Slightly off topic, but a good critique of the school-grade band/choir/orchestra-music publisher industrial complex :
It was a nice enough, if completely unmemorable, piece. But why, I kept thinking, couldn’t they sing a real Elizabethan madrigal? Or how about a Beatles song? Or anything at all that has inspired and touched and sent shivers down the spine the way great art does?
If high-school English teachers stopped assigning Shakespeare and Faulkner and instead gave their students the winner of the 1991 Iowa English teachers’ novel-writing contest to read, I think we’d know where to tell them to get off.
via The Washington Post
Who says music researchers are stodgy? Some interesting new research going on at McGill that could someday work to improve beat detection in all kinds of music software:
An essential first step in understanding how various producers uniquely use percussion, melody, and harmony in their tracks is downbeat detection (to find the first beat of every measure). We’ve developed a style-specific method of downbeat detection catered to Hardcore, Jungle, and Drum and Bass (HJDB) by combining multiple forms of metrical information: low-frequency onset detection; beat tracking; and a regression model (SVR) trained on the timbre and sequence order of breakbeats. In a recent evaluation using 206 HJDB tracks, we demonstrate superior accuracy of our style-specific method over four general downbeat detection algorithms (including two commercial algorithms).
Read the rest at Breakscience.
A slightly older song, but a pretty good example of politically charged music from the last couple years.
Pro Tools 11 Announced: Do we Care?
We’re certainly not saying there aren’t any dance producers who use Pro Tools, but, in comparison to the likes of Logic, Ableton Live, Cubase, FL Studio and Reason, the size of Pro Tools’ dance music user-base is negligible. Version 11 doesn’t look like turning that situation around. What do you think? Is Pro Tools relevant to dance music?
Via Attack Magazine
Porter Robinson, the OWSLA-signed wunderkind who was at one point a student of my TI:ME friend Matthew Etherington brings some hard hitting EDM music from his set at the ULTRA music festival with a lot of attention paid to the little details. Can’t wait for a proper release of these tracks:
Great interview with the Ableton Push co-creator, Jesse Terry:
That’s right, I used Lego and sugru (a silicon putty). We attached Lego pieces to MIDI buttons with LEDs, connected to a Livid Brain. So, there were many burnt fingers and burnt Star Wars pieces along the way. My wife would always hear me digging away in the Lego bin and she’d wonder if I was actually working up here! The Lego prototype made it very easy to test out ergonomic setups as we could move the buttons around. We tried all kinds of different layouts and, we were able to user test the entire thing and learn to play it before we had a hardware version to play with. I’ve been playing this Push Lego layout on plywood for 2 years now.
Read the rest for a great view from people who are trying to redefine the idea of a Musical Instrument.
Today we’re going to go into what I am going to call “minimal-step” land. We have in Seven Lions’s track what is obviously structured as a dubstep song, but the sound is more unique and nuanced. If Ghostly released dubstep music, we might get this:
One day after Jack was announced, Audiobus was officially canonized with its inclusion in GarageBand. No coincidence that Jack was to be released on iOS and Android, possibly leveling the playing field. I’d wager this will persuade the team behind Jack to focus less on iOS than Android – a third party (especially a niche like Audiobus) supported in GarageBand is a strong statement of preference by Apple.
It seems that Apple is then going to use Audiobus as the Rewire for iOS. Smart move, and a big leap from where things were a year ago. Once it’s in GarageBand, you can be assured it will be supported for some time (Apple similarly adopted Audiocopy last year along this same logic).
The simple interface exponentially increases the iPad’s value as a music creation tool by letting you do all the recording and sequencing on a single device without complex file imports, as well as enabling apps to talk to each other. For example, you could now record a synth track in Korg’s iMS-20, filter it through the Amplitude amp modeler, and record the results as a track in GarageBand.
Via The Verge
Cool little wavetable synth for iOS called SquareSynth.
Someone should make a Max for Live patch like this.
via Palm Sounds
Great interview at Sonic Bloom with Christian Kleine, creator of the DrumSynth Max for Live device. Lots of things I had no idea about, such as:
There are currently 13 different devices. The important (kick/snare/hi-hat/tom) as well as the exotic (Kplus and FM) are all represented. “Kplus” is called this way because here the “Karplus-Strong” synthesis is used – David Zicarelli (CEO of Cycling ’74, the creators of Max) jokingly said that this was also the best and only purpose of this synthetic form… Basically, most important for me, next to the sound, was a very dynamic control using velocity data – therefore, this section is quite extensive in every device and almost every parameter can be played dynamically.
Great stuff. Be sure to check out the screenshot of the inside of DrumSynth, especially if you’ve never seen an intimidating Max Patch before.