Marcato Musician Blog

Feature Overview – Marcato Musician EPK

Ready to set up, or edit your EPK? Looking for a tool to provide prospective buyers, agents, or press contacts your most up to date bio, contacts, photos, MP3′s, videos and more? Check out this video to see how quick and easy it is to create a professional and customized Marcato Musican EPK.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@marcatomusician) and LinkedIn to stay up to date on new features, resources on organizing your career and much more.



Play Fore Kids YMCA Fundraiser

Last week Darren, Laird and Adam had the pleasure of joining Innovacorp‘s Bob Pelley in a round of golf at the beautiful Lakes Golf Club in support of our local YMCA. While this sounds like any normal fundraiser, for the Marcato team it was special. Not only were they having fun and help raise money for kids, they were also swinging golf clubs for the very first time (or in Laird’s case, quite a long while)! The guys had so much fun, and came home with lots of funny stories. Check out some the pictures of the spiffy team and beautiful scenery (Cape Breton is one of the greatest golf destinations in the world!).



Guest Blog: Hub & Spokes: The Key to Driving Fans to Your Band Website

The following guest blog is from David Dufresne. David is CEO of Bandzoogle, the most powerful band website platform.

Hub and spokes

A lot of artists we work with, or meet at different events, are often confused by how their website “fits” with their broader online strategy. Some even wonder if they need a website. What we always tell them is to see your online strategy as a “hub and spokes” image. Your full band website (and, to some extent, your mailing list) is the hub of your online world, and your different profiles on social networks and music sites are the spokes: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Instagram, and many, many more…

Your goal is to seed your “spokes” with great, tasteful and interesting content, making sure to link back to your own website as often as you can. You engage your fans where they usually hang out (say, Facebook), but try to bring them back to your hub, where you own the address, where you control the design and narrative, and where it’s easier for you to “convert” your fans into buyers of your music or merch, or have them sign-up for your mailing list.

This is the essence of the “hub and spokes” method, where you use your social networks (spokes) to draw fans back to your website (hub), which you control. So what content can you publish out there on your social networks to drive fans to your site? Here are 7 content ideas for your website which you can then promote on your social media profiles to help drive traffic back to your site:

7 Ways to Drive Fans from Social Media to Your Band Website

1. New Blog or Video Blog Post

Create a new blog or video blog post on your website. Some ideas for posts:

A career announcement:

  • New gig
  • New album
  • New song
  • New addition to your team (manager, agent, label, publicist, etc.)
  • Media coverage
  • Winning a contest
  • Tour announcement
  • New gear

Tour Blogging:

  • Show previews
  • Photos from shows
  • Experiences with fans
  • Photos of landmarks in each city
  • Food in each city
  • Etc.

Or write about a subject you are passionate about that fits with your brand (social, sports, political, charitable, etc.)

2. Contests

You can hold a contest where your fans must sign-up through your website. Some contest ideas:

  • Give away exclusive music
  • Give away merchandise
  • Give away tickets to shows
  • Invite fans to be part of the recording studio experience
  • Contest to go backstage after a show and hang out with your band
  • Contest to have dinner with the band before a show
  • Have a design contest for a new gig poster
  • Have a design contest for new album cover art
  • Contest to have your fans star in your next music video

And any other creative ideas you might have that can be used to create a contest for your fans.

3. New Song

If you’ve recorded a new song, post it on your website for your fans to get a first listen before posting the song on social networks. The song doesn’t even have to be completely finished, or it could be a different version. Make your visitors feel privileged that they can hear it on your website. They’ll appreciate it there a lot more than on their Facebook newsfeed, where the distractions and silly images to click on might be too tempting for them to give your song the full attention it deserves.

4. New Video

Same idea as with a new song, if you’ve made a new video, post on your website first before embedding it on social networks. Some video ideas:

  • Official music video
  • Teaser video for an upcoming album
  • Teaser video for an upcoming show
  • Live video from a show
  • Message for fans
  • Video from recording session or rehearsal
  • Video of a cover song

5. Live Streaming Video

Another great way to drive traffic to your website is to hold a live streaming video event. This could be to live stream a:

  • Studio session
  • Jam Session
  • Live show
  • Video chat, taking fan questions
  • Live show after-party

Simply create a channel on a service like Ustream, then embed the video on your own website and tell your fans the date & time of your live streaming event.

6. New Merchandise

Once you’ve released a new piece of merchandise, be sure to put it up for sale in your online store and announce it through social media. This can be:

  • Albums
  • Digital singles
  • Vinyls
  • T-Shirts or other clothing
  • Live albums
  • Stickers/buttons
  • Etc.

7. Special Offers

Why not have a sale through your online store? Everyone loves a deal. You can discount prices on merchandise and music, bundle items together, which can be great when you have new merch and want to move some older stock. The more creative the deals, the better.

David Dufresne is the CEO of Bandzoogle, the platform where you can build a band website that does more. Bandzoogle websites sell music & merch, sync with your social networks, and put you in front of more fans. No web design skills needed! Take the tour or build your band website free.



Featured Artist: Avguste Antonov

The latest Marcato-powered artist to be featured on our blog is the concert pianist Avguste Antonov.

Avguste Antonov is a dedicated performer of 20th and 21st century music, especially music composed by American living composers.

Over the years, he has worked with composers such as Carter Pann, Raina Murnak, John Arrigo-Nelson, Till Meyn, Robert Rollin and has performed many United States and World premieres.

During the 2012-2013 season, Avguste Antonov will perform at venues in Texas, Kansas, Ohio, California, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington.

Check out this video of Avguste performing ”Earthly Hope” from Starry Wanderers, Composed by Matthew Saunders.

For more information about Avguste Antonov and his upcoming events, please visit his website and/or his Marcato EPK.



Louisa Gardens Build Day

Wow! What a weekend. This Saturday the entire Marcato team took part in revitalizing an old park in the North-end of our city (Sydney, Nova Scotia). The Northend Park Project coupled with the organization Let Them Be Kids and about 150 volunteers from our community turned the forlorn and lost park at the end of DesBarres Street into a playground heaven for young and old! The new park “Louisa Gardens” includes an awesome kids playground setup, adult outdoor exercise equipment, benches, covered picnic tables, a new road hockey court, memorial garden AND a street graffiti mural.

This project was one of the most heart warming and motivating things that many of us have ever been part of. It was also really fun for us to get together outside the office and put our muscles to work! Thank you so much to the entire Northend Park Project committee, especially Valerie, Erika, Jessica, Vanessa, Steven, Becky and many more. Bravo! Without your hardwork this would never have been possible.

We took some pictures, so we thought we’d share them with you. We’ve also included a few photos from the volunteer photographer that day, Walter Carey. Thanks Walter!



Featured Artist: Ain’t No Love

The latest Marcato-powered band to be featured on our blog is the electronic hip-hop quartet, Ain’t No Love!

As our world develops, Ain’t No Love’s sound evolves accordingly. This group, born in Toronto, but with a sound cultivated in Montreal, has created a buzz surrounding the release of their self-titled debut EP along with memorable live performances, including showcases at the most recent SXSW, NXNE, Pop MTL, and M For MTL festivals.

They have just finished their second EP and are preparing for its release. Ain’t No Love is making the music that they want to hear – it just so happens you’ll love it too! Be sure to catch them live during Pop Montreal on September 22 @ Sala Rossa and Halifax Pop Explosion on October 18 @ Reflections.

Check out their video for “Shine” and let us know what you think in the comments!



Getting Ready for Build Day!

We’re really excited to be taking part in The Northend Park Project’s “Build Day” where they will be revitalizing a neglected and run down park in our city. The entire Marcato team signed ourselves up for volunteering months ago and we can’t wait to see everything finally take shape this Saturday. We just finished up a team leader meeting in the old park. This is what it used to look like. Stay tuned, we’ll be blogging about our experience and showing off pictures of the brand new space next week!



Should My Band Record to a Click Track?

This is a conversation/argument that I have had many of times as an engineer, producer, artist and manager. There is not really a right or wrong answer to this question, although there are people who sit on either side of the fence of this argument. First of all, let’s look at the pros and cons related to using a click track:

Pros:

1. Consistent speed of the song from start to finish. Drummers naturally tend to speed up in fills, and musicians naturally tend to speed up a bit when getting louder and slow down when getting quieter.

2. Drastically improved editing flexibility. When a track is recorded with a click track, it makes it much easier to edit and fix imperfections. For example, if you do 3 takes of the song at the same speed and the 3rd one is totally the best take, but the drummer messed up one roll, the click track makes it easy to simply grab that roll from one of the other takes. The same is the case for vocal takes and any other instrument. This can save a lot of time, frustration and money.

Cons:

1. Click tracks get complicated with songs where tempo is supposed to change. If the changes are fairly basic, the click track can be mapped for the tempo changes. However, in more complex situations, this can be a real pain. This is really more an issue of click tracks being less applicable in some situations than a con against click tracks in general.

2. Musicians that are less experienced and whom have not practiced considerably with a click track tend to tighten up and or push/pull the tempo (“fighting with the click track”). In this case, there is a risk of the end product sounding less musical. Again, this is more an issue of musical ability than a strike against the concept of using a click track.

Ok, so I really don’t have cons for using a click track. There are situations where a click does not work, but most of the time it’s the way to go. When there is a song and it is desired to have multiple tempos, you have to make the call based on your own judgement. Do the players, engineer and/or producer have the skills to pull it off to a mapped click or will the process take too much time? Maybe a hybrid solution could work. For example, the first 75% of the track is at a fixed speed then the last 25% gradually speeds up. The easy solution here is to map a click track at a fixed tempo for the first 75% and then have it mute at the point where the speed up begins. In this case, you have the editing flexibility of the click track for most of the song.

Here are a list of things I have heard musicians say negatively about the results of recording to a click:

- It doesn’t sound as natural
- It sounds too mechanical
- It lacks dynamics

As I mentioned before, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, so this is where my musical opinion comes in. If it sounds unnatural, lacks dynamic or is too mechanical, it’s because the players (and, in many cases, primarily the drummer) have not practiced and honed the art of the click track. If you are focusing too much time on the click and struggling to make sure you don’t run ahead or fall behind it, then yes, the results will be that it won’t sound as good, it will sound less musical and more mechanical. A great studio drummer who has a lot of experience with the click track will easily lay down natural, dynamic and musical drum tracks because the click track is not distracting to him or her. Their tempo is solid, so there is no fight. They can effortlessly bring the volume and intensity of the song up and take it back down with no limitation created by the click.

So to answer the question, it depends on what you are doing. If your band (and especially your drummer) has very little studio and click track experience and you are just demoing some songs, then I would say go without. If you are a click track master and can effortlessly track to a click then I don’t think you should even consider not using it. If you are doing a serious recording that you are paying a bunch of money for and investing a bunch of time into and don’t feel you have mad click skills, then I would say you are not ready for the investment yet. Train yourself and your band and practice to the click, and then go record your record. And yes, there are many that would argue this statement — after all, so many great classics have been recorded without a click track, eg. Dizzy Miss Lizzie by the Beatles, Enter Sandman by Metallica, Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, and the list goes on and on. Keep in mind, most of these recordings were done with near unlimited time and money and with analogue equipment which does not provide the same editing capacity of today’s digital audio workstations.

The best part about learning and practicing playing to a click is that you will improve your tempo individually and as a band, which is one of the reasons I feel it is the best option. It makes you a better musician! It makes your band tighter!

Stay tuned for my next blog on how to hone the click track.


Meet the Marcato Musician Team

Here at Marcato Musician we make it our job to learn as much as we can about Artists and the individuals involved with making their career successful. We really enjoy getting to know potential and current clients and we figured it was time you learn a little more about us!

Marcato Musician was co-founded by Darren Gallop and Morgan Currie in 2007 and since then we have added 6 more people to the team. We all have a passion for music but come from diverse backgrounds that has helped Marcato get where it is today. Check out our bios to learn more about how we all came to be a part of the Marcato Team.

 

Darren Gallop - Founder & CEO

Darren has worked in the music industry for over ten years – as performer, road manager, booking agent, artist manager and recording engineer. Gallop’s previous projects include a recording studio, a touring educational African music presentation (with over 400 shows across Canada), a music PR and booking agency and an independent record label.

Top 3 Favourite Bands: Radio Head; Bjorrk; Cesária Évora

 

Morgan Currie - Co-Founder & CTO

An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Morgan started violin lessons when he was 5, and got his first computer when he was 8, and has been finding ways to combine the two ever since. He spent most of his 20s coding in the backseats of various tour vans while playing gigs across the country, and finally settled down 5 years ago when he co-founded Marcato with Darren. Morgan lives in Sydney, NS, with his beautiful wife, 2 big dogs, and 4 tiny cats.

Top 3 Favourite Bands: Joni Mitchell, Bad Religion, and RUSH

 

Laird Wilton - Vice President (Sales)

Laird came on board in 2011 as the Vice President, Sales. He has a BBA from StFX U and brings over a decade of sales, marketing, and event management experience to the team. Rumor has it that he can lay down a pretty mean sax solo as well. When he’s not at the office or travelling, he keeps busy by helping his wife raise their 3 boys.

Best Live Music Experience: The White Stripes 10th Anniversary Show, July 14th 2007, Glace Bay, NS

 

Dan Hooper - Lead Developer & Project Manager

The son of a software developer and member of a musical family, Dan Hooper proved to be the ideal fit for Marcato’s development team. Dan joined Marcato in 2009 during an internship as part of his Computer Science studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and soon became an indispensable asset for the team. Since then, Dan has progressed from a fledgeling coder to a senior developer, completing his studies on the side along the way.

Best Live Music Experience: Olenka And The Autumn Lovers and Timber Timbre at St. Pat’s church museum here in cozy Sydney, NS

 

Adam Black - Developer

A self-taught computer programmer, Adam had been making web applications for almost a decade before he was formally educated. After studying Computer Science at both Cape Breton University and Memorial University of Newfoundland, Adam moved back to Sydney and quickly found a home at Marcato Digital Solutions. Adam has experience working with PHP, Python, and the Ruby on Rails framework. He is also an excellent front-end developer, well-versed in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. When he isn’t programming, Adam manages to get some exercise as a pick-up hockey goaltender.

Top 3 Favourite Bands: “I don’t like to play favourites, I like em all!”

 

Adam Lomas - Customer Success Specialist

Adam recently joined the Marcato team bringing with him experience in all corners of the entertainment industry including music, film & television, and digital media. In addition to co-ordinating customer support and user driven product development with Marcato, he actively works as an artist manager and digital consultant for the music industry, advising on web development and digital marketing strategies. Adam was the first public signup with Marcato Musician and has used it with all of his management and web projects over the past 3 years. He loves learning how others use Marcato and coming up with ways to make our tools even simpler to use and more effective. Get in touch with Adam via the Support Board with any suggestions for improvements!

Best Live Music Experience: Weezer from 6″ away

 

Alison Giovannetti - Business Manager

Alison has been the Business Manager of Marcato since coming on board in April 2010. Her experience in the music industry as the Manager for Company House Records was a stepping stone before joining the Marcato team. She’s the manic organizer and spends her time keeping the office together on all levels including financial and functional. When she’s not at the office she’s spending her time completing her Business degree, running, doing yoga, hangin’ out with her cats Bernie and Simon and knitting.

Top 3 Favourite Bands: Florence and the Machine, Hey Rosetta & Ryan Adams.

 

Natasha Hillier - Account Executive

Natasha is originally from a small town outside Halifax, Nova Scotia where she worked in the family business. Her family’s entrepreneurial spirit motivated her to attend business school and she soon found herself at McGill University in Montreal. After finishing her Bachelor of Commerce degree she retreated back to the Maritimes and landed in Sydney to be with her now husband Kyle and dog Ozzie. She has a lot of family in Cape Breton and really enjoys what the island has to offer for fun and adventure! Soon after coming to the island she landed what she calls her “dream job” here at Marcato. She brings along her bilingual sales experience and excitement for helping to grow the company.

Top 3 Favourite Bands: The Eagles, Justin Moore & Brad Paisley


Featured Artist: FRED

The latest Marcato-powered band to be featured on our blog is the charming Irish indie-pop combo, FRED!

Just over a year ago, the boys in FRED travelled to Montreal to start recording their fourth studio album. Recorded by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, God Speed You Black Emperor, British Sea Power) at his renowned hotel2tango studio, and mixed with Ben Hiller (Elbow, Blur, Editors) in London, the result is ’Leaving My Empire’, their finest record to date.

Check out the video for their latest single ‘Villains’, featuring plenty of slowmo aerial acrobatics and rock-star poses, with everyone taking turns playing everything!



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