Whether that means using “children’s instruments” like toy pianos, ukuleles, tambourines, etc., or instruments that look and sound retro, like jangly Rickenbacker guitars, these elements help paint a delicate picture of the sound world you’re trying to create. As another example, my parents played a lot of country when I was growing up. So whenever I hear pedal steel guitars and tight harmonies, the combination always brings me back to my childhood living room.
For many of us, creating works of art takes a certain level of inspiration and solitude — time to reflect and a surrounding environment that suits our mental well-being. Whether we’re composing, songwriting, or producing music and sound, the act of creation is often at its best when it’s organic.
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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Modern equipment is incredibly versatile. Sometimes a Swiss army knife unit can take the place of several other pieces of your gear arsenal. If you have something else that does the job just as well, why bother keeping both?
You don’t have to be a strict minimalist when it comes to gear. If you’re keeping something just because you like it, that’s no problem! At least you have a connection to it!
Got 10 minutes to learn about the history of the drum kit as we know it today? We talk about how individual drums, players, and genres helped the kit evolve.
Jamie Ehrenfeld is the founder of CORE Music NYC, an artist services agency incubating upcoming musicians and teams committed to community engagement. She has worked as a music educator with the featured programs at Eagle Academy for Young Men and City as School.
Surprising! There is absolutely nothing sexy about the way that people perform the Bach chaconne. Alex Ross goes on to detail the ways that composers like Bach combine the groove of repetitive dance forms with the descending bass lines from laments to make a romantic form of sadness.
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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.
Nick Jameson’s story is almost as interesting as this song’s bass part itself. After having previously worked as a producer for the band, Jameson was invited to become their new bass player. Mainly a guitarist up to that point, he had to learn quickly. But thanks in part to some of his influences, like jazz-fusion guru Stanley Clarke, he pulled off learning the material. Not long after, “Slow Ride” was born out of a jam session. Jameson’s chops on the song are pretty remarkable, considering he was still a bit of a novice on the instrument at the time.
“I’m soon recording my debut single and a follow-up EP as well, therefore I’m working much on my writing and production skills. The most useful thing I learned was the practical approach of creating a tidy score for strings musicians.”
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.
The best syllabic recontextualization that I know of is DJ Premier’s use of a Biz Markie vocal in “Nas Is Like” by Nas. When Biz raps the line, “I’m highly recognized as the king of disco-in’,” he pronounces “recognized” as “recogNAAAHZed” with a loud and nasal emphasis on the last syllable. In “Nas Is Like,” Nas ends the first verse, “And of course, N-A-S are the letters that spell…” Then Premier scratches in Biz seeming to say “NAAAS.”