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Student Spotlight: Listen to 7 Tracks from Our Latest Student Artists

This week, we wrapped up another incredible Mainstage session. String orchestrations were crafted, tracks were mixed, and singing actors honed their theory and song prep skills.

It was also the premiere session of our newest course, Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques 1. In Faders Up, students explore important mixing concepts like EQ, compression, routing, and automation. The course is full of unique insights and explanations from expert sound engineers. During the six-week session, students use all of that information and more, along with the support of their dedicated mentors, to create their own mixes.

Check a few of them out below! And if you’re eager to get in on the action, head here to learn more about these resourceful and impactful courses along with the one-on-one professional mentorship we offer to help build your skills faster. Sign up for any Soundfly Mainstage course before December 12, and get 40% off (that’s $200!) the next session with code: EARLYBIRD40.

“Hey Carrie Anne”

Mixing by: Ryan RPRM
Original Song by: Ben Carrigan
Course: Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques I
Mentor: John Hull

“I really enjoyed working with Ryan throughout the course, and it certainly seems like he’s getting some great tones from his home rig and studio situation. I think Ryan already knew a solid amount of all these concepts, but I really sense that he has a much firmer grasp on them now.

And I’m super excited about how Ryan’s final mix turned out! He really did a great job with the feedback and making tweaks along the way. By the time we got to the final project, it was really fun to sense that he’s now processing things with a ton of intention. He has a really great aesthetic and taste for what he wants his mixes to do, and it was exciting to see him realize those ideas and chase the perfect mix. 

I’d love for Ryan to spend more time at the studio. [The more time he spends], the more familiar the room will become, and the whole patch bay and setup will just become second nature to him.” — John (Soundfly Mentor)

“Refusing Silence”

Student Artist: Lisa Reshkus
Course: Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques I
Mentor: John Hull

“It’s been really great to finally have an opportunity to work with Lisa — I’ve seen her growth in other courses, and it’s fun to have a chance to get to know her and her work better! I’ve said it a handful of times to her, but I particularly enjoyed her vocal treatment and the space she’s able to create. The attention to the reference track is really evident, and I hope she keeps using that as a tool to compare mixes and productions on future projects.

My advice to Lisa is to keep practicing these new mix skills as much as she practices the rest of her production and composition skills. Mixing is kind of its own separate instrument to learn.” — John (Soundfly Mentor)

Untitled String Quartet Piece

Student Artist: Ben Harris
Course: Orchestration for Strings
Mentor: Ian Temple

Read Ben’s full musical score for the piece here.

“Ben and I focused in on a highly specific, eight-bar melody he wrote at the start of the course and spent the rest of the course developing that idea. Some of the things we focused on were how to extend and elaborate on a melody and how to use the different textures of arranging to bring out different elements of the texture.

His final piece has three parts that all quote and reference the original melody in interesting ways and explore a variety of textures, from the lush chordal opening to the homophonic middle and the dramatic end, which he reworked a couple times.

I was always impressed with his creativity in working lots of ideas within the constraints of the course. It was great to hear this piece come together!” — Ian (Soundfly Mentor)

“Contrition”

Student Artist: Flatfives
Course: Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques I
Mentor: John Hull

“Jason followed the flow of the course and made thoughtful decisions every step of the way. It made it really easy to wrap this one up! He applied everything he learned and then went and learned some more! I love the lo-fi exploration he went for with the bit crusher and vinyl sounds.

My advice to Jason is to keep on practicing these skills — they’re surprisingly like practicing an instrument. The more he mixes, the more he’ll find himself dialing in EQs faster, hearing compression more obviously, and being instantly able to recognize what adjustments need to be made to various sounds.

Keep exploring! Don’t be afraid to mangle a sound and see what it does for your composition. Sometimes you’ll make some happy mistakes that take your mix to a whole new level.” — John (Soundfly Mentor)

“Yūgen 幽玄”

Student Artist: João Bonifácio Baptista of The Last Day of Winter
Course: Touring on a Shoestring
Mentor: (none)

“Before the course, I have to say that just the thought of planning a tour was really heavy on my mind. It was really hard to start because you don’t have the mindset to do it. But after I took the course, although it still is really hard work, you take the task more lightly because you have a focused mindset, and that is the key to booking a successful tour. 

As for touring, we are starting to make the plans, but I’m only proceeding further with contacts once we have a release date for our new record. We are also planning a different and more professional live show than the typical get-on-the-stage, play-and-leave. People can expect to see a fully synchronized show with video and lighting effects, something that we expect will get people talking and hopefully grow the public’s interest in our music and live show.” — João.

“Acoustic Ascension”

Student Artist: Darin Schaffer
Course: Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist
Mentor: (none)

“I found most of the courses, topics, to be helpful and inspiring. I don’t have much gear, so I recorded the song in GarageBand with one mic. The main guitar is in DADGAD with a piccolo bass playing the melody (also DADG). A bowed guitar viol is used for the cello part.” — Darin

And, last but not least — because we couldn’t help but share this — here’s a submission we received last week in response to our Quick Tracks challenge Nº 6: Write a Melody That’s a Palindrome.

“Palindrome Menuet”

Composer: Enrico Balestrieri Cosimelli

“I’m Enrico Balestrieri Cosimelli, an Italian student of composition. I saw the challenge on your site, and I wanted to participate. Here’s my little palindrome piece openly inspired by Haydn’s minuet. I hope it is not too poor, ’cause I wrote it in a couple of hours! Thank you.” 

Nick Bombicino, one of Soundfly’s Mainstage mentors, decided to record this piece using MIDI strings to hear how the palindrome melody plays out in this short and sweet minuet. Indeed, Enrico, it’s quite touching! Listen here.

Are you interested in stepping up your practice game and reaching some musical goals? If so, you may be ready to tackle a Mainstage course! Our next session starts January 9, 2018. Learn more about our courses here. Once again, sign up before December 12, and get $200 off the next session with code: EARLYBIRD40.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Our team is made up of expert musicians who love creativity and aim to go above and beyond for their students. If that sounds like you, learn more here.

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Mahea Lee

Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she's been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly's course, The Improviser's Toolkit.