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TH3RD BRAIN | Accelerator

with a nothing but NoMBe playlist

Last month I gave a quick tip to musicians pitching blogs. To treat it as much of an art as they did their music. But most need some help and it can be a bitch to find someone who knows how.

Two years ago I found out about Jake Udell and his TH3RD BRAIN artist management at SF MusicTech. What intrigued me was that he managed Zhu. I’m as impressed with Zhu’s rollout of NightDay as the actual music. Since then the team has signed Gallant and most recently NoMBe with their new Accelerator program. When you see a management group develop multiple artists so well that it makes their name as reputable as their artists, you want to send people their way.

TH3RD BRAIN’s Accelerator program opens the doors for musicians and their management to learn from experts of the emerging music industry. Treating the program like a traditional accelerator found in startups might sound like a gimmick at first, but their approach sounds promising, which you can take a glipse at.

I do think they should expose a lot more of what they do there. Opening the doors to TH3RD BRAIN’s knowledge and expertise to everyone could help out a lot of musicians. Because, trust me, they need it. More importantly for TH3RD BRAIN, it will attract the artists they want next. As much as they’ve channelled some of the best so far, it never guarantees what’s next.

— In other words, Jake needs to bring back his podcast

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Advice to Musicians Pitching Bloggers

featuring Roman Kouder's great music (with a decent pitch)

I get a good amount of pitches from artists and I’m not the best about responding. I barely read what they have to write (pro tip: keep it short), mainly because they all say the same shit. It’s flattering they’ve found me, but get to know me first. I promise I’ve got good music. And if I don’t, then who gives a shit about me anyways.

The best advice I can give to artists about pitching bloggers is to treat your promoting as an art as much as you do your music. I know you want to spread the net wide, and fast, but you don’t compromise your music to get more fans, so don’t with your relationships to the people that are here to help (sometimes, when they like your music).

This is not to call out Roman Kouder, but his typical marketing strategy clouded his great music. I liked a few of his tracks before, but thanks to Darren of Tipsy Tortoise, I listened to a song on Roman Kouder’s SoundCloud page and kept liking each song after.

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Will SoundCloud Allow Remixes Once Again

And Figgy Goes Live!

While prepping for Figgy’s live debut, I went through his entire catalogue on SoundCloud, come to find half of it missing. SoundCloud has been more stringent on allowing sampled and remixed tracks recently, giving the major labels access to directly pull songs and even accounts from their service – Figgy was close to getting banned.

SoundCloud more recently introduced its Go premium service that includes offline, ad-free listening and a deal with the major labels that’ll increase their catalogue to compete with Spotify (it’s still in the works). What’s under the radar is that this deal may stop take downs for sampled and remixed songs and instead become a source of income for the labels – not that anyone gives a shit.

What we should give a shit about is producers will be able to keep their remixed and sampled songs on SoundCloud, probably at the cost of an ad. But at least we’ll get to use them for playlists. Until then, we’ve had Goldroom fill the void.

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How to Playlist Music

or my daily music routine

As much as musicians don’t like to be classified under one sound, their songs have similarities that are best expressed in easily digestible playlists. We’ve focused on playlisting for the past 6 months, yet we’re still trying to figure out what works best.

There doesn’t seem to be any guide out there, so thanks to SF MusicTech we got off our ass and did it ourself. Or at least the start of something.

This article doesn’t focus so much on the art of playlisting, but rather how best to research and set up your playlists. We use SoundCloud as the platform, but it can be easily applied anywhere else.

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SF MusicTech 2014

Educate yourself music peoples

The SF MusicTech Summit is exactly what it sounds like. A gathering of people in the music industry that focus on tech, or vice versa. What I’ve learned from going for the past few years is the more boring a panel sounds the more interesting they usually turn out to be, and vice versa.

It’s all on the moderators and how well they can steer the conversation to the crucial topics of the moment. Equally as important is if the panelists make up an equal representation of the different viewpoints and how well they can express their side through stories and experiences (in a timely manner). And there just happens to be one panel that especially did that.

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Why the Repetition Makes the Music

featuring Xander Milne's 'Let Me Fuse'

Aeon Magazine just released an article on the role of repetition in music. I haven’t quite read it all yet, but I gotta believe our love for repetition in music comes down to simply knowing the next note, especially when dancing.

I’ve given a lot of shit to musicians that make their music too repetitious, but if you’re talking about a melody so catchy repetition is exactly what it needs. I play songs over & over again and isn’t that really the same thing just on a slightly larger scale?

In the article, they also give an example for you to test out yourself. Check out the two sound bites sequentially and see if a regular sentence can turn into a chorus (though not the best you’ve ever heard).

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SoundCloud Educators & Storytellers 2

'cause we're all about audio, not just music

Since the first edition of our favorite SoundCloud Educators & Storytellers, we’ve grown to love such shows as Blank on Blank, StoryCorps & The Story Colliders even more than before. And better yet, we’ve found plenty more to talk about.

Our list of favorite podcasts range from lost interviews of famous peoples to the most up to date panels in music tech. Not every show will be for everyone, but I guarantee you’ll find one you’ll be listening to for life. I’m sure I’ll be listening to at least a handful of these until they broadcast no more.

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The Biggest Problem Up & Coming Producers Face

with a good example from Shoe Scene Symphony's lastest remix

If there’s one thing that’s always been difficult for up and coming producers to find is a solid pair of vocal cords. We’ve got an over abundance of DJ’s & producers on SoundCloud & YouTube now, yet most are still relying on remixes, samples or just keeping it instrumental. Some eventually network their way into some talented singers or rappers, but it’s not happening fast or often enough, especially for this digital age. Which brings us to Shoe Scene Symphony’s latest track.

The 3S duo discussed on their SoundCloud page how difficult it was “to find a quality acapella” for their latest beat and didn’t seem too enthusiastic with their final selection — though that may just be my interpretation. It’s not that Aaliyah wasn’t a good choice, it’s just these instrumentals deserve their own original vocals, let alone a better match. It’s just coming up with the perfect vocals that’s been a problem for Shoe Scene Symphony and most other “under the radar” producers. […]

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SF MusicTech Summit 2013

What I enjoyed & what was missing

SF MusicTech’s SoundCloud has been an obsession of mine over the last few months. I loved listening in on all the conversations these music-tech aficionados were having and knew I had to take the train up to San Fran for this year’s conference.

My experience at SF MusicTech 2013 was, however, more of a learning experience in how conferences function rather than the music-tech topics being covered. And as much as I’d love to go into my many blunders at the event, I’ll keep those goodies to myself. Instead, here’s a few of the panels I enjoyed while attending the conference. I’d also like to get into what I thought the conference was missing, other than a babysitter to tell my dumbass what to do.

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Who’s Going to the SF MusicTech Summit, 2013?

... this guy. And a few of my favorites from 2012.

SF MusicTech is by far my favorite tech education account on SoundCloud right now. Even though I usually don’t take the time to go through too many sounds over an hour on SC, with this many good talks it’s worth a break from music for a bit.

Fortunately, for 2013 I’ll be attending my first summit in San Fran this Tuesday (the 19th). If you’re already going, let me know! I’ll be the 17-year-old lookin kid tryin to figure out what the hell he’s going to write about (I’m sure there will be a lot).

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