What Do You Think Of Apple’s All New Everything?

iOS 7, iPhone, WWDC, Apple

Apple announced some major product changes at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote yesterday.

iOS 7, coming this fall, has been completely redesigned, with a new typeface, icons, color palette, transparency effect, parallax planes (3D effect), and animations. It looks stunning, gorgeous, incredible – and also a little bit like Google/Windows to my eye… Anyone else think so?

It seems like Apple is trying to expand into enemy territory, incorporating more than just looks from its competitors. New additions to iOS 7 that smack of Android or Windows is a brand new control center, where preferences can be switched on/off, and multitask swiping between open apps. I think these are brilliant functions, and it’s about time Apple added them.

They’ve made the notification center accessible from the lock screen (day-at-a-glance reminds me of Google Now). The camera has new square crop & filters (Instagram-style) and moments (date/time organized photo collections). Airdrop allows file sharing to nearby contacts. Siri can now post tweets, search Wikipedia, and change settings.

The big iOS 7 news for the music world is iTunes Radio, which, like Pandora, has featured stations, user created stations, with the convenient ability to purchase music from the iTunes Store.

And for iOS musicians, the biggest news is built-in Inter-App-Audio. What this means for Audiobus and JACK remains to be seen.

For the old people still using laptops, there are new Macbook Air models, available now, with better battery performance (is it my imagination or is this what they say EVERY time?), and wi-fi that is supposedly 3x faster than before. Also on the horizon is OS X 10.9 Mavericks, named after the famous surfing competition, which features exciting developments like tabs in the Finder and searchable tags for files.

Not to be left behind in the past, the Mac Pro is getting a serious makeover, in which it is transformed into a strange black ashtray-like tube…

Mac Pro, Apple, WWDC, There are still more changes coming that I’m not even going to go into here. iCloud, for instance, will see new advancements that bring it up to date with web apps like Google docs. It’s definitely smart for Apple to absorb features from other successful tech companies, though it does seem like an admission that they are no longer on the cutting edge and are now trying to play catch up. The new Mac Pro could be seen as a continuation of the tradition of unconventional designs, or just a desperate ploy to make the desktop seem new and exciting again, in a world where PC’s are merging laptops with tablets. As an Apple lover, I’m not sure which is true. I try not to let my biases blind me to other possibilities. What do you think?

Hear Depeche Mode Delta Machine Full Album Now

Depeche Mode, Delta Machine

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the new Depeche Mode album (to be released March 26th), and now it’s streaming free on iTunes a week early!

Delta Machine has the classic DM vibe we all know and love, with a definite modern edge. It’s a really strong record; awesome sounds, and cohesive all the way through. Lots of gooey modular synth goodness, which we got a peek at in the studio teaser video they released last year. The album was recorded in New York City & Santa Barbara, was produced by Ben Hillier and mixed by Flood.

Here’s the tracklist:

01. Welcome to My World
02. Angel
03. Heaven
04. Secret to the End
05. My Little Universe
06. Slow
07. Broken
08. The Child Inside
09. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve
10. Should Be Higher
11. Alone
12. Soothe My Soul
13. Goodbye
14. Long Time Lie (Bonus track)
15. Happens All the Time (Bonus track)
16. Always (Bonus track)
17. All That’s Mine (Bonus track)

2013 Tourdates:

04/5 – Nice, FR @ Palais Nikaia
05/07 – Tel Aviv, IL @ Hayarkon Park
05/10 – Athens, GR @ Terra Vibe
05/12 – Sofia, BG @ Georgi Asparuhov Stadium
05/15 – Bucharest, RO @ National Stadium
05/17 – Istanbul, TR @ Kucukciftlik Park
05/19 – Belgrade, RS @ Usce Park
05/21 – Budapest, HU @ Puskas Ferenc Stadium
05/23 – Zagreb, HR @ Hippodrome
05/25 – Bratislava, SK @ Inter Stadium
05/28 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
06/01 – Munich, UK @ Olympic Stadium
06/03 – Stuttgart, DE @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
06/05 – Frankfurt, DE @ Commerzbank Arena
06/07 – Berne, CH @ Stade De Suisse
06/09 – Berlin, DE @ Olympic Stadium
06/11 – Leipzig, DE @ Red Bull Arena
06/13 – Copenhagen, DK @ Parken
06/15 – Paris, FR @ Stade De France
06/17 – Hamburg, DE @ Imtech Arena
06/22 – Moscow, RU @ Locomotive Stadium
06/24 – St. Petersburg, RU @ SKK Arena
06/27 – Borlange, SE @ Peace & Love Festival
06/29 – Kiev, UA @ Olympic Stadium
07/03 – Dusseldorf, DE @ Esprit Arena
07/07 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
07/11 – Bilbao, ES @ Bilbao BBK Live
07/13 – Lisbon, PT @ Optimus Alive! Festival
07/16 – Nimes, FR @ Antic Arina
07/18 – Milan, IT @ San Siro Stadium
07/20 – Rome, IT @ Olympic Stadium
07/23 – Prague, CZ @ Olympic Stadium
07/25 – Warsaw, PL @ National Stadium
07/27 – Vilnius, LT @ Vingis Park
07/29 – Minsk, BY @ Minsk Arena
08/22 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
08/24 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
08/27 – St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
09/01 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Ampitheatre
09/03 – Montreal, QC @ Belle Centre
09/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
09/08 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
09/10 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
09/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
09/14 – Tampa, FL @ Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds
09/15 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
09/18 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
09/20 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
09/22 – San Diego, CA @ Sleep Train Ampitheatre
09/24 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
09/26 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Ampitheatre
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
09/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
10/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky Pavilion

Pre-Order Depeche Mode Delta Machine

Drums By Asrodot: Not Your Average iPad Drum App

Drums By Asrodot, drum app, iPad drum

If you’re like me, people have been telling you to “stop tapping!” your whole life. Trouble is, I can’t. I’m not even really aware I’m doing it. Table tops just bring it out of me. They lure me in with their subtle sonic nuances and before I know it, I’m tapping away.

Drums By Asrodot, a new iPad app, capitalizes on this behavior and takes it one step further. It’s not just another drum machine with squares for you to tap. The interface is a zen dream: just one wood grain rectangle for your hands to caress. So simple, it’s refreshing.

You get 6 different kits: Cajón, Xylophone, Jazz, IDM, Drum&Bass 1 + 2, tweakable with Gain/Distortion and Delay.

The sounds of each kit are spread across the XY axis, and change dynamically depending on where your fingers fall. Touch response is very quick and natural feeling.

Take a look at this video demo and you’ll see what I mean:

According to the app’s creator, Arno van Goch, “every pixel sounds just a little bit different.”

Get Drums By Asrodot

Soundgarden ‘By Crooked Steps’ [Video] Directed By Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl, Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepard, Matt Cameron

Lots of great videos coming down the pipe this week… Gotta be grateful for that! This one’s ‘By Crooked Steps’ from the latest Soundgarden album, King Animal. And it was directed by none other than…[drumroll!] Daaaaaaave Grooooooohl!

This isn’t the first time Dave has stepped into the directors chair. As we told you last year, he has a full length film premiering in theaters TODAY (special one night only screening across the US). Sound City opens in major cities tomorrow February 1st, and is available for download right now at http://buy.soundcitymovie.com. Dave is also planning to promote his film by hitting the road with a supergroup called The Sound City Players, which includes Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Lee Ving, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Rick Springfield.

ANYWAY, back to the SOUNDGARDEN video (way to share the spotlight Dave)! Mr. Grohl is known for his tongue in cheek humor on early Foo Fighter’s videos, and he brings it back for this clip. Let’s just say it’s Sons of Anarchy with a twist:

Did you spot Deadmau5 playing the cop at the end?

Buy Soundgarden King Animal

Buy Sound City

Flaming Lips “Sun Blows Up Today” Bonus Track Off Forthcoming LP The Terror [Video]

Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips,

If you haven’t noticed by now, I love psychedelic music/art/videos. The Flaming Lips are true masters of this art-form. They are also the very first band I ever saw live. And I think I love them more and more as time goes by…

The Flaming Lips released this eye-gasming animated lyric video for “Sun Blows Up Today,” which is the non-album, digital ONLY bonus track off their next record, The Terror, due in April and available for pre-order starting TODAY. Pre-ordering the album on iTunes gets you this song immediately.”Sun Blows Up Today,” along with the band themselves, will also appear in a Hyundai commercial during the Superbowl on Feb.3rd.

Check. It. Out.

I really can’t say this any better so read the press release…

The Flaming Lips will release their thirteenth studio album titled, The Terror, on April 2nd in the US and April 1st in Europe.

It is comprised of nine original compositions that reflect a darker-hued spectrum than previous works, along with a more inward-looking lyrical perspective than one might expect — but then again, maybe not. It’s up to you, the listener, to decide what it means to you.

Wayne Coyne explains, “Why would we make this music that is The Terror — this bleak, disturbing record? I don’t really want to know the answer that I think is coming. Maybe this is the beginning of the answer.”

The Terror is a bold and expressive journey that has evolved over The Lips’ nearly 30-year tended garden of sonic delights that ebbs and flows with extraordinary splashes of darkness and light, pleasure and pain, chaos and order. As we’ve come to know The Flaming Lips, the real beauty lies with the knowledge that to expect the unexpected is all part of the manic fun.

“If we have love, give love and know love,” Coyne says, “we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror, we know now, that even without love, life goes on…we just go on…There is no mercy killing.”

The digital pre-order of The Terror will begin [TODAY] Jan 29th, through the iTunes Store and other participating digital retailers. All pre-orders on iTunes will include an Instant gratification, Non-Album, Bonus Track titled, “Sun Blows Up Today.”

“Sun Blows Up Today” is also the music bed for a very cool Hyundai TV commercial by INNOCEAN USA which also stars The Flaming Lips and will air during the Super Bowl on Feb 3rd.

Track listing for The Terror:
Look…The Sun Is Rising
Be Free, A Way
Try To Explain
You Lust
The Terror
You Are Alone
Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
Turning Violent
Always There…In Our Hearts

Non-Album, Bonus Track – digital ONLY:
Sun Blows Up Today

Pre-order The Terror

csGrain sounds for Xmas

Elvis, Xmas, Glitch, Monglot,

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all!

Through a series of coincidences I happened upon this app, csGrain for iPad, made by my old professor Dr. Boulanger and his team at Boulanger Labs.

csGrain, csound, Richard Boulanger, Boulanger Labs

From the iTunes store:

csGrain is a real-time audio processing and recording tool that lets you create new sounds and new musical textures by transforming your voice, your instrument, or your favorite songs from your iTunes library in subtle or dramatic ways – all with the power of CSOUND. Under the hood is a stereo granular sound processor and 10 additional professional audio effects – all realized through a single Csound orchestra that is simultaneously: rendering, processing, sampling, resampling, synthesizing, resynthesizing, playing, reversing, delaying, triggering, gating, compressing, limiting, chorusing, flanging, echoing, filtering, pitch-shifting, harmonizing, granulizing, and recording – in any combination – all in real-time, and all 100% being done with the power and exquisite sound quality of CSOUND – the world’s premier software synthesizer and signal processor.

Features:

A Live Audio Multi-Effects Processor
Import and Remix Songs from iTunes or “myTunes” (your Tunes!)
Audio Processing
Live Recording
Soundfile Editing
DropBox Integration
Email-based File Transfer
AudioCopy/AudioPaste to/from other iPad Apps
MIDI Trigger and Control of All Paramaters
Support for Professional External Audio and MIDI Interfaces
Sample Loops
Exquisite and Imaginative Presets
A Comprehensive User Manual

I gave it a quick whirl and whipped up this little remix of Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas.’ Here is a video of me screwing around with csGrain for the first time out of the box:

Here is the track for download if you feel like annoying your friends and family:

Hope your holidays are full of glitchy merriment!

Buy csGrain

 

Animoog V2

Moog, Animoog, iPad synth

So the world hasn’t ended…yet 🙂

If only the end of an age, and a new beginning, today also marks another important milestone – the launch of Moog’s Animoog V2 for iPad!

This massive update features accelerometer control, so you can literally wobble and modulate sound by physically tilting your device. They’ve also added note hold and scale lock,  Load/Save MIDI CC maps, Audiocopy/Audiopaste and…wait for it…Audiobus support!

Another major and very cool addition is an integrated 4-track recorder, so you can record from within Animoog itself. You can also import audio from your iTunes library, split, loop, copy, paste, and share individual clips, or mix down your tracks and upload directly to SoundCloud. As a holiday gift from Moog:

“This 4 Track Recorder will be free to existing users until Dec. 31, 2012 at which time it will revert to it’s regular price of $4.99 in the Animoog Store.

Furthermore, between Dec 20th and Dec 31st Animoog for iPad will be available at the promotional price of $14.99 (reg. price $29.99), Animoog for iPhone will be available at the promotional price of $4.99 (reg. price $9.99), and Moog’s first iOS app, Filtatron will be available at the promotional price of $4.99 (reg. price $7.99).”

Check out this video for a glimpse of new features:

Animoog V2: Expanded, Upgraded, Integrated

These are truly exciting times for iOS music, as more and more capabilities have recently appeared allowing totally autonomous mobile music making. Who knows what’s coming down the pipe next hmmm??? Onward towards the future, sailors!

Buy Animoog for iPad 

Buy Animoog for iPhone

Buy Filtatron for iPad

Buy Filtatron for iPhone

Looper Film & Soundtrack – A Futuristic Feast For The Senses

Looper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, time travel, sci-fi, noir
If you haven’t seen Looper yet, I STRONGLY urge you to do so before it’s gone from theaters and you’re left wishing time travel would get invented already. Joseph Gordon-Levitt kills it as a young version of Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt plays a perfect bad-ass beauty with a shotgun. And if time travel wasn’t already enough to whet your future-lust, director Rian Johnson threw in a little telekinesis and a mysterious villain known only as “Rainmaker” for good measure. Maybe you’ve seen it already? Go see it. Again. NAO.

This noir sci-fi thriller was my favorite flic of the year, and the soundtrack was a real treat as well. For anyone interested in field recording or sound-design, check out these videos from composer Nathan Johnson.

LOOPER Nathan Johnson Score Preview 1 – Field Recordings from Nathan Johnson on Vimeo.

LOOPER Nathan Johnson Score Preview 2 – Percussion from Nathan Johnson on Vimeo.

LOOPER Nathan Johnson Score Preview 3 – Melodic Instruments from Nathan Johnson on Vimeo.

Buy the Looper Soundtrack

Looper has been out for a while now…I’ve been meaning to post this for a LOOONG time, after seeing the videos on disquiet.com, but wanted to wait til I saw the movie and listened to the soundtrack, cuz I’m kooky like that… Only thought of it again recently, after seeing Brick, another film from the Rian & Nathan Johnson + Joseph Gordon-Levitt team, but that is another story. Enjoy!


Apple announces new iPhone, iPod, iOS, iTunes

Did someone say iPhone? Wait, can you say it again?

Today’s biggest news is certainly Apple unveiling its new line of iProducts. No doubt you’ve already been bombarded by live blogs of the event, summaries of what you need to know, updates, and ecstatic exclamations of gleeful abandon about the wonderful new iPhone. Maybe the world’s ever growing faction of Apple fandom makes you a bit queasy. Or maybe you just can’t get enough. So that’s where this blog comes in, dear reader, let’s plunge deeper into the rabbit hole of iPhun together shall we?

First the recap – The iPhone 5 is thinner, wider, faster, and downright sexier than its predecessor, of course. The screen is now a 4-inch 16:9 full sRGB completely redesigned touchscreen technological breakthrough. The camera now shoots panoramic images with a mere swipe through the air, image capture is quicker, and you can take stills while recording 1080p video. The battery life is longer. The new A6 CPU processor is twice as fast. It operates on 4g LTE. It has a new smaller, tighter port, called ‘Lightning,’ which requires a separate $30 adapter to use with all your old accessories. Why? Don’t ask questions, just consume! It’s better. Trust me. Why are you still using that crappy old iPhone for God’s sake?

Now what might really concern us audio-minded individuals are upgrades to the microphones, built in speakers, and earbuds. With the new iPhone you get not just one, not even just two, but THREE microphones, located on the front, back and bottom, to improve call and sound recording quality. Surprisingly, they’ve even thrown in noise canceling technology, so you (hopefully) won’t have to struggle to hear the person on the other end over the din of the coffeeshop or rock club anymore. Voice calls (if supported by the carrier) will also be boosted by “wideband audio,” using more of the available bandwidth spectrum to deliver your buddy’s voice straight into your earhole. The speakers are packed with 5 magnet transducers, up from the previous 3 (see Apple didn’t even stop at upgrading to just 4 because they care, they really do care about you). Finally, the new earbuds are now called EarPods, because they are made out of microscopic iPods assembled by chinese factory worker fetuses to make your listening experience better. Because we are Americans and we deserve nothing less.

Pricing is the same as past releases, $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB (with a 2 year contract of course) and is available in black or white. The good news is that the 4S model’s price has dropped to $99 and the iPhone 4 is now free. You can start pre-ordering iPhone 5 this Friday 9/14 in the US.

Apple has also revamped the iPod Nano to look like a tiny iPhone, and added Siri to the now multicolored iPod Touch. iOS 6 will see some changes as well, most notably a new Maps app (Google and Apple broke up a few months ago) with turn-by-turn directions (FINALLY!), Facebook integration, and  a redesigned iTunes store, among other amazing technological advancements like finally allowing Facetime to operate over cellular networks instead of WIFI only. The new iOS will be available 9/19. An iTunes update was released today and there will be a totally new version in late October. What fun! No word on the rumored iPad mini though…

Now I am as much of an Apple addict as the next fool (although I have been growing more attracted to the PC laptop’s junky charm lately) but one thing I cannot abide is the fact that the most “valuable company in the world” can’t afford to treat its workers humanely. That is a whole other story that should be considered alongside all the hoopla of this iPhun frenzy. Educate yourself and sign this damn petition here.

So obviously there is a lot of lust surrounding this little gem, but what does it all mean for music technology? The iPhone and its millions of apps have undoubtedly revolutionized the world of composing music. I fully intend to write about music apps I enjoy, a plethora of which I haven’t even begun to fully “tap” into yuk yuk. What are some of your favorite music creation apps?