Thomas Dolby plans cloud-based concert - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 23, 2018 4:54 pm

Thomas Dolby plans cloud-based concert

During the July 26 show, Dolby will be utilizing a platform from synth maker Roland. Livestream the show to follow along.

Thomas Dolby speaks at the National Press Club about his memoir, "The Speed of Sound."

(Photo by Andrew S. Harper)

Thomas Dolby has played lots of venues over his career. Now he can add the cloud.

On Thursday, July 26, the digital music master and Johns Hopkins professor is playing a concert dubbed “Thomas Dolby Live in Roland Cloud.” The web-based tour stop will be livestreamed at 1 p.m., according to an announcement. 

Referring to the approach of storing data on the internet rather than the puffy collections of water droplets and ice crystals in the sky, the Roland Cloud is a platform with software-based synthesizers and other instruments. It’s a product of electronic instrument maker Roland, and also features software to help create music, along with other “connected services.”

At the concert on Thursday, Dolby will be using a laptop running the software, as well as a few keyboards and a drumpad. The output from the rig will be projected onto a screen during the performance, allowing viewers to follow along. Roland says it’s the first concert to be streamed live using the platform.

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The concert brings together two parts of Dolby’s serendipitous career. He gained widespread fame as a musician, known for the 1982 synthpop hit “She Blinded Me With Science.” Dolby also has a long history with web-based audio, having created a virtual synthesizer that was used for polyphonic ringtones for cell phones during his time as a tech entrepreneur in the 1990s.

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A few years ago, an appointment to the faculty at Johns Hopkins brought him to Baltimore. And the city is where his current tour will end with an Aug. 8 date at Center Stage.

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