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Rhythmic Robot introduce Silencio

The genuises at Rhythmic Robot have released an amazing new virtual instrument called Silencio. I’ve already used it this morning to make a new track — in fact, you’re listening to it now.

Introducing Silencio
Fully-professional multimode 24-bit silence engine

In a world of loudness wars and over-crammed mixes, what our music sometimes needs is space to be; the individuation and clarity that come from the absence of sound; in other words, contrast. Silencio brings you that contrast in pristine 24-bit quality, whenever and wherever you need it.
Comprising eight meticulously-recorded silent environments (six analogue and two digital) plus hard bypass, Silencio gives you instant access to different tonalities of silence across a full 88-key range. A comprehensive control set allows further tailoring of the core silences. Its uses are limited only by your imagination, but there are some standout applications:

• Perfect for adding space to a mix. Today’s mixes easily become crowded, with frequency bands jostling for attention and fatiguing the listener. Use Silencio to bring air and space to your mix. Just one or two tracks of Silencio can make all the difference.

• Ideal for Jazz musicians. We often hear jazz aficionados saying of great musicians that we should ‘listen to the notes the guy isn’t playing’. This is central to classic jazz soloing. With Silencio, you can play these notes directly.

• Great for experimental musicians. Silencio can be at the heart of experimental music. It’s ideal for playing John Cage’s 4’33 (in fact it’s possible to play 4’33 in under three minutes using Silencio).

‘What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence’
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

No copyright blurred lines

The Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams vs Gaye estate verdict is a complete joke. The judge said that the case was to be decided on the ‘sheet music’ aspects of the song, and they are completely different. Different melody, different harmony. You can’t play those two songs on a piano and say one’s a copy of the other. That’s rubbish.

Of course Thicke and Williams ripped off the vibe. You don’t need to be a musician to tell that. The whole feel of the song, the drum beat, the electric piano sound (and a bit of the e. piano bassline), the high vocal, the party atmosphere in the background, they’re obviously all very similar, and you might feel that Thicke and Williams deserved to lose for that reason alone. But decisions like this don’t just concern those in the trial, they concern every composer in the world. If two songs that are so dissimilar are said to be copies, then disaster lies ahead. I really hope this verdict gets overturned on appeal (I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t). It never should have gone to trial. Why didn’t the court consult some compositional experts beforehand, who could have told them to throw it out?

Bob Stanley has a good article in The Guardian about this.

I was also amused by this article. In it, E. Michael Harrington from the SAE Institute (one of the best sound engineering schools) says the verdict is a bad one. For the other side of the argument the journalist turned to… the Gaye estate’s lawyer!

Update: Apparently the Gaye estate had some musicologists in who testified that the ‘sheet music aspects’ were very similar. Looks like Thicke and Williams made a big mistake in not getting their own musicologists in to testify that this was BS.

Todd Rundgren – Black Maria

Good videos of Toddles are hard to find, but we thought we’d put this one up, despite the average sound quality, because his outfit is so similar to what Jake wore last weekend to Mrs Wintours’s little get together. She’s a style leader, Mrs Wintour, the neighbours say, but eyebrows were raised, and Jake lacks a… shall we say, ‘lightness of touch’? when it comes to wearing these things.

But you need only look at the video of handsome Mr Rundgren and not concern your pretty little heads with trying to imagine the terribly gauche efforts of our own lumpen Mr Simmons, with his amusing ‘small talk’ of the latest biochemistry laboratory advances and South American bank fraud strategies. Suffice it to say, at the next Coralspin New York Christmas party Jake will be confined to the back room.

(As will a certain Mr. Mick Wilson, who can’t be trusted around expensive liquor. And God forbid those barbarians from Red Bazar should turn up. One moment you’re trying to talk to Dave Eggers, the next moment that drummer is drinking from three Remy bottles at once like it’s some supreme TV talent show skill. “100 paradiddles don’t buy you class”, as William Bruford liked to say).