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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » September


October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO, License Renewal, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, the Last Children’s Television Quarterly Report, Repacking Deadlines and More

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 30 Sep 2019 3:09 pm

October is one of the busiest months on the broadcaster’s regulatory calendar. On October 1, EEO Public Inspection file reports are due in the online public file of stations that are part of an Employment Unit with 5 or more full-time employees in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. An employment unit is one or more commonly controlled stations in the same geographic area that share at least one employee.

October 1 is also the deadline for license renewal filings by radio stations (including FM translators and LPFM stations) in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. On the 1st and 16th of the month, stations in those states, and in North and South Carolina, need to run post-filing announcements on the air informing listeners about the filing of their license renewal applications. Pre-filing announcements about the upcoming filing of license renewal applications by radio stations in Alabama and Georgia also are to run on the 1st and 16th. See our post here on the FCC’s reminder about the pre- and post-filing announcements.

October 10 is the deadline for Quarterly Issues Programs Lists to be uploaded into the FCC-hosted online public inspection file of each full-power radio and television station. As we wrote here, the FCC takes these reports very seriously as they are the only legally-mandated documents showing how a station has served the needs and interests of its service area. With a $15,000 fine and short-term license renewal recently proposed as a penalty for a station in Virginia that had ignored this obligation (see our article here), the FCC has made clear that it continues to emphasize the importance of these reports.

October 10 is also the date for the FCC filing of Quarterly Children’s Television Reports though, as we reported here, this will be the last such report as the Commission is transitioning to a yearly filing reporting on the compliance of TV stations with the children’s television rules. As that article reflects, TV station have the option, as of mid-September, to transition to the new standards for evaluating compliance with these rules.

October 15 is the date for repacked TV stations to file their Transition Status Report. On the 18th, Phase 6 of the repacking ends, and the next day, testing for Phase 7 begins.

October 15 is also the deadline for the filing of reimbursement requests by LPTV stations displaced by the repacking of the TV band and by FM stations that were otherwise affected by the repacking activities of TV stations. We wrote more about the reimbursement process here and here.

October 21 is the deadline for initial comments on the FCC’s proposals for changes in LPFM rules – including proposals for expanded use of directional antennas and booster stations. In that same proceeding, the FCC is taking comments on whether educational band FM stations still need to protect Channel 6 TV stations (or whether the conversion to digital TV operations has eliminated that need). The future of “Franken FMs” (LPTV stations on Channel 6 that use analog audio to broadcast a signal that can be received at 88.7 FM) is also part of this proceeding. See our articles here and here for more about this proceeding.

October 1 is also the snapshot date for the reporting of broadcast station ownership on the Biennial Ownership Reports that will be due by the end of January. Stations will need to report on their ownership as of October 1, even if that ownership changes between now and the deadline for the filing of the reports. The new forms for the reports will not be available until November 1, so stations cannot yet file the reports – but they can begin to prepare for that filing by noting their ownership as of October 1. See our article here on the FCC’s notice of the extension of the filing dates for these reports.

Plenty of deadlines to keep a broadcaster busy. As always, check with your own counsel to make sure that we have not omitted any deadlines that might affect your station.

‘Western society has little space for ecstasy’: back to Berlin’s 90s club scene

Delivered... Lyndsey Winship | Scene | Mon 30 Sep 2019 6:01 am

Feted for her macabre and freaky stage shows, Gisèle Vienne has created a time-bending piece of ‘physical philosophy’ inspired by her clubbing days

When Gisèle Vienne was growing up in Grenoble, France, her artist mother used to say, “paintings are cheaper than wallpaper”. So that’s exactly what they had, all over their walls. Vienne’s mum is Dorli Vienne-Pollak (a former student of Oskar Kokoschka), who made “pretty crazy, transgressive works” inspired by everything from 80s punks and strip clubs to fantasy battle scenes. It must have been quite an eyeful for a child.

Today, Vienne’s Paris home is completely white. It’s a small rebellion against her upbringing, which, balanced with the influence of her “overeducated French intellectual” father, makes complete sense of the artist Vienne has become. Her works in puppetry, theatre and dance (including Jerk, Kindertotenlieder, The Ventriloquists Convention) make headlines for their macabre obsessions: sex, violence, fantasy, serial killers and freaky dolls. Bubbling under all that is a vibrant intellect. Vienne’s conversation down the phone from France bounces fizzily from early 20th-century sociology to transcendental meditation.

Crowd is at Sadler’s Wells, London, 8-9 October, as part of Dance Umbrella, and at Tramway, Glasgow, on 16 October.

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Dance revolution: Has Boiler Room changed club culture forever?

Delivered... Nosheen Iqbal | Scene | Sat 28 Sep 2019 3:45 pm

After its online parties and DJ sets brought huge commercial success, the company is now preparing to launch its first ever festival next month

Six months ago Sherelle was ready to quit music for good, focus on the day job and give up the idea of being a professional DJ. Then her Boiler Room set happened. Fewer than 100 people were invited to see the 26-year-old play a studio in Hackney, but millions watched online; Sherelle went viral. The jungle and footwork music specialist is now one of the most talked about talents in club culture: two agents, her own record label, and a residency on BBC Radio 1 have followed.

“I amassed thousands of followers overnight,” she told the Observer. “Some of them were DJs and producers who I love and respected for years. My mind was blown.”

Boiler Room has always bridged the gap between championing the underground and making it accessible to see your favourite artists.

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Barker, Berghain resident, has found his voice – and meaning – in electronic sound

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 8:32 pm

Barker’s Utility is a tour-de-force – economical but sensual, precise compositions that nonetheless sound immediate and personal. And there’s deeper thought behind those sounds, too.

The LP is out since early in September on digital and vinyl with Ostgut Ton, house label at Berghain. Sam continues to helm his long-running series and label Leisure System.

We don’t talk enough about maturity or depth in dance music – let alone about reading lists or footnotes or ideas. But that’s odd, in a way, because having spent a lot of time with the sorts of people who will go to regular 8- (or 26-) hour marathons in nightclubs, I hear a genuine search for a deeper well.

It’s reassuring, then, that Sam Barker is someone willing to reflect openly on the meaning – and sometimes the futility – of dance music. And he can encode those ideas in the music, not just with clever track titles, but in the musical messages themselves.

I certainly feel that in Utility. Talk about a late bloomer – it’s easy to forget this is the “debut LP” from Sam, because he’s put out such wonderful music, both on his own and as part of Barker/Baumecker with nd_baumecker. But Utility has the earnestness of a debut, with the precision and efficiency and technical expertise of someone who’s, well, clocked as many hours as Sam has in the studio and club.

I spoke to Sam on the afternoon before one of his Leisure System parties at Berghain. We were not so much in the shadow of the infamous power station as basking in sun, as the club that exemplifies darkness was cheerily glowing in the late summer vitamin D. So what better setting than to break loose of some of Berlin techno’s cliches?

Berghain: bring the sunscreen, because it’ll get you tan.

It’s interesting to me to know how music making works in regards to time, generally. I wonder if there could be a separate series where you watch people agonize over details, in real time – like the opposite of FACT‘s Against the Clock. What’s that flow like for you now?

I used to have more fun with the details, doing things like very precise edits – cutting things up quite meticulously. But I’m not that patient anymore. And I’m not so into the aesthetic – when something sounds like it took days or months of work, it isn’t so exciting to my ears.

If something that did take a long time can still sound effortless, then that’s different. I think Objekt is a good example of somebody who spends a lot of time on each track and every little detail, but in the end, it sounds very off the cuff. He’s like a magician – every movement is so fluid that you don’t realize the work involved to make it look that effortless.

I try and make recordings in a way that I have to do as little editing as possible afterwards. I know myself now, and I just don’t have the time or the patience to be drastically changing something from the original recording, like I might have in the past.

What’s your working setup like; I’ve seen a bit of your instrumentation in the past, but what’s it like now?

I have two sort of working zones. There’s the studio I share with Andi and Nick, which is mostly drum machines, poly and mono synths, effects, mixing desk, patch bay, all hooked up to a Cirklon sequencer. It’s all about hardware and synthesis and maybe the more classic kind of sounds, with also some newer things like a Prophet 12 and Tempest. That’s the kind of studio we have there. It’s super fun to work in, especially together with other people. And, yeah, it’s nice to call up a preset on a Roland JD-800 and find something familiar. It’s like hearing a well-sampled rum loop pop out of the song it came from.

At home, it’s basically my modular system, Elektron Digitone, Octatrack, Nord Drum and some MIDI controls.

Sam’s home setup: modular, Faderfox controller, Elektron gear, Arturia KeyStep. Photo courtesy Barker.

That’s a pretty broad palette, though. What I hear – the sound is really focused, and it feels to me like an arrival. It seems like the path you were on from Debiasing [EP] to this release, that now this feels like this clear, mature sound.

I’m glad you think so. [laughs] I definitely feel like I’m answering a lot of questions that have that have bugged me for a while in music making. I feel like I’m reaching a downhill stretch of my journey —

— downhill in a nice way.

— definitely in a nice way. I’ve spent a long time with the frontier being technology, learning new skills, learning new techniques — training, really. I would set myself challenges that would be to do with learning a process. Getting deeper into certain parts of the modular, or ways of sequencing, using Euclidean pattern generators, building generative Max patches. This would be the inspiration or starting point for a track in the past.

Now, I feel I’m at a point where technically, I don’t really yearn for any new skills. Not to be a technical show off or anything, but I think at some point, you master the techniques you need to make the ideas you’re having materialise. In the end it’s just a craft. The fun of these technical challenges wears off. So it’s like, what’s the new challenge, the new thing to bump my head against?

Right – you have some chops that you’re applying. You’re out of school.

At this point, either music becomes a boring, repetitive task, or you find things outside of the process to inspire you instead.

Sam’s homemade spring reverb. Photo: Barker.

Was it repetitive in that way?

Working with other people gives a different purpose, but on my own I was struggling to come up with new ideas or finish things. I was here in the studio with the 16-step Cirklon sequencer, and there’s so much potential with that, but it’s like — why do I end up putting this sound in the place you’d expect to hear it, rather than somewhere else?

And so Debiasing was an attempt to understand and get past the biases I had when it came to making music, particularly with rhythmic or percussive formulas.

The main rule of dance music is the kick drum in a way. It’s always there across all forms of dance music. Other things can drop out without much drama -for example the last Dopplereffekt record had no hi-hats, and nobody drew attention to that.

It’s a kind of tyranny.

We discussed this before. [see for instance, “Listen to a mix of music that’s techno, but not four on the floor.” -Ed.]

But then I remember, this first live show I heard you play at Saule [in Berghain], there was a patching error, and something accidentally wasn’t patched into the kick. [Leisure System.32, November 2017, when Sam brought back his live set for the first solo in eight years.]

Oh yeah, that was funny.

That was after you’d gone on this tirade about kicks. So you must have been driven by your subconscious to patch that wrong.

[laughs] Well, the set was already kind of without a real kick, just a bass line that had two trigger patterns, one gate for the sustain, and another for a ‘punch’ to the pitch envelope. Basically, a tuned kick that doubled up as a bassline. I was playing and thinking to myself, ‘wow I really programmed a weird set here’, and right at the end I realized the triggers were reversed. I was getting lots of bass line and very little punch.

But it worked, actually. And people were dancing to that whole set. So whatever you did that you didn’t intend, right? You shifted your intention. It seems like people responded.

It was encouraging for sure. I remember Par Grindvik was behind the stage before I started. And he was like, ‘hey good luck, man.’ I said ‘I’m fucking nervous’ and he tried to reassure me, ‘aw, you shouldn’t be nervous, anyway in the end, just stick a 4/4 kick down and everyone’s happy.’ And I said ‘but… I don’t have a 4/4 kick’. He wished me good luck.

Sam’s live rig. Photo: Barker.
Photo: Elena Panouli. Courtesy Ostgut Ton.

So yeah, what does that mean to you?

The techno formula looks very boring on paper. And objectively, it is boring, but somehow, it works. It has high instrumental value in making people dance. You can rely on it to do the job. I came to the conclusion that this has a lot to do with cognitive biases. There’s a confirmation bias – when it happens, the hi hat comes in, we’re like, yep, see, I expected that. And there’s the illusion of truth effect, where something is repeated so much that it just becomes true. Or the mere-exposure effect, which is a preference for the familiar. Our relationship with music is full of these kinds of cognitive biases.

There’s a book by Abraham Kaplan called The Conduct of Inquiry, which is about how scientists can be more successful in their approach to scientific experimentation. I read it, and in my mind I was replacing the word “science” with “music”. And so many things were just perfectly applicable to this musical problem.

One thing in particular that he calls the law of the instrument – a tendency to rely too much on one methodology to solve problems. He said, ‘give a small boy a hammer, and he will find everything needs a pounding’. I’ve definitely felt like a nail being pounded into the dancefloor before. So the solution might be to use the tools differently, take away the hammer and try something else, perhaps then you stop seeing people as nails. These ideas, from a scientist’s approach to doing research in the lab was a sort of eureka moment.

Do you think if this repetition is about confirming bias, does that influence other thought patterns?

I always think of cue cards – like a TV audience, when somebody holds one up and it says “applause”, and people clap. And it’s like the kick is the cue card that says “dance”, and when it comes in, everybody’s supposed to dance. There’s a behaviorism aspect of dance music that I find a bit pushy, like Skinner’s experiments in the 50s and 60s, where he’s teaching rats to behave in certain ways through manipulating punishment and reward schedules. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber]

And you feel like that as a DJ.

I think it’s good to be aware of this dynamic. DJ’s as operators of a Skinner box, controlling the punishment and reward schedule… in a way that keeps people on the dance floor as long as possible – ultimately, in the club, drinking. But some of the best parties I’ve had were short and to the point. You would go and see in three hours, like, six grind core bands, just smashing out 30-second songs. After three hours, you’re exhausted, satisfied, and you go home.

Perhaps this is also a case of styles developing around time restraints – venues in the UK had strict licensing laws keeping opening times short. Anyway I think the length of a night out isn’t an accurate measure of how good it was.

So you’re finding some ways to solve this in your own productions, to break some of these biases – even if you still play longer sets with consecutive kick drums in them. I wonder what you’d call this; it seems like suddenly some of your music is labeled “trance” for some reason.

I don’t mind references to trance. I was never influenced in any special way by trance as a genre. Trance was like a dirty word for me for a long time, so it’s interesting that people hear that. Perhaps I was living in denial of my trance callings this whole time.

If you had to choose a genre label, what would you call it?

I’ve heard a few excellent genre names from people. Minimal bass. Minimal drum. Hard chord. Chris Ssg says big room ambient. Then there’s vegan techno, techno lite..

Lite – ooh, not that one.

Happy hard chord?

Well, there is a strong harmonic element – that was in the Barker/Baumecker stuff too. Andi [Baumecker] likes this, too, I know.

I think there was a phase in techno that was very dry and functional, without anything contentious. I feel like things are changing though. There’s always a lot of unconventional music being made, but I feel people are more curious about it these days, and there’s more support for things that sound different.

Berlin, I mean, there’s some conservatism to the culture here in general?

When I arrived in 2007 it was quite narrow. The tempo was just much lower, and people were very sensitive about things like that. Rhythms diverging from straight 4/4 were really a challenge to play. So with Leisure System, a lot of things that were just part of UK party culture didn’t translate.

Is it any different – Leisure System, tonight, than doing it in the past?

People know what to expect now. It took a few years for people to not be expecting techno. Still we had to find new formulas that worked. In this place [Berghain], the acoustics can be quite restrictive, because it’s very loose in there, and part of the appeal is this cathedral effect that you get on the music that you play. It enhances some things, and it has the opposite effect on other things.

Right, Berghain has impact on the music.

It’s got this classic shoe box concert hall shape, which gives it a pretty nice even acoustic response, but it’s just a very long and very prominent reverb. If you you’re doing a sound check in there and you just play a click through it, it hangs in the air a long time. You have to work with it. And it’s kind of glorious in a way, and it taps into very deep historical response to acoustics. David Byrne talks about how caves were spiritual places for early humans, because they represented shelter and safety, and this feeling was then exploited in how churches and cathedrals were designed.. So this response to reverb is deeply programmed into our DNA.

Yeah, when you hear this reverberation, you hear the room speak back to the music – and there’s something kind of spiritual about that.

There is a call and response in the space. And sometimes great music that I really love falls totally flat in there, and sounds like a mess.

..then I suppose now you hear some producers trying to replicate that sound – knowingly or unknowingly in the track – which of course then won’t work, if you play that track in the club.

Yeah, like layering reverb on reverb..

But it has a sound, right? It’s not neutral – this room says something.

It definitely has an opinion. It can restrict the complexity and the pace. If you’re changing key a lot, or there’s a bassline with lots of notes, things that might be musically interesting, the room can have a problem with it. And so, you’re sort of trying to get close to that edge, with respect for the acoustic conditions. There’s so much music outside of the techno framework that’s enhanced by the room.

https://sambarker.bandcamp.com/album/debiasing

http://ostgut.de/label/record/243

http://ostgut.de/booking/artist/barker

Cover photo, top: Elena Panouli. Courtesy Ostgut Ton.

Let’s close with Sam’s recent mix for FACT:

Previously:

The post Barker, Berghain resident, has found his voice – and meaning – in electronic sound appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The spirit of Synthi is back, in the new Erica SYNTRX

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 6:40 pm

It’s the Latvian Synthi that never was – an all-new instrument, not a clone, built around the signature analog matrix.

England’s EMS Synthi AKS is simply one of the greatest-ever standalone designs for experimentation. The 1972 instrument inspired Jean Michel Jarre and Pink Floyd. But it’s not a modular – all that sonic possibility is designed into a single unit – and it doesn’t use patch cords. The patch matrix, that grid you see in the center, is where you create different sound routings.

The SYNTRX (“sintrex“) is a from-scratch creation from the Riga-based builder that uses this interface scheme. Shipping end of 2019, EUR2500 + VAT where applicable.

Now, for all the recreations and clones, it’s important to note that Erica Synths aren’t cloning anything. They even advertise the fact that the SYNTRX has absolutely no part of its schematics cloned from the original – there’s a twist, in a day when supposed “authenticity” usually trumps originality. (And yes, that could be read as a shot across the bow of clone-happy Behringer.)

But there’s some precedent for this. After all, think of how many instruments have a piano/organ-style keyboard manual, and how differently those instruments can sound and behave.

So think instead of the SYNTRX as the Latvian cousin the EMS box never had. The DNA of this instrument is all from Riga. Engineers from the Riga Technical University collaborated with Erica on the all-new design. The matrix is built around a digitally-controlled set of analog switches (32 8-channel switches), not mechanical connections like most matrices. That’s thanks to the Latvian-made chips from ex-Soviet maker Alfa – the AS16M1 IC, to be exact. (I took a tour of the Alfa facility in June, accompanied by FACT executive editor John, and again lamented my inability to speak Russian.) Each patch point is attenuated at three different levels, too.

More specs:

256 patch memory points

Automatic patch switching in performance mode, or via MIDI triggers

3 VCOs

Noise generator with color

Resonant analog filter

Ring mod

Spring reverb

Looping envelope generator

Of course a joystick – you need that

Input amp with adjustable gain so you can connect a mic to line levels (oddly enough, I spent yesterday afternoon singing the praises of using mics in modular settings for a workshop here in Ljubljana, Slovenia)

3 (!) voltage controlled amplifiers

Analog CV/audio signal level indicator plus output signal filter

Built-in speakers

Sample & hold circuit with individual clock

VCO 1 has an octave switch; VCO2 has sync

Attack/Decay mode on the envelope generator

MIDI input of CV, gate, modulation, (and for the matrix) program change

Aluminum enclosure, ash tree side panels

Those envelope and extra oscillator features, plus of course MIDI control and extra performance functionality, is all new to this take on the Synthi, as is the Erica circuitry. So it is unmistakably retro, but it is still a fresh remake, not a slavish reproduction.

https://www.ericasynths.lv/news/syntrx/

That said, is this an excuse to re-run the “every picnic…” and “every nun needs a synthi?” Come on. Does the pope take communion? What do you think?

Now please stop coming out with all this cool stuff I feel obligated to write about, Erica; it’s starting to make me seem biased.

The post The spirit of Synthi is back, in the new Erica SYNTRX appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

FCC Proposes Changes to Rule Requiring Public Notice of Application Filing – Looking to Online Notice Rather Than Newspaper Publication

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 4:19 pm

At its open meeting this week, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to change the requirement for local public notice of certain broadcast applications.  Such notices are required currently for applications, including license renewals and station sales.  The current rules contain different requirements for different types of applications that require public notice – both in the substance of what must be disclosed in the notice and in the required timing of the notice.  The FCC’s proposal looks to standardize the timing of the required public notice, move it online and refocus its substance so that it will routinely say what type of application was filed and provide a link to the online application so that members of the public can review it..

Some of the specific changes proposed by the FCC, and the questions that they ask about those changes include:

  • Eliminate the requirement for the publication of newspaper public notice, shifting instead to a requirement that notice be published on the station’s website or, if the station has no website, on some other publicly accessible site. The FCC proposes that the notice be maintained on the website for at least 30 days and asks what other sites should be allowed to substitute for the station’s website if the station does not have a website.
  • The Commission proposes that the online notice be shortened, essentially providing the name of the applicant(s), the type of application filed, and providing a link to the application in the station’s FCC-hosted online public file or, where the station is not required to have an online public file, to the application itself in other FCC databases.
  • The FNPRM suggests a change in the obligations for over-the-air notice to require that the notice be broadcast once a week for 4 consecutive weeks and be re-formatted to be much more like the online notice, focusing on directing the public to the website notice where there is a link to the application itself. The FCC proposes that the notices be run anytime between 7 AM and 11 PM local time.

Other proposals are made on specific types of applications, and a host of specific questions about each of these proposals are advanced by the FCC.  Interested parties can file comments for 30 days after public notice of the FNPRM is published in the Federal Register; and reply comments can be filed in a 15 day period after the initial comments.

Tegan and Sara: Hey, I’m Just Like You review

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 9:30 am

(Warner Records)
Reworked songs of teenage travails from the Quin twins, who go back to their youth in slick, pulsating pop

As tracklists go, you don’t get much more evocative than the one attached to Tegan and Sara’s ninth album, a series of furiously indignant, laughably melodramatic and stomach-churningly poignant missives from the standard-issue internal monologue of the unhappy teenager. It’s tempting to leave the likes of Hold My Breath Until I Die and Don’t Believe the Things They Tell You (They Lie) as song titles alone, imagining the contents to fit your own heady nostalgia trip. But if you do decide to dive in, you’ll discover plenty more painfully perfect evocations of adolescent angst inside.

Related: Tegan and Sara: ‘People never talk about women and drug use positively’

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Death, data and digital doppelgangers: Sui Zhen’s uncanny valley

Delivered... Nick Buckley | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 2:16 am

As she began work on her new album, Becky Freeman’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her interest in the digital lives we leave behind took on a new form

There’s a recording studio in Melbourne, Australia that’s been filling up with Lindas. On the computer screen, when the Guardian visits, is an early digital Linda prototype, bathed in computer-generated grey waves. A white plaster Linda is serenely meditating in its plastic storage box. And then there’s the final form (for now at least): a silicone mask, with vacant white polystyrene voids in place of eyes.

The doppelganger has been created by avant-pop musician and visual artist Becky Freeman, aka Sui Zhen, for her new album Losing, Linda.

Related: L-FRESH the LION, Tones and I, Tkay Maidza: the best Australian music for September

Related: Adrian Eagle on surviving self-hate: 'My anxiety was extreme. I didn't want to see anybody'

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Native Instruments is struggling to provide customer support following cuts

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 26 Sep 2019 8:35 pm

Recent staff cuts at the company have hurt customer support, according to sources familiar with the matter and user complaints.

Native Instruments did not mention cuts to customer support in its statements to me earlier this month. NI cut an estimated 30% of its workforce this summer — fully 20% in a single day, as reported by the company. Yet despite promises from NI management that these changes would “improve the experience for all users of our products,” one immediate impact is constrained support options and increased service backlogs.

Direct personal support options, previously offering email and phone support, are now reduced or gone. You can observe this for yourself by navigating NI’s site.

Software support now dead-ends at a set of documentation articles; then you’re able to create a post on the community forums if you don’t find an answer, but direct contact is gone.

Hardware support does provide some direct contact options – you can directly contact repair service if you have faulty hardware, which allows you to open a ticket. But even most hardware options now also lead only to the knowledge base.

It’s also possible to open a chat for presales or order and account support, but that change may be flooding account support with queries that would normally go elsewhere, sources tell us.

Your best bet if you are having problems is still to make a post in the forums – or talk to other users. But reaching NI support is more difficult; a message across all support pages now reads:

“Due to the high amount of incoming requests, we currently cannot achieve our desired response times. We thank you in advance for your patience until we get to your request.”

You will find a September 10 update to Traktor DJ 2 on the site, and Native Access has recently delivered updates for Komplete Kontrol, Controller Editor, and Maschine, though at least some of these involve development that would have preceded the cuts.

Native Instruments did not immediately respond to CDM’s request for comment.

Previously:

The post Native Instruments is struggling to provide customer support following cuts appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury review – country’s outlaw catches fire

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 26 Sep 2019 12:00 pm

(Elektra Records)
Another big shift in direction for Simpson, with anime visuals, glam rock, disco and grunge ornamenting never-more-country lyrics: it’s extraordinary

It seems almost beside the point to note that Sturgill Simpson’s fourth album sounds nothing like its predecessors, as his previous three albums didn’t sound much like each other either. His self-funded 2013 debut, High Top Mountain, suggested the arrival of an arch-traditionalist, a former serviceman and railroad worker, whose vision of country music was rooted in that of artists who balked at Nashville’s tendency to slather everything in a coat of gloss: a defiantly retro reanimation of the late 70s “outlaw country” of Waylon Jennings or Hank Williams Jr. But its successor, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was a kind of psychedelic opus, sprinkled with paeans to LSD and DMT – “woke up this morning and decided to kill my ego … gonna break on through and blast off to the Bardo,” opened Just Let Go – frequently set to music that matched: Mellotron and wah-wah guitars, vocals drenched in spaced-out echo.

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11 Tracks That Define The Sound Of Canonical Berlin Techno Party Grounded Theory

Delivered... svt303 | Scene | Wed 25 Sep 2019 1:17 pm

The post 11 Tracks That Define The Sound Of Canonical Berlin Techno Party Grounded Theory appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

This video makes it easy to mod KORG’s ultra-cheap monotron for analog CV

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 25 Sep 2019 12:38 pm

Punk, inexpensive analog, anyone? The KORG monotron is an easy choice for modding for your synthesis needs – and now this video makes the process easier.

There’s still nothing quite as cheap in analog synthesis than the instrument that (arguably) started the trend – the KORG monotron and its variants. You can pick one of these up for about $50 or less even new – and you might even rescue one from a friend’s collection.

But while the monotrons are fun to play with, they’re a bit limited as far as integration with other gear. You get an aux input, a headphone jack output, and – nothing else. And those tiny controls and ribbon will challenge your dexterity.

A mod, then, is the perfect answer, because then you can jack in some analog control from other gear. That now not only includes Eurorack modular, but gear from Moog, Behringer, Arturia, semi-modulars, sequencers, you name it. CV is starting to be as ubiquitous as MIDI, and allows for direct, simple control with voltage.

People have been modding this for a while, but Extralife is here with a video that makes it much simpler.

He writes:

I’ve just finished up a video on modding the Korg Monotron for analog CV input. I have found some other descriptions of similar mods online, but so far as I know I’m the first to document the build on video or provide PCB layouts, so while monotron hacks may be old hat, I think this brings something new to the table.

Also visible in the video is the latest prototype of my ongoing
Eurorack sequencer project, the Super Sixteen! It is in the final
phases of development (it is open-hardware, open-source) — and I will
be sure to contact you again soon when it nears a major release.

Oh, please do, sir! That looks seriously cool.

Grab all the specs and so on for this project on his GitHub:

https://github.com/matthewcieplak/monotron-cv-adapter

And here’s the original project that inspired the idea, from the heady, innocent days of 2010:

http://www.dinsync.info/2010/06/how-to-modify-korg-monotron.html

Let us know how this works out for you, and what you do with it – or if y’all have other interesting hacks and projects you’re working on.

The post This video makes it easy to mod KORG’s ultra-cheap monotron for analog CV appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Mark Radcliffe, electronica god: ‘I’m not just some radio bloke having a dabble’

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Wed 25 Sep 2019 6:00 am

The DJ has made an album inspired by untranslatable words, recorded with a bloke he met in the pub called Paul Langley. So what does ‘boketto’ mean?

Mark Radcliffe and Paul Langley are sipping tea in central Manchester. The former is the much-loved radio star; the latter is something of a mystery. “Good, the less said the better,” Langley says from behind his spectacles and pot of Earl Grey. However, I do know he once made an EP in an outfit called Rack-It! “That was with Martyn Walsh from Inspiral Carpets,” he laughs. “He said, ‘You wanna do a track called Sex on Acid – that’ll annoy people.’ And it did.”

Radcliffe and Langley are, they tell me, “soon to be legendary”. This will be in the guise of UNE, the name they have given themselves. The pair have made Lost, an album of lovely, plaintive electronica over which Radcliffe sings. They met five years ago in the Builder’s Arms in Knutsford, Cheshire. Radcliffe, new to the area, asked locals which pub was dog-friendly. This led to dog-walk encounters with Langley, and the pair were soon bantering over pints, about music and Manchester City.

When I heard Paul's music, I thought: 'This is surprisingly good'

Related: Mark Radcliffe ‘surprised’ to lose BBC show during cancer

Lost is out on 18 October. UNE play the Old Courts, Wigan, 3 October, and more dates before Christmas. Mark Radcliffe’s book, Crossroads, is published by Canongate.

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What if your gear could MIDI map itself? This open schema and iOS app do it now

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 7:03 pm

So, you’ve got a plug-in or a hardware synth – and you want to control part of the sound with a physical knob or some iPad modulation. One clever iPad app and an open source scheme could make what happens next happen faster.

Early 1980s MIDI still gets the job done in a lot of ways. But then you hit this problem of mapping. Let’s say you’re an app developer, and you want to support a whole lot of different synths. (You know, like your customers may have been reading CDM and Synthtopia and Sonic State and bought, like, everything.) Your time is valuable, so you don’t want to spend all of it mapping gear.

Users, of course, have the same issue – from controllers to desktop software to apps, we often find ourselves having to manually create templates.

Developer Eokuwwy Development (aka Steven Connelly) faced this challenge with the app MIDI Mod. MIDI Mod is clever stuff, and worth a separate article – it gives you a ton of modulation options you can use to control gear, and then the ability to modulate the modulators internally (routing an LFO to the modulation that’s then routed to your synth). So you can get a bunch of elaborate changing, morphing sounds on whatever you choose.

The breakthrough from Mr. Connelly was to establish a standard schema for defining all those parameters to control. Got a Roland System-8? A Behringer Neutron? Yamaha Reface? BigSky reverb pedal? Moog Minitaur KORG volca sample IK multimedia Uno? Even other iOS apps? He’s got all of them. (Here’s a list.)

Other developers have done things like this before. (Native Instruments Maschine, for one, had similar mappings – though unfortunately, the engineers working on this support were to my knowledge included inthe layoffs last month.)

This developer is going one step further, by releasing the entire schema on GitHub for manufacturers and developers. And it could be relevant to anyone – someone making a hardware synth, a Web-based tool, an iOS app, desktop software, whatever.

As a user, you may not necessarily need to know how this works – only that it allows makers of software and hardware to make more stuff compatible, and work more consistently, faster. But the basic idea is, this not only defines a consistent way of defining parameters, but tools for automating testing and supporting control. (There are even just-added tools for generating specs from CSV files and HTML documentation from specs .)

Got a synth you want supported? Make the document once, and then – once they provide support for this schema – other tools will be able to work with your tool, check for errors, and even generate code and documentation. It’s a JSON schema, plus a whole bunch of useful examples. iOS developers should be able to get going really fast – even using Swift – but it’s pretty clear to everyone else, too.

I remember this conversation going on for at least a decade, even specifically talking about “wouldn’t it be nice if there were a JSON schema” for this. The reason is, Web developers do this sort of work all the time. It’s just that these were in the form of APIs for Web applications that … uh, stole all your data from a weird online survey that then sold that data to foreign spies or whatever the heck has been going on for the intervening time. I’m kidding, mostly – okay, most of this sort of JavaScript work is more like boring day job stuff.

Isn’t it about time that we applied that intelligence to music?

I don’t know that this particular implementation is perfect, but it is open source, it has everything I and others I had talked to wanted for such a thing, and so it seems time to put it out there.

(Yeah, maybe like minijack MIDI, we can all talk about this now, rather than wind up with two competing formats. Just a thought.)

I know there have been similar discussions to add this sort of functionality to a future version of MIDI. But this particular kind of schema doesn’t require anything in the MIDI spec itself – it’s only built around it. So this is something that works with MIDI 1.0.

Developers, have a look and let us know what you think. Maybe you can add to that list of apps supporting this.

Users, well, you don’t have to wait – you can check out MIDI Mod now, if you have an iPad. (And I better take the opportunity to make some docs for all our MeeBlip synths.)

https://github.com/eokuwwy/open-midi-rtc-schema

https://github.com/eokuwwy/open-midi-rtc-specs

MIDI Mod at the App Store

Developer site and a lot more info: https://eokuwwy.blogspot.com/

The post What if your gear could MIDI map itself? This open schema and iOS app do it now appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Court of Appeals Rejects FCC Ownership Decision – Putting All Ownership Reform on Hold

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 4:12 pm

Yesterday, a panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided by a 2 to 1 vote to overturn the FCC’s 2017 decision that made significant changes to its ownership rules (see the decision here).  The Court sent the case back to the FCC for further consideration.  The 2017 decision (see our article here) was the one which ended the ban on the cross ownership of broadcast stations and daily newspapers in the same market and the limits on radio-television cross-ownership.  The 2017 decision also allowed television broadcasters to own two TV stations in markets with fewer than 8 independent owners and made other changes to the radio and TV ownership rules.  Yesterday’s decision also put on hold the FCC’s incubator program meant to assist new owners to acquire radio stations (see our summary of the incubator program here).  All of this was done without any analysis whatsoever as to whether marketplace changes justified the changes to the ownership rules or of the impact that the undoing these rule changes would have on broadcasters and other media companies – including on radio companies hoping for changes in the radio ownership rules in current proceeding to review those rules (see our articles here and here).

What led the Court to overturn the decision if it was not the Court’s disagreement with the FCC’s determination that change in the ownership rules was needed?  This Court, in fact these same three judges, has overturned the FCC three times in the last 15 years, stymieing ownership changes because the Court concluded that the FCC had not sufficiently taken into account the impact that rule changes would have on diversity in the ranks of broadcast owners.  Here, again, the Court determined that the FCC did not have sufficient information on the impact of the rule changes on ownership diversity to conclude that the rule changes were in the public interest – and thus sent the case back to the FCC to obtain that information before making any ownership rule changes.  What led the Court to that conclusion, and what can be done about this decision?

In reviewing the FCC’s decision, which had paid significant attention to minority ownership issues, the Court made several criticisms of the FCC’s methodology, finding that the FCC did not have accurate information about the actual minority ownership of broadcast stations and how it has changed over time.  The Court concluded that without that information, the FCC could not make proper assessments about the impact of the rule changes on diversity in ownership.  The Court also faulted the FCC for not making determinations as to the ownership of broadcast stations by women.  Finally, the Court said that the FCC decision in adopting its incubator program to make small businesses the beneficiaries of the incubation process, rather than making minority or female owners the beneficiaries, did not sufficiently analyze the impact that using the small business definition would have on ownership diversity.  The FCC had found that it could not use racial or gender distinctions to determine the beneficiaries of the incubation process as that would be constitutionally suspect – but the Court concluded that, even so, the FCC needed to assess the impact on diversity of the rules it decided to use.

Note that Court did not decide that any of the rule changes made in 2017 were necessarily problematic.  In fact, the Court said that, even if the FCC determines the rules that it adopts adversely impact minority ownership, those rule changes may still be permissible if the FCC decides that the public interest requires changes in the rules despite their impact on diversity.  So, at the end of the day, the gathering of the required information could lead to the exact same result that the FCC reached in 2017.  The potential for that result seems to be reflected in the opinion of the dissenting judge, who notes that the world has changed in terms of media competition, that the 2017 rule changes were justified based on that change,  and that the needed changes in the rules should not be held up while the FCC is sent on what may be an impossible task of trying to document in a manner satisfactory to the Court’s majority how its rule changes will affect minority ownership.

What happens next?  The Court sent the case back to the FCC for further consideration, where the 2017 decisions would probably be added to those issues already under consideration in the current Quadrennial Review (see our article here on those issues).  However, instead of immediately taking up the Court’s remand, an appeal of this decision is possible.  In fact, Chairman Pai, in his statement after the decision, seems to suggest that the FCC will appeal the decision.  The first step may be to ask the other judges on the Third Circuit to rehear the case to determine if the three-judge panel was correct in its assessment.  An appeal to the Supreme Court is also possible, though that is a much lengthier process that could take longer to resolve than if the FCC considers the matter on its own.  We should see in the next month or so where the FCC decides to go on this matter – and how it affects pending applications that rely on the 2017 rule changes as well as future changes in the ownership rules.

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