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Music

Video Mickey Delp Makes 'Walk Up and Play' Electronic Instruments (Video) 28

There he was at SXSW with a tableful of beeping and booping electronic (musical) instruments made by his company, Delptronics, surrounded by kids and adults listening to and playing the instruments. One of the adults was Slashdot's Timothy Lord, who pointed his videocam at Mickey and asked (slightly paraphrased), "What's going on here?"
Music

Video A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video) 56

The K-Board won a "Best in Show" award at CES 2015. Plus, as Timothy said, "I always like pour and stomp demos." And it's totally cross-platform. If your computer, tablet or smartphone has a USB port and (almost) any kind of music software, it works. In theory, you could hook a K-Board to your Android or iOS device and use it to accompany yourself while you sing for spare change on a downtown corner. Or noodle around to get a handle on a theme you'll use in your next major symphony. Or...?
Music

Video CES 2014: Stefan Lindsay Demonstrates the gTar (Video) 104

It looks like an ordinary electric guitar, except for a little LED screen on its body and blinking lights up and down the fretboard that show you where your fingers should go. But the gTar, besides being "The First Guitar That Anybody Can Play," hooks to your iPhone. The gTar app includes "...a variety of classical guitar pieces, modern rock, pop, and everything in between." The gTar Kickstarter campaign in 2012 raised $353,392 even though it only asked for $100,000. The company that makes the gTar, Incident Technologies, started in a garage in Cupertino (Silicon Valley) and is now located in San Francisco after several moves caused by the company's rapid growth. On their Support page they say, "We don't have a brick-and-mortar location for you to try the gTar yet, but we're working on it. In the meantime, check us out at events like Maker Faire, TechCrunch Disrupt, and many others."
Music

Video Direct-to-Vinyl Recording Makes a Comeback (Video) 166

For many decades, gramophone records (the black vinyl discs in Grandma's attic) were made by cutting grooves directly into an acetate disc, then making a mold from that "master" and "pressing records." Nowadays, of course, we use digital recording software on our computers or even on our mobile phones. Vinyl? Strictly for fogies and maybe a few audiophiles who think analog recordings have a depth and warmth that CDs and MP3s lack. Naturally, SXSW is a haven for these folks, and among them Tim Lord found Wesley Wolfe and two German compatriots from vinylrecording.com, busily demonstrating their vinyl recording system, which is sort of the gramophone record equivalent of print on demand. Lots of background music in the video makes the voices a bit hard to hear; some might prefer the transcription -- although those who do will lose out on watching the vinyl recording machine in action. Either way. Or both. Up to you.
Music

Video Making Earbuds That Fit (Video) Screenshot-sm 104

Decibullz creator Kyle Kirkpatrick talks as fast as an old-time carnival barker and is as enthusiastic about his product as Dr. Ironbeard was about his potions. A lot of people are probably satisfied with $10 earbuds, but it's kind of a cool (more accurately a warm) idea to have earbuds you can heat in your microwave, then shape and reshape as often as you like to fit perfectly in your ears.They're just one of many interesting items on display this year at CES (annoying sound if you click the "CES" link).
Music

Video Mike Storey and His Plate Reverb (Video) 163

"Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is produced," says Wikipedia. More often than not, in studio recordings reverb is added digitally; virtually every FOSS or proprietary sound-editing program has a built-in reverb utility. But what if you're the sort of purist who prefers the analog sound of vinyl records to the digital sound of MP3s or CDs? What if you're the kind of musician who records at the original Sun Studio in Memphis to get that original rock and roll sound? That may be overly picky for most musicians, but there are some who would rather sound like Johnny Cash than Flavor Flav, and they're the ones who are going to insist on real analog reverb instead of twiddling a setting in Audacity. There are many types of analog reverbs, of course. One of the purest types, preferred by many audio purists, is the adjustable plate reverb, and Jim Cunnigham's Ecoplate is considered by many to be the best plate reverb ever -- which brings us to Mike Storey, who wanted an Ecoplate-type plate reverb so badly that he spent eight months building one. He'll run your audio files through it for a (highly negotiable) fee, and maybe give you a bit of advice if you want to build your own, although his biggest piece of advice for you (at the end of the video) to think long and hard before you become a home-brew reverberator, with or without advice and components from Jim Cunningham.
Music

Video Hanging Out at Sun Studio, Where Rock and Roll Was Born (Video) 102

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and other greats recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. It's still there (after a spotty history, including resale and re-opening in the late '80s) -- and it's still analog. Mostly analog, at least; a Pro Tools system is there for people who don't want to pay for an all-analog production. Thousands of tourists (I met a family from Norway who'd come to visit Graceland and Sun) descend on the old building each year just to see the place, and others come to record in the legendary space and what has become a boutique recording studio. I got to chat for a while with Sun recording engineer Matt Ross-Spang about working with the studio's lovingly gathered and restored recording gear, some of it nearly three times as old as he is. (An unexpected bonus: hanging out for a few hours in the Sun control room is a good way to bump into Fluke Holland, former drummer for Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, who stopped in just after we stopped shooting.) Be warned: there are some bursts of rock-and-roll to listen through.
Crime

Embed a Video, Go To Jail? 314

An anonymous reader writes "A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a post about the new bill in Congress to make streaming infringing videos a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail if just 10 people watch the video. As more details come out, the bill keeps looking worse and worse, as it appears that the definitions used in the bill would mean that merely embedding or linking to an infringing YouTube video could put you on the hook for jail time. Obviously, supporters of the bill insist that's not who will be targeted with this bill, but just the fact that they could be should be worrisome enough. We've seen other laws 'misused' in the past."
Music

Amazon Gags On Gaga 180

theodp writes "Having hawked Google Chrome over the weekend with an ad that aired on SNL, Lady Gaga turned her attention Monday to hyping Amazon's Cloud Player service. Fans were delighted to learn that they could download Gaga's entire 'Born This Way' album for a mere $0.99, until technical difficulties set in. 'Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed,' Amazon said in a statement. 'If customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, Born This Way album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience.' Some frustrated users meted out one-star ratings for the album as their way of protesting Amazon's slow service, lowering the album's rating to three stars. So, was that karma for upstaging Donald Knuth at the Googleplex?"
Businesses

Music Execs Stressed Over Free Streaming 375

itwbennett writes "At the Digital Music Forum East conference, held Thursday in New York, music industry watchers gathered to puzzle anew over the continuing decline in music sales. 'We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years,' said Russ Crupnick, a president at the analyst firm NPD Group who spoke at the conference. Moreover, only about 14 percent of buyers account for 56 percent of revenue for the recording industry. In years past, the blame was put on digital music piracy. At this year's conference, however, the focus was on free streaming Internet services, such as Pandora, MySpace, Spotify and even YouTube."

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