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Shure and Guitar Center Studios Give Musicians Room(s) to Rock

Funding for school music programs is disappearing nationwide, but there’s no shortage of people with a burning desire to sing or play an instrument. Recognizing a need for education, rehearsal, and recording facilities, microphone manufacturer Shure Incorporated is providing microphones and headphones to the growing list of Guitar Center Studios, as the music retailer expands its music education facilities in the U.S.

Guitar Center Studios

“Music education programs are disappearing from public schools, and individual lesson providers are challenged to deliver a broad offering of learning opportunities and tools,” says Tom Hemphill, Director of Guitar Center Studios. To counter this trend, Guitar Center Studios has taken the fundamental elements of music education—learning to play, connecting with peers, rehearsing together, and recording—and made them the cornerstones of a progressive learning pedagogy.

“Guitar Center Studios not only provides best-in-class music education, but a wide range of opportunities to apply that education,” Hemphill continues. “We serve as a community where musicians can learn, meet, rehearse, and record using professional equipment.” The facilities use a subscription model under which students can take advantage of any or all of these resources for one price.

In addition to providing music lessons and training in Pro Tools and Logic software, the program encourages musicians to get together, rehearse, and record themselves. Having access to professional-caliber equipment is a key component of this part of the program, and Shure has outfitted every Guitar Center Studios facility with SM58® handheld microphones, MX395 low-profile microphones and SRH240 professional headphones. “Shure has been a tireless supporter of what we’re doing, and we’re grateful,” says Hemphill. The microphones and headphones enable performances to be recorded easily, allowing musicians to review their performances and identify areas for improvement. “You can walk in, rehearse, and walk out with a CD that you can learn from,” says Hemphill.

“The Guitar Center brand is known and respected by musicians at every level, from beginners to working professionals,” says Abby Kaplan, Sales Director, Western U.S., at Shure Incorporated. “We’re proud to partner with Guitar Center Studios to help develop the next generation of performers.”

More information: Shure / Guitar Center Studios

Short links for May 30th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Hey You! What Song are you Listening to?

Asking random New Yorkers with headphones on what song they are listening to.

# OUTLOUD.FM

OUTLOUD.FM lets you create rooms where you can chat and listen to music with your friends with a real time collaborative playlist. Just sign in, pick a room name, and start uploading music!

# STACKED by Royal Sapien – 300+ tracks mixed into one hour of electronic music soundtrack

Stacked

# End of Train Device, New Album from Your Editor, and an Experiment in Releasing Music

Peter Kirn writes:

Yes, I create digital music, too. One of the things I’ve loved about CDM is the chance to share music making, from the construction of the tools to the production of performances and recordings. If that’s all we ever get out of music – getting to share with someone else – that’s already more than enough for me.

This week I’ve released my own End of Train Device, a full-length ambient / leftfield electronic album.

Namm Oddities 2011

# NAMM Oddities 2011

Barry Wood is back with another selection of interesting products showcased at the NAMM show.

Welcome to the 2011 edition of the NAMM Oddities …finally

This year the show went smoothly but due to a perfect storm created by of a pile of work (the paying variety), local politics, and the writing of my first now published book, the Oddities were nearly 4 months late.

There was no shortage of Oddities-worthy items at the show this year. Even though this is probably the last NAMM report to go online, I'm certain that there are a number of products that will see their press debut on these pages.

# Massive Subwoofer Chair

Still not satisfied with the bass of the average chair? If so, check out this insane 1000 Watt Subwoofer Chair from Canadian designer John Greg Ball.

# Vinyl Poised to Make Further Gains; Time To Ask, “What Does it All Mean”?

Photo by Karola Riegler Photography

At first, it seemed like it might be just a blip: amidst generally declining sales of physical music, down sharply from their 1990s boom, vinyl sales were trending up. The reversal started with a slight uptick in 2007 – already noticeable as the CD had begun its collapse. That slight uptick has turned into a small boom. From a tiny 300,000 units in US sales in 1993, the vinyl record is projected to do some 3.6 million units in sales.

# Dan303: New Sample Pack ‘Toys’

Dan has posted another free sample pack: “The sounds in this sample pack are made to replicate the sound of old broken children’s toys.”

# The Radiumphonic Workshop « Radium Audio Labs

Radium is inviting you to have a look behind the scenes at the Radiumphonic Workshop. In the video below we delve under the bonnet of Radium to have a look at what makes it all tick – the sound lab operated by the fine team at Radium. It demonstrates a rare glimpse of how we work, as well as showing off some of the machines, technology, people and creative approaches we use to manipulate sound!

# Design to Address Visual Performance in Music, Explained by a Giant Robot Face

Computing technology is an inherently disruptive thing, wonderfully so. It solves problems you didn’t know you had. It creates problems, then creates new problems in even trying to understand those problems. Simply using a computer is a kind of design statement.

You’ve seen questions about what happens with computer performance and audience interaction. But, in AMALGAM, design student Jacob Lysgaard asks those questions, and proposes solutions, in a new way: with a giant talking robot face.

ToneBoosters releases TB IsoneSurround + updates

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ToneBoosters has released TB IsoneSurround, a 5.1 multi-channel surround sound loudspeaker setup including environment simulation.

ToneBoosters TB IsoneSurround

TB IsoneSurround targets multimedia enthusiasts using headphones. It can be used on stereo content (simulating a virtual stereo loudspeaker setup) and 6-channel (5.1) multi-channel surround content (simulating a full surround experience). Besides binaural source simulation, the plugin also includes four different listening environments to optimally match the environment to the audio material.

TB IsoneSurround is the perfect extension for any multimedia player that supports VST plugins. Experience full surround-sound when watching movies using headphones.

TB IsoneSurround features

  • Low-latency processing (511 samples).
  • Support of all sampling rates from 44.1 to 192 kHz.
  • Mastering-grade integrated peak limiter to prevent clipping artefacts.
  • Four different virtual environments (Movie theater, home cinema, audiophile, live concert).
  • Customizable distance.
  • Based on the VST 2.4 specification to allow compatibility with virtually all host programs.

ToneBooster has also released updates for its current plugins:

  • VU meter GUI fixes (peak values not always visible).
  • Performance improvements for intel-based Macs.
  • [XY Tool] Resolved bug of incorrect storage of linking and angle parameters.
  • [Ferox] Bug fix resulting in clicking artefacts for Cubase 6 on Mac.

IsoneSurround for Windows and Mac (VST) is available as freeware.

More information: ToneBoosters

Numark Red Wave, professional DJ headphones

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Numark Red Wave

Numark has announced Red Wave headphones designed by DJ for DJs.

Red Wave headphones were designed with the entire DJ experience in mind. Their superior sound, eye-catching looks and comfortable design make RED WAVE headphones the clear choice of professional DJs.

Red Wave features

  • High-quality full-range headphones designed for DJs.
  • Swivel design allowing DJs the flexibility to monitor house audio and cue audition.
  • Breathable protein-leather padding that remains comfortable during extended use.
  • Large 50 mm driver, neodynium magnet and voice coil for optimal frequency response.
  • Balanced detachable headphone cable with ¹/8″ adapter for use with MP3 players.
  • Professional build and modern design matched with superior sound.
  • Includes case to protect and store headphones, cable and adaptor.
  • 1/4-inch connector with 1/8-inch adaptor included for use with virtually any DJ gear.

More information: Numark / Red Wave

Alesis announces DMPhones isolating headphones

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Alesis DMPhones

Alesis has announced the DMPhones sound isolating headphones.

One of the benefits of electronic drumsets is the ability to practice quietly by using headphones. Having headphones that can accurately reproduce the high frequencies of cymbals, the deep thud of a kick drum sound and everything in between is essential.

The DMPhones are great sounding headphones designed for studio and electronic drummers. They employ a comfortable, closed–cup design for great isolation from outside noise so drummers won’t have to crank the volume up to 11. Drummers can pound away at their pads and still keep the volume at a healthy level.

DMPhones features

  • Great-sounding headphones ideal for studio and electronic drummers.
  • Comfortable, closed–cup, dual-ear design for great isolation from outside noise.
  • Isolation enables performance and practice at lower sound levels for hearing safety.
  • Adjustable headband fits virtually all head sizes.
  • Sleek piano black finish and minimized size for visually unobtrusive appearance onstage.
  • 1/8″ mini-plug with 1/4″ adapter for universal connectivity.

Alesis will unveil the new DMPhones at booth #6400 of the 2011 NAMM Show from January 13-16, Anaheim, CA.

More information: Alesis / DMPhones

Focusrite unveils VRM Box, headphone monitoring system

Focusrite has unveiled the VRM Box, a headphone monitoring system featuring the patent-pending VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring) technology. With VRM Box, you can mix in your studio, wherever you are.

Focusrite VRM Box

VRM Box functions as a high-quality 24-bit/48kHz USB audio playback interface. So, whether you’re mixing, creating music or simply listening to tracks, VRM Box is perfect. What’s more, there’s no need for a power supply or batteries, because it gets all the power it needs, with full audio quality, from your computer’s USB port. VRM Box also features a digital (S/PDIF) input, which supports sample rates up to 192kHz. This allows you to run it in conjunction with your Pro Tools HD system, or any other interface with an S/PDIF output.

With VRM Box, you can mix any time, anywhere, using any monitoring headphones. The accompanying software lets you choose your mixing environment and the virtual speakers you wish to monitor on, then processes the audio before feeding it in real time to the hardware. Built into VRM technology are precise models of a variety of industry- standard studio monitors, including the Genelec 1031A, KRK’s VXT8, the Auratone 5C and the ubiquitous Yamaha NS10M. There are also models of speakers commonly found in domestic environments, so you can check your mixes on a variety of virtual systems. VRM processing can be bypassed; an LED on the hardware illuminates when it’s active.

VRM Box VRM Box delivers audio quality worthy of your headphones. Boasting a dynamic range of 108dB, its headphone amplifier provides a sound that’s more precise, with lower distortion, than other low- cost audio interfaces, and far superior to built-in laptop headphone outputs. A slick volume dial gives you accurate control over the output level.

VRM overcomes the major obstacles of mixing with headphones by giving you spatial cues to make informed mix decisions, and by providing multiple perspectives on your mix: just like with speakers. VRM also surmounts various practical issues, such as mixing at unsociable hours and in mobile situations.

VRM Box features

  • Mix In Your studio, Wherever You Are – Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) lets you audition your mix in different environments, through different speakers, just using headphones. It gets all the power it needs – with full audio quality guaranteed – from your computer’s USB port.
  • High-quality 24-bit/48kHz USB Audio Playback Interface – Whether you’re mixing, creating music or simply listening to tracks, VRM Box is the perfect playback interface for your digital audio software.
  • Got Pro Headphones? Get A Pro Box – With a dynamic range of 108dB (A-weighted), VRM Box provides a significant audio upgrade from low-grade laptop headphone outputs (which commonly only provide around 92 or 93dB), with an audio quality the equal of interfaces ten times its price.
  • Included Software Application – The VRM Box software application provides total control over speaker and room selection, with an attractive GUI that also features a bypass mode. VRM models are processed by the software on the host computer.
  • Flexible Digital Integration – VRM Box features an S/PDIF input that supports sampling rates up to 192kHz, allowing you to use it with any DAW system with S/PDIF connectivity, including Pro Tools HD.
  • Robust & Attractive Hardware – VRM Box hardware is built to a high specification. Featuring a high-gloss top surface, with VRM status LED and slick volume dial, it makes an attractive addition to your desktop, but is also durable enough for life on the road.

Operational note: In order for VRM processing to operate, a USB connection to a computer running the included VRM Box software is permanently required, even when using the S/PDIF input.

VRM Box will be shipping worldwide in February 2011, priced:

  • USA: $124.99 MSRP / $99.99 at dealers.
  • UK: £79.99 inc. VAT typical street price.
  • DE: €111.00 inc. Tax UVP (MSRP).

More information: Focusrite

Fuse Music Moments That Matter Sweepstakes

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Fuse Music Moments That Matter

Fuse has launched the Music Moments That Matter sweepstakes.

Want to win the ultimate music experience including some sweet ear candy? Enter the Fuse Music Matters Sweepstakes! Fuse will fly one lucky Linkin Park, Interpol, or Lady Gaga fan and their guest to NYC and seat you within the 10 front rows at the concert!

The winner will receive a trip for two – flight and one hotel night included, prime seating to February Fuse Presents, and one pair of Denon AH-D1100 “Acoustic Luxury” Over-Ear Headphones!

To enter for your chance to win, simply read the official rules and fill out the form here.

Participants are limited to one (1) entry per day. The more entries = the better chances! Contest ends January 15th at 6PM.

More information: Fuse

Audio-Technica announces final shortlist for its Alternative Christmas Tune Competition

Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica has announced the final six shortlist of its alternative Christmas track competition.

It launched the competition in October and has received a huge wave of diverse entries from all across the UK and some from further afield.

The aim of the new music competition was to seek out fun and vibrant alternatives to the age-old tradition of Christmas carols and songs. The nationwide competition was launched through the company’s Facebook and Twitter channels, with entrants required to submit video entries via YouTube.

The online competition was not restricted to any particular type of music so bands, DJs or music producers from any genre had the opportunity to show off their skills.

The competition’s judge, Steve Levine, acclaimed producer and chairman of the Music Producers Guild, joined the team to carefully sift through the entries and create a shortlist of six finalists. The judging panel want the public to make the final decision on the best entry by voting for the track they believe should win the top prize of £500 worth of Audio-Technica equipment.

You can vote for your favourite video by visiting this online poll. The winning entry will be announced on Thursday 23rd December.

More information: Audio-Technica / Alternative Christmas Tune Competition