Novation Keyboard Availability Update

At long last, Novation tells createdigitalmusic their new X-Station keyboards will be available. US Availability is now this week for the 25-key model and end of February for 49-key and 61-key models. To see what the fuss about, read my article from earlier this winter on the X-Stations' great control surface / integrated synth / audio interface features. It's an ideal complement to a computer music system, especially now if it's actually shipping.

READ MORE →

Macworld: Bluetooth Audio

Following earlier news from Griffith, Lee Sherman tips us off to additional Bluetooth audio devices at Macworld, but don't get too excited: iPod-only, reduced audio quality versus wired systems (though much better than FM transmitters), and high prices (expect around $150-200+ based on what we've seen from previous products). Ratoc Systems iPod headphone / stereo transmitter, price TBD MacAlly BlueWave (no info on Web site at press time) TEN Technology naviPlay Bluetooth 3G iPod adapter, price TBD Of these companies, TEN appears to have the broadest plans with other stereo equipment promised soon. Ironically, one of the killer apps for …

READ MORE →

Build Your Own Drum Pads

It's one of those electronic music DIY dreams: building drum pads from scratch. Sound on Sound had an article in 1995 that goes through, step by step, how to build a drum pad and trigger system. You'll want to check out the Physical Computing page, too. Anyone want to give this one a try? Hit comments if you have, are planning to, or have other good resources. (Stay tuned for my own adventures in piezo sensors.)

READ MORE →

Macworld: Griffin Audio Toys for Mac, iPod

Griffin Technology has a bunch of new iPod/Mac audio stuff to show off at Macworld Expo: AirClick is a remote control for iPod, iPod mini, and the Mac; US$39 on preorder SmartDeck is a cassette adapter for iPod that lets you control iPod navigation via a car tape player (brilliant!); US$24.99 now BlueTrip is a Bluetooth wireless transmitting solution for beaming audio from your iPod to your stereo; US$149.99 now FireWave is a FireWire surround sound interface; US$99.99 on preorder So is Bluetooth wireless audio the Next Big Thing? Time will tell . . .

READ MORE →

VDrum: Video Drum Machine (Win)

VJ Fader, creator of Max/MSP/Jitter-powered Neuromixer (an excellent video mixer with lots of support for controllers), now introduces a first: VDrum is a step sequencer not only for audio, but video, too. The first version was released today with the following features: Sequence AV clips using on/off switches, via numeric pad or MIDI input Record video and audio to hard drive Multiple resolution support (as in Jitter) Audio and video effects Midi support VJ Fader is looking for sample content to include, so contact him if you're interested. Windows XP only for now, but the other software is cross-platform so …

READ MORE →

PowerBook G5: Snowball’s Chance?

Those of you looking for better laptop performance on the Mac, don't expect it to come in the form of a PowerBook G5. AppleInsider reports in its conference call notes that Apple's CFO calls it "the mother of all thermal challenges." That statement has plenty of precedent, as Apple has cautioned impatient Mac laptop fans that G5 PowerBooks are unlikely before, as noted by Macworld UK. So, while Apple is very competitive with its desktop G5 products, does this mean the Mac will still continue to lag somewhat in digital audio laptop performance? Not necessarily: relief could come in the …

READ MORE →

Macworld: Omnipotent Keyboard, FireWire Controller

Appearing from out of a parallel music universe, a Chinese company called CME introduced its UF omnipotent master keyboard at Macworld Expo. Apparently endorsed by leading Chinese musicians and producers, the keyboard is a "MIDI master keyboard" that boasts several firsts: Cool black metallic duraluminum construction (with communist red trim) Digital audio FireWire expansion capability (Ed: looks like mLAN support, specifically!) The world's first keyboard controller with breath control The keyboard has aftertouch and provides 8 knobs, 9 sliders, pitchbend and modulation wheels, and additional transport controls for software DAWs. There are four models, three semi-weighted 49/61/76-key models and one …

READ MORE →

VJ, Video, Electronic Music Parties at Macworld

For those of you in San Francisco for Macworld, three events two watch for: Tonight (Tuesday): Drinks are on Discreet at the BAMG meetup — featuring red-hot visual effects artist Culley Bunker (Black Eyed Peas, Spiderman 2) Thursday: Edirol is sponsoring the Iron VJ battle at 9:30 PM, presented by the Video Salon (one of the country's hottest VJ events) Friday: iThink has a huge lineup of the Bay Area's coolest electronic musicians, plus digital art and video Going to any of these events? Let us know what goes down: send photos, text, impressions, whatever (hit contact me on the …

READ MORE →

Review: JamPlug Miniature Guitar Amp

Isaac Guzman, whom New Yorkers may know from his NY Daily News byline, has gotten his hands on DV Forge's JamPlug and now brings CDM a full review. Can a guitar amp that's "the world's tiniest" make enough sound? Read on for details. -Ed Product: JamPlug Manufacturer: DV Forge Price: US$49.99 Availability: Now

READ MORE →

LIVE MACWORLD UPDATES: GarageBand 2 Revealed, More, But no Audio Interface

Big news from Apple. There's surround in QuickTime 7, for starters, in a Jobs demo, but GarageBand 2 is getting big changes: Included music notation 8-track simultaneous recording Automatic pitch and timing correction, including Vocal Transformer (the AutoTune-like pitch correction in Logic Pro 7) Part of iLife `05 US$79, available this week In other news (all now up on Apple.com): iPod shuffle flash player $500 Mac mini (with FireWire 400 and USB 2, so could work for audio!) iWork productivity suite includes Pages plus Keynote John Mayer performance as always NO AUDIO INTERFACE, despite the release of GarageBand 05. Stay …

READ MORE →