Spitfire Audio has shared another free virtual instrument in their LABS series, Autoharp.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
“Expand your sound palette with this autoharp, the new backbone to your folk-inspired score or track. Plucked, strummed and expertly recorded by composer Christian Henson at Castlesound Studios, it also features an extra FX signal made by feeding the autoharp through an old VOX amp, for a grittier sound — a classic instrument, reimagined.”
After a little over six years of inactivity on the albums end, Porter Robinson is back.
In a Q&A-style follow-up to his Worlds successor, Nurture, Robinson took to Reddit to answer fans’ questions via an AMA hosted on r/porter_robinson. In some ways, the post-release Reddit AMA, hosted on April 29, became a new tradition for Robinson, who notably held one after the revelation of Worlds in 2014. Spanning his lyrical approaches to his philanthropic efforts with the Robinson Malawi Fund, the Reddit AMA leaves virtually no stone unturned. DancingAstronaut presents highlights from the AMA below.
Like just about everyone, Porter Robinson has experienced imposter syndrome, but has some tips for how to handle it when it strikes.
“Trying to Feel Alive” was the “hardest vocal” on Nurture to “get right.”
Robinson’s advice to lyric writers? Write down any turn of phrase that resonates with you for creative safekeeping.
He’s not satisfied with his own music unless he feels as “immersed” as possible; he wants to be able to “GO there,” where the music should take him.
Whereas Virtual Self conceptually began with images that “would be the core of the inspiration,” Nurture “came from a certain feeling” in Robinson’s heart, and he would take photos that “captured that feeling.
“Mother” was written with Robinson’s mother in mind, who was a pillar of strength for their family amid his brother’s cancer diagnosis, which led the producer to establish the Robinson Malawi fund.
Robinson never wanted to make a second Worlds; reinventing himself is one of the things that “drives” him.
To get himself out of creative slumps, he’ll explore techniques that he isn’t very familiar with.
In the closing moments of Secret Sky 2, Porter Robinson confirmed Second Sky would be making a return to the Bay Area this fall in celebration of his sophomore album, Nuture. After debuting the in-person festival in 2019, the Grammy-nominated producer is now set to run it back at the festival’s new location of Cesar E. Chavez Park from September 3 – 5 in Berkeley, California.
After uncovering the sophomore edition’s lineup day-by-day, Robinson has now secured its entire nine-name roster including Madeon, Jai Wolf, WAVEDASH, Jyocho, Toro y Moi, Jon Hopkins, Jacob Collier, Knower, and—of course—a Nurture live performance from the event founder himself.
Fans can register for early access to tickets here. The pre-sale will start at 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST on May 5. If Second Sky is unable to safely happen this fall, the festival will be rescheduled for May 14 – 15, 2022.
Pierce Fulton has died; he was 28 years old. The producer’s brother, Griffin, delivered the news to Fulton’s fans via social media, expressing that his younger brother had succumbed to a long and tragic struggle with his mental health on Thursday, April 29. Fulton is survived by his parents, his brother, sister, and wife.
In his note, which you can read in full below, Fulton’s brother pays homage to the beloved producer, thanking family, friends, and first responders, and ultimately, imploring readers to treat their mental health with the utmost concern and care. Grieving fans and contemporaries are encouraged to leave thoughts, condolences, memories, and more at firstname.lastname@example.org. The elder Fulton brother also expresses his gratitude, noting that Pierce’s family will be forming an organization dedicated to, “real and lasting positive change,” similar to how Avicii‘s family has continued to carry the artist’s legacy with the Tim Bergling Foundation.
Pierce Fulton was among the brightest torch carriers on the scene amid EDM’s global explosion into the mainstream over the previous decade. Fulton’s 2014 hits, “Kuaga (Lost Time)” and “Runaway” still stand as some of the most treasured and adored landmarks of that moment in time for dance music, and Fulton’s impact on the larger genre is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
If you or someone you know are struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, and need support, we encourage you to reach out to the following resources:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255), is available 24/7. The Crisis Text Line is a free text-message service that provides 24/7 support. Text a message to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor immediately. Resources from the NSPL are available online, here. Resources from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) can be found, here. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National toll-free Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Tiësto has once again lent his hand in fashioning a prestigious remix, this one of Sofia Carson‘s “Fool’s Gold.” Turning up the BPM and employing his token sound design in collaboration with the former Austin & Ally star, Tiësto issues the “Fools Gold (24 Karat Gold Edition)” on the heels of the March original, which was Carson’s first release of 2021.
Sofia Carson is no stranger to toplining on dance tracks, having previously collaborated with the likes of Tracy Young, R3HAB, and DJ Laszlo. Tiësto’s rework of the pop offering provides an electronic foundation for Carson to indirectly flaunt this strength. Hear it all unfold via the “Fool’s Gold (24 Karat Gold Edition)” official music video below.
Moby shared this music video for ‘Natural Blues’ (Reprise Version), from his upcoming album Reprise.
Reprise sees Moby revisiting his electronic music and arranging it for acoustic instruments. Moby says that Reprise is less of a greatest hits record and more of a chance to reflect on the way in which art can adapt over time to different settings and contexts.
Together with the Budapest Art Orchestra, he has re-envisioned some of his most recognizable rave classics and anthems with new arrangements for orchestra and acoustic instruments, joined by guest artists from across the musical spectrum, including Kris Kristofferson, Gregory Porter, Mark Lanegan, Víkingur Ólafsson, Skylar Grey and Amythyst Kiah.
To everyone impacted by COVID-19 in India, families and friends, and those who have lost around the world – I hope we all take a moment to pause and think of you.
We need empathy for all crises and challenges, but this one is unique in that people are facing the same virus – if experiencing the reality of it in sometimes profoundly different ways. I know that the urgent catastrophic state of India is reaching a lot of you, whether you’re there now or connected through friends and family.
That may mean you need a break from the news, so back to that shortly – but meanwhile, I want to give some space over to this compilation. (And if you’ve done something similar, please send it in – I know not everyone has as big a platform, so weird noise music or whatever also welcome.)
Arjun Vagale, aka AsymetriK (also the name of his label project), is one of the Indian stars to earn some larger international success, including Europe’s festivals and clubs. But he’s also been a voice for some of India’s lesser-known artists. So this compilation also features some of those other producers working now in their scene:
From the description:
With the catastrophic second wave of COVID-19, INDIA is in crisis. There is an acute shortage of oxygen tanks, ventilators & beds – with even the biggest hospitals sending out SOS requests for help. As of 26th April 2021, there were over 17 million cases – over 300,000 reported in a single day. Our healthcare infrastructure is crippled – the system is broken! It’s now up to each of us to do our bit and help. As artists sitting at home, perhaps the best help we can offer is via our music.
This compilation is our effort to raise funds for the Hemkunt Foundation, an NGO doing on-ground COVID-19 relief work and supplying oxygen to critical patients. We are deeply grateful for their fearless service to our communities.
Our compilation features unreleased music from some of the finest electronic music producers from India, and is available via Bandcamp exclusively. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Hemkunt Foundation.
There are more resources to follow – artist filmbeatz was tracking some, but this one has been unpublished; I’ll find out if there are more:
You can also donate directly to the foundation Arjun features in his compilation. (I can’t speak directly to that, but at least value the endorsement of these artists.)
Folks in India or with knowledge of the situation, if you have other suggestions, please comment.
This is obviously all not going to be “over” any time soon, meaning as parts of the world do regain the ability to gather, we have an opportunity to spend that time and care with each other also directing effort to getting the rest of the world on its feet again, too. Knowing there is a lot of hurt around the world, that ability to care for one another may be necessary to our own recovery. And it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Please keep other tips coming. Thanks to Polish DJ Kasia Gościńska for pointing me to this one and her own ongoing activism.
No money for a high-end game console? Make it out of paper, code it in 16-bit DOS, and give it an epic soundtrack on cheap machines, like SunVox creator Alexander Zolotov.
Honestly, I can’t quite find the words for this, because I’m too carried away by his 2009 album Back to the Sources, but suffice to say prolific developer Sasha aka NightRadio also has a wild punk DIY game creation history. And we’ve been getting a fresh diet of those early days, from the creator of beloved tools like SunVox. (It’s a massively powerful modular/tracker synth/music arrangement tool that runs on very un-powerful hardware.)
But yeah, just watch this. The place: Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Western Siberia, if you skipped the 2019 World Cup.) The year: 1999. The OS: MS-DOS, in its 16-bit glory. (Actually not sure if that’s MS-DOS or DR-DOS or something, but you get the idea.) The code: C++, Assembler.
The result: WorldDesigner, an 80286-compatible 2D platform game editor with a wonderfully retro UI and beautifully retro graphics:
If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can download code and source for this plus a primitive PCX graphics editor called CyberDraw:
Aw, come on, what’s with these rich kids and their 286 PCs? Fine. Sasha also used paper in 1994 to make up for his lack of a console and – wow:
Of course, paper is a serious tool in the gaming world – making paper prototypes is a beloved process, and has even found its way into finished designs. (Also real-for-real – recently Final Fantasy-creator Hironobu Sakaguchi turned to hand-crafted real creations for creating levels for his Apple Arcade title Fantasian.)
Anyway, all of this is an added excuse to produce some of Sasha’s absolutely dreamy music.
Yes, while that pricey DAW chugs its way along and the fan kicks in on your new notebook, his software runs happily on old netbooks, and (checks notes) Palm Tungsten and whatever a GSmart smartphone is:
Here’s another excellent album, from the papercraft arcade video, which was out as an AV release as full software:
It’s just beautiful, exquisite music, with sounds and code all crafted by a single artist. There’s all this deeply-felt modal composition, sparkling textures – stuff I imagine could be appreciated by more than just chip music fans.
And if you need a break in your workflow to play with other tools for inspiration and somehow haven’t checked these out, go set yourself free: