Music Diary

IK Multimedia Releases AmpliTube UA App for All Android Devices

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!


Mike Osborne – ‘Dawn’ Celebrates a Jazz Great and a Life Cut Short

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.


Roland Unveils JD-XA and Other Great Music Tech at Musicmesse 2015!

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!



IK Multimedia Unveils UltraTuner for Android

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!


Amazon Prime Music Gets Ad-Free Prime Stations with Unlimited Skips

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’.




Check Out the ‘808’ Trailer – a Movie About a Drum Machine

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.


Musicless Music Videos Will Be Your New Bizarre Obsession

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!


What Was the #1 Song When YOU Were Born?

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!


Spotify Launches Major Desktop Update

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.



Kandinsky Effect Shines on Somnambulist

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.


Spotify Predicts the Grammy Award Winners — with No Taylor Swift!

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!



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!