Krumhansl proposed that we’ve heard enough songs in major keys to be able to pick up on what songs in major do, and how they should sound. Just like when you watch enough spy movies, you can basically predict what’s supposed to happen in the spy movie you’re about to watch. Cui says, “I’m assuming that most people hearing ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ would know that it’s in major even though they might not know it’s called major.”

Finally, use an aux send to create a parallel compression chain for the vocal. Use extremely fast attack and release times, super-aggressive ratios, and excessive amounts of compression to create a pumping, slamming performance that’s full of energy. Then, gently blend in the results with the original. A common trick is to use an 1176 in “British Mode” or “all-buttons-in,” as it adds a colorful distortion that helps vocals cut through the mix.

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In this edition of “Talking Points,” producer and beat maker Kaytranada talks about his grooves, his influences, and his upbringing, and we boil it down!

The specific frequencies you choose to boost will vary from track to track, and especially from genre to genre. It’s common to apply a subtle boost on the high end using a gentle shelf, typically around 8 kHz or so. So be sure you don’t bring back any of that nasty sibilance — and be careful boosting between 3-6 kHz, as it often causes the vocal to sound shrill and harsh.

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