Kosso’s debut album hits No.5 in the Dutch album charts

RouteNote was thrilled to see that one of our incredibly talented artists, Kosso, has flown up the charts with his debut album hitting number 5 this week.

We have hundreds of amazing artists that use our service everyday and always just as much of an excitement for us when we see an artist who works with us doing well. When we saw how well Kosso was doing with his brand new album we just had to share the great news!

Kosso is a rapper/hip-hop artist from the Netherlands who has been steadily building a reputation in his homeland that has seen him become a massive success. With his new album ‘Nooit te laat’ Kosso has proven himself to be a powerful force in music shooting all the way up to number 5 in the Dutch charts in his first week.

Listen to Kosso’s new album on Spotify here:

Kosso

Website – www.kosso.nl

Facebook – www.facebook.com/kossomusic

Twitter – twitter.com/kossomusic

YouTube –www.youtube.com/channel/UCfM34vnvH-4iE8XnOr9aSig

Get 6 months of Apple Music free with EE phones including data streaming costs

EE have announced that they are giving away six months of Apple Music with EE monthly contracts, including streaming costs.

Yesterday mobile carrier EE revealed a giant deal for all customers on a pay-monthly contract with the telco. From the 19th July customers will be able to get six months of Apple Music for free, Apple’s massively popular music streaming service.

In addition to being able to stream unlimited music through Apple Music for 6 months free, EE are also making Apple Music data “zero-rated”. What this means is that EE won’t charge roaming data costs for Apple Music so you can stream as much music as you want wherever you are, assuming you have a connection, at no cost!

The offer will begin next Wednesday on the 19th July and will be available for customers to register to using a code that EE will reveal. SIM-only customers are also eligible to register for the deal.

The Top 10 DAWs for music production in 2017

Getting the right music production software is vital to your music. Whether you’re recording a live band through a mixer or creating an electronic piece completely from scratch, a good DAW is essential to making your music.

Thankfully in the modern world we have access to hundreds of pieces of software instantly – but that can make it hard to find the right program just for you. To help you out we’ve collected our top 10 favourite DAWs, each with their own unique traits, that we think are the best artists can get.

Keep an eye out for a list of our favourite FREE DAWs coming soon as well.


Ableton Live ($99+)

(Windows & Mac)

Ableton is one of the world’s most popular DAWs and with good reason. It features a flexibility and feature set that means no matter what you are working on you can create and edit your music exactly how you want.

Ableton is perfect for both beginners and experts with an accessible UI that features a massive range of functions the further you delve into it. Ableton offers 2 view modes that you can switch between at any time: The standard Arrangement View and Session View which allows you to loop different tracks and pieces to build the music as you go.

Live is a fast, fun, intuitive way to make music and a valuable tool to any musician or producer.

FL Studio ($110+)

(Windows & Mac)

FL Studio is an OG of the music production world, with 18 years of innovation behind it’s software today. FL Studio has become renowned for it’s versatility allowing you to compose, arrange, record, edit, mix and more all inside it’s brilliantly easy to use program.

FL Studio’s in-built MIDI arranging is one of it’s most lauded abilities allowing beginners to experiment with transposing and experts to completely write tracks how they would like. Every purchase of FL Studio also comes with free updates for LIFETIME, meaning that you will always have free access to the latest version.

Logic Pro ($199)

(Mac)

Logic Pro is Apple’s darling music production studio for Macs. It offers a fully fleshed out recording studio that is used by professionals (so you know it’s quality). Logic Pro is as visually appealing as it is powerful with gorgeous colours to order your arrangements and sophisticated functions to perfect your projects with.

Whilst it is Mac only this makes it one of the best choices for Mac users as almost everything that can be used on Mac will work with Logic Pro. There are also frequent updates for the software, with a recent update integrating the new Macbook’s touch bar for some super cool functionality in your mixes.

Steinberg Cubase ($80+)

(Windows & Mac)

Cubase have established themselves as a staple in music production software. Using Cubase’s intuitive controls make every step of the production easy – and it’s designed to help you with every step whether that be tapping in the first few notes to your track or tweaking the levels in your final mix.

Their are 3 different versions of Cubase which offer a different package depending on what you need. Their flagship software Cubase Pro is for everything from composing, recording, mixing and editing music with the program’s sophisticated audio and MIDI tools. Cubase Artist is made for deep editing and sequencing whilst Cubase Elements is the feature-packed program for recording music using Cubase Pro’s world famous technology.

Pro Tools ($29+)

(Windows & Mac)

Pro Tools has become renowned as a powerful, quality program not just for music but audio in general, with TV and filmmakers among those who laud the software. Pro Tools is a powerful DAW with deep plugin integration and they’ve recently added loop-based creation allowing you to progressively work on a project.

One of the reasons Pro Tools is so loved is it’s Cloud Collaboration features which allows you to collaborate with anyone – no matter where in the world they are. This also means that working across multiple machines on a project is as smooth as a dream. You can work with up to 10 collaborators, making Pro Tools an essential product for long distance collaborations and bands.

Another unique thing about Pro Tools is you can pay a monthly subscription if you can’t afford the full license, so you can use it only for as long as you need or work towards paying for a full version.

Renoise ($75)

(Windows, Mac & Linux)

Renoise is an interesting DAW in that it does things differently using a “tracker-based approach”. What this essentially means is that the music is run in grids similar to Ableton’s Session view which is brilliant for step-editing and building the elements of a track one-by-one.

Renoise working in grid-based patterns streamlines the creative process but that’s not to say there isn’t a massive range of functionality with Renoise. It features dozens of built-in audio processors and support for a wide range of virtual instruments. In addition you can extend the program with scripting to control it however you want using MIDI and OSC devices.

N-Track Studio ($49+)

(Windows & Mac)

N-Track is famed for it’s virtually unlimited capacity of audio and MIDI tracks with the same capabilities as most of the top DAWs at an incredibly affordable price. It has everything you’d want for recording and mixing with support for a giant range of virtual instruments including ReWire and AU.

One of N-Track’s standout features is it’s cross-platform compatibility which allows you to record and edit between any machine – Windows, Macs, and both iOS and Android mobile apps. The mobile version of N-Track Studio are also incredibly powerful putting a full DAW with all the features you could want literally into your hands.

MOTU Digital Performer ($499)

(Windows & Mac)

MOTU is one of the serious OG’s with MIDI versions going back as far as 1984. It is an incredible platform for streamlining all the elements of your projects into a singular workflow that sparks creativity and inspiration without overwhelming. It features state-of-the-art studio production technology for a high quality mixing and recording experience with a massive variety of editing capabilities.

DP features next gen rendering and buffering technology that is made to keep running to your computers very limits, allowing you to let loose with plugins and tracks. Despite their long-running Mac exclusivity, MOTU have made DP available on Windows too recently.

MOTU also peculiarly offer the option to upgrade from another DAW for a discounted price if you’re looking to switch.

Propellorhead Reason (€369)

(Windows & Mac)

Reason is incredibly reasonable in introducing itself to new users, to it’s software or DAWs in general. They boast such an accessible program that on their website they provide a simple 5-step process to creating a track on Reason.

One of Reason’s standout features is it’s massive host of packaged VSTs that not only give you the tool set to create a massive variety in Reason, but can even be used outside of Reason with other programs. It’s layout will also appeal to tech geeks with the ability to view it as a studio rack, with virtual cable patching too.

Propellorhead’s Reason is available as a much cheaper Essentials version as well as the full DAW.

Cakewalk Sonar ($19.99+)

(Windows)

Sonar is an award-winning DAW with a bunch of cool features, like touch screen compatibility. Sonar comes with an impressive list of lauded effects and virtual instruments to give a professional touch to your mix without even having to buy anything external.

Sonar is available in a variety of different versions which range from incredibly affordable with all of the base features to the regular price of a few hundred for the fully fleshed out version with all the extras, and they’re all available to purchase on a monthly basis to save even more money. Every purchase of Sonar also guarantees you 12 months of free updates, which they regularly add.


So there you have our list of the best programs for creating, mixing and producing music in 2017. Be sure to check back on the RouteNote Blog for more equipment, top lists and news about the music industry – your number one stop for the world of music.

Aphex Twin’s son special guest features on new track

Electronic music pioneer and twisted genius Aphex Twin experimented with creating a track using only Korg instruments and tech.

Aphex Twin, real name Richard D. James, has joined up with Korg to create a new track that tests the versatility of Korg’s instruments and products. The result of his experiment is a new track from the renowned producer with a feature from James’ son.

James has long been a fan of Korg’s electronic kit, using an array of Korg devices throughout his career to create crazy electronic pieces and sophisticated arrangements alike. His relationship with Korg has gone so far as to see James work on their Monologue synth ensuring that the instrument featured micro-tuning.

For this project James teamed up with Tatsuya Takahashi, Korg advisor and former engineer for their products. Using James extensive musical knowledge and experimental creativity combined with Takahashi’s inside knowledge of how the devices work the two created a track made up of entirely sounds produced by Korg products.

For their track ‘korg funk 5’ the duo explored the capabilities of 7 different Korg devices working together to create a track. To make the track even more special Richard D. James has used his own son’s vocals on the track. Have a listen:

Alongside the surprise music project they also released a discussion between James and Takahashi as they delve into their deep knowledge of synthesizers and electronic instruments. No doubt interesting for many Aphex Twin fans, but for music tech geeks it will be a fascinating look inside the minds of a musical pioneer in the subject and an engineer responsible for some the present’s defining devices.

Aphex Twin also released some short “tracks” created with a variety of Korg products to accompany the other. You can hear them on Korg’s SoundCloud.

Spotify and Sony put behind conflict and sign major deal

Another major label has come to and signed a deal with Spotify cementing their music licenses and making a Spotify IPO more likely.

Spotify have spent the past couple years negotiating with the major labels, working off of a month-to-month licensing basis for their music. It followed their giant rise in success which led to major artists (mainly Taylor Swift) questioning the new platform of streaming as it became evermore popular.

A few months ago Spotify finally mended their relationship with their first of the three major labels, Universal Music Group. The two came to a deal that would allow certain releases to be made exclusive to paying Spotify users for a limited time after release to increase revenues for new music. In exchange Universal accepted a lower royalty rate, about 52% instead of 55%, that will help Spotify move towards profitability.

The terms of Spotify’s deal with Sony haven’t been revealed yet and spokespersons have refused to comment as of yet but the deal is thought to be struck immediately. Whilst it no doubt gives Spotify some required stability as their growth continues to fail to reach profit, it also strengthens their position for an IPO which they have been discussing for a long time.

As soon as more details of Sony’s deal with Spotify are released you will be able to find them here on the RouteNote Blog.

Gangnam Style loses YouTube #1 spot, you won’t believe what beat it

Psy’s viral sensation ‘Gangnam Style’ has held YouTube’s top spot for years but now it has been overtaken, by this?

Yes, Wiz Khalifa’s track made for the Furious 7 soundtrack is – for whatever reason – the most viewed video on YouTube now. The “rap/ballad” featuring Charlie Puth has whizzed past Psy’s long-held position as the number 1 viewed video on YouTube with almost 3 billion views.

Why it’s become so ridiculously popular, with no real viral attributes, is beyond me – not because it’s bad, it’s just not particularly special. The song was created in part as a tribute to Paul Walker, the star of Fast and Furious films before his untimely death in 2013.

It’s taken the video 2 years but with a steady stream of growth rather than sudden viral growth the music video managed to sneak up on Gangnam Style and is now YouTube’s biggest hit. It will be interesting to see how long it remains at the top after Psy’s long run as leader, but with YouTube videos growing ever-more popular the wait for the next top video may not be as long.

Dr. Dre drops a surprise new track, first new music since 2015

Dr. Dre has been quiet on the music front since dropping his first album in 16 years back in 2015, but now he’s back with a brand new single.

This week Dr. Dre, the internationally acclaimed rapper-come-businessman, surprise dropped a new track out of nowhere. The track, titled ‘Gunfiyah’, is Dre’s first public musical endeavour since he released his album Compton in 2015 – his first album since 1999’s ‘2001’ album.

The song was created as part of The Defiant Ones, a new HBO series that explores the careers of Apple Music head and mogul Jimmy Iovine and Beats owner Dre. Dre’s new track ‘Gunfiyah’ will feature in the fourth episode of the documentary series. Dre debuted the new track on his show ‘The Pharmacy’ on Beats 1, Apple’s online radio station.

Despite the hype that surrounds anything by Dre, he has told Pitchfork that he does not plan to release the song officially. But Dre fans out there still have plenty to be excited about as Dre revealed that he’s going back into the studio with Eminem to work on his protegé’s ninth studio album.

In an interview with The Defiant One’s director Allen Hughes, he said: “Right now he’s producing, in the 11th hour, a track for Eminem’s latest album. So Dre’s still real active in music, you know? It’s the truth.”

Dre also has a lot going in his partnership with Apple as they too are planning a video series about the entrepreneurial rapper. Dre has also been heavily involved with overall video production for Apple Music’s new series, teaming up with Jimmy Iovine to spearhead the format for their music streaming service.

The secret Universal ‘fake artists’ behind a bunch of Spotify’s most streamed tracks – revealed

Andreas Romdhane and Josef Seeland on the left with BMI staff

Spotify’s playlists have been found to feature hundreds of questionable artists, which have been found out to be just two fellas.

Last summer Music Business Worldwide made an interesting discovery about a number of artists in Spotify’s playlists with high streams and no history. Recently Spotify made a statement relating to ‘fake artists’ on their music streaming platform that caused MBW to restart their investigation.

A spokesperson for Spotify said recently: “We do not and have never created ‘fake’ artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop.” So what’s really going on with all these artists with major popularity in playlists who don’t seem to exist anywhere else?

MBW took their investigation further to collate a list of all the artists they could find that came under the ‘fake artist’ requirements. After getting a list of 50 names, and concluding that there are likely over 100 artists fitting this criteria, MBW made an even more interesting discovery with the help of their readers.

Searching ASCAP and BMI’s databases for ISRC’s related to the tracks they managed to find two music producers who seem to be responsible for a majority (if not all) of these ‘fake artists’. A song by artist ‘Deep Watch’ was credited as being written by Andreas Romdhane and Josef Svedlund. Then a track by ‘Piotr Miteska’ was found to have Romdhange/Svedlund credited, and then another track, then another.

All of the different ‘fake artists’ on Spotify’s playlists were credited under a bunch of different companies like DW Prod, PTRMTSK, The Inversions and so on. However if you look into it, Andreas Romdhane and Josef Svedlund are better known as duo Quiz & Larossi (Q&L Publishing) which is administered by Universal Music Publishing Group.

So what’s really going on here? Well it is still kind of ambiguous despite a bunch of breaking revelations. It is clear however that something is going on with ‘fake artists’ being placed on playlists and earning millions of streams based on… something. And now major label Universal may be involved (I highly doubt UMG let the duo produce secretly for Spotify without their involvement) even more questions are raised.

What is clear however is that Spotify’s playlists are filled with these artists and it would suggest they are using them to gain streams for themselves, diminishing the value of tracks from labels and independents. Oh and by the way, Andreas Romdhane and Josef Svedlund are currently working out of a studio in Stockholm, Sweden which just happens to be home to Spotify’s main base.