To isolate and mix Electronic Drum Kit percussion parts, you’ll need to select kits listed under the Drum Machine section. To isolate and mix organic Drum Kit percussion parts, choose from any of the kits listed under the Producer Kits section. In theory, you could build drum parts individually, one track at a time, using the combined kit instruments, but this method will take far more time and will be much harder to compose intuitively through.

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!

It’s worth investing time developing a melody that allows your lyrical idea to fully register with the audience. So how do you write a tune that folks can remember irrespective of the lyrics? One that you can play as well as sing, one that is immediately recognizable covered by any one of a glockenspiel band, a choir, a bagpipe, or a thumb piano?

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+ Learn more on Soundfly: Expand your low-end sonic palette by learning the ropes of synth bass setup and performance in our new free course Synth Bass for Bass Players!

Ithaca is one of those college towns that kind of flies under the radar. Beautiful and serene, this secluded college town can often be seen as too remote, even though smart touring artists would be wise to look into the wealth of upstate New York university towns, including Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Anyway, Ithaca has earned its stripes well as a destination for touring bands, and for good reason. Among its many venues like The Haunt and The Dock, it’s also home to nonprofit Ithaca Underground, which helps emerging artists of all genres book shows and get their start. Plus, they’re one of the few organizations that put together multi-genre shows, so you can see punk rock, acoustic, and hip-hop all on the same bill.

One of my projects for this summer is to realize my decades-old ambition to learn how to scratch. I borrowed a Korg Kaoss DJ controller from a friend, downloaded Serato, and have been fumbling with it for a week now. The Kaoss DJ leaves much to be desired. The built-in Kaoss Pad is cool, but otherwise it’s too small and finicky. I will definitely want to upgrade to something with big, chunky buttons and more haptic feedback in general. Still, the Kaoss DJ is enough to get started with.

Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there’s so much you can do with these dynamic instruments.

Blues guitar is often defined by its light, natural-sounding distorted crunch and a pleasant, round tone. You’ll also need to use the natural expressiveness of the guitar to be able to play both softly and loudly during a blues song, and so I always recommend blues musicians going for a tube amp. Set your gain right where you can play lightly for a nice, clean tone, but where you’ll also get some tasty, soulful distortion when you dig into a note. If you’re getting a tube amp, I’d recommend getting something with a lower wattage so you can crank the gain right on the amp and use its natural distortion settings (no need for fancy pedals in the blues).

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Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

So, I wanted to hear someone play the chaconne in tempo, just to hear how it works. And since no one seems to play it that way, I finally went and got the MIDI from Dave’s JS Bach MIDI page and put it into Ableton Live. I added a bunch of triple meter Afro-Cuban drum patterns to help me feel the beat, and had them enter and exit wherever I heard a natural section boundary in the music. Contact me to hear the MIDI-only version.

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional support and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! That means you’re not just getting the course content, but a coach to bounce ideas off of and someone invested in your success. Check out The Art of Hip-Hop Production, Modern Pop Vocal Production, and Songwriting for Producers.

This album was also one of the only albums to be played start to finish by radio DJs at the time. They were encouraged by the indisputable hoards of screaming fans audible in the Apollo theatre audience. Bobby Byrd, one of the Famous Flames, said, “People were calling in, they really wanted to hear the whole thing, the excitement and everything.” The album catapulted James Brown from the chitlin circuit to the main stage.

Syrian-American and with a voice gorgeous enough for radio, Káryyn entered 2019 running at full speed, with her full-length debut The Quanta Series earning rave reviews. The album is a meditation on memory, loss, and connections. Káryyn was compelled to write it after losing relatives in Aleppo in 2011. Her productions evoke the sounds of contemporary electronic music, but morph and shift to evoke the grief her music is channelling. Through it all, the music is held together by a core of great songwriting and Káryyn’s exceptional singing. You can listen to the album here.