We strive to make registration for BOOM! simple as possible, and assume in this modern day and age most successful bands have the internet savvy to submit electronic versions of band photos and songs. So instead of a step by step instruction manual, we've outlined the tech specs and provided some tips and pointers below.
It might be a good idea to browse the Contest Archives on this site. Learn from the bands that were successful and see the sorts of things they submitted (and we chose to use) for their bio, photo, and sample song.
Bio / Registration
Just a few quick pointers here; spell things correctly, use proper grammar, and try and give us at least a couple sentences to work with for each response. We can always edit down submissions that are too long, but we can't add to ones that are too short. If you have great music but don't give us enough text to work with, we won't have enough to print about your band, and that means we can't select you! So take a minute and write out thoughtful responses when you register.
We're looking for high resolution images of bands - this is mostly important for the print edition of Artvoice. Just because a photo looks OK on your computer screen doesn't mean it's going to print well. We want our spreads to look good, and we want you to look good in them.
- On subject matter, we prefer to run photos that depict the band members themselves. Either a band portrait, or a live shot. We won't print album covers, or band logos - we want to see your faces.
- We strongly prefer images that have had minimal editing. Especially, please do not send us pictures with text written across it. We may crop photos to make things fit our layout. You can submit two photos, so consider one "portrait" and one "landscape" orientation, if you have them. This will will give our graphic designers the best options to work from and we won't have to crop your foreheads off.
- Photos should preferably be at least 3.2 megapixels. In other words, 5"x7" at 300dpi, or 1500x2100 pixels. More is always better - we can shrink a large picture, but if we blow up a small picture it will look bad. If the picture looks bad we can't print it, so we won't be able to select your band.
- Photos should preferably be taken with a "real" camera rather than a cell phone or other low-quality gadget. If you can avoid it, don't send us a version you saved from Facebook for example, as often it was reduced in quality when you uploaded it there - we want the original if you can.
- Considering saving as a JPEG set to highest quality in your image editing program, or using a PNG image which will retain 100% of your photo's quality while still allowing a fairly manageable file size for upload. TIFF files are also accepted, but enable compression if possible in your image editing program. There is a maximal limit of 10MB per image file submitted, so make sure any really large images (which TIFF images will be!) fit within that constraint.
- If your photograph was taken by a professional photographer, make sure you've got the proper permission / rights to the image for us to reprint it. If you want us to credit a photographer - make sure to mention that in the "comments" box on the registration form.
Bottom line, your audio has to be submitted on-line. Do not snail mail us anything or drop anything off at the office. We won't take CDs or (gasp) cassettes (yeah, there's always that guy.) By now we really, really, really, hope any band living in the modern day world can create an MP3. If not - we're not going to cover all the details here any more, you'll have to ask your favorite search engine for help. There's plenty of info and free software out there to get you on your way. However, we will offer some pointers:
- We will accept MP3 or AAC audio (ie M4A files; common with iTunes users). Audio must not have any DRM (digital rights management) protection attached to it, because there's a good chance the file will need to be converted somewhere along the way. Other formats (raw WAV, AIF, lossless FLAC, or Windows WMA audio, etc) will not be accepted.
- We suggest a minimum bitrate of 192kbps for your files. More is fine; however note the maximum file size for upload is 25MB per song. It's unlikely, but possible, if you use a maximal bitrate and have a very long song, the file will be too large for uploading. If your existing files are less than that, or you aren't sure - as long you're happy with the way your file sounds - it should be just fine.
- But on that note - consider sending "radio friendly" songs, around 3-4 minutes. This is your chance to play for a lot lot of new ears (including ours at Artvoice!), so make a good first impression and don't assume everyone will have the attention span for your latest 15 minute epic.
- Make sure your file is either "tagged" to contain the song name, or that the file itself is named appropriately. We won't go out of our way to figure out what "Track 03" or "Untitled" really is - we'll just assume you meant it and put it up that way.