Music Production Techniques – Steps to a Good Mix

Creating a great mix starts with organization – you need to organize how you will go about it. If you want to mix like the pros then you want to create the best mix and you can achieve this by breaking it down into small pieces. Here are the steps to create the best mix by breaking it down into small steps that are easy to focus on.

Step 1 – The Drum and Bass Beat

The first thing you should focus on is the drum beat or the bass side of your track. No matter what the style of music is that you want to create (rap, hip hop, house, rock…) the drum beats or bass-line will be the foundation of your track as you will be constructing your track around this so make sure it is good.

Step 2 – Insert The Vocals

Vocals aren’t essential but if you are having them in your track insert them now to make things easier for yourself.

Step 3 – Add In The Melody

The next step is all your extra instruments otherwise known as the melody. This is instruments like the piano, guitar or woodwind etc. However, one thing you need to make sure you don’t add yet is percussion as this goes in at the end.

Step 4 – Add In The Final Percussion and Finalise

The final step is to add in percussion to your track where you see necessary and the all that is left is to clean the track up. Make sure nothing clashes and make it your priority to make sure that the melody and bass-line do not clash – they should complement each other.

Five Steps to Mastering Your Music For iTunes

The process of mastering your music for sound quality on iTunes is a complex one that you want to get right if you hope to attract a wide audience. Since the inception of iTunes, more artists than ever before have a way of connecting with an audience they may have never known otherwise. But if you want to get in on the action, you cannot assume that any quality will do. Your tracks will have to sparkle like any Top 40 release you hear on the radio. Users pay for quality, and that is not exclusive to music and lyrics. The listening experience must be one they can look forward to, and with the five steps below, you will give them exactly what they are clamoring for.

1. Boost and cut. Ever sat around thinking, “How do I get my music on iTunes?” To start, you will need to boost the power of the audio and cut any unpleasant feedback or hissing. You must eliminate anything that interferes with the music itself. If you are unfamiliar with the equipment used to do so, then you probably have not been playing music very long. Even if you are, it is still worth your time and money to farm this service out to a professional.

2. Layering and balance. A number of factors affect the layering and the balance of your track. You will want to check with iTunes for proper compression requirements, and then move on to balance and percussion. Every aspect of the musical ensemble must be singled out and maximized for quality before moving on to the next step.

3. Noise reduction. Even after the initial processing of music is underway, you may still notice background noise that interferes with the purity of the track. This is natural. Think of it as if you are sifting for gold. It may take a few turns before you finally see the best results.

4. Ambiance and enhancement. As surely as your music and lyrics have an effect on the quality, so, too, does the nature of the stereo equipment. You will want to pay special attention to stereo width, spectral enhancement, and proper ambiance before advancing to the next level.

5. Multi-review. Do not think that simply because you have run your track through all the latest and greatest audio technology that it is ready for the big leagues. Listen to the track on a number of different devices such as a car stereo, an iPod, or a traditional home stereo to see if any further adjustments need to be made.

Guitar Sheet Music – 4 Steps to Learning Octaves With Electric Guitar Sheet Music

It seems that everybody wants to learn how to play the guitar. But learning the basics is just the start and if you can learn how to read electric guitar sheet music you can open up a whole new exciting side to your technique. When you first begin you will be playing single notes but as you progress quite often you may need to play up to 6 notes. Your next step to improving the way you play is to learn to play 2 notes or in this case simple octaves. If you can learn to read and play 2 notes with electric guitar sheet music you will be well on your way to greatly improving your over all guitar techniques.

1 – Find The Octaves

Before we try to play the song you have chosen, you need to look through your guitar sheet music to find two notes that are the same but are stacked on top of one another. These are octaves because they are an octave apart. You should start by putting your first finger (or index finger) of your fretting hand on the lower note of the two. Next you need to place the little finger (or your ring finger) on the top note.

2 – Dampen And Strum

Once you have your fingers in the correct position try strumming the strings with your pick hand. You only want to be hearing the octave strings. If you hear that some of the other notes are sounding you need to mute them by gently laying the middle finger of your fret hand over any offending strings. This may be a bit difficult to control but after a some practice you will find the best position that works for you.

3 – Play 2 Sets Of Octaves On The Same Strings

The step you need to take next to help your reading and playing electric guitar sheet music is to try and play two sets of octaves on the same strings. This technique can sometimes be quite tricky as you ideally need to keep your fret hand in a similar shape as you slide from one set of octaves to the next. With a bit of practice you will discover your own particular way of playing this.

4 – Play 2 Sets Of Octaves On Different Strings

Once you have gotten to grips with playing 2 sets of octaves on the same sets of strings you can then move on to playing 2 octaves in a row on different strings. On of the keys to mastering guitar sheet music when you move from one note to the next and from one set of strings to the next is to en-devour to keep your hand in as close to the same shape as you can and also to keep it as close to the strings as possible. Learning to play octaves is not easy and you may find yourself not seeming to progress. But you must keep trying because suddenly it will all become clear and you will soon forget that you were ever struggling to read and play electric guitar sheet music

3 Do-Able Steps to Shift Your Mood in 5 Minutes or Less!

Music can uplift your day, but can it really change your day? Recent research indicates that the structured use of music is an effective way to manage your mind, body, and mood without harmful addiction. These quick tips are an easy way for you to experience a balanced YOU that will give the tools to get off the ever swirling merry-go-round and allow you to move forward toward what you want in life.

1. Use your love of music by understanding why we love it

The body is made up of frequencies just like music. It would make sense that you could use one to affect the other. You might feel like you can’t move forward because of a negative emotion or stress that stops you from moving to the next step. What happened? How do you get moving again? This is where music can be used as a simple and easy tool. To release these problems, the best type of music is classical music that has a lot of noise, and abrasive sounds. The purpose for this structure is to break through the blockages and allow the body to release that negative emotion. Be prepared to allow feelings like repressed anger, guilt, grieving, and maybe even problem relationships to appear. The next step is to talk with someone about it, or pray about it. Listening to music as a tool may cause you to cry, but that’s okay–JUST LET IT GO.

2. Shift from low energy to high energy and back again

When your energy is low and you have a long day in front of you, what do you crave? Many of you reach for that cup of coffee, or a soda with caffeine to give you energy. You know it’s addictive, right? Instead use a healthier and more enjoyable way to energize your body. For 5 minutes, listen to energizing music that you like. Have you ever heard foot-tapping music that caused you to get up and move? The relationship of brain-wave frequencies is what contributes to the changes in your moods and actions. The structure of the music is changing your brain wave from wanting to be relaxed to get up and go–the result is energy. The same can be said for wanting to relax. Now you know how to change your mood without harmful addiction. What a great fun addiction–MUSIC!

3. Make an appointment with yourself to enhance your mood

Just as we make appointments with our hair stylist, it is time to make an appointment with yourself to strengthen your brainwaves to continue to give you the balance you seek. One of my clients was having trouble going to sleep and staying asleep. We decided 30 minutes before bed she would find her quiet place, have a hot cup of tea and listen to soothing music like Enya’s Watermark. After only a couple of weeks of this relaxing routine she experienced restful healing sleep. Music is really amazing when you use this simple tool to create a balanced YOU.

Your first step is set up selections that will help you and then be sure to listen to these selections for changing your brainwaves. Now think of your day and where you can use your choices to help you have a successful day. When you are feeling tired use your energy music, when you have a task needing to be completed but you are distracted, pop in your focus music and get back on track. When you are feeling depressed or lonely use that wonderful uplifting music. To shift your mood, listen to your selection for five minutes and enjoy the benefits without harmful addiction. Surround yourself with the beauty of music. Music creates more balance & harmonizes the electrical frequencies within the body. Use music as your “power tool” to create a balanced YOU.

Action: Take your favorite music and find out what will help with energy, relax, focus, heal, uplift, cleanse, and create, which leads to a more balanced YOU.

Visit Karen’s website to download my FREE gift to you of music that will help you manage your mind, body and mood. Join one of Karen’s many programs to help you learn the do-able and simple steps to a balanced YOU.

Karen is a sought after wellness motivator, who merges fun with simple steps that instruct and empower her audiences. Audiences consider Karen Anderson an inspiring and motivating speaker.

A former music educator for over 25 years, Karen Anderson has taught hundreds of students in every age range. Today, Karen combines her love of music and health to teach the connection between the mind, body and mood using natural alternatives and tools that can easily compliment any busy lifestyle. Karen, a 2006 NAWBO Outstanding Women Leaders nominee is a Wellness Motivator and is working towards her PhD in Holistic Nutrition.