Metric – Synthetica, Download of the Day

Metric's Fifth Album Release Titled Synthetica

“Metric has created a great record, with great pop sensibilities. I hear 80’s synths, guitars that chime, and great rhythms. Youth Without Youth hasn’t left rotation on my MacBook & iphone since I got it. Great work from Metric!

With their fifth album, Synthetica, Toronto-bred electro-rockers Metric continue to blend sharp lyrics, memorable meolodies, and formidable beats with modern instrumentations. “Speed the Collapse” presents an unfolding drama driven by nervous-sounding drumming. “The Wanderlust” perfectly contrasts Emily Haines’ sweet singing with the legendarily unflappable delivery of guest duet partner Lou Reed. The horns toward the end of the title track, in turn, warmly complement its raw guitar power.

Metric Synthetica – Listen and Download Now

Metric Synthetica – iTunes Canada Store

Track Listing…

1 Artificial Nocturne 5:42
2 Youth Without Youth 4:17
3 Speed the Collapse 3:42
4 Breathing Underwater 3:56
5 Dreams So Real 2:40
6 Lost Kitten 3:16
7 The Void 3:17
8 Synthetica 3:54
9 Clone 5:13
10 The Wanderlust 3:10
11 Nothing But Time 4:04

Animoog App Discount Marks Bob Moog’s Birthday Celebration

Moog Music Inc. has dropped the price of its popular Animoog synthesizer apps for iPhone and iPad, to mark the 78th birthday of the late electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

Animoog for iPhoneicon

Price drop on Animoog iPhone app until May 29 2012

Animoog for iPhone is available from the App Store for $0.99 until May 29 2012

The iPad version of the feature-rich analog synth emulation is available right now at the App Store for $9.99 (regular price $29.99), and the scaled-down iPhone version is just $0.99 (regular price $9.99).

The steep discounts are in effect for one week, May 23rd through May 29th. The special pricing celebrates the May 23 birth date of Moog Music founder Bob Moog.

Animoog for iPad
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Birthday discount pricing on Animoog iPad app in effect to May 29 2012

The iPad version of Animoog is on sale for just $9.99, also until May 29 2012

Animoog is highly regarded as one of the most usable, fun, and great-sounding synth apps available for iOS devices. In particular, the iPad version with its multitouch control surface capabilities has gained a lot of traction amongst pros and serious home musicians.

On the other hand, the depth and complexity of the virtual instrument has been daunting for some users with less experience of real analog synthesizers. If you are in this category, make sure you take advantage of the many excellent online tutorials for Animoog, provided free by Moog Music and several pro audio training groups (see below for links to some of the best).

Google Honours Robert Moog’s Birthday with Minimoog Synth Emulator

To celebrate and commemorate the 78th birthday of electronic music pioneer and inventor Robert Moog (May 23 2012), Google has created one of its most amazing “doodles” yet: a full-blown, live-playable emulation of a Moog 3-oscillator analog synthesizer, embedded on the Google home page.

Permalink: Google’s Moog Doodle (play it online)

Think this couldn’t possibly be a serious piece of music tech? Check out the downloadable quick-start manual for the Moog Doodle, available from Moog Music’s site (click the image below to get the PDF):

Moog Music offers a downloadable PDF quick start guide for the online Google Doodle Moog

As you can see, this Moog synth emulation provides 3 oscillators, with control over waveform as well as tuning for each oscillator; a full-featured low-pass filter with a simple dedicated envelope; and a sweet pitch-glide control to give you those distinctive 70s swooping effects.

The Moog Doodle is playable on Google’s home page, using your mouse or your computer’s keyboard (the qwerty row is mapped to the “white keys”, and the number row covers the “black keys”). You can even record what you play, using the simulated 4-track reel-to-reel tape deck.

Google's home page featured a working emulation of a Moog synthesizer on May 23 2012.

GT Audio Works GTA2 Planar Magnetic Speakers at NY Audio Show

GT Audio Works planar magnetic loudspeakers were an affordable highlight at NY Audio ShowHigh-end audio shows like the New York Audio and AV Show earlier this month tend to favor ultra-expensive esoteric gear that most of us can only dream of owning. But I’m always more interested in the affordable audio systems that regular folks might actually consider buying.

One such practical highlight at the 2012 NY show was the room featuring the GTA2 planar magnetic speaker systems by GT Audio Works.

Greg Takesh (GT) was on hand to demo his budget-conscious ($2,795/pair show special, regular $2,995/pair) planar dynamic hybrid speaker system. He designs his loudspeakers, and produces them himself, garage-style in Stockholm, New Jersey. The GT Audio Works speakers are only available for direct sale from the maker.

The GTA2’s created quite a buzz among those attending the NY show who made their way to the 15th floor demo room and heard them…

“Quite good sound… an incredible bargain.”

“They are one of the few speakers that were playing loud without compelling me to want to leave the room… voices in particular are astounding…chorus singing will drop your jaw.”

more comments at Audio Asylum

The GTA2 incorporates a ribbon tweeter, planar magnetic full-range driver, two 8-inch mid-bass drivers, and a more conventional powered 8-inch sub-woofer. The pair on demo in New York were finished in zebrawood, which looks great, and other finishes are available to order.

These speakers are intended for a 2-channel audiophile setup, but they are also suitable as home theater main speakers. The planar magnetic design produces an open transparent sound that is comparable to what you get from much more expensive electrostatic speaker systems.

According to Takesh: “Planars project sound twice as efficiently as listening distance increases (as opposed to closed box speakers) giving the feeling the performers are right in the next room. This is great for casual listening as you go about your duties in your home. It never sounds loud… they just fill your home with music.”

How refreshing to find an enthusiast-designer-builder who not only believes that “high end audio is WAAAAAAAYYYY too expensive”… but is doing something about it!

“Speakers are like opinions…everyone has their own view on what’s right… I invite you to come to my home with your favorite CDs or stereo equipment and take your time to hear for yourself.”
– Greg Takesh

Apple Promises its iCloud will “Just Work”… for everything

iCloud Music icons“It all just works,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

“All” in this case means access anywhere, anytime on any Apple-enabled device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, iTouch, Apple TV…) to all of your music. And all of your photos. And all of your basic application documents (Pages word-processing docs, Numbers spreadsheets).

The bold promise is that your iTunes music will simply appear on all your devices, and you won’t even have to think about it. And with Apple these days, there no reason to doubt Jobs when he claims it will just work.

It’s no surprise that Jobs announced iCloud at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on June 6th. What is at least a little surprising is the scope of the announcement, the bells and whistles that will set iCloud apart from competing services offered by Amazon and Google.

One of the key capabilities of iCloud that I wasn’t expecting to see is Match technology. iCloud isn’t just for your iTunes purchased music. The Match feature will also scan your entire library of music (including tracks ripped from CDs etc) and provide you with 256 kbps AAC audio files stored in the cloud… and available on all your devices, just like the music you’ve bought.

Match is something like Amazon’s Cloud Drive, but it sounds much more usable and convenient, since it avoids the tedious process of uploading songs from your computer to the cloud, (typically much slower than downloading, with most ISPs). Better still, you get instant access to a high-quality audio file, regardless of the encoding specs of the existing file on your computer.

The music you buy from iTunes is stored in the cloud for free, and you get 5GB of paid storage space for other content (other audio tracks, files, photos, video, contacts, calendars and more), for $25 per year (half the price of rival cloud services).

Another interesting aspect of iCloud is that it will supercede the Mobile.me cloud platform. If you’re a Mobile.me user, you’ll be delighted to get way more features and capabilities from iCloud, at a much lower cost (iCloud’s $25 annual fee, vs Mobile.me’s $100-plus).

Let’s give Steve Jobs the final word: “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

I’m loving it :)