Black Lotus Audio – [Music Business Owner Interview]
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Please welcome Alan from Black Lotus Audio to the storm!
Q1: Welcome to our storm, again! We are excited to learn more about Black Lotus Audio. Firstly, where does the name come from?
A1: Hey! Thanks for having me! Being the huge nerd that I am, I found inspiration in one of my all-time favorite TV shows. In Avatar: The Last Airbender there is a secret society called the Order of the White Lotus that values things like philosophy, beauty, and truth over the national and political divides of their world. I was immediately in love with the idea of a group of people existing beyond the traditional boundaries set by society.
When the time came to name my new project, I knew I wanted to incorporate a lotus into the name. At first, I started with White Lotus Audio, but after doing some tests I found Black Lotus Audio flowed a lot better and had a bit more of an edge to it, so I went with it!
Q2: From a philosophical and moral standpoint, where did the inspiration come from to start such an impacting company?
A2: Much like the Order of the White Lotus from Avatar, I knew I wanted to create something that existed above political, geographic, and economic divides. Given the divisive and relatively negative state of the world today, I wanted to create a platform that brings people together over a common love for music and encourages everyone to pursue their dreams.
I spent some time looking carefully at the industry and came to the conclusion that the best way I could make this platform a reality was to empower artists by making great production tools more accessible, sharing knowledge via tutorials, and being a genuine friend and supporter to all of the artists who aren’t fortunate enough to have people in their lives who believe in their dreams.
Q3: What tips can you give aspiring musicians in regards to sound design, marketing, and or production tips?
A3: Sound Design Tip: The best way to learn sound design is to take a single synth, like Vital, and find a preset bank that you enjoy. Then just break down each patch that you like and see what makes it work. Focus on each element like wavetables, filters, envelopes, LFO’s, and effects individually by enabling and disabling it to hear how it affects the sound. Take it slow and don’t try to learn everything in one day, it takes time to learn what things like FM sound like and that’s okay! Once you master one synth, then you can start exploring the features offered in other ones as you’ll be able to see what they offer more clearly.
Marketing Tip: Try reaching out to one of the thousands of YouTube-rs or Twitch streamers who need background music for their content. Offer to let them use your music for free with the guarantee that they won’t be hit with copyright issues as long as they properly credit you or maybe even just shout you out. These people could be DJs, gamers, how-to channels, etc. there’s no limit to who you can work with, so get creative!
If you did this 10 times with channels that average just 1000 viewers, you’d get heard by 10,000 potential fans FOR FREE. Compare that to the cost of Instagram ads to reach the same number of people and you’ll be saving a ton of money while connecting with listeners in an environment where they’re already primed to like your music.
All it takes is just a bit of leg work to find the right channels, genuinely connect with them (see bonus tip below), and provide them a bit of value. The best part is that there are a LOT of channels you can reach out to that have far more than 1000 average viewers. So the numbers can get pretty crazy!
Production Tip: Use references! Download tools like Voxengo SPAN, Izotope’s Imager, and the Youlean Loudness Meter and drag a professionally released track into your DAW that is comparable to yours. How does their track compare in terms of the frequency makeup? Volume? Stereo Image? Structure? Now try adjusting things on your track to be more similar to your reference. After doing this process a hundred times I guarantee you’ll see an improvement in your
(Bonus Tip: Creating genuine and long-lasting relationships with people is key to making it in the music industry. You’d be smart to think about what you can do to help your peers achieve their goals and how to provide as much value to fans as possible. Music is a team sport, so always try to be a great teammate!)
Q4: What is next in the life of Black Lotus Audio?
A4: Our focus will be on giving back to the production community by rolling out a ton of content that we know producers will really love!
We’ve created a bunch of production tools that producers are going to find insanely helpful in the studio. These upcoming packs are above and beyond anything we’ve done so far and I’m very excited to share them with everyone!
In addition to the packs, YouTube will be a big focus for us. We really want to start teaching musicians how to properly market their music and ultimately start making a living from production. In the two short months since Black Lotus Audio released our first pack, we’ve grown exponentially and reached thousands of fans with virtually no marketing budget, so we have a few things to share that bedroom-producers will find super valuable.
Q5: Where do you see your team and yourself in 5 years? Walk us into that utopian 2025 year.
A5: Five years ago, I was driving an ambulance and responding to 911 calls! Since then I’ve moved halfway across the country, graduated with a degree in finance, and worked alongside several startups. If you had asked me back then what I would be doing five years from now, I would have been way off with my guess! So, our plan is to be flexible with what we do and how we do it. As long as it serves our goal of helping people pursue their dreams and achieve success we’re happy with the uncertainty that comes with being flexible!
That being said, our next step towards this goal is to start 2021 with a bang. This means getting our new packs out alongside a river of content as we roll into the new year. When 2025 rolls around I’m not sure where Black Lotus Audio will be, but I do know that we’ll still be pursuing our goals and supporting the community that has already given us so much!
Q6: What does EDM mean to you and the influence it has on yourself and others’ lives on a daily basis?
A6: To me, EDM means freedom of expression and community. EDM has opened up the opportunity for people all around the world to pursue their dreams and become a part of something bigger than themselves. Think about how many people are able to create genuinely amazing songs from start to finish with just a laptop in their bedroom. And those same people are then able to connect with other musicians all over the globe to talk about and share their
This global connection is at the heart of what Black Lotus Audio is all about. Every day my team communicates from literally all sides of the globe to help bring more and more value to producers everywhere. Without this connection, our entire community just wouldn’t work!
Q7: What else would you like to add on, or speak about, whilst we have you?
A7: “How can you achieve your 10-year plan in the next 6 months?” — Peter Thiel. I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately and how musicians could apply it to their own careers. Like, if you HAD to “make it” in music in the next 6 months, what would you do? Okay, so now go do that!
In my experience, people generally know what they need to do in order to be successful, but often their fear of failure holds them back. I hope Black Lotus Audio can help show people that they don’t need to be afraid of chasing their dreams.
Q8: Who do you see killing it these days? Be sure to shed some light and love unto their upcoming career!
A8: Dronez, SoundKiller, and Broken Elegance have been absolutely killing it lately. All three are masters at their craft and are primed for the spotlight. Dronez just released his song “Quest” on Rushdown Records and it’s pure Colour Bass goodness. This song perfectly showcases his sound design abilities and creativity. Oh, and he’s only 18 years old! SoundKiller has been working behind the scenes to create a TON of new material that is extremely good. I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but dubstep fans would be wise to keep an eye on him! Broken Elegance recently had one of his tracks, “Rainchaser”, featured on the radio which is really exciting for a melodic bass producer! Aside from music he also creates some of the most visually appealing and informative production tutorials on YouTube.
Thank you, Alan! We know so much more about you and your business.
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