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This holiday season, consider giving the gift of positive support in the form of a donation to one of these ten important music-related community charities.

+ Learn more on Soundfly: Interested in building on your knowledge of music theory? Try our free course “Theory for Producers,” made in partnership with NYU’s Music Experience Design Lab!

In fitting with the other composers on this list, British composer Anna Clyne has a list of awards and prizes that seem almost unachievable at her age! Some of those include a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for her work Prince of Clouds, the Hindemith Prize in 2016, the Charles Ives Prize, and awards from ASCAP and SEAMUS, and, well, the list goes on. A student of the incredible Julia Wolfe, Clyne moved from the UK to New York City to continue her studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Wolfe and others. Drawing her influence from a wide range of creative mediums including art, theater, and contemporary dance, Clyne has been described as having an “uncommon gift and unusual methods.” Through her broad experiences and interests, Clyne has carved a truly fascinating and individual place in the world of contemporary classical music.

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And all of this happened before Brown’s future mega hits like “Sex Machine,” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” were even conceived. Live at the Apollo paved the way for Brown’s later successes, it was a jumping off point to reaching the black audiences and households to whom he really wanted to communicate. At this point, Brown was playing around 300 shows a year but was still mostly known by black audiences.

With all of Logic’s inredible instruments, producers often rely on the sound of the samples right out of the box, here’s how to make them more interesting.

Avoid this by following the 3:1 rule, which stipulates that the distance between multiple mics should be at least three times the distance between the close mic and the source. For example, if you have a close mic 8″ from the sound hole of your acoustic guitar, your ambient mic should be at least 24″ away from the other mic, or the same sound source. The big change in amplitude between the two signals will mitigate the comb filtering, and you can accentuate this by angling the mics in different directions (provided it sounds good).

If it weren’t for this music video (directed by Mark Kohr), there probably wouldn’t have been the success of the Offspring, Sum 41, or Blink-182. It encouraged a slew of youngsters to go out and get Fender Stratocasters (or knock-offs) and cover the darn thing with stickers. If it weren’t for Green Day, I probably wouldn’t have done the same thing as a young guitar player.

“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve. The amateur pianist who took half a dozen years of lessons when he was a teenager but who for the past 30 years has been playing the same set of songs in exactly the same way over and over again may have accumulated 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ during that time, but he is no better at playing the piano than he was 30 years ago. Indeed, he’s probably gotten worse.”

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Charles Burchell is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, educator, and diplomat from New Orleans, LA. He has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New England Conservatory (B.M. ’12), and most recently completed the Masters of Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed. M ’13). Burchell has recorded and produced albums with Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Delfayo Marsalis, Ran Blake, Ciel Rouge, his band The Love Experiment (featured in Touring on a Shoestring), and has performed and given master classes at various music festivals around the world. Burchell also works as a cultural diplomat with the Next Level Program and is currently a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall’s Digital Music Production Workshop and Musical Connections Program in which he works with court involved youth and students from various boroughs throughout New York City. Burchell continues to perform regularly around the U.S. and internationally as a DJ, drummer, and bandleader.

Shanti Lalita was asleep when Hurricane Maria nearly ripped off the bedroom window of her fourth-floor apartment in the San Juan neighborhood of Santurce. It was 5:00 a.m., and the 27-year-old cellist and composer was napping between bouts of vigilance as the category-five storm that ravaged the island with wind speeds reaching up to 155 miles per hour. Lalita screamed, she recalls, then sprung into action to save her instruments and other belongings.

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!

Logic has a ton of great built-in MIDI sounds. Your first option is to select the sound of the keyboard you’d like to record. In the top left corner, there’s a box with a file folder inside. Click on that to open the menu. From there you can turn your MIDI sound into almost anything by searching through the available sounds: everything from synths to classic, electric, and grand pianos, and percussion sounds.

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!

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