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Music News

Rails Rumble is a 48-hour hackathon for folks all over the world using Ruby on Rails and related frameworks to create web applications. 500 teams participate and, over a course of 48 hours, code their way to a web app. There were numerous music entries though none of them made it into the top 10. Most but not all are listed in the Music category. Here are the 12 most focused on music in alphabetical order:

Ambience – “Makes it easy for venues to play background music [and give you a say] – you simply register with a venue name and email, and we take care of the rest.”

Crowdly Sound – “Creating music around the world.”

Encore! – “A personal journal system for live events.”

Garage – “A community for musicians, bands and music lovers to get together and share their love.”

List Me – “Create and share lists of your top five music albums.”

Mind Peace – “This is an effort to allow people to spend few minutes and relax their mind and body by using power of classical music.”

MMGC – “Find movie, game and music covers.”

Musical Battle – “A game where you can create a playlist and challenge your opponents, two playlists will battle for votes in a limited time, the most voted is the winner!”

Songabilly – “Songabilly is our version of…a TV show where people have just a fixed amount of time to listen to a number of tracks and guess as many songs as they can.”

timeTune – “Music timeline. Albums visualization. Search your favourite bands easily.”

Trackcha – “Takes any YouTube or Vimeo video and magically finds out what songs are playing in it. Then it suggests to follow iTunes store to buy them.”

WhereToSing – “A tailored search engine for nearest Karaoke places around you or a cheapest one.”

 

DJ News

In this podcast, Billboard writer Kerri Mason talks about the rise of EDM to prominence over the last few years and how it has changed the musical and business landscape. Mason is recognized as one of the leading experts on the business of EDM — she has written features on major EDM festivals, Baauer and his rise to the top of the Billboard charts, and Robert FX Sillerman’s world domination attempts. They discuss the continued investment in EDM and whether or not there is a bubble. Definitely worth a listen…

 

 

Gear

French synth-makers Arturia have unveiled their latest piece of hardware, the MicroBrute. It’s based on its big brother MiniBute, but scales down some of the features into a smaller package. It is a 100% analogue monophonic synthesizer with a two-octave keyboard that comes with most of the same features as the MiniBrute. Some of its standout features include the Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP), Brute Factor™ delivering saturation and rich harmonics, and a step sequencer.

It will begin shipping in November and comes with a proce tage of $349 USD. Check out their promo video to get a better look.

 

Top Mix

Machinedrum (aka Travis Stewart) has been pumping out forward-thinking bass music for quite some time now. He recently released his latest album Vapor City (on Ninja Tune) and it is arguably his most ambitious project to date. He recently made a podcast/mix for Resident Advisor where he blends all of his influences from footwork to jungle to DnB. I highly suggest you check it out here (you’ll need to login to RA to download the .mp3).

 

 

Top Download

Following in the vain of Rustie and Hudson Mohawk, Ganz (Netherlands) brings his remix of “Shoulda Known” by Louis Futon (Philadelphia). Pitched vocal samples with filtered sparkling chords builds into a feel-good banger that works as both a dancefloor starter as well as a lean-back head bobber.

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

Music News

Far too many years in the making, YouTube will finally be hosting it’s own music awards show.  Airing on November 3, the voting will be fan driven (as would expected from a social platform) and the nominees will be announced on October 17th.  The first annual YouTube awards are presented in partnership with Kia and will be hosted by Jason Schwartzman.  They will be held at Pier 36 in New York, but will be live streaming from various locations around the globe iincluding Seoul, Moscow, London, and a location in Brazil. It will also feature performances by Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, and Eminem, all of which will be live-streamed under the direction of Spike Jonze.

YouTube has become a major player in the music industry over the past few years and has largely take on the role of new talent discovery.  The amount of music being uploaded and viewed on YouTube everyday is staggering, so it is only fitting that they have a fan-drive, large production event to celebrate.

Check out the intro video from Jason Schwartzman…

DJ News

In the wake of several news headlines related to “molly” and EDM partygoers (including the shutdown of the final day of the Electric Zoo festival due to multiple overdose deaths and a Gloucestershire man that died this past Saturday) one UK party spot has implemented a new drug testing system.

The Warehouse Project venue in Manchester will now have government employed scientists on site to test drugs that have been confiscated or willingly handed in by partygoers.  They will test for any harmful additives that might be a danger to the venue’s patrons and then publish warnings through social media.  The test launch of the project is set to happen on Saturday October 12th, with further dates to follow this year.

Gear

Native Instruments has unveiled it’s new flagship production hardware; the Maschine Studio.  The new and improved Maschine features two large HD color displays, a brand new comprehensive edit section, a jogwheel for precision movements, and some other overall improvements in functionality.  Coinciding with the release of the Maschine Studio is the new Maschine 2.0 software.  The new software will have an upgraded audio engine, a mixer window, five new drum-synths, and a “plug-in strip”.  The Maschine Studio will come bundled with the 2.0 software when it’s released in Novemeber (at and expected proce of about $999 USD), and existing Maschine and Maschine Micro users will be able to upgrade to 2.0 for a small fee.  Check out their launch video below…

Free Download

In a fitting tribute to the passing of former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, bass wizard Thundercat has released a track entitled “Bowzer’s Theme”.   The track is what you would expect with a name like that; beautifully moody chord progressions on a theme that takes you back to the golden age of video games.  Make no mistake, this is not a dance track, but music like this is in many ways a precursor to modern EDM.  Now let’s hear some remixes!

Best Mix

This week’s best mix comes courtesy of Montreal’s Kaytranada.  This 30 minute mix was down for the 2013 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival and is packed full of upbeat dance tunes.  It starts off with heavily sidechained atmospheric swells, which morphs into a feel good 80’s disco flavor.  This theme continues, but flows briefly into 90’s RnB territory which slides into some variations on vocal house.  Overall, a feel good short dance mix that makes you want to smile and move your body.

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

Music News
Today, Apple officially launched iTunes Radio.  This launch coincides with the release of iOS7, Apple’s revamped mobile operating system.  iTunes Radio will be Apple’s official venture into the word of streaming radio alongside established giants such as Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and Rdio.

What sets iTunes Radio apart from its competitors is its integration with the user’s existing iTunes library and generating genre-based playlists based on their preferences.  Presumably, since many people are already using iTunes, the level of personalization with iTunes Radio should outshine its competitors and should adapt more quickly.

iTunes Radio is free and ad-supported, unless you subscribe to iTunes Match.  In that case, your iTunes Radio will be personalized AND ad-free.

 

DJ News
Ableton 9.1 beta was just released and is the first major update since its release in March.  The public beta has a few major updates, the first of which is dual monitor support.  This new dual monitor option will allow users to fully exploit Live’s two interfaces (session and arrangement view) simultaneously.  You could also use it to open a full mix window or a full monitor MIDI editor.

In addition to the dual monitor support, Live will also have an improved rendering engine.  This includes improved sample-rate conversion as well using multiple-cores to improve rendering speed.

For Push owners, Live 9.1 will have a brand new melodic step sequencer.  This feature will also extend to editing automation with step-by-step automation.

 

New Gear
Traktor announced the release of its updated S4 and S2 controllers last week.  Updates include adding eight color-coded RGB buttons for triggering FX and samples, jog wheels with higher resolution, and dedicated Flux Mode and Remix Decks controls.  The biggest update, however, is that the new S4 and S2 will work with all laptop/desktop Traktor software as well as the Traktor apps for iPhone and iPad.  This hardware extension is poised to take Native Instruments‘ mobile DJ offering to the next level.  With storage capacity and processing power of mobile devices ever-increasing, it seems logical that a line up of robust hands-on professional controllers would follow.  It will be interesting to see how many DJs adopt the mobile gear as their primary setup as more hardware of this nature is released.

Check out the video demo from Mad Zach…

 

Best Mix
The best mix is not really a mix, but a free preview album stream from Prison Garde.  A resident of Montreal and currently playing some shows out west (including Victoria’s Rifflandia), Prison Garde always brings the heat.  Check out the 909 and Moog-laden dance vibes of his latest studio effort, Fortresses.

 

Free Download
Australia’s Wave Racer has hit one out of the park with his remix of DCUP’s “Don’t Be Shy”.  Crisp snares, rolling arpeggios, and pitched vocal work all shine through the glimmering feel-good chord progressions on this track.  If this doesn’t leave a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.

Grab a free download at XLR8R.

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

Music News

Cassette Store Day is happening this Friday, September 7th.  Emerging as a companion to the already ubiquitous Record Store Day, Cassette Store Day revolves around limited runs of cassettes from bands both old and new.  Tape labels like Suplex Cassettes, Kissability, and SEXBEAT are pitching in to make this a day to be remembered.  Apparently people still have working cassette decks, because the list of releases and stores that will be participating is a lot larger than I would have guessed.  You can check out the lists here

 

DJ News

In a huge move, Serato has decided to discontinue their Scratch Live product.  Scratch Live is now over 10 years old and will be replaced with the Serato DJ software.  With the integration of DVS into the Serato DJ platform, they have created 1 platform that can accommodate all varieties of Serato users.  Scratch Live will still have full support until 2015, so users have ample time to make the transition.

The interface is very similar to Scratch Live, so there won’t be much of a learning curve for new adopters.  Perhaps one of the biggest improvements is the suite of effects provided by Izotope.  Izotope has been making top-quality plugins for quite a few years now, so it’s great to see Serato partner with them.

The upgrade to Serato DJ will be free for current Scratch Live users and hardware support for most of the current mixers and controllers will be rolled put soon.  The exception to this is the Rane SL1 and 57SL.  Both of these pieces of gear are almost 10 years old and are being phased out by Serato.

Check out the video below for more info.

 

Gear

Novation has just launched 3 new mini controllers to fill the gap of ‘iPad generation’ DJs and producers.  The LaunchKey Mini is a smaller version of the existing LaunchKey and integrates seamlessly with the LaunchKey app.

The Launchpad Mini is a scaled-down version of the Launchpad and maintains the full functionality of its big brother.  It will have full integration with the Launchpad app as well as new sound packs for the app.

The third piece of gear, which is the only *new* piece, is the Launch Control.  This controller contains 16 knobs and an array of 8 buttons to act as a companion for other triggering controllers.  I can see this working exceptionally well as a partner for the existing Launchpad, especially for Ableton Live users.

All three controllers will be available in the next few weeks and are expected to retail for around $99 USD.

 

 

Free Download

I know that I posted a Ta-Ku beat the last time I did one of these lists, but I really can’t get enough.  Check out his latest creation “We Were In Love”, a pensive yet driving beat that will leave you pondering all of your past loves.

 

 

Best Mix

Hailing from the UK and the head of the Lost Codes label, Visionist is an up-and-coming grime producer.  He put together this mix for Fact Mag that spans a wide range of bass music.  The hour-long mix is mostly instrumental and stays away from the grinding dubstep-esque style of grime that many North Americans may be used to.  Instead, it flows from spacey dub to hazy house to washed out (yet still danceable) hip hop.  Definitely worth a listen.

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

Music News
Apple is launching their new iTunes Radio service and it looks to be quite good. While there has almost always been a radio service of sorts through the iTunes desktop app, this new version will integrate with all your Apple devices. It will react intelligently to you your current listening habits in iTunes and you can also customize it to suit your personal preferences. For all of you that actually use Siri, iTunes Radio will be fully integrated so that you can talk to your radio.

In recent months we have seen iTunes begin to offer exclusive full album streams before the album is released (Daft Punk, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.). This feature will undoubtedly be used more and more as iTunes Radio takes off. They are also hinting at some iTunes Radio exclusive tracks from major artists.

It appears that the service is free to use, but will include audio and video ads from major companies. However, if you are a subscriber to iTunes Match (their subscription cloud storage), iTunes Radio will be ad-free.

On the surface this seems to be a no-brainer for Apple. They can drive sales of downloads, receive ad revenue, and also subscriptions to their cloud service all through a system that all i-product owners are essentially already using. However, right now iTunes Radio is only available in the USA.
The real question is whether this will put a dent in other radio/streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify…

You Can read more about iTune Radio here

DJ News
Pulselocker is a new streaming/storage/retail service designed specifically for DJs. Think of Spotify mixed with Beatport. A monthly subscription gets you access to their catalogue of over 4 million DJ-centric tracks. There is a tiered pricing model where the more you pay, the larger your ‘locker’ is. This ‘locker’ is a DRM protected folder on your hard drive that can contain 25-1000 songs for online or offline use in DJ software such as Serato and Traktor (with more programs to come). Once a track in your locker has become stale, just swap it out for a new track (like an old-school record bag). This way, you don’t have to purchase an entirely new set of tracks every month, you simply put new ones in your locker. You also will have the options to buy the tracks outright through iTunes and Beatport. The audio quality of ‘locker’ tracks is currently set at 320kbps, but WAVs and AIFFs will soon be available.

Check out their website

New Gear
Pioneer has been a household name in the DJ world for quite some time with both its industry-standard CDJs and a range of mixers. They are now looking at tackling another part of the DJ market; reference monitors. They have designed a new monitor dubbed the “S-DJ X” available in 5, 6, and 8-inch woofer sizes to appease the masses. They come with a host of built-in features such as an auto on/off, built-in equalization, and a wide ‘3D’ sweet spot designed with the DJ and producer specifically in mind. The S-DJ X will be available in September and will come in both black and white.

Top Mix
Montreal’s Tommy Kruise brings the first mix from the Dime MTL crew. Hazed out hip hop for late night roll sessions en route to the club.

Top Download
I seriously can’t get enough of Ta-Ku. This guy is like Australia’s J Dilla. The amount of quality beats he puts out is almost inhuman and we thank him for it. Listen and download his latest work on Drake’s “Over”.

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

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