Apple Sculpture, Lemur Touchscreen Ripped Off: Visual Comparisons of “Sincerest Form of Flattery”

Separated at birth — or fresh off the photocopier? In the case of Lemur touchscreen versus Mono Touch, it’s pretty obvious the creator of the Mono Touch software just worked on cloning the exact layout of the Ableton Live template on the Lemur. David Cross points us to this comparison from the Ableton forums, as created by axou: And speaking of copying, some readers were confused when I said a leaked shot of the “Prologue” synth from Cubase SX4 was … inspired … by Logic Pro’s Sculpture. But, then, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at Sculpture programming sounds. …

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Apple Copies GarageBand Interface for Xcode 3.0

Ever thought music software would inspire developer tools? Only Apple would try something like this: they’ve copied the interface of their own GarageBand software, almost button for button, in the new Xray developer tool in Xcode 3.0 (part of Mac OS X 10.5). The developer’s work process will be much like someone mixing music in GarageBand. Xray is designed for visualizing performance and debugging code, which is a linear, time-based process. That means that some kind of timeline interface makes perfect sense. Apple didn’t just stop there, though: the track view, transport controls (including record button), volume, channel controls, ruler, …

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Pretty New Mac Audio Analysis, Measurement Apps

Apple has been making a big push to get its developers into OS X’s eye candy, including Quartz 2D and OpenGL 3D graphics. Here are two Mac applications that take advantage of gorgeous UI elements for audio analysis.

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Music Realized as Colored Bars: Music Animation Machine

Old, but worth mentioning . . . if for no other reason that you’re thinking about color in new ways as you stare into your green beer for St. Patrick’s Day. (Or even a green river, a la Chicago.) The Music Animation Machine renders familiar music as series of colored bars, in still image or animated video, reminiscent of a piano roll editor in a sequencing application. Color represents harmonic area, so as you look at the piece you see form, structure, shape, and harmony in new ways. It certainly raises some interesting questions: with new tools at our disposal, …

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Alien Interfaces: Reaktor’s Wild Instruments and Effects

Who said all soft synths have to look, work, and sound the same? For better or worse, Gaugear’s interface is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Gaugear is one of the gems that appeared along with the 5.1 update to Native Instruments Reaktor. (“5.1” to most developers means a bug fix or two, but Native Instruments crammed a surprising number of new and updated instruments and effects into this minor, free update. Go download it now if you haven’t yet.) Believe it or not, there’s a playable monophonic synth behind the glitchy, indecipherable interface. This isn’t just eye candy atop a …

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TC Electronic Announces Klingon-Designed Audio Software Interfaces

We’re all for interface innovation and TC Electronic does fantastic audio processors. But their new “MINT” interface technology not only wins for silliest meaningless acronym since synth maker Kurzweil’s “V.A.S.T.”, it also looks like the interface panels from a Klingon warship in Star Trek III. What’s going on here? (Hint: it might actually be cool and, unlike Klingon user interfaces, usable.)

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World’s Worst Guitar Interface: Your Cell Phone

Solving a problem none of us knew existed, Motorola has patented a method for entering notes into a cellphone via an “intuitive” method that emulates frets. Pay close attention, and see if you can make sense of this: . . . an input specifying a root note (FIG. 2) indicating a position on a neck of a stringed instrument and associating at least one column of input keys such as numeric keys of the mobile communication device with a string of the stringed instrument. Numeric keys next to one another and within a same column can specify notes which vary …

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Windows Day: Microsoft Working on Touch Interfaces, Too — For Vista

Imagine touching a screen to directly control Live, Reason, Reaktor, and Max/MSP while you’re playing, with a full view of the interface. That’s been possible with tablet PCs for some time, but not with a touch-centric interface. While the Mac faithful have been drooling over a vague Apple patent for touchscreen interfaces, no one seems to have noticed that Microsoft is planning to build this interface into Windows Vista. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, head Vista honcho, told Paul Thurrott: “We’re now supporting touch control in addition to electro-magnetic,” he told me. “We’ve done a lot of innovations here. As you know, …

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Apple’s Touchscreen Patent: Actual Patent Reveals Gestures, Not Hardware

With the Web abuzz about Apple’s latest patent, filing, it’s worth reading the actual patent, 0060026536. Like all patent filings, this research may never translate to a shipping product. But it does make for good reading, and it clears up some issues — the most important one being this is about gestures, not specific hardware. Oh, and yes, Apple is working on a touchscreen music mixer:

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Zebra2 Super Synth Coming; Cross-Platform, Dreamy Feature List

Urs Heckmann is a prodigy of plug-in development, so when he sends something new, we pay attention. And in a world of a look-alike synths, Zebra2 does seem to qualify as “new”: a next-generation “wireless modular synth.” Didn’t quite get that? Think four joystick control, multiple sound-making techniques, massive, graphical sound sculpting and more:

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