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Gary Earl Productions – Sync Music https://www.recordingstudiob.com Producing for Sync: movies, tv, trailers, gaming, commercials Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:48:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GE-512x512-1-100x100.jpg Gary Earl Productions – Sync Music https://www.recordingstudiob.com 32 32 Chords: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/chords/ Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:49:55 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7614 The post Chords: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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There is a relatively simple technique that many professionals like myself use daily to get cuts – sync placements that make money from movies, tv shows, commercials, video games, trailers and more. This is the first week of a seven part series from Music City Online, a series called “Making Your Song Sync Ready”. Today we talk about Chord Progressions.

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Melody: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/melody/ Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:23:21 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7627 The post Melody: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Today is Melody day – this is not an all enclusive primer on writing melodies, just several things on my checklist when I’m writing/producing for movies, television and commercials.

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Lyrics: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/lyrics/ Sat, 22 Apr 2017 14:18:00 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7648 The post Lyrics: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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In this video, you’ll find out how to reinvent your writing strategy with LYRICS that work on movies, tv shows, ads, promos, trailers & more. Part III of a 7 part series on making your song sync-able. For more info and help making your song(s) sync ready, let’s talk.  gary@garyearl.com

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Rhythm: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/rhythm/ Fri, 12 May 2017 23:01:31 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7855 The post Rhythm: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Rhythm: part 4 in a 7 part series on Making Your Song Sync Ready.  4 Minutes in length.

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Arranging: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/arranging/ Sat, 20 May 2017 19:40:55 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=8018 The post Arranging: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Arranging: part 5 in a 7 part series on Making Your Song Sync Ready.  4 Minutes in length.

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Hook: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/hook/ Sat, 27 May 2017 16:10:10 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=8042 The post Hook: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Hook: part 6 in a 7 part series on Making Your Song Sync Ready.  2:00 + in length.

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Mixing: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/mixing/ Sun, 04 Jun 2017 17:53:40 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=8064 The post Mixing: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Mixing, Recording, Mastering: Making Your Song Sync Ready.  3:00 length

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Check List: Making Your Song Sync Ready https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/checklist/ Sat, 10 Jun 2017 16:05:19 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=8081 The post Check List: Making Your Song Sync Ready appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Wrapping up our series on Making Your Song Sync Ready with a “Check List”  1:00 length

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Before & After: Christmas Song https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/before-and-after/ Sat, 05 Aug 2017 19:30:16 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=8150 The post Before & After: Christmas Song appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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A Before and After of a Christmas song written & © by Colleen Brown Keenleyside & Jenny Nicole, all rights reserved.  Produced by gary earl.

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Read This Before Signing with a Music Library https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/read-signing-music-library/ Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:36:19 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6977 The post Read This Before Signing with a Music Library appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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sync music produced by gary earl gets cuts

Sync Licensing Explained

[Written by Jennifer Newman Sharpe, Esq., entertainment attorney and COO & Co-Founder of Sparkplug]
•   What is a music library? And what does it have to do with sync licensing?
If you’re an independent artist, it’s very likely that you have been approached to sign a licensing agreement with a music library. Music libraries are companies that represent a large catalog of music for the purposes of securing synchronization licenses (aka “synch licenses” or “sync licenses”).
A synch license is needed whenever music is used within an audiovisual production such as a film, tv show, advertisement, video game, etc. Synch licenses can be a great way for artists to earn money from their music. Music libraries prefer to work with DIY artists, because DIY’ers usually own their recordings and compositions – you can read about the difference between sound recordings/masters and compositions/publishing here and here). Whether you’re working with a library or on your own, owning or administering 100% of your sound recordings and compositions makes securing a synch license easier.
•   How do music libraries structure their agreements?

The agreements offered by music libraries can come in many different flavors, starting with exclusivity. While these agreements can be exclusive, they’re often non-exclusive. “Exclusive” means that the music library is the only company allowed to represent your content for synch licensing and you may not enter into a similar agreement with another music licensing company.
Although restrictive, an exclusive arrangement allows the music library representing you to secure higher synch licensing fees, since your content cannot be licensed anywhere else. Given how big libraries’ catalogs are and that there aren’t upfront advances, most artists are reluctant to sign an exclusive deal.
“Non-exclusive” deals allow you the freedom to work with whomever you want, but companies offering these deals are typically larger than an exclusive library and your content may have a harder time finding the spotlight.
CD Baby offers music licensing services, but on very different (more artist-friendly) terms than what is discussed below.

•   Before signing with any kind of music library, here are 6 big points you should consider:

1.    Know what you’re signing and what to ask for
This is a good rule of thumb for any agreement – really understand what you’re signing before you sign it. You should have an attorney experienced in music law review the agreement and explain it to you.
Typically, the terms offered by a music library are not very negotiable, but an experienced attorney will be able to identify deal points that could be reworked in your favor, particularly around what kinds of placements should require your approval, royalty splits, accounting and audit rights, and termination provisions (discussed more below). Most importantly, an attorney can explain the terms to you and discuss whether you want to enter into the agreement at all.
It makes sense that some companies aren’t open to negotiating agreements too much. They enter into thousands of these deals. It isn’t practicable to have a drawn out negotiation with every content provider and keep track of so many different terms. Some of these agreements are drafted with this in mind, and the terms are pretty fair and reasonable to the content provider.
However, a lot of these agreements have terms that are “non-negotiable” and really aren’t fair to the content provider, particularly around payments. Make sure your attorney explains to you what money you should be paid on, whether the company is taking any public performance royalties (discussed more below), and whether the splits are reasonable.

2.    Understand what retitling is and how this will affect your royalties
Music libraries typically fall into two business models:
* They retain a percentage of the upfront licensing fee from placements
* They retain a percentage of the upfront licensing fee AND a percentage of the public performance royalties
Public performance royalties are the royalties collected by your performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC in the United States) for each public performance of your songs via the radio, tv, streaming services, and in venues such as a restaurants, bars, concert halls, etc.
When a song is placed in a TV show, these royalties add up and become quite lucrative (for example, an episode of a TV show that has licensed your music might air repeatedly, in different markets). With an exclusive administration or publishing deal, that administrator would administer the publisher’s share of public performance royalties (there is also the “writer’s share” of public performance royalties). Similarly, a music library may want to collect a share of your public performance royalties on placements that they get for you.
When you sign a non-exclusive agreement, you may have multiple parties wanting to collect public performance royalties on their specific placements only. The way to achieve this is by registering the song with the performing rights organization under a new title.
For example, let’s say I released a song called “I Love You” (catchy, right?), and I register it with my performing rights organization. I’ve also signed this song to XYZ Licensing Company, a music library. XYZ wants to collect public performance royalties only on a placement they made under a non-exclusive deal. In order to do this, they might register the same song with the performing rights organization as “I Love You_XYZ” and name themselves as the publisher.
Now that you understand why retitling happens, let’s discuss what it actually means for your work as a songwriter. Granted, these are going to be generalizations and all will depend on the terms of your agreement. It usually means that the licensing company collects royalties for those placements in perpetuity (forever). If these royalties are theirs to collect forever, this could impact the value of your publishing catalog in the future, if you enter into a traditional publishing or co-publishing deal.
It also causes confusion for music supervisors, studios, and the performing rights organizations when multiple parties are claiming ownership over the same work, which can often lead to content providers not receiving royalties they’re owed.

3.    Blanket licensing vs. synch fees
One big downside to working with libraries that retitle is that they often don’t advocate and negotiate for synchronization fees.
Traditionally, a licensee (a person wanting to put music in their film, for example) would have to pay an upfront fee to both the master owner (the label or DIY artist usually) and publisher (the publishing company, administrator or DIY writer) to get permission to use the recording synchronized with their audiovisual production. The master owner and publisher aren’t required to grant this license, so the fee is negotiable. Synch fees can range from a couple hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more depending on the placement and notoriety of the recording/artist.
In addition to synch fees, public performance royalties are also generated by synch licenses. If a music library practices retitling, the library will want to license as much music as they can to collect those public performance royalties from the retitled content. Also, negotiating fees for each license per-usage takes time and resources, and, for lesser-known music, the fees may not justify the efforts. As an alternative to per-usage licensing, many music libraries enter into blanket license agreements with studios and production companies.
Blanket license agreements usually include a flat fee (this can be annual, monthly, per project or another variation), or sometimes no fee at all, in exchange for the right to license an unlimited (or a generous amount, at least) of songs from a library’s catalog.
Often the libraries don’t pay the artists who own the songs any share of blanket license fees, even if their songs are placed by that company (I think this is a little sneaky)!
In this instance, libraries may keep 100% of the upfront blanket fees and get tons of their songs placed, generating significant performance royalties. The DIY artist who entered into a deal with such a library may not see any upfront blanket fees, but will receive public performance royalties from each placement. However, they are sharing those royalties with the library and often they’re a lot less than expected – placements that generate smaller amounts of royalties are just bonuses to libraries, because they are placing thousands and thousands of songs, which ultimately generates the bulk of their revenue.

4.    Value your music, and license it accordingly
It makes sense to license certain types of music, like traditional “production music” (i.e., “stock music,” “library music”), under these types of deals. Recently, music libraries have put greater efforts into signing more DIY artists in the hopes of sourcing actual songs as this type of content is considered to be more “valuable” from a synch licensing perspective than production music – there’s greater potential for higher synch fees, branding opportunities, soundtrack options, etc.
If you’re going to work with a music library, make sure that you aren’t obligated to deliver your entire catalog, and then be picky about what you choose to submit. Instrumental versions of songs, particularly of older material, are a great example of content that may be better suited to license to a library. The top three songs off of your upcoming release… probably not. Value your music and be sure to craft a licensing strategy that reflects that value.
 

5.   Limit the number of non-exclusive licensing partners you work with
Non-exclusive deals seem great because they don’t restrict you from entering into other agreements, so why not enter into as many of them as possible and see which ones generate the most opportunities? While this may seem tempting, this approach is bound to backfire. When you have multiple companies representing the same songs, the music supervisors that are looking to license music may actually get pitched the same music (albeit probably under slightly different titles, to differentiate where they came from).
This can get very confusing for a supervisor and also annoying when they have to listen to the same song multiple times, especially if it wasn’t a good fit in the first place. This also is problematic for the licensing company, which is compensated based on the success of its efforts. Tracking where an initial pitch came from can be confusing. Moreover, if a supervisor wants to license your content they may engage all of the companies claiming to represent you and will opt for one that offers the lowest fee – you don’t want your music to undercut itself!
The better approach, if you’re entering into these type of agreements, is to look for different types of licensing partners. You want to make sure you have all potential licensing revenues streams covered, without the companies overlapping too much. For example, you could license your catalog to one library that places production music for TV shows, another that administers micro-licenses for YouTube and web-videos (like CD Baby offers through its partnership with Rumblefish), and another for more traditional placements in film, television and advertisements.

6.    Think about the future
A critical consideration before entering into one of these agreements is how the arrangement might affect future opportunities that cross your path – for example, a traditional publishing or co-publishing agreement, with an advance (upfront money paid to you, in part as an incentive to sign with them).
If you’re in an exclusive agreement already, you will need to terminate that agreement before you can sign a new publishing agreement, even if the deal structure is different. If your existing agreement is non-exclusive, your new agreement will most likely be exclusive, so you’ll still need to terminate the existing agreement.
Termination isn’t always easy. Often, there is a small window every 1-2 years when you can give notice of your intent to terminate, effective as of the end of that year or two year period. So if you’ve missed that window, you have to wait another year or more. Some companies understand when the need to terminate arises and may let you out of the deal early, but it’s best to think of the terms of the agreement as being the rules you’ll have to live by.
Another issue with library agreements with respect to later opportunities is that they may actually discourage future deals. Particularly, as we discussed above in connection with retitling, a lot (and sometimes all!) of your publisher’s share of public performance royalties from these placements will be still collected by and administered by the library. This could potentially reduce the valuation of your catalog for a new publishing deal, which may mean lower advances and less interest.
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Overall, working with libraries can be a great opportunity – if you understand the terms and are selective about what music you submit. But if you sign an agreement without fully understanding the rights you’re giving up, you risk losing money, lowering the value of your music, and missing out on future opportunities.
CD Baby offers music licensing services on very different terms than those that are discussed above. For example, you can cancel licensing services with CD Baby at any time, and CD Baby never retitles or takes a portion of your public performance royalties. CD Baby also administers YouTube licensing, which is outside of the scope of most music library services.
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Wow – We’ve covered a lot here. I know this may be confusing and a ton of information to digest, but DIY artists are actually running a business. Even if you have great legal or other representation, it is important to understand for yourself how your deals are structured and the legal, business, and artistic risks and benefits of entering into them.
© Jennifer Newman Sharpe. All rights reserved. This article contains information for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice.  Any reader of this article who has legal matters involving information addressed in this article should consult with an experienced entertainment attorney.  This article does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader of this article. This article contains no warranties or representations that the information contained herein is true or accurate in all respects or that it is the most current or complete information on the subject matter covered.

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Music Biz Conference https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/interviews/ Mon, 01 May 2017 20:10:50 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7780 The post Music Biz Conference appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Trends in Film TV Music https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/trends-film-tv-music/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:40:30 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=7010 The post Trends in Film TV Music appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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When to Make Money with Christmas Songs https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/when-make-money-christmas-songs/ Sat, 14 Jan 2017 16:56:49 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6982 The post When to Make Money with Christmas Songs appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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in 3:00, Gary tells you the timetable for making money with your Christmas Songs. You don’t start in November, you start now, in January.

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Christmas Music https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/christmas-music/ Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:56:38 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6704 The post Christmas Music appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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how to get cuts Christmas Music

Basics you need to know about getting cuts and placements with your Christmas songs. Christmas is great since it can get used every years for many years… the gift that keeps on giving!

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What Record Labels Look For https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/what-record-labels-look-for/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 17:37:31 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6690 The post What Record Labels Look For appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Scott Bocchetta interview with gary earl

Scott Borchetta, founder and head of one of the planet’s hottest record labels, Big Machine, talks with Gary Earl about what he looks for in an artist. Big Machine is the label of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Steven Tyler, Florida Georgia Line, Cheap Trick, Martina, Reba, Zack Brown Band, and many more.

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Music Super tells you What Film TV needs https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/music-super/ Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:33:38 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6671 The post Music Super tells you What Film TV needs appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Anastasia Brown talks to Gary Earl

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Pitching to Film & TV Music Supers https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/pitching-film-tv-music-supers/ Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:58:40 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6654 The post Pitching to Film & TV Music Supers appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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How to Pitch Your Music to Film & TV Music Supers

Gary Earl Productions video blogging from the recording studio

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5 Cool Guitar Tunings https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/5-cool-guitar-tunings/ Sat, 15 Oct 2016 16:20:33 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6610 The post 5 Cool Guitar Tunings appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Bring some new exciting vibe and creative ideas to your songwriting and playing, as easy as tuning your guitar. You may be shocked at the doors this can open to your creative side.

Gary Earl Productions records your music

5 Cool Guitar Tunings.

Shout out to Ted Drozdowski of Gibson Guitars for info, links and example songs.

• Open G:
Open G (D-G-D-G-B-D)   Open G is used by Sheryl Crow and Keith Richards, whose open G rhythm guitar lays the basis of many of the greatest Rolling Stones hits. “Tumbling Dice” is a great example in the video below. Keith strips that low D string off his guitar, making it easier to rock out. (yes, using only 5 strings. I keep one guitar in this tuning all the time.) Sheryl Crow also used this on many hits.

 

• Double dropped D:
Love this one!  Double dropped D is one serious badass!  Huge, heavy and rumbling — on distorted electric guitar. My favorite example of this is Neil Young’s epic 1969 riffer “Cinnamon Girl.”  strings are tuned to DADGBD

 

• Open D: Open D (D-A-D-F#-A-D), common in Delta blues and swamp rockers like John Fogerty. Easy to get full rich chords — just lay a finger straight across the strings anywhere and you’ve got a big chord — and that low D string resonates deep, creating a heavy moody sound. Check out Fogerty’s Bad Moon Rising, Proud Mary and more.

• Open A:
Open D and open G are low-voiced tunings for heavy meaty sounds, but Open A (E-A-E-A-C#-E) gets into a higher vibe. This is for the kind of singing open voicings like Johnny Winter and Jimmy Page used, including Page’s playing on Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”.

• Open C:
For a pretty, shimmering ringing tone, think Open C (C-G-C-G-C-E) It’s cool on acoustic and 12-string guitars. Listen to Mumford & Sons “Little Lion Man,” for this chiming guitar sound.

Thanks to Ted Drozdowski of Gibson Guitars for the links and example songs. The G FORCE™ system found on the majority of 2015 Gibson USA models lets you quickly switch between different tunings in a flash.

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6 Things You Must Know to Get Film TV Cuts https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/6-things-must-know-get-film-tv-music-cuts/ Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:27:53 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6514 The post 6 Things You Must Know to Get Film TV Cuts appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Film TV Music is hot now. With hundreds of networks, and thousands of shows, there is an increasing need for new and quality music. Is Your Music ready for cuts and placements?

1) Write What They’re Looking For.

Though music supervisors look for music of all types, 3 of the most used styles of music tend to be:
•  Pop and Pop Dance  (country is only about 6% of music used.)
•  Alternative &  Indie (from singer/songwriter to bands like “21 Pilots”)
•  Non-explicit Hip Hop. Basketball games, sports shows, video games all want hip hop with rapping, but they need it clean.

2) Production Matters.  

There is a big difference in “demo” and “master” quality. Music supervisors only choose “master quality” recordings, and these can be home recorded, but must have a quality pro mix.  They frequently ask for songs with fresh, unique instrumentation and arrangements beyond the traditional basic guitar, bass, and drums. Additionally, they rarely choose songs where the vocalist has a strong accent, unless they’re looking for something very specific (like a swamp song for True Blood). If you’re no instrumental savant, that’s okay! Find a great producer who can give your song the most current sound, and be sure to specify that you want master quality recordings and a singer with no identifiable accent. That way, your song has the widest range possible for use in different markets.  What would make your music broadcast ready?  A better mix, adding instruments, pro singer?

3) Be Positive.

Music supers (especially those for major networks and those in advertising) constantly need positive, uptempo songs with simple, happy, optimistic lyrics. The next time you’re watching TV, pay attention to the commercials for companies like Target, JC Penney, Coca Cola, or AT&T. Listen to the music – it’s almost invariably simple, happy, uptempo songs.   That being said, there is a current trend hitting of “dark, moody” cover songs that many Indie artists are cashing in on. But don’t submit a cover song unless they’re asking for cover songs.

4) Let Your Emotions Rule.

When writing lyrics for film/TV, aim for lyrics with general emotional content as opposed to detailed imagery and evolving storyline. For example: if the scene is a montage of a couple walking on the beach, snuggling in front of a fire, kissing, then supers will choose a song with lyrics like “I’m so in love, feel so wonderful” before choosing “We’re gonna get married and have 3.5 kids and live in a log cabin in the mountains” because the second lyric describes an action that isn’t occurring onscreen.  Are your lyrics emotion based rather than story based?

5) Metadata is Your Best Friend.

One of the most important things in pitching to Film/TV is making sure you encode the mp3 you pitch with your contact info in the metadata. Sounds complicated, but it’s easy. I’d recommend using iTunes, mostly because the dozen supers I know all use iTunes as their library. Using a different program may show up differently in their iTunes and not show all the info needed. If you’re unfamiliar with this here’s a walk through video on metadata…. (probably my next blog:)  Next to your name (or the name of the artist), add your phone number so that the music supers know where to reach you. Additionally, include your PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc) and be sure it says “pre-cleared” (see Tip 6 for info).  You’ll want to list the BPM, the genre, the percentage split between writers, your co-writers PRO, etc.  You can also put artwork on the mp3 and I would advise doing that. Your lyrics also can go on the mp3 using iTunes.   Very important point, don’t overlook doing metadata right!

6) Be Prepared, Be Low Maintenance.

Music supervisors are often on a short time schedule and make quick decisions and will always choose a song that is pre-cleared for Film/TV. If you plan to pitch a song for placement in commercials, movies, or TV shows, make sure you get a Film/TV license from the producer. With most studios, it usually adds a little extra to your production cost, but it’s well worth it to be able to tell an interested super that it’s ready for placement and can be used right away without the time delays of gathering additional paperwork. That is almost ALWAYS a DEAL-BREAKER, and may also be the end of your relationship with that super. Everything song we do at Gary Earl Productions is cleared for film, tv, video gaming, commercials, etc… As far as I know, we were the first studio ever doing this in Nashville, with a long history of success.

*Remember! These are guidelines. If you think you have a song that could be a good Film/TV pitch but aren’t sure where it would fit, Gary does independent song evaluations and mentoring. Click here to get more info.   Also remember we specialize in pre-cleared broadcast quality masters for writers wishing to pitch their songs directly to film/tv.

Click here for more info on Film TV Music

Click Here for an hour long film tv music seminar on video

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Vibe & Great Performances https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/vibe-great-performances/ Sat, 20 Aug 2016 16:43:37 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6138 The post Vibe & Great Performances appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Going Old School with Toto stems….  Got all the pops and clicks and hiss out?  Let’s focus on what’s really important, great vibe, great musicianship, great performance. We’re going old school with Toto stems….   best, gary earl

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How To Make A Create Space https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/how-to-make-creative-space/ Sat, 13 Aug 2016 21:44:37 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6115 The post How To Make A Create Space appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Your Music Space Look Like This?

Or This?

You’re in the shower and the BEST musical idea ever pops into your head. Before you can get it down, it’s gone. Happens to all of us. What’s even MORE frustrating to me is when you’re in Your Own Music Space or Studio and still can’t easily throw down that idea. Does your music space make it easy to be creative? Here’s 3 quick ideas that I found keep my space easy to roll whenever creativity strikes.

  1. Keep Everything Within Reach. Computer, pre-amps, power conditioner, headphones, headphone amp, K/A converter, junk drawer, controller/console, small keyboard controller, remote lighting controller (hey! – club lighting is de rigor), drink holder (where it can’t spill on equipment), dog (sleeps under the desk 🙂
  2. Get a Good Chair.  One with arms that swing out of the way if you’re a guitar player, and one with plenty of adjustments. If you spend several hours at a time in the chair, consider open webbing that breathes, you won’t be sorry.
  3. Back Up Every Song and every Session on a Different Drive. There’s an old tech adage – “If it doesn’t exist in 2 places, it doesn’t exist.” Flash drives and hard drives are cheap – re-doing an entire session of musicians is not. My first trip to Los Angeles one of the tracks got corrupted before the vocal got on it, but after the musicians had left. A diligent engineer stayed late and edited the song to save it, and the singer, who had just signed a deal with Sony that afternoon, came back late to sing it. Great guys saved the day, but a quick one minute backup after the session would have avoided hours of trouble and potential disaster for all of us.

How about You? What helps you stay organized and more productive in your music space? Let us know your ideas.

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How To Get What You Want (2) https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/get-want-2/ Tue, 09 Aug 2016 18:59:17 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6100 The post How To Get What You Want (2) appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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How to Get What You Want, 2nd half video. I had such a great response to part one, with several emails saying they couldn’t wait and needed the rest of the steps – so here it is, steps 2-4. Simple, yes, but I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it can be done.  Once again, these ideas are distilled from the teachings of Tony Robbins, the world’s foremost motivational speaker. Check out his books, audio books, courses, and free podcast, the man is amazing.   best, gary earl

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How To Get What You Want https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/how-to-get-what-you-want/ Sat, 06 Aug 2016 18:10:26 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=6084 The post How To Get What You Want appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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We go along day to day on autopilot, which is fine if we’re getting everything we want out of our life. How to shake things up, re-chart your direction and get what you want? Here it its, in 3 two minute videos. Simple, yes, but I’m not saying it’s easy. Doable, yes, it’s never too late to get what you want out of life.

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Your Singing Foundation: Breath and Support https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/your-singing-foundation-breath-and-support-2/ Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:46:44 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/2016/07/28/your-singing-foundation-breath-and-support-2/ By Robin Earl Think of your ‘breathing and support’ as your foundation for singing. Just as a house has a foundation which gives stability to everything ‘above,’ your breath and...

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By Robin Earl

image

Think of your ‘breathing and support’ as your foundation for singing. Just as a house has a foundation which gives stability to everything ‘above,’ your breath and support foundation will give stability to everything ‘above.’

Everything else will be able to line up above this foundation. As you master projection, placement, range, mouth shape, pronunciation, vibrato, etc., you will sing ‘supported,’ and not ‘from the neck up.’ If you sing from the neck up, and then learn to sing with ‘support,’ you will wonder how you ever did it the other way!!

As you fine-tune the toning and conditioning of the support (core) muscles and fine-tune your breathing for maximum efficiency, getting the support and breathing working together in a strong and coordinated way will make your singing easier, relaxed, flowing, because your foundation is there. It allows you to relax the throat muscles when the core muscles do their job.

A couple of ideas to get started:

1) Breathing — inhale, expand your ribcage out, all the way around, including the back. Allow your lungs to fill downward, like a balloon, not lifting the chest up. Then exhale, bringing the lungs in and up.

2) Support — realize your ribcage is flexible (to expand out of the way of the lungs, as well as protecting the lungs). The intercostal muscles will become efficient as you work on the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Feel your ribcage with your hands — feel it expand wide (and to the back) then contract as the lungs become more empty. Try to increase the expansion and contraction slowly, becoming more full and more empty each time.

How do you keep on top of your singing? If you need help with vocal issues or physical energy issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

 

Connect with me!

Twitter | Facebook |
Email

VoiceCoachRobin.com

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Gary’s 3 Rules https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/garys-3-rules/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 15:41:42 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=5695 The post Gary’s 3 Rules appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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1. Win the battle in your own mind first:  Surround yourself with friends who share a similar vision and avoid those with a negative attitude. Know that you can persist no matter what it takes. When I left Kansas, a friend told me I was just a church pianist and not a Vegas singer. A few years later, I had sung and played every room in Reno, Tahoe, and most in Vegas. When I left to go to LA to be a songwriter, musician friends said “you’re just a musician, you’ll never make it as a writer.” It wasn’t easy, at one point I slept in the back of my pickup at Hollywood and Vine. Now, 100 cuts later with Grammy noms, I don’t hear much from them.

2. Rewards often follow Risk:  Be prepared to risk all you have to survive in the beginning. Success comes to those who shape their willpower to face the unknown along the way.

3. Identify your Niche:  If competition is tough, and it is in music, you have to stand out with unique songs and artistry to gain a competitive advantage. For example, there is a guy going through TAXI that does Latin music. He’s from a European ancestry, but he studies and understands Latin music enough to do it right and can communicate well with the Film/TV supers so he is a go­­-to guy for Mexican music.  Another example is Diane Warren, with many #1 songs to her credit. Her dad gave her one year to make it happen, so she was out every night getting to know local bands, and co-wrote with as many as she could. One broke through and the rest is history.

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What Music is Trending in Every Country? https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/music-trending-every-country/ Sat, 23 Jul 2016 14:54:14 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=5678 The post What Music is Trending in Every Country? appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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world music

Trying to write, play & record a French pop song for Taxi? Need to study Cuban music for a songwriting opportunity, or to mix a Cuban band? In 2:00 Gary tells you how to quickly and easily study trending music in every country in the world.

See us for all your recording, mixing and mastering needs. Trusted by Warner Bros. Disney and Sony.

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Is Garage Band Professional? https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/is-garageband-professional/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 16:10:59 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=5623 The post Is Garage Band Professional? appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Question from a client: Is Garage Band Professional?  Check out these major artists who use Garage Band, some on smash hits, some during demoing.

Rihanna’s smash hit “Umbrella”. (Play “Vintage Funk Kit 03” loop at 90bpm)
UsherTrent Reznor – Best Score Oscar Winner & Nine Inch Nails • Seal “Kiss From A Rose” • Kate NashLimp BizkitFall Out Boy • Panic At the Disco!  • Courtney Love • T-Pain’s hit “I’m N Luv” • OasisSnow PatrolJames Blunt

None were mixed on Garage Band. They would record tracks on garage band, and then send to a professional mixer to get CD or broadcast quality.  Below you can listen to Eugenia Johnson’s great song “Gas Me Up”. She recorded on Garage Band, some of it using loops, then sent to me to mix and add the pro vocal. It found a home on a Southern Californian Car Talk Radio Show.  🙂     See you in the studio!    producer/mixer Gary Earl.

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Meditation https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/great-meditation-tip-for-singers-as-well-as/ Sat, 16 Jul 2016 14:49:59 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/2016/07/16/great-meditation-tip-for-singers-as-well-as/ Great meditation tip for singers (as well as everyone else) to handle stress, stage fright, or being overwhelmed. How can you use meditation to help your singing? (Source: https://www.facebook.com/)

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Great meditation tip for singers (as well as everyone else) to handle stress, stage fright, or being overwhelmed.

How can you use meditation to help your singing?

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I Was a 3-Year-Old Swimmer… https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/i-was-a-3-year-old-swimmer/ Fri, 15 Jul 2016 17:18:36 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/?p=5618 I was a 3-year-old swimmer… She made an impression on me. Margie Cranston was my swim teacher and my first teacher. I remember her classes so well. Her swimming class...

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I was a 3-year-old swimmer…

She made an impression on me. Margie Cranston was my swim teacher and my first teacher. I remember her classes so well. Her swimming class was so much fun! And beyond all my years of singing training, wind instrument training, and yoga training, I still remember Margie’s breathing exercises for swimming.

Margie had us hold on to the side of the pool with both hands, put our faces in the water, then roll our head to the side, keeping our left ear in the water. Inhale, head turns to the side—inhale through nose and mouth. Then exhale into the water—exhale through nose and mouth. Again and again, inhaling with head to the side, nose and mouth, and exhaling blowing bubbles into the water, so the bubbles came out of your nose and mouth on the exhale.

I still think about this type of breathing with singing. Leaving the nose and mouth open for the inhale, and open for the exhale as well. Some college teachers use the ‘pant like a dog’ exercise, which works great too, to keep everything open.

A few years ago I thought I’d test out Margie’s method in the pool. I tried swimming just inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose while doing a lap of freestyle. Then just inhaling through the mouth and exhaling through the mouth. Neither really worked, and it actually slowed down my speed.

I worked with a singer a few years back who inhaled just through her nose, and exhaled through her mouth. It was not too efficient, as she had to close her mouth, or put her tongue on the roof of her mouth to inhale for every breath, then switch each time to exhale. It’s a lot of excess motion, which is really too time-consuming to do while singing, and too inefficient to do for each line of a song. Singers who shut down their nose and breathe just through the mouth while singing get a closed or nasally sound, and have trouble accessing their high range much.

So to be a speed swimmer and an efficient singer, keep everything open and free when you sing. Do you have another way of thinking about your inhale and exhale for efficient breathing?

-Robin Earl

 

Connect with me!

Twitter | Facebook | Email

VoiceCoachRobin.com

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So You Think Your Song Can Touch My Heart? https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/touch-my-heart/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 21:04:39 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=5487 The post So You Think Your Song Can Touch My Heart? appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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touch my heart? songwriting blog of recording studio producer gary earl

Years ago, I interned with a famous songwriter. After a week or so, I politely asked if he’d listen to one of my songs. I said, “It’s supposed to touch your heart.”  He looked at me quizzically and said “Touch my heart? That won’t get you a cut. You get cuts when your song thrusts it’s angry fist deep into someone’s chest, rips the heart right out, throws it on the ground, and stomps it into tiny pieces. Just keep it real, and that’s how you get cuts.”  Now a hundred cuts later, I realize just what a difference that one piece of advice made in my career.  Miss you Joel – R.I.P. buddy, you touched my heart and made a difference in my life.

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How Videos Can Help with Staging https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/how-videos-can-help-with-staging/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 20:33:03 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/?p=5619 By Robin Earl I focused with a singer on staging today. She wanted to express the emotion of her song, and have the emotion show through her face and body...

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By Robin Earl

I focused with a singer on staging today. She wanted to express the emotion of her song, and have the emotion show through her face and body movements as well as her voice.

We focused on arm/body movements for her slower emotional song. The song brought to mind the nice job Sarah McLachlan does on “I Love You,” so we watched that video, in which Sarah gets lost in the emotion of the song, while still connecting, has a nice flow of arm movement which matches the words and flow of the song;  and you can see the emotion of the song in her facial expressions and body movement, so the whole thing worked as a good performance.

Videos can be a big help in giving examples of various concepts for singers

 

Connect with me!

Twitter | Facebook | Email

VoiceCoachRobin.com

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Vocal Projection Tip https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/vocal-projection-tip/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 20:30:07 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/?p=5620 By Robin Earl Sometimes singers create a problem by singing too quietly when they are singing with a mic onstage, resulting in loss of power and focus. This is often...

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By Robin Earl

Sometimes singers create a problem by singing too quietly when they are singing with a mic onstage, resulting in loss of power and focus.

This is often caused by singing ‘to’ the mic instead of ‘to’ the audience. When you sing to the audience, instead of to the mic, it maintains the projection and support involved in singing to ‘people at a distance.’ It helps maintain the emotional connection with the audience, as well.

Volumes can be coordinated with the person running the sound so the singer can do their job of giving a good performance. The idea is to sing ‘past’ the mic, and let the mic capture and amplify the voice through the sound system.

 

Connect with me!

Twitter | Facebook |
Email

VoiceCoachRobin.com

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The Guy You Keep Locked in Your Closet https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/guy-keep-locked-closet/ Tue, 05 Jul 2016 14:38:36 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=5464 The post The Guy You Keep Locked in Your Closet appeared first on Gary Earl Productions - Sync Music.

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Songwriting tip by Gary Earl of Recording Studio B.com

The Guy You Keep Locked in Your Closet
Writer’s Block. We’ve all heard of it, and most of us have struggled with it at one time or another. I’m fortunate to have never had a problem with it, and here is the reason why:
My family trained dogs when I was growing up, and I noticed early on that dogs that got hit a lot stopped approaching their masters with the same enthusiasm. The same thing happens between your right brain and left brain. Your creative side unveils a new labor of love, and if you allow your analytical side to immediately criticize it – then pretty soon your creative side blocks up, deciding it’s just too painful to go through that anymore.
So when you’re in the middle of creating, keep that critical voice locked away in a closet until your creative side is done. Later, perhaps the next morning, you can let that critical voice come out and judge your work. At that point it can be very helpful, but make sure that it isn’t allowed to stand over your creative side and whack it every time something new comes out.
Write on, & come record with us!
Gary
GaryEarl.com
RecordingStudioB.com

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5 Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Energy https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/5-ways-to-turbo-charge-your-energy/ Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:04:42 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/2016/06/30/5-ways-to-turbo-charge-your-energy/ 5 Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Energy

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5 Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Energy

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Your Singing Foundation: Breath and Support https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/your-singing-foundation-breath-and-support/ Wed, 08 Jun 2016 23:49:51 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=4799 By Robin Earl Think of your ‘breathing and support’ as your foundation for singing. Just as a house has a foundation which gives stability to everything ‘above,’ your breath and...

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By Robin Earl

Think of your ‘breathing and support’ as your foundation for singing. Just as a house has a foundation which gives stability to everything ‘above,’ your breath and support foundation will give stability to everything ‘above.’

Everything else will be able to line up above this foundation. As you master projection, placement, range, mouth shape, pronunciation, vibrato, etc., you will sing ‘supported,’ and not ‘from the neck up.’ If you sing from the neck up, and then learn to sing with ‘support,’ you will wonder how you ever did it the other way!!

As you fine-tune the toning and conditioning of the support (core) muscles and fine-tune your breathing for maximum efficiency, getting the support and breathing working together in a strong and coordinated way will make your singing easier, relaxed, flowing, because your foundation is there. It allows you to relax the throat muscles when the core muscles do their job.

A couple of ideas to get started:

1) Breathing — inhale, expand your ribcage out, all the way around, including the back. Allow your lungs to fill downward, like a balloon, not lifting the chest up. Then exhale, bringing the lungs in and up.

2) Support — realize your ribcage is flexible (to expand out of the way of the lungs, as well as protecting the lungs). The intercostal muscles will become efficient as you work on the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Feel your ribcage with your hands — feel it expand wide (and to the back) then contract as the lungs become more empty. Try to increase the expansion and contraction slowly, becoming more full and more empty each time.

How do you keep on top of your singing?  If you need help with vocal issues or physical energy issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

https://www.garyearl.com/welcome/voice/

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Fame Music Internet Radio Station, Johannesburg https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/fame-music-internet-radio-station-johannesburg/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 21:51:58 +0000 https://voicecoachrobin.com/2016/06/06/fame-music-internet-radio-station-johannesburg/ Fame Music Internet Radio Station, Johannesburg I had a great time yesterday chatting with Georg Hegelmann‎ & Rebecca Hosking from Fame Music Radio on #TheRendezvousShow! Tune in to the rebroadcast...

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Fame Music Internet Radio Station, Johannesburg

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‘Box’ for Delivering Songs https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/box-for-delivering-songs/ Wed, 20 Apr 2016 16:38:56 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/box-for-delivering-songs/   By Gary Earl Last week, I talked about industry protocols for delivering song files to a mixer. Box is an easy way to deliver those songs. What is Box?...

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By Gary Earl

Last week, I talked about industry protocols for delivering song files to a mixer. Box is an easy way to deliver those songs.

What is Box?

I’ve been using Dropbox for a long time, but in the past year I started using Box.

I know many publishers and film supervisors request Box instead of Dropbox because songs can be previewed and listened to without having to be downloaded first, as is the case with Dropbox.

Perhaps even more importantly is Box was designed specifically to be great on mobile phones and iPads – where most of the action is these days.  Finally, Box gives you almost double the storage size in their free account.

There are many other ways of delivering files… which ways do you prefer?

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How to Deliver Song Files to a Mixer https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/how-to-deliver-song-files-to-a-mixer/ Sat, 09 Apr 2016 17:08:01 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/how-to-deliver-song-files-to-a-mixer/ By Gary Earl There are many platforms people record on these days and with digital it is usual for a writer or studio to send the digital files out to...

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By Gary Earl

There are many platforms people record on these days and with digital it is usual for a writer or studio to send the digital files out to a mixer.

There is an industry standard protocol put in place by the P&E Wing of the Grammys (Producers and Engineers), at the request of the major record labels, that will ensure that they get there in a usable form. Back in earlier days, with older versions of Pro Tools, recording engineers would just send a Pro Tools file, which marked where every punch-in and separate file sat on the track line. But today, since many different versions of Pro Tools don’t even play nicely with each other, and don’t work at all with other DAWs, this can result in an unusable file.

Regardless of whether you use Logic, Pro Tools, Nuendo, Cubase, etc, all files must start at measure zero or measure one, and only one file per track. So if you have 6 separate little punch-ins on a track, you must play it down to merge all of them into 1 file, starting at measure 0 or 1. Doing this ensures that every set of files from every studio can be used at any other studio or mixing engineer’s place.  🙂

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Success in Music with Ten Tips https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/success-in-music-with-ten-tips/ Wed, 23 Mar 2016 16:29:18 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/success-in-music-with-ten-tips/ By Gary Earl  (Adapted from Shilpan Patel of Success Soul) 1. Win the battle in your own mind first:  Surround yourself with family and friends who share a similar vision...

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By Gary Earl  (Adapted from Shilpan Patel of Success Soul)

1. Win the battle in your own mind first:  Surround yourself with family and friends who share a similar vision and avoid those who have a negative attitude. Before you win the fierce battle with your competitors, make sure you’ve won battle with your own mind to persist no matter what it takes. When I left Kansas, friends told me I was just a church organist and not a Vegas singer. After nine years, I had sung and played every room in Reno, Tahoe, and most in Vegas. When I left to go to LA to write, musician friends said “you’re just a musician, you’ll never make it as a writer.” Now, 100 cuts later with Grammy noms and a Kennedy Center Music Award, I don’t hear much from them.

2. Risk is rewarding:  Business involves extensive risk including preparedness to risk all you have to survive in the beginning. Be prepared to survive by taking cash advances on your credit card when times get tough. Challenges will shape your will and power to stay on the course and to sacrifice all you have to succeed. Success comes to those in business who possess intrepid minds to face the unknown along the way. Many, if not most, millionaires have declared bankruptcy more than once along the way.

3. Have a plan… a solid plan:  It’s mind boggling that many businesses are being launched on a whim. While dreaming to achieve financial freedom is laudable, diving into an ocean without knowing how to swim equally abhors. Find what inspires you most without obsessing on the profit potential of the idea. Studying the competition and preparing cash flow analysis are key steps to understanding the risks involved. You’re making art­­, but you must be making money making art.

4. Identify your Niche:  If competition is fierce, you have to stand out with a unique service/product to gain a competitive advantage. A unique service becomes your trademark in the niche you serve. For example, there is a guy going through TAXI that does Latin music. He’s white, not Mexican, but he knows and understands it enough to do it right and can communicate well with the Film/TV supers so he is the go­­-to guy for Mexican music.

5. Success in business requires investing in the success of your customers:  Try to give customers superior service to exceed their needs. It comes full-circle with a superior return on your investment (ROI) as a repetitive sale requires lot less effort than earning a new sale.

6. Be decisive, go with your gut:  Embarking on a business preludes the burden of being responsible to take decisions and being confident to face the outcomes later on. You have no boss to ask for a second opinion. You have to call the shots and feel comfortable with making split-­second decisions sometimes on the facts available and sometimes solely on your gut feeling.

7. Possess the will of an iron:  As an old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” This mantra conveys a powerful message. Despite all of your plans to avoid challenges, you’ll be thrown into the tug-­of-war between your will power and intense difficulties at some point in your business. Try to remember what inspired you to embark on this journey to begin with. If going back to trade your time for money is not an option, remind yourself that the only option left is to succeed. Visualize the benefits that you’ll receive at the onset of success rather than to dwell on the fear of failure by feeling confident that success is soon to arrive. Look at the half­-full side of the glass by identifying opportunities that lie amid all of the challenges that you face.

8. Hire the best talent:  Hire employees who embrace your vision for your business. Motivated employees can always go for an extra mile with their burning desire to succeed in their own career. Collectively, a mass of motivated and bright employees can create an accentuating force to take off your business success.

9. Be smart with your money:  When it comes to money management, never leave it to others. You’ll be a schmuck if you get so busy that you do not have time to look at the ways to increase your top line or sales and to decrease your bottom line or the expenses. Make a constant, conscious effort to focus on increasing sales and decreasing expenses with a frugal mind. This is a difficult one for musicians and writers.

10. Be transparent:  Honesty and integrity are two wheels of the virtues of success. Always be candid with your customers. Have an honest and accountable conversation with your customer so that they understand your goals and efforts needed to achieve those goals. By openness, you’ll find an incredible force of loyalty to work against all the odds to take your business to the peaks of success.

Write on,

Gary

GaryEarlProductions.com

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Understanding Copyright Basics https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/understanding-copyright-basics/ Thu, 03 Mar 2016 21:52:46 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/understanding-copyright-basics/ By Gary Earl The basics of Copyright law are simple. Armed with some simple principles, you can understand just what is covered and what isn’t, and hopefully save yourself potential...

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By Gary Earl

The basics of Copyright law are simple. Armed with some simple principles, you can understand just what is covered and what isn’t, and hopefully save yourself potential trouble and money. The following info is quoted from WikiHow.com.

1. Understand the scope of copyright law. It does protect literary works, paintings, photographs, drawings, films, music (and its lyrics), sculptures and many other things. Except in literary fiction, it does not protect the underlying ideas, and it does not protect facts. For example, copyright doesn’t prevent you using ideas and facts found in a book or journal you read, though common courtesy requires that you attribute the original authors.

2. It doesn’t need the symbol © to be copyrighted. Understand that nearly everything on the Internet, and everywhere else, is copyrighted, by default. “I found it on the Internet” is not a defense against copyright infringement; works on the Internet are as copyrightable as any other kind of work. Nor is “it didn’t say it was copyrighted.” In nearly all jurisdictions (including the United  States, and all other Berne Convention signatories), it is not necessary for a work to have an explicit copyright notice for it to be copyrighted. It is also not necessary for copyright in a work to be registered; this simply makes it easier to be compensated in court. Without an explicit dedication to the public domain, assume that it is still under copyright. There is a quirk in the United States’ implementation of the Berne Convention: works first published before 1978 without a copyright notice may be public domain in the United States.

3. Understand the difference between copyrights, trademarks, and other forms of “intellectual property.” The term “intellectual property” itself, and the kind of thinking it encourages, has led to these very different things being confused with each other. Trademarks forbid using certain words, marks, symbols, and so on within certain contexts, to protect consumers from misrepresentation. Copyright would not prevent you from, for example, writing some new text editor software and calling it “Microsoft Text Editor”, but trademark law would.

4. Understand that one does not get a copyright without some creativity. If you ever wonder whether a certain action would infringe on the copyright of someone else, the question to ask is: is this a creative work on my count, or am I simply drawing from the creativity of someone else? Lunches, as any economist would tell you, are not free. Some examples: a new copyright over anything. You cannot scan a photograph from, say, a magazine and then put it on the Internet; the copyright would still reside with the author of the work. The flip-side of this is that scanning a work which is in the public domain would not, in many jurisdictions, give you the copyright over the resulting scan. This does not generate a new copyright. This would be a derivative work of the video or computer program. For example, a plain text logo in a generic font. Neither are simple geometric shapes. But don’t rely on this unless you are certain.

5. Learn about the public domain laws for your jurisdiction. “Public domain” is short-hand for “uncopyrighted”, not “publicly distributed”. A work can be out of copyright due to age, by the nature of authorship, or other reasons. In the United States, all works authored by a federal government (but not state government!) employee during the course of their official duties are public domain, as are all works published before 1923. Works first created in the European Union will usually be copyrighted until 70 years after the death of the author.

6. Understand what “fair use” is, and what it isn’t. Called “fair dealing” in many jurisdictions, fair use is simply a guarantee that copyright laws do not infringe freedom of speech and make critical commentary impossible. It permits, for example, limited quoting of copyrighted material. In some jurisdictions, it would allow creating a copy for personal use (such as a backup). It is not a blank cheque granting you a right to do anything at all and call it “fair use.” Fair use is an extremely complex body of case law; it is often very difficult for non-lawyers to tell in advance whether or not a certain use will be considered fair use in court. If in doubt, seek permission first.

7. Understand the law about derivative works as pertains to fiction. It was said above that “ideas cannot be copyrighted.” This is not entirely true; fictional characters, story-lines, and settings can be copyrighted. This means that fan-fiction, drawings of characters from copyrighted works, and so on are all technically copyright infringements. Sometimes copyright holders turn a blind eye to this sort of thing, but unless it has been explicitly authorised, don’t count on this being the case.

Write on,

Gary Earl

garyearl.com

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@GaryEarlProd

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Power Lift, Power Sing! https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/power-lift-power-sing-2/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 18:47:23 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/power-lift-power-sing-2/ By Robin Earl Many of you know I equate breathing for singing with breathing for sports… Here’s a new one: I had a voice coaching session this week with a...

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By Robin Earl

Many of you know I equate breathing for singing with breathing for sports… Here’s a new one:

I had a voice coaching session this week with a country singer who plays the Nashville downtown clubs, and sings for long hours. He was having trouble with breathing, running out of air, and general throat tension.

First, we practiced ‘Back Breathing.’ He hadn’t felt or noticed or felt that sensation of the lower lungs filling up before. (You can try it by leaning over and putting your hands on your lower back, feeling the expansion of your lower lungs as you inhale deeply.)

When I asked about physical activity and learned he lifts weights, we used that knowledge of breathing he had in his lifting to apply to his singing.

We did some imaginary ‘lifting’ with proper breathing, then felt the same support ‘work’ in his singing. His resonance, forward focus, and power improved dramatically just by that awareness and core muscle support of his tone. So did his flow, enunciation, and confidence, and the chorus he had been struggling with came out so easily.

Coincidentally, I’ve worked with three singers this week who have weightlifting as their main exercise, and the imaginary lift has been a great way to engage the breath for efficient singing. I’ve tried it with some non-lifters too!

robinearl.com

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@robinearlvoice

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Hooking Your Listeners https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/hooking-your-listeners/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 18:41:32 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/hooking-your-listeners/ By Gary Earl Ever had anyone tell you your song is good, but just not quite “fresh enough,” or unique? There is an infamous quote that states “everything has already...

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By Gary Earl

Ever had anyone tell you your song is good, but just not quite “fresh enough,” or unique?

There is an infamous quote that states “everything has already been said…” Well, that may be true about ideas ­after all, what can you say about love that hasn’t already been said… but you can always put a new angle or spin on it. Here are a couple of ideas about how to go about hooking your listeners in with new angles and spins in your lyric writing:

1) Use Other People’s Personal Brands: Chevy might frown on your using their name in a song about jobs going across the border (I know, I tried it), but the personal brands of famous people are usually fair game. Example, Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw.” When I first saw the title, I wanted to hear the whole song. Or how about Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen?” Immediately you knew what the song was about—

the attitude, the glamour, all of it built right into the name.

2) Cultural Idioms, Folkisms and Colloquialisms: Every culture’s collective psychology is full of these, and they not only add color, but usually humor to your writing. This can be particularly useful in country music, where wit and irony are routinely welcomed with open arms.

Now don’t just sit there like a frog on a log, go write a hit song!

Write on,

GaryEarl.com

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Give it your best shot with a ‘Vocal Producer’ on your recordings https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/give-it-your-best-shot-with-a-vocal-producer-on/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 18:34:01 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/?p=4800 When you watch the Olympics, the athletes’ coaches are pretty visible, and create a powerful team with the athlete. The same is true with pro sports: football, basketball, baseball, hockey,...

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When you watch the Olympics, the athletes’ coaches are pretty visible, and create a powerful team with the athlete. The same is true with pro sports: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer… The coaches are such a key component.

The higher the stakes, and the higher up you go, the more this bond is necessary. A tennis player can have a good time at tennis without an instructor, but probably won’t become pro or get to Wimbledon.

Many singers have had the experience of going into the recording studio without a vocal producer or coach guiding and assisting them. They may have been happy with their final recording, but frequently that’s not the case.

The guidance is the same with vocals as with sports. The vocal producer’s role is to assist and facilitate the singer during recording, so they have their best performance as the outcome. And some singers are ‘pro’ at singing on stage, but may not have that day in and day out recording studio experience.

Working with your vocal producer/coach on your recording will let you relax or get energized, so you can focus on your performance. You have your support person there to make sure every line is clean, the mood and energy of the song is captured, words are well pronounced— and for any problem high notes or difficult lines, your coach is there to help you in the moment with the issues at hand. This peace of mind that the recording is going to turn out well, and in a timely way, is so valuable.

Just like in sports, the high dollar singers rely on good coaching all the more. A few years ago, I read an article on Rihanna’s single that had just come out… The record producer made $18,000 per song on the project, and the vocal producer made $20,000 per song. By nature of the performance, sports coaches are more visible and high profile than singing coaches, but the function is largely the same. Teaching, technique, strategy, motivation, attention to detail, reminding of concepts that work, peace of mind.

All these are benefits to having a vocal producer as part of your studio team.  The vocal recording will usually go quicker, easier, and make for better comping/editing/tuning decisions. However, some engineers are good at multitasking, and some singers may not need or want assistance, so go with what works in your situation.

If you are in an area where you don’t have access to a vocal producer for your session, the next best thing is to work with a coach over Skype on the song before you record it. I frequently work with artists who live out of town or out of the country on their songs before they come to record

Try to work with a coach on your material, there are lots of qualified vocal coaches. And please keep me in mind if you need coaching/production on your next recording session, or for preparation ahead of time in Nashville or via Skype!

By the way, you can hire me, Robin Earl, to work with you on your next recording session or to prepare for a tour! I’ve worked with hundreds of people in Nashville and worldwide to help them become the best singers they can be by targeting specific issues in breathing, posture, and technique. I’ll meet with you in the studio or over Skype to quickly identify the problem and give you fast, workable solutions to improve your singing. Let me work with you so that you can do what you do best – express and communicate your music with your fans.

For more information and samples of my vocal production, please visit

garyearlproductions.com.

 

Connect with me on social media!

robinearl.com

facebook.com/robinearl

facebook.com/robinearlvoicecoach

@robinearlvoice

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Love from a Different Angle https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/love-from-a-different-angle/ Wed, 17 Feb 2016 20:40:39 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/love-from-a-different-angle/ By Gary Earl I remember arriving in Nashville for the first time, sitting in ASCAP with a rep, eager to show her my song that I knew was a big...

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By Gary Earl

I remember arriving in Nashville for the first time, sitting in ASCAP with a rep, eager to show her my song that I knew was a big hit. (So clever, I thought.) She glanced at the lyric sheet, (Title: “That’s All She Wrote”) then brought her computer screen around to show me 300 other songs also titled “That’s All She Wrote.” And those were just the ones registered! She said, “It is well written, but every writer in town has a song with that hook. Most Publishers have a couple.”

So I showed her my second best song: “Don’t Hold Back.” Yep, same problem. Now that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a hit next year titled “Don’t Hold Back,” but if there is, odds are it will be written or co­-written by the artist, who already has a huge fan base that will buy anything they put out. But for outside writers like you & me? Hard to get anyone excited about listening to that title. We need to be more “fresh,” or “unique.” We need titles that make the listener compelled to hear where we went with that idea, how we handled it, etc.

So look at love from a different angle, a different view, come up with something that makes your friends WANT to hear it. “Our Song,” “That’s What You Get,” “October, First Account,” “Green Light,” “Free Fallin.’” Those songs are out there on the charts now, and with some of them, you can’t tell where they’re going by the title, and it catches your interest wondering how they’ll evolve it. And that title “Don’t Hold Back?” I never got it cut, and in the last year I’ve done several online evaluations for songs with the name… you guessed it, “Don’t Hold Back.” Even if that is your hook, then consider grabbing a title from somewhere else in the song… Something that will jump out at the publisher or A&R gal, something that will compel them to listen.

Write on,

Gary Earl

www.garyearl.com

 

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Writing Hit Country Songs https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/writing-hit-country-songs/ Sat, 13 Feb 2016 16:01:27 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/writing-hit-country-songs/ By Gary Earl Mega­hit songwriter and ASCAP rep Ralph Murphy is a Sensei when it comes to lyrics. (Sensei is Japanese for Master of the Art & Master Teacher). For...

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By Gary Earl

Mega­hit songwriter and ASCAP rep Ralph Murphy is a Sensei when it comes to lyrics. (Sensei is Japanese for Master of the Art & Master Teacher). For several years he has analyzed the top ten hit singles on country radio, and noticed that something like 90% of them follow some basic forms and similarities. Here are those results distilled down to bare bones:

They have a romantic/humorous or sad/heartfelt theme – Romantic in a family way, not in a sexy way. Think of a female driving at 7 AM to a job she hates in a car that might break down in the rain­­. She wants to hear that you care about her, will always be there when she needs you, etc. Sad works, but not in an egocentric, whining way. Don’t paint the singer as a “loser.”

Contemporary country musical style – Tells a story or conversation, heavy on humor and irony, packed with ear catching details, snappy comebacks like the sort of thing you wished you’d said, but didn’t think of at the time.

Written in 2nd person or 3rd person (if singing about a teen or grandparent, then use 3rd person). Uses a linear melody (little motion, few chords) on the verse, going to a soaring chorus melody (more movement in chords perhaps also).

Form: verse/chorus ­ verse/chorus ­ bridge ­ chorus out. (2 verses at front if they’re short. Used the title within 60 seconds, and no more than 7 times. Total length of 3 minutes to 3:45 minutes long, with no more than a 13 second intro.

Write on,

Gary Earl

www.garyearl.com

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Basic Fundamentals! https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/basic-fundamentals/ Sat, 13 Feb 2016 16:01:09 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/basic-fundamentals/ By Robin Earl My son had a basketball practice the other night. It was going to be the only practice they had as a team before their double-header the following...

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By Robin Earl

My son had a basketball practice the other night. It was going to be the only practice they had as a team before their double-header the following Saturday.

It was not only a good practice, it was a great practice. I have seen years of practice where the kids are going through the moves, but still making the same mistakes over and over again. This practice was different. The coach focused on “Basic Fundamentals.” He must have said it 30 times, and the boys repeated it. He had them say “Basic Fundamentals” so many times! They worked on lay-ups, left and right—They worked on details, “Basic Fundamentals” of dribbling, passing, and shooting. The improvement in an hour and a half was amazing in these 7th grade boys.

Of course it made me think about coaching singers. I have had singers come to me who have had years of singing lessons and have never had learned Basic Fundamentals. I was one of these people; I had several years of lessons before I met a coach who told me I needed to start over and learn how to breathe right–back to Basic Fundamentals! I was impatient about it, but I knew he was right, and glad I stuck with it.

Connecting breath and support is a Basic Fundamental. Accessing your entire range effortlessly without a break is a Basic Fundamental. Mouth shape, placement, use of dipthongs, singing on vowels? Basic Fundamentals. Releasing throat and jaw tension are also Basic Fundamentals.

Good singers can become great singers if they revisit Basic Fundamentals.

Which areas of singing are most challenging to you?

RobinEarl.com

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Adding Twists to Folkisms https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/adding-twists-to-folkisms/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:36:36 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/adding-twists-to-folkisms/ By Gary Earl Clay Collins, writer of Alternative Productivity and Anti­Hacks for Living, said that he once wrote an article entitled “Why You Should Get Up Whenever You Want,” but...

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By Gary Earl

Clay Collins, writer of Alternative Productivity and Anti­Hacks for Living, said that he once wrote an article entitled “Why You Should Get Up Whenever You Want,” but no one read it… So he changed the title to “Healthy, Wealthy, and DEAD?: 5 Reasons Why Getting Up Early Might be Harmful,” and got a lot of response! He played off Ben Franklin’s “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”, but twisted it.

Good Song example: “Out of the Blue, Clear Sky” by Bob DiPiero. The story goes that George Strait phoned up Bob and said he wanted to cut the song but he’d have to change the hook to “out of the clear blue sky,” because that was the right saying. Bob said “No, you can’t have it then.” (Bob already had a few cuts by then and wasn’t feeling desperate like most writers would be with a Strait cut hanging in the balance.) Bob continued on, “the whole hook to the song is that we’re twisting the old saying around, and that’s the only thing that’ll get everyone’s attention.” Well, George said okay, and the rest is money in the bank.

Write on,

GaryEarl.com

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Green Tea for Singers? https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/green-tea-for-singers/ Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:28:30 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/green-tea-for-singers/ I love green tea. I always manage to get my two or three cups of coffee in, so why not the green tea habit? That’s it, I just haven’t made...

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I love green tea. I always manage to get my two or three cups of coffee in, so why not the green tea habit? That’s it, I just haven’t made it a habit yet. So green tea is good for singers, right? And overall good health, which singers need for that extra edge in singing and performance, right?

I found my motivation to create the habit! My favorite health blog/newsletter is DrWeil.com. I read it every day. My good friend who is a speech pathologist/vocal health specialist in Hawaii recommended it to me a few years ago. So I recommend it to you!

His post recently was about the health benefits of green tea.  Benefits may include lowering cholesterol, protect against bacterial infections, promote joint health, reducing inflammation, mental focusing effects, metabolism support and aid in maintaining or losing weight, and a potent source of catechins—healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity.

I’m down for it!!
I’m adding green tea to my daily list! I’ll have to make a chart for a bit til it becomes a habit…

To your vocal health,
Voice Coach Robin

RobinEarl.com
tumblr.com/robinearlvoicecoach
garyearlproductions.com

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Feeling Good https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/feeling-good/ Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:50:23 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/feeling-good/ By Robin Earl It is our natural state to feel good– feeling good performing, feeling good connecting with people, feeling good inspiring others. It helps as a performer to incorporate...

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By Robin Earl

It is our natural state to feel good– feeling good performing, feeling good connecting with people, feeling good inspiring others.

It helps as a performer to incorporate this ‘feeling good’ attitude  into as much of your life as possible so your creativity flows and your positive attitude flows into your performance world. But what about the days you don’t feel good? What can you do as a  performer to help this in such an up-and-down world?

Problems and solutions come together. The second you identify a problem (and have a bad feeling in your system), flip it and think of a thought or feeling that makes you feel better. Then you’ll be in the ‘solution mode.’

With practice this can become second nature and even more present in your life as an performer.

What do you do to become more ‘solution’ oriented?

www.robinearl.com

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What a Singer Can Learn From a Mogul Skier https://www.recordingstudiob.com/blog/what-a-singer-can-learn-from-a-mogul-skier/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:06:17 +0000 https://www.recordingstudiob.com/what-a-singer-can-learn-from-a-mogul-skier/ By Robin Earl I spent my early life doing some recreational competitive ‘mogul’ skiing while living at Lake Tahoe. ‘Boogie in the Bump’ contests!! I’ve taught skiing and other sports along...

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By Robin Earl

I spent my early life doing some recreational competitive ‘mogul’ skiing
while living at Lake Tahoe. ‘Boogie in the Bump’ contests!! I’ve
taught skiing and other sports along the way, and I love to find
similarities in concepts between sports and singing.. So here’s a
mini-ski lesson in addition to a singing tip!!

1.  Project your energy forward. Lean In…don’t pull back.

2.  Use your core muscles for control.

3.  Think down, not up.

4.  Get in shape;  breathe.


SKIING:

  • Keep your weight forward— Lean into that next turn assertively. The
    second you feel fear, don’t pull back or you will fall, pull your energy
    forward and stay focused, and know that you will make the next turn.
  • Use your core muscles— critical for control. This is your center of
    gravity, and you will keep your balance if these muscles are strong and
    engaged. Keep your hips pointing down the mountain, use your knees to
    ‘absorb the bumps’, keep your upper body more level.
  • Think down, not up— at the top of the mountain, visualize yourself going
    down fearlessly. Hands forward, stay grounded and focused, keep your
    skis working the snow.
  • Do your conditioning to be in shape before you hit the slopes. Learn
    breathing techniques to maximize energy and go with the flow.

SINGING:

  • Keep your tone forward— the second you get to your ‘break’  and feel
    fear of ‘missing’ that high note, move your tone placement forward
    confidently, not back, and know that you will hit it.
  • Use your core muscles— more important than most singers realize for
    support and coordination of your breathing. Pitch problems are usually
    support/breathing problems or placement problems. Use these muscles also
    for your movement and rhythm on stage. Take up dance.
  • It actually helps to think ‘down,’ not up on your high notes. Ground them, and you will hit them. You can practice this by using your hands to ‘push’ down, as you sing higher.
  • Get in shape; breathe— Do your vocal exercises, do your physical
    exercise. Learn singing and breathing techniques that will support your
    tone and help you sing strongly and effortlessly.

How do you keep on top of your singing? If you need help with vocal issues or physical energy issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

www.robinearl.com

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