Technology and Tools
By Matthew Moran
Hello fellow Performing Songwriters.
This is your weekly/semi-weekly update – technology and tools edition…
In case you don’t know me, I am Matthew Moran, a songwriter/performer based in Southern California. The other side of my life is that as a consultant – business, technology, and marketing – and an author.
As a songwriter and performer – a Performing Songwriter, I would rather song write and perform.. Many times to the exclusion of all else. Does this sound like you?
To help correct this, I offer the following websites & tools – with brief description of their application.
DISCUSS THE TOOLS BELOW AND OTHER TOOLS YOU ARE USING HERE:
First, myspace is not a website!! Neither is facebook, reverbnation, or any other site you don’t own.
Own your web real-estate. I use WordPress as the basis for my website – content management and blog. It registers with search engines and has tons of free tools to help you “interact” with listeners.
If you are technical, you can set it up on your own. However, I can program and do not choose to setup my own. It’s a hassle. Instead, my hosting company, BlueHost.com, has auto-installers for WordPress and other web tools. Other webhost do as well, so when you are ready to build your website, ask them if they provide such a service.
Now to the tools I use daily:
More than a search engine, sign up for a gmail account. Google has a customizable home page with a variety “widgets” for organizing your life and music business. Additionally, they have web-based tasks list and documents, spreadsheets, and presentations you can share with others. I have used these tools for planning and going on tour. I share documents with needed information with “team members” across the country.
Google tools include:
task list (shared and not shared, I used the non-shared – less buggy)
maps for planning your tour
forms you can embed on your website (shared)
a blog reader (that you can also share)
chat/instant message with video and voice calling (like Skype below)
Example: This is a form I am using to get people to help me “name my CD”. All the responses go into a spreadsheet that I can review.
* you don’t have to vote.. just showing you…
The same form embedded on my website:
Sign up for a Google account and start taking advantage of these tools – it is more than a search engine.
Other tools I use:
mp3Tag – add tags and album art to your mp3 files: (free)
Audacity – audio recorder and editor: (free)
Format Factor – convert picture, audio, and video files (free) – this is how I turn my .wav files into mp3’s.
Reaper – Pro-tools like recoding software, very good: (free to test out – fully functional)
$60 for individuals, $225 for studios – honor payment system.
Kompoz.com – remote collaboration site with other musicians
I collaborate with some players around the US – we setup our own site but read the kompoz tutorials on sync codes – and download their sync codes. It makes remote collaboration that much simpler.
SKYPE.COM – PC to PC calling – with video
I’ve used skype for years. Lorelei and I have been using this to talk for the past 8 or 9 months.
AGAIN, DISCUSS THESE AND OTHER TOOLS YOU ARE USING HERE:
It’s a lot, I know. But, even if you are simply getting people to help you, point them at these tools. And don’t worry about adopting them all tomorrow – adopt as needed.
MY SHAMELESS PLUG:
I have been doing tutorials on these tools and others for years. Recently, I started:
As a place to publish tutorials on the tools, websites, and strategies I use. I currently have about 14 tutorials that I will be publishing over the next few weeks. If you have a technology or tool you want me to look at and possible write a tutorial on, contact me and I’ll see if I can add it to the list.
FYI: I sell nothing and make no money from this site. It does raise a little awareness about who I am – and I have been building these tutorials for clients for years. So, applying them to songwriters was not too much trouble. I am happy to contribute to the community this way. Take advantage of it.