How to stream Apple’s WWDC 2022 for free

Image Credit: Apple

Apple are just a few hours away from their annual Worldwide Developers Conference. What can we except and how can you stream it?

As usual, Apple aren’t giving away any hints of its upcoming WWDC, but we can make a few guesses based on past events. Every year, WWDC shows off a preview of the latest Apple software. This evening we’ll see demos of the following, before publicly dropping in the fall:

  • iOS 16
  • iPadOS 16
  • macOS 13
  • watchOS 9
  • tvOS 16

While the conference always primarily focuses on software, occasionally we also see a number of hardware products announced or released. For example, three years ago at WWDC we saw the 2019 Mac Pro announced, before the release later in the year. Two years ago, Apple began their predicted two-year transition away from Intel chips and towards their own silicon. Apple has now introduced the M-series chips in all of their computers, except the Mac Pro. Alongside a redesigned Mac Pro, we could also see updated Macs with the M2 chips, such as a redesigned MacBook Air, Mac mini, etc. Finally, maybe, just maybe Apple will show off their long-rumoured AR/VR headset, though don’t hold your breath on that one.

How to watch WWDC 2022 online

WWDC will be live streaming the event today (Monday 6th June) at 10am PT, 1pm ET and 6pm UK time. Watch it on, on the Apple TV app or on YouTube. Apple are holding various sessions, labs, lounges and more online throughout the week. Full details here.

Castion lands the cover of Twitch’s HypePls playlist

Castion, under label Bass House Music (distributing through RouteNote), gets his songs and face on Soundtrack by Twitch’s HypePls playlist.

Twitch’s licensed music library for creators to use in their live streams, Soundtrack by Twitch, features the Spanish DJ and electronic music producer. Castion is the new cover of HypePls, the playlist to “Kick your stream into high gear with these exhilarating electronic bangers.” The 50 songs playlist also features three of Castion’s hits, “Prophecy”, “Take Me Higher” with Crusy, and “History (Castion Remix)” by Asketa & Natan Chaim, and Ni/Co.

Castion isn’t the first RouteNote artist/label who has landed the featured spot on one of Twitch’s playlists. Past additions include Ducka Shan, Arc North and ZOOTAH. Much like Spotify’s editorial playlists, getting your tracks on one of Twitch’s playlists can be a huge boost in streams, with potentially millions of viewers hearing your song in the next big stream.

Find HypePls on Soundtrack by Twitch here, or listen on Spotify below.

For assistance in playlist pitching, as well as other label services, get in contact and ask for details on “RouteNote All Access”.

Check out this new R&B release from hip hop music artist Jeffrey Oliver

Image Credit: Losertown

We love to shout about brand new music distributed through RouteNote. Listen to “Not My Friends,” the new release from hip hop and R&B artist Jeffrey Oliver, released by Losertown.

Jeffrey Oliver is confident fans will be pleasantly surprised with his new sound heard in brand-new single “Not My Friends,” out today on Spotify and major platforms from Losertown, and distributed by RouteNote.

Image Credit: Markus Amnegard

“Not My Friends” features vocals that draw on his own experiences, over an alternative R&B hip hop type beat.

Oliver gained loyal fans from releasing emo-rap songs, including the wildly popular “No Time,” which currently has 1 million streams on Spotify. The new song “Not My Friends” is the first time fans will have heard Oliver’s new sound.

A Swedish artist and producer, Oliver has over 32,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. “Not My Friends” marks a new direction for Oliver, moving away from emo-rap, but keeping the same sincere lyrical style as previous tracks.

Stream “Not My Friends” here! And watch out for the official music video, dropping soon.

Are you an artist who wants to release your music online? Sign up to RouteNote and release your tracks to all the major streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music – for free. Find out more here.

Top affordable studio monitors for professional music-making

Image Credit: Simbolics

Near field monitors present little details that we may not notice in our headphones. But professional speakers often have high prices, so affordable studio speakers allow beginners to dip their toes in.

Studio monitors, otherwise known as near field monitors or reference monitors, are the best friend of music producers and artists. Unlike consumer-grade speakers which are often passive like hi-fi, studio monitors are active. Active speakers have an internal amplifier whereas passive systems draw power from an external one. Another difference is that amplification comes after the crossover splits the frequencies into different bands for the drivers. As a result, the reproduction of the signal is far more accurate to an original signal than passive systems – where the amplification occurs before the frequency split – which makes them perfect for monitoring your music.

Bigger drivers may allow for more volume, but that doesn’t mean small studio monitors are redundant. On the contrary, cheap near field monitors will inevitably give you a taste for detailed sound reproduction. And it’s likely that your studio is only a small space – where smaller near field monitors are an optimal choice. However, unless the monitors you choose have RCA inputs then you will need to invest in an audio interface. Though headphones are useful, powered near field monitors allow you experience the full soundstage – from stereo width to immersive depth – of your music.

1. M-Audio BX5 D3 – the best affordable studio monitors for home recording

  • $276
  • Frequency response: 52 Hz to 35 kHz
  • High-frequency tuning options
  • Rear resonance port
  • One-inch silk-domed tweeter
  • Five-inch woven Kevlar woofer
  • Crossover: 2.5 kHz
  • Input sensitivity: -10 dBu
The M-Audio BX5 D3 studio monitors are the best affordable reference monitors.
Image Credit: MusicRadar

Fans of the M-Audio BX series will notice the similarities between the D3’s and previous models. For example, the D3’s one-inch silk-domed tweeter and five-inch woven Kevlar woofer are both inherited from the previous BX5’s. We think the M-Audio BX5 D3 studio monitors are the best near field monitors for small budgets thanks to their build and tuning options.

Both the woofer and tweeter are magnetically shielded, and the rear bass port enhances the projection of low-end without straining the speaker driver. Also on the back of the speaker sits a variety of controls and inputs. These include a Volume control, both XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs, and settings for adjusting the output of low end (Flat, -2dB and -4dB) depending on the acoustic space and positioning of monitors. What’s special about the BX5 D3s is that you can connect both the XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs simultaneously.

The M-Audio BX5 D3 monitors have TRS and XLR inputs and present high frequency tuning options too.
Image Credit: Gear4Music

Like with previous models, the bass port does hype frequencies a little too much. Therefore you may find you’ll have to use the -2dB Acoustic Space setting.

M-Audio has upgraded the onboard Class AB bi-amplification. Now, the woofer receives 60 Watts and the tweeter 40 Watts – with the frequency crossover at 2.5kHz. Around the woofer and tweeter is a ring of rubber, just like previous models too. The tweeter, though, has seen a bit of an upgrade. It’s got a new and improved tweeter waveguide which allows for a broader dispersion of sound. As a result, the listening sweet spot is wider.

2. KRK Classic 5 – the best studio monitors for electronic music production

  • $269
  • Frequency response: 46 Hz- 34.5 kHz
  • High and low-frequency tuning options
  • Front-resonance port
  • 1″ textile soft dome tweeter
  • 5″ glass aramid composite woofer
  •  0 dBu
The KRK Classic 5's are the best studio monitors for electronic music production.
Image Credit: Absolute Music

The Classic 5 monitors have a 5-inch woofer that does deliver some solid bass. A slight flaw is that the mids do lack ever so slightly, but the soft dome tweeter does give a crisp high end that sounds fantastic. The woofers and tweeters themselves are made with high-density foam pads that isolate the sound from the surface. The monitors are also bi-amplified with an automatic limiter to help prevent blowouts. They feature a low resonance enclosure, so you get a cleaner sound.

Though the mids do lack slightly, this won’t matter too much when you’re just starting out. It’s unlikely that you’ll be mixing complicated music with a lot of tracks. But if you find that the lack of mids is holding you back, you can get yourself some studio headphones for a reference. With these two tools, you’ll notice all the little details that matter. With that said, using both studio monitors and professional-grade headphones is always a good idea if you want a professional mix.

The KRK Classic 5 monitors have XLR, RCA and TRS inputs. Both high and low frequency tuning options are available too.
Image Credit: KRK Music

Furthermore, on the rear are both high and low-frequency controls for adjusting the sound depending on your acoustic space like the D3s. Inputs include 1/4″ jack, XLR, and RCA connections. So the Classic 5’s are great for musicians, producers, and DJs!

3. JBL 305P MKII – best studio monitors for a good listening sweet spot

  • $298
  • Frequency response: 43 Hz – 24 kHz
  • High-frequency tuning and boundary EQ
  • Rear resonance port
  • Patented Image Control Waveguide for detailed imaging and a broad, room-friendly sweet spot
The JVL 305P MKII monitors have JBL's Patented Image Control Waveguide for detailed imaging and a broad, room-friendly sweet spot.
Image Credit: JBL

In the 305P MKII, JBL’s own patented Image Control Waveguide allows for a wider listening spot than other studio monitors – especially at this price point.

Moreover, the low-frequency response offers more low-end than previous models so over-compensating in the mix stage is less likely. Like with the Mackie’s, using headphones as a reference will help you in this mission too. However, when it comes to sound quality JBL has included technology they have previously developed for their higher-end studio monitors. The double-flared port allows for more precise projection of low-end without straining the woofer as just one example. Despite this, you may notice a slight hiss while playing music at lower volumes. It isn’t uncommon for studio monitor drivers to give a slight hiss, but at higher volumes, you won’t notice it.

The 305P MKII monitors have both TRS and XLR inputs. A Boundary EQ allows you to adjust the output level depending on your space, and high frequency tuning is available too. You can also adjust the input sensitivity by +4 or -1- dBv.
Image Credit: Thomann

The JBL 305P can reach a maximum output of 108dB. That’ll be plenty loud in a small studio, but it’ll suit medium-sized studios too. In a bigger sized room studio, a subwoofer will be a good idea – just be sure to turn it off when you’re mixing mids and highs. But a better option for bigger studios may be looking at 8-inch studio monitors rather than 5-inch ones.

4. Mackie CR4-X – most affordable studio monitor speakers

  • $149.99
  • Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz
  • Rear resonance port
The Mackie CR4-X's are the most affordable studio monitor speakers.
Image Credit: Thomann

With the idea of using both studio monitors and studio headphones to record and make music in mind, let’s talk about the CR4-X. The bass response is a little pronounced in these entry-level speakers, so making use of headphones will be important if you don’t want to undercompensate on your bass channels. Unlike other monitors on our list, there is no tuning available.

With that said, the CR4-X speakers are really better suited to multimedia applications. But at this price point, they will certainly do the job while recording and producing music. In contrast to the bass response, the mid frequencies are transparent and present a defined difference between tones. As for the high frequencies, they’re sharp and don’t present any harshness.

One thing you can do to improve your experience is to invest in better cables. The provided tables are a little… underwhelming. But the sound quality will improve with better quality cables, as is the case with a lot of other stock studio monitor cables.

The CR4-X monitors have both TRS and RCA inputs, but they have no tuning options. The rear bass port allows for low-end projection, but you'll need to be mindful about placement in front of a wall.
Image Credit: Mackie

The Mackie CR4-X studio monitors have a 4-inch polypropylene-coated woofer, and a 0.75” ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeter. Silk is a desirable material for tweeters as it tends to reproduce high frequencies with better quality. The woofer, though, also delivers a crisp and punchy sound. On the back is a bass port which projects the low-end frequencies well with enough depth too.

5. PreSonus Eris E5 – best near field monitors for small studios

  • $249
  • Frequency response: 53 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Front resonance port
  • High and mid tuning options
The PreSonus Eris E5's are the best near field monitors for small studios.
Image Credit: Thomann

Finally, we have the Presonus Eris E5. Their frequency response is fairly flat, and they have well-defined mids. However, despite their crisp highs, these could do with a little adjustment if you want them to be closer to flat – which of course you do. But the bass frequencies aren’t as well defined as the mids. Yet the Eris E5 studio monitors will display details that you may have previously missed. At just 10.2 lbs. (4.63kg), these monitors are pretty lightweight too.

At this price point, it’s nice to see Kevlar low-frequency inducers as in the M-Audio BX5s. This is a strong heat-resistant material, and you’ll find it in many – if not all – high-end speakers. You’ll find your speakers continue to perform with ease over long periods of time. With this material too. And despite extra shielding for minimizing interference, you may still notice a hiss at low volume as with other speakers we’ve mentioned.

The Eris E5 monitors have both mid and high frequency tuning options, and inputs include TRS, XLR and RCA.
Image Credit: Gear4Music

The Eris E5’s peak at 102dB, so they’re not overbearingly loud. Again, this makes them a good choice for smaller studios. The low/mid-woofer has a size of 5.25 inches. For its size, it produces a punchy low-end and kicks are also well defined!

You can make mid and high EQ adjustments at the rear of the speaker with knobs. If your studio has reflective surfaces and no sound treatment you’ll want to attenuate these knobs. Coupled with good monitor placement, changing the acoustic space with these controls enables you to take full control over the sound of your monitors. In addition, the speakers have a front bass port – so you don’t need to worry about the rear wall quite so much.

How to change music distributor from Spinnup to RouteNote

Can you switch music distributors now Spinnup is going invite-only? Yes. Transfer your music from Spinnup to RouteNote easily and for free. Here’s how.

Is Spinnup distribution kicking you out? Don’t lose your streams, artist page and all the hard work you’ve put into building your music brand! You need to move to an alternative distributor.

Switch from Spinnup to RouteNote distribution. Spinnup, owned by Universal Music Group, is moving to a curated invite-only model and has told its existing smaller artists their music will be taken down from platforms like Spotify.

This kind of favouritism is completely against our ethos here at RouteNote, where we offer free distribution for all indie artists who want to get their music heard, across every major platform from Apple Music to Amazon.

Spinnup's statement as it shift away from DIY distribution

Why should you choose RouteNote vs another distributor? RouteNote distribution removes all the barriers for entry to artists who want to get their music heard.

Covering 95% of the digital market and protecting your music on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, RouteNote lets you stay completely in control of your music – and it’s easy to switch over from Spinnup.  

How to transfer your music from Spinnup to RouteNote

There’s a couple of steps you have to take before you can switch to RouteNote from another distributor, but it’s a really simple process and you won’t lose any of your existing music:

Spinnup artists have until July 19th 2022 to transfer your music from Spinnup. You can’t upload duplicates to another distributor, so you’ll have to remove your music from Spinnup and have it taken down from streaming services and stores before you upload to RouteNote.

Spinnup has provided its own advice for switching music distributor here. Download your release files from Spinnup on My Releases tab. You can’t download your assets once your releases have been taken down by Spinnup.

Your music will stay on the same artist pages as when you distributed through Spinnup.

It’s vital to make note of your track metadata like ISRC and UPCs, so when you re-upload your music your tracks match, and you don’t lose your streams. Once you’ve released your tracks, check the plays to make sure they matched up correctly.

Is RouteNote free?

Any independent artist or label, big or small, can sign up to RouteNote Free or Premium distribution. Our Free music distribution is free forever – you keep 85% of revenues, and you never sign away the rights to your music.

Our Premium distribution makes RouteNote one of the cheapest music distributors. With Premium you keep 100% of your revenue for a small fee. You can switch between the two tiers or move distributors whenever you want. You’re never locked in.

There’s no surprise fees with RouteNote – you can upload unlimited tracks and artists and distribute to as many stores as you like, as well as protecting your music on YouTube with Content ID and monetising on social media like TikTok, without paying a penny more.

Whether on Free or Premium, our features are free – for example, you can select exactly when your release will go live for no extra charge, unlike DistroKid.

Your music is worth saving. Head here to find out more about what RouteNote can offer.

UMG’s distribution service Spinnup goes invite-only and “can’t accommodate all current Spinnup users”

“Spinnup is changing from an open DIY music distribution service” and “reducing the number of artists on the platform”.

Universal Music Group owned digital music distribution service Spinnup, were open to all artists looking to share their music to stores and streaming services. In a move kicking many artists off the platform, Spinnup are shifting their business model in a major way.

“On July 19th 2022, Spinnup is changing from an open DIY music distribution service to a curated artist discovery and distribution platform. This means we will be reducing the number of artists on the platform as we move into this new chapter.

Artists who are leaving Spinnup are being asked to takedown their releases and transfer to a new distributor by July 19th 2022, after that date we will need to begin taking down any remaining live releases from departing artists.”

“Spinnup is evolving into a fully curated invite-only artist discovery and music distribution platform. This change means we can’t accommodate all current Spinnup users.”

Spinnup on an FAQ page

Much like Stem, and AWAL – who partnered with Sony Music last year, an invite-only system, along with pricey upfront fees, make it near impossible for artists starting out to release their music online. According to Music Business Worldwide, AWAL are thought to reject roughly nine in every ten tracks submitted. It’s no surprise then, Spinnup’s move has received a significant amoung of backlash on social media.

A free and open Spinnup alternative

There is a solution for artists being forced off Spinnup. RouteNote provides free music distribution, for artists of all sizes and genres, without the barriers to entry. Artists always keep 100% of the rights! Watch the video below or click here to learn how to switch distributors, while keeping your hard earned statistics and artist pages.

The rise and fall of the iPod (video)

Image Credit: Jon Rettinger

How the iPod came to be in 2001, how it shaped Apple and how the iPhone would eventually (almost) kill off the iPod.

YouTuber Jon Rettinger explores the history of arguably the most iconic hardware tech products in the music industry.

The video poses an interesting question. With social media negatively affecting the mental health of many users, and causing people to re-evaluate the need for a smartphone, if Apple were to reintroduce a music player, with a streaming-first focus, alongside long battery life and plenty of storage, could it survive in today’s tech landscape?

Get your music on Apple Music and all other major music streaming services for free with RouteNote.

How to make money on Spotify with Spotify Live for artists

Image Credit: Spotify

A new feature involving creators getting paid for using Spotify Live will help artists make money on Spotify, and let top fans on Spotify interact with their favourite artists in live streams.

Artists may soon be able to make money on Spotify Live. Spotify has teased “future opportunities” for artists who use the live audio Spotify Live feature for connecting directly with fans.

What opportunities? Things like selling merch, receiving tips, or asking for donations.

If this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Spotify’s Greenroom Creator Fund. The fund was designed to lure new creators to Spotify’s live audio app, promising payment for creators making great original content. When the Greenroom audio app was rebranded as Spotify Live and incorporated into the main Spotify app, Spotify also quietly closed down the scheme without paying out any of the fund to creators.

That’s all to be forgiven now however, as Spotify has announced a new plan to reward creators who make use of Spotify Live. Spotify is testing out allowing artists to host their own exclusive rooms, so top fans can hear from artists in real time and interact directly with their favourite artists – and support them financially, too.

In their Spotify Live room artists could host a release day party, for example, and sell tickets to live shows and merchandise right there in the virtual space.

So far, Spotify has been testing on a small selection of artists. Interested artists can sign up here.

Let’s hope the new idea sticks, unlike the Greenroom Creator Fund.

How else can artists make money on Spotify?

Aside from making money earning royalties when uploading their music through a distributor like RouteNote, Spotify lets artists earn directly through fans in another way. It is soon renaming the Artist Fundraising Pick to Fan Support.

Established to help artists at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, since then 200,000 artists have made use of the feature. The name change shows a shift to encouraging fans to support their favourite artists financially, not only as a charity case in times of crisis.

Wondering how to get your songs on Spotify so you can host your own Spotify Live? Check out RouteNote. We can put your music on Spotify for free, and you keep 85% of revenue. Find out more here.

Spotify cancels fund for creators on Greenroom

Image Credit: Spotify

As live audio app Greenroom relaunches as Spotify Live, the plug has been pulled on the live audio Creator Fund by Spotify.

When Spotify launched Greenroom in June last year, it also announced a Creator Fund for aspiring content creators on the live audio app. Information on how much the fund would pay out, and who would be chosen to benefit from it, were not forthcoming, and now the opportunity has been withdrawn altogether.

The news flew under the radar and prospective fund applicants were informed of the cancellation by email from Spotify.

Creator funds are a clever way of enticing users to try new features and ensure a platform is filled with content. For music artists and other creators, they’re a much-appreciated extra form of revenue.

The YouTube Shorts fund is an example, rewarding creators who make engaging short videos on YouTube, an area the platform is currently keen to promote. The Greenroom Creator Fund however never got off the ground, and it’s unclear if any money was paid out to creators.

The Greenroom app, Spotify’s Clubhouse rival with “rooms” hosted by speakers talking in real time, had an uninspiring start. Users didn’t flock to the new audio platform, and Spotify subsequently rebranded it as Spotify Live and brought the platform into the main app.

No replacement for the Creator Fund has been announced now the live audio app has a new home.

Spotify Live offers a new way for artists to connect with their fans on Spotify. The closing of the fund suggests that Spotify will not be encouraging new creators who are just starting to get involved in live audio, and will instead focus on established podcasters and popular artists.

By the way… we’re still waiting for Spotify’s HiFi tier, too.

Calling all unsigned artists and indie labels! Upload music on Spotify with RouteNote. Find out about our free music distribution here.

Novation FLkey MIDI controllers: control FL Studio with your fingers

Image Credit: Novation

In collaboration with Image Line, the creators of Fl Studio, Novation presents the FLkey MIDI controllers for FL Studio. Two models of MIDI keyboard specifically made for the FL Studio DAW.

Novation state that the FLkey MIDI controllers are the ” ultimate range of MIDI keyboards for making music in FL Studio”.

Whether you’re just starting with FL Studio or a power user, a beatmaker or composer or anything in between, FLkey can help you express your creativity and make the most of your studio sessions with a MIDI keyboard controller designed to work seamlessly with your production set-up.


FLkey MIDI controllers for FL Studio

Both models of the FLkey MIDI controllers feature controls that allow you to interact with FL Studio’s Sequencer, Channel Rack , Mixer, and Piano Roll in creative ways. Other controls allow easy preset browsing, and you can assign custom controls with Custom Modes too! Forget about your mouse and keyboard, it’s time to play with FL Studio in the physical realm.

Whether your studio space is big or small, Novation has made two models of FLkey to accommodate you. FLkey Mini features 25 mini keys that Novation states are its “best mini keys to date”. This smaller model will fit into your backpack or a cramped desk, so it’s ideal for the on-the-go producer.

FLkey Mini features 25 mini keys that Novation states are its “best mini keys to date”. This smaller model will fit into your backpack or a cramped desk, so it's ideal for the on-the-go producer.
Image Credit: Novation

On the other hand, FLkey 37 features 37 full-size keys that stretch across 3 octaves and is “the perfect balance of key range and footprint for any bedroom studio”. Additionally, FLkey 37 has an onboard screen, extra modes like Chord Modes, FL Studio transport control for access to DAW functions in an instant, Channel rack control, Fixed Chord mode, and dual Chord modes too.

FLkey 37 features 37 full-size keys that stretch across 3 octaves and is "the perfect balance of key range and footprint for any bedroom studio". Additionally, FLkey 37 has an onboard screen, extra modes like Chord Modes, FL Studio transport control for access to DAW functions in an instant, Channel rack control, Fixed Chord mode, and dual Chord modes too
Image Credit: Novation

The different Chord modes are easy-to-use and allow you to expand your creative potential. As a result, Chord modes allow you to play interesting chord progressions without any musical theory behind you. These chord modes include Fixed Chord mode, Scale Chord, Dual Chord, and User Chords. The latter allows you to play custom chords with just one finger, and Scale Chord lets you play pre-determined chords in 8 different scales.

Scale and Chord modes allow you to play freely without stressing about the details. For example, Scale mode locks your keys into a selected scale – meaning  you always play in your chosen scale. Therefore, writing melodies that compliment your chord progressions just got easier!

Sequencer Mode maps FLkey’s pads to FL Studio’s step sequencer, allowing you to lay down beats faster. Furthermore, two Pad modes will get playing rather than pasting your beats straight into the Channel Rack or Piano Roll. Equally useful is the ability to trigger slices in SliceX too!

Controls for volume and panning will help you get your track release ready faster. After all, fiddling with virtual knobs is far less fun. Eight pot knobs allow you to tweak your mix and record automation!

Price and compatibility

Despite all of these awesome controls, the FLkey MIDI controllers are fairly priced. You can get the FLkey Mini for £99 and the FLkey 37 for £199. Both keyboards will be available in mid-April.