MUSIC GEAR NEWS: Impact Soundworks has announced Peak Rider 2, a “super-powerful and flexible FX plugin that lets you shape and control dynamics in a totally new way.” Use it to tame wild vocals or drum tracks, create all new rhythmic parts, remove mic bleed, breathe life into flat saturated tracks, and much, much more.
MUSIC TECH: Native Instruments today announced release of “ELASTIC THUMP,” for MASCHINE, which they describe as “a modern, melodic take on future funk that brews the smoothness of R&B with the feel-good vibes of dance music and the bounce of futuristic, beathead culture.”
NEW MUSIC: I feel as if we live in a society these days where most people are looking out for themselves with some out to make an easy buck. As a former professional singer music will always be a part of me, a passion. Many say music is the only universal language.
GEAR NEWS: Vir2 Instruments has announced their new high-end sampled instrument line, the VITAL SERIES, and the first release “Vital Series Mallets.” Mallets’ powerful GUI offers eight instruments on one patch to be edited, played, blended, and recorded together. No sub menus or separate patches. Mallets has all the controls you need at your fingertips.
MUSIC TECH: LANDR Audio and Native Instruments today announces a partnership to offer instant mastering for the Stems format. As of January 30th, 2017, Stems mastering will be available directly on LANDR.com. Files created in Native Instruments’ free Stem Creator application can be dragged and dropped onto LANDR.com for instant sound optimization.
“Sensual Sax” from Embertone can now be had on your iOS device for playing solo, or with others. A new sampled saxophone virtual instrument. While some of us semi-dinosaur MIDI music dudes and dudettes might eschew the lowly iPhone and iPad for music creation when we have our various mega-rig Mac Pro studios to play with, the fact is that the largest growth base for new musicians is now on mobile devices. So, with this in mind, if that sounds like you, then a really cool new product from Embertone might make you breathless.
ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete: Virtual Instrument with Ethnic Instruments and Voices from all over the World
New for 2017, Best Service has rolled out ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete, a library that has continuously grown and been improved over a period of 16 years. In this sixth edition, 80 new instruments and voices with a volume of 13 gigabytes have been added to the library. ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete now consists of 320 instruments and voices being summarized in approx. 800 patches.
New for 2017, Spirfire Audio have announced their latest “symphonic masterpiece,” with “Symphony Orchestra.” The company describes this new collection as “A definitive mega-anthology of tools to create blockbuster symphonic works for TV, film, games and radio in a single and encyclopaedic core-level professional product.”
XILS-Lab this past week announced their latest virtual synth instrument, the PolyKB III which they describe as “The Synthesizer as it should have been, when invented 40 years ago.” The PolyKB III captures the sound and spirit of the legendary RSF PolyKobol 2 polyphonic synthesizer, including its most revolutionary feature : Morphing analog Oscillators.
For fans of expressive performance-focused MIDI instruments, the unique ContinuuCon event Returns to Asheville North Carolina for 2017 to showcasing the latest in Multi-dimensional electronic instruments, workshops, and live performances. The ideal event for those wanting to learn more about both the groundbreaking Haken Continuum instrument, as well as other next-gen music gear in a warm, informal setting. ContinuuCon 2017 will take place June 8-10 – UNCA – Asheville, N.C.
NEWS: RØDE Microphones’ Sales & Marketing Director Damien Wilson has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Freedman Electronics Group, home to pro audio brands RØDE, Aphex, Event Electronics and SoundField.
NEW MUSIC: Dallas artist OG Bobby Billions (OGB) recently released what, according to him, “might be one of the greatest debuts from a new talent, and it’s only the beginning.” On Dec. 9, 2016 OGB will be releasing a more in-depth visual to the already buzzing “Bands” single.
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.
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!
MUSIC MAKERS: Always a singer/songwriter John Preston set out with a mission through music to raise suicide awareness among vets. What he didn’t see coming was the suicide of his brother, a vet and his hero.
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.”
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).
REVIEW: Before fleeing in horror from a book about numbers and mathematics, take a moment to consider the humor of Charles Wheelan’s “Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data” (ISBN: 978-0-393-34777-7). Odds are you’ll enjoy it. Well, at least sixty or seventy percent of it.
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.
Book Review: Supreme Injustice in ‘Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable’
REVIEW: Demonstrating how the malignancy known as Conservatism has repeatedly poisoned the Supreme Court of the United States, “Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted” by Ian Millhiser (ISBN: 9781568584560) is detailed, horrific, and important.
REVIEW: Barton Swaim has done what every writer secretly longs to do: publish the unvarnished reality about his jerk employer. Too short to be called a tell-all, ‘The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics’ (ISBN: 9781476769929) is an interesting portrait of a stupid and disgusting Republican politician (as if there’s any other kind).