A London musical pioneer dies. Trouble at The Fader. Mixcloud pays creators. Virtual Modular.
Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson dies. Longtime London DJ and radio host Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson died following his battle with cancer. Anderson’s life is dotted with milestones. After earning a reputation as one of London’s best dancers, he became one of the first black DJs to play the West End at funk and soul spot Crackers, where he gained a following that included Carl Cox, Fabio and Terry Farley. He later DJed at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, helped found Kiss FM, and threw celebrated Camden Loft parties with guests like Masters At Work and Kerri Chandler, playing right until he died at festivals like Southport Weekender and Croatia’s SuncéBeat. Diagnosed in 2011 with cancer of the left lung, he was in remission until earlier this year when tumours spread to his brain and right lung. According to his family, he passed away “peacefully” on December 2nd. Read more about Anderson here.
Saving producers? In a bid to get creators paid, Mixcloud has launched what it calls a “fan-to-creator” subscription service. Using Select, fans can pay a flexible fee, starting at $2.99 a month, to subscribe to select channels. Defected Records, John Digweed, and Nicole Moudaber are amongst the first 47 channels to use Select. Profits go to channel owners, who will be able to offer exclusive content and direct messaging with their subscribers, and royalties will be paid to artists, labels and publishers via Mixcloud’s ID system. Will this help save struggling producers? Time will tell. Read more here.
480L goes digital. Universal Audio is releasing a plug-in version of the benchmark Lexicon 480L reverb unit with the Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb and Effects plug-in. The original fader-driven remote control has been at the centre of professional studios since its release in 1986, and getting your hands on a vintage version could set you back thousands. UA’s emulator has 100 artist presets, including from Spike Stent, Chuck Zwicky, Eli Janney, Ian Boxill, and Jacknife Lee. And along with Lexicon’s own reverbs, the digital version is newly kitted with reverse, doubling, tremolo, chorus sounds, and more. Starting at $349 USD. Buy it here.
Synth on your wrist? In another world’s first, after last week’s printable record player , Audioweld has launched a synthesizer wrist watch, aptly called Synthwatch. The highly portable device allows wearers to tinker with sounds on the go, and the iOS or Android apps mean you can sequence, record and store your music, then play it back on many types of speakers and amplifiers with the device. To possibly get one on your wrist, donate to the Kickstarter project here.
Modular VR. If wristwatch synths aren’t quite your thing, Escornabois is giving away a downloadable VR modular synth simulator, which will allow users to get acquainted with modular synthesis without actually having to buy and house one. Using a virtual ROTO-1 modular, users will learn how to patch, and be able to toy with its two oscillators, the LFOs, filters and envelope generators, attenuator and sequencer. Download here, and watch a video of the virtual modular below.
VERMONA gets curvy. For its first Eurorack-compatible envelope generator, VERMONA announces the fourMative CONTOURS, a module that delivers up to four combinable single-phase envelopes for complex voltage-controlled curves. Combine or loop individual units with internal patching, or use its extended frequency ranges to turn fourMative into an LFO or audio oscillator. You can also modulate time down to 25 µs and up as far as 10,000 seconds, allowing for a two-hour-long envelope. Find out more here.
Step by step. Written by Max/MSP expert Gregory Taylor, Max developer Cycling ’74 has published a 272-page book on patching and sequencing techniques aimed at musicians and visual artists called Step By Step – Adventures in Sequencing with Max/MSP. The first book by Cycling ’74, Step By Step comes with a collection of downloadable Max patches, and is available in print or Kindle. Purchase the book here.
Fader trouble. A writer for hip hop magazine The Fader has made his thoughts known about the mag’s decision to merge editorial and advertising (what it calls Cornerstone, a creative agency) in an eye-opening Twitter thread. According to the writer, despite having its “most successful year to date,” the magazine’s decision-makers have laid off “half” the editorial staff, including the editor in chief, “systematically devaluing the labor & idealism of talented young folks who really really do care about the work,” he tweeted. See his tweet storm below and more here.
Flow Motion. Waves Audio has announced a new FM synth designed for “deep bass, screaming leads and growling FX” called Flow Motion. The soft synth comes with over 1,000 factory and artist presets, as well as a “snapshot sequencer” to morph between settings, and an arpeggiator, sequencer, filters and FX. The price point starts at $39 USD. Watch a video below for more info.