Your Single, Most Important Studio Skill

Over the 20 years I've been producing, there have been these moments that have been these big "AHA!" moments. Moments that have elevated me from point A to point B, and then from point B to point C. Times when I’ve really increased in knowledge, and my music has been really elevated!

One of those moments was when I stopped everything I was doing and learned how to produce vocals. And producing vocals starts with great recordings, learning how to really record vocals well. Then, even if you're not doing the recording, getting the vocal files, comping them, stacking them, timing them, tuning them, EQ'ing them, getting them to fit into the mix just right, learning how to use effects, and learning what compression is.

All of these things are so, so important.

This is one of the techniques and disciplines that I see lacking in most beginning producers and the reason why they're not getting better and they're not commanding attention with their productions.

It's because they don't want to stop and really learn this. They think, well, “I'll just kind of get by because my voice is really good.” Even if you've got a great voice, it really isn't going to be featured if you don't know how to produce the voice.

Let me show you a quick demonstration of what I mean.

This is a song called "Rise Again" that I released this summer with the amazing Lauren Light. And I'm gonna show you the raw track versus how it came out in the final mix.

(Music Playing - pre-production).

And now let's hear it in the mix with the production on it.

(Music Playing - Post production)

So the point is, if we take a vocal that's very raw, and it's recorded pretty decently well (I think she used an SM7B in her apartment where she recorded). She lives over on the East coast and I'm over near the West coast and we've sent files back and forth to each other. I was able to grab it, and I was able to tune just the little parts of it that needed tuning without losing the flavor of her voice.

I used some tools like Nectar, Isotopes Nectar to sweeten the voice up a little bit, put some saturation into it. There's also a little bit of reverb. And then there's more vocals that get stacked underneath it into that chorus B section.

And all of this stuff is doable! This is the kind of stuff that you need to learn how to do, because it will elevate your music significantly.

One of the best things I ever did was to stop singing myself and allow other people to sing. That was a very big thing for me, because I had taken vocal lessons for a year. I realized for me to actually achieve the levels that I need to achieve - that I wanted to achieve, I had to let people who have a better instrument in their voice do the singing, instead of myself. So that's why I recruit people like Lauren Light to sing for me, and to collaborate with her on tracks like this.

If you are interested in learning how to produce your vocals a little bit better, come join our producer course over at the Triple Threat Artist. I'll give you a discount code (FALL2020) that will give you an extra $40 off per month, and you are welcome to join us and hang out with us.

We, we meet every single week. We go over each other's tracks. I've got about 138 videos that my co-producer Josh and I have put together for you guys. It covers all kinds of topics, including drums, recording, production, mixing, all kinds of different elements. One of the big sections is recording vocals, recording and producing vocals. If that interests you, click below.

Let's do this! I'll see you on the other side.

Let’s make better music,

Zion

 

https://www.thetriplethreatartist.com/the-triple-threat-bundle

use coupon code FALL2020 for $40 off per month

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A Deeper Purpose For Making Music

 

Hey guys, this is Zion from The Triple Threat Artist.

I've been thinking a lot about the deeper meanings and the deeper purposes behind making music.

Now, I love making music and that includes producing, songwriting, anything I'm doing instrumentally. I love making music and I bet you do too. That's why you're on this list. That's why you're watching this video. So what are those deeper meanings?

Well, right off the bat, there's fame and fortune, and those are great. There's nothing wrong with any of that, but those aren't the deeper meanings that I'm talking about. Let's get to the heart of why we like to make music.

I'm thinking of four different reasons that have come to mind for me, and these overlap. They're not totally succinct. And these are just my thoughts. And I'd love to know if you have reasons that I'm missing here.

The first is to send a message, to send a message to the world, to put a message out. I think is an amazing reason to write music, especially this year, being 2020, it's a great time to send a message to the world. Whether that's encouraging, whether that's standing up, coming back, going out to vote - whatever your message is.

I wrote a song with a co-writer Lauren light called "Rise Again". We released it early in May and it was really motivated by the riots, the Black Lives Matter riots, and the injustices we've seen a lot in our country right now. And so it was my way and her way of sending a message to the world and saying, Hey, come back, Rise Up!

If we've been knocked down, we're going to come back. Think of the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. It's a great song for change. He's saying we could do better. We could be better if we tap into loving each other and empathizing with each other and getting along better in the world, there's a better life we could be living.

I think of the song, "In The Arms of the Angel", by Sarah McLaughlin that was used for all those really, really sad animal humane ads that were on TV for awhile. Those are extremely effective.

There's a thousand other examples in which songs are used to disrupt the normal status quo and invoke change. So that's one big reason why I think we should be making music.

The next is to express ourselves, to express our light. And this gets into our creativity. If you're like me, you love to create things. And that doesn't mean just music. I love creating businesses and revenue sources. I love creating when Legos are available.

Oh my gosh, do not get me started! I love Legos. I have a little brother with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And when we have a chance to play Legos, I think I'm more excited than he is, because I just love to create it's so fun! I think there's something to be said about creating, doing music for just the purpose of the feeling and the benefits of creating. It's our way of sort of tapping into being like God, if God is a creator. So I love that.

Next I would say is to empathize and support. To empathize with the human heart. I'm thinking of several songs. One that came out, Billie Eilish's brother Phineas is an incredible artist. If you haven't heard him and followed him, I strongly suggest you do. He's incredible.

Phineas has a song called, "I lost a friend", which is all about losing his best friend. And he was even quoted as saying, 'you know, there's this feeling that guys can't express the love that they have toward other guys without sounding gay for straight men.' And he said, 'this is stupid. I loved, I loved my friend and I lost him and I want to sing about it.' And it is one of the most moving most raw, incredible songs! I highly suggest you check that out.

One of my favorite songs is by Dido. And if you know me, you know that this is one of my favorite songs. This came out like in 2003 or something like that - a long time ago. For some of you, you weren't even born! It's called "Here With Me". It's incredible! I think it's 'the' perfect song.

It expresses the feeling of not having your lover with you, not having your romantic interest or your partner or whatever it is with you. And that I can't sleep until you're resting here with me. I can't breathe. I can hardly do anything until you're with me. And I love that kind of empathy that she captures in the human heart.

I had an opportunity couple years ago in 2016, actually four years ago, to put music to a poem that my friend Brooke wrote. Brooke was struggling with cancer and she has since passed away.

I flew out to DC before she died. She was working for the White House at the time, in the Obama administration. She gave me a personal tour of the West Wing of the White House! It was incredible!

I went to her little apartment and she had written a song about her struggle with cancer and it's called 'October'.

(Music and vocals from "October" play.)

i want to show you the song. I'd really like you to listen to the song, and if you like it, please post it! I just went with her to her little bedroom (the acoustics were best in that room). I recorded her voice speaking these words, and talking about this poem. I put music behind it and I released it. I was able to show it to her right before she passed away.

At the time she wrote this, she was in remission and thought she had kicked cancer. The whole purpose of this poem that she wrote was to express her frustration with the fact that every October she's reminded so much about her cancer, because she sees all the pink everywhere. And even though people mean for it to be a very big support "Hey, we're supporting cancer awareness" for her, it was, as she describes it, 'a bitch slapping every year'.

I loved the sentiment, because I'd never heard it from this angle before. And so I wanted to put it to music and I was just extremely honored to be able to do that, which just leads me back to my point, to empathize and support the human heart. The emotions that we have are one of the most beautiful reasons for why we're making music.

Whether that's sadness, depression, or fun and celebration, and to go out driving, and in the club and capturing, you know, the excitement of a sports game, or a win or a victory in your life! It's those moments! To be able to capture those in music is so amazing.

Sometimes you can do that better with a song than you can with words. There's something about the melody and the tension between the intervals of the notes, along with the words, can create a sentiment in a message that words alone cannot do. It's one of the most amazing things about a piece of music.

Lastly, music is an amazing tool to be like the 'soundtrack' to your day.

If you've ever gone to have a massage at Massage Envy or whatever place you go, and they put on the spa music in the background, it's so relaxing and it fits what's going on, it's very similar to yoga. They put on something very soothing and to have something, even if it's just one chord that's just moving and playing and swelling. And it's just a chord. Sometimes that can be so beautiful and can be a perfect soundtrack to what you're going through and what you're doing at that time.

I've recently started a YouTube channel with a buddy of mine, and it's called Lo-Fi Panda. And it's all Lo-Fi Chill Hop or Lo-Fi Hip Hop music. It's the kind of music you can put on and just put on in the background while you're working and studying.

This has been around for a long time, and I'm just excited about doing it. I'm working with other producers and we're making this kind of music and putting it out on our channel. And I have to tell you, I didn't expect to love this so much! I really love this!

It started as sort of a business adventure, but it's quickly become a passion. I listened to Lo-Fi Hip Hop all the time when I'm working, when I'm reading, in the car, while I'm cooking in the kitchen - I've listened to this kind of music. If you want check it out, please follow us if you'd like to.

I'd like to hear what you think. These are the four reasons of mine - was to send a message, to express your light, to empathize with the human heart, and to be a 'soundtrack' for our lives.

Those are my deeper purposes for why I make music and why I love music.

What are yours?

Talk to me!

Now go make great music!

Zion

 

Zion and Lauren's "Rise Again" https://youtu.be/pLnXBSgGRRs

Finneas' song "I lost a friend" https://youtu.be/3mMVcCMO_Ng

Dido's song "Here with Me" https://youtu.be/PSu5nAQ7uZw

Zion and Brooke's "October" https://youtu.be/IBx7lxhj3p0

Lofi Panda https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi4lF928QJSDRBqrBBpa1tA

 

 

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The Most UNDER-UTILIZED Instrument in Your Studio

Hey guys, this is Zion from The Triple Threat Artist.

I am at Bryce Canyon National Park, which is in Southern Utah. I'm kind of doing a work vacation, working in different parts of the Western United States, and this place is incredible. It looks a little bit like this. (shows Canyon). Pretty awesome, huh! I wanted to shoot the video over there on the rim of the Canyon. However, it is too windy and I don't want this to be super annoying when I do this video.

I want to talk to you guys about something that has really impressed me a lot in the last few days. And that is the most amazing instrument that you have in your studio. Ans it might be the most underutilized instrument. So to get into this, don't you like my little teaser here to get into this. I want to tell you a quick story.

I have a friend named Corey in Phoenix that invited me to a house party.... 

<Click video to hear full story>

Do you love these kinds of discussions? Send a reply to this, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Talk to you later, guys. Now go make great music!

Zion

Cinematic Tracks I Have Made

Steel Guitar Song I Talk About

Video About How I Made that Solo

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Dude, Whereโ€™s Your Self-Esteem?

What's going on, guys. This is Zion from The Triple Threat Artist.

Let's talk about your self-esteem.

As a music maker, a producer, a songwriter, an artist, or a singer ... Self-Esteem is something you have to have! And that, of course, is something that builds and must grows as you get more experience,

But I don't know how many artists and music makers I have met that do not value what they have and what they do. They've work so hard on creating something, and then end up selling it for pennies, or do terrible deals with people because, and they give away all their rights.

So let's talk about that. It's is a terrible thing to do.

But before we get into it, please click the like button and subscribe to our YouTube channel. I would really appreciate it. And feel free to leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you guys.

So a couple of weeks ago, I just finished creating and produced a couple songs with a co-writer and friend of mine. She's an amazing artist (let's call her Jessica). And it was expected that she was going to start submitting our songs, after they're completed, over to some licensing agents for them to pitch our music. But unfortunately the only deals she ended up finding were exclusive deals. In other words, our songs would have to be just with them and we couldn't use any other licensing agents. But they were also asking for some publishing on the back end, which means they would have ownership of the songs so that if it got played on radio or anything like that, they would take some ownership of it.

Now, as you know, songs ownership is always split into two parts. There's the master owners, and then the publishing side. And the publishing side actually has two parts to it, which are the songwriters and the publishers. So if somebody doesn't have anything to do with the writing of the song, they might ask for a piece of the publishing, which in a sense, they're asking for a piece of your song with the promise that they're going to pitch it.

Well, this is not a good deal. In my opinion, this is kind of how the old school way of working. I understand why people do this. I get it. I understand why licensing agents would want to do that.

But as an artist, I don't have to do that. And I have the self esteem to say, no, I am not going to do that shitty deal.

That is a shitty deal. You're asking for a lot of ownership and a lot of credit on something you didn't create.

Now there's enough awesome licensing agents that will hustle and do work for you, who are going to be thankful for your songs and won't ask for your publishing. And they'll work with you non-exclusively, which frees you to use other licensing agents if you need to. You work won't be trapped in their little vault and not being able to work with other people.

There's a lot of great licensing agents that will do that. You gotta reach out to them. You got to figure out who they are. You got to work with them, you got to negotiate.

And that comes down to self esteem.

So I had to talk to my co-writer and say, "sorry, I'm not going to go with this deal." And she was pretty disappointed, but you know I ended up sending an email out to about 16 different licensing agents the next week and three or four of them got back with us that are giving us incredible deals, who are excited about the songs and they are pitching them right away. In fact, they already pitched them this weekend for several different Netflix briefs. So it's pretty awesome.

And why did I do that? It's because I know my value, and I know the value of her, and the value of our song. And unfortunately she's still new at this kind of negotiating. So this isn't a knock against her at all, but it is an example of understanding your value and your worth.

This brings me to the point and the topic that I like to talk about, which is the difference between confidence and grandiosity.

Grandiosity is the appearance of confidence. It's a false self-esteem that's created out of a low self-esteem. It's almost like you're candy-coating your appearance to look as if you're confident when you're not. That's what grandiosity is.

Grandiosity is often promoted in music and in media and TV and culture as, "Hey, just fake it till you make it." Well, unfortunately, a lot of people can see through that, faking it until you make it as not a good idea. And grandiosity often speaks to a very low self-esteem.

So how do you build self esteem?

By doing stuff and getting good at it, and understanding you're good at it, and getting feedback, and getting deals, and getting placements, and getting your music sold, or people listening to it and liking it and loving it. That builds your confidence so that when you speak about your music and when you ask for a higher percentage, you're doing it out of evidence. You're not just making it up. You're not contriving a self-esteem. You're doing it out of, "this is good....this is valuable stuff. Not everybody's going to like it, but I can command what I think I'm worth. I can ask for the percentage."

Now this plays into songwriting also, if you've ever worked with a songwriter, another collaborator, and you've had to negotiate the percentages, usually it's 50/50, if you're going into a good songwriting collaborations. But occasionally you might work with somebody that doesn't really know anything about music, but can write some good lyrics. And you need to negotiate something like "I'm going to give you 25% of the songwriting credit for the song while I'll take 75%." Well, it takes some confidence to say that it takes some confidence to negotiate that. And honestly, you should have the balls to do that. And you should have the balls when somebody comes to you and says, "I want to renegotiate. I think I'm worth more." You should have the confidence to say, "okay, let's talk about that. Maybe you are." And not every deal is going to be absolutely perfect, and absolutely just, I don't know how many deals in which I thought, huh? I didn't really pull my share weight in that. Or, "oh man, I did 95% of that, but we originally negotiated the 50%. So I had to stick with it." That's going to happen. But what I'm trying to say is that your confidence in your abilities needs to be apparent as you market yourself.

I'm tired of seeing artists, and I'm tired of seeing bands who do not value theirselves. And they work so hard in making a name and building an audience and making great music and investing hours and hours and lessons into their skill and their instrument. And then they just give away their shit. It's stupid.

We are in command in this business, the artists, the music makers are in the command seat. And yet they're failing to see that they're in command. They're constantly giving away their stuff for nothing. This is why the CEO of Spotify is making millions of dollars. And you're making very little of that. (Hopefully some of you are making more than a little).

I hope this resonates with you guys. There's a quote that I love from Dave Pensado that has to do with this. Dave Pensado is a mixing engineer over in LA. And he's just an amazing guy, is a podcast called Pensado's Place that I highly recommended. I'll put a link in the show notes to it, but he says, "you need to have accurate expectations of your value. If you're not making money from what you're providing, it's probably because you're not worth anything yet." And that's okay.

So you're getting paid for what you're worth. So if you're not getting paid anything, you may not be worth a whole lot for what the market bears.

That's okay. Just get better, get better, be more original, provide something for the community of artists and musicians that is needed and looked for.

I hope this has been encouraging to you guys. This is Zion from the triple threat artists. I'll be having more videos like this.

Please leave a comment below. If you have any thoughts on this, I'd appreciate it.

Talk to you later.

- Zion

 

Dave Pensado's podcast

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Custom Production Work? Here's 3 Tips!

Hey guys, this is Zion from the Triple Threat Artist and I'm at the beach in Oregon and it is beautiful here. The smoke has dissipated quite a bit. It's actually very, very, very nice and I'm on vacation! But today I wanted to talk to you guys about custom work.

Now and then as a producer, you're going to have opportunities to do a piece of custom work for somebody. So what do I mean by that? That means somebody's going to come to you and say, Hey, instead of pitching me something you've already made, would you be interested in actually creating a piece of content, a song, or producing something, or writing something for a spot. That might be a brief, that might be a commercial, that might be whatever it is.

And so now and then that happens - and it all depends on the price. It depends on whether or not I think I could do it for me to even go after it, but sometimes I do. And this weekend I got approached about creating a piece of music for a podcast, which is really interesting. I've never had that before. So they need something for the beginning of a podcast and then little stingers in the in-between, and then an outro as well. So I had to create a piece of music.

They gave a bunch of references. They gave different songs. And one of the songs is by an artist named Michael. He's an incredible artist - he is one of the best artists right now. I'll put the link in the description, but I'm gonna just call him Michael. If you're familiar with the show, Big Little Lies. He did the song that is the intro for that show. I don't think that was a custom piece of work. I think that song was already out, and that show chose that song as their intro. And it's a fantastic song. I think this guy is one of the best artists right now - of all time. I think he's phenomenal. And again, I'll put the link below,.

They had referenced a couple of songs of his as what they're kind of looking for. So I wanted to talk to you guys about three lessons or tips for doing custom work that might be helpful to you.

Number one is capturing the emotion. Oftentimes when a client says, Hey, we like this song. What they're saying is we like the emotion of the song. We liked the way the song makes us feel. And that is vitally important because it doesn't necessarily mean they want the exact instruments or the exact tempo or exact whatever. They're looking for the emotion. And trying to identify what that emotion is, can very hard. It's very difficult. And sometimes I nail it and sometimes I really miss the mark, but that's one of the first things I do is I try to figure out what it is they're actually asking.

Number two is having the humility to make edits. When you do custom work, you're going to send the piece of work back and say, what do you think? And guaranteed, they're going to have changes, or they're going to say, I like this, but I don't like this. And that's actually a good thing.

If they didn't say any of that, they probably just don't like it. And they're like, eh, this isn't working. But if they come back with edits, that is a good thing. Listened to those edits! Have the humility to make those changes! Because you're on the right path - you might have a chance of hitting the mark! So that's a big one. A lot of producers, songwriters, creative music makers, other creatives - have a difficult time with that one. They don't like to be humble because they think everything they do is awesome or they're afraid they can't make those changes correctly. And here's the deal: you may not be able to, but a professional tries! They give it a shot, right?

Number three is understand the medium in which people are going to be listening to it. Now, one of the weird things about what I'm doing right now is I'm doing this is for a podcast, which means the song is going to be played back in mano. I don't know if you guys listen to podcasts or audio books, but whenever they have music in it, it's in mono and it sounds terrible. So I have to know that going into it, that whatever I do, I need to mix it, such that it sounds decent in mono. And which means it can't have any phase issues. That's a little bit difficult and hopefully I can make that work. There's utility plugins in your DAW that usually allow you to listen to whatever you're listening to in mono. So that's going to be the final phase. If they like what I'm doing and they're liking the direction I'm going, I'm going to put it in mono and try to mix it that way. So that it sounds the best I can with that limitation.

So again, just knowing what medium, what way in which your audience is going to be listening to it is really, really important. If the custom piece of music is for a commercial, you want to know how it needs to start right away, right? Because commercials, they don't have much time. If it's to be played in a club or something like that, you want to make sure that bass is really nice and round and works really well on subwoofers, just knowing the kind of medium that your audience is going to be listening to is super important.

Again, as a recap, the first one was knowing the emotion of the track you're going after for a custom piece of music. The second one was having the humility to make edits. And the third one is knowing the medium in which it's going to be played back on.

Those are my tips for a custom piece of content. This is Zion at Triple Threat Artists. I'm going to be posting videos like this that are just talking about the philosophy and my thoughts about making music. Myself and Josh, Josh Doyle, who is my collaborator and Co-business partner over at the Triple Threat Artists. We're going to be making more videos like this. I hope you like it. And if you have any questions, put it in the comments below and come check us out at the Triple Threat Artist.

All right. Signing off. Bye.

Zion

 

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Layering Sounds in Battery ๐Ÿ”‹

Hello! It's Josh Doyle from Triple Threat Artists!

Today we are going to be talking about Battery, which is a drum sampling plugin from Native Instruments. We are just going to be covering some of the features that I use the most. These are going to be basic and beginner features like layering sounds.

So, you'll see here that we've got a bunch of kits to choose from. And I've got two funk kits loaded up right here and I have a beat that I had programmed. So we'll just listen to that really quick.

(Beat Plays).

Nice and simple. And you see which sounds are being triggered when they light up here when the beat plays. So you see I've got the kick and then a rim shot for kind of an offbeat and then a snare drum sound, right? So that's cool and everything. But what if you wanted to layer a sound? That's what we're going to be talking about today.

So let's say that this snare drum is a bit too skinny, too skinny for my taste, and I wanted to layer it with this.

(Beat Plays).

All right? I didn't like either one of them by themselves, but together I really like how it sounds so I could just play them at the same time on the keyboard, you know, or I could just layer them together so that they both trigger when I just hit one key, and you'll see right down here. Right now I've got this open hi-hat funk sample selected and it triggers with the key range of C sharp one to C sharp one. So anytime that I hit C sharp one, it's going to trigger that sound. And then over here, this snare funk one gets triggered by key D one. So if I wanted to layer those, I could take either one of these and change it so that this D one, if I'm just dragging down now gets triggered by anything between C sharp one and D one. So now when I hit, see how they both light up and you can hear.

So let's suppose that this one right here is just a bit too loud. When I hit these together, I can just lower the level of just that one by dragging this down. Now let's listen.

(Beat plays).

That's a little bit better. Let me bring it back up just for a reference really quick.

(Beat plays).

Actually, I was selecting the wrong one here, so let's bring this back up. You need to make sure that you're selecting the right one and we'll bring this back up.

(Beat plays).

All right, and let's say a that I like it, but I'd like it just to be a little bit more high pitch. We can actually tune it up a little bit.

(Beat plays).

And now that's what those two sound like together when with this yellow snare funk one pitched up.

(Beat plays).

All right, so that's how you layer sounds. You basically pick one and another and you just make sure that at least one of those has the same key range. So this one has E two and this one has D sharp too. So I can just take this one and just drag it down to D sharp too. And now they'll both trick.

(Beat plays).

There you go. And you can do that for as many samples as you like. You can get them all to trigger at the same time. Have fun!

Cheers!

Josh

https://www.thetriplethreatartist.com/

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4 Things Musicians Should Be Doing During Lockdown



Four things I think you should be doing as a music artist right now, during this COVID-19 lockdown.

 Join the Production Playground  (Begins April 20th)

Number one, social distancing should mean physical distancing, but not social isolation. You can socialize through the web, through Skype, through zoom, through all kinds of different programs, Facebook, live, FaceTime, whatever. You should be doing that every day. You should be collaborating and connecting with other musicians, even if you're not working on a song, just reaching out and connecting.

 Join the Production Playground  (Begins April 20th)

Number two, you should be writing music every day. Spend a little bit of time writing some music, especially about your feelings during this time. This is a moment we will probably never live through again, hopefully, and it would be amazing if you came out of this experience with some incredible expression that would never come unless you'd gone through it.

 Join the Production Playground  (Begins April 20th)

Number three, if you have the means, try to do Facebook live and YouTube Live performances.

If you're singer sing, with your guitar, or your piano or your instrument of choice and go live. The world needs to hear your music and this is a wonderful time to share that a lot of people have the ability to just turn on your performance or your concert while they're cooking or while they're eating and doing other things, and you could really build your fan base during this time.

 Join the Production Playground  (Begins April 20th)

Number four is you should be increasing your education in music production. Why? Because no matter whether or not you ever want to be a producer, if you want to become an artist, a songwriter, a singer, etc... if you know some stuff about how to capture that, your sounds and your songs via your computer, your phone, your iPad, whatever, you are going to be dangerous, you're going to command a lot more attention and you can move a lot faster.

This is a perfect time to grow in your production skills.

 Join the Production Playground  (Begins April 20th)

So myself and my friend Josh are putting on a free one week workshop to help anybody that wants to learn how to use their DAW, whether that's Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic, Studio One, whatever. And we're going to show you some really cool tricks in guitar production, drum production, vocal production, synthesizers, and mixing.

We would love, love, love to have you there!

xxx - Zion

Join the Production Playground 
(Begins April 20th)

 

 

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Crossfades (Quick Tips)

 

Hey, it's Josh Doyle from Triple Threat Artists!

Today I want to talk about Crossfades - and when you would want to use a narrow crossfade versus a wide crossfade, and how it can impact some of the creative edits and creative choices that you want to make.

I'm going to start here with a simple vocal just by itself. And let's check this out - and we're going to make some some creative edits to this. We're going to change it up. So let's take a listen here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so let's let's take the ending first. Let's suppose that I wanted to extend how long she holds this very last long note here. So let's find where she kind of settles on that long note.

(Audio Plays)

So it's right around here.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so let's say that I wanted the vocal to last twice as long on that note here. So good to do a command 'D' to duplicate. All right, and now I'm going to zoom in here and make sure we've got a little crossfade leftover. So let's just listen to what we have here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so we have that little pop happening, right? Now, let's do this. Let's first take this section and just bring it back over a little bit. So we have a bit of audio from both sides to crossfade with, and now I'm just going to do a small crossfade on this like that. So it's something really small. You can barely see it when I zoom out. And now let's listen.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so that got rid of the pop, but you can still kinda hear the point where the edit happens, right? So in a case like this, when I've got long notes that I'm trying to make a seamless transition, I will do a wider crossfade something maybe like this. And now let's try this and see what this sounds like.

(Audio Plays)

All right, and we're getting just a little bit of of the previous note in there. So now let's listen. I just nudged it back over so we're we're getting kind of a cleaner transition.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so now you hear that. Now you can still hear a little bit of the point, but it's not such a drastic point, right? Kind of a smoother transition

(Audio Plays)

And especially in the music - that's gonna just blend right in.

So now, let's now let's take a listen to a section where we might want to use a small crossfade. So let's see. Let's start here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so let's suppose that we wanted to duplicate or maybe extend this beginning section here. Let's do something like that. I'm going to duplicate this and let's hear what it sounds like now.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so we've got those pops in there, but let's suppose that we generally like that idea. So I'm going to select both crossfades, do the command 'F' in Pro Tools, and now that is going to automatically create, let's see, a 10 millisecond crossfade automatically on both of those. So that's what just happened there, right? So now we've got crossfades on both of these. So now let's listen

(Audio Plays)

So that's okay. You know, this isn't going to be perfect because it's still gonna sound like an edit, but let's see if we can just make this a little bit smoother. Let's drag this out a little bit and see what that sounds like.

(Audio Plays)

All right, we're, we're kind of getting there, right? We're, we're smoothing this out a little bit. Sometimes it takes a little finessing.

(Audio Plays)

Bring that back just a little bit more.

(Audio Plays)

All right, and maybe let's make this crossfade a little bit wider.

(Audio Plays)

Let's just bring it back. Maybe something like this.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so now we're getting a little bit closer.

(Audio Plays)

So there's still a little bit more finessing that I would do with this, but you can hear how where you place the crossfades at the edit point, and how wide of a crossfade you choose, can really impact how the edit sounds.

So give this a little consideration next time you're editing pieces of audio together. All right. Have fun!

Cheers!

Josh

https://www.thetriplethreatartist.com/

 

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Create Harmony Using a Melody Track

Hey this is Josh from Triple Threat Artist! 

I've got something really cool to show you! I made a harmony out of just one vocal track! I'm just gonna jump right in here and show you exactly what I did. This is the full thing right here.

(See video for full explanation and demonstration)

Cheers!

Josh

https://www.thetriplethreatartist.com/

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Pitching Plugin of the Pros: WAVES SoundShifter

 

Hey it's Josh from the Triple Threat Artist!

I just wanted to jump on here real quick and share this new plugin that I recently found. I hear that this one is really popular in the EDM and dance producers world! They've known about this for a while but I just recently found out about it and I'm super impressed with it. The sound quality is amazing for what it does and it's really simple to use.

It's called SoundShifter and it's made by Waves (see note below for purchase information) and what I've done here is I've just thrown this on an acoustic guitar buss and it basically just shifts the pitch up or down however you want. You can see here that I've drawn in some automation so it's gonna go up and then back down. Just listen to the quality of this!

(See video for complete information!)

The SoundShifter plugin will have full functionality for ProTools users, but other platforms can benefit from the sound shifting capability.

Let me know in the comments what you guys think about this one!

Cheers,

- Josh

Here's a link to purchase SoundShifter - contact our friend Kyle Malone ([email protected]). Kyle is our go to man at Sweetwater. Let him know you're a student with the Triple Threat Artist! No guarantee he can offer any consideration, but worth it.

 

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