Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Music Diary Category

237

March 23, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Amazon Prime Music Gets Ad-Free Prime Stations with Unlimited Skips

Over the last couple of weeks my wife has been saying “I am really liking this Amazon Prime Music“, because of added content and features that work with our Echo ‘smart speaker’. Today Amazon unveiled an updated iOS app that opens up streaming of Prime music with unlimited skips to Prime members, making the experience …

Continue reading

198

March 19, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” Sets Spotify Streaming Record

Have you listened to Kendrick Lamar’s new album “To Pimp A Butterfly” yet? Well it seems as if 9.6 Million other people have!

Continue reading

1119

March 18, 2015 • Music Diary, Reviews

iRig 2 Mobile Guitar Interface is a Worthy Successor to a True Classic!

It has been nearly five years since Travis reviewed the original iRig and two since I reviewed the iRig HD. Now IK Multimedia is back with iRig 2, the low-cost sequel to the best-selling classic iRig. And while this doesn’t knock iRig HD off the sonic perch, it brings in Android compatibility and a number …

Continue reading

197

March 12, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Check Out the ‘808’ Trailer – a Movie About a Drum Machine

I remember the Roland Rhythm Composer TR-808 at music stores in Boston and thinking it was cute and fun but not very ‘drum-like’, which was the prevailing opinion. Then songs like ‘Planet Rock’ and ‘Sexual Healing’ landed and suddenly it was THE sound – and has made a comeback in recent years. Now it gets …

Continue reading

335

March 7, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Musicless Music Videos Will Be Your New Bizarre Obsession

Over at Buzzfeed there is a post highlighting the videos of Mario Wienerroither, who posts ‘musicless’ videos by stripping the original music and remixing them with either actual or imagined sounds and effects of what might have been going on during the filming video. The results are awkward and embarrassing … but always intriguing!

Continue reading

288

March 2, 2015 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

What Was the #1 Song When YOU Were Born?

Have you ever thought about the music that was popular when you were born? No? Neither had I – and even those ‘when you were born’ things we bought for our kids just talked in general about popular music. But now Playback.fm lets you enter your birthdate and see what the top song was when …

Continue reading

142

February 26, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Spotify Launches Major Desktop Update

While I seldom think about Spotify on the desktop anymore, it remains one of the most important platforms for the company. And today it has gotten a major update. The update shows the rapid progression in the service, and also the ongoing shift in focus from being an app platform to providing a more tailored …

Continue reading

200

February 24, 2015 • Music Diary, Reviews

Henry Kaiser & Ray Russell Impress with the Stunning ‘Celestial Squid’

You almost certainly won’t like this record. Not only is it modern jazz, it is avant-garde, experimental, dissonant, and difficult. Henry Kaiser is what I would term an ‘easy call’ for the type of music that most people won’t like, so just go away. Still here? OK, keep reading to find out why I LOVE …

Continue reading

216

February 5, 2015 • Music Diary, Reviews

Kandinsky Effect Shines on Somnambulist

It’s been two years since I reviewed the album Synesthesia by The Kandinsky Effect, heaping praise on it saying “musicianship and communication throughout are stellar, there are free elements without being too far ‘out’, and the trio keeps the modern elements at the forefront without sacrificing the jazz foundation.” Now they are back with Somnambulist …

Continue reading

163

February 3, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Spotify Predicts the Grammy Award Winners — with No Taylor Swift!

Each year Spotify has sent out predictions of the Grammy Award winners based on their streaming patterns. This year is no exception, though the absence of Taylor Swift – who famously pulled her catalog from the streaming service – makes the predictions a little less credible this year! Read on and see what you think!

Continue reading

3075

February 3, 2015 • Music Diary, Reviews

5 Reasons I Love the Amazon Echo, and 3 Reasons It Might Not Be for You!

When Amazon announced the Echo connected speaker, there was speculation about how it would work in terms of integrating with Amazon and the larger web. Reviews came out after the Echo launched, positive or mixed depending on the source. For me that confirmed it was based on personal usage, so after using the Echo I …

Continue reading

302

February 2, 2015 • Music Diary, News

Roland Brings the Classic Sound Canvas Synth Module to iOS

Much of the big noise from the recent NAMM show was about bringing back the classic analog synths of the 60s and 70s. But what about the workhorses of the digital era? Those tools for those of us starving for polyphony on a budget? Roland is answering this with the introduction of the Sound Canvas …

Continue reading

153

January 28, 2015 • Gaming, Music Diary, News

Sony Launches Spotify-Powered Playstation Music, Shutters ‘Music Unlimited’

Sony Music is one of the biggest music industry publishers, but their online service ‘Music Unlimited’ hasn’t lived up to the ‘Spotify Killer’ origins. So they are making the smart move of partnering with Spotify to bring music streaming to Playstation 3 and 4 and Xperia phone and tablet owners on the Playstation Network.

Continue reading

240

January 27, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

IK Multimedia Announces iRig PowerBridge Universal Charging Solution

One thing I love about using IK Multimedia gear is how it enhances my ability to make music anywhere by drawing power from the 30-pin or Lightning port of my iPhone or iPad. The obvious problem is the power used by an accessory such as iRig Keys Pro comes from your phone, lowering already precious …

Continue reading

174

January 26, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

Peavey Electronics Introduces 50th Anniversary Guitar Amplifiers at NAMM

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Peavey, a company known for high quality amplifiers at affordable prices. They also make much-loved basses and guitars (the T40 and T60 were popular when I was in high school, and I still a T20 fretless bass), as well as sound reinforcement equipment and other products, but amplifiers have …

Continue reading

241

January 26, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

Zivix Pioneers Breakthroughs in Bluetooth MIDI Tech with Jamstick+ & PUC+

Late in 2013 Zivix announced PUC, wireless MIDI interface that allowed use of traditional music gear with iOS devices. The original PUC created a local WiFi network to handle the MIDI interface, now they’re back with PUC+ using Bluetooth Low Energy to more efficiently communicate while allowing simultaneous WiFi connections. They also announced jamstik+, bringing …

Continue reading

133

January 26, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined ‘Touch Preview’ Controls

After not subscribing for a while, my family has been thoroughly enjoying a renewed Spotify subscription these last few months. The constant stream of improvements since they first launched has made the service more valuable than ever. Now they have introduced a new feature – Touch Preview – that lets you quickly check out new …

Continue reading

263

January 26, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

IK Multimedia Announces iRig Mic Studio, Ultra-Portable Large Diaphragm Mic

Dan and Judie wrote about how the iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia helped them cover NAIAS in Detroit as well as CES, and it illustrated another step in how far IK has evolved in their microphone offerings. Now IK Multimedia is announcing their next step with the iRig Mic Studio, an ultra-portable large-diaphragm mic for …

Continue reading

236

January 25, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

IK Announces iRig UA, First Guitar Processor for All Android Devices

I have already noted that IK Multimedia hinted at their full-on onslaught of Android music-making at NAMM, and they are delivering. They announced one of the key items this week – iRig UA, allowing users of nearly any Android device to plug in their guitar and make awesome music using a compatible app. Time for …

Continue reading

171

January 24, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

Orange OB1 Series Bass Amplifiers Launched at NAMM 2015!

While it seems like vintage gear, trendy tablet interfaces and more fringe stuff are dominating the news out of NAMM this year, a number of traditional music makers are also introducing the ‘boring’ stuff – great sounding gear with awesome features. One of those is Orange, who has announced the Orange OB1 series of rack-mountable …

Continue reading

207

January 23, 2015 • Events, Music Diary, News

Moog Brings Back Three Legendary Modular Large-Format Synthesizers

This year at NAMM 2015 we have seen the rebirth of the classic synthesizer brands Sequential Circuits and ARP, leaving only one brand remaining. So naturally Moog has come back as well, and they introduced redesigned versions of their absolute classic modular synthesizers the System 15, 35 and 55. These dynamic instruments are all about …

Continue reading