This Week We Heard

Relevant and inspiring happenings tied into music and media

Make beats while eating a Big Mac: the fully functioning midi-controller placemat!

McDonalds has turned its placemats into music production stations connected to your smart-phone! Developed in The Netherlands, the placemats use conductive ink, a small battery and a thin circuit board with 26 digital touch-points to make music with a selection of audio loops, synths, effects and even audio recording capabilities. The fully functioning “music production station” is a fantastic evolution on the beloved activity of colouring in placemats with crayons that used to be part of the youthful thrill of visiting McDonalds. Simply connect your smart-phone via Bluetooth to transform the placement into an impressive music production studio controller. Amazing.

Read More

Coachella 2016, I Rave In #MyCalvins and some cool tech

Calvin Klein did well out of Coachella this year, having helped curate key events in nearby Palm Springs featuring prime talent: first an all-night warehouse party with plenty of celebrity pop-ins, and then a converted desert property near the festival was overtaken for an “immersive lifestyle experience” encouraging attendees to post about their experience on social media. If smart-phones at events grind your gears check out Yondr: a San Francisco start-up that forces people to lock their phones away in high-tech pouches to keep audiences focused on the performance. If you’re audiophiles like us, check out Here Active Listening.

Read More

Introducing: The Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library

Converse, the brand that’s taken the philanthropic approach to music marketing with its community-based Rubber Tracks professional recording studios dotted around the world open to the general public, has launched a free online collection of high-quality audio samples with over 11,000 free & royalty-free audio samples. Opened just a few days ago, the Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library is an online depository where producers can download royalty-free one shots, loops, and stems without having to pay anything, each recorded by professional musicians – including members of The Roots and San Francisco producer Matrixxman who have contributed to the free resource.

Read More

H&M and M.I.A. want you to recycle your clothes

Last week H&M kicked off a project titled World Recycle Week to collect 1,000 tons of used clothing at H&M stores worldwide, with the aim of keeping them out of landfills and recycle them. Collaborating with British/Sri Lankan lyricist and performer M.I.A. to compose a bespoke song titled ‘Rewear It’ along with an accompanied music video produced exclusively for the campaign. It’s a great cause, oddly spearheaded by a fashion retail brand that banks on its customers coming back to buy new clothes each time. When brands attempt to ‘stand for something’ it usually translates to increased brand equity amongst their younger millennial target audience.

Read More

Brapp: the new social networking app and music collaboration platform

In a bid to bind an audio recording suite into a social network, two entrepreneurs (Pavan Mukhi of Foreign Beggars fame and his brother Niki) have created an app called Brapp allowing artists and music fans from all over the world to collaborate. Part Instagram, part Garage Band and based on the philosophy “no boundaries and no borders”, the app has attracted established heavyweights and emerging talent to create nearly 10,000 unique musical collaborations since its soft launch last September. Utilising its in-built ‘iPhone studio’ to connect emerging rappers and vocalists with established artists, Brapp launched a competition this week to collaborate with superstars Roni Size, GotSome, Zomboy and more.

Read More

Google Play and Elizabeth Rose create interactive music video

Playing to the whims of her tech-focused millenial demographic, Australian pop artist Elizabeth Rose has partnered with Google Play to launch her latest single ‘Playing With Fire’ into existence with an interactive music video. A fresh angle on the remix culture, Elizabeth Rose challenges her fans to play with her emotions by tapping, swiping and tilting their phones during the video, messing with her emotions, making her cry and even slicing her in half. It’s an innovative approach that bestows a deeper connection with both the music and the technology – interacting with the media, enhancing the experience and evolving creative concepts of the music video.

Read More