Indablog // Web Finds - Indaba Music
News, Sessions and oddities from the Indaba Community
Thursday September 24, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Hello fellow Indabans – I trust all is well. There are some really exciting developments occurring over at Harmonix and MTV Games! The Rock Band Network is launching tomorrow. You may be wondering what exactly the ‘Rock Band Network’ is – well its a revolutionary system that enables bands, studios, and record labels to create and sell playable game content from their master recordings using the same professional tools used by the Rock Band developers. What this means to you is that your tunes could be in Rock Band alongside the likes of The Beetles, Led Zeppelin and many many more! Harmonix has put up a preview site that explains how it will work. We’ve given you a summary here, so that you guys will have a heads up:
Step One: Author Your Track
First off you take the stems from any master recording (that you own) and create MIDI charts. The MIDI charts are translated into the ever flowing fret-boards in the game that enable you to view and play notes and chords. You convert your tracks via the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation from RBN, which contains their free authoring plugins. You can then easily audition the track to make sure it works properly. When you are have converted it to the best of your abilities you simply package it up and share it with the RBN community.
Step Two: Upload
When you’re finally satisfied with the virtual interpretation of your track you can upload it to RBN so that your peers can evaluate it. Once uploaded you can receive praise, constructive criticism, and helpful tips. This will play a big role in the development of your song as a vitual track. Your peers will help you to make it as fun and challenging as possible!
Step Three: Review
Once you’ve uploaded a track it becomes instantly available for any other song creator (with a premium account) to download and audition. After you’ve taken all the feedback you can handle and polished your track so its ready for action, you’ll have to submit it for a peer review to get it released into the world.
Step Four: Publish
All your hard work will literally pay off once your song is approved. After the review it will be instantly published and made available for purchase to the millions of Rock Band fans in both the Rock Band Store and the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. You will receive 30% of the royalties from all sales of your track! That’s a really large audience and a really solid demographic for musicians of any genre.
Step Five: Promote
Getting your music into Rock Band is a pretty big deal – and you can believe that Harmonix and MTV games will be letting everyone know that this new opportunity exhists, which basically boils down to tons of free promotion for you. Make sure to tell all your fans and friends that they can now shred your riffs, and sing your melodies. You can also decide what you want to charge for your song from 50 cent to 3 dollars. So get ready to haqve your own songs in one of the biggest video games of all time, and make sure to start collaborating here so you’ll be ready when this drops this August!
Monday August 31, 2009 at 03:37 PM
If you’ve ever heard the song “It’s a Small World” then you have also probably gotten it lodged in your brain. We’ve all had various tunes stuck in our heads from time to time. Some of those songs even have the ability to conjure up memories of different times, places, and events. There is a new study out that underscores the notion that a song can evoke powerful memories. The really interesting thing it reveals is that you don’t even have to hear the song for it to come bubbling up from your sub-conscience, and most people actually have the ability to ‘hear’ songs even when they aren’t being played.
The music memory study involved 124 people, who had an average age of 19. They were asked to look through a list of old songs and choose the one track that evoked the strongest memory. The people were divided into four groups: The first saw the title, the second saw the lyrics, the third saw the album cover, and the fourth listened to a fragment of the song. The participants were then asked to rank the vividness of their memories. There was a lot of success in cojuring memories from each group – especially from the second. Researcher Dr. Cady says “music is a huge cue”. You can test this theory right now if you’d like, but just be careful, you may have these songs bouncing around in your mind for the rest of the day:
“The Theme from Gilligan’s Island”
“We Will Rock You”
Those tunes, along with “Small World”, were cited in a 2001 study by James Kellaris at the University of Cincinnati as among the most common songs that get stuck in peoples’ heads. Kellaris found that a whopping 99 percent out of the 1,000 people he surveyed reported to having at least one of those tracks lodged in their heads, and nearly half of them said that it occurs frequently. Kellaris says that “a simple songs with lots of repetition and an unexpected shift is the most likely to fix itself in your mind”. Down the road, it may create a “cognitive itch” – which we know as thing that bugs you all day long. Apparently the only way to ‘scratch’ that itch is to mentally rehearse the tune that’s responsible for it. That process may begin involuntarily, as the brain detects something ‘exceptional’ in the musical stimulus. The mental repetition may exacerbate the ‘itch’ so much so that the individual feels trapped in a cycle. Scientest are beginning to figure out exactly what it is that’s behind all this. A study released earlier this year employed brain scans which revealed that musical memories are stored in the brain’s auditory cortex. It also confirmed something we all know already – that we continue to ‘hear’ songs after the music stops. The way they determined this is by playing music in the scanner then pressing the mute button. People coudn’t help but to continue the song in their head, and when they did their auditory cortex remained active. There is a slight difference between the way your brain remembers instrumentals and music with lyrics. When researchers pressed the mute button during the word-free them freom the Pink Panther, people redlied on a variety of different regions within the auditory cortex to fill in the blanks. Fewer parts were required to continue “hearing” songs with words. Which leads scientist to believe that lyrics could very well be the focus of the memory.
Thursday August 21, 2008 at 09:00 AM
So often with big music festivals you hear major opposition from some old coots who don’t want no damn hippy shindig in their damn town. They don’t want the noise, they don’t want the people and they don’t seem to care about the influx of cash to their area. It’s happened since music festivals began decades ago and it continues to this day. However, old folks don’t always hate music festivals. In fact, I came across one elderly couple who are begging that one be allowed.
It’s a sad story, really. Well, not sad yet but it could be. Barbara and Ted Beckingham live in upstate New York. They don’t have pensions and they get by on social security payments. The only thing they really have is a nice 100-acre farm in the town of Springfield. Here is the story from Syracuse.com
In the spring, the owners of Madison Square Garden came to the rural
town of Springfield, in Otsego County, with plans to launch a three-day
music festival each summer, like Woodstock, Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo.
The concert site would sit atop the Beckinghams’ farm and another,
larger farm next door.
But the Springfield Arts and Music Festival idea has generated so
much controversy that Barbara Beckingham, 75, fears opposition from
local residents will kill the deal.
“They’ve got their 401(k)s and their pensions and all those other
things,” she said, her voice breaking and her eyes tearing up behind
sunglasses. Looking toward the farmhouse and barn, she added: “Social
Security of $800 a month just doesn’t cut it. This is our retirement.”
The Beckingham farm sits at the epicenter of a bitter fight that is
tearing apart this small town population 1,350 that arcs along the
northern shore of historic Otsego Lake. The promise of a $15 million
investment and an annual influx of 75,000 music fans has pitted those
who want economic development against those who want to keep this rural
Both sides see green, be it cash or countryside.
So, what do you think? Should the town have a right to stop the festival? Should the Beckinghams sacrifice for the rest of the town? Weigh in in the comments.
Thursday July 10, 2008 at 09:00 AM
Many great musicians pen love poems to the cities that birthed their talents and i appears Jack White, of the White Stripes, is no different. TheDailySwarm got their hands on a poem penned by the singer and devoted to the Motor City. It’s called ‘Courageous Dream’s Concern.’
‘Courageous Dream’s Concern,’ by Jack White
I have driven slow,
three miles an hour or so,
through Highland Park, Heidelberg, and the
I’ve hopped on the Michigan,
and transferred to the Woodward,
and heard the good word blaring from an
I love the worn-through tracks of trolley
trains breaking through their
As I ride the Fort Street or the Baker,
just making my way home.
I sneak through an iron gate, and fish
rock bass out of the strait,
watching the mail boat with
its tugboat gait,
hauling words I’ll never know.
The water letter carrier,
bringing prose to lonely sailors,
treading the big lakes with their trailers,
floats in blue green chopping waters,
above long-lost sunken failures,
awaiting exhumation iron whalers,
holding gold we’ll never know.
Friday June 20, 2008 at 09:00 AM
Guitar Hero, the most popular music videogame of all time, didn’t just happen. A talented team of designers, musicians and hyper-geeks had to construct the game from scratch at some point. But when it came time to do some upgrades one feature they decided to add was realistic faces on the games singing characters. And the best way to replicate human facial movements is to digitally map a real human face while he sings. It’s called motion capture – or mo-cap – and the man behind the faces of Guitar Hero is a 24 year-old guy named Adam Jennings. SFGate tracked him down and gives us a rare look into the strange world of one of the most “seen” faces in the world.
About once a week, actor Adam Jennings drives a few miles down
the San Fernando Valley from his apartment to a converted warehouse in
nearby Woodland Hills. He lies on a couch for the better part of an
hour while technicians attach about 70 little spherical sensors to his
face with adhesive.
When they are done, Jennings sits on a stool in a large, dark room
for eight-hour sessions and lip-syncs rock songs while his face is
filmed by as many as a dozen motion-capture cameras, collecting data
that will be turned into computer-generated graphics for video games.
Adam Jennings is the face of the wildly popular Guitar Hero.
Wednesday June 18, 2008 at 09:00 AM
What’s inside your head? Well, a brain for one. And, as it turns out, your brain may be different than a non-musical mind. Oliver Sacks, an all-around academic, has a book on how music affects the human mind called “”http://musicophilia.com/" target="_blank">Musicophilia." Most surprisingly, he found that musicians’ brains are different to the point of being able to identify one just from looking at it. Wired, along with just about every other publication, wrote the book up.
According to neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,
musicians’ brains differ from those of the general population in a
number of ways, including having a stronger connection between the left
and right sides of the brain (from an NPR interview):
- up at Harvard… used brain imagery to measure the sizes of
different parts of the brain. He found first, for example, that the
corpus callosum – the big band which unites the two hemispheres of the
brain – tends to be larger in musicians. And then he found enlargements
of the cortex, the grey matter, in the auditory parts of the brain, and
in motor parts of the brain to a degree which may be almost visible to
the naked eye. So that, say, if one looks at pictures of brains, you
might not be able to say this man is a genius or this man is a fool, or
this man is a visual artist, but you could probably say that man is a
I like the idea that my brain is different – dare I say better – than the average brain thanks to years of playing and listening to music. Of course, I did go through a headbanging stage which probably ruined any chance I had at really standing out.
Musicophilia on Amazon
Tuesday April 29, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Indaba user Newton Bach pointed me towards an online talent search to become a backup singer for Alicia Keys. Thanks, Newton!
You can get to the contest HERE, but don’t waste your time if you’re ineligible. Alicia is looking for a pretty specific skill set.
- Must be female between the ages of 21-30.
- Have a valid Passport.
- Immediately able to Travel.
- By entering, you agree to the full set of rules and regulations
So, if you fit the bill, give it a shot! Make Indaba proud, ladies!
- Must be female between the ages of 21-30.
Friday April 25, 2008 at 11:00 AM
The 1990’s were a great time for bad music. Right Said Fred, Ace of Base, N*Sync, all of these stinkers made their debut in the decade that also gave us great acts like Nirvana and Dave Matthews Band. I say this to illustrate what an accomplishment it was for three guys in the 1990’s to produce the world’s worst song. From Wired…
An online poll conducted in the ‘90s set Vitaly Komar, Alex Melamid and
David Soldier on a quest to create the most annoying song ever. After
gathering data about people’s least favorite music and lyrical
subjects, they did the unthinkable: they combined them into a single
monstrosity, specifically engineered to sound unpleasant to the maximum
percentage of listeners. The song is not new, but it recently
resurfaced on Dial “M” for Musicology.
By my ear, the song isn’t too terrible at the onset but gets exponentially worse the longer it plays. By the time it gets to the ‘kids singing about Christmas’ part it’s virtually impossible to listen to any longer. If you dare, Take A Listen.
Tuesday April 22, 2008 at 07:00 PM
Remember when we were all going to be walking around with virtual reality helmets on, living out our real lives through a virtual medium? Well, that didn’t exactly pan out, did it? What did happen was the personal computer and the Internet. Now, iPerform 3D aims to bring it all full circle, virtual reality and all. Their pitch is this: guitar lessons taught by virtual teachers. Lame, right? Wrong. All the video is made from motion capture technology so it’s pretty realistic. From Wired…
In order to study what the site’s pros are teaching, budding guitarists
can zoom in, loop any segment, view the lesson from multiple angles
(including from behind the fretboard) and slow the song to a crawl
while preserving its pitch. The idea behind the site is that by
manipulating video of the guitar teacher teaching, you can learn at a
faster rate. Full Post
I’ve been looking to get some guitar skills so I’m considering the $20/month offer (much cheaper than real guitar lessons). If I go through with it I will most certainly let you guys know how well it works.
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Friday August 06, 2010 at 12:00 PM
Wednesday August 04, 2010 at 03:40 PM
Wednesday July 28, 2010 at 07:30 AM
Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM
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Sunday July 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM
Wednesday July 14, 2010 at 06:54 PM
Wednesday June 30, 2010 at 06:30 AM
Monday June 28, 2010 at 01:50 PM
Friday June 25, 2010 at 05:00 PM
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