Social distancing rave in Slovakia (video)

While the majority of the world stays at home waiting for pubs and clubs to re-open, Slovakia have got the right idea, with dancers separated in a taped off grid.

Make beats in Roblox with new Splash music maker

Popgun have added their music-making app Splash into Roblox to get kids, or anyone else, making music.

Popgun are a music startup with a focus on how to make music creation interesting using AI. Their debut app Splash is supposed to be a music-making app for teenagers and now it’s a game in Roblox they’re hoping to get people of all ages playing and making music.

The new zone Splash Zone in Roblox lets players perform to crowds and become the hottest DJ in the virtual world. There are DJ style pads covering different vocals, bass, keys, drums sections and more to mix into your sets and easily discover how to mix in elements together to make a great DJ set.

You can customise your virtual stage and your DJ to create a set of your very own design. You can also unlock access to the VIP sections and become one of the high rollers in this virtual music kingdom.

You can play in the Splash: Music and Beat Maker world of Roblox with friends and others together. So if you’re missing you’re friends and having a good dance, why not get everyone together to do a set of your very own from the comfort of your own homes.

Roblox is a free game and you can check out the Splash section of it here.

Pandora bring the soundtrack to your favourite games from Hasbro

Finding yourself playing a lot more board games at home now? Ease the family feuds over Monopoly with a musical backdrop from Pandora.

Pandora have teamed up with Hasbro to launch ‘Bring Home the Fun with Sound On’. It’s a new series of playlists which have been specially curated to provide the perfect soundtrack to 12 of Hasbro’s most popular games.

Artist like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, AC/DC, Justin Bieber, Prince and many more have been selected as the ideal backing for the next big family board game. Check out all the games that now have their very own mix on Pandora:

MONOPOLYAs you roll the Monopoly dice, our rich mix of tunes will keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind with songs including “It’s All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy and “Material Girl” by Madonna.

OPERATION: Before you grab the tweezers and try your surgical skills on Cavity Sam, press play and let our anatomical melodies steady your hand. But, careful … you can’t unbreak his heart. Check out this playlist with songs including “Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer and “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa.

BATTLESHIPReady to embark on a game of Battleship? Our unsinkable mix of nautical songs including “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish and “Float On” by Modest Mouse will steer you right … if you catch our drift. 

CANDY LANDAs you indulge in a game of Candy Land, these delectable songs including “Yummy” by Justin Bieber and “Candy” by Doja Cat will sweeten your path through the Peppermint Forest, the Lagoon of Lord Licorice and Princess Frostine’s Frosted Palace. 

TWISTERAs you spin the Twister spinner, cue up these colorful songs including “Red” by Taylor Swift and “Green Light” by Beyoncé to motivate some hand-over-feet acrobatics.  

CLUEAs you interrogate Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory, let our mysterious melodies give you some clues with songs including “Killer Queen” by Queen and “Walking with a Ghost” by Tegan and Sara.

RISKAs you mobilize the troops for Risk, turn up the volume on these adventurous anthems that name-drop map locations and inspire world domination like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.

SCATTERGORIES: While brainstorming Scattergories, turn up the volume on our quick-thinking blend of tunes that reflect your cards … maybe you’ll get a few ideas. Check out this playlist with songs including “Day ‘N Night” by Kid Cudi and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. 

TRIVIAL PURSUITAs you outwit all around you in Trivial Pursuit, these inquisitive songs including “How Do You Sleep” by Sam Smith and “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston provide a few bonus questions. 

JENGA: Want to inject even more intensity into your Jenga? Press play on our hand-picked high-pressure songs including “Brick by Brick” by Arctic Monkeys and “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus.

THE GAME OF LIFESitting down for a round of The Game of Life? Press play on our eclectic mix of songs that celebrate your major milestones and capture every aspect of your 9 to 5, with songs including “Work” by Rihanna and “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.

CONNECT 4Don’t just play Connect 4 … make a stronger connection by singing along—and counting along—with these numerical shout-out songs including “Hotel Yorba” by The White Stripes and “1234” by Feist. 

For more family-focused resources and ways to connect at home, stop by Hasbro’s bringhomethefun.com.

Google demo I/O Braid, a touch sensitive smart-cable

I/O Braid is research project from Google. Their demo shows how a headphone cable embedded with touch sensitive conductors could be used to control music with a pinch, pat, squeeze or swipe on the fabric cord.

The cable uses a “helical sensing matrix” to register commands. Capacitive and conductive yarns are woven into the braid allowing for 360 degrees of visibility across the entire cable. Fibre optics can also be woven in to provide visual feedback.

The experimental debut of the technology is by no means the final product or something we’ll see in the near future. Rather I/O Braid is a concept that could be integrated into other products such as the power cord of a speaker or hidden in a hoodie string for invisible phone controls.

Google reports 94% accuracy for different gestures. Impressive for an early test, but will need to be improved before being implemented in your next piece of clothing. It’s easy to see how accidental commands could be an issue on something that moves a lot like a hoodie.

Watch the video below to see how the cable distinguishes between different commands.

Find more from Google here.

Why Some “Remastered” Music Videos Look Awful (Video)

Last year YouTube allowed some major labels to remaster their older music videos (while keeping the same video IDs and views), to make them look good in 2020.

Some music videos from the likes of Wham! and Freddie Mercury look fantastic in 4K. Others look worse than they used to, why? Here’s educational YouTuber Tom Scott to answer that question.

Here’s links to the music videos listed:

Check out the expressive instrument taking music to “the next dimension”

Imagine ROLI keyboards had a baby with an Ableton Push controller and they had a baby that looked like a board game – That’s Striso.

This bizarre and incredibly interesting new instrument has just come to our attention and we are enthralled. It is a next level expressive instrument with an intelligent layout and a completely personal feel to playing.

Lets take a look at what makes this new Kickstarter project tick. Firstly the most noticeable thing about it; it’s build. It is a square device with diagonal rows of black and white buttons, making up nearly 4 octaves of range with its 61 pressure sensitive buttons.

Now what makes it so cool; the fact that those 61 buttons are completely pressure and motion sensitive. They can tell how hard you’re pressing the button, sense motions your fingers are making on tip of, all whilst using this input to create “the next dimension” of sound.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/striso/striso-board

With its sophisticated sensitivity the Striso board can change its loudness, pitch and timbre all making for a variety of sounds. They have been designed to simply feel good with the haptic feedback guiding you on making the precise movements you want to get the sound you want.

But beyond the buttons, the entire board is motion sensitive adding a whole extra layer of control over your possible sounds. Tilting and rotating, or even shaking the instrument can put your sound under a range of effects. With MIDI control you can customise it so that you can have whatever result you want with every movement.

The layout at first looks quite random, a bunch of white buttons in between two crowds of black buttons at an angle. However, the Striso board has been built intelligently with music theory at its essence.

Using typical music patterns to place notes in places that match up musically to their surrounding notes, every button having the same pattern of connections surrounding it. They have built so that you can easily stay in key by following nearby buttons and learning how the patterns work.

Here is folk violinist, Baltazar Montanaro, saying how the layout works for him:

I love to use the Striso board to compose my music, it gives a very clear and logic idea of how to travel in harmonies and melodies, with a lot of space for intuition and feeling. As a violinist, the Striso board gives me a complete other map of how to build my music.

There’s a lot more to it than we’ve covered, but if you’re still interested at this point then you should check out their official Kickstarter to learn more about this fascinating little instrument.

For is little as €420 you can secure yourself a Striso board for when it’s planned to launch and ship in December.

Welcome to the Library of Congress’s free Hip-Hop sampling tool

You heard that right, the Library of Congress are making a world of new hip-hop sampling available to everyone for free.

This new tool allows you to explore a wealth of free-to-use sounds from orchestras to choirs, piano pieces to discussions. All of the sounds are completely free to search through, take and mix together from the US Library of Congress’s collection.

The free to use sampling tool is available in preview with a full launch expected later in the year. The tool doesn’t just present with thousands of sounds to choose from, in an easy to explore sound board, but has a built in program made for combining and mixing samples into beats.

The samples are split into collections of various content types like: Inventing Entertainment which features early motion pictures and disc recordings, Free Music Archive which is full of rights-free music, The Joe Smith Collection which features over 200 famous singers, musicians, and others talking about their lives on tape – and many more!

You can check it all out completely free here.

SoundCloud are giving away music gear every day for the next week!

SoundCloud have launched a contest to give away quality equipment from Native Instruments, Fender, Pioneer DJ, ROLI, and many more.

A new gear giveaway contest from SoundCloud gives you the opportunity to win some incredible new gear to get you creating whilst we’re all at home. The competition is running until the 28th April with winners announced every day on the SoundCloud Twitter account.

Prizes include music equipment from Native Instruments, Fender, Pioneer DJ, ROLI, Serato, Roland, iZotope, PreSonus, and Dolby. Upgrade your music production space – all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to send a picture of your home studio setup on their daily Twitter threads.

Every day they’ll announce the winner’s at 3PM EST. To take part you just need to submit your home studio set up and be a legal US resident over the age of 13.

View the official rules here.

Is this the worst cover of a Nirvana song ever?

Puddle of Mudd were kind enough to grace Sirius XM with a live session recently and amongst their own songs they did… this.

To give them their props, the rest of the session is very good – if you’re a Puddle of Mudd fan it’s a good time. But even fans of the band surely can’t forgive this display.

Kurt, we apologise on behalf of Wes Scantlin.

Music Giveaways: Great free apps, sample packs, and software for musicians during self-isolation

Whether it’s for some musical inspiration, the building blocks for your next big song, or just for some fun we have collected a bunch of great free stuff for musicians to discover.

We could all use some entertainment and cheering up during the present situation. If one good thing has come from the Coronavirus it’s the bundles of music goodies that are being made available for free.

This is a list of the things we’ve found so far and we’ll keep adding content here over the coming weeks/months. Let us know any great free things that you find in the comments or get in touch at jacca@routenote.com.

DAWs

Roland’s cross-platform mobile DAW
Cockos offering free REAPER DAW licenses
Serato launch free version of their DAW made for DJs
Apple Logic Pro X ups free trial to 90 days
Steinberg offer Cubase, Dorico, Wavelab and more free for 60 days
Free DAW streaming for collaborators
Collaborative online music studio and DAW

Apps and plugins

Serato Play free for all of May
Loudness and level mastering for streaming services, TV & Film music
Balance your tracks in seconds with this free app from Sonible & Focusrite
Guitar shredding mobile app
Synth apps from Korg & Moog
Ableton offer free packs and production book
3 month free subscription to Melda plugins
Free plugins, sounds & tutorials from Loopmasters, iZotpe, Plugin Boutique, Loopcloud, and Producertech
Valhalla’s Supermassive reverb and delay plugin

Samples

Library of Congress’s new sample collection and remix tool
500+ samples, one shots + more from Jon Sine
200+ Roland TR-909 samples
Electric and Acoustic Guitar sample pack
1000s of free samples, MIDIs, presets + more from Cymatics
Samples and Loops from Jack Antonoff – more to come!
100+ free quality drum samples with huge endorsements
UNDRGRND Sound’s Label Sampler Vol 4
Huge free sample library from Producer Spot

Services

SiriusXM Premier free until May 15th
Audible offering free audiobooks

Learn

Guitar lessons, tips and tricks from Fender and MusicRadar
Drum Channel giving away 1000 memberships to lessons from pros