The Platinum Album Dead?

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Last fall, I found an article mentioning how the definition of platinum albums needs to change in order to keep up with the current market. Apparently, the RIAA, the people who certify albums as gold, platinum, etc. think so as well. Recently, the RIAA has implemented a new certification system that includes streaming views along side album sales.150 views counts as one download and ten downloads (1500 views) count as an album sale. Under this new standard Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly” has become certified platinum even thought it’s only sold under 400,000 copies. Kendrick and his team seem to find the change distasteful, but I think that this is the only natural evolution of the music industry. Piracy is as rampant as ever and with less people buying albums and opting to stream on YouTube and Spotify. The one downfall I foresee is that more albums will go platinum due to spectacle rather than quality, since streaming doesn’t mean the person streaming enjoyed the content. (Although, you’d need 1.5 Trillion plays to go platinum with no album sales so that’s comforting)

Check out my YouTube Channel

February Update

Hey guys! I’ve been a little quiet lately so here’s an update for what I’ve been up to.

  • I’ve been recording a couple of rappers lately and I’ve been mixing down there tracks.
  • I’ve been working on my game “Apex” trying to get it to a demo state before the end of this year.
  • I’ve also been drafting and planning videos I want to do including tutorials and an inside look at my creative process.

 

Here are some recent video I posted on my YouTube Channel

Apex – The Synopsis

Apex is an RPG I am working on using the program RPG Maker. I created it as a way to show case my music as well as my love for math via game design. Although, I have been working on this project for a few years now, I know I still have years to go before I get it to the perfect state I want it. So, in the meantime I’ll gather hype about the game slowly, but surely with updates including music and articles like this. Without further delay, the synopsis…

Apex Synopsis

Ever year on the planet of Atmos, there is a tournament held to determine the strongest warriors on the planet. These warriors are called the “Apex Warriors”. You and your two childhood friends Liliana & 6 Eyed Jack spent your entire lives training to fight in this tournament. The game follows your journey as you explore the planet of Atmos to grow stronger in order to protect your title as Apex, year after year.

(Below is a pic of the world map, a video with pre-alpha play footage and a music video for a theme of Atmos)

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Atmos (Meridian Region)

NEW MUSIC – Atmos

Here’s the world map theme to this RPG I’m creating called “Apex” it’s still a long way from being finished, but I throughout the week I will post more information to flesh out the world and game. So, Stay Tuned

Here’s some Pre-Alpha play of Apex

Weird Genres: Musique Concrete

Have you ever sat up early in the morning and listened to the birds chirp and thought “Man, this would make a great tune”? Well, I have and I’ve been looking into weird genres of music and I came across one named “Musique Concrete”. This genre is defined by its use of natural, sometimes everyday sounds. If you’ve ever seen someone create a song with only scissors and a tooth brush. You’ve witness musique concrete. Instead of using words I’ll let the music speak for itself.

Here’s a Modern Version of Musique Concrete where hip hop artist Mac Lethal re-creates “Niggas in Paris” with hair products.

Here’s a 1979 Documentary on Musique Concrete

Liked this article? Check out my post on the parallels of music and linguistics, the study of languages. 

Also Check out my Daily Music Creation Challenge on YouTube

 

 

Music as Language: The Parallels of Linguistics and Music

Before I got into music composition, I wanted to be a linguist. I didn’t necessarily want to learn the language itself, but the structures and rule that governed language and language change thoroughly interested me. For years I’ve heard music is the “Universal Language” or something along those lines and you’d be surprised how close this statement is to the truth.

Phonetics: The Acoustics of Language

Acoustics is essentially the study of wave phenomenon, usually sound since it’s the easiest to reproduce and observe.  It’s like Physics for sound. In linguistics, this is paralleled by the branch called phonetics. They study the acoustical properties of sounds used in human speech. They also study how sounds are articulated and how they are perceived.

Phonology: The “Music Theory” of Language

Music theory is a study and classification of common structures that occur across different songs. Phonology does the same but with languages. They study how sounds are group together and organized in a given language. Phonologists study the phonotactics, or rules and constraints for how sounds can occur in the syllables. Phonologist also study the “prosody” or quality of a sound. This includes its stress, intonation, and pitch, all three of these also important for analyzing music as well.

Grammar: The “Music Composition” of Language

Music composition is how different musical motifs and phrases are placed together to create a unified whole. In language this is reflected in grammar, which is the study of the rules that govern how words and phrases can be combined to create sentences.

There’s a lot more I could go into, but for now I’ll leave it simple.

Check out Yesterday’s article on my musical ideals or check out my Youtube playlist where I post a daily short musical piece as practice.

Ideal Music: Melody

For an artist to understand his craft he has to have a vision or ideal of what he thinks music should sounds like. I’ve been thinking over this for the last week so I decided to write a couple of blog post describing what my ideal music should sound like.

I’ll start with melody which is the most important element of music. (at least in my ears) When people hear songs they usually hum back the melody. For me a melody line has to have these features.

  • Unique yet memorable: Melodies should be unique, yet memorable. Have you ever heard a song that you loved the melody yet couldn’t remember the song 2 minutes after listening. That’s a unique melody with out memorable parts.
  • Flowing Movement: Melodies should move, but in a flowing way with very few note leaps (unless to set a specific mood),
  • Transformation: Melodies should move and transform into other melodies to keep the song from getting stale yet have a related stem that bring them all. Classical music usually takes transformation to its extreme making it difficult for average people to follow, but Pop & Hip hop music tends to lack this feature repeating a phrase multiple times with little or no variation. Ideally there should be a balance between movement and stable parts.

 

There we go my ideals on melody. I’ll probably revisit this late, but for now next time I’ll be writing my ideals on Harmony & Accompaniment.

Don’t forget to check out my playlist for my “Daily Music Making Challenge” Where make a short 1 or 2 minute instrumental a day