Indie Artist Business Toolkit

Vibrational Sound Healing

w/Dr. Steven Schwartz

The Indie Artist Toolkit is an essential first stop on your journey into the business of publishing and licensing recorded music. This practical, no nonsense music business course was designed specifically for you, the emerging artist.

Now more than ever it is important to have the skills to manage and develop your career as an artist and this class will prepare you for just that. If you are looking to unlock the secrets of digital marketing, music licensing, distribution, and the all important artist agreement, then this is the course for you.

Created by Pyramind senior music business instructor and mentor Steffen Franz, this course equips you with the fundamental tools necessary to navigate the complex world of the music industry.

For over 30 years Steffen has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including: Mix Master Mike (solo and with Beastie Boys), Lee "Scratch" Perry, Linton "Kwesi" Johnson and Nicodemus, Jane's Addiction, and Grammy Award winning producer Narada Michael Walden. As an entrepreneur Steffen has owned and operated his own label (Positive Sound Massive) and is the founder and CEO of Independent Distribution Collective, a distribution and marketing company representing over 800 labels and artists.
Module 1
Production & Arrangement
  • Welcome to the Indy Artist Business Toolkit
  • History of Instructor
  • About the Music Industry in 2020
  • PA Copyrights - Overview and Best Practices
  • SR Copyrights - Overview and Best Practices
  • Works For Hire - Overview
  • Performance Rights Vs Mechanical Rights
  • Introduction to Publishing
  • Setting up a DBA for your publishing company
  • What is SoundExchange?
Module 2
Mixing, Mastering, and Workflow
  • Introduction to Agreements
  • Overview of a Major Label & Independent "Record" deals
  • General Partnerships
  • Songwriter Collaboration
  • Works for Hire Agreement
  • Introduction to Digital Distribution
  • Revenue in the Industry
  • Create Demand, what does it take to get your song on the digital platforms?
  • Music Licensing for Movies, TV and Games Scores
  • Overview of Project Management
  • Which PM software is right for you?
Module 3
Advanced Production, and Finishing
  • Website and Social Media Development Overview
  • Names are Important, choose wisely
  • Set up all of your Profiles and an "Artist" or "Label"
  • Overview of Indie Artist Marketing
  • Introduction to Indie Artist Marketing
  • Developing an Artist Biography
  • The Press Release
  • The Simple Recipe (5 W's and H)
  • Influencer Marketing (Inbound vs Outbound)
  • Connecting with Possible Influencers
  • Submithub & NoiseTrade
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Steffen Franz
Steffen Franz has been in the music business, in some shape or form, since he was 17 years old. Growing up in Manhattan, he started his live production career at the now legendary CBGBs and worked at many of NYC’s major clubs including Danceteria, Limelight, The World, and Red Zone.

He designed various lighting and sound installations, DJ'd, and even built and ran a few clubs in and around New York City in the 1980s.

In the 1990’s Steffen founded Positive Sound Massive Recordings (PSM), a 100% conscious reggae record label. PSM released over 20 releases, and Steffen produced 25 or so other albums for other artists/labels as well. He has a catalog of hundreds of songs and instrumentals many of which have been placed in TV shows, Movies, and even a few game scores.

Steffen has been involved in large-scale event production for almost 30 years and he brings his technical and management skills to any project he is engaged on. Recent clients Steffen has “Show-Called” or Technical Directed events for include: Augmented World Expo (AWE), Salesforce/Sales Machine, SONY (SIE), UCSF, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Google, Facebook, Prometheus, Asana, and GAP Corporate Summit over the past few years.

He also produces a handful of annual events for a major “women” focused Non-Profit Organization, Women In Product. Currently, Steffen is also the Technical Director for AfroTech World.

In 2004, Steffen founded and currently runs Independent Distribution Collective, an 800-label marketing and distribution company based in San Francisco. The company specializes in “all-inclusive” marketing and distribution campaigns for dozens of clients each year.

He is also President of Tarpan Records, a record label owned by multi-platinum, Grammy and Emmy award-winning producer Narada Michael Walden.

In 2021, Steffen was hired as the Production Manager of the 100 plus-year-old Golden Gate Park Bandshell, and he books and produces many of the shows at this iconic venue.


Fun Facts:
Steffen lived in Maui for two years in the early 1990s and was the house DJ at Stephen Stills’ nightclub Studio 505. He was the Lighting Designer for Jane’s Addiction “Nothing Shocking” tour, and tour managed Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys) for over 1000 shows (including on the Hello Nasty World Tour) in the US and internationally.

Steffen served on and as the Chairman of San Francisco’s Park, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee, and is currently the President of Friends of Lafayette Park. He, Melissa, his wife of 16 years, and Aroux, their German Shepard/Chihuahua spend as much time as possible in parks across San Francisco.

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