Tag Archives: music help

Sound Mixing: 10 essential tips

I found this helpful tutorial from The Whipping Post

And here is a basic overview of the tips:
1: Use MONO Sound Sources
2: Rest your ears
3: Keep the bass and kick panned dead center
4: Use EQ to cut, not boost

Continue to Other Six

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How to Make a Unique Kick from Default Samples in Ableton

This tutorial is for producers who don’t have drums kits or drum machines. Using kicks from sample libraries is good choice for production, but many producers including me think that using other people’s samples doesn’t sound unique enough. If you want to make unique kicks you have to do it on your own.

You don’t have to buy an expensive drum machine or real drum kits. You do have to buy or download some excellent drum libraries, and use them to create some fantastic and awesome kicks which will be the foundation of your song.

Why is this so important? Listen some dance record from the top artist like Armin Van Buuren, Garreth Emery, Ferry Corsten and you will realize that the kick is the most important element of their song. How we shape the sound of a kick is one of the most creative decisions we have to make—we control aspects like how solid, how punchy, how thick and how snappy. If your kicks lack energy, or are too soft, they won’t bring satisfaction on the dance floor.

The technique which I want to show you is kick layering. The basic idea is that you layer different kick samples and mix them. The result is a completely new kick.

To understand layering you do not need to have a PhD in frequencies. You need to understand low, mid and high. You need to understand cut and boost, filter and ADSR.

Continue to Full Tutorial


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The Highs and Lows of Writing Lyrics

Though the above picture is somewhat skewing in it’s portrayal of current lyrics, it’s also partially right on point. Lyrics, in the early part of this millennium (in the pop music hemisphere) have officially hit an all time low for creativity and meaning.

For me, lyrics make up 80% of a song’s appeal. Anyone can write a sweet guitar lick that can be appreciated by anybody..I did it the other day my first time touching a guitar. It’s a lot harder to fit actual words with meaning into an ordered phrase that can then easily emanate throughout society. But I feel like a lot of people stopped trying!

I myself write lyrics, and I take a lot of time with them. Lyrics are the most important thing a band or artist can focus on, besides the live re-production of them. Don’t just use cliches or feel good phrases..take more than 2 minutes to think about your next line before you actually write it down. Try to create new dimensions, new thoughts, and new pictures within people’s minds when you write your lyrics. Visualize what you want to portray and sculpt it with the words. At least paint a scene with some depth to it. If you were to paint the picture of “G6” above, it’d look exactly like every other club pop hit out in the last decade…I’m getting pretty tired of that shit, how bout you?

What happened to lyrics like Imagine by John Lennon, or Changes by Tupac? The song doesn’t have to be weak or lame because the lyrics are good, or because they’re not talking about popping bottles or “making it rain.” Trust me, even though the mainstream might be pumping that shit heavily right now, that shit is wack, and it will be dead soon enough.

Another big factor that will contribute to the downfall of horrible music, most commonly heard on “the radio,” will be the downfall of major record labels. Labels, the ones with the monetary keys to the major studios – have long had their hand in deciding which music comes out, and essentially, which words get said. If a label doesn’t like a song an artist did for their album, they can deny it and demand another song be cut. Obviously you can see the trend the labels have been following over the last decade, basically only letting music through that meets the same criteria over and over again. They seem to want to reinforce a certain – party – anesthetized – ignorant to the real world – kind of mental portrayal in the songs they put out, and quite frankly, it’s got a lot of people pissed off.

I think that this will go away once we see a retreat in the major label stronghold over mass distribution and marketing, which is going on now. The web continues to push the envelope of what’s now possible, and independent artists, free of this way of thinking, will establish a new standard, using a new platform (the web), that will actually allow these artists to take things farther than the Labels and the previous model would even allow. This is happening as I speak. Power is shifting back into the artist’s hands, and with that power, will eventually come the major studios.

This all makes me think about a post I wrote a while back called The REAL Difference Between Rap and Hip Hop – The REAL difference, is really, all about the REAL.

My view of the situation:

If you’re a lyric writer, please, stay real. If you want to hear what some real lyrics sound like, check out my man Emmanuel Jackson ripping up this verse. This is why I say a lot of mainstream writers are in trouble. Lyrics that are dope and mean something will kill every time. You just can’t fck with this shit:

Written by: Dante Cullari  Founder & CEO Beat-Play, LLC

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What To Do If Your Musical Gear Breaks Down At A Gig

When you are playing live on stage there are few things that can be worse than a musical equipment failure. Every professional musician will have technical problems on the stage. I’ve had numerous different problems with my gear in the past.

Here are some solutions that I’ve found work well:

  • Get a technician to help you set up and monitor your equipment before and during the show. You can either hire a professional (if you can afford it) or at least find a knowledgeable friend who will follow your set up instructions.
  • Map out (on paper) all of your equipment, how and where it should be placed on the stage, how each item is connected, the order in which midi instruments should be connected and turned on, which items are to be held on ‘standby mode’ and when they should be turned into active mode.
  • Pre-connect as many pieces of gear as possible before it is even placed on the stage. If there is no time for a sound check on the stage, then do your own quick sound check off the stage before the equipment is moved onto the stage.

Continue to Full Article

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How to: Electric Rock Piano and Organ [Videos]

This series of videos are great for anybody interested in starting to play an electric piano or an organ, especially if you’re even just thinking about it. The electric piano is still an amazingly cool instrument with a lot of versatility. It can be an awesome addition to a band.

Full Video Playlist Series Here

Check out this guy shredding the old school electric piano:

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How to Make a Contact Mic (Piezo Pick-up) for under $10

Whether you want create noise music by banging on scrap metal, cheaply and easily amplify your acoustic instrument, or just play with wires, you’re in the right place. You will need:

  • piezo transducer (radioshack 273-073A)
  • 1/4″ audio cable (eg radioshack 42-2381A)
  • tape, solder, hot glue, heat shrink tubing, etc

That’s all! It’s pretty simple an inexpensive: two piezos and a six foot cable cost me ten dollars and yield two mics. You also probably going to use pliers, a razor blade, and a soldering iron or hot glue gun if you have them. Kids, we’re playing with things that are hot and sharp, so don’t tell your parents or they’ll get all up in your shit.

Full Tutorial Here

When you hook these piezo mics up to a good amp they can sound really good. It’s because they have a much wider pickup range than most guitar pick-ups so you get some great highs and lows. If you have a guitar you should definitely watch this video:

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Left Hand Guitar Mechanics – Guideline

This is a really good guideline for beginners, or sloppy people.

left hand guitar technique

Fingers

Mediocre guitar mechanics:
fingers are slanted or angled and not perpendicular to the fretboard. Could cause for buzzing strings or misfretting.
Better left hand technique:
fingers are rounded and tips are close to perpendicular to the fretboard.
left hand guitar technique left hand guitar technique

Full Guide here: theguitarsuite.com

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How to make a gated Synth Pad à la Timbaland & Danja with FL Studio

If this doesn’t make you wanna start messing around with fruity loops you’re crazy.

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Make a Rubber Band Shock Mount for your Boom Mic for only $3!

When attaching a boom mic to a pole, you need a special mount to insulate the microphone from pole noise. If the mic is connected directly to the boom, it will register unwanted sound whenever anything hits or moves across it (like the operator’s hands). Thus, you need a special mount that will ‘float’ the mic away from the pole. Rubber band mounts are a good way to do this, but are often very expensive (around $50). Why not make your own for $3 and put the rest back into your movie?

Continue to Full Tutorial

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How to Create a Dubstep Wobble Bass with Subtractor in Reason

When creating Dubstep music, one of the most important instruments is the bass. A lot of Dubstep songs have a wobble bass. This is basically a bass with a filter being modulated in a rhythmic sync with the tempo. Most often you will hear triplets and 8th notes being modulated by an LFO on the filter. In this tutorial, we will cover how to create a bass sound and add the ‘Wobble’ effect in the Subtractor device within Reason.


Step 1

First create a new project in Reason then add the following devices from the tool window:

  1. 1. MClass Mastering Suite Combinator
  2. 2. Mixer 14:2
  3. 3. Subtractor Analog Synthesizer

You can hide the Mastering Suite and Mixer, as we won’t need them, by clicking the arrow in the top left of each device. Now we need to initialize the patch. (This clears out the default sound) Right click anywhere on the Subtractor and choose: Initialize Patch.

Continue through to Step 7

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