Quiet Entertainer Releases New Record: Intelligent Design

Quiet Entertainer Intelligent Design front cover

My new record is finally here! It’s called Intelligent Design. It’s the most rewarding collection of music I’ve done because you can start to hear a new production style and writing style that I’ve been working on. It perhaps isn’t new to some producers but it is definitely a part of my own personal growth. So I feel great about it! You can download Intelligent Design for free here!

Quiet Entertainer Intelligent Design Back Cover

If you can’t see that image, here’s the track listing.

Sunset
Now I Know (Hunz cover)
Self-esteem
Better Days
Companion
The Billy Goats – Hey Girl (Quiet Entertainer Remix)
Sam & Tre x Blue Sky Black Death – I’m A Stoner (Quiet Entertainer Remix)
Clams Casino x Gold Panda & Star Slinger w/ Yelawolf (Quiet Entertainer Mix)
Set from the MUTEMATH Tour

I’ve released some of the tracks before as one-offs on soundcloud but I’m glad to finally put it all together on an official release here along with my brand new original material.

Don’t forget that you can download the entire album for free here.


Additionally, I’m having an album release mini-tour starting today! I’ll be in Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Clarksville this weekend promoting the Intelligent Design release!
quiet entertainer album release mini tour intelligent design

Thursday will be in Murfreesboro, TN at The Social with Dotcom, Body of Light, Crayons & Antidotes, and Boyfriend.

Friday will be in Nashville, TN at Cafe Coco with Last of the Horsemen, Spoken Nerd, Rally & Don Cruso.

Saturday will be in Clarksville, TN at The Coup with Blak Tha Map, My Day At The Races, Spoken Nerd, Smokee B, & Kid Dead.

How To Get Your Music on Pandora and What To Do Next

Quiet entertainer pandora
One of the questions I’ve been asked the most is: How did I get my music on Pandora.com? Well, this is an easy question. Pandora has a wonderful FAQ section and the step-by-step process is spelled out nicely there. However, for the benefit of us all, I will walk you through everything I did, my thought process while doing it, and even what I am doing now that I have music on the site.

First off, it goes without saying. I’m a big fan of Pandora. Just about all the music I currently love is music that I discovered through either word of mouth or Pandora’s random selection. People like Blue Sky Black Death, Bonobo, and Free The Robots. So when I released the Machismo EP, I knew that I wanted it on Pandora. However (and in spite of the great instructions on their site), I hesitated. If you’re an artist, you might be hesitating too. I needed to do a lot of research. I felt like looking around and seeing if other indie artists were going this route. Thinking back, they obviously were or else where would all this great new music be coming from? Anyway, I kept stalling until I read a great blog post about Pandora over at genyrockstars.com. That’s a great post from Greg Rollett and long story short is a retelling of how to and why it’s great to be on Pandora. I recommend it for anyone who is wanting to do this. So anyway, it was a great kick in the pants and if I was going to be serious about my music, I needed to get on it. So, I got started.

I sent my Machismo EP in. I needed to have a barcode. At the time, i was struggling over whether to go with CDbaby or Tunecore to distribute the Machismo EP. I don’t know how it is now, but Tunecore was giving out barcodes with their subscription whereas CDbaby was charging extra fees. So I went with Tunecore for that reason alone. Also, you have to have your physical CD for sale on Amazon. You can easily set this up with Tunecore as i did with their on-demand store. You have to do this and you have to make sure it’s physical copy.

I uploaded two tracks to pandora.com ; filled out all the paperwork and sent that in along with a physical copy of the CD and then you wait. I took this time though to also fill out and get my stuff registered over at SoundExchange. Lots of paperwork, but you have to do all this stuff. Anyway, from the time I started this Pandora process until the time it showed up was about 6 months. Long time, eh? But hey, now it’s on there.

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Ok great! Well, how was anyone going to find my music? Well, if you’ve heard the Machismo EP, you know that I have two instrumental tracks and 6 tracks with emcees. Pandora had only analyzed one track (Machismo) into their system. This means that only that track would possibly show up in rotation. Also, it means that my similar artists would only be artists who had music similar to that one song. Well, it’s the curse of having a diverse little record. I emailed their support to see if they would do any more. They got back to me to say that it’s customary that only 1-5 songs would be analyzed. Well, I thought that was both good and bad. I was able to up the load to 3 analyzed tracks. You see in the pic above it’s the 3 tracks that it says “try tracks 2, 4, and 6.” Anyway, so I have made comments over at my profile and at my record about how anyone can download Machismo for free. And I can edit those comments later if i need to.


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So that’s cool. I noticed that they matched me up with artists like Dela & Panacea. Pretty cool, but I want people to catch my instrumental stuff too. Maybe the next record. One thing I also have done is create a Pandora station. I did this using Quiet Entertainer (again, that’s ME) as a seed. Also, I added some other artists that I like and other songs that I like as seeds. So anyone who listens to my custom Pandora station, will not only get a good mix of similar sounding artists according to Pandora but a great dose of stuff similar to what I’m listening to now and hopefully will have a keen ear to what my next record might sound like. Of course, you can hear the custom made Quiet Entertainer Pandora station here.


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That’s really about it. The joy of Pandora is that it picks music for you. I can’t really push my music on people; and I wouldn’t want to. I hope that it plays my stuff for people and that they enjoy it. I wish I could tell if people were finding me through Pandora. But I guess I have other things to worry about. Like working harder and creating more. Meanwhile, I hope this was helpful to artists and also to anyone else as more of an insight to another aspect of something I deal with as QE.

Two things: 1) If it was helpful, then I’d love it if you’d share or re-tweet this. 2) Are any of you getting your music on Pandora? & how are you promoting it?

Also: If you want to know how I figured this out, then take a look at the NME Blueprint. I went through this system and learned how to market my music like a champ.

How 24 and LOST Almost Killed my Music Career

We are in the 6th month of a 12 month year and I wonder what I have to show for it. My dreams of doing music full time have been hanging on for dear life. Why? I could blame poor time management, insufficient hustle, cluttered workspace, etc. But I’m going to blame all of the above. Yet, these are silent killers. I wouldn’t have noticed it until the finale of LOST a couple of weekends ago. In fact, a bunch of my favorite shows ended for good this year: LOST, 24, Heroes, & FlashForward. I’ve been obsessed with watching these shows instead of getting Quiet Entertainer off the ground.

Here’s how it happens. I don’t watch TV on actual TV. I use Hulu and Yidio to watch pretty much everything I’m going to watch. I think if I watched on the regular timetable, I’d at least be able to say “oh I’ll work on music until 24 comes on.” But as it is; I can watch at anytime; and I’ve been lazy and finding an urgency to get things done. I love Hulu and Yidio, but in this case it’s been sucking all my time! I blame myself. But who could resist watching every clip and web exclusive of LOST leading up to the finale? And Jack Bauer’s finale season: How far will he go?? And a Hulu bonus! the entire series of the A-Team is on Hulu right now! Should I watch the entire series before I go see the movie in theaters?

I wouldn’t have noticed the slow death of my music career if not for a few artists. Let’s look at The Hood Internet. They recently came through Nashville on their tour. I had never heard of them before but they were booked to play Mashville, Nashville’s monthly DJ party. So, I went online to check them out and they had released 9 free mixtapes over the past 3 years! How did I miss this? So I downloaded just 4 mixtapes (for free) and I instantly had 4 hours of music to listen to. Well these guys aren’t lazy. This exact thing happened when Pretty Lights came through half a year ago. I had never heard of him, but he was coming to Nashville so I looked him up. He had four free records on his site too! I don’t know when he started but I think it’s also been 3 or 4 years his current setup. I downloaded it all and had about 4 or 5 hours of music with which to get acquainted. I’m a big fan of both now.

This discussion made me remember a blog post I read a while back from Justin over at AudibleHype.com asking Is Touring Really Necessary? I encourage artists of any genre looking to do this for a living to go read that. Long story short though, He says the five core ingredients to success without touring are:
1. Great Music
2. Easily Accessible
3. Prolific Output
4. Evangelist Fans
5. Low Overhead

I had to look around; is anyone doing this in my town? DJ Wick-It is pretty close. I think he’s got at least 4 of those 5 goin for him if not all 5. He’s got all of his (very dope hip-hop & dubstep) music available on his soundcloud page. Also, Spoken Nerd is super prolific. Since I’ve known him, he’s always put out a lot of music and is always thinking two records ahead. Check his latest from his bandcamp.

So, I am looking to these artists for inspiration. With some of my favorite shows out of the way, I have no excuse. I have to get to work and make actual music. I know my e-mail list will keep me accountable. Maybe you will too. So thankfully, I don’t have to worry about Jack Shepard OR Jack Bauer. At least not until the 24 movie comes out.

If you liked this post, I’d love it if you’d re-tweet or share. Also you can subscribe to my blog.

What You Need To Know About Finding a DJ Mixer

I’m in between shows right now; that means it’s time for me to evaluate and upgrade my DJ gear! My most immediate need is a mixer. I figured I’d go ahead and share with you my process for finding the right one, and help you to find one too. More and more people are beginning to learn how to DJ and manipulate music on their own. Whether you’re using turntables, CD players, iPods, laptops, or whatever; the mixer is the most important piece to DJ-ing, in my opinion.

First, you need to know: What kind of DJ are you? What techniques and skills are most important for you? What kind of control do you need? These simple questions will guide you in your decision making. Most mixers will allow you to do all the essentials, but let’s customize a little further.

Scratching is important to me, so I want a mixer with an adjustable cross-fader curve. Here’s a quote from hiphop-directory.com:

A crossfader curve adjustment on a mixer allow you to gradually alter the way how fast a crossfader will cut in the second sound. The settings of the curve range gradually from an X-curve into an inverted U-curve. The X-curve means that when you move the crossfader from one end to the other, the sound that is playing will fade out gradually, and at the same time the sound playing on the other turntable will become louder gradually. With an inverted U-curve, as soon as you move the fader even a little off the other end, the new sound will be audible at full volume, but you will also hear the original sound in the background. Thinking of the settings visually might help in understanding it – with X-curve, both sounds increase and decrease very linearly. With an inverted U-curve, sounds cut of very abruptly at both ends of the fader, making this setting very essential for any type of scratching.

So there you have it. This was my first hard lesson in mixers. My first mixer came as part of a DJ-in-a-box kit. My friend had bought it for himself but then decided that he didn’t want to learn to DJ. I was so eager at the time AND I was getting a discount on it, so I bought the whole set from him. I didn’t realize why I wasn’t sounding like my favorite DJs. You can still learn technique with any kind of mixer, but you’ll be at a handicap if you get a DJ-in-a-box kit. I am grateful for that kit, since before then I had NOTHING and would not have ever gotten started. If you can wait, and you can get a little more money; I recommend saving up for a better quality mixer.


What else? Do you need EQ control? Effects Send & Return or even built in? How many channels do you need based on your situation? For mine, I can get by with the basic 2 channel mixer. Although for a typical show, I max out that mixer (2 sources per channel). One feature that I like to see in a mixer is a transform switch. My most recent mixer has the switch but I’ve worn it out and since the mixer is discontinued; I can’t get replacement or compatible repair parts. Long story short, each channel on a mixer can go phono or line. You can switch between the two, but you can also have a transform switch allowing you to switch quicker and you can actually “scratch” within the two sources from the same channel. Anyway, look at MixMaster Mike as he does this (at 2:00, 2:35, & 6:04):


Okay, so you know what kind of DJ you are; you know what you need your mixer to do and what features it needs to have. Now, you have to look at cost. Do you want to get buy and then try to upgrade later? Or do you save up for the best possible mixer and get it first? You might spend more money in the long run doing the buy-low/ upgrade strategy. But you make up for it because you have a mixer actually with you. Depends on how fast you can make money. While, I don’t think all mixers are created equally, I do think that if you know what you’re doing and what you need the mixer to do; you can have a great experience.

Here’s some other links I found that might help you on your search:
Tips for Choosing Your DJ Mixer
Where Can I Buy a DJ Mixer?

And here are my favorite mixers:
1. Rane TTM 57SL with Serato Scratch Live – The Crown Jewel of Mixers. Complete with Serato!
2. Vestax PMC-08Pro – This one does just about everything.
3. Vestax PMC-05ProIII VCA – Has all you REALLY need.
4. Stanton SA.3 – Stanton has pretty good mixers; usually at a lower price. I’ve used Stanton for a long time.
5.KAOSS Dynamic DJ Mixer – What’s cool about this one is the KAOSS pad built directly into it!

Okay, to recap:
1. Determine what type of DJ you are.
2. Determine what you need your mixer to do.
3. Decide what mixer features you need.
4. Look at the cost.

What do you think is important when trying to find your mixer?

thinking about KNAPSACKHEROES!

KNAPSACKHEROES!

I’m in a strange, never-experienced-before predicament. I’ve spent some time promoting an upcoming show with some friends here in town, KNAPSACKHEROES! (Yeah, you’re supposed to type it with all Caps and an exclamation point at the end, but I’ll refrain from here on out.) They are a mix of new wave pop with rock and hip-hop. When I moved to Nashville, I first heard about them at a house party I went to. I met a couple of guys, one from this band, and the other from this other band. And they said that I would probably really be into Knapsackheroes because I like hip-hop and I like electronic music.

KNAPSACKHEROES live!

Well I never got to see them until about a year later. I was doing synth and samples for a band; we ended up opening for them. Immediately, I noticed that they had a really energetic live show. The girl I was dating at the time said that the drummer scared her by how he was playing. Well, that’s a good sign. Knapsackheroes was dangerous.

We did a couple of shows together over the years. I’ve gotten to know them a little bit and they’re a great group of guys. They are actually deep students of pop culture as a whole; and between the 5 of them, they have a wide variety of musical taste. Well, we like a lot of the same bands. So I’ve been excited to get to do another show with them on March 17th at Mercy Lounge along with Details Details (a Postal Service meets Owl City electro-pop artist) and Eyes Around (rock band from Alabama).

Vinyl Jones

On Monday, Vinyl Jones, the rapper in Knapsackheroes, had a stroke. He’s been in the hospital for the past couple of days. I don’t know all the specifics. I’m getting updated with the rest of the world on the Knapsackheroes facebook page. I don’t know if he’ll be okay for the upcoming show. I don’t care about a show. I just hope he’ll be alright and can recover. He’s got a loving family (complete with 8 kids) so I know he has some support. But please pray for him. Pray for his family. Pray for his band.

EDIT: He’s home from the hospital; doing physical therapy and the show will go on! Keep praying. But wow!

And check out the Knapsackheroes! EP

Knapsackheroes EP