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

Rising Sludge EBM DJ Kris Baha Talks Rammstein, Magic And Running A Record Label

Delivered... Interview by Gareth Owen. Photos by Yacoub Chakarji. | Scene | Mon 15 Oct 2018 2:36 pm

The post Rising Sludge EBM DJ Kris Baha Talks Rammstein, Magic And Running A Record Label appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

Music Modernization Act Becomes Law – Mechanical Rights To Become Easier Just As Performance Rights May Become More Difficult

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 15 Oct 2018 1:24 pm

Last week, after passage by both chambers of Congress and signature by the President, the ‘‘Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act’’ became law. The law underwent a few changes on its journey to approval, adding new provisions in the Senate to those which we summarized here upon its initial passage by the House. The Act retained its same principal purposes. The driving force behind the Act was the desire to simplify the payment of “mechanical royalties” by digital music services for the reproduction and distribution of the millions of musical compositions that they use in the songs that they serve up to more and more consumers across the country. That simplification was accomplished through the creation of a new collective through which these royalties will be paid – essentially a one-stop shop where the statutory royalty will be paid. The collective will have the responsibility for finding the copyright holders and songwriters who share in the royalties – removing the need for the music services to have to identify and pay all of the appropriate rightsholders, a process that has resulted in legal claims for hundreds of millions of dollars against these services for not being able to find all the parties who are supposed to be paid for the mechanical royalties.

The general layout of the system for dealing with the payment of these royalties, through a collective to be established, remains essentially the same as in the initial House Bill. Other provisions were added in the Senate (and then approved again by the House) dealing with matters including pre-1972 sound recordings, Sirius-XM royalties, and the ability of existing music organizations to continue to do direct licenses for mechanical and other rights outside the new statutory system. We may write about those issues later. But the Senate addition likely to have the most significance for the most music users was one having nothing to do with mechanical royalties, but instead with the performance royalty for music works (musical compositions) that is paid by music services, radio stations, bars and restaurants and any other location that plays music that is heard by the public at large. The new language added by the Senate requires that, before the Department of Justice recommends any changes to the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the DOJ must first notify Congress of any changes that it will be suggesting to the courts that administer the decrees, so that Congress can decide if it wants to take action to block or modify any such changes. Why is that significant?

Performance rights in the United States, until a few years ago, were relatively straightforward. Music users paid royalties to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, and then pretty much were free to play almost any song that they wanted to. Sure, there were occasional issues over whether the royalties charged by these performing rights organizations (PROs) were fair, and having three PROs in the US was two more than existed in most other major countries, but nevertheless the system generally worked especially as ASCAP and BMI, by far the two largest organizations, were governed by antitrust consent decrees overseen by US District Court Judges in the Southern District of New York. These two PROs could not raise rates without the prospect of a rate court proceeding to determine if their proposed rates were fair. So, while there was no one-stop shop to which royalties were paid for the public performance of musical compositions, the three legacy PROs effectively provided a statutory license system without any statute having been adopted.

But, as we have written many times, that system is beginning to break down, as major publishing companies have threatened to withdraw their catalog from ASCAP and BMI to license it themselves (see our articles here and here), or as new PROs, like GMR, have been established to try to get higher royalties for the musical works to which they have rights. While there has been one lawsuit against GMR to try to bring it under some antitrust regime (and similar successful suits against SESAC which had never previously been subject to antitrust constraints, see our articles here, here and here), the pressures to splinter the performing rights licensing in the US has continued to grow. We wrote about some of the concerns that could arise with the splintering of performing rights organizations, especially given the often fractured nature of the ownership of copyright in musical works, here.

Further increasing the concerns about changes to the performing rights marketplace have been the numerous statements from the current head of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice that he does not believe that the Department should be setting regulations for industries through long-term antitrust consent decrees – that such regulations should be the role of Congress or administrative agencies. It has been made clear that these statements specifically include the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, as they are among the consent decrees that have been in place for the longest period of time.

It would certainly be ironic for the Music Modernization Act to fix mechanical royalties by creating a one-stop shop for royalty payments, just as the performing rights licensing process was splintering. One complicated long-term problem would have been fixed, just as what was a relatively stable marketplace appears to be becoming more unstable. It was therefore important that Congress put this check on the DOJ taking action to further free the PROs from their current restraints. Of course, were Congress notified of the desire of the DOJ to make changes, it is an open question whether Congress could adopt a new statute to take the place of the current consent decrees in the time-frames set under the new Act. Given that many of the last-minute changes that were necessary to assure passage of the Music Modernization Act to relieve concerns of specific companies in the music industry, any reform of the performing rights process is likely to include even bigger players in the industry with even more entrenched interests that could take a long time to resolve.   But at least Congress has the ability to put a check on the action – and these issues may well need to be resolved in the Music Modernization Act, Part II.

No Bounds festival – DJs in thrall to sound of subversion

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Mon 15 Oct 2018 12:55 pm

Various venues, Sheffield
From ear-bleed techno to wall-wobbling beats, No Bounds’ roster moved electronic music way beyond the dancefloor

Now in its second year, No Bounds has established itself as a powerful new entry in the UK’s electronic music calendar. Set in Sheffield, a city long synonymous with pioneering electronic sounds, No Bounds has created an outlet to carry that tradition forwards. Spread over three days, local promoters Algorave and Off Me Nut take over the opening night to offer up wonky basslines, stomping techno and rapid-fire drum’n’bass. However, it’s the crammed Saturday when the festival truly comes alive. During the day there are DJ workshops, build-your-own-synth sessions, algorithmic drum circles, and South Yorkshire’s own radical artist Mark Fell curates a stage.

The leading troll of experimental electronic music Twitter, Wanda Group, plays an enveloping mid-afternoon set filled with drones, cracks, bleeps, moans and drips. It pulsates like intensified environmental noise and harsh ambiance, resembling the creaking sounds of an abandoned rave house. Similarly disturbing is Theo Burt’s set of distorted pop music videos accompanied by noises that sound like dropping bombs. The room judders with such ferocity that confetti ribbons lodged in the ceiling from long-ago weddings rain down amid the gut-quivering terror.

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Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 15 Oct 2018 1:00 am
Zomboy headlines, with Doctor P, Funtcase and Cookie Monsta in a B2B set, Eptic, Gammer and Badklaat also top the lineup!

«Musikethnologie hilft gegen Vorurteile»

Delivered... norient | Scene | Sun 14 Oct 2018 6:00 am

«In Europa wird afrikanische Musik immer noch sehr eindimensional gesehen» sagt die Musikethnologin Anja Brunner. Für sie hat die musikethnologische Forschung die Aufgabe, solchen klischierten Bildern entgegenzuwirken. Im Video spricht Bunner darüber, wie sie ein Aufenthalt in Senegal zur Musikethnologie gebracht hat, wie stark Musik und Politik in afrikanischen Ländern verschränkt sind und wie sich die Macht des Forschenden in der heutigen Zeit verändert. Dieses Video ist der Auftakt zur sechsteiligen Reihe «Musikethnologie in der Schweiz».

Die sechsteilige Videoreihe «Musikethnologie in der Schweiz» ist entstanden im Rahmen des Agora-Wissenschaftsvermittlungsprojekt «Communicating Music Research» (gefördert vom Schweizer Nationalfonds), das Norient gemeinsam mit dem Seminar für Kulturwissenschaft und Europäische Ethnologie der Universität Basel durchgeführt hat.

Video: Valentin Mettler
Interview: Hannes Liechti
Redaktion: Theresa Beyer
Produktion: Norient 2018

Dr. Anja Brunner ist Ethnomusikologin und derzeit als assoziierte Wissenschaftlerin am Institut für Musikwissenschaft an der Universität Bern. Sie hat ihre Dissertation an der Universität Wien zur Entstehung des Popularmusikgenres Bikutsi in Kamerun verfasst. Ihre derzeitige Forschung beschäftigt sich mit syrischen Musikerinnen im deutschsprachigen Raum. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Musik und Migration, Veränderungen von Musikpraktiken im globalen Kontext, Weltmusik/World Music und Postkolonialismus.

DIY music gloves for everyone, as Imogen Heap project gets kid friendly

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 12 Oct 2018 7:51 pm

You know – for kids. Mini.mu is a musical glove that can get young people coding and crafting and making music and electronics work. And it’s off to a simple, elegant, and affordable start, courtesy artist Imogen Heap and designer Helen Leigh.

It’s one thing for music stars to try out bleeding edge technology and explore performance using gestural interfaces. It’s another thing for kids to tackle computing and electronics – and to make teaching tools that serve them. But a new musical glove design could reach a far wider audience.

MI.MU gloves have been a story we’ve followed since the beginning. With artist Imogen Heap, the effort was to expand on musical gloves past and make something that could expressively navigate a performance.

But MI.MU’s work has tended to be technically complex and pricey. Not so MINI.MU.

You make this glove from scratch, with everything kids need included in the kit. (Helen Leigh is not only a brilliant engineer, but also a children’s author and workshop instructor – so she gets how to teach and how kids get going quickly. The kit is rated for age 6+.)

The price: retailing at £39.95. (just about fifty bucks USD). For many in the UK, it’ll be even cheaper, as schools already have the micro:bit “brains” of the glove

Apart from a cute-looking glove to put on your hand, the MINI.MU has a speaker, an accelerometer, and buttons. You use those sensors to pick up the position of the hand and particular events (like tilt or shake). Then code running on an included chip translates those motions into sounds – which you hear right on the glove, without any additional hardware.

The UK-based project takes advantage of the BBC micro:bit, an initiative to get UK schoolchildren into coding and embedded computing. There are loads of micro:bits around, so the glove is designed to build on this platform, but you can also buy the glove with a bundled micro:bit if you don’t have one.

And this can be extended, too. Pins on the board let you connect additional sensors, like flex sensors.

Helen worked with the MI.MU team, Imogen, and kit maker Pimoroni to make this happen.

What’s promising about MINI.MU is that it makes computing and crafting personal – you’re coding something that’s expressive and literally in your hand. If the creators can keep kids (and adults) interested in doing stuff with a glove, and building code around music, there’s real potential.

It looks like the beginning of a platform that could be a lot more – and that realizes some longstanding dreams to bring new ways of interacting with music and learning about STEM through music technology. We’ll be watching.

Check out how kids would get coding with this:

Visual coding using musical examples. (Check these things out in your browser, free.)


The kit is available for preorder – and you get that micro:bit in the deal.

MINI.MU Glove Kit (includes micro:bit) [Pimoroni]

The post DIY music gloves for everyone, as Imogen Heap project gets kid friendly appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Another FCC Broadcast Case Designated for Hearing – With Much Different Stakes

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 12 Oct 2018 5:25 pm

Yesterday, the FCC issued a hearing designation order – though one with much lower stakes than the last designation order issued by the FCC which seemingly resulted in the termination of the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger. Yesterday’s order was at almost the opposite end of the spectrum from a massive merger of TV companies – the upcoming hearing will determine whether to revoke the license of a Low Power FM station. Issues were raised as to whether the licensee in its FCC applications lied to the FCC about whether its board of directors was made up of US citizens – there being substantial evidence that the board members were in fact citizens of other countries.

As we wrote here when the Sinclair acquisition was designated, hearings are most commonly used when the FCC is faced with disputed issues of fact. But hearings are also required in some cases by the Communications Act, including in cases where there is a proposed revocation of an existing license, as appears to be the reason for the order yesterday – though the FCC also lists a number of issues in the LPFM case that need a factual review. These include whether the licensee made misrepresentations to or lacked candor with the FCC (essentially whether the licensee had lied to the FCC in its applications when it said its directors were US citizens), whether the license was controlled by aliens (i.e. foreign citizens), whether the licensee failed to keep information on file at the FCC accurate and up to date, and whether the licensee failed to respond to FCC inquiries (the FCC having asked for information about the apparent foreign ownership and received no response).

The misrepresentation/lack of candor issue is one that can arise in any case where an FCC applicant or licensee does not truthfully answer a question on an FCC form or in some other FCC filing. If the statements made are found to be untrue and made with intent to deceive the FCC, the issue is most serious and can result in the loss of a license. If the case goes to trial, the administrative law judge (called an “ALJ”) will determine the facts with respect to each of the designated issues and whether those facts lead to the ultimate conclusion that conduct was so bad that the license should be revoked. I say “if this case goes to trial” as many times a party facing a designation for hearing will just give up rather than face the often long and costly hearing process (as apparently happened when Tribune decided to terminate the sale to Sinclair, and as happened in the case we wrote about here, even when the FCC tried to shortcut the hearing by doing a “paper hearing” without the ALJ). In yesterday’s order, the applicant is given a specific amount of time to respond and say that it will participate in the hearing, or the right to a hearing will be deemed waived. Why are these cases usually long and costly?

These cases are much like any court proceeding that you see in civil or criminal cases. But they are typically held before an ALJ, an employee of the FCC though with great independence from the normal FCC processes. The judge is not what is known as an Article III judge – one who sits on other Federal courts. But the ALJ runs a hearing with many of the characteristics of any trial you see on TV – with witnesses being sworn in before they testify, cross-examination by attorneys (often representing the FCC), and pre-trial discovery (including the production of piles of relevant documents and the deposition of witnesses). The Judge basically sets the procedure and moves at his (there being only a single male FCC ALJ at present) own pace (as is evident from the Sinclair case where, though the transaction has been terminated and no party has opposed the request to terminate the case since the application being evaluated is gone, the case has not yet been terminated). The one major difference is that appeals from the ALJ decision go to the FCC Commissioners first, before going to Court.

We will see where this LPFM case goes. But more importantly it shows the variety of processes that the FCC has at its disposal to take care of situations where applicants or licensees appear to have violated FCC rules. Whether this order signals a trend in the use of hearings, or is just an outlier necessary to deal with an unusual case, we will see.

10 Tracks That Define The New Berlin Techno Underground According To SYNOID

Delivered... By SYNOID | Scene | Fri 12 Oct 2018 12:56 pm

The post 10 Tracks That Define The New Berlin Techno Underground According To SYNOID appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

Matthew Dear: Bunny review – eclectic post-punk via heavy electronics

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 12 Oct 2018 10:30 am

(Ghostly International)

Matthew Dear doesn’t call himself King Chameleon lightly. The Texan-born producer, DJ, sometime University of Michigan lecturer and leftfield electronic artist has spent almost 20 years operating under a range of pseudonyms – Audion, Jabberjaw and False – and rifling through genres like a sock drawer. The fifth album under his own name is no different, but mostly he channels an eclectic range of loosely post-punk-era styles into heavy electronics. Cranium-shattering dub, Nitzer Ebb’s electronic body music, Wire’s angular tunefulness and the Pop Group’s depth-charges of dub and punk are hurled into the mix. The driving Electricity has a hint of the bassline from Elvis Costello’s Pump It Up, while superb opener Bunny’s Dream recalls prime Durutti Column’s fragile beauty, the haunting riff and fizzing drum patterns conjuring up a mesmeric atmosphere that is obliterated by the sub-bass.

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FCC Proposes Lessened Interference Protections for Class A “Clear Channel” AM Stations – What Does This Proposal Mean for AM Revitalization?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 11 Oct 2018 5:03 pm

Late last week, the FCC issued a “Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in its AM Revitalization Proceeding. The FCC has been taking steps over the last several years to attempt to restore AM radio to health. In last week’s Further Notice, the FCC followed up on ideas that it floated in 2016 in a prior order in the AM revitalization proceeding (see our articles here and here) suggesting that protections afforded to Class A AM stations be lessened in order to allow increased power by other more localized AM stations. Class A stations, often referred to as “clear channel” stations, are those 50 kW AM stations that are currently given interference protections both during the day and to their nighttime “skywave” signals (the signals heard hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from the station’s transmitter site after bouncing off the atmosphere). These protections allow these stations to cover large geographic areas, and were particularly important in the early days of radio when these stations provided the only radio services to vast portions of the country that did not have local radio stations. In the Further Notice released last week, the FCC questions whether such protections are still necessary given the proliferation of other sources of audio programming (including radio stations, satellite radio and the Internet), and advances specific proposals that would reduce the protections accorded to these stations to allow some power increases by local AM stations.

This proposal is not without controversy. Obviously, station owners who hold Class A licenses do not believe that the service provided by these stations should be impeded. In fact, they note that many of these stations are among the few profitable AM stations in the country, often providing unique programming and substantial programming diversity to rural residents. These stations have also always been a favorite of long-haul truckers and others driving at night for providing uninterrupted service over vast distances. Perhaps even more importantly, and a question specifically raised for comment by the FCC, is the impact that any loss of service from these stations would have on the EAS network. Many of these stations serve as the primary stations for relaying national emergency messages to the EAS network. In fact, many of these stations have been provided funds by FEMA to improve their facilities to insure that they are available to provide uninterrupted service in the event of a national emergency.

The specific proposals set out by the FCC are likely going to be most easily understood by those with technical backgrounds. They are set forth below:

Daytime hours proposal:

    • During daytime hours, Class A AM stations would protected to their 0.5 mV/m daytime groundwave contour, from both co-channel and first-adjacent channel stations;

Critical hours (two hours before sunset and sunrise) proposals:

    • Alternative 1: During critical hours, Class A AM stations would be afforded no protection from other AM stations, or
    • Alternative 2: During critical hours, Class A AM stations would be protected to their 0.5 mV/m groundwave contour.

Nighttime hours proposals:

    • Alternative 1: During nighttime hours, there would be allowed no overlap between a Class A AM station’s 0.5 mV/m nighttime groundwave contour and any interfering AM station’s 0.025 mV/m 10 percent skywave contour (calculated using the single station method); or
    • Alternative 2: During nighttime hours, Class A AM stations would be protected from other AM stations in the same manner as Class B AM stations are protected, that is, interference may not be increased above the greater of the 0.5 mV/m nighttime groundwave contour or the 50 percent exclusion Root Sum Squared Nighttime Interference-Free (“RSS NIF”) level (calculated using the multiple station method).

Currently, Class A stations are protected during the day to their 0.1 mV/m groundwave contour by co-channel stations (and to their 0.5 mV/m contour by adjacent channel stations) during the daytime; to their 0.5 mV/m-50 percent skywave contour by co-channel stations (and to their 0.5 mv/m groundwave contour by adjacent channel stations) at night; and to their 0.1 mV/m groundwave contour during critical hours. The FCC proposals set out above would, in some cases, result in a significant decrease in interference protections accorded to these stations.

The FCC notes that there are differing opinions, even among engineers, as to when a Class A station’s service can reliably be heard by listeners, and the extent to which distant listeners still rely on these services. Because of these differences in opinion, and the natural split between local station owners and those that hold licenses for Class A stations, this proceeding is likely to be controversial. And it may well implicate many of the issues about the future of AM radio more generally (see, for instance, our article here).

The FCC is not proposing at this time changes in the protections of other classes of AM stations, though that possibility had also been raised in earlier proceedings. But the FCC does ask for comments as to whether it should move ahead in a future proceeding with that idea – potentially increasing interference in areas further from some stations in exchange for the potential for other stations to increase power and service to more local areas. That, too, is likely to be a controversial issue – one that will be debated in more detail at a later date.

Comments on the Further Notice will be due 60 days after the document is published in the Federal Register, with replies due 30 days later.



Music Beyond Time: A Conversation With Breakthrough Artist JASSS

Delivered... Interview by Paweł Klimczak | Scene | Thu 11 Oct 2018 12:42 pm

The post Music Beyond Time: A Conversation With Breakthrough Artist JASSS appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

From food stamps and survival to writing the songs you know

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 11 Oct 2018 12:10 pm

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” says artist and composer Allee Willis. Yet her output ranges from Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” to the theme song of Friends. If you don’t know Willis, you should – and her story might inspire yours.

Behind all the cheery social media these days, most artists you talk to have struggled. They’ve struggled with creativity and sobriety, mental health and creative blocks, unfriendly industries and obscurity. And sometimes they’ve struggled just to get by – which is where Allee Willis was in 1978, living off food stamps and wondering what would happen next.

What happened next is a career that led to an insane number of hit songs – along with plenty of other fascinating side trips into kitsch and art. (There’s a kitsch-themed social network, an artist alterego named Bubbles, and a music video duet with a 91-year-old woman drummer on an oxygen tank, to name a few.) But what it hasn’t involved is a lot of widespread personal notoriety. Allee Willis is a celebrity’s celebrity, which is to say famous people know her but most people don’t know she’s famous.

At least it’s about that gap. The odds that you don’t know her? Decent. The odds that you don’t know her songs? Unlikely.

Let’s go: Earth, Wind & Fire “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done To Deserve This.” The theme from Friends, recorded by The Rembrandts (if you knew that, which I suspect you didn’t)… all these and more add up to 60 million records. And she co-authored the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Tony and Grammy-winning Broadway musical The Color Purple. More songs you know in movies: Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid (“You’re the Best”), Howard the Duck.

The Detroit native is an impassioned use of Web tech and animation, networked together machines to design an orchestration workflow for The Color Purple musical, and now lives in LA with … Pro Tools, of course, alongside some cats.

But this isn’t about her resume so much as it is about what she says drives her – that itch to create stuff. And for anyone worried about how to get into the creative zone, maybe the first step is to stop worrying about getting into the creative zone. We value analysis and self-critique so much that sometimes we forget to just have fun making and stop worrying about even our own opinions (or maybe, especially those). In the end, it was that instinct that has driven her work, and presumably lots of stuff that didn’t do as well as that Friends theme song. (But there are her cats. Not the Broadway kind; that’s Andrew Lloyd Weber – the furry ones.)

There’s a great video out from The Big Story (produced by CNN):

And her site is a wild 1999-vintage-design wonderland of HTML, if you want to dive in:



How she wrote “What Have I Done to Deserve This” gets into her musical thinking – and incongruity (and she does sure seem like she knows what she’s doing):

Plus how she hears and why she needed a Fender Rhodes:

The post From food stamps and survival to writing the songs you know appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Modular to go: 4ms are making cute little $100 “Pods” for modules

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 11 Oct 2018 9:46 am

It’s Eurorack without the big rack. Or rack modular that thinks it’s desktop. In any event, if you ever found a module or three you wanted to use without getting a big rack, or quick portability for a beloved module, 4ms may have a solution for you: 4ms Pods.

They’re cute. They’re cheap. They’re daisy-chainable. So if you don’t want that “cockpit” / “I’m outfitting a submarine command center” look, now you can take modules and put them in little handheld boxes you can move around, mix with desktop synths and effects, guitar pedals – whatever.

The daisy-chainable power designed just for this range also mean that you can put together a handful of pods pretty economically, since you only need to buy one with power supply. The pricing – the number being the size in hp, of course:

Pod20: US$55 unpowered / $99 powered
Pod26: $60 / $109
Pod32: $65/$119

It’s a clever idea, and they look really nice. Now they just need a nice carry case – a Podpod?

4ms announced these earlier today; “coming soon.”


The post Modular to go: 4ms are making cute little $100 “Pods” for modules appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Novation’s SL MkIII has it all: sequencer, CV, MIDI, software control

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 10 Oct 2018 5:45 pm

One upon a time, there was a Novation keyboard called the ReMOTE SL. That’s as in “remote control” of software. Times have changed, and you’ve got a bunch of gear to connect – and you may want your keyboard to work standalone, too. So meet the SL MkIII.

The additional features are significant enough that Novation is dropping the “remote” from the name. Now it’s just SL, whatever those letters are meant to stand for.

The story here is, you get a full-featured, eight-track sequencer – so you no longer have to depend on a computer for that function. And Novation promise some higher-spec features like expanded dynamic range (via higher scan rate). With lots of keyboards out there, the sequencer is really the lead. Circuit just paid off for keyboardists. Novation gets to merge their experience with Launchpad, with Circuit, with Web connectivity, and with analog and digital gear.


  • The 8-track, polyphonic sequencer is both a step and live sequencer, it records automation, and you can edit right from the keyboard.
  • Arpeggiator onboard, too.
  • USB, MIDI in, MIDI out, second MIDI thru/out
  • Clock/transport controls for MIDI and analog, which also run standalone – route that to whatever you like.
  • Three pedal inputs
  • Eight faders and eight knobs, handy for mixing (there’s DAW support for all major DAWs, plus dedicated Logic and Reason integration)
  • Color LCDs
  • RGB everything: yep, over the keys, but also color-coded RGB on the pitch and mod wheel as track indicators. (I’m waiting for someone to release a monochromatic controller. You know it’s coming … back.)
  • Those RGB pads are not just velocity sensitive, but even have polyphonic aftertouch (more like higher-end dedicated pad controllers)
  • Cloud backup/restore of templates and sessions – a feature we saw unveiled on Novation’s Circuit

And of course there’s more mapping options with their InControl software and Mackie HUI support.

(Some notes from the specs: you do need separate 12V power, so you can’t use USB power. I don’t have weight notes yet, either.)

Novation must know a lot of their customer base use Ableton Live, as they’re quick to show off how their integation works and why those screens are handy.

Here it is in action:

We also see some cues from Native Instruments’ keyboards – the light guide indicators above the keys are copied directly, and while the pads and triggers are all Launchpad in character, we finally get a Novation keyboard with encoders and graphic displays. Unlike NI, this keyboard is still useful when the computer is shut off, though.

And wait – we’ve heard this before. It was called the AKAI Pro MAX25 and MAX49 – step sequencer built in (with faders and pads), plus MIDI, plus CV, plus remote control surface features. You just had to learn to like touch strips for the faders, and that garish racecar red. That AKAI is still worth a look as a used buy, though the hardware here is in a more standard layout / control complement, and a few years later, you get additional features.

The big rival to the Novation is probably Arturia’s KeyLab MKII. It also strikes a balance between studio hub and controller keyboard, and it comes from another maker who now produces analog synths, too. But the Novation has a step sequencer; Arturia makes step sequencers but left it out of their flagship controller keyboard.

Oh yeah, and if you just wanted an integrated controller keyboard for your DAW, Nektar have you covered, or of course you can opt for the Native Instruments-focused Komplete Kontrol. Each of those offerings also got revisions lately, so I’m guessing … a lot of people are buying keyboards.

But right now, Novation just jumped out to the front of the pack – this keyboard appears to tick all the boxes for hardware and software. And I’ll bet a lot of people are glad to do some sequencing without diving into the computer. (Even alongside a computer for tracking, that’s often useful.)

£539.99 49 keys; £629.99 61. (Both share the same layout.)


What keyboard strikes your fantasy at the moment? What do you want a keyboard to do for you? Let us know in comments.

The post Novation’s SL MkIII has it all: sequencer, CV, MIDI, software control appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Heavy Metal Techno: JK Flesh On Futurism, DIY Culture And The Beauty Of Non-Music

Delivered... By Andy O'Connor. Photos by VB. | Scene | Wed 10 Oct 2018 1:46 pm

The post Heavy Metal Techno: JK Flesh On Futurism, DIY Culture And The Beauty Of Non-Music appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

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