Press Release: Cherry Audio Releases VM900 Collection for Voltage Modular!

With the sound, look, and feel that started it all, the Cherry Audio/MRB VM900 Collection for Voltage Modular delivers the audio and visual experience of the legendary 1960s and 1970s-era Moog 900-series modules with spine-tingling impact and accuracy. Every detail has been expertly reproduced, for a virtual window into the halcyon days of early analog synthesis. Award-winning synth designer Mark Barton’s (MRB) proprietary DSP coding reproduces each and every sonic nuance with unprecedented accuracy. WATCH VM900 Collection video overview.

The Cherry Audio/MRB VM900 Collection for Voltage Modular includes all 27 modules, plus hundreds of presets and variations, for a fraction of the cost of a vintage Moog modular – just $79 – less than $3 per module! – and it’s available now at the Cherry Audio store! A seven-day free trial of the VM900 Collection is also available.

Press Release: Cherry Audio Products Now Offer Full Apple Silicon M1 Native Support

October 8th, 2021 — Today, Cherry Audio has released updates for all of its instrument products. Every instrument and effect product in the Cherry Audio line-up, except for Voltage Modular, now features full Apple Silicon M1 native support. In addition, all Cherry Audio instruments now include our new “Quality” oversampling feature, fixes for rare Mac login issues, and other bug fixes.

The following new versions released today include native support:

  • DCO-106 1.2.0 Build 51
  • CA2600 1.2.0 Build 101
  • Surrealistic MG-1 Plus 1.2.0 Build 65
  • Polymode 1.2.0 Build 53
  • Eight Voice 1.2.0 Build 106
  • PS-20 1.2.0 Build 96
  • Memorymode 1.2.0 Build 124
  • Mercury-4 1.2.0 Build 96

The following version released September 29 includes native support: 

  • Stardust 201 Tape Echo 1.0.11 Build 36

All Cherry Audio instruments and effects, other than Voltage Modular, are now compatible with macOS 10.9 or above, including macOS 12 Monterey, and are fully compatible with Apple M1 and Intel processors. In addition, all Cherry Audio products are fully compatible with Windows 11. 

Cherry Audio customers will find the latest installers for all Cherry Audio products in their Library:

Press Release: Cloud Microphones Receives Presidential E Star Award for Excellence in Exports


Tucson, Arizona — The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded Cloud Microphones the 2021 President’s “E” Star Award for Exports. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“Cloud Microphones has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with Cloud Microphones’ extensive marketing through trade events, podcasts, social media, and other advertising. The company’s development of innovative products with export markets in mind was also particularly notable. Cloud Microphones’ achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in her congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection.

Cloud Microphones designs and manufactures high-quality ribbon microphones and microphone preamplifiers. The company’s patented Cloudlifter Microphone Activator has garnered several industry awards and is used by audio professionals in recording studios, on concert stages, in broadcast booths, in podcasts and for livestream audio. Cloud won the President’s E Award for exports in 2016 and is honored to now receive the E Star Award for exports.

“Working with the US Commercial Service has been instrumental in reaching our goals in foreign markets, helping us increase our US made exports by several hundred percent,” said Rodger Cloud, Co-Founder and CEO of Cloud Microphones. “This is very satisfying as this new revenue comes into the United States, and particularly Arizona, and stays here due to our local Tucson, Phoenix, and Navajo Nation supply chain.”

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department’s International Trade Administration. The ITA maintains offices in over 100 cities across the United States and in 75 markets around the world. 

The award was presented at a Washington, D.C. ceremony by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves who said, “Over a decade ago, Cloud Microphones created a partnership with Tooh Dineh Industries, founded by members of the Navajo Nation for circuit board manufacturing and assembly. Cloud Microphones could’ve outsourced the fabrication of their metal parts elsewhere, but they insisted on doing it locally. Their collaboration brought good paying jobs to a marginalized community where unemployment levels average 47%.”

In summing up the honor, Rodger Cloud said, “This E Star Award and recognition by Secretary Raimondo on behalf of the President of the United States not only belongs to Cloud Microphones, but is shared with the wonderful people at the dozens of subcontracting companies across Arizona, the Navajo Nation, and the Southwestern US. These are the families who help to instill quality in our products.”

About the “E” Awards

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth in one or more international markets.  
For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit

About Cloud Microphones

Based in Tucson, Arizona, Cloud’s ribbon mics and Cloudlifter Mic Activators rank among some of the most acclaimed products in the professional audio industry. All of Cloud’s products are made regionally from start to finish, creating jobs and benefiting small businesses. This includes manufacturing in Tucson, Phoenix and on the Navajo

Press Release: EastWest Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition Named as a Finalist for NAMM TEC Award

EastWest Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition Named as a Finalist for NAMM TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement

Hollywood, CA (July…) – EastWest’s Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition has been announced as a finalist for the 37th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards in the category of Musical Instrument Software. Presented at The NAMM Show, The NAMM TEC Awards are bestowed annually in celebration of the pro audio community by recognizing the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind today’s sound recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media.

“Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition is the culmination of years’ worth of R&D. We have engaged the best minds in the industry to develop the new OPUS Edition including the new OPUS software engine that is now setting a new standard. Another break-through development is Hollywood Orchestrator, a time-saving tool for composers of every skill level who want to achieve that blockbuster sound in seconds,” says Doug Rogers, producer of Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition. “We are honored that the NAMM TEC panel has named Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition a finalist for the TEC Awards and would like to thank the panel for the recognition.”

Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition is the highly anticipated expansion to Hollywood Orchestra, with brand new recordings, reimagined original content, and powerful new features, all housed in the new revolutionary OPUS software engine. Over 130 gigabytes of new content, including 18 violins, 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, 3 bassoons, 3 clarinets, 3 flutes, and cross section ensembles are included, as well as new MOOD presets, the new stage mic position, custom articulations, individual instrument downloads, and dozens of new mixer effects. Currently also still included with Hollywood Orchestra is Hollywood Orchestrator, equipped with over 500 user customizable presets, to allow any musician to instantly create music in the style of Hollywood’s greatest composers.

The NAMM TEC Awards will be held on January 22, 2022  in Anaheim, California at The NAMM Show, the global online gathering which unites the musical instrument, pro audio and entertainment technology industry.  Learn more about the TEC Awards at


EastWest Sounds ( has been dedicated to perpetual innovation and uncompromising quality of Sample Libraries and Virtual Instruments for more than 30 years, setting the industry standard as the most critically acclaimed sound developer. Find more about EastWest at


Presented annually by NAMM during The NAMM Show, The NAMM TEC Awards recognize the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media in 28 Technical and Creative Achievement Categories. The Les Paul Award is given at the event in tribute to musical artists and others whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology. Through its Hall of Fame, The TEC Awards also honors the pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians. The NAMM Foundation’s TECnology Hall of Fame celebrates innovations and ground breaking technical achievements of the past. For more information, visit

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,400 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

What Really Is A Mixtape?

What is a mixtape? Is it a group of songs given away for free? Is it a gathering of songs from multiple artists? Is it all of the above? Or is it none of the above? The term mixtape has become so generic in some circles that it either means too many things or nothing at all (since we don’t really even use ‘tapes’ anymore). Are you having a ‘mixtape’ for dinner? I’m gonna drive my ‘mixtape’ to work today. Huh?Mixtape Origins The term mixtape is understandably confusing because even its history is confusing. It has at least two origins. The first origin began in the 60s and 70s as bootleggers created compilations on 8 tracks and later cassettes. These compilations included ‘best of’, ‘greatest hits’, and songs of 1975, etc. This practice later evolved into a personal practice of creating mixtapes for friends, such as a ‘driving’ mixtape with lots of upbeat get up and go songs, or a ‘romantic’ mixtape for that special someone. This was made possible with the advent of recordable cassette tapes, so any average consumer could dub (record) songs from their music collection (vinyl, cassette, CD, or even radio) onto a cassette tape with a consumer stereo system. The second origin began in the 70s when DJs in the new evolving hip hop genre would create mixtapes of their live performances as well as recordings demonstrating their beat matching, looping, and scratching skills. Once again they often used cassette ‘tapes’ to record these ‘mixes’, hence the term ‘mixtape’. With the evolution of the genre, MCs began to rap over the DJ sets or mixtapes, and then recorded and distributed the results.

Definitions – What Each Type of Mixtape is REALLY Called

AlbumGroup of 10-20 fully recorded and produced songs. Many people say that in order for a release to be called an album, it has to be released from an official record label. This is a definite example of cutting your feet out from under yourself. Anybody can go into a studio, record 10-20 songs, slap a label on it and call it an album. Independent or self-produced artists and bands do it everyday and so can you. Don’t let anyone tell you that your product is not professional or official by saying that you can’t call it an album. CompilationGroup of songs from multiple artists/bands released on a single CD or digital download. Compilations usually refer to a CD or Vinyl record release, while the term ‘Playlist’ has come to describe a digital list of songs on a website, MP3 player, or computer program. Whether a compilation or playlist, the goal is usually to introduce new artists or songs mingled with familiar ones, or to create a listening experience beyond what can be accomplished with just a single band or artist. EPGroup of 3-5 fully recorded and produced songs. In the history of Vinyl Records there were singles (only long enough for one song on each side), EPs or Extended Play (long enough for 3-5 songs total), and LPs or Long Play (the longest vinyl record format containing 10-20 songs and defining the popular album length). Nowadays artists and bands will release an EP (3-5 songs) usually because they don’t quite have enough songs ready for a full album, but want to get their music out there. IllegalGroup of songs from multiple artists/bands released on a CD and given away for free. Many people often justify that if they give a song away for free and don’t make any money from it, then it doesn’t hurt anyone or isn’t illegal. The problem is that first you are taking that potential sale away from the actual owner (now ‘Bob the listener’ has the song so he doesn’t need to buy it anymore), second you are getting free promotion for your song that is included with a more famous work (there is no such thing as free, so a dollar amount could be put on how much it would have costed, and you could be sued for that amount). IllegalGroup of mainstream instrumentals, loops or beats rapped over and given away for free. Many people say that you can rap over uncleared samples as long as you give it away for free, but this is about as illegal as it gets with copyright law. If you give somebody else’s property away for your benefit (promotion), the courts and copyright law see that as stealing and will put a dollar value on how much “free promotion” you received at their property’s (track’s) expense. MixtapeGroup of songs recorded as free style rapping. Many rappers will record a quickly produced group of songs to show off their skills. This may be freestyled or prewritten, but either way will lack extensive production like adlib and accent vocal parts. The beat will usually be simple with few dynamic breaks putting the focus on the rap performance. This is a great way to show off a rapper’s skills. This is completely legal as long as the beats are cleared or licensed. DemoGroup of songs given to live venues, producers, or promoters demonstrating the performance ability of an artist or band. A group of 2-3 songs that can be as simple as a practice recorded with a phone to a fully produced studio recording. The point is to demonstrate what the act can do in order to get booked to play a show. Playlist (Virtual) or Mixtape (Physical) Group of songs copied from various professional albums/releases onto a cassette tape, CD or digital playlist for personal use. The only way to keep this one legal is to keep it for PERSONAL USE ONLY. As soon as you give it away it becomes illegal and dishonest, because as stated above, you can’t give away something that doesn’t belong to you. Conclusion It’s all really a matter of rhetoric (the way language is used). Anybody can call something whatever they want and if people listening understand it as what it is intended, it works. So yes, to some people a Mixtape is an Album, Compilation, EP, Demo, and Playlist; but in order to function in the professional music world and look like you know what you’re talking about, call it what it is.


Lower recording budgets and high quality Moneyproject studios have increased the need for pre-production before a music project gets recorded. Music pre-production is kind of like creating a grocery list before shopping. You don’t usually write which isles you will walk down on the list or the exact brand of the product, but you get things figured out generally. The music pre-production process usually entails decided which songs to record, refining song form and lyrics, and tightening up performances and arrangements. What Should You Plan? Here are some important things to discuss as you sit down and do some pre-production.
  • Scheduling – which parts to record on which days/tracking session/mixing sessions
  • Songs Selection – which songs are you going to record, which ones will be easier or more difficult?
  • Song Form/Lyrics – make sure each song has a strong form and structure/do a final check of the lyrics to make sure you won’t be wanting to change them half way through the recording process.
  • Arrangement – beyond song form, decide what instruments will play in a song and how dense each section will be (no drums during the first verse, etc.)
  • Practice – this is the opportunity to rehearse for recording, tightening up harmonies, being familiar with the arrangement, and deciding and practicing what each part is actually going to play.
History It helps to think about how many of your favorite albums were produced and recorded in the past. The record label and producer would usually buy out a studio for a few months (pay to have it 24 hours a day 7 days a week). The band/artist would enter the studio (sometimes with not even a single song written) and start to write, play, and record. Some times entire days would be wasted jamming, working on songs that wouldn’t be on the album, or just hanging out eating pizza. It seems surprising, but recording budgets were huge and some of the greatest albums of all time were recorded in this fashion. But even while sessions like this were happening, other artists were meticulously planning ever aspect of a song before entering the studio. The Beatles had to plan every aspect of Sgt Peppers before recording in order to work within the limited scope of the four-track recorder. Today Recording budgets are not what they used to be, so even mainstream record label projects utilize a large amount of pre-production to minimize costs. This is often done with the producer and the artist/band meeting at a rehearsal location or the producer’s modest project studio to do planning and prep for the project. Honestly, any band/artist/producer who is serious about recording a project or song within a budget is going to be better off doing some pre-production. Sadly, it is often the responsibility of the engineer to remind less than prepared artists/bands that a small amount of focused pre-production time will save them a lot of time and money in the studio. This may seem like bad business since clients may end up spending less time in the studio because of your advice, but a happy client will always pay dividends when it comes to referrals and repeat business. I have seen too many musicians leave ‘angry with the studio’ because of their own ignorance of how much time and money it can take to complete a project. So save money by being prepared, because a little pre-production can go a long way.