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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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Best Guitar Amp VSTs & Amp Simulator Plugins

Looking to have your guitar gently weep like a pro from the comfort of your home studio? Then it's time to embrace the full range of modern technology available.  This article is a review of the best guitar amp VSTs & amp simulator plugins, so you can quickly get up and recording, no matter your budget!

There's no denying that a guitar amp VST is a handy tool for any musician or sound engineer. The technology is efficient, cost-effective and most importantly, sounds amazing. You may not have the means or desire to buy a full vintage Marshall tube amp stack, but you can buy a clever piece of technology that gives you that signature tone for a fraction of the cost without the headaches of storing and lugging heavy equipment. And your neighbors will thank you!

In this article, we will explore the best guitar amp VST on the market today.

Best Value All-in-One Guitar Amp VST Packs

These guitar amp simulator packs offer home studio guitarists a great deal. They include...

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Best Budget Audio Interfaces

How do you record audio into your computer? How do you listen back? If you're a musician looking to record guitar, vocals, or even start producing music in your computer, an audio interface needs to be one of your first purchases. Thankfully, a good audio interface doesn't need to break the bank!

The Audio Interface is a key feature in any professional or home recording studio. In fact, for many artists and sound engineers, the audio interface is singlehandedly the most important piece of hardware for recording because it provides the direct instrument inputs to a PC which will be used for editing and master recordings.

There are many factors that shape a great audio interface unit. And they come in all shapes and sizes. The purpose of this article is to untangle the complexities of this piece of equipment and give you a clearer picture of the best audio interfaces on the market right now so you can buy the perfect audio interface for you.

Note: This article may contain affiliate...

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Best DAW for Beginners Under $100

These days, everyone from novices to Billie Eilish writes and records music inside a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. There are a ton of DAW choices out there, but they aren't created equal. And most of them aren't very beginner-friendly!

In this article, I'll show you why Reason 11 Intro is the best DAW for beginners under $100. I'll then show you how to turbo charge your new DAW with a bunch of hand-selected free plugins and free loops. 

By the time you're done with this article, you'll be on the road to a pro-grade studio, on a budget. And one that's actually accessible to beginners!

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I would receive a commission - at no cost to you - for any products you purchase.

What Makes a DAW Good for Beginners?

A beginner DAW isn't necessarily the same as the best DAW for the pros. First, beginners and pros and have different needs. Second, they have different levels of experience.

You wouldn't want to let a...

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The Best Mastering Plugins the "Pros" Are Using For Incredible Sounding Songs

Do you feel like your songs are lacking that special something you hear in professional recordings? Are you struggling to make your songs loud and punchy? Or do you feel like they're just missing a little extra polish? Then you need to up your mastering game.

Mastering is a key element to any successful recording. Its purpose is to capture the essence of your music. You can create the best song in the world but if it isn’t mastered correctly, it will come out wimpy and underwhelming.

Mastering is the element that separates a track that sounds like it was recorded using an iPhone in a garage from a track that sounds like it was recorded in Abbey Road Studios. In this article, we will explore the best mastering plugins for your tracks so you can capture the full essence and energy of your music.

But before we do, if you want to learn more about mastering, check out this free mastering cheat sheet that will walk you through the most important steps in the mastering...

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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!