Table of Contents
This is a list of essential tools every musician, composer and music producer should have in mind.
The importance of having good tools in your working environment as a musician does not only make your work more efficient and effective, but it also results in better inspiration as the creative process gets more natural.
Apart from music productivity tools, we have gathered the best services and platforms for the contemporary musicians – services around distribution, promotion, publishing, practising – all in one place.
The list will be updated on a regular basis so make sure you subscribe to our composer newsletter to get all new additions (you will find the link at the end of this post.)
Who doesn’t want to work faster? Our team has gathered the best tools to get your music creation process much more effective so let’s get straight to the list!
This tool will help you add an audio watermark to your audio files in minutes. Just drop as many audio files or folders as you need to the software, choose the watermarking file and get your tracks watermarked with a click of a button.
You can either use one of the ready-made presets or create your custom audio watermarking settings.
We all use the latest music editing software, but who could possibly say no to a really good and free audio editing software that can be installed in minutes and run on any system (including your old pc in your summer house?)
We love it! The #1 free tool to create amazing covers for your albums, thumbnails for your videos and anything you need design wise.
An easy-to-use free tool to optimize your images.
Use Dochub if you are looking to easily sign or edit PDF documents. The web app works online so you just need to upload your PDF, make the required edits and download the edited version of your document instantly.
This service will help you organize your track tags – especially if you are involved with stock music libraries where tagging is one of the most crucial factors for track sales.
The website comes with ready-made categories and tags based on music style, music moods and music instruments but you can always create your personal tag presets for faster and more accurate music tagging and keyword placing.
If you need to add noise frequencies to your music, save time with this tool. You can easily create white and red noises and play around with the different rates. Can be very useful for composers producing meditation and therapeutic music tracks.
As a musician you may need image and footage resources for several reasons. We got you covered!
Pixabay – Free Images
Unsplash – Free Images
Freepik – Free Images, Vectors & Icons
unDraw – Free Illustrations
Coverr.co – Free Footage
Pexels – Free Stock Videos
Creative Commons Search – Free Video Archives
The Creative Commons archive has millions of free images and videos from various sources so if you are looking for free databases of old videos that you can use in your productions, we highly recommend having a look at the CC Search archive first.
There you can find free video archives from the World War, various museum footage, free NASA videos, footage from the New York public library and a lot more.
Here is a list of important tools that can increase your monthly income as a musician.
With Identifyy (HAAWK) you can register your tracks with the YouTube content ID system.
This means that each time a YouTube video creator is using your music in his video, they get a copyright claim notice meaning that they are allowed to use your music in their video but they can not monetize the video. An advert starts playing over the videos that use your content ID registered tracks and you get royalties from those ads.
Identifyy keeps 30% of this ad generated income and you as a composer / band get the 70%. You can always decide to remove a copyright claim from a specific video or even whitelist a YouTube channel and exclude it from getting copyright claims for your music.
With VIMEO PRO you can easily set up your Video on Demand (VOD) service and sell your music or concert videos directly to your fans.
Vimeo PRO will give you all tools to upload, set prices and sell your live show videos to your followers.
You can also set up video rentals where people can buy access to your video concerts for a day or a week without being able to download the digital files.
Patreon lets musicians create subscription based channels, set up their prices and rewards and build a monthly income by offering specific perks to their supporters.
Accept donations with zero commissions, offer subscriptions in exchange for various perks and rewards for your supporters. The Buy me a Coffee button is a nice way to ask support directly from your fans!
Stock Music Libraries
A great source of income for composers and bands. By joining a stock music library you are making your music available for sync licensing directly to YouTubers, Film Directors, TV and Radio stations and Podcasters.
Libraries to submit your music to:
Your new album is ready! You now need to get your music to all available outlets for listening / streaming, download, licensing and more.
Depending on the style of your new album or single you may need to opt in to special platforms apart from Spotify, iTunes, TIDAL, Deezer, Google Music, and Apple music.
For example, if you are producing Deep House tracks or EDM, you might be interested in having your tracks available for download in Beatport or Traxsource.
So here are our recommendations regarding music distribution platforms.
Distrokid offers an amazing subscription based music distribution service. Starting at 19.99USD per year you can upload unlimited albums to all major music platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and many more) and also opt in to niche platforms such as Beatport.
The lower price tier of 19.99 per year has some restrictions but you can always upgrade to the label plans and have all tools available to use.
If you decide to open a Distrokid account, you may use this link to save an extra 7% on your yearly subscription cost.
Symphonic is more than a music distribution service. It offers label services without being a label itself. If you get accepted by Symphonic, you get digital and physical music distribution, music monetization, YouTube channel management, music publishing and many more.
With Gumroad you can sell your music files directly to your fans. Just upload your MP3’s, set your price and get your eshop ready for sales in minutes.
This service is indirectly related to music distribution as many bands decide to release cover songs. In order to distribute a cover song through any distribution platform you need to obtain the required license from the music publisher.
Easy Song Licensing makes it easy to get all licenses in order to legally use an existing song or music composition, create your own cover version and upload it for sale / streaming.
Promoting your music
Your music has to be heard and thanks to the following tools you can make connections and put your music in front of the right people.
Submit Hub is the place to pitch your music to various people actively involved in the global music industry. This means that you can get access to music bloggers, journalists, playlist curators and influencers.
You can select whom to submit your new track or album to – you get access to an extensive list of music curators right at the beginning of the submission process.
It still baffles us that there is quite a large number of bands who do not use the Spotify for Artists service. If you want to get playlisted this is the right tool to pitch your music directly to Spotify playlist curators.
Having your tracks selected by Spotify and placed on playlists can bring thousands or even millions of streams (meaning at the same time money in your pocket as Spotify pays around 0.004$ per stream).
There are several services online, advertising that they will place your music to playlists … According to Spotify, there is no legitimate service that can bring your album to Spotify playlists other than the Spotify for Artists tool.
There is an average of 20% of pitched tracks that end up being placed on a Spotify playlist which means that chances to get playlisted are high and you don’t want to miss that chance.
A lot of buzz around the NFT art so we decided to give some space to this subject in our post.
Rocki app seems to have a traction on music NFT’s and can actually bring in some NFT sales. In order to create your music NFT’s you need to use both BNB (Binance coin) and USDT but overall the gas required to mint your NFT’s is relatively small.
The main advantage Rocki has is that you can actually hope to sell NFT’s without advertising or having a fanbase (at least this is what our experience taught us while testing various NFT services.)
Opensea is considered to be the king of NFT marketplaces. Much larger than Rocki and also not focused only on music NFT’s as Rocki is. You can create your music NFT’s without paying the gas fee each time (there is small starting gas fee to mint your first Opensea NFT after which you can create unlimited NFT’s for free).
Creating music NFT’s on Opensea and not doing anything to market / advertise them to your own audience is most probably going to result in no sales – making Opensea an NFT a platform for relatively bigger bands and artists that have their own fanbase.
The art and music NFT world is rapidly changing so we will keep a close eye on all latest developments on the subject and will update the post accordingly.
Getting a Website
You may have been advised that you do not need a website as a musician as most of the fun happens on social platforms and streaming or music download websites.
But is having a website as a musician a bad thing? Absolutely not!
Here is a list of the services you will need if you decide to create a website as a musician.
You will find ready-made website templates to easily build your website as an artist. The overall design, the layouts and the customization options will make your website creating process pure fun.
Having a website gives you the opportunity to build a loyal fanbase. And having subscribers to your artist email newsletter can make a big difference on your live shows, album sales and streams.
Sendfox makes things easier than ever as you can set up your account in minutes and get a high converting newsletter signup form instantly.
This free tool will help you have a full appointment booking service on your website. Partners and clients can book a meeting with you directly from your website.
Use this free service to activate live support / chat on your official website.
The live support option creates confidence in the visitors and may lead to more contact requests as your website visitors can easily leave a message on your Live Support tool.
For example, if you release a new album and you accept online orders through your eshop, people can easily ask quick questions related to the album purchase process (i.e “when will I receive my order?” “how can I pay to download the albums?” “I paid but never got a confirmation email for my purchase”)
While on tour
Being on tour as a musician is an amazing experience. But touring can be even better with the right tools in your luggage!
If you are a coffee lover this espresso travel machine will make your day. You can even carry it inside your guitar bag as it weighs just 360 grams.
– An espresso machine? Seriously now?
– Yes 🙂
The smallest foldable guitar available on the market. This guitar has a great sound and is one of the new entries in the traveller guitar industry. You can carry it on the plane without having to book an extra seat. You can practise while on the go as the instrument works on silent mode as well.
Get access to world class musicians such as Timbaland, Cristina Aguilera, Hans Zimmer and Herbie Hancock. More than 10 music stars offer their masterclasses through the platform.
All you need to know about music publishing, music rights management, collective rights societies and all latest developments in the music industry.
Practise makes perfect
By far the best play-along iPhone app on the market. Choose between thousands of tracks, modes, polyrhythms, grooves and velocities and get that “on stage” feeling while practising at home.
Advanced ear training app for iOS and Android. Using the call & response model, you will find yourself in a virtual chat with Dr Bop who will give you his feedback and tailor the game to match your level. Highly recommended to improve your music ability and train your ear.
This post will continuously be updated so if you want to keep up with the latest tools, subscribe to the composer newsletter below. If you have developed a really useful tool for musicians, you may want to reach out and we will be happy to take a look!