When mixing bass guitar, don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to get the track just where you want it – bass can be the most difficult instrument to manage in a mix. Here are some tips to get started.
The relationship between the bass guitar and kick drum in the low end of an audio mix is of fundamental importance. A rhythm section that’s in step and expertly mixed can make a track (and a band) sound tight and ferocious, while a sloppy and indistinct bottom end can drag a recording down – no matter how good the performances are.
When mixing bass guitar and the kick, the goal is to create a powerful and moving combination, avoiding either instrument crowding the other out or forcing it out of the way.
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Veteran vocal coach Cari Cole talks about proper vocal care and five things you can do to avoid major vocal health issues
Ever wonder why stars have issues with their vocal health? Why do professionals lose their voices and need to have surgery? Does it happen to everyone eventually, or are there proper vocal care techniques that can help to avoid these situations?
It’s not inevitable, but it’s highly probable that you will have vocal problems if you don’t learn to use proper vocal care. Your voice is an instrument inside your body, and how you treat your body will reflect upon your voice.
First things first, your voice is not an instrument to screw with. Your vocal cords are not replaceable. You only have one set, and the way you care for them will determine whether you follow the road of deterioration that befalls so many singers or take the high road to vocal care, preservation, and health for your career.
As an indie artist, you’ve got plenty of hurdles to clear before you achieve success with your music career – a positive mindset is where it all starts
There are a variety of reasons musicians and indie artists fail. Some lack real talent or work ethic. Some suffer from bad timing – like starting up a hair metal band just as grunge began to take over in the early 90s. Other artists lack motivation or let their fears win. This is definitely an abbreviated list, but you can see a common thread here if you look closely.
We know there are a million and one reasons artists fail. But the #1 top reason they fail is simple: it all boils down to not having the right MINDSET. Almost all the other issues that arise are simply offshoots of this one fundamental flaw.
The right mindset starts with understanding that what you think and the way you think is what determines your course and your music career – and it’s often the under-the-surface thoughts that lurk in the unconscious that run the show. You see, you will only achieve what you believe is possible. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you have to be confident, but it does mean that you stay determined and committed in the face of all odds, and that you get back up on the horse no matter how many times life throws you off.
On-U Sound announces extensive reissue campaign for the early Dub Syndicate catalogue
Essential early-80s dub damage! Last year, On-U Sound lavished some love and attention on the early catalogue of one of On-U Sound’s flagship artists, African Head Charge, re-pressing their much sought after first four albums and following up with an LP of unreleased versions from the period, Return Of The Crocodile, and the CD anthology box set, Environmental Holes & Drastic Tracks. It’s now time to shine a light on the crucial early sides of another one of On-U’s big hitters, the mighty Dub Syndicate.
Dub Syndicate was initially one of the many studio-based projects masterminded by Adrian Sherwood in the early days of his maverick independent label, built around deep and heavy reggae rhythms, and marshalling the talents of a revolving cast of Jamaican and British musicians. It evolved over time to become the main musical vehicle of Lincoln Valentine Scott aka Style Scott (former drummer with the Roots Radics and Creation Rebel), usually involving Style laying down backing tracks in Kingston, and then Adrian applying his mixing board magic when the tapes arrived in London.
Mix with your song structure in mind
There are standard tricks a mixing engineer can call on to cater to and complement the song structure and arrangement and create a great overall mix.
A great song is not static: it grows, contracts, and changes from intro to ending to keep the listener engaged and create an emotional connection. By its very nature, music is dynamic, full of life and emotion, and an expert arrangement and mix should contribute to that.
When listening to an album or collection of songs that are mastered and mixed well, one characteristic the songs might have in common is a shift in energy from one section to the next. It’s typical that the feel of a song will change as it shifts from a verse to a chorus or a chorus to a bridge.
When playing keyboards, latency can refer to the delay between hitting a key and hearing the resulting sound. Just a little delay can derail your part.
Recently, I played in a recording session where the goal was to track live, full-band instrumentals for five tracks in six hours. The first four songs went down as smoothly as we could have asked for, but the sixth tune gave me some unexpected trouble — for the first couple run-throughs, I couldn’t seem to get my piano parts to lock in with the groove of the overall track. I knew the song well and had performed it live dozens of times with my band mates. Here in the recording studio, I wasn’t sure what the issue was.
After some reflection and listening back to our first couple takes, the hang-up became clear: latency.
Whatever you’re setting out to accomplish, the best thing you can do for your career is finish your music projects and bring your ideas through to completion.
This might be the simplest and most valuable piece of career advice I can give you: Finish things! It doesn’t matter what those “things” are: maybe they’re songs, an album, a music video, booking a tour, a crowd funding campaign, a new website, or new merch designs. Whatever they are, the best thing you can do for your career is get in the habit of finishing your music projects and bringing your ideas through to completion.
The problem with perfect
I see so many musicians sitting on their ideas, songs, and projects for months (sometimes years). They keep refining and editing, trying to improve their product because they feel like it needs to be absolutely perfect.
We take a look at the University of the Pacific’s efforts to find a signature vocal mic for the campus recording studio. What they learned might help you choose your next great studio mic.
Most musicians have a favourite instrument they rely on whenever they step on stage to perform. Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt prefer a Fender Strat, while B.B. King relied on his Gibson ES-355 semi-hollow. Every instrument has distinctive tonal qualities that enables an artist to achieve the exact sound and feel he or she is looking for.
The same is true for microphones. Each has its own sound characteristics, and it’s useful for vocalists and sound engineers to be aware of which microphones best complement a performer’s tonality and singing style.
Mumia Abu Jamal interviewed Bob Marley for radio in Philadelphia, November 1979. In November 1979, Bob Marley and the Wailers toured North America in support of the Survival album, an album with an outwardly militant theme that explored issues such as Black Nationalism, repatriation, and Pan-African solidarity. According to many sources, Survival was originally to be called Black Survival to underscore the urgency of African unity, but the name was shortened to prevent misinterpretations of the album’s theme. Marley envisioned the album as the first in a trilogy, followed by Uprising in 1980 and Confrontation in 1983.
The tour started in Boston in the latter part of October 1979, and ended in Libreville, Gabon on January 6, 1980. During 1979, which was the International Year of the Child, the band made appearances at a few benefit concerts for children, as was the case on August 10, 1979, in Jamaica, prior to the Survival Tour and on December 15, 1979 in Nassau, Bahamas. The tour mainly took place in the United States, but also included performances in the Caribbean and in Africa.