Monday, December 17, 2012

Tracking the Audio Sent to Copyright Office

Here's an easy way to track which audio file copy  you sent to the U.S. Copyright Office.  
One of my greatest challenges has not been writing and recording
over 250 songs  as of now   at  (index site).
No -- it is TRACKING  which version of the MP3 was in the package I sent to the  U.S. Copyright Office.  I'm always double-checking before I delete duplicates out of iTunes and my Finder (Explorer etc.)  lest I delete the actual file sent to be copyrighted.

After all,  as you've probably learned,  as time goes by and we develop more skills and ideas,
we often have fun doing "remixes" on older songs!  The basic FILE DIRECTORY  blog hints that I provided awhile back still work.
Here's a new great method I found specifically for audio files;  for me, these are .MP3 files.  This is an ADDED STEP  to Item 4 on my blog for 2 October 2012.

1.  Create a File Folder (Directory) for the entire Copyright Package.  I identify mine by YEAR-dash-LETTER,  where the letter = A for my first submission in the year,  C for the 3rd, etc.  For example, I am currently developing my Package for  Copyright 2012-J.  HOWEVER, because I have so many packages,  I continue the letter from year to year.  In 2011,  I submitted (and received approval of) four packages named 2011-D, 2011-E, 2011-F,  and 2011-G.  My first set of 25 songs submitted this year was 2012-H.

2.  Within the Folder (see 2 Oct for details),
A.   Create an index document file.
I put an underscore in front of the filename so it's always on top when I take files to my second studio which uses PC's.  A space does the same if both you and your studio use a Mac.  The U.S. Copyright Office provides the information you need to put at the top of this page, such as Date of first publication (can be published on your website), contact info, country, etc.

B.  Put PDF copies of the Lyrics (-LY),  Music (-MU),  Score (-SCORE piano, -SCORE flute) files and the audio file (such as .mp3) in this folder.  NOTE -- Since the USCO does not accept .DOC files, I keep these in a separate folder.  You will probably  find that easier also.

C. HINT that you can use on a Mac -- In Finder, select the final files and change the filename color to ORANGE  (or your choice).  Later when I search for files, I always know -- NEVER delete an orange file unless I've looked at it within its enclosure folder to be sure it's not an essential ARCHIVED file.

3.  NEW HINT - for tracking which Audio file you sent
A.    Complete your Folder, checking that you have all files needed and ONE AUDIO file for the complete song, including vocals  (Always check that you remembered vocals on the submitted file!
B.   In your Explorer/Finder window,  Click on "KIND" or "TYPE"  to sort by file type.

C.   Select all  audio files  (.MP3 type).
D.  While they are selected,  in a Mac, right click and select MAKE ALIAS.  On a PC, you will create a SHORTCUT  instead.  Keep these new files in this SAME directory for now.

E.  Looking at the Last Modified date of the ORIGINAL audio file,   add a note into the filename of the alias that tells you the DATE of the original file, and the studio if you use more than one. 
EXAMPLES from my directory:
Amazing Grace DOXOLOGY   cw 5-19-2012.mp3 alias
          tells me that file was produced at VwP Studio by Claxton Wilson
Clean Camp Faith jk 7-21-2012.mp3 alias  (Produced at J&T Studio by Johnny Kyle)
Church Budget Proof Diana mix 12-17-2012.mp3 alias  (My personal mix)

F.  Create  a new folder  WITHIN that one with a title like 
          __Mixes I didnt use and DATE notes    (hey, I understand my title! Pick what you like!)
G.  Once again,  do Step B to sort by file type.
H.  Select all  of these "pointer" files  ( .alias  or  shortcut  type).
I.  While they are all selected,  slide them up into the folder you created
     in Step F.

You now have a clean list of files to send to the U.S. Copyright Office
and kept the  ability to track the date (and therefore the EXACT MIX)  of your submitted audio format.

Much joy to you in tracking more and more audio files for your music!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Avoid the PRIDE THING in Studio

It's almost amusing.
As we singers "advance" in our dreams and goals, sometimes we get enough money
to hire a studio producer to record our singing.

It's rather human that we don't reach this point until we think we're pretty good.
It's rather human to be a bit miffed when hearing the suggestion that we could improve something.

But we are -- after all -- paying someone  
who "knows" his or her stuff.
Who has experience and equipment to make us sound good --
but also the professional responsibility to be honest 
when we can improve.

Amazingly, I've repeatedly heard professionals speak of singers
who were insulted to be told they were slipping off key,
or had their feelings hurt when told that their tone for Part 1 did not match that of Part 2 in a song.
So this is a pretty simple hint.  Sorry it sounds a bit preachy.  Just ignore if you'd like. But here 'tis:

In a studio, you would be paying for professional services to make you sound "good".
The producers have no interest in hurting your feelings;  
they just want to do what they're getting paid for -- 
give objective evaluations.  
Only then can singers move on to the next step in good vocal recordings:
         Consider the advice without pride. 
         And -- if desired -- take it.  
You can always ask for the old recorded vocal track to be used :)

Much joy to you in growing your music!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved