In part two of Echoes’ interview with renowned live performance producer Tom Jackson, we learn a simple rule: sing fewer songs, create more moments. When asked to play a half hour set, most bands immediately think, "How many songs can we fit in?" Instead, if they thought "How many moments can we develop?" they’d be much further along. Read more.
Today, a typical jingle is only part of advertising music content. You will also hear underscores, or music created specifically for the video. You may also recognize a favorite song, or discover a new band to like in the thirty seconds that an iPod ad plays, or hear a cool rendition of a favorite old tune. As long as it’s memorable, musical, and arcs the same way the story of the ad arcs, you’ve got yourself some ad music. In this article, I am going to focus on the process of creating new music (either an underscore or a jingle) for an ad. Read more.
“Don’t infringe on copyrights!” If your forte is creating beat-driven masterpieces that use other people’s work as source material, how do you ply your craft and share your art without getting in trouble? Let’s dive into the murky waters of legality and copyright ownership. Read more.
Take for instance the Kalamazoo line of student instruments from Gibson. Manufactured in the 1960s, the KG-1 (single pickup) and KG-2 (dual pickup) solid body guitars first featured a Fender Mustang style body and then morphed to an SG-style body. They featured a Fender style headstock, rosewood fretboard, and maple neck, with all the tuners on one side. They were built using regular Gibson components as a budget line instrument to hook young players on the Gibson style and sound. Nearly 24,000 of the KG-1 and -2 were manufactured, so they are not so rare as to be impossible to find. Read more.
Music publishing has its lore and legends. The story of Michael Jackson coming to own the rights to The Beatles’ catalog is high on the list. It started when Jackson contributed to McCartney’s Pipes Of Pan album, when McCartney opened Jackson’s eyes to the notion of song copyrights as an investment. Read more.
Depending on the genre of music, if you’re doing a live performance, or you’re recording the entire band or ensemble simultaneously, sometimes you can get away without a click – especially if you have a really solid drummer. But 80% of the time in a studio recording – especially if we’re just cutting drums and bass – we’re playing to a click. Read more.
Among all the categories of videos found on YouTube, music is far and away the most popular, accounting for nearly 31% of all videos played through the website. It has also become the prime destination for music discovery by teenagers, with The Wall Street Journal recently reporting that two-thirds of teens listen to music directly from YouTube, more often than other services such as Pandora, Spotify, and MOG. Read more.
I’ve had drummers who won’t take off their front head, and refuse to cut a hole in the front head. I’ve had to work with that. They had gotten the tuning to sound amazing, or they were purists and didn’t want anything inside the drum. The biggest issue you have when you don’t have the mic in the drum is you’re going to get bleed – bleed from the cymbals, and from the other drums – which can be a real problem for the kick, because it’s driving the entire song, and a lot of times when you’re mixing you want to gate your kick and snare. Read more.
I want to hear a combination of the drum – the hit of the drum – and the snares almost equally as loud as the drum. In a standard 4/4 set up, you’re hearing the snare on the 2 and 4. That snare has a space to fill – it’s the answer to the space the kick drum is filling on the 1 and 3. The snare and the kick have to work together to pull the song forward. If you have a great kick sound, and the snare isn’t matching it, you’ll have this imbalance. Read more.
Most mics have a fixed pattern — the most common mics used in an audio recording situation are condensers, electret (condenser), ribbon, and dynamic. Read the post.
Nearly every touring musician has at least one story about load-in or breakdown gone awry — that emotionally scarring gig where the venue promised a full drum kit but only delivered a broken snare drum, the festival slot when you expected fifteen minutes to set up but only got fifteen seconds, or that sickening post-gig moment when you realized your vintage Les Paul had grown legs and walked out of the club, all by itself. Read more.
In addition to your microphones, DAW/console, and room, an essential part of any home studio set-up is your signal processing gear. These tools are necessary to create a professional-sounding final product. But for the new engineer, these effects can be fairly mysterious, and a tendency to overuse plug-ins and outboard gear is commonplace, especially for someone just learning the nuances of the art of recording. Read more.
How many million guitarists pick up an acoustic guitar and use it to perform, compose, practice, teach, or simply to relax in a single day? But most of us never really stop and think about how the guitar in our hands was actually transformed from a tree into a musical instrument. Read more.
Whether you’re auditioning for the biggest pop act in the world or the smallest band that nobody outside of a five-block radius has heard of, treat all auditions with the same level of rigor. "If you can’t be professional on a small scale, then you can’t be professional on large scale," says Kern Brantley, bassist for Lady Gaga. "If you come into a wedding band audition wearing the wrong clothes and hitting wrong notes, you’re going to do the same thing when you get the chance to audition for a super star." Read more.
Re-amping is a recording technique that can salvage or spruce up tracks recorded in a home studio or less-than-ideal recording environment. It’s also a great way to experiment with sounds and tones without having to constantly re-record a part. You can even totally reinvent a part without compromising the original track. The basic idea is to take a recorded track, send the signal to studio monitors or an amplifier, set up a mic, and record the “re-amped” track. Read more.