All posts by Mikey Backpack

Stepping It Up: From Amateur to Pro

Stepping It Up: From Amateur to Pro You’ve been working hard, but there’s just something about your music that is missing. What could it be? After spending countless hours whittling away at a song, you feel like all the blood, sweat, and tears have gone to waste. Let’s not get caught up in the artist’s struggle. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some ways to give your music a more polished and professional sound. Learn Music Theory     It is super important to have a basic understanding of music theory if you want to produce music that sounds good. Sure, having a strong intuition is helpful, but rarely can a producer get far without knowing their scales and basic triads. Learning music theory will help you understand why certain notes sound good together and provide a foundation for your songwriting. It will also help you …

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Should You Buy It? – Genki Instruments Wave Ring

Should You Buy It? – Genki Instruments Wave Ring A while back we covered the now available MIDI controller – Wave – by Genki instruments. They eventually made their crowdsourcing goals and have produced fully functional models of the ring controller. We reached out for a demo unit and were glad we did, it’s as fun as it looks. A video review is to come but for now, read this article breakdown of the Genki Instruments Wave.     Breakdown The Wave Ring controller is a sight to behold, it looks great and feels good too. Despite the form factor being familiar (I wear rings) I wanted it to feel more natural right off the bat. It’s almost perfect, and after a few minutes, I got used to the ring’s size and weight. As a MIDI controller, the Genki Wave allows for very expressive modulation control. There are six control …

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5 Great Drum Machines for Beatmakers

5 Great Drum Machines for Beatmakers We live in a world where anyone can be a musician. The technology and innovations of the digital age have made music more accessible. It used to be a significant investment, as you would need to purchase an instrument and invest in lessons to learn how to play it. This simply isn’t the case anymore. As we’ve already discussed in our article on getting into music production, you can start making music with just an iPhone. You can even sign up for online lessons to learn how to manipulate digital audio workstation software such as Ableton. Doing all of that should give you enough to cover the basics and start making tracks of your own. However, we know you continually want to improve upon your craft. So how do you go about doing this? Well, try to recall any great song and they’ll have one thing …

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Why You Should Start Using Ableton Now!

Why You Should Start Using Ableton Now!   Workflow Heaven The most important aspect of a DAW is its ease of use. The faster and more efficiently a producer can work in their DAW, the better. With its intuitive layout, Ableton offers a streamlined and sleek work experience that keeps producers of all backgrounds and levels in movement. Even beginners can get up and running making music in an extremely short amount of time. Arrangement View and Session View     Ableton Live’s interface consists of two main views, Arrangement and Session. Arrangement acts as a traditional view for recording, programming, and editing, while Session view brings a new, clip-oriented take on production. The addition of Session view gives users a drawing board to test out new song ideas, whether that be a new melody, drum pattern, or vocal take. Some producers use Session view to produce entire songs! Get …

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Event Recap Round-Up March 2020

Event Recap Round-Up May 2020 We’ve had our fair share of masterclasses at Beat Lab in the past, but we wanted to really make a big splash this year. We’ve had a heck of a year with our live workshops, and we’re still hosting virtual masterclasses until the coronavirus curve is officially flattened. So we wanted to take a moment to summarize a few of our past events for those who missed them. We’ll go over past events, then tell you about a few upcoming! Read on below. Intro to Ableton Workshops   January of this year we started hosting free workshops to entice community members old and new. We’ve always welcomed prospective students in for class visits but felt that a monthly event would allow the whole community to flourish. Our first workshop covered the basics of Live. We’ve held multiple of these each month and have been forced …

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Audiomovers ListenTo: Zero-latency Streaming from Your DAW

Audiomovers ListenTo: Zero-latency Streaming from Your DAW With all the Live Streaming going on lately, it’s been a time to experiment with Online everything! Courses, performances, workshops, socializing, and now production sessions. Some of the developers from Waves Audio have created this piece of powerful tech, ListenTo. In this article, we’ll do a quick rundown of the plugin, how to set up a stream, and let you know our opinion on it. How to Set Up a Stream ListenTo is so darn straightforward it actually was a bit confusing how to get started. That may seem counterintuitive, but the plugin requires a sign-up in order to use it, so we were unsure at first what to do. We’re here to share our momentary silliness with you, so you may jump right into streaming. Sign Up for an Account     First, you must sign up for an account on Audiomovers. …

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Doing it Live! 5 Tips to Improve Your Live Streams

Doing it Live! 5 Tips to Improve Your Live Streams With the insurgence of COVID-19 and the widespread practice of social distancing, conventional concerts have been erased from our near future. The live-music industry has been turned upside down; however, many artists have found alternatives. One of the most popular alternatives is live streaming. Live streaming is so widely accessible by performers that you can do it with just your cell phone or laptop. If you have experience with live streaming, or you are interested in getting your feet wet, below are five tips on how to provide quality live streams to keep your fans engaged and coming back. We’ve placed some Amazon links throughout this article if you are interested in purchasing gear. We aren’t explicitly promoting the products we selected, we just trust their decent ratings, so please do your own research when comparing products. We will make …

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Mixcloud Live: A Streaming Future Free from Copyright Strikes

Mixcloud Live: A Streaming Future Free from Copyright Strikes Are you a DJ Looking to Live stream? Do you have experience live streaming your sets, but you’re sick of having them taken down whenever you play a licensed track? Luckily for the entire community, Mixcloud just worked out the copyright deal of the decade. They just premiered their new service called Mixcloud Live, which promises worry-free DJ streaming. In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the breaking news! Enter Mixcloud Live Mixcloud Live, an extension of Mixcloud Pro, is a new streaming platform that allows DJs to legally play their sets over the internet. Mixcloud Live is RTMP-based, meaning that users will need a broadcast application to stream their sets. There are plenty of broadcast applications available; one that is free and quite popular is OBS. After creating a stream channel name (be careful, this can only …

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Foundation of Music Theory
  • Rhythm Theory
  • Using Semitones and Intervals
  • Diatonic composition
  • Harmonizing and building chords
  • Styling
Learn the language of music to help you make the music you want to make, To communicate with other musicians and reveal the magic behind your favorie songs.
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Progremming Beats
  • How Drum Racks work
  • Choosing the right samples
  • How to use Syncopation
  • Layering Techniques
  • Drum Processing methods
Sequence drums in any style using Ableton Live's Drum Racks. Learn tricks and techniques to take your beats to the next level.
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Ableton Live 101
  • Why Ableton Live?
  • Session vs. Arrangement
  • Recording & Editing Audio
  • Live's Warp Engine
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Experience the leading software today for modern music production.
Demystify the world of Ableton Live to make any style of music.
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Sampling
  • History of Sampling
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  • Sampling your own instruments
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Explore the endless world of sampling.
Add organic texture or make it into an instrument
Everything is possible with sampling
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Using MIDI Controllers
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  • Setting Up
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  • Advance MIDI Utilities
  • Playing Live Beats
Choose the right MIDI controller for your production/live needs.
Use MIDI remote scritps to enahce your workflow
Learn tricks and tips to customize your controller
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Recording & Warping
  • Choosing the right mic
  • Setting up recording session
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  • Live's editing tools
Learn how to setup and record mics and instruments in Ableton Live.
Master the warp engine for syncronizing audio and sound design
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Class Jams
  • Play in a band with your computer
  • Try out different instruments and MIDI controllers
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Structure & Styling
  • Active Listening
  • Pre-Determined Arrangement Techniques
  • BPM Ranges
  • Song Segments and how to use them
  • Finishing a full song
Get your own sound from analyzing and deconstrucing modern song structures.
Learn different musical genres to help you achive your own unique sound.
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Music Theory 202
  • Parallel Harmony
  • Relative Scales
  • Pentatonic & Blues Scales
  • Jazz in Modern Music
  • Voicing Techniques
  • Borrowed Chords
Progress your composition skills by learning advanced music theory methods.
You will get a deeper understanding of how to produce strong harmonies, melodies and arrangements.
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Ableton Live 202
  • The Launchbox
  • Modulation Vs. Automation
  • Session View Production Techniques
  • Advance Audio & MIDI Editing
  • Clip Envelopes
Learn advance Ableton techniques to take your production to the next level.
Everything is possible with Ableton Live let your imagination be your guide.
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Styling
  • Analyzing Electronic vs. Acoustic music
  • Odd Time Signatures
  • Arrangment Styling
  • Sound Selection
  • Deconstructing Methods.
Learn the key characteristic of all popular music styles.
You have a specific style in mind you want to produce? We'll show you all the secrets.
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Synthesis
  • Analog vs. Digital
  • Synth Signal Path
  • Oscillators, Filters, Envelopes and LFOs
  • Advance Modulators
  • Reverse Engineering
Take the sounds in your head and create them in the computer using synthesizers.
Demystify the vast world of virtual synths.
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Sound Design
  • Advanced Time Stretching
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Fractal Soundscapes
  • Experiments in Sound
  • Field Recordings
  • The Art of Layering
Develop creative thinking by using multiple techniques to create unique and complex sounds.
Become a sonic master.
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Collaboration
  • Ableton Link
  • Class Production Sessions
  • Project Managment
  • Real vs. Virtual instruments
  • Live Performance Routines
  • Rewiring
Collaborate with class mates with in-class synchronization.
Develope the skills needed to productevlly work with other musicians.
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Remixing
  • Choosing The Right Song to Remix
  • Flipping a Sample
  • Remixer Tools
  • Stems and Multi-Tracks
  • Preparing your Original Production for Remixing
Learn the art of remixing from top remixers in the industry.
Take your favorite songs and filp them with your own style.
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Live Performance
  • DJing in Ableton Live
  • Preparing your Songs for Live Performance
  • Playing with a Band
  • Live Looping
  • DIY Controllers
Use the computer as a live musical performance tool.
DJ or play your own orgianls in any way you can imagine.
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Max for Live
  • Max for Live Essentials
  • Modifying Exciting Devices
  • Creating your own Devices
  • Ableton as a Modular Environment
  • Live's API
  • VJing using Jitter
Explore the infinite potenital of Cycling 74's and Ableton's Max for Live.
Control Live in ways that weren't possible before.
Anything is possible with Max for Live
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Mastering
  • Win the Loudness Wars
  • Mastering Song vs. Album
  • Prepering Your Music for Distribution
  • Understanding the importance of Dynamic Range
Master your songs to sound as good as possible on as many playback systems as possible.
Learn the secrets on how to make your songs loud and punchy.
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Finger Drumming
  • Choosing the Right Controller
  • Sound Design for Live Performance
  • Building Custom Racks
  • Using DIY Controllers
  • Planning your Controller's Configuration
Humanize your production or impress your audience on stage.
Build your own sound packs and develope your live performace skill with finger drumming.
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Live Looping
  • Hardware Looping
  • Using Live's Looper
  • Live Looping in the Session View
  • Automatic Loop Recording using MIDI Scripts
  • Setup and Routing
Master the art of live looping with virtual instruments, conventional instruments and mics.
Come up with quick musical ideas, build your songs live on stage.
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Online Presence
  • Social Media
  • How to Reach Out to Labels
  • Booking Shows
  • Getting Signed
  • Getting more Followers
  • Making a Music Video
Develop your artist brand and get your music heard by the right people.
Book shows, tours and festivals.
Find the right label and make music your career.
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Entertainment Law
  • Clearing Samples
  • Commercial vs. Indie Distribution
  • Getting your music on TV and Film
  • Working with a Manager
  • Copyright your Music
  • Performance Rights
Understand the legallty behind the music industry.
Get the most out of your shows and releases. Maximize income streams.
Distribute your music the right way.
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Production Sessions
  • Class Jams
  • Live Routines Assignments
  • Additive Composition
  • Produce other Classmates
  • Online Collaboration Methods
  • Musical Chairs
Collaborate in class.
Get private mentorship sessions from Beat Lab's instructors
Learn how to add part of yourself creatively to an exciting song.
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Mixing
  • Understanding How Sound Work
  • Gain Staging
  • Controlling the Stereo Field
  • Using Compressor & EQs
  • Using Time Based Effects
  • Bussing and Pre-Mastering
Master the art of sound mixing.
Make your music sound more clear, punchy and loud.
Learn the techniques and tools to help you take your music to the next level.
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