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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.

Soundfly partners with leading edge music education sites and services to bring you unique tips, tools, and stories to empower and inspire our community to find their sound.

While you certainly want to stay true to your own artistic style and write songs that are not a carbon copy of the next big thing in your genre, you also don’t want to misread your audience. For example, fans of John Mayer may have latched onto your recent acoustic singer/songwriter-esque release, but they may jump ship when they hear the synth heavy alt-rock that you’ve been crafting.

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In the long run, the subtle ways you develop your brand, your image, and your story have a huge effect on the success you can achieve in your career. The way you tell your story as an artist will allow you to relate to fans on a deeper level. And on top of that, it serves as a differentiator. Undoubtedly there are a lot of musicians and bands out there who create music similar to yours, but a story or narrative allows you to go beyond the music and stand out.

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.]

We are only able to produce sound due to our vocal folds coming together and making very fast vibrations — hundreds of times per second! And the tempo of these vibrations are determined by the pitch we’re singing. For lower pitches, slower vibrations occur, and for higher pitches, faster vibrations take place.

Wait, let me back up. Actually, I did know they existed because we put one in our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for musicians recently. But, seriously, who knew that this was actually “a thing,” and that there are literally hundreds of different coloring books out there for almost every cultural fan community? It seems today’s biggest pop stars are out there eagerly awaiting to be colored in.

Modes and Key Signatures have a variety of different characteristics and are great for outside-the-box songwriting. Here’s a cheat sheet to remember them!

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Beyond training for classical and jazz performance, it’s common now to be learning music mostly on our own. But perhaps we need to start considering how impactful the tools themselves can be on our educational path. 

Phase also operates more deeply within the architecture of signal processing, itself. A vintage analog EQ unit uses capacitors and inductors to shift the phase of the signal passing through it. And the same goes for most digital equalizers, many of which are designed to model the distinct and desirable characteristics of those good ol’ analog boxes. There are linear phase EQs available digitally that do not function using phase shifting, but they are a relatively special case.

In this new series of spotlights, we’re introducing our full roster of Soundfly Mentors so you can choose who you want to work with on your next project!

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Dive deep into production-related topics like Modern and Advanced Mix Techniques, Songwriting for Producers, or Making Music in Logic Pro X, or work with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve a musical goal specific to you!

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