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“Under Pressure” is in the key of D major — two half steps up from C. If you’re working in a DAW, you can click and drag the notes of the C major scale outlined above up two half steps and voila! D major! However, we’ll spell them out for you here as well:

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them. 

One of the keys to obtaining this sound is fluctuation. Drive your synth sound through a piece of hardware or a plugin until you can hear the warmth and compression. Then place a regular old EQ on your chain, high-passing at 120Hz and low-passing around 6kHz. This will give you that blunted, warm sound. Then, in whatever soft synth you’re using, start firing up your LFOs (low frequency oscillators). Set them to a moderate speed and depth (nothing crazy, we’re going for chill vibes) and start routing them to various settings.

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Andrea: Maria was an excellent student and she worked so hard during the course. She asked tons of great questions on our calls and was a pleasure to work with. Probably one of the best sessions for me so far!

Chantel De Lava’s soft synths and laid-bare vocals breathe new life into R&B-infused synthpop. Despite heavy use of electronics, the mix never loses warmth or depth of emotion, leaving room for more open sections and gorgeous vocal runs. Stay late for ZEMA, an electropop singer/producer who writes infectious tunes that will get your hips shakin’ of their own accord.

Write down exactly what you hope to accomplish during a session and include all the relevant steps or sub-goals. For example, if your main goal is to record “Song A,” get specific about what you need to do in order to get it all done in the most manageable way. From laying down a scratch track in the demo phase to knowing when in the production process to add ornamental sound design elements, chart out the steps so you don’t end up wasting valuable time. This saves you time because it forces you to plan and act before recording, not reactively and inefficiently throughout the process.

Eric Dickstein is a NYC-born musician, currently studying at Georgetown University. He plays keys, sings, and writes music for the soul-pop group Melt. Eric is also the Associate Editor of The 11 Contracts That Every Artist, Songwriter, and Producer Should Know by Steve Gordon, a book on how to navigate contracts in the music industry.

Get into the writing room with confidence and excitement next time you’re working with a total stranger on a co-writing song project with these 7 tips.

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Performing more often is an excellent goal, but plunging in headfirst can be dangerous and taxing. If you mean to keep this resolution, be smart about it.

Want help on the track you’re working on or some objective feedback to keep you going? Let us know here and we’ll set you up with a Soundfly Mentor who can help you achieve your next musical goal!

Let’s look at some examples and how to approach writing with both kinds of bass sounds. And if this article whets your appetite for hip-hop beat production tips, head over to our mentored online course The Art of Hip-Hop Production now and grab a free preview!

Flypaper ran over 320 articles this year. Let the Soundfly staff navigate you through the best of the best in this list of our Top 5 articles from 2018.

It’s important to note that if something is naturally caffeinated, the caffeine can never be completely removed. Even “decaf” drink versions typically contain between 5-32 mg of caffeine. Stick with herbal-based coffees and teas, which are naturally caffeine-free. Next time you’re at the store, make sure to stock up on some mint, hibiscus, and chamomile!