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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2017 » October » 04


G-Stomper Studio 5.6 brings Virtual MIDI to this flagship Android app

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 10:31 pm

It’s only fair to say that Android apps that are good for making music are in short supply. For a start there’s only a relatively small number of usable music making apps on Android, so finding something really worth sticking with isn’t easy. G-Stomper Studio has had a long and very impressive history since it first started out. It’s been consistently updated and now in version 5.6 it brings new features that really do set it ahead of lots of other apps on this platform.

So here’s what’s new in version 5.6:

  • New Android Oreo Adaptive App Icons (which sounds good although I’ve no real idea what that means)
  • Virtual MIDI devices (provided by other apps) are now working correctly (so this has been introduced already, but it says a lot about how mature this app has become)
  • Updated the Ableton Link backend with the latest changes from Ableton
  • BPM controls in Play Menu now react correctly to minor tempo changes (+/- 0.1 bpm) coming from Ableton Link
    Several minor bugfixes
  • Optimized letterbox navigator for ultra wide screen formats (e.g. Galaxy S8)

It’s updates like this that make me want to take another look at Android as a music platform. I’ve had various attempts at this over the years, with largely disappointing results, but perhaps it is time for another try, especially as I’m really not sure about any iPhone from the 7 up.

G-Stomper Studio is available on the Google Play Store and costs £12.49

The post G-Stomper Studio 5.6 brings Virtual MIDI to this flagship Android app appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Those standalone MPCs do wireless Link and MIDI and it’s the future

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 8:40 pm

The world now: a bunch of mismatched cables, and then complicated setup. The world of the future: wireless, easy to configure. Or so we hope.

Akai has managed to deliver MPCs that function both as standalone production boxes, untethered from your computer, and computer accessories (they’re a controller/software combo when you plug them in).

But they’re also making these things work wirelessly with some new technologies.

Via Bluetooth, you can connect keyboards (making this a kind of weird computer, or letting you touch-type your musical sets), or wireless MIDI devices (so you can use a piano-style interface instead of just pads, among other solutions).

Via Ableton’s Link technology, you get the ability to jam with other software, hardware, and mobile apps over a wifi network. In fact, that makes this about the only standalone hardware to do so – though of course it’s really just a PC beneath that skin (and that’s kind of a good thing).

I suspect the stumbling block to this happening more is simply having more of a hardware ecosystem of stuff that does this.

It makes the MPC Live and MPC X still more appealing right now, as well as being a glimpse of things to come.

Now, you still have to decide whether Akai’s workflow is what you want, or whether you want to buy another piece of gear, with competitors from the likes of Elektron and Native Instruments eager to keep you on their side. But if you do, here’s what you get to enjoy, explained in video:

The post Those standalone MPCs do wireless Link and MIDI and it’s the future appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Interview: A coworking space for musicians, and artists as startups

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 6:31 pm

Music making requires a workspace – but what if a workspace were built for music makers? And what if artists and tech startups could be symbiotic?

If you’ve ever been a part of the startup world, then you’ll have visited your fair share of coworking spaces. Some are nice, some not so much, but they’re all fairly businesslike, and rarely are they the kind of place that’s conducive to making music or making music technology. So where do you go if that’s what you need to do?

Enter The Rattle. Based in London, it’s a new idea in coworking that aims to be just the place for both emerging artists and also for new music tech startups. But that’s not the whole story, which is why I thought it would be really interesting to talk to them and get a better handle on what it is they’re trying to achieve.

The project represents a collaboration between the worlds of music and tech startups even in its founders, uniting MIT technology entrepreneur and former Techstars Entrepreneur in residence, Chris Howard, Ph.D, and music producer, writer, and major-label performer Bobby Bloomfield. I talked to them about the project and what it might represent for the larger business of being an independent musician.

CDM: Where did the idea of the Rattle come from, and when did it first seem to be an idea you were going to pursue?

Bobby: Our backgrounds are that — I’m a music guy who ran a studio and then went on to tour with a band; Chris is a music guy turned startup guy. After fifteen years working on our careers, we met again up to make a record together. Our individual journeys had been so different up to that point that it made us want to explore how we could bring the startup world and the music world together and try and fix some of the areas of the music world that are clearly broken…

… problems like not being able to pay your rent even though you’re in a successful band. I could hardly do that even when the band I was in was at the height of our fame. So we started throwing ideas around.

Chris: When Bobby explained to me how the music business worked, it was the complete antithesis of what I was used to in startup land, and I’ve always thought of artists as entrepreneurs. In fact, one of the reasons Bobby and I met again was because I was starting up my previous company in the UK and wanted really interesting mentors.

So was it around the disconnect between artistry and entrepreneurism and wanting to bring those closer together?

Bobby: Artists are always entrepreneurs, because they have to make their own money out of their passion. Piracy and then streaming broke the music industry, and now that it’s getting itself back together, it’s rebuilt in favour of the labels and the rights holders, rather than emerging artists. Even now, when everyone is celebrating that the music industry is thriving again, that’s not the case if you’re an emerging artist. Those that are breaking through are the ones with a big runway (i.e. the bank of Mum and Dad). We think that there are ways that we can bring in startup techniques and methodology and use the positive attitudes that come with incubators and accelerators. What we struggled with for a while was how to bring that learning to artists without killing off their creativity.

Chris: So, to get to the final answer, the idea came about around the start of this year. We said to ourselves, “Why aren’t makers of music treated like founders of their own startup?” First, we went to the accelerator model and asked, how do we implant that into music? We realized that it’s far too soon to do that, because accelerators accelerate business models, but there isn’t as yet a path that’s well established for a founder artist. So we needed a space to find out what that model might be. That’s when we started the idea of a coworking space together with a very light-touch accelerator — to accelerate the discovery of how artists can build startups around them.

CDM: So it the model you’re start with now just the beginning of this journey, and not an end point?

Bobby: It’s definitely not an end point. Our first thought was to bring the accelerator model straight into music, and that depends on taking an equity stake in each founder. But currently, there isn’t really a single, defined success model in music, and we can’t take a stake if 99% of the people are going to earn a modest wage. We decided after some exploration that we wouldn’t take a stake in anyone to start with, we’re just going to make a coworking model, but we’re still going to accelerate everyone as if we were taking a stake. We want everyone to come out as successful as possible. Whether it’s music tech, artists, managers, or new labels.

CDM: You’ve got two disparate groups, artists and music tech people, and these groups don’t traditionally meet unless one wants or needs to use the other. How will this interaction be different at The Rattle?

Chris: When art gets introduced to tech, or tech gets introduced to art, it’s traditionally when both are quite mature, at least on a personal level. On a cultural level, an artist might meet ROLI when quite established, and you don’t really meet the founders of ROLI, you meet the products of ROLI. The issue with this, that I’ve seen in the last 15 years of startup land is that culturally, if things are made independent of one another’s interests at the start, then by the time you’ve raised money, by the time you have a business model, or when you’re scaling, you have to serve the interests of your company first. Whereas at the founder stage you serve the interests of the people you build your company for.

Bobby: We love what streaming services do, but due to the company structure they will serve the labels over emerging artists. If there is to be another streaming service built, let’s have it built with artists and for artists.

The outcome that I want of all of this is more emerging music in the world. Much as I love Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I don’t think that they should be headlining Reading Festival again. It should be someone in their twenties, and as a 40-year-old man, I should be frightened of the new music. I shouldn’t be enjoying it with my real ale. Counter culture is what drives culture, but five years later. Strong counter-culture is driven from emerging music, alternative comedy, film making… I feel that it’s under-served right now.

CDM: I think I understand what you’re trying to achieve from an artists’ point of view, but I’m not seeing it from a music tech founder’s perspective?

Chris: There’s a number of things to say here. If you think of instrument makers, or hardware or software for music, then there’s decades of business experience that says that making your product surrounded by people who are going to use it makes a better product. There’s no two ways about it. The faster you can iterate, the better the product becomes. So if you’re a music tech software creator or hardware maker for artists, you’re not going to go to WeWork [coworking space chain], because you’re not going to see a lot of artists at WeWork. It’s hard to know where to go and form a business at the same time.

CDM: So this is about bringing two communities together for mutual benefit?

Bobby: There is no defined path for early stage artists. But if you have an excellent tech idea, there are really clearly defined paths you can go down. You can go to an incubator or accelerator, you can become part of a university, go to a WeWork, and build your own company. As an artist it isn’t as straightforward – do you go to art school, do you hope to get discovered? So we’re bringing a more clearly defined path for artists in The Rattle.

We have people like Imogen Heap, who is both an artist and a music tech maker and she has a very startup attitude. We want people like Imogen, people who make music tech to have that mindset rub off a little bit.

The artist journey is going to be slightly different because it’s longer. It takes a while to make a great body of work. It’s a bit quicker to make a product.

CDM: In terms of the music tech people and companies you want to bring in, is it a mix of new business models for the industry, software and hardware for artists? Is there anything specific you’re looking for?

Chris: Yes! I want to make it clear that it’s not just music tech. This is a concept of bringing the tech method of turning talent into a company and to bring that into the world of music making. So of course, music tech is a huge component of that instruments and the like, VR, ticketing. People who build tech tend to have the mindset of keeping ownership and building a company around the thing you create. That’s a very well-understood mindset, but on top of that there are other companies, like banking for freelancers, or a challenger bank. If they wanted to base themselves out of The Rattle, you might think “What?”. But we’re building a holistic ecosystem.

Bobby: It’s music business tech rather than specifically music making tech.

Chris: — although music making tech is a part of it. We basically want a looking glass into the future of the music making industry.

CDM: Ok, let’s say I was an artist and I join The Rattle and I’m progressing along okay, but then I get distracted by some cool music tech company who are based here, and I end up wanting to be a part of them and maybe I give up on being an artist. Is that okay? How do you think you’ll deal with people crossing over from one community to the other?

Chris: I think that’ll be really cool! It comes down to what people want.

Bobby: I am an entrepreneur because I’m an artist. I’ve never given up my art for anything else; if there wasn’t an opportunity to make money from music, I would rather starve. I think that artists would rather starve than not do music. So I don’t think we need to worry about artists going “I’m a tech person now.” I think that the prospects of getting artists and tech people in the same space is so exciting as I think they will become greater than the sum of their parts. If the next Bjork and the next Spotify are in the same place, they will start doing projects that are greater than both of them inside The Rattle. That’s the most exciting part about it. We’re bringing different cultures together with the aim of making the entire industry healthier and happier.

CDM: You’re currently raising money on Crowdcube. What was your reasoning for going down that route as opposed to raising money more traditionally from VCs and Angel investors?

Chris: There were a mixture of reasons for choosing Crowdcube. Very early in the year, some major labels approached us and invited us down an investment route. We shut that down pretty quickly. Not because we don’t want their money. We’re not sure, we haven’t made a decision on that as yet. But it’s more that we want to make sure that The Rattle is a grassroots thing. As we were going through de-risking our business, making sure that when we do go and seek investment the business is as invest-able as possible, at the stage that we’re at right now. We wanted to pursue a grassroots way of raising money, because it’s practicing what we preach. That’s a cultural reason, but practically speaking we think a lot of artists are going to use crowdfunding in the future, and we never want to talk about something we don’t understand.

CDM: What’s your view on all or nothing crowdfunding models? Do you think they work?

Bobby: There’s a week of panic involved. The path goes, panic, excitement, then thousand-yard stares.

Chris: If all you’re doing is raising from the crowd then you need to look and sound familiar. But I think that any kind of fundraising you can’t just rely on the crowd, you need to do old school hustle as well, and that’s actually what we’ve done in the background. Only about 20% of the capital that’s come in has been from the crowd because we’re not familiar, we’re the first coworking company on Crowdcube, we’re not a brewery, and we’re not IoT or an app for banks.

Bobby: People are wary of investing in music generally, or at least since Napster. Also it’s worth remembering that Crowdcube is merely a platform and you still do the work.

CDM: Can you see a time in the future where The Rattle offers crowdfunding to its artists?

Chris: First and foremost, we are a space where the cultures of making music and making tech collide so that they can learn from each other. That’s the first phase. The second phase is to move into more services so that The Rattle as a brand can make you (the artist) as successful as humanly possible. So we may offer a range of services like a toolkit for anyone inside The Rattle. Once we have the cultural change and our toolkit, then our next stage is to think about how we use those two things to accelerate people, and is equity the right model? That’s where we see the Rattle going, and whilst we’re doing that we’re going to be opening new Rattle around the world.

Bobby: There are all sorts of ways we can explore funding for artists. One way could be as a cooperative that runs inside The Rattle, where artists fund artists. But for now, our business model is simply coworking — with a view to an equity play once we’ve figured out tried and tested ways of making businesses in music and proving that artists can trust business and business can trust artists. They’re traditionally very wary of each other. Artists aren’t seen as leaders by business people and business people are seen as ‘the man’ by artists. It’s an old-fashioned view and it’s holding music back.

Crowdcube link: www.crowdcube.com/therattle
To apply: www.therattle.space
For our event on 13th Oct: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rattle-party-tobacco-dock-tickets-38332416289

CDM senior editor and Croydon native Ashley Elsdon has had an insight track on the evolution of music technology in London and the UK, as the founder of Palm Sounds and a technology consultant in various fields. No word yet on whether he’s setting up a desk at the Rattle, though. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Interview: A coworking space for musicians, and artists as startups appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

FCC Releases Draft Order to Abolish Main Studio Rule – To Be Considered at its October 24 Meeting

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 4:40 pm

The FCC yesterday released the agenda for its October 24th Open Meeting, as well as draft orders of the matters to be considered at that meeting. For broadcasters, the single most significant proposal was a draft order (available here) to abolish the requirement that a broadcast station maintain a main studio in close proximity to its city of license that is open to the public and staffed during normal business hours. The FCC’s draft order determines that, in today’s modern world, where much communication with broadcasters is done by phone or electronically, and as stations either have or soon will have their public files available online, there was no longer any need to maintain the rule mandating the main studio. So, if the Commission adopts the draft order at its October 24th meeting, the requirement which has been on the books since 1939 will be eliminated.

Together with the main studio rule, the FCC order would also eliminate the requirement that the station have staff members available at that studio. Instead, the licensee, to maintain contact with their community, must maintain a toll-free number accessible to residents of the station’s city of license. That number must be answered during normal business hours of the station – but the person answering the phone line need not be in the city of license. The FCC urged, but did not require, that the phone line be monitored during other hours as well. The phone line can be shared with multiple stations – so an “800” number available nationwide would seem to meet the requirement.

The FCC also would eliminate local program origination obligations. So station owners need no longer have some physical presence in their community where they can originate programming. The FCC said that technology allows stations to put callers on the air from anywhere, and even to do video through Skype and other similar technology providers. Stations do, however, still need to serve their communities. They still need to maintain Quarterly Issues Programs lists (which, as we wrote here, are due to be placed in a station’s file this quarter by next week). These lists require that the station list the most significant issues facing its community in the past quarter and the programs broadcast by the station addressing each of those issues. Thus, a station will need to continue to monitor, in some way, the issues in their community and broadcast programming addressing those issues – but how they accomplish those requirements, and the location from which they do so, is up to them.

Stations that have fully transitioned to the online public file need no longer keep any physical documents in their communities of license. But stations that have not yet made that transition (with the transition deadline for radio stations in smaller markets, and smaller groups in large markets, being March 1, 2018) must maintain a paper public file in their city of license until all of the documents required to be in the file are transitioned to the online public file. The file must be maintained at a location in their community of license that is open during normal business hours (e.g. a public library or an office for some local business). Small market stations can transition to the online public file now (they need not wait until March 1), so they can eliminate the need to maintain a paper public file in their community if they decide to eliminate their main studio once this rule is adopted and becomes effective.

Note, however, that even for stations that transition to the online public file, there may be some residual paper file obligations. While the FCC eliminated the need to maintain letters from the public, which had to be kept in a paper file, earlier this year (see our article here), for most stations, after March 1 of next year, the only documents not in the online public file will be documents from the political file – as stations need only include in the online public file political documents created after the transition date (see our article here about the new online public file obligations for radio). Older political documents need not be placed in the public file. Those documents need to be kept for 2 years from the date of their creation. For all stations, by March 1, 2020, there should be no need for a physical file at all. For stations that do have “old” political documents, to avoid having to maintain a paper public file in their community, they can upload all old political documents to their online file, even though they are not required to do so.

The rule changes will become effective, if adopted, when they are published in the Federal Register, except for the rules dealing with the public file. Those rules will be effective upon their approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

If the FCC acts as expected to approve this rule on October 24, many changes in broadcast operations will become permissible. While the changes may allow broadcasters to recognize significant cost savings, we reiterate the FCC’s warning that stations, no matter the physical source from which their programming originates, need to remember that they still have an obligation to serve the interests of their communities. Public interest groups will, no doubt, be watching – so broadcasters beware.

Ratkiller: Meta Music for the 21st Century

Delivered... Lucia Udvardyova | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 1:43 pm

The Estonian musician Ratkiller is a master of intertextuality. His recent album Dreamhammer is full of samples from different sources: from Death Metal to 80s Funk ot porn movie samples. A review comment.

There are always other words in a word, other texts in a text, but also other melodies in a melody, and other music in music. Ratkiller is a master of this musical intertextuality. His new release Dreamhammer weaves a fluid intertextual, intersonic web, deftly sourcing and splicing his samples, that hazily pass through your consciousness. Liquid signifiers are stripped of their spatiotemporal origin and time dissolves.

The tracks are the product of an informal music fan whose idiosyncratic work is in dialogue with other music styles. The transposing is done so seamlessly that there’s no mistaking it as just the sum of its parts. His techniques are crude–for instance, uses a media player as a sampler and creates rhythms with play/pause/back/forward controllers.

Dreamhammer unravels with the cacophonic «Nasty Travesty» driven on the backdrop of Limbus 3’s album New Atlantis. «Soiled Sheets» culminates after three minutes in a piano-driven apex (Frederic Rzewski sample) with echoing voices taken from a tape of Estonian pornographic stories. Therion, a Swedish death metal band, provide a buoyant start to side B, while «Art of Awaking» dabbles in 70s spiritual jazz.

Genres and styles are allusive on this latest release by the Tallinn-based black metal fan Mihkel Kleis. It could be an 80s synth/funk album, or 21th century deconstructed club music. «Music, rhythm, rigadoon, without end, for no reason», wrote Julia Kristeva, the originator of the term «intertextuality», in Power of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.

Ratkiller: Meta Music for the 21st Century

Delivered... Lucia Udvardyova | Scene | Wed 4 Oct 2017 1:43 pm

The Estonian musician Ratkiller is a master of intertextuality. His recent album Dreamhammer is full of samples from different sources: from Death Metal to 80s Funk ot porn movie samples. A review comment.

There are always other words in a word, other texts in a text, but also other melodies in a melody, and other music in music. Ratkiller is a master of this musical intertextuality. His new release Dreamhammer weaves a fluid intertextual, intersonic web, deftly sourcing and splicing his samples, that hazily pass through your consciousness. Liquid signifiers are stripped of their spatiotemporal origin and time dissolves.

The tracks are the product of an informal music fan whose idiosyncratic work is in dialogue with other music styles. The transposing is done so seamlessly that there’s no mistaking it as just the sum of its parts. His techniques are crude–for instance, uses a media player as a sampler and creates rhythms with play/pause/back/forward controllers.

Dreamhammer unravels with the cacophonic «Nasty Travesty» driven on the backdrop of Limbus 3’s album New Atlantis. «Soiled Sheets» culminates after three minutes in a piano-driven apex (Frederic Rzewski sample) with echoing voices taken from a tape of Estonian pornographic stories. Therion, a Swedish death metal band, provide a buoyant start to side B, while «Art of Awaking» dabbles in 70s spiritual jazz.

Genres and styles are allusive on this latest release by the Tallinn-based black metal fan Mihkel Kleis. It could be an 80s synth/funk album, or 21th century deconstructed club music. «Music, rhythm, rigadoon, without end, for no reason», wrote Julia Kristeva, the originator of the term «intertextuality», in Power of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.

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