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csGrain Gets Granular Goodness on iPad 2/3; Vanguard of Multi-Platform Csound Renaissance

Technology may be about the next Big New Thing, but as with music making in general, making music with tech is for many of us a lifetime vocation. So, it’s welcome news to find that time-tested tools, maturing over decades rather than months, are enjoying greater use than ever before. We saw Pure Data (Pd) attracting new interest as the embeddable libpd version allows use in a range of development environments and mobile platforms. Now, it’s about to be Csound’s turn. Of course, before we get to that, if you’ve got an iPad 2 or “3” (aka “the new iPad”), …

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You've got to love the ultra-compact track collapse feature - ideal for 11" MacBook Airs or Linux netbooks.

Renoise 2.8 Gets More Usable, 64-bit; Trackers 4ever

Who says every music production tool has to be either a traditional DAW or Ableton Live? Not Renoise, for one. I’m running out of things to call it. Modernized tracker? Tracker on steroids? Music production tool from an alternate history in which conventional DAWs were ignored and everybody just kept on using trackers? How about this: a gem that a tiny development team somehow keeps making more awesome with regular updates with misleading names like “point 8.” So, what does “2.8” give you? A couple of OS compatibility fixes and one new delay effect? Wrong. New in this release is …

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Thicket for iOS Thickens; Artists Describe the Growth of an Audiovisual Playground

By the 1990s, the notion that computer software could be a means of delivering interactive digital art more personally was enjoying a Renaissance. This was the age of the Voyager CD-ROM, which catered to new multimedia PCs and Macs with titles from the likes of Laurie Anderson and Morton Subotnick, the decade in which Brian Eno released Generative Music as software and Monolake – before Ableton – included a Max/MSP patch with an album. But the reach of these experiments was doomed to be relatively limited. Now, of course, things are different. First, we saw some widely-available audiovisual toys, coinciding …

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Apollo: UA Adds Low-Latency Effects in Audio Interface, Proves FireWire, Thunderbolt are Cool

Universal Audio has long had a successful business selling hardware DSP effects, many of them carefully-modeling classic analog gear. These products use dedicated DSP hardware for number-crunching, requiring that you connect an extra box to your computer. UA has certainly had their loyalists, and for fans of the products, the dedicated gear is simply a convenient way to get all of these sound-processing goodies. But it’s fair to ask the question, as many producers have who read this site, what’s the advantage? Why not simply use native processing on your computer? Apollo, UA’s new hardware, answers that question more emphatically. …

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Ozone 5 Arrives: More Visual, Space Age UI, and Updated DSP in Mastering Tool

Let’s get straight to it: Ozone has already established itself as a do-everything mastering tool. It’s a suite of interconnected modules handling frequency and dynamics, designed to work together in an integrated interface. It does so much, in fact, that it’s hard for an upgrade to do more, but Ozone 5 promises new sound and visual feedback that could further entrench this popular tool. And that could explain how Ozone 5 stole the Audio Engineering Society trade show in New York. AES is a flurry of knobs, dials, and faders, but some of the major buzz we heard was just …

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Pro Tools 10, Pro Tools HDX: What You Need to Know

Editing gain before mixing. Soon – Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! At the AES show in New York, Avid as expected updated their flagship Pro Tools DAW to version 10, and unveiled a next-generation version of their higher-end HD line. Since it’s Friday, and perhaps not the best day for processing loads of information about new DAWs, let’s see if we can’t boil down the major points. Pro Tools 10 Clip Gain helps you to set gain levels before you get to the mixer. More flexible use of files: mix formats, and in a departure for …

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Csound For Live: Powerful Sound Creation in Ableton, With or Without Any Coding

With great power comes great learning curves – or maybe not. Csound for Live, just announced this weekend and shipping on Tuesday, brings one of the great sound design tools into the Ableton Live environment. You can use it without any actual knowledge of Csound, without a single line of code — or, for those with the skills, it could transform how you use Csound. For anyone who thinks music creation software has to be disposable, you’ve never seen Csound. With a lineage going literally to the dawn of digital synthesis and Max Mathews, Csound has managed to stay compatible …

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Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet

Above: Cycling 74’s just-released video highlights enhanced audio quality; our friend, French artist protofuse, has a go at working with the beta and showing off the new user interface. (See C74’s official take on the new UI below. Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet Just because a music tool fills your screen with tools and options doesn’t necessarily make it easier to realize your ideas. From the beginning, the appeal of Max – as with other tools that let you roll your own musical tools from a set of pre-built …

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Universal Audio Adds Plug-ins, Pro Tools and Lion Support; Ampex Lives

Universal Audio has a big set of updates to their DSP software out today. It seems worth sharing in part because I find the (faked) look of that Ampex reel-to-reel does give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, even if it mainly makes me want to get in a studio and hear the whir of the actual gear. Here’s what’s in the update: For Pro Tools users, there’s vastly-expanded support, including native RTAS plug-ins (instead of the VST-to-RTAS adapter), control surface support, proper automatable parameters, and correct naming and sorting, plus a quicker installation and workflow. I’m embarrassed to say, …

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Hands-on: Universal Audio’s UAD-2 Satellite, a DSP Box for Macs and MacBook Pros

With all the horsepower computers are now packing, you might be surprised at the idea of adding on dedicated hardware for sound processing. Or, you can look at it another way: with computers more powerful than ever, with digital processing sounding more convincing both as emulation of traditional gear and in imagining never-before-possible sounds, the digital studio in a backpack is even closer. Into that picture, enter the Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite. Enclosed in a metal housing about the size of a large-ish external hard drive, the Satellite could absolutely fit into the side pocket of a computer backpack or …

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