A Blog about Music Production, HipHop, and Life

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Vocal Booth On A Budget

Posted by Ms.Tris On October - 14 - 2008

I’ve had my mic for years, and I used to record vocal sessions a long time ago. I never really enjoyed recording vocals, but of course I enjoyed the results…completed songs. I’ve had many emcees wonder why I don’t run full sessions in my lab unless I have too. I am not fast at engineering sessions which means it takes me a while to cut and paste hooks, line up vocals etc. If you have ever recorded vocals you know it will involve many takes to get that platinum hit. My mind goes a thousand miles a minute lol, it’s hard for me to sit doing one thing over and over. I’ve grown to be more patient, therefore vocal sessions are becoming easier for me handle. Right now I’m a novice engineer. As a producer I want the final result to be great.. not just o.k. Therefore I don’t mind sending artist to engineers with more experience, and who love recording vocals. Honestly I’m beginning to love mixing, but there is quite a difference from recording vocals,and mixing the final songs.
Today I have a better grasp of vocal recording, and I’ve gotten much faster after learning keyboard shortcuts and techniques. It’s best for all producers to have an idea of how to record vocals. Be prepared to carry your production from a beat idea to a hit song. Let me give you a little scenario: Lil Wayne is in town for a concert. You go to an autograph signing and give him a beat cd. He listens to it on the tour bus while on his way to the arena. Of course you’ve got that fire and he loves track number 3. His people call you up like ” Hey (insert your production name here) Wayne wants to record this track tonight after the show. Can you make it happen?”
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Beginner Chords, Scales, and Progressions: A Closer Look

Posted by Ms.Tris On October - 10 - 2008

I have my book open today: I must say it’s one of the best 7 bucks spent. I’ll be making a Dirty South beat in a few. I am beginning to really understand chord progressions finally. I’m leaning more, and more toward starting beats with chord progressions. For me, I find it easier to follow a chord progression with a melody rather than melody 1st, chords second. The book includes pictures of all the chords in one scale, for example:C Chords = all the major, minor, aug etc. with images of the root position, 1st , 2nd , and 3rd inversions.

In the beginning of the book are all the scales in each key signature.There are also pictures showing which piano keys make up each chord. There are letters printed on the keyboard, as well as a staff showing proper written notes.

Here is what the one of the chord pages looks like:

It’s super important to keep up with study and practice in order to learn various terms and modes of music. This is why I mention books and various music sites all the time. Recently, I’ve made a little schedule for myself, adding time for music theory at least 3 times a week.

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Life 6:Back From New York

Posted by Ms.Tris On October - 10 - 2008

picture from

What’s up all… I’m back from a really nice trip to New York. I had company in town from L.A. via Aurora Colorado. When I lived in Colorado I met friends who later became like family. It was their first time to visit the East Coast. We had planned a day trip to New York which turned into a much longer stay.

I did most of the driving, and that alone was an experience New Yorkers drive Faaaaaast!~
I’ve been to New York several times, but never as a tour guide. I handled some retail business, visiting the wholesale district, and finding some great deals. We also hit many of the shopping areas and landmarks like Canal Street, The Empire State Building, and Greenwhich Village.

I think I’ve done more in the past seven days than I have ever done between Baltimore and New York. I must say that I was touched deeply at times. We were trying to reach the Staten Island Ferry, and winded up driving in a few circles. At one point there was a bit of aggravation as we turned wrong turn after wrong turn. I remember making a right down a little alley…and before I could yell at someone to look at the directions, I saw several people sitting on some steps gazing deeply across the street. We had reached “Ground Zero” with all it’s construction, cranes, and brown canvased fencing. It was an uneasy feeling as we all forgot we were lost. I slowed down and said a prayer. The light turned red, and we came to a halt. The car stopped in front of an opening, exposing a deep cavity; empty space, where two of the tallest buildings in the world once stood.The magnitude of the area was overwhelming, and eerie. Words can’t describe the emotions I felt, I had to park and get myself together. My heart goes out to my fellow Americans, and those who lost loved ones on 911. My eyes were opened to the reality of world affairs. I couldn’t help but think about other countries who continue to struggle for the freedom we have. It reminded me to be vigilant, and continue to help how, and when I can for the good of all people.

Now it’s time to get back to work. I know…. today I feel different. It is as if recent events have touched my soul. I want to remind you not to take life for granted. Be the best you that you can be, continue to express your talents. There is a lot of fear in many hearts around the world. To all the musicians, writers, athletes, and artist reading; your gifts are not yours to keep hidden. Share them with the world, you never know who needs some uplifting moments. If you are reading and say ” I don’t have a talent”, oh but you do…. we can all help each other through support, patience, and encouragement.

Pz Til Later…Be Inspired!~

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Speed Drawing 1

Posted by Ms.Tris On October - 2 - 2008

What’s up everybody..hope all is going well and productive for you.first a little update:
If anyone purchased the Live Off Beats Course a note about downloading the 50 drumkits.
Click on the “50 Drumkit” link and download from the site instead of downloading the html file. Download a few at a time and everything should work. They were having server problems last week, but everything is looking fine now. Also if you purchase through my link, stop back and let me know how you like it… the kits are decent,and the videos are my fav.

I will be very busy over the next few days through next Thursday, I will be posting most likely every other day, answering questions as I can, and you know I’ll be back next week with some crazy tutorials.

I would like to share some of the first videos in the graphics category. An artist named “Zsolt Mohácsi” has some speed drawing to the extreme on youtube. He uses a Digital tablet, and does some pretty amazing work.

Check out more videos on Zsolt’s website:

Now you all know I’m gonna have to try this… I’m looking at some digital tablets now 🙂

Pz TiL Later

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Polow Da Don Speaks On His Road To Success

Posted by Ms.Tris Beats On September - 30 - 2008

Photo courtesy

Cool video of Polow Da Don, how he got started..the ups and downs..
I enjoyed watching this one..

Be inspired..
Happy Beat Making To All
Pz Til Later

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Fl Studio: Patterns, Playlist, And Song Mode (part2)

Posted by Ms.Tris On September - 29 - 2008

Back at it with part 2 of Friday’s tutorial. By request I’m including the flp, the sample, and zip yaaay… I made the sample this morning using the slayer,fl keys, and orchestra string soundfonts.

In case you missed part 1 here is the link:Fl Studio: Patterns, Playlist, And Song Mode (part1)
…. ..

I have my sample loaded into the Fl Slicer, I changed the pitch, and played a nice sequence into pattern 2 which I have named “sample verse1”

I go to pattern 4 which I named “snare” and added some snares on beat with the sample. Next..I moved to pattern 3, and played some kicks using my midi controller. I now have 4 patterns..
2=sample verse1
3= snare 1
4= kick

They make a decent beat starter that sounds like this:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Mixing 2: Monitoring Your Music

Posted by Ms.Tris Beats On September - 25 - 2008

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a studio full of Genelec Monitors like this :

Town House Studios- London Featuring Genelec Monitoring system. Picture courteous

Well since I don’t, I have to make the best use of what I have. When I began producing I started with 49.00 $ pc speakers from staples. I would make beats that sound great in my lab, but in the car? I could hear all types of muffled kicks, and instruments that were too loud. On my path to a perfect mix, I learned that I need to “hear” differences in the frequencies of the sounds I use. I also realized my low budget Pc monitors just wouldn’t give an accurate response to certain frequency ranges.

After visiting several forums, I began to gather more knowledge about monitoring sound. I had no idea years ago how important studio monitors and headphones were. I finally invested in some Sony Mdr 7506 headphones, and I noticed a difference right away. The mix got a little better, but there were things that still needed fixing. I still use the Sony headphones but not for the main mix.

I am sure you have heard producers and engineers say “Don’t mix entirely through headphones”. I must agree with them. I had to learn the hard way, I continued to mix with my Mdrs, and I continued to wonder why does my kick sound crappy. One reason is, many companies make headphones for “enhanced” listening which usually results in a false representation of mid range/highs and lows. That means my kicks (low), and Snares/percs etc.(mid range/highs), were all sounding good but not accurate.
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About Me

Introducing Ms.Tris Beats a Hip Hop Producer, Artist,and Blogger from Baltimore, MD. Currently producing for a host of Maryland\'s hottest Mc\'s, and artist from all over the country. Her music is in demand to the who\'s who in Baltimore Hip hop. Please enjoy your visit as Ms.Tris takes through her musical journey of production, hiphop and life....



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