It’s never been easier to get music onto a phone, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. These tools help you find and record music–and even bust out an app for your band using HTML5.
Hype aside, apps really can be a fine way for artists to “connect with their fans,” as overused as that expression might be. MobBase debuted another interesting entry in the budding market for helping bands build apps — a trend that at the very least gives them a new way to promote themselves to their fans, and could even turn into a significant revenue stream.
Its idea: an HTML5 app that’s free for any band to create, and which runs on any platform (mobile, tablet or a “computer,” whatever that is), delivering music, photos, tweets and videos. Bands can have it for free with a limit of three songs and three videos — or, they can post unlimited content within the app and use all of the extra features for $5 plus $5/month. Best of all, MobBase’s toolset makes it easy enough that even the drummer could figure out how to make one
Hey people in bands: Do you think you could operate your own music subscription, like a little version of Spotify Premium that only includes your music — not only the stuff you release on albums, just after you’ve recorded it, but your live shows, rehearsal tapes, tour van observations, remixes and everyone’s various side projects? Sounds complicated, right? Not anymore.
The recently launched Distro.fm can handle all the technology stuff for you, so you can charge your fans 10 bucks a year (or so) for everything you want to send them. When that year is up, you can ask them to resubscribe. Your fans can stream all of that stuff, download it or play it within Distro’s upcoming app, which will be able to cache the songs so they can play them without eating up their precious little data plans.
Spotify’s play button is also now part of the standard Tumblr dashboard. So if you have one of the 50 million-plus blogs on Tumblr, where more than 20 billion posts have already been published, you can blog about music with zero technical knowledge — a very “Tumblr” solution to music blogging.
“If you want to talk about music on Tumblr, you click Audio, type in the name of the track or album that you want to blog about,” said Hellman. “Spotify search results come up, you click the Spotify track, and Tumblr will make a widget that’s going to fit perfectly in your Tumblr theme.
At its basic level, the MiC by Apogee is diminutive condenser microphone that is dead simple to operate yet captures highly detailed sound. Resembling a studio microphone, the MiC can be threaded into an included desktop tripod and connects to either an iOS device via a dock connector cable or your Mac via a USB connector.
I was slightly skeptical when I stumbled across the DJ Rig app for iPhone and iPad. Was this another short-lived gimmick?
Practically speaking, having mixing software on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch makes a lot of sense as that’s the place your music already is. As ever though the lack of tactile feedback means that interacting with these devices can be a little sterile — when compared to physical music making object likes keyboard and guitars.
The iRig Mix app has a trick up its sleeve in the form of a monster peripheral. The iRig Mix hardware offers volume and cross faders to bridge the gap between the digital touch screen of the iPad and the analogue world of the musician.
Figure lets you combine drums, bass synth and lead synth together in a simple, blocky interface that looks fantastic on an iPhone screen or even when blown up on the new iPad’s Retina Display (despite the fact this is not a “universal” app).
It’s incredibly easy to use — a novice with no music experience will have a beat pumping out of the speakers within 10 seconds. Those with a bit more knowledge, however, will find the app surprisingly deep — you can tweak around with the pitch, filter, waveform, distortion and other effects, adjust the key you’re in, and even add a bit of shuffle….
The objective was to make a portable music app that would appeal to both casual users and pros. Chief executive of Propellerhead, Ernst Nathorst Böös, told The Guardian: “We think musicians, regardless what level they’re on, will have phones, tablets and computers, and they will use them in different situations. Think about e-mail: You write an e-mail differently when you write it on your phone, compared to sitting down at your computer, taking a deep breath and writing a longer one. It’s still e-mailing, but dependent on the device and the situation. That’s how we see this.”
This tweet-generated music can actually be really listenable at times, and at others–not so much. Either way, it’s an interesting update on Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s venerable Listening Post.
The machine is a piece of software that monitors the Twitter activity of 500 people (the team won’t reveal their identity to ensure that the musical outcome is not affected by people becoming aware that they are part of it) selected from eight different fields — arts, business, education, health, politics, science, sport and technology. Whenever these people post an update, the properties of the tweet are analyzed in terms of the sound and meaning of the words, and generates music based on it. Many different elements of the music have been prerecorded as individual musical cells, which are then recombined by the generative software.