Category Archives: Industry News

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Spanish Rights Society SGAE Has Record Low Turnout for Board Elections NEWSLEGAL AND MANAGEMENT

By Judy Cantor-Navas | October 31, 2018


Teddy Bautista, disgraced former president of the Spanish Authors Society, fails in effort to regain control of the embattled entity.

Teddy Bautista failed in his effort to make a comeback at SGAE, the troubled Spanish Authors Society, which held its board elections on Oct. 26. Bautista, who was arrested seven years ago in a federal sting operation and charged with misappropriation of funds, ran for a seat and possible return to the presidency while still awaiting trial in the case, which authorities say cost the organization 20 million euros (almost $26 million) and for which he could be sentenced to seven years in prison.

In the end, Bautista did not get enough votes to bring him back to SGAE.

The 35 members of the new board include flamenco guitarist Josemi Carmona, Grammy-winning conductor José de Eusebio, Asturian gaita player Hevia and rock singer Huecco.

The 18,970 members of the rights organization with the right to vote in the elections turned out in the lowest numbers ever. Only 1,373, or 7.25% percent voted.

Before the elections, 15 musicians who were on the docket withdrew their candidacies for the board because electronic voting was not permitted. Artists well-known in Spain including Kiko Veneno, Jota (Juan Rodríguez) from the group Los Planetas and singer Sole Gimenez also urged their fellow members to refrain from voting. Members were permitted to vote in person or by mail.

SGAE has been dogged by problems which have heated up since the summer of 2017, when Spanish agents again raided the organization’s Madrid headquarters, and arrested 18 people suspected of involvement in “the wheel,” a royalty scam involving late night television. This year, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) revealed its “serious concerns” about SGAE’s conflicts of interest, “distorted and inequitable distribution of royalties” and “lack of regard for the common good” in a 65-page report issued in May. Multinational publishing companies Warner/Chappell, peermusic and EMI Songs have threatened to pull their catalogues from SGAE after they were all ejected from the entity’s board.

The SGAE administration has also been at odds with Spain’s Ministry of Cutlure, which has threatened to intervene and take over the running of the organization. And SGAE is undergoing an audit to investigate possible errors in hundreds of publishing contracts registered with the rights society, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. Last week, Spain’s Minister of Culture, José Guirao, warned that SGAE is “on the road to disaster,” adding that the government’s cultural department will do everything possible so that the organization “obeys the law.”


Adding Luster to Your Master

Incorporating a few fundamentals of mixing and mastering can help give your work the sheen it needs to get listeners’ attention
Posted in The Weekly on October 30, 2018
by Dave Simons

Think of one of your all-time favorite recordings, right now, then ask yourself: what is it about this particular track that makes me want to hear it over and over again in perpetuity? Is it the sound of the instruments, the way the vocals are mixed or processed, or some other element you can’t quite put your finger on?

Much of the credit for that sonic magic goes to those often unsung heroes of disc-making: recording and mix engineers, as well as their post-production partner the mastering engineer, whose sleight of hand has helped wring every last drop of goodness out of countless song classics.

In general, we at-home types are usually better off outsourcing our mastering needs to a qualified third party, if available (and affordable). That said, here are a few ideas for making a mixed & mastered product that will suffice in the meantime.

Mastering defined

In the big leagues, the master is the last stop in the recording cycle, the two-track package having already been preened and plucked from the multitrack by the recording and/or mix/balance engineers. Mastering techniques include making discreet equalization adjustments, using enhancers like compressors and expanders judiciously, while ensuring the entire mix is properly balanced throughout. As one pro once put it, “it’s what makes a record sound like a record.”

With DIY mastering, the idea is to tweak only as needed so that the end product sounds as good as possible. Some strategies might include:

Master limiting: If possible, insert a stereo compressor/limiter into the master output section of your recorder. Not only will this allow you to control the peaks but, by setting a uniform level, provides the “glue” that often gives the whole mix a bit more urgency. When doing so, take care to set the unit’s threshold so that the effect is barely audible—remember, just limiting, no pumping or squashing!

Faster master: Using your recorder’s play/record parameters, try incrementally raising the track speed, around 5-10% tops—in certain cases, just a touch faster can give the final a bit more “sparkle.”

Tone control: You can also make a few minor equalization adjustments to ensure the master mix is well balanced. To prevent any room deficiencies from getting in the way, preview the treated track through different sets of speakers (say, in your car, on your laptop or using earbuds, in addition to your regular mix station).

Frequency fixes

Speaking of EQ, bear in mind that your mastering tools can only do so much once you’ve made your multitrack reduction—therefore, be sure you’ve got a quality two-track in hand (or ideally several different mixes from which to choose or perhaps comp from) before applying the last coat of wax.

Something we’ve often discussed is using equalization to give each signal a well-defined “path.” For instance, problems often arise when there are several instruments with similar frequencies—when left untreated, bottom-heavy acoustic guitars or piano can leave you with an overly muddy mix, while also making the bass track difficult to hear. To remedy this, start by soloing the suspect tracks, gradually adjusting the EQs so that the frequencies no longer match (in the above example, you’ll probably want to trim more guitar than bass bottom).

Because the rules often change depending on a song’s dynamic range, type of instruments used as well as other factors, in reality there is no “master” approach to mastering—what might work for one set of tracks may be completely inappropriate on another. Regardless, trying a few of these simple tricks can help you avoid having a flaccid final product the next time out.

How Can Songwriters Learn to Set Trends Instead of Follow Them?


How Can Songwriters Learn to Set Trends Instead of Follow Them?

Posted in The Weekly on August 21, 2018 

This month, BMI’s Creative Team focuses on the importance of being a leader instead of a follower. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Nina Carter, Creative, Nashville:

With technology at our fingertips, it’s so easy to access music and fall into the current trends. If you spend too much time online, scrolling through social media, you’re bound to become a follower. Challenge yourself every now and then to take a break from social media and technology to focus on you, your songwriting craft. Get outside and explore. Interact with people, get to know them, connect. Know what’s going on in the world, so you can have meaningful conversations. Read lots of books and focus on the words. Educate yourself. Search for meaning. Create your own stories for yourself and others. Wander and wonder…

Once you’ve had time to clear your mind and reset, you will force yourself to set your own trends. If you set goals and challenge yourself regularly, you’ll discover things you never knew. Going back to the roots of songwriting is important and often forgotten these days. Put a new spin on borrowed ideas. Be clever with words and unapologetically original. Be timeless.

Krystina DeLuna, Creative, Los Angeles:

It’s important for your music to have a strong foundation, know your unique sound. Honesty and passion will always come through in your songwriting. That’s key when setting musical trends. They have the strongest impact when they’re based in genuine artistry.

If you find yourself in a rut, new minds and sounds always bring forth growth. Technology has put the world’s music at our fingertips, take advantage of that. Listen and study as much music as you can. Tap into your network for writing sessions. Go to live shows, big and small. And be open to all genres! Feeding your creative mind will change the way you make music. That evolution to your sound could create the next new and fresh trend!

Check back next month for another round of insight from inside the industry right here in The Weekly!

Welcome to Splitsville, USA – Where Co-Writers Live Together in Harmony

In Splitsville, songwriting splits are like people. Some live alone (100%), some live together as couples (50%-50%), some are in a threesome (33.33%, 33.33%, 33.34%), and some live happily together in groups of four, five or more. As songs are co-written with an increasing number of contributors, it is more important than ever that co-writers amicably agree on splits – in writing – that add up to exactly 100%, and share accurate publishing info with each other. Without working this out early in the creative process, bad title registrations and disputes can end important creative relationships and wreak havoc on a global scale, causing songwriters to lose royalties for years. By learning how to make some simple, positive changes to our creative business practices, songwriters can create a world of good – for ourselves, our families, our community, our industry, and billions of music lovers.



WHO KNEW returns to NYC on September 25!

In normal WHO KNEW fashion, we are presenting an amazing lineup of highly accomplished music executives each delivering a 10 minute “TED Talk” about their lives and careers in an intimate, multi-media format.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • JJ Rosen- Digital Music Entreprenuer, EVP of Music Strategy & Industry Relations at Splice
  • Michael Solomon- Co-Founder Musicians on Call, Brick Wall Management, and 10x Management
  • Molly Neuman- Global Head of Business Development at Songtrust
  • Joe Rapolla- Chair of Music & Theater Dept., Director of Music Industry Program at Monmouth University
  • Justin Bolognino- Founder & CEO of META
  • Jennifer Newman Sharpe- Entertainment Attorney, GC at ONErpm, VP at Women in Music

Like all WHO KNEW events, the networking opportunities will be very strong, so bring plenty of business cards and meet 200+ fellow music industry executives.

For the 2nd year in a row, we are thrilled to partner with the Music Business Association and present WHO KNEW York as the after party for the annual Entertainment & Technology Law Conference that takes place earlier that day.

This event always sells out, so get your tickets now.