Mar 262012

There is one show on mainstream TV that is – surprisingly – a cool source for cool music.

‘Shameless’, a family drama around a dysfunctional Chicago working-class family, is using more music than many other TV shows, and they’re licensing it often directly from the Indie Artists who fit the social makeup of the show.

Sounds like a win-win-win situation: The show is getting more music on a budget, and the up and coming artists are actually getting some of the licensing fees, plus the exposure of having your music played in a cool TV show.

The music producer of the show recently did an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.


Mar 262012

Music producers have an important role in the production process. They provide creative, organizational and administrative services, depending on the needs and their skill set.

In any case, you may need a contract or agreement to spell out the relationship between the studio or record label, the artist and the producer.

Here is an interesting article that provides more insight on the different types of music producer agreements and what to look out for.

Mar 262012

As in any industry and business, managing projects effectively will go a long way towards accomplishing goals and expanding your reach. Projects in the music recording industry are often extremely complex.

That is why Berklee College is introducing courses in Project Management using Smartsheet, a spread-sheet like online collaboration tool.

Says Berklee instructor Jonathan Feist: “Because Smartsheet is cloud-based and cross platform, (…) there’s no installation required and Smartsheet offers great Help videos, so I can focus on teaching project management and not technical support.”

And Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet adds: “Having Berklee leverage Smartsheet for teaching PM is a testament to the evolving expectations we all have for the next generation of productivity and workflow tools.”

According to Feist, “learning project management helps musicians develop a clearer sense of the work they want to do. They’re able to break down abstract ideas into realistic components-along with realistic action plans to accomplish them. It shows them that major artistic projects are completely within their reach.”

Check out Smartsheet at

Mar 242012

With computers getting faster and cheaper all the time, much of the traditional studio equipment that used to cost thousands of dollars to set up and hours of time to figure out, can now be folded into a piece of software.

It would be wrong to call these beat maker software programs simple, but they sure are inexpensive and much easier to use than many of their physical predecessors.

Several programs below $50 compete for an ever growing audience of beat makers, DJ’s and dub artists. So it’s now actually quiet easy to get your feet wet and try some of your own beat ideas. You may actually be happy for quite some time exploring your own beats with this software before you feel the need to upgrade.

Because the latest version of beat maker software is doing quite well in the areas of ease of use, quality of sounds, and variety of  features.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these sectors.

Ease Of Use

Most of the modern software interfaces are built to look like a hardware synth combined with a track and timing grid that is known in software sequencers. Some also have an on-screen keyboard that you can click on with the mouse. It’s pretty easy to get a hang of the basic functions of entering and editing MIDI events that trigger sounds.

Another element is the sound selection feature. You can expect a vast array of different sounds to come with the software, so you want to make sure that they are well categorized, and easy to browse, audition and select.

Last but not least, you should be aware that some beat maker software works online only, others you can download to your computer and some are capable of running both ways.

Sound Quality

Early software beat makers were capable of running only in mp3 sound quality. The samples and final output were all in this compressed sound format which delivers lower fidelity than the CD-quality (44.1 kHz, 16 bit) WAV format. Nowadays, you should expect CD quality samples and output from a program that is worth using.

Due to the much larger bandwidth that’s needed for WAV sound quality, online versions of most beat makers are either not using WAV or difficult to operate smoothly and with precision. Therefore, we recommend using downloadable beat makers only so you can enjoy fast performance and high sound quality.

Feature Rich Beat Maker Software

Top of the line beat maker software will have sequencer, drum pad and a virtual keyboard. Each have functions and features that range from must-have to nice extra and combined they give the user different ways to enter sound combinations and achieve the ultimate beat.


Mar 222012 - iFrame

A new online gadget allows you to match royalty-free music with your movies and albums in real time.

You know how it can be quite inconvenient to search through track after track without knowing exactly how they will work with your movie… annoying to switch back and forth between different windows to watch the video, and then go back to the music tracks again. offers a convenient solution: You can display your video or slide show in an iframe in the top part of the screen, while you select and play music tracks in the lower part. Here is a screen shot (click to enlarge).

Any video or photo album on Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook, Flickr and more will work. Try it out yourself:

This new iFrame version enables users to “live test” the music while watching live their productions (film, photo album, home video, advert, radio commercial etc).