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How does Music Business works? What is important to know in the music business? Is it better to go indie or to sign with the label these days? Thank you

Angie 16th July 2008 Anyone can get into music. It takes someone with a lot of skill and talent to get into the music business. It's a lot harder to earn a full time income in music than people think. For those of you who are doing it, you are to be congratulated for doing what 99.9% of the rest of the world can't do and that's make a living.

If I wrote songs with someone and then parted ways and the songs are copyrighted, should I have to sign a release form If he asks? He hired a bunch of musicians to play on the songs and paid them a fee. Since I am the co-writer, is there any reason I would want to sign a 'release form' if he asks me to? Hope that makes sense

Clifford Hritz Tuesday 04 Dec 2007 This is something that only a BMI or ASCAP lawyer should answer. A producer is not the go to guy for this question.

How does one evaluate a good producer and what variables should a singer look for in a producer and weed out fakes and so called wanna be producers? How does one know if a producer is legit or not?

Laurie Walls Thursday 29 Nov 2007 First a real producer goes through union recognition by study under another master producer. There are 3 stages. The apprentice, the journeyman, and the master producer. They are going to have a long track record of producing a lot of artists. They will have a master license and be members of organizations such as the CMA, BMI, ASCAP, NARAS, RIAA or other music organizations that have recognized their talent. Most importantly, when was their last Billboard record? If they have had Billboard charted records in the past two years, they are active. If not, they are not going to be the producer you want to hire for your next project. They will be working with current artists that have hit records out now. However, if you want my friend Scott Storch to produce your pop record (Paris Hilton's album)it's going to cost you over a million dollars. Most people who contact me to produce their project, want me to put up all the money, make them rich and famous and do all the work. It' doesn't work that way. A demo album costs $37,500 now and a limited pressing album in country music is $75,000 and a master scale project will go between $150-200,000 to complete. So, please get your money together because the costs are going through the roof to produce great music. Robert Metzgar Platinum Plus Universal

DEAR SIRS, I WAS A WRITER/KEYBOARDIST FOR A BAND SIGNED WITH A LARGE LABEL A FEW YEARS AGO. I WAS PAID MY WRITERS ROYALTIES IN A TIMELY AND ACCURATE MANNER.IN 2005, THE SAME ALBUM WAS RE-RELEASED BY ANOTHER COMPANY WHO LICENSED THE RIGHTS TO REDISTRIBUTE FROM UNIVERSAL MUSIC. I JUST DISCOVERED THE RE-RELEASE. I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY WRITERS ROYALTIES FROM EITHER COMPANY. WHO SHOULD I PURSUE FOR MY ROYALTIES: THE FIRST LABEL OR THE COMPANY WHO LICENSED IT FROM THEM. YOUR KNOWLEDGE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. WARMEST REGARDS, TIM SHARPTON

TIM SHARPTON Thursday 22 Nov 2007 Mr. Sharpton: your BMI or ASCAP representative should be able to handle this for you . Both companies exclusively represent writers like yourself. They have a lot of lawyers that will make sure you get your money. Just remember that legally, these companies don't owe you a cent until you fill out your W-9 forms for the government. Since 911, all these companies can withhold all payments until you complete the paperwork that the Patriot act requires prior to getting any money. Get your paperwork to them and that will help speed the payment to you.

My question is what advice would you give this 46 year old man as far as getting signed to a major label. How much "Age" is the factor in this regard for any one interested in this business. Thank You Sirs .... Steven Patrick

StevenPatrick Sunday 26 Aug 2007 Steven, the majors will not sign any artist that exceeds their age limits. However, the greatest success that artists are having now is on indie labels. There are many indie labels where age is no factor. Go to www.musicregistry.com for a list of all the labels that you can submit your demo to.

I have noticed that almost every singing entertainer in the business writes their own songs or is with someone who writes original songs. How do I make a cd for example as a tribute to Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard or just an assortment of great established songs that were not written by me? How do I do that without getting into copyright problems? Thanks. Joe

Joe Wednesday 23 May 2007 Clear your license requests through the Harry Fox Agency in New York. They will direct you through the process. www.harryfoxagency.com

I have an Audio engineering questions. I would like to your opinions on using "doubles" on a track; can they be used througout the entire song, or only parts of the song? Is there a 'general rule of thumb' as to where they should be used and when they are the most effective? Also, what is your advice when it comes to harmonies. What is the "technique" used in audio engineering to make them sound 'tighter' so they don't sound like a background vocal?

Mark Healey May 20th 2007 You should only use multiple tracks of the same person's voice to enhance your quadraphonic mixes. Otherwise in pro-tools or any of the digital formats you can simply paste another vocal over the one you are doubling. I only use a doubling of the vocal in the chorus only. I never use "cut and paste." I make the artist physically sing another pass for the left speaker, the right speaker, center speaker and quadraphonic sounds. So, chorus only. As far as the backgrounds sounding tighter, if you use a professional AFTRA trained background vocalist you won't be able to stick a needle between their vocal and the leads. Don't use non professional people. Use only the best professionals and you'll get hit records.

WHICH COMES FIRST ON THE MIX DOWN: REVERB, COMPRESSION, EQ, DELAY?

SHAFIQ SHABAZZ May 20th 2007 Please consult with one of the engineers at www.finalmastering.com and they can answer all those questions. Most of the answers are in a FAQ page online at that web address.

How does one make an earned living as a lyricist? Also, how can someone get their songs published?

Jimmie Lee May 20th 2007 Contact the following: ASCAP www.ascap.com or BMI www.bmi.com or SESAC www.sesac.com and these are professional PRO representatives. They will be able to direct you in getting your lyrics signed and published

How do i find a good manager/agent?

Jason 2007-04-16 Every agent in country music belongs to www.n-a-t-d.com or the National Association of Talent Directors. That is where you will find the professionals. A good management team is going to cost you a lot of money if you get the best people to guide your career. The retainer charged is going to be between $15,000 and $25,000 to hire a great manager.

how do I send my Demo to a label company?and how do you know wich one is reliable?

Nathalie-joan Limon 2007-03-25 The reliable labels are all listed and registered with a license. The list is posted at www.musicregistry.com If a label is not licensed or in this list, avoid doing business with non-licensed professionals. You'll thank me in the long run for giving you this web site.

What advice do you have for singers, who want to improve there voice in singing?

Darleen 2006-12-17 Hire a professional vocal coach to help you. Go to www.reneegrantwilliams.com for a list of qualified vocal & voice instructors throughout the United States

I want to start a home recording studio.Kindly guide as to what is the cheapest or free way to do so.

Sanjeev Ghotgalkar 2006-12-05 Go to the following and petition the government for a grant to start your home studio business www.unitedstates.gov









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