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


Bitwig Studio 3.1 lets you do loads of creative stuff with pitch, tuning, slicing

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 15 Nov 2019 4:27 pm

The latest update from Bitwig offers variations on a theme – from microtuning to lots of new features for working with pitch editing and playing live. Oh, and it’s easier to learn, too.

Bitwig Studio 3.1 is now in testing, and while there’s a ton of new stuff, it’s really pitch and tuning that stand out.

Micro-pitch lets you get away from generic Western digital piano tuning and embrace lots of other options. That includes full support for the Scala SCL standard, which has now thousands of tunings from around the world. But since that can get, uh, overwhelming fast, there are also 30+ tuning presets that cover some basics for composers, theorists, and lovers of music traditions of China, Java, and more. There are even composer-specific options based on seminal works by the likes of Wendy Carlos and Harry Partch. Nerd. On.

Tuning freaks may already be using these in plug-ins – I’ve just gotten going in VCV Rack – but I really admire the elegance of the interface Bitwig built, including a nice graphical visualization.

I really hope it’s something other software copies, actually, because all of us benefit if music software is more open to tunings. It’s otherwise like being in an ice cream shop with only vanilla. I love vanilla, but not all the time.

It’s not just about this microtuning, as equally important are some other additions:

Pitch-12 lets you assign pitch classes as modulation sources for … well, anything you can imagine. This continues the evolution of Bitwig Studio into a modular design. Rough translation: playing keys on your keyboard can now do some freaky things with sound, easily and quickly. Cool.

PluckSlope ↗Slope ↘, and Follower in the modular Grid give you new envelope options. And yes, Pluck is useful for physical modeling ideas.

Transpose lets you create chords and stereo effects in the modular side of Bitwig Studio even without an input.

You’ll also find some great fast draw features. Quoting:

  • Quick Draw action: holding [ALT] with the pen tool will draw multiple notes at the current beat grid interval
  • Quick Draw action: drawing defaults to a single pitch for each note (think hi-hats), but adding [SHIFT] allows various pitches to be drawn (like a step sequencer)
  • Quick Slice action: holding [ALT] with the knife tool will cut any clip/event at the beat grid interval, for as far as you drag the mouse
  • Quick Slice action: slicing snaps its initial cut position to the beat grid, but adding [SHIFT] allows an off-grid starting position
  • Slice In Place function: will slice any selected clip(s)/event(s) at the detected audio Onsets, the set Beat Markers, or at a set beat grid interval

With some practice, those look like big timesavers.

Also, if you’re behind on exploring all this new stuff, Bitwig are expanding interactive help to more devices.

There are a bunch of new scripts and lots of additional fixes and improvements. Think little details like a ‘note chase’ option that lets you hear MIDI notes when you start the transport in the middle of them. See the full release notes:

https://downloads-as.bitwig.com/beta/3.1/Release-Notes-3.1-Beta-1.html

(at least for now, that’s a testing link)

And news item:

https://www.bitwig.com/en/19/bitwig-studio-3_1.html

Video walkthrough:

The post Bitwig Studio 3.1 lets you do loads of creative stuff with pitch, tuning, slicing appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Arthur Russell: Iowa Dream review – lopsided, funky and staggeringly beautiful

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 15 Nov 2019 11:30 am

(Audika)
This collection of unreleased tracks from the electronic pioneer is a treasure trove of Russell’s guileless, always melodic songs

When he died in 1992 of Aids-related illnesses at the age of 40, Arthur Russell left behind one of the most staggeringly beautiful bodies of songwriting ever – and it is still emerging. This compilation of unreleased tracks from his archive mostly date from the mid-1970s, recalling the country-tinged songwriting collected on 2008’s Love Is Overtaking Me, with a scattering of the lopsided, slightly wacky funk and new wave he scaled up to in the 80s.

Continue reading...

Shanti Celeste: Tangerine review – club music with subtlety and depth

Delivered... Aimee Cliff | Scene | Fri 15 Nov 2019 11:00 am

(Peach Discs)
The Bristolian DJ and producer’s nuanced debut is an enveloping listen, folding softer textures into its 2am beats

The transition from DJ to album artist is a tricky one. While one art is about reading the room, the other is a more isolated and intimate experience. For Bristolian Shanti Celeste, on her debut full-length Tangerine, it’s an opportunity to show subtlety and depths that she doesn’t often have space to explore on the dancefloor.

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THE NOISE POP PHASE TWO LINEUP IS OUT!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 8:45 pm
The Noise Pop phase two lineup is out! Best Coast, Mirah, Injury Reserve, Mannequin Pussy, Bag Raiders and more!

BONNAROO 2020 TICKETS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 8:11 pm
Presale tickets will go on sale later this month, get the details!

THE FIRST WAVE TREEFORT MUSIC FEST 2020 LINEUP IS OUT!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 8:11 pm
Japanese Breakfast, Peter Bjorn and John, Prefuse 73, Magic Sword, Chromatics and more!

BEYOND WONDERLAND 2020 TICKETS JUST WENT ON SALE!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 7:00 pm
Lock in presale prices at the lowest cost they're offering in the runup to the festival weekend.

BOSTON CALLING 2020 TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 5:00 pm
Tickets are now available! FOO FIGHTERS and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS are headlining!

No fighting or ego biting! Homoelectric, Manchester’s queer clubbing utopia

Delivered... Gabriel Szatan | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 11:19 am

Founded in 1997, Homoelectric railed against the tacky scene in Manchester’s Gay Village with acid, techno and Italo disco. It has now scaled up to a 10,000-person festival, complete with unicorn drag queens

‘For homos, heteros, lesbos and don’t knows.” Since 1997, these words have guided Manchester’s Homoelectric. Started as a retort to the entrenched etiquette and increasingly tacky music of the bars clustered around Canal Street in the city’s Gay Village, Homoelectric grew to become one of the UK’s best-loved institutions. Prioritising a musical policy of house, techno, space disco, Italo, acid and outsider pop that was uncommonly eclectic for the time, it has survived waves of changes to Manchester’s physical landscape, as well as shifts in the wider social ones. Upscaling an independent and nomadic gay night to a 10,000-capacity festival, though? A high-stakes manoeuvre.

It had been in Homoelectric co-founder Luke Unabomber’s mind for years, but repeated attempts to establish it as a summer knees-up on the outskirts of Manchester kept falling through. Suddenly, a dream spot was available. The cavernous space of The Depot, just a few hundred yards from Homoelectric’s first venue, Follies, and within earshot of Piccadilly station, had broken free from red tape. In 2018, Warehouse Project, the big beast of Manchester clubbing, acquired the rights to host shows there. They were keen to assist in making Homobloc a reality, but aware enough to let it be established on Homoelectric’s terms, so as best to encourage discerning Mancunian clubbers who prize independence and authenticity. From the announcement on 10 July, the hype was deafening.

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16″ MacBook Pro, a better MBP at 15″ prices, as Apple responds to user feedback

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 10:04 am

Apple has a 16″ MacBook Pro that improves performance, adds a bigger, better display, and makes promising changes to the keyboard – without increasing price. Next question: should you upgrade?

Apple’s flagship laptops still command a price premium: standard configurations are US$2,399 and $2,799, which can be punishing for cash-strapped musicians (especially in other countries once accounting for currency and cash). Figure budgeting at least $2599 for 1TB storage, and then the $2799 standard price point bumps processor speed and graphics.

But as before, what you get in exchange for the luxe price is some luxe hardware. That’s always been especially true of the display. Even big fans of the price/performance ratio on PCs have got to concede that Apple ships some big, bright, color-accurate, gorgeous displays.

And the 16″ revision does three things:

  1. It sweetens the display deal with what might be the best laptop display on the market.
  2. It improves the performance-to-price ratio with upgraded specs for the processor, graphics, and battery. But maybe most importantly –
  3. It fixes the damned keyboard. (Or at least first impressions suggest so.)
Now with an Escape key – and while the Touch Bar is standard, improved keyboard performance means there’s not really anything in particular to gripe about, we hope.

The keyboard had held a lot of people back. The butterfly-action keyboard on past models prompted some complaints about key travel, and worse, were subject to reliability problems. I was unable to attend the press preview for the new Apple laptop, but journalists more experienced with those issues are so far impressed – Dieter Bohn for The Verge and Roman Loyala for Macworld each have their first hands-on impressions. Apple are confident enough that they’re dubbing the new keyboard Magic Keyboard, in a nod to their well-liked Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (all the way back to the Steve Jobs era, actually).

You still get the Touch Bar whether you want it or not. But it’s no longer at the expense of a dedicated escape button (it’s back), and the fingerprint sensor now also gets its own dedicated control. Plus even the inverted-T directional keys are back.

Having tested the old keyboard, I have to say this is the MacBook Pro I would save up for. But I think the most encouraging thing about this is it means Apple was listening to complaints from pro users.

Also encouraging – you get more ports. You’ll still need adapters for a lot of gear (or a hub), but with USB-C evolving, having four USB-C ports that also double as Thunderbolt 3 (yeah, all four of them) makes this a machine that’s easy to connect.

Computers have largely caught up with the needs of most musicians, meaning all these extra performance specs won’t matter to anyone. But producers pushing the envelope should appreciate the new machines. All images courtesy Apple.

We’ll need a full review before we can judge the on-paper specs, but so far the indications are positive.

  • Ninth-generation CPUs (6- or 8-core, depending on model) from Intel – these will be great for running things like modeled synths (hello, VCV Rack), as well as CPU-native operations for visuals and so on.
  • 100 watt-hour battery (that’s the biggest battery approved to fly in the USA), for longer battery life
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5000M GPU with 4GB VRAM, option for 8GB

This is new generation AMD stuff, made just for Apple, though that also means it’s tough to make a direct comparison. As in past models in this line, it’s middle of the road stuff. Just remember that Apple likes to choose balanced GPUs as far as heat and power draw; they’re not making gaming laptops with big fans.

The relevant factor there is, you still don’t get to take advantage of NVIDIA-specific instructions and acceleration. I guess we’ll see if Apple are able to push Adobe to finally optimize Creative Suite for the Apple GPUs. (Right now, CS uses NVIDIA CUDA optimizations, and suffers quite a bit when it comes to performance on AMD chips. Of course, Apple will be happy if you use Final Cut Pro, at least on the video side.)

You can load up to 64GB of memory, though that’s overkill for even some sample playback applications and as usual is a fairly expensive build-to-order.

Speaking of nice options for deep pockets, you can also add an 8TB SSD. Please don’t drop this machine when riding your helicopter.

But to me, it’s really the display and slick form factor where Apple continues to reign supreme. And, wow, that new display –

  • 16‑inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit display with IPS technology; 3072‑by‑1920 native resolution at 226 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Wide color P3 / True Tone
  • Refresh rates: 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, 60.00Hz

So everything is great, and you should go buy this – well, maybe.

The Catalina factor

Now that Apple has successfully responded to MacBook Pro customer feedback, let’s see how they handle complaints from developers. Developers I talk to are still venting widespread frustration with glitches under macOS Catalina – and Catalina is installed by default. These go beyond just eliminating 32-bit code and adding expected security improvements. Many developers I’ve talked to tell me that the major changes made to the OS are producing unexpected glitches and challenges.

I wish I could be more specific – Apple, for their part, infamously emailed developers to ask them to stop being so negative in their communication. But I can say this: Apple changed a lot of security features at once, and then shipped that OS on a strict timetable. That introduces a lot of variability, because it doesn’t leave a lot of time for even Apple to respond to developer and user feedback, let alone their third-party ecosystem.

16″ is the one to watch

I think the 16″ machine is likely to be a great choice in the long run – just maybe not today. As with new OSes, patience is a virtue.

If you can keep dust away from the keys, it’s even worth considering a refurb 15″ model for significant cost savings, which is what CDM contributor and friend David Abravanel just did. (Since we don’t live on the same continent, he’s safe from me showing up every day with croissants to see if I can torture test his new baby.) The 16″ model is almost certainly better, but if you get a great deal, that’s another matter. And a new Apple launch is likely to flood the market, especially since there’s no price increase here.

The 16″ model does look like the new sweet spot for the Mac. I would just wait a little bit to get some detailed reviews of the new laptop, and to wait as Apple inevitably works on any bug fixes for this new machine generation and/or macOS Catalina. Plus third party developers are working really hard on support, meaning even a couple of months from now, you can expect a smoother Catalina switch experience than now.

By then, maybe we’ll see this keyboard rolled out on the more affordable, more mobile 13″ model, too.

And Windows laptops remain an option. With more and more music software offering essentially identical experiences across OSes to end users – even in a growing number of cases, on Linux – we’re in a competitive landscape for laptops for music and live visuals.

But that’s a good thing. And it’s great to see a new laptop from Apple that promises to be genuinely inspiring again – and what users actually want.

https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-16/

The post 16″ MacBook Pro, a better MBP at 15″ prices, as Apple responds to user feedback appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

16″ MacBook Pro, a better MBP at 15″ prices, as Apple responds to user feedback

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 10:04 am

Apple has a 16″ MacBook Pro that improves performance, adds a bigger, better display, and makes promising changes to the keyboard – without increasing price. Next question: should you upgrade?

Apple’s flagship laptops still command a price premium: standard configurations are US$2,399 and $2,799, which can be punishing for cash-strapped musicians (especially in other countries once accounting for currency and cash). Figure budgeting at least $2599 for 1TB storage, and then the $2799 standard price point bumps processor speed and graphics.

But as before, what you get in exchange for the luxe price is some luxe hardware. That’s always been especially true of the display. Even big fans of the price/performance ratio on PCs have got to concede that Apple ships some big, bright, color-accurate, gorgeous displays.

And the 16″ revision does three things:

  1. It sweetens the display deal with what might be the best laptop display on the market.
  2. It improves the performance-to-price ratio with upgraded specs for the processor, graphics, and battery. But maybe most importantly –
  3. It fixes the damned keyboard. (Or at least first impressions suggest so.)
Now with an Escape key – and while the Touch Bar is standard, improved keyboard performance means there’s not really anything in particular to gripe about, we hope.

The keyboard had held a lot of people back. The butterfly-action keyboard on past models prompted some complaints about key travel, and worse, were subject to reliability problems. I was unable to attend the press preview for the new Apple laptop, but journalists more experienced with those issues are so far impressed – Dieter Bohn for The Verge and Roman Loyala for Macworld each have their first hands-on impressions. Apple are confident enough that they’re dubbing the new keyboard Magic Keyboard, in a nod to their well-liked Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (all the way back to the Steve Jobs era, actually).

You still get the Touch Bar whether you want it or not. But it’s no longer at the expense of a dedicated escape button (it’s back), and the fingerprint sensor now also gets its own dedicated control. Plus even the inverted-T directional keys are back.

Having tested the old keyboard, I have to say this is the MacBook Pro I would save up for. But I think the most encouraging thing about this is it means Apple was listening to complaints from pro users.

Also encouraging – you get more ports. You’ll still need adapters for a lot of gear (or a hub), but with USB-C evolving, having four USB-C ports that also double as Thunderbolt 3 (yeah, all four of them) makes this a machine that’s easy to connect.

Computers have largely caught up with the needs of most musicians, meaning all these extra performance specs won’t matter to anyone. But producers pushing the envelope should appreciate the new machines. All images courtesy Apple.

We’ll need a full review before we can judge the on-paper specs, but so far the indications are positive.

  • Ninth-generation CPUs (6- or 8-core, depending on model) from Intel – these will be great for running things like modeled synths (hello, VCV Rack), as well as CPU-native operations for visuals and so on.
  • 100 watt-hour battery (that’s the biggest battery approved to fly in the USA), for longer battery life
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5000M GPU with 4GB VRAM, option for 8GB

This is new generation AMD stuff, made just for Apple, though that also means it’s tough to make a direct comparison. As in past models in this line, it’s middle of the road stuff. Just remember that Apple likes to choose balanced GPUs as far as heat and power draw; they’re not making gaming laptops with big fans.

The relevant factor there is, you still don’t get to take advantage of NVIDIA-specific instructions and acceleration. I guess we’ll see if Apple are able to push Adobe to finally optimize Creative Suite for the Apple GPUs. (Right now, CS uses NVIDIA CUDA optimizations, and suffers quite a bit when it comes to performance on AMD chips. Of course, Apple will be happy if you use Final Cut Pro, at least on the video side.)

You can load up to 64GB of memory, though that’s overkill for even some sample playback applications and as usual is a fairly expensive build-to-order.

Speaking of nice options for deep pockets, you can also add an 8TB SSD. Please don’t drop this machine when riding your helicopter.

But to me, it’s really the display and slick form factor where Apple continues to reign supreme. And, wow, that new display –

  • 16‑inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit display with IPS technology; 3072‑by‑1920 native resolution at 226 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Wide color P3 / True Tone
  • Refresh rates: 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, 60.00Hz

So everything is great, and you should go buy this – well, maybe.

The Catalina factor

Now that Apple has successfully responded to MacBook Pro customer feedback, let’s see how they handle complaints from developers. Developers I talk to are still venting widespread frustration with glitches under macOS Catalina – and Catalina is installed by default. These go beyond just eliminating 32-bit code and adding expected security improvements. Many developers I’ve talked to tell me that the major changes made to the OS are producing unexpected glitches and challenges.

I wish I could be more specific – Apple, for their part, infamously emailed developers to ask them to stop being so negative in their communication. But I can say this: Apple changed a lot of security features at once, and then shipped that OS on a strict timetable. That introduces a lot of variability, because it doesn’t leave a lot of time for even Apple to respond to developer and user feedback, let alone their third-party ecosystem.

16″ is the one to watch

I think the 16″ machine is likely to be a great choice in the long run – just maybe not today. As with new OSes, patience is a virtue.

If you can keep dust away from the keys, it’s even worth considering a refurb 15″ model for significant cost savings, which is what CDM contributor and friend David Abravanel just did. (Since we don’t live on the same continent, he’s safe from me showing up every day with croissants to see if I can torture test his new baby.) The 16″ model is almost certainly better, but if you get a great deal, that’s another matter. And a new Apple launch is likely to flood the market, especially since there’s no price increase here.

The 16″ model does look like the new sweet spot for the Mac. I would just wait a little bit to get some detailed reviews of the new laptop, and to wait as Apple inevitably works on any bug fixes for this new machine generation and/or macOS Catalina. Plus third party developers are working really hard on support, meaning even a couple of months from now, you can expect a smoother Catalina switch experience than now.

By then, maybe we’ll see this keyboard rolled out on the more affordable, more mobile 13″ model, too.

And Windows laptops remain an option. With more and more music software offering essentially identical experiences across OSes to end users – even in a growing number of cases, on Linux – we’re in a competitive landscape for laptops for music and live visuals.

But that’s a good thing. And it’s great to see a new laptop from Apple that promises to be genuinely inspiring again – and what users actually want.

https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-16/

The post 16″ MacBook Pro, a better MBP at 15″ prices, as Apple responds to user feedback appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

BOSTON CALLING NAMED TWO HEADLINERS FOR 2020

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 13 Nov 2019 8:00 pm
Boston Calling headliners have been announced! 60+ other artists will be released in January! FOO FIGHTERS and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS!

SXSW MUSIC PHASE TWO LINEUP IS OUT!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Wed 13 Nov 2019 7:00 pm
Wire, Automatic, Nasty Cherry, Iguana Death Cult, Monophonics, Otoboke Beaver, Parisalexa, Pleasure Venom, Bodywash and more!

USDA Issues Interim Rules for Hemp Production – How Does it Affect CBD Advertising? 

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Wed 13 Nov 2019 6:02 pm

On October 31, the US Department of Agriculture published in the Federal Register interim rules governing the production of industrial hemp under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Act (see the USDA press release here).  These rules will allow the USDA to approve state and tribal plans for the regulation of hemp production.  It also allows for the USDA to authorize growers in states that have not adopted their own plans (or that have restricted the production of hemp).  The USDA notes the interest in hemp production driven by interest in CBD products derived from hemp.  While these rules do not address advertising issues specifically, they do ease some of the concerns that many broadcasters and other media companies have had about advertising CBD products when it was unclear that the production of those products was legal.  We wrote about some of those concerns many times, including in our posts here and here.

These interim rules recognize that CBD products can already be legally produced under provisions of the 2014 Farm Act.  As we noted here, that Act authorized experimental production of hemp products.  The 2014 Act also permitted research into commercial exploitation of hemp products – probably permitting greater production than Congress or the USDA expected when the Act was adopted.  The October 31 public notice states that production under the 2014 Act will be allowed to continue for the next three years until permanent rules implementing the 2018 Act are adopted.  In fact, the USDA notes that it expects that over 50% of hemp production will be by those operating under these grandfathered 2014 licenses for the next year.  This seems to recognize that a significant amount of production already underway is in fact legal under federal law, ameliorating some of the concerns as to whether CBD products now being sold could have been legally produced. 

However, the USDA also notes that states are free to adopt rules that are more restrictive than the rules it adopts – and states can even prohibit the production of any hemp products.  Thus, while the adoption of the interim rules eases many of the concerns of media companies about the legal origin of CBD, these companies still need to look at their state laws to make sure that they are not promoting a product that remains illegal in their state – or somehow promoting uses that would be prohibited in the state.  For instance, there are states in which CBD products are legal only with the written permission of a doctor – so promoting unfettered sale of the product may run afoul of state laws.

Not only do media companies have to worry about state laws, they also need to consider the rules and policies of other federal agencies.  USDA rules specifically note that uses of CBD remain under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.  As we have written before (see our posts here, here and here), the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have been active in cracking down on CBD marketing where specific health claims are made (except for the one FDA approved CBD-based product used for control of seizures).  The FDA has also prohibited marketing of CBD food additives or oral medications until it conducts further studies on their safety and labeling.  So any media company looking to take CBD advertising also has to look at these restrictions.

While this action of the USDA appears to resolve some of the questions about the legality of the production of CBD products, it does not eliminate all legal concerns.  So talk to your attorneys and carefully consider your marketing for any of these products.

Discover The Extreme Hardcore-Fueled Sound Of Rising New York Producer Kilbourne

Delivered... Derek Opperman | Scene | Wed 13 Nov 2019 4:51 pm

The post Discover The Extreme Hardcore-Fueled Sound Of Rising New York Producer Kilbourne appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

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