Unlabelled: Do you really need a record label to succeed in 2022?

Source: https://musictech.com/features/opinion-analysis/unlabelled-do-you-really-need-a-record-label-to-succeed-in-2022/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unlabelled-do-you-really-need-a-record-label-to-succeed-in-2022

“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll,” belted out Bon Scott 47 years ago. While many things have changed since the hazy days of the 70s, the hard-nosed nature of the music business is not one of them.

READ MORE: “Musically, I can do everything I want. There are no external guidelines”: Boris Brejcha on ‘high-tech minimal’ and working only with software

In 2021 alone, electronic music luminary Four Tet found his albums pulled from streaming platforms after contractual disputes with his former label, Domino Records; Taylor Swift took the extraordinary step of re-recording her own back-catalogue in an effort to reclaim ownership; and multiple artists began calling for a boycott of Spotify due to the CEO’s investments in AI weapons systems.

The music industry has never been a simple place. But new, disruptive technologies and rapidly evolving business models make building a successful career trickier than ever.

Four TetFour Tet, Image: Burak Cingi/Redferns.
Royally screwed

One of the biggest problems facing the industry right now is money. Artists have been fighting for a bigger slice of the pie since the early days of recorded music, but the recent dominance of streaming platforms has brought the issue into sharper focus.

The dramatic shift to streaming platforms has seen the income that artists derive from royalties plummet. It’s now estimated that artists earn an average of $0.01 per stream and need to achieve one million monthly streams to pocket a living wage. This is especially troublesome considering that a significant amount of money is being made from streaming; it’s just not finding its way to the majority of music makers.

The industry’s global revenue went up by over 54 per cent between 2014 and 2020, so why isn’t this growth in streaming revenue finding its way to artists? The heart of the problem lies in how streaming royalties are calculated. Most major labels currently class streaming as a ‘sale’, the same as selling a physical single or album. This classification results in a much lower royalty percentage for artists than what they’d get from a rental or broadcast.

Advocates for change will quickly point out that streaming works very differently from physical sales; most platforms work… Read More

5 Celebrities Who Love Gardening

Source: https://www.girlstalkinsmack.com/5-celebrities-who-love-gardening/

These 5 celebrities all love unwinding in their gardens. Getting their hands dirty and watching their flowers grow, these stars find tending to their plants to be therapeutic and relaxing. Stepping away from the spotlight for a while and taking up a simple hobby, each star has gushed about taking some time off to chill out in their gardens.

Dannii Minogue

Dannii uses gardening as a way to unwind: “I like gardening. I love it. I don’t have a garden at the moment, but my mum does. She’s really into it. People don’t normally see me as a gardener. It’s a good stress release. It’s very therapeutic.”

Ed Westwick

Ed believes there is something special about watching flowers grow: ”I just love planting flowers during the summer. There’s something very humble about it, and natural and beautiful. We’re a more beautiful species in the summer – everyone comes out looking gorgeous and girls put on nice dresses.”

Eva Mendes

Eva claims to garden in the nude: “I do gardening naked. If I’m hanging out naked and see some roses that need pruning, I’ll prune them. I’m not going to get dressed first. But I’m not an exhibitionist – I don’t want my neighbours to see.”

Jerry Hall

Jerry says gardening is quite a British hobby and one she enjoys too: ”I’m quite a home girl. I’ve been living here 27 years so this is my home, all my children are here. I love gardening, the English are so into it.”

Sienna Miller
<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-109466" src="http://girlstalkinsmack.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/sienna.png" alt="sienna" width="580" height="5… Read More

Dreezy Spied in Fashion Nova Grey NBA Bulls Graphic Cropped Sweatshirt

Source: http://fashionbombdaily.com/dreezy-spied-in-fashion-nova-grey-nba-bulls-graphic-cropped-sweatshirt/

Dreezy was spotted striking a pose while on set, rocking a comfy look. The rapper’s ensemble featured a Fashion Nova NBA Bulls graphic cropped sweatshirt.

Dreezy wore Fashion Nova’s $49.99 NBA Off The Court Bulls Cropped Sweatshirt in heather grey. She paired the sweatshirt with red ruched pants and Nike red and grey sneakers.

The NBA Off The Court Bulls Cropped Sweatshirt features a front NBA Chicago Bulls graphic in a slightly cropped silhouette.

Thoughts? Shop the sweatshirt here.

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Microphone maker Audix acquired by content creation hardware and software specialists Vitec Group

Source: https://musictech.com/news/industry/microphone-maker-audix-acquired-by-content-creation-hardware-and-software-specialists-vitec-group/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=microphone-maker-audix-acquired-by-content-creation-hardware-and-software-specialists-vitec-group

Content creation solutions experts The Vitec Group has acquired Portland, Oregon-based microphone makers Audix and all its affiliates.

READ MORE: Audix’s A231 microphone aims to set “a new gold standard” for capturing vocals

The acquisition is set to help Vitec accelerate its in-house microphone product design, development and manufacturing across all its current audio brands and Audix will be represented alongside microphone windshield makers Rycote and tripod makers JOBY as the three core brands to spearhead Vitec’s entry into the audio market.

Audix has gained a cult following for their high-quality premium microphones, having recently launched what they call the “new gold standard” for capturing vocals, the Audix’s A231. While ostensibly designed to capture vocals, the company claims the microphone captures sound in such detail that it can be used as an overhead for drums, or for recording acoustic instruments such as as violins and guitars.

MusicTech reviewed the Audix DP7 Drum Microphone Pack back in 2019, and found the seven-piece microphone pack to offer a “range of microphones optimised to work together, bringing out the best of their individual characteristics”, according to reviewer John Pickford.

The Vitec Group specialises in premium-branded hardware products and software solutions catering to the content creation market. They count livestreaming service Lightstream, camera accessories maker Manfrotto, and video solutions experts Teradek among their range of brands. The acquisition of Audix, is set to convert the Audix team and facility in Portland into the Vitec Imaging Solutions’ Audio R&D Centre of Excellence.

The group employs over 1,800 people worldwide working on camera supports, video transmission systems and monitors, live streaming solutions, smartphone accessories, robotic camera systems, prompters, LED lighting, mobile power, bags and motion control, audio capture and noise reduction equipment.

In a press statement, Marco Pezzana, Divisional CEO at Vitec Imaging Solutions outlined the value of the acquisition to Vitec, saying, “The brand will significantly increase our total addressable market, advance our audio technology capabilities and, most importantly, bring great people with intimate knowledge of the audio industry, who will be a real asset to the company and enable us to accelerate the delivery of Vitec’s audio strategy and delight the content … Read More

Rihanna Grabs Dinner at Giorgio Baldi for Date Night With A$AP Rocky, Wearing Gucci x Balenciaga Monogram Look

Source: http://fashionbombdaily.com/rihanna-grabs-dinner-at-giorgio-baldi-for-date-night-with-asap-rocky-wearing-gucci-x-balenciaga-monogram-look/

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are back again with another couple style moment. The pair hit the streets for date night at Rihanna’s favorite restaurant, Giorgio Baldi, with both wearing fashionable ensembles.

Rihanna wore a $2,500 Gucci x Balenciaga gilet and $550 maxi GG print silk shawl, worn as a head scarf, from the brands’ Hacker Project. Underneath her vest, it appeared the Fenty CEO was wearing a brown flowy dress. Rounding off the look, she completed the look with sold-out $1,290 Tom Ford Padlock snakeskin sandals and $870 Gucci oversize rectangular sunglasses.

A$AP Rocky wore Dior Spring/Summer 2015 artwork denim jacket and $689 Kapital Grandrelle sweat knit pants along with a checked shirt and graphic t-shirt. On foot, he rocked a pair of Dior x Air Jordan 1 sneakers, which are available for resale starting at $7,000. He finished the look off with a $165 Mimata Omon knit balaclava.

<img width="540" height="540" src="https:… Read More

Google loses smart speaker patent lawsuits to Sonos: Future models to have some features removed

Source: https://musictech.com/news/industry/google-loses-smart-speaker-patent-lawsuits-to-sonos-future-models-to-have-some-features-removed/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-loses-smart-speaker-patent-lawsuits-to-sonos-future-models-to-have-some-features-removed

A court battle between tech giant Google and speaker makers Sonos has resulted in a win for Sonos, and as a result, Google will have to do away with features that infringe on Sonos’ patents.

READ MORE: Google infringed on speaker technology patents owned by Sonos, says US trade judge

Court documents acquired by Digital Music News reveal that the International Trade Council (ITC) ruled in favour of Sonos and “determined that the appropriate remedies are a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order against Google.”

The changes largely affect users who use Speaker Group feature to control the volume in the Google Home app via voice, Google Assistant, or using the direct Nest Hub display. Google smart speakers will no longer have group volume control among other changes, Google announced in a Google Nest Community blog post published on January 6 outlining the consequences of the ruling.

Users will have to manually adjust each device individually, and with the change, the ability to use the volume rocker to adjust a Speaker Group has also been removed.

Google Cast-based devices, like JBL or Lenovo branded Cast speakers, will require users to use version 1.52.272222 or higher Cast firmware to maintain functionality. More information on how to find out a device’s firmware version and contact a developer is available at this post on Google Nest.

Some users may also have to download a Device Utility app to complete product installation and updates. Those affected will receive a prompt to download the app, so users won’t have to worry about forgetting to do so.

With these changes, Google will be able to continue to sell its smart speakers with upcoming software workarounds to make up for any loss of functionality the changes have created.

The post Google loses smart speaker patent lawsuits to Sonos: Future models to have some features removed appeared first on MusicTech.

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Who Wore It Better: Lori Harvey and Dess Dior Spotted in Louis Vuitton Patti Colorblock Wedge Boots

Source: http://fashionbombdaily.com/who-wore-it-better-lori-harvey-and-dess-dior-spotted-in-louis-vuitton-patti-colorblock-wedge-boots/

In the latest episode of “Who Wore It Better”, it came down to two fashionable celebrity ladies and one designer boot. We recently spotted Lori Harvey and Dess Dior in the same Louis Vuitton boots and we must ask: Who wore them better?

The featured “Who Wore It Better” item is none other than the Louis Vuitton “Patti” Wedge boots. Unfortunately, the $4000 boots are sold out, but celebrities like Lori Harvey and Dess Dior were able to snag a pair. Undeniably a show-stopper, the boots appear in grained goat leather matched with a colorblock design and eye-catching monogram double zippers.

Let’s see how Lori Harvey and Dess Dior styled the boots:

Lori Harvey wore her Louis Vuitton “Patti” wedge boots with a $9,450 Bottega Veneta belted-waist leather trench coat and Wolford black turtleneck top and leggings. The look was completed with an orange Hermès Kelly handbag and crystal hoop earrings.

<img width="1160" height="1345" src="http://fashionbombdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Dess-Dior-Steps-Out-in-Louis-Vuitton-Red-Sleeveless-Top-With-Pins-Monogram-Handbag-and-Blue-Colorblock-Knee-High-Wedge-Boots-Paired-With-the-Attico-Cow-Pri… Read More

Wave Alchemy Triaz review: a superb drum machine with a vast library

Source: https://musictech.com/reviews/wave-alchemy-triaz-review-drum-machine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wave-alchemy-triaz-review-drum-machine

Building beats using loops, samples and plug-ins can be a joy. But sometimes, it’s more efficient to work with a drum machine with a focused workflow. Wave Alchemy has implemented its expertise and passion for crafting drum sounds into Triaz, a refined Kontakt instrument for easy beatmaking.

READ MORE: IK Multimedia Syntronik 2 review: A dizzying array of synths at your fingertips

Triaz is a library of 10,000 drum sounds, percussion and sound design tools, which includes vintage and modern drum machines, acoustic kits, modular synths, found sounds and more. Its 12 channels each have three different layers into which samples can be loaded, which you can blend using an X/Y pad. The sound browser allows for extensive tagging, and you can also load in your own samples. If you’re feeling lucky, there’s a flexible randomisation system that lets you randomise a single layer, all layers in a channel, or the entire kit.

The layout is very intuitive, thanks to the colour-coded channels for each category and the main sound-editing screen, which changes dynamically as you select tracks. You can edit the layers as a whole or individually using detailed controls for the sample, pitch and filter, which include useful functions such as random panning and a Slop dial that adds subtle variations to volume, start position and filter cutoff.

Wave Alchemy Triaz

Triaz features tabs for the mixer (with two sends per track), channel effects, send effects and master effects. Channel effects include, compressor, transient designer, bitcrusher and stereo-widening controls. Triaz’ master effects include an EQ, compressor, tape saturation, an output limiter, plus an array of noise samples with which to add additional character. In the send effects, you get an algorithmic plate reverb, a convolution reverb with a tasty selection of 40 custom IRs, and a stereo delay. Overall, it’s a considered and intuitive system. Although, we did find flicking between layers while selecting sounds a little fiddly.

The other main page is the sequencer, which tabs for laying in notes with varying velocities, adding different fast repeats, changing the probability that a note will play, and altering the start trigger time to create more natural or wonky rhythms. You c… Read More

Show Off Your Studio: Imagine Dragons’ Wayne Sermon on how Rick Rubin impacted the band’s fifth album

Source: https://musictech.com/features/studios/show-off-your-studio-imagine-dragons-wayne-sermon-rick-rubin/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=show-off-your-studio-imagine-dragons-wayne-sermon-rick-rubin

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You know Imagine Dragons, right? How could you not? The award-winning American four-piece has topped charts around the world, starting with their 2012 EP Continued Silence, featuring the double-platinum single It’s Time. One year later, their diamond-selling single Radioactive propelled them further into the limelight, snatching up a Grammy for Best Rock Performance and cementing their place as a mainstay in alternative music. At the end of 2021, the band released their fifth album, Mercury – Act 1, with a little help from music production titan Rick Rubin, which debuted at No.9 on the Billboard 200 and in the top five across other Billboard charts.

READ MORE: Cookin Soul: “Limitations make music production fun. If you want to get good at something, you have to love it”

Imagine Dragons self-produce and compose much of their work, each having a home setup that allows them to lay down and share ideas. Guitarist, synth player and pianist Wayne Sermon has transformed his home office into a studio space and has some pretty enviable gear, despite the studio’s modest size. Wayne invites us in and tells us how Rick Rubin impacted Mercury – Act 1, why he regrets not buying a Yamaha CS-80, and why  – despite being a self-confessed gear-head – he believes it’s less about the gear and more about the song.

Imagine Dragons Wayne SermonImage: Alexandra Sermon
Hey Wayne! Congratulations on the fifth Imagine Dragons album. This one was a little different, we hear. Did collaborating remotely impact the creation of Mercury – Act 1?

We were planning a break regardless, but this ended up pushing everything back even more. We heard a lot of our musician friends on the road had to just pack it up halfway through a tour. It’s been a pretty brutal time for the whole industry, obviously. But as far as creativity goes, we send stuff remotely all the time anyway, so that was actually okay and not too different in the early writing stages. Rick Rubin was definitely a big part of the sound though.

What effect did Rick Rubin have on this album? Was there anything specific he implemented, and did you learn any lessons as a producer?

Rick is a special human; warm, intelligent, and a comple… Read More