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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2017 » October » 09

Focusrite and McDSP Bundle the Focusrite Red interfaces with McDSP All Access HD Plug-ins

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 6:59 pm
Focusrite, international leader in audio interface design, and Emmy Award-winning plug-in developer McDSP have partnered to deliver an unprecedented interface and plug-in bundle . All registered custo..

Musiclab RealGuitar 5 Now Shipping with New Steel String Sample Set

Delivered... The Electronic Musician Staff | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 6:59 pm
A new update to the popular acoustic guitar virtual instrument is shipping now with many power new features: Musiclab RealGuitar 5 ($199). It comes as a two-instrument combo pack, including RealGuita..

Are You Streaming Your Radio Station? Reminder that Broadcasters Need to Pay Royalties to SoundExchange as well as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 5:15 pm

The alphabet soup of organizations that collect royalties for playing music has never been easy to keep straight, and today royalty issues sometimes seem even more daunting with new players like GMR (see our articles here, here and here) and arguments over issues like fractional licensing that only a music lawyer could love (see our articles here and here). But there are certain basics that broadcasters and other companies that are streaming need to know. Based on several questions that I received in the last few weeks, I’ve been surprised that one of the issues that still seems to be a source of confusion is the need to pay SoundExchange when streaming music online or through mobile apps. For the last 20 years, since the adoption of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, anyone digitally transmitting noninteractive music programming must pay SoundExchange in addition to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC (and more recently GMR) for the rights to play recorded music – unless the service doing the digital transmission has directly secured the rights to play those songs from the copyright holders of the recordings – usually the record labels.  Why is there this additional payment on top of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC?

SoundExchange represents the recording artists and record labels for the royalties for the performance of the recording of a song (a “sound recording” or a “master recording”).  ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR by contrast represent the songwriters who wrote the song (not the performers) and their publishing companies.  When you play music on your over-the-air radio signal, you only pay for the public performance rights to the underlying musical composition or “musical work” as it is often referred to in the music licensing world – the words and music of the song.  This money goes to the songwriters and their publishing companies (the publishing companies usually holding the copyright to the musical composition). But, in the digital world, for the last 20 years, anyone who streams music, in addition to paying the songwriters, must pay the performers who recorded the songs and the copyright holders in the sound recordings (usually the labels).  That is the royalty that SoundExchange collects.

Why all the confusion? Some stations may have focused on the recent statements by organizations like RMLC made in other contexts (see our post here, the organization that represents commercial radio in negotiating with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC and the one that is trying to bring GMR into similar industry-wide negotiations, currently through litigation). Some of the statements about recently determined ASCAP and SESAC royalties (see our stories on the ASCAP settlement and the SESAC arbitration) included a reference that these royalties cover streaming. But those statements only mean that these royalty decisions cover the digital transmission (i.e. the streaming) of the musical compositions that these organizations represent.  ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR are all owed royalties for the streaming of the songs written by the composers that they represent, just as they are owed royalties for the over-the-air play of songs written by their composers.  The royalties paid for the use of musical compositions in simulcasts of a broadcaster’s over-the-air programming are all bundled with the over-the-air royalties that broadcasters pay for their over-the-air radio use of music.  So you pay once and get the rights to perform the compositions on the air and on your stream.

But broadcasters do not pay an over-the-air royalty for the use of the copyright in the sound recording.  SoundExchange, performers and record labels have suggested that broadcasters should pay royalties for their over-the-air play of the sound recordings, but thus far Congress has not imposed such an obligation (that it the broadcast performance royalty or “performance tax” which has been so controversial in recent years – see our articles under this heading for more information on that debate). Unless and until Congress does impose such a royalty, SoundExchange collects only for the streaming of these recordings (and other digital performances like those by digital satellite radio and digital cable radio).  As SoundExchange has staffed up over recent years, they have had more resources to devote to enforcement. And more broadcasters, even small ones in very small broadcast markets that have not streamed in the past, now seem to be providing music online. Because of the confluence of more stations beginning to stream with the greater enforcement resources of SoundExchange, it seems like there have been more stations getting letter from SoundExchange asking for royalties, and more questions to attorneys like me asking if these demands were “for real.” They are – and if you are streaming, you need to pay.

How much? SoundExchange charges on a per song, per listener basis.  For each song heard by one listener, you pay $.0017 (less than 1/5 of a penny per song per listener).  Thus a station needs to track how many songs are played, and how many listeners were listening each time the song was played.  If the station is streaming with any of the major streaming service providers, these companies are able to track that information by synchronizing their computation of the number of listeners at any given time with the songs that are being played as listed in a station’s music scheduling software.  There is an exemption for reporting the details of the songs being played that applies only to very small webcasters – but for commercial stations, the recordkeeping exception applies only to those stations that only need to pay the minimum $500 per year royalty. That minimum royalty works out to a station that averages about a single listener on a 24/7/365 basis. How much any other station pays is purely dependent on how many listeners the station has and how many songs the station plays.

SoundExchange does not send bills. It relies on the station (or other streaming company) to find them, register with them, count the tracks that the streaming company plays and the number of listeners to each of those tracks, and to pay monthly what they owe.  Details are on SoundExchange’s website here.

These are obviously complicated issues – but ones to which all stations must pay attention to avoid being surprised by a demand for accrued and unpaid (and unanticipated) royalty obligations and the penalties that can come from late payments.

Logitech brings back the trackball – that studio and creation boon

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 4:50 pm

Remember trackballs? Logitech does, and that means if you’ve missed this input device, you can bring it back to your creative projects and studios.

The appeal of the trackball is simple: take up less space, avoid all that business with surfaces and mouse mats and the like, keep your hand in a comfortable position, and get more precision when performing precise mousing.

Now, of course, some people just hate the feeling of the trackball, but the above reasons have made some people swear by them in studios, in particular. When you’ve got other gear, mixing desks and so on, trackballs are appealing for their fixed position. And that precision comes in handy when you’re using Adobe CS (visual folks) or making detailed edits on a timeline (sound, video).

Logitech were the kings of this device category, much as they remain a leader in mice today. So, it’s notable that Logitech are bringing back this creation by popular demand.

And this being 2017, the MX Ergo gets wireless support, modern hardware internals, and modern connectivity. It also addresses the one thing that kept me away from a lot of trackballs in the 90s, particularly the horizontally oriented ones. There’s now adjustable tilt, which means you can fit this to your hand.

I’m intrigued; I might go back to this, especially for studio work. If we get one, of course we’ll do a review. Brings back fond forgotten memories of my Kensington Orbit. Behold:

Logitech MX ERGO

The post Logitech brings back the trackball – that studio and creation boon appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Ableton Live is going 64-bit only – so what does that mean?

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 12:18 pm

Later this year, Ableton Live will only be available in a 64-bit version. But what does that mean for you?

This is a development that has some implications for Ableton Live’s compatibility, stability, the pace of features and improvements, and that question of “wait, which version am I supposed to choose on the Ableton download page?” Ableton invited CDM to their offices to discuss the change and give us a chance to understand the thinking behind the decision and to help figure out what users might want to know.

But first, it’s actually worth understanding what 64-bit music software actually does.

What are 64-bit and 32-bit, anyway?

First, you know, 64-bit is twice as much as 32-bit, which means it’s twice as … well, 32 more … double the …

Okay, let’s be honest, even lots of fairly tech-savvy don’t really know what these terms mean, let alone what impact they have in real-world use.

Software runs on numbers. So when we refer to “64-bit” or “32-bit” software, we’re talking about the word length, or precision, of the numbers the software uses to reference memory. If you have a higher word length, you have more precision, and the software can address more memory.

Think of phone numbers for comparison. Leave out the area code and country code, and you eventually run out of available phone numbers. But add some additional digits, and you have more available numbers – and you can call a greater number of individual people.

With 32-bit software, Ableton Live and all of its plug-ins can use only up to 4 GB of available RAM (or even less on some versions of Windows). But 64-bit software can address all of your RAM, on any computer sold today. (The theoretical limit is so high, you can’t even buy a computer that comes close to hitting the ceiling, at least for the foreseeable future.)

What does more memory mean when you’re making music?

If you have a computer with 8GB or 16GB or more of RAM, there’s some reason to want to use all of that memory. As you load big sample libraries, and add plug-ins or ReWire clients, and as your Live set grows, all of that uses up memory.

Oh, yeah, and one other thing – running out of RAM can cause a DAW to crash. You might not even know that was the cause of a crash: Live crashes, you curse, and you might not realize that the choice you made on that dropdown when you downloaded could be a factor.

32-bit and backwards compatibility

Live added 64-bit support way back at Live 8.4 – that’s the summer of 2012. So if 64-bit is better than 32-bit, why did Ableton keep making new 32-bit versions of its software for over five years?

Running a 64-bit DAW requires a 64-bit operating system – for Live, that’s a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or later, or Mac OS X 10.5 or later. (Microsoft has their own FAQ to help you figure out if you’ve got the right OS for 64-bit.)

64-bit DAWs also need 64-bit versions of plug-ins. Most plug-in developers have already updated their plug-ins for 64-bit, but some haven’t. (There are wrappers you can use, and these were more popular when DAWs first started to go 64-bit, but let’s not go there – especially since part of the idea here is to improve stability!)

Okay, so you need a 64-bit OS, you need to update your plug-ins, and you need to have more than 4GB of RAM for this to be useful. Back in 2012, a non-trivial population of Live users fit that description.

Years later, the picture looks different. Nearly everyone has more than 4GB of RAM, meaning they’re going to benefit from the 64-bit version of the software. And not everyone seems to be aware of that. Ableton tells us that 85% of current Live users who are running the 32-bit version of the software have more than 4GB of RAM. That means 85% of those 32-bit users are actually unable to take advantage of hardware they already own.

That tips the scales. Now Ableton Live’s user base may be better off without new 32-bit versions coming out than with them.

Why are these developers smiling? Going 64-bit only will make the development process faster – and the Live experience more crash-free. Also, Club Mate.

Why go 64-bit only?

First off, nothing is changing for versions of Live up through and including Live 9.7.4. You can still download and run those older versions in their 32-bit versions. And remember that you can install more than one version of Live on the same computer, side by side. So if you’ve got a Live set that uses some old 32-bit plug-in, you can keep a 32-bit version of Live on your machine to open it.

What’s changing is, that dropdown on the download page is going away for every version starting later this year. Ableton will only develop a 64-bit version of Live and Max for Live going forward.

The downside of this is pretty simple: you won’t be able to use some old 32-bit plug-in and the latest version of Live at the same time. (Though you can still use the older Live with the older plug-in.) You’ll also need a 64-bit operating system (though on the Mac side, Apple tends to drag you along to new OSes and new hardware, anyway).

But the upsides to forcing Live users to go 64-bit when they update may be bigger than you’d expect.

Fewer crashes. The 32-bit version of Live crashes more than the 64-bit version – a lot more. Ableton collect the number of crashes. The 32-bit version of Live crashes 44% more often than the 64-bit version.

Most of these crashes are as simple as Live running out of memory – not a bug, not a misbehaved plug-in, but just hitting that 3.5-4GB memory ceiling imposed by running a 32-bit version of the software. (Some may be the result of dubious old 32-bit plug-ins, too, but that’s also a reason to dump plug-ins that haven’t been updated to 64-bit.)

Fewer Live crashes overall means fewer people having to talk to support about these crashes, which is better for everybody.

Faster updates. I also spoke with Ableton’s engineering side about why they’d want to drop 32-bit development.

Supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Live adds overhead to the entire development process. More overhead can translate to us getting fewer new features, or getting them less quickly.

That overhead impacts the time spent coding and debugging Ableton Live, not only for the humans, but also for the machines those humans rely on to do their work. When engineers make a change in Live’s code, they have to wait while servers build, test, and output the results. Even with a room full of racks of pricey, powerful computer hardware making that happen, the process takes hours, especially at peak times.

Take away the 32-bit side of things, and developers get their results faster. In practical terms, that could mean they get their change back today, instead of having to wait until coming into the office tomorrow morning. Since engineers typically like to stay focused and in the zone, that’s important.

Add everything together – supporting more use cases, more old plug-ins, dealing with more crashes, added development time to support two versions, added time to test and build two versions of the software – and you get a lot of added drag to Live’s development.

This isn’t just about making Ableton happy. Removing that drag from the process means those engineers can work on Live more efficiently. The upshot for us is, we get more the stuff we want – fixes and new features.

What you need to do

It may actually have taken more time to read this article than it will to make the leap to 64-bit Ableton Live use. But hopefully it gives you some notion of what’s going on in the world of the people making the software we use.

For your part, assuming you aren’t already running the 64-bit Ableton Live, here’s what to consider:

On Windows, you might want to double-check you have the 64-bit version of the OS installed. (Click your Start button, right-click Computer, click Properties. Under System, you’ll see which version of Windows you’re running.)

As far as checking your plug-ins, Ableton have some resources on the topic:

Recommendations for using VST plug-ins on Windows

Recommendations for using AU and VST plug-ins on Mac

Since 32-bit plug-ins don’t show up in the 64-bit version, the easiest way to check compatibility is to launch the 64-bit version and see if the plug-in disappears. (Don’t laugh – this really is the easiest method.) If it’s invisible, odds are you need to go to the developer and download a 64-bit version, if available. And as mentioned earlier, you can still keep the 32-bit Live on your hard drive if you find a plug-in that requires it.

Relevant to versions from 8.4 [64-bit introduction] through now [prior to going 64-bit only], here’s Ableton’s existing FAQ:

64-bit vs 32-bit – FAQ

I hope this gives you some insight into how Live works, and ideally makes your Live use more productive and crash-free. If you have any more questions, let us know.

Thanks to various engineers and product managers at Ableton who contributed to this story, particularly Alex Wiedemann (former Ableton software engineer and now head of Technical Support Berlin).

The post Ableton Live is going 64-bit only – so what does that mean? appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Grime trailblazer Major Ace dies

Delivered... Guardian music | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 12:03 pm

Rapper and founding member of the influential UK garage group Pay As U Go Cartel had suffered from a brain tumour for three years

Grime pioneer Major Ace has died, his family reports. The rapper, whose real name was Luke Monero, had been suffering from a brain tumour for almost three years.

Major Ace was part of the UK garage crew Pay As U Go Cartel, which was instrumental in shaping the grime sound. His brother Cass confirmed Monero’s death via Instagram on 9 October.


Thank you for the memories bro sleep deep. #RIPMAJORACE

Related: A history of grime, by the people who created it

Continue reading...

22 Exciting Polish Artists Playing Kraków’s Unsound Festival 2017

Delivered... By EB Team | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 12:01 pm

The post 22 Exciting Polish Artists Playing Kraków’s Unsound Festival 2017 appeared first on Electronic Beats.

Sampling Stories Vol. 11: Zavoloka

Delivered... Hannes Liechti from Norient | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 6:00 am

The EP Volya (Kvitnu 2014) is an exception in the work of Ukraine and now Vienna-based electronic experimentalist Kateryna Zavoloka. It is the only record so far in which she has used sampling material with a strong political connotation: field recordings from 2013 and 2014 Maidan winter revolutions in Kiev. Below is a background talk about the soundscape of the Maidan.

Zavoloka at the studio (Photo © by the artist)

[Hannes Liechti]: What is your general understanding of sampling?
[Zavoloka]: Basically, sampling is recording. The term triggers two further dimensions: The first is making field recordings and processing them by using samplers. The second one would be recording instruments and different voices and preparing all these recordings as samples for my live set.

[HL]: How important are semiotics when it comes to sampling? Do you also use samples in order to express a certain message?
[ZV]: First of all, if I start to compose, I already have some concept in mind. I then choose the samples to work with. The samples I am going to choose completely depend on my theme.

[HL]: When did you decide to work on the topic of the Ukrainian revolution?
[ZV]: With the Volya EP the process was actually the other way round. I didn’t know at first time that I was going to produce an EP out of these sounds. We just more went to the revolution almost every night. Of course we were helping those people, bringing them food, and so on. But we were asking ourselves: what could we do as artists?

[HL]: You wanted to participate more actively.
[ZV]: It was such a strong atmosphere that I felt that I had to do something out of it. I really had to process it. But I didn’t want to play concerts for people. So I decided to record. I recorded everything, everything that was happening, every night.

[HL]: Can you describe the soundscape?
[ZV]: In the first two months there were just people gathering but then the real fighting with the police began. You could hear exploding fireworks and gas grenades. Furthermore, people started to take huge metal sticks and beat them onto burned busses. That sound was very strong, kind of march-like. Suddenly someone whistled and everything stopped and there was silence. Then someone screamed «Glory to Ukraine» and the people started to sing the Ukrainian anthem. The soundscape was kind of a symphony sometimes. You have to imagine yourself in the middle of this huge square: you hear these sounds all around yourself, constant but moving from one side to another. That was very impressive and strong.

Music Video «Славлення / Slavlennya»

The video was recorded in January 2014 during active combat clashes with special police units on Hrushevs’kogo street in Kiev. Audio and video documented by Kotra and Zavoloka.

[HL]: What kind of equipment did you take with you?
[ZV]: I only used a small zoom recorder. You cannot take huge equipment with you in that situation. You have to be able to run – if the police come.

[HL]: Did you already know which samples you were going to cut out of this massive footage?
[ZV]: I still did not have the intention to release something. It was more that anthropological kind of interest to do these recordings. I mean that was the most powerful event I ever attended in my life. It was just for me personally.

[HL]: When did you decide to work on these tracks then?
[ZV]: Some weeks later Russia started the war with Ukraine. That was the moment when I thought that I, as a Ukrainian, have to say something. I then simply called this EP «freedom» (English for Volya). In a way this was like a meditation for me, kind of my personal fight. Usually I never do this kind of political art.

[HL]: But that is political art.
[ZV]: Some could say yes. But for me, conceptually, it was more a ritual to protect the Ukraine. I just wanted freedom, I don’t want war with Russia. And these samples were fitting amazingly for my concept.

[HL]: Is there anything else beyond this message of freedom you want to transport with these tracks?
[ZV]: What is very important for me is that people get this powerful feeling that we had when taking part in these events.

EP Volya (Kvitnu 2014)

[HL]: Do you think it is important to be physically at the place of the events if you use these kinds of sounds. Or it doesn’t matter?
[ZV]: For me it is very important. Of course you can take these sounds just from YouTube. But I really have goosebumps when listening to these sounds. Because I was there. I really know what it means.

[HL]: I think the war in the Ukraine was one of the first wars that could be followed on live streams at home, everywhere on the planet.
[ZV]: That’s true. And it was also the case on the Maidan square in Kiev. The police actually even shot at some of them, even those with «press» written on their helmets. But the content they recorded remained on the Internet because it was streamed.

[HL]: Did you also follow these streams when you were not on the square?
[ZV]: Yes we did. When we came home in the early mornings for catching some sleep, we used to open our laptops with all the streams from Maidan. We could only fall asleep when hearing the ongoing sound. Because when it stopped it meant that the police were coming and started to shoot. So for me these samples also represent the sound of when I could fall asleep these times.

This article has been published in the context of the PhD research on sampling in experimental electronic music by Hannes Liechti. For more info click here.

Read More on Norient

> C-drík Fermont: «Polyrhythmic Ukrainian Noise»
> Kateryna Zavoloka: «Loneliness in the Mix by Zavoloka»

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