Quick Tip - Vocal Mix Levels

Quick tip for how to check if your vocals are balanced at the right level within a mix. If you turn it almost all the way down and the last thing you hear is ONLY the vocal then your vocal MIGHT be too loud. However if you turn it almost all the way down and the last thing you hear is something louder than the vocal, then your vocal MIGHT be too quiet in the mix.

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Quick Tip - Listen Like a Teenager, Analyze Like a Scientist

Many teenager's listen to music with a passion that most of us lose as we get older. Let's see if we can get some of that back but also take time to analyze what is making us have physical reactions to certain music. Music is magic! Let's figure out how the tricks are done!

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Quick Tip - Creating Within Your Limitations (Part 2)

In Part 1 I talked about ways to play and record an instrument that you might not know very well. In this video I'll show you how I took that approach and used it to create a fresh sounding guitar part (without using much actual guitar playing at all)! The point of this is to inspire you to try recording other instruments in simple ways that can result in sounds which not many others would ever think to try.

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Quick Tip - Creating Within Your Limitations (Part 1)

Not every self-producing artist is a multi-instrumentalist and you don't need to be! Here is one way you can approach playing an instrument that can result in fresh sounding ideas on your next recording. (In Part 2 I'll show you how this one-note-at-a-time technique can sound in a song.)

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Quick Tip - 3 Songwriting Hacks You'll Love!

For me production starts right at the very beginning when the song is being written. Check out 3 of my favorite songwriting hacks that have helped me bridge the gap between Songwriter and Producer. 

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FOUND SOUNDS CHALLENGE!!

Challenge Rules and Guides:

- Pick one room/location (ie- bathroom, your car, shed, etc) and find as many unique sounds as you can. Record them, import the audio into your DAW of choice, chop up the usable audio clips and arrange them on different tracks.

- Create a beat or song using those sounds as a primary element. You can choose to make the beat or song as simple or complex as you want. It could be instrumental or it could have vocals. It doesn't need to ONLY be those sounds from your chosen location (you could choose add guitars, vocals, piano if you'd like) but I want the sounds you've found to be a featured element in the recording you share.

- The goal is to be as creative as possible and be as unique as possible. Find music in your surroundings and use the limitations of your current skillset as an advantage.

- Due by 10pm (PST), Sunday, June 9th.

- SUBMISSION LINK: https://forms.gle/kWzGCWTFhxtqQzZG7

- The week following the deadline I will post a video of the challenge winners and honorable mentions.

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Quick Tip - Find the Answer Within

Sometimes when we are struggling to find the right sound or the right part for a song, we discover that the answer was within the song itself all along. In this video I discuss one way I used existing parts of a song to create new hooks.

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Quick Tip - Pitching Percussion

 You don't hear a lot about using pitch correcting tools outside of vocals. This video is about using pitching tools in creative ways, like pitching down a crash cymbal to create a warmer, less abrasive sound.

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👷🏼‍♂️ Facebook Group Weekly Recap - 2/10 thru 2/17

Here is a recap of facebook group information for one or more courses you're a part of. Disclaimer. This recap by no means replaces the information in the Facebook Groups. Always refer to them for the most current and accurate information. We do our best to relay what we think is the most important details, but it's very possible for us to overlook something or make a typo in the process. This is just to be used as a quick reference and outline. Enjoy!

The Triple Threat Artist

  • Zion shared a replay of the live pop-in video message he had for the group.
  • Tobias shared two versions of the same song; a male and female, each in a different key. He asked the group for input on the production, and which version/key sounded best.
  • Rebecca posted about struggles felt from not being able to get things accomplished due to physical, mental and every-day life blockades. She asked if anybody else in the group ever feels that way. Group response was a resounding “yes of course we all do, but you have to keep moving forward.”
  • Kaeli told a story how her friend said her song reminded her of the movie Creed. Her friend never knew the song was indeed inspired by Creed.
  • Zion posted the Facebook Group Recap – 3/3 thru 3/9
  • Tobias asked for help related to Logic X latency problems he’s been experiencing running iZotope Neutron.
  • Zion shared Echo Sound Works, and urged other Triple Threats to follow him, if they are into crafting synths or new and edgy EDM stuff. Zion says he’s learned a lot of good stuff from them.
  • Zion welcomed Jan Seides to the Triple Threat tribe.
  • Zoom Office Hours link was shared  (02/12/19 at 12 pm PST).
  • Robin shared  the “What Makes This Song Great? Ep.18 Max Martin” video that features a reverse-look breakdown of a song Robin believes is well produced.
  • Javier shared a post about a Music Expo being held in Miami at the end of March.
  • Zion shared the Facebook Recap – 3/3 thru 3/9.
  • Fox shared an interesting article about song length for pop music today.
  • Zion shared office hours, which was all about reconnecting. There was also discussion about the importance of listening to professional music to get your ears adjusted to what works and what doesn't.
  • Mark shared a link to a comprehensive list of music genres.
  • Amber shared her great experience using “first aid” to speed up her mac machine.
  • Zion welcomed Jenna Laurise Ehrle to the Triple Threat Artist tribe.
  • Osie shared a link to free plugins.
  • Osie shared a discount coupon code for the Opto Compressor.
  • Osie shared a link to a reasonably priced Phaser plug-in.
  • Rebecca shared a photo of a vintage fader she is busy programming.
  • Zion welcomed Renee Ruth to the tribe.
  • Zion shared a link to a Mac Rumors Buyer’s Guide where Apple product users can find out when upgrades are due to be released.
  • Derek informed the group that the C major scale is the best App ever.
  • Osie shared a link to a free guitar amp simulator VST plugin.
  • New Member Helen reached out to the group to say hello.
  • Tobias shared a link to an iZotope holiday (President’s Day) sale.
  • Rebecca reached out to the group for help with crash issues she’s having in Logic Pro X with the free Kontakt VST plugin.
  • If you are in the Access Course and have interest in joining the Triple Threat Artist group, please let Zion know, we've got an amazing discount waiting for you.. Now $49/m, with coupon code ACCESS49. There's no installment plan, and you can quit anytime!

The Access Course  

  • Joan shared a thought that was inspired by “The Artist’s Way,” and thanked Cathy for keeping us all motivated.
  • Cathy reached out to members to post a .gif that reflected the highlight of their weekend.
  • Rick asked the group what their greatest fear was as singer/songwriters’
  • David shared his January assignment song “I Like It Bright,” and asked for input from the group.
  • Rick revealed that in addition to music endeavors he is also creating a book of photography called “Six Strings, One Reason.”
  • Cathy shared the cover of her first book “Don’t Keep Your Day Job,” which is due in bookstores within the next few months. The book is designed to help anyone who reads it see that we each have something unique to share with the world.
  • Kristina reached out asking the group what their “wins” were from the past week. She shared several of hers, including several songs that were potentially in the pipeline for placement.
  • Alex posted the Sign-up sheet for mix and production review.
  • Tobias shared a link to a sale on “Tropicool,” fun drum and percussion samples.
  • Tamara shared the official trailer for the Hulu show “Shrill,” where her and Osie’s song “Beserk” is used.
  • Zion shared the Facebook Group recap from 3/3/19 to 3/9/19.
  • Zion shared the Monday Music Breakdown that featured a Royal Caribbean ad featuring “Million Ways to Live” by Mapei.
  • Lori reached out to see if any producers in the group were interested in working with her on a spa/relaxation CD or soundtrack music. She shared a sample melody.
  • Victoria shared an article on the best songs used in commercials.
  • Joe shared a link for anybody interested in an opportunity to perform on a Songtradr showcase (for LA residents only).
  • Paul shared an Academy of Contemporary music networking event that will be happening in the UK for anyone interested.
  • Bev referenced an informative online TAXI session she attended that was about instrumental cues.
  • Kristina shared a TAXI song brief that featured a song by Catch the Moon artist The Highfields as a reference.
  • Michelle shared that a song she had just released – “Spelling Lessons” – was trending on the Hype Machine popular charts, and asked those in the group to help support it trend higher.
  • Mona shared a link to a vocal coach in L.A. who can even teach dogs how to sing.
  • Jim asked those in the group who have songs signed by CTM to send the Spotify links to him for a research playlist he is putting together.
  • Alex shared the link to his bi-weekly Mix and Production Feedback session that he and Denis does for the group.
  • Rick shared that was having one of those days when he just couldn’t get his guitar in tune.
  • Danny shared a tutorial video he created about mixing snare drums in a rock mix.
  • Mark shared a link to a website that features a comprehensive list of music genres.
  • Victoria shared that a new Submission Opportunity was posted in the Files section, due 2/14/19.
  • Victoria posted the sheet for sign-ups for the 2-14-19 Listening Session.
  • Cathy posted a video from a quick pop-in visit she made to the group.
  • Zion posted a poll asking what was keeping people from attending the upcoming Synckeepers Live Access Event.
  • Victoria posted the Zoom link to the Listening Session.
  • Bev sent Valentine’s Day greetings out to everyone in the group.
  • Victoria posted a video reply that Cathy referenced in her earlier pop-in visit video. It’s an “Office Hours” that was done for the new 6-Figure Songwriting Course group.
  • Amira shared a song she had just released out Spotify, called “Make it to the Diamond,” and asked the group for their support to listen to and share the song.
  • Cathy posted that she will be visiting the group on 2-15-19 to explain new ways CTM was going to be supporting the group.
  • Joan reached out to see how the choir idea was coming along that is earmarked for the upcoming Access Event.
  • Michelle shared that yet another song of hers was featured on the WOS (Women of Substance) Music  podcast.
  • Zion shared a link to the replay of the Listening Session that was held on 2-14-19. This was Zion’s first Listening Session as host.
  • Cathy shared her Live video meeting replay with the group that was held 2-15-19.
  • Michael asked about a video Zion had posted about the breakdown for song reviews.
  • Alex shared a link for anybody interested in new one-on-one song review sessions that he and Dennis have started offering to those in the group.
  • Danny shared a sound clip of a new song he is working on with Joe.
  • MaShanda shared that she has booked her flight to LA for the upcoming Synckeepers Event.
  • Nichole shared a link to a song she was currently working on, and asked the group if they thought it was something that could be used for sync purposes.
  • Jim shared a weather forecast chart for his home town that he saw after editing vocals. He had the urge to auto tune the weather forecast days all to 30 degrees.
  • Katie reached out to those in the group attending Synckeepers to see if there was anybody who wanted to share an Airbnb with her.

 

Huge thanks to Jan Seides and Mark Jarasek for their help in summarizing these courses.

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👩‍🏫 Facebook Group Recap - 3/3 thru 3/9

Here is a recap of facebook group information for one or more courses you're a part of. Disclaimer. This recap by no means replaces the information in the Facebook Groups. Always refer to them for the most current and accurate information. We do our best to relay what we think is the most important details, but it's very possible for us to overlook something or make a typo in the process. This is just to be used as a quick reference and outline. Enjoy!

The Triple Threat Artist

  • Zion welcomed Chris Clark to the Triple Threat Artist tribe
  • Zion welcomed Robin Mauer Vakil and Mark Lee Jarasek to the tribe
  • Rebecca posted to the group seeking suggestions for a good all-round piano sample library.
  • Kenneth asked the group about the various versions of Melodyne seeking which is recommended.
  • Ernest posted about the call-out that Zion and the Triple Threats (a new Motown group?) received from Cathy Heller Reinstein’s recent meeting in the Access Course.
  • Zion informed the group office hours Zoom session was moved to Thursday for the week.
  • Zion reached out to the group for a volunteer to help with his Weekly Recap.
  • Javier reached out to the group for a recently released track.
  • Neil Turk asked the group for input about studio foam padding.
  • Osie shared a Studio Time w/ Junkie XL video with the group.
  • Chris Clark asked the group for feedback and input song he is currently creating.
  • Zion posted a RSVP link for Triple Threats who will be going the Access Live Event to attend a social meeting the evening before the Live Event.
  • Zion posted the replay for 02/07/19 Office Hours. Session discussion covered everything from grit and perseverance, to Melodyne, to finding the right singer, music libraries and more.
  • Alex posted about an iZotope flash sale on Iris 2 and Trash 2.
  • If you are in the Access Course and have interest in joining the Triple Threat Artist group, please let Zion know, we've got an amazing discount waiting for you.. Now $49/m, with coupon code ACCESS49. There's no installment plan, and you can quit anytime!

The Access Course  

  • Catch The Moon Music announced a limited-time $150 discount for the upcoming SyncKeepers event. Offer expires midnight 2/14 PST. Use the code VALENTINE to get the discount.
  • Angela shared her first song submission to CTM "Let The Magic Show," and asked for feedback from the group.
  • Cathy announced a "sing off" between members of the new 6-Figure students and members the Access group who will be attending the March Live Event.
  • Rebecca asked if anyone else in the group is thinking it will be lonely the imminent departure of great people leaving the Access.
  • Jacq, whose year in Access has ended, expressed her gratitude to the Catch the Moon community and team.
  • Sara shared an article about "The Artist's Way" author Julia Cameron.
  • Amira will be attending the March event, and can't wait.
  • Marie Arredondo informed the group that she created a group chat for everyone who's shown interest in singing at the March event. Let her know if you want to be added to the group.
  • Joe shared a homemade music video he created for his song "Stupid Drivers."
  • Ross offered his fiddle/violin services to anyone in the Access group. For free!
  • Dwayne shared a song for input from the group.
  • Marie shared a link to all ads that appeared during the Super Bowl.
  • Mark shared a collaborative Spotify playlist of songs that have been used in ads thus far in 2019.
  • Kristina expressed thanks to Cathy for letting her share her ideas during the monthly class. She also shared her January assignment song "Hot Summer."
  • Amira shared "A-Ha" moments that occurred for her during Cathy's monthly Zoom meeting.
  • Minko reached out to others in the Access group from the UK to connect and create a UK sync event.
  • Kathrin posted about being inspired during Cathy's zoom session, and also reached out to see if there were any other vegan/animal advocates in the group.
  • Kristin is just getting started with her focus on the Access course and was looking for an accountability partner.
  • Scott expressed his gratitude for being in the Access course. He shared his journey, which was personally fulfilling. He encouraged everyone to push forward.
  • Lori asked if there were any parents in the group interested in making music for parents. She has ideas that would fit into a potential market for parents with kids.
  • Alex shared a music video of her song "Into You," and asked for feedback from the group.
  • Minko created a Brainstorming meeting for a potential UK Sync event.
  • Victoria posted the reply of Cathy's February Class.
  • Emily, who is a personal trainer who also teaches group exercise, knows music motivates people. She invited Access people to connect to her page to connect music to cycle instructors.
  • Carrie shared that she was included on the Spotify "Women of Country" Top Ten Tuesday playlist.
  • Kristina shared publicity she recently received. Als expressed her desire to learn different languages.
  • Jaynee was seeking collaborators for the February assignment.
  • Jennifer shared that the song "Forget About It" she and Osie co-wrote has been shortlisted multiple times.
  • Allison asked about what she should do to switch from second-year Access to the new Exclusive membership group.
  • Cathy and Victoria shared a write-up from Cathy's speaking engagement at the Grammy Museum.
  • Zion asked the group about a potential conflict between registering with Songtrust, and an artist's ability to remain a one-stop.
  • Zion invited Access group members who will be attending the March Event to the Triple Treat Artist social on the Wednesday evening before. A link to the RSVP was provided.
  • Victoria posted a link to the 2/6 Office Hours replay.
  • Helen announced she had the Hotel Cafe reserved for another Access X Artist Showcase following the Synckeepers Live event. Will be held Sat. March 9 from 4:30 to 6:30. A link to a sign-up sheet was included.
  • Alex posted a Public Service Announcement related to Zion's post regarding potential conflict between registering with Songtrust, and an artist's ability to remain a one-stop. There is no conflict.
  • Joan posted an article she is in about Louisiana musical artists.
  • Andria shared that she has released her second single "Without You," and that it was added to Spotify's New Music Friday Canada playlist.
  • Mar will be attending the March event.
  • Minko shared her spring/summer song for the January assignment, and asked for feedback from the group.
  • Angela shared a song co-wrote/co-produced with Steven Wesley Guiles for a Catch The Moon 8-Day Challenge will be in an upcoming episode of "Shameless" on Showtime Sunday, 2/10.
  • Nichole shared her January Assignment song "Dazzle," and asked the group for feedback.
  • Juli asked the group their thoughts about how they are researching artist affordability as they are choosing the cover songs for the February assignment.
  • David asked the group for feedback on a song he is currently working on.
  • Tobis shared a link to his and Bev's January assignment song "Summer Time."
  • Joe asked anyone who's had songs signed to Crucial Music uf the status of a submission is "checking right's holders," is a good sign.
  • Minko shared research on what is in the UK for TV and advertising synchronization.

Huge thanks to Jan Seides and Mark Jarasek for their help in summarizing these courses.



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