Bring Your Royalties Back Home
How to start a music production company is pertinent for today. The best way for you to see any financial return is to record your music at home. We will explore the benefit in this page and in future posts under the subject.
As an artist without any desire for touring or real concern for financial gratification, I have noticed the upside down aspect of the music publishing business of late. It exists now, more than ever for record companies; rather than, artists.
Recently, as I have written in another post briefly, CDBaby retired their online record store. That is because, as they report about 3% of their business came from that store in recent years.
They Want To Sell Me But Don’t Want Me To Sell It Myself
In 2014 I finally released a record that was begun in 1996, entitled Look Up Now, by Chris Queen, currently available on chrisqueenhearnow.com and on Spotify, for now. I opened the iTunes link to see about letting it stream there as well. I declined.
I found iTunes wants permission to scan my files for sales purposes. They can hire hackers like the rest of the corporations. But the point is, if you go hear my songs on chrisqueen.hearnow.com there is something missing. No Buy Buttons.
There were buy buttons on the CDBaby music sampling and stream purchase website. But, let’s think this through, CD Baby only made 3% of their business with that store. However, they had that huge catalog of artists, albums, and dreams, in their possession.
They decided to sell it all to Spotify, Amazon, ITunes, Deezer and the rest, for millions. According to a report I read last week, the Record Companies, Publishing Companies and the streaming platforms make the lions share of the money. They offered me the YouTube sampler without buy buttons, and it is connected to the stream sites. They don’t want me to sell my songs. They’d rather get the money selling it for themselves.
Amazon at least still offers downloads of songs, to buy, and albums as well as CD’s for the time being. Amazon also has a music streaming service. The claim by music industry associates (Gangsters) is that the streaming services being paid, this will trickledown to the artists who provide the product. LAUGHTER!
ASCAP (podcast here) we are told is actually fighting for their members’ royalties, while BMI, the other large royalties collector/watchdog fights as well. The Artists need to wake up. Artists in both ASCAP and BMI need to form RighteousRoyalties.com, or similar, proprietary, music streaming then begin to educate the public on the music industry rip off and pay the Artists their just reward. Music is delivered direct these days and why are there middle men?
Until that app. happens, since my songs are Christian Songs, written and recorded for reasons aside from money or earning a living, I will stream them on Spotify, the largest of the streamers. But only with the one album. From here, I intend to publish my own music, offer my own sales point for downloads. Releasing only listening samples of my songs and not the songs themselves nor streaming them freely.
“Use my songs however you want?” “Everybody else is!” That’s the attitude of industry (Gangsters) cronies, apparently.
Home Recording Experience
I began recording in the early 80s with a Fostex 280 (?). Man those were the days. The sound quality was inferior and Tascam and Otari soon had great muti-track 1 and 2 inch, tape, 8 and 16 track reel to reel setups, available enmasse. Realize here, the Beatles Records were, in the beginning, Love Me Do, thru Sergeant Pappers Lonely Hearts Club Band, done on 4 Track mono recordings.
Phil Keaggy recorded his album “Underground” in 1983 at his Leawood, Kansas home. A friend of mine took me to see Phil and we got to listen to Underground on the Tascam Portostudio while he was recording the project. A real treat.
It’s Upside Down
Phil is a fabulous guitar player. And an accomplished songwriter. He was a big star back in the day. He encouraged me to keep sharing my songs. A mutual friend, about a year ago told me Phil received less than $ 50.00 in a Royalty Check. The Beatles had a poor contract from the start making $ 0.02 per record album. They did better in the next contract, believe.
This is the upside down part of all of this. The Beatles got all the plays up front by comparison today. Spotify, I read the other day, pays 0.0003 per stream. Therefore, 1,000 streams = $ 0.30. 1 Million Streams = $ 300.00. That is Obscene.
Pretty sure when I paid $ 8.00-$ 10.00 for a vinyl record we did not spin them 1,000 times, much less the 3,000 times to equal a $ 0.90 royalty commonly paid in the 80s. Certain that ASCAP and BMI did better with radio stations in years gone by.
My grandfather grew fruit in the Yakima Valley in Washington. In 1972 or so, he told us he was letting the pears hang (not harvesting them). This because one of the CO-OP officers signed a contract, with fruit gansters bringing only $ 6.00 per ton for the pears. Grand Dad told us the guy who signed the contract disappeared.
Artists need to learn from Mary Yelland of the Kansas Grange who told farmers to “raise less corn and raise more Hell.” Right now the streamers have current songs to stream. Cut them off and they’ll go away. In ten years we need to have grown the real Indie music outside the prison walls. Meanwhile they’ll be trying to stream the equivalent from our perspective of “I’m Hen-er-y the Eighth I Am” or “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport.”
We need to get creative and band together and create proprietary means of selling music for streaming, they buy our app. and get access to samples and purchase, 25 cents per song, paying artists their Royalties. Slavebusters.com? That is how to make the leaches drop off. Deprive them of the free blood. We have to pay our own bills, so the situation for the modern recording artist is almost as bad as for cotton harvesters, in Old Dixie. Awake! These streaming gangsters are “SLAVERS.” Not very nice, is it?
New Technologies Are On Our Side
Those days of expensive analog recording, and need for rich record company support are long behind us. Now we don’t need them, with advent of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) computerized recording technology. While the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix or the Doors, recorded on a few tracks they were on two inch tape and had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of outboard effects at their disposal.
The DAW technology became popular beginning with Cakewalk and led to Pro Tools (the current industry standard), Logic, Propeller, Ableton Live, Steinberg and my personal favorite, which I use, Presonus Studio One. Studio One has them all beat on ease of use, with all functions and effects in one window from recording, to mixing, to mastering. Many pro producers and engineers are switching to Studio One.
Songs produced in Studio One can be directly uploaded to the internet or stored in the cloud. This means you have total control and can also edit and produce video in Studio One.
Recording Music Is Cheap
I bought Studio One Artist on February 10, 2011. I just looked it up in my own, MyPresonus.com, account which contains all my software history and hardware as well. It required an interface, I bought a Presonus Audiobox and if I recall it was $ 149.00 and included Studio One Artist. It looked just like the picture to the left. On January 1, 2013 I finally afforded the upgrade to Studio One Professional 2.
I messed with it for a while and being old school and unable to afford a mixer interface, Not very sophisticated in those days anyway, I decided recording and mixing in the computer with mouse clic as not that much fun. Back in those days, I’d ask friends who had Pro Tools, if they knew how to use it.
My conclusion was everybody owned it but none of them knew how to use it. In 2015 I bought a Tascam DP-24. It allows recording, mixing and mastering in the machine changing modes with a click, and had a CD burner, still made 16 Bit 44Khz recordings, the CD standard (24bit 96Khz also). Translation, the Tascam does everything, with respect quality that the DAW does without an annoying computer.
If Tascam put all of their effects on all tracks making them all, simultaneously available, I’d never look back.
Old Dogs New Tricks
One Control track, on the Tascam DP 24 or 32, was distributed by driver’s choice, over each of the 24 tracks, as needed, one at a time. The weakness is in the dynamic effects. You can use only one type of effect at once. All channels, Compressor, or all De-Eesser, all Noise Gate etc. No compressor on the guitar and drums and De-Esser or the vocals. But it records 16bit/44MgHz which is CD standard and what you hear on the internet, to this day.
I had fun with it but never really did any serious recording with it. Very recently I ran across a new product from Presonus rolled out at NAMM and available online or in stores. Presonus iOStation 24 c. Two inputs like an interface, and a one channel mixing board. Footswitch punch in and punch out to do overdubbinh.
This makes Studio One operate like the Tascam DP-24, deep integration, instantly, with Presonus’ Studio One software. But, with many effects available simultaneously and unlimited tracks. Yes a 1000 track song is possible if you computer’s processor can handle it.
So, for $ 104.00 with my Presonus account credits I am currently upgraded to Studio One 4.6 Professional. I was going to buy the iOStation a couple weeks ago, but the COVID-19 thing ended my employment. So when I can, I am buying the Presonus iOStation 24c.
Then for less than the money for a DP-24 (A little more had I not already had a prior pro vesion) I will have unlimited tracks with unlimited effects. The Point is for $ 600.00 plus a microphone or two you start out way ahead of the 50s thru the 90s recording artists’ in capability to record. Way more recording quality than Jimi Hendrix (most have not heard him blow the beatles away in the studio, they’ve heard all the live), the Beatles or the Doors had at their fingertips.
The Stream Stops Here.
As I said, I am not streaming the next round of songs I record. CDBaby, had already put them up on YouTube behind my back, giving them away, for free as far as I’m concerned. I am presently looking into sample streaming on my own website and Mp3 and Mp4 and selling downloads in a proprietary phone app. for $ 0.25 (arbitrary figure) per track, or so we are once again Indie Musicians, rather than POW’s in a concentration camp. Discount for album. I’ve got a friend who has a CD Burner with a label printer and we’ll co-op. Autographed CDs will bring more.
I’ve got another friend out in California named Bob Coterrel who owns Creative Sound Corporation whose products I recommend highly. He produces CD’s, DVD’s and Covers, CD burners, label printers, etc. He doesn’t know it yet but we’re going to produce proprietary download apps. He was just notified, here.
Musicians and Artists and Indie Producers are going to have to get together and take their craft back, and Royalties back from the gangsters. Really the Recording Moguls are no longer spending huge amounts for production, nor huge advertising budgets. They are sitting in the Bahamas laughing it up. We’re going to wipe the smile from their faces. It’s a Revolution! Stop, from here forward giving your songs away. More in posts to come in the next few days. Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for reading. Please return often. Thank Again, Chris.