Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

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Over at our other site Remix Comps we have teamed up with Zenhiser to offer you the chance to win $150 worth of samples from their exciting and affordable range of sample packs.

Just head on over to The Contest to find out all the details of how to enter.

Simply download the samplepack on the page which contains drum loops in various genres, bass loops, pads, fx and crashes from Zenhiser's sample libraries. Then using your music abilities cut them up, play with the samples and rework them into a 1 to 5 minute track using as much or as little of the provided samples as you want.

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Getting listeners to listen to your own music can be a tough job, especially when you're starting out and therefore we have to try to make use of all the tools that are at our disposal to get our music listened to. One of those tools we have to make use of is YouTube and all the other video sharing sites around the internet.

If you have some video footage of your latest gig or some other great footage then you should be all set and ready to upload some great videos but many of us don't have any video to hand. Not to worry though as we can easily and quickly put together a video containing a collection of pictures or photos instead for the eye candy and your music for the sound.

Here are a few ideas of the sort of images you could use to make your own videos to go with your music...
  • Album/single covers.
  • Photo's of you/your band.
  • Photo's from your latest gig.
  • Your or your band's logo.
  • Photo's from free stock photo web sites which fit your music.
Once you have your photos and of course your track it is very simple to make a video that you can upload to these sites. If you are using Windows you can use the freely available Windows Movie Maker which should already be in your Start Menu. You could also try out VideoSpin from Pinnacle which is free to download and use. If you are on a Mac or using Linux then I am not sure of any alternatives but I am sure there is something similar out there which will work in the same way.

For my videos I used Windows Movie Maker as it is very simple and quick to use. All we do is import our chosen pictures and music and then arrange them on the storyboard at the bottom. We can also add some simple transitions between the images if we want by choosing Tools > Transitions and dragging the transition we want to the join in the storyboard between the images.

Once we are happy with the result in the preview video we can save the movie (which saves as a .wmv files in Windows Movie Maker) and upload it to our video sharing site account.

This method is not only quick and easy but also quite effective in getting extra listeners to find your music. Make sure you add an extra picture which has the URL of your web site or MySpace page so that viewers of the video can find out more about your music and that you also add the URL in the description of the video.

If you give some tracks away for free as I do, you could even put something along the lines of "If you like this track, download it for free from this website" to encourage them to get MP3 versions of the tracks. For the small amount of work I am sure you will find it worth it.

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Thought I would post this video looking at the upcoming new Propellerhead Software release called Record. It looks pretty cool to me from the preview video.

Original Video on YouTube.

Official release date is September 9, 2009. For more info about Propellerhead Record check out Record-You.com.

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Sometimes we find a great sample that we really want to use but unfortunately there is a click at the beginning or end of the sound. For this tutorial I am going to be using Audacity which is free to use and can be downloaded from the Audacity Website for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux. You should be able to use any similar software to do the same technique.

Here is a simple kick drum sound and if you listen carefully you will hear a click at the end once the sample has finished.

If we was to put this into a drum beat we would get unwanted clicks all over our drum pattern. If we look at our sound in Audacity we can see that the reason this click is heard is because the last section of our sample ends while the sound waveform is either above or below 0.

We can solve this very easily by highlighting the last few milliseconds of the sound and going to Effect > Fade Out which will make the waveform fade down to 0 and eliminates the sudden stop which was causing the click. If the click is at the start of a sample we can instead highlight the first few milliseconds and choose Effect > Fade In and this will achieve the same thing but at the start.

Here is our new click-less drum sample using this technique.

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Promotion is something all musicians need to do to get their music heard and in this post I am not only going to discuss this great and fun way you can promote your music, but I am also going to shamelessly promote something myself.

One of the things that has become popular due to the increase in internet communication is musicians and labels being able to run online remix competitions. These contests provide a new way in which fans (who are musically inclined themselves) can interact with the music that they like. Making music for many is a fun past-time and there is a whole bunch of musicians out there waiting to remix your music, but why would they want to remix your music? Well here are a few reasons...
  • Because they find it fun to remix other peoples' music.
  • It is a great way for them to learn and practice making music.
  • To increase their own portfolio of music productions that they have made.
  • To get their own music noticed by people who like their remix.
  • To win the contest prize (which if it is something like a release on a label then it is also a way to get their own music promoted.
As you can see there is numerous reasons why someone would want to remix your music, but what benefits do you get as the remix contest organizer and how far does it go to promoting your music... well yet again here are a few of the benefits...
  • Your contest and therefore your music may get promoted around the net at various sites, forums and blogs by musicians who like your contest.
  • When a musician gets interested in your contest, the first thing they're likely to do is find the original version and listen to it, giving your music listeners.
  • You get a collection of remixes in different genres which you can release or use on your site, MySpace for other fans to enjoy. You could even release some as a remix album.
  • By allowing remixers to post their remixes on their own web sites and MySpace profiles, you may find that fans of the remixers who enjoyed listening to those remixes will decide to check out the original version and your other tracks.
As you can see there are some great benefits to running a remix contest for both you and your remixers. I'm sure you would also agree that it is a form of promotion that could last some time because the last example above of allowing remixers to post their remixes on MySpace etc could mean that the remix contest is still working to promote your music 6 months or even 1 year from now.

It is also a comparatively cheap way of promoting your music too as the only costs involved are a bit of your time to set up the contest and the obvious cost of the final prize. The reason why it could be very cheap promotion is because you get all of the above promotion benefits for what you you might have needed to have paid for a one-time fee freelance remix and yet you might get 3, 4 or even 10 really decent remixes for a similar cost.

It might even cost you next to nothing for the prize as if your label or if you release your own music you can release a few extra remixes on a single or album release as the prize. This sort of prize is not only a fun prize for the remix contest entrants but it is also not that costly and could even make you/your label money from remix sales.

Now on the first line I said that I was going to shamelessly promote something myself and that is my other site called Remix Comps. Not only does this site list all the latest remix competitions on the net for musicians but it will also list any remix contests that you run, giving your contests promotion to hundreds of remixers who visit the site every day. But that's not all as we can also provide free of charge the tools to create your contest on the site thanks to our Remix Contest Creator which comes with a great looking widget you can place on your own web site or MySpace page. This makes running your own contest not only easier to set up and get going but also possibly cheaper as you don't need to hire a web designer to program the tools for you, it's all there ready for you to use.

If you are going to take the plunge and run a remix contest I also advise that you check out an article I also wrote on Remix Comps called 10 Tips To Run The Perfect Remix Contest, which will also be of great help to get the most from your remix contest.

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