Remembering Sound Factory’s “Sanctuary” Halloween Party

Ahh the good old days - said every veteran clubber who says "It's just not the same."

Times change for the better and worse. There's a lot of new stuff I missed out on, there a lot of great old stuff that won't ever be experienced again. 

That is the Manhattan Megaclubs.  

While I didn't catch Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, while they were in their prime, clubs don't last forever and people my age had Vinyl, Sound Factory, and Crobar.  For generations of nightlife revelers since Studio 54 & The Paradise Garage, there was always a "big" club to go to.

Sadly big NYC clubs have gone the way of the dinosaur - this article explains more.  

In the meantime here's some professionally shot club footage from the "Sanctuary" party back in 2003. 

Have a wicked good, safe Halloween. Get inspired for your next studio session.  

You're 1 track away.


PS. Play the video - you see all the people on line during the day. That's how it used to go down. Halloween was one of about a dozen or so marathon "theme" parties that would go from 10pm Saturday well into Sunday evening. 

playing fair

stop f*cking playing fair.

It will get you no where.

It will bring you debt and wasted months and years.

Go for it. Just do it. Get f*king fired up.

What does this mean?

Stop playing fair and following "the rules"

What does this have to do with production?


Because rules are set up to fleece you of your resources (time and money)

Wanna produce? sign up for this "certificate" program that costs thousands.  Because certificates sound proper and official but in reality it's 2 cent paper.

Gimme a break.

Production is like skateboarding.  Skateboards don't cost that much.  But what the skater does with it is what makes all the difference.  You don't need a silly certificate to skateboard.

The costs of production are a lot lower these days in-terms of gear and software.

But there's an abundance of content (tutorials, blogs, samples)

So while costs to produce are lower, the overload factor is HIGHER.

If you play by the rules you "load up" on low cost and free content

Or maybe you shell out big bucks for instruction.

Playing by the rules is very taxing on resources (time/money)

If you wanna get fit and play by the rules you "load up" on low cost/free calories like carbs.

You also do easy low risk stuff like "jogging/walking" or shell out big bucks for fancy over priced personal training - where most trainer are better at sales than delivering good programs.

This shit doesn't work, it's a hamster wheel.

Barbell lifting compared to jogging takes the same amount of time, doesn't cost much more, but the risk factor is far greater than mindless treadmill walking.

The stress is greater, but where there is risk there's also reward.

Where there is stress, there's opportunity for growth.

The same applies to production.

A lot of people "think they are producing" but there's really just doing mindelss treadmill walking.

Learning tips and tricks here and there, but very little music finished.  Lots of generic, formulaic tactics.  Little to no emphasis on foundational strategy.

Fuck that.

The end user doesn't benefit from the "wanna-producer hamster wheel"

You know who benefits from this?

Tutorial makers who make money from YouTube ad revenue, who like having eyeballs on their sites so they get fancy gear they can be the first to review.

Makers of software who wanna sell you yet another plugin.

Instructors who just churn out tutorial videos who sell membership sites.

If you play by the rules, you end up being more of a docile consumer of content

and not a producer of music.

Ready to flick the finger to all this noise and walk away?

If so, good. 

Because I'm never one to just "follow the rules" I like to play the game to win.

This never helped me in school and on the job.

Cuz school teaches you to follow the rules and most jobs hire people who can follow rules.

But breaking away from the rules and challenging conventional wisdom never failed me with making music.  Same for fitness, which is why I made the analogy above.

If you've been a sucker playing by the rules, it's OK. I been there and done that too.

But if you're ready to move on and be a Rebel stay tuned.

Secrets of the Rebel Producer is coming soon.

"Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist" Pablo Picasso.


Nicola Baldacci On The Move

Nicola Baldacci returns to the blog with some news!  While there's a bit of a language barrier, I love Nicola's passion for the music.  Thanks for stopping by again, congrats on your latest news and best wishes.

How was your Summer?

Good Good Good Summer, we did my fourth party NICOLA BALDACCI & FRIENDS in my country Magione (Pg)

it was really nice to share moments with my friends a 100% tech house party (Guest Dj MARCO PAS From Reverse Party)

now I'm waiting to return to my second home ME CANCUN where I expect two beach party I love Mexico there is nothing to do.

and my calendar is always open for the winter season.

What are your thoughts on the present and future of electronic music?

The future of electronic music is moving fast; There are many producers and lots of excellent music.

It’s hard to stand out from so many real people.

I noticed you signed to a booking agency - how did that work?
After much work the booking agencies arrivedI new entry on booking agency in brazil

SUBSOLO BOOKINGS they sell nicola baldacci in brazil on festival club ecc

now I'm also closing with a French  agent Lyone,I'm really happy about this..

How is the music coming?

Me and my bro Francesco lately we have focused on techno music, we're working on tracks both techouse and techno

we have had the support of so many artists techouse and techno as JORIS VOORN / NEVERDOGS / MARKANTONIO / RICHIE HAWTIN

AND it means things work fine I also have to thank my promotion agency POOL PROXY (GR)

you can find our productions: /

Are you now part of a production Duo - Baldacci/Romano? What made you stop flying solo?

My project is always active,I'm also working singly in my projects Gigs and Track.

the union with Francesco Romano serves to be more complete as far as the tracks are concerned.

we are inside the family NERVOUS REC / ADUNANZA REC / and we decided to join in to aim higher.
so we can create everything

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We have several track is outpot an ep on Be Color Music 2 track Techouse and an ep on Ride Music
containing 3 tracks and remix pack by joshua puerta artist by Music On.

One ep and one single track on Nervous Records a track has been supported by Neverdogs @ music on party.

and our calender is always open.

Do you have any upcoming collaborations, or is there anyone with whom you would like to work in the future?

I have several open collaborations, but I will not say anything until they are finished (LOL).

Signed to Jannowitz

Sending demos without knowing anyone really does work.  I sent about 23 emails out, all personally addressed to the labels (no mass mail) and I got about 4-5 responses.  Most told me the sounds were not a fit but one said yes which was Jannowitz Records run by the dj duo Boho.  I wasn't going to say anything but since Lars the Label boss posted this teaser video, I'll let the cat out of the bag. 

Also in my course, I reveal how I made the starting ideas.  This was a tune I started about a year ago and recently finished it up.  Total production time is about 8-10 hours. 

Meet the Boss Dr. Rhythm Graphic

The Boss Dr. Rhythm 110 Graphic 

Ranking in at a mighty 4.4 out of 5 stars on Sonic State is the Boss Dr. Rhythm. Here's what's written on Sonic State.  

Comments About the Sounds:
It sounds like a less grungy, brighter TR-606, with fantastic handclap sounds. Ticky Roland noise snare, your roland hissy analog hihats, ride-cymbal's bell-like, like the 606s, and the Bass drum... well, if I make a successful mod I'll post it. Oh, did I mention the handclaps are the best?! Not real tunable. . . But I'll be working on making some mods once I get my spare (guinea pig) DR-110."

How did I get this Drum Machine?

Hopefully you're like me and have a handful of cool older cousins.  My cousin Mike is an awesome dude.  Super duper cool. Runs a local business, plays in a band, always up for a cigar or whiskey.  Back in the day he got cast as an extra in the Sopranos and so on. 

The boss drum machine came out in the 80s and my cousin Mike was one part of the intended audience.  Mike plays guitar and wants to jam to a drummer so Roland made these drum machines.  Well, you know how history goes. They were terrible at their original purpose as they sounded no where close to rock and roll drums and they made there way to the second hand market and became the stuff of flea markets.  Then us DJs and electronic music heads got a hold of them and you know what happened from there.  One day a long time ago at Mike's house he was like "Here take this thing, because I never use it but you might like it."  

Anyhow it's a cool but of kit.  Very very simple, theres like 5 sounds so I recorded them with my UAD Apollo through the unison pre-amps and assembled some basic loops. I don't know what project couldn't use the cymbals, claps, and snares.  What's nice is that it comes in it's own case, so many are well kept. You grab one for a few hundred but instead, I recorded and you can grab the samples here.  Enjoy. 

slogging through the process of sending demos

You've worked hard on your music spending hours to turn those loops into carefully mixed, fully arranged pieces of music. Now what?

Self release or get signed.

You can self release but without an audience you likely won't move many units.  Or you can get signed with hopes that label exposure gains you some sales and fans.

There's pros and cons to each, this post is about sending demos to labels.

I'm not going to rehash the obvious (like bulk mailing an MP3 to many labels at the same time) so here are some tips for you.

Send music that fits the label - easier said than done.  What a label has released currently may not be where they are headed sonically.  What you think is a fit may not always be the case.  Don't get miffed if you get feedback along the lines of "thanks but the music is not the sound we are looking for."

Take that as a positive sign that someone listened and took time to write you back.  You know who wrote me that? Either Igor or Dan from Pig and Dan.  I sent a demo to their label Elevate and got that feedback.  I thought it was great to even get a response.  The lesson is that people actually do listen, so when you send stuff it's not just sent off into the abyss.

Couple things to make the process more efficient.

Use Gmail and this free tool to track opens.  This is to help you know that your demo email is getting opened.

Use sites like Labels Base, Soundcloud, and Facebook to get record label demo contact emails. Once you find them, pay attention to their instructions.

Most are something along the lines of - don't send MP3, soundcloud is still the most preferred medium.  Use a private share link.  Another benefit of soundcloud is you can see your track stats.  If you're demo is getting plays, chances are it's from people you're sending to.

Personalize the subject and message.

These are common practices that help your email get opened and read.  Sell the open, then the click to listen.

I'd suggest Landr for demo purposes, some labels will take care of mastering, so no sense paying for it if you don't have to.  So far my stats are 17 emails sent and 2 replies. That's great if you ask me.  1-3% is a common response rate.  Once you get 1 email down pat, it's pretty much copy/paste from there.

Want to know another hidden benefit?

It really helps you dig.  Kinda like digging in the crates. You have to hunt and peck for labels you think will work. It really helps you define your sound.  Also most labels also have a promo email address easily found when looking for demo contacts.  It helps to build a list of promo's for yourself as well.

Another way to find labels is to look at other artists I like and see what the labels they've released on.  I'll be doing more of this.

Should you produce with certain labels in mind?

Another thing I'm thinking about is that when you DJ there's definitely an element of playing for the crowd.  Not every track you pick is 100% to your liking, you have to play to the crowd a bit.

To that note, getting tracks signed is probably similar.  You may have to produce for the crowd.  It's ironic, but music these days is pretty much all contained in these perfect little boxes.  Like going into a neighborhood of cookie cutter houses.

While DJ's pride themselves on breaking tracks and their selection skills, many many jocks today stick to a very tightly focused sound.  And it's the same for labels.  To a degree it makes sense.  A label can't be everything to everyone - my point is that these days it seems things have gone too far the other way.  Due to 1-2 hour festival sets, there's not much room for experimentation -- this has translated to labels.

Anyhow this video from Budi Voight also has some good pointers.

Remember, you're just 1 track away.

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