Mac Pro Watch: Apogee Syphony Drivers with 2ms Latency; 64-Channel Surround Installation

We don’t have to wait for press releases around here; an enthusiastic Apogee employee (not from the sales and marketing end, he says) writes in to brag about Apogee’s support for the new Apple Mac Pro. Not only are drivers available today for using the Apogee Symphony PCI-Express audio card, but Apogee says the combination of Apple and Apogee hardware acheives an unheard-of 2ms latency. From Apogee’s official statement: Apogee’s new Universal PCI-Express driver, in combination with the powerful Intel processors in the Mac Pro, lowers the latency of the Symphony PCI-Express card by over 50% into the 2ms range. …

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Free Multi-channel Audio Environment (Pd, Max/MSP)

DIYers, ready to dive into multichannel and streaming audio? nSLAM is an open-source suite for creating your own streaming, multichannel audio applications. Sample apps (like the one shown below) and online help are included to get you started, and the “jimmies” low-level DSP objects have been broadly updated in this release for the geekiest audio gurus. It’s free, and it runs on Mac OS X and Linux. (Some of the underlying objects have been compiled for Windows, too, but apparently not the full release. Presumably you can compile for Windows if you need to; not sure there.) The latest version …

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Hemispherical Loudspeaker: Ultimate Performance Speaker?

If you frequent experimental music concerts and performance art events, you might have seen them: mysterious, spherical and polyhedronalish speaker arrays, looking a bit like an unmanned space probe or an alien soccer ball. Now you can have one of your very own: Electrotap has announced they’re shipping the Hemisphere speaker array. And forget the odd looks of other speakers for a second: this sounds downright practical. It weighs just 17 lbs., but contains six Polk Audio db525 fullrange drivers. It sits on a surface. Sound fills the space, but it actually comes from the location where you’re playing. And …

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Xbox 360 Launch: A New Digital Music Platform is Born

Xbox 360 is here — and with it has brought major hype, major shortages, and armed robbery of new systems. We’re going to assume that must mean it’s a big deal. Resident gaming expert W. Brent Latta looks at what the Xbox 360 might mean for digital music with a roundup of past coverage. But in short: game systems are a major new platform for music. And that could mean new ways of listening (for better or worse), and greater acceptance of high-definition, surround-sound digital media. Take it away, Brent . . . -PK

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Cubase SX/SL 3.1: Hardware Integration, Dolby, Pro Features

Want proof that you can’t keep on top of which DAW is best? Updates are now nearly round-the-clock, and point-one updates can bring serious features. Hot on the heels of MOTU’s free 4.6 upgrade to DP, Steinberg has over 50 new features in Cubase SL/SX 3.1, coming as a free download in August. Some of what’s new: External hardware integration: Updated Studio Connections technology lets you monitor external hardware’s audio as if it were an internal VST. One caveat: this comes out of Steinberg’s ongoing partnership with its now-parent-company Yamaha, so your hardware manufacturer must rhyme with Lamaha. Freeze; you’re …

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Games Week/E3: New Consoles’ Audio, Compared

Graphics, schmaphics. The future of gaming not only looks better — it sounds a lot better, too. Talk to any game composer or sound designer, and you’ll hear a lot of excitement about the amount of creativity they can exert with games. So how does the next generation compare? Amidst all the PS3 vs. Xbox 360 comparisons, there actually hasn’t been much talk about sound, probably because all three consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Revolution) will feature 5.1 surround and optical outputs. Then again, so does your DVD player. Does anything differentiate them? (Read More)

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State of Surround: Audio Titans Massenburg, Emerick, Scheiner

Berklee student Rian Souleles brings CDM this report on the state of surround, straight from the mouths of some of the greatest engineers alive. Recently, on a Friday afternoon, about a hundred music technology students crammed into the hot sweaty live room of Berklee College of Music's Studio A just to get a glimpse of the current state of the surround revolution from three of the most prolific figureheads of the industry. Comprising this trinity was the greatest living sound engineers today, Geoff Emerick, Elliot Scheiner and George Massenburg. George Massenburg was on site, acting as MC, while Emerick and …

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Tube 5.1 Surround Headphones

Clearly, the future of headphones is surround sound, delivered by "acoustical alloy" tubing worn around the head. I have no qualms whatsoever about this device. I'm sure the surround effect is completely successful, and I think the claim of "mastering" as an application is an excellent idea — if you're mastering professional 5.1 surround mixes, then you should spend the EUR149.00 on this device, because it will accurately represent 5.1 surround separation and spatialization. What do you mean, I'm overdoing the irony? I also see they're working on a combination DVD player + headphones "perfect for karaoke." Um, 5.1 surround …

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