Welcome to the information page about Composing Music.
Composing Music is a first on the list of things to do, or learn. Although modern music allows crossing the borders between Composing, Recording, Mixing and Mastering. Composing is a good starting point when you newly play an instrument or you are just starting to get interested in music making. On the upside there is a lot information around and known about chords, notes, scales and structure. The downside is that this information is almost all reading and understanding, it can be experienced as uplifting or some find it very boring. Sometimes it will be difficult to understand when you read about technical things about music. Just because music is worldwide played and enjoyed, you can find information on the internet about ways to learn music, lessons and opinions. Maybe you will be overblown by all this info. On this page we try to give you an overview what is available and what is important to know when composing a song or track, or learning to play an instrument. On the other hand this SINED site is off course only one of the many sites about music.
Improvisation is the practice of acting and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act. This invention cycle occurs most effectively when the practitioner has a thorough intuitive and/or technical understanding of the necessary skills and concerns within the improvised domain. To me, it is important to stay with an improvising mind. Whenever you’re playing an instrument of any kind, you can always relax and enjoy your instrument. So a lot of people starting will be advised to read notes and scores, learn to play them and learning a lot of technical stuff about music. That will be helping making you understand music more, it is not the only way to do so. Keep in mind that just playing your instrument out of your head exploring the possibilities, relaxing, improvising and goofing around is just as supported and commonly accepted as a part of music making. Some people do not want to learn all this technical stuff, some do. It is all up to you if you do everything by the book or not. And now days there are a lot of artists and recordings around that were made by people who never even could read a single note out of a score. They are just bashing tunes out of their instrument or equipment and are having a blast doing it. They are successful with their way of doing things, their style of making music. Experienced players who are theoretical and well educated, who know to read and play all sorts of scores, scales, chords, etc, maybe good at reproducing music that has already been made. Maybe they will not be as good in composing music or playing their instrument in an improvised session. Maybe someone will tell you that you are playing wrong chords or notes, because technically it is done in a structured way. Maybe someone will tell you that reading scores and knowing chords, scales is the most important thing to learn playing an instrument, well then it is good to know you are never doing anything wrong or right. Music is an open format; you can do anything you like. If you will be successful or not, it depends what you are looking for in Music Making. This will be you deciding what is important for you to learn or not. Investing in time and relaxing with the whole subject is a good thing to do. Watch and learn from other people, never be afraid that they might be better and more educated. If music becomes a fight to be the best and making you win the game, this will not help when you are not relaxed playing music. Just understand that everything you learn takes time to be processed by your brains, playing and repeating learn, investing time and patience is best. Playing an instrument means practicing a lot, knowing your instrument. Also teaching yourself that improvisation is just as important. Just remember not to get hasty and relax, take your time to explore what you’re doing. To me there are two kinds of players, some can improvise and some just play what has been given to them. Ok you can learn notes, chords, scales and every score you can find, you will get better playing your instrument and you will get better at learning overall music. But this will only go for music that has already been made and written, it’s good to learn from others. But it does not really help you improvising and inventing new. Mainly for composing or making music, improvisation is a key element. In a beginning rock band you might find 4 or 5 players. Most likely not all players are in the process of composing the music for the band. Most members of the band will be only playing what has been given to them by the other band members who compose or write the music. It is likely because of communication and band structure that only 1 or 2 players actually are getting involved with the composition of songs, they write almost all music for the other band members. The other players never get so much involved in composing the material they play, because this might be lack of improvisation on their part or just band structure agreement, who is running the show. Some players are just happy to just play that has already been written. Some players have learned so much about what has already been written, they know their chords and progressions, because they have learned them by the book. It’s ok, but it might keep them from inspiration, improvising and invention.
Improvising, Inspiration and invention are needed to create!
The creative side of music is the most comprehensive and rewarding thing once you get the hang of it. Learn yourself that although doing things by the book, does not mean that you will be best off. It means you are educated, it is proven ground. You can learn from what other people do and have done in the past. Remember that people are creative by themselves. You can create new melodies and chord progressions, you can learn by improvising and you will re-invent yourself while doing it, exploring the unproven ground. Composing and Making Music is getting inspiration, improvising and invention from others or you reach into yourself to get it out. So if you are playing or making music, just understand that time is the main factor. Dividing time into learning and goofing around (improvising) is important. Once you have invested time playing and improvising your way, you will be more educated by yourself and how you like to play your instrument or equipment. Learning is time consuming, take your time and do not get frustrated by overdoing the practice. Your mind most be settled down and you most understand what you’re doing, this might take more time then you think it will be. Rushing things is never good. It is good to know there are always people better (or worse) then you make up your own mind in these situations. Learn from it, instead of competing. Players who compete with other players is a good thing, but over competing is not. Music is a set of instruments that each play their part of the whole. This means that competition is not a factor in written music, getting the best out of it is the way to go. If this means sacrificing yourself to have more room for inspiration and improvising, that will be a good thing. Making and creating music is by itself easy. Sit down and play. But for newcomers the vast available information might get them off-track, they are egar to grab hold of any information or learning process. There is a good chance you will be advised to learn all kinds of stuff and you will be over educated. There is a chance that by learning by the book, you will only play by the book. The more time you spend on playing by the book, the more chance there is you will get stuck by being thought structured and you might be hanging onto what other people have done before. Remember music is more free then that and there is more success to be made with the basics, making things complicated is most likely not the way to do music. Once your improvisation has resulted in new music or compositions, you will get inspired even more with the results.
Step 1: Writing a Song
Without a song, how could one possibly begin to record. Typically, writing a song starts with an idea or an inspiration. It may begin with lyric and a melody, a chord progression, a unique sound/loop or an improvisation that takes on a life of its own. Once this idea has developed enough to stand on its own merits, the music production process can then begin. A music production must support, in every way possible, the message or prevailing emotion of the song. The most common mistake I see today with young producers and songwriters is that they focus on the sounds or production elements before the song is finished being written. For certain styles of music this can work if the production invokes a feeling or emotion that inspires the lyric and melody. In many cases though, the production sounds disjointed because the lyric and melody end up being limited to the production style or arrangement. What happens next is that the arrangement must be adapted to the lyric and melody and the production can easily lose the coherency necessary for the song to carry its message.
Traditionally, writing a song is done with a singular instrument, a lyric and a melody. That's why so many songs start out as a piano and vocal or acoustic guitar and vocal. If you were writing a song with a group of musicians, they would likely become bored or disinterested if you spend too much time experimenting with melodies or new lyrics. When writing a song, it is typically best to work through these issues alone or with a writing partner that will help you quickly dismiss ideas that just don't work. Once you have flushed out all of these issues the music production process can really begin in earnest. When carefully crafted, a song will hold the interest of the listener. A song tells a story that conveys ideas and emotions. If the story is something the listener can relate to then they will listen as long as it is told in a compelling way. Great storytellers are very dynamic and interesting people as are great recording artists. They convey the emotions and events in a song with vivid imagery that takes you on a journey. Although the recording artist and the songwriter are not always the same person, the pairing of artist and songwriter is critical to the success of a song. Sometimes they work together in the process of writing a song so that the artist can add their input and perspective of what the song is about. If the artist cannot relate to the song from their own personal experience, then it will typically sound hollow. The passion must be there for the song to be taken in by the listener.
The blessing of the process for writing a song today is that there are so many resources available, you don't need a band to make a music production. You can create a template production that allows you to work on your ideas without wearing other people out by making them play the same parts over and over again. The use of music loops and samples is an exceptional way of getting the creative juices flowing and setting the stage for writing a song that's inspired. This process can also have pitfalls. One of the most common is that the songwriter may fall into the trap of focusing on the production elements instead of just writing a song. Without a good sense of judgment, the songwriter may ignore the real problems which may be that the lyric or the melody just isn't very good. By focusing on the production elements they may waste hours, days weeks or months trying to salvage a song that is not really ready for the music production process. It is for this reason that I believe most of these tools are best used in the demo stage of the music production process. I've seen too many songwriters lose their flow while writing a song because they spend hours trying to work out technical issues instead of just writing. Keep the songwriting process simple. Always have a recording device with you to capture an inspired idea. If you have a smart phone, your one app away from having a portable recording device with you at all times. For those that struggle with writing a song, good lyrics and melodies or finding good subject matter to write about, there are many websites and forums on songwriting to hone those skills. Writing a song is an art form in itself. However, to start the music production process, the quality of the song cannot be ignored. If you want to become a music producer, you cannot ignore good songwriting skills as a necessary part of your repertoire. The ability to assess issues and make necessary corrections will go a long way to helping you be successful. It is the song, after all, that the listener will relate to most, not the production. To be very clear, the process I have been talking about here is all about songs that are meant to be the center of one’s attention. Although many of the ideas presented here will also work for other forms of music, the focus here is on lyric driven music. Since all music carries some story or emotionally driven feeling, the concepts here can be adapted to the production style to achieve similar results. A jazz or classical record, for example, also convey emotions that tell a story. Even though the story may not be as explicit as a lyric driven song, the same process can be used to aid the listener into the interpretation of that story.
Basic Principles of Writing a Song
To help lend a broader understanding of writing a song, let's go over some of the key elements of good songwriting and how they affect the music production decisions you make. These four basic points of focus must be addressed before the song enters the recording phase of the music production process. What the hell is your song about? What feeling are you attempting to convey? Love, jealousy, hate, anger, fun, etc… These decisions lay the groundwork for EVERY other decision that is made including what sounds and instruments are selected in the production process. Writing a song about heroin addiction, for example, is not going to have bright tinkling bells as part of the music production. In this example, the musical elements of the song will need to be dark and oppressive sounding so that they support the prevailing message of the song which is most likely about depression and helplessness. Conversely, writing a song that's meant to make people party and dance is not going to be filled with dark heavy depressing sounds. The elements used here will be brighter, punchy and focussed. They will need to pump and breathe at the pace a person would dance to. While this may seem obvious on the surface, the real artistry of writing this type of music is doing something unique while remaining within these parameters.
Telling the Story
How do you plan to convey this message? These decisions all start with the prevailing message or feeling from the song. This can be as simple and using a minor key for a sad song versus a major key when the message is more positive. The blend of melody and lyric must support each other in every way. If the prevailing message is one of irony or sarcasm, writing depressing lyrics in a major key could convey a sense of humor or show a person trying to cover up their true feelings about the subject matter. There is no way to underestimate the importance of this relationship. The human brain is wired to receive and process information in a very particular way, if you go too far outside of these parameters, the message will be lost on most that care to listen. When presented well, you open a doorway to the listener's consciousness. From there it is up to you to keep the door open by continuing to hold the interest of the listener. Of all the topics surrounding the music production process, this is the one with the least number of technical solutions. No plugin, compressor or effect will cover up a bad song for very long. No processor will change the attitude or feeling of a song. These tools can only enhance an energy that must already be present. In the example above, heavily compressing the recording may help to convey the feeling of being trapped. This approach may work against you, however, if the song focusses on the feeling of freedom while on the high. This is the reason that the songwriting process is so critical to get right before even attempting to start to make a music production out of it. If a song can't hold the interest of a listener when presented in its most simple form, then it likely can't withstand the music production process without becoming and endless parade of band aids.
Holding the Attention of the Listener
How would you like to present the song? How will the dynamic energy of the song flow? Do you want it to start out simple and end big? Do you want it to start out big, drop down in energy and then explode in the end? Do you want it to maintain an even energy level throughout? Any one of these methods can work if the selected method supports the message of the song. The classic structure for a song starts with a verse which presents a story or situation. It tells you what happened, how you got into this situation in the first place. The chorus section then conveys the emotional result of the story that has just been told. It tells the listener what has resulted from the events told in the verse. Usually, there is a back and forth profession between verse and chorus that may lead into a breakdown or bridge section. The breakdown or bridge sections will take you to another perspective of the story. It may be the truth of what has transpired, it may represent a reprieve from the story so that the impact of the remaining story is more dynamically felt when the next chapter is told. This traditional method of songwriting is not necessary if a creative way to keep the interest of a listener is created. A song about the repetitive nature of living and working in a big city may benefit from a repetitive loop or programmed rhythm. The programed, repetitive nature of the production may help to convey the feeling of living a robotic life, repeating the same pattern of living day after day. The reason why the traditional verse, chorus, bridge method works is that there is a template that will most likely to hold the interest of the listener if presented well. Every story has a setup (verse) a problem or dilemma (chorus), a realization or solution (bridge or breakdown), and an ending. The ending can be any of the other song elements or something completely different depending on how the story ends. A song is basically a 3-5 minute movie in audio form. I like to use visual references when talking about any kind of audio because the reality is that sound is a secondary sense to sight. Up until the age of synthesis, every sound that we ever heard came from a physical object that we could visualize. This programming has been built into us for thousands of years and serves us well as a survival mechanism. Sound allows us to perceive and interpret things we may not be able to see. Sometimes they are dangerous things, like a car racing through an intersection you are about to cross. Sounds presented well in musical form also help to support or create the images or feelings that are presented in the song. A song is no different than any other form of audio. A song can create images in a person’s mind. They listener may recall past events in their life that relate to the story being told in the song. The music production helps to support that imagery. When properly done it may bring a person back to their own personal experiences that they can remember and relive through your song.
Feeling Over Thinking
When a song is well written the dynamic of the song will be clearly spelled out by the story. It will help you decide if you should use a breakdown section instead of a bridge section. It will help you decide whether to fade out on chorus sections, a vamp section, end the song with big crash or just a simple melody. Unless you are writing a song that is meditation music or attempting to put the listener into some kind of hypnotic state, people will respond most to differences in things, not sameness. Without this progression of dynamic changes, people will get bored and turn you off. The best way to judge whether a song is ready for the music production process is to FEEL it instead of listening to it. In other words, stop thinking and just let it speak to you. Pay close attention to any section of the song where you lose interest or feel your attention is taken somewhere else. Does the song hold your full attention from beginning to the end? Does it drag on too long? Do you feel cheated of shortchanged by the song because it is too short? Do you feel satisfied after listening to it ? Remember, feeling will always outweigh thinking! If you find yourself trying to convince somebody why a song is good, then you should already know that something is wrong. If you have completely lost your perspective, shelve the song for a while until you can listen with fresh ears. Listening to the same thing over and over can have the effect of burning it into your consciousness. You lose the ability to be objective. Finally, when writing a song, never ask somebody what they think of it. Unless they are a professional producer or artist and are brutally honest people, they will usually BS you because they are your friend and trying to support you. The best way to judge a song is to play it in the background and just watch for reactions without soliciting one. Do they move their head or body to the beat? Do they leave the room singing the lyric or melody? Do they ask you about whose song this is? These are clear signs that something is right because they are feeling it, not listening to it. You may want sometimes to write down some melodies or chords.
Using symbols C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B for writing down notes can be helpful when you need to capture melodies, baselines, etc.
Using common chords symbols like C, Cm, Am, or D can be handy to write down chords. Also for chords it can be handy to store how many times the chord is played. Using C/ Am/ E/ C for wiring down your chord list might not be enough. So you can write C/ Am / E (2/ 2/ 4), this means the C chord is played 2 times, the Am chord is played 2 times, the E chord is player 4 times. You can safely say that (2/2/4) is the same as (4/4) , but at least you can write down what your intending to do with the chords, take in account of how many times a chord is played inside bars. Anyway it is important to have a system for writing down notes, chords for melodies and composition. I do not use any scores for writing down, scoring is a better way of doing things, but it can be more complicated to learn and more time consuming.
Playing on midi keyboards is a common thing, now days music making on a single computer can stand with one single keyboard for inputting notes and chords. When you are new to playing a keyboard we will first explain how it works while composing music.
You can see we will start basic with the note C.
Octaves 1 to 5.
On this keyboard there are 5 octaves and the C note can be played five times from C1 to C5.
Notes C, C#, D, D#, E , F , F#, G, G#, A , A# and B.
Let’s investigate one of the octaves. The white notes labels are C, D, E, F, G, A, B. The black notes labels are C#, D#, F#, G#, A#. Together they form one octave.
Now here is where it is getting interesting, to remember all Major Chords, remember the sequence 1-4-3!
The Cmajor chord is played by pressing C, E and G together.
To remember all Minor Chords, remember the sequence 1-3-4!
The Cminor chord is played by pressing C, D#, G together.
Major Septime7 Chords.
To remember all MajorSeptime7 Chords, remember the sequence 1-3-4-3!
The CmajorSeptime7 chord is played by pressing C, E, G, A# together.
Major Kwint Chords.
To remember all MajorKwint Chords, remember the sequence 1-3-4-1!
The CmajorKwint chord is played by pressing C, E, G, G# together.
Just a quick overview:
Major Chords 1 - 4 - 3
Minor Chords 1 - 3 - 4
Major Septime7 1 - 4 - 3 - 3
Major Kwint 1 - 4 - 3 - 1
You may want sometimes to write down some melodies or chords.
Using symbols C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B for writing down notes can be helpful when you need to capture melodies, baselines, etc. Using common chords symbols like C, Cm, Am, or D can be handy to write down chords. Also for chords it can be handy to store how many times the chord is played. Using C/ Am/ E/ C for wiring down your chord list might not be enough. So you can write C/ Am / E (2/ 2/ 4), this means the C chord is played 2 times, the Am chord is played 2 times, the E chord is player 4 times. You can safely say that (2/2/4) is the same as (4/4) , but at least you can write down what your intending to do with the chords, take in account of how many times a chord is played inside bars. Anyway it is important to have a system for writing down notes, chords for melodies and composition. I do not use any scores for writing down, scoring is a better way of doing things, but it can be more complicated to learn and more time consuming.
Advice for all computer and keyboard users is that a modern midi keyboard will be sufficient. But there are some traps to avoid. Get a midi keyboard that supports aftertouch and is touch sensitive. Cheaper keyboards do not support this kind of features, so really be sure you have these features on board. Touch sensitive playing. When you press a note on the keyboard, not only the note is send to the computer but also how fast and hard you are hitting it, this is most useful when playing natural instruments alike a piano. You can vary playing soft and hard, this is more expressive then playing a keyboard without Touch Sensitive keys.
Another things the Touch Sensitive keyboard can do, is when you are holding a note you can press softer or harder when to note progresses. For like Organ playing this can be a handy feature to control the effect of the rotary speaker. With Touch Sensitive Keys and Aftertouch you can at least input what your fingers are doing and record it more natural, both are highly recommended. It is likely when you do not need these features, when you do have them you can always turn them off. But you are at least sure that you’re getting the maximum out of your midi keyboard.
The place for pitch control on a keyboard is mostly on the left hand side, next to the keyboards lowest keys. Most common are wheels, joysticks and faders for this kind of operation. It is handy to have pitch control on your midi keyboard.
The place for modulation control on a keyboard is mostly on the left hand side, next to the keyboards lowest keys. Most common are wheels, joysticks and faders for this kind of operation. It is handy to have pitch control on your midi keyboard.
Some midi keyboard do have touchpad’s and more wheels and faders for you to assign. For people using synths on a computer these can be handy to adjust parameters. But these can be done with the mouse or controller equipment, it is not as important as it can be fun. Most controlling on cheaper midi keyboard is quite good, but one you start to be a control freak maybe you will later look for more controlling options.
Midi or USB connections.
There has to be at least one Midi-Out to connect to the computer. This can be done using an USB-cable or midi cable. I still prefer the keyboard to be connected to a real midi cable, instead of using USB. So when there is a midi in and output on the keyboard or USB, choose midi to connect to your computer. Although USB is faster than midi, midi is more stable then USB. It is a matter of timing, when notes arrive to a computer. Until now USB is fast but can deliver notes that are just not the same as you played. Mainly a good written USB driver will help, but some manufacturers do better just then others by making USB drivers for their keyboard. Midi is proven, so connecting the midi cable to your computer is a good safe option.
Do Re Mi - Finding Chords
Minor 1 - 3 - 4
Major 1 - 4 - 3
Septime7 1 - 4 - 3 - 3
Kwint 1 - 4 - 3 - 1
White and Black Keys
The white keys are C, D, E ,F, G, A, Flats ' b' and sharps '#' are all black keys called
C#, D#,F#,G#,A#. The ' b' symbol can be used when ever needed.
One Octave are 12 notes in a row called C, C# or Db, D, D# or Eb, E, F, F# or Gb, G, G# or Ab, A, A# or Bb, B.
Any time you see a letter on its own for example “F” this is called F Major or “F Maj”.
The Major Scale are seven notes in order 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .
Root - Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Tone – Semitone
Do – Re – Mi – Far – So – La – Ti – Do
You choose a note or chord like C then count 4 notes up for E and 3 notes up for G, so C, E, G make up for Cmajor or just talking chords C.
Major = 1 - 4 - 3
Key Root 2n d 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
Cm c d e f g a b
Gm g a b c d e F#
Dm d e f# g a b c#
Am a b c# d e f# g#
Em e f# g # a b c# d#
F# F#/Gb G#/Ab A#/Bb B/Cb C#/Db D#/Eb E#/F
Db-m Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Ab-m Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Eb-m Eb F G Ab Bb c d
Bb-m Bb C D Eb F G A
F-m F G A Bb C D E
Every major key has a corresponding relative minor key. You choose a note or chord like C then count 3 notes up for D# and 4 notes up for G. So C, D#, G make up for Cm.
Minor = Notes 1 - 3 - 4
The minor key will be in the same key signature, and will contain the same notes as the major key. The only difference between the two is that the minor key simply starts on a different note. In the key of C Major, the relevant, corresponding minor key is A minor.
You can always find the relative minor key by counting up six notes from the root of the Major key. So in the C Major example: C, D, E, F, G, ->A<-, B, C.. The minor key starts on A.
Root – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone –Semitone – Tone - Tone
So if as an example we use the A minor scale which is the relative minor scale of C Major, we have the following sequence of notes:
A B C D E F G A
If we were playing in F Major, the relative minor would again begin on the sixth note in the key, which would be the D, and the sequence of notes would be:
D E F G A Bb C D
If you see "Fm" or "Fmin" this is called Fminor.
Key Root 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
A-min A B C D E F G
E-min E F# G A B C D
B-min B C# D E F# G A
F#-min F# G# A B C# D E
C#-min C# D# E F# G# A B
D#- Eb- D#/Eb E#/F F#/Gb G#/Ab A#/Bb B/Cb C#/Db
Bb-min Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
F-min F G Ab Bb C Db Eb
C-min C D Eb F G Ab Bb
G-min G A Bb C D Eb F
D-min D E F G A Bb C
A semitone (or half step) is the smallest increment on a western musical instrument. On a piano, it is represented by moving from one key to the next, and on a guitar, it is represented by moving from one fret to the next. As an example, on a piano, moving from middle C to the black key directly next to it on the right, we would get a C# would be a semitone. Moving from middle C to the next WHITE key on the right, which is the D, would be a tone from the middle C (also known as two semitones or a whole step). On a guitar, moving from the open A string to the first fret on the A string A# would be a semitone, whilst moving from the open A string to the second fret B would be a tone (two semitones).
So if we look at the C Major scale, it looks like this:
C (root note)
Then up a TONE to D
Then up a TONE to E
Then up a SEMITONE to F
Then up a TONE to G
Then up a TONE to A
Then up a TONE to B
And finally up a SEMITONE again to finish back on C.
All major keys follow this pattern, and you can start a Major scale on any note.
A couple of things to be aware of: Some notes have the same sound, but different names depending on which KEY they are in. For example, an A# is the same note as a Bb as if you move up ONE semitone from A it becomes A# and if you move down ONE semitone from B it becomes a Bb. Again, you don’t need to worry too much about this if it’s confusing you as we’re going to stick mainly to simple chords and keys.
Intervals and Chords.
Basically each note and the following note is half a step. From the first note to the next nearest note is half a step (the same) and is called a semitone. On a piano this is each following key. On a guitar this is each following fret.
The purpose of a time signature is to show you what type of feel, rhythm, and speed you should play certain notes, phrases and bars. There are various time signatures in music. The two most common are Four-Four time, and Three- Four time. The first number in the time signature denotes the NUMBER of notes you will be playing, PER BAR and the second number tells you what TYPE of note you’ll be playing. So if we’re playing in Four-Four time, you would have four even beats of quarter notes, and count like this: One, Two, Three, Four, One, Two Three, Four etc. If you were playing in three four time, you’d be using the same length notes, but only count three of them per bar, for example: One, Two, Three, One, Two, Three etc. The following are the most common types of note found in Western music, and each of these notes also has a corresponding rest that has the same duration. These are also found on the examples below.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
C D E F G A B
C# D# F F# G# A# C
D E F# G A B C#
D# F G G# A# C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A A# C D E
F# G# A# B C# D# F
G A B C D E F#
G# A# C C# D# F G
A B C# D E F# G#
A# C D D# F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
Ionian: No Change
Major pentatonic c d e g a
Neapolitan minor C Db Eb F G Ab B C
Hemitonic pent3 C D Eb G B Spooky
Pent var C E G A Bb Smooth
C-majdom7 C E G B yawm, a major scale
c-mindom7 C Eb G Bb minor
Harmonic mindom7 C Eb G B phantom minor
Melodic mindom7 C Eb F A Really F-majdim7,2nd
Esoteric 6th Cb D F A Dreams ?
Augmented C E G# Tence
Diminished C Eb Gb Also Tence
Minor 3rds C Eb Gb A Tence , dreamy
Harmonic minor C D Eb F G Ab B Sad
Melodic minor C D Eb F G A B Nice sweat
Whole tone C D E F# G# A# Whoa tripping!
Augmented C D# E F# G# B# nasty tension
diminished C D Eb F Gb Ab B Sad Ab+B = Bbb/Cbb
Enigmatic C Db E F# G# A# B Indeed very strange
Bizantine (gypsy) C Db E F# G# A# B Spooky
Locrian (arabian) C D E F Gb Ab Bb Drunk
Persian C Db E F G A# B Secrets
Spanish 8 tone C C# D# E F F# G# A# Ummm
Native American C D E F# A B Bold btw which tribe
Major bebop C D E F G Ab A B Funky min/maj
Barber shop1 C D E F G B D F G B Full
Barber shop2 C G C E G B Same as 1 but sad
Rain A# D E F# G# C D F# G# Messed pissed off
Crystalline min9#7 C G B Eb G D Eb Bb D
Gb Bb F Gb Db F A Very mad as hell
Popular blues C D# F F# G A# pissed crunchy
Blues II C D# E G Ab D# G Spacy dissonant
Total disharmony C Db E F G Ab B C D Eb
F# G A Bb C# D# Ouch thunder
Sus2 C D G Cool nine
C-phuq'd C F Ab Bb
Db-grace major C F Ab Db F G Db Gb
E-blues C D E G Ab Gb Db F
Neaplotitan major C Db Eb F G A B C
Oriental C Db E F Gb A Bb C
Double harmonic C Db E F G Ab B C
Enigmatic C Db E F# G# A# B C
Hirajoshi A B C E F A
Kumoi E F A B C E
Iwato B C E F A B
Hindu C D E F G Ab Bb C
Pelog C Db Eb G Bb C
Gypsy C D Eb F# G Ab Bb C
Maj phrygian C D F E F G Ab Bb C
Maj locrian C D E F Gb Ab Bb C
Lydian min C D E F# G Ab Bb C
Overtone C D E F# G A Bb C
Arabian C D E F Gb Ab Bb C
balinese C Db Eb G Ab C
Gypsy C Db E F G Ab B C
Mohammeddan C D Eb F G Ab B C
Javanese C Db Eb F G A Bb C
Persian C Db E F Gb Ab B C
Algerian C D Eb F G Ab B C D Eb F
Aeolian C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
byzantine C Db E F G Ab B C
Hawaian C D Eb F G A B C
Jewish E F G# A B C D E
Mongolian C D E G A C
Ethiopian G A Bb (b) C D Eb (e) F (F#) G
Spanish C Db E F G Ab Bb C
Egyptian C D F G Bb C
Japanese C Db F G Ab C
Chinese F G A C D F C E F# G B C
New pentatonic C D E F# A
jap penta C Db F G Ab
Bal penta C Db F Gb A freaky = Db-maj7dim4?
Pelog penta C Db Eb G Bb dreamy
Musical Definitions, Terms relating to TEMPO.
GRAVE - Very slow and solemn
LARGO - Very slow and broad, with dignity
LENT or LENTO - Very slow
ADAGIO - Very slow and expressive
LARGHETTO - Not as slow as LARGO, but slower than ANDANTE
ANDANTE - Rather slow, but with a flowing movement ("Walking tempo")
ANDANTINO - A little quicker than ANDANTE
MODERATO - Moderate speed- not fast, not slow
ALLEGRETTO - Light and cheerful, but not as fast as ALLEGRO
ALLEGRO - Merry, quick, lively, bright
VIVO - Lively, brisk (usually with ALLEGRO, as ALLEGRO VIVO
VIVACE -Vivacious, faster than ALLEGRO
PRESTO -Very quick, faster than VIVACE
ACCELERANDO - Abbreviated: accel. To increase the speed gradually
STRINGENDO - Abbreviated: string. To increase intensity by increasing tempo
AFFRETTANDO - To increase the speed gradually
ALLARGANDO - Abbreviated: allarg. Slower and louder
RITARDANDO - Abbreviated: Ritard. or Rit. Gradually slackening the speed.
RALLENTANDO - Abbreviated: Rall. Slowing down, gradually.
RUBATO - Literally means "Robbed"- a lingering on some notes and hurrying of others; free from strict tempo, but preserving the value of the rhythmic notation.
A TEMPO - Return to original tempo after a RITARD
TEMPO I (PRIMO) - Return to original tempo after a RITARD
Words that often accompany TEMPO Markings:
MOLTO -Very much. MOLTO RITARD means to slow down exceedingly
MENO - Less. E.g., MENO MOSSO means less fast (slower)
PIU - More
NON TROPPO - Not too much, e.g., ALLEGRO NON TROPPO means fast, but not too fast
POCO A POCO - literally "little by little". Used in combination with tempo markings. e.g., ACCEL. POCO A POCO means to increase the speed gradually over a span of measures.
Terms relating to DYNAMICS (from soft to loud):
PIANISSIMO -(abbr: pp). Very soft
PIANO - (abbr: p). Soft
MEZZO - Medium or moderately
MEZZO PIANO - (abbr: mp). Medium soft
MEZZO FORTE - (abbr: mf). Moderately loud
FORTE - (abbr: f). Loud
FORTISSIMO - (abbr: ff) Very loud
DIMINUENDO - (abbr: dim.) or the sign means gradually getting softer
CRESCENDO - (abbr: cresc.) or the sign means gradually getting louder
POCO A POCO - Little by little. Indicates a gradual increase or decrease in volume of sound.
ACCENT - A stress on notes so marked
SFORZANDO - (abbr: sfz) A strongly accented note or chord
SFORZATO - (abbr: sfp) strongly accented by then immediately PIANO
SUBITO - Suddenly. Usually to indicate a dramatically sudden change in dynamic level of sound.
AGITATO - With agitation- excitedly
ALLA - In the style of (always used with other words).
CON - With (as a connecting word), e.g., ANDANTE CON AMORE- slowly, with tenderness
ANIMATO - With animation, in a spirited manner
APPASSIONATO - With intensity and depth of feeling
BRILLANTE - Bright, sparkling, brilliant
BRIO - Vigor, spirit
CANTABILE - In a singing style
DOLCE - Sweetly and softly
ENERGICO, CON - With expression
FUOCO, CON - With fire or much energy
GRANDIOSO - In a noble, elevated style
GRAZIA, CON - With a graceful, flowing style
LEGATO - Smooth and connected, in a flowing manner (Opposite of STACCATO)
MAESTOSO - With majesty and grandeur
MARCATO - In a marked and emphatic style
PESANTE - Heavily, every note with marked emphasis
QUASI - In the manner of; e.g., QUASI UNA FANTASIA- in the style of a fantasia
SCHERZANDO - In a light playful and sportive manner
SCHERZO - A jest, one of the movements of certain symphonies, a composition of light and playful character
SECCO - Dry, plain, without ornamentation
SEMPRE - Always; e.g., SEMPRE STACCATO- to continue playing in a short and detached style
SPIRITO, CON - With spirit, or animation
STACCATO - Short and detached, with distinct precision (the opposite of LEGATO)
TENUTO - Sustained for the full time-value
TRANQUILLO - With tranquility, quietly, restfully
LARGO MA NON TROPPO - Slow, but not too slow (ma = but)
ADAGIO CANTABILE E SOSTENUTO - ('e' = and) Very slow and in a sustained and singing style
ANDANTINO, CON AFFETUOSO - Faster than ANDANTE, with tender feeling
ALLEGRETTO CON GRAZIA - A moving tempo with a graceful flowing style
ALLEGRO AGITATO - Quick with agitation
POCO PIU MOSSO - A little quicker
ALLEGRO CON MOLTO SPIRITO - Fast with much spirit
ANDANTE MAESTOSO - Rather slow-moving tempo, majestic feeling
PRESTO CON LEGGIEREZZA - Very fast with lightness and delicacy
ACCIDENTALS - Flats and double flats, naturals, sharps and double sharps
ALLA BREVE - Cut time. The half-note is the unit of the meter
ARPEGGIO - A broken chord (Each note of the chord played in succession)
ATTACCA - Begin the next movement immediately
CADENCE - The close or ending of a phrase
CADENZA - An elaborate solo passage with fancy embellishments to display the proficiency of a performer.
CHROMATIC - Proceeding by semitones
CODA - Literally "A tail"- the closing measures of a piece of music
CON - With; e.g., CON SORDINO means "with mute"
DA CAPO - (abbr: D.C.) from the beginning
DAL SEGNO - (abbr: D.S.) to the sign
DIVISI - Divided, one performer plays the upper notes, the other plays the lower notes
FERMATA - A pause, marked
FINE - The end
G.P. - General Pause; a dramatic moment of silence for the entire ensemble
SEGUE - To the next piece without pause
SENZA - Without; e.g., SENZA SORDINO means without mute
SORDINO - A mute (used by brass and string players)
TACET - Be silent
TEMPO PRIMO - (Sometimes TEMPO I), means to return to the original tempo after a RITARD or ACCEL.
V.S. - Abbreviation found at the lower right corner of a music page and means to turn the page quickly.
COL LEGNO - Applies to string instruments.
GLISSANDO - To slide. Pulling or drawing the finger quickly up or down a series of adjacent notes. Also poss. on trombone and other inst..
That is all for now...
Denis van der Velde
AAMS Auto Audio Mastering System
The list below showcases audio formats that are able to encode audio and compress it in a lossless way ensuring your music is perfectly preserved in digital form.
WAV (WAVeform Audio Format)
The main format for AAMS is WAV format audio files, basically internally AAMS is build with it´s 16 bit 32 Bit audio drivers and 64 Bit internal processing, so WAV format is very compatible.
And musically 16 bit wav is great for normal audio and will achive good sound, the 32 bit wav floating point is really exact and is the main format for more demanding users.
For audio files to be written in a lossless fashion, wav is a good choise, wav can handle also different types of samplerates, like 44.1 Khz or higher.
The WAV format isn't thought of as the ideal choice when choosing a digital audio system for preserving your audio CDs, but still remains a lossless option. However, the files produced will be larger than the other formats in this article because there isn't any compression involved. That said, if storage space isn't an issue then the WAV format has some clear advantages. It has widespread support with both hardware and software. Much lower CPU processing time is required when converting to other formats because WAV files are already uncompressed -- they don't need to be uncompressed before conversion. You can also directly manipulating WAV files (using audio editing software for instance) without having to wait for a de-compression/re-compression cycle in order to update your changes. Short for WAVeform Audio Format, it is normally used in an uncompressed format on the Microsoft Windows platform. This raw audio format, which was developed jointly by IBM and Microsoft, stores audio data in blocks. On the digital music scene, its usefulness has diminished over time with the development of better lossless audio formats, such as FLAC and Apple lossless. It is a standard that will probably be used for some time yet due to its widespread use in professional music recording and is still a very popular format for audio/video applications. The file extension associated with WAV is: .WAV
FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
The FLAC format (short for Free Lossless Audio Codec) is probably the most popular lossless encoding system which is becoming more widely supported on hardware devices such as MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, and home entertainment systems. It is developed by the non-profit Xiph.Org Foundation and is also open source. Music stored in this format is typically reduced between 30 to 50% of its original size. Common routes to rip audio CDs to FLAC include software media players (like Winamp for Windows) or dedicated utilities Max for example is a good one for Mac OS X.
ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec)
Apple initially developed their ALAC format as a proprietary project, but since 2011 has made it open source. Audio is encoded using a lossless algorithm which is stored in an MP4 container. Incidentally, ALAC files have the same .m4a file extension as AAC, so this naming convention can lead to confusion. ALAC isn't as popular as FLAC, but could be the ideal choice if your preferred software media player is iTunes and you use Apple hardware such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc.
The Monkey's Audio format isn't as well supported as other competing lossless systems such as FLAC and ALAC, but on average has better compression resulting in smaller file sizes. It isn't an open source project, but is still free to use. Files that are encoded in the Monkey's Audio format have the humorous .ape extension! Methods used to rip CDs to Ape files include: downloading the Windows program from the official Monkey's Audio website, or using standalone CD ripping software that outputs to this format. Even though most software media players don't have out-of-the-box support for playing files in the Monkey's Audio format, there is a good selection of plug-ins now available for: Windows Media Player, Foobar2000, Winamp, Media Player Classic, and others. More »
WMA Lossless (Windows Media Audio Lossless) WMA Lossless which is developed by Microsoft is a propriety format that can be used to rip your original music CDs without any loss of audio definition. Depending on various factors, a typical audio CD will be compressed between 206 - 411 MB using a spread of bit rates in the range of 470 - 940 kbps. The resultant file that is produced confusingly has the .WMA extension which is identical to files that are also in the standard (lossy) WMA format. WMA Lossless is probably the least well supported of the formats in this toplist, but could still be the one you choose especially if you use Windows Media Player and have a hardware device that supports it such as a Windows phone for example.
WAV and AIFF: Both WAV and AIFF are uncompressed formats, which means they are exact copies of the original source audio. The two formats are essentially the same quality; they just store the data a bit differently. AIFF is made by Apple, so you may see it a bit more often in Apple products, but WAV is pretty much universal. However, since they're uncompressed, they take up a lot of unnecessary space. Unless you're editing the audio, you don't need to store the audio in these formats.
FLAC: The Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is the most popular lossless format, making it a good choice if you want to store your music in lossless. Unlike WAV and AIFF, it's been compressed, so it takes up a lot less space. However, it's still a lossless format, which means the audio quality is still the same as the original source, so it's much better for listening than WAV and AIFF. It's also free and open source, which is handy if you're into that sort of thing.
Apple Lossless: Also known as ALAC, Apple Lossless is similar to FLAC. It's a compressed lossless file, although it's made by Apple. Its compression isn't quite as efficient as FLAC, so your files may be a bit bigger, but it's fully supported by iTunes and iOS (while FLAC is not). Thus, you'd want to use this if you use iTunes and iOS as your primary music listening software.
APE: APE is a very highly compressed lossless file, meaning you'll get the most space savings. Its audio quality is the same as FLAC, ALAC, and other lossless files, but it isn't compatible with nearly as many players. They also work your processor harder to decode, since they're so highly compressed. Generally, I wouldn't recommend using this unless you're very starved for space and have a player that supports it.
For regular listening, it's more likely that you'll be using a lossy format. They save a ton of space, leaving you with more room for songs on your portable player, and—if they're high enough bitrate—they'll be indistinguishable from the original source. Here are the formats you'll probably run into:
MP3: MPEG Audio Layer III, or MP3 for short, is the most common lossy format around. So much so that it's become synonymous with downloaded music. MP3 isn't the most efficient format of them all, but its definitely the most well-supported, making it our #1 choice for lossy audio. You really can't go wrong with MP3.
AAC: Advanced Audio Coding, also known as AAC, is similar to MP3, although it's a bit more efficient. That means that you can have files that take up less space, but with the same sound quality as MP3. And, with Apple's iTunes making AAC so popular, it's almost as widely compatible with MP3. I've only ever had one device that couldn't play AACs properly, and that was a few years ago, so it's pretty hard to go wrong with AAC either.
Ogg Vorbis: The Vorbis format, often known as Ogg Vorbis due to its use of the Ogg container, is a free and open source alternative to MP3 and AAC. Its main draw is that it isn't restricted by patents, but that doesn't affect you as a user—in fact, despite its open nature and similar quality, it's much less popular than MP3 and AAC, meaning fewer players are going to support it. As such, we don't really recommend it unless you feel very strongly about open source.
WMA: Windows Media Audio is Microsoft's own proprietary format, similar to MP3 or AAC. It doesn't really offer any advantages over the other formats, and it's also not as well supported. There's very little reason to rip your CDs into this format.
3gp = multimedia container format can contain proprietary formats as AMR, AMR-WB or AMR-WB+, but also some open formats.
act = ACT is a lossy ADPCM 8 kbit/s compressed audio format recorded by most Chinese MP3 and MP4 players with a recording function, and voice recorders.
aiff = Apple standard audio file format used by Apple. It could be considered the Apple equivalent of wav.
aac the Advanced Audio Coding format is based on the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 standards. Are usually ADTS or ADIF containers amr AMR-NB audio, used primarily for speech.
au = Sun Microsystems the standard audio file format used by Sun, Unix and Java. The audio in au files can be PCM or compressed with the µ-law, a-law or G729 codecs.
awb = AMR-WB audio, used primarily for speech, same as the ITU-T's G.722.2 specification.
dct = NCH Software. A variable codec format designed for dictation. It has dictation header information and can be encrypted (as may be required by medical confidentiality laws). A proprietary format of NCH Software.
dss = Olympus. Files are an Olympus proprietary format. It is a fairly old and poor codec. Gsm or mp3 are generally preferred where the recorder allows. It allows additional data to be held in the file header.
dvf = A Sony proprietary format for compressed voice files; commonly used by Sony dictation recorders.
flac = File format for the Free Lossless Audio Codec, a lossless compression codec.
gsm = Designed for telephony use in Europe. Is a very practical format for telephone quality voice. It makes a good compromise between file size and quality. Note that wav files can also be encoded with the gsm codec.
iklax = An iKlax Media proprietary format, the iKlax format is a multi-track digital audio format allowing various actions on musical data, for instance on mixing and volumes arrangements.
ivs = 3D Solar UK Ltd. A proprietary version with Digital Rights Management developed by 3D Solar UK Ltd for use in music downloaded from their Tronme Music Store and interactive music and video player.
m4a = An audio only MPEG4 file. Used by Apple for unprotected music downloaded from their iTunes Music Store. Audio within the m4a file is typically encoded with AAC, although lossless ALAC may also be used.
m4p = Apple. A version of AAC with proprietary Digital Rights Management developed by Apple for use in music downloaded from their iTunes Music Store.
mmf = Samsung. a Samsung audio format that is used in ringtones.
mp3 = MPEG Layer III Audio. Is the most common sound file format used today.
mpc = Musepack or MPC. Formerly known as MPEGplus, MPEG+ or MP+. Is an open source lossy audio codec, specifically optimized for transparent compression of stereo audio at bitrates of 160–180 kbits.
msv = Sony. A Sony proprietary format for Memory Stick compressed voice files.
ogg / oga = Xiph.Org Foundation. A free, open source container format supporting a variety of formats, the most popular of which is the audio format Vorbis. Vorbis offers compression similar to MP3 but is less popular.
opus = Internet Engineering Task Force. A lossy audio compression format developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and made especially suitable for interactive real-time applications over the Internet. As an open format standardised through RFC 6716, a reference implementation is provided under the 3-clause BSD license.
ra/rm = RealNetworks. A RealAudio format designed for streaming audio over the Internet. The ra format allows files to be stored in a self contained fashion on a computer, with all of the audio data contained inside the file itself.
raw = a raw file can contain audio in any format but is usually used with PCM audio data. It is rarely used except for technical tests.
sln = S Linear format used by Asterisk.
tta = The True Audio, real-time lossless audio codec.
vox = The vox format most commonly uses the Dialogic ADPCM (Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation) codec. Similar to other ADPCM formats, it compresses to 4-bits. Vox format files are similar to wave files except that the vox files contain no information about the file itself so the codec sample rate and number of channels must first be specified in order to play a vox file.
wav = Standard audio file container format used mainly in Windows PCs. Commonly used for storing uncompressed (PCM), CD-quality sound files, which means that they can be large in size—around 10 MB per minute. Wave files can also contain data encoded with a variety of (lossy) codecs to reduce the file size (for example the GSM or MP3 formats). Wav files use a RIFF structure.
wma = Microsoft. Windows Media Audio format, created by Microsoft. Designed with Digital Rights Management (DRM) abilities for copy protection.
wv = Format for wavpack file.
Denis van der Velde
AAMS Auto Audio Mastering System
The users that do want their music mixed or mastered by Aplus Audio Mastering Services should consider to use AAMS first. When you are in need of Aplus Audio Mastering Services by our Professionals, you can read about our excellent audio mixing and mastering services further here.
Aplus Audio Mastering Services
Welcome to APlus Audio Mastering Services!
High quality audio mastering services with low prices.
The users that do want their music mixed or mastered with more needs then the AAMS program supplies directly, or users that want their mastering done by a human ear or just want more equipment or mastering tricks to be used, can visit our mastering services. But also be sure to rty out AAMS V3 first and only when your needs are not met, maybe consider your masterings to be done with the human factor in place, and you can supply us with the information about you want your sound to be like. You can consider mastering your audio by Aplus! When you are in need of Aplus Audio Mastering Services by our Professionals, you can read about our excellent audio mixing and mastering services further here.
AAMS Auto Audio Mastering System
For windows users we provide AAMS complete audio mastering software package for Audio Mastering, free of use. Process your Mix to a commercial great sounding Master. With AAMS you get a clean transfer of your mix to a good sounding master. AAMS will do this lifting up the mix, but trying to preserve the same sound. Therefore when your mix has a particular sound, AAMS will not hurt it but will only try to compare source and reference and apply that with mastering techniques available. That is great for most users who do their own mixing and creating the sound is mostly done at the mixing stage. AAMS improves the mix towards quality commercial levels for al kinds of musical styles.
Mastering is audio post production, is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio containing the final mix towards a data storage device the master. From which all copies will be produced via methods such as pressing, duplication or replication. Mastering is a crucial gateway between production and consumption and. It involves technical knowledge as well as specific aesthetics.Results still depend upon the accuracy of speaker monitors and the listening environment. Mastering engineers may also need to apply corrective equalization and dynamic compression in order to optimise sound translation on all playback systems. It is standard practice to make a copy of a master recording, known as a safety copy, in case the master is lost, damaged or stolen.
Welcome to APlus Audio Mastering Services!
High quality audio mastering services with low prices.
We maximize your audio material to clear crisp audio mastered versions. Giving detail, clarity, definition, warm low end punch, stereo depth and prisitine sound using Analog and Digital equipment. Audio Mastering is most important part of the audio chain and we give your sound high definition and clarity. Every single track and every song of your album collection wil sound complete next to each other, with taking care from start to end. Ready for distribution and radio. That is what Aplus Audio Mastering Services stands for, excellence! Your audio material or mixes will become an adequate to commercial radio, CD or MP4/MP3 streaming services, just to fit in correctly. We do not attend the Loudness War, you need appropiate levels and professional quality!
Aplus Mastering will make single tracks or songs stand out in excellence.
Aplus Mastering will make your whole Album Sound perfect and give it togetherness.
Aplus Mastering will create a professional sound for all of you.
We make your music shine!
Supply us with your audio material, mixed down to stereo in one of the formats below.
We prefer to accept the following formats:
- Uncompressed Audio : Wav, Aiff.
- Lossless Audio : MP4, Flac, WAVpack, Monkey Audio, ALAC, etc.
- Lossy Audio : MP3, AAC, WMA (> 192 Kbps).
Sending or submit your mixes to Aplus Mastering over the Internet or post, from yours to us and get it back in no time.
Upload your final mix with our easy to use upload system.
Goto the 'Shop' and decide what option you need :
- For single audio track mastering, choose Single Track.
- For multiple tracks that need mastered as single tracks, choose Multiple Tracks.
- Finally when you have multiple tracks that need to be sounding as an album, choose Full Album.
Instructions will follow afther you have chosen.
On your own User Account page, you can sign up for your account. Or go directly to our Shop and chose. Then Upload your songs / tracks with our easy webbased upload system. We will send you back a mastered sample of your song, if you do not pay upfront. When you have paid and accept the our high quality masterings when we are finished with your content, we will send you an email and place all mastered song / tracks on your personal w web account. And you can download the finished product from your own user directory!
Before you send off all your Stereo Mixes to Aplus Mastering Engineers to get Mastered, Check the Mix!
There are a number of audio mixing and editting tips that will help you prepare your mixes before submitting to Aplus Audio Mastering studio.
It is important to know how to prepare your mix, so you can get the best sound for your songs!
When quality is at stake, be sure to read this page and spend some time to get your mixes right.
Audio mastering is a process that stands far from mixing, it is the next stage afther mixing and it is the final stage for sound quality. Actually while mixing we do not attend the loudness much, we mix. What everybody is thinking of 'How to get our mix sound loud'! That is what Aplus Audio Mastering stands for, most likely preferred that your mix will become an adequate to commercial radio, CD or MP3 streaming levels, just to fit in correctly. We do not attend the Loudness War, but we need appropiate levels and professional quality. Also when Mastering a Full Album, Aplus Mastering will make the whole Album Sound as an Album. We name it 'the album sound'. So Aplus Mastering can do single tracks as well as full albums, and create a good quality professional sound for you. But however, mixing is an important stage before Aplus Mastering can be done. So we ask you to attend some time and thought before sending your mixes to Aplus Mastering Engineers.
Check, Check, Double Check!
0. You should do these mix check steps before you plan to hand your project to our Aplus Mastering Engineer.
1. Eliminate any noise or pops that may be in each single track. Apply fades or cuts or mutes to spots containing recorded noise, pops or clicks.
2. Keep Your Mix Clean And Dynamic. Unless there is a specific sound you need, do not put compressing or processing on the master out of the mixing bus. It is best to keep the master buss free of outboard processing or plugins. Dont add any processing to the overall mix, just to individual channels.There should never be a limiter or loudness maximiser set on the master out mix bus!
3. The loudest part in a mix should peak at no more that -3db on the master bus, leaving headroom. It does not matter How Loud your mix sounds at this time, mixing means mixing.
4. Does your mix Work In Mono? As a final reality check, switch the master buss output to mono and make sure that there is no weakening or thinning out of the sound. In any event, do not forget to switch the bussing back to stereo afther this check.
5. Only when a mix is completed and finished off, and your are happy with the overall mixing sound and quality, then the next fase is Aplus Mastering to do their work.
6. Normalising a track is not necessarily a good idea.
7. Dont add any fades or crossfades, anywhere. Dont fade beginning or end.
8. Do not dither individual mixes.
9. You can output the mix on a stereo track before sending to Aplus Mastering, save your mix in Stereo. Use a lossless format! Using digital equipment Wav 32Bit Float Stereo is a good output format.
10. Do not try to output your mix to a mp3 file, this can mean loss of information! If you do want to send in MP3 files, be sure they are of quality, prefer a bitrate higher than > 192kbps, 320kbps is quite good.
11. Export your mix out of your sequencer or audio setup in a correct and quality unharming format;
12. Finally, always back up your original mixed files! If the song is later remastered for any reason for a re-release, a compilation or for use in any other context you will want a mix thats as easy to remaster as possible.
13. Submitting reference tracks or example songs alongside your mix submission that have a similar sound desired is for a good point of view how your music must sound. Giving Aplus Audio Mastering Engineers an idea of your musical vision. This could be a reference to bands who inspire you or have a similar sound that you like.
14. Put all your files of a single mix (the stereo file, reference songs, text documents or pictures or any file that you need to send) in one single directory.
15. Use a packing program like ZIP, RAR, 7z and pack all files in that directory to one single packed file. Name this file correctly, preferably the track number and name of the track.
16. Now you can send your mix files to Aplus Audio Mastering Services!
Mastering from stems is becoming little by little more common practice. This is where the mix is consolidated into a number of stereo stems subgroups to be submitted individually. Instead of submitting a Stereo output of your mix, you can send the mixing tracks seperately. For example you might have different tracks for Drums, Bass, Keys, Guitars, Vocal, and Background Vocals. This will give Aplus Mastering more control over the mix and master. If a master from stems is desired, following the same steps listed above is best for each stem. When submitting stems each file track must start at the beginning and must durate though the end, most mixing sequencers will output this way exactly to the sample. Each stem file should be exactly the same length.
We master all Musical Styles :
- Classical Music
- Chrildrens Music
- Holiday, Christmass
- Country Music
- Easy Listening
- Electronic Music
- Folk Music
- Gospel, Inspirational
- Heavy Metal
- House, EDM, Electro, Trance, etc.
- Live Performances
- New Wave, New Age
- Pop Music
- Singer Songwriter
- Latin, Spanish
- Trance Music
- TV Themes
- World Music