Thursday, May 12, 2011

Have to take a break

Sorry guys, I realise I didn't get a whole lot of time before I had to do this but there has been a family emergency and I just don't quite have the time right now. I'm hoping it will all get a bit easier soon and I'll have the time to do some quality posts. Sorry guys.

In the meantime:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts

Hey guys,

Sorry for not posting in a few days, business has been hectic. Got an artist with a cd released, a show coming up and a studio under construction. I realise you guys are keen for more information though so I'm working on a post about accoustic treatments of rooms.

In case you aren't aware this is to treat the sound of a room to either get an accurate sound from the product for mixing/mastering, or to treat a room to get better sounding recordings.

Since I am in the process currently of building a vocal booth for own home studio, I am hoping to take photos of each step and show you how I do it. I am by no means an expert in this and if you're looking to build an excellent world class studio you should definately seek professional advice. I am doing this on a budget and it will give me a product that will be very workable for a professional release. I will still get my mastering done elsewhere though.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a clip to give you something to check out until I've organised myself.

This is from Australian Hip Hop artist Drapht. He recently released his album 'Life of Riley' and it's a quality release definately worth checking out. This is the track 'Sing It.'

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some advice for selling albums

So I thought it was time for me to get back to a more helpful post. So I thought I'd discuss something I've noticed a lot of groups have trouble with.

There's a few things you can do to help increase your sales traffic that I thought I would share. Of course, if noone likes your music or even knows about it, don't expect to suddenly sell hundreds of albums online. If you do however have a fan base that wants to buy your cd, here's a few tips to maximise those numbers.

1. Make sure your fans know you have a product for sale

This may seem obvious but it happens quite a lot. You can't expect to release a cd and tell noone about it and have it sell like hotcakes. It's important to connect with your fanbase so that they all know that your cd is available for sale.

If you haven't established any form of connection to your fanbase then I'd suggest trying to setup some methods to do is as soon as possible. Facebook fan pages are a great way. So are mailing lists. If you still aren't managing to engage your fanbase then you'll have to approach it through more standard advertising methods.

If you know you have fans within a certain target audience (eg. You know you have a lot of fans aged between 15-22 that live in your hometown) you can get targetted ads on facebook. This means you'll maximise the chance of someone interested finding out about it. Flyer runs can also be an inexpensive way to engage. If you do a gig, make sure to hand flyers out to everyone there to let them know that your cd is either out, or is soon to be released. Don't forget to leave some information on there on how they can obtain it once it is out.

2. Multiple payment methods.

Again, you may read this and see it as obvious but it's worth stating. If you offer your fans only one option on how to obtain your cd, you could be losing yourself a lot of potential sales. Why offer credit card only payments if you have fans that want to pay with money orders?

If you establish as many payment methods as possible you will be catering to as large of an audience as possible. You don't want to make it a job for people to buy your cd, they are the customers, you want to make their life easy as possible.

This also extends into people that don't want to buy things online or have their cd sent to them through the post. Try and get your cd stocked in as many stores as possible. If you don't have a distribution deal it can be hard to get your cd in big stores but normally independant retailers will be happy to stock your cd. You will probably have to offer it on consignment (ie. They only pay you as the cd's sell) but it's definately worth it.

If you are having trouble finding record stores that are willing to stock your cd then try and get any stores to stock it. If you know someone that owns a general store, ask them to hold them under the counter. You can then post online that cd's are available there if they ask. This means fans that live in the area will have a local spot to pickup cd's and have them immediately.

It's better to have your cd in local spots rather than online only.

3. Offer preorder specials

If you have a cd that's soon to be released, it's often smart to offer preorder deals. This means you will be making sales before your cd is even released and you will have a customer base established before hand.

You will however, probably have to offer incentives in order to get people to fork over their hard earned money without a product ready. This can be any number of things, a free cd, poster, tshirt... anything you can think of.
4. Don't engage with critics
This may not help you get more sales directly but it is important to focus your energy. No matter how good your music is, there's always going to be people that dislike it. On top of that there will always be people that will find the need to openly criticise you on your own site or pages. The truth is, the more popular you get, the more it will happen. My advice is to just ignore it. If someone has left a comment on your page that looks bad, just delete it. Beyond that it isn't worth the time and energy to try and argue back or anything. It is actually more likely to just make you look unprofessional. Just delete and block anyone trying to bring you down publicly.


Ok, so yesterday I put up a post letting some readers ask me some questions. Now it's time for me to answer. I purposely only left it going for a short time so that I didn't have too many questions to answer at once, I will be doing this once again in the future though.

So, time to get to the questions!

Jamal Crawls asked: Where did you best like working?

Well, this is a tough question. In terms of every day work most of my time is spent sitting in a room at home with a computer with the occasional run to the post office or local record store. That said though, sometime's it's hard to beat when you go out 'working' in order to do a performance for a gig.

My favourite gig was a few years ago. I was performing on the roster with some local acts for a regular show that was run in my hometown. It wasn't the biggest crowd ever but I definately had a great night because a lot of the acts were friends and there was a big bar tab available for all of us, so it ended up getting pretty messy.

In terms of actual performances though, while DJ'ing for one of my signed artists we did a support slot for a group called 'Horrorshow'. They managed to to a sellout show and the vibe from onstage couldn't be beat. Having a huge group of people all jumping and singing along is one of the best feelings you can have on stage.

Mr Dough asked Is dubstep easy to make? And why is it so fun to listen to if it's so repetitive?

Well. Dubstep is like any music genre in terms of easiness. Yes, it can be extremely easy to make dubstep. It is however, extremely hard to make high quality dubstep. Same goes for all genres, you can spend 10 minutes on something and define it under any genre you like, it doesn't mean it will be good though.

In terms of why it's so fun to listen to that all boils down to personal taste. My own enjoyment with Dubstep comes from when you're listening to it on huge sound systems. Dubstep seems to achieve that level where at a club the 'feel' of the music is just as important as what you're hearing. Dubstep for me personally starts to take a backseat to other genres though when played on crappy little laptop speakers or similar.

sandman asked: what genre do you specialize in? have you had many releases? whats your thoughts on downloading

Well. I specialize in hip hop. To be even more specific, Australian Hip Hop. While personally I haven't had any releases, artists on my label definately have. We only recently finished pressing up the EP's for one of my acts. We also just finished doing his launch in Brisbane and are now doing the plans for Adelaide.

In terms of downloading I think it's both a good thing and a bad thing. First of all, downloading has definately helped independant labels. You can make a release, put it out on iTunes or any similar download service and it is relatively inexpensive, pretty much anyone can do it. You don't have to worry about all the overheads that come with pressing up hard copies.

On the flipside, it has made illegal aquisition a lot easier. I have no issue with people downloading cd's if they really truly cannot afford it. When I start to have ill feelings though is when people just claim they can't afford it or just refuse to pay for music. Like it or, there's a lot of people involved behind a release and all of them have either put in big amounts of money or big amounts of time. If you want the cd, I think you should pay for it.

fit4life asked: how did you end up where you are, doing what you're doing?

When I was in my finishing year at high school I was really getting into the local hip hop scene. I was attending lots of shows regularly and was making a lot of friends. I originally started off a free design service for local acts as I was noticing a lot of demo's and mixtapes were going out with very amateur looking covers.

From there I was working on that, going to more and more shows and getting more involved. I started to notice a lot of acts that were of a very high quality that were having trouble even getting noticed. After seeing this a lot I just decided one day I wanted to help and that's when I started my label.

It really was one of those things I just decided I wanted to do. From that point on it was all about doing my research and working hard to make sure I was doing things right. I signed a couple of acts and started getting to work. That's all there was to it really, sorry it couldn't have been more exciting.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ask me a question

Hi guys,

Well, it seems life has gotten in the way again and doing a post has become a bit of an undoable task for the moment but I came up with an idea.

Leave a comment on this post with any questions you'd like to ask me. I'm a producer/dj/emcee/promoter and a label head. So feel free to ask me anything you like and for my next blog post I'll do my best to answer all your questions as well as I can.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Making a basic drum beat in FL Studio

Hi guys,

I was thinking about doing a production article as I realise that sometimes getting into production can be a daunting task. I remembered when I first started out and reading lots of magazines and online articles and trying to wrap your head around it can sometimes be a bit hard when you know nothing.

After thinking that I thought that it would probably be better if I could just show you exactly what I wanted to, so I thought I'd make a video tutorial.

Of course, I got a bit carried away and youtube cut the video off at the 10 minute mark. Doesn't matter though because after that point it's just me showing some details in my track and all the important stuff was already out of the way.

Please don't be too harsh on me as it's my first ever attempt at one of these, hopefully I can improve on it in the future. I hope this will help some people that are just starting to use FL Studio.

Some tips to take from the video.

1. Send all your similar sounds to the same mixer inserts (eg. Kicks -> 1, Snares -> 2, etc.)
2. Label your mixer inserts to make it easy to organise
3. Download and find your own drum packs. They aren't too hard to find, just search google. Or there's a lot of paid for drum packs out there that are great quality also.
4. Spend a lot of time just playing around for yourself. A lot of things can be learned through trial and error. Also a lot of great sounds happen by mistake, so just keep playing.

My software recommendations.

Ok so I originally wrote a post about vocal booths but wasn't happy with the article. It was a bit of a mess from my perspective so thought I'd delete it and try again another time.

In the meantime though I thought I'd show you some of my favourite piece of software to use for production, recording and mixing. Each person has their own tastes and what they like to use but these are ones that I find useful quite often!

1. Logic Pro

Logic Studio is Apple's answer to music making and it really is one of the powerhouses of the industry.

You can consider Logic an all in one package, it is pretty much perfect for production, recording and mixing and has a huge array of features and tools.

This is a
program that is often considered the industry standard for mac users and you really can't go wrong with this suite.

2. ProTools

Pro Tools is has been considered the industry standard for a very long time. It is an excellent program for editing, recording and mixing. It also has production capabilities but for some reason or another a lot of artists I know that use this program will produce in a seperate program.

As far as recording and mixing goes however you really cannot go wrong with ProTools. It has a huge array of tools and features and is used by huge artists all around the world

3. FL Studio

Back in the day FL Studio (then known as Fruity Loops) was considered the 'beginners' production suite. With an easy to use interface it was a program that didn't take too long to wrap your head around and get reasonable results. Recently though FL Studio has been getting more and more powerful and is now a great tool for all aspects of production, recording and mixing. It still has managed to keep it's easy to use interface while adding more and more features. I personally use this program for my own production work.

While many people still view FL Studio as 'amateur' it really has developed immensely and now rivals the industry leaders. It is also a good choice if you're on a budget as it's a bit cheaper than the others, definately worth checking out. To top it off, the latest version, 10, has added new features that make streamlining projects and mixing them all that more better.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just a quick one

Hey guys,

Not going to do an advice column today, got a gig to go to tonight and am super tired from running around all day. Instead I thought I'd step back today and be a bit informal.

For anyone that knows anything about Australian hiphop, you've probably heard of this coming...but if you haven't then you should def check this out. I'm starting to get pretty amped up for the release of the new Vents album, Marked for Death. His first album, Hard to Kill, is still one of my favourite Australian hip hop releases so I'm very much looking forward to this one. To top if off he's just a damn nice bloke.

If you haven't seen his new clip, here it is:

If you're curious I suggest checking it out. His new album is being released May 13th.

Compression and how it works

So I mentioned in a previous post about compressors and their use with vocals. I thought I'd write a post explaining compression a bit more thouroughly for you all since it is a huge asset for most recordings.

So basically there's two different types of compression. Hardware and software. Hardware compressors can be extremely expensive but if you have the budget they are definately a worthwhile purchase. Hardware compressors can give a much more natural sound than software. That said though, software compression is at a very high quality and you can definately get away with it. Or you can use both for varied results.

The main thing to remember is that both hardware and software compressors essentially work the same. I'm not going to go into the various compression settings for mixing as I will cover it in a seperate post but for now I just want to explain exactly what compression does and basic controls.

So what does a compressor do?

When it comes to recording vocals, there is normally a very large dynamic range to them. This means that parts of the vocals will be very loud and parts will be very quiet. Volume fluctuations are very hard to avoid when recording and vocals tend to be hugely varied.

What a compressor does is try and balance it out. It will bring the loud sections (peaks) to a lower level and it will push the quiet sections to a higher level to give a more uniform sound.

That's the basics behind a compressors function but it can get more involved than that. You must know how to work your compressor because using it at its fullest will leave sounds sitting dull or sounding very unnatural.

So what are the various functions a compressor has?

Ok, now most compressors have the same basic knobs or controls and I will explain them for you. Some compressors may have different controls or be multi band compressors (meaning you compress the low, mid and hi ends of the EQ seperately) but the basics remain the same across the board.

So on most compressors you can expect to see the following controls. Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release and Gain.


Threshold basically tells the compressor how loud you want the volume of the recording to be before it gets compressed. Think of it like your ceiling. If you set your threshold at a certain volume level, anything under that threshold won't be compressed. If you keep your threshold low, then more of your signal will be compressed and it will have a much larger effect.


This will control how much you want to compress the audio that is outside of the threshold. You will notice on compressors when changing the ratio it will be numbers such as 2:1. This number means that for every 2dB increase that goes over the threshold will be reduced back to 1dB. If you heighten your ratio, the more it will flatten out your peaks. Anything within the threshold though will not be adjusted with the ratio.


This controls how quickly the compressor will come into effect for each section. For instance, if you set your attack to be slow (or long) it will mean that once a peak above the threshold is put through, it will let through a certain amount of audio before the compressor kicks in and bring it back down.


This is basically the exact same principle as attack but instead of telling the compressor when to kick in at the beginning of each signal input, it tells it how quickly to turn off the compression for the end of each section.

If it helps, think of Attack and Release like the accelorator and brake of a car. Attack controls how fast your car speeds up, Release controls how fast you want to slow down.


This is very simple. After using compression you will find that the overall volume will be less than it started. Gain is used to simply boost it back up. The higher the gain the higher the volume.

With these basics you will now understand how to control a compressor so feel free to start playing around with various settings and see what works. There is no universal 'good' setting for vocals as different voices and different sections of tracks will require different settings. With a basic understanding of how each setting works though you will be able to at least play with the controls and understand what exactly they are doing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Steps needed to get your cd ready for release.

Hi guys,

Well I thought I'd do a post today about the different steps that are not necessarily required to get a cd ready for press... but are highly recommended if you want your product to sound professional. Generally for hip hop tracks there are certain steps taken to ensure a professional product, they are.


I will explain each one for you, although most are well known there's a lot of people that don't understand the different elements so this is for them.


This is where the actual musical part of a track is made. Generally with hip hop you will have a producer, whether it's yourself, a friend or a paid producer make you a beat and send it through. This will give you a framework for your track. It is important to try and select beats throughout a release that don't differ too greatly on the one cd. It is fine to have variety but try not to go too far (ie. Don't have a grungy rock beat followed by a trance beat.) Listeners can become disjointed when styles are changed too much during the one release so it pays to try and keep a particular style. This means you can still switch up from a happy party track to a reflective sad track.. just don't take the actual music style too far.


This one should be fairly self explanatory but just incase, this is the part where you record all your vocals over the track. This includes your original verses/hooks. Vocal backups for layering and any adlib tracks you may want to include. Remember it's better to record too many vocal layers than too few. Whoever is mixing your project will have an easier time if they have more material to work with.

Post Production

Not everyone takes this step but it's often one that can make the difference between a standard track and a professional quality sounding release. After recording vocals to the track, it is then sent back to the producer to then adjust the beat to suit. This often is very simple things like adding beat drops to put extra emphasis on certain parts of verses. Sometimes the producer will hear a section of the beat that clashes with the vocals and he can adjust accordingly. The producer should still keep all the vocal layers seperate to the beat though for the mixing process.


Mixing is the process of taking the track and making it sound like a work of music. This includes many aspects. Things like compression and reverb are part of the mixers job but the most important aspect a mixer does is get the volume levels just right for each vocal layer. A good mixer will know a good level for your main vocal tracks and a good level for your backups. They should also know equalisation techniques to eliminate any muddy mixes from happening. I will go into greater detail on mixing in a future post, for now I'm just explaining what it entails.


This is the final stage of a cd production. Your tracks should be all finalised and when you listen to them they should sound exactly how you want them to sound. Often the person mastering tracks can change the sounds but there is a limit on what you do, so make sure the mixes are smooth and just right.

Mastering is the process that takes your raw audio files and turns it into a pressable professional cd product. This includes making sure the volume levels of all tracks are similar and to a standard set by most commercial releases. It also entails equalising all tracks to be similar across the entire release. Having one track with booming bass followed by a track with subtle bass isn't desirable. You want your product to sound consistant. Most mastering businesses will have very high quality sound systems and will be able to also hear any faults in the audio that may have been unnoticable before.

Mastering also takes into account things like making sure you have the correct gaps between tracks and the cue points are all in correct position. CD text can be included and also any hidden tracks should you choose to have them.

The mastering stage really is the difference between just burning a cd and having a finished product. Of course it's overall a lot more complicated than I have explained but try and think of it like the difference between having a microwave dinner compared to going out to a fancy restaurant.

So thats the basics behind it all. If anyone has any questions or requests feel free to post them in the comments here and I'll work at answering them in future posts!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tips for promoting a live show

Whether you're running your own show or just performing and want to promote it as well as possible, here's a few tips to get you going. Not going to go too in depth with this one but thought I'd just give a quick rundown of the strategies I normally take that seem to work for me.

So basically there's 2 different avenues for promotion, digitally (internet) or physically (real world). Both are extremely effective and it's important that you cover both.

The number one tip I can offer is to promote wherever you can. Don't just post a facebook event and leave it. Don't just hang up a few posters and leave that either. Hit every single avenue you can think of. Here's some I take.

Ok so it's already been mentioned but Facebook events are very handy. Create, invite as many people as possible. Put your flyer design as the picture and put posts encouraging other facebook users to change their profile picture to your flyer design. If they do then their entire friends list will see it in their news feed and some might get curious and check it out. Don't leave it at just facebook though, hit all the other social networking sites. Even though they may be less popular now, it's still worth hopping onto myspace and dropping your poster on to everyone's page imaginable. Head on to twitter and post it up there tagging all your friends in posts. Head to music forums and post it up there. The more places you bomb your flyer onto the more people that will know about it.

Flyers are also a huge tool. I generally will get a large run of DL flyers printed up. DL is a handy size because it's big enough to be read easily but small enough to be convenient for a large array of situations. Grab as many flyers as you can and start heading to local shows. Hand them out to everyone you see. Leave stacks spread out on tables there. Do this for every show you go to. If you can't afford to go into the shows, wait outside until the show is over and hand them out as people are leaving.

If there is a local music festival happening, walk around all the parked cars outside the event and put a flyer under their windscreen wiper. Also head to a lot of local stores and leave flyers there. A lot will have small spaces designated for just that so explore the possibility. Not only music stores do it though. A lot of clothing stores will also have these areas, you just need to find the right ones. The main thing you're trying to remember is to just get the flyer to as many people as possible. If you've got a huge amount of flyers you can even just stand on a busy street and hand them out to everyone that's walking by.

A3/A2 Posters. Sometimes getting A2 posters isn't cost effective but A3's can serve the purpose fine also. These are purely for hanging up in places of interest. Don't go hanging them up on light poles along the street though. They won't be noticed at that size and will just be wasted. Instead head into local stores and hang them in the windows. Don't leave it at music stores, walk into any old store and just ask, whether it's a general store or a post office. You'll be surprised at how many people are just willing to help out. It's also worth getting in touch with any local promoters and asking if you can hang them up at shows.

Street posters. You need to be careful with this one as laws in cities are different, so check your local laws and see that you are allowed to do this. Generally you want your street posters to be big. As a good starting size, imagine an A2 piece of paper cut vertically down the middle. That makes a perfect size for most poles and stands out well. Don't go crazy with colour on your street poster either, keep it simple. You need to remember people are only going to see it while driving by or sitting at traffic lights, so you don't want any chance that any of it is unreadable.

Hope this advice helps, and anyone that has any tips feel free to contribute in the comments. Cheers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How to use facebook as a tool for promotion

Ok so we all know about Facebook by now and we should all know how useful it is when used as a promotional tool.

Fan pages are one of the best ways to connect with your fans and can mean the difference between keeping a fan or losing one to disinterest. The first step is to get people to your page though and to hopefully get them to click that elusive 'Like' button. So how do we go about doing that?

Well the first step is of course, to invite everyone you have on your friends list. Seems obvious but its definately worth stating. Click that invite friends link and invite them all. If you have any close mates that are willing to help you out, it's worth asking them to invite all of their friends as well, or at least post the link to your page on their walls. It's suprising how many people will go to your page through that, even if they don't click 'Like' they might come and check you out, which is still added promotion.

Another useful tool is youtube. If you have a track that you've shown to people that they seem to like, upload it to youtube. If you have a camera then feel free to make a budget clip to it. Send it to your friends and put tags on it that reccommend it from other related music. Leave the link to your facebook page in the video description, people can happen to stumble across it, enjoy the music and then decide to check out your page.

If you refer back to my last post you'll notice I talked about handing out free cds. This is also a great way to engage people into visiting your facebook page. Put the link to your page on the back cover. This is particularly effective because you know that the people that find your page through this method have already listened to your music and decided they like it enough to investigate.

If you decide you have money left over you can also pay for facebook advertising but be careful. People that have never heard of you before aren't going to click a facebook ad just because it has your name on it. If you have a show coming up or something that you think could engage people like a competition, then it is worth running an ad such as "win a free [artist name] shirt by liking the page'.

So after you've gotten enough people there's also some things to remember.


If you update regularly your fans will feel like they have a direct contact to the artist behind the music. This can make the difference and will also stop people from liking your page and then forgetting you even exist. When people post on your page, leave comments. Post photos from your latest gig or even just you hanging around with fellow artists or group mates. Things like this make people feel as if they are actually getting an insight into the artist's real life rather than the marketing image that has been thrown at them.


If you want your fans to know about an upcoming gig, feel free to post a status on your fan page to let them know. Obviously not everyone is going to see it so feel free to do it each day. Just make sure you don't do it so much that it annoys people. If you start posting up every 20 minutes people are going to get annoyed and delete your page so that their news feeds become neater. It's a fine line but it's better to post less and not lose your fans.


This isn't so much a rule but I find it helps. If you have noticed a particular person commenting a lot on your fan page or in general helping the cause, send them a message and add them as a friend on your personal account. This will help them feel important for being such a good fan and will encourage them to keep it up. It's important to treat your good fans well and help engage them for the long term.

This was but a short advice column about all things facebook but hopefully it helps get you started, if anyone else has any good ideas please post them up in the comments!

How to get more fans from outside your friend circle

Ok, this is a very simple one and therefor it will probably be a short post but it's also something that again, I've noticed a lot of people havent thought of.

Remember, when you're just starting to get into the music scene you will need to make some sacrifices before seeing anything back, whether that includes money or time, it's a necessary step to take in order to secure any response in the future.

So here's my top tip on how to start getting fans. We're going to assume you have some music ready to go that you are happy with but unsure how to get people to listen.

Release a free sampler. Just call it like "Artist Name - The Sampler" or something like that. Now the next step is going to be the one that takes the most time. Get your tracks, (You want to have at least 4-5 in order to make people think it's worth loading up to check out), design a cover, doesn't need to be flashy but also needs to look semi-decent.

Print out about 500 covers just in black and white. Buy about 500 slimline cd cases, they're very cheap and you can find good deals on ebay if local stores don't stock them. And buy about 500 blank printable cds.

Now get burning. The more you burn the better. 500 was just a random number that I normally use as a starting point. You can do 10 though, or you can do 3,000. Just remember the more you make the more effective it will be.

Once you've made them all (don't get me wrong, this takes forever, I've done it countless times) the next step is to start going to as many local shows as you can. Every group you see performing go to their show. Start handing out cd's. Most people that receive a free cd will want to listen to it. If you provide a link to a website/facebook page etc. On the cover, if they like the music it gives them a point to connect.

You can also visit local record stores and ask if they will give away your free cd with any purchases. A lot will be more than happy to because their customers will enjoy receiving something free.

Just remember, you can't expect to record some tracks and start making money off them, you have to be willing to work for free at the start to build a fanbase that is willing to part with their money in the future.

Hard copy cd's handed to a person seem to have a greater effect than emailing them a download link though. This doesn't mean don't provide it as an option... it's still a great tool. Just remember that the best way to get people hearing your music is to go out and give it to them.

Some tips on press releases and demos.

Hi guys, first proper post and I thought I'd touch on a subject that I've noticed a lot of people seem to have trouble with.

How to present a proper press release or how to properly present yourself when sending a demo to a label or promoter. This won't cover every aspect but more touch on some mistakes I've noticed a lot of people make when doing this. Hopefully some of this will help you out.

1. Keep it simple.

This is one of the most easy to follow tips yet I've noticed that the majority of press releases or demo packages I've received don't seem to follow.

When sending your release out, don't overcomplicate things. The people reading your material at the other end may receive huge amounts of this type of thing and if you don't present it in a nice and simple, easy to read fashion, it may just end up getting thrown into the never ending pile.

When writing your bio for your group or yourself, keep it as short as possible. Just a short paragraph on what your music is about and then a dot point list on any big shows or sales stats you can provide. Treat it like a resume and break down the information as short as you can.

2. Don't Overuse Photos or Colour.

The best way to present your text is also the simplest. Pick a clean font, nothing lavish, just something like Arial or Times New Roman is good enough. Don't make it large, try and keep it under 11 pt size and just use Bold for headings. That's about all the design work you should need to put into it.

If your band has a logo feel free to put it at the top though and if you have released cd's feel free to use the cd artwork in small thumbnails next to any sales stats you might be providing.

One thing to remember to consider is whenever using any colour or photos is that it becomes a smart idea to not print it up on standard paper. You want any colour images to really stand out and be sharp. With a non coated stock it can bleed and do your images a huge injustice. Head on down to your local print shop and ask them to print it up on a nice coated stock, something like that can make all the difference between looking professional and looking like any old joe.

The same principle goes for the cd you are sending. Print a nice cover for it and if you have the resources, print the cd as well. If you have to use a label on your cd though, don't bother, most people would prefer for you to just write on it with a texta as labels can get stuck in cd players. A lot of press outlets just won't put label cd's in at all, so don't use them.

3. Give them time.

This is often a deal breaker for me and while it really shouldn't be, it can make a huge difference.

Say you've sent out your demo and haven't heard anything back in a week. Don't send them messages or ring them up asking what's going on. If they want to contact you about it they will. This can often be the thing that turns an artist from a possible prospect into a nuisance. It comes across as pushy and even though its easy to understand that you're anxious about what's happening its best to leave it and never get a reply than to annoy someone about it.

Hopefully this helps out, I might touch on exactly what type of content should be used in a future post but for now I hope these tips will at least get your releases to that point that makes them not get automatically thrown in the bin.

The Bloop Files

Hi everyone,

For those of you that are just visiting let me say welcome. I'm hoping that people can find some useful advice and information coming from someone that's working in the Australian Hip Hop music industry. I run my own label and also promote shows and I'm sure that this advice will also apply to not only other genres of music but also not just Australian artists.

Advice will range from tips and tutorials on the actual music making methods, to marketing strategies and also live performance tips, whether it's getting your sound right live or running your own shows and promotions.

If you're inerested then feel free to follow as I plan on updating this regularly. I realise sometimes that getting started is the hardest part so that's why I've set this up, so if you're new to the hiphop, or even music scene, hopefully I can help you out!