With Free Tape App for iPad, Focusrite Wants Everyone to Record

“The future has arrived; it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson. Well, that’s certainly true of digital recording. Dedicated producers aside, the masses of musicians in the world are often still at a loss when they want to record their music on the iPads and laptops and machines that surround them. And for all the great stuff that’s happened on the iPad for musicians, there’s still not one go-to app that everyone might use to record. Apple’s own GarageBand is one option, though even GarageBand is overkill if you just want to save some quick ideas on the …

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GarageBand for iPad Hands-on: Why It’s Ideal for Beginners, What You May Not Know

Let’s get this out of the way: musicians are not a “niche” group. Recording has done some damage to the popular practice of live music, but still, you’ll find an astonishing number of people play instruments and sing. (New pop culture phenomena like Glee, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, and the resurgent TV talent show have helped, too.) What’s “niche” is conventional music production software. While it’s a fast-growing segment, music making software remains elusive and befuddling to a whole lot of musicians. GarageBand for Mac was one answer to what software for the remaining group should look like. But …

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Once More, From the Top: Learn Ableton Live in Videos, from the Very Beginning

Whether you’re an absolute beginner – or just want to help turn on a friend or bandmate to computer music production – starting at the very beginning is indeed a very good place to start. So, it’s nice to see Ableton’s official channel this month covering the very first steps of working with their flagship Ableton Live. In fact, even if you don’t own Live, you can make use of the demo version and try this out. I typically find that getting audio interfaces working properly is the biggest hurdle for first-time music users. (Okay, sometimes it stumps us advanced …

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Handmade Music NYC 8/29, 1979 Photo-theremin Workshop, Call for Works

Handmade Music returns August 29 to New York City – now in Manhattan at the new Culturefix space on the Lower East Side. Beginners, this is your chance to learn about electronics and sound making, with a newcomer-friendly workshop on making a photo-theremin – and yes, you’ll even learn to solder. (Like knitting, you’ll find it gets easy fast and can even be relaxing.) Entry fee includes all parts cost, and you leave with a fun creation. If you have work you want to show or a performance to propose, be sure to see the call for works at the …

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Able10 Discounts, Artist Packs, Ableton Live Intro Now US$99

Ableton is 10. Does that make anyone feel old? Live in action; photo: Marco Raaphorst. As the company turns 10, Ableton has introduced a set of discounts and giveaways, the most notable of which is a new entry-level edition of Live. Live Intro smooths out a lot of the wrinkles between different starter versions of Live, from LE to hardware bundles. At $99, “Intro” finally gets a logical feature set: Full ReWire support, both as host and client (or “Slave” and “Master,” if you want to be all kinky about it) Full MIDI support, including remote control, output, MIDI clock …

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Free Linux Studio: How to Use LinuxDSP Effects with Ardour

Alongside our Renoise + Indamixx netbook-optimized production competition, I’m kicking off this week a series of CDM and guest tutorials on working with Linux audio tools, Renoise, and more. First up, here’s a basic look at how to route the free-as-in-beer linuxDSP effects toolkit into the powerful, modern, open-source DAW Ardour. Correction: I implied that linuxDSP had an open source license, which is not correct. It should be considered “freeware” but not free software. Ardour, of course, is fully open source, and this is as much a tutorial on how to use JACK to route effects as it is linuxDSP …

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Record it Live to the Internet: Indaba Reveals JavaFX-Powered Online Recording Studio

Indaba Music, a community and suite of online tools for musicians, announced today they’ve revamped their online recording and production tool using Java and JavaFX. The result: a platform-agnostic, online interface that allows you to record music “directly to the Internet.” And the band Weezer is excited enough about it that they’re giving their official endorsement. Indaba, along with some others, already had an online music production tool. The new version expands on that idea, allowing you to record audio signal directly online, and beefing up tools for mixing, editing, and looping. Just like tools like GarageBand, a pre-built set …

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Cakewalk’s $35 Music Creation Software for Windows Gets Major Polishing

Cakewalk today did something quite unorthodox for the company: it launched a product on Facebook. The results are what clearly aim to be a GarageBand killer for Windows users. Music Creator had always, quietly, been a big hit for Cakewalk: it’s cheap, entry-level software for the PC, which has the potential to reach a big audience of computer users. But the software itself was nothing to brag about, with a dated-looking interface. Music Creator 5 looks stunningly different. The arrangement window has the familiar, GarageBand and ACID-style loop arrangement window. But there are additions you might expect in a bigger …

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Microsoft Research’s Songsmith Will Sell for $30, Match Accompaniment to Your Singing

In a surprise announcement (well, surprising me, at least), the experimental MySong shown by Microsoft Research earlier this year will be available for sale. US$29.95 will buy you a downloadable auto-accompaniment tool. Windows-only, but it sounds as though a Mac release is in store (seriously). It’s a bit like Band-in-a-Box for singers: sing in a line, and the software will generate accompaniment to your singing with styles of your own choosing. There are thirty styles included, and apparently Microsoft focused on the content end in bringing this product to market: there’s a 1 GB space requirement and partnerships announced with …

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New Free RiffWorks Music Making Software Does Quick Songwriting, Online Collaboration

Even with the success of beginner-targeted software like GarageBand, computer music production is still something a lot of musicians have only started to explore. And while there are computer-savvy players of every instrument, there’s no question guitars are underrepresented for the size of the market versus, say, keyboards. Sonoma’s RiffWorks has been one software entry trying to change that, by combining guitar-centric features (amps and effects) with loops, multi-track recording, and collaboration features. As with GarageBand and Steinberg’s Sequel, loops, machines, and effects assist in quick song creation. But unlike those products, Sonoma also emphasizes collaboration, and is targeted directly …

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