'Happy Moments (Coldbeat Remix)' Double Beatport Feature

Hey, Coldbeat here with some BIG news. Well, first of all I want to thank you for supporting our work, our music and all the stuff we share, it really means the world to us and it makes us move forward and work even harder to bring you some quality content, that includes music, blog posts, remix contests with cool prizes, remix-release opportunities and many more.

Now, let's share the news.

Not long ago, to be more precisely at February 13, I've released my remix of 'Happy Moments', song originally by Edvard Hunger, a talented producer from Belarus. The original track, which you can listen here, has some increadible and inspired melody, a feature that I always like when doing remixes, so I've decided to give it a try.

I had so much fun doing the remix, and actually came up with another massive bass tone and combined it very nicely with the Complextro slices. Another feature worth mentioning of my remix are 2 elements I used in the breakdown and parts of the drop, the "sax" and leads add a cool vibe to the song, giving it a nice contrast with the bassline/ synth combo. The original release, which you can listen here, came out with another remix, Oliver Pedersen's Dubstep version of the song brings growls and basses and it's a song that's definitely a must have for Bass playlists.

Later on (March 17) was time for my STEM file format of the song to hit the stores, and what an amazing surprise, Beatport gave it not only a nice feature on the STEMS page, but my remix was also featured in the Beatport's main page, the home page where you have a bit of everything that is featured on Beatport, including releases, sample packs, DJ charts and STEMS.

As an artist, there's no need to say how important those features are for me. Having your work recognized somehow, appreciated, all of your efforts and daily struggles, words are not enough.

Thank you everyone, for your trust, for connecting with us somehow. I hereby affirm our commitment to always bring quality material for everyone. Features like this one keep us motivated and inspired, and only great things can come out of that.

See ya in our next blog post, in the meantime, feel free to reach out to me for a chat.

Listen to 'Edvard Hunger - Happy Moments (Coldbeat Remix)' from the link below.

Or, tune in on Spotify.

Merch Makes The Difference

A guest post by Schwilly Family Musicians.
Originally found at MusicClout

As the band was packing up, I brushed by and could hear the owner spouting his contorted excuses about why he couldn’t pay the guarantee. I’ve heard it all before and I’ve felt that crushing feeling of not knowing how I would make it to the next town because an owner or promoter let me down. I was glad it wasn’t me in that position that night.

That’s why it surprised me to see that Tony just nodded and smiled as he listened the news!

It all made sense twenty minutes later when I saw him packing up the merch booth. As he stuffed an impressive wad of cash into his guitar case, he gave me the most valuable piece of advice I ever heard on tour:

“Don’t rely on the promoters. As long as you put on a killer show and have killer merch, you’ll always have enough gas to make it to the next stop.”

The bottom line is that if you want to be a professional musician, you should have a solid merch setup and promote it effectively at your gigs. Because it might be the only money you make that night.

What constitutes a solid merch setup?

The first thing you need to consider when developing your merch strategy is who your fans are. It should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at some of the misdirected merch attempts I’ve seen. So make sure to offer items that your fans want. Don’t assume you know. Ask them. Not only is it a great opportunity to engage with your fans, it’s a solid icebreaker topic if you’re shy about starting conversations with them. The more you get them involved in the development of your merch the more eager they will be to buy it. In fact, fan-designed merch (especially t-shirts) almost invariably outsells everything else on the table.

The other thing you need to consider is who the purchaser or decision-maker is. A great example is children’s music. The kids may be the consumers, but the parents are the purchasers. Although your shows may be filled with equal parts men and women, do the merch buyers tend to be from one group more than the other? Pay attention to that and provide merch that suits the buyers.

Set up your merch booth professionally! Here are some quick guidelines to make sure people know you mean business:

  • Have an actual, packable, portable, merch table. It should be part of your regular gear and kept with your amps and guitars to that it’s with you wherever you go. Invest in a banner and tablecloth or whatever else you need to make it look nice. The investment in a professional quality merch table will pay for itself almost immediately.
  • Make sure it is well lit. I like to use flexible tube lights with a spattering of blinky buttons. The merch booth should be second only to the stage in spotlight coverage.
  • Position it in a spot that is visible when coming and going. As close to the smoke-break route as possible.
  • Have someone stationed at the table during the show. Placing an honor-system bucket on the table while you’re on stage is not nearly as effective as having an actual person there who is motivated to sell. A cut of the profits is a great way to motivate someone. Don’t take advantage of your friend’s kindness to run your table for free. Cut them in and you’ll feel the results in our wallet. Pay your money-maker. Don’t treat them like crappy promoters treat you.
  • When you’re not on stage, be at the booth. Make sure that is the area to party with the band. Not backstage. You don’t make money there. Backstage is where you get swarmed by groupies that drink your beer and distract you from the show. If you bring that party up front, some of those groupies will probably leave with t-shirts and CDs instead of (insert dirty groupie joke here).
  • The merch table should be the last thing you tear down. Not only do people hate carrying stuff around all night, it’s at the end of the night that they cash out at the bar and have their credit cards in hand. PS: Accept credit cards.
  • Pay attention to profit margins. Please don’t do mental math. Keep track of ALL costs (including paying you merch girl). Even if you don’t have an advanced understanding of accounting, by keeping track of all the numbers you will learn to understand and optimize your profit margins.
  • Don’t over order. The money you save by purchasing 1,000 CDs does you no good while those CDs sit in your garage. You might need that money to re-up on t-shirts or flasks or get your guitar fixed. The profit from having more variety in your merch will make up for missing out on that bulk discount. Use companies that provide fulfillment-as-you-go like Kunaki for CDs. Support local business (like screen printers) whenever you can and you’ll find they will return the favor.
How do I promote my merch effectively at shows?

Now that you have a bunch of great merch and an attractive table, what can you do to get that stuff off the table and into the fans’ hands?

If you want to be a professional musician, you’ve got to get out there and do your job. As with any other business “do your job” refers to more than making music.

You are responsible for all the activities associated with turning your music into money. That’s the difference between a professional and a hobbyist.

This is why it’s crucial that instead of basking in your rockstardom with a herd of groupies or hiding in seclusion backstage, you need to be where the money is being made. The math is pretty basic: As the star of the show, people will gravitate toward you. So be where they will spend money.

What makes people want to buy? Here are some quick tips to help you move that merch:

  • Rotate your merch. Having the same stuff all the time discourages repeat buying. So switching it up and offering limited edition merch will go a long way. Anyone with a business degree knows that it costs 6 times more to get a new customer than a repeat customer. Since you probably don’t have a business degree, I reckon that’s an important statistic for me to share with you;)
  • Announce from the stage that you have merch AT LEAST twice per show. Here’s an idea to try: “This next song is from our new album, ‘___’! And until we finish playing it, ANY of our CDs will be available for $5! Just go talk to Jason at the Merch table!”
  • Price individual items higher than you think you should so that you can offer discounted bundles. “CD’s are $15 or 2 for $20.” Yes, this can even work if you only have one CD. People still buy music as gifts. Maybe even have some pre-wrapped gift editions on display to “plant the seed” in their minds.
  • Design, commission, or otherwise achieve really good album covers. Those still make a difference, but there are some new considerations. This image should look good on an MP3 player. So crazy, intricate designs don’t do well for that.
  • Don’t skimp on the quality of your merch (especially t-shirts). Your merch represents your music very directly and very publicly. You should want the world to know that you provide quality products (music AND merch), not that your out to make a quick buck.
  • Have a cool shirt. Unless your logo is so cool that it stands alone (Rolling Stones, Misfits) you have to spruce it up. Lyrics on t-shirts sell well (let your fans pick the lyrics). Also fan-designed shirts, as I mentioned before.
  • Display your awesome shirt on the stage. Drape it over a speaker. Have hot chicks wear your shirts and sell them right off of their backs (LITTERALLY)! Get women’s t-shirts and onesies (both very neglected yet highly in-demand products).
  • If someone buys a t-shirt, thank them form the stage. Point them out. “Look how cool Jerry is in his new t-shirt!” Buy him a beer. That’s a MUCH BETTER use of your drink tickets than getting wasted and falling off the stage. In fact…
  • Use your drink tickets to sell merch, NOT to get drunk. Some places will even sell you additional drink tickets super cheap. You can get pretty creative with that. Or you can simply hang out at the merch booth, mingle with fans, and buy drinks for people that buy merch.
  • Put a stack of CDs at the bar or cashier and make arrangements with the staff so that they can buy a CD when the pay their tab.
  • Have change on hand. It really bites to lose a sale because you couldn’t break a $20.
Ultimately, it’s important to note that marketing is not sales. Marketing is all the stuff you put into presenting your products professionally, and effectively engaging with your fans so that they want to buy. This should be part of your whole thought process and routine.

If you absorb that into how you manage your business, you’ll never have to ask for the sale, which I know is the hardest part…

My special invitation to Music Clout Readers

I help musicians apply entrepreneurial skills to their careers. The Schwilly Family Circle is a community of Musicpreneurs just like you who are working toward making music our full time jobs. Because I love Music Clout (and you!) so much I’d like to invite you to join our community. Check out this Schwilly Family Musicans page, drop your email and I’ll send you over some awesome stuff I’m preparing especially for musicians like you.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  1. An 11-page Strategy Guide for Marketing your Music online.
  2. Regular updates and tips on how to make the most of your music career.
  3. The opportunity to open a one-on-one dialogue with me about your musical journey, goals, and strategies about how to accomplish them.
  4. Inclusion in our PRIVATE Facebook group where we share ideas and inspiration.

Thanks so much for reading my stuff and don’t forget to check out Schwilly Family Musicians.

Carlos Castillo is a musicpreneur, web designer, live performance recordist, international road-tripper, lap steel player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family Musicians. Find him at SchwillyFamilyMusicians.Com, tweet him at@CaptainSchwilly, or email him at Carlos@SchwillyFamilyMusicians.Com.

STEMS and the Exciting Future of DJing

Post originally from the SymphonicBlog
Written by Jorge Brea

For those of you who weren’t already aware, I used to be a DJ under the moniker “Viro” with vinyl releases, CDs, and some gigs here and there. Even today –although I’m not as great as a lot of the talent out there – I still dabble with music production simply because making music and DJing is quite fun for me. Even the company I founded is very much tied to DJing with the amount of awesome dance music we’ve been able to distribute since our inception in 2006.

Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time nowadays to sit down and produce a track or DJ, but I still have fond memories and oftentimes I miss some of those great moments, which is why it’s always a great piece of fun for me when I get a chance to write about EDM and its going-ons.

Forward to today, DJing, despite its huge growth with the rise of EDM, technology, and individuals having more access and ability to be able to produce without needing a studio, has gotten a bit of a bad rap, and honestly, sometimes it deserves it.

With so many ridiculous moments by DJs – like Steve Aoki who literally injures himself and even others, or, lest we forget, David Guetta who likes to bring live horses into his DJ sets, remixes children’s music and has performances more known for staring off into the abyss after one too many drugs – it is no wonder that much of the mainstream media the Internet looks at DJing as a bit of a joke.

However, even with all the silliness going on, the fate of the DJ has hope. A new technology is arriving right now that will greatly revolutionize the art form and, in my view, create new marketplaces and opportunities for content creators and businesses.

I am, of course, talking about STEMS.

The Future of DJing.

I truly believe that STEMS has the potential to truly change, grow, and by the opinions of many out there, “save” dance music and even DJing in the new millennium with the concept it has created.

Many musician folks recognize “STEMS” as a music term that basically defines the elements of a song. It is essentially an entire multi-track off one track. Those who have remixed songs in the past will recognize it because it is often the pieces they need from the original in order to be able to create their own rendition of an original song from another producer.

STEMS in 2015 is now also defined as a new playable music format by innovators Native Instruments.

By their definition, “A Stem file is an audio file that contains a track split into four musical elements: A drums stem, a bassline stem, a harmony stem, and a lead stem for example. The Stem file also includes the original stereo master of the track for standard playback.”

To speed up this article and give you a video break, here’s another quick explanation:

When you take a moment to think about the concept of STEMS, you can really start to see that some of the common problems in music industry and how STEMS has the potential to really help those problems over time.

First, Native Instruments has released a creator tool that allows any producer with an originally produced song to create a stem file for anyone with the gear to play the format themselves. This changes up the entire mentality of how to pick songs for a particular show or city because you can remix hit songs with your own versions of those songs and do a heck of a lot more during a show performance. If you are a fan going nuts at music festivals, you’ll probably be going even crazier now.

Second, if you read a lot of the music industry-based websites, we constantly see pessimism over the music industry; downloads are declining, streaming is growing but not compensating artists, etc.

STEMS X EDM = Lasting through the download decline

I’ve always thought that EDM is the one genre that will always be able to maintain some form of a download. It’s not going to fully die in the rise of streaming simply because DJs that have to play a particular track at a club, festival, and/or underground party have to download it from a blog and/or purchase it from a marketplace that caters to that niche DJ.

Even with that though, streaming is affecting EDM with some sites already declining in revenue and people just plain enjoying to listen to the music rather than wanting to buy it (even DJs).

With the release of STEMS, however, the electronic music industry has done something that no genre has been able to do. It has reinvented itself and created a new format. There was vinyl, CD, MP3, and now STEM, a new format that is not going to be reliant on streaming but rather be reliant on an individual downloading and/or purchasing to be able to play and entertain. This is truly incredible when you start to think of the music industry as a whole and how EDM rose from the rise of digital downloads. You start to really see the potential for the genre and even hip-hop (which plays a significant role in DJing) to really have a format of its own that other genres will want to imitate from a production standpoint all the way to a marketplace standpoint. That alone should make anyone excited and see the potential.

I believe this format will create new music fans. When the iTunes store was released, people weren’t used to buying singles and compiling their own “album” so to speak. They could buy a track for 99 cents and then buy another track from another album at 99 cents and so on. What this did was make everyone become a music lover. Sure, some may argue that it devalued the “album,” but if you listen to the radio today, what you hear is a constant collaboration of genres. STEMS has the potential to continue this trend, as you will be able to buy a hip-hop song, merge it with a rock song and throw it right back to a dance song. Don’t believe me? Then check out this video:

While DJing has gotten some bad publicity in recent years, there is an exciting future now with STEMS. This format is so new that there isn’t a tremendous amount of catalog created, and from a business owner standpoint, this new format is very challenging to explain to content creators who are very used to the traditional production to download concept however, although new, it will be an interesting future for DJing and I see tremendous success ahead for the format simply because of who has created it, who is selling it, and who will consume it.

What are we doing with STEMS

Symphonic and myself are so passionate about this format that not only have we built a specific tool to take in STEMS and distribute them to all of the partners that accept the format, we have formed a strategic partnership with a great brand by the name of Dubseed.

Dubseed was founded shortly following the launch of STEMS, as a platform for producers and DJs from all genres to share and explore the new format. The platform quickly attracted a community of early adopters, and grew to facilitate the largest collection of free STEM content online. As Dubseed gains momentum, they remain true to their core principles by opening new and direct revenue opportunities to all artists.

We are hard at work with the Dubseed team to continue to load new STEMS products, work with other distribution companies, and further, enhance the site to feature even more product types that are complementary to the STEMS format. We’re also very pleased to say that their founder is apart of the Symphonic Distribution team and the New York office representative as well.

CEO of Symphonic Distribution, Tech Nerd, Husband, Movie Buff, Apple aficionado & former DJ.


Before Booking: Know the Venue

A Guest Post by Howtorunaband.com
Originally found at MusicClout

I know a lot of bands, my own previous band included, that will book any venue that will give them a chance to play. Sometimes you have to do this just to get a chance to play! But if you don’t know anything about the venue before you book, you could be heading for potential disaster.

I’m going to cover some pointers from what I’ve learned after years of booking my band. A bit of research about a venue can really help you out before you book there. You might find out that you want to run screaming in the opposite direction of that venue!

Know their booking details

Bands often miss this extremely important detail: Read the venue’s booking details from their site. Some venues spell out every single detail of their club, down to what the stage dimensions are and how many people they expect your band to bring through the door.

But I see bands that completely ignore doing this. The club spelled out exactly what they want from you and how they can be contacted. Their booking page tells you to contact them by email, but the band will post a booking request on their Facebook wall. I’ve seen a blog post from a venue saying “Do not ask for booking requests on this blog post.” And then I look at the blog’s comments with a ton of bands asking for shows.

This makes your band look stupid and unprofessional. Why would a booker want to deal with a band that can’t read simple instructions?

Some venues don’t post their booking details. In this instance, you should contact them and ask what the details are before booking there. The more you know about a venue, the more successful you will be booking and performing there.

Know their specs

Nothing sucks worse than travelling to a venue just to find out they don’t even have a PA system. Or there’s only one microphone when your band has 3 part harmonies.

Some venues are great at listing the details of their stage and what they provide. But there’s been a few times I’ve driven hours to find we needed to bring our own mic stands.

Understand the club’s specs first. If you don’t have a PA system to bring, you could be really screwed if you book a show there. If you have eight members of your band, but the stage is barely big enough for the drummer, you’re going to have problems. Do you need direct inputs? Special mic’ing for the viola player?

Know their capacity

I’ve booked shows, walked into the club, just to be greeted with a giant 500 person capacity venue. If you’re an unknown band playing a new city, this is not a good situation to be in. Not unless you’re somehow opening for a national touring act. Most likely you’re going to get barely anyone listening to your band. The larger the club, the less happy they’ll be with you when you don’t bring people through the door.

I remember one time playing a 500 capacity venue to exactly one person in front of the stage while the janitor was sweeping the venue. You feel like crawling into a hole and dying when you see a gigantic empty room while you’re playing.

Don’t make my mistake. Find out how many people the club holds and how many people you are expected to bring through the door. When you are first starting, smaller is definitely better.

Know their neighborhood

On one tour, my band drove down to Sacramento, California. We booked a show at this club, and we were really excited to play. Our hearts sank when we saw this venue was on the very outskirts of the city. Only a gas station was nearby. Otherwise, it was just trees and road.

No one was going to go to this club unless there was something extremely special going on. No foot traffic. No regulars that go there for the music. Nothing.

That club wasn’t the only one I’ve had the misfortune of booking that had no hope for people casually walking in. Trust me, know the club’s neighborhood. Are they close to other clubs? Is the surrounding area really populated or deserted? Are they along a convenient bus line, or do people need to drive an hour to get there?

It’s hard enough to get people to come out to your show. Booking a club in the middle of nowhere doesn’t help.

Also, be aware of the crime rates in that neighborhood. Is your equipment going to be safe in the van outside? Are YOU going to be safe if you stand outside? I’ve played some sketchy neighborhoods and have luckily avoided being hurt or having my equipment stolen. Trust me, it was luck…purely.

Know their reputation

Do a Google search on the club you’re going to play. Search for “review” or “scam” or other key words you think might give you some insight into the club. Sometimes, you can find the horror stories about these places. Or you can find great, glowing reviews.

Another source to get information about a club is Yelp. Check out the club’s reviews on Yelp to see if patrons or bands have left any valuable information on the club.

Additionally, Indie On The Move has a growing database where musicians can rate clubs and sign up for notifications of clubs needing bands. Currently, it seems more geared towards the East Coast than the West of the United States, but that is changing. Check out my interview with Kyle Weber about Indie on the Move.

Know their bands

Finally, but most importantly, contact other bands that have played there. A band can tell you the dirt immediately and whether or not you should play there.

Be careful to not just take one band’s opinion
. If one band had a bad experience, that could have been a fluke (or something that band did to cause the incident). However, if every band you talk to says the same thing, you know exactly what you’re getting into.