iOS Arrivals: A Serious Mobile Studio for Producers, AmpliTube for Guitarists

With previews and teasers, it’s sometimes easy to miss when useful new tools actually become available to you. Two tools this week became available, each potentially high on the utility end of the spectrum. There’s no shortage of variety in iOS music creation apps, but when people really want to get down to music making, many of them want to focus on one tool, not twenty. (That’s not universal – ask Richard Devine‘s screaming VST plug-in folder – but you ought to at least be able to make such a choice.) It’s therefore little surprise that there’s been a lot …

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BBQ Chicken Ambiences, and Ten Other Inspiring Sound Design Stories

Whether your trade in audio is in soundtracks for screens and games, or you’re just exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new life and new timbres in your music, the discipline of sound design is as rich and deep as cooking. It’s something you can do every day. Okay, now just put that “cooking” metaphor out of your mind and steel your stomach. Sound maker and dirt bike rider Jim Stout of Austin (Roland, Sound Ideas, The Hollywood Edge) does some ungodly things with raw barbecue chicken and dog food. For more on Jim Stout, check out the exclusive …

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Goodies from Devine: Modeled Electric Piano, One Shot Recorder, Reincarnated Krishna

It’s a tough time for the music tech industry like so many industries. But there are beautiful products coming from independent developers – indie, boutique shops crafting musical instruments in code. The folks at Devine Machine, makers of the likes of Guru and Lucifer, unloaded three big announcements overnight – enough to make you think there’s some obscure trade show going on at the end of March no one told you about. Here’s the capsule view of why they matter:

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GarageBand 09 and Logic: Compatibility, About Those New Guitar Effects…

Following GarageBand has long been a good way to follow what improvements might be in store for Apple’s flagship Logic. And many Logic users use GarageBand as a sketchpad for bigger sets – Apple, of course, hope that GarageBand is a gateway drug to their delicious higher-end studio. GarageBand ’09 is no exception. New Models Lessons may be the feature about which you’ve been hearing the most in GarageBand ’09, but the major improvement in the software itself is the new guitar amp and effect modeling. I’ve confirmed with Apple that this is a new engine from the ground up, …

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Authentic Chipmusic Soft Synth Emulation: Plogue Chipsounds Scoop from NAMM

  From top: ComputeHer, 8 bit Weapon. You’ve heard the chip hype. But there’s something behind it: vintage digital chips can make wonderful sounds. And I’m thrilled that someone has painstakingly reproduced those sounds in an upcoming package. Emulating analog circuitry, from amps to classic synths, has been long understood. But we’ve finally reached an age when people begin to appreciate the odd idiosyncrasies of digital technology, too. There hasn’t ever been a comprehensive attempt to emulate each detail of a range of 80s sound chips before – until now. Plogue (makers of the highly underrated Plogue Bidule patching environment) …

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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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Free Gravity-Simulating Music Generator, Built in Java

It’s the music of the spheres. Or at least, the music of the various, floating geometric shapes, bouncing around a virtual galaxy with gravity simulation. Kepler’s Orrery is a (newly) open-sourced generative music maker, based on a gravity simulation algorithm. As bodies collide, they make sound; it’s a bit like what would happen if you crossed a music box with a snow globe. Different worlds represent different songs. You can reach in and grab some of the objects, so it’s possible to “perform” with the project. The application runs directly in a web browser (assuming your Java is up to …

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Applied Acoustics Modeling Instruments Get RTAS, Universal Binaries, Improvements

Applied Acoustics make some of my favorite instruments. Their Lounge Lizard, Ultra Analog, and String Studio instruments are ones I’m always coming back to for their organic feel. So I’m going to take it as a sign that the week I finally get an Intel MacBook, they deliver Intel-native versions. My sets for next week at Macworld is secure. Full impressions of these instruments on the MacBook — they do tend to be pretty CPU-hungry as they’re modeling-based — in an upcoming Core Duo roundup. In the meantime, here’s what’s new, beyond bug fixes:

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