Ableton Suspends Development to Focus on Bug Fixes for Live 8

Killing bugs dead, as pictured in a sign in Ikaho, Japan. Photo: Rick Hall. New features are great, and yes, it’s often us users asking for them. But reliability and stability are more important to most of us. It’s therefore a welcome surprise to see Ableton’s CEO post the following message on Ableton’s forum today, announcing that the company will put new features on hold until some reliability issues are fixed. For developers other than Ableton, it should be telling to see how users respond — if this kind of frankness inspires confidence rather than concern, it could mean that …

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Pro Tools Adds Snow Leopard, Windows 7 Compatibility; Other Fixes in 8.0.3

Pro Tools users, already switching to the latest-and-greatest Mac or Windows operating system? Avid has added compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Windows 7 in the company’s 8.0.3 upgrade to Pro Tools. Oddly, some of the Windows support is still listed as “beta,” while the Mac support is “official.” Nonetheless, I’ve heard reports of people using Windows 7 unofficially without issue. Here’s the status of the different operating systems and Pro Tools flavors:

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Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5.2 Update Packs a Lot in a Point

This would normally be a generic picture of an overview of the Track View or something, but… come on. Let’s just look at a step sequencer. (Yes, it looks similar to FL Studio’s step sequencer. But you get a decidedly SONAR-like workflow, which feels nothing like Fruity Loops. Whether that’s good news depends on how you feel about FL and SONAR.) The tricky thing about introducing a new feature is that you almost immediately hear from users about other features that would go well with that feature. (There’s a children’s story that goes this way.) The folks at Cakewalk have …

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DAW Day: Digital Performer 7 Adds Effects, Easier Access, PT8 Support

DP’s clever channel strip integrates quite a lot of functionality in every view. I’d be remiss if I didn’t note another significant DAW release: DP7 is shipping this week. The Mac-only Digital Performer still has a loyal following, especially among the scoring crowd, some of whom have stuck with DP since the Performer days – one of the Mac’s first sequencers. I have to say, this particular update seems to focus more on bundled effects than core functionality – and, in fairness, because it’s tough to change core features without upsetting the stuff that keeps your users loyal, this isn’t …

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Apple Logic Studio 9 Review for Macworld; What Stands Out

Flex Time is likely to be the feature that will have the biggest impact on users, by making audio more malleable. Logic has been a big box of sound toys for some time, but I think what decides whether you really build a working relationship with software like Logic is whether you like editing in it. And that makes Logic Studio 9 worth a new look – and a must-upgrade for fans of the tool. Its combination of subtle tweaks to the editing interface, the ability to edit inside takes, the incredible Flex Time for squishing around audio like Play-Doh, …

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Record Beta: We’ve Got Invites, Thoughts from a Superfan

Given the passion of the debate, it’s easy to forget that Propellerheads’ Record has been firing up discussion from many people who haven’t actually seen it. Record is to audio recording, mixing, and mastering what Reason is to synthesized sound, and for Reason lovers, it finally delivers that holy grail – multiple racks. Record is a bit like Reason Studio, taking those instruments and giving them a full production context. Since its release, Propellerhead has amplified polarized opinions about this tool. It doesn’t support plug-ins (though you can use other ReWire clients), it doesn’t do things like film scoring, and …

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Now Shipping: Pro Tools 8, All Versions

I know some people were wondering about this – it’s now official. Digidesign reports Pro Tools 8 is actually shipping now, with the integrated MIDI edit window, score notation editor (via recently-acquired Sibelius) right in the DAW, bundled instruments and synths, some amp simulation, “Elastic Pitch,” and additional insert slots. None of this is huge news to users of competitive products, with the notable exception of Sibelius notation integration. I’m very keen to hear how people actually use that, because the score facilities in tools like Logic aren’t competitive with favored tools like Sibelius and Finale, in my experience. On …

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Pro Tools 8 Announced: New UI, More MIDI, Elastic Pitch, Bundled Instruments and Effects, Integrated Sibelius Notation

Pro Tools 8 is up on Digidesign’s website. Rather than copy and paste their features, I’ll let you read. This may not shake you from your music making tool of choice, but it looks like it could be, at long last, the substantial refresh for Pro Tools users of that platform have been waiting for. I can quickly sum up the strategy (“strategies” and “tactics” being on the American political mind lately): Get all the instruments and effects in the box: Apple’s Logic Studio set the bar for this by first bundling lots of soundmakers,then cutting the price. Digidesign has …

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