This cable could let you take all your music gear mobile

It’s about time to solve this power problem on music gear once and for all. Here’s the thing: USB has quietly simplified powering everything else. Look at your phone. Now, a USB cable not only means you can charge from your laptop, but also various travel adapters – and, crucially, from battery power. With mobile batteries getting steadily better, that’s huge. You can just pack a battery and not worry about finding a wall socket, for hours or (with high capacities) even days. And those batteries are getting better as products, too – you can buy some nice looking, nicely …


You Want to Stare into Schneider’s Giant Rotating Eurorack Modular [Video]

Round and round and round it goes… It’s the motorized rotating pillar of Eurorack modular synthesizers from Berlin’s Schneidersladen, which served this evening as backdrop to an excellent workshop from the boys of Bastl Instruments of the Czech Republic. And, well, we’re not sure what happens to your brain if you keep watching this. Here, seen at twelve times normal rotation speed, thanks to Hyperlapse and my iPhone. This being Berlin, you can get this and falafel within a fairly short walk. Follow the Schneiders blog here: http://www.schneidersbuero.de


MIDI and Audio Over iOS Cable: Here’s How, Available Now

We’ve seen the future, and it’s … back to wires. First, we saw midimux connect any MIDI app or hardware on your iOS device to any MIDI software or hardware connected to your Mac. Plus in a 30-pin or Lightning cable, run some software on each end, and connect anything. Then, we saw the promise of audiomux – doing the same thing for audio streams. Now, audiomux is available on the App Store, not only individually, but as a bundle with midimux. (The developers initially asked midimux users to wait while that bundle became available, to avoid overspending.) And, as …

One hole that should stick around. Photo (CC-BY-SA) William Hook.

No, Apple Should Not Eliminate the Headphone Jack

Is Apple coming for your headphone jack? It’s a question I’d seen bouncing about publicly. Now, Macworld’s Marco Tabini goes as far as suggesting that the end of the analog headphone jack is a likelihood, and even “might be a positive change.” Hit the road, jack: Why Apple may say goodbye to the headphone plug [Macworld.com] See also Forbes’ Gordon Kelly, though that story isn’t as balanced as Tabini’s, and gets muddled on the subject of “digital” outputs and “exceedingly high lossless” output – whatever that means. The difference in output is 48KHz instead of 44.1KHz, which amounts to very …


CME: Plug Mics, Guitars, MIDI Directly into USB

Manufacturers have attempted to make USB connections for audio and MIDI more transparent before. We’ve seen mics with USB cords instead of XLR, and USB cables with little humps in the middle with built-in circuitry for MIDI connections. But new cables announced this week by Chinese manufacturer CME go further: a USB/MIDI cable that’s as thin as a standard USB connection, a USB mic interface with integrated +48V phantom power, and a guitar/bass/keyboard USB interface.


NAMM: Neutrik Adds USB Connector, USB a “Real Audio Jack”?

USB has arrived in the sound world. Just ask Neutrik. For those of you not in the know, Neutrik is the major manufacturer of sound connectors. Their brilliant XLR/TRS combination jack, finally allowing you to swap mic and guitar/line cables in a single jack, is so popular that most people call it simply a “Neutrik” jack. Now they’re adding USB. Maybe I’m crazy, but there’s something satisfying about the industrial metal design of this sample I brought back from the Anaheim show. It makes me want to get 7 more and build a USB hub / patch bay for all …


NAMM: StealthPlug, Digital Guitar Cable (1/4″ to USB)

When is a digital cable better than a digital guitar? When it actually solves a problem guitarists have. We’re still not sure what’s so great about Gibson’s Digital Guitar, even after hearing it played at NAMM but we immediately grasped the utility of IK Multimedia’s new StealthPlug. It’s a compact audio interface built into a cable that makes it dead simple to plug a guitar into a computer and take advantage of software-based amp and effects modeling. One side of the StealthPlug has a standard 1/4″ jack, while the other has a USB plug. It also includes volume adjustment buttons, …