Posts Tagged ‘band’

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FREE Music Making Resources – Exclusive FREE Plug ins, Music Making Advice

June 9, 2009

sound_tech

Creativity is a wonderful thing! It can come in many different guises and is completely subjective to critique. (Luckily)

It’s known to calm stress, relieve boredom and generally costs nothing, unless of course you develop G.A.S. develops (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)….and that’s what this article is about some of the best resources out there available for FREE to help you create, design and distribute your music for FREE! Its a comprehensive resources for music making

First you’ll need some of these…….

Audio Editor:

A digital audio editor is a computer application for audio editing, i.e. manipulating digital audio. Digital audio editors are the main software component of a digital audio workstation.

audacity-linux-small

Audacity® is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Learn more about Audacity…

Short history

Audacity was started in 1999 as part of a research project, then over time was developed into a general audio editor. More recently (the mid-years) other people started helping with development. Today, Audacity is being developed by a team of volunteers under the open-source model, using Sourceforge, an online service that allows people around the world to collaborate on free software projects. Dozens of people have contributed to Audacity, and progress is continually accelerating. Audacity is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) . You are free to use this program for personal or commercial purposes.

Download Audacity 1.2.6

for Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista

Download Audacity 1.3.7 (Beta)

for Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista

Every song from the New Orleans based group, Unauthorized Personel, is recorded using Audacity! Check out their songs on myspace!!

http://myspace.com/havocup
http://myspace.com/lbgreg
http://myspace.com/jroc1591
http://myspace.com/eboyup
http://www.myspace.com/actafoolradioup

Plug ins

These are usually software devices which ‘plug in’ to enable third-party developers to create capabilities to extend an application. Ie a piano sounding instument on your PC in software form which can plug ito say Cubase or Audacity.

Make sure you installed the plugin(s) into the “Plugins” or “Plug-ins” sub folder inside the sequencer folder. We recommend that you create a sub folder with the name of the plugin in that folder and install it there. After restarting the application, you will find it on the Filter menu.

Take a look at these EXCLUSIVE bepoke Dolphin  plug-ins made by our good friends at Delamancha.

screenies delamancha.co.uk

Enhancer

dual-band parallel compressor with a simple interface for easy enhancement of audio.

http://www.delamancha.co.uk/plugins/dolphin_boost.zip

De-enhancer
studio free of noise? pristine digital audio with no artifacts? You need a little Imperfection in your life, bring tha noise!

http://www.delamancha.co.uk/plugins/dolphin_Imperfection.zip

Simple SID chip synth
Instant chiptune sounds, using waveforms from a 6581 SID chip and a configurable arp for retro gamer sounds

http://www.delamancha.co.uk/plugins/dolphin_miniSID.zip

Lofi retro synth
It’s retro, it’s lofi, it’s Casiotastic. Modelled after the waveforms of the Casio HT 700, but adding more features, plastique will do chiptune, lofi and much more besides

http://www.delamancha.co.uk/plugins/dolphin_plastique.zip

And here is several more well worth a look at, all free!

bluez

Download DSK BlueZ

Hosted by rekkerd.org

- 2 Oscillator with 134 waveforms and wavedraw option

- Sub oscillators

- Advanced filters

- LFO routing to filters

- 2 Fx (delay & chours / flanger)

- Midi automation

- Preset Manager

analog-matrix

Download DSK Analog Matrix

Hosted by rekkerd.org

- 2 OSC with 6 waveforms

- Amp. Envelope

- Octave & finetunning

- Advanced pulse modulation

- 2 LFO with 6 waveforms

- 2 Filter (4 modes)

- Osc 1/2 Balance

- Osc sync

- Velocity response knob

- OSC & Filter route

- 7×14 Matrix panel

- 3 Effects: Chorus, Reverb & Drive

drumz-machinez

Download DSK DrumZ MachineZ

Hosted by rekkerd.org

- 8 sound slots (C3 to C4 white keys)

- Level and pan control – 8 stereo outs

- 226 samples

- 18 kits

- Midi automation

- Preset selector

kaos

Download DSK KaoS

Hosted by rekkerd.org

- 3 Oscillators, ADSR, “FREE DRAW” mode

- Octave select and micro-detuner

- 3 aux. oscillators, wafeform control

- 3 LFO – Effects (Space, delay, flanger)

- 3×0 LFO / OSC matrix

Top 10 Sites for Music Advice

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1.  SOUND ON SOUND

http://www.soundonsound.com/

SOUND ON SOUND has consistently remained at the forefront of music technology since it was launched on Channel 4 TV’s The Tube in 1985 by the visionary SOS Publications Group, championing the convergence of MIDI, computer technology and recording equipment that continues to revolutionise the music production industry today.

The magazine is excellent and the website is no exception!

sos

2. YOU TUBE

Youtube can teach you lots of useless and wondeful things, music technology and software is no exception. If you have query or a problem simply ask yOUTUBE and chances are 14YRD old from  Milwaukee will tell you eveything you need to know!2 Audio tuts+

youtubedol

3. Audio Tuts+

Audiotuts+ is an in depth blog for musicians, producers and audio junkies! It features tutorials on the tools and techniques to record, produce, mix and master tracks. Audiotuts+ also features weekly articles for the music obsessive. Our commisisoned tutorials are written by industry experts and professionals, but anyone with an awesome skill to showcase can contribute a post and  pay $150 if we publish it.

audiotuts copy

4. MUSIC RADAR

Like a few of the sites who are on this list, Musicradar.com is not exclusively about guitars, but a good amount of their features, including news, reviews and tutorials focus on guitars and are all of excellent quality, making this another essential stop. And their lists of the most outrageous guitars are simply hilarious…check them out!

musicradar1

5. REMIX MAG

Endles resource of information. Remix educates DJs, engineers, producers, and performers of electronic music about the latest applications and new products specific to the electronic and urban music markets. Remix is the premier consumer magazine in North America dedicated 100 percent to the tools, techniques, and production syles of electronic and urban artists

remix

6. HARMONY CENTRAL

Harmony Central is generally a great place for anyone interested in any sort of musical gear info: tons of resources including news, reviews and forums about synths, souncards, software and much more. Great user reviews section!

harmony

7. SYNTHTOPIA

Synthtopia is a portal devoted to electronic music.There are lots of electronica sites, but they all seem to cover one tiny aspect of electronica: trance, classical electronic music, dance, or synthesizers. Synthtopia covers it all.

sythtopoa

8.  eMUSICIAN

EM is the premiere resource for musicians interested in personal-music production. EM consistently publishes the most “how-to” applications and reviews-a real benefit for the recording musician. Our editors react quickly to changes in the industry to deliver the in-depth technical expertise and tools necessary to successfully use new concepts and technology.Being an American publication  this could be the first place you hear news!4 http://www.kaosaudio.com

Kaos Audio is a huge database of audio software and news, books, synth presets, samples and loops libraries, video software, links, interesting free soft and much more for all the audiophiles out there.

emusicain

9. KAOSS AUDIO

Kaos Audio is a huge database of audio software and news, books, synth presets, samples and loops libraries, video software, links, interesting free soft and much more for all the audiophiles out there.

kaoss

10. COMPUTER MUSIC

CM and its similar sites (Futuremusic etc) have  vast array of reviews articles and good image content

CM

If I was an unsigned/independent artist in 2009, I would (in no particular order)…

by http://WWW.SENTRIC.WORDPRESS.COM

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

Making music improves your health. FACT!

warriors3

Make music and feel better.

From children to students to OAP’s music is a consistant part of our lifes. Not only does it give us pleasure but it helps keep us happy and healthy. Buckets of research has gone into uncovering direct links between making music and enhancing your well being.

Get Healthy! – Making music improves your health. Evidence from around the globe has proved that playing a musical instrument can:

# Help Asthma sufferers reduce their symptoms

# Relieve stress and increase well-being

# Build muscle strength and aid recovery

# Enhance the function of the immune system

Get Back! – Making music keeps you younger. An increasing amount of research shows that for older people making music can delay the signs of ageing and help with the symptoms of some degenerative diseases. Making music, particularly within a group setting, can:

# Help decrease anxiety, loneliness and depression

# Improve self-esteem

# Help improve memory

# Give a general sense of well-being

health_women1

By 2020 over half the population will be over 50 and this ever increasing group will face new challenges in maintaining their health and well-being.

Another study in the volume looks at whether music training can make individuals smarter. Scientists found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to non-musicians. They feel these differences are probably not genetic, but instead due to use and practice.

Brain Food

The difference between a catchy tune and a dirge may be which part of the brain the notes activate, says a scientist.

Professor Peter Janata, of Dartmouth College, in the US, played a group of volunteers a series of keys and watched the way the brain responded.

He told the BBC: “One chunk of the brain was responding when the melody was in G major or E minor and another part of the circuit was responding when it was in E major for example.”

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Get Smart! – Making music makes you smarter

Music can play an important role in the development of children – from pre birth to the end of their education. Quality music education can open the door to many important benefits:

Stanford University research has found  that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems.

The study, was the first to show that musical experience can help the brain improve its ability to distinguish between rapidly changing sounds that are key to understanding and using language.

The research also eventually could provide the “why” behind other studies that have found that playing a musical instrument has cognitive benefits.

warriors1

“What this study shows, that’s novel, is that there’s a specific aspect of language … that’s changed in the minds and brains of people with musical training,” said researcher John Gabrieli, a former Stanford psychology professor now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

“Especially for children … who aren’t good at rapid auditory processing and are high-risk for becoming poor readers, they may especially benefit from musical training.”

The researchers then examined how musicians and non-musicians processed similar word syllables, like “da” and “ba.” A person has only a 40,000th of a second to differentiate between the two sounds when the physical signal hits the ear, and the musicians made those rapid auditory distinctions more accurately and quickly than non-musicians did.

When the two sounds were clearly different, like “da” and “wa,” the two groups performed similarly, the differences emerging only in the finer distinctions.

“The musicians are better able to detect small differences than the non-musicians, which is surprising,” said Nadine Gaab, a postdoctoral associate

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# It can help children manage information, think about and solve problems, be adaptive, learn continuously and work well with others.

# Students who play music tend to achieve higher test scores.

# Playing music enhances creativity and self-expression

# Playing in a group can reinforce self-discipline and teamwork.

A groundbreaking study published in the February 2005 issue of the international research journal Medical Science Monitor shows for the first time that playing a musical instrument can reverse multiple components of the human stress response on the genomic level. The study’s principal investigator, Barry Bittman, M.D. of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, PA, says these unique findings not only shed new light on the value of active music participation, but also extend our understanding of individualized human biological stress responses on an unprecedented level.

The research team led by Bittman included researchers from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems, the developer of the original technology that led to the successful mapping of the human genome announced in June, 2000.

During the first hour of the novel two-phase study, researchers employed a frustrating puzzle assembly exercise to induce stress in 32 adult volunteers who did not consider themselves “musical.” In the second hour, subjects were randomly divided into three groups. One subset of individuals continued the stressful activity, while another was allowed to de-stress, relax and read newspapers or magazines of their choice. The third group participated in their first group-based recreational music making keyboard program called the Clavinova Connection which focuses on nurturing, support and non-verbal creative expression, as opposed to mastery and performance.

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Yet beyond stress-induction, the research shows that the stress-reduction impact was far greater for individuals participating in their first group keyboard lesson than for subjects who simply relaxed and read newspapers and magazines. No statistically significant reversals of initial stress-induced gene expression were noted in individuals who continued the puzzle exercise during the second hour. In contrast, six genes in the relaxation group reversed during phase two of the study, compared with 19 genes in the music group.

“In simple terms, using a unique combination of the latest genomic technologies, we showed for the very first time that we could turn off the DNA-based switches that literally turn on components of human stress response,” said Muhammad A. Sharaf, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist at Applied Biosystems. “The far-reaching potential of inducing and subsequently reversing gene expression in this manner introduces new and exciting possibilities for testing and tailoring specific treatments to an individual, rather than a group.”

The following extract is from a Music Industries Association newsletter:

“Asthma is serious; 5.1 million people in the UK have asthma, every 7 hours someone in the UK dies from asthma. 75% of hospital admissions due to asthma are avoidable (source – Asthma UK). Learning to play a wind instrument teaches the sufferer to breathe properly and can also improve lung function. Therefore, when asthmatics get an attack they are less likely to panic. People who rely on inhalers or even steroid treatment to stave off their breathlessness and panic attacks can minimise the impact asthma has on their lives – naturally. Recent research found significant improvement in the condition of children with asthma who learned to play wind instruments.”

So clearly music making  has a lifelong ability to enhance and better your health and well being. If you dont already play an instument there has never been a better time to start!

For more information on any the above please contact the MIA Head Office on office@mia.org.uk

The Top 100 Music Related Blogs ranking was compiled by calculating their popularity using the well known metrics of Alexa Ranking for each site.

Rank Blog Site Alexa Traffic Rank About
1 Listening Post 609 Wired.com’s music blog.
2 All Music 1623 The most comprehensive music reference source on the planet
3 Hear Comes the Flood 3087 this is a blog about music. Real music. Live music. Its about guitars, king size keyboards, grumbling bass lines and pounding drums. Its about violins and violas. Its about left-field. Its about art.
4 Blob Musica 7410
5 Stereogum.com 10,228 blog devoted exclusively to music
6 ALis Blog 24,256
7 Music Videos and Lyrics – Music Lovers Group 46,855 A site dedicated entirely to music. Albums and video downloads, latest hits, music news, celebrities and other cool stuff, share music and download free mp3s. Join us building the biggest music community on the internet !
8 Unreality Music 48,318 We’re a music blog dedicated to sharing music news with the world, served up with a healthy dose of snark and cynicism. You’ll also find our opinions on the latest releases, and we love to cover unsigned/emerging bands that you may never have heard of.
9 Metal Underground.com 48,762 With a mission to help readers discover new metal music, MetalUnderground.com has been faithfully serving mainstream and underground metal news for over seven years. In addition to comprehensive news coverage, the site also features reviews, interviews, band info, live concert reports, photos, and more, updated daily by a dedicated staff of die-hard metalheads.
10 Pop Justice 52,337 Popjustice is also a weekly London club night, a range of illustrated pop biographies, a compilation album, a mobile service, a weekly email and a regular London live showcase night.
11 Justin Guitar .com 54,467 Quality guitar lessons for everyone with access to the internet!
12 Large Hearted Boy 68,698 Largehearted Boy is a music blog featuring daily free and legal music downloads as well as news from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture.
13 Gorilla Vs Bear 68,874
14 Metal Music Blog 69,054 Blog that introduces bands that play music, free downloads available.
15 Day trotter 71,228 Daytrotter is attempting to do to give you something that you truly have never heard.
16 RitmoBlog 83,419 Blog de Musica, videos musicales, salsa, reggaeton, musica para descargar, biografias, conciertos, nticias, fotos, cantantes, dance, pop, historias secretas, letras de canciones, etc
17 Loronix 95,773 Loronix is all about Brazilian music from the 50s to 70s, Bossa Nova, Samba, MPB, Samba Jazz and everything you should know about the Music from Brazil
18 Chromes Waves 139,568 Named one of “100 Greatest Websites and Named “Top 5 Music Blog for 2005″ by eye magazine
19 Nialler9 161,870 Nialler9 is an Irish music/mp3 blog which posts MP3s of new, sometimes overlooked but always brilliant music.
20 Culture Bully 163,716 Culture Bully is a Minneapolis-based music blog that provides daily updates including news, band features, album reviews and interviews on both national and local levels.
21 TheModernMusic.com 176,017 This blog is based on amazing moments from stunning music samples. When a reader smiles because of a song we present, it means we all smile! Not only does MM spread the word on music, it also is reminds one of the power of love within everything.
22 Odd Music 191,157 Oddmusic provides a space where instrument makers, artists and musicians can showcase their inventions and creations, as well as links to other interesting sound and music sites that offer a wealth of information and sound oriented content.
23 Redthreat 224,007 redthreat is a music blog out of chicago. all music featured on this site is up for promotional purposes only.
24 The Odd Instrument Collection 228,232 Odd instruments, music, and sounds from around the world.
25 Each Note Secure 233,329 Each Note Secure is a music blog with the best in indie rock and other genres. Daily downloads, and lots of interviews, album reviews and concert reviews.
26 the9513countrymusic 250,567 The 9513 is the web’s premiere country music blog, and a go-to resource for thousands of readers in search of the latest country music news and reviews.
27 Said the gramophone 252,858 daily sampler of really good songs.
28 Ryans Smashing Life 268,263 A New England Indie Rock mp3 weblog that has a tendency to inform and intrigue. I cover shows, write music reviews, do interviews and share fun videos, feeds and offer quick comebacks.
29 The Cat bird seat 269,242 The Catbirdseat is a freeform weblog about music, subject to the whims and idiosyncrasies of Ryan Catbird since May 2002.
30 Between Thought and Expression 298,011 An eclectic guide to lifes musical journey. Features free music downloads, indie and electronic mp3s, mash-ups, and entertainment.
31 CANZONI ITALIANE – ITALIAN SONGS 313,828 Best Italian music videos; songs from Yesterday, Today, Pop, Classic, Rock, Lyrics, Opera, Dance, Traditional, progressive, SanRemo, Italian Tv Shows, all Best Singers; Neapolitan Music; History and Culture from Italy.
32 Rawk Blog 319,008 The Rawking Refuses To Stop! is an mp3 blog that kicks out the jams daily.
33 No Rock and Roll Fun 330,681
34 IG blog 346,239 IG BLOG is a place of inspiration, ideas, and learning for anyone interested in making music with guitar.
35 Music is Art 350,615 musicisart is authors own personal reflection of the way she feels music, art and words.
36 Muzzle of Bees 359,774
37 Souled On 382,521
38 The Late Greats 404,293 The goal here is to expose you to music not usually found anywhere else in the Blogsphere.
39 Guitar Flame 408,447 GuitarFlame.com is a blog about personal musical experiences, my vision of rock music, of electric guitars and acoustic guitars. Also GuitarFlame.com is about how to play the guitar, without being a guitar tutorial website.
40 Guitar Noize 414,157 Guitar news from the furthest corners of the world. GuitarNoize is the number 1 resource for crazy and cool guitar news.
41 Indieblogheaven 418,824 Indieblogheaven is a music blog, primarily focusing on indie bands/artists. This may include some americana, pop, punk, or whatever we might like at the time. There might be some pop culture sprinkled in periodically.
42 The Guitar Bass Man 420,335 I am a definite gear-head and I started this blog with the intention of ranting, raving or just mentioning my experiences with all sorts of music, albums and gear ranging from effects pedals to guitar picks, to whatever else I feel like talking about.
43 Disco Delicious 452,230 All the music here is shared for promotional reasons only.
44 Guitarebooks 458,238 News about Guitar
45 Analog giant 463,665 on music (hip hop mainly, electronic, jazz, blends, dub and R&B) and sometimes culture and politics.
46 17 dots 470,487 17dots is the work of several employees at eMusic. Its by no means an official endeavor, and its opinions dont reflect those of eMusic. Rather, its opinions reflect the dangers of what happens when ignorance meets ineptitude in the Information Age
47 Musicnewsculture (previously named as Hearing Test) 484,072 A music news and reviews blog that focuses on noncommercial artists.
48 Silence is a rhythm too 518,794 An eclectic audioblog documenting one guys music collection and related obsessions.
49 sonic itch music 561,588 its a music website
50 Music Snobbery 565,838
51 70s Classic Rock 579,097 A blog to celebrate the musical influences of the 70s. Classic, Southern and British Rock styles equally. Come and take a trip back in time. Be sure to check out the “Classic Players” for take-with-you music.
52 Retro Music Snob 606,899 We gather the best music news, mp3s, cover songs, and classic videos. Old School meets New School.
53 Nothing But Green Lights 705,330 Nothing But Green Lights is a U.K based music, mp3 & culture blog. Showcasing the very best in lo-fi, hi-fi, indie, folk, electric & eclectic music with a focus on UK artists. The music is interspersed with enlightening links & comment.
54 Pop Songs 733,987 The goal of this blog is very simple: I am going to write a post about every song on every R.E.M. album, plus most of their major non-album tracks.
55 Mad Stratter 753,989 Stratocaster news, set-up, maintenance, and hot-rodding, guitarist gear reviews and more.
56 Earfuzz 804,206 Ear Fuzz is a venue for music appreciation. Files are shared out of love and respect, and is only meant to help expose and promote the featured artists.
57 La Onda Tropical 855,667 an mp3 blog about good latin music.
58 Jessica Duchens Classical Music blog 858,536 # Music and writing, with ginger, in London, UK “It is very rarely that I find a new writer whose work I love so much.” Katie Fforde on Hungarian Dances # “Everything she writes is worth reading” – The Times # “A persuasive novelist” – Evening Standard
59 Ukulele 874,052
60 A Deeper shade of soul 874,159 Soul man and music man; Ive loved, written about and been involved in the creation of music for a long time now…and my love grows stronger every day
61 Zoilus 885,746
62 Floodwatch music 1,133,135 Floodwatchmusic is my self-aggrandizing audioblog, although I try my best to adhere to the listen-to-how-great-this-is concept rather than adopting a look-how-much-I-know stance. I eat, sleep, live, and breathe music, and I enjoy sharing it.
63 Feed Me Good Tunes 1,195,159
64 Sweeping The Nation 1,297,133 About music. In a satirical style. With comment on the music news of the day, mentions of new and old songs, live and recorded reviews, audience participation, plus here a singles chart review on Sunday evenings.
65 GuitarPlayerZen 1,311,943 Our mission is not just to help guitar players worldwide get better at what they do. It is also to inspire, encourage, and uplift each guitarist we interact with, even if it is just through our online community. To instill inside each one that anything is possible.
66 The Music.FM 1,329,068 Not provided
67 AM, Then FM 1,341,637 encourage you to get out to the music stores, real or virtual, or out to support live music.
68 Shake your Fist 1,356,752 Amy blogs about music
69 Laylas Classic Rock Faves 1,396,275 Classic Rock – the foundation of todays music. Its a passion of mine and I like to share my favorites bands, artists and photos with you!
70 The cigar box guitar 1,408,240 This website has been created to give the cigar box guitar a home in music history. Everything is presented magazine-style with articles, pictures, sidebars and factual snippets. Theres a whole lotta things to click and many pages to see!
71 The Music Slut 1,642,013 Not provided
72 Banana Nutrament 1,925,193
73 Music Liberation 1,926,971 Music Liberation has wide ranging tastes from Rock, Electro, Metal, Punk, Hip Hop, etc etc…basically anything thats done with the right intent and sounds good!
74 Sounds and Fury 2,239,794 Commentary on classical music, opera, architecture, theater, television, cinema, culture, and the arts
75 Rock House Blog 2,288,058 Information about Rock House, Rock House Artist and Leanring to Play Music!
76 Musical Perceptions 2,315,309 Perceptions about music, perceptions that affect music, perceptions colored by music, perceptions expressed by music.
77 Guitar toy box 2,510,845
78 Headphones On 2,519,784 Friedrich Nietsche once said that life without music would be a mistake. Truer words may never have been spoken. I live my life with, for and to music. In fact, you could say that I go through life with my headphones on.
79 75orLess Records and Music 2,550,819 electronic, hip-hop, indie, folk, punk, disco, pop, cock rock, math rock, brit pop, nu gaze, blues, garage, country, new new wave, rockabilly, idm, crust, techno, grindcore and all other music
80 Soho the Dog 2,689,438 Classical music and other entertainments.
81 Deceptively Simple 2,865,524 Music and culture from Marc Geelhoed in Chicago.
82 Thumbrella 2,887,274 MUSIC GUITARS COMPUTERS INTERNET SCIENCE FAMILY LIFE COFFEE MUSIC GUITARS COFFEE MUSIC GUITARS COFFEE
83 My hmphs 3,069,434 Searching for melody and meaning in today’s atonal hip-hop world. Showcase some real music (80s)
84 Imagine Echoes 3,847,411 Not provided
85 Tricky Disco 3,924,025 Tricky Disco are Bristols Balearic disco crew. Sell By Dave, Tricky Nicky, Christophe and Legendary Tone are all DJs with a passion for the good groove. They are also dance music nerds, specialising in disco, house, techno, electro, and, of course, balearica. Occasionally they put on parties. Most of the time they just DJ at other peoples parties, go out, get drunk and talk a lot about obscure records. Let the good times roll…
86 The Grizzly Life 4,004,755
87 Bloggerhythms 4,023,013 Bloggerhythms grew out of my love of popular music and features CD reviews, concert reviews, and articles of general interest on a wide range of musical topics.
88 Eric Vandenberg Blog 4,147,965 Random thoughts, mini-lessons about everything guitar-related
89 Feast of Music 4,240,026 coverage of the New York music of 21st Century.
90 A Monks Musical Musings 4,590,624 A Semi-Hemi-Demi-Semi-Erudite Music Theory and Guitar Blog
91 Jeff Consi 4,931,464 A blog by Jeff Consi a New York drummer who currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Jeff is most known for his work with guitarist Nuno Bettencourt from the multi-platinum selling band Extreme.
92 The Ones That Got Away 4,979,221 Every guitarist has that one special guitar that they wished they had back. It might be because it was a sentimental gift, maybe it was sold to pay the bills, or maybe you just didnt realize how much you loved that guitar until it was gone. These are the stories of the ones that got away. Most of them are my own stories, but send me your stories as well and they just might get published here.
93 Soul Amp 5,000,950 Pure Rock and Roll from a Milwaukee Jam Band. Eclectic range of music with touches of alt-country. Approx. each week a new tune is released in a blog post. Three piece band with Fender electric guitar, vintage Lugwig drums, Hammond B3 and M3, piano, Nord Electro, and Nord Lead. Over 100 free mp3s
94 The Aluminium T-beam Guitar 5,196,327 Here, I describe the concept of the aluminium T-beam guitar. I intend to post regularly as the design and building of the prototype progresses.
95 Sounds like now 5,300,886 A blog by saxophonist
96 Music for listeners 5,579,990 New music that no one has heard, and older music that everyone should hear. Music that can only be heard if youre listening…
97 GuitArticles 7,237,183 GuitArticles is a resource for guitarists of all skill levels and musical preferences. Tips, advice on practicing, scales, modes, techniques, chords, tricks and even advice on how to get the best out of your playing, as well as composing.
98 Renewable Music 9,045,049 A displaced American composer writes about music made for the long while & the world around that music. New, experimental, systematic, classicist, mannerist, minimal, political. New musical materials.
99 The Six Strings 9,170,069
100 Scotts Guitar Blog 10,935,758 Interesting articles on custom guitars, guitar repair, and guitar related themes!
101 Of Music and Men 13,811,730
102 Felsen Musick 14,280,344 The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn
103 Guitritus 14,288,278 Guitritus is the guitar blog of Nick – an uncomplicated guitarist from Buckinghamshire, England. It documents the licks, tricks, riffs and twiddly bits that he dislodges during his slow ascent up the gnarley north face of Mt. Guitar.

How to Start a Band

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Here is a great article on the starting stages of beginning your own band…….sound advice!

For the solo musician, playing music with others is a whole new experience. If you love playing music on your own and with recordings, you’ll probably find playing with others challenging and rewarding. It requires a new set of skills, including listening to others, making space for their playing, and learning what role you play in the music.

If you enjoy it enough, you might consider starting a band. That’s harder than you might imagine. Few bands last years, let alone decades. Very few find fame and fortune.

I was sitting at home one Saturday afternoon when the phone rang. “Adrian, it’s Eugene. I’m putting together a band, and I’d like you to play keyboards.”

Eugene was a talented lead guitarist, and owned the music store where my wife bought a case for her electric guitar. Since then we’d learned that he was related to some of our best friends.

“I’m not sure, Evvie. Uni is really busy right now. It may not be the right time for me to commit to something like that.”

“It won’t be a problem. Just think of it as the occasional jam session. We’ll only get together every few weeks. The other guys are busy too. Wally’s working days and studying and night, and the drummer is in Year 12. We’re all busy.”

I reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

When I arrived at the practice venue I could hear the band rehearsing from up the street. They were loud! And impressive. Things came together really well. We didn’t just play together well – we inspired one another to play better than we’d ever played before. There was a sense of anticipation. Maybe even a sense of destiny.

I was surprised at the end of the practice when Eugene said there would be another practice the following week. Then the next week. And the next again. Around a month later Evvie announced disappointment at our lack of commitment, and (other than playing together at a few parties) the band ended shortly afterwards. I still have the utmost respect for every one of those musicians, and sometimes wonder about what might have been.

Bands don’t work out for all sorts of reasons. The issues this band faced had to do with timing and expectations. Here are some principles that might keep yours together.

Plan Your Rehearsals

There are no rules on how to run rehearsals, but it is important for everyone to have the same expectations and understand one another’s availability. The bigger the band, the harder it is to organize. Luckily, you’re probably starting fairly small, maybe with just a few friends. Be clear about dates and times, and make sure everyone writes them in their diaries. It may be worth following up with an email or SMS.

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Once you’ve sorted out when and how often to rehearse, here are some other things to consider:

  • Provide music/chord charts. It’s amazing how much time you can save at a practice by doing some preparation beforehand. This is especially true of providing chord charts. One simple chart can save hours of arm-waving and explanation.
  • Don’t annoy your neighbors. It’s better to practice in a local hall rather than at home. If you do have to practice at home, be kind to your neighbors. Keep the volume as low as possible, and consider warning them in advance. Especially if you live in an apartment.
  • Avoid unnecessary volume. Be kind to your ears, too. Volume can be fun, but it’s not healthy, especially over long periods of time. Make sure that the volume is loud enough for everyone to hear themselves, and no more. Besides, too much volume can cover up some fatal flaws in your sound. Crank it up from time to time just for fun, though.
  • Have a separate rehearsal for vocals. It’s hard to focus on two things at once. You don’t want to keep stopping the band that’s sounding great to deal with a problem with the singing. You’ll make more progress on the melody, harmony and arrangement of the singing parts if that’s all you’re thinking about.

Get Some Equipment

Unless you’re an a cappella singing group, you’ll need some equipment. As a group of musicians, you’re bound to have some already, including your instruments. You may need to purchase microphones, stands and a PA.

The usual rule with buying music equipment is to purchase the best you can afford. But when you’re starting out, you don’t want to break the bank.

Consider buying some of your gear second-hand. A lot of used musical gear is in excellent condition, and is being sold because the previous owners are upgrading. You may also be able to find some slightly out-of-date gear on special.

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Decide on Who Makes the Decisions

Decide in advance who makes the decisions – it may save some arguments down the track, or at least make the arguments shorter. Does your band have one main leader – a dictator – who makes the decisions, or will you make them by consensus after careful discussion? And when there are disagreements – and there will be – how will the disagreement be resolved? Will you vote, or will someone have the final say?

If your band becomes successful and you sign with a label, it may be that most of your decisions are made by someone else. Discuss in advance how much control you are willing to give away.

It’s not bad to have strong personalities in a band. It’s just not easy! Strong personalities can give your band the distinction and sense of direction it needs. In fact, a band with two or three strong personalities can develop a style and image that is very attractive – if you survive the disagreements and arguments that are bound to follow! Hang in there, it’s worth it. In a successful band, personality often trumps musical talent.

Decide on money matters early on, too. If you manage to make any money, how will it be divided? Where will the money for buying more equipment come from? And what happens if someone leaves?

Develop a Distinctive Style

Probably you share similar tastes in music to the other band members, or you wouldn’t want to play together. Try to identify the style(s) of music you enjoy, and especially the styles of music that seem to work best when you play together. A recognizable band has a recognizable style.

You may want to start by playing other people’s songs rather than writing your own. You’ll get to learn which styles work for you and which don’t, and you may stumble on some interesting sounds that start to define your band. Watch out for the songs and styles that feel good when you play together.

Sometimes what stands out in a band

is not what the individual musicians are doing, but how they blend and respond to one another. That only comes by practice – lots of practice.

Here are some things you need to learn:

  • Listen to the other musicians, and be aware of what they are playing.
  • Make sure everyone is not playing in the same range. Spread your sound out over the octaves.
  • Don’t always blend. Sometimes you need contrast.
  • Make space for the other musicians so they have somewhere to play. Intentionally stop playing or simplify your playing so they are able to step in.
  • Intentionally leave gaps in your playing. You don’t need to fill every gap – a second or two of silence here and there can be very effective.
  • Listen to the rhythm of the other players, and intentionally emulate it or play against it.
  • Listen to the phrases of the other musicians, and play something to answer them.

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Start Gigging

At some stage you will realize you have a sound and style that is distinctive and works well, and enough material to fill an hour or so. It’s time to take things to the next level, and find a gig.

You won’t fill an arena for your first gig, and you probably don’t want to. Choose something safe, like a party, especially if you haven’t played in front of an audience before. You’re enjoying your own playing, but how does the audience react? Do you get people moving, or put them to sleep? Do people move to your music, or stand there watching? The band should get together afterwards and conduct a careful evaluation (or post-mortem) of how you went and how you can improve. Try to identify positive points as well as negative.

You may not make much money to begin with. But you need the experience. Look out for local events where you can play and become better known.

In your first gigs you probably won’t bring the house down. See those gigs as an educational exercise. Take any criticism on-board. Carefully watch audience reactions. Try to identify the type and age of the people who enjoy your music. Start your life-long career of improving your music!

Once you are convinced that you’re going somewhere, you may want to consider getting an agent and/or a manager. But do it carefully. An agent can make contacts for you with the right people. Make sure they can deliver. A manager can look after the business side of your band while you focus on the music. Make sure you’re actually busy enough to need a manager, and you get someone you trust. Get good advice before signing anything.

Consider Your Stage Setup

Before your mind jumps to lights and smoke machines, consider the more simple requirements of stage setup – they’re important. You need to make sure that everyone can be seen, everyone can see each other, and everyone can hear the music.

Some stages are quite small, and it may be a challenge to fit you all on it. Other stages are huge, and you may want to spread out as much as possible. Try to make sure that each musician can see the others. It’s possible for musicians to communicate with one another on stage with just a look or a nod, but you have to be able to see one another. Don’t set up in a straight line, make it more like an arc.

The placement of foldback speakers and on-stage amps are important. Make sure that everyone is standing close enough to foldback that they can hear themselves. If possible, have one for each musician. Guitarists and keyboardists may have their own amps. Try to angle them so that everyone can hear them. And make sure that every musician can hear everyone else.

You may like to place the bass player close to the drummer so they can see the bass drum. Physical proximity can help give you a tight sound.

Once you have all of that organized, consider lights and smoke machines. You will need a dedicated person (or team) to run them, and probably someone to keep an eye on the mix of the music.

Develop an Image that Sells

A band without a distinctive image won’t be remembered. A band’s image should support and reinforce its musical style. It should also be consistent.

A band’s image takes on the style and sound, looks and dress of the band, hooks it together with a name, and delivers it in a memorable way to the fans and audience.

Take time choosing the name of your band. It should probably be a group decision, and you may need to work through dozens of potential names before choosing one.

Work on your stage presence. How will you engage the audience and keep their attention? Will you talk between the songs, and entertain the crowd with witty banter? Will you work on your dance moves, or just do what comes naturally? Will you dress for success, or wear your favorite ripped t-shirt? There are no rules. You need to find what works for your band, and stick with it.

Create an online presence for your band – a website or MySpace page or both. Consider recording some of your best songs and making them available for download or streaming.

You will have more success with agents and clients if you have a distinctive image and definite stage presence. Work on it like you work on your songs. Being a successful band is not just about being talented musicians, it’s about having a recognizable product to sell – your band.

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Learn About Marketing

Hard to imagine Jimi Hendrix doing a in H.N.D. in  Music Performance containing “music business” modules, but chances are that’s what a 17 yr old with an interest in a music career does now! Artists have to have more than basic foundations in music if they want to standout from the crowd. An understanding of marketing , multimedia, sound editing, copyright law, people management are just some of the assets you may encounter in a good days band work and that’s without even playing a note.

30 Very Useful sites for an Independant Musician

The days of  ‘waiting’ to get signed by a label are over!  Now an artist or band can fully empower themselves  by composing,  recording, mixing , mastering, burning a CD, distributing an Mp3 across the world via the internet through iTunes and even taking payments for merchandise through Paypal!

All this can be done without even leaving your bedroom!! John Peel would be proud!

It’s pretty safe to assume most musicians see the power of computers in the modern music making process, but what do you do after you have made your track??  How do people to find your music exists??

There are many sites available now to help with the management of artists and bands. Most musicians have a Myspace page but there’s more to life than that! You could do far worse that take a look at these.

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AmieStreet.com – A social network and music marketplace for indie artists. They give the artists 70% of the sale.

AnyGig.com – A place for musicians to get listed for small gigs, or find venues to play at.

Artistopia.com – An online venue for performers to give themselves an online presence with a profile and display their work.

BandBuzz.com – A social network where artists can set up a profile, upload their music and get reviewed and recommended by users.

BandChemistry.com – A site for musicians to find new members for their group or form a whole new band.

Bandwagon.co.uk – A social network for lovers of indie music where the bands can sell mobile content such as ringtones and wallpapers.

Bbc.co.uk – One of the most encouraging sites out there. Lots of good advice and the chance to get your music on actual Radio. Its easier than you think so get in touch with them!

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ChampionSound.com – Free mailing list manager for artists, promoters, and venues.

Elisteningpost.com – A way for musicians to upload their music and sell it just about anywhere they want such as MySpace and Facebook.

Drowned in Sound.com – Online Magazine and busy user community, promote you things here!

FireGigs.com – A site with the aim of promoting unsigned bands by arranging to get their music to be played in the background at cafes, coffee shops and more. Also promote you through a Facebook app and MySpace widget.

Fuzz.com – Lets performers upload their music sell it, as well as manage mailing lists and more.

HumbleVoice.com – A place for all types of independent artists, including musicians, to upload their work and promote it.

iJamr.com – Indie musicians upload their music and bloggers can display your songs on their sites for free, and if a sale is made, they blogger gets a cut.

Indistr.com – A company letting independent artists sell their music directly to the public and the musicians receive 75% of the sale.

mTraks.com – An online marketplace and network for indie artists to promote and sell their music.

Mubito.com – Allows you to set up a band website easily and sell MP3s. Two levels of stores with one of them being free.

Musicane.com – Promote and sell your music and ringtones.

MusicNation.com – A community of musician profile pages that engage regularly in competition for various prizes.

Panjea.com – Bring all your clips from the web together and put them in to one player so they take up less space on your page, so you can promote all your music easily.

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Planbmagazine.com – Magazine with good online presence, lovely reviews and great forums for mindless self promotion! Owned by the Everett True so can’t be a bad thing.

PocketFuzz.com – A place for musicians to sell ring tones of their works and notify their fans of news via mobiles.

Popfolio.net – A music widget provider for blogs that lets independent musicians upload their songs for inclusion, and possible sales.

PumpAudio.com – A service for indie artists to get their music licensed for television and film.

Ripple9.com – A site to help bands promote themselves on mobile devices to their fans. New sign-ups are frozen while they are being purchased by Google.

Scriggleit.com – Software you can use on a laptop at your merchandise table so people can sign up for your mailing list.

SessionSound.com – A site for independent musicians to try to stay indie by selling their music online.

Sonicbids.com – Allows you to construct a low cost electronic press kit that can be constantly updated so the recipients always get the latest version.

Tunecore.com – USE THIS SITE! This allows you for very little costs to upload your music and it will distribute it to iTunes, Napster, Amazon, e-Music and most of the major download sites.  It truly is the answer

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Unsigned.com – A site for unsigned to put up a profile page and host a play list of MP3s to attract new listeners.

Youtube.com – Obvious be true! More videos, more specific keywords, more subscriptions, more ‘fans’

1. Sonoma Wire Works Riffworks T4

Designed specifically for guitarists, Riffworks features a loop-based workflow that enables you to build up songs quickly. The good news is that the T4 version can be downloaded for free, and the even better news is that this enables you to collaborate with up to three other players online. You can then post your finished tracks on the RiffWorld website.

Riffworks t4

2. Hobnox Audiotool

There are loads of one-trick Flash-based music-making toys on the internet, but Audiotool looks and feels like something you’d like to spend a bit of time with. It features emulations of classic Roland synth/groovebox hardware, plus a mixer to plug them into and a selection of stompboxes that you can use to process your sounds. Fire it up and see a five-minute tinker turn into a multi-hour production session.

Hobnox audiotool

3. Indaba Music

Network, collaborate and discover are Indaba’s watchwords, and they sum up the site pretty well. You can make contact with musicians from around the world, create music with them in a web-based app, and listen to other people’s music. There are also remix contests – stem files of songs can be downloaded and you can then set about reworking them.

Indaba music

4. JamGlue

With the emphasis on remixing, JamGlue enables its members to upload music files and then arrange them in a DAW-style browser-based app (you can record into this, too). This isn’t the end of the story, though: you can also make use of all the other audio material on the site, and go to work on other people’s mixes. Predictably, there are strong community elements, too.

5. Digital Musician Recorder

As well as offering plug-ins that enable you to work with others via your existing DAW, digitalmusician.net also has this standalone 16-track recording app for download. It’s available to anyone with an account on the website (you can sign up for a free variant) and enables both offline and online collaboration. Webcam and talkback support mean that you can see and chat to your buddies, too.

Digital muscian recorder

6. YourSpins

If your dream is to remix commercially released tracks, YourSpins gives you a quick and easy way of doing it in your browser. Select from a list of artists, pick one of their songs and you can then work your magic on it via an onscreen mixer. This lets you adjust levels and bring in alternative parts. Finished remixes can be saved and posted on your own profile page.

YourSpins

7. eJamming

The focus here is very much on playing with other people – sign up for a free trial and you can download the cross-platform eJamming AUDiio software application. Open this and you can start playing with other members, with the Jam Mode promising near-zero latency collaboration. There’s also the Virtual Recording Studio Mode, which lets you work on an ‘add-a-track’ basis, and you can mix sessions down to WAV files.

Here’s eJamming being demoed by, err, Smashmouth.

8. Ninjam

It’s a more techy system than many of the others on our list, but Ninjam is an online, almost real-time collaboration option that many people have had a lot of success with. Some reading-up will be required if you want to get started, but if you want to give it a try, you might also like to download the Reaper DAW for evaluation, as this gives you direct access to the Ninjam servers.

Be sure to check our  Lesson Blogs!

Source :

Audiotuts+

sentric.wordpress.com

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/11/17/MNGQ9FPODP1.DTL

mia.org.uk/getalive_findoutmore/

medicalnewstoday.com/articles/19535.php

audacitystore.com/

rekkerd.org

mildonstudios.com

Many thanks to de la Mancha plug ins for their co-oporation

www.delamancha.co.uk

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Beatles: Rock Band guitars announced. Replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers!

May 12, 2009

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Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet to be made available as standalone controllers

Harmonix, MTV Games and Electronic Arts have announced that replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers for The Beatles: Rock Band.

The Beatles: Rock Band will allow fans to pick up a guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles’ extraordinary catalogue of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career. It will be available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories on September 9th 2009.

The Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars are hailed as two of the signature, most celebrated instruments played by John Lennon and George Harrison throughout their careers, respectively.They will be made available at a retail price of £89.99 in the UK.

These wireless instrument controllers join the previously announced Höfner bass controller, a large-scale replica of the bass famously used by Sir Paul McCartney, and the Ringo Starr inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band 2 drums, with a classic pearl finish and vintage replica Beatles kick drum head. All controllers will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Playstation 3, Wii and will be compatible with all Rock Band titles.

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How to Start A Band!

April 29, 2009

maxx_paulsa-guitar

Here is a great article on the starting stages of beginning your own band…….sound advice!

For the solo musician, playing music with others is a whole new experience. If you love playing music on your own and with recordings, you’ll probably find playing with others challenging and rewarding. It requires a new set of skills, including listening to others, making space for their playing, and learning what role you play in the music.

If you enjoy it enough, you might consider starting a band. That’s harder than you might imagine. Few bands last years, let alone decades. Very few find fame and fortune.

I was sitting at home one Saturday afternoon when the phone rang. “Adrian, it’s Eugene. I’m putting together a band, and I’d like you to play keyboards.”

Eugene was a talented lead guitarist, and owned the music store where my wife bought a case for her electric guitar. Since then we’d learned that he was related to some of our best friends.

“I’m not sure, Evvie. Uni is really busy right now. It may not be the right time for me to commit to something like that.”

“It won’t be a problem. Just think of it as the occasional jam session. We’ll only get together every few weeks. The other guys are busy too. Wally’s working days and studying and night, and the drummer is in Year 12. We’re all busy.”

I reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

When I arrived at the practice venue I could hear the band rehearsing from up the street. They were loud! And impressive. Things came together really well. We didn’t just play together well – we inspired one another to play better than we’d ever played before. There was a sense of anticipation. Maybe even a sense of destiny.

I was surprised at the end of the practice when Eugene said there would be another practice the following week. Then the next week. And the next again. Around a month later Evvie announced disappointment at our lack of commitment, and (other than playing together at a few parties) the band ended shortly afterwards. I still have the utmost respect for every one of those musicians, and sometimes wonder about what might have been.

Bands don’t work out for all sorts of reasons. The issues this band faced had to do with timing and expectations. Here are some principles that might keep yours together.

Plan Your Rehearsals

There are no rules on how to run rehearsals, but it is important for everyone to have the same expectations and understand one another’s availability. The bigger the band, the harder it is to organize. Luckily, you’re probably starting fairly small, maybe with just a few friends. Be clear about dates and times, and make sure everyone writes them in their diaries. It may be worth following up with an email or SMS.

bc4889ac7e45118cd5156b1e985a5076

Once you’ve sorted out when and how often to rehearse, here are some other things to consider:

  • Provide music/chord charts. It’s amazing how much time you can save at a practice by doing some preparation beforehand. This is especially true of providing chord charts. One simple chart can save hours of arm-waving and explanation.
  • Don’t annoy your neighbors. It’s better to practice in a local hall rather than at home. If you do have to practice at home, be kind to your neighbors. Keep the volume as low as possible, and consider warning them in advance. Especially if you live in an apartment.
  • Avoid unnecessary volume. Be kind to your ears, too. Volume can be fun, but it’s not healthy, especially over long periods of time. Make sure that the volume is loud enough for everyone to hear themselves, and no more. Besides, too much volume can cover up some fatal flaws in your sound. Crank it up from time to time just for fun, though.
  • Have a separate rehearsal for vocals. It’s hard to focus on two things at once. You don’t want to keep stopping the band that’s sounding great to deal with a problem with the singing. You’ll make more progress on the melody, harmony and arrangement of the singing parts if that’s all you’re thinking about.

Get Some Equipment

Unless you’re an a cappella singing group, you’ll need some equipment. As a group of musicians, you’re bound to have some already, including your instruments. You may need to purchase microphones, stands and a PA.

The usual rule with buying music equipment is to purchase the best you can afford. But when you’re starting out, you don’t want to break the bank.

Consider buying some of your gear second-hand. A lot of used musical gear is in excellent condition, and is being sold because the previous owners are upgrading. You may also be able to find some slightly out-of-date gear on special.

72f36446b5d25fc437e4041521b00e28

Decide on Who Makes the Decisions

Decide in advance who makes the decisions – it may save some arguments down the track, or at least make the arguments shorter. Does your band have one main leader – a dictator – who makes the decisions, or will you make them by consensus after careful discussion? And when there are disagreements – and there will be – how will the disagreement be resolved? Will you vote, or will someone have the final say?

If your band becomes successful and you sign with a label, it may be that most of your decisions are made by someone else. Discuss in advance how much control you are willing to give away.

It’s not bad to have strong personalities in a band. It’s just not easy! Strong personalities can give your band the distinction and sense of direction it needs. In fact, a band with two or three strong personalities can develop a style and image that is very attractive – if you survive the disagreements and arguments that are bound to follow! Hang in there, it’s worth it. In a successful band, personality often trumps musical talent.

Decide on money matters early on, too. If you manage to make any money, how will it be divided? Where will the money for buying more equipment come from? And what happens if someone leaves?

Develop a Distinctive Style

Probably you share similar tastes in music to the other band members, or you wouldn’t want to play together. Try to identify the style(s) of music you enjoy, and especially the styles of music that seem to work best when you play together. A recognizable band has a recognizable style.

You may want to start by playing other people’s songs rather than writing your own. You’ll get to learn which styles work for you and which don’t, and you may stumble on some interesting sounds that start to define your band. Watch out for the songs and styles that feel good when you play together.

Sometimes what stands out in a band

is not what the individual musicians are doing, but how they blend and respond to one another. That only comes by practice – lots of practice.

Here are some things you need to learn:

  • Listen to the other musicians, and be aware of what they are playing.
  • Make sure everyone is not playing in the same range. Spread your sound out over the octaves.
  • Don’t always blend. Sometimes you need contrast.
  • Make space for the other musicians so they have somewhere to play. Intentionally stop playing or simplify your playing so they are able to step in.
  • Intentionally leave gaps in your playing. You don’t need to fill every gap – a second or two of silence here and there can be very effective.
  • Listen to the rhythm of the other players, and intentionally emulate it or play against it.
  • Listen to the phrases of the other musicians, and play something to answer them.

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Start Gigging

At some stage you will realize you have a sound and style that is distinctive and works well, and enough material to fill an hour or so. It’s time to take things to the next level, and find a gig.

You won’t fill an arena for your first gig, and you probably don’t want to. Choose something safe, like a party, especially if you haven’t played in front of an audience before. You’re enjoying your own playing, but how does the audience react? Do you get people moving, or put them to sleep? Do people move to your music, or stand there watching? The band should get together afterwards and conduct a careful evaluation (or post-mortem) of how you went and how you can improve. Try to identify positive points as well as negative.

You may not make much money to begin with. But you need the experience. Look out for local events where you can play and become better known.

In your first gigs you probably won’t bring the house down. See those gigs as an educational exercise. Take any criticism on-board. Carefully watch audience reactions. Try to identify the type and age of the people who enjoy your music. Start your life-long career of improving your music!

Once you are convinced that you’re going somewhere, you may want to consider getting an agent and/or a manager. But do it carefully. An agent can make contacts for you with the right people. Make sure they can deliver. A manager can look after the business side of your band while you focus on the music. Make sure you’re actually busy enough to need a manager, and you get someone you trust. Get good advice before signing anything.

Consider Your Stage Setup

Before your mind jumps to lights and smoke machines, consider the more simple requirements of stage setup – they’re important. You need to make sure that everyone can be seen, everyone can see each other, and everyone can hear the music.

Some stages are quite small, and it may be a challenge to fit you all on it. Other stages are huge, and you may want to spread out as much as possible. Try to make sure that each musician can see the others. It’s possible for musicians to communicate with one another on stage with just a look or a nod, but you have to be able to see one another. Don’t set up in a straight line, make it more like an arc.

The placement of foldback speakers and on-stage amps are important. Make sure that everyone is standing close enough to foldback that they can hear themselves. If possible, have one for each musician. Guitarists and keyboardists may have their own amps. Try to angle them so that everyone can hear them. And make sure that every musician can hear everyone else.

You may like to place the bass player close to the drummer so they can see the bass drum. Physical proximity can help give you a tight sound.

Once you have all of that organized, consider lights and smoke machines. You will need a dedicated person (or team) to run them, and probably someone to keep an eye on the mix of the music.

Develop an Image that Sells

A band without a distinctive image won’t be remembered. A band’s image should support and reinforce its musical style. It should also be consistent.

A band’s image takes on the style and sound, looks and dress of the band, hooks it together with a name, and delivers it in a memorable way to the fans and audience.

Take time choosing the name of your band. It should probably be a group decision, and you may need to work through dozens of potential names before choosing one.

Work on your stage presence. How will you engage the audience and keep their attention? Will you talk between the songs, and entertain the crowd with witty banter? Will you work on your dance moves, or just do what comes naturally? Will you dress for success, or wear your favorite ripped t-shirt? There are no rules. You need to find what works for your band, and stick with it.

Create an online presence for your band – a website or MySpace page or both. Consider recording some of your best songs and making them available for download or streaming.

You will have more success with agents and clients if you have a distinctive image and definite stage presence. Work on it like you work on your songs. Being a successful band is not just about being talented musicians, it’s about having a recognizable product to sell – your band.

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Learn About Marketing

Hard to imagine Jimi Hendrix doing a in H.N.D. in  Music Performance containing “music business” modules, but chances are that’s what a 17 yr old with an interest in a music career does now! Artists have to have more than basic foundations in music if they want to standout from the crowd. An understanding of marketing , multimedia, sound editing, copyright law, people management are just some of the assets you may encounter in a good days band work and that’s without even playing a note.

The days of  ‘waiting’ to get signed by a label are over!  Now an artist or band can fully empower themselves  by composing,  recording, mixing , mastering, burning a CD, distributing an Mp3 across the world via the internet through iTunes and even taking payments for merchandise through Paypal!

All this can be done without even leaving your bedroom!! John Peel would be proud!

It’s pretty safe to assume most musicians see the power of computers in the modern music making process, but what do you do after you have made your track??  How do people to find your music exists??

There are many sites available now to help with the management of artists and bands. Most musicians have a Myspace page but there’s more to life than that! You could do far worse that take a look at these.

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AmieStreet.com – A social network and music marketplace for indie artists. They give the artists 70% of the sale.

AnyGig.com – A place for musicians to get listed for small gigs, or find venues to play at.

Artistopia.com – An online venue for performers to give themselves an online presence with a profile and display their work.

BandBuzz.com – A social network where artists can set up a profile, upload their music and get reviewed and recommended by users.

BandChemistry.com – A site for musicians to find new members for their group or form a whole new band.

Bandwagon.co.uk – A social network for lovers of indie music where the bands can sell mobile content such as ringtones and wallpapers.

Bbc.co.uk – One of the most encouraging sites out there. Lots of good advice and the chance to get your music on actual Radio. Its easier than you think so get in touch with them!

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ChampionSound.com – Free mailing list manager for artists, promoters, and venues.

Elisteningpost.com – A way for musicians to upload their music and sell it just about anywhere they want such as MySpace and Facebook.

Drowned in Sound.com – Online Magazine and busy user community, promote you things here!

FireGigs.com – A site with the aim of promoting unsigned bands by arranging to get their music to be played in the background at cafes, coffee shops and more. Also promote you through a Facebook app and MySpace widget.

Fuzz.com – Lets performers upload their music sell it, as well as manage mailing lists and more.

HumbleVoice.com – A place for all types of independent artists, including musicians, to upload their work and promote it.

iJamr.com – Indie musicians upload their music and bloggers can display your songs on their sites for free, and if a sale is made, they blogger gets a cut.

Indistr.com – A company letting independent artists sell their music directly to the public and the musicians receive 75% of the sale.

mTraks.com – An online marketplace and network for indie artists to promote and sell their music.

Mubito.com – Allows you to set up a band website easily and sell MP3s. Two levels of stores with one of them being free.

Musicane.com – Promote and sell your music and ringtones.

MusicNation.com – A community of musician profile pages that engage regularly in competition for various prizes.

Panjea.com – Bring all your clips from the web together and put them in to one player so they take up less space on your page, so you can promote all your music easily.

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Planbmagazine.com – Magazine with good online presence, lovely reviews and great forums for mindless self promotion! Owned by the Everett True so can’t be a bad thing.

PocketFuzz.com – A place for musicians to sell ring tones of their works and notify their fans of news via mobiles.

Popfolio.net – A music widget provider for blogs that lets independent musicians upload their songs for inclusion, and possible sales.

PumpAudio.com – A service for indie artists to get their music licensed for television and film.

Ripple9.com – A site to help bands promote themselves on mobile devices to their fans. New sign-ups are frozen while they are being purchased by Google.

Scriggleit.com – Software you can use on a laptop at your merchandise table so people can sign up for your mailing list.

SessionSound.com – A site for independent musicians to try to stay indie by selling their music online.

Sonicbids.com – Allows you to construct a low cost electronic press kit that can be constantly updated so the recipients always get the latest version.

Tunecore.com – USE THIS SITE! This allows you for very little costs to upload your music and it will distribute it to iTunes, Napster, Amazon, e-Music and most of the major download sites.  It truly is the answer

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Unsigned.com – A site for unsigned to put up a profile page and host a play list of MP3s to attract new listeners.

Youtube.com – Obvious be true! More videos, more specific keywords, more subscriptions, more ‘fans’

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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


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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


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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


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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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I need to record my band…

November 4, 2008

Visiting studios can be a very costly affair, and usually just a couple of days will be spent on recording AND mixing something which simply takes a lot more time.

Since the early 90’s Cubase, Pro-Tools and other Audio Sequencers have changed the face of how audio is edited. Computers are now so advanced that now even the most humble of modern home PC’s can effectively run a fairly powerful workstation.

Combined with the ever growing range of Audio interfaces available and microphones at prices I previously only dreamed of, there is nothing stopping an interested musician/ engineer from running a full scale production from their rehearsal space or spare room.

Equipment round up

Edirol FA-101

The FA-101 is a feature-packed 10×10 audio interface that can handle a full 10 channels of input/output at 24-bit/96kHz. Record and monitor all 10 channels simultaneously in full duplex. Phenomenal audio power for the studio musician! In addition, the FA-101 offers 6-channel recording and playback at 24-bit/192kHz for performance at DVD-A quality.

This system is Ideal for live applications where the user requires multiple sends for live monitoring AND recording. This will do both excellently.

At an event, all of the band’s hardware can be routed through the FA-101 to output to monitors and, at the same time, the show can be recorded. During the break, CDs can be burned to sell on the spot. The Performance DJ will rely on the FA-101’s rugged metal chassis for reliable, club-tough operation. Back at home, the FA-101 will return as the centerpiece to the home studio.

M-Audio NRV10


The NRV10™ is a new breed of gear that combines an 8 x 2 analog mixer and a 10 x 10 24-bit/96kHz digital audio interface in one convenient package—the perfect tool for computer-based recording and performance. Route and record mixer channels discretely to individual tracks in Pro Tools M-Powered 7.3, Ableton Live 6 and other software studios. You can also return multiple discrete audio channels from your computer to the NRV10 for CPU-free mixing and monitoring complete with on-board digital effects—great for live performances. And that means you don’t have to change settings like EQ and reverb in your files every time you play a new venue. Flexible monitoring options also make vocal/instrument recording and DJ-style audio previewing a breeze. And the included NRV10 interFX application allows you turn your NRV10 and host computer into a powerful live mixer with access to all of your VST effects. The NRV10 seamlessly integrates your computer with your studio—and bridges the gap between studio and stage as well.

Example set up using Alesis Multimix Firewire 16

Only 13 channels are used here

Alesis MultiMix 8 FireWire

The Alesis MultiMix FireWire 8 Mixer is part of the new line of MultiMix mixers featuring FireWire data connectivity. The MultiMix FireWire Series includes 3 different tabletop mixers, all featuring exclusive DICE II FireWire technology. Allowing for transfer of multiple audio data streams from mixer to PC using a standard IEEE-1394 interface, these mixers provide lightening fast connectivity to a wide range of PC-based audio production applications.

The MultiMix FireWire mixers are compact mixers featuring low noise analog electronics, 100 studio-grade 28 bit digital effects, and rock-solid construction. The mixer features high-gain mic/line preamps, phantom power, auxiliary send/returns, and on-board effects engine including reverbs, delays, chorus, flanging, 3-band EQ per channel with high/low shelving and mid band pass/reject.

Drum Microphone Kits

Samson 7kit – 7-piece Drum Mic Set

Everything you could want for micing drums. A complete set of our dynamic drum mics and a pair of C02 pencilcondenser mics for overheads or close-micing cymbals.

Features

  • Seven piece drum mic kit
  • One Q Kick kick drum mic with mic stand swivel mount
  • One Q Snare snare mic with rim clip
  • Three Q Tom tom mics with rim clips
  • Two C02 pencil condenser mics with shock-mount clips
  • Gold-plated XLR connectors
  • Road case included

Shure PGDMK6


A complete drum mic package. The PGDMK6 drum mic kit includes three PG56 snare/tom microphones, one PG52 kick drum microphone, two PG81 instrument microphones, three A50D drum mounts, six 15ft. (4.5m) XLR-XLR cables and a durable carrying case.

  • The PG56 is a compact drum microphone for close miking.
  • The PG52 is a high-performance microphone tuned to capture low-end punch.
  • The PG81 is a sensitive, flat response microphone ideal for overhead and cymbal miking.
  • The A50D drum mount can be used on most standard drum rims. The flexible, yet sturdy rubber construction provides stability and ease of installation.
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