Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alice in Chains releases iPhone App

Alice in Chain's iPhone application for their new album "Black Gives Way To Blue" was released today, and according to its one planted (either that or Alice in Chains fans care about "easy connectivity built right in" more than I thought) review "Alice in Chains rocks hard and so does this app!" The application features all the now standard features of streamed songs, video, connection to social networking and pictures. The major addition is the interactivity of the CD's liner notes. Each track on the album is accompanied by an interactive picture that the user can manipulate by draging various elements. The application is produced by mobile roadie and costs 99 cents. You can view a video demo of the applications features here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hollywood Music in Media Award Nominees

HMMA is an awards show celebrating the best placement of music in visual mediums. This includes Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Outstanding Music Supervision, all for video games. Here are the nominees:

Inon Zur - "Dragon Age: Origins" (BioWare/EA)
Tom Salta - "HAWX" (Ubisoft)
Stephen Rippy - "Halo Wars" (Ensemble Studios)
Joris de Man - "Killzone 2" (Guerrilla Games)
Jim Dooley / Amon Tobin / Mel Wesson / JD Mayer- "Infamous" (Sucker Punch Productions)
Winifred Phillips / Winnie Waldron - "Spore Hero" (EA)
Jesper Kyd - "Assassins Creed 2" (Ubisoft)
Martin O'Donnell - "Halo 3: ODST" (Bungie)
Greg Edmonson - "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" (Naughty Dog)

Inon Zur / Aubrey Ashburn - "I Am the One" (Dragon Age: Origins)
Carmen Rizzo / Sony Computer Entertainment - "Road to Shambhala" (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)

Giles Martin - The Beatles: Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV)
Emily Ridgeway - Brutal Legend (Double Fine Productions)
Simon Pressey - Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare EA)
Martin O'Donnell - Halo 3: ODST (Bungie Studios)
Chuck Doud - inFAMOUS (SCEA)

The awards will be given out on November 19th.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CMJ Mobile Panel

Once again CMJ has taken over Manhatten. Here's a quick summary of some fun facts and predictions that came up in the Mobile Technology panel:

  • Jonathan Dworkin from Nokia said that the company plans to roll out their Comes With Music phone service globally in the next two years.
  • Users of the current Comes With Music plan download on average across 7 genres, those who buy a la carte buy across an average of 3.
  • About 8% of Shazaam inquiries end in a purchase according to Will Mills.
  • Michael Schneider of Mobile Roadie talked about the development of technology that would allow artists, through their phone applications to send out to send out files/messages based on the users location (e.g. at their concert).
  • Verizon's Tom Constabile stated that the company was currently working on developing a network with speed and reliability on par with broadband.

The panel was moderated by Peter Kirn from Create Digital Music which covers the role of mobile devices in producing music. So if pixelh8 and RjDj peaked your interest you may want to consider adding it to your blog checklist.

Additionally, the phrase "contextualized sonic bombardment" was used at some point, or so my scribbled notes tell me. I've decided to form a Prog Rock Band to release an album under that name. Any band name suggestions for such a release are more than welcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rock Band Do It Yourself Is Approaching

As we get closer to the "end of 2009" launch given by Harmonix, details of the new DIY Rock Band Network are becoming increasingly clear. A quick summary: this past summer Harmonix announced it was planning to open its track creation software and in game store to the masses in an attempt to exponentially expand its DLC collection. Artists and labels or any other copyright holders can create rock band tracks, submit them for review and hopefully make some money. Sound interesting? Here's a brief summary of what you need:

  • Reaper mixing software available here. They offer a free 30 day trial, afterward you can purchase the discounted license for $60 or the full commercial one for $225. If your only using it for personal/educational/non-profit use or for a for profit venture making less than $20K a year the discounted license will be fine for you.
  • Rock Band Plug-in available for Mac OSX or PC
  • Magma (PC only)- to create a wav/midi file that can be read by an Xbox
  • Xbox Live Gold membership
  • XNA premium membership to audition songs on the Xbox (a feature added in a rock band 2 patch) and to receive payment through.
  • 20-40 hours of free time (for your first time through depending on experience)

While the review process has yet to be outlined in specifics it seems that it will be community based, with approved users of a certain skill level playing through, reviewing and helping revise tracks. If you make it to the DLC promise land you'll get 30% of your sales.

For those looking to dominate the PS3 market hold tight, no word yet on negotiations regarding the selling and uploading of songs for that platform.

Like the idea of your music on Rock Band? Not so much the work? There's a healthy list of companies looking to help you out for a small share on the Rock Band Forums. But if you haven't been scared off yet and want to give it a shot yourself you can find more detailed instructions here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bravo Gustavo

The LA philharmonic has a rock star conductor and an iPhone app/online game to match. Gustavo Dudamel, a 27 year old Venezuelan, has been conducting since his teenage years and is now trying to bridge the cultural gap between the philharmonic and it’s surrounding ethnic communities and their youth. In line with this new approach the game “Bravo Gustavo” is now available on iPhones and online . It’s a side scrolling rhythm action game where you cue in the different orchestra sections using either touch screen or keyboard. According to LA Philharmonic CEO Deborah Borda, the game garnered about 5,000 plays in the first 3 hours after its launch.

In conclusion I’m now calling that that “Harpsichord Hero” is soon to follow.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RjDj Carl Craig and Acid Pauli Create Interactive Album

A new addition to the iPhone app store this week is an interactive album called “Kids on DSP”, a collection of collaborations between Carl Craig and Acid Pauli. The album uses the RjDj audio synthesizer app to integrate sounds picked up from the microphone into the albums track as they’re being listened to. Different tracks place different filters on the input sounds to incorporate your current ambient noise into the song, allowing you to never listen to the same song twice.

This is a great example of new technology in the realm of interactive media forcing us to completely reconsider what recorded music actually is and what it can be. Not to mention showcasing that there are other ways to get people to interact with the music they’re listening to than playing along on plastic instruments.

Check out more on the album and the different applications of RjDj here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Because You Can Never Have Enough Plastic Guitars

Peripherals have had a good last few years. They’ve gone from a subset of vision to a music video game industry wide pissing contest, and now it seems two more will be joining the competition.

Activision’s Bobby Kotick was quoted as saying “…you should expect to see many of our products to be playable on the television independent of console” at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference. (source) This comment was brought up after inquiries of the possibilities of a guitar hero that would plug directly into the television a la Hannah Montana Guitar Video Game (no seriously it exists).

Also, the You Rock Guitar (official site) is trying to bridge the gap between guitarists and guitar hero enthusiasts. Inspired Instruments is now taking pre-orders for this $180 stringed and fretted digital guitar that functions as both an instrument and game controller with the addition of $20-$30 console cartridges. It also acts as a USB/MIDI guitar and has an input for iPod’s to allow users to stream their own music with their guitar playing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pixelh8 brings chip tune music to the DS

Pixelh8 has released a YouTube video demoing his new Music Tech Master Stroke for the DS. The beta is available now on his website for the next week. He explains all its functionality in the video much better then I ever could, so just watch it.