On this day, 57 years ago, James Brown and his Famous Flames recorded what would become one of the most earth-shattering funk and soul albums of all time.

Syrian-American and with a voice gorgeous enough for radio, Káryyn entered 2019 running at full speed, with her full-length debut The Quanta Series earning rave reviews. The album is a meditation on memory, loss, and connections. Káryyn was compelled to write it after losing relatives in Aleppo in 2011. Her productions evoke the sounds of contemporary electronic music, but morph and shift to evoke the grief her music is channelling. Through it all, the music is held together by a core of great songwriting and Káryyn’s exceptional singing. You can listen to the album here.

With that said, here are seven of my best tips that will help set you up for success every time you sit down to create. And if you’d like additional personalized help, all of our Soundfly Mentors are equipped with time management and coaching training to help you take your project to the next level quicker and make it overall better sounding. Learn more about joining a four-week mentorship session here, and tell us about your personal musical goals here.

Art grants for schools

Before you start layering effects on your percussion parts, it’s crucial that you set yourself up to be able to mix each instrument in your kit individually. Sure, Logic offers loads of percussion-based EQ settings designed for whole drum kits, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write your parts in a way that will allow you to isolate them in mixing later.

If it weren’t for this music video (directed by Mark Kohr), there probably wouldn’t have been the success of the Offspring, Sum 41, or Blink-182. It encouraged a slew of youngsters to go out and get Fender Stratocasters (or knock-offs) and cover the darn thing with stickers. If it weren’t for Green Day, I probably wouldn’t have done the same thing as a young guitar player.

Like the tonality, the tempo here is also slippery. I’m calling it 119, and not 59 BPM. Usually the snare on the 2 and 4 is the king that decides meter in pop and rock, so it’d be 59 BPM. However, the lyrics are delivered so quick that I just gotta go with the more double-time feel. It’s right in the BPM sweet spot where either tempo label works. Last, we have some creative treatments of the choruses. The first chorus is really a half-chorus with an added measure (very cool!), and then it’s a regular chorus when it comes back around. And then when it finally comes back around at the end, you gotta call it “C2” (chorus variation) because of how it’s modified to act as the song’s outro.

You can listen to Terminal on Bandcamp, and he’s also worth reading: “When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multi-faceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us.”

“The Luv Pack, Vol. 1,” is comprised of samples created by producer, drummer, bandleader, and author of Soundfly’s The Art of Hip-Hop Production course, Charles Burchell. As a bass player, I have been lucky enough to play a little with Charles over the years, and it has always been an instant hook up for me. His pocket is on another level and given that his raw playing features heavily in the source material for these samples, I knew I could get inspired by digging into the drum loops first.

Rappers with felonies

I don’t need to tell you that podcasting has blown up again and with heavy-hitting content like This American Life, Serial, and Mark Maron’s WTF, to name a few, it’s easy to see why. Content is better than ever. But with an influx of great content and more listeners also comes a lot of crap and poorly produced podcasts in a saturated market.

Inspiration may strike like lightning, but just about as frequently, so go out and find your own stories, ideas, characters, and narratives in these blogs!

“Under Pressure” is in the key of D major — two half steps up from C. If you’re working in a DAW, you can click and drag the notes of the C major scale outlined above up two half steps and voila! D major! However, we’ll spell them out for you here as well:

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.

At the same time, it’s pretty easy to dismiss this idea of using old video game sound chips to cover well-known tunes as just some kind of novelty gimmick.