Spotify may soon let users control the levels of a vocal in any of the tracks in their catalogue. A leaked screengrab shows the Mac version of Spotify’s desktop app with an option for having ‘less’ or ‘more vocal’ in the music, alongside the lyrics, hinting at a karaoke mode.
Hercules has launched a new portable controller designed to use with smartphones. The new DJControl Mix is purpose-built for use with Algoriddim’s popular djay app on iOS and Android, with miniature size and portability at its heart. Powered over USB or built-in batteries, the DJCOntrol Mix features two small jogs, a crossfader, two volume knobs for each channel, four performance pads for Hot Cues and triggering samples, transport controls for play, pause and cue and pitch fader to control the speed of your tracks.
TIDAL has added a new free subscription tier to their streaming platform. The new tier will allow users to listen at ‘good’ sound quality (160kbps MP3) and access the curated playlists that are a big part of TIDAL’s offerings. There’ll be ‘limited ad interruptions’ as part of the free tier, as with other streaming services, but there won't be traditional ads. Instead TIDAL will use the ads to educate listeners about the music industry. You can access all 80m+ songs on TIDAL, but you won’t be able to access their 350k+ videos.
Twitch has launched a new incubator program for musicians who stream on their platform. The new Collective is designed to help musicians who want to grow their audience and fanbase on Twitch and beyond. Twitch will offer a ‘Playbook’ on how to use Twitch for streaming music content, be it DJing, music-making insights, tutorials and more. They’ll also be curating collectives based on “complementary backgrounds” and once you’ve made progress in the Collective, you’ll be eligible for further promo and discovery within the platform itself.
Roland has announced two new hardware synths as part of their Boutique series – the JX-08 and the JD-08. Modelled on the JX-8P and the JD-800 respectively, the new boutiques are mini versions of two classic synths from Roland’s back catalogue. The JX-8P was a late ’80s classic that was known for its shimmering chords and raw bass arps. The original was a digital beast, meaning it was hard to program and didn’t have many instant-access controls on top of the unit.
Pioneer DJ has announced a new two-channel all-in-one DJ unit called the XDJ-RX3. The new unit features a multi-touch 10.1-inch screen, borrowing a lot of features from their new flagship CDJ-3000 standalone media player. A new feature called Playlist Banks lets you select up to four playlists you use often to avoid having to scroll excessively mid-set, and the Touch Preview feature from the 3000s allows users to cue a track from the browser without loading it into a deck has also been added.
A new turntable from Lenco – the LS-55 – lets users rip vinyl straight to a USB stick. The new turntable also features built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity as well as the USB port, which encodes to MP3 format.
The player features a built-in phono pre with RCA outputs, for connecting straight to a mixer or amp. There’s also an aux input for using the built-in 5W speaker. The LS-55 has a retro wooden finish, despite its modern features and also includes a passive radiator for "better BASS effect".
Roland has added a virtual clone of the JD-800 to its Cloud platform of plugins. The classic synth was released in 1991 and was a favourite of ’90s dance music producers such as Faithless, Underworld, Pet Shop Boys and 808 State. The original was an answer to the demand from its users for more control and fewer menus that were seen on earlier digital synths.