Telemann

The next Web standard could be music notation

The role of the music score is an important one, as a lingua franca – it puts musical information in a format a lot of people can read. And it does that by adhering to standards. Now with computers, phones, and tablets all over the planet, can music notation adapt? A new group is working on bringing digital notation as a standard to the Web. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – yes, the folks who bring you other Web standards – formed what they’re describing as a “community group” to work on notation. That doesn’t mean your next Chrome …

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(CC-BY) Flavio Ensiki.

Stems for DJs and More: Here’s How A New Format Will Work

The most important thing to know about Stems, a new multitrack specification for audio, is that it’s simple by design. That simplicity means that it could really take off as a way of sharing music with multiple tracks, for DJing or live-remix applications. Stems won’t solve every problem of file exchange and sharing. It’s not a multichannel spatialization format. It’s not a sophisticated project format for storing metadata. I say that, because after we covered Stems at the beginning of this week, I found my inbox flooded with every use case for every file format imaginable, and complaints that Stems …

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Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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Pioneer's CDJ sometimes seems as much a part of the club scene as ... a bar. An NI software update marries the decks and their onboard UI to Traktor's mix, cueing, remix, and library features. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Will Will, in the UAE.

Pioneer CDJ Gets Integrated with Traktor; Can’t We All Get Just Along?

Some surprise news out of Native Instruments today: NI’s Traktor can now integrate with Pioneer hardware, including the CDJ. We’ll see how the news will be received by DJs, but it at least suggests an attempt by the two companies to make their tools coexist in more peaceful fashion. The integration itself is best seen in the video, but it’s pretty impressive: for users comfortable with Pioneer’s flagship mixer (the DJM-900) and the CDJ deck, the stuff in Traktor is accessible directly from hardware. It could also be part of a larger trend: it’s computer functionality, away from the computer. …

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Looking Beyond MIDI, What’s the Best Way to Represent Musical Notes Digitally?

Speaking in Hamburg to a terrific group of assembled locals from a variety of design backgrounds. And yes, this is the other part of my life behind me. I just seem to generally skip the years 1700-1985. Go figure. The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did. Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as …

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s future would again turn to the basics of electronic sound synthesis. A group of intrepid hackers and Mozilla developers and community leaders are working to make an audio API a standard part of this generation of Web browsers. (Note: not some unspecified future browsers – …

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Apple iPad May Support USB Audio Interfaces Via Camera Accessory Kit

In this bold, new future of computing, we don’t need USB or ports, huh? Wait – scratch that – you may have your iPad and your USB, too, after all. Photo (CC)

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ISO Releases Standard for Care and Feeding of Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs

The ubiquitous shiny disc. Photo: “Fanch The System.” There’s a massive misconception of digital formats, that somehow if something’s digital it’ll last forever in a pristine state. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: because digital formats are so intolerant of any error, they’re actually more susceptible to physical harm than analog formats. (If you don’t believe me, compare a vinyl LP with some scratches on it to a CD with a single scratch.) Now, the question is, how dedicated are you to proper care and feeding of your discs? Enough to care whether you’re handling your CDs …

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