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Stars are not born, they are made. That’s what would be the most honest description of today’s music business. Of course, when I say today’s, it doesn’t mean that it was much different 10 years ago, but while Youtube and other streaming services give musicians a great way to get free publicity without any help from music managements, the most famous stars in the world are still being produced by the huge management companies.

But if you’re an individual artists or a band without a direct line to people who “create” artists, but making music is what you like to do, how can you make money these days?

Even years ago musicians selling their cd’s for $20 would only pocket a few bucks themselves from the sales. So if you wanted to make actual money with cd sales you still had to be very popular.

Rather than gambling to support your music passion at sites like casino-bonuscode.us, you could try earning money with the following options.

Pub gigs

Playing in pubs has always been a thing. And if you’re not really hurting the ear of the average pub crawler, you shouldn’t have many problems finding new gigs every week. The problematic bit, of course, is often the pay. It’s not uncommon for a pub to pay you just $50 and a beer, or even offer to pay you only in beer.

Earn as a street musician

You could also try your hand playing on streets and trying to earn money like that. Depending on where you play, you might earn pretty substantial sums or nothing at all. In some places you also need to get a permit to do that. And in some places it’s actually difficult to earn as a street musicians because while in general it’s a legit form of making money and entertaining people at the same time, in some places you might be considered a beggar independent of how well you play.

Earn money in the internet

Compared to 20 years ago musicians have the ability to gain free publicity in the internet through channels such as Youtube. But when it comes to making money, it’s not that simple unless your Youtube channel gets millions of views every month. That’s because of the numbers the video/music streaming sites pay out. How much such services actually pay the artists is only an estimation, independent of what the streaming services claim to be paying you. Apple music is allegedly paying $6.40 for every 1000 streams, Spotify pays $3.80 for the same, and Youtube anywhere from $.60 – $3 per 1000 streams.

Based on those numbers you need to get 1 million views a month in order to earn anywhere from $600 to $6400. Which, if somehow you manage to get that many views, might be okayish, depending on the amount of time and money you spend on getting there. Then again, some users have made claims that they have only earned about $60 bucks from their million views in Youtube. Which, if it is true, is total nonsense.

These days the highest paying streaming services are most likely Napster (former Rapsody), and Tidal. Napster has the highest per-play royalty rate of $0.019 per play. Which means that for 1 million plays you could earn around $19 000. Tidal pays $0.0125 per stream, so you could earn $12,500 for 1 million streams.

By the end of the day, everything comes down to numbers. How much does the pub pay, how many people support you on the street, or how many people you are able to get to listen to your music online.

Photograph by Photo Mix Company

Originally publisher as Money making options for musicians
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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New Jersey is known for many things – from not so positive things like the reality series Jersey Shore, the problematic politician Chris Christie, the hundreds of jokes about New Jersey and its people, to weird things such as its diners. New Jersey is called the Diner Capital of the Country with an estimated 525 diners in there. Also one of my favorite non-musician, John Stewart (former host of the Daily Show) is from there. New Jersey is not historically known for its casinos, but since a few years ago its gambling laws have become relatively permissive, so anyone interested can check out bonusnewjersey.com for more info about gambling options in this great state. But in addition to those things, did you know that many of the greats in the music world hail from New Jersey? So while many people for some reason tend to make fun of New Jersey a lot, it doesn’t feel like such a bad place.

New Jersey musicians

There are a number of musicians who would dare to admit that New Jersey is where they come from.

– Bruce Springsteen is born and bred New Jerseyan
– Jon Bon Jovi is a known musician whom I’m sure many of you out there hate for no obvious reason, but he’s still pretty good.
– Frank Sinatra is one artist I discovered for myself about 20 years ago on a beach, where the official beach bar was playing his songs for a few hours in a row. After returning from the beach, I went to the store and bought myself two Sinatra cd’s. Sinatra as well as his daughter Nancy are from New Jersey.
– Whitney Houston, the troubled singer with a beautiful voice, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, is also from the Diner state.
– Paul Simon was not born a bred New Jerseyan, just bred.
– Queen Latifah, one of the very first female rappers in hip hop.
– Lauryn Hill from Fugees comes from Jersey.
– Ice-T is not only highly regarded hip hop artst, but also an actor you have probably seen in a number of movies as well as tv-series.
– Misfits is punk rock, horror punk, heavy metal group – mix all those genres together and you get a really New Jerseyan sound. Well, I’d say so.
– Jonas Brothers feels weird to add right after Misfits but hey, they too are from New Jersey.

Obviously the list is not complete. There are also a number of other musicians worth knowing, musicians who all come from New Jersey.

Photograph by Pixabay

Originally publisher as New Jersey – the unsung home of US music?
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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The topic might sound like a weird one – but after talking to a Maltese friend of mine, it’s far from the weirdest topic you can think of. I remember once being in his car and he was talking about Festas (as they call it). In normal English we’d call them Village Feasts. And there’s a lot of them, there’s at least 60 village feasts every year in Malta and that’s the very minimum number. What exactly are they? I’d say they are just huge street celebrations where lots of drinking and singing is involved, but many locals would also add that they are actually religious celebrations that are being organized by local parishes. They almost always also include fireworks, independent of the time of day. Sometimes you can see, sorry, hear, fireworks in the morning or even lunch time. Which is sort of waste of good fireworks, but let’s leave it with that.

What do festas have in common with horses? While sitting in the car, my friend was telling me how the festa in his village is the best of them all. As a side note, people from different villages say the same as well. That the festa in their village is the best. And then he started singing a festa song in Maltese language in the car, and it wasn’t a short one. The song was about the oldest race horse in Malta (he was singing while I was checking NJ horse betting page from my phone, hoping to survive the experience), definitely weird 15-25 minutes long song. Unfortunately I’m not able to find it anywhere in the internet, probably it can be found only in Maltese language. But it did give me a strange idea to seek out more songs about horses. And lo’ and behold, there’s loads of them! Something I didn’t really expect to find.

And there’s a good chance that you’ve heard a number of them before. So here’s a list of some known songs about horses:

1. A Horse With No Name by America
2. Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones or Garth Brooks
3. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2
4. Dark Horse by Katy Perry
5. Runaway Horses by Belinda Carlisle
6. Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson
7. Beer for My Horses by Toby Keith (with Willie Nelson)
8. Jenny’s Got a Pony by Los Lobos
9. Tennessee Stud by Johnny Cash
10. Fallen Horses by Smash Mouth
11. My Lovely Horse by Father Ted
12. Jokcey Full of Bourbon by Tom Waits
13. Crazy Horses by Osmonds Brothers
14. Live Like Horses by Elton John

Know of any other great horse songs for the horse lovers?

Photograph by Lisa Johnson

Originally publisher as Songs about horses
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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You listen to music all the time but are you really getting the most from your experience? Music is all-inclusive, spanning different genres, tastes and media for all kinds of different results. Music isn’t about sticking some cheap earphones in and bopping along; for many people, music is about personal growth and discovering new things.

The biggest difference between a person who hears music and a person who listens to music is attention. When you listen to music, you take it all in; when you hear music, you let it glide over you as a backdrop to whatever you are doing. There’s no problem with either of these things, but knowing what you want from your music is important when choosing how to listen.

We all listen to music for different reasons and different genres can even change your mood. If you’re putting some music on to dance while you clean the kitchen, you probably won’t be too fussed about the quality of the sound, but if you really want to get into the music zone, you definitely need to hack your experience to get the very best from your time.

Invest in proper headphones

You can buy a cheap pair of earphones anywhere and they will do fine in most cases but if you really want to listen, you should definitely invest in some over-ear headphones instead. Bigger headphones are better at canceling out noise and generally come with a better quality of speaker too. Often this means that the bass notes are much richer and the tinny sound that often comes with higher registers is removed. Handily, Vinyl Vintage has made a list of the most popular choices.

Much like taking a test drive, you should always try headphones out before you buy. Choosing the perfect headphones isn’t all about the sound, you also need to check that they are comfortable, have a good battery life and are easy to adjust to your specification. This is the only way to see whether the headphones you like the look of actually do what they say they will and you compare models more easily too.

When you are trying different headphones, do sample different music genres and artists. This will help you gauge whether your headphones are all-rounders or whether they only really work for a particular type of music. Naturally, most people want to find a set that will span their whole music library but there are some real music geeks who own genre-specific headphones.

Choose the best speaker system

Just as you should take your time choosing headphones, you should take your time trying out different speaker systems. There is no perfect system out there so you need to think about the kind of music you like to play and find speakers to suit those genres. Quality of sound is much like quality of taste: what sounds amazing to you won’t necessarily be the most expensive or popular with everyone else.

When you are choosing speakers, you will also need to consider the space they are going in. The acoustics of the room will definitely affect the way the music reverberates around the space. So, a conservatory, which is made with a lot of glass, will have a very different sound to a sunken basement with thick brick walls. Similarly, an empty room will have a very different sound to a cluttered room.

If you have the best speakers but it still isn’t sounding perfect, you could try acoustically tuning your room by removing hard surfaces and objects that vibrate with the music. Adding soft furnishings to a room will also help dampen the sound but if you want to go the whole hog, you could put foam panels on the walls. This works brilliantly if you want to set up a recording studio in your home too and will significantly improve the quality of your own recorded music.

Go to live performances

Of course, the best way to experience music is to go to live performances. Live music is a chance to connect with the artist as well as the music, and you can meet other like-minded people at a gig too. Whether you are in a basement bar or a stadium, there is something completely consuming about listening to live music. You don’t even have to be listening to a big name for the music to have an effect on you.

Similarly, listening to a live recording will give a completely different feel to the album version. Listening to the introductions given by artists and hearing the crowds cheering gives the sensation of dropping in on a moment in history. The idea of social facilitation also contributes to the reason live performances are often better: the audience bring out the best in the performer who forgets about the specifics and simply plays from the heart.

The real beauty of live music is that every performance is slightly different. This is the most human part of making music: that one day something could change, the audience can influence the sound just as much as a change in mood. While recorded music captures a moment, it can’t evolve in the same way that a performance can, as those who religiously follow their favorite band can attest.

However you enjoy your music, the most important thing is that you allow yourself to be exposed to all kinds of music from classical to heavy metal, teen pop to country and western. There is so much to listen to and so many talented artists that simply letting a streaming service take you on a journey through genres is a great way to discover new things.

Music, all music, is good for the soul and however you listen to it, your experience counts for a lot of the performance. Give yourself the time and space to listen properly, don’t rely on background music. Choose performances and compare and contrast different versions of the same song to see how music can be liberating and familiar at the same time. Listen widely, listen deeply.

Photograph by KaboomPics

Originally publisher as How to hack your music experience
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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Living in a world where tech is impacting our lives, the internet is our go to and offline people are dubbing the new age kids as millennials. Obviously things are going to change, it’s simply a matter of at what rate and judging by the proof of past events, it won’t be long until we have fully transformed into a modern era, one where a scenario is bound to play out which involves the death of the radio. So what will be the cause of death you ask? Well according to researchers of the internet there are a number of reasons and a number of death scenarios. Wrap your head around it if you will, check out why they say the radio will be a thing of the past in the next decade.

Online applications

There is an app for pretty much anything these days. You can access the casino industry via the online portal NoviBet, you can play games which have been moved from console gaming to online gaming, you can visit your photos in a cloud and you can access all media sites from online news applications. One of the biggest dominating genres of applications is music apps. Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify are only some of the applications you can install to your smart device and sign up for premium membership to get rid of all those annoying ads. Too bad we can’t get rid of the ads on the radio!

Selective music

Not everybody appreciates teen pop music and while some may think its punk rock, it’s really just a teen trash, which lets face, who really likes baby metal? If you do, chances are the radio won’t even play it as some channels are dedicated to the latest releases or a genre of music. So why not just flip between stations? Why should you have to when the internet has made everything more convenient? Why search through countless radio stations when you can have exactly what you are looking for streamed from your phone to your car via your app.

Digital innovative features

If you are using a music app such as Deezer, the clever application immediately picks up on the kind of music you are partial to. You can then stream this via a feature the app delivers, playing all kinds of music similar to that of your very own personal selection. The innovative creation of such applications leaves listeners feeling impressed while learning about new music in tune with their demands. The radio doesn’t offer this same kind of feature.

Although the radio is still a very big part of some people’s lives, there is no doubt that the use of the service will eventually phase out and podcasts will probably be the closest thing you get to radio, until of course a zombie apocalypse occurs, then we will indeed need the radio but not for music, so again, who really believes radio will survive the Armageddon it is about to face?

Originally publisher as Why the internet killed the radio star
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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If you have ever tried to make it in the music industry, you will already have a good idea of just how difficult it can be to find that all-important break. Traditionally, many wannabe singers and bands would try to find themselves an agent who would represent them. This agent would then help them to land a record deal. Once the deal was in place, the record label would work with the band on their first album, which they would then release on the label. Sometimes, these kinds of record deals would span for one, two, or even three records.

However, now that a lot of people are making their own music on computers at home and using online platforms, a lot more musicians are starting to release their own music themselves. Many people now realize that there is no need for an agent or a record label, as it can all be done on your own.

Of course, as with anything there are a few pros and cons involved with releasing your own music. You will need to carefully consider all of these to figure out which is the best option for you. Take a read through the following to see whether it will be worth self-releasing your music, or if you might be better off sticking to the traditional path.

Pro: You keep all the rights

One of the big benefits of self-releasing all of your music is that you get to keep all of the rights to it yourself. You won’t need to get any lawyers involved to clarify anything or make you sign any confusing contracts. And that means there is no risk of signing away all of your music to a record label to use as they please. Plus, there is no risk of you ending up trapped in a deal that requires you to keep on churning an album out every year even when you don’t want to. How your music is used and how much people have to pay you for it is left completely up to you. And that is how most musicians like to keep things!

Con: You have to pay for everything yourself

When you do self-release music, you will need to ensure you can cover all of the costs yourselves. That includes recording expenses, CD duplication, and marketing and promotion. This wouldn’t be an issue if you did find a record label as they would cover all of these costs for you. If you aren’t too careful and do decide to self-release, you could find that you end up racking a lot of expenses. You will then need to make sure that you sell enough music to cover the costs. If not, then your music venture will have cost you money rather than made you a profit.

Pro: You get to keep all the profits

At least if you do make some profit from your self-released music you can keep all the money yourself. That won’t happen when you work closely with an agent and a record label as they will each take a cut themselves. In fact, some record labels take such a large cut that some of the big-name musicians who seem to be a huge success at the minute might not actually be making quite as much money as you think. However, the flip side is that working with a record label and an agent will be the best way to get your music out there and heard by as many people as possible, so there is a bigger chance of actually making some money from your project. Of course, just how much money you make could be dependent on the record label you decide to go through.

Con: You won’t know any marketers or promoters

As I’ve previously mentioned, you will be one your own when it comes to all the marketing and promo for any music that you self-release. A record label will have an entire marketing and PR department that will be able to work wonders to push your upcoming record into the attention of the public, but that won’t be the case when you are doing everything on your own. If you have never done any marketing before, then you might be a bit overwhelmed by everything you need to do. However, it is never quite as hard as you might think. Thanks to social media, you can now do a lot of free marketing that reaches a surprising number of people. If they like what they hear then your music could be shared even further.

Pro: You won’t face any limitations

Once you sign up for a record deal, you will be faced with a few limitations. These will largely depend on the record company you go with, and they will all have various regulations and stipulations that you need to follow once you sign to them. Some of these can be quite oppressive. For instance, you might sign up for a minimum time, such as five years, and will be required to release new music every year for that five-year period. Don’t like the sound of these kinds of limitations? If not, then you will be better off self-releasing. Then you can do exactly what you want with your music.

Con: It’s a huge learning curve

No one said that releasing your own music would be easy. For many musicians who have no experience of the music industry, it can end up being a huge learning curve for them. It can be a testing and often frustrating journey at times, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make your self-released music a success. Plenty of people have done it! You just need to be ready and prepared to put in a lot of hard work and effort. The more motivated you are then the more likely you are to make a success of it.

So, do you think you should self-release or find a record label for your music?

Photograph by Carol Malmeida

Originally publisher as Self-releasing music – the big pros and cons
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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When music creators think of virtualization they generally think of the software recreations of their favourite hardware synths and effects, generally created as VST plugins. However, in real “geek-speak” virtualization is something quite different and involves your laptop being a “client” and logging into a desktop or other service hosted on a server. Two very different concepts!

In Business

Desktop virtualization on the other hand is more something you might come across in a business or enterprise setting, where large firms want their employees to have secure access to their files and software, wherever they are in the world. To do this, IT departments will make use of Windows desktop virtualization, so the employee will be able to use Windows just as if it was loading directly on their laptop, but the actual computer and files will be safe and secure in the office servers or in a secure datacentre.

Security of information is paramount in many businesses, with the company’s success or failure reliant on having the right data available to the right people when they need it, but that same information locked down away from prying eyes. Virtualization is the technology that makes this possible, with IT departments able to monitor and restrict access to all parts of the networks as they need with a variety of privileged access management tools at their disposal.

In Music

Electronic music creation started in the late 1960s and early 1970s with bands like Kraftwerk producing tracks using a variety of electronic devices. As computer technology developed over the next 30-40 years, developers began recreating these physical instruments in software, making them much cheaper and more widely available to the general public – and virtual synthesizers were born. Propellerheads’ Rebirth, a software recreation of Roland’s TB-303 synth along with virtual replicas of the iconic TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, was the first such synth to become truly widespread amongst computer musicians when it was released back in 1999. Since then, these technologies have come on leaps and bounds, with almost all well-known electronic instruments now recreated as “virtual instruments”, generally compatible with Steinberg’s VST platform.

Virtualised music studio?

It is somewhat of a mystery why these two modern digital technologies use the same terminology, but the two have actually started to come together with new online music studio software from companies like Soundation. These tools allow musicians to make music within their web browser, offloading the CPU processing to the cloud – and so you can make music with much lighter and less highly powered laptops.

Photograph by Pixabay

Originally publisher as What is virtualization?
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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The internet has changed everything and put bands in closer contact with their fans than ever before, but where is the money? The music industry is worth billions of dollars, but musicians are struggling harder than ever to find an income to sustain themselves.

Only a few years ago, bands and artists made the majority of their income from CD sales, where fans would pay up to $15 for a copy of a CD, and whilst the musician only ever got $1-3 from each sale on a normal contract, if you sold a million records that was still a lot of money! CD sales collapsed with the advent of the internet and the rise of digital formats like MP3 and AAC, with people choosing to download their music from places like iTunes rather than go to a record shop to grab a copy, but most artists were still earning roughly the same amount per album or single sale as before (We’ll ignore the fact that record companies and download stores were cleaning up here as the cost of offering a download technologically is

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If you dream of making enough money to earn a living from your music, you’re not alone. There are millions of men, women, and children all around the world who live and breathe their passion, and who simply cannot imagine doing anything else with their days than making the world sing.

But the sad reality is this: most of them will end up doing something completely different. That’s because being a professional musician, singer, or songwriter is hard, often pays very little, and usually ends up forcing you to make a choice between struggling forever or following a more mundane career path.

That is unless you approach it as a business – one that needs to be profitable to survive. Once you start looking at it with your sensible head on, it actually becomes a lot easier to achieve your dreams and live the life you’ve always wanted to.

To get you started, here are just three of our tips for saving money and funding your music.

Reduce your expenses

When it comes to increasing your profit margins, it’s not always about earning more; it can also be about spending less. This applies not just to your professional outlay, but also to your daily living costs, and there are lots of ways to make your money go further. These include not only drawing up a proper budget and identifying where you can make cuts but actively going out of the way to shop around and get more for your money. Even the smallest savings can make a difference, such as using a directory site like RealMoney.ca to find the best bonuses, or a price comparison site to pick out your car insurance. Take advantage of these sorts of resources wherever possible, and when making a final decision, ask yourself these three questions before you spend – is it free? Is it cheap? Have I found the best deal around? If it doesn’t tick at least two of these boxes, walk away; you can’t justify the expense.

Check out government grants

Once you have a bit more money in the bank, it should be a little easier to stay solvent whilst still pursuing a music career. However, there’s more you can do than just that. One piece of advice that we particularly recommend is checking out any government grants that are available to musicians, singers, or songwriters. Different countries will have different programs in place, so head over to Google and perform a quick search to see what’s available where you are. Although lots of areas have undergone cuts to their arts funding in recent years, there are plenty of opportunities out there nonetheless.

Look out for partnership opportunities

It’s much more difficult to stay solvent when you’re doing everything by yourself, so another way to achieve your goals is to partner with a patron, brand, or business who is willing to collaborate. These can help you in a number of different ways, from providing you with free marketing to covering some of your costs. There is a long history of patronage within the music sphere, and many successful artists have used this as a means of gaining a foothold in the industry. Remember, it really is okay not to do it alone, and if people like what they see and feel that you’ll be beneficial to their ethos, it advantages both parties.

Give these three tips a go today!

Photograph by QuinceMedia

Originally publisher as How to save money and fund your music 
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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The effects of music on our emotional state have been well documented through the years, with everyone having their own favourite playlist for when they are happy, sad, or pumping up for a night out. Beyond its effects on our emotions, recent studies have found that music also has an impact on our decision-making processes, which could mean big business for companies looking to get us to spend our money with them.

Statistically, almost every decision you have ever made will have been influenced by the sounds around you, and in a modern urban environment that is the music chosen by the businesses you interact with on a daily basis, from your workplace, to the supermarket, to your favourite little French bistro down the street.

Music in the workplace

Some of my favourite past workplaces have let the employees pick the music, and that means getting a taste of what everyone is into and often finding out about bands old and new that I had never come across before. However, such freedom is only generally an option when you work in small teams and you won’t be disturbing the whole floor. Instead, many offices choose to have no background music, which might appear more “professional” could actually negatively impact employee performance, especially those stuck doing repetitive tasks.

Music in retail

Shops want you to spend more time in their stores and more importantly more money on their products, so finding the right music to make customers ready to part with their cash is hugely important. In one study, researchers found that classical music, subdued colours, elegant perfumes, and cool temperatures all work to prime customers to pay more for luxury goods, while country music primes people to spend more on utilitarian items.

Music in restaurants and cafes

A silent restaurant can make for some awkward conversations and will put everyone on edge, but eateries that get the music wrong can put off customers so much they will never come back. If you’re eating at a Michelin-starred upmarket restaurant and they decided to play the Best of the Spice Girls, it can make the whole evening feel cheap. But similarly, a burger joint playing classical music will make the whole experience less relaxed.

Music in casinos

Gambling can be a fun activity, but no-one is under any illusion that casinos are not out to make as much money as possible. Places like Las Vegas lure in potential customers with shows from big-name acts, huge sporting events, and top-of-the-line restaurants, all with the hope that you will spend some of your money at the tables. It should therefore be no surprise that casinos are some of the most well researched locations for the impact of music.

Researchers have found that tempo (BPM) is key to how people experience as casino floor, with uptempo music preferred by gamblers to slower more laid-back beats. They found that music with a higher BPM resulted in customers placing bets more quickly and more likely to get swept up in the excitement, while slower music made gamblers feel uneasy and less likely to place a bet.

Background music online?

Whilst we have all become accustomed to background music throughout our day and would find the silence awkward at best if it suddenly disappeared, the situation is very different online. No major ecommerce stores play background music and neither do any of the best casino sites, social media platforms, or anywhere else.

If you do find a site that does autoplay music it feels like going back to the web in 1995. The silence online is golden, and if we want to hear music we can just hit play on Spotify or Soundcloud and listen to the music we want rather than the music a business wants use to hear. If you want to turn on the sound on your favourite sites, whether they’re music sites, video sites, or online betting sites, or just an online game.

Photograph by Geralt

Originally publisher as How music impacts our cognitive abilities
&copy 1999 - 2011 AudioMelody - AudioMelody - free music software, apps & recording / mixing tutorials

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