Free Patching Tool Pd (Pure Data) 0.46 Released: Native OSC, Jack

Pd: Ugly. Hugely useful. Free. The open-source, free graphical patching environment can do everything from simple MIDI tasks to building synths and effects to advanced multimedia. And because it’s free software, it’s also been adapted to run places other tools can’t – it’s been used in commercial iOS apps with millions of downloads (via libpd), and will run happily on a Raspberry Pi or even a hacked e-reader or ancient iPod. Contrary to popular belief, it’s also getting a healthy stream of updates. And while those usually don’t merit specific mention, 0.46 is very cool. (It’s the “vanilla” version, so …

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One hole that should stick around. Photo (CC-BY-SA) William Hook.

No, Apple Should Not Eliminate the Headphone Jack

Is Apple coming for your headphone jack? It’s a question I’d seen bouncing about publicly. Now, Macworld’s Marco Tabini goes as far as suggesting that the end of the analog headphone jack is a likelihood, and even “might be a positive change.” Hit the road, jack: Why Apple may say goodbye to the headphone plug [Macworld.com] See also Forbes’ Gordon Kelly, though that story isn’t as balanced as Tabini’s, and gets muddled on the subject of “digital” outputs and “exceedingly high lossless” output – whatever that means. The difference in output is 48KHz instead of 44.1KHz, which amounts to very …

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iOS 7 is Here; Now, Please Don’t Install It Yet

We’ve been waiting for the moment at which a post-PC, mobile operating system has equaled a desktop OS for serious music making. Well, that moment has arrived — — in that we get to release a dire warning about an OS update breaking music-making apps. Yes, now iOS 7 shares that dubious distinction of countless OS X and Windows upgrades over the years. (Sniff. They grow up so fast.) It’s not a coincidence. Once you do start using a variety of music apps on a platform, you need to be more careful about OS updates – any OS updates. Music …

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Apple Adds Inter-App Audio, With Not-Before-Seen Features, to iOS 7

It’s official: iOS 7 is adding inter-app audio functionality, for streaming sounds between different software. And whereas this appeared on a slide at last summer’s WWDC, this time, it’s really happening. What does this mean for Audiobus and JACK? Well, Apple is promising some things those tools don’t do, just as those tools do things Apple’s described features may not. Since both JACK and Audiobus already make use of Core Audio, odds are you’ll just see all of this stuff get better and more powerful. Unfortunately, developer documentation is Apple Confidential information and not something CDM can share. But in …

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Connecting Your iOS Apps: Why Both Audiobus and JACK Can Succeed

It always has to be complicated, doesn’t it? You just want to sit on your couch with your iPhone or iPad and finish some music, by recording that drum machine and a bass line into a multitrack song in a different app. And then, after months of this site saying the way to do that was something called Audiobus, everyone is suddenly talking about something called JACK, too. Ah, standards. All of this had some wondering if JACK even has a shot, with Audiobus already out there. Even Apple has come onboard, as of last week, with the announcement that …

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JACK for iOS: Audio and MIDI Between Apps, High Performance, Free

iOS now offers lots of options for using apps together, but – that’s part of the problem. The solutions are piecemeal. There’s inter-app MIDI. There’s Audiobus, which does audio, but requires the purchase of a separate app. Then you need something else for sharing data. And something else for sync. Confused yet? (Hey, it’s easy, just remember: Audiobus, WIST, AudioCopy, AudioPaste, Core MIDI and inter-app MIDI, and… yeah.) By the time you’re done, you’ve actually had to buy new apps just to get things working together, and you have a number of different technologies just to do some basic things …

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Ardour, For the Rest of Us: Free DAW Gets Plug-ins, MIDI, More as 3.0 Arrives

Ardour has long been software that you probably wanted to want to use. Fully free and open source, supporting standards for plug-ins and file interchange, Ardour is software that arguably the whole industry needs to exist. That is, even if you don’t use it, you might benefit from having a reasonable competitor that pushes openness and interoperability, that can innovate with open source code as much as commercial options do. Now, Ardour is here in a version you may actually want to use. It’s not that there haven’t been people getting work done with Ardour in the past. (Don’t forget …

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hydrogen

Making Music with Free and Open Source Software: Top Picks from Red Hat, Dave Phillips

There are plenty of reasons to consider free software tools as part of your toolchain for music making. They might fit your budget, give you needed flexibility, allow you to use a tool driven more by development needs than commercial ones, give you tools that would otherwise lack proprietary commercial niches, allow you to run (via Linux) on a wider variety of hardware or with greater low-latency performance, or allow you to contribute more directly to a project, from documentation to actual development. And increasingly, they don’t mandate some sort of philosophical choice, either – I routinely use free software …

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mixbusupclose

The $79 Virtual Analog Console, Now on Both Mac and Linux: Harrison Mixbus

Harrison is a company with a rich legacy in high-end consoles. Mixbus, their software product, is something of an anomaly. Its analog tape saturation, EQ, filter, compression, and mixing should be sold a la carte for a few hundred bucks each, given the usual business model in this industry. The product should run on some proprietary DAW, and should definitely come with a hardware dongle. And it absolutely, positively shouldn’t run on Linux, because everyone knows you can’t sell a product for Linux. Instead, Mixbus sells for an intro price for US$79.99. You get the whole package: an entire DAW, …

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Filter The Vuvuzela Horn Out of the World Cup; Learn JACK Routing on Linux

Yep. That sound. Now, if you happen to like the vuvuzela, if you’re feeling the South African Gees (spirit), maybe you can follow these instructions to make the horns even louder. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Axel B├╝hrmann. Are you a World Cup fan annoyed by the constant sound of the South African vuvuzela horn? Wish you could remove that sound from your World Cup viewing experience? Do you want to learn a little bit about powerful modular effects routing can be on Linux? Either? Both? Call it “football”? “Soccer”? Any way round, we’ve got you covered. (Disclaimer: I have nothing in particular …

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