Apogee GiO: Foot Control, Audio for GarageBand, Logic, MainStage

The market is clear: guitarists (and other instrumentalists) want to plug in a piece of hardware, fire up their Mac, and start playing with GarageBand right away. The announcement of Apple’s new Logic Studio 9 last week coincided with the release of new hardware from Apogee, the audio vendor that has gone Mac-only and Apple-centric. Today during a meeting with Apple, I got my first in-person look at the GiO (pronounced “Geo,” like the compact car, not G.I.O. as would rhyme with G.I. Joe). A number of impressions that I didn’t get from the press announcement:

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Moog’s Lovely MuRF Resonant Filter, Now with MIDI, Double Bands

Moog’s Moogerfoogers, the boutique all-analog hardware effects units, are brilliant piece of sound gear. They’re accessible, terrific sounding, and exquisitely-designed in terms of interface and control. Even as a software person, I just have a lot of respect for the design of these boxes. I’m sure Moog Music hopes you collect these things (oh, if I had that budget), but if you had to take just one Moogerfooger, the just-announced MF-105M might be your strongest candidate. First, it combines the two previous Moogerfooger MuRFs – that’s the Bob Moog-designed Multiple Resonance Filter Array. The MuRF (rhymes with “Smurf”) is basically …

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Ableton Live Sound Design with Field Recordings: 3 Video Tutorials, 3 Downloads

Working with sound is, for many of us, the experience that attracted us to working with computers. Field recordings can be the best way to get close to sound – you’re attached to sounds you’ve found in the real world, you’ve experienced and collected, even if you transform them into something very different in production. Nick Maxwell of the excellent Nick’s Tutorials Ableton Live production site shares some free explorations with us, complete with downloads you can reverse-engineer the instruments and play with the topics the video cover. You can also use these in your own work, royalty-free. I really …

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iPhone/Touch Roundup: BtBx Acid Bass, iDrum Workflow and Babies, OpenSoundControl App

It’s iPhones being used by cute babies! And if that doesn’t sum up the ways in which Apple’s mobile is divisive, I don’t know what does. It’s time for our Monday round-up of the latest from the Apple iStuff world. I’ve never been an advocate of the iPhone and iPod touch; the idea is to cover all digital music platforms on CDM, and as regular readers know, I have no love of Apple’s strict NDA and restrictive developer policies. But I did find this reader comment by PLP amusing: I was getting annoyed with the amount of iphone info on …

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Guitar Rig Software, Hardware Bundle Available Soon On The Cheap

Native Instruments is releasing some cheaper ways of getting at their software guitar modeler, Guitar Rig, in the form of a cheaper software version and a hardware bundle: Guitar Rig 3 XE is a "lite" version of Guitar Rig, focused on the basics — 5 guitar/bass amps, 12 cabinets, and 21 effects. It also some of the "helper" modules from Guitar Rig, including a metronome, tapedeck, and tuner — but no looping module, which is one of my favorites. (See the full list.) US$99 on its own. Guitar Session bundles the XE software with Cubase 4 LE, some pop drums …

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Soft Flickr Finds: Obscenely Complex Bass Effects on a Single Channel

As the last couple of decades have led to making music in software, some of the materiality of physical instruments is lost. No matter how much you love your hardware synths, odds are you spent at least a little time looking into the void of a computer screen. And to the public, much of that is obscured by the back of a display. Instruments face outward; computers face inward. Enter online photo sharing. Screen grabs can make software rigs visible. For example, someone’s been busy putting together a monster bass channel strip in Ableton Live: Contained: the synth source is …

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Cakewalk’s New $50 Studio Instruments: Keys, Drum, Bass, String With Slick Interfaces

Finding exotic software instruments is rarely a challenge. A lot of users stumble more quickly when it comes to the basics. Cakewalk has unveiled a new set of soft synths called Cakewalk Studio Instruments, and a number of things about it are immediately interesting: It’s dirt cheap. US$49.99 for the whole package. It focuses on a few basics. There are four modules: Drum Set, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano, or String Section. It’s available via mass-market outlets. Music tech stuff only trickles into the mass market, as a rule. Cakewalk says you’ll be able to pick this thing up at Apple, …

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Plattabass, DIY Hybrid Bass – Turntable, Coming Soon

Winning the award this month for “Most Insane Project Mockup”, I give you the Plattabass. It’s a bass. It’s a record player. It has magnetic sensors embedded in the neck. And yes, that is a crossfader. Even crazier: Mobius (Ray Belden) plans to actually build this thing. We’ll be watching. Proposed specs, courtesy Ray: 2 assignable cross faders, an extreme pitch control that goes to zero RMP, a thumb worn magnet that triggers a sensor inlaid in the back of the neck Three control knobs, and 2 TRS stereo outputs Fender P bass neck, Basslines 1/4 pound pickups, and Fender …

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Five Dollar Bass, Atmosphere Expansion Packs for Ableton Live

If you’re finding massive soundware libraries to be a little overwhelming — on your hard drive, your brain, and your wallet — you’ll like the idea of the new expansion packs from Tone Research. The first two are 13MB downloads priced at US$4.99 each. They work with Live 5 and get bonus features from Live 6. I’m still waiting on my copies, so I can’t yet comment on sound quality yet, but I’ll report back once I’ve thrown these into some songs. Tone Research Expansion Packs for Ableton Live Here’s what the creator has to say: Frost: Frozen Ambiance Frost …

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