During the soundcheck process, place your mic in a stand and adjust the height and placement that works for you. You want it to feel comfortable so you don’t move around too much (or your voice track will sound like it’s fading in and out). You should also be mindful of your input levels. Check to make sure you’re not clipping when you’re singing at your loudest.

Now for a bit of push-back on the general tone so far. We (and the panelists in the video) have mentioned how technology can create some dangerous grey areas when it comes to education — such as removing the vital social aspects of learning and of music practice in general, and also subjecting education to frameworks often designed by non-musicians or engineers lacking a diversity of musical knowledge, awareness, and respect (and thus unable to build tools that allow for all modes of musical expression).

It’s really something, even in robotic MIDI form. The chromaticism leapt right out at me on first hearing. It’s worth going on a little journey so you understand what chromaticism is and why it’s a big deal. The chromatic scale is the one you get when you play all 12 notes in the Western tuning system, all the notes on the piano or guitar or whatever. The chromatic scale sounds pretty bad. It’s too much information. The notes don’t feel like they’re related in any particular way, like there’s any logic to them.

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There are lots of reasons why tuning is hard. You might be hampered by a poorly made guitar, or by a guitar that’s not set up correctly, or by old, worn-out strings, or by changes in temperature or humidity, or just by a lack of patience or time. At least you can be secure in the knowledge that some of your tuning struggles are due to the basic unfairness of the universe, and not just the limitations of your ears or your equipment.

The sign of a thriving music city is one that the residents are excited to be a part of it. This is the case with Asheville — musicians and fans there not only feel excited and lucky to call Asheville their home, but they are genuinely thriving there

These short courses are meant to be taken in about a week and usually alongside a personal project of the same nature, so you can put your learning into action immediately. Here’s a bit more about these free online courses:

Lyrically, the verse “back ends” coalesce in a cool way, using similar lines and then the same lines — which you could call lazy, but I don’t think you should be smarmy about anything in pop that you don’t see too often. Good going, whichever one of you five Maroony guys crafted this cool little “words-zipper.” My money’s on the tall Gump-cut guy, he seems like he’s going places — he must be a solid dude for all these women to let him sing in their video.

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As we just saw, one musical principle that has reverberated throughout time and across continents and cultures is theme and variation. To revisit that classic example, here’s the theme from Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and the first variation of it, displayed in Ableton Live’s piano roll. The simple shifting of the notes downward is very effective.

In plain speak, FLAC is like buying an Axe-FX with all these guitar sounds that you’re never gonna use, and MP3 is like buying a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone — there’s less in there, but it doesn’t screw around with needless bells and whistles. It just takes you straight to Toneville.

I tend to use a faster attack, but I’m not crushing those transients with a ton of compression, so I still keep the dynamics in my mix. If I found I was killing the transients too much and there was no excitement in my mix, I would probably make it a slower attack setting.

“Practice makes perfect” is a classic cliché — it contains elements of the truth but misses the whole story by a long shot. As musicians, we’ve all experienced times when we master a new concept in seconds, and other times when we’ve been working on the same song for years with seemingly no progress. What accounts for the difference?