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Get Your Songs on iTunes

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

How do I get my music released on iTunes?

When you’ve finish recording your songs, the next step is to digitally release your material. If you want to get your music live on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many other stores, we highly recommend: TuneCore.

Sell your music online with TuneCore

TuneCore is the largest distributor of digital music with one of the highest revenue-generating music catalogs in the world. In the past two years, TuneCore Artists have sold over 400 million units and generated over $250 million dollars in gross music sales and songwriter revenue. With TuneCore you get to keep 100% of the royalties and all of the rights to your material. Our own producers have also personally used TuneCore to release their own material and are confident in referring this as a great resource for independent artists.

Click here to checkout TuneCore

How to Get 100,000 Fans

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Your fans are your lifeblood as an artist. They’re the gateway from musical obscurity into nationwide success. And when it comes to fans, there’s no such thing as too many. You want tons. You want thousands. You want millions.

You know it’s doable, but how can you make it happen?

First, let’s get the obvious things out of the way. You’ve written great songs. You have a well-rehearsed and awesome live show that people want to keep coming back to. You have a website and are on all the appropriate social networks (plus you’ve told all your friends and acquaintances to become your fans and tell all their friends). You’ve started a mailing list and you add people to it at every show (more…)

How to Keep Your Fans Begging for New Music

Friday, March 11th, 2011

How do you keep your fans coming back for new music? Do you give them a constant stream of new songs to download? Do you release a killer album once in a long while and make them wait and anticipate your next full-length release?

In a recent post, I talked about a survey from Tunecore that asked musicians what kind of gigs they prefer. In a different survey, they asked how musicians should release their music. The results were pretty evenly split between yearly new album releases, EPs every few months, monthly singles, and “other.” Actually, “other” topped the votes at 30%, and one can only speculate what musicians meant when they voted for it. (Maybe they were thinking about life-size edible gummy skulls with USB sticks embedded in them?)

Anyway, the consensus seems to be pretty split among the ideal format for today’s musicians, whether it be releasing new albums, EPs or single songs. They all have their advantages.

Keep Your Fans Wanting More

Albums are still the classic format. They are what most musicians are recording and releasing today, even if many fans are seeking out individual songs on iTunes. An album has several advantages. In my band, we find that using the album format as a framework to work within gives us artistic focus and direction. An album as a work of art can dictate your songwriting process and creative inspiration. If you’re a band like Pink Floyd, albums are just about the only way to do make music. Their songs work best as experienced in the context of the full album, often with epic results.

One advantage to releasing albums is that you’ll build lots of anticipation among your fans for when you’ll be recording your next CD.

Make Your Fans Happy with Regular Releases

Sometimes an album is just too much. Sometimes they take too long. If you’ve ever felt this way, EPs might be the way to go. Instead of putting all the time, effort and money into recording a 12 song album that will take much longer to release, keep your music fresh in your fans’ ears by releasing songs in groups of 4 or 5 more frequently. Some well known bands are leaning towards the EP route, including Radiohead. Although their most recent album The King of Limbs was closer to full-length at 8 songs, they have said in the past that the full album format just doesn’t work for them anymore.

You can still have the mentality of an album without going all out and recording a full one, and your fans might appreciate the more regular EP releases to satiate their undying appetite for new music.

Give Your Fans a Constant Stream of New Music to Devour

Maybe you want to forget about albums and EPs altogether. Many artists are doing just that and simply releasing songs by themselves. It’s easy to sell them through your website with Bandcamp or getting onto iTunes. You never have to think about how each song fits in the context of an album. And you can give new music to your fans constantly instead of making them wait. If you’re an artist that loves writing hit singles and pop tunes, this could be the best bet for you. If you constantly have ideas for new songs and just want to get them out into the world, you can easily do it. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about manufacturing costs when you’re not making CDs.

Keep your music fresh in your fans’ minds by releasing singles frequently.

There’s no right or wrong way to release your music. It all comes down to what you feel is best for your songs. But no matter which method you choose, Studio Pros can help you get there. We often work on full albums with artists, and others prefer to record one song at a time whether it’s to suit their budget or to feel like they’re keeping things fresh. Contact us today and a Studio Pros producer will talk to you about your next project.

Music Career Tips: Making a Living While Making Music

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Do you make money from music? Does anyone you know have a self-sustaining music career? When I interview artists to feature on the Studio Pros blog, that seems to be the ultimate goal of most of them: turning their passion for music into a sustainable, full-time career. So what exactly is the right way to go about reaching that goal?

You could sell millions of CDs, but that’s pretty tough for unsigned musicians.

You could go on tour nonstop and play tons of paid shows that cover your rent and bills, but it can be hard for lesser known musicians to get gigs that guarantee payment.

In a recent post on the music blog Hypebot, they summarized how most non-famous musicians make careers out of music. Since most of us fall into the “non-famous” category, I was curious to see how my musical peers were covering life’s expenses without the luxury of star power. According to the post, most artists are generating income by playing in cover bands and wedding bands, teaching up to 40 students per week, directing music activities at their local church, or simply joining so many bands that they have regular paid gigs most days of the week.

I’ve personally never had much of a knack for teaching, and building up a clientele to the point of making a full living can take quite a while. But for those of us with formal music training, it can certainly be a way to pay your heating bill with something music-related. If you have aspirations for playing your own music professionally, the scheduling side of teaching can be a bit restrictive when it comes to rehearsals and touring. I would imagine, though, that helping a child discover the wonders of playing an instrument could be quite the rewarding experience and may make it all worthwhile.

Playing in cover bands for weddings, parties and cruise ships can be a very well-paid gig, but it also leans toward the less glamorous side of playing music. Would you feel fulfilled if you were playing other artists’ music every day for the rest of your life? For some people that might sound like a lot of fun, but to me it seems like it might get old pretty quick. I’d also expect the job to be rather thankless. I’ve played my fair share of drunken frat parties, and I have to admit that it isn’t too fulfilling in the long run, even if the crowd tends to have a pretty enthusiastic response to hearing their favorite songs. (more…)

Touring Tips: Choosing the Right Gigs

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Have you ever noticed that gig opportunities can quickly go from exciting to confusing? When you first start playing shows, just about any gig sounds like a good one.

- Playing a 15 minute open mic night at the local coffeshop.
- Performing one song at a local talent show.
- Jamming at a friend’s birthday party for free.

Anything is good, because it gives you some performance experience and gets your music in front of people who can provide valuable feedback on your show.

But as time goes by, you’ll probably find yourself less inclined to do certain shows that don’t pay much (or at all) or don’t give you your ideal set length. There are probably a couple main reasons for this.

1. You may have grown a little weary of the time and effort that goes into gigging, both physically and emotionally. You want to make sure that for all the work you’ll be putting in, the show will be worth your efforts.
2. Your fan base and reputation may have expanded to the point where you have outgrown certain performance settings such as open mics and pro bono gigs.

Whatever the cause, as you get further in your music career, a gig opportunity tends to transform from an instant, no-questions-asked “yes” to a “what’s in it for me” situation. (more…)

Use Studio Pros No Matter What Language You Speak

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

We love working with artists from across the globe. Although many of our customers live in America, we are always recording music projects for people in Europe, Asia, South America—just about anywhere besides Antarctica, really. We also regularly work with musicians who don’t speak English as their first language. Take Andrea Iorio, for example. He speaks some English, but we recorded several of his songs in his native language of Italian. (If you check out the link to his feature above, you can hear our session vocalists Racquel and Michelle doing a great job singing in Italian!)

Still, there may be artists out there who are afraid that the language barrier could be a problem. How can you communicate what you want for your song if you don’t speak fluent English, or any English at all for that matter?

At Studio Pros, we believe that when it comes down to it, we’re all speaking the same language: music.

Which means that even if you don’t feel confident in conveying what you want for your project in words, we can still find a way to record the song you’ve always wanted.

The fact is, whether you live in Mumbai, Paris, or Mexico City and want to hear your songs on American radio or in Hollywood films, we can help you get there. We’ll do everything we can to work with you no matter what language you speak. Our team will use Google Translate to interpret your feedback and instructions. Even if the translation isn’t perfect, we’ll go the extra mile to understand your request and make sure your music is recorded just the way you like it. We’ll use reference tracks to hear examples of what you want out of your recording. (more…)

Touring Tips: Should I Rent a Van?

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Hitting the road is a lot of fun, but the expenses can add up. Being away from your day job, high gas prices and constantly eating out are just a few of the things that might make touring seem like a financial strain—especially if you’re not guaranteed to make money at every gig. So you may be wondering if it’s at all cost effective to rent a van to transport you and your gear.

I run into this situation all the time with my band. We’re constantly hitting the road for tours of various lengths, sometimes a couple of days, other times a few weeks. At this point, we’ve gotten it down to something of a science when deciding whether or not we need a van. Here are some touring tips to help you decide what’s best for you.

A few things to note before we begin

Just so you have a good idea of what my band is working with when we’re getting ready to hit the road, here are a few key facts about us that factor into our decision:

- There are six of us total (five band members and one manager)
- We live in Los Angeles
- It takes three cars to transport us and our gear anywhere when we don’t have a van

Now it’s time to ask yourself a few questions.

How many people are going?

How much sense a van makes will depend greatly on the size of your band. I would assume that if you’re a solo artist who just sings and plays acoustic guitar, you’re probably not reading this post, wondering if you should be renting a van! As I mentioned above, my band takes six people on the road each time we tour, so the smallest vehicle we can all cram into is a 15 passenger van with a couple of seat rows taken out and all the gear stuffed in the back. Accounting for a drum set, guitar amps, a keyboard case, bass rig, and all of our clothes, it can be pretty tight squeezing all of us in, but we manage. (more…)

Recording Your Demo: Don’t Forget the Art!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

You’ve spent so much time focusing on making music, you may not have even considered an important part of your CD or demo: album art.

But even though most people download MP3s and your CD art tends to be relegated to a tiny square in the bottom corner of iTunes, it’s actually a more important aspect of your demo than you may think.

Setting the Tone

Like it or not, your CD cover sets the tone for the whole experience of listening to your music. The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” springs to mind, because most people really do judge things by their cover—your demo CD included. In a lot of ways, the art is the first impression you make on potential fans. So if it’s no good, you could turn off listeners before they even hear your recording! Cool, eye-catching art is the first step to getting music fans interested.

Professional or Amateur?

Besides wanting your artwork to be cool, the single most important thing is that looks professional. You already put so much effort into professionally producing your songs, don’t write off the art as something that you don’t need to put the same level of effort into. This goes hand in hand with the point above about first impressions. If the average music fan’s first impression of your album is that it looks unprofessional, they’ll be way less motivated to listen to the recording because they might assume the music doesn’t sound professional either.

You’ve hired professionals for your mixing, engineering and CD mastering. You may have worked with professional music producers. You probably worked with professional studio musicians, too. If you’re not able to make a CD design that doesn’t look amateurish, consult the professionals there as well. More on that later…

Not Just Album Art

You still may be thinking about my previous comment on art being tiny and looking insignificant in today’s music buying experience, but don’t mistake that for meaning it’s irrelevant. Even if you’ve decided not to make physical CDs at all, there’s still another thing for you to take into consideration: it’s not just album art that we’re talking about here.

Yes, it is the cover of your album. But that’s not the only place where artwork pops up in your music career. You hopefully have a website (and if not, check out our guide to making a killer musician website), which means you’ll have photos and design elements prominently featured for all your fans to see. Most artists like to incorporate the art for their albums into their websites and overall look and feel for the band’s image and merchandise: stickers, T-shirts, press kits, etc.

Art is part of your image, your identity as a musician, so it’s extremely important to make sure it makes sense with your style and conveys the essence of your music. It’s all about establishing your brand.


Music Licensing Tips: Performance Rights Organizations

Friday, February 18th, 2011

You may have heard of companies such as ASCAP and BMI. These are called Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) and they exist to help you as an artist get paid whenever you get film placements, TV placements, and other music licensing opportunities. If a cell phone company uses a musician’s song in one of their commercials, for example, that songwriter will get paid through whichever PRO he is a member of.

Different Performance Rights Organizations

There are several PROs in the United States that you could join. Most songwriters join either ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) or SESAC (originally known as the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, but now known only as SESAC). SESAC is the most exclusive of the three. Based in Nashville, TN, it has the smallest roster of artists and is the only PRO that doesn’t run as a not-for-profit organization. ASCAP and BMI are much larger companies.

What PROs Do

A PRO is important to musicians because they monitor public performances of compositions and collect royalties for their members. So if you’re a member of a PRO and you see reruns of the “One Tree Hill” episode that featured your track, you can rest assured that a royalty check will be headed your way. This is why any musician who is interested in pursuing music licensing opportunities and any artist who hopes to get signed to a music publishing deal should become a member of a PRO.

Do I Need to Be in a PRO?

While joining a PRO is a must for many artists, you may not have to bother with it at all depending on your situation. If you don’t have any recordings finished, for example, you might want to wait before you sign up with a PRO. Or if you’re not interested in pursuing music licensing and would rather focus on playing live shows and going on tour, there may not be any benefit to you joining. But if you have any aspirations for getting your recording on TV or on the big screen, you will need to become a member.


How to Get on SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

We’ve already discussed how to get your music on Pandora Internet radio, probably the holy grail of online radio services. But there are plenty of other radio stations—Internet and otherwise—that might have a spot in their playlist for your latest track. One resource for potential radio airplay is satellite radio stations on SiriusXM radio.

Sirius vs. XM? Not Anymore.

It used to be that there were two competing satellite radio services: Sirius and XM radio. But in 2008, the two companies merged to form SiriusXM radio, with a huge selection of channels that were originally exclusive to one or the other. Boasting well over 200 stations that can be heard anywhere in the country and nearly 20 million subscribers, satellite radio could be a huge resource for unsigned independent artists to get a little music promotion and exposure. That’s why up and coming artists shouldn’t ignore the numbers and should realize that getting on satellite radio could help them reach millions of music fans.

Have a Professionally Produced Demo or Album

If you want to be played in the big leagues, you need a big league-worthy product. Record your album as professionally as possible to compete with the other major label productions that are played on the radio. If you don’t feel like you have a broadcast quality recording, start up a production with Studio Pros. We can help you get to the professional level with our world-class session musicians and Grammy-nominated mixing and mastering engineer.

You’re also gonna need a complete press kit. This is the music promotion tool that you’ll be submitting, and it includes your demo, bio, photo, and any press clippings you may have. You can find out more by reading our guide to making a great press kit.


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