Ten years ago, if you wanted to make it big in the music industry, you were resigned to sending CDs to record companies, open mic nights and Pop Idol. But these days, artists can build a fan base or be spotted instantly on YouTube, with recent success stories including Justin Bieber, Connor Maynard, and SB.TV.
However, getting noticed can be tricky when thousands are trying to do the exact same thing. So, Blue Microphones (Blue), a leader and innovator in microphone technology and design, has put together its top tips for how to make the most of your YouTube setup, to help you on your journey to the top.
Brand your band:
It sounds simple but if you have a band or performing name, use that as your channel name - it’s the name you will want to have out there and be known for. Don’t try and be too clever or whacky to get noticed if it’s not how you want to be known when you hit the big time. Also brand your page, for example YouTube gives you space around the channel for you to customise the layout. It’s a great way to enhance the channel and show your brand. Make sure you use quality images and text.
Make the song your own:
Covers are two a penny on YouTube, so you need to mix it up to get noticed. Change the song up to reflect your style and voice. Original covers can see a huge amount of hits and are a great way to create impact. Examples include Karmin’s version of ‘Look at Me Now’ which has received over 85 million hits, Also Sam Tsui and The Baseballs both have hugely successful subscriber numbers. And, of course don’t forget that covers do work. Justin Bieber was discovered covering Chris Brown’s ‘With you’.
Invest in good equipment:
Bad sound and video quality can lose your audience in a flash, so choosing the right equipment for your videos is crucial. Make sure you do your research. Find out what other YouTube stars use, test products to find which suits you and tailor each microphone to each usage and device, so whether you’re on the move with an iPhone or at home with a laptop, try to use a microphone tailored to give the best results for your environment. For example:
• For those new to recording there is technology that can help you sound better instantly, like the Nessie microphone, an adaptive USB microphone that automatically applies basic processing to automatically improve your sound.
• For the more confident recordist, go to the next level with high-quality microphone. Choose a studio microphone with an XLR to USB adapter or a high-quality digital mic, such as the Spark Digital, a USB studio microphone compatible with iOS devices, which offers rich, high-fidelity audio.
• For those who record music or video on their iPhones, whether indoors or outside, it is worth investing in better quality sound than that of the built-in microphone. Try an iOS compatible microphone that connects directly to your device like the Mikey Digital.
• For those looking to do a variety of recording setups such as duets, choirs,bands or group interviews, you’ll will need a multi-pattern microphone that can record in front, in stereo and all around. The Yeti, a USB microphone, is the perfect tool in a busy setting.
To get the most out of your microphone, experiment with different recording programs and their editing features. Reading about the basics of audio processing like EQ, compression, along with gain (sensitivity) control and microphone technique can help you make minor adjustments for big improvements.
Some famous Blue fans on You Tube include Tyler Ward and Kina Grannis.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to think of your recording environment as the simplest, everyday things can affect a recording.
• Think about appropriate microphone technique. Audio can be captured from a mere few inches away from a microphone, but to achieve good quality audio a pop filter can be used. Read manuals/ guides to make sure you’re using the microphone to the best of its abilities, and never assume all equipment can be used in the same way.
• When recording in a room, you need to make sure it is acoustically friendly. Stay away from the centre of the room and avoid hard surfaces to get rid of unwanted, reflective sound. It’s the one time in your life you can back yourself into a corner for a good reason.
• Ensure your room is prepared. Everyday household items including fans and fish tanks need to be switched off and windows must be closed to help provide a quiet environment.
Other useful tips:
• Promote yourself and your brand
Don’t worry about modesty. To get noticed on YouTube you need to self promote. Use all social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any others you can think of to highlight anything new or any updates. Ensure your channel hyperlink is on your signature for everyone to see, and make sure your video is easily searchable by using key words in the title and a compelling description of your video.
• Impersonation is the greatest form of flattery
If you’ve covered another artist’s song, make sure you’re sharing it with them. Post your link (video or audio) onto their Youtube page, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel you can find. If fans of the original like the song, it’s already a starting point to gain popularity and interest. If luck is on your side you might also grab the attention of the singer/ band/ label.
• Credit where credit is due
Never forget your manners, it might help you in the long run. If you’ve been lent/ given/ bought equipment from well-known brands, credit them when promoting your video. Not only will it provide the brands with a high-quality example of how to use their products, but they may share your video to an incredibly wide, and relevant, audience.
• Interact with others:
Commenting on popular videos is a great way to get traffic to your channel, however try to avoid spamming every video with your hyperlink. Instead, interact with other musicians you like through the use of positive comments, and, where relevant, with your hyperlink. This will not only help you get click through, but will also get you integrated into the YouTube community.
About Blue Microphones
Blue Microphones designs and produces an extensive line of award-winning microphones and recording tools for audio professionals, musicians and consumers. Founded in 1995, and headquartered in Southern California, Blue continues a lengthy tradition of innovative, cutting-edge design and astounding performance. Named one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine in 2012, 2011 and 2010, Blue continues to offer a range of recording tools for almost any application in both professional and consumer markets. From Blue’s flagship recording tool, the Bottle, to the enCORE line of professional live mics, to Mikey iPhone mic, Blue has just the tool to capture your creativity. Check out the complete range of Blue products at www.bluemic.com