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Into The Rift Volume Three Submissions

Open Call for Submissions

Announcing Submission Guidelines for Into The Rift Volume Three

This year the submission guidelines are very similar to last year.  Here are the major details:

  • Dates: May 2nd – June 15th, 2018
  • Submission Length: No limit within reason (recommended cap is 20 minutes).
  • Theme: A Gentler Time (See below for details)
  • Include with submissions (More details on these items below):
    • Profile / Bio: Please include a bio of about 100-200 words
    • Contact information: List of social media, email, etc.
  • Submit via:
    • Files may be sent via WeTransfer,, Google Drive, DropBox, etc. DO NOT POST on SoundCloud, BandCamp, Internet Archive, or other public sharing sites
    • Include links in contact form information.
    • Specify ITRV3 in the contact form.
  • Audio File Specifications:
    • Must be encoded in a lossless format: WAV, PCM, FLAC
    • Should be at least 16bit encoded (prefer 24bit encoding)
    • Sample rate: Prefer 48Khz (or higher), but 44.1Khz or above is accepted.
  • All submissions must be new, previously un-plublished / released works.  No previously released works will be accepted.
  • All works submitted to Into The Rift Volume Three will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike license, unless CerebralAudio agrees to a different Creative Commons license. (See below for more information.)

Here’s some more detailed information:

Theme: A Gentler Time

When we were younger we had a different perception of the world.  Many believe that it was a kinder, gentler place than it is today.  Let’s take a trip into the past and explore things that we hold dear as being part of our formative years.  Things that we believed in before confronting the “real” world.


Below is a more detailed list of the specifications for submissions.  Please make certain to follow all of the guidelines.  Use the Contact Form if you have any questions.

  • When: Submissions are accepted from May 2nd through June 15th, 2018. Any submissions after the deadline will be rejected for inclusion the compilation.
  • Unreleased Works: Only previously unreleased works will be accepted for the compilation.
  • Audio Files: All works are required to meet the following criteria:
    • Encoding:  FLAC, WAV (PCM) or ALAC files will be accepted. No lossy compression formats (MP3, OGG, SPEEX, AAC, etc.) will be accepted.
    • Bit Depth: 24bit encodings are recommended.  16bit encoding will be accepted.
    • Sampling Rate: 48KHz is recommended.  Other sampling rates (44.1KHz and 96KHz) will be accepted,. Non-standard / odd sampling rates (like 20KHz) will not be accepted.
    • Stereo recordings are preferred.  Mono, multi-channel recordings are less likely to be accepted.
    • Un-mastered Audio: Provide tracks that are not run through a compressor, or mastered in any manner.  Please export tracks at -6db from your DAW in order to leave enough headroom for mastering the overall release. We seek to provide a consistent listening experience throughout the complete release and having tracks that have been mastered in different styles and at different levels makes it difficult to provide a coherent listening experience.
  • Documentation: Submissions must contain the following:
    • The audio recording in a format listed above.
    • A document (plain text file preferred) containing: track title, artist name, artist profile / bio, email address (not for publication), social media contacts, track description (to be used in the liner notes).
    • Indicate if you would do not want your track released on commercial platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, iTunes, etc.
    • Include an image for your profile in the liner notes. A square image (recommended size is 1024×1024 or larger) so they can be scaled to fit in the liner notes.
  • Sending: Submissions need to have all of the items listed above zipped into a file and sent via one of the following:
    • WeTransfer: send to, put “Into The Rift” or “ITRV3” in the subject field.
    • DropBox and  use the Demo Submission Form and put “Into The Rift” or “ITRV3” in the subject field, include the link to the download.
    • Google Drive: share the file with
    • Submissions will not be accepted from: SoundCloud, Face Book, Mixlr,, BandCamp, Internet Archive or other sites.

Common Questions

During previous submissions a number of questions arose. Below is a list of questions and answers to those inquiries and a few more that are likely to come up. Use the Contact Form if you have any questions that are not covered in this FAQ.

How Long Can My Track Be?

In the past I suggested 15 minutes was the maximum.  Last year there was no limit, and there weren’t any issues.  This year there is no limit, as long as the lengths are reasonable (suggested 20 minutes or less, but longer tracks will not be rejected).

Do Spoken Word Recordings Need To Be Encoded The Same As Music?

Short answer: yes. Encoding in a lossless format will make it easier to master your work for release.

What’s This About Commercial Platforms?

Cerebral Audio uses a distributor to submit releases to a dozen different digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music, Amazon MP3, Tidal, etc.

Last year I polled all the artists on the release to find out if they objected to having their tracks released on these platforms. One artist did, so their track was not included in the digital platform release.

Cerebral Audio respects the rights of all artists to control how their work is distributed. Asking you to include this information with your submission will ensure that your wishes are carried out.

How Much Money Can I Expect?

Probably none. Last years compilation did not make a profit. In fact, none of the past anthology releases have made any money.  CerebralAudio is focused more on the music than it is on profits. However, if this release makes enough money to distribute to the artists, you will be sent an email with a transfer via PayPal.

Note: we do post a suggested price on the Cerebral Audio website. However, this is just a suggestion, and frequently people change the price to zero.

Why Include My Email?

As mentioned above, if there is a profit from this release, a PayPal transfer will be sent to your email.

In addition, your email will be used for any communication needed during the production process for the release.

And finally, I hope to have pre-release versions of the compilation available before the release date. Links to download the pre-release version will be sent to your email.

What Is The Release Date?

Into The Rift Volume Two will be released on July 14th, 2018 as part of the annual Netlabel Day activities.

What Is This Creative Commons Thing?

Creative Commons is an alternative licensing system to using straight Copyright. It uses a licensing system to modify the terms of Copyright to grant your audience additional usage permissions.

Cerebral Audio uses the Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license supplied by Creative Commons. This license allows users to listen to and share your work as long as (a) it is always attributed to the creator, (b) it is not used for any commercial purposes without your explicit permission.

This is a win for artists as it allows your work to gain the widest possible exposure, while ensuring that you are compensated for use in things like commercials or films.

Additional Questions?

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask. Just use the CerebralAudio Contact Form, or send me an email:

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Welcome To The New CerebralAudio

Fresh starts are always exciting, aren’t they?  Well, I am really excited about this new fresh start for CerebralAudio!

There have been a number of features that I wanted to have in the old CerebralAudio that just weren’t possible because of the way the label was integrated into The CerebralRift.  In fact, I would say that the old site showed very little planning on my behalf.  I kept thinking “I wish I had thought about…”.  Well, now I have had a chance to re-design the site in a new home, and it incorporates a lot of those thoughts. Let me take a quick walk through a few of the features of the new site.


CerebralAudio Homepage Features
CerebralAudio Homepage Features

Starting from the top of the Homepage, the first thing you will notice is (1) list of links to social media sites. This makes it easy to find CerebralAudio in many locations around the web.

Below this is the main menu.  Notice several entries we did not have previously, including (2) Music and Artists. These two entries are really big features: Music takes you to a page where the music is placed in sections by style, so now you can find all the Ambient, Classical, Experimental releases by looking at a single page, instead of having to look at each release:

The Artist page takes you to an index of (you guessed it) artists. Select an artist, and you are taken to a page listing all the releases by that artist.

Below the main menu is the new (3) slide show featuring the wide versions of a number of release covers. A bit of visual candy for visitors unfamiliar with the site. 🙂

The majority of the page is divided into categories of releases: Freshest of the Freshest, Most Popular, We Recommend, Ambient/Anthologies/Classical/Electronic/Experimental/Minimal

The primary purpose of most of these sections is highlight four releases from the site.  The Freshest highlights the eight newest releases over the site, while eacj style section (ie, Ambient/Classical/etc.) highlight the four newest releases in each style.

Music and Artist Pages

The music index page lists releases by style.
The music index page lists releases by style.

Above is a quick shot of what the new Music page looks like.

Artist IndexPage
The artist index page provides a quick way to find all of the artists on CerebralAudio.

Above is a quick screenshot of the new Artists page.

Release Page Part One

Probably the biggest set of features is on the release pages. There are so many subtle changes it is going to take several screenshots to illustrate all the features of the pages.

Relese Page Primary Features
Relese Page Primary Features

The above image illustrates the major features of the release page.  First we have a new image slide show (1) which displays front and back covers, and can be magnified, or pulled up full screen. Below that we have (2) the embedded player for the release.  In this image we are embedding the player, but that is not the only player available. More images below. Next we have our pricing area (3). Notice that if there is a minimum price, the “From: X.XX” is displayed all the time.  When you select a version of a release to add to your cart, you are shown the suggested price, minimum price, and given the option to Name Your Price. Finally, below the pricing area is the detailed information area (4). In this area the artist, release date, catalog number, CC License and additional information are all listed.  Some of the items are linked to Artist and Contributor profiles (although we are still working on the profiles).

I suggested that number 2 above had some other players, let’s take a quick look.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive Player Embed
Internet Archive Player Embed

We’ve added support for the Internet Archive player as some releases will not be distributed to other locations, like the Samples and STEMs releases.


SoundCloud Player Embed.
SoundCloud Player Embed.

Support for SoundCloud has been added to the site. As you will note, this isn’t the typical version of the SoundCloud player that you see embedded on other sites.  We’ve taken some time to go through and strip away all the un-necessary clutter from the user interface to make it really sleek-looking.  (Given that the artwork for the release is right above the player, who needs another set of images?)

Release Page Part Two

Release Page: Tabs
Release Page: Tabs

Continuing from where we left off in Release Page Part One we have the tabbed section with the Description of the release, and Reviews of the release, and another custom feature:

The Also On Tab
The Also On Tab

The Also On tab is a new implementation of a feature from the old website.  I had gone through all the releases and built a table of 12-13 locations for each of the releases on the site.  The old version was a hand-created line of links on the release page which was painful to manage. So, for the new website, I found a way to semi-automate the creation of the links on the tab. In fact, it was the wish to make this feature easier to support that lead to much of the custom features found throughout the new site.

A quick aside: notice the You may also like… above.  Normally this is just a “Related Items” section — however in some instances there will be the You may also like… section, which is hand-picked releases that may be of interest — typically in by the same artist, or related by style.

What’s In Your Cart?

Shopping Cart Sidebar
Shopping Cart Sidebar

On the old website it was painful to see what was in your cart.  Now when you add an item to your cart you get a clear message stating it has been added.  Before you had to either scroll to the top or bottom of the page, or go to the cart page itself.  Now the contents of your cart is on the right hand site of the page. The cart is clearly available on most of the pages throughout the site (except on pages like Homepage, News, Profiles and a handful of others).

Saving The Best for Last

Sidebar Navigation
Sidebar Navigation

One of the worst things about the old website was the lack of direct navigation, ie, the ability to see all the releases from an artist that interests you, or to see other releases in a related style.  That has been addressed on the new website with the Shop sidebar.  Now you can jump directly to a page that lists all the Ambient releases, or releases by Scott Lawlor, etc. This feature, along with the Music and Artist pages make it extremely easy to navigate the site, and get to anything that you want to look at with as few clicks as possible.


I hope you have enjoyed this overview of the New CerebralRift website.  This guide is not all-inclusive.  There are quite a few more features that aren’t covered in this guide, and quite a few features that were carried over mostly un-changed from the old site (like the Newsletter sign up form).  There are also things that are still in the process of being worked on at this point, a quick list:

  • Profiles.  Those are probably the most time-consuming item, and are going to benefit from some major customization.
  • The News section. You are reading this article in the news section, but it’s pretty stock at this point. It will get an overhaul to make it fit better with the rest of the site.
  • Press room.  Another section that will be completely custom.
  • Google and Facebook integration.
  • More payment options.
  • And some more new features that I want to leave as a surprise.

We’ll announce new features as they are completed on the CerebralAudio Twitter feed and Facebook pages.  Also, we’ll be starting to post new releases fairly soon…start looking for announcements on them.  This year is promising to be bigger than the first two years put together.