Mike from GarageSpin points us to a big story from Microsoft: they've launched a new community site "for the global electronic artist" called Crossfader.
It's in beta form, so there's not much there yet, though the focus is
clearly on DJs and electronica. There's a section called "The
Knowledge" that will eventually have information on production,
performance, and business. The descriptions get a little glib ("tips on
workin it"? "tweakin it"?), but there are some interesting features,
like built-in community blog features and in-line music player. I just
hope this developer is being ironic when he says "Cool. They made the UI look like Office 2003!"

While this site is a long way from replacing EM411 for me, they do have two cool stories up that you should check out:

  • Our friend Dave Hill from Ableton (the Berlin developer's man about Brooklyn) has an overview of Live 4.0.
  • DJ Spooky is up for a video interview talking about his collaboration with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Public Enemy's Chuck D, and of course Cakewalk SONAR

I just interviewed Spooky myself, though (as usual) we talked more
music than tools. I'll have that interview up soon; editing it now for
my upcoming book Real World Digital Audio.

  • Guest

    The writing style is painfully faux-hip– it's like reading drug pamphlets written by law enforcement officers trying to look cool.

    It'd be interesting to post about Mac stuff and see if it gets nuked.

  • admin

    I doubt seriously they'll mind if you talk Mac. They'll be happy to have users . . . right now looks like just the development team. It's not all bad ideas on there, but the thing is so darned ugly.

    Sorry, have to translate to their writing style:

    If you want to be talkin smack about Mac'n around, the Microsoft peeps be down with dat.

    Hmm . . . I didn't make it quite forced enough. 😉

    And, uh, MS guys, if you're reading this: I only kid because I love. Create a broken RSS feed and post lots of MIDI puppets, and you can eat my lunch.

  • Guest

    I always think that's the problem with dance music: not enough corporate sponsorship. It's great to hear that Microsoft are now fully on board, bravely going where only Mitsubishi, Bacardi, Smirnoff, Volkswagen… have been before.

  • Guest

    I have to ask why they are doing this? Preparing the way for the launch of some app? A competitor to GarageBand? maybe

  • admin

    I think it's just a community site, making use of the technology they're using for things like MSN Spaces (their answer to Blogger). Notice the Microsoft name is played down.

    I don't think this is dead-center on Microsoft's radar screen, given the profiles have "Favorite Drink / Favorite Chemical" on them.

    For the record, my favorite chemical brain cell killer is Word 2004's commenting feature. MAN . . .: it's like I can SEE the REVISIONS!


  • Guest

    It wouldn't surprise me if they did try to come up with something to compete with GarageBand… It's got to drive them nuts that Apple has something neat and functional with which to drive Mac sales…

  • Guest

    Apple has Emagic, Steinberg has Yamaha, Sony has Sonic Foundry… – Cakewalk?

  • Guest

    i must be living in a vacuum cuz i thought dj spooky was a mac guy – in late '04 issue of urb magazine he was all about pluggo's max and digital performer on a powerbook.

    i can't help but wonder how much better his interview would've sounded with quicktime streaming :p

  • admin

    Spooky is definitely still on his PowerBook. I think SONAR must be whoever engineered the album. Chuck D is a big fan, so that may be his influence.

    Max/MSP Jitter is still a big tool for him, though I think he uses other things, as well. Vintage titanium PowerBook. 😉