Over 2 million students in the United States play in middle and high school bands. 300,000 of those students go on to play in college bands. Until recently, the noise levels that these students were exposed to went unnoticed as well as the repercussions associated with the resulting damage to their young ears.
A noise-induced hearing loss is without a cure and is permanent. When you are a musician, the most essential instrument you have is your hearing.
Band instruments are handled with care and precision; so should your ears be handled. The hard work and dedication demanded of today’s college musicians are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss causes the student to miss their cue, play the wrong note, or fail to notice their tone is flat or sharp. Along with losing a scholarship due to being unable to perform, or having to give up music, the greater risk is the irreversible damage to their hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is irreversible. It is also entirely preventable.
In this document, we will cover the risk to one’s hearing that college band members are taking without proper ear protection. We’ll cover the effects of being exposed to high decibel levels over time and look at the reward earned by protecting young ears with earplugs that will not compromise the sound quality of the music. Earplugs come in all different shapes, types, and sizes that fit into specific categories depending on the acoustic situation. According to Bob Robinson of BestofMachinery, “The benefits of music or machinery ear plugs seem fairly obvious to most, but a lot of people still don’t want to use them.” They are very underrated yet very easy to acquire.
The risk and effects of noise-induced hearing loss in musicians
The most challenging issue regarding noise-induced hearing loss is the lack of immediate symptoms. NIHL gradually affects the ability to hear. Symptoms and side-effects are not recognized typically until years later. However, studies show that a loss of hearing leads to an increase in the chances of illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
• The ears’ hair cells (stereocilia) to be bent or broken permanently.
• Sound to seem dampened/muffled causing musicians to play sharp/flat.
• Missed cues.
• Depression from losing a scholarship or not passing.
• The trouble with social interactions leading to situations of
• Loss of cognitive focus.
• Drop in grades.
OSHA Noise Regulations (Standard 1910.95(b) (1))requires employers to monitor sound if it equals or exceeds 85 decibels and provide individuals with protective equipment such as earplugs or noise-canceling earphones when employees are exposed to noise levels. How to prevent noise-induced hearing loss?
The only way to cure NIHL is to prevent it. College band members can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by taking preventive measures such as requiring earplugs. Until recently, this was an unacceptable solution as the market only consisted of foam earplugs or generic silicone earplugs that fit poorly, canceled too much sound, dampened intonation, and distorted sound. As such, musicians neglected to protect their hearing.
To combat these issues, Big Ear, Inc. developed The ONE® and they are custom-built Hearing Protection which:
• Are custom-fit to the individual’s ear for protection and comfort.
• Acclimate musicians to the use of earplugs.
• Are designed to attenuate across all sound frequencies.
￼• Have a dual filter system.
• Are constructed with soft-fit material.
• Come with three restriction orifices to gradually train the ear to
the earplug, thus eliminating muffled sounds and distorted tones.
• Come with a removable pop-cord.
The ONE® is the only product currently on the market designed to allow the musician to hear both themselves and others in a clear manner without limiting spatial awareness.
How The ONE® works?
The ONE® trains the ear to adapt to earplugs. The two-filter system consists of a nonlinear filter system and an interchangeable filter. The three interchangeable orifices allow the user to reduce the sound they hear. The filters are designed to adapt to the student’s practice and performance environment reducing noise levels by 9 dB, 15 dB, 20dB, and 25 dB.
Five Of The Most Common Piano Mistakes Beginners Make
Have you just started with your piano lessons? Continue reading this blog to find out what are the common piano mistakes that you can avoid as a beginner. While diligent rehearsal is the key to become a pianist, even experienced musicians often doubt their practice. The best pianists are the ones who practiced for efficiency, who did not count the number of hours they put in, but who counted the number of techniques they mastered in.
So let’s read what you can avoid during your piano lessons to speed up your practice.
Mistake 1: Ignoring How the Fingers Work
A good pianist knows the importance of each finger in playing the instrument. Just because you are comfortable using the ring finger instead of the 4th finger, it doesn’t mean you are doing it right. While it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, your hands will get accustomed to the positions soon after. Fingering or finger position in piano lessons is crucial because it:
1) Keeps our hands, fingers, and wrists steady
2) Keeps our fingers moving as little as possible while creating the perfect music
3) Helps us use all our fingers equally and prevents using one more than the other
4) Helps us distribute the music notes across all fingers uniformly
Mistake 2: Not Practicing the Basics Enough
Practicing the basics until you can even play in your sleep is a must to form the ground of your music. Learners often skip the difficult steps and jump to the next one only to return to it and try. Clear one step at a time and focus on practicing the difficult passages again and again. Moreover, just because you got stuck at a point, do not go back and restart from the beginning. Focus on it and once you pull it off, then you can revise for one last time before moving on to the next lesson.
Mistake 3: Practicing Only at a Fast Pace
Practice and more practice. You should practice enough to not forget your learnings. However, you should also remember that slow practice is more effective than fast practice. Confusing? Okay, here’s something simple. When you learn a piece, do not play it at the top speed. Playing at a fast note may seem easy but it won’t help you master the passage accurately. Playing slow will give you control over your music and the small details. Practicing the basics, every day, slowly will not only keep your mind engaged but also help you stay focused on the notes, sounds, and fingering.
Mistake 4: Playing More, Listening Less, and Looking at the keyboard More
Your focus should not be on the keyboard but the notations and the music created. It’s like riding a car, but instead of concentrating on the road, you focus on the steering wheel. It is not about how often you practice, but it is about how often you listen to music and recognize the notes and sounds. You have to make a habit of listening to not just what you learn but also what others create.
Also, you have to slowly cultivate the habit of reading music and relying less on keyboard image or numbers. This will help you practice pattern reading that allows musicians to recognize notations moving up and down.
Mistake 5: Not Getting a Passage Right Multiple Times
Most often when practicing a difficult passage, we tend to repeat a spot only until we get it right. And then we move on to the next note. But, what would you remember at the end of a week – playing wrong 20 times or played right one time? The wrong one, right? It is because we practiced it more. Therefore, your goal should not be getting it right once, but getting it right multiple times, in different surroundings and scenarios. Only then you should move on to the next section.
Article by Aarif Habeeb
Top Tips For Making Music On A Computer
Have you always dreamed of becoming a music producer? Well, nowadays making music isn’t as far-fetched as it was in the past. As long as you have the right equipment, you can transform one of your spare rooms into a music studio.
Commence your journey by choosing a digital audio workstation and a top-notch computer as your basic tools. These are essential for transforming your creative thoughts into pieces of music.
The following tips will certainly be helpful in the process of making your first song.
Choose the right DAW
The initial thing to consider is choosing a digital audio workstation (DAW), which is a software that you need to install in order to record and edit music pieces. This program needs to be adapted to the operating system of your computer so as to be functional.
Prior to making an ultimate decision, you are advised to check out the plethora of online tutorials that explain the features of the DAW you find most suitable. These tutorials serve the purpose of familiarizing you with the layout of the software, which is particularly beneficial for complete beginners. If you wish to master the program faster, you could also try some of the online courses that teach you about its features in detail.
Purchase a computer
After selecting the right type of DAW, you’re supposed to purchase a computer or a laptop that matches the software requirements. It’s paramount for the computer to be armed with high processor speed and RAM of a minimum of eight gigabytes. Also, a hard disk space of at least 500 gigabytes is essential for the computer to run well and store all of your audio files.
Nevertheless, in case your budget isn’t enough to purchase a brand new computer, you can upgrade certain components of your current gadget to make it more powerful. Focus your attention on upgrading the processor, the RAM, and the hard drive space, as these components, are of greatest importance. Visit this page for some useful tips on upgrading a laptop.
Purchase production equipment
Apart from computer equipment, you’d also need production accessories that contribute to music quality. Instead of using plug-ins for certain instruments, you could purchase an instrument that you are keen on playing, such as a guitar, drums, synthesizer, etc. Make sure you purchase a keyboard and a microphone as well.
Work on the melody
Coming up with a melody is undoubtedly the trickiest part of recording a track, as you need to make the right choice of instruments. It’s essential to pair the number of vocals with the number of instruments for better synchronization.
Furthermore, your melody would be catchier by choosing a few additional instruments to emphasize the chorus or other sections of the song structure. However, bear in mind that these instruments won’t be effective if being included in almost every part of the track.
There isn’t a general rule when it comes to highlighting specific parts of a song since every music producer decides which sections of its track deserve to be emphasized. Besides instruments, you could use sound effects like wind, rain, storm, or waves to stress certain parts of the lyrics. Websites, such as dawvsthub.com, provide reviews of the most popular music plug-ins.
Finish the song
The ultimate thing to do is assembling all individual sections into a single track. Your DAW has useful tools for boosting the quiet sounds while weakening the loud ones.
Moreover, be prepared to spend most of your day making adjustments, regardless of how minor they are. There is supposed to be a smooth transition between sections and a constant volume in every part of the song.
Upload it online
Prior to uploading your track online, make sure you select the right file format. Choose between WAV and MP3, as these provide the best sound quality.
Finally, you’re expected to upload your track to some of the free music sharing sites or streaming services. Don’t forget to share it with your closest friends and family, as they won’t hesitate to give you honest feedback.
Becoming a music producer is more possible than ever.
Give it a shot!
5 Big Mistakes Musicians Make When Starting (And How To Avoid Them)
As most amateur musicians know, certain paths tend to result in more successful careers. Moving to big music cities, playing live gigs, and investing in management are typical building blocks to musical success.
However, it’s not just about doing all the right things. It’s also about not doing the wrong things. There are certain actions that musicians should avoid if they want to reach a level of notoriety. Mistakes like these can hold a musician back and keep them from reaching their goals without them even realizing it.
For your best shot at musical success, we’re outlining five of the biggest mistakes musicians make when first starting—and how you can avoid them.
1 – Investing in the Wrong Places
Investing in yourself as a musician is a big part of pursuing a career in music. If you’re not doing it for yourself, why would anyone else want to invest in you?
However, a big mistake that newcomers make is investing their time, money, and energy in the wrong places.
Blowing your savings on that “cool-looking” Les Paul guitar isn’t going to inch you any closer to your goals.
Telling yourself that going out to the elite bars and clubs on the weekends is a “networking cost”? Not quite the best way to go about it.
Instead, focus your investments on marketing yourself, renting a high-quality recording studio, and finding an experienced manager to support your journey.
2 – Creating to Sell
Creating music to sell it and get loads of fame is not the route to take. If you’re playing with this mindset, you’re not true to yourself or the music.
No artist wants to feel pigeonholed into one genre or style of music, even if it is going to sell the best. Artists want the freedom to create what they want as they see fit.
While aiming for the charts at first might seem like your best track to #1, after a while, it will become draining. Don’t produce music you don’t love.
3 – Playing in Private
Many artists become protective over their work, fearing bad reviews or trying to ‘perfect’ a piece before releasing it. While creating in private is an excellent method of discovery, it won’t generate any hype around your music.
Get your music in front of people. See how they feel about it and create some buzz around your name. Even small gigs at local bars or a few hours playing on the street can create decent exposure and train you for your big stadium concerts one day.
4 – Assuming Legal Protection
Assuming that you and your music have legal protection can be a fatal flaw for musicians just starting. Without the proper use of copyright and trademarks, people can steal your music and your identity for illicit purposes.
Additionally, if you ever decide to join a record label, you should never assume that they have your best interests at heart. Do your due diligence. Too many artists have been victims of predatory labels.
If you want to avoid this, hire an experienced third party entertainment lawyer. Agencies such as RecordLabelAgreements.com will draw up contracts and protect your interests.
5 – Sacrificing Creativity for a Record Deal
For many artists, the ultimate goal is a record deal with a huge label. In the desire for fame and notoriety, though, many artists sacrifice their creative liberty.
These artists almost always regret these kinds of tradeoffs, but finding a way out of the complex contracts can prove challenging. It’s better to start on the right foot and refuse to sacrifice your creative freedom for the sake of a deal.
Learning from the Past for a Brighter Future
Gaining a footing in the music industry is an uphill climb for unsigned musicians. Rather than make the same errors of the artists that have gone before you, learn from them. You can avoid their biggest mistakes and become much better off for it.
How To Make YouTube Intros?
You have to understand that making a video is quite a significant form of art. You not only have to invest your money, but you also have to invest your time and effort. You also have to keep the quality of your video in mind. If the quality of your video is not up to the mark, it will not attract customers.
So, if you are planning to craft a YouTube intro video, you are in the right place. We are about to discuss how to make an intro video. It will help you to craft the perfect video. Besides, going through the points that we are about to discuss will help you to make the right decision. So, here are all the things that you need to know about YouTube intro.
What is the significance of intro videos on YouTube?
Now we will discuss the significance of intro videos on YouTube. There are huge benefits when it comes to the intro videos. It not only plays an important role in driving the attraction of the weavers, but it also helps in numerous other ways as well. So, let us look at the essentiality of the introduction on YouTube.
· The intro video will convey to your audience that you are white professional and dedicated when it comes to making videos.
· With an attractive intro, you can make your audience understand the forte of your brand. To be precise, it will increase the familiarity of your brand, along with making a strong place for you on YouTube.
· Moreover, you can consider your intro videos as the resource of your narrative. To be specific, you can make your audiences understand whether you are about to come up with vlogs, essays, or video guides.
· Furthermore, with the help of your intro, you will be able to make people understand what your video is about. The best part is you can make them understand within a very few time. Also, it will create a positive impact on your video.
Well, if you want to create the perfect intro for YouTube, you have to consider some points. If you can consider those points, you will get the best results. So, the points that we are talking about are:
It is the first thing that you have to consider. Well before editing your video, the purpose of your intro should be clear in your mind. Or else it will be hard for you to build the desired result out of your intro videos. To be precise, you have to comprehend the content of your intro video at first. And to comprehend the content of your video, you have to understand the style of your channel. For instance, if your channel is a straightforward channel, a short intro will serve your purpose. Besides, you have to keep in mind about the feelings that you want to induce in your audience’s heads. It will help you to design your video according to that. To be specific, you have to know why you want to connect with your viewers through this video. In case if you fail to find the purpose of your video, there is no point in creating an intro.
Another important thing that you have to keep in mind is the duration of your intro video. We have already discussed that the style of your channel is going to influence your intro video a lot. So, at first, you should acknowledge the style of your channel and then think of the duration. However, you have to keep in mind that the intro of your video should be short and crisp. Or else it will make people bored, and they will stay away from your intro video. Also, it is very important to consider the base of your video and comprehend whether it is compatible with its purpose or not. Well, YouTube analytics data is going to help you a lot as it will give you the best insights about your intro video.
Another significant part that you have to consider your intro video is the music. You must know that music is one of the significant parts of the video as it is responsible for making your video attractive and appealing. Well, the music of your video depends on the content of your video. You have to make sure that the music is compatible with the content of your info video. Or else it will make the video look messy. Also, it is very important to stay consistent when you are incorporating music in your intro video. To be precise, you have to use a single song or a single soundtrack when it comes to the intro of your videos. So, you have to be quite careful if you are planning to incorporate music into your intro video. If you use a free intro maker, you will get a library full of music.
· Visual identity
Now visual identity is one of the most important things when it comes to making an intro for YouTube. Compared to other states, it is easier to create a visual identity for your video. In fact, if you are ready with your plan creating a visual identity is quite simple. In this case, all you have to do is to include a photo with the name of your channel. So, you can see that you don’t have to worry about anything if you don’t know anything about design. Besides, it is one of those sections where you can do experiments with your creativity. However, you have to keep in mind that you shouldn’t go overboard. Or else there is a possibility that it will ruin your video.
· End screen
It is the final part of your intro. Here, you will get a considerable amount of opportunity that will help you to incorporate your creativity. Besides, in the end, screen, you have to include call-to-action for your brand or your products.
So, craft an attractive intro. Well, you can use the InVideo video editing tool to edit your intro video.
The Best EDM Movies Ever Made Gift Giving Guide
Electronic dance music (EDM) is also known by other names such as dance music, club music, house music, and more recently, trap music. Tons of variations and sub-genres have evolved out of EDM over the last 40 years. Early EDM was called Dub or hip hop. Dub came out of Jamaican reggae music and introduced special effects like reverb and delay to make a unique sound mix. Even disco music is an early form of EDM. The point is, EDM makes you want to get up and dance. It’s often played in clubs by DJs who mix sounds and sound effects together with mixing boards. Even tech giant Elon Musk released his own EDM track according to the BBC.
The electrifying, heart-pumping tunes make fantastic movie soundtracks, not to mention the music industry itself provides a lot of great plot lines for feature films. This makes EDM enthusiasts and movie buffs fast friends. If you are looking for a movie-related gift for a friend who loves house music, here is a brief list of the best EDM movies to date. You can find even more great movie buff gifts ideas in this article from Giftwits as well.
We Are Your Friends (2015)
This movie about an aspiring DJ played by Zac Efron gives a fictional behind the scenes look at what it takes to rise to fame in the world of EDM. The wild ride is fueled with music, drugs, and sex while both a love triangle and a budding career are set up. This movie also stars Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski. Despite its weak theatrical release, it’s now hailed as a timepiece movie for millennials and will probably become a cult classic among that crew, especially those that love dance music. Buy this movie as a gift and include a copy of the thumping soundtrack as a bonus.
Daft Punk Unchained (2015)
Daft Punk is a French Grammy Award-winning EDM band that is probably the most recognizable name in the business, even in the US. This documentary details their career which started in the early 1990s. It uses rare archive footage and personal interviews. While it chronicles the life and work of members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, it also contains interviews from their closest collaborators like Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Michel Gondry. The document was created entirely from previously recorded film and no new scenes containing Daft Punk were included. Their hit song “Get Lucky” helped them achieve international fame and awards, including 5 Grammy Awards. They have also done many amazing collaborations including a song with The Weeknd a few years ago.
Berlin Calling (2008)
A DJ that tours clubs around the world with his girlfriend and manager but ultimately lands in a psychiatric clinic after overdosing on narcotics. It shows struggles in Berlin following Hitler’s “final solution.” The film is ripe with techno clubs and a great soundtrack. Ecstasy puts him into a psychotic break which puts his career and relationships in trouble.
If you love EDM music festivals then this movie will be right up your alley. It’s about six people attending an electronic dance music festival and who are all struggling in some way until their paths collide. The visuals in the movie are amazing and really bring the festival scene to life. It carries all the EDM cliches such as the bro-tank crowd, the slutty girls, the druggies, and the straight-edge (absolutely no drugs or alcohol) just to name a few. It’s both a comedy and a drama with something for everyone. If you’ve never been to a festival and want to see what one is like, this is a pretty good example.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2016)
Forbes Magazine recently did a write up on the highest-paid DJs in the industry and the hard-working Steve Aoki was in the top five (along with The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Diplo, and Marshmello). They reported that Aoki makes six-figures a night when he performs. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead is a Netflix documentary about one of the most talented DJs the world has ever known. His story is exhilarating and at times heartbreaking in the time leading up to his biggest show to date. He talks about this childhood, his issues with his father, and more.
Party Monster (2003)
According to Kate Huber at NJGamblingFun, “For a bit of a throw-back, check out this clubbing movie starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green. It’s a biographical drama about party promoter and “king of the club kids” Michael Alig. Alig started out as a social outcast but found his groove in the club scene. He rose to fame but drugs ultimately tore him apart and ended in murder and prison time. The film got mainly negative reviews when it was first released but has become a cult classic over time. Roger Ebert even conceded that Culkin’s performance was fearless.”
24 Hour Party People (2002)
This British comedy-drama details Manchester’s popular music scene between 1976 and 1992. It starts out with punk rock but later evolves into the rave and DJ culture of the 1980s. The plot centers around a newspaper reporter that follows and reports on the music scene and news of the time. Although it’s a fictional movie, it is based loosely on real events which can be seen throughout the movie. The “fourth-wall” is frequently broken in a stylized fashion that brings a level of personalization to the film.
Human Traffic (1999)
This 90s movie is a mixture of music, romance, and club culture in Brittan and stars John Simm and Danny Dyer. The tale of five close friends who explore their relationships and personal demons during ecstasy and music filed weekend. It includes plenty of backdrop of techno raves for the EDM lovers out there. It is interesting to note that the UK version and the US version of the movie are pretty different so if you are a purist try to find the original version.
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