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Mentor: Ian Barnett

Mengyuan Xu is an electronic music artist from China who really leans into the musical aesthetic of traditional Chinese musical instrumentation. His heavy use of zithers and flutes gives his music a unique feel. I think it’s a really wonderful mix of old and new sounds to create something catchy and unique. A recent song of his, “Flame,” is more firmly rooted in the contemporary EDM pop sound, however it still has that Chinese opera influenced flavor that is undeniable.

“Without Me”: To start, we have an arpeggiated riff making some jazzy tetrads: E♭m to G♭add9 and D♭ to A♭m7, and then watch out at the end of the bridge when they sneak in a C♭m. The first two choruses extend from eight to twelve bars by repeating their second halves, which I think creates a kind of pang of abandonment at the end of the song when the repetition doesn’t come back. Another thing about these choruses is how their stanzas all begin and end in the middle of the bars. Most lyrics begin and end near the bar line, so when we hear lyrics phrased all off-center like this, we can’t tell whether we’re being rushed or being left behind. Do I smell a songwriter’s homework assignment?

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Black Rooster’s Cypress TT-15 guitar amp head is an emulation of the Orange Tiny Terror amplifier, and is great for creating distorted lead guitar tones when you’re recording your guitar direct in. I find that it even works nicely on bass guitar and lead synths, especially when you don’t want your track to sound predictable. It has very simple functions, but it’s creatively playable and easy to dial in a great tone.

Lalita had some help in that scramble to barricade her bedroom window. Her mother and sister, their cat, and her brother and girlfriend and their four cats, all took shelter in the apartment she shares with three roommates (and more cats). Later, they had to work together to stop the flooding while rain relentlessly poured into her living room, where her brother had been sleeping on a mat on the floor and awoke abruptly, realizing he was soaking wet.

Because of their long, curvy waveforms, low frequencies experience phase attenuation more profoundly than other areas of the spectrum. You may want to high-pass your square wave so that it gives the bass line that extra grit without stepping on the feet of your sine’s big clear lows. Additionally, many producers like to make low-end seem fatter by using stereo widening effects. Use these carefully as the phase interactions between the low end of each stereo side can cause destructive interference. Use the mono/stereo switch on your DAW’s master track to check whether your low end survives when everything’s running through the center channel.

The right kick drum sound can make or break the energy of your song, and the way the rest of the instruments stand up in mixing. Here’s how to choose it.

This may also include signed letters from employers. For example, my wife was also a 1099 employee at the time, as a nanny. Our lender asked for letters from her bosses stating that she was currently employed and would be for the foreseeable future. Depending on your situation, you many need a letter from your publisher. It just depends on how far down the rabbit hole they want to go.

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As expected, this album has almost everybody up in arms, siding one way or the other. There is no label. There are no distributors and no digital copies. To the Wu-Tang Clan, it’s not even an album but a singular work of art on par with an original Van Gogh or one of Shakespeare’s manuscripts. And at the price it will eventually be purchased for, who’s to argue with that?

Explore Soundfly’s wide array of free online courses and expand your musical skills over your lunch break! Here’s just a few free courses you can choose from: Music Theory for Bedroom Producers, Touring on a Shoestring, How to Get All the Royalties You Never Knew Existed, and of course, How to Create a Killer Musician Website.

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In plain speak, FLAC is like buying an Axe-FX with all these guitar sounds that you’re never gonna use, and MP3 is like buying a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone — there’s less in there, but it doesn’t screw around with needless bells and whistles. It just takes you straight to Toneville.

“Nonstop”: Talk about restraint, this one only has four notes: just F#, A, D, and then D♭ shows up at 1:26 sounding like a ghost. There might even be a hint of an F# major chord sometimes, but that’s probably just the harmonic overtones of the synth-patch poking through… or a ghost.