MAD FOR MOSES
Re: Moses Exposes [06/07 EQ]: How the Ashanti Royalty Dispute May Impact Every Producer/Artist Relationship
Very, very important stuff. Moses needs to explain to your readers, either in print or online, why Parker’s not incorporating would lead to this. Specifically! Why! My lawyer is a power broker. However, if you asked three top lawyers [each] would probably give a different answer.
For the $500 it would have taken for Parker to incorporate, he loses $600,000 in the end. [This] doesn’t make much sense if he is legitimate in the first place. Your readership needs to know why the type of business entity would sway this one way or the other.
I have acts, and songs, developed with tens of thousands of dollars of my own money into them — and all are at the major label level (I’m currently writing for Kylie Minogue). The Moses blurb is the kind of nightmare that must be avoided. Parker certainly deserves his money.
See if [Avalon] can explain to your young readership, specifically how to keep this stuff from happening. His blurb just leaves them hanging.
Moses Avalon responds:
Well you are absolutely right about your comment (“if you asked thee top lawyers they would probably [each] give a different answer”). Lawyers are merely interpreters of the law; they are not authorities on it. That is for judges and courts. In Parkers’ case, he paid a service to file the paperwork — but no record was in the state’s database. Parker had a receipt, but this was not considered sufficient to satisfy the court. In other words, “intent to incorporate” is not the same as actually doing it.
Aside from the tax advantages, incorporation is vitally important so you can protect your personal property. If you develop a hit you are going to expose yourself to liability. Everyone within ten miles of its creation will start thinking they had something to do with it and feel entitled to a piece of your action. Some may deserve a taste, but most are just doing the musical equivalent of ambulance chasing. It could be a single lyric or a sample or even the name of the group to which they feel entitled. (I go into many such examples of how these “misunderstandings” occur in my first book, Confessions of a Record Producer).
If you’re legitimate, you’re going to win these cases, but if you lose and you have no corporate entity you will personally owe this person a great deal of money. They will take it out of your paycheck if necessary for the rest of your life until the debt is competed. You never read about it in the papers because big stars pay a team of spin-doctors to keep it out of the press, but just about every hit on the radio has at least one lawsuit attached to it. It’s a sad reality of our business. The only real protection you have is to incorporate.
I talk a great deal about whom to enlist to protect your money in my workshops. If you’re interested in more, go to my website www.mosesavalon.com.
DRUMS BE BETTER
I read Glenn Bucci’s article in the 05/07 issue of EQ [“Making Drum Samples sound like Real Drums”]. This was very informative, and I have made good use of some of the ideas you offered.
Question: Do you know of any literature which would help me to “step sequence/record” my drums into my Yamaha QY100 to create better-sounding drum tracks? In other words, let’s say a song requires a 6/8 shuffle feel, and I’m not sure how a real drummer would accent the HH or OH, or even where to increase velocity so as to make it sound more human — are there any books that you know of which would specifically address this? How would I program some complex rhythms à la Billy Cobham, Neal Peart, or any other if I cannot ascertain where their toms, or any other drums, are falling (i.e., on the beat; ahead of the beat; slightly flammed, etc.)?
This is probably a tall order, but I have written several letters in the past to various music magazines, to no avail. It may be that this stuff doesn’t exist (MIDI drum sheet music, I suppose), as I realize that I am behind in the technological arena, but I am comfortable just noodling around on my QY100 and wanted to see if I could take my compositions to the next level. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter. I hope to hear back from you soon.
Glenn Bucci responds:
In order to create better drums yourself, my suggestion is to study not only the drums as an instrument, but also your favorite drummers. Non-drummers, at first, generally will not be able to create the feel and grooves that experienced drummers are able to create, but you can help switch up your game a little. The more you understand how a drummer works, the better you can emulate him/her via programming.
Concerning literature pertaining to the QY100, I can’t much help you there. If you’re trying to do what I think you’re trying to do, I’d recommend looking into making your beats inside some virtual instrument software running on a DAW, as there are often “groove templates” and other sophisticated quantization features that can sometimes help give your MIDI drums a more human feel. (For example, drum software like Fxpansion’s BFD has a slider option, which allows you to quantize and change the velocity of the drum patterns.) Grabbing some sample/loop CDs that your favorite drummers have produced is a good place to start, as you can import their fills and patterns in your songs, and serve a good reference for particular styles. There are tons of these on the market; Submersible Music’s DrumCore offers files in both audio and MIDI format, which can simplify the analysis process.
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