Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Music Producer - What Does a Music Producer Do?

Music Producer - What Does a Music Producer Do?


A Music Producer's job is to guide you through the process of making a song or record. With expansive knowledge and experience in audio engineering, audio mixing, writing and the actual costs associated with making a record, a music producer can set you and your music on a path to reach your true sonic potential.

Pre-production

The process will begin with pre-production. This is a series of meetings to discuss what you are trying to achieve musically and career wise as well as going through all the material for your project in great detail.

Every project is unique and has its own set of challenges and processes. These challenges and characteristics should be identified in pre-production so we can select the correct process to achieve your goals. Once this has been established a realistic budget can be established. With the budget out of the way there should be few surprises and the creative work of making a record can be carried out in a relaxed productive environment.

Some of the topics to be covered in pre-production are:

Song KeySong ArrangementTarget AudienceReview LyricsBudgetMusicians that will be neededEnvironment of the recording process

Song Key

The best key for your song is a crucial decision. There are several factors to consider. If there is a vocal is this the best key for the vocalist? Is this the best key for the instrumentation? Just because you sat at the piano and wrote the song in F major does not mean that is the best key for the other instruments or vocalist. This needs to be looked at.

Song Arrangement

Song form is a very important element of good song writing. A producer will help you decide whether your song is in its strongest state or if choruses and verses need to be modified.

Often times a band will write a song and perform it many times before they record it. Quite often you have heard the song so many times in that form that you can't hear it any other way. A music producer is a fresh set of experienced and educated ears. He might be able to hear your song in a way that you had not thought of. A good music producer will not change a song for the sake of change but only in the best interest of the song.

Target Audience

Understanding who you want to buy your record is another crucial subject. If you are a singer songwriter who's audience relates to James Taylor, we will not be spending time or money on drum programming.

A good producer should understand the style of music you are creating and know how to attain and recreate the musical properties that are characteristic to that style. The overall sound that is inherent to a style is very important when reaching a target audience.

Review Lyrics

Having an experienced Music Producer go through your lyrics in pre-production is another key component. Depending on the style of music you are creating, lyrics might be a key component. Having another set of experienced ears can help make sure you are phrasing and conveying your message in the strongest, most musical way possible.

Budget

A big part of creating a record is budget planning. The recording process is very expensive and can get out of control without proper planning. It is part of the music producers job to understand the time and resources needed to complete your project. The proper amount of time and money will need to be assessed in pre-production and then allocate to each phase of the recording process. The music producer can then keep your project running on a pre discussed time frame and financial frame through the course of your project.

Recording projects are notorious for going over budget. This does not need to be the status quo. With proper planning and time spent in pre-production, a good music producer can keep your project on time, on budget and extra expenses to a minimum.

Musicians that will be Needed

A good music producer will have a good network of musicians in a multitude of styles that they work with. It takes years to build the relationships of a good working network of experienced musicians. With a good producer you will have this available to you. He will also be able to easily work with the musicians in your band. He will understand and speak the language of music as well as have a working technical knowledge of all instruments. A good producer will also understand that you need the right player for the right style and make sure this aspect is in place.

Environment of Recording Process

Most successful music producers have a background in audio engineering, performance and song writing. They will understand the importance of having the right equipment and the right environment to create a relaxed, productive atmosphere for the artist.

A professional recording studio usually has a large selection of studio microphones, pre-amps, studio software, hardware, outboard gear, professional recording equipment as well as a selection of instruments and sound producing gear. This usually creates an ideal environment for the recording process.

Professional recording equipment is very expensive and usually not affordable for the home studio.

Sometimes part of the recording process can be done in a home studio if some basic recording equipment is in place like a few high end studio microphones and preamps.

Again this will be discussed in pre-production and the appropriate environment will be chosen for each phase of the project.

Why You Need a Music Producer

Hiring a professional Music Producer might seem a bit daunting or just another added expense to an already expensive process, so why should you hire one.

Having an experienced music producer to navigate the recording process and help keep you on point through the process of creating a record can be invaluable. Not only can a record producer save you thousands of dollars from wasting studio time, he can help you reach your true potential as an artist.

Having an experienced ear on your side when faced with a multitude of creative decisions on a daily basis is a huge plus. There is a proverbial sea of small details and choices that you will be confronted with daily throughout the recording process. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with choices and loose site of the big picture. Having someone with experience who has done many records from start to finish can make these decisions knowledgeably. This can make the whole process of recording a record less daunting, more creative and far more enjoyable.

There is a reason why all of your favorite records have a music producer. It's how artist reach their greatest creative and sonic potential.

Jim Ebert is a Music Producer living in the Washington DC area. Jim has worked as a Music Producer, Audio Engineer and Audio Mixer with multiple platinum artist around the world. Jim Ebert continues to Produce and Mix artist as well as Teach Music Production. Find out more about Music Producer Jim Ebert at http://www.ebertaudio.com/


Music Producer - What Does a Music Producer Do?


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How To Record An Album At Home

How To Record An Album At Home


The Correct Mindset

On Home Recording

Recording an album from the comfort of one's home can be an exciting and scary thought at first.

Some artists might think that the whole idea is ridiculous and unachievable. While others might think that if their heroes can do it easily, so can they.

Recording your own album requires that you embrace the project at a realistic level; it takes some work, work that might never have occurred to you. It requires preparation of your songs and yourself as a player. And it requires that you educate yourself on important topics that might seem overwhelming but are necessary to know.

So while rehearsing the music that will be recorded, really focus on things that can't or are not worth changing after it's recorded, such as: timing, time signatures, key signatures, tempo, and layering of rhythm and melodies.

Setting Your Goals

So They Can Be Achieved

Setting your goals in recording is important, since it motivates you to accomplish these goals at a realistic effort. You will want to set goals that can revolve around a schedule of your project; have a deadline you want to be finished and plan your pace of recording.

Remember recording a song is all about layering; multiple instruments taking care of different roles in the song, mainly rhythm and melody. So the more instruments you have, the more you have to think about what role they're going to be assigned, and the time it will take to record them.

Usually, a 3-and-a-half minute rock song can be recorded within a day. The song usually will have an intro, 2 verses, 3 choruses, pre-choruses, bridge, and an outro. The instruments used in it usually can be: drums, bass, 2 rhythm guitars, 1 lead guitar, keyboards, and vocals. But it all depends on the complexity of the parts, the playing ability of the musicians, and how long the parts are.

So if you think that you or your bandmates can't achieve the recording of your first song within a couple of days, then really take the time of structuring your song, memorizing parts to the point where you don't even think about it.

Setting these types of goals will help you not be intimidated by the whole process and leave you room for enjoyment of the whole thing.

Obtaining The Materials

Without Having A Hole Burnt Into Your Wallet

With recording at home, there are some materials that you will HAVE to get, if you want to get a quality recording. These materials are: a recording interface/direct-in box, patch cords, Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.), and a microphone(s).

1. The recording interface is device that is the hub for all the input and output of your recording. This is where you'll plug in your microphones or instruments, set their input levels, and also plugging it in to your computer where the input will be picked up by the Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.).

You can find a 2-channel, optical in interface for about $100 at your local music retailer.

2. Patch cords are essential if you're doing any of your instruments directly into the interface; doing it this way without pre-amplification can risk losing a lot of the tonal quality and resonance of your instrument. But, these qualities can be compensated with the use of specific VST's (Virtual Studio Technology), essentially they are audio plugins.

3. Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.), is basically, the recording software that you'll use. This piece of software integrates with your recording interface to let you record things onto different tracks, and play them back, put on audio VST's like EQ or compression, and edit the already recorded audio files real-time.

The completely free, bare-bones of this would be Audacity, but it's not recommended and almost never used because of it's significant limitations in recording possibilities.

I would recommend Reaper by Cockos. It contains everything needed to record, mix and master, and it only costs $60.

4. Microphones are how you pick up acoustic sound for your project. There are many different types of microphones and they are all good for different uses. The most common types you'll encounter are dynamic, and condenser. Dynamic microphones usually are extremely durable, and can handle a wide frequency response. Because of this they are very good microphones for instrument amplification and percussion. Condensers are really good for things in the higher frequency range, such as vocals, acoustic guitars, percussion, and great for instrument amplification. Usually these microphones require an external source of power that usually can be provided by your interface.

A good dynamic microphone that is world-renowned is the Shure SM57. It's only $100.

A good condenser microphone is the Audio Technica AT2020, and it as well is around $100.

Song Preparation And Scoring

Pen And Paper, Or Digital?

Planning your song(s) is essential for getting the most efficient use of your recording time. There are many ways to get your idea of your song, into your D.A.W., one of the ways that you can do this is to score your song in a scoring software, export it as a MIDI file and import it into your D.A.W. From there you can apply VSTi's (Virtual instruments essentially) to your different tracks instead of recording real ones. There are advantages and disadvantages of doing this.

Or you can plug in your instruments, and record some scratch tracks to your song's tempo, to layout the song in your D.A.W.

Some great FREE scoring softwares include MuseScore and Finale Notepad.

While these softwares are great for scoring, I don't find that they are the easiest to understand as a new user and therefore, efficient in your use of time.

Guitar Pro is a fantastic scoring software, simply because it is extremely easy to use, and can score loads of different instruments. These instruments range from guitars, drums, percussion, voices, strings, and much more. Guitar Pro is only $60 on their website.

Once you have your song scored, you can export it as a MIDI file (basically a virtual interpretation of your whole song) and import it into your D.A.W. to make use of virtual instruments.

Virtual vs. Real Instruments

Some musicians prefer not to give in to using virtual instruments in their songs for a number of different reasons, mainly because people think they don't sound realistic enough, and it's too easy use them.

While conversely, a lot of musicians like using virtual instruments because they're easy to use (most of the time), can save you money on purchasing equipment that would have to achieve the same instrumentation, and a lot of good, authentic virtual instruments that are relatively cheap.

Native Instruments' Kontakt is a great sampler for use with drums, bass, concert instruments, and much more.

Toontrack has great sampler sets for drum kits, like EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, but can be quite expensive depending if you have the money.

So it is up to you whether you want to make the choice of using virtual or real instruments. Both offer great amount go possibilities for making great music.

If you are using real instruments, make sure they are all ready to go. With guitars, make sure you have new strings on that are slacked and tuned. Make sure your guitar sounds nice through a good amp, so you'll know it will sound nice in your recording. For drums and percussion, make sure the heads are stretched and tuned well, and don't cause any irritating vibrations and odd ambient noises.

Recording and Editing

With your favourite D.A.W., you can record your tracks onto one or more tracks simultaneously, as either mono or stereo tracks. With recording, this is the implementing stage. This is where your preparation will pay off as hopefully you will record your parts into your project with ease.

A great feature of D.A.W.'s is their use of punching in and out of select areas in your recording to correct any errors you made. The use of punching and out will depend on the D.A.W. you're using. For example, Pro Tools' might have a different punching feature than Cubase's or Reaper's.

As with most features of different D.A.W.'s., different functions will take different steps to use it.

Once you have all of your tracks recorded. You can move on to mixing, automation, and eventually mastering.

Mixing

More Of An Art Than Most People Think

Mixing is a pivotal stage in the recording process. While there are some standards and techniques you should probably follow while mixing, a lot of the mixing stage is part of the art. This is when you can change the way things sound, how loud an instrument is, when the fade-ins/outs are, applying compression to a certain instrument, etc.

But ultimately, the most essential tool you will need to use correctly and constantly is:

YOUR EARS!

It's all up to how you or your bandmates think how your song sounds. If you've been mixing for a quite a lengthy period of time, take a quick second to really listen your current mix and/or get a second opinion.

If you don't like how you've been making it sound, erase all your effects and such. Start over.

It is very easy to get carried away on the specifics on some sound, and ignore the effect it is having on the big picture. Always take time after your editing to see if the changes suit your song.

Here are some of the most common tools you'll use while mixing. Remember that some are free, some are not:

-Compressor

-Parametric Equalizer

-Limiter

-Deesser

-Graphic Equalizer

-Modulation (i.e. phaser, tremolo, delay)

-Reverb

Brush up YouTube videos, or other resources to see how these tools work and can be used for your project.

Finalization and Export

Get Ready For Loud

Mastering is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the general public. While most people probably don't know what it actually means in terms of music production.

Mastering is essentially applying some final dynamic compression, equalization, stereo enhancements, and raising the gain of the master track to as loud as it can be without clipping.

A big part of the mastering stage is maximizing. A maximizer is a type of limiter where an output threshold is set for the track not to clip above, and seeing how loud it can get before too much compression is applied.

In other words, seeing how loud the track can get without distorting.

Most D.A.W.'s have all the tools you'll need to master:

-Multi-band Compressor

-Graphic Equalizer

-Maximizer

-Ditherer

You can search up how to operate these specific tools in your D.A.W.

However, if you're planning on putting your song onto an audio CD, you're going to need to use a ditherer.

If you have a ditherer, putting it on your master track and setting the bit rate to 16, will make it so your song can be burned to a CD and not have any pops or clicks in the output.

It does not change how your track sounds at all.

After you have done all of that, you can export your song as an MP3 if your D.A.W. has a built-in MP3 encoder. Most do, so you shouldn't worry about it.

From exporting your song, you can now repeat the whole, painfully fun process of recording a song, for your whole album! With an album in hand, submit it to the internet, burn it to a CD and give it to your friends, or see if you can be signed with your new daunting, self-produced record.

Nigel is a musician and producer working out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has studied guitar and musical composition for more than 8 years. He has also studied music production and mixing extensively.

Nigel also has a daily blog called Home Recording Daily, also aimed at musicians that want to know how to get started recording from home, the link listed at the very bottom.

Nigel's website educates musicians and new-coming producers on how to get started recording their own or someone else's music from the comfort of their own home. He has a FREE eBook to offer to anyone who visits the site on how to record an album at home, studio setup, how to mix songs, and how to record songs, listed as the first link below:

Record A CD Today
http://recordacdtoday.com/

Home Recording Daily
http://recordacdtoday.com/?page_id=48


How To Record An Album At Home


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From Analog to Digital: Santa Monica's 4th Street Recording

From Analog to Digital: Santa Monica's 4th Street Recording


A block over from the tourist-filled restaurants and shops of the World Famous Santa Monica Promenade, sits a small recording studio in an unassuming building. 4th Street Recording is easy to miss in a town where everything competes for your attention. There are no obnoxious signs, flashing lights, or human billboards out front. However, once you find your way inside, you know where you are. Gold and platinum records hang on the wall to your left, telling of the accomplishments of those who have recorded here. Band stickers hang on the wall to your right, telling you who they were before they accomplished it.

I am greeted by Kathleen, the owner of 4th Street Recording, whose personality is as warm as the Santa Monica sun. She's owned the studio since 1989 and in that time, 19 artists have been signed off of demos recorded here. The client list reads like a who's who of the music industry; Mick Fleetwood pounded on the drums here; The Beach Boys recorded Kokomo here; LA Guns entertained cigarette smoking 14-year-olds here. We walk into the "live room" and I find the usual suspects of a recording studio: guitars, amps, drums, and of course, candles. I can't help but notice the calming effect that the studio has; an effect I attribute to a well soundproofed room that keeps the music in and the noise out. Sand soundproofs the walls here; a fitting form of insulation for a studio by the beach.

We walk passed the piano on which Fiona Apple recorded "Shadowboxer"; the first single on her Grammy-nominated album "Tidal". The piano sits there, half-covered by a canvas, waiting to be played.

I can feel the electric warmth of technology as we approach the control room. Once inside, I am greeted by Sejo, one of 4th Street's producers. I make my way to the back of the room and sink down into the couch. In front of me is the recording equipment of yesterday and today; analog and digital, and it is the obvious conversation starter. I ask Kathleen what she misses most about the pre-digital era of music.
"I miss the money," she says smiling. "Jim (her ex-partner) used to have what they call "first look" with one of the labels and they would pay him $75,000 a year just to send them whatever he was working on. I don't think he ever even went into the building. That's an example of waste right there."

It would seem that those big budget frivolities are gone; the playing field having been leveled by the internet. "I read a statistic that two-thirds of the people offered a record deal today turn it down," Kathleen says. Sejo then adds, "For a good band, good management is definitely key right now. They need someone to get them radio promotion, good shows, good support for tours, and get their stuff placed on TV and films, because you don't sell CDs. No one sells their music, you just get that for free."

4th Street Recording was here in those analog years when bands did sell music, funded by big budgets provided by big labels before the MP3 came along and brought the industry to its knees.

I ask Kathleen if she longs for the "good old days" before things went digital. "No," is her reply. "It's been a mixed blessing. Someone said it's going to be a music middle class now and that's basically where I threw my hat in. We lowered our rates to be more affordable to independent artists. We do half-day bookings now because some people work during the day and can only come in at night. So we've worked with it, seeing that this is the future."

I'm slightly depressed by this future and find myself momentarily sidelined by the thought that today's rock star might also be my mailman. The big labels have been replaced by that dirty little acronym: DIY. Who's going to pay for all those trashed hotel rooms if not the labels? Certainly not the music middle class. Kathleen then reminds me that being signed to a label in the 80s or 90s didn't necessarily guarantee success. "It used to be, a label would sign maybe 20 acts and you'd hear two of them. The signing was the first level of competition. Then you got into the next room and you still had to duke it out with the other bands that got signed."

While that sounds like fair competition, there were drawbacks to being signed that extended beyond a band's control. "I saw so many great artists not happen because of something that had nothing to do with them," Kathleen explains. "Maybe the president of a label got fired. Maybe they were an end of the year tax write off. Maybe the East Coast promo team hated the West Coast promo team... it was so unfair because the band suffered."

She then went on to discuss the pros of the digital age. "One thing that is really positive for musicians right now is that there are more places for your music to be heard than ever before. It's come at a price, the price is that they don't pay as much as they used to... but musicians have more control over their music." Kathleen then says, "You are literally sitting on top of amazing music." Before I realize that she is not speaking metaphorically, Kathleen pulls out a large container of recordings from underneath the couch I'm sitting on. She wasn't exaggerating. I was literally sitting on top of dozens of albums that, for whatever reason, never saw the light of day. Now with the internet, they have a new chance at life.

With everyone having worldwide distribution these days, the question now is, how does one rise above the musical mediocrity found online? "If you're good, I think the fans will find you," Kathleen says. "... And that's another wonderful thing about the internet."

Kathleen firmly believes in this "cream rises to the top" form of marketing, so much so in fact, that she is willing to stake her business on it. 4th Street gets most of its clients by word of mouth. "We get a lot of people making pilgrimages from all over the world," Kathleen tells me. "They want to record here because their favorite record was done here." Sejo adds, "People will look on the back of "Science" and see that it was recorded here."

"Science" was the first album by Incubus and it was recorded here at 4th Street. Kathleen remembers it well. "You just had a feeling of greatness," she says. "I went to Mexico for vacation after we finished the album and I remember listening to it while standing on a balcony and reaching my arms out to the sky and crying tears of joy."

There's some irony in the fact that Incubus was one of those early bands that helped usher in the digital age, but Kathleen doesn't waste time thinking about the past.

"I've noticed that people come out of here with a radio-quality product... but if you're not signed to a label, how do you know what to do next?" Kathleen says. She is referring to her plans for 4th Street Republic; a business cooperative that will act as an umbrella for its clients, providing them with professional guidance that reaches beyond the recording. "Booking, licensing, college radio promotion, styling, social networking... bands are expected to be their own business units nowadays, and maybe they just want to focus on their music."

While the business of music may not be great, we have more music at our fingertips than ever before. The one certainty in an uncertain industry is that music will continue to be made, and those who are passionate about it, people like Kathleen and Sejo, will be there to make it. "I've always said, if there are three recording studios left in LA, we'll be one of them," Kathleen says with a smile. I believe her when she says it. If you find yourself on the Santa Monica Promenade one day, walk over a block and look for 4th Street Recording. It may be hard to spot, but it will be there.

George William is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles. He writes frequently on travel, music and technology. George worked professionally as a lyricist and has logged over 10 years of touring and performing throughout the United States.


From Analog to Digital: Santa Monica's 4th Street Recording


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How To Choose Your Wedding DJ

How To Choose Your Wedding DJ


Your wedding DJ will play an important role in your wedding and reception. Your main objective is to ensure that yourself and your guests have a good time, as quite often the music is what they will talk about and whether the DJ was any good or not. Here are a few useful tips that will get you started:

1. Do they return your phone calls or emails quickly? You should expect to get a reply within 24 hours. Often the DJs will be out working at an event which won't finish till late. So expect a call the next day.

2. Do you like the person? First impressions still count. Choosing the person who "feels" right is one of the most important factor in picking the right entertainer for your reception.

3. Speak to friends and family for referrals. You'll be bound to find someone who has used a good DJ, or has been to a good disco in the past.

4. Think about the price. As the evening entertainment is often one of the last things that is booked, it may be tempting to go for the cheapest. Make sure that price isn't the only thing you are using to choose your DJ.

5. Can they provide evidence of previous work? This could be photos or videos from another party, or even better, comments on a Facebook page from satisfied customers can be a good guide.

Another important part of choosing the right person for you is the meeting with the DJ. Along with the 5 tips listed above, make sure you go into it with a selection of questions you want to ask. By sorting them out beforehand, you are more likely to remember. There's nothing worse than thinking of things you wanted to ask, 2 hours afterwards. Questions could include:

What type of equipment do you use for the disco (speakers, lights, etc)?
What will you wear? (Make sure he knows how you want him to dress.)
How do you choose the music?
Do you have a wide variety of songs available?
Can I provide a list of songs I do not want played?
How often will you need to take a break during the evening?
Will you be playing music during these breaks?
Some companies have more than one DJ working for them. Which DJ will be at my wedding?
Will you need a tablecloth for your table?
While the guests are arriving and during cocktail hour and meal, will you be playing any music?
Do you provide a wireless microphone to use for speeches?
How much time will you need to set up your equipment?

A good DJ can make a good reception, great, so make sure you take your time choosing the right one.

Carl Reed runs Reeds Disco and can provide a Disco in Chelmsford. He can also do Wedding receptions in Billericay. Contact him for more information.


How To Choose Your Wedding DJ


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The Sexiest Way to Make Instrumentals - Use Aristotle's Three to Win the Love of Adoring Fans

The Sexiest Way to Make Instrumentals - Use Aristotle's Three to Win the Love of Adoring Fans


There are many things you can do to cultivate a sense of love from our fellow bipedal sentients, but few can match the level of emotion revved and inspired by you when you make instrumentals that blow their hearts out of their chest (either in sadness, happiness, joy, infuriation, or jazzation, etc.).

So, what makes instrumentals that illuminate the hearts of others--especially the hearts of those whom we want to respect us most?

While there are many elements for when you make instrumentals (probably an infinitely greater number than the number I picked here), but here are the big three that come to mind before you explode the record charts with your awesomeness.

Make Instrumentals with Aristotle's Big Three

1) There's the most important part of the equation that we'll broach here first: YOU.

When you write your music, we want to make sure we know why you're doing it and who you are when it comes to your music.

With instrumentals, you might want to rev up your "Who," yourself, by interacting with top-rate musicians, marketing your music most effectively, and accepting only high-priced offers for licensing deals (I'm throwing a lot at you here, don't worry, it'll be alright).

Just like Usher wouldn't get anywhere near Madison garden with his music at the current moment without his name and recognition, you might want to integrate the elements of your personality that'll make you big.

In writing, this is your credibility. This is the aspect that answers "Why must we listen to you?"

Originally, I began writing this for finding out who you are, and what you're writing this for because I didn't think that credibility counted in music. But music is a language of its own, and we need you to have credibility of sorts in your own area.

Develop your unique identity... There's so much to doing this.

Furthermore, there's a lot to type about this, but here's the biggest piece of advice I can relay to you... build a tribe. Be a part (and the leader of that tribe) that people want to visit... or at least develop the tribe that you enjoy being in the most (even if there's only, like, two people in the tribe... lol!)

2) Now here's the second element of Aristotle: WHO ARE YOU PLAYING FOR? WHO WILL HEAR YOUR MUSIC?

If you create a song for a homeless person, it might be something like, "Keep Your Head Up" music... all the while meeting them at where their at--hopeless, confused, forlorn, forgotten... if you can you meet where this person's at, you'll develop a kind of rapport with this person, and it'll be amazing.

This creates a two part sequence here with your audience... bringing them from where they are (possibly where you were) to where you want them to be (and possibly where you are now). The best movies start with characters in the worst circumstances (think Iron Man, where he's abducted and retains shrapnel inside his chest... forcing him to keep a super-battery in his chest... then later, he's this super god of a man with this suit he built).

More to this, and we can build this up further, but with the audience, consider who it's for, meet them where they're at, and make the instrumental take them from sad and hopeless to this most optimistic and excited people you ever meet. It's amazing what you can do with a little bit of music... people love it!

3) Then finally, here's the third and final element of Aristotle: YOUR SUBJECT

We touched on this briefly with consideration for your audience (what subject they're currently focused on and what the subject means to them juxtaposed with the subject you'll throw in later).

The subject is what you want to talk about in your song, and instrumentals can paint a picture regarding your topic of choice. For example, a friend of mine who makes music, recalls threats to his family and a rapist who raped a two year old--anally--before creating this music... and it reflects in some of the heaviest, most intense death metal/beaty sounds you'll ever imagine.

The stories I heard were f***ed up. Plain f***ed up.

Yet that's what he did to make instrumentals that blew my socks off.

If you want to learn how to make instrumentals, consider reviewing my blog at PlayGrind.com, where we connect other places such as my friend's SoundClick website.

Comment below and let me know what you think!

Talk soon!

Aaron with PlayGrind.com

Aaron is an explorer of the realm of rock instrumental music, anything involving base, and sleep aid apps. He's currently affiliated with Jim Meeker of Sindustry beats who's been in the music for over thirty years and is regualrly receiving royalties from ASCAP his music's use on NBC, MTV, VH1, and more.

For more information on how to make instrumentals (killer instrumentals, that is) check out http://playgrind.com/interesting-insights-on-how-to-make-instrumentals-from-a-video-producer/
Check out our blog at http://playgrind.com/

More posts coming soon!


The Sexiest Way to Make Instrumentals - Use Aristotle's Three to Win the Love of Adoring Fans


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PA Sound System - A Beginners Guide

PA Sound System - A Beginners Guide


In this article, we will be looking at the basics of what to look for in a PA sound system. We will be discussing some of the terminology you will hear and try to make it easy to understand what the various terms mean to you.

A PA (public address) system comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the application. Obviously a larger system is used in a concert hall than would be in a small room. A basic thing to consider when looking at purchasing or hiring a PA sound system is the primary use.

Speaker Power Source - There are two basic types of speakers. Passive and active. A passive speaker (also referred to commonly as an unpowered speaker) is essentially a speaker in a box (cabinet). It is incapable of producing any sound by itself. It requires an amplifier to feed the signal to it. The other option is an active (also called powered) speaker, which includes the amplifier integrated into the same box.

Speaker Size - Speakers come in various sizes. The size of a speaker is referred to in inches and it is taken by measuring the diameter of the speaker cone. Common sizes are 8, 10, 12, 15 and 18 inch. Generally, the larger a speaker, the better the bass response, however speaker quality also plays a major role in the overall sound of the speaker.

The Mixer - The mixer part of the PA system is where you "plug-in" your audio source (whether it be musical instruments, microphones, iPods, turntables etc). The mixer is where you are able to control the volume of each individual audio source. These are called channels. For example a 4 channel mixer is capable of receiving four audio lines. Many mixers also come with such things as graphic equalizers, on board effects (such as reverb or echo) etc. Mixers can be either powered or unpowered. The type used depends on the type of speakers being used. A powered mixer has an amplifier integrated meaning that it is handling the power output to the speakers, whereas an unpowered mixer does not have an amplifier allowing the speakers to handle the powering themselves. Don't be confused though, both types of mixers still need to be plugged into electricity to operate, it's only the speaker power that is being referred to and not electrical power. So, if you have a powered mixer, you match it with unpowered speakers. If you have an unpowered mixer you will need powered speakers.

Speaker Power - PA system power is measured in watts. The higher the watts are, generally the more powerful the system is. You will commonly find a number along with a letter 'w' to indicate the number of watts that are being delivered by the system.

We hope this article has helped you to become more familiar with some of the things you need to look for when considering a PA sound system for yourself.

Nik Edser is a professional wedding DJ and vocalist. He keeps a site that gives unbiased views and information on PA Sound System issues. All types of PA systems are discussed including wireless PA system options.


PA Sound System - A Beginners Guide


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Spotify Vs Everyone - How Does It Stack Up?

Spotify Vs Everyone - How Does It Stack Up?


One of the most important questions for musicians is how should they release their music? This is especially true in the digital age of the internet. While there are online music stores where you can actually sell your music either in physical or digital format to your fans, music streaming sites are now gaining considerable popularity, as well.

Artists can get their music submitted to online music streaming services like Spotify so that when people search for them they can find it for instant streaming. The artist actually gets paid for every stream which they receive through services like Last.FM or Spotify. The actual amount is so minuscule that it's negligible, however, and the real value in getting your music on streaming sites is for increased exposure.

In this article, we'll look at an up and coming streaming service which has long been available and popular in Europe but which has only become available in America in recent months, Spotify.

The benefits of Spotify for an artist are aplenty. It's a HUGE up and coming streaming site which more and more people are likely to begin using as time goes by and it gains more exposure and notoriety considering how much music can be found and streamed for free through it. This is one source of exposure which you cannot afford to pass up given how many people are already using it and who will use it.

The actual cut which you get per stream as I mentioned earlier is very negligible. You earn less than a tenth of a cent per play, and you'd need millions and millions of streams of your songs before you started to see income in the hundreds or thousands of dollars unfortunately.

Unless you're signed to a major label where you've got people working to get your music on streaming sites like Spotify for you, you'll have to do it yourself. Fortunately it's relatively inexpensive to do so as you can use a service like Tunecore which I recommend to get your album uploaded to Spotify and every other noteworthy streaming site for a price of just $49.99. This gets your album on online streaming sites like Spotify but at the same time it gets it in actual digital music stores for purchase like iTunes.

Again, it's all about exposure as well as making your music as readily available to your fans as possible wherever they are and through whatever music services they feel comfortable using and frequent, and Tunecore does this for you with a few clicks of your mouse.

Remember that the absolute best place right now which an independent artist can sell their music is through a free service called BandCamp in which you can earn 85-90% (minus the Paypal transaction fees) of every penny which you earn from sales of your music with BandCamp themselves only taking an industry leading 10-15% for themselves for the transaction in full.

Now that you know more about Spotify, let's focus on your craft of songwriting.

The best way to learn how to write a song is through specific methods which have been proven to work.

Check out my book which is aptly titled "How to Write a Song - The No 'BS' Songwriter's Bible" - it's almost 100 pages of methods for starting a song, developing existing ideas, getting over writer's block, writing HUGE hooks, and much more - all based on my own never before revealed and proven methods.

Check it out what people are saying about it at http://www.musicguyonline.com/how-to-write-a-song and start writing better lyrics, melodies, hooks, and songs on the fast track today!


Spotify Vs Everyone - How Does It Stack Up?


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