Orion 32HD | Gen 3 audio interface now shipping from Antelope Audio

Antelope Audio Orion 32HD G3

Antelope Audio is following up on last month’s Orion 32+ | Gen 3 availability announcement by shipping its Orion 32HD | Gen 3 showpiece sibling. Since it is compatible with any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) via HDX or USB 3.0, this new Pro Tools HD- and Native-ready audio interface really represents everything Antelope Audio stands […]

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Save 30% on Serato’s Pitch ‘n Time time stretching & pitch shifting plugin for Pro Tools & Logic

Serato Pitch N Time Pro

Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Serato’s Pitch ‘n Time, offering a 30% discount on the Pro and LE versions of the time stretching and pitch shifting software plugin for a limited time only. Pitch ‘n Time Pro is a high quality time-stretching and pitch-shifting AudioSuite software plug-in for the Pro Tools platform. It […]

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Avid Pro Tools now includes UVI’s Falcon creative hybrid instrument

Avid Pro Tools UVI

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 […]

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McDSP releases Live Pack II Bundle for Avid VENUE S6L

McDSP Live Pack II

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 […]

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From food stamps and survival to writing the songs you know

“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:



How she wrote “What Have I Done to Deserve This” gets into her musical thinking – and incongruity (and she does sure seem like she knows what she’s doing):

Plus how she hears and why she needed a Fender Rhodes:

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Get location mics in phase with Auto-Align Post by Sound Radix

Sound Radix Auto-Align PostSound Radix has launched a new phase correction AAX AudioSuite plugin for Avid Pro Tools. Auto-Align Post is designed to automatically correct the delay and comb-filter phase issues occurring when mixing a recording of multiple moving microphones, such as in the case of a shoot set-up using a boom microphone in addition to an actor’s […]

Pro Tools | MTRX SPQ Speaker Processing Card now available

Avid Pro Tools MTRXAvid has announced the availability of the Pro Tools | MTRX SPQ Speaker Processing Card for speaker calibration and bass management. Built for the Pro Tools | MTRX audio interface, the SPQ option card enables complete control of monitoring systems in stereo, surround, and immersive audio production rooms. It gives customers precise control and allows […]

McDSP updates Windows plugins, incl. EC-300 Echo Collection, 6034 Ultimate Multi-band & NR800 Noise Reduction Processor

McDSP Windows v3McDSP 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 […]

zplane updates élastiqueAAX for Pro Tools to v2.1 + élastiqueAAXtce introduced

zplane élastiqueAAXzplane development has announced version 2.1 of élastiqueAAX, the time and pitch manipulation plugin for Avid Pro Tools. With this update, élastiqueAAX is now available in two versions: élastiqueAAX and élastiqueAAXtce. The latter one is a stripped down version of the already known élastiqueAAX. The tce version is only available as the TC/E option in […]

Sonnox releases Oxford Dynamic EQ for Avid Pro Tools | HDX

Sonnox Ofxord Dynamic EQ HDXSonnox has announced that its Oxford Dynamic EQ is now available in Pro Tools HDX format. Following the recent release on Native and UAD platforms, the Oxford Dynamic EQ now supports Avid HDX systems. Anyone using Avid’s VENUE S6L, S3L-X or HDX hardware can now enjoy the performance benefits of the DSP-optimised Oxford Dynamic EQ. […]