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'Working' on the weekend | News, Sports, Jobs – The Mirror – The Mirror

Shawn F. Linenberger/Staff
The Tonganoxie High School Drama and Music department performed “Working: A Musical” on Friday and Saturday at the Tonganoxie Performing Arts Center on the THS campus.
“Working” is based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with a cross-section of American workers. The Tony Award-Nominated musical was adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso.
Stage manager for the Tonganoxie production was Katy Duncan.
Joseph Turner played the role of ironworker Mike Dillard and firefighter Tom Patrick. Faith Morgan took on the role of project manager Amanda McKenny. Sophie Boltshauser, Brooke Eis, Addyson Shepherd and Harper York. They also were part of the ensemble with Journey Larson and Marley Kubichi. Shepherd also played the role of publicist Edi Jaffee.
Chloe Ferguson portrayed fast-food worker Freddie Rodriguez, while Joshua Duvall was hedge fund manager Rex Winship. Duvall also portrayed student Ralph Werner.
Santiana Garcia was teacher Rose Hoffman, Madeline Funk flight attendant Very Mason and Gabriel Altenhofen interstate trucker Frank Decke. Funk also played the role of care worker, as did Taylor Brents and Madison Farr. Katie Denholm and Farr split time as a call center worker and housewife Kate Rushton on different nights, while Tye Baldwin also was a call center worker.
Sierra Helaas was UPS driver Connie Swibel, while Abby Vick was millworker Grace Clements and cleaning lady Maggie Holms.
Playing the role of community organizer Allen Epstein was Alaina Rogers and stone cutter Toni Coelho was played by Josey Bartlett. Emma Skelley portrayed teacher Delores Dante.
Crew members were Keira Beverly, Bethany Overmiller, Brooke Hurley, Aiden Van Middlesworth, Isabelle Ferguson, Ella Pruitt, Kaylaeigh Williamson, Miley Andersen, Sara Celene, Allie Lowe, Izzy Estes, McKenna Klamm, Ana Estes, Lucy Graveman, Ian McCloud, Charlotte Woods, Aaron Wiseman, Gage Slabaugh, LydiaRafols, Vic Crable, Julianna Johnson, Brianna Santos, Kenisen Large, Charlotte Absher, Eros Price and Alex McConaughey.
Director was Steve Harrell, THS drama, speech and debate; vocal director was Tom Gifford, 6-12 vocal music director at Tonganoxie middle and high schools; and costume director was Debbie Holloway, eighth grade ELA and TMS drama.
Gage Slabaugh and Eros Price handled lighting, Bethany Overmiller and Isabelle Ferguson handled sound and assistant was Mary Kate Dial.
Copyright © The Mirror | | P.O. Box 71, Tonganoxie, KS 66086


Community news from around the area | News, Sports, Jobs – The Steubenville Herald-Star

Nov 18, 2022
Ron Retzer Trio to perform
Nov. 27 at Two Ridges Church
WINTERSVILLE — Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, located at 1085 Canton Road, Wintersville, will host a free concert by the Ron Retzer Trio on Nov. 27, beginning at 6 p.m.
The evening of holiday music is open to the public. There will be light refreshments afterward.
Agape Assembly details rib
and chicken dinner fundraiser
STEUBENVILLE — Agape Assembly is organizing a rib and chicken dinner fundraiser on Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 pm. at the Agape dining hall, located at 535 Slact St., the corner of Sixth and Slack streets, Steubenville.
The rib dinners are $15, and the chicken dinners are $12. The dinners include two sides and dessert.
The meal is pickup only.
To place an order in advance, call (740) 219-1915 and leave a message.
Brooke County Senior Center sets Christmas party date
FOLLANSBEE — The Brooke County Senior Center, located at 948 Main St., Follansbee, will hold its Christmas party for senior citizens on Dec. 5.
Starting at 11:30 a.m., the party will include bingo from noon to 3 p.m. and an ugly Christmas sweater contest.
The center will provide shredded roast beef sandwiches, with attendees invited to bring a covered dish.
Bell Chapel UMC to host Breakfast with Santa Dec. 3
STEUBENVILLE — Bell Chapel United Methodist Church, located at 3419 state Route 213, Steubenville, will host a Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 3.
It will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and enable participants to “enjoy breakfast and meet Santa.”
Cost is by donation for the breakfast that includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice, milk and coffee
For information, call the church at (740) 283-2239.
Blessed Sacrament CWC plans Christmas bazaar for Dec. 3
WINTERSVILLE — The Catholic Women’s Club of Blessed Sacrament Parish, 852 Main St., Wintersville, will be holding its Christmas bazaar on Dec. 3 in upper Sargus Hall from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be various items for sale “at bargain prices from $1 to $5,” a club spokesperson noted. There also will be a Christmas bake sale offering pies, cakes, cookies, fudge “and other goodies.”
Wreaths Across America effort in New Cumberland detailed
NEW CUMBERLAND — New Cumberland Cemetery is one of 3,000 cemeteries across America to be designated as an official Wreaths Across America location.
The WAA organization ships fresh balsam wreaths to member locations every December, and these wreaths are placed on the graves of local veterans, a spokesperson noted.
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 17.
On that day, thousands of volunteers in every state will show up to honor veterans by decorating their graves. Individuals who would like to purchase a wreath for this ceremony, the cost is $15. Order forms may be picked up at the city building in New Cumberland or a form will be mailed by calling George Hines, district coordinator, at (304) 670-7092.
The deadline for orders is Nov. 29.
The wreath ordered may be grave specific or it can be placed on any veteran’s grave. Wreath sponsors don’t have to be at the cemetery that day to place a wreath
“This program is a way to honor our veterans during the holidays and to thank them for their service to our country,” the spokesperson noted.
Weir High Drama Club is presenting ‘Snow White’ on Dec. 2-4
WEIRTON — The Weir High Drama Club will be presenting “Snow White” next month.
Performance dates are Dec. 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Corey E. Miller, language arts teacher/thespian sponsor, is directing the production with assistance from Emma Underwood, student stage manager.
“Snow White” was written by J. Michael Straczynski and is presented by an arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French Inc.
The show stars Leila Schwer as Snow White; Jason Lipovich as the Prince; Eve Swearingen as the Magic Mirror; and Lillien Roberts as the Evil Queen. Additional principal cast members are Caden Runkle as Doc; Max Bilodeau as Grumpy; Saavy Swidowski as Happy; Carly Campbell as Bashful; Brianna Swain as Sneezy; Mackenzie Stear as Sleepy; Tanner Finsley as Dopey; and Leanna Bissett as the Evil Queen’s alternate personalities.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday shows and at 1:30 p.m. for the Sunday matinee.
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STEUBENVILLE — A variety of programs and activities are on the calendar at the various locations of the Public …
Ron Retzer Trio to perform Nov. 27 at Two Ridges Church WINTERSVILLE — Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, located …
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Copyright © The Herald Star | | 401 Herald Square , Steubenville, OH 43952 | 740-283-4711


Now Hiring: Makeup Artist, Box Office Manager, and More – BroadwayWorld Classifieds – Broadway World

Now Hiring: Makeup Artist, Box Office Manager, and More - BroadwayWorld Classifieds Below are BroadwayWorld’s latest Classifieds listings as of 11/17/2022. Catch up below on anything that you might have missed and to visit the full section to post FREE classifieds, read ads and more, click here!
Posting listings in the Classifieds Section is totally FREE for basic listings, and our listings now include career help including accounting, taxes, designers, help wanted featuring full time jobs, internships, part-time jobs and temp work. For instruction and classes, we have listings on acting, dance, voice and voice-over lessons and coaching, as well as listings of accompanists, music production, arrangers & more.

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Full Time Jobs – Crew

Production Manager

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New Listings This Week

Full Time Jobs – Administrative: Artistic Director
Arena Stage (Arena) is looking for its next Artistic Director, a passionate leader with bold ideas on the future of theater and innovative storytelling, an inspirational community-builder who believes that great art makes for a greater society. Working in co-leadership with Arena’s long-serving Executive Producer, the Artistic Director will navigate the complexities of producing theater in a changing landscape with optimism, hope, and a love of the whole experience over individual glory. Arena … (more)
Part Time Jobs – Creative: Makeup Artist
In search for a makeup artist for a musical: 8 actors, Time Square, Dec. 1st-Feb. 5th. 36 shows in total. Looking to hire someone that knows how to create creatures and animals on the face that can look realistic. The work can be split between 2 artists, preferred to work with 1 person for the whole season. Please send resume & portfolio to [email protected]…. (more)
Classes / Instruction: Playwright Submissions OPEN – Black Motherhood & Parenting New Play Festival 2023 Season
Blackboard Plays and Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) are partnering once again for the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival (also known as BMPFest!) This virtual festival was created to uplift the experiences of Black Parenthood and was established to tell stories from and about Black artists with families. Dismantling systemic racism through art requires the creation of platforms and opportunities to tell stories that illuminate the reality, obstacles, pain, joy, celebration, h… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: VIP Sales Manager
Position: VIP Sales Manager Department: Marketing Classification: Full Time, Annual; Exempt Reports To: Director of Marketing Pay: $48,000.00 -$52,000.00 Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance with annual allowance for out of pocket medical expenses, paid holidays, vacation time, sick leave, paid parking near the theater and complimentary tickets to George Street Playhouse productions. Location: This is a full-time in person position in New Brunswick, NJ Summary of Position Ge… (more)
TOUR TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / Rigger: Salary $1,800 to $2,000 USD paid weekly (negotiable according to experience) + Per Diem $30 + Single Hotel Room w/ Breakfast MUST have experience touring musicals. International experience a plus. Send your resume and brief cover letter asap. Please indicate your name and position requested in the subject line to: [email protected] PRESS LINK:… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: Associate Director of Marketing
ABOUT Shakespeare Theatre Company For over 30 years the Shakespeare Theatre Company has dedicated itself to being the nation’s premier classic theatre. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and heightened language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and those playwrights he influenced, STC’s artistic mission is unique among regional theatres: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking and eminently accessible classic theatre in a uniquely American… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: Director of Human Resources and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
About Second Stage Theater At Second Stage, we create and champion plays and musicals solely from living American writers. On our mainstage Broadway theater, the Hayes, and in our two Off Broadway theaters over the past 40 years, we have developed and presented over 200 daring and provocative theatrical experiences by working with countless artists who have contributed their talents to our award-winning productions. As the only Broadway company exclusively devoted to living American writers Sec… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Creative: Alto Vacancy, Singing Sergeants
The Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force in Washington, D.C., has a vacancy for an alto vocalist. We are looking for a skilled ensemble and solo singer who has the ability to sing in multiple genres. This is an amazing way to have a stable, salaried singing career with performances all over the United States including the White House, sporting events, and with major orchestras around the country. Pay and benefits include: ★ Annual Starting Salary: $67,676-$70,1… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Creative: Artistic Director
Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré (LPT) invites applications from creative, curious, and collaborative theater professionals to serve as the next Artistic Director for New Orleans’ oldest small professional theater. The role will be a visible leadership position not only within the theater, but also with the broad and diverse New Orleans creative community; the right candidate will embrace the opportunity to build community connections, foster education opportunities, and engage new audiences whil… (more)
Part Time Jobs – Creative: Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Artivism Fellowship application open for writers, poets, composer, playwrights
Writers, Playwrights, Composers, Poets! We invite you to apply for Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Artivism Fellowship. The fellowship will culminate in a piece created by the fellow developed to advance the advocacy efforts of Alliance for Quality Education’s campaign: Solutions not Suspensions. The Alliance for Quality Education is a coalition mobilizing communities across the state to keep New York true to its promise of ensuring a high quality public education to all students regardless of… (more)
Classes / Instruction: Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Theater of Change Application open for artists
Applications for The Theater of Change are open to New York-based theater practitioners (of any discipline) who are interested in using their artistry for social change. Applications are due before December 4, 2022. The course will meet in person at Columbia Law School from January 9-13 from 10am-4pm (times subject to change). Participants will be compensated for their participation in the course at $25/hour. If you have questions about the course, please email [email protected] MORE ABO… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Non Theatrical: Box Office Manager
SUMMARY: The Box Office Manager will oversee the overall day to day operations of the ticketing department, requiring a high level of both internal and external communication and coordination. This role is highly visible and interacts with sponsors, vendors, clients, programmers, development staff and marketing staff. This individual may be the first interaction members of the public have in answering inquiries about programs and helping a visitor obtain program or museum exhibition tickets. T… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Crew: Production Coordinator
The Production Coordinator maintains a safe and professional performance environment for all members of the MSM community, including Students, Faculty, Staff, and Patrons, while supporting the goals of the School and maintaining and preserving the physical integrity of the performance venues. Domains: Coordinate the production planning and execution of upcoming events in assigned venues, as determined by the crew schedule Reach out to event organizers to gather information. Create drawings, … (more)
Classes / Instruction: Associate Artistic Director
The Old Globe seeks experienced and highly effective theatre professionals interested in facilitating the skillful execution of the company’s broad range of programming to serve as Associate Artistic Director. As the most senior position supporting The Old Globe‘s Erna Vinci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, the Associate Artistic Director will serve in a critical role supporting The Old Globe‘s reputation as a leader in dynamic theatrical programming that is actively advancing and infl… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: Director of Arts Engagement
The Old Globe invites applications from dynamic and creative individuals deeply committed to a highly progressive and engaged approach to building community through the arts to serve as their Director of Arts Engagement. The Director of Arts Engagement will lead already thriving and robust community-based and educational programming and continue to foster the expansive relationship that The Old Globe has forged with the San Diego community it serves. Well aligned candidates will bring a rich … (more)
Part Time Jobs – Creative: Carpenter
Theatrical scenery building. Able to read drawings. Act like a team player. Safety first. Knowledgeable with all tools. … (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: General Manager
ZACH Theatre seeks experienced process-oriented arts administrators to apply for a newly structured role of General Manager. An integral member of the senior leadership team, the General Manager sits at the intersection of the artistic, production, and administrative departments of the organization. This position oversees ZACH’s day-to-day operations, including IT, facilities, and rentals, strategizing and streamlining systems for efficiency and effectiveness. The General Manager also leads the… (more)
Classes / Instruction: Budget Manager
BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) is a home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas-engaging both global and local communities with world-renowned programming in theater, dance, music, opera, film, and much more. With an annual operating budget of approximately $50 million -the majority dedicated directly or indirectly to programming-BAM is a leading presenter of emerging and contemporary artists. The Budget Manager role supports and plays a key role in managing BAM’s organizational budg… (more)
Part Time Jobs – Non Theatrical: Sabina Tassone
Steppenwolf Theatre Company For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors, stage managers and playwrights. Steppenwolf’s artistic ambitions are made possible by its incredible workforce of individuals, who help create a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and accou… (more)
Part Time Jobs – Creative: CNC Operator
Theatrical scenery building. Able to read drawings. Act like a team player. Safety first. Knowledgeable with all tools. … (more)
Full Time Jobs – Administrative: Artistic Assistant
Two River Theater, a mid-sized professional LORT theater, located in Red Bank, NJ, is seeking Artistic Assistant applicants for our 2022-2023 season. The Artistic Assistant is part of Two River’s Junior Staff, a program that is a springboard for young professionals at the start of their career. The program offers practical applications in multiple career fields. The season-long positions-in-residence are supported by mentors who help them learn and connect with leading industry professionals, … (more)
Classes / Instruction: Playwright Submissions OPEN – Black Motherhood & Parenting New Play Festival 2023 Season
Blackboard Plays and Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) are partnering once again for the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival (also known as BMPFest!) This virtual festival was created to uplift the experiences of Black Parenthood and was established to tell stories from and about Black artists with families. Dismantling systemic racism through art requires the creation of platforms and opportunities to tell stories that illuminate the reality, obstacles, pain, joy, celebration, h… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Crew: Sound Technician
Steppenwolf Theatre Company Sound Technician For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors, stage managers and playwrights. Steppenwolf’s artistic ambitions are made possible by its incredible workforce of individuals, who help create a culture of inclusivity, collabora… (more)
Classes / Instruction: Calling All Creative People for MDD’s Global Dance Circle for Social Change Part 7
We invite all professional, recreational, and non-dancer dancers to submit a clip. This year’s theme is Celebration! MDD will be publishing this year’s Global Dance Circle for Social Change for the winter solstice on December 21st! To be included in MDD’s next “Global Dance Circle for Social Change” video, email a 10-second clip of your best moves to [email protected]! Deadline: November 30th, 2022 11:59PM… (more)
Full Time Jobs – Crew: Electrician/Spot Op
Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, Maine seeks immediate replacement for Electrician/Spot Op for our 2022 Season and Arts Academy productions. Theatrical electrician experience is required. Job Duties/Expectations include (but are not limited to): -Startup, Checkout, and Shutdown procedures for each show (8 shows/week) -Operate spots while maintaining design integrity of each show -Assist Head Electrician and Asst. Head Electrician with execution of lighting plots -Participate in weekly work c… (more)
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Disturbed's AI generated apocalyptic hellscape | shots – Shots

The American heavy metal band enlists the help of Doomsday director Tristan Holmes and artificial intelligence to produce a dark and visceral music video. 
Unlock full credits and more with a Source + shots membership.
Despite the recent emergence of more user friendly artificial intelligence software, the creative industries are only just beginning to scratch the surface of its possibilities, and it still remains a largely untapped resource in the world of music video production. 

Working with Midjourney, an AI program that creates images from textual descriptions, director Tristan Holmes of Doomsday Entertainment created this intriguing music video for Disturbed’s new track ‘Bad Man’, by entering descriptive prompts to extract more than 10,000 frames of artwork. 
The software curated an exquisite selection of grotesque and uncannily realistic ‘paintings’ from Holme’s descriptions in a mere matter of days, an immense amount of artwork which would have taken years to produce to this level of detail by hand. 
With every image carefully crafted and stitched together, the film has a unique, nightmarish style that sits somewhere between heavy metal album art, Francis Bacon-esque existentialism and infernal military oil paintings that perfectly encapsulates the track’s spirit and ideology. 
Day becomes night and night becomes day for the residents of a sleepy town dictated by the regime of an unruly rooster.
Directed by Tom Hooper through SMUGGLER, this heart-warming tale of strangers on a train features a frantic hunt for numbers that will boost both romance and finance.
The British supermarket takes us on a moving journey through the changing seasons, celebrating the unsung heroes who work hard year-round to make Christmas happen.
Promoting the brand’s AirPods Pro headphones, this cheering spot sees a couple leap, dance and parkour their way around Buenos Aires creating magical bursts of snow as they go.
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The best holiday gifts for music lovers and musicians in 2022 – Yahoo News Australia

Everyone needs a hobby, right? And chances are you know at least one person on your holiday shopping list who fancies themselves a musician. Whether they’re a casual guitarist, a former piano prodigy or a bedroom producer of electronic music we’ve got some recommendations. Some of these even make a great gift for music lovers who haven’t quite made the jump yet. Perhaps getting a synthesizer tinker toy will inspire your loved one to go from a consumer to a maker.
If you know someone who believes there’s music all around, if you can just train yourself to listen for it, I have the perfect gift for them. The Soma Labs Ether is sort of like a microphone. But not one that you sing into. Instead, it picks up electromagnetic interference and radiation from across the entire spectrum from Hertz to Gigahertz. Soma likes to refer to it as an anti-radio since it doesn’t tune into one frequency, it tunes into all the frequencies. With the Ether your sound-loving giftee can eavesdrop on neon signs and sample the silent whine of an AC adapter. It’s literally a gateway to an invisible world of electromagnetic waves. And the particularly adventurous can even wield it as a live instrument.
Buy Ether at Soma – $160
Modular synthesis has been enjoying a revival over the past few years. But getting into Eurorack can be intimidating and very expensive. So a number of companies have been working to lower the barrier to entry. If there’s someone on your list that has been itching to dip their toes in, the West Pest and East Beast from Cre8audio are an excellent starting point. They’re self-contained semi-modular synths, so they don’t need any extra gear to start experimenting. But they’re Eurorack compatible, and can be removed from their cases and mounted in a larger system if they wind up going deeper down that rabbit hole.
We like the West Pest in particular because, in addition to being perhaps the most affordable Eurorack compatible semi-modular synth out there, it explores the more experimental world of west coast synthesis. As the music gear experts at Reverb note “the combination of Wavefolding with the Dynamics Controller (a take on the low-pass gate) gives the synth its bold, unique and adventurous sound.”
Buy West Pest at Amazon – $250
Every music lover and music maker needs a good pair of headphones. There are so many amazing sets out there to choose from, but I remain a dedicated fan of Sony’s affordable workhorse the MDR-7506. They’ve been a studio mainstay for decades for good reason. They’re natural sounding, light and comfortable enough to wear for hours, and reasonably priced. The MDR-7506s are equally at home monitoring a podcast, mixing a club banger or just listening to some vinyl. In short, they’re a great practical gift even if you’re operating under a tight budget.
Buy Sony MDR-7506 at Amazon – $100
The original Orba is a phenomenal fidget toy and an interesting MIDI controller. The Orba 2 is both those things and a sampler. Adding sampling to this little musical grapefruit greatly expands its flexibility. If you know someone who’s constantly tapping out rhythms or humming little melodies to themselves, they’ll probably love an Orba.
Buy Orba 2 at Artiphon – $150
Cheap and portable synths are a dime a dozen these days. Korg really kicked off something of revolution with its Volca line. But one thing we’d yet to see until Roland launched its Aira Compact line, was a portable and affordable box dedicated to vocal effects. The E-4 Voice Tweaker combines pitch correction, a harmonizer, a vocoder, plus pitch and formant shifting, and a looper. There’s also delay, reverb and chorus effects, not to mention Roland’s signature Scatter, which it turns out is much better on vocals than drums. If there’s anyone on your list who’s been trying to turn themselves into the next Bon Iver or late ‘70s Herbie Hancock, this will at least get them part of the way there.
Buy E-4 Voice Tweaker at Amazon – $200
Where to begin with the Habit? It’s a delay pedal – which almost every musician can use. But it’s so much more. It’s a looper, sort of. Chase Bliss calls it a musical sketchpad, and that can be true too. It does all of those things, plus it has a selection of unique modifiers that can chop up sounds in rhythmic ways, mimic the warble of a tape machine, or spit out what can only be described as unicorn sparkles. In short, there’s almost nothing else like it out there. If there’s a guitarist or a synth player on your list with a taste for the esoteric (and you don’t mind splurging), they’ll probably love the strange collection of sounds that Habit puts at their feet.
Buy Chase Bliss Habit at Reverb – $399
The 1010Music Nanoboxes are probably the smallest full-featured hardware synths out there. But the Lemon Drop also has the distinction of being one of the only dedicated granular synths on the market. If your giftee is into ambient music or oddball textures they will almost certainly love the Lemon Drop. It has a robust granular sound engine (meaning it chops up sound files into tiny bits and spits them back out) with up to 16 granulators per voice and four voice polyphony. Plus it doubles as an effects processor for live audio with an expressive X/Y pad mode for changing parameters. And it can easily fit in a jacket pocket.
Buy Lemon Drop at 1010 Music – $399
The Mavis is the cheapest way to give someone the gift of a real-deal Moog synthesizer. It’s a $350, pseudo-DIY, semi-modular, monophonic synth and, in a rarity for the company, it’s fully Eurorack compatible. It’s capable of getting that classic Moog sound with thick square and saw waves shaped by resonant lowpass filter. Its 24-point patchbay is an impressive collection of utility and sound-shaping tools that is not only great for learning the art of synthesis but also expanding the potential of a larger modular setup. Lastly, the Mavis is the first time Moog has dipped its toes into the rival world of West Coast synthesis by including a wavefolder. It’s a great gift whether it’s someone’s first synth of fiftieth.
Buy Moog Mavis at Amazon – $349
Part of the fun of holiday shopping is finding fun weird things that you know someone would appreciate, but are so impractical they’d never buy it themselves. That’s basically the Rainger FX Minibar in a nutshell. It’s a distortion pedal, and also an endless supply of different distortion pedals. See, on its own it doesn’t do anything. The “Liquid Analyzer” part of the name comes from the fact that there’s a tiny container on top that you need to fill to complete the circuit. And, the sound will change based on what you put in there. Water will have an obviously different effect than say, beer, or soda, or – if you’re metal enough – blood. The folks at Reverb love it because “the Minibar is easy to incorporate into musicians’ small pedalboards… meaning folks can experiment without too much of a space commitment.”
Buy Rainger FX Minibar at Reverb – $149
I firmly believe that every guitarist should have an amp sim in their arsenal. They’re handy for quietly practicing late at night, recording direct to a DAW, or building a lightweight live rig that connects to a venue’s PA. Universal Audio’s are among the best amp sims I’ve ever used. They’re not cheap at $400, but if there’s a person on your list you want to splurge on, these are a worthy consideration. While all three of the models are excellent, and my personal favorite seems to change from week to week, it’s probably the Ruby ‘63 Top Boost that has spent the most time on my board.
The Ruby is an emulation of the classic Vox AC30 which has been used by everyone from the Beatles, to U2, to REM, to Queen. Reverb’s experts love that it “delivers choirboy cleans, complex overdrive, and classic vibrato to mimic a classic British tube amp.” Plus you can tweak the Ruby’s sound by turning on popular mods or switching in different speaker emulations.
Buy Ruby at Reverb – $399
The Century Collection is another splurge, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. For $400 your giftee will receive every sample pack, virtual instrument and effect plugin that Puremagnetik makes for the next 100 years. On day one they’ll get access to around 100 sample packs covering everything from vintage synth pads, to circuit bent toys, to early digital drum machines.
But perhaps even more interesting are the 39 VST plugins that range from lo-fi keys to absolutely out of this world effects. The creative delays and strange micro loopers are highlights and perfect for the person who’s into more ambient and experimental music. Then there’s Lore, an “advanced sound design workstation” that’s updated on a monthly basis with new features and effects. Even if someone manages to outlive the length of their Century Collection membership, they’ll probably never be able to fully explore it all.
Buy Century Collection at Puremagnetik – $399
Anyone who practices some sort of creative art – be it music, painting or writing – hits a block at some point. There’s tons of advice out there on how to overcome these hurdles, but one of the most famous is easily the Oblique Strategies deck. Developed by Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno in 1975, each card contains an action or a way of thinking designed to shake up your approach to a thorny creative problem. “Use an unacceptable colour,” “Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate” and “Emphasize the flaws,” are the sorts of vague instructions you can expect. And how someone interprets the prompts will produce different results for each person. If you’re shopping for anyone with a creative streak, they’ll find a use for this deck.
Buy Oblique Strategies at Eno Shop – $60
If you’re gift shopping for a music producer I can almost guarantee you they’re fans of J Dilla. He was a singular force in hip-hop, and has even had his MPC displayed at the Smithsonian. Dilla Time by Dan Charnas chronicles not just the life of Dilla (James DeWitt Yancey), but his legacy and the history of rhythm in America. In addition, there are graphics that help illustrate the concepts behind Dilla’s unique beats and what made him so special. It’s part biography, part history lesson and part practical music production guide.
Buy Dilla Time at Amazon – $22
If there’s an aspiring songwriter on your list, consider picking them up a copy of How to Write One Song. Written by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, this tome breaks down the process from beginning to end and encourages readers to start small; don’t try to become a “songwriter” just try to write a song. But this isn’t a rote how-to book, that sort of thing is only so helpful when it comes to mastering an artistic craft. It’s about building creativity into your everyday life. And just like any other skill, being creative requires practice.
Buy How to Write One Song at Amazon – $19
A turntable is almost a necessity for any music lover or music maker. For one, it’s a way to listen to the artists they love. Whether that’s for pure enjoyment or for inspiration. And while there are plenty who think that vinyl just “sounds better,” I think the real reason it beats out streaming from Spotify: It’s tangible. There’s nothing quite like physically holding a piece of music, placing the needle in a groove and looking at the large cover art, or reading the liner notes. It connects a person to the art more and forces them to be a more active participant in its consumption.
Now, the AT-LP120XUSB is not the highest-end turntable in the world. And it might not even be the best bang for your gift-giving dollar. But it is excellent sounding and reasonably priced. And the USB port makes it easy for any aspiring music producers to sample straight to their DAW. Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire a life-long love of crate digging.
Buy AT-LP120XUSB turntable at Amazon – $349
A US federal court has sentenced a Chinese national to 20 years in prison after he was convicted last year of plotting to steal trade secrets from several US aviation and aerospace companies.Xu Yanjun, the first Chinese spy extradited to the United States for trial, was convicted in November 2021 by a federal jury on counts of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and trade secret theft.
The white man accused of killing 10 black people in a racially motivated shooting spree at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket intends to plead guilty to murder and other charges next week, a lawyer for families of some of the victims says.Peyton Gendron plans to accept responsibility for all 25 counts contained in a state criminal indictment at a hearing on Monday in Erie County Court in Buffalo, according to Terrence Connors, a lawyer for relatives of seven of the dead and two surviving victims.
Chilling footage has captured the last moments of two of the university students found stabbed to death in a home on Sunday.The haunting video from a Twitch livestream shows Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, chatting as they grab a late night snack from a food truck just hours before they were murdered alongside Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20.
Leaders gathering for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Thailand should "rise above differences", the host says, after a series of summits in the region were dominated by geopolitical tension over the war in Ukraine.Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the meeting of the 21-member bloc, which starts on Friday, "takes place at a pivotal juncture" with the world facing multiple risks.
Travel plans could be thrown into chaos this Christmas with aviation firefighters threatening to walk off the job. Find out more.
The Queensland man has warned locals and tourists to stay 'vigilant' before deciding to take a dip. Find out what happened.
A free trade deal between the UK and Australia has taken a leap forward with a parliamentary committee giving it the green light.The parliament's treaties committee released a report on Thursday recommending that "binding treaty action be taken".
The Dutch government says it has summoned the Russian ambassador in the Netherlands over what it called the country's "utterly despicable" response to the verdict in the trial over the 2014 downing of Flight MH17.Russia said on Thursday the Dutch court's decision to convict two former Russian intelligence agents and a Ukrainian separatist leader for shooting down the Malaysian airliner "neglected impartiality".
Victoria has recorded three new confirmed cases of measles in returned overseas travellers.The cases are all within one family, with two people infectious during a return flight from Singapore to Melbourne.
South Australia has successfully managed an oversupply of electricity after being disconnected from the national energy grid, with the state government describing fears of possible blackouts as a bit of "hysteria".With SA unable to export excess solar and wind power across the border to Victoria, generation from some commercial, industrial and residential solar systems was curtailed on Thursday to minimise the risk of disturbances across the network.
Graphic media coverage of domestic violence has been linked to copycat behaviour and used as a chilling threat against terrified partners, research has found.Explicit reports on the deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children in Brisbane and Kelly Wilkinson on the Gold Coast prompted a surge in cases of similar violence, according to the University of Queensland study.
Ukraine may get the access it has demanded to the site in the border area of southeastern Poland where a missile killed two people on Tuesday, Polish officials say.Warsaw and its Western allies say evidence from the scene points to the explosion being caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile that went astray in pursuit of a Russian missile.
A man with a rare degenerative condition that resulted in half his brain being surgically removed was told by Australia's disability agency his funding had been slashed because "patients get better".Ruth Den Brinker, the mother and full-time carer of a 44-year-old man with disabilities, presented her submission to a Senate committee examining the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on Thursday.
The federal government will host a National Early Years Summit in February as it builds its "whole-of-government approach" for Australia's children.The government's early years strategy, to be unveiled on Friday, will co-ordinate programs and funding directed at children and ensure accountability isn't lost through efforts being scattered across various departments.
The X-rated act was captured by his slightly amused passenger. Find out what happened.
The Canadian prime minister was 'threatened' by the Chinese leader in a tense moment caught on camera at the G20 leaders' summit. Watch the video here.
Sydney Metro passengers could suffocate and die if a fire breaks out in a tunnel because exits would be too far to reach, NSW Labor says.The Australian standard ensures maximum cross-passage spacing of 240 metres but Sydney Metro insists its projects will employ the 500m European standard.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expects to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the meeting of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, a New Zealand government spokesperson says.The meeting on Friday evening is "currently confirmed", the spokesperson said in a message.
It could soon be easier for survivors of sexual assault to give evidence in the event of a retrial in Canberra, with the ACT government looking at legal changes.ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury is considering allowing recorded evidence from a first trial to be used in a subsequent trial in a bid to stop someone being required to give in-person evidence a second time.
John RaouxNASA has just launched its first rocket in the Artemis program, which will, among other things, take scientific experiments to produce metal on the Moon. In recent years, a number of businesses and organisations have ramped up efforts to establish technologies on the Moon. But doing work in space is expensive. Sending just one kilogram of material to the Moon can cost US$1.2 million (A$1.89 million). What if we could save money by using the resources that are already there? This proces


Best Audio Mixer For Streaming (2023): Livestreaming Audio Mixers That Actually Cut It! – DJ Tech Reviews

HomeMusic ProductionBest Audio Mixer For Streaming (2023): Livestreaming Audio Mixers That Actually Cut It!
Our reviews are based on extensive research, community driven DJ surveys and, when possible, hands-on testing of the DJ gear. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we will receive a percentage of the proceeds.
Today we take a deep look into the world of the best audio mixer for streaming units. With more and more people showing an interest in streaming, it only makes sense that, for those new DJs out there, streaming is a great option for garnering a fanbase quickly and organically.
Of course, while many things are the same on the streaming side of things, there are also a lot of differences.
Probably the biggest difference is the type of equipment and streaming software you need.
Unlike live performances, where you simply need equipment good enough to play out to the crowd, streaming requires key devices so that the music you’re playing gets to the online audience listening. Pumping out to your home studio isn’t going to cut it.
While most of the devices will likely need an overhaul, the area that most immediately should be changed is the audio mixer. As these are going to be used to make sure you’ve properly presented your sound to the listeners, making sure this is good should be your top priority.
In this guide, we’ll go over some of the top available audio mixers for streaming units as well as some of the key considerations you should have when it comes to deciding what audio mixer for streaming works best for you.
The MAONO Audio Mixer is our best audio mixer for streaming option for those that want to take their live streams to the next level. It’s also super intuitive, allowing just about any DJ the ability to dramatically improve the delivery of their performance, especially in the competitive streaming world.
Below, we’ll take the time to check out some of the best audio interfaces and best audio mixers currently on the market while also giving you some tips on what to expect and look out for when getting the audio mixing equipment that’s right for you.

Starting things off with our best Audio Mixer For Streaming, a fan favorite, the MAONO Audio Mixer is a great option for those that want to take their live streams to the next stage professionally. To do this, they use comprehensive audio mixers for streaming that offers complete control over any included vocals, as well as music or sound effects.
In addition, the MAONO comes with an included condenser microphone, meaning that, if nothing else, you can get started streaming or setting up a podcast almost instantly right out of the box. What you’ll notice pretty early on is that, while it offers a pretty wide range of things, the MAONO audio mixer for streaming is pretty easy to put together and use. Not only that, but it’s also fairly intuitive, allowing just about any DJ the ability to dramatically up their current status, especially while in the streaming world.
From a feature-based standpoint, the MAONO comes with quite a few perks that certainly help offer up a professional level of experience. Things like high-end equalization, noise reduction, and various special effects all help to create an immersive experience for anyone listening.
The one downside is that, despite being a great option for most people, if you’ve been around for long enough and have already developed your skills as a DJ or a streamer (or both), the MAONO audio mixer can potentially be a bit on the simplistic side. Still, for all that it offers both DJs and streamers alike, it’s certainly worth just about any person’s serious consideration.
Read this next: 6 Best DJ Mixers for Beginners
If there are two things you should know about the GoXLR Audio Mixer, it’s that it’s a costly device but due to it’s seamless audio mixing capabilities it’s worth every penny.
Seen as a truly remarkable device that does just about anything and everything you’d ever need in an audio mixer for streaming, the GoXLR is perfect for just about any mixing you need. That can be DJ streaming online, DJ performances live, or music production in your home studio.
The audio mixer comes with a cool LED-backlit control pad that is perfect for the Twitch streaming crowd.
Meanwhile, its sound quality was definitively made with professional-grade quality in mind. It holds upwards of 4 channels and offers an extensive amount of versatility, ranging from microphones to external power sources, to instruments and other DJ equipment. The GOXLR offers a +48V phantom power for mics entirely on battery charge alone, which is incredibly impressive when you think about it.
In terms of the device’s audio interface, the GoXLR sports a user-friendly setup that comes with an assortment of different buttons and switches, each with its functionality and each able to work without having to pause and interrupt the music-listening experience for everyone.
This means you can use pretty much any of the pitch, echo, and reverb features without slowing down or skipping a beat.
The GoXLR’s audio mixer for live streaming setup is made from motorized faders that allow you to maintain control over all of the different channels, ranging from things like the music sound levels to your mic itself, to your audio and so much more.
Seriously, just about anything you’ve connected to your mixer can be controlled directly from the four different channels and their motorized faders.
There is even the ability to customize your voice when using a mic due to some of the included Voice FX features that are built into the audio mixer itself. These features allow you to produce an entirely different sound and voice.
In terms of the audio mixer’s physical breakdown, the GoXLR is very much ideal when it comes to durability and longevity. Whereas many other audio mixers are made from hardened plastic, much of the GoXLR uses a metal PVC jacket housing alongside an immensely strong and durable material to hold everything else in place.
This ultimately means that little can damage it unless pushed to destroy it. Even still, depending on the fall, it is fine even then!
Read this next: 16 Best DJ Mixers: Top Picks
While not quite on the same level as some of the other options on this list, the Pyle Professional Audio Mixer is the perfect entry point for people that need something that’s plenty good without breaking the bank.
A great, competitively-priced option, the Pyle Professional works to combine solid performance with affordability. While it doesn’t beat out some of the premium and top-level options, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth anyone’s time.
The Pyle Professional is a beginner’s mixer through and through. It offers a convenient and hassle-free experience that crosses both live performances as well as online streaming.
It comes with Bluetooth capabilities, meaning you potentially don’t even need to be tied to any device to operate. Not only that, but the mixer can stream music directly from other platforms, like Spotify, TIDAL, or Apple Music.
In terms of its EQ abilities, the mixer offers a +48V Phantom Power with a 3-band EQ that goes across all available channels. This is in addition to reduced external noise emissions as well as higher quality sound and overall usability.
From a physical perspective, the Pyle Professional Audio Mixer for streaming is incredibly slim and lightweight, making it easy to take with you if your performance stage is set to change, you plan to stream live, or you want something small enough not to get in the way of the rest of your devices.
The only real downside I’ve found with this mixer is that it can stand to be a bit more accessible for absolute beginners. While most of the things available aren’t too difficult for anyone with even a general understanding of DJing, audio mixing, EQ leveling, or just online streaming, if you’ve never done any of these things (even a little), then it could take a bit longer to get into the swing of things. With that said, it’s still a great option for beginners and doesn’t take too long even for those newbies to get into the swing of things after a bit of practice.

Read this next: Can I DJ On Facebook? (Facebook Music Streaming and Live Rules EXPLAINED)
If the three options above aren’t well-suited to you, there are still a host of quality best Audio Mixer For Streaming picks to choose from. Our team also highlighted the following options for those in search of a fantastic audio mixer.
The first of the two Pyle-brand audio digital mixers is a fantastic budget audio mixer. The Pyle 8-Channel Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixers work to offer a professional audio mixer for streaming to the field at an incredible value for money, all while being largely affordable and reasonably priced.
The Pyle 8-Channel Mixer is an incredible find with 8 separate channels available. The audio mixer comes with an included sound card which can be used to connect with your computer, working with either Mac or PC.
This means that, in addition to being great for DJ performances (live or streaming), the Pyle 8-Channel Mixer can be used for podcast shows, radio DJing, and even full live bands!
From a connection-based standpoint, the Plye-8 Channel audio mixing Mixer comes with several options.
The first is entirely cable-free, via Bluetooth compatibility. In addition, the mixer comes with an output port that is 2 1/4 inches as well as four XLR microphone input ports.
To round things off, there is also a headphone jack, two quarter-inch mono inputs, and stereo inputs respectively.
The audio mixer is surprisingly quite user-friendly and intuitive, with an audio interface that works well for just about any streamer, DJ, or music performer that needs to sort their sounds regardless of their current or existing skills.
Simply put, while it comes with a lot, it’s neither overwhelming nor difficult to master. If you’re just starting, you’ll know enough to produce good music, and if you’re suitably experienced, you’ll be able to produce professional music.
Lastly, the audio mixer comes with several LED indicator lights that are used to help in navigating its different parts, especially during the night or in low levels of light (such as in a nightclub or bar).
The Plye-8 Channel Mixer also has rotary knobs that are used to easily adjust various parts of a track, including its frequency, volume, or the overall balance between channels.
The Plye-8 Channel Mixer is pretty awesome in terms of what it offers compared to what you’re going to pay. It is a bit bulky, yes, but outside of that, this mixer is something of a steal.

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Last but certainly not least, the Behringer Xenyx Premium Audio Mixer is easily one of the most impressive mixers available, whether you’re an avid streamer or a live DJ performer. While it’s probably a bit too much for those just starting, this mixer can easily raise and elevate any experienced DJ looking to get to the next level.
The Behringer Xenyx was created specifically to grant performers a wide variety of different audio controls that went far beyond just the standard options.
Here, they were given very advanced and professional-grade features to present themselves as something serious.
As an example, the Behringer Xenyx comes with four studio-level compressors, each controllable from a single knob, ensuring a higher-quality audio experience that is ultimately more authentic and noteworthy. The mixer also uses a Neo-classic 3-band EQ level set.
This grants performer the ability to easily put out a warm tonality. In addition, DJs also have access to studio-level audio quality no matter where they are or what nature of crowd they’re dealing with.
If you thought that was all, there’s even more. In addition to everything else, the Behringer Xenyx comes with an FX process that includes 16 different customizable presets that can be made to best suit whatever setup you and your audience may be interested in at that time.
This can range from the flanger, chorus, or pitch, to the delay, reverb, or function parameters. This can all be reached purely through the settings menu for convenience.
For those that expected this to be the most expensive option available, the Behringer Xenyx exceeds those expectations as well. Not only does it offer a wide plethora of different features and listed benefits, but it does all of this at a fraction of the cost one would expect.
There are many existing audio mixers on the market that cost considerably more than the Behringer Xenyx while offering substantially less.
Again, this may not be the most ideal option for someone that’s just gotten into streaming or DJing, as the number of included features can easily be overwhelming.
That said, if you’re already experienced in the area (or just want a mixer you can grow into) there isn’t a ton that is quite a match to everything this mixer is offering.

Read this next: How To Livestream DJ Sets In A Few Easy Steps
Now that we’ve had a chance to go over many of the top audio mixers available that are the most ideal for streaming, you now have several options in front of you.
If, however, you feel you need something outside of these five options, you must know what factors make up a quality audio mixer for streaming.
For example, the general build and durability of a live streaming audio mixer aren’t quite as important as an audio mixer meant for live performances since you have fewer chances of damaging it through the travel process or with any foreign or unexpected scenarios, something very prevalent for DJs that regularly perform at different locations.
The only areas that you need to focus on and consider are the mixer’s Build, Features, and ultimate Price Point. While everything outside of those points is great bonuses, those three points are what will make or break your DJ experience while streaming.
First things first, you’re going to need to decide what the overall build of your audio mixer should be. While this can certainly just be how it looks, what the materials are, or what the overall quality and durability are, the reality of the situation is that you need something which will do all of these things and more.
Things like material and durability are fairly explanatory. These areas revolve significantly around a device’s ultimate ability to withstand constant wear and tear without falling apart.
You must get something as durable as possible while also being made of materials that are as good as possible. Since most audio mixer units are made with plastic, you ideally want to make sure the plastic has some level of fortitude to it as well as overall heft.
Outside of those factors, however, you also want to consider the audio mixer’s size as well as the number of channels that it can be open to.
The size of an audio mixer is interesting as it largely depends on what you are looking for as well as the amount of space you have available to you.
For many, considering the size can be a bit of a curve ball since most would either assume it doesn’t matter or that the bigger option is always the better. In truth, it does depend on your situation.
For people in smaller setups, or who don’t know enough to warrant a full-sized rig, getting a particularly large audio mixer can be a bit silly. Large audio mixers can take up a fair amount of space and will generally be more advanced while having a higher cost to them.
On the other hand, if you’re someone that has a large space or knows enough about audio mixing that you need the entirety of what the advanced audio mixers have to offer, you must use something on the larger side.
In addition, you may also want to think about how you plan on performing. If it’s live streaming solely from your home studio that’s one thing.
If, on the other hand, you plan to constantly be on the go, live streaming, and traveling simultaneously, getting a smaller and more travel-friendly option will be a much better option. Even if you have a large studio base, only focusing on that area when you also plan to travel can be very exhausting since larger audio mixers can be a serious hassle to travel around with.
In addition to the size, you also want to consider how many channels your audio mixer should have. Like the size, this is something many people don’t really consider or otherwise strongly take for granted. Simply put, a channel directly translates to a specific sound port that funnels through the audio mixer before going out to the speakers (or in this case, your streamer audio).
Generally, most standard audio mixers are going to have around two channels available. The smaller options may have only one channel while the larger and more advanced ones can have four or eight, with larger ones still having even more channels on top of that.
For the vast majority of streamers, you’re going to need the standard of either two or four. Since you’re likely going to connect to your mic as well as some other device or platform, I suggest strongly considering a 4-channel audio mixer, especially if you have any experience performing or streaming in the past.
After you’ve gone over the type of build you want for your audio mixers, the next big area of focus should be the type of included features. Unlike other DJ devices, like turntables or DJ controllers, an audio mixer isn’t going to have a ton of different features added to it since its main job is simply to shift between the different channels. One of the few featured areas that should be a point of focus for you is the audio mixer’s ability to equalize.
If you’re someone that has done any live streaming in the past, it’s probably a given that a good equalizer is pretty much a necessity when it comes to audio mixing and streaming.
It essentially makes sure that your sounds are properly leveled out. While this generally means not having too harsh and competing sounds when it comes to living music or DJ performances, in the world of streaming, it’s often as simple as just making sure your audience can hear your voice over everything else.
While all audio mixers have some level of EQ leveling, they can vary from device to device. Some of the more premium options will include options for adjusting the treble and bass while standard or basic options may not. If you’re just starting, it may not be super important that you get a fully rigged audio mixer. equalizer setup.
On the other hand, if you’ve been a streamer for a while, getting a more professional and advanced option may do much to boost the sound quality and listening experience of your audience.
Lastly is the price point you’re ultimately willing to pay. While this could technically be the first thing, having an initial idea of the type of audio mixer you’re interested in should be the most important thing, with a focus on your budget coming after.
This way you can determine your ideal interest and work with that in mind when looking for things within your price range.
I will say that for serious people, it’s ideal to seriously consider giving yourself around $100 to $150 of wiggle room. If you can’t, fair enough. However, you’d be surprised just how close an ideal setup can be if you aren’t so strict with the upper limit.
Most standard audio mixers go between the prices of $150 and around $500 or more. Those closer to the $500 range are generally going to be the more advanced options whereas those around the $100-150 area are generally meant for people that are just starting.

Our top pick for the best audio mixer for streaming is the MAONO Audio Mixer.
Audio mixers and the best audio mixer software for live streaming are essential parts of the DJ and music-producing field. The fact of the matter is that, if you want to produce some stellar sounds, you’re going to need a good mixer.
While this may not be quite as serious when going into the live-streaming field, it is still a vital part and not something you can overlook or ignore.
By understanding the importance of a quality audio mixer, their differences in features and price range, as well as what to be aware of when searching for your own, you can make sure your next stream performance is truly phenomenal.

Dexter has worked in the music business since the early 1990s. He has been a keen tech writer for many years and is still regularly involved in promoting prominent electronic music events in Ibiza and the UK.
Dexter also specializes in managing and growing digital marketing platforms for leading international DJs, event brands, and venues.
He relocated to Croatia from Ibiza six years ago but has continued his industry involvement whilst living on the electronic music party Island of Pag.
Alongside music, Dexter is a cat nut and a through-and-through family man!
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HBO's 'The Gilded Age' films in Newport. RI locals help make it happen – The Providence Journal

HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’ films in Newport. RI locals help make it happen  The Providence Journal

Forthcoming Museum Charts 50 Years of the Hip-Hop History – HYPEBEAST

Before hip-hop became a global cultural phenomenon, the genre emerged at a 1973 block party in the South Bronx. DJ Kool Herc had organized the party for members of his apartment building, word of the event spread borough-wide and it quickly set the precedent for a recurring community gathering. DJs would set up turntables right on the pavement, using two copies of the same record to mix, layer and scratch beats. Over these funk and soul-inspired sounds, spectators laid down cardboard for dancing and the DJs shouted out to engage the crowd, a routine that became known as MCing. In the ensuing few years, MCs placed greater emphasis on rhyme and rhythm, and by the late 1980s, hip-hop had entered its golden era, led by a vanguard of rapper-tastemakers such as LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Biz Markie.
Fifty years after Kool Herc’s block party, hip-hop has paved the way for modern music production techniques, spawned countless rap subgenres — from Southern crunk to Brooklyn drill — and cemented its place among a mainstream listenership. The genre is continuously evolving too, thanks to the rise of social media and streaming platforms, enabling virtually anyone to make and distribute music. With vinyl and print media gradually becoming antiquated, so much of hip-hop culture now exists exclusively online, but Rocky Bucano, director of the forthcoming Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM), has made it his mission to preserve the physical artifacts of hip-hop history.
Slated to open its doors in 2024, the Bronx-set UHHM is a first-of-its-kind institution that will trace the legacy and progress of hip-hop back to its roots in New York. Hypebeast spoke to the former record executive turned museum director about the genesis of the UHHM, the process of assembling its collection of over 30,000 artifacts and his vision for the culture moving forward.
What made you initially want to become involved with the project, and how did the concept of devoting an entire museum to hip-hop history first come about?
Hip-hop has always been part of my DNA. I’ve been involved in the culture from the very beginning. I had my own record label, Strong City Records, during the golden era of hip-hop and I’ve worked with so many unsung heroes from the time, like DJ Hollywood, Eddie Cheeba and Lovebug Starski.
Hip-hop music has impacted communities all around the world. It’s now the number one most-listened-to music on the planet. Not having a permanent repository — a permanent space to celebrate this amazing culture — was a travesty. There was a need for an institution to recognize the great accomplishments of many of the artists who have created the culture.
Over the past half-century, hip-hop’s influence has permeated fashion, film, technology and politics. I imagine narrowing all that down to the confines of a museum is a complex task. Can you describe the process of assembling the museum’s collection of artifacts?
Our collection is growing on a day-to-day basis. We have a warehouse out in Newark, New Jersey, where we’re storing all of our artifacts. People are donating everything from magazines to CDs to vinyl albums. We have outfits, we have studio equipment. [New York recording studio] Hit Factory even donated one of their main consoles that was used by so many iconic artists to record their albums. Our curators have assembled an amazing collection that goes back to the very beginning when hip-hop was not even called hip-hop.
A collection of hip-hop memorabilia of this scale and scope has never been organized for public consumption. How does one begin to go about sourcing and organizing these artifacts?
It’s about really understanding what artifacts are important, what artifacts are required to make sure that the history, stories and people who have contributed to this history are celebrated in the most authentic way. But more importantly, it’s all about making sure that the history is properly documented so that the storyline — who started it, where it started, how it started, where it is today, how it has impacted our communities, how it has impacted fashion and politics and social media and technology — charts a clear through line from day one to where we are today.
We specifically look for memorabilia and artifacts that help us tell that story, whether it’s flyers, cassette tapes, magazine covers, newspaper articles or films and videos. Whatever the asset is, we analyze it to see where it fits into the overall scheme of the museum’s storytelling and then digitize it in a digital asset management system.
Critics often accuse hip-hop of glorifying drug use or violence. Recently, rap lyrics have even been used as evidence against artists in criminal trials. Do you envision the museum having the potential to sway the public’s perception of the genre?
One of the main objectives of the museum is to educate, inspire and promote a greater understanding of what hip-hop is. Many people have, like you said, a misconception of hip-hop just being about misogynistic stuff and violence — stuff they see happening on the dark side of hip-hop culture — but hip-hop has always been about peace, unity, love and having fun.
In the early days of the culture’s emergence in the Bronx, hip-hop started with gangs wanting to figure out how to stop violence and come together and form a more peaceful way to coexist. It became this culture that was really about celebrating unity and giving voice to the voiceless.
Yes, there are some things in hip-hop that are contrary to what I just said. Something people may say is, ‘oh, hip-hop is damaging to today’s youth.’ That’s something the museum will try to help inform on and redirect the narrative so that people understand that this is music built on love and peace, not violence. Through educational programs, cultural programs, and its network and resources, the UHHM will be at the center of creating a stronger narrative around the beauty of hip-hop and how it has empowered people all around the world as opposed to creating a disenfranchised community.

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Ericdavibe sets to release much-awaited singles, EP for fans entertainment – Vanguard

Following requests from fans, fast-rising Afrobeat sensation, Eric Omoruyi, professionally known as Ericdavibe, has concluded plans to release his much-awaited singles which he has recorded with some great producers like Blaise Beatz popularly known as Obah, Dalor Beat amongst others.
Ericdavibe, as learnt, was putting finishing touches to the singles and they will be released in the last quarter of 2022, followed by his EP, to entertain music lovers globally.
The artiste disclosed the plans on Thursday through a statement made available to newsmen after fans requested that he made his singles public for their entertainment.
“I am currently in the studio putting finishing touches to some singles and my fans should watch out for them before the end of the year and it will be followed by my EP” he added.
Ericdavibe, who had been singing at the young age of 5 which prompted his dad to encourage him to use his sonorous gift to serve in his church choir, where he learnt to play the piano, hone his skills on different music instruments which transcended into his love to create evergreen beats for other artistes.
After his Secondary School Education, Ericdavibe dedicated most of his time to serving in his local church where he progressed to creating beats for up-and-coming artistes in Benin City which made him quite popular and highly sought after by many.
In 2015, Ericdavibe took the bold step to venture into music after much nudging from friends and other artists.
“After much prompting from my friends who were certain of my gifts, I went into the studio to record my first single titled “Woman” an ode to the African woman’s strength, resilience and beauty.
“I was also the producer of the song and seeing the kind of acceptance that the song received from the public, I decided to take my musical career seriously” he said.
The next year he released “Reason” which became an instant hit; he later went on to feature popular Benin artist “Wizzy Nero”.
In the same 2016 courtesy of how much his single “Reason” had grown, Ericdavibe began performing at shows outside Benin City.
After successfully producing for top artists in his location and garnering a huge fan base, it became clear that it was time to move to the major entertainment scene of Africa to compete internationally and create songs that the entire Africa and the world would come to love and vibe to.
He took a brief hiatus from singing to properly hone his talent and finally moved to Lagos in 2020.
While the pandemic struck, this did not deter Ericdavibe as he continued to work tirelessly behind the scene, he did a remix of his acclaimed single “Reason” and uploaded it on all major music distribution channels which garnered over 170,000 plays from AudioMack, and several plays on BoomPlay and other music platforms as well.
Following the online growth of his song “Reason”, still in 2020, he released yet another single titled “Run Am” which he self-produced as well.
“Run Am” was a very spiritual song centred around the cries of the masses and the financial woes which a lot of people are suffering from in the country as a result of the pandemic. This song also garnered massive online air plays as well” he said.
In 2021, Ericdavibe went back to the drawing board to rebrand, focusing squarely on his artistic talents side, bidding goodbye to music production while recording several singles.
Ericdavibe, the fourth of six children born to Mr and Mrs Jonathan Omoruyi, a successful architect in Benin City describes himself as a feminist and a philanthropist when he’s not making music. He hails from the popular Benin kingdom in Edo State.



Exclusive Interview with DJ and Producer Dim Angelo from Cafe De Anatolia – Rave Jungle

Dim Angelo is a DJ and music producer, born in Greece in 1987. Music has always been a part of his life. His love and appreciation for music initially drew him to the world of musical instruments (guitar and piano), then DJing. He started his career as a DJ back in 2005, and since then, he has performed in many popular clubs around the world including Greece, Cyprus, Dubai, the United States, etc.
Prior to moving to sound engineering and music production in 2012, he initially studied Civil Engineering. He began his present position as a music editor and producer at Alpha Radio 96.5 back in 2019.
To this date, Dim Angelo has had 48 official releases. He has collaborated with a number of prominent record labels, such as Cafe De Anatolia (founder of Organic House Genre), HeavenMusic, PlanetWorks, Fm Records, Atlast, Youth Energy, SSL Music, and Retro Lounge Records.
He wants to be understood by his audience and aspires to do this through his music. Over the past few years Dim Angelo has appeared on many prominent compilations released by Cafe De Anatolia (the Best Organic House record label in 2022) such as: “Oriental Touch 5”, “Pulse” (compiled by Serge Kraplya), “Ethno Trip” by Billy Esteban, “Eclectic Ethno” 2 and 3 (compiled by Nikko Sunset), “Dune 3“, “Meditteraneo 3” (compiled by Dj Brahms), and “Caravan 4” (compiled by Rialians On Earth).
Despite all his success, Dim Angelo remains a down-to-earth guy. He was really polite and happy to answer all of our questions and we wish him the best for the rest of the year.
Check out the full interview below.
1. Where do you find inspiration for your music?
My inspiration to create a song sometimes comes from my life experiences, and sometimes from the music itself. While listening to something, I feel inspired to make something of my own.
2. What is your favorite time of the day to create?
My favorite time to create is late at night when there is peace around me.
3. What is your favorite track you’ve produced?
My favorite release is the “Sunset In Aegean” which was released via Cafe De Anatolia in 2020.
4. Do you like to join forces with other artists and if you do, what are your closest collaborators?
Yes, I like to collaborate with other artists a lot. I believe team work is what makes a great piece of art and music!
The best ones I enjoy collaborating with are: Billy Esteban, Nikko Sunset, Christos Papadopoulos, Alex Mihalakis, Johnny PJR, Maria Peidi, FAZZ, George Sunday and many more. Actually my latest track released via Cafe De Anatolia was a result of a great collaboration between me and Maria Peidi, and it was remixed by the most prominent names in Cafe De Anatolia: Tebra, Billy Esteban, Rialians On Earth.


Explainer: the VFX pipeline and post-production – RedShark News

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A VFX pipeline is a process that breaks down the different workflow stages into logical and efficient tasks. Large production pipelines include many people working together as a team. To manage a large-scale movie, you need to break down the workflows into manageable tasks which will be completed on time and within the budget.
Every film project starts with research. The team decides their technical approach here which involves software preferences and talks about the different techniques that will be used in the film. Here is where the initial concepts and ideas are pitched.
CGIs are a time-consuming process. As soon as the production team is finished storyboarding their project, the VFX team jumps in. They start by planning and preparing different scenes to develop their concept art. This gives them a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to make the scene come together. 
Watch how Director Mark Bone creates his storyboards for projects:
Pre-visualisation starts by laying out the scene in digital and physical sets. Once this is finished the VFX artist goes and actually creates the different models and effects required for the film. This may sound fairly simple, but one scene may include modeling, texturing, weight-painting, rigging, animating, and all other special effects that require special skills. These special skills sometimes mean a totally separate team depending on the scale of the movie. The latest season of The Rings of Power required over 1,500 VFX artists from 20 different VFX studios.
This is where the actual shooting of the film is done. VFX artists will work together with the production crew to deliver useful content on set. They also take reference pictures of everything such as props, environments, background, actors, etc. These photos will be used later on as 3D models to enhance the realism of the scene.
3D modeling is one of them and it is one of the most labor-intensive aspects of CG effects. It turns concept art into a digital subject by creating model props, environments, buildings, vehicles, and other objects that help the director to create his or her vision. The first example is motion capture. The 3D modelers create the character that the actor is playing using a combination of VFX software such as Autodesk Maya and Pixologic Z-Brush. To do this, 3D modelers use hundreds of reference photos and 3D scans with motion capture suits. Another example is the matte painting which is one of the earliest VFX techniques used in filmmaking. They create backgrounds from magical forests to castles and other 3D landscapes.
Post-production brings all the elements of the film – video footage, special effects, CGI, music, and sound. Post-production is the most labor intense stage in the VFX pipeline. For animation, the rigging team will build a digital skeleton of its movie character or a system of controls that animators then uses to animate the character. This is done with motion capture cameras that use the data collected from the actual production.

The FX team is the action crew. Their task is to add simulation elements to the film such as explosions, fire, smoke or other destruction for realistic results. Polishing is also applied over existing scenes to enhance the visuals. Another way of adding final finishes is texturing. This adds surface color and other textures to the 3D models, making the models look as realistic as possible. Humans are given their skin, with detailed characteristics and texture for the ultimate result.
Watch this interesting behind-the-scenes video, where the production team takes anti-aging effects to the next level:

Lighting is everything. Once the objects and characters are finished, proper lighting is added to make a computer-generated scene look realistic. This is applied throughout the 3D scene. The light, color, and intensity of the original shot piece are enhanced while making sure shadows are on point. Once the sequence of frames is rendered, they are given to the compositor to bring all the VFX elements together.

The last stage in post-production is compositing. This process involves taking all the elements of the films and then layering them on top of one another. Colour correction, masking, and other stitching are applied to achieve the final results. It is the compositor’s job to make sure that real-life objects and characters are engaging with computer-generated effects and make everything look seamless and realistic. This is why it is often referred to as stitching, since it makes all the pieces blend together seamlessly.
Tags: Post & VFX
Written by Maari Innes
RedShark is a multiplatform online publication for anyone with an interest in moving image technology and craft. With over 50 contributors worldwide, full-time developers, editorial, sales and marketing staff, it is the go-to site for informed opinion and know-how for the quickly changing video, film and content creation industries.
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Starting Out as a DJ: What Should I Buy? – The Hype Magazine

Published on November 17th, 2022 | by Jerry Doby
If you’re looking to venture out into the industry of becoming a DJ, an arsenal of appropriate equipment is essential to get started. While splashing thousands upon thousands of dollars on the most prestige technology you can get your hands on is hardly necessary for a beginner, there are a few bits that are pretty crucial to your early learning curve. Deciding where to spend your limited start-up budget can be difficult, and so can knowing which brands to go with.
In light of this dilemma, we have laid out a few tips and tricks for getting started on your DJ journey, highlighting a few ‘dos and don’ts for first-time buyers.
Photo Credit Erik Mclean/
This is the very basis of your DJing equipment, as, although other devices are needed to demonstrate a higher level of musical control, the software used requires a laptop to run on. However large your ambitions may be, buying a laptop to run your software is step one.
While it is indeed true that you can start to learn to mix and mash on a PC or laptop, the limitations imposed by the use of a mouse with the music software can be a bit of a hindrance to your progress. Investing in a DJ controller is, then, a pretty wise allocation of your funds.
While the top of the range DJ Controllers might set you back over a grand, you can find plenty of alternatives that are less bank-breaking and will be just as satisfactory for your needs as a start-out DJ.
Eventually – if you hope to do sets in a club or other similar venues – you will likely have to learn how to use a pair of CDJs or operate a vinyl, as these are the standard equipment in such places. For now, though, one of the cheaper DJ controllers should be more than sufficient.
#Pioneer DDJ-SR2 Jog Wheel – Credit Andrei Copaci/
While the image of a DJ clutching one hand to their ear and the other to a turntable is a pretty cool aesthetic, there is a purpose beyond just looking at the part. A high-quality set of headphones is essential to have an outlet for your secondary music output. While the crowd jams to the music playing out of the speaker, DJs are listening to the upcoming track in their ears in order to anticipate the mixing required to create a smooth transition. So, while they’re probably not essential while you practice in your room, a solid pair of headphones is a great purchase for when you start to perform. Plus, looking cool is a great bonus.
If you do indeed start to do sets for friends, parties, or even clubs, juggling all your equipment with two hands is not practical nor professional. In this circumstance, then, investing in protective transport cases for your equipment is a great idea – this might also just save you from replacing any broken equipment as a result of your juggling. As mentioned, though, this can come later on in your DJ journey.
For starters, sort yourself a solid laptop and DJ controller and see where your passion for music production takes you.


Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Connect with Jerry on Twitter and Instagram at @jerrydoby_ Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and the United States Press Corps. Partner at THM Media Group, Inc.
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Production Manager | Cheltenham Festivals | Arts Job Finder – ArtsProfessional

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Cheltenham Festivals is a charity collaborating to create experiences which bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change. Our year-round schools, community and talent development programmes culminate at the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals.
This salary is based on flexible working days/hours across the year.  This role can be a mix of remote home working and working from our offices based in Cheltenham.   Evening and weekend work will be required during the lead up to a festival site build, across live festival days and then the get out, de-rig of festival sites.  
In collaboration with the wider teams, the Production Manager will deliver on all day-to-day production requirements to support the technical infrastructure and production design of all festivals and year-round digital and live activities.   With inclusion, equity and sustainability driving the charity’s strategic future planning, the postholder will work closely across internal teams to fulfil CF’s vision; a world in which everyone can create and explore culture.
The post-holder will build relationships with all CF suppliers and contractors and work closely with colleagues in a matrix structure to achieve all the success criteria to achieve inclusive, accessible and safe events for a diverse range of audiences
The post-holder reports into the Head of Production, and alongside a Technical Manager,  and works closely with the Operations team and external Production companies.
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Closing date: 28 November 2022.
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Unwrapping the secret of Hallmark's Christmas movie empire – Lock Haven Express

Nov 17, 2022
Hallmark announced a staggering 40 new Christmas movies this year, adding to its library of nearly 300 Yuletide films produced over the last decade. Each year the movies rake in an estimated $350 million in ad revenue.
While many viewers deride their predictable rom-com plots and cheesy acting, Hallmark sees those ‘flaws’ as the secret to its success. Turn on the TV and flip to the Hallmark Channel, and the warm glow of something intimately familiar greets you – snow-covered trees, small-town charm, and faces you know you recognize from somewhere. There is a comfort to the formulaic stories that keeps fans returning for more of that Christmas magic year after year.
But underneath the quaint towns and festive decor lies a carefully tuned business turning an enormous profit. So what goes into making dozens of new Christmas movies every year, and how did it lead to such financial success?
Stick to the Script: The Rules of Hallmark Christmas Movies
If Hallmark’s movies all feel extremely similar, it’s because they are. The catalog of rules for what receives the official Christmas seal of approval is longer than Santa’s naughty and nice list.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, writers outlined the rigid formula for getting a script into production. Described as the “comfort food” of holiday filmmaking, the movies must be family-friendly and G-rated. Hallmark executives will axe all references to drinking, drugs, swearing, fighting, or even any actual conflict between characters. Every scene must involve some form of traditional Christmas activity, such as ice skating, gingerbread-making, or building a snowman.
And the non-negotiable rule above all rules? There better be snow. According to the writers, “The first rule is snow. We really wanted to do one where the basic conflict was a fear that there will not be snow on Christmas. We were told you cannot do that, there must be snow. They can’t be waiting for the snow, there has to be snow. You cannot threaten them with no snow.”
From Hate to Love in Nine Heart-Warming Acts
Each Hallmark Christmas movie follows the same rigid nine-act structure. “You have to start with two people who, for whatever reason, don’t like each other, and you’re just maneuvering through those nine acts to get them to that kiss in the snow.”
Look closely, and you’ll see the formula borne out, even down to the dominant personality traits of the protagonist. She is often a cute, career-driven woman with an unfulfilled dream. Throughout the movie, she goes on a journey to fulfill that dream with the help of an unlikely love interest. Without fail, the love interest is always a nice man, and there is a romantic spark, but something prevents them from getting together.
Somewhere in the first act, before the first commercial break, there must be an almost-kiss that is somehow broken up. A current boyfriend or girlfriend or other distraction is keeping the couple apart. Around the halfway point, a Christmas-themed conflict arises, but nothing too emotionally devastating. By the end, the couple shares a single kiss amidst snow flurries or under the mistletoe while the theme music swells and the credits roll.
Happily Ever After
Predictability is part of the draw. Joany Kane is renowned in Hallmark circles for writing the first Christmas hit for the network and setting the tone for all the movies that followed. The Christmas Card broke all-time rating records and even earned actor Ed Asner an Emmy nomination for his role.
Kane reminisced on why the formula works. “We all want to know how the movie ends,” Kane said in an interview with Bustle. “What makes these movies magic is the journey they take us on. The reason for the enormous popularity of these movies is that the fans of these movies want to feel: They want to feel love, to feel hope, to feel joy… Christmas lends itself beautifully to this experience because this is the time of year where we have the most hope, the most anticipation for something wonderful coming.”
Kellie, a lifelong fan of Hallmark Christmas movies, echoed this sentiment. “My favorite thing about Hallmark movies is they are so easy to watch and predictable in the best ways,” she said. “There’s not a lot of drama or anything stressful, so it’s easy to turn them on or even watch them in the background and still feel like you’re getting into the holiday spirit. Everyone is drinking hot chocolate and doing fun holiday activities like ice skating or wrapping presents, and it’s so warm and fuzzy. I know it’s cheesy, but they make me happy, and I love them!”
Hallmark’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed, with other media giants like Netflix and Hulu jumping in to produce their own versions of holiday cheer. And while Netflix may loosen the rules a bit – perhaps there is a reference to drinking or even a snowless winter – they don’t deviate too far from the formula because it works.
Merry Christmas and a Profitable New Year
Make no mistake, Christmas movies are big business, and Hallmark has unlocked the secret to making money. Pulling off 40 new movies a year takes discipline and strict production timelines.
A typical Hallmark movie costs $2 million or less to produce. For perspective, a typical Hollywood blockbuster budget can stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The efficiency of the Hallmark Christmas machine is impressive. Production schedules are tight to keep budgets down – around three weeks on average to shoot an entire movie. They often feature the same actors year after year. For example, Lacey Chabert, of Mean Girls fame, and Candace Cameron Bure, originally known for her role in Full House, have starred in at least 10 Hallmark movies each.
In addition, many productions shoot in the quaint, small-town suburbs of Vancouver, where Hallmark receives tax incentives for using local production crews. “Vancouver’s many idyllic suburbs like Steveston and Maple Ridge offer moderate weather, access to equipment from the burgeoning film industry in ‘Hollywood North” and, of course, the lucrative tax incentives triggered from hiring Canadian actors, writers, and directors,” says Casandra Karpiak, a travel writer, and former Vancouver resident.
In return, Hallmark racks up enviable viewership numbers. During the holiday season, more than 80 million people tune in to a Hallmark movie, and the network consistently ranks first among women 18-49. While advertising revenue isn’t publicly available, estimates show that the company’s Christmas movies rake in at least $350 million each year – enough to produce another 175 films.
Where to Watch 2022’s Hallmark Lineup
Regardless of what you think of Hallmark’s Christmas industrial complex, they do an undeniably good job of evoking the Christmas spirit. If you want to curl up next to the fireplace and get your fix of festive holiday cheer, this season’s lineup of Christmas movies has already begun. New movies premiere each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel and Saturday at 10 p.m. on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
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New Innovation Center preparing students for next generation of jobs – Chicago Catholic

Taurean, a senior at Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School in the city’s Austin neighborhood, is excited about the new Innovation Center his school just opened, and especially the Maker Lab, which includes a recording studio.
While he plans to study software engineering and computer science in college, he is also interested in music production.
“I talk to a lot of people about this, believe it or not. I think that it really has a lot of potential and it could really be a big game changer in just the future of CTK students. I know so many students who want to take part in audio engineering and different STEM programs, but they just don’t have a space outside of school where they have access to the equipment that they need to take on those kinds of things,” Taurean said. “Now, having it in school is just perfect. It’s an opportunity that you can’t really pass up.”
Located on the third floor of the school in its former library, the Innovation Center includes an experiential Maker Lab with 3D printers and laser cutters, a sound studio, team tables and workstations, flexible collaborative space adjoining the lab for classroom instruction, student group study and project management, along with counseling rooms to provide confidential space for group counseling.
Christ the King is part of the Cristo Rey Network, made up of schools around the country at which students receive a college-preparatory education and spend five eight-hour days a month working at local corporations such as Abbot Laboratory and Wintrust Bank in the Chicago area, gaining work experience and earning about 60 percent of their tuition.
When the pandemic hit and corporations went to remote work, many of those work-study positions were suspended. Leaders at Christ the King knew they needed to raise money to support the students in the future.
They talked to families, students and community partners to see what was most needed.
“At the end of a lot of those discussions, our parents, kids and our work-study folks were really saying ‘We need to prepare for the next generation of jobs,’” said Clem Martin, president of Christ the King Jesuit College Prep.
Out of those discussions came the idea for a STEM-focused space for innovation.
“We’re really looking at how best can we prepare our kids to meet the challenges of the future. I think that space will help in that process,” Martin said.
New space for counseling sessions is a key part of the new center.
“There’s a tremendous need on the West Side. For our students and our families, we were able to expand capacity there as well,” Martin said.
The center is also used for extracurricular activities, and community groups will be invited to use it.
While the center is busy, Martin said the school is still ramping up the curriculum that will be used there. In the spring, for example, there will be a class for seniors on innovation and invention and another on robotics.
“As people learn about the spaces and the technology that goes with them, it’s getting used more and more. We anticipate that continuing to grow,” he said. “Our kids deserve access to opportunity. I think they have talent, they have drive, they have brains and the ability to do the work. They just need somebody to open the door.”
“It’s really opportunity based. We have a lot going on in there,” said Kaylin, a senior, of the Innovation Center.
Kaylin plans to study art and innovation in college while minoring in architectural design, so she is drawn to the Maker Lab.
“I do a lot of art stuff and graphic design and so the 3D printers are one of the things that I can use to get more architectural media as an art medium. There’s a lot of things it will help with the STEM area, especially since that’s what I want to do in college,” she said.
The work-study program and the other opportunities Christ the King offers give the students a leg up over their peers, Taurean said.
“This has given us a taste of what it’s like after college,” he said. “You really can’t beat that.”
Kaylin agrees.
“The way I see it, CTK isn’t giving us little odd jobs here and there,” Kaylin said. “They are actually giving us real jobs that real people have. They’re preparing us for things that we’re going to actually be doing in real life. And they are helping us find a pathway or a gateway into what we actually want to do.”
Fifth grader Noah attended Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and was shot during the May 24 massacre that killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers. He is recovering and now attends Sacred Heart Catholic School, through a scholarship from Catholic Extension. In a letter to Pope Francis, he wrote, “When I started school last week, I felt safe and loved.”
Students at St. Symphorosa School can tackle new challenges this year by putting their heads together and figuring out how to make things work.
After a year of renovation, Leo Catholic High School students are enjoying the newly rebuilt Alumni Field at 79th Street and Morgan Avenue.


The Generative AI Revolution in Games – Andreessen Horowitz

To understand how radically gaming is about to be transformed by Generative AI, look no further than this recent Twitter post by @emmanuel_2m. In this post he explores using Stable Diffusion + Dreambooth, popular 2D Generative AI models, to generate images of potions for a hypothetical game.

What’s transformative about this work is not just that it saves time and money while also delivering quality – thus smashing the classic “you can only have two of cost, quality, or speed” triangle. Artists are now creating high-quality images in a matter of hours that would otherwise take weeks to generate by hand. What’s truly transformative is that:
There hasn’t been a technology this revolutionary for gaming since real-time 3D. Spend any time at all talking to game creators, and the sense of excitement and wonder is palpable. So where is this technology going? And how will it transform gaming? First, though, let’s review what is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a category of machine learning where computers can generate original new content in response to prompts from the user. Today text and images are the most mature applications of this technology, but there is work underway in virtually every creative domain, from animation, to sound effects, to music, to even creating virtual characters with fully fleshed out personalities.
AI is nothing new in games, of course. Even early games, like Atari’s Pong, had computer-controlled opponents to challenge the player. These virtual foes, however, were not running AI as we know it today. They were simply scripted procedures crafted by game designers. They simulated an artificially intelligent opponent, but they couldn’t learn, and they were only as good as the programmers who built them.
What’s different now is the amount of computing power available, thanks to faster microprocessors and the cloud. With this power, it’s possible to build large neural networks that can identify patterns and representations in highly complex domains.
This blog post has two parts:
First, let’s explore some assumptions underlying the rest of this blog post:
1. The amount of research being done in general AI will continue to grow, creating ever more effective techniques
Consider this graph of the number of academic papers published on Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence in the arXiv archive each month:
As you can see, the number of papers is growing exponentially, with no sign of slowing down. And this just includes published papers – much of the research is never even published, going directly to open source models or product R&D. The result is an explosion in interest and innovation.
2. Of all entertainment, games will be most impacted by Generative AI
Games are the most complex form of entertainment, in terms of the sheer number of asset types involved (2D art, 3D art, sound effects, music, dialog, etc). Games are also the most interactive, with a heavy emphasis on real-time experiences. This creates a steep barrier to entry for new game developers, as well as a steep cost to produce a modern, chart-topping game. It also creates a tremendous opportunity for Generative AI disruption.

Consider a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most expensive games ever produced, costing nearly $500 million to make. It’s easy to see why – it has one of the most beautiful, fully realized virtual worlds of any game on the market. It also took nearly 8 years to build, features more than 1,000 non-playable characters (each with its own personality, artwork, and voice actor), a world nearly 30 square miles in size, more than 100 missions split across 6 chapters, and almost 60 hours of music created by over 100 musicians. Everything about this game is big.

Now compare Red Dead Redemption 2 to Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is not just big, it’s enormous. Microsoft Flight Simulator enables players to fly around the entire planet Earth, all 197 million square miles of it. How did Microsoft build such a massive game? By letting an AI do it. Microsoft partnered with, and trained an AI to generate a photorealistic 3D world from 2D satellite images.

This is an example of a game that would have literally been impossible to build without the use of AI, and furthermore, benefits from the fact that these models can be continually improved over time. For example, they can enhance the “highway cloverleaf overpass” model, re-run the entire build process, and suddenly all the highway overpasses on the entire planet are improved.
3. There will be a generative AI model for every asset involved in game production
So far 2D image generators like Stable Diffusion, or MidJourney have captured the majority of the popular excitement over Generative AI due to the eye-catching nature of the images they can generate. But already there are Generative AI models for virtually all assets involved in games, from 3D models, to character animations, to dialog and music. The second half of this blog post includes a market map highlighting some of the companies focusing on each type of content.
4. The price of content will drop dramatically, going effectively to zero in some cases.
When talking to game developers who are experimenting with integrating Generative AI into their production pipeline, the greatest excitement is over the dramatic reduction in time and cost. One developer has told us that their time to generate concept art for a single image, start to finish, has dropped down from 3 weeks to a single hour: a 120-to-1 reduction. We believe similar savings will be possible across the entire production pipeline.
To be clear, artists are not in danger of being replaced. It does mean that artists no longer need to do all the work themselves: they can now set initial creative direction, then hand off much of the time consuming and technical execution to an AI. In this, they are like cel painters from the early days of hand-drawn animation in which highly skilled “inkers” drew the outlines of animation, and then armies of lower-cost “painters” would do the time-consuming work of painting the animation cels, filling in the lines. It’s the “auto-complete” for game creation.
5. We are still in the infancy of this revolution and a lot of practices still need to be refined
Despite all the recent excitement, we are still just at the starting line. There is an enormous amount of work ahead as we figure out how to harness this new technology for games, and enormous opportunities will be generated for companies who move quickly into this new space.
Given these assumptions, here are some predictions for how the game industry may be transformed:
1. Learning how to use Generative AI effectively will become a marketable skill
Already we are seeing some experimenters using Generative AI more effectively than others. To make the most use of this new technology requires using a variety of tools and techniques and knowing how to bounce between them. We predict this will become a marketable skill, combining the creative vision of an artist with the technical skills of a programmer.
Chris Anderson is famous for saying, “Every abundance creates a new scarcity.” As content becomes abundant, we believe it’s the artists who know how to work most collaboratively and effectively with the AI tools who will be in the most short supply.
For example, to use Generative AI for production artwork carries special challenges, including:
2. Lowering barriers will result in more risk-taking and creative exploration
We may soon be entering a new “golden age” of game development, in which a lower barrier to entry results in an explosion of more innovative and creative games. Not just because lower production costs result in lower risk, but because these tools unlock the ability to create high-quality content for broader audiences. Which leads to the next prediction…
3. A rise in AI-assisted “micro game studios”
Armed with Generative AI tools and services, we will start to see more viable commercial games produced by tiny “micro studios” of just 1 or 2 employees. The idea of a small indie game studio is not new – hit game Among Us was created by studio Innersloth with just 5 employees – but the size and scale of the games these small studios can create will grow. This will result in…
4. An Increase in the number of games released each year
The success of Unity and Roblox have shown that providing powerful creative tools result in more games being built. Generative AI will lower the bar even further, creating an even greater number of games. The industry already suffers from discovery challenges – more than 10,000 games were added to Steam last year alone – and this will put even more pressure on discovery. However we will also see…
5. New game types created that were not possible before Generative AI
We will be seeing new game genres invented that were simply not possible without Generative AI. We already talked about Microsoft’s flight simulator, but there will be entirely new genres invented that depend on real-time generation of new content.
Consider Arrowmancer, by Spellbrush. This is an RPG game that features AI-created characters for virtually unlimited new gameplay.
We also know of another game developer that is using AI to let players create their own in-game avatar. Previously they had a collection of hand-drawn avatar images that players could mix-and-match to create their avatar – now they have thrown this out entirely, and are simply generating the avatar image from the player’s description. Letting players generate content through an AI is safer than letting players upload their own content from scratch, since the AI can be trained to avoid creating offensive content, while still giving players a greater sense of ownership.
6. Value will accrue to industry specific AI tools, and not just foundational models
The excitement and buzz around foundational models like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney are generating eye-popping valuations, but the continuing flood of new research ensures that new models will come and go as new techniques are refined. Consider website search traffic to 3 popular Generative AI models: Dall-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion. Each new model has its turn in the spotlight.

An alternative approach may be to build industry aligned suites of tools that focus on the Generative AI needs of a given industry, with deep understanding of a particular audience, and rich integration into existing production pipelines (such as Unity or Unreal for games).
A good example is Runway which targets the needs of video creators with AI assisted tools like video editing, green screen removal, inpainting, and motion tracking. Tools like this can build and monetize a given audience, adding new models over time. We have not yet seen a suite such as Runway for games emerge yet, but we know it’s a space of active development.
7. Legal challenges are coming
What all of these Generative AI models have in common is that they are trained using massive datasets of content, often created by scraping the Internet itself. Stable Diffusion, for example, is trained on more than 5 billion image/caption pairs, scraped from the web.
At the moment these models are claiming to operate under the “fair use” copyright doctrine, but this argument has not yet been definitively tested in court. It seems clear that legal challenges are coming which will likely shift the landscape of Generative AI.
It’s possible that large studios will seek competitive advantage by building proprietary models built on internal content they have clear right & title to. Microsoft, for example, is especially well positioned here with 23 first party studios today, and another 7 after its acquisition of Activision closes.
8. Programming will not be disrupted as deeply as artistic content – at least not yet
Software engineering is the other major cost of game development, but as our colleagues on the a16z Enterprise team have shared in their recent blog post, Art Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Machine-Generated, generating code with an AI model requires more testing and verification, and thus has a smaller productivity improvement than generating creative assets. Coding tools like Copilot may provide moderate performance improvements for engineers, but won’t have the same impact… at least anytime soon.
Based on these predictions, we offer the following recommendations:
1. Start exploring Generative AI now
It’s going to take a while to figure out how to fully leverage the power of this coming Generative AI revolution. Companies that start now will have an advantage later. We know several studios who have internal experimental projects underway to explore how these techniques can impact production.
2. Look for market map opportunities
Some parts of our market map are very crowded already, like Animations or Speech & Dialog, but other areas are wide open. We encourage entrepreneurs interested in this space to focus their efforts on the areas that are still unexplored, such as “Runway for Games”.
We have created a market map to capture a list of the companies we’ve identified in each of these categories where we see Generative AI impacting games. This blog post goes through each of those categories, explaining it in a bit more detail, and highlighting the most exciting companies in each category.
Generating 2D images from text prompts is already one of the most widely applied areas of generative AI. Tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and Dall-E 2 can generate high quality 2D images from text, and have already found their way into game production at multiple stages of the game life cycle.
Concept Art
Generative AI tools are excellent at “ideation” or helping non-artists, like game designers, explore concepts and ideas very quickly to generate concept artwork, a key part of the production process. For example, one studio (staying anonymous) is using several of these tools together to radically speed up their concept art process, taking a single day to create an image that previously would have taken as long as 3 weeks.
2D Production Art
Some studios are already experimenting with using the same tools for in-game production artwork. For example, here is a nice tutorial from Albert Bozesan on using Stable Diffusion to create in-game 2D assets.
3D assets are the building block of all modern games, as well as the upcoming metaverse. A virtual world, or game level, is essentially just a collection of 3D assets, placed and modified to populate the environment. Creating a 3D asset, however, is more complex than creating a 2D image, and involves multiple steps including creating a 3D model and adding textures and effects. For animated characters, it also involves creating an internal “skeleton”, and then creating animations on top of that skeleton.
We’re seeing several different startups going after each stage of this 3D asset creation process, including model creation, character animation, and level building. This is not yet a solved problem, however – none of the solutions are ready to be fully integrated into production yet.
3D assets
Startups trying to solve the 3D model creation problem include Kaedim, Mirage, and Hypothetic. Larger companies are also looking at the problem, including Nvidia’s Get3D and Autodesk’s ClipForge. Kaedim and Get3d are focused on image-to-3D; ClipForge and Mirage are focused on text-to-3D, while Hypothetic is interested in both text-to-3D search, as well as image-to-3D.
3D Textures
A 3D model only looks as realistic as the texture or materials that are applied to the mesh. Deciding which mossy, weathered stone texture to apply to a medieval castle model can completely change the look and feel of a scene. Textures contain metadata on how light reacts to the material (i.e. roughness, shininess, etc). Allowing artists to easily generate textures based on text or image prompts will be hugely valuable towards increasing iteration speed within the creative process. Several teams are pursuing this opportunity including BariumAI, Ponzu, and ArmorLab.
Creating great animation is one of the most time consuming, expensive, and skillful parts of the game creation process. One way to reduce the cost, and to create more realistic animation, is to use motion capture, in which you put an actor or dancer in a motion capture suit and record them moving in a specially instrumented motion capture stage.
We’re now seeing Generative AI models that can capture animation straight from a video. This is much more efficient, both because it removes the need for an expensive motion capture rig, and because it means you can capture animation from existing videos. Another exciting aspect of these models is that they can also be used to apply filters to existing animations, such as making them look drunk, or old, or happy. Companies going after this space include Kinetix, DeepMotion, RADiCAL, Move Ai, and Plask.
Level design & world building
One of the most time consuming aspects of game creation is building out the world of a game, a task that generative AI should be well suited to. Games like Minecraft, No Man’s Sky, and Diablo are already famous for using procedural techniques to generate their levels, in which levels are created randomly, different every time, but following rules laid down by the level designer. A big selling point of the new Unreal 5 game engine is its collection of procedural tools for open world design, such as foliage placement.
We’ve seen a few initiatives in the space, like Promethean, MLXAR, or Meta’s Builder Bot, and think it’s only a matter of time before generative techniques largely replace procedural techniques. There has been academic research in the space for a while, including generative techniques for Minecraft or level design in Doom.
Another compelling reason to look forward to generative AI tools for level design would be the ability to create levels and worlds in different styles. You could imagine asking tools to generate a world in 1920’s flapper era New York, vs dystopian blade-runner-esque future, vs. Tolkien-esque fantasy world.
The following concepts were generated by Midjourney using the prompt, “a game level in the style of…”
Sound and music are a huge part of the gameplay experience. We’re starting to see companies using Generative AI to generate audio to complement the work already happening on the graphics side.
Sound Effects
Sound effects are an attractive open area for AI. There have been academic papers exploring the idea of using AI to generate “foley” in film (e.g. footsteps) but few commercial products in gaming yet.
We think this is only a matter of time, since the interactive nature of games make this an obvious application for generative AI, both creating static sound effects as part of production (“laser gun sound, in the style of Star Wars”), and creating real-time interactive sound effects at run-time.
Consider something as simple as generating footstep sounds for the player’s character. Most games solve this by including a small number of pre-recorded footstep sounds: walking on grass, walking on gravel, running on grass, running on gravel, etc. These are tedious to generate and manage, and sound repetitive and unrealistic at runtime.
A better approach would be a real-time generative AI model for foley sound effects, that can generate appropriate sound effects, on the fly, slightly differently each time, that are responsive to in-game parameters such as ground surface, weight of character, gait, footwear, etc.
Music has always been a challenge for games. It’s important, since it can help set the emotional tone just as it does in film or television, but since games can last for hundreds or even thousands of hours, it can quickly become repetitive or annoying. Also, due to the interactive nature of games, it can be hard for the music to precisely match what’s happening on screen at any given time.
Adaptive music has been a topic in game audio for more than two decades, going all the way back to Microsoft’s “DirectMusic” system for creating interactive music. DirectMusic was never widely adapted, due largely to the difficulty of composing in the format. Only a few games, like Monolith’s No One Lives Forever, created truly interactive scores.
Now we’re seeing a number of companies trying to create AI generated music, such as Soundful, Musico, Harmonai, Infinite Album, and Aiva. And while some tools today, like Jukebox by Open AI, are highly computationally intensive and can’t run in real-time, the majority can run in real-time once the initial model is built.
Speech and Dialog
There are a large number of companies trying to create realistic voices for in-game characters. This is not surprising given the long history of trying to give computers a voice through speech synthesis. Companies include Sonantic, Coqui, Replica Studios,,, and many more.
There are multiple advantages to using generative AI for speech, which partly explains why this space is so crowded.
Many startups are looking at using generative AI to create believable characters you can interact with, partly because this is a market with such wide applicability outside of games, such as virtual assistants or receptionists.
Efforts to create believable characters go back to the beginnings of AI research. In fact, the definition of the classic “Turing Test” for artificial intelligence is that a human should be unable to distinguish between a chat conversation with an AI versus a human.
At this point there are hundreds of companies building general purpose chatbots, many of them powered by the GPT-3 like language models. A smaller number are specifically trying to build chatbots for the purpose of entertainment, such as Replika and Anima who are trying to build virtual friends. The concept of dating a virtual girlfriend, as explored in the movie Her, may be closer than you think.
We are now seeing the next iteration of these chatbot platforms, such as,, or, meant to power fully rendered 3D characters, with emotions, and agency, with tools to allow the creator to give these characters goals. This is important if they’re going to fit within a game or have a narrative place in advancing the plot forward, versus purely being window dressing.
One of the most successful generative AI tools at large is, because it brings together a broad suite of creator tools in a single package. Currently there is no such platform serving video games, and we think this is an overlooked opportunity. We would love to invest in a solution that features:
This is an incredible time to be a game creator! Thanks in part to the tools described in this blog post, it has never been easier to generate the content needed to build a game – even if your game is as large as the entire planet!
It’s even possible to one day imagine an entire personalized game, created just for the player, based on exactly what the player wants. This has been in science fiction for a long time – like the “AI Mind Game” in Ender’s Game, or the holodeck in Star Trek. But with the tools described in this blog post advancing as quickly as they are, it’s not hard to imagine this reality is just around the corner.
If you are a founder, or potential founder, interested in building an AI for Gaming company, please reach out! We want to hear from you!
The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the current or enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements; a16z has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.
This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at
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Nonprofit launches to provide donation-based music education – Illinois Times

The vision behind the nonprofit, Christian organization is to bring affordable, donation-based music education to all who want to learn to be classically trained musicians. Cochran said that he and his wife “had this concept in the works for some time,” and that the pandemic helped to accelerate making SCARA a reality. Cochran said they want “music education to be available and accessible,” and SCARA fulfills that mission. Ultimately, SCARA is their way of “giving and serving.”
Initially, the Cochrans thought SCARA would be well-suited to families who homeschool their kids; SCARA could fulfill the music aspect of the overall homeschool curriculum. As well, they hoped school districts that do not have a robust music program could augment the curriculum with classes offered at SCARA.
Corey Cochran has 12 years’ experience teaching at the college level and is currently a music education doctoral candidate at Liberty University. He is a classical guitarist and offers college-preparatory courses for high school students who plan to study classical guitar at the college level.
“We’re growing,” stated Cochran, who said there’s still plenty of room to accept more students. If learning to play guitar and sing is something your child has always wanted to do, this is the time to seize the opportunity. Courses are designed to start students at the beginner level and when a student show proficiency at their current level, they will progress to more focused instruction.
Group classes are completely donation-based. The suggested donation is $10 per person per class, but families are simply asked to give what they can. Cochran said group lessons get students used to performing in front of others, “since this is a performing arts program.”
SCARA also provides private lessons to students who qualify through an audition process, and scholarships are available.
Musical subjects currently offered at SCARA are:
• Music fundamentals for early childhood, elementary, youth, and adult learners
• Electric, acoustic and classical guitar
• Bass guitar
• Music production, which consists of studio practicum, beat-writing, song-writing, sampling and midi-programming, orchestration and arrangement in popular styles, vocal technique, vocal production and arrangement, keyboard and synthesizer technique and arrangement, audio science and technology and music industry studies
• Composition and theory, ear training
Everyone is welcome at SCARA. Cochran said, “Students will be challenged and allowed to grow at their own pace. Furthermore, to those parents who are struggling to find a musical outlet for their kids – here it is.”
General information about SCARA, class schedules and how to become a student can be found at
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Music Production Grad Lands TV Theme Song Placement – Full Sail News

Published Nov 16, 2022
Chavez Parker created the beat for “Perfect,” the theme song for Tyler Perry Studios’ Zatima.
Chavez Parker would love to win a Grammy, but landing a TV placement is just as important to him. Fortunately, the Music Production grad reached his placement goal when he wrote the beat for the theme song for Zatima, a show from Tyler Perry Studios that’s streaming on BET+. Chavez’s production experience and commitment to meeting his client’s needs helped him create a song that Zatima fans will hear every time they tune in.
Chavez is a Creative Licensing Manager at Blaze Unlimited, a music agency that supplies its clients with music for movies, TV shows, advertisements, and more. When a client reaches out to Blaze and requests a song, Chavez goes through the company’s catalog to find music that fits. He also pitches playlists to clients like Hulu and Netflix when they need music for specific scenes, and he does custom work for clients who want something fresh. The challenge is finding music with lyrics and energy levels that match the client’s needs.
“Most of the time [the client’s brief] is just a word description. For example, they’ll say, ‘In this scene, the two characters are having a conversation in a park, but the conversation is about them breaking up. So we need something along the lines of that. And we need the lyrical themes to reflect someone breaking up with someone that they’re in love with.’ [The briefs are] pretty extensive,” Chavez says.
When Blaze received Tyler Perry Studio’s brief for Zatima, a spin-off of the studio’s hit show Sistas, Chavez was ready for it. The studio wanted a theme song with a 90s R&B twist that reflected an edgy couple experiencing young love.
“I looked up TV shows that were about love in the ’90s, and I listened to the music that they were using in those TV shows in the ’90s, along with what I know R&B used to sound like,” Chavez says about his process. “I was able to put together something that was pretty simple because the music back then was fairly simple. You maybe had about five or six different elements and the chord progressions were pretty familiar. Given that it was a theme song, I really wanted it to feel good so when the listeners heard it, they would be happy that their favorite show is on.”
Multiple songwriters wrote to Chavez’s beat for their theme song submissions. When Tyler Perry Studios selected one of those pitches (a song called “Perfect”) it was a dream come true for Chavez.
“This was my first major placement and it just so happened to be a TV show’s theme song, which is the biggest [goal] for me say next to winning a Grammy,” he says. “It’s a crazy statement, but growing up I watched a lot of TV, and I always wondered what the process looks like to get your music in a TV show that can potentially stick around for decades… If you win a Grammy, the next thing is, okay, how do I win another Grammy? Obviously, I still would love to win a Grammy, but [Zatima] just went number one on Amazon… The way people feel about this TV show, it has the potential to be around for a while because it has such a cool storyline. I feel like I’m a part of history in a way, so that’s what makes this a little bit more gratifying than winning a Grammy.”
Chavez hit the mark with his beat for “Perfect,” but he’s not stopping there. He’s continuing to push his creativity with new projects, like his upcoming instrumental series, Flavors.
“[With Flavors] I’m going to marry the connection between music and cuisine. Food is something that I’m also passionate about because I’ve had the opportunity to travel and live in so many different countries [and experience their cuisine]… I want to show people how much food and music need each other. If you were to go to a restaurant that serves great food and there’s no music playing, something would be missing. I just want to show people how much those two art forms are connected.”
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