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Once you decide whether you’ll be using a USB or XLR, choosing the right mic all comes down to features. The most important feature of a podcasting microphone is the polar pattern. Polar patterns pick up what a microphone can “hear.” Some microphones have a fixed polar pattern, while others can select between multiple patterns.

+ Learn more on Soundfly: Leave standard behind, and explore alternate guitar tunings with Soundfly’s new series of bite-sized courses, Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist!

When I first discovered there was such a thing as “Music For Dogs,” I was kind of shocked I hadn’t come across it sooner. I mean, there is now music and playlists to accompany everything, so of course there’d be one for our favorite four-legged fur-balls (sorry cat lovers). Well, Mr. Puppy was in for a treat because over the next week I’d go on to try an array of made-for-dogs style playlists.

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Oh! And look up over there on the right. I’m very excited to share with you a new statistic I collected this year. Would you believe that 22 songs out of 40 were based off of just one single loop only (loop variations allowed)? That’s more than half. You may now commence to argue over how uncreative music is these days, or over how Einstein really did prove that “less is more.”

Yet, part of the job of a book like this is to challenge you with new, scientific information about how sound works and help you wrap your head around it in practice. And this book does that admirably, covering topics ranging from psychoacoustics, cabling and different signal types, gain staging, and new developments in digital audio production. Mastering the information here will help you make better recordings and better mixes all around and provide you with the satisfaction of a mind expanded.

Mentor: Joseph Capalbo

Ke$ha made a smash hit in 2009 with “Tik Tok.” The video went viral and even became a couch gag for The Simpsons. It recounts Ke$ha’s previous night out after waking up in a bathtub and disappointing her family, before going out for a drive and then hitting the clubs again for another round of partying.

Not all of us have access to the kind of gear that the Boards are rocking. As usual though, we can find some good digital approximations on the internet. One of my absolute favourites is James Peck’s VHS Audio Degradation Suite. It provides emulations (with optional speaker simulation) of old video tape audio playback, based on machines in various states of disrepair. If anything digital is going to get you even close to Boards of Canada’s bevy of broken-down gear, this is it. While it’s free, it only works through Native Instruments’ paid Reaktor 6 soft synth platform. If you don’t already have that, you can try it out for 30 days.

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Diggers Factory is an online vinyl pre-order and production service built like a crowdfunding platform and with an international network of digital “crate-diggers” to back it up. Founder Alexis Castiel actually calls it “a community platform,” as it offers fans and professionals a chance to work together to make exciting projects come to life. Their mission is to help artists never waste another penny on costly vinyl production. 

Albuquerque’s open air flea market is the best place to find vintage records in town, and ones that are in surprisingly good condition. It’s a big flea market so you’ll need to get there early in order to cover serious ground. Not to mention they always have roasted green chile and sweet lollipops coated in red-chili powder (don’t knock it, till you try it)!

From his lonely wooden tower 

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I would describe Capsule as sort of a Japanease version of France’s Justice. Producer Yasutaka Nakata provides the hard-hitting techno beats and Toshiko Koshijima sings those catchy, auto-tuned vocals. Their music is often licensed by Japanese TV shows so there is a chance that you’ve heard some of their songs as themes floating around. Plus, they released their fifteenth album (!) Wave Runner in 2015, so they’ve been on the scene for a minute. While their influences are varied, they use bossa beats, British acid house bass lines, and a variety of other notable source styles, but it would be difficult to describe their music as anything but simply their own.