Tuesday 30 May 2017

INTO Glasgow this morning. The usual routine – drop Margaret off and stop at McDonald’s for coffee and wifi!

I’m on a mission today. Having researched a bit on how best to make promo downloads of my forthcoming Live at Memorial Hall album I decide to give Soundcloud a tryout. I already use Soundcloud to provide the audio samples/downloads on my website but have never really examined the possibilities. For the last two albums I’ve used Bandcamp and promo codes, but it’s a bit of a fanny dance responding to requests by allocating and sending individual download codes.

For last year’s Hellbound Train EP and the recent Live EP I”ve hosted the downloads on my website and directed media to an ‘unlisted’ download page where they fill in their name, publication/radio show and email address in a form..when the form is submitted my system automatically sends an email with a link to download the promo stuff in a zipped folder.

Benefits of Bandcamp are you see who actually redeemed the download codes but that’s offset by the limited number of codes you can generate and the already mentioned fanny dance with all the admin. The self-hosted thing worked well but, on research, had a couple of drawbacks.

First, some media/recipients might not be comfortable downloading a zipped folder from what is essentially an unknown – and therefore probably untrusted – source. Also, there is no way to preview the tracks/release so the recipient has to commit to downloading the lot without knowing what it’s like.

Soundcloud offers a neat way around all these drawbacks at the expense, I think of some of the data…but the paid for (pro account – only £45 a year) option does promise some kind of data/analytics. I tidy up my existing Soundcloud accounts (I have a few!) and upgrade one to ‘pro’.

The fast wifi at McDonalds allows me to get all 26 tracks uploaded as 320k MP3s by the time I’ve finished my coffee 🙂

Next stop is Silverburn to pick up a couple of things we need for our camping at this weekend’s Red Rooster Festival where I play on Saturday night.

The wifi at Silverburn is crap, but back at the car I have a full 4G signal so tether the Macbook to my phone and manage to upload the same tracks as uncompressed .wav file versions – I want to be able to give folks the option of downloading 320k MP3 or WAV files.

I have time for a wee walk before I get some shopping and pick up Margaret before heading to the Scottish Music Centre for a meeting about the industry/media launch event for Live at Memorial Hall. We have a productive meeting and all looks good. Planning is everything!

Next stop is Costco for some more shopping and bite to eat before we go to Glasgow’s Citizen M hotel for a networking event co-hosted by the SMIA (Scottish Music Industry Association) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). We spend a good couple of hours catching up with folks and drinking beer (well I do – Margaret’s driving!)…great event, great evening 🙂

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Monday 31 October 2016

ProSoundNews Europe...click above to read it!

ProSoundNews Europe…click above to read it!

WE give Nan a lift to the Bloodshot Records office and pop in to say hello…and end up with a load of cool Bloodshot merch. Thanks Nan!

After stopping at a Panera Bread to pick up some grub we leave Chicago behind and start the 350-mile  drive to Elyria which is between Toledo and Cleveland.

We make a few stops for fuel, toilet breaks and to swap driving duties and, after crossing a time zone  making it an hour later, we arrive at our hotel around 7pm.

After dropping the bags we head out to a nearby Japanese restaurant called Wasabi. It’s almost empty – party because it’s hallowe’en (a big deal here!) and the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs have another World Series game tonight. The food’s pretty good – my usual soft shell crab followed by a well-made maki roll and some of my favourite sashimi – surf clam. It’s all about the texture! Margaret has gyoza and yakitori.

Back at the hotel Margaret opens a bottle of red while I crack open a beer and prepare my November eNewsletter to go out first thing in the morning. Read it here. The wifi in the hotel room’s a bit patchy so I sit in the foyer to get it done.

The November edition of ProSoundNews Europe not only has a four-page feature on my summer gigging activities, but also a full front cover featuring yours truly! Read it here 🙂

Once done, I go back to the room where I import the last week’s-worth of video clips and spend a few hours getting the bones of an edit together for part four of the USA tour videoblog. It’s after midnight and I reckon I’ve done enough…I’ll do the voiceover and final tweaks tomorrow – there’s no way it’ll upload form this crappy internet here anyway!

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