Creating musical nostalgia isn’t just about thinking tonally — timbre and instrument choice can be just as useful! Ask yourself, “What instruments would my audience have heard in music, TV shows, and movies when they were kids?”
We can help you get your tracks sounding professional in six weeks. All of our mentored online courses come with 1-on-1 coaching, guidance, and feedback on your work. So whether you’re interested to dive deep into a production-related topic like Advanced Mix Techniques, Making Music in Logic Pro X, or Songwriting for Producers, or just to work with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve your next musical goal, your next phase starts with Soundfly.
In 2013, I started listening to a band called Groovanova and wanted to buy their records. I was heartbroken to find out they had none because they didn’t know how to do it, who to work with, or whether their albums would sell. Three years later, Diggers Factory was born, and Groovanova was the first band to produce an EP through our service!
Grants for black writers
Using NYU MusEDLab’s embedded aQWERTYon widget here, or by joining our free Theory for Producers: The White Keys and Major Modes course and playing along to several other songs in different keys and modes, you can play along to “Under Pressure” directly in your browser! See if you can follow along with the chord changes, nail that classic bass line, or simply fuss around in the key of D Major.
There’s nothing surprising about it at all; people like lamento bass, and African diaspora musicians are smart enough to deliver it straight up over decent beats. He continues, “This bass line is a fate from which we cannot escape.”
Unsuk Chin is a South Korean composer now living and working in Berlin. Like her mentor Gyorgy Ligeti, Chin’s incredible technical prowess gives her unique control and precision over her craft. Known for pushing boundaries in October 2017, Chin won the illustrious Wihuri Sibelius Prize, which includes a grant of €150,000, adding her name to a list of composers and former winners that includes Ligeti himself, Stravinsky, Britten, Messiaen, and of course Jean Sibelius. With a seriously impressive portfolio of opera, orchestral, chamber, vocal, solo, and even electronic/electroacoustic work, Chin’s sound world is increasingly broad, challenging, and beautiful.
The MIDI version is richly informative. There are long passages where there’s almost no rhythmic correspondence between the notes as written (and as “performed” in the MIDI) and the way that humans perform them. People are playing the same notes in the same order, but have pretty much thrown Bach’s written rhythms out the window. But the MIDI isn’t a very satisfying listening experience.
For another change of pace, you could amp up the electronics and work with a guest DJ to make an electro-dance version of your original song. If you’ve got fans who don’t speak English (or you’d like to have some), try translating your lyrics and creating a foreign-language version of your song. You could also re-record your song live at your favorite venue, and release it as a live single.
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Martin is a composer, producer, and bassist with his hands in a huge variety of musical projects. He’s produced music for acclaimed podcasts such as This American Life, Limetown, and The Spark, and written for various artists and production houses. He’s recorded and performed all over the world with acts such as VÉRITÉ, the PLS.trio, Arthur Moon, Emel Mathlouthi, and other NYC-based artists, and produces original electro and house music and remixes as MDFX, and trap/jungle/bass music and remixes as WNNR. He’s also written lots of the music featured in Soundfly videos!
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Soundfly’s The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony takes you beyond cliché chord progressions and patterns, giving you an understanding of how to apply more complex harmonic concepts to your music while retaining a strong emotional core. Moving outside the boundaries of predictable chord progressions is what gives D’Angelo his swagger, Grizzly Bear their sophistication, and Erykah Badu her sense of ethereal other-worldliness.
Hein almost mentions this in passing, but it’s an interesting concept to keep in mind these days. Our new “teachers” may in fact be the unnamed, unseen, un-interacted-with software engineers and designers who created the DAWs (as well as the plugins inside them) that we use for almost all things musical in the 21st century. Those folks shaped how we learn about engineering and production, recording, and even composition, and learning to use their software inevitably means learning about those concepts from the lens of the software’s interface and application.