About iOS 7 and Audio: Patience for Users… Inter-App Code for Developers

You have to hand it to Apple – people do care about what they’re doing. Interest in how iOS 7 impacts audio performance is proving more dynamic than I imagined. As an addendum to the story earlier today, it’s worth adding just two points for users – and highlighting some code for developers. 1. This stuff is likely to be fixed. Of course, that’s the best argument for chilling out and waiting. Let the developers (and eager testers) try stuff out, report what isn’t working, and allow third-party developers (and Apple, where relevant) make it work again. If you’re the …

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What’s in the Ableton Live 9.1 Public Beta, How to Get It

We broke the news of the headline Live 9.1 features – dual monitor support, melodic sequencing and automation step sequencing on Push, and high-quality sample rate conversion. CDM may have had the exclusive on this, but it was still surprising to see a point release attract so many readers. The lesson seems clear: a targeted update with features requested by users can be as welcome – or even more welcome – than a big, paid update. Smaller developers have done those sorts of updates for some time (Reaper comes to mind), but perhaps it’s a lesson bigger players can apply. …

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Digital DJing: Serato Scratch Live is Dead; Long Live Serato DJ [In Depth]

Serato DJ With DVS is Here from Serato on Vimeo. Let’s not mince words: Serato’s DJ offerings had gotten confusing, and updates and compatibility lagged. This week, the company has changed the tune: there’s one Serato to support everything, and it’s coming soon. For controller users, that means being ready to go in October, thanks to vastly-expanded hardware compatibility. For digital vinyl users, things are still going somewhat slowly, but a beta will be available later this year with stability afterwards and broader support for hardware early next year. That means controller users are likely to switch this fall, with …

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Live 9.1 Preview: Dual Monitors, More Push Sequencing, High-Quality Sample Rate Conversion

In the midst of a pop-up week of events held with Köln’s Kompakt Records, Ableton has offered a surprise peek into what’s coming soon to Live. 9.1 is a free update for all users, adding some widely-requested features. There’s no release date yet – we’re awaiting a more formal announcement with details soon – but we have gotten a look at what’s in store. Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis gave attendees a demo of three upcoming features: 1. Dual-monitor support, finally allowing you to see Arrangement and Session Views side by side 2. More functionality in Push, including step sequencing of melodies …

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TouchAble 2, iPad Control of Ableton, Nears Release, Kind of Does Everything; Conductr This Week

Ableton could someday make their own iPad app for controlling Live. But it’s getting increasingly tough to imagine how to outdo what third parties have already created. TouchAble 2, the anticipated update to one of the most popular iOS control apps, is nearing release. (“A few weeks” is the timeframe.) The developers have always made the app that was the most extensive in regards to Ableton’s desktop functionality. But TouchAble 2 goes further: this update packs almost everything you could wish for. While the experience of using physical hardware is radically different from that of using the iPad – each …

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Serato Updates Add iPad Control App, More Hardware Support

Serato’s marketing now pushes the notion of flexibility with a variety of different controllers and DJ methods. But it’s taken some time for their hardware support to catch up with their current generation of software. Today’s Serato DJ 1.2.1 and Scratch Live 2.5 updates continue to close that gap, however, and both now boast an iPad app for controlling DJ performances. Music apps on the iPad have tended to fall in one of two categories: either new apps that put the whole functionality of the tool on the iPad (as with Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ for iPad and iPhone or …

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Upgradeable, yes. But the cost of the machine itself is very high - and GPU and CPU upgrade options often aren't the best buys for a Mac tower, either. Photo (CC-BY) Glenn Batuyong.

As Mac Pro Debates Rage On, Time for Some Reality Checks

For all this debate over the new Mac Pro, you really need to know only two things: 1. The current Mac Pro is not a good value at the moment. 2. We have no idea how much the new Mac Pro will cost. And so, everything else (minis, iMacs, MacBooks, and yes, even PCs) rule the roost. That’s good for music, because (as a couple of commenters observed), they’re all working just fine. The Mac Pro I thought was newsworthy last week in that it demonstrated that more internal horsepower is coming to high-end desktops, and that those machines can …

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Tracktion, Elegant, Modern $60 DAW, Now Does Linux, Too

Properly configured, a Linux system can breathe life into old hardware or finely-tune performance on new gear. The problem has often been not the OS, but having a comfortable tool for production when you load it. And so that means Linux fans – or would-be fans – will likely be pleased to see the image above. It’s Tracktion, the lovely but oft-overlooked, bargain-priced DAW, running on Linux. (I highly recommend the just-released Ubuntu Studio. The update includes loads of fixes that solve the kinds of audio configuration problems that have kept many people from Linux, and the compatibility of that …

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A Live 9 That Works Better, and Better in the Dark, Finally Here [Plus More Skins]

Community service announcement! If you play or care about the guitar, skip past this story to the one immediately thereafter, using scrolling! (suggested by readership feedback) A new Live 9 with bug fixes, improvements, and a Disco skin ideal for use in low-light situations. No, not like that other time when we said it was and then it was promptly pulled. This time, for real – as in, I just downloaded it. What you can’t see is what matters: badly-needed reliability fixes should address performance and stability complaints we were hearing from Live 9 users. There’s no way to picture …

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Reason 7 Arrives: Slicing, External MIDI, More – And All Rack Extensions Work [Details, Videos]

Reason 7 is available now, in the full version, upgrades, and entry-level Essentials editions. You can download the new release right away – including, intelligently enough, as a torrent for downloads even if Reason users get overexcited. (Cough, Ableton. Hope you’re paying attention.) There are lots of improvements, but the banner features are clearly integrated slicing and external MIDI sequencing. Those features have been a long time coming. The ability to sequence external MIDI gear seems a no-brainer for a tool with so many great sequencing tools and robust MIDI input control support. And integrated audio slicing is, oddly enough, …

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