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> My Band 101
Cosmin Lupu
post Aug 29 2012, 08:53 AM
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Hi everyone! This here, is a thread in which I will share knowledge and experience regarding having a band. It will feature spontaneous tips as well as A to Z thoughts on preparing and carrying through all sorts of activities regarding starting, administering and maintaining a band. I will also invite ANYONE who has thoughts and questions on the matter to WRITE THEM HERE. Good ideas spark from one another, so please go ahead smile.gif

I will start with a very interesting discussion which has been initiated due to one fact - united bands means increased strength in many directions

Last night, me and the guys from Aria, met the members of Whitewalls and Goodbye to Gravity - prominent names in the underground modern rock music in Romania. We decided to create a concept in which basically Aria, Whitewalls and Goodbye to gravity join forces in touring together, supporting one another and organizing events together. When more bands unite and do things thoroughly, chances of contacting sponsors and drawing people's attention increase greatly! It will be a logistic nightmare and A LOT of organizational ruckus, but I'm sure we'll pull it out.

Aria's release in October will have Goodbye to Gravity's support and viceversa (we're releasing materials at 2 weeks distance, one band from the other) and in November, on the 8th, the first conceptual gig will occur, featuring Aria, Whitewalls and goodbye to gravity - the Modern Metal Consortium. We hope to draw more bands into the movement. We are trying to get only the best out there - if you want in, you need to have a great musical product, good showmanship and most of all, the band members have to be nice guys. I don't want nasty people in the clan smile.gif

I am starting to work on the business plan today and I hope to get it done until the end of next week. It will be arranged in the form of a document with steps, which will be posted here as a PDF, so that you guys can download it and see ALL the elements needed to pull such a stunt together with your friends from other bands.

Here are vids of Whitewalls and Goodbye to Gravity:





Let the thoughts flow!

Cosmin


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 29 2012, 09:22 PM
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Very cool stuff smile.gif Can you give us a timeline and short history of each project?


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derper
post Aug 29 2012, 10:07 PM
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That's a great idea, to combine forces! One of my favorite modern "vintage" funk bands is from England (the New Mastersounds) and they tour and play the US frequently. I found out, by talking to their friend running the merch booth, that they are able to do this mainly by teaming up with a regional/local US band and they basically hop on their tour. They use the US band's gear and such, and together they make the tour better for each other...NM brings more people to shows, being internationally known, and the local/regional band makes the tour actually financially feasible for the New Mastersounds crew. Because, with the increased costs of EVERYTHING, it's difficult for funk bands to tour and actually make money.



That said, I would like to mention another topic regarding bands....keeping focus!! And I don't mean keeping "focused", which should occur at the individual level.

I mean that, the most important thing I've learned from years of rockin live....your band needs to occasional meet, talk, share ideas, and maintain a similar focus. For example...are you trying to make $$? Trying to just have fun? Trying to book more, or bigger gigs? Simply trying to get your name out to more people either locally, or internationally via the internet? Do you want to tour?

If you don't occasionally meet to discuss these thing, it's natural for everyone to start to have a different focus. Then, the frustration begins!!

And by keeping a similar focus on what is most important to the whole BAND, you are also able to get there more efficiently because you can choose the proper actions to achieve these goals that you have decided on, and even (sometimes) design a reasonable timeline for such....for example, "let's cut a 5-6 track demo EP to release for free/pay-what-you-want online, within 3 months max. We'll also redesign our website, so that we'll be poised and ready to book bigger local gigs. And for the next 3 months, we'll play at different venues all over town, so that we can have a bigger draw when we finally book the bigger shows".


Anyway, that is one of the best things I've learned about keeping a band together. That, and to leave your ego at home. Enjoy what you're doing, so that you never "lose". And when you encounter an inflated, or sensitive ego in your band....RUN FOR THE HILLS!! Really....ego filled musicians are common to find, but they usually limit themselves and those around them. Don't waste time on it.


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Now.....go practice!!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Aug 30 2012, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 29 2012, 08:22 PM) *
Very cool stuff smile.gif Can you give us a timeline and short history of each project?


Hey Todd! I will provide the links for each band's online spots, as it's easier this way:

Whitewalls

http://whitewalls.ro/
https://www.facebook.com/whitewallsofficial

Goodbye to gravity

http://www.goodbyetogravity.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeToGravity

Aria

http://www.ariaofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ARIATHEBAND

In this way, everyone here can read stuff and listen to more songs from each artist smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Aug 30 2012, 02:33 PM
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Very well underlined Gabe! The goal oriented planning for a band is vital and many, if not most of the bands here have no idea about where they are, what they're doing and where they're heading.

This is another very important subject - I've been through this with my first band. The short story? Lack of results on the long term, due to lack of focus on clear objectives and ego clashes have brought the downfall of the whole group. It was a school with a lot of hard lessons that I have learned.

How are you handling these things with Emulator, Gabe?


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Buddy
post Aug 30 2012, 03:54 PM
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Please create a Youtubechannlel Cosmin!
I want to listen to videos of ARIA smile.gif
The song on your page is great!

I think a frequently updated Youtubechannel is very important and usefull for Bands that want to reach a greater comunity. I subscribed to a lot of bands on Youtube, because i liked their music. But most of them stopped to update their channel sooner or later. So i unscribed them...
I guess its a few hours of work each time you are making a video, but its worth the benefit! Your fans will stay at your side and when there are a lot of videos, a band becomes more interresting and cool. I think its a kind of marketing....
If you already have a YT-chan, please post it biggrin.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Aug 30 2012, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE (Buddy @ Aug 30 2012, 02:54 PM) *
Please create a Youtubechannlel Cosmin!
I want to listen to videos of ARIA smile.gif
The song on your page is great!

I think a frequently updated Youtubechannel is very important and usefull for Bands that want to reach a greater comunity. I subscribed to a lot of bands on Youtube, because i liked their music. But most of them stopped to update their channel sooner or later. So i unscribed them...
I guess its a few hours of work each time you are making a video, but its worth the benefit! Your fans will stay at your side and when there are a lot of videos, a band becomes more interresting and cool. I think its a kind of marketing....
If you already have a YT-chan, please post it biggrin.gif


Hey Buddy! Thank you for your kind thoughts! Great observation mate! Aria DOES have a YT channel, but since we don't have any vids that we can show yet, we didn't start promoting it. We will start very soon though as the EP release is scheduled for October 25th this year smile.gif

I can relate to your story - since I've been uploading vids on my channel on a constant basis, I have amassed almost 1750 Subscribers and almost 570000 views biggrin.gif It's true - consistency keeps people's attention. It's just like a popular TV show - you just CAN'T WAIT till the next episode wink.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Aug 30 2012, 04:09 PM


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TreyDeschamp
post Aug 30 2012, 06:10 PM
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All great bands. I'm downloading White Walls debut album but I must say I like what I've heard on the Aria bandpage.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Aug 31 2012, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (TreyDeschamp @ Aug 30 2012, 05:10 PM) *
All great bands. I'm downloading White Walls debut album but I must say I like what I've heard on the Aria bandpage.


Hey Trey! Stay tuned for Aria's upcoming EP smile.gif We are releasing it on October the 25th. It has 6 songs and we will also have T-shirts, guitar picks and wrist bands as merch. It's the first time we're organizing things so thoroughly (I took the initiative to take care of the logistics, even though it's a pain in the 'you know what' but I will make sure that everything will be just great!).

The Whitewalls album is very good and they also play very good live! I've known their bass player since he was barely able to hold a simple groove and I wasn't able to come up with a correct bend laugh.gif now he became amazingly good - he is already an endorser of Spector basses.

Goodbye to Gravity will release their album alongside with us - we are organizing a double release party smile.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Aug 31 2012, 07:40 AM


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vonhotch
post Aug 31 2012, 05:46 PM
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This is cool to see the business side of things. Is this your first EP? Can you give some Ideas on some things that should be considered when starting a band or a solo project. Some things are obvious like needing songs smile.gif and a direction, but what might be some of the things that are less obvious?


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 2 2012, 09:09 PM
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Hey mate! This is not my first official recording. I had one EP out in 2007 with my first band - EVO, one full lenght album with Voodoo last year and now this EP with Aria. Aside from these, my bands got featured on 2-3 compilations in here, with the occasion of various events.

Well, thanks for the post title tomorrow - it'll be: First steps - the seen and the unseen

Looking forward to write about this one!

Cosmin


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 4 2012, 04:06 PM
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As promissed: First steps - the seen and the unseen

My start is probably similar to another million ones: 'Duuuuude, let's start a band! YEAAH! Let's DO THIS!'

Well, in the beginning, nothing really matters smile.gif ALL YOU AIM FOR is to have fun and enjoy what you are doing - this is perfect! It's the thing that disappears after the fights, hardships, bumps, bad gigging conditions lack of payment and all of the related stuff kicks in. This shouldn't happen, but sadly there are many situations in which inevitably, one of the above elements or a cumulus of several ofthem, proves to cause the downfall of a promising project.

In order to avoid these things as much as possible - keep in mind that this WILL NOT represent the ultimate solution and reading this thread will provide only directions, but while facing with the real situations, the only standing warrior...will be YOU smile.gif

1) Make sure that your buddies like the general style that the band wants to play and have nothing against borrowing elements from various other styles.

2) As Gabe noted in the thread above - focus is crucial!

- Focus on short term goals meant to accomplish long term ones
- Find each member's extra musical skill and let him do that work for the band as in the beginning there will be no manager to do it!
- Talk EVERYTHING and HIDE NOTHING from each other - talk often and NOT in the REHEARSAL ROOM - people will tend to noodle with their instruments
- Be methodical in your music writing approach and set deadlines - they will most probably be overridden, BUT they will get the songs ready FASTER than if they were not set in the very beginning smile.gif

3) After setting your goals - see what you need to accomplish them and gather information.

4) Exposure and your product - have a smashing product and the right exposure and things will sort themselves out easier than just trying to promote your band without having an outstanding product. Wait LONGER and invest in your musical production, rather than releasing a product with which you're not entirely happy!

After having the product, and by this I mean:

- music
- a video - this helps a lot, especially if it's done right and has good quality to back it up - nowadays, you can
- visual identity
- merchandise - not necessarily from the very beginning

...you need to make your product/ band available online through the aid of:

- a website
- a Facebook page
- a Youtube Channel

This is the LEAST which you should take care of and after this, you should think about getting on as many online music selling sites as possible - people need to have a possibility of buying your product.

I also want to recommend a book - The new rules of PR and Marketing, written by a dude named David Meerman Scott. It can help you A LOT if you are able to extrapolate the things written in there and apply them to your product smile.gif

These are just a few thoughts which I plan on extending in the coming weeks smile.gif

Cosmin

You must start building your exposure framework


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 6 2012, 03:21 PM
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More KILLER info from battle won experience!! I've asked FRAN to immortalize this all in to our WIKI and hoping he creates a section where instructors and students alike can share in each others experiences and pitfalls and hopefully help each other as we navigate the journey of music. wink.gif

Todd


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eLeCtRoFrEaK0036
post Sep 9 2012, 04:23 AM
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Great words of encouragement there Cosmin, I feel motivated already. I'm trying to get noticed as a "solo" musician... I plan to play alone for a while because some of my band members aren't serious atm. I already have a website, youtube, and facebook. I just need to record some songs and have them available on there, but in the meanwhile I guess you can teach me to play Djent. I'm really interested in making that kinda music with different sound fx and stuff. I really just need to know what scales to mess around with, and what scales set what mood. Is there a certain scale that sounds "evil" when I feel that way, and is there a certain scale that sounds like I'm "in love"? That's the kinda stuff I need to know, just more theory. I do need someone to guide me or I'll not learn any theory because I feel it's not really needed. I know basic theory, but if you tell me something simple like what's the 7th note of a chord or something....I wouldn't know


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 9 2012, 04:09 PM
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Well, here's what I say smile.gif Would you like to take part in my mentoring program and work together on building your djent chops? smile.gif In the same time, Keep an eye on this thread as I will post here one article/ week!


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eLeCtRoFrEaK0036
post Sep 9 2012, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 9 2012, 03:09 PM) *
Well, here's what I say smile.gif Would you like to take part in my mentoring program and work together on building your djent chops? smile.gif In the same time, Keep an eye on this thread as I will post here one article/ week!



Of course, that's why I'm here... Just tell me what I need to do to get started with your program? I'm ready for anything!


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 10 2012, 09:40 AM
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Well, then please, by all means, click below smile.gif

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=45964


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 10 2012, 10:04 AM
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Great thread Cosmin smile.gif.

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 4 2012, 04:06 PM) *
...



3) After setting your goals - see what you need to accomplish them and gather information.

4) Exposure and your product - have a smashing product and the right exposure and things will sort themselves out easier than just trying to promote your band without having an outstanding product. Wait LONGER and invest in your musical production, rather than releasing a product with which you're not entirely happy!


I'd strongly suggest that you have the music professionally recorded, mixed and mastered (though I would say that). Seriously, whilst many people home record very few actually have the time, skills and equipment to be able to do this at a high enough quality. There are an awful lot of music tracks around where the musicianship and arrangements are let down by poor or indifferent sound engineering.

Getting the product professionally recorded/mixed/mastered may seem expensive at first but it generally will pay for itself and may be the real diffrence between an ok product and a great one.



QUOTE
...
This is the LEAST which you should take care of and after this, you should think about getting on as many online music selling sites as possible - people need to have a possibility of buying your product.
...


Investigate digital re-distributors as their job is to get your music on to as many music selling sites as possible and most of them will send your stuff to ITunes/Amazon etc for distribution. Look in to them carefully though as some will do more then others and they all tend to charge different amounts for their services. Be aware that most/all will expect you to have stuff like ISRC and bar codes and if you don't then they may apply their own. Some can provide a mastering service but you may well be better off getting your product mastered independently.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 11 2012, 10:05 AM
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Great observations by Tony! Man, tell me, do we - like in we, the band, have to have that ISRC code? Out of what I know, the digital distributor has to have it.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 11 2012, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 11 2012, 10:05 AM) *
Great observations by Tony! Man, tell me, do we - like in we, the band, have to have that ISRC code? Out of what I know, the digital distributor has to have it.


The band doesn't need to have an ISRC but the recording should have one Cosmin.

Many of the self-release digital uploads on the internet have no ISRC.

ISRC is an alphanumeric code that identifies the recording and record label. Without it most distributors like I-Tunes and Amazon will not stock it and you'll also have difficulties in getting your stuff played on radio etc. If the recording doesn't have ISRC a redistributor/distributor may apply their own and that ultimately means that your recording becomes part of their record label's release catalogue.

If you only want to self-release for fun/to give to friends/free and don't need a distributor then you might not need ISRC. If the re/distributor assigns their own your release is part of their label and there may be future issues about re-releasing tracks, compilations, royalty payment and so on. But if your band doesn't want to set up a label/isn't signed to one and is happy to be part of the redistributor's label you don't need one. Me, personally I'd think carefully about having your own ISRC.

In the UK and some countries you can set yourself up as an independent record label and apply for a free ISRC. In some countries (the USA is one) you have to pay a fee to register. Once you have the code (or more preciesly the first few digits as you assign the last part yourself) you can then apply it to all of your own releases for your label. If you then send your work to a re/distributor they have to use your ISRC and the release stays as part of yor own record label catalogue.



A couple of technical bits with ISRCs:
All the tracks on a commercial CDAs released/rereleased since the early 1990s have ISRCs where possible. Some labels have applied ISRC to stuff released prior to the early 90s .

You can identify the original release from the ISRC - i.e. when and where it was originally released and on what label and from that the artist and track title. This can be particularly helpful on compilation CDAs. It's also helpful for royalty payment.

The mastering engineer encodes the ISRC in to the PQ metadata as part of the redbook CDA. In cases where you don't have a redbook CDA you need to tell the redistributor/distributor what the ISRC is, if any.

The only way you can check ISRC on a CDA is to verify it. ISRC is verifiable by only a few CD players - Plextor Premium drives can do it. That's why you don't routinely see it when you play a CD. It's also one of the reasons why mastering engineers nearly always use Plextor drives. (If the mastering engineer doesn't use Plextor Premium ask them why.)- its a quick way of identifing between a real ME and some kid in a bedroom.)

For an mp3 the ISRC needs to be entered specially in the ID4 tag. This is not routinely done as it involves editing meta sub data and very few mp3s have ISRC.



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Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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