their confidential databases. (One of the services they provide is to get a message to you without revealing where you live.) So, the bottom line is that no lawyer has to contact you because you "potentially might be" an owner: the public record (and the business records of the PROs) declares who has the title (just like a car ...), and who has what share of the proceeds. Once the Courts have identified the works that have been infringed, they can grind through all of the rest of it until one day it shows up on your statement. It's entirely procedural, and that's part of what PROs do for a living. (And, if you did not have a PRO, although your legal right to compensation remains unaltered, your chances of getting paid are quite frankly very much reduced, because you've made it so much harder to do.) And this is why you absolutely must belong to a PRO, as a writer and as a publisher. (ASCAP is free. BMI is not. Both do great work.) And why you must register your copyrights at http://copyright.gov. "Mind your P's and Q's!"
  2. Do you believe in talent?

    There are some people out there who have unbelievable hand/eye coordination and independence of their body-movements such that they can take the worst instrument in the world and "shred" it. These people have talent – a natural gift. (But they also developed that talent through many years of practice.) But we ... we have computers! The ultimate "digital word-processor." We don't have to be "touch typists" anymore. We have at our fingertips, even in our phones, more processing-power and therefore more musical production capacity than anyone(!) has ever had ... period ... at any price. So, whether or not we have mechanical "talent," we have the capacity to begin to realize our musical dreams. I think that the most important factors are simply, "discipline and determination." We have 17,897 Peanuts comic strips, all drawn by one man, all drawn by hand, because of those two qualities. You determine to do it, and to carry a project through until it is done.
  3. Making Music Spiritual Again

    When you listen to a professionally-produced recording, it might never even occur to you how many people had an integral part in what you hear, nor exactly what it was that they did. You don't get to hear any of the stem recordings – the stuff that was actually recorded in a studio – and you don't get to peek behind the scenes of writing the song, arranging it, orchestrating it, and so on. You only hear ... "perfection." (According to some engineer/producer or another.) You're a songwriter. (Yes, you are a songwriter!) Your job is to create the idea, and then to produce a good demo of it. It won't be perfect; it won't be of to-die-for technical quality. But, it will be yours, and it will probably be quite a bit better than you think, as interpreted by someone who has never encountered it before. No matter what you create, you're always gonna be "too close to it." You're never really going to be able to look at it objectively. So, you need to carefully share it ... and to do so entirely without apology of any kind.
  4. First song

    I think it will help if you could use better equipment, and also if you set the song in a lower key. When you reach for upper notes, your voice goes flat – very flat. I would start by (by some means) laying down some form of rhythmic accompaniment track or loop, and then play (only ...) the piano melody, to that rhythm. The singing should come only after you've put the other parts down, and, as I said, it needs to be in a much lower key where your voice has good definition and power.
  5. Cigarette

    Great song idea – love the single-word title, "Cigarette" ... says it all, doesn't it ... But, at this first-draft, fairly impossible lines for anyone to actually say. For instance – grabbing my editing-eraser here: "The empty bottles a reflection of the emptiness of my emotions" ... what if you delete that line, creating a series of three-bar phrases. "Hope dies last of that ..." It seems to me that this verse isn't really carrying any weight. If we delete that stanza, we move to ... ... two back-to-back "pay-dirt" ideas: A crowded house yet an empty home life full of love yet all alone. But misery loves company, so loneliness come sit with me. ... followed by a curiously-defeatist line ... followed by "I won't move forward I'll sit back" (which is an interesting symmetric contrast occurring back-to-back in a single line) which is interesting. And then: So, at the end of it all, where do you intend to leave your singer? The final verse has an awful lot of symmetry to the first, when I think that there might be some as-yet untapped dramatic possibilities if it were somehow phrased "in careful and deliberate contrast to it." So far, your singer has not moved and shows no signs of doing so. Whereas, a very-slight "tweaking" of this final verse (purposely playing against some near(!) symmetry to the first ...) might just turn it into a very-powerful story ... powerful for being understated.
  6. cell PHONE call to heaven

    If I may carefully say: Someone already did a "phone call to Heaven" song – it was about "a boat and motor," and I will not now grace you with a hyperlink to it – but the presence of this song has "poisoned the well." But also – quite honestly – does this universal idea really n-e-e-d the "phone call" device? I'm frankly not convinced. What might happen if you re-phrased this "yearning for human contact now forever lost," which truly is universal, "without the rather-forced appeal to telephony?" Please play around with this idea and see what you might come up with. I think that there might be a much stronger and more-original song to be found ... far away from any interference from boat-and-motor past.
  7. So beautifully sad inside

    First, I would re-title this lyric, "So Beautifully Sad Inside," because that's really what it is. The narrator is describing his attempts to reach a beautiful and much-loved woman who persists in isolating herself. (And yet, the narrator is not responsible – the narrator is trying to find a way to reach His Beloved, and to rescue her.) It is, to me, a wonderfully original idea that's brimming with possibilities. Is the music ready yet?
  8. Life without her

    Have no fear, any lyric can be set to music! However, I find myself wondering – is this really it? Well, is she gone, or isn't she? One lyric implies that she is, but an adjacent one implies that she's simply not responding anymore. If the singer simply decides that "it's time to move on," it rather sounds to me like he is just giving up. If "that doesn't mean I like it," why does he tell himself that "there's nothing I can do," or that it's "time to move on?" May I suggest – songwriting is storytelling, and "story" is all about story arc, even though we never experience the entire arc within the context of such a very-short poem. Nevertheless, our singer is still (by default ...) playing the legendary role of the hero, and we usually want to see him resist, or, as the case may be, to make an irrevocable turn in his life's course. It's a whole lot more interesting to see a hero defeated, than to witness one who wouldn't even join the fight. Does this inspire anything, Storyteller?
  9. I Fell Apart

    "Powerful, powerful, powerful!' The only thing that I might suggest – referencing (for convenience) the original lyric – is that maybe you would find interesting possibilities if you purposely omitted the final repetition of the chorus: "But my love / He held .. / He pulled ..." Such a purposeful break from the heretofore-introduced "repetitive song structure" ... precisely at the point where the listener's experience has taught them to expect it ... can be used to foreshadow a conclusion, and to strengthen the subsequent impact of the line which follows the now-omitted but-expected stanza. (Even though the final conclusion of the song does not involve the singer breaking-away in some way from her present status quo, she does now possess a much-clearer understanding of it, and this, too, is a perfectly satisfactory denouement.) This is a very well-written lyric. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward now to the music.
  10. Scared of Happy - NEW English/Spanish Pop Song

    The essential "hook" of being "scared of happy" is a powerful hook indeed, and you handle it well. Your use of a higher-frequency "voice-like overdub" which appears early in the song (and which naturally leads to the first "swoosh!") is a very effective little trick that I will certainly remember. The use of a Spanish-language section is very creative – more so, I am sure, to those who do not also understand this language – and I think that it was quite important that you ended these sections with an English-language take-out line (which did not require the listener to "hablo español," and thus to feel isolated if he doesn't). The reference to "Christopher Columbus," who bridged an ocean between an English-speaking and what would in many areas become a Spanish-speaking world, is also clever. There are definitely very strong commercial possibilities for this very well-executed song.
  11. Quantity vs quality

    "Symphonious, go hug your wife!" You're 33 years old and you've got the greatest gift a man could ever have. Way-y-y-y too many songs have been written about not-having such a gift, or about having lost one. (And, feel free about writing another one – just, not from personal experience.) Life doesn't come with a warranty or an instruction manual, but "the power of two" cannot be shaken. And as far as music goes, there will always be two ways to look at "publishing it." Some people want to share their musical journeys in near-real time, and they do find an interested and appreciative audience. Others, like myself, want to polish and polish and polish the turd gem. It's all good, just as long as you keep making it. Even if you never make a dime from music, the ability and the determination to make it is precious – and, the ability to "share it with the world" is, until a very few years ago, completely unheard-of.
  12. Free music production software

    LMMS runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. https://lmms.io I dunno – I use an open source music-scoring program, MuseScore, which I selected in preference to(!) both Sibelius and Finale when I was fully expecting to buy the professional edition of one or the other. It does absolutely everything that I need to do, and a great deal more that I haven't even discovered yet. I'd still buy one of the commercial tools if I stumbled upon something that it couldn't ... but it's been a long, long time now, and I'm not dis-satisfied yet! I snagged a copy of LMMS and will probably spend a lot of time in the future learning much more about it ... even though I own a copy of Logic Pro X. (GarageBand has turned into "Logic Pro Not-So-Lite.") The most-fun thing about computer technology today is that now it's possible for people to collaborate, all around the world, and there's now an abundance of CPU power and memory with which to drive everything ... including a program that has an emulation of Commodore 64 sound devices. We've got really well-developed ways to do "cross-platform" deployments of software that runs efficiently on all platforms. It's possible for a world-wide team of self-disciplined people to collaborate efficiently. The commercial programs are, of course, great. But, if you don't have the money or simply are not yet ready to spend it, the open-source tools are anything but "second rate." It's immediately obvious that you can do professional-grade music with LMMS, and I am very glad to have just been introduced to it.
  13. What We Had

    "My profile falls well short of the size of my music collection." I am, indeed, fully aware of all of the songs you just mentioned, and all of them are great stories ... who sez a great story must have a 'happy' ending? A story is a journey. He Stopped Loving Her Today would not have been the hit song that it was, had the dead-man not been committed to a life-long, totally absorbing, yet futile quest to preserve his memory of the love that he had lost. The power of his obsessive character, not to mention George's blow-the doors-off vocal performance(!), is what sent that song into the stratosphere. Quite frequently, a song is what I call a "second derivative," or "reflective," or "indirect" work. The dead man's life-story is now nothing but story – but, what a story it was, and the song itself is built entirely on commentary and ancillary events ("she came to see him one last time ... aww, we all wondered if she would ...")
  14. Don't Make Me Say I Love You

    S - P - E - E - C - H - L - E - S - S ! ! ! Amazingly good lyric – delicious performance – a thoroughly engaging background and setting for the video – WOW! What's that? Something about microphones ...? So what about microphones?
  15. Interesting Revelation

    For the past twenty(!) years, I've been selling a certain software product. In the earliest days, I copied it onto three 3-1/2" floppy disks, put them into a bubble-wrap envelope, and prayed that they would survive the mailing. Years later, I sent out CD-R's. But, thereafter, I stopped all physical distribution and used only digital downloads. (My final step was to push the entire process of download and payment-management to a third-party service.) The single most-important characteristic of our business today is: "Cost of Goods Sold = Z-E-R-O." And furthermore, in the eyes of many paying customers, "physical media is not important to them." Believe it or not, they don't feel the need to fill their bookshelves (if they have any?) with anything tangible. So be it. Since the cost of getting a song into the paying customer's speakers has been reduced to zero, virtually all of the revenue collected is net profit. If they don't want something to hold in their hot little hands, or to download to their off-line device, who am I to tell them, "no?"