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Old 1st June 2020
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
So, I've pretty much tried everything I can think of in terms of promoting my music.

Posting of forums, social media, groups? Check.
Paying for Facebook ads etc? Check.
Building a website, using other services like Soundcloud Pro etc? Check.

And yet, over several years, pretty much nothing.

Is there any reason to keep wasting my time like this?

Labels - the ones who are able to provide promotion, networking etc - seem to need a solid fan base.

The audience doesn't really care about you, unless you're already (even a relatively small) somebody.

So why bother with all that? I'm not saying stop making music - the need for that is deeper than having an audience, sure, and I've spent more or less 20 years before getting to a point where I feel comfortable to share my music anyway - I'm used to it.

But we are, after all, social beings. It's not about craving attention, but sharing something and *connecting* with others. If you can't, what's the point? Even money isn't much of an issue - I work as a classical musician, so I have at least a small income. I'm giving away my music for free now, and would gladly do some gigs just for the fun of it.

Would I be in any different position if I just put the music out there and close all Facebook, Instagram etc which I hate? I guess that's my question.

Sure, you can say "Go out and socialise, go to gigs, talk to promoters, artists" etc - but the truth is, after 10 years of a financial crisis that decimated my country, and the next one right around the corner, I simply can't afford that, and that's been my reality for some time now.

Anyway, just venting...

I read lot's of great advice in this thread about how to do this PR stuff and social and spend some money on promotion and stuff, really spot on stuff, but I was wondering as I was reading all this, how many people who replied this thread took the trouble to click on your signature and listen to your music?

So let's talk about your music!

I listened to 4 songs, and here is what I noticed by spending a minimal amount of time listening to your music:

The sound of your music is quite harsh and abrasive. I feel the need to stop the track very quickly.

I listen to a wide range of genre's, and I can appreciate some pretty complex or unusual sounding musical elements; heavy metal, industrial, techno, classical, ambient, hip hop, rock, blues, jazz, elektro, funk, grunge,... (yeah not so much pop) so that is not the problem.

With the abundance of quality music floating around for practically no cost (15 euro a month) we skip the "next" button pretty quickly when something is off in the sound quality department.

That means if your sound or music lacks a certain sonic pleasantness or does not intrigue right away, then it's very quickly the skip button.

Sound quality:

I feel you have an issue with your gear and how you master your songs. Your songs are quite flat and digital sounding, I miss that analogue richness everyone loves.

There is a kind of metallic abrasiveness in all your songs.

Your high-end seems overly loud compared to the rest of the spectrum in all 4 songs.

Your tracks are all very loud and highly compressed, try less compression and mix with more range.

It generally it hurts my ears a little listening to your music and I want to go for the stop button very quickly due to this.


I can't tell you what's wrong with your gear, but some of it can be fixed in the mastering.

Try use a more balanced mixing technique, tone down on the high end boosting, maybe find a local audio engineering school and ask one of the students to master one of your songs and see if that makes a big difference compared to how you do it now.

Try to learn from listening to famous songs in your genre and try to 1 on 1 compare your track with theirs. Shoot for a similar overall sound for starters.

Listen to your own tracks with a note-block and write down the flaws you find and try to improve those points in new tracks. If you cannot hear it, then you need someone to help you with this, preferably get a sound engineer to advice you what's wrong with your mixes and also let people in this forum critique your gear/setup/recording technique.

Musical quality:

I realize I am on thin ice here, because it's hard to talk about someone's musical quality. Also I am not famous or a renowned musician. Anyways, I feel personally that your songs are all very loud, similar BPM, and they do sound very busy. There is almost always too much going on at once. There wasn't really a melody or riff that I found very original or pleasant to listen to.

My advice would be to try and tone down on the musical arrangements and amount of instruments playing at once "less is more" keep only the best musical ideas/riffs and park the others.

I would recommend you to ease into the tracks with 1 really awesome sounding thing (can be percussion, or a synth) and then adding some other elements a it more slowly. Of course it needs to have real character, cheap VST instruments and digital synths might not get you there, our ears are spoiled and want that sonic richness!

Have a listen to "da funk" by Daft Punk and meditate on how simple and little instruments they used to create this famous track that almost everyone liked.

Listen to "Alberto Balsalm" by Aphex Twin, and meditate on the combination of simple melody and odd sounding samples that draws the listener into the song very effectively.

Consider switching genre for a few songs. Try deconstruct your favorite song and put something together using the same buildup and arrangement to see if you can learn something from doing that.

Get a mix/sample tool and sample/mix your own songs, parts of melodies, chords, into new songs.

Doing something outside your usual comfort zones might help you see why you are stuck in your musical exploration. Challenge yourself musically by not playing/composing on the instrument you are best at, force yourself to play a new instrument, compose away from the computer. Do a few live gigs without recording anything! Go to a jam session.

Some amazing musicians take 50 years to get to a point where they create something that is culturally relevant and musically pleasing to a large number of people. Some never get there at all. If you are truly in it for the journey and not the destination, then it doesn't matter either way but you will keep trying new things and having fun while making your music!