FeelYourSound has announced it is running a Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale. Until November 28th you can get a 15% discount on the following products: Sundog Song Studio, a standalone songwriting solution that lets you create complete songs quickly. MelodicFlow, a scales and melodies plugin (VST/AU) that work within your DAW and lets you […]
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Liquid Notes by Re-Compose, offering 50% off the songwriting assistant tool for editing complex harmonic progressions. With its advanced harmony analysis and chord progression algorithms, Liquid Notes will effectively alter chord functions, types, tension, and progressions. Reharmonization has never been easier! Grab Liquid Notes standalone and Liquid Notes […]
FeelYourSound has announced that its MelodicFlow is now available for Logic Pro X. Previously available as a VSTi plugin for Windows and macOS, the new AU version allows Logic Pro X users to use it in their projects as well. MelodicFlow is a MIDI performance and song-writing plugin to create and play basslines, hooks, and […]
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” says artist and composer Allee Willis. Yet her output ranges from Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” to the theme song of Friends. If you don’t know Willis, you should – and her story might inspire yours.
Behind all the cheery social media these days, most artists you talk to have struggled. They’ve struggled with creativity and sobriety, mental health and creative blocks, unfriendly industries and obscurity. And sometimes they’ve struggled just to get by – which is where Allee Willis was in 1978, living off food stamps and wondering what would happen next.
What happened next is a career that led to an insane number of hit songs – along with plenty of other fascinating side trips into kitsch and art. (There’s a kitsch-themed social network, an artist alterego named Bubbles, and a music video duet with a 91-year-old woman drummer on an oxygen tank, to name a few.) But what it hasn’t involved is a lot of widespread personal notoriety. Allee Willis is a celebrity’s celebrity, which is to say famous people know her but most people don’t know she’s famous.
At least it’s about that gap. The odds that you don’t know her? Decent. The odds that you don’t know her songs? Unlikely.
Let’s go: Earth, Wind & Fire “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done To Deserve This.” The theme from Friends, recorded by The Rembrandts (if you knew that, which I suspect you didn’t)… all these and more add up to 60 million records. And she co-authored the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Tony and Grammy-winning Broadway musical The Color Purple. More songs you know in movies: Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid (“You’re the Best”), Howard the Duck.
The Detroit native is an impassioned use of Web tech and animation, networked together machines to design an orchestration workflow for The Color Purple musical, and now lives in LA with … Pro Tools, of course, alongside some cats.
But this isn’t about her resume so much as it is about what she says drives her – that itch to create stuff. And for anyone worried about how to get into the creative zone, maybe the first step is to stop worrying about getting into the creative zone. We value analysis and self-critique so much that sometimes we forget to just have fun making and stop worrying about even our own opinions (or maybe, especially those). In the end, it was that instinct that has driven her work, and presumably lots of stuff that didn’t do as well as that Friends theme song. (But there are her cats. Not the Broadway kind; that’s Andrew Lloyd Weber – the furry ones.)
There’s a great video out from CNN-produced Web video series Great Big Story:
And her site is a wild 1999-vintage-design wonderland of HTML, if you want to dive in:
Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) has announced it will present its first immersive recording arts conference for women in New York, at YouTube Space NY and the legendary Jungle City Studios, on October 19th-20th. The WAMCon New York conference by the nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts is […]
Amadeus Code has announced that its songwriting assistant app is now open to all users. Previously available in a public beta, Amadeus Code is rolling out a new way to construct songs for composers unafraid to explore the possibilities of AI-assisted songwriting. “Our AI has the ability to find really unexpected, but yet compelling melodies […]
The Mix Challenge has announced it is celebrating the 4th anniversary of the Mix Challenge (game) itself. In June 2014, three people (Eric Dahlberg, Satya Choudhury and Roland Löhlbach) revived a game concept on KVR Audio that originated as a mastering challenge. This game would ultimately be known as the “Mix Challenge”. It has had […]
FeelYourSound has announced a limited time sale in celebration of its 5th anniversary. You can get a 15% discount on the following products: Sundog Song Studio, a stand-alone songwriting solution that allows you to create complete songs quickly. MelodicFlow, a scales and melodies VST instrument that works within your DAW and always play “on the […]
Amadeus Code Inc. has launched an app that uses AI technology to assist an often-ignored part of the creative process, the writer’s block that often plagues musicians, producers, and composers. Amadeus Code is a melody generator that uses data from popular songs over the past few centuries to craft melodies based on your preference of […]
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Liquid Notes for Live by Re-Compose, the songwriting assistant tool for editing complex harmonic progressions. With its advanced harmony analysis and chord progression algorithms, Liquid Notes will effectively alter chord functions, types, tension, and progressions. Reharmonization has never been easier! It offers a controllable range of alternatives for […]