Mix Like Geordi LaForge: Smart AV on Gizmodo

This week's Gizmodo installment from me highlights the Smart AV console, the intelligent control surface shown at AES and appearing again next month at NAMM. If you haven't seen this yet, it's a futuristic computer DAW control surface that uses touch-sensitive and light-sensitive surfaces to allow a limited number of physical channel strips to virtually access many more. The inventor is a former magician. Sure, it costs up to $150,000. But it's also a marvel of interface design, worth observing for anyone working with interactivity and control surfaces or just interested in a glimpse of the future. See the Gizmodo …

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Apple Audio Interface Subpoena Confirmed

Apple is targeting Web sites because it doesn't yet have a defendant as it attempts to smoke out the source of a leak, report The Mac Observer and CNet News.com. Apple, a company known for obsessive secrecy and CEO Jobs' dedication to finding and plugging leaks, appears interested in  stopping leaks of both information and software: in a separate case, it's suing over leaked copies of the developer release of OS X 10.4. According to CNet, Apple sought and was granted a subpoena for PowerPage.org, AppleInsider, and Think Secret. Naturally, a side effect of all of this is more publicity …

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MOTU DP 4.51: Multi Bounce, Dynamic CPU

Normally, I don't like to cover 'point-one' releases, but MOTU's Digital Performer 4.51 is a major upgrade for users of this popular Mac-only digital audio workstation: Dynamic CPU Management frees up the CPU when plugins are idle. All MOTU plugins have been updated; third party MAS and AU plugins have to be updated by the developer. Saved Bounce and Multi Bounce lets you instantly bounce and batch process audio. User plugins are better organized into subfolders and a user folder, a boon to those of us loaded with plugins. Enhanced DirectMIDI support means more MIDI communication with RTAS plugins. Marker …

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Yamaha Acquires Steinberg (Analysis)

Musical instrument giant Yamaha will acquire 100% of Steinberg GmbH, including Steinberg USA, in a closed competitive bidding deal announced yesterday. Steinberg is developer of software products like Cubase and Nuendo. The purchase isn't a surprise: Steinberg and Yamaha collaborated on integrating Yamaha gear with Steinberg software via Studio Connections, integration that's likely to deepen under this deal, and many observers expected Pinnacle to sell Steinberg, which it acquired in January 2003. (click 'read more' for analysis)

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Slipstream: Send Audio to Airport Express From Any Mac App

Apple's Airport Express is about to become a must-have. Rogue Amoeba's Slipstream Mac OS X application will let you use any Mac application with the Airport, not just iTunes. Pick an application source, choose the Airport you want to send to, and you've got instant audio streaming over Wi-Fi. The application is coming in early 2005 for US$25, with an initial price of $20. (Screenshot shown is preliminary.) The product hasn't been announced to the press yet, but Rogue did send an announcement yesterday to its user list.

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Gestural Music

Sometimes the best interface for music is no interface at all. The international S.S.S. trio (Sensors Sonics Sights) has adopted three different gestural interfaces for their work: ultrasound, traditional Theremin, and EMG electrical 'bio-signals' that measure muscle contractions. None of these are unique in themselves, but seeing the visual artist, Theremin virtuoso, and electronic music inventor making arm motions together onstage is entertaining. It's incredible to consider: the Theremin was invented in 1919, but in 2004, with all the technology we have, there's still novelty to someone magically waving their arms and producing sound. (First seen on networked_performance)

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Waterproof Music? The Wetronome

Okay, it's a stretch. Despite its name, the Wetronome covered yesterday by Gizmodo is intended for pacing strokes in swimming, not music. But given the innovations in portable music covered here alone, why couldn't your next instrument be — waterproof? The Wetronome is a model of aquatic design, completely sealed and programmed with a magnetic wand. If your cello weren't water soluble, you could be practicing in the waves right now. Don't let me down, technology inventors out there. I know you're up to the task.

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WireTap Pro Recording Utility (Mac OS X)

Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack has a new rival for recording audio from any Mac app: Ambrosia has announced its new audio recording utility WireTap Pro (US$19). WireTap Pro boasts a one-button interface, direct AIFF, MP3, and AAC recording support, iCal integration for scheduled recording of radio, and even sharing of recording scheduling packages with other users. (That last feature could be the killer feature.) One feature Audio Hijack has it doesn't: it doesn't look like there's effects capabilities or by-application control. Crazy power users like me may want both utilities, especially with the $9 crossgrade from Audio Hijack. WireTap's simple …

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Apple Subpoenas Sites Over Asteroid Audio Rumor

As I speculated yesterday, Apple's lawsuit was most likely over the rumored Asteroid audio interface. Apple has subpoenaed AppleInsider, PowerPage, and Think Secret to try to determine the source of the leak, reports Engadget. It's not clear from Engadget's tip whether Apple is seeking a subpoena or has gotten one already. Since a subpoena is a court order, parties would legally have to appear in court, though legally journalists don't have to divulge stories. Anything you read here is entirely speculative, and I'm certainly not qualified to comment on legal issues! I will say companies do have some good reasons …

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Apple Sues Over Asteroid Leak?

Reuters reports that Apple sued "unnamed individuals" on December 13 over a recent product leak. Additional unnamed parties may be added to the suit once their identity is known, says Reuters. While Reuters notes flash iPod rumors have spread through the Web and some sites have speculated that Motorola-Apple phone stories could be behind the suit, it seems more likely that the more credible story of a new Apple audio interface may be the subject of the suit. This isn't the first time Apple has sought to protect industrial secrets. Apple sued a contractor in 2002 over leaked Power Mac …

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