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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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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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appstoremacbook

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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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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Pro Tools Adds Snow Leopard, Windows 7 Compatibility; Other Fixes in 8.0.3

Pro Tools users, already switching to the latest-and-greatest Mac or Windows operating system? Avid has added compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Windows 7 in the company’s 8.0.3 upgrade to Pro Tools. Oddly, some of the Windows support is still listed as “beta,” while the Mac support is “official.” Nonetheless, I’ve heard reports of people using Windows 7 unofficially without issue. Here’s the status of the different operating systems and Pro Tools flavors:

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DAW Day – Pro Tools 8.0.1: No Windows 7 or 10.6 Support, End of the Road for Legacy

Pro Tools got an update at the end of August. A number of readers have pointed out that this is a milestone for what it includes, what it doesn’t include, and what it represents. What’s in 8.0.1 If you’re an existing Pro Tools 8 owner, you’ll want 8.0.1: Improved interface performance (“snappiness”!) Improved selection drawing in audio Workflow improvements, fixes Those of you who grabbed the update in the last week or two, I’ll be curious to hear what you’ve found in some of those subtler improvements. Avid, to their credit, does do a lot of work on these point …

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Simple Snow Leopard Advice: Wait, and Claim Disk Space with Monolingual

We return to our normal, non-Snow Leopard-specific coverage next week. You can continue to follow http://createdigitalmusic.com/snowleopard for updates. In the meantime, I offer this editorial. I’m going to make this as straightforward as possible: I recommend running the current Mac OS X 10.5 over other versions of the operating system, including 10.6 launched today. The experience of an operating system is the sum total of performance, compatibility, and reliability. The best way for Mac users to guarantee that is to stick with Mac OS X 10.5. Snow Leopard looks like a promising upgrade for Mac users. Most importantly for music …

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Snow Leopard: MOTU Confirms 10.6 Drivers; Working on 64-bit Support?

MOTU did not respond to CDM’s inquiry regarding Mac OS X 10.6 – but they have just posted the most interesting update I’ve seen yet. They have drivers ready for their hardware today, and (nearly) full compatibility for their entire product line. They also suggest that 64-bit support is in the works for their applications, which would make MOTU the first audio software developer I’ve heard even breathe a word of discussion of 64-bit. I couldn’t even get a solid commitment to 64-bit from Apple’s Pro Apps folks (though Apple tends not to talk about things until they’re done). The …

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