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Friday, November 27, 2015

101 Mixing Tricks Black Friday Sale

33% Off Black Friday Sale

Today only - register for my 101 Mixing Tricks coaching program for only $197.
That's $100 off (33%) off the regular price of $297!

 Order It Now! 

---> You get all 5 Mixing Tricks modules consisting of:
  • Module 1: “In Your Face” Interest Creation Mix Tricks including16 tips on balance, panning, automation, EQ and compression that add some amazing interest to any mix.
  • Module 2: Mondo Effects Mixing Tricks, including 18 mixing tips about creating great reverb and delay effects that either jump out or blend seamlessly into the track.
  • Module 3:Interesting Instrument Mixing Tricks, including 23 mixing tips that specifically cover guitar, bass, and keyboards, which includes how to get the famous Elton John piano sound, or a bass sound that pops through small speakers.
  • Module 4:  Wicked Cool Drum And Percussion Mixing Tricks, including 28 tips for getting killer drum and percussion sounds.
  • Module 5: Bad-Ass Lead And Background Vocal Mixing Tricks, including 16 tips to make that lead and background vocal either pop out of a mix, or blend in just right.
---> Lifetime 24/7 access

---> Q&A webinars and forums

---> Plus a Bonus Module consisting of all the editing tricks that the top mixers use to prep their tracks for mixing.

---> And I'll throw in my Mixing Engineer's Checklist eBook if you order today.

Find out more about the 101 Mixing Tricks online coaching program at

Order now because at midnight tonight, the price goes back to $297 forever!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Reality Of The Music Industry Holiday Shutdown

Happy Thanksgiving And Thanks For Reading
Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings and banquets, but it also marks the beginning of a time of year that those in the business of music either love or hate - the Holiday Shutdown.

The Holiday Shutdown is the toughest time of the year to do business because the execs that can greenlight a project begin their extended vacations, so they're rarely in the office. It begins Thanksgiving week (some leaving on Monday rather than Wednesday), and really continues until about the second week in January. Oh, they'll be back in the office between now and then, but they're usually so backed up with work that if you're not on the top of the pile you'll be pushed to next year.

One of the reasons why record execs leave is that the release schedules for the year and even into the first quarter of next year are set in stone. The Christmas releases are out by now, and while there may be a record that might drop in the first week of December, it's a rarity. It's a slow season work-wise, so why stick around?

On the other hand, agents and managers are still working as they line up fill-in dates for the end of the year and work on tours for the new year, merch vendors are still working because it's a prime time of the year for retail sales, and publishers are still getting payments and working on synch licenses for television shows and movies (although many of the producers have also left unless they're still in production).

This is also the time of year where bands may still be negotiating for a New Years Eve gig, which may be the best paying, but the worst gig of year, as the audience tries too hard to have the good time they think they're supposed to have.

With all that being said, it's a good time of year to get your marketing in order for 2016, since there's bound to be some downtime in whatever sector of the business that you're involved it. We'll review that more in an upcoming post, but in the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving and don't eat too much turkey!

Some Road Veteran Tips For Eating Well On Tour

Live Fast, Eat Well image
Anyone who's ever been on road even for a few dates knows how screwed up your diet can get. The inconsistent schedule can turn your eating habits upside down, which eventually will take a toll on your energy.

In this excerpt from The Touring Musician's Handbook, a number of road veterans provide some tips on the best way to eat in order to stay healthy.
"After a few weeks on the road, you start to get weary. After a couple of months, you’re constantly tired in a low level sort of way. Sure, you may be getting enough sleep, but it’s a restless, uncomfortable sleep that silently wears on every fiber of your being.

When that happens, it’s easy to give up on any health routines that you might have and just want to survive. That’s when you have to be more vigilant than ever before you slip into some nasty health-related habits that can stay with you for the rest of your life.

What To Stay Away From
One of the first things to get out of whack is your diet. Junk foods are never good for you, but they can be especially hazardous on the road.

Fast food not only can add some unwanted pounds but the added dairy products like cheese and mayonnaise can play havoc with your voice (more on that in a bit). Mayo alone can easily add 200 calories to a dish and anything with a cream sauce even more. You’re better off to ask them to hold it or put it on the side. 
The most important thing is to eat healthy, and it’s so easy not to in our situation. There are snacks and sodas around all day and you have a number of choices for meals because most (of the bigger) tours are very well catered. So you need to watch your diet and keep your weight down. A lot of guys put on weight when they go out on tour because they eat a lot at meals and eat a lot after the show.  - Terry Lawless: keyboard tech with U2
Watch your diet. That’s a big deal. I’ve seen so many guys that would go out on their first tour and come back a year later and they’d gained forty pounds. You get to the venue at about four o’clock and backstage there’s going to be catering, it’s going to be good, and you’re going to pig out. As you know, musicians are not known for their self-control.  - Mike Holmes: keyboard player for Lee Greenwood, Leroy Parnell, and Delbert McClinton
You have to stay away from eating pizza every single night, unless your twenty-five and still have the metabolism of a hummingbird (laughs). The older you get, the better shape you can keep your body and mind, the better you’re going to perform and play.
One of the things that’s great about being on the road is that you travel to great cities and you can eat a lot of great food and you can go out and party with your friends every now and then and have a really great time. But you can’t do that every night because you’re going to end up fat and lazy and not in very good shape. Eventually it will take it’s toll no matter who you are.  - Paul Mirkovich: musical director for Cher, Pink, Janet Jackson and Anastasia
Some Good Things To Eat
On the bus, apples and peanut butter on whole wheat bread is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and roughage, and will help you save your pre diem. It’s easy to get dehydrated so drink lots and lots of water, and substitute fruit juice instead of soda whenever you can. 

Healthy alternatives like protein bars, dried fruit, trail mix and nuts are easy to take with you to snack on, and the more fresh fruit you can eat, the better.
I also take Power Bars or some kind of nutritional bar on the road with me because you can’t depend upon other people for your sustenance on the road. I’ve been stuck before when we’ve missed our flight and nobody had any money for food, so I learned never to go out on the road broke. Don’t let anyone stick you on an eight hour bus ride on a sit-up bus with no food and no water where they’re telling you, “We can’t stop because we don’t have the time. We’re going to miss sound check as it is.” While that may be true, you have to take care of yourself, so when you get on the bus, take a bottle of water and a couple of Power Bars. If they stop for lunch, great. If they don’t, you’re still covered.   - Ed Wynne: sax player for Al McKay's All Stars and formerly of The Doobie Brothers
When To Eat
The best time of the day for your biggest meal is lunch, since a light dinner works best to prepare your metabolism for the show. At lunch you usually have a great variety of dishes to choose from with a lot of healthy alternatives. 

Be on the lookout for ethnic restaurants because they usually have many healthy alternatives rich in vegetables and protein alternatives like tofu. If possible, remember to substitute brown rice for white; it’s healthier for you.

Try not to eat after the gig. The only kitchens that seem to be open late are the ones that feature deep-fried food. 

When you eat a grease-laden meal before you go to bed, there’s no chance for your body to work it off. The calories can really add up after a few nights a week of post-gig fried food gorging. If you must eat after a gig, keep it light and healthy.

Finally, take a shower whenever the opportunity presents itself, since it doesn’t come often enough."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Music For Cats Becomes a Reality

Music for Cats image
I wrote about the Music For Cats project about 6 months ago, but now it's a lot closer to reality, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign.

Just to review, most of us make music for our fellow humans, but David Teie, a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, wanted to create something especially for our feline friends.

David teamed up with some animal behavioral scientists from the University of Wisconsin to develop Music For Cats, a series of recordings specifically created for, you guessed it, cats.

The tracks are specifically designed to make cats relax and go a step beyond how they respond to human music (which does affect many young cats).

The Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to produce an album of cat music (6 tracks of 10 minutes each) blew past that goal and is now at almost $193k, but there's still a few days left if you want to get in on it.

In the meantime, here's the explanation below. By the way, one of my cats was particularly interested when the video played.

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: SSL Beta DIY 500 Series Module

SSL Beta DIY module
Have an idea for an audio circuit but aren't sure how to get it into a 500 series module? SSL has the solution for you. It's called Beta and it's basically a blank 500 module that enables you to go DIY to your heart's content.

The SSL Beta comes with an illuminated front panel and a collection of basic SSL components, including 5 log, anti-log and linear pots (even with center detents), real SSL knob caps, two and four pole switches, and dual color status function LEDs.

These components mount to the front panel, but you can connect them any way you want to the circuit that you build on the attached breadboard.

Remember, this module doesn't do anything by itself, but if you're handy with a soldering iron and like the look of SSL modules, then it's the perfect place to begin to build.

DIY 500 kits and circuits are available from a variety of websites, including Five Fish Audio, DIY Recording Equipment and JLM Audio, among others.

The SSL Beta is available directly from the SSL online store for $165.


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