Karaoke Inventor Profile, Karaoke Goes Digital

This week's CDM Fine Reading Award goes to channelnewsasia.com for profiling an inventor we really care about: the inventor of karaoke, Daisuke Inoue. Aside from being the most horrendous case of "really should have patented that" ever, Inoue turns out to be an Ig Nobel Prize Winner (alongside the authors of published report The Effects of Country Music on Suicide), and reached his stroke of genius by being . . . a really lazy accompanist. (I can relate to that.) What's next? Automatic cockroach-killing gadgetry and the ability to wash dishes and laundry without soap. (I can relate to those, …

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iBoom iPod Boombox

1980s, meet 2004: DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters) is shipping their new iBoom iPod boombox. What makes it cool is that it runs on D batteries or plugs in, so it's a true portable solution, without having to bother with those annoyingly unreliable FM radio transmitters. Bonus: built-in FM radio with digital tuning and preset buttons. Looks great, brilliant idea — now CDM just wants to know how it sounds. It's not hugely powerful, 20W per channel, but it could be just the thing for playing at parties by the pool; stay tuned for a review. Compatibility: All iPods and iPod …

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MegaSeg 3 DJ Software Released (Mac)

MegaSeg 3, the OS X-only DJ package announced last month, was released today. The developer says there are more than 100 improvements, but here are some big ones: Redesigned hardware-style Dual-Deck Mixer Direct open/save to iTunes (with full support for AAC songs purchased from the iTunes music store!) Library and playlist printing, HTML logging, playlist sorting Better sound quality: smooth pitch returns, treble and bass controls New UI with 2-button mouse support, multi-select editing I'll still go with Native Instruments Traktor for vinyl-style DJing with insanely detailed controls (PowerPage.org's Jason O'Grady likens the Traktor interface to a 747 airplane cockpit), …

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What’s New in Guitar Rig 1.2

Native Instruments, apparent coffee drinkers and update maniacs, are at it again with their Guitar Rig guitar effects and amp package. Here's what's new, among other things, in the free 1.2 update: Four new modules: Fuzz Ace (fuzz pedal based on Arbiter Fuzz Face), Big Fuzz (fuzz pedal based on Electro Harmonix Big Muff), Cat (distortion pedal based on ProCo Rat), Demon Distortion (distortion pedal based on MXR Dime Distortion) 50+ new presets "Volume Learn" automatically adjusts gain of incoming signals Use in Adobe Audition or on Mac on AU-compatible host as a 'music effect' and receive MIDI while recording …

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MetaSynth 4 Coming to OS X Soon (CDM Exclusive)

U&I Software tells createdigitalmusic.com that they expect to release the highly-anticipated Mac OS X version of MetaSynth by the end of the year (unofficially). MetaSynth, created by wonder-programmer Eric Wenger who brought us tools like Bryce and ArtMatic, was the one and only reason to run Classic in OS X for many of us who couldn't live without the unique sonic generation capabilities of this "image synth." The application has to be experienced first-hand to be understood: MetaSynth has unique synthesis, granular editing, and filtering/effects capabilities, centering around a graphical synthesizer that lets you create and edit sound using graphical …

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Soundsonline Free Instrument Sampler CD (Win, Mac)

650 MB of instruments and loops is nothing to sneeze at, so even if you have to cough up the US$9.75 shipping cost, the new Soundsonline Instrument Sampler V1 sounds well worth it. You can use this library with virtually any PC or Mac host, and play with a healthy library of sampled instruments and sound modules. The sounds from East West, a great sampling house, are powered by Native Instruments synths. Pick it up for free with an order or at a dealer, or pay for 1-2 day FedEx delivery. Best news: no registration required, and you can use …

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Mackie Traktion 1 Audio/MIDI App Now Free (Win, Mac)

Forget limited-feature bundled apps or the now-defunct Pro Tools Free; Mackie's got your free general-purpose audio tool right here. Traktion is available free for a limited time, and rivals the flagship audio/MIDI workstations for functionality, with audio and MIDI recording and editing, VST plugin and instrument hosting and ReWire support, a built-in sampler and filters, and pro-level mastering tools, collaboration, and project management. Best of all, it does all this in a single-window interface vaguely reminiscent of Ableton Live, so it's a lot easier to approach than apps like Apple Logic. Give it a try via the free promotion page …

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Free Clavinet Synth on Mac OS X

Budding Stevie Wonders with GarageBand, listen up: the superb but free Ticky Clav physical-modeled Hohner Clavinet synth is now on X, as the Apulsoft continues to bring the best VSTs to OS X's AU format. The instrument's physical modeling features allow it to "faithfully reproduce the strings vibration and the 2 pickups of the Clavinet Model C." Apulsoft free AU ports page Big Tick (Windows developer) Donations encouraged (let's keep this great stuff coming). Download

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Delay Dots Spectral Suite on Mac OS X

Delay Dots' Windows-first suite of plugins, the Sound designers | Spectral Suite, has made it to Mac OS X VST, with an AU version in progress. There's a nice line-up of effects here for sound creation: Spectral Morph, with convolution and vocoder modes Bass exciter (available in an optional pro version) Spectral pitch shifter Physical-modeled tube distortion Demos are available, but if you're dizzy with plugins already, watch for the CDM review soon. Compatibility: Mac VST (AU soon), PC VST (PC users, check out the freeware page, too!) Cost:  $99 Mac, $75 PC; lifetime upgrades, available now

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FL Studio 5 Arrives (Win)

Integrated synthesis and sequencing software FL Studio 5 has received a major new upgrade. Unlike most competitive products, FL Studio has lifetime free upgrades, so this is free for existing users. Lots of new features, many of which are related to time stretching and beat slicing (for some, this could even make FL Studio competitive with programs like Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason): "Elastique" time-stretching and pitch-shifting in audio tracks and tempo-synced stretch previews Improved Fruity Slicer, with stretching and REX loops support Tempo tapping Basic loop recording Tempo Detector tool aligns project tempos to songs The upgrade also features …

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