Arturia's Avant-garde Stage Keyboard: AstroLab

(Image Credit: Arturia)

French electronics company Arturia has unveiled its avant-garde stage keyboard, the AstroLab. Tailored for the contemporary musician and producer craving boundless creative exploration, AstroLab is a cutting-edge instrument that redefines the boundaries of expression.

Featuring advanced virtual synthesis capabilities, an innovative ecosystem, and intuitive controls, AstroLab seamlessly integrates studio production, live performance, and unrestricted artistic innovation. Boasting 34 meticulously crafted instruments and over 1300 inspiring presets, it introduces a galaxy of essential sounds, iconic synths, and contemporary textures previously unheard in a performance keyboard.

From streamlined mobile sound management to seamless DAW integration and intuitive drag-and-drop playlist creation, AstroLab’s companion software empowers users to organize, customize, and expand their sonic palette effortlessly. Elevate your performances, unleash your creativity, and explore new musical horizons with AstroLab.

AstroLab is priced at €1599.
More info: Here

Jazz Composer Phil Nimmons Dies at 100

(Image Credit: Mark Miller)

Canadian composer, educator and clarinetist Phil Nimmons has died at the age of 100 after a career that included Canada's highest artistic honor. (Governor General's Performing Arts Award)

TikTok Has Announced It's Music Distribution Platform: SoundOn

(Image: TikTok)

TikTok has announced the launch of SoundOn, an all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution, designed to empower new and undiscovered artists, helping them develop and build their careers. 

SoundOn is TikTok's own promotion and music distribution platform, enabling artists to grow their fanbases, harness their creative voice and get their music heard worldwide. The platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and begin earning royalties, when that music is used. SoundOn pays out 100% royalties to music creators in the first year and 90% after that, and provides a range of promotional tools and support. Audience insight and development, expert advice from a dedicated SoundOn artist team, access to TikTok's song tab where music is linked on profile pages and promotional support through creator marketing on the TikTok platform is all part of what's offered to artists signing up.

Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music at TikTok said:

New artists and musical creators are a vibrant community within TikTok and SoundOn is designed to support them as they take the first steps in their career. Our SoundOn teams will guide creators on their journey to the big stage and bring the expertise and power of TikTok to life for the artist. We're incredibly excited about how this will surface and propel new talent and how SoundOn will contribute to an increasingly diverse and growing global music industry.

Artists wanting to register to SoundOn can do so through: Here.

Orchestral Tools EQUINOX Bundle & Spring Textures

(Image: Orchestral Tools)

Orchestral Tools has unveiled the debut of the EQUINOX Bundle, featuring five libraries sourced from their FABRIK collection. This exclusive bundle is set to be released as part of their Spring Textures Sale. 

The Spring Textures Sale presents a rare, time-limited opportunity with a 50% discount on five collections that encapsulate the rich sonic textures of the season. This enticing offer expires on March 20th, prompting you to seize the chance to acquire your favorites at half price—or immerse yourself fully in the sensory journey by embracing all five collections with added savings in the Equinox bundle.

EQUINOX Bundle: €399 (combined value of €1015)

Salu: €198 (usually €399)

Babel: €39 (usually €79)

TIME micro: €174 (usually €349)

Whisper: €64 (usually €129)

Sinoid: €29 (usually €59)

More info: Here

Ableton Has Released Live 12

(Image: Ableton)

A major update to Ableton's popular DAW software has been released with Live 12. This update introduces a range of new features aimed at igniting musical creativity. 

Among these are new MIDI tools that assist in generating unexpected ideas, along with new devices and sounds, as well as various improvements geared towards enhancing user intuition. The upgraded MIDI Editor in Live 12 offers unprecedented control over compositions. Users can easily rearrange selected notes, smoothly adjust velocities, and seamlessly integrate them into any musical scale. This tool is particularly advantageous for producers seeking precision and flexibility. 

There's a lot to unpack with this update, and that's before delving into the headline devices. Live 12 introduces a new synth, Meld, a new effect, Roar, and an update to the popular Max instrument, Granulator. Over the years, Ableton has earned a reputation for releasing updates that are incremental and often subtle, rather than revolutionary. Consequently, it can be challenging to determine the value of investing in the latest version. However, if you've been hesitating to upgrade, Live 12 is the one you've been waiting for.

New UI: Live 12’s cleaner, more minimal look removes visual complexity and keeps the focus on your music.

Tuning Systems: Break free from traditional tuning constraints. 

Keys and Scales: Visual guides in the MIDI editor for crafting in-key melodies. 

Screen Reader Support: Making Live 12 accessible to all producers. 

Sound Browser Similarity: Find the perfect sound with smart browsing. 

User Tagging: Personalize your browsing experience with custom tags. 

Save Browser Views: Keep your preferred browsing filters handy. 

Browsing History: Revisit your search journey effortlessly. 

Factory tags: Quickly find sounds with predefined tags.

Meld: A bi-timbral, MPE-capable instrument designed for deep sound shaping that lets you create a wide array of textural and experimental tones with its two easy-to-use macro oscillators.

Granulator III: The latest iteration of Robert Henke’s granular instrument now has MPE capability, giving you expressive control over parameters like note bend, vibrato and glissando. Plus, you can now capture audio in real time and start manipulating it immediately.

Roar: Create everything from subtle and precise mastering-grade warmth to wild and unpredictable sound degradation with Live’s new coloring and saturation effect. Roar’s three saturation stages can be used in series, parallel, or even in mid/side and multiband configurations – and it comes equipped with a feedback generator and an extensive modulation matrix.

and more.

More info: Here

Native Instruments Launch Jacob Collier Audience Choir

(Image: Native Instruments)

Jacob Collier has collaborated with Native Instruments to develop an exclusive virtual instrument that replicates the harmonious sound of a live audience singing in unison. This innovative tool allows users to tailor sounds using Dynamics, Timbre, Attack, and Release parameters. Additionally, it offers built-in effects such as delay and reverb for additional sound manipulation. With a Chord Generator feature, users can effortlessly generate harmonies, while a Triad Blend function enables the activation of pre-designed triads. 

Jacob Collier Audience Choir runs in Native Instruments’ free Kontakt Player or the full Kontakt (versions 7.8 or higher), which are supported on PCs running Windows 10 and above, and Macs running macOS 11 or higher. VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available, along with standalone applications.

Experience the Jacob Collier Audience Choir, now accessible for free download through Native Access 2.

More info: Here

Spitfire Symphony Orchestra Re-released with New Features

(Image: Spitfire Audio)

Spitfire Symphony Orchestra has been revamped and reissued, now conveniently available as a comprehensive, all-in-one library.

In its latest iteration, Spitfire Symphony Orchestra now offers a 118-piece orchestra with a comprehensive selection of over 800 articulations, along with multiple dynamic layers and up to eight round robins, all presented in a brand new Native Instruments Kontakt 7 Player-based interface offers quick and easy access to the entire collection in one place.

Spitfire Symphony Orchestra runs in Kontakt Player 7.5.2 or higher, which is supported on PCs running Windows 10 or 11, and Macs running macOS 11 and above. VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available.

The download size for the library is 345GB.

More info: Here

Will Sharpe Cast as Mozart in Upcoming ''Amadeus'' TV Series

(Image: Hero Magazine)

A forthcoming Sky series, "Amadeus," delves into the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, set to grace screens this year. The show traces Mozart's arrival in vibrant 18th-century Vienna, brimming with aspirations for musical greatness. Stepping into the shoes of Mozart is actor, writer, and director Will Sharpe, known for his Primetime Emmy-nominated role as tech entrepreneur Ethan Spiller in HBO's "The White Lotus" second season (2023).

Ben Lanzarone, Pianist & Composer Passed Away At 85


Ben Lanzarone, the composer, pianist, and musical director who wrote music for such shows as Dynasty, Happy Days, Ms. Belvedere, and The Tracey Ullman Show, has passed away at 85.

Lanzarone died Friday in his Los Angeles home of lung cancer, his family announced.

DNA From Beethoven's Hair Reveals A Surprise

(Image: Current Biology)

In March 1827, the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven died after being sick for a long time. He had been very ill since the previous Christmas, struggling to breathe because of jaundice, which made his body swollen. When his friends were sorting through his things after he died, they found a letter he had written 25 years earlier. In the letter, Beethoven asked his brothers to tell people about his health problems.

It's well known now that Beethoven, one of the greatest musicians ever, became deaf when he was in his 40s. He wanted people to understand that it wasn't just a personal tragedy but also a medical one. Almost 200 years after Beethoven died, scientists analyzed his DNA from hair samples to learn more about his health. They found that he likely became deaf because of a mysterious illness that started when he was in his 20s.

Beethoven also suffered from severe stomach pains and diarrhea starting from his early adulthood. Six years before he died, he showed signs of liver disease, which probably contributed to his death at 56.

Some people thought Beethoven might have died from lead poisoning, but a study in 2023 showed that wasn't true. Instead, he likely died from a hepatitis B infection, worsened by his drinking and other health problems. The study also found something surprising in Beethoven's family history. It seems there was a secret in his family that goes back several generations, involving infidelity.

This research raises new questions about Beethoven's life and death. It's a bit ironic that despite his wish for people to understand his deafness, there are still mysteries surrounding it. But his DNA has revealed more than he might have expected when he wrote that letter all those years ago.

Full Research: Here

VSL Has Released the Fazioli F212 Piano Plugin

(Image: VSL)

Vienna Symphonic Library has unveiled the Synchron Fazioli F212, capturing the classic mid-sized piano sound of Fazioli, previously sampled in their Stage A room. Recording engineers utilized multiple high-end microphone arrays to capture this instrument's essence on Stage B, providing a plethora of options for customizing your sound. The Full Library includes three sets of close microphones (condenser, ribbon, and tube options), two pairs of mid mics, and the Decca tree with additional surround outriggers.

Synchron Pianos is compatible with PCs running Windows 10 or later and Macs running macOS 10.14 or higher, offering VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plug-in versions. The Standard version requires 68.7GB of storage, while the Full Library demands 148.6GB. 

Standard Library: €225, Full Library: €375.

More info: Here

Mischa Zupko Named 2024 Guest Composer for Fermilab

(Image: Dan Svoboda, Fermilab)

Fermilab scientists collaborate with composers to craft music inspired by particle science. Chicago based composer and pianist Mischa Zupko has been named the 2024 guest composer by the Fermi Research Alliance for this endeavor.

Meanwhile, works from past Fermi Research Alliance guest composers and artists are currently on display at the exhibition "Beyond the Visible" at the Schingoethe Center at Aurora University. The exhibition features works by Mare Hirsch, David Ibbett, Jim Jenkins, Chris Klapper & Patrick Gallagher, Ricardo Mondragon, Ellen Sandor, and Roger Zare. It will be on display until May 10.

The Winners of the 2024 SCL Awards Have Been Announced

(Image: SCL Awards)

The winners of the 2024 SCL Awards have been announced. Among this year's winners are Ludwig Göransson, Billie Eilish, John Powell, and Martin Scorsese.

Outstanding Original Score for a Studio Film

Anthony Willis, Saltburn

Joe Hisaishi, The Boy and the Heron

WINNER: Ludwig Göransson, Oppenheimer

Laura Karpman, American Fiction

Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon

Outstanding Original Score for an Independent Film

Jon Batiste, American Symphony

WINNER: John Powell, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Daniel Pemberton, Ferrari

Mica Levi, The Zone of Interest

Fabrizio Mancinelli/Richard M. Sherman, Mushka

Outstanding Original Song for a Comedy or Musical

WINNER: Billie Eilish O’Connell/Finneas O’Connell, “What Was I Made For?,” Barbie

Mark Ronson/Andrew Wyatt, “I’m Just Ken,” Barbie

Diane Warren, “The Fire Inside,” Flamin’ Hot

Heather McIntosh/Allyson Newman/Taura Stinson, “All About Me,” The L Word: Generation Q

Jack Black/John Spiker/Eric Osmond/Michael Jelenic/Aaron Horvath, “Peaches,” Super Mario Bros. Movie

Outstanding Original Song for a Drama or Documentary

WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo/Dan Nigro, “Can’t Catch Me Now,” The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Jon Batiste/Dan Wilson, “It Never Went Away,” American Symphony

Lenny Kravitz, “Road to Freedom,” Rustin

Nicholas Britell/Taura Stinson, “Slip Away,” Carmen

Sharon Farber/Noah Benshea, “Better Times,” Jacob the Baker

Outstanding Original Score for a TV Production

WINNER: Nicholas Britell, Succession

Natalie Holt, Loki

Martin Phipps, The Crown

Carlos Rafael Rivera, Lessons in Chemistry

Gustavo Santaolalla, The Last of Us

Outstanding Original Title Sequence for a TV Production

WINNER: Carlos Rafael Rivera, Lessons in Chemistry

Atli Örvarsson, Silo

Nainita Desai, The Deepest Breath

Kevin Kiner, Ahsoka

Chanda Dancy, Lawmen: Bass Reeves

Outstanding Original Score for Interactive Media

Austin Wintory, Stray Gods

Pinar Toprak, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

WINNER: Stephen Barton/Gordy Haab, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Winifred Phillips, Secrets of Skeifa Island

David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent

Kenny Wood, The Naughty Nine

Hannah Parrott, After Death

Fabrizio Mancinelli, The Land of Dreams

WINNER: Catherine Joy, Home Is a Hotel

Allyson Newman, Commitment to Life

The Spirit of Collaboration Award

Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese

Celebrating 100 Years of Gershwin's ''Rhapsody in Blue''

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the renowned American composer George Gershwin's masterpiece, 'Rhapsody in Blue.'

First premiered in 1924, it is often considered a quintessential example of 20th-century American music, blending elements of classical music with jazz and blues, a style sometimes referred to as "symphonic jazz.  It has been performed in countless concert halls, adapted into various arrangements, and featured prominently in films, television shows, and advertisements, continuing to captivate audiences worldwide with its electrifying blend of classical sophistication and jazz vitality.

Unsuk Chin is Awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize

(Image: Unsuk Chin)

Unsuk Chin, the Korean composer, is awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize is regarded as the Nobel Prize of classical music. Since its establishment in 1974, the main prize annually honors one contributor in compositions, interpretations, writings or teachings in music. Previous winners include composer Benjamin Britten, conductor Herbert von Karajan and pianist Maurizio Pollini.