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Jungle AE, Chicago Recording Studio

Chicago recording studio Jungle AE welcomes you!

Welcome to the official website of Jungle Audio Engineering. We are one of the best recording studios in Chicago, and we are very proud of it. We do not just help independent artists record music. We help each and every artist, across all genres, catapult their careers. We have a diverse staff of musicians, producers, and engineers that can help you achieve optimum sound, but we also aim to help you succeed. Chicago is a rich music city and there are many Chicago recording studios. However, Jungle AE is not just a recording studio within Chicago, Jungle Audio Engineering is a movement that is has a mission of  re-establishing the Chicago music industry through genuine and quality productions.

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How To Hold a Microphone

How To Hold a Microphone

How To Hold a Microphone

Chicago Bulls’ newly drafted rookie Doug McDermott, has attained notoriety for his perfectly formed jump shot.  Obviously being familiar with his own form, Doug McDermott can assess what mechanical aspect of his shooting technique needs adjusting in the event that he misses a shot. For you as an aspiring singer or rapper, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of your own performance.  One crucial component of your live performance that you can control is how to hold a microphone.

  1. MIND YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Always be cognizant of where the stage monitors and speakers are located.  When the microphone is pointed at the speaker, feedback occurs.  Feedback is a loop of an audio signal and that’s what creates those loud annoying screeching sounds.  If there are speakers positioned behind you, make sure you do not stand directly behind them, otherwise you may easily trigger feedback.  If you have stage monitors, refrain from letting the microphone hang where it is exposed to the speakers.  Feedback is one of the worst forms of interference that can occurduring a live show. The engineer can only do so much! Take control of your performance and identify where all the speakers are.

  1.  HAND PLACEMENT/POSITIONING ON THE MICROPHONE

Do not cup the microphone!  Although it is likely that every rap act you have seen cups the microphone, asit may feel comfortable and look cool, just don’t do it! Cupping the microphone takes away from the intelligibility ofyour lyrics.  Your vocals will sound muddy instead of clear.  You likely do not cup the microphone in your studio sessions, so don’t do it duringlive performances either.  The only time doing so would be applicable is if you are screaming and you desire that muddy, partly distorted sensation in the audio.   If you find yourself sounding muddy, check where your hand placement is and adjust it.  If for some odd reason you think you sound too bright (more treble), then cup the microphone.

  1. DIRECTION

Every microphone for performing has its own pick up pattern (the area of which the microphone picks up sound).  Make sure the microphone is in direct line with your mouth.  If it isn’t, then the microphone won’t fully capture your vocals.  It helps to keep your arm in an ‘L’ position, and wherever your arm moves, your head also moves.  For even better results, allowyour torso to move when you need to look in another direction, then the position of your head and hand position will always remain in the same place.

  1. PROXIMITY EFFECT

Proximity effect is refers to the amplification of low frequency or bass when you are close to the microphone.  The closer you are to the microphone, the more muddy/bassy your vocals will sound. The further you are away from the microphone the thinner/brighter your vocals will sound.  If you are so close to the microphone that you are more or less eating it, then your vocals will be very dark and muddy.  Your vocals may seem louder, but they will not be clear.  Allow the microphone to be a couple inches away from your mouth so that your vocals have more clarity.  If you’re rapping and no one understands you, then what’s the point?  It may feel awkward at first since you aren’t used to it, but better vocal quality will be the end product.   

  1. PROJECT YOUR VOICE

Now, because you know about proximity effect and hopefully will no longer be eating the microphone, you need to be cognizant of the projection of your voice.  Projecting your voice doesn’t just mean screaming or being louder.  It means allowing the power of your voice to come from the diaphragm and not from your head.  It’ll offer a better quality vocal and fuller sound and, combined with good use of the proximity effect;, you will have a clear, yet full vocal tone.

 

Now that you know, share your new knowledge on how to hold a microphone… this is how we will improve the craft of music all around us! Do music well!

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Improve Stage Presence with these Helpful Tips

How To Improve Your Stage Presence

Improve Stage Presence
Written by Alex ‘Excel’ Cruz

Improving stage presence is a process.  The practice is when you memorize lyrics.  The game is when you record in the studio.  The playoffs are when you perform.  When Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are in playoff mode; their stats jump up considerably.  It is like they kick into an overdrive gear, this is exactly what happens when you perform.  Just as when these NBA superstars take the court, their presence is already felt.  You need to do the same with your very own stage presence.  Here are tricks and tips for stage presence.

ONE

The first step on how to have good stage presence as a singer is to memorize music and the lyrics.  If you know the lyrics without even thinking about it, then that’s one less thing you have to worry about (read our blog on ‘how to remember lyrics’).  The less stress there is, the looser the rest of your body will be.  The looser you are, then the more comfortable you are and look.  The more comfortable you are, the less awkward you look on stage.

TWO

The second step is to be relaxed.  Less muscle tension and better blood flow equals a relaxed body.  A relaxed body will help steady your voice and relax your mind.

  1.  Exercise for 30 minutes the day of your performance.  Exercising releases tension and endorphins are released.
  2.  Stretch your arms, legs, back and shoulders before you arrive to the venue of your set; it’ll help reduce tension in your body.
  3. Before you perform, eat a banana.  It will help take away that empty feeling in your stomach but won’t make you too full.
  4. Meditate on the morning of your performance, if you can, do it an hour before your performance.  For 15-20 minutes, sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breathing as you relax the rest of your body.  Just focus on your breathing, don’t think about your performance.
  5. Laugh as much as you can…. This sounds ridiculous, but laughing is also a form of meditation… It will take your mind off the anxiety of performing.  Watch a comedy of some sort on the day of your performance to help keep you loose.
  6.  Show up to the venue early and talk to the audience beforehand.  This will help keep you loose and manage your expectations as you see and feel that the audience is regular people just like you.
  7. Drink citrus juice 30 minutes before your performance.  It can help lower your blood pressure and ease your anxiety.

These steps can help conquer stage freight singing, rapping or playing any kind of instrumental live.

THREE

Avoid caffeine.  Caffeine will not give you real natural energy, and it will make you more jittery and nervous.

FOUR

You must have confidence.  Confidence increases your stage presence.  Don’t slouch and never look down.  Look straight ahead and don’t tell anyone how nervous you are.  Leave no doubts in your mind.  The confidence mentally will reflect physically and shine out to the audience.  The same can work in reverse too, looking confident feeds your mind to be mentally confident as well.  Confidence breeds conviction and conviction is infectious and attractive to watch!

Next time you question ‘how do I overcome stage fright?’, think about these four tips.  You can apply these tricks and tips to the recording process as well.  The recording is only as good as the performance, so you might as well give yourself the best preparation for the best performance.  Now that you know how to get over your fear of stage fright, test our steps and share your new knowledge… this is how we will improve the craft of music all around us! Do music good!

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How To Remember Lyrics

How To Remember Lyrics

7 Keys To Memorizing Lyrics
Written by Alex ‘Excel’ Cruz

Ray Allen is one of the most prolific shooters in NBA history.  When it comes to the game, he just shoots without thinking of the mechanics of his shot.   You better believe he practiced hours on end perfecting his mechanics of his shot his muscles would remember it.  Well, recording your song is the game and when you memorize lyrics, then that’s the practice.

Just like when it came to Ray Allen practicing his shots with different drills, there are several different ways you can practice so that you can remember lyrics.

  1.  Study your lyrics.  By this, I don’t mean, read your lyrics and call it a day, but take the time to understand what each line means; why each line is prolific for you.  The better you understand the story of your song, the more you know the emotion and direction of the writing, the easier it will be to memorize lyrics.
  2. Read the lyrics out loud.  Reciting lyrics and slowing it down will help you to understand the meaning of them more.  The more there is remember about the lyrics, the easier it is to memorize music.  Reading the lyrics out loud will also help commit it to your memory because you are hearing the words back said to you.
  3. Break it up.  There’s no reason to remember a full song all at once.  Break it up by verses, and even break up the verses by bars.  Try learning 4 bars at a time.  Once you have committed 4 bars to memory, move to the next 4 bars while saying the previous 4 bars.  Continue this until you can move through that verse fluidly.
  4. Rewrite the lyrics out.  Rewriting the lyrics out will help commit the words to your subconscious memory.  Look at the original writing, then write it down again.  Not only is this a way how to remember lyrics, but now you’ll have a better written copy!  I’m sure your original copy has scribbles and edits, so now you kill two birds with one stone.  Do not type, typing words doesn’t provide the same type of muscle memory that’ll help translate the words to your subconscious memory.
  5. Rewrite the lyrics out with the other hand.  Now this one won’t turn out as nice linking, but having to write with your non dominant hand forces your brain to work more.   Your brain is a muscle too, getting it to think more and in a different way is like doing a different exercise to train the same muscle.
  6. Record a voice note.  Use your phone to record a voice note on your phone of you rapping/ your lyrics a capella.  I stress a capella, because if you know you verse enough, you should be able to deliver the rap to any beat that’s on a 4/4 count.
  7. Listen to the instrumental.  If you listen to the instrumental, then you’ll subconsciously be memorizing music.  If you know where the breaks are in the instrumental, if you know where the arrangement changes, then they will be subconscious cues for you on how to deliver a certain part of your lyrics.

These 7 tips will help you to memorize lyrics.  It also helps to have your diet correct.  Keeping your brain hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugary/caffeine drinks will help a lot.  Avoiding alcohol will also give you better brain power when It comes to memorizing music.  Test our steps, then share your new knowledge on how to memorize music… this is how we will improve the craft of music all around us! Do music good!

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