The specific frequencies you choose to boost will vary from track to track, and especially from genre to genre. It’s common to apply a subtle boost on the high end using a gentle shelf, typically around 8 kHz or so. So be sure you don’t bring back any of that nasty sibilance — and be careful boosting between 3-6 kHz, as it often causes the vocal to sound shrill and harsh.
A great example of this technique comes from P!nk. At 2:03 in “Walk Me Home,” she sings the chorus an octave below, accompanied by nothing but an acoustic guitar, which makes the final chorus that returns later all the more impressive and memorable.
The same note, one octave up, appears in Fret 11 on the 1st string, but in order to get back to the previous D#/E♭, we have to skip one string and go back three frets this time (follow the top-right green arrow). This happens every time we cross the 2nd string, because of the tuning alteration. Obviously, we could have used another reference point, the note E an octave up, which appears in Fret 12 of the 1st string, but it helps to understand the relationship between the strings that cross the 2nd string.
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We better go back to the source of the loop for some context — Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” — and holy rabbit holes, did they make it their own! First, they took the sample and pitch-shifted it up a whole step from G♭ to A♭ (thought it sounded kind of chipmunk-esque), then they chopped it up and taped it back together out of order. But what really transforms the music of it is what they didn’t take. So we were right that the singers are singing in A♭ major note logic, but they didn’t sample any A♭ major chords — and how can you have a song in A♭ that doesn’t have any A♭ chords? Also, they didn’t sample any of the bass notes that made some of the singer’s triads into different tetrads.
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Soundfly course producer John Hull walks us through how he creates a Slice to MIDI preset in Ableton Live so you can build your own customized version.
I’m serious. No matter how cold it is, if you find a creek or a lake or a river (and it’s clean, of course,) jump into it. It’s good for your circulation and your immune system, and it feels like a reset.
Crowdfunding campaigns with pitch videos receive average contributions up to 12% higher than campaigns without. They’re also more likely to get shared on Indiegogo’s homepage. Finally, their success rates jump about 20 to 30 points on average.
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Here’s Dr. Ericsson again: “You have to know whether you are doing something right and, if not, how you’re going wrong.” The good news for us musicians is that practicing music has a built-in feedback mechanism — you can generally hear it when you play something wrong, even more so as you get better or if you record yourself playing. This is different from say learning a language in a vacuum where you would have no idea if your pronunciation was right or wrong.
Elise Dewsberry’s “Singing Sixty Birthday Recording” campaign lacks a pitch video, but the project is as heart-warming as they come. She does a pretty good job of selling it, too.
It’s always good to try to find ways to reengage with your collaborators even if they live elsewhere — developing and maintaining a network of home recording cowriters and musicians you can hit up is a very valuable musical practice. So last Friday, I shot him a text asking if he could track something for me by Sunday. I had a flawless solo take and some background parts less than two hours later.
First off, I have to shout out the director Zack Scott, as he deserves most of the credit there. Zack and I have been dear friends ever since high school, and when I came to him for help with that video, my ideas were very, very rough and unrealistic. He looked at the resources we had and came up with a great concept that was totally within reach, organized a crew of his friends in Austin, and even chipped in some money (no small amount, I might add!).