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Technology and Tools

by Dave Tamkin

Technology and Tools
By Matthew Moran

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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:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=110532175707&topic=11624

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.

http://www.wordpress.org

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:

Google:
http://www.google.com

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)
documents (shared)
spreadsheets (shared)
presentations (shared)
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.
https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dDc1UXo5Y3BBN1ZDTHpDeFd5OXVPVlE6MA

* you don’t have to vote.. just showing you…

The same form embedded on my website:
http://www.matthewmoranonline.com/music/cdproject/

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)
http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

Audacity – audio recorder and editor: (free)
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Format Factor – convert picture, audio, and video files (free) – this is how I turn my .wav files into mp3’s.
http://www.formatoz.com/

Reaper – Pro-tools like recoding software, very good: (free to test out – fully functional)
$60 for individuals, $225 for studios – honor payment system.
http://www.reaper.fm/

Kompoz.com – remote collaboration site with other musicians
http://www.Kompoz.com
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
http://www.skype.com
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:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=110532175707&topic=11624

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:
http://www.thesongwriteronline.com

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.

Keep rockin!!!

Thanks,
Matthew Moran
http://www.MatthewMoranOnline.com
http://www.TheSongwriterOnline.com


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