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Unleash Incredible Muscle Mass With These 10 Awesome Compound Exercises

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There is an endless choice of exercises to include in a weight training program and they can all be quite effective if performed with proper technique and intensity. However, some exercises have a far greater positive impact on the body and should be included in your training program each week. If a range of goals can be achieved from just one movement then it becomes more efficient and more effective than an exercise that has only one specific goal. We are talking about Free-weight, Compound Exercises.

What Is A Compound Exercise?

A compound exercise is a movement that occurs through two or more joints in the body involving a range of muscle groups. It is a synchronised, coordinated, team-effort and is an effective way to build muscle strength, size, tone and fitness.

Example: The Squat – this a compound free-weight exercise that delivers resistance and movement through the hip, knee and ankle joints engaging a diverse range of muscles.

Movements that occur through a single joint are called Isolation Exercises. They can be very useful but are inefficient as limited muscles are involved.

Example: Leg Extension – this is an isolation exercise that only affects the muscles used in knee-extension (the quads).

What Are The Benefits Of Employing Compound Movements?

* They are time-efficient because many muscles are trained in a single exercise. If you are using isolation exercises more are required because fewer muscles are involved.

Example: A ‘Push-press’ trains the shoulders, triceps, quads, glutes and a range of ancillary muscles. If you were performing isolation exercise to train these muscles you would need to do ‘lateral raises, tricep extensions, leg extensions, hip extensions’ and more to emulate the same amount of muscular stimulation.

* There is a greater capacity to build mass and strength. This is because heavy loads can be applied safely with the pressure divided between multiple joints and muscle groups all contributing varying levels of force.

* Inter-muscular coordination is learned through different muscle groups and joints interacting to execute a large, complex movement with synchronised efficiency. This means that the muscles become a powerful team that work well together.

* There is a reduced risk of injury (if good technique is always applied). With compound movements the load and stress is shared between many muscle groups and joints. During an isolation movement a single joint must handle the lot.

* You must build a strong core and mid-section. If you intend to lift heavy weights with good technique and intensity your abdominals, lower back and the inner muscles of the spine must be strong. Focussing on compound exercises will stabilise your body and keep you safe. Build up the weights slowly and engage your abs and core all the time.

* A positive hormonal environment is created when big muscles are stimulated with big exercises. When you focus on the big exercises larger amounts of growth hormone and testosterone are released into the system to support your body’s battle with the heavy weights.

* The cardio-vascular system is more heavily involved because the greater amount of large muscles working in compound movements require increased quantities of blood and oxygen. This of course must be supplied by the heart and lungs.

10 Great Exercises

1. Deadlift

Why?

It is a great foundation exercise that involves many muscles groups that must interact safely to potentially lift very heavy weights. Expect massive increases in strength and size on the quads, glutes and traps and muscle thickness in the middle and lower back. It is a workout unto itself.

Technique

* Set up a barbell (BB) on a rack at waist height

* Grasp the BB with straight arms a hand-space wider than your hips

* Feet are shoulder width apart with toes slightly turned out

* Head and chest are up with the back arched and the abdominals engaged

* With the BB against the thighs slowly lower it towards the floor bending the knees, letting the hip go backwards and the chest go forwards

* During the descent; the back must remain arched, the abdominals must remain engaged and the BB must remain in constant contact with the front of the legs

* Stop at the point where you either reach the floor or your lower back starts to round then be ready to perform the ascent

* Before you lift the BB back up to the starting point force the hip down and the chest up, tighten the abs then pull with the legs not the lower back

* Follow the same path up as you did on the way down and stand up straight at the top

* Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch pyramid the weights and perform; 1 x 15, 1 x 10, 2 x 7

2. Medium Grip Chin-up

Why?

This is the best exercise for building serious back width and arm thickness. Massive amounts of controlled, positive stress are powered through the latissimus dorsi (lats) and the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades (scapula). The biceps and forearms also get thoroughly trained by assisting the back muscles. Neutral grip chin-ups and reverse grip chin-ups should also be used frequently to hit slightly different areas of the back. Sometimes my entire back workout is spent on the chin-up bar.

Technique

* Take a grip on the chin-up bar so that when the elbows and shoulders are at 90° the hands are a hand-space wider

* Stretch the body out to full extension, lift the head and chest, arch the back slightly and engage the abdominals

* Pulling through the elbows lift the body up until the chin is level with the hands then slowly release down to full extension

* Breathe out on the way up and in on the way down

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 10

3. Fit-ball DB Press

Why?

Thickness and strength can be built through the entire chest while stabilisation work is encouraged through the rest of the body. The fit-ball ensures that strict technique is employed, the spine is supported, the back muscles are protected and the abdominals, core and hip create a stable foundation for heavy lifting. If you are strong on the fit-ball then the bench exercises become easy.

Technique

* Sit on a fit-ball holding two dumbbells on your legs

* Roll forward and lie down bringing the dumbbells onto the chest

* The feet should be shoulder width apart, the hips pushed upwards, the abdominals engaged and the head slightly down over the back of the ball

* Push the dumbbells to full extension above the middle of the chest then pull the shoulder blades together and keep them there throughout the movement

* Slowly lower the dumbbells down to the outside of the chest until a gentle stretch is felt

* Push them back up to the starting position

* The path that the dumbbells follow is like an inverted U

* Roll back to the seated position when the set is finished

* Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 10

4. 70° BB Row

Why?

This exercise is the best for developing thickness through all the back muscles. A lot of weight can be moved safely with assistance from the quads, hips and mid-section. If incorrect technique and poor body position is used then it can be a dangerous movement but if your form is strict it will make you big and strong. Mr Olympia ‘Dorian Yates’ called this exercise the ‘Upper Body Squat’. The Squat is known as the ‘King of Exercises’ and will build overall mass in the body. The 70° BB Row will do the same.

Technique

* Stand with feet shoulder width apart holding a barbell with an overhand grip -on the outside of the legs

* Bend the knees slightly and lean forward until the torso is at 70°

* Keep the back arched, the chest and head up and the abdominals engaged

* From full extension pull the BB in constant contact with the thighs up the legs into the hips squeezing the shoulder blades together

* Slowly release the BB down the thighs stretching the upper back by opening the shoulders blades, maintain the original body position

* Breathe out on the way up and in on the way down

* After a warm-up and stretch pyramid the weight performing; 1 x 20, 1 x 15, 2 x 10

5. BB Squat

Why?

As discussed above the squat is a super effective exercise for developing muscle strength and size. The target muscles are the quadriceps and gluteals but many other muscles groups are needed to support this lift. The entire body must become a rigid powerhouse in order to properly support the weights that the powerful muscles of the hips and thighs can lift. It is another exercise where strict technique is a must. If you squat correctly everything will grow.

Technique

* In a power rack set up the barbell so that it is slightly lower than shoulder height and set up the safety bars in line with the top of the hips

* Grip the BB a hand-space wider than shoulder width and step under it squeezing the shoulder blades together to rest the BB on the trapezius

* Stand up with the weight and step back so there is room to perform the movement

* Take a shoulder width stance, lift the chest and head, arch the back, engage the abdominals

* In this position bend the knees lowering yourself towards the floor allowing the chest to go slightly forwards and the hips to go slightly backwards

* Stop before the lower back starts to round or at 90° at the knees then push back up to the starting position but don’t lock out the knees

* Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch pyramid the weight performing; 1 x 20, 1 x 15, 2 x 10

6. Push-press

Why?

This is one of my favourite exercises. It builds mass and strength through the entire shoulder girdle with assistance from nearly every muscle in the body. The thighs and glutes begin the movement by driving the BB up with a ¾ front squat. Then the shoulders and triceps take over pressing the BB powerfully above the head to full extension. At this point the BB is at a great unstable height and requires full engagement of the abdominals, lower back and core to keep it still and to keep your body safe. Big movements like this tax the entire body stimulating it to become big, fit, toned and strong.

Technique

* Stand up with the legs wider than the shoulders and feet turned out to 45°

* Hold a BB a hand-space wider than shoulder width just in front of your chin

* Arch your back slightly, lift your chest, engage your abs and bend the knees slightly

* Slowly squat down to just above 90° at the knees then drive the BB up with the legs and press it over the head with the arms in one big, powerful yet controlled movement

* The legs and arms must straighten and complete the movement at the same without fully locking out

* Pause at the top of the movement to gain control and make sure the abs are contracted tightly protecting the lower back

* Lower the BB slowly down to the front of the chin, pause briefly, then squat down slowly to continue the exercise

* Breathing; Take a slow, deep breath in as you squat down, breathe out forcefully as you drive up, breathe in on the way down to the chin, breathe out as you pause at the chin, repeat

* After a warm-up and stretch pyramid the weight performing; 1 x 15, 1 x 10, 2 x 8

7. Standing Single-arm Press

Why?

Let’s compare it to a standard Seated Overhead DB Press. With the Seated Overhead DB Press; you are completely supported by a bench taking away any need for the ancillary muscles, core and abs to stabilise your body. There is no need to employ coordination and control. Both sides of the body aren’t forced to do exactly the same amount of work. Only the shoulders and triceps become strong. With the Standing Single-arm Press the entire body becomes strong, stable and under perfect control while strength and size is gained evenly by safely pressing a heavy DB above the head.

Technique

* Stand up with the legs slightly wider than the shoulders

* Hold a single DB just above the outside of your shoulder with the elbow pointing to the floor

* Arch your back slightly, lift your chest, engage your abs, bend the knees slightly and place the free hand on the hip

* During the movement your focus in on maintaining a straight line through the middle of the body because force will be applied on one side at a time

* Press the DB up and in until the whole arm is straight and perpendicular to the floor

* Pause briefly then release back to the starting position

* Breathe out on the way up and in on the way down

* Repeat on the other side

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 10 each side

8. Fit-ball DB Pullover

Why?

Performing a DB Pullover on a fit-ball forces you to use far greater control than on a bench. If you do not use strict technique and engage the abdominals properly you will fall off and hurt yourself. Pullovers train the lats, triceps and chest very thoroughly but on a fit-ball the abs, core, glutes and thighs are employed too. You have to think about each rep which will make each set perfect. It is a great exercise to include on back day.

Technique

* Sit on a fit-ball holding a single dumbbell and roll forward lying back on the ball placing the feet wide on the floor

* The hips should be extended up, the chest should be lifted up and the head sloping slightly down over the back of the ball

* Hold the DB vertically above the chest cupping the underneath of the upper side with both of the hands and bend the elbows slightly

* In this position lower the DB very slowly over the back of the head tensing the abdominals hard so that your position on the fit-ball is secure

* Stop when the hands are in line with the back of the head or when a good stretch is felt through the latissimus dorsi then lift it back to above the chest

* Make sure the fit-ball remains stable throughout the movement

* Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 15

9. Close Grip Bench Press

Why?

I think people waste far too much time on little, ‘fluffy’ exercises for triceps. The close grip bench press is a great way to apply heavy but safe stress to the triceps building mass and strength. It also is great for targeting the inner chest and front of the shoulders. A lot of weight can be moved safely and it is actually far more comfortable than a standard bench press. Whether you are training large muscle groups like the back or small muscle groups like the triceps you must focus on free weight compound movements before moving onto the smaller exercises.

Technique

* On a flat bench set up the barbell at a height where the hands are shoulder width apart and the arms fully extended towards the ceiling

* Lie under the BB so that it is above eye level and take a shoulder width grip

* Lift it off and bring it forward holding it above the chest then with elbows pointing forwards lower it slowly down to just below the chest

* Then push it back up to above the middle of the chest keeping the elbows in

* Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 10

10. Dynamic Wood-chop

Why?

This is the best total mid-section exercise. It trains the lower abs, upper abs, obliques, erectors (lower back), and the internal muscles that support the spine (core). The ancillary muscles include nearly the rest of the body. The whole body works together in a smooth, flowing, powerful movement. A crunch will only train the upper abs, this efficient movement will do the lot.

Technique

* Attach a straight bar handle to the upper attachment of a cable cross-over

* Standing side-on to the pulley grasp the handle with an alternate grip (closest hand to pulley is underneath and facing out other hand above facing in)

* Walk two metres out from the pulley and stand side-on one foot back from being in line with the pulley

* Feet are very wide apart, knees are bent, abs are engaged inwards hard, arms are straight and pointing up towards the pulley and the body is braced in readiness for the movement

* With good force drive the handle with almost straight arms in a wide arc away from the body and down until it touches below the inside of the knee of the outside leg

* The torso can bend forwards during the powerful downward motion and the hips can move naturally side-to-side when needed

* Pause very briefly at the knee then release slowly back through the same path to the starting position

* Repeat on the other side taking care to set up the body position as a mirror image of the first side

* Breathe out on the way down and in on the way up

* After a warm-up and stretch perform; 3 x 15 each side

Last Word…

These exercises are so effective in building total strength, mass, muscle tone and stabilisation that it is a crime against your body to not perform them. Include them in your training schedule with focus and intensity but get the technique exactly right. You will find that gains are greater and results faster. You will also get far more bang for your buck. This is training with the bigger picture in mind. Don’t waste time on isolation exercises until you have built a solid, fantastic foundation. Enjoy yourself, push the envelope and get what you want.

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The Easy Way to Borrow Money in India As a National

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If you are an Indian national and have never borrowed money from a lender before, you might feel confused and intimidated by the prospect. The younger generations at least can easily begin to do this online, since they are more familiar with the virtual environment. The online opportunities are far more varied.

Why apply for loans online
First of all, it is extremely easy and fast. It only takes minutes to provide the lender the needed information and submit your application. Then, you need to wait to be approved, but with certain lenders that can be instant. The third and final stage is when the money is deposited straight into the borrower’s bank account. The entire process is automated, so the borrower does not have to meet any person in order to obtain the loan. Personal or business loans can be obtained on the Internet through the peer-to-peer lending system.

The kind of loans one can apply for
In India, it is possible to apply online for short or long term loans. The money obtained this way can be used for various purposes, such as marriage, education, car, land or home purchase and so on. Loans generally start at Rs. 10,000. Make sure to pay maximum attention when you agree on the repayments period – you must make sure you can make repayments as promised.

Eligibility criteria
To obtain a loan online without any hassle, just make sure you follow the guidelines. Also, you need to meet the eligibility criteria. Before applying, the individual needs to gather all the documents required. The PAN card will usually be necessary, as well as Aadhar card. The client must provide an address proof. The electricity bills required are not always a substitute for this proof of address. As soon as all the documents are gathered, the client should scan these and send the copies online in the provided form. Lenders require to see each client’s credit score before they decide whether to approve the loan or not. In addition, borrowers definitely need to have a valid bank account, so the money can be delivered. Nationality and residency are also important matters here. Applicants need to make proof of their Indian nationality.

How the Aadhar card helps
Having an Aadhar card can help you obtain a loan on fair terms. The purpose of the project involving it was to secure everyone’s social identity permanently. A card with a unique identification number holding biometric data can easily and accurately provide proof of identity and residency. It’s the perfect solution for today’s technological advancements that have also made quick online loans possible.

While an Aadhar card isn’t mandatory yet, it can make the entire loan application process a lot easier.

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Five Ways To Brighten Your Future

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When it comes to the story of your life, you call the shots. Whether it’s choosing a college, a major, a profession or a spouse, you have the ultimate say. If you want to take control of your future, you need realize that you can manipulate your own reality to conform to your inner most hopes and dreams. Bend the world around you to conform to your hopes and dreams. Realize that you are the driver of this vehicle known as life. You are not a passenger, and you don’t have to wait until the next stop. You can steer this thing wherever to go.

Here are five ways to help you brighten your future and take control of your life:

1. Don’t forget yesterday, ponder tomorrow, but live entirely in today, every single day.

You are in real-time control of your own destiny. Don’t shackle yourself by worrying too much about what came before, and don’t overburden yourself by projecting plans too far into the future. Live in the now and you will have more control of you future.

2. Network

Don’t go through life fighting battles all by yourself. Find allies. Create genuine relationships based on healthy, positive exchanges. Don’t selfishly look for assistance. Be willing to give up part of yourself in exchange for help from others.

3. Educate yourself and never stop learning.

Every personal perspective in this world is unique. At any given moment, the dumbest person around you still knows at least one thing that you do not yet understand. Be humble about your educational development. Be open to new ideas and practices. Recognize that learning never stops. Keep the door to your mind open at all times.

4. Have frequent discussions with someone who has a worldview and belief system that is different from your own.

Like minded people tend to gravitate toward one another. That’s natural and to be expected. If you want to have a bright future in this world, you need to be comfortable dealing with people who share different viewpoints. If you’re a liberal hippie, who consorts only with fellow hippies, then how are you going to react when your first boss is a staunch conservative who wears his politics on his sleeve? Likewise, if you’re the president of the local Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) branch, then you need to seek out different outlooks to experience. Associating with only the people that share your beliefs is myopic. In life you will constantly be expected to coexist with different perspectives, so make sure you are willing and able to do so.

5. Learn to let things go.

Whenever you feel completely overwhelmed, like the odds are unfairly stacked against you, think about balance. Ask any physicist, and he or she will tell you that the universe, from astronomical scales to sub-atomic levels, is a grand balancing act. Balance is critical to the existence of anything, from planets to people to particles. Whenever you feel like you’ve hit a bad spell of luck, remember how things balance out, and find strength in the knowledge that balance keeps the universe together. Trust in the fact that things will work themselves out.

The future is what you make of it. You are in total control of your life, no matter what previous or future obligations you may possess. Be confident in your ability to manipulate reality the way you see fit. Create the conditions you want to exists in, and adjust them whenever necessary. The more purposefully you live, the brighter your future will be.

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Quality Education Vs Accreditation

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Education:

“The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process!”

Inquiries into furthering my educational aspirations were made to various colleges within my immediate environmental area. Several of the schools contacted required placement exams that I did not challenge, as I am adept and very capable of dealing with college examinations. The thing that got to me was the disparaging remarks from some college recruiters regarding their standards for education as opposed to another college. One of the schools that I’ve attended is a two-year degree school while the other is as well. They hold real estate in the same zip code and competed for students in the same local. They both educated local students as well as out of state and students from other countries and nations.

One school considered itself superior to the other by reason of accreditation. The school that was described as inferior did not have middle states accreditation. The school was described as below standard by the other. The so-called superior school is lead and operated by a non-HBCU affiliation while the other happened to be lead and operated by an African American staff. The self-described superior school has made plans, designs, and did bid for the take-over of the African American school. Albeit, the self-described superior school admits that it does not and will not accept credentials from the so-called inferior school. I have attended both of these institutions and received very good instruction from its teachers as well. While the lessons learned were an invaluable source of information, the education that I received from personal academic research (self-taught) has enhanced my knowledge base. Money was not a factor in my personal research, study, and/or practicum. I would add, the knowledge and information that was derived from the HBCU School proved to be equally rewarding as the other if not better!

Personally, I would say that I received more educational value at the HBCU (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) as opposed to the other collegiate institution. Albeit, they both required money.

When students visit college campuses they are encouraged to become a student at that particular school. The tour guides’ show all of the amenities and accolades that are offered in order to get you enrolled…and to gain your tuition monies. But what about the quality of education offered by the particular schools? The majority of the colleges will often quote their accreditation as compared to another school of choice. What has accreditation to do with a good and valuable quality education? Money! And the ability to make money! Education does not and should not require money! 

In 1899 Dr. Matthew Anderson, an outstanding community leader, and his wife Caroline Still Anderson founded Berean Manual and Industrial School. Dr. Anderson was a pivotal influence in the religious, business, and educational history of Philadelphia. Dr. Anderson also founded the Berean Presbyterian Church and the Berean Savings Fund Society.

Caroline Still is the daughter of the great William Still, a Philadelphia Abolitionist and member of the Underground Railroad.

Mr. William Still (a self-educated man), one of seventeen children, was born in Burlington County in 1821. His father escaped slavery from Maryland to New Jersey and later was followed by his wife and children. William Still left New Jersey for Philadelphia in 1844. Three years later he was appointed secretary of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.

“When Brother William Still was 23, he left the family farm in New Jersey for Philadelphia, to seek his fortune. He arrived, friendless with only five dollars in his possession. Mr. Still taught himself to read and write. In fact, so well, that in three years he was able to gain and hold the position of secretary in the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Brother Still provided the all-white society with his views on how to aid fugitive slaves. After all, he had been one himself. He was such an asset to the group, that he was elected chairman in 1851. Still held the position for the next ten years. He also became chairman of the Vigilance Committee in 1852. Still was the first black man to join the society and was able to provide first-hand experience of what it was like to be a slave.”

“Mr. Still established a profitable coal business in Philadelphia. His house was used as one of the stations on the Underground Railroad. Brother Still interviewed escaped fugitives and kept careful records of each so that their family and friends might locate them. According to his records, Still helped 649 slaves receive their freedom. The number is compounded with the number of slaves saved by Sister Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.”

“William Still, a self-educated man, began his campaign to end racial discrimination on Philadelphia streetcars. He wrote an account of this campaign in Struggle for the Civil Rights of the Coloured People of Philadelphia in the City Railway Cars (1867). He followed this with The Underground Railroad (1872) and Voting and Laboring (1874).”

“William Still, a self-educated man, established an orphanage for the children of African-American soldiers and sailors. Other charitable work included the founding of a Mission Sabbath School and working with the Young Men’s Christian Association. William Still died in Philadelphia on 14th July, 1902.”

The Concise History of Berean Institute:

“In 1904 Berean Institute of Philadelphia Pennsylvania qualified for state aid and received a grant of $10,000. Over the years, state aid has enabled the school to expand its services and diversify its programs of study. Funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now provide a significant portion of the total operating budget. Berean Institute embarked on a program of expansion under the dynamic leadership of the late Dr. William H. Gray, Jr., who utilized the support of many influential citizens of Pennsylvania including the former Governor Milton J. Shapp. Dr. Gray served as Chairman of the Berean Board of Trustees. Under Dr. Gray’s leadership Berean Manual and Industrial School began operating as Berean Institute. He also had Berean Institute’s current building constructed in 1973.”

“Mrs. Lucille P. Blondin, who served the school for forty-five years, became Berean Institute’s first President. Mrs. Blondin retired in June 1993. Dr. Norman K. Spencer was appointed to serve as the second President and Chief Executive Officer. Under Dr. Spencer’s leadership, contracted programs funded by the City and Commonwealth agencies as well as community outreach projects have been added. Hon. John Braxton, former Judge, Court of Common Pleas heads a list of distinguished Board of Trustees members.”

“Berean Institute enrolled students in full and part-time programs. Most of the students are residents of the Commonwealth and live in Philadelphia. Other students have come from Central and South America, China, India, Puerto Rico, Tonga, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, England, Cambodia, Viet Nam and states along the eastern seaboard of the United States.”

“A number of students come to learn a marketable skill and their Berean training fulfills their current educational aspirations. Many others regard the school as a stepping-stone to further education. Berean has many graduates who have gone on to earn four-year college degrees and others who have completed graduate studies at some of the area’s outstanding institutions of higher learning.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education granted Berean Institute approval to award the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree on September 15, 1976, and the Associate in Specialized Business Degree on December 27, 1976.

Again, education is:

“The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life; the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession; a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education; .the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one’s education; the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.”

A definition of education: ‘The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process; a program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education; the field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning; an instructive or enlightening experience:

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009

So why does another school rate it’s accreditation over and above that of another? Money! Many colleges and universities rate its’ educational values based on the amount of money in its’ coffers as well as the amount of money that they can amass!  Another tool to increase superiority in the education business is to attain and maintain accreditation and as many acquisitions as possible.

Several opinions suggest education achieved through these venues is designed to prepare people/students for the job market as opposed to being prepared for life skills. The skills required to carry ones posterity and their descendants that follow into prosperous futures.

Is it fair to assess the stature of a collegiate institution above any other based on the amount of money that is needed to be spent or the amount of education that is achieved? Ivy league institutions turn out many students who are not prepared for the challenges of life…but many of them are rich and have spent thousands of dollars to attend those schools as well as graduating from them. On the other hand, many poor people that are lucky enough to qualify for grants, loans, scholarships, etc., are better prepared to face the challenges set before them (so it seems).

Many poor and working poor students seem to value the collegiate level education as if their life depended upon it, so they tend to work a bit harder to achieve the degree status. The document can be deemed worthless when the graduate cannot find the desired job for which he/she has studied. It is even worse when the graduated student finds that they are worse off than when they started college. They are now burdened with school loan debt plus the debts that they have had to meet before attending college. Working at McDonalds and the like, seem to be the only job that is attainable for many of them. The competition is fierce. These students are for the most part, grouped in with many applicants that are not college educated and many do not have high school diplomas as well! The knowledge attained is not considered or tested by many of these employers. Kiosk type pictures on a cash-register computer is what they have to work with. Is this not insulting to a student who has studied computer science, read and write computer programs and its languages, as well as other academics of study? 

Why is it that many non-ivy league students find themselves out of work? Why is it that many of them find that they are the first to lose their employment positions compared to their ivy-league colleagues? Why is it that many inner-city college educated graduates find themselves less likely to be selected as team-leaders than their counter part ivy-leaguers? Many employers advertise their openings with statements that don’t require a college level education. They ask that candidates simply have a high school level education. College educated candidates apply to those openings and find themselves scrutinized out of the running, i.e., background checks, credit checks, criminal histories, schooling activities, etc. Why is it college educated candidates find that not only do they have to compete with ivy-leaguers, they have to compete with high school educated folks as well. What is the sense in enduring hours, years, and other sacrifices to attain the coveted two and/or four-year college level degree when you’re not going to qualify for the job anyway? 

The notion of accreditation, money, and notable stature should not be the basis of choosing the collegiate route to education. Education should be based on ones ability to achieve, retain, and utilize education. The achievement of education begins in the home (as well as anyone who desires it). It begins with the Childs’ upbringing and the stressed importance placed by the parent and/or guardian. Should the child be highly scholastic in abilities that enable him/her to be described as intellectually talented above average, that student deserves free college education. While the rest of us who are collegiate material may well have to pay for our higher education. Mind you, my argument is based on the ability to access education without having to spend money…teachers need to earn a living, schools need to pay the costs of operating and maintaining buildings and staff. So the money has to come from somewhere. Albeit, the aforementioned disparages between different colleges should cease the practice of who’s a better institution of higher learning. Is it the responsibility of educated people to enlighten people who are not?

While many may not be aware, education is achievable without attending so-called accredited and/or less accredited schools, of higher learning…start with the libraries in your homes as well as the public facilities, news papers, magazines, shared information, and articles. Why is the education attained by others kept to a level of secrecy that one should have to pay for it?

Attained and acquired education is the responsibility of the educational pursuer…the burden is placed solely on the student not the educational pursued. I’m not advocating that one can become a doctor, architect, or a lawyer by simply reading text…there is a difference between education and training.

Education is yours to achieve and it can be free.

Acknowledgements:

Dictionary.com

Biography of William Still

Biography of the Berean Institute

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Finance

Invest in Your Small Business With Equipment Leasing

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If you’re running a small business, now is the time to think big, whether you are looking at expanding via equipment leasing or purchasing new business equipment assets.

The Federal Government’s focus on small business in the May budget was designed to encourage small business growth through tax cuts as well as measures to reduce red tape, promote more start-ups and hire more employees.

Many business owners will be taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an immediate tax deduction on every asset they purchase valued up to $20,000. Cars, utes, tables, chairs, printers, photocopiers, tools, TVs, sound and security systems, computers, tablets and smartphones are just some of the assets that can be deducted until the end of June 2017.

Short on capital? Try equipment leasing

While these tax deductions are great news for many small business, what about those who don’t have the capital available to purchase assets?

If you are a small business in this situation, equipment leasing may be your ideal ‘think big’ solution. Rather than buying machinery, equipment or cars, a lease enables you to rent them for a manageable monthly payment. At the end of the lease term, you have the flexibility to return, upgrade or continue to rent.

Leasing enables you to enjoy instant access to the tools you need to grow your business, while at the same time freeing up cash flow. Given lease payments are fixed, you can plan cash flow around a known cost, enabling you to stay ‘cash flow positive’.

With record low interest rates making leasing a viable option for any business looking to acquire an asset, whether it’s new kitchen equipment if you run a café, new tools if you’re a tradie or a new computer if you have a home office.

Leasing can be particularly useful if you need to update equipment but you’re not in a position to purchase, or your business relies on expensive equipment that goes out of date quickly.

There are also tax advantages to leasing. Under a leasing arrangement, the business does not own the equipment for tax purposes because the financier is the one who has bought the equipment and leased it to you. This means you do not have a depreciating asset on your books and do not need to pay GST on the purchase price of the equipment.

Lease repayments may be tax deductible and although GST is charged on these repayments, your tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office will be able to advise you of the possibility of claiming these via your company’s Business Activity Statement.

Want to know more about equipment leasing or Novated Leasing for motor vehicles? A mortgage broker can point you in the right direction.

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Locating Quality CCTV Surveillance Cameras and Other Security Devices Online

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It is no secret that there are many companies, world-wide, offering security solutions for business, corporate and personal use. But, as mentioned above, it is important to work with a company that has a proven track record of dedication to quality and outstanding service. It is equally important to work with a company that is committed to providing highly effective, reliable and cost-effective solutions to a variety of security issues. A good indicator of the level of service provided by a company is their product inventory list. Do they carry brand name products? Do they offer a warranty on their products and services? And do they provide clear information on their policies regarding shipping and installation?

For instance, if you are looking for CCTV surveillance cameras or fingerprint locks and access control systems, you want to partner with a company that offers the very best in these products. Purchasing a high-quality security device ensures that you are getting the protection that you need. This same level of scrutiny should be applied when looking for other devices such as safe, alarms, digital locks and fingerprint time recorders. By selecting high-quality devices at the outset, you can be more confident that your security measures are working around the clock.

The reason for this is simple, high-quality products from well-known brands have already established their own superior reputation in the security industry. When it comes to security devices, an outstanding track record of quality should always outweigh a low-ball price which is common with inferior products.

For some, it is important to find quality companies that do not overcharge. For instance, you may need, depending on your location, to find a company that does not any GST fees. In addition, you want to work with a company that has low or even free shipping and installation charges. It is also important to select a company that offers fast access to their customer support or customer service team should you need to speak or communicate with them. And, of course, you want to have clear details on payment methods.

For those who need CCTV surveillance cameras, fingerprint locks and access control systems, digital locks or any other type of security device view the resource box below for more detailed information that can be used in making the best buying decision. There is no need to work with anyone other than the best when it comes to purchasing high-quality security devices, not when your security is at stake.

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Recording and Selling Music 101

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“Aside from the creative and technical aspects of recording an album, there are legal and contractual issues that must be considered before even entering the studio. The artist or label paying the expenses of recording must be sure that everyone is on the same page regarding whether fees and/or royalties are to be paid and, if so, how much is to be paid to each party.”

–Howard Hertz, Entertainment Attorney

Depending upon the individual focus of their practices, attorneys may take cases that involve Intellectual Property and Contracts in respect to the music industry. Very often, composers and performing artists are neophytes when it comes to the economic and legal issues of this industry. Therefore, in this article, we will address the basics of recording, manufacturing, and sales to break even on a CD of recorded music. I (Dr. Sase) will address the economic issues.

As well as being an economist, I am a musician who has released original music and has produced/engineered the music of other artists. In addition, I own and operate a small recording studio. For the legal elements in this article, we welcome Howard Hertz, Entertainment Attorney at Hertz Schram PC in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

For the benefit of our readers, we will keep the techno-speak and accounting math to a minimum. Instead, we will present the big picture and will offer a basic understanding of what is involved in this market. In this way, we hope to help attorneys to educate clients, family members, or friends who may wish to attempt a career in this field. (Some of our readers may be interested in putting out CDs, vinyl, and downloads of their own music.) Therefore, without ado, we present “Essentials of Recording Music” for your reading pleasure.

Producing Recorded Music

In starting, it is good to make a “low-fi” recording at every rehearsal and gig. Often, performers use a pocket digital recorder, the type employed to record lectures and meetings. As the newer digital models can hold six hours or more, one can turn it on and let it be. If the material and its performance sound acceptable under such primitive conditions, the recording passes the 1960s pocket-transistor-radio test. Importantly, any verbal notes about changes to song structure or arrangements will be included for future reference.

A digital video recorder serves well for the same purpose. In the world of the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), the video recording also provides an excellent scratch track. Being able to watch and follow movement and changes frees musicians, producers, and engineers from the old mechanical-sounding click track and helps to achieve a more natural and expressive feel in the multi-track overdubbing process.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page acted as the band’s producer. He got massive drum sounds from drummer John Bonham by recording him in the hall of Page’s medieval home, Hedley Grange. Forests, beaches, living rooms, practice rooms, bathrooms, and other places provide wonderful places to experiment and develop new musical parts. Generally, the recording studio does not. Even if you have your own studio that allows you to work off of the clock, it is usually best to do the work-up somewhere else, just to maintain perspective.

In the early 1950s, guitarist Les Paul invented multi-track, sound-on-sound recording–with the assistance of his friend, crooner Bing Crosby–in Paul’s garage. In an interview, Paul emphatically stated, “I never walk over to that machine until I know what I’m going to do and I never use the machine to find it. I find it and then go to the machine and use it. I never let the machine tell me. I tell the machine what to do.”

Therefore, prepare all of your instrumental and vocal parts in advance and develop a work schedule that includes contingency plans when you enter the studio, which is the final place in which you may be able to maintain creative control. If you need to make last-minute changes, you can keep them to a minimum in order to avoid excessive pressure and confusion during a session.

We can borrow a good parallel of detailed planning from the motion-picture industry, the one that interfaces the most with recorded music. Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock worked as a director in the studio system. He was responsible not only for his own time but for the time of many other professionals working together on the same project.

In advance of shooting, “Hitch” storyboarded every shot of a scene before stepping onto the sound stage. For example, in the famous shower scene in the film Psycho starring Janet Leigh, there are fifty-two individual shots in the course of three minutes and ten seconds (Famous Shower Scene from Psycho (1960) Dissected in 52 Shots, on YouTube).

The master storyboardist worked out every detail, including chocolate syrup for blood, and framed each shot in advance of rolling the cameras. A major part of Hitchcock’s greatness came from his ability to maintain creative control in exchange for tight management of budget through planning. Planning pays when time is money.

Returning to the recording studio, it is a good idea to have more material prepared than you intend to record. Life happens. Sometimes, with a bit of good fortune, you move through the tracking faster than expected. At other times, a piece does not come together satisfactorily. When this happens, the piece needs to be shelved until it can be reworked. Given the time and physical cost of preparation, travel, and coordinating the schedules of the producer, recording engineer, musicians, and other participants in a session, contingency plans constitute a valuable asset.

On this point, the Time-Is-Money factor spills over to the matter of equipment by having spare cables, batteries, and fuses available on short notice. One of Murphy’s Laws states that such items have the notoriety to fail at critical times.

When it comes to recording, experience remains one of the best teachers. Practicing against previously recorded tracks that one will hear during the actual recording session is often the most economical way to prepare for a take. Usually, sound-on-sound projects will gel best when they are built upon percussion that is recorded against a scratch and/or click track. Then, the track is followed upward through the spectrum of pitch (lowest to highest frequency) with the addition of bass, keyboards, guitars, background vocals, and other instruments before the lead instrument or vocal is tracked.

Offering an instrumentalist or vocalist a copy of the best mix to date without the scratch or click tracks (i.e., the one that s/he will record against), saves confusion, frustration, and time. This work mix allows the musician to develop parts creatively and to get acclimated to nuances of tempo, rhythm, and volume before the session. Usually, this results in more productive takes and fewer of them. The additional cost to the project for this preparation is the minor cost of burning a CD or making an MP3 copy of the mix. The benefit of time saved for all involved far outweighs this cost.

Whether or not you are paying out of pocket for studio time, you are making an investment of your own time as well as the time of other musicians, producers, engineers, and techies working together on the project. Therefore, everyone should show up, should arrive on time, and, if possible, should get there a bit early.

The studio is a professional work environment. Please give the other music professionals the same respect and courtesy that you would give to your attorney, medical doctor, or dentist. If you must delay, postpone, or cancel, please do so in a timely manner.

Professional time for postponements or cancellations is usually twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Equal to the importance of showing up and starting on time is to know when to stop work on individual tracks as well as on the session as a whole. Tiredness is a vague and relative term. However, sensing the point at which the marginal net benefit of tracking an additional take reaches zero is a professional trait worth developing.

If you are not acting as your own producer and/or engineer, make the time with this person(s) to share your vision, needs, and concerns in advance. Use this time to go over production notes, equipment requirements, and other mundane items before the session commences. Everyone involved should understand the depth and scope of their responsibilities before the session begins. Delays eat up time for all and… Time Is Money. Therefore, make sure that you are on the same page with your producer and engineer.

Furthermore, note the limitations of the studio and its equipment. It is wise to know the kind and amount of tracks, microphones, signal processors, and other essentials. If you plan to use any unfamiliar equipment, make the time to research it. If possible, work with this equipment beforehand. A recording session is no place for unpleasant surprises. For optimal planning, you should know of any limitations in case you need to simplify your planned mix.

When the red recording light goes on, it is important to be technically precise in performance in order to remain within budget. However, bear in mind that we are making art. Playing with feeling and emotion from the heart is of paramount importance. Producing art commercially requires walking a fine line between the pragmatic and the ethereal. As a result, the genius in producing music is 99% perspiration.

Work with the technology, not against it. Generally, it is best to keep playing through a flop rather than to stop and start over. Part of the art of recorded music is “punching in” a short section of retake or digitally copying and molding a few notes into the track in a seamless manner. As long as most of the take has the necessary artistic integrity, the pragmatism of “time is money” works out.

In shaping the sound, remain focused on the lead line that prevails at the time. Usually, the vocal takes the lead except during intros, outros, and solos. Developing the accompaniment against a preliminary take of the lead line is a way to achieve a fluent and natural sound. Also, such an accompaniment provides a solid understructure that gives flexibility and independence to the musician who is rerecording the final takes of the lead lines.

This being said, it remains most economical to achieve a desired sound during the original tracking. Usually, it is more costly to return to a mix in order to rebuild or repair parts of it before the final mix-down to stereo. It is better to record clean and then to add effects and other “sweetening” afterwards.

Treat the production of recorded music with the same regard with which any other successful professional or business entrepreneur would treat their concerns. As in many competitive markets, the revenue per downloaded track or CD collection remains relatively constant across the span of all artists. The album Born This Way by Lady Gaga, one of the top-ten sellers of the year, hit the market at an equivalent retail price as the album MDNA by Madonna, one of the bottom ten.

As a result, the economic task of controlling the profit per unit falls fully on the cost side of the equation. Since music production is mostly about time cost, any action that can safely shave cost without destroying the integrity and quality of the product should be considered seriously. Note: these actions include keeping guests out of the session, making backup copies of takes frequently, and keeping thoroughly written notes throughout the course of the project.

In order to finish a good product, expect editing, mixing, and other post-production work to take the lion’s share of budgeted time. When we add together all of the production and post-production time, we should anticipate an investment of forty to fifty hours per track. In other words, a total of 500 hours for the entire album can be considered the norm. This is why having open access to a home studio for most of post-production is highly valued.

Part of this value comes from the fact that ears tire easily; consequently, prolonged post-sessions that require acute listening produce diminishing returns. Any work beyond mundane cutting, splicing, and adding fades and plug-in effects demand the perspicacity of fresh ears. Tired ears usually result in a substandard mix that will require costly reworking.

When do you know when the mix is done? This question is like asking a chef if the soup is done. It is a matter of knowing. We could define that point in a commercial recording as the one at which a constrained optimum is reached. It is the point at which the artistic vision is achieved subject to practical budgetary constraints; you know that the soup is done.

For some engineers, this point comes when they play it through a pair of crappy old car speakers. For others, this point may be defined as when you play the recording for others who have not heard it previously and it feels right to them as well. In any event, you will have gotten the best vocal and instrumental takes, have used your studio wizardry to achieve maximum sound, and feel that the music is ready to be unleashed on the world.

Complementing the technical and economic side of recording is the legal perspective. My guest contributor Howard Hertz explains that a tangible contribution to a recording (known as the master) or song (the composition) may result in copyright ownership or performance rights being held by any person contributing to the work.

In order for the artist or the record label to emerge from the studio with an album that s/he or it fully owns and therefore may distribute for sale to the public, agreements should contain proper “work-for-hire” language. (Essentially, a work for hire means that the contributor relinquishes ownership claims on the master or composition by stating that all work was performed for equitable compensation.)

Hertz emphasizes that these agreements must be signed by all producers, engineers and side-person musicians who have worked on the project. Typically, the artist or label should own the copyright to the master recordings contractually. On the other hand, the copyright ownership in the underlying composition may be owned by multiple writers of that piece of music. However, if agreed to in writing by all parties involved, the artist or label may “buy out” these rights.

Often because of the potential complexity of such agreement, a “split sheet” for each work is filled out after the recording of the composition. This sheet lists the determined percentage of the song or instrumental that was written by each contributing party as well as the percentage of the publishing rights that is owned by the publisher of each party involved. Then, the split sheet is signed by all of the contributing parties, thus making the determined, assigned split a binding agreement.

This is a very important point. It is often overlooked by many casual or informal musical groups that lack the understating of business law, which will treat them as a General Partnership. Operating as such an entity implies that all partners are held to have equal shares if no written agreement exists. In respect to the business of music, Mr. Hertz iterates that, if there is no written and signed agreement to the contrary, then a composition is owned in equal shares by each writer who contributed words or music irrespective of the percentage of their actual contribution.

Hertz provides this illustration: “[I]f three writers contribute to a work and have no signing to the contrary, they each own one-third of the copyright, even if one of the writers only contributed one line of lyrics and might have likely agreed to a five or ten percent share of the song if it was put in a split sheet.” A word of wisdom to all musicians and audio producers and engineers: have a qualified entertainment attorney on your side to guide you through these choppy waters.

Replicating and Marketing the Final Product

The 500 hours of time, energy, and artistic angst discussed thus far buries itself as a sunk cost, which is the non-retrievable fixed cost associated with producing recorded music for sale. In producing recorded music, most of the cost is upfront, fixed, and sunk. This includes all costs incurred to the point of making the glass master and cover artwork that is used to replicate the CDs commercially.

The amount that an artist needs to invest to get to this point depends upon the location of the studio (New York or Los Angeles versus everywhere else in the country), its amenities, and its reputation. Reportedly, the current high end is about $3,000 per hour. Ignoring incidentals, this would necessitate a project budget of $1.5 million (500 hours x $3,000 per hour). Based upon sales expectations to recover this cost, there are not many artists who would go “Gaga” over this price tag.

The average studio cost per hour in urban areas outside of New York and L.A. seems to fall in the monetary range of $75.00 to $150.00 per hour. This brings the average cost down to about $50,000.00 for the project, assuming that the artist(s) does double duty as producer/engineer.

If an artist is also a producer/engineer, s/he may be able to get the music out for around $20,000.00. This can be done by either using a budget-conscious studio priced at $50.00 per hour or by investing the $20,000.00 in his/her own Digital Audio Workstation, some good microphones, pre-amps, and acoustic sound-control material.

For many musicians entering the field of recorded music, the latter has become a very viable option. Given the simplicity of the style of music and the musical arrangements that they use on their recordings, some artists do manage to get their music ready to go out the door for about $10,000.00. For the sake of comparative discussion, let us work with these last three figures and assume that the artist works as an entrepreneur and manages the entire release.

The replication of CDs has become a highly competitive business. The price per 1,000 copies has dropped to around $1,000.00 depending on the type of packaging chosen. This gives us a unit fabrication (making the physical CD) cost of $1.00 per CD. However, there are promotional costs involved. A major but effective promotional cost is giving away free copies strategically to radio stations, clubs, and individuals as a way of priming the proverbial pump. Also, using social media like YouTube and Facebook is “free” advertisement.

For the sake of simplicity, let us assume that the promotional cost for a CD that contains ten songs averages $.50 per CD. The more CDs that are manufactured, promoted, and sold, the more money that must be invested in the project. In other words, the manufacturing and promotion costs vary with quantity. Therefore, we refer to these costs as variable costs that, on average, total $1.50 per CD.

In our example, let us say that the artist averages net revenue of $10.00 per CD. This suggests that the CD could be priced at $14.00 for sale through one of the popular online stores, distributed as digital downloads, or sold at live performances. We can phrase our economic question as a break-even analysis. In the business world, a break-even point of three to five years is considered reasonable. Therefore, looking at our artist as a start-up business, let us anticipate a break-even point at four years, forty-eight months.

What we want to know is this: How many CDs will our artist need to sell over the next forty-eight months to break even? How many CDs will s/he need to sell per month to achieve this goal? As the variable cost per CD is taken to be $1.50, the key determinant in this calculation is the upfront sunk/fixed cost of producing the master recording. If we take this fixed amount and divide it by the difference between the price at which the CD is sold and the combined cost of manufacturing and promoting each CD, we will arrive at the break-even quantity that must be sold.

If the recording costs amount to $50,000, then a total of 5,882 CDs must be sold at a rate of 123 discs per month. If our artist economizes or sets up his/her own project studio for $20,000, then only 2,353 CDs must be sold at a rate of 49 discs per month. If our artist is able to achieve a product of marketable quality for only $10,000, the break-even amount drops to 1,176 CDs sold at a rate of 25 per month, about one per day. If an artist has sufficient musical talent, and recording skills, and experience, s/he may be able to achieve this goal at a barebones studio that charges $25.00 per hour.

The Great Beyond

We have focused on what may be called an Entrepreneurial Indie Label, one in which an artist or group does everything from production to direct sales (e.g. merch tables at gigs) except for two chores. The first is fabricating the CDs through a company such as Discmakers, Inc. The second is selling some of these CDs with the help of a music-marketing service such as CDBaby Inc. These CDs then will be sold online, as digital downloads, and at brick-and-mortar stores.

The next step up the ladder is for the small entrepreneurial music company to sign with a major or minor label. At this point, a good entertainment attorney to represent the artist(s) becomes indispensable. As Mr. Hertz stated in our opening quote, “The artist or label paying the expenses of recording must be sure that everyone is on the same page regarding whether fees and/or royalties are to be paid and, if so, how much is to be paid to each party.”

Currently, the record industry is reinventing itself in the Digital Age. This age has brought affordable means to artists in order to accomplish what only million-dollar recording studios could do previously. Online distribution has become feasible and preferable to many artists through CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and other venues. What these turns in events leave to major labels is what they continue to do best-finance, promote, and distribute product to large markets.

In her blog, recording artist Courtney Love, Love’s Manifesto, she states, “If a record company has a reason to exist, it has to bring an artist’s music to more fans and it has to deliver more and better music to the audience. Previously undiscovered artists benefit from the huge promotional break a major has to offer. It takes a ton of funds to break a new artist–funds most artists don’t have on their own.”

In determining which artists to sign, labels consider the sales potential of an artist. This decision usually is based on what the artist accomplished before. A rough rule of thumb remains that major labels sign artists who have made verifiable sales of at least ten thousand albums on their own. In addition, labels consider plans for touring in order to market product to a wider audience as well as feedback received on the artist’s music through social media.

Rerecording/mastering, fabrication, distribution, tour support, and other promotional investments all require capitalization. Nonetheless, the business is comparable to a roulette wheel. A wheel has thirty-six black-and-white numbers plus a green “0” and a “00.” The gambling houses win on these last two. Their odds of winning are 5.26%–the two green numbers divided by the total of thirty-eight numbers on the wheel. In the record industry, only 10% of all recordings released make it to the break-even point. Only about 5% of releases turn a profit. This subsidizes the 90% that lose money.

Therefore, cash advances bestowed upon artists are determined by the ability of the artist, the costs that may be recoverable from an artist, and the probability of success in a marketplace that ultimately relies on the 5% of releases that eventually become profitable. An advance is an ADVANCE. Essentially, it is a loan that is repaid through royalties (percentage of the sales) that hopefully are earned on future record sales. Under their contract with an artist, the record label is going to want to be paid back, and paid back first.

The label will keep all artist earnings from sales until the various costs are repaid. Furthermore, in multi-album deals, the repayment can be recovered across multiple albums and advances. This method of securitizing the investment made by the record company is known as cross-collateralization. Apart from a few exceptions, every cent invested on promoting an album, from video-production costs, radio promotions, and billboard signs to tour support, is recoupable from artist-royalty points. As a result, most artists make $0.00 from their royalty points until recoupment by the label is complete.

So, how do artists go about making money from their recordings? Very simply, they can achieve this goal by remembering that what they are involved in is a business. Furthermore, this business takes place in what economists refer to as a perfectly competitive market-the market sets the price for similarly situated products and that price is relatively constant at any point of time.

Due to this market quality, revenue increases at a constant rate as greater quantities of a recording are sold. As a result, there are only two ways to increase profits. One is to sell greater quantities of the product and the other is to decrease the costs of production, manufacturing, promotion, and distribution.

We hope that we have edified our readers about the physical, economic, and legal aspects of the recorded-music business. Thank you to my guest contributor, Howard Hertz, for his enlightening contributions to this article.

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