Reason Studios Intros Friktion Physical Modeling String Synthesizer

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Reason Studios has introduced Friktion Modeled Strings, a new string synthesizer that’s based on physical modeling.

Because it’s based on physical modeling, Friktion can be used to create the sounds of real-world instruments, or be used to create sounds that go beyond what’s possible with real-world instruments.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Friktion is a physical modeling string instrument from Reason Studios. Instead of relying on gigabytes of samples, Friktion is a synthesizer that actually models real string instruments. With clever control keys you can easily play it in a way that simply sounds real. Whether it’s a violin or an imaginary space harp is up to you.”

Features:

  • Advanced physical modeling string synthesizer
  • Way beyond samples—full control over every aspect of the sound and performance
  • Control keys for realistic expression using just a MIDI keyboard
  • Comprehensive articulation including bowing, pluck, tremolo, legato, vibrato and much more
  • Tweak your sound to perfection, or go beyond what a real instrument could
  • Comes with 140+ patches, from classic instruments to brand new sounds

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

Friktion Modeled Strings is available now for $99 USD.

British female artists are underrepresented on UK radio, study finds

British female artists are underrepresented on UK radio, a new study has found.

The Gender Disparity Radio Report, from Women in CTRL and Linda Coogan Byrne, has produced a report to provide analysis of the 20 most-played british acts across British radio stations in the period of June 2019 – 2020, and the top 100 radio airplay chart in 2020.

Broken down into male, female and collab categories, the findings on the report outline the Gender Disparity that is present in the Top 20 most played songs by British artists across 31 individual radio stations in the UK. Among the radio stations included were BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kiss, BBC radio 6, Capital FM, and Heart. Each of these radio stations played less than 25% of songs from female artists during the 12 month period.

BBC Radio 1 played 85% male music in the last year, with acts like Jorja Smith, Mahalia, and Shaybo making up BBC Radio 1Xtra’s 30% of female artists to recieve airplay. According to the report, Radio X have played no songs by female artists in the last 12 months.

You can see the full Gender Disparity Radio Report here.

In 2019, over 250 organisations pledged to tackle the music industry’s gender imbalance. The announcement was made by the PRS Foundation, expanding on the Keychange pledge, launched in February 2018 to level the male-female playing field at festivals across the world. 

Barcelona’s Primavera Sound 2019 was the first to achieve a 50-50 gender split, with more than 190 events now signed up to do the same by 2022. 

How to Use a Vocoder

Learn how to use a vocoder to create robotic vocals. Control a vocoder, like Waves’ OVox, using its built-in synth or Xfer Records’ Serum.

Dave on working with David Attenborough: “He has shown what it means to care for something and have a passion”

London MC Dave has spoken about his experience working on the same project as David Attenborough, praising the legendary broadcaster and natural historian for his inspiring ethos and passion.

The pair recently collaborated on a one-off musical special of award winning nature series Planet Earth, which is set to air on Monday 31st August on BBC One. Planet Earth: A Celebration compiles highlights from Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, with newly recorded narrations from Attenborough. The programme will also feature new music from legendary film score composer Hans Zimmer in collaboration with Jacob Shea and the Bleeding Fingers collective. The string section of the score is performed by the BBC concert orchestra, accompanied on piano by Mercury and Brit award winning artist Dave, who also went home with the best MC/vocalist gong at DJ Mag’s Best Of British awards in 2019. 

Speaking about the chance to work on the project, Dave said: “I try and lend my talent, my time, my attention – the little that I can bring – to the project, because this is with so many talented people. I just want to help.”

“David Attenborough is obviously a legend and he means a lot to me because he represents good in everything that he has done,” he added. “He has shown what it means to care for something and have a passion, and that translates to all walks of life who can take David Attenborough’s ethos towards nature and apply it to anything that you do – and that inspires me.”

Dave and the orchestra were filmed performing their contribution to the show in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios, London. According to the BBC, the programme will be “a visual and musical feast designed to lift viewers’ spirits during a time of international uncertainty.”

Hans Zimmer has also spoken about his involvement with the special, stating “There are two vital components to this – why I wanted to be involved. I come from a family that taught me at a very early age the respect for nature and respect for the ecology we live in.”

He added: “Sir David Attenborough has been making it his life’s mission to show us that the world that we share with all these other creatures, we are only a small part of.”

Learn more about Planet Earth: A Celebration here. Watch the trailer for the special below. 

Last year, as part of a competition launched by Songlines magazine and PRS Foundation, music makers were invited to remix recordings captured by Attenburough in Bali over 70 years ago.

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New William Basinski Album, Lamentations, Based on 40 Years Of Tape Loops

William Basinski has announced a new album, Lamentations, that brings together 40 years of his music:

“William Basinski’s reputation as the foremost producer of profound meditations on death and decay has long been established, but on his new album, Lamentations, he transforms operatic tragedy into abyssal beauty.

More than any other work since The Disintegration Loops, there is an ominous grief throughout the album, and that sense of loss lingers like an emotional vapor.

Captured and constructed from tape loops and studies from Basinski’s archives – dating back to 1979 – Lamentations is over forty years of mournful sighs meticulously crafted into songs. They are shaped by the inevitable passage of time and the indisputable collapsing of space – and their collective resonance is infinite and eternal.”

You can preview Lamentations below or at his Bandcamp page:

Tracks:

1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
2. The Wheel of Fortune
3. Paradise Lost
4. Tear Vial
5. O, My Daughter, O, My Sorrow
6. Passio
7. Punch and Judy
8. Silent Spring
9. Transfiguration
10. All These Too, I, I Love
11. Please, This Shit Has Got To Stop
12. Fin

Stream the ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’ original motion picture soundtrack, scored by The Chainsmokers

Stream the ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’ original motion picture soundtrack, scored by The ChainsmokersThe Chainsmokers

In recent years, The Chainsmokers have proven to be far more than just a DJ and producer duo. Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall have been the faces of Tommy Hilfiger, created their own production studio, and now, the artists have scored their first feature film, Words on Bathroom Walls.

The full soundtrack for Words on Bathroom Walls is now available to stream and showcases the duo’s evolving artistry. The 19-song soundtrack features productions of various natures, ranging from instrumental pieces to emotive and orchestral-based soundscapes to listings with production-heavy electronic backdrops. Of note, Andrew Hollander scored 16 of the soundtrack’s inclusions alongside The Chainsmokers.

Previously released singles, “Push My Luck,” which includes Taggart’s own vocals, and “Somebody,” featuring Drew Love, serve as familiar parts of the soundtrack. “If Walls Could Talk” is the first and only never-before-heard original on the soundtrack to feature a vocalist, with Taggart again assuming vocal duties on the number.

The Words on Bathroom Walls soundtrack is a bonus from Taggart and Pall, who announced a hiatus from from social media and touring in the beginning of 2020 to focus on their next album. Stream the original motion picture soundtrack below, and look out for Words on Bathroom Walls in participating theaters.

Featured image: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Akai Pro Intros EWI Solo Electronic Wind Instrument

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Akai Professional has announced a new addition to the EWI family, the EWI Solo.

The electronic wind instrument (EWI) is the first of its kind to offer a standalone user experience by including a built-in speaker, 200 sounds, and a rechargeable battery. The internal, rechargeable lithium- ion battery offers 12+ hours of play time.

The EWI Solo features 200 onboard sounds, including realistic acoustic instrument and synth sounds. The instrument’s mouthpiece features an air-pressure level sensor and bite sensor, give you precise control of volume and pitch dynamics. The EWI Solo also features FX controls to add Reverb, Delay and Chorus, plus editing facilities for Pitch, Tuning and Dual LFOs.

In addition to letting you play wirelessly, the EWI Solo offers flexible connectivity options, including USB-MIDI connectivity, 1/4-inch output, 1/8-inch headphone output and an 1/8” aux input.

For Woodwind and Brass instrumentalists, no new fingering technique is needed. EWI Solo adapts to all main fingering styles at the twist of a dial, offering flute, oboe, saxophone and EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) fingering modes.

Features:

  • Authentic wind-instrument performance and response for the digital era
  • 200 onboard acoustic and synth sounds
  • 12+ hours of play time using the rechargeable lithium-ion battery (charging adapter
    included)
  • Built-in speaker calibrated for the most natural sound reproduction experience
  • OLED display to easily view presets and parameters
  • USB port for USB-MIDI connection and battery charging
  • 1/4″ audio output, 1/8″ headphone output
  • 1/8″ auxiliary input

Pricing and Availability

The EWI Solo is available now for $499 USD.

The Radar 130: Mixed by Moodshift

The Radar 130: Mixed by MoodshiftMoodshift By Marcus Rönne 2

Moodshift is one of the latest projects to emerge as a product of 2020’s digital landscape. The new DJ/producer trio comprises Lucas Nord, Norwegian Grammy winner and Tove Lo collaborator, flyckt, previously of the indie-pop group Urban Cone, and former Kygo collaborator and remix connoisseur, Oliver Nelson. Over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the three creatives convened for weekly jam sessions, during which they devised their Moodshift concept and subsequently converted these brainstorming sessions into their increasingly popular Moodshift Monday Mixes. To date, Moodshift have released a total of 14 mixes this year.

The mixes have been accompanied by Moodshift’s debut single, “Chemistry,” a euphoric production fueled by deep leads, piano riffs, and catchy, pop-leaning vocals. The track also gave way to an uplifting video that follows a group of people in a gloomy city who find solace in the power of dance.

The new single can be heard in Moodshift’s 45-minute Radar mix, produced exclusively for Dancing Astronaut. The endeavor kicks off with the classic house mix of Cajmere’s “Brighter Days,” and segues into other deep crowd pleasers, including Diplo and SIDEPIECE‘s “On My Mind,” Duke Dumont‘s “Red Light Green Light,” Noizu‘s remix of Chris Lake and Solardo‘s “Free Your Body,” and more. The mix gives a clear outline of where the trio’s inspiration stems from, as house music masterminds wrestle with Top 40 dance hits in the succinct yet demonstrative depiction of Moodshift’s many influences.

Featured image: Marcus Rönne

Arturia Microfreak Update Adds Vocoder & More

Arturia has introduced the Arturia MicroFreak Vocoder Edition, an updated version of the MicroFreak that adds a vocoder and new synthesis capabilities.

In addition, they’re releasing a firmware update that brings the new capabilities to all MicroFreak synthesizers.

The MicroFreak Vocoder Edition is essentially the MicroFreak with new styling and a new Gooseneck electret microphone.

The vocoder features 16 frequency bands & 3 waveforms – sawtooth, pulse width and noise. The Timbre and Shape knobs adjust the response of the 16 frequency bands. You can use the removable mic or connect an external sound source via the headphone socket. The mic will be available separately for existing MicroFreak owners.

Here’s an in-depth look, via loopop, at both the MicroFreak Vocoder Edition and using the firmware with existing MicroFreak synths:

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Here’s another look, via Oscillator Sink:

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Pricing and Availability

The Arturia MicroFreak Vocoder Edition is available now with a street price of about $350 USD.