The music technology pioneer Florian Schneider passed away just after his 73rd birthday, following a short battle with cancer. Together with co-founder Ralf Hütter they formed one of the most significant music acts of the past 50 years. Kraftwerk provided an important cultural touchstone during a trying and divisive period of history, bridging gaps across the world in their fan base. In a time when popular media used "German" as shorthand for "bad guy" it was difficult to embrace my own German heritage. Kraftwerk was one of the very few connections I had growing up.
They have also inspired generations of musicians. While my own music bares little resemblance to theirs, it owes everything to their technical pursuits. Florian was a big part of that. He pushed the band to explore new territory through technology, and held several patents; including their classic Robovox vocal processor.
Many modern musicians who've never heard Florian's name owe him a debt of gratitude. On their behalf: Vielen Dank, Herr Roboter.
Field recording household objects has been something I've thought about doing for decades. It's probably something every musician thinks about at some point. I've never taken the time to do it, and I'll bet there are many who can say the same. Klevgränd saves us all a lot of trouble by making the dream happen for us!
Klevgränd brings us a unique percussion instrument that lets you play with household items like a drum machine. I'm using Rozeta's many interesting sequencer plugins to make it all sound lively!
I love April Fools. Even the jokes that don't land are at least a break from the norm. It is the one day that makes us all seriously question what we read on the Internet. I think that's a healthy annual reminder that we should be this skeptical on all the other days of the year. Unfortunately I have to agree with the many people who have called for April Fools to be cancelled this year.
I know this won't come as a blow to the many of you who don't give a shit and just want your regular sites to give you your regular content. You're getting it today. If you scroll past this post you'll find lots of new articles. There are 3 new apps today! There's lots of stuff to take your mind off the crisis.
You should also scroll past this if you don't want to read a political rant on your favorite music app blog. Just go straight down to all those new apps and videos. I don't want to force my opinion on anyone. I frankly don't believe anyone can convince anyone else of a political opinion on the Internet. I also don't want to bum you out. I never post about sad personal shit here, because that's not what you're coming to read. But this shit has hit way too close to home, and I'm super sad right now so I want to rant. Please just scroll past to the new apps if you don't want to hear it. Endless finally came out of beta, and BeepStreet's Drambo is even more amazing than we ever realized. There's lots of fun stuff below this post.
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Scroll To Here
My husband works at a hospital. He's in IT, not medicine, so he is not directly interacting with the many Covid-19 patients there. He still has to go into a building he knows is full of a bug that is killing people all over the world. None of the other people in that building are feeling particularly great either. Quite a lot of them are at their breaking point. These are the modern mundane heroes of the health care industry, and they're being wiped out by a host of villains.
If you're looking for a career change, or have been furloughed indefinitely, you should make use of your free time to start studying medicine. There is going to be a drastic shortage of nurses and doctors in America very soon. It shouldn't have happened like this, but it did. It is still happening! It is a slow motion train wreck that is killing the very best of us, and it is leaving the survivors feeling hollow and betrayed.
It's almost laughable now how easily Americans have looked down on the rest of the world for decades. Now places like India are actually dealing with the threat, while we fumble this at every turn. The shortages of personal protective equipment were easily avoidable. The mass infections we see all across this nation were avoidable. We just didn't avoid it. We hemmed and we hawed and we didn't take the threat seriously.
Shit rolls down hill, so let's look at the top of this mountain of failures. I don't know how you felt about the President of the United States of America 3 weeks ago, but I can't imagine how anyone feels good about him now. His response to the crisis has been irresponsibly inconsistent, and dangerously narcissistic. Meanwhile we continue to have states that are still not on lockdown. As I write this, a quarter of all Americans are living in states that are acting as if this is a normal Wednesday. This is going to needlessly prolong the infection throughout the whole country, because they're more concerned about their fucking tax revenue. Trump has signed a lot of executive orders in his term. He's failed to sign the one we needed most. If he shut this all down 3 weeks ago, we wouldn't have hospitals bursting over capacity.
Even in states that are on lockdown, there are a disturbing amount of people ignoring the order. I'm actually way more pissed with these folks than I am with Trump. Assholes ignoring the order to stay home are the real villains. These are the people who are putting everyone at risk. Especially hospital workers. This whole shortage of personal protective equipment is appalling, but the situation is made much worse when people are unnecessarily getting themselves infected. These idiots are using up the resources that protect the lives of healthcare workers and their families.
Every single day my husband comes home from the hospital he's shaken. He's had a grueling work day, and on the drive home he is devastated to see so many people outside and still congregating in groups. Is this really just a country full of dangerous narcissists? How are so many people more concerned with their fucking petty social nonsense, than they are with the well-being of the healthcare providers they are endangering?
If you're a threat to the heroes, you are the villain in this story.
One common mistake that new YouTubers make is in apologizing for a performance at the start of the video. They'll say things like, "oh this is my first time doing this..." or have a description that is deprecating of their results. Sometimes this is just false modesty, but an apology will color how the performance is received.
Nothing is wrong with this video. In fact, everything is wonderful! How are you doing? Did you sleep well?
Imaginando brings us an impressive combination of granular and traditional synthesis in a powerhouse combination. This video is a bit unlike others in this series. Due to the complexity of FRMS, I didn't try going into this with a clear plan. I just wanted to document the sound design process. Which honestly turned into a train wreck that lasted over an hour. I've done some aggressive editing on this to bring it down to less than 30 minutes.
I think it still retains all of the essential information. I hope it reveals that the process of creating a patch doesn't always go smoothly, but if you take your time and explore you will be rewarded! I love the final result!
Apple have announced the new iPad Pro models for 2020, and they're good news for iPad Pro 2018 owners!
This is just an incremental update. The chipset is upgraded from the A12X to the A12Z, which might have some small impact on games with its increased GPU output. It is kind of amazing to see Apple reuse old chip architecture like this. Especially 2 year old chip architecture. The prices of the 11" and 12.9" are identical to the iPad Pro 2018 skews, though the starting storage is 128GB now. All units are expected to start shipping March 25th.
The only thing I care about here is the amazing dock with a trackpad that uses gestures! They're calling it the "Magic Keyboard" because they could name it Dog Shit™ and people would still happily pay $300 for the 11" model or $350 for the 12.9" version.
Expect iOS 13.4 to arrive on March 24th to add the trackpad support. Here is the flashy promo from Apple.