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Posts Tagged ‘computer music

The importance and fine art of tagging your music

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Hello friends.

Today we will speak a little about promoting your music within the sites that its already posted on. Namely: Tagging.
Without adding the appropriate tags to your songs on soundcamp, bandcamp, youtube or wherever else, nobody will find your music. That’s not even a statistic. Its a fact.

Your goal naturally, as is mine, is to have as many people as possible listening and talking about your music, so tagging is vital. Use a combination of tag words and tag phrases that are descriptive of your music. Other than the obvious choices such as the genre of the song and a few descriptors such as “Chillaxed” or “Space cock”, consider adding the name of the software you made it in (particularly useful on youtube) or the names of a few of your favourite artists that sound similar. Even if not very similar, fans of those artists will see your songs and with a little luck give them the time of day required for you to convince them you’re the greatest producer since Aphex Twin.

What are your techniques when it comes to tagging your music on music sites? What have you had most success with?
Let me know in the comments!


Written by majorshake

June 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

News: Win NI Komplete Elements!

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I just found this an email from the good folks at NI.

You (or I for that matter), can win one of 50 copies of Komplete Elements. The rules are simple, just go to the Komplete facebook page and like it.

Good luck folks!

Written by majorshake

May 25, 2011 at 9:53 am

A few thoughts on arrangement

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Today I want to talk a little about arranging music. We spend hours working on a tune, however messing up the arrangement can kill the entire song.

I generally arrange my music by first building up a loop. I used to make a four bar loop, but that ultimately wasn’t doing me any favours in terms of getting my music to be very interesting. Then I moved on to longer loops, 8 and 16, even 32 bar long. I’ll talk about how I build up the loop another time.

Within this loop you can find the entire arrangement.  The way I do it in ableton is to “play” the song, as though I was performing it, in session view. The way to do this in another daw is to fill say, a 3 minute block of time in your daw with the loop, on repeat. Now, mute all of the channels and press play. Unmute them the way you want the song to build up and down. Rinse and repeat until you are happy with it.

This will be your basic arrangement. All of the parts are where you want them to be, everything fits. Great.

Now, I want you to consider what the song needs next. Are any of the changes too abrupt? Do you need to include something else into your arrangement?

4 Simple Ways To Get Inspired And Stay That Way

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Now before you read on, I must be honest. This has actually been posted by me before on my old blog, but I think it applies here as well. I hope you find it helpful.

One thing every musician struggles with every now and then is lack of inspiration. We simply stop feeling like making music and it can be something disheartening even to the most determined of us. Your motivation drops, your music remains unfinished, and you just want to quit forever. Today I’m going to share with you some of the things I do to get myself inspired, and I guarantee you won’t be able to get back in the studio soon enough.

1. Art.

Many a great piece of music were inspired by a painting or sculpture. Try to look at some visual art and see what it makes you feel. I enjoy going to an art gallery or museum and just perusing the artworks for a few hours. More often than not I come out with new music in my head, that I can’t wait to try to play when I get home. Art galleries and museums also have the benefit of usually being quiet, unless a school trip comes along or something.

2. Literature

Nothing like sitting down with a good book for a few hours. A good book will make you see images in your head, you will imagine yourself to be part of the plot. This can lead to some cool sounds originating in your head. Likewise with poetry. In fact, I often consider a new piece of music I write as a poem in sound. Poetry often has everything that a piece of music would – tempo, rhythm, melody, meter.. I strongly encourage you to read something interesting.

3. Other music

DUH! It might seem a bit counter intuitive to listen to music written by someone else when you are trying to write new original music. However, in reality, I think nothing can motivate me as much to practice and get better than listening to someone else. Furthermore, a good way to see what can still be done in music is to look at what has been done. Just don’t do what all those indie bands you hear on the radio are doing and copy stuff from the 70s and 80s. That’s shit. We’re only interested in new stuff.

4. Sit in silence

If you’re anything like me, and judging by the fact that you’re reading this I’ll guess you are, you probably hear music in your head all the time. That’s why I suggest sitting around in silence for a while. First, you’re likely to start hearing songs you know that you’ve heard. Then, after a while, if you discard those songs, you can start imagining your own music. This is how I’ve come up with some of my best ideas, so I highly recommend this to you.

If you found this post helpful, please like it on facebook, retweet it, stumble it or share it with your friends any other way. It would really help me out! Thanks.

Written by majorshake

May 20, 2011 at 3:44 am

5 hot tips that will help make your music even hotter!

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Today we’re going to talk about some easy things that will help you make your music better and help you make your music faster. Those might be common sense things to some, but more likely than not, you could do with a refresher.

1. Organize your sounds first

Often its tempting to just get straight into it and do sound design as you go along, which sometimes may be fine, however generally it’s better to do some planning beforehand. Get some sounds together. Find a nice kick, a nice snare, some pads. Whatever you think you’ll need.
This will help you clarify the idea in your head, and you’ll feel better organized and  won’t get to a stage where you’re so lost you want to quit.

2. Loops are not the devil

Often there seems to be an opinion among the music makers that using loops is bad. I don’t see it as such. Most of electronic music is loop based. It’s what you do with the loops that matters. If you’re using a pre-made loop from a sample pack or something like that, try to rearrange the sounds. Can you make it more exciting by passing it through some filters?
Loops can be a great way to kickstart your creativity, and speed up your production process.

3. Arrange carefully

Your arrangement is the most important thing people will hear. You might have a sweet build up and a sweet drop, but they are nothing if you don’t put them together properly. There are a number of ways to arrange your tracks. Personally I like to play it out using ableton and my apc20 to trigger clips, and then tweak it a little to make sure its perfect. How do you go about arranging your tracks?

4. Details details details

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the results come from 20% of the labour. That 80% is your arrangement just as it is. Now its time to push it to that 100% by checking all of your drum sounds aren’t too repetitive, that there are no boring parts in the track, that everything sounds perfect etc. Are your transitions smooth enough? No? Why not? These are all things you need to work out to make sure your track has that WOW factor.

5.  Listen to yourself.

It’s all in the ears. Ask any blues man. When you think you’re done, leave the track alone for a few days, work on something else, then listen to it again. By disassociating yourself with your new song, you are able to look at it more critically, and therefore you can see it from a different perspective. If you hear anything over and over again, it’s going to start sounding right. So give your ears a little break, and then listen to what you’ve done.

Hope this helps!
Major Shake

4 Useful Ableton Live Tips

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Today I’m going to share a few really useful things I’ve learned in Ableton Live. They’re probably very obvious to some, but I found them not that at all. So here are 4 useful tips for your Ableton Live workflow that will hopefully help you like they helped me!

1. Consolidating Clips
If you’re slicing and dicing clips manually in arrangement view, which I sometimes enjoy doing instead of using the slice to midi feature, it is very helpful to put the clips back together after you’re done chopping. It’ll help you loop them and generally make it easier to do things to them (how dirty does that sound, right?). Simply select the section you would like to consolidate them on pc go ctrl+J, or on mac, go cmnd+J. Simple as that!

2. Batch analysis of samples and songs
Have you ever noticed that when you want to import a track from your library into your new live set, you have to wait a moment for it to load up into live? That occurs due to Live needing to analyse the sound, to come up with the waveform and whatnot. It is possible to avoid the wait though, by pre-analysing those songs/samples beforehand and you can do that in batches. To do this, simply choose the folder you want to analyse in the browser, then on pc right click and select Analyze Audio, and on mac ctrl+click (or if you use a pc mouse with your mac, just right click) and also select Analyze Audio. Done!

3. Saving clips for later
Sometimes when working on a tune, you might come up with clip or a few clips that don’t necessarily fit with the rest of the song. But its still a nice groovy loop on its own and you don’t want to throw it away. Simply drag it to whatever folder you wish in the browser and it’ll save itself there to be used later!

4. Automatically changing the tempo during your live set
When performing a longer set, at a gig or something like that, it becomes inevitable that the various songs you want to play will be at different tempos. The most efficient way to make sure that you will always be in tempo, change the name of the first scene of each song to “xxx bpm”, replacing of course the xxx with the tempo value you’d like. You can do the same to time signatures, by simply changing the name to the time signature you’d like to use. If you you want to change both the time signature and the tempo, simply change the name to the desired tempo and time signature, like this for example: “120 bpm 5/4”. After that, whenever you launch the scene, the tempo and time signature settings will automatically change to those you have chosen!

Propellerhead turns May into Music Making Month

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I found this gem of a press release on the Sound on Sound website. Here it is:sic

Stockholm, Sweden (April 28, 2011) – Propellerhead dubs May 2011 as “Music Making Month,” a month-long set of activities to inspire and help people with their music creating endeavors, whatever they may be. During the month, Propellerhead will serve up a packed schedule with daily online events including interactive workshops, Q&A sessions with artists, new tutorial content, webcasts of live events and clinics from places around the world and much more. Activities are designed for any musician or producer regardless of production tools used or instruments played.

Propellerhead has gathered a wide array of talent to present in a number of formats including: James Wiltshire of the Freemasons, Olivia Broadfield, DJ Lucky Date, Mocean Worker, Kim Nieva of Engine House Music, Dave Brown of Boy in a Band, Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb, SoundCloud, Amber Rubarth, Giles Reaves, amongst others.

To learn more and see the schedule go to: www.propellerheads.se/mmm

One thing that really has me excited about this is the amount of tutorials and interviews they are doing as part of this, which seem to all be available for free! Check it out!