Music Diary

Disney Karaoke: Frozen App Review for iPad

You’ve seen all the different variations and spoofs of “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel from Frozen, Disney’s animated film remake of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen story. Now it’s your turn to perform, record, and share your musical performance of the nine original featured songs in the Disney Karaoke: Frozen app on iPad.


IK Multimedia launches iKlip Xpand and iKlip Xpand Mini

I reviewed the iKlip Stand for iPad and iPad Mini last year, and found them to be excellent solutions for the music studio. But then something happened – the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina arrived and neither fit into the original stands. Oh well, that is just the way it works with accessories, right? Not anymore with iKlip Xpand!



Amazon Launches Prime Music Streaming Service!

Last month Carly noted some of the reasons that Prime Music as rumored – limited selection, older titles – made sense in the context of the other Prime offerings. Well, overnight Amazon introduced Prime with access to a million songs and hundreds of curated playlists. The depth and breadth are limited, but it provides a decent entry point.


Marco Minnemann Announces Solo CD ‘Eeps’ on Lazy Bones Records

The first time I wrote about Marco Minnemann was in the context of Trey Gunn composing against a 52-minute drum solo by Minnemann in 2010. Then last year Minnemann was back as part of the Levin-Minnemann-Rudess trio, producing an incredible collection of music with appeal across jazz fusion, experimental and metal genres. Now he returns with a solo recording ‘EEPS’!



IK Multimedia iRing Now Shipping, Review Coming Soon!

Every year at CES and NAMM IK Multimedia presents a bunch of great new technology for music and media aimed largely at the consumer electronics market. This year was no exception, and now we have gotten word from IK multimedia that the iRing music motion controller is shipping! We will have a review soon, but here are some details.



Stream Manchester Orchestra’s New Album COPE Now!

Manchester Orchestra‘s album COPE will be out on April 1st, and their tour starts March 27; We’ve already got tickets for the Austin show (April 22nd), and now all that’s left is to enjoy their new album. While it’s not out for download yet, it is available for streaming via YouTube.


‘rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes’ Begins North American Tour in April

rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes premieres in North America with a unique video game music concert series, executive produced by Jason Michael Paul. Specially chosen video game musical scores combine with professional theatrics, visuals and orchestral arrangements in this upcoming tour.The first show will take place at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater on April 19.



Roland Introduces the Aira Line and Four New Pieces of Synth Gear!

If you ask anyone involved with electronic music during the digital age to name an instrument – it would be the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine. The sounds appear on countless songs from the last 30+ years, and vintage systems sell for steep prices. Now Roland is back with the Aira line that is both classic and modern.



Spotify Grammy Predictions: How Did They Do?

So … did you watch the Grammy Awards? My family watched most, and with expectations set suitably low it was not a bad time. Spirited performances by Kendrik Lamar and Imagine Dragons easily offset the awful Katy Perry vocals, bland Taylor Swift showing, and plainly lip-syncing Pink. But the real question is … how did Spotify do predicting winners?


Spotify Predicts Major Grammy Winners Based on Listener Data

This weekend the Grammy Awards present the music side of insular industry self-celebration and back-patting. Trying to figure out who wins in the post-Esperanza Spalding years is as much about who the industry needs to ‘reward’ as anything else. But the folks at Spotify have used data gleaned from their streaming service over the last year to make predictions!


M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro announced at NAMM 2014

If you were to ask my younger son about his most elusive piece of affordable technology, it would be the M-Audio Trigger Finger from 2005. The popular controller was used by all of his favorite music producers but was discontinued. Now it is back and better than ever with the M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro announced at NAMM 2014! Here is…


Debut from ‘Thumbscrew’ Showcases Exciting Trio of Equals

When I reviewed Mary Halvorson’s ‘Illusionary Sea’ (which made my Top Music of 2013) I noted that there was a trade-off of intimacy for the larger ideas that are only possible with the broader palette of a septet. Now Halvorson is back leading the trio Thumbscrew in their self-titled debut recording, and it is simply amazing.



IK Multimedia iRig Keys Pro Review

Just over a year ago I reviewed iRig Keys, the 37-note multi-platform mini-key controller. It remains in constant use by either myself or my son! Now IK Multimedia is has released iRig Keys Pro, featuring 37 full-size velocity sensitive keys, Lightning, 30-pin and USB cables, for universal compatibility with all models of iPhone, iPad, and Mac/PC.


Infinity by Harman and Linkin Park Partner to Address Sound Distortion

Thursday night, Judie and I had the chance to listen to Linkin Park through a specially installed JBL sound system at the Hard Rock’s The Joint. The concert was a celebration of the relaunch of Infinity by Harman and a celebration of a partnership between Linkin Park and Harman International. Read on to learn more and see Judie’s amazing pictures.