In 20th and 21st century music there is a lot of imagination and experimentation, and strong interest in spirituality in general. But there isn’t much of this kind of intimate interweaving of specific sounds with concrete theological symbols. Composers like James MacMillan are exploring this sort of theology-based musical practice, as one writer describes his work, “giving the symbols and signs of Christianity their own flesh-and-blood physicality.” Others like Arvo Pärt use related methods in a broader sense. And surely there are other creative musicians working in this vein today.
Well, you’re going to need a tuner pedal; all that hard, consistent strumming is bound to detune some of your strings after every couple of songs! Tuning by ear is pretty tough in club gigs, so it’s always handy to have a direct-signal going into your chain. Almost every guitarist I know uses the Boss TU-3, but the Korg PB01 works just as well and is cheaper! Boss and Korg are household brands. We’re just talking about a tuner pedal here, it doesn’t need to be high end. My trick is to put my tuner at the end of my effects chain, so I can mute all of my FX noise abruptly just by stepping on it once. It’s a lot of fun with powerful climactic endings.
Finally, use an aux send to create a parallel compression chain for the vocal. Use extremely fast attack and release times, super-aggressive ratios, and excessive amounts of compression to create a pumping, slamming performance that’s full of energy. Then, gently blend in the results with the original. A common trick is to use an 1176 in “British Mode” or “all-buttons-in,” as it adds a colorful distortion that helps vocals cut through the mix.
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The simple, digital BOSS DD-7 is small, durable and has the ability to tap delay time very accurately. Another unique pedal, which has its own sound entirely, is the VOX Delay Lab, which offers a pitch shifting delay mode to really turn your signal upside down! It will add one octave up to the note you are playing as the first echo you hear. The second echo you hear is an octave up from that, and so on… It’s such a dreamy swarm of tones, you should give it a try at your local guitar store sometime! As much as I love this pedal, it’s actually enormous, and no longer fits on my board, so for something a bit more compact you can try the BOSS PS-3.
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.
Using the guitar fretboard as a template, music theorist Dean Olivet has redesigned harmonic notation in a colorful, intuitive methodology for learning.
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That’s pleasurable to use because of something cognitive scientists call the “fluency heuristic,” a psychological shortcut our brains use that’s associated with pleasure. In other words, the human brain likes things it can process faster. And with good reason! With so much going on every second, your brain has to focus on the things it can process quickly just to keep up.
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With overwhelmingly positive results, we’re happy to share a few testimonials of Soundfly’s Orchestration For Strings course directly from our students.
While you certainly want to stay true to your own artistic style and write songs that are not a carbon copy of the next big thing in your genre, you also don’t want to misread your audience. For example, fans of John Mayer may have latched onto your recent acoustic singer/songwriter-esque release, but they may jump ship when they hear the synth heavy alt-rock that you’ve been crafting.
Djembe players use three basic sounds to get an array of different rhythms and feels — bass, tone, and slap, which have low, medium, and high pitches respectively. You get the different sounds by hitting the drum in different places and with different parts of your hands. Here’s our quick rundown to get you started.
Will Marshall is a singer, composer, producer, pianist, synthesist, engineer and educator. Will has engineered for artists such as Oscar-nominated film composer Nicholas Britell, Grammy-nominated jazz musician Patrick Gleeson, R&B singer Vudajé, experimental composer Augur Duende, and electronic acts Ill Gates, Freq Nasty and the Fungineers. He is currently consulting mix engineer and producer for Sennie Records in San José. As an educator, Will taught at Pyramind in San Francisco from 2015-2018 and is a well-known authority in the creative applications of music technology. He has written and directed several in-depth educational video series, taught numerous workshops, and accepts occasional private students.
Initially, musicians used 808s on their own as the kick. While you can definitely still do that, things have progressed. Nowadays, the subby 808s are most commonly found as a bass tone that’s been layered with a punchy kick sound. This punchier kick layer typically has less bass content and is there to help create a crisper attack. At its most basic, the kick and 808 play essentially the same pattern, but the 808 bass provides the sub and tonal content.