maschine_plugs

Maschine Groove Box to Add Plug-in Hosting in Early 2011

Choosing a computer for production generally means choosing flexibility, the ability to more effortlessly combine lots of sound sources and techniques. So it makes sense that, given that Native Instruments’ Maschine promises to bring computer-style flexibility to hardware-style groove box and drum machine workflows, it should behave like computer software. And that has meant many Maschine enthusiasts have asked for plug-in hosting. It doesn’t make Maschine a generalized “DAW” production tool, but it could mean, for people who like the drum machine style of working, the ability to mix and match sound sources as you can in a DAW. With …

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Free, Native Linux Plug-ins, and How to Use Them in energyXT for Linux

It’s simply stunning some of the terrific instrument and effect plug-ins available that are now free and open source – yes, free as in freedom, not just freeware. I had commented in the past something along the lines of, “boy, wouldn’t it be great if this now meant, say, a Linux port?” and then went on the business of my daily life, which tends not to include re-compiling plug-ins. But now, the folks of JUCETICE have been busy doing just that, serving up delicious instrument and effect goodness, running native on Linux. Translation: fire up that netbook and make some …

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Renoise 2.1, Now with Mac-PC ReWire, Plus JACK on Linux, Live Performance Tools

Renoise has already earned a passionate following among lovers of trackers. The once-forgotten alternative to conventional sequencers, these music editors were beloved for their quick workflow and vertical, atomic approach to assembling beats and patterns. But Renoise is increasingly poised to appeal to other kinds of music makers, too, not just tracker purists. 2.1 you can sum up pretty easily: now you can integrate Renoise with other stuff easily. There’s ReWire support (appropriately enough for a tool beginning with “Re” in the title). And if you’re on Linux, you can pipe control and audio through the ultra-elegant, ultra-powerful JACK. (If …

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Host Windows VSTs on Mac? (Yes, But Not as Easily as on Linux)

Now that Macs run Intel processors, what was once unimaginable is suddenly possible. There’s certainly no shortage of plug-ins available on Mac OS, but users may still have Windows plug-ins they miss. Released as beta today from SM Pro Audio, VFX is an app that lets you host your PC plug-ins on your Mac: VFX Mac Beta The requirements are modest — a lowly Mac mini should work just fine, and you don’t even need 10.5. But some of the specifics get a little weird. You have to run VFX as its own host. And you actually can’t use Mac …

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energyXT 2.5 is Here, is Awesome; European Offices Have Lots of Sunlight!

Let’s start out with the easy part: energyXT is awesome. This wildly underrated host runs on Linux as well as Windows and Mac, has an elegant, simplified interface that hides some powerful sequencing and semi-modular features, and runs incredibly fast. Think ridiculously quick load times and working methods. I’m doing a lot more work in energyXT this year, so expect to hear about it. The other nice news: energyXT will run from a USB key in its latest version. This isn’t just a dongle — it’s actually a way of moving from machine to machine more easily when you’re on …

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Ableton’s Upgrade Options: Easier to Understand than a Large Hadron Collider

Photo: Derek K. Miller (penmachine) catches some Live action from friend Paul. Updated: Rewrite. We in fact had several users successfully upgrade from Live 6 to 7 overnight, for free. That seems to have been either some extremely particular circumstance or a server glitch. (Pointing to the latter, Ableton took their shop down for maintenance Friday afternoon Berlin time.) I could try to explain what different upgrades cost and how much it costs to buy them when, but frankly a) I don’t understand and b) this goes well beyond the realm of “things interesting enough for me to spend time …

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NI Maschine: Fully Integrated Hardware-Software-Plug-In Drum Machine, Controller

If you could have an ideal drum machine and sample-slicing workstation, taking the physical control of hardware but the flexibility of software, what would it look like? We talk a lot about hardware control of software, but hardware usually comes second – software gets designed first, and then either you have to figure out how to map hardware to it, or someone else comes along and designs gear. That means there’s usually a disconnect in the design and workflow of the two, and most of the time, you have to reach for the mouse to make up the difference. Maschine …

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Ableton Live 8, Now with Grooves: The Top 8 New Features

The new Live: perhaps no one needs it, but I’ll bet a lot of people will want it. Ableton’s site is now live with all the Live 8 information. But let’s cut straight to which bits are likely to be really significant in the new version of Live (aside from the new Akai controller and Max for Live support coming later this year, of course). In no particular order, here are my top 8 new features: 1. Extract grooves: Take an audio or MIDI source. Extract a groove. Build a groove library, then apply it to anything you want, in …

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Exclusive: Renoise 2.0 Launch 1/15; What’s New, How to Connect to Your Workflow

Ever feel music creation apps are too similar? Imagine an alternative universe in which music making software evolved along different lines. In this universe, the “tracker” isn’t some arcane novelty, but the detailed, bottom-up music editing approach that becomes the basis of music construction tools for any genre. Now imagine a breakthrough software release in that alternate universe. Maybe it’s the Large Hadron Collider, but the release of Renoise 2 means that this is actually our universe: we have a cheap, community driven, unique app that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. And it’s getting a big update Thursday – …

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Numerology 2.0: Modular Sequencing Environment on the Mac, Now Even Cooler

Sequencing – the collection of techniques that actually assemble events in our music – seems to get far less attention than it deserves. After all, there are fairly accepted ways of synthesizing sound, but as many ways of thinking about musical events as there are ways of thinking about composition. Among the big DAWs, you’ll often see pitches to upgrade based on new effects plug-ins or magical audio-processing abilities, but rarely MIDI sequencing improvements. (When there are, of course, I applaud.) That makes this week’s pre-Christmas announcement of Numerology 2.0 all that more special. Numerology is a modular sequencer and …

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