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The Wonderful Thinkers behind the FL Studio Cookbook 

Who are the People behind the FL Studio Cookbook

The FL Studio Cookbook teaches so much because it mixes Shaun Friedman with amazing viewpoints of intellectual reviewers, mixed with the direction of Packt Publishers in Mumbai and United Kingdom. 

You’ll learn how to “make a beat,” – but the little nuances are most crucial.  “Giving a Human Feel” is arguably the most important thing to do in music production. Hasn’t Wu Tang taught you anything? 

The cookbook shows how to create  your “beat,” mix your beat with EQ [equalization], Delay, Reverb etc., arrange your beat, add Midi virtual Instruments and use physical midi devices [volume slider, circular knobs, pads, buttons], Record Audio [vocals, guitar, keyboard, anything], create Automation/suspense, give that human feel, Mastering, and exporting to Wave, Mp3, and separate mixer tracks if needed.  Volume and Panning are perhaps the most fundamental characters, which shape your musical canvas, and FL Studio makes them easy to access in the beat sequencer. 

Keyboard shortcuts are tossed throughout. 

Esteemed reviewers are Bostjan Cigan, Xavier Durand-Hollis Jr, Rodney Hazard, Anish Patel, Shant Rising, and Jasper Staal.

New Track Release: 'Voice of Safe Haven' by S Dot Will aka Shaun Friedman [MP3 Download Through Podcast Below]  

Peep some new hip hop from S Dot Will a.k.a. Shaun Friedman [Sept 5th, 2017 release]

Download MP3 Voice of Safe Haven by S Dot Will at the bottom of these here Lyrics:

Music Video - Voice of Safe Haven:

Lyrics:

The Bongos keep the percussion glued to form substance 

Grip tight to your life, others try to swipe, don’t fumble it 

But seems Mr. Yin and Miss Yang conspired to be 

Cousin Karma’s always watching; 2pac said we all Bleed 

The formula’s a mixture 

Paint a perfect picture 

Can’t have aces all the time; with patience you’re the Victor 

And is Age just a number? 

We make mistakes and blunders 

But nowadays with one Slip, they wish to take you Under 

The Blimp flies in clear skies above weird guys 

Do you Fear Lies? Or ‘Necessary Evil’ for Disguise? 

Trying to live in Equal Times on Planet Earth I stress 

Now who’s with me? All you have to do is say yes 

We’re living in history; time is passing Quickly 

You think it’s liberating when I think they won’t miss me? 

And would you please pinch me? I think I may be dreaming 

Call me Mr. Friedman, That’s what they teach in Cleveland [Scheming on Beats] 

The mic booth likes to make you face life’s truths 

Better stay Astute or build a long list of “Oops” 

Yet experience is Def the Best Teacher 

Echo, through the, hall in your brain, ill Reverb 

I’m seeking and freaking the funk 

And I’m beating the chumps 

And I’m bringing the ruckus I can’t get enough 

Stuffin Turducken 

I am not bluffing, Love me some Professor Clump 

The sum of its parts, holds no candle to the whole 

Do you agree with Synergy? Or would you, rather be, on your own? 

Making sure my pen works, is there a way to defend Dirk? 

I learned you’re not my friend so now we don’t have to pretend Jerks 

Because without honesty the environment is trepid 

I’m on to you, I hope you’re on to me, we’ve lost connection [check you off my check list] 

No time for manipulation in 2017 

Nor your evil feeble deceitful persuasion 

Better hope you can contain him [who?] 

Better hope you can contain me 

I set the pace, put on my game face, so angry

How to Build a Website to Sell Beats Online [why Bandzoogle is so great] 

Bandzoogle.com makes it incredibly easy to build and maintain a website; your website to be exact!  The backbone of any website is the content contained within, and the Bandzoogle tools available make it incredibly easy to build your content and position other features and website pages exactly where you want them.  Apologies to website creators out there, but we are now in the year 2017, where templates and admin platforms are preferred options to manage a website.  Previously, if you wanted your designer to adjust something on your website, it involved a phone call or email directly to them or one of their assistants, who would then make a process of a single edit on a page an extremely painstaking process.  Adding insult to injury, the prices for design or a single edit were probably appalling. 

This doesn’t happen when you control your own website with Bandzoogle.  At the coffee shop? Sign on and make an edit.  2 a.m. in the morning?  Sign on and make that edit.  Traveling? Sign on and make that edit.  If you haven’t caught on by now, anytime you have access to an internet connection is a potential time to build or edit your website.  You don’t need an army of people or someone speaking jargon to you about a website edit; all you need is Bandzoogle and a brain.  Do you have a brain? Good.  Do you want Bandzoogle? Read on..

Now, let’s start talking about some of the features and benefits of using Bandzoogle.  As mentioned earlier, I still believe written content is king on any website, so we will review the Text feature on Bandzoogle first.  Their  text feature is very easy to work with and is similar to a “WYSIWYG” type of editor, which means “what you see is what you get.”  When working with the text editor, you immediately have access to format using Bold or Italic font, a numbered or bulleted list, and the ability to add a link.  If you click “Advanced Toolbar” on their text tool, you then get “the whole kitchen sink” of options which are size of text, color, alignment, inserting a picture, video, table, horizontal line, and the ability to use HTML source code. 

The link feature is extremely helpful because you can link text or an image to an external site/page, one of your own existing pages, a file, an email address, one of your albums if applicable, or one of your music tracks if applicable.  There is also an option that specifies whether or not to open in a new window.  So, you are easily able to have a clickable link referencing and directing your visitors to wherever you want them to go!  Writing about your next concert? It’s easy to direct visitors to any external ticket sale site.  Referencing a book, external blog, or a cool product you started using? All fair game.  Basically, you have discretion over your content and how you want your audience to interact with you, your site, and your links.   In regards to using images, you can accomplish the same exact thing by adding the Image stand alone feature which is another option on your Bandzoogle portal.  Otherwise, you can use the Text function we just discussed, which is like a swiss army knife of website tweaking. 

In regards to placing content, Bandzoogle has a drag and drop classic editor, or a newly rolled out visual editor.   These are both incredibly easy to use.  Once content is created, you can also move existing content to a different area on your page.  In this manner, you can experiment and then find your optimal design.  Generally speaking, content can fit inside 1/3 of a page, ½ of a page, the full page, or a combination of sorts where there is a side bar mixed with the main area.  You can also have multiple design techniques on a single web page.  This helps to layout your site with both content and aesthetic appeal. 

Let’s take a look at a real world example of my website layout with text, image, and links.  The layout at the top of the page features a larger area on the left side, and then a small side bar configuration on the right.  This is easily configurable inside of your Bandzoogle portal.  The text has some unique words in bold to help Google know what my site is about and to stand out to users reading content.  Any word in this text can be changed to a link if desired.  There is also an Amazon advertisement I pasted in there, still functioning inside of Bandzoogle’s text feature. [Remember, within a text feature you can also use HTML and insert images if necessary.]  You can think of the text feature as a blank space where you can basically add anything you want. 

On the top right of the page, there is a text feature that only reads FL Studio Cookbook link.  Beneath that, there is a standalone image feature.  Take a look at the options shown below; this is the exact view I have when working with the image feature in my Bandzoogle portal.  

You can change the image, size, caption, link, and specify if the link opens in a new window or not.  In this case, I am directing those that are interested in clicking on the link to my Amazon book page. 

The middle area of the Free Beats Page has free beats on the left and free loops on the right, in a more even looking layout.  Both use the music function provided by your Bandzoogle backend manager.  The music function has a plethora of global options as well as track options.  Globally speaking, you can choose a track list or compact music player, the playback type, whether or not tracks start automatically, whether or not to shuffle tracks, and whether or not to loop when completed.  You may also use a discount codes and download codes if needed, and can also link your PayPal account to receive payments.  There is also a handy transaction history report, which is like an accounting report of all downloads and purchases.   If you are selling physical products or merchandise or anything that is not an actual music track, you can use the Store feature inside of Bandzoogle’s portal.  I created some music themed T-Shirts here if you'd like to take a look at what a Store feature could potentially look like.  The options in a Bandzoogle store are customizable per your needs, so your store may hypothetically not look exactly like mine. 

Regarding each individual music track,  Bandzoogle has many options to choose from including track name, artist name, preview clip if applicable, allow a download or a sale, ISRC code if applicable, track notes, lyrics, ID3 tags, and how the track streams when shared.  The download type can be free or paid, and you control setting a price or fans setting a price.  Furthermore, you can require an email address to download a track which automatically adds said email to your mailing list!  This makes it so easy to build your mailing list!  While I’m mentioning it, we can take a closer look at building your mailing list through Bandzoogle’s tools.  Furthermore, it’s important to remember that you can send out mass emails to your subscribers through Bandzoogle’s portal as well

If you take a look at the Free Remixes Page, there is a mailing list sign up form function provided by Bandzoogle.  This is on the right side column of the page.  You can use this wherever you want on your website, and on as many pages as you desire.  I also have this on the Lyrical Covers page, among others.  The Free Remixes page says “link up” and the Lyrical Covers page says “bridge the gap.”  You can customize this message to your liking or use the standard one that Bandzoogle provides.  I think this helps show my personality and welcomes others to join the mailing list. 

Regarding selling beats, Bandzoogle recently partnered up with Airbit, formerly known as MyFlashStore.  This is a third party beat selling platform, but as of June 2017, there is now a seamless integration between Airbit and Bandzoogle.  So, for those who want their tracks on Airbit and want to develop their own main website, Bandzoogle is an awesome option. Speaking of seamless integration, Bandzoogle also offers external integration with Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, Topspin, PledgeMusic, Bandsintown, GigSalad Quote Form, and GigSalad Review. 

Regarding the actual theme of your website, the Bandzoogle portal has visual representations and examples of how various themes will look.  Themes can be thought of as templates, which may include a header image, colors, textures, and suggested layout.  Depending on your genre and the impression you want to give visitors, this obviously will vary individually.  The cool thing is that once you test a theme, it adjusts your whole website and all pages in one fell swoop.  From that point you may keep it as is, customize it a tad more [if you like the general theme], or revert back to your old theme.  No theme change is destructive so there’s no need to worry.  Previously saved themes are stored in your My themes area, so you can restore older ones if needed. 

A website is something that is always in constant flux, or should I say should be in constant flux, because what’s optimal today may not be so optimal tomorrow.  The Bandzoogle platform offers all the flexibility you need to manage a well thought out website.   The team at Bandzoogle is actually like a bonus; they are very helpful in help chats and in email. 

In closing, I want you to type in the search term “free beats” in Google.  I need you to read this very carefully after you see where UnbelievableBeats.com shows up in the search results.  I am a top result on Google for the search term free beats and I have not spent a single penny on advertising the website.  The Bandzoogle platform is a key factor in search result success.  This is also due to the way Bandzoogle sets up their web pages and the way you can further customize SEO if needed.  On every page you develop, you may edit the Title and where it shows up in your main menu.  SEO information can then be automatically generated from your page content, or you can customize your Page Name and Page Description.  On the global level of what Bandzoogle calls Site-Wide settings, you can add a website Icon which shows in various internet address bars, Footer Text like you can see on my site, and verification of your sitemap through Google Webmaster Tools.

Special Offer: 30-Day Free Trial on Bandzoogle and 15% off any first year Bandzoogle subscription.

How Ad Rev and YouTube Content ID work  

The Hows and Whys of Ad Rev and YouTube Content ID
With notes and new opportunities w/ Google "Hosted" Ad Sense because they are all interrelated.

Mass Confusion.  Irate Musicians.  Angry YouTube Channel Owners.  Copyright.  Infringement.  Monetization.  Content. Welcome to the internet in the year 2015.  This doesn't exactly sound like a fun party, but for good reason.  Your ideas are at stake.  Your recognition is at stake.  Perhaps most importantly, revenue owed to you is at stake.  

Personally, I am on the front lines of all of the above, because I have my own YouTube Channel named ShaunFriedman, in addition to having a website that offers beats for downloads, and in addition to having other publishers peddle my instrumental music across the globe.  I have seen various claims on some of the videos I upload which include Sound Recording claims and Visual Content claims.  YouTube Content ID claims are not just specific to Ad Rev; they are specific to any business or corporation or entity that partners with YouTube Content ID, and generally speaking, can claim copyright on Images, Movie Clips (Audio in the actual movie or the background music in the movie), TV shows, and of course, sound recordings.

This article will focus on the partnership of Ad RevYouTube Content ID, and YouTube channel owners/uploaders, though the concepts may be congruent with any entity that works with YouTube Content ID.  I'll go through each topic in numbers, covering questions and concerns of music creators and YouTube creators, which often times are the same person, like myself :)  YouTube channel owners are also a very important piece of the equation here, because when approved, they can monetize their own videos directly though YouTube Hosted AdSense, not to be confused with YouTube Content ID, but of course.


1.)
"Can't I just apply to YouTube's Content ID Directly?"  If you ever thought this, congratulations!  Way to go directly to the source.  After all, why would you need a middle man between yourself and YouTube Content ID?  Unfortunately, I have heard rumors that YouTube's Content ID application process has gone dormant and is basically unattainable.

However, this didn't stop me from trying back in August of 2014.  My information was successfully submitted directly to YouTube, and they closed their notification by saying "this is a beta program, and we're in an ongoing process of refining, improving, and scaling the system up to meet everyone's needs."  All in all, it's probably a long shot to get approved directly, because YouTube works with major players like Warner Bros, Ad Rev, Audiam, CD Baby, Universal Music Group (UMG), Warner Music Group (WMG), and Sony Music Entertainment. (SME)  These type of Behemoth companies have the rights to thousands upon thousands of sound recordings and media.


2.) 
How does Ad Rev work exactly?  Ad Rev allows publishers and composers to upload music (music that you are the original owner/publisher/composer/rights holder of)  into the Ad Rev system.  Then, Ad Rev works directly with YouTube Content ID to find instances where your content is used on YouTube.  Ad Rev is strictly a YouTube admin.  It's a pretty robust system that will catch you if you use copyrighted material.  As a member of Ad Rev, you can also submit DIRECT URLs of YouTube videos that use your music.  Once a match is found, the YouTube channel uploader of said video will receive a notice that there is a copyright claim.  Refer to below for what happens once there is a claim on your video.


3.)
"Why are there claims on my Video?!?  Now what!?"  It's important to understand why there are claims in the first place.  There would be a Content ID match or claim on one of your videos if you used copyrighted material from someone else.  As mentioned above, this relates to all media including Images/Visual content, sound recordings, Audio Content (this type of claim happens with major movie publishers/studios), and more.
To avoid having a claim in the first place, you all have to do is make sure every single piece of anything used in your video is an original creation.
When you receive a claim, YouTube sometimes uses threatening language about losing your channel and so on.

You have a couple of choices at this point:
a.) Remove your video
b.) Accept the claim.  Accepting the claim means that you NO LONGER can monetize your own video with Google Hosted Ad Sense.  The little green money sign that usually is available for you to monetize with Ad Sense will disappear, and the advertising earnings made by your video will go directly to the Claimant.  In the below example, Warner Music Group is now monetizing my Under the Bridge Hip Hop Remix.  I have no qualms or anger to this because I clearly used audio from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  My YouTube account is still in good standing, and I have over 30 videos that are claimed by other entities.  Accepting the claim means are you are Acknowledging third party content.  Personally, in relation to the Under the Bridge video, I still list my website link in the description of the video, so at least I'm gaining something from the video.  There are many different circumstances and scenarios relating to Copyright Claims and your YouTube channel, and when a particular video has gone "Viral," the ins and outs of all this hold a much greater stake.



Maybe, as an actual YouTube channel uploader, you have a video of your Cat making scrambled eggs that has over 2 million views, but if your video uses a song from Elton John, you are now making Universal Music Group money, if you accept the claim and you don't delete your video.

In the Cat making scrambled eggs example, if you used background music from YouTube's Audio Library, you would have still been able to monetize your video directly with Google Hosted Ad Sense.  This is clearly something all YouTube channel owners should be conscious of, because by the time it's potentially viral, it may be too late to go back and make changes.  *However*, some songs affect your own advertising and monetization in various ways, so be sure to read carefully before using a music track. Also, terms can "automatically" change, muddying up the waters further.

Another option is to have an agreement with a song publisher or composer that implicitly states they CANNOT administer or claim the sound recording through YouTube Content ID, because IF they WERE ALLOWED, it would render your own monetization null and void (With Ad Sense) and the composer would be the only person making revenue off your video. 
If there ever is a case where you know you agreed (in writing) to use a track without worrying about Content ID, you can provide the written specifics to YouTube, Ad Rev, or any company you are working with, and they can remove the Content ID claim for you.  

Generally speaking, when issues arise over Content ID and Ad Rev, Ad Rev can remove claims or a composer or publisher can remove claims for you (by informing Ad Rev), once everyone is in agreement that the claim should truly be removed. This is also referred to as "White Listing" certain videos.  You can also dispute claims directly through YouTube.

Ad Rev can also reassign ownership of music tracks.  This can only happen if you have a written legal agreement that states why the ownership should change.



4.) Licensing and Distribution deals as a composer.  When you sign (as a musician/composer) a distribution, licensing, publishing, or Record deal with a 3rd party, make sure you are the only Admin of your content on YouTube.  In most contracts, you are granting them administration rights to all media available now or in the future.  This means they are going to upload your songs to Ad Rev or Audiam directly!!! (unless they are a Behemoth that works with YouTube Content ID directly)

If they upload directly, you will receive your small cut (if that) after they receive their share directly from Ad Rev.  This is true for indie bands, rap, and all genres of music.  They might not even tell you about it at all.  However, maybe this WAS part of your deal with them and you are comfortable with them collecting from ALL sources.  Either way, make sure you are knowledgeable about YouTube Content ID.  In a perfect world, you would negotiate terms in a licensing or distribution deal that states YOU ARE THE ONLY ADMIN of YOUR CONTENT ON YouTube.  If that isn't an option, make sure you know what percentage you are getting through Content ID proceeds, if the entity you signed with actually tells you they are administering Content ID. 


5.)
Who pays more for administrating Content ID? Ad Rev or CD Baby?  
Administering Content ID:
CD Baby pays out 50% as opposed to the 80% Ad Rev pays out.
CD Baby also offers a total distribution deal where they make your song or album available in a wide range of media, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each.
In a perfect world, you would be able to sign CD Baby's distribution deal where they do all the things they already do, with an addendum that states you are the only admin of your content on YouTube.  


6.) 
What pays more?  Ad Rev or Google Hosted Ad Sense?

What pays more on a YouTube video? Ad Rev or Google Hosted Ad Sense?  If you are a composer, YouTube channel creator, and Ad Rev member all at the same time, this question is pretty important to you.

Fundamentally, this is a question of what generates more: an Audio/Visual (standard Hosted AdSense) or a Sound Recording?  (remember, accepting a sound recording claim makes you unable to monetize through Ad Sense, but what if the sound recording claim is your own self !?!?)

For example, let's say I post a tutorial about music production on my own YouTube channel that gets relatively popular.  At that point, I could monetize directly through YouTube Hosted Ad Sense Monetization. (not to be confused with Content ID)

On the flip side, I could upload a new, original song I made to Ad Rev, embed the song in my tutorial video, and then have Ad Rev claim my own video and earn revenue from the sound recording.


YouTube Hosted Ad Sense is referred to as an Audio/Visual asset, and has demonstrated to earn 15% more than a sound recording (Ad Rev or any entity using Content ID) claim.

Per 1000 views on YouTube, a sound recording (Content ID) may generate $1.00
Per 1000 views on YouTube, your standard Google Hosted Ad Sense may generate $1.15

However, Ad Rev and other entities that work with Google have their own Ad Sense account, and there are sometimes higher quality ads through their network.  So, it's not totally clear at this juncture.  It is possible that a sound recording claim can earn more than a standard Audio Visual (hosted Ad Sense) and vice versa.



7.) Multiple songs in a video vs. One Song in Video: YouTube Content ID
If there is simply 1 song in a video, whoever you gave the admin rights to YouTube will be collecting off that song. (with an accepted copyright claim).  
If, for example, there are 5 songs in a single video, it potentially could be the same entity collecting, but it could very well be 5 different entities, which in turn will split the ad share from the video.



8.) SHARING REVENUE WITH MAJOR BEHEMOTHS!! Remixes and Covers. 
New opportunities [Remixes & Covers!!!] through standard Google Hosted Ad Sense and YouTube Content ID!


While Hosted Ad Sense (YouTube monetization settings as a YouTube Channel uploader/owner) usually claims sampled & found material [Found with YouTube CONTENT ID], leaving you with no revenue stake, in some cases, you can actually SHARE revenue with Warner Chappell, Sony ATV, and any large company who partnerships with YouTube Content ID!!

In the picture [clickable] below, my Carry On remix with a Nate Ruess sample [subsequently matched and claimed by YouTube Content ID) has enabled me to Share with claimants below.


Monetization info: "You're sharing money generated from ads with the relevant artist or copyright owner."

I don't know why they accepted me to share with them, but as a composer that's pretty damn cool how the internet enabled revenue sharing with major players, and I never asked for permission in the first place.  Maybe they're happy that my remix was decent and making them money so  they wanted to give me a nod and include me on the action?  On the not so glorious flip side, maybe it's just a google controlled ad network revenue setting.  It is the use of copyrighted material, so I like to think the behemoths made the decision.




Another shared revenue example can be found here, which is an Alanis Morissette remix: https://www.youtube.com/video_copynotice?v=xJ75cTTiWRk

New Opportunities for COVERS on YouTube!!

Recently, a Parody I made with my buddy Travis was accepted to Share revenue through Google monetization.
As a YouTube channel owner, I was looking over the copyright claims, and I found a notification that said:
"Monetize my video. This is my cover of a song written by somebody else. Learn more."
So, it's definitely a cover of Nelly's Just a Dream, which we re-wrote to be "Just to Pee."
Just to Pee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLOYct7HLtE






9.) Types of Copyright Claims and examples in Content ID as YouTube channel owner.


Example 1: Claimant was Warner Bros for a beat I made with an Austin Powers sample.
The content claim was "Visual" as my thumbnail and image throughout the entire video is an Austin Powers picture.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8p6wV0klY8 - 
So, I have successfully made "MC for Warner Bros" money, though I did get to use the sample, direct visitors to my website, gain subscribers, and remain in "good standing" with YouTube.  
All in all, content ID really does protect creators.  Nothing bad happened to be nor my channel.   


Example 2: A Biggie and 2pac Remix I composed and uploaded on my channel was Claimed by UMG [Universal Music Group], and was Blocked in Some Countries, the "some" which was only 1 country; Germany.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBDu1H5R7yA

I am unsure of what is actually claimed as I used verses from Biggie and Pac in "Runnin' (Dying to Live)" yet used a different instrumental.


Example 3: 2pac and Eminem Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxZv8O5QQck - The Copyright claimant is "UMG" [Universal Music Group] 
who matched with "Only Fear of Death - 2pac" - sound recording.  This happened to be blocked only in Germany.  In this example, the Content ID system identified 2pac, which has an acapella I used.
It does not appear as though the Content ID System caught my use of the instrumental "I'm not Afraid" by Eminem.


As you can see, there are many pieces and parts of the Google Content ID System.  Each case is different because there many varying terms of agreements, many copyright owners, many YouTube channel uploaders, and many creative photographers and composers.  Though people are frustrated about copyright claims, at its heart the system is truly trying to protect rights holders. 
 

It was never about a DAW for me - It was about creating music. 

It was never about Fruity Loops for me, and never will be about Fruity Loops for me.

 

I was born in 1981.  My father produced jingles for commercials, put Cleveland on the map, excelled at jazz piano, and had a state of art studio in 1985.  I was immediately mesmerized by the sounds programmed with a floppy disk and the Yamaha DX-7 Keyboard.

 

Music is an art of expression.  I have given my blood, sweat, and tears to this entity called music.  It is the universal language and relates to both me and every human being around the world.

 

It was never about a DAW for me.  It was about CREATIVITY.  It was never about the Pro Tools vs. Cubase battle for me.  That was simply a vessel to create a final product.  It was never about Ableton.  It was never about Digital Performer.  It was never about the never ending battle in forums and in person.  It was never about Fruity Loops - the stigma of a DAW that is immediately dismissed as "not worthy."  It was about finding the easiest and most user friendly process for my type of production.   In my case, that usually means starting with drums, adding a baseline, and then adding many parts of percussion and additional harmonies.

 

I ask you this: If you write a letter to someone, does it matter if it comes from Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, or another type of email program?  No.  Rather, it is about the content within the email and how it makes you FEEL.

 

Music means creating something from nothing.  Like a painter with a paintbrush on a blank canvas.

 

I ask the world: Why be so obsessed with the Pro Tools vs. other software programs?  I guess I can "sort of" understand those who say "these kids never learned an instrument."  I can't really speak to that because I learned the piano and drums by ear, and then took that knowledge into the digital domain.  I guess you can call me a hybrid of the analog and digital worlds.  I am grateful that my dad "showed me the ropes" so to speak, using midi keyboards like Korg and Kurzweil, and manually playing in each harmony or drum pattern using a keyboard.

 

I ran into somebody today who claimed I was "stuck in box" by using the FL Studio Program.  I would argue that any thinking that claims I am stuck in box is exactly that: Stuck in a box.  For me, it has NOTHING to do with the software DAW so to speak.  Yes, the software FL Studio is good for me because it allows me to sequence quickly.  But the underlying message I am trying to communicate is this:  The most important part about composing music is NOT the software that you use.  Certainly it can help in the process, and you should find the DAW that works best for you, but it is all about your own creativity.  It's about how you add each section of your song, the harmonies you incorporate, and the way the melody or baseline makes you FEEL.  

 

Music makes you FEEL.  It makes you FEEL when you hear it through a radio.  It makes you FEEL when you are working out and listening to music on your iPOD.  it makes you FEEL when you are dancing to music in a club.  It PICKS YOU UP when you are feeling down.  It motivates you.  It connects you.  It reminds you.  It's your friend.  It's the emotion that is indescribable.  It is different for each person listening, yet it connects everybody.

 

As producers, engineers, and composers, it is not about what DAW you use.  It's about how you make your audience FEEL.  If you can get your message across using Pro Tools, by all means use it.  If you like Digital Performer like the famous composer Hans Zimmer, use it.  If you like fruity loops, keep at it.  If you like Cubase or Ableton, stick with what works.

 

The main battle comes between each fellow producer.  We are supposed to be making music that makes people FEEL.  This was never a gimmick for me.  I have seen the forums and I have seen the YouTube comments.  Why do we have to battle with people that are using different DAWS?  We should be encouraging people who are making music, not cutting them down because they use a certain DAW.  Just because you use Pro Tools doesn't mean you are better than someone else.  Rather, pro tools (in certain cases) may be a crutch to certain people, because they have no real creativity.  It's like spraying Febreze instead of really cleaning your carpets: Your house still stinks and the spray is only a cover up.  You will be exposed for who you are in due time.  

 

I can create in Pro Tools.  I can create in Cubase.  I can create in FL Studio.  I can create in Ableton.  I can create in Digital Pefrormer.  I have been multi-tracking since I was 5 years old, using a Casio Sk-8.  It was never about a DAW.  It was only about creating.  I can only shake my head in disbelief when I see or I am part of these arguments, which base themselves upon what DAW you are using, and not WHY you are creating music in the first place.  For the LOVE.  Not for a gimmick.  Not for notoriety.  For the love of music and creativity.

Hans Zimmer time and Inception Remix  

I recently finished a Hans Zimmer remix.  The track is titled "time" from the Inception Soundtrack starring Leonardo Dicaprio.  The piano from Hans and the Christopher Nolan movie made for a great film, and this remix could be viewed as a tribute to that.  It also explores the realm of dreams, inception, extraction, feelings, and the like.

What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.
 

Colbie Caillat, P!nk and Nate Ruess, Billy Joel Remixes  

I recently made 3 sampled instrumentals as well as a lyrical cover for all 3.  These include Billy Joel's Uptown Girl located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw089Y8lZfY, Colbie Caillat's Realize located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBzUwkHuPoU, and P!nk and Nate Ruess's Just Give me a Reason located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKYfzfcNz_c.  I got the main melody from Billy Joel's tune and it was a little tough to work with at first.  The high end was pushing through the mix to hard, so I used a high pass filter to turn the sample into something more workable.  I also included sub bass from FL Studio and the plugin called 3XOSC.  The drum fill has a couple samples at the end of the final bar, and it definitely has a hyped feel.  I was always inspired by Realize by Colbie Caillat, and I loved the line, "Didn't I, Didn't I tell you?" when the guitar plucks along.  I got that sample along with chopping the end of the outro into 4 pieces.  The P!nk and Nate Ruess song came out pretty cool because of the clear piano sound mixed with sub bass from Reason.  The drum kit is part of GlobalHeatWave.com and was an MPC kit.  There is a interesting hi hat pattern, snare hit, and open hi hat included in the drum pattern.  In addition to these remixed instrumentals, I put lyrics to every one of them.  I used the lyrics "uptown girl" a lot in the Billy Joel Lyrical version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1z8VAA8Rmk.  The Colbie Caillat lyrical version is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWersZemt3o, and the P!nk and Nate Ruess lyrical version is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJzYai2PvBI.  The P!nk song was particularly fun to write lyrics to and the hook was fun to work with as well.

How to Edison, sample, sequence, mix, record, & Master in FL Studio  

I recently recorded a 57 minute screenshot tutorial covering the many aspects of music production.  In this particular YouTube video, I go deep "behind the scenes" of my Alanis "Hand in my Pocket" remix and demonstrate how to use Edison, which is the main editor I use during sampling.  This entails getting a seamless loop, finding the tempo, embedding the tempo information in the sample, and saving it on your computer or dragging it into your project.  I also review many aspects of mixing, mostly demonstrating the importance of cutting low frequencies and boosting your high frequencies on vocals, hi hats, and other instruments.  I review how to set up a reverb send as well as work with delay.  I show how to manipulate a sample on the piano roll and how to set up the sample to be "useable" in music production.  I also review what automation means and how to use it.  The video concludes showing the master track effect chain consisting of the TLS Maximizer and the BBE D82 Sonic Maximizer.  In short, the video reviews tips and tricks in the FL Studio music production environment.  The video would be handy for any type of music genre, but certainly focuses on electronic and hip hop production.  

Alanis Morissette: Hand in my Pocket Lyrical Remix interpretation  

 The song, "Hand in my Pocket," by Alanis Morissette is definitely a classic written by one of the most talented songwriters to grace god's green earth.  I started off by taking the intro sample in addition to the outro harmonica samples.  I wrote my entire verse and recorded it, along with sequencing and sampling the entire instrumental mix.  After listening in the car, I knew I had to deliver a better product.  I spent an additional 2 or 3 hours at the coffee shop, sampling vocals from Alanis and more harmonica sections.  I came home and re-did the vocals.  I don't actually have an interface right now- this song was recorded with a Rode Condenser NT1A into a behringer mixer XENYX802.  The main outs of the mixer go into the stereo mini input jack of my dell laptop computer, and I use ASIO4all as the audio "soundcard" if you will.  The vocals sound pretty crisp and there was definitely some latency while recording, but that could have helped the vocals to "sit" more in the "groove" of the mix.  I worked pretty hard on the overall final product and hope listeners enjoy.