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

Resolutions 2020: How to Develop Your Own Signature Sound

Delivered... andreasrichter | Scene | Fri 24 Jan 2020 5:54 pm

A fresh year is upon us, but, unsurprisingly, the hustle in many domains remains the same. In a true ‘each one teach one’ spirit, our new year’s resolution series aims on carving out some guidelines on how to survive as an artist within the electronic music world, or how to enter and make it past the gatekeepers in the first place. With music production becoming more affordable over...


Exquisite paintings, with analog signal and modular gear as brush

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 23 Jan 2020 11:15 pm

Working with image signal instead of sound remains to many an undiscovered country. One artist is producing beautiful meditations on analog video – and charting his work.

Christopher Konopka treats the Eurorack modular as a canvas, carefully producing slow-moving, richly organic work. He calls them “emotional abstractions” – and relates the experience of navigating new textures to that of our perception of time and memory.

You can watch this, along with musings on what he’s doing and how the patches work, in an exhaustive YouTube channel. It’s some mesmerizing inspiration:

Oh yeah – so how do you remember work, when it exists as ephemeral combinations of knobs and patch cables? Christopher has added one obsessive layer of digital organization, a data project he calls “broadcast-research.” Using scripts and code he shares on his GitHub, he automates the process of recording and organizing texture output, all in open source tools.

So there’s a meeting of digital and analog – and Christopher even suggests this data set could be used with machine learning.

(Hot tip – even if you’re happy to let your own creations disappear “like tears in the rain” and all that jazz, you might poke around hit GitHub repository and fork it as you’ll find some handy recipes and models for working with these tools for other projects. It’s done in Go + Bash command line scripts + free graphics tools FFprobe, FFmpeg, and ImageMagick, which are great alternatives to getting sucked into Photoshop glacially loading and then crashing. Ahem.)

The hardware in question:

Lots more – including an artist statement – on his site:


ImageMagick is genius, by the way – time to do another recipe round-up, a la (see also comments here):

Previously, related:

The post Exquisite paintings, with analog signal and modular gear as brush appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters—License Renewals, EEO Reporting, Rulemaking Comments, FM Auction Filing Deadline, Lowest Unit Rate Windows, and More

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 23 Jan 2020 5:12 pm

With the holiday season getting smaller in the rear-view mirror and many parts of the country dealing with ice, snow, and single-digit temperatures, broadcasters could be forgiven for dreaming about the sunshine and warmth that come with spring.  Before spring arrives, however, broadcasters need to tend to important regulatory matters in February.  And, if you find yourself eager to plan past February, use our 2020 Broadcasters’ Calendar as a reference tool for tracking regulatory dates through the end of 2020.

But focusing on the month ahead, by February 3, all AM, FM, LPFM, and FM translator stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi must file their license renewal applications.  For the full-power stations in the state, there’s an additional EEO task to complete irrespective of how many employees a station employment unit (SEU) has.  Before filing for license renewal, stations in these three states must submit FCC Schedule 396. This schedule is the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report, which is a reporting to the FCC of the SEU’s equal employment opportunity activities for the last license period (SEUs with fewer than five full-time employees are not required to maintain an EEO recruitment program and are only required to check a box that they have fewer than 5 full-time employees and skip ahead to the certification).  The sequencing here is important: When filing for license renewal, the application (Schedule 303-S) asks for the file number of your already-filed Schedule 396.  So, without having already filed the schedule, you won’t be able to complete your renewal application.

Beginning February 1, stations filing renewals must begin airing a series of six post-filing announcements (one announcement each on February 1, February 16, March 1, March 16, April 1, and April 16).  Stations in Alabama and Georgia that filed earlier in the renewal cycle air their fifth post-filing announcement on February 1 and their sixth and final announcement on February 16.  These stations must then place in their online public file certifications of air times and dates for all the pre- and post-filing announcements they ran.

Full-power AM, FM, LPFM, and FM translator stations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee are due to file license renewal applications by April 1, but, before that, those stations must air a series of announcements alerting listeners to their upcoming license renewal filing.  The first of four of these pre-filing announcements must air on February 1, with announcements two, three, and four airing on February 16, March 1, and March 16 respectively.

Stations are required to air pre-filing announcements in the two months prior to the month in which their license renewal application is due.  For more on pre-filing announcements, including the timing of the announcements and sample text to use, visit the FCC’s radio license renewal page here.

February 1 also brings the obligation for full-power radio and television stations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma with five or more full-time employees in their SEU to place in their online public file and on their station website an EEO report reporting on their hiring from February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020.  An SEU is one or more stations under common control, serving the same area, and sharing one or more full-time staff person.  As a reminder, your Annual EEO Public Inspection File Report should include, among other things, a list of all full-time vacancies filled by the SEU during the year, identified by job title and the recruitment source(s) used to fill the vacancy, the recruitment source that referred the person(s) hired for each full-time vacancy during the year, data showing how many people were interviewed for full-time openings, and a showing of your efforts throughout the year to engage in non-vacancy specific EEO recruitment activities to inform your community about broadcast employment and to train people for broadcast positions.  Remember,  the FCC conducts random EEO audits and has not been shy over the last few years about fining stations for EEO violations.

In addition to these routine deadlines, there is plenty more going on for broadcaster to consider.  Turn on any news program, and there is bound to be some discussion of the early presidential primaries and caucuses happening in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.  Don’t forget that those four contests are merely a pre-cursor to the dozens of primaries and caucuses that follow across the country.  Several primaries and caucuses happen in March and April, so lowest unit rate (LUR) windows for several states open throughout February. These begin on February 1 with LUR windows opening in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, N. Mariana Islands (R), and Ohio.  LUR windows open later in the month in the following states (in some cases only dealing with contests for the Republican or Democratic nomination): February 5 (Kentucky (R)); February 8 (American Samoa (R) and Georgia); February 11 (North Dakota (R)); February 13 (Puerto Rico (D)); February 19 (Alaska (D), Hawaii (D), Louisiana, and Wyoming (D)); and February 22 (Wisconsin). For more on issues computing lowest unit rates, see our articles herehere and here (this last article dealing with the issues of package plans and how to determine the rates applicable to spots in such plans), and our Political Broadcasting Guide, here.

Also in February is the close of the filing window for the latest FM auction.  See our articles here and here on the upcoming auction and the new FM channels that are available.  If you want to participate in the April auction, you need to file an FCC Short-Form application by February 11 at 6 PM Eastern Time.  Note that there is a freeze on FM minor change applications during the filing window for that auction – from January 29 through February 11.

Reply comments are due in February in FCC proceedings to assess whether to allow the continuation of FM operation on channel 6 LPTV stations (so-called Franken FMs), which we wrote about here.  Reply comments are due by February 6.  Reply comments are also due that day on the FCC’s proposal to change the prohibition on the duplication of more than 25% of the programming on two AMs or two FMs that serve substantially the same area.  See our article here on this proposal.

February will also bring an FCC decision as to whether or not to appeal to the Supreme Court the Third Circuit’s decision throwing out the FCC’s 2017 changes to the ownership rules, including the abolition of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership prohibition and the rule that required that there remain 8 independent TV owners and operators in a market before two TV stations can be commonly owned. We wrote about the Third Circuit decision and its aftermath here, here and here.

Parties should also be preparing for the March 9 filing deadline for comments in the FCC’s rulemaking on whether or not to allow AM stations to voluntarily convert to all-digital operations.  See our articles here and here on that proposal.

As always, consult with legal counsel and the FCC rules to be sure your station is meeting all of its obligations, and stay tuned to broadcastlawblog.com for updates.


The Death and Rebirth of Aquarian

Delivered... whitney | Scene | Thu 23 Jan 2020 3:16 pm

An ouroboros, a creature originating from Egyptian mythology, swallows its own unfurling tail. Aquarian’s debut album title, The Snake That Eats Itself, releasing digitally tomorrow on Bedouin Records, directly references this ancient symbol as a conduit through which he communicates the revolutions of death and rebirth as a young artist in a rapidly accelerating, and often unforgiving, industry.


Get your groove on – Bangalore Mirror

Delivered... | Scene | Thu 23 Jan 2020 1:30 am
Get your groove on  Bangalore Mirror


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 23 Jan 2020 12:30 am
The phase two Ultra 2020 lineup is out! Gryffin (live) Kygo, Lazerface by Gareth Emery (live) KSHMR presents Dharma and more!


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 9:30 pm
More names are rolling out this week, check for updates on the lineup!

This how-to for beginning VJs is probably… not ideally where you want to start

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 7:54 pm

VJ communities on social media today have been puzzling over a wiki on “How to Become a Popular Vj.” Get ready for the knowledge.

Some advice is just vague – “What is your favorite music?” “Make business cards.” And of course something about clip libraries

Then the technical advice is where things really go off the rails. Commercial software VDMX from Vidvox is described as “free.” (Maybe they pirated it?) And it comes with this peculiar warning:

“DO NOT wait the day of the show to learn to use it. And don’t pretend that you can learn to use it if you don’t have a projector. Learning to throw the image onto the large screen is different for every program and computer. “

Uh… what?

Then there’s a reference to “VGM cables.” (VGA? What?) Sure, could be a typo, except then it also points you to a “VGM adapter.” (I was going to make a joke here, but this acronym doesn’t stand for much in any context.)

Oddly enough, this article has 11 authors. All I can think is that someone maybe edited a reasonable wiki article as a joke?

In which case, uh – thanks for the distraction. Keep on editin’ here:


So, uh, I guess I should have some more Create Digital Motion articles real soon, huh, if this is the state of online knowledge? I mean, we’re not going to watch a YouTube video – even as a VJ.

Just get on behind that mixer and go.

Looks legit. Hey, did they install a light inside the speaker monitor there? Whoa. Dude.

Image credit – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ – WikiHow.

The post This how-to for beginning VJs is probably… not ideally where you want to start appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The month’s best mixes: mutating moods and club-ready wreckers

Delivered... Tayyab Amin | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 5:11 pm

DJ Taj turns on the charm, Stellar OM Source hurtles towards revelation, while Elijah and Skilliam unveil a mix manifesto

Related: The best underground dance music of 2019

Continue reading...

CTM and Boiler Room Curator Opium Hum Chooses His ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2020

Delivered... whitney | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 3:32 pm

There’s no question that some of the most dynamic artists that have emerged in recent years within electronic music hail from the far flung corners of the world. Considering the glowing praises circulating Nyege Nyege festival and its associated Hakuna Kulala artists in Uganda, as well as the cadre of progressive acts like Lechuga Zafiro and Linn da Quebrada holding it down in the global south...


‘No Fiat 500 techno!’: why electronic music in Cork is popping off

Delivered... Colin Gannon | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 1:22 pm

A crop of hyper-imaginative producers like Lighght, Ellll and those on the Flood label all emanate from Ireland’s ‘rebel city’ – but can it hold on to them?

“Messy in the best possible way,” says Cork producer Doubt of the epiphanic experience he had in 2015 at a warehouse rave in Manor House, north London. “It was really relaxed vibes. Security – although I didn’t see many – were sound, and there were heavy bangers all night. I’d never really experienced anything like that in Ireland.”

He was in London because of English producer NKC, one of the originators of the club sound known as hard drum, then just a Soundcloud tag. Doubt (real name Ollie McMorrow) and compatriots Tension (Dylan O’Mahony) and Syn (Reneé Griffin) set up their own label, Flood, a year after their hard drum rendezvous in London. After learning, experimenting and dawdling with friends in Cork, all it took was NKC’s raucous parties to dissolve their collective inhibition.

Continue reading...

“Come See Us At The Superb Owl” – Don’t Try This At Home!  2020 Update on Super Bowl Advertising and Promotions

Delivered... Mitchell Stabbe | Scene | Wed 22 Jan 2020 4:51 am

For several years, I have posted guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly reference the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL (see, e.g. our articles here and here).  It’s that time of year again, so here is an updated version of my prior posts.

The Super Bowl means big bucks.  It is estimated that each of the three television networks that broadcasts the Super Bowl pays the NFL over $1 billion per year for the right to broadcast NFL games through 2022, including the right to broadcast the big game on a rotating basis once every three years.  The investment seems to pay off for the networks.  The Super Bowl broadcast alone generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the networks from advertisers.  In addition to the sums paid to have their commercials aired (reported to be approximately $5.6 million for a 30-second spot), many advertisers spend more than $1 million to produce each ad.  In addition, the NFL receives hundreds of millions of dollars from licensing the use of the SUPER BOWL trademark and logo.

Given the value of the Super Bowl franchise, it is not surprising that the NFL is extremely aggressive in protecting its golden goose from anything it views as unauthorized efforts to trade off the goodwill associated with the game.  Accordingly, with the coin toss almost upon us, advertisers must take special care before publishing ads or engaging in promotional activities that refer to the Super Bowl.  Broadcasters and news publishers have greater latitude than other businesses, but still need to be wary of engaging in activities that the NFL may view as trademark or copyright infringement.  (These risks also apply to other named sporting events, for example, making use of the terms “Final Four” or “March Madness” in connection with the upcoming NCAA Basketball Tournament – see, for instance, our articles here and here.)

Simply put, the NFL views any commercial activity that uses or refers to the “Super Bowl” to draw attention as a violation of its trademark rights.  Many of the activities challenged by the league undoubtedly deserve a yellow flag.  However, the NFL’s rule book defines trademark violations very broadly.  If anyone were willing to throw the red flag to challenge the league’s position, a review from the booth might reverse some of those calls, but seeking review of the NFL’s play may be risky, time-consuming, and expensive.

Advertising that Refers to the Super BowlUnder trademark law, use of a third party’s trademark is considered to be permissible “nominative fair use” if the use does not suggest a relationship between the advertiser and the trademark owner and the trademarked goods or services cannot be readily identified without using the trademark.  Nevertheless, the NFL objects to any unlicensed advertising that refers to the Super Bowl.  For example, the use in advertising of taglines such as “Stock Up for the Super Bowl” for beer or snacks or “Get the Best View of the Super Bowl” for big-screen TVs has routinely led to the prompt issuance of cease-and-desist letters.  The NFL may make a claim directly against the advertiser, as well as against a broadcaster or other news organization that publishes the ad.  As a result, many broadcasters may not with to accept advertising that specifically refers to the Super Bowl unless the advertiser first shows that it has NFL approval.

Other Marks: To overcome these problems, many advertisers now replace any reference to the “Super Bowl” with “The Big Game.” When advertisers commonly began using this tactic, NFL Properties tried to register THE BIG GAME as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  (The NFL also has federal trademark protection for “Super Sunday®,” “Gameday®,” “Back to Football®,” “1st and Goal®” and over a hundred other marks.)  Over twenty different parties threatened to oppose the application for THE BIG GAME and the NFL voluntarily abandoned the application.  We are not aware of any reported claims by the NFL against advertisers based upon the use of “The Big Game.”

Below are some examples of other activities that create a significant risk of an objection by the NFL:

“Super Bowl” Events or PartiesA bar or restaurant that has a public performance license to show television programs on their premises has the right to show the Super Bowl broadcast to its patrons, but if it uses the words “Super Bowl” in its advertising to attract customers, the league will object.  Similarly, a company should not be listed as the sponsor of a “Super Bowl” event or party.  And, under copyright law, a fee should not be charged to watch the game.

Famously, in 2007, the NFL sent a cease and desist letter to an Indiana church group that had used “Super Bowl” to describe a viewing party for the game and would charge $3.00 per person to cover the cost of snacks.  The NFL, however, will not object to a church viewing party for the Super Bowl if it is held in the church’s usual place of worship and no fee is charged for attending.  Churches can, however, request donations to help cover the cost of the event.  In addition, the league will not object to religious organizations that refer to their events as Super Bowl parties, provided that no NFL logos are used.

Sweepstakes or Giveaways (Naming or Prizes):  Promoters should avoid incorporating “Super Bowl” in the name of any sweepstakes or giveaway or as a prominent feature of their advertising.   Further, the NFL takes the position that game tickets cannot be offered as a prize or award.   In most situations, the “first sale” doctrine under trademark law provides that the buyer of goods may do whatever it wants with its purchase, including reselling it or giving it away.   Faced with this argument some years ago, the NFL (as well as the other sports leagues) now includes language on the back of tickets, prohibiting their use as part of a sweepstakes, giveaway or other promotion.   While some might argue that the purchaser of a ticket will not even see this language until after the purchase is completed and therefore the terms have not been agreed to and are not binding, this argument has not precluded sports leagues from bringing claims when broadcasters have tried to do unauthorized giveaways with tickets bought on the open market.   Tickets to an event are legally considered a license to attend the event, rather than a good that is sold, and therefore entry can be conditioned on any basis that does not violate public policy.   Given the actions we have seen taken by sports leagues in the past, we would caution against contests involving ticket giveaways unless authorized by the NFL.

Names of Programs: Even if a broadcaster is not with the network that carries the Super Bowl (this year, CBS), it may want to produce a television program about the game.  In years past, the NFL or a local team has challenged local broadcasters that include the name of a team in a weekly program dedicated to discussions about the team.  Thus, it would not be surprising if the NFL similarly objects to naming a pre-Super Bowl television program about the game if the program incorporates “Super Bowl” in the title.  (As discussed above, there is a strong argument that such naming constitutes permissible “nominative fair use.”)

Special Advertising: Newspapers and online news outlets frequently have a special “section” that is devoted to coverage of the Super Bowl.  The organization should be able to solicit advertising to accompany its stories, just as it does for any of its news reporting.  It would be risky, however, to have an advertiser “sponsor” the coverage, particularly if “Super Bowl” is part of the name of the section or used in the special advertising.

Disclaimers: A disclaimer such as, “Not an Official Sponsor of the Super Bowl” or “This Advertisement (or Event) Has Not Been Licensed or Authorized by the NFL” will not ward off a cease-and-desist letter.  Moreover, in the event of litigation, it is unlikely to provide a defense to a claim of infringement.  And, even if the defense were ultimately successful, the defendant would still incur significant attorneys’ fees and other litigation expenses.

Masked Advertisements: A broadcaster who accepts an advertisement wishing good luck to the players or congratulating the winning team, but does not expressly promote the advertiser’s goods or services, still runs a substantial risk.  In recent years, some businesses that have run “congratulatory” pieces in honor of some achievement by an individual athlete have been sued.  In one case, a jury rejected the defense that the business was engaged in protected non-commercial speech and awarded $8.9 million in damages.  Although this verdict was based on a violation of the athlete’s right of publicity, it would not be surprising to see a similar claim made by a sports league based on its trademark rights.

Don’t Get Cute  With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Stephen Colbert has poked fun at the NFL’s enforcement efforts by encouraging advertisers to use “Superb Owl” instead of “Super Bowl.”  Last year, an Arizona company tried to register “Superb Owl” as a mark for running events.”  It was presumably no coincidence that the Superb Owl race was scheduled to take place in Phoenix, where the Super Bowl was being held, on the same day as the game.  In addition, the company used the mark with slogans such as “Start Superb Owl Sunday Morning right with a football-themed tailgate party.  It should not have come as a surprise that the NFL opposed the application, which was ultimately withdrawn.  Other marks opposed by the NFL include “Superbowling Spectacular” for charitable bowling events, “Souper Bowl” for soups and “Supa Bowl” (“Supa” means “large” or “big” in Pidgin English) for restaurant services.  None became registered marks.

Risk Analysis: The policy underlying protection of trademarks is to protect consumers from deception and prevent customer confusion.  That said, is there a meaningful difference between, for example, an ad that invites consumers to “Stock up for the Super Bowl” as opposed to one that says, “Stock up for the Big Game”? Do they convey different messages? Is one more likely than the other to confuse consumers into believing that the product being advertised is sponsored by, endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with the NFL? Probably not.

So, why is the NFL so aggressive? The answer almost certainly lies in the fact that “official sponsors” of the Super Bowl and other trademark licensees would not be willing to pony up the huge sums they pay if a competitor could freely use the “Super Bowl” trademark or the game to promote itself without also paying a license fee.  This risk is particularly high for those who have been promised exclusivity in a given category and the right to promote themselves as “The Official _____ of the Super Bowl.” Thus, the NFL has a huge incentive to prevent any advertising that may cross the line.  Aggressive enforcement also has a significant deterrent effect on businesses who might be tempted to engage in Super Bowl-related advertising or promotions.

These limitations apply to commercial uses of the NFL’s marks.  News organizations, however, have the right to use “Super Bowl” or other NFL marks in reporting on the game.  (If they could not, viewers, listeners or readers might find themselves very confused!)  That said, a news organization that wants press credentials for the game faces an additional risk if it accepts unauthorized Super Bowl-related advertising.  Although news organizations are not required to have permission to report on an event, as a practical matter, their ability to do so from inside the stadium will be hampered by a refusal by the NFL to issue press credentials.  (And, yes, we have seen professional sports leagues make such a threat.)

For these reasons, for most broadcasters and other news organizations, the better course is to be aware of and avoid any possible pitfalls, rather than run the risk of litigation.



Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 21 Jan 2020 7:00 pm
He joins Bicep, Camelphat, Pendulum - Trinity and Armin van Buuren as names announced so far.

Your guide to the 3 best new underground synths from NAMM – not a clone in sight

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:22 pm

Nothing new under the sun? Think again. Independent manufacturers are still creating novel designs for music making – and last week brought a lot of news.

Just as acoustic instruments often start with simple building blocks – blow on something, hit something, pluck something – these creations do work with existing known synth methods. (Think FM, wavetable, whatever.) But let’s dump the notion that “everything” is a clone now, just because one manufacturer starting with the letter B has been pulling its product news from a 1981 Roland product catalog.

In fact, there’s so much new stuff, it’s easy to get lost. So here’s your quick guide.


The pitch: It’s a powerful synth with the heart of a SEGA. Imagine a hands-on, polyphonic instrument built around the same chip that powered the SEGA Megadrive and Genesis game consoles.

Who makes it: Indie French builder Twisted Electrons, who already has a great track record with handheld and desktop acid and chip music synths, plus a Eurorack modular collaboration with Crea8audio.

Specs in a nutshell: 12 voice polyphony (and various voicing modes), two of the YM2612FM chips already onboard, 8 algorithms, presets, tons and tons of controls, 3 LFOs, full MIDI I/O, and an arpeggiator and sequencer, all in an aluminum case.

How much, and when: 474EUR before VAT, apparently available now.

Buzz factor: This thing looks like a beast – an all-in-one, deep polyphonic chip music composition machine in a box, either with that onboard sequencer/arp or if you prefer using MIDI from the outside.

And oh yeah, prediction for 2020: the world will have a collective realization that we don’t always want to hear someone playing on a modular synth who sent over a four page rider and needs a three hour sound check, and chip music will come back. Nintendo Switch battles backstage, go!


Learn more:

Erica Synths Bassline DB-01

The pitch: This is the bass from the luxury-priced Techno System, in a desktop box the rest of us can afford. So you get the distinctive Erica BBD delay-based detune on the oscillators, a swarming delicious sound, plus an aggressive Acidbox-derived filter, extras for modulation and dirt and noise, and an onboard sequencer.

Who makes it: Erica Synths, the Riga-based boutique superbrand who have turned ex-Soviet spaces and manufacturing into an assembly line for Latvian awesomeness – enough so that they hold their own festival every year. Look out, Ableton Loop.

Specs in a nutshell: DRIVE and DETUNE knob on the left. CUTOFF and RESONANCE on the right. There’s a reason the knobs are oversized for those. So it’s a transistor-based sub oscillator + overdrive + BBD-based detuned oscillators + noise source + syncable LFO + FM and VCF modulation + independent envelopes… well, you know that dessert menu item called “Chocolate Overload Deathwish”? This is what happens when that person specs out a bassline synth. Then add in CV + MIDI I/O, aluminum case, presets, and play either externally from analog or MIDI or with a simple onboard sequencer / arpeggiator.

How much, and when: Spring, 460 EUR.

Buzz factor: Sorry, 303. This thing is thicker / dirtier / nastier. I love the 303, but it’ll give you a daily fix of “wow, acid is my favorite thing ever,” before you get bored a few minutes later and switch it off. A DB-01, if you fall for it, will make you run away from home, assume a new identity, and live in a warehouse you squat in rural Latvia where you go feral and make nothing but experimental industrial music all day. Yes, Erica, you can quote me on that – if for no other reason than to warn the unwise.


Sonicware LIVEN 8bit warps [Kickstarter]

The pitch: A lo-fi, grungy 8-bit synth with loads of voices plus onboard audio looping and lots of performance features (and warping) around the keyboard.

Who makes it: Sonicware, who created the portable ELZ_1 via Kickstarter – and which also shared a candy-bar keyboard design that recalls instruments from Casio and Teenage Engineering. It’s all the work of Yu Endo from Tokyo – part of a new generation of innovation in Tokyo’s synth scene.

Specs in a nutshell: Sequencer with chaining and real-time and step recordings and parameter locks per-step, sync and MIDI I/O, runs on batteries and has an internal speaker. Multiple synth engines (WARP, ATTACK, MORPH, FM) meet powerful envelopes and modulation and filtering, plus a bunch of FX (chorus, flanger, delay, hall, plate).

How much, and when: Well, delayed gratification as it’s Kickstarter, but estimated for June 2020. But amazingly, early bird starts at … EUR148.

Buzz factor: Come on, at this price, how can you say no to this 4-engine synth + looper + sequencer? One indie Japanese developer might just outdo the fun factor of a KORG volca for the same price, with a more flexible housing and more powerful features. Sure, a 16-bit engine might have made the different modes more varied, but – sounds like Yu-san has programmed this so you can exploit the 8-bit grime.


Learn more

Save up your pennies?

Honestly, I think any of one these three tops the other product reveals from this month. Sure, the KORG Wavestate looks powerful, but … the freak factor of that new Twisted box might well outdo the KORG offerings. It promises to build on everything designer Alex from Twisted has been working toward over the years.

The DB-01 meanwhile might quietly be the most indispensable thing Erica have done yet – it’s got some of the best bits of the Techno System, but in a form factor you can both a) actually afford and b) carry with you in an airBaltic carry-on allowance. Now if Erica just does a TR-01 drum machine to go with it, I’m completely sold.

And Sonicware have nailed the amount where you’d impulse-buy yourself a Kickstarter present for June.

So, dear Santa Claus… uh, wait, it’s the end of January… dear Saint Patrick, are you listening?

And with each of these priced under 500 bucks, can we collectively admit that the idea that independent synths are expensive or everything has to be a clone is just objectively not true? Thanks.

The post Your guide to the 3 best new underground synths from NAMM – not a clone in sight appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Resolutions 2020: How to Accelerate Your DJ Career with No Shade’s Kikelomo

Delivered... whitney | Scene | Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:21 pm

Our bookings and music resources guides may be the practical how-tos of our Resolutions 2020 series, but, for our third iteration of this series, we’re focusing on the more intangible aspects of career building. When considering the reiterative information out there that emphasizes ‘network as your net worth’ or ‘fake it till you make it...


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