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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
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
Google finally announced it’s entry into the world of subscription music.  Borrowing from both Spotify and Pandora, you’ll get access for $9.99 per month.  Nothing new here folks, but a natural extension of Google’s already extensive stranglehold on the internet.
https://play.google.com/about/music/tour/

DJ Mix
Kaytranada is a young artist from Montreal who has been lighting it up over the past 6 months.  He’s done remixes of Janet Jackson, TLC, and Danny Brown and is definitely on my watch list.  Check out this mix that he did for Scion, you won’t be disappointed…
https://soundcloud.com/scion-sessions/kaytranada-long-fortune-mix

Music Business
Do you like Infographics?  Do you like music?  Then this is the picture for you.  The folks over at The Music Bed have created this slick looking chart to give a snapshot of how we consume music.
http://www.hypebot.com/.a/6a00d83451b36c69e2017eeae5a159970d-popup

Free Mixtape
Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Los is a force to be reckoned with.  His recent signing with Bad Boy Records has shone the spotlight in his direction and his latest mixtape Becoming King shows us why.  Featuring guest spots from Wiz Khalifa, Diddy, and Ludacris, this is a must have for anyone listening to hip hop.
http://www.datpiff.com/pop-mixtape-download.php?id=mbd9a25b

Song Stream
British Duo Mount Kimbie recently announced that their forthcoming album Cold Spring Fault Less would include two songs from 18 year old British singer King Krule.  Well, they have given us the first taste of the album with the track “You Took Your Time”.  The laid back beats combined with King Krule’s smooth vocals make this track a must-listen.
https://soundcloud.com/mountkimbie/you-took-your-time

Red Bull Music Academy Lecture
The RBMA puts on some great shows and hosts some great lectures.  Case-in-point, the latest in their lecture series featuring Todd Edwards.  If you have an 90 minutes to kill listening to the him talk about his influences, the differences between house and garage, as well as several other topics, give this a spin.
http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/lectures/todd-edwards

Video Pick
Remember Cassie?  She had an album in 2006, did some collaborations with Lil Wayne, Diddy, and Akon, but didn’t do much else.  Well, last month she released a new mixtape, RockaByeBaby and it’s pretty spectacular.  Check out the first video from her latest release, “Paradise feat. Wiz Khalifa”.

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

I am an Ableton Live user. From the first time I used Live I was hooked. Live 9 was released not too long ago and I spent the better part of two weeks as a hermit, endlessly digging into all of the new instruments, effects, and samples that came with the thirty-plus gigabytes of Live 9 Suite. However, I think I may have gone a bit overboard because I feel (for the moment) quite burnt out. This Live hiatus has given me time to explore a somewhat different aspect of music production and performance; iPad apps.

Fortunately, there is no lack of apps (and FREE apps at that) for those wishing to make music on their mobile. I downloaded and tried around 25 apps before I narrowed it down to the list below, but there are still quite a few that I would like to try. Everything that I tried was completely free and most had either premium paid versions with more features or the ability to make in-app purchases to boost your experience. Lets take a quick look at what each of these apps does…

Launchpad
Recently released by Novation, the Launchpad app mirrors the look of it’s hardware counterpart and is setup much like you would set up a loop-based set in Ableton Live. It comes with eight sessions in different genres with audio content from Loopmasters. Each session has an array of buttons containing different audio loops and one-shots that you can combine as you please. Coupled with an easy FX an mixer section this is a great app for both beginners and veterans.

 

Launchkey
Also from Novation, Launchkey is a synthesizer that includes 60 preset sounds. With a keyboard and beautiful multi-function X-Y interface it is easy to play and morph your sounds. The big selling point, however, is the app’s full integration with the Launchkey hardware. Novation has released 25, 29, and 61 key hardware that allows you to connect and control every part of the synth.

 

Clap Box
Purmagnetik’s Clap Box is an iOS recreation of the iconic 80’s ‘Clap Trap’ synthesizer. All it really does is create clapping sounds, but with features like audio triggering and full MIDI integration you could have some real fun with this app. Nothing spectacular on it’s own, but when combined with other instruments, hardware, or other musicians, you have a definite winner.

Clap Box for iOS

 

Figure
From Propellerhead Software (the makers of Reason) comes an addictive little music making app that it extremely easy to use. You get to make a drum beat, bass line, and a lead synth all with very unique tactile interfaces. The sound quality from this app is great and it looks stunning. The learning curve is very minimal, but you still dig quite deep if you want to. Automatic iTunes export along with instant SoundCloud sharing make this a great app for creating beats.

Tabletop
By far, my favorite app that I downloaded was Tabletop. This modular studio workstation allows you to create your own setups by dropping various instruments and effects into the session. Everything you add gets connected through a virtual mixer and you have complete control over everything. This app works almost as a DAW, with the ability to use multiple instruments and effects, sequence them using MIDI, and have a complete mixing section. It comes with several built in instruments and effect, but you can also buy more in-app as well as use other third-party premium apps like iMPC from Akai inside of the interface. You can also import and play songs or samples from your library, which makes this the most versatile music making app I have seen yet.

All of these apps have a different niche, but they all serve the same purpose; making music. There are quite a few bad music apps out there, but I was pleasantly surprised at the amount and diversity of quality music apps. Whether you use them as your primary musical tool, a backup for DJing, busking on the street, or an impromptu dance parties, you should definitely incorporate some music apps into your life!

 

Special Note on DJing apps!

The new Traktor app is world-class and looks to be the one for two-deck mobile DJs. It isn’t free, but a full-service DJ app for $19.99 seems like a good deal to me.

I mentioned earlier that I am an Ableton Live user. Well, there are a number of apps available for Live that work as controllers, but I have been using touchAble in my live setup for a while now. Out of all of the apps that I tried, touchAble is the easiest, most intuitive, and best looking app that $24.99 can buy. If you are a Live user I highly recommend getting it.

 

 

 

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

About Spin Academy

Spin Academy is an online DJ and music producing school. At Spin Academy our goal is to give you the necessary skills to unleash your true musical creativity, and carrier potential. We have a huge library of high quality up to date video tutorials featuring some of the most successful DJ’s and music producers in the world.

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