What To Know About Mountain Lion, So Far

Actually, okay, just backup before you install and maybe wait a couple of point releases and everything will be fine. Photo (CC-BY) Ingrid Taylar. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is out this week. And it’s a great time to point out that Lion, 10.7, is a terrific upgrade for anyone with a recent Apple machine and 8 GB of RAM (which is what I’d recommend anyway). No, that’s not a misprint – sometimes, it seems, Apple upgrades are just about perfect and fully compatible with all your stuff round about the time the next new thing is out. Here’s the deal: …


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, …


Ableton Adds Lion Support, Better MIDI Sync; For Some Music, Watch Nicolas Jaar Play Live

Ableton this week has released 8.2.5; it’s worth mentioning here primarily as it adds Lion support on Mac OS. I still strongly recommend against upgrading to 10.7 for the time being, until you’ve verified that your particular mix of plug-ins and hardware is also compatible, but it’s a promising sign. Other improvements are also worth a look; via the Ableton forum: – MIDI sync has been improved when Live is a MIDI clock slave – Imported tracks (from the Live Browser) now route to Master if their original output routing can’t be resolved, instead of “Sends Only.” – The default …


Apple’s App Store May Not Work for Audio Devs; Developers Respond

Music software development includes some of the most sophisticated, expressive software out there. But it has long faced serious challenges in sales – audio software still appeals, generally, to a small slice of people, made smaller by factors ranging from piracy to the sheer complexity of available audio tools. As computing’s distribution model for software shifts, audio developers are undoubtedly watching. Love it or hate it, what’s unique about Apple’s App Store for iOS is that it’s a one-stop shop for everything. With App Store fever spreading – new stores for mobile and desktop are either available or planned from …


Now Shipping: Pro Tools 8, All Versions

I know some people were wondering about this – it’s now official. Digidesign reports Pro Tools 8 is actually shipping now, with the integrated MIDI edit window, score notation editor (via recently-acquired Sibelius) right in the DAW, bundled instruments and synths, some amp simulation, “Elastic Pitch,” and additional insert slots. None of this is huge news to users of competitive products, with the notable exception of Sibelius notation integration. I’m very keen to hear how people actually use that, because the score facilities in tools like Logic aren’t competitive with favored tools like Sibelius and Finale, in my experience. On …


OSCulator, Magic Bullet for Mac Alternative Controllers, Updated

Want to hook that joystick / Wii remote / Guitar Hero controller / something odd to your music software? If you’re on Mac, OSCulator is the do-everything solution. It’s pay-what-you-like software ($19 minimum for PayPal), and it just got a big update: Announcement: OSCulator 2.6 [Unidentified Sound Object, as seen in our sound design round-up] Download page, with changelog [] There’s a lot new in release 2.6; highlights include: Preset management Graphical OSC routing editor Wii Guitar Hero support (preliminary) Hook up more: up to 2 virtual HID joysticks, up to 8 Wiimote (does anyone own that many?) Make keyboard …


Mac OS X 10.5.4 Fixes AirPort Issues with Logic (And Other Audio Apps)

Apple has released another update to Leopard. So far, we hear some of you are blissfully happy, while others are still grumbling. (Ah, technology. So what else is new?) We suspected AirPort issues with both Leopard and Tiger; many of you reported the simple fix was to turn AirPort off. The latest update: “Addresses AirPort issues that may result in slower performance in Logic Studio or MainStage.” Now, that’s oddly worded. Unless there’s some really specific interaction between Logic and AirPort, but no other audio apps, presumably this line actually means “…that may result in slower performance in music and …


Blame Apple, Not Your Driver Maker, But Leopard Fix May Be Close

Sometimes the kernel pops, sometimes it doesn’t. We’re waiting for a Leopard fix, and have reason to believe we may not have to wait much longer. Photo CC EastBayAnt. Updated: As expected, the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update has been released, and it promises to address USB audio playback issues. That may or may not fully resolve issues users have been encountering; I expect we’ll know more soon. Let’s get one thing straight: if you’re having audio problems under Mac OS X 10.5.2 and you’re looking for someone to blame, it’s reasonably safe to blame Apple, in case that wasn’t …


Sonic Core Unveils Insanely Powerful New Scope DSP Platform

The old CreamWare Scope DSP platform has been given new life… yet again. Things had been suspiciously quiet since Sonic Core acquired CreamWare’s assets early last year, and many long-time users were worried the end was near. It turns out the team was simply hard at work. The company will unveil powerful new Scope hardware and significantly upgraded software at the 2008 Frankfurt Musikmesse (March 12-15). The big news is the € 2698 ($4200) Scope XITE-1 DSP hardware system. It’s based on Analog Devices SHARC DSP chips, offering 10x more processing power than their previous high-end Scope Professional card. The …