Audacity audio editor updated to v2.3.2, now comes with LAME mp3 encoder

Audacity

The free cross-platform Audacity multi-track audio editor and recorder software has been updated to version 2.3.2 for Windows, macOS and Linux. The updated version now comes with the LAME mp3 encoder. The LAME library, which is needed for exporting MP3 audio files, is now built-in to Audacity on Windows and macOS as a part of […]

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Relive Legowelt’s radio show, Astro Unicorn Radio

For a few glorious years, Legowelt had a radio show, Thursday evenings on Intergalactic FM internet radio. But while the show is gone, the sounds live on.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well … I owe that notion to Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing, back in the heyday of the blog from whence this site came. Any extended period of, say, reading legal filings surely deserves a unicorn chaser.

And Legowelt comes to our rescue.

The show ran from 2007-2011, and was as eclectic and glorious as you’d expect from Legowelt. Brazilian Moog Cruisin’? Nigerian boogie disco? Check. Or, for instance:

Another radio reportage, this time from the cold snowy Rotterdam were we investigate Mono-Poly’s & Dr.Albert Putnam’s research in Biorhythms using modular synthesizers such as the Fenix and Buchla.

It’s a perfect template of what nerdy music things should be.

There’s a full archive of the tail end of the show in MP3 form, which you can grab as long as it lasts.

http://www.moosleybay.com/astro.htm

Episodes are on Mixcloud, too, from the source – from the beginning:

You’re welcome.

And thanks, Legowelt.

The post Relive Legowelt’s radio show, Astro Unicorn Radio appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Fender sets free Riffstation Pro app for Windows and Mac

Fender RiffstationFender has announced that its Riffstation Pro application is now available as a free download. The application allows you to get chords for your own MP3s, see the chords synced with the music and use advanced tools for tempo, key transposition and looping. While we work with labels and publishers on a paid Riffstation service, […]

Plughugger releases EMP-3 Compression Synthesizer for Omnisphere 2

Plughugger EMP 3Plughugger has launched a new sound library for the Omnisphere 2 virtual instrument from Spectrasonics. The EMP-3 Compression Synthesizer soundset is based on hard compressed MP3 synth waveforms with a digitally organic character. EMP-3 is basically a normal soundset – but with one major difference. Instead of basing it on traditional synth waveforms – we […]

If Record Store Day is Dead, Maybe We Can Celebrate Music

Record Store Day has come and gone over the weekend. But 2015 will surely be remembered as a year in which Record Store Day did less to increase the visibility of vinyl records so much as to increase the visibility of how much everyone has grown to hate Record Store Day. And that seems it’s time for a post mortem – and a call to action.

I watched closely the reports from this weekend, just to see if there was anything positive – and there was. For every Foo Fighters (Grohl was this year’s ambassador, weirdly), I’ve spotted something with more worth to lesser-known music, like a 12″ for Kiasmos on Erased Tapes. And clearly there are some shops that are glad to have an extra excuse to bring people into a store.

But it’s clear that Record Store Day organizers aren’t just setting out to create a fun holiday for vinyl records. (Compare, again on Erased Tapes, Nils Frahm’s more innocent “Piano Day.”)

The Case Against Record Store Day

The entire focus of the “holiday” is on exclusive releases. It’s straight at the top of the official website. The entire focus is exclusive releases on the day and limited runs.

In fact, it’s also clear that Record Store Day is by definition a celebration of inanimate discs and the celebration of spending money. (To quote Douglas Adams, “Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”)

Yes, in fact, musicians and producers, the people producing the sounds on those inanimate discs, are a side show, a kind of incidental means of drawing your attention to buying some limited 12″.

From there, the litany of complaints continue:

  • It’s just one day, ignoring the rest of the year.
  • It actually trains customers to ignore the rest of the year.
  • Collectibles benefit the after market more than the stores, as those records show up on eBay.
  • It makes it harder to actually acquire and listen to music. (What? Listen? Why would you want to do that?)
  • Big labels and big releases have crowded out the independent music that was supposed to be the point (though, again, Record Store Day are apparently vinyl fetishists, not music lovers, judging by their own site).
  • It increasingly spotlights celebrities and recognizable music.

Basically, it pretends to be Earth Day for independent music, but it’s really just the musical equivalent of the Black Friday sale at your local Wal-Mart, thinly-disguised and complete with long queues.

And the most serious complaint, the one that has made so many independent labels turn recently on the holiday, is that vinyl pressing plants are now clogged for this one holiday – increasingly with top-of-the-charts mainstream music, not indies. That more or less ruins the entire year’s release calendar. It screws over emerging artists, because they have to squeeze into a more-crowded, more-delayed calendar rather than get music out quickly. Sometimes plants don’t even deliver.

Oh, yeah, and even distributors are now clogged and focusing on bigger stores.

More Reading On Why Lots of People Started Hating Record Store Day

There was so much written about it this year that I’ve saved you some time and rounded up the best rants and reporting:

Thinking of Record Store Day as a brand—as a logo and a logic binding together a yearly ritual of music consumption—is the only way to understand how concepts like “independence” and “community” can be served by good old-fashioned exploitative capitalism.

Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence [Eric Harvey for Pitchfork]

Covering the stresses felt by indies, writer Josh Hall collects issues from minimum pressing requirements to clogged pressing and distribution to mysterious “quality” requirements, to name a few (with some balanced comments from all sides):

Record Store Day risks becoming more of a problem than a solution [FACT]

Sonic Cathedral have a blistering open letter:

“We can’t compete so we won’t compete.”

WHY RECORD STORE DAY IS DYING…

And they split their run across 365 days at this site:

http://www.recordstoredayisdying.com/

Completing the Black Friday metaphor, Keith Creighton for Popdose (reprinted on Slate):

With Record Store Day, record collecting became a highly competitive full contact sport and endurance event.

WHY RECORD STORE DAY 2015 SHOULD BE THE LAST [Popdose]

Also, one of my favorite stores – also covering gear – had a nice alternative:
RECORD STORE DAYRUBADUBGlasgow’s Rubadub rejects Record Store Day “havoc”, announces rival event [FACT]

But the best reporting by far came from The Quietus, who visited a pressing plant. It’s worth reading the whole article, as it covers the ups and downs of the project. And it notes something everyone else missed: that the smarter pressing plants used vinyl as a way to make up for the depletion of digital replication sales (DVDs and CDs):

A Pressing Business: tQ Goes Inside A Czech Vinyl Plant [The Quietus]

I’d like to go further, however. Even the criticism of Record Store Day has been more or less monopolized by vinyl collectors. I have nothing against that – I’m looking forward to the first-ever vinyl release of my own music on Friday. The format has done some wonderful things for producers, for labels, and for DJs and DJ technique.

Let’s Get Over This Vinyl Fetish

I think we have to separate the concerns of vinyl from the concerns of music producers.

Many, many, indie labels and artists can’t afford their own vinyl pressings. We shouldn’t make a vinyl release some sort of minimum requirement for the seriousness of music, then, unless we want to make the size of your wallet the measure of your music. That doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to getting music out on vinyl, or love it when it’s there. But it does mean that we should appreciate the other releases.

For instance, speaking of the Czech Republic, Bukko Tapes has chosen digital releases with limited cassette tape runs. They can do cassettes cheaply without the minimum order of pressing. I love Hrtl’s music, for example; now I have to think where my cassette Walkman is living.

They’ve even done a floppy disk release.

hrtl

verbatim

Bukko Tapes @ Bandcamp

I don’t know that we should make vinyl the judge of DJs, either, as it’s also dependent on your budget. Vinyl fetishism is infecting DJing, too. It may misunderstand the real craft of DJing. (I don’t know if this story is actually true, but a friend claims seeing an angry guest at a party in Berlin actually physically slam a DJ’s laptop shut in protest of them playing digital.)

It goes on from there. DJ Tech Tools ran what I think was a reasonably innocuous editorial:

Why New DJs Should Start on Vinyl

Fair enough, even if I might edit the headline’s advice to “should considering starting on vinyl” – there are ways of making digital work. It’s the follow-up that I’d take real issue with, however:

Is DJing With Vinyl Really That Expensive?”

The methodology at DJ Tech Tools is flat misleading.

In order to make vinyl music acquisition seem nearly as cheap as digital, they only look at the cost of an LP/EP – surreal, given that buying singles is what a DJ is most likely to do. (They also assume you’re buying from iTunes, never Bandcamp, and that for some weird reason you never acquire free promos.)

In order to make the assumption the gear costs the same, they assume you don’t already own a laptop.

Then, on top of it, there’s no consideration for what it takes to store or transport records – you know, the reason so many DJs switched to digital in the first place. (And that covers a lot of costs, even including driving versus taking trains, or spending extra on luggage allowances when touring.)

I’m not saying that investing in turntables isn’t worth it. But I’ve seen first-hand musicians who can’t afford any new gear purchases, but can get into digital DJing using stuff they already owned. To say there’s no price difference would really require some degree of insensitivity both to people’s real-life budget challenges and, you know, basic arithmetic.

Think of the things we could do to celebrate actual music listening and not just the format on which that music is distributed.

We could have more events in record stores, thus supporting artists and record stores alike.

We could celebrate digital releases and online labels – those are the places where undiscovered music has a chance, because it’s unbound by the cost of producing a physical object. (This was, as you’ll recall, the whole promise of music on the Internet, once upon a time.)

logo_netlabel_day

Here’s an idea I love, for instance:

Celebrating the mp3 and free culture and the independent netlabels and musicians all around the world.

Save the date: JULY 14

Net Label Day 2015

Net Label Day on Facebook (just a few dozen likes – let’s change that)

And digital opens up lots of new possibilities – why not see more Mixcloud sets with track id’s, for instance, more mixes to help people process the torrent of new music released every week?

It’s clear that musicians and record lovers alike can benefit. Record collectors aren’t any happier than the rest of us that they can’t get their hands on exclusives, or that the release catalog is clogged.

If we refocus on loving music, we can even refocus on the reason we love records.

I think there’s something to be learned from Record Store Day. People are motivated by events, and new ideas can catch on.

So I’d love to hear more new ideas about how to promote actual music – records included. If Record Store Day has become a victim of its own success, at least it was successful. Now we need to bury it and get successful with something else.

The post If Record Store Day is Dead, Maybe We Can Celebrate Music appeared first on Create Digital Music.

MP3への変換によって失われた音の正体

modernis

 

私たちの音楽リスニング環境を大きく変えたMP3。オリジナルの音声ファイルをMP3に圧縮する際にはある周波数一帯がカットされ、データ的にかなりの容量がけずられてしまうわけだが、説明書きの上では、音声上の劣化が少ないものとされている。確かにそうだ、と思った人が多かったからこのように世界中で広く普及したわけだ。最近ではMP3に異論を唱え、もっと良質な音声フォーマットも次々と開発されているわけだが、しかしその普及率はMP3の足元にも及ばず、その存在すら知らない人の方が多い。

アメリカ・バージニア大学でコンピューターテクノロジーの研究をするRyan Maguireが制作したビデオ「Ghost in the MP3」は、1987年スザンヌベガによるヒット曲「Tom’s diner」をMP3に圧縮した際に、切り落とされてしまっている部分の音声を記録したものだ。音を聞いてみると、まるで「Tom’s diner」の影の部分を聴いているかのような薄気味悪さを感じ、いわゆるハイエンドと呼ばれる周波数帯が残されていることが分かる。

ビデオも同様に「Tom’s diner」のビデオを圧縮した際に切り落とされてしまった部分が映し出される。。

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

このプロジェクトでは、どうして私たちがMP3というフォーマットを選択してしまったのか?という問題提起が行われている。かなり皮肉っぽくもあるのだが、「Tom’s diner」という曲はKarlheinz Brandenburgというドイツ人エンジニアがMP3を開発する際にテスト音源として使った曲で、「MP3の母」とも呼ばれているのだそうだ。

 

via boing boing

Ghost in the MP3

 

PreSonus introduces Add-ons for new Studio One 2.6.2

PreSonus has announced it is now shipping Studio One 2.6.2, the latest update to its award-winning DAW software. The company is also shipping three new Add-ons for Studio One: Ampire XT Metal Pack Extension, Goldbaby Essentials Vintage Drum Machines, and Studio One Artist MP3 Converter. Studio One 2.6.2 introduces support for Add-ons, which are program […]

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Sonnox releases Codec Toolbox encoder software

Sonnox has announced the release of the Codec Toolbox, a solution for encoding your music for the web. Audition codecs in real-time, batch encode multiple files and add metadata such as track name and artwork. Codec Toolbox is the result of a partnership with Fraunhofer, who originally created the mp3 and AAC formats that the […]

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Nimbit extends Direct-To-Fan Sales and Promotion Platform

Nimbit has announced a major update to its direct-to-fan sales and promotion platform to enable musicians around the world to sell in their local currencies. The initial rollout, planned for May 2013, will support the following currencies: Australian Dollar, British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Mexican Peso, New Zealand Dollar, Philippine Peso, […]