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If the mastering step begins after mixing is done, but my song is not really “done” until it has been mastered, then how do I know when I’m done with mixing and ready to have my music mastered?

Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she’s been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly’s course, The Improviser’s Toolkit.

All are typical phase problems, involving complex signals and interference patterns. With a bit of math at your back, the key is to know how to listen for them and how to fix them.

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Lastly, check out how the beat here often delays how it enters. In the first verse, it’s delayed by four bars, the chorus has a little hiccup in bar two, and the V2 delays by two bars. It’s a creative technique.

The piece is constructed as a linear entity, with an introduction and conclusion that share the use of natural harmonics in the piano. The keys two octaves below the notes in Bar 3 are pressed but only sound out by sympathetic resonance, after the sforzatissimo in the upper part (0:13 into the video). Ligeti uses sub-harmonics in the first part and both lower and upper harmonics at the end of the piece.

There’s something magical about a director or composer’s ability to create that poignant sense of looking back or the joy of feeling like a kid again, and the cascade of emotions that come with it, with image and sound. Depending on the project, it might be as simple as a well-arranged descending chord progression, or adding sound design to paint an expressive picture of a particular moment in time shared by many of us in our youth, like a swing set or a wind chime, for example. But there really is no one magical trick that works for all audiences all the time.

You need to select your sample group of critics very carefully. Ask honest opinions of people who you believe to have a decent understanding of music and who are passionate about the genres you’re exploring. This way, you can avoid irrelevant opinions that won’t serve you.

Learn to improve your songwriting with these tips, stories, and resources to help you break out of a creative rut and start writing better music. For more help, check out Soundfly’s course, The New Songwriter’s Workshop.

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That’s really what touring with your band is all about; the opportunity to get out there and do what you love in front of the people that love seeing it. It helps to know that when you arrive in a new city, there will already be a live music crowd ready to greet you with open arms. And some of the most vibrant, bustling music scenes — with great venues, great young bands, and audiences constantly looking for a good time out — exist in places with a few universities nearby.

Give yourself a very clear sense of what you’re hoping to accomplish and discuss it with your engineer(s) ahead of time. For me, that looks like setting some clear “Must-Haves” (e.g. all the bass tracks for the entire album) and then a few “Nice-to-Haves” (e.g. a random track of all of us hollering like banshees). Accomplish the “Must-Haves” first and then allow yourself to go crazy on the “Nice-to-Haves” with whatever time you have left.

With overwhelmingly positive results, we’re happy to share a few select testimonials of Soundfly’s Beginner Harmonic Theory course directly from our students.

Soundfly partners with leading edge music education sites and services to bring you unique tips, tools, and stories to empower and inspire our community to find their sound.

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Whether you’re interested in taking a deep deep into production-related topics like Beat Making in Ableton Live, Making Music in Logic Pro X, or the newly launched Art of Hip-Hop Production, or just want to work with a Mentor directly on a personal project, we can help you reach your musical goals!