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Category: Music Business Tips

5 Ways Working with Indiy Can Further Your Music Career

5 Ways Working with Indiy Can Further Your Music Career

With the acceleration of technology, it's no surprise that independent musicians are on the rise.

At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

Becoming an independent music artist is a process where you make and distribute your own music independently without the help of traditional record labels or music publishers.



With the many online resources available nowadays to learn and perfect the recording and mixing process, more and more people are able to enter the music business.

The music industry is vast, and with the top 1% of artists earning 77% of recorded music income, it can be intimidating if you're looking to enter and take it on alone.

Wondering if you could really major in the music industry can make you ask yourself questions like...

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These are questions that many have asked when starting their careers in music, but the answer is not always the same.

You see, making music as a career is unique to every individual just as everyone has a different fingerprint.

While it's great to find inspiration from artists who have made it or are up and coming, developing a blueprint for success in the music business should be approached from an angle that's cohesive with your backstory.

There are a few principles that we believe anyone can apply to be able to make a living from their love of making music:

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#1. Take Lessons

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Yep that's right! Among the five ways to make music your career, the first is to get the guidance and feedback you need from a professional.

Not only will this provide you with pointers on how to improve, but you also gain insight from someone with musical experience who can help you find or improve your sound based on your niche.

Taking music lessons whether in a group or one-on-one is an excellent way to network and meet other musicians getting their names out there.

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#2. Network More

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Alongside taking lessons, where you will be growing as a music artist...

To gain the most benefit and make your name known in the music world, you need to start networking more.

With music being more about "who you know," and less about "what you know," it's crucial to have your name out there.

Aside from collaborating on an EP and performing live shows with other musicians to network and gain more exposure, a less traditional option might be applying to work or intern for a music company.

Taking this step will give you the ability to learn more about the business side of the industry and connect with those who can help excel your career.

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#3. Seize Opportunity

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Due to the music industry's massive growth over the years with new technologies and platforms constantly emerging, more opportunities are available than ever before.

Your chances of success are the highest they've ever been for you to make a career out of music.

Especially in the earlier stages; it's vital to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

Did you know the average musician only earns 6% from sound recordings!?

Knowing this hard fact can make you realise that there's no way around the actuality that you have to work extremely hard and pay your dues.

If that means performing for elders at a care home facility, inmates at a prison, or even your local bar, do your best to accept it.

Gain that invaluable experience doing what you love whilst also getting your name and music shared by more people.

Eventually, you'll be able to pick and choose which gigs you want to accept but starting out, be humble, don't block yourself from the possibility of receiving more blessings by turning down offers.

In the early ’90s when The Fugees first started out and were trying to make it big in the music industry, they basically had to sit with and go through “7,000 A&R’s”

Wyclef Jean - How to Make it in the Music Industry

#4. Leverage Technology

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The cat is out of the bag, it's no secret that automation is replacing traditional jobs.

It's pretty scary to think that automation could eliminate 73 million jobs by 2030, but you know what robots and drones are going to have a hard time replacing?

Creativity - it's creativity that will allow careers in the music industry to thrive.

On the other hand, technology is offering us new benefits as well.

Programs that can automatically scan your music for possible copyright infringements can reduce the costs of hiring someone to do that for you.

Automatically syndicating your music on platforms that have audiences waiting to listen and hear something new, takes away months' worth of meetings, calls, writing, or sending emails into radio stations just to get your sound heard on their station.

Not only is the music industry here to stay, it is here to thrive which is why there's never been a better time to join the online music business.

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#5. Be Adaptable

indiy
Steps every indie artist should take to lay a solid career foundation!

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Last but certainly not least, what kills more music careers than ever is the inability to be versatile.

Independent DIY artists make up only 2.7% of the music market.

You have a sound that's unique, you have a name for yourself or your band and that's great but what you will also need to do is to keep in mind it's also about your audience.

Adjust to your fans and their tastes - cater to those who are more likely to listen to your music.

It might mean changing a few aspects here and there.

You can stay true to who you are whilst also recognizing that music is a business and in order to make money you have to provide what people want; it's about branding and being flexible.

Think of it like this...

A restaurant with only one item on the menu won't be as successful as one that takes custom orders and has a variety of different options right?

If a country bar intends to pay you to play country music over the weekend, even if your style is R&B don't turn down an opportunity to gain experience and be versatile.

Throughout your career, every experience is going to add to your resume of success and provide you with an even more unique story.

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The Bottom Line

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Just to remind you we're gonna say it again..not every path will be the same.

Some people might find overnight success, while it may take others decades.

One thing, however, is always clear...

Everyone who successfully creates a career in music does so through a sustained level of consistency and dedication.

Furthermore, those who truly manage to remain successful are the ones who have maintained their love for making music.

So no matter which path you choose, stay persistent, and keep doing it for the right reasons.

And we'll be here to provide you with the right tools to help and support you all the way.

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At Indiy, we are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

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Get your music heard and build your audience with us, head to our home page to take a look at some of the amazing services being offered to help you progress on your music career journey.

Home Studio Recording Mistakes You Might Be Making! Killing your chance of making a hit record!

Home Studio Recording Mistakes You Might Be Making! Killing your chance of making a hit record!
Home Recording Studio Mistakes You Might Be Making

If you really want to produce music in your own home recording studio but you don't know where to begin hopefully this guide is going to help you out!

Once you've got your home studio set up for recording with these 5 Music Production Studio Essentials, there's nothing to stop you and you can actually begin creating music, and avoid the most common mistakes with home studio recording.

To save time from the get-go, knowing about these 10 common mistakes people tend to make when first starting out will hopefully mean that you won't make them yourself.

Of course, making mistakes is all part of the learning curve towards achieving your goal and some errors are unavoidable - blunders are always part of the process - it's how we learn.

Photo by Jesman fabio 

Once you've finished reading you will know about 10 common home studio recording mistakes that people often make and hopefully it will instrument you in actually avoiding making these mistakes yourself!

It's always good to know what you're doing in advance and instead of feeling unprepared, you're going to know exactly what to do if you encounter any of these oversights...

Here are 10 common home studio recording mistakes you need to check out to make sure that your home music recordings are at a decent level that can be acceptable to a music industry professional:

Recording at 16 bit

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First of all something to understand is that audio resolution is measured in 'bits' and nowadays we record at 24 bits - the more bits, the greater the dynamic range of soft to loud sounds that your song can have.

When CDs were first introduced back in the 1980s, they were only 16-bit.

24-bit dynamic range gives the digital music more quality by allowing more headroom for peaks so there's less risk of 'clipping' and it also enables a greater separation between the recorded audio and the noise floor.

In the simplest sense, audio clipping is a form of waveform distortion.

MAX MCALLISTER - ProduceLikeAPro.com

Whilst producing an audio file in your home recording studio you will want all the headroom you can get which is why 24bit beats 16!

More headroom means you can worry less about transient peaks causing clipping distortion, and generally results in a better, more open and natural sound, so it's a good thing.

Use 24-bit audio and record at lower levels, that way you don’t have to worry about putting your recording into the red because that is something that can't be fixed later in the process.

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Not considering the amount of 'room noise'

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First and foremost most home studio recording takes place in rooms that aren't exactly acoustically ideal.

Sound that might end up in your song isn't always obvious to the naked ear and sometimes unwanted noises can end up in your audio file especially during the early stages of learning to record at home - noise exists everywhere and can be captured or generated at any stage of the production process.

Simple things like your PC itself, heaters, air con units, etc. all produce sound, and noise is a troublesome issue for a home recording studio.

So your set up is important and during the recording process, you should switch off whatever isn't essential and banish anything noisy as far away as possible!

Click here to learn how to soundproof your own home recording studio.

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Having the microphone too close to the wall

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The next possible oversight when first starting out in your home recording studio is having your microphone too close to the wall.

Positioning a microphone can be tricky in any home recording studio situation, particularly if your mic is omnidirectional.

Where to place your mic for vocal recordings varies according to your set-up and the size and shape of your room.

The wall is a reflective surface so the closer you are to the wall the faster sound is going to come back to your microphone and interfere with your recording so try to stay away from the wall.

However, if you have no choice but to be near to a wall you need to put some kind of absorbing material up on the wall closest to where your microphone is so that sound doesn't immediately bounce back into your microphone.

Check out this article for some effective soundproofing ideas for your room and it may also be wise to invest in a reflection filter for your mic to stop unwanted sounds getting to it.

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Having the microphone level up too high

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Nowadays with everything being digital, you don't really need to record so loud.

Back in the analog days', people would overload their pre-amps because they enjoyed how it sounded but with digital audio recording, it doesn't sound good, it's just going to cause distortion on your song.

Most audio interfaces already come with built-in preamps, and 'gain' is the first control that the microphone signal goes through in a mixer.

As a rule of thumb, most producers record usually somewhere around negative 6 DB but it depends on your space and who or what you're recording.

If you turn the pre-amp gain up too high whilst recording it will clip, which looks like this:

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So gain is the volume of the input level of the microphone and you need to make sure that's set at the correct setting so your audio waves flow and there's no distortion.

Digital clipping sounds terrible! And should always be avoided!

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Having the microphone level too low

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Depending on what you’re recording, there are three variables;

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  • how loud the sound source is
  • the microphone distance
  • the microphone sensitivity

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And the same way that having your mic level up too high can result in an imperfect recording, having the mic level too low can also cause problems later down the production road.

The trick is to improve the level of signal coming into the mic.

If the microphone preamplifier gain control is turned down way too low basically later once you start to add EQ, and compression, etc. and you need to turn that audio up you will hear everything on the noise floor increase too.

So just remember everything else the mic picked up will also get louder too.

To fully understand the ins and outs of gain control of a microphone preamplifier click here.

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Being too close or singing into the wrong side of the microphone

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The next mistake that you'll often hear pro producers complaining about when receiving home studio recordings to mix is that they just aren't clear enough.

This happens because the vocalist has either recorded too close to the mic or delivered their vocals at the wrong angle!

All microphones have a pickup pattern and not singing into the right side or being too close creates sound distortions that happen from overloading the mic from being excessive.

If you're not sure which way your mic should be facing or what side you should sing into, read the instructions manual.

As a vocalist, you may have to try out many techniques and learn how to position yourself correctly - practice singing or rapping into the mic to discover what works best.

The two biggest peeves are whenever a vocalist sings a “p” or “b” sound or any other sound from your mouth that has a quick expulsion of breath through the lips.

You will hear them being referred to as "P-Pops" or "plosives"!

Then there's also 'sibilance' which is excessive hissing when producing S’s and F’s sounds.

This can be minimized by using a pop filter screen so just get a pop filter to place 2-3 inches away from the microphone and reduce those plosives!

Or you can make one yourself with a clothes hanger and some tights!

Here's an article Microphone Setups – How To Find The Sweet Spot if you want to learn more about getting the perfect vocal recording from your home recording studio.

How close you should stand or how far you should be from the mic is up to you, it differs because it will depend on your space and what type of microphone you are using - click here to learn about all the different microphone types.

Quick Tip: To minimize the proximity effect you should be looking to place your microphone between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches) away from the sound source.

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Not using nice-sounding vocals

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Whilst we're on the subject of vocals and vocalists...if you suck at singing and you can't hit the notes you desire for your song perhaps it's best to find some else to do it for you.

You can ask around or hire someone who's vocally talented before you record it for others to listen to.

Don't put yourself on the song, just for the sake of it because it would be a huge shame and a pretty bad mistake if you are creative and can really make amazing music but then the vocals just kill it!

A good song that you've written but let someone who's better sing it has more chance of success.

You can record yourself prior to hitting the studio to give the person an idea of what you want?

If you have an okay voice then singing lessons and practice will help you learn to perform your songs better.

Either improve your own skill or get someone who's voice is their forte to do the vocals for you.

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Recording mono sources onto a stereo track

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If you plan on creating music from your own home recording studio something you need to wrap your head around is the concept of mono and stereo.

Many newbies when starting out in their home studio make the mistake of recording a mono source onto a stereo track.

Mono audio means recording onto one channel of audio; one recording with one microphone onto one channel.

If you have one microphone, one XLR cable, and you're using one input on your audio interface, you are recording in mono.

Stereo tracks need two input sources; both left AND right.

Nowadays most music is mixed in stereo, stereo is two channels of audio; left and right.

When we listen to music through our headphones or speakers we are hearing mono sound in a stereo environment.

Watch this video to understand it all a bit more to ensure you don't make the mistake of recording mono audio onto a stereo track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVgc7v-4n8k
Joe Gilder • Home Studio Corner -What's the Difference Between Mono and Stereo?

...or you can read this: The Difference Between Mono and Stereo Sound which will teach you the the difference between mono and stereo audio files, playback, and recording.

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Having the hardware buffer size turned up too high

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Another mistake people make and it's definitely something to avoid...is having the hardware buffer size turned up too high.

Buffer size and latency can affect your recording in your digital audio workstation (DAW).

Buffer is to do with latency; buffer size dictates how much latency that you will have when you are recording instruments and vocals.

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What is latency?

Latency is basically the time that it takes for the audio signal (of whatever it is that you're recording) to travel from the microphone through your interface and then back out to the headphones or your monitor.

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Generally, you might hear that the hardware buffer size should be set high for mixing and low for recording - the lower you go the less latency and the higher...the more latency!

So there's a time delay there - latency is the time difference between a sound being created and heard.

You want to have your hardware buffer set as low as you can possibly handle and many pros will recommend anywhere between 256 and lower.

The higher you go, the more latency so you'll get a form of an echoey, delay effect which is why you've got to ensure you've got the correct buffer size setting to avoid latency.

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Over-Compression

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Compression is the best way to control dynamics, not only does it bring control and keep some instruments in check it makes other elements of the mix tighter and more powerful.

Too much compression can make your tracks distort.

The two hallmarks of over-compressed vocals are sibilance and pumping.

If you're wondering whether you should EQ before or after compression generally, using EQ in front of your compressor produces a warmer, rounder tone, while using EQ after your compressor produces a cleaner, clearer sound - EQ is a massive subject for professional audio engineers. 

Keep in mind that a little compression goes a long way.

The producer's handbook to mixing audio stories

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Click here to check out 'The Animated Guide to Compression'

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Of course the only real way to get better at making music in your own home recording studio is just by jumping straight in and doing it because with time and practice comes knowledge and skill - it's inevitable that you will learn and improve.

It's definitely important that you get some professional mixing services on your song once you've finished but to avoid any embarrassment you want to get your production to a point that's semi-professional right?

If you follow the advice given above you can combat any of these problems should you encounter them.

At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their creative content. 

We are the online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

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Get your music heard and build your audience with us, or head to our home page to take a look at some of the amazing services being offered to help you progress on your music career journey.

How To Build A Fan Base in 2020 with Simple Steps- Amazing Results

How To Build A Fan Base in 2020 with Simple Steps- Amazing Results

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Have you ever wondered how to build a fan base in 2020?

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Here’s how you can simply expand your fan base step-by-step with results both online and real life. Also, you’re going to gain some useful, helpful, and important pointers towards getting started.

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As a musician and music artist, carving out your success can be a tough thing to do, but you don't have to do it alone.

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If you have a goal in mind let it be to make money with your career, but sometimes it's not all about the money, but where you spend time in efforts to build and grow your fan base as a music brand.
The internet provides a reach for those who want to make a career of it, but unfortunately, the internet is not going to do your job for you. You still have to start your plan, and do it skillfully. Having good music is a must too.

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If you want to work towards your dreams, start by building a real fan base that will stick by your side.

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Build A Fanbase By Knowing Your Strengths

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Music is a tool. As an artist, music is at the core of what you're doing, but what you may not know is that it is not the only source of revenue available to you. You will have to know your strengths and what categories they fall into to keep moving forward.

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If performing live music is your strength, maybe you should play more shows.

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If socializing is your strength, get out network and meet more people! You can also make online relationships.

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If marketing is your strength, learn more SEO tips.

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If graphic design is your strength, make and sell more products!

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Focusing on your strengths and learning new ones will take you far.

Nicholas Bay

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When releasing music, branding is definitely a key part of why your fans decide whether they want to buy from you or not - next, the 1,000 fans theory will show you the importance of fan connections and how to keep fan base happy.

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Have You Ever Heard Of The 1,000 fans Theory?

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The 1,000 Fan theory is the notion that if 1,000 people love you and your music, they will buy your merchandise and will constantly buy anything you push.

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If 20 percent of your fan base will buy 80 percent of your merchandise. It means, if you release a shirt or release music, 20 percent of your fan base will get it.

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If you can generate 100 dollars a year from each member of this 1000 person fan base, you would generate $20k a year. From there you can scale up!

1,000 fans may seem like a lot, but if you have something your fan base can connect with, those fans will become a devout asset to your career as an artist. 

You have 10 loyal fans right now? That's okay! 

You can build off of that and keep making music and merch that those 10 people will want to purchase.

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Making something personal for a couple of people is something you should definitely consider because they are the ones who care about you right now.

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You are making music for 10 people, not 100 or even 1,000 people yet. Use social media and email to contact and be involved with your fan base.

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Building a fan base

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DIY Marketing Tips

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If you consider yourself to be a musician, music producer, songwriter, beatmaker, engineer, or composer, consider what kind of plan you need for the future even if you know nothing about marketing.

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If you want to market yourself online, the outcome of marketing your music online is essential to the curve in technology and the entertainment industry. Online marketing could be a potential gateway in getting to know yourself and adding to your fanbase. It could also mean that you get more plays on your platforms if you promote yourself in the right way.

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What most people don't come to realize that, is that they are an easy asset or a device to record labels, and sometimes you have to scheme to pull in any money for yourself. Marketing yourself shouldn't feel like this. Market yourself to be a person and you may gain more fans this way. Build and maintain your relationships online by keeping them new and fresh weekly. Fans want an artist that is active and constantly pursuing their dreams.

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Here's a video that will teach you how to build a fan base using social media platforms.

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Getting people to do what you want them to do is important, and you have to know your target audience for future releases. This is kind of where marketing comes into play. It's all about give and take. Think about something you can offer for your new fans, and promote yourself online that way.

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Click here to read a Musician’s Guide to Branding as a way to better understand yourself as an artist and what sort of image it is that you’d like to portray to your audience!

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Graphic designers are usually the people to create this sort of content for you or you might even turn towards videographers, it all depends on what sort of thing you are going for!

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Design can do a lot for you when it comes to selling your music, and gaining new fans.
Just take Travis Scott for example, the cool artwork he uses for his music speaks volumes and there’s definitely an important link between the music and the visual aspect - it’s super important that the two things match. 

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Conclusion

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A lot has changed in the music industry, and in 2020 the internet has provided us a way to connect with our fan base better than ever. As an artist who is just getting started, a foot in the door could be a big step for you. 

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Knowing your strengths will be beneficial to your career. Whether you are more of a social person, networking guru, or undeniable talent, playing to your strengths will help, and never harm you as an artist. 

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Learning about these pointers and learning how to pitch yourself online is another great tip on building a fan base. Be smart with your moves, be intimate and friendly, and you could find yourself in a great position in the music business a few years down the road. 

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Start building a fan base by submitting to our collaborative playlists for free here

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5 FREE Plugins for Lo-Fi Music

5 FREE Plugins for Lo-Fi Music

Here we have 5 Lo-Fi Music Plugins that you should download for FREE today!

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If you're looking to remove the clean and add a bit of lo-fi grit and vintage flavor to your sound look no further...

Because here we have 5 Lo-Fi Plugin's that you can download for FREE today!

Embark on your journey of lo-fi sound! Add these 5 free VST plugins for Lo-Fi Music to your collection and start getting creative!

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The acronym LO-FI, according to its creator Eric Mathews, stands for “low fidelity.” This is a type of sound recording that contains technical flaws that make the recording sound differently compared to the live sound being recorded, such as distortion, hum, background noise, or limited frequency response.

Brenden Lutes ’18

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LoFi sounds definitely work for EDM and Hip-Hop music...but maybe you can make them work for whatever your unique style is!

Here are 5 Free lo-fi plugins for adding that dusty old school vibe to your sound:

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1. SQ8ROM

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The SQ8ROM is a sampled version of SQ8L, a VST plugin based on the sound and synthesizer architecture of the Ensoniq SQ80.

This plugin has tons of 80's synth pads, basses, and leads and comes with 50 sounds, lots of them will give you a vintage vibe; the remaining sounds are available as free expansions for a total of 168 sounds.

SQ8ROM is a must-have if you produce synth-wave, synth-pop, vaporwave, and any other 80s influenced genres.

Best of all, SQ8ROM will be forever free!

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Features Include:

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  • 168 sounds
  • Amplitude ADSR
  • Reverb
  • Multi-LFO
  • Can be used as a MSE file reader

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Click here to download SQ8ROM

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2. Room Piano

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Another FREE awesome plugin from Sample Science is the Room Piano.

Room Piano is a light piano plugin for musicians who want to add a lo-fi touch to their tracks.

The instrument comes with a series of on-board lo-fi and modulation effects to help you shape your own rustic piano sound.

The plugin is based on a Kawai Upright acoustic piano recording.

You can either pay a lot of money for Lo-Fi piano sounds from one of the big companies or just get Room Piano for free today! Click here to check it out!

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Features Include:

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  • 1 lightweight piano sound (less than 20 MB)
  • Amplitude ADSR
  • Vinyl and tape effects
  • Multi-LFO
  • Highpass/Lowpass filter
  • Room reverb

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Click here to download Room Piano, the must-have Lo-Fi Plugin!

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3. Izotope Vinyl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXckIRBv9hA&feature=youtu.be

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This Lo-Fi plugin is perfect for music production and audio post, Izotope Vinyl lets you control each nostalgic element independently, giving you all the vintage turntable sounds you love.

If you've got an instrument, for example, let's say some piano cords that don't quite sound how you want or need them to, just drop the Izotype Vinyl on it, and you'll be able to create what you're looking for! You can simply switch the year to get some different sounds!

Vinyl is a plug-in that lets you simulate the dust, scratches, and warp of a worn record and the electrical and mechanical noise of the turntable your track would be on as if it were in reality.

It gives fresh recordings and instrument tracks the dirty, dusty feel of an earlier decade.

Apply Vinyl to any source audio to make it sound as if it’s being played from a record and dial in exactly the right character to suit your tune.

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Click here to download the amazing Izotope Vinyl Lo-Fi Plugin for free today!

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4. LowBit MonoSyn

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https://youtu.be/cfElxCs1WJ0

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Okay here's a lo-bit monophonic synthesizer for you to add to your arsenal!

The LowBitMonoSyn by D10Labo is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin.

The oscillator wave is low bit and this awesome VST has many modulations.

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Features Include:

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  • 2 OSC(8bit sine wave, Pulse 3:1, pulse 1:1, pulse 1:7, 4bit tri, 4bit saw, 4bit noise, noise like family computer)
  • Pitch(Pitch and Fine), Env modulation, Lfo modulation, osc2>osc1(fm), osc2 feedback
  • 2 ADR
  • 1 LFO(only tri wave but 4bit)

There is a portamento and volume control, all controls are on the panel and
window is resizable.

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Click here to download the LowBit MonoSyn Lo-Fi Plugin!

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5. London Atmos

https://youtu.be/Ci0WEi3o0Kk

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What lo-fi track would be complete without some atmosphere? And we don't have to worry thanks to Spitfire Labs!

Taking inspiration from Musique Concrète, Jon Hopkins & Burial, Spitfire engineers Harry and Jess took to the streets of London with a Sennheiser MKH418 to capture the spirit of the capital bringing us their innovative new instrument - London Atmos.

From tube doors to city traffic, these field recordings have been warped to give you complete soundscapes — percussion, pads & atmospheric loops, ready to make your own.

On Spitfire Audio's website, you will find an infinite series of free software instruments, made by musicians and sampling experts in London,

But we're specifically mentioning their innovative new instrument it's called London Atmos and it's definitely worth trying out...

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Just click here to be taken to their FREE software VST's!

Lo-Fi Plugin

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Every musician should try using a Lo-Fi Plugin so be sure to get downloading these 5 Free Lo-Fi Music Plugins mentioned here today and begin creating new and interesting music and make your sound even better during the recording and mixing process!

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

.

Get your music heard and build your audience with us, head to our home page to take a look at some of the amazing services being offered to help you progress on your music career journey.

3 Tips for Independent Artists You Should Follow Right Now

3 Tips for Independent Artists You Should Follow Right Now

3 Tips for Independent Artists in the Music Industry

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tips for independent artists

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As a new and independent artist entering the music industry playing field, it's important for you to recognize where you'll need to invest your time and focus your energy.

Whilst making mistakes is definitely okay and to be expected when you're first starting out, as a collective, we can definitely learn from each other and especially from the past errors of other successful independent artists so that new artists don't make the same old mistakes.

Although not every artist who has managed to establish their place in the industry will talk about what went wrong in their career, we can learn as much from failures as we can from success!

By observing those who have managed to carve out a career in music, we can take note of where they may have failed; correcting those mistakes for ourselves can become the first major milestone towards getting ahead and making progress in your career.

It's necessary for you not to waste any time chasing avenues that aren't going to lead anywhere which is why we've put together these top 3 tips for if you're a new independent artist to increase your chance for success...

"In reality, you have a better chance at making money as an independent artist than you do if you were “discovered” by a major music label."

Savvy Musician Academy

So here are our 3 Tips for Independent Artists that we discovered from looking at mistakes new artists make so that you yourself can avoid them:

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1. Learn The Business

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Getting started in the music business can be difficult, and usually, the number one reason why artists fail is that they don't take the time to learn how the music industry works.

It's easy to get trapped by basic things, you've got to always keep in mind that nothing happens overnight, and that goes for making it in the music industry.

Be realistic about the industry - This is the music industry, it is hard work and downright difficult (like all industries) but that doesn't mean you can't handle it!

You need to be prepared to stick with it for the long haul, sometimes 10 to 20 years, maybe more!

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The Big Three record labels are:

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The Big Three control the vast majority of the music market.

Some artists move to smaller independent labels or opt to self-publish as a way to gain control over their own work and career - this way you're more in control of your music and for the most part much of the decision-making processes.

You will need to decide between an independent music career and a major record label. Something that might be obvious but we're gonna say it anyway is that you can't pay people from labels to meet with you, that's not how you get a record deal.

You've got to focus on building relationships with people, “It isn’t what you know but who you know,” is especially true when it comes to the music industry.

The same applies everywhere else...if it was possible to just go and hire a radio promoter to get you spun on the radio everyone would be doing it!

So the number one area where most people seem to bump their heads is by not learning how the industry works, understand it's a business, and you will be rejected, so be prepared for a bumpy road!

Learn everything you can about it and don't lose passion for the most important thing, the music.

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2. Be In Control

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While some people struggle to make decisions, some people do get what they want from life and as an artist of the digital era, you are now more in control of your destiny and your music career more than ever.

You can decide where you're going and what happens with your music, especially because of music streaming platforms such as Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music where you can sell your music and receive a steady stream of royalties - click here to understand more about music royalties.

Most artists are not natural salesmen but like with decision-making the more you do it, the better you become, the same way you do with music creation.

Nobody has more than 24 hours per day so it's important how you spend that time - Don’t try to listen to everyone who’s giving you advice, just because someone is in your ear giving you advice it doesn’t necessarily mean that person always knows best.

For example, someone on your social media feed might say “oh you should get your video on YouTube or MTV” then someone else might tell you "Well you should get radio play" or "You need to hang out at this networking event"...

Everyone's got tips for Independent Artists right especially if you're new to the game???

What we mean to tell you is that when it's coming from someone that has already succeeded in doing something with themselves in the music industry, you should absolutely go ahead and listen but to just listen to everyone would be a bad idea because there are a million different paths to succeed in this music industry business and when you start taking pieces of information from everyone giving it you no longer go forward you go in circles.

When you don’t know stuff from experience it means you rely on advice from others, but stay focused on what you know to be the best thing for you!

All these tips for independent artists are great but You need to have a plan and you need to follow that plan, stay motivated, stay in your own lane, and on your own path, and you can build your way up to fame!

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3. Invest In Your Music Career And In Yourself

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When cultivating a career in music, cash can be hard to come by, but when it does finally begin to roll in, it's critical that you take the time to reinvest at least a portion of the funds back into your career - don't get complacent when the money comes in!

It’s become difficult to reach people on social media without investing some money into advertising, this is especially true for Facebook.

Instead of taking a record label’s money, if you learn to invest in yourself, you’ll have total creative freedom without anybody breathing down your neck.

The whole reason you're doing this is to build a career doing what you love so that you can support yourself, support your family and make income but if you get lazy when the money starts to come in it's going to end whatever cycle you're in.

In terms of working your project, you need to keep going even when you've achieved more money than you've ever seen in your lifetime.

If you haven't yet made enough to pay for studio time, at least hire a good mixing engineer to do some real post-production of your sound.

In the beginning, many musicians usually make very little money while writing an album or promoting a show in comparison to the amount of work they put in, the spare change in their pockets can’t even pay for new equipment or time in a proper studio.

Nevertheless, when the first cash payment or royalty cheque comes through, don’t start blowing that money off on celebrations.

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Say you're doing a show and it's bringing in a good steady income, be savvy, save the money, maybe set a little aside each month for yourself to be able to hire a videographer to capture you some time and then use the footage to create yourself a YouTube account & music page - but whatever you do don't pay to play any shows for "exposure". 

It's important not to fall for common scams, like paying for exposure or getting a list of music industry "insider" contact names and numbers.

There are a lot of ways to get cheated out of money in the music industry, but if you're careful, you can minimize your risk of getting fleeced.

Click here to read Perform Wireless' Top 14 Smartest Investments To Advance Your Music Career for some good ideas of ways you can invest money back into your music business.

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

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We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services, check us out by visiting our home page, or just click here to be taken there…if you have something to offer be sure to sign up or search for whatever it is you need for your music today!

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Good Luck on your music journey ✌️

The Best 8 Free VST Instruments You Must Have in 2020

Free VST Instruments
Free VST Instruments

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In this blog, you'll find the top 8 free VST instrument plugins available online that you won't want to miss out on!

While you have to create an account for some of these instruments, you can download others directly and we've included the links with each plugin featured below.

A few of them also require additional software in the form of some kind of product management software but don't worry we know you'll be able to figure it out because these are all must-haves and it'll be nothing that a quick Google search can't fix!

These are the best free VST instruments for creating professional music without spending a fortune on expensive software...

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8 Free VST Instruments You Must Have in 2020:

DSK Instruments

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The DSK Music site is run by a guy called Victor, from Spain and his freeware VST instruments are some of the best you can find around for free.

There are a lot of free VST instruments on his site, dskmusic.com, and just because they're free it doesn't mean they're poor quality, in fact, you'll find it's quite the opposite!

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You can find some great high-quality multi-sampled instruments there on the website.

You can download a lot of free stuff at dskmusic.com:

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The video below shows you some examples of what you can do with these DSK free VST instruments, and you'll see you've simply got to have them so be sure to check it out...just click here to be taken through to the DSK site where you will be able to download whichever free VST instruments take your fancy!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQewvfTmHqI
Video Source: DSK Music: Free VST Plugins by PSJ

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GTG 44

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The GT44 is a free analogue VST plug-in and it basically has all you need for a good music production piece. It's an old-school analog-sounding plugin and is the ideal instrument. Features include six voices, a sub, a filter envelope, a filter pitch envelope, and it also has a chorus plus much more!

You can preview it here in the video below or just click this link here to head straight over to the download page to get it for FREE today:

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https://youtu.be/zLloFnNrbP8
Video Source: 44 S || Free VST Plugin || Analog Synth by Free VST Plugins

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Tal-Noisemaker

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The TAL-NoiseMaker is another favourite free VST instrument you should have in your arsenal.

This version is an improved reworking of the TAL-Elek7ro and has a completely new synth engine and a lot of improvements in sound and usability - It's basically another intuitive all-round synthesizer with a very good sound.

It's easy to use modulation unit has some great modulation effects. A ring modulator and a syncable triangle are also included as part of this synth.

There is also includes a small effect section included with this synth with a reverb, chorus and a simple bit crusher effect.

Check out the demo below or head straight to Tal Software to download it now:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5l-31rc8kM
Click here to be taken to the website to download the TAL-NoiseMaker

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Dexed

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This Dexed instrumental plugin is a multi-platform, multi-format plugin synth.

It's closely modeled on the Jam AHA DX7 - the first successful digital synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation from 1983 to 1989.

It was and still is to this day one of the bestselling synthesizers in history, so you've most probably heard a song created using the Yamaha DX7.

You can check out how it sounds in this video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSs1-020nNY&feature=youtu.be

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If you liked what you heard, click here to download the Dexed FM plugin today!

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4Front Piano

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The 4Front Piano VST is a useful plug-in for musicians who are in need of a lightweight, low-CPU upright-style, acoustic piano sound.

This instrument is small on memory and the CPU usage was found to be useful by many users and software developers as a plug & play piano module, which does not require any configuration or adjustment.

If you're trying to get a free VST piano that doesn't sound like the stock piano then this one's for you...

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Click here for the link to the download website and if you want to give it a listen to first, you can hear it's sound here in this video below:

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https://youtu.be/wi_zySsnPXI

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T-Force Alpha Plus

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The T-Force Alpha Plus by Mastrcode Music is the advanced version of the T-Force Alpha TS and is a really intuitive free VST instrument.

It has all the features of the Alpha TS with some updated functions.

It's easy to make uplifting trance sounds with it and you can also do a lot more, you just have to get creative! Check the video for sound examples:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1C64Ky5rso

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You can find out more information including specs on the download page here:
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/t-force-alpha-plus-by-mastrcode-music

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U-he Tyrell Nexus 6

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The Tyrell Nexus 6 is a free Analog / subtractive synth plug-in developed by u-he.

It is a great sounding synth backed by the u-he sound engine and possesses an intuitive interface.

This synth is a must-have if you love creating sounds like those possible with the Juno series from Roland.

Its features are what we might expect from a vintage synthesizer like the classic Roland Juno, such as:

  • Smooth overdrive in the oscillator mixer.
  • Filter output can be fed back into the mixer.
  • Unison mode, with voice index modulation source.
  • Envelopes can be looped or triggered via LFO.
  • Envelopes retrigger just like classic hardware.

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Check out this demo video below and click here to download this free VST instrument from the website:

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https://youtu.be/1aSTko-BYeE

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Helm

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Helm is a free, cross-platform, polyphonic synthesizer with lots of modulation and it was developed by a guy called Matt Tytel.

It runs on GNU/Linux, Mac, and Windows as a standalone program and as a VST/AU plugin.

Features include:
32 voice polyphony, a powerful modulation system with live visual feedback, dual oscillators with cross-modulation and up to 15 oscillators each, unison and harmony mode for oscillators, oscillator feedback and saturation for waveshaping, 12 different waveforms, 7 filter types with keytracking, 2 monophonic and 1 polyphonic LFO, a step sequencer, a simple arpeggiator and lots of modulation sources including polyphonic aftertouch.

You can hear every preset featured in Helm in this video below:

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https://youtu.be/vN7zsJ-eIpY

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Go ahead, get downloading today and test it out for yourself, by clicking here the download should happen automatically

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It's hard to imagine that so many quality tools are available for you to use at no cost but free VST instrument plugins are one of the most exciting things about mixing and we hope that you'll enjoy all of the free VST instruments included in this blog and that they will help you on your music production journey towards making great music!

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

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We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services, check us out by visiting our home page, or just click here to be taken straight to it...if you have something to offer be sure to sign up or search for whatever it is you need for your music today!

.


Good Luck on your music journey ✌️

Transform Your Song – Mixing and Mastering – The Basics to an Awesome track – 5 minute read

mixing and mastering

The Challenges of Mixing and Mastering and How To Get Started

Let's say you recorded a song and you need a way to make it sound better. That's where mixing and mastering comes in, but what is mixing and mastering?

Sometimes a song you've made can sound muddy or under the weather. A studio engineer can improve this with mixing and mastering your track, but if you want to make music in a bedroom studio setting, achieving this part of music can benefit you in the long run.

Mixing and mastering can be a challenge to tell apart, but they are quite different, and here's why:

Mixing always comes before mastering

Mixing is the process you start focusing on what tools you can use to remedy your song. Mastering focuses more on how to get any last adjustments in the track to cover anything an audience may hear at the last stage to make it sound better right there at the end.

Well, you still need to know what tools to start with. I have been mixing and mastering for about two years, and it has been a learning experience. Learning to mix and master can be challenging, but fun if you keep your patience. I'll get started with the basics and then move onto the lesson.

Mixing and Mastering Work

Mixing Basics

This is where you get the levels of your recording set.

A simple definition of mixing is the time in recording a process that is used to adjust elements in a song. Mixing is not something professional engineers use to make songs sound "different" or to change their original performance. The mix is a cleaning stage. The song is passed down to mixing engineers to adjust the elements of individual tracks with EQs, compression, faders, and panning to fit into a genre. Grasping your tools in your mix is important because you cannot move forward into mastering if the mix is incomplete.

Mastering Basics

This is the process of finishing your song to be released and audible on all mediums, it will make it so your song can be played in the studio, clubs, headphones and the car, always sounding good!

Not all songs are mastered, but you really should, especially if your goals are to get plays on the radio. The best way is to have your songs mastered by an experienced engineer.

Mastering involves one file of the song being updated into a better version of the mix. Basically what mastering is, is the fine-tuned adjustments that are made like loudness, eq, and "tone" or "place" of the track. You don't want to master ever in your mix, using the Master channel and that's where a lot of learners kind of go south.

Ideally, you would not Master your own track, as to get the best results it is good to have a fresh set of ears. Mastering can be a tricky thing to wrap your head around, but I am going to share a little insight later in the article.

Breaking Down Mixing Elements

There are certain ideas you need to keep in mind before you start a mixing process. Try to imagine the track as an orchestra performance, and each instrument has an assigned seat. That's also how mixing works. You don't want certain elements in the back, and you don't want certain elements too far in the front in your mixing process.

If you are just getting started with mixing, allow yourself room for growth, and the mindset that each sound and section of your song can get pulled under, and it's your job to bring out elements using your daw's mixing studio. A lot of mixing can be generated for you or you can mix freely manually in your bedroom.

The elucidation of each sound you hear in a track is crucial. Not everything you make will be the same, and it is required that you win a clear playback each time.

It is not impossible to get the correct mix in your bedroom, but there will be techniques that you must apply for clarity.

Mixing 101

Mixing can be a challenging task at first, but that doesn't mean it can't be overcome.

I want to simplify some tools that every DAW has.

There are a lot of ways you can get a mix to do exactly what you need.

If you need something in the background, try reverb and if you want something brought to the front, you can add an eq and less reverb.

Realize that you can use panning or mono tracks to pull in a sound or a stereo track to expand your sound. Also, reverb and delay are some special effects that you can add to your tracks to keep it interesting, but weren't there initially. Keep in mind that a mix is the ONLY time you get to perfect any mistakes in a song.

EQ

EQ is a good tool that can fix a lot of mistakes in a recording. A big difference EQs can bring is eliminating the low end. Low end is a rumble of heavy bass that can easily way down any mix. Low end is extremely difficult to hear unless you know how to use an EQ.

For example, the picture below demonstrates how an EQ looks when you cut out the low end in a guitar channel. Notice how on the left end, the frequency visualizer is brought down either manually or robotically to attach closer to the sound wave in the middle.

Mixing levels for a track

Volume and Panning

Now, you want to focus on the volume. Every section needs its volume level. Keep in mind, when mixing, you can adjust volume levels on separate tracks.

Lead synthesizers and vocals tend to be brought out and emphasized in front while drums can blend into your back. Be careful with drums, because you don't want to exclude them completely. I commonly use automation within the daw to lure loudness and volume along with panning to bring out each snare and hi-hat. One thing that I would point out is a lot of songs tend to sound bad because the low end wasn't helping in with drums and bass, so it's okay to add some breathing room for a drum track, in my opinion.

Mastering 101

Mastering is the 1 percent left before your release. A good example of mastering is the overall hearing of an album. How will the song sound by all of the other songs on the album? Are the volumes levels the same? Does a couple of songs render any stereo issues? You want to make sure your panning and tracks are set to your liking in a mix.

In mastering, the goal is to mix your songs in one setting to get a finished product. You are allowed to work with any mix, and it is better to work with all mixes in one mastering session. By that, each track should a single track and ready to be passed through for a final master. There are a lot of great mastering tools out there for anyone ready to learn!

Ozone has a great selection of mastering tools for free and for sale. Every link I reference in this article uses Ozone to cut out any confusion of what to use!

Limiting

Limiting is a way you can adjust the volume to the overall track. If you have noticed that your track is soft or too quiet, limiting can help there. But you don't want to go heavy on it because it will distort any kicks or snares you've previously cared for in your mix.

I want to share with you someone I found on YouTube that shares a lot of mastering software and tips to help you get started even more!

Here is a link to a video that will help you with limiting. I will post another link for the entire lesson on mastering here.

Here's what he posted about volumes peaks:

Ceiling - Set at least -1.0dB True Peak. Potentially up to -2dB True Peak Ensure you select "True Peak" - This is essential. Average LUFS - Hit at least -14 to avoid Spotify limiting and then push it louder to your own preferences.

In The Mix from YouTube

Multiband Compression

If you have never used a multiband compressor before, it looks very strange when you open one up for the first time. A Multiband compressor is known for a 4-split screen to independently edit transients and achieve adequate hi-end and low end. Multiband compression can be a daunting subject even for me! There are several tricks you can apply in your master that cut out any unwanted noises in your track with multiband compressors and EQs. EQs do not always get the job done, and that's where a multiband compressor can save the day.

Check out this great multiband video here.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have learned something about mixing and mastering today and what they are. Mixing and mastering can be a fun experience if you need to take your music needs to the next level.

Most songs you hear on the radio or watch on TV have had professionals help with the Mixing and Mastering process.

If you need help, be sure to check out our Mixing and Mastering service providers.

For Mixing engineers click here

For Mastering engineers click here

5 Tips on How to Write Amazing Lyrics Instantly

write amazing lyrics

Learn to Write Jaw-Dropping Lyrics With These 5 Tips

Being able to write amazing lyrics is essential for a song to be great!

But first of all, before you put too much pressure on yourself it's important to understand that there is no right or wrong way of writing, you simply just have to put pen to paper and away you go!

Songwriting and having the ability to write amazing lyrics is, after all, just another form of art.

It's simply an expression and the application of your creative skill and imagination.

The process of writing lyrics, as opposed to writing a novel, can be more personal and every writer has a different approach...

What works well for one lyricist, might not necessarily work for another.

Some writers will only take 10 minutes to write a complete song, whereas some will need days, weeks, or sometimes even months!

Whatever time scale you're working to, don't worry, we've got your back...

By the time you've finished reading this post, we hope you'll have gained some fresh knowledge and that you'll feel inspired and ready to get out of the songwriter's running blocks!

Soon you're going to be able to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, or use a voice-to-text app!) and get some amazing song lyrics down to go along with a musical composition you may already have...or perhaps the lyrics will be the start of your song and if so, then the music production process can then begin!

"Like any other creative process such as playing guitar or programming synth sounds, lyric-writing is a skill that can be learned and improved upon"

Quote Source: 24 tips for writing lyrics By Chris Wickett on MusicRadar

No matter how you currently find ways to get creative and write, whatever your style, you're probably looking to hone in on your lyric-writing skills and improve, so we've put together five pointers which you can use right away and begin to write amazing lyrics:

Consider Common Themes

Typically, writing a song starts with an idea or inspiration.

Our first tip for you is to practice relating your real-life experiences with common themes, as a way to develop a connection with your audience.

You can develop an entwined way of writing, one that draws on both experience, and imagination to create a narrative for your song.

To write amazing lyrics, just think back to some of your most memorable experiences in life.

Writing about something that perhaps another human being can relate to is a powerful way to connect with your listeners.

Lyrics can change you and when you write from a place of experience, it can make your innermost feelings and emotions known to everyone which might seem scary but putting your experiences and emotions out there is an important risk to take because Feelings are the 'why behind what we buy!'.

To feel is to be vulnerable, and music based on emotion helps people to find hope and know they are not alone.

By writing from this place, you can really engage your listeners and make them more responsive to your music, either through connecting with their imagination, own experience or it could possibly even relate their current phase in life.

Common themes can include:

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Love

  • love lost
  • true love

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Coming of age

  • nostalgia
  • personal growth

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Death

  • fear of the unknown
  • loss of a loved one

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Rebellion

  • expectations of society
  • teenage angst

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Search for stories

Our second tip to write amazing lyrics is to search for stories.

These stories can come from anywhere, a book, a newspaper, a film, or a movie, you could even think about a story that has been told to you by a family member or a friend.

You'd be amazed by how a good story frequently revisits our mind and set's off our imagination.

Many songwriters have told of how the inspiration for the lyrics they've written for a song actually came from a book they've read.

Music has long been a way of handling all that life throws at us and like books, it can serve as a way to escape.

Artists that write amazing lyrics by writing their emotions from experiences into melodies, can almost use it as a form of therapy, but if you feel like you don't have many experiences, use stories to draw ideas from, you can start searching and once you've found the one you like, write from the perspective as if you were the character in that story.

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Study rhyming schemes

Our third tip towards getting better at writing lyrics is to study rhyming schemes.

Rhyming schemes are not always necessary in lyrics but for some strange reason, rhyming rhythms are especially enjoyable and sensuous to our ears.

Having a rhyming scheme in your lyrics can give the effect of making your words flow better.

Maybe because words that incorporate rhythm and include rhyme can reflect the natural rhythm and movements of the human body when pieced together and delivered correctly?

There are several rhyming schemes that can help you to write amazing lyrics...

Be sure to check out this 'Rhyme Scheme' article - just click here to head to Literary Devices website and learn 10 different rhyme schemes you can use and incorporate into your next song, they even give some short examples so you can really get it and understand how to make it work.

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Study song structures

Knowing about the different components that make up a song is essential.

Understanding things like what's an intro? What's a verse? Where should the chorus go? Where can I put the bridge? or the outro?

Knowing how to structure a song can lend valuable insights into the writing process and help you on the way to write amazing lyrics that can serve as medicine for the soul!

Song structures do exactly as described, they give a song structure and organization.

The structure is the setting of the different sections in a song.

How a song is arranged can play a vital role in between whether the listener is invited into your world and immersed in the song or kept at arm’s length and unable to connect with it.

A song’s structure is a way to allow your listeners to experience your story through techniques and formatting.

MusicRadar explains the anatomy of an arrangement and the types of song structures that are out there, click here to have a read and you can also check out this Songwriting 101 article by MasterClass.com which explains all about common song structures.

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Tell a story

The final tip is pretty much what we've been hinting at and alluding to in this article the whole time...the unwritten rule of all communication and making a connection...tell a story!

Conveying context and emotion without directly telling you what their characters really mean or feel is definitely one of the things that great songwriters do!

Just think of Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect' for example, it depicts the naive innocence behind this friendship and he manages to tell us of his affection about this character without us even really knowing very much and it promotes love.

Storytelling in lyric-writing can make way for using metaphors and you can create powerful lyrics with a great metaphor!

"A metaphor is “a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps explain an idea or make a comparison.” Often used in music, movies, poetry, and books, metaphors are used to deepen the color and imagery of comparisons."

Grammarly - Metaphors

A great story makes you feel and relate to the narrator and the key to great songwriting and having the ability to write amazing lyrics is when the author can make you feel an emotion without having to use many words.

Fortunately, today most songwriters can use different tools to aid them in being able to write amazing lyrics.

Apps for songwriting can be extremely helpful if you're out and about on the road and luckily for you, we've already compiled this list of The Top 5 Apps for Songwriters and Music-Makers if you're interested in finding out just click here.

If you follow these tips, we can guarantee you'll be able to improve your writing and leave a lasting impression on your fans!

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

The 5 Most Important Music Production Tips For Beginners

music production

Follow These 5 Easy Music Production Tips to Take Your Music to the Next Level!

music production

People don't buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions

- Scott Young

Music, simply put, is indeed organized and arranged sounds, but just as Scott Young quoted, it is the emotional aspect that people primarily buy into.

Personal feelings and experiences are important - emotions are what speak to and move people.

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Whether you're already working out of your home-based studio or you're just getting started, the process of producing music has become more accessible compared to 20 years ago but it still isn't a craft to be taken lightly.

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There are many intricacies involved in music production to be considered.

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Music production is a process of recording, creating, and mixing recorded music for public consumption.

Apart from its broad definition, every work process in modern music production has one thing that's prevalent - digital tools.

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In this article, we will take you through 5 valuable tips to start producing music, which will also make your production process more structured and easier.

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Let's get into it!

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Spend the bulk of your time in pre-production

Try to spend a good amount of hours preparing for your recording than your actual recording itself.

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Session time is often expensive and other people's time is valuable.

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If you happen to come across a glitch, do not waste time fixing it when it could have been fixed beforehand.

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Let's look at some topics that will help you during your pre-production phase.

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Things to consider during pre-production:

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  • musical elements
  • communicating your vision with studio staff
  • plan out all the recording details
  • create a schedule or timetable

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Even when you're recording out of your home studio, plan out all of the elements listed above. The more organized and scheduled you are, the more fun you'll have during the whole process, which will often lead to great music!

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Understand the tools needed in music production

Whether you're a producer of your own music, a session musician, or a sound engineer, the more you know about what is out there and the more knowledge of music production tools you have, the less of a barrier there is between your musical vision and the end-result of the product.

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Knowledge of music production tools could mean:

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  • knowing how your software works
  • knowing how different microphones work and how it influences their sound
  • understanding plugins

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All of these are highly valuable tools which will help you in the long run.

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Read more about music production tools by checking out Atlanta Institute of Music and Media.

You can also watch the video below about music production tools if you're producing music out of your own home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aysTuQRIIPE&feature=emb_title

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Imagine a soundscape

When some producers are recording, they like to imagine a visual representation of all the instruments playing. It helps them organize and arrange the correct sounds.

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Envisioning the perceived performance environment helps create a coherent mix or recording.

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Even when using sounds that could be unlikely to be played by physical instruments, this concept still applies.

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Focus on the arrangement

You can spend all the time in the world getting sounds of your favorite instruments and the like, but if the arrangement isn't happening, it's all in vain.

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Every note played should be placed with care, it should be written in the arrangement for a reason and above all, it should support the track.

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This is a craft that can luckily be practiced and be improved upon.

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Train your musical instincts

It’s quite common for many people to believe that most songwriters are gifted from birth. Gifted in the sense that people with musical abilities presumably have an inner awareness of how good music works.

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The most famous composers in the world often spend years studying and practicing their craft. 

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This doesn't mean, however, that music is only meant for a few people. Studying songwriting, for example, has helped many people to become better at the craft of music.

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The best music comes from an idea or experience that takes days, weeks, or even months of writing and reworking it to get it right.

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So there you have it! With these tips, you should be well on your way to improving your music production skills!

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

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More DIY musician tips and information about getting started in the music industry can be found by downloading our free ebook.

5 Essential Home Studio Tools to Get Started With Home Music Production

home studio

Get Your Home Studio Running With These 5 Music Production Essentials

home studio

As most of us are aware, gone are the days when major labels pulled all the strings in the music industry.

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Music artists like Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper are wildly successful examples of people who have made it without having to sign with a major record label.

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With the speed of how technology has progressed, we’re now at a point where many of the tools needed to produce music can fit right in the palm of your hand.

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It's 2020, and without breaking the bank, it's totally possible for you to make music from the comfort of your own home!

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With today’s digital landscape, recording technology has given every musician, whether signed to a label or independent, the opportunity to arrange and record high-quality music, even those without the biggest budget.

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In this article, you will discover the 5 essential things you'll need to get yourself set up with your very own home studio so you can start recording songs and making great music!

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5 essential home studio items to you need to start music production from home are...

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A Computer

One of the very first pieces of equipment that you'll need to own for your own home studio is a solid, reliable, and well-performing computer or laptop.

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Be sure to look out for one that has a good size screen, 64-bit operating system, a minimum 2.2Ghz i7 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and at least 256GB of internal storage (HDD or SSD).

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Buying a PC or laptop is an investment, and we recommend when looking for one that you ensure it's compatibility with important interfaces and Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software options.

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You're going to want a computer that's going to perform well and not get in the way of your creative flow whilst working, and where you can save all of your music projects.

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So be sure to look for a computer that is powerful and buy whichever one is best for the price range you can afford.

You can click here to check out 'The Beginner's Guide to Music Production Computers' if you want to learn more.

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A QUICK SIDE TIP: It's always wise to back-up whatever you make somewhere else for safe measure, like on an external back up hard-drive.

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Midi Controller

Not all midi controllers can offer you the same value for your money and the usability will also differ, it will simply depend on your preference.

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There's a variety of midi controllers available to choose from and each will have different workflows and different configurations.

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You'll want to get into your creative flow whilst using it, a good idea is to try out different midi controllers at your local music store, and find out which works best for you.

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E-Home Recording Studio lists The 8 best Midi controllers for home recording.

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Digital Audio Interface

Your home studio experience will not be complete without a digital audio interface.

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Digital audio interfaces convert digital and audio signals.

Simply put, a digital audio interface is a device that makes sure you get sound in and out of your computer.

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For example, just think of smartphones, tablets, and computers, they all come with built-in audio interfaces.

Audio interfaces are available with many different configurations and specs.

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Sweetwater has compiled a few audio interfaces with their verdicts, so you can get the best digital audio interfaces for your home studio.

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Microphone

Ever seen a home studio without a microphone? Me neither!

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Some may say the Shure SM-57 and SM-58 are the industry standards of microphones.
Both are indeed reliable and dynamic vocal and instrument microphones.

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For the best sound clarity, pop filters or pop screens can do an amazing job of capturing high-quality sound.

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Monitors

Any speaker placed for the purpose of a musician hearing their own performance is called a monitor.

There are many available and within the range of monitors, you can opt for speakers or headphones, or both!

You'll want an accurate and exact representation of the actual music you're making, so having a solid sound source is pretty important.

No need to go all out with the most expensive monitors but choose wisely.

You can take a look at some affordable to high-end studio speakers for musicians and producers by MusicRadar.com.

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We've covered all of the 5 essentials you'll need to start building your home studio.

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As mentioned earlier, there is no need to splurge when building your first studio on a budget.

Once you've purchased and received all of these 5 essentials for your home studio, you're all set and ready to make that magic happen!

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At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music services.

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Get your music heard and build your audience with us, head to our home page to take a look at some of the amazing services being offered to help you progress on your music career journey.

Top 6 Free VST Instruments in 2020

free vst instrument

The Most Popular & Best VST plugins of 2020 - 6 Top FREE VST Instruments

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What is a VST? It's Virtual Sound technology!

Digital equipment, or audio plug-in software to be precise, is a form of technology that integrates software synthesizers and effects units into your digital audio workstations...basically virtual instruments for your home music studio!

VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware in software.

You may have also heard free VST instruments being referred to as samples. but samples usually come in a library bundle called a “sample library.” 

Here's a list we've made for you of the best and most realistic free VST instruments and yes the best news is that they're all FREE!

Yep, totally free VST instruments ready and waiting for you to download!

Keep reading to discover the Top 6 Free VST Instruments...

pocketBlakus Cello

The “pocketBlakus Cello” is a stunning free solo cello library for Kontakt created by Australian composer Blake Robinson.

It's an aesthetically pleasing plug-in, and its features include:
- an excellent effect section
- a strummer so you can create strum patterns
- a tab section so you can import tab to play it from the instrument itself

The library sounds gorgeous when soaked in reverb and is perfect for slow-moving, expressive cello lines and fast, choppy spiccato lines.

Click here to download it today!

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Ample Bass P Lite II

This free VST plugin is sampled from a Fender Precision Bass and it's a MUST have!

It has a brilliant easy-to-use flexible interface and features its own playback engine and impressively detailed soundbank.

"Unless your music calls for particularly avant-garde playing techniques (or strums!), there's more than enough here to cover all likely situations"

- Music Radar

Features include:
- a Tab Player as a built-in function
- vivid and realistic rich fingering noise
- separate sample cycle for each note and velocity layer to improve sample utilization
- combined Keyswitches which enables you to combine 2 articulations by pressing 2 keys at the same time

Click here to download your Ample Bass P Lite II

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MT Power DrumKit 2

This free VST instrument is a drum sampler offering powerful, high-quality sounds that match that of an acoustic, realistic drum kit.

The MT Power DrumKit 2 Samples have been specially recorded and processed to make them ideally suited to use in pop, rock, and metal productions.

Click here to download your free VST instrument MT Power Drumkit 2

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Versilian Upright Piano

This free VST instrument piano pack can be used in so many different ways across any genre of music.

Designed as a light-weight sketching piano, the Versilian Upright No. 1 Piano is such a versatile instrument.

With a broad dynamic range and a bright, clear tone, the upright can still display a soft side when needed.

Features include:
- 3 velocity layers with 2 RR
- sampled in tritones with a pair of wide close mics
- 71 different samples

Click here to head to Versilian Studios and download your Free VST piano today!

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Ample Guitar M Lite II

Another great free plug-in, the Ample Guitar M Lite II features include:
- a mode for fingerpicking with various articulations
-a mode for strumming with palm muting, upstroke, downstroke, rhythmic accents and more

You could easily use this VST pack to form a tune for the basis of a song you would like to create.

Click here to download the Ample Guitar M Lite II today!

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DSK AkoustiK KeyZ

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The DSK AkoustiK KeyZ features three piano types and allows you to experiment with the Grand Piano, Concert piano P & Concert Piano F.

Other features include:
– Velocity response
– Amp. envelope and micro-detuner
– HP/LP Filter
– 2 Fx (reverb & flanger)

The tone of the keys are clear and distinctive and this is arguably one of the best piano VST's you can get online for free!

For more Music Industry tip click here

Sync Royalties 101: Sync Licensing, Sync Royalties, and Micro-Sync!

Sync Royalties 101: Sync Licensing, Sync Royalties, and Micro-Sync!

What are Synchronisation Royalties?

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Synchronisation Royalties, also sometimes known as "sync" royalties, are a source of income generated for music artists when a song is played as background music for an ad, a movie, or a TV show and are paid to songwriters and publishers via a PRO.

If you find yourself asking what's a PRO? and you don't know anything about Performing Rights Organisations you can find out by clicking here to read Performing Rights Organisations 101: All About PRO’s!

sync royalties

To fully understand what sync royalties are, firstly you have to know about something called a music synchronization license because in the music industry, both fortunately and unfortunately, it's all about licensing, so it's important for you to know this information.

As a music creator, you own 6 copyrights simply by creating original work:

  • The right to distribution
  • The right to replication
  • The right to public performance
  • The right to create derivative works
  • The right to public display
  • The right to digital transmission

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You can license these copyrights out yourself or do it via a licensing agent or music publisher.

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Watch this short video to understand music synchronization licensing:

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https://youtu.be/rnUtUq25ECI
Music Licensing: What is Synchronization License? by The Modern Musician

So now you know...a sync license is a music license granted by the holder of the copyright of a particular piece of composition allowing the licensee to synchronize music with some kind of visual media output (film, television shows, advertisements, video games, accompanying website music, movie trailers, etc) and in turn, we get music sync royalties.

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A synchronization license pays a royalty to the copyright holder (owner) of the composition (song).

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Sync is short for synchronization and Sync Royalties are an income revenue fast becoming one of the most lucrative income sources in the world for music artists.
Basically, Sync Royalties occur anytime music is played with an image, so the music and a visual happen together and play at the same time, hence the name of the royalty..."Synchronisation" aka "Sync Royalties".

As a music artist, you have the right to license any original music that you make, and what you can do is either find a licensing agent or join a music publisher who will take care of it for you.

If you have written a song and you have not sold the rights, you are the publisher. If synchronization rights are sold, a song might have a new owner, other than the original composer or publisher.

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sync royalties

The music publishing company will take care of all the publishing rights for your music, including the licensing.

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So then if you own the rights to all the music in your catalogue, and it is broadcast on radio or TV or used online for example, your publisher will ensure the money collected goes to you.

"In exchange for a typical co-publishing deal, the music publisher is traditionally paid 50% of the "publisher's share" of all royalty income, which is income from mechanical and synchronization royalties. For your performance income, since those monies are collected by PRO's, music publisher usually get only 25%."

Quote Source: Music Publishers - How Much Do They Get Paid? - Law Advice

What with online streaming platforms, television, and films being used by most people on a daily basis nowadays sync royalties are generated often, like in adverts on YouTube for example.

To be able to monetize videos on YouTube, you have to be willing to have adverts played on your channel and across your videos, but before that can happen, you first need to have at least one thousand people subscribing to your channel and you also need to have ranked up four thousand hours of watch time within the last twelve months.

Now you have a good idea about how Synch Licensing and Sync Royalties Work...

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What Are Micro-Sync Royalties?

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In the same way as for synchronization royalties, micro-sync royalties use the same form of license but on a larger scale, so take YouTube, for example, the publishers (and/or the label) grant the platform the right to host videos using their entire catalogues in their production library and in exchange, rightsholders can monetize and collect royalties generated by the videos that use their music - the royalties generated are micro-sync royalties.

To put it into basic terms, micro-sync is just the synchronization of music with a moving image (like standard sync) but in smaller, “bulk” uses.

And depending on where it's happening, both performance and mechanical royalties can also be generated at the same time.

Wondering if you should set up your own publishing company?

If you use music that other people created, no matter how you use it, you need to get a license.

You do not need permission to use songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the public domain.

"If you decide to publish yourself, the set-up procedure is not so bad.  You will need to pick and clear a name, register with a Performing Rights Organization and you should set up a business bank account to keep it all legal and above board. If you do go this route I recommend you hire an independent company to administer your publishing. They will take care of all the business of collecting and disbursing the monies that are generated by your songs without actively selling your music (and they charge much less than 50%). These revenue opportunities are very time consuming and easy to miss and I think your time would be better spent developing contacts to sell your music to. And of course, making more music. If you are confident that you are the best person to sell your music, you have solid contacts in TV/film/advertisement and you are willing to deal with administration then go for it."

- Song Royalty Tips | What Are Micro-Sync Royalties? by mnomusic on DubSpot.com

When it comes to royalties streaming services pay recording artists and the label more than double what they pay songwriters and publishers.

Sync royalties are one of the few music revenue streams that reward both the songwriter and recording artist equally but bear in mind that the cost for the sync license must be paid, and it has to be split 50/50 between both parties.

The demand for music has never been higher and at Indiy we believe in keeping you clued up with music business tips that you can use wherever you are in the world!

You can find more DIY musician tips and information about getting started in the music industry by downloading our free ebook <<< Just click the link to download and get reading today.

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