To return to the Akai S1000 briefly: The band has also stated that many of their most-loved sounds aren’t generated by synths at all, but rather by samplers. Part of their creative process revolved around recording actual sources — everything from live instruments to field recordings — and then purposely trying to mangle it beyond recognition with the sampler and tape machines. What results are those characteristic Boards of Canada sonic artifacts: fluctuating pitches, irregular timbres, and analog tones.
The problem is that these tendencies are the exact opposite of what we should be doing if we want to see real improvement, according to Dr. Anders Ericsson. And we might be wise to listen. Dr. Ericsson is widely considered one of the foremost thinkers on the subject of “expertise.” His research is one of the primary sources that inspired Malcolm Gladwell’s now-famous “10,000 Hour Rule” — that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to be an expert in anything. But that rule, though memorable, is far from the whole story.
That said, Hein makes a great point that often the debate is not about current technology versus better technology. Rather, it’s a question of using technology either to achieve a result or to achieve nothing. He says, “If you’re some freshman in music school, usually the choice is not ‘shall I have a live string quartet play this or shall I have it be fake strings in Sibelius?’ No. It’s fake strings in Sibelius or nothing. And certainly when they get out of music school it’s fake strings or nothing.” So, having technology be there to help us along doesn’t take anything away, it enables us to do more. The role of education needs to be to empower students to make the most out of what’s available and not to mistake technology’s comforts for their own creative acumen.
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In order to set up yourself for success, keep your cords, microphones, headphones, and instrument equipment organized in specific, consistent spots so you always know where they are when you need them. And then, after you’re done with them, always return these items to their respective spots. Put guitars in cases or hang them on the wall, coil cables when they’re not in use, and build shelves to store stuff that gets used less frequently. Big plastic storage bins are also a great option for extra cables and assorted items.
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.
Featuring a mix of artists you’ve never heard of (that are just waiting to be discovered) and old favorites, RapReup is a fantastic place to begin your next new discovery search. They focus almost exclusively on hip-hop, rap, and R&B so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Songwriters like me often draw from personal life and experience, or from the experiences of those around us; which is probably true of almost any writer in any literary format. But we may also get inspired by and invested in the characters in TV shows, films, and books as well. In fact, it is completely possible to get inspired by anything and everything in the world around you as a creative person. As long as you’re looking for it…
All of Soundfly’s 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! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them.
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This post is part of Flypaper’s Home Recording Week, where we’re sharing tips and insights from our community on home recording and production workflow. Read our featured articles here, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to make sure you never miss a beat!
Carter Lee is a bassist/educator/producer. He is originally from Edmonton, Canada and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to leading the hip-hop group, Tiger Speak, Lee is the music director for the bands of both Shea Rose and Moruf. He is also a sideman for countless other artists. Carter brings his wealth of experience in many different musical situations to the Soundfly team and is eager to help any musician who is hoping to better their band. Check out his course Building a Better Band on Soundfly today!
But Mitski (she’s much more impressive than Sum 41, not sorry) has a voice and quality in her music that feels super cathartic — it’s like she’s reading from your diary and releasing your demons for you. She’s also Asian-American, and I grew up with zero Asian-American musicians to look up to.
My most memorable musical experience might still be my musical beginnings—three young teenagers in a basement trying to figure out how to play “Highway to Hell” and not totally suck—and loving every second of it.
When the studio asked for a song that sounds like The Beatles, Schlesinger decided to use similar instruments, style, and production techniques from the time period. If anyone in their 40s or 50s walked into the theater to watch the film, they were immediately transported back to their youth. For those of us too young to have lived through the early 1960s, it’s likely that our parents introduced us to the music of The Beatles at some point so that we’d have our own developmental reference point as well.