The perfect toolbox for music artists
What tools should you use to develop your career and to become more professional?
There are tons of tools available to help you develop your career and your network. What are the good ones? How much do they cost? We will try to offer you the ideal toolbox for you, focusing on free, inexpensive, or freemium tools (free up to a certain limit). Here we go!
- 🎼 Composition
- 🤝 Collaboration
- 🎧 Mastering
- 🎨 Graphic design & visuals
- 📩 Share your music with pros, media, and your community
- 🚀 Synchronization, A&R, and Productivity
- 👌 Management 2.0
- 🎸 Gigs - Concerts
- 💿 Distribution
- 🔊 Promotion
- 🧮 Analytics & Tracking – A&R
- 💵 Get my copyright on streaming
- 🔎 Tracking (aka mega Shazam)
- 🔗 Fanlinks
Let’s start with the beginning. Who doesn’t know about Splice, the sample/loop resource platform on subscription? They simply nailed the game by offering a $7.99/month service that allows you to access millions of loops.
There is also Tracklib which offers you to use samples of «real artists» to incorporate them in your tracks.
Still on the sampling side, the new online application (for a fee) lalal.ai now allows you to separate the different tracks of a song. The dream of many producers… But be careful, that doesn’t mean they’re free of rights.
No need to mention the reknowned composition softwares: Ableton, Cubase and ProTools…
Looking for a super topliner, or a crazy good guitarist? Soundbetter allows you to find many performers or to offer your services to other artists. All prices are freely decided so you can find anything you’re looking for from cheap beginners to very expensive professionnals. FYI, Soundbetter was bought by Spotify a few years ago.
As a shared audio cloud, Bridge.audio can ease collaboration between band members or musicians. To create remotely, simply drag and drop the stems of your new composition from your DAW to the cloud. Your team members can now stream and/or download them, continue the composition, add more tracks, make an edit or a remix… The possibilities are endless. You can even replace the files with more recent versions to keep the workspace clear for everyone. Important tip: naming your stems correctly (instrument, BPM…) makes collaboration way easier ;)
Landr is a pioneer in “automated” online mastering. We weren’t very convinced by the service at its launch, but it seems that it has greatly improved today (your feedback is welcome). Do not hesitate to ask real engineers for bits of advice on mastering. Globe Audio mastering is a great option.
🎨 Graphic design & visuals
Although criticized by design and communication professionals, CANVA presents today a serious alternative to «pro» software such as Adobe Photoshop. CANVA is a free, minimalist, and easy-to-use interface.
If you want to go further, we suggest Figma, a basic tool intended for graphical user interfaces (websites in particular) but which is also extremely powerful for graphics or AD. It allows you to work with several team members simultaneously.
To quickly create a website, a portfolio or a neat artist landing page (and without needing knowledge in code), there is nothing like Readymag. Intuitive and yet very thorough, this freemium application can give a significant boost to your self-branding.
You probably also know WebFlow for site creation in no-code mode. For our geeky audience, we even recommend Notion to make presentations. Especially as you can embed Bridge.audio links on it!
📩 Share your music with pros, media, and your community
3 solutions: Freemium: Bridge.audio (us) allows you to create Press kits, Showreels, Album presentations, etc. by simply uploading your files. Thanks to the notification feature, you will know who has listened to your music (which tracks are streamed or downloaded), and whether it is a label, a journalist, an influencer…
Paid: A platform like Groover allows you to connect with different professionals (label, media, others) at the rate of 2 euros per submission and per professional. They were inspired by the pioneer in this field: Submithub which has a rather similar functioning (and which they have now surpassed).
Don’t hesitate to also make a detour to PlaylistPush, a tool that will connect you with playlist curators that share your music universe.
As for sharing music with your very own fanbase, you need to check out Club. It allows you to create a private space for your listeners. Think of Club as your own personal exclusive Spotify! Club is an app where you get to share your music and your work with your most dedicated listeners for a monthly fee. Through Club, you get to build and nurture an amazing community of people, share your music, and build a steady stream of income. With the Bridge x Club partnership, you get a $100 bonus when you join Club. Reach out to Iriza, the Creator Partnerships Manager at Club, to learn more and get started!
🚀 Synchronization, A&R, and Productivity
Besides the promotional aspect, Bridge.audio is thought of as the meeting point between a storage space (Dropbox type) and a player (Soundcloud type) with the simplicity of a WeTransfer (a simple drag and drop allows you to share your files). All this in an intuitive and minimalist interface that allows you - icing on the cake - to be notified every time a contact accesses your links.
Being more than just a secured storage space, Bridge lets you present your work in your custom way: Press Kit, Showreel, Presentation of original music, Synchro, podcasts, etc. The sky is the limit. In other words, Bridge saves you time and unlocks new opportunities. It is free up to 50 tracks. Then Pro subscriptions start at 5€/month.
👌 Management 2.0
You are looking for an entourage, an advisor, or some help to become more professional? Soundbirth is made for you. SoundBirth offers many services including distribution, marketing, and promotion tools through a very well-designed App!
🎸 Gigs - Concerts
Are you looking for concerts? Do not hesitate to register on Linkaband which is today the reference tool for individuals (weddings, birthdays…) and professionals (hotels, companies…) to find DJs, groups, and musicians to animate their events. For your information, Linkaband manages your remuneration and ensures a 100% legal framework: which means declared and guaranteed income! First started in France, the app intends to spread all around Europe very shortly.
More than just a distribution platform, Wiseband allows you to work with a human-sized team. As TRINIX (Electro Chill playlist – 2.6M Monthly Listeners) puts it, “Wiseband is arguably the most comprehensive and humane distribution platform on the market, with fast and professional services!” Feel free to check their rates for more information, (they also have a free offer!).
For more established artists and labels, you can also look at Alter-K Distribution. A company that also offers publishing and synchronization services.
How to give a better reach to your music? The French startup Base For Music has created a very powerful platform to help you reach new listeners, generate engagement, and grow your fanbase. It’s easy, simply promote your music with effective ad formats to reach new listeners, engage new audiences with their technology, and grow your fanbase.
🧮 Analytics & Tracking – A&R
As pro and therefore paid-for tools, analytics/tracking solutions allow you to compare and see the cross-statistics of each Artist. It can be the profiles on the DSP (Digital Streaming Platforms), profiles on social networks, or the various performance indicators (Fans, Radio Passage, Playlists and others). These are comprehensive tools to analyze your own statistics in one place, but also those of your “competitors”. We have personally tested Soundcharts which we recommend. The other players in the market are called ChartMetric and Viberate…
💵 Get my copyright on streaming
In France, as a member of SACEM, in theory, you recover your rights automatically. If you are not a member of SACEM, you can easily create an account on Bridger, which will recover your rights for you (they take 10% commission). The service is very simple and well thought out. You can register in a few clicks.
🔎 Tracking (aka mega Shazam)
Your music is used on a campaign or on the radio? How do you follow these broadcasts, and make sure to collect your rights? Don’t panic, you can track all the usage of your music using dedicated tools. B-Mat is today a leader in the field. TuneSat is also a very good option.
For the uninitiated, a Fanlink is a global link that groups all the links to each streaming platform (for example Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music) and automatically redirects to the chosen platform. Many platforms allow you to create fanlinks, Wiseband and ToneDen, for example, take care of generating a fanlink with each distribution, and this, 100% free.
To go further in professionalization and because it is now important to create a relationship with your community, we recommend two platforms that will allow you to personalize your fanlinks and analyze the path of your fans: Linkfire: Used mainly by majors, it is an all-in-one must-have.
Feature.fm: Mostly used by independent labels, it stands out thanks to its different design and specific features. Solo.to: if you find that organic links are always the same, not optimized, and cruelly ugly, solo.to will change your mind!
Now you have all the tools you need (and for all budgets) to get started! Thank you for reading us and good luck :)