Archive for techniques

Simple Marketing Tips for Indie Musicians

Posted in Music Industry, Newbies with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by Chris Bracco

eek!

I just read an article that reminded me of some really basic marketing principles that may seem pretty obvious, but can definitely be forgotten over time. And they shouldn’t be! These fundamentals are extremely important, especially to indie musicians. If you are one of these musicians out there trying to do it on your own, selling albums out of your car’s trunk (props to Johnny Cash) or going door-to-door like some kind of perverted Girl Scout, then you need to be aware of these!!!

Basic assumptions as to why somebody would pay for your indie music, merch, etc:

1) They desire or absolutely need what your selling
2) They believe your product/service is exclusive in some way, or very difficult to find
3) They think there is a time constraint, and if they do not purchase your product soon they might miss the opportunity.

And far more important than the tips above: GET PEOPLE TO COME TO YOU, DO NOT FORCE THE PRODUCT ON THEM!

How many of you have ever bought a CD from some random guy running up to you on the street yelling “Yo man! I got these CDs you want one?!” I don’t know, but personally I’d tell him to scram.

People like people, so be an authentic artist by creating quality music and offering your fans something FIRST. Eventually, if what you are providing your fans is something of quality, you will see them coming back for more.

_chris

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Simple Audio Mixing Tips Part 1

Posted in Tips & Tricks with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by Chris Bracco

Most people search tirelessly for the quick & simple answer to fix a problem. With mixing audio, quick & simple are two words that usually do not factor in to the process. Unless a mixing engineer is blessed with perfectly recorded tracks (which is becoming less and less the case due to the increasing volume of homemade recordings), he is going to have to do some fiddling around to get them sounding just right.

Here is part of a list of mixing tips I have compiled over the past few semesters. These are not magic tricks to make your recordings sound crystal clear, or totally eliminate noise, or make your one guitar track sound like 48. Also, these techniques, for the most part, are not universal; they depend on your specific tastes, and the final sound you are looking for in your mix. These are simple tips, some rules of thumb, to create certain effects, enhance certain characteristics, or clean up some of the unwanted mess in your mixes.

For now I will give you the first 5…I have been able to try most of these, but some I have yet to explore….so try some of these out and let me know how they work out for you!

1) Make pretty liberal use of volume automation. 2-3dB doses here and there will allow the more interesting fills and mini-riffs for each track poke through the mix.

2) Low Cut Eq on just about everything. Unless you are mixing hip-hop/dance/techno/trance music that requires the subwoofers to rattle your bones….most of this sub-bass rumble can totally kill an otherwise awesome sounding mix.

3) NY/Parallel compression. Duplicate a track. Compress the hell out of one of ‘em, but not the other. Mix the two to taste (with the uncompressed one being your “main” track). The compressed one gives you the “punch/oomph” and the uncompressed one keeps the dynamics & “sparkle.”

4) Whisper track. Have the singer whisper along with the vocal track and bring this up under the main vox in the mix. I got very awesome results doing this in the song “Wonderland” by ASBPK. I have it best being used subtly under the lead vocals, but if you can make it sound cool cranked up loud I’d love to hear it!

5) Use batteries in guitar/bass stomp boxes, they sound better than power adapters. I am not really sure why, nor do I care, but this really is true I’ve tried it. Less noise & less tone sucking. If only 9V’s weren’t ten bucks a pop…. 😛

I will post another 5 tips shortly. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these!

_chris

Getting a Handle on Compression

Posted in Newbies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2007 by Chris Bracco

For some reason, compression was just one of those things for me that I just could not grasp right away. Ratios, thresholds, limiters, maximizers, attack, release…..I didn’t want any part of it. I just figured that compression was something that HAD to be done on a track, and I would just select a preset I THOUGHT sounded nice, and that was that. Little did I know, I was being a total ignorant jerkass. And my music sounded like shit.

Found this article a while back, really helped me grasp the basic functions of a typical compressor:

http://d4dirtyrecords.com/myblog/how-to-use-a-compressor-tutorial-3.html

I really like the analogy that he uses:

A compressor is like a little man who sits there with a remote control for the volume. Every time he hears the sound is too loud he turns the volume down until it’s quieter and then he turns it back up.

your welcome. 🙂

_chris