Notch just today dropped a video showing off why this is cool, which you should definitely watch:
And the software hit, too. It’s unceremoniously dubbed 0.9.23.195. (I hear the kids now love lots of decimal places, though.)
But wow – if you’ve got an RTX GPU, you can take advantage of all of this:
NVIDIA Virtual Background support (AI-driven background removal, without the green screen)
NVIDIA AR Body Tracker (AI-powered 3D skeleton tracking using a 2D video feed – no depth camera required)
NVIDIA AR Body Tracker Skeleton (and you get the skeleton tracking)
An interactive waterfall sample, a sample showing you how to work this background subtraction stuff into larger contexts, and templates for all the new features
It’s not just NVIDIA. You also get the latest Kinect Azure SDK support for even more tracking joy, and Kinect 1, 2, and 4 all get expanded Nodes for motion capture data processing and skeleton manipulation. (Azure SDK 1.4.1 and Body Tracking SDK 1.1.0 were included.)
That means if you can’t get your hands on a new RTX card, but do happen to have an old Kinect lying around and a PC capable of Notch, this is still very useful.
This is on top of depth camera and Kinect features added late last year, plus a ton of other refinements for processing color, light, and other features and fixes. Check the changelog:
But let me say explicitly – it’s not just that you add some kind of support for this stuff, but that it’s all natively part of the modular, node-patching interface of Notch itself. That lets you quickly experiment with building larger creations out of this tool.
And what that can do artistically is just astounding. In case you missed it, definitely do check out what Defasten shared with us in his video for me back in February. Also, it’s worth rewatching that video and imagining what you could do just inserting yourself into a scene with these features.
With all due respect, I hope this eliminates a number of trends:
Firstly, I won’t complain if this kills the use of truly horrifically-bad tracking as some kind of de facto art-y thing. It’d be nice to see that used intentionally, and not because it’s the only thing anyone has working.
Secondly, more importantly, the ability to transform our identity in virtual space to me suggests a chance to escape the panopticon of selfies and imposed “real” identity online.
Plus… I mean, we have these computers. Haven’t you wanted to be expressive and free of your own body basically since the first time you saw Tron as a kid? Sometimes there’s more on our insides than people see on our outsides.
Those reflections aside, Notch is awesome. Go be with Notch.
Spotify has expanded upon its “Daily Mix” series with a new curated service, “Spotify Mixes.” The service pulls from the listener’s favorite artists, categorizing special mixes based on genre, artist, and decade. “Spotify Mixes” expands upon the streaming service’s “Daily Mix” playlists, curating songs based on each user’s listening habits as a means to introduce them to new music based on their favorites.
Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer, Gustav Söderström, said,
“There isn’t just one Spotify experience. There are actually more like 345 million different Spotify experiences–one for each listener. Every day, half a trillion events–whether they are searches, listens, likes, or countless other actions–take place on Spotify, powering and guiding our machine learning system. This gives us the ability to drive discovery in a way that audio has never seen before.”
The new service can be found in the Made For You section on each listener’s Spotify profile. The streaming service intends to have each playlist become more personalized over time, based on what users listen to and gravitate toward. The “Spotify Mixes” feature will be available for both Premium and Free listeners.
The rollout of the new feature follows the introduction of high fidelity (HiFi) music streaming in February. HiFi will be introduced to select markets throughout the year as a paid upgrade. The streaming giant additionally launched a new website called Loud & Clear, which aims to introduce transparency regarding artist payouts and royalties.
Tim: The Official Biography of Avicii will be published in November
DJ Mag Staff
Monday, April 12, 2021 – 12:17
Details of an official Avicii biography have been announced.
Tim: The Official Biography of Avicii, which was initially set for release in 2020, has now been confirmed for a 2021 release date.
The book has been written by Swedish journalist Måns Mosesson, with a press release stating that it intends to celebrate the late Avicii’s life and music, while painting “an honest picture of Tim and his search in life, not shying from the difficulties that he struggled with.”
Busta Rhymes has announced a 25th anniversary edition of his debut album.
New York-born rapper Busta Rhymes is reissuing his 1996 platinum-selling album, ‘The Coming’, as a digital-only release next month.
The album, which lands on the 16th April, features 36 tracks in total – including the 12 songs on the original tracklist, alongside newly remastered versions and instrumentals of each.
There’s also eight versions of ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check’, the album’s debut single that peaked at number 8 on the UK and U.S. charts. The single also received a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 39th Grammy Awards, and was nominated for Best Breakthrough Video at 1996 Video Music Awards.
Busta Rhymes recently expressed interest in a battle on Timbaland and Swizz Beatz VERZUZ webcast, the most recent of which saw Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah and Raekwon face-off in a rap battle.
Check out the tracklist for ‘The Coming’ below.
01. ‘The Coming’
02. ‘Do My Thing’
03. ‘Everything Remains Raw’
04. ‘Abandon Ship’ (Featuring Rampage The Last Boy Scout)
05. ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check’
06. ‘It’s A Party’ (Featuring Zhane)
07. ‘Hot Fudge’
08. ‘Ill Vibe’ (Featuring Q-Tip)
09. ‘Flipmode Squad Meets Def Squad’ (Featuring Jamal, Redman, Keith Murray, Rampage The Last Boy Scout, Lord Have Mercy)
10. ‘Still Shining’
11. ‘Keep It Movin’’ (Featuring Rampage The Last Boy Scout, Dinco, Milo And Charlie Brown)
12. ‘The Finish Line’
13. ‘End Of The World (Outro)’
14. ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check (The World Wide Remix)’ (Featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard)
15. ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check (The Jay-Dee Bounce Remix)’
16. ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check (The Jay-Dee Other Shit Remix)’
17. ‘It’s A Party (Allstar Remix)’ (Featuring SWV)
18. ‘It’s A Party (The Ummah Remix)’ (Featuring SWV)
19. ‘The Coming (Instrumental)’
20. ‘Do My Thing (Instrumental)’
21. ‘Abandon Ship (Instrumental)’
22. ‘Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check (Instrumental)’
Even as NVIDIA has a keynote with simulated robots making the rounds of a BMW factory, some of the GPU giant’s latest brings industry- and enterprise-grade tools to artists, too. That also could prove relevant as the pandemic has folks looking for work.
Music and live visual work means one thing – stuff has to happen live. And so that makes these chips more interesting. It means that fundamentally what musicians and artists do, which is to work with materials live in time, now matches up with the way graphics (and AI) chips work. Since they’re crunching numbers faster, it means the ability to create “liquid” interfaces. (That was the concept interactive visionary and legend Joy Mountford introduced years ago in a talk we had together on the South by Southwest stage, and it’s stuck with me.)
Now, I won’t lie, some of this is awaiting GDC, the game dev event. That’s because when you don’t have a BMW factory-sized budget, the punk-style approach of gaming has a ton of appeal. (You can see a bunch of gamers complaining on YouTube actually, I think misunderstanding that this is not a gaming keynote and … that’s coming later and … NVIDIA has always had workstation customers. But we know gaming trolls are not the most reasonable folks and – I for one enjoy watching Mercedes Benz simulate the Autobahn. It’s the Kraftwerk in me. GTA: Normal German Life Simulator. The Edeka parking lot is off the chain.)
But having listened to NVIDIA talk about their new offerings, I think there’s more here than just pro and enterprise applications and the usual workstation / gaming PC divide.
The big pillar here that impacts audiovisual creation is Omniverse. I wrote about this connected platform for collaboration and exchange of all things 3D, built on open tools like Pixar’s very own USD file format (also a subtle hint that y’all can make bank with this stuff):
This week, we get a lot of the questions answered about where NVIDIA was going strategically.
But yeah, if you’re wondering if this could allow audiovisual artists and musicians to connect to big-budget projects – at a time when even the shows you watch at night (Mandalorian, cough) are made with these tools? You bet.
First, the most exciting detail for me was a commitment that Omniverse for individuals and artists will always be free – meaning anyone can get at this platform. That also means that individual 3D artists and AV creators can play with big industry – so it’s a source of gigs.
Also, the Omniverse pricing is not astronomical for those “enterprise” use cases. A small team can buy into it at a per-seat license of $1800 a year, plus a $25,000 cost for a nucleus server. That’s within reach of interactive and design shops, and it seems NVIDIA may even work to adapt to those kinds of small use cases even beyond that.
I expect NVIDIA may even be underestimating the demand for those individuals – partly because as their tools and partner tools get massively more powerful and easier-to-use, it may not even take an entire team to do great work.
Now, the wait is on just for connectors. 3DS Max, Photoshop, Maya, Substance, and awesomely, Unreal Engine are all supported. But keep an eye out for Blender, Marvelous Designer, Solidworks, and Houdini for even more sign this is on.
It’s an open beta; keeping an eye on the convention is a chance to stay posted:
It’s tough to mention anything to do with semiconductors right now, given the global shortage that’s on. But yeah, the new pro RTX architecture looks predictably insanely great, for anyone doing real-time visuals, rendering, graphics, and AI.
So, if you’re planning to make your proud reentry into music festivals in 2022 with that fully immersive 3D opera involving live artificial intelligence, you’ll want to go ahead and write these into the grant application.
Desktops get the A5000 and A4000. Laptops get A2000, A3000, A4000, and A5000.
Either way, you get all the new technology for tons of creative use. Also, even though there’s the mention of “pro,” these laptop chips fit in low-power, thin and light machines. You could wind up buying them in a reasonably inexpensive notebook computer and using it to run a live stream.
Even apart from all the utterly essential graphics applications, that’s good news for music, because the ongoing pandemic ripples are likely to disrupt at least some international travel for the foreseeable future. Oh yeah, and it also means thin-and-light PCs with NVIDIA architectures to compete with Apple’s own silicon solutions. (I wouldn’t write out Apple from possibly future pro interoperability with these architectures, too.)
But the performance gains are huge – in short:
RT cores with up to 2X the previous generation’s throughput (for tracing your rays, shading your whatever, all that jazz)
Third-generation Tensor Cores, also up to 2X throughput (so you can make a HAL that might open the pod bay doors even before someone has to ask)
CUDA cores (2.5X FP32 throughput) for … everything (and possibly even some audio/music applications, but certainly anything that uses the word ‘render’ in it)
Specific to desktop:
Up to 24GB GPU memory (or even 48GB with a two-GPU NVLink rig)
Virtualization (tell the server admin)
PCIe Gen 4 (twice the previous bandwidth – yeah, you might want your actual data transfer to catch up with the chip specs above, so this is essential)
Specific to laptop:
Third-gen Max-Q – so it doesn’t sound like a you’re vacuuming the carpet any more (“whisper” quiet is the phrase you want)
Up to 16 GB GPU memory
Also specific to pretty high-end workstation laptops, the the NVIDIA T1200 and NVIDIA T600 refresh of the Turing architecture is out. (That either means something to you because you use multiple-application workflows, or nothing to you and is a cool name.)
I might note, too, that these don’t look quite like the specs of that Apple Silicon stuff – not at the M1 level. I think it’s safe to say that for now, these are different use cases. But I also wouldn’t worry about it, either – the general scene is that working with 3D, video, AI, and streaming all get substantially easier in 2021 industry-wide, once chips get out there.
I also can imagine making an investment this year that lasts a good while, which is what happens when you do make a generational leap.
AI on the cloud
Without going into too much detail (I’ll leave that to NV), there is also a bunch of news this week for delivering GPU acceleration and (crucially for servers) AI computation via the cloud. There are a lot of “cool demo!” capabilities – machine translation, speech recognition, face recognition, eye contact, and live video processing continue to evolve through machine learning techniques from NVIDIA. (Yes, that also means more uncanny valley stuff and questions about the fabric of society, surveillance, and reality.)
But it means the ability to do stuff with big volumes of data, and in a way that doesn’t actually require you to be a huge enterprise to use.
This also deals with science – meaning artists who do understand machine learning now can make these topics relatable to the public. That’s potentially important, as we live in a world that demands more scientific understanding. (NVIDIA included an AstraZeneca chemistry example – and suddenly our lives are all revolving around that chemistry.)
I’ve been critical of some of the very examples NVIDIA uses here – like Spotify making playlist personalization more “efficient.” That’s nothing new – automating music based on trends and profit is basically as old as the music industry. But to really be able to criticize these things, I think it matters that musicians can understand, re-engineer, explain, and advocate with a solid grounding in the science and technology behind the topic. In the case of music, it’s now more complex to talk about the impact of playlists when they’re AI-driven than when you could point to something as intuitive as “payola.”
But science? Yeah, you can do genome analysis on your laptop.
And they continue to advance the state of the art in machine learning – even with smaller data sets:
Watch this space
I realize this was a very niche look at this stuff and will cause anyone not familiar with the area to have their eyes glaze over.
But AI + graphics + 3D + collaboration capabilities will pour into more recognizable use cases soon, powered by this tech.
And watch this space for what this might mean for artists, musicians, and creativity using tools like Unreal. Because there is no question in my mind that Unreal and Blender might well be mentioned in the same breath as Ableton Live and a Eurorack rig more frequently in the coming months and years.
But hey, at the very least, maybe tonight you’ll dream about standing on top of a surrealist skyscraper, gazing up at a King Kong-sized graphics card, and shouting at it “when are you shipping? why do these crypto people keep buying you? I just want to play some video games!“
Giant video card is listening. (Cue 2001-style Ligeti soundtrack… aeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee……)
Also, this is super cute – and great to see what young people are doing with this stuff, especially knowing this is a tough time for them and they deserve some fresh opportunities.
Alongside the detailed instructional video, Mars Gizmo offers fans a list of optimal filament colors, glue, and basic 3D printers. The model designs can be downloaded here. For additional 3D printing tutorials, fans can watch Mars Gizmo’s channel for instructions on Pokemon, Avengers, and other unique designs.
A judge has ruled on the legal battle regarding alleged copyright infringement between ARTY and Marshmello, with the decision coming out in favor of Marshmello. The suit began in 2019, after ARTY claimed that Marshmello had allegedly stolen the melody for 2018’s “Happier” with Bastille from his 2014 remix of OneRepublic’s “I Lived.”
California US District Judge Philip S. Gutie ruled in favor of Marshemllo, Bastille’s Dan Smith, and producer Steve Mac by stating that ARTY had no legal grounds to sue due to the terms of his “I Lived” contract with OneRepublic. The contract states,
“I acknowledge and agree that the services rendered (or to be rendered) by Remixer hereunder do not entitle Remixer or me to any ownership or financial interest in the underlying musical composition.”
With the ruling on this case, a potential precedent that those who remix songs do not have legal rights to the work regarding copyright infringement may have been set. ARTY’s attorney had been Richard Busch, who famously represented Marvin Gaye’s estate in the “Blurred Lines” legal case.
Judge Gutie wrote in his ruling,
“From the terms of the contract it is clear that Plaintiff disclaimed ‘any ownership or financial interest’ in the Remix Composition. As such, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff’s infringement claims because Plaintiff disclaimed his ownership and ifinancial interests in the Arty Elements.”
ARTY’s initial claim had been that “Happier” used remixed elements from his remix of OneRepublic’s “I Lived.” While many copyright suits pertaining to music focus on the underlying composition, ARTY’s claim centered on the song’s beat and other components. “Happier” had climbed to the top of the dance charts upon its release in 2018, sitting at No. 1 for 31 consecutive weeks and snagging a double-platinum certification.
MK, Anabel Englund, and Lee Foss are back together once again, dropping off a new two-track EP titled, Break Away. The EP reunites the artists under the Pleasure State alias, and it is their first output under the shared banner since their 2014 hit, “Ghost In The System.” Break Away features title single “Break Away” in addition to “Take My Time.” Both releases find a way to merge club-worthy house undertones with Englund’s polarizing vocals, luring the listener in each step of the way.
The Pleasure State reunion is in honor of the 100th release on Foss’ Repopulate Mars imprint. Foss offered his thoughts on Break Away in an official statement, noting,
“I’m so proud that MK, Anabel, and I could bring back our group Pleasure State to mark Repopulate Mars’s 100th release with some of our best songwriting and production. It’s an important milestone for the label and I couldn’t think of a better way to ring it in.”
Pleasure State officially minted things with the supergroup’s debut EP in 2014, though MK, Englund, and Foss had been known to be writing together as early as 2012. Break Away is a satisfying reunion of the three, whether just for a fleeting two-track appearance, or an allusion to more future material underway.
If you have a TikTok, odds are you’ve heard the pitched and slowed audio clip from Issaam Alnajjar‘s viral superhit, “Hadal Ahbek.” The soundbite itself doesn’t reflect a particular “trend,” but the video-sharing platform is flooded with users exploiting and misconstruing Alnajjar’s Arabian lyrics. Of course, all publicity is good publicity—the original song gained global acclaim from TikTok, propelling it to the No. 1 spot on Spotify’s US and Global Viral 50 Charts. “Hadal Ahbek” is the first Arabic song to catch on worldwide as a viral number one hit.
Well, Canadian hitmakers Loud Luxury landed the opportunity to westernize the Jordanian pop tune. The electronic duo have converted Alnajjar’s infectious hook into a catchy dance anthem; moreover, they enlisted Iraqi-Canadian singer/songwriter Ali Gatie to deliver vocals in English above the future-house beat. Released by Republic Records in tandem with the all-new Universal Arabic Music, “Turning Me Up (Hadal Ahbek)” is a club-ready revision of a viral soundbite.
The Dutch DJ sold the NFT via auction site SuperRare
Monday, April 12, 2021 – 11:43
Don Diablo sold the first-ever hour-long concert NFT for 600 Ethereum or the equivalent of around $1.2 million. The 60-minute show, titled Destination Hexagonia, was created exclusively for the auction and filmed over a year as a collaboration with videographer Paul Snijder, with green screen FX and 3D rendered characters and sets, all in keeping with Don’s sci-fi aesthetic. The NFT was sold as a one-of-one and will be delivered to the auction winner via a unique USB stick, which contains the video file.
Of the auction, Don said: “At this point, we almost feel like this particular piece has become priceless because we worked on it for almost a year and put an incredible amount of love and effort into it. What’s next? I’ve got some incredibly exciting collaborations lined up and I can not wait to share it with the world very soon, this is just the beginning.”
Don’s also founded his own HEXAGON Foundation, “which Don has created in order to help artists in the NFT space.” Money from the auction will be invested back in the foundation. It’s not yet clear if the video will be made available to all now that the auction is complete, or if it’s the sole property of the NFT owner. You can get a sneak peek at the concert in the trailer video below.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.