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What Does A Record Producer Do?

Posted by Mike McCready | October 19th, 2015 | No responses

What does a record producer do?

Stuart Epps tells us.

According to Wikipedia, Stuart Epps is a British record producer and audio engineer.

Since 1967, he has worked with many artists, including: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Twisted Sister, Bill Wyman, Kiki Dee, George Harrison, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Paul Weller, Cliff Richard, Bad Company, Barry White and Chris Rea.

He has contributed to many records and has been associated with many popular hard rock records by such bands as Twisted Sister, Wishbone Ash, Bad Company, Vandenberg, The Firm, Jagged Edge UK and Shooting Star.

Besides his work with Led Zeppelin, Epps has been involved in other projects with their guitarist Jimmy Page as well as on many occasions with Rolling Stone member Bill Wyman.

He now dedicates his time to producing Independent artists and nurturing new talent.

How MIPs Compete For The Top Songs & Talent On Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | October 8th, 2015 | No responses

It’s understood that musicians compete on Music Xray for industry opportunities, but it’s not quite as intuitive to understand how industry professionals on Music Xray compete for the top songs and talent.

While all industry professionals can use Music Xray’s advanced search tools to find songs and talent for their opportunities, the only way to guarantee they will hear and consider a particular song is to submit it directly to them. That is also the industry’s preferred method of discovering music – they want it to come right to their ears via their Music Xray inbox.

As a result, Music Xray gets a lot of requests from industry professionals to feature their opportunities more prominently on the site, or to feature the opportunity in one of our email blasts, or to promote it via our social media channels. So, I thought it was a good time to explain how we decide which opportunities get the most visibility on Music Xray and the decision making process around it.

When determining which opportunities to feature, we consider four things:

1. Attractiveness of the opportunity. Opportunities with higher dollar payouts get more visibility than opportunities with lower payouts.

2. Proximity to the decision maker. We give higher visibility to opportunities where the industry professional who lists the opportunity is the decision maker, works on the decision maker’s team directly, or has some involvement in the final decision. If the industry professional will be pitching the selected songs and acts to someone else for consideration, the opportunity will get less visibility.

3. Past success with Music Xray artists. Industry professionals who can point to past success stories with Music Xray musicians will receive higher visibility for their opportunity listings on Music Xray.

4. Submission fee price. All else being equal, we give more visibility to opportunities with lower submission fees.

Here’s why.

Let’s say there are two nearly identical sync license opportunities listed on Music Xray. Let’s say both are looking for romantic love songs. Let’s say both are for big movies. Let’s say both have a $50,000 payout and let’s say both of the listing professionals are the final decision makers in the process. But opportunity A has a submission fee of $10 while opportunity B has a submission fee of $20.

Why is it better for Music Xray to give more visibility to opportunity A?

Keep in mind that Music Xray’s job is to be a filter for the industry. We help the industry find the needles in the haystack. But, we can only find the needles in the portion of the haystack we can access. With a $20 submission fee, fewer musicians will put their music into our system, meaning we might miss some great music. Or, perhaps the musician only had $20 to spend on Music Xray that week. From a filtering perspective, we would rather they be able to take two shots for that amount rather than one – and we’d prefer to have two songs come onto the platform rather than one.

Another way to look at it is that the industry professional with the $10 submission fee is essentially telling Music Xray that they are willing to do more screening at a lower cost than the professional with the $20 fee. All else being equal, both the musician and Music Xray are getting more value from the professional with the lower fee.

By creating an eco-system where competition on both sides is key, we’re able to keep costs low and efficiency high.

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Seeking Music for the film ‘Restore Me’ – Exclusive Music Xray placement

Posted by Mike McCready | August 2nd, 2015 | No responses

 

 

This post was originally published at myemail.constantcontact.com

I’m the lead music supervisor on the upcoming film Restore Me and I want to give an exclusive opportunity to Music Xray artists and composers (guaranteed placement). Please submit your best work for consideration.

Project: Restored Me (film) (IMDb Link)

A troubled ex-con joins the colorful crew of an old movie theater and begins to rebuild his life, only to find his faith is tested when he learns the theater he has grown to love is not what it seems.

Scene Description: Julio (main character) is at his job, the historic ‘Escalante Movie Theater’, having a conversation with a co-worker.

Song Description: Looking for a song (any genre) that will be playing through the PA speakers/system in the movie theater. Looking for lobby sounding music. Imagine the song being on a playlist on Spotify, not elevator music but more radio leaning. It can be an instrumental as well.

I try to keep these projects organized here on Music Xray so please submit to me here. Thanks.

GRAMMY Award winning music executive Amir Windom has experienced unprecedented career success. He recently became an Oscar nominee for his A&R; work on Pharrell’s international hit “Happy”.

Windom’s creative genius on Trey Songz, Kanye West, T.I. Lupe Fiasco and B.o.B’s albums always yield impressive results. He has also developed marketing campaigns for renown brands such as Adidas and Kodak.

Read More : myemail.constantcontact.com

Author : myemail.constantcontact.com

Do you want to pitch your songs DIRECTLY to Music Industry Pros? click here.

 

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Roc Nation Seeking New Talent For Management Consideration

Posted by Mike McCready | July 31st, 2015 | No responses

 

 

This post was originally published at musicxray.com

Roc Nation is seeking new talent for management consideration.

Roc Nation is an American entertainment company founded and owned by JAY Z. The company has offices in New York, Los Angeles and London.

Founded in 2008, Roc Nation is a full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; film & television; new business ventures; and a music label. It is home to a diverse roster comprised of critically acclaimed recording artists, writers and producers including Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Rita Ora, Calvin Harris, NO ID, Timbaland, Santigold, DJ Mustard and more. Roc Nation has a partnership with global management company, Three Six Zero.

– Randy “Spanish Ran” Rodriguez – A&R; – Roc Nation

Read More : musicxray.com

Author : musicxray.com

Do you want to pitch your songs DIRECTLY to Music Industry Pros? click here.

 

NEW FEATURE ANNOUNCEMENT: Hookblast

Posted by Mike McCready | July 23rd, 2015 | 10 Responses

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our latest feature, hookblast.

Hookblast enables artists to bracket the hook (up to 45 seconds) in their songs to make it really easy for industry professionals to go straight to it. We believe this will mean more industry engagement due to a more satisfying listening experience for them. We think it will also increase the number of deals done via the site and the number of songs / acts selected for opportunities overall.

Check out the informal announcement below.

The Key To Understanding Music Xray is Understanding “Diagnostics”

Posted by Mike McCready | June 27th, 2015 | 27 Responses

 

Music Xray’s primary job is to find the needles in the haystack. A needle is any song or act deserving of being selected for any opportunity throughout the industry. Diagnostics insures we gather the information to enable us to do our best.

What is Diagnostics? Diagnostics is a one-time per song purchase that costs $10 and must be purchased for each song that is submitted directly to any opportunity or any industry professional on the site. Once Diagnostics has been purchased for a song it becomes “Diagnostics Exempt” and may be submitted to an unlimited number of opportunities without ever being required to purchase Diagnostics again.

Diagnostics serves two purposes:

1. It tells you where your music stands compared to other music that may be competing for similar opportunities. It generates recommended next steps based on the industry and fan reaction. And perhaps most importantly, it shows you the likelihood your music will be selected for an opportunity via the site, assuming you employ a best-practices submission strategy.

2. It tells the industry where your music stands and how to find it. Because Diagnostics enables us to gather enough information about your music to make it easily searchable for industry professionals in our industry-only search & discovery engine called Needlestack. This increases the chances your music has of being discovered by industry professionals who conduct searches for music with specific characteristics, such as high production quality, interesting hooks, mood, topic, etc.

We cover both purposes in detail below.

Purpose 1: To tell you where your music stands…

See the key for each item below the graphic:

A. The number of professionals who have heard and rated this song (at least 5 professionals rate the song upon your first submission – serious professionals from among our over 1500 professional users currently seeking songs and talent, so if the song blows one of them away, a deal or relationship may ensue and often does).

B. The average of the ratings received from industry professionals.

C. Where the song stands among all other songs that have been rated on Music Xray (hundreds of thousands).

D. The percentage of potential fans who after hearing the song for the first time became a direct fan (which provides that fan’s email address and Facebook profile link to the musician). As part of your first transaction with us, we send the song to a pool of 20 potential fans we’ve identified based on the fan’s music taste. We have a pool of tens of thousands of fans (and growing fast) who have signed up on Music Xray to discover new bands and songs.

E. Typically, we target potential fans from that pool for you (when there’s a match between the song and the fan’s taste profile) for $0.33 per fan. If 100% of those fans convert to direct fans of yours, the cost per acquired fan would be $0.33, but at a 35% conversion rate, that cost is $0.92 per acquired fan. A 35% conversion rate is not bad at all! The cost reflected here is what real contactable fans will likely cost you if you were to continue targeting fans on Music Xray. It’s up to you to decide what is acceptable to pay per acquired fan, based on your ability to monetize their fan base.

F. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we tell you the likelihood your song will be selected for an opportunity on the site. To reach this result, Music Xray uses machine learning algorithms and statistical probability calculations. It also requires the artist to employ a “best practices submission strategy”. To learn what that is and how we calculate the results, click here.

G. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we provide recommended next steps for submissions to opportunities and the industry professionals behind them. If the results are not encouraging, we recommend not to submit the song to further opportunities and sometimes we recommend you get song help improving the song. We make many top industry professionals on the site available to offer song critiques and career coaching.

H. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we provide recommended next steps for fan acquisition. If the data is not encouraging, we often recommend not continuing using the song to acquire fans.

I. This is the song activity chart that tells you what is happening with your song on the site at any time. Did you acquire a new fan? Was your song heard by an industry professional? Was your song displayed in a search result etc.

Purpose 2: To make your music searchable for the industry…

Music Xray offers industry professionals access to a sophisticated search engine called Needlestack Music Search.

Every day professionals use this search engine to find the best new music on the site. They usually do this by first seeking certain characteristics such as mood or a certain lyric phrase, or bpm – which are things you enter as meta data for your song. But then they filter for quality, so they look for songs that at least a few industry professionals have heard and that obtain good ratings on things like composition, productions, and hit potential. Each professional can decide which attributes are important and adjust the filters accordingly to find they songs that match their criteria.

Most professionals set the filters in Needlestack to display only the songs that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals.

In other words, if your song hasn’t been heard by at least 5 professionals, it is unlikely to be found. That’s why Diagnostics obtains 5 industry ratings immediately for your song, upon your first transaction on the site. And this is showing results. About half the deals between artists and the industry on Music Xray occur due to Needlestack music search.

Below is an image of Needlestack. Notice the search criteria settings. This particular search is showing:

All the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that in the past month have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals and that have received average ratings of at least 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria (composition, production, arrangement, performance, and hit potential.

Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.

Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.

 

Selection Prediction On Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | June 26th, 2015 | 2 Responses

See the video announcement!

We’ve come up with predictive data model that is over 90% accurate. That is to say, if we tell you your song is 84% likely to be selected for an opportunity on Music Xray, we say that with over 92% confidence.

Explained briefly, the Selection Prediction calculation presumes a song will be submitted to at least 20 opportunities on Music Xray and that the submissions will be done intelligently and realistically. That means, our calculations presume, for example, that rock songs will not be submitted to opportunities seeking EDM, female singers won’t be submitted to opportunities seeking male vocalists, etc. It also presumes submissions will go to a variety of opportunity types.

Keep in mind that labels sign only a few bands per year, whereas music supervisors license many songs per month. Submitters shouldn’t make only “long shot” submissions but rather take aim at a variety of opportunity types.

Selection predictions are based on a number of calculations and high scores are not a guarantee of a track to be selected. Low scores do not mean a track will not be selected. In fact, we’ve seen tracks selected for opportunities that according to our data would have only had a 10% chance. Selection Prediction scores are meant to help you decide which of your songs should get more of your time & effort when it comes to pursuing opportunities.

Variables that shift and that depend on the submitter include a ‘best practices’ submission strategy and continuously shifting market variables such as the number of available opportunities that are appropriate for the track.

We re-calculate every few weeks so that the probability of a song being selected reflects the current state of the variables mentioned above.

Continue reading for more information…

Music Xray observes every touch-point between many of the industry’s top
professionals and the songs and acts they react to every day. We’ve been doing it for over 5 years and in that time we’ve accumulated a lot of data.

We’ve observed things such as:

  • The average number of songs each professional tends to hear before selecting one for their opportunities.
  • The minimum ratings on criteria such a composition, production, arrangement, performance, and hit potential that selected songs have received.
  • The correlation between the ratings songs are given by professionals and the likelihood a song will be selected for an opportunity at all.
  • The average number of “intelligent” submissions required for songs receiving specific ratings to be selected for an opportunity.

How we compute the percentage

We’ve plugged our data into Amazon’s Machine Learning platform and we’ve been able to make some very interesting and accurate predictions about a song’s potential performance on Music Xray.

By observing:

  • Your songs ratings
  • Your songs genre
  • Music Industry Professional acceptance and rejection rates

We’ve come up with predictive data model that is over 90% accurate. That is to say, if we tell you your song is 84% likely to be selected for an opportunity on Music Xray, we say that with over 90% confidence.


Maximizing Music Xray

Best Practices Submission Strategy:

Of course, it all depends on the submitter employing a “best practices” submission strategy. Submitters who do this will outcompete those who do not and thereby increase their song’s chances of garnering a selection.

A best practices submission strategy can largely be accomplished by applying common sense:

  • Don’t submit your song to opportunities seeking songs in different genres from your song.
  • Always fill out the meta-data for your songs including lyrics, artist bio, an image, etc…
  • Don’t take unrealistic shots. For example, don’t submit to a major label unless you’re confident you have what it takes to get on their roster – they don’t sign many acts and the ones they do tend to have significant traction.

The best way to make sure you follow a best practices strategy is to buy and read this book, published by former Columbia Records executive and hit song writer, Norman Dolph.

It’s short and to the point and it will save you a lot of time, money, and
frustration. It will help you out-compete those who choose not to read it.


Why might the likelihood change over time?

Music Xray is a dynamic site. These are some of the things that could change the likelihood your song may be selected:

  • New songs entering the site with especially strong ratings or especially weak ratings change the competitive landscape, making it easier or harder for your song to be selected.
  • An increase or decrease in the number of professionals seeking songs like yours. Fewer opportunities will increase the competition for the opportunities.
  • The selection rates of professionals with the opportunities (sync license opportunities tend to select many more songs/acts than record labels, which may only sign a few acts per year.

What’s the point of Diagnostics?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 24th, 2014 | 4 Responses

One of the most interesting aspects of Music Xray is how all its parts work in unison to maximize the likelihood your songs will be discovered by the industry.

As you know, before a song can be submitted to an industry professional on Music Xray, it is required that users purchase Diagnostics. Some users of Music Xray have suggested that perhaps this requirement is frivolous and simply a way for Music Xray to capture more revenue from users than they would normally spend.

But what is often misunderstood about Diagnostics is that it helps the industry discover your songs.

Music Xray offers industry professionals access to a sophisticated search engine called Needlestack Music Search.

Every day professionals use this search engine to find the best new music on the site. They do this by looking at the ratings a song has been awarded by other industry professionals. However, there would be way too much music to listen to if every industry professional didn’t have intelligent ways to filter.

So, most professionals set the filters in Needlestack to display only the songs that have average high ratings by 5 or more industry professionals.

In other words, if your song hasn’t accumulated at least 5 industry ratings, it is unlikely to be found. That’s why Diagnostics gets your song 5 industry ratings immediately, upon your first transaction on the site. In fact, each month an increasing number of deals occur due to songs having been found by professionals using Needlestack.

Below is an image of Needlestack. Notice the search criteria settings. This particular search is showing the industry professionals:

All the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that in the past month have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals and that have received average ratings of at least 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria (composition, productions, arrangement, performance, and hit potential.

Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.

Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.



Even including the modest cost of Diagnostics, Music Xray remains the most transparent, affordable, and straight-forward way of getting your music to industry professionals with the guarantee of a listen and response. Remember, Music Xray charges no membership fees. There are no hidden costs. There is no competitor who can even come close to providing the value we provide for a lower (or even a comparable) cost.

We’ve Reinforced Our Team To Insure The High Quality Of Our Community Of Music Industry Professionals

Posted by Mike McCready | November 5th, 2014 | No responses

Here at Music Xray we recognize how important it is that musicians, songwriters, & bands be able to trust that song submissions via Music Xray indeed reach the professionals to whom they are submitted. They must be able to trust that the professional accounts on the site are real, and that the professionals have been vetted. It’s important that our users know that the professional community is monitored and that no abuse of Music Xray’s submission fee model is occurring.
While this has always been a priority, we’ve recently reinforced our team to help us insure the quality of our professional community.  These professionals help us recruit, vet, and manage the growing number of professional accounts on Music Xray.

 

Dick Wingate

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With more than 30 years in the music business, Wingate has served in senior marketing and A&R roles at Columbia, PolyGram, Arista and Epic, working with such artists as Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann and Eddy Grant. He’s also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), an advisory board member of Songza, President of BHi Music Group and Principal of DEV Advisors.

 

 

 

Akino (Kino) Childrey

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Akino (Kino) Childrey has been managing professional recording artists for the past 17 years. His management expertise has influenced the career of hip hop veteran Royce Da 5’9 along with many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy J

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Billy J is a former record label executive who got his start as an assistant A&R for GOOD Music.  Working his way up to Vice President of A&R with SRC records, he discovered and broke hit records with artists like Yung Berg and Ray J.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Needlestack Music Search for Music Xray Industry Professionals

Posted by Mike McCready | April 13th, 2014 | 1 Response

Introducing Version 1 of Needlestack Music Search. It’s pretty cool and is already resuting in many more professionals finding the songs and acts they want to work with.

Our intention with this product is to make it an indispensable tool for industry professionals, giving a competitive advantage to those who use it and leaving those who don’t behind. Given that it’s free, there’s no reason not to give it a try and decide for yourself.

We’re announcing it’s launch today, April 14th at Sync Summit Paris. Click the video below to see how it works.