While the vast majority of contemporary music recording and production occurs in the digital domain, it hasn’t always been this way. Back in the 60s and 70s, when the first prehistoric digital recordings were made, they were named after they way they worked – ‘sampling’ an analogue input thousands of times a second to build up a series of discrete digital values that could be stored and played back in a potentially much more versatile manner than analogue tape was capable of.
Nowadays, with practically all our recording done digitally, sampling doesn’t seem like quite such a clever trick, but its still a technique that has an astonishing amount of creative potential. Sadly, sampling has developed something of a bad reputation for itself and has become a byword for any kind of lazy appropriation of musical ideas.
Of course, only a true naïve would suggest that all musical theft is a bad thing. As Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.” Sampling has demonstrated the validity of this statement time and time again.
When samplers became relatively affordable in the the late 1980s, they enabled musicians not only to mutate the music of the past into exciting new forms (inventing entirely new genres like disco house and jungle as they did), but also to turn everyday sounds into fantastical new textures that were simultaneously familiar and alien.
When sampling is done creatively by artists, it results in unique, evocative music that couldn’t have been created any other way.
Thanks to digital technology’s decreasing manufacturing costs. the ﬁrst relatively cheap samplers began to appear in the mid-to-late 80s. Classic hardware like the E-mu SP-1200 and Akai S950 made sampling available to studios that didn’t have astronomical budgets, and hip-hop was the first genre to explore the sampler’s ability to recycle musical ideas and put them into
entirely new contexts.
Hip-hop had been founded on the instrumental breaks of funk and rock tracks since the 70s, and pre-sampling records like The Sugarhill Gangs Rappers Delight and West Street Mob’s Break Dance utilised session musicians replaying famous grooves or turntablists cutting up breaks. Now producers could simply sample their favourite parts of songs and cut them up in exciting new ways.
A genre that couldn‘t have existed before the advent of the sampler is hardcore rave, which combined sped-up hip-hop beats with sampled techno stabs and house vocals to create a new style of hi-tech music. Affordable, all-in-one sequencers and samplers like Roland’s W-30 workstation keyboard would allow musicians like The Prodigy’s Liam Howlett to practice an early form of ‘in-the-box’ production. putting together beats, basslines and leads within a single piece of hardware.
Howlett and contemporaries like Joey Beltram would pioneer resampling by recording sounds from synths and using their samplers’ editing and modulation to twist them into exciting new sounds. resulting in revolutionary tunes like The Prodigy‘s “Charly” and Second Phase’s “Mentasm”.
The Prodigy – Charly
Call the lawyers
This approach to making music was new to everyone in the late 80s and early 90s, and the thorny issue of copyright infringement quickly appeared. One of the most high-profile cases is that of Black Box’s sampling of a Loleatta Holloway acapella for their international megahit “Ride On Time”.
The record very obviously used snatches of the diva’s “Love Sensation” to create the stuttered vocal hook used prolifically throughout the record. What’s more, the video featured a model miming along to the vocal, and even though Black Box had cleared the sample by organising a licensing agreement with the label that released “Love Sensation” originally, they faced a legal challenge from Holloway’s lawyers for not crediting the vocal.
Clearly, the legal situation can be complex. To cut a long story short, if you publish music that samples another’s work without permission, you could theoretically face a legal challenge from the copyright owner, no matter how short or unrecognisable the sample.
In practice, a huge amount of music does feature uncleared samples – lawyers most often come knocking if you’re using immediately recognisable samples and making a bit of money.
Black Box – Ride On Time
Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation
5 Ways To Reconnect With Your Art As A Dallas Musician
The most important thing you’ll need to learn as a musician is how to handle a creative lull. If you’re going through this right now, don’t worry. Everyone does!
You might’ve heard all you can do is wait for this musical block to disappear. This “advice” usually doesn’t help; it’s also not true. While you can’t force a spark through force of will, there are things you can do to bring it about naturally.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be opening the door to new ideas, and before you know it, one will take root, and you’ll be back to your old self.
1. Update Your Style
No matter how much we try, we’ll never get away from the fact that looks matter. A musician’s image doesn’t only matter to their audience- it impacts the musician as well.
If you’re a tattoo fan, why not consider some new ink? Sometimes all it takes is inspiration from a fellow artist to rekindle our own creative spark. Unique tattoo specialists such as Jeanmarco Cicolini, geometric tattoo artist in Dallas, TX can provide you with a one-of-a-kind piece that might inspire your next song.
2. Fix Your Environment
The area around us plays a huge role in our mood. This means you need to make your living space, especially your workspace, into something that inspires you.
You probably didn’t expect to get a reminder to clean your house here, but it couldn’t be more relevant. Clutter shuts off creativity. Think about what kind of music you want to create, and from there, design accordingly.
If you don’t know where to start, plants never fail to inspire. Choose a leafy and easygoing friend like a pothos, or take inspiration from the Chihuahuan Desert and go with a succulent.
3. Dabble in Different Artistic Expressions
Many of us have a blocked-off sense of curiosity. When this happens, we’re unable to try new things. The disturbing effect of this is that every day begins and ends the same.
Try something, whether playing a new instrument or delving into a different genre. The worst thing that could happen is spending an afternoon doing something you realize you don’t like. The best is that you gain a new lifelong passion.
That adds up to nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. Listen to Music You Enjoy
There was never an artist who didn’t draw inspiration from someone before them. You’re trying to create music you enjoy, but when was the last time you enjoyed music at all?
Spend time listening to old favorites. Pay attention to what instruments they use, how they turn a phrase and the mood they create.
Take this time to find new music that resonates with you, too. Explore local songwriters or electronic artists in Dallas and see what fresh sounds are out there. A new addition to your interests is just as inspiring as getting in touch with old ones.
5. Draw from Life Experience
Few songs came from nowhere; a person, place, or event usually inspired them. That’s why sitting alone in a room for hours waiting for an idea to hit is counterproductive. You’re not getting any new life experiences that might create a spark.
You don’t need to go on a wild adventure to achieve this; a new life experience could be as simple as getting coffee with a friend or sitting in on a music jam at your favorite Dallas bar. When you do this, give the pressure to get an idea a rest. Be present at the moment, and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
Reignite the Fire
Inspiration doesn’t come back just because you want it. You have to create a place that inspires creativity. And that isn’t all about pushing yourself. Don’t forget what music is at its core: enjoyment. That means you need to enjoy it too.
Investing In The Music Industry: Is It Worth It?
The wonders of technological innovation have enabled musicians and listeners alike to manage and interact with music in ways previously thought impossible. Wild things are happening, such as augmented reality concerts, popular artists making appearances in video games, and who would’ve thought twenty years ago that any song imaginable could be played anytime, anywhere?
We’ll promptly go over two avenues in which you can attempt to make smart financial investments within the music industry. These include music royalties and streaming services. Let’s determine whether investing in the music industry is worth it in 2022.
For the uninitiated, music royalties are essentially payments that are made to both songwriter and publishers once their song has been broadcast on the radio, streaming services, or by less traditional means, such as a Peloton playlist or television commercial. Artists are also known to jack up their streams in order to earn more in music royalties.
Additionally, the use of smart home appliances like Amazon’s Alexa and SONOS speakers deepens the engagement of consumers with music at home. Wireless headphones and other high-tech accessories have also become standard among most listeners, and the rate at which listeners consume materials at home and their place of study or work is now at record highs.
Intricacies aside, millions more listeners might join the music ecosystem as a result of increased internet usage and technological accessibility, especially in developing markets. More music is being streamed as a result of this trend, which jacks up the rates of royalties as well. This prospect is what makes more and more of today’s financiers invest in music royalties at unprecedented rates.
Music royalties are becoming a more alluring investment vehicle in the present market climate of poor yields and interest rates. More investors are now paying attention to their financial potential because of their low correlation with economic growth and strong potential as a steady income source.
On the other hand, streaming services such as giants Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music have continued to add users to their mammoth sizes, thanks in part to the new avenue of opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic brought along. Their massive user base enables people from around the world to find new artists every single day.
As businesses study listeners’ behavior and habits more closely than ever, streaming platforms are a gold mine of data for musicians. Musicians may utilize streaming data in addition to receiving royalties to choose a tour stop, submit new songs to editors, learn more about the demographics of their audience, and even collect funding for new endeavors.
In a nutshell, the streaming business model is rather simple. Streaming services give access to libraries of millions of songs to users in exchange for deploying advertisements and charging those who don’t want to listen to said publicity. In 2021, streaming services raked in $12.4 billion in revenue, and there’s no reason to think these figures aren’t bound to grow in the near future.
Spotify (SPOT), Alphabet’s YouTube (GOOG), Apple Music (AAPL), Sirius XM (SIRI), Amazon Music Unlimited (AMZN), and iHeartMedia (IHRT) are all platforms in which you can invest and get in on the streaming revolution.
With the music industry burgeoning to unparalleled heights, there truly is no better time to make an adequate investment in your favorite musicians or streaming services. Before making any financial decision, as always, you’d be wise to consult with an experienced financier, and this isn’t by any means clear-cut financial advice. Nonetheless, there seems to be an opportunity waiting to be exploited.
Playing Guitar With Headphones: 5 Methods To Get You Started
Practicing your electric guitar can be exhilarating, but it can quickly become frustrating when your roommate, spouse, or your cranky neighbor Mrs. Grouch asks you to hush.
There are other ways you can play your guitar without an amp, although it kind of defeats the whole idea of playing your electric guitar—blasting the sound through the amp and rocking the house—and they all have to do with headphones!
However, you can’t simply hook up your headphones directly into your guitar. With our 5 easy methods, you can play your heart out without irritating everyone around you, including Mrs. Grouch! So when you’re looking for the right headphones, make sure you’re looking at the best picks!
The Advantages of Playing Guitar With Headphones
It’s more fun to play the guitar when you can rock the house. All guitar players will agree on this. And while playing alone in the room isn’t much fun, it does feel rewarding to hear your music echo off the walls and floor.
However, people living with and near you may not feel like it. They don’t think it sounds bad or anything. It just feels too loud to them. If you don’t want to sleep on the couch tonight, you may want to use headphones when you play your guitar.
The best part about playing with headphones is that you can listen to the sound of your guitar more closely, which will help you hear subtle tones you may have missed when playing your guitar with an amplifier.
Also, playing your guitar with headphones on is a simple way to maximize your practice time. Be it day or night, you can play your guitar anytime and anywhere you want, as you never have to haul a heavy amplifier. The more time you spend on something, the better you get at it.
Lastly, if you’re familiar with effects pedals or stomp boxes, you know it’s one way to add grit and energy to your guitar tones. But, through your PC or smartphone, many guitar apps allow you to link your guitar to your headphones so you can create and record your own music with similar sound effects to a stomp box without an actual stomp box. It’s pretty great, right?
Using Your Electric Guitar With Headphones On
The following are some of the ways you can play your six strings with your headphones:
#1: Plug the Headphones Into an Amp
Here’s a way to quickly and easily play the guitar with your headphones. Plug them into an amplifier! The amp converts your guitar signal and delivers enough power for you to listen to the sound by means of your headphones.
If you connect the headphones to an amplifier, make sure you turn down the master volume before putting on the headphones. Gradually increase the volume to a level you feel most comfortable with to prevent the loud music from blaring through your ears.
#2: Using Multi-Effects Pedal
A multi-effect pedal alters your original guitar input signal to produce a range of sounds, giving you an amp-like tone while saving amp space.
Almost all modern pedals with multi-effects feature an output labeled appropriately as the “line out,” which will allow you to plug in headphones if it has amp modeling of some sort. There may also be output labeled as “phones” or “headphones” for that specific device.
#3: Connecting Your Guitar to a Mini Amp
Your regular amp can be utterly loud, and for someone who wants to practice, it may not be the best device to practice with. This is where mini amplifiers exist.
These amps are tiny that you can bring them with you anywhere. They are typically battery-operated, so you don’t have to carry cables and electrical sockets with you. In most cases, all you need to do is plug the mini amplifier into the guitar and play.
Many of these mini amps are designed with a 3.5mm output intended for speakers and headphones. It’s an excellent choice for your practice sessions mainly due to the minimal configuration it requires.
#4: Using Audio Interface
You can also try using an audio interface. It allows you to record yourself playing through your PC or smartphone, and with a good guitar amp simulator, you can make incredible guitar sounds. Now we know why these devices are quite popular!
To set it up, you can plug your guitar into the audio interface. Then connect the interface to your computer. Once it’s done, you can use your headphones to listen to the guitar sound.
#5: Connecting to Smartphone
To set the record straight, you cannot connect your guitar to your smartphone directly. A regular cable and adapter cannot be used as smartphones, including tablets, feature a headphone jack.
To make this work, an interface of some sort is needed. It’s worth noting that not all audio interfaces will work on smartphones.
Due to a number of factors, playing the guitar with an amp is not always doable. Sadly, we often find ourselves in scenarios where playing with an amp is not an option.
The quickest and easiest way to keep playing without disturbing everyone around you is with headphones. Make sure your pedal or guitar amp has an output for headphones. If so, all you really have to do is simply connect the headphones!