Month in music tech: the biggest news of May 2021
What happened in the music technology world this month? Here’s all the important news.
Image: Goldsmiths Department of Music
Apple was in the spotlight throughout May, thanks to the news of a potential $27 billion fine, the release of Apple Music Lossless and rumours of a 40-core Mac Pro and a new iPod Touch. More hints at new gear came from the Sequential camp, which was recently acquired by Focusrite, with reports that a new product could be with us by this August.
Meanwhile, DAW developers have kept themselves busy with the announcement of Bitwig 4 and Reason 12, along with Universal Audio bringing an API Console emulation to Luna.
In this month’s news roundup, we recap the biggest and best news of April 2021, keeping you in the loop on announcements, product releases and new freeware you might have missed.
- Apple may be facing a whopping $27 billion fine for “distorting competition” in the music streaming market and allegedly violating EU antitrust laws.
- Dolby Atmos for Spatial Audio and Lossless streaming come to Apple Music at no extra cost for subscribers.
- Abbey Road Studios is celebrating its 90th anniversary with Abbey Road: Open House, opening its doors up to the public.
- Free music editing software Audacity has been acquired by Muse Group, the owner of MuseScore and Ultimate Guitar.
- Following six previous nominations, Kraftwerk will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame this year.
- Rockstar Games has taken a further interesting step into the music world with the announcement of CircoLoco Records, in collaboration with CircoLoco. TOKiMONSTA, Moodymann, Seth Troxler and more are included in the first compilation release.
- MusicTech’s My Forever Studio podcast kicks off for a third season with KSHMR, to be followed by Deadmau5, King Britt, Matthew Herbert, Rachel K Collier and more.
- The Aximo Synergy Core is Antelope Audio’s new condenser mic that comes pre-built with an audio interface for easy connectivity.
- AIAIAI has teamed up with legendary label Ninja Tune to release the eco-friendly TMA-2 headphones, made from recycled vinyl records.
- Sennheiser sells its consumer electronics business to Sonova for $241 million and says it will devote its focus to pro audio and Neumann.
- Dave Smith and Focusrite teased two new Sequential products due for release this year, with the first release planned for July or August.
- Lovers of the classic MPC series will love Akai’s MPC One Retro, sporting the vintage MPC colours and design.
- The only EMS VCS4 on the planet has been showcased at Goldsmith’s PureGold festival, which you can watch online.
- SSL’s new UC1 controller provides an “true console experience” for its SSL Native Channel Strip 2 and Bus Compressor 2 plug-ins.
- Sonible has updated its AI-powered EQ, unveiling smart:EQ 3, which boasts simultaneous processing of up to six tracks, with 24 filters and M/S processing.
- Virtual DJ builds on its stem separation technology by allowing DJs to export individual stems of any audio track to a USB drive.
- Elsewhere in the DJ world, Beatport partners with Native Instrument to bring Beatport LINK and Beatsource LINK to Traktor Pro 3.
- Algoriddim updates the free djay Pro AI software to improve Automix and Neural Mix, effectively enabling the software to perform entire sets on its own.
- Arturia updated the KeyStep Pro firmware to version 2, bringing an improved arpeggio, step listen and more workflow enhancements.
- Timeless 3 from FabFilter brings five new feedback effects, six filters and a new preset library.
- An update to Universal Audio’s Luna recording system is capable of turning it into a virtual API Vision Console. New plug-ins for UAD have been released, too.
- Spitfire Audio heads for the flute section in Abbey Road One Wondrous Flutes, the latest addition to the cinematic series.
- Reason 12 is arriving in September 2021, with new features being teased over the upcoming months.
- Hit‘n’Mix’s new RipX DeepRemix and DeepAudio allow you to extract and edit vocals and other stems from any audio track.
- A controversial ‘hentai’ plug-in has sparked responses from producer content creators, with White Sea Studio stating that “It literally proves female engineers are shown no respect”
- Bitwig Studio 4 has arrived, with support for Apple Silicon, Audio Comping, new modulation possibilities and importing of FL Studio and Ableton Live projects.
- Sensel’s Express MPE pack gets an expansion, with presets for Vital, Phosphor, Generate and Pendulate, among others.
- Native Instruments and iZotope celebrate their new partnership by giving away free copies of Ozone Elements and Hybrid Keys, plus $50 worth of online store vouchers.
- Check out our round-up of the best freeware of May 2021 for more.