ill.GATES Offers ToneDen Artists Free Music Tools and Gives His Top 3 Music Industry ProTips


Hi there ToneDen artists,

My name is ill.GATES and in addition to heavy international music touring, I also teach electronic music production and make music tools for my site I know it’s not easy starting out making music and I really do believe in what the guys at ToneDen are doing, so we have decided to gift ToneDen subscribers each a $50 store credit on our site that you can use towards workshops, sample packs, Ableton templates or whatever else tickles your fancy. Enter the code at check out and BOOM! $50. Free money. 

Makin’ it RAIN, son!

Note from the team: To get your promo code, simply log into ToneDen or create a free account if you haven’t yet! Your personal promo code will appear in the Notifications section like this:

Update: Promo is now over, but we will have more in the future


Right, so let’s talk about how to rise through the ranks in the music biz. Here are my top three music industry ProTips:

Take The Plunge

Nobody likes a tourist. If you are just getting your toes wet to see if ‘this whole music thing is going to pan out’ it’s a huge turn off for anyone in the business. The music industry was built on passion and boldness. Having a day job lets everyone in the music industry know that music is not your #1 priority in life. Yuck. Whether you make a living from music or not you need to make sure that music is the first thing people think about when your name comes up.

Let’s say you are a magic music industry fairy and you have an amazing opportunity to give to someone who ‘deserves it’. Who deserves it more, the hobbyist who works at the bank or the girl who sleeps under her studio desk five nights a week? There are so many people in the way that it is really difficult to get ahead in this business. You have to really, really, REALLY want it to be successful. You have to want it more than financial security, more than a nice car, more than kids, more than sleep, more than your friends, more than sex and ESPECIALLY more than partying. If I am going to hand someone an opportunity I need to make sure it counts and nothing says ‘I waste opportunities’ like squandering your precious moments on earth working some shitty job you hate. 

Grow a pair and take the plunge, you won’t regret it.

Pay It Forward

OK: so you’re committed, you’re in it to win it, you’ve made some great music but you’re all alone in the business and nobody gives a shit about your music. If only you could get on the radar of someone who can help you make connections… How? Giving everyone in the music industry copies of your album? Hell no! Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! Paying your way in via music lessons or consulting? Fuck no! That’s A) insulting, B) lame and C) we don’t need your money. So what DO you have that someone established in the music industry might want… hmmm….. ?


If you are a successful person chances are you are busier than a rabbit in mating season and would LOVE to offload some of the boring stupid shit that is in your way. This is why whenever you watch music business documentaries you will often hear of famous producers and bands getting their start running errands at the recording studios that they eventually ended up buying. You don’t have to just fetch coffee or whatever though, you can help people in other ways. For me it was teaching people about Ableton and making music tools. I built a sound library for Bassnectar, I shared my templates with Pretty Lights, Beats Antique, Dj Vadim and all kinds of other people. Now whenever I need a favour I can just email those dudes and they will hook me up hours later. 

Now while we are on the subject of calling in favours: studies have shown that asking people for a small favour will actually INCREASE your worth in their esteem. Paying it forward is a great policy, but you also need to make sure you’re not being a doormat or a sycophant. Find your balance and watch the doors swing open!

Don’t Be A Dick

I really do wish that I didn’t have to belabour this point but it’s a sad fact that I have seen musician after musician destroy their careers by being dicks. Yes: you’re special. Yes: you’re talented. Yes: your art has the power to transform lives, BUT; the magic vanishes as soon as you get all cunty about it, it really does. How many times have you heard ‘I used to like ARTIST X but then I met them at a show and they were all cunty to me and now I can’t enjoy their music anymore’? It happens ALL THE TIME.

Here’s the thing: when a fan (or another musician) comes up to give you praise, chances are that they have made a ‘big friction’ deal’ of it in their mind and have a raging case of the butterflies. Studies have shown that emotions are all basically forms of excitation. The only difference between is in the interpretation of that excitation. This means that you need to be very aware that you are playing with fire when you touch people inside. The line between super fan and deranged hater is both fine and blurry, be aware of that and know when the best ‘presence’ is a palpable absence. If you aren’t going to give fan interaction your all, then just let the music do the talking and try to maintain a sense of mystery. It’s also a good idea to remember than you meet the same people on the way down that you do on the way up.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to the top. Stay strong, stay passionate and above all: don’t be boring.

Much love!


9 notes

  1. caffeinated-sushi reblogged this from toneden and added:
    While I do agree with a decent bulk of this article, I do think the whole ‘give it your 100% or go home’ attitude is a...
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