Make your own MP3s easily and with some free utilities
Making your own MP3s and then burning them on to a CD is a simple process. However, as per usual there are reasoning behind everything that we do, like why do we have to make an MP3 anyway?.
To convert our tracks to mp3, or distribute onto a CD is a huge priority. I mean, without these simple processes we would have to spread our tracks through WAV. What good is that, at 50+ Meg a time? We would have no one to listen to our tracks, full stop. To distribute means we have to obey 4 simple rules, the 4 rules of distribution of your own Mp3s:
1.Get to as many people as possible
2.Making distribution easy for us and for the customer
3.There doesn't have to be any other processes the customer has to go through
4.It has to be quick and from that, spreadable.
If you have just come in and want to know how to make your own kickin' techno songs so you can have (and sell) your own MP3s on CD, click here first then come back to this.
Go through the above 4 points, take one point out and your product will fail. Let's go through them, I just want you sure that you understand how important they are to you and your own MP3s:
If your own MP3s can not get to many people, then there is no point of carrying on. The usual 5 people who download your tracks will not keep you afloat. Spread your work far and wide, and you will achieve recognition, a name for yourself, more traffic, and greater downloads.
If your customer has to send off a Stamped Addressed Envelope to receive a tape from you, you won't be on the Internet for long. Or having a file split up into 3 (via zip) which the customer has to download will be frustrating, and your sales, and traffic will tail off very quickly.
If the user, once they have downloaded your product, has to buy another product to make yours work, then your reputation, custom, and traffic will decline. Adobe pdf, and RealPlayer, to name a couple are free players are also so widely used that most people have them. Most companies will have HTML, executable files and pdfs that show the same information, they just don't take the chance- they make the sharing of the information as easy as possible.
If you can not spread the product, then you wont get the traffic, and custom that you deserve. A combination of the above points really, just make sure your product is full proof, it is easy to see, hear and spread.
The best solution for us is to utilise the Internet. To make sure that we have ticked off all four points, we really have to spread our tracks via the Internet, and through an MP3.
Making your own MP3s is the only medium offered to us, the low budget producer. It almost has an underground feel. But with 6 million people searching for MP3s, CDs becoming pirated quickly, and software/ infoware being so easily spread, making your own MP3s are the best medium for anyone trying to distribute their tracks.
Later on, making a CD can be incorporated into your marketing plan, but not at the moment, they are a bit too expensive, remember we want free. We will touch upon the CD issue, don't worry about that.
FT2 helps us to convert our tracks to MP3, unfortunately not directly. So we have to go in a little loop to get to the end product, our own MP3s.
The simple process will be:
FT2 XM to a WAV convert with UTILITY to an MP3
1) Save to Wav.
When you clicked on "disk op." to save a file did you notice the "save as mod, xm, wav" on the left?
Well, find an area to place your file into (store is a good place), then give the tune a name, then click on the wav button. Nothing happens right! Go back into FT2 front page and then, you will see a big button with record on it. Just alter the amplification to 2 or 3 (not over 4 as distortion sets in), then record. Now the computer runs fast through the track recording the sounds to itself, then puts the file where you to stated, as a WAV.
Remember to click on your volume setting in the bottom right hand corner of Windows to reset the volume settings when you come out of FT2.
If you do run into some difficulties, another free programme,
Modplug will also allow you to convert to a WAV file. All you do is download the file, install and load, set-up all the attributes by pressing the little "setup button" on the face of the utility. Load your XM by pressing "Open", then, click on "Save WAV", easy.
Just a small note, Modplug is good utility to listen to your own music. It is free, and has a playlist so you can listen to yours, and other people's creations without going into FT2.
2) Convert to MP3.
To create your own MP3s, you need to download a trail copy of MP3 WAV Converter from here.
This seems to be the easiest, simplest, quickest programme that I have found. Just click on the WAV to MP3 tag, then find your WAV, then convert, easy.
You get 5 WAV to MP3 (or 5 MP3 to WAV) conversions for the free trial. This is good as some files that I have downloaded in the past as they will only convert 70% of your WAV.
(Remember, that Audacity is a free WAV to MP3 converter and can be downloaded from here.)
Now you have your own MP3s and WAVs.
The aim is to have your own MP3s linked up from your own web site for people to download (we will talk more about that later in the music marketing plan)
3) CD Burning
No not literally, but you have to put your own Mp3s onto the CD, and this is what it is called.
You should obviously have CD writing hardware already present to "burn" CDs, now you just need the software. Some hardware comes with a basic programme, but if it doesn't, you can look around on the Internet for ages to find a CD writer but most you have to pay. However there are a one or two writers that are free.
The most powerful out of these is CD BurnerXP Pro. This seems to be the best of the bunch. It also has a forum for any help issues you may need to talk about. It is also free, if you want to give donations to them (via PayPal) but that's up to you.
It also seems to get updated on a regular basis, again all for free. It may be an idea to download this programme quickly as it may go to shareware if it takes off- it's just a thought.
The best thing to do is experiment with the software. Buy some cheap blank CDs and then just practise writing your tracks onto them. Try the CDs out on various systems, like in the car, your hi-fi, and any other CD player you can find as some CD players will not read home made MP3 recordings. Use headphones and see what the music is like, what your audience will hear.
Make sure as well that you tag your tracks. You know, when you go to info on an mp3 and see artist and track title- that is tagging your track. It is a good idea to also put an Internet address. Why? Well we have to think about your tracks getting pirated. It is possible. Now don't fret out too much, pirating music is a problem, however you can use this problem to your advantage. If your track is pirated and spread, admittedly you may loose income, but:
Your tracks will be spread far and wide without advertising costs- increasing your "presence".
You know that your tracks are being accepted- that people like your tracks.
Because we are mainly dealing with MP3s (at the present time), tag all your tracks, especially putting in your web site address. Then when someone does look at the information at least you can tell them where to find more tracks, downloadable or to buy. Putting on passwords or encrypting your files is ok, but it is so much hassle, also these security systems can usually be broken anyway. Face the fact that you may loose some revenue, but also try and make the problem more favourable for you.
You have your own MP3s, but what are the best MP3 hosting sites?
Submitting a CD or any promotional material is an art form click to find out record labels and how the music companies want your CDs to be like.
Want to make some cash? How about selling your own mp3s... easily.
With a range of your own MP3s, how do you go about advertising them, or even housing them? Click here for the techno MP3 marketing guide.