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Top 12 Apps For A Music Business

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Top 12 Apps For A Music Business
Mobile technology has evolved from a luxury status symbol to a valuable tool to maximize your time and productivity. With literally hundreds of thousands of smartphone apps available, there are plenty well suited for business. But which are the most useful for a unique business needs of an artist or recording studio? After trying literally hundreds of apps, these are my top 12 favorites for working at my best.

MONEY APPS

Every business deals with money. Being smart and efficient with your money can determine whether or not you stay in business. These first few are my favorite.

1. Mileage Log+

Chances are, you will travel for gigs, meetings or even office supplies. Don’t forget, those miles are tax deductible and at well over 50 cents per mile, they add up quickly. This app saved me $800 on my taxes in one year alone. Mileage Log + is available for iOS only right now for $9.99, but there are similar offerings for Android or Windows Phone. contrast.co/mileage-log

2. Dwolla

A great app for sending and receiving payments. Unlike PayPal’s 5-10% fees, Dwolla charges a maximum 25 cents for transactions over $10. You’ll need to register and attach a checking account, but once that’s done, payments typically take one day to process. Dwolla is a free app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. dwolla. com (The next best choice is Square’s Cash app.)

3. PayPal Here

PayPal Here lets you accept credit and debit cards anywhere. Its charge rate is just a smidgen lower than Square. Go to paypalhere.com to register and get your scanner.

4. WeekCal

Being able to manage your schedule can save you lots of time in the long run and time is money, right? I like WeekCal better than Apple’s calendar, plus it’s easier to view and edit upcoming events. But Apple’s recent updates to its own app make this one less of a must-have.

MEDIA APPS

A well-run business should always have a good handle on its assets; it is no different for artists and studios. But in addition to mundane items like memos, contracts and customer data, music businesses need to manage and share large audio and video files, DAW session files and more.

5. Gobbler

Sharing projects online yet? If you haven’t done it yet, you will soon. Gobbler is cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive, but it is specifically designed for media projects. It supports sessions from most major DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live. Start with the free 5GB account to begin sharing with your co-writers, publisher or other clients. gobbler.com

6. MediaFire

If you need mass storage especially if you need access from anywhere MediaFire (mediafire.com) has the best value in the cloud. Get up to 50GB of space for free, or upgrade to a full terabyte of storage for only $5 a month––that’s easily the best deal going right now. And with a syncing app for your desktop or laptop, there’s no debate if your files are up-to-date. Alternate choice: Google Drive (drive.google.com)

7. SoundMeter

This decibel meter is the reason I bought my first iPhone. I run this every time I mix live sound. (This is one of my dirty little secrets for touring bands: running this can placate the bar owner that keeps saying “you’re playing too loud.”) Professional settings like A- and C-weighting make this far better than cheap decibel meter apps. At $20, it is currently available for iOS only. faberacoustical.com

8. SignalScope

Faber Acoustical’s RTA partner to SoundMeter. You can use the phone’s mic for basic analysis, or attach a professional preamp and microphone for more accurate readings. Another professional level app, it runs $25, with upgrades available. faberacoustical.com/ios_apps/signalscope

SOCIAL MEDIA / INTERNET APPS

Let’s face it the Internet has changed everything. It is now possible to launch and sustain a music career from your own bedroom studio, at least in theory. But once you’re on the road, it can be difficult to regularly update your online presence. These apps will help you stay updated and in touch with your clients or fans while on the road.

9. Password Box

With every website account comes yet another login and password. And keeping track of all of them can be rough. (I currently have over 300.) Registering for the free account at passwordbox.com will sync 25 passwords on your phone. I can’t recommend this one wholeheartedly, as it has been buggy lately on iOS. They recently became part of Intel Security, which also concerns me, so try it along with my second choice, agilebits.com/onepassword

10. LinkedIn

The undisputed king for business social networking. The free app is better than the website for some things, the browser page for others. Use it along with LinkedIn’s Connected App (also free) to boost your online social circles. linkedin.com

11. Puffin browser

Many stock smartphone browsers won’t play Flash websites; Puffin will. For many media-driven sites, you’ll need to use it to properly view its content. puffinbrowser.com (You can also try Google’s Chrome app.)

12. HootSuite

If you’re active on multiple social sites, HootSuite allows you to post quickly on one, two or all of them at once. It also lets you “shrink” URLs for easier posting to character-limiting accounts like Twitter. The free account lets you link three sites; the Pro service ($9.99 per month) lets you link 50 to 100. hootsuite.com

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

DJ Tips

How To Create A Trademark For Your DJ Name?

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How To Create A Trademark For Your DJ Name?
1. Decide what you want your DJ name to be and analyze how original it is. Preferably, you’ll do this before using the DJ name publicly. Research whether other DJs or companies have used the same brand name, or even a brand name that is similar. If another DJ or company used a similar mark, it may have acquired the right to prevent you from using your desired DJ name. Consequently, your DJ name should be original. You can do limited research on this issue without a lawyer by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) database. While do-it-yourself searches may quickly rule out using certain DJ names, a trademark attorney can do a thorough search that will provide you with far more certainty about whether you can use your preferred DJ name without potentially getting into a trademark dispute. If your DJ name is similar to another DJ or brand, the USPTO may reject your registration application, wasting money and time.

2. If you discover that there is a potentially competing DJ name already in use, then you have two choices: You can either change your DJ name to something truly original, or if you have already invested substantial resources in establishing the DJ name, you can hire an attorney to help you figure out whether and how you can use your preferred DJ name anyway.

3. If you’re already confident that your DJ name is not similar to an existing brand name, then start using it to identify yourself in more than one state. In order to serve as a federal trademark, your DJ name must identify the source of goods or services for sale in “interstate commerce.” That means that if you’re gigging in only one state in the country, you need to get some paid gigs across state lines and advertise those gigs under your DJ name. In the U.S., rights in trademarks are acquired by usage. This is different from how one acquires ownership in copyright. With copyrights, creators have incentive to register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office before making the copyrighted works public. But the USPTO will not grant a registration in a trademark until that trademark has already been used in interstate commerce to identify your DJ name.

4. Keep copies of advertisements, flyers and posters for live performances as evidence of your using your DJ name “in interstate commerce.” The USPTO will ask for such evidence if you file a registration application. While a DJ can apply for registration in more than one class of services or goods (e.g., live performances, recorded music and merchandise are three separate classes), most DJs register their trademark for live performances first, since that’s arguably the most important category.

5. Once you’re using the DJ name, register multiple Internet domains associated with your artistic name. Doing so won’t secure trademark rights for your band, but locking down these domain names before applying for a USPTO registration is wise, because when you file a trademark registration application, it’s a matter of public record. Evil “cybersquatters” sometimes comb through such records and then register related domains in an attempt to extort payments out of unsuspecting trademark owners. A DJ that files a trademark registration application for its DJ name before registering related domains may soon find that the domains it wanted have been suddenly “taken” and is “available for sale” by the cybersquatter at exorbitant rates. It’s often much cheaper to secure all related Internet domains before filing a USPTO application.

dj name trademark6. Apply for registration of your DJ name as a trademark with the USPTO. If you have both a DJ name in words and a logo, and can’t afford to register both, then try to register the name and worry about the logo later. Trademark registration applications are more complicated than copyright registrations. Trademark applications have a higher success rate when filed by an attorney, but if you can’t afford attorneys’ fees, then it is better to try to file a trademark registration application on a DIY basis than foregoing the process altogether. You can review and start the USPTO’s online registration process (here).

Once you have filed a registration application, the USPTO will assign an “Examining Attorney” who will oversee your case. That Examining Attorney is usually available to take questions via phone calls and emails. On the other hand, if the Examining Attorney finds potential problems with your application and sends you an official “Office Action” requiring a response, then you may need to hire an attorney to help you draft and file a written response.

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DJ Tips

16 LinkedIn Tips For DJs

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16 LinkedIn Tips For DJs
For the DJ industry, Facebook and Twitter are the preferred social media channels, at least until someone figures out that brides are on Snapchat. But many DJs have been using LinkedIn especially now that its targeted paid advertising component can return specific inquiries, by location, title and position. It’s more expensive than Facebook ads, but it’s also more targeted, and it’s a great way to meet event planners at corporations, as well as catering executives, most of whom are always looking on the network very often for their next job.

Tactics on LinkedIn vary in sophistication. Many people just blast requests without knowing who it is they’re making the request with. In a services industry like DJing, it’s important that the connection knows precisely who you are, what you do, and what your values are. Here are some LinkedIn tactics, from the simple to the sublime that can help you make those connections less elusive:

#1. Before attending conferences say, for catering execs use LinkedIn to search people involved with the conference and check out their profile. LinkedIn will send them an email notification that you’ve seen their profile; this makes a connecting at a show more familiar.

#2. Cross promote on LinkedIn from your company blog. This is a great way to connect with people outside of your network. As long as you follow tips #3 thru #5.

#3. Publish articles that are educational, not promotional. Use a strong headline, with a compelling, clear picture.

#4. Post the article, which first appears as a status update so your 1st-degree connections see it.

#5. Over the next few days, post the article in various LinkedIn groups you’re in. To capture that specific audience’s attention, give your post an introduction that relates specifically to the subject matter of interest to the group. By posting in groups, people beyond your 1st-degree connections will see it and learn about you and your services. Many people who use LinkedIn have had people “follow” them and reach out to them about their services as a result of articles they’ve posted.

#6. Join groups that your customers (or prospective customers) are members of. Then, make it a point to share content that is helpful and educational, not sales or self-promotional. Place a link to your website, as you’ll want to drive traffic there and convert your LinkedIn contacts into leads for your business.

#7. Don’t make the mistake so many people make: joining groups that are comprised of your peers. While this is useful for professional growth and career development, it’s less helpful when it comes to marketing your business because these audiences are often competitors and not prospective customers.

#8. If a LinkedIn paid, targeted campaign is too pricey, search terms that are relevant — ”corporate events,” for example. When you find a director-level connection that would benefit from knowing about your DJ service, personalize a link request explaining your service and the value to them.

#9. Personalize a request to connect. Most people just connect without really knowing who they’re connecting with. But it’s much more effective to remind that potential connection who you are, why you want to connect and how you add value. At the very least, remind them who you are so they know you’re not just adding contacts en masse. That way, they’re not left wondering who you are or, worse, questioning your motives.

#10. People who are successful with LinkedIn always know something about a potential connection before they make the request. Read their content, check out their website, listen to their podcast. Use some of the poignant facts you learn in the initial contact message or InMail. The recipient is usually more open to connecting with someone who has done their research.

#11. When people “like” or comment on your posts, visit their profile and explore who within their network would be good to network with. If the mutual relationship is strong, request a virtual introduction they work well.

#12. Become familiar with the LinkedIn InMail feature. It allows you to send a message to anyone, even if you are not connected to them. For a fee you get a certain amount of InMails and if you don’t get a response you receive a credit.

#13. The day after any networking event, input the names from all business cards you’ve collected into LinkedIn. Don’t send a generic connection request. Rather, thank them for attending the event and make the suggestion that you stay connected.

#14. Use LinkedIn’s mobile app Connected to alert you of birthdays, job changes, and work anniversaries. Do requisite congratulations to keep yourself top of mind.

#15. Develop targeted keyword phrases that reflect your brand, business goals, and target audience. Tag your profile with keyword phrases (“corporate event coordinator,” for example). When a new prospect inquires about your services, and they tell you they found you on LinkedIn, it is often because their search returned your profile.

#16. As far as connections, more is definitely not mer- rier.What’s the point of having 500-plus connections if you don’t truly connect with them? You should have business relationships with all of them.At every event, you should personally LinkedIn with the bride and groom, stay top of mind in a professional networking setting, to help your chances of repeat business.

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DJ Tips

Hey DJ! Sleep Deeply Tonight

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Hey DJ! Sleep Deeply Tonight
Do these 3 things and wake up totally refreshed 8 hours later!

1. Clean Your Room Disarray can interfere with a good night’s sleep, according to research in the journal sleep. Too much visual stimulation overwhelms your nervous system and makes you restless.

2. Skip the Sauce Booze may help put you out, but it also increases your brain’s alpha wave patterns, activating areas that make restorative REM sleep hard to achieve. If you’ve had a few too many, chug water before bed to help dilute your blood alcohol concentration— and your regrets the next morning.

3. Sleep Naked Sound sleep requires an internal temp that drops as you drift off and rises as dawn approaches. So try this: First, take a warm shower—or have a quick romp—to boost body heat. Then sleep in the buff under a sheet and blanket you can easily throw off.

CASE CLOSED! Tired DJs generally sleep better. University of Pennsylvania researchers reached this astonishing conclusion after assessing the daily activities of 5,000 DJs and music producers. In the study, those who exercised regularly were more likely to average 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. But you knew that, right?

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DJ Tips

How Can You Sync LED Lights With Music?

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How Can You Sync LED Lights With Music?
If you have ever seen a house at Christmas time that has its lights synced with a popular Christmas song then you know what a neat experience it is. It is impressive and fun. You do not have to be a professional to do this. You can make it as simple or as professional as you like. Syncing a large set of Christmas lights with music is a little bit more difficult than syncing music with a set of LED lights.

For example, for a small house party where you might want to hang up a few strands of LED lights that change colors to the beat of music, it is a pretty easy process. You will need to buy some sound-responsible LED lights (find some here). These are so easy that all you have to do is plug them in and change the settings so that they are sound-activated. For this project, you do not need anything else. No controller, no cable, no software or programming. This is as simple as you can get.

For the larger projects, you will need a controller, software, lights and possibly some help. Below is the entire process for syncing a large scale LED display with music.

led screen
Controller

Now for your bigger projects, such as setting up Christmas lights that sync with music you will need to get a controller. There are various versions of controllers available from a pre-built system, to more hands-on and those that you build yourself. As a beginner, I would suggest the built system because you do not need any electrical knowledge.

Software

Next, you will need to get software that will program and run your lights. The software helps break the song down into sections so that you can select what lights should turn on, off, etc. The programming software helps you build the program that will be run for each song.

Lighting

Now, you need to make your lighting decisions. What type of LED lights will you use: mini lights, net lights, landscaping lights, icicles, trees, decorative LED wireframes, etc. What do you want to be displayed and what colors do you want to use? Designing the light setup is one of the hardest parts of the process because you want it to look amazing.

LED lights
Programming

Once you have the overall scheme completed, you can begin work on programming the actual music. This is the most crucial part and the most time-consuming part. First, choose your music and then start working on your timing. This is a lengthy process, so get started will before the holidays. Determining when you want your lights to do something and what you want them to do in complete synchronization with the music will take some serious thinking and brainpower.

It’s Time

Once you finished your program it will be time to test it. If it functions as you wish, you will want to broadcast your music over an FM radio frequency so that as onlookers come by, they can flip to the radio station and hear the song as they drive by. This is a much better approach than playing music over and over again via speakers in your front yard. This is actually very common and happens quite a bit in various neighborhoods. It is becoming even more popular and is widely accepted.

Syncing LED lights with music is not as hard as you think it might be. It may be something that will take three or four months of preparation if it is your first time setting up a display of such magnitude, but it is not overly complicated and something most can handle.

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DJ Tips

Three Ways To Create The Next Viral Video

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viral video
GOING VIRAL…

Not surprisingly, the TED talk “Why Videos Go Viral” went viral. Created by Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s expert on Web video trends, it has 1.8 million views. “Think of your video as a conversation starter with you, your viewers, and their friends,” Allocca says. Here’s Electro WOW guide to video fame. (The fortune is up to you)

1. – THINK ABOUT YOUR GLOBAL AUDIENCE

More than 80 percent of YouTube views happen outside the United States. So remember that your video could be seen by anyone, anywhere, as long as they have Internet access. So jettison the Obama jokes, okay?

2. – STICK WITH IT (AND STOP TRYING SO HARD)

Don’t expect to break the Internet with one of your first posts; it’s not often that people gain fame from a one- off video. Most creators mess up early on, so feel free to experiment publicly. The best way to build a loyal audience is slowly – that is, by sharing tips, tricks, and tutorials over time.

3. – NARROW YOUR FOCUS TO WIDEN SHARING

People often think they should make something that will appeal to everybody, but usually micro-specific topics – one-genre DJ sets, steps to produce a song or a remixing guide  – are what attract passionate (sharing) audiences. The fans will find you. Thanks, Google.

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