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 …

READ MORE →

New Film Scoring Site; Mac mini, PC Sampler Farms for Samples

The music technology blogosophere continues to expand, now with an excellent new site dedicated to film scoring. The site also has a bonus: its name begins with the word “Create”, which means it can join CDM’s unofficial “Create [Stuff]” network! Create Film Scores Jerome Leroy, an L.A.-based music systems technician, is editing the new site. Jerome tells CDM he works as a studio technician and technical assistant and had a specific “thirst for film music tech news” that led him to start his own specialized resource. We’re of course always happy to see the community of practical sites for digital …

READ MORE →

MacBook Pro Speed Bump: Core 2 Duo, FireWire 800’s Triumphant Return

Apple has announced an update for its MacBook Pro line that makes it up to 39% faster than the previous MacBook and seven trillion times faster than our sorry PowerBook G4s. Wait — scratch that last line. I think they said “seven.” But having tested the first MacBook Pro, suffice to say that the Pro was already a huge leap forward from the G4 machines. I have a 1.5G G4 PowerBook, and it routinely crumples under the load of serious music software. The MacBook Pro is more in the realm of my dual-AMD PC and dual-G5 Mac. (See previous benchmark …

READ MORE →

DustBook: Another DIY Solution for Burning Man Desert Performances

Mashup/files/media/music maven Moldover checks in in comments with another tip for surviving the desert of Burning Man (or, you know, your next gig in Yemen): I’ve been bringing my laptop to the playa for several years now. My solution this year was a modified briefcase. I made a mount for my MIDI controller to sit right on ontop of the open case. This minimized my footprint which was very helpful. The case worked like a charm at night but it would overheat during the day. The quick fix was to put it ontop of a bag of ice. (Not very …

READ MORE →

Burning Man: Musical Mac Laptops in Home-Built Bio-Hazard Boxes

Laptops as bio-hazard? Dust problems in the desert? Just stick them in a miniature “clean room” environment. Chris Martinez of effect69 writes us with details: Worried about dust and dirt? PowerBook got an alien plague? This should help. Burning Man 2006: Hope & Fear the Future When we were asked to play on the playa, I immediately thought of all of the stories of â€Å“That dust gets everywhereâ€Â? and did I really want all of my precious gear getting destroyed? Would you? No! So I went to work on a plan that would help keep most of the dust and …

READ MORE →

Mac Pro Watch: Apogee Syphony Drivers with 2ms Latency; 64-Channel Surround Installation

We don’t have to wait for press releases around here; an enthusiastic Apogee employee (not from the sales and marketing end, he says) writes in to brag about Apogee’s support for the new Apple Mac Pro. Not only are drivers available today for using the Apogee Symphony PCI-Express audio card, but Apogee says the combination of Apple and Apogee hardware acheives an unheard-of 2ms latency. From Apogee’s official statement: Apogee’s new Universal PCI-Express driver, in combination with the powerful Intel processors in the Mac Pro, lowers the latency of the Symphony PCI-Express card by over 50% into the 2ms range. …

READ MORE →

WWDC: New Mac Pro Towers Blaze Through Logic, Soundtrack, Offer Better Storage Options, Says Apple

Lee Sherman is live at the WWDC keynote. Phil Schiller has good news regarding the new Mac Pro tower, singling out pro audio applications to demonstrate the new machine’s speed: Intel Xeon Woodcrest-based: Core 2 dual core CPUs up to 3GHz (that’s Core 2, not Core Duo, meaning the latest version of Intel’s Core architecture — and probably exactly what Apple was waiting for to go to Intel in towers); 64-bit, 4 MB shared L2 cache Good “performance per watt” (that’s not just Apple blowing smoke this time; PC press have confirmed that about Core 2) Quadruple your pleasure: Two …

READ MORE →

Build a Gigging Small Form Factor PC for Music: How-to and Why

If I can do it, you can do it. Over on the just-launched Create Digital Motion, I describe assembling a custom PC from a barebones Shuttle case, with photos of each step. To keep that from getting boring, I dropped it all into the fantastic plasq app Comic Life to make it into a how-to comic: Building a Portable SFF PC for Live Visuals, Music Gigs: Part 1, Assembly in Comic Book Form As you’ll see, there’s not much to it. Shuttle already includes the motherboard and cables; it’s BYO processor, storage, and graphics. But those options alone can give …

READ MORE →

Preview: Building a Custom Mobile PC for Live Music and Visuals

We’ve covered rack rigs for rack-mounting PCs, Power Macs, and even Mac minis for the stage for a while. Now, I’m going to go an extra step, and actually build a machine step-by-step here on CDM. But instead of making a rack-mountable machine, I wanted something even more portable. I want a desktop-class PC I can carry around on a subway. And, no, a laptop ain’t gonna cut it, because I want the whole system to be upgradeable (particularly the video card, for running high-quality 3D visuals simultaneously with sound). The basis for this machine is already on its way, …

READ MORE →

Apple to Intel: Stay Cooly Cool, Boy

In a somewhat ambiguous quote in Macworld, a top Intel exec says Apple is starting to inform Intel’s chip engineering: “They push us to think about things that we may not always think about.” Computex: Apple pushing Intel in new directions [Macworld News] I say, bring it on, Apple, because Intel customers on both Mac and PC could benefit. (Especially since we know Apple’s negotiating style with its vendors is rumored to err on the “we’ll break your kneecaps” side.) Intel won’t say what form this influence is taking (insert Apple joke here), but the easy guess would be heat …

READ MORE →