How’d Apple’s Cloud Do? Four Questions, Answered

Earlier today, as indie music advocates expressed concern over Apple’s iCloud today, I asked a set of questions about what I thought was relevant about these services. Those were questions not just for Apple, but any new “cloud” service. I don’t want to leave those questions dangling, now that we know more about Apple’s upcoming entry. So here are some answers, now that we have some data (though not, importantly, a shipping product).

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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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MOTU Digital Performer Adds Native OpenSoundControl

And there were three – three major production apps now have OSC control. Once considered the domain of “DIY” apps or developers, OpenSoundControl is beginning to look like a viable option for open, standardized controls of music apps. Open-source Mac/Linux DAW Ardour has fully-documented OSC support as we saw in the spring, and this week tracker Renoise added OSC in a public beta. They join environments like Max and Pd, and a wide range of live visual software. Add to that list DP. MOTU’s Digital Performer is the first mainstream, commercial DAW heavy-hitter to get OSC support, in its 7.2 …

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The First Round of iPad Apps Is Here: Updated Round-up, More Thoughts

I’ve completed my round-up of some of the most compelling music creation applications coming to iPad at or near launch: iPad Apps for Music Making: What’s Coming, The Bigger Picture The revised post includes some new videos and apps introduced over the weekend, so check out the full line-up. My thinking was that putting everything in one place makes it easier to find, and to get a sense of the … well, the bigger picture. The iPad DAW? Perhaps the most intriguing addition is StudioTrack from Sonoma (pictured at top), which looks most like a traditional DAW, but with bigger, …

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Here Come the Fixes: Live 8.1.1 Begins Squashing Bugs

(CC) Pikturewerk. Minor releases and bugfixes don’t generally make CDM news, but this is a special occasion. Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles got everyone’s attention this week by making the rare public announcement that Ableton’s development team was temporarily halting work on new features to focus on fixing bugs. That has prompted some seriously impassioned discussion, on the Ableton forum but also here on CDM. Look past some of the hyperbola and name-calling, and you’ll see some insightful comments on both sides. In fact, the whole affair reveals a lot about how music software customers view bugs, updates, support, …

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Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5.2 Update Packs a Lot in a Point

This would normally be a generic picture of an overview of the Track View or something, but… come on. Let’s just look at a step sequencer. (Yes, it looks similar to FL Studio’s step sequencer. But you get a decidedly SONAR-like workflow, which feels nothing like Fruity Loops. Whether that’s good news depends on how you feel about FL and SONAR.) The tricky thing about introducing a new feature is that you almost immediately hear from users about other features that would go well with that feature. (There’s a children’s story that goes this way.) The folks at Cakewalk have …

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Apps of 2009: With 1.1, Maschine Realizes its Potential as the Soft Drum Machine

Maschine’s lovely hardware controller makes the software drum machine more usable – but the software still behaves like software, and now integrates more fully with your setup in hosts like Live. Photo (CC) Joakim Bergman. Drum machines may have no soul, but thanks to an update, Native’s soft drum machine has a lot more meat. As the year comes to a close, inevitably thoughts turn to writing “best of the year” stories and round-ups. For computer musicians, this year has been dominated by Ableton on one hand and mobile apps on the other. But one of the big software releases …

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Euphonix EuControl Software Patched, Fixes 10.5.7 Support and More

That was quick! The folks at Euphonix are already out with a patch that resolves an issue with the just-released update Mac OS X 10.5.7. From the description: Software update for both MC Control and MC Mix that fixes compatibility issues with Mac OS 10.5.7. Includes recent MC Control touch-screen response optimization, as well as improved Digital Performer integration and more. http://euphonix.com/artist/support/downloads.php

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Automap 3 Pro: New Heads-Up Display, More Flexibility for Dynamic Controllers

Dynamic control is fantastic. The idea is this: when you switch to a new app or instrument or effect, the hardware controller automatically assigns parameters to controls. That means no messing around with templates, assignment editors, and configuration, and the ability to quickly gain control of your software when editing or performing. Novation’s MIDI-controlling keyboards and control surfaces are likely the best example of this with their “Automap” feature, as found on the ReMOTE line and the cute, DJ-friendly Nocturn. But doing dynamic assignment also creates some challenges. You have to sort out which parameters get controlled. And most importantly, …

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RjDj Updates: Compatibility, Reliability Info

The creators of interactive iPhone music app RjDj have posted a quick update on their blog answering a number of questions readers have raised here. The easiest fix: if you can’t hear RjDj’s output, you need to use the official Apple headset and mic. Tougher, but in the works: iPod touch support, and a fix for the nasty crash bug. Don’t tell us here on comments; go straight to their bug tracker and help them squash the problem. (One reader here thinks the issue may be downloading over-the-air rather than via iTunes sync.) Some people were trying to install RjDj …

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