Mailbag: A Christmas Question – Too Much Techno?

CDM receives all sorts of fascinating emails, and it’s about time — especially in the spirit of holiday giving — that we share them. Cheryl writes us: interested in your dj11.My son who has the gifted ear for music has it on his x-mas list.Wondering if this is too much tecno for a precussor to a it guy with a great ipod at partiesand playing around at home Is it too much techno? If you have the gifted ear for music, please share your advice, if you can think back to those innocent, young days when you were but a …

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Wanted: Alternative Music Controllers or Software to Overcome Disabilities

One of the reasons to look beyond conventional controllers for music (like the ubiquitous, piano-style black-and-white keyboard) is that these controllers have a certain range of expression. But these constraints also impact people with different physical abilities. The piano assumes a certain kind of physical facility, and even as it makes playing easy for people with that facility, it prevents others from being expressive. Case in point: reader Niels Schuddeboom has been looking for alternative controllers or software that would allow him to overcome cerebral palsy: I am looking for a solution to make it easier for me to play …

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MacBook Speed Bump: Still a Fantastic Mobile Musician Bargain

Apple has made a minor upgrade to its MacBook line — same price, same lineup, but improved offerings. The $1099 white model is actually a pretty great deal now: 2.0GHz / 1 GB RAM / 80 GB HD means you get a pretty solid model out of the box. Upgrade to 1.5 or 2 GB RAM, and I think you’d be very happy, even running relatively intensive audio processing. As always, consider an external FireWire drive if you’re doing any significant multitracking. (Spend extra if you need DVD burning or, you know, the color black.) This could mean the previous …

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Getting Good Digital Gigs: Discussion, Debates, and a Place to Chat More

Laptop performance gigs: MOMUS displays one (atypical) way to present your live performance persona. We forgot the “Find a way to keep your face warm” tip. Photo by Tamara Weikel, taken in a Chelsea (NY?) gallery. Getting good gigs is a challenge for all genres, and it touches even more issues when computers are involved. So, as we’d hoped, Liz’s tips for getting booked has generated a lot of discussion. In addition to comments here on CDM: The wonderful community at EM411 has some discussion, including a great tip: bring VHS tapes or books to prop your computer atop the …

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Ask CDM: Configuring Windows for Maximum Performance

Most musicians will be waiting some time before running Vista, so if you can’t upgrade to a new OS, upgrade the OS you’ve got. Our friend Brad, aka Internet indie singer-songwriter star Brad Sucks, is getting into laptop performance and wants some tips for tuning Windows XP. He writes: I’d be interested in asking your readers how they set up their laptops for live performance OS-wise. I’ve been giving some thought to doing a dual boot WinXP install. So I can have one install as my desktop, mail, etc. And another one with say XPlite or nLite with Live set …

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Monday Morning Feedback: How Do You CDM?

Peter has disappeared for a well-deserved break. I can’t replace him. I can’t even see myself getting to the place from which I could see the path which would allow me to tell you something about music or audio which he hasn’t already covered at length and in depth. However, I can tell you plenty about the inner workings of the CDM sites. So I’d like to give you a bit of an update on where the site has been going, ask for your feedback on how you use the site, what you’d like to see from us in the …

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MacBook Gets Core 2 Duo; Live Laptop Config; What’s Your Laptop Pick?

As widely expected, Apple has given its MacBook Core 2 Duo CPUs, as with its existing MacBook Pro. The MacBook ships with either a 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo chip with a 2MB L2 cache or a 2 GHz CPU with a 4GB L2 cache. To me, the added MHz along with the added cache and better specs make the higher-end white MacBook the sweet spot as far as value. (There’s still a “color tax” on the black MacBook, which remains at $1499.) Does this MacBook now become the perfect music laptop? How should you configure it? Does Core 2 Duo …

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