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  1. I don't know which sites are monitored or how they are tallied, but I would imagine that the only artists whose material is kept track of are only the ones who are in the "regular" charts to begin with.
  2. It all depends on who you are sending it to and why you are sending it. If You are a songwriter looking for a publishing deal, You should send a CD demo with 3-5 songs (look in Songwriter's Market to get their preferred submission guidelines.) And a cover letter, and short Bio. Lyrics sheets. A picture is optional if you are a songwriter. If you are a performer/band looking for a record deal, you can do pretty much the same thing, adding a picture and any press or reviews. You can send a full album to these people most of the time instead of 3-5 songs. You can optionally send a Video of your live performance. If you are trying to get gigs at clubs and events, you should definitely include the video, and include info on your average "draw" (how many people do you usually draw at various types of gigs). You might also list the venues that you have already played as references, or a space that the venues can actually give a written recommendation. If you are trying to send a press release to radio stations, You should send your CD, evidence of any previous airplay, a full promotion package with pictures, reviews, a large poster, etc. Send this same package to newspapers, music critics, and promoters. If you are trying to get a loan at a financial institution in order to fund your release/distribution/promotion/mass duplication, and that sort of thing, include a business plan with demographics of your intended core audience, what you intend to spend the money on, your strategies for marketing, and specific info about your competition that you will face for your share of the market. Lots more, but tired of typing.
  3. I always hear a lot of negative comments about Behringer products, but I use many of them on a regular basis with excellent results. My favorite is the Ultra-Voice Pro. It's a complete vocal channel with a preamp, shelving EQ, expander, tube emulator, a versatile opto compressor, voice-optimized EQ with knobs for tuning, warmth, presence, and breath. And it also has a built-in De-esser. Easy to use and is awesome on vocals. I also have a Powerplay Pro headphone distribution amplifier. It sports 4 channels of independently adjustable controls, and can power 12 sets of headphones at once. Now for the bad. I bought the Ultramizer Pro, thinking it should be of the same quality as the 2 pieces above. I like to have a variety of tools to work with and was hoping to use it when I wanted a different color for a track. It absolutely sucks the big one. It is supposed to be used as a loudness maximizer and program enhancer. It is extremely noisy, and I would never, ever use it to do either one. The only reason I still have it is because it makes things sound SO bad that I occasionally use it as an effect when I want a part to sound low - fi.
  4. Nigel told me Steve's bandmates were all women.
  5. I agree with Wolf. If you're serious about your band and your music, it's the only way. I would try to do it in awy that shows you care about his feelings, and let him know that he's free to sit in on some gigs if he wants to. And since he is good on guitar, you might let him know that you want him to participate in studio recording sessions, if that's something you foresee in the future.
  6. Helicon1


    About 3 years ago there was a guy in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas who was the target of a major sting operation for illegally copying and selling CDs and DVDs. They confiscated $200,000 worth of duplication and printing equipment (some of which was rented), and $25,000 in cash that was in a safe on the premises. The newspaper said that his illegal company had made over 3 million dollars just in the previous year alone. It was the biggest bust of its kind at the time. I really don't know how they find enough ways to sell as much of this stuff as they do without getting caught.
  7. Just broke on CNN guys- Cher really is a man and that's why she and Sonny Bono split up!
  8. Cables are very important, but that quote is comparing apples to oranges. There's no way that a cable gives the "same" results as a processor because they have different functions. Perhaps the author was trying to say don't go out and spend $3000 on a processor before you make sure you have high-quality cables. Having said that, I have found that there is not much difference between good cables and "super-duper" cables. The "super-duper" kind charge a lot more money for a little more cable. You pay for the brand name. Most of the time, if you buy quality, balanced cables you won't have any problem with noise. A balanced cable cancels out noise. Un-balanced cables are much more susceptible to picking up noise and interference. Another thing that will help is to make sure that you don't run audio cables parallel to power cables. They will pick up interference and hum. If you do have to cross the two types, make sure they cross at a right angle. Also, don't coil power cables. A coiled power cable sets up a magnetic field and greatly amplifies 60Hz hum.
  9. Nightwolf, you're pointing to the right path. If someone is brand-new to recording, it's good for them to get their feet wet before investing big bucks in an expensive setup. I've had scads of people come into the studio carrying thier owners manuals to whatever recording device they just bought, asking how the hell to get started. It's better to build up to bigger and better things, and it makes the learning curve much easier to handle. My advice to anyone looking to get serious about recording is to read EVERYTHING they can get their hands on. There are several magazines that are worth subscribing to. Partial list: Home Recording Recording Magazine Mix EQ There are several more, but these will provide a fine foundation. A small investment on educating yourself will provide you with tools that you can't go out and buy. You can spend $100,000 on the newest practical gear for a small studio, and if you don't know how to use it, your recordings will still sound like crap. An engineer who knows what he's doing can make good-sounding recordings with minimal equipment, so when they have a large collection of great equipment it just allows them to work faster and more smoothly, and lets them work without limitations. I had a client come to my studio and record a full album. After the third song was mixed and mastered, he brought in a CD with 3 songs he had recorded at another studio. That studio was a million-dollar studio with every piece of state-of-the-art equipment available. The client said to me, "Our manager was able to get us a special rate at this studio. We paid more to record these 3 songs than you are charging us for the whole album." I put the CD in and listened. I couldn't believe the poor quality of the recording. It was noisy, over-compressed, the high frequencies were harsh and grating, the bass was way too loud and eating up precious headroom - the whole thing was a mess. The client asked me, "Can you fix it so it sounds as good as the songs we did here?" I started laughing, and so did he. I told him that I would re-record those three songs for him for no more money than our original deal. By doing that, I got a customer for life, and he has since referred many new clients to me, and I've more than made up what I could have charged for those 3 songs. But to tell you the truth, I think the most valuable thing I got out of it was the satisfaction of knowing that I did a better job than a million-dollar studio. Invest in knowledge before throwing money away on equipment that promises to make your songs sound "professional.
  10. My Studio is called Platinum Sound Recording Studio, and the label is Platinum Sound Records. We've released a few short runs of albums of various styles, which are sold at concerts and local stores and businesses. I have 2 rappers, 2 female R&B singers, 1 male R&B group, 2 female county singers, and two male country singers signed to my label. I do most of the production for all of them, and I also produce several other rock groups and rappers who aren't signed with me. The main goals I have with my label are to get these artist's music out and heard, and hopefully get them signed with a major, or one of the bigger independent labels who have widespread national distribution. The artists in the rap and R&B genres that are signed with me have all received regular airplay on several area radio stations. The country artists find it hard to get airplay here in the states. Country music radio is just less open to independent artists. But there are more opportunities for country artists in our area to find paying gigs than any other genre, so they make a better paycheck than the ones who get airtime.
  11. I grew up in a small town in Texas. Been a few places, but never stayed long. (Hey, sounds like an opening for a song, huh?) I've been writing since I could write. Grew up on Kenny Rogers and Hank Williams (both Sr. and Jr.). Started teaching myself guitar when I was 12. From the time I was 14 I was always playing out in clubs, sometimes solo, sometimes with bands. I'd play a honkey-tonk on Friday night, another honkey-tonk on Saturday night, and then play in Church on Sunday morning and Sunday night. Along the way, I learned harmonica, and I played the sax in the school band (still one of the things I love to do). I learned a little keyboards, but I can't really call myself a piano player - but I can program the hell out of a keyboard sequencer by painstakingly layering tracks until I hit all the keys just right. I always worked from the time I was 12, hauling hay and taking care of our livestock and later all of a local rancher's stock as well. When I turned 16, my Daddy told me I better "get a job", so I went to work on the oil and gas pipelines from 7am-7pm and then took care of the animals after "work". Married at 19 to the "girl of my dreams" who turned out to be the "bitch from Hell". I had started buying up recording equipment and producing demos for me and my friends. At 26, I had been working a factory job making good money as a machinist for the past six years, and had started producing and engineering at a couple of studios at night. Then one day, my boss pissed me off, so I fired him and went to work full-time for myself. I rented studio space for a year while I built my own studio, and then moved into MY OWN STUDIO!!! And the rest is history...maybe not fame and fortune, but enough to make a living most of the time. Now I own a small independent record label, produce indie bands and solo artists, and rent studio time to whoever feels the need to record. I've always been a voracious reader and I've tried to educate myself on every aspect of the business, mainly so I don't go broke. Now I'm starting to focus on trying to get some songs recorded by major artists. I'm still at the beginning and there's a long way to go, but THAT'S why I showed up on this site and a few others. I want to put some feelers out to determine which songs to pitch to publishers and artists, because I figure I've only got one chance with each one, and I don't wanna blow it by giving them a song that's not my best. I'm not a guru or a sage. I'm just somebody learning all I can, and I like to share any knowledge that I happen to come upon with people who are interested. There's a whole world out there waiting for OUR songs to change it. And I think there's room for all of us.
  12. Right Lazz, They do vary, but I know nothing of the practices in the UK. Perhaps someone else can help us out with that.
  13. If you are an unknown writer, the most likely way to get your songs recorded by artists is to pitch them to publishers. Only pitch your best songs. If you have one or two songs that the publisher likes, they will offer you a single-song publishing deal for those specific songs. A few things to make sure the contract contains: 1 - A reversion clause. This is one of the most important things you need in a single-song contract. It states that if the publisher does not secure a recording and commercial release of your song within a specified period of time, that the publishing rights revert back to you. This period is usually between 6 months to 1 year, but sometimes a publisher will insist on 2 years. The simple fact is if the publisher hasn't signed the song with an artist within a year, they probably will never get it signed. That doesn't mean that your song is no good, it just means that a)the publisher has given up on your song ; b)the publisher doesn't have the right connections to pitch your song to the genre your song is for ; or c) you just need to find another publisher because he's not doing his job. 2 - Make sure that all publishing royalties are split 50/50 between you and your publisher. No legit publisher will ask for more than 50%. The only exceptions to this are that if the publisher has had expenses such as demo costs and administrative costs associated with your song, they can recoup those expenses from your share of the royalties. Make sure which expenses the publisher will be able to recover, and that they are reasonable (in other words, the publisher shouldn't spend $1000 to get a 1-song demo made). Another thing you need to realize is that if the publisher paid for the demo of your song,and you reach the end of the reversion period and decide to try again with a different publisher, you will have to reimburse the original publisher for the cost of the demo. Or if you have already found a new publisher, he will have to record a new demo or reimburse the previous publisher for the old one before he can start pitching it. A song earns royalties in many ways. Mechanical royalties are from sales of singles and albums. They are figured at around 8.5 cents per sale, per song. This means if you wrote two songs that appear on one album, the mechanical royalty will be 17 cents per unit sold.The publisher collects these earnings and gives you your share. Every time your song is played on the radio, it earns performance royalties.These are collected by your performing rights organizations (such as ASCAP or BMI or SESAC), and they send the publisher's share to them, and the writer's share to you, so your publisher doesn't have to worry about collecting and distributing the money from this. Everytime your song is played in a club you get paid. Anytime someone sings it at an event (football game, concert, the Olympics, etc.) you get paid. You also make money on the sale of sheet music of your song. But usually the royalty is different for this. Usually you only are paid 10% for sales of sheet music. (I think this is not fair to the writer. While sheet music sales don't usually account for a huge amount of money, I believe the artist should get a better deal than this. Alas, that is how the cookie crumbles, and you're unlikely to negotiate a larger percentage.) If your song is put into jukeboxes, you get paid for that also. But the industry has established a system for this in which jukebox owners pay an annual set fee for these rights and the royalties are distributed amongst all the artists with songs on jukeboxes. Then there are television and movies. These are negotiated and have a wide range of terms because of it. Same thing for video games. A good publisher can be the best friend your career ever had. A bad one can be a nightmare, so choose carefully. They should always be willing to show you who else they represent, what songs they have published in the past, and let you in on who their specific contacts are in the business. If they act like they are trying to hide something, find someone else.
  14. The last review I did was on studio reference monitors. This one will be about the Sony MDR-7506 Studio Reference Headphones. I am lucky enough to own a studio that has great separation and isolation between the control room and the studio rooms. So I am able to monitor tracking sessions through my monitors if I choose. But I find myself more often than not using my headphones for the initial setup and when I'm setting levels, EQ, and compression. I can just hear any problems much more easily with the phones. I always check the monitors too, but the headphones help a great deal. Many home studios are one room setups, and there is no other option but to use headphones to monitor tracking sessions. The type of headphones you use is very important to the sound of your final product. Also, there is the problem of a room not being suitable for monitoring with speakers when mixing. Many rooms don't have the proper acoustical properties and acoustical treatments to afford a suitable monitoring environment. They might be very bass heavy, and may cause unwanted reflections and standing waves which prevent the engineer from hearing what is really coming out of the speakers. In these instances it is critical that you have a good set of headphones that are consistent and have a nice, flat frequency response. The 7506s are some of the best headphones I have ever used. They are important tools for me at all stages of the recording process, from initial tracking, mixdown, and mastering phases. Their frequency response is outstanding, and their sound is unbelievable. They are simply the cleanest, most accurate phones I've ever heard. They are not cheap. You can find them new for $99 at most any mail-order music company and if you're lucky, you may find them on sale for $10 cheaper. They are worth every penny. I own only one pair, and I dare anybody else to touch them. The other headphones in my studio are mostly mid-priced AKG headphones that do a good job, and provide a little more isolation because of the design of the earcups. This is important in the studio rooms to prevent headphone bleed from getting into the mics. If you are in the position of having to mix with headphones, be sure to check your mixes on as many different systems as possible. This is good practice with any mix, but you especially need to do it if you mix on cans. Also, be aware of some of the problems that can develop when you mix on headphones. Phasing is hard to detect with headphones because they provide a totally isolated stereo picture. So be careful and minimize this by not recording everything in stereo. Any parts that you do record in stereo should be panned hard left/right to prevent phasing. After you have used the 7506s for a while, you will become more accustomed to their sound and know more about what your mix needs without having to run out to the car to play your mix back after every little change. This is true of any monitoring device. Just an aside here: Next time you watch the special features on a DVD, check out what the director/producer/soundman is wearing on his ears. Nine times out of ten, they will be the Sony MDR-7506s. They are industry standard for both recording and film studios. I hope this helps someone in their quest for better recordings.
  15. Marc, The reason hi-fi speakers are made the way they are made is the manufacturer wants to make them sound appealing to the common consumer. Unfortunately, the common consumer has somehow given manufacturers the impression that what they like is overpowering bass frequencies, and enhanced high frequencies. So the manufacturers build the hi-fi speakers with a built-in EQ curve that boosts bass and treble freqs. When they do that, you can't tell how you need to mix your song because you can't even hear what it really sounds like! And I've already mentioned that by boosting those frequencies, it greatly increases the strain put on the ears of the listener and causes ear fatigue.
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