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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.

Thursday
Jan262012

Understanding the audio mastering process

Audio mastering is a final procedure where your stereo music mixes are committed to their final release medium, this could be a CD-R pre master ready for duplication, a DDP (Disk Description Protocol) or correctly encoded audio files. In any event it is the mastering engineers job to ensure that the music is equalized and processed in a way that ensures it will translate across the widest range of reproduction sound systems. A mastering engineer should have a long standing history of professional work within the music/media industry and should be highly experienced. He or she will be able to confidently decide the best processing (if any) that should be applied in order for the music to sound as good as possible. In addition the engineer can work with the fades, spacing, leveling of tracks and increasing perceived volume if required. Finally the music should not suffer from defects such as pops, clicks, bad edits or other sonic glitches.The medium for duplication or distribution should also be error free and quality control should be applied to ensure the client receives the best product possible. Mastering usually works with the final stereo mix downs but can also take the form of stem mastering. This utilizes groups of instruments (i.e. drums, bass, guitars, vocals) to further enhance the result. Mastering is very different from mixing which is where the multi tracks or sequenced elements of the music are individually equalized, compressed,  effected, automated and leveled.  
 

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Wednesday
Jan252012

Creating A Buzz For An Album/EP Release

OK this is going to be a quick one.
I’m going to tell you 3 cool ways that can help fuel an album/EP release using your Facebook/fanbase. You should know by now the sheer power of social media marketing, and a few good online promotion tactics in place prior to your release can really make that important difference.
Remember this was thrown together quickly, so I have only included 3 tips, however, in the next few weeks I will be compiling a much larger list of online tactics that you can use to help get your music heard. Anyway, here is what I think is cool at the moment:

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Tuesday
Jan242012

Music Performance Contracts

Do I need a performance contract?

If you are planning a live music event you will need to make sure you have a contract in place with the performers. This is especially important if you have a financial stake in the event and are inviting paying customers. You need to make sure you have a written guarantee that the cover band will attend the engagement and what is expected from both parties. There may be occasions with local function bands and wedding bands where a contract is not needed. Sometimes an email confirmation may be enough if you know of the act.

If you do go down the contract route the live band may issue you a standard contract with their terms. These are available from the Musicians Union and are very simple straightforward contracts. It will usually include as a minimum the date and time of the engagement, the location, fee and duration of the performance. More in depth contracts may include who is responsible to providing equipment such as staging and PA systems. Some cover bands will be paid a set fee for the gig and other larger acts may ask for a percentage of ticket sales as well. This is something that should be negotiated early on.

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Monday
Jan232012

Is It Time to Trash "Support Local Music"?

A Fan Says Goodbye to “Local Music”
..
——-

I’m sorry “Support Local Music”, but I’ve fallen out of love with you as a phrase.

It’s not me, it’s you.

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Friday
Jan202012

How To Take Your Twitter Promotion To The Next Level - Free Ebook

Hi guys, just a short post for you today. I wanted to share with you a free guide I’ve just written on promoting your music with Twitter. In fact it’s not just about promoting your music with Twitter, it’s about how to take your Twitter promotion to a whole new level, and get in front of a load of fans of your genre pretty much on tap!

You can skip to the bottom of this post if want to download this free ebook now (Click the blue button) and don’t want to read the background info.

From what I’ve seen, Twitter is one of the best forms of online promotion you can do as a musician. It’s easy for new musicians to get in front of potential fans relatively fast (Faster and easier then say building up your Facebook fan page), but it also does a great job of driving fans to any new material you may put out there.

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Thursday
Jan192012

NRG Recording Studios - 2011 Recap

NRG Recording Studio kept 2011 alive with creativity and top ten hits flowing all year long. Here is a taste of this past years guests;  Studio A hosted some of rocks greatest with monumental stars of Earth Wind & Fire along with Engineer Paul Klingberg making hits once again.  Some of the newest talents such as Kitten with Producer Gavin Mackillop as well as NRG Artists’ own Life Down HereCruz and Raushi rocked the house and are the latest additions to the NRG family, look for releases coming soon.   The halls were also graced with UK rock band Lost Prophets with the amazing Producer extraordinaire Ken Andrews.

 

Studio B was fortunate to feature some of its own sensational talents such as The Bravery with Jay Baumgardner and Mexico’s legendary, award winning superstars, Mana with equally accomplished Producers Thom Russo and Benny Faccone.  The moroccan beauty also welcomed the 90’s hard rock vocal superstar Sebastian Bach Produced by the lovely Bob Marlette.  Zebrahead once again chose NRG Studios along with Producer Jason Freese to knock out their latest hits. We can’t forget the soulful rock of a dear friend, Gavin Rossdale and Bush rocked the house with Engineer John Ewing and award winning Producer and Mixer Jay Baumgardner bringing home the hits with their recent number one hit “Sound of Winter”. Studio C also welcomed a great friend Moogie Canazio who was mixing a grammy award winning Latin artist Claudia Brant along with many other projects this year.

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Wednesday
Jan182012

PCI Compliance Woes on the Road

FRAUD, FINES, AND OTHER COMPLIANCE ISSUES.

The music business long has used show tickets as currency for friends and industry contacts - usually they are some of the best tickets in the house.  Most time these days they aren’t free - “no comp” tours are the norm.  If you are “privileged” enough to be invited from the tour, often you are asked to fill out a form and fax it or email it with your personal and credit card information.  And the good folks from the tour who process these forms have no idea that they are conducting millions of dollars of commerce in probably the most risky and non-compliant method imaginable, putting them, their VIPs, and their credit card processor at great risk for fraud, fines, and other compliance issues. 

But VIP ticketing for tours is not subject to PCI regulations, right?  Not on your life. According to Eric Drago, a Portsmouth-based NitroSecurity, a security information and event management solutions company, tours processing VIP tickets are subject to compliance rules:

“Any entity that stores, processes or transmits payment card data, must be in compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), or risk fines and losing its ability to process credit card transactions. PCI compliance isn’t limited to those businesses conducting sales through an e-commerce Web site. If your business collects credit/debit card data written on paper, or holds credit/debit cards then PCI compliance applies to your business as well.”

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Tuesday
Jan172012

Tips for contacting a music website

As you can imagine, a music website will receive many bands sending in their music for possible inclusion on the website. Sadly, due to time constraints working in music journalism, and generic emails that look like EXACTLY the same email has been sent to countless websites, some bands don’t even get heard!

Therefore, try and follow these simple guidelines when contacting music websites…

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Thursday
Jan122012

5 Features Of A Great Electronic Press Kit

Much like crafting a sound job resume, there are key features within an electronic press kit that are instituted for the best results. Learn the five requirements that every musician must include to create a powerful and effective EPK that will provide numerous booking, broadcasting, and licensing opportunities.

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Wednesday
Jan112012

Whatever Happened to Rock Mythology?

This is a question that every now and again turns up in my discussions with my friends and colleagues about the alleged decline of the so - called Rock and Roll music and the state of the industry.

And it’s the same question I am asking you all: Whatever happened to Rock Mithology? I am an avid consumer of anything related to music production philosophy and I am obsessed with observing the interactions between the musicians, activity I enjoy and carry out with the eye of the behaviourist.

Musicians are a weird breed, they either lead a miserable life or are kings on Earth, and sometimes they switch back and forth between the two statuses (sic transit gloria mundi, somebody would say).

It’s only natural that their manifestations are at least unconventional to the eyes of the mortals. But I digress.

I love, I was saying, for example, to watch the DVD series “Classic Albums”, where great records from the past (Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of The Moon”, Paul Simon’s “Graceland”, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key Of Life” and the list goes on) are dissected: the artists and the producers sit in front of the mixing desk and point out all the cool tricks they used during the sessions and everybody talks about the philosophy and the scope of the production.

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Tuesday
Jan102012

the myJazz club

Hi guys, im phil, and I always wanted to play jazz piano!

So, at 47 I bought a beautiful roland FP7 and started to teach myself.. it’s not the first time I done this! But, this time I was determined.. the digital age is fantastic, and I recorded everything.. along the way I discovered that the recordings were pretty cool if I added a backing track, and one thing led to another, I compiled them for my iPad, and bang! the myJazz club was formed 

I’ve tried a lot of ways to learn, but it’s hard to beat when you get sync’d up with the band.. go from a jazz piano novice to improvising like Evans or Monk.. check out the myJazz apps now at volume 3 with over 75 digital lessons with PDF support playing with the band

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Monday
Jan092012

Neuroscience Vs Talent?

I am a big advocate of the notion that anything is possible. I honestly believe that if I fully understanding what needs to be done and if I desperately want to achieve it, I will. 

But, unlike most “self help” doctrine that promotes a quick fix for almost everything, my belief is that real and lasting change requires time for repeated action, time for the brain to rewire for the job!

Many will retort sharply at this notion claiming that they are a product of their inherited genes and that they can no more change their brain as change their eye colour. But we may not be completely at the mercy of our biological make-up after all.

Neuroscientists have challenged the ‘hard-wired brain’ theory, suggesting instead that the human brain is extraordinarily plastic - a rather astute philosopher known as Buddha said the same many years before! It has been known for some time that in exceptional cases, victims of extreme brain trauma have regained function as a result of the brain “rewiring” and reallocating neurons.

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Wednesday
Jan042012

Lethal Peanut Hosts Charity Album Release 01/27/2012

Lethal Peanut Hosts Charity Album Release 01/27/2012
Advance Promotional Tracks Available Now; Additional Tour Dates Announced

WASHINGTON, DC – On January 27, 2012, Lethal Peanut will celebrate their long anticipated, self-titled, debut album with a release party at Rock & Roll Hotel. Joining the party will be regional favorites Fight the Lion and Once Okay Twice; a portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts to support music education in the DC area. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are $10 in advance, available at www.rockandrollhoteldc.com. Lethal Peanut recorded their debut album at Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church, VA under the direction of multiple platinum-award winning record producer Jim Ebert (Butch Walker, Meredith Brooks, Cowboy Mouth). Pre-release promotional copies of select tracks are available now for press review in advance. If you would like to request a copy, please contact Kip Talley.

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Friday
Dec302011

The Box

Grabbing outside the box all the time means you’re constantly jumping ship, constantly searching for the next great thing. Great things never come from nothing. Isaac Newton had gravity in mind years before the apple hit his head.

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