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Let’s make sense of Apple’s new iPad lineup – with charts!

The iPad isn’t just a gadget any more. There’s now enough of an app ecosystem that investing in an iPad is investing in a creative platform that turns into lots of other things. That is, it really is like another computer. For music, that means a lot. An iPad is a drum machine, or a vocal processor. It’s a practice aid, a simulated guitar amp. It’s an extension of your desktop music software, too, whether controlling instruments and transport in Logic or live sets in Ableton. It’s a DJ tool. Of course, the same is true of a computer. And …

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Lenovo S10 Netbook Does Ableton – and Developers, Go Grab a Netbook

Yep, that’s an ExpressCard slot. Photo (CC) Ja-ae (Jarawee) – hello, Bangkok! (Know we have some readers out there.) Tim Hanlon of gizmag.com recently got an IdeaPad S10 – Lenovo’s lovely, $400 “netbook” – to test. He didn’t just do the usual benchmarks, though. His review also included the unlikely choice of Ableton Live and, thanks to a free ExpressCard slot, a MOTU Traveler FireWire interface.

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Optimizing for Vista: Inside the Mechanics of SONAR 8 with Cakewalk Engineering

Vista, launched in an ice house in Toronto. That’s where I want my project studio this winter, for sure. Photo (CC Sam Javanrouh. On a purely technical level, how does Windows Vista work with a leading pro audio application? A lot of that depends on just how much the developer does to tune their software, and to hook into some of the new audio technologies in the OS. I wanted to know more about how Cakewalk’s SONAR 8 DAW was specifically optimized for Windows Vista. SONAR 7 was already out in front with support for Vista’s audio plumbing, but SONAR …

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Macworld on MacBook Pro Update; Why Santa Rosa Matters

Macworld, naturally, spends a lot of time focused intently on Apple hardware while I get distracted by beatboxing parrots and modular synthesizers built out of yarn and rubber bands. They have an excellent write-up of the significance of the MacBook Pro Santa Rosa upgrades, with comments on their benchmarks of the equivalent refreshed MacBooks: MacBook Pro knows the way to Santa Rosa One thing I was a little unclear on in my previous story is what matters in Santa Rosa, Intel’s latest architecture platform. (They didn’t call it Core 3 Duo, but then, consistent branding and Intel don’t generally go …

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MacBook Pro Revision: Big Santa Rosa Performance Boost, 4GB RAM Option, More

There’s a reason all these MacBooks have become a big hit with laptop musicians. Expect to see so many of them you get sick of seeing them. That’s why we strongly suggest customization, like making a new case out of mylar or something. Apple has unveiled its revised MacBook Pros today, with some subtle but significant improvements. I spoke to Apple a few minutes ago to get some of the details on what’s new. The new MacBook Pro includes new, faster CPUs and the Santa Rosa Intel architecture refresh to the Core 2 Duo, delivering 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz brains and …

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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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Free Utility Measures Audio Latency on Windows

If you’re wondering how your audio interface is performing on Windows with ASIO drivers, CEntrance has released a free utility that measures latency. Latency is the delay in transit as an audio signal performs a trip through your interface. Looks handy, and you know what this means: time to post some Windows driver/interface benchmarks! Measure away, and let us know how it goes! Keep in mind, you can take advantage of everyone’s favorite Windows driver, ASIO4ALL, to provide higher performance for even audio devices (like an internal laptop card) that don’t have ASIO drivers. I’d love to measure WDM/DirectX Windows …

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Reason, ReWire are Mac Intel Native; Performance Boosts on Mac and Windows

Propellerhead has just unveiled three updates, Reason 3.05 for Mac, and ReWire 1.7 and an updated REX library for Mac and Windows. The big story is native compatibility of Intel-native Macs for Reason, but that’s not the only story. Just about everyone will benefit from the new versions, on PowerPC and Intel Macs, and Windows PCs, possibly even if you don’t run Reason itself. This general trend could be enough to make 2006 the Year of Music Software That Finally Runs Faster.

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Ableton Live + Logic 7.2.1 + ReWire + Intel Mac Hands-On: It Works, It Rocks, More Ableton Forum Speed Tests

As reported here last week, Apple’s 7.2.1 update to Logic Pro and Express adds ReWire support to Intel Macs. Logic 7.2 also revamped the way ReWire works on all machines, so it’ll benefit all Logic users, not just Intel Mac owners. But the addition of ReWire means you can now fire up a Core Solo or Core Duo Mac and ReWire the Intel-native Live into Logic. And what a sweet combination it is.

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Macworld Verdict: MacBook Pro Blazes Through Logic

It’s the moment of truth: we finally get to see how Intel Macs compare to G5 and G4 Macs when running serious audio software. I got my first opportunity to work with James Galbraith and Macworld Labs to put Apple’s Intel-based Macs through their paces running the new Intel-native Logic Pro 7.2. The results were impressive: a dual-2.0GHz MacBook Pro holds its own when compared to a Power Mac G5 desktop. You may recall that the early reception for the Intel Macs was somewhat lukewarm, when testing the new Intel iMac, MacBook Pro, and mini on consumer-level software like iLife. …

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