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Learning to become an accomplished and knowledgeable audio engineer is an enormous undertaking. While we’re lucky to live in the age of the internet, where so much information is available for free, that information is not always presented in a form that allows us to make the best use of it. Spend time on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find a wealth of video content aimed at those who want to master the art of mixing, yet a lot of it is inaccurate, misleading, out of context and inapplicable, or simply incompatible with your own experience and what you’re attempting to do in the studio.

I was thinking about “Clair de Lune” and how strange and complicated the rhythm is. I was humming it to myself and couldn’t figure out where the downbeats were. I have previously used Ableton Live to help me learn a classical piece aurally, so I figured I would do the same thing with this one.

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It seems we can always turn to a popular old melody for some familiar sing-along action. The lyrics of this tune have a bit of an icky past, harking back to the American Civil War, but like most public domain songs to stand the test of time, the simplistic melody often reminds us of childhood. In “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” you’ll find the major third at 0:04, on the lyrics “Shoo” and “fly.”

And if you’re as spellbound by those infectious grooves as we are, check out Soundfly’s conversation with Dan Freeman on the beat-making techniques of Quincy Jones here.

The best way we’ve found to practice identifying note intervals by ear is to associate each interval with a familiar song or melody that you could likely sing in your head already. All you have to do is commit a piece of the melody to memory, and voilà, you’re on your way to interval recall!

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Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

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Scott Wiggins is a touring recording artist, singer/songwriter, producer, recording/mix engineer, and music lover. He’s written and recorded multiple songs which have made it into the top Ten on the TX Music Charts. He runs The Recording Solution blog.

Everyone has their own quintessential summer event. It might be watching the fireworks with friends on the 4th of July, or jumping into the sweet relief of a pool on that absurdly hot day. Maybe you’re still a kid at heart and it’s not really summer until you hear the ice cream truck for the first time. For me, summer was and still is all about road trips: new adventures with old friends and seeing the country from behind a windshield. I may have traded in my Firebird for a Corolla and my high school buddies for a wife and a sheltie, but as long as I have a new playlist ready, the summer road trip remains the same.

But “Blurred Lines” was hardly the first copyright case to rattle Lady Justice’s scale. Here are five important music copyright infringement cases that every songwriter should know about.

At age 16, Nicc Johnson began his career as a DJ with the dream of eventually working in the international electronic music hub of Ibiza, Spain. With an unprecedented level of drive and determination, he would exceed that goal shortly to become the resident DJ at Ibiza’s most famous club, Pacha, for seven years, and move on to consult for restaurants, curating and creating music for playlists all around the world.

To musically touch your listener, you need to know your listener. And the better you know your listener, the better you can remind that listener of their childhood. Right about now you might be wondering, “But how well can you really know your listener?”