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Songwriter’s Challenge: Write a Piano Pop Ballad

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Ariane_Mateesco

As the Memorial Day weekend draws near, I wanted to send out a songwriter’s challenge for the long weekend. I challenge you to write a pop ballad.  Take that extra day you’re given this weekend and give yourself an hour or two to sit down and write a new song! A lot of pop artists are taking a step back on their productions and releasing material that is more stripped down minimal instrumentation of piano, some light orchestration with either synth strings or live strings and the perfect vocal production. Why not use it as a challenge to put out some similar demos in this style for publishing opportunities and pitching material?

Often times, tracks get overproduced and the most important element in the recording gets lost- the vocals and the story of the song. Sometimes, a piano/vocal production is the way to go. If you have a full band production of a song already complete, don’t forget to do a simple acoustic stripped back alternate mix of that song so you have options.

The StudioPros production team has recently finished the production of “For Amber” by French songwriter living in Switzerland, Ariane Mateesco. Ariane had originally wrote the song as a gift for her 15 year old sister Amber, taking a poem Amber had written in French and putting lyrics and music to the poetry. After speaking with her about the process and helping her develop the song, we did a piano based production with Kelsey on vocals and added a nice melodic cello playing supportive lead counter melodies. We also developed the song as a full band production adding drums and bass as an alternative version. Having both the full band production and the simpler piano/vocal version has expanded the options for sending the material out to A&R representatives and publishing companies.

 Check out StudioPros production of Mateesco’s song, “For Amber”:

Full Band Production:

Piano/Vocal/Cello Production:

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Preparing your music for release.

Friday, November 8th, 2013

So you have written a good song and have had it professionally produced. Now what? This is a question that I think most songwriters struggle with. What are the next steps that we need to take to get our music in the right hands or how do we digitally distribute our music online?

The ease of releasing your material as an independent artist these days is amazing. With the advancements in technology and the internet, anyone can release their material themselves as an independent artist. Sure, it takes hard work and a little bit of know-how, but I’ll try to make easy for you.

These are some important key steps that you need to take to get your music released professionally to get your songs heard!

masteringStep 1: Get your recordings mastered by a pro.

Once your songs have been professionally produced by a team of session musicians and you have had the songs professionally mixed, it’s important to get your songs mastered by an industry expert in engineering. Mastering is the final step of production which takes your final mix and brings it up to Broadcast Quality for digital release and radio airplay. Without the last step of mastering, your recording will not sound professional or have the final polish it deserves prior to release.

Step 2: Prepare your album artwork.

Taylor-Swift-RedHaving professional head-shots or artistic images to help develop your image as an artist will go hand in hand with your release. The imagry that you create artistically will help you with music marketing and will present yourself more professionally as an artist.  In this case, people will “judge the book by it’s cover” despite what lessons we’ve been taught about that. Having eye catching album design will only help you promote your music both digitally and physically for album release and digital release.

Recognizable images to post along with your release to social networking websites will help catch prospective listeners attention and will also help develop artist branding. After all, music and art go hand in hand. Make sure your artwork is related somehow with your songs message and theme so that it is a clear representation of you as an artist. If you are a country singer-songwriter, you don’t want your artwork to be industrial looking. Catch my drift?

Step 3: Get the UPC code for your recordings.

code-2A UPC code is a specific code that is assigned to your recording so you can keep track of physical record sales when you release your recordings for sale through online stores such as Amazon. Most CD duplication companies will offer the UPC code as an add on to their services for a small fee.

Step 4: Set up social networking sites and start developing a fan base.

Prepare yourself for digitally releasing your material by creating a Youtube channel, Facebook page, Twitter account and commit to release at least one new song every month. Also through these free social networking sites, you can use this a tool to constantly update your status and begin to engage an audience and develop a fan base. If you are a performing singer/songwriter, also create a mailing list so you can keep your audience informed about new releases, upcoming performances and even fundraising campaigns for future recordings.

Step 5: Pick a digital music distribution company to release your material.

Some digital music distribution companies that reach out to independent artists for digital release of recordings and help you sell your music online include:

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Tunecore: http://www.tunecore.com

Some of Tunecore’s key services they offer include releasing your recordings to digital stores including iTunes, Spotify, Google play and Amazon mp3. You can also link your music to online radio stations including iHeartRADIO and Rhapsody.  I can say that I’ve personally used Tunecore myself for my personal release and I am a happy client. They make it easy to manage your sales and releases through your own online account and can easily transfer royalties and sales to your paypal account. You can also keep track of monthly record sales or individual single sales.

cdbaby: http://www.cdbaby.com

With cdbaby, you can digitally distribute your material to iTunes, Spotify, Google play and Amazon mp3. This site is also a great resource to showcase your release and send people a direct link to checkout your tunes through your cdbaby page that they create for you to showcase your material online.

DiscMakers: http://www.discmakers.com

DiscMakers main services have always included CD Duplication and Replication for physical cds to have in hand to sell at shows. They have expanded their services to include digital distribution to online stores including iTunes, Spotify, Google play, cdbaby and Amazon mp3. If you need help with your cd album design, they also offer creative services that can help you get your album artwork in order for your release. Discmakers covers copyright services as well as additional promotional services once your material is released. A great one stop shop for post production!

Songwriter’s Challenge: Write a Standard Form Song

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Beginners Guide To Song Form Part 2

After receiving such great feedback from you guys, we’ve decided to continue the songwriting form series. Last time we touched on the AABA format using Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” as an example, and today I want to focus on the most popular song structure-ABABCB.

Understanding Song Structure Basics: ABABCB Song Form

The ABABCB Song Form:

The most common song form is the ABABCB form, which is a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song. The “A” section is the verse, where the story is told. The “B” section is the chorus, which is the hook and the highlight of the song. A standard verse chorus can often become tiresome, so adding a “C” section, also known as the bridge, adds variation. The bridge is a musical departure from the expected-often summing up the song-thus supplying new momentum to the final chorus. Some popular examples for ABABCB songs are “What’s Love Got To Do With it” by Tina Turner, “Girl” by The Beatles, and “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry. (more…)

New At Studio Pros: Ringtones!

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

300px-Ringtone_symbolWe’re happy to announce a new way to enjoy your songs! For as little as $25, we’ll create a ringtone version of your song good for iPhones and Android cellphone devices.

Our ring tones are 40 seconds long and are available in mp3 format for Android mobile devices, or m4r for iPhone devices! Customize your own ringtone today and personalize your ring!

This service is available when ordering our mixing or production services by clicking on ‘alternate mix version’ within your account.

Record an EP

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

What is an EP?

An EP by definition, is short for extended play (EP), which consists of more music than a single recording but is too short to qualify as a full studio album. EP’s originally became popular with indie bands and punk bands in the UK, but have now gained popularity in the music scene with the changes of the music industry today.

These days, the idea of a full length album and the old fashioned sense of buying an album has chanced. Listening from start to finish in one drive or sitting has become almost obsolete (with the exception of those few music geeks like myself).

With the advancements of the digital world, people are simply buying and downloading their favorite songs as singles off of albums instead of purchasing the full album from iTunes or other digital distribution companies. Generally speaking, EP’s are around 25 minutes of music and include 3-6 songs as part of the project.

As an independent artist, the EP is the way to go for a debut release as it’s more affordable and you can focus on your best songs and see the response you are getting from listeners before investing in a full length album.

LP vs. EP

LP, by definition is short for Long Play (LP). This stemmed from vinyl records and the old school phonograph records in days gone by. LP’s would also be considered full length albums in today’s terminology and typically consist of at least 9-12 songs on a single album project. This is what the traditional album would be called.

Release an EP with Studio Pros

As the popularity for EP’s continues to grow, we urge independent artists to focus on their best “cream of the crop” songs and start investing in getting those produced. We have a lot of experience in helping artists develop their sound, style, vision and help in translating those ideas into fully produced recordings.

Check out a recent EP that has been released by Charlie Barclay and produced by Studio Pros:
https://studiopros.com/featured-artist-charlie-barclay

Our music production packages consist of live full band instrumentation, including live drums, bass, 3-6 guitars, 2-4 keyboards and mixing/mastering by a Grammy nominated engineer.

Send us your demo to our Free Project Consultation Page to get started today: http://studiopros.com/free-consultation-form.php

Stop putting your music on the back burner. If you are interested in getting your songs professionally produced with our production team, contact one of our available producers at: 1-310-928-7776 or email us at: info@studiopros.com. Record an EP this April 2013, and get $100 towards each song! Contact us for more info.


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