Logic 9 and Updated MainStage on App Store, at Cut-Rate Prices

MainStage, with its all-in-one instrument and effect rig powers, is now a la carte, and both Logic and MainStage are cheaper. A lot cheaper. Image courtesy Apple. As expected, Apple moved its Logic Pro music production tool to the App Store. And the results are mostly what you’d expect. The biggest change is the price: Logic gets slashed to US$199.99, while MainStage gets a so-low-you-might-as-well-try-it $29.99 sticker price. Wave editor Soundtrack Pro, removed from Final Cut Studio, is gone here, too. Lesser-known mastering tool WaveBurner gets the axe. Logic Pro 9 is still Logic Pro 9. Today is a minor …


A New Plug-in Format, Really? Avid Answers Our Questions About AAX and Pro Tools

Alongside its Pro Tools 10 and HDX unveiling, Avid turned some heads by recently announcing it was replacing its RTAS and TDM formats to a new format called AAX, “Avid Audio eXtension.” Now, your first reaction may not be unbridled enthusiasm, exactly: it seems the last thing users are likely saying is, “yes, please, I’d like a new plug-in format to worry about.” But I wanted to give the engineers at Avid a chance to tell us what they were thinking and why they made the move. Avid’s product announcements have unfortunately coincided, presumably because of the financial calendar, with …


1st DAW with Melodyne Pitch Editing: Hi, PreSonus Studio One v2, You’ve Got Our Attention

If you want to be promptly ignored, the best way to do it is to try to release a new DAW. Aside from the fact that even most musicians don’t know what the word “DAW” is (hint: it’s a big program that puts all your computer production, mixing, and recording stuff in one place), you’re up against the likes of Cubase, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, DP, SONA… sorry, I get tired even just doing the list. Here’s how to get some attention: be the first DAW to add Celemony’s crowd-awe-ing direct pitch modification, which lets you change the pitch of …


Rumors Mounting for Imminent Logic Pro X, a la Final Cut Pro X; No-Brainer Speculation

I generally avoid commenting on Apple rumors, lest I find a severed horse head atop my MacBook Pro, but this one seems simply to be obvious. Apple took a radical approach to Final Cut Pro X (and Motion), giving them full overhauls and new UIs, 64-bit support, and distribution through the online Mac App Store instead of exclusively through online distribution. It stands to reason that their current Logic Studio will get something along the lines of the same treatment. Sure enough, rumors are surfacing saying as much. (I’ve gotten at least one email, secondhand – no, Apple, no Apple …


Reaper 4 Arrives, Brings Improved UI, Surround, Batch and Project Features, Pitch Envelopes

In DAWs, there are the familiar names – MOTU DP, Pro Tools, SONAR, Ableton Live, Cubase, Apple Logic. All have functionality to recommend them – hence their longevity. But then, there’s one upstart that continues to win over fans: Reaper. Its developers actually advertise that its upgrades are evolutionary, not revolutionary – which may come as a comfort to pro users easily jangled by radical UI changes. But evolutionary as it may be, Reaper 4 has some highlights I think could significantly broaden its appeal. The changelog is utterly, terrifyingly long, so let me pull out some of the big …


Harrison Mixbus 2.0: Mac+Linux DAW Expands Mixing, Editing Features

We’ve been watching Harrison Mixbus, a DAW and mixing, editing, and recording workstation, as it has matured. In a crowded world of similar tools, this tool, powered by the open source Ardour DAW, nonetheless sets itself apart. Robust, console-style mixing meets modeled Harrison DSP and extensive editing options, appealing enough that many Mixbus users employ it as a mixing front end even with other tools. On Linux, it finally makes the open source Ardour more palatable, but on the Mac, too, it’s winning some converts. Finding an inexpensive DAW from a leading, ultra-high-end console maker – let alone one that …


Cubase 6: Amidst Familiar Leapfrog Features, A New Approach to Note-by-note Expression Editing

Users of Cubase seem to be a kind of silent majority. Web data suggests this may be the most popular DAW on the planet, thanks to Windows and Mac support, over 25 years in the business, and the absence of any particular hardware requirements. But the Cubase users I know, while fiercely loyal, just aren’t as evangelical about their choice. “Oh, yeah, I use Cubase.” One basic problem is that Digital Audio Workstations have been locked for years in leapfrog-style, me-too feature battles. These mature, do-everything, kitchen-sink products add tweaks that evidently matter to their users but are hard to …


Reaper 4 is Coming, Adding More Flexible UI to Lightweight PC-Mac DAW

Reaper 4.0 has hit prerelease, the latest version of this $40+, lightweight (measured in a handful of megs) DAW for Windows or Mac. The banner feature is called WALTER, “Window Arrangement Logic Template Engine for REAPER.” The idea: you should have your music production screen look the way you want, with elements moved to whatever you like. Jeffrey James points us to this release and explains that the feature allows you to “design the DAW the way you want it.” For instance, normally Reaper displays meters horizontally. Add a snippet of code telling it that’s not what you want — …


Cakewalk SONAR X1 Rethinks Windows DAW’s User Interface

Cakewalk’s SONAR has always been a compelling choice of DAW on Windows. Under the hood, its 64-bit processing, 64-bit mix engine, balanced complement of editing features, and quite-nice array of instruments and processors has held enough appeal. But then there’s the interface, which hasn’t held up to the tools underneath. Being pretty isn’t only cosmetic; a visually-refined interface is just easier to look at and use. And aside from aesthetics, moving between editing views or just managing what’s visible on-screen in SONAR can be a chore. It’s a problem not unique to Cakewalk’s DAW: the leading music workstations now simply …


Try a Fully-Loaded, Pre-Tuned Linux Workstation on Your Laptop, Netbook: Sale

Renoise + Linux is a delicious combination. Ah, there’s nothing like bleeding-edge laptop performance. And to really convey to your audience that you’re indeed playing live, there’s nothing like glitches, dropouts, and crashing in the middle of a live set. It brings that homespun, digital authenticity to your performance, as you… Okay, who am I kidding? You may be longing for a more stable, predictable, controllable mobile music rig. One way to get there is with the Linux operating system. The problem, however, is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, that setup can wind up being less stable, …