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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2021 » February

This Week in Broadcast Regulation: February 20, 2021 to February 26, 2021

Delivered... David Oxenford and Adam Sandler | Scene | Sun 28 Feb 2021 4:01 pm

Here are some of the regulatory developments of the last week of significance to broadcasters, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • About 200 radio and television stations have been randomly selected to be audited by the FCC for their EEO compliance. The FCC audits about five percent of all broadcast stations each year, requesting documentation of an audited station’s hiring practices.  Stations on the audit list have until April 26 to upload their audit response to their public file.  (Audit Notice and Station List)  (Broadcast Law Blog)
    • A draft of a proposal for changing the broadcast EEO rules is circulating for review among the Commissioners. It appears that this proposal will seek public input on changes arrived at after the Commission’s review of the comments in its 2019 rulemaking that looked at how to make the EEO program more effective.  See our article here on that 2019 rulemaking proceeding.
  • The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau reminded parties of their obligation to report in the Antenna Structure Registration system all transfers of ownership of registered towers. The Bureau notes that accurate records are necessary to protect aircraft navigation safety.  (Public Notice).  See our articles here and here about past FCC fines for companies who forgot to update this information.
  • Beginning March 26, broadcasters will no longer have the option of submitting checks or other “manual” payments for fees due for applications processed by the FCC’s Media Bureau. With the closure of Lockbox 979089, all application fee payments must be electronic.  (Federal Register)
  • At the FCC’s March 17’s FCC monthly Open Meeting, the Commissioners will consider an Emergency Alert System proposal for new rules to keep the public safe and informed during emergencies and disasters, including an inquiry as to whether it is possible to deliver emergency alerts through the internet, including over streaming services. (Meeting Details) (Emergency Alert NPRM and NOI)
  • Comments are due by March 29 on the FCC’s proposal to use a terrain-based methodology (such as Longley-Rice) for determining where white space devices can operate in the television band. Reply comments are due by April 26.  The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was released in October.  (Federal Register)
  • Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent letters to the heads of the country’s biggest cable, satellite, and streaming platforms requesting information on how they intend to police misinformation disseminated by certain news networks they carry. As the inquiry targeted conservative networks and alleged misinformation about the presidential election and the pandemic, Republican objections, including statements from FCC Commissioners Carr and Simington, were swift.  It is likely that the Congressional letter, this week’s congressional hearing on misinformation in the media, and other efforts to address media bias will keep the First Amendment and the Fairness Doctrine in the news.  We wrote about these debates in the context of the Fairness Doctrine, here, and NAB CEO Gordon Smith wrote an op-ed about broadcasters’ dedication to reporting facts, here.
  • The FCC announced the winning bidders of the C-Band auction that raised more than $81 billion selling off spectrum made available, in part, by relocating broadcasters. This moves the FCC another step closer to releasing reimbursement payments to affected broadcasters.  (Public Notice) (Bidding Summary)
  • We published our monthly look at the upcoming regulatory dates and deadlines coming in March and early April. We covered comment periods in rulemaking proceedings, application filing deadlines, and other regulatory dates for the coming month.  Read our blog post, here.


Blanck Mass: In Ferneaux review – the very definition of niche

Delivered... Phil Mongredien | Scene | Sun 28 Feb 2021 4:00 pm

(Sacred Bones)
Travel the world as Benjamin John Power mines a decade’s worth of field recordings on his gratifyingly singular fifth album

In Ferneaux represents something of a departure for electronica auteur Benjamin John Power. After the euphoric and abrasive maximalism of 2019’s Animated Violence Mild, and his work as half of Fuck Buttons, Power’s fifth album as Blanck Mass is a more oblique affair. A product of lockdown isolation, it comprises two lengthy soundscapes that blend his trademark layers of coruscating noise with sounds found on his travels over the past decade. Set out of context, these field recordings become for the most part wilfully abstract and very much open to interpretation: was this one recorded in downtown Bamako, that one at a Portuguese woodland rave?

Phase I begins with twinkling synths before hitting a bombastic climax, and then everything drops away around the six-minute mark, leaving only a recording of what could be a walking tour of an open-air cutlery-testing facility, which in turn becomes a slowly evolving drone. It ends with industrial pummelling. Feedback and distortion feature more prominently in Phase II, as does a gorgeous piano coda, while a carnival atmosphere prevails in the most prominent found sound. In an age of Spotified homogeneity, it’s the very definition of niche, but makes for admirably – and enjoyably – singular listening.

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FCC Issues First Broadcast EEO Audit of 2021– Reviewing the Basics of the FCC’s EEO Rules

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 26 Feb 2021 3:26 pm

Yesterday the FCC  released another of its regular EEO audit notices (available here), asking over 200 radio and TV stations, and the station employment units with which they are associated (i.e., commonly owned stations serving the same area) , provide to the FCC (by posting the information in their online public inspection file) their  EEO Annual Public File reports for the last two years, as well as backup data showing  that the station in fact did everything that was required under the FCC rules.

To lighten the burden on stations due to the pandemic, certain requirements usually associated with these audits have been adopted.  Audited stations must provide representative copies of notices sent to employment outreach sources about each full-time vacancy as well as some documentation of the supplemental efforts that all station employment units with 5 or more full-time employees are required to perform (whether or not they had job openings in any year). These non-vacancy specific outreach efforts are designed to educate the community about broadcast employment positions and to train employees for more senior roles in broadcasting. Stations must also provide information about how they self-assessed the performance of their EEO program. Answers to certain other questions are also required.  Stations that are listed in the audit notice have until April 26, 2021 to upload this information into their online public file.

The FCC has promised to randomly audit 5% of all broadcast stations each year. Since each station’s response (and the audit letter itself) must be uploaded to the public file, it can be reviewed not only by the FCC, but by anyone else with an Internet connection anywhere, at any time.  The license renewal cycle which began last year adds to the importance of this audit, as a broadcaster does not want a recent compliance issue to headline the record the FCC will be reviewing with its license renewal (see our article here about the license renewal cycle). So, whether you are on the list or not, this is a good time for broadcasters to review what is required by the FCC’s EEO rules.

The summer before last, at the Wisconsin Association of Broadcasters annual convention, I did a presentation on the FCC requirements for EEO compliance. The slides from that presentation are available here. The FCC rules were designed to bring new people into broadcast employment positions and encourage broadcasters to recruit from outside the traditional broadcast networks when hiring new employees. Not only should broadcasters be reaching out to their consultants and employees for referrals, and using their own airwaves to promote openings, but they need to be using outreach sources that are designed to reach all groups within a community to notify potential candidates about the availability of open employment positions. While the FCC used to require that outreach be made to a plethora of community groups, it has now recognized that online recruitment sources alone can reach the entire community (see our summary of that decision here) – but these sources need to be evaluated regularly to assure that they are in fact bringing in applicants for job openings from a station’s entire employment area.

Stations need to keep the required documentation to demonstrate their hiring efforts, as the failure to have those documents can still lead to fines (see our article here). The documents should show not only the stations’ hiring efforts in connection with job openings, but also the supplemental efforts that they have taken (even where they have not had job vacancies) to educate their community about broadcast employment and to train their employees to assume more responsibilities.  The FCC has provided a menu of options to achieve these required supplemental efforts.  See our article here for some ideas from the menu for ways that stations can receive credit for these supplemental efforts even during this time of social distancing.  Stations should review their policies to make sure that they have the documentation to meet an FCC audit and ensure that their EEO programs are regularly bringing in recruits from diverse sources and that they have done the required non-vacancy specific educational efforts on broadcast employment.

When the FCC abolished the FCC Form 397 EEO Mid-Term Report, it promised to review the effectiveness of its EEO rules. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking examining  how to make the program more effective was released last year, leading to  some interesting proposals (see our article here). Those proposals are likely going to require further public comment before they can be adopted.  Thus, for now, the current rules remain in effect. As EEO enforcement was recently  transferred to the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (see our article here), we  expect that enforcement will be vigorous.

Consult with your attorneys to obtain a thorough understanding of the EEO rules and talk with the employees involved in employment matters at your station to make sure that they understand what they should be doing and are maintaining the paperwork necessary to demonstrate your compliance with the rules. The FCC continues to enforce its rules and impose fines on stations that cannot demonstrate compliance, so make sure that you comply with the FCC’s obligations on EEO matters.

‘They left an indelible mark on my psyche’: how Daft Punk pushed pop forward

Delivered... Gabriel Szatan | Scene | Fri 26 Feb 2021 2:30 pm

Skrillex, Erol Alkan and those close to the French duo chart how they went from being industry outsiders to defining the trajectory of dance music

Following their split this week after 28 years, Daft Punk have ascended to pop Valhalla. Perhaps they’re sitting next to Prince, whose pirouetting falsetto funk and emotional vulnerability inspired the duo’s 2001 masterpiece Discovery, and Led Zeppelin, from whom they cribbed double-necked guitars and 10-tonne drums on 2005’s Human After All. Yet those albums were met with a mixed reception – audiences and critics alike had to learn to trust Daft Punk’s vision of the future.

For British producer-DJ Erol Alkan, whose fan forums were an essential incubator of the blog house movement that swept through club culture in the 2000s, the Parisians had a “deeply profound impact” on a generation, including Alkan. “They were a gateway into so much music that I love, and a big part of that admiration comes down to their position as outsiders,” he says. Daft Punk’s magpie approach to songwriting and visual art was a dominant story of early 21st-century music, similarly colouring the work of MIA, 2ManyDJs, the Avalanches and other sample-stitchers. Although some commentators queried how much inspiration could actually be bound up in recycling, Alkan thinks that in Daft Punk’s case, “the references are strong and familiar, and there is enough of themselves in there for it to always remain theirs”.

In the late 90s, you could already feel they were geniuses with real vision

Related: Daft Punk were the most influential pop musicians of the 21st century

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Procedural visuals for everybody: Houdini is now free for Unreal and Unity

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 25 Feb 2021 9:18 pm

Visualists and audiovisualists, rejoice. A major rabbit hole of 3D eye candy is now free for both Unreal and Unity.

The post Procedural visuals for everybody: Houdini is now free for Unreal and Unity appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Procedural visuals for everybody: Houdini is now free for Unreal and Unity

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 25 Feb 2021 9:18 pm

Visualists and audiovisualists, rejoice. A major rabbit hole of 3D eye candy is now free for both Unreal and Unity.

The post Procedural visuals for everybody: Houdini is now free for Unreal and Unity appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Teenage Engineering are going deeper into consumer design, with startup Nothing

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 25 Feb 2021 6:48 pm

It's like something out of a William Gibson plotline. Nothing is headquartered in London and will make ... something. And apart from tapping alumni of Apple, Twitch, Reddit, YouTube, and a CEO from OnePlus - they're also bringing in Swedish designers Teenage Engineering.

The post Teenage Engineering are going deeper into consumer design, with startup Nothing appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: Copyright, White Spaces, and Zonecasting Comments; LPTV and Translator Analog-to-Digital Extension; Emergency Alerting for Streaming Companies, and More.

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 25 Feb 2021 6:24 pm

March brings springtime and, with it, a likely reprieve from the cold and extreme weather much of the country has been suffering through.  As noted below, though, March brings no reprieve from the routine regulatory dates and deadlines that fill a broadcaster’s calendar.

TV operators have until March 8 to file comments in the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry looking to assess the impact of the abolition of the statutory copyright license that allowed satellite television operators to import distant network signals into TV markets where there were households arguably not being served by a local network affiliate (see our article here).

Reply comments are due by March 12 in the FCC’s FM booster zonecasting proceeding.  The proposal would allow FM boosters to originate limited amounts of programming (up to 5%—or 3 minutes—of any program hour) different from their primary stations (see our blog post, here, for more information).  Stations could target hyper-local content like local news, advertisements, and weather information to different parts of the station’s coverage area.  Several large radio broadcasters, the NAB, and FEMA filed comments opposing the proposal, noting, among other things, that zonecasting could lead to a fragmentation of the already-fragile local radio advertising market, that there are unresolved technical considerations, and that performance of the Emergency Alert System could be harmed in and around booster zones and that additional field testing is needed.  Other radio broadcasters filed in support of zonecasting, pointing to a station’s ability to target advertising that is not relevant to its entire market area and the ability to provide second-language programming to discrete areas of the market.  Comments submitted in the docket can be read, here.

March 13 is the deadline for low power TV and translator stations that need more time to build their digital facilities to request a final extension of up to 180 days.  By July 13, all low power TV and translator stations must stop transmitting in analog and switch to digital.  Stations granted an extension must still cease all analog transmissions by July 13 but will have additional time to build their digital facilities and begin digital transmission.  Applicants seeking an extension must demonstrate that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee’s control and that the licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem quickly.  These circumstances include delays in obtaining zoning or other approvals, inability to obtain equipment, or financial hardship.  More details are available in the Public Notice, here.

The FCC in early February announced an auction of 136 FM construction permits and four AM construction permits will begin on July 27, 2021.  Most of the construction permits to be auction were part of Auction 106 before it was postponed due to COVID.  Interested parties can submit comments and reply comments on the proposed bidding procedures by March 15 and March 22, respectively.  A Public Notice with the proposed bidding procedures and more information is available, here, and the list of available permits can be found, here.  The FCC also announced a freeze on applications and proposals that will affect any of the Auction 109 FM allotments.  More information on the freeze is here.

Comments in an FCC proceeding looking to decide whether Longley-Rice or similar terrain-based models of determining signal propagation are appropriate for determining where white-spaces devices can operate in the television band are due on March 29, with reply comments due by April 26.  See the Federal Register notice announcing those dates, here.  Companies seeking to make use of television white spaces devices believe that terrain-based propagation models will allow for more uses of these devices by more accurately predicting where television stations would receive interference, while broadcasters have been concerned about the accuracy and ease of calculation of coverage using these models.  Look for comments detailing these positions by the comment deadline.

The FCC will hold the next of its required monthly open meetings on March 17 with one item on the agenda of interest to TV and radio broadcasters.  The Commissioners will vote on an item that seeks to update the rules for emergency alerting through the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alert system.  The proposal seeks comment on introducing a new class of alerts called “National Alerts,” formalizing the process by which State Emergency Communications Committees review and develop EAS plans, encouraging government entities to self-report false alerts, and exploring the required repetition of alerts.  A companion Notice of Inquiry asks whether it is technically feasible for emergency alerts to be sent through the internet, especially over streaming services.  A public draft of the item and more information about the meeting can be found, here.  At the end of the month, or in early April, keep an eye on the FCC website for the items to be considered at the FCC’s April 22 Open Meeting.

Looking ahead to early next month, by April 1, radio stations in Texas and television stations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee must file their license renewal applications through the FCC’s Licensing and Management System (LMS).  Those stations must also file with the FCC a Broadcast EEO Program Report (Form 2100, Schedule 396) and, if they are part of a station employment unit (a station or a group of commonly owned stations in the same market that share at least one employee) with 5 or more full-time employees, upload to their public file and post a link on their station website to their annual EEO report covering their hiring and employment outreach activities for the twelve months from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

TV and radio stations licensed to communities in Delaware and Pennsylvania that are part of an employment unit with 5 or more full-time employees also must upload to their public inspection file and post on their website their annual EEO report by April 1.

And April 10 will be the due date for Quarterly Issues Programs lists for the first quarter of 2021.  Remember that these documents are the only officially-mandated record of how your station served the public interest in its service area.  We wrote about the importance of these lists, here.

These are just some of the dates and deadlines coming up in March and early April.  Be sure to watch our blog, the FCC website, trade publications, and to be in contact with your communications counsel throughout the month for more dates applicable to your operations.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 25 Feb 2021 6:00 pm
Check back for details on who's performing and how to get tickets.

Spotify Launches New Snapchat-Like Clips Feature – EDM.com

Delivered... | Scene | Wed 24 Feb 2021 9:00 am
Spotify Launches New Snapchat-Like Clips Feature  EDM.com

Monster cheat sheet: what’s new in Ableton Live 11 and how to start using it

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 24 Feb 2021 12:33 am

You've seen some feature lists - and this time Ableton is even doing a 90-day free trial. But how do you actually dig into what's new in Live 11 and start working? Here's a deep guide to all the essentials.

The post Monster cheat sheet: what’s new in Ableton Live 11 and how to start using it appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 23 Feb 2021 10:00 pm
Illenium, Alan Walker, Carnage, Deorro, Riot Ten, Duke Dumont and more. All day lineups have now been announced.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 23 Feb 2021 5:00 pm
Illenium, Alan Walker, Carnage, Deorro, Riot Ten, Duke Dumont and more. All day lineups have now been announced.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 23 Feb 2021 4:00 pm
It's the biggest urban music festival in England and it started as a rock and pop festival and is now mostly hip-hop and urban music.

Ableton Live 11, Max 8.1.x, are both live now; ask anything

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 23 Feb 2021 12:40 pm

Live 11 is now available - not a beta, final release. And there's a slightly different Max version out this week, too. Here's the quick overview:

The post Ableton Live 11, Max 8.1.x, are both live now; ask anything appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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