Based on a narrative from the avant-garde writer Frank Wedekind, Lulu details the rise, fall, and violent death of a sexually adventurous dancer (murdered by Jack the Ripper, no less). It shocked readers by showing true love and romantic opportunism side by side, criticizing what Wedekind saw as the hypocritical bourgeois attitude towards sexuality at the time. The story has continued to resonate throughout the years, and the story’s place at the center of Metallica and Lou Reed’s controversial collaboration only speaks to its ability to both entice and polarize audiences.

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. 

“This Is America”: We’ve found the first of this year’s modulating pop tunes: changing from a gospelly F major to what I hear as E♭ Phrygian, which happens whenever Gambino shoots someone (in the video). I hear it as Phrygian because of the shark-in-the-water E♭ and E (or “F♭” if you’re being kosher theory-wise), and then the high-pitched whistle being a solid B♭, so there you go: E♭ Phrygian. Elements from the two tonalities fuse in places, like at 1:35 where there’s what sounds like a sample of previous F major vocals that drone on the very-not-Phrygian notes A and C, creating a heavy tension. This fusion is also present in the outro. Rhythmically, watch out after the second chorus, where it sounds like they added or skipped a beat, but they didn’t. It all flattens out after a few thumps. 

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We all know that the true soul of a record comes alive in that final crazy idea you throw in at the very end of your session — so plan for it a little bit. Go outside with a microphone and capture field recordings or create an interlude jam session. Your engineer will probably freak out if you spring this on them last minute — so be sure to add it to your agenda in advance.

Looking to enhance your knowledge and skills, practice your chops, and build your portfolio of work? We definitely have an online course for you here on Soundfly.

To my memory, the first seed was planted in high school, when I climbed into my friend’s car (he was 18 and down to buy me smokes) and was immediately transported to a distant, unfamiliar desert landscape which I found surreal and intoxicating. Turns out he was listening to the soundtrack of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. Probably the next day I went to Amoeba Records and bought the CD and listened to it every day for months.

If you’re an introvert this can be scary, but do your best to really talk to people at your shows. Talk to the bartender, the soundperson, the doorperson, or somebody sitting at the bar. Ask people questions about where they’re from originally, what they do for work, what they like to eat, etc. You never know who you’ll meet and the adventures you could have.

Anyone who wants to create professional-quality mixes of their own music, or who aspires to be a professional mixing engineer and is looking for a way in. In this course, you’ll actively work on mixes in different genres, getting you ready to mix any style of music you’re likely to encounter.

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You’re also going to need a delay, one way or the other. When it comes to delay pedals, there is analog modulation and digital modulation. Many people automatically point to analog delays to say they are better than digital, but it’s always a question of taste, and most guitarists out there exploring expansive sound palettes will have both on their board. Analog delays sound more like a tape machine; their echoing tone changes the pitch a bit up or down and it’s darker fading out then a digital delay. The latter sounds more like an exact copy of the inserted signal that fades away. If you are a guitarist who likes to tap the delay time with your feet, this will affect your pedal choice as well.

+ Enter the “Chip It Challenge!”: Create your own chiptune cover of Devo’s “Whip It,” and you could win a modded Game Boy, a flash cart, and feedback from Chipocrite, glomag, and BIAS One!

Musicians condem themselves to failure by subscribing subconsciously to the “starving artist” mentality, but it’s time to shift the paradigm and start anew.

From her 1997 live album, right before she launches into “Tyrone”, Erykah speaks to my artistic heart. It took me a long time to admit that I am an artist. The word has a bit of stigma attached to it, usually that artists are needy, too sensitive, too fragile. But I believe we’re all artists in some capacity, and it’s important to embrace it. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) teaches, your artist is similar to your inner child — creative, unafraid, free, and incredibly passionate. It’s so important to nurture that part of you and be honest about your humanity. No one is made of steel.

This Weezer tribute is a true chiptune classic. The lo-fi synth medium really helps emphasize the band’s knack for coming up with poppy, catchy, melodic rock hooks.