Two years ago, I launched the web app Turn which takes a sound file and an image file and then turns it into a music video which includes a rotating visual of your image. Thousands of artists, producers, beat makers, voice actors, and more use Turn to market their sounds on Instagram and anywhere that supports video uploading. It’s free and easy to use.
I wanted to talk a little bit about marketing records using Turn. As I discussed in my original launch blog, Turn was created with the round audio format in mind. To me, there is no more mesmerizing visual of music than a simple spinning circle. Maybe it’s due to my career choice but I see a lot of ads marketing vinyl records while browsing Instagram. Especially now, during COVID-19, buying vinyl, alongside merchandise, is a sound way to support the artists you love who have had their tours sidelined.
Turn and vinyl records are a match made in heaven. If you’re marketing a record, you probably already have an image prepared which would work great with the app. In addition, all you’ll need is a short clip from one of the songs featured on the release. By providing these two files to Turn, you’ll get a beautiful spinning music video in return. Let’s break down how it works.
How to Create a Vinyl Video with Turn
Prepare your artwork
The spinning circle image on Turn is referred to as the “disc image” and requires a full bleed 810x810 pixel image. Simply resize and crop your vinyl image to these dimensions so the record bleeds to the edges of the canvas. You can use Photoshop or any other design app to do this. It isn’t necessary to cut the actual circle out because Turn will do this for you. In fact, saving it as a JPG without transparency is preferred.
Prepare your audio
Choose a sweet selection from the release you’d like to use as backing audio on your Turn video. Your audio should be in the .mp3, .wav, or .m4a format. We’ll be trimming your audio to Instagram’s timeline limit of 60 seconds so you can trim it beforehand or use Turn’s new built-in trimming functionality to find your favorite section.
Turn is a web app. This means you can visit it from any browser (including right within Instagram) to use the app. It will not be found in the iOS or Android app store. To use the app, simply visit www.turn.audio
Click “Choose image file” and select your disc image from your device. Once you do this, Turn will select a prominent color from your disc as the suggested background color as well as provide a palette of other colors. You can select one of these or click the swatch square to hone in on another color.
Choose Audio Clip
Click “Choose audio file” and select your audio from your device. Again, this audio file must be in the .mp3, .wav, or .m4a format. You may use the provided trimming tools to select your favorite 60 seconds or less.
Enter Email and Create
Finally, enter your email address in the field provided and click “Create.” Once your image and audio file are uploaded to Turn, the app will begin generating your video. Within 5 minutes, you’ll receive an email from email@example.com with a link to your video. If the video was under 10mb, it will also be attached to your email. You should be able to download the video to your device and then fire up Instagram (or any other app which supports video) to share it.
Turn is completely free to use but you’ll notice that we’ll add the Turn logo and a small advertisement to these free videos. If you want to remove this watermark and support Turn, you may turn Pro for $10/month. Not only will this remove the watermark and greatly support development, it will also unlock a few other special features both currently available and under development. One great pro feature is the ability to add an image to the background instead of just a solid color. This allows you to create your own watermark related to your artist or brand as well as add titles if you wish. Pro users also have access to the “Disc design” function which currently allows you to turn any image into a black vinyl with one-click. I’m hoping to add many more shapes to this function in the future.
If you’d like to get featured on the @turnaudio Instagram account or just let me know how you’re using the app, simply hashtag your video #turnaudio and tag the @turnaudio Instagram account. I try to repost a few usages everyday and naturally credit the original account.
I try to work on Turn and my other side projects anytime I find myself with a break in client work. If you want to stay up to date with app updates and bug fixes, you can follow Turn on Instagram or Twitter. In addition, we also have a newsletter which you can sign-up to.