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First, always provide your mastering engineer with a mix output file that is a high quality audio file, meaning a WAV or AIFF file at 24-bit or higher resolution and, preferably, at 48kHz or higher sample rate.
I had already made an instrumental track last month, so I wanted to do something a little different this time around. With Kim’s vocals used as a garnish, I was starting to hear this as a vocally-driven track. I carved out sixteen bars that a rapper could flow over and sent it out to a few friends to see if they might be interested. But after a week of back and forth, the schedules weren’t lining up to get this track done in time. So, as is so often the case in making music, I had to adapt.
Everyone knows that drinking water is the easiest way to stay hydrated. But did you know that drinking melon water is even better? Not only does it add some welcome flavor to your bland ol’ H2O, but adding chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew will actually hydrate your vocal cords and throat faster than plain water. The molecules of the melon are larger than those of water, and therefore stay in the vocal tract longer, resulting in higher levels of hydration!
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If it weren’t for this music video (directed by Mark Kohr), there probably wouldn’t have been the success of the Offspring, Sum 41, or Blink-182. It encouraged a slew of youngsters to go out and get Fender Stratocasters (or knock-offs) and cover the darn thing with stickers. If it weren’t for Green Day, I probably wouldn’t have done the same thing as a young guitar player.
Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Sydney, Australia. He founded the post-rock band sleepmakeswaves, with which he has toured Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In his spare time he writes music for short films, produces bands and subsists on altogether too much coffee. Alex is the instructor of the free Soundfly course, Live Clicks and Backing Tracks.
“Don’t Cry”: Holy loop choppidies! Watch out in the middle of the verses at 0:46 and 1:37, where they slice out just a sliver of the track — you hardly notice it. Then, marvel as they start the bridge (at 1:53) with a bolder half-beat chop-out. And then at 2:10, just in case you were getting used to these chops, they trip you up by adding half a beat instead!
If you already have some lyrics written, really think about how a motif would work with your most important words or phrase. Start by saying them out loud in a few different ways. This will give you a really basic idea of the rhythm you might use and an inclination of where the pitch naturally rises and falls. Use your phone to record yourself.
“…underneath the faded canopy of the bland mainstream lies a multiverse of challenging, engaging, explorative, enlivening work which I would say is the real ‘music of now,’ and which I love deeply.”
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Once you get a motif, you can repeat it. A very good idea: Repetition is the songwriter’s friend. The more times you repeat the motif within a song the more easily it will be remembered. And you can repeat it at either the same pitch or at a different one.
Financially-savvy songwriters have been taking advantage of this loophole by quietly selling a portion of their catalogs. In addition to receiving a big lump sum payment taxed at half the rate, these songwriters are diversifying to hedge against industry turmoil, inflation, and declining royalties. It’s something worth checking out!
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Maybe you had a stressful day at work. Maybe you just got the kids to bed and you’re exhausted. Or maybe you’ve got school work that’s due tomorrow. In each of these scenarios, you’re not left with very much time to do music. And getting stuff done in the little time you have is so difficult, so here are some tips for staying efficient despite the lack of time.