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Avid launches free version of Pro Tools
Jan 23, 2015 5:16am | Fact Magazine

Avid has released a free version of Pro Tools, the digital audio workstation that’s a staple of professional studios with a price tag to match.

Because Pro Tools has, for most of its existence, required additional hardware purchases in order to work properly, it’s never really been available in a cracked version like so many other bits of production software. As a result, it remains unfamiliar to most newbie producers. Perhaps sensing that they’re missing out on the market of eager new artists, Avid has now launched Pro Tools First, a limited version of the software which doesn’t require users to subscribe to any services or buy any hardware.

The company previously tried out another limited version of the DAW, Pro Tools Express, which was bundled with its Mbox hardware. Pro Tools First offers fewer features than Express, including a maximum of four track inputs instead of eight and support for only three projects, as The Verge reports. You get 16 MIDI tracks, compared to the full version’s 512 tracks, and  this is pretty crushing you can’t export your projects as an MP3 or to iTunes and Soundcloud.

Essentially it looks like a demo version to encourage you to try out Pro Tools and eventually make that $899 switch, but for anyone with ambitions to reach the big time, it still seems worth a go. Pro Tools First will arrive as a free download in the first quar...



Listen: Lisa Alma - Man
Jan 23, 2015 4:15am | The Line Of Best Fit
Danish singer/producer Lisa Alma has just signed to Dumont Dumont (José González, RY X), and to celebrate, she's unleashed a new single called "Man" upon the world.>


Listen: Zhala - Aerobic Lambada
Jan 23, 2015 3:57am | The Line Of Best Fit
Swedish hypno-pop upstart Zhala has unveiled a brand new ditty called "Aerobic Lambada" on sverigesradio.se, and it's a belter.>

Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
Jan 23, 2015 3:30am | The Line Of Best Fit
The debut album from Nashville-based Natalie Prass is a stunning and sumptuous affair, a love letter to the healing power of song.

Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again
Jan 23, 2015 2:52am | Drowned In Sound

Having witnessed Pond play one of the most bombastic shows you could hope for back in their breakout year of 2012 (I remember managing to text my brother once another hoard of crowdsurfers had poured forth over my head to rather unashamedly proclaim that Id just seen 'the future of rocknroll'), procuring Beards, Wives & Denim, their album at the time, was an absolute must. The high-energy, wise-cracking demeanour that theyd channelled in the live arena transferred onto that records explosive arsenal of all-encompassing psych-rock numbers, sending you on a multi-coloured trip that you never wanted to return from (try Eye Pattern Blindness for size). With such huge promise on both fronts, it seemed that existing parallels with fellow Perthians and musical brothers-in-arms Tame Impala would continue with Pond making a similar transition into the big leagues.

This momentum, however, stalled somewhat, as the solid yet unspectacular reception for fifth album Hobo Rocket in August 2013 instead established Pond as very much a cult concern. A disappointing outcome, perhaps, but whilst Kevin Parker is now off gallivanting with Mark Ronson and crafting even more mind-melting soundscapes for Tame Impalas eagerly-awaited new record, Pond have diverged from the spotlight that they fleetingly shared to tread their own path.



With lead vocalist (and former Tame Impala bassist) Nick Allbrook solely concentrating on all matters P...


Rae Morris - Unguarded
Jan 23, 2015 2:33am | Drowned In Sound

Rae Morris fans have had to be patient in awaiting this debut album. Many were hooked as soon as they heard 'Dont Go' all the way back in March 2012 - only three years later do we finally have a full length release to listen to. Still, its great that her label have allowed her that time to develop and hone her sound and the age of 21, she can afford to patient with her output.

Certainly she's one of the more interesting artists on the BBC Sound of 2015 list, and though beneath it all there are some very basic pop sensibilities, theres generally enough quirks to mean that it doesnt wear thin. Her voice does recall Ellie Goulding in terms of delivery but where Goulding relies upon her voice to carry her, Rae takes it in her stride and everything comes across very naturally and organic.

There is only really one misstep on Unguarded. Cold feat. Fryars is a weakest collaboration that sticks out a little jarringly on a record that is otherwise expertly paced. The rest though is a perfect example of what a pop album should be. Many of the tracks will already be familiar (as is inevitable on a debut) but Skin, Under the Shadows and Closer are as strong an opening trio as she could hope for. The first of the three is wonderfully haunting and highlights that when the vibe is vulnerable rather than aiming for uplifting is when Rae is at her best. All three of these tracks feel more produced than the early piano-led ballads so 'For You' is welco...


Wray - Wray
Jan 23, 2015 2:16am | Drowned In Sound

Whilst Birmingham, Alabama may not be exactly a global hub for Krautrock, it is interesting to consider the far-reaching nature of the genre. It is hard to imagine a young Damo Suzuki thought his music would influence anyone in America, let alone anyone from a distinctly Red State. Hailing from the city, Wray are by no means motorik-purists or traditionalists, but they certainly have the intensity and energy of the woefully named movement and genre. However, as they also seem to take their cues just as much from New York as Dusseldorf, this particular LP is in equal parts Casablancas to its Can.

In a similar way to UK acts such as Mazes and TOY, this is Krautrock placed firmly within the context of indie rock, as such it is also easy to see the influence of Loop and early MBV here. Downstrokes and aloof vocal performances jostle for dominance with pounding, incessant drums and synthesiser. Indeed this, the bands self-title debut record, doesnt sound as directly like Neu!, Kraftwerk, Amon Duul II et al as their PR spiel would have you believe. But it is certainly traceable to the heady days of West Germanys avant-garde.



It is certainly the more groove-based tracks that set the LP apart. They are repetitive without seeming samey; however music this derivative cannot venture into particularly uncharted territory. Lead single Bad Heart locks down the focus of the track straight away; a looped guitar motif that drags along the rest of th...


What's going on Friday? (The Sidekicks, Sylvan Esso, Sufjan Stevens, Foxing, Rhyton, Bottoms, Saul Williams & more)
Jan 22, 2015 11:00pm | Brooklyn Vegan

photo: The Sidekicks at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Vladislav Grach)

You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...

The Sidekicks, Cayetana, All Dogs, Roger Harvey @ Baby's All Right
Columbus, Ohio's The Sidekicks just dropped their fourth album and first for Epitaph, Runners in the Nerved World, which finds the once-punk band moving into Shins/Band of Horses territory. They excel at both sounds, and BV is proud to present tonight's record release show which also includes two indie punk bands -- Cayetana and All Dogs -- and somber songwriter Roger Harvey.

Sylvan Esso, Mr. Twin Sister @ Terminal 5
Sylvan Esso blew right up in 2014, skipping straight from Bowery Ballroom to a sold-out show at Terminal 5. Their appealing debut album and charming stage presence of singer Amelia Meath have a lot to do with it. If you're going, get there early for Mr Twin Sister who fit right in with SE's inviting, danceable sound.

Bottoms, DJ Samson (DJ), Ryan Smith (DJ) @ Secret Project Robot
Brooklyn trio Bottoms make bass-heavy, slightly gothy techno/electro dance music, as heard on their debut EP which is out this week. Tonight's the release show it with MEN's DJ Samson on DJ duties.

Sufjan Stevens' 'Round-Up' w/ Yarn/Wire @ BAM
While Sufjan will release his first studio album since 2010 this March, ahead of ...


Listen back to Jon Hopkins latest Radio 1 show, co-hosted by Nosaj Thing
Jan 22, 2015 9:29pm | Fact Magazine

Hopkins was joined in the Radio 1 hot seat by the veteran LA beatmaker.

Enduring electronica figure Jon Hopkins aired the latest episode of his Radio 1 residency last night, this time co-hosted by Nosaj Thing.

Alongside Hopkins’ premiere of Nosaj Thing’s ‘Medic’, the show also included tracks from Burial, Surgeon, Hodge, Blue Hawaii and Laszlo Dancehall to name but a few.

The Border Community label was also represented, with Hopkins spinning efforts from Nathan Fake and Luke Abbott.

You can stream the show courtesy of BBC Radio 1.


Hear an 80-minute recording of Panda Bear live in Brooklyn
Jan 22, 2015 9:12pm | Fact Magazine

Panda Bear played Brooklyn venue Warsaw for RBMA.

Red Bull Music Academy have shared an 80-minute recording of Noah Lennox AKA Panda Bear live at last year’s RBMA Festival. Recorded on May 18, 2014, the live set can be streamed in full below.

Lennox has just released a new album entitled Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. The Animal Collective member also recently provided his own entry into FACT’s mix series, featuring the likes of Pepe Bradock and King Tubby.

[via Pitchfork]


Pharrells Gonna Be On The Simpsons Next Month
Jan 22, 2015 8:23pm | StereoGum

It feels like every famous person ever has already popped up on The Simpsons at one point or another, but it turns out Pharrell hasn’t. Until next month, anyway. The artist will play himself in a cameo appearance in an episode called “Walking Big & Tall,” according to Entertainment Weekly. He’ll offer to write Springfield a new town song after the citizens find out that their town song is also the town song of a lot of other towns. The episode is based of a real-life story of a composer shopping the same anthem to multiple cities that was highlighted in a segment of This American Life. That’s the Simpsonized version of Pharrell above, special hat and all. The episode will air on 2/8 on FOX.





X-Men: Apocalypse adds Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, and Tye Sheridan
Jan 22, 2015 8:12pm | Cosequence Of Sound

Bryan Singer has found his new mutants. The director has announced via Twitter that X-Men: Apocalypse has cast Alexandra Shipp as Storm (below left), Sophie Turner as Jean Grey (center), and Tye Sheridan as Cyclops (right).

Turner is well-known for her role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Shipp recently starred as the late Aaliyah in the controversial TV movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, and can next be seen playing Kim in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. Sheridan began his acting career in 2011 as Steve in The Tree of Life, followed by a memorable turn as Ellis in Mud a year later.

All three characters will be younger versions of those seen in the original X-Men trilogy and (spoiler alert) last summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, and James Marsden originated the roles. (Tim Pocock previously portrayed a young Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but most folks prefer to forget about that movie entirely.)

The trio of actors joins a cast that includes James McAvoy (Professor Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Mangeto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), and Evan Peters (Quicksilver), as well as franchise-newcomer Oscar Isaac in the villainous title role. Rumor has it that Channing Tatum will also make his debut as Gamb...


X-Men: Apocalypse adds Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan
Jan 22, 2015 8:12pm | Cosequence Of Sound

Bryan Singer has found his new mutants. The director announced via Twitter that X-Men: Apocalypse has added Alexandra Shipp as Storm (below left), Sophie Turner as Jean Grey (center), and Tye Sheridan as Cyclops (right).

Turner is well-known for her role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Shipp recently starred as the late Aaliyah in the controversial TV movie, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, and can next be seen playing Kim in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. Sheridan began his acting career in 2011 as Steve in The Tree of Life, followed by a memorable turn as Ellis is Mud a year later.

All three character will be younger versions of those seen in the original X-Men trilogy and (spoiler alert) last summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, and James Marsden originated the roles. (Tim Pocock previously portrayed a young Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but most folks prefer to forget about that movie entirely.)

The trio of actors joins a cast that includes James McAvoy (Professor Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Mangeto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Evan Peters (Quicksilver), as well as franchise-newcomer Oscar Isaac in the villainous title role. Rumor has it that Channing Tatum will also make his debut as Gambit in the...


album premiere: listen to Jib Kidders dreamlike Teaspoon to the Ocean
Jan 22, 2015 8:11pm | Gorilla Vs Bear

We’re psyched to debut the expansive, poignant new LP from Jib Kidder (née Sean Schuster-Craig), A Teaspoon to the Ocean. Schuster-Craig covers much varied and wonderfully strange ground over the album’s 11 tracks, creating a vivid, dreamlike landscape — see the complementary animations below — best navigated while reading his very personal and insightful self-written album bio, which covers everything from his early experiences with collage/sampling, to his time spent at the University of Michigan with Julia Holter (who appears on the lovely, lilting acid-country jam “Appetites“) and Laurel Halo, to his “dark years”, and the intense relationship/fascination with dreams that informs his unique musical style.

A Teaspoon to the Ocean is out next week via our friends at Weird World; catch Jib Kidder on tour with Panda Bear in Europe in March.


Teenage Engineering unveil an affordable synthesizer that fits in your pocket
Jan 22, 2015 7:16pm | Fact Magazine

The synthesizer will go for under $60 and is about the size of a calculator.

The Swedish company Teenage Engineering is perhaps best known for the OP-1, which resembled a flimsy toy on first glance only to reveal a powerful workstation underneath. Now the company has taken a similar approach with their new synthesizer, this time in miniature.

The Pocket Operator, which will sell for $59 and runs on two AAA batteries will have three different versions.: the PO-12 Rhythm (a drum machine), the PO-14 Sub (a bass synth), and the PO-16 Factory (a melodic synth). All three can also be chained together into one unit. In a first look on The Verge, the creators talked about being inspired by Nintendo Game & Watch system, which would explain the lighthearted animations on the screen.

Below you can find a sneak peak from last year of a prototype. The sound is certainly limited, but it’s an impressive display for a device with the same power requirements as a Game Boy Pocket. (via Boing Boing)

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