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Touring is great. But it can very quickly turn into exhaustive, monotonous work. Here are 10 great tips to keep things interesting and fun on the road.

One thing you’ll realize about the first three points, including this one, is the importance of aggregating the people who liked your band live so that you can convert them to active members of your fan base.

I get asked this question a lot and, to most people’s frustration, I have to say it comes down to experience. A good DJ specializes in two things: song selection and timing. That skill is only learned by DJing an insane amount of hours in front of hundreds of different audiences, observing and understanding what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t.

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It’s like going on a camping trip. You can just strike out into the woods anytime, but you’ll probably do a lot better if you have a route planned out, know how to store your food to keep bears away, and have a vague idea where the shortcut you’re taking is going to send you.

Far too many first-rate bands can’t seem to make the leap from playing great shows in smaller clubs to playing big rooms on bills that people are actually excited about. A few years of playing smaller rooms and your band should be ready to start making a name for itself. But toiling away in obscurity, waiting for someone to discover you isn’t a viable way to make it as a musician. And if you live in a hyper-competitive music market such as New York City (like I do), you really can’t just wait around.

Gideon Waxman is a London based drummer with over 13 years experience. Since completing a Music Degree at the University of Westminster, Gideon has been touring with metal act Familiar Spirit. You can find more of his advice over at Drum Helper, a free online resource dedicated to helping drummers achieve more from their playing.

Stay focused on bringing gear into your workflow that gives a sense of satisfaction to use. It’s not just about tone. It’s about the connection you have with your equipment!

To return to the Akai S1000 briefly: The band has also stated that many of their most-loved sounds aren’t generated by synths at all, but rather by samplers. Part of their creative process revolved around recording actual sources — everything from live instruments to field recordings — and then purposely trying to mangle it beyond recognition with the sampler and tape machines. What results are those characteristic Boards of Canada sonic artifacts: fluctuating pitches, irregular timbres, and analog tones.

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Sırma loves working with students at the intersection of songwriting and production, helping them figure out how to produce the sounds they hear in their heads using the software at their fingertips. In particular, she specializes in vocal production.

Whether you’re drafting demos for your next album, producing a 30-second spot for a video or beats for an electronic project, or actually tracking an entire album with your band in your living room, combining the comfort of your domestic space with business-like workflow habits and studio quality gear can lead to great results — so long as you don’t fall through one of the many trap doors inherent to this way of working.

Initially, musicians used 808s on their own as the kick. While you can definitely still do that, things have progressed. Nowadays, the subby 808s are most commonly found as a bass tone that’s been layered with a punchy kick sound. This punchier kick layer typically has less bass content and is there to help create a crisper attack. At its most basic, the kick and 808 play essentially the same pattern, but the 808 bass provides the sub and tonal content.

Another bonus of recording this way is having separated audio files between you and your guest. If they cough while you’re talking, you can cleanly remove it from their track without affecting your voice.

Finally, use an aux send to create a parallel compression chain for the vocal. Use extremely fast attack and release times, super-aggressive ratios, and excessive amounts of compression to create a pumping, slamming performance that’s full of energy. Then, gently blend in the results with the original. A common trick is to use an 1176 in “British Mode” or “all-buttons-in,” as it adds a colorful distortion that helps vocals cut through the mix.