Electronic Drums Vs Acoustic Drums

Electronic Drums VS Acoustic Drums

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If this was 1998, I would have told you, “Dude, NO! Go to a studio and record a real drummer on a real drum set and let’s move on with the project!” But, it’s not 1998, and we are here, today, thinking about which way to go with the drums. So, if you’re asking me; 

“Electronic drum set in the studio for serious productions?”
YES PLEASE!


Hey everybody, Avi here. As you can understand from this intro, this post is leaning heavily to the electronic drums side. So, if you’re a hardcore, old timer, “acoustic drum recording in big studios” kinda type, this may not be for you. 


I won’t forget the first time I recorded acoustic drums. I had a high school-type band, and we went to this dude’s house to record our drummer. We set up the drums in the middle of his living room on a brown carpet that smelled like cat food and beer.

We recorded the whole set with only 3 microphones. One for the bass drum, one for the hi-hat and the snare, and one as an overhead mic for the whole set. It sounded like pure shit, but we were high on it! This was my first drum recording experience. Since then, I’ve recorded quite a few drummers in big studios, and although it sounded nice, I really hated the whole process.


Acoustic Drums Recording – The process from back in the day.

I used to take my drummers and drive for an hour to get to my favorite studio. We would set up the drums and microphones for an hour, or even more, and then start recording. After that, we would export the files and all the takes from Protools to my Cubase.

At the time, I was doing my beat detection on Protools before I would open the files on Cubase, but sometimes I would fix the timing on Cubase manually, which was an exhausting process that took me literally hours. After that, I sometimes replaced some drums like the snare or toms or bass drum, or just added extra samples and sounds to it with midi. And then, after all this work, I’m still stuck with one set, one sound, and one drum take for one song.


Electronic Drums Saves The Day

Around 2007, I really started exploring new continents of creation with electronic drums. I produced my first electronic drums punk rock album. It was an 8-song album. I recorded all of them with a complete toy drum set: Yamaha DD-65.

The first drum software I ever used was Addictive Drums. It took a lot of work to actually convince my client that this is the best option for the budget and that he should close his eyes and give this option a real chance. He did, and he eventually loved it and even told me that out of all of his four albums, the one we recorded with a toy drum machine and a drum plugin was his best album.


My First Real Electronic Drum Set

Roland V-drums TD-9sx. I didn’t really need more than this drum set for all of my music productions. Drummers used to come to my studio, sit on this drum set, get used to it, and then record.

 The sessions were short, the sound was amazing, and the artist and I were happy! This is exactly what I needed. After the session was over, I could change everything. From the playing, timing corrections to adding or changing whole parts. The most important thing is, I could change the whole drum set to whatever set I liked. This alone was enough for me. I was hooked.


Kill The Drummer?

No way! I’m always saying this. Electronic drums are maybe replacing the traditional instrument of the drummer, but they won’t replace the drummer. Yes, we have recorded midi parts, but they can never replace a real drummer on the set that is playing his parts for our specific song, at least in my humble opinion.

There is something special in getting a real drummer to play on our production, and this won’t go away soon. So, no, the drummer is not dead. We just added a more versatile instrument to his arsenal. I also want to say that I still think that real drum sets are cool and definitely necessary, mostly on stage, or if you just really want to record them.


The Module Sounds VS Plugins.

Today’s modules are pretty much amazing, no doubt. But, there is some magic in the plugins world. So, the way I see it: on stage, it’ll be a smart move to use the steady and trusty drum module. But, in the studio, plugins are taking the lead. As producers, we love to fiddle with interfaces, different sounds and samples, effects, and mixing components, which you can find on any drum plugin today. Here’s a post I wrote about the subject.

The Best Drum Plugins


Electronic Drums Sets

Roland really nailed it with their electronic drums technology. Everything from the modules, the drums, the looks, and the sounds of it, is amazing. So, they are on the top of my list, but they are not the only company to look for while searching for an electronic drum set.


New VS Old

This really comes down to personal preference, specific needs, and of course, budget. When I first bought my new Roland V-drums TD9sx, I bought it from some nice rich dude who didn’t know what to do with the set. He sold it to me for a very small price, and I didn’t really need more than that. It had everything I wished for in an electronic drum set, and every time I needed more, I just added extra components like cymbals, floor toms, extra pedals, and such. 

You can always extend and build your own kit, as long as the module allows it. If you’re are on a limited budget, you can really find a good condition V-Drums set for a great price. The second-hand market is full of great options. If you’re a “New everything” kinda person, you can go for a new drum set, of course.


Electronic Drums Vs Acoustic Drums

Roland V-Drums TD 25 (via Amazon)
Electric Drums Roland TD 25

This is a mid-level kit from Roland, I really like this kit because it’s relatively small and doesn’t take a lot of space in the studio, which is a big factor for a lot of us home-studio-based producers. It comes with all mash pads, which is a must for me.

It’s very important for drummers to get that real feedback from the instruments, and mash pads are the way to do it. The TD25 has a great module with great sounds, but most of us producers prefer using drum software, so modules are not the most important thing in my opinion. If you’re into bigger and more expensive V-Drums, you should really check out the Roland V-Drums TD50K.

 

Features:
• Dynamic, expressive playability and quick customization
• Advanced SuperNATURAL sound engine based on the TD-30
• Sound quality and expressiveness equivalent to the top-of-the-line V-Drums
• Logical interface for easily swapping and customizing each drum and cymbal in a kit
• PDX-100 10″ mesh-head snare pad with support for rim-shots and cross-sticks
• 3 mesh-head tom pads PD-85BK 8″ pads for rack toms, 1 PDX-100 10″ pad for floor tom
• VH-11 V-Hi-hat mounts on a standard hi-hat stand; offers realistic motion and natural feel
• 2 CY-12C 12″ crash cymbals with natural swinging motion, edge/bow sensors, and choke control
• CY-13R 13″ ride cymbal with natural swinging motion and edge/bow/bell triggering
• KD-9 kick pad with cloth head for great feel and solid playability
• Play along with WAV/MP3 songs and capture drum performances as audio on a USB stick
• Build drumming skills with the onboard Coach functions
• Quick-access metronome with a dedicated screen, on/off button, and tempo knob
• USB host port for audio/MIDI communication with a computer

 

Yamaha DTX720K (via Amazon)

The funny thing about Yamaha is that other electronic drums manufacturers are sampling Yamaha’s acoustic drum sets, and they will never tell you about it. This one is a mid-level electronic drum set. Much like the TD25, it is small and doesn’t take a lot of space in our little home studios.

 

The Yamaha models are different, mostly, in the way that their electronic drum pads are built. They don’t use mash pads like most of the others. They have a different technology called “DTX Pad”. Yamaha worked with top drummers to achieve that unique feel and natural feedback out of the DTX Pad. In my personal opinion, this is the best electronic drum pad out there.

 

The engineers in Yamaha just nailed it with the drum pads and also with the cymbal pads. They feel great, they look great, and they definitely respond great to every little touch of the stick. The DTX module has amazing sounds and some of the best acoustic snare samples I’ve ever heard on a module.

 

Features:
• Includes KP100 kick, XP80 snare, 3 XP70 toms, 2 PCY135 cymbals, RHH135 hi-hat, HS740A hi-hat stand, DTX700 module, and RS502 rack
• Textured Cellular Silicone (TCS) heads provide realistic performance
• 3-zone cymbals deliver authentic playability
• 2-zone hi-hat with edge and bow sections yields open, closed, and foot splash sounds
• Real hi-hat controller and included hi-hat stand for realistic feel and playability
• Piezo trigger sensors and dual-zone rim switches allow for expressive playing
• DTX-Pads are matched for consistent performance
• 1,396 voices include 1,268 acoustic drum sounds and 128 instrument voices
• Acoustic drum sounds were taken from Yamaha’s inventory of legendary drums
• Instrument voices include sounds taken from Yamaha’s MOTIF XF synthesizer
• Onboard mixer makes setting kick, snare, tom, cymbal, hi-hat, and click levels easy
• Load your own samples from a USB flash drive to create a custom e-drum kit
• Record MIDI into your DAW and play it back using your favorite virtual drum software

 

Alesis Strike Kit (via Amazon)
Alesis Strike Kit drums

First, I didn’t like Alesis’s electronic drum sets at all, but they’ve made a lot of progress over the years.

The Alesis Strike Kit is one of their top models. It is not a small set like the others and not that compact, but will give you the amazing feel of a real size acoustic drum set. It also has a slightly lower price. The thing that I really love about Alesis is that they give you a lot more for the money. For example, standard size snare drum, bigger floor drums, bigger hi-hat, and more cymbal pads. Alesis uses a black mash on their drums, which is very cool when you get used to it. The drum bodies are made out of real wood, which gives the set a very cool and beefy look. This set will look amazing on stage and in the studio.

The module is full of great sounds and features. More than you’ll ever need for an electronic drum set in the studio. So, if you have room for a full-size drum kit and you really want to give your drummers a good and authentic drumming experience without breaking the bank, this is the one to go with.

Features:
• Designed to look and respond like an acoustic set
• Holds its own with some of the industry’s premier e-drum kits
• Comes loaded with 100 complete drum kits and 1,760 sounds
• Wood shells and tuneable mesh heads respond like acoustic drums with low noise
• “Hammered” cymbals have a controlled bounce and good stick response
• Fusion drum sizes provide a comfortable transition between acoustic and electronic kits
• Dual-zoned toms, snare, and cymbals and a 3-zoned ride yield dynamic performances
• Includes a 14″ snare, 8/10/12″ toms, and a 14″ kick
• Includes a 14″ crash, 16″ ride, and 12″ hi-hat
• Strike drum module with 4.3″ color LCD lets you edit drum sounds with ease
• Mixer faders give you complete control of your mix into headphones or speakers
• 8 direct outputs allow for studio-quality record editing
• Strike Software Editor lets you import new drum sounds into the module over Mac/PC
• Onboard sampler lets you capture organic sounds right from the module
• MIDI and USB connections communicate with your virtual instruments and samplers
• Includes a drum rack and double-braced snare stand for dependable setups
• Included cables, drum key, and cable wraps get you up and drumming in no time


So these are my recommendations for small, affordable, and yet professional electronic drum sets for the small production studios. Thank you for reading.

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MIXING

Mixing On Headphones

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Mixing On Headphones

Mixing On Headphones

Mixing On Headphones

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Is it possible to mix a whole song and get very good results only on headphones? Yes, it is!
I’ll gladly tell you everything I know about mixing on headphones but first I have to say; 


Headphones will never replace a good set of monitors in a studio environment. Does it mean that your mixes will sound bad? HELL NO! 
You can definitely pull out a badass mix only on headphones.

Hi everybody, in this article, I’m going to give you my personal philosophy on mixing with headphones. In almost every mix I did, I used headphones at some point to have another point of view on my mix. Of course that most of my mixes were done on a good set of speakers in an acoustically treated room. But the reality is that there are things that you can hear on headphones and can hardly hear on speakers.


Let’s start with the Pros & Cons

Pros

  • With headphones, you don’t have to worry about room acoustics.
  • You save a lot of money on speakers and acoustic treatment.
  • You can work in the middle of the night without worry about your neighbors.
  • You can travel and mix anywhere, you have the same reference everywhere you go.
  • It’s easier to hear the small details on headphones.
  • The stereo information is much more noticeable.
  • Every spot is the sweet spot and you can move freely.

Cons

  • Mixing on headphones at high levels for long periods of time can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
  • Ear fatigue is more common when using headphones.
  • You don’t get the physical “full-body” experience that you get when using loudspeakers.
  • The signal comes from the sides of the head instead of the front, which is less natural in most cases.

Basic Rules

In general, if you ask me whether I prefer good speakers in a bad sounding room or a good set of mixing headphones? I would probably go for the headphones. But there are some basic rules I would follow.

What Headphones?

First, not every set of headphones are good for mixing. You probably won’t have a good mix on your Apple earbuds. You should have balanced sounding headphones with a flat frequency response, preferably a dedicated open back mixing headphones. So in the last part of this article, you will find a list of my preferred mixing headphones.

Open-Back or Closed-Back - What's The Difference?

Closed-back

These are built with isolation in mind. The objective is to isolate the listener from the surroundings and help him focus only on what the headphones are playing. This is good for recording in the studio, where you don’t want the leakage from the headphones to reach the microphone. 



This also helps to prevent noises around you from reaching your ears. Another example is if you don’t want people around you to hear what you are listening to. 

Closed-back headphones are naturally boosted in the low range, so they have more bass. In most cases, they will introduce ear fatigue much sooner and you will have to take more frequent breaks to let your ears “breathe”.

Open-back


As the name implies, the back of the headphones is open and there’s no physical acoustical barrier between the driver and the back wall of the headphones. 

This means there’s no isolation and everyone around you can hear what you’re listening to. But this is the only drawback. 

Open-back headphones give you a more natural sound, and most of the time they are aimed towards more professional uses.

Because it’s open it allows you to listen to music for literally hours before you get tired. They also give the natural feeling that you get when listening to a set of speakers. 

This is called a “Wider soundstage” where you can almost hear the location of the musical instruments in the room around you.

How Does It Feel On My Skin?

Try not to use headphones with non-breathable materials, use headphones cushions with an exposed foam covered with some sort of cloth. Similar to the classic Beyerdynamic DT 990.



If your preferred mixing headphones does not have such a foam, you can always create it yourself somehow, it’s not a big deal. This will prevent over sweating and itchy feeling on your skin.

What Levels

Never go above a certain level, it’ll help delay the ear fatigue that will inevitably show up. Once you’ve reached the point of ear fatigue, your mix is only going downhill from here. 

Remember to lower the levels all the time, because we have a natural tendency to increase the volume without even noticing. 

If you need, even write it in front of you, so you’ll never forget it. 

One good trick is to set the volume to a level that allows you to handle a conversation with a friend while the music is playing. You’ll know you’re at a good level when you won’t feel the need to raise your voice when you talk.

Don’t Use Your Emotions While You’re Mixing

Yeah I know, this is a very bold statement but the minute I stopped using my emotions, I got better and much more accurate mixes. Sometimes we feel like the music is more enjoyable when we turn up the levels. This is a lie! 



Try to be as technical and as accurate as you can be, you’ll thank me later. 
By the way, this is also true for mixing on speakers.

Tips

Reference Tracks

When it comes to audio we can never trust our memory. Always keep a few of your favorite tracks as a reference. Listen to them from time to time. That will give you a reference point, so you’ll never lose your direction while in the heat of mixing. 



The best thing you can do is pull up a professionally mixed track with the same musical key as the track you’re working on. Not a lot of people are talking about this, but using reference tracks with the same musical key will bring you much closer to your end goal.

Take A Break

Every 25 minutes of mixing, you should take at least 5 minutes of complete silence. Sometimes it’ll feel like you don’t need it but trust me, you’re going to. This is like Viagra for your ears. It’ll make you last longer!

Use More Pairs of Headphones

Just as working with speakers, you would want to have more pairs of headphones for reference.
This will give you another important perspective on your mix, so you could make small adjustments and hear stuff you couldn’t hear on your main headphones. 



This time you can use your Apple earbuds. They will give you a real-world perspective on your mix. I would also have one of those cheap Bluetooth speakers next to me to serve as a shitbox monitor.

Calibrate Your Headphones

In the old days, I used to put an EQ on my master channel in the DAW and set it to make my headphones sound flat. I usually give it a little boost in the lows, a little deep in the high mid and a little touch in the highs.

This gave me a more balanced output from the headphones relative to my hearing. 

Today we don’t have to do it manually. With the Sonarworks Headphone Calibration plugin, we can achieve a much more accurate result. We just choose our headphones from the preset list and we’re all set. Watch the video for a full demonstration.



You should also check out Waves NX which simulates an actual room inside your headphones. The plugin is working with your camera. It follows your face and head movements and makes micro-adjustments in the plugin accordingly, It’s a crazy concept, give it a try.

So, can you pull out a great mix on the right headphones? Hell yeah! 
Happy mixing guys!

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BEST MIDI KEYBOARD FOR BEGINNERS Small

Best Midi Keyboard For Beginners

BEST MIDI KEYBOARD FOR BEGINNERS Large

Best Midi Keyboard For Beginners

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KEYBOARDS! How I love midi keyboards!

Hi everybody, Avi here. On this post, I give you a list of the best midi keyboards for beginners. Every beginner has its own style of music creation so I tried to touch every genre of music and which midi keyboard is best for it. I’m sure you will find a midi keyboard you like on my list.

First, I’ll tell you that the midi keyboard is the king of all instruments for music production. Most music producers are starting with a keyboard and that is a great thing. You can not play drums and strings on your guitar. If you’re a real producer, you need to be very comfortable around the black and white keys next to your computer keyboard and that is a hard fact.

What Is Midi

MIDI – “Musical Instrument Digital Interface” is a language. It is not notes or sounds, it is just data, transmitted by digital instruments and audio systems over to digital instruments and audio systems. The data that is transferred is telling the receiving device what to play and which parameters to change. A midi keyboard sends this data to the computer which sends it to the receiving instrument, whether it’s a virtual synth, any outboard device, plugins or DAW’s. A midi controller or a keyboard usually doesn’t have sounds of its own.

The History Of Midi

Midi was first developed in the 80s, which was a very interesting decade to grow up in for us music producers and electronic musicians. The midi standard was offered to all the major companies and in an act of unification and for the greater good of all of us, they started implementing it in all of their instruments. Midi has changed the music world for ever. With the introduction of Midi technology, a lot of musicians could create new styles of music and complex sequences without the need of actually playing the instrument.

Different Midi Keyboards

Basically, you can use any midi keyboard to make almost any kind of music you want. But there are some keyboards that are more suitable for certain styles of music. For example, if you want to play a piano part, it will be best if you pick a midi keyboard that most resembles the size and feel of a real piano. That’s how you can get the closest result to the original instrument. If you’re an electronic music producer on the road for example, you would want to travel light and maybe go for much smaller instruments. 
On this list you would find the best midi keyboard for your needs.

Best Midi Keyboard For Beginners

Mini Size, Mini Keyboards

Akai MPK Mini mk2

The MPK Mini mk2 is a great little portable controller that you can easily fit into any backpack, along with your laptop and take it with you around the world. It requires only a usb cable to work. It is also a brilliant controller to have on a busy studio desk. Sometimes you just want to record small and simple parts. Or just go over presets and sounds and you just need a little keyboard to trigger them and still have enough space for your coffee cup or other small controllers and instruments. The MPK Mini mk2 also has a beautiful design. I love this mix of red and black colors, hey just look at my logo. A visually good designed instrument helps you feel more creative and have more fun while making music. As for the price, the MKP is a very low-cost solution for music production on the go.

Main features:

 • 25 Mini Keys
 • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
 • 8 Assignable Knobs
 • 4-way Joystick
 • USB Powered Only
 • Software Package Included

Check latest price on Amazon

Arturia Minilab MK2

This sweet little keyboard is special, It is made to be the perfect companion for “Analog Lab”, Arturia’s synth software, but it works with any music software.

The Minilab is a full-featured MIDI controller designed to work with any music software that supports Midi or DAW. It has a brand new pitch and modulation touch strip controls. It takes a little time to get used to it but eventually you get it and it allows you to do things you can’t do with a regular pitch and modulation control. This keyboard has the best feeling mini keys I’ve ever tried on a mini keyboard. You can actually play complex music parts on this keyboard and get a very good feel out of it. The design is pretty special and it reminds me a little bit of Access virus snow which I LOVE. The Minilab mk1 had bigger wooden cheeks that give it a more organic look. On the mk2 version, they made the wooden ends a little smaller but they’re still there along with a few added features and upgrades.

Main features:

 • 25 Mini Keys
• 16 Endless Rotary Assignable Knobs
 • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
 • Touch Pitch & Modulation Control
 • Analog Lab Included
 • USB Powered Only

 

Check latest price on Amazon

Normal Size Keys, Small Keyboards

Alesis v25

Simple, built to last and super affordable. These are the Alesis v25’s main strong points.

This is a straight forward device, the design is very simple and cool. All black with blue lights. I also like the Alesis big logo on the back. First, the v25 is in the standard size keys category. It has two octaves of velocity sensitive 25 keys. It is a little bigger than the mini keys keyboards so it is a little harder to fit into a backpack but it’s definitely possible. The Alesis v25 needs its software in order to fully assign all of its controllers. The 8 backlit drum pads have very good sensitivity and the keyboard is pretty good also. Overall the Alesis v25 it’s just a keyboard you wouldn’t expect for this money.

If you like this keyboard but want more keys, you can check out the 49 and 61 versions of the Alesis V series.

Main features:

 • Compact USB controller for controlling plug-ins and virtual instruments
 • Full-sized, synth-action keys with a square front
 • 8 velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads
 • 4 illuminated, assignable knobs and 4 buttons
 • PitchBend and Modulation wheels
 • USB bus powered
 • Includes Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition

Check latest price on Amazon

Akai Professional MPK225

Now, this is a small keyboard for big boys, it is a complete midi workstation for the working producer, a professional product, it’s literally the model’s name. Although its price tag is aiming for professionals, I think this is a perfect 25 key midi controller to start with if your budget allows you. Ok let’s start with the design, the Akai Professional MPK225 is a beautiful midi controller. Again, Akai’s colors are amazing, and this mix of black and red is so cool in the studio. The keyboard is pretty big and sturdy and the built quality is superb. If I remember correctly, this is the first product in the professional series that has an LCD screen. The MPK225 has a backlit RGB drum pads, which means that they change colors according to the application they’re connected to, and work hand in hand with Ableton Live. The keys are semi-weighted which means that their mechanism is built a little stronger and they feel a little heavier. Akai’s professional series products also come with a NICE software bundle. Overall, the MPK225 is a cutting-edge production tool that will last for years to come and will have very few limitations in the studio. If you like it and you’re interested in more keys and controls, check out it’s bigger brothers, the MPK249 and the MPK261.

Main features:

•LCD Screen
•25 Full Size Semi-Weighted Keys
•After Touch
•8 Backlit RGB Drum Pads
•4 Assignable Knobs
•5 Pin MIDI In&Out
•Pitch & Modulation Wheels
•Foot Switch & Expression Input Jacks.

Check latest price on Amazon

Normal Size Keys, Small Keyboards

Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

Novation is a classic name in the music production industry. They are responsible for few of the most classic and famous products out there. The Lunchkey 61 MK2 has a great set of features and controls. It comes in a very cool black body and blue base and 16 backlit RGB pads. The pads support color feedback from Ableton live and they are also velocity sensitive. The Lounchkey is a great companion for your DAW. The Lounchkey has what’s called Synth-weighted Keys which is similar to semi-weighted keys and they’re also slightly narrower than the standard size keys so it may take some time to get used to. The keyboard has very high-quality keys, knobs, and faders. This is a great Midi controller and not only for the relatively low price. If you like it, you should know it also comes in 25 keys and 49 keys versions.

Main features:

•16 Touch sensitive multi-color launch pads with RGB-LEDs
•2 Launchpad control buttons
•8 Rotary knobs
•9 Faders
•LED Display
•Transport control
•Transpose-keys
•Pitch and Modulation wheel
•Backlit mode keys
•8 Mute/ solo keys
•Connections: USB
•Sustain pedal
•Dimensions: 990 x 120 x 320 mm
•Weight: 3.5 kg
•Including: Novation V-Station and Bass station software, Loopmasters Sample-Pack and Ableton Live Lite

Check latest price on Amazon

M-Audio Code 61

I am an avid M-Audio user for a long time in the studio. I always liked their instruments and the Code 61 is no different. It is a great controller for the studio producer and also for the live keyboard player. It is lighter than other big M-Audio midi controllers from the past but still built just as strong. There is something different, special in the design of the Code 61. First, it is a beautiful keyboard. The first visual thing that pops up is the square overall shape of the keyboard. M-Audio used to make rounder designs but I guess they went for a new look, and you know what? It’s very cool and I like it. The drum pads on the Code are backlit RGB pads and they are big and sturdy. The pitch and modulation wheels are located in the upper left corner of the keyboard which is a little weird for me personally because I come from the old world of synths and midi controllers but I guess M-Audio are trying to promote a new approach. In the bottom line, this is a great midi controller for the price.

Main features:

•61-note velocity-sensitive synth-style keyboard
•16 full-color RGB backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
•Eight knobs
•Nine sliders
•Six dedicated transport controls
•Pitch bend and modulation wheels
•Two Octave/Transpose buttons
•7-segment 3-character LED display
•Two Track/MIDI Channel buttons

Check latest price on Amazon

88 Keys Midi Keyboards (Piano Style)

M-Audio Keystation 88 II

This 88 keys M-Audio is a semi-weighted piano size keyboard. It is on my list because it is great for beginners, It is simple and very budget friendly. It’s relatively light and easy to take with you to live shows without breaking your back. I like it’s USB single cable operation, which means it gets the power thru the USB and you don’t have to worry about another power cable to carry on with you. The M-audio Keystation MK2 has enough features for every basic need and a little more. Features like pitch and modulation wheels and transport control for controlling your DAW without the need to reach the mouse and keyboard every time you need to play, stop or record yourself.

Back panel includes ON\OFF switch, volume pedal input, sustain pedal input, 5-pin midi output, USB plug and of course DC power input.

•88 semi-weighted keys
•Pitch, modulation and other control sources
•USB power for convenience
•Use with your computer or iPad

Check latest price on Amazon

M-Audio Hammer 88 Weighted Keys

This thing is built like a tank! The Hammer 88 is a full size, fully weighted piano style midi keyboard. With this keyboard, you’ll have a professional product with a friendly price. It is one of the smaller fully weighted midi keyboards out there so it can be great for live shows and in the studio, it won’t take a lot of important space. The interface is pretty simple, only pitch and modulation wheels, 2 buttons for changing the octaves and a volume slider. Some will say you don’t need more than that if you’re a real piano player. Another important thing with piano style keyboards is they need to be quiet and this one definitely is. Very quiet. So if you don’t care about the weight and you need a real piano feel with an affordable price, this is definitely for you. 

Main features:

•88 fully-weighted, hammer-action keys
•USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling music software, and more
•5-Pin MIDI DIN port for triggering external MIDI hardware
•Pitch bend and modulation wheels, volume fader, and +/- controls for expressive performances
•Multiple keyboard zones for layering, splits, and playing 4-note chords with a single key press
•Sustain, Expression, and Soft pedal jacks
•USB-powered; power adapter available separately for stand-alone use
•Class-compliant, no drivers required, plug-and-play connectivity with Mac/PC
•iOS compatibility via Apple Camera Connection Kit (available separately)
•Included Hammer 88 Controller Editor and premium software suite
•Music rest included

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Speakers For Music Production

Speakers For Music Production

Speakers For Music Production

Speakers For Music Production

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Hey, everybody, I’m Avi from AudioStreets and I have been a music producer for the last 15 years. This is my take on speakers for music production. First I have to say that when I’m buying speakers I’m not buying them for mixing as a first goal. For me, the main purpose of a good speaker is that it will be fun to produce music on. That is why I think that any studio, small or big should have a few pairs of monitors but this is all pointing out the obvious of course, let’s get to the good stuff!

In today’s world of music production there is no shortage in good monitors
But it’s important to know that most of all, choosing the right monitor is based on personal taste. YEP.
Because we all hear a little different so it’s only natural that we’d have different preferences.

Every time I go to a music store I go directly to the monitors room to hear their speakers.
And almost every time I listen to speakers the best sounding speakers for me are not the most expensive ones. Before you choose the right speaker for yourself, you have to ask yourself a few questions:

1. What are the dimensions of your room, is it big? medium? or a small room?
2. What is your main reason for buying the speakers?
3. How far do you want to sit from the speakers?
4. what genre of music are you planning to produce?

I assume most of you have small rooms and you’re going to need a near field monitor.
But if it’s not the case, I’ll write a post about bigger setups in the near future.

So I’ll quickly go over the answers:

1. As I said I write this post assuming that you are sitting in a relatively small room, 10fit X 13fit more or less.
in this case, we are talking only on near-field monitors or smaller. any monitor bigger then that will not have the proper space to develop the right sound at the sweet spot.

2. The reason should be based on music producing needs but almost any studio monitor is good enough for mixing & mastering.

3. When we are talking about near field monitors and getting the best out of the speaker in the sweet spot, the sitting distance from the speakers should be approximately 4 to 6 fit away. Any other distance and you will not get the optimal performance out of the speaker.

4. This one is based only on personal opinion, I believe that genre is a very important factor when looking for the right monitor. There are a few studio speaker companies that are known to be preferred by different artists in different genres. This should not be a real factor unless it gives you another good reference point, and it does. When you’re using a monitor that a lot of artists in your genre use, it gets you even closer.

I know that not everybody is going to agree with me on this, and that’s why I said, this is a personal opinion.
Do what’s best for you. Now the list for my favorite Speakers For Music Production.

This list is not taking the budget factor into consideration.

Best Speakers For Music Production

Yamaha HS8

I was never a Yamaha fanboy when it comes to speakers, wasn’t on the NS10 train also… but this monitor is really special, it is just so much fun to work with. It would not be my first or even my 4th choice for mixing and mastering because It sounds so big and crazy fun!
But “FUN” is exactly why it would be my first choice for music production. It is built in a traditional way in an MDF box with simple controls on the back. The best thing about this speaker is the amount of level you can get out of it without distorting the signal. It also feels like it wants you to crank up the levels to a proper working level to really get the best out of it. This monitor is a little bigger then the others, it has an 8″ woofer and a dome tweeter. This woofer size can really make you feel the bass thump in your chest and this is why I chose it over its little brothers. It looks kinda like the NS10 which I like, It is a good look for the studio in my opinion. The HS8 range goes down to 35hz which will rattle all your doors and will open all the screws in your house. The HS8 is significantly cheaper than the others on this list but it is like the underground opponent that came in from nowhere and gained a lot of respect just for being that good.
I must say that I loved on most genres although it sounded a bit too aggressive for acoustic stuff. Just my opinion.
In the end, this is a really great monitor to produce music on or just listen to music. It’s going to be so much fun! YEAHHH!

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Dynaudio BM5 MKIII

I have an Israeli friend who is making trance music. Israel is considered to be one of the biggest exporters of trance music.
Every trance guy I ever knew is working with the Dynaudios and swear by it like it’s the holy grail of all studio monitors.
After a few years of knowing that, I had to test it for myself. I went to the store and got a pair of BM5 MKIII for a week of testing before buying. After one week with this speaker, I’ve come to the conclusion that the hype was true! I absolutely loved it. At first, it sounded a little two dimensional and flat but in time I’ve learned to work with it and couldn’t let go.
It has a great filtering system on the back panel, great sounding tweeter, very punchy bass and clear mid range.
I did not have the need to use my sub with this monitor because it feels like it gets low enough.
I could work for hours without getting that familiar ear fatigue that I was getting with a lot of other speakers.
I didn’t end up buying it but I wouldn’t hesitate the next time I have the opportunity. You can also check out the Dynaudio BM6A on Amazon.

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Adam A7x

This one is a little different. Usually, I don’t go for the flat sounding monitor and I don’t really care for accuracy once I get to know the speaker and my room better. Adam A7x was my main monitor for a few years and I had a weird relationship with it. I didn’t automatically like it, it was a little painful on the high end and weak on the low end. Adam’s tweeters are known to be crazy hard to a degree that a lot of times I used to put a little filter on the tweeter to soften them a bit. Also the bass does not go low enough and it is not that punchy. But boy, did I produce the best sounding mixes ever on them! it is so accurate and clear, I could hear long reverb tails even under a whole pumping mix.
I’m able to hear even the slightest EQ compression changes. The whole midsection from 500hz up to 6K is so on point that I didn’t want to replace it even tho I didn’t really like it. But I have to say that in my electronic music era I really needed a sub along with the A7x cause I wanted to feel that satisfying “thump” in the chest. I just needed more bass to help me feel and enjoy the music while producing it. Bottom line, the Adam A7x is amazing but It would not be my first speaker for music production. It will be my absolute first choice for checking my mixes tho 🙂

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Genelec 8040B

Now, this speaker is amazing, I fell in love with the Genelec company when I first heard them in the store next to all the others. I started with their little model, the 8020A and I swear it sounded “bigger” then the other physically bigger speakers around it. It a was clean, sharp and a beautiful sounding speaker. I was listening to a movie score that I liked. You could hear the orchestra and the huge recording spaces, everything was 3D in the most impressive way possible from a speaker this size. Then I switched to some EDM and although it still sounded amazing for its size, the kicks and basses had almost zero balls. So I switched to it’s bigger brother, The 8030A and WOW! This is without a doubt the most impressive monitor I’ve listened to inside this store that day. So I decided to stretch my budget a little more and got the 8040B. This is a real piece of art in my humble opinion. A proper studio reference monitor. Like it’s little brothers it is made out of aluminium and is designed so well that if you closed your eyes you would never believe it’s that small. It was punchy with a clear midsection and brilliant highs. I can work for days on this beast and never get tired. This is definitely my first choice for music production purposes. Also, it does not fall short in the mix department. If I could pick only one speaker this is the one.

That’s it for now, guys, thanks for reading.

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Hey everybody, Avi here. I freaking LOVE preamps, don’t you? Back in the early 2000’s, when I’d just started recording music in a professional way, I was using the onboard preamps on my RME Fireface 400 interface. It was nice, until I started using REAL preamps. And this is what we are talking about in this post.

Disclaimer:

I’m not going to get too technical here, just share my own personal experience with these sweet devices. If you need more technical details, look at the links under every preamp section. Enjoy.

What Is A Preamp?

A preamp, in simple words, is an amplifier for a microphone. The microphone output is called “Mic Level”, and it is considered to be a very low level signal. The microphone voltage range is between -60dbv to -40dbv. It is, of course, a very low voltage level, and you have to amplify it in order to get it up to “Line level” (-10dbv). Most audio devices are accepting “Line level” signals. This is the most basic and first reason to use a preamp.

Phantom Power

This is the second reason for using a preamp. When you are using a condenser microphone that needs a phantom power to work, a preamp is the device that sends this power over to the microphone. A phantom power is not needed when connecting a dynamic microphone. In most cases, if you send a phantom power to a dynamic microphone, nothing will happen unless you’re using a ribbon microphone, I don’t recommend that.

Sound Character

Different preamps have different “colors”. Much like microphones, you can choose your preamp according to the signal you’re about to record. For example, certain preamps will sound better on acoustic guitars, while others will be great for vocals.

Which Preamp

Most audio interfaces today have at least one microphone preamp. Are they good enough?

They are good enough, without a doubt. For most purposes, and especially for home recording, when you don’t have to meet the highest industry standard. Also, most people would not be able to tell what kind of preamp you used. Especially under all these different processes.

However, after using this simple onboard, transparent, and characterless preamp, you will start to have dreams about those nicer sounding preamps. This is where you would want to see our list.

Higher Level Preamps

Those are built for much higher demands and possess all kinds of sonic qualities. Preamps are divided by classes and different technologies.

Vacuum Tube Preamp

For these preamps, the amplification is done with Tubes. These will have more emphasis on the low end frequencies, and also tend to have softer highs. These will work great on vocals, electric guitars, amps, basses, and basically every instrument that you want to sound warmer, rounder, and with softer high frequencies.

Discrete Preamp

These are built with different electronic components like transistors, resistors, and capacitors. Transistor based preamps are more fast and punchy sounding. They are very good for recording instruments and vocals, with emphasis on the midrange and higher frequencies.

For example, acoustic guitars, aggressive guitar amps, drums, vocals with more sharp and aggressive characteristics, and practically every source that you would want to have “that” character.

IC Preamp

It is very similar to discrete preamps, but is made with small chips planted on a board. Naturally, it will put out a more clean sound with a low noise floor. A lot of audio interfaces are using this technology, but in most cases, it’s not considered to be high end.

Cables

It doesn’t matter what preamp you’re using. It’s highly recommended to use high quality mic cables for the microphone and from the preamp output signal going to the audio interface. It makes a big difference, trust me.

Our Favorite Preamps:

This is a list of preamps that I liked using in the past and that I’m still using today. Price is not a factor for now, only personal taste. This list includes only products by known companies and which you can get in stores. I’ve used amazing preamps before that were built by private individuals that no one knows and that you can’t get in the store, but this I will leave to another post.

Golden Age Pre 73 MKIII

I first started with the first version of the Pre 73 in 2011. This was the first class A preamp that brought that expensive sound to the home recording producers. It had the Neve 73 style circuit; all discrete components and no IC at all. With 80db of input gain and a great output control knob, I could get all the colors I wanted. Everybody had this preamp, so I had to try it and see If I fall for the hype. I did. It was really amazing for it’s price. It had one significant drawback: high noise floor. It was a noisy preamp, no doubt. After piling some tracks on top of each other, you can definitely hear this noise. It was nice for loud rock productions, but when I needed a cleaner signal, this preamp was not the one to use. After that, came the MKII, and the noise was gone. It was amazing on almost every source. The only thing I didn’t record with it was strumming acoustic guitars. With the MKIII, they made it even better and added more features such as:

  • High pass filter with two positions, to cut the low end. 
  • Air boost EQ’s, two positions.
  • Renewed input gain knob.

This preamp has one of the best instrument input I have ever used. I absolutely love how it sounds on direct bass guitar. I also had a few songs where I didn’t even record an amp, just my clean G&L Custom straight to the instrument input and to logic with a little EQ and compression, and that’s it, sounds amazing. This pre does everything with remarkable results.

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Universal Audio Solo 610

This preamp is so much fun! I love it’s design; it looks like a piece of console taken from a Russian submarine from the 40’s. It is based on the original Putnam 610 console, which had a classic tube sound and was used in a lot of studios by a lot of famous artists. This preamp is equipped with a 12AX7 tube and a 12AT7 tube. Even though it has a very simple design, and very few controls, it is very easy to achieve a wide range of beautiful tones and colors with it. By using a low input gain setting, you can get a clean and almost transparent tone. As you increase the input gain and drive the tube, you add more beautiful and sweet sounding harmonic distortion to your source.

Vocals I’ve recorded with it came out very smooth and creamy, if I’m allowed to use these terms. It sounds relatively soft and very musical. I loved it on male vocals, electric guitars, bass, brasses, and pretty much any source in general. What about acoustic guitars, you ask? It’s pretty much the same as the Pre 73, I like it very much on finger picking acoustic guitar. It has a warm sound; full, and overall, very rich sound. I wish I had a whole console of these pre’s…

I also recommend trying the Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity preamp which has a discrete circuit in addition to the classic tube one, and you can mix between them with a mix knob. It also offers a lot of colors, features, and flexibility.

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API 512c

This beautiful beast came in an API Lunchbox. This preamp is a classic with origins back in the 60’s and 70’s. When I first started using this preamp, I was already using a bunch of other great preamps, so it was kinda hard to sweep me off my feet. But the API 512c brought a new era of sound to my recordings. Vocals sounded more punchy and clear in the midrange section, but still with a lot of low end body and high end precision. The 512c has a tendency to push every single detail to the front of the mix so it is perfect for pop vocals, rock, and any punchy sounding source.

It is great on electric guitars, bass, vocals, of course, and I also really like it on acoustic guitars. They sound clean, bright, and shiny, exactly how I like my acoustic guitars to sound. The 512c brings an old and classic flavor to the table. It is built exactly like the original ones, designed by Soul Walker. It is very musical and flexible. You can hear and see it in big production studios and in home recording studios as well. It is hand-assembled, very reliable, and built for years of hard work in the studio. I only wish it came with an output control and an independent box, but other than that, it is just perfect.

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OK, honestly, I didn’t expect this preamp to surprise me and sound that good, but it does! It is like everything that I ran through just came alive. It has a slightly compressed character; a little boost in the lows and highs, and every source that is going through it comes out a little processed. I usually don’t like a processed sound out of something that should give me a raw output, but in this case it is just magic! This unit sounds very special, and I use it anytime I need something to have a special place in a mix, or to cut through some production layers in a natural way. This one is also a 500 series, which I also liked to have in a half rack unit size. I’m a sucker for independent units, I admit it.

I first heard this preamp back in 2013. The Chandler Little Devil offers a lot of flexibility and tons of character to work with. I really like it on female vocals. It gives the ladies a brilliant shine and great breathy voice that throws me straight to Mariah Carey’s sound from the 90’s, but it might be just my own personal thing.

In the feature section, it is like all the others, but with the Little Devil, they add a little bright switch, which I like very much. It adds that cool boost in the highs, which gives a little air to the overall signal.

There is something very special that happens with the feedback knob, I won’t try to explain it here, because I don’t want to get it wrong, but I strongly recommend to read about it in the company’s website.

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This is a pricy one, but who thinks about money when you’re falling in love! The 737 is a big unit and, usually, I get scared when I work with big machines, after being used to working with small units. This one has a lot of knobs and lights and meters and weird symbols… it’s not for me,  I’m a simple dude! These were my first thoughts about this preamp. But, then I relaxed and gave it a listen. First, I need to say that this is not only a preamp, by definition, because it also has a compressor section and an EQ section. So, practically, it is a whole “Channel Strip”. I have a soft spot for real outboard compressors, so this was the first thing I started with.

The 737’s opto-compressor is really special. It resembles the classic LA2A compressor. It’s not the most aggressive compressor, which I like, and it has a cool behavior while it’s riding the peaks of an acoustic guitar or slap bass. The EQ is also on the sweet side. It’s highs are pretty soft, and it is quite easy to get a great, processed vocal right out of the box. Usually, I don’t recommend recording post process, because then you’re stuck with it. But if you’re experienced enough, and you know exactly what you’re after, it can help you achieve these very high end results. I know not everybody can afford this channel strip, and not everybody needs it, but if you, somehow, find it for a good price in second hand, snatch it, because it sounds beautiful, and you’re gonna love it! For sure.

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Best Condenser Mic For Vocals – On a Budget

Best Condenser Mic For Vocals - On a Budget

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MICROPHONES EVERYBODY! You know what, I really think that this subject is a bit overrated. I mean, yeah, microphones are super big deal of course, but today there are so many good ones, that it almost doesn’t matter which microphone to use as long as it is the right type of microphone for the current task.

Hey everybody, Avi here. I’m a music producer and sound engineer for more than 15 years.
In this post, I’ll write everything I know about condenser microphones that is actually important, and I’m also going to give you my list of the Best Condenser Microphones For Vocals.

Disclaimer:

The microphones on this list are considered to be affordable and not on the hyper expensive scale. I believe that above a certain price threshold the money is way above the value. But I’ll have another post about the very expensive elite microphones.

A Little History

The first condenser microphone was built in the early 1920’s. This microphone was huge in size and it’s goal was to pick up and record an entire orchestra. Condenser microphones use a vibrating diaphragm as a capacitor plate that converts acoustic movements to electrical information via preamplifier. This information is then transformed back to an acoustic information that we can hear via speakers.

Types Of Condenser Microphones & 48v Phantom Power

Condenser microphones are usually divided into two groups, small diaphragm and large diaphragm.
The small diaphragm microphones have a single pickup pattern that’s usually used for recording high frequency sources by nature, like acoustic guitars, hi-hats, percussions, etc.
The large diaphragm microphones come with larger variety of pick up patterns,
like cardioid directional, Omni directional, figure eight, and such.
The more popular one out of the two is the large diaphragm type condensers, and these are the ones we are talking about here.
Condenser microphones are electronic by nature, so they require either internal or external power to operate. Of course, most preamps these days come with a 48v phantom power for condenser microphones, so no problem there.

Pros & Cons Of A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Cons
I will start with the cons first. So a condenser microphone is very delicate because of the way it’s built. Usually you need to handle them with care. Most of the time, you won’t find large diaphragm condenser microphone on the stage because of it’s high sensitivity. Not only it is highly sensitive to humidity and temperature changes, it will also pick up the entire acoustic information on the stage and all around it in a great radius. This means a lot of unwanted noises on the channel, less control over the signal, and mostly feedback, as it is picking up it’s own signal coming from the monitors and PA speakers. So a large diaphragm condenser microphone does not belong on the stage in most cases.

Pros
On the other side, the recording studio is the natural home of the large diaphragm condenser microphone. An acoustic treated and isolated studio is the best environment for a condenser microphone, this is where it shines. Because of it’s very high sensitivity, the microphone picks up a beautiful range of frequencies on the human hearing spectrum and beyond. This works amazing with high frequency content sources and full range sources in general. Drums and cymbals, acoustic guitars, vocals, and pretty much any source you want to record in the studio.

Best Condenser Mic For Vocals

Here is my list: These are microphones that I’m personally using and have first-hand experience with them.

Neuman TLM 103
Neuman TLM 103
This is the first affordable, large condenser microphone made by Neuman. It is considered to be a work horse and it surely is. If I needed a “do it all” microphone on a budget, this would be the one, although I wouldn’t recommend using it with the wrong preamps. In my personal experience, it is very sensitive to different preamps and can sound harsh and even cheap when connected to the wrong preamp. Usually it is onboard preamps that you can find on cheap audio interfaces. In this case, the preamp will be the weak link and will determine the quality of the whole signal chain.
However, when paired with a good preamp, the TLM 103 truly shines!
It is amazingly capable of picking every type of instrument, vocal, drums, or percussions, and it does it in the most beautiful and professional manner.
So how is the TLM 103 as a vocal mic? I’m glad you asked. It is simply amazing just as expected from a company like Neuman. The TLM feels right at home in home production studios and in the professional studio environment. Some even use it for recording instruments on stage in live concerts. But what the 103 does best is picking up vocals, and especially female vocals. It adds a special bright magic to all the female vocalists I’ve ever recorded. After you’re done with the recording session and start with the mixing, the TLM 103 handles high and low boosts, compression, and other post recording processes like a real champ. 

Audio Technica AT2035

Audio Technica AT2035
I know, this one is not even in the right price range, it is cheap and too affordable, yes, but listen to me, guys. It is a brilliant condenser microphone that will not disappoint even the top productions in town. I always say that I don’t care about how much things cost, that I care only about their performance, and the Audio Technica AT2035 is a great example for that.
For years, I was using this microphone as a second microphone for all kinds of sessions.
It is truly amazing on male vocals, and again, breathtaking on female vocals. I actually had a female vocalist who preferred it over other much more expensive condenser microphones from different and much bigger companies.
One of the coolest things about this microphone is that it is not as finicky as the more expensive ones. It will sound good with any preamp. I used to record a lot of sources with the AT2035 going to the Apogee Duet 1 preamp and got a few of my best acoustic guitars of all time. I also love it on saxophone, amps, and of course vocals.
It gives me a lot of yummy details, punchy and clear midrange, soft highs, and very nice lows. Of course, it is not a Neuman u87, and you should not expect it to be, but when working with a limited budget, look no further than the Audio Tecnicha AT2035. It will last for years in and will always sound like it just got out of the box.
And if you’re looking for a cheaper version of this mic, please check out it’s little brother, the AT2020 which comes in a USB version also.

Shure SM27-LC


I first heard about the original SM27 from a friend at his studio. I think it was one of the first condenser microphones made by Shure. And, since I already LOVE Shure’s dynamic microphones, I had to give this baby a try. Listen, guys, it is a very special microphone with a very special sound. I can only give you my personal take on it, and you can decide whether it’s right or not for you. So after hearing so many condensers, cheap and not so cheap, and even “very not so cheap” I think the SM27,LC, next generation, sounds amazing for vocals. It has this soft character in it’s overall sound. It’s a bit hard to describe but I’ll try. Have you ever listened to a snare drum with a thin blanket over it? It becomes a little more soft-sounding. This is exactly what I experience with this microphone but without the drop in high frequencies. Harsh vocals suddenly become softer and round. I felt like it has that dynamic Shure signature sound. I hope you know what I’m trying to say here.
I loved the SM27-LC on acoustic guitars very much. It is one of the hardest sources to pick up, and this Shure beast does it great, too easily. With great presence, clear highs, and clear midrange, everything you record with it gets punchy, and cuts through a mix with ease. But I like it the most on male vocals.
Especially vocals that do not have a lot of mid,range and highs. It suddenly gives them the power they were missing, but in a very natural way. No need for EQ, just a low cut filter and you’re good to go. This is a really sweet microphone. You also need to check out the Shure KSM44. It is much more expensive, and I assume it will get it’s own review very soon.

AKG c214


I always liked AKG microphones but never owned them. The c214 is my first AKG.
This microphone reminded me of the older AKG’s like c3000 and such. They always sounded round and bassy to me but their highs weren’t that smooth. With the AKG c214, it’s almost the same, only the highs are more buttery smooth, and the overall sound is more accurate. This microphone handles high and low boosts in a beautiful way, which I can’t say that of a lot of condenser microphones in this price range.
The c214 is an amazing vocal condenser microphone, and it easily can be picked over all of the microphones in my list on certain vocals, especially deep male vocals. It has a very controlled low range to my ear, and it compliments deep voices. I also like it very much on acoustic and classic guitars. The c214 is very much an affordable version of the classic 414, although the 414 is more of a darker microphone. Unlike the 414, the c214 only has one pick up pattern, cardioid polar pattern. Most recording applications need only the cardioid pattern, especially vocals. So, it’s the perfect budget solution for those who like AKG’s sonic world. The c214 will also give you 414’s tone on drums. It is particularly amazing on snares. So I think the AKG c214 is a great compliment to any other microphone. It is a studio work horse and at this price, it’s a no brainer.

Audio Technica AT4040


The AT4040 is not a new microphone and is definitely my favorite Audio Technica condenser microphone. There is one word that describes this microphone the best, and it’s “Natural”. It is a very natural sounding microphone, which means, it’s great for absolutely everything. It doesn’t have hyped up high frequencies like some of the others on this list, it is not too punchy in the mid-range and fairly balanced in the low range. Maybe we can call it “Flat”. Almost boring, but this is where the fun begins. The AT4040 will sound very good on literately every vocalist.
It will pick up acoustic guitars in a very natural way and would also be very happy to accept your ״over the top״ EQ boosts. It is great on guitar amps, and especially clean electric guitar sounds. I also recorded an upright piano with it as well as brass instruments.
It is a sweet microphone, without a doubt. It doesn’t have a lot of features and options, quite the same as the AKG c412, except the little low cut switch, which is very usable in cases of proximity effect.

Best Condenser Mic For Vocals

That’s about it for this post, guys. I may add more microphones in the future.
Thank you for reading.

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Hey everybody, this is a list of the best open-back headphones for mixing. I personally own a few of them and have listened to almost all of them. Everything you’ll find here is based on my personal knowledge and experience. I hope you’ll enjoy and learn from it.
Headphones Calibration Plugins: Sonarworks | Waves NX

Sennheiser HD600

I’m an avid Sennheiser user for years and they never let me down. This time is no different. I’m a big fan of value for money and these headphones bring a lot of value for a lot of money, but it’s definitely worth every penny! Sennheiser always delivers a classic design which a lot of people love. Sometimes you don’t want to sit at your computer with a spaceship on your head. When I listen to the HD600 I can’t help but think about the sound of the Yamaha NS10 monitors. It is very mid-range biased, clear and gives a very detailed sound. The low end is also very accurate but not too “out there”. You will need to use one of the plugins I’ve mentioned above on the master channel if you want them tailored exactly for your needs. But I believe that any headphones will need that. The HD600 feel amazing on the head. Clearly, it’s built for long sessions. The materials feel very natural on the skin and this is a very big factor in mixing headphones.

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AKG K701

All you have to do is just mix one song completely on the K701 and then go listen to the mix on a few pairs of studio monitors and other headphones. You are going to be surprised at how little you want to change in your mix. This is a big deal guys. As for the design, I’m not a big fan of that double bow that AKG implements in all of their pro headphones but the grey color is captivating. Feels a little vintage. The price is not that attractive but like with the HD600, it is worth every penny. These didn’t feel like a studio reference headphones due to the fact that they just sound beautiful. I usually don’t trust beautiful things, always prefer the ugly truth. But AKG had an amazing achievement with these headphones, they sound beautiful and they are flat!

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Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X

Ok, It’s like that: If you want a studio reference headphones for the smallest price, these are for you. I’m a heavy Audio-Technica user, especially when it comes to microphones. They are L.E.G.I.T and these headphones definitely meet the high standard of the company. “Value for money,” you ask? Value – lots. Money–well it’s very cheap! 

You can work for long hours without even feeling like you have these headphones on your head. Happened to me. With the ATH-HD700X you’ll get an impressive amount of details across the whole spectrum. You won’t get a boomy low end but then again, I highly recommend one of the headphones calibration plugins mentioned above to avoid the lack of low-end information. It’s there, you just need to push it up a little bit.

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Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro

Many say that this is the king of all mixing headphones. I partially agree with that. The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro is a classic and considered to be an industry standard. They are built exactly like the DT 770 but with an open back design. The mix of grey and black is great and the headband is made out of metal which makes it more rigid and gives more confidence when handling. The DT990 are a bit on the larger side and is not designed with portability in mind. They have a consistent frequency response but like most open back designs they lack a little bit of sub bass. Nothing you can’t fix with a calibration plugin, though. The DT990 has a tendency to make you forget they are on your head after a while of using them. They will always give you a lot of details and very accurate special perception. They are not exactly flat in my opinion but once you know them well enough you can get very sweet results.

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Shure SRH1840

I’m an admitted Shure fan. I always feel like these headphones don’t get enough credit. Shure products have some sort of magic about them. These headphones are not different. The SRH1840 are very lightweight, that’s why they don’t need a lot of clamping force to hold them on your head. This design is very clean and simple and that is a good thing for all of us “head spaceships” haters. As expected, the SRH1840 deliver a breathtaking amount of details. The sound is very clean and flat across the whole spectrum. They are not bass heavy, just as studio reference headphones should be. The bass is definitely there and you can hear the different bass notes but if you know a thing or two about mixing you know that this is how it’s supposed to be.

The only thing I don’t like about this model is that it has a cable connection on each driver while most of them out these use only one connection going to the left driver. But it’s nothing you can’t live with. Bottom line – the Shure SRH1840 is a clear winner for me. The price is definitely up there but if you ask me, it’s completely worth it.

 

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BEST SMALL SYNTHESIZERS UNDER 500$ Small

Best Small Synthesizers Under 500$

BEST SMALL SYNTHESIZERS UNDER 500$

Best Small Synthesizers Under 500$

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If you’re a synth lab rat like me you are going to love this one. In this list you will find the coolest small size synths available today. Some people can take cool little machines like these and create real magic. This is what we’re here for. First, there are no rules and no guidelines other than the price.  These are the coolest synths you can find under 500$ according to Audio Streets. So let’s start.

Roland JD-Xi

So much sexiness in one little machine. Roland had done it again. Somehow everything they do comes out so sexy, or is it just me?? Anyways, this little beast is a frankenstein style fusion of:

  • Analog Monophonic Synthesizer 
  • Digital Synthesizer 
  • Drum Machine
  • 4 Track Sequencer
  • Digital FX Power House
  • Amazing Vocoder

It has a super nice sound engine that is capable of delivering deep low basses and beautiful and punchy sound across the whole frequency. I also think that this synth is beautifully designed and well built with great and durable materials. It can easily stand the test of time and make it to Roland’s wall of fame.

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Take a good look at this one, It’s weird, it’s interesting, it’s unique… well, it’s a MicroFreak. This is a Paraphonic synth that’s based on Arturia’s analog modeling technology. Its most interesting feature is definitely the keyboard. It feels like playing on a touch screen but it has a 3D feel to it. The MicroFreak is a hybrid, it has digital oscillators and analog filters. It’s a very sweet sounding synth, most of it’s presets sound very lush and sweet. So if you like to make electronic music that is not too aggressive and sharp, you might like the MicroFreak.

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Korg Monologue

Get ready for a true analog beast that has the classic character of the most amazing Korg synths out there. It doesn’t have any problem shooting you like a canon ball straight to the 70’s. Everything about the Korg Monologue screams quality. It is a close relative of the Korg Minilogue and It’s a monophonic true analog synth. That means real analog oscillators, filters and lots of analog components that directly affect the sound. It comes in several different colors: black, blue, red, silver and gold. The design is perfect and it also has a wooden panel which is always welcome.

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Novation Mininova

This is an ol’ trusty dog, it’s based on the older and bigger Ultranova. Novation synths have something very special about them. Solid design, easy to use, aggressive sound and excellent built quality. The Mininova is no different. It also comes with a microphone that connects through an XLR on the front panel which you can connect any dynamic microphone to it. It has great vocoder sounds. The Mininova comes with dedicated software for editing and controlling all its features through an easy and convenient interface. This is a brilliant synth.

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Behringer Model D

When I started making music back in the mid-’90s, Behringer wasn’t a name to call home about. But it seems that things are starting to change for the company. The quality of the Model D is nothing short of amazing. The design is clearly based on Moog synths but although looking like the Minimoog, the Model D holds it’s own in the category. So what do we have here? a great and familiar layout, easy to use interface, great built quality, and the sound is pretty much amazing. The Model D gives us the full analog experience at it’s best in a fraction of the price of its competition. Give it a try, you are going to love it.

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So many analog components in such a small and cute box. But don’t be confused by the small form factor, the SE-02 is a complete analog beast and it will undoubtedly give you Roland’s goodness at it’s best. This one is a collaboration between Roland and Studio Electronics, so it has an impressive legacy. It is controlled digitally but the sound itself comes from all analog high-end components. This will obviously remind you of the Minimoog but it has its own thing. The box is based on Roland’s boutique series, only it’s not a digital recreation of other old analog synths, it’s the real thing. It has amazing bass sounds, warm and lush leads, beautiful filters and overall very nostalgic sound. At that price point, the Roland SE-02 is definitely a must-have.

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I don’t think that there is one producer on earth that doesn’t know the MicroKorg. It’s considered one of the most popular synths in recent history. The MicroKorg has created a name for itself by standing the test of time. It was first introduced back in 2002 and is selling like crazy to this day. This is a digital-analog synth, it has a great sound engine is it’s capable of creating amazing deep analog-style sounds. Its interface is very special and unique but very simple. You learn how to use the synth in your first half an hour of playing with it. It has relatively big knobs and buttons which is very convenient. 37 micro keys that cover 3 octaves, and not surprisingly, it’s very nice to play on. The design is also very special, the grey or light green with the wooden panel on the sides give it an old punch and a wonderful possession feeling of a good quality product. The MicroKorg also has a nice vocoder which you can play thru cool presets or create your own. It’s also an FX power station, you can plug in any external audio source and run it thru the MicroKorg’s internal effects that sound simply amazing. I really believe that the MicroKorg is special enough to have in any working studio.

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Roland SH-01A

Remember the amazing, crazy, heard in countless hit songs, beautiful monophonic Roland SH-101? The SH-01A is kind of its advanced digital son. It’s more capable, more flexible and still sounds amazing! I sometimes judge a synth by its ability to wake your creativity up and get your creative juices going. The SH-01A is doing exactly that. It has a smooth interface, with cute little faders that are based on the design of its father, the SH-101. One of the new features that I really like is the gliders for pitch, modulation and other custom-configured features. The SH-01A is a polyphonic synth and it can play up to 4 notes at the same time. It has a rich sound and if you own one of those you will definitely enjoy it for years to come.

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Best High End Audio Interface For Home Studios

Best High-End Audio Interface For Home Studios

Best High End Audio Interface For Home Studios

Best High-End Audio Interface For Home Studios

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These days you can look under a rock deep in the forest and probably find some kind of generic audio interface. This is not what we’re doing here. In this post, we will talk about the highest quality, the best analog-to-digital conversion, the best dynamic range, best signal-to-noise ratio, best onboard preamps, and best design and usability.

Disclaimer: This is not a technical review, only my personal experience with these companies and some of their products.

After over 15 years of looking for that “PRO SOUND”, I can confidently say that the little percentage of difference in quality makes up for the disproportionate difference in price. To put it simply, there are a lot of romantic sound engineers that think their talent is all that is needed to get them inside the HIGH-END SOUND CLUB. So, yes. Your talent is the best quality tool you have, 

but if we’re talking about that small difference that will put you up there with the best, this is coming straight from the tools you’re using along the process.


Analog To Digital Conversion Quality

Every company has its standards. I will always go with the biggest names that were strong enough to give us the best quality products and not lose their pants in the process. So I’ve tried a lot of low-priced devices that gives an ok quality that you can work with, but on this post, you won’t find those.

How Many Inputs & Outputs Do I Need?


This is simple. If you already make music and you know your style and genre, then you know exactly how many ins and outs you will need, if you’re not yet making music, I’m not sure this is for you.

You have to earn it through years of experience on shity equipment so you’d be able to actually tell the differences
.

I really believe that. So this will be short. There are multiple quality audio interfaces out there to give you exactly what you need. If you’re not producing music yet, it is ok to start with an audio interface for beginners.


Output Quality


A few engineers and producers I’ve met in the past had the idea that the output quality is the same on all the audio interfaces. This is not true. After years of sitting in great quality studios with the best output chains in the market, I know that when you reach the final part of the mixing or mastering process, you can hear even the smallest changes in compressors, EQ’s, reverbs, delays, phase shifting and even the smallest change in level.

To be able to actually hear these small changes in that last critical stage of your mix or mastering, you need a very good if not high-end output chain. This means great room and acoustics, great monitors, great cables, great connectors, and of course a great audio interface. Without those, it will be a lot harder to get inside the HIGH-END SOUND CLUB.

The reality is, you can be the Stig itself (Top Gear’s driver) but you won’t be able to enter a Formula 1 race with your Prius and that is a fact.



Can I Get a Pro Setup for a Consumer Price?

First, you need to know that if you want high-end gear, you will need a decent budget, that is also a fact. We can’t and don’t really want to change it. Designing a high-end audio product takes the best human resources and the best quality physical components.

So is it possible to get a lot closer to the high-end sound club without breaking the bank? HELL YEAH! 

Fortunately, several years ago a few of the high-end companies have realized that the market is changing rapidly and decided to give us high-end level audio interfaces that are just inside the average consumer’s budget. If you consider yourself a pro or one who’s striving to sound like a pro, you better be smart with your purchases.

Start with a Good Input Chain

A good input chain consists of a good 
microphone, good cables, a good preamp and a good A\D convertor inside of a high-quality audio interface. I always suggest starting your budget planning with those.


Times Are Changing


I’ve started making music on ancient Macintosh computers from the ’90s. It was so much fun to record through the onboard audio interface, I felt like I got the world by the balls. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get “That” sound on my system. Thank god, these days are long gone.

Best High-End Audio Interfaces For home Studios

Everybody knows Apogee Electronics. They are one of the leading companies when it comes to high-end audio interfaces. In 2008, they completely changed the game for us home producers when they introduced the Duet 1, which was wonderful and still is to this day. I bought it without even trying it or thinking about it. I wanted these Apogee converters in my studio.

Apogee Duet 2

Second-gen is obviously better, although I’m sure there are many people who prefer the sound of the original. The Duet is portable, beautiful inside and out, and for some people, it’s more than they’ll ever need. Oh yeah, and it only works on Apple systems.

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When it comes to quality products, no one does it like the Germans. RME is a German company founded in 1996 and since then they are giving us nothing but the best.

The first RME interface I’ve ever used was the RME HDSP 9632 back in 2003. Before that, I was using an M-Audio interface. This is when I first realized the difference in quality between the different companies. After the M-Audio, the RME immediately sounded more robust, it gave me more details, and the recordings sounded a lot more like what I was getting when directly monitoring out of my mixer. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the mighty FireFace 400 and FireFace 800 which were beautiful. The sound quality you get out of these units is amazing, and the built quality is second to none. They literally last forever.

RME
 Babyface Pro

The Baby Face Pro is just as impressive as its bigger and beefier brothers. It started with the first generation of the Baby Face which I think was very much inspired by the Apogee Duet 1 in style, in portability, and in quality. it also was a small desktop style kinda interface made of very good materials. The first generation was pretty good but the Babyface Pro is a whole different story. It’s obviously aimed to be a serious tool for professionals on the go, or producers and sound engineers with small professional studios who are not willing to compromise on sound quality.

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This name does not need an introduction but I’ll try, Some of the best timeless classics come from Universal Audio. Over the years they proved themselves to be one of the most respected names in the business. Some of the best plugins and analog outboard gear on the market come from UA. Their audio interfaces and technology are exactly what you would expect from them.

Universal Audio
 ApolloTwin MKII


This one is sexy as hell. The design, the look, the sound. This cool interface is built to last for years and years, that’s for sure. It is the successor to the ApolloTwin that came out in 201* and made a lot of good noise. The ApolloTwin MKII is giving us a lot of connectivity and functionality, amazing preamps and overall great sound. Also, those 2 mic inputs feature the upgraded analog to digital converters coming from the much more expensive Apollo 8p. But what’s special about is it’s equipped with a quad-core processor that is a powerhouse for running UA Plugins which is a big one on the pros list.

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Music Inspiration

11 Great Tips! For Finding Musical Inspiration

Music Inspiration

11 great Tips For Finding Musical Inspiration

One of the most important things for any songwriter is finding musical inspiration. The inside of our minds can appear to be overflowing with inspiration. All it takes is a few minutes to be able to come up with a brilliant new idea.

However, sometimes that inspiration seems to ebb away, and no matter what you do in order to come up with new ideas for a song, everything remains blank. If you need help to keep that creativity flowing, I have written these tips to help find musical inspiration. 

To be inspired is so important for any creative person. This inspiration urges us to discover new ideas and keep our passion for our work.

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

I would like to first talk about what inspiration is before we talk about how to become inspired. Inspiration is this elusive mystery factor that always comes before any great piece of art. As if it’s something that appears from nothing. It comes upon us when we least expect it and suddenly everything becomes clear to us. 

It might begin with a new idea for a beat or even just one element out of a whole production. You may find yourself with it circling your mind right the way up to a crazy hit. Inspiration is and the beginning of something good in your studio will keep you up till very late hours or completely make you lose track of time. This is one of the most interesting phenomenons in the creative person’s mind. 

The problem is that our minds aren’t always prepared to think in a different way. We are so committed to our existing routines and habits of thinking. This makes it more difficult to find inspiration surrounding new experiences that cause our minds to think in a new way. I have put together some of my favorite techniques for creating inspiration for yourself in order that you can more quickly and easily write better songs.

1. Try A New Town

In order to find inspiration, you must break your mental habits and many of these habits can be tied up within the place that you live. 

Moving away from your regular surroundings can work wonders for the creative process. You change your location, you change the energy around you, and your luck is changing too. I’m sure there is a research on the subject somewhere, if you found it, let me know 🙂

There is no need to feel that you must go on a grand adventure. Heading to a new town isn’t about following a dream or excitement but more about moving away from what you have been used to.

Taking a trip to a town or city that you are not overly familiar with can give you the freedom to think more actively than you usually would.

New thoughts are sure to enter your mind such as where you might eat, if you aren’t familiar with any of the local restaurants, you’ll be sure that you are taking a gamble in any event.

You will have the opportunity to see new things and this will, in turn, create new thoughts. For example, seeing new faces around you, the way people dress, or just seeing a weird building that has a unique shape and wondering what it might be like to live there.

The great thing is that you don’t have to choose a town or city, it can be any new place that takes your fancy, a beach, the mountains, wherever you please. The point of the exercise is to remove you from your usual surroundings in any way at all.

This always reminds me of the great movie “Into The Wild”, where the guy just left everything behind in search of a new life.

Another idea is to spend some time in a part of your town that you wouldn’t usually frequent. Perhaps there’s an unusual café that you have never visited. Pop over there for a little while and see if any new lyrics spring into your mind.

To break your mental habits, you don’t necessarily have to do anything that is extreme or wild, the simple act of going to a new place that you aren’t used to will definitely make you think in a different way than you normally would.

2. Head Out For A Walk

I often find that going for a walk is one of the most effective methods for getting creatively unstuck. Something in the movement of the body, the increasing heartbeat, together with breathing new air and getting the blood flow going can be the only thing that separates me from my next great idea. It happens all the time. 

And I am not alone in this, a team of researchers discovered that the creative output of a person rises by up to 60% whilst out for a walk. Pretty amazing! I find, in my own experience that I feel less stressed about what I want to write while I am out walking. I’m, by no stretch of the imagination, a scientist or a researcher, but I would say that you become distracted by the physical activity just enough that it stops you from focusing too much on your work. Perhaps there is a nice local park if so, get out there and go for a walk!

I had some of my most proud songs come to me while out on a walk. It could sometimes be as though the wind were singing a beautiful, poetic melody into my mind as I walk. But sometimes it is not. I once wrote a folk song because I had that  thought, “What would it be like if my house was painted blue?” Have a go at wandering around your local area or a park. Ask yourself, whilst looking at houses, trees or the sky, what these things might sound like.

You don’t need to work overly hard at this. Sometimes you will find that nothing comes to your mind. But other times a song will come to you, inspired by your surroundings.

3. Educate Yourself More In Music Theory

So often, music theory can feel like the mind-numbing cousin of songwriting who you unintentionally began conversing with at a party. Music theory can actually be highly useful when looking for inspiration, despite sometimes being a bit dry. For example, if you have just been learning about Lydian mode, challenging yourself to use this to write something new will encourage you to create music that is totally different than what you would normally write. 

You might find that you don’t like what you write in Lydian mode and that your first try with music theory is not all you thought it would be. 

Having said that, there is a chance that you will discover something like a new chord change that you absolutely fall in love with. Then that new chord change may end up providing the inspiration for a whole new song. If you have an interest in learning more music theory, I would recommend trying Rick Beato. 

Rick Beato is an expert in music theory and he does an incredible job of turning complicated music lessons into ones that are easy to understand and easy to engage with. His focus is more towards scoring than songwriting but his lessons can be a valuable learning tool for all musicians.

4. Try Collaborating With A Friend

Being an introvert who is forgetful, I have to relearn this lesson at least every month. Being a creator doesn’t mean you have to work alone. Most of the time I do my work totally alone, in my room and most of the time that works well for me. Spending time with friends and making the effort to be sociable really is invaluable to someone doing creative work.

If you want to really expand your musical horizons then working alongside a friend can be an excellent way of doing that. 

Working with a friend means bringing different styles of music forward, this will challenge you into moving outside of your creative comfort zone. And, with the minds of two people adding to the message that the song brings, you may find that you will work on a subject that you wouldn’t normally give a lot of thought to. 

If you don’t have any musical friends then that is alright, you may find that the experience is something you will enjoy all the same. I have a very close friend who doesn’t know very much about music at all, but he is one of my favorite people to write with because he comes up with new ideas that I would never come up with on my own.

You might find that you and your friend don’t actually end up getting much work done, but it will still be a good use of your time because it is important to spend time with people that mean a lot to us. 

It is a great thing if you and your friend end up writing a hit piece of music, but even if you simply spend the time catching up with one another and hanging out, you will find that you are more likely to be happier than if you did all of your work by yourself, all the time.

5. Write With An Instrument That Is Not Your Usual One

A little lack of experience or getting out of your creative comfort zone can be very helpful for your music. Do you usually write on the guitar?

By trying a new instrument, perhaps the piano, or some exotic instrument like my favorite Kalimba, and switching up the way you write can be a refreshing change from using your usual instrument. Especially because it will be something that you aren’t as familiar with.

I wrote on the piano for the longest time. Until one day my brother gave me his old acoustic guitar and taught me how to play 3 chords. This has added a whole universe of music creation potential to my arsenal. Every new instrument you put your hands on, opens you to a world of new possibilities.

The guitar was totally free to me, there were no rules and no limits to what I could do. Each time I spread my fingers and made a random “chord”, things sounded so crazy to me, especially the random open chords I’ve mistakenly constructed. I didn’t know the names of the chords, I hardly knew the roots, but man did it sound beautiful… 

And coming from the very well organized piano, it took some time for me to wrap my head around the whole concept of the guitar, but once it happened, I knew that this relationship is going to last for a long time. 

22 years later and we are still going strong!

I was challenged to completely think outside the box due to the fact that I had no idea to play what I usually would on the piano. I forced myself to think outside the box. The habits that I had developed with the piano were totally thrown out and I was free to try out new sounds, that was completely exciting to me.

I would also like to point out that there are things that may be very easy on one instrument and almost impossible on another. If I had stuck to writing on the piano, I would never have discovered so many playing techniques that led to so many good songs.

Of course, I’ve never left the piano, it remains one of my favorite instruments to play. However, when you write with an instrument that you are not as familiar with, it can create a whole new lease of life on your music. You may find yourself doing it on a regular basis and getting cool results almost every time.

6. Write Music Based Around Fictional Characters

From the very beginnings of music and poetry, songwriters have been writing their pieces from the perspective of a fictional character. songwriting doesn’t always have to be based on your own experience or opinions. 

If you are struggling to think of something that has happened to you and incorporate it into your music, you could write a story.

You simply need to come up with a fictional setting that you would be keen to live in. Think about ideas, is the setting rural or urban? Is it day or night? Perhaps include politics or sports or some form of visual art. What is the setting known for? 

Next, you need to think about a character who is living there. Ask yourself questions about them. What do they do in their life? What is their life like?

Now that you have a good idea of who the character is and how they interact with their world, you are ready to make an attempt at writing a song about it. 

It may start off feeling less than sincere, but as you create the story, you will notice that it starts to really show your personality, after all, you are the one who has written it.

7. Laugh

This is not really a tip but more of a “life hack”. when we get stuck our minds are bound to a certain state. But when we start laughing our brain releases certain chemicals that help untie us from this state. Too me it’s a bit like adding oil to a dry engine. 

Things are starting to move much more easily and you find yourself in the creative process without even noticing that.

My favorite method is just to make a cup of coffee and watch standup comedy from my favorite comedians. After half an hour of laughing my ass off, the stress is just gone. I then go back to making music and things are just flowing. It works like magic.

8. 30 Push-Ups

Not kidding, this weird hack has proven itself to be very effective. This always gets my creative juices flowing. Do it without even thinking about is, just get and do 30 push-ups! Let me know if it works for you.

9. Meditation

If for some reason, going outside or doing some exercise or laughing doesn’t do the job for you, you can try meditation for 10 or 30 minutes. Some people have a very deep inner world and they can just dive inside their minds to change the channel on their consciousness. 

Or do real meditation by not thinking about anything. I find that after 30 minutes of deep meditation I’m almost a different kind of person with different creative forces. It’s super interesting.

10. Leave It For Tomorrow

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that creating artistic stuff is not on-demand and not always available to us. Sometimes today is just not your day and the only thing you can do is just turn off the lights in your studio and come back tomorrow.

11. Take Time To Reflect And Relax

Always open yourself up to inspiration. Your attitude plays the most important part of finding inspiration. you might be a little more prepared to think creatively.

If you are stressed out the entire time whilst on a walk, the walk will not prove particularly useful. There is no need to get continually frustrated with yourself over your NEED to find inspiration RIGHT NOW.

The practices that I have described can all help but there is no guarantee that they will work all the time. It is important to make peace with the fact that inspiration will not come each and every time you head out for a hike. This makes it all the more important to try to make time to do these activities on a regular basis.

If no inspiration is found when you take your next walk, you can hopefully, at the very least, give yourself some inner peace and a happier mental state. The time after that, you can prepare yourself to think in a more creative fashion.

It is also worth thinking about the fact that different people find that inspiration works differently for them. The ideas that I have talked about above may help a lot of people but they are certainly not the only things that will work to help you find inspiration.

It is a good idea to look back and remember the times that you felt excited about doing work on a particular project and try to draw inspiration from that as well.

Ask yourself the following questions;

Where were you at the time?

What activity were you doing?

Were you with other people or were you on your own?

If you can find answers to these questions, you will be able to find out from where your inspiration comes and what situations cause you to be more creative.

What should I do if inspiration for a song disappears?

Inspiration may be an integral part of music writing, however it isn’t a permanent thing.

The spark of excitement that happens within us is often the cause of inspiration to begin a new project. But you are going to need more than this to finish writing a song. Sooner or later that initial excitement that comes with the beginnings of a project, will fade away.

When this happens, it is easy to start doubting. You might start to think about the idea you had in the first place and whether it was ever any good. You must remain dedicated and have faith in what you can achieve in order to be able to finish the project.

It is perfectly normal and ok to wonder how good your work really is. But it is important that you push through these feelings and finish what you started. If you don’t do this, you will be stopping yourself from improving and you will never find out how good your work is.

If you are unhappy with the end result, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. Even if a song doesn’t turn out the way you had imagined, you will have learned something from writing it in the first instance.

Conclusion:

How to find musical inspiration?

Inspiration is all about changing your mental habits. Try these tips every time you get stuck and there is a very big chance they’ll help you find a way back to your creative state. Other than that, time heals everything, just give it more time. I believe in you.

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