New tech makes it easier to connect audio on Windows, Mac

If you think computers aren’t advancing for audio, you haven’t been paying attention to connectivity. The latest generation of OSes, computer architectures, and audio interfaces can combine to give you lower latency and easier connectivity. They can even connect over long distances and networks. MOTU and RME this month unveiled cross-platform Thunderbolt support that works on Windows – and MOTU have been focused on connectivity in a series of updates.


BomeBox Lets You Connect MIDI, and Transform It, Any Way You Want

MIDI is a magical lingua franca between, well, sort of everything. But that’s only if you get it connected. And then once you do have it connected, you might want to tame its messages so they accomplish what you want. Now, the buzz is wearing off following last week’s avalanche of new music gear announcements. You might realize you don’t have $30,000 for a modular. But then, in the wake of that gear, comes one that flew under the radar – and it’s one of the most powerful-looking bits of kit we’ve seen recently. For years, Bome’s Midi Translator has …


This is What High-End Audio Can Do Now: New Trio of Thunderbolt Boxes from MOTU

You’d be forgiven for missing it in the blur of press releases and trade show hand-outs – and, let’s face it, most musicians are too focused on music to pay much mind. But slowly, steadily, audio interfaces have been getting a lot better. Talk to the people who make them, and they can tell you what’s happened even in terms of individual components. Next, they’re about to get smarter and more networked. And so that means it is worth paying attention today as industry heavyweight MOTU unveils a trio of new audio interfaces, compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 and …


Color and Light: Vezer Timeline Software Gets Savvy with Lighting

Who says a projector has to be the output? For decades now, average musicians have easily controlled instruments via MIDI, from drum machines to pianos. Now, software makes it easier than ever for users to do the same with color and lights. The latest entry is the excellent visual timeline app Vezér. As of 1.3, it adds some very powerful new tricks: Control lights over Ethernet. Via Art-Net, you can connect to DMX-compatible lights. What you need to know: that includes robot lamps, moving heads, and LED strips. See below. Light control. To make that support work, Vezér now includes …


Endeavour’s Evo, Touch-Sensitive Keyboard, Reimagined, Now From EUR499 [Gallery, Videos]

Endeavour’s evo keyboard closely resembles a conventional music keyboard controller. But its piano-style keys and high-performance internals are custom engineered from the ground up for additional expression. High-speed connections mean lower latency than is possible with MIDI, and touch- and pressure-sensitive keys allow additional ways of adding to a performance, all in an aluminum case hand-built in Germany. I was impressed playing the keyboard at Musikmesse earlier this year, but cost put this innovative instrument out of reach of many would-be experimenters. Now, as the product matures, pricing is coming down to Earth. A 24-key version – perhaps just fine, …


Evo, Keyboard with Added Dimension of Touch-Sensing Keys, Evolves

Endeavour’s Evo Series One, which we looked at in the fall, does something different with the conventional keyboard: it adds a touch-sensitive surface to the top of the keys, allowing you to run your fingers up and down the keys for added expression. I got a chance to try the Evo today, and I’m impressed. The first feeling is strange: the keys have an action more like an electric keyboard (Rhodes, etc.), and the keys are atypically tall. But as you begin to play, it makes sense: this isn’t a piano for playing Liszt; it’s a unique, hybrid interface. The …


Symphony I/O: Next-Gen Apogee High-end I/O, Works with Any Mac DAW Via USB

Looking for all the world like a high-end audiophile stereo radio receiver as much as pro audio equipment, the shiny, new Symphony I/O has arrived from Apogee. It’s a top-of-the-range audio interface designed for low latency, high-quality digital-to-analog conversion, and quality clocking, as well as flexible input and output, coming from a company known in the category. With Pro Tools HD support, it’s also a rival to Avid’s own audio interfaces, while also working with all major Mac DAWs – even Ableton Live. You’re talking an investment of a few grand here, depending on configuration, so this isn’t likely to …


OSC, Kyma, iPad, and Beyond: Your Networked Musical Future

Connecting stuff is one of the things musicians naturally do with gear. So, there’s really no reason that musical gear shouldn’t network as easily as Web servers. And yet a basic protocol, built largely on existing standards, meets with responses like this: “We’ll support OSC when there’s hardware out there.” “Name one piece of hardware that supports OSC other than the Lemur.” OSC has some major advantages as a network protocol, as a way of connecting software with software, software with hardware, and yes, even hardware with hardware. It doesn’t have to “compete” with MIDI – you can even send …


Mac Users: Might Want to Hold Off on 10.5.7; Breaks Euphonix EuCon Control Surface

It appears that network changes in Mac OS 10.5.7 could adversely impact some hardware, specifically the Euphonix EuCon line of controllers. Here is information sent to customers today – thanks to reader Oliver Lucas for spotting this. Please note that the new Mac OS update released yesterday, Version 10.5.7, breaks support for the feature in EuControl that automatically detects what control surfaces are attached to your network. Euphonix is working on a fix – please DO NOT update your Mac OS until we release a software update that addresses the issue, as your MC Mix/MC Control will not be seen …


Tutorial: Ableton Live + Resolume with MIDI Over Ethernet, Free on PC (Linux, Mac Soon)

You know the ideal audiovisualist setup: two PCs, one running sound, one running visuals. But connecting those two machines can be less than ideal. Enter EthernetMidi, a completely free implementation of MIDI over Ethernet. It’s Windows-only for now – the Mac has its own free MIDI-over-IP implementation built into the OS. But there’s reason to root for EthernetMidi even if you’re not a Windows user primarily: the project is open source, and work on a Mac and Linux version means this could be the first tool to allow MIDI-over Ethernet between different platforms. (Pay no attention to the “LinuxSampler” name …