I tried this test once, took a lunch break, came back and tried again. Totally different results. Mainly, it taught me that I mostly don't want to listen to this music, and The Killers are a victim of the Loudness Wars.

This is the Only Thing You Need to Know About “Hifi” Tidal Streaming

So, in case you haven’t heard yet, there’s a new “hifi” streaming service called Tidal. Don’t waste your time watching the weird press event with Madonna and Daft Punk, congratulating themselves like they’re at the Grammies. Don’t let yourself be mesmerized by the desaturated music video in which Jay Z’s friends all get together to drink champagne and talk about “making a stand.” Don’t worry about the European startup that made the tech, or sweat the pricing. Don’t even hand over your credit card in order to start a free trial. No, the only thing you need to do is …


The $100 BeatStep Sequencer and Controller: Everything You Want to Know [Review, Resources]

Even if Arturia’s BeatStep did nothing other than act as a dumb controller, it might get your attention. The compact control surface / sequencer hardware runs about $100 street. As a controller, it has both 16 pads and 16 endless encoders (with notches, so you can feel where you are), plus transport triggers and a larger encoder. With driverless USB operation, some of you will already be happy and can proceed. But the BeatStep is more ambitious than that. It has sophisticated software customization via a companion program, and a built-in step sequencer. It operates standalone, with MIDI gadgets or …


Maschine, in Color: First CDM Hands-On With New Maschine Hardware, Software [Gallery]

Looks smart. There are smart features coming in version 1.8, too – and you get Massive for free. Photos by Arvid Jense for CDM. In living color: the popular drum machine – combining integrated hardware and software – is more colorful, but also more usable, via updates to the screen and pads alike. We’ve gotten a hands-on test with the gear to share some first-hand first impressions. Native Instruments’ Maschine hardware gets a major update today, and color is likely the first thing you’ll notice. The pads are backlit with a rainbow of RGB LEDs, as found on NI’s Kontrol …


vjay for iPad: Users Go Hands-on and Share Results [Video]

Users are already getting their hands on vjay from Algoriddim, a VJ app for the iPad. The novelty is clear: vjay’s features aren’t so different from a typical VJ app of a few years ago, but fitting that on an ultra-compact, touchable tablet is another matter. Readers of this site responded negatively to a lot of vjay’s limitations, and I don’t think this is necessarily the last word on what the iPad as visual instrument might be. (Indeed, I hope not.) But what’s nice about these two hands-on videos is, knowing what vjay can’t do, you do get a bit …


Shure SM58 Mic Torture-Tested: Takes a Licking…

The classic SM58 vocal mic has stood up to abuse before, but the Scandinavian-based Studio TV takes it to a new level. Photo of another well-used SM58 by Trendwhore, via Flickr. Us Americans are wimps. Scandinavians know how to test music gear. As a metal soundtrack pounds away in the background, a Shure SM58 gets subjected to some serious torture testing, including: Being used to hammer nails Dropped a couple of meters Frozen Dunked in water Driven over by a car And then something really nasty happens involving Heineken and a microwave.