FireWire800, ExpressCard Survive MacBook Pro Revision, So You Can Relax; Thunderbolt Audio Hardware Coming

Photo courtesy of Apple. Those of you in the market for a new MacBook Pro are no doubt already tuned into the product news. So let’s talk about what isn’t changed on the new MacBook line, because it’s a good thing. You still get FireWire 800 ports on all models, including the entry-level 13″ machine. ExpressCard is still standard on the 17″ MacBook Pro. Your dongles for video adapters still work. I’m researching implications for audio of the new Thunderbolt connection. My guess is it’s a little too early to say; 10 GBps storage sounds fantastic, but it’s far beyond …


Nine Keyboards in One: Extensive Q+A, Gallery for KORG on Kronos, Son of OASYS

One keyboard, a mind-bending nine engines, lots of tech specs … now that we’ve lived in a world of impressive, technically-intimidating workstation keyboards for a couple of decades, it’s easy to imagine your eyes glazing over when there’s a new one, let alone the general public. So, what might get your attention? This. “Workstation keyboard” is usually a phrase that sends me for the exits; my computer makes a perfectly good workstation, thanks. I’ve understood why people like them; I’ve just never seen one that could personally excite me. But now that the trade show hype has died down, it’s …


New MicroTonic 3 Drum Machine-Synth; Bitspeek Effect

Swedish developer Magnus Lidström is something of a virtuoso of music software, having worked with Propellerhead (Malström, etc.) and releasing his own unique µTonic (MicroTonic) and Synplant instruments. It’s been a bit since we’ve gotten new work from him – little matter, as I find his instruments tend to stand the test of time – but that changes now. MicroTonic, a well-loved drum machine cum drum synth, gets a major update this week, a 2011 New Year’s present to the producer community. (It is indeed a gift if you own a previous version; upgrades are free.) And one more thing …


Pro Tools 9 on a Mobile Tablet, on Indamixx Pro and Windows 7

The jury’s still out about how many music producers will want to run desktop OSes on tablets. But here’s one thing that’s not in doubt: alongside dedicated mobile OSes like Android and iOS, you can expect to see tablets in 2011 that do the things your laptop does now. They’ll have standard ports (like USB), they’ll run full-blown desktop OSes (Linux and Windows), and you’ll be able to run traditional software on them. Don’t get me wrong: I think dedicated software design for tablets is a good thing, and the iPad isn’t going anywhere. But the imminent availability of Windows …


Indamixx 2, Music-Focused Tablet Powered by Linux, Unveils Beta Program

Trinity Audio Group and creative director Ronald Stewart have pushed the idea of a mobile music tablet since around 2005. I first saw what they were working on in the summer of 2006, as they readied a dedicated mobile DAW. But, at least from my vantage point, it’s really taken until now for some of the available hardware and software to evolve to the point that it could deliver on what they wanted to do. Products based first on Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) platforms and netbooks, while usable and more mobile than a laptop, required various tradeoffs. Linux software provided some …


Preview: Indamixx 2 Tablet to Offer Mobile Music, Multi-touch, MeeGo Linux

Photo courtesy Indamixx. Touch form factors make sense for music creation on the go: a mobile tablet with finger-based interface seems ideal for performance and travel. In the fast-evolving hardware, though, it’s tough to work out exactly what will be a hit and what will be a flop. Multitouch tablets have splintered in two – consumer-centric, inexpensive tablets like the iPad and Android tablets gravitate at one end, as higher-powered tablets are reserved for the business market. Worse, the entire computing industry is choosing battery life over all other factors, which doesn’t jive well with audio. (Almost everything you do …


EMS Synthi, Recreated in Max, then Controlled with a Webcam

The headline says it all. Oh, sure, as if it isn’t enough to recreate the legendary EMS Synthi synth – one of the most creative vintage analog instruments ever devised – this artist takes it one step further, controlling parameters with a piece of colored paper tracked by a webcam. It’s an achievement of sheer patching genius, taken one step wackier. The patch is entitled Le Synthé V5; the creator is Pierre Couprie. And yes, you can download this for Windows and Mac – even Mac PowerPC. Cost: US$15/EUR10, which is, I must say, insanely cheap. Video in French with …


Details of SONAR 8.5, and the Dystopian Future in Which You Use It

What happens when you mix technical chatter on the Cakewalk forum, Samuel Beckett, and The Matrix? I’d wager you get something like the surreal video above. Prompted by the posting of technical details for a new update to Cakewalk’s SONAR production software for Windows, and empowered by a strange, new tool that generates eerie virtual reality from typed text, we get banter like this: The arpeggiator is now on every track, so you are supposed to use it. It is one of the new rules of recording. Yes, I came from the days of one-finger piano playing. This is a …


Obsessive Windows 7 Under-the-Hood Guide for Music; Can You Finally Dump XP?

Windows 7 running on a laptop, as photographed by / (CC) Luke Roberts. Windows 7 makes far subtler changes than Vista did, which gives it an opportunity to refine features by the ship date. And it’s been tested unusually widely, by testers like Luke. Windows matters. It’s what roughly half of CDM readers use, and – for all the attention Apple gets – it’s a big part of the computer music world. Windows today also faces many of the same under-the-hood challenges that other operating systems do, so even if you’re a die-hard Linux or Mac user, you may want …


DAW Day – Pro Tools 8.0.1: No Windows 7 or 10.6 Support, End of the Road for Legacy

Pro Tools got an update at the end of August. A number of readers have pointed out that this is a milestone for what it includes, what it doesn’t include, and what it represents. What’s in 8.0.1 If you’re an existing Pro Tools 8 owner, you’ll want 8.0.1: Improved interface performance (“snappiness”!) Improved selection drawing in audio Workflow improvements, fixes Those of you who grabbed the update in the last week or two, I’ll be curious to hear what you’ve found in some of those subtler improvements. Avid, to their credit, does do a lot of work on these point …