Erasure playing live onstage on the Mac.  (CC-BY-SA) Andrew Hurley.

Apple’s relationship with pro music needs some mending

What happens when a key relationship in music technology turns a bit sour? There’s no mistaking the music world’s preference for Apple products. But there are some specific causes for concern in the way Apple is handling its desktop operating system and its relationship with pro musicians. First, let me be clear. I’ve covered Apple and music for a long time. I’ve met some of the people handling these products; some of them I’ve known fairly well in a professional capacity. I have tremendous respect for the company, its products, and its management. I’ve been a regular contributor to Macworld …


From Bluetooth MIDI to Easier, Faster Graphics, New Goodies for Creative Apple Development

Watching new operating systems is always a potent mix of “what new treats will we get?” and “what are they going to break?” Fortunately in this case, it seems Apple is mostly crossing items off users’ and developers’ wish lists on both iOS and OS X, though further details will come in coming developer sessions. Now, those are under NDA, but the wait for public information is unlikely to be long, now that Apple has announced a public beta of OS X Yosemite and an aggressive release schedule for both OS X and iOS 8. We also know a lot …


With Free Tape App for iPad, Focusrite Wants Everyone to Record

“The future has arrived; it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson. Well, that’s certainly true of digital recording. Dedicated producers aside, the masses of musicians in the world are often still at a loss when they want to record their music on the iPads and laptops and machines that surround them. And for all the great stuff that’s happened on the iPad for musicians, there’s still not one go-to app that everyone might use to record. Apple’s own GarageBand is one option, though even GarageBand is overkill if you just want to save some quick ideas on the …


Inter-app Audio in iOS 7 + Audiobus? Think Big Plans

Apart from the text we copied yesterday, audio developers can’t say anything about the contents of audio APIs in Apple’s new iOS 7. It’s all under NDA. So, instead, since Apple is all about feelings this week, let me convey the emotion I’m hearing about audio in the iOS update, in the form of a Facebook sticker: It was only recently that I had to explain that two solutions to getting sound between apps are better than one (now JACK and Audiobus – support for each continues to grow). Now, it seems, we’re wrapping our heads around the feature being …


WavTap Makes Recording Audio Easy as Taking a Screenshot [Free, Mac]

Press a key or two, take a screenshot. It’s been dead-simple for ages. But not so if you just want to grab some sound – until now. WavTap, from coder and GitHub user Patrick Ellis of Berlin, finally makes grabbing audio on the Mac work the way you’ve imagined it should work. Hit a keyboard shortcut – ctrl-cmd-space, though that default can be customized – and start recording. Hit it again, and stop. WavTap is a fork of the wonderful Soundflower from Cycling ’74, the free menu tool for inter-app audio. That means WavTap shares Soundflower’s sophisticated routing solutions, so …


Mixing and Audio Interface, in the $450 MOTU Audio Express

The competition for your audio interface dollar is pretty heated these days, but MOTU’s latest – the Audio Express – packs a pretty impressive feature set for something costing US$449 list. It’s both a 6×6 audio interface and a mixer, with standalone mixer functionality so you can mix signals from the front-panel knobs without a computer attached. It also has connectivity features generally seen only in pricier, physically-larger boxes. MOTU tells CDM the quality is equal to their higher-end offerings, and other rivals in the $500-800 range. MOTU winds up on my short list as far as hardware that makes …


A More Open Pro Tools 9 Works with Your Hardware, Workflow

To many users, it’s been a long time coming, but using Pro Tools software no longer means working exclusively with Pro Tools hardware. Pro Tools 9, announced today, is a “software-only” version. That is, you can use it with your hardware – your audio interface, your DSP tools of choice, even the built-in audio hardware on Macs and PCs when you’re on the go. Users are likely to remain fiercely loyal to their DAWs of choice, including Logic, DP, Cubase, SONAR, and Ableton Live. But today’s announcement is nonetheless big news for production. It means, on one hand, those tools …


Mac OS X Tiger: Audio Improvements from Apple

As a cross-platform Windows and Mac user (I really have to be as a writer), I can tell you I really miss Mac OS X's brilliant Core Audio when I'm on Windows. And looking at Apple's updated Core Audio page for Mac OS X Tiger, Core Audio is only getting better: Core Audio file format allows 64-bit files (bigger than 4GB), supporting any QuickTime 7 encoding (uncompressed PCM, MP3, AAC, whatever you want) MIDI/Audio Device Aggregation takes the easy multi-interface support in X and ratchets it up a notch, with the ability to use multiple devices as though they're one …