Apple Unveils GarageBand 08: New Features at a Glance

Apple’s GarageBand 08, unveiled today, focuses on addressing two major areas: for beginners, making entry into the program easier, and for experienced users, fixing some holes in previous versions. Despite its user-friendly interface and the fact that it comes free with new Apple computers, many average Mac users just didn’t dig into previous versions of this music creation tool. A new “Magic GarageBand” mode is clearly aimed at getting better saturation of this tool. The remaining features, while not necessarily earth-shaking, appear to seek to make GarageBand more well-rounded for music making by inheriting tools from Soundtrack Pro (multi-take editing, …

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Adobe Soundbooth CS3 Sound Editor (and Production Suite) Now Shipping

Paint selections directly into audio frequencies using the Soundbooth CS3 lasso tool. If you’ve been on the search for a simple, straightforward audio editor for Mac and Windows, Adobe has officially thrown its hat into the ring with Soundbooth CS3. Soundbooth Now Shipping [Hart’s Audition, from the Adobe audio product chief] New Soundbooth User-to-User Forum Of course, to the rest of the world, the big news is that Adobe’s full Production Premium and Master Collection suites are shipping. But Soundbooth is one program that could make sense to buy alone, as a basic audio editor. It sets itself apart both …

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Digidesign’s Mac Pro Tools, with 8-Core Support

Ha, dual core? How last year can you get? It’s all about eight-core now, baby: The Pro Tools HD 7.3.1 cs3 update can be installed over Pro Tools HD 7.3 or Pro Tools HD 7.3.1, and includes all updates that were previously made available in the 7.3.1, 7.3.1cs1 and 7.3.1cs2 releases. Pro Tools HD 7.3.1 cs3 is currently available as a free download for registered Pro Tools HD 7.3 users. For details visit the Digidesign support web page at: www.digidesign.com/support. Given that Digidesign built their business on taking processing off the CPU and onto dedicated DSP hardware, it is pretty …

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Macworld on MacBook Pro Update; Why Santa Rosa Matters

Macworld, naturally, spends a lot of time focused intently on Apple hardware while I get distracted by beatboxing parrots and modular synthesizers built out of yarn and rubber bands. They have an excellent write-up of the significance of the MacBook Pro Santa Rosa upgrades, with comments on their benchmarks of the equivalent refreshed MacBooks: MacBook Pro knows the way to Santa Rosa One thing I was a little unclear on in my previous story is what matters in Santa Rosa, Intel’s latest architecture platform. (They didn’t call it Core 3 Duo, but then, consistent branding and Intel don’t generally go …

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MacBook Pro Revision: Big Santa Rosa Performance Boost, 4GB RAM Option, More

There’s a reason all these MacBooks have become a big hit with laptop musicians. Expect to see so many of them you get sick of seeing them. That’s why we strongly suggest customization, like making a new case out of mylar or something. Apple has unveiled its revised MacBook Pros today, with some subtle but significant improvements. I spoke to Apple a few minutes ago to get some of the details on what’s new. The new MacBook Pro includes new, faster CPUs and the Santa Rosa Intel architecture refresh to the Core 2 Duo, delivering 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz brains and …

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NI VOKATOR, SPEKTRAL DELAY Now Intel-Native for Mac

Let the spectral madness begin, all speedy and Intel-y on your MacBook: VOKATOR and SPEKTRAL DELAY are finally here, rounding out NI’s Intel-native lineup and gathering the last of the stragglers onto Apple’s faster new machines. Vokator 1.2 and Spektral Delay 1.6 each add Intel-native support for Macs. That’s it; there’s nothing else here for you. Windows users, move along. (Too bad, as it would have been nice to get some little present in the update. New presets, maybe? Anything?) Nonetheless, these are two of my favorite processing plug-ins, and having them ready for Intel Macs is truly a great …

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NI-Stanton Final Scratch Divorce Turns Ugly; NI Responds

For those of you who missed the fireworks, Native Instruments recently left its partner Stanton Magnetics (makers of Final Scratch) to pursue its own DJ strategy, which it unveiled at NAMM as (coincidentally named, I’m sure) Traktor Scratch. As with any breakup, that raised questions about support. Here’s where the first bad news hits: the existing Final Scratch software is incompatible with Intel Macs. And that combined with other compatibility issues could mean the big losers here are Final Scratch customers, who are likely to be really unhappy when they learn the “solution” means buying new products, whether from NI, …

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Applied Acoustics Modeling Instruments Get RTAS, Universal Binaries, Improvements

Applied Acoustics make some of my favorite instruments. Their Lounge Lizard, Ultra Analog, and String Studio instruments are ones I’m always coming back to for their organic feel. So I’m going to take it as a sign that the week I finally get an Intel MacBook, they deliver Intel-native versions. My sets for next week at Macworld is secure. Full impressions of these instruments on the MacBook — they do tend to be pretty CPU-hungry as they’re modeling-based — in an upcoming Core Duo roundup. In the meantime, here’s what’s new, beyond bug fixes:

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Adobe Soundbooth Beta 2: Now Easier, More Photoshop-y

Can sound editing be as intuitive as graphics editing in Photoshop? That’s the question Soundbooth, the new Adobe sound app, poses. Waiter! There’s a lasso tool in my audio editor! I’ll give Adobe this: they know their audience. First, they woo audio fans with this sweet-sounding phrase: “A brand new audio application in the spirit of Sound Edit 16 and Cool Edit 2000.” Then, they throw in some tools from Photoshop, just to make sure everyone feels at home. The good news is, Soundbooth betas show a lot of promise: it could well become the simple audio editor “for the …

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Intel Mac Musicians Get Some Holiday Love: Universal Binaries Everywhere

There’s nothing worse than owning a shiny, new MacBook and discovering you can’t run music software you want to run. “All I want for Christmas” (or Hannukah, too, as these are just in time) “is a Universal Binary.” Good news: my inbox continues to report incoming Intel-native plug-ins and instruments. XO Wave, pictured at right, is actually a new mixing / recording / editing multichannel audio package with video scoring features. The basic version is free; you can upgrade to a pro release for US$75. It’s a new application, so I don’t want to comment too soon, but it’s worth …

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