Learn to code music in your web browser by controlling this jazz trio

Have you ever looked at music programming and thought “Nope, that’s far too hard. Goodbye”. Well this new site is here to introduce music coding in a fun and easy way.

Jazzari is a free website that guides you through the basics of programming music with a jazz trio under your control. With a simple layout, groovy sounds and a gorgeous interface Jazzari will have you programming an experimental piece of breakbeat techno with Aphex Twin in no time.

The free site opens up presenting you with 3 spectacled, animated musicians with their notes across 4 bars shown below them. To the right you have your sidebar where you scroll through tutorials, examples and write in your code. At first it can seem extremely intimidating, but start with lesson 1 and in no time you’ll start to understand how simple coding with music can be.

A set arrangement will be created automatically for you which you can edit or delete entirely to create your own loop. With 16 beats to each bar, and 4 bars, you can programme in your drums, keys and bass to create a jazzy rhythm and play around with the different elements of music code. You can even download it as MIDI to use in your DAWs or other software.

Tutorials range all the way from how to input your first note, to changing the volume and length of every hit, randomising certain notes, and even using trigonometry in the advanced stages. It’s easy to find the process overwhelming but by following the guides step to step Jazzari provides potentially the most accessible platform for starting music programming.

Jazzari music coding programming trio jazz code

With a visual layout showing you the timing and notes it’s easy to get tempted to just drag and click your ideas out. Fortunately, Jazzari doesn’t make that possible so you’re forced to create via code. It’s annoying at first but if you’re looking for that experience you can use any of the hundreds of programs that are capable of notation and playback already.

My personal experience, as someone who has never attempted any music programming before, was that this is a fantastic program. Within 10 minutes I had gone from no idea what I was doing, to creating a disjointed yet funky drum pattern. It’s simple enough to breed creativity whilst maintaining the core factors that you need to know when coding music.

Jazzari gets it’s name from the 12th century scholar and inventor Ismail al-Jazari. al-Jazari is said to have invented one of the first ever programmable musical machines. His invention was a “musical automaton, which was a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties.”

The creator says that whilst Jazzari may have educational benefits it isn’t meant to actually teach programming or music theory (though it’s a pretty cool introduction). The creator says:

Not really. While I find it conceivable that a motivated reader might be able to learn a bit about loops, variables, scales, or rhythms while using JAZZARI, I don’t  think that JAZZARI is a particularly good tool for learning about programming or music. Bret Victor has persuasively argued in Learnable Programming, that making conventional programming environments superficially friendlier, “adorning a JavaScript editor with badges and mascots” does little to support novice programmers. If people manage to learn a bit about quarter notes or JavaScript while using JAZZARI, it will be because they are motivated and patient, not because JAZZARI is well designed for educational purposes. There might be the slightest twinkle of a constructionist sandbox here, but even saying that is slightly disingenuous.

If you’re interested in environments that have been designed specifically to teach programming, check out LOGO or Scratch. Sam Aaron’s Sonic Pi is designed to teach programming through music composition. Ear Sketch is another.

If you’re interested in interactive music tutorials, I recommend Ableton’s Learning Music, NYU’s musedlab, and Funklet.

Check out Jazzari and get coding: jackschaedler.github.io/jazzari

Ableton Live says goodbye to 32-bit as they go 64-bit exclusive

Ableton will discontinue Live 32-bit by the end of this year citing “persistent crashes” as they move to 64-bit OS only.

Depending on what you’re running on your PC right now, this could be some bad news. Ableton Live, the staple DAW for loads of producers, DJs, and musicians, is ending 32-bit support and going 64-bit exclusive.

Ableton claim that they are making the change due to “persistent out-of-memory crashes” caused on the 32-bit version of Live. The issue with 32-bit versions of software is that they are only capable of using 4 GB of RAM. With music software typically using a lot of resources and power that limited memory access can quickly be exceeded by large projects, powerful plug-ins and more which was the cause for many Ableton crashes.

Whilst you might think 64-bit would just equal double the power it is in fact much more powerful. Using the 64-bit version of Ableton the software can access 16 exabytes of RAM which as thousands of times more than computers have, essentially giving you unlimited memory access for computers with large RAM.

If you’re computer isn’t compatible with 64-bit software of if you’d like to continue using Ableton Live 32-bit you can keep the program, but it will be exempt from software updates from late 2017.

Users will be able to have two versions of Ableton, a 32-bit and 64-bit version installed on their computer at the same time. Users will also be able to download the final 32-bit version of Ableton anytime they like form their User Account where it will remain permanently.

For 32-bit legacy plug-ins you will need to read Ableton’s articles on using JBridge or 32 Lives for bridging plug-ins.

Find out more about the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit software and the benefits of moving to 64-bit in Ableton’s FAQ.

Meet the instrument that “pushes the threshold of electronic music production”

Klip is a powerful instrument and drum machine that creators Sample Magic say will push the threshold of electronic music.

Klip is a unique digital instrument and drum machine designed by sample and plugin creators Sample Magic. The powerful instrument features inventive parameter editing matrix and over 4000 samples built-in.

The powerful Klip allows you to manipulate beats and samples to an impressive length in it’s internal drum machine. After you’ve mashed and chopped your beats together you have an incredible level of customisation at your fingertips, with a range of editable effects, an 8 channel mixer, filter routing and more.

Klip can be used with mouse and keyboard or via MIDI controller depending on your own preference, allowing you get even more creative with the instrument’s capabilities. Complement your beats with carefully collated and expertly recorded analogue synthesiser waveforms included as part of Klip’s powerful sound library.

FEATURES:

  • A powerful sound library with over 4000 high quality Sample Magic samples, pooled from a vast range of titles across Electronica, Techno and House
  • Vast variety of presets from leading Sample Magic sound designers
  • Unique ‘FX’ matrix allowing independent manipulation of up to 16 parameters per pad, across 32 steps
  • 20 Filter types across High Pass, Low Pass and Band Pass
  • 70 Lane presets for quick, enhanced pattern writing and effect manipulation
  • Multiple FX types including Distortion, Saturation, Bit Crusher, Delay and Convolution Reverb with flexible routing options
  • Powerful dynamics processing including Compression, Limiter and Transient Shaper
  • Warm, characterful 3-band EQ per mixer channel
  • 8 Independent mixer channels, each of which can be custom assigned to its own output
  • Unique Convolution Reverb algorithms recorded at some of the world’s finest spaces
  • Up to 8 Sequences in each pattern, with easy copy and paste shortcuts.
  • Full Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol(TM) and Maschine(TM) integration with extensive MIDI CC implementation
  • Drag or export pattern lane to MIDI functionality
  • Transpose and timestretch all sounds and loops to the native key and tempo of your DAW
  • Playback swing to mimic classic, timeless dance music grooves and sequencers
  • Effortlessly record pad movements or input steps using MIDI devices
  • Randomise pads and preset lanes at the click of a mouse for unique, inimitable grooves
  • Variable grid synchronisation from 1/1 to 1/32 of project tempo for up to 32 bar patterns
  • In-built mixer limiter for easy, professional mixing
  • Extensive collection of vintage analogue synthesiser waveforms and drum hits from a host of classic rhythm boxes and keyboards
  • Key adjust any sound or loop key from major to minor

You can find out more and purchase Klip for yourself from the Sample Magic website: www.samplemagic.com/details/1868/klip

Klip requires the free Kontakt Player to work.

Sony Music begin licensing STEM files for DJs & producers

Sony Music may begin a revolution in music becoming the first major label to start licensing its STEM files to be used in mixes and new tracks.

STEM files feature all the different elements of a track, allowing producers and remixers to peel tracks back and recreate them in their own design. But not only has it been difficult to get hold of tracks in the new audio file format, it has also seen very little support from majors – meaning most mixes/remixes featuring STEMs are illegal for distribution.

It could all be about to change though. Nashville based-music tech company Remix Hits have just created a major deal with Sony Music that will allow them to sell STEMs from Sony in their ‘Stem Marketplace’. This means there will be an official shop where producers and DJs can legally acquire fully licensed STEMs allowing them to remix vocals and instrumental parts.

With their legally licensed tracks/remixes artists can then distribute their new music on Remix Hits store. Remix Hits have also set up a revenue share plan so that when licensed music is used the original rights holders receive their share of revenues for every sale. At the moment this seems like one of the best ways for independent artists to reclaim giant songs from a major label and legally spread it out to the world.

Remix Hits’ CEO Sam Brooker spoke on how the current remixing system is broken and that’s what informed their new deal with Sony Music. Brooker said: “We’ve created a technology that’s finally caught up to the needs of the remix culture. It’s been really tough over the decades watching all the instances of copyright infringement end in takedowns and litigation against remixers, all the while artists and rights holders continue to suffer from lost revenue.

“It was a no-brainer that we needed to create a system that gave remixers access to legal stems and the legal release opportunities they’ve been dreaming of. We also provide a brand new revenue opportunity to help reinvigorate the music industry we love so much. I’m excited about being able to legally release major label content, and the chance to do this the right way…

“We’re about to create some big opportunities for their artists and all aspiring remix artists around the world.”

Remix Hits confirm that they are also talking to Warner and Universal about similar opportunities.

Become an Ableton master with thousands of lessons from Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill, producer extraordinaire, is here to show you how to create amazing songs on Ableton with just your mouse, keyboard and Ableton Live.

You may know Mr. Bill from his extensive discography covering a wide variety of amazing electronic music. As a talented producer Mr. Bill wants to share his knowledge with the world, and that’s where his incredible Ableton programme comes into play with hundreds of lessons, resources and more available helping you to become a pro.

Signing up as a “Hardcore Abletoneer” with Mr. Bill gives you access to a massive host of Ableton Live courses by Mr. Bill himself, project files that you can use and experiment with, Sample Packs to use in your work, and much more. All of the content on Mr. Bill’s site is available at a cost without a subscription but as soon as you become a Hardcore Abletoneer all digital content becomes free to access.

Mr. Bill’s site is already packed full of thousands of dollars worth of resources, materials and lessons to kick-start or boost your music production career. At just $120 a year or $15 a month for access to years worth of content it’s an incredible deal for anyone looking to master Ableton. With a subscription you also gain instant free access to all the amazing content released weekly after you start your subscription.

Mr. Bill says on his site: “Follow along with all of my courses and I’m confident you’ll be well on your way to becoming a superb Ableton Live user… I’m giving you the power to open the guts of the track and see how it was created, reverse engineer it and even create your own things from it. Some tracks even have supporting production footage so you can watch how it was made.”

Check out what you’re in for now on Mr. Bill’s YouTube channel where you can see a taste of the amazing Ableton lessons and resources that could be YOURS: www.youtube.com/user/MrBillsTunes

Find out more and sign up for yourself here: live.mrbillstunes.com

Propellerhead reveal massive Reason 10 upgrade

Reason DAW gets it’s next major upgrade with Reason 10, introducing a bunch of brand new instruments and tools to use in your music.

New sounds and new gear pave the way for new music, and Reason 10 is here with a rackload of new synths, instruments, samples and more. Grain and Europa: two massive, brand new synthesizers. Klang Tuned Percussion, Pangea World Instruments, Humana Vocal Ensemble: three new live-sounding organic instrument devices. Radical Piano: a top-notch acoustic piano. Synchronous: creative modulation device. Loop Supply and Drum Supply: a multi-gigabyte infusion of cutting-edge drum loops and samples.

Europa Shapeshifting Synthesizer

Europa synth DAW vst instrument software

Europa was created for huge, epic sounds and oh boy, does it deliver… From big stacks of buzzing sawtooths to shimmering, glitched-up sonic explorations, Europa has you covered. To call it a wavetable synth wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s so much more than that. Apply a wide range of modulation to the waveform itself, to start with. Add advanced spectral filtering, harmonics processing and even draw your custom waveforms. And the best part: despite it’s deep synthesis powers, it’s still surprisingly easy to use.

Grain Sample Manipulator

Europa synth DAW vst instrument software

Get granular with your samples! The Grain synthesizer opens up the world of granular synthesis for your creative use. Drop any sample into Grain and explore the endless sonic variations you can create with Grain’s selection of playback algorithms, ultra-flexible modulation, routing and effects. With immense sonic power and an inviting interface, Grain is the easy-to-use sonic lab that turns your samples into grains and your grains into music.

New sampled instruments

Reason 10 puts three brand new organic instrument collections in your Reason rack. Expertly crafted in cooperation with sampling experts Soundiron, these new devices offers a wealth of inspiring and natural-sounding instruments to your music making.

Klang Tuned Percussion: 
A collection of tuned percussion instruments

Glockenspiel, Music Box, Wineglasses and a whole lot more. Tuned percussion sounds are great for creating melody lines or adding an organic dimension to an electronic production.

Pangea World Instruments: 
The sounds of planet Earth

Add more colors to your sonic palette with this collection of instruments full of character from all corners of the world. Plucked, pumped, blown or strummed, these instruments will add a new dimension to any style of music.

Humana Vocal Ensemble: 
Choir and vocal instrument

Give your music a human touch with the sound of Humana’s selection of choirs and solo voices. Perfect for soundtracks or epic pop ballads, these singers will add depth and harmony to your music.

Loop Supply & Drum Supply 
A huge cache of inspiration

Update your sound with this multi-gigabyte injection of cutting-edge loops and drum samples made to deliver up-to-date pop. electronic and hip hop sounds for Reason. Get creative with a huge selection of patches for Reason’s Kong drum machine and Dr Octo Rex loop player.

Radical Piano 
Advanced Acoustic Piano

The premise is simple. The results are stunning. Three basic pianos paired with the technology to make an infinite number of your own. Based on a custom blend between sampling technology and physical modeling algorithms, Radical Piano affords songwriters, producers, and sound designers an unprecedented level of control to craft a realistic piano that is 100% unique.

Synchronous Effects Modulator 
Timed Effects Modulator

Bring your music to life with Synchronous’ modulation effects. Create quick sidechain effects or draw your own LFO curves to control filter, delay, reverb, distortion and level. Make your sound evolve, change and loop over time.


Reason 10 is currently in beta testing for Reason 9 and Reason Essentials 9 users, you can sign up to test it here.

Reason 10 will launch officially on October the 25th and will be available as an upgrade for all older Reason users at $129/€129. It will cost $399/€349 for those who don’t have a previous version of Reason. Anyone who has purchased Reason after the 1st September this year will get the upgrade for free.

Get this classic Korg synth for free as a plugin

A free plugin to add to your virtual instrument collection? Yes please. Get this Korg PS-3100 synth emulator for free.

Full Bucket Music have a new virtual instrument based off of one of Korg’s old-school synths from the 70’s. The lovely people over there have also released it entirely for free so you can download and start playing it straight away, at no cost.

The plugin emulates the Korg PS-3100 Polyphonic Synthesizer from 1977. The creators say that it has been coded specifically to maximise performance and consume very low levels of CPU power.

The ‘FB-3100’ synth plugin features:

  • Close emulation of behaviour and all controls of the original hardware
  • Band-limited oscillators, classic two-pole lowpass filters
  • Resonators section
  • Two Modulation Generators, Sample & Hold
  • Additional paraphonic Envelope Generator
  • Semi-modular patch panel
  • Micro-tuning option
  • Additional tweaks
  • MIDI Learn – all parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC
  • Plug-in supports Windows and macOS (32 bit and 64 bit)

Download the plugin for free now, and make a donation if you love the instrument, here: www.fullbucket.de/music/fb3100.html

You’ll never guess who might be making a new DAW, at last!

Some developments suggest that we may finally be seeing music production software from one of the worlds biggest makers of tech – Microsoft.

Despite meagre attempts at joining the market, Microsoft have weirdly stayed out of the world of music production for the most part. Whilst rival Apple has become renowned for its own DAW software and being capable of running heavy music software, Microsoft has sat out happy in its support of the plethora of production and recording software available for Windows.

Now it seems like that could all be changing soon as Microsoft are looking for employees “with experience building best-in-class products”. In a KVR forum post where someone reportedly part of the team advertised the new positions, they titled the post – “Microsoft looking for Audio Developers in the VI/VST space”.

The positions advertised are looking for a ‘Senior Program Manager (Digital Audio Software)‘ and ‘Senior Music Software Engineer Lead‘. Both adverts begin saying, “We aspire for hundreds of millions of people to use Microsoft tools for creative expression seamlessly across their everyday lives. Our team is growing…” before becoming specific to the role.

Whilst trying to remain as subtle as possible the adverts reveal some puzzle pieces of what Microsoft might be working towards. In their description of the Senior Program Manager role, they write:

As a senior program manager in the group, you will use your background in digital audio software, virtual instruments, or game audio platforms to partner with our Audio Engine team to prototype and build a software platform that enables new music entertainment scenarios. You will research customer habits and difficulties in digital music creation, audio software tech, and identity differentiated experiences for our team. You will craft feature specs that drive new ideas in software technology that enable music expression and enjoyment.

Imagine yourself helping unlock creative expression for people who have something to say musically, but don’t have the skills or vocabulary to make it happen. You will prototype idea, technologies and techniques to realise this dream.

We can gather that Microsoft definitely intend to build a new piece of music software that allows you to ‘express’ yourself musically. This suggest a DAW however the following lines suggesting that it should be accessible for beginners, perhaps even complete novice’s with music and music software. Hopefully this isn’t pointing towards something along the lines of Microsoft’s embarrassing Songsmith software

Synthology’s amazing synths for Ableton took a year to make

Undrgrnd Sounds have released 12 months worth of sound development in Synthology, an Ableton pack not to be missed.

Synthology is the result of a years hard work in a collaboration between Undrgrnd Sounds and Ableton. The result is a collection of classic and legendary hardware-sourced synth sounds in a vast library of Instrument Racks.

Aimed at producers of house, techno, future beat, trap and electronica of all kinds, Synthology offers unrivalled access to a who’s-who of vintage synthesisers, with all the convenience, flexibility and portability of the Live Rack format. Whether you’re seeking instant preset gratification or a starting point for your own sound design endeavours, its intuitive workflow, inspirational playability and expansive range of tones and timbres – from the bread-and-butter basics to the complex and stylised – make this a truly empowering and universal electronic music toolbox.

An immense undertaking by one of the soundware industry’s newest players, UNDRGND SOUNDS’ Synthology plugs a powerful battery of classic analogue and digital synths directly into Live. Drawing on a roster of iconic hardware instruments – including the Roland Juno-60 and SH-2, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Oberheim SEM and Korg Wavestation – and suitable for all modern genres, this artfully multisampled 8 GB library takes in everything from booming subs and chest-throbbing basses, through evocative drones and lush pads, to funky chord stacks and hard-hitting leads.

Synthology’s 148 emulations are housed in four Selector Racks: Bass, Synth, Chord 1 and Chord 2. Each Selector contains up to 50 sounds of its named type, stepped through using the Synth Selector Macro knob. Every sound is a fully realised Chain in its own right, with an extensive series of effects shaping and polishing the raw samples of the source Simpler into a tailored, mix-ready sound.

Bespoke per-preset Macros dive deep, distilling the essential programming elements – filters, LFO modulation, saturation, ambience and so on – into a user-friendly interface that maps automatically to Push for immediate hands-on control. Further processing is on hand in the global Master FX Rack, tweaked directly or via the top-level Macros in each Selector; while velocity, mod wheel and/or aftertouch assignments give every preset an expressive performance angle.

Although the Selector Racks may well be all you ever need, each and every Synthology preset is also included as a self-contained Instrument Rack – ideal when you know what sound you’re after and want to keep your Live project as lean and CPU-light as possible.

Synthology is available for €49 or as a free demo if you want to try it out.

The top 10 best, free DAWs updated for 2017

Following our incredibly popular list of the best free Digital Audio Workstation’s (DAWs) back in 2015 we’re here to bring you a new list of the greatest software for making and recording your music – at NO COST to you at all.

There are hundreds of amazing pieces of software for music making out there, so we’ve pinned it down to the top 10 just for you.

If you’re looking for the best of the best then check out our list of the best paid DAWs in 2017 here.


Audacity

(Windows, Mac, & Linux)

Audacity is a staple in the free music making world, as one of the most popular music software ever thanks to its lightweight build and incredibly easy usability. It’s software is basic and its audio editing isn’t of the highest quality, but it’s the best all-rounder that is not just free but easy for anyone to jump into.

Thanks to its versatility Audacity has become popular with indie musicians, podcasters, voice actors, cover singers and more. Audacity is a prime choice for those who simply want to start recording tracks without any fuss.

Pyramix

(Windows)

Pyramix is a digital audio workstation used by professional studios and engineers the world over for post-production TV and film, music production, CD/SACD mastering and many more audio-related industries where advanced tools and flexibility, combined with astounding sonic precision are required. It is an amazing tool for working with video and audio simultaneously, like music videos.

Pyramix has a lot of smaller features that make it shine above others such as brilliant dual-screen optimisation, audio importing which adjusts the tempo to sound perfect, a log list to look back and undo specific actions, and more. There is a steep learning curve for getting used to Pyramix but it’s worth it for a great experience.

The free download requires a quick, simple free register on Merging’s site.

GarageBand

(Mac)

GarageBand is a fully equipped music creation studio inside your Mac — with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and an incredible selection of session drummers and percussionists. With Touch Bar features for MacBook Pro and an intuitive, modern design, it’s easy to learn, play, record, create and share your hits worldwide.

GarageBand may not have an incredible depth but it’s a brilliant piece of software to play around and craft music with. GarageBand has long stood as the free Apple music software for Apple products, particularly Mac’s, building a solid reputation over the years.

Audiotool

(Windows, Mac, & Linux)

Audiotool is part of a growing group of DAWs that don’t even require a download, as they work straight from your browser. An easy criticism of browser DAWs is their lack of power and features but that’s not an issue with Audiotool.

Audiotool features hundreds-of-thousands of samples to work with and loads of instruments and effects which can be wired manually to manipulate your sounds like early electronic musicians. Being an in-browser DAW you can store all of your projects on the cloud for access anywhere to listen back or carry on working with it.

Qtractor

(Linux)

Qtractor is rare breed of DAW – one that is made specifically for Linux software. Qtractor features a fully fleshed out multi-track recording and sequencing software that resembles a similar layout to that of the top DAWs.

Qtractor offers up a wide range of functionality and possibilities within a powerful little package. It’s the beauty of a full DAW but optimised to work especially with Linux. It’s a must-have for any music makers working on the less popular operating software.

Studio One Prime

(Windows & Mac)

Studio One Prime is a free copy of PreSonus’ brilliant music making software. Whilst it may not come as fully packed with features as Studio One, Prime still has all the tools you’ll need to start crafting great music.

For a free version you are surprisingly given unlimited audio and midi tracks, as well as unlimited buses and FX. It’s drag-and-drop functionality makes it a super smooth experience with a bunch of features you can use to enhance your mix/track.

Ohm Studio

(Windows & Mac)

Ohm Studio is a great digital workstation for music but it has a unique element that makes it truly stand out. Ohm Studio is a collaborative software that means you can join projects and invite others into yours to make music together in real-time.

If you want to create long distance collaborations or your band are separated but want to go in on a track together then Ohm Studio is the thing for you. Beyond collaborations though Ohm still offers a brilliant package of a beautiful DAW with plenty of instruments and effects in a smooth workflow.

MixPad

(Windows & Mac)

With MixPad multi-track recording and mixing software, you can access all the power of professional recording and mixing equipment through a single platform that streamlines the process and makes mixing a breeze. With a super lightweight download you can start mixing and making within minutes.

MixPad features unlimited tracks, the ability to record multiple tracks at a time, free effects and sound library, and more. MixPad also boasts support for more audio file formats than any other mixer. You can also save your track/audio in any format, a massively handy feature that is less common amongst free audio software.

Podium

(Windows)

 

Zynewave offer a free version of their popular Podium DAW that has gained a loyal fanbase of users. It’s developed by just one man but don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t a powerful piece of software capable of all you want from a good DAW.

There are some criticisms of its workflow not being as obvious and streamlined as in other programs however its stability and beautiful design help it to stand out. As with Audacity it’s incredibly competent at what it does but may not have the feature set to appeal to more serious mixers and producers.

Soundtrap

(Windows, Mac, & Linux)

Soundtrap is another in-browser DAW that stands out from the rest thanks to a powerful software that is easy to use. It’s accessible for anyone from beginners to professionals and as an in-browser DAW you can instantly start creating music from their website.

Soundtrap also features collaborative abilities for working on and sharing projects around the world whether they be strangers interested in music or friends that you’re working with.


Are there any programs you would have added? Let us know in the comments below!