Save NYC Music: Tonic, WKCR

It's a rough time here in NYC for people presenting live music. Tonic, the primary venue in the city for experimental live music (including, especially, out-there electronics) is in big trouble: rent that's doubled in 7 years, tripled insurance rates, a robbery, failing facilities, and a collapsed sewage line. (Plague of locusts? That may be next.) And it sounds like they need over $100,000. In, oh say, the next few weeks. Check the Tonic site for more on how they're fighting back: contributions and benefits. With the benefit tonight at $8, at least helping them is affordable. And if that …

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DP and Logic Both Win Key Buy (Keyboard)

To add further fodder to software choice discussion on this site: both major Mac-only DAWs have won Key Buy awards from Keyboard Magazine, Apple's Logic Pro and MOTU Digital Performer. DP won its Key Buy in my review of version 4.5, which came out in the February Keyboard; for excerpts see MOTU's site. Francis Preve gave Logic Pro 7 a glowing review earlier. (updated with links) Logic Pro 7 Review (Francis Preve) MOTU Digital Performer 4.5 Review (Peter Kirn) If you haven't made up your mind yet, check out the reviews in KB and other publications and see which is …

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Cantor Virtual Singer Adds German, MIDI Lyrics

Virsyn's virtual singer software Cantor has now added voices and pronunciation for German (which Virsyn says works nicely for Latin pronunciation, too). Version 1.6 includes German support with 100,000 words, which handily beats my own 23-word vocabulary in German, most of which is related to food. There's also a new choral generator feature and the ability to import MIDI songs complete with lyrics. By the way, if you're imagining all of this sounds pretty weird, you're right. Deliciously so. Check out the range of possibilities in the sound samples. It's a heck of a step up from those annoying choral …

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MOTU Revises MX4, MachFive

We missed MOTU's NAMM announcements in my travels, though in the meantime they've had time to put details up on their site, so here you go: MOTU's MachFive sampler version 2 adds standalone operation, unlimited parts, a full-screen preset browser and expanded views of many other sampler components, a groove-slicing engine called LoopLab (related to DP's beat detection?) and real-time stretching, plus new layering and a built-in mixer. Lots of small enhancements on their own, but together this a very big update. Free upgrade if you buy now. Version 2 of the MX4 synth will be a free upgrade for …

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New Virtual Orchestras At-a-Glance

NAMM was host to a bevy of new virtual orchestra products. Here's a quick summary: Garritan Personal Orchestra (Windows/Mac) now comes in three versions adding more sounds and articulations: the Second Edition update adds various enhancements and patch additions, while a new Advanced (US$499) version includes more instruments and articulations like harmonics and a Lite (US$149) is aimed at students and educators. New libraries were released that focus on band and violin solo; nothing on the Garritan site so see the MacCentral story. Powered by NI Kontakt. Miroslav Orchestral Library from IK Multimedia (Windows/Mac) is an entirely-new orchestral sample library; …

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US Invasion: Linux Studio-on-CD

Fervent Software is now shipping a US-localized version of its Studio-to-Go Linux CD software, and has updated their Web site over the last month with more information. (Runs on Mambo, just like CDM — interesting.) The idea is this: load in a CD, boot up, and you have an entire studio filled with Linux music software ready to run, on any PC. Mastering tools, synths, drum machine, multitrack recording, notation, it's all there — with zero configuration. You can even run Windows VSTs right in Linux. My own preference is to install straight to HD, which on my Toshiba laptop …

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The OS X Transition is Over

I remember running into a top Apple music rep at Macworld. I said something involving the phrase "OS X transition." "Can't we stop referring to it as a transition now?" said the Apple person. I think at the time Digital Performer lacked AU support, Pro Tools wasn't available, things were crashing, audio support was undocumented and didn't work, and mysterious winged demons flew out of my PowerBook every time I booted it up. And even that wasn't the point — I explained to him that the bottom line was, the "transition" was an individual thing, and it wasn't over until …

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MetaSynth 4 Arrives (OS X)

At long last, one of the most beloved and unusual Mac sound creation applications has made it to OS X, with vastly expanded features. The brainchild of Bryce creator Eric Wenger, the first version of U&I Software's MetaSynth was popular with the likes of Aphex Twin for its far-out, one-of-a-kind sound production and the ability to generate audio by painting or importing pictures. This builds on that tradition: Completely new Image Synth architecture for creating sounds from images with new signal sources and plenty of other changes Image Filter 'room' that takes all the features of Image Synth and applies …

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Live from Connecticut College

Today I'm speaking to an audience at the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology of Connecticut College about finding a meeting place between visual expression and sound. For attendees (and you readers at home), here are some helpful links: Physical Modeling and Sound Creation: Apple's Logic (Mac-only) is deep as it is, but its Sculpture synth alone points to the future of virtual instruments with sophisticated physical modeling sound generators. Free Lunch on Windows: Logic's price tag is a hefty $1000 ($500 academic); if you're a Windows user, check out the free VST String Theory from Ugo. No VST host? …

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Tube 5.1 Surround Headphones

Clearly, the future of headphones is surround sound, delivered by "acoustical alloy" tubing worn around the head. I have no qualms whatsoever about this device. I'm sure the surround effect is completely successful, and I think the claim of "mastering" as an application is an excellent idea — if you're mastering professional 5.1 surround mixes, then you should spend the EUR149.00 on this device, because it will accurately represent 5.1 surround separation and spatialization. What do you mean, I'm overdoing the irony? I also see they're working on a combination DVD player + headphones "perfect for karaoke." Um, 5.1 surround …

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