Forum Birmingham to give 1000 free tickets to NHS and hospitality workers

A further 1,000 free places on the dancefloor and 1,000 free drinks are also up for grabs 

Martin Guttridge-Hewitt

Monday, July 26, 2021 – 13:57

Forum Birmingham is giving away 1000 free tickets to NHS and hospitality workers for the club’s opening party on Friday 3rd September. 

The Midlands space has a full capacity of 3,500 and will offer a further 1,000 free entry spots to mailing list subscribers. 1000 free drinks will also be given away on the night in a partnership with Coors. All remaining tickets will cost £15. 

The Streets’ Mike Skinner headlines the event, with Barely Legal, Erol Alkan, Hammer, Oneman, 24-hour Garage Girls’ Shosh, Theo Kottis, and Yung Singh also down to play. The address was previously known as The Ballroom and is one of a number of new venues opening as England tentatively emerges from COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions

Following the first night, Forum Birmingham will host artists including Bicep, India Jordan, Honey Dijon, and more during its inaugural series of events. In June, a new documentary focused on the Birmingham grime scene was released on Amazon Prime and Amazon Music, produced by Roony ‘Risky Roadz’ Keefe, an acclaimed documentarian responsible for charting the rise of the genre since its inception. 

Make a DIY velocity-sensitive e-drum kit with Brian Bamanya aka Afrorack

No budget for an electronic drum kit? No problem. Brian Bamanya reports from Uganda on how to DIY the whole kit with readily sourced parts – and even adds velocity.

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There is a feat here of mechanical ingenuity as well as electronic musical sensing. Brian, also going by the artist name Afrorack (unrelated to the Chicago project of the same name – different continent), crafted the whole project in the midst of the current lockdown rules in Kampala where he lives.

The kit itself is constructed with some power tools, wood, cans and scrap, and PVC pipe for the frame. For sensing, the ever-useful piezo element acts as a pickup. (Sometimes it’s easier to find piezo elements in other stuff than to get the part itself – he a couple out of some Brickgame toys.) An Arduino Micro translates electronic signals to MIDI or USB output for a computer or other gear.

There’s some great edits, plenty of atmospheric shots, rooster cameos, careful demonstrations of what not to do with the power tools – it’s a great watch.

The finished project really gives you what a commercial product would, with USB and MIDI plus separate trigger jacks.

I also thoroughly enjoy Brian responding to nonsense posts on YouTube:

Cover image.

Plus some market shopping in Kampala:

And yeah, this question of “can you buy the commercial kit” is totally uneven in different places in the world. Maybe that’s obvious, but I know a lot of people assume raw cost is the only measure – and it isn’t. Market access, buying power, import duty, and now COVID-19 disruptions all can make accessibility wildly different in different locales. Plus, once you do know how this works, you can make stuff that the manufacturers won’t. Speaking of which —

Physically modeled DIY open source drum kit?

Now, as it happens, you could modify this project slightly from a controller to a physically modeled drum kit using the scheme I wrote about earlier today from software developers CHAIR. So you could for example run audio from the pickup directly into their snare model:

I think you don’t want a kit made exclusively of snares (new genre?), but I know they’re also making use of tools like Pure Data, the free and open-source modular library.

You might also check out libraries like FAUST-STK, which includes a ton of physical models you might use to make your own kit (maybe a traditional kit, maybe play what Brian built but turn it into something unusual):

You could go a lot further with that, but that might get you started.

See also his previous video:

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And with the money you’ve saved, you can throw Brian some support on Patreon:

Or via PayPal:

Have some music, too (also on this massive Nyege Nyege compilation):

Thousands return to UK dance floors as restrictions officially lift

Thousands return to UK dance floors as restrictions officially liftFabric Nightclub London 2016 Billboard 1548

Restrictions in the UK have officially lifted, and thousands are returning to the dance floor after more than 16 months. As social distancing requirements are removed, club-goers are still asked to show proof of either a negative COVID test or full vaccination in order to gain entry.

Full capacity festivals are also marking their return after restrictions lifted on July 19, with Creamfields and dual-site Reading and Leeds slated to go ahead later on this summer. Nightclubs have also been enthusiastically picking up traffic once again, with London’s fabric and Manchester’s The White Hotel running day and night for an entire weekend to welcome audiences back to the dance floor.

While fans are happy to return to their beloved clubs, the sad reality that many have been forced to permanently shutter due to the pandemic becomes more apparent. One in eight nightclubs have shut down due to financial strain over the course of the past 16 months.

The rise in the delta variant of COVID-19 also creates cause for concern, with public health physician and member of the Independent SAGE panel, Dr. Gabriel Scally, recently calling the decision to lift restrictions “immoral and unethical.”

H/T: DJ Mag

Featured image: Billboard

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Ophelia Records dips into house territory with new Trivecta, Gem & Tauri collaboration featuring Tyler Graves

Ophelia Records dips into house territory with new Trivecta, Gem & Tauri collaboration featuring Tyler GravesTrivecta

Ophelia Records is best known for an endless trove of hard-hitting melodic bass that brought label founder Seven Lions to prominence, but that doesn’t mean the imprint will shy away from a little house music every once in a while. House regulars Gem & Tauri have teamed up with Trivecta for “Hear My Call” with Tyler Graves, a surprise collaboration between Ophelia Records staples that lands as one of the label’s top cuts of the year.

It’s a change of pace for Trivecta, who characteristically keeps things more in the melodic trance, dubstep, and bass lanes. That said, he does manage to put a melodic touch on the house tune that stylistically fits right in with the rest of Gem & Tauri’s budding discography.

“Hear My Call” is the fourth single released by Trivecta in 2021 and the first for Gem & Tauri following their debut EP All You Need in 2020. Both are slated for spots on Ophelia Records’ Pantheon tour as well as Seven Lions’ Chronicles Chapter III set for September 11 at The Gorge Amphitheatre.

The post Ophelia Records dips into house territory with new Trivecta, Gem & Tauri collaboration featuring Tyler Graves appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Spotify’s top artists still struggle to generate significant streaming revenue, according to new report,

Spotify’s top artists still struggle to generate significant streaming revenue, according to new report,Spotify Ceo Daniel Ek Credit Wsj

With live music venues and the ability to tour largely shut down over the past year-and-a-half, dialogue about how much revenue artists receive from streaming services began to take center stage. Unable to make money by performing, record sales made up the bulk of artists’ profit in 2020, and musicians began voicing how they were struggling to survive on minimal streaming payouts.

In order to help artists, some streaming services, such as Bandcamp, have offered to waive their share of revenue on frequent occasion. Other services, like Spotify, have come under fire for failing to providing artists with what many believe to be their fair share.

Music Business Worldwide founder, Tim Ingham, recently shared an analysis of Spotify’s Loud & Clear report in a column penned for Rolling Stone. Created to be more transparent about how artists are paid out on streaming royalties, Loud & Clear identifies what it call a “Gold Club,” which features the top streaming artists who make up just 0.8% of earners on the platform.

The report reveals that only 13,400 artists, or 0.2% of those on the platform, have made more than $50,000 from streaming on the platform. What’s more—7,800 of those within the 0.2% made more than $100,000, while only 870 artists received more than $1 million. Meanwhile, according to Ingham’s calculations, the artists within the “Gold Club” have generated an estimated $3 billion for the service.

The 43,600 artists within the “Gold Club” who receive less than $50,000 then split the remaining $1.5 billion. While that would amount to about $34,404 if split equally among all the artists within the group, Spotify pays out more money to those who have higher monthly streamers.

Last year, Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, came under scrutiny for commenting that artists would need to release music more consistently in order to generate revenue and keep up in the modern market. This latest Loud & Clear report reveals that artists who rely on Spotify for income may continue to struggle financially unless they can break into the top 0.2%.

Via: Rolling Stone

Featured image: Wall Street Journal

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Premiere: SAYMYNAME preps for HARD Summer with heavy new mixtape

Premiere: SAYMYNAME preps for HARD Summer with heavy new mixtapeDkwY6U2WwAA5ILZ

As the final countdown to HARD Summer begins, SAYMYNAME is gearing up for his HARDER Stage set on August 1 with a new mixtape. Incorporating hardstyle and heavy bass, the mix is sure to pump up fans as they prepare to make their way over to the Southern California mainstay event in the coming week.

SAYMYNAME kicks off his high-energy session with Headhunterz‘s “Say My Name,” and leaves hardly any room for fans to take a breather throughout the entirety of his 45-minute mix. Catering to HARD Summer’s crowd and providing a taste of what fans can expect from SAYMYNAME, the hardtrap king offers an ID remix with the second half of his mix featuring a number of his own tracks.

Elohim, k?d, Wax Motif, and BIJOU have also all provided their share of mix work and playlists in preparation for this year’s festival. HARD Summer takes place on July 31 and August 1 at San Bernardino’s NOS Events Center, with tickets completely sold out for both days.

Featured image: Posh Shoots

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Caterina Barbieri launches new label, light-years, with Lyra Pramuk collaboration: Listen

Caterina Barbieri has launched a new label, light-years, with a Lyra Pramuk collaboration, ‘Knot of Spirit’.

The track is dominated by serene ambient sounds and comes complete with a video by Davide Busnelli that invokes the theme of awakenings. An oil painting by Russian artist Dasha Kuznetsova and hand-embroidered lettering by Tulpess also accompany the music. 

In addition to the inaugural release, the imprint has live showcases booked across Europe this year, including Nextones Festival in Italy (31st July) and Draaimolen in the Netherlands in September. Artists such as Bendik Giske, Nkisi, Kali Malone, and Marcel Weber aka MFO — known for work with Roly Porter and Ben Frost — are all confirmed to appear.  

“I strongly believe in the power of sound as an agent of change and the idea behind this project is to make deep listening effortless and explore the transformative, mind-altering potential of music, as well as its socially empowering effects,” Barbieri said of the concept behind the label.

“After a period of unprecedented isolation, I am personally really inspired by the idea of exploring a more collaborative and independent format, where diversity, inclusivity, co-creation, and mutual support are primary values to define a more sustainable landscape for its artists and creators,” she continued. 

Earlier this month, Pramuk announced a remixed LP release for her 2020 album ‘Fountain’, featuring work from Hudson Mohawke, KMRU, Eris Drew, and Barbieri. 

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Sinevibes Corrosion 2 Gives Mac Users 15 Ways To Distort Sounds

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Sinevibes let us know that they’ve introduced Corrosion v2, a major update to their Mac distortion effect, featuring a total of 15 different distortion algorithms.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Corrosion includes a wide selection of different distortion algorithms, from classic clippers and folders to very unique curves invented at Sinevibes. Distortion gain can go up to 24 dB and has a tilt control for natural stereo width effects, plus the plugin also features an exponential gate which can be used for both for noise reduction on analog recordings – as well as more creatively to “chop” audio.

With its special ability to adjust the upsampling filter’s cutoff frequency and mix in the dry input signal processed via a steep high-pass filter, Corrosion delivers a huge variety of sophisticated distortion effects, from subtle boosting and drive all the way to dramatic waveform bending, warping and destruction – and it does so via extremely simple controls.”


  • Distortion engine with 15 different algorithms and 4x oversampling
  • Flexible frequency crossover capabilities with simultaneous control of distortion upsampling filter and dry signal high-pass filter
  • Gain tilt control for stereo width effects
  • Built-in exponential noise gate with variable threshold, attack, and release
  • Lag filters on all continuous parameters for smooth, click-free adjustment
  • Supports mono › mono, mono › stereo, and stereo › stereo channel configurations

Pricing and Availability

Corrosion 2 is available now for $39 USD.

New Reverb Effect, Velvetverb, For Mac & Windows

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Mod Sound shared this preview of Velvetverb, a modern algorithmic reverb for MacOS & Windows.

Velvetverb offers four reverb modes; detuning & chorusing; and is designed to create ‘larger-than-life’ stereo fields.


  • Four reverb modes – Velvet Room, Hall Effect, Plate Glass, and Dark Energy
  • Far-reaching control sweeps, from “natural room sounds, to swirling soundscapes, to warbling resonances, to otherworldly washes”
  • Larger-than-life stereo field impression, superwide responses to all input signals
  • Smooth, lively detuning and chorusing
  • Fine-grained control of reverb frequency response
  • GPU-accelerated stereo field visualizer
  • Built-in presets

Pricing and Availability:

Velvetverb is available now for $60 USD.

CHAIR made an amazingly realistic snare plug-in – get a CDM discount, then play it on a table

The Center for Haptic Audio Interaction Research have been busy – and they’ve made a snare model unlike any you’ve heard in software. CDM exclusive discount for you, and – table drumming. Really.

The new Mac/Windows/Linux VST3 is called EXC!TE SNARE DRUM Box, both in a free version, and a 19,90EUR “Pro” edition (that’s where the half-off CDM coupon comes in handy).

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Building on their research into physical modeling, this is something special as far as sound. The way the instrument responds sonically to a hit or resonance, the tunings, the tension of the simulated snare itself all are remarkably like the real thing.

But by modeling this in software, and abstracting the excitation signal from the drum model itself, you can do things with this software model that you can’t do with an acoustic snare. You can side-chain an input to make it an excitation signal. You can feed in an external input. You can play a drum pad, but you can also use a piezo pickup and drum on your actual desk. You can try different beaters. You can shift the frequency of the resonance for different external inputs. You can even transform the snare rattle sound using a crunch parameter.

It’s that special sweet spot where the digital model becomes more malleable than the acoustic original – even as many exercises in software sound synthesis are the reverse. I mean, yes, you can hit a snare with different things and it will certainly rattle all the time, but this digital metasnare sure opens up some new sonic and compositional possibilities.

EXC!TE SNARE DRUM [free version]


For 50% off through August 15 exclusively for CDM readers, enter this code at checkout:


CHAIR has a ton of other good stuff at their site, too:

Open Source projects

DIY Piezo Preamp instructions so you can build the rig you see in the video