Charles Burchell is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, educator, and diplomat from New Orleans, LA. He has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New England Conservatory (B.M. ’12), and most recently completed the Masters of Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed. M ’13). Burchell has recorded and produced albums with Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Delfayo Marsalis, Ran Blake, Ciel Rouge, his band The Love Experiment (featured in Touring on a Shoestring), and has performed and given master classes at various music festivals around the world. Burchell also works as a cultural diplomat with the Next Level Program and is currently a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall’s Digital Music Production Workshop and Musical Connections Program in which he works with court involved youth and students from various boroughs throughout New York City. Burchell continues to perform regularly around the U.S. and internationally as a DJ, drummer, and bandleader.
Castiel took a minute recently to tell us about how the idea for this company came about, how they’re strategically working to get partners in place for all kinds of labels and artists so they don’t need to do that work themselves, and a little bit about Serge Gainsbourg, too!
Not all of us have access to the kind of gear that the Boards are rocking. As usual though, we can find some good digital approximations on the internet. One of my absolute favourites is James Peck’s VHS Audio Degradation Suite. It provides emulations (with optional speaker simulation) of old video tape audio playback, based on machines in various states of disrepair. If anything digital is going to get you even close to Boards of Canada’s bevy of broken-down gear, this is it. While it’s free, it only works through Native Instruments’ paid Reaktor 6 soft synth platform. If you don’t already have that, you can try it out for 30 days.
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Filter sweeps are most commonly used in electronic music because it’s a popular effect that DJs rely on to impose a sense of ebb and flow on the crowd. It’s that underwater effect of gradually surfacing, or opening up, until the chorus finally hits. It can also be the exact opposite, where a producer will gradually close off a ton of the frequency content so it sounds like it’s getting smaller and smaller, before letting it all back in at the perfect moment to slam the chorus back in even harder. This is especially useful if you’re working on a beat-heavy dance remix and you want the bass to be intensely at front and center when it drops.
With all of Logic’s inredible instruments, producers often rely on the sound of the samples right out of the box, here’s how to make them more interesting.
We profile the great songwriting minds behind some of the greatest pop hits of the modern era. You might not know their names, but you know their work!
Logic has a ton of great built-in MIDI sounds. Your first option is to select the sound of the keyboard you’d like to record. In the top left corner, there’s a box with a file folder inside. Click on that to open the menu. From there you can turn your MIDI sound into almost anything by searching through the available sounds: everything from synths to classic, electric, and grand pianos, and percussion sounds.
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I love a site that not only goes all-in with their features but that shows you the view count of every article so you can really get a feel for what’s resonating and what people are listening to. The Word Is Bond does exactly that, with articles ranging as high up as over 500 views. They also do a round up of the Top 10 Submissions they receive each week, so as an up-and-coming artist you actually have a shot at getting your music heard, while as a fan you get a weekly list of 10 tracks you just have to check out.
This scene, where Marissa shoots Trey (I never watched The OC but I’m getting this all from the YouTube description), was where a lot of people were introduced to the artistry of Imogen Heap. Her song “Hide and Seek” stands alone for the British singer, and in this clip, where one character is killing another by choking him, the gunshot by Marissa is justified to the viewers by Heap’s line, “It’s all for the best.”
“The most useful thing that I learned was to gain the conscious awareness of human emotions, in an intentional way, when developing chord progressions. creating music. And using writing techniques like modal interchange and others to help convey those emotional states of being in your music.”
All this was in aid of reinforcing the narrative and emotional quality of his work. And so, Berg’s Lulu features not just one tone row but several. This not only creates a welcome diversity of harmonic material, but clearly harks back to earlier operatic techniques such as Wagner’s famous leitmotifs. For example, the tone row associated with the character Lulu herself is rendered in C as follows: C E F D G A G♭ A♭ C♭ B♭ E♭ D♭.
So, now that you’re equipped with some of the tools and knowledge of the most common forms of song structure, keep in mind yet again that there are no rules to songwriting! There are only basic ideas and pieces of advice that you can borrow from as you sit down and create something that’s meaningful to you! It’s helpful to have these weapons in your arsenal. When it comes down to it, the best thing you can do as a new songwriter experimenting with song structure is to try and write with all kinds of structures and figure out what works best for you.