Pluck Synth Tutorial: 5 Tips For Bigger Pluck Synth Sounds!

 

Watch The Video Here:

 

Pluck Synth Tutorial: 5 Tips For Bigger Pluck Synth Sounds!

 

In this pluck synth tutorial Daniel Grimmett & Christian Fiore, Owners of The Songwriting Team & Anthemize Music show you the 5 steps for making bigger sounding pluck synths for modern pop music. In this pop song production tutorial we’ll be using Logic X, Soundtoys Devil-loc, Omnisphere 2, and a Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 analog synth. Note that you don’t HAVE to use those software programs! These fundamental approaches transfer to your DAW and software synths.

Justin Bieber + Skrillex Vocal Effect Tutorial: Logic X Flex Pitch

 

Watch the video here:

 

Justin Bieber + Skrillex Vocal Effect Tutorial: Logic X Flex Pitch

Daniel Grimmett & Christian Fiore, Owners of The Songwriting Team & Anthemize Music show step by step how to quickly and easily achieve the Skrillex type vocal effects similar to those on the new Justin Bieber album.

In this vocal effects tutorial we’ll be using Logic X and flex pitch but please note that the fundamental approach can be easily achievable in any DAW with any tuning software such as melodyne, waves tune, or autotune. We just happen to use what we use? The tutorial is demonstrated on a client’s song that we’re currently working on.

Steps:

1. Choose sections of the vocal line that you want to use to make your vocal edit. We suggest looking for “vowel” sounds for this vocal effect.

2. Don’t worry about pitch of melody yet! Start arranging the samples to make a cool rhythmic pattern.

3. Finally, use your favorite vocal tuning software to adjust the pitch of each edit to create your melody.

4. Process the vocals. We like to double the vocals and make a copy that is an octave higher and layer that in. A little valhalla reverb and CLA-76 for compression to taste.

Music Review – firekid – Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain by firekid is one of my favorite tunes right now and I’m excited to share it with you! There isn’t a huge amount on firekid out on the web although upon doing some research about him for this review I just discovered that he’s from here in Nashville! Pretty sweet. He has a show coming up on Feb. 18th at Mercy Lounge that I will definitely be at.

So how to I describe this tune… It’s a kick-ass cross over! It appears that firekid’s roots are in blue grass and who ever produced this did a great job of staying authentic to that while also making it a digestible alt-pop song. There’s cool “ear candy” in there such as distorted vocal samples that you’d find in something like a Justin Bieber song. The banjo still rocks out in the verses. My favorite is the chorus. It features big clap hits on the quarter notes which reminds me of trap music for some reason {laughs}. Over top of that is anthemic vocal melodies that will forever be stuck in your head! I love whoever produced this. So sick. It’s a perfect blend of the past and what’s to come. There’s also a lot of “chatter” about what the Magic Mountain is referring to… I’ll let you take a listen, check out the lyrics (below) and decide for yourself. To me it seems pretty obvious that it’s about a childhood memory at a theme park, but I’ve heard others say that they believe it’s a drug reference. Eh…

Enjoy!

 

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
The story goes, from what I’ve heard
That those who go there don’t return
But I’ve come back a time or two
Cause I don’t have a thing to lose

[Pre-Chorus]
Mama, take me back again
Up to Magic Mountain
Mama, take me back again
Up to Magic Mountain

[Chorus]
There’s a roundabout just beyond the clouds
We’ll be rolling out, we won’t come back down
We’ll be screaming loud; you won’t hear a sound
We’ll be climbing higher now; we won’t come back down
Down

[Verse 2]
Tourists on their camera phones
Wandering around like ghosts
But we’re too busy cutting lines
To see what’s on the other side

[Pre-Chorus]
Mama, take me back again
Up to Magic Mountain
Mama, take me back again
Up to Magic Mountain

[Chorus]
There’s a roundabout just beyond the clouds
We’ll be rolling out, we won’t come back down
We’ll be screaming loud; you won’t hear a sound
We’ll be climbing higher now; we won’t come back down
Down

[Bridge]
Story goes, from what I’ve heard
Those who go there don’t return
But we’re like ships that sail above
Nothing’s ever high enough

[Chorus]
There’s a roundabout just beyond the clouds
We’ll be rolling out, we won’t come back down
We’ll be screaming loud; you won’t hear a sound
We’ll be climbing higher now; we won’t come back down
Down
Down
Down

Music Review – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B.

Man, I love this song! I recently got XM radio in my car and have found myself sticking to Alt-Nation an alternative/indie rock channel. Over the past months they’ve been pushing this song hard and it hasn’t got old. I was sold on the first listen. Nathaniel Rateliff isn’t new to the alt scene but from what I understand it appears that S.O.B. has put him and his band The Night Sweats on the map selling over 500K copies and charting #3 on US Alt charts.

The song is a humorous take on the dark subject of addiction. The verses sound like an old slave hymn driven by very little instrumentation but instead claps and vocal “ooos”. The verses are catchy yet desperate. You’re thinking that this guy really needs help! Then just like BAM! The chorus hits like a brick wall at 80 miles per hour. The tune bursts into this huge 1950’s sounding rock n’ roll chorus when the opening line, “Son of a bitch! Give me a drink!”. It’s a triumphant sounding defeat which adds that humorous element. The band is solid, Nathaniel’s voice is just fantastic, and the recording is authentic yet modern.

You will enjoy this tune!

Lyrics:

I’m gonna need someone to help me
I’m gonna need somebody’s hand
I’m gonna need someone to hold me down
I’m gonna need someone to care
I’m gonna writhe and shake my body
I’ll start pulling out my hair
I’m going to cover myself with the ashes of you
And nobody’s gonna give a damn

Son of a bitch, give me a drink
One more night escaping me
Son of a bitch
If I can’t get clean I’m gonna drink my life away

Now for seventeen years I’ve been throwing them back
Seventeen more will bury me
Can somebody please just tie me down
Or somebody give me a goddamn drink

Son of a bitch, give me a drink
One more night
This can’t be me
Son of a bitch
If I can’t get clean I’m gonna drink my life away
Hey, Yeah now

My heart was breaking, hands are shaking
Bugs are crawling all over me
My heart was breaking, hands are shaking
Bugs are crawling all over me
My heart was breaking, hands are shaking
Bugs are crawling all over me
My heart was aching, hands are shaking
Bugs are crawling all over me

Son of a bitch, give me a drink
One more night
This can’t be me
Son of a bitch
If I can’t get clean I’m gonna drink my life away
Son of a bitch, give me a drink
One more night
This can’t be me
Son of a bitch
If I can’t get clean I’m gonna drink my life away
Yeah ah

 

5 Huge Mistakes That Modern Musicians Are Making

We [The Songwriting Team] have the pleasure of working with dozens of independent musicians, songwriters, and artists every month. Our primary purpose is to help them create the best songs possible but often we get to go beyond that and talk about what they are doing with their music and monitor their habits. We’ve noticed some not-so-great trends that are hurting modern musicians. We hope that by shedding some light on them you will be able to avoid these mistakes and take a good look your current approach. Are you making any of these mistakes? Here they are…

 

Mistake #1 – Having more authorship pride than knowledge 

This is most common with new artists. We absolutely get it… You want to have 100% control of your art, but that only works if you are freaking incredible. Sorry to be harsh but it’s the truth! Great modern music is about collaboration and with any collaboration there will be compromises. If you are hiring someone to help you make better music and help you reach your goal then it’s in your best interest to take their input seriously. That’s why you connected with them right? Learn from those who have more knowledge than you.

Another thing that we notice often is that new artists are really hesitant to share ownership. This is because of bad education and a fear that everyone is trying to take something from you. That’s a lot of times not the case. If a new artist has no connections and have teamed up with others that have those connections it makes sense to share ownership for the greater good. That’s how EVERY business works. Think of investors. A business gets an investor because they can offer them something. In return they are going to share the profits. It makes sense right? I see so many artists hesitant to share ownership and they lose opportunities because of that fatal mistake. 100% of nothing is nothing!

Solution: Always consider strategic partnerships and be open to creative input from those that you trust. Not everyone is out to get you.

 

Mistake #2 – Chasing the traditional paths instead of exploring new and more tactile ways

We all have different goals as a musician. There are a lot of benefits of going the traditional route of getting a publishing deal or record deal. There are definitely just some things that only major labels can accomplish. But, waiting for that deal is a total cop out. And to be frank… It will probably never come unless you are killing it on your own first. That’s how it works now-a-days. There are plenty of more tactile ways to forge your own path and create “your thing”. Once you have “your thing” those labels and publishers will want a piece of it – I promise! Until you are getting fans, generating income, and creating buzz no label or publisher is going to care. Start studying up on creative merchandising, getting featured on blog, sync placements, YouTube, and streaming strategy. If you aren’t getting hip to that stuff then you’re going to have a really hard time getting anyone interested in your music. Welcome to the digital age! Time to work :) What’s interesting is… a lot of musicians that accomplish this end up NOT signing with a label.

Solution: Start exploring the “un-traditional” paths of the music industry and focus on more tactile strategies that you can do right now instead of waiting for a deal.

 

Mistake #3 – Not treating their music like a business

Now-a-days you have to have an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed as an independent musician. I know, it can be overwhelming and annoying. We all got into this just to make music not have to deal with the “business” side. It’s a necessary evil. As an independent musician you are your boss and you’re self employed. It’s up to create a schedule and a balance to manage the business side and creative side.

Tip: Don’t get overwhelmed. Just start with one “business” hour every day where you dedicate time to the non-creative side of your business. Do some research… What are other musicians doing, how are they handling their business, are their other people helping them? Take it little bits at a time, explore courses and education on the subject matter, and ask questions. A year from now be able to manage your business like a pro!

 

Mistake #4 – Copycatting

We get it… It’s easy to explain your sound by referencing other artists. Our musical taste and sound is directly correlated to our who we listen to and who we’re inspired by. That’s different! What I’m referring to is artists getting super wrapped up in what other artists are doing. I hear it all of the time… I want to make music like artist X because they are hip right now. Well, we already have artist X! You don’t have to be Bjork and create the most avant-garde music that you can (unless that’s your thing of course) but trying to copycat just leads to making “safe” decisions instead of doing what is authentically you. Do not afraid to be you. You’ll have a WAY better chance of getting noticed if you do your own thing. Currently, I think a great example of this is Twenty One Pilots. They don’t really sound like anyone else yet it’s digestible. They have 3 songs on the radio right now that are all doing great and they are all different sounding. Who does that? These guys have an alt-rock song AND a hip hop song both charting. Same band. They have made the decision to just be themselves and make music that is authentic to them. The result? People caught on and they are killing it!

 

Mistake #5 – Not gigging 

The internet is an awesome tool for getting your music on there. Although it’s super important to have internet presence, I see a lot of artists trying to use it a reason to not perform and play shows. There are a couple of imperative reasons why you should still be playing shows in the digital age. One, people want to know that you’re the real deal. It’s easy to hide behind the internet. On the flip side the internet can’t replace the authentic connectivity of being in the same room with your potential fans. Two, playing shows is incredible for networking! Simple. And number three, you can leverage your live shows for content and generating income. At live shows you have potential for selling merchandise directly. You could also sell audio or visual copies of your shows. Finally, you can leverage your shows for content (which you should always be putting out) in the form of live video clips, live recordings, or even streaming your show.

 

There you have it! Those are the 5 biggest mistakes that I see modern musicians making on a daily basis. I hope this article has given you some insight and some solutions. For more helpful articles like this and exclusive content subscribe to our weekly news letter using the form on the right. Thanks for reading!

Keep Creating,

Daniel Grimmett / CEO of The Songwriting Team

 

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How To Make Money With Instrumental Versions Of Your Songs

Are you a musician with recorded songs?

You might be leaving money on the table! In this article I’m going to tell you how to make money with instrumental versions of your songs…

As an independent musician it’s important that you explore every potential revenue stream. That’s what this blog is all about… Becoming more tactile and getting start about monetizing your music. There are dozens of ways that you can monetize your music and you can do it independently. Generating revenue from instrumental versions of your songs is a strategy that is often over looked.

 

Stock Music

There are thousands of marketplace websites where you can start selling instrumental versions of your songs to everyday people and business who need inexpensive music clips for various purposes. These include music for videos, school projects, and events. Typically, the usage rights are sold for anywhere between $10 – $100 and commissions are split between you and the company. It’s small but can grow! A few sites to get started on are Pond5 and Audio Jungle.

Tip: Consider making little 15, 30, and 60 second clips of your instrumentals. Typically, this is the format that people are interested in buying in addition to full versions.

 

Music Library Sites

These companies and similar to stock music companies but slightly more curated and with a sightly different market. Typically, these companies choose the content they want. You can’t just sign up and sell your music. These sites cater more to media companies and film/tv placements. Usually “in show” placements. The payout is slightly higher and can be residual. Most of the time these companies are seeking “collections” of instrumentals that fit well together. 10 – 15 songs. They then pitch the entire collection to their buyers. Non-instrumentals can also be accepted in some cases. Examples are Premium Beat and Premiere Trax

 

Micro Licensing Sites

Examples are The Music Bed and Levelo. These are higher tier and very curated. You music has to be top notch! These companies cater to media companies, commercials, and film makers. Licenses range from $100 – $1000+ depending on the usage and it’s typically split between you as the artist and the company. A lot of the material on these sites are full songs (with vocals) but instrumentals perform very well! The good thing is that they are typically responsive to considering new music, but it has to be a “fit” and really pro sounding. Like REALLY pro.

Tip: Take a listen to the material on these types of sites and see if your music is up to par!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go monetize the instrumental versions of your song! Another thing to note… You need to get clear on who owns your instrumentals and make sure that you can clear them. Also note that your instrumentals will be registered and “treated” like a different song as far as paperwork is concerned.

If you need help getting your songs to a professional standard then feel free to reach out! 

Keep creating,

Daniel Grimmett / CEO The Songwriting Team

 

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5 Free Pop Drum Production Tutorial Videos

Hey guys,

To celebrate our upcoming course the Drum Production Bible Vol. 1 (release next week) were giving away almost 25% of the course for free to you!

5 Free Pop Drum Production Tutorial Videos:

Mark Eckert Reveals His Instagram Tips for Music Producers

 

INTRO – Instagram Tips for Music Producers

There are so many ways to attract new clients on the web. This week we interviewed 21 year old producer Mark Eckert. Not living in a “music town” hasn’t held this young indie pop producer back at all because a high percentage of his work is done virtually on the web! In this interview Mark chats about how he uses Instagram for attracting new clients clients. He also offers some great tips for you to try yourself!

>>> Learn more about getting mixing, production, and songwriting clients on the web!

 

INTERVIEW

 
Who are you, what do you do, and where are you based?

My name is Mark Eckert. I am a producer and drummer specializing in indie pop. Currently in Charlotte, N.C.

What percentage of your business is local versus long distance?

On an average month, approximately 90% of the artists I work with are long distance.

How are you attracting long distance clients?

Instagram!

Really?? Do you have a strategy for Instagram or did it just happen that way?

I’d say a combination of both. Initially, I was just on Instagram so I could post pictures and videos of my productions, so it could post to Facebook. However, Instagram became a bit more search friendly, and as soon as direct messaging was made available, I had a few inquiries sitting in my box within a month. Once I had enough inquiries that I could basically pay my rent, I thought “Hey, this is DEFINITELY something I need to capitalize on.”

What tips would you give another music producer/songwriter if they wanted to attract clients on Instagram? Any secrets or techniques?

Sure! No secrets really. I’d say there are at least 5 main things that everyone should know.

YOUR BIO. In these 150 characters, potential clients need to know who you are, what you kick ass in, something personal and relatable, and where you are located. Lastly they need to know how to contact you (and it must be through a seemingly professional channel.)
Quality & Consistency. Your pictures and videos must look consistent, and look good. If you go to my channel (@markeckert) all of my pictures have somewhat high contrast, really bright whites, very dark dark’s, and are typically very crisp. *This is a visual generation, you must appeal to them!*
Be yourself. Make relatable posts so people feel like they’re your friend. Don’t come across as unapproachable, even if you really are too cool for school.
Like pictures tagged in the field you specialize in. Don’t be afraid to seek THEM out.
Ratio. Although you’re marketing yourself as a producer (or anything you do) make sure to include a personal post sometime. 5 to 1, 10 to 1, whatever you want. Remind people that you’re a cool and humble person too. Don’t be all business. For the most part, most of my inquiries included how they were drawn to working with me because I seemed like a nice guy, AND they liked my sound. Not the other way around.

Any Apps that you find helpful for making your Instagram look more pro?

Yes! I dig SnapSeed and VSCO Cam

What projects are you really excited about right now?

Mouth Sounds. A record I’ve been working on for a year with a local artist. Also I have a single I’m working with Tramayne Tirrell out of LA. Sounds like Broods and Chvrches, with male vocals. Stoked about that.

What does your near future have in store?

Finishing up Mouth Sounds and a few singles. Then working on 15+ songs for a personal project that will enable indiepop, synth pop, and other artists to buy original music. (Among other services.)

Also gonna travel the world. Whoop!

 

 

THANKS MARK! 

To find out more about Mark and see his Instagram tips for music producers put into action… I suggest following him: @markeckert

>>> Learn more about getting mixing, production, and songwriting clients on the web!

How To Earn More Money For Your Audio Services

We all want to get paid more for our audio services. I remember when I first started out I was only charging a few hundred dollars to produce a track. Now, my company The Songwriting Team charges anywhere between one to three thousand depending on the scope of the song. We stay slammed 24/7 at that rate too, and did I mention that’s all from independents? No majors forking out dough to cover the bill. You may be thinking… I can’t find anyone with that budget! Well, the are out there and here’s how you can attract them…

The first thing that you should know is that there will always be someone that’s willing to do things cheaper than you. Always. The second thing that you should know is that no one can do what you do. Think about it… If 2 photographers go to the same shoot with the same gear and same model will they get the same picture? Nope. This is because no two people are exactly the same.

So what’s the problem? The problem is the way your potential client thinks!

The solution? Change your potential client’s thinking…

It’s common practice for people to shop based on price. It’s your job to encourage your prospects to not shop based on price but shop based on what they actually want. Ask them, “If price wasn’t a concern then who would you really want to work with?”. Now know that the answer might not be you. If it isn’t then it wouldn’t matter whether you charge $200 or 2 million for your services.

I use this as an example…

If I want to drive a Ferrari then buying a Honda doesn’t solve my problem. If I want the Ferrari then I have to save up and buy it. There’s no way around it.

It’s funny to me that some artists spend years perfecting their craft, put all of their emotion into writing a song, and then when it comes to making the song the best that it can be they try to do it for $100. That’s silly. Those people don’t get it and don’t make good clients. Think about it. Does that make sense to you? If someone is okay with spending just $100 on their creation that they put years into then they don’t respect their own work whether they think they do or not.

It’s part of your job to help put that into perspective for them. When they hear it out loud it clicks… “Oh, that is kind of silly!” Yeah it is!

Encourage your potential clients to buy based on what they really want and what is best for their music. How?

Never lead the conversation with “pricing” or “services”. Instead, think more big picture. Be an advisor, not an order taker. Ask them what they want their outcome to be then provide a solution that will help them reach that outcome. Now it isn’t about money anymore… It’s about them getting exactly what they want. You aren’t going to ever be the cheapest provider, but you can be the provider that gives your client exactly what they need/want. That is priceless.

Give your clients value and then do a kick ass job!

How To Rank Your Home Recording Website On Google (Get More Clients)

I’ll be doing a lot of articles how a great website for your home recording is imperative for getting clients. It’s your first impression. It’s the first place potential clients will look (the internet). If someone Google’s recording studios in your town will they find you? If the answer is no then it’s time to get to work. Now, I will say that if you live in a highly populated area than this can be harder (but not impossible). Here are a few tips for getting your home recording studio website ranking on Google…

#1 – Use an SEO friendly website platform such as WordPress. “All in one” sites like Wix & Square Space are going to have a hard time ranking compared to WordPress in my experience.

#2 – Use the YOAST SEO plugin on WordPress to make sure that your pages are optimized for SEO rankings. It’s very simple to use!

#3 – Create SEO pages often. These are typically “hidden” pages (not in your main menu) that are obviously going after key words. Also, keep up with your blog posts. Google loves websites that are relevant. 

#4 – Get creative with your keywords. Use a keyword search tool if you’d like. Most importantly, think about what your audience is searching for. Is it “Charlotte NC Recording Studios”, “Rock Studios In Charlotte”, “Rap Producers in North Carolina”, etc. etc. 

#5 – If you are in a heavily populated area then opt for going after longer and more niche keywords such as “indie rock recording studio in Los Angeles with parking” (lol) 

So, there you have it. How to rank your home recording website on Google and get more local clients. To wrap up, if your home recording studio doesn’t have a website then you’re crazy. If you have a website but people aren’t finding it then it’s a waste. I encourage you to take your home recording studio website very seriously here in the modern age. Dig in and make it the best it can be. For deeper information on home recording studio business strategy go here. Thanks for reading! Comments? Thoughts? What’s worked for you?