The following tips cover everything from the obvious, to some lesser-known facts, and hopefully some additional earth-shattering vocal hydration knowledge to help ensure you keep those pipes healthier longer!
Brad Pack is an award-winning audio engineer, writer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. Brad holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Media Production. When he’s not in front of his laptop, Brad can be found in the mosh pit.
A few years ago, the NYU Music Experience Design Lab launched a web application called the aQWERTYon. The name is short for “QWERTY accordion.” The idea is to make it as easy to play music on the computer keyboard as it is with the chord buttons on an accordion. The aQWERTYon maps scales to the keyboard so that there are no “wrong notes,” and so that each column of keys plays a chord.
As with many musicians, coffee is a necessity to do what we do, most often nocturnally. I’ve lost count of both the number of late-night performances and studio sessions I’ve done over the years and iced coffees (my saving grace) that have helped me make it through long nights.
It’s important to get into good habits about drinking water consistently throughout the day. Some people just enjoy water, and hydrate themselves enough on their own. Others need to be reminded to not end up dehydrated. You could keep a water bottle within arm’s length on your desk so you’re reminded. You can also download one of many available apps like Waterlogged, Daily Water, and Idrated to help with this.
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The highly influential course instructors are: Kenta Yonesaka (Unlocking the Truth, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper), Tim Leitner (Carly Simon, Adam Ezra, Billy Joel), Brian Losch (Maria Schnieder, Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile), and Leon Kelly (Run the Jewels, Kaytranada, Action Bronson).
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Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she’s been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly’s course, The Improviser’s Toolkit.
Learn tons more about hip-hop beat making, production, and history in Soundfly’s new mentored online course, The Art of Hip-Hop Production, and get one-on-one feedback on your work for six weeks with a Soundfly Mentor. What are you waiting for? Preview the course for free here.
Here are a handful of interesting ways that animals communicate to one another using sound signatures. Humans aren’t the only species with something to say!
Here’s a bit more off-kilter, dreamy, new-wave pop from Japan. This is singer and poet Yoshiko Sai’s debut album, which was reissued by P-Vine Records on CD in 2008. She recorded four albums in four years, which showed an incredible commitment to her work, but then decided to completely retire from music-making until her appearance on harsh-noise artist Jojo Hiroshige’s 2001 album Crimson Voyage.
Rob Lanterman is a writer, musician, and record label owner from Boise, ID. He enjoys writing about how aspects of punk rock and DIY have informed all areas of his life, as well as his own experience touring, writing, recording, and being a label owner.
An example of this might be using Sibelius to augment students’ learning and practice within a Western section of their curriculum, but introducing digital worksheets, sound libraries, and notational software to learn about Indonesian gamelan composition. Students may discuss what is gained and lost in comparative studies, what shadows exist in traditional software related to microtonal and quartertonal notation, how sound libraries can skew our perceptions of orchestral roles, etc.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your podcasting setup or just getting started on your first transmission, here are 8 mics that’ll help you sound great!
Another common issue is sibilance — or excessive “s,” “t,” and “z” sounds — often exacerbated by cheap condenser microphones. Sometimes this issue can be solved using an equalizer to remove the offensive frequencies in the 5-10 kHz range, but this approach often leaves the vocal sounding dull and flat. A much more effective solution is to use a de-esser to attenuate the specific frequencies causing the sibilance. This way, the frequency is only attenuated when it becomes excessive, leaving the vocal sounding bright and clear the rest of the time.
Modes and Key Signatures have a variety of different characteristics and are great for outside-the-box songwriting. Here’s a cheat sheet to remember them!
Learn how to write music for strings and help your string arrangements shine with these tips for orchestrators. For more help, check out Soundfly’s course Orchestration for Strings.