Apple Unveils GarageBand 08: New Features at a Glance

Apple’s GarageBand 08, unveiled today, focuses on addressing two major areas: for beginners, making entry into the program easier, and for experienced users, fixing some holes in previous versions. Despite its user-friendly interface and the fact that it comes free with new Apple computers, many average Mac users just didn’t dig into previous versions of this music creation tool. A new “Magic GarageBand” mode is clearly aimed at getting better saturation of this tool. The remaining features, while not necessarily earth-shaking, appear to seek to make GarageBand more well-rounded for music making by inheriting tools from Soundtrack Pro (multi-take editing, …

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Renoise 1.9 Music App Begins Beta; Why You Shouldn’t Overlook This Tracker

The tireless developers behind the modern tracker Renoise announced a new beta on Tuesday. While the devs themselves are calling this a “maintenance and improvements release”, they’ve introduced enough bug fixes, new features and workflow improvements, along with multiprocessor support, that any other company would have slapped a new major version number on the top and called it a day. Here’s a short list of the changes:

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Make the iPhone a Music and Multimedia Controller Instrument, via Max/MSP/Jitter

The day the iPhone was announced at Macworld, some of us immediately wanted to use it as a simple multi-touch controller for music. It’s no substitute for a dedicated, large, expressive multi-touch controller like the JazzMutant Lemur. But it’s also far less expensive, useful as a phone/Internet device/media player, and could easily be a simple, multi-touch controller. Basic multi-touch gestures could be a powerful tool for controlling music. Then, the sad news came that development wasn’t going to be open. Hearts sank. Good news: Masayuki Akamatsu, the brilliant Max/MSP developer who first bridged the popular modular audio and multimedia environment …

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New MOTU MachFive Sampler: Loopier, More Compatible, Tons of Sounds

MOTU’s MachFive is an oft-overlooked software sampler option for both Mac and Windows. The sampler market is a crowded one, but MachFive does have some nice features, not least being a unique, one-screen interface. The sampler hasn’t quite kept pace with recent releases from Native Instruments, Cakewalk, and others, so this week’s release of version 2 is a welcome development. New in this release: 32 GB of sounds: Four dual-layer DVDs for a total of 32GB of sounds, with sample rates up to 192kHz. There’s a 24-bit 96kHz 8GB sampled piano, and a MachFive adaptation of the very nice VSL …

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Sibelius 5 Notation Preview: Plug-ins, Ideas Hub, More

Sibelius 5’s Ideas Pad aims to change the way you track thoughts and compose in your notation software. Or you can cut and paste from its presets, bringing “presets” to scoring for the first time. Hopefully you’ll err on the side of original ideas, but the next time Don Music can’t think of a cadence — you’re in luck. (Help! How does a plagal cadence go again?) Sibelius 5 is a big upgrade to the notation tool, now part of Avid. The biggest change of all: real VST and Audio Unit plug-in support on Mac and Windows. This merging of …

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Ardour 2, Open Source DAW for Mac and Linux: But Can You Make Music With It?

Ardour, the free, open-source audio workstation for Mac and Linux, received a major 2.0 release on April 30. Now, this is the point where you’d normally expect to see the same, boring list of feature improvements that commercial manufacturers release as bullets in each release. But when I asked the Ardour project lead Paul Davis to say something about the new version, he responded with something — well, unorthodox: Audio on Linux sucks, you can’t make music on it, there are no soft synths, my plug-ins don’t run, nobody can configure Linux, my hardware doesn’t work on Linux, it can’t …

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Free: Find DRM-Free Music, Make Glitchy Sounds, Built in Max

And you thought all Max/MSP/Jitter could do was make sound and visuals. Stephen Lumenta writes in to let us know he’s created a Max patch for searching various DRM-free music stores: i just saw the drm/other music thread. maybe i have too much time on my hand but i built a little max standalone app that will search drm-free stores (juno, bleep, 3beatdigital, emusic, othermusic). maybe useful, maybe just for fun. Mostly interesting as a demonstration of some of Max’s more unorthodox capabilities, but fun nonetheless. You can download a free version for Mac standalone (Universal Binary), or a patch …

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NI Elektrik Piano 1.5: Universal Binary, New Features

Native Instruments has tweaked their Elektrik Piano, finally adding Universal Binary support for Intel Macs. Unlike the Vokator and Spektral Delay updates, though, there are some new features for everyone to enjoy. The samples are the same, but everything else has gotten an update:

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Adobe Soundbooth CS3 Coming Summer; $199 Standalone; Soundbooth vs. Audition

Adobe’s new audio application, compatible with Intel Macs and Windows PCs, has been formally announced today. CDM was one of the first sites to look in-depth at Soundbooth CS3 back in the fall, and we broke the story that the software would be available as a standalone. Now we have a little bit more in the way of details: Soundbooth will ship in “third quarter” or “summer” (depending on which language you read), and it’ll ship with the CS3 Production Suite. I’m a little disappointed that Adobe chose not to ship it as part of the Design suite, since part …

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REAPER App from Winamp Creator Now Less Fugly, Coming to Mac

Cockos’ REAPER, the lightweight audio and MIDI multitrack editor from the creator of Winamp, is coming to (Intel/PPC) Mac, too. There’s a full discussion of the update on the REAPER forum. It’s an “alpha” build, but comes as a surprise: REAPER may have a lot more appeal as the “standard” lightweight host as a cross-platform app. Finished version is due “Q4” of this year. REAPER has been getting endless updates of other kinds, as well, including this new “Stealth” color scheme which looks suspiciously like SONAR to me. (Sorry to be harsh, but it was fugly before. If it’s SONAR-y …

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