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Covid-19's Impact on Music Licensing

Covid-19 has affected music licensing, like just about everything else this year. While it's not all doom and gloom, I have definitely experience a noticeable slow down in my music licensing earnings. Watch the video to see how bad it's gotten. 

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Learn How to Use the Reason Rack Plugin

How cool is it that the Reason Rack plugin allows you to run Reason 11's instruments and effects inside of any DAW, from Ableton to Logic. But if you're new to Reason, you may be overwhelmed by all of the cables, synths, and options it provides.

I've got you covered! I've used Reason for nearly twenty years, and this blog post will show you exactly how to use the Reason Rack Plugin as both an instrument and an effect. I've also included a few videos showing exactly how to use the Reason plugin, for those of you that are visual learners.

And to help speed you along, I've also put together this free Reason cheatsheet that will teach you all of Reason's instruments, effects, and other devices at a glance. Download it here.

Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them. 

What is the Reason Rack Plugin

In a nutshell, the Reason Rack Plugin is Reason stripped of its DAW features. So all of the synths,...

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Universal Audio Apollo Solo Review - The Best Audio Interface for Home Studios?

Universal Audio recently released a long-awaited new audio interface - the Apollo Solo. This review of the UAD Apollo Solo is going to cover everything from features to sound demos of the plugins. But if you don’t have time to read the full UAD Apollo Solo review, my conclusion is this: I’ve been using mine for the past month and have fallen in love with it, but it has some glaring weaknesses that might not work for everyone.

Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them. 

UAD Apollo Features - Good Things Come in Small Packages

The UAD Apollo Solo is about quality over quantity. It features a simple, but effective interface dominated by one knob that can control many of the features. It comes in a compact and rugged little metal chassis that I would feel comfortable traveling with and bringing to gigs. It is powered by its Thunderbolt 3 port.

On the front you’ll also find a digital...

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What is the Best Bass Synth for EDM & Hip Hop Producers?

If you're in the market for some serious low end bass grooves, you've probably been looking for the best bass synth. But picking the best bass synth is a tough question to answer because the market is ever-changing and the answer is very subjective.

Maybe you prefer the brutal lows of an 808, or maybe you prefer a squelching acid bass beast. It's unlikely that there will be a one size fits all synth for each.

And if you're looking for a more traditional bass sound, like an upright bass or a slap bass, these are the best bass VSTs.

However, there are quite a few options on the market today that stand out among the rest.

How to Pick Out The Right Bass Synth

Let’s take a step back and define bass synth. A bass synth is a tool used by musicians and engineers which takes bass signals and gives you the ability to mold them into different sounding waveforms. This is often done by filtering or distorting the bass waveform to make it sound ‘synthy’. Or, an octave...

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No New Stock Music in 2020?

Let me explain why I've barely uploaded any new stock music in 2020. Mostly it's because of COVID, moving, and other music projects. They have taken up a lot of bandwidth.

But also, as a result of the thrust of this year, my heart just hasn't been in it.

Despite barely doing any new work, I've still earned around $800 this year based on tracks that I previously recorded and licensed!

So the moral of the story is twofold. First making music - even stock music - is supposed to be joyful. If it's not helping you out, it's totally ok to step back from it for a time. Second, if you start a music licensing side hustle (while you're feeling good), it can continue to deliver passives income for those times when you can't work on it.

To sign up for a free course to learn how to get started licensing your music, click here.

Of course, I'm not done with stock music by any means! I plan on uploading a bunch of new stuff in the next couple of months and continuing with it! 

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Reason Studios Friktion Review - Incredible String Modeling at a Fair Price

Friktion, the new String modeling synth from Reason Studios just blew me away. The rich string sounds are expressive yet modern, and the variety of tones you can get from Friktion is inspiring! I was able to quickly start creating my own patches, and got carried away making a dope hip hop beat with Friktion.

Mix better in Reason 11 with the Reason Mixing Template!

Friktion's Shortcomings

That said, Friktion isn't for everyone - it definitely doesn't compete with a sampled string library (click here to hear a shoot out between Friktion and Spitfire Studio Strings) for creating classic music where all the focus is on the strings.

The biggest downside is the built in reverb, which I found vague and dull. I'd recommend going with a third party reverb on an effects send, like Valhalla Room, to really bring your music to life!

Why I Loved Friktion

Still, for $99, I was very impressed with what I could accomplish, and the lovely sounds created, with Friktion. It is the type of...

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Reason Studios Friktion vs. Spitfire Studio Strings

Reason Studios' recently released Friktion, a high-powered physical modeling synth designed to recreate strings with realistic, expressive sounds and infinitely tweakable character. But how does Friktion Stand up to a goliath of the string world - Spitfire Audio's Studio Strings?

Before we hear them side by side, be sure to download your free Reason 11 Cheat Sheet so you can quickly reach for the right synth at the right time.

I am surprisingly impressed by Friktion - it sounds fairly natural, and offers a lot of customizability. That said, I don't think it compares to Studio Strings. THAT SAID, Friktion costs less than half as much as Studio Strings, and comes with the ability to create unique, never-before-heard sounds.

It really depends on the style of music you like to make. For me, who dabbles in new classical, trailer music, and singer songwriter stuff, the more realistic tone that Spitfire offers makes it the right choice. But I could see Friktion working...

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Best Bass VSTs: 7 Must Have Electric Bases, Upright Basses & Free Plugins

As someone who's played bass for nearly 30 years, I take my bass lines seriously. But if you can't find a real bass player to hold things down, you'd be amazed at the incredible results you can get from the best bass VST plugins. 

From punchy lows to growly mids to funky slap and pops to smooth upright action, bass VSTs can play a convincing role in any style of track you put together. The bass plugins recommended below are for all budgets and styles.

Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.

Best Bass VST Overall

It’s hard to define the ‘best’ bass VST out there since each artist has their own unique tastes and requirements. I'm a Fender guy, but other (fools) might swear by a Rickenbacker or an Ibanez.

Thankfully, with the power of plugins, the best VSTs allow you to tap into a world of sound.

So if there was one plugin on the market that has it all, I'd say its the...

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The 5 Drum Programming Tricks Every Producer Needs to Know

These 5 steps for how to program better drums will have revolutionize your drum programming. I mean, what's the point of rigid, lifeless drums? Life is too short for that!

You’ll learn how to have harder, louder drums loaded with tons of groove, without needing to buy a single plugin!


Here are the top 5 drum programming tips.

  1. The first step to better drum programming is layering samples.
  2. Add some swing
  3. Slide some patterns forward or back
  4. Add velocity to enhance the groove
  5. Tweak plugin so that velocity effects pitch by 10%

If you follow these steps the next time you write a drum beat, you'll be certain to get better results!

Download your free Reason cheat sheet here.

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5 Most Common Music Licensing Mistakes

These are the 5 Music Licensing Mistakes I see my students making the most.

If you start creating stock music aware of these mistakes, you'll be sure to get more placements, sooner. Working on these elements is the key to licensing your music, so be sure to focus on them!

What do you struggle with with music licensing? Leave a comment below!

And if you're looking to start licensing your music, check out this free five day music licensing crash course!

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How To Make Money as Musician by Pursuing Your Passion

This 5-day mini course will show you exactly how to launch a music licensing side hustle so that you can finally get paid for your music!