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My Song Union Street (Hold On) was Added to a Distrokid Playlist

My song “Union Street (Hold On)” that was released this past summer really as a B-Side for “Just for a Moment” was just added a Distrokid playlist for Singer/Songwriters. I think it goes to show that you’ve just got to keep putting things out and that something, usually something unexpected like this one will stick. Like I mentioned, this was a last minute b-side that I thought was interesting, but I thought if anything caught on, it would be “Just for a Moment.” That one did “ok,” but Union Street has done much, much better.
There’s a lot of great songs on this 50 song playlist that I have been enjoying as well. Mine is #37: (Update: 11/28/20: It was added for a second week, and now it’s #28)

Update 2/28/20: I just got the same email from Distrokid that I got last week: That the voters had spoken, and that I had been added to their Singer/Songwriters Playlist and would be there for a week. It didn’t say thing about “again” or “for a second time” as a matter of fact the email was an exact duplicate of the one a week before except for the date change. Playlists and voting for them is a new feature, so maybe it was a glitch, or maybe the song is really good, and was voted again to be on the playlist. The ladder would for sure make me happy, and there is evidence: The list looks for the most part different than the previous week. I hope I’m not jinxing myself. I guess we’ll see next week what happens.

Working on My Spotify Bio

Stephen Pickering is the ultimate MTV Gen X’er. He began High School in August of 1981, the same month MTV initially launched. But while absorbing English New Romanticism in the whimsical kind of way it was presented, his roots were firmly planted in the Hippy Woodstock generation of music and its impact on the culture from his older siblings’ vinyl collections. His favorite performance is Ritchie Havens opening of the Woodstock Festival itself. While in college at SMU the big four of Alternative Rock: REM, The Smiths, The Cure, and New Order had a tremendous impact on his musical sensibilities. He was in a college band then at SMU in Dallas whose entire repertoire consisted of those four groups.
“The Seventies groups were so good, even the non-Prog ones like Zep and Aerosmith, it made you feel you had no place in the industry,” he once told the Dallas Observer, “but the college audiences we played went wild over the simple 3 chord songs we were playing. I think there was a lot of pent up energy for the basics of Rock N’ Roll.”
He went on to tell them in ’87, “But these days, especially with U2, the emphasis is on the emotion rather than the virtuosity (Van Halen aside) and that opens up a new avenue of creativity based on one’s spontaneity. The creative process in the world of pop music became inviting and welcoming again. Everything that happened in the 80’s from Alternative to New Romanticism wooed you back in in a way saying, “It doesn’t have to be painful to be fun and worthwhile in addition to being valuable to the audience.”
“Just subjectively, as anyone would be in any field of endeavor, I want to get better at every aspect of my craft, but where I am today is fine and has value and I have no hesitation getting up on stage and expressing that.”

Just Released a New Single “A Magic Lake”

My new single “A Magic Lake” went live today on all digital platforms.


Apple Music:

Youtube Music: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=blXM0cN8Zk0&feature=share

Regular Youtube:

This Hypeddit Landing page has links to most of the places it is available for streaming or purchase. The top two, Spotify and Apple Music, I think account for something like 90% of music consumption these days, but as I come across others, I’ll add them both to that page and this one.

Why You Must Dither When You Bounce

Even if you’re keeping the same bit depth.

The short of it is, that the bounce down, say from 96khz/24bit to 44.1/24bit is going to raise your True Peak and integrated LUFS by .2-3 points. When you apply dithering, it tames that gain to only .1 point. There are technical reasons for this, but the short of it is, my last track I recorded in 96khz/24 bit in logic and for what ever reason when I googled about Dithering, the impression I got was that it was only necessary if you were reducing the bit depth, say from 24 to 16, which has been the common practice for years.

But lately Spotify, Apple Music, and I assume the others are streaming in 24-bit, so I didn’t feel the need to dither. But then I noticed that jump after bouncing. Dithering solved the problem, or at least most of it. There still was a .1 jump both in True Peak and iLUFS, but not the .2-.3 point jump that you get otherwise. There are three Dithering options in Logic Pro X bouncing: Regular, and two different “Noise Shaping” ones. I tried all three, but at least for my song, they sounded the same and gave me the exact same readings on all the parameters of my Youlean Meter. So I just went with regular, the first choice.

Here’s a comment I just wrote on a Youtube video by the brilliant “In the Mix” channel that I will link to at the end:

Looking at those guidelines, does it mean if you keep your TP below 2.0 Spotify will let you get away with a little louder LUFS? The most recent song I uploaded had a TP of -2.1 and an integrated LUFS of -13.4. Since I kept it below -2 TP do you think they’ll let the .6db “slide” so to speak (as we say here in the States,hehhe) or will they reduce it still? The guidelines are a little obscure. They say if you are going to master louder than -14LUFS then make sure your TP is below -2. So I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret that. For sure with indies like myself, the holy grail as it were is to have a sonic quality and loudness that competes with the majors. Oh another think I’ve learned: You’ve got to employ dithering, even if you keep the same bit depth on the bounce or mixdown. I accepted the Youlean measurements within the mix because they were the very last on the stereo buss chain. But the mix down from 96/24 to 44.1/24 even keeping wave lossless bumped up the TP and iLUFS by .2-.3 points. Employing dithering tamed those losses to only .1 And the readouts were exactly the same whether using regular dithering or the two “Noise Shaping” varieties. Cheers!

Stephen Pickering

Three Pieces of Great Life Advice I Gleaned From Twitter Today

Sounds weird right? Twitter is the negative capital of the world it would seem. It seems almost like a magnet for negativity and arguing. Boy, I spent too much of my life during the last decade engaging in both, and still do at times, although I’m much more conscious of it.

#1 Chase Jarvis. I swear there are days, and today was one of them when I said to myself, I need to unfollow everyone on Twitter except for Chase Jarvis. He’s all you need! He’s like Bob Proctor 2.0 except he specializes in the Creative career. If you really wanted to turn your life around, and especially if your dream was to be a creative (artist, writer, painter, photographer, movie-maker, actually in today’s world creativity can be applied to any career) I think listening to Chase Jarvis non-stop would do the trick. I’m certain it would.

#2 This was an unlikely source and for an unlikely and controversial reason, but I thought the main point he made was so golden. It was from Tim Brando, a former Sports Broadcaster, who was really pissed off about the way the leadership in Athletics at the collegiate level has been so poor in the face of COVID-19. At any rate, and I do trust his judgement on such issues, but I know that point could be debated, but I thought his immediate cure was self-help gold:
“Do what you love. Get your mind off what pisses you off!” It may not sound sexy, but it works!

#3 Dolly Parton. Actually this one isn’t from twitter. I heard it last night, but I can’t remember from where, but I thought it really hit home. “Find out what you are good at, and do it on purpose.” It sounds too simple to be true, but that one sentence is almost all you need to know to not only be happy in life (if you are good at it, it’s usually something you enjoy in and of itself) and also make a good living that provides at the very least for your food and shelter and more than likely for a whole lot more.

What the Call in Mythology Means to Your Life Now

When you follow your calling, when you listen to what your soul is telling you you are here for, when you follow that “Theseus” thin thread out of the Labyrinth to the T, then the whole universe opens up and comes to your aide, and a magical track opens up that automatically takes you where you need to be, and the things you need to fulfill your destiny come to you automatically. Life becomes effortless simply by making a decision to say ‘yes’ to your calling which is more often than not, not respected by the outside world, and that’s one of the first hurdles.