Q & A with Fenix – Social Distancing for DJs

Q & A with Fenix – Social Distancing for DJs

Q & A with Fenix – Social Distancing for DJs

The music industry has been especially impacted by the coronavirus, causing postponed and cancelled events across the globe including Ultra Music, Tomorrowland, and countless others. Artists cannot tour, instead opting to live stream performances and create new music. With this change comes an opportunity to take a step back from the crazy touring schedule that DJs are so often accustomed to, and spend this time creating at home in the studio. We spoke with Russian artist Fenix about his thoughts on the situation, and how he maintains his life as an artist during this uncertain time.

Q:The COVID-19 situation is unprecedented in its global impact. What does this moment mean to you personally and as a DJ? Where are you and what does your day-to-day look like?

I agree with you that the situation is out of the ordinary, and really everything that happens now affects absolutely everything. 

For me personally, this is a significant break in my performances. I had to cancel absolutely all shows before the end of April, and the Winter Music Conference in Miami and the International Music Summit in Ibiza were canceled as well, so I had to get tickets refunded and remove all reservations. I also had to quickly transfer my entire team to remote work, and now all of our processes are happening online. 

Right now I am at home in Moscow. I just passed self-isolation, 14 days after my tour in Europe. Now my day begins with sports, then breakfast and after that I work in the studio until the evening. Then there is a dinner with family and after we watch TV shows and films. I haven’t done this for a long time. And I’ll tell you honestly, now my day is just perfect.

In spite of everything that is happening, I’m even a little glad that I have to spend all this time at home and in my studio. You can’t imagine how many tracks will appear in the near future from me. 

Q: What tips do you have for managing your time and work/life boundaries when home and studio life intertwine?

Now I work at the studio on a schedule like an office worker – I go to the studio in the morning, take a lunch break and then continue until the end of the working day. It is optimal and very productive. During this time (from 10 AM to 6 PM) I manage to do a lot, and I have time for myself and my personal life. It is also very important to plan your day, I do it in the evening. We also use cloud services for organized work on projects, this helps to move towards our goals.

Q:What kind of setup do you have at home to keep you creating?

In addition to the main studio, I always had a studio at home, this is a large space for working with music and also for working with a project for organizational work. I have the following setup for working with music at home: 

iMac Pro with Logic Pro X

Focal Solo Be6 monitors

Analog synthesizers

Moog Sub Phatty

Roland Juno Di

Yamaha MOX8

Access Virus TI2 Desktop

AKG C214 & BLUE SPARK microphones

I also have a couple vintage synths from USSR and A LOT OF VST’s, and of course Audionamix XTRAX STEMS as a main tool for my Remixes. 

 Q; For producers and DJs who previously relied on shared workspaces and studios to create, what would you say are minimum requirements to begin creating at home?  

It is enough to have a laptop and headphones to make some kind of demo at home, or as the musicians say “on their knees”. For vocalists, some kind of simple microphone, although many people manage to record on their phone. This is music, just enough to do what you like and that’s it. As I am an Apple user, Logic Pro X or Ableton software, or even easier, Garage Band will be more than enough at home. For example, Logic Pro X already has both VST tools and VST plugins. Therefore, the list is not large.

1) Laptop

2) DAW

3) MIDI keyboard

4) Good internet

Q: Since most gigs have been postponed or canceled, how do you maintain a substantive relationship with your fans?

Here, in fact, everything was simple and practically nothing was crushed, live broadcasts on Instagram and Facebook. Shared broadcasts with musician friends are also interesting to followers. Since productivity is now at a high level, announcing new music will lead to continued interest and support from fans.

Q: There are many artists hosting live sets and performances online and earning a living through tips – do you recommend any platforms?

Frankly, it’s difficult for me to recommend something specific, since now a lot of things appear on the Internet. Personally, I would spend my time on training and master classes from professionals.

Q: Have you participated in any “virtual parties”? What are your thoughts on the concept?

This direction for me now looks the most interesting and has great potential. In fact, a lot of people are faced with the fact that they cannot physically attend an event for various reasons, and this technology allows them to quickly find themselves in the epicenter of an event without leaving home. Indeed, I participate in such projects very actively. I would like to draw your attention to the new platform Sensorium. This is one of those examples where the quality of the product and the scale of the project are implemented at a very high level. Clearly, the future belongs to similar projects.

Q: What do you think about the future of these trends in the long term?

Now we all perfectly understand that technologies are pushing the usual formats for us, simplifying and making things previously inaccessible for us, more than affordable. The distance between artists and their fans is shrinking, and now everyone feels involved in a creative or other process that is connected to the formation of an artist. Coronavirus showed everyone an acute shortage of ready-made solutions in this direction, but at the same time confirmed their need.

Q: What is your go-to song or album to lift your mood when cabin fever sets in?

I’ll tell you honestly, as always I don’t change my tastes and when I just want to enjoy the music, I listen to my favorite band AC/DC.

Q: How can people stay connected with you (social media call outs, upcoming events, etc)?

I always control my official website: www.djfenix.com

There you can always find all my music, radio shows, links to social networks and accounts on streaming platforms. By the way, during the quarantine period, all remixes are available ABSOLUTELY FOR FREE. There are upcoming shows in May that have not been canceled yet. So we hope that they will take place. You can find all my upcoming performances on the site in the Tour section.

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Follow Fenix on Social media!

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

 

Audionamix at the Futur.e.s Festival

Audionamix at the Futur.e.s Festival

Audionamix at the Futur.e.s Festival

Audionamix s’est rendu au dernier Festival “Futur.e.s” (#DeepTech4NewMedia) organisé par Cap Digital le 10 mars dernier dans le 10eme arrondissement de Paris, afin de présenter sa technologie de séparation de sources mais également pour présenter la dernière version de son logiciel XTRAX STEMS.

Cap Digital est considéré comme le plus grand collectif d’innovateurs du numérique d’Europe, avec plus de 13 années d’existence, plus de 1000 adhérents (dont Audionamix), plus de 120 évènements créés, ainsi que plus de 1,7 Milliards d’euros d’investissement dans le secteur de la R&D. 

Cette édition du festival “‘Futur.e.s” avait comme thème principal, les technologies de rupture qui vont révolutionner les industries des médias, des computers graphics et de la culture. 

#DeepTech 

Audionamix était donc représenté avec certains des acteurs majeurs de l’innovation dans le domaine des médias associée au Deep learning / Machine learning. À savoir, Actronika, Golaem, INA Signature, DeepAlgo, MocapLab, Art Graphique & Patrimoine, Opscidia, Radio France, Youcheck!

Cette participation a permis à Audionamix de présenter sa technologie à travers ses différents logiciels, mais aussi par le biais de ses prestations de services.

Merci à Cap Digital pour l’invitation, et au public d’avoir fait le déplacement et pour tous les retours positifs concernant notre participation et implication dans le domaine de la création d’outils pour l’industrie musicale et audiovisuelle.  

English: 

Audionamix attended the latest “Futur.e.s” festival  (#DeepTech4NewMedia) organized by Cap Digital on March 10 in the 10th district of Paris, to present our source separation technology and the latest version of XTRAX STEMS.

Cap Digital is considered as the largest collective of digital innovators in Europe, with more than 1000 members (including Audionamix), more than 120 events created, and more than 1.7 billion euros of investment in the R&D sector over its 13 years of existence.

Audionamix was represented with some of the major players in media innovation associated with Deep Learning / Machine learning: Actronika, Golaem, INA Signature, DeepAlgo, MocapLab, Art Graphique & Patrimoine, Opscidia, Radio France, Youcheck!

Our participation allowed Audionamix to present our technology through software as well as our Professional Services.

Thanks to Cap Digital for the invitation, to the public for coming, and for all positive feedback regarding our participation and involvement in creating tools for the music and audiovisual industry. 

Articles from the event: 

https://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/quand-la-deeptech-entre-en-scene-dans-l-industrie-culturelle-39900423.htm

https://www.usine-digitale.fr/article/la-pepite-francaise-audionamix-met-le-deep-learning-au-service-des-dj.N938816

Audionamix Releases New XTRAX STEMS via Subscription

Audionamix Releases New XTRAX STEMS via Subscription

Audionamix Releases New XTRAX STEMS via Subscription

Subscriptions Include New 4-Stem Separation Software and Member-only Benefits

LOS ANGELES, MARCH 9, 2020Audionamix Inc., the global leader in audio source separation, releases a brand new 4-stem version of XTRAX STEMS, now available exclusively to subscription members. Membership includes access to exclusive benefits and free, regular updates to both the software and separation algorithms throughout the duration of the subscription.

XTRAX STEMS is powered by advanced AI at supercharged GPU processing speeds. With a simple drag and drop, songs are automatically separated into four parts: vocals, drums, bass and remaining music. Songs can also be separated more efficiently based on specific needs, such as creating backing tracks, acapellas, or drumless tracks. The completely redesigned software features a sleek new user interface and a De-bleed slider to refine separations in real-time. XTRAX STEMS redefines music production, music education, DJing, remixing and mashup creation.

“With this release, we rebuilt XTRAX STEMS to offer creators a new platform for unmixing,” says Nicolas Cattaneo, deputy CEO of Audionamix. “Thanks to our new subscription model, we will continuously update the software. That includes improved deep learning algorithms, but also innovative features to unlock our users’ content and use new parts of it in brand new mixes.”

XTRAX STEMS is compatible with Windows® 10 and macOS® 10.12 – 10.15 operating systems and requires a high-speed internet connection. Subscriptions are available for $40 per six-month period or $60 per year. Special subscription pricing is available via ​support@audionamix.com for owners of XTRAX STEMS 1 or 2.

XTRAX STEMS: https://audionamix.com/xtrax-stems

Windows and Windows 10 are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington. All versions of macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., Cupertino, California.

About Audionamix

Audionamix is the global leader in audio source separation. Built on advanced signal processing and artificial intelligence, Audionamix technology extracts specific elements from an audio file, including speech, vocals, drums and bass. Armed with this licensable technology, the Audionamix Professional Services team has worked on major motion pictures, GRAMMY-nominated albums, and hit TV shows across the globe. For more information, visit https://audionamix.com/

XTRAX STEMS Subscription

XTRAX STEMS Subscription

XTRAX STEMS Subscription

We are thrilled to announce an upcoming upgrade to XTRAX STEMS – a completely redesigned enhancement of our best-selling automatic stem creation software. New features include a brand new GUI, and new algorithms which are optimized for your specific needs, whether it be to separate all four stems (vocals, drums, bass and remaining music), to create acapellas, backing tracks, or drumless tracks for practice. Hone your separations using the new de-bleed slider on each track, helping you perfect each stem before you export! As always, our proprietary algorithms separate the entire spectrum of audible frequencies, all the way up to 22kHz!

In celebration of this momentous early 2020 release we are offering two new low-cost subscription options for XTRAX STEMS that will allow you to get free access to the upgrade as soon as it’s available!

Why Subscribe?

Not only are our subscriptions more affordable when you’re on a budget or working on a short-term project, they also help us to offer consistent updates and upgrades to our advanced cloud-based servers which handle the heavy processing in XTRAX STEMS.

In conjunction with the release of our upgraded XTRAX STEMS in 2020 we will be launching a new user forum where you can share your requests and vote for the features that are most important to you. Expect frequent and regular updates as we work together to build XTRAX STEMS into the product of your dreams. The subscription means you’ll get every improvement at no additional cost, and will help us support a consistent and fulfilling development process dedicated to our user base.

How Much Does it Cost?

Pick up a 6 Month Subscription for only $40.00 or subscribe for a full year for only $60.00. Subscribe now and you’ll get immediate access to our current release XTRAX STEMS 2.2 as well as free access to the upgraded XTRAX STEMS as soon as it’s released in 2020!

6-Month Subscription

$40

1-Year Subscription

$60

 

Interested to get your ears on XTRAX STEMS 4 as soon as possible? Current subscribers and owners of XTRAX STEMS are invited to apply to join the final beta testing phase by reaching out to beta@audionamix.com.

If you have any questions about our subscriptions to our software please contact support@audionamix.com.

We can’t wait to share all of the new and updated features of the next version of XTRAX STEMS in early 2020!

The Sound of an Epic Night

The Sound of an Epic Night

The Sound of an Epic Night

Stephen Oliver and JP Quicquaro recount their experiences creating and mixing the new eko interactive series “Epic Night”

We at Audionamix have been familiar with interactive video company eko for several years. Formerly known as Interlude, eko’s tools helped us to create interactive tutorial videos for our TRAX products. Eko is now focused on creating choice-based series, including the college-age romp, “Epic Night”.

In this interactive rom-com, three friends celebrate their college graduation in a night of house parties, burrito challenges, and eccentric rideshare drivers on their way to the biggest music festival of the season. Stepping into the shoes of the protagonist, Martin, viewers make choices at key moments in the story, leading to twelve completely different outcomes. Although a viewer can navigate through an installment in about 10 minutes, each episode contains nearly 30 minutes of content to cover all of the possible storylines.

We sat down with “Epic Night” producer JP Quicquaro and post-production sound mixer Stephen Oliver to discuss the making, and mixing, of this choice-driven series.

What was the biggest difference working on Epic Night versus non-interactive productions?

JP: Production wise, you’re planning a whole bunch of scenes that the user may not see or experience, so logistically there is a lot more to plan for. You’re not writing a through line, a linear story from point A to point B. You’re getting from point A to point Z and every combination of the alphabet in between. When you have this type of interactive content, it exponentially increases the work on the post side. One of the most difficult things is figuring out how to process sound and handle all the different nodes, and marry all those together and get a seamless integration of audio, video, and performance.

Stephen: In most shows you mix one version of a scene and it’s done. For “Epic Night”, because of the interactive nature, there were often two, three, or four versions of the same scene, depending on what choice you make as the viewer. For example, early on in the show the group splits up and you can choose to go with Lillis, or go with Jess. While that’s a simple choice, it leads to entirely different scenarios in the episode, and even to callbacks to that decision in later episodes. We had to keep close track of each choice and where it led to make sure things were mixed consistently. When you click the button to make your decision, it’s a seamless transition, so you never notice a pause or change in the sound. Since the different possible scenes following a decision weren’t always consistent in length, we had to make sure that the audio happening at the end of a scene, and the audio at the beginning of the next scene were exactly the same across all the choices, so they’ll flow together naturally no matter what you choose. I found my most important tools to be Pro Tools for its quick editing abilities and IDC for fast dialogue denoising.

What were some audio challenges that needed to be solved in post-production?

JP: Often when actors in a movie or show are in a car, they aren’t actually driving, there is something used called a process trailer, which is a low flat bed truck that the car is driven onto. So a truck driver is driving the car on the back of the truck so the actors don’t have to worry about actually driving. You might have 15-20 people on the back of a truck filming the car. You add lights and sound equipment and stuff it in the car and everyone stands on the back of the truck that’s driving while the car just sits there. We used a process trailer for the opening scene. The trailer we had was a bit rattly, and there was road noise and engine noise. That was very challenging and that’s our opening scene so it was really important to make it smooth. Everything sounds really great after the post-production work that Stephen did.

Stephen: With the car scenes there were different engine noise between cuts; sometimes a low drone, but during acceleration it was a rising frequency. Since we are cutting back and forth between the characters in the car, this engine noise would jump back and forth quite noticeably. IDC helped to isolate just the dialogue so that we could build a more consistent car tone underneath.

JP: We had another particularly difficult location where we were filming outside a store on the side of a road, and we were there for a long time to shoot all the different outcomes, we went from early evening to 2 or 3 in the morning. The background sound was completely different because we had a bunch of different levels of traffic. If you have consistent ambient traffic, you can work around it, but we went from half the shots having busy traffic, to it being dead quiet in the middle of the scene and it was a really challenging thing. That’s common across all of film but it was compounded because we were there for so long shooting all these different scenarios.

Stephen: We found that the best solution in that case was to both remove traffic noise from the dialogue and then add consistent traffic background from a sound library, to make everything have the same average level of noise. Again, IDC was instrumental in reducing the traffic noise. I was able to go pretty deep without making the dialogue sound unnaturally thin.

Stephen: In one scene, Martin and Jess are walking together through a park at night. It’s a tender moment where they’re really connecting. To properly light the scene the crew needed a generator running, which unavoidably bled into all the mics.

JP: It was a wide open shot, and we only had a certain amount of cable, so the generator had to be close. The actors were also walking towards the generator so it was getting louder and louder as they approached it.

Stephen: There was a hum at different frequencies but also an underlying pulse and mechanical noise, so hum removal helped, but wasn’t enough. IDC let me significantly reduce the generator noise while keeping the speech clear and free of artifacts.


Epic Night was directed by Andrew Rhymer, executive produced by Benny and Rafi Fine, produced by JP Quicquaro and Lisa Steen, and written by Scarlett Bermingham and Sierra Katow.

About the Products Mentioned in the Blog

Watch the full mini-series now on eko.com or the eko app.

IDC: Instant Dialogue Cleaner

The best tool on the market to address common podcast audio problems including room ambiance, wind, traffic and nature sounds.

Audionamix Wins ADE ’19 “Companies 2 Watch” Competition

Audionamix Wins ADE ’19 “Companies 2 Watch” Competition

Audionamix Wins ADE ’19 “Companies 2 Watch” Competition

On the second day of Amsterdam Dance Event 2019, ADE Tech hosted the Companies 2 Watch (C2W) competition inside of the exquisite DeLaMar Theatre in Amsterdam. Acting as ADE Tech’s version of Shark Tank, C2W crowns the most innovative idea or product with the potential to revolutionize the music industry. Audionamix was exhilarated to be selected as one of the top five finalists to pitch in front of the expert panel of judges. We were hopeful that our advancements in audio source separation through the use of AI and machine learning would win over the panel. Among the judges were Dr Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, Suzy Ryoo, the Co-Founder and President of Q&A, and Diego Farius, the Founder and CEO of last year’s C2W winning company, Amuse. The judges were able to interact, ask insightful questions and ultimately vote for a winner based on which company they would like to follow for the next year. In the event of a tie, the audience vote would determine the winner.

Our host, Jan Maarten Hartong from School of House, kicked off the event with ADE’s shortest rave, 3-minutes of adrenaline-pumping music accompanied by great choreography and dancers on stage. We were officially ready to go!

First to present was Jambl, the mobile app that allows users to easily and intuitively create music. Using an XY parameter control, Jambl manipulates pitch and time of looping sounds from various sample kits on a mobile device. Along with a fun and easy to use interface, Jambl also allows users to interact by sharing their beats in a community of Jambl users. Jambl CEO, Gad Baruch Hingis, performed a charismatic and cleverly written rap that explained the basics of the Jambl app. His pitch was engaging and fun, just like the Jambl app!

Next up was Fangage, the fanbase oriented platform which gets rid of third parties and allows artists to have ownership over and direct interaction with their fans. International DJ and artist, Sam Feldt, spoke about his own experience attempting to connect with local fans via Facebook and Instagram and the limitations of those platforms to accurately target and connect with specific audiences as an artist with millions of followers. This conundrum led him to develop Fangage, an easy-to-use platform that offers direct fan engagement, a win for both artists and fans!

Ellie McNeil, Clément Doire, and Doc Vaporz were ready to present Audionamix! Ellie began our presentation by introducing audio source separation and how such an ambitious task can be achieved. To many, the process of unmixing a song into its respective parts from a single audio file was completely unheard of. Next, Clément dove into the science behind our technology and explained how the algorithms are trained via neural networks and machine learning. This gave a sense of how complex the task of reverse engineering audio can be, especially when using networks trained for AI. Then, we gave a preview of our upcoming release of XTRAX STEMS, including the new feature to isolate the bass stem from a song. Ending our presentation was Doc Vaporz with his live remix using samples created via XTRAX STEMS. With the remaining time, we opened up for the Q & A portion. Dr Werner Vogels quizzed Clément on how he trains our databases and on scenarios in which the AI fails. Diego Farius asked Ellie about plans to expand our offering to include an online marketplace.

SendMusic then presented their file-sharing service that streamlines online collaborations and submissions using a simple link to manage files sent for production, A&R, radio play and more.

Lastly, Marble AR provided a look at their AR app which allows users to place AR “Marbles” anywhere in the world and connect them to any content they choose, whether it be merch for a concert, a favorite song for a favorite location, or a historical fact or memory of a specific location. The judges coined Marble AR as Pokemon Go for anything.

Ultimately, the winner would be decided by the three judges’ votes. Our moderator, Jan Maarten Hartong, first tallied the results of the audience vote where Audionamix tied with Fangage!

The moment of truth was upon us, as the judges revealed their votes. Dr Werner Vogels cast his vote for Audionamix, citing that he voted for the company he felt was most important to where the industry is heading. Suzy Ryoo was up next, casting her vote for Jambl! It all came down to Diego Farius of Amuse, who revealed he also voted for Audionamix! Our team was overwhelmed by the astounding outcome that we had been chosen as the Companies 2 Watch Winner! Thank you to Amsterdam Dance Event, Paylogic, our host, the esteemed panel of judges, and to all of our fellow finalists that shared the stage. Over the next year, we will be followed, mentored and supported by Amsterdam Dance Event, along with joining the panel of judges for next year’s Companies 2 Watch!

See you next year at ADE!