The “LoftStudio” has gotten a major hardware and software upgrade. Because of the fact the old coputer, a DIY Intel i3 computer, decided to call it quits after having been a trusty companion for many years we had to buy a new computer. We bought an Acer Aspire with an Intel i5-9400 Hexacore(!) cpu on board, 8 GB of RAM, a Saumsung 256GB SSD and Western Digital 1TB Sata-disk.
We’re not going to bore you with lots of technical details but in the end we decided not only to upgrade the hardware but the software also. So we’ve installed Linux Mint 20 as well as Ardour6 and of course re-installed Mixbus5. For those that can understand Dutch, here’s an unboxing, test & review video.
For those of you interested: Ardour 6.x now comes with Linux 20, for free(!). It’s available in the Linux Software Manager as a free download. They do ask if you want to support them and as far as I’m concerned I’d say: Do so! If you use it on a regular base, just pay them for their efforts. It’s great software.
Of course we did some testing, after installing all the software. Here’s a video of a short recording session. Including a tip on how to get a nice, full, guitar sound.
It’s been quit here because we’ve been working on recording a few new songs. We finished them the day before the old computer broke down! The new album is getting close. Some of the tracks are available at Soundcloud (some are free downloads!) at https://soundcloud.com/barkingaunts.
Yes! Back at Soundclick and charting already! The Solid Rock Blues Band, previously known as Barking Aunts and YAOMB (Yet Another One Man Band) started on IUMA, mp3.com and.. SoundClick.
[Updated May 14,2020]
Well over 25,000 streams on SoundClick in only a few years convinced me (Rudy) there were at least some people who liked my music and I continued to build a following and friendships on SoundClick, some of the people I’ve gotten to know over there are still good friends! However, SoundClick was getting behind, had lot’s of technical issues, the forum was closed down and the place was “taken over” by people (artists) creating and selling “beats”. Not the place anymore for a musician like me.
However, SoundClick got their act together some time ago and we finally also managed to login to the site again (after four years..!) and uploaded the latest album “Solar Powered Love” yesterday. It was, to our surprise, an “instant hit” hitting #59 at the Blues Charts within 24 hours!
Soon after it landed on #1 in the BluesRock Charts and #2 in the general Blues Charts. Amazing! We are really happy and grateful this happened!
SoundCloud is an amazing platform for sharing and listening to music – especially a perfect place for musicians on a tight budget and independent musicians looking for a place to host their tracks or share them with the world. Many bands, solo-artists, talkradio, local radiostations and so on share their audio on SoundCloud. This has come to grinding halt.
What happened? SoundCloud notified it’s users they would need to pay for the services SoundCloud is offering as soon as they post more than 15 tracks or 3 hours of audio. Of course there is a simple way around this: put your albums in one huge mp3 per album.. so you can post 15 albums. But that’s not very useful. Especially for all these artist websites, studios, bands and so on that embedded their songs in their websites. Or, even worse, other websites that embedded their tracks, .. you would need to remove the tracks and upload new ones. Or, .. do nothing. Since, if you don’t upload new tracks, the old ones will stay at their service. The effect of this will be your account will be ‘frozen’. If you want to stay with the free service and remove tracks to post new ones there will be many ‘dead links’ to your songs.
For podcasts or radiostations, 3 hours and 15 files will probably enough to have their 15 most recent shows online. But still, the archive of shows will need to go if they have any.
PAY OR DIE
So, is there no other way around it? Yes, of course there is.. as I’ve mentioned: if you’re willing to pay. If you pay some money you get unlimited upload. You can keep using the service as you were used to. Currently they offer a discounted version, for around €75 for the first year. That’s still a lot of money for many people. So people will abandon ship or remove songs to post new ones.
I mean, really, do they want this to happen at SoundCloud? 404-errors all over? Dead links? I think it hasn’t occurred to them this will not only kill their website traffic but also their Google SEO-ranking… 🙁
THE END OF SOUNDCLOUD AS WE KNOW IT
This would be the end of SoundCloud as we know it and as we loved it. A 15-song limit is way to small. Especially if you have been around long, you might have build up a nice catalogue of songs as a band or solo-artist. And as soon as you want to upload you have the choice: pay or loose a (large) part of your library, effectively killing all embeds and ‘deeplinks’ to your music. This is, imho, blackmailing people to pay. It’s no problem for us to put the money on the table, it is, however, against our will. We’re being forced to pay .. and we don’t like that at all..!
The ZolderStudio (LoftStudio) has moved! As you might have noticed we were moving to a new location because we’ve bought a new house. Well, that is.. to us it’s new. But it was build around 1880. So it’s got a long history already. Anyway — we’ve started moving into the new house and rebuilding the studio.
The acoustic panels, btw, were very cheap to create. We paid less than 20 euro’s for them (hint: pre-made painters canvas). The acoustic foam was ordered online from Geek.
DIY Budget Home Recording Studio
In essence, my home recording setup is a computer with a (Linux) DAW (Ardour, Mixbus5).
Recording at home shouldn’t have to be very expensive. Hook up a mic, trough an audio interface or use an USB condenser mic, and you’re ready to go. But once you get started with recording, there’s no turning back. So I bought a lot of addtional stuff over the years. Lot’s was also given to me as a gift, like the SoundTech ST162 16-channel mixer.
This really still is a budget home studio. Even though some people who visit me think it has cost a fortune to collect all this gear and to create it. There’s a lot of “DIY” stuff in the studio and, as written above, lot’s of stuff comes from very cheap, online, shops and stores in the Netherlands like the Action (there are many of them now all over Europe).
The album “Morning Ritual” by the Solid Rock Blues Band hit the charts straight away after it’s release on Drooble. Three out of the four songs on the EP were in the Blues charts the day after the album was released.
We’re very happy about this of course and hope the tracks will be played even more of course.
Spotify has just released the statistics over 2018 and as an artist you can see how many streams your songs got, how much time people spend on listening to your songs and some more.
For us, it was a nice surprise to see how many streams the songs got. I’ve always been curious about this and now, finally, I can get some insights from Spotify directly instead of the statistics from CDBaby, Tunecore and the like.
Much to my surprise, it seems people listened to the “Down for the Count” album a lot: 815 streams and 2k minutes (yes, that’s well over 33 hours!). Despite this, no sales from or related to Spotify. And if you’re in it for the money, don’t trush to be able to make a living out of it unless your name is Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan. But even they won’t get much payments from Spotify.
As long as you’ve had more than three listeners before October 31st, there’s a wrapped experience waiting for you. Spotify
For sales, we depend on CDBaby and BandCamp. If interested in high audio qualiy downloads of our music, please check them out:
How do you get your songs in the Drooble Charts? Is there a fee involved? Special tricks to promote your songs? I’ve had some successful charting songs at Drooble and basicly it’s pretty easy. Remember the piece about getting plays on Bandcamp (read here). The same principles apply!
To get started you will need an account at Drooble. Click here to join (free, no strings attached!). After that, fill in your (band)profile, and become an active member. You can upload a few pictures. Start introducing yourself, give people some feedback or “applaud” their posts. Listen to songs posted by others.
You will need to become an active member because activity will earn you KARMA points. You will need these KARMA points to get radio plays. Because, as soon as you submit a song for radio play you will be “charged” 100 KARMA points. So, you will be “paying” Drooble (and the other artists) with your time and activity. That’s all. Other than that, you won’t need to spend a dime.
SUBMIT YOUR SONG TO DROOBLE RADIO
As soon as you have 100 KARMA you can upload a song for Radio. During the process you can submit it (for the Drooble Radio). They will listen to it and depending on the quality of your song will accept it (or not!). As long as it’s not clipping, has a reasonable audio quality and can be considered at least a regular, full, song, it will be accepted.
CHARTS? SETTINGS OF YOUR SONG!
Before uploading the song, do some research! Look at the charts and the available categories. Pick the one your songs suit best and tag the song with these categories. The first one you choose is the chart you will be listed on as soon as you get (some) plays.
This is also important for the radio plays. Because, people can set their preferred listening style at Drooble Radio. If you post a hip-hop song as country, people won’t listen but skip it right away.
PUT IT UP ON THE WALL
Now, once you done. post it on your Wall! Like I did here.
Make sure you put it in some suitable categories when you post it and uses a few tags that fit the song.
This will make people curious, they’ll give it a play (getting your to the charts!), give feedback (applaud their feedback, respond to it. It will give you even more KARMA!).
THE WEEK STARTS ON SUNDAY
It’s all a numbers and planning game. The week starts on Sunday at Drooble. So post it on Sunday (or Saturday evening). Soon you might see you song going up in the charts.
Our new song, No Limit (On Love) went straight in to the charts soon after posting it on the wall. It even went higher up when it was accepted for radio-play on Drooble.
SHARE IT ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUR WEBSITE
Make sure you share the link at Drooble on social media. Email your friends the link, share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN. Make sure you have a “promotion plan” and work it!
Hope this article was of help and good luck with your promotion on Drooble! Remember, it’s free and fun! Want to do something in return and thank me for the above tips? Give our song a play! Or share this post on social media. Thanks!
Drooble announced new guidelines for the “Drooble radio station”. Drooble will now reject people from rotation on the ‘Drooble radio’ because of “poor quality”. This Social Network is no longer a Social Network for musicians if they do so.
Radio is a feature of the Drooble Network right? Rejecting people because they have made recordings or songs that are not up to Drooble’s standards (that is: standards for radio) is plain stupid.
People pour their heart and soul in to a song, upload it. Get applauded for it. Receive feedback and will get better because of that. And now, no one will listen to these “bedroom recordings” anymore because it’s “substandard” and will no longer be played on Drooble Radio.
Of course it is sub-standard! That’s the whole idea right? As the Drooble Mission says:
At Drooble we believe that music has the power to change the world for good. So our mission is to provide musicians with better opportunities for growth and networking [..] Imagine a community where you can connect with others to collaborate, exchange ideas and share knowledge. A place that unites all artists worldwide and offers them a revolutionary approach to promote their work. A place where music comes first.
Sharing stuff, getting feedback, getting better. Enjoying other peoples hard work.It’s almost impossible if they kill their radio station and only allow “radio ready” (a.k.a. “commercial stuff”!) songs. The rating system they propose now also doesn’t give any insights to what you should do to improve yourself.
This will only lead to people “applauding” stuff they don’t give a rats ass about to earn “Karma points” so they can get their song in rotation. This might lead to many leaving Drooble or frustrate them so much they won’t upload anymore. They will lose a lot of active members this way. If Drooble insist on this stupid new policy, it’s only going to lead to people using Drooble to “get plays” .. It won’t help the community. It won’t help musicians to improve.
The songs you upload will no longer be automatically streamed on the Drooble radio. Instead, there will be an approval process managed by Drooble Team – your songs will receive different in text and colour labels, which show your songs’ statuses: Pending Review in yellow, Live on Radio in blue, and No broadcasting in red (Please, note that you can click on each status for more information. You will be notified every time your songs’ statuses change). These statuses will increase the overall quality and give a signal to those who need to spend more time on production – this is a good way to see if your production skills are on a radio-ready level or not yet.
In other words: they don’t want to play your bedroom recordings. They don’t want other artists to listen to your latest masterpiece because you recorded it using a smart phone playing on your old acoustic guitar. They want radio-ready shiny sleek produced stuff. So, we all know what this, in the end, will lead to. Hip Hop, Rap, commercial radio music.. “Bye Bye Talented and Aspiring Musicians – we no longer welcome you to Drooble Radio”.
BUT I STILL LIKE DROOBLE…
Despite the policy change I still like Drooble. The concept is good. They’re the new kid on the block and I’m willing to wait and see how these changes will effect me and the community. For now, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. But I’m afraid this move might cause them to be forgotten, over and done with, just like MySpace in the past (and many others before that).
So far, one of the SRBB songs was rejected for Drooble Radio. Other songs were accepted for rotation. And yes, those are more commercial sounding tracks, as we suspected.
Do you want free promotion for your music? Do you want to join a free and awesome community of musicians worldwide and for free? Post your songs there, your videos,.. chat, collaborate? Join Drooble!
At Drooble they believe that music has the power to change the world for good. So their mission is to provide musicians with better opportunities for growth and networking. Unlike the other platforms where promotion is paid with money, musicians on Drooble can contribute to the community and earn points, then spend those points on the valuable promo tools they’ve developed and constantly improve.
Only about two weeks ago I’ve joined Drooble. And ever since I felt very welcome. People respond to your posts. They respond to your music. Give good (but nice) feedback.
It looks a little like Facebook. On Facebook however, most people aren’t interested in your latest songs or video’s. Apart from that, the Facebook algorithm has been changed in such a way it’s almost impossible to get some serious attention for your bandpage. They want you to pay for posts. And, when you do, it shows up as an add on Facebook and people don’t like adds.
DROOBLE MAKES ME REMIND THE OLD SOUNDCLICK!
Years ago I’ve joined IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archive). It went down, so I joined mp3.com. That one went down too.. and after that, there was (and still is) SoundClick.com. It was fine for many years. Great forums. But the owners don’t seem to care much about it anymore. They promised updates for many years, but won’t do so. The forums have been gone for a long time. Many accounts are “dead”. And the site seems to have been taken over by “beats makers”.
Soundclick was a great site (many years ago) and I’ve made some friends over there. Drooble has that same “feel” SoundClick had back in the old days with a modern look and feel. It’s a great community to be part of. Oh, and did I tell you it’s free? It is!
Join Drooble when you’re serious about music and want to get in touch with other musicians worldwide. Or if you want to find great music. Go to: https://drooble.com/
Bandcamp is a wonderful platform to get your music heard and distributed for a very decent, small, fee. They take 10% of your sales – no upfront payment, no membership. It’s the best deal you can get if you ask me. But how to get noticed on BandCamp?
I’ve had some serious issue with that, to be honest. I put albums on BandCamp, ”advertised” them on my websites, twitter, facebook, google+. And the albums got some plays and even some sales. On ReverbNation it’s easy to get some attention. Simply hand them a few dollars and you can buy advertising. On BandCamp you cannot get paid advertising. I think they could improve their site slightly – adding a charts section, allowing people to buy advertising. On the other side, .. if you do so, only those with some serious budget will get serious attention.
HOW TO GET FREE PLAYS ON BANDCAMP
So, how do you get noticed at BandCamp? How do you “advertise” your album or single? It turns out it’s pretty easy. It all revolves around the “discover” settings!
Go to the BandCamp website, log in to your account, and click on the “profile” settings;
Select the genre your music fits in;
Select the sub-genres it fits in.
See below screen captures.
Selecting the genre
The sub-genres should be the ones connected to the main genre! You can find them by looking at the ‘discover’ section at BandCamp. Below I’ve selected “folk” and on the second row you see the sub-genres you can choose from.
Now wait for a day and you’ll see your new album listed under the new arrivals. And you’ll get (free) plays!
HOW MANY PLAYS?
How many plays will this get you? It all depends on how popular the genre is. The more new releases the faster you’ll go down in listing. But, a popular genre will also give you more plays. But in the end it’s free promotion. It got the new album we’ve released about 100+ (extra) plays of songs in only a few days.