At WMSE, we always encourage new music submissions. Given the nature of our programming model, our program hosts dictate what music they feature during each of their respective programs.
Any questions that this guide does not answer, feel free to contact Music Director Erin Wolf
How do I get my music to WMSE?
It’s almost too easy. Either physically walk up to our door at Krueger Hall, 820 N Milwaukee Street, ring the doorbell any weekday between 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and hand it to us (one copy only, please); or mail it to:
c/o Erin Wolf /Music Department
1025 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
WMSE accepts the following music submissions:
- CD (please include at least four airable / FCC-clean tracks)
- Vinyl (we LOVE vinyl…all inches! WMSE IS PRO-VINYL)
- Digital (if you don’t have the means to put out a physical release, please send a digital download to Erin via WeTransfer)
- Cassette (yep, even cassettes)
When will I hear it on the air?
Two or three weeks, generally. WMSE receives over one hundred CD submissions every week, and each one must be previewed by our Music Department for quality and content. You can speed up the process by letting us know if any of the tracks are not airable, which means there are swears (if you’re not sure if something is a swear, it probably is, but you are welcome to ask), explicit sexual content, violent imagery, drug references, or anything else that would get us fined by the FCC.
Why don’t I ever hear my CD on the air?
Unlike many other radio stations, WMSE does not have a traditional Program Director, which means there is no one to tell the DJs what to play. It’s 100% up to our on-air DJ volunteers to decide what our listeners hear. This assures a diversity of programming and genre. Honestly, they simply just might not know your CD is there, so here are some helpful hints:
Put your CD in a standard jewel case or digi-pack. If it’s in a slim case, a thin cardboard sleeve, or an envelope, it can get lost in the shuffle. Our new CD’s are lined-up on the shelf with only the spine visible, so mark both spines of the jewel case clearly. Note: We have a section specifically for local music, and our DJs give it special consideration.
If possible, don’t give us a burned CD. The finished product is always more likely to catch our eye. There are thousands of CDs from the past year-and-a-half alone, and you’ll want your disc to stand out.
Make sure to include a tracklist with your CD, vinyl or cassette. This is important!
Give the DJ a call and let them know your music is there. The WMSE DJ line is (414) 277-WMSE (9673). Please don’t ask them flat-out to play it; just politely ask if they will track through and check it out. If what they’re playing works with what you’re doing, odds are they’ll like it and play it. And make sure they know if you have an upcoming show. They are always happy to announce it on the air. Above all, just be nice. Make sure to know who is on the air at the time you call and if their program lines up with your music. You can find WMSE’s program schedule on our page.
Also, play shows around town! (We know it’s tough to get gigs, but it helps!) When we see your band on a flyer or in the club listings, the name will stick and we’ll recognize it when looking through the new releases.
How can I find out if my CD is getting airplay?
Our Music Director, Erin, tracks all of the music being played on WMSE. You are welcome to email Erin once in a while and ask, but please keep inquiries to a polite minimum.
How can my band get an interview on the air?
Step one is to make sure we have your music. Then contact Erin at least two or three weeks prior to when you wish to be interviewed. Do not ask the DJ directly. Be aware that we receive a great number of interview requests, and are unable to accommodate all of them. Priority is given to special events, such as CD-release shows, benefit shows for good causes and especially bands playing WMSE sponsored events. Above all else, we must keep the listener in mind, and attempt to keep the chatting to a minimum. That said, we welcome bands into the studio on a regular basis to help get the word out about what they are doing, and where listeners can find them. If you were interviewed recently, please wait three or four months before you ask to come back for airtime. It’s also very important that you have things to actually say once the mic is turned on. Be prepared. Give us a bio (and your music) ahead of time if possible so the DJ can familiarize themselves with your project. Interviews usually last ten to fifteen minutes.
How does my band get to play live on the air?
More often than not, we’ll invite you. A great deal of time and energy goes into a live on-air performance on our end, so availability is limited. We are only able to accommodate a full-on performance for our weekly Local/Live program (which happens every Tuesday night at 6 p.m.) and for album releases or for touring bands, stopping by or going through Milwaukee. It is, however, always good to know that you are willing to lend your talent to our airwaves, so let Erin know you are excited about potentially playing, live on WMSE. Above all else, it is vital that we have your contact information and music on hand. Make certain that your website, email, and/or phone number are clearly marked in your music submission. This will also benefit you when listeners call a DJ after hearing your song and want to get a hold of your music. Also, if you have an upcoming show in town, please email or drop off a flier so we can post it up in the DJ studio! Visuals get results!
Can I have a recording of my performance for my mom?
You bet. Our Engineer Billy Cicerelli records performances through ProTools, and before you leave the station, he’ll have a live “off the board” copy of the session for you. We think you’ll like how it sounds. Additionally, all WMSE programming is archived for one year at wmse.org via our schedule page and you’ll be able to download or stream any show of your choosing. You can also purchase the ProTools files from WMSE. A lot of bands release their Live at WMSE session as an EP. Purchasing the ProTools files allows you to further mix, overdub and more easily master your EP.