TSU Record Label

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TSU Record Label

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    So here’s the thing. With the influx of musical endeavours by soldiers it has come to my attention that there has never been talk of TSU starting up a music label. Now seems ripe with active music minds producing and performing sounds so why not slap a TSU label of sorts on releases and expand our brand, so to speak. The following is the proposal we can build off of maybe make this idea thing into a real thing.

     

    The Proposed Label’s Anatomy

    Using TSU’s Armory OR Bandcamp* to handle the releasing of TSU and PSIOPS based musicians.    *(this was the original idea until it was brought to my attention that bandcamp offers “Label” services for a price. But I’ve discovered that it is just a service targeted at mid-large labels and that you are allowed to do small-mid labels with a standard account. I’ve researched and tested it. More on this later)

    Propaganda strategy – specialized focused outlet for soldiers to spread their creativity and propaganda

    In Association With – ToySoldiersUnite.com, PSIOPS, Dreamtime Studios, Podcasters, etc

    Financial Stance – OPTIONS:

              1) Any and all proceeds split evenly between artist, TSU.com, and the label’s promotional treasury

              2) No fee. Completely free. At artists and organizers expense

              3) A to-be-decided variation of payees from Option 1

    CO_OP – Those releasing and those being released work together like an in-house department

    Non Exclusive – Artists can keep any current label while still releasing through TSU. Current label negotiations may be required.

    Brand/Band Growth – We grow the TSU presence and the exposure of affiliated artists by applying to music review blogs and web play.

     

    Probable Label Activities

    Full releases (EP – LP length)
    Compilations
    Singles
    Specials
    Re-releases

    Possible Label Name List

    Utopia Records – taken
    Utopian Records – taken
    Rusty Records – taken
    Armory Records – taken… maybe not, more research needed
    TSU Records/Music Lab
    PSIOPS Records/Music Lab
    Utopian Playland Records/Recordings
    Toy Soldier Records
    TSU Music Labs

    So I guess the question is, if we decide to do this, do we go with Bandcamp or our TSU Armory?

    I’m leaning toward the Armory more and more…

     

    Discuss! Suggest! Converse!

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    My personal preference is for the Armory, as you know Lucas.
    Don’t worry too much about limited space, as that can always be solved. A good clean up is required sooner or later.

    But our issue for using the Armory instead of Bandcamp (or any other popular music outlet for indie artists) is publicity. Bandcamp and such are already established and have greater sharing capabilities. Nothing that can’t emulated with the Armory, but naturally, they have the traffic already.

    However, if artists and toy soldiers put the effort in to share, post, and such as often as possible without it looking like spam, and also contact people who might be interested, we could probably do quite well. Also means a larger share for the artist depending on the ‘contract’ they choose.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    If space truly isn’t an issue then that is awesome.
    I may have a bias for Bandcamp because I’ve used it for years. I really like their embed widgets, the ease of use, and of course the span of exposure available.
    And you’re right it all boils down to people sharing. So long as you have a link, something to share, the opportunity is there.
    The Armory sounds so pleasing, the idea that TSU’s label is housed neatly within the bunker.

  • First off, I just have to say, that this is an awesome idea! 

    Second, no matter which one we pick (Bandcamp or The Armory), there are a few features that should be available to the artists/musicians supplying the material to the label.

    1. Widgets
            -These can include but are not limited to: Store (The Armory), Mailing List (Updates), Listen (TS_Radio), News

    2. Phone App (Optional)
            – This can be either for the musicians only or for the fans. If for musicians only, it can be a place to communicate directly with the label, to get input on upcoming projects from other Toy Soldiers, and to share what’s going on with the Admins before anyone else (aka a direct line to TS Records). However, if for the fans, it would just be a collection of all the widgets and they can select what artist they want to find info about.

    3. “Shareablility” Factor
            -Easier uploading and sharing of audio and video files between Toy Soldiers. This way, if someone needs a hand writing something, one person can start it in the USA, and another person can finish it in the UK.

    4. Communication between Artists/Musicians
            -Can be either through direct communication, like a PM or email, or group based communication (threads or chat). Just somewhere where someone can ask a quick music-based question and get an instant answer from anyone, anywhere in the world.

    Those are some of my ideas! Hopefully we hae some CodeMonkeys that can make these happen! bliss_gif

  • The DoctorDoth'Rah
    Participant

    I love this idea. For one, it’ll give me the motivation to get off my arse and dust off my guitar/stretch my vocal cords again.

     

    I’ve heard of bandcamp but not really sure what it is so I can’t really comment on which would be better, but either way, communication between musicians/the label/the fans and also shareability are really important so I’d say whichever one is better equipped for those.

     

    (On a side note, if using the armoury would require the addition of new features, I’m happy to offer my help in testing everything

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    I’m looking at the Armory, specifically the music page, and I’m not sure how it works, whether the page is part of the main TSU site or something like a customizable store-app for wordpress, but if we could have maybe a small blog right there above the releases that would be a start. Just have the current post visible then a menu on the side for past info. Maybe a bit of a visual make-over (background, header, etc).

    Again, even though it works for now, instead of just copypasta sharing the Armory’s or product’s url, some sort of share ability (big red button) from the store would probably help. Also, streaming or song samples of every track, people need to be able to hear before they buy.

    The appropriate apps will definitely be welcome once we get proper footing. But since we have a wicked start to a radio app if we could embed that somewhere in the armory that would be cool. Could maybe function as a streamer/demo for the albums and tracks? Speaking of the Radio, if that could be available no matter what page of TSU you are browsing, like a small corner widget, that would be super cool. A lot like the way you can listen to a song on Soundcloud while browsing Soundcloud.

    This is all great stuff, comrades. I’m really excited.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    As for a mailing list, we should be able to maybe use TSU’s current email system to do that…

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    All of these things are possible. The Armory is a separate installation of wordpress running woocommerce.
    Here’s what’s doable.

    Share buttons on every product/post/page,
    blog for authorized users (rather like how the current Tales from the Digital Bunker works),
    and if you provide the snippets for each song you want to sample (either a single mix of all, or 30 seconds of each track) they can be inserted right there.

    And I like that idea of a player on pages, like some tumblr blogs have, with a preset playlist. Not sure if I have something for that, but I’ll certainly look.

    I’m currently exploring various mailing list options. We have 3789 registered users at the moment, and I’ve been meaning to send out a mail shot to everyone. Once I have something that works and doesn’t get automatically assigned to the spam folder, I’ll let you all know.

  • Robin
    Participant

    I might not always be visibly active in talks online or forum convocations.

    But me and The Operator are hugely willing to put the full force of “Mechanical Audio” behind the idea of a toy soldier label and help run it as well.

    Mechanical Audio as well as being the weird electronic music, does full recordings of bands live while they gig, we’d also be able to provide this (at selected venues) for soldiers, and also provide the aid of mixing work from the soldiers.

    another additional interesting bit which could be a massive addition to the toy soldiers label.

    Pretty soon we will have the full run of some pretty fancy studios in London (fingers crossed) and this is all depending come October so might change we don’t know.

    But best case situation we’ll be able to book out time in the studios, this will hopefully mean that along with being able to provide mixing for soldiers but we’ll be able to offer physical recording of toy soldiers who would like it (providing you can come to us in London UK)

    When I know more of what I’ll be able to do studio wise, I’ll report back.

    Robin + The Operator.

     

    “Do you know who I am?” Mechanical Audio.

     

    http://www.mechanicalaudio.com

    facebook.com/Mechaudio

    soundcloud.com/robin-Tindill 

  • I’m really looking forward to what this TSU label is going to turn into. Between all of the original ideas from Sgt. Dutch and Lucas Usagi and the input from all of our fellow musically inclined Toy Soldiers, this record label is going to be an amazing, practically alive piece of propaganda! bliss_gif

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    This is all so wonderful, everyone!

    The ball is rolling, this is happening. I guess the next order of business is to secure a label name. A poll perhaps? There is a list above. Anymore suggestions?

    I’ve already taken the liberty of working on a logo prototype based on the PSIOPS robot.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1XeYLhtKkoGVm5kd3QzZkpzOHc/view?usp=sharing

  • ComradeCog
    Participant

    This has just been brought to my attention, and I would strongly suggest folks hit up Caspar Byron for more info on labels; he’s got his own internet label that’s been going on for some years, and he would most definitely be able to advise people in the ways of net-labeling!

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    I’ve messaged Caspar Byron to let him know.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    Thanks, Dutch!

    Found a list of things we can mull over while we wait for Byron’s input. I especially like the last one ;)

    http://disquiet.com/2011/04/11/if-youre-thinking-of-starting-a-netlabel/

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    @T.F.U. Lucas Usagi said:
    Thanks, Dutch!
    Found a list of things we can mull over while we wait for Byron’s input. I especially like the last one ;)

    http://disquiet.com/2011/04/11/if-youre-thinking-of-starting-a-netlabel/

    Oh this is a brilliant resource! Good find!

  • Caspar Byron
    Participant

    All of my yes to this. This is awesome.

    There’s a lot of great points made here. Personally, concerning hosting, I would choose Bandcamp, for its versatility, promotability and accessibility. Bandcamp does a lot of work for you. All it needs for a track upload is a lossless file, and it does a TONNE of file conversions for you, so listeners can download all sorts of formats (.MP3, .FLAC, .AAC etc.).

    It is also more likely, concerning promotion, that an outside party would stumble across and check out the music of the label if it was on the Bandcamp page, in my opinion. I ultimately feel that a Bandcamp page would promote a sense of independence for itself, whilst ultimately still being a part of TSU, which can be good for promotion. In that way, you could see the label as a potential door for new members. “Oh this label is cool, I’m digging dem musics. Oh? TSU? What’s that, then? -explores- Damn that Dutch guy is hot, I better join.” Etc.

    Bandcamp does have its own limits to begin with, but these can be influenced and enhanced. This includes a limit of free downloads per month. There is more information on this here: http://blog.bandcamp.com/2010/09/09/free-downloads-power-ups/

    But for a small label, something like this doesn’t have to be something to worry about a great deal, and there is always the option of alternative mirrors if download limits are reached anyway.

    But all-in-all, I’ve never really had any problems using Bandcamp for my label, and as I am planning to set up a second label I fully intend to use Bandcamp for my main streaming, hosting and selling platform. The option to have releases as ‘free or pay-what-you-want’ would be a great option for a label like this.

    That’s my two cents anyway. ‘Tis late and the clockwork augmentations are due an evening oil, but I hope I’ve helped in some way.

    By the way, my money’s on ‘TSU Music Labs’.

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    Thanks for the info, Byron! Really handy getting an insiders view. Though the cost of $240 a year is a huge turn off from Bandcamp. We’ll have to mull that over and find what our best options are.

    Has anyone got any other ideas or suggestions?

  • Caspar Byron
    Participant

    $240 a year? Wut? XD You only really need to pay Bandcamp if you’re running out of free downloads one month, and there’s a generous amount of free downloads to start off, and they refresh monthly. :)

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    Ah. I was looking at the Label account, since I figured the various artists would like to be added individually. So you’re suggesting just do it as TSU?

  • Caspar Byron
    Participant

    You can use a free Bandcamp account to have several artists, it’s no trouble at all to do that and you don’t need to pay for that. That’s what Pegasia does. :)

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    Bandcamp is definitely back on the menu then.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    @Captain Caspar Byron said:
    You can use a free Bandcamp account to have several artists, it’s no trouble at all to do that and you don’t need to pay for that. That’s what Pegasia does. :)

    I thought so! I tested it with ND and it seemed to work without a hitch. No need for monies. The 240 a year gives you perks like more focused promotion, broader reach, among other things. Purely optional and there really for the bigger labels that come in for the usable turf. (I mentioned this in the very first post before I edited it)

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    So Bandcamp it is. I figure every now and again we can release exclusive specials specifically for the Armory as propaganda tools for soldiers to use freely once purchased (music for custom vids & invasions etc). We don’t have to completely abandon our mother site.

    Now once we agree on a label name we can start throwing around art and image maps for full integration to TSU. And anyone who has an idea or release for our first order of business, please share.

    Examples of what we can do visually with Bandcamp: http://blog.bandcamp.com/2010/03/23/integrating-bandcamp-into-your-existing-site-spoiler-alert-image-maps/

  • I’ve been working on some music to release on the label, and I’m almost at a full album’s length (content-wise). I also have a special “podcast” (I used parenthesis because that’s the closest word for it! Lol) that I’ve already sent (the unfinished version of) to Sgt Dutch. Unfortunately, I’m on my phone at work, so I can not upload it at this time, however tonight when I get home I will upload a snippet for you.  I also have a few projects that I can’t talk about at this time, and a few ideas I’d like to tackle in the future.

     

    Is this enough content for you? Lol

    bliss_gif

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    Lol Excellent content, Dr. Malice! Your full release is a clear choice as debut. There is a new Robot Seven release in the works but will probably be a ways off. However, there are a couple songs on the verge of completion. A compilation would make a welcoming first release, as well.

  • Depending on when the label is up and running, maybe one of the secret songs I’m working on can be included on the compilation album. However, Sgt Dutch would have to have final approval for that, since he knows what songs I’m referring to.

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    Ok here’s an update on my side.

    For the time being, podcasts will remain hosted on TSU. This is because I don’t want to charge people for listening to them. However, I am happy with there being a donation button for the podcast creator, so it’s up to them to create the highest quality material. Having said that, podcast should be submitted to [email protected] as MP3’s.

    NOW! For the music, they’ll go up to Bandcamp as Lucas has said. However they needed to be in a lossless format, so WAV, AIFF, or .FLAC. NO MP3.

    When submitting music the following needs to be sent in a single email to [email protected]

    • Link to google drive/dropbox/filehost where the tracks are saved. Don’t send the tracks through email as there’s a 25mb limit.
    • Albums must include cover art, square, minimum 700×700. Also album description, tags, and credits to other artists if required.
    • Tracks can either have individual cover art, or a default artist cover, again 700×700.
    • Do you want to allow fans to pay more if they want, yes or no.
    • Pricing in GBP, both for the album on a whole and individual tracks. I’ll leave it to those of you who actually make music to determine recommended pricing.
    • Any extra files. In the case of Future Utopia Now, there’s a mission report document and additional images, so anything like that please include in the link or in the email.
    • IF you want the music to be completely free, remember we have 200 free downloads available per month across all the record label. More free downloads are available (for a price, ironically)
    • Payment: All payments for music goes to TSU’s paypal. That will be shared out accordingly to the artists by sales. Include in your email what your paypal address is. If there is no issue, I propose 75/25 split. 75% towards the artist, 25% towards the record label/TSU. This will go towards running costs for Toysoldiersunite.com and everything associated. If you want to give TSU a larger share, that is entirely up to you, but please say so in the emails.
      It should go without saying that Bandcamp will take a cut as well, though I’m not sure how much.

    Everything is negotiable, except what isn’t, but since we’re just setting this all up, let’s stick to basics before we attempt anything fancy.

    Is everyone ok with this?

    Finally, have we decided a name for the label yet, as currently I’m just using Toy Soldiers Unite as a placeholder with bandcamp.

  • Question: The 700×700, I’m assuming that’s in pixels, correct? 

    Also I had a few ideas for the name of the Label:

    ToyChest Records
    The Steel Mill
    World Makeover Records
    March Forth Records
    Robots of Fun Records

    Other than that, yep! We’re good here!

    fest33bliss_giffest33

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    Yes pixels. Not inches, cm, lightyears or falafel.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    Your pixel assumption is correct, Malice.

    And Dutch, most everything there looks concise and correct. Although, couple things to clear up, you only need the Free Download codes if you have a fixed price on a release and want to give it to someone for free OR if you have a hidden/private album you want to share. If you set the release to $0.00 it becomes “pay what you want”, or in other words, completely free if so desired by the downloader. Also IIRC, if you make a sale, Bandcamp’s cut is somewhere around 15% for digital, whereas most other sites take 30%. We can still just do the 75/25% split with whatever is paid to us by Bandcamp after their cut.

     

    My vote for a name is now leaning somewhere in the vicinity of Captain Byron’s suggestion of “TSU Music Labs”, or something to that effect. I think it has the capacity to cover the varying genres, styles, artist backgrounds, ect. while still being obviously connected to TSU.

  • Falafel! lol

    Second, ooooooo! I like the name! That has my vote!

  • Sgt. Dutch
    Participant

    @T.F.U. Lucas Usagi said:
    Your pixel assumption is correct, Malice.

    And Dutch, most everything there looks concise and correct. Although, couple things to clear up, you only need the Free Download codes if you have a fixed price on a release and want to give it to someone for free OR if you have a hidden/private album you want to share. If you set the release to $0.00 it becomes “pay what you want”, or in other words, completely free if so desired by the downloader. Also IIRC, if you make a sale, Bandcamp’s cut is somewhere around 15% for digital, whereas most other sites take 30%. We can still just do the 75/25% split with whatever is paid to us by Bandcamp after their cut.

     

    My vote for a name is now leaning somewhere in the vicinity of Captain Byron’s suggestion of “TSU Music Labs”, or something to that effect. I think it has the capacity to cover the varying genres, styles, artist backgrounds, ect. while still being obviously connected to TSU.

    Well that’s handy. I’ll have a look at uploading the podcasts then.

  • T.F.U. Lucas Usagi
    Participant

    If we include podcasts maybe we should call the label “TSU Audio Labs”…

  • Speaking of Podcasts, here’s the clip I promised:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7WOWZJuagI_QlpVcHg5V0YxdjQ

    It’s just a taste of what’s to come!

    bliss_gifbliss_gifbliss_gifbliss_gifbliss_gif

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