Avid has announced an alliance with software instrument developer UVI to deliver powerful virtual instruments and an exclusive sound library to all Pro Tools users. UVI’s acclaimed hybrid virtual instrument Falcon and the exclusive Plugsound Avid Edition sound library (a combined $498 USD value) are now included with Pro Tools and Pro Tools | Ultimate […]
McDSP has announced the all new Live Pack II bundle for Avid VENUE S6L live sound systems. The McDSP Live Pack II bundle has even more to offer for Avid S6L users. New plug-ins include the 6034 Ultimate Multi-band, 6050 Ultimate Channel Strip, AE600 Active EQ, EC-300 Echo Collection, ML8000 Multi-band Limiter, and the NR800 […]
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” says artist and composer Allee Willis. Yet her output ranges from Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” to the theme song of Friends. If you don’t know Willis, you should – and her story might inspire yours.
Behind all the cheery social media these days, most artists you talk to have struggled. They’ve struggled with creativity and sobriety, mental health and creative blocks, unfriendly industries and obscurity. And sometimes they’ve struggled just to get by – which is where Allee Willis was in 1978, living off food stamps and wondering what would happen next.
What happened next is a career that led to an insane number of hit songs – along with plenty of other fascinating side trips into kitsch and art. (There’s a kitsch-themed social network, an artist alterego named Bubbles, and a music video duet with a 91-year-old woman drummer on an oxygen tank, to name a few.) But what it hasn’t involved is a lot of widespread personal notoriety. Allee Willis is a celebrity’s celebrity, which is to say famous people know her but most people don’t know she’s famous.
At least it’s about that gap. The odds that you don’t know her? Decent. The odds that you don’t know her songs? Unlikely.
Let’s go: Earth, Wind & Fire “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done To Deserve This.” The theme from Friends, recorded by The Rembrandts (if you knew that, which I suspect you didn’t)… all these and more add up to 60 million records. And she co-authored the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Tony and Grammy-winning Broadway musical The Color Purple. More songs you know in movies: Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid (“You’re the Best”), Howard the Duck.
The Detroit native is an impassioned use of Web tech and animation, networked together machines to design an orchestration workflow for The Color Purple musical, and now lives in LA with … Pro Tools, of course, alongside some cats.
But this isn’t about her resume so much as it is about what she says drives her – that itch to create stuff. And for anyone worried about how to get into the creative zone, maybe the first step is to stop worrying about getting into the creative zone. We value analysis and self-critique so much that sometimes we forget to just have fun making and stop worrying about even our own opinions (or maybe, especially those). In the end, it was that instinct that has driven her work, and presumably lots of stuff that didn’t do as well as that Friends theme song. (But there are her cats. Not the Broadway kind; that’s Andrew Lloyd Weber – the furry ones.)
There’s a great video out from CNN-produced Web video series Great Big Story:
And her site is a wild 1999-vintage-design wonderland of HTML, if you want to dive in:
In collaboration with the Avid Customer Association, Avid has unveiled the highly anticipated theme and program preview for Connect 2019, the powerful annual gathering of media and entertainment technology users and influencers. Guided by the mission for “Creating the Future”, Connect 2019 (April 6-7, 2019 at Aria Las Vegas, immediately preceding the NAB Show) will […]
Avid and Hal Leonard have entered into a new five-year agreement that extends the reach of Avid’s market-leading creative tools with artists, creative professionals, aspiring pros and educational institutions through Hal Leonard’s large network of resellers around the globe. This long-term agreement, signed in July, is among Avid’s largest distribution deals to date and represents […]
Avid has announced a special offer in collaboration with UJAM, allowing you to download the Virtual Drummer PHAT instrument for free for a limited time. Virtual Drummer PHAT is your go-to ace for grooving funky and urban drumming. For all genres from Retro Soul to G-Funk, PHAT adds a smooth rhythm fundament to your production […]
McDSP has announced that it has updated its entire Windows product line. In addition, the following plugins are now available for Windows: the EC-300 Echo Collection, 6034 Ultimate Multi-band, and the recently released NR800 Noise Reduction Processor. This Windows update offers new features like resizable user interfaces and support for EQ and Dynamics curves in […]
Avid has announced the immediate availability of the next-generation, web-based version of MediaCentral, its industry-leading media production and management platform. By streamlining the entire workflow, MediaCentral enables customers to create better content faster, deliver to more outlets and devices, and maximize the value of their media. Customers also benefit from MediaCentral | Cloud UX, Avid’s […]
Roland has announced that Roland Cloud now offers native AAX plug-in support for its entire catalog of virtual instruments, allowing seamless integration with industry standard DAW, Avid Pro Tools. With AAX plug-in support offered for all Roland Cloud virtual instruments, users of Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate can further ignite their creativity with perfect […]
Avid has announced the availability of Sibelius | First, a free version of the world’s best-selling music composition and notation software. Designed for everyone from students to seasoned musicians, Sibelius | First delivers a streamlined notation toolset based on Sibelius and includes many of the same features, including music composition transcription, editing and unique cloud-based […]