43: Top 5 positive tech developments for musicians

20 April, 2021
Episode notes

Guest


Ella Gregg


Founder of artist management and development company 321 Artists.

<ul>
    <li><a href="https://twitter.com/ellagregg_/">twitter.com</a></li>
    <li><a href="https://www.321artists.com">321 artists</a></li>
</ul>


Mark kicks off a music mini-season with artist manager Ella Gregg, who’s been supporting emerging music artists since she was a teenager.

Tech has always been an important aspect of Ella’s work, including her early days helping artists get their work played in films or adverts.

Ella’s picks

In order of discussion

Livestreaming

Over the lockdown period, artists have needed to adapt in order to survive, and the ability to livestream gigs has been a lifeline. The fact gigs were no longer bound to a specific geography made them more accessible to audiences that otherwise might not have got the chance to see new artists play. But playing to a camera does bring its own challenges, which Ella can speak to directly.

Multi-participant video calling

We’ve all had it up to here with “Zoom fatigue”, but services like Zoom have been invaluable over the past year, and just as with livestreaming, voice and video over IP have given musicians, producers, and songwriters the opportunity to collaborate with people they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Digital audio workstations

DAWs are an important addition to the modern musician’s toolkit. You can go as simple as Apple’s GarageBand or as complex as ProTools and beyond. Ella picked the DAW as it gives emerging artists the chance to craft a great sound, or at least record a rough demo, without having to pay for studio time.

Music recognition algorithms

If you’re in your 30s, you might remember ringing a number on your feature phone, holding it up to a speaker in a pub or a café for 30 seconds, and then getting a text with the name of the song that was playing. Now, we take services like Shazam for granted, as music ID tech is pretty much built into our voice assistants, but to some of us it still feels like magic. Plus, services like it are incredibly valuable to emerging artists whose music appears on TV or in adverts.

Social ads

Advertising on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can put your work in front of exactly the right people, based on their likes and location. Ella uses social video ads successfully in her business, and has seen other artists do the same.

Mark’s picks

In order of discussion

Loop pedal

Mark picked this piece of kit for its ability to help solo musicians create layered sounds, with something as minimal as a guitar, or with a whole set of instruments being played consecutively.

Handheld SD card recorder

The best ones are made by a company called Zoom (not that one), and give musicians the chance to create high-quality recordings wherever they are, either by using the in-built mic, or by plugging in one or up to four mics.

Music distribution services

Mark was introduced to Amuse a couple of years ago, which is a mobile app based distribution platform that makes it super-simple to release tracks to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and everywhere else, completely for free.

iPad

Combining a handheld recorder and a DAW, the iPad gives musicians access to a portable multitrack recording studio, combined with the ability to release tracks to the Internet directly from the same device.

YouTube

Although the relationship between creator and platform is often contentious, YouTube has provided a megaphone to a raft of artists who now sell out venues.

Honourable mentions

  • Collaborative workspaces
  • Social media scheduling

More of Ella Gregg

You can find Ella at 321 Artists, where you can sign up for her mailing list to get exclusive downloads you won’t find elswhere.

Links