This free plugin injects your music with ambience

Image Credit: NovoNotes

Suited to all types of music production, Ambience Enhancer Lite from NovoNotes fits your sound to a particular setting or mood.

Ambience Enhancer Lite analyzes incoming audio signals and breaks them down into ambience and direct sound. By adjusting only the isolated elements, Ambience Enhancer Lite keeps the direct sound untouched and adds no reverb or artificial sounds to your mix. Whether you’re editing instruments in your next single or sound effects in your movie, this plugin can make recordings sound like they were recorded in a stadium or open field to fit your music or video style.

The interface is sleek, modern and easy to use, with three knobs to control ambience: Ambience Gain (dB), Ambience Low Pass (Hz) and Ambience Delay (ms). Sound levels are represented by the circular waves to the right.

Ambience Enhancer Lite's sleek interface
Image Credit: NovoNotes

The 17.9MB plugin is currently Mac-only, requiring macOS 11 or higher, on 64-bit Intel or Apple Silicon processors. VST3 and AU formats are included, with AAX coming soon.

Download Ambience Enhancer Lite for free here. Enter any amount (including zero) into the donation box, then click “I want this!”, then enter your email address.


NovoNotes says they are currently developing Ambience Enhancer Standard, which will cost $88. The Standard version will allow up to 24-channels instead of two (stereo), for full control over the sound field of your multi-layered, multi-dimensional mixes.

Pandora owner SiriusXM buys music for business service Cloud Cover Music

Image Credit: SiriusXM

With the acquisition of Cloud Cover Music, SiriusXM now offers three services supplying music for businesses.

SiriusXM, online radio service and owner of RouteNote partner Pandora, has bought music for business company Cloud Cover Music.

Cloud Cover Music lets businesses play ad-free music in any location, often controlled remotely through head offices. The tech platform is an easy option for businesses looking for a background soundtrack without worrying about licensing; it’s used by Taco Bell and T-Mobile.

SiriusXM now boasts a trio of business music offerings, as Cloud Cover Music joins the already established SiriusXM Music For Business and Pandora for Business.

Why the acquisition? SiriusXM’s expanded portfolio means support for a wide range of businesses of all sizes. For Cloud Cover Music the association with bigger brand names of SiriusXM and Pandora brings its own form of stability.

Cloud Cover Music is retaining its Vice President and General Manager, Mark Lehman, who said: “We are thrilled to become part of the SiriusXM family. As one of the fastest growing music for business services, we’re proud of the track record that Cloud Cover Music has achieved with our tens of thousands of customers.”

“We’re excited to have the brand recognition and strength of SiriusXM and Pandora behind us as we continue to focus on delivering the best music and messaging products for businesses.”

Joe Verbrugge, Executive Vice President, SiriusXM said:  “SiriusXM and Pandora have always offered a unique blend of great content and great technology. The addition of Cloud Cover Music to our commercial music portfolio is expected to help propel us forward and contribute to the growth of our business.”


Want your music on Pandora? Head here to find out how RouteNote can get your music heard around the world, for free.

Instagram may let you rearrange your profile grid soon

Image Credit: Alessandro Paluzzi

Instagram are reportedly testing the ability to sort your profile grid images into any order you want. Great for pinning content to the top.

According to leaker, mobile developer and reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram may let users rearrange their profile grid soon. This change could fundamentally change the way profiles are displayed, which have stayed a constant since the birth of Instagram. The profile grid traditionally shows the most recent photos posted by a user in chronological order, with the newest photos at the top.

The screenshots show an Edit Grid button in the Edit Profile page of a business account. Rearranging content is as simple as dragging and dropping the images into your desired order.

This is set to be a great feature for those that want to pin particularly good or important posts to the top of their feed, much like on Facebook, Twitter or SoundCloud. This could also allow those who upload multiple posts that form one large image in the grid, to keep these images linked, even after posting new content.


As Instagram have been putting a greater focus on videos, we’ve seen the social media platform implement many new features. This new feature in testing is yet to be announced by Instagram, so there’s no guarantee they will go ahead with the change.

While Instagram explore removing chronological profile grids, the image and video sharing service are bringing back the chronological order to the main feed.


Did you know you can get your own music on Instagram and Facebook for free? This allows you to attach music to Stories and Reels, and monetize every time your track is used across the platforms.

How to turn off automatic switching on AirPods

Image Credit: Apple

The “seamless” switching feature on Apple’s AirPods can get annoying for those sharing devices. Here’s how to stop automatic switching.

When you first pair AirPods to your iPhone, iPad or Mac, the headphones or earbuds will automatically connect to all other Apple devices associated with the same Apple ID. As of iOS/iPad OS 14 and macOS Big Sur, launched in 2020, Apple extended this seamless experience with AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation), AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. When you start playing music or receive a call on another device, the AirPods will automatically switch to the new device. This is a great feature that saves the extra taps required to disconnect and reconnect to new devices.

When AirPods switch from one device to another, a “Moved to” pop-up shows on the previous device, making switching back as easy as a tap on The switch back arrow icon on Apple devices. However if you’re looking for something a little more permenant, Apple makes it possible to turn off automatic switching altogether.

Image Credit: Apple

How to disable automatic switching on AirPods

First of all, make sure your AirPods are in your ears and connected to the device.

iPhone and iPad

  • Head to the Settings app
  • Go to Bluetooth
  • Tap the The more information icon on AirPods on iOS next to the AirPods
  • Choose Connect to This iPhone/iPad
  • Switch from Automatic to When Last Connect to This iPhone/iPad

Mac

  • Click the Apple icon in the top left corner on the menu bar, then go to System Preferences
  • Choose Bluetooth
  • Click Options to the right of the AirPods
  • Next to Connect to This Mac, switch from Automatically to When Last Connected to This Mac

Apple TV

  • Head to Settings
  • Choose Remotes and Devices
  • Then Bluetooth
  • Turn off Suggest Nearby AirPods

How to switch device manually on AirPods

Now that you’ve turned off automatic switching or if you need to override Apple’s decision, you’ll need to manually switch to new devices.

iPhone and iPad

  • Open Control Center by swiping from the top right corner (or bottom on devices with a home button)
  • Tap The AirPlay icon on Apple devices in the top right corner to switch between available devices

Mac

  • Open Control Center
  • Click The AirPlay icon on Apple devices to switch between available devices

Apple TV

  • Head to Settings
  • Choose Remotes and Devices
  • Then go to Bluetooth
  • Choose your AirPods and Connect

The most-watched video on YouTube just hit 10 billion streams

Which music video has the most views on YouTube? You’re probably not going to like the answer, but nor will it come as much of a surprise.

The inescapable titan that is “Baby Shark Dance” by Pinkfong! continues to be the most-watched music video on YouTube. It’s just hit 10 billion streams.


The infuriatingly catchy song and accompanying cartoon has been number one since November 2020. Not only is it the most popular video set to music, but “Baby Shark” is also the most-viewed video on YouTube ever.

“Baby Shark” is the first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views. Capitalising on the success of the animation, there’s also been a Nickelodeon TV show and merchandise based around the song.

But the South Korean children’s tune hardly counts as a traditional mainstream music video. The second most-viewed music video – and, if you’re a stickler, the music video with the most views, is “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee, with 7.7 billion views and 47 million likes.

Johny Johny Yes Papa” by LooLoo Kids is number three, helped by going viral on Twitter due to its sheer strangeness; Mozart would be aghast. At number four comes Ed Sheeran’s relentless earworm “Shape of You.” “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth is number five, a tribute to the late Paul Walker.


What makes a music video a runaway success? There could be factors like the catchiness of the song, the production values of the video, the popularity of the artist, and seemingly random viral popularity driven either by the bizarreness of the video or the content’s comedic value. As well as generating royalties for the artist, streams of YouTube videos also count towards official music charts like Billboard.

Please do enjoy the top five most-viewed music videos on YouTube below, and gift them even more streams.


1. “Baby Shark Dance” – Pinkfong!


2. “Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee” – Luis Fonsi


3. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” – LooLoo Kids


4. “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran


5. “See You Again ft. Charlie Puth” – Wiz Khalifa


We all remember when “Gangnam Style” by Psy held the top YouTube spot, dominating for over four and a half years. What will be the next viral sensation to climb the YouTube charts – and will it be a slickly produced music video, or another cheesy cartoon?


Get your music onto YouTube with RouteNote for free, and start making money from your music today.

Learn, play and create chord progressions with this free online generator

Image Credit: ToneGym

Musician’s favourite online ear training site ToneGym have revamped their Chord Progression Generator, helping anyone learn and play.

ToneGym is full of music theory games to help you detect intervals, identify chords, learn scales, find the rhythm and more. Built according to voice-leading principles, their revamped Chord Progression Generator is free, fun and informative, perfect for quickly finding a chord progression for your next hit or building your skills.

Open the site and cycle through 30 essential progressions, such as Pachelbel’s Canon progression, 50s progression, Cadence progression and Happy progression. Choose a tonic, tempo and mode (harmonic or arpeggio), then turn on looping to jam along. You’ll see the keys on a keyboard or frets on a guitar light up as they are played. Login with a free account to create, play and save your own custom progressions.

Under the tool, you’ll find plenty of information to help you learn what chord progressions are, understanding roman numerals, popular chord progressions in music and much more, including links to helpful videos from third-parties.

Playlisted music by Gaana gets personal with new AutoQueue feature

Image Credit: Gaana

Indian streaming service Gaana has launched AutoQueue, a feature that automatically personalises your playlists, reading listener’s minds.

Gaana, India’s biggest streaming service, has launched a feature named AutoQueue. The new feature uses an algorithm to recommend similar tracks to listeners, personalising listening habits without the user lifting a finger.

Gaana’s algorithm uses machine learning to predict what song the listener would like to hear next, queueing up an endless mix of tracks.

AutoQueue uses factors like BPM and past behaviour to decide whether songs are likely to be heard together. Gaana say that the new feature is already driving 30% more streams from users.

Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Gaana, said: “In the last year and a half, audio streaming has played a major role in people’s lives and consumption is on the up. Gaana has always been known to understand the pulse of the Indian listener and with AutoQueue we are now going one step further to hyper-personalize each user’s app experience, and making it effortless to listen to great music.”

“The feature is born of Gaana’s user research and tech capabilities and gives personalized endless background track to the lives our users live in the foreground. I invite everyone to experience the joy of AutoQueue.”

AutoQueue joins features on other streaming services like Spotify and Deezer that use algorithms to help users discover more music. Deezer’s recommendation system also includes Deezer Flow Moods, a track mix that lets users choose music based on their emotions.  

Instagram highlight some of the new features on Messenger

Image Credit: Adam Mosseri

Instagram are heavily focusing on messaging, with new features like message replies, custom reactions, polls and animated message effects.

Earlier this month, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri posted a video announcing the return of the chronological feed. While we wait for the new feature, Mosseri demos some of the new features available to customise your messaging experience. These are many of the same features we’ve seen on apps like WhatsApp and iMessage, but it’s nice to have a familiar set of features across applications. Make sure your app is up-to-date to see these new features.

  • Replies – Easily reply to a specific message in a thread. Simply swipe to the right on a message to reply.
  • Custom Emoji Reactions – Previously you could like a message by double tapping. Now you can long press to add any emoji reaction.
  • Polls – You can now create a poll in groups. Go to the stickers icon (smiley face), then tap Poll, and type a question and some options.
  • Animated Message Effects – Use the search icon to the left to choose through various effects.

RouteNote are partnered with Meta to help artists get their music on and monetize across Facebook and Instagram. Click here to learn how to send your music to Facebook and Instagram for free.

How to toggle explicit content in Apple Music on mobile and desktop

Buried deep in the settings, how to show or hide explicit content in Apple Music/iTunes on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows and web.

Toggling explicit content ought to be an easy task, but options to turn it on or off aren’t anywhere to be seen in the Apple Music settings on the iPhone or Mac apps. In fact, the process is somewhat easier on non-Apple devices.

Click to jump to one of the following devices:


Mobile – iPhone & iPad

  1. Head to the Settings app
  2. Tap Screen Time
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions
  4. Turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions and select Content Restrictions
  5. Tap Music, Podcasts, News & Workouts
    • Tap Clean to only allow clean music
    • Tap Explicit to allow all music

Mac

  1. Click the Apple menu in the upper left corner and go to System Preferences
  2. Click Screen Time
  3. Click Options in the lower left corner and ensure Screen Time is switched On
  4. Head to Content & Privacy in the left panel
  5. Turn On Content & Privacy Restrictions, then head to the Store tab
    • Tick Explicit Music, Podcasts & News to have this content show up
    • Untick the box to hide this content

Windows (iTunes)

  1. In the menu bar, click Edit > Preferences
  2. Head to the Restrictions tab and ensure the padlock in the lower left corner is unlocked
    • Under Restrict, tick Music with explicit content to hide explicit content
    • Untick this option to allow all content
  3. Click OK once you’ve made your adjustments

Web – music.apple.com

  1. Click the profile icon in the upper right corner and select Settings
  2. Scroll down to Parental Controls
  3. Turn on Content Restrictions and enter or setup a passcode
    • Select Clean to only show clean music
    • Select Explicit to show all music

Did you know you can upload your own music to Apple’s music streaming service for free with RouteNote? Click here to find out more.

Learn music marketing strategies from Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Adele

Image Credit: Viberate

Spotify streams of Olivia Rodrigo album release Sour grew faster than Adele and Taylor Swift’s in 2021. What can we learn from the music marketing strategies of these popular female pop artists?

Music data analysts Viberate have crunched the numbers and revealed just how quickly Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour grew on Spotify in 2021.

Rodrigo came out in front of two popular female pop artists who have been in the game much longer than the young singer. In the first two weeks of streams Sour outperformed Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), and 30 by Adele.


So, what’s the secret sauce for marketing an album?

2021 was the year that Olivia Rodrigo’s music took off. In a big way this was thanks to her popularity on TikTok. Whilst viral fame shouldn’t be endgame for musicians, TikTok’s huge userbase means having a presence on the social media platform could be a winning tactic for artists – and it’s free promotion, too.

Rodrigo’s emotional single “drivers license” came out of nowhere on TikTok and captured the hearts of teenagers (and teenagers-at-heart). She strategised by quickly following the single with her debut album, the captivating Sour, which again slipped perfectly into social media trends with its 90s references. Upon the album release, “drivers license” was raking in 800 million streams every day. It’s now reached 1.2 billion total streams. Not bad!

But of course, Rodrigo wasn’t the only female pop artist achieving great new heights in 2021. Viberate looked at the streaming performances of Adele and Taylor Swift as a comparison.

Image Credit: Viberate

All three artists had an incredible year. Taylor Swift, one of Rodrigo’s most prominent musical influences, released two albums in 2021 – she came second in comparison to Rodrigo’s debut streaming numbers.

Both 2021 releases by Taylor Swift were re-recordings of previous albums, as she finally recorded the tracks as she always intended. Whilst longtime fans like Rodrigo streamed the albums to spot changes to the originals and hear bonus tracks, curiosity about the releases turned new listeners, who weren’t interested first time around, into fans.

Viberate noticed that releasing two albums meant Swift was on the radar for the whole year. Saying this, in those initial two weeks, Swift gained 759k followers and a whopping 11.9 million new monthly listeners. In particular, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” an extended version of her …. song, performed amazingly, generating an average of 50 million streams a day.

Streams of the longer version of “All Too Well” were boosted by the social media buzz around the track, as rumours of who the song was about unearthed years-old gossip; and also by a 15-minute short film which served as a cinematic music video accompaniment to the extended track. Viberate noted that out of the three artists, Swift was mentioned on social media the most.

Adele was third in the lineup in terms of streams. 2021 saw the release of her much anticipated sixth album 30. The lead single “Easy On Me” was released in November and by the end of two weeks had been streamed 385 million times.

Viberate found that the biggest jump in streams came around the release of the single and announcement of the album – Adele gained 7.4 million new monthly listeners and 694k new followers in a fortnight.

Image Credit: Viberate

Whilst Rodrigo may lead the trio, both Swift and Adele’s top-performing releases both arrived in the final third of the year, giving the younger singer a head start. But Olivia Rodrigo is still at the very beginning of her career – keep an eye on her to see how her next release performs, and what further smart marketing choices are on the cards.


Want to upload your music to Spotify? RouteNote distributes music by independent artists for free. Find out more here and sign up today for free releases, forever.