Posts Tagged ‘2009’

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Play At Manchester’s In The City 2009

April 14, 2009

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The legendary music industry schmooze, In the City, has just opened it’s books for unsigned bands’ performance registration.

Taking place in Manchester from October 18th – 20th, the event is one part conference, one part music festival – and one massive media spotlight. Founded in 1992 by the late Anthony Wilson from Factory Records and Yvette Livesay, In The City (ITC) has become one of the most important dates in the UK music industry calendar.

Held at The Midland Hotel and throughout the venues and bars of the music-oriented northern city, everyone from record label executives to part-time fans descend on the city for this event. For many, being there is a must.

Applying to play is free of charge and the ITC team welcome submissions from artists of all genres and nationalities. The ITC Unsigned spotlight has one of the biggest signing ratios of any similar event, and has claimed to spawn top acts like Oasis, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and many more.

If you’re part of an unsigned band or act, apply online here

You’ll need to include music, biography and an image. For those more in favour of the old skool methods, you can also send three-track CDs with info and pics to the ITC office – details of which are also available by clicking through to the link above.

Bands from outside the UK can apply via SonicBids too. Winning choices from abroad receive up to $1000 towards their travel costs. You can’t get much fairer than that.

The ITC crew are still putting together the keynote speakers, showcases and panels for the conference. Last year Jarvis Cocker and Gold Blade singer and Manchester writer John Robb held talks, and there were panel discussions on topics like What Value Is Fashion To Music? and Can The UK Grime And Dubstep Scene Produce A World-Beating Artist?

Those interested in showcasing themselves on a panel, through sponsorship, advertising or exhibition can click onto the In The City site for more details.

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Patrick Wolf, Bandstocks and the new Digital age

February 6, 2009

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In one of 2008’s less surprising twists, Patrick Wolf parted company with his record label a few months ago and is now going it alone and embracing The DIY Dream and all that sort of stuff. It’s very fashionable these days, we hear.

In case you haven’t been following the story basically he’s recorded his next album but needs money to release and market it, so he’s joined the Bandstocks site and is trying to raise… £100,000. £100,000 is quite a lot of money. Most of the bands on Bandstocks just need a bit of cash here and there to get some CDs pressed up, or to buy a van or something.

We sent Patrick an email. “Are you really trying to raise £100,000?” we asked. “I really am!” he said. “I have to finance an international campaign!”

We’re not sure if Patrick has grasped the finer point of this long tail business, and that is part of the reason he is and has always been brilliant.

Here’s Patrick explaining what it’s all about in his own inimitable style (‘inimitable style’ = ‘style of someone you wouldn’t really trust to look after a hundred grand’):

More on Bandstock

How it works: One minute version for artists

Web based investment enables artists to take charge of their careers
Creation, manufacture and sale of special collector’s packages direct to fans
Groundbreaking deal for artists: more control and a bigger share of the income
Artists connect directly with their fans
Funding model complies with all UK investment laws
Fans invest as little as £10 for a financial stake in an album, credits and special privileges
Secure and fully tested websites – fair and transparent deals
Run by music industry professionals for professional artists

Patrick Wolf’s  statement from bandstock

“Dearest bandstocks friends, financers and supporters

Well, the first part of my two part battle has been mixed and will be mastered at abbey road over the next couple of weeks thanks to the initial funding received via bandstocks. I wanted to invite as many bandstocks supporters as I could over to my studio here by the river in Bankside, London, to say thank you by way of a little no microphone acoustic show around my piano. But alas I am currently moving house and my home/”mattress in a recording studio” is in a state of chaos but I have found the next best option. A good friend of mine has a grand piano in his warehouse and as long as you don’t mind sitting your bums down on a wooden floor this letter is an invitation for about 20-30 of you to come for a little free thank you from me. Please send requests for any of my old songs you want to hear via Bandstocks or myspace and I will try to remind myself of all the words and chords a few days before. I hardly ever get to do such intimate events these days so this is very exciting for me and i’ll be able to introduce in person some of the new songs you are helping to fund the recording and release of.

We are still a long way from our target fund though, I set up a new company this week… “TribeWolfInterNational” which will enable international investors and supporters to join the battle tribe and get this goddam show on the road…

Rehearsals have already started for the forthcoming tours.. and its just so bloody thrilling to hear all the new beats out on a huge sound system… be prepared for a whole new show and a whole new patrick..

Now, must get back to the grindstone… Off to Cannes on Monday to represent
the U.K at MIDEM with a small showcase concert and hopefully get distribution and licensees for the album across the Globe… who knows what will happen..

I send great love and endless gratefulness for your belief in my creations.

Stay inspired alive x Patrick Wolf”
Patrick Wolf on Tour

March
8 Colchester Arts Centre
Glouchester Guildhall
10 Cambridge Junction
11 London Heaven

Source: popjustice.com

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

January 27, 2009

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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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Top 10 Music Industry Predictions for 2009

January 27, 2009

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If 2008 was like the Wild West for the music industry, what does that say about our future in 2009? Brace yourself because it’s not all good news, but from conflict and struggle comes creativity, which is all the more reason to forge ahead.

NO. 1: MAJORS BECOME LESS MAJOR
Economically, 2009 is set to be a very difficult year, perhaps the most difficult one that anyone can remember. That will have a profound impact on the music industry, already in disruptive transition. The majors are in serious decline, outside of the recent economic meltdown. But expect the typical music fan to spend even less in 2009, especially on traditional items like CDs. That means less shelf space at big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and serious downward pressure on label balance sheets. The result? Majors will be further forced into a defensive position. Expect four major labels to move to three, either through acquisition, bankruptcy or another disruptive event. The consolidations will continue.

NO. 2: LIVE SHOWS—MORE IS LESS
People are dialing back their spending and stuffing cash in their mattresses. Entertainment typically fares well in a bad economy, but high-price shows may not this time around. Expect thinner crowds at shows for big-name artists who refuse to offer a bargain. The rest is a toss-up: Cheaper club shows will probably still appeal to dedicated music fans, though bigger adventures could face a pinch.

NO. 3: THE PAID DOWNLOAD—PLATEAU AHEAD
The paid download has surged into the billions since the iTunes Store (then the iTunes Music Store) debuted in 2003. But the excitement is starting to wane, especially as the iPod buzz wears off. And that is a problem, especially as the iPod is one of the biggest drivers of paid download sales. Expect paid downloads to flatten in 2009, especially as disposable cash shrinks.

NO. 4: iPOD SETTLES IN; iPHONE GRABS MORE
Almost every music fan now has an iPod (or three). Since debuting in 2001, the device has become both an icon and a commonplace toy. Apple will still sell millions of iPods in 2009, but the new shiny toy is the iPhone, especially as capacities and capabilities improve. The current iPhone 3G has its issues, but Apple is still cutting its teeth. Expect a greatly improved update at a price people can afford. That is the face of the new portable player and part of a quickly growing mobile-music sector.

NO. 5: MUSIC KEEPS PLAYING
Some of the greatest music comes from the hardest times, and this will be no different. Actually, the difference this time is that great music is spread instantly, with or without the participation of the artist. Some will successfully monetize that energy and some won’t, but expect more creativity ahead.

NO. 6: THE NEWER, SMARTER ARTIST GROWS
Older artists like Guns N’ Roses are suing leakers and making exclusive deals with Best Buy. The rest are playing a new game, one that puts less emphasis on the recording and more on other aspects of the business, including touring, licensing, advertising and publishing. That means less acrimony between artists and fans and a healthier marketplace.

NO. 7: THE BOOTSTRAPPING RENAISSANCE
The flush days of well-funded music startups will take a hiatus, at least during 2009. Less liquidity and less credit means less funding from venture capitalists. But the daring entrepreneur will still find a way through “bootstrapping,” a term used by VCs to describe a self-financed startup. Savings accounts, credit cards and sweat equity will power startups in 2009, but expect some steely, strong teams and ideas to emerge. Sometimes, a downtime is the best time to start a company, simply because of the discipline and focus it creates.

NO. 8: THE SWAP GETS SUPERSIZED
This could be the year that BitTorrent truly enraptures the music industry. P2P apps like LimeWire deliver the single, but BitTorrent is the place for albums, discographies and DVD collections. And for those who can still afford their broadband connections, the lure will become irresistible.

NO. 9: DIVERSIFIED MODELS KEEP GROWING
Bigger, diversified players will continue to gain steam. That includes LiveNation and Ticketmaster, both companies aiming to deliver a more comprehensive suite of artist products and experiences. It also includes labels such as Universal Music Group, a company pushing more aggressively into publishing, merchandising and management. But time is narrowing for labels, and 2009 could be make-or-break.

NO. 10: BIGGER GAMES; BIGGER ARTIST EXPOSURE
Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Grand Theft Auto and SingStar have all helped to layer some bling into the music experience. Instead of listening to “Back in Black,” a younger generation is playing it—and then buying it, seeing it and playing it some more. Expect this story to keep growing in 2009, especially as consumers seek some refuge from the stresses of a down economy.

Source: Paul Resnikoff

DigitalMusicNews.com

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NAMM 2009: Motu BPM its here finally !

January 16, 2009

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Motu BPM. Don’t let the Groovebox look fool you because the new BPM from MOTU is purely software. 15 gigs of sounds, multi-effects including convolution reverb, Step and Note Sequencers an internal mixer and more. I bet some producers will make their full songs all in this software. Could it gain a cult following? Just like Propellerheads Reason I can see this on my laptop for an alternative view every now and then. AU, MAS, TRAS, VST, MAC/PC, in your DAW or Stand Alone.

What is BPM?

Sound libraries these days are awash with loops. And what is a loop, exactly? Someone else’s beat. Isn’t it time to take back creative ownership over your grooves?

Isn’t it time to once again release your own unique, inspired beats on the world? If only you had a rhythm production instrument that let you program beats as fast as your mind can “hear” them. There just hasn’t been anything even close…until now.

Experience the ultimate Beat Production Machine

BPM unites drum machine-style operation with advanced virtual instrument technology to give you the ultimate rhythm programming experience. Combine drum kits, sequenced patterns, sliced loops and instrument sounds to realize your rhythmic vision, mixing and matching any playing style with any drum kit. Or plug in your pad controller or MIDI keyboard to capture your live, groove-quantized performance directly in BPM.

Explore a new universe of new sounds

BPM logo

Browse BPM’s vast 15 GB sound library of expertly recorded and mastered 24-bit 96 kHz rhythmic material for urban, R&B, hip hop, techno, electro, house, pop, rock and other music styles. Sample your own drum sounds directly into BPM’s drum pads, or simply drag and drop clips from your computer desktop, to add infinite possibilities to your own, unique sound. Add further punch with BPM’s Drum Synthesizer. Combine unlimited sample layers per pad with programmable layer switching. Now add guitar, bass and other multi-sample instrument sounds from BPM’s included library, MachFive or any other MOTU or UVI sample instrument library.

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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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NAMM 2009: Auralex debuts in-store room analysis kit

January 14, 2009

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Acoustic analysis program to be made available in a retail package

Auralex Acoustics is to offer its room analysis service in a retail package and will be demonstrating the kit at NAMM ‘09. The in-store kit is a complete program providing all the tools necessary to acoustically analyse any room.

Auralex Acoustics’ Lead Acoustical Engineer Gavin Haverstick will host several Room Analysis Plus overview demonstrations at the company’s booth (hall A, booth 6794) throughout the show to showcase the product and explain how the analysis service works.

Haverstick will present details about the service, including the features and benefits of Auralex’s off-site room analysis. This will comprise info on the service itself as well as the type of information the analysis can provide. Through this demo, Haverstick intends to convey how room analysis testing in conjunction with traditional modelling is the most accurate way to analyse a room.

Room Analysis Plus is an off-site analysis service where consumers download an audio file featuring a swept sine signal from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.  Users can then record the sweep with an omni-directional measurement microphone in the location of the room in question.

All files can be sent via e-mail, along with the personalised room analysis form, directly to Auralex for examination by its acoustical engineering staff. Frequency response, impulse response, waterfall plots and reverberation time (RT) values can all be generated from this service. A written report will be presented back to the user within three to five business days outlining the acoustical issues and how to solve them.

“By offering a demo of Room Analysis Plus at Winter NAMM, we are able to really showcase how this service works,” says Haverstick. “Through Room Analysis Plus we can pinpoint the acoustical anomalies of any room to more accurately analyse the space and provide the best treatment solutions.”

The in-store room analysis kit includes an omni-directional measurement microphone, a USB drive featuring swept sine signals and a complete instructional guide. The kit is available through the company’s established network of dealers.