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free arrangement template – architectural 7.2

Here's another one for the "Finish Faster" series. If you're struggling to take your music beyond 8 or 16 bars give this a look.

It's totally OK to borrow track structures or arrangements from the works of known producers.  It's like sampling how a song ebbs and flows. 

What I do is take detailed notes for each section of a tune and then make a mock arrangement in Ableton Live using silent clips. 

I've taken it further this time by including some inspired samples. In the latest template I'm using the tune "7.2" by Architectural. 

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. 

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. 

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.

Production Workflow – The extra bit of punch and polish

Techno Production - The Last Bit of Punch and Polish

In this video you'll see me dive in and put the last finishing touches on a track that's nearly done.  I've already played in the car and listened critically so when I go in I know exactly what I want to do.

Tape saturation to give the low end and drums more ooomph.  Reverb because the drums are quite dry and want them to sound cohesive.  Reverb is a good way to do that.  I also recap checking your mix in mono, my mix bus compressor settings which I use the Fatso by UAD for. 

Hope you learn something - the next step for this tune is to be sent to labels as a demo.  This is one track in 4 part EP.  

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