Temper (Win), The $50 Sequencer for MIDI Aficionados?

  MIDI is back, baby. Or to say it another way: musicians still care about how to manipulate notes, rhythms, and timbral control. That means that, for all the powerful audio-warping tools you pack into a product, the compositional, musical power of software lives and dies on MIDI. But can you really do MIDI any better than it’s been done for the past couple of decades? Temper would like to try. It’s not MIDI-only — it does audio, too, and has the requisite support for VSTs — but it is a little different from the sequencer perspective. And whereas innovative …

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Exclusive: Visual Tour of Native Instruments KORE 2 “Super Instrument”

Computers are endlessly flexible for music — but how do they function as actual, playable instruments? As computer software matures, finding a way to make these tools more fun to play is increasingly the aim. Native Instruments’ first crack at a “super instrument” with KORE 1 had some fans, but was a disappointment to many others (myself included, even as a fan of NI’s terrific instruments and effects and Reaktor platform). But a lot of us still believed in the potential of what it was doing. That’s why it’s really exciting for me to have caught a first glimpse of …

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Ableton Live 7, Ableton Live Suite: Quick Look at What’s New

It’s the little things that matter. Hallelujah, Live 7 finally allows time signatures in Session View. Want more complex rhythms? Want full sets of songs in a single Session? Now it’s possible. There’s also time signature support in Arrangement view, which while anything but revolutionary, is a big relief. With various applications running roughly an annual release schedule, and lots of competition for attention, just what would it take to get me excited about an upgrade to Ableton Live? My list would look something like this: Time signatures in Session View scenes, so you can create songs that switch meter …

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Rax Rescued: Mac Virtual Instrument Rack Finds a New Home

Rax, the clever audio effect and instrument host for Mac, got a major update last year with performance rigs, custom visualizer support, and a slick UI designed by plasq. It’s an ideal tool for loading up some instruments and effects and playing on your Mac, especially if you want software that gets out of your way while you play another instrument or sing and don’t need a full app like Logic or Live onstage. But it never caught on with Mac users, even after I wrote a glowing review in Macworld. And it has certainly been overshadowed by more popular …

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Deckadance Ships, with Extensive MIDI Controller, Vinyl Timecode, VST Support

Deckadance, from the makers of FL “Fruity Loops” Studio, is now shipping. No word on the Mac version in development, but Windows, at least, is shipping now. We’re excited to try it out for all the reasons we were when we first saw it, and now we have some additional details to flesh in:

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Troubleshooting Mac AU, Windows VST + SONAR Plug-ins

Who better to give Mac and Windows plug-in tips than a developer? Chris Randall from Audio Damage, via his Analog Industries blog, shares some troubleshooting tips he’s picked up in the plug-crafting biz. For Mac, there’s help with repairing permissions and fixing validation problems and Logic’s “caching” issues. For PC, there’s a tip on Replicant in SONAR (though whether that applies to anything else, I don’t know). I’m lucky enough that my Mac and PC have both been very well-behaved. I see hosts as a bigger variable. Ableton Live is one of my favorites, in terms of reliability and compatibility, …

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REAPER App from Winamp Creator Now Less Fugly, Coming to Mac

Cockos’ REAPER, the lightweight audio and MIDI multitrack editor from the creator of Winamp, is coming to (Intel/PPC) Mac, too. There’s a full discussion of the update on the REAPER forum. It’s an “alpha” build, but comes as a surprise: REAPER may have a lot more appeal as the “standard” lightweight host as a cross-platform app. Finished version is due “Q4” of this year. REAPER has been getting endless updates of other kinds, as well, including this new “Stealth” color scheme which looks suspiciously like SONAR to me. (Sorry to be harsh, but it was fugly before. If it’s SONAR-y …

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How to Force Universal Mac Apps to Run PowerPC Plug-ins

So, you decided to spring for that Intel Mac. And now you’ve got a plug-in that refuses to run, because it’s PowerPC-only, not a Universal Binary for Intel. Sorry, but only plug-ins that have been updated as Universal Binaries will run in a Universal audio host. Fortunately, there’s away around it, and it’s even fully documented by Apple: Intel-based Macs: Forcing a Universal application to run with Rosetta [Apple Support Doc] That’s it. You force your audio application to run under Rosetta, as a PowerPC-native application. During the period when I had a MacBook Pro for testing, I was surprised …

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