15 luglio 2014

Radio Australia, tagli drastici e chiusura quasi certa delle onde corte

È arrivato il momento di confermare che pochissimo resterà dei contenuti oggi diffusi attraverso le onde corte, via satellite e su Internet da Radio Australia, braccio internazionale della statale ABC. La redazione in lingua inglese viene in pratica smantellata e le trasmissioni verrano costruite sulla base dei contenuti domestici. Altre lingue continueranno a produrre contenuti specifici, anche se in misura più limitata. Sembra addirittura che i tagli al personale verranno decisi per estrazione a sorte, non in funzione di meriti o anzianità. Non ci sono ancora termini precisi, ma è verosimile che l'intera infrastruttura degli impianti in onde corte verranno definitivamente smantellati, anche se come fanno notare i media australiani i programmi di Radio Australia hanno avuto un ruolo in questi anni di crisi nell'area del Pacifico e molti ascoltatori utilizzano ancora la vecchia radio nelle isole e a Papua Nuova Guinea. 
Da Taiwan, Keith Perron - personalità radiofonica canadese che cura un proprio programma di intrattenimento ritrasmesso in onde corte da Sri Lanka - riferisce che la crisi irreversibile del broadcasting terrestre internazionale ha indotto l'azienda cinese Sangean  a cancellare il suo catalogo di prodotti rivolto agli ascoltatori di una gamma di frequenze ormai svuotata di contenuti. Una volta esaurite le scorte, non ci saranno più ricevitori portatili HF marchio Sangean.

Radio Australia first up for job cuts as ABC restructures

THE ABC will confirm a wave of job cuts today, with Radio Australia’s services the first major victim. A management proposal for a new “converged service” for its international broadcasting outlets will be outlined to staff today as the ABC rearranges its overseas obligations after the axing of the Australia Network television service. Staff at Radio Australia fear tens of jobs will go from it and the Australia Network, and they expect a number of its services within the region to be abandoned as the public broadcaster’s $35 million annual budget for international broadcasting, which was a combination of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s $20m annual budget for the Australia Network and RA’s $15m, contracts to approximately $15m.
The ABC Charter requires the public broadcaster to “transmit to countries outside Australia, broadcasting programs of news, current affairs, entertainment and cultural enrichment” that will, in part, “encourage awareness of Australia and an inter­national understanding of Australian attitudes on world ­affairs.”
While the efficacy of the Australia Network was questioned before its axing by DFAT under the Abbott government, the impact of Radio Australia’s service during times of political crisis in the Pacific region has been substantial. Even so, the recent efficiency review of the ABC and SBS overseen by Peter Lewis recommended Radio Australia discontinue its shortwave service.
(continua su The Australian)

10 luglio 2014

Dodici voci sintetiche: Modulus rinnova la tradizione del Moog nell'era di Internet

Costa 3750 euro il nuovo "poly-synth", un sintetizzatore ibrido a 12 voce sviluppato in soli 12 mesi dalla startup specializzata Modulus di Bristol. Modulus.002 utilizza tecniche tradizionali analogiche di filtraggio dei suoi oscillatori digitali (NCO) e può essere collegato in remoto attraverso Internet. Davvero uno strumento notevole come dimostra la presentazione, effettuata tra l'altro dal product specialist italiano, Luca Mucci (complimenti!).

Modulus Limited è stata fondata nel febbraio del 2013 da Paul Maddox, un tecnico con 15 anni di esperienza nel campo della sintesi musicale e da Philip Taysom, imprenditore tecnologico seriale.

Start-up launches innovative British designed and built analogue/digital music Synthesiser

Next generation music synthesiser will drive a new wave of music creation

Bristol, UK - 10 July 2014 - Modulus, a Bristol-based start-up that designs and manufactures musical instruments, has launched the Modulus.002, the world's first analogue/digital music synthesiser designed for the Internet age.  Designed and built in the UK by a team of passionate synthesiser experts, it creates the rich analogue sounds that have been at the heart of creative music since the 1960's by using a mix of classic analogue techniques and the latest digital technology to give reliability and innovation.
"Analogue synthesisers from the last century are collectors' items and highly sought after because of the amazing sounds but the electronics are now getting old and increasingly frail," explained Philip Taysom, Modulus co-founder.  "It's tough to use them for live performances or recording sessions as they are difficult to keep working.  Most modern designs of polyphonic synthesisers are pure digital and just don't have the same iconic sound qualities, in our opinion.  What we have created in the Modulus.002 is a fusion of these iconic analogue and hybrid sounds of the 70s and 80s synthesisers with the reliability of the latest electronics plus Internet connectivity to share sounds, settings and work collaboratively on music without relying on painfully slow serial/MIDI connections to do so.  This is the first synthesiser designed for the interconnected 21st Century.  The UK pioneered the synthesiser industry back in the 60s and 70s and that has grown to a three-quarters of a billion pound a year global business, but now with little UK input.  We are putting the UK back on the map with the first polyphonic synthesiser to have been completely designed and built in the UK for several decades."
Modulus was founded in 2013 by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox.  Philip has over 30 years of experience in the electronics and computer industries having been CTO and co-founder of Planet Online (the creators of the highly successful Freeserve internet service), CTO and co-founder of inTechnology plc, and CEO of Peratech.  Paul has been designing synthesisers for over 15 years with a reputation in the industry for designing state of the art products that bring the best of classic designs into the modern age.  This highly experienced management team is complimented by designers and engineers, most of whom are also graduates in Music Technology.  This team of eight has taken just under a year to take the Modulus.002 from drawing board to volume production.
 "Alongside the voice architecture, a key innovation is that the Modulus.002 connects to the Internet," explained Paul Maddox, Modulus co-founder.  "As musicians and synthesiser enthusiasts ourselves, we know exactly how people actually use synthesisers and what they wish they could do; so we designed the Modulus.002 to be the instrument that meets those needs and be the next generation synthesiser to inspire a new wave of musical creation.  Synthesisers have been a defining part of the music of every decade for the past fifty years with each new generation of synthesiser providing a new soundscape.  Being able to work collaboratively is fundamental and the Modulus.002 enables this to happen very easily using its Internet connection to the Modulus, cloud-based server platform to share settings, sequences and sounds.  Musicians can now work together thousands of miles apart to create new music together.  But, we wanted to go further than this, so we're making our cloud technology Open Platform and, later in the year, we aim to form a consortium to encourage adoption of this standard by other manufacturers."
The Modulus.002 is the first in a planned family of synthesisers that will be launched over the next few years. Dealers and agents are being established in many countries and product will be available by the end of July 2014.  The UK price is £2995 plus VAT (£3594), the European price €3,750 plus the appropriate VAT and the US price is $5200 plus local sales tax -- prices correct at time of release.

Using high quality components, the Modulus.002 is a premium product designed to be the flagship in the Modulus range.  The keyboard layout includes a semi-weighted, five octave key mechanism and has been ergonomically designed by musicians so that the hands fall naturally and intuitively to the controls.  It provides twelve discrete voices of polyphony with full multi-timbrility if required.  Adding to the ease of use is a large integral display screen that is context sensitive, i.e. it displays the control parameters of any control knobs immediately when touched by the user.  Quick recall banks enable preset sequences and settings to be stored for instant use such as during a live performance.  NCOs (Numerically Controlled Oscillators) are used for stability and accuracy while an analogue transistor ladder filter provides classic 'warm' sounds.  Full specifications can be found at www.modulusmusic.co.uk  

Since the first commercial synthesisers became available in the 1960s - notably those from Moog, EMS, ARP, Roland and Korg, synthesiser music has been an integral part of the sound of each decade.  Experimental and Rock in the 60's by The Who and Pink Floyd.  Jean Michelle Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Kraftwerk, Abba, and Roxy Music are a few of the bands that brought the synthesiser into mainstream music in the 70s.  By the 80s, the choice of synthesiser sound defined the band for the likes of Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, etc.  From the 90s on, synthesiser music then became the backbone of Techno, Trance, Acid, Garage, Rave and Hip Hop, and is still at the heart of music being created today and is as fundamental as the microphone in recording music.  

Francia, France Info spegne tre impianti in onde medie.

Secondo informazioni diffuse sul forum francese DocTSF, il 9 luglio sono stati spenti tre impianti in onde medie di France Info, il canale nazionale all news francese. Si tratterebbe dei trasmettitori di:

  • Nancy-Nomény (837 kHz)
  • Limoges-Nieul (792 kHz)
  • Toulouse Muret (945 kHz)

Le antenne sarebbero destinate allo smantellamento. È una notizia a suo modo sorprendente perché la rete a onde medie francese (13 frequenze) sembrava essere piuttosto consolidata e destinata a durare ancora. Se dovesse crollare Nizza 1557 sarebbe un fatto clamoroso. Nell'ottobre dello scorso anno, il regolatore CSA aveva pubblicato i risultati di una consultazione relativa alla concessione di nuove licenze in onde medie in alcune regioni, appello che ha raccolto solo una decina di contributi. A parte un tiepido orientamento alla viabilità delle onde medie per scopi trasmissivi comunitari, non sembrava esserci una ressa di operatori interessati.

Edjing, la console virtuale che mixa direttamente da Deezer.

Una console completamente virtuale per mixare in modo professionale brani che fluiscono in streaming dagli archivi di Deezer. Dalla collaborazione tra la piattaforma francese e una startup fondata da Charles-Marie Déjardin, Jean-Baptiste Hironde e Nicolas Dupré nasce un approccio interamente mobile based alla musica da rave party. Edjing è stata lanciata nel 2012 e oggi esce nella sua quarta versione, con una integrazione con Deezer ancora più completa ed ottimizzata. La musica da mixare può essere individuata grazie alle nuove funzionalità di ricerca e scoperta di nuovi brani disponibil: le classifiche, i contenuti suggeriti da Deezer ed i canali radio tematici. A partire da oggi, tutti gli utenti Premium+ di Deezer potranno avere accesso agli oltre 50 milioni di brani disponibili su edjing, inclusi gli oltre 30 milioni di canzoni del catalogo di Deezer. Edjing è compatibile con iOs, Android, Amazon,  e Windows 8 e a oggi è stata scaricata in 16 milioni di esemplari.