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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » October » 31

Abyss is a free doom effect for Max for Live – happy Halloween!

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 31 Oct 2019 7:40 pm

Subtle, nuanced, transparent, almost inaudible sonic adjustment? No – let’s kick things into the deep, terrifying flaming pits of Hell. Meet Abyss.

So, yes, it’s Halloween. That means even if you don’t have a costume, you can make up for it by grabbing this free Max for Live device and plugging in a microphone. (Say your costume is “audio engineer.” Pretty much anything works.)

But the cats at Max for Cats have put together a wonderfully disturbing audio effect in “Abyss” that I’m sure some of us will use year-round. Their description says it:

… lets you forward any input signal into the abyss. The result is an ominous, gory and hellish version of your original input signal. Use with extreme caution and only if you have a strong, sane mind.

Sorry, what was that last bit? I tuned it out. Never mind.

What’s actually here: repitching, reverb, delay with feedback, but all mashed together in a truly wonderfully demented way. So you get precise controls for damping, tail, spread, early reflections, flanging delay feedback, modulation rate and depth, and pitch presets.

Plus included Mirror, Cat, and Crow at no additional cost.

As it’s a Max for Live device, you’ll need Ableton Live 10 or later and a Max for Live license (included in Live Suite).

The post Abyss is a free doom effect for Max for Live – happy Halloween! appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Listen to ambient sound from around the world, recorded with a 4’33” app

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 31 Oct 2019 6:31 pm

To anyone who says there are too many music makers in the world, maybe you aren’t aware of how much sound is in the world. Crowd-sourced iPhone recordings and the ghost of John Cage are here to set you straight.

First, there’s the app – the 4’33” app is an official, licensed app that makes field recordings to the exact specifications of John Cage’s infamous score as premiered in 1952 by pianist David Tudor. And yes, that means it even comes in the score’s original three movements – a fun fact you should definitely share at parties. (Hey, where did everybody go?)

The app has been out since 2014, courtesy John Cage Trust and publisher C.F. Peters. (Yes, C.F. Peters still owns the rights to a score that contains … nothing.) It’s $0.99 – a small price to pay for… well, for a new way of perceiving all the sounds of the world, maybe?

What’s really astounding about this is not so much the app, though, as the collection of sounds the app has made worldwide. And that has grown in the half decade since the app’s release. You might expect them to all be clustered around New York, San Francisco, and London, but instead six of the seven continents are represented. The iPhone microphone is pretty decent at recording a general monophonic ambience – a fancier stereo recording would do better, sure, but the phone somehow makes a representation of how we perceive and remember those spaces. So you can have a charming journey around the planet and its sounds.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world…

4’33” App for iPhone [App site and interactive map with sounds]

The post Listen to ambient sound from around the world, recorded with a 4’33” app appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A Conversation With Jayda G About Berlin, ‘Significant Changes’ And Environmental Toxicology

Delivered... Derek Opperman | Scene | Thu 31 Oct 2019 2:13 pm

The post A Conversation With Jayda G About Berlin, ‘Significant Changes’ And Environmental Toxicology appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

FCC To Hold Symposium on Radio and TV Industry – What Does it Mean for Broadcast Regulation?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 31 Oct 2019 12:32 pm

The FCC announced on Friday that it will be hosting a symposium on the state of the broadcast industry on November 21.  On that day, there will be a panel in the morning on the state of the radio industry and one in the afternoon on television.  The Public Notice released Friday lists a diverse group of panelists, but says little beyond the fact that the forum will be occurring.  What could be behind the Commission’s decision to host this session?

The FCC is working on its Quadrennial Review of its ownership rules (see our articles here and here).  There were many who expected that review to be completed either late this year or early next, with relaxation of the radio ownership rules thought to be one of the possible outcomes.  Of course, quick action may have been derailed by the decision of the Third Circuit Court of the Appeals to vacate and remand the Commission’s 2017 ownership order.  The court’s decision unwinds the FCC’s 2017 order which included abolition of the broadcast newspaper cross-ownership rule and the rule that limited one owner from owning two TV stations in the same market unless there were 8 independent television operators in that market – see our article here on the 2017 decision and our article here on the Third Circuit’s decision.  The basis of the Third Circuit decision was that the FCC did not have sufficient information to assess the impact of its rule changes on minority ownership and other potential new entrants into broadcast ownership.  If the FCC did not have enough information to justify the 2017 decisions, many believe any further changes in its rules are on hold until the FCC can either satisfy the court’s desire for more information on minority ownership or until there is a successful appeal of that decision.  Even though FCC changes to its ownership rules may be in abeyance, the November 21 forum can shed light on the current state of the industry and why changes in ownership rules may be justified.

As we wrote here, the Department of Justice a few months ago held its own listening session on the impact of digital media on broadcasting – specifically TV.  Almost all of the participants in that session testified that digital advertising was competing with television, though there was disagreement on the severity of the impact of digital on the television industry.  But even with this widespread agreement on the existence of competition from digital advertising, in approving the acquisition of the Tribune Company stations by Nexstar, the DOJ continued to treat broadcasting and digital media as operating in separate product markets, finding that television offered unique benefits to advertisers (see the complaint filed following that review here at paragraphs 37-38).

The FCC’s November 21 session may look at some of these issues so that the FCC, when it next reviews the ownership rules, can make an independent assessment as the expert agency on communications matters of the impact that digital has had on radio and television.  In comments filed in the Quadrennial Review assessing potential changes to the radio ownership rules, a group of radio owners with whom I worked submitted expert statements to show that digital advertising comprises more than 50% of local advertising in every local market.  One expert stated that local advertisers are now inundated with advertising choices and are unsure of what kind of advertising really works, so they are testing all different forms of advertising – essentially seeing digital as interchangeable with traditional broadcast and print media advertising.  With the explosion of media outlets of all kinds in the last 20 years, advertisers are trying to figure out what works – and exploring all media in doing so.  Economist Mark Fratrik of BIA/Kelsey, who provided evidence on the impact of digital on broadcasting in the NAB’s comments filed in the Quadrennial Review proceeding, will be on the panel discussing radio issues at the FCC’s November symposium.

Assessing the impact of digital competition on traditional media is fundamental to understanding today’s media marketplace, and the regulation of that marketplace.  In recent decisions, the FCC has looked to digital media in assessing the degree of effective competition with cable to determine when relaxation of cable rate regulation was appropriate.  This same analysis needs to occur with broadcasting in assessing the regulatory approach best suited to the industry.  While some have called for more regulation of digital media, that approach may well lead to unintended consequences when one does not understand the impact of regulation on industries currently subject to it (see, for instance, our article on the call to impose political advertising regulations on Facebook).  This November 21 forum may be a good start in the FCC’s development of a real understanding of the state of the media marketplace.  Of course, a single symposium lasting but a few hours cannot provide a full understanding of all of the dynamics of the media marketplace, but it is certainly a welcome addition to that process.


We need to discuss race in electronic music, and we need a new way to communicate

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 31 Oct 2019 1:08 am

A social media meltdown reveals some deeper issues in the electronic dance music world – and the ways in which online media are amplifying divisions.

Humans and technology melted down this week – but that shouldn’t avail us of an obligation to stand up for people, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Forest fires are raging in California because of trivial sparks, literally. So, without weighing in on every social media tempest, we should still talk about some of the issues beneath. And this matters to music production and music technology because this is fundamentally about who produces music, how that interacts with privilege, and how technology is involved in musical production and communication.

First, here is what happened in paraphrase – one of this week’s microcosms of breakdowns in racial discrimination and online communication. (Resident Advisor has the full sequence since some content was deleted – no, the Internet doesn’t forget, sorry.) The details and even the incident aren’t really important in any large scheme, but see if you can spot the point where compassion goes badly off the rails.

  • Siberian-born Nina Kraviz got a haircut and took some selfies.
  • NYC-based Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson (among others) talked about why that related to deeper feelings about racism, and why it could be hurtful to other people of color.
  • Nina Kraviz told Frankie in effect those feelings were unimportant to her, because her perspective on the meaning of her gesture was different, and went as far as turning the accusation of racism the other way, without evidence. (Direct quotes: “I can wear whatever I want!” and “You think that spreading hate, agression [sic], separation, bullying in our scene and validating reverse racism is OK. “)
  • A whole lot of people of color spoke to their own experience about why that could trigger deeper feelings about racism, and why it could be hurtful to other people of color.

Then, in real-time, there was something we’ve seen regularly in social media: a pile on of short, on-the-spot monologues about the writer’s personal opinions, in a crescendo of polarized sides amplifying their own position. Troublingly, many attacks were directed at people of color and people who speak out about these issues. We’re seeing this cycle over and over again, yet at the same time, we can’t dismiss the problems beneath.

Now, what you saw of all of this is highly variable – not only through the very real filter of all of our own biases and internalized racism, but literally what the technology showed you. And this happens fast: the time window to see the originating tweets was roughly 2-3 hours on Monday evening.

Depending on who you follow on social media and how millions of lines of computer algorithms are personalizing that feed to heuristics about your taste, you may have missed this story altogether, or made a gesture that signaled to those algorithms your disinterest, causing them to vanish.

Alternatively, the algorithms’ complex mathematical rules may have bombarded you with an explosion of impassioned comments and chosen which would get priority. This weighting is constructed, as extensive research has shown, primarily to increase engagement and profit, with a questionable weighting on either your well-being or the accuracy and balance of what you’re shown. Even before these reached your brain, they were filtered by statistical machine learning rules intended to maximize your engagement.

And whether by algorithmic weighting or most-recent chronological ordering, the longer these discussions go, the more likely you are to see copy-of-a-copy punditry and waves of frustration than the original discussion, as if you walked in on the end of a barroom brawl.

This also leads inevitably, in any case, to the same claim: “why aren’t xx people talking about yy.” Very often, these mirror a non-online, real ignorance. But rather than helping resolve that issue, social media can present an unmanageable torrent of disorganized information and even actively amplify ignorance, all while distorting timescale (again, realizing that some people are joining a conversation hours or days later than others).

To the extent it seems like discussions on Twitter have gotten more heated since, oh, about 2016, they absolutely have, due to algorithmic changes. Facebook has similar heuristics. Both are intended to keep you focused on these products.

Putting all that aside, whatever did reach your brain was filtered again through years of learned experience about race, which will have been very different based on who you are, what your skin color is, and where you grew up with that skin color. This changes your behavior, which then … feeds back into the algorithms.

We’re dealing with both human and machine heuristics that can be toxic and divisive, and worst of all, they’re locked in a feedback loop. Machines are learning from some of our worst impulses even as we fail to learn to be better. It also needs to be said, this same system is open to outside manipulation – and with or without that manipulation, it skews our perception of one another and of issues.

The technology shouldn’t excuse bad behavior or learned racism and bias. On the contrary – it means that racism and bias have more urgency than ever. If ever there was a doubt, time’s now up to listen to who is marginalized and needs to be heard.

While social media rages away, this also means it’s worth reading long-form content and taking time to consider.

So let’s read:

Ash Lauryn: Keeping It Real… [Underground & Black]

The author, a Detroit-based DJ / writer / radio host, was one of the first to react and one of the first to bear the brunt of a full-on pile on, often from white people (which is a serious sign that something is seriously wrong here, having nothing to do with hair or Russian DJs). Full credit – Axmed of Dutch Dance with Pride posted this; you can find this and other links to their organization on Linktree.

It’s possibly even useful reading the article – and other posts – more than once, to be really aware of the message and unpack our own reactions as well as to process what she says. Sometimes, a re-read can help remove some of our own filters; empathy doesn’t require agreement, but empathy takes practice.

Over and over again, I heard this – while many people focused on Nina’s original hair selfies, they ignored the concerns that it was the response from Nina that was so offensive. Highlighting that bit:

Rather than listen and attempt to have a constructive conversation about her use of the term “ghetto” and cultural appropriation, she jumped right into defense mode. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was her having the audacity to call one of the most dedicated people to diversity in the scene right now, whom also happens to be a black woman, a racist. That’s the point when I lost all respect.

Also, something I heard many people echo, she talks about why this is so personal (excerpt) – that this is a particular badge of pride in particular because it represents what had been denied:

As a black woman who wears cornrows on a regular basis, I find pride and strength in rocking the style, and it often feels like a form of resistance against the white society that tells me I need to wear my hair straight to be accepted. Perhaps this is what makes the topic a sensitive one, because to me, the style is not simply a fad or a costume for the night- it’s my heritage.

This issue of cultural appropriation clearly isn’t a simple one, because the core of it is dealing with people’s emotions. And much as the right-wing pundits in my native country loves to mock that aspect of it, caring about people’s feelings and how you impact them is the essence of compassion.

And yet, for all the apparent trendiness of the issue, it’s clear the questions of racism don’t get talked about enough or with enough depth. That was the overwhelming message of the frustration with Nina Kraviz I was able to dig through – that this didn’t come out of the blue, but sparked a long-standing, quiet frustration with ignorance and appropriation.

I’m disappointed in Nina Kraviz, though I hope she will find a way to undo this damage. I respect her as an artist, for her label, for what she’s had to put up with because of sexism and jealousy directed at her. But when she finishes her discussion with “I am not a racist. And I hope you know and feel that” – she misses the point. If you rephrase this discussion with “this hurts people, and connects to a history of hurting people,” and the response “no, it doesn’t, I can do whatever I want,” you get at the core of the issue. The question isn’t who is “a racist” or not, like asking if someone is a Methodist or a plumber. We say things, they have consequences, they impact other people.

So the question is whether we listen and respond when that impact is hurtful. This isn’t political correctness; it’s basic human compassion and decency.

Some messages are simple – there is absolutely no reason to argue that Frankie was in the wrong; she defends herself on that:

Some issues this episode has raised are much harder, in that they might not only be uncomfortable to talk about but might require real reflection and disagreement and even radically different viewpoints. I do hope we tackle them, and I appreciate that they’ll take time. I also know plenty of writers have already written extensively about this issue, researched this issue, and they deserve more of a platform and more awareness.

I went back and re-read Frankie’s answers to this site, as she talked about self-care and how she handles social media. It’s also important to note the ways she said at the time social media can be important and productive – and I think we have to listen to those, too. (It’s absurd not to be able to use a medium and to criticize it – I would flip it around and say it’s necessary to do both those things.)

Yes, to Ash Lauryn’s plea that the press and artists need to respond to these kinds of incidents, we damned well better find a way to do it. Yes, folks like me have an added responsibility to educate ourselves on our privilege because otherwise we’re part of the problem.

No, this can’t always happen in real-time, and it can’t always fit on social media, because of the limitations of human health and the fact that social media platforms are moderated by machines, not humans, and the machines’ priorities are set by corporations.

The best I can do is suggest we respond as thoughtfully as we can on social media, and make some space outside social media to have conversations, too. And since the press in the past hasn’t always done a job of opening up space, I hope that independent, open Web media can try to do better. That should mean giving up some space to other voices.

This is not labor to do this in music; it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to share with others access to a medium that lets us channel how we feel. When race, class, accessibility, gender, geography, sexual orientation, and other variables become barriers to music, we’re lucky to have any chance to make any change. So we need to listen to what we can do.

I can’t personally say more beyond that, so let’s just finish on Ash Lauryn’s mix for RA. If anyone says “make it about the music,” don’t worry – the people I quoted here are on that, too:

If people do want to share experience, and if there are other articles to add, please get in touch. You can actually reach me on Twitter, even. (Ahem.)

The post We need to discuss race in electronic music, and we need a new way to communicate appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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