Dear SoundCloud, exactly what is going on?


It’s only fair to say that SoundCloud have not been quite as popular over the last year or more with the iOS mobile music community, or indeed creators of audio anywhere. From my own perspective I’ve kept a Pro account, but I’ve not been impressed by SoundCloudGo, or indeed their approach to musicians. The strategy seems confused at best and the latest set of news about SoundCloud doesn’t help at all.

I’ll start off with SoundCloud Groups

I got this email from them a week ago …

“We’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier for you to share your work and connect with new fans. As well as adding new features and updates, we review existing features to see if they’re still beneficial to you.

As we dug into the best ways for creators to connect with fans, we found that Groups aren’t helping creators find an audience as well as reposts, curated playlists, or track recommendations.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to phase out Groups on Monday, August 22nd to make room for future updates. Until then, you can collect, like or repost the tracks you would like to save, and connect with your fellow Group members.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can continue to improve your experience on SoundCloud. Send your ideas and feedback by replying directly to this email.”

This is a major issue as far as I’m concerned. Groups were a great way for users of different apps to collect work together. Some had been incredibly successful like the Figure Addicted group. I can’t understand SoundCloud’s reasoning for removing groups, and what they say in their email I don’t agree with. It’s poor and, in my view, will force more users away from their platform.

But they have added ‘albums’

I’m not sure just how this is different from playlists aside from the name. I’m not sure what it adds in reality, and, given that they’re removing groups, it doesn’t compensate at all in my view. You may think differently. If you do I’m interested to know your reasons.

Finally, they’re up for sale

If nothing else this makes me think that they’re going to end up as part of a bigger service and forget about people creating audio altogether, and more than likely just be swallowed up and disappear. That is of course if they even find a buyer. According to this piece at hypebot their valuation is $1bn, which is, in my opinion, ridiculously high.

I think they’ll struggle at that high a valuation and have to drop down. If they do get sold they’ll have to adapt to a new master and that won’t be good for any of us at all.

So, what now? What next?

I’ve posted before about alternatives to SoundCloud, and I think that these are going to become all the more important in the coming months. Personally I’ll be looking for more and more ways to move my audio to other more artist friendly platforms, and I’ll be sharing possibilities with you regularly.

Also there are a few new platforms and technologies that I’m working with that I expect to be useful in taking up the slack from SoundCloud’s slow withdrawal from supporting artists. I’ll be talking about those soon I hope.

In just over a month I’ll be at the Beautiful Octopus Club, and I want you there too

You may well have heard me talking about this event in the past. I’ve been involved in Heart n Soul’s Beautiful Octopus Club for quite a few years now. It’s an amazing event and as a part of it I try and bring some of the best and most interesting music technologies to the event to show them to the public.

Well this year the Beautiful Octopus Club is bigger and better than ever and I’d really love you to be a part of it!

Every year Heart n Soul takes over the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank and turns it into the most amazing club night for people with learning disabilities. This year the Beautiful Octopus Club is on the 9th of September from 7pm until midnight and it is open to all. There’s no tickets, no entrance free, and everyone is welcome.

The event normally attracts between 2,500 and 3,000 visitors so it’s a great way to engage audiences you haven’t met and to generate PR and social content.

This year there’s loads going on over 3 floors with 6 stages, 2 dance floors, 20 acts performing, 9 DJ crews, 11 Taking Part areas and on the 5th floor there’s going to be the biggest SoundLab ever and I’d love you to be a part of it.

With just over a month to go there are some great companies taking part on the 9th, but there are still a few spaces left.

What I’m looking for is:

  • Engaging interactive experience for people visiting the club
  • An experience that encourages people to continue their music making after the event
  • Ideally experiences that can be delivered over headphones, as it’s going to be very busy and very noisy!

I really want you to be a part of it and would love to hear any ideas you have for being involved. Also if you know anyone else who might like to know about our event then please feel free to share this page!

If you’re interested please contact me as possible and we can start to talk about what’s possible. Contact details here.


ZONT looks like a modular Pocket Operator, but we won’t see it for more than a year


I originally saw this over at Matrixsynth and ever since I’ve been meaning to take a closer look.

My first impression is that I love the idea of it, especially the modular design using interchangeable sound cartridges. I’m sure that I’m not the only person that’s going to appeal to. Bluetooth pairing to a mobile device is also a smart move.

Also the dock with RCA, MIDI, USB-C and 3.5mm jack outputs is a nice touch for using the thing when you’re not on the move. A very smart move indeed.

But Zont is a long way off for now. We won’t see it until late 2017, which is a long time to wait. Also there’s no mention of a price point as yet, which is to be expected, and whilst this might have a similar form factor to a Pocket Operator I’d expect the price to be significantly higher.

So for now you can check the pictures on the ZONT site and the tech specs below

Tech Specs:

  • Universal input interface
  • Stereo speakers
  • AMOLED display
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Wi-Fi cloud sync
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Interchangable sound cartridges
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB-C
  • iOS and Android app

As soon as I know more about this device I’ll be sure to share it with you.

More modular fun for your iPad, waverails arrives, can be tried for free, needs an IAP for full use

I’m all for more interesting tools for iOS and this does look quite unusual indeed. I haven’t tried it out as yet, but I expect I will do soon enough, and when I have I’ll be able to tell you if I think that the IAP is worth it or not.

On that note, I have to say that I think that this is quite a good way to offer up an app. In effect it is a ‘try before you buy’ option. I quite like that.

Anyway, for now here’s the app’s app store description:

waverails is a modular path-based loop processor, inspired by avant-garde tape music and early electromechanical musical contraptions. Instead of recording, overdubbing and splicing together tape, waverails lets you splice, warp, blend and reverse audio (live input and/or samples) in real-time by using path-based modular components. waverails can be used as an audio processor or live performance tool to create effects and performances that aren’t easily replicated in real-time with traditional audio software and effects.


  • Lo-fi warped sound collages
  • Phased loops (just like your favorite 20th century minimalist composers!)
  • Chopped up real-time glitchy beats
  • Massive glittery ambience
  • Granular textures
  • Harmonic and rhythmic effects that transform input sounds into music


  • Audiobus support (filter port)
  • Control each modular component’s parameters in real time
  • Jump functionality lets you easily set cues and sync object positions and speeds
  • Fine grained or musical interval-based speed control
  • BPM control to match audio input tempo
  • Perform any task with a few taps, without needing any gestures/long presses.
  • No additional hardware or apps required, create new sounds using internal or imported samples
  • Info function to share and learn information about custom patches.

note: full patch editing and save functionality require in-app purchase.

Click below for waverails on the app store:

A new Audio Unit for your iOS set up, 6144 equalizer arrives from DDMF


From the developer who recently brought us Envelope Audio Unit Reverb by DDMF comes another handy Audio Unit.

The 6144 is an Audio Unit equalizer which aims to recreate the legendary sound of the Neve hardware EQs. It will add that extra shimmer to your sound already when being added to a track flat, without turning any knobs, due to its carefully designed higher harmonic generation algorithm. Now start turning the knobs on any of the five bands and you’ll be amazed: it’s really possible to add copious amounts of gain without ever sounding harsh, at all. The 6144 has been a not-so-secret weapon for audio engineers in the desktop realm for some years already, and is now finally available as an iOS plugin for use in an Audio Units compatible host.

6144 equalizer by DDMF is $9.99 on the app store:

I’m not sure that I understand what OPJAM is, but I’d like to

Whilst this app has been around for a while now (November 2015) I haven’t come across it so far, or at least I don’t remember it anyway, and I think I would having looked at the description. This app refers to itself as an “Audio Playground”, which I’m sure would’ve got my attention.

Having said that, after reading the app’s description of itself I’m still none the wiser as to quite what it does or what it’s for. So I’ll download it and see I expect.

If you hear nothing more on the subject then it’s almost certainly not something I’m going to be taking further. However, it could turn out different, in which case you’ll know for sure.

For now here’s the (in my mind) somewhat ambiguous app description …

Welcome to OPJAM… The Audio Playground, where anyone can experiment, collaborate and have fun with audio!

A JAMBLE is an is an experimental post, a game or a question where the participants have up to 7 seconds to contribute. The JAMBLE has a specific time frame, and is then mixed down into a completely unexpected track!

Creating a Jamble
It all starts with an idea… Question, Post or Experiment. The more innovative you are with the title and instructions the more people will participate.

Joining a Jamble
Jambles are open for anyone to JOIN. The only limitations are its time settings and your imagination. Get creative and collaborate with people from anywhere.

OPJAM is free on the app store:

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