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djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49

7-spotify-light-mode

A full-featured DJ app can be yours for fifty bucks, and it can stream the songs you don’t have right off Spotify. djay Pro is here, and with it and a new generation of contenders come some serious shifts in digital DJing.

Algoriddim have been making user-friendly DJ apps for a while. That started with a beginner-friendly Mac app, but extended to iOS and the until-recently-neglected Android platform (which is now at last fairly viable for mobile DJing).

djay’s ease of use was already enough to make it appeal to casual DJs. Then, in May, Algoriddim pulled an ace out of their sleeve – Spotify integration. You still need a reliable WiFi connection, and streaming still isn’t quite as convenient as working from downloaded files, but for wedding DJs or anyone who has to take requests, it’s a boon.

Still, mobile gadgets are limited. Connecting hardware for control and sound is a pain compared to a desktop, and storage is restricted.

Today’s release of djay Pro is a serious salvo in the exploding DJ market. There are two big bombshells. One, Spotify DJing has just become a reality on desktop. Two, big players in the DJ market now have to contend with a friendly, affordable competitor.

And I don’t think that’s something to underestimate. In a world of DJ apps that looked like they were designed by Airbus engineers, djay (like rival Cross) represents something anyone can approach. Now, previously, that meant giving up some features serious DJs needed. But djay Pro closes a lot of that gap, without looking more complex.

Should makers of big DJ apps be a little worried? Absolutely. DJing is an expanding global market, and that puts lots of users on the table – and Spotify means some of those DJs would consider switching platforms. Traktor, which has cool-looking hardware but can be inflexible in what appears on the screen, I’m looking at you. Native Instruments’ own iOS efforts have shown that Traktor’s user experience could be better.

djay_pro_waveforms

Algoriddim promises “Pro” brings “pristine audio quality” – important, since other versions of djay suffer with time stretching and effects. They also say they’ve added high-definition waveforms in place of the crude representations of what’s onscreen. I’ll be testing that over our holiday break, but on paper, things do look nice:

Powerful DJ Interface: turntables, waveforms, four decks, sampler
Spotify Integration: instant access to over 20 million songs.
Music Library: Spotify + iTunes, history, queue, preview, search, light / dark switch
Four Deck Mixing: horizontal / vertical layouts, crossfader assignments
Waveform Layouts: horizontal / vertical, two deck / four deck, variable zoom level
Sampler: live sampling and presets editing, pre-bundled content
Recording: AAC / WAV, iTunes export
Advanced DJ Tools: sync, cue points, looping, skipping, slip, beat grids
Audio FX: 30 audio effects by Sugar Bytes (In-App Purchase), chain-able effects
Audio Processing: time stretching, pitch shifting, EQ, pan, highpass, lowpass, limiter
Audio Analysis: BPM with dynamic beats, colored waveforms, key, auto-gain
Hardware Integration: over 50 MIDI controllers, MIDI learn, multi-channel USB audio

1-turntables

5-four-deck-vertical

Effects are one area where something like Traktor is miles ahead – but Sugar Bytes makes great effects, so this is a horse race now.

And it’s likewise nice to see some hardware control options.

Spotify, though, is really the wild card here.

Cross DJ for Mac and PC – which offers the Windows support lacking here – is another major contender, and one I hope to write about in the next couple of weeks. It has deeper sampling and remix options, lots of Pioneer integration (important to those aforementioned “pros”), and vinyl control.

Here’s where things get interesting: Cross DJ does unlimited SoundCloud streaming, in place of Spotify. Pricing runs from free (!) up to US$129, with most functionality in the US$34 version.

You may have noticed Native Instruments steeply discounting their software lately. I really wonder if DJ software will get commodity pricing while makers like NI make up the difference on hardware.

But the other coming disruption really is streaming. With Cross with SoundCloud and djay with Spotify, others are sure to follow. I still love downloading music, and I’d never want to have a DJ set train wreck because of a WiFi connection, but it’s hard not to imagine a lot of DJs at least augmenting their setups with streams – especially those that do have to depend on requests. (And, let’s face it, the market for software has to encompass a lot of people who face that reality.)

By the way, this makes the news from Beatport this week even more interesting. Beatport downloads face competition direct from artists and labels – and streaming, too. The streaming service they’ve teased to The Wall Street Journal still isn’t available, while producers and labels are already used to uploading music to SoundCloud (where they have actual control over their content) and the public are used to Spotify. With Spotify and SoundCloud already integrated with these products, you wonder where the Beatport offering will even fit. Beatport has been integrated with Traktor before; maybe it’ll happen again. Otherwise, it seems like SoundCloud and Spotify may remain the bigger streaming players, with Beatport some sort of Raver Spotify for the Tomorrowland set.

Anyway, that’s the future.

Right now, djay Pro is a nice contender for casual DJs, for anyone wanting a fresh-faced app, or anyone who wants Spotify integration on the desktop. I look forward to reviewing this one.

Find it here:
http://www.algoriddim.com/djay-mac

djay Pro is for sale via Apple’s App Store at US$49.99, for a limited time.

The post djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49 appeared first on Create Digital Music.

djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49

7-spotify-light-mode

A full-featured DJ app can be yours for fifty bucks, and it can stream the songs you don’t have right off Spotify. djay Pro is here, and with it and a new generation of contenders come some serious shifts in digital DJing.

Algoriddim have been making user-friendly DJ apps for a while. That started with a beginner-friendly Mac app, but extended to iOS and the until-recently-neglected Android platform (which is now at last fairly viable for mobile DJing).

djay’s ease of use was already enough to make it appeal to casual DJs. Then, in May, Algoriddim pulled an ace out of their sleeve – Spotify integration. You still need a reliable WiFi connection, and streaming still isn’t quite as convenient as working from downloaded files, but for wedding DJs or anyone who has to take requests, it’s a boon.

Still, mobile gadgets are limited. Connecting hardware for control and sound is a pain compared to a desktop, and storage is restricted.

Today’s release of djay Pro is a serious salvo in the exploding DJ market. There are two big bombshells. One, Spotify DJing has just become a reality on desktop. Two, big players in the DJ market now have to contend with a friendly, affordable competitor.

And I don’t think that’s something to underestimate. In a world of DJ apps that looked like they were designed by Airbus engineers, djay (like rival Cross) represents something anyone can approach. Now, previously, that meant giving up some features serious DJs needed. But djay Pro closes a lot of that gap, without looking more complex.

Should makers of big DJ apps be a little worried? Absolutely. DJing is an expanding global market, and that puts lots of users on the table – and Spotify means some of those DJs would consider switching platforms. Traktor, which has cool-looking hardware but can be inflexible in what appears on the screen, I’m looking at you. Native Instruments’ own iOS efforts have shown that Traktor’s user experience could be better.

djay_pro_waveforms

Algoriddim promises “Pro” brings “pristine audio quality” – important, since other versions of djay suffer with time stretching and effects. They also say they’ve added high-definition waveforms in place of the crude representations of what’s onscreen. I’ll be testing that over our holiday break, but on paper, things do look nice:

Powerful DJ Interface: turntables, waveforms, four decks, sampler
Spotify Integration: instant access to over 20 million songs.
Music Library: Spotify + iTunes, history, queue, preview, search, light / dark switch
Four Deck Mixing: horizontal / vertical layouts, crossfader assignments
Waveform Layouts: horizontal / vertical, two deck / four deck, variable zoom level
Sampler: live sampling and presets editing, pre-bundled content
Recording: AAC / WAV, iTunes export
Advanced DJ Tools: sync, cue points, looping, skipping, slip, beat grids
Audio FX: 30 audio effects by Sugar Bytes (In-App Purchase), chain-able effects
Audio Processing: time stretching, pitch shifting, EQ, pan, highpass, lowpass, limiter
Audio Analysis: BPM with dynamic beats, colored waveforms, key, auto-gain
Hardware Integration: over 50 MIDI controllers, MIDI learn, multi-channel USB audio

1-turntables

5-four-deck-vertical

Effects are one area where something like Traktor is miles ahead – but Sugar Bytes makes great effects, so this is a horse race now.

And it’s likewise nice to see some hardware control options.

Spotify, though, is really the wild card here.

Cross DJ for Mac and PC – which offers the Windows support lacking here – is another major contender, and one I hope to write about in the next couple of weeks. It has deeper sampling and remix options, lots of Pioneer integration (important to those aforementioned “pros”), and vinyl control.

Here’s where things get interesting: Cross DJ does unlimited SoundCloud streaming, in place of Spotify. Pricing runs from free (!) up to US$129, with most functionality in the US$34 version.

You may have noticed Native Instruments steeply discounting their software lately. I really wonder if DJ software will get commodity pricing while makers like NI make up the difference on hardware.

But the other coming disruption really is streaming. With Cross with SoundCloud and djay with Spotify, others are sure to follow. I still love downloading music, and I’d never want to have a DJ set train wreck because of a WiFi connection, but it’s hard not to imagine a lot of DJs at least augmenting their setups with streams – especially those that do have to depend on requests. (And, let’s face it, the market for software has to encompass a lot of people who face that reality.)

By the way, this makes the news from Beatport this week even more interesting. Beatport downloads face competition direct from artists and labels – and streaming, too. The streaming service they’ve teased to The Wall Street Journal still isn’t available, while producers and labels are already used to uploading music to SoundCloud (where they have actual control over their content) and the public are used to Spotify. With Spotify and SoundCloud already integrated with these products, you wonder where the Beatport offering will even fit. Beatport has been integrated with Traktor before; maybe it’ll happen again. Otherwise, it seems like SoundCloud and Spotify may remain the bigger streaming players, with Beatport some sort of Raver Spotify for the Tomorrowland set.

Anyway, that’s the future.

Right now, djay Pro is a nice contender for casual DJs, for anyone wanting a fresh-faced app, or anyone who wants Spotify integration on the desktop. I look forward to reviewing this one.

Find it here:
http://www.algoriddim.com/djay-mac

djay Pro is for sale via Apple’s App Store at US$49.99, for a limited time.

The post djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49 appeared first on Create Digital Music.

djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49

7-spotify-light-mode

A full-featured DJ app can be yours for fifty bucks, and it can stream the songs you don’t have right off Spotify. djay Pro is here, and with it and a new generation of contenders come some serious shifts in digital DJing.

Algoriddim have been making user-friendly DJ apps for a while. That started with a beginner-friendly Mac app, but extended to iOS and the until-recently-neglected Android platform (which is now at last fairly viable for mobile DJing).

djay’s ease of use was already enough to make it appeal to casual DJs. Then, in May, Algoriddim pulled an ace out of their sleeve – Spotify integration. You still need a reliable WiFi connection, and streaming still isn’t quite as convenient as working from downloaded files, but for wedding DJs or anyone who has to take requests, it’s a boon.

Still, mobile gadgets are limited. Connecting hardware for control and sound is a pain compared to a desktop, and storage is restricted.

Today’s release of djay Pro is a serious salvo in the exploding DJ market. There are two big bombshells. One, Spotify DJing has just become a reality on desktop. Two, big players in the DJ market now have to contend with a friendly, affordable competitor.

And I don’t think that’s something to underestimate. In a world of DJ apps that looked like they were designed by Airbus engineers, djay (like rival Cross) represents something anyone can approach. Now, previously, that meant giving up some features serious DJs needed. But djay Pro closes a lot of that gap, without looking more complex.

Should makers of big DJ apps be a little worried? Absolutely. DJing is an expanding global market, and that puts lots of users on the table – and Spotify means some of those DJs would consider switching platforms. Traktor, which has cool-looking hardware but can be inflexible in what appears on the screen, I’m looking at you. Native Instruments’ own iOS efforts have shown that Traktor’s user experience could be better.

djay_pro_waveforms

Algoriddim promises “Pro” brings “pristine audio quality” – important, since other versions of djay suffer with time stretching and effects. They also say they’ve added high-definition waveforms in place of the crude representations of what’s onscreen. I’ll be testing that over our holiday break, but on paper, things do look nice:

Powerful DJ Interface: turntables, waveforms, four decks, sampler
Spotify Integration: instant access to over 20 million songs.
Music Library: Spotify + iTunes, history, queue, preview, search, light / dark switch
Four Deck Mixing: horizontal / vertical layouts, crossfader assignments
Waveform Layouts: horizontal / vertical, two deck / four deck, variable zoom level
Sampler: live sampling and presets editing, pre-bundled content
Recording: AAC / WAV, iTunes export
Advanced DJ Tools: sync, cue points, looping, skipping, slip, beat grids
Audio FX: 30 audio effects by Sugar Bytes (In-App Purchase), chain-able effects
Audio Processing: time stretching, pitch shifting, EQ, pan, highpass, lowpass, limiter
Audio Analysis: BPM with dynamic beats, colored waveforms, key, auto-gain
Hardware Integration: over 50 MIDI controllers, MIDI learn, multi-channel USB audio

1-turntables

5-four-deck-vertical

Effects are one area where something like Traktor is miles ahead – but Sugar Bytes makes great effects, so this is a horse race now.

And it’s likewise nice to see some hardware control options.

Spotify, though, is really the wild card here.

Cross DJ for Mac and PC – which offers the Windows support lacking here – is another major contender, and one I hope to write about in the next couple of weeks. It has deeper sampling and remix options, lots of Pioneer integration (important to those aforementioned “pros”), and vinyl control.

Here’s where things get interesting: Cross DJ does unlimited SoundCloud streaming, in place of Spotify. Pricing runs from free (!) up to US$129, with most functionality in the US$34 version.

You may have noticed Native Instruments steeply discounting their software lately. I really wonder if DJ software will get commodity pricing while makers like NI make up the difference on hardware.

But the other coming disruption really is streaming. With Cross with SoundCloud and djay with Spotify, others are sure to follow. I still love downloading music, and I’d never want to have a DJ set train wreck because of a WiFi connection, but it’s hard not to imagine a lot of DJs at least augmenting their setups with streams – especially those that do have to depend on requests. (And, let’s face it, the market for software has to encompass a lot of people who face that reality.)

By the way, this makes the news from Beatport this week even more interesting. Beatport downloads face competition direct from artists and labels – and streaming, too. The streaming service they’ve teased to The Wall Street Journal still isn’t available, while producers and labels are already used to uploading music to SoundCloud (where they have actual control over their content) and the public are used to Spotify. With Spotify and SoundCloud already integrated with these products, you wonder where the Beatport offering will even fit. Beatport has been integrated with Traktor before; maybe it’ll happen again. Otherwise, it seems like SoundCloud and Spotify may remain the bigger streaming players, with Beatport some sort of Raver Spotify for the Tomorrowland set.

Anyway, that’s the future.

Right now, djay Pro is a nice contender for casual DJs, for anyone wanting a fresh-faced app, or anyone who wants Spotify integration on the desktop. I look forward to reviewing this one.

Find it here:
http://www.algoriddim.com/djay-mac

djay Pro is for sale via Apple’s App Store at US$49.99, for a limited time.

The post djay Pro for Mac: A Serious DJ App with Spotify Integration, US$49 appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Finally, Your Pocket Gets a Perfect Drum Synth: Elastic Drums for iPhone

ED1

Some people are addicted to flinging birds at stacks of things until those stacks fall over. Or they use spare moments to flick through thumbnails of single people who they’ll never meet. Or they read random 140-character texts about stuff from angry folks, yelling at each other.

Not you.

You are addicted to drums. And not just any drums. You want electronic drums, drums you can tweak and dial – genuine synthesizers, grooving. Just playing back the sound of an 808 isn’t going to cut it. If you’re sandwiched in coach class, your knees pressed against the seat in front of you, you at least want to shut out the din of a screaming baby in the next row and start adjusting that granular hat, just so. You want a rave in your head, and you want a fully-equipped cockpit to control it.

Somehow, out of the many, many apps for the App Store, nothing quite did this. Oh, sure, there are elaborate MPC-style grooveboxes and plenty of oddities. But I’ve been watching over the last year as one app gradually involved into what I – and, I suspect you – really want.

And now it’s here. If you can find any compatible iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, I think you’ll want it.

Elastic Drums is a drum machine built entirely around synthesis. (Under the hood, Pure Data is doing the heavy lifting, via libpd.) There are dedicated engines for different kinds of percussion: kick, snare, hit, clap, and tom, of course, but also FM, and grain. In fact, the percussion engines are good enough that you’re very likely to build basslines out of them, too.

Take those engines, and feed them into six channels, add automatable effects, and you can compose everything you need right in Elastic Drums.

And then there’s the sound. Tame, it isn’t. This is a raunchy beast, full of edgy instruments. That will satisfy people making dark techno, of course, but this is also a perfect machine to bend in the other direction – nothing is stopping you from making abstract soundscapes, either, and in fact the limitations of the grid are oddly encouraging.

Now, no complaints about older iOS devices – this is, of course, CPU heavy. But the generation starting with the iPhone 5 is perfectly capable, and with the 5S and 6 out – and iPod touch and iPad as options – the used market is a valid place to look. The combination, even with this one app, rivals a lot of standalone hardware out there.

There are already a lot of rich capabilities:

  • Twelve parameters per synth engine
  • Four send channels, master effects, with stutter, delay, compressor, reverb – the lot
  • X/Y control for effects
  • Parameter automation for synth, effects
  • 16-step sequencer
  • SoundCloud and Audioshare export, plus email (for audio and presets)

ED2

ED4

16-step sequencers may have some of the more experimental readers yawning, but it’s actually possible to get very polyrhythmic with that grid – each of the six channels has its own tempo multiplier, and its own length, so you can set these machines into motion at different rates. MIDI input is on the agenda, too, if you desire something beyond that via an external sequencing app; for now, though, that’s actually a lot of possibilities once you start doing the maths.

You need iOS 8 to run this, but that’s the only way to require the latest hardware – and on that, it runs beautifully.

CDM is collaborating with developer Oliver Greschke with the release, and again involving Berlin-based Mouse on Mars (among other artists) on the creative side. We’ll work more with Oliver in 2015, to find creative ways of using this app and expanding development horizons for libpd as an open source tool across many platforms (not just Apple’s) for people to make new creative software.

Disclosure: we are also embarking on a marketing collaboration with Elastic Drums. I’ll explain more about that as we unveil the ideas we’ve got this month and next.

This will include collaborations as Oliver works on expanding features. Audiobus is working in a test build I got, but required further modification before it got App Store approval. (It’s coming soon – and you’ll like it. I’m already using it with WretchUp, the app I co-developed, to add some wild effects to Elastic Drums’ grooves.)

I’m doing that, though, because I’m really excited about what this app represents.

Watch an early full demo review video:

ED3

ED5

Get Elastic Drums for iOS on the App Store

The post Finally, Your Pocket Gets a Perfect Drum Synth: Elastic Drums for iPhone appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Finally, Your Pocket Gets a Perfect Drum Synth: Elastic Drums for iPhone

ED1

Some people are addicted to flinging birds at stacks of things until those stacks fall over. Or they use spare moments to flick through thumbnails of single people who they’ll never meet. Or they read random 140-character texts about stuff from angry folks, yelling at each other.

Not you.

You are addicted to drums. And not just any drums. You want electronic drums, drums you can tweak and dial – genuine synthesizers, grooving. Just playing back the sound of an 808 isn’t going to cut it. If you’re sandwiched in coach class, your knees pressed against the seat in front of you, you at least want to shut out the din of a screaming baby in the next row and start adjusting that granular hat, just so. You want a rave in your head, and you want a fully-equipped cockpit to control it.

Somehow, out of the many, many apps for the App Store, nothing quite did this. Oh, sure, there are elaborate MPC-style grooveboxes and plenty of oddities. But I’ve been watching over the last year as one app gradually involved into what I – and, I suspect you – really want.

And now it’s here. If you can find any compatible iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, I think you’ll want it.

Elastic Drums is a drum machine built entirely around synthesis. (Under the hood, Pure Data is doing the heavy lifting, via libpd.) There are dedicated engines for different kinds of percussion: kick, snare, hit, clap, and tom, of course, but also FM, and grain. In fact, the percussion engines are good enough that you’re very likely to build basslines out of them, too.

Take those engines, and feed them into six channels, add automatable effects, and you can compose everything you need right in Elastic Drums.

And then there’s the sound. Tame, it isn’t. This is a raunchy beast, full of edgy instruments. That will satisfy people making dark techno, of course, but this is also a perfect machine to bend in the other direction – nothing is stopping you from making abstract soundscapes, either, and in fact the limitations of the grid are oddly encouraging.

Now, no complaints about older iOS devices – this is, of course, CPU heavy. But the generation starting with the iPhone 5 is perfectly capable, and with the 5S and 6 out – and iPod touch and iPad as options – the used market is a valid place to look. The combination, even with this one app, rivals a lot of standalone hardware out there.

There are already a lot of rich capabilities:

  • Twelve parameters per synth engine
  • Four send channels, master effects, with stutter, delay, compressor, reverb – the lot
  • X/Y control for effects
  • Parameter automation for synth, effects
  • 16-step sequencer
  • SoundCloud and Audioshare export, plus email (for audio and presets)

ED2

ED4

16-step sequencers may have some of the more experimental readers yawning, but it’s actually possible to get very polyrhythmic with that grid – each of the six channels has its own tempo multiplier, and its own length, so you can set these machines into motion at different rates. MIDI input is on the agenda, too, if you desire something beyond that via an external sequencing app; for now, though, that’s actually a lot of possibilities once you start doing the maths.

You need iOS 8 to run this, but that’s the only way to require the latest hardware – and on that, it runs beautifully.

CDM is collaborating with developer Oliver Greschke with the release, and again involving Berlin-based Mouse on Mars (among other artists) on the creative side. We’ll work more with Oliver in 2015, to find creative ways of using this app and expanding development horizons for libpd as an open source tool across many platforms (not just Apple’s) for people to make new creative software.

Disclosure: we are also embarking on a marketing collaboration with Elastic Drums. I’ll explain more about that as we unveil the ideas we’ve got this month and next.

This will include collaborations as Oliver works on expanding features. Audiobus is working in a test build I got, but required further modification before it got App Store approval. (It’s coming soon – and you’ll like it. I’m already using it with WretchUp, the app I co-developed, to add some wild effects to Elastic Drums’ grooves.)

I’m doing that, though, because I’m really excited about what this app represents.

Watch an early full demo review video:

ED3

ED5

Get Elastic Drums for iOS on the App Store

The post Finally, Your Pocket Gets a Perfect Drum Synth: Elastic Drums for iPhone appeared first on Create Digital Music.

This Movie Clip Sums Up the SFX-Beatport Vision of the Future of Dance Music

Synergy.

That’s the direction you can expect from Beatport and SFX Entertainment. And the speech above from the film In Good Company more or less fits. (The plot of that 2004 movie even includes an acquisition by a conglomerate.)

Basically, SFX may have solved the problem of how to make money in the streaming business – by making its money elsewhere. Or, it seems that’s the plan.

Here’s the problem: music streaming has razor-thin margins versus sales. The artists and labels eek out fairly small bits of change, generally. They can blame the streaming services, but with those services having to pay off server bills, development, support, and all the royalties for the music themselves, there’s not much left in the way of profit in their end, either.

Enter SFX Entertainment, the media conglomerate that bought out Beatport. As reported by sources at the Wall Street Journal, SFX’s Beatport will in 2015 launch a free, ad-support streaming service. The paid service as you know it – recently redesigned as Beatport Pro – will apparently live on with the Pro name. (You can also read the details at DJ Tech Tools, since the WSJ is behind a paywall.)

So, what does this have to do with synergy? Everything.

SFX describes their own business as the “end-to-end” experience of dance music.

Let’s review. First, there are SFX’s recent acquisitions, each going to Beatport:

There’s Listn, the music history / sharing service, which Beatport just acquired. Of all of the stuff in the SFX empire, this is the most interesting – it share what you’re listening to across service with your friends. Unfortunately, for those of you on the long tail of music, it gets sort of less interesting after the acquisition – because then the founders start talking about streaming exclusivity, and we’re back to big label deals again.

Hostess.fm tells you what DJs are playing at clubs, though – right now they’re pretty scattered, and podcasts/radio shows are mixed in with clubs.

But the bigger picture is really to do with SFX. You can watch it in a film with lots of fits pumping, DJs in front of massive festival crowds, and tanned raver ladies baring skin, and … hexagons. So many hexagons. (It looks a bit like the film you watched at the local cineplex in the 90s that told you to buy popcorn and Coke and turn off your pagers and rent the theater for your next corporate event.)

About SFX Entertainment

The tagline: SFX is “a global platform for Electronic Music Culture.” And by culture, we’re talking the ‘c’ word – content. Namely, content integration:

We view EMC as a global generational movement driven by a rapidly developing community of avid followers among the millennial generation. Our mission is to enable this movement by providing our fans with the best possible live experiences, music discovery, online content and connectivity with other fans and events.

If it seems like all of this comes from a corporate boardroom with its DNA derived from a combination of media giant like Clear Channel and Ticketmaster and financial giants like Goldman Sachs, that’s because … it did.

But that’s not so important as the combination of services:

1. The biggest festivals. Tomorrowland, Sensation, Awakenings, Electric Zoo, and so on. And the world’s biggest paint party, too.
2. Clubs, promoters, bookers. Not just Miami – big booking outfits are consolidated internationally, particularly in North and South America.
3. Agencies. Digital integration from the mobile app to the visuals onstage are handled by

Beatport is important, too. Instead of DJs being the customers, suddenly millions of casual listeners are. It’s the millions of people surfing Beatport just to hear the songs – and the millions more who don’t know Beatport but do attend SFX festivals.

But that’s critical. Because I think if you’re a label or artist who doesn’t appeal to that festival crowd, the question is whether your output is now marginal to Beatport’s business model.

Now, if someone from Beatport would like to argue otherwise, I’d be glad to hear it. But to me, even iTunes or Amazon or Spotify benefits more from the long tail because they aren’t also booking the artists whose downloads they’re selling, or trying to assemble music that appeals to particular advertisers.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s too soon too judge, really. We have to see which labels are included in streaming, and whether Beatport Pro is disrupted by the addition of streaming.

Also, it’s unfair, perhaps, to blame the shift to streaming on Beatport. Labels and producers in general, as I’ve written before, have cause for concern as far as the DJ market for downloads, now that streaming is already a feature of DJ apps (look at Spotify in Algoriddim djay).

But from a business perspective, the questions are these:

1. Will labels and artists outside the SFX festival economy remain important to Beatport, or will they be eclipsed? (Indeed, will the buyers and streamers on Beatport start to self-select based on that economy, if this SFX synergy becomes successful?)
2. Will people buying festival tickets at SFX events want to listen to streaming music with ads?
3. Will those people listening make a lucrative advertising market? (It didn’t work for Spotify, but SFX has an ace in the hole – a more targeted audience of young people brands will want, the folks at the festivals. And then they have an agency to sell to them…
4. Will any of those people buy downloads – of music or Beatport sample packs?

I’ll be the first to say: I don’t know.

But for people making less-mainstream music, there’s a clear divide evolving. Will a company like SFX approach the long tail – figuring out what experimental music is played at an underground club, or selling an indie label – or will they just go after the big numbers at the top? Because right now, as far as the direction of SFX and looking at their businesses, I’d bet on the latter.

Meanwhile, if you’re afraid that this means dance music isn’t “underground” any more, its CEO wants you to know, “If you or anyone can ever find an example of someone from SFX telling them how much to charge for a bottle of Cristal at LIV, I’ll give you my shares of SFX.”

Phew. Because you know the underground is safe so long the Cristal bottle service doesn’t have to answer to middle management. (How someone at SFX hasn’t edited this off Wikipedia, I’m not sure, but there it is!)

This guy – I don’t know your name. Are you psyched?

The post This Movie Clip Sums Up the SFX-Beatport Vision of the Future of Dance Music appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Jeff Mills on Audiences, Techno’s “Who Cares If You Listen”

Techno legend Jeff Mills has a beautiful quote making the rounds on social media, responding to the question of audience. He’s still making music for them, he says – but doesn’t want to get pulled into simply giving them what he knows will work. Watch from about 8:30 for the video above, in its original context (a 2010 tugobot piece).

It resonates for me with the Milton Babbitt’s “Who Cares if You Listen?” (That’s a title Babbitt claimed he never used; this is a tale so familiar to contemporary music that it has its own Wikipedia entry, for those of you catching up at home.)

But what I love about Mills’ sentiment is not that it’s somehow anti-audience. It’s that it’s a challenge made by the artist to himself. It’s not that he loathes audiences, but that he wants to “think in the other direction … in order to be able to move further …” It’s about going somewhere, “to become more creative.”

“It’s for them … but I don’t want to know what they think; I don’t want to know what they like … I only want to be able to go as far as I can with this music before I stop.”

Apart from crowds throwing their hands up, we’re in a world of endless statistics (hello, Facebook Insights on Facebook Pages), of year-end round-ups and reader polls. But more than that, each of us is vulnerable to our own desire to please. And there’s not even anything wrong with that, until it stops us from moving.

So what I love about this quote is that Jeff Mills keeps returning to movement.

You can click Like on it, anyway.

And by the way, if you want to know Babbitt’s solution to avoiding popularism and entering the realm of experimentation? It was “voluntary withdrawal from this public world to one of private performance and electronic media.”

Maybe that’s the best thing about this clash of ideas. Electronic music has become the most public and populist, back in the realm of the party. Then again, if you’re brave, maybe you can experiment in front of a crowd. Just ask Jeff Mills.

Interview details:

Jeff Mills talks about the Sleeper Wakes, influences, inspirations and the circle.
Performance at sala Razzmatazz in 18/03/2010; interview at Fabra i Coats arts center in 19/03/2010. Barcelona, Spain.

This is part of a series of interviews for the tugobot project.
+ info: http://www.tugobot.com

interview: Juliana Mori
images: Luis Ushirobira
audio: Rodrigo Carvalho
editing: Juliana Mori

thanks to:
Frederic Djaaleb
Mikaël Benhamou
Luis Costa
Axis Records
Sonar
Razzmatazz
Fabra i Coats

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Fake Your Own Lord of the Rings with an All-Elven Software Instrument

The Lord of the Rings movies have come to a close, but that doesn’t mean the elf sonic action has to stop.

Yes, there really is a sound sample library called Shevannai, The Voice of Elves. It’s 3.6 GB of nothing but elven samples, adapted to a Kontakt 5 instrument.

From a technical standpoint, it shows what Kontakt can do. For any TV and film composer who suddenly gets a call from a client saying “elves!” (I’m not kidding; I’m sure that happens), it’s an emergency solution that will get you there under deadline. For the rest of us – well, we can marvel at the sheer wonder of features like:

52 phrases in Elven Language reciting some Elven poems
57 whispered phrases in Elven Language reciting some Elven poems.
110 different whispers. Divided in long and short whispers.
20 beautiful and inspiring soundscapes

You even get dedicated Inhale patches.

And – someone was genius enough to get a review copy, and it wasn’t me (darnit!), but if you want a Christmas present for the composer/sound designer who has everything – there are boxed copies, too. Check out the rather nice video walkthrough above, and if you don’t really feel an urgent need for elves, you’ll find some other nice reviews from the same gentleman.

More sounds are available on SoundCloud.

Shevannai-wallpaper-web-copia1

The developer/sound designer, Spain’s Eduardo Tarilonte, has loads more where this came from.

And it raises an interesting point. In sound and composition for film and TV, there is now a realm between pure sound designer and big-name film composer. Artists are honing their own skills on gigs, but can also parlay some of that into sounds for sale and additional revenue.

Because of the tight deadlines on even big-budget productions, even the likes of James Newton Howard, David Newman, Rupert Gregson Williams, and Trevor Morris have used Tarilonte’s libraries. That makes sense – building these instruments takes enormous amounts of time. (Think studio time with monks – literally.) You can read an interview from February with Tarilonte via Time + Space, a distributor of these libraries, and see how they’re used.

And, more or less, that’s how we wind up with an elven instrument. Thanks to David Abravanel for bringing this to my attention.

I now commit myself to do something in future with hashtag “elves.”

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How the Millennium Falcon Got Its Hyperdrive Malfunction Sound

Old pipes? A vintage airplane? Mechanical equipment?

Ben Burtt, Hollywood’s master sound designer, is remarkable for his economy and resourcefulness. That’s evident in this charming video in which he demonstrates how he evoked breaking machinery to realize the sound of the Millenium Falconnot going into hyperdrive.

The cinematic challenge is significant. It’s a bit joke, a running gag, but it has to simultaneously build tension in the film. And like the rest of Star Wars, the future is evoked by the past. (It is, after all, a galaxy long ago – and to impact audiences, couldn’t in fact be so far away.)

So, how to make cues that would be recognizable and resonant for an audience, but without sounding like a World War II movie sound effect had been dubbed over fantastic science fiction? The answer: clever layering and re-contextualization.

Watch the corner of Ben Burtt’s mouth as he smiles playing the found sounds on the reel to reel – this was partly the lucky to happen across wonderful sounds, and the skill to recognize them once he had them. Also, I was struck, as a fan of Burtt’s sound effects, that having thus deconstructed and reconstructed it, the sound … actually doesn’t work. Timing is everything. (You need great sound editing and direction, not just great sound design – there’s a lesson for anyone in music production there, too, where all three form the cinematic impact of a track.)

Once combined with John Williams’ score, plus the combined delivery of Harrison Ford and the movie action itself, the cue is perfect.

We face this challenge, now, with the open-ended possibilities of our computers. We could agonize over a sound like this, and wind up doing, frankly, too much work. Without the natural constraints of physical multi-track tape and mixers, the secret, like cooking, is likely to get a few really high-quality ingredients that can harmonize. (Watch, too, Burtt move the balance of the elements on the mixer with muscle memory in his hands, without missing a beat.)

Here’s a 10-minute documentary for more juicy Burtt action.

A sound you know from childhood – and what it can teach you about sound design and composition.

Also, our friends at Synthtopia have over the years written some great stuff about Burtt:

Ben Burtt tag @ Synthtopia

So, too, has dedicated sound blog Designing Sound:
Ben Burtt tag @ designingsound.org

That should keep you occupied for a few hours. Or… years.

Millennium Falcon image here (CC-BY) Kory Westerhold.

14234949755_59aa004b82_z

The post How the Millennium Falcon Got Its Hyperdrive Malfunction Sound appeared first on Create Digital Music.

How the Millennium Falcon Got Its Hyperdrive Malfunction Sound

Old pipes? A vintage airplane? Mechanical equipment?

Ben Burtt, Hollywood’s master sound designer, is remarkable for his economy and resourcefulness. That’s evident in this charming video in which he demonstrates how he evoked breaking machinery to realize the sound of the Millenium Falconnot going into hyperdrive.

The cinematic challenge is significant. It’s a bit joke, a running gag, but it has to simultaneously build tension in the film. And like the rest of Star Wars, the future is evoked by the past. (It is, after all, a galaxy long ago – and to impact audiences, couldn’t in fact be so far away.)

So, how to make cues that would be recognizable and resonant for an audience, but without sounding like a World War II movie sound effect had been dubbed over fantastic science fiction? The answer: clever layering and re-contextualization.

Watch the corner of Ben Burtt’s mouth as he smiles playing the found sounds on the reel to reel – this was partly the lucky to happen across wonderful sounds, and the skill to recognize them once he had them. Also, I was struck, as a fan of Burtt’s sound effects, that having thus deconstructed and reconstructed it, the sound … actually doesn’t work. Timing is everything. (You need great sound editing and direction, not just great sound design – there’s a lesson for anyone in music production there, too, where all three form the cinematic impact of a track.)

Once combined with John Williams’ score, plus the combined delivery of Harrison Ford and the movie action itself, the cue is perfect.

We face this challenge, now, with the open-ended possibilities of our computers. We could agonize over a sound like this, and wind up doing, frankly, too much work. Without the natural constraints of physical multi-track tape and mixers, the secret, like cooking, is likely to get a few really high-quality ingredients that can harmonize. (Watch, too, Burtt move the balance of the elements on the mixer with muscle memory in his hands, without missing a beat.)

Here’s a 10-minute documentary for more juicy Burtt action.

A sound you know from childhood – and what it can teach you about sound design and composition.

Also, our friends at Synthtopia have over the years written some great stuff about Burtt:

Ben Burtt tag @ Synthtopia

So, too, has dedicated sound blog Designing Sound:
Ben Burtt tag @ designingsound.org

That should keep you occupied for a few hours. Or… years.

Millennium Falcon image here (CC-BY) Kory Westerhold.

14234949755_59aa004b82_z

The post How the Millennium Falcon Got Its Hyperdrive Malfunction Sound appeared first on Create Digital Music.