Resources for Independent Musicians

As an independent musician, it's important to me that I discover the best and cheapest ways of doing things! Quality is paramount, but not wasting money comes a close second.

Here is a short list of companies and products that I use that I heartily recommend to any other independent musicians (or other people of course!).
You'll see that some of these have affiliate links, which means that if you sign up I do get a tiny bit of pay-back. Every little helps! But the main reason for this is to share what's taken me a long time to learn and discover with you :) 
If there's anything not here on this list that you'd like to ask about, give me a shout! I can wax lyrical about DAWs and plugins and computers and things :) I'm happy to help if ever I can.

Website Hosting - ChemiCloud

I've tried several of the big hosting companies, and frankly I was appalled by their customer service. Also because I was a minnow, I was generally lumped on a server with lots of other sites and speed suffered at times as a result. After 5 lots of downtime in one month, I moved to Chemicloud. Much quicker than the old hosting site (they run fully on SSD), and the tech support is amazing. It's in English and they actually talk to you properly rather than running through scripts. And cheap. I'm very happy with them!

Website Design

I use WordPress as the platform, with WooCommerce as the store software. Both are free. It takes a little time and effort to get up to speed and get your website up and running, but is doable by mere mortals with enough time and willpower :)
I integrate with PayPal and use Stripe for credit/debit card transactions. Both are free to set up but take a small %age of each transaction. 
I do run quite a few other plugins to get a nice, fully working website.
Feel free to hit me up for advice, or even to help set up or fix any problems with your website - my charges are very reasonable for other indie musicians! However if Bruce Springsteen needs help with his website, I will be forced to up my charges ... :)

Card payment terminal - SumUp

With this link you get a dinkly little card reader terminal for £15 - that's stupidly cheap. It's brilliant. Charges by USB. Connects to your phone via bluetooth. You can charge your customers with the card reader or with "tap-to-pay" too. Dead easy. No monthly fees and they only charge 1.69% which is incredibly reasonable. This is a no-brainer. You only need one gig where someone says "I'd love to buy a CD but haven't got any cash on me" and you've pretty much made your money back!
£14 off (£15 instead of £29):

Email marketing - MailerLite

MailerLite are amazing. They're FREE up to 1000 subscribers! And after that they are very reasonable. The website is great and easy to use. They have some amazing automation stuff which is dead useful for making email funnels. Their customer support is immediate, personal and very quick. I can not rate them highly enough. They're the kind of company that I'd like to work for (if I wasn't working for me!)

Marketing course for Independent Musicians

A few years back, I started reading emails by a guy called Carlos Castillo, and they changed the entire way I thought about marketing. No kidding. Everything I've done since then has been a result of them. I took his Twitter course and wow... unbelievable results. Using the principles in this course, I've been making friends with serious music lovers, radio hosts, blog owners and other musicians. Almost every single success I've had in music has it's roots somewhere with someone I've met on Twitter using this. Totally recommended. Moving on from there is the big boy course - the MAP (Musicpreneur Apprentice Program). This is not cheap. Good. Only people that are really wanting to apply themselves will join the program. It is absolutely superb. There's a massive stack of teaching materials, but the main highlight is the online Office Hours where we meet up together with Carlos and talk through how the week has been, what's worked and what hasn't. We support each other and learn from each other as well as Carlos - it's absolutely priceless. Not one to jump into lightly, but totally worth it. If you want to chat to me more about this, then get in touch - I'd gladly chew your ear off for a while :)
Twitter course: 
MAP program : 

CD Duplication (UK) - Cram Duplication

I've used several different companies, and the printing by Cram Duplication was by far the best. They are also very reasonably priced. They often do 20% off deals for Christmas, Easter etc. so get their newsletter and keep an eye open! Say hello from me when you're talking to them :)
Their website is here:
But it's better to actually talk to them on Facebook :

Music Distribution - Amuse

Amuse is a mobile-only app. It is 100% completely free, and it will let you upload your music and distribute it to Spotify, Amazon, Google, iTunes, Deezer, and about a million other places that you've never heard of. For free. No hidden costs. And ... their technical support is superb.

No hidden costs - you can use your own ISRC codes or have them give you free ones. You are expected to sort out your own licensing for cover songs without them enforcing charges on you (much better than some other platforms that force you to use theirs for a cost).

Bulk T-shirts, Hoodies, other merch (UK)

I've tried several places - some with disastrous results. These guys are cheap, quick and brilliant quality. Not one problem in all the items I've ordered from them. Quick, personal support.

Print-on-demand T-shirts, Hoodies, other merch (UK and USA)

If you prefer Print on Demand (which is flipping awesome!), then head here:
Printify will print in the UK AND the States. Which means you can offer great shipping rates to both. They make t-shirts, mugs, hats, hoodies, bag and all sorts of other stuff. You don't pay them ANYTHING. Just create the products - when people buy them, you get sent the profit (sell price - cost price - shipping). Simples.


Patreon are superb. My Patreon site is at - have a look round and see what you can see! It's a brilliant way of sharing with your listeners and getting their feedback. With this link - if you get 20 patrons in the first month, you will get $50 sent your way. Seems crazy! I don't think I get anything back for this one - just a warm fuzzy feeling that you're also on the platform.

Live-streaming - OBS

Want to perform live on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube? Well it's simple - point your phone and go!
But if you want top notch sound quality, the ability to seamlessly move between your live video (with different camera angles) and pictures, slide-shows, videos, pre-recorded audio etc., then you need some help!
OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is totally FREE, and is excellent. 

Cloud Storage

I use a LOT of cloud storage. I use it for off-site backups of finished projects. I use it to store documents and files that I want to work on from multiple computers (and phones!). I store photos, artwork... pretty much anything!
I use several different providers. I use OneDrive and DropBox as they are both FREE! 
I also use Apple's iCloud - I pay £0.79 a month to upgrade the storage to 50Gb which is a total bargain!

Music File Tagging, Conversion, Organisation and playback

iTunes sucks
Windows Media Player sucks
I use MediaMonkey. It's really easy to use, and very powerful. The tag editing is really simple, converting WAVs to MP3s and FLACs is great. CD ripping -super!
It will let you put music on your iPhone directly without having to sync on iTunes.
It has an amazing plugin that allows you to copy and paste the tags from one folder of files to another. This saves HOURS when you're creating an album!
There is a free version which is great - I upgraded in the end mostly because I wanted to reward them for some amazing software!

Video Editing - Davinci Resolve

This is free. And it's superb. It is WAY better than Adobe Premiere Elements (which I was using before). And it's free. Did I mention that?
I'm not going to explain why it's so amazing. Just download it and use it.
It's not always the most intuitive bit of kit, but it's easy to use the manual / google :) And then it makes sense when you find out.

Photo Editing

OK I confess that I have used Adobe Photoshop for doing my album covers. It's the industry standard, and is amazing. But not cheap.
However it takes forever to load and is expensive.
For quick, little jobs, I use Paint.Net. It's free, simple and actually very good at what it does. I totally recommend this. 
My Photoshop subscription runs out next month. I'm then going to try Affinity Photo as it's much cheaper and not on a subscription service. It's got great reviews and I've had personal recommendations.

Guitar Effects (live + recording) - Guitar Rig

Guitar Rig is amazing.
It is a standalone piece of software that you can use to apply amp modelling and effects to your guitar sound. I have a (second-hand) Rig Kontrol 3 pedal board that plugs in via USB. I haven't used "normal" pedals since. The sound is fabulous, with a million presets and the ability to tweak them and make your own. It's incredibly versatile.  I believe you can use most USB or MIDI controllers.
You can also use it as a plugin for your DAW. I record my guitar clean, with this plugin on it. So when I'm recording and when I play back, I hear the gorgeous effects. BUT I can go back afterwards and completely change what effects are being used. It's amazing.
If you buy it from Native Instruments, then it isn't cheap (although a lot cheaper than all the pedals and amps it contains obviously). I got a Guitar Rig code on ebay for £30 (totally legal - they are happy for people to transfer their licenses), and the pedal board was also second hand on eBay. I have used this combo for years now and it is bulletproof and sounds amazing.
There is a demo version that requires you to reopen the app every 30 minutes. Try it and be blown away :)

Live Streaming using your Phone - iRig

If you don't want to stream using your computer and OBS and want to go a bit simpler, then use your phone - but with MUCH better sound quality.

For £9.99 you can get an iRig which allows you to plug an audio source (i.e. your mixing desk, or even a single microphone) into your phone. I love mine :)

There is an iRig 2 - a Big Daddy version which costs more which has a gain control on it and a separate jack if you want to plug it into an amplifier or something.

UK iRig :

UK iRig2 :

USA iRig :

USA iRig2 :