So, you want to take your band to Twitter. Twitter boasts a whopping 500 Million users, so why shouldn’t it boast you? Twitter has rapidly, irreversibly shifted trends in online communication, and is an ideal platform for engaging your fans—and perhaps more importantly—finding new ones.
Twitter champions brevity. Any message sent via Twitter is limited to 140 characters. They get used up fast, but you’d be amazed at how much info you can shoehorn in there with a little practice—more on that later. User connections are based on Follows, analogous to your Contacts list in your e-mail client or phone. When user X follows user Y, X’s tweets will appear in Y’s feed. This is a one-way street, and the inverse will not be true until Y follows X.
Any vanilla tweet you send out will appear in your follower’s feed. There are three other flavors of tweets:
Preceding your Tweet with the “@” character, as in “@PreSonus”, will create a publicly-viewable message directed at a particular user. It will show up in their feed regardless of who follows who, and is searchable on all of Twitter. The @Tweet will also show up in feeds of people who follow both the sender and recipient.
If you respond to a Tweet and you WANT the response to appear in the feeds of all your followers, simply place the @ later in your message, like “Thanks @PreSonus for the RT!”
A ReTweet is exactly what it sounds like. It copy/pastes another Tweet and sends it from your own account. If you find a Tweet from another user that you think your audience would enjoy, give it an RT. Keeping track of how many times a Tweet has been ReTweeted is a great way to measure how many people your message has reached.
Preceding your Tweet with “DM”, as in “DM @PreSonus,” sends a Direct Message. This is akin to an e-mail, and is not publicly viewable or searchable. You can only DM someone who follows you.
Hashtags are a sort of metadata tag. Think if it as assigning a category to your Tweet. This is a great way to find new followers who search Twitter for new music. So, if you release a new track (via @Nimbit, right?) and hashtag it with #NewMusic, said Tweet will appear to users who search for #NewMusic. Consider #Rock, #HipHop, #Country, #Recording, etc. Hashtagging has also gained prominence on Instagram, and more recently, Facebook.
Twitter’s interface is pretty simple, and Twitter applications are available on mobile devices like cell phones. For now, we’ll look at the main Twitter.com page:
Home: Tweets from users you follow appear here.
@Connect: Tweets addressed directly to you via @ appear here.
#Discover: Tweets from users you may or may not follow, custom-tailored to your interests based on top-secret Twitter algorithms.
Me: Your Twitter page as seen by the world. This is where you will also view DMs.
Head on over to Twitter.Com and fill out the really simple form with your name, email, and choose a password. With 500 million users, there’s a chance the name you want is already taken. There’s no shame in adding the word “Band” or “Music” after your name.
Once you get an account created, Twitter will guide you through many of the basics covered here, but it’s still worth your time to see the lessons in context. They’ll have you follow some people to get the gist, but don’t stress if you aren’t a fan of these folks in real life—you can unfollow later.
You’ll also be prompted to import contacts via their e-mail addresses. I recommend this. Twitter can connect to e-mail services like Gmail to search your contacts for which of your friends or on Twitter.
Next, you will upload an image and write a bio. Keep it brief (well, you don’t really have a choice) but always include a link to your website in the bio. Setup complete!
Now that you’re all set up, let’s get some followers!
The best way to get followers is to join in on conversations and contribute content of value. You can do this using the #Discover tab referenced above and start talking to people! The second-best way to get followers is to follow them yourself, just don’t get too spammy with it, and only follow people who you think will actually like your music.
Get the word out
OK, you’ve got an account, a handsome photo and bio, and some followers. So what are you going to do with them all? Interact. Post show dates, pictures from your recording sessions, tales from the road, and links to new songs.
Get the most out of Twitter with Nimbit
One of the most exciting factors of Nimbit’s Twitter integration is that it allows you to obtain your Twitter fans’ e-mail addresses. E-mail is more personal and direct than Twitter—not to mention the lack of a character limit—it’s more valuable than having access to your fans via Tweets. One of the best ways to build your e-mail list is via Nimbit’s Promo Tool.
Give away a free track via the promo tool, and an e-mail address will be required for your fans to start their download. This is found under the Marketing section of your Nimbit dashboard. The type of promo is up to you, offer a 50% discount off of a CD, free merch with purchase of music, etc. Your call!
Once you have your e-mail list set up, you can send your fans… anything. I recommend a thank-you follow-up, tour dates, new music and merch as you have it. Just don’t mass e-mail your fans more than, say, twice per month, as once you come across as spammy, you’re going to get folks unsubscribing to your list.
Viral love (the good kind)
There’s more to the one-two Nimbit/Twitter combo to just hoarding e-mail addresses. One way to look at Nimbit’s Twitter integration is that it elevates the fan community from just being fans to being an enthusiastic digital street team. When fans follow you on Twitter, the conversation is a two-way street. But, when you start sharing offers, discounts, and the like, they are much more likely to share these to their friends—because who doesn’t like free stuff? With this, the conversation is no longer a two-way relationship between you and your followers—the conversation becomes lateral, spreading your music and message to friends of friends who probably never would have heard of you otherwise. Further more, Twitter makes this whole process single-click easy for them. Remember the ReTweet mentioned earlier? Exactly.
So, instead of settling for a cliché, lukewarm, “Thank you, goodnight, thanks for coming out, drive home safe,” at the end of a show, you are able to actually reward fans with gifts, which increases their devotion to your music immeasurably. In other words, it pays off to buy love.
Anyhow, getting back to Twitter proper: Have fun with it. Twitter isn’t about rules, but I recommend the following Dos/Don’ts.
Follow back: If someone follows you, they like you. Following back is a show of respect and appreciation.
Hashtags: as mentioned before, this is where the party’s at. Opine on trends.
Lists: This is about as elaborate as Twitter gets, but over time, as you learn who your real supporters are, add them to a List. The list option is found on the Me tab. They will get an e-mail stating that they have been added to a list, which feels kinda special. Note that lists can be public or private, so if you want to keep track of trash-talkers, you want a private list called “haters,” not public. But the folks who like you? Create a public list called “Awesome Dudes” or somesuch. Worth noting is that Lists don’t allow you to simultaneously Tweet to the List—they are for reading Tweets.
Contact Journalists: Send your music to reviewers via Twitter, particularly local journalists in areas where you have shows coming up.
Leave room for the RT: I recommend against maxing out the 140 character limit all the time, because then the message cannot be Re-Tweeted, as your fan’s RT of your Tweet will contain “RT@MyUsername” at the beginning of the Tweet, taking it past the 140-character limit.
Shoehorn: Again, brevity. Use “3” instead of “three”, “&” instead of “and”, “cool” instead of “meritoriously commendable.”
Pix from the road: Let your fans into your band’s glamorous world of smelly vans, small dressing rooms, and moving heavy gear at 2:30 a.m.
Check in daily: Responding to a Tweet four days after the initial contact is lame. That’s an eternity in the Twitter world.
Follow similar bands to access and engage their fans: Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve spent years dialing in a unique snowflake of a sound, but fact is there are bands out there you share sonic similarities or influences with. Start communicating with and following their fans, as these are the folks most likely to enjoy your music.
Don’t make your account private: Make it easy for people to follow you. Private accounts require every follow to be hand-approved in order for your Tweets to be visible to them. Rather than cherry-picking who gets to follow you, the real answer here is to have a publicly-facing account where you don’t say anything stupid.
Don’t RT everything nice someone says about you. It’s self-aggrandizing and annoying. Better instead to Favorite these Tweets, and thank the person who Tweeted the nicety.
Don’t copy/paste/tweet the same thing multiple times per day, or even per week. Spammy and obnocious, it’s a sure way to lose followers, and a potential way to get your account reported for spam and potentially removed.
It’s not all business: Sure, you’re here to promote your music, but don’t simply talk about yourself all the time. Ever been to a party where some stranger just talked about himself all night? Yeah, don’t be that guy. But do be yourself.
Don’t make Twitter your only platform. 500 Million users is a lot, but it’s half of Facebook’s one B-b-b-billion users. Fact is Twitter still isn’t as mainstream as some would have you believe; 15% of online Americans are now on Twitter, and only 8% use it daily. So while you have the potential to reach a lot of people, you can’t reach them all here, or even ¼ of them.
Don’t say anything stupid. Seriously. There are a million cases out there of tweets gone awry, and even if you delete the Tweet, users are quick to screencap embarrassing online moments. Consider Tweets permanent.
Don’t feed the trolls: If someone talks trash about you, big deal. Responding will only beget more trash talk, and probably more haters. Never forget that the Internet is bigger than you are.
Use bit.ly to track popular tweets and shorten links: Popular link-shortening service bit.ly reduces the length of links so they fit in a Tweet better, but more importantly, Bit.ly links track how many times the link has been clicked on, so you can measure your successes.
Use third-party apps: Once you know the ropes and are Tweeting like a pro, check out Hootsuite or TweetDeck for free, monster Twitter power. These apps allow you to sort twitter lists and searches by multiple columns, giving you a great overview of many trends and conversations simultaneously. You can also schedule Tweets in advance on these apps, which is great if you’re headed out on tour soon as you can set up all the “Here’s where we’re playing tomorrow” Tweets on the day you book the tour, instead of from the van during that burly 20-hour Bozeman to Chicago haul, where you will experience lapses in cellular service.
Followerwonk: Followerwonk allows you to search users by Twitter bio, a service no other app I know allows for. They also provide analytics.
Bringing it all together: Twitter plays nicely with others. You can, for example, link your Twitter account to your Facebook page, so your Tweets also go out as Facebook posts. We’ll look at this in greater detail in a later post.
[This just in from Ramon Castillo of Bleep Blop Ensemble. Bleep Blop is an electro-acoustic experimental music ensemble that is collaborating with Grammy-nominated performer/composer Sandeep Das—and a StudioLive 16.0.2! They are looking to create a record and performance series with Sandeep, and could really use your help!]
One of Bleep Blop’s primary missions is to make music technology accessible to a wide variety of performers, composers and other artists. We are committed to the music of young and emerging composers, and we have premiered 13 works and performed countless others over the last 3 years.
Sandeep Das and Bleep Blop will write lots of new music, record and perform these new works, and release lots of media.
Click through to Bleep Blop’s IndieGoGo campaign here to learn more—and contribute!
In September, Rodney Orpheus will be joining Source Distribution on a UK PreSonus roadshow, enabling you to talk to the PreSonus experts and spend some quality time with their latest product releases! Free merchandise and special deals will be available in-store at these times, so make sure you make it down!
The StudioLive 32.4.2 is the most fully featured and powerful StudioLive yet, and will be joined by the first PreSonus Sceptre CoActual™ monitors demoed in the UK – they combine an advanced coaxial design that integrates with a 32-bit DSP engine for highly accurate program reproduction. Add to that the grown-up yet bargain-priced Eris monitors and the premium ADL-700 channel strip, with tube circuit designed by Anthony DeMaria, and there’s something for everyone.
• Preview the amazing new StudioLive 32.4.2AI digital mixer – the most powerful, feature-packed StudioLive mixer yet
• Hear the incredible new Eris and Sceptre active monitors in action
• Get hands-on with the brilliant new ADL 700 tube channel strip
• Check out the new features in v2.6 of the award-winning Studio One DAW
• Free PreSonus merchandise and in-store deals on the day
For more information contact Source Distribution on 0208 962 5080 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tour Dates and Times are as Follows:
This lucky winner took home a pair of Eris E5 studio monitors at our Thunder Roadshow at Alto Music in Middletown, NY!
Check out the PreSonus events page to see when the Thunder RoadShow is coming through your town:
You might walk away with free PreSonus gear! And if you don’t, you will still walk away with knowledge of the latest PreSonus gear, including the StudioLive 32.4.2AI and the new StudioLive AI PA speakers.
A handful of them are free, but the rest will cost ya. Totally worth it. Here’s the freebies:
The full list of course topics available follows:
Preparing a Song for Mixing
Setting Up Markers
The Mix Console
Dynamics with Compression
Reverb for Depth
Delay and Modulation FX
Getting Deeper with Automation
Bus and Folder Automation
Bus Compression on Bus Folders
Exporting the Mixdown
Setting Up a Mastering Project
Editing Songs in the Project
Adjusting Volumes of Tracks
Adding Inserts for the Pre, Master and Post
Mastering Chain Order
Using ‘Detect Loudness’
The Spectral and Output Meters
Using Multiband Compression
Limiting Your Tracks
Burning a CD
Images and DDP Explained
Here’s PreSonus Customer Service Director Alex Tinsley (foreground) during an early recital of Jaromír Vejvoda’s “Beer Barrel Polka.”
It’s an oft-spouted cliché that good musicians are handed an instrument before they can walk. But Alex is now walking/proof.
Nowadays Alex’s musical output is of the wonderfully bionic variety. A self-described “synth collector, fixer, modifier, and knob twiddler of sorts,” Alex has been known to bring some incredibly rare—daresay obtuse—electronic instruments to the PreSonus office. Such gear invokes envy from our producer-types, and eyerolls from our pedal steel guys.
PreSonus LIVE Airs Today, Aug. 15! | Sell the Show After the Show! | 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST / Noon PST / 20:00 UK / 21:00 EU
In addition to being a globe-trotting industrial torchbearer, Ivan is also pretty darn good at Photoshop, and sent us this nice homage to his second musical love: The AudioBox Studio!
From his press release:
After the success of his last Album, “The New Resistance” (Including guest artists from bands like Public Enemy, Clawfinger, Hanin Elias, Die Krupps and many more) Ivan Muñoz aka Vigilante is back with a new single called “It’s Our Time”. With this new single Vigilante continues to evolve his hybrid electronic/metal sound adding elements of Dubstep and EDM creating a powerful and refreshing new style called “Industep”. “It’s Our Time” was released on July 4th, including many remixes by great artists from all over the world – XPQ- 21, Consumer Junk/Must We Unite, T3RR0R 3RR0R, Kill the Sleeper, Devil’s Guts, Aktivehate, Dolls of Pain, Gothika, Ambassador 21, BAK XIII, Kontrolled Demoliton, Zeitgeist Zero, Distorted World and En Esch. The song will be part of the new Vigilante album “Turning Point.” “It’s Our Time” is available on Nimbit and several other digital services.
All the money raised by this single will be donated to the FreeAnons Solidarity Network, which exists to provide legal, financial, and moral support for activists facing prosecution for involvement – alleged or otherwise – in Anonymous actions.
Buy and listen to the new single on Nimbit here:
More info about Vigilante:
[This just in from Sean Walker, Seattle audio engineer and boating enthusiast. He recently took his friends, and his StudioLive 16.4.2, for a spin out on Lake Washington during the city’s annual Seafair festival. Oh, and he also brought his band, and remotely mixed the band’s performance on the water while mixing via StudioLive Remote on his iPad. From a floating trampoline. Seriously. Pics follow.]
It’s August in Seattle, and that means two things: less rain than normal and our annual Seafair celebration! Seafair is a week-long celebration culminating on the first Sunday in August with the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane races and an air show over the race course on lake Washington! The race course is surrounded by a log boom on the outside perimeter to keep pleasure crafts from getting run over by a 200 MPH hydro. Now, being the festive sort, we often fill the log boom with boats and party like it’s Mardi Gras! This year, however, we outdid ourselves with the help of our friends at PreSonus, Audix, Sennheiser and QSC. This year, our client and I loaded a Yacht with a 6 Kilowatt generator, a PreSonus Studiolive 16.4.2, four QSC KW181 subs, four KW122 tops, and some K12s for monitors, and invited our friends in the fantastic cover band, The Herding Cats to THROW DOWN ON TOP OF THE YACHT!
Naturally, this presented a unique set of challenges. There were to be identical bow and stern PA rigs (you don’t want any survivors… I mean, anyone to miss the show), monitors for the band, and a wireless transmission to another yacht. So, we set up the speakers, ran power and signal, then ran a snake to the top of the vessel where the band would play as I mixed from inside the cabin. Thankfully for me, this was not my StudioLive’s first rodeo. Rather than the old guess-and-check method I’m used to when there is no proper FOH position, I got to relax on the floating trampoline behind the Yacht and mix the show, via StudioLive Remote on my iPad, iced tea in hand! If that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is! Also, the StudioLive’s ability to link Auxiliary sends to stereo made the wireless transmission to the other yacht a breeze!
The Microphones were all Sennheiser and Audix, except for an RE20 on the kick. Vocals all ran wirelessly. An E965 for Jon, who is the drummer/lead singer. E835’s were deployed for Mike and Rick’s backing vocals. Mike’s Fender Twin amp was miked with an E609 in the standard “Yeah, that’s just right” spot where the dust cap meets the cone. A DI was used for Rick’s bass to keep things “simple.” Since Jon thinks he’s some kind of Bonham, and drenches his drums with pitchers of water for an AWESOME spectacle during the bands Led Zeppelin melody, durable is the name of the game here. Snare and toms were Audix F-series with a Sennheiser E901 plate in the kick and an RE20 for kick out.
The day went off without a hitch and the band sounded fantastic! Most importantly, we had fun and that’s what this game is all about!
A HUGE thank you to Presonus, Sennheiser, Audix and QSC for making fantastic gear in both function and sound. We could not have pulled this off nearly as easily without their help!
The Herding Cats are Jon Bolton, Mike Mattingly and Rick Lovrovich. If you find yourself in the Seattle area, you owe it to yourself to catch them in action!
Sean Walker is a Freelance Audio Engineer in the Seattle area.