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I started to experiment with some of the horn samples in the pack and, though I didn’t end up using any, they gave me the idea to feature a trumpet player. I immediately thought of my friend and frequent collaborator, Jake Baldwin. I met Jake in Boston in 2010 while I was at Berklee and he was down the street studying at NEC. We started making music together right away in our New York-based hip-hop collective, Tiger Speak, but in recent years, we’ve both relocated to other cities.

Very similar tonalities used this year, as compared to 2017. The major mode gained a little ground this year, chalking one more song, but it’s those sneaky-sultry minor modes that are still dominating. Worth a shout are the upticks in Lydian and Phrygian, and it’s also interesting that harmonic minor scales doubled their representation from four songs to eight. Maybe the V chord is coming back in style after all?

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Cardioid polar patterns are typically best for recording single voices as they offer the most noise rejection. Bi-polar, or bi-directional, pickup patterns are great for recording interviews as they capture sound from the front and back of the microphone. Omnidirectional pickup patterns capture sound from all directions, which is great for recording a large group of people, but it often captures a lot of ambient noise.

Writer’s block can be a burden on any songwriter or artist’s progress. There are no hard and fast rules to songwriting and there are certainly no surefire ways to break out of writer’s block. If you are experiencing a block in your creativity, these steps may help you to rediscover your muse or ignite a creative spark that you’ve never had before. Whatever the case may be, the most important step in breaking out of a songwriter’s block is to keep writing and never give up despite your frustrations. The more you write, the easier it is to write. Share your own methods for breaking out of a creative block below.

I would consider the Roland RE-201, also known as the Space Echo, to be a marvel of engineering and musical acumen alike. It’s a perfect example of what I would call a “holy grail piece of equipment;” a piece of equipment that is universally respected and its sound is often cited as the very definition of what it’s trying to achieve.

It’s totally fair to assume this song is in C minor. Sure, C minor chords shows up here and there, and much of the melodic content could be attributed to the C minor pentatonic scale. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking this song is in C minor.

Once you’ve written a percussion part on a kit with isolated instruments, you’ll be able to add different effects for each instrument. For example, thick reverb might not work when it’s applied to an entire organic drum kit, but can bring out a compelling new character when it’s only added to your snare for example. This is a crucial step you shouldn’t skip.

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We better go back to the source of the loop for some context — Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” — and holy rabbit holes, did they make it their own! First, they took the sample and pitch-shifted it up a whole step from G♭ to A♭ (thought it sounded kind of chipmunk-esque), then they chopped it up and taped it back together out of order. But what really transforms the music of it is what they didn’t take. So we were right that the singers are singing in A♭ major note logic, but they didn’t sample any A♭ major chords — and how can you have a song in A♭ that doesn’t have any A♭ chords? Also, they didn’t sample any of the bass notes that made some of the singer’s triads into different tetrads.

The important thing to consider here, is that you are not your voice. There are certain assumptions about the human voice that vocalists need to disarm in order to become more comfortable singing in front of an audience. You might not always notice it, but in social and political conversations, “voice” is often associated with what is extremely “personal,” for example:

It’s still Home Recording Week here on Soundfly and beyond, so for those of you who have made a commitment to yourselves to produce better music in the comfort of your own home, we’ve got a ton of helpful resources to help you improve your knowledge, skills, and strategies.

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Whether you’re interested in diving deep into a production-related topic like Modern and Advanced Mix Techniques, Songwriting for Producers, or Making Music in Logic Pro X, or just in working with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve a musical goal specific to you, we can help you get there!

Located an hour and a half north of San Francisco, on a ranch in Sonoma County wine country, artists of all media are provided with 2-10 weeks of accommodation and work space on the Warnecke Ranch and Vineyard. Resident artists stay in a three-bedroom, 1920s farm house, with studio spaces provided in repurposed barns. It’s perfectly peaceful while offering plenty of opportunities to attend open houses, workshops, lectures, and of course, the chance to mingle with the other artists. 

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