First socially distanced music venue to open in Newcastle

First socially distanced music venue to open in NewcastleVirgin Money Arena

Virgin Money Unity Arena, to be situated at Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth Park, is poised to be the United Kingdom‘s first socially distanced music venue and will reportedly open in Newcastle, England in August. The organizers behind the transformation of Newcastle Racecourse into a guideline-abiding music space include the coordinators of This Is Tomorrow Festival, SSD Concerts, and Virgin Money.

Together, these teams have arranged for 500 individual viewing areas on raised platforms, each separated by six feet of space, for individuals and small groups. They have also used the outdoor space at the race track for Virgin Money Unity Arena’s first trial run, and plan to make food, drinks, and restrooms available to patrons through a one-way routing system. In total, Virgin Money Unity Arena is expected to accommodate a maximum of 2,500 attendees.

The summer lineup is slated to drop on July 7 and will span a variety of acts, including DJs and other musicians, comedians, and family entertainers. Further details such as ticketing information have yet to be released, but will soon follow the lineup announcement.

Featured image: Virgin Money Unity Arena

Producer Sessions 019: CloZee invites listeners to her ‘Neon Jungle’ [Interview]

Producer Sessions 019: CloZee invites listeners to her ‘Neon Jungle’ [Interview]Clozee 8236 Couleur

A purveyor of lucid sounds and world bass music, the Toulouse-bred and Colorado-based producer, Chloé Herry, better known as CloZee, released her new LP, Neon Jungle, on July 3. The album drop comes after a lead-up of three shimmering singles, “Winter Is Coming,” “Air,” and the Kite String Tangle feature, “Us,” and offers a fuller exhibition of what CloZee is widely respected for in the electronic space: her ability to dissolve the geographic and regional barriers that exist in modern music through her use of textured synths, intellectual dexterity, serene melodies, and atmospheric auras.

In a recent interview, Dancing Astronaut caught up with CloZee to talk Neon Jungle and her approach to music production. Read the full interview below.


Why did you call the album Neon Jungle?

A lot of people tell me, “when I listen to your music, I feel like I’m in a forest or a jungle.” That’s very often where my inspiration comes from: landscapes, nature, organic shapes, and sounds. To me, the name Neon Jungle was a great description of my music and vision for this album, and the tour that will follow its release. It has both an electronic and organic feel, visually and aurally. For the “Neon Jungle Tour,” I had the idea of bringing a small jungle ([with] plants, leaves, [and] vines) to an indoor venue. My shows usually have a lot of lasers, lights, and visuals representing nature, so the name Neon Jungle came to mind.

Do you have a typical production process? If so, what is it?

Every track has a different process. I start with a blank project for every tune and just compose, inspired by whatever feelings I have at the moment, and the location [that] I am in. For example, “Neon Jungle” was made in Costa Rica, only with my headphones. The instrumental of “Us” was composed on the go during my 2019 tour in Australia. The full track with vocals was finished in my home studio in France. “Long Live The Chill,” featuring Sir Bishop, was originally an acoustic track, with only guitar.

What was your go-to MIDI controller for this project and why?

I mainly worked with Maschine as a MIDI controller. I love the pads. The fact you can change the scales, use the keyboard function, sample anything and make it a synth etc. Maschine is also what I use for my live sets and I always travel with it.

Was there any special VST that really took the production home?

I think Sylenth and Omnisphere, [but] it’s hard to choose. I also used a lot of Kontakt libraries for the worldly instruments, brass, orchestral ensembles, and voices. [Also,] Harmor, Sawer, Absynth, [and] Serum.

Do you have any pet peeves with your DAW?

For some reason, some VSTs are just crashing in FL Studio and I then lose the preset I was working on. So, whenever I find a great sound I immediately save the preset, because the next time I open the project, it might not be there anymore. [I’m] not sure if that’s the DAW or the original installation, but I couldn’t fix the problem. I buy all my plugins, [so I know] it has nothing to do with illegal plugins installation.

Which song on Neon Jungle took the longest to produce and why?

I think “Air.” I had to clean up a lot of the instrumental to make room for Sauvane’s voice. She sent me a lot of amazing different audio that I needed to choose from. I also spent a lot of time on the mix to keep the sound warm and soft, but still have a powerful bass and beat.

What was the most difficult sound to conquer on the project?

Still “Air,” [specifically] the main pluck synth. [I’m] not even sure [what] to call it, [but it’s] the one that appears at the beginning. I wanted it to sound very warm, organic, and calming but bouncy.

What are some production skills or methods that you have improved that have subsequently taken your production to the next level?

Since I have the Subpac and my Focal Studio monitors, my sound and mixdowns improved a lot. I never realized how much great monitors could improve sound. I hear things that I wouldn’t be able to hear before, [and] can correct [things that need correcting], and the Subpac makes all my mixes so much [more] proper in the low ends, which is as important as all the rest [of the parts of] my music.

Is there a certain producer’s sound or production technique that you admire and wish you could recreate yourself? 

I’m a huge fan of Mazde’s music and sound. I think he’s the best out there. Tipper is also one of my influences in terms of sound design and sound engineering.

Do you have any unique studio habits?

I don’t think it’s unique, but I very often have muted videos playing in the background when I compose. This is super helpful to have a break from my DAW screen and the grid. Watching an inspiring video while listening to the song I’m working on helps me to put some distance [in between me and] the technical side. I can hear and feel the song way more, and hear what works and what doesn’t. It brings me more ideas as well. 

What was the most memorable moment of Neon Jungle‘s making?

[It was when I was] producing “Perfect,” the last track of the album. I made that song for one of the most important people in my life. It was the most immediate composition of the album, because the main intentions and inspiration were very real. I sat down in the studio at midnight, knowing directly how I wanted it to sound and what I wanted to tell. At 6 a.m., I had pretty much [finished] the whole song. It took me only one more night to have the final version and finish the mix. 

Are there any rising artists that you’re currently excited about?

Il:lo, Rome In Silver, Sumthin Sumthin, Klasey Jones, and Lil Fish, just to name a few.

Are there any causes you care about at the moment?

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Black Lives Matter, and The Fund for Global Human Rights.

What is next for CloZee?

More livestreams and hopefully some festivals before the end of the year [or] whenever we can safely party again, [as well as] a Neon Jungle remix album [and an accompanying tour].

Featured image: Pierre Beteille

100 gecs announce remix LP, ‘1000 gecs & The Tree of Clues’

100 gecs announce remix LP, ‘1000 gecs & The Tree of Clues’Mgid Ao Image Mtv

100 gecs‘ meteoric rise to stardom is showing no sign of slowing down. The hyperpop duo began to gain mass notoriety and critical acclaim following the release of their 2019 debut LP, 1000 gecs. On Friday, July 10, the follow-up record, 1000 gecs & The Tree of Clues, will finally arrive.

The track list primarily comprises remixes of 1000 gecs tracks, including previously the released reworks of “Gec 2 Ü” featuring Dorian Electra, and “ringtone,” featuring Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito, and Rico Nasty. Surprisingly, Fall Out Boy appear alongside Craig Owens and Nicole Dollanganger on the “hand crushed by a mallet” remix.

1000 gecs & The Tree of Clues also features three new songs, “came to my show (intro),” “came to my show,” and “toothless.” Live performances of “800 db cloud” and “small pipe” close out the album.

Featured image: Skullcandy

Live Ambient Performance On Novation Summit

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Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a live ambient performance by r beny on the Novation Summit synthesizer.

Here’s what they have to say about the performance:

“Novation Summit through the Marantz PMD420 3-head cassette tape recorder.

This is a little bit of a departure from my normal way of playing, building up layers and layers. This is a performance of the bare skeleton of the song. Just playing the patch and living in the moment. Trying to get to the emotion of the song.

The patch for this song is called “Algae” and is included as a factory patch on the Summit in the multi-patch section. You can also find my patches in the Components app.”

r beny’s music is available on Bandcamp.

Kanye West announces candidacy for 2020 presidential election

Kanye West announces candidacy for 2020 presidential electionKanyeTrumpWhiteHouse.0 1

Kanye West took to Twitter late on the 4th of July to announce his candidacy for the 2020 US presidential election.

It’s currently unclear whether or not Kanye has filed any of the necessary paperwork for the artist turned cultural icon to enter the race, but that didn’t stop Elon Musk from backing the ticket almost instantly, replying to the original tweet West has his “full support!”

Crazier things have happened, but it’s difficult to picture a realistic route to the White House for West at the moment. Without any involvement in the recent primary season, Kanye is excluded from being on either of the two main party tickets and has likely missed the deadline to run as an independent candidate in several of the 50 states. With that being said, the possibility of Kanye as a write-in candidate in states where he has a stronger following could make a tangible difference if the race between Trump and Biden boils down to a few percent.

Kanye West dipping his feet into the political sphere is nothing new, with the rapper regularly stirring controversy with his outspoken support for President Trump. The support goes both ways, however, with President Trump stating after a recent White House visit that Kanye “could very well be” a future presidential candidate.

Featured image: Saul Loeb

118 Free Patches For The M-Audio Venom Synthesizer

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Paul Mehlhaff’s Cloudwalk Collection is a free sound library for the M-Audio Venom, featuring 118 custom sounds for the Venom synthesizer.

It features 118 single patches., including pianos, organs, pads, classic synth patches, arpeggiators, pads and more.

I am offering this soundset for free, because Venom users need more soundsets and an opportunity to see more of what this great synth can do,” notes Mehlhaff. “But if you wish to donate to my musical world, check out my ambient music projects on Bandcamp.”

Hands-On Demo Of The Black Corporation Deckard’s Voice, The Blade Runner Monosynth

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The latest video from synthesist Ben Wilson, aka DivKid, is sponsored demo of the Black Corporation Deckard’s Voice, a complete synth voice in Eurorack format. 

While video does a great job of exploring the range of possibilities offered by the Deckard’s Voice, some readers may be left wanting more, because it doesn’t really dig into creating iconic Blade Runner sounds.

The Deckard’s Voice is a monophonic synth, based on the Deckard’s Dream polyphonic synth, which itself was inspired by the classic Yamaha CS-80 and its use by Vangelis in the score for Blade Runner. In a nutshell, the module is designed to give let you create monophonic leads with an ‘Yamaha CS’ style analog sound.

In 32HP, Deckard’s Voice features an analogue oscillator, two LFOs, two envelopes, two filters and a wide range of CV ins and outs.

Topics covered:

  • 00:00 Hello & patch previews
  • 01:18 What is Deckard’s Voice?
  • 02:07 No talking tonal exploration
  • 02:52 Oscillator section
  • 03:50 Dynamic hazy acid
  • 04:54 RAW filter sound
  • 06:11 Abstract critters & experimental modulation
  • 06:38 AM overtones from the LFO
  • 07:33 AM synthesis with the velocity CV input
  • 08:57 Netflix show themes
  • 09:09 LFO section
  • 10:43 Dynamic animation with Brilliance & Velocity
  • 11:27 Random vocal & formant filter tones
  • 12:04 Exploring FM synthesis
  • 13:05 Will it dream? Polyphonic layering + FX
  • 13:43 Vibrato lead lines
  • 14:29 Dense modulation & animation

Pricing and Availability

The Deckard’s Voice is available to pre-order now, priced at $699 USD.

IK Multimedia Intros iRig Keys 2 Compact MIDI Keyboard Controller

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IK Multimedia has introduced the iRig Keys 2 Mini, the latest member of its iRig Keys 2 series of MIDI keyboard controllers.

The iRig Keys 2 Mini is optimized for mobile and laptop use, featuring 25 mini keys, compatibility with mobile and desktop devices and MIDI In/Out on 2.5mm connectors.

Features:

  • Works with iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac/PC.
  • Lightning, USB-C** and USB-A cables included.
  • Headphone out for use with the latest devices.
  • Compatible with all your favorite apps.
  • Stand-alone mode for use with outboard rigs.
  • 2.5mm MIDI IN/OUT with MIDI adaptor included.
  • SET button to save & recall custom setups.
  • Powered by your device or USB power.

Pricing and Availability

The iRig Keys 2 Mini is available now for 99.99 USD/EUR.