Thunderbolt means serious I/O for UA's DSP-based processing on the Apollo card - even on a lowly Mac mini. Image courtesy Universal Audio.

The Thunderbolt Age Dawns: UA Ships Thunderbolt on Apollo; More to Come – Where it Makes Sense

Universal Audio is first out of the gate with an audio interface add-on that uses Intel’s Thunderbolt bus, the high-performance, low-latency connectivity option on current iMacs, MacBook Pros and Airs, and Mac minis (though, conspicuously, not the ever-more-outdated Mac Pro). The solution isn’t the most elegant – you need to add in an option card with an included tool – but once installed, Thunderbolt appears right in the box (see image below). And what can you do with all that extra bandwidth? On the Apollo, you get better performance even as you push the envelope with sample rates, and more …

READ MORE →
mountainliondanger

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 recentĀ 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: …

READ MORE →
beachball

Audio Woes Now on New Apple OS, Not Just New Apple Laptops; NI Driver Fix in Beta, Others Soon

If you really must stare at a beachball, might I humbly suggest it look more like this? Photo (CC-BY) hadleygrass. Slow down, Mountain Lion early adopters. Okay, remember how a few weeks ago we made note that a number of audio interfaces weren’t working with USB3 ports on new Apple laptops? And remember how last week, Native Instruments released a statement about USB 3 issues? Funny story. It seems that it’s not just new Apple laptops with new USB3 ports suffering from sound problems. Now, Apple’s just-released OS update, 10.8 Mountain Lion, is prompting reports of audio interface problems. As …

READ MORE →

Stream Video and Sound Wirelessly from iOS, Android to Mac, for Performance, Recording, Screencasting

Enough of pointing cameras at iPads and iPhones and Android phones and things. Let’s use the power of these massive computers with wireless capabilities and do it wireless already. Result: screencasting your latest iOS creation (hi, developers) or getting live video from a Processing app on an Android tablet onto a VJ app running on your Mac – and many other possibilities – become possible. (Now, more creative applications may be tough, because of compression … okay, until someone works out a way to compress it more, thus giving us nice, glitchy results. Testing required.) Bonus: while we work on …

READ MORE →

A More Robust Live Setup in Live, Free on Mac with Automator

In the ongoing struggle to make a laptop into an instrument, there’s inevitably the scramble onstage (or even in a studio) to get everything primed and ready to play. You want to adjust settings, launch certain applications, and generally get your laptop ready for actual music making. Wouldn’t it be nice to make all of that happen automatically, magically, instantly, and robotically? It is, after all, a machine. (They’re supposed to be working for us, I’m told, assuming they’re following the Three Laws.) Martin Delaney, London-based Ableton Live trainer, has put together a nice tutorial for production education center Dubspot …

READ MORE →
trackmaster

Track Master Makes Your Trackpad a MIDI Controller; A Must-Download for Mac

You’ve heard all the complaints about laptops onstage. But since there are many arguments for a laptop, why not put all that powerful hardware to use, and make your Mac laptop part of a musically-expressive performance? Track Master, a Mac-only application available on the Mac App Store (and one of the few serious music offerings we’ve seen there), is a great place to start. It transforms the built-in, multitouch-capable trackpad on recent MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs into a MIDI controller. The trackpads on those are actually impressively sensitive and accurate, tracking as many as eleven fingers at once. …

READ MORE →
lion

Mac OS Lion 10.7 is Here; The Obligatory Take-Your-Time Post, with NI and Apogee Info

King of the jungle, as seen at the British Museum. Photo (CC-BY-ND) wootang01/mckln (Uninteresting side note – I happened to be at this location yesterday.) It’s become something of a tradition here on CDM. Apple releases new OS. Music developers – one or more – release notes that suggest you might want to wait to upgrade. It happens every time, and so you should be cautious every time. This time, it may be even more serious: developers are describing symptoms that they say they haven’t seen in previous updates. Native Instruments, often some of the first out of the gate …

READ MORE →

Curly Code and Improvised Digital Painting Theories

Since the days of Paint, computers have routinely taken some gesture of our hand and made it into a graphic. Now that coding is faster and friendlier, it’s possible to make a new tool, learn that tool, and then learn to perform with that tool. We’ve seen it in Joshue Ott’s superDraw (made in Processing/Java), among others. Here, David Szauder sends us his own 3D drawing tool in progress, Curly Code. It’s at the beginning of its life – the video below is the first live performance; above is an earlier from-screen version. But that makes it fun to watch, …

READ MORE →

Java on the Mac is Oracle’s Problem Now; OpenJDK the Path Forward

Finally, Mac Java support and development is no longer stuck in an Infinite Loop. Photo (CC-BY) Roger Schultz Parts of Java’s future may still look murky, but at least you can say this: it’s Oracle’s problem, not Apple’s. My previous rants: Opinion: Apple Has Killed Mac Java; OpenJDK Just Got Way More Important for Processing (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward) Java on the Mac is in Serious, Serious, Serious, Serious Trouble (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward, and Apple and/or Oracle have to get involved for it to work) Happily, Oracle and Apple have indeed gotten involved. …

READ MORE →

Java on the Mac is Oracle's Problem Now; OpenJDK the Path Forward

Finally, Mac Java support and development is no longer stuck in an Infinite Loop. Photo (CC-BY) Roger Schultz Parts of Java’s future may still look murky, but at least you can say this: it’s Oracle’s problem, not Apple’s. My previous rants: Opinion: Apple Has Killed Mac Java; OpenJDK Just Got Way More Important for Processing (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward) Java on the Mac is in Serious, Serious, Serious, Serious Trouble (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward, and Apple and/or Oracle have to get involved for it to work) Happily, Oracle and Apple have indeed gotten involved. …

READ MORE →