Archive for the ‘tips n tricks’ Category

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Drumagog! Play drums on your body!

January 28, 2009

drumagog

Drumagog is a plug-in which automatically replaces acoustic drum tracks with your choice of other samples.  Engineers and producers worldwide use Drumagog every day to fix and enhance their drum tracks.  It’s extremely easy to use.  Just insert Drumagog onto a drum track, and pick your favorite sample! For advanced drum replacing, Drumagog is packed with powerful features for
the ultimate in control, and includes a massive 4GB drum sample library.

This allows for all kinds of interesting uses as well as the usual approachs.

Features:
– Automatically replaces drum tracks with a variety of samples
– Compatible with WAV, AIF, and SDII samples and libraries
– MIDI Input and Output Capability
– Advanced Visual Triggering feature
– Sophisticated sample management
– Auto sample-rate conversion
– New triggering engine for the ultimate in accurate triggering
– Works with Pro Tools, Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, Nuendo and more
– Comes with a massive 4GB drum sample collection including:
Rock Drums Drumagog Edition, Purrrfect Drums, Purrrfect Brushes,
NS Kit Free and Classic Drum Machines.
– Compatible with any VST, RTAS, or AU audio application
– Works directly with BFD (Platinum version only)

“Drumagog is one of the most brilliant programs I’ve come across. It’s saved me literally thousands of hours editing drums while working on the Korn record “Untouchables”. Drumagog made the drum replacement and reinforcement seamless.” – Rob Hill (Engineer – Korn, Queen, Jackson Browne, Pat Green, DJ Muggs / Cyprus Hill)


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BBC Blast Having a blast Showcase your art, dance, film, music on the BBC

January 28, 2009
bbc-blast-copy

Having a blast

Showcase your art, dance, film, music on the BBC
Upload your music and video and showcase your talent to the BBC website /
There are plenty of tutorials and tips to help you get going creatively.
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If I was an unsigned/independent artist in 2009, I would (in no particular order)…

January 27, 2009

musician

Twitter

If you’re unaware of Twitter then allow me to inform you that 2009 will be the year of Tweeting and all things Twitteriffic. Twitter is a social network/micro blogging site which allows you to send and read messages of up to 140 characters in length (the same size as a standard SMS Text Message). Sound brief? That’s the whole point; you ‘Tweet’ to tease per se. “Did you see this article on how the Ting Ting’s are coping with the economic recession? (Insert mini link here)” for example.

Barack Obama Tweeted his way through the last election and Stephen Fry often informs us of his daily musings but this post here informs you of the 10 Twitters you should follow if you have an interest within the music industry. You should also have a gander at these articles; Gerd Leonhard’s “So now you’re on Twitter – so what should you do next?”, The Guardian’s “Making the most of Twitter”, About.com’s “How to use Twitter for music promotion” and Mashables “The top 10 reasons why I will not follow you in return on Twitter”. After you’ve read all of them you should be a Tweeting machine!

If my word isn’t proof enough for you I even noticed that Twitter was ‘Hot’ in the hot or not column of Glamour magazine last month and we all know they’re at the forefront of young professional female based technology.

Have a play with SEO

Now granted this is a rather technical one for all the geeks out there so if you fancy yourself as ‘web savvy’ then this is something to have a look into. SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ which in laymans terms simply means “If I type my artist name into Google, will I be at the top of the results?”. This is rather useful for those out there who may have a common name that is easily lost in the ether, for example my favourite folk artist ‘John Smith’; the man who possesses the most common name in Great Britain appears 6th when you search for him on Google but with a bit of SEO then he may very well appear higher. Want to listen to Liverpudlian electronic duo and Sentric’s favourites ‘A Cup Of Tea’? A search on Googles proves unsuccessful for the first 15 pages of results.

Read this by the ever brilliant Google and you’ll be way on your way…

Focus on making money from areas other than selling my music

As it stands the majority of artists reading this blog will be way off making a living from their art – such is life and the industry we work in – but there are a few areas that can help subsidise you through this downturn.

  • Performance Royalties Societies can obviously collect all your performance royalties for you, if its £40 or £4,000 its still money that’s yours so why not collect it?
  • Club nights- Quite a few artists of note started putting on gig nights in their home cities in order to earn a few bob (Kaiser Chiefs are probably the best example) but I do ask one thing of you, if you are going to do this then please do a good job! The last thing this country needs is more useless promoters. (Further reading: Where is Everyone? – The ‘art’ of gig promotion)
  • Merchandise – Nothing groundbreaking here but it’s unbelievable how lazy artists can be in terms of merchandise. Think outside the box. The world doesn’t need another name on a shirt (unless the name is emblazoned as an amazing looking logo of sorts) so be entrepreneurial; buy things that are cheap and add value to them somehow.
  • Library Music – Have you got decent quality recordings of old songs you don’t use/care for hanging around? Get in touch with a library music company and potentially earn money for nothing. An artist informed me “my mate makes over 10grand per year of 35 instrumental tracks and he doesn’t have to lift a finger to push them. I like them apples”.

Gig like hell

Simple one but the more you gig the more your music is heard, the better you get and the more you’re talked about.  Discuss with the rest of your group (or your imaginary friend if you’re a solo artist) how often you’re willing to gig.  Twice a week? A fortnight? A month? And start booking as many as possible in your region. Try to avoid playing the same city more than once a month though or people will get bored.

Practice like hell

Simple yet again but the more you practice the better you get.

Write constantly

When ‘us industry types’ go and see an artist we’re always keen to know how long the artist in question has been going for as there is a kind of music line graph in our head ranging from conception to death. This graph changes for each genre and artist type (I.E. solo or group) but click here for an example of an acoustic singer/songwriter (pinch of salt please).

The more you write the better your art will be (of course there are always exceptions to this rule but in the majority of cases practice really does make perfect).

Keep up to date with the industry I was part of

The internet is a wealth of information and knowledge and most of it won’t cost you a penny which is nice during this economic climate. (On a side note: remember when none of this money malarkey mattered? I was spending some time with my 2 year old niece recently and she was delirious with joy over a stickerbook. Amazing scenes. She probably thinks Credit Crunch is some form of biscuit treat. To quote Russell Howard “We’re all just a brief sneeze in time” – words to remember the next time you’re feeling the strain in your wallet, or just stressed about anything really).

Anyhow; coolfer, DiS, Gigwise, New Music Strategies, No Rock and Roll Fun, the twitter people mentioned above and of course the Sentric Music blog should be enough to keep you in the loop. Get used to using RSS feeds as well and it’ll save you no end of time.

Brand myself

This could be as simple as a colour/random object or as complicated as you’d like it to be, but is well worth implementing to your image. Using consistent branding and font styles to all your artwork/websites etc help continuity and also make you look more polished, but as before with the merchandise, think outside the box. Envy and Other Sins always set out their stage so it looks like my Nan’s hallway of sorts with rugs and hat stands and now every time I see a hat stand (which granted isn’t that often but that’s why it works in my opinion) I think of them. Extremely subtle yet effective at the same time.

Know who my fans are

Constantly get compared to a couple of well known artists? Well aim for their fans as chances are they’ve more chance of liking your music then others. Using tools like Last.fm, iTunes Genius or Amazon’s ‘people who bought this also bought’ feature can help you define the market you’re aiming for to give you a better chance of successful exposure.

You should also make the effort to engage with fans, responding to Myspace messages, emails, tweets, staying after gigs if any of them want to have a drink with you etc. Just be nice, it genuinely helps.

Utilise free tools

Mailing lists, analytical tools, blogging platforms, social networks etc They’re there, they’re free, they’re useful

Source : sentric.wordpress.com

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22 Great Blogging Widgets

January 27, 2009

Today as a musician I need to be able to write, record, mix, edit, distribute, conceive artwork, implement it and the list goes on and on!

One of the many useful tools available  is a Blog. All bands and artists should have one.

So here is a list of some of the easiest ways to get good quality content on your blogs.

bloggerMany people think that Blogger lacks in all of the extra goodies you can add to other platforms like WordPress, but it simply isn’t true. By using widgets you can customize your blog as much as you like by just adding little snippets of code to the sidebars.

Allow users to talk to you via IM, see what your most popular posts are, or even read news from sites such as Mashable. With these 25 widgets, you can create an even more powerful way of communicating with your visitors, just make sure you don’t overload them with too many!

What are some of your favorite widgets for use on Blogger?


Communications Widgets


meebo me
Google Talk – Give visitors the ability to talk to you via Google Talk directly from your blog sidebar.

Jaxtr – Create a widget that allows people to call you on the phone without revealing the phone number to them.

Meebo Me – Meebo Me will allow you to create a chat box that you can install on your Blogger page, giving you the chance to converse with visitors to your site.

Skype – The official Skype widget allows you to create various buttons that can show your current status and also allows people to just click it and give you a call.

Tag-Board – Allows you to add a real-time chat board to your blog that your visitors and you can use to converse.


Social Widgets


socialfeed

Delicious Linkrolls – Share your Delicious bookmarks with the world with this easy to install linkroll widget.

FriendFeed Widget – Share all of your FriendFeed activity with the readers of your site.

Google Friend Connect – A makeshift social network that runs across any site that has installed Google Friend Connect.  You can join a site, see the other members, play games and more.

LinkedInABox – LinkedInABox retrieves your LinkedIn profile to display on your blog, allowing people to look through things such as your specialties and experience.

MyBlogLog – If someone visits your blog that is also a member of MyBlogLog, their avatar and username will appear in the box.  You can then click on any person to check out their profile on the service.

Twitter – Add your Twitter stream to your blog and display anywhere from your last tweet to the last twenty. Also gives a link for people to be able to follow you.

Share on Facebook – A simple widget that allows your readers to share items from your blog on Facebook.

SocialFeed – A miniature lifestreaming widget that broadcasts your activities on sites such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, Last.fm and so on.  Has several different skins you can choose from.


Utility Widgets


easy comments
Add This – The popular social bookmarking button is available for Blogger accounts.

Easy Comments – This widget allows you to add commenting to any page of your site by placing the widget at the bottom of a page.  Allows people to say if they liked the comment, includes comment threading and more.

Google Search – Add an AJAX powered Google search box to your blog that you can allow to search the web and your blog, or even just restrict it to the contents of your site.

Popular Posts – This widget will take a look at your comments, up to the last 5,000, and generate a list of which posts had the most conversation around them.

Recent Comments – Display the most recent comments on your blog in this widget so that readers can join in the conversation.

Related Posts – Not so much a widget as a hack, this will give you the related post functionality that so many WordPress powered blogs use.

ShareThis – The highly customizable green button that ShareThis is known for can be added to your blog.  Choose if you want it for social bookmarking, users emailing your posts and more.

Shout List Icons – Be the king (or queen) of social sharing with this widget that generates icons for over 30 social sites your blog can be added to.

Tag/Label Cloud – Gives you the ability to install a traditional tag cloud in your sidebar so people can see what you write about the most.

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NAMM 2009: Introducing the new Solo Performer Show Controller 4

January 16, 2009

overviewpicture

Overview Audio Lyrics Displays MIDI
Lights Foot Controller FAQ System Requirements

Alien Apparatus Company, Inc. releases Solo Performer Show Controller 4, the latest update to its popular show control system for onstage performers. Solo Performer Show Controller, billed as the most elegant way to play live with backing tracks, controls background audio, lighting, effects processor changes, and lyrics displays.

The new release adds a new display view called Button View, where all of the songs on the selected playlist show up as buttons that can be selected for playback. Using Button View, hundreds of buttons can be displayed onscreen at the same time, so that performers who do not work from pre-defined set lists can display all of their r’epertoire onscreen for easy access. Buttons can be organized by color and the view can be configured for various button sizes and layouts.

The event editor windows of Solo Performer Show Controller now show the audio waveform with an event track underneath. Events, such as lyric displays, light scenes, effects changes, and hotkeys, may be dragged and dropped onto the event track where they will show up as colored markers. The markers can then be easily repositioned to the audio by dragging them and sliding them into a new position.

The Solo Performer Show Controller System is currently the only system available for controlling a show that seamlessly integrates audio, MIDI, lyric displays, and lighting capabilities. With its six-button foot controller, a guitar player could, for example, play a show and have all of the backing rhythm tracks play from the system while the system controls the lights and changes the singer’s vocal reverb during the choruses.

Along with the version 4 release, Alien Apparatus has also introduced a new member to the show control system family: Solo Performer Show Controller SE. The SE version is a “software editon” that comes without the foot controller at a reduced cost. Users of the new Solo Perfomer Show Controller SE may purchase an upgrade at any time to receive the full foot controller hardware package in order to add hand-free control and DMX512 lighting capablitiesfor a reduced cost.

Get All The Latest NAMM News!

To keep up-to-date with our NAMM news, follow us on Twitter, or vist our NAMM Blog

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NAMM 2009:Circuit Bending from Big City Music

January 16, 2009

If you love vintage equipment but want new sounds the best way to do this is to modify already excisting tones, right?

Well no-one does circuit bending  like Big City, look at this from their 2009  stall at NAMM


Circuit bending is the creative, short-circuiting of electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children’s toys and small digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators. Emphasizing spontaneity and randomness, the techniques of circuit bending have been commonly associated with noise music, though many more conventional contemporary musicians and musical groups have been known to experiment with “bent” instruments. Circuit bending usually involves dismantling the machine and adding components such as switches and potentiometers that alter the circuit.

For more on Circuit bending see our article here

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