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  The New Album is Mastered and it Sounds Great!

Now What Do We Do?

It's very gratifying to see clients pumped up and excited about how their finished album sounds - especially when it's equal to or better sounding than anything in the stores by "name" artists. However, when asked about their "next step" plans for the completed album, an answer we hear all too often is that they are going to mail copies of the CD to all of the Major and Indie Labels. They will then wait for one or more of them to offer up a huge recording contract and then they'll be set for life!

We certainly don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm and optimism but unfortunately, the music business doesn't operate that way anymore (and in reality, it never actually did). In fact, did you know that in some cases getting a major record contract could end your career before it starts?

Here is an interesting scenario. Let's say the Label advances you for re-recording your album (quite likely, so they can own the master recordings). You owe the advance back - but they decide not to put the album out because "the market has changed." You now can never recoup much less make any money because they won't release you from the original contract.

So now...
1) you aren't allowed to record a new album with a new Label (in order to make some money)
2) you cannot even sell your music yourself (in order to make some money), which results in
3) your car going a little slower because it has a Pizza Delivery sign on the roof and your instruments start to rust.

This probably won't happen to you but did you realize that it was even possible to find yourself in such a position? Not the best way to end up on MTV's Cribs!

Helping Artists Help Themselves

In an effort to help artists quickly discover that elusive "next step", Vestman Mastering has contacted a select group of
some of the most knowledgeable and experienced music industry professionals around. In addition to their industry jobs, these people have all agreed to make themselves available to consult with you on your career, show you how the music business works and/or advise you on improvement strategies for your next record. They all charge an hourly consulting rate, usually between $50 to $75/hr - tailoring their advice specifically for you and your vision. Note: We do NOT receive any kind of referral fee or kickback from these individuals! There is no obligation for you to even mention that you contacted them through us (although we humbly won't mind if you do). It is strictly between you and them. We simply offer this as an option to further help you and your music succeed.

Key: Small changes can make a big difference. Think about how much time and money you've put into your project up to this point. Just an hour or two spent with these individuals is nothing compared to that - right? Get an edge - add some career expertise - streamline your next moves. Spending some time with these experts will change the way you approach the music business and assist your musical career path! You CAN succeed in the music business and make a great and long term living - even if you don't have number one hit!! But if you DO have a number one hit and you don't make the right choices.......... think about it.

Stack the odds in your favor! Knowledge of your industry is key and these individuals can really help you to know your options, know the lay of the land, know what's realistic and when to course correct. All professionals from Accountants to Zookeepers know exactly how their industries operate and as a musician you should too! You can begin by contacting any or all of the following individuals and schedule a consulting session.

Recommended Music Industry Consultants:

1) Ritch Esra (800) 377-7411 E-Mail:

Background: Ritch owns The Music Business Registry, THE contact bible for the music industry. He has a stellar industry background including Director of A&R at Arista under music biz legend Clive Davis. There is a recent bio of him here. A long time industry educator as well, Ritch is experienced and knowledgeable about all sectors of the music business and is amazing to learn from. If he doesn't know (improbable), he knows someone who does!

2) Dan Kimpel (323) 344-0599 E-Mail:

Want to get "connected" in the music industry (you should, it's all about people and relationships)? Besides writing features for Music Connection magazine, Dan literally wrote the book on networking in the music business called...
Networking In The Music Business (Mix Press). He is a ball of fire, enthusiastic and ingenious at coming up with new, move ahead opportunities for artists and bands. His website is here.

You can find additional background info here. Dan is a great person to creatively brainstorm with. The possibilities you will uncover are incredible!

3) Matt Forger (818) 716-7152 E-Mail:

Matt is an "A" League Recording Engineer/Producer (Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, etc, need we say more?) who has been through it all on the production side. Matt has an incredible studio sense and can really help your music and career develop to it's full potential. His website is here.

Additional background is here. Matt is super cool to work with and a veritable fountain of applicable advice and experience. He knows how it works at the top of the food chain! Find out!!

4) Reading, web site resources and more:

If you or someone in your band circle really wants to dive in deep we recommend The Music Business Program at The Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. This is a serious, 6-month, full time, on-site immersion complete with a stellar array of industry guest lecturers, insider instructors and industry internships for students. We realize that there are many other schools and universities that offer Music Business Programs (e.g. UCLA) and that they are undoubtedly worthwhile. This just happens to be one we have had direct experience with and therefore can personally recommend. We can also recommend The Musicians Institute's 6-month Recording Engineering Program, again based on direct experience.

Fly- The Miracle Project
Fly Into Autism
The Miracle Project

Chaka Khan, Jack Black, Stephen Stills, Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Robinson, Baby Face, Kid Frost, Tisha Campbell-Martin and more superstars
Akwid - Grammy Nominated
Akwid - Grammy Nominated
Juice Newton - American Girl
Juice Newton
Brazil's A cappella BR6
Brazil's BR6
Crosby Loggins
Crosby Loggins

© Copyright 2005 Don Sundstrom
Date created: 01/20/05 Modified 02/27/05
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John Vestman is committed to the protection of all children everywhere.

John Vestman is committed to the
of all children everywhere.

John Vestman - Don Sundstrom
John Vestman, Don Sundstrom

Akwid - Grammy Nominated - Mastered Here!
Akwid - Grammy Nominted
Mastered Here