DIY Tool Max 7 Arrives; Here Are The Best New Features

Being “software about nothing” isn’t easy. Max has for years been a favored choice of musicians and artists wanting to make their own tools for their work. But it’s been on a journey over more recent years to make that environment ever more accessible to a wider audience of people. The aim: for beginners and advanced users alike, work faster, producing tools that work better. Okay, those are easy goals to set – a bit like all of us declaring we’re going to “get in better shape” in a few weeks from now on New Year’s Eve. But Max 7 …


Windows VSTs on the Mac? Yes, We Can [Plugwire, Tutorial Link]

Windows PCs are from Mars, Macs are from Venus, Windows VST plug-ins won’t ever run on the Mac — wait, not so fast. Ornament Uncle writes with a solution for running Windows VSTs on the Mac as if they were native plug-ins. The tutorial describes a fairly meticulous process – if you’re expecting this to be plug and play, don’t. You’ll want to read the steps thoroughly, and results may vary on different OS versions or with different plug-ins. (I feel obligated to say that as, even with free solutions, we sometimes hear readers complain when things don’t work easily …

The feature that's driving some Ableton users batty, as seen in Bitwig Studio. Image courtesy Bitwig.

Bitwig Reveals VST Support – And It’s Actually Really Interesting [Video]

Breaking into the DAW and production market isn’t easy to do. Bitwig Studio has been criticized by some – including this author, in a couple of instances – for not differentiating itself in particular from rival Ableton Live. But in the latest beta video, we start to see something genuinely new in how VST plug-ins load in the host. Previous betas of Bitwig Studio lacked VST support, and it’s been a bit too early to really evaluate them. In this new build, though, we not only get the ability to load VSTs, but a way of treating them that isn’t …


Audulus is Simple, Elegant Mac Modular App for $15, Now With Plugin Support

Audulus Briefing from Taylor Holliday on Vimeo. In a physical studio – heck, even with some guitar stompboxes – it’s customary to get the rig you want by connecting different modules. So, it makes absolute sense that software might work this way, too. But many popular modular options, while insanely powerful, can overwhelm simple tasks. Audulus, by contrast, may be an accessible tool for users. It doesn’t do everything – I’d like to see more sequencers and such, please – but it does have a nice collection of useful utilities. The basic idea: hook up some modules graphically, and process …

You've got to love the ultra-compact track collapse feature - ideal for 11" MacBook Airs or Linux netbooks.

Renoise 2.8 Gets More Usable, 64-bit; Trackers 4ever

Who says every music production tool has to be either a traditional DAW or Ableton Live? Not Renoise, for one. I’m running out of things to call it. Modernized tracker? Tracker on steroids? Music production tool from an alternate history in which conventional DAWs were ignored and everybody just kept on using trackers? How about this: a gem that a tiny development team somehow keeps making more awesome with regular updates with misleading names like “point 8.” So, what does “2.8” give you? A couple of OS compatibility fixes and one new delay effect? Wrong. New in this release is …


Useful Music Tools, Built with Max 6, Released on the Mac App Store: Downloads, Developer Info

Make it with Max, sell it here. Photo: CDM. (and yes, this is now the desktop, not the mobile, App Store!) If you’re a Mac user, we’ve got some cheap and free tools for you. And if you’re a Max patcher, you may be surprised with how they were built: they were all exported from Max 6. This week, we welcome a guest writer developer Dan Nigrin. Amidst some new controversy about Apple and app distribution, here Dan looks at how Apple’s marketplace can indeed be useful to developers using Max 6, the popular graphical patching tool. (Incidentally, the libpd …


3D Modular Sound Gets Real: Stunning AudioGL Demos, Crowd Funding, Beta Coming to You Soon

Electronic music making has had several major epochs. There was the rise of the hardware synth, first with modular patch cords and later streamlined into encapsulated controls, in the form of knobs and switches. There was the digital synth, in code and graphical patches. And there was the two-dimensional user interface. We may be on the cusp of a new age: the three-dimensional paradigm for music making. AudioGL, a spectacularly-ambitious project by Toronto-based engineer and musician Jonathan Heppner, is one step closer to reality. Three years in the making, the tool is already surprisingly mature. And a crowd-sourced funding campaign …


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 …


NI Discontinues Kore, Focuses on Maschine: What Happens Next, Q+A with NI

Kore is dead; long live … Maschine. Native Instruments announced this week that they’re discontinuing the Kore product line, focusing those energies on the host-plus-sampling groovebox Maschine. Kore was an approach to making instruments and processing more manageable and tactile, coupling a hardware interface and standard control mappings with a hosting tool. What first drew me to Kore, personally, was the idea of setting up that host not only as a way of managing presets and the like, but building performance rigs and making them tactile. (I used a number of Kore-based rigs in the production of my recent album.) …


Indie Music Devs Band Together with Deals on Synths, Effects, Tools, through 5/23

Game makers and (particularly Mac) utility developers have joined forces to do various bundles of their software. I have to say, I generally like the model – particularly the fantastic Humble Bundle of indie games. That collection not only encouraged people to try adventurous (often experimental) independent game titles, but gives some of the proceeds to relevant charities. Linux users have been buying up the bundles disproportionately, contrary to the idea that they won’t spend money on software, and some of the developers even set a goal to earn enough money to open source their tools. (The open source software …