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Getting Your Music Heard

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of music out there. It can be difficult to cut through all the noise and get your music heard by potential fans. The good news is, there are more people listening to music than ever before in history. This is mostly thanks to streaming audio and the proliferation of smart phones to almost every corner of the globe over the last decade. So where do you start to get your sounds out to the world?

Start with yourself. If you’re not in love with your own music, chances are no one else will be either. This may sound egotistical, but you really must be your first fan. If you aren’t head over heals for your own music, go back to the drawing board and write something new that really moves you personally.

Share your music with close friends. Ask for their honest opinion of your music. Now this may be difficult because they may not want to hurt your feelings but if they really are your friends, they will be brutally honest. If your friends truly do love your music, ask them to share it with their friends who might also enjoy it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You absolutely cannot do this on your own.

Get your music professionally recorded, mixed and mastered. There’s nothing wrong with recording a demo on your laptop to get an idea of the direction of your music, but when it comes to music that’s going to be released to the world, leave it to the professionals. A great production team will allow your artistic vision to be seen in the best light possible.

Play shows. Possibly the best way to get your music heard is to play live. If people really like your show they will personally ask you where they can purchase/stream your music. Don’t know how to get shows? Go to events with music similar to yours and talk to the bands/artists. Become their friend and maybe they will ask you to play at their next show.

Upload your music to as many streaming and download services as possible. This includes SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Bandcamp, etc. The more places your music is, the more chances of it being heard. Some services like iTunes require you to go through a distributor like TuneCore to be included.

Put together a press release. This is a formal declaration of the music you are releasing. This includes a description of the music, album art, tour dates, contact info, etc. Here is a guide to creating a professional press release: Press Release Template

Establish a consistent social media presence. Don’t just post about your music but post often about other relevant topics and events your audience may be interested in. If you have multiple people in your group, assign each person a different social media platform to cover as much ground as possible.

Submit your music to blogs. Keep in mind these blogs get hundreds of submissions every day so make sure your music is ready to cut through the noise. There are a ton of music blogs out there but here is a short list to get you started. Make sure to read each websites guidelines for submission.

aquariumdrunkard.com, consequenceofsound.net, drownedinsound.com, factmag.com, gorillavsbear.net, highclouds.org
indiemusicfilter.com, indieshuffle.com, kingsofar.com, knoxroad.com, themusicninja.com, potholesinmyblog.com

Hire a publicist. A publicist will have established contacts with media outlets. This is a huge advantage from cold calls and emails. They help you write a press release, get reviews, interviews and quite frankly, make you look way more legitamate.

Although the music industry is not what it used to be and probably never will be again, there are plenty of opportunities to get your music heard and yes, eventually make money. Thanks to the internet and globalization, there is a market for every kind of music, it just might not be in your home town.

Feel free to contact us at TapwaterProductions.com/Contact with any questions or to get you music professionally recorded, mixed or mastered.

Understanding Digital Audio Quality

The quality of audio can be a difficult thing to understand as well as hear, but as music playback devises continue to improve, the quality of audio will become more and more apparent. Of coarse, the composition, arrangement and performance are the top priorities in any professional recording. However, the resolution of the audio being recorded as well as the quality of the final product must be taken into consideration in order to achieve professional results. Below are some concepts to consider.

Sample Rate
: This is the frequency at which an analog audio signal is sampled at and converted to digital. Standard CD quality is sampled at a rate of 44.1Khz (44,100 samples per second). DVD and Blue-ray are sampled at 96Khz.

Bit Depth: This refers to the number of bits in each digital sample of audio. Standard CD resolution is 16 bit. DVD and Blue-ray are 24 bit. Most professional recordings are done at 24 or 32 bit.

Bit Rate: This is the rate at which digital audio is streamed at. Mp3 bit rates range from 32Kbps (32,000 bits per second) to 320Kbps. Amazon and iTunes now use 256Kbps.

Comparing CD to Mp3: In order to compare CD quality to Mp3 we must multiply the CD sample rate of 44,100 by the bit depth of 16 to get 705,600 or 705.6Kbps. This is then multiplied by 2 for a stereo audio file to get 1,411.2Kbps. This is the bit rate of a standard CD which is over 4 times greater than the highest quality Mp3 of 320Kbps.

Comparing DVD to Mp3: To get the bit rate of DVD we multiply its sample rate of 96,000 by its bit depth of 24 to get 2,304,000 or 2,304Kbps. This is then multiplied by 2 for a stereo audio file to get 4,608Kbps. This makes DVD and Blue-ray audio resolution over 14 times higher than the best quality Mp3 of 320Kbps.

The better the playback devise, the clearer these differences in audio quality become. You might not hear much of a difference between Mp3 and CD resolution when listening to the built in speakers on your phone but when listening on a high fidelity sound system, there is a significant difference that anyone can hear. Please contact us here at TapwaterProductions.com with any questions you may have about audio quality or to get your next music project started.

Preparing for the Recording Studio Session

Preparing for your time in the studio is something that far too often gets overlooked. Many projects over the years have fallen apart, not because of a lack of inspiration or talent but because of lack of preparedness. These are some tips to keep in mind when getting ready for your next recording session:

1). Book your studio time well in advance. Many artists and producers are so eager to get into the studio that they try and book it as soon as possible. Consider all the things you need to get done before the session including personal matters and shoot for a date that is far enough in the future to cross all your T’s and dot your I’s.

2). Be proficient with your material. This doesn’t mean just knowing the songs. This means knowing them backwards and forwards. You want to be able to play/sing them all the way though consistently without stopping but also be able to start anywhere in the song if a punch in is necessary.

3). Don’t read the chords/lyrics from a piece of paper or your phone. It is incredibly rare to get a great performance when you don’t have the song memorized. Better to mix up a few words than to sound like a robot rattling off data.

4). Play the songs out. Whenever possible, perform the songs at least a few times at a live venue. It doesn’t have to be Carnagie Hall. It could be the local dive bar, coffee shop or even in your living room for a few friends. This allows you to gauge audience reactions and tweak things as necessary.

5). Solidify the songs key and tempo. Make sure you’ve chosen a key and tempo that serves the song and everyone is comfortable playing/singing in. Changing these variables down the line often means rerecording everything from scratch.

6). Plan your execution. Decide before hand how you want to record your songs. Whether you’re a full band that plays everything all together or if you want to add parts one at a time, make these decisions well in advance to keep the session moving forward.

7). Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Whether you’re singing or not, your body and mind don’t work properly without sufficient H20. If you’re not peeing crystal clear, you’re not adequately hydrated. You should be well hydrated everyday but especially on session day.

8). Take yourself seriously. If you really want to make it in this business, the first person you need to convince is yourself. That doesn’t mean just saying you’re serious, it means living it every day and staying focused on your goals.

We hope these suggestions help you make the most of your next recording session. Feel free to contact Tapwater Productions by calling 248.231.7235 or e-mail Tap@TapwaterProductions.com with any questions you may have or to schedule your next session.

Recording Studio Upgrades

Tapwater Productions has been hard at work upgrading and updating our Detroit recording studio with new hardware and software.  This includes new microphones, guitar amps, cymbals, plugins, virtual instruments and I/O cards.  Check out our equipment page for an updated list of our gear.

We’ve also been upgrading our facilities with new furniture and a new lounge area complete with amenities such as fresh coffee, tea, filtered water and entertainment system.  Call 248-231-7235 or email Tap@TapwaterProductions.com for a free tour of our Detroit recording studio.

New Improved Website

Welcome to the new and improved Tapwater Productions website.  Stay tuned for more updates.