Morricone, Rota, Cipriani, Umiliani, Piccioni, Ortolani, Trovajoli: They’ve all influenced my work in countless ways, and not just in their shared collaboration with Edda Dell’Orso. Starting with Morricone and working my way down the line, I’ve tried to study the work of these composers as deeply as I can, and discover what it is about the kind of music they made which speaks to me on such a profound level.

Although most of these modes have been used quite sparsely in Western popular music (and mostly in jazz-fusion), some of them have been used more. The mode built on the fifth degree of a Harmonic minor scale, Phrygian (Major third), for example, has been used in heavy metal by guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore, while the mode built on the seventh degree of the Melodic Minor scale is commonly used in jazz over altered dominant chords (for example, try to use G# Superlocrian on a G#7(♭13) and unleash its altered, dissonant character).

It’s important to note that if something is naturally caffeinated, the caffeine can never be completely removed. Even “decaf” drink versions typically contain between 5-32 mg of caffeine. Stick with herbal-based coffees and teas, which are naturally caffeine-free. Next time you’re at the store, make sure to stock up on some mint, hibiscus, and chamomile!

Grants for choral groups

All you have to do is click the box. Purple means the click will play; when it’s not purple, it won’t. I personally recommend that you record both your piano and vocals to a click track to make sure everything you might record later on is in time. It’ll also make mixing and processing that much easier.

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Sydney, Australia. He founded the post-rock band sleepmakeswaves, with which he has toured Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In his spare time he writes music for short films, produces bands and subsists on altogether too much coffee. Alex is the instructor of the free Soundfly course, Live Clicks and Backing Tracks.

There’s no arguing with this point. It’s science. The dot-com boom geeks who wanted you to have all the world’s music for free were clever enough to deploy basic concepts in psychoacoustics, or the study of how the brain interprets sound, in the architecture of the MP3 format. A quick-and-dirty summary of the compression processes at play includes the use of minimum audition thresholds, and simulated masking and bit/sample-rate management via the Nyquist-Shannon Theorem to discard any sonic information that doesn’t contribute meaningfully to a human’s listening experience.

A mode is like a scale: It is a collection of pitches which have a certain relationship between each other. Just like any major or minor scale, a mode has a Tonic (a point of rest) and a “Dominant” (a point of tension which needs resolution). I have put the word Dominant in quotations because in the case of modes, the dominant is not always found on the 5th degree — like in any major scale for example — but it is the degree(s) which contain the characteristic note (the note that gives a certain mode its peculiar sound) that functions as a dominant.

My production challenge this month was an exercise in adaptivity. Instead of going out and finding outdoor sounds to capture and sample, like we did for April’s monthly challenge, we were tasked with the wonderful opportunity to use sounds from a brand new hip-hop adjacent sample pack that launched recently on Splice. [*Skip ahead to hear my final track.]

2000s hip hop songs

You may already be familiar with the process of mixing. If you’re reading this article, then it’s likely you are at least aware that live performances use sound mixing boards to balance out the volume levels, panning, and EQ of each instrument and microphone line to ensure the performance sounds properly balanced. You may also be familiar with studio-based mixing practices, which incorporates what I just mentioned, but also includes effects processing like reverb, chorus, delay, saturation, and auto-tune, which can be applied to individual tracks or the mix at large.

Wanna create something using Charles Burchell’s “The Luv Pack” on Splice? We’d love to feature your challenge track! Send it to Carter at [email protected].

The structure of your songs has a big impact on the way your listeners will take them in. Writing lyrics and a catchy melody is one thing, but sculpting the journey that one is taken on as they move through a song is what separates the best songwriters on the planet from everyone else.

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.

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