The Ultimate Mac Music Rack? Rax 3, in Previews

I’ve been impressed by Rax, the virtual effects and instrument rig for Mac, for some time. I marveled at its musician-friendly fullscreen interface and live visualizations in Rax 2.0, lamented its lack of popularity and eventual demise at developer Plasq, breathed a sigh of relief as it found a new home at Audiofile Engineering, and noted the unmistakable similarity of Apple’s MainStage. (MainStage, for the record, still doesn’t do a lot of what Rax 2 does.) Now, Rax is due for a major update, and it’s getting one, in the form of a new UI, powerful routing, and clever MIDI …

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Wormhole2: Tool Routes Audio Over Networks, Now Open Source

Wormhole2 is a powerful, cross-platform (Windows + Mac) VST plug-in capable of transmitting audio between computers over networks. It allows effects chain routing between networked computers, boasts low-latency performance on LANs, and even works over WiFi or Firewire. But Wormhole2’s niche audience kept it from catching on more widely, and we hadn’t heard much from it lately, leaving some users worried Wormhole had fallen into a black hole. plasq, the wonderful people who brought us Skitch and Comic Life, have been giving their audio tools new lives rather than orphaning them. We’ve already seen plasq’s live performance-savvy instrument and effects …

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Audiofile Engineering: Site and Application Updates from Mac Audio Developer

Awhile back, we reviewed Wave Editor, and deemed it one of our favorite audio editors for Mac OS X. Our friends at Audiofile Engineering have ushered in the holiday season with a complete site redesign and numerous application updates, including the highly anticipated Wave Editor 1.3, and Leopard-ready updates to apps across the board. You may also recall that Audiofile Engineering recently rescued the excellent instrument and effect host, Rax – formerly developed by our friends at plasq. It is clear that Apple borrowed heavily from Rax’s design choices and intentions with their new MainStage application (bundled with Logic 8) …

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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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plasq Rax 2 Reviewed in Macworld: Mac Tool for Onstage, Offstage Music Plug-ins and Visuals

From my review for Macworld.com: Rax 2.0, a music utility from plasq, the creators of Comic Life, brings the same kind of easy access to virtual musical instruments and effects plug-ins that Apple’s Front Row provides for music, videos, and photos. With a virtual mixer, a facility for creating custom songs and sets, and a full-screen OnStage mode with support for live visualizers, this radically redesigned new version makes playing live music with your Mac easier than ever before, for both the casual musician and the gigging professional. It acts as a digital hub for instruments, effects, and visuals in …

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Prototyping Custom Gear: Friendly Plastic a.k.a. Shapelock

I received an email this morning from a friendly fellow Australian named Keith. He had googled his way to a short post on my site Jaymis.com looking for a source of Friendly Plastic/Shapelock/Polymorph in Australia. After a couple of emails back and forth I figured out that he’s Keith from plasq/Comic Life/Rax, and he figured out that I’m Jaymis from CDMu/CDMo, but we still didn’t have an Australian source for useful thermoplastics. Update!: Paul wrote in to tell us that he’s found a source of polymorph in Australia, at the soldergeekly favourite Jaycar! It’s reasonably expensive at $10/100g, but the …

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Create Musical Visuals with Rax and Quartz Composer on Mac: Free Software Download

Quartz Composer is a fantastic tool for interactive visuals, and it’s free with Mac OS X (you’ll need to install the developer tools). With MIDI and audio inputs, you can hook custom visuals up to your musical performance. But the program has some limitations: mapping MIDI is generally slow and arduous because of limited MIDI input tools, and there’s no easy way to line up a set of visuals and move through them over the course of a performance. That’s where plasq’s Rax 2.0 comes in. As we saw earlier this week, Rax lets you build set lists for performance, …

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Superstar VJ: The Animated Comic!

The day after I do a VJ roundup, my friend Holly Daggers has turned VJing into a graphic novel. It’s wetcircuits presents VJ comix, a Flash-animated color comic book about the on-the-road life of a superstar VJ. Busta Rhymes, Miri Ben Ari, and All Mighty Senators are featured, plus a tour of unknown origin by a cigarette company of unknown origin (mmm, shady). But what we care about, of course, is Holly’s gear, from Korg, Edirol, et al. Enjoy! Of course, the real reason I bring this up is I’d love to get some help making music-themed comics using plasq’s …

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Send Audio Via Network: Wormhole2 (Mac/Win)

Wormhole2 is a plug-in that lets you route audio via a network, between any computers you’ve got handy (Mac or PC). You could save processing power by letting different machines handle CPU-intense effects and instruments, or share audio onstage. (You’ll need to send sync separately.) It gets cooler, especially with new features added to version 2: Automatic configuration Easy routing and option configuration, via a gorgeous interface by CDM reader Atariboy Low-latency, and automatic latency compensation for round-trip audio VST (Mac/Win) and Audio Unit (Mac), US$49.95. By the way, if you remember this as an apulSoft app, you may have …

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