Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

Promotion Category

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Getting listeners to listen to your own music can be a tough job, especially when you're starting out and therefore we have to try to make use of all the tools that are at our disposal to get our music listened to. One of those tools we have to make use of is YouTube and all the other video sharing sites around the internet.

If you have some video footage of your latest gig or some other great footage then you should be all set and ready to upload some great videos but many of us don't have any video to hand. Not to worry though as we can easily and quickly put together a video containing a collection of pictures or photos instead for the eye candy and your music for the sound.

Here are a few ideas of the sort of images you could use to make your own videos to go with your music...
  • Album/single covers.
  • Photo's of you/your band.
  • Photo's from your latest gig.
  • Your or your band's logo.
  • Photo's from free stock photo web sites which fit your music.
Once you have your photos and of course your track it is very simple to make a video that you can upload to these sites. If you are using Windows you can use the freely available Windows Movie Maker which should already be in your Start Menu. You could also try out VideoSpin from Pinnacle which is free to download and use. If you are on a Mac or using Linux then I am not sure of any alternatives but I am sure there is something similar out there which will work in the same way.

For my videos I used Windows Movie Maker as it is very simple and quick to use. All we do is import our chosen pictures and music and then arrange them on the storyboard at the bottom. We can also add some simple transitions between the images if we want by choosing Tools > Transitions and dragging the transition we want to the join in the storyboard between the images.

Once we are happy with the result in the preview video we can save the movie (which saves as a .wmv files in Windows Movie Maker) and upload it to our video sharing site account.

This method is not only quick and easy but also quite effective in getting extra listeners to find your music. Make sure you add an extra picture which has the URL of your web site or MySpace page so that viewers of the video can find out more about your music and that you also add the URL in the description of the video.

If you give some tracks away for free as I do, you could even put something along the lines of "If you like this track, download it for free from this website" to encourage them to get MP3 versions of the tracks. For the small amount of work I am sure you will find it worth it.

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Promotion is something all musicians need to do to get their music heard and in this post I am not only going to discuss this great and fun way you can promote your music, but I am also going to shamelessly promote something myself.

One of the things that has become popular due to the increase in internet communication is musicians and labels being able to run online remix competitions. These contests provide a new way in which fans (who are musically inclined themselves) can interact with the music that they like. Making music for many is a fun past-time and there is a whole bunch of musicians out there waiting to remix your music, but why would they want to remix your music? Well here are a few reasons...
  • Because they find it fun to remix other peoples' music.
  • It is a great way for them to learn and practice making music.
  • To increase their own portfolio of music productions that they have made.
  • To get their own music noticed by people who like their remix.
  • To win the contest prize (which if it is something like a release on a label then it is also a way to get their own music promoted.
As you can see there is numerous reasons why someone would want to remix your music, but what benefits do you get as the remix contest organizer and how far does it go to promoting your music... well yet again here are a few of the benefits...
  • Your contest and therefore your music may get promoted around the net at various sites, forums and blogs by musicians who like your contest.
  • When a musician gets interested in your contest, the first thing they're likely to do is find the original version and listen to it, giving your music listeners.
  • You get a collection of remixes in different genres which you can release or use on your site, MySpace for other fans to enjoy. You could even release some as a remix album.
  • By allowing remixers to post their remixes on their own web sites and MySpace profiles, you may find that fans of the remixers who enjoyed listening to those remixes will decide to check out the original version and your other tracks.
As you can see there are some great benefits to running a remix contest for both you and your remixers. I'm sure you would also agree that it is a form of promotion that could last some time because the last example above of allowing remixers to post their remixes on MySpace etc could mean that the remix contest is still working to promote your music 6 months or even 1 year from now.

It is also a comparatively cheap way of promoting your music too as the only costs involved are a bit of your time to set up the contest and the obvious cost of the final prize. The reason why it could be very cheap promotion is because you get all of the above promotion benefits for what you you might have needed to have paid for a one-time fee freelance remix and yet you might get 3, 4 or even 10 really decent remixes for a similar cost.

It might even cost you next to nothing for the prize as if your label or if you release your own music you can release a few extra remixes on a single or album release as the prize. This sort of prize is not only a fun prize for the remix contest entrants but it is also not that costly and could even make you/your label money from remix sales.

Now on the first line I said that I was going to shamelessly promote something myself and that is my other site called Remix Comps. Not only does this site list all the latest remix competitions on the net for musicians but it will also list any remix contests that you run, giving your contests promotion to hundreds of remixers who visit the site every day. But that's not all as we can also provide free of charge the tools to create your contest on the site thanks to our Remix Contest Creator which comes with a great looking widget you can place on your own web site or MySpace page. This makes running your own contest not only easier to set up and get going but also possibly cheaper as you don't need to hire a web designer to program the tools for you, it's all there ready for you to use.

If you are going to take the plunge and run a remix contest I also advise that you check out an article I also wrote on Remix Comps called 10 Tips To Run The Perfect Remix Contest, which will also be of great help to get the most from your remix contest.

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On Remix Comps they list read here.

The guide takes you through the process to allow you to enter your first remix contest, from downloading the remix stems right through to creating your remix.
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Another site worthy of being on Rhythm Creation. OurStage is a nice site with a great concept in creating charts of submitted music from various genres. It has features for both listeners and musicians that make OurStage a worthwhile visit for both.

OurStage is unique due to the way the charts are worked out. Listeners or Judges as they are known have to choose between two tracks in their chosen genre, voting on a scale which one they prefer the most. All these votes are then worked out and the chart is updated. This system seems to work well because it stops people from being high up the charts just because they’ve got lots of friends who they have asked to become fans and it is more down to the actual music (Although it probably isn’t flawless at preventing this).

There are some great Prizes available too for musicians and bands which are very successful in the charts. I have been using OurStage now for a couple of months and have heard some good tracks and my track Overdrive managed to finished 7th in the electronic category for January. I asked no one to vote for me, so this shows you can get high up in the charts with no sneaky votes, showing their system works reasonably well.

OurStage is definately a place for musicians to get some free and also exciting publicity for their music.

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Every now and again on Rhythm Creation I feature a web site which is of great use to us musicians. This time is a great little site which I have personally started to use called Jamendo.

Jamendo is a site which allows visitors to discover, listen to and download Creative Commons licensed music thanks to the large number of extremely generous musicians who place their personally made music on there for you to listen to and download for free.

At the current time of writing there are over 7000 albums waiting to be discovered and over the past few weeks I have been discovering new musicians and have also been impressed with the quality of some of the music I have heard. I have even taken the trouble to upload some of my own tracks. As a musician you will find that they offer some great tools and services to help you get your music out there and get people listening. You will get some honest feedback on your music from the enthusiastic Jamendo community, can see stats on how many people have downloaded or starred your album and listeners can even support your music with a optional donation if they want to.

Jamendo is a breath of fresh air compared to most sites and provides a good service for both listeners and musicians. I’ve enjoyed listening to peoples music knowing it’s legal and that they want me to as well as knowing people might be enjoying my music. It is certainly a site I will be regularly visiting, listening and reviewing other peoples music on as well as uploading my own stuff to.

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