“Energy Flows Where Attention Goes”: Pay Attention To Your Music

If you come from a similar background to me, then you recognize that family fights run deep within your family. Well, as it turns out (you’ll like this little nugget of gold here), I used to always believe that diving in the middle of the proverbial s*** storm would allow me to pull everyone up in an anti-gravity beam of light. Well, I had infused energy into the argument, which has only exacerbated the issue.

That’s the bad side of this delicious pancake.

Now the good side of the pancake (cut the pancake in half and eat the good side). When I stopped paying attention to that garbage, they literally disappeared–both for myself and those involved. This means that we have a lot of influence on others based on what we care about about and devote ourselves to.


If we haven’t made this clear yet (lol), it applies very much to music creation and music publishing.

Don’t reward garbage with your attention. Your family, friends, and your music will conform to whatever you focus on the most (even if the absolute trash doesn’t seem to go away at first, give it time… it will). \

When you let things flow in improv, thinking about the beautiful music you want to create (or the theme), you will probably make something incredible.

When you focus on that bastard who stole your music rights (or when you focus on hording your music from any would-be shark), you could very possibly hinder your positive energy that you could otherwise devote to crafting high-quality art in the form of your music.
Time to apply this law POSITIVELY to your life. Let’s do something great with your music career… both in music production and music publishing.

Before we start, take a moment to do the following: Focus on your subconscious mind. Focus on the positive impacts of your life. Focus on the good qualities of life. I mentioned in my first post that most people tend to filter most good in life. Then, even if they don’t receive the bad (i.e. they filter out the bad), they generally live a very neutral life. It seems crazy.

Take ten minutes just to study everything about your career. To do this, buy books on music publishing and music production (such as The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing). Then, create Google account and subscribe to every music publishing blog available. Then read daily.

Afterward, especially every day after this ten minutes session, create a power plan now to play music, improvise for ten minutes while bringing in the most powerful concepts into your play. It’ll make things so much more fun and more available.


Wouldn’t it fill your life with value, wouldn’t you emote your most valued feeling every time when you know that whenever something bad comes around that, as long as you train your mind to focus on the great aspects of life, the bad will shrink to a tiny blip… which then fuels the positive in life with both energy saved and energy produced via recycling.

Ignore the drama and the bad deals life may throw you. It’ll give you more room to focus on the good ones still to come, you will enjoy a lot more love and success in life, because where attention goes energy flows.



You can find more information on music publishing companies at PlayGrind. Furthermore, you can find out how to protect yourself with modern digital music distribution.

Or you can simply explore PlayGrind for more information for your music publishing needs.

Drop the Hammer on Modern Digital Music Distribution: Oral Contracts

If you want to really protect you and yourself from illegal digital music distribution sources, then you’ll like this post. I’m no lawyer, and thus your attorney’s your friend in this situation. Read below for law-based goodies, though.


Whenever you and another agree on a certain point such as a point that involves an exchange of resources or a performance of some sort, the law binds you to that contract… even if you only spoke the agreement (the term, “If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist” can help you permanent your contract, but doesn’t play well in terms of the law).

(The parties involved might only bring vague details to the court in terms of provable oral agreements; at that point, the court will enact the best known agreement). With that in mind, conditions exist to help you terminate an unfavorable contract, should you so choose:

General methods of Rescinding an Unfavorable Contract (I checked these methods as of 6:58 PM against the Law In Business Textbook (8th Edition), and these obvious methods of cancelling a contract prove valid, to my knowledge).


P.S. The law will bind you to what you say, and I know I said that the court will enforce an oral contract, but protect yourself a written contract, when the contract clearly tilts in your faovr. Get a written down contract (or record your conversation) with exactly what you (and maybe the other) want, to avoid ambiguity and misrepresentation of facts and agreements.

P.P.S. Humans (our forefathers) created civilization to help us–despite popular opinion,


If you remember these little bits of legal information, you can prevent shark music publishers from eating your media (music or otherwise) alive with random agreements. You’ll know to step back for a moment before agreeing to anything, written, spoken, or otherwise.


Related Posts: Protecting Yourself With Music Publishing Companies and Digital Music Distribution (Your Rights)

Related App: Protect yourself more. Stay mentally alert in the presence of shark music publishing companies when you rest with Atmospheres.

Trent Reznor Forgives

At one point, Trent Reznor spoke out against the record labels and publishing companies. He did so specifically because of his inability to control the pricing on his music.

Now, Trent Reznor has chosen to release his latest work through Columbia Records.


Hypebot quotes Reznor:

“Regarding our decision to sign with Columbia, we’ve really spent a long time thinking about things and it makes sense for a lot of reasons, including a chance to work with our old friend Mark Williams,” Reznor wrote. “There’s a much more granular and rambling answer I could give (and likely will in an interview someplace) but it really comes down to us experimenting and trying new things to see what best serves our needs. Complete independent releasing has its great points but also comes with shortcomings.” (Trent Reznor via HypeBot)

Trent Reznor & David Byrne On DIY vs Major Labels


It’s interesting to see how musicians evolve over the years.


Related Post: Protect Yourself From “Shark” Music Publishing Companies

Drop the Hammer on Modern Digital Music Distribution: Using the Law to Your Advantage

Sorry about the late post. Measures have been taken to assure your daily fill of music publishing knowledge.

If you want to really protect yourself and your delicious music juice from illegal digital music distribution sources, then you’ll like this post. I’m no lawyer, and thus you might continue to befriend and confide in your attorney with more dollar bills (or pounds) for his input. Nonetheless, read below for a piece of delicious, law-based candy.


Hammer Modern

Digital Music Distribution

With U.S. copyright laws (currently, I speak just for the U.S. here).

S0mething to consider: when you conceive your intellectual property in tangible form (sticks, paper, audio recording, video recording, crayons on wall), copyright laws stand guard to protect you and your property. Two copyrights you immediately contract (in ways not unsimilar to diseases):

  • Performing Arts (PA) Copyright: The actual composition, map, that will create the sounds that make your music
  • Sound Recording (SR) Copyright: Interpretations of that map, the actual recordings of people following the map of your music

For digital music distribution companies to legally spread your music, they need obtain a mechanical license (aka audio-only license) from you. They must contract (whether oral or written) with you before spreading your music, digital or otherwise.


Randall Wixen* and Eric Beall** (music business weasels) recommend that you acquire an official copyright license as little formality to protect you one step further than the default copyright laws.


If you remember these two little bits of information, you can prevent shark music publishers from eating your media (music or otherwise) alive.


More Resources

Sources: Law In Business (8th Edition), and The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing

Related Posts: Protecting Yourself With Music Publishing Companies and Digital Music Distribution (Your Rights)

Related App: Protect yourself more. Stay mentally alert in the presence of shark music publishing companies when you rest with Atmospheres.


Why Doing Digital Music Distribution Through YouTube Is a Great Idea (Word of the Day: Mechanical)

So you feel infuriated that 14,536 people just downloaded your song free of charge? This post explains why you should feel happiness in these seemingly dark times for your songs and current vehicles of digital music distribution . This post also explains what to do about the whole download thing. World-famous, multi-millionaire Internet marketers back the ideas suggested in this post–these marketers sell products in formats identical to your songs.


Digital Music Distribution Nowadays


When you consider digital music distribution, whether in the legal or illegal sense, things have changed where a user can actually rip the mp3 from a YouTube video straight off the bat.

This means that the game is likely going to change entirely, making music free for everyone in the long run (or ridiculously cheap anyway). Tools are available that makes music-generation exponentially easier, and even though the power has shifted tothe individual, it appears that such means of digital music distribution cuts a pretty hefty hole in the music publisher’s pocket.

The real money appears to lie within the ever-increasing entertainment industry. Musicians and music publishers in this business in music recognize that the entertainment industry has elevated from X to Y and continues to elevate (and likely will continue to elevate… people like to feel good).


Digital Music Distribution Done Right


Yet, in the realm of mechanical licenses (licenses that allow audio-only distribution through digital music distribution companies like Apple), there’s still a means of creating an income through public channels like YouTube (even though people can download it). If you constantly distribute content through these channels and increase your fanbase and views, you’ll grab a certain percentage of the growing number of people who will want to buy your music.

At the very least, when you distribute your music in whatever ways available, you’re more likely to land a fun gig with Kia and the Kia hamsters (LMFAO) or with the latest video games (Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” on Prototype 2… Even though he’s not around anymore).

Either way, digital music distribution is simply a means of value distribution. The more value you create for others, the more the world will pay you. Sure, governments and companies may set up systems to ensure your payment, but in the end, what you get paid is the value you give to the world.


Where To Go From Here

Your Recommended Digital Music Distribution Campaign:  Put everything you own on YouTube, SoundCloud, SoundClick, MySpace. Put the best, most amazing content, and you’ll improve your following… and eventually the thickness of your wallet.


How much do people value you and what you do? If we keep on increasing the answer to this question for you and program ourselves to forever increase the answer to this question, I would bet my keyboard (I love my keyboard) that you will make a lot of money.

Life is good, and thanks for being here. We love you, friend.

~ Your Friend, Aaron



Go with us as we explore time and space with music publishing: For more information on music publishing companies. If you’re still in the process of creating music (I expect that you and I always are), here’s some quality information on how to make instrumentals great (with insights from a video producer).

For outside sources, you might consider all things Eben Pagan, Joe Polish, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Ed Dale (His other website: The Challenge, and/or “Guru Bob.” These guys interact with and create revenue with information in (exact) same format that your music comes in. These guys deal with digital information distribution (the general topic music lies under).

Music Publishing Companies: Your Rights When You Sell Your Music

This royalty-free site is an example of a shark music publishing company that allows the exploitation of a music producer. I found this question in a comment on Todd Brabec’s video on Artists House Music’s channel. He asked:

“[sic] what does ascap do for me if i sell an audio clip (copyrighted/registered with ascap) through a royalty free site, and that clip ends up in a tv show/documentary that is being aired alot?”


When you join a performing rights organization (PRO), you essentially put on a suit of water-proof armor that protects you from music publishing companies that act as cold-blooded sharks–versus the music publishing companies that stand fierce as a hawk, scoping out for your best interests with fair payments to each involved.

It costs a little bit of energy to create and wear this suit of armor that costs $35 to wear initially–and then a bit of your percentage to cover the companies’ costs. With these costs in mind, though, PROs protect you from the financial bloodletting of your music, say, from some music publishing company that wants its hands in your pocket.


Find a PRO When Working With

Music Publishing Companies

Performing rights organizations will collect your royalties, especially if played on national TV, regardless of what work-for-hire or royalty-free agreement you establish with another site or person directly. At the least, they’ll make it very painful for whatever music publishing companies that attempt to use your work for less than you deserve.

BMI’s a little more vague and tiered in their payment system, but at least consider ASCAP’s philosophy when it comes to money and deals involving music publishing companies:

“As a condition of membership, all ASCAP members agree that the writer – and not the writer’s employer – will be paid the writer’s share of ASCAP performing rights royalties, even in work-for-hire situations. ASCAP’s Articles of Association provide that writer royalties “shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of.” Therefore, with very few exceptions, ASCAP will not honor an irrevocable assignment of writer’s royalties. We strongly believe that music creators should benefit from their work. Period.” (ASCAP’s Payment System: Introduction)

No matter what you might do with your music behind the scenes, companies like ASCAP (and, likely, BMI) will help ensure that you get the pay you deserve.


Be Your Own PRO When Working

With Music Publishing Companies

Still, on the other side of this pancake, You still need a powerful system of defending yourself from “Shark” music publishing companies– music publishing companies that want to draw out your money (and your soul–kind of like the dementors from Harry Potter). Protect yourself!

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Trent Reznor with Nine Inch Nails both made the mistake of not protecting themselves and their intellectual property and thus lost many dollars and much ability to control their initial albums.

UPDATE: Trent Reznor now claims that record labels are not bad–which contradicts the message I initially intended to convey in this post. It’s good to keep things in perspective and see the good in all things, I suppose.

A good boundary to establish between you and the unfortunate evils that exist in the music business are the following:

  • ‘Education on music copyrights and copyrights in general (aka read on music publishing… know the game that music publishing companies play SO THAT YOU CAN WIN)…
  • Connecting with your fans; You can connect with your fans on multiple platforms like YouTube, SoundClick, SoundCloud, MySpaceThere’s a video where Trent Reznor figuratively gives the middle finger to the music publishers who own’s NIN’s first albums (he tells the crowd to steal his first albums); it’s good to have a fanbase to “Boo” the publishers who do the real stealing.
  • Touch base with a trustworthy music publisher; Just keep yourself educated when you bring up something that involves your music.
Now there’s what you need to do. here’s a couple suggestions on how to implement the above when protecting yourself from shark music publishing companies with your knowledge, your platforms, and your music publisher allies.
How to Educate Yourself on Copyright and Music Publishing:
  • You can educate yourself by subscribing to a series of blogs and reading through on music publishing and music publishing companies through these blog posts
  • Read The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing by Randall Wixen (foreword by Tom Petty)
  • Read 100 Answers to 50 Questions on the Music Business
  • Ask yourself empowering questions like, “What is the job [this song] has been hired to do?” (Ed Dale) when considering payment for your song (or when creating it for example).
Establish “Your Platform”
  • Register with SoundClick.com (and then upload content and link to that content regularly)
  • Register with YouTube.com (and then upload content and link to that content regularly)
  • Register with SoundCloud.com (and then upload content and link to that content regularly)
  • Register with MySpace.com (and then upload content and link to that content regularly)
  • Register (and then upload content and link to that content regularly) with another content-hosting website that will display your music and/or music videos
  • Connect regularly with established artists and band members; create mixtapes with them
  • Write on blogs or forums and link your content with the value you provide on that forum
Connect With Your Trusted (Hawk) Music Publisher
  • Connect with friends you know in the music publishing industry
  • Create (video) comments on music publishing channels (on videos that talk about publishing music)
  • E-mail other artists on their preferred music publishers (Randall Wixen)
Here’s a quick comment from music business weasel, Eric Beall, of Berklee Music.

“It now seems that every record label uses songs without mechanical licenses in place, theater shows routinely drop songs into a revue without clearing the dramatic rights, advertisers sign sync licenses long after ads are on the air, and everyone pays late, if at all.  It takes a new kind of tenacity to get paid, and only those who are the most persistent, the most unrelenting, and the nastiest will get their money. You can’t just put your registrations in place and wait for the payment to show up.  Those who snooze will be abused.”

Eric Beall’s Blog

You always have rights no matter what you do. It is possible to sell your musical soul to the devil, but the musical society has leaned the odds in your favor when it comes to collecting rights for your music.


The Journey Ahead

There are plenty of sources to observe when it comes to protecting yourself from “Shark” music publishing companies, including the PRO websites. Furthermore, you can observe more in our blog when it comes music publishing companies, because, well, we’re the “Hawk” music publishing company.

You deserve to get paid for the value you create.

One Surefire Way to Make Instrumentals Liked on Facebook (Or: One Surefire Way to Avoid the Massive, S***ing Turtle)

(The original draft of this was funnier but obscene. Here’s the obscene post, if you prefer. It’s funnier.)

There’s a floating turtle the size of your house taking a massive dump on your back porch. Have I got your attention?

There isn’t really a floating turtle the size of your house taking a massive dump on your back porch. I just said that because I love you. However, this turtle will… [picture an obscene turtle scene drafted here] if you don’t listen to the following post… which will get your links to your instrumentals clicked and liked on Facebook.


If you can perceive that giant floating turtle, you can conceive whatever goal you want in life, whether it’s to make instrumentals awesome or create the biggest collection of Yahama synths in the world. So why not keep that image in your mind?

One very cool guy said, “Thirst is the surest proof of water.” The same applies to your goals and your desire for them, whatever nature they may be.


Now, let me ask you this. What would happen if you pictured your goal more intensely, more vividly than ever before? What if you revved up that intensity every day so that your goals became a freakin’ Mo-driven purpose in  life that actually DROVE you to whatever end you chose to conceive?

Wouldn’t it be a crazy change in life?


If you don’t begin to hold that amazing goal in your mind and on paper right now, if you don’t uphold that outrageous goal that no one else thinks you can accomplish right now, then that turtle will do… terrible things. It’ll only do terrible things if you stick to blurry, small goals that don’t allow you to realize your full potential.


For more information on goals, consider any personal development book in the world. Specifically, consider these books in the following order, Think and Grow Rich, Master-Key to Riches, “MTO” with Paul Scheele and Jack Canfield, all things Tony Robbins, and The Magic of Thinking Big.

Another thing, too, is that once you set your goals, you can apply the other technical know-how described elsewhere in the blog. Especially when it comes to understanding your modular synths or making instrumentals of  yours rock.

For instrumental music free downloads, consider this blog post as the beginning of a source of never-ending music that you will love and love forever.

Why Thor Is the Best Piano Module For Your Synth Toolbox

Thor has always been my favorite “piano module” to apply to any music I create ever since I started using computer software to create the music I want.


What it does is it affects everything about a soundwave. It also helps you affect soundwaves with the most user-friendly interface I’ve ever seen. Thor has every method of transforming a wave with basic tools that actually create the wave, including three different oscillators such as FM, analog, and wavetable oscillators. Each of these oscillators (and tools otherwise unmentioned) have a purpose explained in the initial Thor tutorial given by “Reasonmastaa.”


To apply Thor to suit your piano module based needs, simply download and install Reason (if you haven’t already), then click Edit => Create Instrument => Thor Polysonic Synthesizer. From there, click “Show Programmer,” then just mess with it as much as you’d like.


This will create maximize everything you could ever want for every situation you could ever think of. Let’s make it work.



For more information on modular synths. For more info on creating and mastering music in general, go to Propellerhead’s Substance section for more information about all things reason and music production–it is really the highest quality source of information I’ve seen on music product to date.

How to Speak Thor: 16 Terms You Must Know About This Modular Synth

(Thanks, Hjistory for the image)

To speak Thor with a fellow friend and generate music at a faster rate, consider these ten terms for your erudition.

The Terms:

  1. Modular Synth (i.e. Thor – en pluribus unum) Synthesizer that plugs in as a piece of the whole sound system set up
  2. Oscillator – The device used to generate the signal–technically your guitar is an oscillator
  3. Crossfaders – A device that allows the DJ to be super cool and change presets of modular synths to accompany his demands of style from the entire soundboard.
  4. Waveform – Determines the “shape” of the music – the sound you hear is entirely based on this and the filters created
  5. Delay –  The stupid factor; this is the time between striking and perceiving the note…
  6. Attack – The spazzity, intensity, psychopathic nature of of the note; one might classify this as abruptness of the note… how soon, intense, a note “hits you”
  7. Velocity – volume based on how fast the key is pressed (based off of the observation that a piano string when fastly hit will play louder than a piano string hit slowly) 
  8. Decay – How much sound actually plays in the note?
  9. Trigger – Anything X that you can set to effect Y (example, if you set your oven to 350 degrees, your computer will play the note “G”)
  10. Mastering – Polishing your sound(s) for the end-user; giving your music the extra buff… this is what makes your music sexy
  11. Normalization – Making your music not as fucking loud
  12. Amplitude (Obvious, I know) –  The maximum extent of a vibration or oscillation, measured from the position of equilibrium.
  13. Redrum – A drum machine that slaves itself to the superiority of Thor
  14. Subtractive Synthesis –  The process of creating a new sound by filtering and shaping a raw, harmonically complex waveform
  15. RPG-8 – A “Monophonic Arpeggiator” which has nothing to do with Thor, it’s just cool if you want to consider adding cool arpeggios to your Thor-based song
  16. Arpeggios – Melodies created from chords


To push these ideas further into your mind, consider one of three approaches:


  1. Write a story about how the modular synth attacked the master(ing) and caused a delay in the release of the note which would have gone at an intense velocity. This absurd provocation triggered a man to trigger an RPG at his Redrum machine because even in the midst of everything, he knew that Oscillating between Thor and this crappy software would only cause his waveforms to dissipate into nothingness… Too bad, though, that he didn’t know about the Crossfaders… which could have allowed him to incorporate both.
  2. LINC these words of wisdom to yo’ mind.
  3. Study Genius Code by Paul Scheele, ask yourself excellent questions, and then rock your own world when you discover how much you know.

If you apply these strategies to learning this content, you will do some amazing things with your life (and Thor).


Knowing Your Modular Synth: 23.499 Minutes to Understanding Thor

Check out Propellerhead (or the creator of Reason’s) description of Thor… If this doesn’t compel you to use it, I don’t know what will:

Thor sounds like no synthesizer you’ve ever heard before – and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilises synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer (Your Favorite Modular Synth)

If you’re interested in advancing your proficiency in the modular synth, Thor, and fine-tuning your work, check out this video.


This is one of the more comprehensive Thor tutorials available on the Internet: Reason Basics – Complete Thor Tutorial. Then, Thor Demystified 1 is the start of a series by Propellerhead that elaborates into why and how Thor–and all modular synths–work.


Watch the movies and comprehensive breakdowns, and you, too, may understand Thor in no time.


“We can’t win a game that we don’t understand” (Pagan, Eben in Self-Made WEALTH when talking about the monetary system… applies to all).  Let’s understand Thor–and Reason.


Talk soon, Friend!

Your Friend,

~ Aaron

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