Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

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Mmichaelis
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Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by Mmichaelis » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:22 pm

Greetings all,

I've been a TAXI member a little over a year, and I have no deals to report yet, but I have grown SO MUCH and just wanted to take a moment to reflect on that.

I write rock songs and instrumentals of varying types (anything electric guitar based). My first 12 submissions were all returned because like many first timers, they were prewritten songs that I was trying to force fit into listings. When I started writing to the listing, I had much better odds: of 48 submissions, I had 18 forwards. Here's a playlist of some of the tunes that were forwarded. I would greatly take to heart any advice that you have on how to improve!

https://soundcloud.com/matt-michaelis/s ... ental-cues

When I started this whole thing, I always hired out the drummer, singer, and mixing/mastering engineers. That's because I just didn't have the expertise yet and I was really intimidated by mixing and mastering. That usually came out to about $300-$500 a song. Those first few returns of writing for the listing were tough (given all the money I paid), but they pushed me down the cheaper path of learning how to do it all myself. Through these taxi forums I learned not only about programs such as Superior Drummer 3 but gained valuable resources on how to mix and master. I got some books and started taking some mixing classes. And then the practicing began.

It took me about 8 attempts to get my first forward. That first one made me ecstatic. Never before would I have ever thought that I was capable of producing something that was "broadcast quality" on my own. As I kept plugging away, I learned things here and there, both from the screeners' feedback as well as from these forums and other taxi members. I would like to especially thank Mark (@cosmicdolphin on here) for being a game changer for me. He was an incredible mentor and took a lot of time to explain some of the finer points of mixing and writing to a listing. My workflow was cut in half thanks to his advice.

No deals yet, but based on some of the other stories I've read about there I hope that they're right around the corner. I also wonder if COVID has made this industry more competitive right now? I know that Taxi is not a competition but maybe more people are submitting due to live gigs being shut down? I have tried reworking some of my returns and submitting to libraries (separate from Taxi) but many are overwhelmed with submissions; so that's what made me wonder.

Above all else, I just need to pause and reflect on how satisfied I am with my progress. I have a very busy day job and family (5 kids at home). If I'm writing music, it is usually at the expense of losing sleep (either getting up early or staying up late). NEVER would I have ever thought that I would be capable of getting 18 forwards in a year. I am so elated that I decided to take this plunge and I've worked on myself skills to get to this point. Now I feel like I'm set for pursuing this passion for the rest of my life. And I wouldn't have achieved this level without the Taxi model. Even if I don't get a deal from all this hard work, the satisfaction from my personal growth has been 100 percent worth it.

Lastly, I would also say that I've gotten much better about receiving feedback too. Previously I would take negative comments about my music really personally, and returns were hard for me to swallow. With the feedback process, I've learned that accepting criticism is not only a key trait in this industry, but also is invaluable in life. I feel like now when I get a return, I think "it's all part of the game," and move on. So I'm thankful for that aspect of my growth too.

I would love to hear from any of you on similar journeys or other words of wisdom.

I'm also on Instagram as @mattymayde if you'd like to keep in touch.

Thanks!

Matt Michaelis
Yuba City, California
https://mattmichaelismusic.com

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by cosmicdolphin » Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:25 am

Wow Matt....A year already ! ??? :o

Only seems like yesterday I was reading your first post ! Congrats on your progress so far, to go from paying for mix and master engineers to doing it all yourself and getting forwards is huge.

Your rate of forwards vs returns is very similar to what mine was so I think it's only a matter of time before someone gets in touch so keep doing whatever you're doing - I've spotted you in the forward blog a couple of times and had a listen and I'm liking what I hear.

Covid has certainly had an impact on production , I know I've heard some library owners say they've taken the time to work on other things like meta data or securing new sub publishing deals etc but I've been able to get into several libraries in this past year and they still seem to be sending briefs out so they seem to be still open to new writers.

I think the trick now is to just keep going... like the Energizer bunny or a T1000...just don't stop. The reason most don't get anywhere is they stop too soon, as you can see from my 5 yr update post I didn't get many library deals in year one either and that's enough to make some folks quit. I saw a quote somewhere that said " I didn't come this far to only come this far " so I adopted that as my motto 8-) You're making consistently good quality tracks now so also think of it as building up your catalogue even if it gets returned, I've had 9 placements from my first year of Taxi submissions and 7 of them were returns that I later signed elsewhere. You can also think about compiling them into albums to approach libraries with yourself - PM me if you want any pointers.

Good luck with the rest of your journey Matt and keep in touch.

PS- Following you on Insta now - I think we need to have a chat about studio layout and acoustics next :roll: :lol:

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by JuanMacias » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:42 am

Hi Matt

Thanks for sharing this. It is quite motivating for those of us who are starting this journey.
I have a question for you: Of all the mixing and mastering classes; Which one was the one you learned or served the most?
Maybe if you could recommend me some good tutorials on mixing and mastering it would be great!

Juan

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by cosmicdolphin » Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:05 am

JuanMacias wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:42 am
Of all the mixing and mastering classes; Which one was the one you learned or served the most?
Maybe if you could recommend me some good tutorials on mixing and mastering it would be great!
I will jump in and recommend MIke Senior's " Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio " book..get the Kindle copy and have it on your phone /tablet/kindle while you mix

Sync Academy for specific production tutorials for this business - 150+ hours of video tutorials $30 a month now I believe . EDM - Hip Hop - Rock etc. and it also includes a full production mixing and mastering tutorial- check out the free vids on the SyncMyMusic YT channel first , I think there are some small segments there for free that are part of the paid for stuff.

Mark

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by JuanMacias » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:01 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:05 am
JuanMacias wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:42 am
Of all the mixing and mastering classes; Which one was the one you learned or served the most?
Maybe if you could recommend me some good tutorials on mixing and mastering it would be great!
I will jump in and recommend MIke Senior's " Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio " book..get the Kindle copy and have it on your phone /tablet/kindle while you mix

Sync Academy for specific production tutorials for this business - 150+ hours of video tutorials $30 a month now I believe . EDM - Hip Hop - Rock etc. and it also includes a full production mixing and mastering tutorial- check out the free vids on the SyncMyMusic YT channel first , I think there are some small segments there for free that are part of the paid for stuff.

Mark
Thanks Mark. I'm gonna check them all!

Juan

Mmichaelis
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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by Mmichaelis » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:08 am

JuanMacias wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:01 am
cosmicdolphin wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:05 am
JuanMacias wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:42 am
Of all the mixing and mastering classes; Which one was the one you learned or served the most?
Maybe if you could recommend me some good tutorials on mixing and mastering it would be great!
I will jump in and recommend MIke Senior's " Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio " book..get the Kindle copy and have it on your phone /tablet/kindle while you mix

Sync Academy for specific production tutorials for this business - 150+ hours of video tutorials $30 a month now I believe . EDM - Hip Hop - Rock etc. and it also includes a full production mixing and mastering tutorial- check out the free vids on the SyncMyMusic YT channel first , I think there are some small segments there for free that are part of the paid for stuff.

Mark
Thanks Mark. I'm gonna check them all!

Juan
Juan, in addition to what Mark said, I also used Slate Digital's mixing courses. I signed on with their everything bundle because I found it to be more of the economical packages for having all the plugins you need to mix & master. Their mix courses come with the everything bundle, but I believe some are free as well.

Good luck, stay in touch!

Matt

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by JuanMacias » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:42 am

Mmichaelis wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:08 am
JuanMacias wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:01 am
cosmicdolphin wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:05 am


I will jump in and recommend MIke Senior's " Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio " book..get the Kindle copy and have it on your phone /tablet/kindle while you mix

Sync Academy for specific production tutorials for this business - 150+ hours of video tutorials $30 a month now I believe . EDM - Hip Hop - Rock etc. and it also includes a full production mixing and mastering tutorial- check out the free vids on the SyncMyMusic YT channel first , I think there are some small segments there for free that are part of the paid for stuff.

Mark
Thanks Mark. I'm gonna check them all!

Juan
Juan, in addition to what Mark said, I also used Slate Digital's mixing courses. I signed on with their everything bundle because I found it to be more of the economical packages for having all the plugins you need to mix & master. Their mix courses come with the everything bundle, but I believe some are free as well.

Good luck, stay in touch!

Matt
Thanks for the info Matt. I´ll check it!!

Juan

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Re: Year 1 down - no deals yet, but I've grown a TON

Post by LamarPecorino » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:18 pm

Mmichaelis wrote:
Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:22 pm
Greetings all,

I've been a TAXI member a little over a year, and I have no deals to report yet, but I have grown SO MUCH and just wanted to take a moment to reflect on that.
Congratulations on the tremendous progress that you have made in one year. I hope those Members on the cusp of giving up read your post first. It is very inspirational.
Onward and upward!
Lamar

“We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained" JFK

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