Streaming is Doomed, Slash Heads a Hackathon, and Why Not a Musical First Person Shooter?: February 17-23

Generator Research has an alarming study for Pandora, Spotify, and other music streaming services: at their current business model, they are doomed to be unprofitable. The Generator report offers information on the top thirteen music streaming services, and one gloomy outlook. Meanwhile, last week saw the launch of yet another social streaming app (musx), and a potential partnership between Steam and Spotify. Also, Pandora is trying to take fate into its own hands by taking music publishers to court over a century-old royalty agreement. While Generator’s study found that the biggest suck on resources were the royalties that subscription streaming services had to pay to publishers, rulings against music publishing giants could upset the entire industry.

Our official response:

Colbert eats popcorn

Colbert don’t care

Our weekly nerdout is a little bit more metal than usual because Slash is holding a hackathon at SXSW music festival! An 80s hair metal icon holding a hackathon makes them cool, right? Like, not just nerdy cool but cool kid cool? Right? Okay, we might be reaching a little. But we do love our hackathons, and we just wish other people loved them too.

Speaking of love, how deep doth our love flow for music? Well, we love music a whole bunch, but the “our” in that sentence actually refers to humanity. The National Geographic notes that every human civilization has engaged in a form of musical development, but a sense of rhythm doesn’t just start at humans

…and doesn’t stop in just this reality. Video game creator Harmonix (of Guitar Hero fame) is creating a first person shooter. Based around music. Chroma, a collaboration with Hidden Path Entertainment, will allow players to use their musical prowess to jump higher, reload faster, and generally have all the advantages that are imbued to musicians in real life.

Finally this week, Slate has printed the words of one of NYU Music Tech’s own. Grad student Ethan Hein took on the issue of pop music pedagogy vs. more traditional techniques in response to a Quora question. Is he right? Shoot us an email or let us know in the comments!

Got a tip? Send us a message at , or Tweet to @NYUSciOfMusic, or post it to our Facebook page.

Analog Vs. Digital: The Age-Old Question


Can you really hear a difference between analog and digital recording? What about in synthesis? In a personified rap battle between analog and digital, who would win?

NYU students, having nothing better to do at our ivory tower of academia (I mean, it’s not like we live in one of America’s biggest commercial and cultural centers or anything) love contemplating age-old questions such as these. You may remember some freshmen who previously did ponder whether was better to auto-tune or to not auto-tune. And while these questions may prove inconclusive, the best part is, as always, in the debate.



So our freshmen rose to the occasion once again to bring forth this rousing performance; a call to arms for their fellow rap battlers. And a cry heard throughout the land did ring: Who won? Who lost? You decide!*

*No seriously, leave a comment below.

Wah Pedals: A Look “Under the Hood”


Since their invention in 1966, wah pedals have had a prolific history in modern rock music. From Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” to David Gilmour in “Echoes” (where it was used backwards). But what goes into a wah pedal? How does it get that distinctive, “cry baby” sound? Let’s get under the hood and find out.