Mac For Musicians http://blog.macformusicians.com Record your music, Promote your art, Book yourself and Manage your business with your mac Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:41:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Sarah Scarlata – Drummer, Producer, Music Director http://blog.macformusicians.com/2013/02/19/sarah-scarlata-drummer-producer-music-director/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2013/02/19/sarah-scarlata-drummer-producer-music-director/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:37:46 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=8261 Living in LA and originally from Westborough Massachusetts, Sarah started playing piano at the age of 6, Guitar at 8, ]]> Sarah Scarlata Drummer Producer Music DirectorLiving in LA and originally from Westborough Massachusetts, Sarah started playing piano at the age of 6, Guitar at 8, Drums at 10, and has been a working musician ever since. Drums led her to study at Berklee College of Music, and very quickly to LA where she performed and recorded with the band “Glider,” later known as “Rain Fur Rent,” bringing the opportunity to work with industry professionals such as Owen Husney (Prince).  Always taking on more work with countless other projects and broadening her musicianship into other areas, she collaborated with Blind Mellon Vocalist Travis Warren to form the duo “The Lookout Kids.”

This amount of merit and recognition is the type that so many musicians strive for, however there is another facet to this that is also very impressive. It is the leveraging of all this live performance and recording experience that has led to opportunities in Composing and Producing music for Television & Film (Production Music).

For so many musicians and music industry professionals who entered the workforce in the late 90′s and early 2000′s there was a seismic shift that had begun to dissolve the walls that once tightly segmented the entire industry. Before, managers were managers, producers were producers, musicians were musicians, and that was it. Any overlap between the business end and creative end was very rare, even taboo in some cases. As the recording industry took a nose dive, the barriers between roles went with it. Couple this with the cost of technology also taking a nose dive and you have a situation where more artists had more opportunities to create and deliver their art to whomever, whenever. One area of the industry that this holds true in particular, is within this area of Film and Television.

Currently working as the East Coast Music Director at 5 Alarm Music, Sarah has also had compositions placed in all sorts of productions, from a national commercial for The General Car Insurance, to TV series such as 30 Rock, Chicago Fire, HBO’s Hung, to movies like Tower Heist. We spoke with her and she had some wonderful insight into how artists and musicians are working today, within the world of Production Music.

How does your live performance experience help your work within Production Music?

“Production schedules for TV are really tight. By the time a request comes in, they needed it yesterday. For custom music, the most common turn-around time is anywhere between 3 hours and up to 2 days for a song. We just had a guy bust out 4 original big band compositions from start to finish in 3 days; 4 songs with large orchestration, which requires hiring a lot of session musicians and detailed composition. I think that producers with a lot of live experience know the right people to hire who work fast and you also know the right lingo to get the job done. The biggest job of the producer is to communicate exactly what is needed so there’s no ambiguity. If you’ve been in bands, you know how to deliver musical direction in an effective way. For example, I was working with a horn section and the players were great, but there were a few things that could be improved. A producer who has a performance background can isolate the horn and give the right direction. I had access to the score, so I was able to talk to the right player and clarify the part. Sometimes producers will just say, “It’s not right” and not know how to improve the overall sound. Speaking as someone who has been on the other side of the glass, that is the most frustrating instruction a player can ever get! When direction is vague, you end up wasting a lot of studio time and wearing out the musicians.”

We are advocates for disruptive technology within music because we believe it creates more opportunity for musicians and artists who are willing to learn it. Where do you see this hold true in your current work?

“As far as technology goes, the advancements in the past 10 years have really opened the doors for quicker turn-around and more elaborate compositions at an affordable rate. Back in the day, you had to secure a sound stage and hire a 60 piece orchestra to get a full-film score happening. Now with a high quality of samples and scoring software, you can compose a piece that sounds like a 60 piece orchestra with only hiring a few string players to layer the parts on top. In a perfect world, every budget would allow for a live 60 piece orchestra but music budgets are a lot different now. DAW’s such as Protools are great too because you can hire someone across the world and get what you need by getting sessions via dropbox or another big file website. The world is a much smaller place thanks to technology.”

Any final words for musicians looking to do more composing and producing?

“Always remember what got you interested in music in the first place – how it made you feel, the songs that you played on repeat until you knew every note and ultimately what it means to you. Play from the heart because if you work hard enough and with any luck, your song might be the one on infinite repeat that touches someone else.”

 

 

Check out Sarah’s current project with Travis Warren, “The Look Out Kids.

“Comprised of baritone guitar, drums and harmonized vocals, Travis Warren and Sarah manage to create a big sound magnified by raw emotions and an honest approach to creating edgy rock n’ roll.”

The Lookout Kids on Soundcloud

The Lookout Kids on ReverbNation

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WordPress 3.5 http://blog.macformusicians.com/2013/01/02/wordpress-3-5/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2013/01/02/wordpress-3-5/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 19:28:33 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7772

WordPress 3.5 aka “Elvin”  has Arrived!  Many of the new features are centered around handling media which makes WordPress and even better ]]> WP-BG

WordPress 3.5 aka “Elvin”  has Arrived!  Many of the new features are centered around handling media which makes WordPress and even better choice for musicians.  Our complete WordPress Fundamentals video course has also been updated and covers WordPress 3.5!  You can gain access to it and much more with our “All Access Pass.”

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Ableton Master Class http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/05/ableton-vide/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/05/ableton-vide/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 18:23:33 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7406

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Multi-tracking Tip: Be considerate of Dynamics http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/be-considerate-of-dynamics/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/be-considerate-of-dynamics/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:29:06 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7337 Energy and compositional dynamics in multi track recordings can sometimes be difficult to capture, especially when one track is being laid down ]]> Energy and compositional dynamics in multi track recordings can sometimes be difficult to capture, especially when one track is being laid down at a time. If there is no lead to follow for compositional dynamics (Pianissimo to Fortissimo), then everything risks coming out rather flat. When this begins to happen in a project, some may think that it’s a matter of adjusting levels and possibly automating up and down throughout a song. This only works to a point because our ears take different cues beyond decibels to determine perceived loudness. The timbre of most instruments change when played at different volumes and our ears sense the changes as louder or softer, even when the output levels are squashed to the same level. Think about it: consider the difference between hearing a compressed whisper and a scream; we think the scream is much louder even when it is technically the same level. So, always be aware of dynamics when you record your music.

Would you like to learn even more about recording your music?  Click here.

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Export Volume Low in iTunes? http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/low-tunes-volume/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/low-tunes-volume/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:10:17 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7326 Is the volume of an exported GarageBand project too low in iTunes?

Try this…

  • Double check that you have an overall, adequate output level from GarageBand itself, from the main out on the lower right.  Output to your headphones could be different (being monitors) than the actual exporting of the file, and might be giving you a false sense of loudness.
  • Second, check and uncheck Normalize in your GarageBand preferences and compare exports between the 2. When checked, it can sometimes reduce the volume of the whole master track in relation to a random, undetectable volume peak.
  • Also (this one was caught by  musician, Eric Flowers), see if you have “Sound Check” selected in iTunes. Uncheck and see how it sounds.
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When Creativity Meets Technology http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/when-creativity-meets-technology/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/12/04/when-creativity-meets-technology/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 13:59:53 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7321

Things to remember when Combining Technology with Creativity

  • The best Technology is the one in front of you.
  • “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” -Bill Gates
  • Technology should assist in Inspiration and Production, not replace the Human processes that create great art.
  • “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” -Thomas Edison
  • Never forget the power of pencil and paper.
  • “This machine has no brain; use your own.” – Safety Sign
  • The problem with technology is 2 fold: It will only do what you tell it to do; it will do exactly what you tell it to do.
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Production Workflow Case Studies are Available! http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/11/19/production-workflow-case-studies-are-available/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/11/19/production-workflow-case-studies-are-available/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 15:31:28 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=7015 As a part of our every growing library of videos, we have started creating and releasing production workflow case studies ]]> As a part of our every growing library of videos, we have started creating and releasing production workflow case studies that teach you the end to end workflow of different creative and technical scenarios.  It is important for us as musicians to bridge that gap that exists between the creative and technical sides, of our skill sets.  Ideas are one thing; transforming into something that can be delivered is another.  We have released 2 video case studies (5 hours) on Production and Incidental music.  Today, there is a growing market filled with opportunity for musicians who are able to not only compose, but record, produce and deliver music directly to clients who need music for all sorts of scenarios.  In these case studies, we will look at the end to end workflow from the initial request all the way to the final delivery of mastered audio.  There is a lot to learn about this market, and a lot of methods that can be applied to other types of projects.  These videos along with many more, are available through our All Access Pass!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hurricane Sandy Relief – Please Help http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/11/05/hurricane-sandy-relief-please-help/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/11/05/hurricane-sandy-relief-please-help/#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 18:15:14 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=6816 Over the last week you have seen the destruction left by hurricane Sandy in our city, and many others.   ]]> Over the last week you have seen the destruction left by hurricane Sandy in our city, and many others.   Thank you for your emails and checking in on us.  Luckily our neighborhood in Queens made out fairly well and we are fine.  Others in New york City,  however are in a desperate situation; Tottenville and Midland Beach in Staten Island, Red Hook and Coney Island in Brooklyn, The Rockaways in Queens, just to name a few.  On a personal note, I was able to make it to the Rockaways, bring some supplies, and volunteer over the last couple of days.  For those of you not familiar with New York City, this is the peninsula where Breezy Point is located, where over 100 homes burned to the ground.

Situation in the Rockaways

Up the whole 11 mile peninsula and Broad Channel island to the north, many neighborhoods that are home to well over 100,000 people were completely flooded out and now have no electricity, heat, water, means of communication, or access to adequate transportation.  Many homes were severely damaged or were completely destroyed.  It is the type of devastation that can only be understood with your own eyes.  At this time, smaller and grassroots organizations (even Ad-hoc groups) are the most effective in bringing able-bodies and aid directly to people who need it most: Extra hands to to distribute food and supplies or shovel sand out of basements, legs to walk up 12 flights of stairs, to deliver food, warm clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies, flashlights, batteries, etc.  Cars (even with the gas shortage) to deliver much needed aid to different parts of the peninsula.

I ask you to please help these groups who are currently mobilizing resources throughout New York and New Jersey in any way you can.  If you can’t donate money and live in the tri-state area, show up to one of these groups many locations and you will be put to work immediately.  If you can, pick up whatever you can fit into a backpack (batteries, hand sanitizer, flashlights, non perishable food, etc.) along the way.  If you do not live in the tri-state, contact these groups and they will tell you exactly what they need.  If you can’t give money or supplies, send them an email telling them thank you; it will keep them moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All Access Pass Now Available! http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/10/23/all-access-pass/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/10/23/all-access-pass/#comments Tue, 23 Oct 2012 14:50:51 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=6670 All of our Advanced Tutorials, Music Marketing, Social Media Strategy, and SEO videos & courses have been combined ]]> All of our Advanced Tutorials, Music Marketing, Social Media Strategy, and SEO videos & courses have been combined into 1 place!  Many of you who first discovered who we are and what we do, did so as a result of seeking information on recording and now want to know more about leveraging technology to market and promote your music.  The same goes for those of you who came to us seeking information on music marketing and promotion; you now want to learn more about recording!  So, we figured the best thing to do was to just combine everything into one easy to purchase All Access Pass!

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Video turns Green http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/10/20/video-turns-green/ http://blog.macformusicians.com/2012/10/20/video-turns-green/#comments Sat, 20 Oct 2012 12:54:16 +0000 http://blog.macformusicians.com/?p=6636 All off our videos are watched in their entirety before they are uploaded to insure their are no issues, however ]]> All off our videos are watched in their entirety before they are uploaded to insure their are no issues, however that does not mean that there cannot be issues from time to time.  One issue that can occur is that the video may turn green a few seconds into playback.  The most common reason for a “green screen” is a conflict between a viewer’s video driver and video card and their Flash flash plugin.  Here are some steps to troubleshoot.

 

Restart you Computer

This will reload you video drivers and Flash incase there is an issue.

Update your video Drivers

1. Make sure you video drivers are up to date. Check for your video card by selecting About This Mac

2. Click More Info

3.  Select Graphics and Displays

 

Update Flash

Make sure you Flash Player is up to date.  Click here for the latest versions.

Disable Hardware Acceleration in Flash

1. Right Click on the player screen to bring up the Flash menu and select “Settings….”

2. Un-Check “Enable Hardware Acceleration”

 

Back to the FAQ

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