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Being Self-Disciplined as an Electronic Music Artist

The life of an electronic music artist looks all fun and glamour from the outside. People have this image of electronic artists getting lost in the music and making people move to the beat; lights glowing and dimming.

The thing is that this glamour and frequent environment that artists are exposed to are tempting. If they don’t give importance to right things, they can easily get lost in that and ultimately lose what they actually stand for. Therefore, the outsider’s thinking is wrong and if they are right, then they are probably looking at a poorly disciplined artist.

A real and dedicated electronic artist is more concerned about manufacturing the right sounds and beautiful rhythms. They hardly pay attention to the tempting environments that are often part of. If they do seem absorbed, then it is rather a thing of the moment. Beyond that stage or club, they have serious issues to think about and realistic goals to meet.

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Q&A: Tim Engelhardt Talks America, Studio and Live Setup while on Debut United States Tour

One of Cologne’s youngest and brightest electronic music stars on the rise, Tim Engelhardt didn’t crash the scene out of nowhere, but started his path as a young kid, first trying to rewrite the piano pieces he had to practice at the tender age of eight, already showcasing the creative and musical mind that would eventually lead him to become the respected and prolific electronic music producer he is today.

Tim discovered the music of Robert Babicz early on and, under his influence and mentorship, became churning out track after track, growing his portfolio with plenty of releases on labels such as Traum Schallplatten, WIR, Babiczstyle, Amuse Gueule, Ostwind Records, Popart Music, Playmusic Productions, Parquet Recordings, Manual Music and Steve Bug’s iconic Poker Flat Recordings – all in just four short years, before eventually showcasing his music on imprints such as Dixon’s Innervisions and Cityfox.

Currently in the midst of his debut USA Tour, Tim took the time to talk with us in between his successful debut at Cityfox in New York and his stop at Chicago’s Spybar for 3feetdeep tomorrow night.

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A Look Inside Sebastian Mullaert’s Beautiful Studio

As far as home studios go, Sebastian Mullaert’s home studio is one of the most beautiful studios we’ve seen. It’s the kind of studio every artist dreams to have.

image via FACT

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10 Tips To Succeed in the Music Business: Seth Troxler

Want to become a better music producer and actually succeed in the music business? Jack of Mastered by Jack has been working in music for the last 20 years, having amassed a great amount of knowledge and experience on what and how music is meant to sound like.

Jack translates this experience into a business by providing mastering and sound engineering services as well as tools and tips for producers to succeed in their production endeavors. As part of this he collects important tips shared by recognized and successful producers/DJs.

First up is Detroit-raised and London-based Seth Troxler, who shares 10 tips on how to succeed in the music business, with emphasis on music production.

Watch the video with Seth below and read on for a bullet-point list of his tips:

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How To Build A Home Studio

 

Above pictures show the step-by-step guide of how Inpetto built their home studio

Inpetto are a brotherly duo from Germany with a long history in the world of dance music production and DJing. Making up two thirds of the act Fragma they scored big hits like ‘Toca’s Miracle’ back in the 90’s. Their album, ‘Toca’, proved they were no one-hit wonders yielding further hits including the top five singles ‘Everytime You Need Me’ and ‘You Are Alive’ with more than 2 million records sold worldwide.

The boys have a level of consistency that have made them a clear favorite amongst their peers, with support from Axwell, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk and more elevating them to critical acclaim as producers, remixers and DJs. Since producing their own tunes has always been their strongest asset, unlike so many other producers these days, we decided to ask them how they built their home studio, which they recently finished construction on. Read more

How To Create More Time To Produce More Music

 

Time management is one of those easy-to-say-but-hard-to-do phrases. If it’s as easy as a pie to juggle work, family time, social life, and personal hobbies together, we’d all be living in Utopia. Each day we get 24 hours to get things done. That means 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. You see, twenty-four hours don’t seem like a lot of time but if you break it down in seconds, it is a hell lot of time. That is why, it is indeed true that every second counts.

You might be wondering what time management has to do with creating more time to produce more music. Well, a lot!

Music-making can either be a hobby or a career, and to some lucky few, it can be both. Some people swear to live by music. They claim to eat and breathe music and give it all of their time. But the truth is, not everyone has the privilege of spending more than a few hours producing music when they have all these other obligations they need to tend to like day jobs, school, and family time.

This is especially true if you are still starting a career in music. You have to keep a day job to make ends meet, so how do you efficiently manage your schedule and create more time to produce more music?

Here are a few tips that you could follow:

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10 Ways To Increase Productivity In Your Home Studio

In today’s electronically-advanced world anyone can produce music in their bedroom studio. Creating a recording studio at home has never been cheaper and a simple home studio, if properly organized, can provide great sound quality for your productions when starting off on your career.

Studio productivity is a key element in achieving success as a music producer. It takes a lot of determination, trial and error, initiative and drive to maximize your output when making music. Hence it becomes imperative to set-up your working space and habits in a way that minimizes procrastination.

Setting up your workspace and workflow so that you can start work right away and aren’t hit left, right and center by a million distractions helps tremendously in ensuring you achieve your production goals. We asked several industry professionals for their advice on how to increase productivity in the studio, and used the information to compile some key tips to help you getting tracks finished:

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Thick Analog Tones From Roland’s New System-500

We first got wind of Roland’s System-1M modular synth at this year’s Musikmesse, and even saw some demo prototypes of the System5500, but we haven’t heard anything about the latter until now. Roland is notorious for slowly teasing us with details regarding upcoming gear releases, so it’s definitely been a long time coming. Based on the iconic System-100M, the brand new 500 series has received a major overhaul, fitting in a sleek and sexy Eurorack format. However, while the AIRA series (including TR-8 and System-100M) are digitally modelled on analog gear, the 500 series is, in fact, fully analog. For the initial launch, we’re looking at five modules, including the 512 dual VCO, 521 dual VCF, 530 dual VCA, 540 Envelope/LFO, and 572 Phase shifter/Delay/LFO. It’s a lot of gear, but the tones you can get from a proper analog modular system are truly unreal. Scroll down for detailed explanations of each module.

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System-500 512

For starters, we have the 512 dual VCO; as the name tells us, consists of two voltage-controlled oscilators, each of which can be set to pulse, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms. Pulse width can be manipulated by panel control or even CV modulation. The oscillators’ frequencies can also be synced with each other in one of two modes (weak or strong) to acheive a classic ‘sync’ sound.

For full specs and more info, visit the 512 product page.

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System-500 521

Second in the series is the 521 dual VCF module, featuring two separate low-pass filters, each with its own frequency cutoff and resonance controls. Each filter also includes a high-pass filter with a fixed frequency (although there are two switchable cutoff points)

For full specs and more info, visit the 521 product page.

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System-500 530

The 530 dual VCA module handles the amplification in your signal chain; each amp mixes three audio sources, and each source has three CV controls available. Finally, the 530 has an enormously useful switch to select between linear and exponential response settings.

Amplification duties are taken care of with the 530 dual VCA module, with each amp mixing three audio signals and three CV controls for each signal. The 530 also features a selector switch for linear or exponential response modes.

For full specs and more info, visit the 530 product page.

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System-500 540

The 540 is the next step in the signal chain, featuring a dual envelope generator and LFO, featuring two independent sets of ADSR controls. The sections can be triggered internally, externally, or even manually (separately for each envelope), and the output can even be inverted.

For full specs and more info, visit the 540 product page.

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System-500 572

Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at the 572, which features a five-stage phase shifter, analog delay, a control voltage gate decay, and an LFO. The phase shifter includes frequency and resonance controls, and the delay section allows you to set the delay time and feedback. Both the delay and phase shifter allow for modulation via the internal LFO or even external CV signals. Finally, the unit features dry/wet controls, which can be controlled on the front panel, or, (you guessed it) CV control.

For full specs and more info, visit the 572 product page.

 

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SYR-E84 Eurorack Case

Now that we’ve gone over all five module units, it’s important to remember that we’re going to need a nice rack to put them in. Well, I suppose you could have them sprawled out across the room, but what fun is that? The best option seems to be the SYR-E84 Eurorack case, a rugged and portable rack with a high-current power supply. Although it’s truly perfect for mobile producers or live electronic music performers, we’re fairly certain that SYR-E84 find its way into the hands of producers of all ability levels.

From more information and full specifications on the SYR-E84 check out the product page.

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Jean-Michel Jarre Schools Us On The History Of Tech

jean-michael jarreJean-Michel Jarre is a world-renowned producer, performer, songwriter, and composer. He has been an enormous pioneer in electronic music production and performance, inspiring and sculpting generations to come. He learned from Pierre Schaeffer, the so-called “father of musique concrete,” and one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century. Musique concrete is a style that arose in the 50’s and involved playback of primarily non-musical recorded sounds (via tape loops and turntables). This marks the beginning of the sampling era, and the style would be intimately linked with the evolution of technology for decades to come, influencing artists such as Aphex Twin and Brian Eno.

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After concluding his studies, Jarre released the album, Oxygène (1976), produced in his DIY home studio. The album was an enormous success, and ultimately went 18x platinum. In total, Jean-Michael Jarre has sold 80 million copies of his 17 albums, and holds a space in the Guinness Book of Records (largest concert attendance) for the 3.5 million people that attended his 1997 performance in Moscow. In this exclusive video, courtesy of Native Instruments, Jarre goes in-depth into the evolution of music technology, and how this evolution affects both the creative and technical side of music-making.

Click here to read his full interview with NI.

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Gear Maintenance – Learn To Protect Your Equipment

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Maintenance is often overlooked in the blogosphere; many people watch tutorials and reviews, but there seems to be a lack of information regarding proper maintenance and care within this world. We have compiled a list of tips and suggestions for DJs/performers, producers, engineers, and even just the average listener. Read more