(UPDATE 8.23.12. I'm adding this to the HitRECord Academy Collab with the hopes that it might help some people out. Be aware that it was released over a year ago and there have been some big big changes to the site since then. It could definitely use some revision. So maybe at some point I'll get around to updating it, or maybe someone else would like to remix a newer one? Either way, I think there are still many parts that are valid and informative to new members.)
Congratulations! You just joined HitRECord! What are you going to do next?! You have no idea, right? Well, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. I’ve been on the site for almost 2 years now and still sometimes feel overwhelmed by its vastness (and also the crazy talented people who make up its community). But that’s exactly what HitRECord is, a community; one that accepts and encourages every member. So try not to feel intimidated and just take it a little at a time. And to get you started, here’s what I hope will be a helpful guide.
There are three main things you can do on hitRECord:
There are a few ways to find things you like in the vast collection of art that has been collected on hitRECord. You can start by looking at the “Featured” RECords on the bottom of the page, as well as the impressive “Reel.” Then I suggest going to the Browse tab and do just that. You can search keywords, sort by type of RECord, view by the number Recommendations they’ve received (Heartrate), etc. You can also go into Conversations to see what people are commenting on. That’s a great way to find pieces that might be trending on the site - getting some well-deserved attention.
While browsing, if you see something you especially like AND/OR something you think has REmix potential, REComend it by clicking on the heart. Other things you’ll notice you can do by mousing over the heart is “Download,” which will come in to play when I get to REmixing, and “Add To,” which is a way you can keep track of RECords you like by making your own albums of REsources. Albums can be made by hitting the big REC button, which I will get to now.
Ready to share your art with the community? Just hit the big red REC button on any page. When the form pops up just enter the information. More than likely you’ll want to “Release” something. That is a single RECord release and that form is for any type of RECord. If it’s a file you need to upload just hit “Add File” and browse your computer for it. Then you can choose to add a Title and Description. To the right, the only field you really need to worry about usually is adding a custom icon if you want (and if your RECord is an image you don’t need to, as that image will become your icon). Then just click the box agreeing that your art is yours and then hit the REC button again. You just released your first RECord!
Other things you can do with the big REC button are make Albums, which is exactly what it sounds like, a collection of RECords that you add to one set (or Album). This can be helpful to keep your own art organized or to keep track of other people’s RECords you might want to use for REmixing in the future. People also create albums for weekly reRECs, a way for people to highlight and share the best RECords they saw that week. Look out for the reREC collaboration of the week every Sunday, posted by hitRECord allstar MattConley. Even if you don’t contribute your own album of reRECs it is an awesome REsource to stay in touch with what’s happening on the site and also to find some great new art.
Lastly, you can also start Collaborations with the REC button. This is probably not something you’ll do right away, but if you think you have a great idea for a project that you’d like to invite the rest of the community to get involved in, that’s when you’ll want to release a collaboration. Once again, it’s just a matter of filling in the form and hitting RECord!
Feeling inspired by a Tiny Story, a photograph or a Collaboration? Well, then why not put your own spin on it? People at hitRECord upload their art because they want others to use it, to make it better, or just different, or to create an entirely new piece of art from it. If you’re better with images than words, then find a story you like and draw a picture for it. Or do a voice-over and turn it into a video. The possibilities are pretty endless. To use someone’s RECord that’s when you employ the “Download” option on the heart for that RECord. Take it, sample it, REmix it, and then REload it. You release a REmix the same way you do other RECords, using the Release form. However, the most important thing to remember when releasing a remixed RECord is to Resource the other RECords you used to create it. This is easily done by going to the “Add Resource” field and typing in the name of each RECord you used and then choosing the right one from the list. Then, as before, hit RECord!
Some last notes:
The best way to stay in touch with the community and to have people see your art is to keep up to date with the projects that the HitRECord Team are promoting. RegularJOE will often post videos (The Regularity) recommending the Collaborations he sees as having the most potential for outputting producible work (things that can be shown at live shows, be sold in the RECord store, be included in a RECollection, etc.) and kind of pointing the community in a certain direction. Getting involved in these collaborations gives you the best potential for feeling a part of the community and possibly getting your art featured/used in a final production.
Other ways to stay in the know are to follow other hitRECorders. This involves going to a RECorder’s profile page and hitting their heart. Once you do that, you can go to your “Activity” page and anything they RECommend or any art they release will show up in your feed. To start, you should definitely follow RegularJOE, Marke (the site’s creative director), MattConley (who I’ve already mentioned), Jared (who doesn’t post as much but is also one of the site admins), and well, there’s a bunch of other people I’d like to RECommend, who I follow, but what I really suggest is you find your own circle and also to branch out as much as possible, finding new artists to keep track of every day. It not only makes you a more rounded RECorder, but I think it’s better off for the community as a whole.
Phew! I think that’s it for now. I know I’m probably missing some major points and even just this can be confusing at first. All I can say is that the more you visit the site, browse, and hitRECord the more comfortable you’ll get with the site and the easier it will all become. And, if you ever need help there are always knowledgeable hitRECorders around that would love to give you a hand. Twitter and Tumblr are full of them, so feel free to seek them out. And also follow the official hitRECord Twitter and Tumblr accounts.
Most importantly, have fun doing and sharing what you love. We’re all at hitRECord because we love to create, we love art, and we love having a community in which to share our passions. The site is really a place like no other, and affords such a unique opportunity to work with so many amazing people. So, as RegularJoe would say, “are you RECording?”