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Nu Music News is an indie Music Blog, based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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  • James Oh

Recording has come a long way over the years. Not too long ago, the only way you could create a high quality EP was by booking time in a studio. Now, with the advances in technology, recording at home has become a respected option for both professional and non-professional musicians.

Do you know how all of your favorite records were made? You probably assumed they were all recorded at Abbey Road or some other high end studio, but you might be surprised if you did some research. Great records like ‘Odelay’ – Beck, ‘Nebraska’ by Bruce Springsteen, ‘White Ladder’ – David Gray, ‘Of June’ – Owl City, ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ – Bon Iver and ‘Wasting Light’ – Foo Fighters are a few examples of some amazing home studio recordings.

The real question is should you be doing your next recording at home or with a professional company? Here are a few things to consider: Will the recording be used to market a professional project? If you’re just doing it for fun (and you’re not rich) then save your money and invest in some basic home recording gear. Learning to properly use it can be just as fun as making the music when you’re just starting out. Now if you’re trying to be the next platinum selling artist (which should never be your goal to be honest) then you’ll have to be more careful. You don’t necessarily need to go to a 3rd party to record but you will need to be realistic about your business plan. If your band or solo project is pumping out basement recordings that you feel are your full potential then keep doin’ what you’re doin’. If you honestly think that you’re compromising your sound because of the fear of large studio bills then address the issue.

Not every studio is expensive and not every part of your record has to be done in the professional studio. It’s about finding the right balance between your creativity and the professional opinions of the company you choose to work with. A good idea is to record as much as you can on your own and then have a chat with a studio about the areas you feel that are lacking due to your limited knowledge and or equipment. For example: having someone produce your drum tracks can completely change the sound of what would otherwise be a full home recording. High quality vocals can sometimes be a challenge to produce from home so using a 3rd party for those tracks alone can transform your record. The important thing is to not compromise the quality of your album by biting off more than you can chew. Recording 3 bad EPs can actually be more expensive than recording 1 good one.

The next thing to consider is investing in the best software the industry has to offer. This allows you to have a limited amount of hardware and still be able to create professional grade material. Companies like Waves, Universal Audio, Slate Digital and Native Instruments have made it possible for the little guys to hang with the big guys. They’ve created emulators for some of the most expensive recording hardware on the planet and for a small fraction of the cost! Now don’t get me wrong, that small fraction adds up to be a hefty fee after a while but it certainly makes it possible to slowly build an amazing studio in your computer!

Of course these scientific miracles are great tools…if you know how to use them. Producing, Mixing and Mastering are all professional services that require years of experience to execute well. Deciding you can do any of these things on a whim or simply giving it a shot can definitely get a certain level of results but rarely lead to quality audio.

Do what you know you can, be patient and learn the things you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to get help for the things that are outside your area of expertise. Good luck!

#homestudio #audiorecording #wavesplugins #uadplugins #universalaudio #slatedigital #nativeinstruments #prostudio #professionalstudio #recordingstudio

  • James Oh

It’s no secret that freestyle rap is much less prevalent than its written counterpart, but really, how important of a skill is it to succeed as a rapper today?

Rapping can be traced to its roots long ago in West Africa and the Caribbean, where stories were told rhythmically over the beat of a drum. Modern day rapping however was born in the 1970s, in the Southern part of Bronx where Hip Hop was also created. Note, rap is not interchangeable with the term Hip Hop. Rap is talking in rhyme on beat; Hip Hop is a culture and lifestyle that has four main pillars: graffiti artists, bboys, DJs and MCs (rappers).

The original rappers used to be known as MCs, and yes, that stands for Master of Ceremonies. MCs would be in control of the mic at events and could handle, captivate and hype up the crowd. “Rhyming is something they [MCs] do, but it’s not all they do”- Ice-T, therefore an MC is a rapper but a rapper is not necessarily an MC. A great example of how an MC, Big Daddy Kane, works the crowd can be found here:

Now if you went back to the 1970s, the term ‘freestyle rap’ would actually refer to a written rhyme that was free of style, meaning that there was no subject matter or music attached to it. This would give the rapper flexibility to drop the rhyme on instrumental tracks, making variations to his rhymes to fit the bars as he went. The term ‘freestyle’ wasn’t associated with the current conception of freestyle rap (completely improvised or off the top of the head/dome) until the 1990’s. In fact, Kool Moe Dee (first rapper to ever perform at the Grammys) states that back in the day, freestyle wasn’t as well respected as written rap. "A lot of the old-school artists didn’t even respect what’s being called freestyle now... any emcee coming off the top of the head wasn’t really respected. The sentiment was emcees only did that if they couldn’t write. The coming off the top of the head rhymer had a built-in excuse to not be critiqued as hard.”

However today, rappers who can freestyle are well respected by their peers. Rappers like Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Eminem are not only pioneers of a new school style that uses more complicated lyrics and rhythms, but are also known as great freestylers with their own style.

These days it’s hard to differentiate the rappers that freestyle with pre-conceived lyrics from the rappers that freestyle off the dome. Whether or not off the dome rapping should be a necessary skill for a rapper is debatable, regardless, it’s clear that it’s an incredible art form that the world has fallen in love with.

Here are a few clips of well-known rappers freestyling:

#freestyle #rap #hiphop #biggy #notoriousbig #biggysmalls #eminem #marshallmathers #bigdaddykane #childishgambino #bbcradio1 #timwestwood #musicvideo #hot97 #donaldglover

  • Michael Ellis

If you haven't already heard of this musical duo then you need to go to youtube.com/pomplamoosemusic and catch yourself up immediately! I've loved these guys since they released their Beyonce cover of "Single Ladies" 5 years ago. The way the reinvent both current and classic hits is nothing short of amazing! This video is a mash-up of Pharell's "Happy", "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself To Dance". Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/pomplamoosemusic

http://www.pomplamoose.com

#pomplamoose #pharell #williams #happy #getlucky #loseyourselftodance #youtube #indiepop #musicvideo #cover #california #jackconte #natalydawn

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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