Monday, 27 January 2014

London Electronic Music Event 2014

London-based electronic music heads: the LEME 2014 event has just announced the line up for the weekend of sessions, workshops and seminars looking at the future of electronic music.

Some nice content going on there but there's not much that directly interests me but perhaps there might be someone out there who will find it useful.

£40 for the whole weekend or £15 per day or evening session.

More details and registration:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Free classical music

Sundays are all about lounging around, so to make yourself seem a little more urbane and intelligent whilst you read Reddit or eat breakfast, why not enjoy some excellent classical music for free? 

Starts off with a great rendition of Beethoven's Fifth and continues in great fashion, with performances of popular classical music that you should know by now. Did I mention that it was free?

Fire up your Google Play account and point it to:

Thursday, 23 January 2014

200th Post - Bitwig release date finally announced!

How about that: two big milestones in one! My 200th post nicely coincides with the announcement from Bitwig that their DAW will be released on 26th March 2014, according to this nice press release. Of course, a demo will be my first port of call once the release date hits, so I will be looking forward to trying it out and hopefully it will be what I'm looking for - Madtracker is starting to show its age!


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

NAMM 2014 is here

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since the last NAMM show, but this Wednesday marks the Press Open Day of the National Association of Music Manufaturers show in Anaheim. While there is a smaller event at the end of the year (Winter NAMM), this is THE show for all the big music and instrument manufacturers to bring out their new wares for public inspection. While a lot of the products aren't available immediately, it gives the music community an idea of what toys to expect coming out across 2014 and generally foster some gear acquisition syndrome.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Roland Connect -> Aira

So several days pass and Roland's countdown on Roland Connect finishes and reveals some of their new hardware. Nothing too special so far: BOSS guitar pedals, a few new pianos and analogue modelling synthesiser workstations. So far, so Roland.

However, come to the bottom of the page and there's a curious logo, which brings you back to Roland's site called Aira, with a teaser video about the genesis of the TR-808 drum machine and suddenly a follow up with a mere glimpse of a new machine.

Could it be that Roland have finally woken up to the fact that Korg have been eating their lunch and dinner for so long? According to The Verge, who have an excellent preview photo of the new unit (not sure about the green on black colour scheme!), this is looking to be the successor to the now legendary drum machine and is a real treat to see ahead of NAMM 2014.

Roland are back in the game!


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Roland teasing countdown

Perhaps Roland have woken up to the fact that Korg are eating their lunch and have added the following, teasing count down for about six day's time. No idea what Roland Connect could be announcing this time, but it's nice to get hold of some new things to look forward to ahead of NAMM 2014. Time to add another bookmark and calendar entry!


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Vinyl sales up 101% in UK

According to an article in this morning's Metro (a free London-based newspaper, for all overseas readers), the British Phonographic Industry's sales figures for the last year revealed that vinyl is having something of a resurgence. So much for being a dead format.

I suppose the statistic of 101% growth is slightly misleading, given how the number of vinyl albums sold had been steadily dropping over the past decade, due to the success of other formats (CD, downloads). Apparently it's the younger music fans who are driving this change, possibly because of the unique nature of vinyl records now that everyone uses CDs, and it's not unusual to see DJs still using LPs for live shows: Serato be damned. I even met someone in London who DJs contemporary indie / rock sets using 45 RPM singles, so there is a kitsch factor in the mix..

I understand the reason why people want a physical copy when it comes to music, but I still think the question of superior fidelity is debatable. I would also wager that the higher cost of a vinyl LP also accounts for the added value of this format, thought it's interesting to see that 7.4 billion tracks were streamed in the UK last year - roughly double that of 2012. On the one hand, people are still making physical sales of music but are being more selective in their choices, whilst others are eschewing ownership completely.

I still haven't bought Spotify: Soundcloud keeps me busy enough!


Saturday, 4 January 2014

MicroKorg gone!

Gone but not forgotten
Following in the footsteps of my Akai Miniak, I have finally said goodbye to my MicroKorg after owning it for about a year. It wasn't that anything was wrong with it, only I don't think I was getting the full use of it that I could have done and so out the door it went. I got a quick sale and only got £10 less than what I paid for it, so I'm happy. It actually got sold to a member of band in Brighton called How's Harry so no doubt it will start showing up in gig photos soon!

Having thought about the amount of hardware I had been selling, I have the following to say about hardware these days: if I'm going to own it, I'm going to have to come with a damned good reason to justify it. In more general terms, I don't think that virtual analogue like the MicroKorg is worth going after any more, as there are more flexible and cheaper options available in software as VSTs. When it comes to pads, Synth1 can do more than 4 voice polyphony and can be easily chained with other effects, whilst for leads and basses the Minibrute can beat the MicroKorg hands down. So having analogue gear that does something I can't necessarily do in software or that adds something interesting and unique to the mix is what I'm going after now. 

Another thing is connectivity: both the MicroKorg and the Miniak both were reliant on MIDI only, whilst more modern synths come with USB connections as well. This really simplifies things for me and means that I don't have to fiddle as much getting connections to work.

The fact that NAMM is round the corner and I want something modern and new has nothing to do with it of course...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all my friends, relatives, neighbours and not least readers of my blog; I hope that 2014 brings you everything you want.

As for music related stuff, I'm already looking forward to NAMM 2014 coverage at the end of January and further news from Frankfurt MuzikMesse in the summer. I'm also looking at changing my computer to be a lot smaller and optimise it for studio use, ahead of Bitwig coming in. 

I've got to get some music finished and stuck on Soundcloud as well!