Wanting to be original is a universe away from actually launching new and unique music.

All music is informed in some way through the music that appears before it. However, in an art form with so much history, where does inspiration stop and imitation start?

It’s the most important question dealing with aspiring musicians today when so much music is available so simply.

Most often, the music that ends up discovering an audience is made by musicians who have discovered and embraced their originality. You could imitate—a lot of songwriters and producers do—however, what you make is not likely to last.

So how do you take inspiration and turn it into something new?

Today, I will divide the difficult subject of separate inspiration from impersonation and provide you with ideas for how to honor your musical influences without compromising your own style.

Continue reading →


Mastering is more than just the finishing touches on your track.
A good master should enrich the unique qualities and sonic signature of your mix—and take it even further.

To find your sound, you need to match the style of your mix to the style of your master.

It’s an important part of staying in the driver’s seat of your own musical vision.

That’s why the new Tonic mastering engine includes mastering styles, to give you the tools you need to create your own unique sound and preserve your signature production techniques during mastering.

But with so many different approaches to mastering, how do you choose the style that works for your mixing decisions and your tracks?

In this article, I’ll show you how to choose the perfect mastering approach for your mix.

Continue reading →


Nothing beats the feeling of discovering a great deal on a piece of gear you have wanted forever.

Buy used gear locally is one of the greatest methods to save money on tools purchases.

However, it could be a nightmare when you aren’t prepared.

Here’s everything you should know to buy used gear without getting ripped off.

Continue reading →


In terms of beginning new music, most of us reach for the instrument we are most familiar with first.

However, only interacting with one instrument could leave you stuck in a creative rut…

One of the best methods to break out is to pick up a totally new instrument.

Whether your primary instrument has keys, pads, strings, or sticks, attempting something different has a lot to offer.

Listed below are the top 6 reasons you should learn a new instrument. Continue reading →


Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a serious disorder that impacts lots of musicians worldwide. In fact, one in six musicians is obsessively refreshing online classifieds right now searching for deals on used gear.

However, sometimes your gear has to get out of the way to allow you to create.

Buying something new may not be the answer in case your gear collection is getting overwhelming

Before you give in to G.A.S. and add a new piece to your collection, find out if there’s something you can retire to reduce the clutter.

Right here are 10 gear questions to help you know when it’s time to let go.

Continue reading →


Your audio interface is the centerpiece of your home studio. That is the home of important tools like your preamps, AD/DA converters, and headphone amplifier.

Every sound that goes into your laptop and comes back to your speakers has to pass via your audio interface.

With such a necessary part of your setup, buying your first interface or upgrading to a new one is a giant decision.

In this article, I will go through everything you should know to choose the best audio interface for your home studio. Continue reading →


Loudness and dynamics are 2 of the most important concepts in mastering levels.

Mastering levels ensure your track is loud enough to compete in the marketplace of commercial tracks. And the largest impact of the mastering process is loudness.

It seems like there are endless arguments about loudness going on in the professional audio community. So why is loudness such a big deal?

Some say loudness is killing music, however, there is plenty of pros out there still chasing the loudest master they could get.

In this article, I’ll go through everything you should understand loudness in mastering levels. Continue reading →



Chords are the pillars that make your great songwriting. Along with rhythm and melody, harmony is one of the most basic elements of a musical composition.

The sound of your chords shows a lot about your music identity. Simple harmonic structures work just fine, however, rich chords could make a track stand out.

Including extended chords is how you bring that richness into your tracks.

In this article, I’ll teach you to build chords with extensions and show you the way to use them to take your songs beyond the triad. Continue reading →


It is a phrase that’s becoming more and more essential these days. And for good cause too. In a recent poll, NME ranked social media (26%) just behind playing live (51%) as an important channel for musicians looking to get their music heard.

Today you have all kinds of numbers flying at you: likes, shares, listens, plays, streams, royalties, and mentions. It could all seem pretty hollow once you are attempting to stay inspired and dedicated to producing your greatest work.

To be sure you don’t get blinded by all the noise of social media—and the numbers that come with it, I decided to unpack the 5 most essential social media metrics and find out what they really mean for independent music (hint: it isn’t the numbers, it is what’s behind them that counts).

Understand your metrics, track your following and make the connections that really matter for building a healthy and happy fanbase. Continue reading →