Music Developer on Windows 8: A Leap Forward for Desktops; A Leap Backward for Metro, WinRT?

Steven Sinofsky showing Windows 8 last year. Photo (CC-BY) BUILDWindows. There’s good news and bad news on Windows 8 for music making. If you’re using Windows on a conventional, Intel PC, running conventional, desktop Windows apps, the news is really all good – really good. It’s still early days, but Windows 8 promises to be better than Windows 7 at audio performance metrics across the board, a no-brainer sort of upgrade for music makers. By contrast, if you’re using Windows 8 on a new ARM-based tablet or interested in seeing music apps that take advantage of the new-fangled store and …


Microsoft Unveils Two Surface Tablets, But Questions Abound: Will They Hold a Tune?

The iPad has proven a tablet can be a powerful tool for music. It’s also been mostly alone. Android-powered tablets have suffered from lackluster audio performance. Compound that with low popularity in the marketplace and fragmented OS updates, and the platform has largely scared music developers away. Android devices also lack the richness of the iPad’s hardware accessory support, with multi-pin ports that lie dormant, giving accessory makers insufficient capabilities. Windows-powered tablets thus far show some promise, but absent high-quality multi-touch input or thinner form factors, they’ve also been a non-starter. It’s unclear whether it’ll change the situation, but at …


Teaser: FL Studio Mobile Coming to Android, with Low-Latency Engine

Image-Line are quick to attach lots of disclaimers about when the work will be ready, but a teaser video demonstrates they have builds of their FL Studio Mobile software running on Android devices. It looks like a particularly good match for tablets, and is the latest indication that their may finally be a horse race in tablets for music. (Insert more disclaimers here.) The phrase “low latency” is likely to make prick up some ears. No computer is “zero latency”; digital systems introduce some delay from recording to playback. The quality of the user experience, therefore, is having things happen …


Going Native: New Pro Tools HD Native, Your DAW, and Low-Latency Performance

For some time, the move has seemed inevitable – even more so as the rumor mill started echoing with suggestions that a native release was coming. But now, it’s happened: Pro Tools HD will now run without HD DSP hardware. And that’s not all — you can also use the same hardware with your existing DAW of choice, for users of software like Cubase and Logic. There’s a price tag attached, though. This remains what for many would be a high-end solution. At US$3495 retail and up, it’s not competition for buying a basic interface card and Cubase. Think, instead, …


Native Instruments Launches Audio Interface: Big Knob, Low Latency, Headphone Out

Native Instruments, the hardware company? Following software/hardware products with integrated audio features, including Guitar Rig and Kore, NI is now getting into the absurdly crowded audio interface field with the Audio Kontrol 1. Fortunately, the inclusion of a dedicated, switchable headphone out, giant controller knob, and low-latency drivers are enough to escape my Audio Interface Inbox of Doom. That’s the place I put press releases on boring, me-too audio interfaces, like the three dozen useless audio interfaces introduced at NAMM. It’s also our last line of defense before we get sucked into a dystopic future where the only audio and …


Mac Pro Watch: Apogee Syphony Drivers with 2ms Latency; 64-Channel Surround Installation

We don’t have to wait for press releases around here; an enthusiastic Apogee employee (not from the sales and marketing end, he says) writes in to brag about Apogee’s support for the new Apple Mac Pro. Not only are drivers available today for using the Apogee Symphony PCI-Express audio card, but Apogee says the combination of Apple and Apogee hardware acheives an unheard-of 2ms latency. From Apogee’s official statement: Apogee’s new Universal PCI-Express driver, in combination with the powerful Intel processors in the Mac Pro, lowers the latency of the Symphony PCI-Express card by over 50% into the 2ms range. …