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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.

Spitfire Audio Labs is a software instrument made by musicians in London. The company releases new digital instruments every month, so you can continue to build your collection of sounds. The instruments are created with samples from keyboards, strings, guitars, and synthesizers. A lot of the sounds have a very cinematic tone to them, but they can be used in other capacities by adjusting the simple sliders on the plugin that control their expression and dynamics. The large dial in the center controls variations such as reverb, attack, decay, sustain, and release.

I’m sorry to report that women artists didn’t gain much ground this year. And even though male-female duets saw a healthy bump, not even one strictly female duet showed up to the party, while a full third of our 2018 “Top 5-ers” had at least two dudes in the room! I don’t know, maybe blame it on the surplus of Drakes lying around?

Upcoming grants 2019

“No Brainer”: So I’m not really hearing, like, “chords” here — just the bass line with the funky leading tone, the ping-riff thing, and the baby-robot notes. I mean, together they do sort of make “chords,” but it’s pretty subjective. I’ll tell you what, though: I’m not building chords off the fifth and sixth notes of the bass line. I just don’t hear vi and V chords like I’m hearing the other chords I can pick out of this loop soup.

By paying close attention to your playing and constantly giving yourself feedback, you can focus in on the moments that give you the most trouble and work at those specifically. One additional way to give yourself feedback might be to record yourself. If I record myself playing my Errol Garner tune, I can even compare it to the original, and make notes about the spots where I’m not quite getting it right!

Sam: Working with Barry was such a wonderful experience. He was always friendly and confident, never shying away from criticism or feedback. While his work in the beginning of the course was impressive, his final piece showed tremendous progress, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work he did during our time together.

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! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them. 

One great way to do so without having to ask people for their contact information is through subscribing to your band where they consume music directly. For listening tendencies, this means encouraging them to subscribe on Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Amazon or whatever their favorite streaming site is. If they want to just know when they can see you live again, ask them to subscribe to your tour dates on BandsinTown or Songkick; whichever platform you use to post your shows.

Female hip hop artists 2017

If the mastering step begins after mixing is done, but my song is not really “done” until it has been mastered, then how do I know when I’m done with mixing and ready to have my music mastered?

And if you’re interested in booking your first tour, check out our free course, Touring on a Shoestring, and learn everything you need to know to get booking!

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.

Sometimes the solution is obvious. Maybe the student has a clear goal in mind, and they just don’t know how to get there. Maybe they wanted to make a bumping club track, and the beats are weak — beginner producers usually don’t know how to layer or mix drums. A lot of the time, there are some good ideas but they’re strung together without any particular structure. That’s understandable; structure is hard! Or maybe there was a misguided attempt at “realism.” Every semester, someone takes a piece they composed or arranged and outputs audio straight from their notation software. The result consistently sounds like garbage. I want them to think of the sound coming out of the speakers as the “real” music, not a placeholder for an eventual performance by humans — nothing against live performance, but my class is about making music in the box. Rather than settling for terrible fake strings or brass, we try to figure out what software instruments might sound unapologetically cool.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.