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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.

As we’re sure you’ve heard countless times over the last several years, the chances of making a living solely off of streaming income are slim to none. But does that mean that making your music available on streaming services is pointless? Far from it.

Soundfly course producer John Hull walks us through how he creates a Slice to MIDI preset in Ableton Live so you can build your own customized version.

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One of the more accessible composers on this list, Jennifer Higdon’s award winning music is characterized by an ability to appeal to a large audience and generally sits in a more diatonic, tonal setting. Her piece Blue Cathedral, which is one of today’s most frequently performed contemporary classical works in the United States, brought Higdon’s music to the world stage. Now with a real following, Higdon’s 2008 Violin Concerto gained her immediate international fame and subsequently won her the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in music. A self-taught flautist and self-professed newcomer to classical music, Higdon’s unconventional path to contemporary classical music makes it easy to recognize that she cites The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Bluegrass music of her home state of Tennessee as major influences. Higdon’s music sounds profoundly and whole-heartedly American and at times echoes that of the great American composer Aaron Copland.

Some musicians believe that if they make great music, everything else around their career will be taken care of; and this is a huge mistake. The truth is that no one should be more concerned about the non-musical aspects of your career than you. This means paying attention to things like song royalties, licensing agreements, and the details of every contract you sign. You don’t need to be a legal expert to be a musician, but having a passive attitude about the less flashy aspects of your music career can lead to devastating consequences.

Creating presets for the instruments and effects that you use often can help you solidify a consistent sound, and help eliminate extra time spent changing parameters in stock presets. Personalized presets can also be helpful when tracking vocals and instruments by giving you a head start in the rough mixing process. The more confident you can be in your presets, the less you have to worry about laying down tracks that just don’t sound right.

Meredith Jane Monk is a world-renowned composer, singer, choreographer, filmmaker, artist, and writer. An absolute powerhouse of contemporary art and music alike, she’s been making waves as a composer and performer for over 50 years! Now 76 years old and showing no signs of slowing, Monk continues to be a leading force in extended vocal practices and techniques, and avant-garde performance practices. Her 21st century works have been published by ECM and Tzadik, and a few years back, she was a composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall. Much is owed to her history of fearless experimentation and her forward-thinking eye toward the body and its sound-making capabilities.

Before you attempt playing around town seriously, you should consider preparing yourself by playing in front of people any way you can. House shows, open mic nights, busking — these are all low-pressure ways to discover your strengths and weaknesses as a performer.

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The classical music world evolved over time away from Bach’s cool objectivity and toward the fiery emotionalism of the Beethoven era. In 1853, Johannes Brahms wrote a letter to Clara Schumann about the chaconne, and his description was a wee bit over the top:

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.

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It is said that Dragonetti influenced Beethoven’s composition deeply, reorienting the composer’s eye toward making more creative use of the double bass in how it interacts with the rest of the orchestra. As for his own composition, he really took it upon himself to expand the repertoire for double bass, having written dozens of short works for double bass and piano, string quartets, as well as a sort of “instruction manual” with exercises and studies for the instrument!

Here are seven of the most common mistakes I see young producers make when adding reverb into their mixes, and how to prevent yourself from making them.