cmc

Steinberg’s Modular Touch Controllers: Integrate with Cubase or Use with MIDI, Look Pretty Doing It

Readers recently observed that your writer/editor is biased toward the aesthetic design of certain controllers. If that annoys you, try to focus on the lighter elements in this article to take your mind off things, and remind yourself that the weekend is near, because you’re probably going to spot that bias arising again. Steinberg this month released a line of control surfaces that the company describes as “modular” and “ultra-portable.” The idea is this: rather than built a monster control surface to try to squeeze in everything (Akai’s APC40 comes to mind), they have little control surfaces you can combine …

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ArKaos GrandVJ 1.5 Packs in Features; Talks to Music Apps via Plug-in

ArKaos is a long-standing name in VJ apps, as one of the tools that defined the genre in the 90s. GrandVJ has been gradually evolving with a more modern foundation, marked by a simple, musical, performance-oriented interface and high-performance playback. Its engine is the same as powers high-end media servers – but at a fraction of the price. Version 1.5 offers a new crop of features, but the biggest may be the ability to pipe in audio and MIDI from a music app via a plug-in. Using a VST for Windows and Mac, you can insert the new ArKaos Connect …

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Visual Music: Send Audio, MIDI to Live Visuals with GrandVJ 1.5, VST

On Create Digital Motion today, I write about the 1.5 release of ArKaos GrandVJ, the latest version of the popular Mac and Windows VJ tool. The big innovation: insert a VST plug-in into software like Ableton Live, and you can pipe MIDI and audio to your live visuals for easy synchronization and collaboration. You can even, as the video demonstrates, run an Ethernet cable between two machines. (This works on both Mac and Windows, despite the appearance of only Apple laptops in the video.) GrandVJ is doubly interesting for readers on the music site, as it’s long featured a music-centric …

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mox8

Yamaha’s MOX: Recession-Friendly, More Portable MOTIF Keyboards; Computer Workflows

While Roland this week is pushing their JP-80 and celebrating a 30-year milestone (the Jupiter-8), Yamaha has a different tack. They’re talking about the 10-year anniversary of the MOTIF workstation line, and introducing a version that’s actually easier to lift and afford. That could be friendly to the current economic tough times. But with all that people love their software synths, can Yamaha make a compelling case to the computer user, too? I put Yamaha on the spot to answer that. First, here are the specs: MOTIF XS sounds, with 1,217 voices and 355 MB of waveforms. (Okay, that’s nothing …

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cubase6_collage

Cubase 6: Amidst Familiar Leapfrog Features, A New Approach to Note-by-note Expression Editing

Users of Cubase seem to be a kind of silent majority. Web data suggests this may be the most popular DAW on the planet, thanks to Windows and Mac support, over 25 years in the business, and the absence of any particular hardware requirements. But the Cubase users I know, while fiercely loyal, just aren’t as evangelical about their choice. “Oh, yeah, I use Cubase.” One basic problem is that Digital Audio Workstations have been locked for years in leapfrog-style, me-too feature battles. These mature, do-everything, kitchen-sink products add tweaks that evidently matter to their users but are hard to …

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Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct

Jon Hopkins performs live at the ICA. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Matt Biddulph. Classically trained as a pianist, musician and producer Jon Hopkins has one of the richest resumes in electronic music. He’s a frequent collaborator with Brian Eno, wand has worked with artists like Coldplay (who featured his music on their last album), Tunng, David Holmes, and Imogen Heap. He worked with director Peter Jackson, and has a sci-fi score on the way. He also has a rich set of solo releases. And we’ve seen him here recently with remix swaps with Four Tet and contributions to Eno’s upcoming Warp record. …

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Symphony I/O: Next-Gen Apogee High-end I/O, Works with Any Mac DAW Via USB

Looking for all the world like a high-end audiophile stereo radio receiver as much as pro audio equipment, the shiny, new Symphony I/O has arrived from Apogee. It’s a top-of-the-range audio interface designed for low latency, high-quality digital-to-analog conversion, and quality clocking, as well as flexible input and output, coming from a company known in the category. With Pro Tools HD support, it’s also a rival to Avid’s own audio interfaces, while also working with all major Mac DAWs – even Ableton Live. You’re talking an investment of a few grand here, depending on configuration, so this isn’t likely to …

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Free Cubase Control from iPhone; iTouchMIDI MCU for Everything Else

Steinberg announced today that their Cubase iC controller app for iPhone and iPod touch is now available. If you’re a Cubase 5 user, this app gives you loads of control over your set wirelessly. It looks great, even if you have an existing controller – it’s just like having an extra, more pocket-able remote control. Control features: Position: Check out the clever position displays and feedback Transport: You can jump to markers, toggle the metronome and precount and cycle, and punch in recording. Arranger: Turn arranger on and off, play, and jump within an arrangement. You even get interactive buttons …

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The Star Trek Studio: DIY Dragon MIDI Touchscreens Control Cubase

Touchscreens are often compared to the ground-breaking – if imaginary – designs of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But Brazilian Paulo Egidio Silva must be a real Trekker. His elaborate touchscreen panel configuration really looks like the LCARS computer system simulated on the TV show. Of course, that isn’t to say this isn’t a practical system. By making extensive use of the MIDI SDK for Cubase, the Dragon MIDI rig controls every element of a Cubase session, from mixing to routing to adjusting plug-in parameters. It actually has three elements: 1. A multi-screen touchscreen for selecting mix and send settings …

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M-Audio Axiom Pro Offers Novation Automap Rival – If You’ve Got the Right DAW

While Novation was refreshing their Automap software for NAMM, M-Audio was unveiling their own dynamic controller technology, called HyperControl. M-Audio has one (big) edge on Novation: their controller technology can access ASCII keystrokes – something I’d love to have in all keyboard control editors. And HyperControl sounds like it has some promise, at least on paper – especially with the absurd number of controls M-Audio has packed onto the layout. There are just two catches. One, there’s the (ahem) styling on the Axiom Pro keyboard. To put it diplomatically, it’s not terribly … subtle. Two, you get support for some …

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