Mix-a-lot: Where your EQ at?

These kinda technical music articles are one-offs. Reason? If you’ve read this post titled Content & Blog Ideas for Music Brands, you will know.

I also want to take a moment to thank my friends who make sweet sweet music. As someone who doesn’t know much about the subject, I relied on them for help. They were kind enough to patiently explain EQ to me. Thank you Pruthu, Jarvis (Dr. J) and Becky – you guys are the best. And of course, my husband D.R.R TrollKill for always going out of his way to help.

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No, we aren’t concerned with your Emotional Quotient (no one is). But we do hope you’re making the most of the top-notch Equalizer (EQ) tools available online.  

What a Tool

The EQ lets you adjust the volume of specific frequencies to create a refined music. Mastering this fundamental tool for mixing can give you mega manipulating powers

If you’ve recorded a bunch of sounds or are using the Loop Pack, a 3-band EQ will give you demigod-like control over the frequency spectrum to create a well-blended song that sounds good. It takes practice, precision and patience.

Werk It

The voice is sweet. The drums sound perfect. The piano is dreamy as ever. The guitar is slaying. Separately, these sounds are killing it. But when you put them together, it’s not how you imagined it to be. Why does it sounds muddy, limp, muffled, jarring or like the musical equivalent of eating a pizza with no toppings?

Although there’s nothing wrong with the individuals sounds themselves, together they’re fighting for the same frequencies. Like the piano might be entirely drowned by the guitar or the drums might overpower the voice.

But with the EQ, you select their individual frequencies and tweak it like there’s no tomorrow. Say by lowering/cutting the guitar’s frequency and increasing/boosting the piano’s, you can shape the music to suit you. Mold certain parts to shine or quiet down when they need to.

ELI5: You can make loud, make soft and make magic with great EQing skills.

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Hob Knob

Mastering the EQ isn’t as chill as working the volume fader. The best way to learn how to engineer sound is by actually doing it. Get the feel of the 3-band EQ with its knobs and all. Use the Low (Bass), Mid and High (Treble) gain knobs to tinker with the level of the each track’s frequency. You’ve got room to play – cut up to 30- dB or boost to up to 30+ dB.

While you’re at it, explore the Mid Frequency knob. It gives you extra control, letting you set the Mid’s exact range anywhere between 100 – 8000 Hz for your cutting and boosting needs. Treat the Mid Gain and Mid Frequency knobs as your go-to troubleshooter for fixing nasty frequency issues.

Fiddler on the Tune

When EQing, don’t hustle. Make subtle, small 2 dB moves till you narrow in your sound. Why? Well, the smallest change in dB can make a massive difference to the final piece.

As basic as this might sound, don’t forget to listen carefully to every incremental change. Trust your ears and your spidey senses.

And hopefully, thou shall not over-process. If you ask us, try not to spend more than 30 minutes at a time mastering your mix to avoid overthinking things.

Drop me a line if this helps you in any way.

Images from pexels.com

Content & Blog Post Ideas for Music Brands

Hello. It’s been a while. Well, trying to juggle everything with an inherent need to be the best has a tendency of eating into every microsecond of your life. But, the very many internal monologues have taught me one thing – I need to make myself happy. And blogging makes me happy so here I am.

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I have a lot of content ideas stored everywhere. All I need is some time and some inclination.

Many moons ago, I generated this list. It was for an intensive test for a job at a music company – step 1, give them all these story ideas and step 2, write 2 of those stories. At the end of it all, they decided to hold hiring for that particular position. Oh well…

So instead of having these ideas rot in the dusty corners of my computer, I’ll just leave them here with the hope that it might help someone.

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If you’re a music blogger, a brand that deals with random musical stuff, a content creator for a music company or just someone looking for musically inclined article ideas – feel free to take what you need. Some have a standfirst, some have story outline/brief and are self-explanatory.

Tip: Make it most of it. Break it down into pieces – use it across platforms and channels.

Play by Ear: Does it really work?
Intro: No sheet music to follow. No persistent teacher breathing down their neck. And no Youtube videos on loop. If these great musicians can teach themselves to play and why can’t you?

Loud & Clear: Mic Techniques to Master
Intro: Check it – Even seasoned singers with marvellous voices can sound a smidge off on the microphone. Get a grip and arm yourself with these simple but solid mic tricks.

Keep Calm & Collab: How to Approach a Fellow Artist
Brief: How to make the first move. This can be a series – how to find artists on the same wavelength, how to step out of your comfort zone, how to cope with a “failed” collab.

Make like a Minimalist
Intro: If you haven’t noticed, this third rock from the sun is obsessing over minimalism. In food, art, design and decor, less is certainly more. A philosophy that has been striking a chord with musicians for decades. You might want to read this BBC piece

How to be an Eco-friendly Musician
Brief: Use animal free, small footprint cases/ recycle broken equipment like use broken guitar as shelf or planter/ no to snail mail publicity and posters/ encourage downloads by giving codes/discounts/ use recycled materials for CD covers. 

#HotMess: Declutter like you mean it
Intro: Is your jam room jam-packed? Store and carry away two of your finest guitars and random gig essentials with these good-looking, overachieving cases.

Everything You Need to Pack for your First Gig
Intro: So you’ve nailed yourself a gig. Once you’re done daydreaming about the applause, hold on to this all-holy packing list for dear life.

Essential Gear for the Wandering Musician
Brief: Case, tuner, amps, spare strings, adapters.

Asian Music Festivals to Attend in 2018
Brief: Wonderfruit, Strawberry Fields, Ultra Worldwide, Sunburn, Bestival, Fuji Rock etc.

Drumroll: Badass Girl Drummers to Worship Today

#RecordMakers: A Starter Kit

5 Music Accessories to #TreatYoSelf
Intro: It’s payday somewhere in the world and you gotta #TreatYoSelf to some blazing accessories. Get your groove on with these cool add-ons that prove your commitment to the art and most importantly, make you look ridiculously cool.

Brief: Like Fender stool, B&O speaker, JBL portable speakers, wireless headphones, U2 tee etc.

NAMM 18: Cart it Now
Brief: Works for NAMM any year actually. Fill it in with the best industry offerings one needs to buy right now. 

Top 10 Songs to Play on the Ukulele
Intro: There isn’t a human alive who doesn’t love the playful, soul-stirring melodies of the Ukulele. Get Insta-famous with these heartwarming, happy-go-lucky tunes.

3 Sing-Along Covers You Gotta Ace
Intro: You’ve just begun strumming and are getting rather good at it. Before you start shredding like a boss, ace these easy party favourites sing-alongs. Your friends will love it.

The Curious Case
Intro: Congratulations, you’ve scored yourself a state-of-the-art instrument case. Now, don’t wreck it.

Guitar Related Article Ideas

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To Hollow or Semi-Hollow: How to Pick

5 Life Skills that make a Good Musician

How to Grow Nimble Guitars Fingers
Intro: Learning how to play the guitar can be agonizing on your fingers. While practice makes perfect, consider introducing these exercises to your routine to amp up the dexterity.

Poetry in the Handmade
Intro: Meet the <insert handmade guitar brand name>. Crafted by luthiers, they are pieces of tangible poetry for the discerning artist. Here’s why they’re a class apart.

Collector’s Edition: 3 Pedals with Personalities

Legend Has It: This was Eddie Van Halen’s First $70 Guitar
Brief: His first guitar was Teisco Del Ray electric guitar

#ThrowbackThursday: Vintage Teisco Guitars to Drool Over
Intro: Blast from the past. One of the few non-American guitar brands to dominate the music scene from the ‘60 to the ‘80s, Teisco is now a cult favourite. Here’s a look back at some of the raddest vintage Teisco guitars.

Who Killed Your Guitar?
Intro: Your precious guitar can fall prey to an invisible enemy. If your strings are feeling higher than usual or you hear a buzzing sound when you play, humidity might have killed the sound. Find out how to store your guitar safely and detect dampness early.
TL;DR Humidity

Soundproof Your Room
Intro: Your neighbours called and asked us to write this article. If you’re a serious musician, soundproof is a legit investment.

Carlos Santana Practices Like This
Intro: Greatness takes time and a whole lot of effort. Even Carlos Santana poured hours of his life into perfecting his godly skills. But with his favourite practice technique, you can get smoooooooth on the axe too.
TL;DR Playing in the pitch dark

Watt the Ohm! – Powerful Terms You Need to Know

How to Care for your Electric Guitar

Drop me a line if this helps you in any way.

Images from pexels.com

 

 

 



 

 

 

 



One Minute DIY: Bottle Cap Fridge Magnets

I can’t begin to tell you how easy this DIY really is. So I love beer/cider bottle caps. I used to collect a few, admire them for a while and trash them. Mainly because I didn’t know what to do with them. Lately, I’ve been trying to be conscious of the trash we create in our home and have been actively seeking ways to recycle and repurpose things.

The other day while reorganising my accessories I put an apple cider bottle and an egg carton to good use. It was a Little Creatures Pipsqueak Cider bottle that’s a beautiful brown. It also has the cutest little bottle cap and I couldn’t help but save one. I love the illustration on it.

I contemplated making a keychain, pendant or whatnot out of it. But I didn’t have any of the tools and buying them just to make one pendant seemed like a lot of work. So I thought of this easy DIY.

Also when I say it took me 1 minute to make it, I’m totally overexaggerating! It literally takes a few seconds if you have the things handy.

Continue reading “One Minute DIY: Bottle Cap Fridge Magnets”

Singapore Expat: Most essential apps to download when you reach the country

Moving to a new city can be fun, exciting and daunting in equal parts. But it helps to know that technology has your back. When we moved here late 2017, we relied heavily on apps and websites to make ourselves feel at home.

If you’ve just moved to Singapore or are just passing through, I guarantee this list right here is gonna be a lifesaver. My husband and I use all these apps on a regular basis, so rest assured these are reviewed and well-loved. This is one of two apps based stories.

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This list includes only the Most Basic and Most Essential apps you will need on arriving in the country. No smartphone in Singapore ought to exist without these all-holy apps. Our second list of Must-Have apps which you can pick and choose depending on your preference.

* this info is relevant as of March 2018. I hope the future me will update the app list! 

Continue reading “Singapore Expat: Most essential apps to download when you reach the country”

Mandatory New Year Post: Thank you, 2017!

Ah. Once again, this year pulled a Flash and sped away. I cannot believe it’s going to be 2018 in 30 days. In 30 days and nights, kids who were born at the turn of the millennium (80s and 90s kids, remember the Y2K frenzy?) will be legally old enough to vote, drive and get married. To give you a scarier sense of time… As of January 2018, Donald Trump would’ve been the President of USA for a whole year.

It’s been a long year.
And what a year it has been.

A lot has happened to this little lifestyle blogger in 2017. Almost all of it was unplanned, crazy, fun and life-changing. There were hard days and I’m trying harder to forget about them. But the good times, they supersede. Officially, 2017 will go down in my history as the MOST MONUMENTAL year of my life.

We’re legally a team now, D.R.R TrollKill & I. We got married in May 2017 and we did it on our terms. We moved out of India, away from everything/everyone we know and love. We set up our little nest in less than two weeks in the island country of Singapore.
Professionally, I made some bold, risky and pretty often stupid choices. I don’t regret them one bit.

In the story of this insignificant human, 2017 was the Year of Adulting. Having said that, I refuse to act like an adult. Being an adult is bloody boring. You might as well be a toilet brush or the filter that covers the sink drain – dead inside but full of crap.

Instead, I’ll try my very best not to let stereotypes, hypocrites, cynics and conformers put me in a mould. Instead of staring at my feet like an adult, I’ll stare at the sky and play connect the dots with the stars. Instead of living in a box like an adult, I’ll dance with the clouds. Instead of doing things because “what will XYZ say” like an adult, I’ll do things depending on “what will my heart say”. Instead of being afraid of change like an adult, I’ll chase it down at the speed of light. Instead of mindnumbing 9-5s like an adult, I’ll try to live and love 24/7 x 365.

Thank you, Twenty Seventeen. You’ve been the greatest.
Hello, Twenty Eighteen. You better be a riot.

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This Thank You card was given to my husband D.R.R TrollKill by his ex-colleagues. Sums up exactly what I feel about 2017!

Poem: The Sweetness

 

The sweet smell of nothingness
I like it
But it taunts me
I crave it
But it pawns me.

The sweet sight of emptiness
I brave it
But it fought me
I fill it
But it locks me.

The sweet sound of hollowness
I welcome it
But it haunts me
I caress it
But it stabs me.

The sweet touch of bareness
I call it
But it mocks me
I want it
And it has me.

Journal: All In The Name

I’ve been cleaning out my closet… not figuratively, quite literally. I’ve been physically going through all the crap I’ve accumulated over 28 years of living. I’ll be moving out soon and I find myself holding on this aforementioned crap harder than ever. I haven’t even packed a little because the hoarding is a genuine problem.

Hoarding is also amazing. I’ve found so many forgotten things including a long exercise book. It’s hardbound and horrendous looking in green and yellow. Inside are meticulously number poems and self-pep talks from a teenage me. As I sat crossed leg on the cold floor of my lil’ bedroom, I flipped through pages of a young girl I don’t remember but somewhat recognise. It’s a fairly angst filled except I don’t remember the backstory/inspiration of each poem. I barely even remember who it’s for.

Want to hear the best part? It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s for me and now as I share this petite poem on this tiny blog… it’s for you.

Continue reading “Journal: All In The Name”

Adriel George’s Playlist

I’ve been terrible these past few months. Ever since I’ve got that neck and back problem, I’ve been ignoring my commitments and promises and spending precious time writhing in bed with a cold pack. But enough. Enough of pity, enough of pain sensitivity, enough of ignoring my blog/friends/family/life. It’s 2017 dammit. My 28th chance to finally get it right.

So, meet Adriel George. I met him over nine years ago when we were studying in the same college. I remember watching him with my jaw on the floor as he danced during our graduation party. Although he studied IT, Adriel chose to string together his own path, note after note. He’s now a music composer (a damn good one at that) and producer for films, theatre and those Youtube ads that you sometimes can’t skip and end up liking.

That’s our man on the keyboards

A much sought-after piano teacher, he loves sneaking into hotel lobbies and malls with grand pianos and serenading late-night guests with his renditions of famous movie themes. Although I’m yet to catch him in action, I have heard him tune out the world and drown in chords at his studio in Santacruz (W), Mumbai.
Continue reading “Adriel George’s Playlist”

Journal: Bring It On

Warning: Emo post coming your way

Birthdays are miserable. And so are New Year’s eves. The build up to these two days, the days themselves and weeks following them are soul sucking. They are a painful reminder of what we haven’t done and what we will never do. Wretched are the seconds where the mind and heart dwell on the lost. Lost time, lost opportunities, lost experiences, lost fun, lost travels, lost conversations, lost anything that could’ve enriched your soul…
Continue reading “Journal: Bring It On”

D.R.R TrollKill: See You Soon, Proxima Centauri b

Click-bait heading of a scientific story with a hopeful ending. Slow Motion Thought’s favourite sci-fi nerd Regan Fernandes aka D.R.R.TrollKill tells it like he sees it

Why it’s cool?
While we have been hunting for exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) for a couple of years now, we never had one this close before, that too in the habitable zone.

And it would also the first planet outside our solar system that we could be able to sort of explore. While we haven’t yet visited another planet with humans, we have sent robots and probes to almost every planetary body in our solar system.

Pic Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

And now we’re aiming for the stars, quite literally. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and real life super genius Stephen Hawking along with a host of backers that include social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg are helming a project called Breakthrough Starshot. It aims to send thousands of rice grain sized “starchips” to investigate nearby stars.
Continue reading “D.R.R TrollKill: See You Soon, Proxima Centauri b”