How to Build an Awesome Band Website With WordPress (For Musicians)

As a rising band, it’s natural to want to get your music in front of as many people as possible. But, to do that, you need to establish an online presence and create a website for your band.

If you search online, you’re bound to come across many suggestions and different solutions. However, one of the easiest ways to create a website yourself is to use WordPress.

WordPress is a powerful platform that’s used by business owners, freelancers, bloggers, and artists because it’s easy to use and requires no coding whatsoever to create a website. Aside from ease of use, WordPress has a plethora of themes and plugins that allow you to style the website exactly the way you want. You can also add cool features such as an audio player, album information, event registration for your upcoming gigs, sharing buttons, and so much more.

In this post, we’ll show you how to build a band website and how to choose the best WordPress theme for your site.

How to Choose the Best WordPress Music Theme

An important part of starting your site is choosing the theme for your site. The theme will determine how your site looks so it’s important to choose one that has an attractive design and fits with your band’s style.

Although the design is important, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping for a music theme for your band’s website.

1. Consider the Features

When it comes to features, you’ll want to look for a theme that has features geared toward the music industry. Luckily, there are plenty of music WordPress themes that allow you to showcase your albums and discography, share biography information for your band members, and add an audio player so visitors can listen to your latest tracks.

You’ll even find themes that allow you to promote your upcoming gigs and make it easy for fans to buy tickets directly from your website.

2. Ensure It’s Easy to Customize

Look for a theme that’s easy to customize. You’ll be able to easily spot this if you read the description of the theme, which usually says it can be customized through the theme options panel or by using the built-in Live Customizer.

Most of the themes nowadays make it easy to change fonts and colors so you shouldn’t have any problems finding the settings and adjusting them to your preferences.

3. Look for a Responsive, Fast-loading Band Theme

Lastly, make sure to opt for a WordPress band theme that has a responsive design and has been optimized to load fast. You never know where your visitors will come from and the last thing you want is for your website to display poorly on mobile devices.

Keep in mind that visitors don’t like to wait around for any website to load which is why it’s important to choose a theme that indicates it loads fast or has been optimized for speed.

How to Get Started with Your WordPress Music Website

Once you’ve found a theme you like, there are a few more steps to take before we get to actually creating your site. You’ll need to buy a domain name and a hosting plan where you will install WordPress and your preferred theme.

It’s also a good idea to prepare the content that will go on your site so you can simply copy and paste the contents when it’s time to upload it, rather than spend time searching for it.

1. Choose a Domain Name

Your domain is how your fans will find your website online. If possible, try to buy the domain name that is the same as your band’s name paired with a .COM extension. You can also add a word like “band” or “live” if you find that your desired name is taken.

In most cases, you will be able to buy the domain name at the same time as you purchase a hosting plan, which leads us to the next step.

2. Select a Hosting Plan

The next step is to choose a hosting company. There are numerous hosting companies available that offer affordable monthly plans.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider Envato Hosted. Envato Hosted offers premium managed WordPress hosting for $19 USD (+ applicable taxes) per month. This service also installs and sets up WordPress for you, along with your chosen theme. Plus, it handles all the technical details involved in site setup. 

The plan also includes:

  • Up to 100,000 monthly visits of incoming traffic, 5GB of disk space, and 100GB of monthly bandwidth.
  • Daily backups, server security, and site monitoring, as well as ongoing support from our team of WordPress experts.

3. Prep Your Website Content

When it comes to your content, it’s a good idea to gather and prepare all the album tracks, cover art, band member bios, and anything else that you want to include on your site. This will save you time in the long run as most themes come with demo content that you can use to quickly set up your site and then replace it with your own.

How to Create Your Musician Website

Once you’ve completed the steps above, it’s time to get to work on your site. The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress. Then, you can install your theme, the necessary plugins, and continue with the theme setup and customization.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be using the Solala WordPress music theme. The theme features a modern and responsive design and allows you to showcase your latest tracks, promote your upcoming gigs, feature band members, and more.

Solala Musician WordPress Theme
The Solala WordPress theme

Discover more great music WordPress themes on ThemeForest, or browse through this selection of the best: 

1. Install WordPress

Let’s begin with our walkthrough by installing WordPress. If you opted for a different hosting company, they will send you a welcome email which will have information about your purchased plan, along with the username, password, and the link to your account’s control panel. Follow the link from the email and use the provided login information to log in.

After logging in, look for the Website or Scripts section and find the WordPress icon. Click the icon and follow the onscreen instructions.

Follow the prompts to enter your site title, description, username, password, and fill out your email address. Then, click the Install button.

After a few minutes, WordPress will be installed, which means you can now login to your WordPress dashboard. Simply visit www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin (replace the yoursitename.com with your actual domain name) and input the username and password you created during installation.  

2. Set up a Music WordPress Theme

To install the theme you purchased, go to Appearance > Themes > Add new. Then, click Upload Theme.

Installing the theme
Installing your band WordPress theme.

After that, find the zipped folder that contains the theme’s files and upload it. Once the installation is done, click Activate.

3. Install the Required WordPress Plugins

After you activate the theme, you’ll notice a notification in the dashboard that indicates certain plugins are required for the theme to have all of its functionality. There will be a link that points you directly to the installation screen.

installing required plugins
Installing the required plugins.

Select all the plugins and click Install. The plugins will then finish installing and be immediately active.

How to Customize Your Musician WordPress Website

Now that the technical part is over, let’s proceed with the site setup. In this part, we’ll import the demo content to save time, show you how to replace the content with your own, and show you how to customize your theme.

1. Import the Demo Content

To begin, go to Solala > Demo Install. Select the preferred demo version and click the Install button. Wait for the process to complete and you will be redirected to the homepage of your site. You can look it over to ensure the import process was successful.

demo content
Importing demo content.

Now, you can customize any page on your site. To replace the content, go to Pages and click the Edit button under the page you want to work with. In this example, we’ll be editing the homepage.

The Solala theme uses Visual Composer to create the layout for all the pages on your site which makes it really easy to edit them. To edit how a particular element displays, click the pencil icon. If you want to add additional elements, use the plus icon and drag the desired element onto your page. You can also delete elements by clicking the trash can icon.

To edit the band members, look for the Team section in your site’s dashboard. Here, you can edit the dummy content and add additional band members.

Editing band members
Editing band members

2. Customize the Visual Appearance

Once you’re done replacing the content with your own, it’s time to style the visual appearance of your site. Go to Solala > Theme Settings to begin customizing your site. You’ll notice there are quite a few options here.

Solala theme settings
Solala Theme Settings

You can upload your own logo and background image, customize the fonts used on your site, and more. You can also customize default settings for individual pages, and insert your social media as well as tracking scripts such as Google Analytics code or Facebook Pixel. A nice thing about the Solala theme is that it allows you to optimize the performance by letting you minify the stylesheet and the scripts so your pages can load faster.

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Musician Websites

While the Solala theme comes with quite a few useful plugins, there are a few more that are essential for every music site.

1. Featured Audio

Featured Audio WordPress plugin

The Featured Audio plugin comes in handy if you want to draw attention to a particular track on your album. This could be your latest release, a popular song from a previous album or any other audio track that deserves a little spotlight. It allows you to set a featured audio for each post and page and display it with a powerful HTML5 audio player. The plugin even includes five different visual styles.

2. Musicbox

Musicbox WordPress plugin

If you want to create custom playlists, this plugin will allow you to insert music playlists along with a preview from iTunes including the information about the artist, song title, album name, and more. It will even link directly to tracks on iTunes so visitors can easily purchase them and add the tracks to their collection.

3. Spotify Master

Spotify WordPress plugin

If you prefer Spotify or if your music is available exclusively there, you’ll love this plugin. Spotify Master for WordPress allows you to display music tracks, playlists, and albums in any widgetized area on your site.

4. Event Organiser

Event Organiser WordPress plugin

As a band, you probably have a number of gigs lined up in the upcoming months. Use this plugin if you’d like to make it easy for your fans and visitors to see all the details.

Event Organiser uses a custom post type to allow you to create events and adds a number of additional features such as the possibility of repeating your event according to complex schedules and assigning your events to venues. The plugin even supports Google Maps so your fans can easily get directions to the venue you’re playing.

5. Easy Social Share Buttons

Easy Social Share Buttons plugin

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress allows you to increase your shares, grow your profile, build your following, get new subscribers, and drive more traffic to your site.

It allows your website visitors to share your content on more than 45 major social networks and comes with 52 beautiful templates for social sharing, and a plethora of customizations such as display, animations, and more.

Create Your Music Website With WordPress

Creating your band’s website has never been easier with the help of WordPress and a premium music theme. You’ve just learned all about creating websites for musicians. Use the tips above as a guideline to create your own awesome band’s website. But make the first step browsing through our music WordPress theme collection and choosing the perfect WordPress music theme for your site.

View Tutorial: How to Build an Awesome Band Website With WordPress (For Musicians)

15 Best Royalty-Free Cinematic Music Kits

No matter what kind
of cinema project you’re working on, if you want to convey deep emotion,
riveting drama or exciting action adventure pieces, you need to select the
right kind of music.

There is a plethora
of amazing royalty-free cinematic music to be found at AudioJungle, but the
cinematic music kits are ideal for soundtracks. 

That’s because, unlike the typical
music item which is usually a fixed-length track, music kits are song tracks
that have been pre-edited into individual musical sections that can be
rearranged like building blocks to create custom-timed and custom-structured pieces.

This means that without musical or audio expertise or highly
specialised audio software, you can create a professional finish to your
soundtracks by dragging and dropping individual song sections to fit both the
length of music your scenes require and the tempo progression needed.

If you’re new to Envato’s Music Kits, you may want to read
Eric Schwarz’s tutorial Why Envato Music Kits Are the Essential Audio Solution toAny Project

And if you’re
already turned on to the power of Music Kits and are looking for just the right
music for your movie trailer, promo, theme or scene, keep reading to discover
15 of the best royalty-free cinematic music kits available at AudioJungle

I’ve grouped them into Dramatic, Romantic, Emotional, and Action/Adventure for convenience.

Dramatic

Traffic Trails and Big Ben

All the dramatic music kits featured here have one thing in
common. They all deliver big sound that intensifies the theatrical moments in a
scene and heightens audience excitement and anticipation. 

1. An Epic Adventure Trailer Kit

An Epic Adventure Trailer Kit combines the harmonised sound of chorus with sweeping orchestra to create a soundtrack that is both powerful and haunting.

2. Cinematic Epic Kit

Using strings, drums, horns, and percussion to create a
sense of building drama, Cinematic Epic Kit is perfect for
intensifying those key moments of a dramatic scene.

3. Blockbuster Music Kit

Blockbuster Music Kit is a powerhouse of a soundtrack. It opens with quite strong and ominous percussions that command your attention immediately then introduces a complex layering of soaring orchestra and hard percussions. 

4. Hip Hop and Rock Cinematic Trailer Kit

Hip Hop and Rock Cinematic Trailer Kit packs a punch with its electric guitars, hard
industrial energetic edge, and distorted vocal samples.

Romantic

Couple kissing

These four music kits are ideal for any cinematic project or
scene with love or romance as the theme. The four differ from each other quite
a bit but all deliver warm, mellow and tender sound using guitar, piano, violin
and/or orchestra.

5. Warm Summer Kit

Warm Summer Kit uses
beautiful acoustic guitar riffs punctuated with piano and great beats to create a lovely and alluring
sound.

6. Romantic Wedding Kit

In Romantic Wedding Kit, solo piano
combines with sweeping violins and an angelic chorus, resulting in a collection
of delicate and hopeful tracks.

7. Romantic Gentle Kit

Bright and optimistic, Romantic
Gentle Kit
features solo piano with violins, violas, cellos, and cymbals.
These tracks are unforgettable and emotionally resonant.

8. Emotional Piano Motivational Kit

Emotional Piano Motivational Kit starts
with a light and airy piano solo, while later tracks incorporate touching
strings, cello and some drums to create a composition that is gentle, moving,
and full of magic.

Action/Adventure

Medieval Knight

Whether you’re looking for a track to complement an epic fantasy
battle scene, the clash between good and evil, high-octane action or a quest
adventure, there’s something here to please even the most selective palette.

9. Hybrid Drums Chase Kit

Hybrid Drums Chase Kit is a collection of intense action tracks
featuring powerful drum hits, aggressive synths, epic percussion and other
elements.

10. Long Way Kit

If you want to ramp up the sense of anticipation in any scene in your project, Long Way Kit is the way to go as
it uses a full, rich orchestral sound to create an atmosphere of excitement.

11. Action Kit

Action Kit is a wonderfully dramatic music kit that features 16 tracks using strings,
percussion, brass, drums, piano to create a thrilling, high-energy soundtrack.  

Emotional

Abandoned wooden bridge over water

For those times when you need to pull at your audience’s
heartstrings, there is the emotional music kit category.

12. Inspiring
Piano Uplifting Kit

Inspiring
Piano Uplifting Kit
 is an evocative and moving collection of tracks
that features solo piano and then introduces strings, cello, and later full
orchestra.

13. Emotional Kit

Delicately beautiful
solo piano combines with full orchestra and builds in emotional intensity to
soaring heights, giving Emotional Kit its amazing power.

14. Epic Rise Kit

Epic Rise Kit is a bit more spirited than the first two
music kits featured here. Like the other kits in this category, it makes
significant use of solo piano riffs but intersperses them with full orchestra
and harmonious choral singing to create a complex emotional rise and fall.

15. Epic & Emotional Still Alive Trailer
Kit

Epic & Emotional Still Alive Trailer Kit generates its emotional power from haunting
vocals, the use of drums and other orchestral percussive elements. This
makes for a track that, as the name suggests, straddles the emotional and
dramatic categories.

Conclusion

These 15 royalty-free cinematic music kits are just a small
selection of the thousands of cinematic music kits available at AudioJungle,
so if none of them quite fits your needs, there are plenty of other great
options from which to choose.

And if you want to improve your skills creating and or
editing your own music tracks then check out some of the ever-so-useful music and audio tutorials we
have on offer.

View Tutorial: 15 Best Royalty-Free Cinematic Music Kits

Start Saving With These Early Cyber Monday Deals

At Envato this year, Cyber Monday lasts a whole week. You can get 50% off selected items on Envato Market, or save a whopping $120 on an annual Envato Elements subscription, any time between now and next Wednesday, 29 November. So if you’re l…

View Tutorial: Start Saving With These Early Cyber Monday Deals

Faking Keyboard Parts On Guitar: Part 1

Asides from being big hits, songs like I’m a Believer by The Monkees, Let’s Spend the Night Together by the Rolling Stones and The Final Countdown by Europe have an element in common in that they all feature keyboard parts prominently.

If you’re a guitar band that doesn’t have a keyboard player you might perceive this to be a problem. The obvious solution is to hire a keyboardist or force the singer into keyboard lessons. Neither, though, makes economic sense if you only need such sounds occasionally.

Happily, there’s a third way. As if you don’t already have enough to do, you, the guitarist, can play these parts. 

With a little preparation there’s no reason why you can’t perform them convincingly plus you’ll have a valid excuse for buying more equipment (and who doesn’t want that?).

In this first tutorial, I’ll show you the techniques and thought processes you’ll need to make this work.

Stop Thinking Like a Guitarist

If you want to approximate keyboard sounds, you have to approach the guitar in the same manner. Luckily, this doesn’t mean playing it horizontally from your chest, or having to sell all your gear and purchase a Keytar —neither is a good look. 

But it might mean an adjustment in technique, especially if you’re playing chords.

Making It By Faking It

The believability of your sound starts with two factors relating to your playing: 

  • The Attack Phase
  • Harmonic Voicing 

The Attack Phase

This refers to the initial sound at the beginning of a note. On a guitar, the attack phase is loudest on the string that’s struck first with a diminishing amount for each of the strings that follow. By contrast, on a keyboard, the attack phase is almost uniform for every note.

The difference here is that whilst a guitar’s strings are struck one after the other (even if very closely together) the notes on a keyboard are struck simultaneously. Any timing discrepancies between notes created on a guitar are far harder to discern on a keyboard.

Therefore, strumming strings simply doesn’t convey the same kind of sound as a keyboard.

Here’s how to adjust technique accordingly.

All Fingers and Thumbs 

Keyboard players don’t use plectrums, so if you’re trying to emulate the sound of a keyboard, logically, you shouldn’t either.

However, if you really can’t live without it, then you should investigate hybrid picking. This is where the plectrum is used in conjunction with your remaining fingers. It’s more common amongst players who use thumb picks (country players, for example) but is still perfectly viable for those who use plectrums held between thumb and fingers.

Typically, you would use the plectrum to play the lowest note and your fingers for the remaining strings. A pinching action’s required so that all relevant strings are plucked at the same time. Play more lightly with the pick, as it’ll be on a heavier string, plus you don’t want to over-emphasise the attack of a single note.

The Claw

If hybrid picking isn’t for you, then it’ll have to be fingerpicking. A good technique to adopt is known as The Claw. It’s a picking style that encourages independence between thumb and fingers, but I’m recommending it here for the shape it requires of your hand: thumb forwards, fingers back.

The virtue of this is that it keeps your thumb and fingers from striking one another, plus it maintains your hand in one position. If your thumb and fingers face one another, you’ll be lifting your hand up and down to prevent a collision.

Other reasons to avoid this are that:

  • It’s an unnecessary waste of energy
  • It can’t be done rapidly
  • Your hand will drift (gravity being the cruel mistress that it is), so that you may end up plucking the wrong strings

As a technique, The Claw doesn’t always come naturally to everyone but it’s worth persevering with as it has so many uses in your playing beyond the scope of faking keyboard parts.

Once you’ve worked out how to play you need to decide on what to play which brings us to our second consideration.

Harmonic Voicing

Using I’m A Believer, once again, the first two chords are G7 and C. If you play these as open chords, as many guitarists would, they sound okay but definitely aren’t like the original. The problem here is one of harmonic voicing.

A lot of guitar players tend to attribute only one or two shapes to any particular chord, especially if they’re common chords, such as G7 and C.

Keyboard players, by contrast, learn about inversions early on, so that every 3-note chord can be played 3 ways. For example, the notes of C-E-G (C major) can also be voiced as E-G-C (known as the 1st inversion) and G-C-E (known as the 2nd inversion). 

Although they’re all the same chord, containing identical notes, the order lends each of them a different sonic identity. Indeed, the first inversion is often used to lead from the I chord (C major, in this example) to the IV chord (F). As the voicing’s lowest note (E) is just a semitone below the root of the IV chord (F), it makes for a smoother-sounding chord change.

It is therefore a question of attributing the correct harmonic voicing and choice of which octave to play in that’ll make your keyboard parts sound more believable. It won’t always be possible to do so, as a full-range keyboard can produce almost twice as many octaves as a guitar, but you should still make it a consideration.

Conclusion

In order to start faking keyboard parts on guitar, you need to bear in mind the following:

  • Stop thinking like a guitarist
  • Make sure notes are struck simultaneously
  • Pluck, don’t strum
  • Fingers sound better than plectrums
  • Investigate hybrid picking or using The Claw
  • Correct harmonic voicing is important

In the next tutorial, I’ll show you various equipment options for creating the right sounds.

View Tutorial: Faking Keyboard Parts On Guitar: Part 1

Envato Elements Now Includes WordPress Themes & Plugins!

If you work with WordPress, you’re in luck—WordPress themes and plugins are now included in an annual Envato Elements subscription. And what’s more, you can lock in a special introductory rate for a limited time. Read on for more details.

Adios theme on Envato Elements

What’s Included

Envato Elements already gives you unlimited downloads from a massive library of 400,000+ photos, graphics, templates, and other creative assets. Plus it gives you free access to more than 1,000 courses and 240 eBooks here on Envato Tuts+.

From today, you’ll still get all of that plus a curated collection of beautiful, premium WordPress themes and plugins. 

As with everything else on Envato Elements, this is an “all you can eat” deal. You can download as many themes and plugins as you want, with no limits or credits to keep track of. And there’s a simple licensing system so that you know you’re covered for all of your projects.

Right now, there are over 190 top themes and 130 plugins available to choose from, and you can expect that number to grow as more authors join the platform and existing authors upload more items. 

WordPress Themes

There’s a wide range of premium themes on offer, whether you’re looking for a multipurpose theme suitable for a corporate audience or something more creative that would work for a blog or portfolio site. There are even niche themes for real estate sites, wedding sites and more—and of course, you can find e-commerce themes to help you make sales from your site.

Focuson theme on Envato Elements

WordPress Plugins

A well-designed theme is a great start, of course, but if you’re working with WordPress you’ll also need access to premium plugins to add the features and functionality you want.

Envato Elements has you covered here too, with a selection of powerful plugins to help you create booking and scheduling systems, contact forms, responsive menus, social media feeds, and more.

FlyFly WordPress plugin on Envato Elements

What It Costs

It’s important to understand that WordPress themes and plugins are only available with an annual subscription, not a monthly one. Usually, an Envato Elements subscription costs $29 a month, so the annual subscription will be $348 a year ($29 x 12).

However, for a limited time, you can save $120 on your subscription and sign up for just $228 (the equivalent of $19 a month). Remember, for that price you get not only the WordPress themes and plugins but also thousands of photos, fonts, graphics, templates and more. It’s a pretty special deal.

So head over to Envato Elements to see what’s on offer, and if you like what you see, sign up for an annual subscription to start making unlimited downloads. Don’t spend too long thinking about it, though, because this introductory deal won’t last forever!

View Tutorial: Envato Elements Now Includes WordPress Themes & Plugins!

10 Top Tips to Create More Powerful Drops

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

You can have a beautiful progression, an all-star vocalist, catchy melodies, but if the track doesn’t have an impactful drop or chorus then it stands very little chance in becoming a successful song.

The main attraction needs to be as impactful as possible and really drive home the theme of the song. 

While there are many genre-specific factors that contribute to the overall success of the drop, there are plenty of little techniques that can be applied to drops of all genres at any stage of the production process.  

Here are my ten tips for more powerful drops.

1. Dynamic Sub

For any track to be successful on the dance floor you need to have a sub bass that cleanly cuts through the mix.  

What many producers fail to see is that it not only needs to cleanly cut through the mix but it also needs to provide rhythmic and tonal interest.    

Action to Take

Use pitch automation

Having sharply pitched notes going up or down on every down beat, at the end of four or eight bar phrases or when transitioning between notes, works well here. 

This sharp pitching adds a lot of movement and power as the entire sub low end of the track feels like it is sliding up and down.  

Alter the Rhythm

Having a sub note that holds for a bar, switches to another note and then holds for another bar will make the drop sound flat.

Don’t be afraid to mix up the rhythm of the sub by chopping it up to play along rhythmically with one of your leads or percussive elements. Changing the rhythm will give the listener a sense of movement and progression and make the sub note appear more powerful. 

My suggestion would be to solo either the lead or percussion and beginning chopping up your sub notes so you can find the best way for them to interplay with each other.

Note

It is important to note here that a sub note at some point or another should be held for at least one beat as this allows the sub to fully ring out. Having only small chopped sub notes won’t provide you with enough low end weight.

2. Pick a Main Sound

Everybody knows by now that you need to layer sounds in order to achieve a timbral exciting and full sound. Many, however, get caught up in the layering process and forget that there needs to be one main sound in the drop.  

Now this does not mean that you shouldn’t layer anything. It means that you need to have one sound that is the focus of the mix so the listener doesn’t get confused and can understand the theme and vibe of the song.  

The other layers and sounds should play more of a supporting and frequency filling role rather than a track defining role.  

Action to Take

Next time you’re building the drop, ensure that you can hear one main sound more prominently than the others. This may only take some volume and EQ tweaks. The saying less is more definitely applies here.

3. Dynamic Layering

When layering, I’d usually duplicate the midi and change the patch or synth.  

This is common practice when trying to achieve a more powerful sound. There is, however, an even more effective approach called Dynamic Layering.  

Dynamic Layering is the layering of sounds on certain sections or particular notes of the drop. Instead of having all the layers playing at once, the different layers will come in and out of the arrangement to create a more dynamic drop.  

The absence of the layer creates more anticipation for when it comes back in and gives the drop more movement and the feeling of a more powerful drop.

Action to Take

A good place to start layering is to bring in a new layer every four bars for the main bass or lead. 

The dynamic layering will really be track dependent here as certain notes in the track might benefit from more frequent layering than just at the end of the four bars or might not work at the end of four bars.

The goal here is to create a sense of movement and tonal interest as the two components add to the overall power of your drop.

4. Stay in Rhythm

Elements in a track need to work together in order to effectively deliver the overall theme of the track.  

This is especially important when you are deciding how to program the sounds around the main lead or bass sound.  

One element that especially needs to work with the main sound is the percussion. Having these two elements effectively interplay with each other makes much more of a difference to the impact of the main sound than you think.  

Action to Take

Solo the main lead or bass sound and program in your percussion so the hits highlight the same story that the main sound is telling.

5. Add Contrast

Another key component to creating a larger than life drop is to add in elements that contain different frequency content and depth in the mix. 

If all the sounds in the mix have around the same timbre, are in the same space in the mix and have the same energy, then the track is going to sound one dimensional.

Action to Take

Create three main elements, for the drop, that have contrast. 

The first sound should be the main sound, whether that be a lead or a bass sound. The second element should be a delayed out or reverberated sound and the third should be one that contrasts with the main sound frequency content wise. 

So if you have a low frequency bass sound that lacks high end frequencies, add in a high pitch sound. If you have a bright high end lead, add in a low frequency sound.

6. Leave Room 

It’s not only the notes that are played but also the space between them that creates tension and the appearance of a larger than life drop. 

Having too many sounds playing full-on throughout a song leaves the listeners with no variation and gets their ears accustomed to a full sound.  

Remember that one key to having a powerful drop is to have the full sound broken up at times in the section.

Action to Take

Start with deleting all of the instruments on the last two beats of every fourth bar. Then play around with the different elements in the song one-by-one in this small little gap. 

Discover which sound—or sounds—work best to give the listener a small, but interesting break in the action and create suspense for what comes next. 

7. Symmetrical Main Lead or Bass

Believe it or not, symmetry plays a huge roll in the overall impact of a drop. Having too much variation leaves the listener confused and having no variation leaves listener bored.  

By saying to keep the main sound symmetric, I refer to the symmetry of the main sound as having a repeated rhythm.  

This is important because the listener needs some sort of repeated rhythmic hook to allow them to digest what you’re trying to say through the main sound. 

Action to Take

Ensure that the main sound in the drop has a repeated rhythm. The frequency and number of repeated rhythms will be track dependent. There is no one size fits all here, but as long as you can get the listener to hear and feel some sort of familiarity in your rhythm, you’ll make the drop more powerful. 

A good starting point for symmetry would be to have a repeated rhythm every bar or half a bar. The symmetry can be as simple as having the first two notes of the bar or half bar be the same rhythm.  

8. Mid/Side EQing

By now, many will be familiar with or have at least heard about mid side EQing—the EQing of the mid and side channels separately.  

This allows you to tonal effect the different parts of the stereo field giving you a greater control over the dimension of a track. Use this stereo image splitting to good effect and make the drops appear bigger than they actually are.  

Action to Take

Take a mid side EQ of your choice (my favorite is Fab Filters Pro Q2) and put it on the master channel.

During the buildup, automate a high shelf EQ down -2 dB gradually. Right before the drop section kicks in, draw in a quick automation on the high shelf to around +0.9 db. 

Doing this gives the appearance of a wider sounding drop because you remove higher frequencies in the side channel and then boost them in the next section.  

9. Stereo Automation

Like the previous tip, you can use same technique but pull out a little bit of the entire side channel as well. This combined with the high-shelfing of the side high frequencies will prime listeners’ ears for the drop.  

These little automation tricks may seem like they are not worthwhile to do, but keep in mind that when you change the master channel you change the track’s dynamics substantially. That’s why mastering usually only uses small amounts of EQing and small amounts of compression.  

Action to Take

Use a utility plugin or Voxengo’s free mid/side Encoder and gradually pull down the width or side gain on the plugin throughout the buildup of the song. 

Right before the drop hits, boost up this width or side gain to around 108% or .02 dB depending on what type of plugin you’re using.

10. The Build Up 

More often than not, the drop isn’t the section that needs tweaking to make it sound bigger.  The build up plays an important role in how the listener perceives the drop. 

If the build up lacks the proper tension and suspense, the drop will seem weak; if the build up is too full sounding, it will also sound weak.

Action to Take

Automate Low Cut Filtering, Delay, and Reverb on Builds

Builds are all about chaotic suspense and tension. What better way to create this than with a couple of fundamental effects either on your individual channels, group channels, or master channel.  You can use this handy little plugin if you are using ableton. Wash Out FX

Take Out the Low End in the Build Up

Having low end in your build up gets the listener used to this frequency content and leaves no impact on them when the next section hits, so removing all your low end here primes them for the drop.

Include Multiple Drum Builds

While having a snare roll works well, having supporting percussion playing their own separate build pattern or the same pattern of your snare works wonders for building tension

Use Auto Pan

Automation on an auto panning plugin for certain elements of your build to add even more chaos to the mix.   

Conclusion

Adding power to the drop is not always about how fat the sounds are but how they move in and out of the drop, how they play off one another and how you create the anticipation in the buildup.  

Understanding these dynamics and using the ten tips, in this tutorial, will give you the necessary skills to create a drop that leaves a lasting impact on the listener. 

View Tutorial: 10 Top Tips to Create More Powerful Drops

17+ Best WordPress Music Themes (2017) for All Musicians

As a musician or a band, your primary goals are to fill the gig venue with raving fans and get noticed by agents. The best way to make sure that happens is to create an attractive website. 

Using your website, you can share information about your albums, upcoming single releases, events, and general band or biography information. Having a site also makes it possible for music agencies to get in touch with you about the possibility of signing a contract.

One of the easiest ways to create a website is to use WordPress. Aside from being easy to use, WordPress is versatile enough for any type of website, including those for musicians, DJs, bands, and more. 

There are plenty of Premium WordPress themes geared for the music industry that include features like an audio player, event information, the ability to sell your merchandise, and so forth.

The Best Music WordPress Themes of 2017

In today’s post, we’re showcasing 18 of the best music WordPress themes available on our ThemeForest marketplace that not only have the features mentioned above, but also offer an attractive design that’s sure to impress your fans as well as music agents. Browse through them to find one that fits your brand best:

1. Merchato – Mosaic Music WordPress Blog Theme (2017)

Merchato Mosaic Music WordPress Blog Theme

The first WordPress music website template on our list is Merchato. It features a unique mosaic design for 2017, which allows you to create a media-rich music website. It integrates perfectly with the most popular musician plugin, AudioTheme and you can easily sell your merchandise using WooCommerce integration.

This top WP music blog theme is perfect for showcasing your gigs, discography, and insert audio and video posts. You can also customize every aspect of your site and make it reflect your music brand.

2. Lucille – Intuitive WordPress Site Theme for Musicians

Lucille musician WordPress theme

The Lucille music website template is made for musicians, artists, music bands, producers or anyone working in the music industry. It features a beautiful design and comes with plenty of features to customize your site. 

Use the drag-and-drop editor to create any type of layout, showcase your albums, display information about your gigs, and more. The theme options are accessible through a user-friendly interface which makes editing this theme a breeze.

You can also have our team quickly setup your new music site and get professional Envato Hosted support.

3. AQURA – Parallax Music WordPress Website Theme

AQURA Parallax Music WordPress Website Theme

If you want a modern music website template design, then look no further than AQURA. It offers an eye-catching parallax design which is perfect for grabbing the attention of your visitors and includes features such as a beautiful menu, videos, music sections, and galleries. 

Customers who purchased this WP theme love the ability to customize every part of your website as well as the stunning effects:

A lot of options to customize with amazing effects.

4. Onair2 – WordPress Radio Station and DJ Music Theme

Onair2 WordPress music radio station theme

The OnAir2 theme is marketed as the perfect website design for radio stations but it can also be used if you’re a DJ and want to feature your services and custom mixes. Some of the main features include:

  • Monthly schedule
  • Radio Player
  • SHOUTcast or Icecast support
  • Beautifully styled pages
  • Top 10 Charts
  • Events Calendar

5. Playbit – Modern Music WordPress Site Theme for 2017

Playbit music WordPress theme

Playbit is modern music WordPress theme design for 2017. It’s suitable for artists, music bands, and musicians who want a flexible and customizable theme. 

On top of a drag-and-drop page builder, audio players, and event information, this great WP theme also includes the ability to create wishlists, and use background videos. The Playbit core plugin can be used for even more styling options. It also has the ability to translate your website into any language.

6. Zona – 2017 Multipurpose Music Theme for WordPress

Zona Multipurpose Music Theme for WordPress

The Zona theme is freshly designed in 2017. It comes with a powerful and fast audio player that looks good no matter which device your visitors are using to view your site and listen to your music. 

You can also make use of dynamic playlist features that load additional content to player list and import your tracks from SoundCloud. Pages are easily customizable with the help of the Visual Composer plugin and you can create repetitive and multi-day events with the Event Manager.

7. Anthem – Band and Event Music WordPress Theme

Anthem music and band blog WordPress theme

Anthem is a modern WP theme suitable for musicians and bands with a strong focus on promoting your events. It’s fully customizable, easy to use, and fully responsive. This premium design outshines unsupported, free WordPress themes for musicians.

It comes with Premium features, such as: a custom music player, the ability to list your albums, event management features, and everything else you need to create a powerful and impressive band website.

8. Tune – One Page WordPress Theme for Musicians

Tune One Page WordPress Theme for Musicians

If you want a simple band website to share your tracks and upcoming gigs with your fans, consider the freshly Tune theme. It’s a one-page music template for WordPress that allows you to display an event list, your discography, and a well-organized video and photo gallery.

Several demos are available which can be imported with one-click and customized through Visual Composer. On top of that, this new 2017 theme integrates with Bandsintown, Soundcloud, and Spotify player. Use it to get your professional music website launched fast.

9. Solala Music – WordPress Feature Rich Music Theme

Solala WordPress Feature Rich Music Theme

The Solala Music theme is responsive, fast, and features interesting interaction features. You can create any kind of element with a wide range of shortcodes for albums, events, band members, and more. 

Visitors can manage playlists and songs using repeat, shuffle, or straight playing. Other notable features include:

  • Parallax scrolling effect
  • Carousel slider
  • Premium plugins such as Visual Composer and Slider Revolution
  • SEO ready
  • Different layout and styles for blog pages
  • Built-in Megamenu
  • One-click demo import

10. Shuffle – WordPress Theme for Artists, Bands, & Musicians

Shuffle all-purpose theme for WordPress music websites

The Shuffle theme for WordPress music websites is versatile and can be used by artists, bands, and solo musicians. It comes with an impressive 18 homepage demos and a number of page templates. You can choose between different skins depending on your genre to get just the look you want. 

Several custom post types are available such as events, albums, ticket status, and more. You can also add lyrics to your albums and connect your site with a variety of music shop platforms, including App Store, Google Play, Bandcamp, Spotify, Amazon MP3, and Deezer.

11. Audonic – Music and Podcasting Theme for WordPress

Audonic music and podcasting theme for WordPress

Try the Audonic theme if you want to showcase your music in 2017, but also want to make use of podcasting abilities. This fresh music WP theme features a clean and responsive design and supports native audio and video players as well as oEmbed. 

You can choose between dark and light themes, dark and light audio players, custom headers on the front page, blog page, category pages, and other custom website page templates. Customers cannot stop raving about the visual aspect of the theme as well as the support:

Not only is Audonic a great looking theme, mixamedia has provided me with some of the best customer support I have ever experienced. Cannot recommend this theme or this company more!!

12. SoundRise – Music WordPress Theme for Artists & Producers

SoundRise music WordPress theme
SoundRise WordPress theme

If you own a music label or if you are a music producer, consider the SoundRise theme. It’s a perfect music website template designed to promote electronic press kits, online merch stores, and music tracks from the bands you manage. 

It comes with a variety of unique demos, continuous audio playback, and you can create unlimited playlists. The included Custom Events Manager plugin makes it easy to create and list upcoming gigs.

13. Mixtape – Fresh 2017 Music WordPress Theme Design

Mixtape Fresh Music WordPress Theme Design

Mixtape comes with a powerful admin interface and all the necessary features to show your tracks, albums, sell tickets for your gigs in 2017, and more. You can easily import demo content and an elegant audio player that allows you set your music to play automatically as soon as someone lands on your site. You can also display the location of the venue where you’ll be playing thanks to Google Maps integration.

14. Pulse – Responsive Music Theme for WordPress Sites

Pulse responsive music theme for WordPress websites

The Pulse is a responsive music WordPress theme, that allows users to create their own tracks and playlists for playing, and add a track to favorites. However, it also includes more Premium features that outperform free WordPress themes for musicians, such as:

  • WooCommerce integration
  • Responsive layouts
  • Site and app layout
  • Dark and white styles
  • 4-page templates
  • One-click to install demo data

15. Wave – 2017 Versatile New Music WordPress Theme

Wave Versatile New Music WordPress Theme

The Wave WP theme was built on Visual Composer for easy layout modification and page design and integrates perfectly with bbPress which means you can create forums and interact with your fans. 

You can display information about band members using one of the 24 artist layouts and share your tracks from Soundcloud, Shoutcast, or upload your MP3. A standout feature is the ability to view the listen and download statistics so you can always know which tracks are popular with your fans.

16. Lush – WordPress Theme for Musicians and Bands

Lush WordPress Theme for Musicians and Bands

Lush touts itself as a complete solution for everybody in the music industry. It features a beautiful design as well as tons of features geared for the music professionals. You can also have our team quickly setup your new music site with this Premium theme and get professional Envato Hosted support.

Promote your gigs and display a countdown timer to build buzz and excitement, allow users to listen to your tracks with a built-in audio player, share your discography, and much more. Check out what our customers have to say about this theme:

This flexible theme has the features a professional musician needs and it is well-documented.

17. SoundWave – Radio and Artist Music Theme for WordPress

SoundWave Radio and Artist Music Theme for WordPress

The SoundWave theme allows your visitors to experience your music while looking up information about your upcoming events, gigs, artist information, galleries, and more. 

Each event can be displayed on its own map with its location and venue, the price, and availability of the tickets. You can also embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo. Customize your background, fonts, colors, and more through an easy-to-use theme options panel.

18. Remix Music – Pro WordPress Theme for Musicians & Bands

Remix Music WordPress Theme for Musicians  Bands

The Remix WP theme design is a modern theme with a responsive layout. You can embed MP3 tracks but also integrate with Soundcloud, Shoutcast, and radionomy audio. This top music WordPress theme also supports WooCommerce and bbPress plugins so you can easily sell your band’s merchandise and connect with your fans through forums.

5 Must-Have Features for Great WordPress Music Websites

Choosing the right WordPress theme for your music site is just the beginning. You want to make sure that your music website template has all the right features in place so you can impress potential agents as well as satisfy your fans. Here are the five most important features that every music website should have:

1. Audio Player and Sample Tracks

While your fans may already be familiar with your music, sharing your tracks and having an audio player on your site will allow other visitors to get a taste of your music and become interested in your albums and gigs. 

You can also use the sample tracks to offer them as a free download in exchange for their email list so you can send them a targeted email campaign and promote your upcoming concert. All the themes on our list include beautiful and responsive audio players.

2. Contact Form

A contact form is a must on every website so visitors can get in touch with you. A professional music WordPress theme like Lush integrates perfectly with Contact Form 7. It’s a perfect way for agents to get in touch with you or venue owners that would like you to play at their next event.

3. Agent Information

If you are represented by an agent then including their information is essential. This allows press members to contact your agent about an interview and it also allows others to book your band for their events and special occasions.

4. Music Event List

Your fans will want to know when your next concert or gig is coming up so be sure to include that information on your site. This allows them to make plans to attend the concert and if you pair that with a WP theme like Shuffle, they can easily buy the tickets and see the status of their ticket purchase.

5. Recent News About Your Band

Your fans also crave information about what’s going on with your band while you’re not playing or recording a new album. Sharing recent news allows them to see a more personal side of your band members as well get updates on new track releases, and more. Consider a music WP theme like Solala Music to easily create your blog and share news with your fans.

Get Started With a Pro WordPress Music Theme

Creating your own music website has never been easier thanks to WordPress and stunning themes for the music industry. Get started on your site by browsing through our new WordPress music themes and build a powerful website quickly—to showcase your albums, band members, and gig information.

View Tutorial: 17+ Best WordPress Music Themes (2017) for All Musicians

Some of the Software That We Use at Envato Tuts+ Music and Audio

In this tutorial, I round up some of the popular software that is used by instructors on Envato Tuts+ in the tutorials that they bring you.

Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a powerful Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and music sequencer, for Mac and PC, that has innovative real-time feature, incredible editing capabilities and an extensive library of sounds and instruments

It’s software for creating musical ideas, turning them into finished songs and even taking them onto the stage.

It has two views:

  • the classic Arrangement View, where musical ideas are laid out along a timeline, and
  • the unique Session View, where you can improvise and quickly experiment with musical ideas. 

Ableton says Live is a fast, fun, intuitive way to make music.

Cubase

Cubase Pro 9

Used by star producers and musicians for composing, recording, mixing and editing music, Cubase Pro combines outstanding audio quality, intuitive handling and a collection of highly advanced audio and MIDI tools.

Cubase Artist 9

Cubase Artist offers a range of proven editing and sequencing tools based on the same core technologies used and appreciated by musicians around the world.

Cubase Elements 9

With many new features and enhancements, Cubase Elements turns a computer into a complete production system for recording, editing and mixing audio and MIDI tracks.

DaVinci Resolve

Originally designed for Hollywood’s elite colourists, DaVinci Resolve has been used on more feature films and television shows than any other tool. DaVinci Resolve lets you create images that are not possible with other software tools. 

DaVinci is the world’s fastest growing and most advanced editing software. With DaVinci Resolve 14, you get Fairlight audio tools specifically designed for film and television post production. It requires a single click to switch between editing, colour correcting, audio mastering and delivery. 

If collaborating on a team, everyone can work on the same project at the same time.

Garageband

GarageBand is a fully equipped music creation studio for Mac. It comes with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice and a selection of session drummers and percussionists. 

With Touch Bar features for MacBook Pro and an intuitive, modern design, it’s easy to learn, play, record, create and share musical creations worldwide.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro is a digital audio workstation (DAW) and MIDI sequencer software application for Apple’s Mac OS X and macOS. It was originally created in the early 1990s as Notator Logic, or Logic, by German software developer C-Lab that later became Emagic. 

It became an Apple product, eventually known as Logic Pro, after Apple bought Emagic in 2002. It’s the second most popular DAW according to a survey conducted in 2015.

Kong

Kong Drum Designer is not A regular drum module. It’s a drum module focused on letting you get exactly that drum sound you’re after.

Kong has 16 pads and 16 drums. It’s possible to build drum sounds based on any of the nine different drum modules and enhance the sound with 11 support generators and effects. 

You can program automation, create alternating groups and let Reason’s powerful sequencer control the beat.

Malström

Malström Graintable Synthesiser is not your everyday synthesiser. It doesn’t act like one and it sure doesn’t sound like one. It’s the missing link between rocket science and music technology.

Graintable synthesis is neither granular nor wavetable synthesis but a combination of the best of both methods. The results are exciting, controllable and texturally extremely varied.

Pro Tools

Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation developed and released by Avid Technology for the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems. Pro Tools can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes.

Like all digital audio workstation software, Pro Tools performs the functions of a multitrack tape recorder and audio mixer, along with additional features that can only be performed in the digital domain, such as non-destructive editing, using the Undo feature, which allows an engineer to undo any changes he or she does not like.

Reaper

Reaper is a complete digital audio production application for Windows and OS X, offering a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering toolset.

Reaper supports a vast range of hardware, digital formats and plugins and can be comprehensively extended, scripted and modified.

Reason

Reason is a digital audio workstation for creating and editing music and audio developed by Swedish software developers Propellerhead Software. 

Reason emulates a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequencers, and mixers, all of which can be freely interconnected in an arbitrary manner. 

Reason can be used either as a complete virtual music studio or as a set of virtual instruments to be used with other sequencing software in a fashion that mimics live performance.

Sony Vegas

Sony Vegas was originally developed as an audio editor that developed into a non-linear editor (NLE) for video and audio from version 2.0. 

Vegas features real-time multitrack video and audio editing on unlimited tracks, resolution-independent video sequencing, complex effects and compositing tools, 24-bit/192 kHz audio support, VST and DirectX plug-in effect support and Dolby Digital surround sound mixing. 

  • Version 10, Vegas Pro runs on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10
  • Version 11 dropped support for Windows XP and version 12 is 64-bit only
  • Version 13 dropped Windows Vista support

On 24 May 2016, Sony announced that it sold Vegas (and most of its “Creative Software” line) to MAGIX, who would continue supporting and developing the software.

Thor

Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesiser features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. 

Thor is the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that uses synthesiser technology from the last 40 years.

Vordio

Vordio is an audio post production workflow tool that converts XML exported from a non-linear editor (NLE) video project into a Reaper audio project for audio post production.

Currently supported are XML exports from Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, Editshare Lightworks, Final Cut Pro 6 & 7. Also supported are AES31 and OpenTL formats for use with Nuendo & StudioOne DAWs & Tascam hard disk recorders.

Conclusion

In this tutorial I showed you some of the software that is used by instructors in the tutorials that they produce for Envato Tuts+ Music and Audio.

I have included links to some of the tutorials on each of these products. Use the Search box at the top righthand side of the Tuts+ website to search for more interesting tutorials across a range of topic areas.

View Tutorial: Some of the Software That We Use at Envato Tuts+ Music and Audio

Distortion Masterclass for Ableton Suite: Part 2

In the first part of the series I introduced distortion, its types and categories. I also showed you the Ableton plugins and examples on several intrument types.In this lesson I’ll give some  examples and additional tips and tricks.Piano1I made a …

View Tutorial: Distortion Masterclass for Ableton Suite: Part 2

A Guitarist’s Guide To Playing Festival Gigs: Part 3

In the previous tutorial I l showed you the gear best suited to playing a festival. In this tutorial, it’s all about the big day itself.

Recap

If you’ve not read the previous tutorials, here’s a quick recap of things to sort out before heading off to the gig:

  • Know when you should arrive, where to go on arrival and to whom to report
  • Know where you’re going, the route you’re taking and the likely journey length. Factor in a little extra time for things like heavy/slow traffic
  • Check your vehicle is going to make it, can accommodate passengers plus gear and that the insurance covers the journey accordingly
  • Check you’re taking the right gear and the right amount of gear. Balance sonic requirements against portability

PAT

PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and refers to the examination of electrical equipment to check it’s safe to use. Some events require this, so if an amp isn’t PAT tested, you can’t use it. Check before the event if it’s a requirement.

Timing

Festivals are living things and schedules can change. Your stage time might move to later in the day, be brought forwards, or even curtailed. For example, I once had a 45 minute opening slot slashed to 18 minutes because the organisers couldn’t get power to the stage.

Therefore, arrive at least an hour before you’re due onstage. Again, check with the organisers; you may need to be there even earlier, especially if there’s a soundcheck before the festival.

Setlist

Knowing how long your onstage time is likely to be, you’ve constructed your setlist accordingly. However, because timings may alter, be prepared for your set length changing.

Play your best songs, but build in some flexibility. Consider the following:

  • Consider songs that you could drop if the set’s shorter
  • Consider songs that you could extend using breakdowns, crowd participation, extended solos
  • Consider songs that you could add. If you need an encore, for example

The Big Day

After all that preparation, it’s on to play the gig. You’ve arrived, unloaded the gear and are now backstage waiting to go on. What follows will be over in a flash, so you need to be prepared to get the best out of it.

Sound Engineers

They’ll be your best friend or worst nightmare, depending on how good they are, how stressed they are and how much grief you give them. Your concern’s getting the best sound for you, whereas theirs is getting the best overall sound for the whole band.

If you get the opportunity, introduce yourself to the sound engineer and give them an idea of your requirements. Tell them what the band’s made up of, how many vocal mics you’ll need and if you’ve any monitoring requirements (particularly if you’re using in-ear monitors). 

Be friendly and helpful, as opposed to demanding—remember, how you sound to the audience is in this person’s hands.

Changeover

Organisers want to keep the audience from drifting away, so changeovers between bands can be as little as ten minutes. You therefore need to be ready to go. If possible, save time by setting up equipment backstage.

Don’t, however, rush the stage as the last notes are dying away. Give the previous band a few minutes to start packing up and clearing away. Furthermore, if there’s only one route on and off stage, you’ll hold them up on the steps with all your gear.

Onstage

Once you’ve made it onstage, you haven’t got a lot of time to lavish on setting up so be efficient.

Try to get away from the drums; unless you’re really loud, they’ll drown you out. If the onstage monitoring’s good you won’t need to hear your amp’s speaker, so don’t worry if it’s not close by.

In fact, if you’ve got the room don’t put the amp behind you. If you have it firing across the stage the band’ll hear it more clearly, plus those closest in the audience won’t be getting it full in their faces.

If it’s a tiny stage try to get the amp off the floor as you’ll hear it more clearly.

Sound

I’ve had great festival gigs and I’ve had lousy ones. The difference between the two usually comes down to the onstage sound. Here are some points to bear in mind:

Outdoors Versus Indoors

If your gigs to date have been indoors then playing outdoors comes as a shock. You’ll have tailored your sound to cope with reflective surfaces and bodies (the audience) in close proximity. 

Outside, however, those bodies are much further away and there aren’t any reflective surfaces nearby.

Your sound’ll therefore seem thinner than usual, but don’t crank up your amp’s bass to compensate. This’ll muddy the sound, as you compete with the bass guitar and the kick drum. 

Concentrate on the midrange instead; this is sonically where the guitar lives. You want enough to punch through but not so much as to sound nasal. Similarly with the treble; bright enough to be heard but not so much as to be piercing.

Time Effects

Delay and reverb can work wonders for your live sound, but use with care. Don’t forget the sound you’re making is acting as reverb to the sound coming out of the PA that the audience’s hearing. 

Use a little to help ‘bed’ the sound into the mix of the band, but not so much that you vanish in a sea of echoing noise.

Conclusion

Festival gigs are fraught with challenges, but you can make the best of it if you remember the following:

  • Check the event’s details ahead before the day itself
  • Ensure you know where you’re going and can get there
  • Allow time for your journey and arrive early
  • Take what you need to get the job done
  • Make sure your equipment meets the event’s requirements
  • Design a flexible setlist
  • Befriend the sound engineer
  • Set up quickly once onstage
  • Tailor your sound to being outdoors

Good luck!

View Tutorial: A Guitarist’s Guide To Playing Festival Gigs: Part 3