Apple legitimizes Audiobus, throws Jack under the bus

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


▶ Imogen Heap + Deadmau5 = An Imogen Heap song


When I saw that Imogen Heap appeared on the new Deadmau5 album, I thought maybe to expect possibly a Deadmau5-ish song with Immi’s vocals.  Instead what we got was simply an unreleased Imogen Heap song.

Can anyone tell me what exactly Deadmau5 contributed to this track?  OK – let’s say he’s versatile and wants to give Heap what she wants (minimal drum jitters, piano chords – the usual Imogen stuff) – why not add in the Deadmau5 stuff too?  There isn’t a single other Deadmau5 song that sounds like this – to the point where this sounds so much  like one of Heap’s songs and so little  like one of his you start to wonder how well the collaboration went.  I imagine something like this:

DM: Hey I was thinking about adding this hard house beat…

IH: Nope

DM: So maybe I use organ and side chain it off the other…

IH: Nope

DM: So what about…

IH: Hey remember that one time I won a Grammy for best sound engineer?  Step aside son.

Imogen proceeds to open Ableton and program a Max for Live patch that turns Joel into an actual dead mouse via the “loadmess” command and simultaneously erasing his hard drive every time the gain reaches .99%.

Sigh.  Anyway, here’s a cool music video Imogen they made for this song:

The 10,000 hour theory

Dennis Desantis has some interesting writing about the 10,000 Hour Theory, stated in which it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice/training to achieve master level at any activity, be it playing an instrument, sports, etc.

From his blog:

If 10,000 hours sounds like a lot of time, keep in mind that it’s not a switch; it’s a process. On your way to expertise, you will get better and better, and you will feel progress happening all the time.

And most importantly, 10,000 hours is what it takes to be elite. Simply getting good will happen much sooner. But it will not happen without putting in real, focused time.

What are you waiting for?

Of course, there are differing opinions, but it’s still interesting food for thought.

He has some great case studies on musicians who actually did this.

I did a little back-of-the napkin math: If you practiced your new thing for an hour a day only, it would take roughly 28 years to achieve greatness.  At two hours per day, more like 14 years.  At 3 hours per day, we’re getting dangerously close to “cramping one’s style” but you can get there in about 9 years.  So maybe it was true in college – the people who put in 4 hours a day in the studio really did get a quality payoff for their efforts.  I was never convinced enough to put that kind of time in – maybe I should have read the article back then.


Radio Rewrite Premiering Tonight

Steve Reich, considered by many to be the greatest living composer, will be premiering Radio Rewrite tonight at Bing Concert Hall at Stanford.

In case you’re not familiar with the piece, it’s said to be a bit of an electronic/rock/classical/minimalist singularity in that it is a Steve Reich re-imagining of Radiohead‘s Jigsaw Falling Into Place and Bodysnatchers, performed by the group who famously and heroically figured out a way to perform Aphex Twin music acoustically.

In the article, a great quote about Acoustica, the Aphex Twin project Alarm Will Sound did back in 2000:

“When the Aphex Twin idea was first brought up to the group there was immediate factions and divisions,” Chuck says. “I was one of the people who was like, ‘No fucking way.’ One of our percussionists said electronica is meant for machines, not people. With a machine you can be precise down to the millisecond. The sound is on, and then it’s off. No human can produce that kind of control, and we will look like fools.”

Chuck continues, “I am glad I was outnumbered because it ended up being a great project. It’s interesting because it has a problem at its core: It’s machine music played by humans. Once you start playing it, you transcend that problem because humans just want to make music. I don’t want to be stupid enough to say there’s no such thing as genres and labels, but I think it’s interesting when those boundaries are crossed. Whether it’s a 20th-century technology like a computer, or a 17th-century technology like a violin, when you come across great music, you want to play it.”

When people state all the extramusical reasons for creating and teaching music, it doesn’t appeal to me that much – groups like Alarm Will Sound (along with other great musicians and creators of art in general) make music for the same reason mountaineers climb Everest. Because it’s there.  Best of luck to these pioneers of new music tonight.

Read the full piece over at Riverfront Times

The Best Ableton Push Review

Courtesy of DJ Tech Tools:

“The buttons are a lot more playable than I thought they’d be”

The video makes it look less like a rubber pad and more like some sort of kevlar-headed piano key.  The triple finger gesture he does with the drum pads is pretty convincing – I haven’t tried one of these for myself yet, but those pads look like a decidedly higher-end product than the older APC and LaunchPad offerings.