Mon, 27 Jul 2015

Creating a Sound Recording Copyright Symbol using Windows Character Map

When providing a notice of copyright for a sound recording, the graphical symbol ℗ is to be employed in lieu of the copyright symbol ©. A sound recording has a copyright distinct from the copyright for the underlying work itself, which might be reproduced within another form of sound recording. For a more thorough explanation, see the Wikipedia entry for sound recording copyright symbol.

System fonts on a given Windows machine may not contain this character, so one might need to resort to creating a custom "Private Use Character" that could be used in conjunction with the Windows Character Map. The following is a procedure to create this character:

[/Music/Business]

Sat, 25 Jul 2015

Releasing a Sound Recording in 2015

Some notes on releasing an album in 2015...

The Internet is primarily visual

The Internet is a more visual medium than an auditory one. An image for the artist and the album matter when releasing an album online using digital services.

Outsourcing

Many elements of a release can now be outsourced: CD replication, digital distribution.

CD Replication

Manufacturing and warehousing a batch of CDs to ship oneself to buyers is probably unwise, when one can leverage just-in-time replication services like Kunaki is a better decision.

Kunaki offers software (Windows only) that helps properly format album artwork for CD and jewel case replication. Audio is submitted to Kunaki by inserting a Red Book standard CD which is then copied during the design process. The help page states that "the software will copy the exact image (bit copy) without modifications", but there are known issues with copying CD-Text and ISRC data from the master. Kunaki states that they do not support CD-Text. Others have claimed to have worked around the issue. Kunaki's software creates an .exe which becomes the "master copy" which is then uploaded to Kunaki's facility to complete the design process.

I used the UPC generated from DistroKid. Using a free online barcode generator, I created a UPC-A image. Using GIMP, I scaled the image down to 1.375" across per a recommended spec and added it to my tray card design.

Online Album Databases

Gracenote (CDDB)

To submit my album to Gracenote (CDDB), I downloaded QMP (Quintessential Media Player + Media Library 5.0) [qmp_5.0.121.exe]. When starting for the first time with a CD in the disk drive, the software prompts for Gracenote submission.

FreeDB

To submit my album to FreeDB, I downloaded Exact Audio Copy (EAC) [eac-1.1.exe]. After configuration, I edited the CD information, selected the metadata provider as "Built-in freedb engine" and submitted the metadata by clicking the mailbox icon.

AMG (All Music Guide)

TBD

Copyright

Under the 1976 Copyright Act, a work is automatically protected by copyright when it is created. A work is created when it is "fixed" in a copy for the first time. The creation date is not necessarily the same as the publication date; publication is the distribution of copies of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental, lease, or lending.

The copyrights between a musical composition and a sound recording are different, but a copyright can be obtain concurrently for both using the same filing process. The U.S. Copyright Office offers electronic copyright filing through their Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system. It is better to submit the copyright for the unpublished work, as then only 1 complete phonorecord needs to be submitted.

To enter my sole proprietorship DBA as a claimant, I followed the instructions during the application and entered a "Note to Copyright Office" on the Certification screen as required.

The fee for submitting a sound recording copyright application is $55 as of July 28th, 2015.

Because a musical composition and a sound recording are a different copyright altogether, there are different symbols to denote which kind of copyright: ℗ for a sound recording, © for a musical composition. I copyrighted the sound recording in the inside insert of the CD artwork using the following format:

© 2015 <psuedonym>
℗ 2015 <sole proprietorship DBA name>

On Windows XP, there is no system font that contains the sound recording copyright symbol, so I had to make my own using this procedure:

Creating a Sound Recording Copyright Symbol using Windows Character Map

Helpful Documents

Circular 1 - Copyright Basics
Circular 3 - Copyright Notice
Circular 50 - Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions
Circular 56 - Copyright Registration for Sound Recordings
Circular 56A - Copyright Registration of Musical Compositions and Sound Recordings
Sound Recordings as Works Made for Hire
Copyright - Help: Author - Doing Business As
Copyright - Help: Author - Pseudonymous Work
Copyright Search

Digital Distribution

If Derek Sievers recommends DistroKid for digital distribution into online stores, it's probably the way to go. Will be nice when they get an API to prevent having to type all the album metadata into their upload form.

DistroKid provides a free UPC.

I opted not to add my music to Spotify for the time being.

DistroKid does not submit to Pandora, that is done via a submission page. You must have an online presence first before applying.

Bandcamp is a very artist friendly distribution site, with pay-what-you-want models if desired. I use it!

Publishing

I chose to sign up with BMI, for free.

YouTube

I thought there was a way to upload a playlist of songs whose "video" is the album cover?

Music artists and album promotion

Domains

Purchase a cool .audio domain or find another cool TLD.

TODO

Pandora
YouTube
BMI (registered)
All Music Guide
Soundscan
Soundexchange

[/Music/Business]

Wed, 22 May 2013

Steinberg Cubase VST/32 5 eLicenser Woes

After destroying my previous printer port dongle for Cubase VST/32, replacing it with a new USB eLicenser, I decided to install the newly provided activation code provided to me by Steinberg Support.

It did not go very well. I documented the process with screenshot here:

Steinberg Cubase VST/32 5 eLicenser Woes

UPDATE: Turns out Steinberg sent me the wrong license code! With the right one, it works great!

[/Music/Studio]

Sat, 11 May 2013

Akai S1000/S1100 Compact Flash (CF) Reader

It has truly been humbling finding a CF Reader for my Akai S1100. After messing around with countless Compact Flash card models and All-In-One SCSI readers, the following equipment is guaranteed to work with an S1100.

Akai S1100 Compact Flash Parts

Parts:

The internals of the StarTech.com unit is an Addonics AD44MIDECF. StarTech.com adds a slot for the card and a metal housing.

The only CF drive that have been able to get to work is a Pretec 16 GB 233x Series Compact Flash drive. I was able to find someone selling one on eBay. Other than eBay, they seem to be sold out everywhere.

Per Muser on GearSlutz, the reason why this CF card works is the following:

233x is 233 times 150KB per second. the 150 was the designation for CD ROM Audio at 44.1 16bit .. per second KB.

The Akai will likely want to see this kind of speed, as its hard disk formatting specification mirrors that of a sample CD.

I also had to cobble together a custom Female Large 4-pin Molex to Female Small 4-pin Molex, soldering together parts from two other Molex cables I had.

Here is my HOWTO video:

Note to self: Akai Tools

[/Music/Studio]

Fri, 05 Oct 2012

Loading Sysex Files in Logic Pro 9

Coming from Cubase VST/32, I expected to be able to add sysex data to the start of a MIDI track using the event editor. After trolling around, I found that logic doesn't provide enough space for one line hexidecimal sysex dump entry. However, it turns out that there's a much more elegant way to load sysex data.

First of all, you can easily dump patches into a little utility made by snoize called Sysex Librarian. You set the utility to record mode and trigger a dump from the synth. Then, you can set the destination in the librarian to "Act as a source for other programs". This will create integration with Logic.

After dumping or loading a sysex patch and setting the proper destination, select a MIDI track in Logic and set the transport to "pause record mode" by pressing pause followed by the record button. This allows you to play in the sysex patch from the librarian. Press the 'Play' button and Logic will show an arrow in the MIDI channel, signifying that there is now sysex data in the channel. Press play in Logic and away you go!

[/Music/Studio]

Sat, 26 Jan 2008

Orbital

Live at Alexandra Palace in 1995

Orbital - Live at Alexandra Palace in 1995

What I can recognize:

Left Rack:
  - Top Row: Roland Jupiter 6
  - Middle Row: Alesis MMT8 (x3), Novation Bass Station 
  - Bottom Row: Roland R8, Roland TR-909, Roland TR-808
Front Rack:
  - Mackie Mixer?
Right Rack:
  - Top Row: Oberheim Xpander, Roland TB-303
  - Middle Row: Roland SH-101, Ensoniq DP/4, Ensoniq DP/2, Alesis Quadraverb 
  - Bottom Row: Korg Prophecy, ?, ?

Update: Gearslutz helped out here: Orbital Gear Identification

Here's the unofficial Orbital Gear List.

[/Music/Studio]

Fri, 25 Jan 2008

Soundcards

I've tried for a while now to get an appropriate soundcard for working on music at home on a laptop. The first thing I tried was an M-Audio Firewire 410. Latency issues, clicking and poping, poor mic preamp quality all led me to the conclusion that I'd never be buying from M-Audio again. A quick foray into the M-Audio Ozone 2 reminded me of why - the gear just feels cheap and uninspiring, and then when you plug it in you realize that your initial impulse was correct.

After some time, I thought I'd give Creative/E-mu a try with their new 0404 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface. Although a step in the right directly, this time I was very unsatisfied with the sound quality on the output stage (which doesn't really make much sense considering the specs), as the outputs seemed to render the sound dynamically flat and loud, without depth. I recall being bothered by timing on something, the details are fuzzy. Suffice it to say, I gave up on this one as well.

Recently I dove into the tried-and-true PCMCIA territory with the Digigram VXPocket V2. I had read decent reviews and they had been very accommodating with Linux driver developers, a good sign. Turns out the Windows XP drivers still needed some work. I experience intermitant digital popping from within Cubase. When I tried to use the standalone Emulator X2, I was only able to record digitally for one pass until the driver decided to wig out and set itself back to analog recording, leaving me with a very irritated ear canal after numerous digital yelps. What a pity.

So now I realize after all the returns and all the time wasted trying to make crap work that I should have just gone with RME all along. They should be coming out with their new PCI-e PCMCIA cards for the Digiface and I will gladly buy one in order to move on with my life. RME, I can almost guarantee it, will not let me down.

[/Music/Studio]


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