I ran into an old friend at the Narragansett Cafe last night. I first met Sonja Lamoi at the RockNJock charities event several years ago. She’s a professional photographer and she shared some photos from last night at the Narragansett Cafe. I was looking at a folder on her Facebook page from 2018 and one of our charity events.We had quite a lineup on that show! The Nakeds and I were the backing band for Larry Braggs, Tavares, Skip Martin (Kool and the gang), and Charlie Huhn from Foghat. I was so humbled to receive the following message from Charlie Huhn: “Hi Ed, I just wanted to thank you again for all the hard work that you put in to our performance. I heard many great responses about how well we worked together. You were really ripping on the leads and it was very successful. Golf was fun yesterday even in the rain but I truly want to thank you again for all the hard work and effort you put into making our performance a success. Put in a good word for me for next year :-). Take care and thanks again. Charlie ”
I’m very excited to announce that I have joined up with Killer Kane & The BlueFOs. The lineup of seasoned musicians includes singer Jeff Davis, Bassist Dave McCarthy, Guitarist Tim Lindsey, Pianist Charles Huntington, Drummer (to be announced!!), Harmonicat James “Killer” Kane and of course, me on guitar.
From 1986 to 1990, Killer Kane and I both served time together in a resurrection of Ken Lyon’s Tombstone Blues Band, recording the CD “Up From The Ashes”.
I’m looking forward to seeing our friends and family in the upcoming season at some of our favorite venues. Be sure to check the tour dates on edvallee.com for dates, times and venues!
Whiskey Women And Wine
I have some new music on the radar that will soon be available for listening only on edvallee.com. I started working on the new song entitled "Whiskey, Women And Wine" about a month ago and have finished recording the preliminary tracks in my home studio. I will be returning to Satellite Studio to work with recording engineer Emerson Torrey who is helping me to develop my music catalog.
In the meantime I continue to research synchronization agencies for music placement.
I curated a very pessimistic but interesting article about how people are listening to music and what the "industry" is doing about it. How do you listen to music?
ISRC - What It Is And Why You Need It
Other priorities sometimes pull me away from my prime imperative, which is of course creating music. Concurrently the two largest things that were delaying progress in that area are a kitchen renovation project which is at the moment at a standstill giving me time to focus on my prime imperative, and secondly, I just returned from a week long venture to Sedona, Arizona for some r&r.
The two things that I would like to cover in brief are as follows:
1. ISRC codes.
2. Managing a music catalog.
ISRC = International Standard Recording Code
The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc.) or the rights holders involved.
( from https://usisrc.org )
Why do I need one?
ISRC codes are primarily used to identify and catalog individual songs (tracks) on an album. The ISRC allows you to get paid for digital music sales by ensuring that your royalties are tracked properly. ISRC codes are necessary to sell your individual tracks via iTunes and other online music distributors.
Example: here's how to find the ISRC code for any song on Spotify
ISRC codes were assigned to some of the older music in my catalog when I submitted my MP3s to CDBaby for publishing and distribution.
More recently, I learned how to assign and embed the ISRC into my MP3s by myself without having to rely on a second party. For a small one-time fee I obtained my own lifetime registrant identification code that I can use in perpetuity to assign ISRC codes to my own music. Without going into a lengthy discussion here of how I did it, I will leave it to you to see the following link for a concise explanation of why and how you too can do the same thing.
It became important for me to keep track of my music catalog and the ISRC codes assigned to each recording. I created an excel ISRC spreadsheet organized by year and date. I also plan on keeping a separate song catalog ledger spreadsheet where I can keep a record of each song recording and it's associated metadata information. I understand that it is important to be consistent with the metadata each time you send out an MP3 to a client or music catalog for consideration on sync licensing. If the metadata differs from other instances of the MP3 that were already previously distributed throughout various points of sale in the metaverse, it could be confusing to a music supervisor who is considering your music for synchronization licensing and could even be a deal killer. For that reason it is important to get the metadata correctly inserted from the beginning when entering that information into your music file. It is also important to save the master MP3 file and make a backup copy on different media. Always use that same MP3 source file to make a copy to be sent to your client music library, synchronization licensing or publishing agencies. I also suggest recording the MP3 file location(s) in your song catalog ledger that was discussed earlier in this article.
Believe me, I am still learning exactly what metadata to include and how much or how little metadata is absolutely necessary.
There's a lot to digest.....so take it one byte at a time. Like your mother says: "Chew your food a hundred times.....". I think you get it!
TIP: you need to download a metadata editor if you plan on adding the metadata yourself. There are lots of them out there and you can find them by googling it....here are some search results:
Here's that previous example that I showed you a little earlier on how to find the isrc code for any song on Spotify:
Example: here's how to find the ISRC code for any song on Spotify
That's about it for now I've got some work to do. If you are interested in downloading the excel ISRC spreadsheet feel free to get in touch and I'll give it to you for free.
Don't forget to back up your files on separate media!
WWBMF - The Master Is Back
Last week I sent out the final mix to Abbey Road for mastering and got it back in four days! Now I'm in the process of designing the cover art and imbedding the metadata into the music file so the artist, title, cover art and other Id3 tags will be displayed when WWBMF is played on iTunes, Windows Media, and the vast number of music players that are enabled to display metadata.
Yesterday I opened up the master wav file in Audacity, an open-source editing program, to convert and output the wav file into a variety of formats used in film, tv, video and audio, that I will need when I submit the music for publishing, and in music libraries for consideration of syncronization licensing.
Speaking of sync licensing, I did a lot of research while I was waiting for the master to be completed. My music catalog goes back more than thirty years and WWBMF is one of those songs that is a collaboration on with a lyricist who I recently got in touch with. I was checking out her discography and noticed that she had published a recording of WWBMF back in 2009. We had written the song way back in the early 90's and we hold the copyright from 1993. This kind of information is critical when and if a song is under consideration for a sync license. The music supervisor must have all the information about performance rights organizations, artists, publishing and splits to be present at the beginning with no ambiguities. Not having all your ducks in rows and columns could be a real deal killer!
For a sneak peek at "Who Will Break My Fall", check out the previous post!
NEXT UP: Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) and Sync License Agencies
WWBMF - Sneak Preview
Very excited to have received the finished master from Abbey Road Studios. Here's a sneak peek at "Who Will Break My Fall"
words and lyrics - Ed Vallee, Kelly Padrick
A long time ago, in a nightclub, far, far away.....in fact, so long ago and far way that I can't be more specific than that!
This is Clarence Clemons recorded live with Steve Smith & The Nakeds.
"Another Place, Another Time"
WWBMF - Mix Submitted To Abbey Road Studio For Mastering
UPDATE: Feb 19th, 2022 -
It's been a very interesting last couple of days. "Who Will Break My Fall" was submitted to Abbey Road Studio for mastering.
I'm very excited in anticipation of getting the final master!
One thing I haven't mentioned so far is the ISRC (International Sound Recording Code). When I placed my order for mastering with Abbey Road, I was asked to provide an ISRC code for the metadata part of the finished master recording.
As a Recording Rights Owner, I set up an account with usisrc.org.
For a one-time fee of $95 I was provided with a Registrant Code that allows me to assign ISRCs for all recordings that I own or control. Recording Rights Owners are typically labels or bands, but can be individual artists as well.
The ISRC Registrant Code is mine for life and will allow me to assign up to 100,000 ISRCs each year to recordings that I own. Obviously, I am not that prolific at songwriting, but I expect to be recording more new original songs very soon! How To Generate An ISRC For A Recording
I might mention at this point as I have done a fair amount of research by now, I discovered another new code, ISWC, that is also added to a sound recording.
What's The Difference Between ISRC and ISWC?
That's all for today....I'll keep you posted.
NEXT UP: Metadata Requirements For Sound Recordings
This will be the first of many posts about my experience with a learn-as-you-go songwriting project. The project started about thirty-three years ago when I teamed up with a songwriting partner, Kelly Padrick. Over a period of about three years we collaborated on a whole bunch of original songs. Some of them are pretty good, and others are, meh!
Over the last couple of decades I have taken some of those and a few of my own and touched up the lyrics and music where I felt they could be better crafted. One of those songs titled "Who Will Break My Fall", is the project that I started about a month ago in my home studio, and it's the subject of this and the following series of posts where I will be describing the entire process of taking a musical work from start to finish.
My starting point was to record the finished song in my home studio and then bring those tracks into a professional recording studio for the do-overs. Once the recording process was completed, a final mixdown was rendered for mastering.
I will be writing in depth about my experience with copyright, adding metadata and ISRC codes, synchronization licensing, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), streaming and publishing, as they occur. Not to worry, I'm very inexperienced with all these things since my main gig for the last thirty years has been primarily as a performing and work-for-hire artist only. My intention is to learn how to properly monetize a song so that I may be rewarded for the time, work and money that I have invested into this project. Also, I want to share my learning experience with anyone who may benefit from it. I very much appreciate questions and comments, especially from experienced creators, team members and supporters who are willing to offer some advice, criticism and help.
UPDATE: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Today, the final mixdown of WWBMF was rendered by Mr. Emerson Torrey at Satellite Recording Studio in 24-bit, 48KHz WAV format for mastering. The recording studio and I both have a copy, and I will save another backup copy to a USB drive. The next two things that I need to do are the registration of copyright at the Library Of Congress, and finding a mastering facility for my song and the audio engineer who will master the recording. I will post more about my experience as I go through the process.
For now, I want to back up a little and briefly explain about the process leading up to today. Even before I started to record the music in my home studio, I took some time to edit and finalize the lyrics for WWBMF and decide on the key signature and tempo for the song. It's really a pain in the ass when you get too far into a recording project and realize that the vocals suck because you didn't take the time to find the right key for your vocal range.
The next step was writing out the song arrangement so I would know exactly how many measures were needed for the next step, that is, programming the drum application. EZDrummer is the program that I use to write drum parts for each verse, chorus, bridge and what have you. With the drum track finally programmed, I exported it as a 24-bit, 44.1KHz WAV file to be imported into the recording program. It really wasn't necessary to expend a great deal of time and effort on the drum track since my preference was to add a drummer at a later date.
I'm use Nuendo as my recording software along with PreSonus FireStudio 8-in, 8 out Digital to Analog Converter (DAC).
A new project was opened in Nuendo with the tempo set to 120bpm to match the tempo in the programmed drum track. The EZDrummer WAV file was then imported as a new audio track in Nuendo. I recorded four tracks of myself playing the piano, the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar and singing the vocal parts.
UPDATE: Thursday, February 17th, 2022
WWBMF was successfully registered for copyright protection through the Library of Congress for a fee of $65. It's a good idea to apply for a copyright to prove ownership of your intellectual property should there be unauthorized use.
Next step; prepare for mastering.