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Roland Teases New “Boutique” Synths

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Roland, one of the world’s most beloved producer of synthesizers, drum machines (including the iconic 808 and 909), and other audio gear, is notorious for slowly teasing us with vague announcements regarding upcoming products. They continue to push the envelope this day, venturing far outside the realm of traditional gear.

Most recently, they have released a video announcing “Boutique,” with little information other than short references to classic synthesizers such as the Jupiter-8 (1981), the JX-3P (1983), and the Juno-106 (1984). One can only imagine what to expect out of this new product, but the gear community will eagerly await for more news.

Stay up to date as Roland plans to unveil new information regarding the “Botique” synth line.

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Triller iOS App – Make Music Videos On Your iPhone

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We are pleased to announce the release of Triller, a brand-new iOS app that will revolutionize the way we interact with music and visuals. Created by Karaoke app developers David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin, with the help of  director Colin Tilley (who did Kendrick Lamar’s videos, among others), Triller allows you to shoot lipsync music videos of your favorite songs at the push of a button. As Leiberman puts it,

“With  Triller, you don’t have to be Colin Tilley to make a music video that looks like it was shot by Colin Tilley. The app truly democratizes the music video creation process. Whether you’re hanging in the park with friends or an artist on tour, Triller makes it easy and fun to create great-looking music videos.”

Just point, shoot, and record a few takes, and Triller will automatically compile and edit the takes into a finished project; using cutting-edge facial and audio recognition, the software analyzes your lip movements to determine the proper moment to cut scenes between sections of the song. The app also features zooming tools, a number of filters, and the ability to manipulate the edits generated. After your video is complete, you can share via social media, text message/WhatsApp, or simply save to your phone.

Check out the video below, and be sure to visit the App Store to download the app for free.

Triller: Official WebsiteFacebook |  Twitter | Youtube | Vine


Doppler Labs Unveils Here Active Listening System

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Doppler Labs has already been making waves this year with their game-changing Dubs Acoustic Filters, some of the most comfortable earplugs on the market at an affordable price. Today, the company has yet again pushed the envelope with the announcement of their upcoming “Here Active Listening System”, a set of powered earplugs that are controlled by a mobile app. Using your smartphone, users can adjust the level of noise reduction to taste; however, it doesn’t end there. The smartphone app also features a five-band EQ, various audio FX, preset filters, and preset modes. Perhaps most exciting are these presets, which can provide either functional operations (such as “jet engine” or “baby crying”) or aural enhancement (to enhance the sound rather than subdue it).

Doppler Labs has initiated a Kickstarter campaign in conjunction with the announcement of Here Active Listening; with 28 Days remaining their Kickstarter has already raised $109,000, and with steady support it appears that reaching their goal of $250,000 will not be a problem. CEO and Co-Founder of Doppler Labs, Noah Kraft, had this to say about the Here Active Listening System:

“With the Here Active Listening System we want to give you the tools to have the perfect listening experience. We all perceive sound differently, but everyone has been to a concert where the audio wasn’t quite right or has been subjected to a long flight with a screaming baby.  Here changes all that, giving control back to the listener by allowing you to curate what you hear and how you hear it.  Our goal is to make it so you never have to deal with noise or a bad mix ever again.”

Doppler Labs have quickly and definitively established themselves as an authority in the hearing loss prevention industry. After giving every Coachella attendee a pair of Dubs Acoustic Filters, they have cemented their position within the dance music community as well. With the Here Active Listening System, Doppler Labs has developed a one-of-a-kind product that will revolutionize acoustics while spreading awareness about hearing loss (a topic that we don’t take lightly)”Here” is ideal for many applications with it’s broad range of functions and features, and can be utilized by anyone and everyone in their daily lives.

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The product has been fully developed and tested, and is undergoing crowd funding via Kickstarter for mass production. While one can contribute any amount, any contribution over $179 gets you your own Here Active Listening System. The concept and vision of Doppler Labs is incredibly forward thinking, and the introduction of Here will certainly revolutionize the sonic market.

Here Active Listening System is set to retail for $249 with an official release date to be announced.


  • Smartphone-controlled
  • Volume reduction control
  • 5-Band EQ
  • Audio FX (such as reverb, flange, vinyl distortion, and more)
  • Preset filters and modes designed for specific applications
  • Completely wireless (connects by bluetooth)
  • 6 hour battery life (includes a carrying case that can hold 2 full charges)
  • Multiple silicone tip sizes

For more info and contributions, please click here to visit the Kickstarter campaign.
To learn more about Dubs and Doppler Labs, please click here.
To learn more about hearing loss and other ways to protect your ears, please click here.


[Photos Courtesy of Doppler Labs]

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Google Chrome Adds MIDI Capability

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As bandwidth and hosting become increasingly affordable, we are seeing a number of cloud-based audio production apps spring into existense Fortunately, there is now a way to use your favorite MIDI controller with in-browser software; simply download the latest Google Chrome update, which allows Chrome to scan your computer for connected MIDI devices and allow those devices to control cloud-based plugins. This update will facilitate collaboration and is a big step toward making cloud-based production a legitimate means of remote musical collaboration. As of now, only a couple of cloud-based apps have included MIDI functionality, but we expect the vast majority of them to follow suit now that Chrome will be able to transmit MIDI data between your computer and the apps.

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Gear Maintenance – Learn To Protect Your Equipment


Maintenance is often overlooked in the blogosphere; many people watch tutorials and reviews, but there seems to be a lack of information regarding proper maintenance and care within this world. We have compiled a list of tips and suggestions for DJs/performers, producers, engineers, and even just the average listener. Read more

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Guda Audio “KickR” Kick Drum Plugin


A great kick drum is absolutely essential for any dance music production; more often than not, however, we find ourselves digging into the same sample packs over and over. While using kick samples definitely has its benefits, there is also something to be said about dedicated kick drum plugins; one that stands out in particular is Guda Audio’s KickR. Its three sections (Body, Thump and Noise) allow for precise control and sculpting of. The plugin also features “Warm EQ,” a vintage-style EQ that adds mild saturation when driven hard. This can be especially beneficial for shaping the tone and giving your kick that extra oomph. The GUI is streamlined yet customizable, offering different color themes and knob styles. At an affordable price of $19, this little beast packs quite a punch. Click here for more information

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R Is For Roland – Book Of Synths & Drum Machines

R Is For Roland

Roland is one of the companies directly responsible for the creation of house and techno music; their legendary 808 and 909 drum machines are some of the most highly-sought after machines in the world. In addition to the classic drum machines, Roland has been producing many types of synthesizers for over four decades and continues to dominate the modern hardware synth market.

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Last week, renowned photographer/illustrator Tabita Hub released “R is for Roland,” a coffee table book filled with high-quality photographs of classics such as the Space Echo RE-201, System-100, SH-7, CR-78, Jupiter-4, RS-09, TR-808, Jupiter-8, TB-303, TR-606, Juno-6, SH-101, Jupiter-6, MC-202, JX-3P, TR-909, Juno-106, TR-707/727, Alpha-Juno 1/2, TR-505 and TR-626. Along with these photographs are charts, graphs, and quotes/interviews from a number of heavy hitters, such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, Nightmares on Wax, and Portishead. Jeff Mills, one of techno’s greatest minds, has used Roland products since his early days, has contributed a quote saluting Roland’s iconic status in the dance music community: “Certain machines do have a particular fashion in which they spit out the sounds. The Roland TR series were revolutionary in this respect.”

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The visually stunning collection of photographs and other material is available for 44.64 EUR (53.80 USD). For more information and/or to order the book, click here to visit the official website. To learn a bit more about the amazing woman responsible behind it, check out the video below.


Till von Sein & Tigerskin In-Studio Interview

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Till von Sein and Tigerskin (AKA Dub Taylor), both highly successful artists in their own right, have received a great deal of attention for recent collaborations. Last year, the duo made a major splash with “Dance,”  a groovy, Jackin’ House bomb released on their Arkansas City EP (Dirt Crew Recordings) Now, Future Music Magazine takes us behind the scenes with an in-studio interview; Till von Sein and Tigerskin discuss the inspirational, creative, and technical aspects of creating the record. Essentially, they say, it is just a drum track; while they use a very simple bassline and vocal sample, those parts are auxiliary and serve to highlight the drums. Both producers clearly have a sense of humor, and you can tell that they don’t like to take themselves too seriously in the studio. Watch the full video below!


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Giorgio Moroder Teams Up With Novation

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Giorgio Moroder is a nothing short of a living legend; at the age of 75, he continues to maintain a strong presence in multiple sectors of the music and film industry. We’re thrilled to announce that the man himself has partnered with Novation to create the MoroderNova, a so-called “signature edition” of the Novation “mini-nova,” with 500 of Giorgio’s patches and presets, to be released in the near future.

The synthesizer is stamped with moroder’s signature moustache/sunglasses sillouhette, and the silver-on-black color scheme looks incredible. Unfortunately, the synth will only be produced in a limited run of 500 units; however, this marks the beginning of a new era in dance music. Dozens of rockstars have released signature series guitars for decades, and dance music artists have enjoyed software brand endorsements for several  years. However, as far as I am aware, this is the first signature series hardware synthesizer by an established electronic musician. And Giorgio truly is the ultimate electronic musician to bear this burden. Although is his first time using his name on any instrument, and Novation’s first ever signature synth, we are confident that this synth will live up to the hype. Although we can’t wait to get our hands on it, no release date has been announced – be sure to check back for updates. In the meantime, take a moment to listen to a couple tunes and learn a bit more about his fascinating history:

Giovanni “Giorgio” Moroder rose to prominence in the 70’s as a producer for disco artists, shaping the careers of Donna Summer and countless other legends, many of whom were enormously influential on the early pioneers of house and techno in the next decade. In the 80’s, using a number of synthesizers, he produced soundtracks for classic 80’s films such as Scarface and Top Gun. Through the 90’s he remained relevant via his productions with the same disco superstars that he helped launch decades before, ultimately winning a Grammy in 1997. His 2013 collaboration with Daft Punk sparked an enormous revival of interest in disco music (from both him and other artists); as a result, he has recently produced music for some of the world’s leading pop-stars, and had his own tracks remixed by some of (both underground and commercial) dance music’s heaviest hitters.

For more information, click here (MoroderNova site)

Event Roundup: CNTRL LA

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Richie Hawtin‘s CNTRL tour brought a new kind of event to college students across the country, hitting 8 campuses in 10 days (quite an impressive feat considering the distance between cities). However, this was not your typical “college tour” –  CNTRL featured lectures and equipment demos from the man himself, several other artists, and some of the industry’s leading tech companies (followed, of course, by  amazing afterparties). We were lucky enough to make it to the both the UCLA event and the afterparty this past Saturday, and here’s our comprehensive breakdown of the weekends events.

Co-hosted by UCLA’s EDMC (as well as its extremely helpful and dedicated staff) and Music Industry Program, the UCLA CNTRL event was held in the Jan Popper Theater at the Herb Alpert School Of Music. The room was packed without an empty seat. It was truly amazing to see students lined up all the way around the building for a techno-related event, eager to further explore the intellectual side of techno with some of the genres brightest minds. Across the hall from the theater was the tech marketplace, where some of the top companies in the music tech industry brought an arsenal of gear and software for anybody to use, and naturally we took advantage of this.

Photo Cred - Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

Photo Courtesy Of – Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

Native Instruments came with a number of controllers, most notably the D2 and the S8, along with several laptops running Traktor software. Richie Hawtin has been a long-time public supporter of the Berlin-based company, and over the years Native Instruments has grown from a software company to a dominant force in all sectors of the electronic music technology market, including DAW software, plugins, hardware, DJ gear, controllers, and much more. Point Blank, one of the world’s leading schools for electronic music production made a special appearance at both the tech marketplace and the lecture, participating in Hawtin’s discussions of technique, experimentation, learning, and training. Joined by Victor Calderone, Chris Liebing, Ean Golden, and singer Grimes, Hawtin gave an insightful lecture accompanied by a demonstration of several elements of his live performance setup in a masterclass hosted by Point Blank. All of the other artists got to weigh in as well; after the lecture, they opened the room for questions, and people lined up to say hello afterward.

The Lecture

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CNTRL/Point Blank Masterclass w/ Richie Hawtin

The lecture opened with a discussion of live performance in dance music and injecting human feel into otherwise mechanical grooves. Using a TR-8, Ableton Push, and Traktor with a variety of Native Instruments controllers, Richie Hawtin demonstrated a number of live performance techniques he has developed over the years. He stressed the importance of breaking the monotony of 8 and 16 bar loops over and over again, adding that the best way to get lost in the groove is when it is ambiguous which bar is the beginning of the phrase; Richie does this by using obscure loop lengths, bringing new elements in at unexpected moments, and making endless variations on relatively simple material. His workflow, he explained, does not involve digitally syncing Ableton and Traktor, which he avoids for two reasons: first and foremost, differing latencies between the computer programs can cause the musical elements to get out of time with each other. This can be avoided by “beatmatching” the programs by “nudging.” Additionally, not syncing allows him to be free from the monotony that syncing requires; tempos can be adjusted in one program while the other remains independent.

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“The time you spend in the studio is never wasted time, even those days when you’re uninspired.” – Richie Hawtin, CNTRL LA

While the lecture demonstration featured software and hardware, Richie also discussed the role of playing records in a live set, noting that DJ and Live sets don’t have to be mutually exclusive. He adds that the DJ is responsible for creating what he calls the “third record”; this metaphorical record is created when a DJ assembles a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This can be done by blending records, layering instruments/drum machines, sampling, looping, tweaking FX, and more; he adds that historically, EQ has played an enormous part in the creation of this third record. Often, DJs will crank the highs all the way up for a few bars, creating a sharp, crispy slap, or kill the bass to create a type of low-end vacuum. When the knobs are tweaked, the crowd experiences new musical elements that are not present in the original record.

After the demonstration of live techniques, Richie talked about playing around and figuring out how the gear works since they didn’t have manuals for the used gear they bought back in the day and had no idea how to use it – they had to blaze their own trails with the technology, and that forced them to spend massive amounts of time experimenting with the gear.


Photo Courtesy Of – Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

Finally, the floor was opened for questions, and virtually every hand was in the air. One student asked about the place of experimentation, and Richie explained that he is driven by what feels right inside of him, and will continue to do so, experimenting when he feels so inclined. However, he emphasized that while experimentation and innovation are important, they should only be done in an authentic manner that doesn’t betray one’s artistic essence and alienate. This led to an intriguing dialog between Richie and friends about authenticity in music; the consensus was that all that matters is making music that feels right to you. As Victor Calderone pointed out, it’s easier and faster to make music that comes from inside your heart.

Another student asked about promoting oneself as an artist and how to find a label; Richie dismissed the notion that you need a label to get started with your career, noting that the most important thing was enthusiasm and support from your friends. As he told us, if one person in the room produced a track and every person in the room shared it on their social media, that would get the ball rolling. Long-hailed as the king of minimal techno, Hawtin comes from a DIY underground culture, and he explained that a lot of whathe did marketing-wise was just trial and error, just it was when he was learning how to use the equipment he has come to master.

Tech Marketplace

Photo Cred - Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

Photo Courtesy Of – Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

The tech marketplace opened at 2:00, 2 hours before the lecture, and remained open during and after the lecture. I began at the Roland booth, where they had set up a number of AIRA instruments, including the TR-8, TB-3, VT-3, MX-1, and System-1. With 5 machines and 5 pairs of headphones, it was evident that a proper jam session was in order – I rounded up a few students and we just started playing around. Next was Subpac, a unique “Tactile Bass System” designed to provide low end enhancement in instances when a subwoofer is unavailable or unpractical, and can either be fastened to a chair or worn on the back. In addition to being well-suited for studio use, this product is an amazing option for DJs as it makes beatmatching a breeze.



Photo Courtesy Of – Nolan Isozaki/UCLA EDMC

Pioneer, a company that needs no introduction, was there in full force to promote their CJDs, controllers, speakers, and new rekordbox update. The booth was packed all day, as dozens of DJs went B2B with friends and strangers alike, and their staff were very helpful, teaching a number of younger students how to use the gear. One of the most iconic brands in the DJ industry, the Pioneer booth was the first stop for many attendees at the tech fair. The last booth we were able to check out was Splice, a free service for artists and producers designed to facilitate musical collaboration; essentially, you sync project files, presets, and samples to a cloud, and they can be shared via the website for collaboration with producers around the world. Projects can be shared as open, public, private, or secret collaborations, and major artists such as Richie Hawtin, Daft Punk, and Skrillex have used the service. Supported DAWs include Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, and Garageband, although they are currently taking requests for new software to include.

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Photo Courtesy Of – LA Times

 The After Party

After the CNTRL event at UCLA was over, we made our way to the afterparty, hosted by Insomniac Events. It had already been a long day of excitement, but we knew things would be getting even more exciting. The Hollywood Palladium was perfect for the event, large enough to comfortably accommodate the crowd and without a bad view in the house. The show, with performances by Lee K, Ean Golden, Victor Calderone, Richie Hawtin, and Chris Liebing was seven hours of techno heaven. Lee K got things started nicely weaving between smooth house cuts, with a highlight being the tropical flows of Supernova’s edit of the classic Beat Me Back.  Ean Golden kept the crowd warmed up on some nice vibey grooves and started picking up the pace with the well known Radio Slave anthem, Don’t Stop No Sleep. For a warm up set the Radio Slave track seemed a bit out of place, but Ean was quick to re-calibrate the vibe setting it up appropriately before Victor threw down some chunky tech-house fire.

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Victor Calderone getting the crowd ready for Richie.


As Victor stepped away from the booth, Richie tapped in with some minimal bliss, hypnotizing us in a sea of rolling basslines and glitchy percussion. No real point in attempting to ID any tracks as it was a master-class in beats and technology. Arguably the best part of Richie Hawtin’s set was the final twenty minutes where he slowed the pace down and crafted cerebral minimal textures to a welcoming crowd. To end, Chris Liebing kicked the energy up to a whole new level, delivering a barrage of heavy thumpers all the way to 4AM closing time. Unfortunately it appeared as if tiredness kicked in as the crowd was not as energetic as they could have been during the massive techno display that Liebing put on. That being said, any fan of CLR and techno would have had a great time during his set…perhaps it was just a little much for some of the fresh crowd.

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Photo Courtesy Of –

Looking back on the event and the tour in general, it is safe to say that CNTRL was an enormous success; the UCLA event saw a a tremendous student turnout, although it drew a great deal of fans of all ages. Families, children, students, and adults came together, united by a love of music and technology, and we can only hope that the future will hold more events like this one. Although much of mainstream society doesn’t know it, Techno is and has always been an intellectual phenomenon, and it’s great to see these kinds of innovative presentations embraced by the academic community.