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


DOJ Makes Comments Public on Potential Modifications of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees – Almost 900 Comments Filed!

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 5:05 pm

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is, as we reported here and here, conducting a review of the consent decrees which govern ASCAP and BMI. Comments were filed in August, and those comments have now been posted to the Division’s website and are available for review here (they are organized alphabetically in groups of 100 under the “Public Comments” heading – click on one batch of 100, and a new screen will open with links to each of the comments in that group). There are 878 comments, most advancing concerns about any potential change in those decrees. While many appear to be form letters from individual businesses who play music in their establishments and are afraid of the new costs that could be imposed were the decrees to be abolished, there are also comments from many others who more thoroughly address the issues. As these have just been posted, and as there are so many comments, we have not been able to analyze them all – but wanted to alert you to their availability in case you were looking for some light weekend reading!

Let’s talk leftfield techno, with moody synth gems from Lars Hemmerling

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 1:09 pm

Known for his collaborations with Dasha Rush, Lars Hemmerling shows off on her Fullpanda label his full spectrum of synthesis and production chops. We spoke to him about how he works.

In turns as murky as a depressive overcast German day, as cosmic as a starfield, as brutal as some smelting action, Lars’ latest is all about electronic range and attention to detail. This isn’t any quick fix production – each track is obsessively focused and exquisitely unique. These synths sounds brood and groove, enveloped in wet, fuzzy reverbs, like so much electronic ooze.

You don some waders and head into a swamp of sound in Lars’ work, in a pleasant way. But that to me also comes from his approach to his machines, in finding their organic, particular character. So I wanted to speak with him a bit about how he has found that direction.

Lars is a Berlin native and has been active since the early 90s raves of Rüdersdorf, but you may know him from LADA, his live duo with Dasha Rush. Dasha helms Fullpanda as a trove of underground techno-related (or at least techno-adjacent) fantasies. But Lars has also been active on DOCK records, a good home for ambient-to-leftfield-techno offerings he co-manages. And speaking of things only the in-the-know know, his under-the-radar duo with twin brother Gunnar has also cranked out unique productions. Gunnar takes on a fascination with vintage digital to match Lars’ digital analog proclivities, as Gunnar collects old chip machines like the Commodore and its SID. (Listening at bottom.)

PK: Can you tell us about your approach to instrumentation, and how you assemble these track?

LH: Well, I used different sequencers and synths, but only hardware and no software instruments. I only used some software plug-ins from Eventide, Sonible and Waves in my DAW for the pre-master mix. Usually I record multitrack sessions with some additional overdub recordings. I also reroute synth lines out of the DAW to do a separate FX mix.

The first recorded FX tracks are mostly a blueprint of the sound character of the piece I am working on. This gives me the ability to work more subtle with EFX.

Gear, track by track

A1. “Bless”:

  • Kick: Elektron Analog Rytm
  • Synths: Yamaha TX802 (which I feed with my self-programmed sound bank from my DX7)
  • Sequencing: Elektron Octatrack
  • Pad sounds I played live

A2. “Releasing Strains”:

  • Drums: Analog Rytm
  • Synth: Behringer Model D (yes, and I am not afraid to say it)
  • Sequencing: polyrhythmic multi-sequencing (filter, pitch, amp etc..) by Wintermodular Eloquencer [Eurorack module]

The Rest is just FX modulation. There was another synth line of my Arp Odyssey, but I took it off.

B1. “Lars Wars”:

  • Drums: Analog Rytm
  • Synths (yes) Behringer Model D again and my Arp Odyssey
  • Sequencing: both Model D and Odyssey sequenced by the Eloquencer.

B2. “Artarpet”:

Here I did not use any sequencer (no MIDI or trigger gate), but instead VCA-Level on the Model D and Arp Odyssey FM, and LFO modulation, with pad sounds on the DX7 live. Surprisingly, the recording went so well that I didn’t need any EQ-ing in my DAW or any pre-master ambitions.

“Running away from myself” (Digital Bonus Track):

Analog Rytm and two Dave Smith Instruments Evolvers. [DSI is now again Sequential]

PK: I know this just because I’ve watched over my shoulder as you mixed my album, and because I know you resist going to plug-in crazy with anything else. You’re still making a lot of use of the Eventide stuff in finishing the album, yes?

LH: Yes. I truly love Eventide! I use the hardware like the Space Reverb and the Time Faktor Delay a lot, and as well the software plug-ins. Mostly I use the Blackhole, H3000 (Band Delays and Factory), and the Omnipressor on the stems of a recording. Eventide just works for me, and it will not change probably to the end of my days. They’re workflow-friendly and creative tools, from my perception. If you work with Eventide, you can feel and see that the engineers and developers are crazy, sound-dedicated freaks like you are. Or even more freaky.

[Ed.-That was not a paid placement in any way. I can vouch for this because every time I ask if Lars has seen a new processing plug-in, he reminds me that he’s perfectly satisfied with the Eventide stuff and tells me the importance of really learning to use one set of tools. -PK]

Can you talk about what inspired this release?

During the production process, I was going through a very difficult time, and I was in a very unstable situation from an emotional perspective. And some tracks were produced under very weird circumstances, as well. I am not getting into details here, because it would be too private.

Many people say that I’, a very kind soul. And at this time, it felt like that my soul was bleeding.

So, the entire EP is truly an imprint of my soul at those times. A valve of emotions. That’s why I called it “Bloody&Soul”. And of course, I liked the word game.

Thanks, Lars. I certainly hear that need to have this valve for our hurting souls – and have a listen, readers, as the results are beautiful and may heal your bleeding spirit, too.

One more wonderful cut from an upcoming VA:

Check this terrific DOCK compilation, including Lars’ work (as “out there”), or also ambient rounds Vol.0:

Lars’ first EP outing with Fullpanda is also essential, with a Space Bolero for you cosmonauts to dance to at your space station’s cantina social:

For a bit of Lars&Gunnar together, check:

More:

https://fullpandarecords.bandcamp.com/album/bloody-soul

The post Let’s talk leftfield techno, with moody synth gems from Lars Hemmerling appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sampa the Great: The Return review

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 10:30 am

(Ninja Tune)
She’s charismatic and her challenges to western orthodoxy are welcome, but Sampa needs to find a fresher sonic palette

Over the past decade, hip-hop has relaxed its borders - welcoming in a flood of new styles, characters and concepts. One thing that still unites most rappers, however, is braggadocio; the aggressive, occasionally tiresome boasting that stems from rap’s battle past. As a Zambia-born, Botswana-raised, Australia-based woman, Sampa Tembo belongs firmly in rap’s inclusive modern age – but as her moniker suggests, she’s no stranger to a spot of rampant egotism. “I’m boutta blow up soon / I ain’t wasting time chilling with you”, she crows on Grass Is Greener, before describing herself in more biblically bombastic terms – as “The end / Beginning and on / and on” – over the intricate percussion of Dare to Fly.

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Charli XCX: Charli review – a raw, rousing step towards superstardom

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 9:00 am

(Asylum/Atlantic)
The embattled singer reveals her anxieties and coaxes brilliance from various guests in a candid, confident third album

In the five years since Charli XCX released her last album, she’s sworn that industry interference meant she would never make another. But here we are: after an overwhelmingly productive half-decade of unofficial releases and collaborations, Charli is an album proper, a diminishingly important semantic distinction but one that puts the 27-year-old firmly at its heart.

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New Concerns About Ads for E-Cigs and CBD

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 12 Sep 2019 4:10 pm

We’ve written many times about the legal concerns about advertising for various vices – including e-cigs (see, for instance, our article here) and CBD (see for instance our articles here and here). The issues with these products never seem to go away, and in recent days, they have become even more pronounced. On e-cigs and vaping products, we have advised that ads need to avoid health claims, must contain an FDA-required warning that they contain nicotine and can be addictive (see our articles here and here), and that they should not be aired during programming targeting children (see our article here). We recently also added a warning that action might be coming against flavored vaping products. This week, the headlines are full of news announcing a new Federal ban on flavored vaping products that may go into effect in the next few months, following a state ban that was recently instituted in Michigan. On CBD, in addition to concerns about laws that still make the product illegal in many states, we’ve discussed concerns about whether the product is legally produced from hemp (see our article here), and highlighted prohibitions on health claims (see our article here) and ads directed to an underage audience. This week, we saw another set of warnings from the FTC targeting advertisers making specific health claims about their products. These actions should serve as a warning to broadcasters and other media companies to proceed very carefully, only after receiving legal advice, before jumping into advertising for these products.

On the vaping front, Michigan recently became the first state to totally ban flavored e-cigarettes – including mint and menthol flavored vaping products. See the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services “Finding of Emergency” here, and the Governor’s announcement here. While there was some indication that the vaping industry might fight that ban, with the news yesterday that the Trump administration plans to ban these products on a Federal level (see this statement from the FDA indicating that it will soon announce specific rules for the Federal ban on these products), broadcasters need to be concerned about running advertising for products that may be considered illegal. With the recent rash of other serious health consequences of vaping, it is quite possible that further regulation of these products will follow, and so may lawsuits from the vaping industry. In the interim, the FDA notes that it will be running advertising to combat underage vaping and to warn about the potential health issues, so look for those advertising opportunities.

On CBD, we have written about FDA and FTC actions against advertisers who have made specific health claims for those products – a practice banned for essentially all of these products except for the one CBD-based prescription drug that has received FDA approval for use in combatting seizures (Epidiolex). Other health claims, even very general ones, have brought these admonitions from Federal agencies (as well as some state authorities). This week, three additional letters were released targeting the marketing of two other CBD producers (see the FTC statement here and its blog on the action here). These actions reinforce the admonition that, even if you can overcome all of the other potential state and Federal issues about CBD, be sure to avoid taking ads that make health claims.

Both vaping and CBD ads entail risks, and these risks are likely to increase in the near term. As noted, we can expect new rules federally banning flavored e-cigs, and we have been expecting for quite some time rules from the USDA on its framework for approval of state plans to regulate CBD and other hemp production, as well as FDA rules on the sale and marketing of CBD products. Keep a careful eye on these developments and consult with counsel in making any advertising decisions in any medium.

The Shock of the Future review – when synths ruled the world

Delivered... Phil Hoad | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 5:00 pm

A young woman in late-70s Paris explores the thrilling possibilities of electronic music in a drama with a timely feminist slant

From Vangelis to John Carpenter, synthesised music was a liquescent shot in the arm for late 70s/early 80s cinema. Now French musician and producer Marc Collin has mounted this perhaps over-reverential tribute, which makes a timely nod to a nucleus of female pioneers, among them Delia Derbyshire, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos. If that doesn’t have the needle spiking on the hipster gauge, Alma Jodorowsky – granddaughter of Alejandro – plays Ana, a frustrated jingle-writer in 1978 in Paris who is beginning to see the landscape-shifting possibilities of the wall of synths and sequencers in the flat she is housesitting.

Collin is clearly a stan, the camera lovingly worshipping the banks of dials and knobs, the soundtrack overflowing with the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Throbbing Gristle and Jean-Michel Jarre, the retro-futuristic love-in extending to all manner of directional brown-and-orange furnishings. Ana has a full-blown techgasm when a friend turns up with a Roland CR-78 beatbox.

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How Far Does the FCC Authority Over False EAS Alerts Go? Could Online Programming be Subject to its Reach?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 4:55 pm

On the anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, we should all be thankful for the work of the nation’s first responders. Broadcasters and other members of the electronic communications industries play a part in the response to any emergency – including through their participation in the Emergency Alert System (EAS). In recent weeks, the FCC has been aggressively prosecuting parties who it has found to have transmitted false or misleading EAS alerts. This was exhibited this week through the Notice of Apparent Liability issued to CBS for an altered and shortened version of the EAS tones used in the background of a “Young Sheldon” episode, leading to a $272,000 proposed fine. Consent decrees were announced two weeks ago with broadcasters and cable programmers for similar violations (see FCC notices here, here, here and here), with payments to the US Treasury reaching $395,000. These follow past cases that we have written about here, here, here, here, and here, where fines have exceeded $1 million. The CBS case raised many interesting issues that have received comment elsewhere in recent days, including the First Amendment implications of restrictions on the use of EAS tones in programming, and whether an altered tone in the background of an entertainment program, where audiences would seemingly realize there was no actual emergency, should really be the subject of an enforcement action. But the question that has not received much attention is one raised by the FCC’s Enforcement Advisory released last month addressing the improper use of EAS alert tones and the Wireless Emergency Alert tones used by wireless carriers (known as WEA alerts), and simulations of those tones. That advisory raises questions of just how far the FCC’s jurisdiction in this area goes – could it reach beyond the broadcasters and cable programmers to which it has already been applied and extend to online programming services?

This question arises because the FCC’s Enforcement Advisory addresses not only EAS tones used by broadcasters and cable systems, but also the WEA alert tones voluntarily deployed by most wireless providers. The advisory makes clear that the use of either EAS or WEA tones without a real emergency is a violation of the FCC rules. The Advisory states:

The use of simulated or actual EAS codes or the EAS or WEA Attention Signals (which are composed of two tones transmitted simultaneously), for nonauthorized purposes—such as commercial or entertainment purposes—can confuse people or lead to “alert fatigue,” whereby the public becomes desensitized to the alerts, leading people to ignore potentially life-saving warnings and information.

The FCC goes on to state:

the use of the WEA common audio attention signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency, authorized test, or except as designed and used for PSAs by federal, state, local, tribal and territorial entities, is strictly prohibited.

Going even further, the Advisory sets out this prohibition:

We remain concerned about the misuse of the EAS codes and EAS and WEA Attention Signals, or simulations thereof, to capture audience attention during advertisements; dramatic, entertainment, and educational programs.

The FCC cites Section 10.520(d) of its rules which prohibits the use of the WEA attention tones when there is no real emergency, as well as noting that Section 326 of the Communications Act prohibits false or fraudulent distress signals (a prohibition that, in the CBS case, Commissioner Starks suggested should have been used for further sanctions in the CBS case).

The Commission notes the broad application of its prohibition, stating:

The prohibition thus applies to entities that distribute programming containing a prohibited signal intended for subsequent or simultaneous transmission to the public, regardless of whether or not they deliver the unlawful signal directly to consumers; it also applies to a person who transmits an unlawful signal, even if that person did not create or produce the prohibited signal in the first instance. Therefore, the prohibition also applies to a broadcaster, cable operator, or satellite carrier that transmits programming containing a prohibited signal, even if the programmer that embedded the sound is not under common ownership or control with the respective broadcaster, operator, or carrier.

As noted in the Enforcement Advisory, FCC rules require that any broadcaster or wireless carrier who becomes aware of the transmission of a false alert must notify the FCC of that fact within 24 hours (see our article here on the adoption of the rule for such reporting). The Enforcement Advisory goes further in asking the public to report on any false use of an attention signal on a broadcast station, “wireless handset” or other transmission system. Together with notes in some of the consent decrees that the cited programming was not only broadcast or cablecast but also made available on streaming services, these warnings raise the question of whether Internet programmers – including those providing programming to streaming services and podcasters – should be cautioned against the use of EAS or WEA signals in any programming they produce. As their programming is accessible through a “wireless handset,” a false alert, under the terms of this advisory, would seem to cover their operations, even if Internet programmers are not otherwise subject to FCC rules.

While the FCC has not acted against any Internet-only provider yet, and such an action would likely raise many of the First Amendment issues raised by CBS, as well as issues about the limits of the FCC’s jurisdiction, these warnings suggest that online programmers should be warned that use of EAS or WEA tones in their programming could receive the unwanted attention of the FCC. As the FCC notes, using other emergency sound effects (sirens, klaxon horns, alarm bells, etc.) are not a violation of the rules (as long as it is clear that they are not meant to convey a false or fraudulent distress signal). Using these alternatives in program production sure seems like the safest route given the FCC’s broad language in the Enforcement Advisory.

Objekt: the pioneering producer uniting chinstrokers and ravers

Delivered... Kit Macdonald | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 1:45 pm

TJ Hertz grew up without a clue electronic music existed. Now he’s the genre’s most cutting-edge star – but the studio still gives him the jitters

It is 4am on a balmy June night in Barcelona, and on a beachside stage at Primavera Sound festival, one of the finest talents in electronic music is leaping into the unknown. TJ Hertz, AKA Objekt, is one of the most beloved DJs and producers around. His tracks and albums routinely top end-of-year lists in the dance music press; their density and technique pleases the chinstrokers at the back, while their goofiness and fun gets hands in the air down the front.

And yet this is his first ever live set, a show he brings to the UK this week. Hertz stands behind a bank of equipment playing crystalline, deconstructed club music and singing through a vocoder while Ezra Miller, a young American visual artist, stands opposite triggering mesmeric visuals in time with the staccato beats and broken melodies.

Objekt and Ezra Miller play at the Islington Assembly Hall in London on 12 September.

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macOS Catalina will be incompatible with much of your music software; here’s what to know

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 11:36 am

macOS Catalina, the next Mac release, dramatically tightens security and removes 32-bit compatibility. That will cause incompatibilities with music software, requiring updates. Here’s what you need to know.

Catalina compatibility checklist

macOS Catalina (10.15) is expected to ship in October, replacing Mojave (10.14).

What’s impacted:

DAWs and other software using plug-ins: Requires updates to work.

Drivers: Installation and operation requires update to work.

32-bit software, software that accesses 32-bit libraries: Incompatible. Cannot be used past macOS Mojave.

Software using legacy video libraries: Incompatible. Cannot be used past macOS Mojave.

Plug-ins: May require update for full compatibility – but may run inside updated DAWs, and will install if the user overrides OS’ installer requirements.

Hardware: If a driver is required for operation, you’ll need an updated driver and installer. Driverless (class-compliant) audio and MIDI gear is unaffected.

Tightened Mac security

It’s worth acknowledging that security concerns are justified, even for consumer operating systems. Malware tools targeting users may be designed to exploit your computer’s resources, steal data, and impersonate you or even steal your money. At best, they can at least make your system unstable.

It’s also not just “a Windows thing”; recent attacks have singled out the Mac, too. For instance, security researchers uncovered an insidious piece of code found in downloads from a piracy website called VST Crack, embedded in pirated versions of software including Ableton Live. The software would embed itself on your system and start mining cryptocurrency. These threats do not impact the legitimate copies of the same software, so yes, this is an added risk when you pirate software.

All OS vendors regularly patch security holes; the approach in macOS Catalina (10.15) is more proactive. Apple are making some changes to the way the OS itself notifies you of activity by software and asks for your approval, a bit more like you had seen previously in iOS or Android. They’re also implementing tougher defaults for installers. And since malware works by running additional code on top of other code or memory, Apple are adding protections against running that code.

The issue here is not that these changes are unwarranted or even entirely unexpected, but that they bring a lot of change at once that will require you to update software – especially music software – in order for it to work properly, or at all.

Let’s look at those two changes separately: one is the change for installers (called “notarization”), and the second is a new set of requirements for how software is granted access to vital information (the “hardened runtime”).

The two requirements are related, because Apple won’t approve installers unless they also comply with the hardened runtime standards. So let’s take a look at the hardened runtime and entitlement permissions first.

Entitlements and the hardened runtime

Let’s recall here how malware works: it runs additional code that you didn’t intend to run, then gives that code access to something vital on your system (like your data, or microphone). So obviously, what Apple is doing is attempting to prevent those two things.

The first thing you’ll notice on macOS Catalina is that the Mac starts asking you for permission a lot more often. So now, the first time you print a score from notation software or try to open a file dialog to browse the desktop, you’ll get a pop-up asking if you really want to do that. That’s a bit annoying, but it’ll only happen once, and then will remember your permissions. And the reason it’s there is, of course, malware might otherwise perform the same task without your consent. You’re already familiar with this behavior from phone apps on Android and iOS; this is effectively the same idea, now on your desktop computer.

With a common, monolithic app, providing these permissions (called “entitlements”) is fairly easy. But music software isn’t monolithic. Your DAW is running all sorts of libraries and plug-ins and so on. Unfortunately, the exploits Apple is targeting in malware – “code injection, dynamically linked library (DLL) hijacking, and process memory space tampering” – also look a lot like the behaviors your DAW performs normally. And your DAW also needs to handle entitlements for plug-ins. In addition to the DAW needing your permission to access certain folders, for example, it also needs to ask your permission if a sample instrument like KONTAKT wants to access files, as well.

Here’s the bit you’ll really need to care about – if you’re upgrade to macOS Catalina, you will need to be prepared to upgrade your DAW, too. Providing this compatibility is complicated, so it’s likely that most developers will be able to support only their latest release – meaning you may require a paid update to that first.

The good news is, theoretically this burden falls on the DAW, not individual plug-ins. (Plug-ins may still require an update, because of the removal of 32-bit code and other portions of the OS required for compatibility, and because of new installer requirements.) But you will need to update any software working with plug-ins, or you may find software won’t run properly or will fail to run altogether.

It’s also likely that even with updates, some software will not work properly immediately after Catalina’s launch. Developers are still learning how to use this new feature of the operating system, and Apple’s frequent OS updates mean they have little time to do so. Also, an additional side effect of the new security requirements is to break the ability of plug-in developers to debug their plug-ins in DAWs, meaning testing is – for now – more difficult. That may slow compatibility and testing.

If you plan to use an older version of a DAW, you’ll want to avoid updating past macOS Mojave (10.14). If you do intend to update – or to buy a new Apple machine once Catalina is pre-installed and required by default – you should plan to use the very latest version of your DAW, and double-check that Catalina is supported. And even with listed Catalina support, expect there could still be some wrinkles immediately after the OS ships.

Once those pieces are in place, though, you will be able to use DAWs and plug-ins as you always have – just with some more pop-ups the first time you do something like access the file system or connect audio hardware.

(One illustration of how entitlements requirements might surprise you – someone on Reddit noticed the Live “computer keyboard” setting, which passes QWERTY keys to MIDI notes, suddenly broke in the Catalina beta. That makes sense; it would require the entitlements provided by the coming Live 10 update. And obviously, malware would love to be able to take your computer keyboard input and route it somewhere else without asking.)

Installer requirements and drivers

The other change in macOS Catalina is to require installers to be “notarized” by default (whereas previously it was a non-mandatory option). This means developers will submit installers to Apple for verification, and that they fulfill certain requirements for how those installers are built. (These requirements largely have to do with how they link against the Mac SDK and following new guidelines like the hardened runtime.)

Here’s what you see now, on macOS Mojave. (See Apple’s support article on these safety restrictions.) Catalina introduces new requirements for the “identified developer” section – that is, how they require developers to build their installers and verify them with Apple. But as in the current macOS, you’ll be able to control what you run in a similar fashion, even with tougher defaults.

This is not the same as the App Store approval requirements on iOS (or similar stores from Google and Microsoft). Apple aren’t looking at the software itself, only verifying the installer is built according to their standards. The process takes something like an hour currently, not days or weeks as the stores can. And most importantly, Apple will allow users to override the installer requirement. As with Gatekeeper in current versions of macOS, you’ll get a dialog telling the installer or app was blocked, but you’ll still be able to choose to run something anyway. (Right-click, choose open, and you’ll be given option.)

Notarization is the “Apple checked it for malicious software” bit. It’s available in the current macOS, but in 10.15 it’s required by default. That is, Apple developers not only register their ID, but also submit the software for a check with Apple, too.

Apple developer documentation on the notarization feature:
Notarizing Your App Before Distribution

Unverified plug-ins may also continue to work inside DAWs – depending on the DAW you’re using. This means in theory, you’ll be able to install and attempt to use plug-ins, even if they haven’t been updated for Catalina. You would need to override plug-in notarization requirements for the installation from dmg (Disk Image) files, but once a file was installed, a DAW may be able to support it, theoretically. Your mileage may vary when it comes to actual use, however; the advantage of the installer requirement may be that it gives a clue that a developer has tested on Catalina.

PreSonus has just announced for their Studio One DAW that not only will you need to update Studio One itself, but many plug-ins will also need an update. In their case, plug-ins built before June 1, 2019 will still need to be signed (the earlier method of verification for Apple developers). Plug-ins built after that date will need to fulfill Catalina’s tougher requirements – notarization and the hardened runtime.

Drivers for hardware will hit a hard wall. Unverified drivers will not function on the new OS. This means if you have older hardware that doesn’t have updated drivers and installer, you won’t be able to use it. There’s no ability to override this requirement.

Here’s what happens if you try to use a plug-in in PreSonus Studio One if the developer has not fulfilled Apple’s security verification requirements for the software. You’ll need to acquire updates for all of your plug-ins, accordingly.

End of the road for 32-bit and legacy libraries

Just as significant as the security changes, Apple is ending support for 32-bit code starting with Catalina. This is a hard barrier – you won’t be able to use “bridge” tools for 32-bit plug-in compatibility, for instance. Any 32-bit app, library, or plug-in will simply refuse to run.

It may not be immediately obvious that software makes use of 32-bit code, either. A 64-bit application may still make use of a 32-bit library. For instance, Ableton tell CDM that they found their previous versions of Live would attempt to call a 32-bit library on startup. These apps may not fail gracefully; they may simply crash. This means even if you’re using a 64-bit and 64-bit plug-ins, you will want to verify compatibility with the vendor before upgrading.

If you have 32-bit plug-ins or older software you rely on, you will likely want to stay on macOS Mojave. Once you upgrade, this software will cease to work. This may also mean you want to retain an older Mac running Mojave or earlier, for backwards compatibility.

Apple has also ended long-deprecated libraries, including the older video library (called QTKit).

Case study: Ableton Live

Ableton provided CDM with access to their compatibility process. An update to Live 10 will support Catalina’s new requirements at launch. This involved a series of changes, which may be typical for DAW developers. In Ableton’s case, it meant the following updates:

·         Rebuilding the installer with notarization support and its requirements

·         Removing all 32-bit code and libraries (including one 32-bit library that will cause previous versions of Live to crash on launch)

·         Providing full compatibility with Max

·         Transitioning video code to the latest AVFoundation (from a now-unsupported version of QuickTime)

The move to AVFoundation is good news for anyone working with video – even if you use an older macOS version like Mojave. There’s improved video export performance and new codec options.

Ableton also say you should expect that these updates mean you can use Live with existing plug-ins under Catalina. Based on what plug-in developers tell me, though, you should still anticipate there may still be some issues to resolve with individual plug-ins if you upgarde, and DAW developers like Ableton may not be aware of all of these situations on internal testing alone.

Because of the number of changes to be made, Live 9 will not support Catalina. Conversely, as Apple deprecates older OSes, Live 10 won’t support some of the older versions of macOS. Here’s what will be compatible:

Live 9: macOS 10.7 – 10.13 officially supported; 10.14 unofficially supported

Live 10: macOS 10.11 – 10.15 supported (macOS 10.15 requires the Live 10.1.2 update for Catalina, minimum)

Ableton have also published a technical note. The headline is about Live 9, but it also includes useful resources for Live 10 users:

Live 9 is not compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina

Compatibility with other software

Many developers CDM contacted were not yet ready to make an official statement on Catalina. Off the record, a significant number of developers reported problems.

Native Instruments published a blanket statement saying simply none of their products are compatible:

macOS 10.15 (Catalina) – Compatibility with Native Instruments Products

PreSonus has published a technical note explaining that you’ll need not only an update to their Studio One DAW, but also to most (or all) of your plug-ins, as illustrated above:

Studio One 4 on Mojave and Catalina – Notarization, Hardened Runtime, and how it affects 3rd-party plug-ins

Apple has not necessarily had full support for a new OS even for its own pro software; I’ve contacted Apple to ask if Logic Pro will support Catalina at launch but have not yet gotten a response. (There is a precedent of Apple’s own pro apps sometimes lagging their OS, before you make the assumption that they two will be in sync.)

How should you upgrade, and when?

Here’s a simple piece of advice: don’t update to Catalina immediately. As with any major OS change, music installers, drivers, and DAWs will benefit from more time and testing. Since musicians have complex and diverse setups, odds are you rely on something that won’t be immediately compatible, or that interactions between tools could create unexpected results.

If you do update, you should absolutely make a full backup so you can easily roll back. Time Machine backups can also provide some ability to remove OS updates.

You can also create an external installation of the OS on any drive that is formatted to macOS extended Journaled. It’s probably worth buying an inexpensive drive to test first, especially with an update this significant.

If you’re a developer and want to share your compatibility information, please get in touch.

https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina/

The post macOS Catalina will be incompatible with much of your music software; here’s what to know appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

How Rising Dutch Artist upsammy Creates Space With Her Music

Delivered... Derek Opperman | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 10:45 am

The post How Rising Dutch Artist upsammy Creates Space With Her Music appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

Loraine James’ sound is intense, mixed up, and essential

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 10 Sep 2019 7:06 pm

The newest release for Hyperdub, in its untethered torrent of distorted rhythm, feels personal and liberated – and today, gets one of the more significant recent video releases, to boot.

It’s a fine line to tread, being uncensored but precise, irregular but inevitable. But Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint has a solid track record of finding inventive grooves, and lately has been on a serious role. “Sick 9” is intelligent and intimate all at once, as Loraine James stretches her exceptional rhythmic language, from some deep center.

And I think for anyone wanting to liberate their own production voice, here’s something beautiful – even in the press statement, James says that as she navigated a “queer relationship … and the ups and downs,” that music was a vehicle for expression she couldn’t find elsewhere. She writes: “A lot of the time I’m really scared in displaying any kind of affection in public…This album is more about feeling than about using certain production skills.”

There’s something encouraging about seeing a press statement where the artist says what she does: “I’m in love and wanted to share that in some way.”

But so there’s a message to other artists: you can let that feeling out in the music, without worrying about how skilled others may see it, even when those feelings are hard to share in other ways. I mean, it’s obvious, it’s presumably why people make music – but it’s also obviously something we all can get away from.

‘Sick 9’ is a single now, emblazoned with her holding up a photo of her childhood estate flat, and it’s hard to stop repeating. (I would say something here about “this sick beat” but I don’t want to offend Taylor Swift’s lawyers):

You have to wait until the 20th for the whole release, but then today Loraine dropped her collaboration with rapper Le3 bLACK and an accompanying music video, with glitched-out, crushed beats underneath. It’s powerful stuff, an insistent cry:

The visuals are familiar UK drab and city tropes, but director Pedro Takahashi and DOP Liam Meredith find swooping, lyrical rhythm as handicam videos make you ever so slightly motion sick and small. Le3 bLACK grunts with frustration as the motion’s adagio sways around James’ pounding broken repetition.

As UK and America hang again between our dark pasts and future potential, this seems a time only music can really express.

You’ll be able to get the music on Bandcamp, natch:

https://lorainejames.bandcamp.com/

And more is on Hyperdub’s site:

The post Loraine James’ sound is intense, mixed up, and essential appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

BEALE STREET MUSIC FESTIVAL 2020 TICKETS GO ON SALE OCT. 4!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 10 Sep 2019 6:00 pm
Beale Street Music Festival tickets for 2020 will go on sale on October 4th! Get all the details.

NOCTURNAL WONDERLAND IS THIS WEEKEND!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 10 Sep 2019 6:00 pm
Get all the details! Nocturnal Wonderland lineup, tickets, schedule and latest map!

MUSIC MIDTOWN IS THIS WEEKEND!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 10 Sep 2019 6:00 pm
Get all the details! Music Midtown lineup, tickets, schedule and latest map!

Erica’s Black System II is a full-featured modular

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 9 Sep 2019 6:41 pm

Erica Synths have made a strength out of building a full catalog of modules – and their systems show off how complete that is, at a price that compares favorably.

The Black System is probably the most practical of these rigs, with a versatile selection that can cover a range of experimental or dance genres. (The Techno System I reviewed earlier tends more to the industrial techno sounds, indeed, focused on drums and biting synth sounds; the Dada Noise System for Liquid Sky was more to acquired tastes.)

The Black System II really is a reasonable buy, at least by Eurorack standards – that 2900EUR is nothing to sneeze at for musicians, but it could well save versus a bespoke modular system. And it’s also notable that it’s still less than some flagship keyboard instruments, with arguably a much deeper potential for exploration. (Well, depending on what you want – I mean, if I did have a magic fairy to make something appear, I would probably wish for this over some of those keyboards.)

But even if you never buy one of these Erica systems, I think it’s still a significant exercise for the company. Recall that the likes of Buchla, EMS, Roland, and Moog – not to mention later lower-cost options like PAiA and eventually Doepfer – all built complete systems.

Now, it’s marvelous that we have a marketplace in Eurorack of weird one-off modules or idiosyncratic grab bags of gear from small makers. But even if you plan to mix and match, it’s useful to have a module that came from a bigger picture. It adds to the value of assembling your own custom rig, that is, if you can add some modules that still had a pre-conceived idea of how they’d fit into a complete instrument, even if you then change what that complete instrument is.

And this particular lineup really is rather nice, from the joystick controller (also on the Dada Noise), to the Soviet-inspired Polivoks filter, to a stereo delay:

Black Wavetable VCO
Black VCO
Black Modulator
Black Mixer
Black Multimode VCF
Black Polivoks VCF
Black Quad VCA
Black Output
Black MIDI-CV
Black CV Tools
Black XFade
Black Dual EG/LFO
Black Octasource
Black EG
Black Stereo Delay
Black Joystick
2x84HP skiff case

There’s really all the basics you need for integrating MIDI and working with CV, shaping sounds, and mixing and output. Plus unique to this particular range, you can choose different flavors in different patches – both wavetable and simple analog VCO, both multimode and Polivoks filter, and so on.

Just remember, if this is too rich for your blood, you can also get the Polivoks System for 1400EUR or the adorable tiny Pico System II for 1120EUR. The latter you can even carry along with you on Ryanair for the truly cash-starved modular artist.

Check it out here:

https://www.ericasynths.lv/shop/eurorack-systems/black-system-ii/

And see our CDM review of the Techno System:

The post Erica’s Black System II is a full-featured modular appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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