So, in the spirit of mixtapes from years gone by here we've hand-picked and tested three personalized streaming music services that will let you easily create a playlist online and, better still, share it with friends, wherever in the world they might be.
When the list of results comes up you can either hit up the song to start it playing, or drag and drop into a playlist which you can create by clicking the "+" sign next to playlists on the left hand side of the screen. Like the now closed down (and due to reopen as a band resource) Muxtape service, 8tracks lets you upload your own music to the site, which you can then save as a streaming playlist to share with others. Getting MPS and AAC tracks on the site works on a simple browse to upload basis (which took a little time, but certainly not off-putting) after which you can name your playlist, enhance the auto generated description and add up to five tags, as well as illustrate it nicely with a pic. To use Grooveshark you have to sign up for an account which is another simple username, password, etc, type affair, after which you can start makin' music.
While we were seriously impressed with the music we found to be available through Grooveshark, if you can't find a track you want, or want to add your own home-made music, you can upload music files from your computer to your account on the site, although this can take up to 24 hours.
More advanced options include the ability to export the playlist to a Grooveshark widget, with the choice to mirror the changes in the online playlist. As well as scroll through a list of designs to chose from, you can change the color scheme, the size (great option, Grooveshark guys!) all of which is previewed live so you can see your changes.
If you get them wrong, they cheekily ask if you’ve connected your equipment properly. I would say you deserve some reward for this, except now I’ve read your test results.
Today I made the Tidal test on my Adam A5X with a KRK 10″ Subwoofer hooked up to a RME Fireface. Who mixes anthing ouside of gansta rap or dub step with a sub on much less only one sub and all the uneven room nodes that go with that . Whats more inprtant are your near fields and or midfields which sound decent as described or phones . Generally 256 kbps vbr AAC is a litle more transoparent than 320kbps mp3 even at the higher fixed bit rate . The flaw in all these audio comparison tests is (known) comparative audio mamory only lasts maybe 2 at best 3 sec on a good day with a trained listener. Generally 256 kbps vbr AAC is more transparent than 320kbps mp3 even at the higher fixed bit rate given the hobsons choice of lossey music I will take decent AAC over mp3 . If they really wanted to sell us something they would just give everyone 4s and 5s and make it easy – the fact that very few people can tell the difference suggests that the service itself is nonsense! I guess I’m a little bemused and perhaps slightly alarmed that people feel the need to point at CD quality music as if it was some exotic high end pursuit, too.
At your disposal is the Launchpad Pro’s brain, an ARM Cortex M3 from STMicroelectronics. This could be huge for Launchpad Pro owners even if you aren’t a coder, because it could mean a community around the device sharing this stuff and supporting one another. To make things even easier, though, we’re talking with Novation about how some examples might be produced that will help get people started. After actually reading the linked love letter, it’s no wonder this was executed so well.
Also i wonder if that means that hacking would work with the original Launchpad and Launchpad S versions as well – or is this exclusively for the Pro model ?
Good idea with taping it to avoid play around the weak point, I’m going to do that with my current (3rd) one. It should be mentioned the API for the original Launchpads was also made public many years ago. It seems synth guru Richard Devine couldn’t resist revealing something about upcoming Yamaha technology.
Usually when I work with a company – for instance I’m working with Yamaha on a project right now; I can’t say what it is, but it’s pretty crazy.
My prediction is: a powerful FM synth, but this time with a completely rethought (refaced?) approach to the UI, hopefully making it more accessible.
That was my first impression as well from the promo video, but surely Devine is pretty familiar with FM and wouldn’t take a few weeks to get his head around that concept. That alone makes me way more excited than any amount of promo and teasing yamaha could have done. As luck would have it, I met Richard Devine the weekend before last at NMASS here in Austin.
I’ve known Rich for close to 20 years, and your impression of him is 180 degrees wrong. I don’t always like his music or what he supports but his opinions have more merit than yours. If the album business model is collapsing, the frantic rush to everything else is at least interesting.
Hip hop as a genre, of course, came from a deconstruction and reconstruction of the album, from the early evolution of DJ techniques and sampling. Instead of downloading stems, Blend provides would-be remixers with Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Apple Logic Pro session formats, the exposed ingredients of the tracks.
The site has so far been popular with nerdy electronic music producers – not so much hip hop. But it seems Wu-Tang is hopeful that this is a new direction – both for opening up hip hop to new audiences, and reshaping the industry. Yeah, I was disappointed about that when I found that – and I deserve getting dinged on this one. And, since it turns out the post is covering some unknown rap crew shamelessly hyping themselves, I will flip that hype.
Peter correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like someone pulled a fast one on you here.
In some ways, it’s more interesting that Power is the figure behind Wu-Wear and the like (both in the 90s and more recently), because it means he sniffs some sort of business opportunity in Blend, not just a creative one.
Power is the member who is associated with Wu-Tang Clan, and this is still under the larger Wu-Tang umbrella. But I should have provided more background on the actual artist project here, and didn’t, in my rush to get the story out in time with the news release. Yeah, wondered if anyone would bring that up… I can imagine some music developers dumping Dropbox over the hiring of former Sec.
Indaba Music, a community and suite of online tools for musicians, announced today they’ve revamped their online recording and production tool using Java and JavaFX. Interestingly, Weezer’s endorsement focuses on the fact that they don’t know how to use other music software. On the other hand, while this is basically just an ACID-style audio production station in the browser, I’m curious about what new applications might take advantage of in-browser collaboration that don’t look like existing audio tools.
I’ll be talking to the Indaba folks and the JavaFX team a little bit about the technology, and with Sun in particular I’ll be sure to ask about some of the future potential here for other tools. Peter, you're right on track considering what new apps will take advantage of this technology. I'm guessing Patrick has turned off Java because of the recent security issue with Java and the OS X browser plugin.


That said, I think it's interesting with all these web based audio applications being developed (this, Hobnox, etc). Honestly, I think it's just another attempt to cash-in on the growing trend of social networking sites. CDM is an online magazine for creative technology, from music and DJing to motion and more. CDM by Create Digital Media GmbH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. What if a drum machine were as small and appealing as those old Game & Watch portable Nintendo games? That’s the latest design challenge undertaken by the mad scientists at Teenage Engineering. The board made its appearance for the first time in the general public at the panel I moderated at Moogfest, alongside Moog’s Cyril Lance. The size is about the same as a Game & Watch (or a slightly-oversized business card), but via parameter locks, you can make use of its mere two knobs. There’s no MIDI (though it is supported on the chip onboard, theoretically), but you can chain devices via audio input and output jacks. Still, for $50 it can sound like a chorus of mousetraps for all I care, especially if they leave a debug port open.
This is fun news But I think they’ll probably consider an enclosure for the final product, for robustness.
As a result, a lot of hardware that should have had MIDI in and out doesn’t, to save room. Well, whether it worked or not would depend on how that minijack connector itself was wired.
So long as you have two pieces of gear wired this way, you can connect them with a standard stereo minijack audio cable (that’s a single stereo minijack at both ends).
I pushed this idea heavily when I was working for a manufacturer recently and even donated my irig midi to the cause, as I no longer had use for it. The first time I ever saw this in action was back in 2008 when my dear friend trash80 stuck an arduino in a GameBoy to rock MIDI. Yeah I think they have been dropped on a lot of gear not because of space, but because of cost. Fun is what you get out of this Web Audio Theremin toy, the work of one Luke Phillips of Femur Design. The web audio theremin is a touch friendly & responsive audio synthesizer built in javascript using the Web Audio API with HTML5 canvas. As the user interacts with the screen synthesized sounds are generated in the style of a moog theremin and the canvas displays a visual representation of the audio. Now, of course, there are likely some serious Thereminists out there in our audience, but part of the magic of this is that it appeals to people well outside our music tech fields. A good web theremin could be done though; track the mouse and use Y for volume and X for pitch. There are a large number of legal services online that allow you to share songs with friends, but some require paid accounts and software downloads, while others suffer from restricted geographic availability. Oh, and be sure to link to the playlists you create in the comments so we can have a listen. Signing up requires creating a username, entering an email address and password and once you've deciphered a Captcha, you're good to go.
To create your playlist, simply select at least eight tracks, no more than two of which are from the same artist or album, making sure you meet the conditions of 8track's licensing agreement. If you click to play a song, Grooveshark brings up a neat row of thumbnails showing the song's title, the artist and album art at the bottom of the screen and, although you can drag and drop to create a playlist the more usual way, you can also turn your little selection of recently listened to thumbnail songs into a playlist too, which is quite a nice touch. Rather than being stuck with whatever design the site offers for its widget, there are vast customization options. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe. You can even stop reading now if you want, because whatever conclusion you reach is the only one that matters. For instance, if you do correctly guess which is the more information-dense stream, you get a congratulatory message: “Five in five correct, fantastic! I bought the CD and suddenly I recognised that the snare in one track sounded different from the mp3. Lame’s very good now, especially for higher bit rates, but back in the day Fraunhoffer was the gold standard, and even that choked in plenty of cases. The entire purpose of audio reproduction is to give the listener as close as we can get to the live experience. If music is a more casual pursuit and you have a Jambox or a some system off the shelves at Target then I doubt any subtle differences will matter even if they were noticeable.
And, inspired by recent Head of Product Innovation Dave Hodder has even written a screed about hacking. Fun hacks light light shows and games are possible, and might be an enjoyable way to learn. It opens up the possibility of having standalone hardware in the studio you can use with or without a computer, ready to perform the tasks you want in your music creation process.
Of course, the whole initiative from Novation does owe a huge debt, though, to the monome line, and the fact that that maker and its community really championed and popularized the idea of sharing open musical solutions around a piece of hardware. And if you have feedback on that API or what you’d like to see, let us know in comments. I hope this lives up to the hype, and isn’t weirdly hobbled in some way that makes it useless to hackers. Not only did they do it but they did it right: code examples, everything on github, vagrant+VB virtual machine, simple MIDI upload. There is indeed lots of interesting stuff there but it hasn’t been updated since 2013, sadly.
Not quite this extravagent and requires you to software on the pc, but Novation has been doing right by the launchpad for awhile.
This synthesizer has new technology that’s never been implemented before, so it’s totally alien to anything I’ve ever used.
Had a nice conversation with him before and after his set (during which, BTW, he delivered). One thing that you can always be sure of is that RD will push whatever he is using into directions most people don’t.
So, the fact that Wu Tang is skipping the conventional release altogether is new, but it’s also connected to history. But now I have to look through Ableton sessions and see if there are any that’d work.
Power is actually an interesting character – childhood friend who then led up all these hugely successful business projects.
Now, the jury is still out on the actual result — Blend may not do as well as the apparel.


The new version expands on that idea, allowing you to record audio signal directly online, and beefing up tools for mixing, editing, and looping.
You get a graphical-looking interface that works the same anywhere, plus the ability to drag audio files to and from your desktop. I have to admit some skepticism here – a lot of musicians I think are savvy enough to get to use creative new music software, and a lot of the basic functions of the Indaba software itself are straight out of tools like ACID and GarageBand.
Maybe we’ll have specialized tools for working out specific ideas or sharing snippets in-progress. I expect the reason Apple's Java updates are so infrequent is a lack of manpower working on their implementation.
You create audio content offline in your DAW of choice and then load up tracks in the browser-ready tracking app. And the creation has some serious lineage: Jesper Kouthoofd, CEO of Teenage Engineering and designer of the new board, contributed to the original Machinedrum.
Korg, which uses minijacks on its SQ1 sequencer and new ElecTribes, swaps sleeve and ring, unless I’ve got the wrong information.
Rather than wait for a standard, all you really need is for manufacturers to start using this same wiring. And you can plug your custom synth or whatever directly into a Launchpad Pro or BeatStep Pro (just to name two) and start playing it. Multiple pins are much safer, ensuring that power isn’t temporarily connected to the wrong part of the circuit. I see what people are saying about smaller devices, but most of the time there is room for MIDI DIN ports and they are better connectors for a multitude of reasons. I’m really suggesting that a standardized minijack would make it a no-brainer to include MIDI on more compact gear, and could mean easy inter-connects without special dongles. In terms of continuous pitch control and amplitude control, each on a separate axis, it counts.
Mainly, it taught me that I mostly don’t want to listen to this music, and The Killers are a prime example of the Loudness Wars.
At 128kbps, you could tell differences, at 160kpbs was tough, at 192kbps you were down to a lucky guess and at 256kbps you couldn’t tell a difference if your life depended on it. I suspect if you took your GLC CD now and ripped and encoded it in, say, iTunes, you’d struggle to tell the difference between the rip and the original. There are obvious limits (room is a big one, no one is squeezing a band into an apartment), but surely the goal is to reproduce what you’d hear live. Maybe you hear the difference, maybe you don’t but aside from data cap issues on your broadband plan, why not forgo all the fuss about whether you should use AAC, MP3 etc and whether you should do it at 192, 256 or 320k? Then, you build on a command line or in Eclipse and upload via MIDI – fairly easy stuff. And it means you can imagine something and get it working on hardware without the daunting task of trying to build something from scratch.
It’s difficult to overstate the impact Brian Crabtree, Kelli Cain, and the monome musicians have had on the industry, as well as all the people who have been organizing these hack days and producing creative ideas.
Pro Tools, Live, and Logic are your three choices here, but FL Studio, Maschine, and GarageBand are supported, too, with more promised.
If Wu-Tang or any other artist wants to win over producers, they need to provide more materials than that. Not a smart choice, unless they (blend and dropbox) team up to to offer a _very_ convenient discount on dropbox space.
Just like tools like GarageBand, a pre-built set of loops is ready for people to quickly mock up songs. Nor do you have to worry about any JavaFX tool blowing away your REAPER, Logic, Live, Pro Tools… well, you know.
And there’s no question that building some tools in the browser makes sharing more immediate. It wasn’t done in time, but a limited 200-unit run will go out to artists, before a more complete model is available to the rest of us soon. My $900 OP-1 has needed to go through Teenage Engineering’s multi-month repair process three times. Simple yet spot-on observation that would likely only come out of the mouth of a software user+hardware user+long-time watcher+maker. For one, it’s better physical coupling that will not allow as much side to side movement that can result in breaking plugs or sockets. I suggest instead the mini three-pin locking connectors found on things like my AKG headphones.
Of course, it lacks the gestural input mechanism that sort of is the whole point of a Theremin. Remember, there was a time when we were having this argument about cassette tapes, which I think we can now all agree all sound universally terrible, if… entertainingly terrible. And SoundCloud is still poor enough that I’ve noticed lost fidelity in music, though I still rely on my music sounding good enough streaming there that I can earn bookings and so on.
Even taking breaks between listening, I couldn’t get consistent results, and this is listening through studio-quality DACs and headphones.
It’s USB class-compliant, so it works with other devices and operating systems, like the iPad and Raspberry Pi. Definitely hope they get back to it; re-posting the hackathon love letter there seems like a great way start back into it. We looked at GitHub earlier today for notation, but that tool was built for code (and text) first.
If they’re thinking this for nerds only, by all means, skip the enclosure, it looks very cool.
To add a MIDI port to a device, you need to not only have enough clearance for the connector itself, but the whole around the port and the physical assembly that contains it. What would happen if you skipped the little DIN dongles and ran an ordinary stereo minijack cable between them?
I’m saying through his constant ringing endorsements of multitudes of plugins and devices, he has reduced the currency of his words to dogshit. So, you might want to stay glued here in a couple of weeks if you want to know more, or just come along and drink Aquavit with us – either way. Speaking as a hardware maker, that takes up space you can’t even see from the outside. And it works in a variety of standalone modes, so you can use it to play hardware without connecting to a computer.



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