Ever had that dream where you’re late for school, it’s time for final exams and you haven’t studied at all? It’s a common nightmare, but next time it happens try imagining this instead: You’ve just come home but your house is different somehow, finer, more inviting than you remembered it being. You know it’s OK though, because in this dream you have already completed your music education.
You’re in your front hallway, looking at the framed photos on the walls. You’re in all of them, different versions of you. You’re playing music, you’re performing to crowds, you are completely absorbed in front of a bank of lighted control panels in a studio. You are behind a mixing board, you are laying tracks inside a maze of soundproof panels, looking very satisfied surrounded by a group of people who are all smiling with you fondly.
Want to make your dream come true? You have some work to do first. Here’s where some real music education comes in. It’s not in some alternate universe where you were born to famous and wealthy producer parents. It’s not in some intimidating and expensive professional music school. It’s a dimension of practical industry education that you can access anywhere: Welcome to Vampr Academy.
Let’s look at the evolution of this new world and see what resonates with you. In the first module, Thinking About the Business of Music you’ll be introduced to your coursework, and the teaching philosophy that you’ll be interacting with while using the Vampr system of themed dynamic lessons.
This first group of classes is a great place to start to gain a deeper understanding of music business roles and the unique fit and function of artists within it. You’ll gain insight into a rich range of options and learn to work your own magic with the guidance of solidly experienced professionals you deserve. This is where you learn about the music consumer, how to get inside the listener’s head and propel your sound to a wider audience.
Legal Basis of the Music Business leads you with sure and steady steps through the complicated realm of intellectual property and copyright issues in music. You’ll learn how to think critically about copyright both domestic and international and spot the myths that throw many artists off. Knowledge is the surest defense against copyright infringement to protect your original work. You will also grasp an invaluable understanding of mechanical royalties, trademark, branding, domain names, social media and image rights. Assignment and licensing will be covered as well as the role of PROs.
The third module Understanding Music Publishing tackles the development and fundamental business side of current music publishing including synchronization, working with publishers and sync agents and how you can turn your songwriting into a steady stream of income.
Recordings and Record Companies will explore the four pillars of the recording industry and measure the impact of the digital revolution. You’ll be guided on a deep dive of lessons covering the functions of the record music industry, record music income, digital distribution, label services and much more. This module spans across 7 lessons and is the perfect stepping stone to help you along your path of truly understanding the inner workings of the recording world. You will be fully up to date on the recordings industry’s functions and terms. Also, one more little thing—collecting the money.
Contracts and the recorded Music Industry uncovers all the secrets to getting that elusive and lucrative deal as well as clear understanding of various types of recording and publishing agreements. You’ll gain insight on bargaining position and how to fine tune your internal compass for negotiation. You’ll be taught to reliably consider when you should “sign your life away” (or simply run away screaming), and you will know all you need to about the reversion of copyright and catalogs. We’ll show you why longer contracts or bigger money isn’t always better. We’ll cover advances, contracts for services and key clauses in recording and publishing agreements. You’ll learn the subtle martial art of defending yourself against any irrational or unjust behavior that you might confront on your journey.
Here comes another jungle to conquer in Module 6, with our Overview of the Live Music Industry. This will bring you into the arena of economics within the live music industry and to contemplate the concept of music as a perishable good. You’ll also study the main players in the live game, such as venues, venue bookers, agents, promoters. You’ll consider the truth about promoters and music as its own reward. The goal here is to give you the tools to establish your own live team.
Representation and Management is the core of Module 7, its legal basis and everything an artist looking for a manager needs to know. You’ll look at management business models, learn the role of a manager as well as the types of managers. Contracts of term, territory, commission and termination will be covered, as well as how to evaluate a management’s fee for service.
Here we are at long last with the final module of this series, Bringing Together Your Music Business, and you should feel proud of all your hard work as you approach your moment of groundbreaking. You’ll be ready to consider what it is you actually want to market, your artistic brand, your plan and publicity. You will refine your design for sustainable success, learn financial planning, how to build a solid business team, as well as what to do when as they say the honeymoon is over. Don’t worry too much, though. By now you’ll be prepared. For anything.
VAMPR Academy is the future of music education. Are you ready to get started?
This post is a collaboration with: PosterMyWall – a free album cover maker
Releasing an album is a strenuous, but fun, process!
You’ve created the music, considered music publishing and prepared for release – but you’re still getting started! Finally it’s time to bring all that hard work to fruition and make sure your music reaches the world!
Before you jumping into free music distribution to Spotify and other digital stores, you must create an enticing album cover.
This should not only represent your music, but also appeal to your audience.
Here are some great tips on how to make the perfect album cover for your music.
Whether you’re a Pop artist or Hip Hop rapper, there are different expectations from fans.
When thinking about how to create an album cover, start with some research. Assessing work by your favourite artists is a great first step.
A great piece of album art can help tell an overall story conveyed by an artist.
An album cover Hip Hop artists would use (like Drake’s album cover for Nothing Was The Same) would take a different approach to creating an album cover if you were Taylor Swift.
Going beyond “generic” and telling a story (whilst appealing to your target audience) is the way to make your album cover part of your art.
In the examples below, both artworks depict a profile view of each artist. The differences between each are subtle but are the key details that speak to their audience.
In Drake’s album cover we see the shaving in his haircut, his gold chain and the graffiti font, which are indications to a Hip Hop/RnB audience.
The painted portrait and the blue sky, tell a bit of the album’s story.
In Taylor’s album cover, we see:
These subtleties speak to a different audience to the Drake album.
The shadow over her face, what she might be looking at and the why? of the art start to tell a story of the album.
Bands or musicians typically have a special color palette. Their fans automatically associate these colors with them and their music.
When designing your own album cover, it’s important for you to go for colors that represent both your music and your personality as a musician.
When selecting the perfect color palette for your album cover, ask yourself the following questions:
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to create a mood board of colors and create the perfect combination to add to your album cover.
For instance, if you want people to dance and feel happy, use warmer, brighter colors together. If the album is melancholic, use blue or some variation of cooler colors, or go with a single, dark-colored tone.
The images you add to your album cover will be the most central aspect that people take note of.
To create an album cover that catches people’s attention, you need to place specific focus on the sort of imagery you will be adding to it.
Ideally, the visuals on your album cover should be representative of you as a musician and the kind of music you’re creating for your fans. They should also encompass the image you want to portray to your listeners.
Some artists like to go the old school route and add in their own picture as the primary visual on an album cover. This is especially the case if this is your debut album. Others like to add in a visual that best portrays the sort of music they create.
If your music is more melancholic with a slow beat, go for some minimalistic imagery with a blend of colors. If your music is upbeat and chaotic, go for a maximalist image or a collage that showcases everything you want your listener to feel.
Streaming platforms and stores can be strict about what they display. There are some things to avoid in your album cover design. Avoid:
Nudity, violence or illegal activity will also be contested. So, if you want to depict these in a creative way you will have to be really careful and potentially work with your distributor to get this right.
Your album name, like everything else, should be presented in a way that best represents what it’s about.
This will be much easier to figure out once you’ve planned out your aesthetic by following the first three tips.
If you’ve made a hip hop album, a loud font would be a good fit. On the other hand, if you’ve made an indie album, a simple sans serif font would do a good job if you want to depict a more sombre vibe. For some softer, feel-good music, try out a nice cursive font.
Once you’re done designing your album cover, the next step is to get it ready to be marketed. This means releasing your album on multiple other platforms, both online and offline.
Your cover will have to be high resolution and look good as a small box in the corner of a screen. At the same time, your cover also needs to work on large vinyl records, CDs, and billboards.
So, before you finalise your album cover, adjust your design style accordingly.
Keep in mind different places your album will be visible and ensure it still stands out. Adjust your design according to different sizes and see if everything is still visible and aesthetically sound.
You can also resize your album cover into social media posts to amp up your online presence and get your followers excited.
The dimensions for album covers are:
For digital releases, such as to Spotify or Apple Music, your artwork needs to be at least 1600×1600 pixels. Although, 3000×3000 is recommended.
When it comes to making artwork for print, you must consider the dpi (dots per inch). A higher dpi produces a higher quality image when printed. Therefore, you should work with at least 300dpi.
A CD cover dimension is 4.72×4.72 inches. This in pixels at 300dpi is 1416×1416.
As with CD, vinyl covers must be printed.
At 300dpi, a 12 inch album cover would need to be 3600×3600 pixels.
Your music deserves to be heard, which is why it’s so important to get the album cover right.
The key takeaway here is to focus on individual elements and make sure each one is perfect.
Online design tools like PosterMyWall’s album cover maker include a lot of fabulous album cover templates. These will help inspire you to get started on your own.
Throughout the designing process, remember to stay true to yourself as an artist. Show people what your brand is like and what your music represents.
In April we announced our first set of figures, reporting that Vampr users had swiped on each other 250,000 times and made 15,000 connections across 96 countries. We also kicked off our Vampr Stories series.
Well, in just 60 days since that blog piece, the Vampr community has exploded! We’ll let the above infographic do the talking 😎
With incredible traction comes frustrating growing pains. We are aware that there is a LOT of work to be done on the tech side of things. Our challenge is to juggle continued community growth while improving the app, fixing the bugs and speeding up our servers.
Rest assured, we’re on it. And we also have the most recent Vampr Story to share: