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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2017 » January » 19

Here’s how Bastl’s new $49 KLIK is syncing stuff up

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 11:45 pm

Some tools are simple enough that they only really make sense in context. So we’ve gotten word that not only are Bastl Instruments introducing a new sync tool – they’ve also done some clever collaboration to show how it helps you play in time.

Klin is a tiny $49 sync box. It’s really simple — you take line level audio from a sound card, and Klik turns that into clock signals for your (CV-powered) hardware synths. So, when it’s time to sync stuff up, just enter a rhythm track in your DAW of choice, then output that to the Klik. Klik then makes clock/trigger/gate signal (low or high, 0 or 5V).

This works, because there’s an awful lot of gear with those inputs – not only modulars, but increasingly other hardware, too.

You can even just use a headphone out. (macOS’ aggregate device support here is handy). Or you can get creative and use something like an MP3 player.

Or forget that this is supposed to sync at all: “And as a bonus if you run any audio signal thru the KLIK to apply a harsh bitcrushing effect!”

Back to showing this work: our friend Jay Ahern of Denver/Berlin sound works IRRUPT collaborated with Bastl and Bitwig in California this week to demo all this. So we’ve got some images that show you how they’re rigging this up.


Jay tells us, “At NAMM the demo that my team and I put together shows the workflow using the unit with a Microsoft Surface Studio, so the touch screen makes it all fun with the clips and alongside the modular, CV and Gate from Bitwig and Knit Rider sequencer clocked using the Bastl Klik.”

“I’m a Mac user,” he says, “so my personal use for the Bastl unit is as an aggregate device alongside a Duet soundcard for live performance. My soundcard outputs don’t get eaten up with the clock and reset triggers and that is where the Bastl unit is a damn handy little tool.”

We’ve got some pics for you of those rigs – like being in Anaheim, without the pricey hotel room, sort of:





The post Here’s how Bastl’s new $49 KLIK is syncing stuff up appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Austra: Future Politics review – theatrical pop for alienated people

Delivered... Harriet Gibsone | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 10:30 pm


In Katie Stelmanis’s dystopia, we are an anxious species. The Canadian songwriter and producer’s third album describes a world in which technology alienates us. Its title track – about greed, the “system” and a need to fight evil with empathy – acquires a pointed sense of prophecy through being released on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. But unlike other apocalyptic art – Blade Runner or Gary Numan’s Replicas – it lacks that eerie atmosphere of electric futurism that makes a grim vision so seductive. Her theatrical, heartfelt vocal performance is pitted against the electronic soundbed’s sleek, mechanical thump. But instead of a jarring war of physical versus machine-made worlds, it can feel cold, or just too oblique. Melodies are meandering, out of reach. Future Politics succeeds in conjuring the current feeling of exhaustion and the modern malaise – but is more like the confused anticipation of the present every day rather than the post-apocalyptic future.

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Tycho: Epoch review – studies in electronic inconsequence

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 10:00 pm

(Ghostly International)

Nominations for the electronic music Grammy are generally awarded to the year’s least exciting electronic music, and so it proves with this instrumental outfit headed by Californian producer Scott Hansen, whose Epoch is in with a shout for the 2017 prize. Underpinned with Radiohead-style fidgety live drums and topped with arena-hopeful guitar lines, Hansen adds his own flavours – diluted Kompakt pulses, very occasional melodies – to create fussy math-prog, ambient trip-hop and other studies in inconsequence. Tracks like Glider and Local make a reasonable stab at Balearic psychedelia, but don’t inhale, and for all his aspirations to cosmic transcendence, Hansen keeps everything trapped in this dimension with his compressed and airless production. It’s all perfectly pleasant and thoroughly boring, and would make ideal backing music for a hot-air ballooning company’s next promotional video.

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Elektron’s Digitakt is a compact drum machine, sequencer, sampler

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 7:21 pm

Elektron has been making some beautiful analog stuff with, well, “analog” in the name. But it seems the time has come to fill a glaring opening in the market – one left not just by Elektron, but by the industry in general.

Digitakt is dedicated drum machine hardware that’s also a sampler and also (at last) a powerful sequencer for external gear. In other words, it’s the box that does what the computer does as far as sampling, sound design, and gear control – but focused on just those tasks.

It’s also an answer to Elektron users shouting “why doesn’t the analog four let me sequence external gear” asking “huh, it looks like the Octatrack was just discontinued I wonder if that means something new is going to replace it.”

Oh, yeah. And it’s US$/€ 650. Whoa.

The Digitakt isn’t exactly an Octatrak II. The design philosophy is unlike anything we’ve seen from Elektron before, in fact. It’s uncommonly friendly. It’s got backlit buttons. It’s got an OLED screen. It seems to take some inspiration from Swedish neighbors (and Elektron vets) Teenage Engineering, as well as some of the other better examples of design today. It looks like Elektron thinking from the ground up.

But it also combines the stuff a lot of people so desperately wanted: sampling, audio tracks, versatile digital drum machine, effects, sequencing of external gear. Elektron also tease at asymmetrical beats and polyrhythms, which makes me hope there are some smart features in there.

8 internal audio tracks
8 dedicated MIDI tracks
1 × Multi-mode filter per audio track
1 × Assignable LFO per track
Delay and Reverb send FX
Sampling capability
64 MB sample memory
1 GB +Drive storage
2 × ¼” input & 2 × ¼” balanced output
1 × High Speed USB 2.0 port
MIDI IN, OUT and THRU ports
Overbridge support

Coming in spring.

There are a lot of questions here. I think the most important one is what the audio and MIDI tracks actually do. Are those eight mono MIDI tracks? What sort of editing and arranging workflows are there? (At some point, I could imagine it being too complicated, with too much menu diving… but at the other extreme, it’s also possible to be too simple, easily.)

All of those questions will determine what this means as a live rig, and how much production you’d want to do.

But Elektron, you had me at “live-friendly sequencing.”

I’m very keen to see how that vision looks – and whether Elektron can establish a new generation of their hardware. Stay tuned for more details as we get them.


This is really Sweden’s NAMM, folks. Y’all want to meet back in Scandinavia once the sun starts coming up again?


The post Elektron’s Digitakt is a compact drum machine, sequencer, sampler appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Pioneer DJ Debuts TORAIZ AS-1 Mono Synth Developed with Dave Smith Instruments

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 6:49 pm
New Live-Performance Instrument Features Synth Engine Adapted from Prophet-6

BandLab Technologies Acquires AudioStretch and Releases New Version of the Transcription Power App

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 6:11 pm
Free Access for Educators & Students Across the World

IK Multimedia Announces iRig Acoustic Stage

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 5:30 pm
The Revolutionary Digital Microphone System for Acoustic Guitar

TASCAM Delivers Versatile TM-series Microphones

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 4:50 pm
Excellent Starter kits or a Great way to Expand a Growing mic Collection

MOTU Announces Three new Audio Interfaces

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 3:55 pm
MOTU Debuts Three new Audio Interfaces with Complementary Digital Audio I/O Configurations

Mackie’s Big Knob Grows into a New Modern Series

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 2:42 pm
All-new Big Knob line Strikes Perfect Balance between Monitor Controller and High-res Onyx Interface

Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on William Onyeabor: ‘His music never felt cold, it was exuberant’

Delivered... Alexis Taylor | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 2:39 pm

The Hot Chip singer, who performed the late Onyeabor’s music with the Atomic Bomb! band, recalls the musician’s mystery, charisma and unflinchingly future-facing work

The first William Onyeabor track I ever heard was Good Name. It was 2011, and I only had a very low quality MP3, but the production of the music and the vocal delivery were so raw and exciting and felt so ahead of their time. I kept playing it in DJ sets, alongside modern house and disco records, and people would always ask what it was and get very excited.

After this, it felt as if a lot of things were colliding: I found two rare original copies of his albums in Rush Hour in Amsterdam; Dan Snaith as Daphni had sampled him and I knew my friend Kieran Hebden was a big fan. That was when Luaka Bop started the reissues and they got Hot Chip involved to cover the track Atomic Bomb, as well as inviting us to perform the Atomic Bomb! Band live shows with the likes of Ahmed Gallab of Sinkane, Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem, Money Mark of the Beastie Boys, Lekan Babalola and Jas Walton, as well as David Byrne, Damon Albarn, the Lijadu Sisters and other artists depending on the location.

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PreSonus Unveils Third-Generation StudioLive Series III Consoles

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 2:27 pm
New Third-generation StudioLive® Series III Digital Console/Recorders are Fully Recallable

Readers recommend playlist: the best of your 1980s 12-inch singles

Delivered... Paul Hayes | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 1:00 pm

A reader takes a journey of discovery through your favourite 12-inch singles and remixes. Classics from Grace Jones, New Order and Happy Mondays make the cut

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from your suggestions after last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly Readers Recommend series works at the end of the piece.

Related: Tom Moulton on Grace Jones: 'They were like her slaves, just looking at her all goo-goo eyed'

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Updates make Logic more pretty, powerful; GarageBand more like Logic

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 11:21 am

Apple continues to modernize and streamlined its flagship Logic DAW. And for anyone fearing it would turn the app into GarageBand, what you’re getting is quite the opposite – Logic features added to GarageBand, and some ongoing pro-oriented improvements to Logic itself. (Don’t worry: no EDM presets or fake drummers in this article. So read on, if you’re not into that sort of thing.)

GarageBand: Alchemy, mobile recording for Logic

Let’s talk GarageBand first. The big news here is baking Alchemy, the synth Apple acquired, into GarageBand on iOS. That will do little to comfort Alchemy fans who previously had access to this synth anywhere on desktop, as a plug-in. And it seems that you’re limited to Apple’s presets, though – I’m curious to find out if it’s possible to port your own parameter settings, because that’d make this a great mobile performance solution for Alchemy fans.

Alchemy could be a new reason to download GarageBand on iOS.

Alchemy could be a new reason to download GarageBand on iOS.

Also, Apple has unveiled iCloud sync for projects. This lets you open (apparently stripped-down) Logic projects on your iOS device, lay down new tracks on the go, and then see those recorded tracks appear automatically back on your desktop machine running Logic.

If GarageBand is a mobile recording tool, even for pros, then it’s significant that the new release also updates recording functionality. There’s Multi-Take recording, plus a re-vamped Audio Recorder with built-in effects (including pitch correction, plus distortion and delay). Of course, in these regards, Apple’s biggest competition may be the array of third-party tools on the iOS App Store.

What’s interesting about both these announcements, though, is that they subtly change GarageBand’s role in Apple’s music ecosystem. From the beginning, Apple had positioned GarageBand as a kind of gateway drug to Logic for newcomers – start with GarageBand, graduate to Logic. And accordingly, the two have always shared a code base and functionality, not to mention being managed by the same people.

But now, GarageBand is also more clearly a mobile satellite to Logic, both with Alchemy and the recording features.


A new look for Logic

Apple has been updating all its creative apps with a new UI, and for once, reviews have been pretty overwhelmingly positive.

The changes in Logic aren’t radical this time so much as aesthetic. But aesthetically speaking, they’re a lot clearer – and look gorgeous on Retina displays. UIs are bigger, flatter, and crisper, generally.

Here’s a comparison, just looking at one track / channel strip.





Now, at last, Apple has finally gone through its ancient UIs and given them a refresh, too. That applies to almost every old Emagic-era (pre-Apple) plug-in, too.

Welcome to the future. Klopfgeist (aka my favorite plug-in name ever) has never looked better.

Welcome to the future. Klopfgeist (aka my favorite plug-in name ever) has never looked better.

Not every corner has been covered. A small handful of synths retain their original look.

I spy with my little eye a really old Emagic UI.

I spy with my little eye a really old Emagic UI.

But it’s pretty astonishing having watched Logic’s slow evolution under Apple – with the ongoing involvement of some of the Emagic personalities who first created the tool. What impresses me is that now people talk about how “easy” they find Logic and its UI. Ten and fifteen years, you would hear people joke about even the word “logic” being in the title.

There are still a lot of choices in DAWs, and I hardly find Logic perfect. But maybe what’s encouraging is that a big, legacy DAW can evolve.


Obligatory Touch Bar support

The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro now gives you the option of moving through arrangements, accessing Smart Controls, and even playing instruments and drums, in addition to keyboard shortcuts.

Now, if you’re on a train or bus or airplane, I can imagine using it. We may get a review unit at CDM for a longer-term test.

But I have to observe, I think Logic Remote, the iOS control app, is still a more versatile option, by definition. It gives you multi-touch, lots of real estate and touch area, and reasonably expressive music input, plus the same Smart Controls mapped to the Touch Bar. Also, since it’s wireless, it’s going to be more convenient in studio situations when your laptop may be some distance away.

Editing, mixing, and arranging see improvements

It’s not only skin-deep. The new Logic also has some big production improvements.

You can use Track Alternatives for switching between sets of regions and edits, to try what-if scenarios with an edit.

You can also bounce selectively – rendering a combination of plug-ins to audio by selection.

And in a big workflow time-saver, you can apply fades across multiple regions at the same time (finally).

(See the Logic site for some videos with this in action.)

The mix engine is updated, too, with a 64-bit summing engine and true stereo panning. Maybe more exciting for CDM readers: you can directly assign Software Instruments as sidechain sources. (Oh, boy. I’m now ready to do something really weird with Sculpture.)

Also, Apple says you can use up to 192 buses and … if someone can explain to me who that’s for, I’m all ears. (I did once get a complaint on a review of Logic I wrote for Macworld, in which a reader griped that he was unable to individually record 128 tracks reliably, which was how he was recording a symphony orchestra. I think I may have replied that I didn’t have access to that sort of test environment.)

Oh yeah, and – Music XML import, for notation users.

All the updates are available now via the App Store.



Oh, PS, I wouldn’t read too much into this, necessarily, but — for the first time, Apple quotes Susan Prescott who’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. We’re more accustomed to hearing from Apple’s music product people.

The post Updates make Logic more pretty, powerful; GarageBand more like Logic appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sampha Bares His Symphonic Soul

Delivered... By Lisa Blanning | Scene | Thu 19 Jan 2017 11:02 am

Sampha Sisay has a quiet, shy demeanor that belies the attention he’s received as an artist. The Young Turks-signed singer, songwriter, pianist and producer had an auspicious start in 2010 as the producer of his own solo material and a vocalist/collaborator/live band member for SBTRKT, but it wasn’t long before his work caught the attention of pop stars like Jessie Ware, Drake and Kanye.

Given the high-profile nature of much of his work, it’s odd to realize that Sampha’s new album Process is his debut full-length. Demand as a collaborator and a series of family illnesses meant his time and attention was divided between various things for years, but he’s finally found the time to deliver on the solo promise of his 2013 EP Dual. Although it was a long time coming, Process reflects the care that he put into it. Richly textured and carefully arranged, it has a complexity—both musical and emotional—in its modern symphonic soul sound that may take a few listens to sink in but stays with you long after you’ve turned it off. Alongside the songwriting, that’s due to the stark honesty of his lyrics, which are intensely personal and delivered in a heartbreaking falsetto. We met in Berlin on a hot day last summer to discuss the warmth of his family, how his music serves as the primary outlet and expression of his emotions and what he’s learned from the biggest names in music.

Your debut EP, Sundanza, and the one with SBTRKT (“Break Off”/”Evening Glow”) both came out in 2010 and seem to be sonically related. But after that your sound changed quite a bit. The shift became really apparent with Dual, which came out in 2013. Can you talk about what happened in between?

I guess I started growing up a little bit. I was thrust into the bigger world, and maybe I calmed down a little. Also that was around the time when I started using a new production software, Logic, which naturally changed my sonic aesthetic. I was using Reason beforehand. I think I was just into a different thing. I wouldn’t say I was more superficial, but I had a different perspective on life. I think a lot of that was me not actually experiencing things—before I had no idea of what a record label does or what performing in a venue was like. And maybe also the music that was happening around me, people like The xx or whatever, opened my ears a bit.

There was also quite a lot going on in your personal life and your family during this interim period, right? When you mentioned growing up, it sounded like you were talking about musically growing up, but…

Yeah, I had a lot going on from 18 to 19. My oldest brother had a serious stroke when I was that age. He almost passed away, and now he’s living with the effects of that. Then my mum got diagnosed with cancer. So those are heavy realities that happened. I made some demos just before all of that kicked off. I guess music is a documentation of where I am. Sometimes it can be a bit, “Oh my gosh, I was so…happy.” [laughs] Not happy, but I guess the “innocence is bliss” line comes in. That is also the deeper undercurrent.

It sounds like your family was really key in your musical development.

Yeah. I’ve got four older brothers, and in terms of musical knowledge, I feel like I’ve been well nutritioned. It’s an extremely supportive family, and they’re all into music—they’re passionate about it. I don’t think they’re living vicariously through me or anything, but they have said, “If I could, I’d do what you’re doing.” I’ve got an older brother who writes [music], and he opened me up quite a lot because he has his own taste. I’d be walking into his room or his flat and he’d be listening to The Clash or The Strokes or Brian Eno or Mos Def. He has no limits to what he’s listening to. And that was extremely important for me. I was opened up to stuff very early; that’s just the view I have.

The music you put out from Dual onwards is a lot more soul-baring. It feels really intimate and personal and it’s very sensitive. I think you said in an interview that you feel a lot, and that really comes across.

Yeah, I guess there’s a lot of times when I don’t express that outside of music. It’s weird—without music, maybe people wouldn’t know what I’m feeling or how much I do feel things that I can express through production. So it’s very important. And it’s what happened naturally. There’s an element of calculation—obviously, I’m sitting down and producing something. But the actual roots of it are very cathartic: it’s a place where I can speak about things or feel emotion. As much as I feel a lot, you can get quite numb to everything. Things just happen and you can be passive to everything that’s going on around you and not really appreciate what you’re going through.

One of the things that I find interesting is that you’re a node that connects many musical scenes. You connect Young Turks, dance producers like SBTRKT and Lil Silva plus artists like Kwes, Micachu and Dels and major rappers and pop stars like Drake and Kanye. What do you think it is about your music that attracts all of these different kinds of people?

I dunno. Essentially, genre is a weird thing, and very rarely do I have the experience where it falls away from my mind. I’ve only had a couple of experiences where I’m like, “Oh wow, I’m not even thinking about genre.” I might be listening to some Malian music or whatever and realize that this certain tempo is the same tempo as hip-hop and there’s so many crossovers that I wouldn’t necessarily think of. I’m into a lot of different types of music; my ears are open. But I think a lot of it has got to do with the fact that I sing and I’m a songwriter. That’s the connection that means maybe I can cross over that bridge. At the same time, I’m into production and electronic music.

That sounds about right. But I was also referring to the social aspect of it.

Yeah, it’s weird. I used to talk to Kwes a lot through MySpace. He loves Kanye, for instance. And [Kwes] heard of me really early, when no one was really listening to me, but he said to me, “Yeah, one day people are going to listen to you—Kanye will.” That was all I could dream of; I was like, “Oh yeah, whatever.” But he had that vision, and I didn’t. Even though from a young age I was listening to these guys and kind of had that thing—”Oh yeah, I’d love for them to hear my stuff”—it always becomes a little bit different in reality. But there’s always been that connection, so it’s not completely separate worlds. These guys know of these guys.

You seem really humble and self-possessed, so it’s really interesting to think of you in a room with personalities like that. What was the most important or useful thing that you learned from working with Drake or 40 or Kanye?

There’s always something about meeting the person. From the outside looking in you don’t always appreciate things because they’re just there, so you have the realization that things actually aren’t just there. People are actually doing things. With Drake, I realized how talented he is. His ability to write—he just sat there, wrote something, looked at his Blackberry, got in the booth, and there was a record coming out almost straight away. He’s quite prolific. And also his vision—just him being a really determined person. Like, talking about his album and the future and being really confident in the future. I think it takes a lot of guts to think about the future. With Kanye, my realization was more about accepting that you can be at different places at different times of your life and you don’t necessarily have to adhere to the way you were. For instance, for him it’s come into this thing where he doesn’t have to be in a room producing by himself anymore. That’s not where his head and mind are at. He can have people helping him with production. It’s very much open-source. That’s how he does his thing: letting people in, discussing ideas. That’s just the way he works.

In my head, I realize that I’m not really doing anything by myself anyway. Even the computer I’m on, the laptop, the software I’m using—someone’s made that. Every part of your existence is interconnected. There’s nothing I’m truly doing by myself. I didn’t really work with other people on my own music. I was mixing my own stuff, recording my own vocals, and I don’t necessarily have to do that. At the same time, if I want to do that, I have all the right to do that. It’s more that I don’t feel like my authenticity is going to be diluted by working with other people, because you’re living in a false world if you think that, anyway. 

Were there any musicians you admire who you really learned something from as a pianist or as a singer or anything like that? Because I get this real sense of symphonic soul. That’s how I would describe your music.

I guess it was 4 Hero. Obviously their remix work, like “Black Gold Of The Sun” and “La Fleur”. Through that, I listened to the Rotary Connection and that whole psychedelic, orchestral soul thing. That hit me hard.

That’s interesting, because in your music I hear a lineage from Stevie Wonder.

Talking about the big one is Stevie Wonder. He’s up there. The fact that I listened to his stuff when I was seven and I felt the same as I do listening to him now is very rare. It really is magic, I think.

You sing, you play instruments, you produce electronic tracks—what do you find the hardest and why?

I find correcting things the hardest. Or consciously thinking that something has to be different once I’ve actually done it. Mostly, making music is I would say natural or even spiritual. Like I’m talking to you right now, I don’t think about the words I’m saying; they just flow out of my brain. The same thing with singing. That’s why I think spirituality is for me just not knowing and things kind of happen. It’s when you consciously edit things. That part of things is always the hardest. Doing it and feeling it—you don’t have to think about at all.

Process is out February 3, 2017 on Young Turks.

The post Sampha Bares His Symphonic Soul appeared first on Electronic Beats.

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