TED: Streaming Is Killing Music

“Technology is changing the very nature of not just music consumption but how music is written and produced. People need to know that they’re being both manipulated by music technology and missing out on a full music experience. Alan Cross shares the subtleties of today’s music delivery systems and questions what it means for the future of music. “

Urbeat

Saxophonist Yanick Coderre has a nice project mixing saxophone and electronics happening. A lot more interesting than a lot of guys who play with like Aebersold type backgrounds doing the same old tired “standards”.

Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

From this article a while ago that ran on The Guardian:

The multimillion dollar brain training industry is under attack. In October 2014, a group of over 100 eminent neuroscientists and psychologists wrote an open letter warning that “claims promoting brain games are frequently exaggerated and at times misleading”. Earlier this year, industry giant Lumosity was fined $2m, and ordered to refund thousands of customers who were duped by false claims that the company’s products improve general mental abilities and slow the progression of age-related decline in mental abilities. And a recent review examining studies purporting to show the benefits of such products found “little evidence … that training improves improves everyday cognitive performance”.

The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality)

From intellectualtakeout.org, this article was very very good.

Throughout grade school and high school, I was fortunate to participate in quality music programs. Our high school had a top Illinois state jazz band; I also participated in symphonic band, which gave me a greater appreciation for classical music. It wasn’t enough to just read music. You would need to sight read, meaning you are given a difficult composition to play cold, without any prior practice. Sight reading would quickly reveal how fine-tuned playing “chops” really were. In college I continued in a jazz band and also took a music theory class. The experience gave me the ability to visualize music (If you play by ear only, you will never have that same depth of understanding music construct.)

Viga Music Tools Microphone

Microphones are important. They capture our sound. They reinforce our sound in a live setting. But they also feed back and color our sound. In the 60s to early 80s, a lot of guys would drill a hole in the neck of their saxophone to put in an a neck microphone pickup.

However, doing this means no going back. The sound that one of these modifications gets you though is great though. Worth it? I dunno.

Now, flip forward a few decades, and a French company called Viga Music Tools is offering an ingenious new mic (the intraMic) that essentially gets you the sound of a neck pick up, but without altering your neck. Check it out.

The Best Internet Thing For Musicians

There are a LOT of things a musician needs to make it in the digital world. One little secret thing that I’ve found EXTREMELY valuable is getting a G Suite Business account. Why you want to spend $12 a month on this…?

First, you get to host your domain on there. And you should have your own domain or slice of the internet and not ONLY have your stuff on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others. A domain name is a great way to brand yourself or your band. Paired with a hosting company (such as squarespace) or using Google Sites, you can have a website in the style you want.

Second, you get email and groups. You can now have access to creating your own email lists. Using Google forms, you can make an easy signup for people to know what you are doing. Gigs, events, etc. Using your domain name.

Third, you get Google Drive…..and unlimited space. Basically, you can put all your recordings, videos, photos, documents, pdfs…..everything, in the cloud. Unlimited is that……unlimited.

Fourth, you can backup to Google. I bought ARQ Backup, and have used it now to backup my laptops, my desktop, and connecting my NAS to my desktop, backed up all 7 TB of my Synology to Google.

So is $12 a month worth it to me? Hells ya.

Sheet Of The Week – Old Town Road (Lil NAS)

This seems popular right now…

  Old Town Road - Lil NAS for Eb Instruments (102.2 KiB, 10 hits)
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  Old Town Road - Lil NAS for Bb Instruments (102.3 KiB, 3 hits)
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Forscore’s 9th Birthday

It’s hard to believe, but 9 years ago, I bought this app. Been using it ever since. For a while, I was stuck on an older version as I held on to using my iPad 1 for my music reader for way to long. But after I got my iPad pro in 2017, and being able to use all the new features they added (and the Apple pencil support), it’s one of my favorite iPad apps.

Backing Up For The Musician

As you may or may not have heard, Myspace lost over a decade of data recently. Yes, seems some people had stuff on Myspace and that it is actually still a website.

So, this brings up the topic again of backing up your stuff. Your music, your music files, etc. BackBlaze has a good blog post on the subject.

For me, I have several backups. My main computer does daily mirrors (cloning of drives) to external drives. And it backs up to BackBlaze. For stuff on my Synology NAS, which include archives of projects, all my PDFs, music, etc, that is backed up to an external hard drive daily, and every few days it is backed up to a remote NAS at my work. And the remote one is slowly uploading to my Google Drive all that data via Arq. My laptop(s) are backing up essential files to Google Drive using Arq.

The important thing is that you need to have at least 2 backups. One local, and one remote.

Review: Woodwind Design’s Alto Sax Stand

In a follow up to my review of the Woodwind Design’s Baritone Stand, here is my review of the Alto version.

The saxophone that I take around the most is my Alto. In the Tripack case.

The case has been modified to hold a Piccolo. Something I find I need a lot when gigging. The tripack case is really awesome in all that it holds…..and now, it can hold the stand for the alto sax.

The design of the stand is similar to the baritone stand, except that it is obviously smaller. It fits in my case in two parts. It does NOT fit in the bell with the neck. There is simply no room for both of them. The stand is fine being in the area between the bell and where the piccolo goes.

Is it totally awesome to have a stand for the alto IN the case? Yes it is. When I’m out teaching, I now have a stand to put the alto on. The flute and clarinet have stands that fit in the case, and having that now for alto…….it’s very nice. Everything I need is now in the case.

Is the stand worth the price. Heck yes. Again, it’s freaking CARBON FIBER. It weighs NOTHING, and it is super strong. True, it’s an investment, but so were the horns I play on.

Go get one of these stands now. www.woodwinddesign.nl

Jazz-Sax, all things Jazz and Sax