Exclusively on our Instagram account, we’ll be sharing videos and stories instructing some fun and modern aspects of home production. (By the way, we issue fun production and composition challenges every month, and follow them down the rabbit hole ourselves with you. Follow us to see what happens and join in!)
You can listen to Terminal on Bandcamp, and he’s also worth reading: “When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multi-faceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us.”
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.
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I love so many different kinds of music that this is such a difficult question, but I’d have to say my favorite music to play is groove-heavy R&B, as well as uptempo afrobeat/West African high life sort of music—basically, anything that really gets people up and moving.
His first tip is to move away from vague goals of “getting better” to really specific, deliberate goals, such as playing the first page of Mozart’s Sonata three times in a row without a mistake. The key is, as Dr. Ericsson writes, to “take that general goal — get better — and turn it into something specific that you can work on with a realistic expectation of improvement.”
Here’s a handy piece of advice from pro audio engineer Joe Lambert. This video appears in Soundfly’s mentored online course, Faders Up I: Modern Mix Techniques.
Everything from high altitudes to sweaty summers can deplete your body of water and run amok on your vocal folds. Incorporating a quality humidifier into your life will do wonders to help support your body’s natural efforts to maintain proper hydration. Monitor your room’s humidity levels to help you keep the air around you at an optimal 40% humidity. Make sure to plan for monthly filter changes to keep everything in proper working order.
Believe it or not, professionalism goes a long way when it comes to booking shows or tours. If you shoot off a poorly written email with the promise of bringing 500 fans out to your first show, your email will be promptly mocked and/or deleted. Be thoughtful and measured about how you first introduce your band. and be honest.
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Thinking about what’s in it for the venue can also help you learn how to better sell your band in other marketing arenas. For example, if you’re angling to land a show opening for a bigger band touring through your town, the economy of that inquiry is pretty much in favor of the venue, the band, and their management. If you’re lucky and experiencing some real momentum, maybe you’ll get asked to join the bill, but otherwise, it’s important to know what cards you hold in your hand, and which to play.
Explore Soundfly’s wide array of free online courses and expand your musical skills over your lunch break! Here’s just a few free courses you can choose from: How to Create a Killer Musician Website, Theory for Bedroom Producers, Touring on a Shoestring, and How to Get All the Royalties You Never Knew Existed. Or check out our 4-week coaching program, The Headliners Club, and work with one of our professional Soundfly Mentors to reach your musical goals!
If a piece of gear isn’t working and there’s no clear path to get it functioning again, it’s already a burden. Repairing gear can be difficult and expensive. If the situation is hopeless you might be better off to cut your losses. Get it fixed or get it out the door!
With over 70 million monthly listeners worldwide now, podcasting is more popular than it’s ever been. According to a recent study, there are currently over 700,000 active podcasts. While that’s great news for podcast fans, that many choices makes it difficult for new podcasts to find their audience.
Your narrative probably won’t come together in one sitting. So as a first step, get out a piece of paper and do some brainstorming on the following questions. A good narrative, like any great story, has a beginning, middle, and end. To get ideas, think about where you started and where you want to end up.