The new, svelte Lightning connector may require clunky adapters for some hardware - but it's otherwise not a dealbreaker. Photo (CC-BY-SA) William Hook.

iPhone 5: Audio Accessories Compatible; Some Require Adapters [IK, Line 6 Official Word]

Apple has dropped their own 30-pin standard connector on the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch. In its place is a thinner, lighter, harder-to-plug-the-wrong-way connector called Lightning. So, what does this mean for those of you who use audio accessories for MIDI and recording? Fortunately, not too much. Obviously, it’s a fair bet that we’ll soon see new accessories with the Lightning connector – and, in turn, new iPads that use the same. But you won’t have to throw out old hardware. IK Multimedia (via a press release) and Line 6 have each told CDM their gear should work; IK …

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Thunderbolt means serious I/O for UA's DSP-based processing on the Apollo card - even on a lowly Mac mini. Image courtesy Universal Audio.

The Thunderbolt Age Dawns: UA Ships Thunderbolt on Apollo; More to Come – Where it Makes Sense

Universal Audio is first out of the gate with an audio interface add-on that uses Intel’s Thunderbolt bus, the high-performance, low-latency connectivity option on current iMacs, MacBook Pros and Airs, and Mac minis (though, conspicuously, not the ever-more-outdated Mac Pro). The solution isn’t the most elegant – you need to add in an option card with an included tool – but once installed, Thunderbolt appears right in the box (see image below). And what can you do with all that extra bandwidth? On the Apollo, you get better performance even as you push the envelope with sample rates, and more …

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On iPad and Desktop, Focusrite Aims for Simple, Premium Recording Interfaces [Gallery, Specs]

There’s no shortage of audio interfaces out there, but quality can be variable. Focusrite claims two new interfaces are focused squarely on “premium” quality. On paper, at least, they have some specs to back it up. And while fidelity is an emphasis, each interface is designed for simple recording scenarios – meaning, for those people who want something compact that sounds good but doesn’t necessarily overload them with inputs and outputs they don’t need. The Forte is a “flagship” audio interface whose compact design should position it directly opposite offerings from Apogee – albeit, unlike the Apogee entries, with support …

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mountainliondanger

What To Know About Mountain Lion, So Far

Actually, okay, just backup before you install and maybe wait a couple of point releases and everything will be fine. Photo (CC-BY) Ingrid Taylar. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is out this week. And it’s a great time to point out that Lion, 10.7, is a terrific upgrade for anyone with a recentĀ Apple machine and 8 GB of RAM (which is what I’d recommend anyway). No, that’s not a misprint – sometimes, it seems, Apple upgrades are just about perfect and fully compatible with all your stuff round about the time the next new thing is out. Here’s the deal: …

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beachball

Audio Woes Now on New Apple OS, Not Just New Apple Laptops; NI Driver Fix in Beta, Others Soon

If you really must stare at a beachball, might I humbly suggest it look more like this? Photo (CC-BY) hadleygrass. Slow down, Mountain Lion early adopters. Okay, remember how a few weeks ago we made note that a number of audio interfaces weren’t working with USB3 ports on new Apple laptops? And remember how last week, Native Instruments released a statement about USB 3 issues? Funny story. It seems that it’s not just new Apple laptops with new USB3 ports suffering from sound problems. Now, Apple’s just-released OS update, 10.8 Mountain Lion, is prompting reports of audio interface problems. As …

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Photo (CC-BY-SA) musicabinaria.

USB3 + Apple Update from NI; Your Best Bet — Wait

Native Instruments, whose hardware was some of the first to prompt reader compatibility reports, now has issued a statement. I had hoped for more background on what’s actually going on – we’ll keep pressing vendors to tell us more – but the short-term advice on the MacBook Pro and Air and their USB3-only ports is clear. You’re going to want to wait until hardware you use is confirmed to work, and it seems that at least this vendor is communicating with Apple directly. (Those fixes will hopefully benefit the handful of readers we have suffering from USB3 woes on Windows, …

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midimanannivers

M-Audio, AIR Join Akai, Alesis, Numark at inMusic: Q&A With New Owners, and a Timeline

M-Audio honored its Midiman roots with an anniversary edition of their (quite useful) MIDI interface line. Photo courtesy Avid. So, you own M-Audio and/or AIR stuff. You want to know what this means as Avid sells those makers to a new owner, right? M-Audio and AIR (formerly Wizoo) this week end their time as subsidiaries of Avid, and take on a new life at a parent entity now called inMusic. (That company has been known to us for some time as the home of brands like Akai, Alesis, and Numark, among others.) There’s a business story here, of course – …

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Avid Sells Off Consumer Side; Numark – Avid – Akai – M-Audio Becomes New Giant

M-audio, b-bye. A-kai, hell-o. Photo (CC-BY) Ludovico Sinz. Avid today announced sweeping changes in a changing market. Having gradually accumulated more businesses, the company now is selling many of them off, keeping its flagship video tool and Pro Tools audio products. Gone are the consumer/entry-level divisions – consumer-level Avid and Pinnacle on the video side and M-Audio on the audio side. Instead, Avid says it will be “more focused and agile” and will focus on the pro side of their business. The key here: most of Avid’s revenue is pro revenue. Combined, the divisions Avid is dumping pulled in just …

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sinofsky_win8

Music Developer on Windows 8: A Leap Forward for Desktops; A Leap Backward for Metro, WinRT?

Steven Sinofsky showing Windows 8 last year. Photo (CC-BY) BUILDWindows. There’s good news and bad news on Windows 8 for music making. If you’re using Windows on a conventional, Intel PC, running conventional, desktop Windows apps, the news is really all good – really good. It’s still early days, but Windows 8 promises to be better than Windows 7 at audio performance metrics across the board, a no-brainer sort of upgrade for music makers. By contrast, if you’re using Windows 8 on a new ARM-based tablet or interested in seeing music apps that take advantage of the new-fangled store and …

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USB 3.0: Backwards Compatible in Theory, But Some Audio Drivers Aren’t Cooperating

One of the handful of USB 3.0 devices currently available: the new “SuperSpeed” port on a Verbatim hard drive. Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND) auxo.co.kr. “SuperSpeed USB” or USB 3.0 offers major forward advancement for hardware ins and outs, with faster throughput (yielding up to ten-fold speed gains over USB2), improved overall performance, and lower power consumption. That should be good news for music and motion users, who make heavy use of bandwidth for audio, storage, video, and other media applications. Real-world usage, though, has been scarce. The specification is nearly four years old, but extensive experimentation using USB 3.0 in the field …

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