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.

analogue-audio-cdj-860707

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.

acoustic-amplifier-artist-114820

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.

audience-band-blur-736355

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.

applause-audience-band-196652

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

blur-guitar-guitarist-130991

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

 

 

 



 

 

 

 



Event: Singapore’s First Silent Piano Concert

This was my first event as a blogger in Singapore and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Yamaha Music with Silent Disco Asia and FabCafe held Singapore’s first ever silent piano concert on Dec 21, 2017. It was held at night at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay. And we were there to witness it all!

Young and mighty talented pianist Li Churen played several pieces on Yamaha’s hybrid Silent Piano. As the presenter pointed out, it’s built for regular people like us who live in apartments. It’s fitted with a magnificent “Quiet Mode”. In this mode, you can play the piano and listen to yourself play live on a set of headphones attached directly to the instrument.

Continue reading “Event: Singapore’s First Silent Piano Concert”