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Musical Anhedonia: Deriving No Pleasure From Music

Updated: Interesting
musical anhedonia

For most people, music is an exercise in catharsis. A snappy tune by The Beatles may bring a smile on our face. Spinning Adele’s “21” after a breakup provides a layer of empathy to our distress. Note that we said, "most people." That's because there are some people that don't like music regardless of artist, style, or genre, because it's like watching paint dry to […]

What Do Speaker Spikes Actually Do & Do I Need Them?

Updated: Q & A
spikes for speakers and stands

We received a question recently that nearly drove me bonkers as I started to think more about it. I had formulated and sent my own answer back before reading some opinions on a few audiophile forums. Let's just say I'm not surprised to have read professionals in that crew stating the exact opposite conclusions from the same set of facts. Audiophiles don't exactly operate in […]

Chuck E. Cheese's Robot Band is Breaking Up for Good

Updated: Interesting
chuck e cheese

This is sad news indeed for many of us musicians, old and young. The animatronic band that graced the stages of Chuck E. Cheese locations across America are finally throwing in the towel to enjoy a well-earned retirement. Chuck E. Cheese & ShowBiz Those of us born in the late 70's and early 80's will remember ShowBiz Pizza Place and Billy Bob the Hillbilly Bear. […]

How Long Does it Take to Develop Calloused Guitar Fingers?

Updated: Q & A
how long to grow guitar calluses

Most of the questions we receive usually reveal a gap in our content and today's question was no different. What we did manage to do this time was publish a full length post related to the growth of calloused guitar fingers before we managed to post the Q&A itself. If you want the long explanation, you can find that here: How to Build Guitar Calluses. […]

8 Recent Music Publicity Stunts Gone Stupid

Updated: Interesting
bad music publicity stunts

Let today's post serve as a lesson on how not to execute a publicity stunt to drum up interest and sales in your new album (while our last 'Lessons' post showed a great marketing example by 50 Cent). There’s no such thing as bad publicity, or is there? It’s a cliché, but it tends to carry gravitas. This is especially the case in music, where […]

Why Are Some Guitars More Expensive Than Others?

Updated: Q & A
expensive guitars

A reader recently asked the question "What makes a guitar expensive?" that seems obvious on the surface until you realize you haven't really considered the details. We all tend to brush questions like these off, as if "well, duh, because they're better" is a sufficient answer. That's actually a non-answer and we'll have none of that here! So let's get to the bottom of why […]

How Does a Guitar Tone Knob Work?

Updated: Q & A
tone knob

There's nothing like diving head first into a new instrument. We're all as familiar with each various instrument as anyone else, but once you start studying one you realize how much you took for granted. What seemed obvious isn't so clear cut. And that's where the author of today's question finds himself: "What does a tone knob do?" I love these kind of questions because […]

Can I Lay My Studio Monitors Down Sideways Instead of Vertical?

Updated: Q & A
sideways monitors

Today's question about having your studio monitors on their side relates to a common discussion online that rarely ventures into a real answer. For some reason, there are a lot of people who are convinced that it's a matter of preference, when this couldn't be any further from the truth. Please don't hesitate to email us with any questions of your own, as long as […]

Where Does Audio Latency & Microphone Delay Come From?

Updated: Q & A
audio latency delays in milliseconds

We received a question recently that made us realize that we hadn't covered the topic of audio latency. Not only had we not covered it clearly, but we hadn't touched on it at all. And that explains why we received a question that didn't really make sense, related to microphone delay. You'll see why as we correct the misconception and explain latency in haste. You […]

6 Forced Music Genres that Should Disappear Like the Dodo

Updated: Interesting
pirate metal

Music is more compartmentalized now than ever before. Not only are we well beyond the days of merely designating music as "good" or "bad," several subgenres have cropped up in recent years to further hyper-categorize certain sounds. While some of these sub-categories like indie folk or trip-hop seem to have staying power, others should head toward the dustbin of history with some luck. This list […]

6 Satanic Songs that Aren’t - The Backmasking Panic!

Updated: Interesting
backmasking

Rock has been known as “The Devil’s Music” since the first backbeat was laid down. It was bad enough when Elvis swiveled his hips, but things went turbo-stupid a couple decades later. The connection between rock and Satan arguably reached its peak in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when an overly-alarmist religious crowd began accusing bands of inserting hidden Satanic messages into their lyrics; one that […]

Yoko Ono Needed Two Takes to Perfect Her “Dead Rat in a Shoebox” Solo

Updated: Interesting
dead rat in a shoebox solo

Nobody in music draws the ire of rock fans more than Yoko Ono. While some of this naturally stems from longstanding accusations that she broke up The Beatles, it’s also derived from the fact that she’s done some weird stuff in the name of music (and attention) for decades. Perhaps nothing is weirder than her insistence on recording a "dead rat in a shoebox" solo […]

Radiohead’s Secret Program Hidden in OK Computer Reissue

Updated: Interesting
radiohead ok computer secret software

Radiohead’s “OK Computer” is 20 years old. While this mark of time is bound to make Gen X'ers that bought the landmark album feel ancient, it’s also a perfect anniversary for a re-issue. Of course, since Radiohead is Radiohead, the band can’t be content with merely re-issuing an expanded album packaged with just demos and outtakes. Instead, Thom Yorke and company managed to sneak in […]

Musicians & UFOs - 15 Close Encounters with Flying Saucers

Updated: Interesting
musicians and ufos

We've uncovered cave paintings, medieval and renaissance artwork, military radar videos, and have sightings of UFOs even up to this day. It's no real surprise that some of our favorite musicians have had their own close encounters with unidentified flying objects. What is surprising is that they've admitted to it, sometimes on national television, since that usually seals the deal on your career. That's how […]

Gain Staging Explanation Through Hardware & Software

Updated: Q & A
gain staging explanation

When we got this question, it was another in a string of emails asking for more information about gain staging. It's something we've mentioned a lot in the Studio Recording column but hadn't dedicated a full article to it. We since then have written a full investigation into the concept (linked below), but here's the shorter version of how we explained it to Hechter. Please […]

Does Studio Recording Equipment Apply to Podcasting?

Updated: Q & A
podcasting recording equipment

The world of studio recording equipment is confusing to the uninitiated trying to get a foothold, and with manufacturers marketing their gear differently to outsiders, it's no surprise that we received this week's question about podcasting... And thanks to Calvin, Justin, Jason, Andy, Doug, Shawn, Dominic, Daniel, Jamieson, Gabrielle, Anthony, Zaiden, and James for the positive comments. There were too many to post here in […]

Russian Meme Music - Where Did We Go Wrong?

Updated: Interesting
russian meme music

Where did we lose our way? At what point did we toss all care to the wind and start admitting that we like some of the most absurd music out there? Like Russian meme music... The Top 3 Russian Meme Music Songs I'd say the answer for most of us is around the time the internet was released to the public, but for the Russians, […]

How to Mix Saxophone for Perceived Power & Clarity

Updated: Q & A
saxophone mixing

We've been receiving a lot of emails from users lately, but not questions. Thankfully, several have been corrections for errors spotted in our articles, which we always appreciate. But in the meantime we did collect several solid questions, one of which we want to share here, basically asking how to mix saxophone. Let's get right to it! As always, a special thanks goes to Brigitta […]

8 Classic Video Game Songs From the Actual Golden Era

Updated: Interesting
classic video game songs

There's countless lists like these out there, where a ton of people who never played an hour of vidya their whole lives try to help you remember the Mario Bros theme or that one Tetris song. I'm not going to do you like that. I'm going to show you the real classic video game songs. I'm going to take you back to the true gems […]

Aerosmith Earned More Money from Guitar Hero Than Their Albums

Updated: Interesting
guitar hero aerosmith money

Aerosmith was one of the indisputable gods of American hard rock in the ‘70s. They also came back from the brink of drugs and despair to have a total renaissance in the late ‘80s. Add these eras together, and you’re looking at a band that made a ton of cash through album sales. At least, on paper. Yet a funny thing happened on the way […]