Help Music Journalists Help You

If you’re an musician who’s been at this for some time, you’ve probably stumbled across the names of certain journalists in your time who you’d love to one day work with. You likely believe that you’ve got a good idea about what their job consists of and what it is that they expect from you. But there are a few things you’ve likely never considered.

There are some secrets of the trade that could every musician should know. Here we’re gonna provide you with a few pieces of useful information to ensure that your next interaction with a music journalist is a success.

Journalists Do Their Research

A journalists job isn’t to merely understand every finite detail about your new album. Their job is to know what questions to ask you in particular for their interview to stand out from the rest of them. Wouldn’t you only get tired of answering the same questions over and over? Well journalists would certainly get tired asking them. They need to keep their readers entertained.

Nothing is more boring in an interview than when musicians answer well thought-out questions with a predictable, unimaginative answer similar to all their other interviews. Journalist’s questions should be well researched. So provide them with equal amount of care in answering them. They are there to translate your message to your audience. Don’t make their job any harder for them

music journalist

Music Journalists Love What They Do

There are plenty of easier ways to make money than to put words on to paper. Music journalists write about music because they absolutely love it. Often just as much as you do. A journalist may even be your biggest fan.

This means that music journalists consume a lot of music and have developed a pretty good sense of taste. So if you’re album sounds like a rip off of some other huge commercial success, chances are they’ll sniff you out pretty quick. And given the amount of music they consume, if you reference obscure music in an interview to try to come off as pretentious, they’ll probably sniff that out as well.

Music Journalists Are Legitimately Excited To Talk To You

If you get asked to do an interview, than they are genuinely fans of you and your music. Don’t stick your nose up to any small time indie blog that would like a piece of your time. Unless you’re already in the big leagues, and that you’re reading this article you’re clearly not, than this won’t apply to you. But if you are in the big leagues, you would already know that it is essential to give people who truly love your music the time of day. They are evangelizers of your creative work. Do not take that for granted.

We hope you take these point into account when looking to interact with some press. Make it a two way street. The interview may be about you, but remember journalists have lives and their livelihood depends on translating your value to a wider audience.

The Essentials of a Home Recording Studio

Outline:

a) Define the home studio,
b) Take a look at the essential elements
c) The types of software, and finally..
d) The essential accessories to get off the ground.

The Home Studio is the ideal tool to materialize your ideas of compositions. It can even become a real passion if you start well! In fact, this is how many audio professionals begin their careers. So what is home studio? Nowadays, a home studio can be a grab bag of accessories and tools that allow you to record and process audio. But no matter what combination of tools you use, among them will be four major elements: A computer, a sound card, microphones, and finally the listening monitors.

Below is an example of a very minimal home recording studio that has all of the essentials. Providing you have these materials, you can get off the ground.

home studio

It is rare that you find people recording on analog these days as they are too expensive and highly inefficient.

This small explanatory diagram details the basic connections of a home studio. Note that the monitors selected for this scheme are active and do not require a power amplifier (which would be placed between the sound card and the monitors if they were passive).

The sound signal is transmitted as follows:

• Your microphone (connected to your audio-digital interface) captures the sound waves of your voice or instrument. You can also plug your instrument directly into your audio-digital interface if it has a dedicated plug.

• The audio-digital interface converts the signal into binary (digital) data so that it can be processed by the computer. • The computer receives these digital data and processes it via the software and plugins you have installed and run. You can record the signal, modify it …

• The computer then returns the processed signal to the audio / digital interface for transmission to the speakers (and / or headphones if necessary). To do this, it will convert the digital signal received from the computer to an analog signal (this is the reverse operation of just now).

• The speakers (and / or headphones) play back the analog sound signal!

Lessons From The Masters | Puccini, Beethoven, and Michael Jackson

“What makes a good composer?”

That is the main focus of this article. Of course there are tons of “good” composers and songwriters in the world, but in all conversations it always comes down to a named few who’s work has stood the test of time. I have chosen three amazing composers (all are not composers of classical music), and I will to write a few lines about each. I thought I would try to shine light on a particular detail about each composer – a musical attribute that the composer manages better than most. The thre chosen are Opera Giacomo Puccini, the King of Pop Michael Jackson, and Classical Music Champion – Ludwig van Beethoven.

GIACOMO PUCCINI

puccini

GIACOMO PUCCINI: Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème and Turandot. Puccini is behind all the masterpieces. He worked around the turn of the century from 1899-1900, and is of course most famous for his operas. His great strength is to create a musical drama using concrete melodies that the audience can absorb. Listen to the finale of Turandot so you understand just what I mean. Just this piece is processed by Franco Alfano after Puccini’s notes, when the master left before he completed the opera. Giacomo Puccini one of the worlds absolute favourite composers of classical music. If you have yet to experience the above-mentioned operas, you best get on it now.

MICHAEL JACKSON

michael-jackson

MICHAEL JACKSON: Certainly the King of Pop did not distinguish himself primarily as composer or songwriter, but rather as a talented singer and performer. Nevertheless, he is himself behind most of the songs for his best-selling album, and it is not because of his tragic death he gets here. Jackson could express himself through his music in a way that enchanted the entire world. Jackson’s voice arrangements and rhythmic capacities our out of this world, with an outlandish ability to arrange and tie up small details everywhere. His taste for music, guided by genius producers like Quincy Jones and Teddy Riley, led for many years at the forefront of Western Pop culture. He is one of the worlds most influential musicians who had the capacity to hit a universal nerve within the human psyche. 

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

ludwig-van-beethoven

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: He was afflicted by the fact that his hearing was worsening over the years. When the depression reached an all-time low, he made a decision – he would give the world all the music he could create, despite his inability to fully enjoy it himself. For this we are all deeply grateful. Here I want to mention a particular feature that Ludwig van Beethoven possessed as a composer, though it is difficult to know where to start. So perhaps I will suggest that you listen full-heartedly to Eroica.  Be inspired by the profound magic of this music.

I feel greatly inspired by all the composers mentioned above. Their legacy lies in the process of their work, the commitment to the discipline that outshines the rest. So to answer the question “What Makes A Good Compose?” I would suggest that it is a commitment and discipline to the process itself that creates prolific, unparalleled art.

RECORDING | Drum Microphone Set Up

The sound of drums sets the tone for the overall quality of production. If the drums of your demo or EP sound bad, that’s enough to affect the feel of the rest of the entire recording. Even if your guitars sound great, even if the voice of the singer has never been so clear and powerful: if the drums don’t smack, the whole production will be judged badly.

Capturing a good drum sound can be complex. It is very common to use eight microphones or more, and their quality and placement is absolutely paramount. Once you’ve managed to properly place the mic’s and get a good recording, it is still necessary to know what to do with all these tracks. How to give them that punch and clarity that characterize the albums of your favourite artists?

Surely you are wondering how you can compete with the “real” studios? How to do well on a small budget, few microphones and limited space?

IN TRUTH, GETTING A GREAT DRUM SOUND WITH FEW MICROPHONES IS NOT SO COMPLEX.

You do not need a big budget to achieve a professional drum sound . You just need the proper training and a few simple techniques to make the most of your material and your recorded tracks.

You already have a good part of the material. You just need a little knowledge and practice.

ENTER: WARREN HUART.

Warren Huart runs an online audio training program called Produce Like a Pro where he teaches students a wide variety of recording, mixing, and production techniques that translate just as well in the home studio as in large professional ones. 

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