Time management is one of those easy-to-say-but-hard-to-do phrases. If it’s as easy as a pie to juggle work, family time, social life, and personal hobbies together, we’d all be living in Utopia. Each day we get 24 hours to get things done. That means 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. You see, twenty-four hours don’t seem like a lot of time but if you break it down in seconds, it is a hell lot of time. That is why, it is indeed true that every second counts.
You might be wondering what time management has to do with creating more time to produce more music. Well, a lot!
Music-making can either be a hobby or a career, and to some lucky few, it can be both. Some people swear to live by music. They claim to eat and breathe music and give it all of their time. But the truth is, not everyone has the privilege of spending more than a few hours producing music when they have all these other obligations they need to tend to like day jobs, school, and family time.
This is especially true if you are still starting a career in music. You have to keep a day job to make ends meet, so how do you efficiently manage your schedule and create more time to produce more music?
Here are a few tips that you could follow:
Create A Timetable and Stick To It
With the rise of social media comes the downfall of concentration. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etcetera. These websites can greatly help you with advertising so you could jumpstart your career as a musician but will definitely distract you from music-making. In order to create more time to produce more music, you have to do away with these sites. Leave your status on hiatus. If you are using your laptop, make sure you’re on it strictly for music-making.
Aside from social media, disregard irrelevant messages and e-mails. Hide your cellular phone. Don’t give your concern right away except when it is critical that you give an actual human response.
Shut People Out
Not in your life, but during your music-making session. If you live at home with other people, make sure you’ve informed them that you’re about to work on your music and you don’t want to be interrupted. You could also hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.
However, if you are working with friends or music buddies, make sure not to chit chat about last night’s party or work and do not fool around. Instead, share creative ideas and healthy criticisms. You’ll never know what you’ll learn from your fellow artists.
Work On One Project At A Time
In order to do more, you have to do less. Working on many projects at the same time will only lead to a pile of incomplete songs. I know how it feels when you’re working on something and a new idea comes in and it’s totally different from the one you’re doing and you get the urge to start a different task. The best thing to do is, write it down on a small notebook or type it in on your mobile notes. Never let an idea get away. Jot them down and make sure they find a way into your timetable. It’s a good habit to form and a great way in organizing your creative juices. The key is to finish what you’ve started before starting something you can’t finish. Look at it this way, if you cook plenty of dishes all at the same time, one of them will end up burnt. Besides, working on tons of stuff mean slower progress while focusing on one task at a time means creating more music in a shorter span of time.
If You Have Nothing Left To Do, Create Music
Do not get bored. If you feel like boredom is creeping in, go to your studio and work on some music. Use your free time to learn new things about music-making. Did you know that one of the qualities of a good DJ is being able to constantly educate himself? Get inspired and never stop learning. Free time means more time to produce more music.
Always give yourself a pat in the back. After you finish a project and if you followed your timetable, go buy yourself a treat. Even a beer can do! Remember that a little motivation goes a long way. Always thank yourself for a job well done!
Keep in mind that time is relevant. It can fly or crawl, it all depends on how you spend it. Treat music-making more than just a hobby. Treat it like work but have fun. They say find a job that you love and you won’t have to work a single day of your life and that couldn’t be more true. When you love what you’re doing, you can always find time for it. If you don’t, any form of excuse is easy to come up with.
Swedish dynamic duo, Galantis, followed up their wildly popular single “No Money” with another high energy tropical tune all about the dollar bills, called “Rich Boy”.
This song was released with an official lyric video just a few days ago through Big Beat Records, and the timing could not have been more perfect. With spring break is just around the corner, this new track is the perfect theme song for all of your upcoming vacations and endeavors. This new release follows in the steps of “No Money” as an upbeat anthem that makes this song the perfect addition to summer festival soundtracks. Galantis will soon kick off the festival season with upcoming performances at Ultra Music Festival and Coachella, and there’s no doubt that “Rich Boy” will be a crowd pleaser at these two world-class music festivals.
How did sound mixer Mandy Parnell make it to the top in such a blokey industry? The former homeless runaway reveals all
Walk into Mandy Parnell’s studio and you might think you were on LA’s Sunset Strip, not Walthamstow, east London. There are animal skulls and guitars on the walls, a vinyl press, an enormous 70s wicker pod. Crisp music booms out of the five enormous speakers that encircle her computer desk.
Parnell is one of the country’s leading mastering engineers, and this is where the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Max Richter and Brian Eno come to hear their finished tracks. Parnell has polished a huge number of albums here including, last year, Jamie xx’s In Colour and Aphex Twin’s Syro.
She is also one of the few women in the male-dominated production world. At tonight’s Music Producers Guild awards – which she describes as the “technical Grammys” – she is one of only two female nominees out of 36 (the other, Manon Grandjean, is up for breakthrough engineer). The MPG says that an estimated 6% of their membership is female, based on a sample survey they sent out last year.
Parnell reckons that women have to work twice as hard. “You put lots of men in a studio and it’s that ‘Who’s going to be top dog?’ pack mentality. You’ve got to be able to deal with that,” she says. “I’ve found that I needed to understand technology a lot more than some of my peers. I’d get a producer really challenging me on a technical level, yet they’d want to talk about the football [with the male engineers].”
Born in Essex, Parnell grew up playing with records rather than dolls. “My parents had a greasy cafe in Wickford and the jukebox guy would give me the old seven-inches. Then life went a bit haywire and I ended up running away and was on the streets.” But she happened to have a friend who was a housekeeper at Richard Branson’s Oxford studio The Manor and the first time she went inside, she knew she wanted to work behind the mixing desk. “It was like that,” she says, clicking her fingers.
Parnell went straight back to London and got on to a music production course. “It took me three years to get a paid job after finishing, though it’s even harder now.” She was “taken on as ‘the woman’ during the Maggie Thatcher era of encouraging women into ‘men’s’ roles”. But she also says that, to her, tokenism is irrelevant. “If you’re passionate about something it doesn’t matter. If you want it you’ve got to fight for it.”
It is for her forward-thinking work on Björk’s last two albums – 2011’s Biophiliaand 2015’s break-up album Vulnicura – that Parnell is perhaps best known. Working on Vulnicura was particularly intense, she says. “I was going through a breakup with my husband, the father of my son, and able to relate to Björk.” (Her former husband, the late New Orleans jazz pianist Phil Parnell, died from liver cancer eight months after Vulnicura’s release.)
The album was not without its technical challenges either – amplified when Björk began to combine her music with virtual reality. The Icelandic singer’s Björk Digital exhibition last year comprised a number of VR music videos that the audience could step inside, such as Stonemilker’s sweeping 360 and 3D vistas of Björk on a beach. Parnell was drafted in to make sure the audio worked inside the headsets.
“There’s virtual reality, which works on a gaming engine and then you have 360, which is a film that’s all around you,” explains Parnell. “To do the mix for 360 is complicated, the technology isn’t quite there, because it’s not surround sound – you’re going to move your head inside this experience – so the sound has to relate to your movement. When it comes to an audio mix, especially Björk’s, there are untold layers of sounds, drums, vocals, keyboards and strings. To try and get that to feel natural wherever you move is very difficult. And it needs to feel natural otherwise you’ll get motion sickness.”
All of which sounds impossibly convoluted but by all accounts Björk relishes such puzzles. In a 2015 Pitchfork interview the Icelandic singer made headlines for calling out the sexist assumption that she has less input than her (often male) co-producers. Parnell scoffs at the idea. “She’s ridiculously involved. She pushes you out the way!” she laughs. She demonstrates Björk’s knack for hogging the keyboard over her desk. “Slowly she leans across to get the mouse and within half an hour she’s here and you’re there!”
Many more female artists self-produce now, from Leila Arab to Mica Levi and Shura, whose debut album Parnell mastered last year. But, given that 6% figure, clearly there is still work to be done to get more women working in studios. “I mentor female engineers from all over the world. I say: ‘Look! Been there, done it, worn the T-shirt – if you get any sexist problems, come talk to me.’ We need to get young women over the fear [and say] ‘You can do this!’”
The biggest challenge to Parnell’s work these days is the glut of ways we now consume music. “Often producers joke that it doesn’t really matter, it’s just going to end up as an MP3 on a phone with a kid listening to it down the street.” What’s more, music is changing according to new platforms. “We have Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Tidal – they’re all doing very different things to the audio in terms of compression,” she says, which in turn affects the depth and scale of what you’re listening to. “There’s a lot of distortion out there.”
In many ways, all this means the role of the sound engineer is more important than ever. After the mixing engineer has worked their magic, mastering people like Parnell must ensure that the final mix is balanced and refined so that it sounds pristine, whether pumping out of an audiophile stereo or a hissy mobile phone. Even so, she says, “if the emotional intention of the music gets across, it shouldn’t matter what we listen to it on”. Take Bob Marley’s Jammin: “It doesn’t matter how you play it, where you play it, on what system: it just works.”
Marshmello released his remix of Noah Cyrus’ first single “Make Me (Cry)” today. Noah is of course the younger sister of Miley Cyrus. Marshmello’s remix is somewhat more sparse than his usual giddy productions, tapping into more of a hip hop sound but also with his signature oddly distorted vocals. This is Noah Cyrus’ first single.
Older sister Miley is infamous for her ridiculous antics and provocative bravado. Noah Cyrus is only seventeen years old, and has heretofore kept a lower profile. Marshmello fans could accuse her of capitalizing on the masked DJ’s fame, and her own last name, to catapult herself into stardom. With a deep voice like her sister, husky, southern and rough, it was easy to at first think a man was singing with Noah Cyrus.
Released in its un-remixed form back in November, “Make Me” has seen lukewarm success. Charting at a mere 46 on Billboard Hot 100. Perhaps the Marshmello touch will give the single some much-needed momentum. Otherwise, Cyrus can consider a music career as reaching for too much. Meanwhile, she’s prepping to release her album NC-17, a title that belies a foray into her sister’s libidinous territory.
Since the commercialization of airplanes, the world’s most popular musicians like Bob Dylan, Metallica, Aerosmith and countless more have traveled to different corners of the planet to share their music. That was in the 20th century when EDM had yet to become the next big thing.
In the 21st century which we live in today, electronic dance music is at its (still-ascending) peak and it has never been easier to fly from one end of the globe to the other.
That being said, have you ever wondered who holds the title for most traveled musician of all time?
Yes? Say no more, cuz Travelbird has gathered travel records on top of travel records to figure out who exactly that might be.
The crown goes to none other than EDM’s god father, Tiësto.
Since 1994, the legend among legends has traveled approximately 1.5 million miles. That sums up to about 62.53 rotations around the world and 6.52 trips to the moon.
What’s that you say? You’re wondering who the runner up is? We thought you’d ask.
It’s Paul van Dyk. Van Dyk has traveled 1.4 million miles since his debut in 1990; his record isn’t too far away from Tiësto, as the German producer’s travel distance amounts to 57.95 circulations of the planet and 6.04 stops to Earth’s natural satellite.
Tiësto and van Dyk have flown about two hundred thousand and one hundred thousand miles respectively in the last 12 months, and you and I both know that those numbers are only going to increase as EDM continues to dominate the global music scene with more tours and new residencies.
Check the snapshot below to see who else is on the bill for most traveled musician of all time.
On top of being immeasurably sexier than the average individual (which is practically verified by science), it looks like being a musician might have another benefit when it comes to their reaction times.
In a new study published in Brain and Cognition, researchers from the University of Montreal have assessed the reaction times of 19 non-musicians compared to that of 16 skilled musicians, including 8 pianists, 3 violinists, 2 percussionists, one double bassist, one harpist, and one viola player. The musicians had all started playing instruments before the age of 10 and had been trained for at least seven years. All but one were skilled at two or more instruments.
The test simply consisted of participants placing one index finger on a computer mouse and the other on a small box that vibrated intermittently. Within the room, there was also a speaker that burst out white-noise intermittently. When either the box vibrated, the noise rung, or both went off at the same time, they were asked to click the mouse, which registered their reaction times. Simple.
The musicians were consistently seen to be “significantly faster” for both multi-sensory and uni-sensory reaction times. “These results suggest for the first time that long-term musical training reduces simple non-musical auditory, tactile, and multisensory reaction times,” said lead author, doctoral student Simon Landry, in a statement.
The study notes that other neuroimaging research has shown how pianists have greater co-activation between cortexes of the brain, such as the secondary somatosensory cortex and posterior parietal cortex, that process audio-tactile (hearing-touch) integration. The researchers speculate it could very well be a similar case here, where instrument practice could neurologically change areas of the brain to become more flexible and responsive to each other.
Not only is this a much needed ego-boost to musicians, the researchers also hope to apply their findings to help older individuals.
Landry explained: “The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times. As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them."
Electronic Dance Music. It's a blanket term that looks innocent when viewed from afar but up close, it covers so many subgenres that it can be overwhelming to someone new in the scene. From the soothing tones of chillwave and dreampop to the more intense beat drops of hardstyle, it's not hard to see why so many people are proud members of the movement. Almost everyone can find at least one subgenre that they like and a ton of other fans to join.
What makes people like a certain subgenre more than another? Is it an age thing? A gender thing? A location thing? Many believe that the subgenre you lean towards heavily depends on the things around you. They believe that your daily life and the country you live in influence your type of music! Dozens of DJs and event managers have mentioned that the crowd responses to different types of music are different according to region. Some say the difference can be categorised quite accurately according to country and this can be used to the DJs advantage. Is this true?
Let's take a look at the EDM tracks that are a hit in Malaysia. Malaysians have demonstrated a pretty clear liking towards Electro-House music. Faded, Animals, Boo-Yah and Levels were all huge hits in the local EDM scene. Even music created by our local DJs fall primarily into the Electro-House subgenre.
What about other countries? Let's turn our heads to Romania. The country is known for its EDM influences, but it lies on a very different ground compared to Malaysia's EDM scene. Romania's fame for its dance-pop community also shows its head in its EDM community, with many dance-pop-influenced tunes. Vocal-house music takes the center stage in this country, as well as minimal house and dubstep.
Next, Indonesia is a country worth looking at too. Trip-hop and down tempo music are a big deal and most of the local EDM community subscribe to these genres. Songs that feature these genres generally do well in this country and you'll probably be dancing along to these songs if you go partying in Indonesia.
Clearly, every country has their own personal taste when it comes to music. Even under the big umbrella of EDM, there are so many ways that every country is different. However, nothing stops us from coming together when the time is right. At international raves, everyone parties together, regardless of the genre and nationality. EDM brings people together and it will continue to do so as long as we let it.
Before their performance of "Just Hold On," Louis Tomlinson and Steve Aoki tell James how the collaboration came together, and James floats the idea of the two switching roles.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has come and gone, and Daft Punk & The Weeknd‘s Grammy performance was just as incredible as anticipated.
Complemented by incredible stage design, the live arrangement went on to tell the story of our favorite Starboy’s launch into interstellar medium. Daft Punk’s entrance was met with gasps as expected, and garbed in the cloaks of the awe-inspiring “Starboy” painting, the robots delivered a glorious redesign of their collaboration “I Feel It Coming”, embellished with elements of past tracks like “Contact” and “Da Funk”. The Weeknd absolutely dominated with his trademark live presence, and honestly, we’re more than a little bummed it’s already over. Re-live the breathtaking performance below, and stay tuned for more of tonight’s festivities.
This return from Daft Punk has been awaited for 3 years and accompanied their first ever pop-up shop with a headlining set from Skrillex to celebrate the opening.