synergy

This Movie Clip Sums Up the SFX-Beatport Vision of the Future of Dance Music

Synergy. That’s the direction you can expect from Beatport and SFX Entertainment. And the speech above from the film In Good Company more or less fits. (The plot of that 2004 movie even includes an acquisition by a conglomerate.) Basically, SFX may have solved the problem of how to make money in the streaming business – by making its money elsewhere. Or, it seems that’s the plan. Here’s the problem: music streaming has razor-thin margins versus sales. The artists and labels eek out fairly small bits of change, generally. They can blame the streaming services, but with those services having …

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playlistcreation

Meet Those SoundCloud Premier Partners, Advertisers – And Look Back 5 Years Ago

SoundCloud’s On SoundCloud program, which includes the ability to add optional advertising to your content as a revenue source, is initially available only to Premier partners. Premier is a new, invite-only membership level that has extra features the rest of the community doesn’t get – though, as with advertising, SoundCloud says most of those features will eventually be available to all paid users. But just who are those Premier partners getting the list? SoundCloud sent over the complete launch list to CDM so we can all have a look. It includes some big names (Sony, BMG), but also artists, comedy …

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SoundCloud Explains Their New Plans to Us – And How Ads Will Work

Money at SoundCloud has in the past flowed in one direction: you, the uploader, pay for premium plans, and SoundCloud gets the cash. Now, for the first time, money is going the other way – from the service to artists and labels. In the process, that means one significant change: SoundCloud listeners will begin to hear ads. It’s been interesting to watch the reaction – from people losing their minds over ads appearing on the service to more measured responses and genuine interest in the service “growing up” and adding income to become sustainable. This of course collides with worries …

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As a Wooden Tangible Sequencer Plays Bach, Meditations on Encoding Music

You may have seen it already as it makes its viral rounds, but an advertising video for Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo is a poetic model of how musical events are encoded, whether through means tangible or digital. A track of pitches makes a wooden ball into a mallet, traversing a track as it is driven by gravity. The keys of that track become a xylophone, the traversal of space sequencing notes in time, and you hear Bach Cantata 147, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” While there’s a clever take on a trill, the only disappointment is that we don’t …

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Inventive Wit of Spy Films, Proof Commercial Work Can Aid Art

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo. Making Of Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo. Surrealist René Magritte had the best academic training, but his early works are viewed by scholars as being derivative – and you probably haven’t ever seen them. It seems that his work after the academy, as a commercial sign painter, designer, and even wallpaper creator (really), were part of what made Magritte the artist we know now. What painting signs gave Magritte was a concise wit, a compactness of message – and the rest is history. At a time when digital visuals are deeply …

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Bendable, Musical Shoes for Nike, and How They Were Made

Shoes are the new turnables. Or at least that’s the conclusion you might reach after watching a new Japanese campaign for Nike’s Free Run+ running shoes. Apparently wishing to tout the bendable qualities of its new footwear, Nike enlisted sound artists to transform its product into a musical instrument. The shoes get plugged in, switched on, and mixed up, battle-style, as they sense when the shoe is flexed or moved in space. And yes, everything you see in the video is real: the shoes really are controlling digital sound live. We even have the Max patch to prove it. Lovers …

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Augmented Reality Music Mixer

I’ve been surprised how many augmented reality applications essentially forgo interactivity: that is, they overlay some graphics, but there’s nothing beyond that. As a musician or visualist, of course, you can easily think og so-called augmented reality as a different kind of controller – tracking a marker in space with computer vision and applying graphics to it. Indeed, as tracking techniques improves, this really enriches what you can do with cameras as controllers. (The fact that you only have a webcam to throw in your backpack to play – well, that’s just a coincidental bonus.) Seb of the firm Exposure …

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Animated Mascots Describe What Advertising Means to Them, in Animata

Product Placement from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo. It’s like Creature Comforts for the ad industry. But look out, traditional animators – still images can come to live almost magically through the interactive powers of Animata, an open source animation tool. In a brilliant series of animated interviews, Product Placement populates its scenes with classic ad mascots, from Heinz’s Tom Tomato to anti-polluter PSA character Woodsy Owl. The audio comes from interviews with people connected to the ad industry being surprisingly frank and even cynical about the role of advertising in society. The audio for those interviews is an interesting project …

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Projection Mapping on People, in Advertising: Puma Lift

Wooster Collective said it: Every Once In A While, Brands Get It Right (This Is One Of Those Times) An inventive, tight use of projection mapping. There’s so much going on, it’s like watching a happy version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Puma Lift. from CCW – Lab on Vimeo. Ok, so it’s nothing at all like Fear and Loathing, but NY/AU agency Droga5 have done a killer job, taking projection mapping out of rectangular boxes and high contrast lines. via decollage.tv, Wooster, lecollagiste, and plenty of other cool kids.

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Playing Music with Light Pens, Flourescent Bulbs, Brought to You By … Sony?

The urgency of being way behind a single dominant player can make electronics makers do some odd stuff to promote their products. iPod, once an icon of digital cool, has achieved such ubiquity that it doesn’t even try to be hip any more. The thing is being promoted with American Idol, for crying out loud — not exactly indie cred. We saw Microsoft enlisting indie musicians and animators to sell Zune, of course. But here’s where things get surprisingly amazing: Sony is using weird and wonderful Japanese experimental music to promote Walkman. Now we’re talking. And whether or not Walkman …

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