Monday, 11 February 2013

Using A Microphone As A Speaker

I thought we'd look at using a microphone as a speaker today - a relatively simple trick that was shown to me about two months ago. If I'm honest I did not really think much of my mate when he was explaining this to me - in matter of fact I thought he was taking the piss.

Using a microphone as a speaker does work though - seriously. Now before we start should point out that you will get much better results by using a dynamic mic for this experiment. Condenser mics need an outboard power source. Another piece of equipment you will need is an XLR to jack or Phono. XLR's are your traditional balanced mic cables - one end female and one end male ( you know the ones - 3 prong and 3 holed ). But in this case you need the XLR to go to a normal jack, like a guitar cable. 

Now here comes the magic!!!!! Simply plug the jack end of the mic cable into a jack output. Try an old fashioned amp first - like a consumer Hi Fi system. You can also try an output on a synthesizer keyboard ( MIDI Keyboard ). The mic will act as a speaker! It's not a bad little speaker either. Unfortunately it will be a mono speaker with the two stereo images merged into one inside the mic but it will work as a speaker.

I was blown away when I was first shown it. We used a Shure Sm58 and it did a really impressive job. Not the loudest of speakers but a speaker that was certainly clean sounding enough in it's own right. So there we go - using a microphone as a speaker! It's probably best not to use a mic you've paid over $300 for in this experiment just to be on the safe side. But by all means use any of the cheaper dynamic mics you own - it will work although the volume will differ from source to source.

We hope you enjoyed our post 'using a microphone as a speaker' and hope you stop by again soon. The blurb below is from one of our sponsors ( we've got to pay those bills ) so if it is of no interest to you please ignore it. On the other hand if it does interest you all the better - jump in!

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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Welsh Alternative Music Videos - Acrimonious

Well, I thought it was about time I did a post covering all the welsh alternative music videos ( included on the album ) that Acrimonious have released so far. As our first album is now out we will be adding newer videos of the mastered album versions. The first video is the original version of Independent princess, a beautiful acoustic song with Becca on lead vocals and John smashing through a piano line at the crescendo of the song. Have a listen below:

I have decided to stick to the welsh alternative music videos of songs from our album today - tomorrow ( or the next post ) I will cover the remaining videos. The next video is of one of my favorite tunes on the album - The Things In Life I Choose To Ignore. This song was supposed to be a joke until me and John decided to finish it off one drunken night. I did the music and John's on the vocals - Oasis meets the Prodigy, have a listen:

I hope you enjoyed the tune above - not to be taken to seriously. The next video tune included on the album is No Idea ( if my memory serves me right ). This was written by myself for my old band Rufus Quadrangle but to be honest they were a little to rock and they did not really understand it. I recorded it myself and then John added a shit hot organ line over the top - one of my best tunes to date, see what you think:

That handsome git in the video above is me by the way! Nice tune that one, sort of influenced by Noel Gallagher and Oasis. The next tune is a very dark tune - so dark I don't really want to go into the subject matter, it may hurt some people's feelings and that is not what I was aiming for. The tune is called April and it is a great production achievement:

Well as far as the album is concerned that's it for welsh alternative music videos. There are other songs released and housed on YouTube but they were deemed not up to standard for the album ( or they just did not fit with the other songs on there ). This post is slightly different from normal posts and does not include that much audio information. Sorry about this but we had to get through these videos before we released our newer remastered versions on YouTube. Keep an eye out for them - these songs above will be included. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Listen To Our First Album

This post is again centering around something big that has happened to Acrimonious recently and the title - listen to our first album, should give the game away. I've already mentioned how important it is to throw everything at your first music releases, it's gonna be real tough getting your music noticed. 

So here we are, please listen to our first album! It sounds like begging and it most surely is. I have no problem admitting this as it is a weapon every up and coming artist should be using. If you can find a way to cheat then cheat. If you can find any sort of way to get ahead of the competition then use it. All over this page are direct links and banners to our Amazing Tunes music page where our songs are up for sale.

So, you can listen to our first album easily by clicking one of these links. If you have the ability to embed links to your music anywhere then do it NOW! It does not matter if it's not a sale page - if you have any videos on YouTube then leave links to them. Anywhere online that allows you to leave links is fair game - leave that link. the more links to your music the more listeners you are going to get.

At the moment I am smashing Facebook with information and links getting people to listen to our first album. Not only am I doing it from my personal Facebook page but I'm also doing it from our Facebook fan page to. For every person that 'likes' or 'shares' your link about 100 other people are going to spot it on their timeline. This is how internet marketing works and you must have a grasp on this concept if you wish to get noticed online.

Making music is fine as long as it gets listened to - without listeners music cannot and will not exist. Having tunes on your own Mp3 player is great but you want them on every other sods Mp3 player to! Distribution is a very necessary factor in gaining popularity for your music. There are even certain sites that allow you to swap likes on YouTube videos or Facebook posts. I use these sites to get ahead of the competition and you should to. 

There is a site named - this is a free tip from me today but a very powerful one. Have a quick visit and see what it has to offer, you will not be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to listen to our first album ( see - marketing!!!! ). Good luck with your music, I wish you every success. 

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Promoting Your Album

This blog post will center around promoting your album because of our first album release at the beginning of this week. So you've spent a few months putting together an album and you think it has a chance of turning a few heads. All your mates and people you know have been supporting you and telling you they cannot wait to hear the finished article.

All of a sudden everything falls down around you! Your albums out there and after the first day people have lost interest - it happens to most of us, believe me! You need to think out a plan for promoting your album and stick to it religiously. And what is that plan going to be - absolutely everything! 

When it comes to promoting your album try absolutely everything - anything goes as long as it gets your music more coverage. That's what me and John are doing at the moment. Social media is a perfect platform for promoting music. If I'm honest we've been spamming it the last few days and it has resulted in a few sales. 

Use Facebook and get other people to help you out. John and I have been posting the link to our album online and telling people straight to - SHARE SHARE SHARE! It has been working and people are doing a lot of the hard work for us. What else can you do when promoting your album?

I know it's old fashioned but flyers are relatively easy to construct and print off from your PC. I plan to walk around a few of my local towns and hand these flyers out to passers by. On the flyer I will have the URL of this blog along with the URL link to the album page on Amazing Tunes ( where people can download the tune ).

When it comes to promoting your album you must be prepared to take a few hits to the nuts ( if you know what I mean ). It will be slow to begin with and you will feel like nobody is interested in your music. It's like anything worthwhile in life - you must work at it for it to work.

If you have a digital copy of your album ( which really is a must in this day and age ) then you have a few options online. The most powerful one is the admin off various websites or blogs. Do a search for blogs in the same genre as your album and contact the admin for each of them. This will be time consuming and you will be banging your head against a wall with most of the admins but some will show interest. Some may even include some of your music on their site - how cool is that?

Remember - if you stay true to your music and you like your music yourself ( as in you listen to your own music and enjoy it ) you will see results - someone else WILL like it to. By promoting your album you are spreading your music to the world - do not stop and give it everything. The results will eventually come with dedicated hard work.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Reverb Parameters Explained

Hey guys, back on the subject of reverb again ( more specifically - reverb parameters explained ) as I've been using a truck load of it on our album release over the last couple of weeks ( BIG BIG PLUG THERE! ). Reverb is a very very powerful tool when it comes to production and audio engineering. The key word there in the last sentence was 'powerful' - reverb should be used with care.

You would be amazed the by the amount of recordings I have come across where the producer has had no little to no knowledge on the subject of reverb. Reverb can completely ruin a recording with ease and should always be used with caution ( the same applies with most digital effects ). 

So, reverb parameters explained! Firstly reverb is not the same effect as a delay. A delay is regimented but reverb is a set of RANDOM delays and echoes throwing off in every direction. Very important to know the two differences between these. Next the confusion over wet and dry sounds or signals. This is very easy really - the wet signal is the reverb infected signal whilst the dry signal is the original signal with no reverb. 

When mixing reverb you usually put the dry signal up to 100% and gradually raise the wet signal to achieve the desired effect. Pre-delay can be a little more confusing - it was for me at first. The pre-delay time specifies the time lapse between the start of the direct sound and the start of the first sonic reflection. Bit of a mouthful that isn't it? In more simple terms it means it's the amount of time after the first note is hit before the reverb kicks in. If we sing 'silence' then the amount of time after the 's' we wait for the reverb is the pre-delay. 

The pre-delay is not to be mistaken with the reverb time ( RT ). The reverb time is the part of the reverb which decides how long the reverb sounds. This is sometimes known as RT 60 or the Decay of the reverb. The three parameters we have covered above are the main functions of a decent reverb unit - they give us a lot of control over the effect. The more expensive units offer more parameters but it is important you get your head around these three functions first and become familiar with them. 

So there we have it - reverb parameters explained in simple terms. As I mentioned earlier, be careful with your usage of reverberation - in a lot of cases less is more. Thanks for stopping by and checking out our post 'reverb parameters explained', we hope you have found it useful. 

Reverb Parameters Explained - copyright of AcrimoniousTV1 2013

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Getting Your Album Noticed

So, yesterday evening we released our first official album simply titled Acrimonious. I thought I would write a quick post on getting your album noticed because that is what we will be doing over the next few weeks. As I've mentioned before - recording and producing an album is turning out to be the easiest part of the whole process these days, getting your album noticed is a lot harder. 

The first thing John did last night was grab the link sent to him through Facebook and share it like a madman around his mates in Swansea. Now I don't know these mates of his so already I have a band of lads working for me distributing the album in a different part of Wales. Facebook is your friend when it comes to getting your album noticed.

I will advise you to be as polite as possible on Facebook ( and basically not make the same mistake I did at first ). When we first started using this social media platform to promote our music a lot of local associates chose not to help out. I caught onto this and left many public posts on my timeline slating these selfish gits - mistake!

After a word from John I decided to hold off on this type of posting and things have gradually picked up since. Facebook acts as your demographic so you must hold back on it. I got pissed off with the same people making a fuss over my music suddenly disappearing when the support was needed for our music.

To be honest you need to try anything when getting your album noticed. I would go as far as contacting local newspapers as well. Flyers, posters, I don't know - TRY EVERYTHING!. The internet is a very powerful tool when it comes to getting your album noticed. Social media is not just Facebook - it stretches way further than this. Twitter is very popular - personally I hate it and refuse to use it but a lot of people do and it certainly has it's uses for promotion.

Social Bookmarking is very very powerful stuff. These sites allow you to post the URL of your tunes or your album in front of millions of members. The post will only stay on the main page for about 2 hours or so so make sure you re-post it every day. Do not go overboard with this as social bookmarking sites will ban your account if you start spamming.

Getting your album noticed is a very important and obvious part of your band's evolution. The more people you get to listen to your music the more fans you will pick up. The more fans you pick up the more money you will make and the more success you will get. The link to our album is at the bottom of this post. Please have a little listen if you have the time and leave comments ( positive or negative - everyone has an opinion ). Thanks for stopping by again and good luck with your music!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Selling Your Music Beats

So you've written and produced the next big thing in music and now you are looking at selling your music beats online. This is going to be easy - a millionaires mansion and Ferrari are on the cards, yeah right! You are quite literally setting yourself up for a fall if you think like this, when selling your music beats online you are going to encounter a lot of hair pulling experiences.

First of all the internet has opened up many opportunities for new musicians and artists but that also means the competition has grown rapidly. After all you're not the only one looking to make some money by selling your music beats. This will prove to be a problem as there will be a lot of music out there to sift through - and not all of it will be good music.

If you have some decent music then you have an edge - believe me! The problem is where to go form there. You can master a CD and take copies of it with you to your gigs or distribute around your local area but this will only get you so far. Digital music is much more accessible these days - love it or hate it, it's more popular.

Converting your tunes to Mp3 format will give you a bit of an edge in certain aspects. Many people have smartphones which are set up to take Mp3's at a click. Your friends and perspective fans can grab copies of your songs with ease this way. You are also able to sell your songs online easily with this format, although I prefer the option of selling your music beats in a loss-less format. These formats include FLAC or WAV files - two top quality digital music formats with no loss of quality from CD.

I use a website called Amazing Tunes, if you look below there is an example of a widget they offer with Acrimonious's music in it ( cool eh! ):

Now, this is not the only site online for selling your music but in my humble opinion it is one of the best. It is owned by a radio station ( Amazing Radio ) that is centered around new artists. If your songs do well on Amazing Tunes then they will feature on the radio station for free - FREE AIRTIME! That's right, free airtime. 

This has obvious benefits in itself but Amazing Tunes gives you your own personal band or artists webpage ( to act as a web store ). From here you can list your singles, albums, EP's, and individual songs! That's pretty awesome really - once you have this page of your work you can drop it's URL as a link all around the web whenever you want ( but please don't spam! ). 

Now with Amazing tunes you will be selling your music beats in two formats - you choose which. You have the option to sell as handy Mp3 format or as high quality WAV formats ( or both! ). Songs sell at 79p each and the funds are directly linked to your Paypal account. You may think I'm an affiliate for this site but I am not - they don't do marketing, no commissions with them! I just want to give you this great option for selling your music beats or songs online. 

As you might of noticed there are a couple of Amazing Tunes widgets on this post linking to the Acrimonious Music store. Simply click one of them to be taken to the site and have a look around - it's free to join and use. On top of this all royalties go to the artists!

Don't take my word for it, click on a widget to visit our music page and sign up form there - you will not become our referral and we will receive no commission for you signing up ( because everything is free! ). We hope you have enjoyed our 'selling your music beats' post and find some of the information helpful, stop by again soon!