Live 9.2 Answers Your Warp, Automation, Tuner, and Pad Wishes

It’s nice to get what you ask for. More than any recent release I can recall, Ableton Live 9.2 feels like it’s ticking off a task list of user requests. The software enters (a very stable, in my experience) public beta this week. There’s nothing earth-shaking, but I know CDM has enough Ableton users that this will matter. To get there, though, be forewarned: Ableton is dropping support for some older Mac and Windows operating systems. (10.6 and earlier / Vista and earlier, respectively.) If you make the cut, though, you’ll likely find some welcome changes in this free update …

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Obsessive Windows 7 Under-the-Hood Guide for Music; Can You Finally Dump XP?

Windows 7 running on a laptop, as photographed by / (CC) Luke Roberts. Windows 7 makes far subtler changes than Vista did, which gives it an opportunity to refine features by the ship date. And it’s been tested unusually widely, by testers like Luke. Windows matters. It’s what roughly half of CDM readers use, and – for all the attention Apple gets – it’s a big part of the computer music world. Windows today also faces many of the same under-the-hood challenges that other operating systems do, so even if you’re a die-hard Linux or Mac user, you may want …

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Kontakt, Battery: Enhanced, More Compatible, 64-bit Memory

Even on Mac, the new Kontakt can use the memory you’ve got installed. On Windows 64-bit, Kontakt (and Battery, too) can use memory beyond … well, what you’d even imagine installing. Native Instruments has updated its sampling engine, releasing beta versions 3.0.5 for its Battery drum sampler and 3.5.0 final for the flagship Kontakt sampler. Both are free upgrades. (For anyone who thought that somehow Maschine was replacing Battery, it isn’t: the former is a drum machine, whereas the latter is more like a high-end drum sampler.) There are a number of significant enhancements, but perhaps the most interesting is …

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Bug Squash: AlexP on MacBook Vista Audio Problems, Other Wifi Adapters and DPCs?

I love the sound bugs make when you squish them under a solution. AlexP, whose blog is also a great source for multitouch and the Sony PS3 Eye Camera and Windows drivers we used in the recent hackday, has been diagnosing his MacBook under Windows Vista. Hardware problems are often the source of sound blips on computers. I’ve talked previously about using the DPC Latency Checker to find this issue. The good news: Alexander has found the problem (the Broadcom Wireless Adapter in some Apple MacBooks) and a solution (switching off Windows’ automatic wireless network search when you don’t need …

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A New Cubase: V5 Emphasizes Add-ons, Performance, and Steinberg Goes iPhone

Cubase 5 includes under-the-hood improvements to performance, but many of the new features – like the unusual LoopMash loop masher upper instrument – come in the form of instrumental add-ons. LoopMash is interesting, but it’s more a bundled instrument than a truly integrated feature. The big traditional DAW announcement at this NAMM show was Steinberg’s Cubase 5. Cubase as a music software brand is now older than some people who read this blog, but never mind: Cubase 5 certainly doesn’t want for new stuff. And Cubase still claims to be the world’s most popular computer DAW. Computer Music Magazine has …

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NVIDIA Sets Notebook Graphics Drivers Free, Makes GPGPU, PhysX Mobile; ATI, Your Move

Finally, NVIDIA extends a welcome mat. Photo by Anna Irsch. For graphics cards, drivers are everything: it’s just not possible to be on top of stability, performance, and functionality without access to new, stable drivers. But for Windows notebooks, unlike desktops, traditionally you had to turn to OEM PC vendors to get your NVIDIA graphics drivers. That would be fine, if PC vendors kept pace, but my near-universal experience has been that vendors are awful about drivers. Just finding drivers on many sites is a Herculean task, let alone getting something up-to-date. That had meant that, for GPU gurus, the …

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Now Shipping: Pro Tools 8, All Versions

I know some people were wondering about this – it’s now official. Digidesign reports Pro Tools 8 is actually shipping now, with the integrated MIDI edit window, score notation editor (via recently-acquired Sibelius) right in the DAW, bundled instruments and synths, some amp simulation, “Elastic Pitch,” and additional insert slots. None of this is huge news to users of competitive products, with the notable exception of Sibelius notation integration. I’m very keen to hear how people actually use that, because the score facilities in tools like Logic aren’t competitive with favored tools like Sibelius and Finale, in my experience. On …

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Locative Art, Now: Microsoft’s Photosynth Makes Photography into 3D Virtual Reality

In William Gibson’s novel Spook Country released last year, artists create a new generation of “locative art.” Peer through goggles at a real-world scene, and see something that isn’t literally there. Few would say it was Gibson’s best novel – perhaps partly because the plotline didn’t live up to how compelling the locative art ideas were. But the art has already moved from science fiction into reality.

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Full-screen Vista + Processing 0156 + Java 6u10 Fix

Running Vista? Running Processing? This is important: you’ll want to apply this fix if working with fullscreen apps (as you would be as a live visualist). The short version: there’s a property to set if you’re working in an IDE (Eclipse / NetBeans. If you’re just working in Processing, the easiest thing to do is to download Processing 0156 with Java included rather than the “expert” version. But if you’re interested in knowing the gory details, here goes:

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