April 23, 2017

Herbie Hancock - Don't give up (feat. P!nk and John Legend) In Studio live performance

I'm happy to share with you another piece of truly inspired music:
Herbie Hancock - Don't give up (feat. P!nk and John Legend)

Emotionally charged song with powerful performances by John Legend, Pink
and of course, Herbie's playing is phenomenal.
Jeff Beck on Guitar
Tal Wilkenfield on bass
Vinnie Colauita on drums

From the Imagination Project album by Herbie Hancock

I was so inspired by this song, I included the Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush version below which is also great. Which do you prefer?
Lee Evans


Lee Evans

CEO
JAMBOX Entertainment Studios
Chelsea NYC's Top Recording Studios




April 15, 2017

Here's how Spotify's deal with Universal Music will impact the streaming music industry

Spotify has signed a deal Universal Music Group that lets artists release new albums exclusively on the streaming service’s premium tier for two weeks, Reuters reports.
Only Spotify’s paid subscribers will have full access to albums during this time, though album singles will still be available for all listeners.
Further details about the deal, such as its fee structure or duration have not been disclosed. It’s likely that Spotify is getting a more favorable percentage on the music licensing fees charged by Universal. This would benefit Spotify’s path to profitability and an IPO. Spotify is still negotiating with the remaining two of the "big three" music labels, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. It may use this deal with Universal as a blueprint.
Despite the dearth of details around this deal, there are points of context to provide color:
  • Streaming is music’s biggest moneymaker. For the first time in 2016, streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music made up the majority (51%) of music industry revenue in the US, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported recently. Streaming revenue reached $3.9 billion last year, growing an astounding 68% year-over-year (YoY).
  • Universal is pushing for Spotify paywalls. One condition for this deal is that Spotify only give its paid users immediate and unrestricted access to new albums. This is a sensible strategy because subscriptions are lucrative — they more than doubled in 2016 to $2.5 billion, and now make up a third of total music revenue and two-thirds of revenue from streaming.
  • The deal makes a Spotify IPO more likely. Spotify’s costly licensing agreements with major labels are an obstacle to its IPO. The company pays out 55% of its revenue to record labels, with the biggest checks going to Universal, Sony, and Warner Music. It reportedly wanted to get this down to 50%. Last summer, Spotify accounted for 10% of these labels’ revenue.
  • Spotify wants an IPO as soon as possible. The company is under pressure to IPO sooner rather than later since its $1 billion debt financing round last March. These debts are tied to the timing of the IPO. They determined that investors can convert their stakes into shares at a 20% discount to the list price. However, this discount increases by 2.5% every six months.


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April 11, 2017

Should you buy or lease that hip hop beat?

Should you buy or lease that hip hop beat?

jamboxstudio.com
If you have contacts you can shop a song to, buying exclusive rights to a hip hop beat might be a good idea. If you are just looking to get noticed, you should consider leasing that beat.
So you found a hip hop beat on SoundCloud or YouTube and wrote a killer hook to it and you’re certain you have a hit on your hands. The next step is getting in contact with the producer and obtaining the rights to the beat. At this point, due to the normal enthusiasm you feel after you’ve created something great, it can seem like an excellent idea to buy the exclusive rights to the beat – but there are a few things you should think about before diving in and making that purchase.

What is your goal for the song?

This might seem obvious, but I’ve run into many artists who don’t have a clear goal or realistic expectations when it comes to a potential song. Many simply answer that they think the song is going to “blow up” and “get them on” without a plan to get to that point. Now, if you’re savvy enough and have label contacts you can shop the song to, buying the exclusive rights might be a good idea for you and you can probably stop reading this and get to work. However, if you are like the majority of artists who are just looking to get noticed, you’re going to need a better plan than posting to ReverbNation and SoundCloud and hoping for the best. This brings us to the next big question:

What is your budget?

You need a plan if you want your song to enjoy any modicum of success, and that plan will most likely involve spending money. So, after setting your goals, you’ll need to develop a budget for the track. This should include considerations such as the beat (obviously), the recording session, the mixing and mastering of the track, any artwork needed, any video that will be shot, and any marketing and promotions that will be run for the song. Once you have your budget set, you can move on to the next step…

How much of your overall budget should you be spending on the beat?

Now that you know how much you can spend, you have to start divvying it up. Let’s say you have $1,000 to spend on the song and the exclusive rights to a beat cost $750. Can you confidently spread the rest of your budget across recording, artwork, marketing, etc.? Maybe. Is it a good idea? Absolutely not.
In order to garner the attention and buzz you’re hoping for, you should probably allocate at least half of your budget to marketing and promotion, and you obviously don’t want to skimp on recording, mixing, mastering or artwork. So that leaves you with about 30% of your budget or less. So unless you can increase your budget, you’ll have to be extremely smart with your money, which means purchasing exclusive rights to a beat is probably not the best use of your money. What you should do instead is look into leasing a beat.

Why lease a beat instead of buying it?

First off, if you didn’t know, yes, there is such thing as leasing a beat, and it’s a prevalent practice in the independent hip hop scene as it benefits both the rappers and producers involved. A typical lease price for a beat can be anywhere from $15 to $35 in most cases, so you’ll immediately save money that can be better used elsewhere. Most lease agreements allow you to sell up to 2,000 copies before renewal, meaning you can still sell the track to recoup your money while taking a smaller financial risk up front. Also, if the song does blow up, you always have the option to buy exclusive rights to the beat at any time. So by leasing instead of purchasing, you put yourself in a low risk/high reward situation.

Will producers be pushing me to buy the exclusive rights?

They shouldn’t. From an independent producer’s standpoint, leasing out a beat is almost always in their best interest. While selling a beat for a couple hundred dollars is a nice payday up front, exclusive rights means they can no longer profit from that beat, for the most part. There’s the off chance they’ll gain royalties from the track if it blows up, but their earning potential for that beat is likely realized if they opt to sell it exclusively. If you run into a producer who is pressuring you to buy, you might want to find someone else.

Is leasing the way to go?

In most cases, yes. It is easier on your wallet and it is more beneficial to the producer. There are certain scenarios where purchasing exclusive rights would make sense, but those are very rare and chances are if you’re an independent rapper, leasing a hip hop beat is the better avenue for you.

The BeatLandLorde is an independent producer who works at a desk by day and makes scorching hot beats by night.

JAMBOX Entertainment NYC is a Recording Studio and music services company located in Chelsea NYC  212 979-8324


April 2, 2017

Manley VoxBox, Sweetwater Sounds Top 8 Mic Pres


Manley VoxBox,  Sweetwater Sounds Top 8 Mic Pres

The Manley VoxBox is the must-have preamp for lots of engineers. With its beautiful preamp section combined with a limiter, de-esser, and EQ all in a hefty masterpiece of engineering, it’s a great solution for anyone looking for fabulous sound in an all-in-one box. Built with Manley’s excellent US-made craftsmanship, meticulous design, and attention to detail, this unit is a delight to behold and to record through. I’ve enjoyed it every time I’ve had the pleasure of working with one.
Manley VoxBox 

JAMBOX Studio A has been enjoying their Manley VoxBox since it's release in the early 2000s
Book a session in our Studio @ and hear the magnificent combo of Neumann and Manley on your vocals! Also see our most sought after Manley Classics!
212 979-8324





March 28, 2017

Herbie Hancock's "Imagine", featuring Pink, Seal, India.Arie

Hello Music Lovers,

Herbie Hancock has long been one of my biggest music inspirations since my music beginnings. He's gone from being an influential player with Miles to being one of the most successful jazz artists in the pop music arena...ever!! Herbie was always great at combining totally different styles and influences together to make a special and unique musical moment in time come about. No one can do it like he does.

So, on behalf of great music and our top music recording studios, I'd like to share some of my fave collab videos with Herbie Hancock and today's most talented artists that I've found on YouTube. Enjoy!


My 1st video: Herbie Hancock's rendition and realization of John Lennon's classic "Imagine", featuring Pink, Seal, India.Arie.



Lee Evans

CEO JAMBOX Entertainment Studios






March 17, 2017

Mastering Tips from JAMBOX Studio's Head Mastering Engineer


JAMBOX' Guide To
Audio Mastering Preparation


Mastering Preparation Tips


Hi, this is Lee Evans, head Mastering Engineer at JAMBOX Entertainment Studios. We get many songs delivered to us for mastering at any given time. A good mastering job is essential for your music to compete in today's Hi-Resolution Audio market. A good master is far from just making your music louder.  Mastering can easily make or break a potentially good song. 
I'd like to share some prep tips to help deliver your final mix with proper formatting, in order to get the best possible master.

Prep tips:
First of all, spend the necessary time to get the mix right. A good solid mix will produce a great master. Remember, mastering will bring out the best in your song, but it can also make the problems more obvious. Try to make your mix as distortion free as possible. Ask the Mastering Engineer if you can send your sample of the song for his 'quality approval.'

• Do not make your final mix levels too loud. Mastering Engineers need the extra 'headroom' to work their magic.  -4-to -10 dbfs will work in most cases and keep you in the 'safe zone'.

• Do not 'Pre-Master' or attempt anything global to your mix that should be left for the Mastering Engineer. This does not help your project - it does the opposite.

• Do NOT put any processor or plug-in (i.e. compressor/limiter) across the master mix bus.


What audio formats are acceptable?
• Try not to master mp3, mp4, or aac formats; these are compressed audio files that are lower in quality. You want to deliver your master formatted to offer the best quality.

• We advise using 24 bit 44.1K  Wav  or AIFF files. BWF and SD2 are also acceptable. Mastering engineers can work with final mix audio copies from CD's however, these are 16 bit by default. They're usable, but not the best format.

All mixes should be final ‘consolidated’ files, not a multi-track Logic or Pro Tools Session, and should all be interleaved (not separate left and right files).
Please note: when saving your files, please make sure they are saved with a file extension, i.e. "myhitsong.wav" or  "myhitsong.aiff" (the extension is .wav or .aiff)

More prep tips:
• Including a song reference of a CD that you like is always a great idea, and helps us to pinpoint what you want your finished master to sound like. Hi quality MP3 format will work fine for this.

• Discuss similar songs and their sound with your engineer to give him your direction, but at the end of the day, let the engineer do his magic. You should have a chance to make corrections later if needed.

Final Thoughts
Loudness: We understand the desire to rush and play your hot new final mix for people, and the desire to make it as loud as possible. Well...do your thing with that, but PLEASE ask your audio engineer to make a version of the mix with no master bus processing. (ie no compressors, limiters, EQs, etc inserted into the stereo mix signal path.) Once again, DO NOT max out the levels on this version. Give us about 6-10 db  of headroom for us to make your final master sound stellar. You can make another version to play for friends etc. until your final master is ready. You can also feel free to try your own hand at mastering on this copy.


I hope this helps you on your way to a great sounding final Master!

Please feel free to call with questions.

Lee Evans
Studio Director

A Division Of
JAMBOX ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS
212.979.8324

March 6, 2017

NYC Mission Society Kids Visit JAMBOX Entertainment Studios

Now more than ever, it is important that the arts are supported and instilled in the lives of young people. We were lucky enough to have another group of young artists join us here today for a tour of the studios and hear a little about what we do here at JAMBOX. The young aspiring musicians from the New York City Mission Society loved getting a taste of what it’s like to be in a real recording studio. The group of approximately 16, ranging in age from 10-18 years old, set a beat to their favorite style and got a chance to record their rendition of a Michael Jackson classic, 'Man In The Mirror' song supplying inward perspective and upwardly thought provoking lyrics.
            After having the hip-hop class from Ward Melville High School come visit us last week and the group from New York City Mission Society today, we believe that music is a positive and necessary influence in kids’ lives. 

          JAMBOX Entertainment Studios supports the arts and the education of our youth, and we would love to have you be a part of it! 

         If you’re a school, educator, or student interested in our touring and recording program, please contact us 212-979-8324 or 212-273-3426, or via e-mail at info@jamboxstudio.com. All of us here at JAMBOX Entertainment Studios hope to be hearing from you soon! 


February 17, 2017

JAMBOX Studios Welcomes Ward Melville HS & Rapper Lucky Mula


Today was a good day at JAMBOX Entertainment Studios. JAMBOX is one of the few educational, child and family friendly studios in NYC.  Today, a hip hop class from Ward Melville High School, Long Island came into the Big Apple to visit the studio for a class field trip. The group of approximately 25 seniors split up and got right to work with two of our top engineers, Xalent (pronounced ex a lent) and Lex. They got to pick out a beat and went on to experience recording like the pros. The kids got a chance to see what recording their own music in a real studio was like.
            
On top of recording, the kids got to speak with some of the talented people involved here at JAMBOX. With so many years of experience in the music industry under his belt, Music veteran and JAMBOX head honcho Lee Evans, himself a musician, music producer and songwriter, shared his own story and tips with the kids. He talked with them about his history with Afrika Bambaataa, Cyndi Lauper, Mark Anthony, Queen Latifah, and the real pioneering days of hip hop.
Lucky Mula is a super hot and buzzing new rapper on Power 105, and Hot97,  Lucky came by and graciously shared his story with the kids. His recounting of run ins with the law, gangs, guns, and even jail. Lucky spoke about how the streets tried to take him down, and his struggle to rise above it all through his music. He told them about how his real life experiences have helped fuel the fire of the artist within him and really put things into perspective. He left everyone awe-struck and inspired.

On top of all of this hip hop wisdom and adventure, JAMBOX Entertainment Studios co-owner, Cathy Palmisano, discussed our non-profit organization REACHOUT, Inc. and Lori Michaels Music, and the impact it's had on millions of kids over the years.

The kids had a lot of fun expressing themselves in the studio and got to take home copies of their music. We all got to take away something valuable today and most importantly we all had fun. JAMBOX’s educational school tours program is proud to be celebrating over 10 years of success helping kids to understand this business of music. We hope that Ward Melville High School comes to visit us again soon!
If your school or students are interested in our touring and recording program, please contact us:
212 979-8324
or
212 273-3426
or email 

info@jamboxstudio.com
we’d love to have you here!


December 19, 2016

Hugh McCracken (RIP) at JAMBOX Studios Susan Pilsbury sessions 2010

Back in 2010, we had the pleasure of recording  the great guitarist and harmonica player Hugh McCracken (RIP) at JAMBOX Entertainment Studios along with a host of top level notable Musicians for acoustic folk singer Susan Pilsbury.
Hugh McCracken was a very accomplished Musicians musician. Just a partial list of the hundreds of musicians he accompanied includes Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, B. B. King, Jefferson Airplane, Billy Joel, Laura Nyro, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Carl Perkins, the Monkees, Carly Simon and James Taylor. He recorded with all four Beatles after their breakup. He recorded with Aretha Franklin and Mr. Paul McCartney in different studios on the same day.

Mr. McCracken contributed to a host of hits, including “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Neil Diamond, “Hey 19” by Steely Dan, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon and “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.


**********
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Check out our site:  http://jamboxstudio.com/
Feel free to call us at 212.979.8324 to schedule your next session, or to give the Gift of Song to someone you love.

October 7, 2016

FIVE THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE BOOKING A STUDIO

www.jamboxstudio.com
FIVE THINGS YOU MUST KNOW
BEFORE BOOKING A STUDIO  
written by Lee Evans
jamboxstudio.com

Ready to make your 1st demo, or move your quality up a few notches from your friends home studio? If you come to a pro studio, especially in big league Manhattan, it's going to cost you quite a bit of your hard earned money. What you want to do is plan your project out before booking your studio time.

Here are 5 top things you should know when booking time to complete your project.


1)  Pick the right type of studio for your project. Recording Studios are not created equal. All studios DO NOT record all genres of music equally well. Ask to hear samples of their work. Compare what you've done in other places to what they've done. Check that the studio is clean and run in an organized fashion and that the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The place must have a vibe that you like and that inspires your creativity. Your music is very important to you. Make sure you're comfortable with the 'lab' that you choose to make it in.

2)  Meet the engineer. Your relationship with the engineer and his ability to "tap in" to your vision for your music may be the most crucial thing you have going from that studio. The engineer need not be a producer, they’re there mainly to operate the gear in the studio, but they will be very hands on with your music.  The more versed he/she is in the genre of music that you are doing the better. They should be knowledgeable about the music genre, knowledgeable about their audio engineering craft, open minded  and willing to help. If you come across an engineer that seems to not really like what they’re doing, has a lackluster attitude, or thinks they’re God's gift to music...steer clear of them. You're a paying customer and your music is too important to deal the stress of egomaniacs.  Would you go to a lackluster doctor, or barber? Get away Now!...Fast!

3)  Don't get fooled by price. You should get a studio with a rate you can afford, but don't automatically go for the lowest rate. If so, you may be in for a surprise. It may come with sub par music quality, under experienced engineers, or disorganization that can lead to traumatic things happening to your music. Also don't assume that because you're paying the big bucks that you’re automatically going to get the best. Do your research.  We've had projects come in from big name studios that charge hundreds per hour and they sound like crap. We've had projects from smaller home type studios that charge low rates, and the quality doesn't shine. Find a place that will make your project sizzle consistently, and that has a reputation for good work.

4)  Come to your session prepared. Time is money. Magical things can happen spur of the moment in the studio, but don't depend on it. Have your material ready to go. Confirm the time and attendance of any vocalists or musicians that you have on the session. Don't let them leave you hangin' because they forgot about the session.
 
 5)  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR MASTERS AT THE STUDIO WHEN THE PROJECT IS DONE. The Master is the "tracked out" Data files that can be further edited or remixed. This will be in Pro Tools, Logic, DP or other choice 'DAW' program. The value of your project is usually in the physical ownership of your masters.  It is YOUR responsibility to get your master data files backed up and take them with you when your project is completed. Store them like jewels in a safe place. One day they may be "worth their weight in gold". Do not depend on the studio to store them when you're done with your project. It's not their responsibility. ALWAYS leave with and keep track of ALL of your masters.

These pointers will help you have a smooth session with a successful outcome, at your newly chosen "Pro Recording Studio".





JAMMIN Updates

  • Lori Michaels signs record deal with Dream Makers/REFORM Records

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