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!
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.
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 every platform.
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 Android users to rock out!
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.
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.