Category: Music

Why Are There So Many Different Audio Formats And Which One Is The Best?

If you’ve ever created or downloaded an audio file, you may have wondered why there are so many audio formats and which type to use.  While keeping them all straight can be a challenge, it’s easier when you understand that audio formats can be broken down into three encoding types. 

Here, we’ll take a closer look at each audio file category, its characteristics, and which audio file formats fall under its umbrella.  You can use this knowledge to pick the best format for your needs and goals.

1. Uncompressed Audio Formats

This type of audio file captures real sound waves and converts them to digital without additional processing. This means that while they’re the most accurate, they also use up a large amount of disk space. As such, only portable mediums like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are suited for holding them. 

Popular uncompressed audio formats include:

  • WAV

Short for “Waveform Audio,” the WAV format was developed by IBM and Microsoft as one of the earliest audio file types for PCs. Compatible with all players, hardware and software for digital files, WAV files offer high quality and accurate recording; however, they’re also large in size and use a lot of bandwidth. 

  • AIFF

Short for “Audio Interchange File Format,” the AIFF format was developed by Apple for Apple products.  Very similar to a WAV file, AIFF files are also an uncompressed, HD format with a comparable file size and audio quality. Additionally supported exclusively by Mac computers, AIFF is now supported by Windows, too. AIFF outperforms WAV in supporting additional metadata tags, such as album titles.

2. Lossy Compressed Audio Formats

This audio encoding type uses psychoacoustic analysis to detect and discard inaudible (or masked) content. This drastically reduces file size by up to 1/10th of the original. However, this data is permanently lost and cannot be restored to its original uncompressed format.  

Popular lossy compressed audio formats include:

  • MP3

Short for “MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3,” MP3 is a very popular lossy/compressed file format thanks to its small file size, low bandwidth usage, and universal compatibility with digital media players. While MP3’s compact file size comes with a tradeoff of audio quality, it’s difficult for the “naked ear” to tell the difference as long as you encode at the highest resolution of 320kbps. 

  • AAC

Short for “Advanced Audio Coding,” AAC was developed to improve upon the MP3. It offers the same compact bitrate as MP3 but with more efficient audio compression and a higher-quality sound. While AAC is not HD, its advantages make it the format of choice for many paid streaming music platforms. 

  • WMA

Short for “Windows Media Audio,” WMA was Microsoft’s answer to MP3—albeit with improvements to sound quality. However,it lacks widespread acceptance, and is not supported by certain hardware and software, including on Android devices. 

  • OGG

Short for “OGG Vorbis,” OGG was also developed as an improvement to MP3. Offering one of the smallest file sizes and low-bandwidth usage, this open-source audio format lacks the uptake of MP3 and ACC, and is therefore limited in support. 

3. Lossless Compressed Audio Formats

Often regarded as a “best of both worlds” audio format, lossless compression reduces the file size for easy distribution and storage, but can also be decoded to its original uncompressed state with no loss or degradation. (In this sense, it’s comparable to a ZIP file.) 

Popular lossless compressed audio formats include:

  • ALAC

Short for “Apple Lossless Audio Codec,” ALAC was developed by Apple and is used by both Quicktime and iTunes. In their compressed state, ALAC files are approximately 60 percent of their original file size. However, they are uncompressed in playback and therefore preserve the audio quality of the original source. While ALAC files are supported by many software media players, hardware support is limited for mobile players. 

  • FLAC

Short for “Free Lossless Audio Codec,” FLAC is similar to ALAC in characteristics, but is open-source. It also offers faster streaming and decoding with very little latency. Beloved by audio files as well as the format of choice for Amazon’s HD streaming service, FLAC is not supported by Apple products. 

Which Audio File Type is Best?

All of which begs the question: Which is the best audio file type?

By now, it’s probably clear this is somewhat of a trick question because there is no single-best audio file type. Rather, it depends on factors ranging from your sound quality goals to the media player you’re using.

Here are a few general guidelines to go by:

If you want optimal sound accuracy (either recording or listening) and have concerns about file size….

Choose an uncompressed audio format, like WAV or AIFF, which preserves the original sound quality with unparalled accuracy. 

If you are an audiophile seeking high-quality sound but don’t want to deal with unwieldy file sizes….

Choose a lossless compressed audio format, such as ALAC or FLAC, which offers the original sound quality in a compressed file size.

If you casually listen to and/or stream music…..

Choose a lossy compressed format, such as MP3, AAC, WMA, and OGG, which will provide acceptable (if reduced) sound quality and shorter download times without maxing out space.

Ultimately, the “best” audio file type will be determined by the specifics of the situation and your desired outcomes. Now that you’ve got a better understanding of the pros and cons of each type, you’re prepared to make the most informed choice when you’re recording, sharing, downloading, streaming, or sharing audio files. 

5 Most Successful Taylor Swift Albums

It seems that these days, fame is more fleeting than ever as the digital era of music has allowed artists to come out of nowhere and take some of the attention away from the established superstars. However, some stars have proven that they’re immune to any shift in genre and stand out at the top of the charts despite all of the newcomers. Taylor Swift is one of those artists that transcends any fad in music to stick around as a top act.

Since making her debut, Swift has released a ton of successful albums, selling well over 100 million units in her career. Which ones have been the most successful, though? Let’s take a look at her discography and remember the five that absolutely dominated the charts both album-wise and singles-wise.

Speak Now

Back in 2010, Taylor Swift was still making that transition from country music to pure pop music, and “Speak Now” marked the final album which people consider to be “country pop.” Swift wrote the album all on her own, which is a huge risk for any musician trying to make it in pop. The gamble paid off in a huge way for Swift as the album got off to a hot start thanks to the initial single “Mine”.

Though the singles from “Speak Now” didn’t dominate the top of the charts like some of her other albums, there were still some hits which included “Back to December”, “Mean”, and “Story of Us”. Her third studio album, “Speak Now” was certified platinum six times over, reaching sales of nearly 5 million in the United States and reaching the number one spot in four countries, including the United States.

Taylor Swift

All careers have to start somewhere, and for Taylor Swift, it was in 2006 when she released her self-titled debut album. At the time, Swift was just 16 years old and fully entrenched in the country music genre as she had been signed to Sony and was recording in Nashville, Tennessee. The debut single from the album was “Tim McGraw”, an ode to one of the genre’s biggest legends.

Swift followed his up with a slew of chart-toppers including “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “Our Song”, and “Should’ve Said No”. Swift was well on her way to stardom early on, selling nearly 6 million copies in the United States alone and achieving seven-time platinum status. Interestingly enough, though, it’s the only Swift album to not reach number one on the US Billboard 200.


Following the success of “Speak Now”, 2012 marked the full transition into pop music for Swift’s career when she released “Red”. Many were curious to see where she would go next, and the album didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The debut single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was a megahit, and the rest of the track list didn’t let up.

“22”, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, and “Everything Has Changed” all became wildly successful, and the sales numbers backed up how much people loved the pop version of Swift. “Red” reached the top of six major charts around the world and was platinum seven times. More than 8 million copies were sold, and earned Swift a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.


You have to go back to the early days of Swift’s career to find one of her most successful albums, and it was the highly-anticipated sophomore release titled “Fearless” in 2008. Swift proved that she wasn’t a flash in the pan, and actually found more highly-charting singles than her debut. “Love Story” was the first single released from “Fearless” and was one of the biggest hits of the 2000s.

“You Belong With Me” became another massive hit, with other songs like “Fifteen” and “White Horse” achieving solid success, too. “Fearless” reached number one in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, and it’s the only Swift album that has achieved certified diamond status thanks to 12 million copies sold worldwide. “Fearless” also won major Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.


If you ask any Swiftie what their favorite album is, there’s a good chance that they’re going to say “1989”. Released in 2014, “1989” proved to be the biggest hit-producer of Swift’s career, starting with the infectious “Shake It Off”. There were seven total singles released from “1989”, three of which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” were the other two, while songs like “Style”, “Wildest Dreams”, and “Out of the Woods” were all highly charting. “1989” received 10-time platinum status and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide despite being released in the digital era. Like “Fearless”, “1989” won the Grammy for Album of the Year, making Swift the first solo female to win the award twice.

5 Biggest Grammy Snubs of All Time

Each year, the Recording Academy of the United States decides the best of the best from the year in music during the Grammy Awards. Many feel that what the Academy says is gospel and that whoever ends up winning these awards were truly the top picks from the year. However, public opinion from hardcore music fans can differ greatly from the Academy’s opinion.

Whether it’s the Album of the Year, Best Rap Album, or anything else, there’s always going to be at least one person who feels that the actual best choice didn’t win the award. Here are five of the biggest Grammy snubs of all time that had people scratching their heads the most.

1984 Song of the Year

There was a stacked card for the 1984 Song of the Year award, which included two Michael Jackson songs (“Beat It” and “Billie Jean”). There were two other massive hits that were nominated, as well, with Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. None of these songs would end up winning the award, though.

Many felt that one of the two Jackson songs would take home the title, especially since “Beat It” won so many other awards that night. The award instead went to The Police for their hit “Every Breath You Take”. Even Sting, the man who wrote the song, didn’t think it was deserving of the Song of the Year choice.

2014 Best New Artist

The title for Best New Artist is always one that gets a lot of backlash from fans. 2011, for example, saw Esperanza Spalding win over Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons. Just three years later, though, there would be an even bigger blowback from fans when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis shared the title.

James Blake, Kacey Musgraves, and Ed Sheeran were all nominated, but the one who people felt got snubbed the most was Kendrick Lamar. Lamar had just released “good kid, m.A.A.d city” which was up for Album of the Year. Lamar didn’t take home any of the awards in which he was nominated, leaving a lot of rap fans confused.

1993 Best Rock Song

In 1992, Sting won the first-ever Grammy for Best Rock Song when he released “The Soul Cages” which was a big upset in itself. After all, “Silent Lucidity”, “Enter Sandman”, “Learning to Fly” and “Been Caught Stealing” were all nominated that year, too. The second-ever award in the category, though, was much more confusing for music fans.

“Layla” by Eric Clapton would end up winning the award. If that already sounds weird, it’s because “Layla” was a 1970s song, but the acoustic version from “Unplugged” was what earned the title. Both “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam and, of course, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana were the favorites, but the Grammys really didn’t like grunge at the time.

1989 Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance

The Grammy Awards finally began to recognize the world of hard rock in 1989 with the introduction of the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Award, but it would be the only year in which the award existed. Pretty much everyone felt that Metallica was going to win the award for their album “…And Justice for All”.

The Recording Academy had different ideas, though. Iggy Pop, AC/DC, and Jane’s Addiction were also nominated, but the title went to Jethro Tull for “Crest of a Knave”. Metalheads were instantly furious, and the award was removed from future Grammy ceremonies. Lars Ulrich of Metallica said that Jethro Tull winning was a mockery and opened the curtains to show that the Grammys didn’t really have their finger on the pulse of rock music.

1969 Song of the Year

The Beatles didn’t have a shortage of awards throughout their time together, but one title which they should’ve won came at the 1969 Grammy Awards. “Hey Jude” was up for the Song of the Year category, and many felt that the only real competition was from Simon & Garfunkel for their hit “Mrs. Robinson”. Neither of those songs would win, though.

Neither would two of the other more well-known songs in the category; “Harper Valley PTA” by Jeannie C. Riley and “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro. Instead, the title went to O.C. Smith for his song “Little Green Apples”. The song was a solid hit for its time, but has largely gone unremembered by music fans, especially compared to “Hey Jude”, which is considered a timeless classic.

5 Most Popular Songs of the Spotify Era

Streaming has allowed everyone to listen to the songs they love without having to find a CD player or search for the song on YouTube and have an entire video load. More than any other streaming service, Spotify has been the go-to for those who want no-frills digital audio from their favorite artists and certain songs have been much more popular than others.

Since the Spotify era began, certain songs have appealed to everyone no matter what their preferred genre is. Of course, most of these songs fall into the pop category, but hip-hop does find its way toward the top of the list, too. Here are the five most popular songs of the Spotify era, but before we get into the list, here are some songs that almost made the cut: “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey, “One Dance” by Drake”, and “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee.

“Rockstar” by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage

Following the success of his debut album “Stoney” in late 2016, Post Malone didn’t disappoint with his sophomore release “Beerbongs & Bentleys” two years later. To get the fans who were waiting for a taste of what to expect from the entire album, Malone released the first single “Rockstar” in September 2017. “Rockstar” was an instant hit, becoming the first number-one song for both Malone and track-mate 21 Savage.

At the time of its release, “Rockstar” broke the record for the most-streamed song in a one-week span, and it stayed at the top of the charts for two months. “Rockstar” also became just the second song to be streamed more than 2 billion songs on Spotify, following another hit that’s on the list. “Rockstar” was nominated for several Grammy and American Music Awards, but surprisingly won none of them.

“Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi

There are certain artists who have seemingly come out of nowhere and delivered one of the biggest hit songs of all time. Lewis Capaldi is one of those artists, and in early 2019 his song “Someone You Loved” became an unstoppable force internationally. The soft-spoken Scot belted out this tune as part of his extended play “Breach” and the album “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent”.

After it made waves in Europe, “Someone You Loved” started gaining steam around the rest of the world and reached number one in both Canada and the United States. It was quite the climb for the song, which had debuted at number 85 before spending three weeks at number one.

“Dance Monkey” Tones and I

Tones and I had a very similar path to stardom as Lewis Capaldi, coming out of nowhere as an international singer and dominating the charts in pretty much every country. Tones and I is an Australian singer with a very unique voice, and the song “Dance Monkey” was about her time busking in her home country trying to make ends meet.

The beat was incredibly catchy and the vocals were memorable, giving Tones and I her first-ever top 10 hit in most charting countries. Interestingly enough, despite being the third-most-popular song in the Spotify era, “Dance Monkey” was not a number-one single in the United States. In fact, it only reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran

If you were driving around and listening to the radio in 2017, there was a good chance that “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran was playing no matter what radio station it was. Sheeran’s song was an earworm that became his biggest hit, reaching number one in nearly three dozen countries around the world.

That, of course, included the United States where it even debuted as the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100. “Shape of You” didn’t let up after its strong start, either. The song would end up breaking the record for most weeks spent in the top 10 of the charts with 33, meaning that there were women in the world that spent almost an entire pregnancy with that song as a top 10 hit.

“Blinding Lights” by The Weekend

There aren’t many songs that could still be played on top 40 radio stations years after their release, but “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd is one of them. After going off the grid for months, The Weeknd popped back up in late 2019, releasing what would be the hit that got us all through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Blinding Lights” broke records left and right, even destroying Sheeran’s record as it remained in the top 10 for an entire year. The song helped propel The Weeknd to superstardom, landing him the halftime show of the Super Bowl with a memorable “Blinding Lights” performance.

5 Biggest “Final” Tours in Music History

Whenever a band starts to get fed up with each other or simply wants to go off in their own direction, they call for one final tour. There have been countless incidents of bands or performers who have said that they’re going on one final tour, helping to boost ticket sales, only to go back on tour after one more year.

Then, there have been some cases where a musician truly meant it when they said that the tour was final. Let’s take a look at the biggest tours (in no particular order) which ended up being the true final ones for legendary solo acts and bands, many of which spanned several years before coming to an end.


Genesis originally consisted of singer/drummer Phil Collins, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, and keyboardist Tony Banks, but they hadn’t stuck together throughout the entirety of Genesis. After 2007, it seemed that the band was done as an original trio. However, Phil Collins came out of retirement to do one final tour with the original group, and tickets went on sale just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The original dates were all pushed back, but that didn’t seem to be a problem for the band as they were still able to play all but eight of their scheduled shows. On September 20, 2021, in Birmingham, England, The Last Domino Tour kicked off and continued through Europe and North America before coming to an end on March 26, 2022, at London’s O2 Arena.


In terms of metal bands, it’s hard to get any bigger than Slayer, who is considered to be among the “Big Four” in the genre. Slayer had been touring for more than 30 years by the time 2018 came around, which was when they started what was officially titled The Final World Tour. On May 10th of that year, Slayer played their opening show at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.

The tour hit just about every continent over the course of 18 months. After spending the beginning of Autumn 2019 in South America, they wrapped up their farewell tour in Inglewood, California on November 29, 2019, at The Forum. All in all, the Final World Tour was able to get all 147 scheduled shows in just before the COVID-19 pandemic and giving fans the proper goodbye.

Bob Seger

Rock and roll icon Bob Seger truly meant it when he said the Travelin’ Man Tour starting in 2018 would be his final one. Seger had been dealing with back issues that caused him to feel a lot of pain and wanted to muster up the energy for a brief final run over the course of six months.

Of course, Seger started his final tour in his home state of Michigan and kept his final tour entirely within the United States. Originally scheduled to end in March 2019, Seger added a few more shows, so the official end came at the Raising Cane’s River Center Arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in October 2019.


Kiss has had multiple anniversary and farewell tours over the years to the point where not many people take them seriously when they say they’re wrapping up. At the start of 2019, though, it became clear that they were planning on something big as they were dead-set on retiring after one more tour and thus introduced the End of the Road World Tour.

The band decided to start their farewell tour in Vancouver, playing in front of a sold-out crowd at Rogers Arena. They then made their way through the United States, Europe, and Japan before having to put the tour on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2021, the tour resumed in the United States and continued into 2023 as Gene Simmons celebrated his 70th birthday and scheduled the band’s final show for Tonsberg, Norway.

Elton John

Kiss isn’t the only musical act that has teased retirement over and over, only to come back with another long tour schedule. Elton John had done it multiple times, but after his Wonderful Crazy Night Tour in 2018 wrapped up, he said that the next one would be the last. This one was in the form of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, and it would become the highest-grossing tour ever.

John wanted to go all-out for his final tour, which started in Allentown, Pennsylvania on September 8, 2018. Despite a hiccup due to COVID-19, Elton John continued on with well over 300 shows on the tour. Wanting to wrap things up in Europe, John scheduled his last show for Stockholm, Sweden in a two-night event.

5 Largest Concerts in Florida History

Florida can be a tough place for outdoor venues since the weather is so unpredictable. However, there have been many musical acts who are willing to brave the elements in hopes that the Sunshine State lives up to its name. As a result, there are some concerts that have set attendance records in the state of Florida, with these five concerts and festivals pulling in the most concertgoers over the years.

Ultra Music Festival

In the late 1990s, Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes had an idea to start a music festival in the Miami area that would focus on the EDM genre. Back then, EDM was a very niche genre compared to what it is today. In 1999, the first ever Ultra Music Festival was held on Miami Beach but has changed venues several times since then. It was a small crowd at the time, with just 10,000 people showing up.

Things would change over the years, however, as the festival moved venues and EDM became more popular. For five years, the UMF was held at Bayfront Park and nearly quintupled in attendance. When the venue changed to Bicentennial Park, it reached 100,000 for the first time in 2011. After moving back to Bayfront Park, the Ultra Music Festival set new records with 170,000 in attendance.

Led Zeppelin

Before the Buccaneers of the NFL called Raymond James Stadium their home (and built an awesome pirate ship in the stadium), they played their home games at Tampa Stadium. Locals started calling it the Big Sombrero thanks to its unique shape, and the venue had a lot of character before it was demolished in 1999.

The Big Sombrero was home to a lot of memorable concerts, but the one that really stood out was when Led Zeppelin came to town. At the time (1973), no other band was able to pull in that many people to one venue with 57,000 in attendance. When they returned four years later, there were 70,000 people, but the concert was cut short due to inclement weather. A riot ensued when the show was canceled, causing a black eye on the stadium’s history.

Garth Brooks (Multiple Times)

Garth Brooks has been a huge draw for pretty much his entire career, and since the 1990s has been selling out football stadiums across the United States, showing that he’s at a different level than most performers. There have been a couple of times in which Brooks has set attendance records in Florida, with one concert coming in Orlando while the other was in Gainesville.

When Brooks played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, more than 70,000 people turned out to sing along with him while he played his greatest hits. After the show, Brooks tweeted out “Orlando, I’ll say it again – YOU (expletive) ROCK!” As for his concert in Gainesville, Brooks set a new record with a crowd of 75,500 at the sold out Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Florida Gators football team.

Bad Bunny

Garth Brooks isn’t the only one to have a massive crowd show up at Camping World Stadium. When he kicked off his “World’s Hottest Tour” in 2022, Bad Bunny picked Orlando to be the place where he’d start it all. The venue didn’t have quite as many seats as Brooks’s concert due to the setup differences between the concerts, but Bad Bunny was still able to fill all 65,000 available seats.

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons that Bad Bunny chose Orlando is because he had spent a lot of time there while training for his match at WrestleMania. The WWE has a performance center in Orlando, and WrestleMania 37 was held in Tampa, allowing Bad Bunny to call the state his home for several months.

Miami Pop Festival

Psychedelic music was all the rage toward the end of the 1960s, and 1968 saw two massive festivals take place in Florida. The first Miami Pop Festival was held on May 18th and 19th at Gulfstream Park and brought out 25,000 people thanks to performers including the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Chuck Berry. The second iteration of the festival, though, drew in massive numbers compared to the original.

The other Miami Pop Festival took place during the final days of 1968, and this time brought in more than 100,000 people. Also held at Gulfstream Park, the second festival saw the return of Chuck Berry while also adding around two dozen more bands. This included Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, and Three Dog Night.

5 Beginner Tips for Making Awesome Music with a Sequencer

While the best instrumentalists in the world can play with incredible precision, none can approach the incredibly reliable timing of a sequencer. This is because music sequencers are fully programmable in the same way that you can program a computer.

In fact, modern sequencers ARE computers: incredibly complex digital machines that allow you to play virtually any musical or rhythmic patterns or “sequences” of sonic elements. If you have your sequencer set up appropriately, you can play your chosen combination of notes, rhythmic elements, effects, and articulations with the touch of a button or a click of a mouse.

There are many sequencer types and designs on the market today. Although some models are specifically geared toward beginners, even the simplest of sequencers can be quite intimidating, particularly to people who might be less musically and/or technologically inclined. But, by following the five tips below, even total newcomers to the sequencer can begin making a beautiful racket in no time!

1. Choose the Right Sequencer/Synth Connection

Fortunately, most music sequencers are compatible with most other forms of synthesizer-based instruments and computer hardware. In fact, users can generally choose among many different ways to connect sequencers to synth. Software sequencers that operated entirely on a computer or mobile device are generally quite easy to connect to any synth device. Depending on their age and specific brand, hardware sequencers commonly link to synths and other devices via MIDI, CV, or USB interfaces. While all of these interfaces allow you to faithfully carry pitch, rhythm, articulation, and other defining aspects of sequencer music creation, a 3.5mm CV jack can give precise voltage control to further modulate auditory signals.

2. Use Sequencer Knobs Rather Than Your Mouse

If a software sequencer has any knobs to speak of, they will be virtual in nature and appear only on your computer screen. Many hardware sequencers that connect to a computer allow you to choose between making adjustments on-screen or with a series of physical knobs, switches, and buttons. Most beginners tend to appreciate the tactile nature of turning a physical knob and find that “turning” knobs with a mouse and keyboard is far less intuitive. When you hear your musical sequences changing in real time under the influence of your fingertips, it can be quite creatively empowering.

3. Create Melody and Harmony with Pitch

Although different sequencers may come with radically different features, nearly all of them allow you to program them for pitch. The relative highness or lowness of a note, pitch allows you to create melodies and harmonies. Try placing different notes in different orders to craft a melody. Try programming two or more congruous notes at the same time to create harmonies.

4. Create Rhythmic Timing with Gate or Trigger

The related elements of gate and trigger are even more essential than pitch when it comes to sequencer operation. Applicable to both musical notes and atonal percussion, gate refers to the amount of time in any sequencer program that is “open” to a particular sound. Triggers are the specific points in time that various gates open. Every time you program a sound, your sequencer places gate and trigger signals to launch that sound and subsequently terminate it.

5. Create Sound Texture with Modulation

To create true works of music art, sequencer users must augment the primary elements of pitch and gate with secondary elements such as modulation. Without modulation, musicians simply can’t get the specific timbres, textures, and other sonic qualities that give music so much of its emotional import and primal power. Often controlled by a mod wheel, a touch pad, or a series of knobs, modulation changes sound with effects such as vibrato and phasing.

5 Greatest Hip Hop Music Videos Ever

There was once a time when hip-hop music videos were among the cheapest to produce in the music industry as many of them involved someone simply rapping in front of a camera, whether it be outside or in the studio. During the mid-to-late 1990s, however, music video production exploded in quality as the genre became more mainstream, and multi-million dollar videos were soon being pumped out weekly.

Now, there is a long list of amazing music videos from the genre that have had great direction and artistry while also being accompanied by a great song. Though it’s hard to choose from a long list of an entire genre, here are the five greatest hip-hop music videos ever in our opinion.

California Love

“California Love” is one of the greatest creations to come from the late rapper, Tupac Shakur. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman were also featured on the 1995 hit. The music video for the song was directed by Hype Williams and filmed in El Mirage, California. 

The video, inspired by Mad Max Beyond the Thundersome, features the artists and various actors such as Chris Tucker, Clifton Powell, and Tony Cox in a dystopian desert setting, dressed in ravaged clothing and body armor as seen in the movie. The song has been listed by countless publications as being one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

The Real Slim Shady

“The Real Slim Shady” is the lead single off of Eminem’s 2000 album, The Marshall Mather’s LP. The satirical video starts off with Eminem as a patient in a psych ward, with comedian Kathy Griffin as a nurse. 

The video cuts to different hilariously odd scenes throughout, some with Eminem surrounded by a group of lookalikes, with him pointing out there’s only one Slim Shady and others are just imitating. The video went on to win Best Video and Best Male Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. 


“Sabotage” serves as the first single off of the Beastie Boys’ 1994 album, Ill Communication. The music video for “Sabotage” was directed by Spike Jonze and is inspired by 70’s crime shows such as Hawaii Five-O and Starsky and Hutch. 

The hilariously action-packed video features the members of the group being introduced as characters in a mock television show intro, fighting crime in 70’s style outfits, wigs, and mustaches. The video was nominated for various awards during the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards but failed to win in any of the categories. 

Jesus Walks

Kanye West had established himself as a producer for many years, but in the early 2000s, he finally got on the other side of the microphone and recorded his debut album “The College Dropout”, which ended up being considered one of the greatest albums in rap history. Among the singles released were “Through the Wire” and “All Falls Down”, with “Jesus Walks” being released later in the album’s life.

There were three different videos released for “Jesus Walks”, with two of them being paid for exclusively by West. The song was deeply important for West and his spirituality, which is why he felt that it was important to spend over $1 million to produce the two additional videos. The one that most people know though was the second version which started with prisoners being treated like modern-day slaves and touched on the social justice issues of the past two centuries in the United States.

Tha Crossroads     

While Bone Thugs-n-Harmony was already an up-and-coming group by the time 1996 came around, the release of “Tha Crossroads” really helped put them on the map. The group, which was then comprised of members Krayzie, Layzie, Bizzy, and Wish Bone, came out with “Tha Crossroads” as a tribute to not just family members that they had lost, but also their mentor Eazy-E after his passing in 1995 at just 30 years old.

The accompanying music video for “Tha Crossroads” was a deep and emotional look at life, death, and the afterlife which included a full choir and even a man that chaperones lost souls into the afterworld. At that point, there hadn’t been many rap music videos that had touched deep into sensitive topics like death and gang vioelnce, but “Tha Crossroads” did that beautifully and became one of the best hip-hop songs of the 1990s.

5 Best Selling Hip Hop Albums of All Time

When you’re talking about the best-selling albums in music history, the entire top of the list is dominated by pop and rock music. That doesn’t mean hip-hop is completely gone from the list, though. There have been many albums from the genre to sell millions of copies and make their way to the all-time list.

Almost all of the best-selling albums come from a time where downloading songs to your phone or watching the videos on YouTube wasn’t available. That means that the list is probably never going to change. With that said, here are the five best-selling hip-hop albums of all time. Did you own any of the albums on this list?

5. Greatest Hits by Tupac Shakur

Following the death of hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur, a compilation album was created to honor his legacy, which included four previously unreleased songs as well as the single “California Love”. Like any greatest hits compilation album, this one doesn’t have any slow moments when going through the tracks, which starts off with “Keep Ya Head Up” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”.

All in all, there are 25 tracks on “Greatest Hits”, and it peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. However, the album would see sustained sales throughout the years and eventually reached diamond status more than a decade after its initial release. Even in 2019 through 2022, it was at the year-end Billboard chart inside of the top 200.

4. Life After Death by Notorious B.I.G.

Just like Tupac’s “Greatest Hits”, “Life After Death” came out following the murder of Notorious B.I.G., but it was only a couple of weeks after his tragic death. “Life After Death” is considered by some to be among the greatest hip-hop albums ever made, and was a showcase of a man who got taken down during his peak.

“Life After Death” features songs including “Hypnotize”, “Mo Money Mo Problems” and “Going Back to Cali” which all turned out to be radio hits. The album peaked at number one in 1997 and was at the eighth spot on the year-end charts, while also finding its way to the top 100 of the decade-end charts.

3. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by Outkast

Back in 2003-04, you couldn’t go for more than 10 minutes without hearing a song from Outkast’s album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”. Whether it was the notoriously infectious “Hey Ya!” or “The Way You Move” to the more niche songs like “Ghetto Musick” and “Roses”, the album was unstoppable when released.

The album easily made its way to number one on the Billboard Charts in the United States and performed well in just about every other major market. For the entire 2000s decade, it finished inside of the top 35. That’s certainly cooler than being cool.

2. The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem

The top two-selling albums in hip-hop history came from one man, and you probably already guessed who it was from the very beginning. Of course, Eminem is that man, and the Detroit native was able to go certified diamond with his sophomore major label album. Following the success of 1999’s “The Slim Shady LP”, many were expecting great things from “The Marshall Mathers LP” and it didn’t disappoint.

The first single released off of the album was “The Real Slim Shady”, which achieved huge mainstream success on the pop charts. This was followed up by more serious tracks including “The Way I Am” and “Stan”. There was a little something for everyone on “The Marshall Mathers LP”, which allowed it to become number one in most major countries and sell over 12.5 million copies in the United States alone.

1. The Eminem Show by Eminem

It took two years for Eminem to follow up “The Marshall Mathers LP” and he did it in a huge way with 2002’s “The Eminem Show”. Recorded in California and Detroit, “The Eminem Show”, much like its predecessor, debuted with a single fit for radio in the form of “Without Me”. And just like the last time, Eminem captured attention first then released the more serious tracks.

Among them were “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, “Superman” and “Sing for the Moment”. “The Eminem Show” outperformed his previous ventures and all hip-hop albums in general, with a claimed 27 million copies sold worldwide. 

5 Classic Rock Hits That Were Revived Through Movie Soundtracks

Every now and then, a movie or television show will use a song that we haven’t heard in ages, while also introducing a new audience to a hit. There have been many rock songs that have found a second life due to being used on a popular soundtrack over the years, with some finding new heights on the chart. Here are the five biggest cases of classic rock hits being revived through movie soundtracks.

“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone

Released in January 1974, “Come and Get Your Love” was a universally beloved hit for the remainder of the decade and the top-charting song for Redbone. It reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 1 million copies while being considered the fourth most successful song of the entire year.

Though the song has remained relevant since its release, it was in 2014 that it saw another massive surge in popularity. The opening scene of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film features Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) lip-syncing and dancing to the tune in a memorable opening by director James Gunn. “Come and Get Your Love” was later used on the Bill Burr animated series “F is for Family”, furthering its new popularity.

“Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede

Speaking of “Guardians of the Galaxy”, there were plenty of classic rock hits that the film series brought back to the light, but we’ll limit it to just these two. The second is Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”, which is a cover version of a cover version that was initially released in 1968 by Mark James, starting with the familiar “Ooga Chaka.”

The song was featured in the first “Guardians” film after the group is sent to a space prison and Peter Quill is tased for getting out of hand. The movie uses the song as a backdrop to show how the group slowly started to learn to trust one another during their time in lockup while they start to put together the pieces of each other’s history.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” feels like it’s five different songs in one, and is considered one of the greatest rock hits of all time. When it was originally released in late 1975, “Bohemian Rhapsody” enjoyed a lot of success, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard charts. However, it wasn’t until it was used in the memorable “Wayne’s World” scene in 1992 that it really took off.

Almost everyone and their brother was recreating the popular scene that takes place in Wayne’s car, and it revived worldwide interest in Queen’s music. The biopic that would eventually be released detailing Freddy Mercury’s life was also called “Bohemian Rhapsody” and was released in 2018.

“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

The Elton John classic “Tiny Dancer” is an all-timer, even though the original release wasn’t a radio hit due to its length of over six minutes. In fact, “Tiny Dancer” wouldn’t even reach the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, and actually reached its peak in Australia of all countries, as it made it to number 13.

There was a huge influx of interest in the song in 2000 when it was featured in the film “Almost Famous” which earned Oscar nominations for Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand. The song got a lot of usage in “Almost Famous”, including the most memorable scene of the main cast singing it together in a van.

“Something in the Way” by Nirvana

Nirvana had a ton of hit songs off of their “Nevermind” album, but “Something in the Way” was sort of a deep track. The song was actually a bit of a hidden track as there were 10 minutes of silence before the track started to play on the original album. “Something in the Way” finally reached a lot of fans for the first time when it was featured prominently in the 2022 film “The Batman”.

The film had a lot of people Googling the song, and the new interest allowed “Something in the Way” to reach the top 50 of the Billboard charts for the first time in 2022. Even in countries like Greece and Iceland, it was able to find the top 40 charts.