Mixing Vocals With Two-Track Instrumentals

This is a hot topic in today's world of recording. Every professional music producer and audio engineer have an opinion on this subject. Some producers and engineers believe that you can get a professional well balanced production when you are mixing a two-track instrumental with new vocal stems. Other producers and engineers are holding on to the concept that you have to mix the vocal stems with the separated musical multi-track parts to get professional results.

I'm not here to take sides. I'm here to help independent artists who are recording over pre-mixed instrumental tracks produce a completed song that will sound competitive to those major label artists who are recording and mixing in million dollar studios.

One of the main points that I would like to implant into your mind is the most important piece of equipment you will ever own own is your ears. Home recording technology has come so far from where it was. You can get professional results in a home or project studio these days.

Having a good understanding of some basic recording knowledge is key to getting the best results from a home recording session. I'm going to focus this article on helping you understand how to get a better end result after you have already recorded your vocals. Just remember that you have to start with a great sounding instrumental and properly recorded vocals. (That's a whole other topic).

Let's begin by talking about the instrumental tracks and beats that you lease online. Most producers that are leasing and selling their beats online are providing you with a completed production. The track is formatted in song structure (intro-verse-hook-verse 2-hook), fully mixed, and most of the time mastered. This is a double-edged sword. It's great for the artist in terms of the beat is sounding hot without having to spend time and money going to a studio for an audio engineer to work their magic. On the negative side this can cause some recording issues because the level of the track is at its peak. In mastering (most of the time) one of the goals is to keep the levels at or as close to 0 dB as possible. Anything over 0 dB is going to cause distortion.

If you mix your vocals with a pre-mastered instrumental you are more than likely going to hear clipping. Clipping is when the output volume is exceeding 0 dB and causing the stereo mix to distort. (You will be able to hear a clipping type sound in playback) The clipping will occur when the vocal and track are playing together. The solution may seem very logical. Decrease the volume of the instrumental, right? That might solve the problem of clipping, but now the song has lost its punch.

Never fear because our good friends compressor and limiter are here! By applying proper compression to the vocals, placing a limiter on the master bus, and balancing the ratio of track verses vocal your final product will sound superb. In a nutshell that's the real trick.

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Propellerhead Reason – Exporting Reason Projects to Audio Files

There are three ways that you can export your Reason project (the.rns extension) to be audio files (i.e WAV or AIFF extension) that you can playback using various media players (i.e Windows Media Player or iTunes):

1. Export as MIDI

Reason records MIDI performance data and uses it to trigger the sounds, whether they be from samplers or synthesizers. Choosing this option, the MIDI data will be exported resulting in a MIDI file (.mid extension) which can be imported into another sequencer program. Usually this is done if we want to use a sound from another virtual instrument program that isn’t available in Reason, or if we want to collaborate with another producer that doesn’t work with the Reason software but needs to edit the performance data. It should be noted that Reason does not use the General MIDI standard, therefore the creator of the.mid file and the receiver must know which track belongs to which sound.

2. Export Song as Audio File

A song is all the MIDI data from the beginning of the song to the End Locator (the E square flag located at the far end of the Sequencer Window – you might have to scroll to the far right to find it if it isn’t immediately sighted). This End Locator should be dragged as close to the end of the song as possible, or else Reason will export a large space of silence in the resulting audio file (the distance between the end of the song where there are no more sounds playing until the End Locator). Reason gives you the option of exporting into 24-bit or 16-bit audio, either with or without dithering. Assuming that we want this audio file to be playable using a media player, then 16-bit with dithering is fine.

3. Export Loop as Audio File

A loop is the space between the Left Locator (the L square flag that you can find in the Sequencer Window) and the Right Locator (the R square flag). The difference between exporting a Song and a Loop is that a Loop is usually just a part of the song that you might want to use as an audio file in another sequencer program. For example, say you created an R&B beat pattern that you like, but you want to work in Pro Tools, then you need to set the Left and Right Locators to bracket the bars containing the beat and choose this option. The resulting audio file should only contain the part of the song that has the beat in it.

Those are the three ways to export your Reason projects. When you’re finished, upload some of your songs so we can hear what your work sounds like, OK? To your Reason proficiency,

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Types of Mass Media

These days, there are already numerous types of Mass Media. This includes Audio recording and reproduction (records, tapes, cassettes, cartridges, CDs), Broadcasting Media (Radio, Television, Cable) Film (Cinema, DVDs), Digital Media (the Internet, Mobile Phones, Satellite), Publishing or the Print Media (Books, Newspapers, Magazines) and Video games.

The Audio recording and reproduction pertains to the various music and sound media. Back in the day, there are only basic kinds of audio equipments such as microphones, recording devices and loudspeakers. Then, it was followed by tape recorders, and the legendary vinyl LP record. The invention of compact cassettes as well as music cassettes paved the way to the groundbreaking and innovative form of music entertainment which is still used in this day and age by numerous music aficionados worldwide. Next, it was followed by Sony's Walkman which further advanced the degree of music entertainment spread. The invention of digital recording and compacts disc (CD) produces exceptional quality of sound reproduction. The most recent developments have been the digital audio / music players such as the MP3 player and Apple's i-Pod. Which allows you to download songs of your favorite artist / s in the Internet in a digital music format and subsequently upload it to your digital music player.

Broadcasting Media includes Radio, Television and Cable as modes of spreading out information to the mainstream. For many decades now, Radio and Television becomes a firm tool of communication and advertising. The constant development of mass media produced Cable TV though to a limited audience only mostly in cosmopolitan homes.

Radio and Television delivers up-to-the-minute news programs and updates, commentaries and various entertainment shows such as music, talks, variety, and the like. While Cable TV is capable of showing soaps, movies, documentaries, sports, lifestyle, cartoons, videos and extra stuff that can entertain the viewers.

Film depicts, presents and demonstrates stories or tales of human emotions, lifestyle and exploits. Film is also called motion pictures (or just pictures and "picture"), the silver screen, the cinema, flicks and most commonly movies.

Internet is a powerful type of Mass Media. The world is now a global village because of the internet. You can now obtain countless up-to-date information and services worldwide and you can send up-to-the-minute messages in just a split second through electronic mail (e-mail), online chat, and browsing to loads of web pages and other documents.

Mobile phones are by now a global trend. Often called the seventh Mass Media. It is

Publishing or the Print Media is mundane to us for centuries now. It encompasses books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines.

Video games are the favorite pastime of people nowadays, young and old alike. Actually, there are various types of games: the Computer game or the PC game which is played on a personal computer, the Console game which is played with the use of a device and a standard television set, Arcade game which is usually played in establishments such as in Internet Cafes, Gaming Centers, and the like where pay to play or play per use is carried out. And the Video game which is can also be played in mobile phone, PDAs, and advanced calculators.

Those were the different types of Mass Media in this 21st century, the global generation era where digital globalization is taking place perpetually, and the forms of Mass Media is widespread and expectantly procreating.

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Become an Audio Engineer and Start Recording the Stars

Recording music artists, helping them develop a trademark sound, and refining that sound in post-production are just some of the things you could expect to do in a career in Audio Engineering Production. While it may sound artistic, it is, in reality, a very technical field which demands a certain level of training. For many professionals, that training is acquired in an Audio Engineering & Production / DJ Arts Diploma Program. Designed to incorporate extensive hands-on training, these diplomas prepare students for the dynamic and challenging world of music recording.

Audio Engineering & Diploma Programs are always comprehensive, taking care to introduce students to the myriad facets of audio production. Students can expect to be introduced to acoustic theory, music recording, TV and soundtrack recording, and the tools and software systems of the trade, among other facets of the business. Although the tools used by audio engineers are focused focused on digital recording, almost all programs will teach students how to use both analog and digital recording equipment, to ensure that graduates have the skills needed to be competent in any studio environment. Typical courses taken by students could be the following:

  • Fundamentals of music
  • MIDI Theory
  • Sound and recording technologies
  • The multitrack lab
  • How to listen with a critical ear
  • Sound & recording techniques
  • DJ arts
  • Mixing & mastering techniques
  • Studio maintenance

In short, in a program that will usually run to just less than a year, students will learn everything there is to know about a career in audio engineering production . Theory classes balance out practical workshops where students use professional-grade equipment to learn how to record, mix and master music. Teachers with real-world experience impart their knowledge to students during courses and workshops, taking care to share technical know-how along with soft skills. Audio Engineering & Production / DJ Arts Diploma Program students participate in active listening tests, where they are trained to be able to critically listen to music, and make changes during the recording process to optimize the quality of the finished recorded product.

When choosing a school to study for an Audio Engineering & Production / DJ Arts Diploma Program, prospective students should to their homework to ensure they're studying at a reputable institution. Highly-regarded schools should be able to provide testimonials from well-placed graduates, and should have a nationally or internationally recognized name. Sound exciting? It is. So if you're interested in playing an integral part in the music industry and "working with the stars", then you may want to consider a career in audio engineering production.

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How to Make a DJ Splitter Cable

Just starting out as a DJ? Don’t have a dedicated sound card, and don’t want to buy one until you’re sure DJing is for you? Or maybe you’re DJing from your iPod or iPad using one of Algoriddim’s djay software programs? Or perhaps you have a sound card, but it’s having technical difficulties just when you’ve got a major event scheduled.

Whatever the reason, there are times when you don’t have access to a DJ sound card or controller but you still need to do a professional job as DJ. And in order to do that, it’s obvious that you need to have two audio outputs from your music player – one that the audience is hearing and a second one for your headphones only, which is usually the next track so that you can find the proper starting place and check the track for speed, EQ and other factors.

Fortunately there is a relatively cheap and simple solution to this problem. If you have dedicated DJ software like Virtual DJ, Traktor Pro, DJ for iPhone, DJ for iPod Touch or DJ for iPad, it is fairly easy to find splitter cables that allow your DJ software to send the audience signal (also known as the master signal) down the left-hand channel of the music player’s stereo headphones output, while sending the signal for the next track (also known as the monitor, cue or headphone signal) down the right hand channel.

Once the signal is split, you use a special lead to take the left-hand master output and connect it to the speakers for the audience to enjoy, while at the same time sending the right-hand monitor output to your headphones so you can cue up the next track properly. In other words, you are using a single stereo audio output to deliver 2 separate mono outputs.

You can easily buy a dedicated splitter cable for DJing on Amazon or other music sites. Or, if you’re handy, you can also make your own splitter cable by using an 1/8″ stereo headphones (TRS) plug to two 1/8″ mono headphones (TRS) jack lead, and then two 1/8″ mono headphones (TRS) plug to 1/8? stereo headphones TRS jack leads, for a total of three leads.

The main disadvantage of this setup is that you’re relying on the quality of your music player’s in-built sound, whether that player is an iPad, computer, iPhone, or other device. So of course if the player is producing a poor quality sound, your DJing sound quality will obviously be sub-par as well.

Another possible problem is that the audience signal that you are generating using a splitter is in mono rather than stereo. However, this is less of an issue than you might expect because most club and bar PA systems are actually mono anyway.

Finally, you do need to keep in mind that the audience signal will only be half-power due to the splitting. If possible you would want to have a mixer or PA system available to boost your signal again so as to give the audience the best music experience.

However, even with these limitations, a splitter cable is certainly a practical and inexpensive tool every DJ should be aware of for those situations when a dedicated DJ controller or sound card simply isn’t available.

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Vigil "China Soul" – Music Review

One of the many great things about this wired and interconnected world we stumble around in is having access to art and music from other countries. Once upon a time say, in any decade before the nineties, your average American music fan would have been been hard-pressed to find almost anything that was a. being played on the radio and b. Made in one the "big two" music countries (US & UK).

Sure there were a few specialty shops and a handful of mail-order houses but unless one was in the know you were pretty much out of luck. The recordings that one could find were presented to the public as either audio anthropology or kitschy exotica. This isn't to cast dispersions. On the contrary, an album series like Smithsonian's "Folkways Recordings" helped preserve sound treasures from Bali to the Mississippi Delta that informed and inspired generations.

These types of records are however, doomed to be confined to the realm of folklore. They are often representations of a particular tradition from a particular tribe or ethnic group. Consequently they convey a sense of anonymity in regards to the artist and artistry.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The everyday and embedded music of the world is one of the things that give life meaning. People singing work songs, drumming to accompany marriages and funerals, fiddle playing from the pub, all of it, all of it is vital. Our age however is another matter. We mix and match styles and sounds the way another era's musicians switched chords and tempos. You've got hybrids like the punk / gypsy / ska / folk of gogol bordello and the psychedelic / freak-out / drone / troubadourisms of acid mother's temple.

It turns out that location actually isn't everything. One way or another music finds its' way to the right listener. In this case the right music found the right listener in Pedro Vigil. Vigil's new CD "China Soul" (Siesta Records) is a charmer. From the first note you are transplanted to a clean and refreshing audio heaven that while referencing various musical styles from around the globe, manages to sound original and unique. Vigil is primarily the work of Pedro Vigil from Spain and is realized through a huge amount of collaborations with various drummers, organ players, string ensembles, horn sections and pianists. The music is probably best described as a breezy blend of exotic jazz and space-age pop. At times you hear strains of Esquivel or Les Baxter.

The title track, "China Soul" has an antiquey march rhythm which is overrun by dreamy washes of stings and cut through by a reverb soaked surf guitar. It's like you've snuck into a private cocktail party for Chairman Mao's inner circle.

Someone hands you a martini, you take a sip and realizing it's been spiked, sit back into a velvet armchair to watch a 3-D version of "Endless Summer" play on the ceiling. Other tracks find inspiration from the rhythms and tones of Bossa Nova. "Los Gatos High School" chugs and glides with the punchy grace of Jobim or Burt Bacharach. You listen to it the way you sip a cool drink at the beach under a palapa. All of this artistry comes across as so effortless and smooth that you are left stunned and smiling.

Another highlight is the track "Akira Kurasawa". Not only is it named for one of the truly great filmmakers of all time, its orchestration, jewelry box tinklings and Star Trek-like Theremin whirl and spin a magical sound. "China Soul" is a pleasure from start to finish. It pays homage to the vintage and retro without sounding dated. The skill of the players and the quality of the compositions make this product of our wired up, multi-culti world a gem. It's a blessing for us to live in an era with access not only to the traditions, but the artistry of music from other countries.

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Outdoor Carnival Fun

When hosting a fundraiser, outdoor activities are a great way to engage all attendees. Not only is it fun for kids and adults, but you can host a series of games, bounce houses, fun carnival foods, and rides, all of which will make for a fun afternoon, and help raise money for the fundraiser being held. One of the many items available are inflatable slide rentals for a fundraiser that you are hosting.


Inflatable slides are great for kids and adults. With both water and dry slides, you can have something for attendees of all ages. Many of the inflatable slides also have interactive games, so kids can compete when coming down the slides. And, at differing heights, you can have inflatables for kids of all ages, who are in attendance at the event.

Incorporate games

Rock climbing walls are fun, and a great interactive, competitive event for those who are at the fundraiser. Swing rides, a ferris wheel, and other fun carnival rides and games will create the perfect atmosphere for your fundraiser. With something for everyone, and kids of all ages, parents and kids are bound to have a great time. And, with many of the games, you can offer prizes to winners, when you are hosting a fundraiser for a school or church event.

Concession foods

Popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, and more; these are all great foods that the kids will enjoy. And, if you have a section for parents, margarita makers are a great option, so there is something for kids and adults to enjoy at the event. Not only will guests love these foods, but at a fundraiser, you can also charge for the attendees to purchase these items, to help raise more money to the cause that you are hosting the fundraiser event for.

Music entertainment

You can even rent music and audio equipment for the fundraising event that you are going to host. Playing great music, and interactive songs, is a simple way to not only kick the fundraiser off, but also to keep the guests engaged, the entire afternoon or evening that they are at the fundraiser event. With all the equipment you need, all you have to do is bring the CDs or prerecorded audio files, and hit play, so that your guests can truly have a good time at the event you are hosting.

With a fun, carnival themed fundraiser, everyone is going to have a good time. As there are events for parents and the kids, everyone will have fun while at the event. And, with these fun interactive games, slides, and great foods, you can easily raise more money for the cause you are holding the event for. Not only will it be easy to set up, since the rental company will set up all attractions and break them down, but it will also be easy to raise enough funds for the cause, with a fun event, that will attract several attendees to join your fundraiser.

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How To Make Music Like Bonobo – 3 Tips To Start With

This article points out three simple tips on how to make music like Bonobo. Having transcended both chill-out and downtempo genres, Simon Green aka Bonobo is known for his unique sound that mixes a variety of music instruments and styles. Although it is probably impossible for anyone, except for Bonobo himself, to create exactly the same kind of music, following are some suggestions that outline the basic elements needed for producing something similar.

1. Get a computer and a Digital Audio Workstation

Before you can start putting together your musical pieces, you will need a computer with a piece of software called the digital audio workstation aka DAW. Just like a photo editing software lets you edit image files, a DAW enables you to edit and mix audio files.

Now, there is a huge variety of different programs, both for Windows and Mac. While all Macs already have a free digital audio workstation installed on them, called GarageBand, Windows users can choose between such free alternatives as Audacity, Kristal Audio Engine, and Wavosaur.

In addition, there are also the paid versions, like the Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Reason, just to name a few. Bonobo himself has been a Logic user for a number of years.

2. Get some acoustic loops

If you listen to Bonobo’s music, you will most likely notice how the tracks often consist of shorter repeating musical ideas, played by an acoustic instrument. For instance, his song “Black Sands” begins with a repeating guitar melody, which is later mixed together with other loops, such as a double bass loop, drums, hand clapping, and so on. Though all those loops slightly vary in their length, Bonobo has put them together into one whole, creating a full-length track.

To get your loops, you can download them from the internet. There are both free and paid versions. Preview the samples and find the one that suits your taste, containing the instruments and sounds that you would like to start with. Of course, if you can play an instrument, there is also the possibility of recording your own loops. Nevertheless, after getting loops either by downloading or by recording yourself, you can begin with the most creative part on how to make music like Bonobo.

3. Play around with those loops

Once you have a few loops, open them in your digital audio workstation, and start playing around with them. If you are new to audio editing and mixing, it might be a good idea to start simple, by experimenting with two or three loops in one project. After you have made your first tracks, it will be probably much easier to scale up on the number of loops involved in your project, enabling you to create more complex tracks. Having fun with this step will teach you a lot about how to make music like Bonobo.

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Today’s Evolution of Music Media

Through the years, music evolved into generation along with humans. With the advancement of technology, previous music sources become obsolete and replaced with new and improved gadgets. With the desire of creating a new type of music media, many sort into modification of previous devices. This time, music devices are better, which cover not only local radio stations, but more of International distance coverage.

Lots of people find music significant to their lives. Some people divert their attention by listening to music as their way of healing process. Others spend longer time having radio devices at side for relaxation. Although new devices such as iPods, mp3’s, ranked as top music media sources today, the way music is delivered is just the same. People still have their own taste of music. Music genre such as classical, rock, R&B, country, and many more are those that distinguish one music from the other. There are some people that love country songs rather than ballads, while other find rock music better than love songs. The only way people appreciate music is through listening to any type of song, either through radio or online. The latest trend teenagers are using these days are those USB radio tuner. This type of software can be used only to those PC’s that has Internet access. This works primarily by getting access to Internet server and search thousands of online radio music station. Through this software, users are capable of getting access to top list music Internet stations from various countries. Some of these are talk radio stations, wherein you can listen to any live news fresh from its country of origin.

The availability of live radio on Internet makes people easier to tune in to their favorite music station, both in local and International arena. Internet radio station is broadcast online through live streaming. Local radio stations that use frequencies may also be heard to other countries. The good thing about online radio is that, it supports various radio channels no matter where you are located. While there are some radio stations that work without DJ’s, most of its songs are recorded or pre-saved. People can tune into music stations that are broadcast by thousands of available FM channels. Aside from music, there are also radio stations that only covers sports events or latest news happenings. Internet radio station is available for 24 hours, which means that people can have access to music stations and listen to their preferred songs anytime of the day.

In general, anyone can listened to music in various ways. Whatever type of music you’re playing, it gives another experience that enhances inner feelings, physical condition, and expression. Having these available music media sources, music would be much appreciated even to people who are not music enthusiasts. Its one way of entertaining yourself aside from other activities. By simply going to a specific website, or tuning in to your own radio software, one can experience live radio listening at no cost.

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Tips to Reduce Audio Noise

If you attempt for recording your own music of if you have audio recording which is full of distracting background noise, you need to reduce the unwanted noise by using recording software which is available on your computer. Whether you are going to work with a music recording, speech recording or the other type of recording, you should be able to remove the unwanted noise in a way to capture the cleanest audio recording possible. At this time, this article is going to give you several tips that will guide you to reduce audio noise.

Firstly, you should turn on your computer and then open the audio recording program which is capable of loading the software effects plug-ins. If you do not have the application of this type installed, you can search for it first. You can choose among popular programs that include GarageBand, ProTools, Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, Nuendo, Sonar and Reason.

Secondly, you should load the audio file which contains the noise that you want to reduce. You can use the “Open” or the “Import” option from the recording program menu for locating and loading the audio file into your audio project. If there is no audio file in your computer, you can simply plug in musical instrument or microphone into your computer by using audio interface for reducing audio noise in the real time.

Thirdly, you need to apply noise gate effect and also a compressor effect to the audio track that containing the unwanted noise. The used noise gate plug-ins commonly includes Floorish and GGate. The popular compressors are Waves SSl and Blockfish VST.

Fourthly, you need to adjust the level on the compressor and noise gate. The compressor can make the audio to sound more uniform and also will remove any “pops” or “cracks” that created by the volume peaks.

Lastly, you can playback the audio that you have applied noise reduction effects. You have to make sure that the audio does not sound chopped or overly effected in any way. You can try to make comparison of the new audio file to the original for ensuring that you have appropriately reduced the noise.

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