Six years ago, on this day in April, we arrived in the United States with some suitcases, and with traveler checks to pay for our temporary apartment. As I wrote in the first two parts of my “Sad California” playlist (here and here), it’s always a bittersweet experience to relocate to another part of the world, leaving family and friends, but it also gave me a new freedom. Being a freelancer again, I could finally focus on my music, develop my skills, and start to build a local network in the entertainment industry. And as I usually think more in musical terms, and rather remember what music was playing at what time in my life, here are my personal musical highlights from these past six years – the very personal part of the soundtrack of my life, it seems:
California, the Golden State. Los Angeles, the city of dreams, where stars are made and fall again. A fascinating town – glamorous and seedy, full of aspiring entertainers, dazzling wannabes, and failed characters. And there are a lot of songs perfectly capturing this ambiguous nature. So, here’s the second part of my Sad California playlist:
(check out Part 1 here…)
When we decided to move from Germany to California, of course I immedately started to compile a “mix tape” for the occasion. And me being me, it of course tended to be more on the dark, sad, melancholy side.
As I never tire to mention, I’m a big fan of the German electronic band Tangerine Dream and am heavily influenced by their work and their embracing of different styles and re-inventing themselves over the decades. Founded 50 years ago today and having released far over 100 albums, soundtracks and compilations, it’s hard to choose only a few favorites, or to tell anyone not familiar with the band where they should start listening. And although I’m doomed to fail, I’ll try anyway and present five Tangerine Dreams albums you should listen to – from classic times to more modern works.
Radio Ga Ga… Radio can be very cool to listen to, but on the other hand I never liked it as much as listening to full albums or concerts. And there are a few reasons for that. So here’s my little rant about commercial radio.
Mixing music is quite often a thing of personal taste – while some like to have crispy highs (and loud HiHats and Cymbals), others prefer a more bassy sound. But why is it still a bit muddy or muffled (or too tinny)? Here are five quick tips that can help your mix – plus one quick look at a picture showing how not to do it:
Everyone has his favorite instruments, plugins and production tools, that can range from pretty basic stuff to weird things that just make the difference. So I thought I write about five of the effect plugins that I use all the time (not totally weird ones 😉 ) and basically can’t live without. Of course I can only talk about the specific plugins I’m using, and what I like about them, but you’ll find similar effects from other vendors as well, and I’m sure there are also a lot of great free ones out there. Oh and I don’t mention basics like compressor, reverb and delay here 😉