The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals

The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals

The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals
By Caro Churchill

As a female artist operating in this field of the music industry, I like to keep abreast of latest research. And a very interesting recent study shows how the land lies for women in the lucrative field of electronic music festivals. International support network and database Female Pressure consists of female DJs, Vjs, electronic musicians, sound artists, sound engineers, academics and other diverse professionals involved in the post club culture industry and vibrant scenes in most cities.

As a collective endeavour, active members of the Female Pressure network submitted statistics for festivals they were aware of. And then, collating all these findings, they produced a report and graphic representation clearly demonstrating their informal research using music faders and ven diagrams. Some countries fared better than others - the UK was not the best for gender representation with women making up ten per cent of the artists performing. And quite surprisingly perhaps, Germany did not fair much better despite the assumption that there are more female DJs and artists active especially in Berlin.

Overall, the study showed over eighty percent of festival artists were male and less than ten per cent were female - the rest were acts made of men and women. So what can be done about this? One solution put forward has been festivals representing only female artists. The aim of this would be to make a statement that there are many female artists out there that can entertain an audience. However there is an argument against this approach as this can still lead to separation and lack of integration in the male dominated rosters. There are wonderful examples of festivals and collectives that strive for a more representative and diverse offer of live and DJ acts - LEM festival in Barcelona was one of these though this sadly no longer exists.

Female Pressure have decided for this year to present an all female line up in Berlin to boldly highlight the quantity and quality of women working in the electronic music industry. Future festivals will however focus on aiming for a 50-50 male female ratio as increased female acts at electronic music festivals seems the most effective way forward. There are many interesting and most capable female live performers and DJs, one only has to use your favourite search engine to find this out. And more importantly audiences deserve a varied and reflective range of performances when they have invested in a ticket for an event.

Caro C is an independent electronic music producer and performer currently based in Manchester, UK. She is often asked about the under-representation of women in electronic music and audio engineering and contributes to research on this topic.

Caro C will perform at the first Perspectives Festival to be held in Berlin in September 2013.

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6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ

6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ

6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ
By Bjorgvin Benediktsson

Especially if you're doing any of these things below.

1. You Move the Wrong Knobs

This is beginner's mistake number 1 but it's worth pointing out. If you're only moving the frequency knob without moving the gain knob, you're not EQ'ing. This is a terrible mistake to make, because you're actually doing nothing at all!

If the gain knob is at zero, then moving the frequency knob will gain you nothing, no pun intended. And don't laugh, I've seen this a few times with people who just don't know the first thing about what they're trying to accomplish.

2. You Don't Filter

Filtering is the first step in EQ'ing. It's like cleaning up the clutter before you can make your room nice. All instruments have frequency ranges that get in the way of other instruments in a mix.

Don't fear the filter, it's the best way to eliminate low-end buildup and clutter from instruments that don't need it. Filter out the low-end of the guitars to make the bass guitar fit, and get rid of the high-end when your instrument doesn't need it.

3. You Make Aggressive Boosts

Sometimes you really do need to boost frequencies to make that track pop, but don't go overboard. A 20 dB boost is just asking for trouble. When you boost, you're manipulating the phase relationship of the frequencies, introducing a lot more gain as well as potential noise to your tracks.

Use subtractive EQ instead, it's a much cleaner alternative. By subtracting the frequencies you don't want, you're subjectively boosting the frequencies that you want. For instance, cutting the lower-mids can achieve the same result as boosting the higher-mids. Don't boost aggressively. Be conservative and cut instead.

4. Your Cuts are Wide

A simple goal to live by is:

Broad Boosts, Narrow Cuts

When cutting frequencies, use a narrow Q. Think of subtractive EQ like a scalpel. You're taking away frequencies you don't like, but you have to be careful to not cut the vitals of the instrument.

5. Your Boosts are Narrow

Same thing as before, but in reverse. Narrow boosts sound very unnatural. A 20 dB boost with a very narrow Q will pinpoint that frequency and it will stick out like a sore thumb. Use broad boosts for a more flattering sound.

6. You Boost the Same Frequencies in 5 Different Instruments

This is a surefire way to make all the elements of a mix clash together, resulting in a cluttered and unclear mix. Think of it like a division problem. You have a set amount of apples, and you need to divide them among a set amount of people. Similarly, you have a set amount of instruments that you need to divide among the frequency spectrum. The kick-drum, bass guitar, acoustic and vocal can't all have a 12 dB boost at 4 kHz.

Find different frequencies that flatter each instrument individually, and spread them around. Also, if you're boosting a frequency in a certain instrument, then it's usually a good idea to cut in an instrument that occupies the same frequency range. Divide the frequencies evenly among instrument and achieve better separation and clarity in your mixes.

EQ Should Be Your Best Friend

The equalizer is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. But you can also completely screw up your mix if you don't know how to use it. I hope you weren't making many of these mistakes that I mentioned above, I know I've done plenty of them.

Bjorgvin Benediktsson is an audio engineer and writer. He is an Alumni from the SAE Institute and has been working in the audio industry since 2006. He has written about audio and music for blogs and magazines since 2006 and has published books on audio recording and mixing. He writes about music production on his blog. Check out more of his writing right here on Audio Issues

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Home Studio on a Budget

Home Studio on a Budget

Home Studio on a Budget
By John Rimmer

If you are are reading this then you are either planning on building a home studio or you already have started building one. Hopefully this guide will give you an idea as to some of the dos and don'ts when it comes to buying, building and using your studio and the hardware/software within it.

It is important to understand what you want to achieve before you start. Knowing what kind of music it is that you want to record before you start gives you a better understanding of what kind of space you're going to need and also the hardware and software that you may have to buy.

If you're wanting to record drums for example you will need quite a large room or outhouse. This will ideally be soundproofed (unless you have don't have any neighbours in which case it doesn't matter so much) which could cost quite a bit of money.

If you're just recording guitar and vocals or you just want to write some electronic music then no soundproofing will be required although you can buy products to improve the acoustics of your chosen room should you feel that the acoustics are not good enough. A couple of bass traps in the corner of your room can significantly reduce the natural reverb of the room and make it easier to record things. Bass traps will also make mixing and mastering a more enjoyable experience because you will be able to hear your speakers with more clarity.

Once you have chosen what room to use for your home studio and have established what kind of music that you will be writing and recording it's time to think about what kind of software and hardware you will need to purchase.

If you are using a microphone/ keyboard or guitar you will need to buy a recording interface. This is the piece of hardware that bridges the gap between you and your instrument and the software on the computer. You can buy many different recording interfaces each with different strengths and weaknesses so it's good to understand exactly what you want before you make this purchase. For example if you are only going to be recording vocals and guitar then you won't need a recording interface with 4-8 inputs because the max you will ever be using will be 2. Another important parameter to look at when choosing a recording interface is exactly what kind of latency it has. Some recording interfaces have firewire which offers virtually zero latency. Usually the more money you spend the better latency you're going to get.

Once you have bought your recording interface it's time to think about what software you're going to use. There are many products on the market with a wide variety of prices. Most musicians either use Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Fruity loops or Ableton Live. They all offer different things and some are better for certain styles of music than others. Fruity loops and ableton are better suited to electronic based music production and Cubase and Protools are better suited to live music recording.

Thankyou for reading this article, I hope you found it helpful. If you did find it useful I would ask you to take a small amount of your time to glance at our website. You can find more tutorials and downloads there.

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What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today

What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today

What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today
By Martin Swan

Music keeps changing as time goes by. The rock music trends are borne to maintain a cultural influence depending on their era of formation. Many of the artists are becoming theatrical with many of the bands putting up a great show. Some of the groups have been around for many decades and so they stand to influence the current music trends. However, their influence on the current music depends on how well they continue providing great shows to their audiences, considering treads come and go.

The current music trends

Today, shock rock is proving to be the "big thing", making many of the rock groups to become exceedingly popular. Therefore, many of the audiences are becoming tired of gimmicks that are observed with some musicians. In fact, some of these musicians are losing the attention that is otherwise required for surviving in a competitive industry. Some of the buyers or listeners are overlooking the trends to find their own voices.

It has become easier to find the desired voice, because we live in a community that detects the right voice from the least appealing. Lyricists who offer the best in terms of song writing are also identified readily. Therefore, the future of rock music is likely to gravitate towards the humble beginning where people begin to appreciate the skill of writing good music. It will be more that presenting an image to the point of expressing one's talents and creativity. The society is asking for better, bigger and extreme talents. This offers a good way of ensuring the latest trends of rock music are being introduced.

The difference with the music

The current trends in rock music are not necessarily different from the performances in other eras, although many of the followers may choose to differ. When you consider the most recent trends of rock music, you stand to find a presentation that you enjoy. Many rock bands are sincere in their presentation while managing their theatrical. You will discover many more bands that choose to maintain their low profile; therefore, they get to be heard when they hit the top charts.

Some of the rock groups can be compared with the "Beetles" who captured the attention of the audience in the 70s. The latest rock music trends are seeking to capture the attention of the audience by offering great performances. Therefore, the recent trends stand to impact significantly the future generations.

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The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence

The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence

The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence
By Durwood L Walker

Dream Based On Old Music Industry

When I began writing songs some thirty years ago, my dream was to get just one of those songs signed to a major label or artist. That was the objective for most of us because that was the way the system operated then. Was I successful? No, that didn't happen for me.

Dream Based On New Music Industry

In today's music industry environment, where the independent artist/musician is in far more control of his or her destiny, signing with a big record label has less importance. In fact, many of us no longer even entertain that idea.

Theoretically, the internet has made the playing field much more level. Still, that is not to say it is easy to be successful. Far from it! The technology that spawned the change in approach also opened the door for many more artists to attempt to enter.

Internet Marketing Wake Up Call

When setting up my first website with a company called Site Build It (SBI), I was totally unaware of all the nuts and bolts that are part of establishing and maintaining a viable website.

Thinking a panda was a bear and a penguin was a flightless bird living largely at the Poles, I knew of Google only as a search engine. I had no idea of their role in keeping a site running smoothly and how not satisfying their requirements can make your site of little value, if any.

I was aware that a musician or songwriter should not set up a Flash based site if he or she expected it to succeed. That was a vital piece of information. Still, I was not as prepared as I thought.

Juggling Between Creating and Maintaining Site

We all do things differently. While some songwriters, or any other creative individual, might be able to sit down at any time and deliver the goods, others have to wait for just the right moment. I happen to be part of the latter group.

So, I continue to find myself struggling to come up with new music while keeping the website at peak performance. This, coupled with staying abreast of the constantly changing requirements of the web, is a balancing act.

Message To The New Aspiring Songwriter

If you are a songwriter/artist about to begin a web presence for the first time, my advice is to thoroughly research the components that go into creating and maintaining an effective music website. Do this before the fact. Learn as much as you can about how to approach this task. It will save you much time and frustration in the long haul.

Durwood L. Walker writes positive message songs with vocalist/lyricist Bunny Relerford. Together they form the music duo TopazThyme.

Visit us at:

There is likely a song that relates directly or indirectly to each Ezine article.

Our music speaks in a large part to those in or around the baby boomer generation.

However, if you're younger or older, check it out anyway. Everyone can use an uplifting word.

Find a tune to brighten up your day, or your life for that matter. Don't forget to look for free mp3 downloads

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5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording

5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording

5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording
By Robert Honablue

1. You didn't book enough studio time.

  • Artists: Today it is common to book a "lockout" of a studio where you have one or a few days in which to accomplish everything. Invariably the beginning of these sessions are relaxed, but when you realize that the mixing or editing is going to take longer than you planned it can make the end of the sessions very stressful. Make sure you consult with an experienced engineer or producer for the amount of time you need to do your project without rushing it.
  • Engineers: Make sure your artists remember to plan for mixing. Often this takes longer than the actual tracking. Also, make sure your clients plan for doing multiple takes during tracking and that they allot time to listen after each and every take. The recording equipment is never perfect and is prone to failure. Don't be caught when your pants down because you neglected to listen back to a take.

2. Lack of preparation

  • Artists: Are your arrangements finished? Are your lyrics finished? Did you change your strings and put on new drum heads? When you are in the studio you are on the clock. Wouldn't you rather finish writing lyrics for free on your own time rather than paying the studio?
  • Engineers: Are you truly familiar with your client's musical style? They are going to expect you to know what all their favorite bands sound like. Make sure that you do.

3. You mixed too soon after your tracking session.

  • Artists: Remember that tiny little mistake you obsessed over? Guess what, it probably doesn't matter. Your producer's job is to keep track of the big picture. You do have a producer don't you?
  • Engineers: At the end of the tracking session your ears are tired. Everything starts to sound good because you can't really hear it anymore. Was the session long, or late at night? The next day your ears are still not rested. Mix next week so you have a fresh perspective on the tracks.

4. You had the wrong input levels.

  • Artists and Engineers: This is really the engineer's responsibility, but we know a lot of you are out there recording yourselves. This is very simple. Recording digital? Live in the green, touch the yellow, stay out of the red. Just like traffic lights. Recording analog? Go into the red always except on high frequency track like cymbals. -10 to 0 is a good range for those. This is how you get that fat tape sound without bad distortion.

5. You tried to make your mixes "loud."

  • Artists: Remember that mixing is an intermediate step. It is not about getting the finished product. It is about balancing all the elements. Think of it like baking. Tracking is gathering the ingredients, mixing is stirring the batter, and mastering is the actual baking.
  • Engineers: Did you put a compressor or limiter on your master bus? Do you really need that? We strongly recommend leaving this type of processing to your mastering engineer. If you take all the dynamics out, they he/she will have nowhere to go with it. Make sure your artists understand the differences between mixing and mastering.

Thanks for taking the time to read and we sincerely hope this will help you achieve better results in the studio.

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Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions

Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions

Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions
By R. Acosta

His name rose to fame in the music industry with the release of his debut album in which critically acclaimed high-note song with an odd title "Grenade" and "Just the Way You Are" are a part of. Both songs reached number one in the Billboard Hot 100 including several charts worldwide. Mars holds the distinction for being the only artist having back-to-back singles to have sold 5 million copies in Billboard history for the third time in the digital era. "Grenade " is praised for its emotional lyrics of heartbreak caused by a failed relationship and its vocals. Some critics call it as "nothing short of an explosive".

Born in 1985, he started his musical career at a young age. He was influenced by his uncle, an Elvis Presley impersonator himself, to perform on stage at age three. Coming from a family of musicians, he began performing at age four with the family's band, The Love Notes, for which he became popular for impersonating Elvis Presley. Because of his facial resemblance with a legendary professional wrestler, he was nicknamed "Bruno" after Bruno Samartino by his Puerto Rican and Jewish descent father.

He is noted for his versatility having displayed in different musical styles, genres, influences, which includes hip hop, R&B, soul, reggae, rock and pop. His vocal range of styles, described as a universal donor by a critic, and his pure entertainment is equally compared to that of Michael Jackson.

Everyone gets euphoric whenever he performs on stage. His song-and-dance style, with the participation of his band members, the Hooligans, makes his audience rose from their seats. His audience participation is unprecedented. The fans shriek on top of their voice every time he started playing his song and kick off over the stage.

His musical prowess and timeless influences continue to delight his fans. His choreographed dances and his funny antics make him even more engaging and connected with his fans. He is an ultimate performer, so to speak, catering to the young and old audience.

He is always engaged with the crowds and he even flirts with his female fans. Even male fans can hardly contain their admiration for him.

Meanwhile, he is still recovering from the lost of his beloved mother during the past weeks, who had died recently of brain aneurysm, but his enthusiasm and perplexing personality have never diminished a bit. Astonishingly, the lost of his mom did not prevent him from performing and doing the things he enjoys most. Just as what the saying goes, however the lost of his mom means so much to him "the show must go on".

He has ubiquitous hit singles up his sleeve after he became a solo artist in 2009. He has hits after hits, and to date he has five number one hits to his credit. His other hits include "The Lazy Song", "Marry You", "Count on Me", Runaway Baby", "It Will Rain", "Locked Out of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man" among others.

Bruno Mars' performance on stage always leaves a smile on the face of his fans. Everyone is spellbound at anytime they chance upon him, be it on live performances, in YouTube, TV guestings, concerts, gigs. His bright personality, his funny antics, and his musical ingenuity will continue to capture the hearts of millions of his fans around the world.

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3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches

3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches

3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches
By Valeria Stephens

Releasing your own independent album ensures you have total control over the end product, gives you the responsibility of getting your music to exactly the audience you're aiming for, and puts potential profits right in your own pocket. While this is an exciting, interesting, and thrilling endeavor, there can also be pitfalls on the way to your dream. The good news is that once you're aware of these problems you can take steps to avoid them. Consider these three common warnings and learn how to avoid the most common problems.

1) Take Advantage of Live Shows and the Opportunities They Bring

While getting out a quality product is important, the reality is that if you don't reach an audience, it may all be for nothing. There's a lot of focus put on gaining an internet following, and while it's important, it's not the best way to make money from your music. Set up live shows in your area to really get fans behind you - and to get the money rolling in. Even if the venue doesn't pay you for playing at first, you can sell merchandise - including your new album. Live shows are still the most lucrative way to get your name out there.

2) Treat Your Band Like a Business

Most people who get into the music industry do so because they love music and they want to share that enthusiasm with others. While this is a noble goal, if you really want to reach a larger audience, and make a living playing music, you need to treat it like a business. This doesn't mean letting the market dictate the way you write or play your songs, and it doesn't mean you can't have fun while you're doing it. But it does mean that you need to make savvy decisions about the way your music is produced, distributed, and enjoyed.

3) Quality Recordings Are a Must

The quality of your writing and the music itself is the first step, but if it doesn't sound as good on your alum as it does live, then you're not going to find success. You can pay big bucks to have someone engineer the album for you, or you can invest in audio school. The right audio engineering schools will not only give you the chops to get your next album out, but they'll give teach you how to engineer an infinite number of albums in the future.

In fact, audio school can help you in many other ways as well. When you're able to help produce the work of others, you'll have the opportunity not just to network with other prominent bands, but to get paid to do it. Audio engineering schools are an investment that can pay off big for many years to come.

Visit Trebas for more information on launching your career with other options like film production programs.

Valeria Stephens is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading Web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile SMS Alerts, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

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