Band Promotion Blog

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March 22, 2010

The Smallfish Recordings Project

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 4:15 pm

The Smallfish Recordings Project audio mixing mastering recording service

So you’ve just recorded a great tune into Garageband (or whatever), put the cheap but effective Chinese condenser mic back in it’s box, moved a few faders, patched in a few very professional presets and hey presto! – something so good that you want the rest of the world to hear it. This is happening in bedrooms right now all over the world and is going to be the source of the vast majority of all music that consumers will be hearing (if not paying for) in the future.

It’s great. It renders obsolete almost the entire music industry with its monolithic structures, lumbering speed of response and enormous overheads. Almost!

SmallfishRecordings believes that amongst all of this upheaval, there is one aspect of music that will not change and that is – Quality.

Even the lowest of lo-fi productions has to meet basic sonic standards if it is to satisfy anyone other then the bloke that recorded it straight to cassette tape. And even the best digital creation needs to carry with it the fingerprints of analogue distortion if it is to be truly satisfying.

It’s very often the case that great musical ideas are stifled because the creative, intuitive skills of the artist don’t carry over into the more logical arena of the mixing or mastering process, and it’s here that SmallfishRecordings finds it’s niche.

The SmallfishRecordings Project is determinedly small, client focused and somewhat selective. Jon (Mr Smallfish himself) works on projects that he mostly discovers himself but increasingly, is taking in commercial projects to keep the wheels turning - and not falling off! Clients upload their material to the studio and can take advantage of a range of services including:
Mastering: You should try this even if it’s only once – you might be surprised what can be done to improve a straight stereo file with the right processing.
Mixing: Taking advantage of a combination of good ears, experience and some high-end processing solutions can really add depth, clarity, dynamics and a balanced soundstage to even the muddiest of mixes.
Improvement: Having access to a wide variety of sound sources and engineering tools, SmallfishRecordings can replace, re-enforce or add to the original content.

Jon has invested very carefully to make sure that while overheads are kept to the bare minimum, some of the best possible processing tools are in place including products from TC Electronic, URS, Izotope, IK Multimedia and others.

What all this adds up to is this… Commercial quality production within the reach of the dedicated amateur.

Why should you even consider asking someone else to mess around with your masterpieces?

We make decisions in life based on comparisons – your preferred brand of cheese will be based on years of trial and error. If you never hear an alternative translation of your music, you will never really know where it stands in terms of levels, tonality, dynamics, texture etc. Even if you send your mix out and it comes back worse, then you’re someway further down the track to understanding your own music.

SmallfishRecordings understands that the potential client base for the project are not likely to be seasoned professionals, so put a lot of effort into helping each one through the process, explaining what each change; fader move, EQ shift or compression treatment is there for so that the artist gains some new insight into these aspects, and can then improve their own skills used in the front end of the process. If you visit the SmallfishRecordings website and read through some of the examples, you’ll get the idea.

The SmallfishRecordings Label

Late in 2010, the first commercial release will take place on the SmallfishRecordings label. Jon has found that some of his clients are so exciting musically that all studio fees are waived in favour of an agreement to co-release the final product through this new experimental label.

Having asked the question "Why Label?" the only reasonable justification left is to provide a focal point for a specific collection of artistic creativity, so that people finding a resonance with it, know where to go to find it. There will be no advances, no big promotion budgets, but there will be the chance to become part of a very special community which can position each artist in the best possible place to move onto the next step – few risks, great fun and great music. Jon has a formula that goes like this:
(Little Cost X Let’s Have a Musical Adventure)/World Wide Audience = Why Not?

One of the important benefits of being a web-based service is that the organisation is growing a world-wide network of clients and partners, some of which will become the mutual "distributed distribution" framework for artists joining the project.

Not only do the masses now have the means of production, they also have the means of distribution.

[Ed.] This post was written especially for the Band Promotion Blog by Jonathan Huxtable of The Smallfish Recordings Project. Thanks Jo and good luck - BTW I like your website.

March 10, 2010

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:14 pm

Et des images - Chris CB Photographie | Synopsis @ Scène Bastille, Paris

If you want to promote yourself and sell your music Online, in my view, you need to get yourself a website (not just a number social networking profiles and a blog) - that’s what is all about! But it doesn’t stop there, once you’ve got yourself a website you will need to promote it to get visitors - your website needs "traffic".

Targeted Traffic is the Buzzword here. What I’m talking about is attracting hundreds of visitors who are interested in your genre and lifestyle to your website. And quite frankly it doesn’t matter what you are promoting online, whether it’s music or cars, if you want to be successful you need masses of targeted traffic. Most websites get the bulk of their traffic from Google! Google is the most important supplier of traffic for the typical business website, in fact, an average of 65% of visitors could come from Google - that’s a lot, but I’m not talking about search engine optimization, I’m talking about asking your fans, friends and family to help - and don’t forget to keep saying Thank You.

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

  1. Ask fans, friends and family (FFF) to join you on: Facebook, Myspace, ReverbNation, Twitter, Wordpress, Youtube. Then ask FFF to spread the word by/via: Updates, Bookmarks, Bulletins, Emails, Pings, Retweets, Tagging, Comments and Posts… talking about your band, genre and lifestyle.
  2. ReverbNation almost has a plethora of widgets and a street team ‘organizer’. Ask FFF to share your widget by putting it on their websites, blogs and social networking pages. Via email, ask your FFF to join your street team, then create a street team mission. Read Brian Hazard’s excellent blog post, My first ReverbNation street team mission.
  3. Ask FFF to link to you and encourage others to do the same. Create a set of banners and links. Display the banners, provide the code… eg.,
    <!– Start of YourBandName link code - copy & paste to your website –>
    <p><a href="">YourBandName - Rock Band</a></p>
    <!– End of YourBandName code –>
  4. Set yourself up with an e-mailing list (MailChimp?). Ask FFF to include the sign-up form on their sites and ask their friends to join your mailing list. They can also include mailing list sign-up details in their email signatures as well as adding a tell a friend link.
  5. Tell your fans, friends and family not to Spam on your behalf. Tell them not to contaminate the Internet with the same mind numbing bollocks that would cause a brain seizure in even the most dim-witted music fan and come up with something new and interesting and while you’re at it tell them that if they use the phrase "This band is AWESOME they TOTALLY Rock" you will personally come around to their house and stick the rough end of your Flying V up their arse and the same goes for "Sorry about the shameless self promotion" and if they say "These guys are definitely musicians’ musicians - check ‘em out they’re totally amazing, OMG I can’t wait for the album, everything by this band is SO awesome" send the band around and stick the fully wired and throbbing Roland D-Bass-210 amplifier up their ignorant arse to block the flow of mindless crap that will have the readers and your potential future fans sticking red-hot needles into their eyes rather than read another turd fuelled fabrication about your awesome band, these stupid tossers are only going to impress the lemming-minded who will not actually buy your hard worked album, they will spend their lives exploring how they can download it for free and if you think that they will pass it on to their friends and ’spread the word’ you have got another think coming because they couldn’t pass on influenza. Feed your fans, friends and family with plenty of content and warn them about spamming and quality or it will cost you dearly - silence can be a virtue. You guys totally rock!

March 8, 2010

Searching For New Friends

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 10:36 pm

If you want to promote your band on on social networking sites, a good idea is to find bands of the same genre and from the same locale and get into conversation with them. You can find these bands by searching in Google [click to search for Punk Rock Bands London].

Type this into Google: punk rock london [you can just click!] and it will find MySpace Profiles that are predominantly about "Punk Rock" and in or about "London"!

Today I came upon this little nugget via Twitter, 7 Insanely Useful Ways to Search Twitter for Marketing by John Jantsch - it’s well worth a read.

From that article by John Jantsch we get: intitle:"punk rock* on twitter" [you can just click!] - nice, elegant, handy.

Helping Indie Bands With Their Promotion,
Unsigned Band Promotion
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

March 2, 2010

Dating Agency For Lonely Hearts Club Band?

Filed under: Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:53 am

Band Directory

Band Directory
Sebastian Gibbs of Band Directory contacted me regarding a link - I wonder if that’s a reciprocal link? Anyway, Band Directory is one of those sites like Unsigned Band Promotion and London Gigs, that needs your support if you want to benefit from it - sort of in it to win it - Give tham a try.

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I feel strongly about indie bands promoting themselves locally i.e., Gigdoggy’s Gigs List was high in my esteem (sadly the beta version came to nothing) because it promoted collaborative networking, Band Directory could be seen in a similar light. Their aim is to, “match lots of suitable local bands to venues” and it’s basically Free unless you want Premium Promotion.

I must say, Band Directory does sound a little like Band Direction (a social network for musicians, venue owners and producers)! However, I’m not going to worry about that because Band Directory is UK based and up-and-running, Band Direction hasn’t gone live (may never go live) and is USA based. Lemonrock is worth a mention and more than a gander.

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