Stagelight Users! Who Wants to #TeamUp with Timbaland?

#TeamUp with Timbaland logo for Open Labs

Aspiring musicians have been using Stagelight to make their musical dreams a sonic, shareable reality for a few years now. But there’s a new contest kicking into gear this week that will go even further to make the dreams of some lucky Stagelight creatives come true. It’s the #TeamUp with Timbaland Song Contest. Along with Microsoft, Lenovo US and SMS Audio, Open Labs is behind another chance to get your music heard by thousands and to pick up some awesome prizes in the process. And the grand prize is enough to make any potential creative pause: studio time with Timbo the King, where the super producer will work on and produce the lucky winner’s original composition. That’s right, the winner (plus a guest) will be flown to Miami, Florida to work with the legend himself. In terms of advancing a recording career, an assist from Timbaland is quite the helping hand.

While the contest has been accepting entries since mid-August, it wasn’t until today (August 27) that people could listen to the songs and vote for their favorites. See the hundreds of entries here. To enter, it’s a three-step process. 1.) Create a song (Stagelight is available here if a music creation app is needed). 2.) Upload it to SoundCloud or YouTube with the corresponding link. At this point the song is in the running. But to get up to sprint, all creatives need to 3.) share the song and contest with friends, family and fans to rack up the “likes” necessary to be a finalist.

Here’s how the official contest page lays it out:

The contest is open to individual, aspiring music artists who are 18 years and over and legal U.S. residents. Your submission must be of an ORIGINAL SONG and you can submit only one song. To submit, simply provide either a SoundCloud audio link or YouTube video link to your song. Your original song can be with or without lyrics and across any music genre. If you haven’t already recorded your song, we recommend you use Stagelight, The Easy Way to Create Music. You can download the app for 30-days FREE here.
Use the share icons on your song profile page to share your original song entry/entries with friends and ask them to vote! Voting begins on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Phase One judging will be based on a combination of votes from the general public and judging by Timbaland as well as our judging panel. Up to five finalists will be selected. During Phase Two judging, those finalists will be given a music challenge by Timbaland to determine the Grand Prize winner.
The winner (and a companion) will be flown to Miami where they will spend the day in the studio with legendary music producer Timbaland. Timbaland will collaborate with the winner to produce a song. For complete details of the Grand Prize, click here.
It’s worth noting, as well, that unlike the still-running Stagelight #MonthlyMusicContest, the prizes for #TeamUp with Timbaland will be handed out on an every-other-week basis, not a monthly one. Still have questions? Here’s the contest FAQ:
Visitors to the site can vote as often and on as many songs as they want, but can only vote once on a particular song submission.
Submitted song entries must be approved by the contest moderator before they appear on the site. Please allow up to 24 hours.In addition, the Music Gallery featuring artists’ song profiles will be viewable starting Wednesday, August 27, 2014 [EDITOR'S NOTE: TODAY], when voting officially begins. It may be that the Music Gallery isn’t live yet on the #TeamUp with Tim additional logo for Open Labssite.
Voting period begins Wednesday, August 27, 2014. It may be that you shared your video during the initial Song Submission period and voting hasn’t begun yet.
The Song Contest is limited to those submitting songs. The Sweepstakes is open to both site visitors and contest entrants.You may enter the Sweepstakes once per day to increase your chances of winning.
The Grand Prize is the ultimate trip for two to Los Angeles, with two VIP Weekend One 3-Day Passes to the Coachella 2015 Music Festival. You can also win incredible tech and music prizes from Lenovo, Stagelight, and SMS Audio every other week. For a complete list of sweepstakes prizes and details, see the prizes section in the Sweepstakes’ Official Rules.
Contact Us
Creatives can contact the contest through this page.
The exact prizes, other than the famed studio time with Timbaland, are impressive. We didn’t lead with the Coachella passes that you can get from the sweepstakes, because those are a pretty great surprise for readers getting down this far. There are more, though: a Lenovo Y50 Ultra HD Laptop, SMS STREET by 50 Pro DJ Headphones and (of course) Stagelight: Timbaland Edition. This entire prize package here is valued at over $1,600. The Grand Prize, aka WORK WITH TIMBALAND ON YOUR SONG, includes the following:
Trip for two to Miami, Florida
Roundtrip air transportation to Miami, Florida
Ground transportation to/from airport/hotel and to/from recording session.
Two (2) nights hotel accommodations.
Note: Hotel may require the minimum age of 21 or older in order to register. If the winner is under the age of 21 a parent or legal guardian may be required as the Winner’s guest.
Recording session with Timbaland (not to exceed (6) hours).
Winner to receive a $500 American Express® Gift Card
This prize package is valued at over $4,900.
The time is now and the choice is clear. As Twitter user (and soon-to-be contestant, apparently) Emissary says, “I… cannot waste… this opportunity hahahahaha too good to be true!”
The five finalists for Tim’s production help will be announced on October 13. The Grand Prize winner will be selected on November 6. Who will be the lucky creative to #TeamUp?
Open Labs graphic for #TeamUp is Live

Researchers propose new Android security framework that could aid BYOD schemes


Android security might be getting a major facelift, if these researchers are to be believed.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

U.S. and German security researchers have proposed a new security framework for Android that would make it easier to install new security extensions – both enterprise and consumer — for specific purposes. A major aim is to make Android friendlier to corporate bring-your-own-device schemes.

The researchers, from North Carolina State University and Technische Universität Darmstadt, described the Android Security Modules (ASM) framework in a paper (PDF) that will be presented at the USENIX Security Symposium in San Diego on Friday. The framework (source code info here) can already be installed on a rooted Android phone, but the hope is for [company]Google[/company] or a big phone manufacturer to bake it into the operating system.

Senior author William Enck said in a statement that plenty of researchers are coming up with new security extensions to protect Android users, but “these new tools aren’t getting into the hands of users because…

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The 2.0 – and More Open Labs News – Wrap-Up

image of Stagelight features for Open Labs

So far this month, Open Labs has been pretty focused on a few major items. Stagelight 2.0 – which has been the subject of the past few blogs – continues to ramp up in the world of music software. More creatives are downloading the app and putting their compositions down. Additionally, the Stagelight Monthly Music Contest is running a parallel track of increasing awareness as more and more contestants enter their creations in for a chance to win $1,000s in gear, and a chance for a free Dell XPS computer, and the opportunity to work in the studio with Linkin Park. So let this be a wrap-up post, where we say goodbye to the week by consolidating all the new Open Labs info in one, easy-to-read place.

Turn your attention, if you will, to the new Stagelight Electro Instrument Series. This new facet of the Easy Way to Create Music journey is yet another feather in the cap for the 2.0 update. Though we have grouped the Electro Instrument Series in with the already well-known Stagelight features like Key Lock and the Native Effects in Open Labs’ public relations material so far, this instrument series requires a specific look of its own. The Electro Instrument Suite unlocks the following instruments: ElectroKeys, ElectroOrgans, ElectroBass, and ElectroGuitars. The upgrade also provides extra presets for each instrument. So the whole range of sounds have been given a power-up. The EQs have evolved, the filters are far more nuanced and focused and the Stagelight reverb continues to give that classic soundscape to creatives’ melodies.

Stagelight 2.0 also comes with SongBuilder 2, an updated version of the famous “step-by-step” learning process built into the app’s infrastructure. Stagelight 2.0 has more tools and tricks than any previous version, so it makes sense that Open Labs would put in some new architecture for our signature app tutorial process. Not only will Songbuilder 2 introduce creatives to the new features of Stagelight, it is also a great launching point for exploring new genres outside the Stagelight musician’s usual comfort zone. If the musician behind the computer/laptop/tablet is interested, Songbuilder 2 will show the building blocks for a new hip-hop/country/dubstep/rock song.

The new version of Stagelight also carries the well-known, easy, one-touch publishing to the cloud or SoundCloud, so those new sounds and techniques the creative has learned can be shared with a worldwide audience as quickly and easily as ever. Also, the 2.0 update has an improved interface that makes our beloved touchscreen interaction more intuitive, and easier, than ever. Open Labs wasn’t joking with the “Easy Way to Create Music just got easier” tagline. And, did we mention faster load times and the smaller digital footprint? Yep, Stagelight 2.0 has that too. All in all, it’s a pretty complete package.

In other Open Labs news, only a few days remain until the August 21st deadline for the third edition of the Stagelight Monthly Music Contest (or, as many have probably seen it plastered across social media, the #MonthlyMusicContest). As of this writing, there is still time to submit your Stagelight-created, original rap track for a chance to win $1,000s in music gear from top-name music industry brands. And, remember, if you win that’s not all. All 12 month winners will be entered into a race for the grand prize, which is a free Dell XPS computer and studio time with the actual Linkin Park. It’s too good an opportunity to waste, so put something into the contest if you haven’t already.

Monthly Music Contest banner for Open Labs

By the way, the next month’s genre is “Wild Card,” so Stagelight creatives can send over whatever type of composition they want!

Meanwhile, keep a look at our Facebook, Instagram, Google+, TwitterYouTube and Tumblr pages for more tips, tricks, news and other interesting tidbits straight from Open Labs. We are all over the web, meeting tomorrow’s music stars and enjoying the creativity that’s thriving in the digital world. Thanks for visiting and we’ll see you soon.

Musicians Are Shopping in Stagelight’s New In-App Store

in-app store for Open Labs StagelightRight now, as we sit at our computers/laptops/tablets/phones, some musician somewhere is finding the perfect loop or sound for their latest composition in the Stagelight in-app store. Another of the huge advancements Open Labs has created for the Easy Way to Create Music in the 2.0 launch, the Stagelight in-app store vastly expands the options that any Windows-based creative can work with.

The aim with the in-app store is to give the Stagelight musician the power to find all the world-class sounds and features they want or need. The idea is that the musician will then take those sounds and features and make their musical dreams into reality. The fact that the store is contained within the Stagelight app means that the creative can have the options they want, when they want them. Gone are the days of Google searches to fish out desired sound packs. The in-app store is also the simplest way to purchase the Stagelight app itself if the creative is working on the free trial demo version.

loops image for Open Labs StageLIGHTThere are a ton of loops to browse through, audition and purchase. They are all professional-quality and the collection touches on pretty much every major popular genre. Whether the artist using Stagelight is a country crooner or an EDM hero, there’s a loop (or loops) for what they need. No matter the genre, the Stagelight in-app store has the loops of best quality for the most affordable price around. Listen to the RaveHosue demo loop here.

Now, let’s talk bundles. The in-app store allows Stagelight creatives to purchase exclusive sounds, royalty-free, from Open Labs’ superstar partners Timbaland and Linkin Park. Millions of musicians around the world have been inspired by the artists, and now that inspiration can take the form of songs that contain the actual sounds on those famous Tim and LP records. These bundles include synths, drum kits, guitar textures and exclusive samples. Enoughbundles image for Open Labs Stagelight to keep all musicians’ appetites whetted. Here’s the demo from the Timbaland bundle.

And the in-app store also allows musicians to unlock the full potential of Stagelight’s built-in effects and instruments. Along with the bundles and loops mentioned in the previous paragraphs, these native features can further the aim of creativity for musicians everywhere. The in-app store, thus, offers a comprehensive package that can invigorate and empower the creative muse, no matter the favored genre or skill of the musician in front of the app. The latest Stagelight technology, feature enhancements and modules are all open for business. For a taste of what is offered, lend your ears to the Stagelight ElectroSynth preview (and mixdown) here.

The evolution in user experience presented by Stagelight’s in-app store can not be dismissed. features image for Open Labs StagelightFor the first time, the Easy Way to Create Music is consolidating all possible sound offerings in one package under the Stagelight banner and inside the interface of the app. If the creative using the app never has to leave the program in order to find that perfect instrument tone or rhythmic action, the idea of “music creation made easy” is made reality in a more impactful way than ever before. Truly, Stagelight now gives the composer everything he/she needs to make that song (or album, or EP, or anything musical) shine.

Additionally, if Stagelight creatives have any questions about the capabilities of the sound packs, such as how many loops are in a pack, or what is included in (for instance) the Electro Instrument Suite, all of the necessary information is included and displayed in the store for each pack.

Stay tuned in the future for even more in-depth explorations of the bundles, loops and sound packs inside the Stagelight in-app store. This is just an introduction, and there is so much to explore inside Stagelight 2.0 that we’ll be talking about it for months to come. Until then, keep creating and growing the musical muse inside Stagelight. Now is the perfect time to make a new great song. The in-app store, obviously, can help a lot.

Let’s Take a Look at LoopBuilder in Stagelight 2.0 (and other Open Labs News)

Open Labs image for LoopBuilderAt this point at the end of July, the news about Stagelight 2.0 has spread far and wide. Open Labs knows, however, that the 2.0 update has a whole lot to unpack for music creatives old and young. As Open Labs community artist and Stagelight super-user C. Rich Productions puts it, “Wow. Stagelight 2.0 is not an update. It’s a whole new program.”

In the spirit of that statement, let’s use this blog as a portal to investigate the nooks and crannies of the new Stagelight app. For the purposes of this installment, we are going to focus on one of the biggest and most groundbreaking changes in the interface. It’s a layman’s introduction to a brand new tool. We’re speaking, of course, of LoopBuilder.

LoopBuilder is just one of many new features in Stagelight, but it could promise to be one of the most effective and far-reaching. This loop-style production feature allows Stagelight creatives to mix, mash up and record their best performances and takes in a single touch. Breaking it down, what that means is that songwriters can now move their composing focus from one song-length block to a series of melodic compartments that fit seamlessly together. LoopBuilder allows the Stagelight creative to dig into one particular aspect of a song – the intro drum beat, the piano part behind the verse, layering voices on a chorus, etc – and tinker and mold it to perfection. The resulting loop can be placed into an artist-chosen spot in the Stagelight interface, where it can be moved and turned off/on as the artist needs it. Once the creative starts layering these loops on one another, song creation will literally fall into itself through the various loops working together.

The impact of LoopBuilder on composition has yet to be seen in its full power – Stagelight’s 2.0 update has been out for a little more than a week at this point. But the implications are huge. Artists thinking of making a full song may be intimidated by the full weight of the composition placed upon their shoulders. LoopBuilder allows the job to be broken down into easier, more manageable bits. And the high level of creative control that can be wielded makes sure that the recording of the song segments goes exactly to the Stagelight creative’s plan.

Check back in with the official Stagelight 2.0 release video: You can see some footage of LoopBuilder in action. However, the real excitement will come from the many, many Stagelight musicians who are shaping LoopBuilder to the whims of their muse.


There’s a lot going on with Open Labs these days. Beyond the continuing effect of the new Stagelight update, we’re moving in new directions with various other initiatives.

First off, the third month of the Stagelight #MonthlyMusicContest is right around the corner. The genre for the third month is hip-hop. It will be a rap and beat-filled August. Entries begin on August 1 and the final day to vote will be on August 21.

Additionally, keep your eyes open for the official announcement of the second month’s winner. The best electronica track has been picked and we are going live with the celebration on August 1.

This past weekend Open Labs’ production team went to Miami and took part in the shooting of a commercial for Stagelight with the one and only Timbaland. We’ll have to wait a bit to see the final version, but we’re sure it’ll look great. Tim had a great time, too:

Open Labs image for Timbaland commercial shoot

And Open Labs community artist Jamie Starr, the man behind Echoscape Records, released his new album “Love” earlier this week. You can hear the record here: That’s the kind of work you can do with Stagelight on your Windows desktop, laptop or tablet. We expect many more recordings to appear in the coming weeks and months.

Let us know what you’ve been doing with LoopBuilder in the comments below. It’s an exciting time for Open Labs and musicians worldwide.

Stagelight 2.0 Is Available Today. The Latest Version Of The Easy Way To Create Music Brings New Composing Breakthroughs

Artwork for Stagelight 2.0

Today is the day. Open Labs has unveiled Stagelight, version 2.0 for download/purchase. The most inspiring and groundbreaking version of Stagelight to date is available for Windows-using musicians worldwide.  Stagelight’s landmark DAW interface and overall functionality is now more powerful, more intuitive and equipped with a whole host of new, touch-friendly tools, features and sounds. Existing Stagelight users will get the update FREE, and newcomers can have 2.0 on their desktop/laptop/tablet for the famously affordable price of $9.99.

“Stagelight 2.0 is here and is ready for the world to create and play with music,” says Cliff Mountain, President and CEO of Open Labs. “It is our most captivating version of Stagelight so far thanks to our team and the amazing participation and feedback from our community of music enthusiasts all around the globe. Stagelight 2.0 truly delivers on our promise to make music creation and performance accessible to anyone regardless of wealth, education or experience.”

What does Stagelight 2.0 bring to the game? Well, it’s the dawn of a new day in touch screen-powered music creation.

Let’s begin with LoopBuilder, Stagelight’s brand new tool which improves composing ease for even the most established Stagelight musician. LoopBuilder is a loop-style production feature that will allow you to mash up, mix and record your best performances and takes in a single touch. Experiment with the hundreds of FREE loops included with Stagelight 2.0, or import your own custom sounds for a unique mix of different styles and genres. It doesn’t matter if you’re just beginning to make music, a seasoned DJ or a professional music producer, LoopBuilder delivers the fun and excitement required for all types of music creation and performance. LoopBuilder, however, is just one of many new feature enhancements found in Stagelight 2.0.

Another enhancement is the new Electro Instrument Series, which provides a whole new range of new sounds to be inspired by. Do you want a hard rock sound for your guitar solo? How about some heavy rap beats for the hip-hop track you’re putting work on? The Electro Instrument Series gives you the melodic sounds of the universe.

Also, well-known and trusted Stagelight features, like our native FX, are still around for 2.0 and are better than ever. The native FX, when combined with LoopBuilder and the Electro Series, can give you almost unlimited options. If that’s not enough, Key Lock, the piano that can’t play wrong notes, is also still around to be used in Stagelight 2.0 melodies.

Stagelight 2.0 image from Open Labs

There’s still another major introduction to make. Meet the Stagelight in-app store, where creatives will find loops, exclusive bundles and other advanced features that can be added to a Stagelight library at an incredibly low price. There’s so much to try out and look over; Stagelight’s in-app store gives you the power to find the world-class sounds and features you want, when you want them. All this without ever having to leave the app. The store is also where you will find the much-lauded exclusive content from Open Labs partners Timbaland and Linkin Park.

And feel free to take a music lesson with the updated and improved SongBuilder2. Explore new genres and approaches outside of your comfort zone with Stagelight 2.0’s advanced tutorials. Once you’ve purchased your in-app store sounds/loops, created a melody with the Electro Instrument Series and arranged your creation with Key Lock, native FX and LoopBuilder, you’ll be happy SongBuilder2 was there at the beginning to guide the way. And when you’ve put those final tweaks and polishes on the song, share your new creation with followers, friends and family by using Stagelight’s one-touch publishing to the cloud/SoundCloud.

Additionally, Stagelight 2.0’s streamlined interface and optimized, touch-friendly editing suite provides an even more intuitive touch screen experience than ever before.

All of these listed enhancements for Stagelight 2.0 come with a smaller footprint, faster load time and added performance. Stagelight’s ease of use, cutting-edge functionality and low price has allowed Open Labs to capture customers in more than 120 countries worldwide and has unlocked countless possibilities for musicians, creators and educators alike.  With version 2.0, Stagelight is now the most desirable music creation app available for mobile and desktop PCs.

One more thing: there is a special, secret “Easter Egg” hidden somewhere in the in app. Keep an eye on our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, and WordPress – for upcoming hints on where it is. The musician who first finds the Easter Egg will receive one FREE copy of all Stagelight 2.0 sound packs.

Open Labs Easter Egg image

Also, check out some 2.0 sounds on our SoundCloud page:  Musicians can get an even better sense of what the app can do from these songs.

Stagelight is the Easy Way To Create Music. And it just got easier. If you haven’t already, download your copy today for only $9.99.

Big Things On The Horizon For Open Labs. Keep Your Eyes Open…

Over the last year and a half, Open Labs has been proud to bring Stagelight, the groundbreaking, affordable and easy music creation app, to musicians, producers and composers around the world. We kept pushing the app/DAW technology, and we further broke through with elements like Key Lock, “the piano that can’t pay wrong notes” and special Stagelight editions from Linkin Park and Timbaland. We’ve made connections and upped the Windows-based music creation game significantly.

But we’re not resting on our laurels. We never do. And fans of the touch-screen compatible, accessible drum machine-appointed, unlimited track making, easy SoundCloud-uploading Stagelight are going to have a lot to dive into in the very near future.

Stagelight 2.0 teaser image from Open Labs

So if you love Stagelight, or if you are thinking of starting your music composition career/hobby soon, pay attention to Open Labs’ social media and website ( over the next few days – that means Open Labs’ Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud and, well, WordPress. There is some major news coming down the pipeline, and those channels will be the place to find it.

Open Labs is excited to pilot our Easy Way to Create Music template proudly into the back half of 2014 and beyond; who knows what could be coming next? Our growing Artist Community will be a major conduit for the new news, as will our aforementioned partnerships with Timbaland and Linkin Park.

And the announcement won’t be the only thing going on, either. The Stagelight Monthly Music Contest (#MonthlyMusicContest) will be going strong for the rest of the year as various Stagelight composers submit their tracks in month-specific genres. If they win, they’re looking at a monthly prize that measures in at over $3,000 in top-brand music gear. And the grand prize winner – picked at the end of the year from all the winners of the previous months – will get a free Dell XPS computer and hours of precious studio time with none other than Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington and the rest of the guys in Linkin Park. By the way:

The final day to submit your electronic track for the July Stagelight #MonthlyMusicContest is Sunday, July 20. Have you finished your track yet?

If not, put the final touches on your song soon and enter for your chance to win over $3,000 in music gear.

Don’t know how to enter? All your answers are here on Open Labs’ website:

What do you think the big news from Open Labs will be? Even if you can guess the general gist of it, you won’t be able to see all the details and folds in the announcement. We’ve moved from building an audience to piloting the Stagelight zeitgeist. We’re moving toward that glorious future where anyone – no matter their skill, age or training – can bring their music to the world. Open Labs is perfectly situated in the modern digital age, where tracks and melodies waft on the online waves with the flick of a finger.

We are excited about the burbling, soon-to-explode community of Stagelight users that will swell our ranks in the coming months. We want to hear tracks from each and every one of you. The time to focus on your creativity is now, because Open Labs is going to revolutionize the way music is made in the 21st Century.

Jenny Q: Beatles ‘Mystery Music’ – Ringo’s Remarks


Even after seeing “A Hard Day’s Night” many, many times, new details still pop up. One of the greatest movies.

Originally posted on 98.7 KLUV:

An unidentified piece of music in A Hard Day’s Night has fans all a-twitter!

With the recent DVD release and theatrical screenings of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first film, this issue simply must be resolved. Write your congressman!

The 30-second clip, heard while The Beatles are on a train, has become known as “Train Music,” and there are some who believe it’s an unreleased Beatles recording.

Ringo was asked about it this week: “I’m afraid I have to help keep it a mystery. I don’t remember.”

He & his All-Starr Band are on the road now and will be performing here in October. Maybe by then he’ll give up the goods.

View original

Germany-Brazil shatters Twitter’s record for sports tweets. Is this the tipping point for mainstream adoption?


Do you think this #WorldCup is the tipping point for mainstream acceptance (AKA U.S. acceptance) of soccer as a major sport?

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


Every four years during the World Cup, sports columnists gather in their sports columnist lairs to humbly ask, “Is this the tipping point for America to care about soccer?” (America’s anxiety over “soccer football” dates back at least to 1914).

A more recent but analogous tradition also takes place among tech columnists every time something big, live, and interesting occurs on a national or global stage: “Is this the tipping point for mainstream Internet users to care about Twitter?”

Last night, these two questions met head on as Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil became the most-tweeted sporting event in Twitter’s history. Users sent 35.6 million tweets, shattering the previous record held by last February’s less-than-thrilling Super Bowl which generated 24.9 million tweets. The match also set a record for tweets-per-minute, with users sending 580,166 a minute in the wake of Sami Khedira’s goal from 29 feet out which put Germany up 5-0.

So the question remains, as always…

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