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Old 04-01-2020, 01:41 PM
Winfred Winfred is offline
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Default Unknown songwriter making video, posting on YouTube a good idea?

Hi!

I write my own music, and I've played guitar and sang solo for 2 years at open mics. To my surprise people have been liking my songs a lot. I was on the fringe of arranging with coffeehouses to have me as a featured entertainer when CoVid19 happened. I still want to test my songs on listeners beyond the empathetic open mic type of audience.

I'm thinking of digging deep and buying for $200 a "Zoom 2qn 4K" small video camera designed for musicians and post my songs on YouTube. Does that mean facing a huge wall being an unknown? An idea... I also got a huge applause playing my version of "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, and some other cover songs. Should I do that first to attract hits then post my originals?

Also, do I need to copyright my originals first before putting on YouTube? I hope to see if my music catches on and people buy my original songs on like Spotify. I hope, just a "maybe", I get at least a little pay, even $50 a month would help. I also like the feeling of others being happy hearing my music. Am I being unrealistic as I think for one to reach a level of renowned takes many years, right? Any advice or name of someone who would know would be much appreciated.

Carpe Diem! Winfred

Last edited by Winfred; 04-01-2020 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:20 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Originally Posted by Winfred View Post
Hi!

I write my own music, and I've played guitar and sang solo for 2 years at open mics. To my surprise people have been liking my songs a lot. I was on the fringe of arranging with coffeehouses to have me as a featured entertainer when CoVid19 happened. I still want to test my songs on listeners beyond the empathetic open mic type of audience.

I'm thinking of digging deep and buying for $200 a "Zoom 2qn 4K" small video camera designed for musicians and post my songs on YouTube. Does that mean facing a huge wall being an unknown? An idea... I also got a huge applause playing my version of "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, and some other cover songs. Should I do that first to attract hits then post my originals?

Also, do I need to copyright my originals first before putting on YouTube? I hope to see if my music catches on and people buy my original songs on like Spotify. I hope, just a "maybe", I get at least a little pay, even $50 a month would help. I also like the feeling of others being happy hearing my music. Am I being unrealistic as I think for one to reach a level of renowned takes many years, right? Any advice or name of someone who would know would be much appreciated.

Carpe Diem! Winfred
There's a pretty high wall being unknown. Yes, sometimes there are lightning-strikes "it went viral" YouTube phenomenons but most people monetizing YouTube work very hard and consistently at what they do and often ride on the backs the topics they cover or an otherwise established career. Just being good, even way beyond open-mic night good, isn't promotion enough given that huge amount of content online.

I've never looked at this myself very deeply, but I believe YouTube looks for you to have thousands of followers before you get to monetize there, so the ramp the first step of getting money from YouTube is steep!

That said it's an inexpensive way to get comfortable producing performances, choosing what works for you and an audience, and having an adventure.

Spotify et al pay very small amounts per play. $50 a year would be a more realistic stretch-goal than $50 a month for an artist without a decent fan base established though other means. Again, there are exceptions, but they are rare.

Cover versions on YouTube seem to "sneak by" for us small fry. I've done it once or twice, and I actually hope the copyright holders get the penny or two they're due for the plays I receive.

Do you need to copyright your originals? I'm not a lawyer and this sort of question often starts a repeating thread on forums such as this. My understanding is that you have the copyright in the US from the time of creation, and you can still (as in days past) register a copyright via the government if you wish to have a record of that, but that "publishing" it via something like YouTube would likely help establish your claim to being the original creator in a palpable way. On the other hand, you need to setup publishing if you ever want to get money from others who might cover your songs. All and all, a big subject and one that I've not bothered to monetize myself. Learning how to establish a music career isn't a simple thing, and even doing it "right" is no guarantee of success.

I don't mean to throw cold water on your ideas or hopes, just to let you know that it's more than being talented and having the technology to make a video or recording. I myself enjoy the process of composing and recording and the few thousands of listens I get over years.
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20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:12 PM
Winfred Winfred is offline
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
There's a pretty high wall being unknown. Yes, sometimes there are lightning-strikes "it went viral" YouTube phenomenons but most people monetizing YouTube work very hard and consistently at what they do and often ride on the backs the topics they cover or an otherwise established career. Just being good, even way beyond open-mic night good, isn't promotion enough given that huge amount of content online.

I've never looked at this myself very deeply, but I believe YouTube looks for you to have thousands of followers before you get to monetize there, so the ramp the first step of getting money from YouTube is steep!

That said it's an inexpensive way to get comfortable producing performances, choosing what works for you and an audience, and having an adventure.

Spotify et al pay very small amounts per play. $50 a year would be a more realistic stretch-goal than $50 a month for an artist without a decent fan base established though other means. Again, there are exceptions, but they are rare.

Cover versions on YouTube seem to "sneak by" for us small fry. I've done it once or twice, and I actually hope the copyright holders get the penny or two they're due for the plays I receive.

Do you need to copyright your originals? I'm not a lawyer and this sort of question often starts a repeating thread on forums such as this. My understanding is that you have the copyright in the US from the time of creation, and you can still (as in days past) register a copyright via the government if you wish to have a record of that, but that "publishing" it via something like YouTube would likely help establish your claim to being the original creator in a palpable way. On the other hand, you need to setup publishing if you ever want to get money from others who might cover your songs. All and all, a big subject and one that I've not bothered to monetize myself. Learning how to establish a music career isn't a simple thing, and even doing it "right" is no guarantee of success.

I don't mean to throw cold water on your ideas or hopes, just to let you know that it's more than being talented and having the technology to make a video or recording. I myself enjoy the process of composing and recording and the few thousands of listens I get over years.
Hi Frank!

Wow, I think I just saw your music video and very professional and with great lyrics and the vocalist you chose is phenomenal! The acting and editing and music... all is very well done... that's if I actually found your video. Thanks for taking the time to give such informative advice! I JUST RETURNED HERE AT THE BEGINNING TO SAY IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS I FULLY UNDERSTAND. I think though my thoughts at this crucial threshold might influence others.

What if I simply want to try my music out to listeners in hopes to get comments and also maybe a lot of hits. It is just me and my guitar and sometimes with my harmonica. You're in a very popular genre of rock, but I'm in Folk. I thought it might be good at least for now, I think, as performing in coffeehouses the way it's going with the virus is a long time from now. I could with YouTube find out I think the real feedback beyond open mics. It will make me take a hard look in the metaphorical mirror.

I don't mean to brag, but I've had people in tears, giving hugs. A guy invited me to their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I tried but was too nervous to sound good and quit but not the main reason to go as it was a kind of gift giving his inviting me. I received a standing ovation like I'd never seen at any open mic I've been to, and a lot of other good signs over 2 yrs.

Now with the virus I can't really rely on the next "step" which was a coffeehouse gig, so I thought a video with a low budget camera like "Zoom". That's great you lay it out like it really is. I have to laugh thinking "$50 a month" when you say one is lucky at $50 a year ha! Where I'm at is really wanting to know what the general public, not open mic listeners, thinks. Thanks for your input as I can see things more lucidly now. Do you think I'm being realistic by now wanting to at least somewhat replicate what would have been my next "step" had the virus not occurred even though I won't make any income?

Also... is the thought of attracting potential listeners to my original songs with like, "Both Sides Now", at least a better than nothing strategy as I don't think spending money on advertising is going to help. I also know I'm not going to attract anyone with my name or the names of my songs because I'm basically Joe Blow being led onto a plank over a trash bin by John Doe until I prove myself to them. You mention “adventure” so I think you mean it's my delving into the unknown with my art and that YouTube video is plausible from the “adventure” standpoint, right?

In what I think is your video... is that you with all the major bank of sound recording controls? Wow you really know the industry! All I'll have is that little “Zoom 2qn 4k”. I don't even know if I can dub or patch in... thinking for example a verse in one song “Well you know how sometimes, the water is blue, and you know how sometimes when the sun it shines through.” and with my little Zoom 2qn I know a place where I can video water sparkling in the sun... in another verse... Vincent Van Gough appears and neat to have maybe a shot of one of his paintings... things like that. Can someone do that with just a 2qn and attract more viewers? I think if they're visually entertained, meaning not just boring eyesore old me picking my guitar, that they will leave my video experience, as in your video, feeling like time flew by, entertained visually too.

You must be an influence in Hollywood as that love interest actress reminds me of someone I've seen in the major movies, like that antagonistic girl in the movie, “Lost in Translation”. How much did it cost you to make that video?

I just don't imagine them clicking without knowing me, yet they would at Joni's name and “Both Sides Now” which I think they'll, like they did when I played at open mics, be happy they listened. I think what gave “Passenger” his big lift was his amazing rendition of Paul Simon's, “Sounds of Silence”. I don't mean to compare myself to him as he's way up there with like your talent and that girl who is your vocalist. I don't have shots of packed public crowds oogling over me as I sing for more visual variety....

Maybe there's a way with “Both Sides Now”, where I could dub in (wrong terms) or patch in, a shot of beautiful clouds etc. Seeking your thought... would not even buying a, "Zoom 2qn 4k", and having “me” in the video and having just all patched in scenes be better... Maybe at the very end they see me when I do the last strum and smile. With patched in scenes of beautiful clouds maybe they would go “full screen” and sit back and take in my rendition.

Also I could for $35 an hour have a small indie recording studio record the master of my music. He said one song I want as my “first” original song that averages in at 9:35 (I have a little over 4 min version too...) would probably involve 3 hrs and he would do the sound mastering once it's done. Wouldn't I then have the “soundtrack” and patch in clips to go with my lyrics? Maybe don't even buy a Zoom, or just just have it briefly showing me and 95% of it be patched in scenes, clips I can maybe buy online. Also another thought... maybe buy instead an earlier generation GoPro Hero 6 and like with one song where I use shots of Lake Superior as I use that lake to depict a beautiful woman I'm singing about. That means though struggling to go to Lake Superior and get the right video clips. Maybe there's clips too a person can buy on the internet... have you heard of that? I know you can do that with photos at like wix.com.

One host of a very popular open mic said to me, “Really, you must know you're good.” So I think there's a tiny percent that will like my music. I've clicked on unknowns and sad to see like 35 hits in five years! I don't want that to happen. Thanks again for your invaluable input!

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:48 AM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Talent, hard work and perseverance. Those are prerequisites for a serious songwriter. For an "unknown" who is just starting a career, I believe being tech savvy and having a strong social media presence is next level important.

You might find the discussion in this earlier thread to be informative and helpful: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=555549

Stay healthy and best of luck to you in your musical endeavors!
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:54 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfred View Post
Hi!

I write my own music, and I've played guitar and sang solo for 2 years at open mics. To my surprise people have been liking my songs a lot. I was on the fringe of arranging with coffeehouses to have me as a featured entertainer when CoVid19 happened. I still want to test my songs on listeners beyond the empathetic open mic type of audience.

I'm thinking of digging deep and buying for $200 a "Zoom 2qn 4K" small video camera designed for musicians and post my songs on YouTube. Does that mean facing a huge wall being an unknown? An idea... I also got a huge applause playing my version of "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, and some other cover songs. Should I do that first to attract hits then post my originals?

Also, do I need to copyright my originals first before putting on YouTube? I hope to see if my music catches on and people buy my original songs on like Spotify. I hope, just a "maybe", I get at least a little pay, even $50 a month would help. I also like the feeling of others being happy hearing my music. Am I being unrealistic as I think for one to reach a level of renowned takes many years, right? Any advice or name of someone who would know would be much appreciated.

Carpe Diem! Winfred
Good input so far > I will Back up a bit for some overall general perspective.
My guess is nobody "knows" about how to become "renowned" there is no one proven method . Other than understanding it will almost assuredly take a tremendous amount dedication, dogged persistence, hard work and YES will likely take years and will likely take some luck in the mix also , to become "known" .
That said: There is no reason not to pursue continuing to expand the methods you employ to get your music out . And Youtube is certainly one avenue.

As far as copyright ? As has been noted: In the US your original work is considered "legally copyrighted" as soon as you "affix it to any tangible medium" = written - audio - video, digital or analog .
However having it considered as "legally copyrighted" is not the same as registering that copyright with the copyright office.
So you do not need to register your work to be copyrighted no , but it does add an additional layer of proof of ownership. If you do decide to register it (Haven't done so in many years but) to save some money and time, you used to be able to, register a compilation of up to something like 10 songs at once.
So legally your songs are already "copyrighted" before you post them on Youtube. But you should probably also have the video include the date, and the text "All rights are reserved" in the intro.

Now as far as Youtube being a "huge wall of unknown" NO it is not a "wall" per se. but it is a "huge ocean" to be a single floating bit of driftwood, to actually be spotted in .
For perspective here is an excerpt from an article on the subject:

"More than 400 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and around five billion videos are watched daily on the world's biggest video-sharing platform. In 2014, the most-searched term on the site was music and music videos top the charts for popularity.Jun 25, 2018"
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:23 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Good input so far > I will Back up a bit for some overall general perspective.
My guess is nobody "knows" about how to become "renowned" there is no one proven method . Other than understanding it will almost assuredly take a tremendous amount dedication, dogged persistence, hard work and YES will likely take years and will likely take some luck in the mix also , to become "known" .
And even in our new internet age, it's pretty much impossible to get noticed if you're not in an entertainment city, and (under normal circumstances) out there working it relentlessly. Nearly as impossible even if you are.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:14 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfred View Post
Hi Frank!

Wow, I think I just saw your music video and very professional and with great lyrics and the vocalist you chose is phenomenal! The acting and editing and music... all is very well done... that's if I actually found your video. Thanks for taking the time to give such informative advice! I JUST RETURNED HERE AT THE BEGINNING TO SAY IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS I FULLY UNDERSTAND. I think though my thoughts at this crucial threshold might influence others.

What if I simply want to try my music out to listeners in hopes to get comments and also maybe a lot of hits. It is just me and my guitar and sometimes with my harmonica. You're in a very popular genre of rock, but I'm in Folk. I thought it might be good at least for now, I think, as performing in coffeehouses the way it's going with the virus is a long time from now. I could with YouTube find out I think the real feedback beyond open mics. It will make me take a hard look in the metaphorical mirror.

I don't mean to brag, but I've had people in tears, giving hugs. A guy invited me to their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I tried but was too nervous to sound good and quit but not the main reason to go as it was a kind of gift giving his inviting me. I received a standing ovation like I'd never seen at any open mic I've been to, and a lot of other good signs over 2 yrs.

Now with the virus I can't really rely on the next "step" which was a coffeehouse gig, so I thought a video with a low budget camera like "Zoom". That's great you lay it out like it really is. I have to laugh thinking "$50 a month" when you say one is lucky at $50 a year ha! Where I'm at is really wanting to know what the general public, not open mic listeners, thinks. Thanks for your input as I can see things more lucidly now. Do you think I'm being realistic by now wanting to at least somewhat replicate what would have been my next "step" had the virus not occurred even though I won't make any income?

Also... is the thought of attracting potential listeners to my original songs with like, "Both Sides Now", at least a better than nothing strategy as I don't think spending money on advertising is going to help. I also know I'm not going to attract anyone with my name or the names of my songs because I'm basically Joe Blow being led onto a plank over a trash bin by John Doe until I prove myself to them. You mention “adventure” so I think you mean it's my delving into the unknown with my art and that YouTube video is plausible from the “adventure” standpoint, right?

In what I think is your video... is that you with all the major bank of sound recording controls? Wow you really know the industry! All I'll have is that little “Zoom 2qn 4k”. I don't even know if I can dub or patch in... thinking for example a verse in one song “Well you know how sometimes, the water is blue, and you know how sometimes when the sun it shines through.” and with my little Zoom 2qn I know a place where I can video water sparkling in the sun... in another verse... Vincent Van Gough appears and neat to have maybe a shot of one of his paintings... things like that. Can someone do that with just a 2qn and attract more viewers? I think if they're visually entertained, meaning not just boring eyesore old me picking my guitar, that they will leave my video experience, as in your video, feeling like time flew by, entertained visually too.

You must be an influence in Hollywood as that love interest actress reminds me of someone I've seen in the major movies, like that antagonistic girl in the movie, “Lost in Translation”. How much did it cost you to make that video?

I just don't imagine them clicking without knowing me, yet they would at Joni's name and “Both Sides Now” which I think they'll, like they did when I played at open mics, be happy they listened. I think what gave “Passenger” his big lift was his amazing rendition of Paul Simon's, “Sounds of Silence”. I don't mean to compare myself to him as he's way up there with like your talent and that girl who is your vocalist. I don't have shots of packed public crowds oogling over me as I sing for more visual variety....

Maybe there's a way with “Both Sides Now”, where I could dub in (wrong terms) or patch in, a shot of beautiful clouds etc. Seeking your thought... would not even buying a, "Zoom 2qn 4k", and having “me” in the video and having just all patched in scenes be better... Maybe at the very end they see me when I do the last strum and smile. With patched in scenes of beautiful clouds maybe they would go “full screen” and sit back and take in my rendition.

Also I could for $35 an hour have a small indie recording studio record the master of my music. He said one song I want as my “first” original song that averages in at 9:35 (I have a little over 4 min version too...) would probably involve 3 hrs and he would do the sound mastering once it's done. Wouldn't I then have the “soundtrack” and patch in clips to go with my lyrics? Maybe don't even buy a Zoom, or just just have it briefly showing me and 95% of it be patched in scenes, clips I can maybe buy online. Also another thought... maybe buy instead an earlier generation GoPro Hero 6 and like with one song where I use shots of Lake Superior as I use that lake to depict a beautiful woman I'm singing about. That means though struggling to go to Lake Superior and get the right video clips. Maybe there's clips too a person can buy on the internet... have you heard of that? I know you can do that with photos at like wix.com.

One host of a very popular open mic said to me, “Really, you must know you're good.” So I think there's a tiny percent that will like my music. I've clicked on unknowns and sad to see like 35 hits in five years! I don't want that to happen. Thanks again for your invaluable input!

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
You seem to have found some other Frank Hudson and/or Parlando video, so just for the record let me clear that up: I'm small-time, and my vocalists (too often myself) are not spectacular.

I'd suggest that you may want to make your goal having an adventure in this current crisis recording some videos and posting them on You Tube. As you may have realized already you build up performing "muscles" and talent by doing it, and in particular doing it in public, even for a small audience. The Zoom equipment is likely fine for a start.

You won't make any money. You may not get much useful feedback. Sometimes people even get thoughtless snark. Ignore that if it happens.

What you can do is learn to evaluate your own performances and your own songs as you view those videos. This is a difficult, but a key skill. What works? What doesn't? What should you improve or change? What should you emphasize more? Some developing artists get good feedback from others before our interval of social distancing for health reasons, but developing this as an artist for yourself is sill powerful.

Just like performing in venues that you temporarily don't have access too, the process of selecting what to record, evaluating the results and then choosing what to release that you've recorded (even to a small audience) exercises and helps develop skills that may still help you in your career development. The external feedback may be scarce, but this adventure can still help you figure out what of yourself you want to put out there as a performer I think.
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-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:28 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I started my YouTube channel in the summer of 2016, so I have not quite reached four years yet.

I wanted to be able to post videos on the AGF and so a YouTube channel made the most sense. I never intended to be any kind of YouTube star or to monetize my channel, and I have done neither. However, I have a little over 1600 subscribers at this point, so with time, you can accumulate some people who are at least somewhat interested in what you do. Silly Moustache has a good following, just over 2,000 subscribers. You might check out what he does.

I started out with only original pieces on my channel and I got very few hits on my videos and very few subscribers. So, I started doing covers, and that got more attention. Then, people asked me to make some tutorials to explain how I played various songs, and the truth is, that is what listeners want, at least from me. My tutorial of "Vincent" has over 66K views, which is the first one I did, on request. I wish I knew then what I know now about making tutorials to keep from irritating viewers. Of my covers, the highest viewed cover is of the Glen Campbell version of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," 7.1K views.

I think even with my video covers, people watch my stuff mostly because they are interested in how I play songs they would like to cover. I show my left and right hands freely in my videos and so an astute observer can figure out how I am playing just about anything I do.

YouTube allows a person to monetize their channel once they have at least 1000 subscribers and have more than X amount of viewing time per month. I believe you have to garner at least $100 per month from ad revenue, and that takes a lot of views. I have never bothered; YouTube ads irritate me and I do not want to irritate my viewers.

Regarding copyrighting your original songs, I did not bother copyrighting the original stuff I published on YouTube. I used to copyright everything way back 30 years ago. It never hurts to do it, but my own experience is that it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to steal your music. If you had to prove ownership, you've got a YouTube video with a date on it showing you the original poster of the song. And you are going to have other stuff at your home showing that you are the originator of the song. It's not bullet proof; a copyright is better.

From a Google search:

"Should I copyright my music before putting it on YouTube?
So, if you've recorded your song in a video, it is already copyrighted. What you probably really want to know is whether you need to register your copyrighted work with your country's Trademark Office before uploading it to YouTube, and the answer is no. ... Jan 23, 2017" www.quora.com › Do-I-need-to-register-the-copyright-of-my-own-song..

I hope this might be helpful. Best of luck to you!

- Glenn
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Last edited by Glennwillow; 04-02-2020 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 11:33 PM
Winfred Winfred is offline
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Hi Catdaddy!

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. I might have to give in with technology and have to learn how to use it. I'm not tech savvy, yet I think recording studios are not open with the "stay-at-home" regulations in my state. They say they'll lift the rules April 10th... but I wonder. There is an affordable studio I will email... yet even if they do say they are open I think of how contagious this virus is, actually 10 times as contagious as a regular flu virus they give vaccines for before every flu season. We could just be hitting that exponential spike starting today as I heard a lot more sirens.

So being more tech savvy as you say to record myself in my little apt that has a lot of noises as I live only one block from a fire and police station and other various noises like an argument I'm hearing between two renters now as I type this... If there's a will there's a way though. My longest original song is 12 minutes... but my first song will be 5 or so, a cover song. I guess the most I'll try for is to see if I get many hits on YouTube to see if I'm worth it or not. I think open mic goers are more empathetic as it is an atmosphere of being like "amateur hour" etc... yet a lot of what a pro paid musician told me were to be taken as good signs.

This means learning ProTools, trying to make room for setting up two mics. My laptop has Windows 7 which worries me about compatibility. It's just that things changed fast with CoVid19 as I was in the middle of a kind of juncture with my music when it happened. I think of those in the world now who could only dream of having the minor set-backs I've had compared to being like a homeless person on the streets, or a homeless person left to sleep within painted squares on the floor of some warehouse.

You're right I need to shape up and get social media going. I've had a FaceBook page for years and actually many months go by and I don't go there, or go to like Wix and start a website. I don't know what you think, but I thought if I get tech savvy and create a nice recording here with my own Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 3rd Gen digitizer. I was going to sell it on Craigs List and instead go to what I found to be a very reasonably priced recording studio at $35 an hour, plus he does the re-mastering after the actual recording. It's still tempting to change and go that route, yet the stay-at-home lifted or not... I still risk the virus and also returning to my high-rise and spreading or carrying it to others in my bldg where a significant number of fragile people live. That rule ends on April 10th here... another week. I only want to try one song just to see how it does on YouTube... maybe two ha! One cover to draw maybe attention to lead on to my original. I don't care if I make any money (really making something would be nice, but realize it's not reality ha!) and just see how I do. From your knowledge does that sound plausible? Thanks again for your input. A lot of others to respond to here! This is great, all here, great food for thought!

Carpe Diem!
Winfred


Quote:
Originally Posted by catdaddy View Post
Talent, hard work and perseverance. Those are prerequisites for a serious songwriter. For an "unknown" who is just starting a career, I believe being tech savvy and having a strong social media presence is next level important.

You might find the discussion in this earlier thread to be informative and helpful: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=555549

Stay healthy and best of luck to you in your musical endeavors!
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2020, 01:34 AM
Thom PC Thom PC is offline
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You know, Winfred, maybe you are overthinking this a bit. It seems you have the motivation and you have some songs (whether they be originals or covers) - I think you should just go ahead and make a recording within the limitations you have and put it on YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud or some other platform you feel comfortable with. I have not heard you perform or your material, but I get the impression that no matter how talented you are, you are still at the foot of the mountain with regards to "making it in the industry" - so just get out there (which these days probably means on some kind of digital platform) and do your stuff. Don't expect to make any money, don't expect to suddenly "go viral" and get famous overnight, but see if you can get a few views and at least you can refer to your video/recording if someone asks for a demo of what it is that you do.

Enjoy the journey and best of luck!

Last edited by Thom PC; 04-03-2020 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:26 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Hi Winfred. You can get a SoundCloud account for free. Record your music and upload it to SoundCloud. Link that SoundCloud file to FaceBook and see what you get for response. Minimal investment as long as you have some way to get your music into your device.

I have been playing for over 50 years, including a decade or so where it was my living. It's only a past few years where I've been doing any recording. One piece of equipment that has made the recording learning curve less steep (for me) has been the Spire Studio (made by Izatope). Combined with an iPad or iPhone, you can do up to 8 tracks relatively painlessly. The Spire has a built-in condenser mic and two preamps for plugging in other instruments. My music partner also bought a Spire, and it is easy to send files back and forth, whether we are in the same room or 1,400 miles apart.

There is a thread in this Recording sub-forum titled "Enjoying the Spire Studio." Read through that and see what folks have been doing with it.

I have done some YouTube videos, but that is more work and equipment to get decent audio to go with the video.

I have learned quite a bit, going from trying to recording directly into the mic of an iPad, to getting a Zoom H4n Pro, to getting the Spire. Learning mic placement, sound level adjustment, etc, has been interesting.

I still play out once in a while (well before this virus situation), and comfortable with my live sound and ability to entertain a crowd. Translating that to SoundCloud or YouTube has been humbling... it's a big deal if I get a couple hundred views. More like double digits most of the time. Just mentioning that so you can see that "putting it out there" isn't the same as working and promoting it.

I have a travel blog that has had over a million views... over the years. These days, it gets between 150 and 500 views most days. Not worth monetizing (although it did help me sell books). Again, mentioning that only for reference as far as making money from it.

Good luck with this process. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:05 AM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Hi Catdaddy!

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. I might have to give in with technology and have to learn how to use it. I'm not tech savvy, yet I think recording studios are not open with the "stay-at-home" regulations in my state. They say they'll lift the rules April 10th... but I wonder. There is an affordable studio I will email... yet even if they do say they are open I think of how contagious this virus is, actually 10 times as contagious as a regular flu virus they give vaccines for before every flu season. We could just be hitting that exponential spike starting today as I heard a lot more sirens.

So being more tech savvy as you say to record myself in my little apt that has a lot of noises as I live only one block from a fire and police station and other various noises like an argument I'm hearing between two renters now as I type this... If there's a will there's a way though. My longest original song is 12 minutes... but my first song will be 5 or so, a cover song. I guess the most I'll try for is to see if I get many hits on YouTube to see if I'm worth it or not. I think open mic goers are more empathetic as it is an atmosphere of being like "amateur hour" etc... yet a lot of what a pro paid musician told me were to be taken as good signs.

This means learning ProTools, trying to make room for setting up two mics. My laptop has Windows 7 which worries me about compatibility. It's just that things changed fast with CoVid19 as I was in the middle of a kind of juncture with my music when it happened. I think of those in the world now who could only dream of having the minor set-backs I've had compared to being like a homeless person on the streets, or a homeless person left to sleep within painted squares on the floor of some warehouse.

You're right I need to shape up and get social media going. I've had a FaceBook page for years and actually many months go by and I don't go there, or go to like Wix and start a website. I don't know what you think, but I thought if I get tech savvy and create a nice recording here with my own Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 3rd Gen digitizer. I was going to sell it on Craigs List and instead go to what I found to be a very reasonably priced recording studio at $35 an hour, plus he does the re-mastering after the actual recording. It's still tempting to change and go that route, yet the stay-at-home lifted or not... I still risk the virus and also returning to my high-rise and spreading or carrying it to others in my bldg where a significant number of fragile people live. That rule ends on April 10th here... another week. I only want to try one song just to see how it does on YouTube... maybe two ha! One cover to draw maybe attention to lead on to my original. I don't care if I make any money (really making something would be nice, but realize it's not reality ha!) and just see how I do. From your knowledge does that sound plausible? Thanks again for your input. A lot of others to respond to here! This is great, all here, great food for thought!

Carpe Diem!
Winfred
Hi Winfred!

From what you've described of your music aspirations and your situation, it seems you have reached somewhat of a fork in the road. You can either go the route of becoming self-reliant in a home studio or you can pay a professional to do the recording for you. At this stage of your career where you may not be making much money with your music, paying someone else to do the recording accomplishes only one thing- that being the ability to produce a song (or several) fairly quickly. While doing that can be almost instantly gratifying in the short term, I believe it would be better to avoid that temptation. In the long run, the money you give to someone else is money you could be investing in your own home studio.

Most individuals who are just getting started are in a situation where they have more time than money. If that's true for you, investing your money and time in a home studio will provide you with tech skills that will serve you well at every stage of your career as you go forward. Those skills will provide you with the music career equivalent of perpetual compound interest. Paying someone else to do your recording in the long run will be inherently more restrictive creatively because of cost, and more inconvenient because of studio time availability. Investing in home recording equipment and expertise is a better investment in you and your career.

Whichever way you decide to proceed, it's most important to develop relationships with other musicians, venue owners and fans. Face to face contacts are important, but obviously during these times of a viral pandemic "face to face" is problematic so social media contacts are absolutely essential. Once you have some of your work posted on platforms such as YouTube, facebook, etc. networking with others is a way you can build interest. In fact, without a strong personal social media presence it may not be possible to have a commercially successful music career.

I wish you the best of luck in your quest for a music career. You have a lot of hard work ahead, but you seem to have the energy and desire that will help you to succeed. Once you do have a recording/video that you're happy with, please post it on the AGF for us to enjoy!
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:21 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by catdaddy View Post
You can either go the route of becoming self-reliant in a home studio or you can pay a professional to do the recording for you. At this stage of your career where you may not be making much money with your music, paying someone else to do the recording accomplishes only one thing- that being the ability to produce a song (or several) fairly quickly. While doing that can be almost instantly gratifying in the short term, I believe it would be better to avoid that temptation. In the long run, the money you give to someone else is money you could be investing in your own home studio.
There's an alternative argument to this. It may actually be cheaper in the long run to just go to a good studio and have a pro record you. When I got into this almost 20 years ago, I just wanted enough gear to record myself and have it sound halfway decent. "Halfway decent" soon gave way to "pretty good" and eventually to "very good." Over the course of two decades, I've spent $60k (probably more) on studio gear ...by the way, that number does NOT include instruments.

On top of the economic consideration, there is also a time consideration. Recording is an art. Mixing is an art. Mastering is an art. It's going to take a considerable investment in time before one has mastery of even one aspect of the process, let along mastery of all three. The time it takes to learn these skills is time you won't be playing and writing.

Alternatively, going into a studio you have the benefit of their years of experience and their tools (which are likely to be of a better quality than what most beginners start off using). You'll get music out faster and it's almost certainly going to be better than what you'd accomplish on your own for quite some time.

Not trying to discourage anyone, but going in with eyes open is better than having it sneak up on you.
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:42 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
There's an alternative argument to this. It may actually be cheaper in the long run to just go to a good studio and have a pro record you. When I got into this almost 20 years ago, I just wanted enough gear to record myself and have it sound halfway decent. "Halfway decent" soon gave way to "pretty good" and eventually to "very good." Over the course of two decades, I've spent $60k (probably more) on studio gear ...by the way, that number does NOT include instruments.

On top of the economic consideration, there is also a time consideration. Recording is an art. Mixing is an art. Mastering is an art. It's going to take a considerable investment in time before one has mastery of even one aspect of the process, let along mastery of all three. The time it takes to learn these skills is time you won't be playing and writing.

Alternatively, going into a studio you have the benefit of their years of experience and their tools (which are likely to be of a better quality than what most beginners start off using). You'll get music out faster and it's almost certainly going to be better than what you'd accomplish on your own for quite some time.

Not trying to discourage anyone, but going in with eyes open is better than having it sneak up on you.
Thanks for your insights Jim! Yours is a perspective that I hadn't considered, and a much needed caveat. I personally don't know anyone doing home recording that has invested anywhere near the $60K that you mention you've spent, but if you've done it then I must concede that others have as well. As such, then going the professional studio route could prove less expensive in the long run.

My own personal experience has been that after almost 50 years of home recording I probably have yet to reach the $10K level of expenditure. I don't know the total number of songs that I've recorded in that time, but I would estimate it to be easily no less than 200, which means that each of those songs on average cost me about $50 to produce at home. If the cost of professional studio time is $35 per hour (as Winfred mentioned), then that might be less expensive than home recording depending on the efficiency of the studio and the artist involved. For myself, the pro studio would've ended up being a lot more expensive since I typically spend multiple hours of studio time for each song as I work out different arrangements and try various production techniques which would have been "on the clock". But regardless of cost, the biggest downside for me using a pro studio for all those years would have been all the countless times I would have missed the fun of playing and experimenting on the spur of the moment in my own studio.
__________________

AKA 'Screamin' Tooth Parker'


You can listen to Walt's award winning songs with his acoustic band The Porch Pickers @ the Dixie Moon album or rock out electrically with Rock 'n' Roll Reliquary

Bourgeois AT Mahogany D
Gibson Hummingbird
Martin J-15
Voyage Air VAD-04
Martin 000X1AE
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2020, 03:01 PM
Thom PC Thom PC is offline
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These considerations of whether to go to a pro studio or learning to do it yourself is also - in my opinion - a question of where you find your motivation. I Can say for myself that I do not have the inclination nor patience to get to a pro level of home recording - I would rather spend my limited time writing songs and practicing my performance, and leave the twists and turns of knobs and buttons to someone who actually know what they are doing. If I want to record ideas for myself or others to refer to then I am happy to settle for a half decent recording or GarageBand demo. Sorry, I don’t know if this is relevant for the OP, but anyway. Personally, I would either go to a pro studio or just live with a less than perfect recording.
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