January 29, 2014

Looking for Interns in Philadelphia for Your Music Business?

If you're looking for an intern for your music business in the Philadelphia area, you can join me at the upcoming Drexel University Music Industry Employer Appreciation Event. It includes a tour of some of Drexel's music industry facilities, a reception, and a panel discussion as well as a chance to interact with other local music businesses and Drexel University students. 
Music business companies in the greater Philadelphia region are invited to tour Drexel's facilities and attend a reception to network and meet other employers as well as students looking for internships. 

Drexel University Music Industry Employer Appreciation Event.

Drexel University
MAD Dragon Records Studio A
Basement of McAllister Hall
3141 Chestnut Street

URBN Center
3501 Market St. 
Philadelphia, PA 

February 12, 3:30-6:30pm

To Attend:
RSVP to Tracy Feld at tlf64@drexel.edu or 215-895-6467

January 27, 2014

Consider These 5 Costs When Choosing a College

This is a guest post by Ryan Harrison. Ryan was interested in so many subjects in college, but realizing his passion he chose to pursue a Master’s degree in Business and Media. He is putting his varied interests to work as a freelance writer, covering a number of topics.

Many factors go into choosing the perfect college; you look at the academic programs, research opportunities, reputation, location, and student life, and of course, you look at tuition costs. Tuition cost play heavily into college selection, particularly when the average student debt load is $29,400, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. Tuition and other college fees continue to rise, so choosing schools with the total cost of attendance in mind is a necessary part of the process. It may eliminate some dream colleges for you, but going to your second or third choice is better than struggling to pay student loans after you leave.
Licensed by Ryan Harrison via Deposit Photos
Look at the Total Cost of Attendance

January 24, 2014

Upcoming Panel on Co-op Success at Drexel University

If you're a Music Industry student at Drexel University, then I hope you'll join me at this upcoming event. I'm moderating a panel with some great local music industry pros and we'll be talking about how to get the most out of a co-op experience. It's a great opportunity to network and get answers to everything from what to wear to an interview to how to do more than fetch coffee as an intern. Plus, if that isn't enough there will be refreshments and what college student doesn't want free food? 

How to Get The Most Out of Your Co-op Placement Panel

Drexel University
URBN Center
3501 Market St. 
Philadelphia, PA 

February 12, 4:30-6:30pm

Free networking, learning how to be a great intern, and food. What more could you want?

January 23, 2014

This is What The Colors You Wear Tell An Interviewer

Career Builder recently asked over 2,000 hiring managers and HR representatives what colors are best for potential employers to wear to an interview. Unsurprisingly, most revealed that the most professional colors are conservative ones like black, blue, gray, and brown. In fact, 23% recommended blue and 15% say black is best. The worst color to wear turns out to be orange, according to the study 25% of employers find it unprofessional. The study also revealed what qualities employers associate with various colors, so now you can use a little color psychology to your advantage to help leave a good impression. That being said, it's best to stick with those conservative ones and use the "creative" colors as accents when appropriate. Keep reading for additional tips from CareerBuilder experts to dress for success when meeting with a potential employer:

January 22, 2014

Live Tweeting The GRAMMYs Sunday 8pm ET for #MusicIntern

#MusicIntern chat is live tweeting the GRAMMY Awards this Sunday night. The awards air on CBS so tune in then join us on twitter or at http://tweetchat.com/room/musicintern (you should be able to check the link out now to test it) to discuss the performance, nominees, winners, fashion, etc. The hashtag is what will connect us and this site makes it easy by pulling all the tweets that use the hashtag #musicintern into one live stream so you can easily follow along (like an old fashioned AOL chat room or even a gchat) and it automatically includes the tag when you tweet from it so you can easily respond. So we can share our thoughts and ask and answer questions about everything happening at the awards. It's like a digital viewing party/networking event.

The chat is open to anyone who works in, wants to work in, or is interested in learning about the music business. Last year, before the awards, we took a vote to see who the future leaders of the music industry (aka you) thought would win the 4 biggest categories of the night. Turns out we nailed it and correctly predicted all 4 winners. Let's see if we can do it again. Cast your vote below. We'll reveal our winners Sunday and compare them with the real thing live Sunday night during the chat. Don't miss out.

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Internship with Greenleaf Music in New York, NY

Greenleaf Music seeks an intern based in New York to assist with the day-to-day operations of the company. The intern can expect to work on anything from venue merchandise sales to social media marketing or from data entry / analysis to tour production. The intern will gain hands-on experience with the skills necessary to become an entrepreneur, as well as valuable insight into the demands of running a company in the volatile music industry. The intern is expected to work about 15-20 hours per week, both remotely and directly with the team (based in Chicago and New York).

Ideal candidates will be:

  •  Trustworthy, punctual and interested in research and learning 
  •  Entrepreneurial 
  •  Excited about music and the music business 
  •  Familiar with social media outlets 
  •  Experienced with Word, Excel and cloud computing 
  •  Familiar with web publishing / programming (CMS and HTML are a plus) 
  •  Able to use their own computer

January 21, 2014

Vote: Who Will Win the Big 4 GRAMMY Categories #MusicIntern

This Sunday night starting at 8pm ET (our usually #musicintern chat time) we'll be live tweeting the GRAMMY Awards to discuss the awards, performances, and everything else. You can easily join in by going here http://tweetchat.com/room/musicintern or just using the hashtag #musicintern. Last year, before the chat and awards, we took a vote to see who the music industry superstars of the future (that's you) thought would win the most anticipated categories of the night and we called every category! Let's see if we can do it again! Cast your vote below, then join us to discuss all of the categories live at 8pm ET on Twitter.

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Do This Before You Contact Anyone in the Music Industry

Do your research. 

Nothing is a bigger waste of time than not taking a few minutes to know something about the person you are contacting before you reach out. You'll just wind up writing something completely irrelevant to someone who can't even help you. It's useless. Find your inner Sherlock and take some time to do a bit of detective work online.

January 20, 2014

Intern FAQ: Do I Have to Live in New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville?

This is a very important and frequently asked question, so it seems about time we address it. You want to work in music but you don't currently live in one of the three biggest music cities: New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville. So, does that mean you need to move?

Well, if you're happy where you are, you definitely don't NEED to move to pursue a music career. Sure, they may be more opportunities in the aforementioned cities, but there is also a lot more competition. It can be easier to be become a big fish in a small pond, as the saying goes. So, there are advantages to staying put if you already live somewhere with access to a music industry. Most cities have plenty of radio stations, concert venues, recording studios, and other places worth working. Plus, places like Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, and Austin - to name a few-  are pretty well-known for their unique music scenes in their own rights. 

On the other hand, if you do make a move to one of the music centers you may find yourself in a cafe seated next to a record label executive, and that's not so likely in a city that isn't as focused on entertainment. You may also find more professional organizations like GRAMMY U, CMAEdu, and the American Federation of Musicians have branches in that city and provide opportunities to learn and network. Those opportunities are important and can help you find a job. Still, there may be thousands of others with a similar background seeking out that same dream of moving to the city and making it big.

Another point you shouldn't overlook: will it make you happy? LA, Nashville, and New York may all be home to major music companies but they also have a very unique culture that may not be a fit with your personality. Love winter? LA is probably not for you. Hate country music? Don't move to Nashville then. Is time to relax and find a balance between work and life important? New York may not may you happy then. Let's not forget the important fact of finances. If you're coming from the south, for example, you might be shocked at how much you'll have to pay for an apartment in New York. Carrie Underwood even has a lyric in her song "I Can't in Checotah Anymore" that says "what I just paid for dinner would be down payment on a house."

So, okay, the answer is really that it's not so easy. You absolutely do not need to move to New York, Los Angeles or Nashville to have a career in music (though proximity to some sort of city does tend to help). There are plenty of lawyers, producers, performers, songwriters, managers, marketers, etc. who are incredibly successful and live somewhere else. You need to decide what is right for you, where you can see yourself living, and what you can afford, and make the right decision for you. Then, get to work, don't give up, and show the world what you can do no matter where you decide to call home. 

January 17, 2014

Mastering the EQ Sweep: The First Equalization Trick You Need and Will Use Forever

Guest Blog By Steven J Goldman. Steven is the CARA Award-Winning engineer for Four Legs Records, a professional recording, mixing and mastering studio in upstate NY. He is an experienced producer of Rock, Metal, A Cappella, Indie, Hip-Hop and Electronic styles, as well as a composer and performer. Connect with him at www.fourlegsrecords.com, and at www.facebook.com/fourlegsrecords.

Equalization, commonly referred to as “EQ,” is an altering of a sound’s level at specific frequencies, rather than a straight-up change in overall volume. You’ll find equalizers in every digital audio workstation, on every console, and on nearly every PA system in existence.

Professional audio engineers use EQ to carefully sculpt the sound of their recordings. They can boost (raise) or cut (lower) certain frequencies in various tracks in order to enhance characteristics they wish to bring out or downplay. For example, they can roll off low frequencies in a vocal track to help it stand out in a dense rock mix. Or, they can boost the midrange frequencies in a bass track to enhance the “pick” sound. They have specific hardware or software equalizers, each with a characteristic sound / purpose / color / flavor / odor, or what have you. Most of the equalizers that professionals use come with a modest to hefty price tag, and require a discerning ear to truly appreciate.

But in the world of home recording, basic EQ ends up being mainly used as a ‘Band-Aid,’ for cleaning up tracks that could not be recorded with an ideal microphone or in an ideal environment. Maybe you don’t like how ‘muddy’ your voice sounds, or perhaps your electric guitars sound too ‘sharp’. Instead of blindly applying settings you’ve seen suggested somewhere, it’s best to learn to use your ears and tailor the EQ to your specific source. We can use an EQ sweep in order to do this.

Here’s the idea; you have a track that sounds bad to your ears, but you’re not sure what exactly is bothering you about it. The most likely reason - a certain range of frequencies are too prominent in the signal. We will need to cut them, at least by a little. So what we need to learn is how to find exactly what frequencies to cut. I engineer all of my mixes in Cakewalk’s SONAR X1, a digital audio workstation with many built-in tools. Though I usually run a number of boutique EQ’s, let’s use SONAR X1’s built in equalizer to demonstrate the process.

In order to find what frequency to cut, we will create an EQ boost that is very sharp (lots of gain - we’re making it loud, adding anywhere from +8 to +15db). We also want this boost to be very narrow, because we want to later pinpoint a specific offending frequency. The width of a boost/cut is known as “Bandwidth” or “Q,” and the higher your Q, the more narrow the cut/boost (yes, it is opposite day)! Be sure to use a “peak/dip” EQ band, as opposed to a shelf or a bandpass. The peak/dip type eq is usually denoted with a ‘hump,’ and appears quite pointy when visually represented. Ignore the shelf/bandpass stuff for now; just pretend they don’t exist. In SONAR’s equalizer, we would select the peak/dip option from the “filter” section. See Fig. 1 for an example.
Figure 1. Creating a sharp, narrow EQ boost. Look how pointy it is!

Next, while listening to the problem track, we slowly drag our EQ band up through the frequencies until it sounds really bad (see fig. 2). If the track was too sharp, we’d drag the band around until it made that exact sharpness unbearable. If the track was too muddy, we’d drag the band to the frequency that makes that muddiness the most prominent. We’re not setting the EQ on a predetermined frequency; rather we are fitting the EQ to our unique source.
Figure 2. Dragging the boost until things sound... just awful.

Now that we know what frequency band made us most dislike our track in the first place, we simply need to reverse the boost into a cut (see fig. 3). We use our ears again here, and only cut as much as we absolutely need to. There are no steadfast rules here, just learn what sounds good. Start with mild cuts and go further if necessary. Listen, as our ugly duckling of a track transforms into a more pleasing duckling that swims gracefully on top of our mix!

Figure 3. Reverse the boost unto a cut. Turn that frown upside down!
Lastly, we just need to widen our “Q” or bandwidth as needed (see fig. 4). The lower the Q, the wider the cut/boost will be. Again, we use our ears, and leave it only as wide as we need in order to achieve our desired sound. In general, cuts should be narrow and boosts should be wide, but nobody can force us otherwise! 

Figure 4.Widen your Q’s! And cross your t’s.

There are hundreds of equalizers and tricks that are tailored to a world of different scenarios and sources. But the sweep and cut is ubiquitous. You can use this technique in every scenario, bar none. Live, at home, or in studio, corrective EQ is all about using your ears to clean up anything that isn’t ideal. If there is a single equalization technique to remember, this is the one.

January 14, 2014

Tough Questions to Ask When Choosing a College: Can I Create an Independent Study?

Admissions letters are rolling in and hopefully that means a lot of good news. It also means it's time to make some tough decisions that will impact the rest of your life. When you take a tour of campus you'll inevitably hear all of the most attractive facts about campus and see all of the newest buildings. But if you're going to commit to spending the rest of your life as a student then proud alumnus of that school, you need to get to the real essence of what it's like to be a student there and get a degree with that college's name on it. So, yes you want ask the usual questions and look at the dorms, and see the classrooms, and learn about the clubs they offer. But asking the right questions will help you learn the information you might not think about that can make a difference in your success and happiness both on campus and after you graduate. This is the second in our new series aimed at helping you do that. Today, we're talking about a lesser known way to get academic credit for an internship and how it can help you. 
Stilfehler at wikivoyage shared [CC-BY-SA-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Can I Create an Independent Study if A Subject I Want to Study Isn't Offered?

January 08, 2014

#MusicIntern Chat, This Sunday 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT

It's back. And by it I mean our Twitter chat. It's essentially an online networking event where people who are currently or interested in working in music get together to share information and learn from each other. It's usually a lot of fun and great way to connect. If you're a #musicintern vet then I hope to see you there again, and if you haven't tried it yet you should check it out. All you need to participate is a Twitter account. Here's everything you need to know to be a part of it:

Who: Anyone who works in, interns, studies, or is just interested in the music industry 

What: Since it's January, our topic will be 2014 goals. 

Where: Twitter

When: 8:30pm ET / 5:30 pm PT on Sunday January 12th. 

Why: Network and share advice and inspiration

How: Follow and use the hashtag #musicintern to join the discussion. 

To make this easy use http://tweetchat.com/room/musicintern 

  1. Login in with your Twitter 
  2. Type #musicintern into the search bar, and s
  3. Start tweeting. It takes care of finding and using the hashtag for you.  

January 03, 2014

Compose Yourself: New Competition for High School Composers, Enter Now

Compose Yourself is a brand new international competition open to all high school-age composers, hosted by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, “The Bay Area’s Premier New Music Ensemble.” All works will be reviewed by a professional jury of established composers, with six finalist works chosen by online vote! 
The contest is open to all high school-age (9-12th grade) composers, regardless of where you live. Any individual currently enrolled in a public or private high school or HS-level homeschool program may enter. No group compositions allowed. 

First Place: $1000 
Second Place: $750 
Third Place: $500

Finalists (plus up to 3 family members will be provided travel/accommodation to San Francisco for April 27, 2104 Awards Ceremony!)

Midnight (PST) January 15, 2014
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