Hey there, I am in the middle of getting my next song “Hardly Hiding” released. I am looking at mid to late April. So, I have been thinking about writing this and trying to but, I’m knee deep in shooting footage for the music video and will start mastering the track tomorrow. I did want to update you on a few lingering items with my first release. First, I was sending a request to Virtual Encode “Sleeping Alone Again” to an outdated email address, therefore no response. The Virtual Encode is for the Nielson BDS or Broadcast Data Systems. The service tracks radio, internet, and televisions plays of your track and is what feeds Billboard it’s data. I “stumbled” on the VirtualEncode log in page and used the email link below the log in area. Within one day a very nice representative sent me all the info. and instructions I needed to have my song encoded. Here is the link to that page VirtualEncode. Obviously, I have submitted it.

Secondly, As you may know, your digital distribution company may submit your songs to Pandora, but Pandora is a curated platform and may or may not utilize your song. Even though DistroKid had submitted it, I hadn’t received any update so I decided to submit my song manually using my UPC code and then received an acknowledgement that it was going be reviewed by their staff. It was and I received an email that my song was available on their Free Pandora Radio Service. Then I went searching for claiming my AMP page. I submitted an email to their customer service email and received a response that AMP or Artist Marketing Platform was only available to artists with songs on their Premium Access platform but, that being said, they would be reviewing my song and expected it to be up and running in a few weeks. Well, it took a little longer than 3 weeks but, I went to claim my AMP page and sure enough I was able to be verified in one day! Very cool! I have not dived into all that can be done on that page to help promote “Sleeping Alone Again” on Pandora…but, I will. If you would like to check out “Sleeping Alone Again” on AMP:Fresh Cuts click HERE. Thanks for listening and reading! Stay well, Sue

Hi there, Even if you are not planning on recording all of your songs, if you are performing them in a venue or streaming them on Facebook, YouTube, or another platform you are due royalties. If you have your own publishing company then that entity is also due royalties. If you use a publishing admin company like Songtrust, which is the one I use, you can register your set list of your songs with them and they will handle the collection of royalties through your PRO. In my case, ASCAP would collect performance royalties from my performances, whether in a live venue or live streaming on the platform I choose. I just need to submit the data via their website. Most PROS have an online submission system in place for you to enter the song information and the venue information of your performance. If I perform in a venue that has a “blanket license” with ASCAP, and I may need to ask, then I should only perform songs in the ASCAP catalog (currently around 11.5 million) because the blanket license that the venue purchased gives performers a license to perform ASCAP songs. If the venue also has a blanket license with BMI, then I would be able to perform BMI songs as well. If you are streaming other writer’s songs, make sure you stream on a platform that also has blanket licenses with the major PROs. With YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, you are covered. But, you will need to get a synchronization license for all the songs that are not yours. It is best to contact the publisher and record label directly to get that license. So, for me, I will not be streaming other folks songs for now.

On another note, I recorded the tracks of my next planned release “Hardly Hiding” so, I’m back spending my evenings in my studio! Stay well!

As you may know, I edited my own music video, “Sleeping Alone Again” using Final Cut Pro X. Yes, I am a Mac person when it comes to creating “stuff” for this music career. So, I used two cameras and not knowing that there is capability within FCPX to do multi-cam edits just like you would for a live TV show, I visually scanned frames, cut them or trimmed them, and inserted them onto the timeline as I saw fit. I then added the effects I wanted in between the cuts. Well, I recently watched a very good tutorial on YouTube about using multiple camera angles and set ups. I will use the multi-cam editing feature in FCPX on my next music video. We will see which looks smoother and which one took less time to edit. Here is the link for the Thurston Community Media tutorial on Multi-cam Editing. I hope you find it helpful and it saves you time and energy!

Hey there! Just to go backwards for a moment, I sent another email to AARC in hopes of getting an answer about the status of the applications I submitted back in early November as a sound recording copyright owner and featured artist. That was 5 days ago…no response. If anyone has had a similar experience or can shed some light on the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, I would appreciate your insights.

Another update I would like to share with you is my application for trademarking my logo for my publishing company and record label. Being that I did this without an attorney, I watched almost every tutorial video the USPTO offered. More than one video stated that you will receive many emails from third party entities pretending to be part of the process…which I have. I was so leery of these emails that when one actually came from the USPTO, I read it and trashed it! It did look real…but I still didn’t trust it. I found out it really was from them when I checked on the status of my application and looked at the “Prosecution History.” Go figure. You can check on your application, if you have gone down this road, at this link TSDR and put in your serial number. Simple!

My song “Sleeping Alone Again” is on Pandora and , of course, other platforms. You can check that out HERE. Pandora has an AMP program for artists similar to Apple Music for Artists and Spotify for Artists. I can not claim myself in Pandora. I can find the song, but I can’t set myself up. Too many Sues…too many Larsens…I’ll find out. I emailed customer service today and sent them my links so they could verify me. We’ll see…

Lastly, a couple of months ago I requested the info needed to register my song with Nielsen BDS. No response…I was able to register my song with MediaBase with no delay. Both of these entities aggregate airplay of your song. They are encoded so that they will know if your song is played over internet radio or broadcast radio. I don’t know where my song will end up, but I wanted to cover my bases. Here is the link for the requesting access to the Virtual Encode at Nielsen BDS. If anyone has an update of this or knows a different way…please share it! I sent another request today and I’ll see if I get a response this time. Thanks for reading…stay well.

First, Happy New Year! I use DistroKid as my digital distributor and they do state how long it takes for your song or album to generally get released on each platform. My song was released on 12/18/2020 and just yesterday I was able to post on my social media platforms that my song “Sleeping Alone Again” is on Napster. Just today I received an email from Pandora that my release was accepted for Pandora Premium! Now, that is very cool but, until I made a special submission to amp.pandora.com/submit my song wasn’t even on their Pandora (free) or Pandora Plus platforms. I’m not using any logic to figure this out. DistroKid does provide the link to submit your music and explains all their music is curated in house so, there is no guarantee your music will get on any of their platform tiers. Anyway, they got back to me with the good news in under 24 hours. Today I also received an email from AllMusic. My submission to them has been added to the queue for processing. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to have my submissions processed and added to their database but, at least I got an update and they did send me a link to check on it’s status. They also do not guarantee anything will be added to their database or what information will be included. Sounds like a definite maybe!

In the meantime, I am plotting the course for my next release, “Hardly Hiding.” I created an Audio Visualizer in Apple’s Motion software, with the help of this video on YouTube “How to Make An Audio Visualizer in Motion 5” from The Final Cut Bro, as I would like to use it in my next music video. Keep yearning and learning!

Promoting myself or my music is a necessary task that is out of my “comfort zone”. I am not accustomed to speaking about myself or my music, as I like to think of myself as humble and grateful for the opportunity to share a piece of myself. Well, you can ask your friends and “fans” to help promote your music by sharing your links or placing your song in one of their playlists…if they like the song…and remain humble. I always say please and thank you and I don’t believe that just because you need to tell people about any project you do, that you have to boast about it or make other people feel “small” because they haven’t accomplished the same thing. Everything is so transient, and although it is nice to hear or know that someone likes a song or “took away” a lesson from it, all things these days seem to be “out of sight – out of mind.”

So, I am learning how to utilize the tools that Spotify and Apple Music offer, and my distributor DistroKid. Thankfully, Distrokid makes it easy to share your HyperFollow page on social media platforms. Instagram makes it a little more challenging, but Spotify has integration with Instagram. I will learn how to do that tomorrow and just give it a try. I know some people recommend that you post on each platform everyday and multiple times a day so folks can’t forget about you. Well, I know for myself, I grow weary of seeing so much from someone. I will have to find a balance with myself of letting people know something and not “hammering” them with reminders. To that end…if you would like to preview the song, stream the song, or download it, please click on my HyperFollow page HERE…and Thank You!

With my song registered with ASCAP, SoundExchange and SongTrust, I registered the song with Neilsen SoundScan, both the Title and ISRC registrations. I was able to claim my Apple Music for Artist page as I was verified in a day. I will need to take a look at the different features…I did add a photo of myself. Being verified with Spotify will happen after the release date.”Sleeping Alone Again” also was registered with MediaBase. That was a one day affair as well. This link Radio Airplay 101 will explain the basics of tracking your song over the airwaves. I have not heard back from BDS as I emailed a request to register the song with them as well. I have pulled together my materials for AllMusic and will be submitting my information about myself and the song tomorrow. This way folks can learn more about you as an artist or your songs in one spot. They can also leave reviews. I have looked at Discogs also. They pretty much do the same thing. There submission process seemed more complicated to me. I’ll have to take another look at it. Tomorrow I’ll be sending out texts to follow up on the email campaign I did a few days back. There is never nothing to do! Stay well and safe!

So, let me tell you how this all was wrapped up…I had finished the master…after going back to the mix at least three times to adjust the bass frequencies (tighten them up) and then had to focus my attention on the video. I knew that would be quite a bit faster than the audio portion of this release and I really had my sights on releasing the song before Christmas.

I got so excited about finishing the video (after 3 days work)…right after I copyrighted the sound recording, I posted the video on YouTube. Well, it gives you all these prompts to share it on your social media…so, of course, I did that too. This happened last Friday and I decided to upload the song to DistroKid on Monday. So, that did happen and on the same day I registered the song on SongTrust and SoundExchange. I am waiting on my AARC applications to be approved. It’s hard to say if I needed to do something more on the applications…I haven’t received a reply from my inquiries. So, DistroKid is pretty cool because they create a HyperFollow page for each release you have. You can go to mine HERE. I added lyrics, credits, and liner notes as well to go to the “stores”. Not all “stores” or platforms support the same data, but I figured what the heck, I’ll do as much as I can and see what happens. Also, it will take about a week for my song to be available in all the platforms from the release date. DistroKids communication is excellent and lets me know via email how the process is progressing.

I had to go back to my YouTube video and add the necessary links. YouTube gives you a lot of space in your description area so, you can get pretty detailed and share whatever links make sense and you can add a whole bunch of hashtags. DistroKid also created a UPC right away. I already had created the IRSC and received the ISWC number from ASCAP so, registering the song where needed was easy. I can also now register the song on Neilsen Soundscan. I need to do a Title Registration and also the ISRC Registration. I’ll do that tomorrow. I also need to send an email to my subscribers with the HyperFollow page and embed the video so those interested can check out the song. It’s too soon to claim my Spotify Artist Page or my Apple Music Page. I’ll just keep checking.

Today was like an advertising day…trying to get the news out. I created an event on Facebook, designed a posting for Instagram, and posted links on LinkedIn and Twitter. I had read multiple times that the “build up” for a release should be more like a month. That makes sense. Oh well, I’ll see how this goes in a 2 week window.

Don’t forget to update your WordPress.com site! I added the song with the HyperFollow link under it and added the video to each page…All the best!

Hey there! I’m excited and relieved to say I have completed mastering my first song! “Sleeping Alone Again”. It will be released in 2-3 weeks. I am now working on editing the video. As soon as that is done I’ll send the song to my digital distribution company and pick the release date. In my case, DistroKid. Tonight I will copyright the sound recording.

A while back I wrote in my blog I would explain to you how I managed to get through the mastering process. So, here goes…I will say I wish I had watched all the tutorials on mixing first. I did have to go back to my mix and fix a few things, a few times. Being that it’s my first time doing this…I gave myself lots of latitude. There was no point in getting discouraged or expecting more from myself…this takes time and experience. I had the time just no experience. I had shared with you previously information about Chris Vandeviver, who is the founder of Why Logic Pro Rules, and just to be clear, I receive nothing for recommending his programs. I could have done an enormous amount of research on line and learn what I did, but where to look and who to trust and to spend all the time…as it is, this project has taken me much longer than I thought. I’m sure the next song will not take as long because I’ve crossed so many bridges and laid a good foundation down. I ended up purchasing two courses from WLPR. One is called “Finish the Mix- Pro” and the other “Mastering Breakthroughs.” Check out his Blog page for very useful tools as well and many videos. Anyway, the “Mastering Breakthroughs” was a life saver and super clear guide. I know there is so much more for me to learn. I have a sense it could be never ending and that’s OK. Stay well!

I thought I might be done with the business stuff and could focus my attention on the mastering and editing the video. I will, very soon. I’d love to have this finished and released. So, here is what I have accomplished since my last post.

My PayPal account was converted from a personal account to a business account. I signed up and became a member of the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies. The AARC collects and distributes royalties stemming from the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. These royalties come from the sales of personal audio devices, blank CDs, media centers and the like. Since I am the featured artist on my album and my LLC is the recording company, it made sense to sign up. It is free to sign up. I also submitted my application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO to trademark my logo. It will be about 3 months before it even gets reviewed and then probably another 3-6 months before I hear anything from them. This task was the one I put off as it is very detailed and a little tedious to complete. Some folks hire a trademark attorney to get it done. You need to research your name and mark (logo) to make sure no one else is using it. Doing the process I did grants federal protection. By using the common law mark of TM or SM you may have statewide protection. Some states do allow you to register your mark, but then it is only in that state. In my area it is very easy to work in neighboring states…well it was before COVID-19.

After the release there are a few places you may want to register your song. For starters…ALLMUSIC. Their data provider is TiVo. I’ve linked the submission page. ALLMUSIC is a comprehensive resource to find out more about a song, the artist, the writer or musicians on the track or album. Discogs does kind of the same thing. It shares information about all artists and all labels. It is a public music database. I’ve linked their submission guidelines. Lastly, I’d like to share with you Nielsen Soundscan. I will be getting my UPC from DistroKid, my digital distribution company. You’ll need your UPC to register your song with Soundscan so your sales can be tracked. Go to Nielsen Soundscan Title Registration and Nielsen Soundscan ISRC Registration. You will probably also want to claim your Spotify page and Apple Music page once you have your music released. Don’t forget to copyright your final master of your sound recording if you own the master.

Keep yearning and learning!