Spotify has become the go-to music and podcast streaming service for many with good reason. Breaking the traditional recording industry model and making the release of new material more accessible and monetizable for musicians and content creators, the service has made it possible for unknown talent to break out and for established talent to get their material out to even more listeners. Whether you use Spotify Free or Spotify Premium, you’ll be interested in today’s Spotify Stream On event.
Back in late 2018, IK Multimedia surprised vintage synth lovers with their Uno Synth – a tiny monophonic device with capacitive buttons for the keys as well as numerous functions and a few knobs. The surprise was that while Uno Synth looked like a toy, it controlled and sounded like a pro-grade analog synth punching way above its price point. I have put dozens of hours into creating fun sounds with the Uno Synth, and so was thrilled to see IK announce the follow-up – the UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop.
My first encounter with guitarist John Scofield came forty years ago as a young bassist looking for work by Steve Swallow and finding a new release by a trio led by Scofield called ‘Shinola.’ I was thrilled by Swallow’s playing, but also instantly fell in love with Scofield’s jagged, angular lines, and innovative fretboard shapes.
Beyoncé’s Black Is King is debuting on Disney+ today. It’s a visual album in which Beyoncé “reimagines the lessons of “The Lion King for today’s young kings and queen’s in search of their own crown. The voyages of Black families throughout time are honored in a tale about a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity.”
Fender has mixed technology with its usual craftsmanship and iconic Stratocaster shape. The Acoustasonic Stratocaster retails for $1,999.99 and comes in five colors. This unique guitar will allow players to get both acoustic and electric sounds out of the same instrument — all the while playing on a great looking guitar with the quality expected from Fender.
Back in 2012, Steinberg released Cubasis, a fully-featured DAW (digital audio workstation) for iPad with plug-ins, full audio, MIDI recording and editing, and many other professional features. Having used Cubasis on iPad quite a bit through the years, I have always loved how they were able to pack so many features into a mobile platform. Last year’s Cubasis 3 took things to another level, making the iPad version a true mobile DAW. And now Steinberg has brought the acclaimed full-featured mobile studio to Android.
The global pandemic has presented nearly all of us with unique challenges and hardships in every phase of life, but there are many people whose chosen profession requires them to live from day to day without a safety net or health care resources. Musicians fall squarely in that camp, with fewer than 5% able to make more than the poverty level based on their music alone.
The Fender Strat Ukulele as if a Fender Stratocaster went on vacation to Hawaii, decided to settle down and assimilate with the local music scene. It’s as if a ukulele went through a teenage rebellion phase and got all rock ‘n roll. And for just about $200, the Fender Fullerton Series of ukuleles are well-built, stylish ukulele with great features.
The Fender Tone app originally released in 2017; the app is free, and it allows users to dial into presets and tones the brand’s connected amps. The newest iteration of the app, Fender Tone 3.0, is now available on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC. Fender’s most sophisticated connected modeling amps, the Mustang GTX series, will be releasing on April 14.
Fender announced the American Acoustasonic Telecaster which sold out at launch in January 2019. They have now added a Stratocaster model to the lineup. It takes what was so popular with the initial model and mixes it with the original Stratocaster electric bringing a new genre-blending tool.
The National Association of Music Merchants Show, better known as NAMM is wrapping up. A lot of amazing music gear came out this year; these were the items that blew us away.
Roland, the industry-leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and professional video products, announced its latest innovation at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, the GO:LIVECAST Live Streaming Studio for Smartphones. GO:LIVECAST is a mobile device that allows streamers to enhance and manage live content while remaining engaged with their audience. It’s basically a mobile broadcast studio and it’ll be available January 2020 for $249.99.
I have always been an ‘update first and ask questions later’ kind of guy, but every now and then an update arrives that hits at something critical me – and that is the case with MacOS Catalina. Because it is incompatible with 32-bit applications, everyone has known that older applications would be in danger – but for me an entire industry seems to have been waiting for the last possible moment: music production.
Last week we were treated to some awesome new Roland synths and controllers, and to follow it up they are announcing a new digital wind instrument that us powerful yet easy to learn: the AE-01 Aerophone Mini.
Roku, long known for their streaming devices, has decided to up the ante in the audio market by introducing the new Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer. The Smart Soundbar is said to produce excellent sound on its own, but the new Wireless Subwoofer should a punch of bass. Preorders are open now on Roku.com for October 2019 shipping.
One of the first of the Roland Boutique series was the JU-06, recreating the classic Juno-106 synth (one of my personal favorites that I constantly regret selling) – but after a quick run it was also the first one pulled off the market. So I was thrilled to hear that for 909Day Roland is releasing an updated version that includes not just the Juno 106, but also the Juno 6 and Juno 60!
Even before the 808 and 909 changed the face of rhythm production, Roland had many legendary and iconic products including the early entries of the JUPITER series.
Two of Roland’s most influential early products are the TR-808 and TR-909 Rhythm Composers, and each year on August 8th (808) and September 9th (909) the community celebrates by sharing favorites created with the classic tools and Roland offers great sales and launches awesome new products. This year is no exception, and we are covering each of the new products separately.
Continuing the September 9th tradition of new product launches, Roland has announced two new GROOVEBOX products that reintroduce a concept they pioneered back in 1996 and that remains relevant with artists today.
Last fall Amazon announced the Echo Auto, promising all of the power and convenience of Alexa in your car, and started taking sign-ups for orders. This week they started allowing people to actually buy the device, so I immediately jumped when my invite arrived!
We’re still more than a few months away from Christmas and the other stereotypically gift-giving holidays, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start shopping early. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a few ‘just because’ gifts — except perhaps, the challenge of not knowing what to get for someone. With that in mind, here are a handful of quirky gifts for the person who has everything — they’ll never see these coming!