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Two Radio Submission Pet-Peeves (Mistakes Indie Artists Make)

Two Radio Submission Pet-Peeves (Mistakes Indie Artists Make) 
A guest post by The Dutch Guy

Back in the day, when I started out as a baby radio DJ, artists would send me their brand spanking new music on promo CDs or even white label vinyl, remember those?!

These days it’s all done online. It’s easier to just email an EPK, accompanied with the latest single, EP or album to a radio station, radio show or independent music promoters like myself. But sadly enough, with easiness comes laziness and artists stop thinking things through:

Low Quality MP3s

Great! You’ve just finished recording your awesome new album or EP, picked a single and it’s time to get your ear candy out there, to the masses. And there’s no better way than getting it played on the radio, right?!

So here you are, grabbing your highly paid mastered WAV file, converting it into a 128 or 160 kbps MP3, sending it off with an impressive EPK to radio stations. Finally, you can kick back and relax, it’s just a matter of time before you can hear yourself on the radio, every artist or band’s wet dream!

Wrong! ‘Cause the file you’ve just sent, is like licking a passed down lollipop!

The thing you should know about radio stations, they have a certain broadcast quality to maintain. The audio isn’t allowed to lose the high audio frequencies required for realistic sound reproduction. In other words, your audio must not suck! You won’t listen to a radio station with poor, telephone-ish audio either, right?

Converting your mastered WAV file into 128 or 160 MP3 will cost you your audio quality. It will get so compressed, the full audio sound you’ve paid for at the recording studio will be cut in at least half. And if you’re doing it because of the file size, so emailing it to radio shows or stations becomes easier, don’t! Most only accept WAV files, or if you get real lucky, the highest MP3 quality (320 kbps).

And if you’re still not convinced yet, grab some kid’s lollipop and start licking! Doesn’t taste as good without that full candy flavour, does it…

Dirty Versions

Now I’m not gonna discuss artistic freedom (of speech) here, or the fact some artists throw in profanity just because they feel they can. Personally, I don’t give a doo-doo!

But picture this: you’ve invested a lot of time & money by recording your next hit single and getting it mastered by a professional. It does contains profanity, but hey, ‘this track is the sh*t yo!’ And getting radio airplay would be the bomb, right?!

Wrong! While it’s allowed in some countries to use profanity on radio or TV, like The Netherlands, in most countries it isn’t! If you’re, for example, from the US or UK, you should already know that. So why do you keep sending radio stations your dirty version, while you know it will never ride the airwaves? And radio stations won’t edit a clean version for you, how dope your track might be!

In the end, you’re not only wasting your own time but also of the music director. And trust me, when you do send them a clean version next time around, they probably won’t listen to it because they think it’s contains profanity, just like last time.

So, next time you’re recording a track including profanity, cut a clean version as well. ‘Cause you are creating music to be heard by as many people possible, right? And as bonus tip, why don’t you do the same for your music video…

What do you think?

Am I too picky when it comes down to sound and lyrics, is it really between my ears? Or do you really want to ride the airwaves by making music candy for everyone’s ears? Let me know on Twitter, @DutchGuyOnAir

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The Dutch Guy is a 20+ year (inter)national radio veteran, who founded his blog to give independent musicians a chance to get discovered by featuring music videos and Q&As at least three times a week. While developing a weekly Youtube show to take his independent music promotion to the next level (launching in 2014), the ‘Pet-Peeves’ articles are based on his personalexperiences within the industry.


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