Beats X Earbuds, Worth the Money?

 

Ok, so here's the deal. BeatsX headphones are way overpriced. This is my very non-technical, non-scientific review of the Beats earbuds compared to my cheap $19 buds I bought on Amazon.

I "A-B" tested the two pairs of headphones listed below and concluded that I liked the sound and total balance of my music better through my Amazon cheap headphones. Go figure.

The $19 Amazon earbuds are these. (they might be discontinued, but these seem to be the same thing)

Here's the $190 Beats X earbuds I am returning.

Here are the songs I compared:

It Ain't Me, by Kygo

Three More Days, by Ray LaMontagne

Feels Good, by Fan Fiqtion

I should mention that the Beats probably will last longer, because of the better build quality. And since they're now owned by Apple, they work great for quickly connecting to your other Apple devices.

But I'm just talking about the sound quality in this video.

Yes, I Zion, loved the cheap ones better. They just sounded better to me. And I can't justify the price of the BeatsX, and so shouldn't you.

*drops mic*

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Weekly Facebook Group Recap - 9/9 thru 9/15

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

  • Brad Elliot joined the Triple Threat tribe! Woohoo!
  • The recap of previous week was shared.
  • Lina Farah joined the Tribe! Yay!!!
  • More steps were taken by students to listen to lectures and apply their new knowledge in exercises and groove making strategies.
  • Office Hours were amazing. Tuesday we talked about online beat makers (Splice, Loopmakers, etc). Then Zion demonstrated how he's using Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 to mix and master his music.
  • Allison shared a link and asked for some feedback as well as a recommended horn/sax player.
  • Jeb shared a question about Ableton Live's features
  • Zion asked for who won the Amplesound giveaway that I did at the Live Event social.
  • Amber asked about Ozone and Neutron in comparison to Soundtheory.
  • Blake shared a rap song he's working on and asked for feedback on it. Great stuff!
  • This next week's office hours will be held on Tuesday at 10am, where we will deconstruct famous production of hit songs, as well as get questions resolved for any production projects students are working on.
  • 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 49FORLIFE.


The Access Course

  • Keith posted requesting some encouragement
  • Keith re-posted Victoria’s video about research. If this has been your stumbling block, you should watch this very helpful explanation
  • Debbie and others inquired about zoom guests
  • Josh invited people to his band’s shows in the midwest in October
  • Victoria posted two new submission opportunities
  • Marty posted a question to Victoria about submission requests and covers
  • Victoria posted the Monday Music Breakdown for the Tommy Hilfiger ad
  • Angelique offered to make a compilation video of all the Monday Music Breakdowns. Go Agelique!
  • Jan seconded Cathy’s recommendation go Grit by Angela Duckworth
  • Kayte sought a producer
  • Mark sought someone to toppling his tune for the submission op
  • Nick offered encouragement
  • Joe requested info about Artiphon
  • Bev reported that agencies have been harder to pinpoint lately
  • Bev also mentioned that she’s stepped up her pitch email daily quotas
  • Austin offered encouragement and advice
  • Josh requested collaborators in his efforts
  • Pete seeks a female vocalist
  • Dennis and others posted songs for feedback
  • CTM posted a competition for a giveaway involving a new 8-day challenge
  • Ian posted about the EU’s new copyright law
  • Kayte posted about following music supervisors on social media
  • Fredrik posted a question about ISRCs
  • Victoria posted the 9/13 listening session replay
  • Fredrik wished us farewell
  • Tamara posted a recommendation for Disco
  • Debbie posted about some recent success
  • Mark posted an article about co-writing and split sheets
  • Matt asked questions about the course and how long a membership lasts. Good information for class members here.
  • Tamara posted from the Guild of Music Supervisors event
  • Emily posted from The Music Supers conference also
  • Samuel posted a tour of his studio
  • Andrea and others bid us goodbye
  • Laura and others posted about success. Congratulations!
     

 

 

 Huge thanks to Jan Seides for her help in summarizing the Access Course.

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Layers of the Kick Drum (Triple Threat Quick Tip)

 

Most beginning producers don't realize that the kick drum is made up of more than just low frequencies. The character of the kick comes alot from how the click (or snap) of the sound is made, which in some ways mimics the beater on the head of the drum. 

Some producers craft their kick drums using the low freqs of one kick, combined with the high freqs of another kick. Basically layering them together to get the desired sound.

Todays quick tip is just an introduction to these concepts, as well as showing you the kick instrument I use to achieve the sound I want.

Enjoy!

Zion :)

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Weekly Facebook Group Recap - 9/2 thru 9/8

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 checked and talked about upcoming information on mixing and mastering.
  • Eymard posted questions about using a software for monitoring as well as acoustic treatment of his studio space
  • Kate posted a great book recommendation she has for being an artist
  • More steps were taken by students to listen to lectures and apply their new knowledge in exercises and groove making strategies.
  • Recap of the week was posted
  • Office Hours were amazing. Tuesday we caught up with projects we are all working on, discussed advantages of several DAWs, and Zion showed how Ableton's Session view can be used to comp vocals and get creative.
  • Chelsey posted images and information on her vocal chain for feedback.
  • Amber posted a great video about learning to collaborate
  • Brad Elliot joined our tribe! Woot
  • This next week's office hours will be held on Tuesday at 10am, where we will deconstruct famous production of hit songs, as well as get questions resolved for any production projects students are working on.
  • 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 49FORLIFE.


The Access Course

  • Rick asked if anyone ever struggled with musical self-esteem. It seems many do.
  • Fredrik and various others posted music for feedback
  • Rick also asked if anyone ever felt confident of their “Hit” early in the writing process. 
  • Dielle posted one of his songs that got signed by CTM
  • Sal posted his proceeds from Songtradr
  • Juli posted an article from Billboard featuring 4 Emmy-nominated Music Supervisors
  • Tom looked for help producing a song
  • Rick asked if anyone uses IDTag3 for tagging music and could answer his question
  • Irini created a group where people who were saying goodbye to the class could stay in touch.
  • Rick asked about influences
  • Sherry and others bid the class adieu
  • Victoria announced the September assignment
  • CTM featured “Feelin’ Brand New” by Maggie Eckford in the Just Fab ad
  • Tom looked for rappers
  • Pete looked for a producer
  • Moon Frenzy requested info about Songtradr
  • Jim posted about an FB group that checks the parts one wrote for instruments one doesn’t play to see if they’re playable
  • Tobias asked for opinions about Komplete 11 vs. Komplete 11 Ultimate
  • Taylor requested info about recording/licensing covers
  • Zion posted a pic of himself at 7 years old. Others followed suit.
  • Sam posted about bundle he uses and loves being on sale for a really good price
  • Victoria posted the office hours replay for those who weren’t able to join the discussion. Go take a look.
  • Moon Frenzy and Sam both posted new songs with Spotify links
  • Celestialblue Music posted a video of Tips from a mentor of hers
  • Tom started an FB group for his Podcast “Sync Friendly”
  • Nancy posted a comment about keeping in mind that everyone you are dealing with is also human.
  • James posted an article about Spotify marketing strategy
  • Rick posted a question about inspiration
  • Bev asked for info about Submit Hub
  • Online webinar with Hunter Scott (social media) - Oct 3rd 

 

 Huge thanks to Jan Seides for her help in summarizing the Access Course.

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Pairing Drums Together (Triple Threat Quick Tip)

 

I have noticed that a lot of beginner producers often don't understand how to pair drum sounds with one another. So today I give a brief overview about that to help bring attention to this concept, so you can either keep your drums sounding similar, or break the rule completely.

:) Enjoy. 

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The best question to constantly ask when learning to produce your own music

 

 “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” - Socrates 

What a simple little phrase, by a great thinker. But it applies perfectly to what we are doing as producers. 

Through my little journey here on this earth, there's a one-word question that's given me the greatest results. What do you suppose that question is? 

My video today was made specifically for students of The Triple Threat Artist, but I thought I'd share it with you as well.

Have a great Labor Day, and go make some great music this week!

Zion

 

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Weekly Facebook Group Recap - 8/26 thru 9/1

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

  • Ashley shared her progress in learning some tuning software
  • Kenneth Cole joined the tribe
  • More steps were taken by students to listen to lectures and apply their new knowledge in exercises and groove making strategies.
  • Recap of the week was posted
  • Office Hours were amazing, and consisted of a 1-on-1 with Mr. Jeb Colwell. After a quick catching up, we discussed the projects Jeb is working on and what we can do to help further his progress. We talked a lot about time management and organization, as well as DAW differences and recommendations. Zion also talked at length about theories on production layers, and priority.
  • Jeb shared his progress and what he's learning right now and thankful for
  • This next week's office hours will be held on Tuesday at 10am, where we will deconstruct famous production of hit songs, as well as get questions resolved for any production projects students are working on.
  • 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 49FORLIFE.


The Access Course

  • Debbie posted an opinion by Marvin Gaye’s attorney
  • Lachlan and others posted songs for opinions and feedback
  • Richard posted an article about Successful scoring of Commercials
  • Samuel posted a song by Graffiti Ghosts
  • Catch the Moon posted a Monday Music Breakdown on Sofi Tukker’s “Awoo”
  • Samuel requested opinions re Judy Stakee’s songwriting retreat
  • Robin requested info about licensing a cover
  • Katie posted about why she’s been absent, and was welcomed back. Requests and accountability partner
  • Tamara, Debbie and others posted successes
  • Akira requested info about mixing through headphones
  • Daniel requested information about access to videos at the end of his year.
  • Rob requested info about the Guild of Music Supervisors conference
  • Tobias requested feedback on an offer that was made to him
  • Ceri requested info from Catch the Moon about licenses needed for assignments
  • Debbie posted about video game composing
  • Sonnet posted about upcoming event w/Hunter Scott
  • Rick posted several questions as Conversation Starters
  • Angelique posted an affirmation/reminder that she’s made for herself and others, based on the word FOCUS
  • Rick asked about removing sibilance from a lead vocal, and was given some very good answers
  • Catch the Moon requested help getting the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast up to #1 on iTunes. A prize is offered.
  • Mark asked about licensing music for regional radio spots
  • Zion seeks an electric guitar player
  • Faris asked several questions about metadata
  • Victoria posted Office Hours replay for your listening enjoyment.
  • Debbie posted contact for the agent/library who gets songs placed on Empire.
  • Tracy and Sid said goodbye to the Access Group
  • Matt asked about where the performance royalties actually come from
  • Tony requested info re Track and Fields Agency
  • Gen Evieve seeks co-writes in LA in September
  • Rick asked about everyone’s “musical self-esteem"
 

 

 Huge thanks to Jan Seides for her help in summarizing the Access Course.

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Adjusting a Guitar Part's Timing (Triple Threat Quick Tip)

 

Sometimes after recording a guitar part I'll need to adjust its timing to make it fit nicely into the track I'm working on. Here's how I like to do it.

I first create a midi track (totally empty of sound) and quantize the notes to fit the groove I'm working in. This gives me a visual reference to align the transients of the guitar strums. 

Hope that helps a little bit, to lock in your instruments and grooves. Now go make some great music!

Zion 

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Weekly Facebook Group Recap - 8/19 thru 8/25

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 an article about songwriters and musicians being some of the most motivated and courageous people on earth.
  • More steps were taken by students to listen to lectures and apply their new knowledge in exercises and groove making strategies.
  • Zion shared a song that he's pitching for an Umbrella based ad.
  • Recap of the week was posted
  • Amber shared a youtube video about Portrait XO
  • We talked a lot about the Roli keyboard, and new Roli gear
  • Juli shared a video all about the evolution of U2
  • Ashley shared a really great song she's working on that's in the gothic Americana arena
  • During the Triple Threat Office Hours we caught up on the different projects we are all working on, but then we had an awesome discussion on production tricks for transitions between parts of a song (ie verse to chorus, or chorus back to verse). After that we got into talking about step-sequencers and midi controllers. This led to an awesome demonstration by Alex about his Roli keyboards and how he uses them.
  • Kaeli jumped in and connected with the group and told us about her music festival
  • Kate shared a link about her work with a music producer in Nashville
  • Zion shared a meme about making your week work more fun that weekends.
  • Blake Earnhart joined us
  • Amber shared a photo of her and Aaron at a recording studio in Nashville
  • Ashley shared a tuning program she just bought
  • This next week's office hours will be held on Tuesday at 10am, where we will deconstruct famous production of hit songs, as well as get questions resolved for any production projects students are working on.
  • 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 49FORLIFE.


The Access Course

  • Gil listed a song he wanted us to listen to.
  • Mikey went to Nashville to write with Cooper and Marty
  • Sal got an invitation to sign two of his songs
  • Jameson requested information about setting up a DIY vocal booth
  • Matthew recommended his friend Paul as a producer.
  • CTM’s Monday Music Breakdown was focused on the new Cartier ad
  • Ben and others requested feedback for their songs
  • Juli requested info about the Auddly app
  • Amber started a thread about the CD Baby DIY Conference happening this week
  • Moon asked how many songs we could submit for the August assignment. Emily replied one.
  • Victoria  posted the Music Needs Breakdown pdf she promised
  • Juli posted about a Trailer Musoic Webinar coming up
  • Ian posted an article about getting on streaming platforms, published by the Austrailia PRO
  • Sherry asked about exclusive deals with a coveted agency vs. non-exclusive  deals with others.
  • Chelsey shared pictures from her tour
  • Sonnet interviewed Hunter Scott
  • Victoria posted the Hunter Scott interview video. Go watch if you missed the live one. (Or even if you saw the live one.)
  • Samuel has had more success on Songtradr. Mark replied with a video about Songtradr
  • Sal had success on Crucial Music
  • Debbie posted an article about the Dr. Pepper campaign from Ad Age
  • Debbie also posted a video of an ad for Chef Boyardee
  • Debbie posted an article about Marty O’Donnell and music for games
  • Rehya posted a screenshot of her Crucial Music account with the pitches of her songs.
  • Verification of the universal themes that this course recommends
  • Austin and Eli landed another placement for their song Locomotion, this time with Lowe’s
  • Kayte asked about releasing vs not releasing songs that are being submitted for sync
    Alex asked about Songtrust
  • Mark posted about sync agents, pro vs con
  • Victoria congratiulated Austin and Eli. (Congrats from me too, guys!)
  • Debbie asked for a prediction about the coming years activities in the Access Group. Victoria suggested the “Events” page
  • Samuel asked about Crucial Music’s track record with fellow students
  • Debbie posted about receiving the Greatest Showman soundrack, possibly as a result of her membership in Film Societies, etc
  • Victoria gave feedback on the songs submitted for the July assignment\
  • Akira asked about the possibility of licensing music to  a movie or other video that has a score. (At least that’s how I understood his question. Correct me, if I’m wrong, Akira)
  • Bev is seeking a female vocalist
  • Rick requested info about the $10K Clothing opp
  • MJ posted about the State of Music in Media Conference in 2018
  • Mat posted about a De-Esser Plug-in
  • Samuel posted about 6 Music Production Techniques
  • Eli talked about how they found their licensing agent
  • Dree posted abuut collaborating with a producer to write songs on commission for a library.
  • Marie is looking for the producer she was going to collaborate with but lost their contact info.

 

 Huge thanks to Jan Seides for her help in summarizing the Access Course.

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Energy Vocals (Triple Threat Quick Tip)

 

Hey guys, 

This week's quick tip is all about using vocal improvs and solo parts to inject energy into your song.

I'm a big fan of getting my vocalist to give me lots of improv and solo takes when we are recording. And then one of the last things I do in my production process is to start adding these in. It really gives the song a lot more playfulness, energy and life.

My only caution is not to overdo them, which is really easy to do. Sometimes less is more! Check out the video to learn more and see how I make it work.

Zion

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