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“Nonstop”: Talk about restraint, this one only has four notes: just F#, A, D, and then D♭ shows up at 1:26 sounding like a ghost. There might even be a hint of an F# major chord sometimes, but that’s probably just the harmonic overtones of the synth-patch poking through… or a ghost.

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In the above video, courtesy of our brand new Mainstage course, TheoryWorks II: Sight Singing & Harmony Essentials, New York City vocal teacher and actor Amy Marie Stewart gives her take on why singing actors need to be able to grasp at least a fundamental understanding of music theory in order to maximize their chances of nailing an audition.

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“You’ll find 44 lifelike vignettes of students playing, including a double-page illustration of a full school orchestra performing in concert. Here are boys and girls playing the piccolo, bassoon, bugle, sousaphone, snare drum, xylophone, maracas, violin, string bass, and electric guitar — and even the banjo and bagpipes. These, plus 32 more popular musical instruments, grouped according to instrument type, are ready for crayons, watercolors, or magic markers.”

From her 1997 live album, right before she launches into “Tyrone”, Erykah speaks to my artistic heart. It took me a long time to admit that I am an artist. The word has a bit of stigma attached to it, usually that artists are needy, too sensitive, too fragile. But I believe we’re all artists in some capacity, and it’s important to embrace it. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) teaches, your artist is similar to your inner child — creative, unafraid, free, and incredibly passionate. It’s so important to nurture that part of you and be honest about your humanity. No one is made of steel.

Explore how common music theory is used in pop songs like “Superstition,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Teenage Dream,” and many more and how you can use the same basic theoretical concepts to add color and complexity to your songs with our free Theory for Producers series.

This autumn, we’re launching a brand new mentored online course teaching you how to get your home-recorded vocals sounding like the pros, check it out!

If two signals that are mirror-images of one another are combined, they attenuate each other. This is often called “phase cancellation” (which in truth is a bit imprecise, but will do for now). You can demonstrate this cancellation easily in your DAW by bringing up two identical tracks and then flipping the phase of one by hitting the polarity switch, usually rendered with a symbol resembling “Ø.”

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All this is corroborated by an intensification of dynamics, which grow gradually into fortissimo (1:05 onwards). A first climax is reached in the Prestissimo section: (d.) is now played by both hands and the staccato articulations are now accented, longer (and therefore heavier) notes (1:58).

One of the first standalone units was the EchoSonic, an amplifier with a built-in tape loop for echo effects. It was built by Ray Butts, and it allowed guitar players to use slapback echo, which dominated 1950s rock ‘n’ roll guitar playing, on stage.

Content-makers often inquire about my services or how they can create a podcast themselves. Most podcasts, however, tend to be personal passion projects and ultimately don’t have the budget for a professional studio to record and edit each episode. So hosts or producers will turn to YouTube, friends, and family to educate them on how to create their content, and this is where a lot of people struggle. Let’s dig in.

If you sample someone else’s music, make sure you’ve covered all your bases too. Reach out to the original songwriter to discuss splits and obtain a mechanical license to use their sample in your music, and then register and administer the percentage that you both agree upon. Don’t find yourself in a sticky situation — do your homework and know how to properly go about using samples.

The right book, or set of books, can play an enormous role in your development as a producer and audio engineer. Be it a book meant to be a reference text in case you ever run into a stumbling block or one meant to inspire you with stories and perspectives from the pros, having a stocked shelf in your studio will ensure that you’ll never be alone to figure things out.