Juno Awards Adds Electronic Music Category

Juno Awards of 2018 - Wikipedia

Canada’s Juno Awards has added an electronic music category for next years awards… and the site is open for submissions now…

If only I could compose an Electronic Album, then maybe I could have a shot at a Juno… NOT!  Of course, I’m dating myself but I start thinking of Kraftwerk and Vangelis… I’m sure I’ll be listening for the nominees in this category and learning a few things… why have all these toys with Reaper and VSTs and such if I don’t open my mind to other kinds of music and songwriting… hmm… a side project I guess…

Here’s the category as outlined by the Juno Awards:

The new category is defined as album-length original recordings composed with electronic equipment as the essential songwriting tools and defined by their electronic elements. Musical genres and respective subgenres such as (but not limited to) techno, house, electro, trance, drum’n’bass, dubstep, grime, electro-acoustic, turntablism, sample-based music, ambient and downtempo are eligible for this category.

Well, may the Muse be with you electronic mixers…

Musicshake… and Musicshare

The Musicshake website declares “Music for Everyone, Created by YOU”. TechCrunch featured the site in an article published earlier today.

The free Musicshake mixing program (Windows platform only, see interface screenshot below) “lets users create personalized, professional sounding music using a variety of modules and pattern-combination methods, which is quite addictive once you get the hang of it (takes about 10 minutes and there are templates to help get you started). You can convert music you make to mp3 and download them to your computer, or convert them into a personalized ringtone. You can also show off music you create to your friends and place it in charts to promote your work to others.”

Musicshake then lets you monetize that creation on its website and share the proceeds with you 50/50. So budding composers, why not check it out. Here’s a video of the proggie in action:

May the Muse-icshake be with you… now go create…

Review of Sonar 8 PE by CakewalkNet

Songwriter, Rick Paul, has drafted a rather detailed, “thumbs up” review for Cakewalk Sonar 8 Producer Edition that can be found here on the CakewalkNet website.

Here is Mr. Paul’s bullet list of enhancements from the latest version:

  • New features, optimizations, and workflow enhancements: Loop Explorer 2.0, dedicated instrument tracks, performance optimizations, user interface optimizations.
  • Editing enhancements: clip selection groups, aim assist cursor, split and mute tools, free edit tool.
  • Recording enhancements: live effects and softsynth rendering, anytime recording.
  • Mixing enhancements: exclusive solo mode with solo override, bus inputs QuickGroup command, mono hardware inputs.
  • Control enhancements: transport updates, control surface enhancements, Track View and Console View sync.
  • Additional enhancements: enhanced sample rate conversion, Vista audio, QuickTime 7 import/export.
  • Workflow enhancements: insert send assistant, updated ACT presets, drum maps, and plug-in presets, new drum patterns for the integrated step sequencer.
  • New instruments: Beatscape loop performance instrument, Dimension Pro, TruePianos Amber VSTi module.
  • New effects processors: TS 64 Transient Shaper, TL-64 Tube Leveler, Channel Tools, Native Instruments Guitar Rig LE.

So, if you’re into Sonar (I have version 6) then check out this great review and you can even download a trial version from Cakewalk’s website here.

(M)Use the technology for the Muse…

John Hiatt’s Race Car Garage Studio

John Hiatt has turned his race-car garage into a recording studio. There’s a wonderful article in the Alabama Scene Blog that captures Hiatt’s humour in discussing his recording process and in his friendship with Lyle Lovett:

The great thing about having a recording studio at his house, John Hiatt says, is he gets to work at his own pace. And on his own time.

“You can get up at nine o’clock in the morning and go out in your underwear and fiddle around with the mix that you left up,” the journeyman singer-songwriter says from his home outside Nashville. “It doesn’t matter. It’s your place. I guess the down side is you can get overindulgent, I suppose, but so what?”

Although he’s gotten rid of his race cars, the recording studio has given the 55-year-old Hiatt a new toy to putter around with.

“The one thing that keeps me honest in this particular situation is that my recording medium here is only eight tracks,” he says. “It’s a digital recording machine, so you can do a lot with the eight tracks. You can bounce them around without any loss of sound, but still it’s functionally only an eight-track machine.

“So it’s kind of like old-school recording in a way, where you have to make decisions and combine things early on in the process much like you had to do in the early ’60s. I like that. I like that approach.”

Hiatt’s pretty cool and the Muse is with him…

Music’s ‘DNA’ Decoded: Melodyne

Peter Neubacker, the music software engineer behind Melodyne, is interviewed online on the Celemony website here and I hope you take the time to take a look.

It’s really quite incredible what his invention within Melodyne, Direct Note Access (DNA), has done for polyphonic sounds (i.e. guitar/piano chords). It allows the user to take individual notes within that polyphonic sound and “play” with them (pitch/decay/timing, etc…) – see image at end of post.

As Eliot Van Buskirk states in the Wired Listening Post blog piece on this:

While Melodyne enabled anyone to sing in tune, Direct Note Access’ effect will likely be far more widespread. Any one of us will technically be able to create a guitar-based song by strumming all of the open strings on a guitar then editing the resulting chord to play whatever we want. Talk about your democratizing technology.

Celemony’s Direct Note Access will likely lead to a revolution in how music is made, although purists are likely to scoff at yet another technology that downgrades the importance of virtuosic talent. Others will surely see this as a natural progression in the ongoing musical fusion of human and machine.

Remember to check out that demonstration (very cool)! And may the technological Muse be with you too…

Home Recording Forums

I recently joined this site (click here) for home recording enthusiasts. I will add the site to my sidebar on the blog and hope you get a chance to check it out and get some pro feedback on your home recordings without fear of “backlash” sentiments and pretentious condescensions that come from some other home recording sites…

May the Tech Muse be with you as well as the Song Muse…

Digidesign Introduces Transfuser for Pro Tools Users

I’m not a Pro Tools user, but if you are, then this may be of interest to you. Through June 25, Digidesign is offering a free, fully functional preview copy of their latest product, Transfuser. Just what is Transfuser?

Transfuser is a real-time loop machine, phrase sampler, and groove creator, all in one RTAS plug-in product for all flavors of Pro Tools. Transfuser looks to be extremely intuitive; designed primarily for home recording engineers needing powerful sampling and looping from within Pro Tools, Transfuser will undoubtedly become a favorite of pro engineers everywhere.

The time-limited, free version of the software is available now at the Transfuser preview site here. You’ll need a recent version of Pro Tools (LE, HD, or M-Powered), as well.

Record Your Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic Guitar Central has a nice article by Sean Coleman titled “Record Your Acoustic Guitar” although it’s equally applicable to setting up any home digital recording studio, not just to record acoustic guitars…

As I’ve learned, and as Mr. Coleman states: “…these days, a prospective home recordist has access to more multitracking, effects, and mixing options than the Beatles or Bob Dylan ever had in their heyday—often in a system the size of a briefcase.”

Now if I could just write like John, Paul or Bob…

The author reviews audio interfaces (including my choice of the M-Audio Fast Track USB Pro), microphones, headphones/monitors and mic preamps (another reason to like the Fast Track as it is also a mic preamp). It’s a great place for an overview for those who haven’t set up for digital home recording yet.

“Think carefully about what you want your recording to sound like and what system will enable that in the most cost-effective manner. And remember that there’s more than one way to make a great recording. The best engineers have always been the most resourceful, and many of the most famous records of all time have been made by musicians and engineers who figured out ways to make do in less than ideal circumstances. With a little ingenuity and imagination you may end up amazed at how far your home studio can take you—no matter how humble or high-tech it might be.”

Let your home studio take you far and may the Muse be with you…

More Free VST Plug-Ins

Carlos posted on a Free VST Plug-In post I blogged last October and I’ve been meaning to post his link here. It’s an excellent resource for more free VST plugins… from instruments to effects, you’ll find something on his site…

The site is in German, but the links are in English for the most part and, trust me, you’ll understand what the free VST Plug-ins are for (music, or at least technology used to make music, appears to be a universal language)… Carlos’ Free VST Plugins… Enjoy!

And may the Muse be with you… wonder how you say Muse in German?

Oxygen 8 to the Axiom 49 at Revolution Audio

Completed another upgrade… 24 keys and some more controls moving from M-Audio’s Oxygen 8 Keyboard MIDI Controller to its Axiom 49 model. I’ve already set up the MMC controls for the Axiom to control the Sonar 6 play/record functions (see this site for tips)… the challenge will be to get the sliders/knobs/pads working the way I want… Any suggestions?

Thanks to the folks at Revolution Audio for making this a painless upgrade and for supporting the local music creators with good deals and fair trade-ins… (and thanks to my wife for putting up with this “hobby” of mine)… For those looking to “trade up”, I’d encourage you to deal with the fine folks (Jason, Will, Kate) at Revolution Audio. From it’s website dealing with Used Gear:

  • We are looking for trades! Change your old outboard gear into something new that you will use! Please contact us for a quote.
  • We do not sell guitars, amplifiers or other music equipment. Home Recording IS what we do – this is not just another section in our store. Recording Equipment is our store.
  • We only sell quality items of good value, tested personally by us.
  • We are home studio owners and enthusiasts. We are doing this because we love it
  • We are knowledgeable. If we don’t have the answer we will find it for you. We are committed to get you recording in your home and this is why we have a 100 percent success rate in doing only this.

Now it’s time to make some music…