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At the heart of the University of New Mexico is a small place affectionately named the Duck Pond (named, cleverly, for the abundance of ducks who frequent it). Here you can collect your thoughts and mediate to the sound of water and ducks quacking. It’s a great place to sneak away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s sounds and hear nature’s music.

When you’re in the trenches every day, it’s so easy to forget where you’re headed. When you see your friends or other musicians on social media growing their fan base like crazy, remember the big picture. Take a few minutes every day to zoom out and look at where you, specifically, are going.

Rob Lanterman is a writer, musician, and record label owner from Boise, ID. He enjoys writing about how aspects of punk rock and DIY have informed all areas of his life, as well as his own experience touring, writing, recording, and being a label owner.

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During the soundcheck process, place your mic in a stand and adjust the height and placement that works for you. You want it to feel comfortable so you don’t move around too much (or your voice track will sound like it’s fading in and out). You should also be mindful of your input levels. Check to make sure you’re not clipping when you’re singing at your loudest.

“Meant to Be”: We’ve got a very cool, non-standard “shuffle treatment” of a chorus here. The chorus itself is AABA, and after the second chorus they chop it up and shuffle it to make a new section that goes BBA, which I’m going to call a modified half-chorus (c2). Then, we have the shortest bridge in history, just two pop-perfect bars of “maybe”s. Next we’ve got a more proper “non-chopped” half-chorus to end it. And we gotta give a shout-out to the inverted V chord they snuck in there with the moving bass line in the chorus.

From contemplative songwriting, to epic beats, to carefully crafted orchestrations, September’s student artists have created some memorable pieces in their Mainstage courses. Over several weeks of detailed content, constrained prompts, and personal feedback and support from a Soundfly Mentor, these students were able to explore and develop musical skills in areas like production, composition, and performance. Here are a few highlights:

So, if you’re trying to stop noise from creeping into your home studio from the other rooms in your house, install MLV inside your wall and floors for best results. If you’re looking for a less invasive approach, hang it on all of your walls and lay it across your floor.

Will Marshall is a singer, composer, producer, pianist, synthesist, engineer and educator. Will has engineered for artists such as Oscar-nominated film composer Nicholas Britell, Grammy-nominated jazz musician Patrick Gleeson, R&B singer Vudajé, experimental composer Augur Duende, and electronic acts Ill Gates, Freq Nasty and the Fungineers. He is currently consulting mix engineer and producer for Sennie Records in San José. As an educator, Will taught at Pyramind in San Francisco from 2015-2018 and is a well-known authority in the creative applications of music technology. He has written and directed several in-depth educational video series, taught numerous workshops, and accepts occasional private students.

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All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them. 

You can even take this a step further and cross-reference your streaming metrics with your Next Big Sound analytics to discover some really powerful insights about your audience and understand which efforts are feeding into one another.

A delicate balance between music career and everything else important in life needs to be struck by musicians who want to sustain their careers. For example, you might want to spend every waking hour making music, but if doing so isn’t making you money yet, it’s not a realistic option. And this balance doesn’t just involve money. Your close, non-musical relationships have to be prioritized as well and maintained if you want to continue to benefit from having friends and family as a safety net in your life.

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Sydney, Australia. He founded the post-rock band sleepmakeswaves, with which he has toured Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In his spare time he writes music for short films, produces bands and subsists on altogether too much coffee. Alex is the instructor of the free Soundfly course, Live Clicks and Backing Tracks.

When it comes to music “now,” it all depends on who and what we’re talking about. The stuff that gets advertised on harshly illuminated screens down on L Train platforms? The bands involved in what that Pitchfork describes as “the most important stories in music?” Spotify Playlists for the gym? The Bang On a Can Allstars? Generally, I mistrust these things, because I don’t see them making any attempts to use music’s great power to snap people out of the general stupor of malaise that seems to be a symptom of living in our times.