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Apollo: UA Adds Low-Latency Effects in Audio Interface, Proves FireWire, Thunderbolt are Cool

Universal Audio has long had a successful business selling hardware DSP effects, many of them carefully-modeling classic analog gear. These products use dedicated DSP hardware for number-crunching, requiring that you connect an extra box to your computer. UA has certainly had their loyalists, and for fans of the products, the dedicated gear is simply a convenient way to get all of these sound-processing goodies. But it’s fair to ask the question, as many producers have who read this site, what’s the advantage? Why not simply use native processing on your computer? Apollo, UA’s new hardware, answers that question more emphatically. …

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HALion 4, Steinberg’s Sampler + Synth Soft Workstation, Gets Deeper

Sampler? Synth? Workstation? Or just big bucket of sound? There are some impressive rabbit holes for sound designers out there, and Steinberg’s offering just got a big refresh. While looking at the latest flagship from a music hardware giant (Roland’s Jupiter-80), it’s revealing to compare the software side of the fence. Computer software instruments may not be directly equivalent to all-in-one keyboards, but they do each embody the latest thinking in how to build expressive instruments and new sounds. German maker Steinberg is at home at this week’s giant Messe trade show, and they’ve taken the wraps off the upcoming …

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Audio-Reactive Music Video, Plus Free Quartz Composer Patch and iTunes Visualizer

Lit entirely by projector, a new music video by Finland-based artist Aku Meriläinen translates pulses of sound into pools of colored light. I love the personal, handcrafted feel of the result — pretty, but not too slick — and for Mac users, there are freely-licensed goodies you can use to either bliss out to music and visuals or try hacking your own reactive audio. Aku writes: We made a music video for Berlin based DJ/producers Moston & Mono. The song “Can’t Stop” nods partially to 90’s house music, so we tried to get the feeling of how things were done …

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Native Instruments Updates Make 64-bit Macs Happier

MacBook Pros, 64-bit, all. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benjamin Nagel. I’m not one to post every single minor software update, but with the latest handful of free upgrades for Native Instruments software, I think it’s safe to say the 64-bit age has come to the Mac musician. Windows developer Cakewalk heralded just this sort of advance for years on the PC side, with largely little company (even beyond the music world), but today, the technology is finally a reality for average users. 64-bit computing means a marginal performance boost on capable machines and more flexible memory usage. The 32-bit Mac has had …

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Apple’s App Store May Not Work for Audio Devs; Developers Respond

Music software development includes some of the most sophisticated, expressive software out there. But it has long faced serious challenges in sales – audio software still appeals, generally, to a small slice of people, made smaller by factors ranging from piracy to the sheer complexity of available audio tools. As computing’s distribution model for software shifts, audio developers are undoubtedly watching. Love it or hate it, what’s unique about Apple’s App Store for iOS is that it’s a one-stop shop for everything. With App Store fever spreading – new stores for mobile and desktop are either available or planned from …

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Going Native: New Pro Tools HD Native, Your DAW, and Low-Latency Performance

For some time, the move has seemed inevitable – even more so as the rumor mill started echoing with suggestions that a native release was coming. But now, it’s happened: Pro Tools HD will now run without HD DSP hardware. And that’s not all — you can also use the same hardware with your existing DAW of choice, for users of software like Cubase and Logic. There’s a price tag attached, though. This remains what for many would be a high-end solution. At US$3495 retail and up, it’s not competition for buying a basic interface card and Cubase. Think, instead, …

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Inter-App Visuals on Mac: Syphon API Opens Up Visual Collaboration

Syphon Teaser from vade on Vimeo. In the audio realm, piping audio and MIDI between apps is commonplace (see ReWire, JACK, Soundflower, IAC MIDI, etc.). But imagine if you could take textures and frames from one app and share them, live and real-time, with another app. That’s the vision of Syphon, a Mac-only, open-source framework that promises to share graphics and live video between any visual app on the platform, from 3D apps to live VJ/video tools. Syphon is in development, and not everything is public-facing yet, but it’s moving incredibly fast, and we’re able to take a first look. …

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CoGe 1.0 Beta 2, Open Source Quartz Composer Modular Visual App

CoGe 1.0 Beta 2 Teaser and interactive Quad Warp demo from luma beamerz on Vimeo. CoGe 1.0 is now in its second public beta, bringing this modular, Quartz-Composer-based visualist app to Mac users. 1.0 introduced a new rendering pipeline, new user interface, new UI, and richer Quartz Composer support. Every single element of the visual app — the player, the effects, the mixer modules — is based on Quartz Composer. That means that you can open up any module you see onscreen, and see an accompanying, visual patch you can modify. It really makes for a complete modular experience. In …

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Wave Editor Competition Lives, with WaveLab 7 for PC … and Mac

Let’s get this out of the way right at the beginning: dedicated audio editors are important. For sound design, for tweaking audio assets, and for just getting close to your sounds, editing waveforms in a DAW often doesn’t cut it. That’s made a lot of Mac users unhappy, because it’s one of the few areas where the Mac platform lags seriously behind Windows in available choice. Windows users have been spoiled by choices like Sound Forge (now Sony), Adobe Audition, and Steinberg WaveLab, all three excellent editors that are functional and fast to work with. The Mac, meanwhile, has been …

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Adobe on the 64-bit Transition: Plugs Will Be Ready, You'll Be Happy

One of the numerous 64-bit-ready processors, the Core 2 Duo E7300. Photo (CC) William Hook. What will 64-bit mean for After Effects? Will it be worth the jump, and will your plug-ins be ready? I noted that those questions had some people concerned earlier this week. AE Product Manager Michael Coleman writes in with a few thoughts on that. From comments: We have spoken with most of the AE plug-in developers and almost all of them are preparing updates that will run on 64-bit After Effects. Most will be available around the same time as After Effects. We’ve been actively …

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