Month in music tech: the biggest news of September 2021
Here are the latest and biggest developments in the music technology world from September.
Superbooth returned this year as an in-person event, bringing an array of exciting hardware for music producers. We saw Waldorf reimagine some of its classic synthesizers in a new M synthesizer, Dreadbox dropped the six-voice Nymphes, and UDO brought its Super 6 polysnth to a smaller form factor, among plenty of other releases.
Meanwhile, ROLI filed for bankruptcy and will relaunch as Luminary, and music manufacturers around the world have been affected by a shortage of semiconductors resulting in less available hardware for DJs and producers. September also saw the royalties war wage on, with the UK Govt revealing only 0.4 per cent of artists make a living from streaming, while vinyl sales surge by 94 per cent.
Read on for the biggest headlines of the music technology world from September 2021.
- BandLab launched Subscriptions and Distribution, allowing creators to easily distribute and monetise their music from BandLab to other platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
- The UK Govt reveals that only 0.4 per cent of artists – 1,723 in total – make a living from streaming revenue
- ROLI files for bankruptcy and relaunches as Luminary, this time with a focus on music production novices.
- A shortage of semiconductors and shipping woes have resulted in stores running out of DJ and music production gear
- TikTok owner ByteDance is said to be launching Fei Yue, a streaming app for China
- The Winter NAMM Show has been rescheduled to June to coincide with Summer NAMM, taking place in Anaheim, California.
- SoundCloud’s fan-powered royalty model proves itself, awarding Portishead’s SOS 500% more royalties than the traditional pro-rata model
- Vinyl sales have increased by 94% in 2021, with overall sales hitting $467 million. In addition, Gen Z is buying more vinyl than millenials
- Genius, the lyrics database, has been acquired by MediaLab, owner of Kik, Whisper, Worldstar Hip Hop and more, for $80 million
- Steve Aoki, Disclosure, Nas, Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers and more contribute to Audius’ £3.6m funding round
- Universal Music Group gets valued at €46.3billion after going public in Amsterdam, with analysts arguing that the value sits higher at €54billion
- ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus launches Credits Due, aiming to fix the music industry’s £500m royalty problem
- TikTok reaches one billion monthly users worldwide, along with three billion downloads
- Rhodes reveals more of its upcoming MK8 keyboard, complete with customisation options for effects and cosmetics
- Technics announced a new addition to its renowned turntable series with the SL-1210G, an audiophile turntable boasting some impressive specs
- Apple launched the iPhone 13 and iOS 15, with the former bringing new camera improvements for content creators and the latter enhancing Spatial Audio with head tracking
- Focusrite’s Clarett+ range – the 2Pre, 4Pre and 8Pre – feature pro-grade preamps and performance. We’re giving one away here
- ASM’s Hydrasynth gets two new siblings in the Hydrasynth Explorer and Hydrasynth Deluxe; the Explorer being a compact version and the Deluxe boasting 73 keys and 16 voices
- Dreadbox announced the Nymphes, a six-voice polysynth with reverb and plenty of modulation options. The synth is dedicated to “all abused and oppressed women” of the world
- Waldorf’s M synthesizer sees the brand return to its roots, reimagining the Microwave I, II and XT desktop synths
- UDO Audio’s renowned Super 6 binaural polysynth comes to desktop format, offering a more affordable entry point for producers
- Erica Synths combines a drum machine and a synthesizer in the storm-brewing Perkons HD-01
- The 70s modular synth, Buchla 200, comes to Eurorack at a far less eye-watering price than the original
- British synth brand PWM debuts with Malevolent, a monosynth with modular DNA
- PMC’s new PM6, PMC6-2 and PMC8-2 are the brand’s latest speakers that come with the goal of “turning the world of studio monitoring on its head”
- Audeze’s $4,500 LCD-5 headphones are the brand’s latest planar magnetic headphone, promising lower distortion and improved sonic resolution
- Akai revamps the MPC Studio, now boasting intuitive control of MPC2 software
- Arturia’s MiniFuse audio interfaces come in three sizes, representing the brand’s“vision of an affordable audio companion”
- Reason 12 launches, bringing a makeover to Combinatr and introducing the Mimic Creative Sampler.
- Roland announced the TR-707 and TR-727 emulations on Roland Cloud, promising “100 per cent authenticity”
- Denise Audio released Bite Harder and My Crush, two plug-ins primed for serious bitcrushing.
- Moog brings its educational and creative Model 15 app to DAWs with a new plug-in wrapper, remaining free for current owners.
- Arturia drops the SQ80 V, an emulation of the Ensoniq SQ-80 that is a “faithful” yet “enhanced” version of the synth.
- Cherry Audio’s Mercury-4 is an extremely affordable emulation of the Roland Jupiter-4 – Greg Hawkes’ Jupiter-4, specifically
- SSL releases Vintage Drive and Stereo Image plug-ins, based on the Fusion hardware processors, and announces plans for tape echo, delay and de-esser plug-ins
- Baby Audio integrates AI into TAIP, a new tape emulation plug-in that is designed to be the “ideal tape machine for the DAW era”
- The sole remaining member of Cabaret Voltaire, Richard H. Kirk, dies at 65 years old
- ABBA returns after 40 years, with a that involves a purpose-built arena and a team of 850 people
- Nicky Romero explains the process behind his Monocule project and recalls the lessons he learned from Avicii before his passing
- Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Olivia Rodrigo drop their latest releases in Dolby Atmos for Apple Music
- 3LAU’s track Worst Case will be the first “fan owned” song on blockchain music platofrm Royal, with 50 per cent of revenue going to 333 fans
- BT’s Metaversal album is a blockchain audiovisual experience that features NFT puzzle prizes, offering 33 unique and encrypted NFTs to those who can solve the riddles
- DJ Shadow reminisces on Endtroducing……, recalling it influences and creation, saying the album is “a gift”
- Disclosure give a sneak preview of its DJ-Kicks mix with an exclusive new track, Observer Effect
- Steve Aoki reveals that his remix of Kanye, Drake, Eminem and Lil’ Wayne’s Forever was never released because it “just wasn’t good”, and reflects on his career
- A DJ duo from Bristol find their lost record collection 10 years after misplacing it after a gig
- Our freeware round-up for September includes a selection of inventive processing plug-ins, useful tools, and a couple of top-quality instruments.