Releasing An Album: 4 Ways To Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality

Releasing an album is no small task. So if you feel overwhelmed by the idea, join the club.

But, if you go into it with the right mentality and the right tools, it’s totally doable and affordable. And it can even be super fun.

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LANDR Review: Can An Algorithm Really Master Your Songs?

The difference between a pro-level recording and an amateur-level recording: mastering. 

And when it comes to this final (but crucial) last step before releasing a song, lots of people choose a free online mastering service like LANDR.

But many mastering engineers are not totally sold on this idea.

So I thought I’d review LANDR myself. The big question here: is LANDR any good?

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3 Big Things Happening In The Music Industry In 2018

As DIY musicians, it’s important you and I keep up with what’s going on in the industry. 

iTunes

So as we welcome the new year, here are three important things happening in the music industry in 2018.

iTunes Is Removing Digital Music Downloads

As of 2016, iTunes started phasing out digital music downloads. And the plan is to finalize the whole process by 2019.

According to Digital Music News, there will be a “complete termination by 2019, shortly after the 2018 Christmas season.” And this is happening “as music downloads continue to collapse.”

If you didn’t know by now, you should — streaming is the new way of doing things. So if you’ve released music, you should get it to places like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, and Amazon.

You can use this guide to get you started: How To Sell Your Music Online (A Guide For Beginners).

Things Will Get Better For Songwriters

In a landmark deal, the songwriting industry and music streaming companies partnered to cut a deal with the federal government, reports The Tennessean.

Without getting too much into the legal jargon, here’s what the new deal means: streaming companies will now be able to easily license songs, while songwriters and publishers should see an increase in their own digital rates.

Here’s a little more detail on what the deal will lead to:

  • “Songwriters and publishers could be identified more accurately and paid more promptly,” thanks to a soon-to-be mechanical digital rights organization run by music publishers and funded by streaming companies
  • Boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to rate courts being able to look at sound recording royalty rates as a factor when they set rates for songwriters and publishers
  • More boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to us being able to present as evidence for more royalties the sync licensing deals (our music in TV/film) we get.
  • ASCAP and BMI can take their rate-setting disputes to any of the federal judges for the Southern District of New York, instead of being assigned to one federal judge

The DIY Music Train Will Keep Chugging — Hop On

Now is one of the best times to be a DIY musician.

Anyone can record music in their bedroom and make it sound professional (check out the Audio Recording category for more on that). It’s so easy and affordable to distribute your music worldwide.

There are plenty of ways to make money as a musician, sometimes without even leaving home. And tools for musicians abound, like CD Baby, Patreon, and LANDR.

If you’ve been on the fence about pursuing music as your passion, as your source of income, now is the best time to jump off that fence on the right side.

5 Tools To Help Boost Your DIY Music Career

DIY musicians will tell you, it ain’t easy making a living through music, but it is possible.

Boost Your DIY Music Career

So anything you can do to boost your DIY music career is a step in the right direction.

With that in mind, here are five simple tools you can use to do just that.

Music distributors

boost your DIY music career

If you want more people to hear your music, you need to go where the people are.

Not everyone listens to music on the same platform. Some people like Spotify, others like Apple Music, and even others like Pandora.

That’s why music distributors are really helpful — they’ll send your music to almost every website that streams and/or sells music.

To get involved with a distributor, you can check out my guide for selling your music online.

Evernote

boost your DIY music career

Evernote is how I do my songwriting now. It lets me organize notes, attach voice memos to my lyrics, and allows me access on the app or desktop.

You can create tags to easily find a song you’re working on. And you can easily share notes, like if you’re writing a song with someone.

I’m pretty much addicted to it. Check it out here.

LANDR

boost your DIY music career

LANDR is an automated mastering service. I now use it for every song I need to master.

They use the same technology that Spotify or Apple Music uses to recommend other songs and artists to you. Somehow, they’re able to identify the sonic properties of a song and then master it based on that.

And you know if I’m using it, it’s affordable. You can either pay under $10 for a master WAV file or set up a monthly subscription for about $25 a month.

If you produce and record music, you should check out LANDR.

Upwork

Upwork

I use Upwork, a website that connects freelancers with clients, to find a lot of music writing jobs, but I also get jingle projects, songwriting jobs, and pretty much any music-related work.

It’s the key to me being able to work from home.

I highly recommend you look at the jobs on there.

A PA System

Let’s admit it — nobody likes dealing with a sound system. Not even the sound guy.

But having a nice PA system is an investment that can make your gigs so much easier. No more praying that the venue will have a half-decent sound system. No more annoying your one friend with a PA system.

I have to admit — I don’t own one. But I want one. And this Rockville PA system looks like a good one for under $300.

So give these tools a shot and let me know what you think!