If you are interested in reading about Music Licensing, either as an entertainer or a venue, please visit our Licensing and Copyright Web Page
Your Completed 2022 Annual W-9 Taxpayer Identification Form Please It's that time of the year again. We require W-9 forms to be on file with Freshwater Events for each payee and have made this process as simple as we feel we can. You can either * fill in the form online, and then print, or * send it straight to the printer and fill in with an ink pen. Please write legibly. Please make certain to forward this form to each individual in the band wishing to receive a paycheck. Please bring the completed form to your performance and make sure it gets into our hands. Thank you. Access W-9 Taxpayer Identification Form Here: http://freshwaterevents.com/W9.pdf
Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption We are required to charge sale tax unless we have a Certificate of Exemption on file. Please click the link provided. Fill in the form online. Print a copy and mail to us, or print a PDF and return your completed for via email as follows
TaxExempt@FreshwaterEvents.com | https://www.michigan.gov/documents/taxes/3372_216612_7.pdf
Tax Strategies for Musicians
If you’re in the business of creating, performing, or recording music, there are steps you can take to make the most of your year-end gear purchases and potential tax deductions. But you need to wrap these up by December 31 to be able to claim them on your tax return, so you’ll want to plan your purchases now. http://thirdcoastcreativealliance.org/node/37
COVID-19 Resources for Performing Artists This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc. https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com
COVID-19 Airborne Transmission Estimator There’s significant evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through tiny particles that linger in the air. Thanks to a University of Colorado chemistry professor, now there’s a free tool to measure those risks. https://cires.colorado.edu/news/covid-19-airborne-transmission-tool-available?fbclid=IwAR2oMT9B_jlra4Uiv9sb4CeJ5vBUkjjGueznc3NMZmMlziKyIRnoKMAzC4I
Electric Power Safety at Events and on the Stage Staying safe on stage is more than a matter of simply making sure that willing hands are available to set up gear. Knowing how to properly handle the mains power we all need is also crucial to performance health. http://freshwaterevents.com/node/163
Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting Pretty soon, as the country begins to figure out how we “open back up” and move forward, very powerful forces will try to convince us all to get back to normal. (That never happened. What are you talking about?) Billions of dollars will be spent on advertising, messaging, and television and media content to make you feel comfortable again. It will come in the traditional forms — a billboard here, a hundred commercials there — and in new-media forms: a 2020–2022 generation of memes to remind you that what you want again is normalcy. In truth, you want the feeling of normalcy, and we all want it. We want desperately to feel good again, to get back to the routines of life, to not lie in bed at night wondering how we’re going to afford our rent and bills, to not wake to an endless scroll of human tragedy on our phones, to have a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and simply leave the house for work. The need for comfort will be real, and it will be strong. And every brand in America will come to your rescue, dear consumer, to help take away that darkness and get life back to the way it was before the crisis. I urge you to be well aware of what is coming.
- Part 1 https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting-6a8ce3f0a0e0
- Part 2 https://forge.medium.com/the-gaslighting-has-begun-resist-aac3658813d4
- Part 3 https://level.medium.com/this-is-our-countrys-rebirth-388700e0b134
You Can't Always Get What You “Watt” As tempting as it might be, it is inadvisable and possibly dangerous to just start plugging things in because you have located an outlet. The first thing we recommend that you should do, is a little simple math. All electrical appliances, including crockpots, blow-dryers, roasting pans, and live bands (or DJ’s) consume electrical power in different yet definable (and usually published) quantities. I’m writing to you (venue and property managers, and event planners) because we need to have a power talk. http://freshwaterevents.com/node/145
5 Ways Your Mic Technique Is Ruining Your Vocals When you’re performing in front of the band, your job is all about connecting the audience with the music. When it comes to mic technique, there are several frontman fails that can drastically diminish your show. Are you committing any of these odious offenses, torturing the technology meant to vitalize your voice? Find out by perusing Sweetwater’s top five fiendish vocal-performance violations below. (by Sweetwater) https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/5-ways-your-mic-technique-is-ruining-your-vocals
Why Wireless Mics Drop Out and How to Prevent It During this 30 minute session you will learn:
- Understanding Local Interference and Range. Loss of range is typically caused by localized interference, like TV stations, motors, LED lighting, and now cell phone service in the 600 MHz band. Find out how directional antennas and bandpass filters can work together with high-quality coax cables to help mitigate this problem.
- Understanding Multi-Path Interference. Multi-path interference is caused by reflections of your transmitter’s signal, primarily by metal objects in your venue and other boundaries. These reflections flip the polarity of the signal and arrive out of phase which causes cancellations in your receiver’s antennas.
- Understanding Cross-polarization Fades. Cross-polarization fades (aka antenna dropouts) happen when your antennas are not oriented correctly to match your transmitters. Learn how the proper antennas can be used to maximize your system’s efficiency.
Sound Advice for Event Planners and Entertainers This paper is an examination of the challenges that event planners and live entertainers commonly are faced with, along with a few ideas and remedies on how to best deal with difficult room acoustics.
Why You Need Earplugs At Concerts Hearing loss is extremely common, especially as we age. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, prolonged exposure to loud sounds can damage cells in the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). It can cause tinnitus, or a perceived ringing in the ears. Anything above 85 decibels (the sound of heavy city traffic) has the potential to damage your hearing — and most live concerts clock in at 100 decibels or so towards the back of the space, often where the audio console is set up. If you like to be closer to the action, it only gets louder — where you'll also find all of those fans screaming at the top of their lungs directly into your ear. So yeah, it's time. https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2019/03/12/692852104/tiny-tech-tips-why-you-need-earplugs-at-concerts
How to Enjoy Music after Hearing Loss Many of us with hearing loss have stopped listening to music because it does not sound how we remember it. Nevertheless, more musicians, singers and music lovers with hearing loss are coping and finding their way back to music. Recently I attended a seminar about the impact of hearing loss and hearing aids on music enjoyment that was hosted and led by Geoff Plant, a hearing rehabilitation specialist, musician and mentor of mine. The seminar explored the challenges of experiencing music after hearing loss, the claim that hearing aids do not always provide a quality musical experience, and strategies being used to more fully enjoy music. Here’s what I learned… https://www.hearinglikeme.com/tips-to-enjoy-music-after-hearing-loss/
Live music can be uncomfortably loud for some people & cause permanent hearing loss
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Tipping Guidelines A tip is an expression of gratitude and one way to tell your vendors that you appreciate the exceptional service they provided. It is not a necessary expense. Should you decide to tip, here are some pointers to consider. Depending on where you live, the advice on how much to tip varies. These are merely suggestions. In lieu of a tip, consider a nice gift, thank you note or some other expression of your gratitude. http://freshwaterevents.com/tips
How to hold a handheld microphone How you hold the microphone affects the sound. Some use this to their advantage; others don't realize this is the case. Some cause feedback and don't realize that it is because of the way they are holding the microphone. This article explains how your sound may change depending on how you hold it. https://www.dpamicrophones.com/mic-university/proper-hand-placement-on-a-vocal-mic
The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age. Furthermore, musicians tend to be more mentally alert, according to new research from a University of Montreal study. https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/the-benefits-of-playing-music-help-your-brain-more.html
They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To During the 1990s, as digital technology infiltrated the recording process, some mastering engineers wielded compression like a cudgel, competing to produce the loudest recordings. This recording industry “loudness war” was driven by linked aesthetic and economic imperatives. A louder record grabs your attention — and will often be perceived, at least at first, to have better sound quality than a less compressed album — and musicians didn’t want their product to sound weak by comparison. Maximum loudness, it was thought, was a prerequisite for commercial success. The war became so heated that by the latter part of the decade some mastering engineers took it a step further. They not only compressed dynamic range to within an inch of its life, they also made the loudest parts exceed the maximum possible peak..
A brief history of why artists are no longer making a living making music We must return to valuing the art form. If we as artists attend to the work at a professional level, if we support the community in every way we can as artists, and you have invested in us, is it not incumbent on the community to support in kind? Or are you happy to download it, upload it, rip it , and dispense the art form for free? I think it is incumbent on the citizens of the community to understand its relationship to the musicians and creators if it is to be considered a community at all. https://www.rootsmusic.ca/2019/03/14/a-brief-history-of-why-artists-are-no-longer-making-a-living-making-music
A lot of people think it's time to revive Michigan film incentives Every so often someone asks if Michigan should bring back the film incentives. They recall the impact and vibe the program gave the region for film and TV production, during the period when they were the most lucrative in the United States. The incentives were launched by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2008 to help an ailing state, capped by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2011 and ended entirely in 2015. But with a new governor and legislature in place, might this be the time to reconsider the incentives in some form? https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/columnists/carol-cain/2019/03/30/revive-michigans-film-incentives/3311567002
A Primer on the Health Hazards of Sharing Microphones How often do you hear of concerts that are canceled because the featured performer had the flu, a cold or a throat problem? Did you ever wonder how they might have gotten sick? Do you ever wonder why ministers traveling from church to church get sick so often? http://freshwaterevents.com/node/53
How to talk into a microphone Whether you’re speaking at a wedding or event, guesting on a podcast, or reporting from the scene LIVE, talking into a microphone isn’t exactly like talking without one. You’ll sound a lot better if you follow a few simple rules. https://lifehacker.com/how-to-talk-into-a-microphone-1836427140
The loudmouth at the concert: Why can’t people stop talking and listen to the music? Chatting away is deeply disrespectful to artists, who can actually see and hear when audience members are talking. If you're a fan of the musician you ostensibly bought tickets to see, ignoring them while they're doing their job is downright insulting. https://www.salon.com/2018/06/25/a-loudmouth-at-every-concert-why-cant-people-stop-talking-and-listen-to-the-music
Musicians’ Union Publish New Airline Cabin Policy Rating System The International Federation of Musicians has published a new rating system - based on how accommodating airlines' cabin policies are for musicians. https://theviolinchannel.com/airline-cabin-policy-rating-system-federation-musicians/
Alcohol: a Cautionary Tale Should you drink alcohol while performing as a musician at a bar gig? There is clearly no absolute moral against such a practice, as drinking while playing music has a tradition has stretches back to the Greek festivals of Dionysus. That said, we all know that it is musically distracting when your drummer vomits onto his drum kit or the guitarist passes out into the monitors - these events do not represent the high standards of the profession. While a drink or two may loosen you up to improvise with less anxiety, clearly there is an eventual decrease in performance quality as blood alcohol concentration increases. https://reverb.com/news/alcohol-and-the-loud-bassist-a-cautionary-tale
Band Guidelines | stuff that matters A band is a collaborative partnership and a business. Although it might be less personal and intimate than a romantic relationship, it is quite possibly more complicated. It goes without saying that it can be challenging to keep balance within the group dynamic. In order to keep things smooth, fun, purposeful and positive, it's best to have a clear direction and communicate openly as a group. It's also important to make sure that you're personally doing your part to help the band be the best it can be. Here are a few guidelines we suggest you follow to optimize the experience for yourself and everyone else involved. https://blog.sonicbids.com/14-rules-for-being-a-good-bandmate
Why you should use frequency coordination software with wireless systems When you’re installing or running a wireless mic or IEM system, it’s your job to ensure the sound quality is absolutely perfect. This means doing everything in your power to prevent interference and signal dropouts by coordinating frequencies to accommodate local RF conditions. While this can be achieved through good antenna placement and system design, success is also highly dependent on good frequency coordination and having a solid band plan. http://blog.rfvenue.com/2017/03/31/why-you-should-use-frequency-coordination-software-every-time
Wireless Microphones in 600 MHz Band Changes beginning in 2017 concerning operation on 600 MHz frequencies. Beginning in 2017, the amount of TV band spectrum available for wireless microphone use is decreasing as a result of the incentive auction, which was completed on April 13, 2017. A significant portion of the TV band spectrum in the 600 MHz band, including most (but not all) of the spectrum on TV channels 38-51 (614-698 MHz), has been repurposed for the new 600 MHz service band for use by wireless services, and will not continue to be available for wireless microphone use. Specifically, wireless microphones that operate in the new 600 MHz service band (the 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies) will be required to cease operation no later than July 13, 2020, and may be required to cease operation sooner if they could cause interference to new wireless licensees that commence operations on their licensed spectrum in the 600 MHz service band. Spectrum will continue to be available for wireless microphone use on the other TV channels 2-36 (TV band frequencies that fall below 608 MHz), on portions of the 600 MHz guard band (the 614-616 MHz frequencies) and the 600 MHz duplex gap (the 653-663 MHz frequencies), and in various other spectrum bands outside of the TV bands. https://www.fcc.gov/general/wireless-microphones-0
Why is modern music so loud? You might think the answer is simple: People have turned the volume up to eleven. But it isn't just that, since the late 1980s, the music industry has been using a production trick to make songs appear louder. It created a "loudness war", as the industry pushed to make each track more impactful than the next. "It's kind of a sonic arms race, where everyone is trying to be louder than everyone else," says Ian Shepherd, a mastering engineer, who has worked with the likes of Deep Purple, Tricky, New Order and King Crimson. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35250557
Future of Music Coalition Future of Music Coalition (FMC) is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization supporting a musical ecosystem where artists flourish and are compensated fairly and transparently for their work. https://futureofmusic.org
I'm All Out of Free, and I'm Not Making Any More "Free” costs me — in labor, rent, utilities, transportation, product, licensing, taxes, insurance, association fees and maintenance. I look at my accounts payable and know that I did not run my business for free — it was at an expense that must be countered by my accounts receivable. If accounts receivable are continuously less than my expenses each month, then it is my fault when my business fails. If that happens, then the consumers are the ones left with fewer choices in making that special event so fabulous. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/im-all-out-free-making-any-more-jan-rocco-michael-owen
Why You Should Invest in Your Music It’s almost understood that if you’re a musician, you’re likely unemployed, homeless, broke or all three. I deal with it constantly when people ask what I do for a living. Though I love writing and booking, I will always and forever identify as a “musician.” It’s my passion and my purpose and here’s the kicker: I’m not broke. The reason for that, is that I have approached my music like a business. https://www.indieonthemove.com/blog/2017/06/5-reasons-why-you-should-invest-in-your-music
How to Create a Stage Plot and Input List That Sound Techs Will Love A stage plot is literally a diagram of what your onstage setup looks like and the relative location of where everything on that stage should be. Your stage plot should be as specific as possible. Does the drum set need to be stage right instead of behind the band? Does your keyboard player only set up facing a certain direction? Make sure your stage plot includes that. The locations of vocal mics, amplifiers, preferred monitor locations, and where you need outlets should all be clearly indicated and labeled. The stage plot can also be a good place to have notes about some general monitor mixes, what certain members want in their mixes, or if they don't need certain elements in a mix at all. If the singer gets crippling stage fright because there's no reverb/delay in his or her monitor, within these notes would be the place to make that clear. For all you drummers out there, letting your sound tech know how many pieces are in your kit is also great info to have ahead of time to plan accordingly and can save headaches the day of the show. It's also helpful to know if your amp has a direct out or if you need a DI box placed somewhere. http://blog.sonicbids.com/how-to-create-a-stage-plot-and-input-list-that-sound-techs-will-love
Why Instrument Cables Aren't the Same as Speaker Cables Guitar cables and speaker cables are two different kinds of cable designed for two very different purposes. Using one in place of the other can have unpleasant effects ranging from merely annoying interference to outright equipment failure. Among novices and those in a hurry, confusion sometimes arises from the fact that both kinds of cable often share the same kind of connector—1/4″ phone plugs. That’s about the only important similarity, though. To understand why you shouldn’t use one in place of the other, let’s look at both cable types and examine their purpose and differences in more detail. https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-talk/why-instrument-cables-arent-the-same-as-speaker-cables?tag=amps
Keeping Bass Energy Under Control Bass players provide the foundation for nearly all contemporary music. Without them, our mixes sound thin and nobody wants to dance. Add the right amount of bass and all of the sudden it’s a show. But while we love bass, it often leads to trouble, particularly in small rooms. Are there ways to reduce bass levels on stage that are spilling into the room while keeping the musicians happy? You bet. But first we need to understand the physics of low-frequency sound and why it’s so hard to control. https://www.prosoundweb.com/lowering-the-boom-literally-keeping-bass-energy-under-control-as-part-of-a-semi-silent-stage/
Improve Your Stage Presence Stage presence can be innate, and luckily for most of us, it can also be taught. Not everyone comes out of the womb with the ability to woo thousands of people with a single hip shake or bring an audience to tears with poetically profound lyrics. Understanding what it is that your audience is looking for and learning how to embody that and fully engage them from beginning to end is truly what defines great stage presence. Think of all the incredible performers you know. They all have that "X-factor" in their stage presence, which makes them memorable and successful in what they do. Though there are a ton of factors that contribute to being a powerhouse performer, here are five tips that you can put into effect right now to enhance your stage presence. http://blog.sonicbids.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-stage-presence
Things every audio engineer wishes musicians would know Odds are good that the person working sound at your next local gig — positioning mics, balancing the mix, tweaking your monitors — is a musician just like you. But players don’t always treat them as one of their own, even though the sound engineer is a critical extension of the band in a live situation. Here are the top wishes and pet peeves from behind the board, as learned through countless shows and actually taking the time to talk to engineers. https://reverb.com/news/enter-soundman-9-things-engineers-wish-every-musician-knew
Lower stage volumes equal better shows Lower stage volumes equal better shows for everyone. And lower volumes mean happier ears for you in the long-run. In this day and age There is no reason that any musician should suffer from hearing damage because of loud stage monitor volumes. I have worked with many legacy artists that just can’t do what they used to because of hearing loss from high stage volume. But that’s not all. The audio engineer is trying to mix the best combination of the entire band mix for the audience’s enjoyment. When the stage noise is not controlled, the fans hear a combination of monitor mixes along with the room mix. Factor in time delays and in the worst case scenarios, the fans hear a lot of muddy sound. The biggest culprit here is usually the guitar player or the drummer. If your band can learn how to play at a moderate volume, then the mix being created for the audience can be an all around complete mix. http://stories.ultimateears.com/why-in-ear-monitors/lower-stage-volumes-mean-better-shows/
Making the World a Lot Quieter Mechanical engineers have developed an “acoustic metamaterial” that can cancel 94 percent of sound https://phys.org/news/2019-03-acoustic-metamaterial-cancels.html
Things Local Bands Just Don’t Get When you’re starting off, you need to play out everywhere and anywhere all the time to get practice. Record every show. Once YOU love listening to your live set (and non-friends and non-family tell you they love your band) then you can book real shows and charge a cover. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2014/02/27/17-things-local-bands-just-dont-get/
If you want to keep the local music scene alive, start shows earlier In cities across North America, local live music venues are struggling and in some cases closing. Toronto is considering a proposal to extend the hours of liquor licensing as a possible solution, but Mar Sellars argues moving concerts to earlier time slots might have a bigger impact. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/the180/chemical-weapons-start-concerts-earlier-and-nova-scotia-should-have-a-spaceport-1.4059275/if-you-want-to-keep-the-local-music-scene-alive-start-shows-earlier-1.4059357
Winter Gigs Whenever possible, it is probably best to just say “no” to outdoor winter events in cold climates. It’s simply not a smart idea to play outdoor shows in the dead of winter, period. It’s tough on your instruments. It’s tough on audio gear. It’s tough on your hands. It’s tough on your lungs. It’s just plain tough. We hope that these ideas will help you to prepare for your upcoming battle with the extreme elements. http://freshwaterevents.com/node/68
Things you should know about the sound gal/guy As much time as you spend in your rehearsal space perfecting your sound, it won’t mean anything if it’s botched coming out of the PA. All the money you spent on new pedals, amps, guitars and strings doesn’t matter if the mix is off. The audio-technician is the most important component of your show that most bands don’t really think about. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2014/01/06/sound-guy/
Guitarists – stop hurting the audience at gigs I walked out of a gig last week. The bands were well-rehearsed and the front of house engineers were doing a good job. The venue was great and I was amongst friends, colleagues and students. But I walked out because I couldn’t stand the physical pain of being an audience member in that room any longer. (PS this goes for percussionists with loud snare drums too!) https://joebennett.net/2014/10/13/guitarists-stop-hurting-the-audience-at-small-gigs/
A Professional’s Perspective On Sexism In The Music Industry I walked into the venue and found the sound guy. I introduced myself, handed him my audio transmitter and asked if he could give me an XLR mix out. “Why,” he asks. “I am filming the show and need clean audio.” “Yeah, but what is this going to?” he asks. “A wireless receiver,” I reply. “Who is running it?” “I am,” I tell him. He wants to know where and if he can see it. “It’s on the other side of the room. It’s just a basic receiver. It’s on and programmed. All I need is an XLR mix out. It’s all dialed in.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacie-huckeba/a-professionals-perspective-on-sexism-in-the-music-industry_b_10762200.html
How Musicians Really Make Money In the 1950s, it was not uncommon for a band to make money off an ancient bit of technology known colloquially as an "album." People bought "albums" in exchange for money that was divided mostly between the store, the label, the distributor, and the band, which included not only the artists, but also producers and lawyers. But the vast majority of music we listen to comes out of the Internet, where most of it is free. How are bands supposed to make money off of clouds and $0.99 files? This extremely cool chart from the folks at Information Is Beautiful, based on a post at The Cynical Musician on digital royalties, explains: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/
Bureau of Labor Statistics : Wages Musicians https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm
Artist Booking Essentials: College concerts and the military market Ari Nisman is the President/CEO of Degy Entertainment, an artist booking agency that specializes in booking music in the college and military markets. Ari got his start when he was a student at the University of Michigan, where he got involved in field marketing programs at several major record labels. He went on to work as a marketing representative with Polydor/Atlas Records, and started Degy Management Services, Inc. in 1997, and its booking agency arm, Degy Entertainment, in 2001. Part 1 http://musiciancoaching.com/touring/artist-booking-and-the-military-market | Part 2 http://musiciancoaching.com/touring/artist-booking-and-the-college-market/
The Network for Campus Engagement NACA’s core purpose is to advance campus engagement. NACA believes that campus engagement is the development of community through student involvement with the university in experiences that contribute to student success and learning. https://www.naca.org
Association for the promotion of campus activities APCA is a national campus events and educational training organization that was founded in 1994 and serves the programming needs of all Campus Departments throughout the United States. http://www.apca.com
Clyde Clark of Bartolini explains how pickups work
The Myth of a Thousand Little Choices The 80/20 Rule as Applied to Audio Engineering In the early 20th century, an engineer with Western Electric, named Joseph Juran, took an absorbing interest in the relationship between efficiency and quality. He wondered endlessly about how the two could move in tandem, reinforcing one another. http://www.sonicscoop.com/2014/05/29/the-myth-of-a-thousand-little-choices-the-8020-rule-as-applied-to-audio-engineering
Art and Music Are Professions Worth Fighting for The world is going to tell you every day that you shouldn't try to be an artist. But for three minutes here today, I want to tell you that you should. I hope you do it. With everything you have." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-morgan/post_6463_b_4461936.html
A better way to practice You have probably heard the old joke about the tourist who asks a cab driver how to get to Carnegie Hall, only to be told: "Practice, practice, practice!" I began playing the violin at age two, and for as long as I can remember, there was one question which haunted me every day. Am I practicing enough? http://lifehacker.com/5939374/a-better-way-to-practice
Slaves of the Arts, Unite! People who would consider it a bizarre breach of conduct to expect anyone to give them a haircut or a can of soda at no cost will ask you, with a straight face and a clear conscience, whether you wouldn’t be willing to write an essay or draw an illustration, (or perform live at their venue) for them for nothing. They often start by telling you how much they admire your work, although not enough, evidently, to pay one cent for it. “Unfortunately we don’t have the budget to offer compensation to our contributors...” is how the pertinent line usually starts. But just as often, they simply omit any mention of payment. Practicalities aside, money is also how our culture defines value, and being told that what you do is of no ($0.00) value to the society you live in is, frankly, demoralizing. Even sort of insulting. And of course when you live in a culture that treats your work as frivolous you can’t help but internalize some of that devaluation and think of yourself as something less than a bona fide grown-up. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/slaves-of-the-internet-unite.html
Why Music? More than a decade ago, our research team used brain imaging to show that music that people described as highly emotional engaged the reward system deep in their brains — activating subcortical nuclei known to be important in reward, motivation and emotion. Subsequently we found that listening to what might be called “peak emotional moments” in music — that moment when you feel a “chill” of pleasure to a musical passage — causes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an essential signaling molecule in the brain. http://nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/why-music-makes-our-brain-sing.html
Misinformed Audiences & The Musician’s Facade Sometimes, people act based on misinformation. And when it comes to how the music industry works these days and how musicians make their living, people are completely uninformed. It’s not all about money. It’s about validation, respect and appreciation and in our screwed up society the tangible form of these concepts is money. You demonstrate your priorities and what you believe to be more worthy by where you spend your money. http://www.chloecharles.com/people-are-good-just-uniformed-misinformation-the-musicians-life/
Performance Contracts are a Good Thing By improving professional practices, and by mitigating the circumstances of the informal sector, artists and producers can rapidly achieve increased revenue from their activities, in their own country and throughout the world. It is essential that artists don't fear utilizing music contracts, as contracts are there to protect you. This assumes, of course, that the contracts set fair terms and conditions. Freshwater Events negotiates contracts and riders for Artists booked via our agency. For do it yourselfers here are some useful contracts created by UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CLT/diversity/pdf/WAPO/10Music_en.pdf
The sound designer’s toolkit Of all the tools available to the modern sound designer, the most used is the ear. A sensitive and delicate organ, the healthy ear can detect vast detail in terms of frequency content, temporal resolution, spatial position and amplitude. However, we do very little to protect our ears in daily life and modern listening habits have lead to a general reduction in hearing quality in younger generations (Davis, Lovell et al. 1998; Kemp 2007). We do not hear linearly across the frequency range as Fletcher and Munson proved (Bell Labs, 1930s).
- The sound designer’s toolkit http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2012/09/lecture-01-the-sound-designers-toolkit/
- Sound Design http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2013/09/lecture-02-what-is-sound-design-2/
- Digital audio recording and editing http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2012/10/lecture-03-digital-audio-recording-and-editing/
- Grading and categorising sounds http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2012/10/lecture-03-grading-and-categorising-sounds/
- Impulse Responses http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2013/10/lecture-4-impulse-responses-2/
- Paper: Meters, Mixing Levels, Loudness (and the new ITU spec) http://digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/sounddesignmedia/2012/09/meters-mixing-levels-loudness-and-the-new-itu-spec/
Loudness and its impact on your and my hearing In an era when "louder" is often preferred by many musicians, it is good to bear in mind how it affects us. The effects of noise on hearing vary among people. Some people's ears are more sensitive to loud sounds, especially at certain frequencies. The frequency of a sound determines how low or high a tone is. But any sound that is loud enough and lasts long enough can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. A sound's loudness is measured in decibels (dB). Normal conversation is about 60 dB, a lawn mower is about 90 dB, and a loud rock concert is 120 dB and sometimes even higher. In general, sounds above 85 are harmful, depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/harmful-noise-levels [NOTE: When Freshwater Events is engineering live audio, and we are given the opportunity by the artist(s), we try to keep the audio level at, or below, 85 decibels RMS.]
Common environmental noise levels How loud is too loud? The following decibel levels of common noise sources are typical, but will vary. Noise levels above 140dBA can cause damage to hearing after just one exposure. https://chchearing.org/noise/common-environmental-noise-levels
Home | in decibels
Work | in decibel
Recreation | in decibel
Noise Induced Hearing Loss? Noise induced hearing loss is a permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. Excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss. The National Institute of Health reports that about 15 percent of Americans aged 20 to 69 have high frequency hearing loss related to occupational or leisure activities. Because of occupational risk of noise induced hearing loss, there are government standards regulating allowable noise exposure. People working before the mid1960s may have been exposed to higher levels of noise where there were no laws mandating use of devices to protect hearing. Recent studies show an alarming increase in hearing loss in youngsters. Evidence suggests that loud rock music along with increased use of portable radios with earphones may be responsible for this phenomenon. http://american-hearing.org/disorders/noise-induced-hearing-loss/
Loudness Comparison Chart Here are some interesting numbers, collected from a variety of sources, that help one to understand the volume levels of various sources and how they can affect our hearing. http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html
OSHA Daily Permissible Noise Level Exposure Hours per day Sound level
- 8 hours at 90dB
- 6 hours at 92dB
- 4 hours at 95dB
- 3 hours at 97dB
- 2 hours at 100dB
- 1.5 hours at 102dB
- 1 hour at 105dB
- .5 hour at 110dB
- .25 hours or less at 115dB
Why it's in your best interest to hire a professional audio engineer Quality audio is more than amplification. More than any other person, the audio engineer controls what the audience hears during a live performance. His or her primary concern is to ensure superior sound quality within the venue. To do that, the engineer must blend together instruments and vocals to achieve a perfectly balanced sound. In essence, the engineer behind the audio console is like a member of the band—and just as important to the audience’s perception. Without the proper mix from the soundboard, the work of the musicians on stage is wasted. Audio engineering is as much an art as it is a science. Audio engineers must have an amazing ear for music as well as a firm grasp of the technology used to control and manipulate sound. For the best experience possible, Freshwater Events recommends that you procure the benefits of our audio professionals and gear.
Why you can't use that generator at the tool rental place to power my digital sound system A wide variety of generators are manufactured for different markets. In these days of personal computers and microprocessor-controlled recording equipment it is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks to each when it comes to their use in audio and motion picture production. Today there is an unprecedented demand for clean, reliable power, at a time when the trend is toward sources that generate dirty power which will also damage digital production equipment, create ground loops, and possibly create radio frequency (RF) interference. In other words, if it the generator doesn't include inverters (using micro-processor control modules to produce AC power with a "true" sine wave (with full width and amplitude), we're not plugging our gear into it.
- Understanding generator types (an in depth introduction to generator electrical output). http://www.screenlightandgrip.com/html/emailnewsletter_generators.html#anchorPortable%20Generator%20Types NOTE: The Freshwater Events artist/producer contract is very specific when it comes to acceptable power sources. We will not plug into a circuit that is not approved by us.
- You may either rent a generator from Freshwater Events (ours produces up to 6,500 watts of clean sine wave power), or if you wish to rent, we will help you select the right one for your event.
An Open Letter from a Bar Owner to Musicians | opinion A bar, that is, an establishment that earns its revenue primarily from selling alcoholic beverages, measures its success by the ounce and the accounting is done everyday because we mostly live on the edge. So we spend our time trying to figure out how to sell more ounces. It’s not just how many people are in the house or how great the atmosphere is (that’s certainly important), but how many drinks, preferably premium, we sell in a day. That’s it. http://www.onstagemagazine.com/open-letter-from-a-bar-owner-to-musicians/
- People don’t dance to brilliant guitar solos or heady changes, they dance to the hook lyrics of a simple chorus
- Some bands beg for tips, and that’s fine, but it’s not what I’m paying you for.
- Look like you care about your appearance, and show a little self respect.
- Show up on time and don't make a racket setting up (hint: keep your drummer quiet especially when the jukebox is on.)
- Stay engaged with your audience.
- Don't stop playing if people are on the dance floor.
- You would be surprised how many customers leave because of the band. And it’s usually not because the band is awful, but because it’s too loud, it’s the wrong repertoire, it’s rude and dismissive, it’s not engaged and basically no fun for anyone else but themselves.
- Your continued employment is directly dependent on my bartender’s opinion of you. That’s probably true for every single bar you play.
- I’m not going to visit your website or listen to your demo, or visit your Facebook or Reverb Nation page. You’ve got maybe 60 seconds to make your “elevator pitch.”
- Bottom line: A bar is a business. My bar is my business, my life, my success or failure. What I do in my business is entirely up to me because the risk is entirely mine. If I have a jam night, an open mic, solos, duos, bands, karaoke, or just a jukebox, that’s up to me and no one else. Whatever helps make the most revenue. I have great respect for working musicians and would rather not hire them at all than to short-change them.
A reply to: An Open Letter from a Bar Owner to Musicians | opinion Contrary to what you may believe, I do actually get that you are in business. I understand that you are eking out a living running a bar. I know that your job and the jobs of your bartenders are to sell drinks. I'm pretty sure all musicians know that. But since you decided to give musicians advice on how to improve themselves, I have a few suggestions for you as well. http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2013/01/open_letter_to_the_bar_owner_w.php
- Upgrade your crappy sound and light gear ... or at least rent decent gear from a reputable professional audio company. Better yet, hire a professional audio engineer with gear - you will get the best sound possible 100% of the time. Bands and audiences always appreciate it when you make the investment to create a quality show. NOTE: Freshwater Events always uses new professional well maintained audio gear, operated by trained audio engineers.
- Don't expect me to be some ham-handed used car salesman up there to push your watered-down "premium" drinks.
- Acknowledge that the reason those people are in the bar in the first place is probably to see me play AND drink your booze.
- If you want nothing but covers, hire cover bands.
- If you don't want it loud, don't hire a rock band.
An Open Letter to Venues that Exploit Their Musicians | opinion Full-time saxophonist, Dave Goldberg, wrote an honest letter to venue owners addressing their disregard and exploitation of the working musicians. I’m hoping that you’ll read this and think about what part you play. Venues can take advantage of you, but only if you let them. I’ve played places where for whatever reason only a few people have walked in the door on a Saturday night. The club owner got mad at me, asking where are the people? I turned it around on him asking the same thing? Where are all the people? It’s Saturday night and your venue is empty. Doesn't that concern you? What are you going to do about it? http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2012/02/why-music-venues-are-totally-lost-an-open-letter-from-a-professional-musician/
Freshwater Events endeavors to provide a memorable experience for people with diverse musical tastes!
Visit our calendar to view upcoming experiences: http://freshwaterevents.com/upcoming