Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dreams Really Do Come True!!!!

Here is a picture of the house that Shirl and I just bought in Incline Village, Nevada!

So much has happened over the past year with Shirl and I and everything that we are doing with the studio and with the record label.  We have been holding off on signing new artists as we are still in the development stage of our label merger.  One thing that we have been moving forward with is the buying of real estate and bringing about of our dreams!!  We have no plans of quitting anytime soon. It would actually take an act of God for us to EVER give up on our dreams and our plans for a future for ourselves and our babies...

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Who is Progressive Edge Records anyway?



Have you ever been searching for a reputable record label that would be willing to listen to your music and give you a fair shake?  Do you feel more comfortable around people that you look up to or people you look down on?

So often, people try and project their own fears and mistrust on others and then they become quite sketchy while they are in the process of trying to enlist the help of others.  It can be comical at times to watch artists that approach our label, with pee running down their leg cause they are so excited to be speaking with an actual record producer.  

There have also been individuals who after researching our company or our staff, have asked us to help them with a project of one type or another.  These are not always album projects as you might assume, but some of them are fund-raising projects for other studios or music groups.

Russ Berger Design Group

A man from Chicago named Dwayne Sturge recently contacted me regarding his dream of building a recording studio the size of a shopping mall, approx. 88,000 square feet and he needed a ballpark amount of 50-Million Dollars. He had already done some of his homework and I was very impressed with his knowledge of new recording equipment, all high-end stuff like Avid and so on...  

Now as most of you already know, my wife Shirl and I are financially blessed beyond belief (by God) and we lack for nothing, but often times when we are helping others financially or expanding part of our operation, we will run a fund-raising campaign to bring in some cash flow because we do not want to pay for everything ourselves.  We are used to the Vultures that are out there that would seek to capitalize on our good fortune, but that is something that is just NOT going to happen.

 The Vultures that Follow Shirl and I Around.

So I spoke with Dwayne Sturge from Chicago for several hours on the phone and I really enjoyed our time talking, as he seemed really sweet and like I said, very knowledgeable about all this high-end equipment and technology being used in state-of-the-art facilities like our very own recording studios here at Progressive Edge Records.  

I got super-busy for a couple of days as my wife and I are scheduled to begin 2 new projects and I hadn't had a chance to talk to this man and I guess he got bored or something, but he began to speak to one of his industry contacts named Karen "Kiki" Plesha about our record label.  You can tell by her response the type of questions he was asking and this person proceeded to tell him that we didn't look like we had what it would take to give him the 50-Million Dollars.  

First of all, I never told Mr. Sturge from All In One Soundz Studios in Chicago that I would give him 50-Million Dollars. I told him that I would Help him find Investors (something that I am very good at).  Second, why is this man that I AM TRYING TO HELP asking some asshole about MY company?  This person has absolutely no idea who we are and what we do, but after they find this blog, they will all understand what just happened.

Below is Kiki Plesha's response to the man in Chicago, about our company:

FROM:   Kiki Plesha 
<kplesha@ionindiemagazine.com>

I'm sorry, Dwayne, but I just don't see it. I suspect this person is either leading you on, or scamming you.

Progressive Edge Records just doesn't appear to have the sort of capital that you would require. They have only 214 likes on Facebook and a very poorly constructed web site. If they had all that money, they would
present a better image. And they certainly would not be building their web site for free through Wix.

They also don't have a single artist on their label that are making any strides in the industry.

It takes more than a vision to get an investor to bankroll something of the size of the business you are looking to build. For someone of substance to invest the sort of money that this project would require, they would need to see a track record of successful businesses. No one hands over that sort of money without some security in the investment.

Please don't be taken in by this. I guarantee you... this is simply not true. Sorry! But I see this for what it is.



Can you believe that load of shit?  I'm sorry, but I am appalled by all of this.  I am Robbi fricken Spencer here  and my wife and I are worth more than these neckless goobers will ever know and maybe that is a good thing. At least it keeps the weazels out of the woodpile.  Progressive Edge Records NEVER offered this man any money, so why would he go and ask some circus cock swallower to evaluate our company?  that is just really creepy!  Our Label is posturing ourselves for a Future Merger and we have no plans of buying up any defunked labels or studios that have nothing to offer us in any way...

Our website is not built from Wix...  It is built by a team of professional web designers.  lol  Oh my God people, you have really got to watch out for people like this. First they will ask you for money, then they will go do research on you and see if they can dig up some dirt on you.  Why don't they do their research first and then go fuck themselves in the ass with a double-ender?  I was so impressed with their 2-cents, that I felt obligated to reciprocate and give them back 2-cents on their donate page!!


Well, I did some research on the Dwayne Sturge from Chicago and the person that he consulted with (Karen Kiki Plesha from IonIndieMagazine.com) and I can tell you that THEY are the scam artists!  Am I wrong for loving people and trying to give everyone the benefit of the doubt?  Maybe, I just do know....  One thing that I do know is that the man in Chicago will NEVER see his dream come to pass.  There is no way in hell that he will ever get the 50-Million Dollars to building his dream studio/compound....  

Meanwhile, my wife and I are buying a home in Las Vegas that costs approx. 3-Million Dollars and WE ARE PAYING CASH FOR IT!!!!   Now that is what I call "seeing it for what it is".  Check out the NEW Edge Label Office below:


What these BLOWHOLES failed to realize is that our parent company is called "Secret Enterprise" and we have been listed in Dun & Bradstreet, Forbes and Fortune-500, so this Kiki Plesha person really stuck her foot in her own ass on this one.  I really hope that Dwayne Sturge learns something from all this and that Kiki sticks to what she is really good at, which is obviously NOT industry research!!  lol

THE BOTTOM LINE IS BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU ARE APPROACHED BY SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW! THEY CAN TURN AGAINST YOU.

Sincerely,
The Robman



Just in Case You Would Rather Listen to the Blog instead of Reading it....
 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Become a Music Producer


Become a Music Producer

Career Description

Music Producers write, arrange, produce, and record songs, whether they’re shaping the sound of another Artist’s album or creating beats or songs for their own projects. With the growth of home recording technology and boutique recording studios, many Producers find themselves pulling double or triple duty as Studio Owners and Sound Engineers, as does the Rattle Room’s Jaron Luksa. He says, “I am responsible for every aspect of my business and it’s definitely not all rock ‘n’ roll glory. A typical day for me starts with checking my Producer notes, prepping the studio and checking gear functionality. If something is broken, I’d rather have a fix or workaround figured out before anyone is in the space. Once the client shows up, I want my attention 100% on the Artist and the music creation process. Nothing else comes first. I usually work for about 10-12 hours with lots of ear and mental breaks worked in throughout the day. While on a break, I am usually attending to phone calls, emails, texts, social media and even accounting. There is a lot of work that goes into being a Producer outside of the studio such as attending rehearsals, meetings, writing sessions, and going out to shows. Social media has given me the ability to connect with more Artists then ever, but in-person interaction will never be replaced. Half of producing is the music, the rest is sales…and I am the product I push.”

Music Producers work with Recording Artists, Recording Engineers, Session Singers and Session Musicians, among others.


Advancement

Production is an extremely competitive field, and advancement comes as a Producer builds and diversifies his or her skill set or works with more prestigious Artists. Luksa puts it this way. “Lots of little kids dream of being star athletes, but they’re more likely to win the lottery. The music industry has a similar statistical likelihood for Artists and all us production folks trying to reach the top. I think Producers need to be realistic about the current and evolving state of the music industry. The game has changed and you have to be more than just a Producer nowadays. So many of my peers not only produce, but play on records, write, engineer, DJ, program tracks or function as Artists themselves to pay the bills. You have to ask yourself the question, “what kind of records do I want to produce?” because you need to be in love with the work. There is no guaranteed financial success. Competition is crazier then ever and the current demand for free content doesn’t help. You need to pick this line of work because you refuse to do anything else.  It’s a hustle, and you are constantly looking for the next gig, even while working on a current project.“

Education & Training

“Yes, formal music education is a must (know the rules before you break ’em),” Luksa says. “This industry runs at lightning speed as far as technology goes, so learn the basics from trade schools, or music schools with recording arts/music engineering and production programs.  As you learn to use new gear or software, you can use that formal education as a platform to grow on. Next, apprentice with someone who is respected in the part of the industry you want to work in. You need to follow production trends and methods. Which, btw pretty much involves eating cereal and watching a stupid amount of YouTube videos on “how to” in pajamas.”

Get into school for this career.

Use our Music School Finder to get connected with the perfect school. It's quick and free.


See our list of Music Production Schools

Experience & Skills

When it comes to necessary experience and skills, Luksa says, “there is no right path or specific skill set that will make you a great Producer. Some folks will get into producing by way of helping a friend record while playing/writing on said record, others will just be crushing tracks out of their bedroom and word gets around, while others might come to produce because they are engineering and start helping bands get through the tracking process. There is no one single magic solution to launching your career as a Producer. Play off your strengths and fake the rest!”

The two things that are essential are passion and a diverse skill set. He says, “As a Producer, I contribute with engineering, playing, writing, arranging and creative guru skills. I approach listening to songs, bands and Artists from a fan’s perspective. I aurally digest music CONSTANTLY. If a great track comes on, I get a rush of dopamine from my brain. I truly am a music junkie. That being said, I think it comes down to my tastes and how I am able to listen to music like a multi track machine, focusing in on each element at will. I can objectively give feedback to the Artist, regardless of what I would do or my musical influences. I try and produce according to that project’s genre and most importantly who the Artist is artistically and how I think fans might react.

Personality

So what kind of person would be successful as a Producer? Luksa says the ideal candidate is “organized, assertive, artistic and a great communicator. Someone who can lead the pack and rule with love, even when getting evil with some Norwegian death metal band. In the studio or rehearsals, Artists look to you for answers, so you need to be thick skinned and even-keeled. Artists bring enough drama, insecurity and emotion into the sessions, no need to add your baggage, so keep your BS and ego at home.“

Lifestyle

Working as a Producer can be time-consuming, with late hours, long days in the studio, and a constant scramble to get paid work—at least when getting started. Luksa advises, “When you first start, take any gig you can at the drop of a hat. Date with the significant other planned? Guess what, canceled. Going snowboarding with friends…nope taking the call. It will suck at first, but the real people who support your dream will understand and love you regardless. Let other Producers [be the ones] being flakes or screwing up, [this can] be a good opportunity to prove yourself. If you become dependable, clients will start calling you first. Half the battle is just being the individual to get the job done in a timely manner. After a few years, you can start booking yourself some normal hours. I try to work from 10am – 10pm and take the weekends off, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The associated stress isn’t for the faint of heart, but it does have great perks. Working in the music industry immerses you in an environment of art and culture, allows traveling or vacationing whenever and however much you want. I always have backstage access and attend lots of fun events by invite. Ultimately this environment will change and shape your future, and if you are any good, you will affect the musical environment around you.”

Employment

So how does an aspiring Producer land that first gig? Obviously it isn’t as straightforward as submitting an application or a resume. It’s about taking advantage of networking and learning opportunities. Luksa says, “A few years back while I was still in school, Butch Vig was quietly standing backstage at Avalon in Boston (he had performed with Garbage). I was working production but snuck over and kindly asked this same question you posed here. Butch told me that he and some friends got a place and gear to track some punk bands and make records. The rule was that bands supplied beer as payment. It worked because a lot of bands showed up.”

Luksa started gaining experience early on. He says, “I attended Berklee’s Music Production and Engineering program, interned with a bunch of Live Sound Engineers and was offered a job mixing monitors for a Live Nation venue in Boston (Axis). I think [for] my 10th show, I ended up mixing monitors for a Bon Jovi acoustic show/live radio broadcast. . . .My interaction with the band and Jon was professional and I didn’t screw up. After the show I realized, ‘I know what I am doing…I can hang!’ For the next 6 years, I was mixing live and interacting with all these bands on a nightly basis.  After the shows I mixed, I would approach the best local bands opening for the national headliners and ask them to take me into the studio to make records (I told you… it’s a hustle and I figured out my angle). I became part of a scene and networked my ass off to find clients who would pay me to go into the studio with them. I guess that’s how I broke in…? That was a good 12 years ago….Fast forward, I have toured around the world as a Live Sound Engineer and Tour Manager for some amazing Artists and built a studio, The Rattle Room, where I produce and engineer all kinds of music. Oh, and I still cruise on a tour bus and do the Rock Star thing once in a while.”

Earnings

Luksa says, “I’d say starting salary is hard to nail down….In bigger cities and music industry hotspots, the money is a little better for a per track rate…but the more you work and the more “at bats” you get, the more likely you are to have a record “make it” and end up with more business. When looking at ways you can earn money as a Producer, take my advice and get paid up front! Create a simple “Producer’s Agreement” with a Lawyer that you can edit and use over and over. (It’ll be the best $500 you ever spent.) Don’t waste time with points and backend troubles, you won’t see that cash anyway. If you help write songs or hooks, figure out your writers and/or publishing split for that song and confirm it via email with other Writers until a formal split sheet is created and signed. That is the backend you should be concerned with.”

Unions, Groups, Social Media, and Associations

Producers aren’t unionized, but networking and community are vital for success. Luksa advices fledgling Producers to “register with a PRO [Publishing Rights Organization] so you are prepared for writing and publishing royalty collection. Go out to shows and become part of your local scene, make friends and create contacts with Session Musicians, other Engineers and Producers.  Keep that part grassroots.”
Online, he says, “there are so many resources out there, it just depends on the music and scene you want to be a part of. Stick to where your clients might hang their interactive selves or follow other Record Producers or Engineers you respect. Always follow trends within your project’s marketing demographic via Billboard or other reporting. You don’t have to buy those records, but give them a listen. I really dig Sound On Sound, Tape Op, Mix Magazine, and Gear Slutz forums (especially when I have software or hardware questions).”

Getting Started

  • “Find an Artist and start, even if you have to do it for free. Trial by fire is the best way to get your hands dirty. You will learn more from your mistakes than your successes. This applies to not only creating the music, but the business aspect as well.”
- Gem Questions -

What is the single biggest suggestion you would give to someone wanting to get into this career?

“Be yourself and go with your gut. This is art. It should be fun, inspiring and just fly by the seat of your pants crazy. Go make real music!!! If it catches on like Amy Winehouse, Black Keys, Jack White, Adele, Liam Bailey, etc., then you actually served a purpose in producing real art and we need more of that. Back in the day, we had music industry gurus that decided what was good music and what people should listen to on the radio. Unfortunately those folks have all left this earth or stopped making records. Even worse, they have been replaced by marketing and accounting personnel.”

What’s the #1 mistake people make when trying to get into this career?

“We don’t need more Producers making tracks for pop bands. The sounds have become so uniform, I can’t even hear a voice or any resemblance of artistry on the track. . . to be honest, I can’t even distinguish who it is sometimes. If your plan is to make “hits,” realize that you are making the Coca Cola of music. It has to appeal to the largest audience possible and ends up pretty bland. That’s not to say that there isn’t good pop music, but the pop market is so over-saturated. No one buys that music anyhow and the record companies have had to shift how they make money. The big record companies serve the purpose of content creation for commercial applications, selling movies, soda, cars, and other products. It’s just not my bag because I care about the music more than the money. I’m not trying to put down the folks who do this work, I just want to inspire more people to produce out of love, not for the bling.”

What is the question people should ask about this career but rarely do?

“’What is the biggest personal reward in producing?’ Seeing or hearing your name mentioned in association with a record you believed in and loved makes it all worthwhile. Everyone who works a “normal” job and receives a paycheck every week also craves recognition for a job well done. We are human and full of emotional needs, regardless of the situation.”

What is one thing I should have asked which I didn’t?

“Who is my favorite Producer or who do I look up to? Rick Rubin. The dude is a big weirdo, but he launched a hip-hop scene, produced true gems like Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, created a record label that supported huge acts like Slayer and System Of A Down, revived careers of bands like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath and Metallica. I feel he is one of the last Producer/label/A&R people that can create with a sense of artistic integrity and still achieve commercial success.”

If you could describe in one word what makes you successful, what would it be?

“Determination.”


Jaron Luksa
Jaron Luksa is a Music Producer and Sound Engineer who owns the Rattle Room, a private professional recording studio in Burbank, CA. His recent studio engineering and producing credits include The Gitas, John Legend, Fifth Harmony, Foster The People, Andra Day, Zoe Boekbinder, Amanda Palmer and Dustin Boden and the Grownup Noise. He has also provided live sound and/or toured with The Dresden Dolls (Monitor or FOH Engineer and Tour Manager), Angelique Kidjo (Monitor Engineer), Secret Machines (Tour Manager and FOH), Amanda Palmer (Tour Manager and Monitor Engineer), Zoe Keating (FOH Engineer), Margaret Cho (Tour Manager), Collective Soul (FOH or Monitor Engineer), Connor Oberst (Monitor Engineer), Dawes (Monitor Engineer) and Alabama Shakes (Monitor Engineer).

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dream a Little Dream for Me!

Sierra Tahoe Vacation Rentals

I am very excited that with our upcoming merger, that Shirl and I will be able to spend more of our time relaxing and less time working as a slave to the record label and to SE Studios.  No one forces us to do what we do, but as long as we are at the studio we are going to work as non-stop as we can.  That is how we got to the place where we have so much to offer our investors.  Some of our investors use the studio to produce their projects, while others have never stepped foot in the studio.  We are very thankful for all of our investors and family of clients and friends that make SE such an amazing place to work.  Be sure to check out Sierra Tahoe Vacation Rentals if you and your family are looking to get away for the weekend or week.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Perfect Gift!


Hello my wonderful friends, family and stalkers!!  It has been quite a year here at SE Studios for the serious music artists who wish to change the future of music as we know it.  Besides my wife Shirl Spencer, one of the Progressive Edge Records artists that I am most proud of is Michael Wooding!  Mike and I just finished another Christmas album together called "The Perfect Gift" and I can assure you that this album is amazing and will make a great gift for anyone you truly care about. The music played by Michael and myself is just stunning. Everything is top-notch and straight from the heart, so be sure to check it out and watch the video.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Love Beats All.... Trust Me.

Robbi Spencer One and Only

Wow how time flies, omg!!!  It has been a whole year since my last post.  I can't believe it myself actually.  We have been so busy at SE Studios and Progressive Edge Records. My wife Shirl Spencer and I recently released new videos for the Love on the Run movie and we made several videos for that project.



We also filmed a music video for our song "With You".  It is a rocker and you will totally love it!!  It was filmed at SE Studios.


Working as a Record Producer has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.  Being married to Shirl is awesome!!!  She makes me feel so good in every way.  It is really amazing being this much in love with the woman of my dreams.  I wanted to put into words how I felt about her and I think that "One and Only" says it all. 

Shirl released a bunch of music on iTunes and one of her songs called "I Guess You Can Say" made it to video and I really like this video.  It is a video collage made from all our previous videos.


My most recent album project includes my Robbi Spencer "Collections" Double CD Set + the Special Edition single CD.  I am very thankful to everyone who has helped me get this far.  I could have never done it without you guys, good and bad. 

http://progressiveedgerecords.com/store/spencer/

I am also working on several album projects with Christian music artist Michael Wooding.  Mike and I recorded the first Christmas album "When Christmas Comes Again" last year and that was very successful.  Excellent music that I helped create!!  Not the actually songwriting because that was all done by Michael, but the recording, editing and production I had my hand in and I also played keyboards, mostly piano and strings and sang some stellar harmonies!!

http://www.mwoodingmusic.com/STORE_orderCD_FRAME.html


We then recorded 15 of Michael Wooding's Worship songs and released an album entitled "Down on my Knees".


http://www.mwoodingmusic.com/STORE_preorderCD_FRAME.html

We are currently working on another Christmas album entitled "" and we have really honed our skills and are getting some awesome sounding tracks so far!!
The newest thing to hit SE is our daughter Heidi Spencer.  She is a major blessing  and fits our family perfectly.  She is frisky like her mommy and adorable like her mommy and a BRAT LIKE HER MOMMY!  Many great Heidi moments to come this next year.

Our Little Angel Sleeping!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Attention All Artists and Rising Stars

Remember, a record label can void your contract under the following conditions. Just to name a few.....

1. Your music isn't selling.

2. You don't up hold your end of the contract.(Concerts, gigs, photo-shoots, recordings, communications, etc.)

3. You're too difficult to work with.

4. Your bad behavior over rides your talent and/or sales.

5. Throwing false accusations at the record staff while being demanding and too difficult to work with or just causing more trouble than you're worth.

Remember, the record label gives you the opportunity, it is a privilege and not a right! If you're signed with Progressive Edge Records or ANY Record label, keep in mind that they're doing you a favor by taking the time and money it takes to record you, promote you, build websites and social networks.  So be grateful and don't abuse it!!!!

Just sayin.....