Author - Sabrina Gonzalez

If I'm happy, you should be too! I love seeing happiness going around!

Entertainment

Being a Music Producer

Do you ever wonder how the music is made? What is sound? And how can we transform analog wave to digital form?  This article is for anyone who wants to become a music producer.

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Over the past 20 years, music production has become more accessible. 20 years ago, a music producer needed expensive analog gear (mixing board, analog compressors, analog EQ’s, gate, everything) and in 80’s everything was recorded on tape. Nowadays you don’t need all of that, everything can be made in high quality on your laptop or desktop computer. Now, I’m not saying that it’s going to be exactly the same sound like mixing on analog gear; but big award-winning companies such as Wave Audio are using professional digital audio signal processing technologies and audio effects, used in recording, mixing, mastering, post-production, broadcast, and live sound. They are making something we today know as digital plug-ins. So, the job of a music producer is basically to oversee, manage and guide the process of producing and recording a song. If you are a problem-solving person with many ideas and good ear and music knowledge, you are probably producing quality music from your bedroom, which is a common thing today (I’m not saying you are producing literally from your bedroom, but you don’t have expensive hardware and massive studio). Many great albums are produced in bedroom studios and artists are aiming for that. And this is why:

1) It’s way cheaper than professional recording studios

2) They still have high-quality sound of the song

3) They still have fresh new ideas from you

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And these three things are your arsenal in this business. It’s always good to update your sound by buying new sets of plug-ins or software. If you are new to this, you can start by buying software like Steinberg Cubase, if you are more into alternative music like Rock, Pop, Metal, Punk, etc. and then upgrade to Pro Tools or Logic Pro (if you are using Mac PC’s). Steinberg Cubase is cheaper than Pro Tools, maybe using experience is a bit lower-level, but it cuts it. It’s great if you are a beginner, you get the whole Steinberg pack of Plug-ins and you can find it for free online (but than you may be experiencing some of the software bugs. It’s always better to buy this kind of software). If you are more into electronic music like Drum ‘n Bass, Techno, Liquid, Dubstep, etc. you can start with FL Studio (Fruity Loops Studio) and then upgrade to Ableton Live. FL Studio is more classic, but you get everything you need, and with Ableton Live you get more options and it’s great for live shows. Okay, here are few Plug-ins to get you started in producing alternative music:

1) CLA plug-ins by Waves is legendary Chris Lord-Alge Signature Series of plug-ins. Here you get the whole pack (CLA Bass, CLA Drums, CLA Effects, CLA Guitars, CLA Unplugged and CLA Vocals) for only $129 (it’s on the sale at the moment), regular price is $399. It’s bit expensive, but it’s the first plug-in I would buy.

2) Easy Drummer 2 is basically the easiest beat making drum machine today and you can get it for free. It’s something you need to have.

3) FabFilter Pro is the series of signal processing plug-ins which includes (EQ, Compressor, Multiband Compressor/Expander, De-esser, Limiter and Noise Gate). Very handy, easy to use and you can find it for free.

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Here are some free plug-ins you can add to you arsenal:

https://music.tutsplus.com/articles/over-90-free-vst-effects-plugins–audio-3834

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/free-vst-plugins/

http://www.waves.com/downloads/free

Also, pay attention to speakers you use, a cheap set of speakers are not going to cut it. You’ll need a set of studio monitor speakers and this is the golden rule – if you want a good mix, you will need a good set of speakers.

I hope you’ll find your way in this business of the music production.

Do you ever wonder how the music is made? What is sound? And how can we transform analog wave to digital form?  This article is for anyone who wants to become a music producer.

Over the past 20 years, music production has become more accessible. 20 years...

Entertainment

Have You Heard of Krumping Yet?

You are either already familiar with krump and have watched at least a few videos of people krumping, or you have never heard of this type of dance and came here to solve the mystery of what it really is. Yes, as already mentioned, it’s a type of dance – street dance, to be more precise. But hold on, before we continue to introducing you to krump, a brief reminder about the elements of hip-hop is surely necessary. Hip hop has 4 main elements – DJing, MCing, b-boying and graffiti. We all know what DJing and graffiti are, so there’s no need to explain those further. You may or may not have heard about the term MCing, but even if you haven’t, you actually do know what it is, only “rapping“ and “rhyming“ are much more popular terms today. When it comes to b-boying, it mainly refers to the type of street dance often called breaking or breakdance, but it can refer to any type of movement and dance which came from the hip-hop culture, including popping, locking, waving, turfing, boogaloo and many others, while among them – krump.

Clowning vs. Krumping

Clowning is, in a way, a forerunner of krump. In the early 1990s, Thomas Johnson, better known as Tommy the Clown used to dance at children’s birthday parties and other entertaining events with his crew. They would paint their faces and dress like clowns since their main role on the events was to entertain the crowd with their dancing. Although it’s the beginning of krumping and very similar to it, clowning includes less aggressive and movements which are not that exaggerated in comparison to krump. Understandably, the competition between the dancers was not that noticeable as it is among the krumpers, since there were not many battles between the dancers, as they were usually working together to amuse others.

It is impossible to talk about krumping without mentioning Tight Eyez (Ceasare Willis) and Big Mijo (Jo’Artis Ratti), who are today considered to be the creators of krump. Both of them developed this style of street dance and brought it such energy, expression, strength and creativity that it still seems impossible to compete with them. If you haven’t heard of them, make sure to watch some of the videos of their sick kill-offs (the term will be explained in the next paragraph). Watching them dance feels like sound has transformed into human body – they are perfectly describing all the sounds present in the music through their movement.

Krump vocabulary

  • Battle – The competition in which two or more dances are freestyling against one another. The winner is chosen by the audience (hypers) or the judges.
  • Biter – A biter is someone who watches other dancers so they could copy their moves.
  • Chypher – A chypher is a non-competitive kind of freestyling. A crew (or crews) usually stands in a circle formation, while one person is dancing in the middle, and others are hyping.
  • Hyping – The hypers are all the present people who surround the one dancing, supporting them, reacting to their movements and, well, literally hyping them to keep coming up with even better moves.
  • Kill-off – In a battle, a dance is killed-off when the other dancer’s moves were so amazing that the hypers got thrilled to the point where they surround the dancer and the battle is over.

If you got interested in krump and want to find out more about its origins, make sure to watch the documentary movie Rize released in 2005 and directed by David LaCapelle, starring Tommy the Clown, Tight Eyez, Lil’ C, Miss Prissy and many other great krumpers. On the beginning of the movie, it’s noted that the footage has not been sped up in any way, which is a good indicator of how fast and energetic krump is. No spoilers, you are going to have to watch the movie!

You are either already familiar with krump and have watched at least a few videos of people krumping, or you have never heard of this type of dance and came here to solve the mystery of what it really is. Yes, as already mentioned, it’s a type of dance –...

Entertainment

Most Interesting Facts About Game of Thrones

A mixture of sex, blood and dragons – Game of Thrones fans will wait until this summer for the return of this unique show. Until then, we present you 20 facts about this real worldwide phenomenon. Valar morghulis.

There is an unaired pilot

Show’s creator David Benioff told to Variety there was a first pilot which was archived and reshot. This version was directed by Tom McCarthy, writer and director of Spotlight, and, according to Benioff “everything was wrong”. He pointed out that the biggest problem was the fact that no one of his and Weiss’ friends realized that Cersei and Jaime were sister and brother- this is an important plot in the story, and this was not even noted!

Other actors played parts of Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark

In the previously mentioned pilot episode, Tamzin Merchant played Daenerys Targaryen and Jennifer Ehle portrayed Catelyn Stark. These actors were later replaced with Emilia Clarke and Michelle Fairley, respectively. The author of the books on which the show is based, George R.R. Martin had a cameo in the first pilot- a guest at the wedding of Daenerys and Khal Drogo.

Peter Dinklage was fooled that the show had been canceled

Benioff called Peter Dinklage after acceptance of pilot and told him that otherwise. Six hours later, he told him that the pilot was picked up.

Characters which are dead on the show are alive in the books

There are several characters which are dead on the show, but alive in Martin’s books. Let us mention some of them: Mance Rayder, Shireen and Stannis Baratheon, Myrcella Baratheon, Barristan Selmy, Night’s Watchmen Pyp and Grenn…

Game of thrones characters are inspiration for children names

Social Security Administration of the United States told that “Khaleesi” climbed from 1021th most popular baby girl name in 2013 to 755th place in 2014. Tyrion, Sansa, Brienne, Khaleesi, Arya, Bran, Sandor and Theon became more popular in England after the show rise.

Four different characters were portrayed by one actor

Ian Whyte, British actor and stunt performer, had as much as four roles in this series. He played a White Walker in seasons one and two; he was one of three total actors to play the role of Gregor Clegane in season two; in the following season, he was the unnamed giant; and finally, he portrayed Wun Wun, the Wilding giant, in season five.

Four years in a row- this is the most illegally downloaded show

Game of Thrones holds the throne of the most pirated show for 2012-2015. The second most pirated show, The Walking Dead, did not reach the half of the illegal downloads in the year 2015, according to TorrentFreak.

Jon Snow was almost played by Ramsey Snow

The character of Ramsey Snow, sadistic bastard son of Roose Bolton was played by Iwan Rheon. Interestingly, Rheon was the second choice for the part of Jon Snow- eventually, Kit Harington played this role.

You can speak Dothraki

Linguist David J. Peterson worked with HBO creating a Dothraki language for the show. Living Language released a conversational course of Dothraki in 2014, allowing you to speak like Khal Drogo himself.

Sansa’s direwolf was adopted by actress in real life

The Northern Inuit dog named Zunni plays Lady, direwolf of Sansa Stark in the first season of the show. Actress Sophie Turner, playing the role of Sansa, explained to Coventry Telegraph that she always wanted a dog while growing up, although her parents never allowed her pets. She added that she fell in love with Lady, and after the death of the character, Sophie and her mom convinced everyone that they should adopt the dog.

A mixture of sex, blood and dragons – Game of Thrones fans will wait until this summer for the return of this unique show. Until then, we present you 20 facts about this real worldwide phenomenon. Valar morghulis.
There is an unaired pilot
Show’s...

Humans Are Awesome

“Public Artist” Peter Ferrari

In the last couple of years, there has been a significant increase in popularity when it comes to urban arts, with the graffiti artists on the top of the list. Graffiti art is mostly related to vandalism, for some, it’s just art, and some people see these individual artists as “visionaries” instead.

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Street art is a temporary or ephemeral form of art, putting emphasis on social activities around the world, politics in general, as well as drawings unrelated to such themes. It has developed the culture of its own and is separated in two different sorts. First are sanctioned professional artists, the ones who create social-challenging drawings for which museums and other forms of patrons are spending money to buy, finance or support these arts and the second are the graffiti artists which drawings are based on viral forms of arts, pointing on urban settings from all around the world, challenging works that deface private and public property, where these artists are judged as burdensome.

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Anyway, inspired by this culture, Peter Ferrari, an artist from Atlanta mentioned that he went through something he called “Banksy phase” (Banksy is anonymous, famous British graffiti artist, known for his subversive street exhibits, from all over the world) when he was 15 years old. He spent his childhood riding BMX through abandoned areas and buildings, where he first observed this type of art when his mom gifted him a set of acrylic paint, canvases and brushes. When I first noticed Peter’s drawings, I saw there a lot of curvy lines, murals looking like trains with a bunch of details. His recent work evolved into more figurative drawings including skulls, hands and even dinosaurs. He draws hands because it’s the way we interact with people, tools, and the world itself. They are usually tied, symbolizing imposed handicaps on us, subconscious. Skulls usually represent former injuries and harm. Even though they might be scary, they are harmless, dead, and not really dangerous.

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This 31-year old hesitated to present self as a graffiti or a street artist, whose murals were found all over Atlanta were commissioned by private companies and individuals as well find himself a public artist. Since he is using the spray paint, people still see him as a street artist, but anyway, where is the difference?

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A few years from now, asked to contribute with his skills and talent to the Living Wall Project, Peter helped in a way of pushing the idea of where and what kind of art can be used. An annual organized event, with a few dozen of artists getting together and collaborating on a one-day project, including observer spectators.
Even so, his career was built more stories than some of his colleagues, directly connected to events and spots like Forward Warrior, ABV Gallery, and more, Ferrari was just at the start of his career, based on visual arts.

In the interview with Common Creative ATL Peter said that he will cooperate with few musicians, for album art, and music videos as well, doing more drawings and developing new styles.

In the last couple of years, there has been a significant increase in popularity when it comes to urban arts, with the graffiti artists on the top of the list. Graffiti art is mostly related to vandalism, for some, it’s just art, and some people see these...

Celebs

Mary Tyler Moore’s Life Ended at the Age of 80

Mary Tyler Moore died on January 25th at the age of 80. Her representative Mara Buxbaum confirmed her death after short hospitalization in Connecticut to The Huffington Post. Buxbaum stated that she passed away in company of Dr. S. Robert Levine, her loving husband of over 33 years, and her friends. This TV icon was well known as actress, producer and also representative of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her rep also added: “Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile”.

Moore was born in 1936, in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Los Angeles. She became internationally famous with 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” In 1970s, she was a central star of sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. This show was unique as it was the first show to present Mary Richards, a 30-year-old non-married woman and TV news producer as a central character.

Moore’s character asked equal pay for her and her male co-workers, and also decided to use a pill. Show’s character inspired women to be seen as more that wives and homemakers and was a pioneer in the women’s liberation movement. Oprah Winfrey stated in a recent documentary about the actress that she influenced her career more than other people. Mary Tyler Moore said in 2002 CNN interview that her character was not aggressive, but definitely was a feminist. She also stated that situations were demanding such behavior.

Mary herself was also a fascinating person. Self-titled show was started in 1970 and she and Grant Tinker, her former husband, co-founded MTM Enterprises, a production company. The show will be later pitched to CBS. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won 29 Emmy awards during seven seasons, and held this record until 2002, when it was surpassed by show “Frasier”. Alan Rafkin, her friend and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” director stated in his autobiography that Mary was a true businesswoman primarily. He also added that although she was always in charge, people were not obliged to act in her manner; yet, no one ever forgot that she was the boss.

When the show ended, Moore continued to act in movies. Her appearance in 1980’s movie “Ordinary People” as a grieving mother brought her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Mary also appeared in “hot in Cleveland” with her former co-stars from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, actresses Betty White and Valerie Harper.

She was also an animal rights advocate. Moore founded Broadway Barks 15, an annual event in New York for the adoption of cats and dogs and fought for laws forbidding suffering of farm animals. In 1997 interview she stated that she would like to be somebody who made difference in lives of animals.

At the age of 33, actress was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As a result of her disease, she was near blindness in recent years. She was also Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s international chairman and an advocate for research of the cure for diabetes. In 2009, she published a memoir entitled Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes.

Mary Tyler Moore died on January 25th at the age of 80. Her representative Mara Buxbaum confirmed her death after short hospitalization in Connecticut to The Huffington Post. Buxbaum stated that she passed away in company of Dr. S. Robert Levine, her loving...