Hook'd: A Social Karaoke App for iOS… – Digital Music News

Hook’d: A Social Karaoke App for iOS… | Digital Music NewsDigital Music News

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Thursday, July 24, 2014
by Nina Ulloa


Socially focused apps are being released every day, and it feels like the number of new apps keeps growing exponentially. This is especially true for music-oriented apps.

Which is fitting, since the digital generation is always online, constantly using apps to listen to music, always interacting with our friends, and incessantly sharing pictures of from every concert we go to. In fact, a recently released report3 from MIDiA Research says 85 percent of digital natives say music is an important part of their life.

Enter Hook d, a new social music app that was released on July 10th.

The app kind of feels like Vine, that is, if your Vine feed was full people singing into their phone camera.

Users record 30 second clips of themselves singing the hooks of their favorite songs. The app has a library of master recordings licensed from the major labels.

Users sing vocals over the music, and can listen to the vocals in their headphones as they record if they so desire.

Users can also add effects to their voices in real time as they sing, such as reverb, echo, and pitch fix. Hook d is currently working on additional audio effects and video effects.

Finished videos end up on the Hook d stream and can be shared on a variety of social networks, including YouTube. Hook d has agreements with Warner, Sony, Universal, and various publishers that allow users to legally upload their videos onto YouTube.

Bob Taub, the founder of Hook d, says the labels actually enthusiastically approve of Hook d s use of their catalogue.

He says this is because Hook d provides a new way for fans to connect with the music and artists they love.

And how s Hook d doing against the clutter? Taub says the app is doing better than expected and that they ve passed their initial user targets, although he didn t give specific numbers.

The app itself is free, and some tracks are available for free. But most tracks cost $0.99, or users can pay $3.99 per month to unlock the entire music library.

First impressions?

I have to admit, watching Hook d videos feels a little awkward. It s weird to watch people I don t know singing close up and staring into the camera. It s highly unlikely that I would ever record a Hook d video, but the concept is interesting from a technology perspective.

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more.

Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u4

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Hook’d: A Social Karaoke App for iOS… | Digital Music NewsDigital Music News

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DMN Logo

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DMN Logo Twitter DMN on Feedburner

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Thursday, July 24, 2014 by

Nina Ulloa


Socially focused apps are being released every day, and it feels like the number of new apps keeps growing exponentially. This is especially true for music-oriented apps.

Which is fitting, since the digital generation is always online, constantly using apps to listen to music, always interacting with our friends, and incessantly sharing pictures of from every concert we go to.

In fact, a recently released report7 from MIDiA Research says 85 percent of digital natives say music is an important part of their life.

Enter Hook d, a new social music app that was released on July 10th. The app kind of feels like Vine, that is, if your Vine feed was full people singing into their phone camera.

Users record 30 second clips of themselves singing the hooks of their favorite songs. The app has a library of master recordings licensed from the major labels.

Users sing vocals over the music, and can listen to the vocals in their headphones as they record if they so desire.

Users can also add effects to their voices in real time as they sing, such as reverb, echo, and pitch fix.

Hook d is currently working on additional audio effects and video effects.

Finished videos end up on the Hook d stream and can be shared on a variety of social networks, including YouTube. Hook d has agreements with Warner, Sony, Universal, and various publishers that allow users to legally upload their videos onto YouTube.

Bob Taub, the founder of Hook d, says the labels actually enthusiastically approve of Hook d s use of their catalogue. He says this is because Hook d provides a new way for fans to connect with the music and artists they love.

And how s Hook d doing against the clutter? Taub says the app is doing better than expected and that they ve passed their initial user targets, although he didn t give specific numbers.

The app itself is free, and some tracks are available for free.

But most tracks cost $0.99, or users can pay $3.99 per month to unlock the entire music library.

First impressions? I have to admit, watching Hook d videos feels a little awkward. It s weird to watch people I don t know singing close up and staring into the camera.

It s highly unlikely that I would ever record a Hook d video, but the concept is interesting from a technology perspective.

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more.

Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u8

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Comments (0)

  1. DMN on Feedburner

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References

  1. ^ Lost Password (www.digitalmusicnews.com)
  2. ^ Register (www.digitalmusicnews.com)
  3. ^ report (www.midiaresearch.com)
  4. ^ @nine_u (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Lost Password (www.digitalmusicnews.com)
  6. ^ Register (www.digitalmusicnews.com)
  7. ^ report (www.midiaresearch.com)
  8. ^ @nine_u (twitter.com)
Posted in Ely, Music News And Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reggae Sumfest 2014 Review

There is a reason why Summerfest Promotions calls Reggae Sumfest the Greatest Reggae show on Earth, as the show consistently puts on a slew of quality performances and eye-popping moments that get music lovers this year.

Once again, that standard was met as organizers found the right fits for each night of their week-long festival. Many established and emerging names graced the stage, as well as some international acts who won over a new section of fans after gracing the stage at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

Each year, this humble writer drops a review analyzing the happenings at Reggae Sumfest. This year, however, the review takes on a slightly different form as highlights and lowlights (though there weren t many this year) at this year s show as well as assessing grades overall for the nights in question. Here we go:

Dancehall Night

Aidonia Reggae Sumfest 2014

Looking like a real general on stage, Aidonia gives one of the better performances on the night at Reggae Sumfest 2014

Perhaps the biggest highlight on this night wasn t the performances, but the crowd that came to witness them.

Over 25,000 patrons filled Catherine Hall last Thursday for Sumfest s Dancehall Night, one of the biggest crowds in the show s 22-year history. They set the tone for an energetic and fun-filled night which provided many solid performances from the best in the genre.

Highlights There were many to choose from on this night, including Spice, who kept up her tradition of out-of-the-ordinary performances by donning her new male alter-ego while performing, Like a Man.

Ninja Man was also a hit, performing many of his classic songs while engaging in a friendly lyrical clash with his Downsound Records label mate, Specialist, which was well-received by the crowd. Gage stood composed, yet brimming with energy as he performed in front of his hometown crowd, who gave him many forwards; Aidonia gave a strong performance clad in an armed forces-like suit, and even peered through security in attempt to gauge more interest from the fans, a tactic that worked well.

Baby Tash called a lucky male fan on stage for a lap dance, Tifa performed a slew of covers to a solid reception1 and Assassin was fluent in delivering several hit Dancehall and Reggae songs from his lengthy catalogue.

Bounty Killer Reggae Sumfest 2014

Bounty Killer is in no joking mood as he talks about the state of Dancehall during his set at Reggae Sumfest 2014

However, the heaviest hitters on the night were Mr. Vegas, who, decked out in a suit and retro boots, performed hits such as I Am Blessed and Man a Gallis before bringing on veteran deejay, Wickerman,as well as prot g , Latty J for an entertaining rendition of their new single, Who Rule.

Bounty Killer was in typical militant mode during his set, questioning the morality of Dancehal2l while taking a few shots at his former prot g , Mavado. I-Octane, who closed Dancehall Night for the second straight year, followed suit, cheekily remixing his chart-topper, Gyal a Gimme Bun to call out Mr. Vegas, who he has had issues with since last Sumfest, by implying Vegas performs oral sex on women.

Safe to say, the disagreements between these two aren t likely to go away anytime soon, but it certainly makes for great entertainment as it did on this night.

Lowlights Much was expected of Dancehall s rising star, Alkaline, who was performing at Sumfest for the first time as a main event act given the acclaim and hype surrounding him over the last year. However, his performance left a lot to be desired3. It wasn t for a lack of trying, performing hits such as 1-2-3 and On and On. But throughout the set, it seemed like, to use one of his song titles, he would have to Move Mountains to get the crowd to react to much of his set, with the reception lukewarm at best.

Whether it was the Montego crowd s way of supporting hometown boys, Tommy Lee and Gage, who Alkaline has had issues with in recent times, or their lack of familiarity with his songs, we don t know, but his performance just failed to click like a faulty mouse on this occasion.

Overall Grade: A-

International Night 1

Chronixx Reggae Sumfest 2014

Chronixx is feeling the vibe as he gives a stellar performance on Internaitonal Night 1

Arguably the best night of the lot, International Night 1 provided high energy and positive vibes throughout, with Reggae star, Chronixx the star of the show on this night. He performed a plethora of his hits such as Start a Fire, Smile Jamaica, Here Comes Trouble, amongst others. But he also took time to address the contrasts and similarities between Dancehall and Reggae music, suggesting neither are whole without the other.

You know how dancehall came about?

Because radio stations wouldn t play the foundation artistes songs. So they created their own space to promote and enjoy their music, he said, educating the audience on how the two genres are forever intertwined. He received some of the loudest ovations on the night including when he brought out Protoje to perform their joint single, Who Knows superseding the set he gave at his Sumfest debut last year.

The Montego Bay crowd again showed love to their home acts as former Digicel Rising Stars winner, Shuga, Nature and Jah Cure all received strong praise from the home fans, singing hits such as Soul to Jah, Revolution Sound and Unconditional Love respectively.

International Night 1 highlights

Jason Derulo, Jordin Sparks and Wiz Khalifa lived up to the expectations as international acts while Beenie Man brought a fine close to the show.

The international acts were spot on with their performances as Wiz Khalifa got the crowd moving 4to hits such as Taylor Gang and Black and Yellow while Jason Derulo had the ladies excited throughout5, performing In My Head and Riding Solo, among other songs to screams and cheers from the crowd before bringing on former American Idol winner and significant other, Jordin Sparks to perform Vertigo and her collaborative single with Chris Brown, No Air6..

Beenie Man closed the show at sunrise with a trademark performance 7as he performed several of his classics as well as newer material and used some of his set to pay tribute to incarcerated Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, who celebrated his birthday during Sumfest.

Overall, the night went without a hitch and put pressure on the performers on International Night 2 to try and put on a better show.

Lowlights – None

Overall Grade: A

International Night 2

Tessanne Chin Reggae Sumfest 2014

Tessanne rocked her suit well, taking fans on memory lane during her set

Highlights This night belonged to two crossover Jamaican stars who were welcomed home with open arms and reminded the locals of how they managed to attain their success. Tessanne Chin surprised patrons, donning a black tux and bow tie for her set. But like her outfit, the performance was very sharp, delving into songs from her recently-released major label debut album, Count on My Love, including Heaven Knows, Tumbling Down and Everything Reminds Me of You as well as her classic, Hideaway, which garnered very positive reactions from the crowd.

After 10 years away from the Sumfest stage, Sean Paul was glad to be back at a major Jamaican stage show, and his female fans were certainly happy as they scream and shouted to no end. Also donning a suit, he performed classics such as Gimme The Light, Get Busy and Hot Gal Today as he reingratiated himself with his Dancehall fan base.

His performance preceded Reggae legend, Freddie McGregor who closed the show in fine fashion with hits such as Big Ship Sailing, Don t Wanna Be Lonely and many more, while also being honoured by show organizers for his vast contributions to the Jamaican music industry, over four decades worth to be exact.

Rap star, Future also found favour with the locals, donning a Jamaica t-shirt as he belted out hits such as Get Lucky and had them participating at every turn.

Not a bad way to try and win over a typically demanding fan base.

Lowlights For all the thrills delivered on the night, there was one spill that nearly ruined a part of the show as Reggae crooner, Sanchez furiously walked off stage due to ongoing sound issues during his first set at Sumfest in several years.

The sound quality in the opening minutes of his performance was spotty at best and frustrated him to the point he constantly asked soundmen to fix his microphone before temporarily leaving the stage until the problem was fixed. After a few minutes, Sanchez returned and managed to salvage his set somewhat, but you hate when things like this happen at major stage shows, especially to a decorated entertainer who has always been meticulous about his performances. A good effort on his part to deliver for the crowd nonetheless.

Overall Grade: B+

Sean Paul Reggae Sumfest 2014

Sean Paul s return to Sumfest was met with much approval as he gave just under an hour or classics and newer material to his local fans.

All in all, Reggae Sumfest 2014 was a great success, considering the crowd, quality of performances and the right blend of overseas flavour added to the show.

The show was missing top names like Damian Marley, Lady Saw and Sizzla, but didn t take away from what should go down as one of the best and smoothsts Sumfests in recent memory.

Overall Grade for Reggae Sumfest 2014: A-

References

  1. ^ Tifa performed a slew of covers to a solid reception (www.youtube.com)
  2. ^ questioning the morality of Dancehal (www.youtube.com)
  3. ^ his performance left a lot to be desired (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ Wiz Khalifa got the crowd moving (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ had the ladies excited throughout (www.youtube.com)
  6. ^ No Air (www.youtube.com)
  7. ^ a trademark performance (instagram.com)
Posted in Dance, Ely, Reggae, Rock | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music Review: Jazz vocalist Dara Tucker lights up Nashville's Jazz …

daraThe challenge for any contemporary jazz performer, vocalist or instrumentalist, is to strike a balance between mastery of traditional requirements and an approach that is fresh and personal.

Dara Tucker1 consistently excelled in both ways throughout her show last Friday at the Nashville Jazz Workshop s Jazz Cave. The concert was designed to spotlight her third studio release The Sun Season.

Idiomatic versatility and stylistic flexibility are Tucker s prime assets, along with a charismatic stage presence and dynamic, impressive sound. As someone who came to Nashville in pursuit of both a songwriting and performing career, Tucker s uninterested in restricting herself to the jazz vocal canon, though she certainly does standards in a captivating, commanding manner.

But by opening the show with a gorgeous version of Don t Let The Sun Catch You Crying, augmented by a soothing but intense trumpet contribution from Rod McGaha, Tucker immediately let everyone know there were no limitations on what material would be covered that evening.

Whether it was a Dan Fogelberg tune or a powerful version of Cole Porter s Just One Of Those Things, written for the 1935 musical Jubilee, Tucker handled the lyrics with flair and ease.

Her timing, diction and execution reflect a jazz singer s penchant for interpretative punch and communicative edge, but she also enjoys incorporating influences from other genres.

The daughter of a music minister, Tucker twice tapped that background for compelling versions of gospel numbers.

The strongest was a poignant It Is Well With My Soul, a tune anyone familiar with a Baptist Hymnal knows can truly stir emotions.

Her passionate treatment temporarily turned the intimate jazz club vibe into one of deep spirituality.

But in addition to her masterful covers, the night was a showcase for Tucker s originals. This included Time Is On Our Side, Sun, See Through Me, and Waiting for the Sun, each a variation of the sun theme, but all done in memorable, energetic fashion.

Over two lengthy sets and nearly two hours stage time, Tucker s enthusiasm never wavered, as she smartly varied the flow and pace to keep the audience both engaged and delighted.

She was assisted by some of the city s finest musicians. Besides McGaha, there was her bassist husband Greg Bryant, whom she called the anchor of the recording and my rock.

Joe Davidian on piano and Nioshi Jackson on drums were the ideal rhythm section, always attuned to any shifts or vocal moves Tucker might make, yet able to interject colorful and strong personal statements in limited solo space within the arrangements.

Guitarist James DaSilva, percussionist Giovanni Rodriquez and harmonica soloist Ben Graves were three other key contributors, as well as violinist Elizabeth Estes, who added some sparkling support and solos to two numbers.

Dara Tucker s The Sun Season is definitely among the finest vocal releases available this season in either jazz or pop.

Her Friday night performance was another indicator of her status as one of Nashville s best and most versatile singers and songwriters.

References

  1. ^ Dara Tucker (www.daratucker.com)
Posted in Ely, Jazz, Rock | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment