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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Emerging artists use new tools for success

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The growing number of social-networking sites aimed at bringing aspiring musicians and loyal music fans together,  gives way to greater control of an artist’s career, while entertaining music lovers everywhere.

Encouraging the emerging artist to connect with fans, and promoting music is the purpose of sites such as . Among its many partners,  Ourstage has joined with MTV for the Emerging Artist Program. brings the artist and promoter together, and is a place where any band from any genre anywhere in the world, can come to find and connect with any type of music promoter, licensor or broadcaster — easily, effectively, and quickly.

As technology advances at such a rapid pace, so goes the advancement of innovative ways to meet the challenges of music promotion and the business of making music.  Unlike the new frontiers of days ago big band Radio, and major labels, this new wave of Music Business done better sets out community guidelines that its independent members must agree to:

“We like to think we’re in this together, meaning we provide the platform to showcase your talent, but we need artists’ help too.  Keep your profile updated, keep uploading into our channels, make friends, recruit fans—help us help you.”
Ourstage Community Values

When the “help them to help you” gets overwhelming, there are professionals like Pro Soul Alliance to assist artists while allowing them to keep in control of their career.

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.

A brave new era of music self release…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

According to some artists still believe record labels are the best way to get their music out to the public. Artists believe there is security in being signed to a record label. The idea is that a major label provides people in the music industry that know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, bar codes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out – they are the corporate caretakers of the music business, and 20% of something is better than 100% of nuthin’. Their experience and advice, the guidance and navigation through all the decision making, is worth giving up the 80%.

There is substantial benefit in having a major behind you to advance studio money, and cutting the checks for the cost of promotional events to market your image – but, being “signed” to a major label is not the only means of getting your music to market. Its now common for an artist to be without major label backing, and he/she/they are no longer considered “unsigned”. Known as an “Independent”, modern technology has delivered the brave new era of self-release. The independent artist has the tools to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from their music on their own terms, keeping the profits and rights to their intellectual property.

The question is when should you begin marketing and selling your music online? In the old days of music publishing, the finished recording was the minimum standard for releasing material to the general public. Without the professional guidance from a seasoned music executive, how will you know when to start letting people hear what you’re working on? Well respected author and consultant Andrew Dubber says, depending upon whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and how confident you are in your professional abilities, “There can be a strong case made that encourages musicians to let audiences get a glimpse behind the curtain and see the music in development.” By and large and after all consideration, the answer can only be when you are ready. When you have prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and your song speaks to you and tells you that you’re ready. Not to worry, if you do need some solid advice, there are professionals who can help you master the era of self release.

giving back to the independent community…

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

It now seems that major labels Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music no longer have a firm grip on the artist or the industry, and the old model of doing business their way is a thing of the past.

On the forefront of an ever-changing music industry, is Brian Message, manager of the alternative band Radiohead. Brian Message along with co-founders, Adam Driscoll, chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group, and Terry McBride, founder of the Vancouver-based management firm Nettwerk Music Group and former manager of Barenaked Ladies, have united to form the new business venture, Polyphonic. Polyphonic will look to invest in new and rising unsigned artists and then help them create a sound relationship with their audiences over the Internet. Artists will operate like start-up companies, record their own music, and choose outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring. The Polyphonic founders plan to invest $300,000 in each band. The firm will then guide the musician and manager who will function a little like the band’s chief executive, to services that will help promote the artist’s online presence.

Polyphonic and similar firms are seen as a risky investment by private investors. For the founders of Polyphonic, giving back to the independent community, and mentoring the new artist or band appears to outweigh that risk. Success is all about giving back. Witnessing the dedication and commitment to the independent community by those that go before you is a valuable lesson in filling the gap between artist and label – a practice we should all remember!

Source: New York Times, 2009/07/22

Canada takes another shot at amending copyright law

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Balancing the complexities of copyright, maintaining fairness to the holder – all while staying ahead of the ever changing advancements in the era of technology, is the task faced by the Canadian government. Back at the round table, lawmakers are rehashing the balancing act. Present law sets a maximum penalty for private infringements of copyright at C$20,000 per infringement. New legislation would reduce that maximum to C$500. Commercial pirating would continue to face severe liabilities in corporate lawsuits and be subject to criminal prosecution, with penalties of up to five years in prison.

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government, struggling to stay ahead of fast-moving technological developments, will launch consultations next week to help it craft new copyright legislation.

The U.S. Trade Representative fingered Canada in April, putting it on its priority watch list because of growing concerns about what it sees as weak protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

There is always a struggle between pleasing copyright holders and users, a balance that tries to recognize the modern reality of an increasingly tech-savvy population while not eliminating ownership rights protection for companies and artists.

Excerpts provided by Yahoo News

The fact is, in the words of Harvard Entertainment law professor Lawrence Lessig, copyright law is broken, and no amendment will fix the fact that society has changed not only the way it views infringement, but uses intellectual property as a form of expression, and copyright law needs to reflect that.

To learn more about what’s really going on with Canadian copyright and find our what you can do, visit Michael Geist, Canadian advocate for copyrigh reform.

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.