My Uber Review: Why Uber Rocks

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As a struggling musician one of my biggest challenges is the fact that transportation is complex… and that carrying out a large instrument can be a massive pain.

For example, I own a fairly large sized violin.  It’s pretty awkward bringing it on public transportation during rush hour.  I get a ton of stares and it’s quite frankly not the best experience.

Taxis can be a user nightmare to use.  They often have horrible customer service and are quite expensive.  Not to mention a lot off them sigh when they see my violin and are not helpful at all.

Enter Uber.  Uber is a ride-sharing service that has taken the world by storm, and has made taxi drivers and taxi companies all over the world extremely angry.  It’s cutting massively into their market share.  Here are some of the advantages of Uber-

1)  Better Customer Service

Uber allows you to rate drivers, which incentives good behavior.  Uber drivers are very polite, and many of them might even offer you a free bottle of water.  It’s a nice touch.  Also since everything is through the App, that ensures a level of safety (they have the driver’s information), not to mention that if you lose a phone you’ll be fine since you have the driver’s info.  Uber completely dominates taxis in terms of service.

Also, the fact that it’s app based allows you to input an address and get there.  Super useful when it’s a place you’ve never been and you just have the address but you don’t really know where it is.

Uber promo code toronto

2)  UberX is cheaper

The base version of Uber is around 20% cheaper than cabs in Toronto.  This is for better customer service and the cars often are nicer.  Also, you can try out Uber in Toronto with a free promo code through one of the many websites out there.  I got a free first ride through

3)  UberBlack Option is Great for Lots of Luggage

If you need a larger vehicle you can call UberBlack which is a larger car . While it costs more this can be great for carrying large luggage.

My recommendation is a resounding yes for Uber in Toronto.  It’s an awesome service that you’ll be extremely happy with.


Music Studios Are a Common Target for Burglars: How to Foil Them

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Music studios are the musician’s haven where all the magic happens.  In a way, when I’m recording in my home music studio, I almost feel like I’m engaging in an active meditation that clears away all worries.

Most musicians are broke and can’t afford to own their own home studio.  However, the ones who do tend to have equipment that’s worth thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands.  Some famous music studios have equipment that’s worth in the hundreds of thousands.  Whether you own a small home studio, or a large studio where famous artists record, it’s extremely important to protect your investment.

Burglars often target music studios because of the valuable equipment inside, as well as the general lack of security many studios have.  For examples, burglars stole 80,000 pounds worth of equipment from a studio in 2013. As musicians we tend to be very trusting and don’t invest in security.  This is a bad decision in the long term as we need to absolutely protect our investments.

Hire Security

If you own a recording studio that you rent out to musicians, you should consider hiring full time security to protect your premises.  Most large studios have security guards stationed at the premise to keep the equipment safe.  Additionally, security guards are useful for the occasional artist who does way too many drugs during his time slot and needs to be kicked out.  I hate to say it, but many artists in the music industry are heavily reliant on drugs to make music.

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Get a Proper Security System

I personally have a thorough security system which includes passcodes and cameras monitoring the premise.  My home studio’s security system was set up by a Mississauga locksmith firm who helped us out a lot with setting up the system.  I can sleep safe at night knowing that we have a very strong system that can only be broken by a professional heist team.  And I’m pretty sure Ocean’s 11 won’t be targeting my studio any time soon.

Make Sure Only You and Trusted Employees Have Keys

Don’t give keys to your friends or anyone who’s not a trusted employee. In the music industry, disloyalty is common and poverty is rife.  Your friend who makes 1000$/month at his job might prioritize a bit of money from selling something small in your studio over friendship.

The Feng Shui of Music Creation:  How to Create a Perfect Studio In Toronto

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There are basically two types of music studios: those designed by professionals, and makeshift ones wherein you have to convert a room in your house to a recording studio. With a professionally designed studio, there’s nothing else to do but record, but if you’re working from home or a makeshift location, no worries. Just follow these tips and you’ll be fine.

Hard Surfaces are a No-no


Countertops, tiled walls, concrete walls and hardwood floors are all reflective, producing echoes that could end up in your record. If the room has hard flooring, cover it with carpet and put fabric or other materials on the furniture. Keep in mind too that glass, slat blinds and windows are also reflective so either replace or cover them. If you want music to sound pure, make the environment as acoustically sound as possible.

You may also want to buy reflective shields to reduce the sounds that are being picked up on the sides and back of your microphone. For the best results, you should use an omni-directional mic, though most home recording studios use a cardioid microphone. The problem with this microphone is they’re very sensitive to picking up unwanted sounds from the back.

Adding Acoustical Treatments

If you’re consistently picking up noises in the background, put a blanket, or bookcase behind you so the surface is completely covered. It’s also a good idea to keep desks and other reflective devices as far from the studio as possible.

Also, never record in the center of the room because that is where sound frequencies gather. Instead, you should get closer to the wall with a blanket over it, and get as far from the opposing wall as possible. If you don’t have time to carpet all the surfaces, just cover them with clothes.

Once the studio has been set up, make sure that everything is quiet. Before you start, listen for any background noise that you might pick up from the TV, fan, AC, radio etc. Even the slightest noise like those coming from a fish tank can be recorded if your equipment is powerful enough, so make sure that everything is set.

Get a Good Painting Company

Colors affect mood, so make sure your music studio’s paint is conducive to recording music. Of course everyone has their own preference, but what’s important is you hire an excellent painter in Toronto to do the job. You might think that color doesn’t really matter, but the fact is, the color affects people, so why not make the effect a positive one? Whether the room is brightly colored or dark, choose the hues you’re comfortable with.

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Final Reminders

Get quality monitors and headphones, as you’ll need them for playback and direct monitoring, and if you’re recording at home, use closed back headphones with zero latency. If other people are going to listen to your recording, get a splitter box or headphone. Once you’ve got the monitors, arrange them in such a way so that it’s an equilateral triangle with you as one of the points.


How We Reduced Our Studio’s Electricity Usage By 25 Percent

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We have a recording studio where we do all our work, and it serves our needs fine except for the fact that it was costing us a lot in the power bill department. The guys and I were thinking of dropping the whole thing to save on cost, but fortunately we figured out a way to reduce our expenses and keep on playing and making music. Here’s how we did it, thanks to my friend, a Toronto electrician.

The Bare Essentials

The first thing we did was remove all the unnecessary devices and appliances we didn’t use, and we just stuck with the essentials like a recording device, DAW, microphones, headphones, speakers and an audio interface. Next, we insulated the walls and ceiling. This required some effort and work, but it cut down the heating and our CO2 emissions significantly so it was worth it.

Recording Studio

You’ve probably heard this before, but yes, we switched to LED light, and the difference is just great. The lighting is as good, but LED lights don’t need frequent replacements and they don’t produce heat, something we hated with our old lighting. We also took a good look at the studio and noticed there were numerous air leaks around the windows and doors. We had these fixed, and it’s really cheap as caulking costs about a dollar, and it made a huge difference in terms of reducing our energy bill.

Other Improvements

I also make sure that our studio doesn’t overcool or overheat, so I set the thermostat at 68 F during the day and 55 F at night. During the summer we keep it around 78. It might not seem much, but the reduction in cost is quite significant when you add it all up. I also make it a point now to clean and replace the filters as suggested by the manufacturer, and it’s great to see them work smoothly. Today I can’t help but notice how less strenuous they work compared to when the air filters were dirty.

The other steps we take are practical ones, such as turning off the lights when we’re done working, turning off the computer when not in use, and turning off the air conditioner when the weather’s agreeable. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but you should give it a try and the next time the bill arrives, don’t be surprised if the cost is 25% lower, or even more. If we were able to do it, so can you.


Top 10 Tips for An Aspiring Songwriter

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It’s not really difficult to be a songwriter if you have that inborn skills and talent. However, it is not that easy either. Patience, knowledge, and a lot of practicing are needed to become a renowned, respected songwriter. There are also a few things one should keep in mind when aspiring to be one.

  1. Explore

Go out. Do not stay inside your dark room and claim that you can actually think and focus more if you’re not surrounded by strangers and the real world. With experiences and encounters, you will have more ideas to write about.

  1. Don’t be too Stiff

It’s true that you need to focus on a subject and a style of writing. But set aside doubts and fear, don’t be afraid to let a song evolve. Go with the flow, if you think changing the style and some details of your song could make it better, then go for it.

  1. Pull up an Inspiration

Yes, just like writing a love letter or a script of a movie, you need an inspiration to write a good song. It doesn’t need to be a person; it can be real-life experiences, other artists’ songs, or whatnots.

  1. Take your Time

Do not rush things. Many professional artists like John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls believe that if you try to write at a specific moment and you think that there are no creative juices coming out, do not force yourself to it. Go do something else and come back later when your mind is not bothered by something else.


  1. Words and Rhythm

Remember that words and rhythm should always go together. Melody comes first, before words.

  1. Research

Do not ever think that all songwriters come up with everything they write from their experiences. They are open minded and do research. It always helps to know something new than pretend to know everything. That will never work with being a songwriter.

  1. Opening Lines are Imperative

“First impressions last.”; as many would say. Try something catchy, something attention-grabbing. Do not settle with too simple opening lines. Remember, most people love a song because of the lyrics, next to liking the melody.

  1. Set Goals, Change them if Need be

Always make goals. However, if you come to that moment and realize that you need to change these goals, go modify them. Anything that would make your work more effective is a good idea.

  1. Don’t Stick with Facts Alone

Remember that song writing is not news writing. You do not need to stick with facts alone. Be creative, be fictional, be the artist you want to be.

  1. Play with Words

If you’re having a hard time expressing yourself through a single language, then play with words. Create new words, if need be.