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The Art of Sampling :: The Musicology Show :: Vol. 42

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V.E.R.A. Clique
The three members of hip hop group V.E.R.A. Clique, one producer/beatmaker (Dan Craig) and two MCs (Anderson Ray and Macsen Apollo) join producer/beatmaker Johnny Igaz to talk about sampling. We look at hardware vs. software sampling, hear how different drum tones are layered to make for fuller hits, and dissect a sampled production. Craig and Igaz both work here at Pandora as well. (11 mins.)

That link above is to V.E.R.A. Clique’s site, but this one is to their Pandora artist profile.

Tim answers Viewer Mail, #6

We receive your questions every day, and are happy to get more. Here, Tim answers a few of the q’s we hear the most:
WHY DID YOU MAKE THE MUSIC GENOME PROJECT?
WHY AM I NOT HEARING THE EXACT SONG I REQUESTED?
WHY DID YOU NAME IT PANDORA?
Please write in any questions you’d like to hear answered… we look forward to seeing questions sent from your webcams too.
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Here are some of the previous Viewer Mail videos: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Celtic, Cajun, and Hawaiian Music – Now on Pandora

Hello listeners!
Over the past months we’ve been hard at work readying some great new music for you, and we’re happy to be able to say that Celtic, Cajun, and Hawaiian music stations are now live on Pandora!
We have taken great care to come up with the right musicological characteristics with which to evaluate these important genres. We have also been busy assembling the best Celtic, Cajun and Hawaiian music collections available anywhere, and will be continuing to do so from now on.
Without a doubt, you will discover things that we have overlooked, and we look forward to your help in improving and developing these collections and stations. Thanks in advance!
In the meantime, here are just a few starting points for ya!

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Play Listen Repeat Vol. 37

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2005MGMBaby300.jpgImagine that you are a judge at a baby beauty contest. Thousands of babies are brought out in front of you for you to inspect, and it’s up to you to decide which ones the public at large would want to see.
Every baby that you see is wonderful: full of life, full of curiosity, energy, enthusiasm and its own kind of perfect integrity and even beauty. In that sense, they are all exactly the same, equally open, curious, and ready to engage. Every one of them deserves the same chances as every other.
At the same time, though, you have to admit to yourself that some of the babies are certainly easier to look at than others (and now that you’re on the subject, some of them – bless their little hearts – just look pretty undercooked).
That’s what it’s like to make judgments about music.

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Pandora Valentine

I made you a couple of stations for Valentine’s Day. See what you think!
I took suggestions from listeners and from Pandora staff, and together we came up with these two stations:
Bitter Valentine
Songs of disenchantment, frustration, martyrdom and heartbreak.
Community Valentine
Songs involving the schmoopy, the loving, and the sentimentalists.
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[photo by Sister72]
Both stations are great, though honestly, I like the “bitter” station a little better. And may I suggest that you even try the two stations QuickMixed together? Both themes mixed together is probably closest to real-life experience anyway. ;)
Enjoy your weekend, however you celebrate or ignore the holiday.
Hearts and chocolate,
Lucia

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This valentine glitter art was mailed to us by a young fan of Pandora, with help from his mom. It’s prominently posted in the Pandora HQ kitchen, of course.

Hip Hop Hooks :: The Musicology Show :: Vol. 41

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V.E.R.A. Clique
Originating in Bend, Oregon but now firmly rooted in Oakland, V.E.R.A. Clique has been refining their hip-hop sound for many years. In this episode, the group’s beat maestro (Dan Craig) and MCs (Anderson Ray and Macsen Apollo) walk us through the process they used to build a hip-hop hook on their song “Still Winn’n.” Also joining us is hip-hop producer Johnny Igaz to talk about the approach and role that hooks play in production. Craig and Igaz both work here at Pandora as well. (9 mins.)

That link above is to V.E.R.A. Clique’s site, but this one is to their Pandora artist profile.

Play Listen Repeat Vol. 36

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bad_music.jpgHello again dear readers!
You know the line in the Talking Heads‘ song Psycho Killer which goes: “When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed”? Well, while I wouldn’t push any further into identifying with such a dangerous character, it does help explain why it’s been several months since Vol. 35 of this series.
Thanks to all of you who have been requesting that we resume the discussion. I’m glad to know that you’re as interested in these posts as I am in hearing your responses. I learn a lot from what you write.
OK, down to bidness.
Ever thought about bad music? Seems to me that the way each of us evaluates musical quality is not simple at all, and yet we do it on a nearly instinctual, automatic level. After all, it only takes a few seconds of hearing a piece of music for us to adjust our expectations about what’s to come later on.
Now I’m not talking about whether we like a certain style or genre here, I’m talking about that something that we each intuit about whether the music was made competently or not, or if it somehow fails as music (what a mysterious thing that is: a piece of music is both music, and it’s not).
I’m looking to hear your experiences and thoughts about that, such as: what kinds of musical incompetence matter to you, and what kinds don’t? Which flaws enhance the music you like and which ones detract? Is it possible for music to be too perfect and therefore ineffective for you? Et cetera and on and on…
Looking forward to reading your replies,
Cheers,
mz

Pandora Holidays

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Mistletoe

For those of you already in the Holiday spirit, and for those who are still trying to get there, a friendly reminder of how easy it is to enjoy Christmas music on Pandora:
To make your own holiday station, just start with an artist you like, and type the word “holiday” after the name.
Duke Ellington Holiday
Frank Sinatra Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald Holiday
Mariah Carey Holiday
Vienna Boys Choir Holiday

Or, you can create a station from a specific holiday song by typing in the name of that song (for example, ‘Winter Wonderland‘). Pick which version of the song you want, and a station will be created for you that showcases similar holiday music.
A few to try:
White Christmas
Angels We Have Heard On High
We Wish You a Merry Christmas

To make it even easier for you, we’ve created a bunch of genre-based stations for you to try:
Peaceful Holidays
A Classical Christmas
Swingin’ Christmas
There’s many more pre-mixed holiday stations here.
Happy Holidays!
Lucia

Pandora on Windows Mobile

Windows MobileIt’s been well over a year since I first talked publicly about Pandora for Windows Mobile. After a number of false starts and broken promises on my part, I’m happy to report that we’ve now released our first Windows Mobile implementations of Pandora.
Today we’re rolling out Pandora for the HTC XV6900 on Verizon, the HTC Touch on Sprint, and the Motorola Q9C on both Sprint and Verizon. These are free to download and are supported solely through advertising. The entire Pandora experience you’ve come to expect on the web is available on your Windows Mobile phone: create stations, listen, give feedback, QuickMix, etc.
In cooperation with AT&T we are also launching Pandora support for three additional Windows Mobile phones: the Samsung Epix, the LG Incite, and HTC Fuze. AT&T has decided to make these versions of Pandora available on a monthly subscription basis.
To get started with Pandora on your HTC Touch, HTC XV6900, Motorola Q9C, LG Incite, HTC Fuze, or Samsung Epix simply visit http://www.pandora.com using Mobile Internet Explorer on your smartphone and follow the installation instructions.
We’re continuing the work required to bring Pandora to a broader range of Windows Mobile handsets. Keep your eye on this blog and this page for updates on new handsets.
For those of you that have been keeping an eye on this since I first talked about it so long ago, thanks again for your patience. Enjoy!

Chicago Apple Store Change…

Dear Chicagoans -
I’ve been looking forward to the Apple store talk this coming Tuesday in the windy city. Unfortunately, for personal reasons I have be in California on Tuesday. I will be ably replaced by Tom Conrad, our CTO. Tom runs engineering at Pandora, so he’s ultimately the wizard behind the application. I dare you to stump him with technical questions. He’s been with us from the very beginning of Pandora, so he’ll also talk about our history and where Pandora is heading.
Sorry I can’t make it, but I’m already talking with the store about coming in the new year. In the meantime, I encourage you to drop by to meet with Tom. You’ll enjoy his talk. He’s much smarter than I am…
Cheers. Tim (Founder)