My Thoughts on the YouTube Partnership Changes

I tried to condense this into a tweet but 280 characters is too small for me on this issue so time to blog about it!


If you haven’t heard, YouTube has changed their guidelines for becoming a YouTube partner – aka, putting ads on your videos to make one billionth of a cent on each view of your video.  Because of a big YouTuber doing something incredibly stupid, (which happens entirely too much), YouTube has decided to “crack down” on…everyone who has done nothing wrong.  The new Partner guidelines require a channel to have 1000 subscribers, 10000 overall channel views, and 4000 hours of watch time within a 12 month period.  They’ve sent an email out to all their smaller creators, myself included, and have said if our watch time doesn’t get to 4000 in a month, then our partnership is terminated.  If I get to that I can reapply for partner, but seriously YouTube?  Punish everyone who has a smaller channel and let the bigger people who caused all of this drama get off scott free?


I have such mixed feelings about this.  Was I planning to be a full time YouTuber?  No.  Is it going to effect my channel?  No:  I put monetization  on my videos because I could, but have only made a dollar on it and you need 100 to be paid out by Google.  I have to reach 20 dollars on Soundrop, and have, because it’s a far easier goal to reach.  It’s conflicting because it’s not like I was making any money at it, and not like I was planning to be a full time YouTuber – it’s just a hub for my music, which I sell elsewhere and a creative outlet for me.  But what it makes me feel like is a piece of trash that YouTube could care less about.  Why upload videos to a platform that decides to change the rules to hurt everyone, accept the person/people that did the wrong thing?  Oh wait, YouTube is the only massive video hub, so you’re stuck with it if you want to post videos people will actually run across and possibly watch.


I’m not going to change the way I run my channel, but I legit was getting pumped about getting back into making videos.  I’ve been enjoying making let’s play videos, was planning to start recording choice videos of me singing on camera, wanted to live stream some mini concerts, was going to start vlogging eventually.  Like I said, I’m not going to stop doing any of this, and am still going to post on YouTube, but after they showed their utter lack of consideration and care for any small creator, I’m not going to put all of my eggs in one basket so to speak.  I’m glad I was already planning to distribute my music more openly this year on Spotify, iTunes, etc etc, and I’m going to make a more active effort to promote my patreon, as well.  Because if YouTube isn’t going to support ALL of their creators, then why should their creators support them?  It sucks that they are the only big video distribution platform out there, but I don’t see that changing so it’s between dealing with their garbage policies, or not making videos at all.  I love making videos, and stopping making videos I feel is letting YouTube win, so to me the best alternative is to use YouTube for what it originally was intended for:  posting and sharing videos, and not making money on it.  Make money elsewhere, where you’ll be treated far better.  Heck, with as little as spotify pays out per stream, at least once your content is on there, they don’t yank your chain when they feel like it.  I’d much rather build a spotify following because of that, and since my medium of creation is audio, it’s a win-win for me.


So yeah, TL;DR:  I’m just going to use YouTube like I usually do, and branch out to better oppurtunities for actually making money.  I’ve had this mindset of post whatever you want on YouTube, and if they are going to treat everyone like this, that just reaffirms to me that I’ve made the right choice in not trying to bend to their whims.  My channel won’t be adversely  effected – I’m pretty sure.  I saw someone mentioning that a demonetized  video is harder to search for?  But I highly doubt that.  Hey, look on the bright side:  It’ll save me going to another tab while uploading a video!


Do you have a YouTube channel?  What are your thoughts on this change.  If you wanted to make a channel, does it make you second guess doing so?


An Eciting Surprise!

I got a statement email from Soundrop, the site where I distribute my music to selling/steaming platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play etc etc.  Now, I only have 2 tracks up to distribute – one the Smile Bomb collab I did months ago, and the other my Terra’s Theme with lyrics.  I would get occasional updates from my collaborator on Smile Bomb, saying it streamed this much on Spotify and things like that and it was cool hearing how much people were listening to it but I didn’t really think of the actual money being made because I knew it wouldn’t be that much.  And, I knew Terra’s theme wasn’t doing too well – last time I looked at it, it had made one cent USD.  It doesn’t bother me at all, but like I said, I just posted up on distribution platforms, realized doing singles wasn’t my thing (I’d much rather make full albums of covers so I don’t have to get a piece of album art for everything I do and realized that while getting Terra’s theme together).  I figured, “Distributing music really doesn’t make a difference, no one is going to buy my stuff anyways because I’m some nobody that if they did want to support me, they’d just listen to my videos on YouTube”.
Until I got my first payout from Soundrop!  Wooooo~


Like I said, I wasn’t expecting this at all!  You have to hit a certain payment threshold before Soundrop pays out any money to you, and it isn’t a big threshold but I hadn’t hit it yet.  I need to still look at the stats for Terra’s theme, but I’m like 100 percent sure all the revenue is from Smile Bomb, and it’s so cool!  It made me realize that no matter how small an amount you think you’re going to make, it’s worth putting stuff up there on platforms you can get paid for because someone may just be looking around and see your song or something.  Like it’s so cool to me that this is 100 percent passive income, and all I did was pay the 9.99 to distribute a few months ago and got this money now!!  Not something I really ever foresaw happening, but it did and it’s amazing!!


I’ve been thinking about making music to be able to sell/license  out royalty free style, and also been thinking about releasing compelation Eps/albums of my covers from the year I’m able to make money off of (aka the ones I made myself, using no karaokes for).  I think God was like “Yes do iiiit” with that because I log onto my computer today and see this, and it just inspires me to not slack on making music, and vocal warmups, and really hone my craft so I can make whatever amounts of money at this that I can.  This payout wasn’t expected, but such a blessing!


Don’t know how to close this post out because it’s really just me gushing and being excited so…I got my first Soundrop payout today!  Wooooo!!!

Some Video Idea Brainstorms

This post is more of a brainstorming post for me about different video ideas I’ve been having so I can flesh out said ideas a bit more so here we goooo lol.
I got this idea from someone else who’s been doing this cool idea called a cover story:  they have their cover, but there’s a story or idea explored in text via the subtitles/captions section on YouTube (hurray for accessibility there!).  But it got me thinking about doing something like that for some of my videos.  Now, for their videos, they still add a full video aspect, but I’ve been thinking that doing a sort of storybook or slideshow thing could work?  I was thinking, I have a lot of lyrics that I wrote that turned out more like poems, so they’re just sitting on my computer  It would be nice to try and fit them to some music, post the poem as the visual aspect, and have that be the video.  Ideally, I’d like to have some sort of still images drawn (enter the storybook aspect) but in general, I’m thinking use the poetry to write some original tracks to as inspiration, then post the poetry as the video.
For covers, I thought of maybe making a little story, but haven’t quite fleshed that out yet.  I’m thinking combine my love of fanfiction with writing little stories for the cover, and make it like a storybook – like how Kirby’s Epic Yarm  plays out haha.  Super basic ideas so far, because like I said I haven’t quite fleshed it out, but I’m really inspired to try connecting my poetry to some music somehow.


Now on the visuals end, I honestly have no idea if reading poetry to music would really be interesting to people.  I’m willing to give it a try though!  I’d loooove to somehow add some other artistic aspect to it though, like maybe some artwork drawn by someone else, or some sort of tactile art I can make, take pictures of, and use?  Or some sort of stop motion posting, which is another idea I’ve had but doing stop motion skits put to my covers is a whooooole other animal haha.  I’m trying to think of ways I myself can make videos interesting, because sometimes I just don’t have people who have the time to edit stuff for me.  Which is completely understandable, I’m happy with the amount of people who are willing to help me out with the visual aspect of YouTube (my friends are pretty awesome) but at the same time I guess I’ll always be a I have to try to do things myself person just to see if I can do it XD


So yeah, just some ideas that have been bouncing around my head.  I’ll probably wind up trying some of them, and see how it goes!  My top favorites are definitely the poetry/storybook ideas, I think those ones are really cool and inventive.


Have any cool video ideas?  Would love to hear in the comments!

Final Fantasy IX The Place I’ll Return to Someday Cover

[Final Fantasy IX] The Place I’ll Return to Someday [Home Sweet Home] Folk Cover – Crystal Dennis


Hurray, it’s finally out!  This track has been done since May, and the only reason it took so long to get done is the sheer amount of procrastination that went into this haha.  Like I said, actual song was done 2 months ago, got in my recording video funk, then got off my butt the middle of June and recorded video.  The person who usually does my video was busy, but another friend of mine graciously offered to do the video on this one for me, and wow did they go above and beyond!  My Mom described how the video came out and it’s so perfect.  I didn’t tell him what to do but it’s the type of video I always want for these sorts of covers, just an amazing job!


Not only   is the video so well done, but this cover is another big step for me.  It’s the first time I used my percussion instruments in something!  I whipped out my tambourine, djembe drum and claves and went to town with them XD was lots of fun, and I think they really added to the arrangement.  This is the first folk style cover I did also, and I felt so good doing it.  At first, I was afraid it was so much different than the original people wouldn’t like it, but it’s been getting a good response already, and like I’ve said before, I’m definitely getting my style down with this cover.  If I do high energy stuff, this would pretty much be it, I think.  Still need to keep on getting better of course, but I know I’m on the right track with this and it’s super exciting feeling.  Can’t wait to do another cover in this style, and get better at it!  I guess I just have to realize:  Folk and Celtic are pretty much my genres XD I’d throw in acoustic atmospheric stuff too if I knew a proper name for it, we’ll just call it acoustic for now haha.  Indi?  Who knows.  Either way, those are my top 3 genres, for sure~



I’ve said everything I can about this cover and video I think, so hope you enjoy it!

If you’d like to support me in other ways, why not consider becoming a patron over on Patreon?  You’ll get cool rewards like access to my behind the scenes podcasts, early access to videos, demos of unreleased songs, and MP3 downloads of my tracks!

21 Day Music Challenge is Starting soon!

So I didn’t post on Thursday particiall because I forgot and partcially because I didn’t have much to say.  Last week was pretty chill, and honestly it was one of those days where I logged onto my computer, was like oh yeah I need to post something then did other stuff and remembered at like 10 PM I hadn’t posted something but then went “Eh, I really don’t have anything to post about today so I’ll be bad a skip” lol.
But I’ve joined a really cool challenge that is starting on July 1st, and I can’t wait!  It’s a 21 day music challenge, where you come up with music ideas for 21 days.  They don’t have to be full on compositions, but 2 to 4 bars of music that are musical ideas and sketches you can use.  It’s a challenge to get your brain into coming up with musical ideas, and I really can’t wait!  I’m debating whhhether or not I want to post them on YouTube, because 21 days of music sketches in a row seem like they may annoy peole lol.  But I don’t really know where to post either, I’m thinking google drive?  I really want to post and share my ideas (that’s part of the challenge too – sharing) but I’ll figure it out.
I got off my butt and recorded video for two of my covers and I need to actually edit one set of the footage.  I have one that my friend is editing and I’m excited to be recording footage again.  Still in my on a video to video basis thing but gotta say once I stopped dragging my feet it was nice to record video again haha.  I really want to get better lighting though, that’s the one thing I’m like eeeerk about XD
That’s pretty much all for me today, can’t wait to get my new covers out there and start this challenge!

This Track Drove me Crazier, But I Think I’m Done With it!

Recorded extra vocals on Tuesday, still didn’t get the effect I wanted.  So I sat down at my piano  last night, and tried to get a strings progression I liked.  It failed miserably rotfl.  But, luckily, I have amazing friends who come to the rescue!  One of my more musically inclined friends recorded a chord progression for me I really liked, but I just couldn’t get it down on keyboard so I did something similar enough and called it a night because I literally had been trying to record and fix up that one strings section for four hours and by 1 AM I was frustrated nearly to the point of tears.  I really need to not drive myself to that point but…it happens, what can I say?  When I want to finish something, I get really determined to do it even if it’s to the detriment of my sanity lolol.


With the strings added, it sounded better.  Not how I wanted still, but better.  I wanted to add more vocals to the 2nd part of the song but it just wasn’t working for me…until, I went, aha!  I can use that same chord progression my friend made, only make it with my voice instead of strings!  I did something I never have done before, and rolled out of bed to record the extra layers I wanted to test out.  Partially because I want this to get done, and partially because I needed to hit really low notes, and a tip I got years ago from a fellow singer was when you need to do that, just roll out of bed and use your morning voice.  I had never tried doing it before, but it totally works!

I have to see how everything sounds after mixing it later today, but honestly at this point, I’m done with this track.  I still find it a bit jarring as of now, but I think I’m always going to feel that way about this cover in particular because it’s the exact opposite of how the original sounds.  Honestly, I’m proud I took the leap to do something this experimental, whether it sounds good or not.  It’s at the point where I’ve worked so hard at it I’m posting it regardless of how I think of it.


I think I’m letting my nerves get to me too.  Like, I’m really iffy about posting this and people being like “Ugh, this sounds nothing like the original!” I’ve heard covers that sound drastically different than the original though and really enjoyed them, it’s just the 2nd phase of the track sounds so much different than the first to me, but at the same time, I like how it sounds?  It’s difficult because I really can’t go to the original and be like ok add this part because they both have completely different stylings, so I’m having to borrow things from the original, rework them, and fit them into the style of my cover.  I’m happy I’m doing this because I’m really pushing my music muscle, but ugh XD  Lol this is the most conflicted about something I’ve ever been, which usually is a good thing when it comes to music.  I did a more folksy cover of another Final Fantasy track (not a battle song) I need to post too, but with that one I can see it sounding the way I’ve covered it.  This one, I took from being high energy battle music to being haunting piano, vocals, and strings so really I’m just nervous about how people will perceive it.  But I know someone who has a YouTube channel where they do nothing but make battle arrangements of different music, so I guess me doing the opposite to a battle theme isn’t much different XD


TLDR:  I’m over thinking this entire thing, I like half of this track, am ok enough with the 2nd half and am going to post it anyway once I record video.  Need to record video for the other Final Fantasy song I’ve had done for like a month, I’ve been majorly slacking hahaa.  I really need to get a schedule going for this sort of stuff.


In other news, I got a statement from Soundrop, and I got some money from someone buying my tracks online, woohoo!  My first 78 cents, I’m in the money XD but in all seriousness, I’m super excited someone bought one of my tracks, super exciting!

More YouTubeness

So this is going to be me talking about YouTube video stuff so if you’re sick of reading about it (I don’t blame you if you are) then go ahead and skip over this post, I’ll see you next Tuesday XD


But After dumping out my feelings about the video stuff this Tuesday, it helped clear my head a lot.  That’s generally the reason I keep up this blog, it’s really cathartic and helps clear my head.  But I was thinking about my whole stupid overthinking of making videos and came to a realization that I just need to play each upload by ear.  Before I mentioned having a certain type of song be one video format etc etc but I think doing it that way is silly.  For example, there’s a song I’ve had finished last month and I really like.  I don’t know why, but for this video in particular, I want it to have imagery  that isn’t me singing in front of cam.  I feel like this song would lend better to some animated visuals, but it’s a cover I arranged from scratch so my brain kept on going “You have to record youself on cam, dems the rules!”.  But I really wasn’t feeling it for this one.  So instead of realizing I needed to do another format for it, I dragged my feet on the upload of it and it’s a month late, which is ridiculous!  I think I just need to go with my gut, not force certain videos, and like I said just do what feels right for the song.  I get the same amount of views, at the same speed over a month so why not just post what I feel is right for the video.


There’s another video that I have in the works that I’m super excited to do.  For this one, I really feel that recording myself on video for this one is the right decision.  I’m excited to record on cam for it, so that’s what I’m going to do.  Just like the video I mentioned above:  I didn’t force it, and recording on cam just came to me as the right decision.  So I’m just going to go with what I feel is the right call on a video to video basis, and see how I feel about it.  I already feel good about it just writing this down, so I think it’s definitely the right call.


I’ve also realized, that the type of music I do lends really well to a simplistic style!  Since I do folk, acoustic, and Celtic stuff usually, when I do record myself on cam having it set up the way I usually do is fine.  Because folk music is really Earthy and raw, I feel confident that I can keep the format I have and it’ll work out.  Not sure if I’ll throw in playing some instruments along with me singing, I think I’ll play that by ear too.  May shoot outside sometimes, as well!  Just to get that nice folky vibe in my videos.  Once again, I feel confident this will work well, and can’t wait to get back on the video saddle again, feeling a lot more confident in the production of my videos.  Before, I’d make a video, but I’d be so uncertain about making it.  But I want to go into the second half of this year confident in what I’m doing, no matter what it turns out being, and for me going with my gut instinct always winds up being the right choice for me:  Sometimes I second guess myself, but whenever I go through a cycle of doubt I always circle back to what my initial choice was.  Silly, I know, but it just happens haha.


So the second half of this year (it’s crazy it’s already June) I’m going to focus on what I already planned to focus on, making my videos the best quality I can.  I know now that doesn’t mean be on camera at all times, but instead if means do the video you think will fit the song, and do what you’re comfortable doing for each song on a case by case basis.  And, get some better lighting, so I feel good about recording on video.  Also, don’t stress out about being in full makeup every time I record, because that has been a huge deterrent  for me wanting to record sometimes as well.  All in all, the lesson I take away from  this is: Never give up, trust your instincts!