Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Optical Compressor/Limiter by Chameleon 7802

This 2 channel optical tube compressor and Limiter is a wonderful piece of gear to have in your studio. It is made with top notch components. What makes optical compressors special is the unique sound they put out because a light source and sensor are there to control the gain reduction. The unique properties of these devices cause the gain cell to react in ways because of certain time lags that occur, which cause the attack and release characteristics of the compressor to be very pleasing in a way many engineers prefer over other types of compressors. You would have to actually test one out to see what I mean. They retail for over $750.00.
For more info visit Chameleon Labs here.

Here are the facts:
  • Two channel opto-isolation tube compression
  • Stereo linkable channels
  • Vactrol optical electronics
  • Hand selected 12AX7 tube with drive control
  • Five position attack/release selector
  • Two position ratio switch (2:1 and 4:1)
  • Highpass filter switch for compressor side chain (6dB/octave roll off, 3dB down @ 90Hz)
  • Output control to set the overall output level
  • LED metering of input and clip levels
  • VU metering of compression
  • XLR-balanced inputs
  • XLR transformer-balanced outputs
  • External, in-line power supply
  • One year warranty included

Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why pop filters are necessary for recording!

A pop filter is a necessary tool for clear vocal recordings. They help to get rid plosives like Ps and Bs and can cut down on sibilance which is "s" sounds that can be annoying during playback of your recording. Most pop filters have a nylon/mesh material. Some now have a light steel mesh that actually work better. Our breath is powerful when speaking or singing so this tool helps break it up to get a clearer recording.







Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Studio Monitors: KRK Rokit 5

These are great for the price. They are 5" Active Studio Monitors with 1" HF Driver that sound clear for the size. One thing I like about these studio monitors is the inputs in back. they offer a XLR, 1/4" and an RCA. Plus it has input trim to adjust gain. They have great dynamic range for the price and if you travel, they are not that bad to pack up and record on the road.
They retail for about $150 each. For more info visit KRK here.



Here are the facts:
  • Radically curved front-plate design improves monitoring accuracy
  • Waveguide contour affords amazing detail and imaging
  • Front-firing port provides low-frequency extension without boundary coupling
  • 1" neodymium soft-dome tweeter
  • 5" glass-aramid-composite cone woofer
  • Frequency response: 52Hz-20kHz (+/-1.5dB)
  • Input sensitivity control
  • Input: XLR, 1/4", RCA
  • Amplification: 30W LF, 15W HF
  • Shielded for use with video monitors

Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Friday, June 24, 2011

How to record killer hooks

Here is a wonderful little tip on recording and mixing a great and fuller sounding hooks. This works well with Hip-Hop but can be used on any genre. First record your main vocal track of the hook, then record another vocal track the same way as the first, then record 2 more dub tracks where the vocals only highlight certain words. Now when mixing pan one of the dub tracks to the left and one dub track to the right (the ones that only highlight certain words). The 2 main vocal tracks you recorded keep up the middle. Lower the volume of the second main vocal track you recorded just a little bit below the volume of the first main vocal. EQ to taste and add a tiny bit of reverb to the tracks. Not much but just enough to get that "full" sound. Play around and experiment.


Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Best places to sell your music

As a recording artist you have many options on where to sell your music online or in traditional stores. There are many options for doing it online such as Tunecore. They are a digital distributor and can get your music listed at itunes, Amazon and more. If your release is going to be digital and traditional CD's then you can try and get them in actual stores. One way to do this is by selling them on consignment in smaller chains and "mom and pop" style stores. Consignment simply means the store will put your CD in your store and you will collect money after they sell. Most stores will give you a contract stating how many you are putting in the store and at what price. Of course they get a cut of the sales. It is smart to draw up your own basic contract as well just in case the store does not offer one. You can try and get them in bigger chains but it is tough if you are not either a successful indie artist or a major. You would have to call the main office for that chain and find out who deals with purchasing music. Good Luck!
Below is a link to check out Tunecore.


TuneCore Music Distribution of Your Own Music

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drum Machine Elektron (MachineDrum) SPS-1 UW MKII

This is a Drum machine, Synthesizer/Sampler/Sequencer with Programmable Kits, 2.5MB Sample Memory, 16 LFOs, Step Sequencer, Effects and more. This is a really nice drum machine for the money. It has classic sounds that you can shape and make it sound how you want. The on-board sequencer is powerful for putting incredible patterns together. It also has a 12-bit sample engine and you can apply effects to any sound. All in all The Elektron MachineDrum SPS-1 UW MKll is truly amazing for the modern producer/DJ.
It retails for $1740.
For more info visit Elektron here.


Here are the facts:
  • Includes +Drive expansion for 128 snapshots and over 6000 ROM samples
  • 5 x MD synths
  • 2.5MB sample memory
  • 130 MD machines
  • 64-step sequencer
  • 16-track sequencer
  • 16-part effect system
  • Stereo master effects
  • 16 x LFOs
  • 6 audio outputs
  • 2 audio inputs
  • Full real-time control
  • 12-bit dynamic sampling
  • Compact high-quality design
  • Large backlit LCD

Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Monday, June 20, 2011

Condenser Microphone by Audix F9

This microphone is perfect for to mic instruments and much more. Use it on cymbals, (including hi-hat), acoustic guitar, cello, piano and ambiance type settings. Built tough and they have a clear, accurate response. It is a steal at $160. For more info visit Audix here.

Here are the facts:
  • Excellent multi-purpose instrument microphone for stage and studio
  • Tough, precision-cast zinc alloy casing and steel mesh grill
  • Suited to a wide variety of acoustic instruments
  • Cardioid polar pattern gives good isolation from surrounding instruments
  • Small, and easy to position
  • Built in the U.S.
  • Requires Phantom Power (12-48 Volts)

Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Zoom 8 Multi Track recorder and Production Center

This little piece of equipment is perfect for artists on the go or for anyone looking to record and create music. It is a 2-track Digital Recorder/USB Interface with 8-track Playback. It is noce because you can actually track an album with this and it sounds great.
It retails for $300. For more info visit Zoom here.


Here are the facts:
  • 8-channel playback, 2-channel simultaneous recording
  • 48V phantom power available on 2 tracks
  • Over 150 DSP effects including guitar amp models and mastering effects
  • Records on up to 32GB SDHC
  • 2 balanced XLR-1/4" combination inputs
  • Records in WAV 48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit
  • Over 4 hours of operation using 4 AA batteries/USB bus power (AC adapter included)
  • Sync 2 R8s via USB for 4 tracks of simultaneous recording
  • High-definition 24-bit/96kHz recording capability using digital audio software
  • 2 in/1 out (2 x 1) via USB
  • Full mixing and transport controls for Cubase, Logic, Sonar and more!
  • USB Control Surface uses Mackie Control emulation
  • Pad sampler with 24 voices (8 pads x 3 banks)
  • Loop-based audio sequencer for music creation
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphones for instant recording
  • Includes 2GB SD card, 1.5GB drum loops, Steinberg Cubase E DAW software
Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting your music ready for radio

There are a few things you should do to have your music radio ready.
First of all when you record your album you should always choose a lead single that you want to send to radio. Do not send program directors and Deejays you whole album whether by mail or email. Radio personnel and Disc Jockeys are busy people and they just want your hottest song.
Whatever song you choose make sure you have a dirty version, a clean version and an instrumental that you will give them. Whether it is all burned on CD and mailed to program directors or you can zip it all in a file and email the mp3 files to Deejays. Never have your lead single be over 3 minutes and 50 seconds long. Most radio stations are not gonna play a 5 minute song so keep it short and sweet. As mention before either you will send a CD to program directors or you will mail an mp3 to internet radio Deejays. Sending a CD is usually for traditional radio so spend some money and get printing on the CD so it looks professional. Those will be CD's strictly for sending to radio with the "lead single" clean and dirty versions and the instrumental. Include a 8 by 10 picture and a short bio. When sending an mp3 to internet radio stations or Deejays you should also include a jpeg of you or your band and a short bio in the email. Follow these basic rules and you will be viewed more as a pro.

Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Korg Monotribe Groove Synthesizer

This analog groove synth is so small you can take it anywhere. It can operate for up to 14 hours off it's batteries. This lets you create grooves with eight-step pattern sequencing, allowing you to create and manipulate groove sequences in real time. You can create custom synth sounds, kicks, snares and hi-hats. Very powerful sound in a small package.




The price is right at around $250.00.
For more info visit Korg here.

Here are the facts:
  • True analog synthesis at an incredible price
  • Battery powered with a built-in speaker for true portability
  • Three-part synth design lets you craft unique kick, snare, and hi-hat sounds - or anything else you can conjure
  • Saw, Triangle, and Square oscillator waveforms give you the starting points for thousands of classic synth sounds
  • Combination of eight-step pattern sequencer and the ribbon controller make it easy to perform while your beat plays on

Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Music Jobs! Find a job in the music industry

So you want to be in the music industry. Well not everyone will become a successful recording artist so there are many other ways to still be involved in the industry.

Recording Engineer
Being a recording engineer can be a good job if you own the studio. With home recording becoming the norm, there are just not a ton of positions open at major studios. Your best bet is to own your own studio in you home and charge people to record. You will need to know not just how to run software but you should also be educated in microphone placement, mixing, EQ, Midi and more.

Live sound engineer
This is basically a recording engineer but you would be mixing at clubs, concert halls, stadiums and more. There are some positions for this type of job but the pay may not always be the greatest.

Manager
Managing an artist or band is great if the they are successful. Expect to pretty much eat and breathe the person or group you are managing. A ton of work goes into this.

Radio
Getting a job in radio can be fun but also does not pay very well unless you are a very successful morning show DJ.

Producer
You can make great money being a producer. It can be a challenge getting you music heard by the right artists so you can have a major artist on your track. If you work hard enough and get to know the right people it can happen!

Songwriter
Great job if you are successful. It takes a ton of work and getting to know the right people to get the right artists to use your songs.

Road Crew
Working for a successful artist on the road can be fun and the pay is not too bad. You will have to set up and tear down stage shows every night but the life experience is amazing.

This is just the tip of what you can do!


Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Monday, June 13, 2011

Focusrite analog mixer and DAW controller

This is a dual layer analog mixer and DAW Control Surface with 8 Faders, and a 28 Input Interface. The Focusrite Control 2802 is amazing.
You cannot go wrong with this! Of course it has low noise, high end mic pre-amps. Use it as an analog mixer or use it control your DAW through a firewire connection.
It retails for around $5,000.



For more info visit Focusrite here.



Here are the facts:
  • Dual Layer Technology: Analog Mixer and DAW Control Surface
  • Transparent Class-A mic preamps
  • 100mm motorized Alps faders
  • 10-LED Channel Meters
  • Control Surface for DAWs
Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Songwriting tips and song structure

Writing a song can be easy when it just flows right out of you but at other times it can be very frustrating when you have writers block. Think of a subject you want to write about and you can take from your own personal experiences that others can relate to. Once you have a good idea then it usually just comes easy. It is also a good idea to keep either a small pen and pad with you or a small digital recorder so if you get a great idea, you can easily take note of it for future use.

When writing a song there is a basic song structure that you can follow and change how you want.
The structure to follow is:
Intro
In most songs there is a music intro before the first verse. Typically 4 to 8 bars.

Verse
The verse generally comes next. Depending on what genre of music you are writing, sometimes there is a 4 bar chorus before a first verse.

Bridge
The bridge is generally a 4 bar gateway to the chorus. It has a bit more energy than the verse and leads perfectly into the chorus. Not all genres do this. It is really never done in Hip-Hop but sometimes it is. This is typically done in Pop, R&B, Country and Rock.

Chorus
The chorus is the generally 4 to 8 bars depending on your genre.

The second verse will come next and the process repeats without the intro.
Most Hip-Hop songs will just be intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus and so on.
Sometimes it is Intro, chorus, verse, chorus, verse and so on.
Other genres will go intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus.

It really is up to you but it is nice to know the basic song structure that you can start out with and build from there. Most lyrics will rhyme. There is help for that.
There is a free rhyming dictionary online here.


Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Friday, June 10, 2011

Should I use compression on every track?

I hear the same question all the time. It is whether you should use compression on every track when mixing. I do not think that compression is needed on every single track. I would always compress every vocal track. Compression on vocals is not only necessary but it gives it a certain polished sound. Now compression on every instrument track should not be necessary. I would really only compress certain instrument tracks if they had too wide of a dynamic range and it was sticking out like a sore thumb. Drums would be a good example. The problem is that if you compress too much then you can squeeze the life out of the track making it sound flat.
Now some engineers will use light compression on everything but remember it is not something you need to do. Listen to a track and use your ears and take it from there. I generally will always compress vocals, live drums and some bass lines. Everything else is up to you but ,ay never need it. A piano is a good example. If you compress a piano too much it will take away from it's dynamic range and that is something you do not want. I would also suggest not to add compression to your master fader because a when it goes to mastering, they will compress the heck out of it as well and too much will kill a beautiful mix. Use your ears!

Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stage and studio microphone! Audix f5

This is the kind of microphone you can use on stage or in the recording studio. It is wonderful to use on instruments and even can be used for vocals. It excels on percussion and acoustic instruments with it's hypercardioid pickup pattern. This microphone is built to last with a steel mesh grill and a zinc alloy body. It retails for around $80.
For more info visit Audix here.






Here are the facts:
  • Great sound, onstage or in the studio
  • This versatile mic is perfect for:
  • Snare, toms, percussion, guitar and bass cabinets, brass, flute, woodwinds,
  • Electric and acoustic instruments, vocals and speech
  • Hypercardioid pickup pattern delivers superior isolation
  • Low-mass diaphragm gives you precise, natural sound
  • Rugged construction; made in the U.S.

Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Has being a musician lost it's charm?

I remember back in the days there was something special about being a recording artist. In the 80's there were cassettes and if you had an album recorded and it was on a professionally manufactured cassette, it was something special. Then when CD's came around it was even better. I remember the first CD I had made of my music with full color printing on the disk and the whole color CD "retail ready" package with a bar code and everything. Holding my finished product was special because not everyone could do something like that. Recording back then was expensive and manufacturing 1,000 CD's was really expensive as well. If you had a finished product like that of your music it usually meant you were signed to some kind of label or you were really serious about your music to want to spend a ton of dough and time on it. These days everything is too easy.
There are hardly any studios anymore because digital recording has made home studios affordable. Pretty much anyone with $1500 can become a studio engineer and music producer now. As far as the magic of having a full album manufactured on CD? It is not as special anymore. Artists are either releasing mixtapes now, which are burned CD's stuffed into cheap slim jewel cases or we just release out music digitally only. Don't get me wrong, the digital age is wonderful but it just seems like there are a zillion wannabe musicians now. Everybody raps or everyone I know is in some kind of band. The cost of recording and releasing music ha went down dramatically. The magic is somewhat gone in my eyes.
What do you think?


Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Getting a business loan to release your CD

Releasing a CD can be expensive. Some of the costs include recording, press kits, mailings, wardrobe, CD manufacturing, Merchandise to sell at shows and more. It is possible to get a small business loan to release your music independently. Of course your credit score should be pretty decent and most banks will want to see a business plan. If you have these 2 things covered then the next step is to go to a bank and see if they will give you a low enough rate. You could even get a low rate business credit card. For a bank loan they will want you to have a business already registered with the state and county you are in.
For more info on small business loans click here.

Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Friday, June 3, 2011

What does the Harry Fox Agency Do?

Many people wonder what exactly the Harry Fox Agency does for musicians. The Harry Fox Agency will license, collect, and distribute royalties on behalf of musical copyright owners. Mechanical licensing is the licensing of copyrighted musical compositions for use on CDs, records, tapes, and certain digital configurations. When would you need a mechanical license?
A mechanical license is required under U.S. Copyright Law if you want to manufacture and distribute recordings of compositions written by someone other than yourself. This is where the Harry Fox Agency comes in. They will issue a license to you on behalf of the copyright owners.
Whether it is a digital album or a physical album, you will still need the license.
It is as simple as that! For more info visit Harry Fox Agency here.


Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How do I EQ for a really deep bass kick drum?

So you want a really deep and booming bass drum for your song. The best way to get that is to EQ it properly. Now you can experiment as well. Some people take a simple kick drum and stack a really deep booming kick drum under it. You can use the typical 808 or 909 kick drum sound. For EQ they say the deep bass usually is around 80 to 100hz. So boost that area slightly. Now remeber, when you EQ something you are not only shaping the sound but when you boost that frequency, the overall level of that particular sound goes up as well. So adjust everything accordingly to avoid any distortion. Experienced sound engineers can cut frequencies in order to make other frequencies stand out more so you are not raising the over all level of the sound too much. Experiment and see what sounds good to you! Use your ears!!!


Artists and bands submit your music to
www.hardcorejamz.com (Hip-Hop)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site