Manchester to hold ‘Rave in a Box’ event series throughout August

Manchester to hold ‘Rave in a Box’ event series throughout AugustDJing

As COVID-19 persists globally, creative live music solutions continue to evolve. First there were livestreams, then came drive-in raves. Now, residents of England will have the opportunity to attend a “Rave in a Box.”

English promoters La Discothèque, the brains behind the new live music experience, recently announced their August Puffin Box event series. Hosted in a spacious basement, groups of up to eight people from the same quarantine network will be allowed entry and granted access to a private party box. The socially-distanced boxes are disinfected between each 90-minute session, and even offer prepaid drink packages. Event co-founder, Kat Warbuton, spoke about the exciting new experience, stating,

“While we can’t go to stereotypical raves in the city, we have to adapt, so here we have a rave in a box. Manchester’s a buzzing city and everyone’s desperate to get back out but still stay safe, so this is exactly what we’re offering-ace music, exciting entertainment, decent drinks packages, a space for people to enjoy a mini-clubbing experience with friends in a safe and controlled environment.”

Visit Puffin Box’s official site for more information and check out the monthly lineup in its entirety below.

Manchester to hold ‘Rave in a Box’ event series throughout AugustPuffin Bo Lineup

Featured image: Marquee Show

ReEQ is a free plugin so good, it’s a reason to use REAPER – and it keeps getting better

Cockos’ REAPER is the stupidly affordable but endlessly customizable DAW. Just one example – this free sixteen-band EQ and spectrum analyzer, created by a user in Reaper’s JSFX*, for free, does just about everything.

ReEQ us a feature-laden parametric EQ that covers all the bases. Yes, there are other powerful EQs like this out there. But it’s tough to find anything with this many shortcuts, handy features, and audio options – and the developer just keeps adding more.

I’m aware my screenshots make no sense but I’m tired and – this UI is just too pretty not to make pictures with it. Take it up with my editor. But click through to the full version. I mean, like it’s so pretty and useful.

So while this is old news in one sense (2018), even the last few months have brought new improvements. There are now analog-modeled low and high channel filter modes, 16 filter nodes (instead of 8), better performance on Windows, and – crucially – a PDF manual so you know what in the heck is going on.

And did I mention this is free / donationware? (So do put something in that hat, eh?) It’s even under a generous MIT open source license. It’s a labor of love, and it shows – that love comes your way. Experts and beginners alike I think will find both creative sound design and composition applications, and precision mixing and mastering uses.

If you like the visualization, you can also use the spectrum analyzer version of the same even when not EQing.

Note the relation of filter algorithms to Ableton Live’s excellent EQ8 (Andy Simper/Cytomic).

Check the full forum page for all the updates:

ReEQ and ReSpectrum, parametric equalizer and spectrum analyzer [COCKOS Forum]

You just unzip the download and drop it in the Effects folder inside your Reaper install folder. (On Windows, that’s actually Reaper > InstallData > Effects, meaning this Mac tutorial would be a little confusing, but now you know.)

I’m glad to just breeze through the new manual and shortcuts, but there’s also this recently-released, in-depth video hands-on, which discusses features like mid/side:

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Thanks to Jonathan Adams Leonard for both tips.

Happy fReEQing, then.

*What’s JSFX? Well, duh, obviously it’s a reference to “Jesusonic” Effects, which in turn is a reference to that time that Cockos founder Justin led an effort to build a Linux-based real-time effects platform … and then built the prototype into a giant plywood crucifix. (That sort of bucked the trend of portability that has defined most of the 21st Century, but we all have our own cross to bear, I guess.)

CrusFX, get it? (That pun is possibly the only reason anyone thought this was a good idea.)

Some history – and the standalone version still (might) run for you:

Fun fact, this is one of the first stories I ever published on CDM, back in January 2005:

And the actual SDK documentation is on the REAPER site. JSFX is based on a scripting language called EEL2, so no relation to (JS) JavaScript or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal or Jessica Simpson or the Jersey Shore:

Paul Kalkbrenner shares new single, ‘Parachute’: Listen

It follows an EP released earlier this year

DJ Mag Staff

Monday, July 27, 2020 – 12:54

Paul Kalkbrenner has shared a new single.

Last weekend, Tomorrowland hosted a digital festival, with German artist Paul Kalkbrenner taking to main stage for an hour long performance. During his set, he debuted a brand new track for fans: ‘Parachute’.

A festival-ready vocal cut, ‘Parachute’ is out now, and follows Kalkbrenner’s four-track EP ‘Speak Up’, released in June this year. 

Check out the producer performing ‘Parachute’ at Tomorrowland below.

In May, Kalkbrenner also shared a studio session video from his studio in Berlin where he previewed some of the ‘Speak Up’ EP. You can watch that here.

Last year, Kalkbrenner landed the No. 91 spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, up four places from 2018.

Bandcamp’s revenue share days have generated more than $20 million for artists

Bandcamp’s revenue share days have generated more than $20 million for artistsBandcamp

Bandcamp has been actively supporting artists on the platform since the very start of quarantine, when the music distribution site announced that it would waive the 10% to 15% revenue fees that it usually collects to give back to artists on “Bandcamp Fridays.” After hosting four revenue share days since the start of quarantine, Bandcamp has put more than $20 million into the pockets of artists and labels.

According to the distribution platform’s co-founder/CEO, Ethan Diamond,

“fans have bought more than $75 million worth of music and merch[andise] directly from artists and labels, and to date, fans have paid artists over half a billion(!) dollars on Bandcamp.”

In celebration of these achievements, Bandcamp will continue to host a revenue share day on the first Friday of each month throughout 2020. The next “Bandcamp Friday” will take place on August 7, 2020, with succeeding revenue days set for September 4, October 2, November 6, and December 4 of 2020. Read the company’s statement here.

Featured image: Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Watch Afrorack play his modular and home-built instruments live

Raw, fierce electric sounds emanate from this more abstract set by Afrorack, aka Brian Bamanya, of Uganda. Now you get a rich video from Berlin’s CTM Festival earlier this year.

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Actually, I’ll be totally honest. Back in January I was really involved in Brian’s polyrhythm-laden take on techno, and maybe after the onslaught of sound and absence of sleep at CTM, I think I didn’t fully appreciate this set as much as I could. I enjoyed it, for sure, and was glad I squeezed it into some insane and generally impossible program for that night – CTM is a reminder of how much overabundant musical goodness there is, and I hope we share that spirit.

But half a year and one pandemic later, this sound speaks to me more now than it did then – something about its visceral, destroyed, static landscape. Maybe our mental state is more like this set now. So – for once, the time-delayed video may be perfect.

It also does feature Brian’s distinctive rhythmic approach, cycling atop the more brutal sounds like an additional layer of patterning. It’s definitely the sound of the synths, but it’s a great journey.

Oh and brutal as in ‘Brute from Arturia, too, natch.

I’m never really objective about music, nor would I want to be. Brian is a fantastic and multi-talented musician and inventor – and we were truly honored to have his contributions to our MusicMakers Hacklab, too. I miss you all; sure we all miss being together.

Oh, and this Afrorack (in Uganda) is not related to Afrorack the organization in Chicago. That organization has ambitions not only about providing equal access to music and music technology but also using those venues as a platform for expanding education in engineering and technology. So I do hope Afrorack the person and Afrorack the organization get to meet in person, across their respective continents. It’s another reason to remember that ultimately, travel still has value – even if we have to wait.

If you want more Brian, there’s more Brian.

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Brian’s own site copiously documents his output and ideas, and also brings together some DIY resources.


This may surprise some people, but there are other people in Africa, one of the world’s largest landmasses. (Something like 1.3 billion + and growing, I think.) But here are just a few, with Brian on this thoroughly excellent compilation:

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers2 2

Perhaps the most anticipated virtual festival of the year, Tomorrowland Around The World and its dance festivities touched down on the digital island of Pāpiliōnem from July 25 – 26. So far, Tomorrowland Around The World has been the only festival of stature to charge for admission. It was also one of the most ambitious digital festivals yet, complete with several virtual stages and a full internet-supported island for ravers to explore. According to viewing statistics from the weekend, viewers were more than willing to pay for that extra quality. Take a look at some of the key numbers from the weekend below.

More than 1 million viewers tuned in live to watch Tomorrowland Around The World. For context, Tomorrowland typically draws in 400,000 fans to its in-person event.

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers1 2 1
Featured image: Tomorrowland

Four different video studios around the world were used to film the sets. Green screen studios constructed in Belgium (Boom), the United States (Los Angeles), Brazil (São Paulo), and Australia (Sydney) hosted the 60-plus artists who stopped by to film their sets prior to the event.

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers9
Featured image: Tomorrowland

38 digital cameras were built into the virtual concert spaces, including six 4K Ultra HD cameras, allowing for rapid cuts between shots at the director’s discretion.

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers1.2 2
Featured image: Tomorrowland

300 Terabytes of raw footage were recorded. According to Tomorrowland’s press team, it took many different render engines working 24/7 across four weeks to process all the data.

Tomorrowland Around The World draws more than 1 million viewers4
Featured image: Tomorrowland

Fans who missed out on the live event will be able to stream the sets again beginning July 29, 2020. Relive passes are available for purchase here and will allow viewers to watch all the recorded sets at their leisure for two weeks.

Featured image: Tomorrowland

Play it: Zedd, DoodleChaos create interactive Minecraft game

Play it: Zedd, DoodleChaos create interactive Minecraft game9EF6E979 B748 4235 9FF8 BFB01B831615

Zedd‘s gamer status considered, his newest collaboration might be his most natural one yet. The producer has partnered with YouTube creator, DoodleChaos, to craft a music-driven, Beat Saber-esque Minecraft game that challenges players to clear levels without missing a beat of the song playing. To test their beat-matching skills, players actively listen to the track as it plays, which syncs with their movements. It’s dance diversion that requires a little dexterity. Game on.

Gamers can get a sense of how the newly-minted Minecraft addition will work in the “Minecraft Music Video” for “Funny,” Zedd’s first single of 2020. The visual, crafted by DoodleChaos, is a sonic simulation of the game that anyone can try. Download the world and resource pack for Minecraft here.

Featured image: Alive Coverage

Medasin remakes Toto’s ‘Africa’

Medasin remakes Toto’s ‘Africa’Medasin Photo By Luis Castro

If anyone is equipped to remix Toto‘s classic 1982 hit, “Africa,” it’s veritable remix virtuoso, Medasin. In 2017, his remake of Portugal. The Man‘s “Feel it Still” garnered a nomination for “Remix of the Year” at the inaugural Electronic Music Awards and his stellar resume of remakes also includes tracks from Martin Garrix, ScHoolboy Q, Jahkoy, and DJ Khaled.

Medasin’s “Africa,” released on July 24, is a pared-down reimagining of the original track. Stripping the song of vocals, Medasin pays homage to Toto’s classic through a tropical and pulsing repetition of its key melody. The result is a nostalgic, altogether new take on the definitive anthem. Stream Medasin’s version of “Africa” below.

Featured image: Luis Castro

Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE, Louis The Child, and more top virtual Lolla2020 ticket

Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE, Louis The Child, and more top virtual Lolla2020 ticketAlisonWonderland SHAKYBEATS2017 0505 192823 8517 PP Copy

For four nights, Lollapalooza will take over YouTube to stream Lolla2020, the digital replacement for its would-be in-person iteration. The no-cost livestream dismisses disappointment with 2020 event cancellations across the board with a genre-fluid lineup of talent that caters to music aficionados of all tastes. Alison Wonderland, Carnage, NGHTMRE, ZHU, Louis The Child, SAYMYNAME, and Kaskade are slated to perform live, as are Vic Mensa, H.E.R., and Pink Sweat$, among a host of other artists.

The live appearances will be complemented by throwback sets from past Lollapaloozas. Viewers will get the chance to relive performances from Ellie Goulding, Run The Jewels, Paul McCartney, Chance The Rapper, and many, many more. Cumulatively, Lolla2020 comprises more than 150 artist cameos, including local artists whose talents will be presented in collaboration with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The livestream will broadcast exclusively from YouTube and the festival’s website from July 30 – August 2 at 6 p.m. EST each day. Lolla2020 organizers have partnered with Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and When We All Vote with an overarching aim to raise awareness of each organization for the duration of the four-day affair.

Featured image: Shaky Knees