Listening to music makes you better at work

It’s been proven, listening to music whilst you work makes you more productive and better at working. At least that’s people who work with music are saying.

Do you love listening to music at work? We definitely do! In the RouteNote offices we always have our RouteNote HQ playlist streaming from Sonos’ all around us. If we’re not listening to the Sonos or the amazing music you upload to us then we’ll have our headphones on listening to our own stuff. Thankfully, it’s good for your work.

A new survey by Accountemps, which surveyed 1000 employees working in offices, looks at whether or not listening to music whilst you work helps. Of the people surveyed, 44% said that they were allowed to listen to music at work with no restrictions, whilst only 9% said they were not allowed to listen to music at work at all.

Of those who could listen to music at work 39% said that music makes them much more productive whilst 32% said it helped them to be somewhat more productive. Whilst the results clearly show people think that music helps them to work better Accountemps make clear that it’s a thin line to annoying your colleagues if you listen too loudly or sing along, so listen appropriately.

Accountemps executive director, Michael Steinitz says: “While music can be a stress reliever or source of motivation for many workers, it can be a distraction for others. Those who want to listen to music in the office need to be aware of company policies and considerate toward their colleagues.”

office music productivity productive listening work working

Roland’s 808 reaches it’s natural conclusion and becomes a beer

Another year and another 808 Day passes celebrating the world’s most influential drum machine, and this years festivities saw the 808 relaunched in a brand new format.

It’s been 38 years since Roland turned the world of music upside down with the TR-808 drum machine on August 8th of 1980. It pioneered entirely new sounds in electronic music, it laid the foundations for the next generation of hip-hop, and it redefined what we consider an instrument. Now in 2018 Roland are redefining the instrument once again – as a beer.

Filmmakers Origin Workshop have teamed up with beat loving brewers Mondo Brewing Company from the UK, Devilcraft from Japan, and Melvin Brewing from the US for an international collaboration bringing together bass, beats, and beer. Together their talents have culminated in The Origin Workshop BR-808, a special collaboration beer that honours the enduring sounds and cultural legacy of the TR-808 and the seismic shift it created in music.

Roland say of the musically inspired beer: “It’s a taste of the future, a brew defined by the legendary kick drum of the 808. Its been developed to recreate that deep sub-bass low end, delivering a solid Japanese kick that resonates through the America IPA flavours.”

They describe the beer as having tropical, citrus aromas using mikan orange peel and flavours from the generous rise of Citra and Amarillo hops the Origin Workshop BR-808 provides a refined taste. In respect of their international collaboration the brewers haven’t added any caramel malt, instead using light British pale malt and Cara pils for a refreshing and tasty 7% brew.

It’s unclear how you might acquire any of this musical beer for yourself so you can taste their proud creation and feel the bass flow through your body. So just in case it remains near impossible to get a sip of this iconic beer why not celebrate the legendary drum machine by playing with an 808 in your browser instead.

Spotify introduces moving comics with new Archie series

For when you’re bored of just streaming music on a… music streaming service, you can take part in a new moving comic experience because why not Spotify?

Spotify have just added a new, exclusive experience offering you a non musical experience on the world’s favourite music streaming service. Spotify have added six motion comics of Archie, based on the original comic and the TV series Riverdale taking the format beyond it’s paper constrictions with music and voice acting.

The comic’s six issues are available in Spotify’s mobile app and each one is roughly ten minutes long. When you go to watch/read an episode it will begin and you will read, hear and experience the comic thanks to it’s digital upgrade. It’s presented in the same way as Spotify’s visual podcasts from earlier this year and can be found under Spotlight: Archie – The New Riverdale.

Archie Comics Publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater said: “Archie has always been about trying to find new ways to get comics to fans and readers. And when the opportunity to work with Spotify arose, it was a perfect match. Being able to reposition these modern classics for new readers in this unique, motion comic format makes perfect sense and we can’t wait for fans to experience these beloved Archie stories in a new way.”

The series will be based on the bestselling arc by writer Mark Waid and artists Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish. The first six issues will each get their own motion comic episode. They’re completely tricked out, with voice acting and music to complement the sequential art. These episodes were made to look especially amazing on mobile devices.

Check them out now, apparently they’re pretty good.

RouteNote team’s Songs for the Summer 2018

All of us who work at RouteNote love music and the beauty of it is that everyone’s tastes are different. Some of the team came together to share their favourite songs that get them ready to run to the sun, lay on the beach, crack open a cold one, and enjoy the Summer Season. Here’s the Routenote team’s sound for the Summer.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Mac DeMarco – One Another

Who else but big Mac! Video says it all, just treat life with one big laugh and keep smiling in the sunshine. Roll on down to that beach and turn up this absolute peach.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

L I P S – Apartment

This is truly my favourite track of the year so far, in my opinion it is the musical embodiment of pure bliss. Both nostalgic yet inspirationally eye opening, it will take you back to dreamy times once forgotten while leaving you wanting to delve further into the shoe-gazey/dream-pop pit and see what other gems are hiding in the cracks. Although these guys are fairly new kids on the block, i feel that they have a long and fruitful journey ahead of them, keep your eyes firmly peeled for L I P S.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Loathe – Servant and Master

I chose Servant and Master by Loathe – they’re one of the greatest up-and-coming metal bands in the UK and write some of the most brutal and intense riffs i’ve ever heard. Also it makes you do that horrible face.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Drinks – In the Night Kitchen

I discovered Drinks earlier this year when their new album Hippo Lite released and featured in, I think, The Guardian. I’m never sure what it is that draws me in to listen to a new album but something about this one looked right to me. I listened from start to finish in awe. The beautiful melancholy of this track takes me to a place where dark and light can co-exist and subterranean rhythms keep the world turning.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Tiquie River / Japura River – Philip Glass & Uakti

I like this song-combo in the summer because it has pipes in it and in the summer I love ridin’ sick tubes-n-pipes.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Neffex – Chance

Heard this song few months back in my quest for finding new music. Great tune to get some motivation and drive in your life. Drive yourself to greatness use music as motivation.  This is my summer song. Enjoy it just like I still am.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

The Mars Volta – Viscera Eyes

The Summer Season’s here again but I sit Mystified
The Shining Sun had bought an Obligation to Provide
A Song considered Suitable to Satisfy the Blog
But I’m afraid the Exercise turned out to be a Slog
There had to be a Melody and it had to be Blast.
An Anthem of Adventure that spoke of Summer’s Past.
But I can’t invoke the Beaches Buried under Summer Skies.
So screw it here’s Mars Volta with their song Viscera Eyes.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Open Mike Eagle – 95 Radios

“Brick Body Kids Still Daydream” came out in September of last year and I didn’t hear it until around Christmas. For the most part it’s a harsh, tough, challenging album, but there’s a few tracks on it that sounded like summer, even when first listening to it in the middle of winter. “95 Radios”  is a lovely, chill track that’s nostalgic for relaxed days with old friends, and it suits hot lazy summer evenings perfectly.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

alt-j – Deadcrush (Ben de Vries Remix)

This track is the top bananas, the highest mangoes, the prime kiwi, that juicy fruit that goes in your Pimms. Its deliciously refreshing in every way.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Lianne La Havas – Midnight

Lianne La Havas is a massively cool lady with great vibes and smiles all around. This is an absolute tuuune for driving and singing along in the sun or chilling at the beach – 10/10 would recommend to a friend 👌

 

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Portishead – Strangers

Dummy is an album that will pacify you in the summer heat, the heat that makes you dumb. Did you realise, no one can see inside your view?

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Joan Armatrading – This is Not That

It’s an uplifting but refreshingly honest track. For me it’s some kind of self acceptance, feeling however you want regardless of the expectation or social norm and being cool with that.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Thirdstory – Over (When We Said Goodbye)

This track comes from one of my favourite groups, it’s smooth and full of soul. Perfect for a chill summer drive, a barbie with friends or a romantic night in with your other half. I really hope you enjoy this track and spread the love.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Metronomy – The Look

I kept hearing this track around and not knowing who it was, then i heard it at the queens of the stone age gig at the Eden Project in St Austell and thought they must like it too!That’s cool :slightly_smiling_face: That was also an amazing gig with amazing atmosphere. Then I heard it on the radio on the way back and it quickly became the theme to my week! Its like the best kind of cheese mixed with summer fun in the sun!

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

The Knife – Pass This On

Choosing a single track from ‘Deep Cuts’ by The Knife was a difficult task. On an album with ‘Heartbeats’ and ‘You Take My Breath Away’, choosing a track with steel drums at the forefront may seem odd, but basically, it’s a club banger…

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Courtney Barnett – City Looks Pretty

Courtney makes me happier than a bowl of sunshine on a rainy day. She is a cereal killer hit maker and her record label Milk Records always deliver crunchy delights.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Grouch in Dub – Focal 101 (feat. Dub Princess)

This track is one of my recent favourites. This is one great track from an amazing album.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Cindytalk – It’s Luxury

Beaches, babes and beers.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Neurodriver – Red Sky

Just sums up summer for me. Drink in my hand on a festival dancefloor throwing some shapes haha!

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly

I wanted to pick a song that has nothing going for it other than a good ole’ ridiculous nonsensical fun. That has no agenda about it and represents music being fun for the sake of fun, because that is the attitude you should use whilst your are making your music. Miles away from actually being a Galantis fan, I do feel as if this pick is an example of music doing what it should be doing, for me anyway. Fun music with no hidden messages, stuff that’ll make a party more silly, loosen you up and be ridiculous, pull no punches and and just make you move. My playlists are full of cringe worthy bubble-gum pop like this and I am not ashamed to admit it.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Pnau – Changa

Just cause it’s well fun!

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Chinese Man – Shikantaza

This song reminds me of drinking gin in the sun, getting weird and trying to dance like the badger in the video.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Honne – Me & You

#Summervibes #Swag

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Hunnybee

Recently discovered these guys but this song in particular is definitely gonna get lots of repeats this summer. Super chill, super vibey.

RouteNote songs of the summer soundtrack sunny sun music chill good feelings vibes vibrations

George Fitzgerald – Burns 

I’ve always admired how Fitzgerald manages to develop such emotion and tension in his music, this track being a perfect example.

Meet people around the world with games on Alexa and Google Assistant

Board games are joining us in the future as artificial intelligence gets ready to start playing games with us and even enhancing them with interactive experiences.

AI’s are in almost every household now whether they’re in your pocket on a phone or managing your home in a Smart speaker. Data from earlier this year shows that smart speakers are in 20% of households now and soon they’ll be playing games with you – the fun kind not the world domination kind.

London-based company Sensible Object have just raised $3.2 million to put towards their development of creative games that integrate into our new technological world. They have been working on games that can use the artificial intelligence of Alexa and Google Assistant to provide a gaming experience with new dimensions and a new level of interaction thanks to the integrated tech which uses voice recognition.

When In Rome is the company’s first game, a multiplayer game which is planned to be released through Alexa on July 2 exclusively until early next year when it comes to Google Assistant. The game/experience will take players to 20 cities around the world and introduces you to a friendly local who will ask trivia questions about their city. You will play with team mates to answer questions and make friends around the world whilst earning upgrade cards and collecting souvenirs for each city.

Sensible Object CEO, Alex Fleetwood says: “When you think about having an amazing night out in a city, you don’t know the people you [will] meet, the kind of things that might happen. It goes into that kind of territory and brings some interesting ideas into the game. We’re working on music licensing for the game with local artists. So, for example, how do you bring the authentic sounds of contemporary Nairobi into the game, how can we bring that to life?”

The game will be updated regularly with new content and characters. A planned expansion coming later this year will be aimed at adults and will allow them to explore the nightlife of cities in the game. CEO Fleetwood says that Sensible Objects plan When In Rome to be the first in a series of ‘Voice Originals’, AI powered games. They will release 3 more Voice Originals in 2019 says Fleetwood.

Their $3.2 million round of funding came from investors including London Venture Partners, NCSOFT, March Capital, and Alexa Fund (an Amazon initiative to put $200 million of funding in startups creating products and services for virtual assistants). In addition to developing their own products Sensible Object also want to make their toolkit available for other developers to create board games with.

Fleetwood said of opening up their technology to other companies: “One of the uses of invested capital is to kind of keep building out those tools. We’re really excited about this because it plays into a strategy for Sensible Object of unbundling the box game.”

Sensible Object have raised $5 million and now have 25 employees since they launched their company in 2016.

Pandora reveals their hottest tracks Summer 2018

You may have already been sunning it for the past few months or maybe you’re still waiting for Summer to peek around the corner, either way here is Pandora’s soundtrack for your Summer.

Pandora can’t wait to get out to the beach, bust out the BBQs, crack out some chilled drinks, and most importantly spin the best summer tunes in the sun. Based on their team of music curators and their music data systems Pandora have revealed their selection of the top songs they think will be occupying the soundtracks of your Summers.

Pandora are clearly looking forward to sunning it up along to Cardi B and Bad Bunny, both of whom feature multiple times throughout their selection. You can check out the playlist on Pandora and listen to all the tunes right now or take a look at their selections below.

Cardi B – Be Careful

Post Malone – Better Now

Ella Mai – Boo’d Up

Nicki Minaj – Chun-Li

Daddy Yankee – Dura (Remix) [feat. Becky G, Bad Bunny & Natti Natasha]

Drake – God’s Plan

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It

Khea, Bad Bunny & Duki – Loca (Bad Bunny Remix) [feat. Cazzu]

Khalid & Normani – Love Lies

Bazzi – Mine

Drake – Nice For What

Ariana Grande – No Tears Left to Cry

Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – One Kiss

Khalid, 6LACK & Ty Dolla $ign – OTW

Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee & Slim Jxmmi – Powerglide (feat. Juicy J)

Becky G & Natti Natasha – Sin Pijama

Nio Garcia, Darell & Casper Magico – Te Bote

Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle

Migos – Walk It Talk It (feat. Drake)

Lil Baby & Drake – Yes Indeed

Dennis Lloyd – Nevermind

Future – Bag (feat. Yung Bans)

Jay Rock – Win

Maren Morris – Rich

Childish Gambino – This is America

Shawn Mendes – Nervous


What are going to be the top tracks on your Summer playlists this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Make business fun with these MIDI instrument business cards

Patrick Bateman thought he was jealous of an Eggshell business card, wait until he sees these business cards acting as a MIDI instrument.

Business cards are made to sell yourself or your services, and people try to make theirs unique to draw in interest. Some opt for making them as classy as possible, some try to make them look funky, and some cards are designed to be played with and none more than these MIDI business cards.

Tim Alex Jacobs is the man behind the MIDI-stylophone business card which is made up of a printed circuit board that can be used as a MIDI instrument. Now the technology is cheap enough and capable a variety of electronic business cards have been made but Jacobs says with his: “A couple of years ago I took a stab at making one for myself, but I didn’t want it to be pointless.”

Jacobs doesn’t remember how the idea for creating a MIDI-stylophone came to his head but the idea resonated with him and he set about making it reality. The card has a miniature keyboard allowing you to play it as an instrument and can be read using an analog-to-digital converter with a resistor ladder along the keyboard. Jacobs used this method so that it wouldn’t require anything larger than an ATtiny85 for the full range of 20 notes.

The cards are cheap enough to make that, if your selective with who you hand them out to they won’t drain your funds. Jacobs says they ended up costing roughly $3 each. It was made with a snappable section which can be re-soldered onto the USB corner making it thick enough to stick into the USB without having to make the entire business card bulky.

Jacobs’ final design with an immersion gold finish to sex it up a bit looks amazing beyond the fact it’s such a unique card. It’s sure to make any potential customers or partners look at you twice and at the very least they’re going to have some fun with it.

You can find out more about how he did it here: mitxela.com/projects/stylocard

Making music is simple and fun with Google’s Song Maker

A fun new song maker takes songwriting back to it’s basics so anyone young and old, novice or experienced can make music in their browser.

Google just launched the latest app in their Chrome Music Lab experiments which are helping to make learning music accessible and fun. Song Maker is their newest hands-on experiment which takes music down to it’s basics with a drum line and a instrument line helping to teach the core of a rhythm and melody.

The in-browser app presents a simple template with a kick and snare line at the bottom and a 2 octave blank canvas above. It works on a 16 bar loop with 2 beats per bar so that users can simply input a drum line and some notes and see how they sound and refine it to how they want it to sound.

The 2 octave range allows you only to put in natural notes, so it’s a lot easier to sound “right”. But whilst you can’t make complex melodies with the 7 note scale you can still have some fun with chords. Once you’ve made a song you can share it straightaway with friends via a link.

You have the option to choose which drum sounds you want from an ‘Electronic’ drum machine sound, ‘Blocks’, a drum ‘Kit’ sound, and a ‘Conga’ sound. Likewise for the instrument you can choose between a ‘Marimba’, ‘Piano’, ‘Strings’, ‘Woodwind’, and ‘Synth’.

Google launched Song Maker as part of ‘Music In Our Schools Month‘, an initiative launched in 1985 to push learning music and getting creative to children in exciting new ways. You can play it in your web browser right now for free with no installs – just start playing. It even works on phones and tablets too.

Start making some music with Song Maker: musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker

The 100 most sampled tracks in music history

Sampling music is an art-form in it’s own right and it’s everywhere nowadays. This Spotify playlist features all of the most used songs in sampling history.

Samples are used everywhere in music today: in Hip-Hop, dance music, pop, even rock music will make use of other musical works. Whilst there’s no boundaries (except legal ones) to what can be chopped, screwed, and manipulated in a new way – there are a number of tracks that appear across hundreds of tracks thanks to a unique drum line or a sexy bass riff that can be used and reworked endlessly.

Reddit user sooryuken has compiled the top 100 sampled songs into a killer Spotify playlist that shows music inspiration from all kinds of places. They sourced the top sampled tracks from WhoSampled, an amazing website dedicated to sourcing samples that have been used in a track or where a track has been sampled. Unfortunately Spotify didn’t have all 100 of their top sampled songs but 92/100 is a pretty good ratio.

Speaking on HipHopHeads where sooryuken posted his playlist, they said: “I’m constantly making all kinds of playlists. This felt “perfect”/complete enough to share so I did haha … I’ll also probably make a playlist later based on this but more suited for background listening.”