Bug Squash: AlexP on MacBook Vista Audio Problems, Other Wifi Adapters and DPCs?

I love the sound bugs make when you squish them under a solution. AlexP, whose blog is also a great source for multitouch and the Sony PS3 Eye Camera and Windows drivers we used in the recent hackday, has been diagnosing his MacBook under Windows Vista. Hardware problems are often the source of sound blips on computers. I’ve talked previously about using the DPC Latency Checker to find this issue. The good news: Alexander has found the problem (the Broadcom Wireless Adapter in some Apple MacBooks) and a solution (switching off Windows’ automatic wireless network search when you don’t need …

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Apple MacBooks: Reappearing FireWire, Disappearing ExpressCard

As you no doubt heard, Apple today refreshed their MacBook lineup with across-the-board adjustments to pricing. I’ll let other sites comment on the news more generally, as this is a music site, not a notebook site. But the big news for audio in terms of I/O, just so you don’t miss that: FireWire on more models: Finally, you can again get a 13” MacBook (now called MacBook Pro) with onboard FireWire – a FW800 connector. That’ll restore the use of audio interfaces and certain high-speed storage, and means the MacBook is again a good choice as an audio machine at …

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Mac USB Audio: M-Audio Says Avoid the Left-hand USB Port, All Ports Not Equal

MacBook USB port, under scrutiny. Photo: Kevin Hiscott. Is your MacBook Pro a rightie? Something’s going on with the one or two left-hand USB ports on all MacBook Pros. I’ve heard some issues with hard disks, and now some problems with audio. (Controllers are evidently just fine.) The solution: use the right-hand USB port for audio instead. Updated: Reader Adam suggests that this is probably due to a difference in power delivered to the respective ports. USB audio requires more power, and so odds are you’re under-delivering on the left-hand ports. I’m inclined to think that this is exactly what’s …

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Depeche Mode: Inside the Studio, Identify the Gear at Keyboard Mag

Depeche Mode’s latest album, “Sounds of the Universe,” is due April 20 internationally. I got the chance to cover the band for Keyboard Magazine, speaking with Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher as well as returning producer Ben Hillier, who was a big part of the signature sound of 2005’s “Playing the Angel.” Martin developed eBay and KVR Audio addictions during the making of the album, so you can imagine just how much gear love was part of the process – with the talent of the musicians and Hillier’s vision as a producer managing to keep the resulting sound open and …

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Jet Daisuke Hearts Korg: nanoKEY on Shinkansen, microKORG XL Adoration

Many in the CDM community miss the days when big-name gear inspired real love. Peer into the studios of even the most dedicated DIY software and hardware maker, and you’ll still see products from big manufacturers. And, much as some may unfairly deride newcomers, the lifeblood of electronic music is the person who opens a box and falls in love with a synth for the first time. Much of the Korg product line can’t inspire the kind of raw passion that its older products, and boxes from the likes of Roland and Yamaha, once commanded. But then, at its supposedly …

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Pocket Jam: GorF DIY Sequencer + Renoise + Game Boys + Max + Live + Arduinome

What happens when you put all the digital and electronic tools you love together into one groove session? I expect it probably looks something like this video. Welcome to the new digital music age: DIY electronics, vintage digital tech (Game Boys), and modern computer tech (Monome as Arduinome clone, Max/MSP, and shiny MacBook) all coexist. And a fair bit of what you see if a modern hybrid of old and new paradigms, like the thoroughly modernized Tracker Renoise. Thomas Margolf says “Greetings from Rotterdam” and writes, We made a first Jam using the new GorF step-sequencer, Arduinome, max msp patch …

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Want a FireWire, Non-Pro MacBook? The $999 MacBook is Looking Better

Apple has updated the US$999, white MacBook to some of the specs of the new “unibody” models – but retaining the one thing we like about it, namely, an actual FireWire port. (The only other option has been upgrading to the Pro for significantly more cash.) Now for US$999: NVIDIA 9400M graphics (meaning this is mainly a story for visualists, so see our take on Create Digital Motion – but the rest of you can more easily enjoy World of Warcraft, if so inclined) Newer Core 2 Duo, still 2.0 GHz but now with a faster 1066 MHz frontside bus …

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Can Laptops Be Expressive? Jamming on MacBooks at Stanford’s Laptop Orchestra

We routinely talk about how the interface paradigm of a computer — screen, QWERTY, trackpad – isn’t optimal for music. But how many of you have, in a pinch, done a live laptop set with just your computer, and found some way to make it work? The Stanford University Laptop Orchestra, set to play this year’s Macworld, natch, is making the most of what it has: “We tilt the notebook and use its built-in accelerometer to expressively control sound. We use the trackpad as a kind of violin bow,” explains Ge Wang, SLOrk’s founder. ”You can make some wild, diverse …

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Apogee Confirms Compatibility with MacBook Pro FW800

As I’ve noted, unlike the new MacBook, the MacBook Pro revision retains FireWire, in the form of a FireWire 800 port. This does represent a switch to an NVIDIA chipset, so there may be new performance wrinkles with some interfaces. But it’s not the FW800 port per se you have to worry about. It gives you one less physical connector (previous MBPs had both a FW800 and FW400 port), but even the earlier models had just one bus for FireWire, shared between those two ports. There is a little bit of inconvenience there in that you need an adapter cable …

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Apple Chooses Form Over Function; Users and the Press Rebel

When is progress not progress? When looks come before use, and when you take one thing away without giving something else back, users respond. It turns out Mac users care about more than just aesthetics, whatever anyone tries to say. Photo: Ondra. It should have been another home run for Apple today. The new MacBooks and MacBook Pros look like absolutely gorgeous, brilliantly-engineered, environmentally-friendly machines. And for many, the fact they run Mac OS is all you need to know. I really do look forward to seeing one of these machines in person. But in case you haven’t caught on, …

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