How My First Concert Changed How I Listened To Music

It was a warm and hot Sunday night on the 9th December 2007 at the Merdeka Stadium Kuala Lumpur. Because it's warm and humid all year in Malaysia. Tonight, My Chemical Romance was going to perform live to their Malaysian fans (including myself) for the very first time as part of their Black Parade World…

It was a warm and hot Sunday night on the 9th December 2007 at the Merdeka Stadium Kuala Lumpur. Because it's warm and humid all year in Malaysia. Tonight, My Chemical Romance was going to perform live to their Malaysian fans (including myself) for the very first time as part of their Black Parade World Tour.

After a year of listening to the Black Parade album, here I am, ready to listen to them live. As a fan, it was a dream come true – in music terms – to be able to watch your favorite musicians perform live for you.

So here I was, wearing my frame-less glasses, dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, with messed up hair (I tried my best to dress for the occasion). I was a stand-out among a crowd dressed mostly in black jackets, painted faces, heavy eye-liners, mohawk hairs and spiked shoes, caps, shirts, shorts, everything.

I REALLY DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

After waiting for near 2 hours, the band appeared and the music started. Then, it all became clear.

WE ALL BECAME ONE – Regardless of race, religion, age, gender (or dressing); we're all celebrating one thing that day. Music. My Chemical Romance turned disturbed strangers to sisters and sisters through one medium – their music.

LISTENING TO MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME – After that night, my experience of listening to MCR through my earphones will never be the same. Listening to House of Wolves now brings me to a scene such as this (Sorry, I could not find the Malaysian version, so here's one from Mexico). Listening to your favorite band live will somehow nail you down as a fan for life.

APPRECIATION. – I learnt to appreciate music on a whole new level. To be able to see the fruits from the effort that the performer puts to perfect the art; to be the master of the alteration of sound so that it's music to our ears. There's something special about listening to music in it's raw form.

IT'S WORTH THE MONEY – Paying RM350 for a ticket is small money considering the hours and hours of time and effort the artist in-front of you has put to bring you that rockin 'tune. Also, musicians mainly gain their income from live music performance. A recent PWC report says that live music revenues are expected to grow as recorded music revenue continue to drop. So your contribution will be much appreciated.

THIS WONT BE MY LAST LIVE CONCERT FOR SURE – After that fateful day in 2009, I told myself that if I liked a band / musician, I'll be sure to attend their live performance when they visit. That's why I was ecstatic when 30 Seconds To Mars came to Malaysia for the MTV World Stage in 2011. And why I was devastated when I missed Distant Worlds just last year. MCR defined the live music experience for me.

We were all celebrating one thing that day. Music.

By the end of the concert I was exhausted. There were many instances where my specs were close to flying off my face. And my feet were sore from getting trampled on. I was surprised to get out without impaling myself in the eye with another guy's hat.

In the end, there was a happiness beyond description. It was … euphoric.

That brings me to the question. What does live music – or music – do the human brain that gives it such a powerful social, emotional and physical impact?

The live performance certainly sounded different from the album. There was something about listening to music raw that makes you appreciate it more.

If you're a fan of a musician or band, and if they're coming to town or if you've the money to fly somewhere. Then I strongly advise you go.

I think it's a personal connection between nature and sound. Over to you scientists.

John

Attention Musicians: The Most Common Country Song Requests On The Midwest Circuit

When you perform in a Country / Variety Band, you usually have a large demographic of people to try to make, and keep, happy for the evening. That could mean between 4 and 6 hours of back to back songs that will keep the patrons in the club and buying drinks. I do want to…

When you perform in a Country / Variety Band, you usually have a large demographic of people to try to make, and keep, happy for the evening. That could mean between 4 and 6 hours of back to back songs that will keep the patrons in the club and buying drinks.

I do want to emphasize that it's not a good idea to play 4-6 hours of songs that all have the same 3 chord hook in the same general tempo and rhythm. It's very important to shake things up, for example, play something like slow waltz and then something peppy like a two-step or a shuffle.

A lot of songs that used to fall into the southern classic rock genres are now considered country dance music. For example, Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Sweet Home Alabama” and Creedence Clearwater Revival's “Down On The Corner” are very popular country dance tunes. ZZ Top's “La Grange” is a very popular country line dance song. You may notice that there is a lot of mixed genre songs on this list, but this is what the people want. Let's Get Started.

* “Sweet Home Alabama” / Lynyrd Skynyrd * “Free Bird” / Lynyrd Skynyrd

* “Folsom Prison Blues” / Johnny Cash * “Ring Of Fire” / Johnny Cash

* “The Chair” / George Strait * “The Fireman” / George Strait

* “Chattahooche” / Alan Jackson * “Tall, Tall Trees” / Alan Jackson

* “Shake it For Me” / Luke Bryan * “Chicken Fried” / Zac Brown

* “Wagon Wheel” / Darius Rucker * “Save a Horse” / Big and Rich

* “Walkin After” Midnight / Patsy Cline * “Crazy” / Patsy Cline

* “Love Bug” / George Jones * “Dreams” / Fleetwood Mac

* “Family Tradition” / Hank Williams Jr. * “Your Cheatin 'Heart” / Hank Sr.

* “Sleepwalk” / Santo and Johnny * “Hey Bartender” / Little Big Town

* “Before He Cheats” / Carrie Underwood * “Bottoms Up” / Brantley Gilbert

* “Seminole Wind” / John Anderson * “10,000 Angels” / Martina Mcbride

* “Love's The Only House” / Martina Mcbride * “Cupid Shuffle” / Cupid

* “Copperhead Road” / Steve Earle * “Lovesick Blues” / Patsy Cline

* “You're All I Think About” / Patti Loveless * “La Grange” / ZZ Top

* “The Watermelon Crawl” / Tracy Byrd * “Mountain Music” / Alabama

* “Neon Moon” / Brooks and Dunn * “Sweet Child O” Mine “/ Guns 'n' Roses

* “Boot Scootin 'Boogie” / Brooks and Dunn * “El Paso” / Marty Robbins

* “Six Days on The Road” / Sawyer Brown * Jump Around “/ House Of Pain

* “Achey Breaky Heart” / Billy Ray Cyrus * “Summer Of '69” / Bryan Adams

* “Cotton Eyed Joe” / Rednex * Wonderful Tonight / Eric Clapton

* “Tennessee Waltz” / Patsy Cline * “Swingin '” / John Anderson

* “8 second ride” / Chris Ledoux * “Cadillac Ranch” / Chris Ledoux

* “Can not you see” / Marshall Tucker * “Redneck Woman” / Gretchen Wilson

* “Here for the Party” / Gretchen Wilson * “Bad Moon Rising” / CCR

* “Down On The Corner” / CCR * “Midnight Special” / CCR

* “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” / Poison * “Li'l White Church” / Little Big Town

* “If I Die Young” / The Band Perry * “Better Dig 2” / The Band Perry

* “Cruise” / Florida Georgia Line * “Man I feel like a woman” / Shania Twain

* “Luckenbach Texas” / Waylon and Willie * “The Gambler” / Kenny Rogers

* “Good Hearted Woman” / Waylon and Willie * “Jambalaya” / Hank Sr.

* “Beer for my Horses” / Toby Keith * “I Love This Bar” / Toby Keith

* “Friends In Low Places” / Garth Brooks * “Joy to The World” / 3 Dog Night

So, there you have it; a list of the most frequently requested songs in over four years of touring. I hope this is helpful to you.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles Robinson was born in Georgia on September 30, 1930 and grew up to be a musician, a composer and a songwriter who did not stay in one genre, but mixed it all up to create a sound that was new to the world and one that was all his own. He went by…

Ray Charles Robinson was born in Georgia on September 30, 1930 and grew up to be a musician, a composer and a songwriter who did not stay in one genre, but mixed it all up to create a sound that was new to the world and one that was all his own.

He went by the name Ray Charles and was always seen in sunglasses no matter the weather, this was something he came up with in the 1950's as a prop or a “hook” more than for practical reasons because we all know that Ray Charles was legally blind. However, he pioneered the genre of “soul music” and had the moniker “High priest of soul” bestowed upon him that stayed with him through his career.

Ray Charles was not born blind, but he started to lose his sight around the age of four. It is likely he suffered from glaucoma, but being from a poor family and living in a small town in the 1930's this undiagnosed and then robbed him of his sight all together. Not that it did anything to dampen his spirit, however as his mother surrounded him in the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and this is where he learned music. He started by playing classical music and learned how to read music in braille which is a complicated system but one he excelled at.

He spent the time after school playing music and hanging with several different bands where they played small venues and did not make a lot of money. It was not until he moved to larger cities where he got more exposure, and finally a record deal. His first big hit was Mess Around, released in 1953. It is a song with roots in rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues and it was a hit with critics and fans alike. Should Have Been Me and Do not You Know were hits in 1954.

Perhaps his biggest hit and the one that is most synonymous with Ray Charles is Georgia On My Mind, which was released in 1960. It won him two of his four Grammy Awards and today is considered a classic.

Although he battled addiction for sixteen years and was legally blind, Charles did not stop chasing his dreams. He has twelve children and has been married twice, and his children are his legacy, along with his music. He died in June of 2004 after many years of song writing and awards to his credit. Never give up on your dreams, you never know where they'll take you!

Who’s Next (1971)

In spite of their artistic appraisal, The Who were never the philosophically astute band Pete Townshend hoped they would be. An ambitious rock album soaring high in the charts,'Tommy' (1969) left its chief song-writer hungry for a follow-up with the tentatively titled'Lifehouse', but with a science fiction plot so convoluted that Townshend may have been…

In spite of their artistic appraisal, The Who were never the philosophically astute band Pete Townshend hoped they would be. An ambitious rock album soaring high in the charts,'Tommy' (1969) left its chief song-writer hungry for a follow-up with the tentatively titled'Lifehouse', but with a science fiction plot so convoluted that Townshend may have been bereft to understand what it meant, and found himself unable to translate into his three bands. Facing defeat, Townshend changed the album into something more accessible, ironically coming up with one the band's most wholly satisfying record in the process.

Despite their prowess live, The Who, prior to 1971, simply lacking the musicianship that propelled Led Zeppelin into stratospheric heights. As earnest as they were, Roger Daltrey's vocals had, by in large, been too subdued, never quite reaching the range of notes Robert Plant hit on 'Leed Zeppelin II'and II''. 'Next 'improved the exception, his bellowing shrieks and whispered notes the stuff of rock legends here,'Behind Blue Eyes' an exceptional example at how good he could be, still remaining his best vocal. Keith Moon, by contrast no stranger to grandiose playing, found himself at the mercy of producer Glyn Jones' microphone embellishment, meaning that his chiming were replaced by a steadier and refined beat, giving his presence more space and cleaner time, those bygone days of 'I Can See For Miles' a distant, indulgent memory. John Entwistle (himself the best musician in the band) played his signature bass lines with finesse, his brass parts with gusto, before putting his own range of dark anecdotes in his scathing'My Wife' (the woman in question took it well he quipped ; she did not contact him, her lawyer did!)

But Townshend, the band's leader, who comes worthiest of praise, both as a musician and a songwriter. The album may have cost him its artistic opera, but left him a catalog of songs forever remembered as some of the greatest in rock. Townshend later stated that The Who's greatest achievement was the creation of the stadium anthem, the genesis of which can be heard on bookending tracks'Baba O'Riley' and'Won't Get Fooled Again', perennial rock station favorites, complete with the still rarely used synthesizer. Where the eighties would date the music, Townshend's use on both point to the future of rock, using it as a backdrop, which would future art rockers Arcade Fire, David Bowie and Talking Heads would make more use of. Brave for 1971, the screamadelics would have contradicted by the cerebral and mystic 'This Song Is Over', the greatest Who song the radio never played. A strong singer, Townshend's whispered voice is supplanted by Daltrey's larger than life coda, Entwhistle's flittering bass the added ingredient that makes it all tick. A blues advocate, Daltrey spits the lyrics to'Bargain' with vigour, a manner that John Lydon would make a career out of. Townshend and Daltrey made for a fine partnership, their continued pairing a testament to this fact.

But it is the aforementioned'Won't Get Fooled Again 'that would remain the band's masterpiece. Anarchic, but beautifully produced, their most politically charged song, but their most commercially viable hits, Townshend's staccatos are the forefront, his frenetic rhythm playing charged with energy, loud, but notes away from pop genius, the song left a lasting impression with auditions, their most revered song to date, although Daltrey has often omitted the infamous'meet the new boss / same as the old boss line') for post 9/11 audiences. A monster track, it showed their veracity and their hard work, provoking their place as one of the seventies greats.

The album could be best summed up by its cover; the four men desecrating a stonehenge with their urine. A statement of defiance, intent and rebellion, it encapsulated in a photo what the band truly were; not the art abiders they were indeed wished they could be, but the nasty rockers most bands wished they could be!

The 4 Major Steps to Follow While Recording a Song in a Recording Studio

Any musician or singer, who intends to get their music out to the world, can not simply be successful in attaining perfection to the final output. Right from composing the music to mastering it, the procedure is time-consuming but fruitful. There is a lot that goes on recording a piece of music or a song,…

Any musician or singer, who intends to get their music out to the world, can not simply be successful in attaining perfection to the final output. Right from composing the music to mastering it, the procedure is time-consuming but fruitful. There is a lot that goes on recording a piece of music or a song, and the inclusion of expertise makes it the best. While you record a song, you may be an amateur in it and accordingly get hold of professionals who can help you master the final product. Apart from that, you can always approach a professional recording studio that has the necessary arrangements for music, clear recording as well as mastering. You need not run about from one place to the other to let your music have perfect sound.

While you plan to record a song for yourself, you need to follow certain steps to get the final product. The steps are explained below –

• Composition – You may already have a song written with the necessary musical inputs in them, but when you enter a studio, there is always room for improvisation or change. Making significant changes while recording a song is always welcome to make the song perfect along with the lyrics and the music. The presence of musicians as well as the singers in a single room can always welcome changes and accordingly bring out best results.

• People heading the recording – Apart from the singers and the musicians intending to record their songs, four other people make sure that the procedure of recording is followed in the right way. The producer, engineer, mixer and the mastering professional are the ones who monitor the steps of the recording and then bringing out the final product. The producer heads the process where the recording is carried on according to his instructions. The engineer provides the singers and musicians with the authentic recording instruments. The mixer is the one responsible for collating the music as well as the song in sync and finally the mastering professional is the last one to listen to the recording and bringing perfection to it.

• Recording it with time in hand – it is not possible to at once enter the studio, and start recording a song. You need to adjust yourself to the equipment, the instructions of the engineer and finally, start off with the recording. It is a time-consuming process where scratch recordings are to be made and only then can the final record be made. There may be times where there is a need for recording the music from the instruments several times to make it sound perfect to the ear and not sound noisy.

• Mastering – While the song is finally recorded, there is a need for mastering. Mastering lets the music gain perfection where there is a removal of noise and fluctuations to make the recording sound good when listened to.

Stevie Wonder

Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born in Saginaw Michigan on May 3rd, 1950. When he was around five, he moved to Detroit Michigan with his mom and siblings and was known as Stevland Hardaway Morris. He was a child prodigy, a prolific songwriter and performer, and oh yes, he is blind. We of course know him…

Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born in Saginaw Michigan on May 3rd, 1950. When he was around five, he moved to Detroit Michigan with his mom and siblings and was known as Stevland Hardaway Morris. He was a child prodigy, a prolific songwriter and performer, and oh yes, he is blind. We of course know him better as Stevie Wonder and he has been without sight for all of his life, although he has never let that get in the way of what he loves.

Stevie Wonder was born six weeks early and put into an incubator. He developed ROP which is Retinopathy of Prematurity, something that occurs frequently with preemies who are living in the oxygen rich confinement of an incubator. The extra oxygen aborts the growth of the eyes and the blood vessels that are so important for healthy development and causes the retinas to detach, rendering the patient blind.

But Stevie Wonder had a passion and that passion was music so he was not about to allow being blind to stop him from achieving his dreams. In fact, he carried on and persevered so much that he had signed his first record contract when he was just eleven years old. He was out touring shortly afterwards, and although the early days were not always met with success, today is one of the best selling artists of all time. He has had over thirty Billboard Hot 100 top ten hits, has scored twenty five Grammy Awards, which is the most ever by a solo artist, and he has an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Song with 1985's I Just Called To Say I Love You from The Woman In Red. He has also sold over 100 million albums around the world and is still the youngest ever to score a # 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with his song Fingertips when he was just thirteen years old.

This child prodigy went on to be an activist, to be honored with inclusion in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been awarded the United Nations' Messenger of Peace Award.

Stevie Wonder just goes to show the world that having a disability is not something that should limit you and your dreams. He had some adversity early on, but did not let that define his career, instead he kept on keeping on and finally got to where he is today.

Unique Summertime Musical Events Around the Country

When the temperature starts rising, it means it’s time to check out the summertime musical events. We’ve all heard of Bonnaroo and Burning Man, but there are enough others around the country to suit every taste.

When the temperature starts rising, it means it’s time to check out the summertime musical events. We’ve all heard of Bonnaroo and Burning Man, but there are enough others around the country to suit every taste.

Top 10 ABBA Hits

Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Agnetha Faltskog comprise the Swedish pop quartet that formed in Stockholm in 1972. ABBA got their name from an acronym using the first initial of each of their first names. However, Abba was the name of a Swedish fish canning company. The group negotiated with the cannery…

Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Agnetha Faltskog comprise the Swedish pop quartet that formed in Stockholm in 1972. ABBA got their name from an acronym using the first initial of each of their first names. However, Abba was the name of a Swedish fish canning company. The group negotiated with the cannery for the right to use their name.

Benny started out in a Swedish pop group called The “Hep Stars” in 1964. They were also known as the “Swedish Beatles.”

Bjorn, at the age of 18, worked with a Swedish folk-skittle group called the “Hootenanny Singers.”

Agnetha was a singer / songwriter and, at the age of seventeen, had her first number one single in Sweden. She released four solo albums between 1968 and 1971. While filming a Swedish TV special, she met Bjorn. They were married in 1971.

Frida, the final link to the group, was singing in various dance bands, starting at the age of thirteen. In 1969, she met Benny during a concert tour in southern Sweden. He produced her first album in 1971.

Before they became ABBA, the two couples vacationed in Cyprus in 1970 and sang for fun on the beach. Liking what they heard, they launched a stage act called Festfolk, but met with disappointing reviews.

They returned to singing together in 1971 and by 1972, although the songs were labeled as “Bjorn and Benny,” the women sang background. Stig Anderson, no relation to Benny, became their manager in 1971 and helped orchestrate the group's popularity.

In 1973, a Swedish newspaper ran a contest to come up with a name for the group. Some names considered were, “Alibaba,” “FABB” and “Baba.” But, historically, all the entries were dismissed and Stig Anderson, who had been calling the group ABBA, was the name they went with.

In 1974, they had their first international hit with “Waterloo.”

On the US charts, ABBA had fourteen Top 40 hits with one going to number one, according to Billboard's Top 40 Charts. Here are ABBA's 10 biggest hits:

1. Dancing Queen – 1977 – The group's only number one single was originally titled “Boogaloo.” From the “Arrival” album, it has been called ABBA's signature song and has been covered by many artists.

2. Take A Chance On Me – 1978 – Bjorn's hobby was running and while he ran, he would send a styled rhythm to himself which became, “take a chance on me.” The song was originally called “Billy Boy.”

3. Waterloo – 1974 – ABBA's first Top 10 US hit was a number one hit in many countries. The song won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The song, about a girl surrendering to romance, like Napoleon surrendered to Waterloo, was originally called “Honey Pie.”

4. The Winner Takes It All – 1980 – Benny denies that the song, although it is about divorce, is not about his divorce from Agnetha. Their last Top 10 single was never performed live by ABBA to an audience.

5. The Name of the Game – 1978 – Released on their album entitled, “ABBA: The Album” it was also included in a 1977 movie entitled, “ABBA: The Movie.”

6. Fernando – 1976 – Originally recorded as a solo by Frida, in Swedish, it went through several name changes including “Tango” and “Hernandez” before their limo driver suggested “Fernando.” That's when an English version of the song was recorded. It is ABBA's best-selling single of all time.

7. Knowing Me, Knowing You – 1977 – Also from the “Arrival” album, the song deals with breakups, as did many of their songs. This song also went through several title changes, including, “Ring It In” and “Number 1, Number 1.”

8. SOS – 1975 – Agnetha recorded this song in Swedish on her 1975 solo album, but an English version was recorded by the group for their own titled album. To date, it is the only single in which the title and the credited act are palindromes.

9. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do – 1976 – Influenced by the saxophone songs of Billy Vaughn, this song was featured in the film, “Muriel's Wedding.”

10. Does Your Mother Know? – 1979 – Most ABBA songs featured either Frida, Agnetha or both doing the leads. This one features Bjorn on leads and deals with a man responding to flirting by a much younger girl. From the “Voulez-vous” album.

In 1978, Benny and Frida were married, but divorced three years later. Bjorn and Agnetha divorced in 1979. The group disbanded in 1982.

Frida recorded solo and had one US Top 20 hit “I Know There's Something Going On” in 1983. It was produced by Phil Collins.

Bjorn and Benny continued to write successfully.

Agnetha also had a solo career and went Top 30 in the US with “Can not Shake Loose.”

Even though ABBA disbanded over 30 years ago, their music has been kicked alive with Greatest Hits albums, tribute groups and with the musical, “Mama Mia” which reunited the group for the first time since 1986, in 2005, for the Stockholm premiere. The musical has since been an international success and spawned a 2008 film, “Mama Mia! The Movie” starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried.

ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Fret Board Wood – Ebony, Rosewood, or Maple

When choosing a guitar many things come into play. Hopefully your first criteria is sound and not the airbrush job done on the body of the guitar depicting a fire-breathing dragon or some such thing, not that there is anything wrong with that. And when it comes to sound and tone the fret board wood,…

When choosing a guitar many things come into play. Hopefully your first criteria is sound and not the airbrush job done on the body of the guitar depicting a fire-breathing dragon or some such thing, not that there is anything wrong with that. And when it comes to sound and tone the fret board wood, whether it be Ebony, Rosewood, or maple plays a key role.

Most of you that own Fenders are aware that manufacturer tenders to use maple fret boards. That wood species tend to be a bit “twanging,” which explains why so many old time country players used Telecasters with maple necks in order to realize that familiar Country and Western music sound of the 1960s and 70s.

On the other end of the spectrum is Rosewood. That wood tends to be much more mellow in sound with the highs being a bit leveled out. In the hands of a good luthier this wood can produce amazingly “round” sounds ie, very warm and full. This is especially appropriate on high grade acoustic instruments.

In between on the sound spectrum is Ebony. It is so hard and thin that it should help produce a rich low sound, but the density actually produces such a quick attack that you really get both sounds in one. The mellow richness of Rosewood, but with a quick attack that give you some highs and twang that you get with the Maple.

“Feel” and playability also has a role in what wood to choose. Rosewood is good and a lot of players prefer the sort of oily nature of the wood and how it feels on the fingers. For me that species is a bit rough and uncomfortable and makes bending the strings a little more difficult. Ebony is so very hard and smooth with such a tight grain that fingers easily glide across the surface and bending is a dream. Maple is sort of the wild card on playability some like it, such as Eric Clapton, some people not so much. For me maple is okay, but many times the fretboard can feel sticky and uncomfortable, especially during longer gigs.

How about looks? All look great so personal preference is the most important factor, although when inlined the ebony definitely has an advantage in that the near black color of ebony really provides a great contrast for any inlay material that is used. And cost? Well there you will be paying a high premium for ebony. The reason; ebony is rare and very difficult to work because of its extreme hardness and propensity to crack while being worked. Ebony is much more difficult to fret and is nearly impossible to fret properly with a machine without cracking, therefore ebony fretboard's have to be worked by hand, which of course drives up costs.

How to Find the Right Concert Venues

Booking a show in your hometown is easy. You know the clubs that are good for your band. However, if you are heading to a new city, you have to do some homework in order to book the best concert avenues for your band. Capacity When you are looking for a place to play in…

Booking a show in your hometown is easy. You know the clubs that are good for your band. However, if you are heading to a new city, you have to do some homework in order to book the best concert avenues for your band.

Capacity

When you are looking for a place to play in a new city, you need to have a realistic understanding of your draw. This number is important when it comes to booking concert venues. You always want to book a site that has a capacity for one less than your expected draw. For example, if you know you can get 50 people in the door, book a place that only has a capacity for 49. You want to sell the place out. It's better for your career to sell out a smaller venue than to have a larger one only two-thirds full. If you are not really well known outside of your hometown, start by teaming up with local acts that will help improve the show's attendance.

Atmosphere

You need to take into account what type of music your band plays and make sure it's in tune with the atmosphere of the place that you are booking. For example, if your band is a hard metal band, do not book a coffee shop. Similarly, adult contemporary singer / songwriters most certainly do not want to be at a club geared towards head-bangers.

Reputation

While the atmosphere is important, you want to do business with reputable concert venues. Before you schedule your band, take to the Internet and see what others are saying about the location. There are sites out there that have both customer and performer reviews. You want to check both types to see how well the place is. You will not have a good show if you are struggling to deal with the owners, and if customers have had a bad experience, they will not come out, even if they love your group. Remember, the place should treat both you and your fans with respect.

Cost

If you book directly with the location, the cost is going to vary. If you are new in the area and do not have a lot of buzz about your group, you are probably going to have to pay a percentage of the door to the location. However, these deals are usually negotiable if you ask. You can probably come up with an arrangement that works well for both you and the owner.

Finding concert avenues out of town is a time-consuming process. However, if you do a little research, you can have an awesome show that opens up more locations to you on your next trip through.

Who Killed Indie Rock?

Compression: That is what a musician will tell you has killed Indie Rock, or at least has tried to kill mainstream music. It is a devise used in studios that levels out the sound to such an amount that the sonority created becomes so uniformly loud as to be irritating. I like loud music, I…

Compression: That is what a musician will tell you has killed Indie Rock, or at least has tried to kill mainstream music. It is a devise used in studios that levels out the sound to such an amount that the sonority created becomes so uniformly loud as to be irritating. I like loud music, I remember cranking Kiss Alive up to “11” as “Strutter” blasted out of the speakers. But this bizarre un-dynamic pop music world that we live in now is loud in the wrong way, which brings us to the question, who killed Indie Rock

Back in the mid '70's ​​the Rock and Roll world got tired of the overproduced sort of “corporation” bands such as Foreigner (a very good band), and a we opted for a new direction or should we say anti-direction. The more ferocious of these bands were the Sex Pistols, Weirdos, Black Flag and many others. Another strain also came in that was a little milder called “New Wave.” These were bands that would soon be mainstream chart toppers like The Romantics, Plimsouls, and the B-52's. Punk music as it was called in general hearkened back to the simpler days of garages and Hendrix, loud driving guitar music that made the sound of the Ramones for instance. The key to that sound was a throwing off of the production straitjacket and just getting wild and crazy – what Rock and Roll started out to be; Rebel with a cause, the cause being energized fun.

Today the Rock world is dominated by un-dynamic music created by producers that for some reason got so enamored with their over charged sound that when one turns on the radio or iPod – wow! it is just a nightmarish decibels game.

So we need a revolution. But the “Indie Rock” bands that should be leading the charge back to the purity of sound have themselves become seduced by the compressor – the loud machines of the recording studio. In fact these “Alternative Rock” bands, perhaps the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, or Fun would also be considered here, are becoming the worst offenders in the so-called volume wars.

What the Rock world needs are some real alternative rock champions that really will present an alternative to this un-creative, un-dynamic sound that is really killing music, and if someone does not offer a corrective will kill Indie Rock with it. Nirvana brought sound back to the future in the 90's, perhaps another Alternative – Indie Rock band will do the same soon.

4 Tips to Keep in Mind While Looking for a Mastering Professional

A great singer along with a combination of good music can make a great musical composition. Recording a song requires necessary equipment that can capture the voice as well as the music and the result is a great demo. After good vocals and music, there are chances of a recording to have distortions in the…

A great singer along with a combination of good music can make a great musical composition. Recording a song requires necessary equipment that can capture the voice as well as the music and the result is a great demo. After good vocals and music, there are chances of a recording to have distortions in the background and modulations in the voice through the song. Audio mastering is something that allows a professional technician to take up the demonstration. With necessary equipment and software, one can acquire perfection. Before hiring a professional who can perform such mastering, one needs to keep in mind certain merits that the professional should possess.

• A trained ear – The professional who would perform the necessary corrections should be experienced in what they are to do. They should have the ability to distinguish between the actual song and the background noises that are unwanted. A professional who has been in the industry and has the necessary experience will be able to master the demo well and bring out perfection by removing such distortions and making them sound amazing.

• Good with communication – Since it is the product of the client, the professional hired should be able to communicate with the one for what he is working. Discussing the pros and cons of the music as well as the alterations made can help the client to know about the points that they need to keep in mind the next time that record a song. They should be able to open up the voice as well as the music to make it sound appealing.

• Familiarity with the equipment – The professional who would perform the necessary mixing should make sure that they are familiar with the equipment as well as the software that helps to enhance the quality of the music. With time, the technology is improving, and there are newer alleles to explore where the music composition can be made into music on a different level that would make it enticing to the ears. The right use of the software should make the voice get highlighted and not make it sound artificial.

• Ability to let the client explore new dimensions – A professional who is into the field of mastering music and audio compositions, has information on various aspects of music. They can suggest their clients about better recording studios, vocal training institutions, marketing strategies, etc. that would enhance their careers and letting them explore better pathways to success.

A Sound Engineer’s Priorities In the Post-Production Room

How do Sound Engineers begin to construct a room acoustically? This is the first thing that a sound engineer needs to consider before using the space as a post-production room. Some problems can not be solved by room treatment alone. Here are some. Room Dimensions – As far as possible, do not use a square…

How do Sound Engineers begin to construct a room acoustically?

This is the first thing that a sound engineer needs to consider before using the space as a post-production room. Some problems can not be solved by room treatment alone. Here are some.

Room Dimensions – As far as possible, do not use a square room for any serious audio work. Squares result in the worse case in room mode resonance – a phenomenon where some frequencies become louder than others. Build a room that falls in to Bolt's ratio for room modes, or otherwise, get a rectangular room.

Wall Material – Are the left and right walls made out of different material? This can pose a problem. It would mean that sound reflected of these walls will be different – because different materials absorb different frequencies. It will affect the way a sound engineer uses EQ and panning severely. Unless you intend to pad up all the walls, pick a room with that uses the same material for side walls.

Sound Isolation Issues – You can not work in a room where there is a high noise level outside, or there is the presence of mechanical equipment with humming noise. Do your best to remove sources of noise, and improve sound isolation if necessary?

Is it vital for Sound Engineers to take note of the position of each speaker?

For sound engineers, listening is of utmost priority. So, speaker placement is crucial because that's where all the sound is coming from. Bad placement of speakers can completely undersine your work. Let's go through some steps to see where speakers should go before you apply acoustic treatment.

Length, not Breadth – Make sure that if your room is a rectangular shape, the speakers are at one end of the length of the room, not the breadth. We need as much distance as possible from the speaker to the back wall to prevent back reflections from affecting where the sound engineer is sitting.

Do not flush – Do not flush the speaker against the wall, as this will cause reflection and phase cancellation problems when the sound reaches the sound engineer. Leave some distance between the speaker and the front wall.

Distance from the wall – Even if you leave some distance between the speaker and the front wall, make sure that they are not of the same multiple. For example, if the distance from the front wall is 1m, do not have the distance on the sidewall to be 2m, 3m. Have it slowly in between to reduce resonance issues. Also, keep the distance from the side walls the same.

Listening Position – With regards to the listening position, the sound engineer should sit at about 38% the length of the room from the front wall.

Equilateral Triangle – The distance between the 2 speakers, as well as between each speaker to the sound engineer's head form an equivalent triangle. Make sure all the lengths are the same.

How to treat an Early Reflections?

Monitoring speakers are provided to give an accurate representation of a sound engineer's work. We have done our best to make sure that they are in the best place possible. However, without proper acoustic treatment, sound can become affected in serious ways via early reflections.

Early reflections are the first few bounces of sound waves after sound leaves the speaker and makes it to the sound engineer's ears. Since they are “copies” of the original sound and are not in phase, they result in something called the comb-filtering effect – which means parts of the sound are canceled out when the sound engineer hears them. This means that there are frequencies that are not heard accurately – EQ decisions can not be translated well to another speaker elsewhere. To fix this, we need to put absorbers on walls that cause early reflections. The sound engineer should be sitting in a “reflection-free zone”. This means that the sound engineer should basically hear sound from the speakers, not the walls.

Here are some early reflection points:

Side Walls – This is the first point to place an absorber panel. Sound from the speaker will hit the sidewall first, so you need to find out the exact point where this happens. Have the sound engineer sit in the listening point, and have someone hold a mirror while walking down the length of one side of the room, say the left side. There will be a point where the sound engineer can clearly see the speaker. This is the first reflection point from the left speaker to the left wall. Mark this point.

Do not just stop there. Let the assistant continue to walk down the length of the room. There will be another point where the sound engineer can see, this time – the right speaker. This is the first reflection point of the right speaker from the left wall. Mark this point. Repeat this process for the right wall. You should end up with 4 marked points. Place absorber panels on these points to address stop early reflections from them.

Back Wall – Sound energy can also bounce from the back wall in a similar way. Add a diffuser panel at the back of the wall to disperse potential reflections from returning back to the sound engineer.

Ceiling and Floor – The ceiling can also be a reflection point. There is no way to use the mirror method here, so a general placement would suffice. For the floor, using a rug or carpet can absorb potential early reflections.

Use the Right Producer

Some of the most historic and gratifying experiences have taken place in the studio. The setting where “the magic happens.” However, this magic would not be possible without a producer. Whether they are arranging, suggesting, playing, programming, engineering or just plain motivating you. I have worked with all sorts of producers, learning that each have…

Some of the most historic and gratifying experiences have taken place in the studio. The setting where “the magic happens.” However, this magic would not be possible without a producer. Whether they are arranging, suggesting, playing, programming, engineering or just plain motivating you. I have worked with all sorts of producers, learning that each have their own approach, style and beliefs. So what makes the “right” producer? This is a very subjective topic based on musical direction, budget, preference and chemistry. But a general rule of thumb is some of the best producers simply know how the bring the best out of you. The right one will push you to levels you never thought were capable or possible. Although a producer's resume can be a good reference to his or her's caliber or expertise, do not always be fooled that it will be the right match for you. For instance, a producer like Steve Albini has worked with some of the greatest rock, alternative rock and independent acts but probably would not be the best match for more urban music such as hip-hop and or r & b. Also a producer's success will obviously affect their rate, although there are a few exceptions in which a producer believes very strongly in the project and will agree to record upon spec.

As far as studio environments go, the atmosphere serves as the landscape for the art to be created. Some producers have their own studios, while others like to hop around to specific rooms for specific purposes. For example, going to a studio with a big room that will be great for drums, or another location where the sound is deadened and ideal for clean vocals. Either way, the best equipment and the right sounds are very important things to look for, as they will highly affect the recording process. This would include high end or vintage consoles, as well as instruments that are well-kept and sonically substantive. There is a good mix nowdays of low-fi and high-fi producers but you just need to decide what will work best to portray your musical style.

In the end, the right producer might even be you. There are many resources to allow anyone to create their own music in their bedroom but the key is getting it in the right hands and having it heard by the right people. Keep in mind that a good producer might be the most important factor in ensuring your music gets the right exposure it describes. After all, what's the point of creating a musical masterpiece if no one can hear it?