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Posts Tagged ‘digital’

Improving vocal performance….

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Pro Soul and Jarome Matthew in the studio

Founder of Pro Soul Alliance, Jarome Matthew,  just posted this on his own blog, a must read for any performer and artist.

An important part of my role as a music producer is to get the best possible performance from artists in the studio both technically and emotionally.

I find I often fall short in this area though because unless they are professionals who have done large live performances for many years, most vocalists are often unable to deliver to their full potential. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t give great performances, it just means they could have done even better.

This is usually because the vocalist is not in optimal physical shape. Your health and physical fitness level has a huge impact on your vocal performances in the studio, and of course live. Sure, how comfortable you are with letting go and giving your all emotionally in the studio is also very important.  But to get a great performance, you really need to have a lot of power to deliver strong, clean vocal phrases. Without this power and energy, your performances will sound weak and shaky, quivering, particularly on the ends of longer words or sustained melodies and this drastically reduces the quality and impact of the performance.

Studio tools and tricks can rarely correct these problems effectively, so that’s why it’s so important for singers to keep in top physical shape if they want to give the best performance they’re capable of live and in the studio. Eat healthy food that gives you lots of energy, and adopt a regular cardio exercise routine at least 4 times a week.

Another recommendation, in addition to warming up properly before a performance and singing regularly in a choir, is opera training, or a great vocal coach such as Brennan Barrett, to help you get as much power as you can without exerting yourself more than you have to, and to assisting with effective breathing techniques that will give you better phrasing and power in the right places.

A producer can only do so much, and in my case, I can work a lot of miracles to make you sound great no matter what, but ultimately, I can only use the best you give me! Make sure that really is your best, as you never know who will hear your finished performance, or how far it will spread.

How will Indie labels react to major label partnership?

Friday, July 10th, 2009

NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Music Entertainment (SME) today announced that it has entered into a global partnership with IODA to create a new leading distribution and services network for independent rights holders. As part of the partnership, Sony Music has made a strategic investment in IODA, a leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement released by Kevin Arnold, Founder and CEO of IODA, “Sony really impressed us with their respect for, and understanding of the needs of the independent community.” He adds, “We remain, as we always have, fully dedicated to helping independent content owners succeed in the digital world. This alliance will greatly enhance IODA’s ability to continue delivering effective solutions for Independents.”

The question arising out of this major merger or “Partnership”, is how will the independent label community react? After all, the I in IODA is supposed to stand for Independent. What we do know is that some indie labels are seen at times to be in distrust of large corporations. We know that IODA gains a strong marketing partner in Sony. Sony operating through its independent distribution subsidiary RED taps into IODA’s digital distribution system worldwide. Released in the Newswire, Sony identifies making a strategic investment in IODA. Sony’s subsidiary, RED will continue to offer digital distribution services and IODA will be an added option for clients who need other services than what RED currently provides, specifically more indie-focused marketing and global distribution services.

In time, the answer will unfold as to how the independent community will react to this meeting of corporate minds. What is clear – did we honestly think – major corporations, responsible to their shareholders, would sit on the sidelines for long – better yet, did they ever sit on the sidelines? Or were they just waiting for the savvy, independents like IODA to work hard, build and develop this growing, transitioning industry, and then come in when the time was ripe and call “Merger” aka “Partnership”.

Corporate strategy and business development in true form. Sony’s way of addressing the changing needs of their market without doing due diligence to innovate and make changes necessary themselves from scratch.

The Free Thinkers

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

In search for insights on “Free” digital music, the music industry’s Kevin Arnold was asked his perspective on the value and future of free music. The CEO of digital distributor The Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) had this to say:

” We definitely believe Free has value in a number of ways for music. First and foremost, in the way it has almost always been used in music and in many many other consumer businesses: as a free sample to introduce a product to new users.  Just like the handouts at Costco, tasting at a winery, or swag bags at conventions and parties, labels and artists have long given away music in the form of samplers and promo CDs, free performances, and outlets like radio and MTV.  In the digital world this act has value in ways that we’re still learning and consistently surprise us.  Who would have thought that the free giveaway of Nine Inch Nails’ last record would end up with it being the top selling album at AmazonMP3 last year?   The important thing with this type of (promotional) Free is that it is done on the artist/content owner’s terms, and that they can control the process to manage the value of the effort and get what they want out of it.

Beyond the promotional Free are the more recent attempts at commercial offerings that “feel like free”.  This covers pretty much everything from the massively popular streaming sites like MySpace, Playlist, and imeem to ideas like ISP-endorsed free file-sharing or newer models like PlayAnywhere from Catch Media. The key difference is that these platforms aim to offer not a few sample tracks but rather full releases and catalogs. In exchange, content owners expect to get paid for the use of the music.  These models still have a long way to go towards providing monetization levels that most content owners are comfortable with, and many unanswered questions as to whether these services help or hurt other online sales models remain.

Good old-fashioned free P2P file sharing can also be valuable in some cases, generally for the developing artist in accordance with the “give-it-away-until-you-can-charge-for-it” theory.  But this should be done at the discretion and control of the artist or label, ideally with some measurable results, be they emails from new fans around the world or more people coming to your shows. In any case, only the content owner can decide if any of these flavors of Free work for them or not.”

Kevin Arnold tells us that although free is a good way to go, its important to manage this practice with discretion and control by the artist or label. Monitor and measure the results of the give-a-way, by new fan e-mails or an increase in attendance at your shows.

Giving free music is a way for the artist to create a fan base, and creating good music is every reason for a person to be a fan. This is definitely a good place to start.

Metric Reaps Their Success Independantly

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Metric has finally released their first album in four years! Not only did they release it without a record label, but their new release named “Fantasies” rose to the middle of the U.S. pop chart. Metric managed to rake in an enormous amount on iTunes, also tapping into Canadian arts funding grants.

Since its release on March 31st, the new album has sold 9,000 digital downloads in the U.S.  In the music industry these sales may not seem like much, but take into account the 15,000 downloads the band’s co-manager said was sold internationally, these numbers indicate the success of this album. Thanks to iTunes, and sales on the bands own website, Metric has already grossed more than it did on the band’s 2005’s “Live It Out”, which sold more than 45,000 copies.

Metric is learning from Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. The members of Metric, and their co-manager, figure they could never offer their fans an album at 13-15 dollars per unit if they had released it while being backed by a record label.  If they had produced their album through a record label, they would have made 22 cents per dollar, rather than seeing the 77 cent per dollar profit they see now.

Metric’s album release was handled by Redeye Distribution. The firm’s director of marketing, Josh Wittman, said the band sold somewhere around 3,000 physical CDs in the US the first day!  Metric is a band with a fire in it’s belly, and definitely is paving the way for other Canadian artists much like them by showing how with dedication and the right assistane, you don’t need to be tied down to big corporations to turn a profit.,0,7581416.story

MIDEM 2009: Fresh ideas for the new music industry

Monday, January 19th, 2009

At Pro Soul, we’ve always got our feelers out for what’s happening in the music industry.

One of the best ways to do this is by keeping tabs on the happenings at MIDEM, “the world’s music market, where nearly 9,000 international music (labels, publishers, artist managers and many more), digital and mobile professionals gather to do business.)

The 2009 MIDEM conference began yesterday in Cannes, France, and features distinguished speakers sharing their thoughts on key issues affecting the music industry today.  MidemNet, the weekend-long precursor to MIDEM, focused on a topic important to Pro Soul and its artists: monetizing music in the digital age.  Over 1,400 Industry experts discussed new and exciting ideas to address the opportunities and challenges surrounding the development of the artist-fan relationship, particularly on the Internet.

We’ll be bringing you the latest news out of MIDEM, so stay tuned!

Selling art, not copies

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

When hearing that we don’t require ownership or rights to artists music in order to assist them, people ask, ” As a label, how can you help sell copies of an artists music if you don’t own their copyright?”

The answer is because in the new music business, we don’t have to.
The idea of selling ‘copies of music’ is out like Bush!
If your at all following recent trends in our society, you know that there is a growing movement towards the idea of selling art, not copies of it.
Crosbie Fitch says it best here.

What this means is there are many ways to earn income from music. Selling copies is quickly losing popularity as the primary method. So if your only selling CD’s to earn income, your going to be left behind in the dark ages. There is a very good chance that in 2009, very few retailers will carry CD’s anymore, including the largest, Wall Mart. Sure CD’s will still be popular for some time, but they are on the way out. That is common knowledge fact now.

Pro Soul assists artists in finding various ways to earn income, using the latest and most innovative ideas that have been shown to reflect the interests of the music lover. And many music fans want to support the artist directly for what they do. So we lay the foundation, and then get out of the way as far as the music lover is concerned. Fresh thinking for a changing industry, an evolving world.