Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question about musindie?
What is musindie?
Musindie is an internet collaboration platform for independent songwriters, artists, industry professionals to create, produce and publish original songs.
Musindie allows anyone, from beginner, amateur to professional to access a community of like minded musicians and indie music fans to be encouraged, inspired and supported in bringing song ideas to life and sharing them with the world.
Musindie also provides important services in a clear and simplified way to manage song ownership rights as well as helping musicians manage finances for the creation, production and distribution of new original songs.
Music fans also get to see the journey of song creation from ideas and collaboration opportunities through to the completed published songs, which can be directly purchased and downloaded from the website.
Musindie is also about new original songs from independent artists. It is not the place for cover recordings of other people’s songs. In keeping to the vision, purpose and spirit of musindie, and respecting copyright laws and principles, uploading of cover songs will not be allowed. Within member profiles we do provide an opportunity to create links to other websites where you can showcase other cover songs that you may have recorded and performed so others can get to see your broader skills and talents.
The founders of musindie being both amateur musicans and business professionals recognised a need and opportunity to provide both a creative online workspace and distribution platform for new original music but also tools and services that allowed musicians to manage more of that process themselves. That way giving musicians more control over the production and distribution of their music and being better rewarded for those creative efforts than exists with the current typical production and distribution models.
Writing, recording, producing and publishing new songs can be a timely and costly process, especially for most amateur musicians. Thankfully the love of making music keeps many motivated to keep going but now with musindie we wanted to make that process faster, easier, lower cost, fun, social and rewarding for music writers, artists, producers, industry professionals and fans.
Is it free to join?
There is no charge to set up a member profile, explore song projects and listen to songs published on the website.
musindie offers three levels of user subscription being Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Silver entry level offers many free services on the website which will cater to the needs of most amateur musicians in getting started.
musindie only charges a small commission fee when you engage with others on song project collaboration activities and on published song sales. We have considered and reviewed these fees against other music production and distribution services and considering the features available in musindie, we believe these small fees to represent a far better deal than costs that would be incurred otherwise through existing productionprocesses and platforms.
There are some restrictions on the number of song projects that can be created and joined at the various membership levels and users can upgrade at any time to access more services. For the set monthly or annual fee that applies at Gold and Platinum members levels, increased project access features and reduced fees and commissions apply.
Whilst significant time and money has gone into development of the features and benefits of the musindie website application, our philosophy remains to ensure that musicians and industry professionals have a lower cost platform for the creation, production and distribution of new independent original music.
I've created a song project, now what?
The “Create New Song” feature allows a new song project to be created on the site easily and quickly. Whether you want to write a new song or have a song written for you, song projects allow you to select musical genres, specific skills and talents of your preference or let the musindie community know that you are open to any/all collaboration ideas.
Once you have set up your song project you can then upload audio and document files under various categories into your song project workspace eg. A first rough recording of your song idea, a guitar or piano track or even the first cut of some lyrics.
You also get to choose which audio you want to make to feature with your song project so people can explore your project under collaboration opportunities and get a feel for what you are wanting to achieve with your song project.
People with matching skills and talents in their member profile will then be made aware of the opportunity to join you with your song and to pitch to become a collaborator on your project. You can then agree the terms and budget for others talents and services on your song.
Musindie provides for services between members to be provided as follows:
For Free (no fee or payments between members, just a small song project set-up fee)
For a once off services fee (a once off fee for talents and services paid to a collaborator but no share in the songwriting ownership and royalty rights. All rights to the song remain with you as creator and writer. Same as would apply to a typical session musician hire scenario)
For a song writer ownership rights and royalty share (no fees paid between members however you agree with each collaborator and nominate a percentage share of your song project between each writer / collaborator). The song project “Creator” is responsible for confirming the percentages of ownership on songs within musindie which is important for song sales as sales revenues will be distributed to musindie members according to their ownership of songs. The song ownership agreements arrangements will be also be emailed to collaborators on each of your song projects so everyone has a record of exactly what has been agreed. This is a key benefit and feature of musindie – and from experience saves many potential issues in the future with potential disputes on song ownership rights.
How do I find collaboration opportunities?
As part of your musindie member profile set-up you will be asked to nominate skills and services that you could offer to the musindie online community. We would recommend that any skills, talents and services offered are at a competent level where you are confident in your ability to offer and provide those services to other members on their songs.
Once you have selected skills, talents and services for your profile than musindie will match those against the skills, talents and services requested by other members in each of their song projects.
Where there is a match you will see an orange box at the bottom of song project boxes under the “opportunities” page. Clicking on that song project will open up more details about the song and the creator and you can then click to “pitch” your services to the song creator and if accepted enter into a online song collaboration agreement (facilitated by musindie).
At the top of the “opportunities” page in musindie there are also selection filters to choose by genre, specific skills and services or search for people by name to narrow down collaboration opportunities that may be of interest to you.
To see what others in the musindie community are also thinking and saying you can visit the “Lounge”. This is an open collaboration wall environment where you can see and read what others are doing on the website, comments on tracks, details of new song projects created, published songs or even to ask questions of other members about anything to do with musindie or your song creation.
How do I record and upload my song idea? How does musindie work with other music recording software?
There are many different music recording and production software programs now available on the market. From free and more basic programs such as Garageband and Audacity to more professional platforms such as Logic Pro, Sonar, FL Studio and Pro-Tools. There are also referred to as Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs.
For only a few hundred dollars you can set yourself up with a USB microphone and one of the above simpler music software programs and record straight to your own computer.
For more advanced but still “home studio” setups you may want to purchase a dedicated audio and midi interface to your laptop or PC. Excellent recording and production quality can now be achieved in these setups.
Once you have recorded and saved your song track on your local computer, there will be a feature in the above software programs to “bounce” or “export” your song file – typically to an .mp3 or .wav file format. This is the file that you can then upload to musindie for others to listen to and use.
In your song profile file you will see a tab called “Files” and on that page you will see an “add file” button. Click the add file button and you can either drag and drop the file from your computer or search in your files location and click to upload. musindie will show the upload in progress and advise you when it is completed.
How it then works is that for example if you have recorded a guitar track of your song idea then I can download your guitar track from musindie into my own music recording software and add further piano and vocals tracks. I then repeat the process and upload my completed file back into the musindie song project. Musindie also provides for the ability to store individual tracks for each instrument as well as the master mix of everyone’s input. Once all the instrument tracks are completed, we could then invite a producer / audio engineer to download all the instrument .wav files from the song project and assemble them and mix and master into a completed song file.
Only accepted and approved collaborators on each song project have the authority to upload and download files in the song project and if someone is paying you for your services, rights to use the individual song audio file contributions don’t apply until all services have been paid for as agreed.
How do I invite others to collaborate on my song?
Once you have set up a song project you can also invite specific people to collaborate with you on your song. All the song creator and writer names under opportunities and published songs on musindie are clickable to open up that members profile. If you like what you hear, see and read for a song by a specific creator or writer then in their profile you can choose to follow them and/or also invite them to work with you on a song.
Alternatively you can see and hear what others are doing in the musindie “Lounge” page. If you click on the profile picture of someone in the lounge that will also bring up their personal profile.
If you then click “invite” on another members profile page musindie will bring up a list of your current song project opportunities and you can send an invite to another member for specified services on that song project
Your song project will also appear in the “Invited” tab under that persons “My Songs” page within musindie.
If another member collaborator “accepts” your invite then an online collaboration agreement will appear for your to confirm the terms of your services and payments to other collaborators.
Once a collaboration agreement is confirmed, a payment of 20% of the total value of agreed services will need to paid by the song project creator to the collaborator up-front. This is essentially your “deposit” and agreement “consideration” for the services to be provided. The 80% balance amount owing will be payable upon the completion date as agreed between you (creator) and the collaborator in each agreement.
Within each song project you have the ability to set maximum budgets for the song project as well as maximum budget for each collaboration. There is also provision for an “expected song project completion date” to let other potential collaborators know when you would like, need or expect the song to be completed by.
Within individual collaboration agreements there is also an “expected collaboration completion due date”. This date is important as it represents the due date for when the agreed collaboration services were to be completed and provided and also the date upon which the final 80% balance of payment is due for the agreed services (where a services fee was agreed). You will be prompted for payment if payment has not been made to a collaborator by this date and a dispute will be recorded for resolution under the musindie terms and conditions if payment is not made within 14 days after this date. Please refer to the musindie terms and conditions regarding responsibilities, consequences and actions with respect to disputes on any collaboration services agreed.
The song project “Creator” may change the overall Song Project Completion Date at any time however changes to Collaboration Services Completion Dates can only be changed with mutual agreement between the song project creator and the individual collaborator under as recorded in an amended or new collaboration agreement.
How do I manage my musindie money?
To keep track of payments made, to be made, received, to be received etc. you will see a tab page called “Finances” for each project as well as a “Financial” tab for each member profile. In each of these sections you can see what is owing, to/from who and by when as well as details on total amounts earned and paid by you. We believe this is an important support tool and feature within musindie to help musicians better manage their song writing and distribution finances.
To make payments to other members or for purchase and downloads of songs you have a few payment options within musindie.
Firstly we have a concept we call your “musindie account balance”. This is an internal musindie account which can be used to pay and transfer money between members within the musindie website application. You can credit your musindie account from a credit card or bank account and if you have surplus funds in your musindie account you can transfer those funds back to your nominated credit card or bank account. This “musindie account” feature saves you from incurring external payments and banking fees on every transaction you make. You only pay external fees when you transfer to/from your bank accounts or credit cards.
Alternatively you can make payments each time directly from your credit card (or bank account – if within Australia – the home of musindie).
These features and options can be set up in the “billing and payments” page in your member profile.
Please note that for all financial transactions musindie is integrated with and uses the services of PIN Payments Australia. We do not record or store the credit card details or your financial balances within the musindie application.
How do I sell my completed songs?
If you have completed songs ready to go and share with the world then you can publish your songs immediately on musindie. You will still need to “Create a New Song” project but in the song details you can select that “No further collaboration services are required at this time” and you can select song status as “Published”. You will then be asked to confirm if the song is downloadable and also to name a price for which you want to sell your song. Note the minimum price is $1.10 and we suggest a price between that and say $2.10
We encourage all members on musindie to also buy and download other songs that you like. The simple reason is that you are then giving back to the musindie community and supporting other artists.
You can search and filter through the “Published” songs section of the musindie site and also use the search filters to focus in on genres and artist of most interest to you.
When you confirm to purchase a song you can either pay from your “musindie account” balance or you can pay directly with a credit card.
Musindie will then calculate all sales for all songs and songwriters over a monthly basis and distribute the purchase proceeds according to the ownership of each song (as specified in the song project setup).
We believe that to pay a dollar to two is very fair compensation for the time and effort put into song writing and production, particularly by indie artists.
Does musindie plan to offer streaming services for published songs?
The short answer is yes however this is planned for a future release and we are currently working through a structure and model that works for both the fans and consumer expectations, and also the writers / artists, resulting in a fair and reasonable compensation.
Current commercial music streaming sites are geared towards very large volumes of song streaming (ie. for songs of top 100 artists and writers) and for most indie musos with much lower song sales volumes existing commercial pricing structures would not be feasible.
Accordingly, we are looking at some other “streaming” package structures that fans and consumers can buy from the specific song content on the musindie site.
This of course will also require a “streamable” catalogue of songs on the musindie site which we are excited to see start to accumulate over the next year.
We will provide further details on our streaming packages in advance of the next release of these features. Be assured that we are committed and focused to ensuring that our streaming solutions represent an attractive, fair and reasonable pricing and reward structure to reflect the creative talents and contributions of musindie members.
I'm not a musician, but I'd love to explore and purchase songs. Can I still join?
Yes, any and all lovers of original independent music can join musindie (for free) and listen to songs and get to know other song writers and artists in the musindie online community.
Musindie is also a site where music industry professionals may offer services to indie / amateur musos to help get songs professionally produced and published.
Skills that may be requested on musindie for song projects (in additional to musical talents) could include anything from graphic design, to legal services, to production and mastering and even marketing and promotional services.
Indie songs featured on the musindie site may also be of interest to the advertising, film and television for potential licencing arrangements.
Alternatively, you may be a non musician, fan, consumer of business professional who would like to “Create a New Song” project, specify what you are looking for and have members in the musindie community pitch to you to create a unique and original song for your needs.
If you are family and friends of musindie members (writers and artist) then you can also join for free to see and support your friends and family along their journey of original songwriting, production and distribution (sales).
Musindie is all about bringing indie song writers, artists, industry professionals and fans together to keep the indie music movement alive, fun, rewarding and successful for all involved. Indie music is where it all starts!