Archive for December, 2009

Career Opportunities in Music Recording

Friday, December 25th, 2009
Abby Reid asked:


A countless number of music schools have spawned in recent years due to a renewed interest in recording music. There are many career opportunities in the field of music. Whether you’re aspiring to be a music engineer or a legitimate recording artist, music recording training has become one of the best career training options available in the world today.

Career Opportunities In Music Recording

Music is not all about a microphone and a piano. A top class music recording involves many sophisticated equipments in addition to a qualified professional music engineer. The demand for music engineers today is very high. Countless

music recordings are released each and every month and a good music engineer can earn a significant amount of money in a short amount of time. Music engineers will be in higher demand the more their name and reputation is established. This means they can command a higher asking price for their services. Fame can indeed accompany money for many music engineers.

The Role Of A Music Engineer

Some people have this misconception that a music engineer is dealing with wires and circuits all day. The fact is a career as a music engineer is something entirely different than that misconception. A music engineer is usually referred to as the recording engineer in the recording studio. The digital audio workstations that you find in a recording studio are the music engineer’s instruments. The role of the music engineer is to fine-tune the music that is being recorded. This job requires enormous skill and proper training.

The Music Career Training

While there are many music career-training programs available today, if you truly wish to shine in your music career, it’s important to find the absolute best training programs.

One of the best music career training programs available is the ‘Conservatory’s Master Recording Program II’.

Unlike other conventional music recording training programs, the Conservatory’s Master Recording Program II concentrates totally on the art and science of sound. Starting from the basic principles of sound, this unique program extends for 42 weeks and finishes with the most sophisticated concepts of audio engineering. One of the main features of this training program is that the training program covers eight main aspects. The eight main areas of this training program are:

1. Audio Recording and Production – This part covers all of the basic principles of sound and educates students about the basic fundamentals of music recording.

2. Music Business – Here the student learns about the various methods of making money in a music related business. This session includes classes about audio copyrights and record labels.

3. Digital Recording – This is the doorway to digital recording. Lessons are available for digital recording and other digital techniques in the form of computer based applications.

4. Pro Tools – This is the most important part of the program. This session familiarizes students with the sophisticated tools used in digital audio processing and recording.

5. Sound Reinforcement – This session includes studies related to audio signal distribution.

6. Troubleshooting/Maintenance – Basic electronic engineering skills and test equipment skills will be taught to the aspiring music engineer.

7. Career Management – This is an opportunity to gain knowledge about the music industry.

8. Internship- This final session provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate skills learned and acquired throughout training.

The program concludes with students hopefully becoming successful music engineers and realizing their dreams of having a lucrative career in music.



How To Start A Successful Music Career

Friday, December 25th, 2009
Mike Philippov asked:


How To Start A Successful Music Career

by Tom Hess

Do you need some immediate help on how to start a successful music career? Here are 4 key things you can begin to focus on right now to begin.

Practice to become a professional musician – Continuously work on improving your musical skills, but before you think, “That’s obvious. Tell me something I don’t know”, there are important things to consider. It’s not necessarily about learning more techniques, improving your guitar speed or increasing the size of your chord vocabulary. Think about what a professional musician really needs to know and do musically. Playing your instrument well at home is one thing, but playing well consistently in the studio or on stage is completely different, thus the training and practicing required to play well in those professional environments are also very different.

Yes, you should continue to improve your overall musical skills, but if you want to start a successful music career you will need to specifically practice your ability to play well ‘consistently’ in a variety of higher-pressure situations. - Amateurs practice something to ‘get it right’. Professionals practice to ‘never get it wrong’.

So the next time you practice your guitar, instead of trying to play something ‘faster’ or learn something ‘new’, focus on playing whatever you can already play ‘consistently well’.

Think about a professional guitar player like Eric Clapton. He’s not a great technical guitar player at all, his knowledge of music theory is probably not vast, but one of the reasons why he became successful in his early days (and continues to be successful today) is because he can play on his own level ‘consistently well’ every night in any environment.

In addition to the ‘consistency factor’ just mentioned, there are other things professionals practice that most guitar players typically don’t implement in their practicing. For example, having a really good ear is something that professional musicians rely on heavily, yet most guitar players don’t dedicate practice time to develop their aural skills.

Your Recordings – If your music skills are good and your songs are good it might be all for nothing if your recordings ****. You do not necessarily have to invest huge amounts of money to record in a great studio, nor do you have to invest huge amounts of money in a great home studio (although it is nice), but you DO need the playing on your recordings to sound TIGHT (making everything rhythmically PERFECT, appropriate dynamic playing, etc.)!

Do NOT make the mistake of thinking, oh this is only a demo, so tight playing is not that critical when making a simple demo… I assure you, IT IS! Virtually anyone in the music industry today who hears your music will immediately notice if the performance recording is not tight. And if it’s not, they won’t be interested. Why? Because your “demo” is supposed to show others both your songs and your musical abilities. The assumption will be that if your demo is not tight, then your live sound will be amateurish and putting you in the studio will cost a fortune when you have to play something 500 times to get it right.

So if you want to start a successful music career, you should practice recording yourself frequently in order to make your studio playing as tight as possible.

Your Live Playing – It’s been said that successful music careers are built on the stage. While not all musicians start a music career this way, it is true that your live playing is a critical component and can make or break your chances of developing a music career.

Record companies want bands that can sell themselves from the stage. That means when a band plays live people listening should want to actually buy the band’s music, and all other band related merchandise. It’s a fact that your fans will buy more during and after a great live show than after a mediocre one even if the songs played are exactly the same. The music industry (or successful bands you might like to join) look very closely at your ability to create a great live show experience for audiences.

Most musicians and amateur bands don’t truly work to improve their live performance skills. Great live playing is much more than simply playing songs while standing (and hoping not to make mistakes)… yet for the majority of local musicians and bands this is all they really seem to focus on when playing live.

Where your fans live is really important – If you want to get signed to a major record label, which do you think is better?

A. To have 5,000 fans in your country (or around the world).

B. To have 5,000 fans in your local area only.

The answer is “B”. It is much easier to get 5,000 fans around the country (or the entire world) than it is to get 5,000 fans in your local area. Everyone in the music industry knows this (including record companies). If you sold 5,000 copies worldwide of your new album on your own, that is good accomplishment, but if you sold 5,000 in your local area on your own that would be a major accomplishment in the eyes of record labels.

Why does it matter? Record labels know that if you can sell 5,000 copies in one location on your own, then it makes sense that a record company could probably sell even more copies not only in your area but in many cities/countries.

By having so many fans in one area you demonstrate to the music industry that you have a lot of proven value to offer and their willingness to invest into your music career will go way up!

Although the internet is a great tool for musicians, many artists are focusing on reaching out to the whole world at once and don’t invest enough time and energy into building a valuable local foundation of fans.

Before the internet, bands typically tried to build a strong local fan base around their city. Those that succeeded in this area where most likely to build a successful music career. But since the internet has opened up so many new possibilities, many unsigned musicians/bands have forgotten the basics which are still very relevant to getting signed to a major record company.

What’s next? – Obviously there are a lot of things you need to do to start a successful music career, but this article is designed to get you started now so that you will be in a better position to do the next steps after you have implemented the concepts above. Here’s a quick summary of action steps to take now:

In addition to improving your overall musical skills, practice to play ‘consistently well’ with the skills you already have. Practice recording yourself frequently in order to make your studio playing as tight as possible. Work on improving your live performance skills (stage presence, playing in totally different environments, etc.). Build your fan base locally as well as internationally (using different strategies for each).

Get 15 additional free music business tips that will help you build your career.



How To Start A Record Company

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Prabhat786 asked:


Are You Being *Pimped* for Your Music? Take this test to find out..

Ok, so the title got you to open up the email… Great.. Because

this is serious stuff and I want you to be honest with yourself

when reading this email.

Everyday I get phone calls from people who are still chasing the

dream of getting signed to a major label and for the life of me

I can’t figure out why??

I mean, why give-away your creativity, your future and not to

mention most of your hard earnings, in what I call a modern day

pimping scandal

Major record companies DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT care about you

unless you can make them a hefty profit and once that stops

happening, you are out of business

Think of all of the great artist that used to rock the radio waves

just 5 years ago… Where are they now? No one knows, but I will

tell you this, to a major record label, you are only as good as

our last album.

Ask yourself:

A- Are you really doing all of this to be a failure to be laughed

at by friends and family or do you really have a desire to be

successful?

B- Are you the type of person who likes to have a say in things

such as what your music should sound like, what you should dress

like and how much money YOU deserve?

(or would you prefer that someone else run your life for you, and

dictate your every move the way a parent does a child?)

I didn’t think so, your much to smart for that!

So think about it, what are your choices..

1. Get Pimped

2. Take the smarter option

THE (SMARTER) OTHER OPTION

O.K. so you want to be heard, you want to keep your creativity and

you surely want to keep as much as your hard earned money as

you can right? RIGHT

So the other option, which most people are successfully turning and

making a small fortune from doing… Is Starting Your Own Record Label.

Yes, thats right, don’t tell me that you have not thought of it

before or maybe you did but just did not know how to get started

or where to turn for help!

Well now, you are in luck because I have it all planned out for

you, take a look here:

It’s the only way to start and maintain a highly successful record

label.

I’ll show you step by step how to

* Get started

* Get money to get started

* Get global recognition

Also, for the first couple of people who act on this, I’m even

throwing in a free copy the brand new “Royalty Calculation Software”

take a look and read more about it here:

http://www.TheUltimateRecordLabel.com



Record Pools - Are You Swimming Yet?

Sunday, December 20th, 2009
Jaci Rae asked:


The winter months have hit us and unless you live in Southern California, most people aren’t swimming in open-air pools any longer.

Until recent times, Indie Artists and the labels they set up for themselves had a hard time getting their music heard by anyone outside their own backyard pool of fans. With guerilla marketing finally becoming common practice and online music stores becoming a main stay for the music aficionado, record pools are now open for business to the general indie population.

What is a record pool? Basically, a record pool is a membership of DJ’s that act as an intermediary between DJ’s and the music makers. The power behind a record pool is that it can reach a mass, global market in lightening speed.

As of 2005, there are over 7000 DJ’s and industry professionals who are part of this digital revolution. In order for a DJ to belong to a record pool, they must pay a monthly association fee to obtain the latest and most current music.

Frequently this music is available to them before it becomes available to mainstream radio, and because of that, record pools quite often have more of an initial impact than the popular mainstream outlets.

The power radio programmers have over radio, clubs and street music is now handed over to the DJ’s who participate in the record pools, allowing them to have control over what they “break.”

So how can you get an invitation to swim in their pool? No invitations necessary, but you must have a good professional product that is available in digital format (although I did find one that accepted vinyl).

Some of the record pools now require that you have your own label, meaning that you don’t submit as your band name. That is easily done by setting up your own label (too much information to go into here, but you can find the information inside my book The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money).

Once you have the business side taken care of, start searching the internet using the keywords, “record pool,” and then contact them to be certain that your style of music is part of their repertoire.

Don’t randomly send out your online or hard copy press kit to every record pool you find, just as you wouldn’t send your music to every station you discover. E.g., a country record pool isn’t interested in acid rock and a classical record pool won’t be interested in spinning a blue grass tune. Then begin to submit your CDs using the contact information you acquired. Do you homework and beware of companies that don’t post charts or may be music collectors.

Here are a few record pools I found on the web:

http://www.americanrecordpool.com (they represent an assortment of music, including R&B, Hip-Hop and Dance.) http://www.keystonespinners.com (they represent Hip Hop, Latin, World and Jazz) http://www.recordpools.com (they represent Dance, Hip Hop, and Latin)

The time for indie artists is upon us, but you better take advantage of record pools now, before someone puts a “no swimming without a lifeguard” sign out. Copyright 2006



Digital Insomnia Recordings - Increased web presence

Saturday, December 19th, 2009
Darren Bayton asked:


Hi Folks,

This is my first post at Articlesbase.com.

I would just like to welcome you all to my record label. Digital Insomnia Recordings. www.digital-insomnia.co.uk

Im going to start off by giving you some links to keep upto date with the movements of my record label and our artists.

This is our new official blog: http://direcordings.blogspot.com/

And this is our new twitter page. Seems like everyone is on twitter these days so i got with the times today. :)

http://twitter.com/direcordings

The next item is about Ben Hunt and his new release coming out on 13th August 2009.

The track is already receiving some nice support from DJ’s around the globe. We have Manuel Le Saux & Ton TB already giving the track top ratings.

This is the 2nd release in the Ben Hunt saga. Following on from the success of his debut release of “Moonlight”, Digital Insomnia Recordings are proud to present Golden Reef.

“Golden Reef” perfectly compliments the summer weather with its uplifting but chilled out sound.

The track starts off powerful but beautiful and instantly draws in the listener. Within the first few minutes you get hooked on how the track builds and progresses and leaves you wondering what’s going to come along next. Then the breakdown drops…

It’s a must have for any DJ’s summer collection.

This release comes with remixes from CJ Peeton, Vincent Cuevas, DJ Magik and Arjona. Each artist giving their own take on this crafted piece of work. We have also included and Original Radio Edit.

Ben Hunt Quotes: “Golden Reef was written with an Ibiza morning sunrise in mind and the tracks emotional breakdown perfectly compliments this thought. As the beautiful strings line builds, in comes the guitar pluck which will guarantee to melt any Trancer. The track then comes back alive and drops with plenty of power but still keeps the feel and emotion flowing rite until the end”.

Hope you can join us in supporting this new release from Ben Hunt.



I will make more posts here soon. I have alot to get on with this week. I have to organise my lecturing Schemes of work ready for Septembers Term begining.

Stay good people. And keep that positive vibration there.

Best wishes

Darren Bayton

CEO - Digital Insomnia Recordings



Top Ten Independent Pop Record Companies

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Linda Lane asked:


1) Epitaph

Epitaph Records was founded in the 1980’s by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz to put together a record label that was artist-friendly. The label helped propel the punk revitalization of the 1990’s with releases from bands such as The Offspring and Rancid. Key artists on the label today are:

• The Distillers

• Dropkick Murphys

• From First To Last

• Matchbook Romance

2) TVT

TVT was formed by Steve Gottlieb in 1985 as Tee Vee Toons, a vehicle for releasing collections of television theme songs. The label has since grown into a powerful force in the development of rap and hip hop. Among TVT’s key artists today are:

• Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz

• Sevendust

• Ying Yang Twins

3) Victory

Victory is a Chicago-based label founded by Tony Brummel. They are one of the most prominent labels in the world of Punk Pop A significant number of Victory artists take part in the annual Taste of Chaos and Warped concert tours. Current key artists include:

• A Perfect Murder

• Atreyu

• Hawthorne Heights

4) Matador

Matador was founded by Chris Lombardi in 1989 in New York City. The label’s first major success was the 1990 release of the album A Catholic Education by Teenage Fanclub. The label is part of the Beggars Group of independent labels and maintains a very diverse roster of artists. Current key artists include:

• Belle and Sebastian

• Cat Power

• New Pornographers

• Pavement

5) Koch

Koch is the fastest growing independent record label. It is a division of the Koch Entertainment Company. Koch was founded in the late 1990’s and maintains a varied and diverse artist roster including a number of artists who formerly recorded for major record labels. Key current artists include:

• Joan Baez

• Howard Jones

• Lil Romeo

• Ringo Starr

6) Rap-a-Lot

Rap-a-Lot is a Houston-based R&B label founded in Houston in 1986. They have played a key role in the development of Houston’s rap scene which has exploded nationally. Key current artists include:

• Geto Boys

• Pimp C

• Scarface

7) Saddle Creek

Saddle Creek was founded as Lumberjack Records in Omaha, Nebraska in 1993 by Rob Nansel and Mike Mogis. The label was catapulted into national awareness through the success of Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes. His music is a blend of folk and indie rock now referred to as the Omaha sound. Key label artists include:

• Bright Eyes

• Broken Spindles

• Cursive

8. Fueled By Ramen

Fueled By Ramen was started as a label by Less Than Jake guitarist Vinnie Fiorello and John Janick in 1996. The label is a key player in the development of Punk Pop and released early recordings by Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World and Yellowcard. Among the key artists currently on the label are:

• Less Than Jake

• Panic! At the Disco

9) Sub Pop

Sub Pop will forever be tied to the emergence of grunge in the early 1990’s out of Seattle, Washington. The label grew out of a fanzine also called Sub Pop and began to sign recording artists in 1986. They were the first label to sign Nirvana and Soundgarden to recording contracts. Sub Pop has survived the demise of grunge and continues to be a force in the development of independent recorded music. Key artists today include:

• The Postal Service

• The Shins

• Sleater-Kinney

10) Rykodisc

Rykodisc began in 1984 as the first cd-only record label. In their early years they became known for releasing much of Frank Zappa’s vast catalogue on compact disc. Through the years they have become known for stellar re-issues of classic pop and rock music as well as promoting new artists. Key current artists include:

• Brian Eno

• My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

• Josh Rouse

This Information is Brought to You By “EZ Record Deal”, the ultimate guide to getting a record deal. Visit EZ Record Deal now by going to http://www.EZRecordDeal.com



Patti LaBelle Tickets - a New Generation For LaBelle

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Meaghan Clark asked:


Who says women can’t rock into their ’60s along with the men? Patti LaBelle, along with her band members Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, are returning to the stage after three decades. The comeback tour is their first since 1977 and the ladies are back and ready to rock! If you’ve been a long time of Labelle, the trio’s name, or just can’t get enough of the classic R&B soul hits that Labelle and her girls revolutionized throughout the ’70s then hit up http://www.stubhub.com/patti-labelle-tickets for the best of LaBelle, everything from Patti LaBelle tickets to news!

After a 30 year hiatus, the stylistas return to the stage together with their newest album, Back to Now, and of course, the supporting tour. Dates were recently announced, which include an appearance in New Your City’s famed Apollo Theater mid-December as well as more that span through February. Though expectations may be high for these so-called “has beens,” LaBelle is extremely optimistic about delving into those preconditioned expectations. Talking to http://GayWired.com, she says, “You do work you really believe is going to touch the hearts of people. It has to touch yours, and the sound has to be great. You’re giving them who you are. We’re 64 years young now and we’re still doing what we do. And I must say myself, we ‘re doing it quite well.”

Already a smash success, Back to Now’s first single, “Roll Out,” featuring Wyclef Jean was the first single released since 1976’s “Chameleon.” The album already reached the Billboard charts, peaking at number nine on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. With a slew of today’s hottest producers and R&B artists aboard, including Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Lenny Kravitz, the group’s comeback album is not going to see reluctance in any of its reviewers. “You don’t want to half-step something this important” LaBelle said in an interview with The Toronto Star, explaining the delay between albums. “We still talked with one another through the years and we never officially had a farewell tour or anything like that. My solo career took off, so it was about finding the right time and place.”

LaBelle formed in 1962 from the ashes of another soul quartet the Ordettes, whose former members Patricia Holt and Cindy Birdsong met up with Wynona “Nona” Hendryx and Sarah Dash to create the group BlueBelles. When their producer Bobby Martin suggested a name change for Patricia from Holt to LaBelle, the group started seeing success with LaBelle leading the Belles to Top R&B success. After the group signed with Atlantic records in 1965 and Birdsong left, the trio continued to work together as the ’70s allowed for a makeover, which along with a new look and manager came a new name - LaBelle. Over the next few years the group continued to change record labels and their sound, hitting a more R&B rock genre and a core with their single “Lady Marmalade.” The number one single found LaBelle struggling to see a successor, and after a few commercial disappointments the group split in the mid ’70s. Each singer attempted solo success, the most triumphant being that of the front woman, LaBelle herself.



Home Recording Studio How to Start ?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Wayne Johnson asked:


Regarding an inexpensive but effective Home Recording Studio, the first thing to do is to carefully go over your budget, because once you get going it will be the little bits and pieces that can nickel and dime you to death. Know how much you can safely spend without putting yourself into financial jeopardy. So many people talk about getting Financial Backers but that isn’t always the best answer since they will often want the lion’s share of any rewards plus interest until the debt is paid back in full. Backers are also very impatient about repayment and don’t want to hear excuses as to why you had to pay your Rent before you pay them! When it comes to Bank loans, the Banks usually look at the Music Business as if it were smoke, something that you can see but cannot touch or hold in your hands.

They are very practical and cautious when it comes to giving out money for the Music Industry despite the incredible amount of money that is generated every year from it. Unless you have a lot of collateral to back such a loan, wait until you can show regular income from your initial endeavors first. Thinking big is fine, but starting out small and wisely is the best policy in putting together your own studio. The terms “Starving Artists” and “Starving Producers” come from the usual way of supplying your musical interests by means of a Day Job until you can wisely transition from one to the other. Almost everyone does it and there is no shame in admitting it. Only the most obnoxious of Industry Professional will criticize you for it.

The next subject to ponder is what you will use your home studio for. Is it for your own solo material, a Band, or are you planning to take on clients? Each situation can vary greatly depending upon the quality and workload you are seeking from your studio. As an example, I have worked, Managed, Recorded and Produced in 7 Recording Studios ranging from simple but effective equipment in a basement, all the way up to a current multi-million dollar Recording Facility here in Connecticut. Please note that as you move up in the degree of Studio you work in, your abilities, ears, and skills also need to improve dramatically! But the good thing is that if you start out small and determined to succeed, and keep an open mind to learning from others, you can eventually develop into whatever level you wish to as long as you can handle it. Recording Schools are invaluable for learning the Recording Industry, but they are not inexpensive, so you may wish to invest in books and videos about recording first. They can be purchased from many local Musical Instrument stores and national chains, including mail order.

Another option is to try to develop a relationship with someone experienced that can act as a Mentor, it can be invaluable to you and that person can help to further advance your career with their knowledge and influential assistance. The rule of thumb is that everyone in the business knows somebody else in the business at higher levels of power and success. But as with any Professional in any field of business, be respectful, honest, humble, tactful, and become an “invited guest” as opposed to a character that they will regret knowing! So after figuring out what level of experience you are at now and what you wish to use your studio for, it is time to start making a shopping list. If you are a beginner or even an experienced veteran, the best choices would be either a good home computer with lots of memory since there are many great programs that you can purchase along with the proper interface equipment, or purchase an all-in-one Recorder/Mixer/CD Burner unit. My suggestion is that when it comes to efficiency and cost effectiveness, the all-in-one units are outstanding and can create some wonderful results if you take your time to study and learn the functions, and then practice with them. The better ones are advisable and can range from approximately $800 to around $4000 to purchase. These units usually include extremely useful options and functions such as built in effects and editing programs, processors, mixers, and CD burners that can be very expensive if purchased separately. Since technology has improved so much over the years, these types of units can sound as if you recorded in a full blown recording studio. While they won’t replace a Professional Recording Studio with all of the bells and whistles, not to mention seriously sound-proofed recording rooms, you can purchase and own the all-in-one units for much less than the cost of recording a full CD of songs in a major studio.

To give you an example of this, while I often work in a big studio, I have my own Roland all-in-one unit and record my own clients I Manage, Song write, and Produce music for on it. This way, I don’t have to worry about paying for recording time costs or high utility bills that go hand in hand with a big studio. I can take as much time as I wish or that my clients need without watching the clock and can still get the results I want without the added pressures. Since I do know what I am doing and have a lot of experience recording and Producing, I recorded my Country Artist “Miss Marie” Wuhrer’s first CD “Bad Reputation” on it and it received airplay in approximately 75% of the US and many Record Label inquiries to boot!!! So the all-in-one units can be quite cost effective while returning professional quality results, and they are also very portable if need be. Portability can be a major plus! The next issue on the list is to get some very good recording microphones and perhaps a few stage microphones for good measure. Consider a minimum of a vocal and an instrument microphone. The recording ones are Condenser microphones and they require phantom power to operate them, which is simply a low voltage power source from 9 to 18 volts. This can come from putting batteries in the microphone or is usually included in the all-in-one units as standard equipment power supplies. The stage microphones are called Dynamic microphones and just require connection to a preamp or mixer channel input. Never run phantom power on dynamic microphones or you could easily and quickly damage them or the power source itself. Remember, if you plug the microphone into the unit and it doesn’t work in any of the channels as is, then you probably have a condenser microphone and must press the “phantom power” button to turn on the phantom power unit so the microphone will operate. Most decent condenser microphones have a Led light that comes on to show when it is in operation.

Condenser microphones are extremely sensitive and can pick up stray noises in the room so be careful when they are on during recording as to not have a very noisy environment you are working in. While it is crucial to “clean” your recorded tracks one-by-one of any stray sounds such as breathing noises BEFORE you mix them into the final result, there are times when you can’t remove excessive noise and must accept it or do the track over. Keep it quiet around you and you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble. All microphones have sensitivity specs, and to avoid a lengthy explanation here and distortion when you are recording, look for a microphone that has a 40 decibel or higher rating for sensitivity. This way, if you have a loud singer you won’t overdrive the microphone easily and get distortion in the vocal tracks. Next, you have to determine where you are going to record, especially if it is in your home. Most studios are in the basement areas and require deadening of the room to make it quiet for recording. When using an all-in-one unit, you can do most of your recording directly into the mixer/recorder without worrying about the noise you or others are making, it is all very quiet. This is especially true when using a drum machine instead of an actual Drummer and live drums! Except for vocals and live drums, you can record a full song in a bedroom while your family members or roommates are in other rooms and they won’t even hear you doing it! If you do designate a specific area, your recording room should not get too hot or too cold, and dampness is not good for any electronic equipment so be careful. When going for the cheap but effective recording studio, you can put up heavy rugs on the walls or use other deadening material to quiet down the room accordingly. Whether you are making a formal recording studio or a simple one, always remember to use Non-flammable materials to deaden the room to avoid a potential disaster.

To continue with our list, I recommend getting good headphones for yourself and some spares for others to use, as well as a headphone amplifier that will run multiple sets of headphones. For the best results, you should use the same brand and model closed back headphones which are essential for recording with live microphones. Semi-open or open-backed headphones allow the sounds coming through to be picked up and fed back into the microphone and recorder. The more isolation the headphones offer the better. Last in the chain would be a pair of powered studio monitors for playback and mixing. The best ones have the Bass ports in the front so they can be used in any location if necessary. The ones with Bass ports in the rear require a reflex action off of a wall for sound quality and this may not be practical for a home studio. As with all of the equipment I mentioned, there are many good brands and models out there and the costs vary greatly. Be ringer, Samson, and Event make some great units for home studios, and the bigger the Bass speaker i.e.: 6 or 8 inches, the better the quality of the sound you’ll get in final mixing and playback. I don’t recommend getting subwoofers until you really know what you are doing and can get a great mix on regular speakers. If you cannot mix on regular speakers, then adding subwoofers won’t help the final product and usually makes it sound horrible. And if while you are mixing your final product the dogs in your neighborhood are howling and running for cover, then Turn down the volume and back off on the Bass and high treble frequencies. If you blow out your hearing, it is gone forever. For optional equipment in your arsenal, a fairly inexpensive boom box is a great tool to have after making a mix. When I finish a mix of a song, I usually make both a CD and a cassette copy of it and play it on a good stereo, a cheap boom box, and a car radio just to see if it sounds good and fairly consistent for quality. If it sounds good on all of them, then I know that I have a good mix for the final product. I also have a separate stand alone CD burner that I can use to make copies while I am using the all-in-one unit for other songs and projects, rather than tying up the unit’s built in CD Burner for making multiple copies other than a Master copy. They cost from $200 to $500 or more, but I find it invaluable for my needs.

Other than some patch cords, spare microphone cables, telescoping microphone stands, music stands, a good comfortable rolling chair, decorating your recording room to taste, and some blank CDs to put product on, you should be able to get some very good results with your projects at a reasonable cost with these recommendations. As your skills improve, you can always upgrade your equipment and studio to fit your needs and dreams. Think toward the future career you are seeking and not just for showing off! I’ve seen some very basic equipment outdo some much more expensive setups. The main goal is to concentrate on getting good results.

Besides, as you begin to make your fortune, you can hire professional studio designers and builders to create your dream Palace. And please don’t forget to cover yourself legally if you are a Studio for hire. Write down ALL recording dates and notes about what transpired during them rather than relying on memory or hear-say, keep track of expenses compared to profits, and write down on the receipt you give the client that the final product is what he or she asked for and accepted as complete and both you and the client need to initial it. This is extremely important for every situation, but especially when a client wants to keep bad musicianship or singing on a project that you would never have kept yourself even if you were tone deaf! Once that client takes the product from you and lets friends and family criticize it accordingly, You will be blamed for letting it get out of your door like that and not the client for wanting it that way and refusing your subtle hints to change it during the recording session such as uncontrollable laughter or vomiting. If that client later chooses to sue you to get his or her money back and it goes before a Judge or Jury with NO Music Industry experience or taste, your note on the signed, dated and initialed may be all that saves you from getting ripped off and having to pay back what you legitimately earned. Good luck to all of you and God Bless. Wayne I. Johnson-Wildcard Music Productions and Artist/Model Management-Waterbury, Connecticut



Independent Labels

Sunday, December 13th, 2009
vmusicbook Inc asked:


www.vmusicbook.com sells an e-book, which provides solutions for most issues that unsigned musicians experience.

VmusicBook was created for those who wish to set up and successfully run an independent music business, especially for the URBAN markets such as Hip-Hop, R&B, Drum & Bass and all other Dance genres including UK Grime.

VmusicBook is one of the first music resources of its kind. It is said to be the most comprehensive and detailed directories sold online giving you direct access to 100s of important contacts.

VmusicBook is an invaluable business tool for unsigned talent looking to turn their talents or skills into a legal business. No matter what you do if it is creative and entertaining then this is without doubt for you.

The VmusicBook was made for unsigned artists and musicians, label owners, music producers, songwriters, engineers and mangers. Get your music or songs into television, films and commercials.

If you are an artist and you wish to produce your known music, you need to understand how to start independent record labels. Independent labels can contribute a huge part of global music industry. If you have a desire to start your own online music business, starting your independent record label is one of the best ways to become profitable in a short time and for very little cost. To start up an independent record label, you need to know what independent labels exactly stand for.

Independent labels

Independent labels are the record labels which are operated without the funding or under the organizations of major record labels such as Universal, EMI or SonyBMG. Record labels are the brands developed by music companies which focus on developing, producing, distributing and approving audio and video recordings in various formats such as CDs, DVDs, LPs, cassettes, SACDs etc. Many big artists are eager to start their own independent record labels as they wish to introduce the fresh talents in the music industry. This project of established artists may be started in partnership with the major record labels.

How to start independent labels

If you wish to start your own independent labels, you can do it in collaboration with major label producers. Before starting the independent labels, you should find the talents. If you are the talent, ensure that your music is incredibly great. Marketing, networking and managing are the important aspects of your business. Some basic requirements to begin your independent label are as follows:

• You should have enough money to start the business.

• You need to network with suppliers. You should be able to get good terms to manage your resources.

• You should look for the details such as bookkeeping, networking, negotiating and dealing with talent managers, talents and even suppliers.

• Marketing is the essential part of your business to effectively sell your labels and earn from it.

If you are the artist of your record label, then it may be little difficult for you to manage your performance as well as your business. If you are the producer of record labels, you should have serious understanding about how to start your own record labels. You will have to learn how to deal with the talents and talent managers, distributing their music and managing your business. There are several well-known multi-national companies engaged in creating the independent labels. They usually invest time and money in hunting fresh talents or molding the talent of artists who have already signed contract. The association of brand with the artists can help to promote the image of the artist as well as the brand.

About Independent Label Group

Independent Label Group is composed of East West Records and Warner Music Group’s Asylum Records. Asylum Records, which is one of the newest labels of Warner Music Group newest, is designed to offer full promotion, marketing as well as sales support to urban independent labels and artists. WEA Corp, which is sales and marketing company of Warner Music Group U.S., is responsible for the distribution of Asylum Records. East West Records, which is also one of the newest label groups of Warner Music Group, is known of providing full promotion, sales support and marketing to the rock artists. The Alternative Distribution Alliance, which is Warner Music Group’s leading distributor of independent record labels, distributes the East West affiliated labels.

Coutesy of www.vmusicbook.com ©VmusicBook, Inc. 2008



Brunswick Records Soul Legend Johnnie Gee Celebrating His 50th Birthday With Peace & Love From The Soul

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
The Miltown Source Magazine asked:




Soul Legend Johnnie Gee

Singer, Songwriter. Johnnie Gee was born September 29, 1958, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to an African-American working-class family. He was the 3rd of seven children. (Sisters: Jean “Jackie”, Ida and “Juanita”, (Brothers: Dewitt, and Jerome. Johnnie began his musical career at the age of 6 as the drummer and later became the lead singer of the Step By Step band who formed in 1969.  .

His father, D.W Gee, served the in U.S Army and fought in Korean War. As a Journeyman Steamfitter D.W Gee was one of the first black welders to work for Wisconsin Electric Company. Being a kid at heart and a playful child at age 9, Johnnie Gee was struck by a car while trying to cross the streets close to his home, after finding out the person who hit him was a jeweler, Johnnie Gee asked his parents to buy him Drums and other musical equipment with his share of the settlement he received.  Believing his sons had talent, Mr. Gee molded them into a musical group in the Mid 70s. The Gee Family performers consisted of Lil Johnnie Gee, Dewitt, Jerome, and a few neighborhood friends who joined the band, In these early years the Step By Step Band consisted of 12 members, Johnnie Gee, Jerome Gee, Dewitt Gee, Ronald Purfoy, Greg McDonald, Greg Emmerson, Delaney Henderson, Michael Brown, Lee Hicks, Steve Barry, Jeff McCledon, Chester LeBron, and Raymond Jones.  Johnnie Gee started out on Drums and later emerged as the group’s lead vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions with a perfect vocal pitch.

In 1972 after many rehearsals and tightening up their musical skills Johnnie Gee decided to name the group “The Exclusive Step By Step Band”, behind the scenes, Mr. Gee pushed his sons to succeed, Johnnie and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing up their act. At first, “Step By Step” band played local gigs and built a strong following. They recorded one single on their own; “Time After Time” with the b-side “She’s Gone,” both songs generated a lot of interest around the country and played on popular radio stations.

The Step By Step band moved on to working an opening act for such R&B artists as Ray Goodman & Brown, The Stylistics, The Chi-lites, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Blue Magic, The Bloodstones, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the legendary Brunswick, Platinum and other major record labels back in the 70’s, and it has been reported that Tim Butler may have been the one to tell Brunswick Records founder Nat Tarnopol about the Step By Step Band. Impressed by the group, Tarnopol signed them to his label in 1975.

Traveling back and forth to Chicago, IL, Johnnie and his brothers started work on their music and dancing with their mother (Elgie Gee) and father as their managers. In August 1975, the Step By Step Band was introduced to the music industry at a special event, and later served as the opening act for the Moments. Their first album, I Always Wanted to Be in the Band, hit the charts in December of that year. It’s first single; “Cash Money” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1976.

For several years, the Step By Step maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Ms. Gee and Brunswick Records staff. Benny Clark, Johnnie Gee and Timothy Butler wrote some of the songs recorded by the group and by Johnnie Gee as a solo artist. The group became so popular that they purchased their own tour bus. By any measurement, Step By Step Band must be considered one of the most important Soul Music groups of the past 30 years. Originally a regionally popular group in the Midwest the group was together for a three years before getting a contract with Brunswick Records.

Step By Step remained with Brunswick Records until 1976, wanting more artistic freedom they felt they had to move on and work with several labels. The group name Step By Step Band had to be changed as it was owned by the Gee family, so each member reverted to solo careers. Dewitt (Boogie ‘D’) Gee went on to play with the famous Parliament/Funkadelic. Johnnie Gee had a number of popular records, in total made 5 singles between the years of 1976 and 1989.

In 1979 Johnnie Gee enlisted in Uncle Sam’s Army, US Armed Forces for 3 ½ years and completed his tour with an Honorable Discharge. Johnnie Gee didn’t waste anytime getting right back in the music saddle and recorded for several top bands and studios in

Milwaukee, Johnnie Gee teamed up with the popular Trumpet player Benny Emmerson who worked with the famous “Luther Allison Band”, Benny recorded such famous hits with the Luther Allison Band like: (K.T) and several other songs that are still popular today with blues music collectors.

Step By Step remained with Brunswick Records until 1976, wanting more artistic freedom they felt they had to move on and work with several labels. The group name Step By Step Band had to be changed as it was owned by the Gee family, so each member reverted to solo careers. Dewitt (Boogie ‘D’) Gee went on to play with the famous Parliament/Funkadelic. Johnnie Gee had a number of popular records, in total made 5 singles between the years of 1976 and 1989.

In 1979 Johnnie Gee enlisted in Uncle Sam’s Army, US Armed Forces for 3 ½ years and completed his tour with an Honorable Discharge. Johnnie Gee didn’t waste anytime getting right back in the music saddle and recorded for several top bands and studios in

Milwaukee, Johnnie Gee teamed up with the popular Trumpet player Benny Emmerson who worked with the famous “Luther Allison Band”, Benny recorded such famous hits with the Luther Allison Band like: (K.T) and several other songs that are still popular today with blues music collectors.

In 1982 Johnnie Gee, “fresh out the Army” started his own record label/production company “Sidetraxx Records” & Entertainment. The label produced 4 popular singles, breaking yet again more records with such celebrities like:, “Jr. Mafia” (Notorious B.I.G) clique, “Chic Delvic”, “Bizzy Bone”and Gansta Nip, and went on to sell over 550 thousand copies worldwide. Johnnie Gee has worked with the best producers, using the latest technology and special studio effects for the popular LP ‘Redemption’ recorded by the Universal Artist (Double R) and Bizzy Bone.  After 41 years of experience in all aspects of music, and being a complete entertainer, Johnnie Gee today controls all of his Publishing, Licensing, Distributing and copyrights.

In 2007 Paul Tarnopol, the son of the late Nat Tarnopol inked a deal with Sidetraxx Records/Johnnie Gee to continue and preserve the legacy of music and experiences Johnnie Gee earned over his 40 years as a professional recording artist.

2007 Press Release: (Sidetraxx Records/Johnnie Gee)

M2K To Distribute Sidetraxx Records May 16, 2007: Milwaukee based Sidetraxx Records inks deal with M2K for worldwide digital distribution. According to Sidetraxx president Johnnie Gee, Sidetraxx will be using the arrangement with M2K to develop and introduce new mid-west labels and recording artists. Prior to Sidetraxx Records, Johnnie Gee was one of the founding members of the group “Step by Step,” which recorded for the famous Brunswick Records, Platinum Records and Cuca Records.

Johnnie Gee will be 50 years old September 29th 2009, with 15 classics Northern Soul songs in his music catalog, Gee continues the music journey in 2009 with several professional labels and companies that provide services for indie and major artists today. Sidetraxx Records, Giasia Records, XXtremee Distribution, GE COM Music Publishing, and STDC Digital are just some the businesses Johnnie Gee attends to on a daily basis. To know music and have the skills Johnnie Gee has developed at age 50, is rare and hard to come by these days. If you are an artist, musician, label, manager or a music consultant, make sure you find someone with the experience and background like Johnnie Gee to lead your career, after 40 years Johnnie Gee is still strongly connected with most major labels, and shops Indie artist all the time.

Long time friend “Marshall Thompson” leader of The Chi-Lites and Johnnie Gee has partnered together to seek out new talent for the 2010 rosters at Sidetraxx and, Mer’ance Records, after the death of Johnnie Gee’s long time friend the “King Of Pop” Michael Jackson, his father Joe Jackson and Marshall Thompson started a record label, they also received some bad press, saying how bad of a father Joe was to Michael, and Marshall Thompson was being sought for fraud. In the defense of his long time friends, Johnnie Gee say’s “I have known both gentlemen for over 35 years now; and I have only the up most respect for their skills, friendship, and legacy.  These two gentlemen were key to my grooming and the success of becoming a popular artist, I had to do my best as well for my parents, spankings, switches, and being strict was key to being successful in the business back then, in fact more children who came up in the 60’s and 70’s had a simular kind of upbringing. So looking back to the 60’s and 70’s, compared to kids and success today, Johnnie Gee say’s strong backing made humble experienced artist, songwriter and musician he has become today, it took that kind of push from Mom, Dad and friends like Joe and Marshall to make a child successful.

Find out more about The Soul Legend Johnnie Gee on Myspace: www.myspace.com/johnniegee