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By the time I was 16, I was making a living as a professional DJ. Over my 16-year career, I touched on many other areas of the music industry, including A&R, bookings, event management, promotion, music curation, and ultimately a seven-year club residency with Pacha Ibiza.

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Start by using a compressor with a fast attack and fast release to quickly clamp down on transients that get too loud. One common trick is to use an 1176 to apply ~3-6 dB of gain reduction at a ratio of 4:1. This is a great way to tame a dynamic vocal performance.

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Much like vinyl imparts a certain imperfect-but-adored sound through time, dust collected, faulty needles, and warped records, the same can be said of the MP3. Arguably, retro-MP3 production value is more in line with the tenor of our digital, postmodern age. We now have free apps on our phone to imitate crappy VHS camcorders. We share dank Instagram content that harnesses the style of visual degradation, mash-up and retro Windows ’98 artifacts — why not bring back the 128 kbps MP3 as well?

It’s also important to show vulnerability. We all have things we’re dealing with. And if you can open up to your fans about something and show a little genuine vulnerability, you’ll find yourself building a much deeper connection with them.

Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there’s so much you can do with these dynamic instruments.

The frontwoman of the Israeli group Panic Ensemble’s first solo effort covers a lot of ground. Kraus’ versatile pipes carry her through multiple genres from cabaret to orchestral/Balkan pop, maintaining a sensual curiosity throughout. I’m interested to see whether she brings out a full band; her arrangements are as joyously unpredictable as an early Bjork record.

Unemployment is still rampant (10.4% as of July), and PROMESA, a much-contested law passed in 2016 that promised to stabilize the island’s economy, has wrought austerity measures, from cuts to services and pensions, to controversial labor reforms and the threat of significantly slashing the budget for the University of Puerto Rico.

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I’m serious. No matter how cold it is, if you find a creek or a lake or a river (and it’s clean, of course,) jump into it. It’s good for your circulation and your immune system, and it feels like a reset.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

The same goes for creative lighting, like old lamps or customized Arduino-triggered LED lights. It looks cool, and it’s also handy in case one of the venues on your tour doesn’t have very interesting lighting options. Most venues will also let you hang a banner behind you while you play, which can really help people remember who you are without you reminding them after every song.

Due to the way that YouTube’s algorithms have recently started moving users around based on several years worth of tracking their preferences, recommending content that is not always the obvious next step (because if you simply want the next track on an artist’s album, you’re probably already on Spotify), and then leveraging “discovery results” that are considered successful, thousands upon thousands of listeners streaming long-playing ambient music and sounds have been led directly to user Jackamo Brown‘s upload of Through the Looking Glass. The record had found its audience.