Sunday, September 6, 2015

Music Engineering Tips – Part 4


I did a lot of listening this month.  I listened to the Beatport top 10.  I listened to a Tomorrowland selection of 50 songs chosen by the Chainsmokers which was intended to exemplify the songs that will be played at Tomorrowland in Georgia next month. I went through the top picks of radio promoter sinternet from their new music page on I also checked out new music from blogs Edm Sauce and Dancing Astronaut as well as numerous other blogs which you can find by visiting my Twitter page. 

In my humble opinion you should listen to music for at least the same amount of time as you make music. That's because the intricacies of today's sound palate are a vast ever-changing world.  Listening without intensity wastes a lot of time. As you listen to a piece of music there can be dozens of layers playing at one time. If you only listen to one particular part of the song, such as the vocal, you might have to listen to the record from start to finish several times. If, however, you listen to as many parts as possible while the track plays you can get more accomplished.  Let’s imagine you start by logging the specific pattern and sound of a repetitive part such as the snare, you can then quickly move your attention to the next part such as the kick and so on.  By doing that you cover a lot of ground on the first play through. I also deconstruct the melodies and score them so I may refer to them in the future. As I do that I can identify common patterns.  When I first did this it was a game-changing moment for me. I discovered that there are families of rhythmical patterns that are commonly found in my genre.  There are certain rhythms of melodies that sound good and are used repeatedly.  Once I started deconstructing other people’s music, making my own music became so much easier for me.

Personally I like to listen intently to a record all the way through just once and move onto the next record because there is so much music out there. It also gives me more of an incentive to concentrate because if I miss something it's gone forever. I close my eyes. In fact I put my hands over my eyes and lean forward with my elbows on my desk. I find that to be the best way to maintain concentration. I remain aware of my level of concentration. When my concentration lags I get up to make tea or do something else. I can only listen to a few of records in a row before my concentration lags at which point I take a 5 to 10 minute break.

Once I have finished a record I mix it by listening to other commercial works.  I find a commercial record which is more or less in the same genre and I listen intently to that entire record without stopping it, sometimes twice.  I listen out for the detail of its arrangement and sound design as well as the big picture visceral effect and the overall sound/fullness of the master. Once that is done I go back to my record which I listen to with the same intensity.  I ask myself whether it compares in every respect.  I like to do this with a bounced copy of my work so I am not tempted to stop the record at any point to make an adjustments.

That’s my thought process when it comes to listening. 

I'll be back soon and in the meantime feel free to check out new content on my website and subscribe to my blog!   Enjoy! xo

Friday, July 10, 2015

Music Engineering Tips - Part 3

Hi Folks!  Here's another treat.

Calvin Harris posted a cappellas for all you DJs out there.  Throw them over your latest mixes and have some fun!

I'll be back soon and in the meantime feel free to check out new content on my website and subscribe to my blog!  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Music Engineering Tips - Part 2

Hello again people!

I have a real treat for you today!  People may try to put him down but David Guetta could be called one of the godfathers of EDM.  He is largely responsible for bringing EDM into the mainstream and his talent is undeniable.  This video shows a rare moment when Guetta reveals some of his production tips and thought processes.

The most memorable tips for me were:

- Side-chain "everything!" 
- Experiment with moving the trigger point of the side-chain fractionally to make the "ducking" fall perfectly between the kicks.
- Place stereo delay on high hats.

Enjoy a true masterclass!

I'll be back soon and in the meantime feel free to check out new content on my website and subscribe to my blog!

Cecilia xo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Music Engineering Tips - Part 1

Hey folks!

As a music producer I learned to use Digital Performer first, moved to Logic and now work in Ableton.  I make House/EDM/Pop Music.  I did not go to audio-engineering school but I have a Masters in Physics and when I started I had the hubris to think I could figure it all out on my own!  Well it is a long road!  With the help of tutorials and many nights of frustration I was able to produce the tracks that you hear on my soundcloud page today. 

I am going to post the audio-engineering tutorials that I learned the most from over the next few weeks.

This first article is an interview with hit music producer Darren Tate.

Here are my favorite tips from the article:

- Side-chain the delay and reverb sends by putting a compressor on the send track.

- Open a filter just before a turn around.

- If a bass line is not even in different pitches you may need to eq for those pitches rather than only compress.

- Bounce all the drums, strings and bass in separate mixes and listen to them individually.

- Put flanger and phaser on vox.

I'll be back soon and in the meantime feel free to check out new content on my website and subscribe to my blog!  

Cecilia xo

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The New Music Seminar 2014

Having attended 5 music conferences in the last 18 months I might have sufficient authority to make a couple of broad statements about The New Music Seminar 2014.  Due, I expect, to its location in midtown Manhattan, the seminar was able to attract the upper echelon of the music industry better than any other conference I have attended recently.  I spoke, shook hands and handed my music to Jason Flom (CEO of Lava and ex-CEO of Atlantic and Capitol Records,)  Avery Lipman (co-founder of Republic Records,)  Craig Kallman (CEO of Atlantic Records,) and the list goes on and on and on.  It could well have been the best 2 days I have spent at any such function.  With a ticket price of $400 any of the 100 or so artists that were present must have found it was money well spent particularly if you were willing to do the reach-out ahead of time and the subsequent follow-up.  I could literally fill this page up dropping the names of the people I met but suffice to say if you are if you are an artist that has music more or less finished and geared towards the US pop or pop-ish market, make sure you get tickets when next year’s seminar rolls around :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Song Release!  "Nothing's Gonna Break My Faith In You"

This is a song inspired by Aretha Franklin's "Never Gonna Break My Faith" which is my favorite recording of all time.

There are no collaborators on this project.  This time I prepared a club mix length record for all you DJs out there!

Here it is:

Please find me on facebook etc.. by going through my website:

I answer every single message I get so don't be a stranger:)

Cecilia xo

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New record release! -  CRACKING
Collaboration with Walter Louis McCants Jr.

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Muah! Cecilia