Columns

The columns below represent the staples of our work and industry. They touch on the topics that can’t be ignored by successful musicians, but may be intimidating and overwhelming. Let our columnists simplify and share the info you need in an easily accessible manner so you can focus on your passion. Dig into specific columns in the top menu or view all of the most recent posts below.

ASCAP vs. BMI: Which PRO Is Right for You?

Updated: Careers & Marketing
ascap vs bmi differences

Performing rights organizations (PROs) exist to help musicians manage the licensing and rights to their work, so they get the royalties they are entitled to. Two of the biggest in North America are the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). If you’re a musician and looking for a PRO to license your work, how do you know which […]

What Do Ethnomusicologists Do? (Jobs, Salary, Degrees, & More)

Updated: Careers & Marketing
ethnomusicologists

In this article, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about ethnomusicology and what kinds of jobs are available to those with a background in this area of study. We'll also cover the salaries and wages as well as everything involved in education to get you ready. What is Ethnomusicology? Ethnomusicology is the academic study of the socio-cultural aspects of music. In other words, ethnomusicologists […]

What Does a Music Librarian Do? (Jobs, Salary, Degree, & More)

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music librarian

Here we’ll explore what music librarians do and what types of jobs are available. We'll also cover the average salary and how you can begin a career in this area of study in terms of education requirements. What is a Music Librarian? A music librarian is a person who has a broad understanding of both music and librarianship. The same way that a regular librarian […]

What Does a Music Therapist Do? (Jobs, Salary, Degree, & More)

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music therapist

Unlike other careers in music, music therapy doesn’t involve recording soundtracks for films or perfecting the acoustics in a theater. Instead, music therapy requires you to work one-on-one or in small groups to facilitate therapy that helps people heal and recover. Ready to learn more about music therapy, including how to become a music therapist and what degree you need to make it happen? Read […]

What is a Sound Technician? (Jobs, Salary, Degrees, & More)

Updated: Careers & Marketing
sound technician

While the job title of sound technician sounds a bit stuffy, it’s a more colorful career than you might assume with plenty of challenges, creativity, technical know-how, and opportunity for advancement. Many sound tech job duties are similar to those of the one-man recording artist, making this career path a desirable and lucrative one for many music enthusiasts. Here we’ll cover what a sound technician […]

What Does an Audio Engineer Do, Make, & How Do I Become One?

Updated: Careers & Marketing
audio engineering

Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll explain in detail what an audio engineers is, how much their skills net on the market, and how you could take the first steps in becoming an audio engineer as a career. What is an Audio Engineer? Audio engineers and sound engineers are the masters of audio hardware and software that is used during the […]

The Types Of Music Majors, Degrees, & Programs in College

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music majors degrees and programs

The problem is that some students get confused about which types of music majors or degrees to pick and which one will best prepare them for their desired career. Music majors and degree options vary from one university or college to the next. While some are quite general, others are highly specialized. You should only choose the specialized ones when you are sure of your […]

The Best Music Production Schools & Colleges to Gain True Skills

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music production schools

A recording artist can only do so much to create an inspiring sound, but it’s the music producer who brings it all together and makes it harmonious. And they're skills are largely gained at one of the best music production schools in the nation. Music production is one of the most exciting career fields you can enter. The creativity and thought process involved with engineering […]

The Best Audio Engineering Schools & Colleges to Learn & Network

Updated: Careers & Marketing
audio engineering schools

Although it can be challenging to choose the best audio engineering school or college for you, given the plethora of options available to you, don’t let the options overwhelm you. Instead, let yourself be excited about the multiple choices — you’re that much closer to achieving your sound engineering or music producing dreams than you realize. Before you make a decision, make sure you have […]

What's the Difference Between an EP & LP Album in Music?

Updated: Careers & Marketing
what is an EP? what is an LP?

Understanding the difference between an EP and an LP in depth means digging into the history of the music industry a bit. It's really quite interesting, and we'll do that but first I'll answer the questions outright. As a fan or curious searcher, you want the quick answer. As anyone involved in the music industry, you're going to want to know the full details, because […]

Best DAW: Choosing the Digital Audio Workstation That Fits You

Updated: Studio Recording
digital audio workstation

You can ask 100 professionals which is the best DAW and get at least 10 different answers. That's not because there's a ton of equally good choices out there, but because each is created with certain industries and genres of music in mind. In the past some of these costed an arm and a leg and required a dongle proving you paid for their giant […]

The Best Free Audio Editing Software: Simple & Complex Options!

Updated: Studio Recording
free audio editors

Free audio editing software made me into the man I am today. Of course, I jest, but the truth is that if they weren't available to me when I first got started then I'd have never gotten started. There were two main reasons. First, I wasn't going to shell out big bucks for a professional-grade audio editor when I was simply curious about the process. […]

De-esser: The Guide for Sibilant-Free Vocal Recordings

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
what is a deesser

The de-esser isn't a modern tool at all. Even before it existed in its current form they were being created by using several other signal processing units in combination. They exist for a single purpose, though their use has been expanded a bit over time. When humans speak or sing, we have a tendency to create harsh bursts of high frequency sounds when pronouncing certain […]

What is a Limiter & How Do I Use Them for Audio & Music?

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
audio limiter

The most basic explanation of a limiter would be that it's a device that stops all audio (whether digital or an electrical signal) from exceeding a certain volume. Though it can operate at any volume level, it's mainly used at the maximum allowed amplitude to avoid the phenomenon of peaking. Before we dive in much further, let me lay out the game plan here. We're […]

Bass Traps: The Complete Guide for Taming Unruly Low-End

Updated: Studio Recording
what is a bass trap

Bass traps in particular, but the entirety of the acoustic treatment rabbit hole, are extremely interesting. If you look around online you'll see just how many people are completely obsessed with the topic. That was me for the longest time. The thrill is over once you finish your own build, but the benefits last forever. And let me tell you, it's impossible to over-emphasize how […]

19 Songwriting Tips for Getting Started, Breaking Writer's Block, & More

Updated: Music Theory
tips for songwriting

Without some kind of methodology, it's easy to get completely overwhelmed when you sit down to start writing a song. That's where a list of songwriting tips comes in handy. It's all about getting the gears in your head turning. "What key should I play in? What about the chord progressions? Should I have those before or after I come up with the melody? And […]

What is a Session Musician? Their Tasks, Earnings, & More

Updated: Careers & Marketing
what is a session musician

Being a session musician is still in-demand in today’s music industry. It's a common belief that the need for a stand-in studio musician in recording sessions has decreased over the last ten years, in large due to the effects of technological advancements and shift to sample-based productions. On the other hand, ​the need for session musicians in musical performances has increased, compensating for reduction in studio […]

The Benefits of Using a Scratch Track When Recording Music

Updated: Studio Recording
the benefits of using a scratch track

A scratch track, sometimes called a guide track, may seem like a waste of time to a cocky, over-confident amateur or a money-conscious renter of an expensive studio, but it provides tons of benefits you may not realize just yet. If you do like you should and surrender to the process of the studio engineer, he or she will undoubtedly first guide you through laying […]

Gated Reverb - How to Get the Big Drums of 80's Pop Music

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
gated reverb drums

Gated reverb is the sound of the 1980's. One might argue, "No, it's MIDI production or it's the synthesizer." Say what you will about the blatant and overt sounds of that time, but the trained ear hears something completely different. It's all in the drums, especially the gated snare drum. They're powerful. They punch through the mix. And they don't sound like anything ever heard […]

Reverse Reverb - How to Create This Backwards Echo Effect

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
backwards reverb

People call it different things: reverse echo, backwards reverb, reverse regeneration... but in the professional sector of the music industry we plainly call it the reverse reverb effect. And thanks to computers and lookahead algorithms it's easier than ever to create. Let's quickly define what it is for the newcomers, give a few examples of how it sounds, talk about how it was originally invented […]