Toward the Hackable iPod: BUG Labs, Now Wired for Sound

It’s looking like 2009 is set to be a great year for open source and hardware hacking. Likely lost in a lot of the CES news, BUG Labs, makers of open source, Linux-based hardware you can snap together like Lego bricks, now has a range of new modules. Most interesting to readers here: there’s an audio module, with input, output, a speaker, and even the possibility of basic onboard DSP. Combined with the other modules – GPS positioning, accelerometer/proximity sensor, physical computing-style inputs and outputs for sensors and robotics and switches and things, a touchscreen, a Linux-powered computer, a camera …

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Audio, Music Gems from the Upcoming Game Developer Conference

Music for mashing buttons to. Photo (CC) Jon Jordan, Pocket Gamer. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that, as far as the conference calendar for 2009 goes, some of the most interesting discussions about audio, composition, and technology are happening at a game developer conference. The terrific GameSetWatch “alt.video game” blog has a nice overview of the goodies at GDC in March for audio lovers: Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Audio Track [GameSetWatch] But even that doesn’t cover all the goodness. Check out the full Audio Track schedule: Audio Track, GDC @cmpevents.com I imagine for someone looking to get …

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MOTU Traveler Mk3: More I/O, Features Hit Mobile FireWire Audio Interface

Let’s start with the important bit: the Traveler really is a mobile interface. It weighs under four pounds and fits into a backpack; it’s actually a little lighter and more compact than a typical 15” laptop. Now, if your input and output needs are limited (a mic in, headphone out, and stereo out do suit a lot of folks just fine), your options are obviously many. But the Traveler manages to be this small and pack an absurd amount of I/O and functionality into that small space. Audio interfaces tend not to get a whole lot of updates, but MOTU …

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Apple Unveils Snow Leopard, But What Does it Mean?

Apple’s airtight secrecy has allowed it to do some wonderful things. But what happens when it’s difficult to tell the path of future operating systems? That’s the situation I’m trying to tackle with Mac OS X Leopard and now the upcoming Mac OS X “Snow Leopard.” The good news is, Apple says they’re focused on improving the "quality" of the OS. The bad news is, it’s not clear what the plan is for the existing 10.5 OS — or what it will take for OS changes to sync up with what we need as musicians and audio producers.

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Snapper, Time-Saving Audio Tool for Mac Finder, Now Shipping

A year ago, Mac music and audio producers were abuzz about a preview of what was then called Soundabout. The idea was to have a powerful audio tool that was always within easy reach in the Mac Finder, for not only previewing audio files, but converting and even editing. Developer AudioEase has finished that tool. It’s now called Snapper instead of Soundabout, but all the features are there: Preview with space bar, just like Apple’s QuickLook, but with more control Immediately see a Snapper interface with waveform preview when you click a file in Finder Drag-and-drop conversions to other file …

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XO Wave 1.0 Released: Free for Linux, Free or Cheap for Mac, Multichannel Audio

XO Wave is a basic multi-track audio tool with multi-channel recording and mixing, video support, plug-in support (in the Pro version) and built in DSP, double-precision math, and non-destructive editing. It looks like it could be a strong choice for basic multichannel tasks. And it has some less-common features, like automatic softening to remove clicks/pops at edit points, and versioning so you can go back to earlier versions of files. A very capable version is available free, and a “Pro” version is just US$95 (though that admittedly puts it in slightly more competitive waters). Interestingly, this is also one of …

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Mix Online To Offer Monthly Game Audio Digital Magazine

Speaking of gaming, here’s more news that the fledgling game audio and music area is getting more attention — something that we at CDM see as very good news. (See our sometimes-obsessive gaming stories.) CDM’s resident game composer and sound designer checks in … In an e-mail he sent to me yesterday, Peter pointed out that Mix was soon to offer a bi-monthly newsletter on game audio. We were both summarily unimpressed – until we discovered that the newsletter was in addition to a monthly digital magazine, a sample of which is now available on the Mix website. The sample …

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Adobe Soundbooth CS3 Sound Editor (and Production Suite) Now Shipping

Paint selections directly into audio frequencies using the Soundbooth CS3 lasso tool. If you’ve been on the search for a simple, straightforward audio editor for Mac and Windows, Adobe has officially thrown its hat into the ring with Soundbooth CS3. Soundbooth Now Shipping [Hart’s Audition, from the Adobe audio product chief] New Soundbooth User-to-User Forum Of course, to the rest of the world, the big news is that Adobe’s full Production Premium and Master Collection suites are shipping. But Soundbooth is one program that could make sense to buy alone, as a basic audio editor. It sets itself apart both …

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WWDC Preview: Apple to Improve USB, FireWire Audio Support in 10.5

In a little while, Steve Jobs will be keynoting Apple’s developer conference. I doubt that anyone will be thinking about audio drivers. So in the remaining moments to do that, let’s go — because 10.5 looks like it’s yet another release from Apple that takes music production seriously. Most of us didn’t expect any major improvements in Apple’s Core Audio in 10.5 — nor need them, as Core Audio is rock-solid for most of what we need to do, in terms of performance and reliability. That’s not to give Apple a free pass; there have been some compatibility issues with …

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