Even as I shift away from making music on iOS devices and back to my home studio, one thing remains: noodling around on my guitar using iRig and Amplitube. Since their introduction five years ago they have become ubiquitous tools for guitarists and bassists. Now that IK Multimedia has expanded their reach to Android devices even more musicians can benefit!
A year ago when I reviewed the previously unreleased album ‘S.O.S.’, I didn’t single out each player for their amazing contributions because the album was more about bringing together three amazing musicians for an even more amazing outcome. Now with the release of Mike Osborne’s earliest solo works as ‘Dawn’, we can single out his amazing contributions to jazz.
This week is the Musicmesse Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. This event, along with January’s NAMM, are the biggest events for the music industry and the place for new gear announcements. We won’t cover everything, but Roland has some new gear that simply needs to be discussed. The big announcement is their hotly anticipated JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer!
PlayStation game consoles/Xperia mobile devices and Spotify Premium Music Service have partnered together for a new music experience where players can now enjoy their favorite musical works while the play on the gaming consoles or use their Xperia mobile devices.
Just over a year ago, IK Multimedia released UltraTuner for iOS devices, and my review summed up “It’s the Best iOS Tuner Available.” Between the accuracy, easy visibility and simple usability, there is no other tuner I have needed since. Now IK Multimedia has released UltraTuner for Android, allowing anyone with Android 4.1 or later to get in tune!
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 more ‘Pandora like’.
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!
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 of great new features!
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 a documentary premiering at SXSW.
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!
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 you were born!
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 experience.
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 this album.
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 … and it’s even better.
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!
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 wanted to report our findings.
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 module for iOS.
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.
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 battery life. Enter iRig PowerBridge.
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 always been their focus.
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 BTLE to their smart guitar!