A New Cubase: V5 Emphasizes Add-ons, Performance, and Steinberg Goes iPhone

Cubase 5 includes under-the-hood improvements to performance, but many of the new features – like the unusual LoopMash loop masher upper instrument – come in the form of instrumental add-ons. LoopMash is interesting, but it’s more a bundled instrument than a truly integrated feature. The big traditional DAW announcement at this NAMM show was Steinberg’s Cubase 5. Cubase as a music software brand is now older than some people who read this blog, but never mind: Cubase 5 certainly doesn’t want for new stuff. And Cubase still claims to be the world’s most popular computer DAW. Computer Music Magazine has …

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MOTU Digital Performer 6 Released, With Tasty Sound Tools

DP6 is here (or will be here soon, say commenters), with a badly-needed UI update and a number of new features. The results still look like DP – in the way that should appeal to current users, that is – but enhancements demonstrate that the ongoing DAW battles carry on. DP6 New Features In the usability category: Updated UI with vertical track resizing (about time, jeez!) and better zooming and resizing Window tabs, which are a pretty cool way of switching between windows and tabbing views a la Firefox, Safari, et al (I’m surprised we haven’t seen more tabs in …

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Weekend Inspiration: Coke Bottle as Tribal Percussion, and the Future of Adaptive Music

Troels Folmann is one of our favorite composers at CDM. The fact that he’s a game composer both incidental and essential — it’s not that he’s scoring a Tomb Raider title that matters, it’s that game composition requires a new, fluid way of thinking about form, and Dr. Folmann (he did a dissertation topic on the subject) is up to the challenge. Digging through recent entries on Troels’ blog is definitely a source of weekend inspiration. I’m fond of found samples, but I tend to record sound making things around the house up close with a mobile recorder for a …

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Soundtrack Pro 2 Gets Post, Surround; Glimpse of Logic 8?

Shown above: Soundtrack Pro. But could we finally be seeing a glimpse of what’s coming in the next Logic? Contained in the Apple Final Cut Studio 2 announcement is a new version of Apple’s video-savvy sound editor, Soundtrack Pro. Unfortunately, Apple still hasn’t restored the a la carte, Soundtrack-only purchase option — you have to get Final Cut Studio to get Soundtrack Pro 2. But the new release does build on some of the unique interface ideas of the first version, while adding the key capabilities the first version lacked — namely, usefulness for actually creating soundtracks. And look closely …

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NAMM: Divide and Conquer with DVZ for “That Film Score Sound”

Audio Impressions had a working demo of their flagship orchestral library, DVZ. Well, ok—just the strings were demoed, but the full package with over 600 instruments is scheduled to de-vaporize and ship in March. Audio Impressions > Products > Realtime Instruments (DVZ) DVZ (pronounced “di-vi-zee”) promises a unique experience for those yearning to achieve new realism for that film score sound. The string section emanating from their NAMM booth did indeed seem to hit the nail on the head. I was particularly impressed that it sounded so good being played straight from a keyboard. Part of the reason is that …

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Nutcracker Suite Played Exclusively on Bicycle Parts

Thought every twist on Tchaikovsky had been exhausted in holiday seasons past? Think again: San Francisco-based composer Flip Baber (aka johnnyrandom, pictured) writes to tell us about a compositional challenge that made him turn bike parts into instruments: I was recently approached by award winning advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to do a composition for their client, Specialized. Specialized is a bike manufacturer and they needed some Christmas music, but with a twist: They wanted me to create the music from only bike sounds. They didn’t even know if it was possible, so they left the song choice up …

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New Film Scoring Site; Mac mini, PC Sampler Farms for Samples

The music technology blogosophere continues to expand, now with an excellent new site dedicated to film scoring. The site also has a bonus: its name begins with the word “Create”, which means it can join CDM’s unofficial “Create [Stuff]” network! Create Film Scores Jerome Leroy, an L.A.-based music systems technician, is editing the new site. Jerome tells CDM he works as a studio technician and technical assistant and had a specific “thirst for film music tech news” that led him to start his own specialized resource. We’re of course always happy to see the community of practical sites for digital …

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Bear McCreary: Rocking the Electric Violin on Battlestar Galactica

Film/TV composers have a particular interest here on CDM in that they tend to think creatively about style, instrumentation, and sound in their work and have to meld one technology (music) with another (film). It’s Friday night, so having resisted this long, I can no longer avoid mentioning Galactica. Composer Bear McCreary, who has scored the Battlestar Galactica TV series, has a blog going in which he talks about his music and some of the instruments featured in the show’s eclectic (and often surprisingly ethnic) sound textures: For tonight’s episode, McCreary blogs his featured violinist, Paul Cartwright, whose electric violin …

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