Two music technology advancements you need to know about

In the fast paced world of music technology, new innovations are constantly coming to the fore. This week has seen two significant new inventions, one digital and the other analog:


Image: Jason Myers

Prolific US guitarist and producer T Bone Burnett is developing a new high-fidelity medium for the physical distribution of music. The new disc format is a sort of hybrid between CD and vinyl, using both lacquer and aluminium. Speaking on the creation, dubbed the Ionic Original, Burnett said, “an Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound. It is archival quality. It is future proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminium disc, with a spiral etched into it by music.”

Burnett has set up a company, NeoFidelity.Inc, to oversee the distribution of the Ionic Original. Though no official release date has been set, Burnett has reportedly recorded some of former bandmate Bob Dylan’s music to the format. Speaking on the quality of sound that can be expected from the Ionic Original, Burnett offered:

“When describing the quality that raises analogue sound above digital sound, the word “warmth” is often used. Analogue sound has more depth, more harmonic complexity, more resonance, better imaging. Analogue has more feel, more character, more touch. Digital sound is frozen. Analogue sound is alive.”

Image: Splice

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Splice has released a new music production tool called CoSo. Short for ‘complementary sounds,’ CoSo uses AI to identify samples from the Splice library that sound good together, thus streamlining the creative process for producers by offering “inspiration on demand.” 

The free app, available on iOS and Android, allows users to create stacks of up to eight loops including vocals, drums, and FX. Simply swiping right on any of the layers in the stack will instantly load a compatible sound. Users will be able to download their stacks directly to their Splice catalog, as well as upload to TikTok. Integration with Ableton is expected soon.


Watch a video explaining how to use CoSo below.