The ancient Greeks figured out that if you have a bunch of strings, it sounds really good if you tune them according to the frequency ratios you get from the natural overtone series. In such tuning systems, you get all your notes by picking a starting frequency, and then multiplying or dividing it by whole numbers. The good-sounding (to Western people) note combinations are the ones derived from the lowest harmonics — the ones that have you multiplying or dividing by the smallest prime factors: two, three, and five.
Erik Veach is the owner and lead audio engineer at Crazy Daisy Productions, providing mixing, mastering, and sound editing services since 2001. He is the original pioneer of automated intelligent mastering systems, introducing them for use in professional music production in 2003.
Drumming and loud sound are such large parts of Puerto Rican culture, it only makes sense they’d be the focal point of this week’s protests. Take a listen!
Canada council curatorial grants
Lots of times we think the best practice should feel easy, when the opposite is actually true. I remember this point coming up a lot in the another useful rundown of effective practice techniques, the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. The authors talk about “desirable difficulties” — basically, by practicing in such a way that feels difficult rather than easy you facilitate more long-term learning.
What I like about GrungeCake (besides their name) is their motto: “A collection of empirical stories and honest reviews, targeting emerging and popular commodities.” This site is filled with ways to highlight the arts in every manner, and they do this through reviews, features, news, and streams — anything to tell the stories of the artists who frequent their pages.
Soundfly’s Orchestration for Strings course is all about helping you compose and arrange for violin, viola, cello, and bass. In it, we look at the individual instruments of the bowed string family and explore a specific textural framework for creating better arrangements. By the end, you’ll understand how to create monophonic, polyphonic, chordal, and homophonic textures, and have a portfolio of original works ready to unveil at your next performance.
Soundfly is a new kind of music school for today’s musician. We create creative courses and daily articles for the curious musician. Meet the whole Soundfly Team here.
Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.
*Honorable mentions include Elvis’ Christmas Album (1970) by Elvis Presley and “The Christmas Song” (1967) by Nat King Cole, both high sellers and influential albums in their time, although sales records cannot be accurately estimated against more recently released albums.
Datsounds’ OBXD is an emulation of the famous Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 synthesizers. It features a continuously blended multi-mode filter that allows you to shape the EQ of your sounds easily, as well as a random micro-detuning feature that emulates oscillator drift, which was common in the original analog synthesizers. This plugin comes with three different color themes that you can choose from, depending on your own mood drift. While this synth does not come with any internal effects, it can be paired with delays, reverbs, and choruses in the DAW to enhance its sound.
+ Join our email magazine, Soundfly Weekly, a weekly review of the best in music learning and inspiration, all focused on helping you learn one new thing a week. In other words, tons more stuff just like this. Sign up here.
A great example of this is in Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, right at the beginning of the second movement (which starts at 7:41 in the below video). In the second measure, the second violin and viola continue their eighth-note pattern grouped in threes, while the first violin plays descending quarter notes, essentially groups of two eighth notes.
Modes and Key Signatures have a variety of different characteristics and are great for outside-the-box songwriting. Here’s a cheat sheet to remember them!