Two sisters from Michigan have started a band called Stereo Jane. Check out their inspirational song called “Sing it”
The Producers Who Showed What Pro Tools Could Do
We all know that Pro Tools is the standard recording software for the music industry. Here are ten producers who helped usher in the Pro Tools era with slick, radio-ready songs that changed the cultural landscape. To make this list more approachable, we separated our subjects into three general categories: hip-hop producers, pop and rock producers and those who defy easy categorization.
Hip-Hop Producers Who Use Pro Tools
1. Kanye West
In spite of West’s controversial public persona, this highly original producer has earned his status as a commercial and critical legend. Though best known for his chart-topping self-productions, West has produced hits for Jay-Z, Drake, Twista and many others. Through his embrace of popular software like AutoTune and Pro Tools, West demonstrates the importance of putting a unique spin on popular sounds.
2. Dr. Dre
A pioneer of hip-hop production, Dr. Dre creates his classic sound by combining Pro Tools with hardware drum machines and vintage keyboards. A tastemaker for over twenty years, Dr. Dre earns a huge new following every decade. Beyond his bestselling self-productions, Dre altered the cultural landscape with chart-topping productions for the likes of 50 Cent, Eve and Eminem.
3 and 4. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo
As the Neptunes, this production duo has had an outsized impact on popular music. Straddling the worlds of hip-hop, funk and rock, this team uses Pro Tools to create an original, instantly recognizable sound. Over the years, artists like Britney Spears, Mystikal and Snoop Dogg have tapped into this sound to achieve massive chart success.
Pop And Rock Producers With Respect For Pro Tools
5. Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley
Though his sound has changed a lot over the years, Timbaland has maintained a steady relationship with Pro Tools and an uncanny ability to produce hits. In recent years, Timbaland’s Pro Tools mastery has graced massive singles from Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake and One Direction.
6. Max Martin
This Swedish phenom has produced charting singles since the early 1990s. In fact, Martin dominated that decade’s airwaves with a little help from the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. These days, Martin continues to impress by producing ubiquitous hits for Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Taylor Swift. An avid devotee of technology, Martin uses Pro Tools to express deep musicality and good taste.
7. Paul Epworth
More rock-oriented than most of the producers listed, this British producer earned his name producing critically acclaimed indie bands like the Rapture, Bloc Party and Friendly Fires. In 2011, Epworth’s artistic and commercial fortunes converged when he won a Grammy for writing and producing much of Adele’s breakthrough “21″ album. Like most of his contemporaries, Paul Epworth’s lucrative studio setup revolves around Pro Tools.
8. Mick Ronson
Though Ronson has worked with many well-known artists, his name may always be linked with that of the late Amy Winehouse. When Mick Ronson produced the “Back To Black” album for Winehouse, he popularized a pitch-perfect retro sound that would influence countless producers. Though subsequent events have tinged the album with tragedy, “Back To Black” will always inspire joy with its soulful songwriting and production. Interestingly, Ronson recorded most of the album to analog tape before transferring the songs to Pro Tools for fine-tuning.
Producers Who Use Pro Tools To Explore Every Possible Genre
9. Rick Rubin
Though this producer is known for his quirkiness and iconic flowing beard, Rubin’s ability to revitalize careers betrays a talent that is deadly serious. Achieving fame through his work with the Beastie Boys, Rubin has applied his golden touch to artists as diverse as Black Sabbath, Johnny Cash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Though Rubin-helmed projects generally forego complex editing or studio trickery, Pro Tools is still a vital ingredient in the producer’s remarkable resume.
10. Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton
One of the most original producers on this list, Danger Mouse often combines the roles of artist, songwriter and producer. Coming to prominence as a hip-hop producer, Danger Mouse quickly showed a gift for mixing modern sounds with soul, film music and even 1970s glam-rock. Outside of his own bands, his biggest successes to date are hit collaborative albums with the Black Keys, Gorillaz and Norah Jones. Danger Mouse uses the studio to create a mysterious, unpredictable sound that blurs the line between digital and analog instruments.
Astute readers will notice that these producers collectively represent virtually every musical trend and genre of the past twenty years. This is a key clue to the fact that Pro Tools skills are indispensable to anyone who wants to record music professionally. Here are a few of the biggest advantages that set Pro Tools Apart from all competitors.
- Powerful multitrack editing. Designed for serious projects with many elements, Pro Tools makes it easy to apply simultaneous changes to multiple tracks.
- Unparalleled software support. Digidesign earned the trust of the music industry with rock-solid product support. From cherry-picking trusted dealers to investing millions in industry-standard DSP effects, Digidesign never stops improving the Pro Tools experience.
- Intuitive film and video synching. In this multimedia era, music and video are increasingly combined to promote artists and products with maximal impact. Since the very beginning of Pro Tools, Digidesign has prioritized video synching functions to keep this program keyed for multifaceted projects.
- Universal communicability and compatibility. Though Pro Tools achieved dominance through impeccable quality, compatibility is a big part of the Pro Tools appeal. There’s nothing quite like the universality of Pro Tools in professional studios. Producers think nothing of recording a project in London, overdubbing in New York and conducting a final mixdown in Los Angeles–all using Pro Tools. Like a common language, Pro Tools binds people together and helps spur collaborative communication.
Pro Tools is an effective, robust and popular digital audio workstation (DAW), but it is not the be-all and end-all in the world of audio software. If Pro Tools does not live up to your standards for one reason or another, several other choices are available. Some of these other audio platforms are free, some have interesting and unique features but all of them are worth exploring. To help you get started in finding the platform that is right for you, following are the top 15 alternatives to Pro Tools.
1. Ableton Live 9
$99.00 – $749.00 for Windows and Mac
Ableton Live 9 is a strong alternative to Pro Tools, and it is available in three versions, depending on your specific needs: Intro, Standard and Suite. The features of Intro are limited, but Live 9 Standard includes an 11 GB library of more than 1,100 sounds and 37 effects for three instruments.
2. Acid Pro 7
Sony Creative Software
$149.95 for Windows
Acid Pro 7 is a comprehensive DAW that can be used to produce 24-bit, professional-quality audio in both live and studio settings. It is also an excellent piece of software for loop-based music because of its MIDI sequencing and native support for virtual studio technology (VST) instruments.
The Ardour Community
$1.00 for Mac and Linux
Ardour is an open-source DAW, and a ready-to-run version can be purchased for a donation of only $1.00. Subscriptions are also available that include automatic updates for $1 – $10 per month. Ardour offers flexible recording options, unlimited tracks with multiple channels and soundtrack mixing. Hundreds of free plug-ins are also available for further customization.
The Audacity Development Team
Free for Windows, Mac and Linux
Audacity is the most popular open-source DAW on the market today. It is easy to learn and use, includes a multi-track editor/mixer and can record live audio. Some of the files supported by Audacity are WAV, FLAC, MP3, AIFF and Ogg Vorbis, and sound quality ranges from 16 bits to 32 bits for floating-point samples.
Free for any Web browser
If you just need the basics, you might want to consider Audiotool, a free, open-source application that operates through any browser. Audiotool has a modular design that allows you to input unlimited audio devices through a virtual desktop, and it includes a polyphonic synthesizer, a sample player, a rhythm generator and the Tonematrix sound generator.
6. Audition CC
$19.99 per month for Windows and Mac
Audition CC is Adobe’s powerful DAW offering that is part of the company’s Creative Cloud suite. Audition allows you to create, mix, enhance and repair audio through several state-of-the-art features, such as Preview Editor, Noise Generator, Pitch Bender and Sound Remover. Special pricing is available for teachers and students.
7. Cubase 7
Steinberg Media Technologies
$99.99 – $499.99 for Windows and Mac
Cubase 7 is a popular DAW that is available in three versions: Elements, Artists and Full. The Elements version is great for basic composing and editing while the Artists version includes sequencing tools, better performance and a larger selection of instruments and effects. The full version is a professional-grade package that can be used for both live and studio sound.
8. FL Studio 11
$99.00 – $910.70 for Windows, Android and iPhone
FL Studio is a professional DAW that can be purchased in one of four versions: Fruity Edition, Producer Edition, Signature Bundle or All Plug-Ins Bundle. In addition, separate mobile versions are available for both Apple and Android devices. FL Studio 11 can be used for audio editing, sound recording, enhancing live performances and sound creation.
Free for Windows, Mac and Linux
Frinika is a free, no-frills DAW that runs on Java. It can be used to create sounds through an included soft synthesizer, add real-time effect to live or studio audio and record audio. Some of the notable features of Frinika are an Amiga-style tracker, mixing board, notation viewer and piano roll.
10. GarageBand ’11
$14.99 for Mac, iPhone and iPad
GarageBand is a full-featured recording studio developed by Apple that can be used in conjunction with a USB keyboard, electric guitar and more than 100 software instruments, including drums, guitars, strings, brass and woodwinds. Effects can be added to guitar through virtual foot pedals, and access is granted to Apple Loops to create new music or enhance live performances.
11. Mixcraft 6
$74.99 for Windows
Mixcraft 6 is a basic yet powerful DAW that is also reasonably priced. The software allows you to record and remix audio while adding effects, sounds and music from virtual instruments. In addition, it comes with an assortment of music loops numbering in the thousands. Mixcraft 6 also includes several features for working with video files.
12. Reaper DAW
$60.00 – $225.00 for Windows and Mac
Reaper DAW only comes in one version, but it has two price points. For $60, individuals can purchase the software for private use, but using it commercially requires the full $225. Two major-release upgrades are included in the price. All this software requires to become a full-featured recording studio is a hardware audio interface and a microphone.
13. Reason 7
Propellerhead Software AB
$449.00 for Windows and Mac
Reason 7 is a complete music-production system that comes with everything required to write, record and mix music tracks. It includes three synthesizers, a drum machine and a loop player, and new instruments can be added from third-party developers. Reason also includes more than 20 effects racks, a robust mixer and a customizable recorder and sequencer.
14. Sonar X3
$99.00 – $499.00 for Windows
Sonar X3 from Cakewalk is available in three versions: Standard, Studio and Producer. The user interface provides the look and feel of actual hardware, and it is both fun and easy to operate. The software can be used to enhance live performances, record sound, edit tracks, remix tracks and create professional masters.
15. Traverso DAW
Free for Windows, Mac and Linux
Traverso DAW is another free, open-source program that is worth checking out if money is an issue. It has a clean, simple interface, supports dual-channel tracks and works with most audio formats. A few of the great features of Traverso are its non-destructive editing, unlimited track count and full editing history.
Make sure that you finish it, and finish it quickly (or at least as fast as you can). A lot of the times, you feel as though that is all that you have for the moment, and you set your song aside to be finished later. This my friends, usually means the death of a song, or at least a long trial of turning it into something that it should have never been in the first place.
If you’re going to write a song…
Try to write a song that you think you will always want to sing, for the rest of your life. This is especially true if you plan on doing this for a living. Of course, when you are writing music, you are usually writing songs that you are in the moment in, and obviously this can be pretty hard, but at least if this is the case I would say write a song that you could look back at and say: “Damn, I was in the moment right there.” For example: Radiohead never wanted to play Creep again, and stopped playing it at shows. Does this mean they should have never have written it? Nah, but damn, why don’t they wanna play it anymore? It’s something to think about.
Before I get into using a microKorg with windows 7 (this is going to be very basic setup stuff), I would like to share a few things that I have learned that can take the trouble out of purchasing pro tools for the first time.
There are a few questions you always want to ask when you are first purchasing pro tools that can prevent you from going through hell when setup time rolls around. Some of these questions include things like:
- Will this be compatible with my Windows 7 computer (or whatever type of computer you are using)
- How much memory do I need on my computer?
- Will the MIDI Interface or sound card that I am using be able to hook up to my computer easily with what you are recommending?
- How do I affectively get my headphones and my
- Am I going to need an iLok and how much can I get it for?
- Is a second hardrive necessary to record audio?
Basically whenever I go on a Pro Tools rampage (and I have done it twice now) I really want to know what I am going to need to get everything going right off the bat at the minimum price that will allow me to start recording immediately.
What you usually need is some type of MIDI (I recommend going with the mbox because it will save you a lot of pain of trying to make everything compatible) a few cords here and there, a microphone, a compatible computer, and pro tools.
Getting started with the microKorg.
Here is what I did to get started..
- I bought a midisport UNO
- I bout some headphones that are compatible with the microkorg
- I bought a keyboard stand
- I have a windows 7 computer. If you have a midiSport UNO you need to install the appropriate drivers before it is going to work.
- You need to hook up the audio output from your Korg to your DAW and set up pro tools to record audio if you want pro tools to play back what you hear while you are recording with your microKorg.
NOTE: Make sure your computer has enough memory, or else your microKorg is going to malfunction and you won’t be able to play it properly. You can look to the guide or check out the korg forums.
Wondering where to go to learn how to use protools other than the small selection of free videos we offer on this site? Here is a pretty extensive list to help get you started in the right direction.
Berklee College of Music Course
The renowned Berklee College of Music offers several courses to get you started in Pro Tools or help you hone your skills. In addition to regular intro courses, Berklee offers specialty courses in mixing/mastering, producing, and more. Most courses are 12 weeks. If you want to use Pro Tools professionally (and use it in a way that will draw more people to your business), then a certificate program may work best for you. An advantage of the Berklee certificate courses is that they provide you with an official certification attractive to potential clients.
Virtual Training Company
The Virtual Training Company (VTC for short) offers inexpensive courses in a variety of disciplines. The training is all online, so you have the advantages of a course plus the ability to keep a flexible schedule. Some colleges and universities use this course for certain kinds of education, too.
A good choice for people with limited time, SAE Online offers a short course that provides a solid intro to Pro Tools. With this 101 course, you can always get yourself started on Pro Tools and then start more specialized learning once you’re actively working with the program.
The Online Audio School
If you like your training courses interactive and online, then this option is a good one for you. You can ask real-time questions and see and talk to your teachers. The Online Audio School offers a connection that is often lost online without sacrificing any of the flexibility of online classes. The school site also maintains a useful blog that can help with learning.
Don’t want to commit to a course? There are plenty of self-teaching options, too:
Lynda offers a smorgasbord of courses on various websites and software. You can even take courses on how to use Facebook and Pinterest. Most of Lynda, though, focuses on heavy hitters like AutoCAD and other industry-specific software. Lynda, at the time of this writing, offers 29 courses in Pro Tools specifically. Most tutorials are by experienced field experts – a visit to the Lynda Pro Tools page reveals that among the experts is Larry Crane, who has worked with The Decemberists, Jenny Lewis, Elliott Smith, and many other acclaimed artists. Crane’s tutorial covers how to get more life and energy out of your tracks. It’s a specific focus, and you might worry that Lynda only focuses on specific, niche-oriented training, but it includes basic training as well. Here’s the lowdown:
- Lynda requires a membership, but costs pale in comparison to many “official” Pro Tools classes. The most popular membership is $25/month. The main advantage of this membership is that there are no long-term contracts – you can just pay for a month and see how Lynda works for you to start. Among the several membership options is an annual membership of $375. It’s worth noting that these fees aren’t just for Pro Tools – they grant you access to Lynda’s other courses.
- Bottom line: Lynda gives you significant bang for your buck in terms of learning Pro Tools. Your tutorial teachers are experts – college professors, award winners, authors of Pro Tools books – not random people on YouTube. The many memberships fit virtually anyone’s budget. It doesn’t take much to access this tool, but you’re essentially guaranteed to learn a lot from qualified people. The making money option doesn’t hurt, either. It’s a large site, but the specialized tutorials can make it feel smaller in a good way.
Everyone knows iTunes as the place to go when you want to buy music (or rent movies online, or watch whatever TV show you missed last night). The app store has some significant contributions to our well of technological knowledge. iTunes can be your conduit when searching for Pro Tools courses. Keep in mind that, while iTunes is a non-specific market, the developers of the different apps have specific focuses and are generally knowledgeable. In iTunes, you can find series courses, a quick one-week mastery course for those who want to be fast out of the gate, and many other options. Whether you need a full intro course or just want to learn a few specific techniques, iTunes tutorials can work for you.
Like Lynda, iTunes has an affiliate program, too. Like any other affiliate program, this one lets you earn money based on sales that are helped along by links to iTunes on your webpage. There’s a simple application process that makes it relatively quick and easy to join, assuming you’re approved.
Individual courses typically are in the $5 to $10 range. They’re inexpensive, but you may need to shop around a bit for one that suits your needs best. Apple vets the apps that get into the app store to some degree, but you’ll still encounter a range of quality – some will be better than others. Essentially, this one might take some sorting. Here’s the iTunes lowdown:
- Lots of courses that are portable and can be viewed on iPhones and iPads as well as on iTunes.
- Cheap baseline prices per course.
- Ability to save money and earn money via the affiliate program.
If you’re a crowdsourcer by nature, Avid.com might be the site for you. Avid sells Pro Tools and other audio software and offers services, but perhaps the best resource here is the plethora of forums and communities. While tutorial videos can show you how to plenty of things on Pro Tools, they can’t directly answer your questions. Avid forums are full of experts and new users answering questions and asking them. The meticulous organization makes them navigable and ultimately saves you time in getting your questions answered. Another benefit? When teachers say they learn from their students, they aren’t kidding. Once you are an expert (or maybe even solidly proficient) in the use of Pro Tools, you can answer questions on the forums, too. Answering people’s questions, combined with using the product yourself, keeps your knowledge fresh and flexible. It’s a win-win.
Avid.com communities fall across a few large subgroups before they specialize. A good one for beginners to frequent is the Avid Pro Audio Community. Essentially a giant question and answer session, this forum can help the greenest beginner start in Pro Tools. You can post questions in sub-forums dedicated to specific versions of Pro Tools and in other categories like virtual instruments, etc.
The biggest forum/resource with Avid is the Avid Community. This vast resource features blog posts, forums where professionals can answer user questions on software, user groups, and video tutorials.
What sets the Avid Community resource apart? It’s probably the most diverse one on the table. The ease-of-use factor is huge – you have expert-frequented forums, blog posts and tips, video tutorials, and more all on one subpage of one website. It’s a good place to go if you want to (or are able to) absorb a lot of information in a short amount of time. Though Avid Community isn’t Pro Tools specific, it does contain blogs that follow and discuss industry trends. This can be helpful to beginners and experienced users alike.
Here’s the lowdown on Avid and the forums:
- Forums and videos are free – a good thing for everyone.
- The Pro Tools forum/community is time-efficient. You can see a video and post a question about it on the forum without leaving the main webpage.
Those are the big guns of Pro Tools tutorials. Here are some other places to go if you still want more:
The Tuts (short for “tutorials”) websites have specific instructions, usually replete with videos and/or pictures, on how to do just about anything. A disadvantage of major sites like this one is that they tend to be hard to root through to find what you need. Luckily, Audiotuts+ has a collection of 11 essential tutorials for a Pro Tools user. Like Lynda, Audiotuts+ sources established musicians and sound engineers to do tutorials. It does a good job of protecting you and your work from the influence of unqualified YouTube randos. While at present there are just the 11 videos, Audiotuts+ adds new tutorials regularly, and it also brings back AudioJungle archive pieces – articles that were once posted on a relocated site. While some of the videos here are posted on YouTube, they have been culled from an impressive slush pile of tutorial videos. You can be sure Audiotuts+ brings you the best of them.
Mac Pro Video
You can find some of their videos on iTunes, but a dedicated list is here. Mac Pro Video is a learning partner with Avid, so the makers of these videos know their stuff. They advertise that the purpose of their videos is to help you study for your Pro Tools 10 certification. Even if you don’t plan on getting certified, you can learn a huge amount. An advantage is that these are step by step – they take you from basic familiarity to expert tricks. The full-course option is good for you if you’re busy and want built-in scheduling that you can follow whenever you want to. Mac Pro Video includes videos for most versions of Pro Tools, too.
Sound on Sound Archive
In our day of internet problem-solving, interactive solutions, and more, magazines may seem like something from the dark ages. This is especially true in the music and sound industries – industries that have a strong correlation to and connection with technological development. However, sound-industry magazines often have valuable tips, ideas, etc. pertaining to sound. While Sound on Sound may not have full courses in Pro Tools software, it certainly has useful articles. However, it’s one thing to say “go check magazine archives” and another to actually do it. Sorting through articles can be time consuming. Luckily, Sound on Sound has an online archive of selected articles, notes and tips pertaining to Pro Tools. The magazine says that the articles can help one to make the most of the software. This archive has hundreds of tips, notes, and articles. It’s definitely worth a look.
If you’re still looking for more Pro Tools videos, check out Groove 3. This site, unlike many other video tutorial sites mentioned, is exclusively for Pro Tools. One of the advantages of its exclusivity is that you know it will have sufficient videos in Pro Tools. Often, a site that has tutorials for many software types will not be equally distributed across each one. You don’t want to get shortchanged. Groove 3, on its homepage, has videos divided up by incarnation of Pro Tools, making it easy to select and watch relevant videos.
You can purchase individual video courses, and while they may be a smidge pricey, they have a professionality about them that makes them worth at least a look.
So what’s the take-away here? There are plenty of resources available to you if you want to learn Pro Tools, hone your skills in general, or learn something specific, you can find a venue. Whether you want a long-term subscription, a one-time course, or just a single video, you’ll be able to find something online. Pro Tools is one of the most versatile and valuable tools on the market today, and it seems wasteful to not get all that you can out of it. When you find and take a tutorial, you’re extending the value of an already-valuable investment. Take a tutorial. Save some money. Put Pro Tools to work for you.
Something new for Pro Tools Tutorial! We are going to be doing acoustic Mondays! If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
by Richard Ashcroft
Sweet Child O’ Mine
by Guns N’ Roses
There is an endless amount of ways that music melodies (and music in general) can be created. There is no scientific process that says “Hey, it must be done this way” and from band to band – musician to musician – it is always changing and it always varies.
The process of how music is developed, especially the melody, within an individual or within the band is something that has always been of high interest to me, simply because there are so many different ways to create them! It has been said to me that a melody is 95% of the song, and for the most part I agree, because you can play any combination of chords that your heart desires, but if the melody is garbage, then the song is going to be garbage.
Simply Following Chord Structure – The Mistake
When you are making your melodies, try not to just simply sing along with the chords. This results in simplistic melodies that usually may sound good to yourself, but do not impress anyone else on a higher level. It is very hard NOT to do however because if your brain hears a G chord, what usually is going to happen is that you will want to start singing in a G note. Hard to prevent, but must be done. That is unless you have an amazing chord progression that sounds great when you sing along to it.
Making the Melody Pre-hand
This is the formula that I usually use when I am making my melodies. Infact almost all my songs have been made this way, with a select few being made a few other ways. What it entails, is playing a melody on the guitar (in my case) by using different combinations of notes and timings and then singing along from that melody. The chord background is usually second nature because once you get a good sounding melody down, you can really put any chords behind it that you may choose, as long as it goes good with the melody.
Hot Tip: There is a secret formula that usually works no matter what when you are singing. And so many songs use this formula that it is not even funny (much like the “million dollar chord progression“).
The meat of it goes like this:
whole step : half step : back to previous whole step
And then you can either add a whole step to the beginning or the end of this pattern. Doing different timings will get you different sounds, but it usually always results in a halfway decent melody.
Free Flowing Melodies
I like to use Led Zeppelin in this case because there has been no other band like them where I have seen such unorthodox melodies that actually sound great. A lot of it is contributed to the timing of their notes, and the rhythm that they use them in.
This is also the type of melody creation that I am most envious of. When you are able to come up with melodies without having to ‘engineer’ them, but rather free flow with them, it makes for a very interesting, and a lot of the times upbeat sound. This ability must come from a free-spirited soul, and you must be able to just let yourself go when you are coming up with these melodies. It’s more of a free-style approach. The hardest part of coming up with these melodies is that it is extremely hard for your brain (at least my brain) to switch notes naturally, and timing these notes is even harder. For example, many of the times it has nothing to do with the actual notes that you are playing, but the time and rhythm spent on each and every note. There are many great melodies out there that use the same note every single time, yet the timing of how long they hold and switch each and every note varies.
- Plethora of Options.
- For the Musicians.
- Building a “Record Collection.”
- …We’d love to hear from you.
I always find that when you put something in that you worked hard for into a purchase, you are always more satisfied with the results.
Personalizing your iTunes account is no different, and it is the much preferred method of album acquisition by musicians. Some musicians like Coldplay, have even done better when leaving Spotify out of the loop. Yes they have a huge following, but that was a bold move delivered by a bold band.
Am I being a bit of a “heckler” by disuading people from using Spotify (and other programs like it) (most of the time unsuccessfully). Perhaps, but gun held to the head I would defend the musicians that are yearning for the business “built on pirating” tobe put out of business as I am a tinkering musician myself (the reason for this website). In the long run, I also feel that not only pirating, but Spotify is bad for the production of music.
Of course that last sentence is greatly debatable, but here are a few points in case to suggest that it might be accurate.
Let’s talk about music discovery.
We can all agree that there are many ways to discover music. Buying albums is one of them (direct compensation for discovery). The radio is another; aww heck. Let’s put this in a bullet point.
- Buying the album
- The Radio
- Pandora (and look-a-likes)
- Cover Bands on Youtube
- FRIENDS and Social Influence
I would like to highlight that last point. Music discovery is greatly influenced by our friends; which in today’s day and age means Facebook. It is also what Spotify banks on, claiming it is a great source for music discovery. However with my past experience, which is about a year removed now, I found that it just wastes a lot of your time because you are constantly having to search for the music. In this way it is just like Napster.
The music discovery is kind of – well – irrelevant. It’s absent. Of course I can’t speak for everybody as there seems to be a lot of sharing of music people are listening to on Spotify on the Facebook scene, but this type of indirect “recomendations” really doesn’t overrule any other type of music discovery as the authority.
In the beginning, the Spotify business model was to get everyone on the free membership plan, dilute their losses with advertisements, and hope that these people would build a large enough playlist that by the time their free trial ran out they would sign up for the monthly membership.
This kind of customer acquisition model is shaky at best.
On top of all this there is the musician pay scale factor that you have to factor in. Musicians make $0.005 per stream and $0.65 for a $0.99 download on iTunes. Here is a table you can also find here.
The DIY Band Five unkowns with a borrowed station wagon. Record every 5 years.
|CD Sales||$8 per CD (after production costs)||500||$4,000|
|iTunes and other downloading services||$.65 per $.99 download (after service takes a cut)||200||$1|
|Merch||$100 per show (twelve T-Shirts at $10 each after printing costs)||45 shows||$4,500|
|Tour||$50 per night (Plus free beer, maybe)||45 shows||$2,250|