Modular Sound by Touch: Usine

Sensomusic Usine Touch Screen Edition by sensomusic Touchable, open-ended, modular sounds and music – it’s an appealing idea. I’d be remiss in talking this week about touch apps if I didn’t mention the free/cheap Windows tool Usine, which has recently made the jump to a touchscreen-optimized version. (Big thanks to alby75 in comments on our Kore minisite for the nod.) Usine is a modular, patchable music and sound app that runs as a portable, USB-key-ready standalone app and VST plug-in. A free version is limited in I/O and track-count, with a pro version EUR50. The 4.0 “stable beta” offers touchscreen …

READ MORE →

Reaper, Elegant Mac/Windows DAW, Adds Gobs More Features

Welcome to Reaperworld. It’s an alternative universe, in which a “2.4.5” update is huge. Released yesterday, it’s a new build for what might best be described as an “indie” DAW from the original creator of Winamp. Check out the full feature list, but here are some highlights: “Solo in front” for easier soloing Track folding for MIDI to hide unused / unnamed rows Multimedia keyboard support, so you can use those silly, useless buttons PCs have for something cool Mute fades, so you don’t get that annoying pop on muting A ridiculous number of MIDI workflow and technical improvements What’s …

READ MORE →

Mixxx, Open Source DJ Tool, Adds Vinyl Control

Mixxx running with a custom skin. Mixxx is an impressive-looking, fully free and open source DJ package for Mac (Intel only), Windows, and Linux. (It’s also the featured DJ tool on the Indamixx, Linux-based ultra mobile PC – mine just arrived, so hands-on is coming soon.) Adam Davison from the Mixxx development team points out some juicy features in the new 1.6.0 release, out yesterday: We now support vinyl control with Serato, Traktor, and FinalScratch vinyl, as well as Serato CD. This means that you can use vinyl control to drive your mixes without having to buy expensive software or …

READ MORE →

MIDI Software Plug-ins, Many Free, For Your MIDI Processing Needs

Sure, what with it being 2008 and all, “plug-in” to many people means audio processing. But what if you want an arpeggiator? Or something to harmonize incoming notes, or match them to scales? Or … well, just about anything else you can do with pitch and time with MIDI, from utilities to music effects? And what if your host’s built-in options are letting you down? The good news: you’ve got lots of options. The bad news: a lot are on Windows. We saw Chirp, a Mac/Windows utility for assigning QWERTY keyboards to MIDI input, earlier this week. But that’s led …

READ MORE →

Beatburner, Loop Mangling Instrument for Windows, Now Free, and Mac Freebies

Windows is getting enough instrument and effect madness for free to make your head spin — a lot of it previously commercial software. Here’s the latest addition: Beatburner, a looping sampler combined with a wave shaper and enveloped filter. In short, Beatburner takes your loops and makes them into sonic insanity. I’ve been playing with it a bit this evening, and making things sound … well, scary. As the author describes it: BeatBurner, using innovative wave shaping and filtration methods, turns innocent drum beats, loops or sounds into new, fresh and vibrant audio parts for you to incorporate into your …

READ MORE →

Powerful Free Reverb, and This Week in Free Plug-in Stuff

  Plugging stuff together is fun. By jurvetson. There’s a disturbing amount of free sound-making stuff out there, enough to clutter up your VST folder and make you forget where you put that multi-tap delay you wanted. It’s a beautiful thing. So, as a regular, erm, public service, I’ll be semi-regularly rounding up some of the free instruments and effects appearing around the Interwebs. This week: a brilliantly deep reverb, plus everything from a beat box (as in human beat box) to a motorcycle simulator.

READ MORE →

Temper (Win), The $50 Sequencer for MIDI Aficionados?

  MIDI is back, baby. Or to say it another way: musicians still care about how to manipulate notes, rhythms, and timbral control. That means that, for all the powerful audio-warping tools you pack into a product, the compositional, musical power of software lives and dies on MIDI. But can you really do MIDI any better than it’s been done for the past couple of decades? Temper would like to try. It’s not MIDI-only — it does audio, too, and has the requisite support for VSTs — but it is a little different from the sequencer perspective. And whereas innovative …

READ MORE →

XO Wave 1.0 Released: Free for Linux, Free or Cheap for Mac, Multichannel Audio

XO Wave is a basic multi-track audio tool with multi-channel recording and mixing, video support, plug-in support (in the Pro version) and built in DSP, double-precision math, and non-destructive editing. It looks like it could be a strong choice for basic multichannel tasks. And it has some less-common features, like automatic softening to remove clicks/pops at edit points, and versioning so you can go back to earlier versions of files. A very capable version is available free, and a “Pro” version is just US$95 (though that admittedly puts it in slightly more competitive waters). Interestingly, this is also one of …

READ MORE →