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Music Industry News

  • Girl Underground Music Debuts Xuan Single

    As Xuan releases her first single “We Were Just Talking” from her up-and-coming album Have Some Fun on November 16th, Girl Underground Music jumped on the opportunity to premiere and review the indie-pop track.

    About the new single Girl Underground Music writer, Janette Ayub, says “Delightfully opening with innocent banter and magical synths, “We Were Just Talking” is the epitome of inner dialogue and wishful thinking when merely talking to a crush. Fluorescent tempo switches dance alongside Xuan’s joyous, yet sotto voce delivery,... read more

  • Ghettoblaster Premieres Balloon Ride Fantasy’s “Welcoming Party”

    As we anxiously await for tommorrow’s arrival of their third release, the six song EP BRF, Ghettoblaster took to the keyboard to write up a premiere for our favorite synth-pop/new wave band, Balloon Ride Fantasy’s, latest track. The title of the track is “Welcoming Party,” and in case you haven’t already listened to it, it’s fire. If you collectively took all the awesome vibes from this song and wired it to power a toaster, it would probably melt your face. You... read more

  • Darren Jessee Bares His Soul in “Letting you Go”

    August 24th will see the debut solo release from Darren Jessee, The Jane Room 217. In celebration of this beautifully sparse, soon-to-be masterpiece, Atwood Magazine has premiered the newest single, “Letting You Go.”

    Mitch Mosk really delves deeply into the song, saying “Darren Jessee captures the heartbreak, longing, and loneliness of saying goodbye to the one you love in his bittersweet breakup ballad, “Letting You Go.” Read the entire write up here

    Since 2004, Jessee’s released four records under the name Hotel Lights, all... read more

  • Bill using Mailchimp

    Y’all wanna see what it looks like when Bill gets to crackin’ on good ole Mailchimp?
    Well, you got it.

    Bill using Mailchimp

    read more
  • Ruston Kelly debut album out 7 September 2018
    Ruston Kelly debut album out 7 September 2018

    Album release: 'Dying Star' by Ruston Kelly
    Release date: 7 September 2018
    Label: Rounder Records
    More info:... read more

  • Gregory Alan Isakov new album out 5 October 2018
    Gregory Alan Isakov new album out 5 October 2018

    Album release: 'Evening Machines' by Gregory Alan Isakov
    Release date: 5 October 2018
    Label: Dualtone Recordsread more

  • Gunship new album out 5 October 2018
    Gunship new album out 5 October 2018

    Album release: ‘Dark All Day’ by Gunship
    Release date: 5 October 2018
    More info: Band... read more

  • Lucero new album out 3 August 2018
    Lucero new album out 3 August 2018

    Album release: 'Among The Ghosts' by Lucero
    Release date: 3 August 2018
    Label: Liberty & Lament... read more

  • Satellite Stories final album out 7 September 2018
    Satellite Stories final album out 7 September 2018

    Album release: ‘Cut Out The Lights’ by Satellite Stories
    Release date: 7 September 2018
    Label: Playground Music Scandinavia
    More... read more

  • Earmilk premieres new single from Nick Andre

    With help from Lateef The Truth Speaker and Hanni El Khatib on vocals, Nick Andre premiered his new single “Guns” with Earmilk. Andre is the co-founder of Slept On Records, which has allowed Andre and team to self-release and work with other artists such as Lateef The Truth Speaker and Gift of Gab.

    “Guns” is the first track to be released from a series of singles, which will premiere throughout the second half of 2018. Earmilk describes “Guns” as “a thought-provoking record…employing a stripped... read more

Featured Articles

  • Trident Audio Development announced a 500-series of their revered 80B EQ back in 2013 and now they've started shipping! The Trident 80B-500 module is an exact redesign for the 500-series and will give you the sound that the original EQ produced. What’s more it’s at the bargain price of £359!

    Trident Audio 80B-500 EQ

    For those not familiar with the product, the Trident 80B-500 is the EQ found on the late 70’s and 80s Trident 80B Consoles. It was very successful and graced many recording studios over the world in that were search of a fat sounding and flexible console. It was used on countless classic rock recordings of that era and continues to be very well thought of.

    The four-band EQ on the 80B console is spectacular, a very musical EQ with large overlap between the two mid bands. Each band uses a proportional Q which means that the more the gain is pushed, the narrower the bandwidth becomes.  This is partly the reason why the EQ in the 80B console is so musical. But its success was undoubtedly for the heft it can impart to a sound; a heft often defined as creamy and thick. Trident has now decided to give engineers and producers that big sound in the 500-series.

    The Trident 80B-500 is a single slot, mono four-band EQ module with both LF and HF shelves with switchable frequencies and two sweeping midrange bands with the lower band covering 100Hz to 1500Hz frequencies and the higher one covering 1000Hz to 15kHz. All bands provide 15dB of cut and boost. As mentioned before there is no bandwidth control as this depends on the amount of gain applied. A fixed 50Hz HPF switch is also included. An overload LED indicator turns red when the signal is too hot.


    This new recreation of a classic EQ is sure to be extremely popular and at this rather keen price will undoubtedly reassert that legendary sound of the 80B console in modern productions. We are expecting the first UK shipment any time now.

    By Paul Lavigne

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  • Everything in a DAW we know can be taken care by mouse and keyboard commands, but are we missing something by not having that tactile fader whilst mixing, or those shuttle wheels when editing, or solo switches when tracking?

    Prolonged DAW users fight the threat of Carpal Tunnel syndrome and whilst not suggesting a controller will solve that totally on it’s own, it does also invite a varied way of working. Whether to a traditionalist who grew up on mixing consoles, to those who have never used a Desk but feel they want more of a hands-on approach to software manipulation, this is a modern dilemma, whether you’re ITB (in-the-box) or using a hybrid system.

    We don’t always think about it, but with mouse and keyboard control we tend to only tweak one thing at a time, whereas with Control Surfaces, complex multi functions can be carried out at the same time. The daily use of smartphones has made us all a little more tactile in our ways..

    So I guess the question is, what will one do for your workflow?

    Control surfaces come in a variety of sizes, and whilst I’m going to focus on a few units in order of price that are dedicated Mix Controllers, it is worth mentioning that many times you can combine an existing keyboard controller, or dedicated programming pad surface to work with a DAW for mixing. These allow you to travel with portable writing rigs, or add another level of manipulation to an existing setup.

    Many products by Akai, M-Audio, Novation ( including their own software AutoMap ) through to Native Instruments Maschine, Ableton’s PUSH controller, Nektar ( with vast knob controllers and motorised fader ) and Softube’s Console-1 all do a variety of DAW / Plugin manipulation. But as they work as MIDI controllers they are more than capable of mix control, if a little time is spent mapping your desired controls correctly for your needs.

    Presonus Faderport

    If portability or space is an issue you can’t get much smaller than the Presonus Faderport. Designed with one fader but with transport control, automation control, Pan, Mute and Solo, this is a USB connected device which runs under HUI or Native mode and works with all the main DAW’s. Great for laptop users who like to travel light but miss the touch of a fader.

    Presonus Faderport | KMR Audio

    Mackie Control Universal Pro

    One of the first small format controllers released in a 1998 partnership with Digidesign ( now Avid ) was the Mackie HUI ( Human User Interface ) to work with Pro Tools 4.1 at that time. This developed a protocol called HUI which has been adopted by most control surface manufactures and DAW’s, enabling multi compatibility between devices.

    Mackie Control Universal Pro Control Surface  | KMR Audio

    HUI is what is behind the current Mackie Control Universal Pro and Mackie Control Extender Pro. This was originally developed in partnership, in a previous version, with Logic but now works with all the main DAW’s with overlays for key commands and V-Pot control.

    They consist of two units, a main base unit with 8 motorised faders, V-pots and transport control, and the expander with 8 faders and V-pots. Both units connect via MIDI over USB and can be expanded to run up to 3 expanders off the Main Unit ( a Midi interface if required if you wish to run more than 3 expanders )

    Avid Artist Series

    When Euphonix became an acquisition of Avid, their popular control surfaces were given a facelift to adopt everything new about the updated Pro Tools Software and the Euphonix EUCON software.

    Avid Artist Series Control Surface | KMR Audio

    Allowing better DAW integration via Ethernet for Logic Pro, Cubase, Nuendo, DP and Final Cut Pro this provides much faster resolution than MIDI, whilst allowing you to control multiple applications and DAW’s allowing switching between them in use from the one controller.

    There are three in the series. Artist Mix, offers 8 touch sensitive faders and 8 rotary encoders, and transport control. Artist Control, which has 4 faders, and unique touchscreen that is programmable for any EUCON enabled device. This touchscreen can issue multiple control commands at a single touch and is totally programmable. And finally Artist Transport, which is a large shuttle wheel and soft keys to trigger shortcuts or key commands within your software of choice. Mix and matching Avid Artist Series units appeals to those who want flexibility and need to switch between a variety of software applications on the same machine.

    Slate Pro Audio Raven MTI

    The idea that a control surface has to be made with physical faders was blown wide open when Slate Pro Audio released their original RAVEN MTX controller ( see below ) This has spawned a smaller sibling in the 27” RAVEN MTI. With the new V2.0 software that has just been released, there’s no better time to get to grips ( literally ) with a 6 touch multi-touch display HD controller that connects via USB 2.0 and DVI.

    Slate Pro Audio Raven MTI Control Surface | KMR Audio

    The MTI allows you to carry out multi functions like you would on a traditional control surface. Where the power lies is within the V2 software, this allows for custom macro commands, and ‘quick-key’s that allow one touch controls to carry out multi functions, saving vast amounts of time. Slate have also invested many man hours in creating macro commands for the Post and the Music industry, so whilst you can create your own, you may never need to. Currently it works with Pro Tools 10 and 11, and Logic Pro X. Development is in place for Cubase, Ableton, Digital Performer etc. The ergonomics and backlit LED have been designed at an angle that is comfortable to work out, and with the future software updates, customisation and flexibility is the key here.

    Solid-State-Logic Nucleus

    SSL designed the Nucleus with some extra features taken from the SSL Matrix for a complete recording solution. Consisting of 16 faders, assignable soft keys and V pots, it also includes two SSL Super Analogue mic preamps connecting to your DAW via Ethernet and a USB audio interface, with the flexibility to switch between 3 connected DAW’s with customisable control and key mapping.

    Solid State Logic Nucleus Control Surface | KMR Audio

    The feel of the Nucleus has been designed for real world usage, with chunky transport controls. jog wheel and high quality motorised faders. It also has a monitoring and headphone output, so a complete package should you require it, or use it as a very well laid out, smooth feeling controller.

    Smart AV Tango

    Smart AV have developed their own ARC Technology and have now released MonARC software which is a scrolling based channel overview to run on their touch screens. Combining a 22inch touchscreen and hardware motorised faders, pots, shuttle wheel, soft keys and OLED displays on all programmable buttons connection is via Ethernet and currently supports nearly all the major DAW’s. A Tango V2 is available shortly which has an appearance upgrade, as well as some functions. For the user that wants the best of both worlds, touchscreen and hardware control.

    Smart AV Tango Control Surface | KMR Audio

    It’s worth mentioning that there are larger format controllers such as the SSL Matrix, which has 40 inputs, fully featured monitoring and 16+1 Faders. The larger 46” Raven MTX with analogue monitoring section, and the larger customisable Avid EUCON driven S6.

    So really whatever your budget, and workflow, getting hands-on has never been easier…go on, try it.

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  • Standard Audio and KMR Audio are proud to introduce the Standard Audio Stretch, a brand new and truly unique multi-band dynamics module for the 500-series format.
    Standard Audio Announces Stretch 500-series Multi-Dynamics Module 

    Following on from the success of the Level-Or 500-series compressor (itself a 500 series recreation of the classic Level-Loc), Standard Audio have released the Stretch which takes its inspiration from various noise reduction units from the 1970s and 1980s when in “encode” mode. Stretch allows you to use the 4 separate frequency bands configured in 7 different combinations which are accessible via the Filter/Compression push-button. A Mix Control allows for parallel processing by re-injecting the unprocessed signal back in and varying the levels.

    The Stretch is truly unique and can inject life and depth in an engaging way that EQ and compression alone cannot replicate.

    The Standard Audio Stretch is available to purchase in the UK and Germany from KMR Audio and retails at  £579 inc. VAT (£482.5 ex VAT)
    Standard Audio Stretch 500-series Compressor
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  • Prism Sound are going bat crazy this July with great offers on all their audio interfaces and its flagship AD/DA converter the ADA-8XR.

    20% Off Prism Sound Audio Interfaces

    Starting with the Audio Interfaces, Prism Sound are offering 20% off their range of really high-quality audio interfaces including Atlas, Orpheus, Titan and Lyra 1 and 2. Prism Sound’s range of audio interfaces has been worldwide recognised for their incredible preamps and superb AD/DA conversions comparing favourably against by many other competitors.

    In addition Prism Sound has partnered with iZotope to offer some Alloy 2 or the Ozone bundle with selected audio interfaces saving you even more. So in addition to the 20% savings you also get completely FREE software! We’ve also proudly joined the party by offering our own bundles. For example you can get a pair of Sennheiser HD650 with every Lyra 1 or 2 that you buy through us or you can purchase our Titan and Waves Platinum bundle for £2999 saving you over £1500!

    This offer is valid until the 21st of July so, do not delay or you could miss out an incredible opportunity to upgrade your studio at a fraction of the price.

    FREE PTHD and PTHDX card with any ADA-8XR AD/DA Converters

    Until the end of July, Prism Sound is also offering a Free PTHD or PTHDX card when you purchase their flagship ADDA converters, the ADA-8XR.

    The ADA-8XR needs absolutely no introduction having delivered pristine digital audio conversion for over 10 years in the broadcast and recording studios throughout the world.  Pro Tools users now have a great incentive to upgrade their AD/DA converters by including a PTHD card or PTHDX card depending on whether you are using a Pro Tools HD or HDX system saving you over £800. You could use this savings to get more analogue or digital I/O for example.

    Whether you would like to buy a new audio interface or upgrade the quality of your Pro Tools system, Prism Sound has got you covered with these two great offers.  If you would like to know more or benefit from those savings e-mail us on sales@kmraudio.com or call us on 020 8445 2446. Alternatively you are always welcome in our North London Showroom and Richmond Sales office.


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  • To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ubiquitous series 8000, Genelec are letting you trade your old monitors and save on a brand new pair of Genelec 8000’s series.

    All you need to do is give us your old pair of monitors of any make or model , active or passive, and we’ll give you a significant discount on a brand new pair of Genelec  8010A, 8020C, 8030B, 8040B, or 8050B.

    Here’s the savings for each model:

    Model Typical Street Price Trade-In Price You Save
    8010A £478 £358 £120
    8020C £638 £518 £120
    8030B £938 £738 £200
    8040B £1,538 £1,198 £340
    8050B £2,498 £1,938 £560

    This is a great opportunity to upgrade your setup and get great monitors for music production, broadcast and mixing and an industry standard.

    If you have any questions regarding this promotion or Genelec monitors in general call us on 020 8445 2446 or e-mail sales@kmraudio.com


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  • Air Music has announced the release of Advance Music Production, an impressive collection of software for music production mixing and mastering.

    Advance is a pretty impressive collection with over 70 software packages encompassing anything from powerful virtual instruments and FX to library packs and tutorials all featured on a 500Gb Hard Drive. These are by no means run of the mill products either, with Air, iZotope Waves, Sonivox, D16, Akai, Fabfilter, FXpansion, Gobbler just to name a few,  all contributed with full versions of some of their most popular products.

    Full list of manufacturers:

    • AIR Music Technology
    • Akai Professional
    • Camel Audio
    • D16
    • FabFilter
    • Fxpansion
    • Gobbler
    • iZotope
    • PSP Audioware
    • Prime Loops
    • Sonic Academy
    • Sonic Charge
    • SONiVOX
    • Waves
    • Way Out Ware
    • Wave Arts


    Although designed for the whole music production process, Air Music has put a lot of effort in the virtual instrument section by not only contributing all their most prized instruments including Velvet, Vacuum Pro, Hybrid, Structure, and Transfuser, but also gathering some truly great virtual instruments from Akai (and their MPC Essentials software), FabFilter (contributing two virtual analogue synthesizers), Camel Audio with their Alchemy sample-based synthesizer powerhouse, WayOutWare’s high quality ARP2600 emulation. In addition Sonivox are also included from their EDM Classic synthesizers Wobble 2, Twist 2, Vocalizer Pro, to their impressive range of sample-based virtual instruments covering cinematic drums to orchestral instruments. This impressive collection gives you everything you need to create your music no matter what genre.  Added to that an impressive collection of loops and sample packs from Prime Loops covering all genres from ambient psychedelia to hard hitting rock and EDM!

    If that’s not enough, Advance includes a wide range of effects from delays, choruses and Reverbs to distortion and glitch Effects.  EQs and Compressors are also featured with Waves contributing their highly popular Renaissance Channel (used by some of best mixing engineers throughout the world), PSP Audio offering two classic EQs based on legendary hardware and Wave Arts providing their FinalPlug limiter. FXpansion also includes some of their D.CAM analogue emulation EQs and compressors.

    This could be quite a daunting package for any beginner, so AIR music secured a collection of online tutorials from Sonic Academy covering everything from sound design to mixing and remixing, mastering and more

    Advance also includes one of the most powerful cloud-based collaboration and file-management by Gobbler allowing to save your projects on the cloud but also to collaborate with artists worldwide.

    This is an impressive and complete package to say the least that any producer or electronic musician will want to have in their arsenal. The more surprising perhaps is the price. Indeed the whole package contains $5000 worth of software but Air Music makes it available with a 500Gb hard drive for a mere £479! For the full list of software check out Air Music’s website.

    If you are looking to get a complete and powerful music production suite, you could do a lot worse than getting yourself a copy of AIR Music’s Advance Music Production AIR Music’s Advance Music Productionsoftware as it is well worth the price. For more info please call us on 020 8445 2446 or e-mail sales@kmraudio.com

    By Paul Lavigne

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  • RME Summer Deals

    KMR Audio News

    RME are being extremely active at the moment, not only have updated their best-selling audio interface and released the Fireface 802 they are now offering the entire Fireface range including the Babyface at a special price throughout the summer.

    So if you were looking to get a quality audio interface, now may just be the time to invest. From the portable Babyface, Fireface UC and UCX, to the fully-fledged Fireface 802 and UFX, RME has something to suit. Even if your heart was set on the RME Fireface 800 which has been the favourite interface of thousands of people over the past 10 years, you can still get hold of one at a reduced price (whilst stocks last!). This offer also benefits from our UK Exclusive 5-year warranty on all RME products (bought through us)

    This offer is available through KMR Audio while stocks last so don’t delay and make sure you don’t miss out on a great offer by RME. If you have any questions or would like to purchase give us a call, or e-mail sales@kmraudio.com. Alternatively you are more than welcome to our North London shop or Richmond sales office.

    By Paul Lavigne

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  • Legendary synth designer Dave Smith has announced a brand new monophonic synthesizer called the Pro 2.

    Those who know the story of the Dave Smith will be pleased by the welcome nod to the past and the legendary Pro One mono synth by Sequential Circuit. Added to that the claim that the Pro 2 is “the most powerful mono synth ever” and one can’t be anything but intrigued.

    Dave Smith Pro 2 Monophonic Synthesizer

    Inside the Belly of the Beast

    So what’s inside the beast? Well the Pro 2 is first of all a hybrid synth with four high-resolution digital oscillators and one digital sub oscillator. That’s right digital oscillators, but fear not, just like in the Prophet 12 those high resolution oscillators provide classic and complex waveforms which can modulate each other using FM (frequency modulation) or AM (amplitude modulation).  In addition the Oscillator section also features Character controls which add LF and HF boost, bit rate reduction, sample rate reduction and a tape saturation emulation to add even further flexibility and character.

    Following the digital section can be found a brand new dual analogue filter section with a 4-pole low pass filter reminiscent of the legendary Prophet 5 and a variable state filter inspired by another legend, the Oberheim SEM which can  be continuously changed from low-pass, notch to high-pass and band-pass mode. What’s more both filters can be either used in series or in parallel and anywhere in between! That’s right; the Pro 2 is clearly focused on flexibility.

    This already impressive configuration is complemented by an impressive modulation section comprising of no less than three digital delays, one digital bucket brigade delay (akin to the legendary Moog Analogue delay), four syncable LFOs, five ADHSR envelopes, an arpeggiator. All these are accessible via the sixteen-slot modulation matrix!  The Pro 2 also features what is probably the most advanced sequencer available on a synth to date. With 16 tracks and up to 32-step per track, the Pro 2’s sequencer is extremely powerful and flexible yet remains easy to use with real-time input, rests,  and variable-length sequences with any control parameter capable of being controlled.  It obviously syncs to MIDI clock but also to external audio input.

    One Synth to Control Them All!

    The Pro 2 also includes CV/Gate and four CV I/Os to control or be controlled by a modular synth or any CV –based synthesizer or drum machines. With control voltages assignable to any parameters via the modulation matrix, it is possible to create some mind bending sound experiment while using the step sequencer to control the tempo of your modular system.  Anything from oscillators, envelopes to sequencer tracks can be sent to a modular system.

    Although being taunted as a monophonic synthesizer, the Pro 2 can actually be used as a four-voice paraphonic synth offering individual controls over each oscillator and its envelope while sharing the same VCF section. The Pro 2 will deliver 4-voice polyphony for playing expressive chords.

    The Pro 2 is clearly a truly powerful synthesizer and Dave Smith’s claim seems at first pretty convincing, but we’ll have to wait and see until they land in the UK. If you have any questions about he Dave Smith Pro 2, why not contact us via e-mail at sales@kmraudio.com by phone on 020 8445 2446 or come to our North London HQ or Richmond sales office for a chat and a coffee?

    By Paul Lavigne

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  • Throughout the month of June we are offering the superb Crane Song Falcon and Syren 500-series modules at the incredible price of £799, just over 15% off.

    Save Over 15% on Crane Song Falcon and Syren 500-series Modules


    Both Syren and Falcon are valve single-slot modules capable of producing rich coloured sound while keeping Crane Songs clean and detailed signature, and now both are available to add to your “lunchbox”. As always with Crane Song both the Syren compressor and Falcon mic preamp are extremely flexible delivering anything from classic tube sound to rich classy colouration and even grit and overdrive.

    The Syren is Crane Song’s first valve mic preamp and features a truly unique design implementation which is based around the interaction between the dual triode valve stages. By modifying the interaction and adding negative feedback (or not) it is possible to change the sound dramatically from clean with a wide frequency response to warm sounding and overdrive.  This incredible flexibility can work wonders on vocals, guitars, bass and much more. It also features a 24dB/octave high-pass filter at 90Hz, +48V phantom power, polarity switch and a pad offering a choice between -15dB and -25dB.

    Following the same principle the Crane Song Falcon lets you modify the tube circuit to add negative feedback to the compression adding more or less colour. The Falcon does not use traditional valve compression designs and although it exhibits optical compression-like characteristics, the valve is the gain reduction element.  This design allows for a coloured vintage sound or much cleaner sound, while keeping its opto-like behaviour.

    While extremely versatile, the Falcon remains extremely easy to use with simple controls over the Threshold, Gain and Dry/Wet, as well as three position switches for the attack and release controls covering fast, medium and slow, as well as for the compression/limiting knee. It is also linkable with up to 6 units being able to be linked together for 5.1 systems.

    Whether you are looking for an additional mic pre or compressor to add to your arsenal or are simply starting your 500-series journey, you could definitely benefit with the flexibility and wide range of colour options that any of those two modules have to offer.  You could even add both!  To find out more on the Falcon and Syren modules or this offer, contact us by e-mail at sales@kmraudio.com or on the phone on 020 844 2446 or come and see us to our North London store or Richmond sales office.

    By Paul Lavigne

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  • TiBook 500 Music Server running OS X 10.4.11

    TiBook 500 Music Server running OS X 10.4.11

    Today’s adventure starts with a semi-broken Mac PPC PowerBook (the so-called TiBook 500) and a desire to consolidate and simplify our household iTunes use. There could be many ways to do this, but as usual the results here were completely dependent upon the tools that were readily available. The impetus was not only finding a use for the PowerBook with a broken screen, but also making iTunes more accessible for us and giving us the one thing our iPod can’t – the ability to make playlists on the fly. This could also be called the poor man’s wireless audio.

    So the requirements are pretty simple: 1) the PowerBook must be out of sight, but still completely accessible via network connection. This includes being able to put the machine to sleep regularly but not have to physically access it to wake it again (an early incarnation envisioned wireless peripherals and using the TV as a monitor but the avoidance of this is preferable). 2) We should be able to share the iTunes Library from a central location, and access/manipulate it from any machine in our house.

    First… the Disclaimer

    This tutorial is for educational and informational purposes only. There might be a dozen other ways to accomplish a similar result to what is presented here, so I am not claiming that this is the end-all, be-all solution. In fact, you may find that some other method suits your situation more appropriately. I fully recommend that anyone attempting to follow the directions posted here also do your own further research, as there is a wealth of information available online and the components listed here are specific to what was available to me without having to buy even more junk to put in my house. Good luck!

    PPC G4 Titanium - Is this thing on?

    PPC G4 Titanium – Is this thing on?

    What You’ll Need

    The tools we have for the job are as follows:

    • PowerPC Mac running at least OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger). In this case, the TiBook with a broken screen.
    • 300GB Firewire external hard drive (well, only necessary because our iTunes library is already larger than the 30GB hard drive in the PowerBook, and our iPod is the 160GB version).
    • A router; ours is a Linksys wireless with 4 ethernet ports as well.
    • Any other Mac capable of running Screen Sharing, which is found in OS X 10.5 (Jaguar) or above.
    • The freeware application WakeOnLan.
    • For a laptop, a piece of metal (likely iron) that will disrupt the magnetic switch that makes the computer sleep.

    The logistics here pretty much suggest the need to have both the router and the potential music server in some proximity to your sound system — I find that hard-wiring the music server via ethernet gives better results. And of course you will also need whatever cabling it takes to hook up the server to your audio receiver. When considering where to put your machine, take into account things like fan noise, ventilation and the potential for overheating (running a laptop with the lid closed isn’t necessarily recommended in many cases – see this page for more info).

    Preparing A Tiger Mac For Use Over A Network

    Sharing pane within System Preferences

    Sharing pane within System Preferences

    Assuming you have everything you need to start, the first thing to do is set up the machine that will serve the iTunes library. To do this, open System Preferences and select ‘Sharing’. There you will find the option to turn on the Apple Remote Desktop client. When you check this, a dialog should appear giving you the option to set access privileges – go ahead and set it up to allow at least one user to log on from another machine and control this computer from there by choosing as many checkboxes as are relevant to your situation (I went ahead and checked them all). Probably not best to leave the machine without a password in any case, but especially not if your network isn’t password-protected.

    iTunes Sharing

    iTunes Preferences > Sharing!

    Sharing iTunes

    After that you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date version of iTunes — for a machine running Tiger, this is iTunes 9.2.1. If you have the most current version of iTunes, you should set up sharing so other computers on your network can access the music library. To set up sharing in iTunes, select ‘Preferences’ from the iTunes menu, and then select the ‘Sharing’ tab. Check the box that says, “Share my library on my local network” and you should be good to go; now other computers can see this library within the iTunes application running on their own machine. [You can also enable Home Sharing, which requires an iTunes account, but I’m not going to wade into that here. Ultimately, however, the functionality we want will probably be made most simple with this feature, if only because I don’t want to have to connect the iPod to the Music Server directly, and Home Sharing seems to be the only way to truly avoid that. Furthermore, we want to be able to get more music from the iTunes store and don’t want to have to use the Music Server directly or via Screen Sharing to access the store. A follow-up post would be warranted, I’m sure. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee there will be one.]

    Setting up Screen Sharing in Lion

    Setting up Screen Sharing in Lion

    Setting Up Screen Sharing

    Once iTunes is set up, you’re ready to see if you can access your music server from another Mac. Presumably you have your own network settings and the new server is showing up in your network. We’re now running Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), so your mileage may vary on how this next part works. In Lion, any Finder window should have a list of Shared items on the left sidebar. If you select your music server, you will see that you automatically connect as a guest. You will need to connect to Screen Sharing as the user you set up to access the Mac running Tiger, so you have the range of control you need to open and close applications and put the server to sleep. Select “Screen Sharing…” and enter your credentials. If all goes well you should see the desktop on the Tiger machine open in a window on the machine that you’re using to access it.

    And… that means you’re almost done! Open iTunes in the Screen Sharing window and enjoy your music server. Also you can go to the File menu in Screen Sharing and save the connection for easy access at any point.

    Approximate location of "magnet blocker" on TiBook 500

    Approximate location of “magnet blocker” on TiBook 500

    Sleeping And Waking

    A final note about using a laptop for this project – if you want the machine to stay awake with the lid closed, you have to disrupt the magnet that acts as the switch to engage the sleep mode. For details on how to do this, see this web site (it’s pretty simple but involves finding where the magnet is located and using a piece of metal to block it).

    Of course, if the machine is asleep, how do you remotely wake it? One excellent solution I’ve found is a bit of freeware called WakeOnLan, which allows you to scan the network when the music server is connected and obtain the MAC address of that machine. Later, the application can send a wakeup message over a network to the machine when it’s sleeping. The app has worked very well for us, especially considering we really wanted to be able to sleep the music server and cease its loud-ish fan when we’re not using it.

    TiBook says ROCK!

    TiBook says ROCK!

    Rock ON!

    So far we’re really enjoying the flexibility the music server gives us. I recommend this project for anyone with an extra PPC around collecting dust, and extra benefit is that you can also use the machine as a web, FTP or mail server if you want. As a web developer I find this to be a big added bonus result to the project. I’d be interested to hear about any similar attempts.

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