Music Diary

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 module for iOS.





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 BTLE to their smart guitar!


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 songs without leaving your playlist.




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 bass amplifiers.


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 creativity.



Orange Announces the MusicBoard Interactive Whiteboard for Music Education!

This week at NAMM, legendary amplifier company introduced a bunch of great new stuff, including a surprise item – the Orange MusicBoard Interactive Whiteboard. Anyone with kids in school knows about electronic whiteboards, which allow you to project interactive content from a computer onto a screen. The MusicBoard seeks to revolutionize how music theory is taught to students!


Korg ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer Unveiled at NAMM 2015

I remember getting the chance to play with an ARP Odyssey in junior high, back in the mid-1970s – it was an awesome piece of music-making hardware! Released in 1972 to compete with the MiniMoog, the Odyssey was responsible for many of the classic synth sounds of the 1970s, and now Korg has announced the Korg ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer!


Proof That All Country Songs Are the Same

Has it REALLY been more than 4 years since I posted this video showing how Ke$sha’s Tik Tok, Katy Perry’s California Gurls, and Miley Cyrus’ Permanent December were all basically the same song? Well, now Sir Mashalot has taken on country music, with a mashup of 6 popular songs including artists such as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.


Toto Announces Toto XIV, ‘Spiritual Successor’ to Toto IV

While there is no denying how huge Toto IV was for my generation when it came out in 1982, having my kids ask me to add it back to our iTunes library after a recent mass purge confirmed just how huge and relevant it remains for the current generation. The group is preparing their first new album in a decade!


iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia Now Shipping

Watching my son deal with audio recording issues as he completed his portfolio film project for film school applications (in at NYU, yay!), I got a new appreciation of the value of a quality microphone for even the most seemingly simple applications. The iPhone is great for capturing video, but the addition of the iRig Mic Field makes it better!


IK Multimedia will show Zero latency on Android at NAMM 2015!

Let’s be honest – I have been harshly critical of Android as a non-functional platform for making music. And while Android as a whole isn’t suddenly becoming a viable music platform, the programming hooks for low-latency audio are finally being fully exploited by developers! At NAMM later this month IK Multimedia will be demonstrating zero latency audio apps for Android.


IK Multimedia announces iRig 2 Next Generation Guitar Interface

Back in 2010 IK Multimedia introduced the first guitar/bass interface for iOS, iRig. Paired with Amplitube, the first amplifier & effects simulator for iOS, iRig provided a portable solution that turned iOS into a portable solution for all musicians. Since then they released the iRig HD, and now they’re back with the iRig 2, filled with improvements and new capabilities!


Old Mix CDs Prove Some Things Have Sadly Not Changed

I found a stack of old CDs in our attic a few weeks ago, and I was enjoying the nostalgia of listening to mix CDs I made 10-15 years ago. But as I’ve gone through the various tracks, I noticed a disturbing trend; many of the social issues being addressed in this CDs are still issues a decade later.


Feel the Beat with iRig Pads Controller by IK Multimedia

IK Multimedia has had a great 2014, starting with the iRig Keys Pro, then the iRig Voice, iRing, iRig Pro and more. Now they are closing out the year by jumping into the pad controller ring with iRig Pads, a fully MIDI compliant controller for iOS and the Mac with multiple connectivity options and controller configurations.