Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The MIDI Association Announces “May Is MIDI Month 2020”

The third annual, month-long celebration of MIDI covers recent MIDI developments, and raises funds for COVID-19 relief

Los Angeles, CA—May Is MIDI Month 2020 is the third annual celebration of MIDI – the technology that has powered countless hit records, live performances, songwriting collaborations, educational initiatives, and even Broadway plays. It takes on added significance because of the recent ratification of the ground-breaking MIDI 2.0 specification.

May Is MIDI Month is a unique collaboration among over 23,000 individuals and companies who work, play, and create with MIDI. This global community involves The MIDI Association (TMA), whose members participate in free online activities at, and the MIDI Manufacturer Association (MMA), the non-profit trade organization that maintains and advances the MIDI specification, and countless big players in the tech and manufacturing world, including Google, Apple, Yamaha, Roland, Art+Logic, and more.

Recognizing the toll that COVID-19 has taken on the creative community, this year’s May Is MIDI Month is soliciting donations from MIDI Association members, with all proceeds going to the Grammy MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund. To help meet our goal of $15,000, May Is MIDI Month corporate MMA sponsors Ableton, Art+Logic, Audio Modeling, Bome, IK Multimedia, Melodics, Moog, Roland, Steinberg, Sweetwater, and Yamaha will match donations, turning every individual dollar that’s donated into $10 for the cause.

Each Saturday in May, TMA will present live webinars on new MIDI developments at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific time. Every Sunday, a newsletter will cover the technology behind MIDI, as well as the artists who are using MIDI to expand their creative boundaries. Additional articles posted on the TMA’s site, and discussions on the site’s forums, will further de-mystify what MIDI 2.0 means to artists. All of these activities are free to TMA members, and membership is also free. There will also be a number of potential stories for outlets to report on throughout the month that focus on the cooperation necessary to develop the new standard, how MIDI 2.0 will affect musicians, and a preview of some of the possible hardware developed in anticipation of the new standard.

May Is MIDI Month 2020 not only celebrates the technology and artists who use it, but the companies and developers that since 1983, have put aside their corporate rivalries to place the needs of artists first. Come join us, and find out why 37 years after making its commercial debut, MIDI is bigger, more important, and more universal than ever.

© 2020 The MIDI Association (TMA), All Rights Reserved. The MIDI Association, TMA, and The MIDI Association logo are trademarks of The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA), a California-based Non-Profit Standards Organization that creates and manages the MIDI specification for the music industry. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Mention of company names other than The MIDI Association or the MIDI Manufacturers Association does not imply direct involvement in any aspect of The MIDI Association or the MIDI Manufacturers Association.

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BandPay Joins Family of Supporters of Pensado’s Place, the Hub for Audio Pros

BandPay (, the milestone-based payment platform, is announcing its recent deal to support Pensado’s Place, the popular YouTube channel for audio professionals. Led by Dave Pensado, it’s a hub for the audio engineering community.

“We know that engineers are the heart of the recording industry,” says BandPay founder and co-CEO DeCarlos Garrison. “We built BandPay to help serve them and to build more trust into the deals they strike every day.”

Teaming up with Pensado was a natural way to reach audio professionals. Over the last four decades, Dave Pensado helped artists craft platinum records, winning a Grammy for his work. Since 2011, he and collaborator Herb Trawick have used their weekly show to share the tricks of the trade and to highlight their fellow engineers and producers, whose work is essential, fascinating, and often underrecognized. They have built a notable audience, with 225K subscribers and hundreds of millions of views.

“A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into the music we hear, and BandPay wanted to be a part of what Dave and Herb have created,” Garrison notes. “We wanted to show this community how to make collaborations go more smoothly from a financial perspective.”

BandPay can empower more productive studio work by smoothing out the rough edges of project planning and negotiation. The app uses milestones, mutually agreed upon tasks with deadlines and payment amounts, to release guaranteed funds from one party to another. The milestone system prevents misunderstandings, time-consuming follow ups, and losses, when the work is done, but payment is lagging.

About BandPay
BandPay is redefining how musicians get paid. The app helps creative collaborators set milestones, release guaranteed funds when those milestones are reached, and keep focused on what really matters: making music. Founded by a Florida-based duo, one a music business veteran and one an experienced developer, BandPay provides a simple solution for the complicated problem of work-for-hire and handshake contracts.

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Bandsintown LIVE expands its streaming offerings this week

New Music Tuesday, April 28
12:00 PM ET / 9:00 AM PT    LOCS
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT    Christian Lopez
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT    Dallas Austin & Johnny Apollo
3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT    Destiny Rogers

The Wombats Love Fame Tragedy Takeover, Thursday April 30
UK rockers The Wombats perform and curate a day of their favorite rising stars
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT    The Wombats
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT    Bloxx
3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT    Vistas
4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT    Oscar Lang
5:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT    Full Colour

Party Favor's “Fresh Laundry” EP Listening Party, Thursday April 30
Featuring Yung Pinch, Georgia Ku, and more special guests
7:00 PM ET / 4:00 PM PT

Dreamworld Live, Friday - Sunday May 1-3
Bandsintown LIVE’s programming expands into the weekend as they are co-sponsors of the Dreamworld live festival, 

Fender Takeover, Monday May 4
Musical instrument manufacture Fender curates performances from 1:00 PM -5:00 PM ET/ 10:00 AM- 2:00PM PT of its pool of top artists including MIYAVI and 2019 Grammy nominee Madison Cunningham

New Music Tuesday, May 5
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT Rozzi
3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT IV Jay
4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT Weathers
5:00 PM ET / 2:00 PM PT Tory Ruperto

About Bandsintown:
Bandsintown celebrates artists and helps them grow their careers. As the most trusted source of live events recommendations, Bandsintown helps fans discover artists, their music and go more often to live events. With a reach of 160M Monthly Active fans globally, 55M registered concert goers and 530k touring artists registered to the platform, Bandsintown is a world-leading marketing solution for brands to engage with music enthusiasts at scale.

Visit the Bandsintown website at

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Weekly Digest: April 24, 2020

How to Make Viral TikTok Videos to Build Your Music Career

TikTok is all the rage right now. It’s only natural that musicians would begin to consider the possibilities. Would it be possible to promote their music on TikTok? Is it a good idea?
In this post via author, entrepreneur and musician David Andrew Wiebe, you won’t just discover how to make videos the TikTok community will go bonkers for. You’ll also figure out whether it’s worth putting your time and effort into.
Bandsintown reports on music fans’ opinion of live streaming

Early this week, we reported on Bandsintown’s recent findings on fan opinions regarding live streaming. The stats show both promise and challenges that need addressing, but it would appear most fans feel positively about it.
This week, as part of their Get Your Music Featured Program, Your Music Matters shared Joanna Drummond’s poignant “Alone Together” video, which features several musicians filming and recording their parts from different rooms.
Artists interested in getting featured on Your Music Matters should head over here.
Jordan Gates of Megaphone Agency has been sharing his thoughts on how to mitigate risk and hedge against uncertainty in the music industry amidst the pandemic scare. The post features a variety of tactics and techniques artists can readily employ, so for those not sure how to proceed in these strange times, this is a must read.
Music Entrepreneur founder, CEO, “undisputed champion of internet music marketing”, and quite possibly one of the music industry’s most prolific writers, David Andrew Wiebe reads the introduction from his latest book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, on the latest episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

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The Future is Interactive: Maestro Hands Artists the Keys to Full Live Stream Control

Popular live streaming platform gets interest from big-name artists during COVID-19

Interactive live streaming platform Maestro insists that artists, not platforms, should be at the center when the live music industry rebuilds in the wake of COVID-19. They should control their live streams, just as they can control many aspects of their IRL performances. Highly customizable in look and monetization options, Maestro streams live on artists’ own sites or apps. It lets artists and their teams own the meaningful data that streams generate, giving full insight into its users. It’s about viewers, not views.

“We give artists more interactivity than Twitch with the ease-of-use and full customizability of Squarespace,” explains Maestro founder and CEO Ari Evans. “You can give people exactly the experience you want, set the parameters for monetization you need, and own your audience data, creating opportunities to stay directly connected.”

With more than 20 million users, Maestro lets artists sell tickets to their livestream at whatever price point they choose. They can create themes and overlays that reflect their visual identity, set up engagement features like polls or trivia questions, and prompt viewers as much or as little as they want to buy merch or “show love.” Once the show’s over, artists can access invaluable data for marketing, including viewer emails, that allow them to break down their audience into segments, figure out what features their audience enjoyed most, identify superfans, and promote their next livestream directly to people who care.

This all adds up to a livestream that benefits the artist, not the platform, and on better terms than many in-person appearances.

Maestro was built for the music business by a team of music fans. Though the platform got picked to stream major festivals like Ultra and Coachella and events by electronic music heavyweights like deadmau5, Porter Robinson, and Armin van Buuren, Evans was disappointed by the often cool response he got from music execs, ranging from wariness to confusion. He got a far warmer reception from the esports and gaming world, however, where livestreaming has long been an integral part of the business. Inking deals with big esports franchises (Fortnite, Overwatch League) and then sports leagues like the NFL, Maestro continued to thrive, though Evans and crew still longed to bring better live stream experiences to the music world.

Everything changed in March 2020. Live events vanished overnight. Labels and management companies were looking for solutions that addressed their needs but didn’t hand their audience over to the big tech players. “Numerous blows have been dealt to public trust in platforms and user data stewardship over the past few years,” Evans reflects. “Now, artists and managers realize that they, not some platform, need to own their data. Paying to build an audience and then paying again to reach that audience is a one-sided model.”

Maestro offered the perfect alternative for musicians. Evans’ phone started ringing and hasn’t stopped since. One call, late on a Friday night, was from Erykah Badu, who had a plan for a series of quarantine concerts. Performing from home, each concert would have a different interactive experience. During Apocalypse One, the audience chose the setlist in real time. During Apocalypse Two, the setlist was predefined and the fans were able to choose which room for the band to perform the song, each with a different vibe, instrumental setup, and visual flair. When she first called, Badu had already announced the first show and needed to find a partner to execute her vision in a matter of days, something simple to achieve with Maestro.

As musicians and fans are diving into live streams with unprecedented enthusiasm, the medium itself is at a turning point, transforming from niche novelty to general necessity in a flash. “We’re seeing livestreaming become the quintessential medium of communication. We’ve received requests to set up events like graduation and wedding livestreams, use cases no one would have thought about two months ago,” Evans muses. “We’re experiencing a permanent and profound shift that will impact how we communicate and relate. All ages are affected. It’s the transformative moment we needed to unlock the true potential of live streaming. Music stands to benefit most from embracing this opportunity.”

Evans sees the future of the internet in video and the future of video as interactive. “The great tragedy of live streaming is that we have this swiss army knife of the internet, and so far most live streaming options force us to use the dullest, simplest blade,” Evans says. “For years, people have been more or less making a TV broadcast and putting it on the web instead of thinking about an internet-first experience shaped by personalization and interactivity. Now that live streams are mainstream, that’s changing. Now we get to explore new formats.”

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A Venue is Where You Play, Not Where Alcohol is Sold

This post originally appeared on Music Entrepreneur HQ.

One of the things I’ve learned after performing live for seven years is that just about any place of business can be a live venue. It doesn’t have to be a club, a bar, a pub, a lounge or a coffeehouse. It can be a clothing store or an office or a mall. It can even be a house!

I once held an event at my mom’s house called “Bijutsu”, which means “art” in Japanese. I displayed my art on the walls, my mom prepared refreshments, and I invited several friends to perform throughout the night. It wasn’t a massive runaway success, but it was a fun experiment nonetheless.

Sometimes the best opportunities are the ones you create. If you play where no one else plays, that market is yours. Moreover, if you’re a young band that can’t get into places with alcohol licenses, you’re going to need to consider alternative venues anyway. Playing in an alternative venue doesn’t guarantee success, of course, but you never know where it could lead.

Take Control & Dictate Your Own Terms

In an alternative venue, musicians can usually dictate their own terms and price. They can have more control over the logistics and how much time they get to perform.

After all, you’re not applying to perform at a local live venue where everyone plays. In a situation like that, event organizers and venue owners could already be cynical and negative about booking and promoting musical acts. And, their willingness to pay more for certain artists is going to be diminished. They probably pay the same for most acts across the board, and have no intention of paying them more unless they happen to bring out a big crowd that consumes a lot of food and alcohol.

In a venue where no one plays, you can ask for what you’re worth. You can perform for as long as you like. You can play at a time that’s advantageous to you. And, if you’re turned down, no big deal. You can always find someone else who’s willing to partner with you.

Find Events in Your Locality You Can Insert Yourself Into

In Calgary, where I live, I found out that jazz musicians play at a variety of venues I’d never played at, like hotels and storefronts. I had a friend who played at the grand opening of a furniture store, and got paid very well to do it besides!

There are many events happening all around you. Businesses are conducting grand openings, customer appreciation days and seasonal promotions. If it makes sense for them to book a band, they will.

The organizers may not necessarily be thinking about music, but if you bring it to their attention and make a value proposition that’s worthwhile, they will likely consider hiring you. This is something I learned from my friend Daniel Guy Martin, who managed to tap into many opportunities guerrilla style just by actively talking to people about his music and suggesting that they make him a part of their events.

Think Outside the Box & Make the Ask

The bottom line is that you never know unless you ask. If you ask and they say “no”, you’re in the same position you were before you asked. You haven’t lost anything.

A hardware store could be a live venue. Again, you never know unless you ask. If you can create a mutually beneficial proposition, don’t rule it out.

If you have a PA, then anywhere you can set up could potentially be a live venue. I’m not saying that you should run over to the nearest park with an outlet and plug in (use some discretion here), but I am saying that if they have electricity, don’t discount the idea that you might be able to play there. You might  be able to do an acoustic performance even if not.

The main limitation you’re facing is your imagination. So, learn to think outside the box and see opportunities where you may not have seen them before. Sometimes, music and alcohol go hand in hand. But they don’t have to. There are so many places you could bring your music to.


Ultimately, bars aren’t the only place where you can play your music. There are opportunities far and beyond venues with alcohol licenses.

Find out where your audience likes to hang out. If you’ve been performing for any length of time, you should already have a Facebook page with a few hundred likes. Look at your Insights to find out what kind of people have liked your page. You can learn a lot about your audience just by analyzing this data.

Then, you can go where they like to go, and show up where they like to show up. These tend to represent better opportunities anyway, because you’ll be playing to a group of potential fans as opposed to the people who happened to show up at the local pub.

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Music innovation company BMAT presents “The Show Must Go On Air”

BMAT launches a new initiative to support artists who’ve had gigs cancelled in Barcelona due to COVID-19

The initiative calls on all broadcasters who play or use music to opt for the songs of those who’ve been cancelled. Every play will help them make up for financial and promotional losses.

Thousands of live shows have been cancelled in Barcelona, as they have worldwide. BMAT are calling on broadcasters from all over, including those they’ve worked closely with over their 16 years, to help support artists—local and international—and make sure the show goes on. By joining forces, they’re helping those artists who are most impacted by COVID-19 gig cancellations to make up for their losses with boosted royalty earnings and exposure.

Amid this uncertain time, the global music monitoring and reporting company BMAT are launching The Show Must Go On Air to encourage broadcasters to play artists who’ve had gigs cancelled in their hometown of Barcelona due to COVID-19. Especially those who aren’t usually played on the radio. Each play generates royalties to help compensate for their financial losses, as well as helping with visibility and gaining new audiences.

They’re giving priority to bands who aren’t usually played on the radio, and could be the most impacted by this. BMAT has the list of artists on their web page Broadcasters can get ideas for songs to add to their programming, and artists who would like to be added can do so here.

“Our hometown, Barcelona, is big on music, so it means a lot to us. We want to keep it alive. We’re trying to help musicians who’ve had gigs cancelled here—especially those who aren’t usually heard on the radio.” explains Kelly Abel, Communications Manager of BMAT. “So we’re asking radios, TVs and any music lovers to play them. Every play will help generate royalties to make up for their losses due to cancelled gigs.”

About BMAT
BMAT is a music innovation company with a mission to index all music usage and ownership data. They monitor and report music globally across TVs, radios, venues and digital to help artists get paid for their plays.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

How to Train Your Algo: Software Development Firm Art+Logic Launches Vibrary, an Open-Source AI Tool for Audio Pros

In collaboration with Dr. Scott Hawley, Physics Professor at Belmont University, Art+Logic is unveiling Vibrary, the first project to come out of its incubator lab. Vibrary uses machine learning to analyze short samples and loops. Its design makes it easy for producers, composers, and musicians to train their own models and classify sounds by sound, genre, feel or other characteristics, defined by users’ needs and preferences.

The open-source AI tool features a helpful interface to make training algorithms accessible to anyone with a computer, internet connection, and a massive sound library. “Much of the technology involved is straightforward, but what is unique about us is that we built a user-friendly utility that lets people train their own AI,” explains Hawley.

Before Art+Logic embraced the project for its incubator initiative, Hawley had been playing around with algorithms and audio files for years, a hobby, of sorts, of the busy physics professor and musician. He dug into the work of top researchers using spectrograms, the visual representations of sound, as objects for algorithmic classification. It enabled him to find and tag sounds in a massive, confusingly-labelled sample and patch library, something producers and composers often struggle with.

He dubbed his experiments Panotti, named for the big-eared people of medieval legend, and eventually he took his prototypes to Nashville’s ASPIRE Research Co-op, a gathering dedicated to audio innovation. He and his fellow researchers worked to improve Panotti.

There was a problem, however. Hawley’s model gave good results, but it was a pain to set up and train. Hawley imagined a better way, one accessible to audio pros, and Art+Logic helped him find it, creating a simple, attractive interface. This interface ensures Vibrary leaps past a major sticking point for many specialized machine learning projects: Domain experts aren’t data scientists, and data scientists may have no clue how domain experts use or perceive the data. Vibrary empowers audio pros to build their own AI without a data-science background.

“Scott’s interface was built in Python, but it wasn’t something the overwhelming majority of users would have been able to configure,” says Jason Bagley, senior software developer at Art+Logic, himself an electronic musician. “We wanted something someone could download and start running immediately. We simplified things, automating a lot of processes. I came up with a user flowchart for training and categorization. My colleague Daisey Traynham turned the flowchart into an interface that is simple to use, hiding as much of the complexity as possible.”

Data can present another hurdle in training an effective machine learning model as a non-expert. “Data scientists have to be careful in creating their data set. If you’re a producer, you don’t think like a data scientist. You may not get why your data are causing model prediction errors,” reflects Hawley. “We had to guide end users toward data and approaches that are helpful to them.” For example, to adequately train a model, users need to tag a large number of files with a shared characteristic to ensure accuracy. “We did a good job of making this difficult step as simple as it could be,” says Bagley.

After some soul searching, the Art+Logic team decided that the best way to get Vibrary out to users was to make it open source, rather than trying to launch a full-blown commercial product. Bagley and Hawley imagine many use cases for Vibrary far from the studio, including counting bird species by calls in a forest and diagnosing motors or devices by sound. “We knew this could be very useful to people, and we didn’t want to limit the features or define a single direction for the software,” Bagley notes. “As open-source software, we can get it into people’s hands and they can get creative.”

About Art+Logic
Art+Logic has been designing and developing innovative custom software since 1991. They have built software for over 900 clients from a diverse set of industries including education, aerospace, music technology, consumer electronics, entertainment, financial services, and more. With a talent for coding “the impossible,” they are industry leaders in providing software solutions to companies like NASA, General Electric, Google, Apple, Intel, and Motorola.Visit their website at

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Bandsintown reports on music fans’ opinions of live streaming

During these strange and uncertain times, more and more musicians are turning to live streaming to engage and entertain fans.

This is understandable, considering how many musicians have had to cancel their gigging plans, with some even losing their primary source of revenue in one fell swoop.
But how are fans feeling about this (hopefully) temporary transition and new status quo?
Bandsintown’s fan survey features some rather interesting data, some of which we’ll highlight here.

40.9% of fans have never watched a live streaming concert before.

This would suggest that there is still a sizable market to tap into. Of course, it would be necessary to get to the bottom of why so many have never watched a live streaming concert.

25.2% of fans said they would check out live streaming concerts once or twice.

Meanwhile, 30.5% said they weren’t interested in live streaming concerts at all.

Live performances are what fans want to see most from artists.

Live streaming is rife with opportunity, but 96.7% of fans agreed, a live performance is what they would love to see most from their favorite artists.
Beyond that, 42% said they would watch pre-recorded shows, 35.6% said they would enjoy fan-selected sets, 33.6% showed interested in interviews and 31.3% said they would engage in a fan Q&A.

At 75.5%, YouTube is the preferred method of delivery for live streaming content.

Facebook came in at 48.2%, while Instagram came in third at 32.7%.
Other services mentioned include Zoom, Twitch, Twitter, StageIt, Patreon, Periscope and

Only 26.6% of fans said they liked interacting with other fans using chat boxes during live streams.

The other 73.4% don’t seem to care too much.

74% of fans said they would continue to watch live streams regularly after live shows return.

It seems a good chunk of people have had good experiences with live streams and want to keep watching them, even after venues and stages open again.

70.7% of fans said they’d be willing to pay a fee to access live streams.

There is still plenty of hope for artists wanting to generate revenue as events continue to unfold.

65.6% of fans said their eagerness to attend shows would not be affected by the pandemic.

But it seems quite a few people are still wary of what could happen.

“I can’t wait for concerts to come back!”

Fans left various comments regarding this survey, with most falling under one of seven categories.
But at Music Entrepreneur News, we resonate most with this one – that we simply can’t wait for concerts to come back.
About Bandsintown:
Bandsintown celebrates artists and helps them grow their careers. As the most trusted source of live events recommendations, Bandsintown helps fans discover artists, their music and go more often to live events. With a reach of 160M Monthly Active fans globally, 55M registered concert goers and 530k touring artists registered to the platform, Bandsintown is a world-leading marketing solution for brands to engage with music enthusiasts at scale.  
Visit the Bandsintown website at

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The Renegade Musician Interview with David Andrew Wiebe

A few weeks ago, founder & CEO of Music Entrepreneur HQ and host of The New Music Industry Podcast sent us an early draft of his forth...