soundings studio

Coming to you live from space radio.

Deep space radio signals might be trying to tell us something. IBM and the SETI Institute are working together to analyze six terabytes of these complex signals to listen for patterns of life. Researchers are using IBM Analytics on Apache Spark to sift through signals gathered by the Allen Telescope Array, and cognitive machine learning to determine which signals are from humans, and which might be from aliens. Maybe they’ll ask us to call-in.

Learn more about listening for aliens →

Happy belated (is it belated already where you live??) birthday, @the-flame-and-hawks-eye!!

…wait, we don’t even know each other, you say? Haha, oh boy, now it gets embarrassing. So basically I saw all the amazing birthday wishes yesterday on your blog (mostly because of @mellorad‘s great art which was posted at 4am my time yesterday and I didn’t want to sleep) and I liked some because they were so nice and YOU SAW, and YOU FOLLOWED MY PERSONAL BLOG. And I felt so BAD for not also wishing you happy birthday, even though we haven’t really talked ever. So here you go, have this tiny royai doodle (because I heard you liked angst, otherwise this might be a rather unfitting birthday drawing oh god I am sorry) and all the best for your next year!!!! 

eurovision alignments
  • Lawful ballad: Typically kind of boring, but qualifies because you can't NOT vote for it or else you'll look like a jerk. Probably about love. Or peace.
  • Neutral ballad: Trying to be a power ballad but the singer just isn't that good. Maybe about love, but not in a guilt-trippy kind of way. Sounds better in studio.
  • Chaotic ballad: Strong, overly dramatic power ballad. Either the best thing you've ever heard or just way too extra. There is no in between.
  • Lawful schlager: Upbeat and really generic, like it's trying to make sure it qualifies. Probably written by someone from Sweden.
  • Neutral schlager: Passes for a normal pop song, at least mostly. Incredibly radio-friendly. Gets a lot of jury votes.
  • Chaotic schlager: Not quite a joke entry, but could be mistaken for one if you squint. Lots of glitter and exposed skin. Why people think Eurovision is gay.
  • Lawful crazy: The staging and outfits and pretty much everything looks like a fever dream, but the entry still resembles a song. 10/10 would dance to while drunk.
  • Neutral crazy: Any entry that just screams, "hey, we REALLY don't feel like hosting next year." Almost never qualifies. Just as planned.
  • Chaotic crazy: Looks and sounds like a shitpost, because they put serious effort into making sure it looks and sounds like a shitpost. Gets a fuckton of televotes.
Today’s Best Tips on Music Production

10 essential tips… 20 mistakes… 30 production secrets and so on, such lists seem to be really popular these days. Although many of them are just full of crap. Especially forget about the longer checklists – even if you could find some good advices there, most tips are just nonsense, like “don’t mix bass with headphones”.

Anyway, to you aspiring producer, here’s a few things I think you should care about:

  • Limiting yourself can help drive creativity. Don’t use all of your instrumental arsenal at once, don’t try to cover all music styles in one track.
  • Listen to different styles of music and try to identify what you like and what you dislike.
  • Analyze your favorite artists’ work in great detail. Theorize with both feet on the ground.
  • Go ahead and copy other artists, but don’t settle there – tweak and add your own style and flavor.
  • Cover, remix and remake your favorite tracks, it’s a good and fun way to learn about music.
  • Use reference tracks, compare your shit to others, but don’t get paralyzed when your track doesn’t bang as loud as them.
  • Learn about synthesis and learn how to sound design different kind of instruments, e.g. strings, plucks, percussion (make synthetic drums using waveforms, a noise generator, filters, envelopes and such).
  • Check your music productions on several systems; from high-end studio monitor speakers to iPhone earbuds.
  • Sleep on it. Let your track mature over night and return to it with fresh ears.
  • Go hardware, get tactile if you are growing tired of a software-based environment. To actually play an instrument or to turn a real knob is really something else.
  • Get inspiration from collaborations with other artists. Just reach out to people you admire – this is globalization, this is the time of teh internetz.
  • Try to keep passionate about creating music, but don’t be afraid to make some demands of yourself, just to push things forward.

anonymous asked:

Any thoughts on the chatter before 'Olivia' ("rest for four bars")? And the 'writing' noises on 'I want to write you a song'? Are the of any added value to you?

I do have thoughts about that, anon, really complex and conflicted thoughts.

I’m going to refer you to this brilliant Masters thesis, written by a Scott Interrante, who is the host of the popunlimited podcast.

http://onedirectionthesis.tumblr.com/

When One Direction adds in these ambient studio sounds– the insider musician chatter in “Olivia,” the scratching of a pencil in “I Want to Write You a Song,” the fans in “History,” the purpose is to add an illusion of authenticity. The illusion gets fans closer to being in a live experience, a folk music, intimate, small venue, acoustic experience.

It is musical gesture– a way for the band to evolve away from pre-packaged, cookie-cutter boyband pop songs and closer to music they would prefer to make, closer to what they personally like to listen to. They are striving for the authenticity of making “real music,” not the typical boy band, “bland-as-fuck” (Zayn’s words) pop music.

This question of authenticity is a complex one. As consumers, we know that what we consume has a veneer of artifice. We know that voices are auto-tuned and distorted by reverb. We know that 1D songs go through a production process that transforms the raw material into the polished radio hits.

We like to listen to professionally produced music. And that’s okay.

But as Scott’s thesis argues, this question of authenticity goes to the very heart of the question of One Direction.

Selling authenticity of music is a way of selling an authentic fandom experience– the same way that @Louis_Tomlinson seems authentic when he tweets that Pizza Hut should DM him, as if this is Louis Tomlinson charmingly asking for a pizza, rather than Louis Tomlinson™ being paid to endorse Pizza Hut. The lines of authenticity are being blurred without informing the audience.

It isn’t as clear-cut as seeing a celebrity sell perfume in a magazine ad. In the same way, any fashion endorsement, interview, or brand ambassadorship through SM or pap photos strives to seem authentic. It is reflective of the huge confluence of social media and product placement in our culture. It’s the reason for Zigi.

One of the boys said in an interview once– “pressured by the modern age.” This is how modern advertisement works.

But, I mean, they’re just songs. Why get so worked up about them? Do they really have to do with all this– other stuff?

The reason it’s different for One Direction is that inauthenticity, sold as authenticity, is the badge and pride of 1DHQ. It is their modus operandi.

They hold contests to meet band members or go to special listening sessions in which the winners have already been pre-determined– and it’s rarely the casual fan without insider connections. I, and people I know, would have loved going to the London sessions. But I knew that would never have been a possibility. It’s always the people in service of 1DHQ.

This philosophy is what allows stalkers to appear as lucky fans who bump into the boys “by chance,” and allows these stalkers access to the boys time and again, often without security.

Inauthenticity as authenticity as a philosophy is extended to selling a band member’s image TO THE BAND MEMBER’S DETRIMENT. Just look at Louis Tomlinson’s representation with the James Grant Group since January 1st.

There are so many layers of inauthenticity there, that it’s both embarrassingly hilarious and inhumanely immoral.

Inauthenticity sold as authenticity is a way to double back at fans who point this out, to target and invalidate fan theories by calling them crazy, conspiratorial. By having “authentic” band member interviews (Liam Attitude interview, Zayn Fader) stating as much. By having “authentic” band members tweet angry diatribes to fans (Louis Bullshit 1.0, 2.0).

So to your question of whether these ambient noises do anything for me, I would say, yes, on the surface, they’re incredibly charming. They give off a hipster-ish vibe. I love hearing Harry’s and Louis’s voices in Olivia. The pencil scratching in IWTWYAS is a bit cheesy but ok. The fans in History are lovely.

Other musicians include ambient noises on their discography to sound authentic. At the end of Carlie Rae Jepsen’s “Let’s Get Lost,” you can hear this incredibly charming, haunting sound of a dog howling, synthesizers and percussions dying away as if the music itself is being disassembled, put away. Another example would be the weird but lovely oscilloscope sound in Wilco’s “I am trying to break your heart.”

Will there ever be a time when authenticity for 1D is, well, authentic?

It’s like a little ink seeping into water. The water can never be clear again. It can only get clearer if diluted by a lot more clear water. Honesty is a difficult thing to reclaim.

Generally I love a little fun and games in music– and actually love all sorts of ambient noises being incorporated into music. But as usual with One Direction— it gets me thinking.

I don't want to reblog that long ass BoL vs Coco post

But the amount of misinformation on it is astounding. When Gutierrez opted his movie at Pixar, he was turned down because Pixar was already optioning Coco, they noted similar themes, and while in the past they’ve completely cancelled movies to allow similar sounding projects from other studios a chance to flourish (the whole Newt/Rio thing), I’m guessing they didn’t cancel Coco here because at this point neither project had been totally green lit. Part of the reason BoL eventually DID get greenlit was because Fox saw the whole trademark debacle go down, prior to Coco being formally announced (remember the first rumblings of the project started spreading when Toy Story 3 hit theaters) and Fox saw it as an opportunity to get a movie made that could beat Coco to the box office and establish mindshare specifically so that when Coco did finally get announced this exact dumb comparison stuff would happen. You guys are doing exactly what Fox hoped would happen. And speaking of the trademark debacle…

Disney/Pixar did not try to trademark Dia De Los Muertos as a way to own the holiday and merchandising and distribution rights etc. It was to register the then working title of Coco, and start the ball rolling on all the work and contracts necessary to get everything from trailers to posters to yes merchandise made. The backlash to the whole misunderstanding delayed the project and made them have to wait until it’s final title was nailed down to officially announce anything. Keep in mind that other holidays and yes even Dia De Los Muertos have already/since been trademarked for the purposes of film and short projects, just as Disney was attempting to do 5 years ago. It doesn’t mean any of the distributors of those films can sue someone for celebrating or that they can commodify the holiday in any way.

Also, in what way is Coco existing a bad thing? The Book of Life is great, I like it, but it’s not a transcendental film that means there’s no room for similar concepts to be explored ever again. It was forced to include a marketable but relatively inauthentic cast, referenced to contemporary music and humor that could make for a sellable trailer. It’s frame narrative is heavy handed and clunky. Visually it’s absolutely ace though, and frankly, I think Coco looks beautiful too from what little we’ve been given. The casting for Coco is promising, the crew is promising, the intent and the amount of research has been promising. Disney/Pixar also has the capital and the reach to make this a film that will be seen by a far wider audience than The Book of Life was able to, and that’s important! We should be encouraging this! Assuming the movie doesn’t turn out to be a terrible and offensive garbage heap, which even given Pixar’s worst output, seems highly unlikely, how is it a bad thing for this movie to be made? Oh, I guess because in 120 seconds of broad strokes the teaser seemed too similar to The Book of Life? Why not give this movie a chance to come out, see it, and THEN make your comparisons? I know a lot of people feel that whatever came first cannot be topped and should remain unchallenged, but as a Mexican, I whole heartedly welcome attempts to introduce audiences to stories and themes I grew up with. A movie like this taking off opens the door for more, and more stories about my family’s culture, about different aspects of that culture, beyond DotD. DotD is mainly the go to because the core of the celebration is universal and we encourage EVERYONE to participate. It’s an aspect of our culture that we openly share already, but here’s another chance for it to be presented with a voice that can reach further. I’m stoked, to be completely honest.

Plus, while a lot of people on here are trying to be scorned on behalf of Gutierrez, and pit these two films against each other instead of letting them complement each other, Gutierrez was tweeting how excited he is to see Coco.

ew.com
Hear Jason Isbell's Rollicking New Song, 'Hope the High Road'
Over the course of his last two albums — 2013’s Southeastern and 2015’s Grammy-winning Something More Than Free — Jason Isbell has solidified himself as Americana music’s premier …

On “Road”, Isbell, who has been openly critical of President Donald Trump on Twitter, laments the effects of the current, divisive social climate. “I know you’re tired and you ain’t sleeping well,” he sings, his throaty baritone as empathetic as ever, “Uninspired and likely mad as hell.” But this isn’t just a forum for airing grievances. Facing despair, Isbell remains steadfast. “But I ain’t fighting with you down in the ditch,” he cautions, “I’ll meet you up here on the road.” As he says, “I really wanted it to be something that was reflective of my own character as it is now. Now that I’m a father, now that I’m grown, now that I’m sober, now that I’m clearheaded.” He hopes the message resonates: I want [listeners] to feel encouraged to be vigilant but to still stay classy, for Christ’s sake. If you’re doing too much yelling and too much screaming and acting out of frustration, you’re not effecting change in any positive way.

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Afreen Afreen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Momina Mustehsan, Episode 2, Coke Studio 9