MUSIC GEAR: Rob Papen Soundware has announced “Predator2,” the successor to Predator, “the natural-born, killer-sounding soft synth” that has inspired so many composers and artists. Predator2’s pliable GUI (Graphical User Interface) has once again been given the trademark Rob Papen treatment, designed so that (almost) all of the main controls are always visible onscreen, making it both inspirational and intuitive in use.
Author: Christopher Laird Simmons
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MUSIC GEAR: The folks at PSP have announced a new “stompbox” filter plugin, appropriately called PSP stompFilter. They describe it as “a creative tool designed to provide an exceptionally wide range of modulated filter and gain sounds.” Its effects include a simple LFO modulated low pass filter; auto-wah; low-, band-, or high-pass filter; and compressor.
HEALTHY LIVING: For many of us, we seem to be on a perpetual diet plan of some kind. Especially for those of us who have found our 40s and impending middle age a bit tougher to balance time, work, meals, and general lifestyle mis-adventures than it once was. For me, I joined the Jenny Craig meal plan this spring, and am happy to say I’ve lost about 34 pounds so far, which is about one-third of my overall goal.
MUSIC GEAR: Most modern musicians know that sometimes waiting for new gear can be tough when the magazines and videos demo a neato new software app, sample library or piece of hardware. This can lead to so-called “gas” (gear acquisition syndrome). Savvy folk know there are certain times of the year when deals are to be had. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and often around NAMM and other music shows, or right before a new version is released. (UPDATED)
MUSIC GEAR: Spitfire Audio has announced availability of SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS, a massic “encyclopaedic compendium of symphonic strings sampling,” with blockbuster content recorded at Lyndhurst Hall within London’s legendary Air Studios. The Kontakt-powered library comprises the same 60 star string players performing on the same instruments featured on numerous famous film scores.
NEWS: MUSIC Group, the parent of world-renowned brands MIDAS, KLARK TEKNIK, LAB GRUPPEN, LAKE, TANNOY, TURBOSOUND, TC ELECTRONIC, TC HELICON, BEHRINGER, BUGERA, DDA and EUROCOM, and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional audio products, has recently been ranked as one of the world’s largest and top manufacturers in the 2016 edition of Music Trade’s annual Global Music Industry 225 Report.
NEW MUSIC: The Second Spirit, an indie rock project, just released its debut EP, “Modern Life,” a five-song album, and its first single, “Rescue Car,” which, according to band leader Matthew Victory Warren “personifies the physicality of love through a retro vibe, rock and roll groove and cool, fuzzy guitar leads.”
UVI releases Synth Anthology 2, classic collection of analog and digital synths in one virtual instrument
MAKING MUSIC: UVI announced this week their newest creation, Synth Anthology 2, a classic collection of analog and digital synths in one virtual instrument. This new version and comprehensive update includes over 2,500 presets sampled from 77 hardware synths, new interface and premium UVI effects such as Sparkverb, Thorus and Phasor.
MAKING MUSIC: Native Instruments announced this week the Kontakt-powered sound library, “Symphony Essentials,” which they describe as five meticulously sampled orchestral instruments, featuring pristine recordings that cover all fundamental playing techniques, each in an elegant, intuitive interface.
MAKING MUSIC: IK Multimedia this week announced their new physically modeled electric bass instrument “MODO BASS.” Once you get past the “limitless sound, unmatched realism, total playability” hype, there is a lot to like for keyboard players who want to get their funk on!
MAKING MUSIC: KORG has announced a new line of add-on sample sound upgrades for the powerful KORG KRONOS 2 workstation keyboard, from Soundiron, who has been making awesome sample libraries for many years. Korg welcomes Soundiron to our growing family of sound developers, and is pleased to present their first two EXs libraries for Kronos.
MAKING MUSIC: MIDI solutions specialist Kenton is proud to be celebrating its 30th anniversary in October 2016; around 11,000 days since founder John K. Price began by building a cost-effective and well-specified Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) for his beloved 1979-vintage Oberheim OB-X.
THEATRE NEWS: Art-In-Relation announces a move from Long Beach, after two successful seasons, to Hollywood with two hauntingly gorgeous, but lesser known musical theater productions at The Complex Theatres, Hollywood. “The Wild Party,” a lesser known version of the musical based on the poem by Joseph Moncure, and written by Andrew Lippa, plays Sept. 9 – Oct. 2, 2016.
MUSIC NEWS: Mission Music, a nonprofit agency in New Jersey that provides underserved youth with access to musical instruments and lessons regardless of their ability to pay, is donating a half dozen acoustic guitars to The Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia, Pa., on Thursday, July 14, 2016.
MUSIC NEWS: Los Angeles-based filmmaker Michael C. Perry has announced that his film “Empty Box of Wine” has been selected for the 2016 San Francisco Frozen Film Festival. Perry is the lead singer in the band, Jour Majesty, who last year rose to #2 on the indie folk charts; his entry into the film festival accompanies the upcoming Jour Majesty album, “Empty Box of Wine.”
Chicago-based alt-rock band, The Blue Danes have released their debut album “Invisible and Untouchable” on label Loki Valhalla Productions. This haunting lyrical masterpiece includes the highly anticipated release of the popular single “Beautiful and Sad,” which has earned over 26,000 YouTube views.
MUSIC NEWS: The South Austin Moonlighters will be releasing “Ghost of a Small Town,” which features 13 brand new songs including their new single “You, Love and Me.” The album will be available on iTunes, on their website, on Amazon, CD Baby, at the shows and at Waterloo Records and discriminating independent record stores everywhere.
Singer/songwriter Paula Cole is funding her new album from the ground up on Kickstarter. Recently Cole launched her campaign to fund an 8th studio album, to be called “Ballads,” which she described on her funding page as so: “‘Ballads’ is a weaving of American roots music; my first album of cover songs. I can honestly say I’ve been wanting to make this album my whole career. There will be jazz ballads next to traditional songs and swing and blues – it’s all roots music.”
For fans of multi-dimensional MIDI controllers, and true performance instruments in favor of grid controllers, the first (annual?) Haken Continuum Conference has been announced for June 9-11, 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina. This new event has been dubbed “ContinuuCon” (pronounced con-tin-you-con).
MUSIC GEAR: Xils-Lab this week announced the pending release of version 1.0 (now in final BETA), of its latest creation, a new take on the venerable drum machine, combining virtual analog and multi-synthesis to set it apart from the horde of existing fare.
ASCAP, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, today announced the appointment of Paul Rourke as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), reporting to ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. Rourke will be a key member of ASCAP’s 2016 executive management team and will be responsible for all of the organization’s financial matters […]
SoundExchange this week announced that Garth Brooks, the number one selling solo artist in U.S. history, has added another achievement to his recording career. After the country music artist amassed more than one billion performances on more than 2,500 digital radio services, SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe presented Brooks with the company’s prestigious Digital Radio Award. He is the first country music artist to be honored with this award.
ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, announced that Nicole George-Middleton and Shawn LeMone have both been promoted to Senior Vice President, Membership. They will continue to report directly to ASCAP EVP, Membership, John Titta.
UVI announces FALCON, a virtual instrument with 15 oscillators covering both synthesis and sampling techniques
NEWS: As a likely response to the popular Omnisphere 2, UVI have announced their own hybrid synthesis+samples instrument, Falcon, which they describe as a “fully-featured hybrid instrument with 15 oscillators covering both synthesis and sampling techniques, over 80 effects, extensive modulation control and more.”
NEWS: Native Instruments today released a number of new advancements to their KOMPLETE KONTROL product family, while also announcing a special offer for folks to purchase competitor Arturia’s virtual synth lineup at a special price, marking Arturia’s updates for compatibility with the NKS protocol.
REVIEW: A Southern California band formed in 2014 from local seasoned musicians, called “The Usual Suspects,” is rocking fans with delicate flavors of the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, and Tower of Power for a unique recipe.
NEWS: RØDE Microphones acquires Aphex. It was a surprise today to see two of my favorite brands come together. Australian pro-audio company RODE Microphones today announced its acquisition of legendary audio technology manufacturer, U.S.-based Aphex.
Native Instruments launches information portal for ‘Stems’ multi-channel audio format for creative live performance
NEWS: Native Instruments (NI) today announced the public launch of a new information portal on the “Stems” audio format. The website outlines what the heck the new format is for, and NI describes the new multi-channel audio format as being ‘for creative DJing and live performance.’
Music Industry Guru Loren Weisman announces launch of new ‘Music Business For Dummies’ book with Florida event
Long-time musician (drummer/producer) and music biz “guru” Loren Weisman has announced a June release party event in Florida for his new book, “Music Business For Dummies” (ISBN: 978-1119049654), which is geared to those creative types of any age looking to launch or rekindle a music career. The latest in the world-famous “for dummies” book series, […]
Golden Kingdom Expansion for N.I. MASCHINE touts EDM sound styles for ultra-commercial modern hip hop
NEWS: According to an announcement this week from Native Instruments, their latest expansion pack for its MASCHINE, GOLDEN KINGDOM, delivers “a wealth of sound for contemporary mainstream hip hop.”
MOVIE REVIEW: If you’re looking for a simple-minded romantic comedy this is not the film you’re looking for. If you want director Matthew Vaughn’s trademark mix of humor, action and high production value, sit down and be a happy camper. “Kingsmen: The Secret Service” is a definitely British movie, unlike his earlier “Kick Ass,” which was geared to the American audience without question.
NEWS: Native Instruments has announced live streaming event which will include house and techno artists Dubfire, Marc Kinchen, live from Red Bull’s Guest House, and will be broadcast from the Winter Music Conference (WMC) in Miami, on March 26, 2015 (Thursday).
NEWS: Musical artist, mother, activist, Grammy-winner Paula Cole has announced her new album, “7” is now available. Featuring Cole’s original band members and musical soul mates Jay Bellerose and Kevin Barry, with upright bassist Dennis Crouch complementing the bottom-end, “7” is about the songs, says Cole.
Venerable Akai MPC supply company MPCstuff have announced some new replacement parts for select MPC models to whiten and brighten your drum machine. The “white out” look for music instruments is super popular, and many music instrument companies have often created special editions. The Virus Ti “Polar,” the anniversary edition of the Yamaha Motif, special […]
The non-profit Bob Moog Foundation in North Carolina today announced a new charity fund-raising raffle for a rare white Moog Liberation Synthesizer “keytar.” The raffle will run from March 16 through April 20, 2015, and tickets are $20 each. According to the foundation’s announcement today, “The Moog Liberation is distinctive in its form and function […]
REVIEW of Matrix 12V: When Arturia recently announced and then released their latest V-Collection 4 of virtual instruments, and announced one of the new products would be a recreation of the venerable Oberheim Matrix-12, I was both overjoyed and impressed they had actually tackled this beast.
NEWS: When teenager (now 18) Autumn Sky Wolfe was diagnosed with autism, the last thing on her mind was a singing career. Yet she now has an EP on iTunes, has been nominated by New Music Weekly magazine as “Best New Adult Contemporary Artist,” as well as “Crossover Artist of the Year,” and she’s working with talent agency Starmaker Machinery in Los Angeles.
NEWS: Native Instruments today introduced NEON DRIVE – a new MASCHINE Expansion providing a “collection of tailored 80s-inspired sounds for producers working in contemporary pop, electronic, and R&B styles,” according to the company.
NEWS: Arturia today announced availability of its new KeyLab 88 — its top-of-the-range, professional-grade, 88-note hammer-action hybrid MIDI keyboard controller that comes complete with Arturia’s acclaimed Analog Lab software synthesizer solution and more besides — as of February 24, 2015.
NEWS: Quietly over the last decade, Nova Scotia native Chris Noxx has been building his resume. As a producer, composer and arranger he started making trips to and from his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Music hub Los Angeles, California.
TIPP CITY, Ohio, — With a shared goal of lifting up the works of today’s musicians and singer-songwriters, Trebius Promotions announces their new membership with the Americana Music Association.
At NAMM 2015, Music Computing updates world’s most powerful keyboard production station, offers touchscreens with MacOS X multi-touch
Music Computing today announced updates for its “world’s most powerful keyboard production station” and now offers touchscreens with MacOS X multi-touch gestures. Expanding on its goal to great super-instruments by incorporating the best products available into its core platform, Music Computing is releasing the following the following new products: STUDIO BLADE: The StudioBLADE 5 is […]
At NAMM 2015 in Anaheim: U.K.-based specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) today announced the launch of its SCM45A Pro — an all-new high-performance, three-way compact active loudspeaker. The SCM45A Pro is a completely new design, yet shares many features with its smaller sibling, the highly-successful […]
NEWS: The Pit Stop Players, a fourteen-member instrumental ensemble composed of veteran Broadway pit musicians, will present ‘Bolling Night,’ an evening of music by the legendary Claude Bolling, plus pieces by other composers who combine jazz and classical idioms. The event will take place Monday, February 9, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York City.
REVIEW: On Christmas eve, like many folk not out caroling or imbibing drinks of alcohol and nogs, I chose to watch “The Interview,” which brought Sony Pictures to its knees thanks to hackers allegedly tied to North Korea (and denied by same), and has been cheeky fodder for pundits and twitterers for the past couple of weeks.
NEWS: iMobie Inc., an innovative Apple related software developer, today announced the updates of its widely-praised products PhoneTrans and PodTrans; the world-first free iPhone content and iPod music management software on Mac and Windows computers, which also break the rule of no way to transfer iPhone, iPod music back to computer.
Korg USA today announced they will be the exclusive U.S. distributor of Dean Markley’s exceptional line of guitar strings, pickups, picks and polishing accessories. Dean Markey joins Korg’s family of elite brands and this partnership is in line with Korg’s strategic plan to provide dealers with a full spectrum of quality products at various price […]
Eiosis this week announced the release of their brand new EQ plug-in, AirEQ, which they describe in usual marketing banter as “AirEQ, Beyond Analog.” While a lofty claim, designer Fabrice Gabriel (and company CEO) claims to have done his homework in meeting the need of music producers who need a little bit more “air” than […]
North Carolina Teen Musician Launches Mirabella’s Miracle 501(c)3 to Support Families of Children in the NICU
Mirabella’s Miracle announces the launch of the charity by Max Petruzzi, 15 years old of Charlotte, N.C. Even at his young age, Max Petruzzi has led a very impactful and productive life. He is ranked in the top ten students of his class of over 300 students, a devoted rower and lacrosse player and just a fortunate kid who has a bunch of great friends at a great school, living in a great town.
Mamiboys, an International performing indie band on the M-Boyz Recordz label, has recorded a new single, which by all intent is a jab on Taylor Swift’s music career and personal love life. Although the indie band does not explicitly mention Taylor Swift by name, there are insinuations in the Mamiboys’ ‘Not Another Breakup Sh*t’ that cannot be ignored, according to the band.