DAW Day – Pro Tools 8.0.1: No Windows 7 or 10.6 Support, End of the Road for Legacy

Pro Tools got an update at the end of August. A number of readers have pointed out that this is a milestone for what it includes, what it doesn’t include, and what it represents. What’s in 8.0.1 If you’re an existing Pro Tools 8 owner, you’ll want 8.0.1: Improved interface performance (“snappiness”!) Improved selection drawing in audio Workflow improvements, fixes Those of you who grabbed the update in the last week or two, I’ll be curious to hear what you’ve found in some of those subtler improvements. Avid, to their credit, does do a lot of work on these point …

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Renoise 2.0 Public Beta Amps Up Popular Tracker for Windows, Mac, Linux

Renoise, the reawakening: the tracker for the rest of us hits beta 2.0, as seen above. (Screen grabs by Wallace Winfrey.) While better-known software names may get the attention, Renoise, a music making tool in the mold of a tracker, has long had a lot going for it. It runs on every platform you own (Windows, Mac, Linux) with just one license, applies a unique approach to musical arrangement and composition with a more modern interface, and allows speedy production with lots of keyboard shortcuts. As a tracker, the pattern editing in Renoise allows a “granular” level of control, for …

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Nodal: Generative Music Software for Mac (Free for Non-Commercial Use)

If you’re interested in generative and algorithmic music – music that evolves organically rather than being pre-composed in start-to-finish linear fashion – you won’t want to miss this site. Nodal is a free (for non-commercial use) app for developing generative musical systems and transmitting MIDI. You’ll need a Mac (PowerPC/Intel) to run the software, but even if you’re on Windows or Linux, you’ll find a number of interesting research papers on the site. vinayk writes: The program is called Nodal – osx only, BEAUTIFUL interface, and FREE, it does a bit more sophisticated things but I basically plugged the output …

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Guitar Rig Software, Hardware Bundle Available Soon On The Cheap

Native Instruments is releasing some cheaper ways of getting at their software guitar modeler, Guitar Rig, in the form of a cheaper software version and a hardware bundle: Guitar Rig 3 XE is a "lite" version of Guitar Rig, focused on the basics — 5 guitar/bass amps, 12 cabinets, and 21 effects. It also some of the "helper" modules from Guitar Rig, including a metronome, tapedeck, and tuner — but no looping module, which is one of my favorites. (See the full list.) US$99 on its own. Guitar Session bundles the XE software with Cubase 4 LE, some pop drums …

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NI Gets KOMPLETE Upgrade, But Spektral Delay, Vokator No More

Happily, despite this image, NI is not adding Apple iTunes-inspired CoverFlow to KOMPLETE. But they are refreshing synths and effects, updating to the shiny, new Kontakt 3 sampler, Guitar Rig 3 guitar rack, and Massive synth, and cutting the price. Lost in the shuffle: vocoding and spectral delays. Native Instruments remains the unchallenged heavyweight of instruments and effects. Apple’s Logic Studio 8 recently got a formidable upgrade and a big price drop (US$499), but its bundled instruments and effects, behind cosmetic improvements, are largely unchanged from previous versions. Cakewalk, Digidesign and others have also gotten in the ring, but no …

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Rax Rescued: Mac Virtual Instrument Rack Finds a New Home

Rax, the clever audio effect and instrument host for Mac, got a major update last year with performance rigs, custom visualizer support, and a slick UI designed by plasq. It’s an ideal tool for loading up some instruments and effects and playing on your Mac, especially if you want software that gets out of your way while you play another instrument or sing and don’t need a full app like Logic or Live onstage. But it never caught on with Mac users, even after I wrote a glowing review in Macworld. And it has certainly been overshadowed by more popular …

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GURU 1.5 Update is Free; Ultimate Soft Beatbox Arrives?

Ed.: Our friend Wallace wanders in search of truly transcendent software use, and he’s taking the leap to GURU. Expect a review soon, but here’s why we’re interested — especially with a welcome update arriving free. -PK. FXpansion has released the long-awaited Guru 1.5 update, which fixes numerous outstanding bugs and incorporates almost 100 new features. What’s amazing is that they’re offering this update for free to existing users. Again, this is another case of a company that could have slapped a major new version number on it and charged at least a modest fee for the update to existing …

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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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M Interactive Composer: Retro Software, Now Intel Mac Native, Core MIDI-ready

Here’s a blast from the past — an algorithmic compositional blast from the past, that is. M is a unique piece of software for “interactive composition.” With patterns, cycles, and conducting options, you can create algorithmically-generated music, adjusting various parameters for sophisticated results rather than sequencing directly. It’s a totally different approach to working, something that’s easier to experience than to describe. M launched way back in 1987 and eventually support Atari, Amiga, Mac, and Windows; it was a big hit in the years afterward. The creators were David Zicarelli (now with Cycling ’74, and a sort of father to …

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Sibelius 5 Notation Preview: Plug-ins, Ideas Hub, More

Sibelius 5’s Ideas Pad aims to change the way you track thoughts and compose in your notation software. Or you can cut and paste from its presets, bringing “presets” to scoring for the first time. Hopefully you’ll err on the side of original ideas, but the next time Don Music can’t think of a cadence — you’re in luck. (Help! How does a plagal cadence go again?) Sibelius 5 is a big upgrade to the notation tool, now part of Avid. The biggest change of all: real VST and Audio Unit plug-in support on Mac and Windows. This merging of …

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