Making the Most Out of Your Piano Keyboard Settings

One of the most popular parts of today’s piano keyboards is that they feature an assortment of settings. You can use a piano keyboard that can produce various sounds from drum noises to some unique percussion tones. You can create rhythms off of your keyboard model. Everything you can do with a piano keyboard will make the songs you produce more detailed and unique while giving you a little more flexibility over what you want to produce.

You must still look at how well your settings are going to work for you. Some tips from this post should work if you want to make the most out of your keyboard’s settings. You have to look well at how the settings operate so you can make the most out of your entertainment and music performance.

Understand the Format

The format that you will utilize when generating noises out of your piano keyboard is critical to its success. The MIDI format is the most common one that you will employ. The MIDI format has been the standard for producing digital noises in various forms since the 1980s. You can use this setup to produce notes at different tones or rates.

The MIDI file format can be read on many devices and computers. Assorted programs are available to help you with controlling these files. You could use these programs to change some things around within those files, although you should look well at how you are getting these programs to work for you.

Creating a Beat

You can produce an artificial drum beat off of your piano keyboard. You can generate a rhythm that features various types of instruments, including a snare drum, a symbol, and a kick drum among other things. You will have to create a rhythm that is consistent and produces a clean sound all around.

Test how you can adjust the drum beat as desired. Changing the beat around on occasion throughout the song, or even stopping it altogether, is recommended. The changes ensure that the songs you produce will have some life and will not sound the same all the way through.

Delay Effects

Delay effects are utilized on many piano keyboards to create a dramatic style. The setup works with the note being produced not long after you press the appropriate key. The arrangement is attractive for when you’re aiming to create more specific songs. But you should turn the delay down or eliminate it if you’re aiming to get an extra bit of control over the music.

Fade Effects

You can also produce fade effects with your piano keyboard. A fade will establish a tone where an instrument produced by the keyboard appears in the background. You can use this if you want to keep a drum beat preset in the backdrop without being too loud.

Equalizer Controls

Many piano keyboards come with equalizers. You can use multiple controls on the base that will adjust the intensity and sound of each instrument produced. Some models let you place a greater emphasis on specific keys along the board. Being able to control those equalizer settings in real time is always important. The good news is that you can control those settings by using a series of bars that let you change the tones or intensities of each sound in real time.

Look at how well you can program individual sounds to certain controls on your piano keyboard. You should link different instrument sounds to each channel if possible.

Your piano keyboard is important for helping you make the most out of your music. Be aware of how you’re using the settings on your keyboard so can produce the most outstanding sounds around. You will love how much detail you will get out of producing the best sounds off of one of the most interesting instruments you can use for your entertaining desires.

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PREVENTATIVE CARE ON THE ROAD

Fit to Sing

Vocal health is about mind and body as well as voice!

Whatever your style of singing and whatever your repertoire, you should take a holistic approach to your practising and performing. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for you to keep in mind at all times.

  1. Always warm up physically before you sing. In particular, stretch and loosen up your neck, shoulders, and upper back. This doesn’t have to take a long time but should be before your vocal warm-up. Repeat this after singing, to allow cooling down.
  2. Ensure your technique is sound – poor technical habits may lead to tension and muscular strain. We strongly recommend that you seek professional advice, whatever your level of experience.
  3. Check your posture when singing, using a mirror, or, better still, a video camera. Look at the overall balance of your body, and for signs of tension around your neck and shoulders. If you regularly sit to sing, use a chair that is as comfortable as possible, that supports your lower back and is at the right height for your body build.
  4. Where is your music? If on a stand, check the stand height and sight-lines, e.g. to your accompanist. If you are holding the music, feel its weight and consider a stand if it is heavy or bulky.
  5. Vision and hearing can affect your neck and upper body posture, have them checked periodically. If you need glasses or lenses to see the music or the conductor, use them!
  6. Plan your practice sessions to allow frequent short breaks in singing. The biggest risk factor for a breakdown in your vocal health is a sudden increase in the quantity or quality of practice, e.g. in the run-up to a concert or audition. If something starts to ache, stop and loosen up. Use a kitchen timer to remind you if a break is due – every 20 minutes or so.
  7. Your overall health, physical build, and voice type may make some repertoire more uncomfortable for you. Respect your limitations.
  8. If you have a cold or a sore throat, remember VOCAL REST AND HYDRATION. Vocal rest does not necessarily mean no singing: it means no shouting, no whispering, no force, and limit your phone calls. Hydration means water, not tea/coffee or alcohol! Also, avoid atmospheric pollutants such as cigarette smoke and over-heated or air-conditioned rooms.
  9. Your general lifestyle can affect your singing: make sure you are eating and sleeping properly.
  10. A mixture of regular exercise (e.g. swimming or sport) and relaxation will help maximize your potential and maintain your vocal health. Performing is stressful and tension can cause pain and stiffness. Find something that you enjoy, it’s more likely to help!
  11. Remember that you are a musical athlete and your performance depends on you taking good care of yourself. Think twice about attending a party or going to a noisy pub in the days before a concert. Watch out for accidents: take care of dangerous sports and DIY.
  12. There is a world outside music! Keep your hobbies and outside interests going to avoid getting over-focused on your singing.

PREVENTATIVE CARE ON THE ROAD

When you are on tour as a live musician (or indeed any other kind of performer), there are times when you don’t have the chance to go to the gym or keep up with good exercise routines. Here are some of the things you can do when you are on the road and in the air.

  1. Use the stairs rather than the lift, and walk up and down escalators rather than standing still.
  2. If you’re a musician with heavy instruments or equipment, carrying them will be a form of exercise. Make sure you’re doing it properly though! Bend at the knees when lifting, and wear straps to distribute the weight properly. Help your drummer or bassist with their gear, so you get the exercise and they get a break!
  3. If you need some thinking time, take a walk around the block –it clears your head and gets you some exercise.
  4. If you’re in an unfamiliar venue, take some time to check out what’s there and what’s not. There should be drinking water, at the very least. Consider organizing a healthier rider (a list of dietary/drink requirements).
  5. Opt for fruit and nuts rather than biscuits, crisps or pastries for backstage snacks. Try to drink more water and less coffee or tea and cut down on the sugary drinks.
  6. Try to get the management to sort out decent meals, either at the hotel or venue – or use your per diems wisely to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet.
  7. Do quick stretching throughout the day –it helps relieve stress and exercises your muscles.
  8. Persuade a fellow band member to be your activity buddy and arrange to exercise together; neither of you will want to let the other down. Go for runs together while on tour.
  9. Even if you’re not wanting to be super fit, you still need to keep healthy, so you can do various exercises in your hotel room and even a brisk 10-15 minute walk in the fresh air can help.
  10. Give yourself reasons to take regular breaks, say if you and/or your band members are just not getting that middle eight or fast refrain.
  11. Start wearing a pedometer. You’ll be surprised how motivated you can become to increase your daily step total. Aim for 10,000 steps – you’ll probably total those up simply by jumping around on stage!
  12. Issue a fitness challenge to another band such as the number of steps walked in a week.
  13. Make sure someone in the band (usually the manager) has health and safety responsibilities and makes sure that there is an adequately stocked first aid kit on the tour bus.
  14. Be sure to keep sufficiently hydrated when in an air-conditioned space – like a plane. This is especially important for singers, as the dehydrating effect of air-conditioning can make singing very difficult. Wrapping your throat up can also help prevent drying of the throat.
  15. While we’re talking about planes, take care not to force your voice against the noise of the engine, onboard equipment, etc. And don’t forget to keep your legs moving periodically, so you don’t develop blood clots which are potentially life-threatening. Some performers have been known to do exercises in the aisles! This can help with re-setting your body clock too.
  16. Time-zone changes can put considerable stresses on the body and fatigue can be a common problem. Try to get as much rest and rehydration as you can when travelling and re-adjust your body clock as quickly as you can. Flying a couple of days earlier for a gig at a distant venue would help counteract this problem. If you can’t fly in sooner and you’re just in for the gig and straight out again try to stay on ‘home-time’ by eating and sleeping at the times you would normally at home, if possible. You and your tour manager should plan your tour schedule in terms of sleep/body clock issues, in order to make it easier on yourself and the rest of the band.

Common Skin disorders You Should Know

Skin Cancer

Cancer is a condition where one type of cell grows without limit in a disorganized fashion, disrupting and replacing normal tissues and their functions, much like weeds overgrowing a garden. There are three main forms of skin cancer — Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. Basal Cell and Squamous Cell cancers are curable. Melanoma is also completely curable when detected early, but can be fatal if allowed to progress and spread. Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells in the skin, known as melanocytes. Normal melanocytes reside in the outer layer of the skin and produce the brown pigment melanin, which is responsible for the colour of our skin. Melanoma describes melanocytes that become cancerous, grow, and invade other tissues.

Sunburns can increase your chances of skin cancer so take precautions when exposed to high levels of sun.

If you notice a difference in colour in your skin or bumps make an appointment with a dermatologist or oncologist to get them checked out. A general practitioner will also be able to point you in the right direction. Seek help as soon as you notice something as cancers can grow and complicate extremely rapidly. A few days or weeks will make a difference.

Sunburn

Sunburns arise as a result of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays hit the body and damage any cells exposed, including skin, hair, and eye cells. UV rays are emitted even when there is cloud cover so protection is necessary at all times.

Sun damage is visible as red, painful sunburns. Bad sunburns can lead to skin cancer later in life as well as wrinkles, freckles, age spots, dilated blood vessels, and general ageing of the skin.

Use a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 15. SPF is a measure of what level of UV rays are absorbed by the sunscreen; the higher the SPF the more rays absorbed and thus, the higher level of protection. Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for reapplication throughout the day. Always wear sunglasses and a hat when outside.

* RFH has covered some but not all of the conditions that are likely to pop up on tour. For most of the information, we used MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus has a ton of information from very reputable sources and has tons of external links for more information. If you ever have a question it never hurts to call a doctor. Catching a condition early may mean preventing complications and saving thousands of dollars! Take care of yourself- there are thousands of fans across the country (and several band members) waiting to see you get on stage!

Had you got Vision Problems?

Refractive Errors

Also called: Farsightedness, Hyperopia, Myopia, Nearsightedness

Your cornea is the clear front part of your eye. It is like a window that controls and focuses the light coming into the eye. If your cornea has an irregular shape, the light does not focus properly. Everything looks blurry. This is a refractive error.

Four common refractive errors are

  • Myopia or nearsightedness – clear vision close up but blurry in the distance
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness – clear vision in the distance but blurry close-up
  • Presbyopia – inability to focus close up as a result of ageing
  • Astigmatism – focus problems caused by the cornea

Glasses or contact lenses can usually correct refractive errors. Laser eye surgery may also be a possibility.

So if you notice a change in your vision- suddenly you cannot see the fans in the 10th row or that the FOH sound engineer is waving at you to stop noodling on your guitar during sound check, make an appointment to see an optometrist.

Are You Substance Abused?

Drug abuse

Also called: Substance abuse

Drug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Each year drug abuse results in around 40 million serious illnesses or injuries among people in the United States. Abused drugs include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Club drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Inhalants
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription drugs

Drug abuse also plays a role in many major social problems, such as drugged driving, violence, stress and child abuse. Drug abuse can lead to homelessness, crime and missed work or problems with keeping a job. It harms unborn babies and destroys families. There are different types of treatment for drug abuse. But the best is to prevent drug abuse in the first place.

Drug overdose

The term “drug overdose” (or simply overdose or OD) describes the ingestion or application of a drug or other substance in quantities greater than are recommended or generally practised. An overdose is widely considered harmful and dangerous as it can result in death.

RFH sought out the community written advice of Wikipedia for drug overdoses because all of us have experienced someone OD’ing. We all know what it is and the warning signs of overdose. Throwing up blood, uncontrollable shaking, losing consciousness, and (scarily) stopping breathing all require immediate attention. Whether it was that kid down the hall who drank too much the first weekend of college or the band member who did too much coke, there has been a life-or-death situation in all of our lives.

IF YOU SEE OR EVEN THINK SOMEONE MAY HAVE OVERDOSED DO NOT WAIT TO CALL MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. DIAL 9-1-1. THREE DIGITS CAN SAVE A LIFE!

A New Vaccine Found For HIV

BANGKOK, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Thailand on Thursday announced the breakthrough in the HIV vaccine development — the first time ever that there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventive efficacy.

“It is found that the vaccine has 31.2 per cent efficacy in reducing the risk of HIV infection,” Thai Public Health Minister Withaya Kaewparadai told a press conference in capital Bangkok.
Withaya presided over the official announcement of the outcome of the HIV Vaccine Phase III Trial.

The Public Health Ministry conducted the study, which used strains of HIV common in Thailand. The sponsor of the trial is the U.S.Army Surgeon General, with funding support from the National Institute of Health and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, while Sanofi-Pasteur and GSID provide candidate vaccines for the trial.

With field research works implemented by Thais and deemed the world’s largest HIV vaccine study, with the trial of 16,402 Thai volunteers, has now been completed in central provinces of Chonburi and Rayong, Withaya said.

Withaya said although the efficacy rate is not high enough for use, this nonetheless constitutes significant knowledge that can be applied to improve HIV vaccine efficacy in the future.

“All these will form an important foundation for further HIV vaccine development in Thailand in the future,” said Doctor PaijitWarachit, Deputy Health Permanent Secretary.

Meanwhile, Doctor Mom Luang Somchai Chakra hand, Director-General, Department of Disease Control, said that “HIV vaccine development must be accompanied by the intensive application of other preventive measures.”

The Department of Disease Control is committed to HIV vaccine development in collaboration with networks of researchers in Thailand and internationally aiming to an appropriate HIV vaccine accessible for people, Doctor. Mom Luang Somchai said.

The Phase III Trial of HIV vaccine demonstrates collective efforts and a common understanding that HIV prevention is everybody’s concern, and which requires the participation of all sections at national and international levels in search of additional preventive measure.

“The success is the pride of Thailand. We thank the volunteers, communities in Chonburi and Rayong province, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers for their contribution to the HIV vaccine development,” he said.

SET YOUR GOALS, drops off 4 days of AP tour due to illness

Due to an unforeseen health issue with one of their members, Bay Area pop core sextet Set Your Goals have had to drop off the first four stops of the AP Tour Fall Ball. The band’s statement is re-posted below:

“We just wanted to let you guys know that unfortunately, we have to cancel our performances on the AltPress Fall Ball ‘09 Tour in Pontiac, MI, Columbus, OH, Grand Rapids, MI and Chicago, IL. One of the members of Set Your Goals is very ill right now and is unable to make it to the first several dates. We will know more about his condition and when we’ll be able to re-join the tour by Monday. Thanks to everyone at Alternative Press for their amazing support and to all our fans in advance for their understanding. We wish our brother a speedy recovery, and will talk to you soon.”

The Fall Ball will still go on as scheduled with the Academy Is…, Mayday Parade, the Secret Handshake and You Me At Six all performing; SYG is currently slated to re-join the tour in Milwaukee on Sept. 30.