Music Diary

Jason Parker Quartet ‘Homegrown’: A New Delight

Back in 2010, I reviewed Jason Parker’s ‘No More, No Less’ declaring it “a recording that is filled with great tunes, wonderful improvisation, and insightful interplay from start to finish.”. His Nick Drake tribute was one of my top 2011 albums, and now the Jason Parker Quartet is back with an album of compositions by local Seattle composers.



Apollo-M Delivers Unlimited Music Lessons to Musicians for $4.95 Per Month

When I was a kid, learning guitar meant finding a local teacher and getting weekly lessons – which is still the most popular method. More recently you can buy DVDs and watch YouTube instructions to help you along. And now Apollo-M introduces subscription music instruction which they describe as ‘Netflix for music learning’, giving you a la carte lesson access!


IK Multimedia Announces Amplitube and iRigHD-A for Some Samsung Devices!

At the top of my ‘criticism of Android’ list for literally four years now is the abysmal audio support, leading Android music apps to be at best toys while iOS supports full studio production and mastering tools. Android isn’t there yet, but Samsung has led with audio support and IK Multimedia is taking full advantage with AmpliTube and iRig HD-A!


With ‘Eeps’, Marco Minnemann Shows the Many Ways He Can Rock!

It didn’t really occur to me when I reviewed Levin-Minnemann-Rudess, but Marco Minnemann was the brilliant drummer behind Trey Gunn’s Modulator – both of which are important for this review. Now he is back with ‘Eeps’, a solo effort in the truest sense of the term – playing all of the instruments and writing the songs, he delivers a breathtaking…


iRig Pads from IK Multimedia Now Shipping for $149.99!

IK Multimedia has their hands in all areas of music creation technology, so it is no surprise that they have now announced iRig Pads, a portable groove controller for iOS, Mac and PC. iRig Pads offers full MIDI controller capability so it can be used with a variety of apps, and is now shipping for $149.99!


iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia Now Shipping

Back in June I reviewed iRig Voice, which is a great fun microphone for amateurs with a solid feature set and a great price. Now they have released the iRig Mic HD, which steps up the features and sound quality and is more suited to budget-minded professionals and those seeking to make professional-sounding recordings. From IK Multimedia: iRig Mic HD…


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?