Make a blog


2 years ago

California Officials Bring Back Music-Making Asphalt

The folks who silenced the nation's first "musical road" are singing a different tune.

Workers on Wednesday began carving grooves on Avenue G that will produce notes of the "William Tell Overture" when cars drive over them.

The high desert city north of Los Angeles placed the grooves on another road, Avenue K, last month for a Honda commercial. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes -- better known as the theme for "The Lone Ranger" -- when motorists in Honda Civics hit them at 55 mph.

It was believed to be the first such musical road in the United States, although there are others in Japan, South Korea and Holland.

The city paved over that stretch two weeks later after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake.

The city, however, received hundreds of calls praising the road and decided to retain the concept.

"It will be a tourist attraction. It will pull people off the freeway," Mayor R. Rex Parris said.

Many residents also liked it.

"You drove over it and you didn't know what to expect. When we got to the end of it, I was smiling ear to ear," said Genevieve Skidmore, 80.

The city decided to recreate the road in an industrial area away from homes.

On Tuesday the City Council approved spending up to $35,000 for the work.

City officials said there has been interest from several companies in sponsoring the road and reimbursing the cost in return for publicity.

2 years ago

Goldman Sachs Takes the Rap Again, This Time for Greece

Last Updated Feb 23, 2010 8:38 PM EST

Is there anything that Goldman Sachs won't be blamed for? A New York Times story highlights allegations that the investment bank created derivative instruments that allowed Greece to borrow billions of dollars and keep the debt off the national balance sheet so that the country did not appear to be inflating its deficit.

"Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts," the story, published Sunday, says.

Goldman wasn't the only bank named, although it was clearly the villain of the piece. JPMorgan Chase had a supporting role for a round of stealth borrowing it was said to have arranged for Italy (there seems to be an inverse relationship among European nations between fiscal rectitude and olive oil production).

"In dozens of deals across the Continent, banks provided cash upfront in return for government payments in the future, with those liabilities then left off the books," the story explains. "Greece, for example, traded away the rights to airport fees and lottery proceeds in years to come. Critics say that such deals, because they are not recorded as loans, mislead investors and regulators about the depth of a country's liabilities."

This latest report of financial sleight of hand is bound to worsen the reputation of investment banks, increasing concerns about legal and regulatory measures that could drastically limit their activities and profits. That could hurt their share prices, which are already well off recovery highs.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have fallen more than 15 percent since mid-October, while the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is roughly unchanged. Both stocks were up in line with the market on Tuesday, the first trading day after the Times story appeared.

What exactly did the banks do wrong in Europe? It's not clear whether Goldman, Morgan and other unnamed institutions made unsolicited approaches to governments there (it would be the mother of all brokerage cold calls if they did) or whether the governments initiated the contacts.

Either way, authorities were not forced to enter these deals. They chose to do so instead of cutting spending or taking the more European tack of raising taxes.

The banks' ethical culpability is certainly less than in the subprime mortgage scandal two years ago because of a key difference between the groups of borrowers: Some lower-income families with little financial knowledge may have been duped into taking out inappropriate loans. But it's hard to believe that European finance ministries, populated with civil servants trained at Harvard, the London School of Economics and their Continental European equivalents, could have had the wool pulled over their eyes.

As long as the economy remains weak and the global financial system shaky, there will be a bull market in scapegoating, with investment banks the main targets. But it remains to be seen just how successful the efforts to restrict their practices will be.

Bankers tend to be smarter than regulators and are adept at staying one step ahead of them, devising ever more creative ways to do what they and their customers want. Besides, governments, including our own, need their services. European officials have been aware for years of the use of exotic financial instruments by some countries, the Times story says, yet nothing has been done to control it.

Banks like Goldman and Morgan are leaders in an industry that has fewer participants, enhancing their strength, and the recent declines have left their shares trading at 7 or 8 times estimates of next year's earnings, barely half the valuation of the S&P 500. This may not be the best time to buy anything, with a correction gathering force across the market, but these stocks, especially Goldman's, could be solid long-term bargains.

2 years ago

How To Make Rap Beats In Seven Simple Steps

Making rap beats has never been easier. Ten years ago, to make rap beats you needed a professional sound studio with lots of advanced (and expensive) sound equipment. To make rap beats today, you only need to find audio production software online for cheap or free, and you can make music on you laptop in your bedroom. One thing has not changed, however: knowing how to make rap beats still required talent, training, and practice. Many would-be laptop DJs open their audio software excited and ready to make hip-hop music, only to realize that they have absolutely no idea what to do, or even where to begin. If you're one of these people, this article will give a very brief introduction on how to make rap beats.

Step One: Before You Start

It's best to write your lyrics ahead of time, so that you know how where your song is going and how to build it. Make sure you understand the basic structure of a rap or hip hop song. Lyrical verses that are sixteen bars long is the industry standard. The instrumental hook at the beginning is commonly eight bars long. Keep this in mind when creating your rap beat.

Step Two: High Notes

The first thing you should do is set down your high tones. These are most commonly cymbals, but you can also use chimes, whistles, bells, etc. It doesn't need to be too complex. The main goal of laying out your high notes is to establish for yourself the basic tempo and BPM (beats-per-minute) that you will build your song around.

Step Three: Bass Line

Next, add your bass line, the "booms" or low tones. Using the tempo you established earlier with the high notes, flesh out the basic rhythm of your rap beat. Again, it doesn't need to be that complex-it just needs to regulate the beat of your music.

Step Four: Mid-Notes

This is where you add the various mid-notes, such as kicks and snare drums, to create the distinctive sound of your rap beat. If you want to create an intricate or complex rhythm for your song, now is your chance to do it.

Step Five: Instrumentals

By now, your rap beat should be mostly complete. Although you can still change it if you want, doing so will cause problems further down the road. It's best to make sure you're happy with your basic rap beat at this point before moving on.

So far, you just have a beat line. No matter how good it is, it is not a song. Adding instrumentals is where you add the melody of the song. For your first sixteen-bar segment, start with eight bars of pure beat, just to establish the rhythm. Then, in the next eight bars, add an instrumental hook to establish the melody and grab the listener's attention. Next, extend that instrumental melody to a full sixteen bars (the length of a lyrical verse), and loop or it for the duration of the song.

Step Six: Lyrics

Now it's time to add the lyrics. It's best if you record them while listening to your, as it will match the rhythm, melody, and energy of the music better. It's also a good idea to keep them on a separate track-that way, you can easily adjust or even replace them later quickly and easily.

Step Seven: Audio Effects (Optional)

This is the point at which the final mix of the song occurs. Use audio effects, such as reverb or echo to help establish the mood and atmosphere of your song. Adjust your equalizer settings, volume levels, speaker balance, and so on.

Remember, this is just a very brief tutorial on how to make rap beats. It's a good staring point, but if you really want to learn how to make rap beats that will get radio play, read books on music theory, take lessons from professionals, and practice, practice, practice. Just knowing the basics of how to make rap beats don't mean you know how to make rap beats for the next platinum hip hop album.

By: beebob

Article Directory:

For more information and news on beats music and on how to make your own beats music at home, visit:

2 years ago

Experimental Computer Music and Electronic Music Creation

Experimental Computer and Electronic Music Creation

Here are sources for free or relatively inexpensive software and hardware to create

2 years ago

Hip Hop Beat Maker - The Truth You Need to Know to Get Started


Your rating: None

If you want to do your own hip hop music production from home, first and foremost there is one thing you are going to need.

That is a good hip hop beat maker.

With the phenomenal growth of the internet technology it is now not only possible but affordable to buy and download a top line hip hop beat maker from anywhere in the world any time of day.

But with this advancement in technology comes an often overwhelming number of choices in software, and that means a big range in price and a big scope for the quality of these programs.

So what do you need to look out for when purchasing a hip hop beat maker?

If you are a bit strapped for cash, there are lots of really great options out there that won't cost you much.

I'd suggest steering clear of the hip hop beat maker's that are advertised for free though.

Free software does let you have a go at making new beats but, you run the risk of not being able to edit or export your new sound.

This makes the track you have made pretty much useless as you can't use it anywhere else.

So, what is the best affordable option for a hip hop beat maker?

My suggestion would be to have a look at the DUB Turbo.

It is a great and affordable beat maker that will suit any home-based musician wanting to create high quality beats.

This program will have all the features you could possibly need, including full editing features and a simple user interface that allows you to cut, drag and drop your sounds and beats from one track to another.

It also includes a huge sound bank that boasts a large variety of beats and sounds that you can use at will.

Most importantly this hip hop beat maker also possesses the vital export feature, which means you can turn your tracks into MP3's and use them anywhere you would like.

If you are unsure about which product you want to go with, then I'd suggest doing some research and reading reviews of the different affordable software options.

I would be willing to bet you would come back to Sonic Producer, at only $29.95 USD, with all the features you will need, it's really hard to pass up!

Once you have your hip hop beat maker software, you will be wanting to make some awesome beats, and I have a few tips to help you along the way.

Hip hop is a genre that has great backing beats and rhythmic vocal rap. And almost every piece of hip hop music produced contains samples.

So my first tip would be to pick the right samples.

Whether they are downloaded tracks or live music, make sure the beat and the rhythm go with any vocals you might be producing or it can be very difficult to listen to.

Most importantly I'd suggest you go simple to start with.

Learn your new program and see what you can create, don't be afraid of using pre-recorded samples or downloads, there is no shame in it!

You will build up your skills and your music ear for when you are ready to make your own with your new hip hop beat maker.

2 years ago

Russ Tamblyn And George Chakiris Together Again

The last time Russ Tamblyn and Acadamy Award winner George Chakiris worked together, they ended up dead under a freeway in "West Side Story". Now they have a new project out with Chakiris playing a Puerto Rican gangster helping Tamblyn track down a dead rock star.

While remaining the best of friends the two actor never got to act together until now on the audio-book, "Hard Rock Lovers", released this week and available at With Rod Taylor (The Time Machine) narrating, and a full cast that has Robert Culp (I SPY), James Darren (The Guns of Navarone), and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), this is the largest production in audio-book history.

The 3.6 hour story is a romantic thriller with a supporting cast of twenty-four actors and has film quality sound effects and music making it an "audio-movie" of sorts.

For information on all the actors and the production of "Hard Rock Lovers" visit

By: Paul Kyriazi

Article Directory:

Paul Kyriazi is a feature film director. "Hard Rock Lovers" is his second novel and first AudioBook production.

2 years ago

MP3 Tag Finder - How to Fix All of Your MP3 Tag Problems

TidySongs Review

Using an MP3 tag finder can be a mystifying experience. If you're not sure how to edit MP3 tags yourself, you're left to learn how to use one of these programs, and sometimes they can be more complicated than just editing MP3 tags! Software creators sometimes make the mistake of creating confusing software, but the software designers of a new program called TidySongs got every single feature right!

If you love to use iTunes or Windows Media Player to house and organize your music collection, you don't have a complete library without TidySongs to keep it clean and organized. You can think of TidySongs as the sophisticated cleaning lady that comes in every once in awhile to tidy up! She can fix all of the typos and misspellings in your library, do away with all of the duplicate files, fill in missing metadata, download new album artwork and more! With TidySongs, gaining back the efficiency of a tidy music collection is completely possible.

TidySongs works by scanning your entire music collection in minutes and automatically continue while you sleep or work! Being around the for the program to work is not necessary in the least because there is no necessary input from you whatsoever unless you configure the program to manually ask you whether or not to save changes made. That's right, if you're not too crazy about TidySongs potentially doing something you'd like it not to, you can assign the program to ask you about certain songs. You can even configure the scan to skip certain songs or playlists. This makes it easy to find the tags of songs that you'd like to fix, and not make any changes to songs you want to leave alone.

Face it; an MP3 tag finder is essential if you keep a music library at all, and TidySongs is the perfect one to have in your arsenal. You can enjoy the convenience of TidySongs staying in constant relations with its large, online database for constant connection to music information. The database is constantly updated as well which means it grows as your music library grows! Because of this, TidySongs beats the other MP3 tag finder competition by a long shot.

If you're serious about fixing all of your MP3 tag problems and you simply don't have the time or patience to deal with it yourself, consider looking into TidySongs to fix these problems for you. You definitely won't be sorry!

If your music collection is a mess and full of "Track 01" and "Unknown Artist" you can organize iTunes automatically in minutes!

Fix mislabeled music, download album art, delete iTunes duplicates, and complete missing ID3 tags with the best iTunes organizer on the market. Click the link above or copy and past this url in to your address bar for a full review of the program and its features, complete with a video tutorial on how to use the software.

*New* Click here for a Tidysongs Promo Code!