You know, Windows 8 ... on a desktop. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Filip Skakun.

Windows 8 for Desktop Music Making: Faster, No Reason *Not* to Upgrade

“Windows 8,” in Microsoft brand vaguery, can refer to all sorts of technologies, from infamous new sets of colored tiles that mostly confuse users to touch-enabled ultrabooks to tablets to Surface to Surface Pro, from computers that run Intel chips that run traditional Windows software to ones with ARM chips that don’t. In the near future, some of this could be cool. Imagine a conventional laptop, for instance, you can convert into a tablet for touch-enabled live performance — no iPad required. But yes, “Windows 8” is also the version of Windows that follows “Windows 7.” While we await more …

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Yep, this is about to get as awesome as you think it is. Time for some Belgian bots banging beats.

Shiny Robot-Jamming Gear Pr0n, Cassette Labels: The Future Is What It Used To Be [Awesome Video]

Disappointed our electronic music present didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to when it was still the future? Sad you didn’t get shiny, knob-laden synths, robot masks, blindingly-colorful lens flares, funky-crisp electro jams, and beloved music distributed on cassette? Well, you could sit around getting all wistful, or you could simply make that future happen. Belgian synth collective Chrome BrulĂ©e chose action over nostalgia, constructing the universe seen in glossy Roland and Sequential ads from Keyboard Magazine, circa 1983. And the music video they’ve produced is just the teaser: stay tuned for music on, of course, cassette tape. …

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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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New Mac Laptops: As Apple Expands I/O Flexibility, Just About Any Model Great for Music

MacBook Air, now starting at US$999 and with USB3 and Thunderbolt onboard. Photo courtesy Apple. Apple, of course, rolled out new Mac laptops yesterday. The most desirable of these – new MacBook Pro laptops with ultra-high-resolution Retina Displays – will require a significant budget, with pricing beginning at US$2199. And it could be worth it for those who can afford them: while Apple has quietly eliminated its 17″ machines, the high-density displays should nonetheless make the 15″ real estate ideal for fitting pro app UIs on the go. But the most important thing to say about Apple’s machines from a …

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A Reader in Electronic Dance Music’s History and Creation, Now Available

I had the pleasure this year of working on a book that draws from over 30 years of coverage of Electronic Dance Music’s evolution. Collecting pages primarily from Keyboard, with additional content from Remix, we retrace the relationship of machines and music, technology and movement, in producing the sounds to which people dance. It’s impossible to be encyclopedic in such an endeavor, but part of what I enjoyed about working on the project was getting to see through the eyes of the artists. You hear them talk in astounding detail about how they actual craft what they make. They curse …

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Digimancy: A Commodore 64 Spouts Philosophy, Plays Modular Synths

In some cross between a self-aware, intelligent computer a la HAL and an experimental sound artist, the project Digimancy presents a talking, synth-playing Commodore 64. Get through a few minutes of it spouting theory, and somewhere at about 6 minutes, 30 seconds in this video, that Commodore 64 starts to jam with danceable, glitchy sounds. It’s a bizarre laboratory sonic production – white lab coat included – but eventually, this semi-evil computer makes songs. And it’s just the sort of convergence of analog and digital we love, as the C64 chips drive a nice set of boutique, analog gear. Patch …

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Pro Tools 9 on a Mobile Tablet, on Indamixx Pro and Windows 7

The jury’s still out about how many music producers will want to run desktop OSes on tablets. But here’s one thing that’s not in doubt: alongside dedicated mobile OSes like Android and iOS, you can expect to see tablets in 2011 that do the things your laptop does now. They’ll have standard ports (like USB), they’ll run full-blown desktop OSes (Linux and Windows), and you’ll be able to run traditional software on them. Don’t get me wrong: I think dedicated software design for tablets is a good thing, and the iPad isn’t going anywhere. But the imminent availability of Windows …

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The Most Out of Windows 7: Choosing and Optimizing Windows for Music

From our call for CDM reader studios, Eric Beam’s studio. In his setup: Windows 7 64-bit, Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5 DAW (with native 64-bit support), and the excellent modular patching environment Plogue Bidule. Click through to Flickr for a closer look. Photo (CC-BY) Eric Beam. This week, while we poll readers to find out what platforms they really use and care about for music, we’re launching a new series to help you get the most out of whichever OS you choose. We’ve been covering the complexities of Windows for a while, from the bumpy Vista transition to the smoother advent of …

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Andy Warhol on the Amiga, Painting Debbie Harry

To quote the video: Yeah, it’s great. It’s such a great thing. What more can you say? (Really. I think somewhere in all the Creative Suite upgrades, it’s possible we’ve actually lost some of the real spontaneity and sense of the medium with digital art. I think we could get it back, though – limitations of netbooks and mobiles and browser apps might actually help.) Via Antje Verena, formerly of the fantastic Tokyo-based PingMag, on her blog Frottier & Frotteuse.

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Our Multitouch Future: Fingertapps + Dell Studio One 19 Demo

Via Nat Lecude, here’s what the Fingertapps application platform looks like on Dell’s obscenely-affordable Studio One 19 desktop. (Try a whole computer with a multi-touch screen for US$849 and up.) There are a few concerns here: I’m not quite sure why there appears to be so much latency in the demo. That could have any number of sources – latency is a complex issue – or could simply be intentional interpolation on the part of the software. I’d love to be able to take off the Dell’s stand and use this at a more humane 30-45-degree viewing angle — which, …

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