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Music Think Tank Open

Anybody (no really anybody) can contribute anything relevant to this page…All mp3s should be posted on the MTT radio page. If you cannot find your post here, your article may have been moved to the MTT homepage.

If you would like Music Think Tank to publish your contribution, please read our posting guidelines and our posting advice.

Monday
Feb212011

Musicians Take Note: 3D Is Not Just For Movies!

Remember getting those red and green 3D glasses with comic books back in the day? Now, 3D movies in theatres (and in people’s living rooms!) are the next big thing, and they make the old 3D specs look like antiques.

Likewise, most people with a home theatre setup have their speakers set for 5.1 surround sound, but very few people are savvy to the most immersive, ear-tingling 3D audio format that’s actually even more accessible.

Binaural audio is the sonic equivalent to today’s ultra-immersive 3D movies, and it’s actually been around for ages!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb142011

Your Band Is Building a Name For Itself. So Where's The Money?

I was reading a New Rockstar Philosophy blog post this morning and it got me thinking.

The post was suggesting that major web media could theoretically perform the role previously performed by the major record labels. They are well-placed to get your band exposure, and have pockets filled with gold, in the same sort of way that the majors used to.

At the same time, there are a number of blog posts and tweets out today questioning whether downloading is dead, and suggesting that people can’t even be bothered to steal music anymore, let alone buy it!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb112011

CTRL - How Much Are You Willing To Give Up? 

Control. It’s not an easy thing. Everyone wants it in one way or another, and it can do strange things to people. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to know how much to seek, and when.

Take, for example, the relationship between artist and the other players in the recording process.  If we look at it from an “assembly line” point of view, the musicians come into the studio, play their parts, and leave.  The mix engineer is responsible for capturing those sounds properly and mixing them.  Then, he/she hands it off to the producer, who plays with the sounds captured and potentially adds new ones.  Once that’s done, it’s handed off to the mastering engineer, and the final product is ready for press.

Of course, this is far from a real world scenario.  Along the way, the artists want to give input into how the record is mixed, produced, and even mastered.  As a guitar/bass/keyboard/percussion player, your expertise may lie primarily in playing your instrument, but as a musician or member of a band, musicianship extends to artistic expression on a larger scale.

This can lead to disagreements, and when it comes time to figuring out who has the ‘final say,’ it’s a matter of role definition and – you guessed it – control.

So how do you tackle this?

It’s important to remember that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.  Identifying your strengths is often much easier, but it’s the latter that is often more important.  The main role of a producer is to take the songs he or she is presented with, work out an overall ‘vision’ for the album, and make the two meet.  That’s a difficult task that not everyone can achieve, and even MORE difficult to define.

However, if you recognize someone who has experience or expertise in this specific, it’s vital that you allow them creative space to work.  This doesn’t mean allowing them ‘free reign,’ but it does mean that they’re the experts who’s ‘say’ should hold more weight.

That may sound scary, but in reality, it all comes down to trust.  If you chose a producer whose work you respect and trust, you should feel comfortable letting them take the lead.  If you don’t, you might want to re-evaluate your choice.

This applies to other aspects of your career, too.  In general, you should be the leader of your career at all times.  Just make sure that you leave room for others to be in control from time to time, in the areas where THEY shine, and you’ll find that everyone will benefit.

This article originally published here on Your Band’s Best Friend

Learn more about the author here

Tuesday
Feb082011

Festival Sponsorship Extremes

It’s rare that you go to a festival in this day and age that isn’t presented by some corporate sponsor who proudly drapes their brand on every imaginable piece of the festival. That’s not all, you can of course count on there being a number of other sponsors handing out free swag and creating these larger than life experiences for you to be a part of. It’s all become part of the festival experience . But at what cost?

The bigger the festival, the more extravagant the sponsorship partners. After attending Budweiser’s Lollapalooza in 2008 in Chicago and many years of Van’s Warped Tours, Virgin Festivals, Sirius Satellite Radio’s North by Northeast, Molson Canadian’s Canadian Music Weeks etc. etc. I’ve become accustomed (if not a bit obsessed) at watching how these corporate partners continue to out-do one another with their on-site presence and forward thinking campaigns.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb072011

Kings Of Flow On The Come Up: Rising Stars!

So, Kings Of Flow got more terrestrial radio spins than any other emerging artist at last year’s Spanish due to their aggressive expansion with the addition of their “Rumba Callejera” to the music-on-demand unsigned latin chart service to their IHeartRadio app for iPhones, prompted yet more gasps over their latin hood type choice outfits. 

Amid such hoo-ha it would be easy to forget the scale of their victory over us - their supporting fans - these past 12 months. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb072011

Ten in Ten: New music industry poll launches 08.02.11

Horace Trubridge, MU Assistant General Secretary, says: ‘Although we can guess, none of us know what the next ten years will do to the music industry – that’s why Music Supported Here will be launching Ten in Ten. The concept is simple. Ten questions that will be answered by experts from the music industry – musicians, fans, managers, labels etc – to give an overall picture of what we think is going to happen.

“Will illegal downloading become less of a problem? Will recording contracts be fairer? Will there be less new talent emerging? None of us can really be sure of what 2021 holds for the music industry, but we think that the opinions of thousands of people who live and breathe the music industry will produce some pretty accurate predictions’.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb042011

The Musician's Secret Weapon

“Life can be very, very hard for a musician. You’re competing against millions of others, desperate to be heard over all the noise. And you’ve got no money.

But you’ve got a secret weapon. To outsiders, the music industry is sexy. People with day jobs are fascinated with the mythos of “The Rock Star”.

Make the person you’re talking to feel this. Make them feel like a part of this world.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb042011

How To Get New Fans To Your Music Website From Facebook

As a musician do you find it harder and harder to get new fans to listen your music? You’ve  probably been using social media like Facebook already to promote your music. If you are wondering if there are ways to improve your success in getting people to check out your music then you are in luck because here are 5 ways that really do work.

1. Use Facebook To Build Your Fan Base By Actually Using It For it’s Intention!

Do not make the mistake of using Facebook personal pages like many musicians used Myspace which is by treating it like a bulletin board to advertise your band. You may get banned and people will get annoyed with you or worse by just ignoring your page. The truth is most people are not interested just because you are in a band. The good news is that once new facebook friends get to know you they may find it interesting that you are in a band and want to know more. Timing is everything. Yes, this process takes longer and has to be genuine but it really works to build your fan base when people can become interested in you as a person first. Start to think of fans as friends who like your music and you will be way ahead of the game. Often times your new friends will want to help you build your fan base too as a bonus!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb022011

Why Don't They See It?

I think we are all tired of hearing about how the music industry is a terrible business.

I get several email newsletters every day chronicling the steady, downward spiral of the major labels. These emails also report about infringers, pirates and the fact that you need more zeros than most simple calculators can handle to find your percentage royalty share from the much loved and hyped Spotify. Doesn’t anyone in the music business talk to people who have been through gut-wrenching changes before in related (or perhaps not related) businesses?

So what are the problems? Buying and consumption patterns of the customers have changed, the labels have lost control of pricing, and barriers to entry across the spectrum have evaporated (to name a few). When I see these problems which seem completely insurmountable, I think of two companies who have lived through this firestorm, and as of today, are thriving, globally dominant operations. The first is IBM and the second is Getty Images.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb012011

Tom Getter Slack's "Looking Glass" Released

Pittsburgh, PA – December 27, 2010 – Looking Glass, the long awaited second independent release from veteran tunesmith, guitar player, and keyboardist Tom Getter Slack, is now available at all of the most commonly used music download sites.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan312011

Where's The Music?

As an unsigned act you’re probably no stranger to spamming an industry pro’s inbox with “check out my band” links.  There are always better ways to go about this, but for the most part we welcome the opportunity to discover and listen to new talent.  The problem is often FINDING THE MUSIC, once we click the link!

Myspace is the most linked to music page in these requests. Unfortunately, this dying network seems much slower and clunkier than it once was. It often takes more time than we’ve allotted to try and listen to a Myspace band.  Making matters worse, are the bands with huge headers and/or numerous graphics, animations, and embedded Youtube videos, not to mention the new Myspace ad structure.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan282011

3 Tips For Studio Pre-Pairedness

We have all been there, booking studio time then when the day comes we end up working out parts & dealing with issues that should have been taken care of before hand. The clock is ticking in the studio and money being used that could have been saved or used for what it was intended for… tracking the magic.

Here are some tips to make the most use of your studio time:

1. Your Going To The Grammy’s. Practice & Pre-Pair like it.

A. Give yourself 15min to practice each song a day. Don’t burn yourself out, it is important to maintain your sanity and stay focused on the song. Two Times through each song is a good goal. Do this each day for 1 week before the session.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan282011

5 Tips For Managing Your Work Load As An Independent Artist

So, you’re living the ultimate indepenedent artist lifestyle. You write and record constantly releasing something cool every few weeks. You rehearse with the band and throw gigs regularly. You draw great album art and design your own t-shirts. You make wicked YouTube videos, and write great blog posts. You Tweet and Facebook and keep up with some great blogs and inspirational artists. You take care of business, track merchandise levels and order new stock in time. Oh yeah, and you take care of your physical health, have a happy relationship and a day job.

How exactly are you supposed to do that?

1. Keep it manageable and consistent

Divide your work. Keep it regular and consistent. Read and respond to blogs, tweets and facebook posts when you’re having your morning coffee. Walk or jog to work. Have an allocated evening for songwriting, rehearsing and business. Edit and post videos on Sundays. Don’t do anything on Saturdays unless you have a gig. Doing a little bit every day accumulates over time. Keep it steady and manageable instead of burning out.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan202011

Musicians Love Facebook, But Does Facebook Love Music? The Data Says…Not Sure

Here are some quick stats about Facebook and music that basically add up to this – Fans and artists love to connect on Facebook, but not for spending money on music related items.

  1. Music-related pages are about a third of the top 20 pages on the site (Inside Facebook)
  2. Music-related pages are fourth most likely to be “liked” (HubSpot Blog)
  3. BUT – there is only one app in the top 50 apps on the site that is music related (All Facebook)

Apps are where money is made on the social network itself, and the music industry needs to learn how to better take advantage of them. Even RootMusic, the one music-related app in the top 50, simply turns into an app what we already knew – that music fan pages were very popular on Facebook.

Click to read more ...