Ableton Live 10 gets an upgrade. Disco digging made easier. Roland applies for copyright. HMV is rescued.

Disco digger. A new app called Disco FM has hit the market, claiming to be essential for “crate diggers and vinyl record collectors.” Designed for times when listening to a record isn’t an option, like flea market purchases, DiscoFM will provide an audio preview. The user can either take a picture of the record’s barcode, or enter its name or catalogue number, and they are presented with a full tracklist and audio previews for each song. The developers claim a 90 percent hit rate, and it’s on sale now €1.01 in the Apple App Store. More info here.

909 anthology. DJ Mag charted the 35-year history of one of dance music’s most important and iconic instruments—the Roland TR-909 drum machine. Used by artists like Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin, Daft Punk, KRS-One and Madonna, the instrument got its start in electro circles before migrating to hip hop production, then to early techno producers like Juan Atkins, who incorporated the machine into his Model 500 productions and Metroplex imprint in the late ‘80s. The 909 sound only exploded in popularity and is still firmly with us today. Read the full history here.

Trouble for 21 Savage. Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage was arrested over the weekend and is facing possible deportation to the UK. According to reports, 21 Savage, whose real name Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is a British citizen who overstayed his visa in 2005. The visa expired in 2006, and he was arrested during a sting operation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The rapper has since confirmed he was born in the UK, and birth certificates prove he was born in Newham, London. However, he further clarified he immigrated to the United States when he was 7 years old, and that the visa expired “through no fault of his own,” further complicating the story. Read more, including a statement by his lawyer, here.

HMV rescued. UK music and film chain HMV has been pulled from the brink by Canadian music entrepreneur Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records. Under the deal, 100 of the chain’s 127 stores will remain open, saving nearly 1,500 jobs. 27 stores will close immediately, including the flagship Oxford Street store, leading to 455 job losses with another 122 warehouse jobs gone in the coming weeks. The retailer has been hit hard by streaming sites like Netflix and Spotify as physical sales of music and films continue to fall, collapsing into administration just after Christmas. Read more here.

Live update. The first major update for Ableton Live 10 is on the way. Free for Live 10 owners, the updates are numerous. With Live’s latest synth, Wavetable, users will now be able to create their own wavetables; Channel EQ and delay are 10.1’s latest audio effects; Automation envelopes will allow for pre-drawn automation shapes; zooming and scrolling will get an upgrade; and Live 10.1 will allow for freezing tracks that contain sidechain routing. That’s not all, of course. Head to the Ableton blog for more info.

Roland plays defence. In what looks like a response to the Behringer RD-808 clone, which we first told you about here, Japan’s Roland has taken steps to copyright the design of its TB-303 and TR-808 machines. Originally discovered by the sequencer.de forum, it appears Roland is trying to protect the keyboard layout and knobs of the 303, and sequence of the coloured buttons on the 808. The colored buttons of the RD-808 do look incredibly similar to the 808, and the recent move to register the copyright in Germany, where Behringer is based, could mean Roland will more aggressively protect the company’s intellectual property in the future. Read more here.

Lo-fi demo. In a video series originally posted to Instagram by Discwoman’s Umfang, take a trip back to the ‘90s with a video tutorial on the lo-fi sampler Boss SP-202 Dr. Sample box. The digital phrase-sampler is a cult favourite amongst lo-fi producers, playing up to 32 samples ranging from four to 35 minutes in length, depending on sample rate. Umfang herself is a big fan of Boss DR-202 Dr. Groove machine, a cousin of the Dr. Sample box. Watch below.

Spotify in the black. For the first time ever, streaming giant Spotify has posted a profit. The Swedish company shared 2018’s final fiscal quarter figures, revealing $1.7 billion in revenue, an increase of 30 percent on the year before. That percentage almost exactly matches Spotify’s increase in paid subscribers, which reached 96 million last year, an increase of 36 percent on the previous year. Despite the company’s failure to launch in India, the company expanded to 78 countries from the 65 during the previous year’s quarter, and grew its active users by 27 percent on the previous year’s quarter, to 209 million. While it may mean trouble for the industry at large, it certainly boasts well for the future of the company and its shareholders. More info here.

u-he vs Native Instruments. Grab a good saving as u-he has teamed up with Native Instruments to give users an exclusive offer: Get Diva and Repro each at 50% off, or buy both synths and four hand-picked effects for a special price of £239.00.  More here.

9th February, 2019

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