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

countertop

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.

painter toronto

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.

Songwriter

  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.