Fixing a broken database

As posted previously, two years ago, I botched the moving of this site from one hosting provider to another. Today, I finally cared enough to do something about it. On the off change it may help someone else, I enclose the notes below. I’ll (probably) be back to clean these notes up — more likely if anyone expresses an interest.

Created database through cheapwebmall cPanel

edited wp-config.php for the new database host, name, password
ftp’d up the database backup from the old site

nikto:backup-a94b5 <localuser>$ ftp <remoteuser>
<<login stuff>>
ftp> cd _db_backups
250 OK. Current directory is /_db_backups
ftp> put db295303288_wp_20140411_274.sql
local: db295303288_wp_20140411_274.sql remote: db295303288_wp_20140411_274.sql
227 Entering Passive Mode (97,74,144,87,198,128)
150 Accepted data connection
100% |*****************************************************************************| 20351 KiB 3.01 MiB/s 00:00 ETA
226-File successfully transferred
226 6.830 seconds (measured here), 2.91 Mbytes per second
20839600 bytes sent in 00:18 (1.08 MiB/s)

At this point, I could browse the front end of the blog!
However, can’t log into admin:
message at after restore:

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _relocate_children() (previously declared in /<homedir>/html/ in/<homedir>/html/ on line 1187


Google turns up
leads me to
(deactivate all plugins through phpMyAdmin)
option_name:active_plugins, option_value was


changed to



Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _relocate_children() (previously declared in /<homedir>/html/ in/<homedir>/html/ on line 1187

Returning to the general wordpress 3.9 troubleshooting page, it looks like I many need to do a manual install

Am I at 3.9?

[<remoteuser>@<server> blog]$ cat wp-includes/version.php
* The WordPress version string
* @global string $wp_version
$wp_version = '3.8.6';

Hmm… maybe partially 3.9 and partially 3.8.6?

Manual update:

After following steps in above page, and trying to log in to the backend, I got the ‘Database Upgrade Required’ message – which has a big blue button entitled ‘Update WordPress Database’. So I did.


Blog back online

This site has been offline for about two years. Amazing how time flies by.

I had been transferring it from one domain hosting provider to another, and hit a snag. I just kind of walked away from it.

This site is a Word Press site. I had moved all the files over to the new host.

Short story: I hadn’t properly configured the new database.

Details in a subsequent post.

2011 in retrospect: What a year

Howdy, Music-Lovin’ Neighbor –

Well, 2011 was quite the ride. I want to wish you the warmest of wishes this holiday season. I hope the end of the year finds you and your’n well, warm, hale and hearty.

So let’s see… a lot of obligations impinged on music-making this year, but there were still a number of stellar milestones hit. Let’s see if we can recap the year. I’ll attempt to do it chronologically, after splitting into main band segments.



original rock with a social conscience

Lot of stuff on the Nova-K front. Did you know we have multiple albums available on iTunes, Amazon, and the like? Looking back from the end of the year, it’s surprising we could have accomplished as much as we did. But things are flowin’.

As 2010 drew to a close, Nova-K was preparing for the Midem conference in France. We were represented there by Jan Cooper of Pump Records. Jan had found us through the magic of the internet, seemingly sent as an angel from on high. Midem may very well be the largest annual conference on the planet for connecting music makers with music distributors with music publishers with music licensors with…

At any rate, Jan traveled to Midem, with test-pressing copies of Nova-K’s first CD ‘Take the Risk’ under his arm, representing us and a couple other acts. Jan presented us to a number of movers and shakers within the international music industry. For several weeks, we followed up on the introductions Jan secured for Nova-K.

Coincident with the Midem conference, or perhaps prompted by it, Nova-K entered into a publishing agreement with Nome Zone records. This brought representation with the performance rights organization BMI. BMI (along with similar PROs such as ASCAP and SESAC) are responsible for collecting funds for public performance of songs (on radio, in clubs, shopping malls, etc), and distributing them to the artists in proportion to number of public performances.

February had us busy with several projects – another redesign of the website ( ), writing and recording for the followup CD, and following up with contacts from the Midem effort. On this latter point, we were happy to be talking with companies with significant international reach — such as Bellaphon, Strengholt, and All Around Music.

In March, we released the 2nd album ‘Shout’. Again, available on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and all the other usual digital distributors. Amazon has actual CDs. Coincident with this was the release of our first video — Coma Vision. It’s up on YouTube at .

In April, our work through Midem really began to pay off, as we started negotiating with Mark S Berry of Attack Media Group and Deevel about representing our material for licensing in the TV and movie sync, and videogame markets. Mark has some 36 gold records, and has worked with acts such as Yes, David Bowie, Joan Jett, and Paul McCartney.

In June we finally finished our negotiations, and signed a promotion and marketing deal with Deevel. Woohoo! Deevel announced our new relationship thusly: .

In July, Deevel secured us a sync licensing deal with MTV networks. On another front, we placed our music with MusicDealers, which is another sync licensing house.

Also in July, we got picked up in the Spotify catalog. Interestingly, the regular performance rights, as administered by BMI, are inapplicable to internet streaming. Congress has seen fit to create an entirely separate infrastructure for artists getting paid for this new media. Accordingly, we signed with SoundExchange, which performs a function similar to BMI and the other PROs for streaming plays.

August found us condensing our catalog into a ‘best of’ CD, in preparation for Mark Berry of Deevel traveling to Berlin to represent us at PopKomm. PopKomm is another large international music marketing conference. Deevel also secured us a licensing deal with Wind Mobile for use in their wireless networks. We expanded our MTV deal to the rest of the Viacom family.

September was the actual PopKomm conference. Upon return, Deevel informed us that they had secured us a digital distribution deal with Interscope Records. Needless to say, we were quite pleased to be on the Interscope/Universal label. They are now distributing our ‘best of’ CD, as alluded to above, entitled simply ‘Nova-K’ — available on iTunes, eMusic, Napster, and all the other usual outlets.

October found us turning our attention to new material. Writing and recording…. We also released a video for ‘I’m an American’ – which seemed to resonate with people interested in the ‘Occupy *’ movement. It is sort of a character sketch of the worst of ‘the 1%’. You can watch it here: .

In December, we were featured on United We Stand radio — an internationally-networked radio show focused upon activist musicians. Also, Deevel brought us a deal with Eos music, to provide music for use by businesses, who rely on such to provide a suitable atmosphere for their clientele.

Our continued success is predicated on what you think of our efforts. Please feel free to stream us, download us, friend us, fan us, watch us, or what have you. The more activity we get, the more enthused we become to write and record new material.






The Lee Thomas Band

honkin’ original RockinBloozaBoogie!

We had rereleased ‘Forty Miles of Bad Road’ at the end of 2009. It started catching fire in the first half of 2010. By mid-April of 2010, it was in the top 50 on MySpace Music’s global indie blues album chart. As 2011 opened, it was still in the top 50 — in fact at one point reaching #2 Top Mover status on this chart. It continued in this area through May of 2011. Over a year straight of being in the Top 50 — very cool!

Our newest members — Bob Olivier (keys, clarinet, and vocals) and Doug Carmichael (saxes) integrated more fully in the band. We’re loving the ability to have keys and sax at the same time. And the clarinet really adds a kick to dixieland-tinged breakdowns.

We continued our several-year old pattern of having a reduced performance schedule. We continued to focus primarily upon benefits and festival-style events such as fundraisers for the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Relay for Life, Berthoud Days, Mead Town Fest, and Fourth at Firestone.

In January, our fans voted us the the #1 slot in blues in the Austin region in Shure’s ‘Give it Voice Tour’ contest. Unfortunately, Joe (me) had misread the entrance criteria, and submitted a song that exceeded the allowable running length of 5:00. We were accordingly disqualified — after the contest closed with us in the #1 position. This oversight robbed us of our triumphant travel to Austin to take part in the inter-genre finals. I would have thought they would have screened at submission time, rather than in retrospect, but I guess not. Lesson learned. Still, our top placement was very gratifying.

After the talk of doing mostly festivals, we did close our year with a great gig at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids. Saw lots of old friends, and made some new ones, too. A tip of the hat to Goat, who introduced me to a new device that reduces the noise emitted by singlecoil pickups.

Again, any linkage you can spare helps us out. Like, Listen, Look, Link, Love :)







The Usual Suspects

The Soundtrack To Your Lives [™]

The Usual Suspects continued to cause barizens to dance all up and down the front range in 2011. The dawn of the year found us in Saratoga, WY for performances on NYE — as will the close of 2011, and the opening of 2012 — at Duke’s Bar & Grill. We also performed at: Trailside, Scooterhinge, Dickens Opera House, Hideout, Shorty’s, Town of Mead, the Derby, Ziggies, Roadkill, some private events, and probably a couple I’ve inadvertently omitted.

We continue to try to crawl out from the hole dug when Facebook allowed some hackers from Albania to steal our Facebook page. Not only for the Usual Suspects, but also for Nova-K. While we created a substitute page for Nova-K (starting from scratch), we are still using the existing page for the Suspects. As we no longer have administrative rights to this page, it makes things somewhat difficult. We’ll probably need to create a new page at some point in the future. If and when we do, we hope you will re-like the new one. Speaking of which – we’d appreciate if you’d check whether you ‘Like’ the new Nova-K page, or of you’re still linked only to the stolen one.

We’ll continue to assist in getting you out and on the dance floor through 2012 – come out and see us sometime! Maybe this NYE in the rocking’, freewheeling town of Saratoga, WY!

Oh yeah – please hit some of our links. If you sign up for our maillist, we’ll keep you informed on our comings and goings:




Joe Bear – the man, the musician, the legend

supremely competent, appropriately irreverent, slightly boozy, and just a whole lot of fun!

Hmm… solo stuff. Yeah, I did a few solo shows this year. Let’s see… Derby, Kanemoto Park, JJ’s, plus a couple of gigs a month in Second Life under an assumed nom de guerre. There’s quite a lot of freedom in a solo show to go off on whatever tangent I care to. This can lead to wildly divergent and unpredictable fun. I’ll keep branching out with new material in this format over 2012.





Rocket Surgery Sound & Productions

festival scale turnkey technical production services

Well, what with the day gig ramping up, and all the above musical stuff, 2011 ended up seeing Rocket Surgery shortchanged on the effort side of the equation. However, we did get a handful of events in — both live multitrack recording, and sound reinforcement. And some DJ gigs too – most notably for the Down The Road Corvette Club’s annual car show. Plus, the rather lucrative nature of the day gig enabled some significant investments. Rocket Surgery can now field an EAW based, 12-box, 30KW+ system with 94 channel boards at both FOH and monitors, with 12 monitor mixes, out of our own inventory. We also did a few spot rentals here and there for musos needing to supplement their own gear. Give me a call if you need gear, a sound system, or complete production services!




Whew! Looking back on the year from this vantage point, it appears pretty daunting. But it was a good ride the entire way through. I hope to push even harder on things this coming year. And I hope to bring you along for the ride as well! Whether you are familiar with one or more of my projects, I hope you’ll look into one or two more. Those that are onboard for all, I especially want to thank. You all are the reason I do what I do. Have a happy and prosperous 2012!

One last thought with which to leave you: Jingle Bombs by Achmed the Dead Terrorist

EAW KF650 rebuild complete — Rocket Surgery Sound ready for 2010 festival season

I have finally finished with the rebuild of my EAW KF650 loudspeakers. Way cool! I just have one rack rebuild left for the winter preventative maintenance, and I’ll be ready to rock for the warm busy season.

Here’s what all was required:

  • remove all components down to bare cabinets
  • strip and sand covering from cabinets
  • examine all bracing
  • load test flying hardware
  • rebuild foam parabolic mid horn on two cabs
  • resurface cabinets with DuraTex
  • impedance sweep – phase and amplitude on all drivers (15″, 10″ and 4″/2″ compression driver each)
  • characterize and repair crossovers
  • install crossovers and drivers
  • new acoustic foam on grilles & reinstall

They once again look like brand new, fully pro gear. Better yet, they have been sonically restored to factory-fresh greatness. They sound downright awesome! Here’s a pic of the finished product:

KF650 - rebuilt

KF650 - rebuilt

Speaking of the upcoming festival season, I’ll be relaunching q music inc’s sound reinforcement service as Rocket Surgery Productions. These KF650’s  will be the top boxes for this year’s ‘A’ rig. With the subs, these will be powered with two QSC PL236 and two QSC 3402 per side — a total of 28,000 watts. Clean, clear, slammin’ sound for you and a couple thousand of your closest friends.

Need sound? Hit me up for a consultation!

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blueprinting and characterizing studio monitors — Phase Technology PC2

This seems to be the quarter for speaker matching.

Last week, I trundled off to Nova-K studios with an audio analyzer and a truck full of surplus acoustical treatments. My mission was to figure out how much improvement in the monitoring environment could be made ‘on the cheap’.

I had already recorded several projects at this particular studio. I knew that it was a challenge to create mixes there that translated well to other systems. After living with the situation, we finally reached our breaking point one day.

The smoking gun

One one tune, we wanted to add some room sound to glue the electronic sampled drums together as a cohesive entity. In a stroke of madness, we decided to reamp the drum tracks through the control room monitors, and record the resultant sound using a matched pair of small diaphragm condenser mics. Upon playback, the sound was unusable due to a nasty resonance. In fact, the resonance was so pronounced that a guitar tuner program built into my phone had absolutely no problem in identifying the resonance as 67.some-odd Hz.

We tried reorienting the mics & monitors, trying different mics, etc. We could not eliminate the resonance. Further, now aware of its presence, we could clearly hear its effect in the mere playback of almost any program material.

A quick back-of-the-envelope analysis of wavelengths, room dimensions, and modal theory revealed that this resonance was unsurprising. We will return to this theme in the future. For the purposes of today’s post, we need to move forward a bit.

Matched pair? Riiight.

So I arrived at Nova-K with my analysis rig, and set it up. I figured I’d get some raw shoots of the current situation to establish a baseline before tweaking anything.

So I set my measurement mic up in the mix position, and proceeded to measure the output of the left channel. There were significant deviations from flat response, including the expected huge peak in the 68 Hz region. We measured a similarly dismal response in the right channel. Further, the left side was weaker by 4 to 8 dB through the range from about 800 Hz – 8 kHz. This seemed extreme, but plausible given the lath-and-plaster nature of the room, and its asymmetries.

We moved the mic in turn to approximately 1 foot in front of each monitor in turn, expecting the left-to-right deviation to all but disappear. We were surprised, but not completely astonished to learn that the discrepancy from side to side in the upper mids to remain about the same.

Starting to question the speakers (as opposed to the room), we swapped the left speaker to the right mount and the right speaker to the left mount. Measuring each again showed that the upper midrange difference moved with the speaker, rather than staying with the location in the room.

Now pretty convinced that the difference was in the speakers, we wanted to prove this. We placed them at chair height, right next to each other, and baffled them off front, sides, and top from the room with heavy gobos, and in the rear with blankets. Placing the mic about one foot in front of the seam between them, we measured again. The following graph clearly shows the discrepancy in response — the ‘left’ speaker is in orange, and the ‘right’ speaker is in blue.

nova-k studio monitors response before

nova-k studio monitors response before

One can readily see that, save for a strong peak at about 1300 Hz, the left speaker has a significantly weaker response throughout the upper mids as compared to the right speaker.

The Speaker Scrutinizer

It was evident that, given the speaker to speaker inconsistency, this was a problem that needed addressing before the room treatments. Accordingly, we changed tack.

The speakers were model PC2 from Phase Technology. Other then hearing them at Nova-K, I had no knowledge of this manufacturer. While not marketed as ‘studio monitors’, per se, further investigation revealed that they have a decent reputation in audiophile communities. These are a two-way, bass reflex design, with ~ 6.5″ kevlar woofer with a flat plate, and a 1″ soft dome tweeter. These had been in service at Nova-K for approximately 13 years.

So we started disassembling one. This disassembly revealed a rather solidly built unit, with a hefty woofer, and a surprisingly complex crossover network for a two-way bookshelf system:

Phase Technologies PC2 crossover network

Phase Technologies PC2 crossover network

A visual inspection tuned up nothing amiss. So we tore into the other unit. We were surprised to find that the rather substantial internal bracing from the first unit (s/n 01290A, previously ‘left’) was missing from the second unit (s/n 01021B, previously ‘right’), and that the second unit’s XO was mounted at a rakish angle.

Again, a visual inspection turned up no issues with the right speaker that would seem to explain the discrepancy in frequency response. It was obvious that we needed to measure each individual component to identify the source of the discrepancy. Lacking a full array of measurement gear, I took the speakers back to Rocket Surgery Labs (a subsidiary of my sound company q music inc.) for a more detailed analysis.

On the bench

Back at the Lab, it was time to characterize each component, looking for differences from unit to unit. The speakers each consist of essentially three components — the woofer, the tweeter, and the crossover network (XO). Access to each of these is through the woofer’s mounting hole.

Reasoning that there were no ‘strained’ sounds from any of the drivers indicating damage, and that the XO was rather complex for a two-way design, I started my investigation with the XOs. I pulled them from the cabinets. I decided to characterize them using a process similar to that described in this previous post. This process employs SMAART, as a dual channel FFT, to generate a Transfer Function for each XO output. See the aforementioned post for more info on this process.

Here is an overview of the test setup:

PC2 Crossover Test Setup

PC2 Crossover Test Setup

Before setting up the test rig, I measured each of the woofers and tweeters at a DC resistance of 2.7-3.2 ohms. Using faulty reasoning that I now discount, I assumed these to be three ohm nominal drivers. In retrospect, these are likely four ohm nominal drivers. However, as we will see, this is immaterial for the purpose at hand.

Accordingly, I loaded down the LF output of the XO with a 3 ohm wirewound load resistor, and the HF out with a 3 ohm load composed of two 2 ohm resistors in parallel, for a resistance of 1 ohm, in series with another 2 ohm resistor, for a total of 3 ohms. Here is a closer look:

Crossover test rig connections

Crossover test rig connections

In this photo, one can readily see the output of the amp on the gray-sheathed red and black wires, connected to the XO inputs (white and black), the XO LF outs (blue and black) connected to the green wirewound resistor with the alligator clip leads (red and black {offscreen}) and the XO HF out (red and black) connected to the resistor network through the alligator test leads (yellow and green at top). Also attached to the LF outs is the Interface’s DUT input, through the red and green alligator leads in the foreground.

In the process of this testing, I discovered a cold solder joint on one of the inductors. After repairing this, the XO’s Transfer Functions were remarkably similar:

L & R XO LF & HF outs with 3 ohm dummy loads

L & R XO LF & HF outs with 3 ohm dummy loads

Remarkably similar Transfer Functions. I next reassembled the units, but included leads from each XO output <> driver connection, each passed out the bass reflex port. This allowed me to measure electrically at the crossover outputs with the complex load of the drivers and the cabinets, rather than the simple dummy load. Here is how this looks physically:

assembled speakers instrumented electrically

assembled speakers instrumented electrically

While the photo is blurry, you can see the tape flags labeled LF on the red and black pair, and HF on the yellow and green pair.

With the real load of the speakers on the XO’s, they still appear well-matched:

Both XO's LF & HF TFs with the actual drivers

Both XO's LF & HF TFs with the actual drivers

Both amplitude and phase are very well matched, for both LF and HF, from unit to unit. Accordingly, we can rule out the XOs as the source of the frequency response aberration.

For the interest of completeness, the following graph compares the XO TFs in both the case of dummy load, and of actual drivers (and cabinet acoustics) as loads:

Comparison of XO outs with resistive dummy loads, and actual drivers

Comparison of XO outs with resistive dummy loads, and actual drivers

We can see that the real load of the speaker drivers, as well as the reflected acoustic impedance of the cabinets, have a non-negligible effect on the crossover transfer functions.


I next decided to move the L woofer to the R cabinet and vice versa. If the aberration went with the woofer, then the woofer would be implicated as the differing component. If the difference stayed with the rest of the unit (cabinet, XO and tweeter), then the woofer would be absolved. This would require acoustic measurements. Further, I would need to re-baseline the measurements due to the different acoustical environment in which I would be testing.

I placed the speakers side-by-side on the corner of the workbench, and carefully positioned my measurement mic to be equidistant from the axis of each driver. Here is an overview:

acoustic test setup overview

acoustic test setup overview

You can see the similar configuration of the SMAART test computer, the Interface, and the Power Amp. The DUT input of the interface, however, is now being fed by the measurement mic visible in the foreground. The next picture shows the view down the axis of the mic:

acoustic test setup mic

acoustic test mic setup

One can see the test leads from a previously described test exiting the port one of the speakers. These are not connected in this test.

With this rig, I made baseline measurements. These are shown below. The left speaker is in orange, and the right speaker is in magenta:

Nearfield response - left vs right

Nearfield response - left vs right

Hey! In this acoustic environment, the right speaker is impressively flat – within +/- 3dB from about 50 Hz to about 18 kHz. The phase response is also very smooth.

One can clearly see that there is still a significant loss of amplitude in the upper mids in the left speaker. Interestingly, the 1.3 kHz spike is no longer present. Was this a byproduct of the cold solder joint on the XO? More on this later.

I then swapped the woofers from cabinet to cabinet and remeasured. The problem did not move with the woofer — it stayed with the rest of the speaker. Here is the curve for the right speaker with the woofer from the left in green, along with the right speaker with right woofer from the above measurement in magenta:

nearfield R vs R with L woofer

nearfield R vs R with L woofer

And similarly, replacing left’s woofer with that of the right yields similarly poor performance for the combination. Here is the earlier left measurement in orange, with the new measurement of left with right’s woofer in blue:

nearfield L vs L with R woofer

nearfield L vs L with R woofer

As the problem stayed with the system, and did not move with the woofer, we conclude that the woofers are substantially identical. I returned the woofers back to their original systems.


As the XOs are identical, and the woofers are identical, the difference must be either in the tweeters or the cabinets themselves. I prepared to swap the tweeters from cabinet to cabinet to make another measurement. Upon removing the diffraction foam on the face of the baffle, I was met with quite a surprise. The tweeters are of substantially different design! See the photo below:

Tweeter Comparison

Tweeter Comparison

The tweeter on the left appears to have a trim ring around it, pressed into a recess in the face of the baffle. The right tweeter has an integral mounting flange. Investigating further, I snapped some photos from the inside of the cabinet at the backs of the tweeters. Here is the left:

L tweeter inside

L tweeter inside

Note that the tweeter itself does not extend through the baffle.  It is merely screwed to the front of the baffle, and the speaker wires are passed through, and sealed with modeling clay.

On the other hand, the right tweeter does extend through the baffle:

R Tweeter from inside

R Tweeter from inside

This tweeter appears to have a back chamber, adding perhaps an inch and a half of depth behind the face of the tweeter. No wonder it sounds different.

C’est la vie

Despite being sold as a matched pair (!), they are of considerably differing design. Oddly, the presumably newer one (based upon serial number), with the additional cabinet bracing, has the poorer tweeter configuration. Ideally, we would procure one of the old style tweeters for the other speaker, thereby bringing it up to performance with the better one. However, these are thirteen year old speakers.  Accordingly, sourcing may be a problem. While attempting to locate a suitable replacement, we still have mixes to do. Accordingly, we will accept the differing performance for now, and patch around it as best we can with eq. As the phase looks rather smooth through this region, we expect to be able to largely mask this difference in performance with some tuning. At least we eliminated the nasty peak at 1.3 kHz.

The room tuning will be the subject of my next post…

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EAW KF650isfx crossover repair and characterization

In a previous post, I described how I performed some troubleshooting on a number of crossover (XO) networks for the EAW KF650 — specifically KF650isfx. At the conclusion of that post, I described what I thought were the failed components of each XO assembly.

Since then, the good news is that EAW is still stocking the required parts to effect repair. Almost is good is that I received all the necessary parts, delivered, for less than a Franklin.

So I repaired the XOs with the replacement parts.

After repair, I used SMAART to measure the transfer function (TF) of each of the XO assemblies.The set setup was the same as in the previous post.

Here is a TF of all five LF modules, superimposed:

EAW KF650isfx LF XO - all 5 superimposed

EAW KF650isfx LF XO - all 5 superimposed

The lack of correlation at ~1.25KHz is puzzling. However, all five demonstrated the same issue, and the level is already attenuated by about -60 dB at this frequency.

Here are TFs of all five MF XO modules, using the same IO Panel 3203 for a control:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 MF XO w/ 3203 IO Panel

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 MF XO w/ 3203 IO Panel

Excellent! And all five IO Panels, using the same MF module 3203 as a control:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 IO Panel w/ 3203 MF XO

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 IO Panel w/ 3203 MF XO

Again, excellent.

Lastly, we have TFs for all five HF XO modules:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 HF XO

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all 5 HF XO

Unit 3204 has a slight dip at 2K. Note however, that the phase at that frequency is spot-on. Other than this slight attenuation, they match almost exactly.

The upshot of all this is that the repairs have been effected, and the XO’s match extremely well with each other.

Three-way operation

In order to visualize the operation of the crossovers as a whole, the following is a graph of representative LF, MF, and HF modules superimposed:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands

Note that the mids and highs are horn loaded. Accordingly, they are acoustically more efficient than the lows. In terms of acoustic output, it would help to visualize the MF and HF curves as boosted by 7dB from their current values.

Here is a high resolution look at the magnitude curves:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands - hires magnitude

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands - hires magnitude

And a look at the phase curves when unwrapped:

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands - phase unwrapped

TF: EAW KF650isfx - all bands - phase unwrapped

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EAW KF650isfx crossover operation

The EAW KF650isfx

So a while back, my sound reinforcement company Rocket Surgery Sound (a division of q music inc.) bought five used EAW KF650isfxP speakers. These are true professional-grade three-way arrayable speakers for live sound reinforcement. The KF650- is the base model name, the -P suffix indicates they were made for permanent installation, the -is- indicates the first iteration of these speakers, and the -fx- indicates that they were a special Build To Order version with an integral three way passive crossover, meant to be operated full-range only.

The standard product most like my speakers are the KF650is (without the -fx-). These standard units are meant to be either bi-amped or tri-amped. So rather than the single crossover (XO) of the standard product, the KF650isfx has three XO networks spread across four separate modules. The woofer is filtered by the LF XO module, the tweeter is filtered by the HF XO module, and the mid is filtered by the MF network, which is spread across the MF XO module and the IO panel.

Problem and Potential Solution

Upon receiving these speakers, each sounded radically different than the other. Cabinetry seems identical. The drivers all seem roughly equivalent — though I will characterize them fully in a future installment. Apparently, the difference in sound from speaker to speaker is due to variation in the XO networks.

In order to restore the proper operation of the XOs, the plan is to characterize each network’s Transfer Function. With the assumption that at least some XO networks are in good shape, I should be able to determine which XO networks have drifted from their factory values, and then drill down to component level troubleshooting to identify the failed components.

I have access to a tool called SMAART, which is a computer program that measures and compares audio signals. Using SMAART, I can compare the relative amplitude and phase, between the input to an XO and its output, across the entire audio frequency range. This generates a Transfer Function.

Accordingly, I will capture a Transfer Function of each XO in turn, and compare these for any anomalies.

Test Setup

The following is a diagram of my test setup:

XO test setup diagram

XO test setup diagram

Note that I am using an 8 ohm resistor to load the output of the XO. Each driver in the KF650is* is an 8 ohm driver. While a speaker driver is a more complex load than a resistor, the resistor will serve for this characterization. Recall we are just needing to compare Transfer Functions from XO to XO to look for differences.

The rather low impedance requires us to employ a power amp to drive the XO. The power amp is being driven by an audio interface, which is fed a signal from SMAART.

The inputs to the interface, and thereby the inputs to SMAART, are at the input of the XO (V(omega)in) as the reference signal, and at the output of the XO (V(omega)out) as the measured signal.

SMAART is able to perform an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) on both the reference signal and the measured signal and compare them. This generates the system Transfer Function

H(omega) = V(omega)out / V(omega)in

The following is a photo of the test setup:

XO Test Setup

XO Test Setup

Here, at the left you can see he computer running SMAART atop the amplifier, the interface in the center, and one of the XO modules on the right. The load resistor is the green cylinder behind the XO. There is also a DMM in the picture which may come in handy. Last, there is an assembly drawing and a schematic for the XO.

Low Frequency XO

For no particular reason, I started with the low frequency (LF) XOs. I found that four out of the five LF XO networks matched very closely. See this following for a Transfer Function (TF) graph:

LF TF - 3203, 3204, 3206, 3207

LF TF - 3203, 3204, 3206, 3207

This graph shows all four TFs match within a fraction of a dB for all frequencies of interest.

The following is a higher resolution view of the same:

LF TF - 3203, 3204, 3206, 3207 - hi res

LF TF - 3203, 3204, 3206, 3207 - hi res

I was quite pleased that four of the five matched so closely. Indeed, even the phase trace is as tight as I could hope for. Phase only starts to deviate around 1 kHz, but the signal is already in excess of -50 dB down by this point, essentially being inaudible.

With such tight correlation, I am quite sure that these XOs have not drifted appreciably since leaving the factory. This is testament to the quality of truly pro level gear.

It is worth noting that the graphs show approximately -1.5 dB of insertion loss for the LF XO. This represents a waste of power. Converting to bi- or tri-amp operation at some future date could regain this lost amplifier power.

But not all is perfect

Unfortunately, the fifth LF XO (s/n 3205) did not fare as well. The following shows this TF superimposed upon the other four:

LF TF all

LF TF all

Note the discrepancy of the orange trace. This looks as if the main XO network 1s operating properly, but a second tuned filter at about 250 has failed.

By performing some resistance and capacitance measurements of the failing XO, compared with that of the good ones, I determined that L10 had failed on the LF XO 3205. This is a 0.9 mH inductor. The failed unit displayed a DC resistance of 0.2 ohms, while the healthy ones had a DC resistance of 0.6 ohms. Visual inspection suggested that the failing L10 may have overheated, melting insulation, and shorting the coil.

To verify that this was the only failed component I swapped L10 between the bad XO 3205 and the good XO 3203. The previously good 3203 with the bad L10 now failed:

LF TF - 3203 with bad L10

LF TF - 3203 with bad L10

The orange trace is the first measurement of the failed XO, while the blue is the previously good 3202 with L10 from the failing unit.

I next captured a TF for the previously failing XO 3203, with L10 replaced with one from a good XO:

LF TF - previously bad XO with good L10

LF TF - previously bad XO with good L10

Note how closely the ‘repaired’ XO (orange) matches one of the four matching traces from above (blue).

Conclusion – a new L10 will restore LF XO 3203 to proper operation. At that point, all five LF XOs will be effectively blueprinted. I sure hope EAW can provide these inductors.

Mid Frequency XO

The MF XOs are somewhat more involved, as they are spread across two assemblies – the IO panel and the MF XO proper.

I first used the IO Panel sn 3203 as a control, and measured the five MF XOs.

As the response of the MF XO does not extend to DC, SMAART must compensate for the concomitant delay. I started by taking an impulse response:

MF Impulse response

MF Impulse response

And set SMAART’s internal delay to the corresponding .41 ms.

I then measured all five MF XO’s, using the same IO panel. Much to my delight, all five MF XOs exhibited tight correlation:

MF TF - all five modules

MF TF - all five modules

There is a little phase difference creeping in around 100 Hz on the low end, but the amplitude is already minimal by that point.

IO Panel woes

Unfortunately, the picture was not so rosy for the IO panels. Using the MF XO 3203 as a control, I measured each IO panel in turn. As I will explain later, I determined that IO Panel 3203 was one of the ones in good shape. As I used this IO panel for the MF XO measurements, this meant that I did not have invalidate all the MF XO TFs.

The following shows all five IO panel TFs superimposed. from the picture, one can see that there is a group of two, another group of two, and a third (fifth) outlier.

TF all IO panels

TF all IO panels

There were two IO panels that exhibited proper operation — 3203 and 3206. Their TFs are displayed below:

IO Panels 3203 and 3206 -- good

IO Panels 3203 and 3206 -- good

Excellent correlation.

The other group of two are as follows:

IO Panels 3204 and 3207 -- bad

IO Panels 3204 and 3207 -- bad

Visual inspection revealed that a capacitor lead had been clipped on these two IO panels, essentially removing them from the circuit. Jumpering these leads caused the unit to whine loudly. Using a DMM and capacitance meter, I determined that these clipped capacitors were faulty. Some previous tech’s means of ‘fixing’ the units after failure was to remove them from the circuit. This removal is the cause of the radically different TF.

These caps are 15 uF / 100 V bipolar electrolytic. As two out of the five have failed, it seems likely that this is a weak area of the KF650isfx design. It would seem prudent to increase the voltage rating of this cap to 200 V or so.

The last IO Panel is worse yet:

IO Panel 3205 - dead

IO Panel 3205 - dead

Note that, at the middle of its passband, the TF is essentially dead – the level is attenuated in excess of -50 dB.

By measurement, it was discovered that the other cap was faulty. This is a 30 uF / 100 V unit. Again,would seem prudent to increase the voltage rating of this cap to 200 V or so.

High Frequency XO

I performed an Impulse response on the HF XO:

HF Impulse

HF Impulse

After setting the delay to 0.02 ms, I captured TFs for all five of the HF XOs. Much to my delight, all five exhibited excellent correlation:

HF TFs - all

HF TFs - all

In the process, I learned that the HF output wires are unconventionally colored. The black wire is hot and the red wire is ground. By hooking the colored wires to the correspondingly colored terminals on the tweeter driver, one obtains a 180 degree polarity flip. This is likely an intentional design artifact.

Unfortunately, before I realized this, I blew up my amp by connecting its output hot to the interface’s ground. Oh well.


Well, if my analysis is correct, it should be easy and cheap to restore the crossovers to factory fresh operation. Three capacitors (cheap and easy) and one inductor (moderate expense, and perhaps difficult to find) are all that is required.

I will follow up some day with a post-repair report.

Tags: , , , , ,

blog enhanced to support streaming audio

Well, I just added the ability to stream audio right from this blog. Pretty cool. I did this by installing the plugin ‘WP Audio Player’. The process is documented on my other blog.

This is what it looks like:
[wpaudio url=”″]

choosing an online music distributor

Well, some short time back, I decided to re-release a Lee Thomas Band album — 40 Miles of Bad Road. This seems like an easy project to use to learn how the process works.

Once I started down the road, I discovered a number of obstacles. The current bump in the road is choosing a service to be the interface between me and iTunes, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.

As I started this process, the only one I was aware of was TuneCore. Since then, I have run across BandCamp and ReverbNation. I’m sure if I looked, there’d be several others.

I’ve started projects on each of these sites, though I have not taken any of them to completion. This has allowed me to start looking at the various features each provides. I’ll keep this blog post updated with what I learn as I evaluate each company’s offerings.


It appears that the ones that aggregate your interaction with the major online retailers essentially amount to:

  • TuneCore – the ‘big 5’x about 2, plus Amazon disc-on-demand, Lala (important due to Google) – analytics perhaps more comprehensive than RN – though updated monthly
  • ReverbNation – the ‘big 5’ retailers, analytics per period, per retailer, per album, track, and stream. Geographic upcoming
  • CD Baby – all TuneCore’s important outlets. More $ up front, less for ‘long tail’ – rumors of current problems


Currently absolutely free. They’ll figure out how to monetize it later.

No extended funcitonalty a la RN – they plan on adding it later.

One upload in WAV (or other lossless), they transcode to most popular.

Per transaction pricing (new PayPal micropayment account suggested).

They host a site. It can have a custom domain (e.g.

Can give out download codes that allow others to download your tunes.

Run by the guy that developed then sold Yahoo mail to Yahoo. (Oddpost)

Apparently no relationship with digital music distributors.


$34.95 per album per year

HEY! will other services integrate into RN widgets and such?

Amazon $0.70/Track & $6.50/Album
eMusic 60% of net
iTunes US & CDN: Single Track – $0.70; Album – $7.00; iPhone Ring Tone Service (US only) – $1/ring tone
iTunes AUSSIE & NZ Single Track – $0.99 AUD & $1.17 NZD; Single Video – $1.98 AUD & $2.33 NZD; Album – $9.99 AUD & $11.75 NZD
iTunes EU (S.a.r.l.) Single Track – GBP ₤.47 & Euro €.68; Album – GBP ₤4.60 & Euro €6.70
iTunes Japan Single Track – Int’l & Standard Domestic – ¥89 & Premium Domestic – ¥118; Album – ¥890 (IS) &¥1186 (PD)
Napster, LLC US – $0.70/track; $7.00/album; UK – ₤0.48/track; ₤4.80/album; Canada – C$0.65/track; C$6.50/album; Germany & other EU countries – €0.65/track; €6.50/album; Japan – Permanent Downloads: 60% of retail (net of taxes). $0.01 for “Premium” streams; $0.02 for “To Go” streams (payment in other currencies will be similar based on current conversion rates)
Rhapsody (Real) US – $0.70 for singles; $0.70 x # of tracks or $7.00 (whichever is less) for albums; $0.01 for streams; outside US subtract mechanicals for all permanent downloads.
  1. Rhapsody – US Only
  2. eMusic – United States, Canada, Europe
  3. Amazon – US Only (announced plans in Jan 2008 for Canada, UK, Germany, Austria, France, China, and Japan. No ETA available)
  4. Napster – United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union
  5. iTunes Worldwide – Austrailia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

Can I upload liner notes?
No, many of the retailers do not support this feature anyhow.

How do I list other performers on particular tracks?
Check the song options on that particular track to note other contributors.

What can I put in for my album art?
Album art must be JPEG, GIF, or PNG format. Recommended size is 1000px X 1000px. Resolution less than that may be rejected by some retailers. The absolute minimum is 600px X 600px. Please note that the aspect ratio of any file you upload will be altered so the picture is square and resized to 1000px X 1000px.

What is a UPC and ISRC number?
A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a number (from 12 to 14 characters long) exclusively associated with your release. If you are like most of the Artists on ReverbNation, this is your first time publishing this music, which means you probably won’t have a UPC. That’s okay, we’ll generate one for you for free.  Retailers use the UPC as a unique identifier for your release and track and report all sales according to the UPC.  Most published CDs have the UPC printed, along with the bar code form, on the back cover. An International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) will be assigned to each of your songs. This is for accounting and tracking purposes. Each ISRC is 12 characters long, and is a combination of letters and numbers. If you already have an ISRC number for your song, use it. If not, ReverbNation will assign one for you. When typing your ISRC, do not include any dashes.

Is this distribution digital only or for physical CDs as well?
Digital only.

Now that my release is on a retailer, how do I promote it?
You can promote your release through many of the tools and services provided to you by ReverbNation. Make sure to include all relevant links to your releases in the STORELINK section of your artist profile’s Admin/Tools section. This will allow fans to also get linked to your music through ReverbNation widgets. Also alert your fans in your General Tab that you have music for sale on these retailers.

Can I use Street Teams to generate sales?
Of course! Announce a mission to help spread your TuneWidget, which includes the STORE tab. This tab links anyone interested in purchasing your music to the appropriate places. We will attempt to populate your STORE tab with links to the retailers as soon as we can determine the proper links.

plus audiolife – free


$39.98/album/year (special temporary pricing)

A La Carte placement

Amazon $0.63/Track & $4.90/Album
eMusic 60% of net
iTunes US & CDN: Single Track – $0.70; Album – $7.00; iPhone Ring Tone Service (US only) – $1/ring tone
iTunes AUSSIE & NZ Single Track – $0.99 AUD & $1.17 NZD; Single Video – $1.98 AUD & $2.33 NZD; Album – $9.99 AUD & $11.75 NZD
iTunes EU (S.a.r.l.) Single Track – GBP ₤.47 & Euro €.68; Album – GBP ₤4.60 & Euro €6.70
iTunes Japan Single Track – Int’l & Standard Domestic – ¥89 & Premium Domestic – ¥118; Album – ¥890 (IS) &¥1186 (PD)
Napster, LLC US – $0.65/track; C$6.50/album; UK – ₤0.48/track; ₤4.80/album; Canada – C$0.65/track; C$6.50/album; Germany & other EU countries – €0.65/track; €6.50/album; Japan – Permanent Downloads: 60% of retail (net of taxes). $0.01 for “Premium” streams; $0.02 for “To Go” streams (payment in other currencies will be similar based on current conversion rates)
Rhapsody (Real) US – $0.70 for singles; $0.70 x # of tracks or $7.00 (whichever is less) for albums; $0.01 for streams; outside US subtract mechanicals for all permanent downloads.
Lala $0.70 singles/ $7 album for frontline. See
Disc On Demand through Amazon $4.39/album
IMVU / GroupieTunes /SonicTap $0.70 – but see below for streaming licensing revenues from SoundExchange
ShockHound $0.70 singles/ $7 album
Amie Street increases with each purchase from $0.15 @ 1, up to $0.98 @ 82. Albums to $5.00.
LimeWire ?
Nokia ?

What format must my artwork be in, in order to upload to TuneCore?

Artwork can be in one of the following file formats: JPG, GIF or PNG. The image must be a perfect square and at least 1600×1600. All artwork must be in best-quality RGB Color mode (including black and white images) and must have a resolution of at least 72 dpi. You may not include: email addresses, URLs, any other contact information or any pricing information. You must include both the artist name and album title on the artwork and remove any stickers or other items from your artwork in case you are scanning it in from a physical CD.

  • You do not yet have a UPC/Barcode. No problem, we will make one for you. At the moment, we are offering this service free of charge.

If we assign you a UPC/Barcode, your UPC will appear on your My Discography page very shortly after you complete your payment has been received. You are free to use it for your physical CDs as well at no extra charge. You can continue using it even if you are no longer a TuneCore customer. TuneCore will never re-use your UPC/Barcode number. If you want it, it’s yours forever.

To receive a barcode (currently offered free of charge), please contact with your UPC number and ID Number and we will email you back a barcode. You can find your UPC number and ID Number on your My Discography page next to your album, EP or single. Remember, if you don’t have a UPC, TuneCore will auto-generate one for you when you use the TuneCore service, currently at no extra charge. Also if you want any CDs replicated or duplicated, please click here for details click here.

IMPORTANT: UPCs and barcodes issued by TuneCore are for you to use, now and forever. But they are just for you. Please don’t resell them! There are penalties for reselling to discourage this: you’ll have to pay a $25.00 (U.S. dollars) fee plus all the revenue you received from the sale of the UPC or barcode or both, and TuneCore can take this money from the proceeds of music sales. Please keep the UPC and barcode what they are meant to be: a free and convenient part of the TuneCore experience for you, the TuneCore client.

For tracking and accounting purposes, each of your songs needs its own unique ISRC number. An ISRC (“International Standard Recording Code”) is assigned to each song. This allows easy tracking of each song, such as keeping track of how many copies of it sold. Each ISRC is associated with only one song.

Each ISRC number is a total of twelve characters in a combination of letters and numbers. For example: US SB5 0501001.

Your songs need unique ISRC numbers. With TuneCore, there are two options:

  • You already have your own ISRC codes for each song and want to use them. No problem, just enter each song’s ISRC and they will be used.
  • You do not yet have ISRC codes. No problem, we will make them for you free of charge.

If we assign your songs ISRC numbers, you are free to use them any way you like for anything else you like at no extra charge. You can continue using them even if you are no longer a TuneCore customer. TuneCore will never re-use your ISRC numbers. If you want them, they’re yours forever.

Both your UPC/Barcode and ISRC numbers will be used on your “My Account” page in calculating and displaying how many songs and albums, EPs or singles sold.

IMPORTANT: A single requires both an ISRC (for the song) and a UPC (for the “album”): as far as stores are concerned, a single is merely an album with one song.

Complete iTunes trending report @ 2.98 each

Monthly iTunes accounting report free

One-Time Fees:

  • $0.99 per song per album/EP delivery charge.
  • $0.99 per store/service per album/EP delivery fee.

Annual Fees

  • $19.98 per album/EP maintenance and service fee (all song(s) must be associated with an album).
  • $9.99 per single (see definition here).

GroupieTunes / IMVU / SonicTap

GroupieTunes is a company that “powers” other companies, such as IMVU and the soon to be launched SonicTap. When you choose to have your music in IMVU, you agree to have it in ALL the places GroupieTunes sends music or may send music.

GroupieTunes Powered Stores

As of September 2008, GroupieTunes no longer runs its own store, instead it now only delivers to IMVU and SonicTap.


IMVU ( is not a traditional music retailer, but a social site where people can, in the course of their social interaction, listen to and purchase music, as streams and/or downloads. Digital download sales, which will be DRM-free MP3s at 256 kbps, will be track-by-track, obey the above rules of pricing for GroupieTules, and will yield $0.70 each time one downloads. These download sales work normally, with the money coming back into TuneCore 45 days after the end of the month and accounted for like any other store.

But imvu in particular has a new wrinkle worth considering. People go to IMVU, create an avatar (a graphical representation of you on the internet) and wander, interact, socialize, buy virtual items and buy music for download. But an avatar can also put together a “radio playlist” of songs and let other avatars listen to them, just like a radio station puts together a playlist of songs and lets listeners hear them. As this is the internet, in the United States, when a “radio station” plays songs on the Internet, U.S. law requires you get paid. The money that is owed to you is paid to a collection agency called Sound ExchangeSound Exchange. Sound Exchange’s job is to collect the money owed to you from streams in the U.S. and then give it to you, once you register with them (registration with Sound Exchange is free). International streaming sales are handled through another compandy called PPL.

So money earned by your music from streams at imvu will NOT flow through TuneCore: it will be waiting for you at Sound Exchange, and you need to be signed up with Sound Exchange to retrieve it. Streaming is purchased at a flat rate, regardless of how much people listen to, even a fraction of a second!


SonicTap is a forthcoming (due in late 2009) digital download store owned by DMX. It will be selling DRM-free MP3s at 256 kbps. A beta is expected in early 2009, which will run by invitation only. Your content will be live already, if you opted in to imvu or, in the past, GroupieTunes. SonicTap will not work on a per-album model, so only tracks will sell. All the rules of pricing for GroupieTules (above) apply, which will be per-track only, and you’ll get $0.70 each time one downloads. We’ll have much more detailed information as launch date approaches.


Physical manufacturing and order fulfillment.

No upfront costs.

CDs, merch, ringtones

Creates a ‘store’ in the form of a widget, with ready integration with the most prominent social networking sites.

Relationship with RN.

Apparently no link to digital music retailers.


How Does Broadjam Help Musicians?

Broadjam helps its tens of thousands of musicians and bands promote their music online. Musicians use Broadjam to:

  • Sell music downloads (Sell for $.99, Keep $.80!)
  • Submit music to film & TV supervisors, radio stations, and pro reviewers
  • Build a fan base of Broadjam listeners
  • Enter contests to win prizes and exposure
  • Get a musician’s website
  • Much more!


Widget based store for downloaded tunes.

Most in their gallery had outages 20091026

CD Baby

HEY! Lots of people very unhappy with CD Baby since DiskMakers relaunched the website. This may return to being a great option, but I am currently wary.

From our humble beginnings more than a decade ago as a small, one-man operation in a garage, to our current standing as the world’s largest online distributor of indie music, CD Baby has always been a company run BY musicians FOR musicians. Inside the fortified walls of our warehouse (a virtual Wonka-world of music) in rainy Portland, Oregon, we listen to every single album we carry before it is posted for sale so that we can help you find other new artists you’ll love, too. No distributors. No major labels. We only sell music that musicians send us directly. We ship CDs from our warehouse. We sell downloads from our site. And we also deliver our artists’ music to other download retailers, as well (iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, and many more.) We sell you the music and then we pay the artist right away. Cool thing: in a regular record deal or distribution deal, musicians only make $1-$2 per album, if they’re ever lucky enough to get paid by their label at all. When selling through CD Baby, musicians make $6-$12 per album and get paid weekly.

Current Numbers

278,510 albums being sold on CD Baby
5,339,025 CDs sold online to customers
$107,769,092 paid directly to the artists

Fulfillment – you ship CD Baby 5 CDs, they ship them to those that order.

Partners with digital retailers.

Costs $35/album plus $20/album UPC

They get $4/unit CD, 25% sales of digtal downloads, 9% of partners, 12.8% of credit card sales

  • iTunes worldwide!
    See iTunes World Wide Distribution Here.

    iTunes is the premier destination for digital downloads. They offer high quality DRM-free MP3s and command over 80% of the download marketplace revenue. Our one delivery to iTunes includes all of their stores worldwide, and your music will be available for download in full and also as a ringtone!
  • Amazon MP3Amazon MP3
    Seattle-based Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Their MP3 store sells DRM-free MP3s to the largest audience anywhere. Amazon MP3 is the muscle behind MySpace Music, so if your MP3s are for sale on Amazon, then they will soon be for sale in the MySpace Music store.
  • eMusiceMusic
    eMusic boasts the largest catalog of independent music and is the #2 digital music retailer. eMusic offers high-quality DRM-free MP3s to an ever-growing number of subscribers, with a stronghold on the 25 and older demographic.
  • RhapsodyRhapsody
    Rhapsody has been making major waves with their subscription-based model. Through key partnerships with Verizon, Yahoo! Unlimited, and iLike, to name a few, the reach of their service is unparalleled. Rhapsody has entered the permanent download market to complement their wildly successful streaming service.
  • NapsterNapster
    Los Angeles-based Napster is a perennial figure when it comes to MP3 downloads and online streaming, and was recently acquired by Best Buy. In addition to their standard subscription access, Napster has also launched a DRM-free store where anyone can purchase high quality MP3s as a permanent download.
  • SpotifySpotify
    European-based Spotify is becoming one of the most popular streaming services available. Currently only available in limited territories, their store is set for expansion to the US. Customers are able to stream their favorite artists using a free ad-supported version, or by paying a modest monthly fee for their premium option.
  • Liquid DigitalLiquid Digital
    Liquid Digital is the exclusive provider for Walmart’s PC-based digital download store. Liquid offers high quality, unprotected DRM-free MP3s to the retail giant’s vast customer base. With competitive pricing and enormous brand recognition, Walmart has quickly become one of the powerhouse digital retailers.
  • Verizon V CastVerizon V-Cast
    Verizon’s V-Cast store puts your music in the hands of one of the largest mobile networks in the nation. Through V-Cast, fans are able to purchase your music instantly from their mobile phone with a variety of delivery methods, including direct to phone, PC, or both!
  • LalaLala
    Lala provides music lovers an ad-free experience where they can listen to full-length tracks, and purchase high quality DRM-free MP3s. With a catalog that includes both independent and major label artists, Lala has rapidly been gaining popularity for their innovative pricing structure and incredible accessibility.
  • ShockhoundShockhound
    Shockhound is the brand new online music store from retail giant Hot Topic. Shockhound goes beyond offering high quality DRM-free MP3 downloads, letting their customers to create member pages, rate and review new and classic albums, and discover what other members are listening to in real time.
  • iTunesNokia
    The mobile reach of Nokia includes an extensive catalog of great music and a variety of online retailers worldwide. Artists will be available in all Nokia storefronts, including the wildly popular “Comes with Music” program.
  • Amie StreetAmie Street
    Amie Street has been turning heads with their exciting and fresh approach to the digital music landscape. Their store begins as a hybrid of music discovery and downloads, with song pricing that’s driven by demand. Most tracks on Amie Street start out free for the first 5 downloads, and as the song catches on the price begins to ascend until it reaches the 98¢ cap.
  • Last is one of the most prominent on-demand streaming and online radio services in the world. Through full-length previews and tailored-to-taste radio stations, empowers their audience to discover new music they’ll love. Artists delivered by CD Baby are paid royalties for each and every full-length listen!
  • ZuneZune
    Zune Marketplace carries nearly 3 million tracks from independent and major label artists. Whether fans access music with an unlimited download membership, or an a la carte MP3 purchase, Zune Marketplace reaches a massive audience that solidifies its standing as a major digital retailer.
  • MediaNetMediaNet (formerly MusicNet)
    MediaNet is one of the biggest providers of digital music, and calls upon a heavy-hitting list of retailers for their distribution network. With domestic & international outlets including FYE’s digital download store, Samsung (Europe), HMV (UK) and more, MediaNet puts your music front and center on a global scale.
  • DidiomDidiom
    Didiom is a brand new PC-based store that offers DRM-free songs for permanent download to your desktop, participating mobile phone, or both! This award-winning mobile media service provider provides users with the ability to browse and purchase new music, or even stream their personal music library from their mobile phone.
  • TradebitTradebit
    With a presence in both Germany & the United States, Tradebit is a versatile online store that specializes in digital downloads. They offer high quality DRM-free MP3s to an international customer-base, along with detailed artist information.
  • InProdiconInProdicon
    InProdicon, a major player in the Nordic region, provides music to over 50 digital retailers, including regional MTV stores. InProdicon’s reach includes: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Music is sold as high quality DRM-free MP3s.
  • GreatIndieMusicGreatIndieMusic
    One of our earliest partnerships, GreatIndieMusic remains committed to the music they are named for. With a large catalog of independent artists, customers have a great choice of DRM-free MP3s, which are compatible on any desktop or portable device.
  • Lime WireLime Wire
    The LimeWire Store, launched in the spring of 2008 by the makers of the popular p2p software, sells 256kbps, DRM-free MP3s. When we send your music to the LimeWire Store, it is ONLY made available for paid downloads by their customers and subscription service members.


Host songs, share on social media sites, track stats.

Looks a lot like BandCamp.

International flavor.


Apparently general social networking site, with tailored profiles for musicians (and others).

Revisit after exhausting Facebook?


Means of sharing tastes with others.

Another taste-sharing site – with Twitter integration?


Tiered – 9.95/mo for plan that works w/ online retailers.


$25 lifetime per album signup + $20 UPC, >= 91-95% of payout to artist

More comprehensive listing of retailers


No upfront, Free UPC, 90% payout, limited distro

eMusic, iTunes, SnoCap, imeem,, amazon, DMS, spotify


Just *looks* Mickey Mouse.


Better keep an eye on these. Derek Sivers created CDBaby, sold it in 09 to DiscMakers, who by all accouts have f’ed it up badly. Derek is now startging MuckWork – “MuckWork helps you make a living with your music, by doing your uncreative dirty work for you, so you can focus on playing, writing, and improving.” Dark now, but will go live some day.


Affiliated with Sam Ash, who screwed me back in the late ’70’s. Fuck ’em.


Evidently UK based, though looks quite comprehensive


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add a wordpress blog to a ReverbNation profile

ReverbNation profiles have a blog tab on them. This blog tab can reflect content from RN’s internal blogging system. Better yet, it can accept an RSS feed from a wordpress blog — such as this one. Here’s how to set up RN to accept an external blog.

  1. Go to the Profile page within which you wish to embedded the blog.
  2. Slightly down the page is a row of approximately ten tabs. Select the one entitled ‘BLOG/BUZZ’.
  3. On the upper right of the BLOG/BUZZ tab is a button entitled ‘Blog Preferences’. Click it!
  4. Select the Blog radio button for Default View.
  5. In the Blog section, select the radio button entitled “I would like to show a blog I maintain on another site.”
  6. In the text box entitled ““, enter the URL of the blog RSS feed*!
  7. Click the ‘Save’ button.
  8. Watch your RN blog populate itself with the source blog’s contents! Cool!

*Bonus section – what is the URL of the RSS feed of the blog in which I am interested?

There are several correct answers to this question. Perhaps an example would help to illustrate. In my case, I just wanted to use the entire blog contents, and I did not care in which specific format it was published. My blog is located at  In this case, the proper feed to be typed into the text box for Blog Preferences was .  Simple, hunh?

To see how it looks, compare this blog with its RN representation at this link.

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