Category Archives: J. Glaze

Achieving Professional Sounding Vocals for Under $1,000


It is time to get into the meat and potatoes of vocal recording. Using modern technology, it is possible to achieve clean, professional sounding recordings at a fraction of the price compared to traditional methods. Today, I am going to talk about some of the methods that I use, and elaborate on what I describe as a “bare bones” cost effective setup.

There are three main aspects to digitally producing professional sounding vocals: 1) Microphone 2) Interface 3) Plug-ins. This list can be expanded to include additional hardware like mic pre-amps, compressors and limiters, but in this example, for economic reasons, we are going to rely solely on the interface and plug-ins to accomplish similar results.

It is important to note that it is possible to spend upwards of $10,000 on any one of these three categories. And there is nothing wrong with that. But my goal here is to accomplish an expensive sound by only spending $1,000 total, which includes a $400 microphone, $250 interface, and $350 mixing plug-ins. Continue reading

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Catering to a Niche vs. Appealing to the Masses

It is known that people often view their favorite musical genre as “the best,” and can cite various reasons why. But since musical taste is subjective, I find ranking styles irrelevant—we might as well be arguing about which flavor of ice cream is the best. Some people like mint chocolate chip, and some like rocky road. We can all agree that neither flavor is right or wrong. I happen to have a pretty diverse palette and believe that all flavors can be a “favorite,” depending on the mood I am in.

I like to compare ingredients in ice cream to ingredients in music because it helps me strategize about the consumer base I am marketing towards. Sometimes I want to make a simple flavor that appeals to the masses, like vanilla, and sometimes I want to make a more complicated blend, like pistachio-banana-walnut ice cream, that requires a specifically developed palette to be properly appreciated. In this case, vanilla ice cream is like pop music and the latter is comparable to a more specific genre, like dub-step.

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Catering to a Niche vs. Appealing to the Masses


It is known that people often view their favorite musical genre as “the best,” and can cite various reasons why. But since musical taste is subjective, I find ranking styles irrelevant—we might as well be arguing about which flavor of ice cream is the best. Some people like mint chocolate chip, and some like rocky road. We can all agree that neither flavor is right or wrong. I happen to have a pretty diverse palette and believe that all flavors can be a “favorite,” depending on the mood I am in.

I like to compare ingredients in ice cream to ingredients in music because it helps me strategize about the consumer base I am marketing towards. Sometimes I want to make a simple flavor that appeals to the masses, like vanilla, and sometimes I want to make a more complicated blend, like pistachio-banana-walnut ice cream, that requires a specifically developed palette to be properly appreciated. In this case, vanilla ice cream is like pop music and the latter is comparable to a more specific genre, like dub-step. Continue reading

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Emotionally Separating Art From Business in the Music Industry


In my previous posts I discussed the accessibility of recording and distribution techniques, but now it is time to talk strategy. This is a unique moment for the music industry. For the first time in history, third party labels are no longer necessary, giving artists more freedom to create and sell whatever music they chose. But in order to make money through music, an artist must align his or her creative vision with specific business goals before entering the studio. Preferably, considering today’s streamlined industry, an artist should be versatile and involved in both creation and distribution of their product. Today’s post is intended to explore the topic of successfully separating personal opinions from one’s business strategies. Next week’s will be about deciding what kind of music to make, so stay tuned and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @jglaze84.

I tell artists all the time: there is nothing wrong with becoming emotionally attached to their music, except for the possibility that it could hinder the monetization of their craft. To that point, there are countless examples of artists who destroy lucrative business ventures to protect their creative offspring. Just to be clear, I am not saying an artist should in anyway dilute the emotion put into his or her work. On the contrary, conveying emotion is crucial in the formulation of authentic, convincing material. What I am suggesting, however, is that artists should view their finished products like a retail business views its merchandise, instead of as their own flesh and blood. Continue reading

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Technology’s Impact on Distributing Music

Those of us born before the new millennium probably remember camping outside of a music store like Sam Goody or Tower Records waiting for a new album by their favorite artist to be released at midnight. Back then, it was hard to imagine shopping for merchandise from the comfort of your home. Continue reading

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