2_apollo_mbp

Apollo: UA Adds Low-Latency Effects in Audio Interface, Proves FireWire, Thunderbolt are Cool

Universal Audio has long had a successful business selling hardware DSP effects, many of them carefully-modeling classic analog gear. These products use dedicated DSP hardware for number-crunching, requiring that you connect an extra box to your computer. UA has certainly had their loyalists, and for fans of the products, the dedicated gear is simply a convenient way to get all of these sound-processing goodies. But it’s fair to ask the question, as many producers have who read this site, what’s the advantage? Why not simply use native processing on your computer? Apollo, UA’s new hardware, answers that question more emphatically. …

READ MORE →
bloom_planetary_3

Sound, the Final Frontier: Audio Collections as Planets in Space, Intelligently Related

Two spacey ways of finding media: music collections, heirarchy, and images of planets in Planetary for iPad, top. Sound and loop collections, “magnetic” relations, algorithmic categorization, and rapid torchlight auditioning in Soundtorch 2.0 for Windows, bottom. If your music and sound collections seem like outwardly-expanding universes, two new tools promise to bring order by representing media as virtual planets and stars. One works on albums and tracks on the iPad; the other uses computer-aided analysis of loops and samples (not just music) on Windows. One will make your eyeballs pop; one might help you manage gigs of samples for a …

READ MORE →
halion4

HALion 4, Steinberg’s Sampler + Synth Soft Workstation, Gets Deeper

Sampler? Synth? Workstation? Or just big bucket of sound? There are some impressive rabbit holes for sound designers out there, and Steinberg’s offering just got a big refresh. While looking at the latest flagship from a music hardware giant (Roland’s Jupiter-80), it’s revealing to compare the software side of the fence. Computer software instruments may not be directly equivalent to all-in-one keyboards, but they do each embody the latest thinking in how to build expressive instruments and new sounds. German maker Steinberg is at home at this week’s giant Messe trade show, and they’ve taken the wraps off the upcoming …

READ MORE →
xoom

Here Come the Tablets; Which to Watch, How Digital Musicians Will Use Them

Motorola’s new flagship tablet. Photo courtesy Motorola. The iPad has a massive head start in software and a clear lead in design elegance, but in the tablet market, it’s no longer alone. As expected, this week’s Consumer Electronics Show brings a slew of tablets. Don’t call them iPad rip-offs, either. Given product development cycles, many of these products were likely in the pipeline before competitors saw the iPad. (There’s no doubt in the intervening time the iPad has made its mark, both as a benchmark of what to be and how rivals might differentiate themselves.) Browsing, e-books, and games lead …

READ MORE →
indamixxpro2_pt

Pro Tools 9 on a Mobile Tablet, on Indamixx Pro and Windows 7

The jury’s still out about how many music producers will want to run desktop OSes on tablets. But here’s one thing that’s not in doubt: alongside dedicated mobile OSes like Android and iOS, you can expect to see tablets in 2011 that do the things your laptop does now. They’ll have standard ports (like USB), they’ll run full-blown desktop OSes (Linux and Windows), and you’ll be able to run traditional software on them. Don’t get me wrong: I think dedicated software design for tablets is a good thing, and the iPad isn’t going anywhere. But the imminent availability of Windows …

READ MORE →

Going Native: New Pro Tools HD Native, Your DAW, and Low-Latency Performance

For some time, the move has seemed inevitable – even more so as the rumor mill started echoing with suggestions that a native release was coming. But now, it’s happened: Pro Tools HD will now run without HD DSP hardware. And that’s not all — you can also use the same hardware with your existing DAW of choice, for users of software like Cubase and Logic. There’s a price tag attached, though. This remains what for many would be a high-end solution. At US$3495 retail and up, it’s not competition for buying a basic interface card and Cubase. Think, instead, …

READ MORE →

The Most Out of Windows 7: Choosing and Optimizing Windows for Music

From our call for CDM reader studios, Eric Beam’s studio. In his setup: Windows 7 64-bit, Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5 DAW (with native 64-bit support), and the excellent modular patching environment Plogue Bidule. Click through to Flickr for a closer look. Photo (CC-BY) Eric Beam. This week, while we poll readers to find out what platforms they really use and care about for music, we’re launching a new series to help you get the most out of whichever OS you choose. We’ve been covering the complexities of Windows for a while, from the bumpy Vista transition to the smoother advent of …

READ MORE →

Hundreds of Free Musical Tools Now Free to Add to Usine

Usine is an overlooked gem in music making, a PC-based modular environment and live performance tool that runs as a host or VST plug-in. Pick the modules you need from a set of powerful building blocks, and build a custom musical rig, complete with multi-touch control on new Windows devices. It sounds like something you might request from a magical genie, but the thing is real, priced at EUR120 (or just EUR60 for educational users). As with any modular environment, having ample access to powerful modules and some patches to get you started is everything. But that makes this week’s …

READ MORE →

Emulator, Multitouch PC Software, Makes Tablets into Controllers for Traktor, More

The Apple iPad has terrific, responsive multi-touch input, but for many, using it to control music would mean carrying an iPad and a computer. That’s a cheaper combination than using a JazzMutant Lemur with a computer, but it’s still two pieces. With a number of PCs gradually adding touch capabilities, it seems inevitable that integrated touch for music will become at least a compelling option. These machines also have some features the iPad lacks, such as USB and other conventional I/O, and true pen input, which can be more precise for arts applications …and they’re traditional computers, with all the …

READ MORE →