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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Adobe to Bring Audition, Wave Editor and Post Tool, to the Mac

Audition, a favorite, previously Windows-only wave editor from Adobe, is coming to the Mac this winter. Adobe is touting native surround support, multi-channel effects, and performance optimizations; you can check out how the new tool looks at Adobe Labs. The public beta is due this winter. Interestingly, Adobe is pushing the video side of this more than audio, even though Audition is popular with audio users. The demos are hosted by video specialist Jason Levine, and “post production” is the phrase that keeps coming up. The Mac is quickly becoming spoiled for choice with dedicated wave file editors, maybe enough …

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Record and Reason: Tips, Tutorials, Goodies, and Reviews

52 Reason and Record Tips by James Bernard Week 1 from James Bernard on Vimeo. I’m writing this from the wintry wonderland that is Stockholm, Sweden. How geeky is this country? Geeky enough to use their entire nation’s terrain to construct the world’s largest scale model of the solar system. And they’re the home of music software developer Propellerhead, with whom I’m talking a stroll in just a few minutes. In the Props’ honor, here’s a round-up of some handy stuff for Reason and Record users, plus a link to my most recent reviews. The timing couldn’t be better. Propellerhead …

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Apple Logic Studio 9 Review for Macworld; What Stands Out

Flex Time is likely to be the feature that will have the biggest impact on users, by making audio more malleable. Logic has been a big box of sound toys for some time, but I think what decides whether you really build a working relationship with software like Logic is whether you like editing in it. And that makes Logic Studio 9 worth a new look – and a must-upgrade for fans of the tool. Its combination of subtle tweaks to the editing interface, the ability to edit inside takes, the incredible Flex Time for squishing around audio like Play-Doh, …

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Macworld Reviews GarageBand 09, Missing MIDI, Alternative Learning Tools

Chris Breen at Macworld does exceptional, tough reviews of consumer sound software. He’s tackled GarageBand ’09 in depth in a review published this week at Macworld.com. If you’re a beginning user, this review is for you – and if not, Chris will help you understand what that perspective is like for countless typical Mac users: Unless you have an active interest in producing podcasts or creating a musical score, it’s likely you’ve opened GarageBand once and then never bothered with it again. Of all the programs that make up the iLife suite, none is more overlooked than this application. And, …

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Adobe’s Soundbooth CS4, the Audio Editor Giveaway in Creative Suite

Speaking of audio editors for the Mac, Adobe has its own wave-editing tool for Mac and Windows. Soundbooth is different from other entries in the field, in that its aim is really to woo a wide audience and not just those of us who work with sound regularly. Got a Flash project and need to make some quick sound effect adjustments? Making a swooshing noise for After Effects? Transcribing notes from a workshop session? Soundbooth CS4 is aimed at you. Now, you can buy Soundbooth on its own for US$199 list, though I expect almost no one would. (For one …

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Reviewed: Peak Pro, Audio Editor and Sound Bundle for the Mac

All you really need to know, sound design lovers: cross-synthesis. “Peak” is a long-standing name in audio editing on the Mac. I recently got to review its latest iteration, Peak Pro 6, for Macworld and Macworld.com. Macworld Review: Peak Pro 6 Sample editor and audio suite tweaked for pros, sound designers, and podcasters I still believe audio editors are valuable tools, especially for anyone who spends a significant amount of their time on sound design – whether that’s sound effects or building the perfect drum kit. Peak is an unusual tool, in a way, in that it remains a stereo …

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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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My Logic Studio Review for Macworld: Big Overhaul Pays Off

My review of Apple’s Logic Studio (including Logic Pro 8) is now live at Macworld.com (it’ll also be in the January 2008 print issue). Summary: Pros: Single-window view speeds editing and setup; MainStage program ideal for playing instruments and effects live; powerful, easy-to-access editing and take management tools; bundles Soundtrack Pro but halves the price; no more dongle; can sync with others via .Mac or Bonjour. Cons: Some MIDI features are still obscure; MainStage doesn’t integrate with Logic or ReWire. Or, to put it more simply: take away a dongle, slash the price, and make Logic easier to use, and …

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Soundtrack Pro 2: My Macworld Review

Soundtrack Pro 2 from Apple offers some major new improvements over the first release of the “Pro” audio editor from Apple. Multichannel editing now works properly, with the ability to nudge by frames and move clip envelopes together with clips, and there are some brilliant new features for conforming audio projects to video and a “Lift and Stamp” tool for applying audio attributes from one clip (including matching EQ and copying effects) to another. Macworld.com has just published my complete review of the software: Pros: Vastly improved multichannel editing and file import and export; Conform feature makes Final Cut integration …

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