Red Sky is a brand new 3-track EP from me. Consists of Floating Ice Cubes, which I posted on SoundCloud a few months ago, and 2 new deep house tracks. The EP is out now on Beatport. It's coming to iTunes and Spotify in a about 10 days time. It can be streamed in full from SoundCloud right now. Enjoy.
A few things happened past 2 weeks revolving around streaming services.
Spotify today announced that it will acquire the industry’s leading music intelligence company, The Echo Nest. The acquisition supports Spotify’s strategy to grow global music consumption and overall revenue back to the music industry by building the best user experience and music discovery engine for millions of global fans.
This deal will allow Spotify to leverage The Echo Nest’s in depth musical understanding and tools for curation to drive music discovery for millions of users around the globe. The addition of The Echo Nest to Spotify will also strengthen Spotify’s ability to help brands and partners build amazing music experiences for their audiences.
Spotify’s music discovery engine is quite good, but any improvements are very welcome.
Pandora also announced that it has crossed the milestone of 250 million registered users in the U.S. Listeners have now created over six billion stations, enabling Pandora to connect emerging artists as well as established acts to an ever-growing fan bans.
People have been predicting that Amazon would offer a Spotify-like music subscription service, most likely bundled with its Prime delivery option, for some time. But industry sources say Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen.
In the meetings during Grammy Week, Apple’s iTunes contingent, led by Kondrk, even suggested the albums don't even have to be exclusive to iTunes, and that labels could give albums to other stores as well – but not streaming services.
Lastly, check out Kirk McElhearn’s analysis of Zoë Keating’s income as a successful indie artist. She sells her music directly to fans:
It’s clear in Ms. Keating’s case that, with sales generating more than 10 times streaming income, increased streaming – with the resulting drop in sales – paid at such low rates, would lower her overall income. […]
This is yet another example of how difficult it is to make a living as a musician these days. […]
So, go out and buy an album by an indie artist today; don’t let the music die. You could buy one by Zoë Keating, or by plenty of other artists, such as The Durutti Column. […]
Tim Jonze, writing for The Guardian:
Such enthusiasm seems at odds with the idea of Budd not being a music fan, but it does make a sort of sense. I suggest that this may be what sets him apart from the average listener: that he feels music more intensely, so can't put himself through such highs and lows each day. "I never really thought about that," he says, chuckling again, as if baffled by the sheer mystery of himself. "But you know, it's a very good point. I think I'm going to take that as gospel."
I rarely read artist interviews, as they all seem kind of similar. This, however, was very interesting. Budd doesn't even have his favourite instrument, piano, at home.
This should make a good read, whether you use iZotope plug-ins or not. I’ve read both ‘Dithering with Ozone’ and ‘Mastering with Ozone’ guides. They were excellent, with clear explanations and full of useful tips. It’s kind of disappointing that ’Mixing with iZotope” is not available in ePub format, like their other guides that can be downloaded from the Apple’s iBookstore.
(via Logic Pro Expert)
Update: Now availabe from the iBookstore also.
I'm not very surprised by this. Heated discussion in the comments section over at CDM blog.
My favourite quote from ‘What difference does it make?’ is by Brian Eno:
Something happens when I’m working, which is that… for quite a long time I'm pushing the work. Pushing and pushing and pushing and trying to make it go somewhere. And then suddenly there's a change and the work is pushing me. That's the moment when I know something has happened, when I don't really have to make decisions anymore. It seems like I'm just being carried along.
This is exactly what I experience when I’m making music.
Watching ‘What difference does it make?’ reminded me why I make music and why I got into it in the first place. I highly recommend checking it out. You’ll hear the artists make some weird cool sounds and find out what sort of mental obstacles they have to get over to finish their music.
I'm surprised no one has done this before. I would love to see Spotify support in Traktor DJ app.
I love Pacemaker's UI. It's beautifully minimalistic. It, kind of, reminds me of FiftyThree's Paper app.
The Glitch Mob is about to release a new album. So far I can only stream "Can't Kill Us" track from Spotify. It sounds very promising.
These days I don't listen to Tiësto's sets. But his latest Essential Mix set is quite decent. It's mostly deep house. Only criticism I have is that the metal reverb effect on his voiceovers sound horrible.
Another day, another music streaming service. I'm still waiting for Apple to start offering iTunes music streaming service. Not just a streaming radio feature, but something that could fully compete with Spotify. Digital sales seem to be down, so it only makes sense.
Interestingly, even though digital sales are down, the concert industry has hit new highs.
According to data that Spotify released in October of last year, 80% of the 20-million-or-so songs on Spotify have been listened to at least once. That means 20% of the songs have not. That’s 4 million songs with zero plays.
As a VST/AU plugin, Minihost Modular can be used to simply extend your existing DAW software with a powerful modular environment. Minihost Modular bares some similarities to FL Studio's Patcher but has an extended capability as a self contained host.
This looks very promising. This is especially useful for DAWs with limited routing and encapsulating capabilities like Logic Pro. Sometimes you want to create a complex chain to achieve a great sounds without taking up half a dozen of DAW's mixer channels.
Keith R. Klawitter (KRK founder):
I was very excited when BEHRINGER asked me to design their new reference monitors. They gave me complete freedom to use the finest materials and apply my lifetime of knowledge in monitor design. Now, after two years and countless hours of intense design and listening, I have achieved that goal. I am proud of the NEKKST Reference Monitors. My best work yet.
I love my KRK VXT8 monitors. I wonder how these sound.
You enter your favorite band name into Spotify, you find their entire catalog, but you also notice an entry down at the bottom of the list. It appears to be a song about the band. Out of curiosity, you click to listen, and in doing so, you’ve just helped Matt Farley earn his inspired, insane living off of music.
Here are the things that caught my eye this year.
BreakTweaker by BT & iZotope.
Designed by BT and developed by iZotope, BreakTweaker is not just a drum machine: it's a drum sculpting and beat sequencing machine that blurs the line between rhythm and melody. Give your beats an evolving depth that gets better the longer they play. Use rhythmic slicing to drive everything from pitched melodic lines to sweeping rhythmic concoctions
I was a bit skeptical about this plug-in at first, but after trying out the trial version I was instantly hooked. The interface is quite intuitive and most important features are easily discoverable. It's very easy to start creating interesting sounds and rhythms. It's definitely a step up from Stutter Edit, which I find quite cumbersome.
Checkout the slightly more in depth feature overview captured by SonicState at the NAMM show.
iConnectivity's multi-host and Audio & MIDI passThru technologies bridge iOS, Macs, and PCs in a professional environment, with many practical applications. Control a virtual instrument (or any music program) on one computer device from another one. Audio and MIDI flow back and forth without extra cables, and with no audio degradation. All the computer devices act like a single integrated machine.
This could be the audio interface I've been looking for. With iConnectAudio4+, I will be able to digitally route the audio signals between my iPad and Mac, without needing analog cables and an extra audio interface. I can't think of a more integrated iPad and Mac music production setup. The bad news is that it won't be available until mid-2104.
Checkout the video of the iConnectivity team discussing their products in detail captured by SonicState at the NAMM show.
Cakewalk Z3TA+ for iOS
Borrowing from the Mac/Win versions of Z3TA+ 2, Z3TA+ iOS brings an unmistakable signature sound—used globally in countless successful electronic, EDM and dance productions—to the iOS world. Redesigned to fit iOS screen-real estate optimally, Z3TA+ iOS maintains its legendary impeccable sound quality and sonic depth, while new touch control capabilities open up even more innovative waveshaping sound possibilities.
This is great news. I love how Z3TA+ sounds. Hopefully, the app works well on iPad.
Bitwig has announced that the launch of Bitwig Studio will be March 26th, 2014. Bitwig Studio is a new and innovative music creation, recording, and performance software that supports all three major computing platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Combining traditional arrangement sequencing with modern performance-oriented clip launching workflows,. Bitwig Studio offers a state-of-the-art audio engine under the hood, with full multi-processing support, a unified modulation system, 32/64-bit VST plugin bridging, and VST plugin crash protection.
This announcement was a bit surprising to me, because I thought I'd never see the day. I'm not trying to replace my main DAW (Logic Pro X), but I'm very curious to see how good Bitwig is compared to everything else I've tried. It has a few interesting and unique features.
Mike Thornton, writing for Pro Tools Expert:
The Pro Tools Expert team and ‘Danski’s Logic Pro Blog’ have come together to create another ‘Expert’ site specifically for Apple Logic Pro users.
I'm a fan of Pro Tools Expert blog and read it weekly, even though I'm not a Pro Tools user. So, I'm excited about this.