gb_ipad_01

GarageBand for iPad Hands-on: Why It’s Ideal for Beginners, What You May Not Know

Let’s get this out of the way: musicians are not a “niche” group. Recording has done some damage to the popular practice of live music, but still, you’ll find an astonishing number of people play instruments and sing. (New pop culture phenomena like Glee, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, and the resurgent TV talent show have helped, too.) What’s “niche” is conventional music production software. While it’s a fast-growing segment, music making software remains elusive and befuddling to a whole lot of musicians. GarageBand for Mac was one answer to what software for the remaining group should look like. But …

READ MORE →

Able10 Discounts, Artist Packs, Ableton Live Intro Now US$99

Ableton is 10. Does that make anyone feel old? Live in action; photo: Marco Raaphorst. As the company turns 10, Ableton has introduced a set of discounts and giveaways, the most notable of which is a new entry-level edition of Live. Live Intro smooths out a lot of the wrinkles between different starter versions of Live, from LE to hardware bundles. At $99, “Intro” finally gets a logical feature set: Full ReWire support, both as host and client (or “Slave” and “Master,” if you want to be all kinky about it) Full MIDI support, including remote control, output, MIDI clock …

READ MORE →

Pro Tools Essentials and the Big Picture

A young, aspiring musician walks into a consumer electronics store. (Let’s call it Big Buy, and imagine people wearing… red polo shirts.) They wander into the game aisle and muse at the latest music games in the video game section – $60-100 in price. But there’s an endcap with something else: a box of Pro Tools that’ll run on their computer, plus a ready-to-use audio interface, for $99-129. Instead of Guitar Hero, they leave with Pro Tools – a name they already knew. See full details of the new lineup, with photos. This idea is nothing new – for many …

READ MORE →

Cakewalk’s $35 Music Creation Software for Windows Gets Major Polishing

Cakewalk today did something quite unorthodox for the company: it launched a product on Facebook. The results are what clearly aim to be a GarageBand killer for Windows users. Music Creator had always, quietly, been a big hit for Cakewalk: it’s cheap, entry-level software for the PC, which has the potential to reach a big audience of computer users. But the software itself was nothing to brag about, with a dated-looking interface. Music Creator 5 looks stunningly different. The arrangement window has the familiar, GarageBand and ACID-style loop arrangement window. But there are additions you might expect in a bigger …

READ MORE →

Livid Cell: New, $99 Simplified VJ and Live Visual Tool

Clean, straightforward, with a US$99 price tag, Cell could be the basic, cross-platform (Mac/Windows) live visual app many have been looking for. And it could be the entry-level app that still seems to elude some of the bigger manufacturers. We’ll be watching it. Not everyone wants loads of advanced video processing, compositing, custom programming visual tools in their software. For dedicated visualists, a tool you can grow into has major advantages. But some people just want some straightforward video triggering. I regularly get questions about what a simple, cheap solution is. In the past, I tended to direct people to …

READ MORE →