5 Money Tips for Music Artists

Guest post by Nick Garcia, label manager of Sharam’s Yoshitoshi Recordings.

For all it’s chocked up to be, the DJ/producer lifestyle is usually not as glamorous as it sounds, especially when it comes to money.  For every uber-successful artist with a Porsche and a villa in Ibiza, there are countless more who don’t know where their next rent check will come from.  Performance, remix, and licensing fees don’t just fall from the sky, and chances are those streaming statements can barely pay for a cup of coffee.  Therefore, I’ve compiled five tips for artists who find themselves struggling financially to maximize what their money can do, both now and in the future.

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How to Choose the Best DJ Speakers

As a DJ and a musician, the most important element you must take into consideration is sound. It may seem like a no-brainer, but not many seem to realize the importance of not just ensuring your track is being heard alright but also that it is being heard the way you intend it. Whether it is being played in your room by yourself , in the studio with other producers, or in a club for an audience, it’s important that every ear gets to appreciate every groove and beat of the track being played.

Thus, it is important that you have quality speakers that will provide quality output to ensure your mixes sound right anytime, anywhere. And for a DJ, not any speaker system will do, regardless of whether one is looking for a simple speaker system or an elaborate home theater setup. There are specific things to look for in a DJ speaker, which we will be elaborating on to help you shop for the right sound: Read more

7 Tips for the Warm-Up DJ Looking to Play a Great Opening Set

Chances are, most people who attend an electronic music concert, club night or live event came for the performance of the main act. If you are a relative newcomer in the DJ industry, however, you will most likely be tapped to play the opening set for the event.

Performing as the opener has its own challenges, particularly in getting the audience warmed up for the main act in a manner that is suitable for the event and artist coming after you. This entails being able to create the atmosphere of excitement and energy out of thin air, all without overdoing it and stealing the limelight from the headlining act. And as any DJ will tell you, that makes the job of the warm-up DJ the most difficult of all. Read more

How to Send Demos to Record Labels

Every aspiring music producer or artist aims to make it big, so to speak. Of course, this means being signed to a music label that has the resources to introduce their music to a greater audience.

Of course, it is no secret that getting that desired record deal is not a walk in the park. It is not just about submitting a demo recording and hope the label people will like it. More importantly, it is about how to properly pitch the labels. Otherwise, you may end up like a radio blasting out signals but never getting a reply.

So if you are looking at submitting a demo to a record label, keep in mind the following tips we will be sharing here.

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The Warm-Up DJ Dilemma: Play The Room or Hold Back?

It is the dilemma every DJ assigned as the opening act faces with each booking. Must that DJ “play the room” and go all out for the crowd? Or should the DJ hold back in deference to the headlining act?

There are two different thoughts about this matter. Each of them have sound points that hold merit either way, which is why it’s important to look at each side of the argument and the philosophies each abide by.

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Keeping Your DJ Gear and Music Files Safe

You can never be too sure these days, with incidences of theft and robbery occurring even in places you thought would be the most secure. That happens more often than not now that some thieves are knowledgeable enough to know the type of equipment to target.

As many will tell you, in some cases it’s not just the value of the equipment that makes victims sob, instead it’s the thought that the data contained in the equipment is now lost forever that makes one cry in frustration. This is true especially for artists and others who are dependent on technology for their work. Losing such equipment, and the data stored inside them, is a dreaded possibility that they cannot afford to let happen.

Being aware of the dangers lurking around makes it all the more important to be prepared at all times. Being prepared is not just about preventing theft though, it is also about preparing contingencies in case such an event does happen. The first step in all this is to ensure the security of the most important part: the data.

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Q&A and Global Vibe Radio Episode 057 feat. DJ Hyperactive

This week’s episode of Global Vibe Radio features one of techno’s OGs in the form of Chicago-born-and-bred DJ, producer and owner of 4 Track Records (4TRK) Joseph Manumaleuna aka DJ Hyperactive.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Joseph, or JoJo as he is affectionately known to friends, during my years working in Chicago’s techno and house industry. Prior to this interview I had last seen him on a cold Chicago night in February, when his good friend and fellow artist Moe Espinosa aka drumcell was in town to play at Spybar Chicago. JoJo played host at a wonderful BBQ dinner before an even better night of techno ensued.

Those versed in the history of techno need little introduction to DJ Hyperactive as an artist. His Resident Advisor bio describes him as one of Daft Punk’s “Teachers” and “brother of the humble,” his contributions and impact to the underground spanning three decades now and leaving a legacy that has not only helped shape techno in Chicago and the Midwest, but the entire United States and beyond. Growing up in Chicago in the early ’90s, DJ Hyperactive honed his skills as both a producer and DJ, receiving instant international recognition and subsequent touring gigs at some of the most recognized and revered venues and events of the last 20-plus years, including Orbit in Leeds, Liquid Room in Tokyo, Berlin’s iconic Love Parade, the game-changing Interface parties spearheaded by Droid Behavior in Los Angeles, Movement Detroit festival in the birth place of techno, Output in Brooklyn, techno meccas in Berlin such as Tresor and Berghain and of course at Smartbar, Spybar and Primary right in his home city of Chicago.

Over the course of his career he has churned out well over 100 remixes and original tracks, his catalogue including such instant classics as “Venus” and “Wide Open” on Missile, “25HRs” on Droid Recordings, “Music Box’ on his own imprint 4 Track Recordings, and more on imprints the likes of Contact, Truncate, Figure, Blank Code, Impact Mechanics, Nachstrom Schallplatten, and CLR, just to name a few. After a warming stint in Southern California, DJ Hyperactive returned to Chicago 2013 to reconnect with his family and musical roots.  His story continues with more gigs and more studio productions, with the difference being the experience and perspective that only a true veteran can possess.

We are honored to have him as guest of our 57th episode of Global Vibe Radio, which we present to you alongside an exclusive chat we had with him last week in honor of the recording. Enjoy the music and DJ Hyperactive’s wisdom below, full track list can be found at the end of the article.

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The Producer’s Guide To Remixing: How to Pick Tracks, Get the Rights and Still Release Original Music

Many of the biggest electronic music stars rose to fame because of remixing.

By picking the right tracks, they were able to piggyback on the popularity of new hits or renowned classics, creating a platform for their future original releases. To remix successfully, you need to pick the right record, get the timing right, acquire the rights and add something special to the original. And when your trajectory is on the up, you need to learn to combine it with releasing originals.

In this article we’ll show you how to do all of it.

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hardware sequencer

Advice and Tips on Getting the Best Deal on Your Hardware Sequencer

Electronic music artists are always on the lookout for new outboard gear. Buying hardware sequencers, synthesizers, drum machines and effects units used to be costly and hard. Nowadays there are a lot of companies selling this equipment at cost. Electronic music artists who want a more hands-on experience are keener on using a hardware sequencer to get their rhythms and melodies to the studio. Discogs even launched Gearogs last week, a market place where buyers can shop for synthesizers, DJ mixers, drum machines, tape machines and more.

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Should DJs Get Paid? You’re Not A Victim, Why Creative Electronic Music Artists Still Have Hope

There’s no denying that today there are many websites earning money through clicks and shares instead of the value of content being digested by readers. In fact it is even happening in the electronic music industry, where sensationalistic headlines are used to blow up stories of little content or use. On top of that, thanks to technology there are now Autobots that stand in for readers and listeners and control the business of the internet. Can we say the same is happening with creative minds? No. There is hope yet for creatives in spite of modern technology.

A recent article from Jon Westenberg discusses how creative people, or “creatives”, have been screwed over by the online society. His definition of “creatives” are the musicians, the artists, the writers and other people who make stuff for a living. In this article, Westenberg says “bloggers and writers must never try to get paid. Once you try and get paid everyone thinks you’ve sold out.” He goes on to explain that this philosophy also touches on other types of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and journalists.

He explains that being creative cannot be your main job anymore, but just a sideline gig in today’s age of where, due to the internet, people want more free stuff and refuse to pay to read or listen to the work of creatives. Westenberg claims: “People don’t want to pay for content. They want to consume it for free, or monetize it for themselves.” People nowadays have this sense of entitlement that comes from having everything at their fingertips through the internet, causing respect for creative work to disappear. They see creativity as a hobby and not real work.

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