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I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and work at PlaceIQ.

Posts tagged music

Albini absolutely nails this production. The overdriven bass and ultra-clean guitar pairing is perfect.

Worth appending this bit from an interview with Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi:

[Albini] played Scrabble on Facebook almost the entire time; I learned some Scrabble tricks. He would alternate between that and writing on his food blog. I don’t even know if he remembers what our album sounds like.

Hackers Download Sony’s Archive of 50k+ Michael Jackson Tracks 

Amazing:

Hackers reportedly illegally downloaded over Michael Jackson’s entire back catalog, consisting of 50,000 tracks, many never released. Sony purchased the catalog from Jackson’s estate for $250 (£157.51) million last year.

W.E.N.N. reports, “The attack was discovered weeks after hackers targeted Sony’s PlayStation Network in April, but was only confirmed by a Sony Music representative on Saturday.The UK’s Daily Star reports, “Record bosses only discovered the theft of 50,000 music files when a worker saw Jackson fans chatting about it on forums.”

Sony had been planning to release the tracks over ten albums. Other artist vaults, like Hendrix and Joplin, are assumed to have been lifter as well. (Via paidContent)

As a not-very-good piano player, it is enormously comforting to discover Neko Case’s piano is blue-taped to a G# scale.

So where do you get the songs for your digital music library? You probably own stacks of music CDs. And you’ve probably noticed that a lot of these CDs feature — at best — only one or two songs you really like. Fact is, if you wanted to take your 100 favorite songs with you on your next vacation, you’d have to pack almost that many CDs.

Apple, explaining iTunes in January of 2001.

Remember: the iPod wouldn’t arrive for 10 months and the store would take more than 2 years.

Teenage Engineering announced Oplab last week. Create Digital Music writes:

Oplab is an all-new product. It’s marketed as complementing the OP-1, but it’s really a general-purpose board. Imagine an Arduino-like prototyping platform on steroids, with stuff you’d want to use for music applications. And then imagine that, much to the surprise of me and a number of other people with whom I spoke, that they made a bare circuit board look strangely beautiful and finished. This board looks better than a lot of housings. In one box, you combine lots of I/O connections and inputs for sensors.

Those sensors are 3 USB (2 of which are hosts), 3 MIDI (in, out, sync), 2 analog CV ins/outs, 2 CV out, and 2 digital IOs.

This looks great for iOS devs. Have an iOS instrument in mind but lack the chops to build the custom hardware? The Oplab could be a nice first step.

(The shoe with a pocket is a bit goofy, though.)

This is Auria, a 48-track, plug-in supporting Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that runs on the iPad.

For the non-audio nerds among us, realize that the above description is completely absurd. So absurd, in fact, that Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music can’t describe Auria without heavy caveats to shield his integrity when/if this unicorn product fails to materialize:

I’m writing about this thing based on their description, but it’s worth adding that the track counts (with these kinds of plug-ins), multi-track recording, and even plug-ins were previously believed to be impossible by many developers. That makes this an … interesting announcement.

It’s certainly interesting. Here’s the alleged specs, as described by Krin:

-48 mono/stereo, 24-bit/44.1kHz tracks, with recording for up to 24 tracks (you’ll obviously need a USB audio interface that can do that – see notes below)

-64-bit, double precision mix architecture (something even Pro Tools only just acquired)

-Full delay compensation

-“Vintage-inspired” channel strips, with a desktop-like UI and VU/RMS switching

-VST plug-in support (requires some work to make them compatible with iOS – but out of the gate, PSPaudioware, Overloud, Fab Filter and Drumagog all work)

-Dropbox, SoundCloud, AAF, MP3 export

-Advanced channel strips, EQ, expansion/compression and dynamic controls ready to go

-Convolution reverb. (Really.)

-AAF import/export, making one definite application using this as a satellite for your desktop DAW (more on that notion below)

In an update, the developer has addressed questions from the skeptics, but we’ll have to wait until NAMM1 to put it through the paces.

The Good Kind of Control

One can’t read Isaacson’s Steve Jobs without thinking about focus, a demand for control, and the costs and benefits of each.

Isaacson examines (clumsily) how Job’s focus produced massive success while causing him to abandon basic social graces. His refusal to compromise in pursuit of a product made everything else disposable, including people. Discovering a tray-loading CD-ROM drive in place of a slot-loading mechanism caused him to throw a tantrum, burst into tears, and nearly postpone the launch of the initial iMac. Aesthetically he was in the right, but there’s little question his fantastical devotion to product visions caused him to make life difficult for many friends, family, and coworkers.

To product revolutionary products or art does one need to be a control freak? And if so, is it possible to manage that control in a way that it doesn’t cause pain?

With these thoughts fresh in my mind I was struck by something Michael Stipe said in an excellent Salon interview published today. Leave it to Peter Buck to provide an example of moral control:

R.E.M. has always been very deliberate about what you do and what you don’t do.

Mostly about what we don’t do.

Well, this is a band that stood up to record labels about producers before you even had an album, a band that had a distinct visual identity from the beginning, a band with the instinct to split all the songwriting credits equally.

You could call it the Peter Buck school of how not to fuck up and fuck over your closest friends.

I’d attend that school in a heartbeat.

I insisted we do the music the way it was remembered instead of the way it was.

George Leonard, of Sha Na Na, on the band’s Woodstock performance.

The Atlantic has a very nice piece on music nostalgia.

Album Art
30 Plays

"These Days", REM

Punctuation to this thought.

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