MsP Production Blog


Posts Tagged ‘lyrics to an identity’

Copyright Made Easy, Pump Audio, and More Roll Call ’10 Updates

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Copyrights, I say?  Yes.  Made easy, I say?  Yes.

Between my first two solo albums (“Phase 1 – Neolyrical” and “Phase 2 – Lyrics to an Identity“) and the one I just released, “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear“, there was a five year gap, 2005 to 2010.  Of course, within that gap, so many things have come to the internet, including ways to make it easier for us at-home musicians/hobbyists/aspiring musicians.  From a marketing aspect, you have MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter for your social networking, and you also have internet radio stations like Jango and Last.FM.  Even Performance Rights Organizations like BMI have ways to register music online.

Recently, ADM told me about this one site called Pump Audio who offers services in getting your music to filmmakers and such who need music.  Basically, there’s licensing involved, and you get a cut of the royalties when someone decides to use your music for their project.  Not a bad thing, right?

I have read about the positives and negatives about sites like Pump Audio.  Some talk about the royalties split, some talk about whether or not they give you the exposure that you expect, and some even say that they take your music and try to repackage it.  That last one is the scariest.  Money to me isn’t that important, since I have a full-time job that pays ok.  Exposure, well I can take any exposure I can get.  As far as repackaging it, although only 1 or 2 claim that and it was never truly proven, that scares me a lot.

With that story told, you should now know why I’m now talking about copyright, and hoping that this post will give people some insight on what they can do for copyright.  I’ll be updating this post with some more information to make sure I’m 100% accurate, as what is a resource when it’s not fully reliable?

FRIENDLY REMINDER: You copyright music.  You don’t patent or trademark music.

To start off, copyright law says that if you made it and it can be shown, you own it. (See the When is my work protected? question in the government’s copyright official copyright section)

That’s quite easy to say, but unfortunately, that’s hard to prove in court.

Secondly, let’s address the “Poor Man’s Copyright,” which basically is the method of mailing your work to yourself and using the postmark as proof.  The copyright site debunks that as well since there are ways to presend an envelope then put the materials inside.  So no go with that. (See the I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it? question in the government’s copyright official copyright section)

The best way, albeit a little pricey, is to go with the REAL, AUTHENTIC copyright.  Meaning, you go straight to the government and submit your music to the Library of Congress.  If you’ve got the certificate of copyright, you’re good to go in court.

Back in the day, (sounding like an old man, yet not at or above the age of 30), there were different forms you had to fill out if you wanted to do it the right way.  Those familiar with the process know of forms like the SR form, or the PA form.  You would pay $45 and submit your music on CD along with the proper forms.  Like doing your taxes, different forms were used for different situations, and you really had to read the print to know what’s going on.  It would get confusing also.  One of the biggest questions for me was, do I need to send $45 per song?  I have a 16 track album, so that means I have to shell out more than $700 just to copyright an album?

Well the answer to this is yes and no, depending on what you’ve got.  If you are the sole writer/performer of all the songs, you could actually submit one CD with all the songs, and only have to pay $45 once.  Good deal, right?

If you’re like me though, that won’t work.  Half of my songs are collabs on my albums, usually.  Since I’m not the sole writer/performer, you can’t submit just once.  You need to submit each song separately due to the spread of copyright between different writers/performers.

Examples are on this page. Scroll down to see the examples.

Then there would be the long wait time, because you’d have to mail it, wait for them to receive it, and then wait for your certificate.  One thing to note though, YOU ARE PROTECTED THE MINUTE THEY’VE RECEIVED IT.  So when you mail, you would attach a return receipt, and you can deem the song as properly copyrighted once you get that receipt back acknowledging that they’ve received the package on whatever date.

Since the last time I’ve had my hand on this, the copyright office has done two things that have made this easier.

The first is now there is only one form: The CO form.  Great!

And as an allusion back to my whole 5 year gap and the internet thing, the copyright office now allows ONLINE SUBMISSIONS, or what they call the eCO.  The price of submitting an eCO is $10 lower, probably because of smaller admin costs. You can peep here if you want to see what’s up.

So with all that, we musicians can now do our copyrighting online!

I just tried it, and I submitted two songs up on one CD (both solely mine), and coincidentally the same songs I’m going to use for Pump Audio.  It was very easy to do.  I signed up, filled out the online form, paid through their ACH/Credit Card system, and submitted the mp3’s.  Can’t really get much easier than that.

Now that I know they’ve gotten  my payment and my mp3 submissions, I can consider those two songs copyrighted!  They’ll be sending me the certificate after going through the processes.  I can now send to Pump Audio without fear of them stealing stuff and not having any protection.

Hopefully that helped you out, if you wanted to know anything about copyright.  I’ll be studying this more to see if I can add in some more useful info.

And as far as Roll Call ’10 info, aside from the work previously announced, Brian Bullion’s submission looks like it will be an Incubus style track, and ADM is submitting a rap beat (yes, a rap beat!) for use in the compilation.  People are leaving their comfort zones to mix stuff up.  Let’s see how this all goes down!

More to come, as always!  Keep it locked.

-mnshyn

One More Recording To Go and Phase 3 is Finished!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

All the tracks on the album are done.  All I’m waiting for is Destiny Soprano to re-record her part on “Bomb Squad” and it’s a wrap!  She’s coming by tomorrow to record her part, and as soon as the mixing is over, it’s being sent over to TuneCore and it’ll be on its way to iTunes.  March 1, 2010 is the tentative release date, as it usually takes 4-6 weeks for iTunes to have stuff up via TuneCore.

I released “Phase 2 – Lyrics to an Identity” almost 5 years ago.  It took 5 years to make this album, and it’s gone through so many iterations and name changes that at one point, during a low point in my life, I didn’t think the album was going to come out.  I have to thank God for that one (and everything else), because ever since I started playing in the church band every Sunday and cleaning up some of the stuff in my life that needed cleaning, I became revitalized and re-inspired.  I’m not exactly making Christian music right now totally, though I have made Christian songs in the past, but He’s blessed me anyway with inspiration, wisdom, and freedom of creativity.

The acronym in the title of the album, “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear,” stands for Leave Your Regrets In Christ And Live.  This is the basically the approach I took with the album as time went on.  The songs that were going to originally be part of the album were all pretty standard, and although I love every song I make, it was the songs that were different from what I’m used to doing that were the most enjoyable to make.  There were three guitar solos (“Mostly Boast,” “Found Me,” “The Bomb Squad”), a video game sample (“Call to Arms” from Final Fantasy VI), a symphony orchestra (courtesy of Project SAM Symphobia, on “Round and Round”), capoeira rhythm (“Roll Your Windows”), blaring choirs with my “Bleeding Heaven” technique (on “Devastator,” more on the “Bleeding Heaven” technique later),  multi-layer samples (“Roll Your Windows”), Beatles style build up and scream (“Mostly Boast”), live drums, bass and piano recordings (“Live Hip-Hop,” available on the iTunes version of the album) and other things.  Although some signatures of mine are there, this album sounds distinctly different from my past two, and I think it’s for the better.

As far as concepts go, I think “The Bomb Squad” was the most fun.  You also have “Found Me” and “Round and Round” which are both incredibly personal to me.   “Mostly Boast” was the record that I let loose on and I stopped caring about what people would say if I did certain things in my music.  “Call to Arms” was actually inspired by a crew of people I was running with that was finally getting over past beefs to go have fun again.  “4 My Ghostwriter” actually makes the idea of a ghostwriter a more positive thing (listen to the song and you’ll see why).  “Do Something” was my declaration that I wouldn’t just sit around and do nothing, especially after my best friend Rain past away in 2007.  “Every Move” was me slowly getting to the point where I wouldn’t let people dictate what I rhyme about.  “Handle Our Biz,” “Spear,” and “You Need To..” were getting my people involved with some 5fam love.   “Devastator” was simply me kicking ass and getting you to want to kick ass too; in some ways an “I OWN YOU” part two.

I had a lot of fun with this album, and about just as much frustration.  All the frustration was worth it though, and what resulted was an album that I’m most proud of and can’t wait to show the world.  I’ve even got a plan for the songs I will perform, and hopefully I can gain some traction with some new listeners.

I have to thank everyone who helped me on this album with their contributions: Harmony Speaks, Destiny Soprano, CoCoa, DiMpLeZ, Brian Bullion, FoRcE oNe, Less, K-Maculate, ADM, Boy Gnyus, Vincent, Takewun, JC and SL.  Each recording was a fun (and funny) experience.  Especially “The Bomb Squad,” which took two years to complete and everyone in MsP had a role and their voice recorded on it.

Hopefully, when you listen to it, you’ll learn some things from it, whether it’s personal to you or on a musical/lyrical level if you are a musician.  Either way, most importantly, I hope you enjoy the music when it comes out on March 1, 2010.

Thanks for reading also!  More to come!

-mnshyn

The Bomb Squad – A Producer’s Challenge

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Since I went solo back in 2002, I’ve (MooN ShynE) been structuring my albums similarly. I personally like consistency when it comes to art, as it gives everything a rhyme and reason. I guess it’s the logical yang to my creative yin.

On each of my two previously recorded albums, there were similarities between parallel tracks. For example, track 15 on each are the strongest (in terms of power lyricism).  “I OWN YOU” on “Phase 1 – Neolyrical,” and “Same” on “Phase 2 – Lyrics to an Identity” had the hardest delivery and the most physically strong lines.  This follows suit on the upcoming “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear,” with the song “Devastator” (now listenable on My Facebook Page.. be a fan!)

On track 9, is the crew track.  On Phase 1 it was “We Roll” featuring Flight (who we may finally get back in touch with! more on that later) and Harmony Speaks (formerly tRe’ sTeeLo), and on Phase 2 it was “Go Crazy” featuring Boy Gnyus, Less and Harmony Speaks.

This brings us to “The Bomb Squad.”  “We Roll” had three minds together, and “Go Crazy” had four.  “The Bomb Squad” was at one point supposed to be “Style Klepto,” which had Destiny Soprano, Brian Bullion and our cousins from GNP.  It was difficult to get everyone together and record something cohesively because we were scattered all over the place.  Klepto was going to be one of the premier songs to be used for Bergenfield ’07, but that fell through.

Eventually, that collab fell through the cracks (though now I’m thinking of reviving it because TaKeWuN did record his verse and I’m not one to waste verses, maybe as a B-Side for a single?).  I made the beat for the “Bomb Squad,” and the collaboration changed to GNP, Brian Bullion, K-Maculate.  This hit a snag with Boy Gnyus withdrew from rapping and concentrated on R&B production, and Vincent (f.k.a. Jvee) and I couldn’t get away from scheduling conflicts.  (Vincent would later collab with Black and Blue Ink. [MooN ShynE and K-Maculate] on Spear for The Black and Blue Ink. EP, and Boy Gnyus would supply the beat and vocals for the MsP GNP OMG remix of Spear [also listenable on My Facebook Page) which will be track 4 for Phase 3]).

At this point, the collab changes to an all MsP affair.  MsP at the time this song will be completed will have 10 active members.  Six members so far have supplied their verses, five of which are final recordings (Cocoa, K-Maculate, Less, FoRcE oNe and Brian Bullion; Destiny Soprano needs to re-record).  Each have similarities in terms of concepts with their own individualities.  Originally, when we first started the project, we had a unified idea.  Now, we have a singular concept with different ideas.  All of the members who recorded (aside from Brian Bullion and FoRcE oNe since they are siblings who live in the same house) did so separately, which if anything, has proven to me that when you do a collaboration with a specific unified idea, it is best off to do it all together with everyone in the same room rather than at separate times with different people at a time unless you are specifically spearheading the whole thing with everyone just following your orders.

So here’s the challenge.  I’m going to be unifying 9 different spins on a particular idea and make them all completely unified, and I’m slowly getting to that eventual “Eureka!” as more pieces come in.

This may sound like a bunch of negatives, but it really isn’t.  Actually, I embrace the challenge.

I firmly believe that the role of a producer is how well he or she can take different ideas and bring them together in the best way possible without sacrificing the vision of the overall project.

For this particular project, it has taken a unique character.

Imagine having an idea for a plot for a movie with no script as of yet.   Every plot or movie has characters in it.  Quentin Tarantino (my favorite director) has a back story on every character, sometimes enough for the writer to make a prequel for each character based on their back stories alone….

Eureka. =]

-mnshyn

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