Work Harder…

 

Almost 10 years ago I said goodbye to music in some capacity. I even had a car without a radio. I had been burnt out from multiple bands, pay-to-play shows, and an empty wallet. I had dropped out of college at one point because I was itching to make music a career. I had a little bit of success but not enough to sustain me. I eventually went back and got a marketing degree.

Somehow music took a backseat. Since then I’ve slowly been dipping my toes back in the water. It hasn’t been easy, but one thing I’ve learned along the way, dreams never come to you in the way you think they will.

Over the past two years I’ve made it back from Australia and gave music a fresh start. I got a house, built a small studio, invested in some decent gear, join two bands to practice my chops on the bass, guitar, and vocals. I recently picked up drums. Its never too late to learn. On top of that, it’s been a never-ending journey of audio engineering.

I’m not an expert at any one of these, but there’s something special about learning multiple crafts and putting it all together to get an end product.

I truly love music. I know it’s love because we constantly fight each other but always make up.
#WorkHarder is the first song I’ve released that I wrote, played every instrument, tracked, mixed engineered, and mastered. Because why not?

I get to continue a journey left long ago. There is no end of the road, just getting better.

Like I said, I’ll never be perfect at each instrument but it sure feels good to have an idea and make it come to life with calluses on my hands, bloodshot eyes from staring at the computer screen, raw throat from singing, and pulling out hair from constant software downloads.

I’ve always been an advocate for people who learn and play instruments because it’s far from easy. Here’s to all of you.

For everyone seeking a dream don’t be worried if it mutates into something else. Just keep following the branches and get better.

#musicengineer #producer#homerecording #drummer #bassist#guitarist #singer #vocalist #alternative#2018music #originalsong #sundaysession#dreamer #30s #onelove #share

Feb 22 show canceled…

I’m really sorry that I have to cancel. I had a couple musicians drop out last minute and trying to regroup / get new people to play in such a short amount of time was extremely difficult. I’ll likely play in the future. I want to make sure your ears get what they deserve and these songs are represented correctly. Thank you all who were coming. I’ll make sure whoever bought tickets will get reimbursed. I’m truly sorry and bummed at the same time. These things happen, but we become even sturdier don’t we?

how to get music on Pandora with submission denied

pandora submission denied

If you’re a musician and reading this post, then maybe you’ve tried to upload your song(s) to Pandora https://submit.pandora.com. Maybe you were denied or maybe you’ve already had a champagne and celebrated your approval. For those, like myself, who had an unsuccessful submission, here are a couple thoughts from an amalgamation of online material and some old fashioned intuition. Maybe this will help you handle rejection and what to do next.

The curation process at Pandora is a mystery box. To understand where it starts, we first need to understand that technology plays a role; automation. Some of us may not even make it past this set of criteria (keep in mind, these are just assumptions):

1) Song length
Popular songs are often less than 3 minutes

2) Volume
There is an industry standard of volume of a mastered track. If your song is too quiet, it may not pass the test

3) Audio spectrum
Pleasant songs have a range of bass, mid, and treble without giant spikes in unpleasant ear piercing areas (around 3k)

4) Song structure
Typical: intro > verse > chorus > verse > chorus > bridge > double chorus > end

5) Link authority
Whatever song link you submitted can be crawled and assessed to see how many users have visited that page and how many inbound links come to it

If you make it past the automation part, here is what may come next…

1) Subjective listening
There may be a Pandora employee who likes are doesn’t like your song, it’s completely subjective (everyone is a critic). Perhaps they are looking for the inexplicable ‘It’ factor.

2) Online following and sentiment
While they are listening to your song, they are probably browsing the web to get more info on you like how big is your online following and how many shows you’ve played/have coming up

3) Other assumptions
There are some comments online that Pandora may favor submissions from labels. This may be so, or perhaps you’re a YouTube star.

Just remember, at the end of the day Pandora is allowed to choose the music they believe in and likely have some quality standards, but more importantly,  they need dollars to survive. They make money through ads and premium members (skipping commercials), so the longer they keep listeners on Pandora and higher the quality, the better. Their platform depends on pairing music with music you already like, so I get it. I can also understand they don’t tell people why the submission got rejected because it’s expensive to staff a team to develop these responses and spend ample time reviewing everything with a human ear. Who knows, maybe they have a soft spot and don’t want to subjectively say your music “wasn’t good enough”.

Just in case you don’t know the path to success, here it is: your objective > fail > fail > really fail > give up > change your mind > fail > fail, but enjoy the process > fail and forget you have failed > fail and totally forget your failed because you haven’t > succeed, with a mutated goal. If you don’t make it past the give up part, well, nothing happens.

End of the day, you love music right? You’re not going to let a little thing like this get you down. There’s always Spotify and there’s a fan out there waiting to hear you. Plus, just keep getting better and submit your next piece of work. I know I will. Good luck out there!

Cheers,
Shaun

It’s been ages since I’ve been on stage and I’m happy to say I’ll be doing so again on Mar 1. As a musician, it’s important to explore different areas, hence why I am playing bass with Goodnight Caulfield. Come check it out! SEE SHOW INFO

finished 900 Days!

I finally finished mixing and mastering 900 Days, the last song of 4. This completes the ‘start’ of my journey. By this point it’s been more than 900 Days since I wrote this song and since I was galavanting around in Australia. It’s time to give this music thing another go!

Cheers,
Shaun Mykal Walker

mixed and mastered 2 songs, feeling good

Shaun Mykal Walker studio

Been mixing Apex to Abyss songs at my home studio. Finished Flake and New Tomorrow. I’m really liking the sound of these, hope you will as well. Thank you Adam Schmidt for mastering these puppies. First time I’ve uploaded these for the public. Just have two more to go. Happy holidays!

Cheers,
Shaun Mykal Walker