Get your music played on the radio!

Get your music played on the radio with this simple how-to guide. Radio play is one of the best ways to get new listeners for your music and always has been. Read on to see how you can break onto the waves.

 

Radio reaches far more listeners than one might expect. It can be difficult to believe today, what with the widespread use of Internet streaming and other digital means, but keep in mind that all professional radio is available in digital streaming HD format today, also.

How many people listen to the radio? Look at it generationally (figures from NewsGeneration.com):

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996):

  • More than 71.6 million Millennials use radio each month;
  • 95% of Millennials are reached monthly by radio

Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1979):

  • Nearly 80.5 million Gen Xers use radio each month
  • 97% of Generation X reached monthly by radio

Boomers (those born between 1950 and 1964):

  • More than 41.2 million Boomers listen to radio each month
  • 98% of Boomers reached monthly by radio

QZ.com writes, “Old-fashioned AM/FM radio remains the biggest mass-reach medium in the US, with more than 90% of consumers listening on a weekly basis. That percentage has stayed strong even in the face of the explosive growth of music streaming; it was 96% back in 2001, according to Nielsen’s yearly reports.”

That’s a ton of exposure. But how can you get on the radio? It’s actually not that hard, presuming your music is adequately well produced.

 

 

The secret (in case you can’t tell from the images) is in college radio. Why? Bryan Farrish for Radio-Media.com writes:

“An important thing to understand about college radio … is that the people picking the music are unpaid. This means they are doing it for the love of music. This also means that you are not going to tell them what to do, or what they should like; instead, they are going to tell you what they are going to do, and what they like. This is actually a plus for you; you can use them for opinions to help steer your career.”

The downside, though, is that unless they really love an indie song most people haven’t heard, they’re not going to play it often. They’re mostly going to play it once and set it aside for awhile to see if callers request it later.

That’s really cool, though, because it does happen. Students and music heads do listen to college radio to hear new, exciting music, and they will absolutely call their station to request something they like. In fact, calling a college radio station is a ton of fun as a listener because there’s hardly ever much of a wait, and you’ll talk to someone in the studio damn near 100% of the time.

What’s all this mean to you?

It means that you should definitely be sending your music to college radio shows. And you should be sending it to a lot of them.

The way to do this best is to look up the contact information for the stations you’re most interested in, first. Here is a consistently updated list of all the campus radio stations in the world. You’re looking for stations nearest to where you perform live.

Next, go to the websites of those stations and look for their program list. You’re searching for a program with a format that fits your music. If you play metal, find a metal show. If you play jazz, jazz. If you play hip hop, then hip hop, etc. Of course, there’re always a handful of shows where the DJ has stipulated, “I play whatever I like!” Those are excellent, too, though not quite as useful.

Most of those shows will have an email address or other method mentioned for sending in a demo track.

Make sure you send your music with a bio about who you are, maybe a link to a recent press release about you, and information about how they can contact you.

Aaand that’s essentially it! An afternoon spent doing this can be exceptionally useful to your music. Thousands of other musicians are doing it. Why aren’t you?

 

 

Should I make vinyl records of my music?

Should I make vinyl records of my album? If I can afford to do so, yes I should. Read on to find out why. (And if you can’t afford to do so, read on to find out a dirt-cheap alternative, too).

Pressing vinyl records isn’t cheap. However, it’s one of the best-selling formats, especially for independent music artists.

Vinyl album sales went up nearly 10% last year. In fact, sales have been up at that rate for more than 12 consecutive years. If you know of a format with growth at that rate of sales, please email us here at MondoDIY, because we’d love to know about it.

Generally speaking, if music fans are buying anything 10% more than last year, it’s something you should consider.

Discmakers.com writes, “Vinyl has a cachet all its own, and if you time your release properly to make it an event, your audience is likely to respond positively if you create a memorable project that takes advantage for the new passion for wax.”

Hypebot posits: “With music becoming digitally compressed, less tangible and hyper convenient, new generations of music lovers are discovering the thrill of tactile collectability. Kids are enjoying the feeling of being connected to their favorite indie band via 12” x 12” cover art, colored vinyl, and the interactivity of dropping a needle onto a spinning disc that emits pops, crackles, and warm sound.

“If you’re an independent artist, vinyl is your medium. Whether you want to create a beautiful gatefold for your fans, include a life-size poster of your band within the jacket, or add a holographic image directly onto your record, vinyl is one of the few remaining mediums that allows an artist to connect directly to his or her audience in a physical, engaging, intimate, and highly creative manner.”

However, vinyl isn’t as cheap to manufacture as cassettes, CDs or digital media. What if you can’t find the cash? There are a couple inventive options.

Concerning the money required for a traditional vinyl drop, Discmakers suggests: “The vinyl record revival offers indie artists a great opportunity to reach out to their fans and ask them if they would support a limited edition vinyl release. Consider the costs involved, and create a realistic budget for a vinyl release. To find out if your audience would support such a project and if the feedback is positive you might even consider doing a crowd funded initiative via Pledge Music, Indiegogo, or another platform to enlist their support to bring the project to completion.”

But this is just a way to obtain the cash needed, not a way to avoid spending the cash.

The Pentagram Black indie music label has found a remarkably ingenious way to avoid that cost. They release “vinyl albums” on paper. A typical release from PB costs the label around 200 USD. Now that’s something anyone can afford.

 

That’s all this week! Don’t miss last week’s offering on which guitar is right for you!

Best electric guitar for your money in 2018 and 2019

The best electric guitar for your money requires a bit of research. Thankfully, that’s part of our job, so we’ve done that for you. We cross-referenced the most authoritative and dependable sources of info to arrive at five options below. You’re welcome. Please note, these aren’t the only options, but they’re all very trustworthy purchases.

In the interest of time, we’ll start from least expensive and move on through to reasonably serious instruments.

As a general rule, a guitar worthy of an artist who wants the best sound and ease of playing shouldn’t cost much less than around 800 USD, but let’s be realistic. Most of us aren’t real flush with dough, and many of us are still learning the ropes, anyhow. We’ll cap our suggestions at $500 and presume if you’re spending more than that, you probably don’t need us to suggest anything for you, anyhow.

 

 

1. LES PAUL SL by EPIPHONE

At just 120 American bucks, this legit Les Paul guitar isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off. But you know what? Turn up the gain and power chord your way through the Sex Pistols’ catalog of songs, and it’ll definitely get the job done. And besides, for a hundred cash, you can almost afford to smash it onstage. Awesome present for your niece or nephew (and way better than that off-label generic axe you saw at Target the other day for $50).

 

 

2. YAMAHA PACIFICA 112V

This Yamaha is a tried and true classic used by beginners since the early ’80s. It’s $300 today in 2018, and all that money definitely went into making a great-sounding guitar which can take more of a beating than the average home appliance. It’s definitely heavy and looks a little corny, but nobody’s going to turn up their noses at you. After all, virtually everyone who plays has practiced on one of these at one point or another.

 

 

3. MODDED 1972 TELECASTER THINLINE by SQUIER

These next three guitars are getting into the serious business and cost around $500 today. This one is a Squier Telecaster modeled after their ’72 design. It sounds as good as it looks, and it looks great. You’ll definitely want a case for it, rather than a gig bag.

MusicRadar says of it, “you’re unlikely to find tones quite like the Thinline’s anywhere else, certainly at this price. Cleans from the neck and middle positions are punchy and persuasive, not dissimilar to fat P-90-ish single coils, but flicking over to the bridge humbucker yields a burly, resonant voice that screams for big open chords and an overdriven valve amp. That’s why it’s one of the best electric guitars for Indie and alt-rock players.”

You can do a lot worse.

4. FENDER DUO-SONIC HS

Also at $500 is this little powerhouse from Fender’s Offset Series. If it looks small, that’s because it is, but don’t underestimate the Duo-Sonic. It plays like a dream, sounds big, sounds clean, sounds almost anyway you like it to sound until you’re such a great guitarist that you absolutely, positively need a specific thing to fit your own, personal style. It has a short scale, so you won’t be playing crazy fugues or anything, but it’s twice the guitar the Yamaha Pacifica is for a couple hundred more. People of smaller stature with smallish hands will love this thing.

 

 

5. LES PAUL STANDARD by EPIPHONE

The everyman’s guitar. Some people learn on one and never quite like the feel or sound of anything else the rest of their lives. The Les Paul Standard is also $500 and comes in pretty much any color you like.

MusicCritic says, “The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar is one of the best guitars you’ll find on the market. It’s a gorgeous instrument with outstanding sound.This guitar comes in quite a few colors, so you can select the one you like. Let’s talk specs. The pickups are Alnico Classic ™ Humbucker; the fretboard is made from rosewood, and the top and body are 100 percent mahogany. All this means one thing: amazing sound which you’ll get many hours of enjoyment from.”

 

Once you leave the $500 range, most guitars worth spending more cost around $800-1200, and this money goes into any number of stylistic or technological attributes. You’ll need to do your homework on those, yourself, because there’s way too much to get into here.

 

Hope this little list helps! Cheers from us to you. And don’t miss last week’s MondoDIY on EDM trends moving into 2019.

 

 

Most influential styles of EDM in 2018

2018 is almost over, believe it or not, so we feel confident making our calls for the Top-3 most popular and influential styles of EDM for the year. These show no signs of slowing down, so you can expect to see these music styles making waves well into summer of next year, too. Read on to learn which have become the biggest trends over the last 10 months.

 

Experimental Dance Music

2018 has seen the rise of what’s been called “experimental dance music,” a tribal and exotic twist on the old house-music formula. Its figurehead has emerged in the person of Lotic, originally from Austin, Texas but living and performing now in Berlin.

Experimental dance music by Lotic and others fuses the new percussion sounds and rhythm styles with social awareness and a cosmopolitan, international joie de vivre.

Mixmag’s Whitney Wei describes Lotic’s new, debut record as “living up to its title, ‘Power.'” She goes on to say, “it sees Lotic draw from the acerbic and angular sound palette familiar from previous releases, but in bringing their own voice to the mix for the first time, Lotic has produced a sparkling and fundamentally hopeful debut.”

 

Afrobeat

Very closely linked to the experimental dance music rise is this year’s enthusiasm for afrobeat.

Izotope writes of the new trend: “Like the Gqom genre aesthetic, Afrobeat has been around for a while. A blend of hip-hop, funky house, and local African music from London (via Africa diaspora), Ghana, and Nigeria, Afrobeat had originally been fairly limited to parts of the African continent and the UK, but it’s catching fire internationally. British-Ghanian artist Mista Silva’s ‘Murda’ is a great example of the Afrobeats vibe, which sounds almost like a more rhythmically and sonically diverse musical cousin of Reggaeton.”

 

 

A Return to Melodies

Ambient came into its own sometime around 2000-2005, depending on whom you ask. Minimal, formless and often indescribable, ambient music was art for art’s sake.

It didn’t exactly take off. What it did do in spades, though, was to help dubstep and other bass-based, beat-heavy styles to crush melodic songwriting under the boot heel of popularity. People stopped writing catchy surface hooks and melody lines. Vocals all but died.

But 2018 has seen a throng of artists bringing back the melodies. These include Skee Mask, DJ Koze, Tale of Us, and Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles. A quick Web search of “artists like” any of these will award interested parties with plenty more where that came from, too.

 

That’s it for this week’s MondoDIY. Be sure not to miss last week’s post on the greatest hip-hop beats of all time, and how you can make beats like them!

 

The greatest hip-hop beats (and how to make them)

The greatest hip-hop beats have some things in common. By looking at how they make us shake our tail feathers, we can figure how to make our own great beats.

But how do we know which are the greatest?

Late in 2015, Billboard Magazine worked out their Top 10 of all time. We’re going to use their favorite five as a measuring stick.

“We spent months discussing, researching and reflecting on music from artists old and new, considering everything from sales to impact to innovation to longevity. The results won’t please everyone – and that’s as it should be. Everyone has their own takes on the greatest in music – this is ours.” — Billboard Magazine

Right then. Let’s go.

5. Mobb Deep, “Shook Ones Part II,” produced by Havoc

Billboard says: “Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and Havoc spun a dark world for their classic 1995 debut The Infamous, with an even darker sonic landscape — chalk it up to Havoc’s keen ear for gritty samples that pull together sounds from different records.”

I says: check out how sparse that beat is. It’s lo-fi, minimal, and totally uncomplicated. The hi-hat hits on every beat, the snare hits on every other measure, and the bass drum hits 1-2, 1, 2-3. That’s it. That’s all. No bells, no whistles. They wrote the beat and walked away. It’s still looping after the track is done.

What we learned: the greatest hip-hop beats are the simplest ones.

4. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” produced by Dr. Dre

Billboard says: “Nothing epitomized the West Coast G-Funk sound more than ‘Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang,’ which established instrumental and percussive conventions that still dominate the area’s sound today. Recalling the funk sound of Parliament Funkadelic and interpreting it in the rising genre of hip-hop at the time, the instrumental served as the undisputable foundation of an entire movement.”

I says: once the track starts, it’s all bass and snare. Bump-bump, snap. Bump-bump, snap. Bump-bump, snap. Bump-bump-bump, snap. That pattern — three repetitions culminating in a change-up on the fourth — is rock-solid. Can’t go wrong.

What we learned: beats are about repetition with a well-timed change.

3. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” produced by Pete Rock

Billboard says: “Sampled from a Tom Scott cover of Jefferson Airplane‘s ‘Today,’ the instrumentation — a filtered bass line, choir and saxophone — introduced a new moody impressionism to rap beats that would inspire producers like Kanye West and J. Dilla later on. Producer Pete Rock was always known for his horn loops, and here he chose exactly the right one.”

I says: Boom-boom-bap, boom, boom-bap. Boom-boom-bap, boom, boom-bap. Dig that silent beat, which is called a rest, right before the fourth part of the measure. Boom-boom-bap, boom (rest) boom-bap. This is a super jazzy beat, and the secret to that funky groove is in that rest. Dig it.

What we learned: the groove is in the silent beat. Place your silence deliberately.

2. Nas, “NY State of Mind,” produced by DJ Premier

Billboard says: “It’s been called ‘boom bap,’ and the drums that start this classic Nas highlight (arguably the best album opener of all time) could very well be the inspiration for the term.”

I says: That’s what it sounds like to me, yeah, “Boom, bap — badoom-bap.” But I think you’ll agree that the beauty of the beat doesn’t rely 100% on where the beats land. For sure, all that empty space between the beats (see number 3, above) makes a huge difference, but pay attention to how DJ Premier uses that space to let those live, beautiful, natural drum tones ring out. That live sound is what makes this beat a killer.

What we learned: live percussion doesn’t always sound better … but nine out of 10 times, it does.

1. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message,” prod. by Ed Fletcher, Clifton “Jiggs” Chase and Sylvia Robinson

Billboard says: “Old school hip-hop’s greatest instrumental masterpiece, and the best sample-free rap beat ever … The mix of cascading synthesizers, guitar plucks and timbale fills was the perfect backdrop … Twelve years later, Ice Cube would jack the beat pretty much in entirety for ‘Check Yo Self’ … How’s that for timeless?”

I says: This beat is essentially the same as Nas’s boom-bap groove, “boom, bap, ba-boom, bap,” but rendered digitally instead of live. Flash could easily have gone the live route, but instead he used a 1982 Oberheim DMX. That piece of hardware sounds even more plastic than the TR-808 which came to be synonymous with the hip-hop sound of the 1980s and early ’90s, and it’s just unstoppable. Try to do better. The Flash dares you.

What we learned: that “one-out-of-ten” time I mentioned above? When digital beats work better than live percussion, they’re a beast. Know when to use them (and when not to).

 

And that’s all for this week’s edition of MondoDIY! Don’t miss last week’s post on how to write a bitchin’ bass line.

 

How to write a great bass line in six easy steps

How to write a great bass line depends on just a few points. These are points we here at MondoFYI haven’t covered yet, so why waste time? Let’s go.

 

 

Mike B. the Flea

     1. Bass lines don’t usually come first

If you only play bass, then you probably spend a lot of time noodling around and discovering neat riffs to show the people you play with.

That’s good! That’s great! You should absolutely do that!

(But it’s not the usual way songs are written).

Usually, singer-songwriters do the songwriting because the vocals and melody instruments need to work tightly together. If the bass comes first, then the rhythm and lead guitars need to write themselves around that bass line, and then the singer needs to write around that, too.

Which leads to …

     2. Find the root note of the song

There’s a central note which is played more often than the other notes in every song.

That’s called the root note.

For instance, if the guitarist plays a scale (do-re-me-fa-s-la-ti-do) then the first note played is the root note. It is also the key of the song. Notice, too, that the first and last notes are the same, except that one is an octave higher than the other. (There are eight notes in do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do, so it’s called an octave, just like an octopus has eight arms).

Once you find the key and root note of the song, you know which note you should write your bass line around.

 

 

     3. Keep it simple

Bassists aren’t usually best when they’re super busy. Don’t run up and down the neck of your guitar with 20 notes every five seconds.

Great bassists, like great drummers, are usually the most bored people onstage.

(Never look like it, though. That’s crappy performance, and it matters).

     4. Play to the kick drum

Now that you know what notes to play, when do you play them? What rhythm do you use?

The general rule of thumb is to play a note whenever the drummer kicks his bass drum.

If you do this correctly and consistently, this marries the drums to the bassist. Other bands will wonder, “How do they get that nice, tight sound?”

Nothing muddies music like bass players playing notes whenever they want to. If you play on top of the kick, you’ll blend into the percussion section like a wraith and everything will sound amazing.

 

 

     5. Don’t leave out the chords!

Just because it’s harder doesn’t mean you’re exempt from playing more than one string at a time on your instrument.

Maybe you’re very small. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) are both notoriously small, yet both play beautiful chords on their basses.

Try that. Do that.

     6. Experiment with different plucking techniques

Every bass player who’s played for more than a week has tried a few different plucking techniques.

Very few continue to change their own technique up for the proper sound for the song.

Slapping, picking, plucking, strumming, thumbing … They all produce different tones and a good bassist should match these to the song at hand.

 

That’s all for this week’s MondoDIY! Don’t miss out on last week’s piece giving pointers to the vocalists out there. Have fun! We love you!

 

 

 

5 Rules Every Vocalist Should Follow

There are five rules every vocalist should follow, especially vocalists who fall under “vocalist” more than they do “singer.” These rules will help keep your vocal chords healthy from the start of your performance to your final bow. Follow them or risk needing to quit your set early (and really piss off the band).

     1. Drink tons of water

Everyone should be drinking tons of water anyhow, but singers shouldn’t mess around. Water nourishes your vocal chords and keeps them flexible, not unlike the oil in an engine. If you’re playing in a dry atmosphere or lost a bunch of fluids through sweat in the van trip to your show, don’t be surprised if you have a hard time hitting certain notes during song three or four. You should be the best-hydrated person in your performance group.

     2. Exercise your voice

Ever hear someone sing that goofy, “Me, me, me ME me, me, meeeee” scale? That’s someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

You don’t necessarily need to do classical scales like an opera singer, but you should at least be singing in your usual range all over the scales at a healthy volume.

Sing from your diaphragm (from your upper gut just below the lungs) and sing loudly without causing yourself the least pain. Do it standing with ridiculously straight posture. It should feel like squeezing your abs upward, like squeezing a tube of toothpaste in your fist so it comes out the top. That’s basically what you’re doing, but with air.

The more you sing, the better a singer you will be. Check your pitch and tone against singers you want to emulate in one way or another. Mimic them as perfectly as you can, then throw your own style on top of that when performing your own music.

     3. Don’t strain your chords!

If a guitarist plays too hard on her strings, they break.

If a singer plays too hard on his chords, they crack and eventually go out.

If you do this enough, you can scar your chords permanently, changing your voice forever. It’s not usually a good change.

And anyhow, if you practice this way so that your voice is going out on the regular, you can expect it to go out during a performance sooner or later, and that’s just unprofessional. Stop that.

     4. Don’t use throat sprays

They don’t work. You shouldn’t need them, anyhow.

     5. Learn to skip the foods which hurt your singing

Everything which dehydrates you is bad for singing. Acidic drinks and foods are also bad for singing. Basically, anything you shouldn’t eat or drink with a sore throat is to be avoided before a practice, performance, or recording date.

Dairy is the devil. If you drink a glass of milk and then walk onstage, you’ll be shocked at how affected your voice becomes. Ditto cheese. Pizza may be the traditional garage-band practice food, but it’s hell on your singer.

Cold drinks cause your vocal chords to become brittle and constrained, too. Don’t drink them onstage, no matter how hot the spotlights are.

 

 

And that’s it! Don’t miss last week’s news on what AI can’t do in music in 2018. We’re always digging up something interesting for musicians here at MondoDIY.

Thanks for reading! Now knock ’em dead.

-S

AI makes music now, but what can’t it do?

AI makes music now — but what can’t it do? Two weeks ago we talked about how indie artists can use AI (Artifical Intelligence) to help them make original music. It seems certain that some music composers will have a harder time finding work once AI takes some of the paying jobs. Therefore, it makes plenty of sense to take a look at what AI still can’t do on its own. Here’s some of what we know.

 

1) AI still can’t arrange its songs

After Sony proudly declared their “system that learns music styles from a huge database of songs” had created two original tracks, they were quick to point out that “French composer Benoît Carré arranged the songs.”

Anyone who’s composed their own music knows that the arrangement is crucial to a song. It is the musical equivalent of an author revising the first draft of a novel.

Wiki gives the definition of musical arrangement as, “a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure.”

This means there’s no telling how little Sony’s AI might have had to do with the end result. It also leads us to Number 2:

 

2) AI seems to make repetitious music

This isn’t surprising, given that many other music brains have already blown the cover off of how technology continues to make music bland, but when the definition of ‘musical arrangement’ also includes the important note, “Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety,” it’s hard not to infer that Monsieur Carré was employed because Sony’s AI originals were boring.

3) AI can’t write lyrics

Guess what else Benoît Carré wrote, in addition to all of the songs’ arrangment? Yup.

 

4) AI doesn’t make popular music

For whatever reason, be it prejudice against machines, a matter of taste, or maybe a failure on the part of Flow Records to hype their singles, people don’t give a darn about the world’s first AI music.

The very first track, “Daddy’s Car,” has 2.1m views on YouTube where Sony published it and just 15k ‘likes.’ At the company’s official SoundCloud page, listed above, the combined listens of both new songs still barely gets over 100,000.

Considering the historic importance of these pieces of music, that’s pathetic.

What’s more, since 2016 the Sony Labs team has published their entire album of AI-created music, appropriately titled, “Hello World.” The whole thing is freely available for listening here. While approximately 13,000 people have visited that YT page, the total number of listens of just the very first track on the album, “Valise,” amount today to only 360 plays.

No matter your stance on the AI situation, that’s a little sad.

 

So don’t hang up your musician’s hat yet, indie composers! Your real competition isn’t coming from a motherboard anytime soon. (In fact, you can probably use it for yourself until it does).

-S. McCauley

 

Best three DAWs for mobile

The best three DAWs for mobile are powerful, simple to use, and inexpensive. In case you’re new to the term, DAW means Digital Audio Workstation. If you thought you needed a soundboard and heavy technology to be an amateur music composer, we’re here to happily say it isn’t true! Scroll down for our favorite picks, and keep in mind, they’re not even the only options — just our opinion of the best right now.

Available for iOS and Android is Image-Line FL Studio Mobile HD

Suitable for novice and intermediate composers alike, the ILFL Studio is super easy and super fun to play with, not to mention absolutely capable of outputting professional-grade music. It’s less expensive than some other options, yet still comes bundled with a ton of features. These include (but are not limited to) 133 virtual instruments, a mini synthesizer with scores of presets, 10 effects, pitch blending, sampling, a step sequencer capable of 99 tracks, and, perhaps most importantly, a wave editor.

By the time you outgrow Image-Line’s offering, you’ll be among some of the most capable digital composers in the business.

Then there’s Steinberg Cubasis

Cubasis is more-or-less the industry standard for using your phone as a DAW, but at approximately 30 USD, you’re paying top-dollar. It’s also mainly for iOS, though Android users can hook it up with enough patience and tech savvy by following these instructions from the developers.

Steinberg’s own description describes it like so: Cubasis makes recording, editing and mixing a breeze. Record tracks in high-resolution audio quality, and edit your music with the Key and Sample Editors, while the included mixer and audio effects polish your song to perfection. Cubasis comes loaded with three virtual instruments which can be played in real time using the virtual keyboard and drum pads. Cubasis’ projects can be even opened in Cubase under Windows and OS X! Cubasis places touch-intuitive production tools in your hands, opening up a new world of possibilities for your creativity.

Key features • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks (depending on the device used)? • 24 assignable physical inputs and outputs • 32-Bit floating point audio engine • Audio I/O resolution of up to 24-bit/96 kHz • iOS 32- and 64-bit support (depending on the device used) • Micrologue virtual analog synthesizer with 50 ready-to-go presets • MicroSonic with over 100 virtual instrument sounds based on HALionSonic and 16 Allen Morgan drum kits • MiniSampler with more than 20 instrument sounds to create your own instruments • Mixer with 15 revamped effect processors (insert and send effects) • Over 550 MIDI and audio loops • Virtual keyboard and virtual drum pads • Sample Editor and Key Editor • Automation • MIDI CC, program change, aftertouch support • AirPlay, Buetooth and HDMI audio out support • Export to Cubase, iCloud Drive, external hard drives, wireless flash drives, Dropbox, SoundCloud, AudioCopy & email? • MIDI clock and thru support? • MIDI over Bluetooth LE • Core Audio and Core MIDI compatible hardware supported? • Full Audio Unit, Inter-App Audio and Audiobus support • Import audio from your iTunes music library or iCloud Drive or iTunes filesharing, use AudioPaste or set up a Wi-Fi server in Cubasis

Keep in mind, folks, that you don’t really need all the above to cut beautiful tracks on your phone.

And of course, there’s Apple GarageBand

GarageBand has been around a very long time, and the devs have spent most of that time dialing everything down to a gorgeous UI that your kid brother would have no problem using.

Two major issues with GB, though: it’s iOS only (of course) and it’s strictly beginner-level. Anyone who uses GB with the intent to create bigger and better music is going to feel its limitations before too long.

That’s not to say you can’t make pro-grade music with it, though. A great song shouldn’t be unnecessarily complex, and a fine songwriter won’t need too many bells and whistles, anyhow.

Oh, and it’s super affordable.

 

That’s all for this week’s MondoDIY! Be sure not to miss last week’s related post on how you can make artificial intelligence work for you in the music studio.

How to use AI in music

How to use AI in music

It’s still new technology, but you can already start using AI in music right now. Artificial intelligence is expected to take up more and more space in the music industry as it grows, so why not get involved? It’s only scary if you haven’t learned about it, yet. Let’s go.

If you happen to be using an iOS device these days, then you’re especially in luck. Having become publicly available as of 18 August 2018, Amadeus Code downloadable from the Apple App Store for free with in-app purchases now.

Amadeus Code has been developed with music artists in mind, so don’t get the idea that it’s going to put every creative mind out of business. Its main function is to aid the human composer. Or, as the Amadeus people put it, “Say goodbye to writer’s block.”

The Amadeus Team describes their program as: “a powerful yet simple melody composing app that lets you make songs in minutes, whether you’re a beginner or a professional musician. Melodies are composed by a first of its kind proprietary artificial intelligence engine and can be exported as audio and MIDI files to a DAW of your choice for further creative production.”

Sounds great to us.

If you do not, however, belong to the iNation, then today your best bet is Adobe’s Amper, shown above.

As you can see from the image, Amper is streamlined, user-friendly, and accessible to anyone who’d like to install the software and put it to work. It’s still in beta, which is a good thing for indie artists because as of now it is still free. Creative musicians wanting to see what it’s like to collaborate with an algorithm can start here.

A cloud-based platform, Amper calls itself: “an artificial intelligence composer, performer, and producer that empowers you to instantly create and customize original music for your content.”

This means that Amper really is likely to put a few songwriters and composers out of work if it makes songs for film, TV and video games just as well as people can. However, since the rights to its outputted songs belong to the user, you can use its music in your own compositions and even get paid for them when you’re done, too.

Other options for very interested and somewhat more technologically advanced artists include Google’s Magenta program and Jukedeck.

So get out there and ‘borg it up, artists!

Also don’t forget to check out last week’s MondoDIY entry:

Four ways to be a pro music manager