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Idyllic nature meets heavy beats on an emerging Paris label

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

stage Lpc

We talk about the idea that online democratization should be unearthing new musical gems — but you have to find them first. CDM contributor Zuzana Friday is scouring the Web, looking for the collectives and labels and artists who stand out of that virtual noise. First up: Paris’ Lpc.

With the growing popularity of contemporary (post)techno, there have been many collectives, platforms and labels forming around the globe who want to promote and share their own angle on this music, its aesthetics and its attitude. Amidst that overwhelming superabundance, one of the collectives that genuinely deserves your attention is a Paris-based Lpc, aka La petite compagnie. We already shared Aquatic Life, a beautiful oceanic video of theirs; now let’s check them out in detail.

Lpc is an independent label founded in 2012 by a small collective of friends who met in the south of France. They’ve dedicated the project to the memory of Antoine Debens, who they call “their faithful friend and former president of the association.” So far, Lpc consists of duos Keadz and Monochrome and two solo artists, XVII and Mas, who all name-check influences like labels Stroboscopic Artefacts, raster-noton, and 12k, and artists like Yves de Mey and Samuel Kerridge.

In the productions on Lpc, various elements of techno, dubstep/post-dubstep, and deep dub techno meet ambient and ethereal, organic atmospheres — a mix of inspiration from contemporary techno titans and nature. Those natural aesthetics are interwoven with field recordings in the sound, but also in the images they choose for promotion and music videos. The visual side of the label is run by Mas, who shares his inspiration in photo albums dominated by black-and-white shots of trees, forrest, and sky.

Keadz blurred

Mas

Nature for Lpc means “purity, timelessness, and simplicity,” says member Tarek Iked, “and that joins the idea of beauty that we have. Nature is very inspiring for us. When we are in a countryside, listening to nature’s sounds, we don’t have the impression that someone is talking to us — in contrary to music made by humans. Nature’s sounds are random and unpredictable, they vary constantly, and that’s what makes them beautiful.”

Opening Ceremony// Abyss from LPC on Vimeo.

In Paris, Lpc runs parties called Ceremony, each themed with headings like like “Abyss,” “Night,” and “Desert.” “We choose the themes so that the image and sound are completely inseparable,” says Ikeda. “By defining a theme, we have the feeling that the artists we’re inviting make a special performance for this occasion. We also noticed that artists like to be given a sort of restriction, because it awakens their creativity.” Records take themes like this, as well.

The previous compilation, Quiet Sum, aimed to “transform summer’s rest and quietness into music.” The compilation is the work of a group of friends, retreating together to the countryside to produce the music. Lpc’s next release deals with chosen artists’ perception of silence. It will include tracks by Elle from Hypnus, Fjäder from Full Panda Records, Lpc artists, and Paris’ Hydrangea, whose album Dawn Lights I also highly recommend.

Was 4’33” an inspiration? “Of course we know John Cage’s work, but it didn’t directly inspire us,” says Ikeda. “This album was an opportunity for the different artists to reveal their personalities through the meaning of silence. It was also a way to create something homogeneous and linked. For the moment, we have most of the tracks, and we can say that there are no blank records. But in case we would have received something like this, we would have probably keep it as it is.”

With the positive feedback for Monochrome’s fourth EP by artists like Cio d’Or, Cassegrain and Edit Select, the awareness of Lpc’s artists and activities slowly grows. But with such beautiful work, this is a label to watch.

Horty Shooter

lpc

http://soundcloud.com/la-petite-compagnie

https://www.facebook.com/PetiteCompagnie

keadz.bandcamp.com

quietsum.bandcamp.com

Keadz
soundcloud.com/keadz
on.fb.me/1iKgWE9

Monochrome

soundcloud.com/monochromemusique
on.fb.me/IcD3EN

XVII
soundcloud.com/lpcxvii/mix-i

mas
soundcloud.com/mas111

The post Idyllic nature meets heavy beats on an emerging Paris label appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Plaid meets Elektron For Charity

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

plaid_elektron
What happens when one of our favorite electronic acts, Plaid, and a cult musical instruments company like Elektron meet?
Well, the company starts a new record label (Elektron Grammofon), the artists create three new tracks (only using Elektron gear) and a new single gets released. It’s that simple.
Wait, all profits from the release will be donated to the MacMillan Cancer Support charity. What’s not to like?

Go order your copy on the Elektron website today. It’s a limited edition, only 300 copies.
After all, your turntable deserves the best, right?

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triqtraq Review: More Than Meets The Eye

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

triqtraq_anr

We have 7 copies of triqtraq to give away! Leave a comment here and/or follow & tweet @audionewsroom using the hashtag #WINtriqtraq

Zaplin Music’s triqtraq is a fun little jamming app for iPhone and iPad (portrait mode only). But don’t be fooled by is small size. It is a very powerful sample recording, beat making, little groove machine.
It features 4 tracks or sequencer channels each sporting 8 sample pads. Each of the tracks has 16 steps. You can also record up to 16 patterns to play an entire song. It also features a filter, delay, pitch, pan, level, and decay, which can all be automated in real-time. It does not seem to have any MIDI implemented but it does support IAA as a generator and the input slot in Audiobus.

Although triqtraq has over 350+ quality sounds built in, you can also import your own. The only option for importing samples are to use iTunes file sharing or AudioPaste and the samples need to be 44.1, 16-bit .wav files. I also tested the limit of the imported samples by loading in a 20 second loop and it seemed to stop at 10 seconds. So it will import a longer loop but it seems to only play the first 8 seconds. (UPDATE: the developer just got in touch with us about this, explaining that ‘the 8 seconds limitation is there because a pattern inside triqtraq is max. 60 bpm — or with the loop speed set to 0.5x 30 bpm. So, since each pattern is max. 8 seconds, we decided to only load the first 8 seconds of an audio file to save some memory.’).

Importing your samples is not the only option to getting custom sounds into triqtraq. You can record samples directly into the app using the onboard microphone (fun!). I have also tried using an external interface with mixed results. My Akai EIE (the red one) did not really work but my Avid Fast Track Duo worked like a charm. I was able to record my guitar and vocal samples without any issues. The workflow for recording samples in is super easy so building an entire kit can be accomplished in just a few minutes. One addition I would like to see for sampling into the app would be to allow it in the output section in Audiobus.

Also, one of triqtraq’s key features is the variable loop length and speed of each track and automation, as you can see in this video

I mentioned earlier about a lack of MIDI implementation. triqtraq does seem to respond to BPM sync and Start/Stop when it is loaded via IAA. I tried it out in Beat Maker 2 with great results. It synced to the BPM and responded great to Start/Stop transport controls.

The last thing that really stands out is the pattern section. You can choose to queue up the patterns in the Play Queue(song mode) section or you can play any pattern instantly by clicking the pattern number. This would be useful if you had your queue setup for your song but wanted to change it up on the fly.

Overall this app has a lot of features (check out all the tutorial videos here), too many to cover all at the same time, for the price. For $ 3.99, you get a fun and cleverly designed app that can also be productive (and could be a killer one with more connectivity options — I’d be glad to pay more for that!). It has quality samples and an easy way to record your own. I would recommend triqtraq because there is definitely more to this app than meets the eye. Warning: it’s addictive!

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Audio Unit Extension: iOS9 Meets AU

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

audio_units_extension_iOS9
They may have not looked significant enough for the main stage of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, but these few lines included in the iOS9 New Features look like a potential game-changer for iOS developers and musicians.

The Audio Unit extension point allows your app to provide musical instruments, audio effects, sound generators, and more for use within apps like GarageBand, Logic, and other Audio Unit host apps. The extension point also brings a full audio plug-in model to iOS and lets you sell Audio Units on the App Store.

No further details for now, but if I read this right, it means the iOS developers can now create AU apps that will work on desktop software like Logic and Garageband AND within iOS itself. Mac OS and iOS have never been so close…
I’m looking forward to finding out more about this, but to me this is the real ‘hidden’ killer feature of yesterday’s WWDC (sorry, Apple Music and the rest sound pretty boring…).

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EastWest Composer Cloud: VST meets Netflix

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

composer_cloud
2015, the year VST plugins went to the cloud. If you had any doubt this would be the new trend, EastWest just announced a new subscription plan. Welcome Composer Cloud, their whole virtual instrument collection, available for the first time “at a single low subscription price”.

EastWest’s early bird offer looks quite interesting. Here’s what you get at a glance:

— Access to all included collections
— Access to future releases
— Download on demand
— iLok or machine license

You don’t need to be online to use these sample libraries. You’ll just have to download the ones you need using the download manager, and you’re ready to play (well, some of these are pretty big, so like for any other serious library better leave the computer do its job overnight).

The price structure is quite simple:
— EW customers get a special $ 29.99/month price for all collections (special offer for the first year)
— New customer and wanting full access? $ 49.99/month.
— New customer and needing not more than 7 libraries? This will set you back $ 29.99

The offer for EW customers is already active, the other two will available on April 23rd. We’ll keep an eye on this and we’ll hopefully have more details in the next days.

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Auxy Meets Logic Via midimux – Video Tutorial

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

midimux
Auxy is a cool and still young iPad app that generated lots of interest since its release. A mix between a design challenge (inspired by the ‘less is more’ principle) and traditional piano-roll beat-making that is going to grow in the next months.
So far, Auxy’s sound options are limited to a few presets, but what if you want to use your powerful DAW sounds instead?
Now there’s a new solution (way more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth shaky connections), midimux, an iPad app (+ Mac server software) that talks MIDI to your Mac using the standard USB to lightning or 30 pin cable. Brilliant, ah?
You may have already seen some videos of midimux integrated with a Live-based setup. These days I’ve been testing midimux with my main DAW, Logic Pro X.
I’ve tested it with several apps (Animoog, IK Multimedia apps, etc.) but here I would like to show you how Auxy can benefit from midimux, using Logic’s software instruments to replace Auxy’s original sound. It’s just a quick video (actually two), but it should do the job. Note: to use Auxy via MIDI you need to buy the MIDI add-on as In App Purchase.
The videos are silent, but you can hear the actual final tracks in the Soundcloud player below. More on midimux in the next days.
2015 is going to be an exciting year for iPad & desktop DAWs integration…

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Audiowarp BOCS 1 & 2 – Kontakt meets Boards of Canada

Monday, February 16th, 2015

bocs

Audiowarp’s Boards of Canada Synthesis packs (BOCS1 and BOCS2) offer some hazy warm pads and drones inspired by the Scottish masters of downtempo. The samples were meticulously created by using techniques similar to those used by the band, including creative analog and lo-fi processing.
Most importantly, nothing virtual was used, and the results reflect this attention to detail. They’ve created a simple Kontakt GUI that allows blending of 2 sounds in any patch. There are independent volume, envelope, and filter controls for each sound, and the combined output shares a basic modulation bus.

While the simple architecture may not be of much interest to someone interested in deep synthesis, that is not the point of an instrument like this. The uncluttered design of the BOCS series makes it so simple to quickly pull up a satisfying library of timbres that are evocative of the dusty dreamscapes of BOC.

I really like the fact that they’ve chosen to focus on one thing and do it well. The sounds already have a lot of subtle micro variations built in (i.e they sound like analog synths, not a static sampler patch.) Merely by combining 2 sounds in each of the modules and making some basic adjustments to the modulators I was able to get a surprising variety of spectral textures.

After adding some SoundToys EchoBoy delay and UAD AMS RMX-16 reverb I got lost in the clouds for a few. Things got even more interesting when I loaded both BOCS1 and BOCS2 into a single instance of Kontakt to create some dense layers.

It’s easy to go overboard and lose the airy quality of this instrument, so make sure to take advantage of the built-in hi and low pass filters on each module to avoid build up in certain frequency ranges.

At only £5.99 and £7.99, these Kontakt instruments are a good value and can be an inspiring time saver if you’re looking for sounds in this genre.
Audiowarp provides thorough demos (see the videos above) that you can use to determine if BOCS1 and 2 are the pads you’re looking for.
We’ll definitely keep an eye on Audiowarp. Given their peculiar sampling methods, we’re truly looking forward to checking out their next libraries.

Note: Audiowarp products are hosted by Sampleism, a cool community-based sample library outlet. Check out their other stuff while you’re there, you may find some more hidden gems…

 

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modulus.002 Polysynth: Premium, Analog Meets Modern Synth in Video

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Sonicstate has a First Look at the new Modulus 002 from Andy McCreeth on Vimeo.

It’s been a while since Britain produced a polysynth. So perhaps it’s fitting that SonicState gets up close with the modulus.002, in a lavish, nearly half-hour tour of the instrument, as this luxury instrument goes head to head in a very select club (including Dave Smith’s Prophet 12, as far as the New World goes).

And the modulus.002 has some more surprises, as the creators show off their analog tradition-meets-modern design production. It looks very high-end indeed, and has a slick, modern layout to match (though they’ve still included wooden end panels). There’s a joystick for the wavetables. There are pretty text labels. And there’s a bright, crisp AMOLED display, a bit reminiscent of the Teenage Engineering OP-1 (but still something of an rarity in the cut-cost world of synths). There are “animator” features for sequencing parameters, and deep options for mucking about with all those digital oscillators.

All in all, it looks like a luxurious instrument you’d want to pin to your bedroom wall and lust after, girls and boys.

It’s a great tour with Paul Maddox, Philip Taysom, and Luca Mucci — was a pleasure to meet Liam Lacey, as well, recently, in London.

And extraordinarily, developed in just 12 months.

And about the cost — brace yourselves — £2995 +VAT / $ 5200 / €3750. Yes, watching this video seems a bit like seeing the synth equivalent of Top Gear. There’s a thing of absolute, total beauty that my wallet can’t quite fathom at the moment.

Which brings me to an obvious observation: I’d love to see a monosynth version, a modulus.002.mini, if you will. Sure, the layering is great, but there’s still an awful lot of fun that could be had with a single voice, the joystick, and some parameter animation, for those of us on a budget.

But it’s phenomenal to see something high-end like this in wide production, and it seems the birth of a great new maker. Can’t wait to give you folks a visit soon, and definitely will be on my agenda for any UK tour.

http://www.modulusmusic.me
Modulus.002 PolySynth Exclusive First Look

Also, some specs to summarise for you:

12 voices, 2 oscillators + 2 sub oscillators per voice
Subs with switchable waveforms (either square or the waveform of the main oscillator)
4-pole transistor ladder filter with “pole sweeping”
One LFO per voice, one global LFO
“No menu options” — everything on the front panel
16-track, 12-row, 32-step sequencer with dedicated controls
MIDI sync
Arpeggiator with sequence storage, hold mode
Animate any control parameter (like morphing that filter)
4.3″ display with wide viewing angles
Recall banks
Two audio inputs
XY joystick
Ethernet port for updates plus “cloud features” (guess we’ll see what that is — assume it’s for presets and the like)

The post modulus.002 Polysynth: Premium, Analog Meets Modern Synth in Video appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Mexico Meets the World, in Superbly-Diverse Mixtapes from Static Discos [Free Downloads]

Friday, December 27th, 2013

dimensionseries

If you wondered where your musical inspiration would come from in the waning hours of 2013, or the early hours of 2014, we’ve got some ideas. In lieu of top-this-and-that lists, we have a motherload of musical listening and discussions for a series we’re calling Music into 2014.

Eclectic and electronic, Mexico’s label Static Discos has become a nexus for artists from around the globe. Now, you can tap into that network as a listener, free. The new Dimension Series — a massive collection of free mixtapes from some extraordinary international artists — joins a year-end mix from the label itself.

Over the course of 60 releases and eleven years, Static Discos has already brought artists native to Mexico and Argentina to electronic music’s global community. The Tijuana-based label from Ejival, Fax, and Murcof continues to pour out fine music from those two countries.

With Dimension Series, curator Oscar González works with the label to expand the perception of what electronic music can be. Organized into a series of A-Sides, B-Sides, and a video, the works navigate a rich array of sounds from selectors with a full spectrum of backgrounds and tastes. The A-Sides include the likes of Israel’s Juju & Jordash, New York’s music producer slash visualist slash Mutual Dreaming party diva Aurora Halal, Fabric label manager Leo Belchetz of London, and Static Discos co-founder himself Ejival, among other key names. The B-Sides take the listener to Mexico City (e.g., Rob Anaya, Chuck Pereda), Berlin (e.g., Marsen Jules), and New York (Marcos Cabral). And there’s a lovely visual presentation, too, thanks to poster-style imagery by Ruben A. Tamayo, aka Static Discos co-founder FAX (who turns out to be a stunning visualist as well as producer).

I was honored to be asked to produce a music video especially for the series, included here, which includes my own collaborative music experiment with Berlin’s Nerk on V-Records. Somehow, a trippy self-meditation on warped perception seemed to fit the mind-bending experience of discovering music.

“HUGO” | DIMENSION / Series video feat. NERK/KIRN from Peter Kirn on Vimeo.

Oscar talks a bit about his ideas behind the series in a statement accompanying the releases, excerpted here:

‘Dimension’ is a series of mixes that attempt to clarify and expand the vision of electronic music, with contributions from different people — DJ’s, journalist music, producers, founders and co-founders of labels — from all around the world, a total of 7 Dimensions and 7 B sides.

Dimension Series reflects a radiography of the panorama of electronic music around the world.

When people listen the Dimensions, they’ll find themselves having different sensations, a different experience with each mixtape that lets them know that electronic music goes beyond what they have ever imagined. (dub techno, techno, house, industrial, drone, disco, dark ambient, ambient, experimental, and many more)

And so the mixes in this series can be heard anywhere else in the world, radio stations, magazines online and live sessions.

… Someone maybe could have different experiences with each mix, perhaps the numbers will not mean anything to some, but for others who listen to the mix, could symbolize the death of the subject itself and the birth of the spirit, perhaps take us to another time and other place inside our minds.

dimensionseries2

There’s also a great interview for London-based independent broadcaster NTS Live, in which Oscar and Ejival talk about the series and also the scene in Mexico and Argentina, and how it connects to this international landscape:

INTERVIEW: DIMENSION / SERIES BROADCAST, DECEMBER 13TH – DECEMBER 24TH

Find all of the free downloads for Dimension Series at the minisite:

Sides A

DIMENSION 1 | L.A. | Vampire Slayer | Label Manager at Indian Gold Records, Music Producer and Recording artist at Static Discos
DIMENSION 2 | London | Leo Belchetz | Label manager of fabric Records / Houndstooth
DIMENSION 3 | NY | Aurora Halal | Creator of Mutual Dreaming party series, Video Artist and Music Producer
DIMENSION 4 | Israel | Juju & Jordash | Recording artists at Dekmantel
DIMENSION 5 | UK | Fudge Fingas | Part of collective Firecracker Recordings
DIMENSION 6 | Mexico City | Eji Val | Founder of Static Discos
DIMENSION 7 | NY | Ben Vida | Composer and Artists at PAN Records

Sides B

DIMENSION B1 | NY | Marcos Cabral | Recording artist at L.I.E.S. and co-founder of On The Prowl
DIMENSION B2 | Mexico City | Chuck Pereda | Electronic music amataeur (per the Michael Chabon definition), Cat supporter and Alpha nerd
DIMENSION B3 | Berlin | Cubenx | Recording artist at In Finé and Static Discos
DIMENSION B4 | Mexico City | Rob Anaya | Electronic music amateur, Space
DIMENSION B5 | Mexico City | Hombreojo + Sinecio
DIMENSION B6 | Berlin | Marsen Jules | Founder of oktaf — music & art
DIMENSION B7 | Mexico City | White Visitation | DJ and Producer of self-released tapes, distributed by RVNG Intl. and with releases for Opal Tapes and SUS Records.

http://staticdiscos.com/dimension/

For more Static Discos, there’s a wonderful Christmas-timed mixtape of their releases, bringing us to the close of 2013:

Xmas Mixtape 2013 by Static Discos on Mixcloud

(There’s a direct download on the Static Discos site, too.)

— and the label has recently launched a Cloud Player for more listening.

http://staticdiscos.com/play/

Visit the label for more.

http://staticdiscos.com/

The post Mexico Meets the World, in Superbly-Diverse Mixtapes from Static Discos [Free Downloads] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Glass Music: Google Glass Meets Wine Glasses, Chamber Music Conductor

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
That more traditional form of Glass. Photo CC-BY Dave Morris.

That more traditional form of Glass. Photo CC-BY Dave Morris.

Google Glass continues to see musical ideas. Alexander Chen, whom we saw composing violin ensembles with Google’s wearable tech, now turns his attentions to literal glass — wine glasses.

In “Glass through Glass,” we hear a beautiful, ethereal ensemble of wine glasses resonating in harmony. Yes, you could do this with other devices, but glass does make the recording experience seamless, as would any wearable camera.

Cornell conductor and professor Cynthia Turner, too, is beginning with Google Glass primarily as a point-of-view camera. But she intends to go further, reported The Verge earlier this fall. She’s streaming the conductor’s perspective as she conducts, and experimenting with digitally-projected programs. And that could be just the beginning:

She paints an image of musicians all wearing Google’s headsets, no stands or scores cluttering their chamber, the composer’s point of view broadcast on a screen above them, and intermittent notes of text appearing on screen to explain to patrons what’s happening in a given musical movement.

A more-modest implementation of this, for now, shows what it looks like seeing through the conductor’s eyes, courtesy Google Glass. Then again, this may be the first-ever chamber music video that could actually make you motion sick:

How practical these ideas are, of course, is another matter. But they do at least begin to raise questions about how musical information is conveyed in live performance — questions that technology may pose with increasing urgency.

More:
Analog to digital: Cornell conductor tries to modernize the orchestra with Google Glass

The post Glass Music: Google Glass Meets Wine Glasses, Chamber Music Conductor appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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