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Self-publication has stormed every industry as of late, and the music industry is no exception. In an era of ever-advancing technology, it has become easier to create, promote and even distribute your own comics, books, movies–music. If you have a desire to get your music noticed, there has never been an easier time than the technological age we live in. Just having a cell phone is enough to tip the scales to your favor. There are many mobile apps, ranging from simple recording programs to advanced sequencers that allow you to overlay multiple tracks with a swipe of your finger.

Right in your back pocket you have the power to record and produce your sound. I feel the issue with the lack of self-publication in the music industry comes down to two things: knowledge and confidence. People either have no idea that you can actually do it and be successful at it if you truly put in the time, or they think, “I couldn’t possibly get noticed because you have to know somebody in the industry to get anywhere.” What you need to remember is- You Are The Brand. In our social media dominated era you no longer have to hope to be discovered by some talent scout that may or may not attend your first big gig. You can take your EP, or show recording and upload directly to the web. You can gain a following by putting your recordings up on pages such as Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, or Soundcloud and begin to gain a following that way. It does require effort. You can’t just upload a single video and expect to be noticed and get a million hits in the first ten minutes. Using these types of platforms serves as a springboard for you developing a fan base. The more you put into the effort, the more you will get in return.

The wonders of mobile technology continue to advance, and, as such, have lead to some very interesting ways to record and edit music. Many of the programs I have researched are available through the iPhone or the iPad. However, they are also useable through tablets and android devices. This is just a handful of the types of programs available to assist you in music recording and production, but they do cover several of the areas you need to address when considering self-publication. You need to record, but also, edit. Find what best works for you. It is your talents being showcased. Some of these programs even allow you to write music notation.

KORG iMS- 20
A recreation of the Korg MS-20 analog synth, is the total package for music production. Complete with a MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, analog sequencer, 6-part drum machine, mixer, song/pattern composer, and direct publishing to SoundCloud, KORG iMS-20 is an all-in-one steal at just $29.99 in the iTunes store.

This app, which runs a mere 19.99, puts an entire studio rig at your fingertips. It comes with “4 stomps, amp, cabinet and mic. Choose from 11 built-in stompboxes, 5 amps (clean, crunch, lead, metal, bass) with full controls, 5 cabinets and 2 mics.” There are also plenty of options for changing the lineup to new pedals at the drop of a hat. Without the hassle of lugging all the individual pieces of equipment around you still have a digital quality studio with you at all times.

Symphony Pro
At $9.99, Symphony Pro is the most comprehensive experience in composing sheet music on the iPad, offering the ability to create everything from chord charts and guitar tabs, to full orchestral compositions. Additional features even transcribe your real-time recordings with the app’s 114 bulit-in instruments into sheet music, and allow you to create and edit chord symbols, lyrics, and annotations.

FL Studio Mobile
Compatible with its desktop PC version, FL Studio Mobile offers up to 99 track sequencing and effects, built in as well as customizable sample kits, direct SoundCloud and Dropbox upload, and compatibility with numerous accesories such as iRig MIDI, iRig, iRig Mic, Yamaha i-MX1, and more, at $14.99 in the iTunes store.

Yamaha Music Sequencer
This program offers some of the same options as Cubase, but for mobile application. It also has 382 preset “phrases” and patterns to help get you started until you can begin inserting your own to mold into a full composition. At 19.99, through the iTunes store, you can’t get much more bang for your buck when it comes to mobile music editing.

Or check out IK Multimedia for a full range of these and other mobile production apps and devices. Break onto the scene without emptying your wallet.

I think the word needs to get out in order to motivate creativity that has been hiding out there. What if the next great act is just hiding in a basement or garage?

By: Kyle Yung

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When I first started this site a year ago, I was on a mission to interview every music tech company in the world. Some of them had cool ideas with no business model, and some had a business model without a cool idea. The ones that remain a year later combined both and Thrillcall is among the few, the proud, and the brave. Last week, I had a chance to catch up with Co-Founder Matthew Tomaszewicz and below are the results:

It’s been a year since we talk and you guys have been making tremendous strides. How many more users has Thrillcall required to since partnering up with Myspace?
We do not disclose number of users

For a while no-one ever thought Myspace would re-launch. Do you ever see them getting back to where they were at during before the Facebook explosion?
I think consumers desperately want a web-based music directory and there hasn’t been a service that has come close since the original Myspace. Myspace really had two distinct and difference services, in my opinion, going before Facebook’s introduction. The first was asynchronous wall posts that were to a broad group and the second was easily-created, music available artist pages. It’s a given that the latter at scale is well within a re-launched Myspace’s grasp.

I was surfing the internet and I saw that Thrillcall was being used by a smaller music blog as well. Is this part of your plan as well. Partnering up with smaller music site?
Thanks for noticing! Yes, we offer our services everywhere and anywhere. To the extent that someone or some web site wants the most accurate tour and event listings and tickets available we provide a service.

Has the daily deal model finally caught on in the ticketing industry?
Well, I think the expression “daily deal” is, rightly, experiencing fatigue. Businesses can’t live on “deal distribution” alone. Deals should really be used thoughtfully and more as a means of introducing new customers to your product.

In the music space, it’s different. The marketing is usually so hyper-focused around an onsale event based upon the archaic notion of buying tickets through a terminal at your local record shop that marketing a show after it goes on sale is always a challenge. That’s where we come in. We help the primary ticket and their client re-introduce the show to the audience in that locale through adding an extra or offering an exclusive ticket.

How successful was the launch of your Android app?

You know, it was a product that was demanded for some time and will be in more demand as Android gains market share and as Thrillcall launches its service beyond the coasts. We just launched Chicago by the way.

The launch was successful, but it’s really about alerting all customers to what makes Thrillcall unique, less about the specific form factor or technology that those services are delivered through.

What is one piece of advice you give to a music tech start-up?

Well, I don’t think I’m the best person to be offering advice as our company has yet to go public or have an equity event for our investors or employees.

That said, I think the music space is different from most and you can even go all the way back to Napster–a company and product that ultimately had a short lifespan and saw a legitimized and pay-for Apple Itunes rocket past it in terms of usage–to see the difference.

Being in the music and ticketing space is about being complementary to the different b-to-b constituents out there, not disruptive. I think that’s a notion that is often lost, especially within the environment that is Silicon Valley.

There are so many rights holders and constituents–and most have a legitimate place in the space–that to think you, Music Tech Start-up X, can come in and disrupt that is a rather naive line of thinking.

I would suggest if you are considering creating a music tech start-up, take a deep dive look at those players in the space that will impact your success on the client side. Make sure you’re solving their challenge as well as the consumers.

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There are dozens of music players for Android, but only one gives you synced lyrics to read as you play your favorite song. The TuneWiki Android App is the epitome of awesomeness when it comes to music players, and it’s got some great social features to boot.

At its core TuneWiki is a Music Player. It will play all the songs on your Android device, has a widget, and lets you make playlists along with all the normal functions of your average music player. That’s where the similarities between TuneWiki and the rest of the players end, as TuneWiki isn’t your average music player. When you first start a song TuneWiki starts working to find the song’s lyrics, fans, top lyrics, and artists biography. Everything is easily accessible by swiping left & right and there’s even a “dedication” tab if you want to send a song out on Facebook or Twitter.

The lyrics feature of TuneWiki is pretty slick, and the app had no trouble finding lyrics for 99% of my music although there were a few songs it couldn’t get. You can also manually sync the lyrics to the song if need be, but mine all synced up nicely automatically. You can also share those lyrics by logging into Facebook, Twitter or TuneWiki. The Top Fans tab is pretty self explanatory as it shows the top 10 fans of a particular artist. I’m not sure how they pick the fans, but it’s a nice looking layout and each “fan” has their own individual page that shows their favorite tunes, followers, and plays. Top Lyrics show most liked lyrics for an individual song along with comments from fans. This feature is a great way to discuss a song’s lyrics with other likeminded folks. Last but not least, you’ve got the artist bio section that gives you details on the artist or group along with a list of all their releases.

If you thought that was all TuneWiki does you’d be wrong as there are still a few more cool features to check out. The main screen has a button you can use to ID songs or search for lyrics, and you’ve also got the “trending” feature. The Trending tab shows hot lyrics that are trending at the moment while the charts tab shows the top songs for your country. The Map tab uses your GPS location to show users listening to music in your area; you get to see what they’re listening to and can pull up information pertinent to that song including music videos, lyrics and mapping the song. The Song Mapping function is one of my favorites as it lets you see people around the world that are listening to the same songs. It was pretty cool to see people from the US, Africa, England and Iran listening to the Ruff Riders Anthem by DMX.

I’ve been reviewing Android Apps for almost 2 years now, and TuneWiki was one of those apps I always meant to check out but never did. Well, I’m glad I finally got around to it as TuneWiki is awesome in every way. It will play anything you throw at it, gets you lyrics, and lets you share your thoughts on your favorite songs or bands. The whole app is simple to use and the interface looks great. If you’re in the mood to try something different or are looking for a new music player I highly recommend checking this one out. You can pick up TuneWiki for free on Google Play.

TuneWiki Website
Google Play

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Playground by Noise Toys:Review 3 out of 5

Smart Phone technology continues to innovate social media experience by syncing your digital media collection to apps such as Playground by Noise Toys. Playground serves as a mobile, digital jukebox for your Iphone. By syncing your Facebook and music subscription services such as “Spotify,” listeners can share their favorite songs with friends on their social networks. Find out what friends and other “Playground” users are listening to by random Genre searching or create your own “playground” to serve as a mobile digital DJ. Spotify members can sync already existing playlists and share them with other “Playground” users.

“Playground” is apart of a new generation of applications designed to bridge the gap between digital music streaming and social networking. By combining digital music services and online radio technology, your listening experience can be random or uniquely based on your personal preferences. A cool and unique feature is the social profile thumbnail bar that shows the other listeners also listening to the same song as you. Through the digital music playground we are finding more ways to uniquely connect with strangers who share common interests with one another.

Noise Toys’ “Playground” application is yet again another example of the future for our music listening experience. As Cd’s, Mp3’s and FM radio become more obsolete, everyday new technology is changing the once completely corporate controlled music world and putting it into the hands of you: the fan, the user, the friend, the network.

Apart from sharing your music listening experience with other users there isn’t anything particularly special about Playground’s capabilities. No catalogue to search unfamiliar music and a very basic interface with no additional information on other Playground users, limiting user interaction. This makes it very basic, therefore it receives a solid 3 out of 5 rating.

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Currently there are over 500,000 million apps available on for download for the I-Phone 4S. With so much competition in the market, it is almost impossible for consumers to find out which ones are worth their time. If you are like me, you probably have over 20 apps on your phones desktop and only use about four. At current, the only apps that I use daily are Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

Here are three apps by a few of my favorite artists that are definitely worth the download:

Lady Gaga Born This Way Revenge by Tapulous, Inc.– This app includes 17 tracks from the special edition of “Born This Way,” a music game and videos of Lady Gaga’s webisodes, Gagavision, on YouTube.

iDrum: RZA of Wu-Tang
– Created by RZA of Wu-Tang Clan and iZotope, Inc. this beat making app allows use drums and sounds created by the legendary producer and create your own original compositions.

I Am T-Pain 2.0 by Smule-When the original version of I AM T-Pain was released in 2009, it had over 300,000 downloads in it’s first three weeks.