Editorial

Photo via Disc Makers Blog

Whether you’re trying to record the ultimate ballad or you simply make your songs sound larger than life, doing so is easier said than done when you’re recording from home.

However, just because you don’t have access to full-blown, professionally-equipped studio doesn’t mean that your tracks have to feel thin or otherwise ordinary. At the end of the day, achieving a fuller, sweeping sound that’s grandiose and impossible to miss requires some keen attention to detail in terms of mixing, composition and layering.

If you’re striving for more epic songs and moments in your music, consider the following six techniques to make it happen.

Create Your Own Orchestra

Think about draw-dropping orchestral arrangements such as “Flight of Valkyries” or “William Tell Overture” which have captivated audiences for centuries. Many of the biggest EDM, rock and pop songs feature string arrangements that signal to listeners that your track means business. With free Kontakt libraries for download, you can have a whole slew of strings at your fingertips that integrate seamlessly into your DAW.

Echo and Delay

Perhaps the low hanging fruit for a bigger sound, most DAWs also have default echos and delays which can emulate the ambiance of a concert hall or stage. This is especially useful for those recording live tracks in their bedroom studios, unable to take advantage of natural acoustics. The only caveat of these effects is not to overdo them as you risk muddling your mix.

Double-Tracking Can Do the Trick

This trick works for vocals and instrumentation alike. Double-tracking affords you a thicker sound and the ability to add some creative accents throughout your tracks.

As a side note, make it a point to lower the volume of your second or even third tracks to ensure that they aren’t too noisy. If musicians learned anything from “the loudness wars”, it’s that nobody wins when tracks are too heavy.

Try Out Some New Scales

Sometimes you need to experiment with some new notes, scales and chords. For example, the octatonic and diminished scales are the bread and butter of soundtracks and classical music. Pulling out new chords and changing keys can signal a shift in your sounds that takes listeners along for a ride.

Embrace the “Wall of Sound”

Popularized by legendary producer Phil Spector in the 1960s with artists such as the Beach Boys, the concept of the wall of sound pretty much speaks for itself. That is, extreme layering combined with redubbing and wild experimentation with tracking different instruments almost to the point of excess. Used sparingly, this technique to recording goes hand in hand with a track that you want to stand out from the rest of your songs.

Let Your Song Build Itself Up

Finally, strive to write songs that build up over time through a crescendo. The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” is a prime example of a song that starts off with minimal instrumentation and ends in a total explosion of sound. While the initial simplicity of a single instrument or vocal track is enough to reel listeners in, ending with a massive climax of sound represents an awesome payoff.

Don’t assume that a grander, awesome track that brings listeners to their knees is beyond your reach simply because you’re recording from home. Any combination of these techniques can give your next track feel “bigger” without compromising your songwriting style.

Top 5 Book to Movie Adaptations

By Jane Brown, October 30th 2017

Movies have been a favorite American pastime since the silent films began decades ago. There have been some great ones, and some really, really bad ones to come out of Hollywood. However, the best ones seem to come from books that were made into movies. The best thing is that no longer do you have to get dressed and pay the high prices to go to the theater, you can instead get a bundle with DIRECTV and watch your favorite book to movie adaptations right from your own TV. If you have the bundle, then, of course, you’re getting the internet, so you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows on demand or by streaming them. With that in mind, read on below for a few of the best book to movie adaptations that you don’t want to miss, whether you catch them at the theaters or on your own TV is totally up to you.

Stephen Kings IT (2017)

Lauded by many horror fanatics as the best Stephen King book to ever be written, IT was made into a movie one time before. Now, it is being remade and rereleased as a 2017 updated movie. The movie, like the book, follows a group of friends who defeat evil in their small hometown. Years later, the evil has returned, and the friends must gather to try and destroy it again. Though it is an awesome book to movie adaptation, the clown Pennywise is not for those that might have a phobia of clowns!

The Maze Runner (2014)

James Dashner’s book The Maze Runner hit the silver screen in 2014, to the delight of fans of the bestselling series. The story begins with a young teen being dropped into the middle of what is known of only as The Glade. He has no memory of who he is and has no idea what he’s doing there. He quickly becomes a part of the group of young teen boys who have also been dropped there and just as quickly gets promoted to the position of maze runner. The action is fast-paced and though many complain the book wasn’t enough like the movie, it’s still one you don’t want to miss.

Jaws (1975)

Peter Benchley’s Jaws was set in 1916 and talked about a string of shark attacks in an oceanside town. The movie was released in 1975 and is one of the best books to movie adaptations ever made, still popular today. The book was changed drastically as a movie, upping the decade to the 70’s and becoming the first summer blockbuster to ever hit the silver screen. The movie with it’s huge, terrifying great white shark had beachgoers everywhere leery about going into the water for years to come. The theme song with the movie is almost as terrifying as the movie itself.

The Hunger Games (2012)

Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, set in what was once North America is another popular movie that was a book first. One boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are chosen every year to compete in The Hunger Games, a fight to the death for the chance to become rich and famous. There can only be one winner and the others must die. Though fans didn’t think the movie was quite as good as the book, it was popular, and the rest of the series will follow it onto the movie screen.

The Snowman (2017)

Jo Nesbo is the author of The Snowman a book that was adapted for a movie that was released on October 13 of this year. The movie follows Detective Harry Hole as he investigates a missing person case involving a woman where the only things left is a pink scarf wrapped around a snowman. Is there a serial killer on the lose? And can Detective Hole find him before he kills again? Stay tuned to find out.

These are just a few of the best books to movies adaptations over the last few decades. Whether you like horror, thrillers or something in between there is certainly something on this list that will appeal to movie watchers everywhere.   

 

Cutting and Trimming Videos Using Movavi Video Editor

By Will Oliver, October 30th 2017

 

Being able to ‘cut’ videos and split them into segments is extremely useful. Not only will it allow you to isolate and remove (i.e. trim) any unwanted footage from your videos, but it can also allow you to split your videos into segments so that they can be rearranged into a different sequence.

While most editors will allow you to cut and trim videos in some way or other, few make it as easy and straightforward as Movavi Video Editor. In fact it is safe to say that even if you have no experience editing videos in the past you should be able to quickly learn how to cut and trim video footage – in a couple of minutes at most.

If you would like to start right now, begin by launching Movavi Video Editor and loading the video that you intend to edit. To do so click on the ‘Add Media Files’ button, then select the video file – or if you prefer, drag and drop the file into the ‘Timeline’ in the lower section of the interface.

Once the video is loaded and appears in the ‘Timeline’, you can then start to cut it. The method that Movavi Video Editor employs is really very straightforward, and all you need to do is move the red marker above the ‘Timeline’ to the point where you want to split the video then click on the Split icon (i.e. the scissors). To delete a segment after it has been split you need only select it then hit ‘Delete’ on your keyboard, or right-click and select ‘Delete’ in the menu.

Keep in mind that in some cases you may need to split the video twice before the segment you want to remove is isolated – especially when it is located in the middle of the video. That just means you should repeat the process outlined above once more, so that you split the video at the next point that is needed. Also if you want to rearrange video segments in Movavi Video Editor you can just select and drag them around in the ‘Timeline’ until they appear in the order that you want.

By cutting and trimming videos in this fashion, you can get rid of unwanted footage, extract important highlights, and compile footage in any way you see fit. On top of that you can also take advantage of the other features in Movavi Video Editor to process the footage further and enhance its quality, fix common issues, add background music or a voiceover, apply artistic filters and special effects, or insert captions.

Every feature in Movavi Video Editor is designed to be intuitive and should be as easy to pick up as it was to learn how to cut and trim videos. In fact if you have a few minutes to spare, try experimenting with each feature so you can figure out how they work and what they can do – and apply them to your videos as required.

Story of the UEFA Champions League Anthem

By Will Oliver, October 25th 2017

Be it online games at the Red Flush Casino or consecutive sets of tennis, we love the adrenaline rush associated with sports. But football was, is and will remain one of the greatest games ever invented by mankind. Till today, our loyalty and dedication to our respective teams and favourite players remain unmatched. The various tournaments happening across the world uphold our love for the sport and sportsmanship in general.

When the worlds of music and football clash to create a beautiful harmony, it always turns out to be wonderful. So when UEFA’s anthem first reached the ears of ardent football aficionados, it resonated across the community. The spine-tingling music gave goose bumps to many and is now unanimously regarded as a football anthem.

You can hear this song before the kick-off, be it at the stadium or on the television screen. Even the players are in love with it as is proved by Gareth Bale’s assertion that the song influenced him to play Champions League football.

What you need to know about the song?

British composer, Tony Britten is the one who should be thanked for creating the theme tune of the Champions League. He hails from Croydon which is located in south London and graduated from the Royal College of Music. For this particular piece, he took inspiration from Zadok The Priest.

George Frederic Handel wrote Zadok The Priest to mark the occasion of King George II being coronated in 1727. According to Britten, the rising string phase is written in a tune that he composed, but the song has a ‘Handelian feel to it’. While Britten does not have ownership rights over the song, he is entitled to receive royalties from the UEFA whenever the song is played.

Written in 1992, the anthem does not have a particular name. It is simply known as the Champions League Anthem. UEFA had the song composed with special commissions after made certain changes to the European Cup. They wanted a theme tune for their Championship tournament.

How it came about?

According to Britten, UEFA has asked him specifically to write something that would be suitable for becoming an anthem. At that time, classical music was rising in popularity because of The Three Tenors at the World Cup in Italy. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs the instrumental background of the song while the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields chorus sings the lyrics. The three official languages of UEFA- English, French and German- have all been used in the lyrics of the song.

There is no way to purchase this song. Moreover, you cannot even download it from illegal sources. The UEFA has kept this powerful audio-branding tool safe from the commercial world, which is actually a smart marketing move. Today, everybody knows it and associates it with football.

No matter how much you love collecting English Premier League little known facts, stats & trivia or watching the matches, the UEFA Champions League and its anthem will always hold a special place in your heart and you know it.

You can go for an online gaming experience to the Red Flush Casino, but you will come back to the football stadium over and over again.

Have you ever wanted to be able to extract a song from a video that you were watching? It could be that you just want to save the song from a music video, or grab the soundtrack from a movie, or maybe even save the theme song from a TV show that you like.

The good news is that it is possible to extract song tracks from videos, and it just takes a little bit of editing to do so. While you may not be that well-versed with video editing, if you use Movavi Video Editor you’ll find that it is actually very easy to extract the song that you want.

If you want to start now then launch Movavi Video Editor and select the ‘Create project in full feature mode’ option in the menu. After that load the video with the song that you want to edit, by clicking on the ‘Add Media Files’ button and selecting it.

Technically if you want to extract the entire audio track from the video you could immediately click on the ‘Export’ button. When you do you’ll be able to choose the format that you want, and in this case you should use Movavi Video Editor to save it in an audio
format – effectively extracting the audio only.

In many cases however you may want to only save part of the audio track, such as a specific song that you’re interested in. If so, you should first trim video to isolate that song – which is really quite easy in Movavi Video Editor anyway.

To trim out parts of your video in Movavi Video Editor, you should first move the red marker along the ‘Timeline’ till you get to the start of the song. After that you should click on the ‘Split’ button (i.e. the scissors icon) to split the video at that point, then select the segment you want to delete and press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard. The same process should be used to trim out excess video after the song, and by the time you’re done you should have isolated it completely.

After you’ve isolated the song, you can then save it in an audio format, as mentioned previously. That is all that is needed to extract and trim a song from a video, but there’s a lot more that you can do with Movavi Video Editor if you choose to explore its other features. In fact by spending a few minutes experimenting with the features that are available you will be able to improve the quality of videos, apply special effects, merge video clips, insert animated transitions, and much more.

As you can see with Movavi Video Editor it is easy to isolate and extract any song that you want from a video. That is what makes it a useful tool to extract songs, as it will let you save just the song that you would like to – as opposed to the entire audio track.

Attending a concert is as much about the experience as it is about actually listening to the music. After all, when was the last time you went to a performance and just sat there, quietly? Fans go to these events to hear their favorite artists, and to increase their sense of connection to them while sharing their love of the music with other true fans. Dancing and singing along are all part of the fun. The best acts understand this and go to great lengths to encourage their fans to join in and share their energy.

Why Is Something So Dangerous So Popular?

This is one of the reasons why smoking is so common at music venues. It helps performers relax and get their creative juices flowing. It also helps the crowds to really get into the sounds and rhythm and helps to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. That’s why smoking is really something that’s almost impossible to avoid if you truly love music. Who hasn’t gone to see their favorite band play live and not caught a glimpse of the musicians smoking a thing or two (or three or four)?  

Safer, Flavor-Filled Alternatives 

Burning traditional tobacco and marijuana products (where permitted by law, of course), however, can release harmful chemicals into the air. Rather than skipping a live performance, there is a safer alternative for musicians and their fans. In vaping, e-liquid is heated by an electronic device to create vapor. This juice does not release harmful carcinogens into the environment. It also comes in a wide variety of flavors and nicotine levels. Vaping only releases harmless water vapor into the air. This is in stark contrast to the dangerous compounds that are released in the secondhand smoke that is created by burning traditional tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars.

Vaping Provides All the Advantages of Smoking

Musicians and fans get to enjoy great flavor, control the amount of nicotine they are consuming and protect those who are standing close by when they vape. Rather than lighting up with cigarettes or marijuana, vaping makes it possible for everyone to enjoy their favorite aromas without harming anyone. If you prefer, you can even mix in a little weed with your favorite flavor when you vape and not have to worry about it affecting anyone standing next to you. The act of vaping will only expel water vapor. 

Vaping is the Future

In addition to creating great sound, most musicians are known for their ability to start new trends.  A growing number of musicians have found the experience of vaping so pleasurable, it’s allowed them to start a new trend of kicking the habit of smoking altogether. Singer Katy Perry has been vaping since 2013. Paul Weller, lead singer for The Jam and The Style Council, calls vaping “the future,” and credits e-cigarettes with helping him give up smoking. 

Even musicians who have smoked so long that cigarettes have been part of their stage persona for decades are turning to vaping. Prime examples of this phenomena include rocker Tom Petty, Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, and Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood. With so many acts now using vaping to give up smoking, it’s not unthinkable to imagine a day in the not so distant future where top performers create their own vaping blends inspired by their top hits! 

Vaping Equals Peace of Mind – Relax and Enjoy!

The growing popularity of vaping means that you can now stop worrying about what you are inhaling when you go to your next music festival, and focus on what truly matters: enjoying the music and sharing the experience with others!

 

The Power Of A Collage

By Will Oliver, July 4th 2017

We absorb a lot of content and create a lot of our own. When it comes to apps like instagram or even facebook and twitter, we are always showing off where we are, or what we’re doing. There’s almost too much to show off when it comes to images, which is why so many people are offering a solution in the form of a cool photo collage, sharing all the best photos in one neat package. One of the best options to create a collage that stands out comes from Fotor’s Collage Maker.

Fotor offers many convenient solutions to creating some memorable collages that will make sharing multiple content that much easier, and most importantly – better. With such features such as their webcam effect, crop, poster maker and instagram template, there is a lot of options that will make editing that wild party or unforgettable day of travel so much easier.

Using their instagram post feature, in just four easy steps you will have plenty of new options to enhance your posts. The fotor platform offers a wide variety of options such as photo effects, stickers, text, as well as HDR. You can choose from a wide variety of preset templates and drag your photos or even design one of your own completely from scratch.

Or try their collage maker, with over hundreds of photo collage templates that offer you various style to make collages. You have classic grid designs with the option to even add more cells, or to gov with a more artistic look to your own feel that can go along with any theme that you’re striving for. There are more out there “funky collages” that you can create unique shapes and photo stitching where you can stitch multiple photos together, vertically or horizontally.

There are many great options that your next photo collage shouldn’t be without, so be sure to head to to Fotor and see what you’re missing out on!

Saint Etienne

Not too long ago Taylor Swift made the news when she pulled all of her music from Spotify as a protest for the way music was being distributed without adequate compensation for the musician. As she rightly pointed out, musicians need to have the ability to support themselves and the only way for that to happen in a digital age is if safeguards are put in place to ensure the expectation for a fair wage is firmly established. It would seem as though this is a contemporary issue but financial sovereignty has been an issue in the arts for as long as there have been artists.

The History of Copyright Ownership

In the 1800s a composer named Guiseppe Verdi asserted his right to manage the international distribution of some of his most famous operas. It may seem unusual to think of the composers of some of the most well-known musical pieces from more than one hundred years ago being concerned with the way in which their music was distributed, but the need to maintain artistic control and to receive monetary reimbursement for their work is an ongoing struggle.

In many instances, these types of exchanges are not part of the common history and only come to light when historical autographs for sale and other historic documents become available to consumers from private collections. Without an extensive media presence and the ability to instantly inform fans about what is going on via social media, the information was only available to the parties directly involved.

A more recent example that people may be more familiar with involves the rights to the music produced and written by Prince. He was famously intolerant of having his music distributed by methods which were out of his control. It wasn’t until his death that his musical portfolio began to be available for digital download. A quick search of his songs on YouTube will make it obvious he took unauthorized redistribution seriously, as there are very few songs available even there.

Modern Concerns

One of the reasons artists have become so concerned with the issue of musical distribution in recent decades is the ease with which it can be copied and redistributed through piracy. This represented a major concern for musicians when digital tracks first began showing up but that concern has begun to diminish with streaming services that allow people to pay only for what they listen to.

Unfortunately, the streaming services have caused some artists such as Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, and Garth Brooks to have concerns about the scalability of the economic model for their own careers and the careers of less well-known artists. Because the amount an artist receives is tied to how many times their songs are played, it means those who are not in heavy rotation or who are less well known are less likely to make a substantial amount of money with this format.

The Future of Music

While it is a valid concern that an artist will not receive fair compensation for their work if people are able to freely access it, the reality is shaking out much differently than it originally seemed it would. Instead of being a cataclysmic transformation which destroyed careers, it seems to have leveled the musical playing field and given artists a greater level of control than they have ever experienced before.

Artists no longer have to compete with those who are seen as appealing to a large commercial segment. The only game in town is no longer the radio and television airways. It isn’t necessary to have a sound that is so similar as to be indistinguishable from everything else which is being played. Artists are free to innovate and break any rules and to be as authentically themselves as they care to be. Then they can find their tribe and sell directly to those people who most resonate with their music.

Instead of limiting the number of people who can make a living, the digital revolution is giving a greater number of people to make music their career. While it may limit the number of people who are able to rise to astronomical career levels by being the only option, ultimately it is giving musicians more control of their finances and their art.

 

 

 

Social media has been a democratizing agent for musicians. You don’t need to have a big studio backing you and promoting your work. You can get the exposure you want from YouTube and launch your career. Several singers have been discovered that way after posting a video of themselves singing a great cover. With the right social media strategy, you could even get your music noticed and then promote and sell it yourself, cutting out the studio middleman entirely.

Sign up for a good social media management service like Social Vantage, and you can automate your posts and easily manage your presence online. Here are a few ways you can use social media to boost or maintain your career, no matter where you are in your progress:

Post Candid Photos

Everyone loves to learn more about celebrities and artists, and the media has made a huge business out of this. Fans buy magazines and check websites and social media for new pictures and scraps of information that help them learn more about their favorite artists. You can feed this desire yourself by posting candid photos from behind the scenes on your Instagram account – a photo-heavy site. You can get results on other social media sites, but you’ll see the most engagement from these kinds of photos on Instagram.

Post photos of practice, the time you’re waiting before a show, the time you’re fooling around between sets or after a show, and more.

Share News and Sneak Peaks

Give your fans a reason to follow you and to engage on social media. Let them be the first to get the news about your albums, tours, collaborations, and more. Share this information first on certain social media channels, and make sure you tease the announcement so people know to look for the information.

You can also share samples or sneak peaks of your new tracks to social media first. It will let fans know that there is a big benefit to following you and staying active on social media, and they will be more engaged.

Share Fan Covers

If you have a bit of a following, your fans might be making covers of your music. Some might send you the video directly, and others might post it on YouTube. Encourage engagement by giving a shout out to these fans. Share links to their covers and talk about your appreciation for their interpretation or your love of their technique.

Fans will love seeing you share their music on your social media! They will be much more likely to share other content with you and to engage on your channels in other ways, such as through commenting, liking, and sharing posts in an attempt to attract your attention or to engage with you. The more they engage, the more attention your channels will get, which will get you more exposure and help you reach more fans.

Come Back after a Hiatus

You may have been out of the music scene for a while. Social media is the perfect way to announce your comeback and to get your fans re-engaged. You can do all the things as above, such as sharing sneak peaks and teasing your tour dates, and you can offer fans insider tips about where to meet you or how to get special editions of your music. The more you can do to make it special for them, the more excited they will be. You just need to be engaged and be creative.

Tag Partners and Collaborators

If you get the chance to collaborate with someone great, use social media to connect with their audience, as well. Tag them in status updates and photos, and their fans will see those posts, as well. Then those fans will learn about you and may end up following you on social media, which can help them discover more of your other music and become dedicated fans themselves.

Social media is a powerful tool for anyone, but it is a great equalizer for musicians and other types of artists. Use these tips to help you reach more of your fans and to keep them engaged, whether you are just starting your career or you are trying to restart it.

 

 

 

Them Feels When You Can’t Catch the Concert

By Jane Brown, March 8th 2017

Don’t you just hate it when one of your favorite acts announce their tour but they’re going to be nowhere near your area? It sucks.

Certain areas of the country seem to be in a blackout when it comes to the bigger artists, parties, and events. It makes sense as to why they wouldn’t want to come through certain areas due to finances and booking but it’s still a disappointment to the fans. I live near Orlando so I know what it’s like for artists to straight-up skip Florida.

In the event these acts do come through, it’s usually part of a larger concert series or festival. These big events come at a hefty price (I’m looking at you Ultra Music Festival!). But our love for live music is there so we do what we can to see our favorite artists.
Read the rest of this entry »





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