Garageband is a wicked way to make music on the go and it’s getting even better with their new chock-filled update. Apple are updating their music sketchbook-cum-DAW-cum-fun app with a load of wicked new features…
We’re thrilled to see another artist make it on to Spotify’s giant playlists after uploading their music to them through us. Spotify’s playlists can have millions of followers who come each week to hear the…
YouTube’s new music service fell flat when many people found it inaccessible after launching, but now it’s come to everyone and in 12 more countries. YouTube launched their new music service late last month in…
Here it is – every top song from the Billboard Hot 100 for every year since 1950. A few unexpected little gems in there, some stuff you won’t have heard before, some stuff you have, and some stuff you’ll cringe at. Like it or not it’s quite an interesting trip through evolution of pop. One of the amazing things that I discovered while researching this is that ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Sexual Healing’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’ were all released with a year of each other, and all of them frighteningly close to ‘Faith’ by George Michael. Surely something has gone wrong with the space/time continuum. Also, if you bought the Macarena, hang your head in shame.
It all started to go wrong for me about 1982, which is ironic, because that’s about the time I was learning to talk.
Another little tool to add to your collection of free VST plugins, if you’re quick! TC Electronic are offering their new reverb plugin – the M30 Studio Reverb – for free if you sign up to their newsletter by clicking here, visting their site and filling out the form you’ll find there. Here’s what they say about it on their site:
The M30 Studio Reverb is a simple to use, great sounding reverb that is powered by AlgoFlex™ – a new high definition TC technology that enables hardware quality and predictability to be ported to native software.
TC Electronic has been at the forefront of effects development for decades, and our reverb algorithms can be found in the best recording and mixing environments in the world. With its great sound M30 is a unique addition to any VST- or AU compatible application.
You’ll have to get your skates on though, the free offer ends on the 18th of Nov.
YouTube is obviously the go-to site for video, and possibly even music streaming. According to inside sources, their platform is now profitable (no link, sorry) in part due to their successful wrangling with the PRS and other rights organisations about music licensing fees. Now that Myspace is being forced into a pay-for-content model, it’ll be the only place where web users automatically go to find out more about a band they’ve heard of, and you, gentle reader, cannot afford to ignore it. If you haven’t shot a video for your latest track, cut some stills together, and for [insert deity here]’s sake get it up online! Once you’ve done so, YouTube are dedicated to making it easy to generate views on your video:
The debate on music piracy is a bit like that on global warming; vocal and vehement, and extremely polarised (pardon the pun). Evidence can be produced to support the most extremeopinions, and is wrangled over until those in the middle don’t know what is believable. Consensus seems to be that even though music pirates are active music fans, and likely to be buying music as well as ‘stealing’ it online , piracy is damaging to sales of actual music tracks, although this may be slightly offset by increased gig attendance and other types of premium content purchase – box sets, t-shirts etc.
It also seems to be accepted that legal methods of ad supported, free-to-the-consumer streaming is the best way of combating the rise of piracy – the great user experience that Spotify has been able to offer has seen it expand faster than it can deal with; attracting users to use a great free streaming service isn’t hard, but finding a way of profiting from all those users is, balancing ad revenue against streaming and licensing costs, and Spotify’s launch in the States has had to be delayed while they evolve their model, and figure out how to move people onto their £10 a month premium service.
While they figure this out, MOG is stepping up to the plate in the States with their £5 a month subscription only model, that allows playlisting and file searching in a pretty similar way to Spotify’s interface [see the video at the bottom of this post]. A poll conducted by Demos (a company that sends people out with clipboards) suggests that revenue (income and adoption) would be maximised at the £5 price point:
But this doesn’t account for the costs inherent in delivering the amount of music that people tend to consume through such streaming services; leaving the computer streaming music all day, an individual could incur a lot of charges for their service provider.
So which footpath of digital development is going to turn out to be the music superhighway of the future? In my humble opinion, it’s going to come down to user experience: if we discount piracy as a viable future for the industry (no revenue means no artists) then we’re left with paying per track, either for streams or downloads, or for a month on month subscription service. These will remain as competing options, probably with iTunes still in pole position of the download market, given it’s current market dominance, and the relentless success of the iPod and it’s cousin the iPhone, and for the rest it’ll come down to whoever provides the slinkiest, most versatile service for whatever the music industry decides is the rock bottom price per stream, plus the minimum streaming cost. I for one hope that the big 4 accept thatad-supported music streaming is the best and only real way of putting an end to piracy, that they come to terms with the smaller license fee and infrastructure that will be demanded by this model. Of the options currently available, I think that Spotify has the most user friendly platform, I’m proud that we’re working with them, and I suggest that you upload your music to their service, via RouteNote’s digital music distribution platform right…. Now.
Most music in the world is awful, lets be honest. If you find yourself in the middle of a screaming legion of fans in the middle of a mosh pit for the worlds most awesome metal band and life is perfect, i’m betting there is a good chance you hate dance and techno music just as passionately, just as blatantly as the dance fans hate your rock and metal. There will never be a band that is universally loved by everyone. Some bands, however, are hated by everyone, but that’s not the point is it! Then there’s rubbish bands in the middle of everyone, constantly on the radio, number one all over the place and on every reality TV show going, who is actually buys Peter Andre albums anyway? I bet you don’t know anyone who has actually gone to the shops to buy one. Some bands, it seems, are able to get along on just the strength of a good name, despite having shameful music, like Muse or the Stereophonics. That one apparent, i think, proves how important it is to have a good solid name, one that sounds like your music and really matches to the sort of fans you wanna grab, like Metallica, Radiohead or Blur. Some however, get it superbly wrong, here are the worst 10 we could find, in no particular order.
Now here’s an amazing sounding musical collaboration project, showing how much can be achieved in a day if you combine a professional attitude, a strong concept and a day in a recording studio.
Record Club is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day. The album chosen to be reinterpreted is used as a framework. Nothing is rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track is put up here once a week. As you will hear, some of the songs are rough renditions, often first takes that document what happened over the course of a day as opposed to a polished rendering. There is no intention to ‘add to’ the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording. Only to play music and document what happens. And those who aren’t familiar with the albums in question will hopefully look for the songs in their definitive versions.
The current project is the Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence (of Jefferson Airplane) album ‘OAR’ – an album that already has something of Beck’s sound about it, and there have been 2 previous albums from the Velvet Underground and Leonard Cohen covered in this hasty fashion, put together by Beck and a heterogeneous mix of artists including Wilco, Feist, Devandra Banhart and many others. You can stream the music for each album from his site.
Whether you like her or not, she’s a show stopper; like Lily Allen, she’s got the knack of maintaining notoriety and exploiting the ink, electronic and otherwise that comes from being headline news. I have a feeling that the rumours about her sexual ambiguity and her ‘outrageous’ onstage antics are part of a calculated Cowellesque marketing plan. Soon, the lesbian relationship, then the pregnancy, the 3rd world adoption, the breakdown and the clean comeback…
M-Audio have recently announced that they have been feverishly beavering away over the last few months to create drivers that are compatible with the newly released Window 7 operating system. The Beta stage drivers are now available for the majority of their current products. All downloadable from www.m-audio.com, they are free but you must be registered to the site forum. The products that benefit so far are listed below:
Fast Track Ultra
Fast Track Ultra 8R
Fast Track Pro
Fast Track USB
Mobile Pre USB
ProKeys Sono 61
ProKeys Sono 88
Midisport 2×2 20th Anniversary
Midisport 4×4 20th Anniversary
Since the majority of people don’t live in Los Angeles, we’re going to miss out on the Pixies/Wierd Al collaboration, but European readers will have a chance to catch the Pixies at the Primavera festival in Barcelona next March. As I write, there’s a thunderstorm outside, and it’s a little hard to imagine sunning myself at a Rock festival, and the organisers clearly appreciate this, as they’ve currently got early bird tickets on sale from their site here for 25% less than they’ll cost you in December